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    Motos, Metal, and Mystery

    --How often have you been engaged in conversation with someone, telling them that you’ve been out on your bike for a ride only to be questioned, ‘you ride a sport bike or cruiser?’ No. Bikes. Bicycles. I’m talking about pedaling here. The mistake is easy, I suppose. After all, many of us are out on the road for hours at a time, and it seems the easy assumption most folks make is that when someone is out on a ‘bike’ for five hours, they must be twisting a throttle and covering some serious miles. There’s no real offense taken when [...]

    - Race season looms. Since New Year’s our group rides are reaching full-boil ever earlier. And, worse, rumors of solitary stealth training abound -- the cycling version of fish tales -- who solo-climbed what how many times; how fast; how far; how little they eat; how ‘a drink’ has come to mean Perrier. The mileage and intensity escalates, which means the most precious gift of all is within grasp. It’s not fitness I’m speaking of, wonderful as that is. Rather, it’s the rest day. That blessed hour or two where no force goes into the pedals. You’re not a racer [...]

    The 2nd-Most Famous Texan

    - Inspiration for the Footon-Servetto-Fuji team kit is here, at 0:36. - When you see that offering plate, please dig deep into your hearts and wallets. These two poor lads are in desperate need of plane tickets to Spain. - For a team so committed to principles and such, how did the Cervélo Test Team end up with Theo Bos on the squad for 2010? Has been absolved of his reputation as bully extraordinaire? - A new concept here in the What’s New section: We’ll abbreviate it SIBE, which is short for ‘Shit I’d Buy on Ebay’. We’ll start the [...]

    Expos, Crest, Kiwi

    - You have no heart if you don’t feel for World Cycling Productions. Go back in time just a bit and their money-printing formula was obvious: Pay a fee to the ASO for exclusive North American rights to video coverage of any race worth a flip; pay a bit more to Phil and Paul for their commentary; then add one last layer of cost for production and voilia! you end up with another year’s library of race videos. To the hardcore race fan and likewise for the average mass market Lance worshiper, you needed a fix and WCP was the [...]

    Ibis Mojo SL

    The Mojo SL weighs what a good race bike should, yet it descends like a dream. 140mm travel + dw-link = trail rocket.

    --It’s no wonder that pro road bike racers do things that amaze. They spend huge amounts of time training for a singular purpose, perhaps one event, or day even. Careers are often built on a solitary Tour stage win. The magnitude of their efforts is witnessed live on tv sets across Europe. They’re paid well because of it. The question then today is…is it any less impressive when someone like Danny Macaskill swoops through an urban street, linking bunnyhop tail whips, 360s over enormous stair gaps, and rides 10 feet up a tree only to fakie back down and half [...]

    Silence Kit

    - We’ve made the choice to stop sales of Pegoretti frames here at Competitive Cyclist. Dario’s bikes continue to be what they’ve always been -- beautiful to behold and beautiful to ride. As a human he’s no less radiant and humble than he was a decade ago when we first got involved with him and his name had none of the currency it now possesses. Our decision is rooted in a few things, but the primary reason is the trend we’ve seen in our Pegoretti frame sales: The proportion of stock to custom has tipped heavily (shall we say completely?) [...]

    The Look Keo Carbon Blade pedal is the next revolution from the company that invented the clipless pedal.

    BMC Team Machine SLR 01

    BMC’s new Team Machine SLR01 is the highly anticipated follow up to their best selling Pro Machine. The beauty of this beast truly runs more than skin deep.

    The Fulcrum Racing Zero is amazingly smooth, yet laterally stiff enough to provide ungodly acceleration when you need it.

    - Did anyone doubt whether Lance is filthy rich? 7 Tours, best-selling book(s?), the most swooshed current athlete (as measured in duration) this side of Tiger. Surely he’s racked up spectacular lucre and I celebrate that someone in our speck-on-the-global-sports-radar sport (see here, where the intrigue of pro cycling is compared to badminton gossip) -- yes, one of our own can count his gold in bricks, not in ounces. Having acknowledged the magnitude of Lance’s wealth, I must ask if anyone else scratches their head at photos like this. Grinning on the tarmac in Hawaii in an ostentatious show of [...]

