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    - Regardless of your political leanings, last week’s midterm election had one significant impact to American cyclists: 18-term MN Democratic Congressman (and House Transportation Committee Chairman) Jim Oberstar was defeated. Bike Portland and others have nicely summed up how Oberstar was arguably the most powerful cycling advocate in America. It’s a truism of politics, it seems: All Americans hate pork except for their pork. Chapeau Congressman Oberstar. You made the lives of American cyclists (Democrats and Republican alike) safer and you’ll always be remembered and appreciated for it. - Maybe I should’ve known the name Geoffroy Lequatre before now. Maybe [...]

    - We’re one week into our merged website and we’ve been the beneficiary of loads of thoughtful feedback regarding our changes. Most of the comments have been encouraging. And while there’s been criticism, much of it has been constructive and we’re appreciative of that. We’ve taken it to heart, and we’re already working on enhancements and modifications because of it. The most common expression of displeasure pertains to how road and mountain components now live within one single category, i.e. road and mountain rear derailleurs are grouped together. The changes to how we show bike brands, apparel, and accessories haven’t [...]

    You’ve already seen the movie before. This isn’t meant as a critique of Chasing Legends , but as a commentary on the viewer. You almost certainly watched the 2009 Tour de France in its entirety, around which this movie is based. You’ve also likely digested if not devoured both print and online reports on the race, and have probably seen at least one other Tour-related movie, whether it be Wired To Win or Hell on Wheels , or Giro-centric Stars And Watercarriers and The Greatest Show On Earth. Chasing Legends aspires to explain the Tour de France by showing the [...]

    The Cancellara Crusade

    - Last week’s news about Cervélo spawned a tropical storm of opinion, both in the form of comments in our What’s New section, and in discussion elsewhere. In case you have a life and didn’t track it, let us play RSS reader for you. Some highlights, though not comprehensive at all -- Competitive Cyclist What’s New Cervélo.com #1 Cervélo.com #2 Slowtwitch.com #1 Slowtwitch.com #2 Boulder Report #1 Boulder Report #2 Not all of the comments are complimentary of Competitive Cyclist, which is fine since we’re all about the open market of ideas. It’s clear, though, that a couple of corrections [...]

    We’re fans of Arundel cages at Competitive Cyclist. Come to think of it, we’re fans of their handlebar tape and seat bags, too. Arundel has a fairly simple mission, “come up with some cool bike equipment that people want to buy.” Bottle cages were a great place to start. Everyone needs at least a few. Problem is, it’s a popular accessory. Bike companies make them, carbon-fiber companies make them, accessory companies make them, too. So many have waded in these waters, and yet so few really good designs have resulted. Many don’t excite the eye and hold bottles poorly. Some [...]

    - Some big news this week from Cervélo. No, your eyes are not fooling you: Cervélo has made the decision to exit the realm of online sales, i.e. they’ve fired all of their online dealers, including Competitive Cyclist. We’re bummed here for sure. It’s not for the potential loss of business -- we’ll finalize our plans for filling the Cervélo financial void by lunchtime. The bike business is where we’re PRO, and this is akin to an ill-timed puncture, but no more than that. Our bummed feeling, rather, is because of our memorable shared history with the brand. Our star [...]

    Zipp 900 Disc Wheel

    If you’re going to get heavily into time trialing of the non-hillclimb, non-cannibal variety, you’re probably going to feel compelled to invest in all the high-end baubles that the cycling world offers. These bits are beautiful, aero, as light as you can afford, and usually expensive goods that will spend the majority of their existence in closets or bags, but those few to several times you have them out every year, they will be worth more than their weight in gold. While we’ve tested out time trial bikes and see the value in them, we’d invest in a disc wheel [...]

    — For this bike nut, Interbike has always been a dream. And while we oft consider its relevance, and how it could be better for everyone (vendors, dealers, consumers), I’d guess that it’s always exciting for a first timer. And as much as I’d like to say that I saw it all, there were innumerable booths that I did not see, let alone stop by and visit. I’m still baffled by this, and it’s remarkable to think that I missed so much with two full days inside the Sands Convention Center. — While not actually part of the show, the [...]

    - Witness the crumbling bunker. Hear the absurdly optimistic message broadcast from within. The assertion that Interbike enjoyed a tangible uptick in attendance in 2010 is one part flat earth, one part WMD, and a pinch of Baby I love your haircut. The critical fact avoided by the Interbike Minister of Propaganda is that 2010 was the first year the show was conducted simultaneous to (and literally alongside) the big ‘Health and Fitness’ trade show. In pre-registering online to attend either Interbike or ‘Health and Fitness’ you were explicitly encouraged to register at NO EXTRA CHARGE to the other show. [...]

    Shimano Deore XT

    10-Speed… better than nine? We test the new Shimano XT to find out.

