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    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    “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, [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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: The Pursuit

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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, [...]