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    - Now that the Tour de Georgia has died, the Tour of Missouri has become our local PRO race. The closeness of the race to us and the quality of the field (the ProTour contingent of the field, that is) has made following the race doubly appealing. Some random notes scribbled down during the week: * When it comes to the domestic squads trying to hang with the ProTour boys, I’ve gotta give huge props to Team Type 1. In Stage 1, they had a rider (along with an Astana & a SaxoBank rider) in the main breakaway. It appears [...]

    Fox Overhaul

    We love high-tech suspension for our bicycles. As aficionados, we couldn’t see ourselves without it. No bones about it, Fox makes the best dampers in the bike industry. They offer a buttery smooth ride and adjustments enough to tune the suspension for any terrain or to suit the most discerning rider. Even the best parts will eventually need some maintenance, however. Fox states recommended service intervals for their suspension products in its owner’s manuals. For our 32 TALAS RLC 150 15QR, we were due for a fluid service. It was also a great opportunity to freshen up the fork a [...]

    - Is anyone doubtful of Di2 anymore? Based on what we can tell, the pro peloton has fully embraced it. To wit: George Hincapie won the US Pro using Di2. If he had any doubts about it, you can rest assured he would’ve been on mechanical 7900 instead since the USPro championships in his hometown probably only ranked behind Paris-Roubaix as his most important date on the ’09 race calendar. And at the Tour of Missouri we saw no shortage of it on ProTour bikes. Repeat after me: Omigod, electronic shifting is here to stay. We talked to a ProTour [...]

    Endless summer

    - My beautiful legs -- shaved high, tanned to a beautiful brown char, moisturized then embrocated to a reflective shine damn near as blinding as the ocean just outside my hotel window. Calves lined with sinew down their sides, coiled veins snaking from achilles to back of the knee. They never looked better than in that full-length mirror in Carlsbad, CA -- pity that full-length mirror, victim to God knows how many minutes of me-on-my-tippy-toes, my head swiveled around to admire the view. Mine was a full-on embrace of the local customs, so for three days I stayed aware of [...]

    POC Cortex Flow Helmet

    POC. What does it stand for, Person On Call, Porsche Owners Club, Physical Organic Chemistry? Nope. POC, in this instance, stands for Piece Of Cake. Life’s a piece of cake when you’re well equipped. The same goes for riding technical terrain. Arm yourself with proper protection and go ahead and go for it. POC is a Swedish company, well known for their winter sports protective gear. They have branched into the bike helmet and armor market, and from our standpoint have created some great stuff. Innovative technologies help them stand out from the crowd. We have been testing the POC [...]

    - Summer morning. The breeze curls across the road and the warmth holds me gently, like your palms around a baby bird. If August has a redeeming quality it’s 6am. No traffic and plenty of light, the air absent of the inferno to come. It’s time for solo riding and conversations with myself. The peace I feel is extravagant and it walks me hand-in-hand to a place, a generous place, I otherwise shut away -- Of all things, my mind turns to thoughts of forgiveness. Of amnesty. Of bikes and bike racing. Not just any amnesty. I’m talking mass amnesty. [...]

    August: A rolling boil

    - Mine was a natural boyhood curiosity about fire, with nothing that would ever pass as pyromania. Light the match, touch the paper, then watch the sheet curl up on itself orange then black. And now on climbs in August I wait for the tops of my forearms to do the same -- for the skin to broil and go airborne in little glowpieces, floating back onto me in the breeze. The very hotness of the heat is only part of it. There’s its weight, the few grams-per-minute it seems to add to my Lazer, ever-driving my forehead down, down, [...]

    Ridley Damocles

    If you’re looking for a frame that does all things well, then look no further than the Ridley Damocles.

    If you’re not training with power, you’re just not training. The Power Tap system provides a reliable, versatile, and affordable solution to your power training needs.

    The CPSC and SRAM, LLC are conducting a recall of a limited number of SRAM 10-speed PowerLock connector links for their 10-speed chains. This link is found on the following SRAM 10-speed chains: PC-1090R, PC-1090, PC-1070, PC-1050, and the PC-1030, and was also sold as a standalone aftermarket item. You are receiving this email because you may have purchased an chain or link from Competitive Cyclist subject to this recall. Please note that the recall is limited to PowerLock links with date codes M and N only. No other date codes are subject to the recall. This date code is [...]

    Postcards From Colorado

    For flatlanders, a trip to the high mountains is a good time, every time. Mild to severe hypoxia is expected and always a treat. The thin dry air batters our bodies and our senses, but the views and the spectacle of alpine passes and craggy peaks make it all worthwhile. We drove up Pike’s Peak to get a good start on our cerebral edema. All we could think about was how sweet it would be to get our bikes out and ride back down to Colorado Springs from the top for the ultimate shuttle DH run. Is that possible? Let [...]

    - When I opened the champagne it was for no good reason. The off-season, when it’s new like this, maybe it’s a celebration in itself. If I don’t want to ride today I won’t. A half-bottle later I walked alone to pick up some takeout. I floated through a parking lot, my easygoing wooze making me a sucker for the accidental ballet in the Camry there. If the buzz in my brain could last so long, I’d watch her -- the beauty of it -- putting on the seatbelt 100 times more. She shifted into reverse, and in the slow [...]

