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    If we were to think of one company that consistently keeps us on our toes, Santa Cruz would have to be at or near the top of the list. For this reason, we wanted to grab a couple minutes of founder Rob Roskopp’s time to discuss the past, present, and future of Santa Cruz Bicycles, and well, mountain biking in general.  GF: 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of the Tazmon, a bike that helped to usher in a new era of mountain biking. In that time, the sport has changed significantly. What do you miss about mountain biking in [...]

    In the bowels of winter, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to lose inspiration, eat that extra donut, and spend your days in the office astral projecting towards the warmer days of summer. Well, all of this is true until you meet Mike Cotty. He’s not a RAAM racer, and he’s not someone who believes in the impossible. In fact, he doesn’t even goes as far as to believe in possibilities, as every ride is always on the table. I was lucky enough to grab some time with Mike while he was in Annecy, France, and he [...]

    Riding is an addiction, and a hard one to shake at that. I cross train in cold weather, but at some point, I know that the trainer will beckon. The call came early this year, as I tore my MCL and was taken out of all activities, save alpine touring and skiing. Luckily, I was handed a BKOOL Wireless ANT+ Trainer and was told to “ride my heart out.” Being honest, I’m a trainer snob. After years of training on smooth, machined rollers with a simple MP3 player, I’m not easily impressed by gadgets and media that tout making indoor [...]

    It’s January 22, two days until I head to Nommay, France for the last World Cup of the 2013-2014 season. On this trip, I’ll bring the whole family, as it always makes for a nicer time, especially since I just got home last week after being away for 2.5 weeks. While I train, the kids and my wife will go biking or rollerblading on the extensive network of bike paths in the area, and on Sunday, they’ll be there to cheer me on at the race. I’m looking forward to it. I like the course, and it’s always good to [...]

    Michael Barry: Grass Track

    Traffic in large cities has made teaching children to ride bicycles difficult. Allowing them to venture around the block on a bicycle alone, as past generations did, is worrisome for parents. Even for experienced cyclists, riding in traffic can be daunting. Drivers speed through neighborhoods, rushing to get to work, to get their kids to soccer practice, to pick them up from school, or to go for coffee while chatting on phones or texting. Now that modern traffic no longer allows kids to ride up and down many streets, where can we safely teach them to ride, race, and have [...]

    - Arriving in Los Angeles, I expected to see more Francos. Do you know Franco? It’s southern California’s answer to Canyon. Franco likely lacks in Canyon’s engineering prowess and most definitely lacks its WorldTour presence. But it nevertheless shares the cornerstone principle of Canyon’s success. Both companies sell their bikes consumer-direct. By cutting out the wholesaler, the bike shop and their markups, retail pricing for, say, a Dura Ace bike should be a quantum leap lower. Pricing is a true advantage for Canyon. A cursory inspection online, however, shows that Franco isn’t playing from the same book after all. For [...]

    A couple of weeks ago, our friends at Manual For Speed had their boots on the ground in Boulder to cover the Cyclocross National Championships. Here’s a few of our favorite shots: Tim Johnson prepares for the holeshot, while a young John Travolta lurks in the background. Powers took the holeshot and stayed at the front for, pretty much, the rest of the day. Accordingly, the battle for second place started about 45 seconds into the race. Trebon powered in pursuit of Powers, and Johnson spent the day chasing Trebon. Jamey Driscoll’s diesel engine was working overtime for the day. [...]

    Take a minute and think of the many miles, trails, and other adventures that you and your trusty steed had together last year. Now go ahead and focus on the service that bike of yours continues to deliver while the two of you are out there braving the wet and salty conditions that define winter riding. There’s really no better time to remind yourself of these successful rides, as winter conditions, in particular, tend to take a component-eating toll on those two-wheeled friends of ours. So do yourself a favor and devote some quality time to your bikes this winter [...]

    Michael Barry: Health

    The global reach of professional cycling extends further with each passing season. The World Tour peloton begins the racing season in Australia in January and finishes in China in late October. In between, they are not only racing in central Europe and North America, but in the Middle East and northern Africa. The internationalization has livened the sport by reaching new markets, providing an influx of sponsorship, public interest, money, and competition. But the rapid expansion into parts of the world that were previously unknown to cycling may also be coming at some expense to the riders’ health. Bike racing [...]

    When temperatures dip into the negatives, and cockles freeze upon the mere mention of riding outdoors, even the most diehard cyclist finds him or herself bound to the trainer. And while riding indoors is perceived as a daunting task, your option is to either ride the trainer or ride slow in next season’s races. Hours of riding a stationary trainer can’t compensate for the bike handling, balance, and proprioception skills that you gain from riding outside. However, trainer sessions build mental fortitude and tolerance for less than optimal conditions. And let’s be honest, when was the last time that a [...]

    If you’re looking for a quick and easy (and super yummy) source of natural protein that you can take when you’re on the go, give this simple Feed Zone Portables recipes a try. Step by step video instructions above, step by step written instructions below. You’ll need: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup cooked rice 6 eggs 1 1/2 tsp grated parmesan coarse salt and pepper Liberally coat a medium nonstick saute pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cooked rice, spread evenly, and cook until crisp (about 3 minutes). [...]

    - He doesn’t steal the bottle from the Euskatel soigneur. Rather, it’s offered to him. If you’re feeling dramatic, you call it chivalry. To the less-excitable, it’s simple courtesy. Define the moment as you will, but it was my favorite detail of the 2013 Paris-Roubaix. - Strategic use of road furniture is my second favorite. - I Dream Of Skinniness #1 - I Dream Of Skinniness #2 - When it comes to native English-speaking domestiques, Charly Wegelius isn’t a hall of famer in the vein of Sean Yates or George Hincapie. Those two were doomslayers, immortal for their year-round ability [...]

