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    - 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.

    If you want one cool weather jacket that covers all your bases, then look no further than the Giordana FormaRed Carbon Lightweight Jacket.

    Spelling Gert-Jan Theunisse

    - Last week was a full week in Europe. 3 countries in 7 days with intermittent riding and enough wine to give me the notion of going to Halloween next year as my liver and, now, the wounds of jet-lag have me stupefied in a way that all the world’s espresso can’t reverse. Sleep is impossible. Catch up on work? I’m almost 10 days out of practice, so why start now? Instead, a few photos for you with blessedly little narrative -- London – Brick Lane Bikes If whoever owns this store ever discovers Ebay, they will become millionaires many [...]

    -- Anyone in the bike industry is affected on a seemingly regular basis by the proliferation of new industry standards. We have standards for brakes, chainguides, headsets, bottom brackets and now axles. We argue here about thru-axles all the time. Those of us coming from the big squishy end of mountain bikes are stuck to the 20 x 110mm and prefer the Maxle system from Rockshox. Others prefer the new 15QR system on the Fox forks. It’s a great debate, and we get nowhere with it on a regular basis. I’ve recently come across a nice article that illustrates some [...]

    Rapha Merino Base Layer

    Rapha’s Merino Base Layer does a great job of regulating moisture and heat transfer on the bike, and also keeps you comfortable and cozy while you’re off the bike.

    Rapha’s flagship piece is definitely the Classic Softshell Jacket. It’s a feature-rich Jacket that’s as functional on the bike as it is stylish OFF the bike.

    Rapha Winter Hat

    The Rapha Winter Hat is, perhaps, the perfect iteration of everything you need in winter headgear.