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    Nigel Dick is a good friend of ours, and he’s a neat guy to know. He’s best known for his music-video-direction palmares, which include such cultural monuments as Guns & Roses’ ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Paradise City’, plus videos for countless other mega-hits by folks like Oasis, R.E.M., Britney Spears, Paul McCartney etc etc. He’s never said it, but I think he detests the music for the videos he’s made as much as we do. But that’s not the point: He’s a man damn good with a camera and lights, and he uses those skills to suck viewers in [...]

    Patience is a virtue, and the long spring of waiting has culminated with the following new info: The new-for-2009 Shimano Dura Ace 7900 should start having some availability in late October. You might see it on an OE-basis (i.e. equipped on pre-built bikes) a bit earlier. But for aftermarket availability, we’re looking at October-at-best. The electronic version — which is really just three components (shifters and derailleurs) is more like best-case-January 2009. Here’s what we DO know (including weights!) on a component-by-component basis: STI Levers Say farewell to exposed shifter housing. Shimano is making the change to under-the-bar-tape cable routing [...]

    Reynolds makes the most versatile carbon wheels on the planet: light, stiff, and durable enough for everyday use. The DV, MV, SDV, Attacks, and Assaults will exceed your expectations of what a carbon wheel should be.

    We love what we do. That’s why we do it. That goes for most everyone in the bike industry. After a few days in Sedona for the 2009 Magura Product Launch, it’s evident the folks at Magura do as well -- but that’s not surprising either, as they are, after all, ‘The Passion People.’ If you’re a mountain biker and you haven’t yet been to Sedona, Arizona, you really should. Seriously. Put it on the list, and move it right up there toward the top. There are hundreds of miles of trails -- twisty, fast, smooth, technical, exposure, slick rock, [...]

    OUR FAVORITE BIKE SHOP IN AMERICA Your favorite hotel in New York. Your go-to choice for a bottle of Pinot. The climb you love most. Calling them the best -- isn’t that akin to confrontation? ‘Dude, how can you think anything’s better than the Galibier?!?’ Best -- the fact that it’s the most overused word in modern media hasn’t made it lose its sting for those who choose to disagree. But waxing affectionate -- admitting you had the chills as you approached the first switchback on Alpe d’Huez -- that’s a different deal. You can’t argue over sentimentality. So that’s [...]

    We’ve been building project bikes for quite some time now -- we look at them as educational tools. They keep us inspired, focused, curious and knowledgeable. Finally it hit us -- we need to share these experiences with you in our public forum, rather than just on the phone or through emails. So here you find installment one of our Project MTB series, Ventana El Bastardo. We’re especially excited about this project bike as it introduces a new platform to us -- the 650b wheel. 650b falls directly between the 26′ diameter and 29′ diameter wheel sizes. Sure, we’ve messed [...]

    Liege-Bastogne-Liege is over and done, and with that we’re finished with the ’08 Spring Classics season. Isn’t that kind of depressing? The tan, fragile, Little Lord Fauntleroys of the stage racing scene now officially take over, and we begin our countdown to the one day Fall Classics. 100 days ’til the Classica San Sebastian! With the passing of the season, might we take a brief moment to reflect? Three things come to mind as we look back over the last 60 days: 1. Cleaning out the warehouse sale. You’re not a bike shop unless you have some one-off inventory hanging [...]

    Demo Bike Sale

    The Competitive Cyclist demo program is the best of all worlds: We’ll ship a pro-quality mountain bike to your doorstep via UPS, and you get a full week to ride the daylights out of it on the trails you know best. The bicycle will arrive at your door fully-tuned and minimally dis-assembled. You’ll need to do a few minutes of unpacking, thread on your pedals, and you’ll be trail-ready. Our demo bikes come decked out with components from SRAM, Chris King, WTB and other fantastic component manufacturers. Best of all, if you purchase a new frameset or bike from us [...]

