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dena eaton

Osmo Nutrition is touted as having developed the first hydration and recovery system specifically designed for women. Developed by Dr. Stacy Sims, an expert in the field of hormones, the system is designed to offset the physiological effects that female hormones have on training and racing. The catch phrase used by Stacy Sims is that “women are not small men.” As a female, my coaches have never treated me any differently than the guys. Workouts have never been any shorter or slower, and recovery time isn’t any longer. So it never occurred to me that hydrating for efforts, or refueling [...]

Jeff Stewart

Thinking back on my shop days, I’m still filled with surprise on how often I had to recite the first noble truth of outward illumination to customers. It goes something like this: there are two kinds of lighting setups in the world, ones that let you be seen and those that allow you to see. And not surprisingly, given that we were always discussing a noble truth of retail and not the spirit, the prices between the two paths always varied greatly. At times, introducing words like “lumen” to the average customer’s vernacular made me feel like I was introducing [...]

Michael Barry

“This is the stupidest f*cking event I’ve ever been in. Mike, you are f*cking mad. I’ll never ride it again,” Keith said. His bike was coated in a thick layer of ice. The freezing rain was now turning to steady snow. There were still several kilometers to go on the dirt track when he rode by cursing. The track or “trench,” as it became known after a few years, was an old rail line that ran up from Toronto to the southern shore of Lake Simcoe. In the summer, it is used by ATVs and motorbikes, while in the winter, [...]

Garson Fields

Since its emergence onto the scene in 2008, the Sun Valley darling, Club Ride, has become one of the most talked about brands in the industry. The hype centers on Club Ride’s clothing lineup, which blends cycling-specific functionality with cuts that you’d actually wear off of the bike. As somebody who’s long appreciated the strange looks and occasional remarks that come with wearing Lycra, I wouldn’t peg myself as Club Ride’s core customer. But I have to admit; I started second guessing myself when I first laid eyes on the Club Ride Rale pants. First Impressions The first thing that [...]

Ryan Schoeck

The banter up front was tough to decipher over the roar of coasting freehubs. Side-by-side, we spun our way through an industrial park as a team, relishing in a temporary pedal-powered escape from our inboxes and voicemails. These lunch rides always felt like we were getting away with something, like we were a group of high school kids who’d just gassed Mom’s minivan out of the parking lot on a Friday afternoon, bailing on the last class of the day. In the middle of the bunch, a coworker leaned over and said, “Did you hear about Nick?” He spoke it [...]

Competitive Cyclist

FOX Racing Shox’s CTD damper adjustment is found on FOX’s 32 and 34 lines of mountain bike forks, along with the FLOAT rear shock. It’s simple, three-way adjustment (Climb, Trail, and Descend) takes the pain out of finding your ideal suspension setup. In this video, FOX Outside Technician, Louis Angeley, gives you some insight into using CTD to match your suspension setup to your riding style and to your local trails. Climb Climb mode firms up the feel. However, it stops short of acting as a true lockout, given that the blow off valve allows your suspension to move under [...]

Garson Fields

You’d have to live under a rock to be unaware of the wheel size debate that’s currently gripping mountain biking. And since you’re reading this, you probably don’t live under a rock, unless said rock has Wi-Fi. And while we’ve all heard countless arguments favoring each size, what’s certain is that the classic 26-inch wheel size is quickly losing ground, which means that most everyone that’s looking for a new bike is choosing between 27.5- and 29-inch wheels. Your choice will largely depend on your priorities, as each size offers distinct advantages. Let’s dig through them. Bottom Bracket Drop Claims [...]

