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    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.

    2008 Pegoretti Frameset ETA 2007 was a rough and tumble year for Dario Pegoretti due to the aggressive course of cancer treatment he took to fight his lymphoma. The great news is this: From everything we’re being told, the outcome has been very positive. He beat the cancer down, and he’s healthy once again. It’s obvious to us he has boundless newfound energy, because his frames have been arriving to the US at a clip we haven’t seen in years. We’re grateful for the inventory, of course, but we’re even more grateful for the fact this symbolizes his good health. [...]

    First Endurance PreRace

    If you’re like most, you “coked up” today. Whether it was the bitter bean, the sweet black gold, the sophisticated tea, you got the buzz. It’s not like it’s a crutch, just something you’ve come to depend on to get you through life, to paraphrase Bobby Hill of “King of the Hill”. Whatever it is, the purpose is clear; it gets those neurons firing, the synapses jumping, pulse quickening, oxygen-uptake increasing, fat burning, etc. You do it for speed, whether or not you realize it. Makes you wonder if the Western world could have become what it is without, and [...]

    The pinnacle of warm-weather jersey design. Four different fabrics and multiple panels combine to make it our most technical jersey for riding in the summer heat.

    As we write this What’s New entry, Christmas is just a few days away and it’s a natural moment to reflect on the Year That Was. We had a lot of great things happen here at Competitive Cyclist. Our business continues to grow at a rate far beyond our rosiest projections. We’ve had a stellar year for addressing fundamentals: Our bike build QC process is now thoroughly dialed, and as a result we’ve seen a near-total elimination of erroneous component installation and UPS shipping damage; our overall order fill rate is higher than ever before; and our errors-per-order-line rate is [...]

    The first wheel ever to show positive drag in a wind tunnel. At 15 degrees of yaw the Zipp Sub 9 Disc showed a -80g drag reading creating lift rather than making drag.

    Rapha Cycling Cap

    Looks great on the bike or off. Windproof, waterproof, and noticeably more substantial than other caps. Comfortable, yet snug elastic band keeps it in place; brim is lined with antibacterial.

    Oakley Radar

    Oakley’s first cycling specific design in 15 years. Hydrophobic lenses repel water and moisture, and surge ports prevent fogging. High Definition Optics insure a crystal-clear field of vision.

    When Speedplay first debuted their Zero pedals, some considered it a step backward for the pedal company. The older X/2 pedals weighed in at 198g/pair while the new Zeros weighed in at 206g/pair. This is for the versions with the stainless steel pedal spindles, not the freakishly-light titanium spindles that have a weight limit (185lbs max). The Zero weighed in at 52.5g each as opposed to 42.5g each. Overall system weight for the Zero is 324g vs. 308g when using shoes with the three-hole mounting standard. In a world where newer should be lighter, that Speedplay would make the new [...]

    It would be too easy to say Interbike has become irrelevant. The signs are all there, of course, that North America’s one-and-only trade show has outlived its usefulness to the bike industry. The European equivalent to Interbike -- Eurobike -- takes place a full month beforehand. All the North American industry A-players make the trip to Freidrichshafen, and cyclingnews.com and velonews.com do a superb job in covering the new product releases there. So, in short, nothing at Interbike is ever new anymore: Everyone has either seen it in person or online already. And, to boot, the industry as a whole [...]

    All the bike industry big guns have tasty treats forthcoming in 2008: Shimano has their carbon fiber Dura-Ace crankset. Mavic revamped their entire high-end wheelset portfolio. And rumor has it that Assos will give their bib short line the same sort of face lift they gave their jerseys in ’07. But no new product intro has had the same seismic effect as the new SRAM Red road gruppo. What is Red? Here’s your 50-words-or-less answer: SRAM took the fundamental functionality of their Force gruppo and souped it up with a cost-is-no-object mentality. The shifting (specifically between chainrings) is vastly enhanced. [...]

    Just because you love to ride pro-quality bikes doesn’t necessarily mean you have the time, the interest or even the tools to work on one. This is a discovery that some of our customers make at the worst possible moment: The day on which UPS delivers their brand new bike. Our standard shipping box provides you a bike that requires minimal re-assembly — install the wheels, attach the handlebar to the stem, insert the seatpost, then affix the pedals and you’re done. But for our mechanically-disinclined customers, this seemingly basic chore of re-assembly can be a trying experience. After all, [...]

    Wake up wake up! 2008 is here! Proof of it comes in the fact that we’re now in possession of the ’08 Colnago catalog (available here for your viewing & downloading pleasure (PDF 5.8MB)). Thank goodness they didn’t send it to the printer before ex-Rabobanker Michael Rasmussen got booted from the Tour -- all those trees would’ve died in vain. We’ll present exhaustive detail on the changes for ’08 (or ‘Extreme Detail’, as Colnago might phrase it…) including ’08 Colnago pricing in the upcoming weeks, but here is a quick list of the highlights: The core Colnago line is basically [...]

    Thanks to everyone who entered the Competitive Cyclist Dreambike Sweepstakes during July. We received an astounding number of entries, and we’re grateful to everyone who entered, and to everyone who did business with us during what turned out to be one of the more, um, eventful Tours in recent memory. Congratulations to all of our winners. Keep your eyes peeled for a similar promotion during the 2008 Tour de France. Cervelo SLC-SL Dreambike Jennifer Glover – Seattle, WA SRM Professional Powermeter Jeff Lind – Los Gatos, CA Zipp Zedtech Wheelset James Blumberg – Steliacoom, WA Ruth Stockhammer – Des Plaines, [...]

    Vive le Tour! Ahhh, how we love the Tour de France -- it’s the not-so-quiet quiet before the storm for next year’s new product introductions. Who hasn’t salivated over the carbon fiber version of the Shimano Dura Ace cranksets seen on the Gerolsteiner bikes or the Cosmic Carbone Ultimates on the Cofidis bikes? We’ve even spotted a glimpse or two of electronic Campagnolo Record. Naturally, everyone wants to know if electronic Record (and electronic Dura Ace, for that matter) will be available in the 2008 season. The answer, we’re sad to report, is no for both companies. We’ll all have [...]

    It’s easy to ignore the ProTour’s hot stove season. After all, most of the superstar transfers are finalized well before the World Championships, and we admit our interest in the World Cup cyclocross scene is quite dim. The sleepy autumn and early winter months provide ample opportunity to rest not just our legs, but our interest in race results and gossip. Provocative stories are always there for the having, though, and as much as we tried to hibernate for a bit this fall we couldn’t help but keep one eye on the slow-motion train wreck otherwise known as the Sony [...]