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2018 Road Bike Buyer’s Guide



    Ibis Mojo SL

    The Mojo SL weighs what a good race bike should, yet it descends like a dream. 140mm travel + dw-link = trail rocket.

    --It’s no wonder that pro road bike racers do things that amaze. They spend huge amounts of time training for a singular purpose, perhaps one event, or day even. Careers are often built on a solitary Tour stage win. The magnitude of their efforts is witnessed live on tv sets across Europe. They’re paid well because of it. The question then today is…is it any less impressive when someone like Danny Macaskill swoops through an urban street, linking bunnyhop tail whips, 360s over enormous stair gaps, and rides 10 feet up a tree only to fakie back down and half [...]

    Silence Kit

    - We’ve made the choice to stop sales of Pegoretti frames here at Competitive Cyclist. Dario’s bikes continue to be what they’ve always been -- beautiful to behold and beautiful to ride. As a human he’s no less radiant and humble than he was a decade ago when we first got involved with him and his name had none of the currency it now possesses. Our decision is rooted in a few things, but the primary reason is the trend we’ve seen in our Pegoretti frame sales: The proportion of stock to custom has tipped heavily (shall we say completely?) [...]

    The Look Keo Carbon Blade pedal is the next revolution from the company that invented the clipless pedal.

    BMC Team Machine SLR 01

    BMC’s new Team Machine SLR01 is the highly anticipated follow up to their best selling Pro Machine. The beauty of this beast truly runs more than skin deep.

    The Fulcrum Racing Zero is amazingly smooth, yet laterally stiff enough to provide ungodly acceleration when you need it.

    - Did anyone doubt whether Lance is filthy rich? 7 Tours, best-selling book(s?), the most swooshed current athlete (as measured in duration) this side of Tiger. Surely he’s racked up spectacular lucre and I celebrate that someone in our speck-on-the-global-sports-radar sport (see here, where the intrigue of pro cycling is compared to badminton gossip) -- yes, one of our own can count his gold in bricks, not in ounces. Having acknowledged the magnitude of Lance’s wealth, I must ask if anyone else scratches their head at photos like this. Grinning on the tarmac in Hawaii in an ostentatious show of [...]

    Skins Compression Wear

    Using Skins compression wear to speed up your recovery is an easy way to gain a legal advantage over your competition.

    Our year-end review of 2009 started last week with all-important categories like Blog of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. This year we get a bit more focused on the bike itself. Climb of the Year – East: Let’s start with a definition of terms. The geographic center of the United States is Lebanon, Kansas. More relevant here, though, is the concept of the psychological center. Places in the Eastern and Central time zones are (psychologically) considered ‘East’. Places in the Mountain and Pacific time zones are considered ‘West.’ The winner is the high point of South Carolina, sitting [...]

    Santa Cruz Tallboy

    As light as a 26″ bike, but stable and smooth rolling as only a 29er can be. The Santa Cruz Tallboy hits the market in a big (wheeled) way.

    - I’ll always remember 2009 for the unalloyed terror in which it started. The economy threatened with a mysterious future violence, like a blood-lustful army on the outskirts of town. What was uncertain was its exact size and swiftness. What was sure was its intent of pillage and revenge. Being in the retail sector (and being in the off-season, to boot) made January and February 60 days of panic. But then the season kicked in, and just as we saw one of the most beautiful 1-day victories of the year, the cyclists of the world re-opened their wallets and opened [...]

    Orange Crush

    - We practice the pain: Hill repeats. The odd session of motorpacing. Races where we’re not there to race, but simply to rack up leg speed. Pain tolerance -- what a lovely phrase, because it describes more than a physical thing but the mental thing too. In the way it dissolves the boundary between body and mind, the learned ability to suffer is the only mysticism most of us will ever know. That’s why you see more & more marketing that celebrates the pain: It’s the very purpose of Rouleur magazine; it’s the core of Ridley’s ‘We Are Belgium’ campaign; [...]

    SRAM XX Dome Cassette

    Could this be the world’s most beautiful cassette? Maybe, because of what you don’t see — all of the unnecessary material that was left on the machine shop floor.

    SRAM XX Shifter Set

    Look no further for rapid, precise shifting. Gear changing just got cleaner, quicker, and lighter.

    SRAM XX Derailleurs

    Familiar look and feel, but entirely new. The XX derailleurs work in perfect harmony with the rest of the XX drivetrain to deliver crisp, perfect shifts.

    SRAM XX Crankset

    Take your mountain bike shifting to road bike levels. The XX Double crankset is the heart of the 2 x 10 XX system.

    Avid XX Brakes

    The new XX brake, at 288 grams is Avid’s lightest ever. Lightweight and powerful never felt this good.

    Passion, Camo & Deer Scent

    Passion manifests itself in strange ways. Perhaps you ride tubular tires and painstakingly rip the seams, patch the latex tubes, and stitch them back together by an oil light, because that’s what they did back in the day. Maybe you build your own dirt jumps by hand. God knows how many hours spent shoveling, slapping, and smearing it takes to maintain perfectly buffed lips and trannys. Just recently, a few of us promoted our Arkansas State Cyclocross Championship event. Being good riders (not promoters) we overlooked a few key elements -- race numbers and maybe the most important of race [...]

    Big hat, no cows

    - Biggest news of the week is that we’re hiring. At least one (probably two) Mechanics. One person as a Product Management Assistant -- a great get-your-foot-in-the-door, utility infielder position that deals with purchasing, inventory, and our web presentation. And, lastly, a Mountain Bike Product Manager, which is a serious job with seriously high expectations for candidates. Our workplace environment is the envy of the bike industry, and our benefits package would make Nancy Pelosi faint with pleasure. Deadline for applications is Friday, December 11. - A cautionary tale about the pitfalls of certain management styles in the modern workplace. [...]

    Rookie vs. Apprentice

    - In my November sojourn to Europe I walked by a small shop in Germany that had this bike displayed in their window. It wasn’t put there as an art piece, I don’t think, given that their shop was full with other city bikes & paraphernalia related to city bike riding. Thoughts that had been previously orbiting in my sub-conscious, it brought them to the fore-- Let’s call it the Sandwich Artist Principle, the way so few American framebuilders purport to be doing labor. While a few exceptions exist, most builders instead stay on-message -- they’re producing art, not goods. [...]

    The Giordana FormaRed Carbon Arm and Leg warmers fit like a second skin, are warmer than you’d expect, and also provide a good degree of muscle compression.

    Gore Bike Wear’s Alp X Thermo Jersey is a modern interpretation of the classic Roubaix fabric long sleeve jersey.

    Gore Bike Wear’s Mistral and Countdown Gloves are the perfect combination to keep you riding through the cooler months.

    The Giordana FormaRed Carbon Compactible Jacket and Vest are must-haves for any serious cyclist who’s going to brave the elements and train through the colder months.