Michael Barry

Most races are formulaic, especially at the pro level. In the team buses before each race, the majority of the directeurs will be mapping the day out for their riders in a similar fashion. The team leaders will be told to wait in the slipstream of their teammates and the peloton until the final hour or less of racing, where they’ll attempt to burst ahead. Until then, their only goal is to conserve energy and stay fresh for the finale. The domestiques will be tasked with protecting the leaders, keeping them fed, fueled, and in position. Each of the domestiques [...]

dena eaton

On that fateful day, adrenaline was coursing through my veins, the announcer was on pointe, and I was winding up for a Madison-style kilo. I’d like to say that’s all I remember, but I’d be lying. In fact, it was the slowest three seconds of my life. I think you know right away when something is amiss. I knew instinctively that the way I had somersaulted into the balustrade wall, coupled with the fact that my helmet wasn’t on my head when I landed face first on the concrete, meant that I was not going to be getting up and finishing [...]

dena eaton

When you’re paying a premium for performance, the last thing that you need after a ride is a numb butt, aching palms, and the feeling that someone twisted your back in a vise. What happened to you becoming “one” with your bike? Where is the magic between man and machine that race announcers speak of? Truthfully, although the frame itself seems to receive most of the accolades for creating this seamless connection, it’s actually the touchpoints that are most responsible. These are the points where you control your bike, sit on your bike, and transfer power to your bike. And [...]

Jeff Stewart

Over the past month, I’ve worn, tested, and practically lived in nearly every DeFeet product on the market. Whether I was riding, running, or writing at my desk in a pair of work boots, I’ve been wearing DeFeet. And as a longtime “DeFeet enthusiast,” it doesn’t surprise me to say that it’s been a comfortable month. For the sake of not filling your day with 15 product reviews, I’ll focus on my favorite pieces within the line—the Cyclismo Five-inch socks, DuraGlove ET gloves, DuraGlove Wool gloves, WoolEator High Top socks, and the Slipstream Four-inch shoe covers. First Impressions: Aesthetically, DeFeet [...]

Dan Hall

With closing time near, a coworker and I cracked open winter-chilled wobbly pops that a satisfied customer gifted us earlier in the day. His toddler often joined us post-daycare, as was this evening’s case, and he occupied himself with a favorite pastime—chasing a long-legged poodle around the small, bike-filled sales floor pushing a rolling stool, intended to assist sales staff with fitting ski boots, for balance. The four-leg’er, despite being much taller than the mini-human, was scared to death of the little tyrant and rickety caster wheels. But, nonetheless, it was plenty agile to stay one step ahead of the [...]

Michael Barry

When pairing proper clothing with a bike fitted with mudguards or fenders, there are few weather conditions that can make a ride unpleasant. Their protection keeps water from soaking the chamois, and they prevent road grit from turning Lycra into sandpaper. Gone is the spray off of the front wheel that drenches feet along the freezing plume of water off of the back wheel. And on a club ride, everybody is more comfortable without a constant wheel-spray showering their face. While riding in the rain, the majority of the water comes off of the wheels. And once that spray is [...]

dena eaton

Running? But I’m a cyclist. Depending on who your coach is, and what generation they are from, running is either viewed as a pariah or a secret training weapon. And even if they advocate the latter, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily enjoyable. I remember an old friend telling me that they used to ride up Palomar Mountain and then do a back-to-back run up it in the off-season. Somehow that’s never sounded like “off” anything to me. If you’re racing cyclocross this winter, or planning on taking up winter triathlon, a sanctioned sport that consists of running, mountain biking, [...]

Ryan Schoeck

Sure, there were a few calm bluebird days tossed in. But we mostly saw massive doses of rain, wind, and even snow pummeling the year’s biggest races this season. It all started back in March with a blizzard-blocking Milan-San Remo, carrying on through a soggy Giro, thawing out for a minute, and returning again this fall for the World Championships and Lombardia. We watched as riders prepared for battle each day, rolling out of team buses fully equipped with the latest weather protection from their teams’ apparel sponsors. The careful observer might have noticed something here, something that wasn’t really [...]

