We were pleasantly surprised when Niner released the revamped JET 9 RDO and RIP 9 RDO earlier this year. While both models have been longstanding favorites, they were admittedly getting a little long in the tooth, especially in light of some of the current trends in mountain bike design. Suffice it to say that the new versions of both the RIP and the JET are thoroughly modern beasts; however, they’re something of a departure from the previous models for a handful of reasons. I had the opportunity to ride both bikes back-to-back at the fall edition of Outerbike in Moab, [...]
Within the universe of mountain biking, Red Bull Rampage is something of an anomaly. While most events skew relatable and participatory (think Grinduro), or loosely aspirational (ie. World Cup racing, or some of the great adventure races), Rampage occupies an entirely different space in our collective psyche. In a sport where risk-taking and progression are glamorized, Rampage represents the illogical extreme. It’s a place for the world’s best to prove how much they’re willing to risk in their quest for glory. And the upshot is that once a year, just outside of Zion National Park, we mortals are able to [...]
Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews the exceptional Pinarello Dogma F8. Its unrivaled Grand Tour pedigree has made the Dogma an object of desire amongst discerning cyclists, and the latest version amazingly manages to improve on what we had previously assumed was perfection. My love affair with Pinarello began the day I rolled a Cosmic Blue and Black Prince off the showroom floor here at Competitive Cyclist in 2002. It was the same bike Ullrich rode when he won the tour a few years earlier, and it was everything you’d want in an Italian race bike: fast, stable, sure-footed, and [...]
Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews Giordana’s new NX-G jersey and bib shorts. Boasting a race-focused fit and some truly innovative features, this aptly named Next Generation kit has earned an exalted position in our cycling wardrobe. You know that thing Quentin Tarrantino does where he starts at the end of the movie and then flashes back for like two hours? Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do here because here’s the deal: This kit, Giordana’s latest and greatest flagship offering, is hands-down the best cycling kit I’ve ever worn. Yes. I went superlative on you, and I’ll go one step [...]
This map may be big, but it doesn’t come close to showing everything that Quincy, CA has to offer. The author on the left, and Competitive Cyclist Brand Manager Garin Fons on the right. From the moment we rolled into camp on Thursday night, it was clear that this wasn’t just another bike race. Sure, the usual trappings were all there—carefully set up campsites, people enjoying beers around the fire, stickered-up Sprinter vans and tastefully outfitted Land Cruisers—but something was different. It may have been the sense of relief that comes with standing still after spending all day in a [...]
Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT Computer. With a customizable interface, a highly visible screen, and intuitive GPS navigation, it’s fast becoming one of our favorite cycle computers. If you’ve been riding as long as I have, you probably have not-so-fond memories of early cycling computers: They were small, displayed very little data, they were difficult to read, and even harder to set up. And, then a certain GPS company ushered in a revolution in how we tracked and recorded our rides. I was a fan. I used mine on every bike and on just about every [...]
Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews the Wahoo Fitness KICKR SNAP power trainer. This benchmark trainer offers outstanding accuracy, ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility, and realistic flywheel-based resistance for an indoor training experience with remarkably real road feel. Five years ago, if you’d asked me which trainer to buy, I probably would have said something like, “Pick one that fits your budget.” Because at the time they were all about the same, regardless of how much money you spent. Sure, there were cool variations on the theme, but nobody really broke the mold. Ask me that same question today, and the answer [...]
“I’d rather go fast on a slow bike than go slow on a fast bike”—Todd Ingermanson, Black Cat Bicycles For a freshman event hosted in a remote High Sierra town, Grinduro‘s impact on cycling has been enormous. Although 2015 marked the first edition, the signature blend of cycling disciplines resonated with cyclists as soon as word got out about this forward-thinking dirt road enduro race. Perhaps it was the romanticism of an adventure in the Sierras, or the fact that it coincided so perfectly with a growing interest in the”all road” style of riding, but Grinduro has quickly become synonymous [...]
In a sport where the term “legend” is often used lightly, we are occasionally reminded of racers who are truly worthy of the title. Riders whose crowning achievements were witnessed by adoring fans who, moved by the depths of their suffering and their jubilation, have gone on to retell stories of their successes again and again, making legends of these athletes in the truest sense of the word. One of the racers who has earned this distinction is Eros Poli, whose masterful 1994 stage win at Mont Ventoux defied conventional wisdom and captured the imagination of an international audience. Today [...]
The 2016 Tour de France course is a much more balanced affair than what we saw in 2015, largely thanks to the addition of 54km contre la montre—40km more individual time trialing than in 2015. Of course, both time trials are immediately preceded by HC mountaintop finishes, and this fact of placement defines the route in our minds. This year’s Tour looks to favor the best all-rounder, the cyclist who can best comport himself in both situations. (Though it certainly helps that the ITTs themselves aren’t the pan-flat, 50km events that littered the Tour in the ’00s.) At present, Chris [...]
Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews the new mixed-terrain _s7 Rally Trekking jersey and T.rally bib shorts from Assos. Designed around the unique demands of South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic race, these pieces feature details that enhance durability and functionality for mountain biking and gravel riding, and they’re executed with unmistakable Assos quality.
Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews Castelli’s newest kit, the Nano Light bibs and aptly named Perfetto Jersey. Borrowing heavily from the beloved Nanoflex line, these pieces work beautifully in conditions from 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, making them perhaps the finest shoulder season kit we’ve ever ridden.