    Catlike Whisper Plus Helmet

    onClick=”pictureslide(‘/images/competitivecyclist_blog/reviews/091910/CatLikeWhispPl2.jpg’); return false;”>When we first saw the Catlike Whisper Plus helmet, we didn’t understand it. Yes, it’s a helmet. Yes, it must have passed all the relevant tests (first CE and now CPSC standards as well), but it wasn’t shaped like any other helmet on the market. Unlike the others, which have obvious structural elements holding things together and limiting the design, this helmet seemed to have started as a solid mass that someone had taken a Dremel to, boring holes here and there until, we assumed, the structural limit was reached. Maybe it was inspired by

    CycleOps Joule 2.0 Computer

    The Power Tap Joule 2.0 closes the gap between post-ride analysis software and on-the-bike training. No other computer provides the same wealth of real-time data.

    See or be seen… Which is more important? Perhaps you can have both.

    - We were on the scene at last week’s ProTour races in Canada. You can’t beat Montreal and Quebec City for scenery, and from what we read, the beauty was matched by organizational know-how. Capping it off was two great wins by two great PROs. (Ever since Robert Gesink lost the 2008 Paris Nice on a monumental Stage 6, during the final descent into Cannes, we’ve loved the guy.) Memory of the weekend? The Wilfred Owen-like fog spewing from the back of the peloton -- a black cloud made up of vaporizing brake blocks and carbon rim dust. While we [...]

    Syllamo Trails: Work and Ride

    This is the time of year that we get excited all over again for riding our bikes. It’s strange; March and April are nervous times, wondering if we’ve ridden enough in the off-season to reach our goals for the year. We find out soon enough every time, and sometimes we go well, other times not so well. That is the way, right? But as the season progresses,there is always the yearly slump during the stifling heat of our Arkansas summer that damps our enthusiasm a bit, making family time or even yardwork a good bit more alluring than hours spent [...]

    “Why train when you can buy speed?” asks the cardboard packaging for the Arundel Chrono bottle and cage. The concept of buying speed is fairly essential to most people who race against a clock. Even if you’re into Merckx-style time trials, you’re still looking for the tightest-fitting wool jersey, the lightest aluminum rims, the most aerodynamic J-bend spokes, the fastest-rolling tires, and so on. Back in the day, mechanics would take grease out of ball bearing races and put in oil. They’d remove the dust caps and sometimes take one bearing out of each race to reduce the friction of [...]

    2010 Eurobike Confidential

    Some conclusions after roaming the halls of the 2010 Eurobike trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany – - Color of the show: Lime green. It was everywhere, like one show-wide tribute to Liquigas or ISD. Lime frames, lime components, even lime Conti GP 4000 tires. Where do these meetings happen — where the big guns of manufacturing converge and vote on the haute hue for the upcoming season? Lime green? I don’t know what they were thinking, but I do know what they were drinking. - Brand of the show: Cube. They have no presence here in the US yet. But [...]

    ISM Adamo Podium Saddle

    As mentioned in the Cervélo P3 review, we also tested a number of time trial-specific products along with the frame. Possibly the most important of those was the Adamo Podium Saddle from ISM (Ideal Saddle Modification). We were hesitant to move off our beloved Flite even on a time trial bike because it’s easier to dial in position with a familiar saddle, and even if there is saddle-related discomfort, we can probably remediate the issue easier when it’s a saddle we’re already intimate with. We rationalized that the time trial position we’d be using would be different enough that the [...]

    Our sales history speaks for itself -- 10-speed is the hot ticket. Since SRAM debuted their XX group, it’s been present on our high-end mountain bike builds like marshmallows at a campfire. And with Shimano’s release of their new XT 10-speed Dyna-Sys drivetrain, our curiosity was sparked. What would be the ideal setup for my bike… or yours for that matter. It’s a question worth discussion for sure, and in my book, worth an investigation into the subtleties (like a splinter stuck in your finger or a big stick to the head) between what we’re used to and what we’re [...]

    Clean your chain. It’s the bike maintenance equivalent of eating your veggies. The benefits include riding quieter, shifting better, riding with greater mechanical efficiency, and a longer-lasting drivetrain. Crazy to have ceramic bearings if your chain is crunchy. It’s not necessarily fun, but you should do it. And probably at a shorter interval than you currently employ. We’re not advising re-lubing the chain every ride as some people advise. Just if you’ve been in the rain, or dust, or dirt, or after a few weeks of daily riding. There was a time when we only cleaned the chain when we [...]

    The bicycle is such a great way to see places and cyclists are such natural travelers that the difficulty flying with a bike entails is nothing short of tragic. Everything we’ve worked on and can do on a bicycle is not only thrown in stark contrast, but nearly destroyed by the efforts it takes to get a bicycle to and from an airport. On a bike, we’re light, graceful, fluid, powerful. With that bike wrapped in the appropriate protection and the necessary gear packed in a case, we’re almost always heavy, awkward to the point of bumbling, leaden of foot, [...]

    Ibis Mojo HD Carbon

    Whether you’re looking for your first “real” race bike, or a backup for your cost-is-no-object dream bike, few bikes in the marketplace can match the Ridley Compact for performance and value.

    Ridley Compact

    Whether you’re looking for your first “real” race bike, or a backup for your cost-is-no-object dream bike, few bikes in the marketplace can match the Ridley Compact for performance and value.

    SRAM XO 2×10

    The new X0 group closely follows in XX’s big footsteps, yet it works great, offers some new surprises, and is more affordable.

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