Spring & Summer Apparel Sale—Save Up to 40% on the season's best »
  • Free Shipping on orders over $50*
  • 100% Guaranteed Returns

Learn

Filter
    Activities
    Topics

    The Event After a beautiful drive from Reno via Truckee, my wife and I rolled into Downieville, California, around 7, just in time to pick up my bike from the hosts of the Downieville Classic All-Mountain World Championships, Yuba Expeditions. I had shipped it two days prior and it arrived mostly in one piece. The lid to my bike’s travel case had come open somewhere along the way and thankfully nothing was missing from the case -- oddly enough, I had actually gained a few random Xerox machine small parts bound for a California state agency. Slightly nerved up from [...]

    - The most stirring photo of the Tour so far. - It’s apparent that Alberto Contador has never heard the phrase ‘If you hit the king, you have to kill him.’ His Stage 7 attack smacked of the same lack of discipline that lost him 40 seconds in the crosswinds of Stage 3. When I say discipline, don’t mistake that for ‘fealty.’ I don’t think he owes Lance a damn thing. But history proves that the Tour is rarely-if-ever won thanks to sprint-for-the-city-sign escapades like what we saw in Stage 7. Its effect, from a GC perspective, was next to [...]

    We’ve had a recent experience that left us laughing, with a few new quotes to wear out in the shop, and proud that we could provide a good service to someone who would appreciate it so damn much. We’d been contacted by an Englishman about a possible local demo of an XXL Turner Sultan. Hmmm…this guy must be a beast. Of course, that’s what we always think when that particular bike goes out for a demo. But the strange thing is, it goes out at least as often as the large and is in a state of near constant rotation [...]

    The Downieville Classic challenges riders both physically and mentally. The mental aspect is tested even before the event happens as riders try to prepare their bikes. The All-Mountain category of the Classic requires riders to use the exact same bike for both legs of the event -- summiting the eight mile, 4500 vertical foot climb on the 29-mile XC course the first day, and ripping the 17-mile downhill course the following day. Bottom line -- it’s gotta be light and efficient (but not too light), and strong, yet not overbuilt. After months of product testing, evaluation, and consideration, my Downieville [...]

    - In bike racing the greatest obstacle isn’t the climbs. It isn’t the wind. It’s the dude five spots ahead of you who loses the wheel in front of him and you don’t notice ’til the gap is 6 lengths long. Single-file bike racing is destructive like nothing else. Long live single-file bike racing. - Watching a 10am Cialis commercial during Stage 1 of the Tour and seeing a mid-40′s woman give a handjob to a brass staircase handrail in front of me & my 3 kids has driven me to this: I’ll mail a $250 Competitive Cyclist Gift Card [...]

    Me Life is funny. Most anyone that knows me would tell you I’m a hammerhead. I’ve got one pace, and that’s whatever is in my tank that day. It’s a blessing and a curse, but it is what it is. Wired like that, it comes as no surprise that my roots are in XC racing -- especially given the utter lack of ‘big’ mountains in our region. The Ozark Mountains are beautiful, but they’re more of an undulating landscape full of punchy climbs and twisty, rocky, rooted singletrack. As such, most of my time has been spent somewhere between a [...]

    We recently sold a new Ventana El Comandante single-speed to an old friend. As we waited for a few parts to hit the loading dock, the anticipation of his conversion grew. He was one of those cycling converts who gets in a little late in the game, coerced and/or lured by a group of buddies who’ve shared lots of trail time. You might know someone like this. He’s a great athlete so his learning curve was steep. But he’s also a world champion reveler when anyone else falters, so it was especially satisfying to witness his first year as a [...]

    Maybe it was our heightened metaphysical state due to the Sedona Vortex , or maybe it was the late night Del Taco we munched down while hauling ass from the Phoenix airport up to Sedona. Whatever it was, we made a few realizations in the desert: Lesson One: Working in the bike industry can have its perks. Our friends from Magura USA invited us to their annual press camp to give a preview of upcoming 2010 products and product training from Stefan Pahl, the Magura Germany product manager. The camp is held in Sedona, Ariz., which boasts myriad notable trails [...]