    Suspension maintenance is key to ensuring that your bike rides as well on day 100 as it does when you first get it on the trail. In this video, FOX Racing Shox Outside Technician, Louis Angeley, goes over the routine maintenance and service required to keep your FOX forks and shocks running at their best. Thankfully, performing the proper maintenance is fairly simple. After every ride, take a clean, lint free rag, and wipe down the stanchions and seals to remove any dirt or grime. This is essential, as it maximizes the life of the seals. At 30 hours of [...]

    I’ll be the first to admit that, in recent years, I’ve grown to be a bit biased against bib tights. All too often, I’ve found them to pull in all of the wrong places, while misplacing the support of the chamois to the point of chafing. In other words, I’ve gravitated towards leg warmers in the past couple of years. On a personal note, though, my decision has come down to a matter of fit, not materials. And honestly, it’s easy to see why so many have missed the mark — designing a skin-tight onesie for a grown man is [...]

    While the WorldTour professionals ride day-after-day in southern Europe, and the American pro teams accumulate hours in California or Arizona, most cyclists are stuck in their basements logging hours on stationary bikes as snow builds outside. For some, including me, it’s torturous. We count down the minutes until the workout ends. To pass the time we stare at screens showing cyclists racing over cols or cobbles, we bop to music, and we dream of warmer days and clean roads. We hammer away, spinning like hamsters on a wheel, going nowhere but riding with gusto, hoping to not be lagging behind [...]

    Make no mistake about it, the Competitive Cyclist office has caught the Nordic bug. Perhaps it’s because we’re buried in snow for five months out of the year, or maybe it’s because skate skiing provides one of the best workouts on the planet. Regardless, whether we’re in the saddle or on the skis, we’ve grown accustomed to Bill Demong being part of the surrounding landscape — that is if he’s not competing on the other side of the globe. Now, for some background, Billy Demong is a four-time Olympian, a Cat.1 road racer, and the first American to win Gold [...]

    FOX Racing Shox has become a leader in mountain bike suspension due to the cutting-edge technologies that it employs in all of its components. In this video, Outside Technician, Louis Angeley, walks you through the most noteworthy tech employed in FOX’s line of forks and shocks. The right hand leg of your fork contains the damper. In the case of the 32 and 34 series forks, that damper will be a FIT CTD unit. “FIT” stands for FOX Isolated Technology, which is FOX’s terminology for its sealed damper. By sealing the damper oil in a bladder, FIT all but eliminates [...]

    The new year has officially arrived, festivities have started losing much of their all-consuming grasp, and that bike of yours is wondering, like everything else that’s been put on hold in the wake of the holidays, when you will return to the life the two of you once knew. It’s a relationship that commonly gets tested during this stretch of the cyclist’s season, as the excuses for not riding as much as we’d like, or should, seem to conveniently pile up en masse. So to help stoke that winter cycling fire, and get back into the two-wheeled mindset, taking stock [...]

    Admittedly, most cyclists know little as to what a gear actually means beyond “is it harder or easier to pedal?” And although you’ve probably heard the terms gear ratios and gear inches, the question begs to be asked: What are they? Why are they important? And why should you care? Let’s take a look back on the penny-farthing, or high-wheeler, in order to set the standard. The penny-farthing is driven by a crank that directly turns the front wheel. Therefore, each full turn of the cranks means that the front wheel travels in one full revolution. Working with this logic, [...]

    Suspension setup is critical to keeping you in control, and Rebound, in particular, is both important and often misunderstood. In this video, FOX Racing Shox’s Outside Technician, Louis Angeley, shows you how to achieve the ideal rebound settings. Rebound is a function of spring rate, so it’s essential to set your sag before adjusting rebound. Make sure to start with the rebound damper fully open in the fastest rebound position. Once you’ve set your sag, compress the fork and then remove your body weight, allowing it to extend uninterrupted. With the damper fully open, the front wheel will bounce off [...]

    In celebration of the limited edition Santa Cruz Minnaar V10 Replica, we grabbed some time with the World Champion. Here’s what he had to say. First of all, congratulations on your third World Championship victory—it must have been unreal to win in front of your hometown crowd in Pietermaritzburg, RSA. How does it feel to have Santa Cruz celebrate the occasion with a special edition World Championships V10? Yea, it’s very special. To be able to have your exact bike available to the public is a huge honor. When I say exact, I mean down to the millimeter, ENVE has [...]

    In Ghent, Belgium, the low thunder of the cyclists racing into the wooden banking of the velodrome is unheard over the festivities in the track center. A DJ spins a classic Flemish hit as the spectators, dressed in their best clothes, eat, dance and mingle. Few of the spectators hear the yells of the riders as they bump elbows and maneuver into position before the final sprint to the line. These events, the six-day track races, are orchestrated spectacles. When the end of the 19th century neared, cycling was America’s sport. The country’s sporting icons were track cyclists and the [...]

    Finding your ideal suspension setup is key to maximizing your control and comfort on the trail, and spring rate is arguably the most important piece of the equation. It requires a compromise between running your suspension stiff enough to be efficient and supple enough to provide a smooth ride. In this video, FOX Racing Shox’s Outside Technician, Louis Angeley, walks you through the process of finding your ideal spring rate. Your FOX FLOAT or TALAS series suspension products make use of an air spring, which is highly adjustable with the use of a high pressure shock pump. To measure your [...]

    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 [...]

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