Jonathan Page

My name is Jonathan Page. I am an American, but for much of the last 11 years, I’ve lived and raced in Belgium. I came here because I wanted to one day be the World Champion of cyclocross. So far, I’ve made it to the 2nd step on the podium of Worlds, but I haven’t stood on the top! Most weeks, from September to February, I have two races, but I can have as many as five during the tough “Christmas Series races.” Once in a while, though, I’ll have a week with none. This weekend I have quite an [...]

dena eaton

Sores, lesions, cuts, pinching, boils. No, I’m not talking about a pair of ill-fitting heels that you wore to dance the night away. I’m talking about your saddle. These five ailments yield a visceral shudder, they’re not foreign to women who’ve spent any considerable time in the saddle. And while it may seem like no one ever complains about saddle pain, if you spend a few minutes with a group of brutally candid women, you’ll hear all of the nitty-gritty-details. Sure, with years and years of riding under your belt, you might declare that you have a bum of steel, [...]

Michael Barry

November marks the beginning of the cyclist’s New Year. Although dead leaves blow through the streets, morning frost covers the tarmac, and the sky is a drab and ominous grey, the off-season brings the cyclist a sense of renewal. Through the cold winter, we rejuvenate. The period not only gives us needed mental and physical rest, but it also allows us to reset objectives to start again with a clean slate. We can absorb the experiences of the last season, analyze them, learn from them, and then plan for what is to come. A steady progression in fitness is equally [...]

dena eaton

Regardless of whether you’ve caught Superprestige fever, or if you never want your race season to end, you’ve surely been wrestling with the idea of adding a cyclocross bike to your stable. And like anything in the weird world of cycling, there are a myriad of options to choose from. That’s why I’m going to walk you through some of the choices that you’re going to be faced with before you make your next big investment. To get you started, hone in on why you actually want a ‘cross bike. If your goal is to just try a race or [...]

Brian Bernard

I’ve been riding in the Fi’zi:k R3 road shoes for most of this season, first mounting cleats to them in early May. I waited for the worst of the spring weather to subside so as to not subject the supple kangaroo leather to too much moisture right away. This means, of course, that I rode through the rather warm Salt Lake summer in a shoe constructed primarily of a less-than-breathable material. The surprising part? It wasn’t uncomfortable. First Impressions: Let’s back up, though. The out-of-the-box presentation of this pair of shoes was a genuine delight. Each shoe is mounted to [...]

Competitive Cyclist

At Competitive Cyclist, we want you to be totally satisfied with your next bike purchase. Accordingly, we’ve given you two ways to buy from us: 1) USE OUR CUSTOM BIKE BUILDER I want to select a frame and build a custom complete bike, while exploring all of my component options. Or, I only want to buy a frame. When you’ve found a frame that you want to buy or build up as a custom complete bike, simply click on it. On the right-hand side of the product page, you’ll see a drop-down box that says, ‘Select Options.’ Choose the frame [...]

Competitive Cyclist

There are over 4,000 brick-and-mortar bike shops in the United States, and a handful of internet bike retailers of note. So why shop online at Competitive Cyclist? It’s because we provide the best of both worlds. Even though we operate online, we sacrifice none of the personalized service of a local bike shop. That service starts with our bike experts. Every member of our staff has a grasp of technical detail that’s, well, awesome. And we know that the most effective way to share this knowledge is as unpretentiously as possible. We take pleasure in demystifying jargon. Call us with [...]

dena eaton

You’ve planned the trip of a lifetime for you and your carbon companion. However, while your travel arrangements are limited to getting to the airport on time, your bike’s transport takes time, money, consideration, and until now, a dash of experience. Photos by Ian Matteson And while the least expensive method of transport is to get a used cardboard bike box out of the dumpster, when your bike arrives on the conveyor belt in a crushed box, you’ll know that you should have reviewed your case options. Cases run the gamut of prices, but so long as they feature a [...]

Michael Barry

A cyclist, especially a racing cyclist, is constantly looking for a reprieve from the wind, to save energy, to gain an advantage, and to move faster. The wind is often our nemesis. We battle it. Sheltered from wind, we find our wings. In the belly of a flying peloton we pedal freely while eating up kilometers; tight in the slipstream of a motorcycle or car, we can easily double our speed. Not only do the riders and vehicles increase our speed, but they also become a carrot, drawing us beyond our perceived limits. Above Photo: Walter Lai The discipline of [...]