“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 [...]
If you’re a downhill mountain bike racer or a fan of the sport, you’ll know that the suspension battle is currently dominated by two main players – the Rockshox Boxxer and the FOX Racing Shox 40. Personally, I’ve always been a Boxxer guy. I purchased my first Boxxer in 2004, and have easily spent hundreds of hours aboard each generation since. From the underwhelming and unreliable HC2 versions through today’s excellent Charger damper-equipped models, my allegiance has been stubbornly steadfast. However, when FOX offered me the chance to spend the past season aboard an early release 2016 FLOAT 40, I [...]
By now you may know that the Skratch Labs Cookie Mix makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, berry blondie, and vegan cookie bar, and that all of them fit sweetly in your pocket or pack for rides, runs, and adventures. But you can also put the Cookie Mix to use when you’re looking to make an impression at a dinner party, office function, or Sunday brunch. Here are two can’t-miss recipes that even the most baking-challenged can manage, with impressive results. Apple & Pumpkin Buckle This buckle recipe comes together in just a few minutes. You can swap out the [...]
Any time a new standard is introduced in mountain biking, it’s bound to ruffle some feathers, and with the recent introduction of plus-size tires, this larger rubber is shaping up to be mountain biking’s newest divisive topic. Pairing a three-inch-wide tire with a 40mm- to 50mm-wide rim isn’t exactly uncharted territory, seeing as this approach was tried and abandoned by downhillers in the “Y2K” era. But the concept was resurrected by Surly a few years back, and it’s quickly gaining traction. These wider rims and larger tires, which strike a balance between the wheels found on a traditional mountain bike [...]
It’s been an interesting couple of days here at Eurobike. As always, our interest has been piqued by a swath of products, many quite innovative. We’re going to conclude our Eurobike coverage with a bit of both—some substantive new changes to Zipp’s respected wheel lineup, and a few other random items that caught our eyes while wandering through the convention center. Zipp’s Firecrest rims remain thankfully unchanged from last year, but their hubs will get minor refinements across the lineup. The new 77/177 hubset not only improves on the bearing seals in the superceded 88/188 hubset, but further enhances stiffness [...]
Well, the madness that is Eurobike is in full swing, and we’re hard at work tracking down more new products. Next up in our coverage, we have new wheels from Reynolds, as well as a new Switch Infinity-equipped Yeti trail bike that has us drooling. Reynolds Reynolds seems to be nailing all of the product trends this year, with the ATR (All Terrain Road) carbon clinchers poised as one of the strongest offerings in the established Gravel category. A generous 21mm internal width on these carbon clinchers promises a solid platform for larger-volume tires, and there’s the added benefit of [...]
It’s that time of year again, when nearly the entire bicycle industry heads to Germany for the Eurobike tradeshow and the first glimpses of next year’s products. We’ll be bringing you updates from Friedrichschafen with teasers of some of the gear that caught our attention, and we’re starting with pieces from Giordana, as well as Pinarello’s latest. Giordana First off, Giordana is upgrading its top-tier kit, the NX-G series, which stands for “Next Generation.” Expect features, fit, and prices that compare with the world’s highest end products—this is race-oriented gear developed for professionals and offered for aficionados. Along with a [...]
In 2014, I competed in the Single Track 6 for the first time. As the name implies the race is six days, and takes place in five different locations around Western Alberta and Eastern and Central British Columbia. The race caught my attention because it runs though an area of the Canadian Rockies I’d always wanted to explore, and nothing showcases a trail network better than a stage race. The 2015 edition moved west to the wine region of British Columbia, so we based ourselves in Kelowna, a town that was central to all six of the stages. Justin Lindine, on [...]