Big Brands Sale Ends 11/27



    If you’re looking for an affordable way to fly with your bike, Pika Packworks offers a lightweight and durable case that protects your bike like a suit of armor.

    - The entire literature of ‘How To Train’ boils down to the same key concepts we all know: The 3 Types of Riding (intensity, intensity, and decidedly unintense); when & how often to do each; what to eat; fitting your bike; channeling the holy trinity of fate -- luck, superstition, or divine intervention (you pick.) What the literature tends to avoid, though, is something of similarly lofty power. I’m talking about the unacknowledged might of a serious night of sleep. For most folks I know, 6-7 hours is a luxury. Thanks in the very least to fitful kids, jobs whose [...]

    Park Tool Patch Kits

    Observing an inner tube discarded on a road fills us with revulsion. It’s not only the littering, but the discarding of what is almost certainly a perfectly repairable tube. Some people might think they’re too rich or busy to repair a tube. Super. Then take it home and then give it away to a broke bike rider. You can toss whatever on the ground in a European ProTour race and it will likely be treated as manna; even if a rider takes a dump on the road during the Tour you can bet someone will figure a way to take [...]

    Giro Road Shoes

    Giro’s PRO-caliber line of road shoes deliver tunable fit, exceptional good looks, super low weight, and the ultimate in comfort and performance.

    - Reaching way back into the archives to add more to last week’s conversation about Campy brake pad replacement. - Attentive readers might recall it was almost exactly a year ago that I pooh-poohed the Hipstamatic camera app for the iPhone. It seemed to muck up the main point of photography (composition) in preference for the fancifully random use of filters & lighting trickery. And then I saw this impressive set of photos on the NYT and -- in a fit I’m now accustomed to having -- I felt my heaving wrongness. Added cruelty could come in the form of [...]

    CycleOps Trainers

    The CycleOps family of indoor cycles and trainers will keep you in tip-top shape when a hectic schedule or adverse weather conspire to keep you off the bike.

    - No feeling is so transcendent: The deep-seated nonchalance that comes the day after a 6-hour ride. It’s not weariness, but rather an experience of having one’s emotions wrapped in bulletproof glass. The world feels slower, quieter, nothing perturbs. Even-keelness. Inner equilibrium. Glorious reminders that cycling is a drug indeed. - If you own Campy brakes and you ever tried to replace your brake pads, you’ve likely acquainted yourself with all manner of expletives for the fact that pad-and-holder feel cemented together. Extracting the pad from the holder is a fingertip-numbing nightmare. From the Dept. of Unintended Consequences is a [...]

    We love small bags that have just enough room for everything we need. Small doesn’t always work for fitting everything we need and Sci’Con makes bags that seem to put a hard limit on “everything.” Limits can be good; if a bag expanded to infinity, we’d probably figure out how to fill it. We tested out two Sci’Con bags, the Elan and the Compact. This is our second go-’round with Sci’Con bags. We had a bag last year that was just big enough to fit everything we needed. It was the S-Case. The mounting was less than perfect as the [...]

    Viva Lance Vegas

    - Dark days in Toronto. - Interesting company in New York. - See Popo get ambushed by the feds in Austin. See carabinieri ding him just the same. From there it’s a slippery slope into summertime’s repressed memories. Think back to Landis’ acid quip (not to be confused with his acid trip) -- ‘Well, it depends on what your definition of fraud is. I mean it -- look -- if [Lance] didn’t win the Tour, someone else that was doped would have won the Tour.’ This, of course, begot another of July’s quotable quotes (this time from Lance’s defense attorney, [...]

    CycleOps Indoor Cycles CycleOps Indoor Cycles are a sure fire way to stay fit when weather, work, or a busy family life conspire to keep you off the bike!

    - Regardless of your political leanings, last week’s midterm election had one significant impact to American cyclists: 18-term MN Democratic Congressman (and House Transportation Committee Chairman) Jim Oberstar was defeated. Bike Portland and others have nicely summed up how Oberstar was arguably the most powerful cycling advocate in America. It’s a truism of politics, it seems: All Americans hate pork except for their pork. Chapeau Congressman Oberstar. You made the lives of American cyclists (Democrats and Republican alike) safer and you’ll always be remembered and appreciated for it. - Maybe I should’ve known the name Geoffroy Lequatre before now. Maybe [...]

    - We’re one week into our merged website and we’ve been the beneficiary of loads of thoughtful feedback regarding our changes. Most of the comments have been encouraging. And while there’s been criticism, much of it has been constructive and we’re appreciative of that. We’ve taken it to heart, and we’re already working on enhancements and modifications because of it. The most common expression of displeasure pertains to how road and mountain components now live within one single category, i.e. road and mountain rear derailleurs are grouped together. The changes to how we show bike brands, apparel, and accessories haven’t [...]