    Skins Compression Wear

    Using Skins compression wear to speed up your recovery is an easy way to gain a legal advantage over your competition.

    Our year-end review of 2009 started last week with all-important categories like Blog of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. This year we get a bit more focused on the bike itself. Climb of the Year – East: Let’s start with a definition of terms. The geographic center of the United States is Lebanon, Kansas. More relevant here, though, is the concept of the psychological center. Places in the Eastern and Central time zones are (psychologically) considered ‘East’. Places in the Mountain and Pacific time zones are considered ‘West.’ The winner is the high point of South Carolina, sitting [...]

    Santa Cruz Tallboy

    As light as a 26″ bike, but stable and smooth rolling as only a 29er can be. The Santa Cruz Tallboy hits the market in a big (wheeled) way.

    - I’ll always remember 2009 for the unalloyed terror in which it started. The economy threatened with a mysterious future violence, like a blood-lustful army on the outskirts of town. What was uncertain was its exact size and swiftness. What was sure was its intent of pillage and revenge. Being in the retail sector (and being in the off-season, to boot) made January and February 60 days of panic. But then the season kicked in, and just as we saw one of the most beautiful 1-day victories of the year, the cyclists of the world re-opened their wallets and opened [...]

    Orange Crush

    - We practice the pain: Hill repeats. The odd session of motorpacing. Races where we’re not there to race, but simply to rack up leg speed. Pain tolerance -- what a lovely phrase, because it describes more than a physical thing but the mental thing too. In the way it dissolves the boundary between body and mind, the learned ability to suffer is the only mysticism most of us will ever know. That’s why you see more & more marketing that celebrates the pain: It’s the very purpose of Rouleur magazine; it’s the core of Ridley’s ‘We Are Belgium’ campaign; [...]

    SRAM XX Dome Cassette

    Could this be the world’s most beautiful cassette? Maybe, because of what you don’t see — all of the unnecessary material that was left on the machine shop floor.

    SRAM XX Shifter Set

    Look no further for rapid, precise shifting. Gear changing just got cleaner, quicker, and lighter.

    SRAM XX Derailleurs

    Familiar look and feel, but entirely new. The XX derailleurs work in perfect harmony with the rest of the XX drivetrain to deliver crisp, perfect shifts.

    SRAM XX Crankset

    Take your mountain bike shifting to road bike levels. The XX Double crankset is the heart of the 2 x 10 XX system.

    Avid XX Brakes

    The new XX brake, at 288 grams is Avid’s lightest ever. Lightweight and powerful never felt this good.

    Passion, Camo & Deer Scent

    Passion manifests itself in strange ways. Perhaps you ride tubular tires and painstakingly rip the seams, patch the latex tubes, and stitch them back together by an oil light, because that’s what they did back in the day. Maybe you build your own dirt jumps by hand. God knows how many hours spent shoveling, slapping, and smearing it takes to maintain perfectly buffed lips and trannys. Just recently, a few of us promoted our Arkansas State Cyclocross Championship event. Being good riders (not promoters) we overlooked a few key elements -- race numbers and maybe the most important of race [...]

    Big hat, no cows

    - Biggest news of the week is that we’re hiring. At least one (probably two) Mechanics. One person as a Product Management Assistant -- a great get-your-foot-in-the-door, utility infielder position that deals with purchasing, inventory, and our web presentation. And, lastly, a Mountain Bike Product Manager, which is a serious job with seriously high expectations for candidates. Our workplace environment is the envy of the bike industry, and our benefits package would make Nancy Pelosi faint with pleasure. Deadline for applications is Friday, December 11. - A cautionary tale about the pitfalls of certain management styles in the modern workplace. [...]

    Rookie vs. Apprentice

    - In my November sojourn to Europe I walked by a small shop in Germany that had this bike displayed in their window. It wasn’t put there as an art piece, I don’t think, given that their shop was full with other city bikes & paraphernalia related to city bike riding. Thoughts that had been previously orbiting in my sub-conscious, it brought them to the fore-- Let’s call it the Sandwich Artist Principle, the way so few American framebuilders purport to be doing labor. While a few exceptions exist, most builders instead stay on-message -- they’re producing art, not goods. [...]

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