    Oh my god, it’s not raining! It’s Sunday here in Monterey -- the sun is out and temperatures rising up into the 60’s. We’ve been checking the forecast religiously for the last week leading up until the event. The clear sunny promises raised anticipation, but we dared not speak a word for fear of jinxing ourselves. Hell, we even knocked on wood after each weather.com update. Save for a dust storm of a day Saturday, we’ve been counting our blessings. No doubt, the arrival of the Pope in the states this week is somehow connected to the anomaly. With centuries [...]

    My skinny pants, they’ve started fitting again. Wear them in December? Never. But my training this spring has been strong. And the few times I’ve pinned on a number, it’s been a pleasant surprise. The problem, though, is this: Nothing is more anathema to a bike racer than small signs of progress. Looking good in the mirror thanks to a smaller-than-typical ass? Looking good on the bike as shown by a top-10 placing in last week’s race? There’s only so much glory to be had there. For those of us who love life best from the perch of a 200g [...]

    Rock Shox SID Preview 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of an industry legend: Rock Shox SID. SID redefined the standard for a lightweight front fork with cutting edge features like positive air (pressure and volume) and negative spring (preload and rate), interchangeable rebound cartridges, hollow crown and magnesium lowers. For those of us that had previously lusted for Judy Yellow, SID Blue washed that from our minds the second we saw it. Now, SID blue is back, gracing the top shelf of SID forks -- World Cup. Rock Shox has thrown out all the stops in an effort not to [...]

    Disabuse. It’s a fancy word. As I recall, I learned it about 15 years ago when I was cramming for the GRE. Disabuse. It’s a sufficiently fancy word, in fact, that I’ve never even used it once since I learned it. Disabuse: To be liberated from misguided notions. It’s the best word to describe my experience of doing the ‘cyclotourist’ ride the day before the Tour of Flanders, and my experience watching the Ronde the next day. Before my visit to Flanders I thought I knew the score. Pavé? I’ve walked the backstreets of Boston. I ride Arkansas farm roads [...]

    My oh my, how far mountain biking has come since the days of Klunkerz … SRAM’s TruVativ HammerSchmidt The SRAM buzz machine has us talking and wondering once again about their upcoming introduction of TruVativ HammerSchmidt, dubbed ‘a revolution in transmission technology.’ With the keyword being ‘transmission’, it didn’t take long for the gear box term to surface. Gear boxes have been discussed and tested for many years now, most notably by the folks at Honda. However, Honda dissolved their dominant team a few months back, and simultaneously announced they had abandoned pursuing the mountain bike market. Enter SRAM. While [...]

    Most of the press we’ve seen in the last few months about the new-for-2009 Shimano Dura Ace has focused on the electronic version of DA. Stefan Schumacher medaled on eDA at last year’s World Championship Road Race, and he and his Gerolsteiner team mates have served as guinea pigs for eDA ever since. While the pure novelty of electronic shifting tantalizes, we got our own medals (for bravery) for fighting at the Battle of Zap and Battle of Mektronic. While we’re intrigued by the alleged telepathic shift quality of eDA, it’s hard to shed our concerns for its weight, its [...]

    For those of us that enjoy challenging gravity, the big news for Shimano in 2009 will be the release of a completely redesigned Saint gruppo dubbed Shimano Saint 810. The current and original iteration (save for a few tweaks), Saint 800, accomplished much of what it set out to do -- withstand abuse and provide great performance. But as the young gravity industry continues to grow, innovate and refine, it’s only natural that Saint did as well. After all, expectations have elevated. And, the early impression is that Shimano rose to the occasion, shedding approximately 300g (maybe more) from the [...]

    Patience is a Virtue

    Whoops. Accidents happen. You’re probably on this page looking for information about the 2009 Shimano Saint 810 groupset. Our good friends at Shimano North America asked us to pull the information down. There is a ‘press embargo’ on all ’09 Shimano product info ’til summertime. In other words, we can’t talk about it or otherwise acknowledge its imminent existence until this embargo is lifted. Sorry about the tease. We’d never even heard of a ‘press embargo’ before ’til this morning. We can’t say anything other than this: Shimano will come out both fists a-flyin’ in 2009. Expect great things.