    - Laurent Jalabert, on when he knew it was time to retire from racing. ‘I was seeing the asses of riders I’d never seen the faces of.’ - I’m an avowed Greg LeMond fan no matter what. He was my #1 teenage hero and nobody can take away the thousand ways he inspired me back then. But it gives me the creeps in a big way to see how many lawsuits he’s gotten himself tied up in. His courtroom fight with the Billionaire’s Boys Club aka the Yellowstone Club has gone on for years, and given how Yellowstone just filed [...]

    It’s amazing how much useless information is available on the internet. This article stands as a good example. However, after a killer cross-country ride in the heat and humidity of Central Arkansas, on a 6′ freeride bike no less, a surfing session seemed in order last night. With the AC blasting and a refreshing Mt. Dew by my side, I found this – a picture of Competitive Cyclist’s own service department member, Don West, on the IMBA website. Check out that extended right leg. Either he’s really roosting that switchback corner or he’s about to fall over. Therein lies the [...]

    If you’ve spent much time riding in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco then you, too, have experienced the strangeness of Ocean Beach. It’s the Pacific Ocean at the western edge of the park, and for all the wonders of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge both just a stone’s throw away, Ocean Beach was remarkable for its trashiness. In the daytime it was overrun by tourists and at night it seemingly became something worse as evinced by the condom wrappers, tampon applicators, and other pieces of vaguely medical-related plastic suggestive of more-dedicated-than-just-recreational drug use. For such a [...]

    - The two sweetest words in the English language: Nice pull. - Nobody made note of the strangeness that unfolded in the final 1km of the Mt. Ventoux stage at the Dauphine-Libere. As this video shows, it appears that Alejandro Valverde’s pace causes his breakaway companion, Liquigas’ Sylvester Szmyd, to detonate. Note how 10-15 seconds after Szmyd blows up, Valverde stands up and accelerates. And then watch the last few hundred meters to the finish. If you read the post-race account on cyclingnews, Valverde sorta lukewarmly says he gifted Szmyd the stage win. But based on some of his accelerations [...]

    Ritchey Torque Key

    Snap, crackle, pop. That is a symphony of sounds we prefer to hear at the breakfast table rather than emanating from our carbon components in the bike stand. As bike technology progresses, and we continue to move towards lighter and lighter componentry, it has become increasingly more important to monitor our torque values as we install our handlebars, stems, and seatposts. The days of the ham-fisted bike mechanic are long gone and jokes about “tighten it ’til it smokes, then back off a hair” are no longer that funny once you hear that ominous crunch. That first crunch means one [...]

    - When you see the phrase ‘Fantasy Cycling Game,’ I think this is what they mean. - Final Giro thought #1: What’s the deal with Danilo DiLuca and time trial bikes? During the monstrous Cinque Terre TT he rode: Road bike, road bars, everyday helmet, and Campy Boras with only one TT-minded detail, a skinsuit. His average speed was ~38kph. During the Rome TT he rode: Road bike, road bars w/basic clip-ons, an aero helmet, Boras, and a skinsuit. His average speed was ~45kph. Given how gear-crazy the sport of cycling is, and given the truckloads of Lira spent wind-tunnel [...]

    Bang for Your Buck

    While the economy has us all watching our pennies, we ponder what it is that makes a product a good value. What is it that gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling? While there are lots of good deals out there on the web, and we strive to offer plenty of our own, we know that value can be something different. We think a good value product is one that can deliver great performance, come at a reasonable cost, and last for a long time. We encourage everyone to seek value in our specials section, but here we’ve assembled some [...]