    You’ve already seen the movie before. This isn’t meant as a critique of Chasing Legends , but as a commentary on the viewer. You almost certainly watched the 2009 Tour de France in its entirety, around which this movie is based. You’ve also likely digested if not devoured both print and online reports on the race, and have probably seen at least one other Tour-related movie, whether it be Wired To Win or Hell on Wheels , or Giro-centric Stars And Watercarriers and The Greatest Show On Earth. Chasing Legends aspires to explain the Tour de France by showing the [...]

    The Cancellara Crusade

    - Last week’s news about Cervélo spawned a tropical storm of opinion, both in the form of comments in our What’s New section, and in discussion elsewhere. In case you have a life and didn’t track it, let us play RSS reader for you. Some highlights, though not comprehensive at all -- Competitive Cyclist What’s New Cervé #1 Cervé #2 #1 #2 Boulder Report #1 Boulder Report #2 Not all of the comments are complimentary of Competitive Cyclist, which is fine since we’re all about the open market of ideas. It’s clear, though, that a couple of corrections [...]

    We’re fans of Arundel cages at Competitive Cyclist. Come to think of it, we’re fans of their handlebar tape and seat bags, too. Arundel has a fairly simple mission, “come up with some cool bike equipment that people want to buy.” Bottle cages were a great place to start. Everyone needs at least a few. Problem is, it’s a popular accessory. Bike companies make them, carbon-fiber companies make them, accessory companies make them, too. So many have waded in these waters, and yet so few really good designs have resulted. Many don’t excite the eye and hold bottles poorly. Some [...]

    - Some big news this week from Cervélo. No, your eyes are not fooling you: Cervélo has made the decision to exit the realm of online sales, i.e. they’ve fired all of their online dealers, including Competitive Cyclist. We’re bummed here for sure. It’s not for the potential loss of business -- we’ll finalize our plans for filling the Cervélo financial void by lunchtime. The bike business is where we’re PRO, and this is akin to an ill-timed puncture, but no more than that. Our bummed feeling, rather, is because of our memorable shared history with the brand. Our star [...]

    Zipp 900 Disc Wheel

    If you’re going to get heavily into time trialing of the non-hillclimb, non-cannibal variety, you’re probably going to feel compelled to invest in all the high-end baubles that the cycling world offers. These bits are beautiful, aero, as light as you can afford, and usually expensive goods that will spend the majority of their existence in closets or bags, but those few to several times you have them out every year, they will be worth more than their weight in gold. While we’ve tested out time trial bikes and see the value in them, we’d invest in a disc wheel [...]

    — For this bike nut, Interbike has always been a dream. And while we oft consider its relevance, and how it could be better for everyone (vendors, dealers, consumers), I’d guess that it’s always exciting for a first timer. And as much as I’d like to say that I saw it all, there were innumerable booths that I did not see, let alone stop by and visit. I’m still baffled by this, and it’s remarkable to think that I missed so much with two full days inside the Sands Convention Center. — While not actually part of the show, the [...]

    - Witness the crumbling bunker. Hear the absurdly optimistic message broadcast from within. The assertion that Interbike enjoyed a tangible uptick in attendance in 2010 is one part flat earth, one part WMD, and a pinch of Baby I love your haircut. The critical fact avoided by the Interbike Minister of Propaganda is that 2010 was the first year the show was conducted simultaneous to (and literally alongside) the big ‘Health and Fitness’ trade show. In pre-registering online to attend either Interbike or ‘Health and Fitness’ you were explicitly encouraged to register at NO EXTRA CHARGE to the other show. [...]

    Shimano Deore XT

    10-Speed… better than nine? We test the new Shimano XT to find out.

    Catlike Whisper Plus Helmet

    onClick=”pictureslide(‘/images/competitivecyclist_blog/reviews/091910/CatLikeWhispPl2.jpg’); return false;”>When we first saw the Catlike Whisper Plus helmet, we didn’t understand it. Yes, it’s a helmet. Yes, it must have passed all the relevant tests (first CE and now CPSC standards as well), but it wasn’t shaped like any other helmet on the market. Unlike the others, which have obvious structural elements holding things together and limiting the design, this helmet seemed to have started as a solid mass that someone had taken a Dremel to, boring holes here and there until, we assumed, the structural limit was reached. Maybe it was inspired by

    CycleOps Joule 2.0 Computer

    The Power Tap Joule 2.0 closes the gap between post-ride analysis software and on-the-bike training. No other computer provides the same wealth of real-time data.

    See or be seen… Which is more important? Perhaps you can have both.

    - We were on the scene at last week’s ProTour races in Canada. You can’t beat Montreal and Quebec City for scenery, and from what we read, the beauty was matched by organizational know-how. Capping it off was two great wins by two great PROs. (Ever since Robert Gesink lost the 2008 Paris Nice on a monumental Stage 6, during the final descent into Cannes, we’ve loved the guy.) Memory of the weekend? The Wilfred Owen-like fog spewing from the back of the peloton -- a black cloud made up of vaporizing brake blocks and carbon rim dust. While we [...]