    Argumentum a silentio

    Whoops. Accidents happen. You’re probably on this page looking for information about the 2009 Shimano Dura Ace 7900 groupset. Our good friends at Shimano North America asked us to pull the information down. There is a ‘press embargo’ on all ’09 Shimano product info ’til summertime. In other words, we can’t talk about it or otherwise acknowledge its imminent existence until this embargo is lifted. Sorry about the tease. We’d never even heard of a ‘press embargo’ before this morning. We can’t say anything other than this: Shimano will come out both fists a-flyin’ in 2009. Expect great things.

    There’s been a flurry of activity here, and we’re going to get you caught up with a quick and dirty edition of what’s new: A/ CycleOps PowerTap 2.4 SL Disc – The long awaited CycleOps PowerTap SL 2.4 Disc hub is now available for sale, and we anticipate our first shipment in early April. We’re told availability will be lean at the outset, and demand has been heavy. B/ 650b – Life is all about compromise. Sometimes it’s best to meet in the middle. For the last few years the debate has raged 26′ or 29′ wheels. 29er naysayers complain [...]

    A few of us here at Competitive Cyclist are involved with a local advocacy group, the Arkansas Freeride Society (AFS). We incorporated last fall as a non-profit group dedicated to promoting freeride mountain biking here in central Arkansas. The AFS worked with the city of North Little Rock to gain approval of our proposal to build an all-inclusive freeride area in Burns Park, one of the largest city parks in the nation. Our park is called the Argenta Freeride Area. We broke ground last October and have accumulated over 300 volunteer man hours to date. The Argenta Freeride Area is [...]

    We recently had the good fortune to travel to breathtaking Taormina, Sicily, and we’ve returned with more than your typical snowglobe or lousy t-shirt, we’ve got a noggin full of good info and experiences busting at the seams. We traveled to view, learn and ride mountain bike products soon to be released by the industry’s elite manufacturers. Below we share bits of gossip and our experiences. 1. New Standards: The mountain bike industry loves standards -- that’s why we’re constantly adopting them. Coming soon to a bike under you: the Fox 15×100 thru axle and FSA’s BB30. It’s not just [...]

    Amongst our varied joys, chores, and responsibilities here at Competitive Cyclist, we serve on Zipp’s Dealer Advisory Board. We provide input on both future product development and current product performance. Despite their wonky, engineering-fixated exterior, the guys behind Zipp are in fact really cool. So our most recent board meeting was quite fun, especially thanks to the fact that it coincided with Team CSC’s pre-Tour of California training camp. The venue was Agoura Hills, CA, and other than serving as CSC’s first full-team gathering for 2008, it would be the proving grounds from which Bjarne Riis would choose CSC’s Tour [...]

    There’s much to love about Colnago: The blissful geometry of their flagship bikes, their race heritage, and their hard-headedness about technology (e.g. no integrated headsets; their love affair with lugged carbon; their delight in straight-bladed forks). But what charms us also irritates us: They think that in 2008 the world still believes that Made in Italy > Made in Asia, which has 2 net negative effects on the brand: (1) The cost of their most sought-after models (all made in Italy) -- Extreme Power, C50, Extreme C -- continues to skyrocket as Italian labor costs climb and the Euro annihilates [...]

    Item #1. The truth liberates. The truth hurts. If you’re bike geek in the least you owe it to yourself to bookmark the rouesartisanales.com website. It’s run by a gang of crazy Frenchmen, and the prose (charming broken english and all) is far less relevant than their spy shot photos and amazing performance tests. It’s a scoop a day over there, and I don’t know where they get their prototype product photos and other info -- is their bowtie really a camera? -- but it’s where news is broken. Perhaps no rouesartisanales article in 2008 will have as far reaching [...]

    The 851 AirJack uses 851 and Roubaix fabric to provide increased thermicity values. It offers improved breathability and is water repellent with total wind protection.