    Don’t know about you, but we were blindsided by the public launch of Campy 11-speed. With no warning whatsoever it seemed to just show up at Tour time last year. There was no fawning by magazine scribes in the way they did Dura Ace 7900, which debuted around the same time. We don’t know if this was because Shimano worked harder at appealing to the journos or that the journos were anticipating for the general public, which goes much more heavily for Shimano over Campagnolo. As fans of underdogs, we hoped that 11-speed exceeded hype. We got to test out [...]

    How did you get to work this morning? Chances are good that we all used some kind of mechanized transport. Personally, I rode a motorcycle amidst a sea of cars driven by commuter zombies. This makes me ponder our layout -- the cities we live in and our country in general. I’m talking about our geography. It’s too bad that I didn’t wrap my head around our existing problems at an earlier age, but my first experience with the subject was in junior high. It was a class taught by a prematurely graying, distinguished, and beautiful woman who, beyond her [...]

    Shimano Di2

    Wow. What more can we say? With their new Di2 electric gruppo Shimano finally pulled off what others have been trying to do for years, and the results are simply breathtaking.

    - The Giro has come to a close. Its legacy to me is my temptation to change the name of this column from ‘Competitive Cyclist What’s New’ to ‘The Unrelenting Appeal of Neon Accessories.’ - Just curious: What is the Cervélo Test Team testing? - Everybody has a bike they no longer own that they wish they’d never sold. Mine? A Columbus TSX 7-Eleven team-issue Eddy Merckx professionally flogged by Flock of Seagulls stunt double John Brady. As far as I know, Brady is best known for once getting his handlebars kicked out from under him, mid-race, by Roberto Gaggioli. [...]

    The Bucksnort Epic

    We’ve got a great story about kayaking on the Bailey’s Canyon section of the North Fork of the South Platte River in Colorado, but it’s a paddling adventure. We’ll not go into detail here, but it’s sufficient to say that it was huge, a first trip down, and we’d hooked up with a West Virginia lunatic who’d soloed it in the dusky hours the night before. We met him on the highway at the takeout. We did the run and managed to reach the takeout alive and mostly unscathed, albeit alive with a paddling buzz and a little weak in [...]

    Hincapie Denim

    Hincapie Premium Denim combines modern blue jean styling with old world craftsmanship (and a little lycra!) to make sure you look as good off the bike as you do on it.

    - It was two hours mentally dressed up in the war paint then, finally, the day’s final threshold interval was done. Legs and lungs were unwinding. The brain rage required for quality speedwork was fleeing my body. A car passed by. The driver cradled her cell phone as she sat behind the wheel. I got a quick glance of her as I soft pedaled, convinced for an instant she’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. Nothing makes beauty more beautiful than knowing the pain, for today, is done for good. - Professor Cavendish teaches class. - Let the record [...]

    If you’ve been around mountain biking for as long as we have, you’ve seen many, many changes. Both bikes and components have been transformed by advancements in design and technology. Most of the time, it feels like progression. Sometimes it doesn’t. We build a lot of bikes and we look at a lot of bike porn on the web. It’s cool to see how different bike builders tackle the same simple problem – how to get the cables and hoses to the right parts of the bike in the best way. It may be hard to profess ourselves as experts [...]

    1986 vs. 2009: Let’s talk about information access for an American in love with Euro bike racing. Back then VeloNews had the aesthetic & the journalistic qualities of The Thrify Nickel. Fresh in your mailbox every 2 weeks was ancient history. Looking for timely Spring Classic or Grand Tour top-10 results? You had to call a 1-900 number or buy the national edition of New York Times. And Winning, while glossier & more attractive, was overly pre-disposed to domestic teams. Coors Light, Crest, Lowenbrau, Schwinn-Icy Hot -- those words don’t signify mass market brands. Rather, as they trip across the [...]

    Expert Help

    1.888.276.7130

    Company
    Resources
    Social

    .

    Liberty Media Clan: Backcountry.com - Dogfunk.com - MotoSport