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    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 [...]

    We are lucky enough to have two IMBA classic trails within an easy drive from our Competitive Cyclist headquarters. The Syllamo MTB trail system and the Womble Trail are both awesome places to ride and we are proud to have them. Each year, a number of events are held to showcase these resources. After torrential rainstorms battered the Ozark hills for a week, Syllamo’s Revenge was held. This is an event which takes in nearly every foot of the roughly 50 mile total of the Syllamo trails. In perfect conditions, it will test you. This year, Syllamo’s Revenge was a [...]

    All of our cycling bottoms are pilled on the left inside thigh. It’s hardly noticeable, but it bugs us all the same. We even rubbed a hole in one pair of tights. The culprit is our saddle bag. Specifically, it’s the Velcro strap that secures the bag to the seat post. Every bag we’ve owned has contributed to this pilling. We hate this, mostly for the one pair of tights we wrecked — and stopped using the particular bag that was the culprit, but all the other bags do the same thing, only more mildly. The strap also does a [...]

    - Let the record show that we’re putting on some bike races in June. A 4-week criterium training series just a stone’s throw from our HQ. Our foremost goal is to create an encouraging, non-intimidating means for novices to pin on a number for the very first time. And we’ve made the ‘A’ race a bit over an hour to make it good training for the fast guys. We’ve gotta give credit to USA Cycling for making it easy & inexpensive to put on a training series (to USA Cycling that’s a technical term: ‘A training race series is a [...]

    Buy a Titus and get a Free Garmin GPS! That’s right – those who purchase a complete 2009 Titus bike (everything apart from pedals) before the end of June, 2009, can get a FREE Garmin Edge 305 GPS-enabled cycle computer. Eligible models include the XC specialist, Titus X, the Full Tilt Moto, FTM, big wheelin’ Racer X 29, and quite possibly the most underrated bike on the planet, El Guapo. To receive your free Garmin Edge 305 GPS-enabled cycling computer, simply follow these steps: Order a new complete Titus bicycle from Competitive Cyclist. Moto Lite and Racer X models are [...]

    A spring-cleaning attempt to rid my desk of sticky notes: - The hardest thing about bike racing? Staying at the front. Nothing is easier than letting your mind wander and falling back 40 spots unawares. - The #1 way to make your bike feel new: Replace the brake pads. The runner up? New cables. But fresh brake pads are guaranteed to re-ignite your love affair with your bike. Leave your drivetrain overhaul & bike wash for a 3-day weekend. When you need new and you need it NOW, brake pads overjoy. - You asked for it, so now we’re doing [...]

    2010 Fox and More

    2010 Fox Rumor has it we should have inventory on 2010 Fox Forx in just a few short weeks ~ Mid May. The line-up is loaded with options including a full selection of tapered steerer tubes, 15QR options for all 32-series forks including the F29, and a number of new remote lockout options. But the big story for 2010 Fox is the trickle down of the heralded FIT (Fox Isolated Technology) damper cartridges to most every fork they feature. As if Fox didn’t have the best damper on the planet already, they’ve raised their game yet again -- by isolating [...]

    The best spell of the bike race season is now done. Spring Classics season is where the tension between risk & reward is most acute. Unlike the incessant strategic hedging and energy-conservation intrinsic to the Grand Tours, spring is where dagger-in-the-heart aggression is the main ingredient for glory. They’re the most thrilling races, they’re the most visually dramatic, and it’s where our heroes seem most like ourselves: One 30-minute effort where the body screams no -- That one-time brief, impossible conquering of oneself -- Is anything else in life more gratifying? 2009 was an especially good Spring Classics season. In [...]

    - Watched the Flèche Wallone on cycling.tv this morning. Exciting race. I learned that ‘arrière du peloton’ is French for Garm*n-Slipstream. - Did you see the final 1km of Flèche? Nothing quite like seeing a field sprint on a 20% grade. - Students of cycling trends will surely remember back to 2004 when The Almighty Lance showed up to the Tour de France in shin-high socks, which spawned widespread (and arguably unfortunate) fashion emulation by cyclists across America. I’ve seen a similar sort of behavior since this photo was published. Riders who couldn’t hold a line to save their lives [...]

    The big news at Sea Otter this year is that there wasn’t much big news. In recent years, many companies have used the event as an opportunity to unveil their projects to the cycling community — almost another Interbike (only far cooler). While we know industry giants SRAM and Shimano have huge new mountain bike product developments in the hopper, they chose not to launch them at this year’s Sea Otter. Is this a by-product of the economy? We’re not really sure, but it was sure interesting to experience in and of itself. We found few surprises in the manufacturer [...]

    ‘It was the heat of the moment. Telling me what your heart meant…’ What’s more embarrassing: Is it the fact that the lyrics and the power chords from Asia’s ancient & godawful song are still so easily in mental reach? Or is it the very act the song commemorates -- pillow talk -- that arouses self-conscious shame? After all, who hasn’t been stung tomorrow by today’s confessional tenderness? I’m now nearing 40. Pillow talk at this point consists of ‘Do you want me to drive the kids to school tomorrow?’ Momentary effusions of vulnerability are rarer than rare which is [...]

    Forget about truth in advertising. We want truth instead of advertising. And that’s why we’re taking one more step here at Competitive Cyclist to give you the highest-quality information about the components we sell. We already write our own product copy. We already take our own product photos. We already conduct our own product reviews. We’re proud to announce today that we’re now measuring the actual product weights of our components. Like, on a gram scale. All of them. Why? It’s because we know that facts (not marketing palaver) empower you in your decision-making process when it comes to upgrades [...]

    - After months of waiting, the motherlode of Cervélo P4 framesets has arrived. In case you’ve been tempted by one, FYI we have them in open stock in both 56cm and 58cm. - More importantly, let’s move on to our awards related to the baddest one-day race of the year, the Tour of Flanders: Comeback Player of the Year: cycling.tv. We’ve spent the better part of a year extolling cyclingfans.com for scouring the ‘net for every conceivable video feed of pro bike races, no matter how obscure. These feeds are godsends, but for high-profile races the bandwidth demand on those [...]

    Our favorite bike of all time? Sounds like a fun drinking game or great way to kill time on a roadtrip to a bike race. Offhand our vote would have to the long-bygone Eddy Merckx Team SC. Made from Easton SC7000 aluminum, it titillates most for its palmares and for the era when those palmares were earned. Let’s see: A 1-2-3 finish for Team Domo on the Team SC in the 2001 Paris-Roubaix. A breathtaking 243km breakaway for Team Domo’s Richard Virenque in the ’01 Paris-Tours. Followed by a crushing solo breakaway win in the ’02 Paris-Roubaix by Team Domo-Farm [...]

    We saw this video for the first time a few months back, and it blew us away. Like a moth to a flame, we keep going back to it. Finally, it dawned on us to share it with you. While it has absolutely nothing to do with bikes or riding them, we can only suspect these guys are looking for the same (or bigger) adrenaline rush that we are as cyclists. TGIF.

    - I grew up with a kid in my neighborhood named David White. Plain name, but he had wicked mean golf skills. As I recall, he got a scholarship to Oklahoma, transferred to Arkansas, and whomped and stomped the SEC through his college career. Then he tried making the leap to pro. He got caught in an endless loop of mini-tour action instead of the PGA Tour (read: Tour de Toona instead of Tour of Flanders), and the only shot he got at the big leagues was by qualifying for the 1997 US Open at Congressional in Washington DC. The [...]