    2010 Fox Forks

    Can you improve upon perfection? Take and sneak peek at what’s new and improved on Fox forks for 2010.

    The art of loitering

    - The art of loitering. It’s a pre-requisite for advanced studies in How to Win a Bike Race. Pack-shattering brute strength is rare and it gets even rarer as you climb into loftier race categories. Loitering near the front of the main group, but not at the front, in search of that sacred-yet-profane sweet spot. Sacred because the origin of victory is there. Profane because profanity is what you get in buckets as you stay close, close, close but never nose into the wind. A veteran ProTour rider once said that on the best days you get one chance to [...]

    FSA compact bars offer a wonderful alternative to more traditional ergo and shallow drop bars. They feature a short reach, and the gently sloping drops allow for full palm contact which facilitates better bike handling at any speed.

    - For that, they wore long-sleeve skinsuits? - Take 2. - Dietary advice courtesy of an in-his-prime Eddy Merckx: ‘It’s not the cakes. It’s the climbs.’ - I think maybe I’ll run for the USA Cycling Board of Directors and my platform will be 1 issue deep: Henceforth race numbers shall only be pinned to pockets, and touch no other portion of the jersey. The numbers themselves cannot be taller than a jersey pocket or wider than 1.5 jersey pockets. 4-digit race numbers shall be banned. If a race number is ever pinned around a shoulder blade or if it [...]

    - That was not an earthquake you felt in the aftermath of Stage 15. It was the world’s most populous simultaneous orgasm as Lance lost nearly 2 minutes and the Haters tremored in a collective, sweat-soaked delight. For the first time in a decade Lance showed he wasn’t bulletproof. Even before the autobus reached the finish the Haters hit their keyboards hard -- their expressions of anger-glee thrust into all corners of the internet with a joy that was nothing short of frightful. I turned off my TV post-Stage 15 thinking Contador’s ferocity was something unmatchable. The uncorking of the [...]

    Endura Hummvee Short

    The Endura Hummvee Short delivers, comfort, durability, and ample storage capacity at a price that makes it a must buy.

    The Event After a beautiful drive from Reno via Truckee, my wife and I rolled into Downieville, California, around 7, just in time to pick up my bike from the hosts of the Downieville Classic All-Mountain World Championships, Yuba Expeditions. I had shipped it two days prior and it arrived mostly in one piece. The lid to my bike’s travel case had come open somewhere along the way and thankfully nothing was missing from the case -- oddly enough, I had actually gained a few random Xerox machine small parts bound for a California state agency. Slightly nerved up from [...]

    - The most stirring photo of the Tour so far. - It’s apparent that Alberto Contador has never heard the phrase ‘If you hit the king, you have to kill him.’ His Stage 7 attack smacked of the same lack of discipline that lost him 40 seconds in the crosswinds of Stage 3. When I say discipline, don’t mistake that for ‘fealty.’ I don’t think he owes Lance a damn thing. But history proves that the Tour is rarely-if-ever won thanks to sprint-for-the-city-sign escapades like what we saw in Stage 7. Its effect, from a GC perspective, was next to [...]

    We’ve had a recent experience that left us laughing, with a few new quotes to wear out in the shop, and proud that we could provide a good service to someone who would appreciate it so damn much. We’d been contacted by an Englishman about a possible local demo of an XXL Turner Sultan. Hmmm…this guy must be a beast. Of course, that’s what we always think when that particular bike goes out for a demo. But the strange thing is, it goes out at least as often as the large and is in a state of near constant rotation [...]

    The Downieville Classic challenges riders both physically and mentally. The mental aspect is tested even before the event happens as riders try to prepare their bikes. The All-Mountain category of the Classic requires riders to use the exact same bike for both legs of the event -- summiting the eight mile, 4500 vertical foot climb on the 29-mile XC course the first day, and ripping the 17-mile downhill course the following day. Bottom line -- it’s gotta be light and efficient (but not too light), and strong, yet not overbuilt. After months of product testing, evaluation, and consideration, my Downieville [...]

    - In bike racing the greatest obstacle isn’t the climbs. It isn’t the wind. It’s the dude five spots ahead of you who loses the wheel in front of him and you don’t notice ’til the gap is 6 lengths long. Single-file bike racing is destructive like nothing else. Long live single-file bike racing. - Watching a 10am Cialis commercial during Stage 1 of the Tour and seeing a mid-40′s woman give a handjob to a brass staircase handrail in front of me & my 3 kids has driven me to this: I’ll mail a $250 Competitive Cyclist Gift Card [...]

    Me Life is funny. Most anyone that knows me would tell you I’m a hammerhead. I’ve got one pace, and that’s whatever is in my tank that day. It’s a blessing and a curse, but it is what it is. Wired like that, it comes as no surprise that my roots are in XC racing -- especially given the utter lack of ‘big’ mountains in our region. The Ozark Mountains are beautiful, but they’re more of an undulating landscape full of punchy climbs and twisty, rocky, rooted singletrack. As such, most of my time has been spent somewhere between a [...]