Evil Bikes has been enjoying some well-deserved time in the spotlight as of late. The path to becoming one of mountain biking’s most noteworthy underdogs hasn’t exactly been easy, but with last year’s launch of the critically acclaimed Following, it became clear that Evil has finally arrived. The Following proved that Evil could produce a reliable, fast, short-travel 29er with a fun streak a mile wide, and naturally, that captured our attention. So in honor of Evil Bikes joining the Competitive Cyclist family, we wanted to see if the Insurgent, Evil’s long-travel 27.5 bike, could strike the same elusive balance. [...]
Zipp’s new 404 NSW wheels have been redesigned from the ground up, from the hubs to the brake track, making them the fastest generation of Zipps to date. Watch our review to get Andy’s take on what these updates bring to the table, and how they improve on the ride of the already legendary 404 series. These same technologies are included in the redesigned, 303 NSW, and 808 NSW wheels as well.
Love it or hate it, the Sea Otter Classic is an institution. Every year racers, industry types, and fans of the sport flock to the heart of Laguna Seca raceway for a long weekend of spectating, racing, and laying eyes on the year’s new product. While some things don’t change, like the fire road-heavy XC race, or arguably the year’s best dual slalom course, each edition brings with it new gear and showpieces vying for a slice of the attendees’ limited attention spans. It’s impossible to capture everything, but here’s a selection of hardware that stood out among the madness [...]
Photo by Gruber Images Given the fireworks of the cobbled monuments, 2016 has already been one of the best springs in memory for cycling fans. The only way it could have been better is if Cancellara had won his final De Ronde (arguable, given the winning performance from the new mascot of the peloton) and if Boonen had capped the greatest edition of Roubaix we’ve ever watched live with a record-setting win (inarguable, unless you’re Australian — and maybe not even then). And the season’s not over yet. The classics campaign is closed out every year by the season’s penultimate [...]
Yeti’s series of SuperBikes should require no introduction. The SB moniker made its debut in 2011 with the critically acclaimed SB66, and the arrival in 2014 of the exceptional Switch Infinity platform represented a significant step forward for the SB series’ signature blend of efficiency and capability. Despite subtle differences, the formula has remained remarkably consistent the across the family, from the 27.5-inch wheeled SB6c enduro racer and trail-focused SB5c to the 29-inch wheeled SB4.5c trail bike. However, with the unveiling of Yeti’s new hard-charging 29er, the SB5.5c, we wanted to spend some saddle time determining where it fits into [...]
photo by Gruber Images If we were to compete in any of the spring classics, we’d prefer the likes of Milan San-Remo or the Ardennes to the Flanders/Roubaix double. We see it as a choice between the relatively straightforward velocide of walls like the Côte de La Redoute, dragging—then desperately throttling —the brakes while dropping down the far side of a rainy Poggio at race speeds, or the impossible punishment of the stones. But we’re not competing in them; we’re just watching. The only walls we’ll encounter this spring will be those that we pound in frustration as Etixx-Quick-Step (probably) [...]
Photo by Gruber Images So often in cycling, a race is defined by its climbs. This is true from the grades around Lake Cuomo to the impossible wall of the Mortirolo to l’Alpe’s 21 switchbacks, which every cycling fan knows by heart. But the 2016 edition of Milan-San Remo race is defined, like so many of its forebearers, by 293km of mostly flat endurance followed by the most important sprint finish in cycling. Yes, we’re not just implying that the Via Roma is even more important than the Champs-Élysées on the Tour’s final day, we’re stating it outright. And we’re [...]
If there is one bike that perfectly encapsulates the ethos of the Ibis brand, that bike is the Mojo. When Ibis returned from a hiatus in 2005 it reintroduced itself with the Mojo, and turned quite a few heads in the process. Its organic lines looked futuristic and it quickly earned a following for its balanced handling and outstanding DW Link suspension. In recent years, the Mojo’s popularity has largely been eclipsed by the Ripley and Mojo HD3, but there’s good reason to believe that this trend is about to change in a big way. Enter the Mojo 3. The [...]
Park City, Utah — Competitive Cyclist is excited to announce its continued partnership with Summit Bike Club, USA Cycling’s 2015 mountain bike Club of the Year. Summit Bike Club and Competitive Cyclist are committed to #growMTB through junior development in 2016 and beyond. The Competitive Cyclist Mountain Bike Team’s 2016 roster will be managed by Summit Bike Club and include sixteen racers hailing from Utah, Colorado, and Texas. This select group of athletes are representatives of Summit Bike Club’s commitment to helping juniors achieve their goals. “We strive to provide unique opportunities for our athletes to learn and grow as [...]
The new Feed Zone Table cookbook by Skratch Labs founder Alan Lim and Chef Biju Thomas picks up where their Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables left off. Inspired by feedback from these books, they created a new set of recipes that are simple, healthy, and nutritious. But it goes beyond the food, to the way cooking and eating well can bring people together. As they say in the book’s forward: “We’ve always believed that physical activity and sport are central to our individual and cultural health. More important, we know that proper nutrition is fundamental to supporting an [...]
Here at Competitive we take great care in assembling and packaging your new bike so when you receive it, the bike is in pristine condition and can be safely ridden with just a few minutes of simple wrenching. Before we get it ready to ship, our experienced mechanics make sure that the braking and shifting are dialed in, the headset and bottom bracket are installed correctly and we double check the bolts and tighten them to their precise torque specs. From there we remove the handlebars, seatpost and wheels to pack the bike for shipping. We use protective cardboard and [...]