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    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. [...]

    The Giordana FormaRed Carbon Arm and Leg warmers fit like a second skin, are warmer than you’d expect, and also provide a good degree of muscle compression.

    Gore Bike Wear’s Alp X Thermo Jersey is a modern interpretation of the classic Roubaix fabric long sleeve jersey.

    Gore Bike Wear’s Mistral and Countdown Gloves are the perfect combination to keep you riding through the cooler months.

    The Giordana FormaRed Carbon Compactible Jacket and Vest are must-haves for any serious cyclist who’s going to brave the elements and train through the colder months.

    If you want one cool weather jacket that covers all your bases, then look no further than the Giordana FormaRed Carbon Lightweight Jacket.

    Spelling Gert-Jan Theunisse

    - Last week was a full week in Europe. 3 countries in 7 days with intermittent riding and enough wine to give me the notion of going to Halloween next year as my liver and, now, the wounds of jet-lag have me stupefied in a way that all the world’s espresso can’t reverse. Sleep is impossible. Catch up on work? I’m almost 10 days out of practice, so why start now? Instead, a few photos for you with blessedly little narrative -- London – Brick Lane Bikes If whoever owns this store ever discovers Ebay, they will become millionaires many [...]

    -- Anyone in the bike industry is affected on a seemingly regular basis by the proliferation of new industry standards. We have standards for brakes, chainguides, headsets, bottom brackets and now axles. We argue here about thru-axles all the time. Those of us coming from the big squishy end of mountain bikes are stuck to the 20 x 110mm and prefer the Maxle system from Rockshox. Others prefer the new 15QR system on the Fox forks. It’s a great debate, and we get nowhere with it on a regular basis. I’ve recently come across a nice article that illustrates some [...]

    Rapha Merino Base Layer

    Rapha’s Merino Base Layer does a great job of regulating moisture and heat transfer on the bike, and also keeps you comfortable and cozy while you’re off the bike.

    Rapha’s flagship piece is definitely the Classic Softshell Jacket. It’s a feature-rich Jacket that’s as functional on the bike as it is stylish OFF the bike.

    Rapha Winter Hat

    The Rapha Winter Hat is, perhaps, the perfect iteration of everything you need in winter headgear.

    The Novice

    - The shoes make the man. No secret about that. Joe Parkin dispenses must-have advice about it here. And, speaking of shoes, if dark brown shoes are the must-have pair in your closet, why is it that companies like Sidi and DMT don’t make them in Ferragamo-like deep, rich hickory? Why only black, white, and clown colors? I, for one, would buy a pair of DMT Radials in brown. (Yes, I’ve heard of Dromarti. But we’re talking about PRO-caliber racing shoes here, not preenster shit.) - Preen, to some it’s not always a pejorative word. - Bike Industry #1: A [...]

    DT, DW, DR & the Diss

    --Someone once asked George Mallory why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest. His reply, ‘because it’s there,’ rings as a simple yet ineffective explanation. Along those same lines then, why do we love to ride our mountain bikes? Most days it might be a difficult question as well, but not today. We just spent a weekend at the Syllamo Trail System near Mt. View, Arkansas. The weather was exquisite and the trails…well, the trails reminded us of our love of the bike. It wasn’t a gentle handed reminder like a soft caress to the cheek. No, it was more like [...]

    - Hi Lance: Some quick background. (a) I’m a fan -- both of your sporting accomplishments, and of your passion for fighting cancer & your stand that quality health care is a fundamental human right. (b) I’m a capitalist and celebrate the way in which it’s a 21st-Century fast-forwarding of the primitive manly urge to hunt & gather. (c) On more than one occasion I’ve been tangentially involved in efforts to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Especially given the recent speech I attended by LAF CEO, Doug Ullman, here in Little Rock at the Clinton School for Public [...]

    - A rain supreme. Not for hours or even days, but a full-on month of Old Testament downpour. The city gone intestinal: What were once yards, now a half-digested stew -- brown with mud and leaves in every direction. And what were once roads, now treacherous rinks for autoduel. The thought of riding a bike -- remote as it is for me already with such endless rain and off-season torpor -- it got a dagger in the heart this week thanks to this lung-clotting cold. Prenatally curled on the couch, I hack and blow and try to recall the muscularity [...]

    - Competitive Cyclist is proud to announce the arrival of Ibis bikes. Ibis is one of those brands that we’ve always had on our proverbial top shelf. Their reputation in the nineties was sterling and they injected humor into their bikes with features like Moron tubing (more on the ends), the Toe Jam pump peg, and most infamous, the Handjob cable stop. Their lighthearted approach set them apart in a competitive industry jammed with ex-aerospace engineers, machinists, and welders. The folks at Ibis build bikes that they would want to ride. From the inception in a garage in the early [...]