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    Floyd Landis Power Camp

    Trends are funny things. We saw a dramatic transition from heart rate to power-based training methods in the last 3 or 4 years. As power skyrocketed in popularity, we saw the coaching industry blossom. And as coaching became more widespread, wintertime training camps became ever more popular for seemingly good reasons — the warm weather, the big miles, the chance to spend quality time with a coach you’ll otherwise only know through e-mail and the telephone for the remainder of the year. While we try not to be overly critical here at Competitive Cyclist, we’ve always had a sneaking suspicion [...]

    January in Toronto -- it has no ring whatsoever to it, does it? But when our friends at Cervelo invited us to meet with them at their facility there, nothing in the world could stop us. It’s the sexiest bike brand in the whole industry, with a knack for winning awards that just won’t quit. In December, cyclingnews.com readers voted Team CSC’s Cervelo Soloist Carbon the best team bike of 2005. And Germany’s Tour magazine recently ran extensive tests of the stiffness-to-weight qualities of 2006′s most anticipated carbon bikes: When it comes to lightness, stiffness, and about a half-dozen other [...]

    It seems like Sherwood Gibson’s mind never stops. So naturally, we’re always eager to see what he and Ventana have cookin’. Makers of some of the smoothest, most beautiful, well-made bikes in the industry, Ventana wowed us with the introduction of the El Capitan 29er full springer in the summer of 2005, only to follow it up with two solid 29er hardtail entries in the fall, El Padrino and El Comandante. We’ve just come to find out that the Ventana Women’s Mountain Bike Team will debut a new lightweight XC frame (with a familiar name) at Sea Otter: El Fuego. [...]

    Congratulations to Ted Chan of San Jose, CA! He’ll be riding with Floyd in January. A few spots are still open for the Power Camp. For more information please visit www.floydlandis.com/camp. Team Phonak leader Floyd Landis and our friends at Power Tap will hold their 2nd annual Power Camp from January 21-27, 2006 in Temecula, California. You’ll get in nearly 20 hours of fully-supported training, and every meter you ride and every watt you generate will be tracked by a Power Tap SL powermeter. You’ll have daily post-ride analysis with Allan Lim, PhD, as well as daily lectures from him [...]

    The overwhelming feeling after Interbike 2005 was the fact that there were no big surprises. It seems that the industry’s biggest advances and most exciting changes were all well-marketed in advance of the show. That is by no means to say that there weren’t any great products — on the contrary, there were plenty. It’s just the fact that we already knew what to anticipate. Much of the Interbike buzz surrounded the release of the 6 Point 6 by Intense, a 6.75′ travel all-mountain VPP beast. Intense has been refining the concept for three years in R & D, and [...]

    Over the last few years we’ve always written a general overview of the Interbike trade show — a piece we call the ‘Interbike Confidential’. We try our hardest to give you the inside scoop of the good, the bad, and the interesting. The cycling media has done an increasingly good job at covering Interbike, though. In fact, it’s done great work in the last year or two of covering not just Interbike, but the two other trade shows that immediately precede it — the EuroBike in Germany, and the Milan show. It’s not 2003 anymore, and what we recognize circa [...]

    A frequent question fielded here at Competitive Cyclist is, ‘do you have any Nitrous bikes available for demo?’ Up until now, our answer has been an unfortunate (and fortunate), ‘No’, as we sold our stock many moons ago. Well, that all is about to change, as we’ve secured a full size run of Nitrous demo bikes. Beginning in mid-October, you’ll be able to demo a Nitrous, the revolutionary cross country machine that NORBA champ, Geoff Kabush, has been whoopin’ everyone on, in the same program that we’ve been shipping Fluxes, 5 Spots and 6 Packs all over the country. As [...]

    Not dissimilar to Bigfoot sightings, we’ve been reading the whispers and viewing the spy photos of the 6 Point 6 for the last year, but hard information has been scarce. We’ve finally received word that it will be ready to ship shortly after Interbike at the end of September. With the release of the 6 Point 6, Intense has now answered the call for an aggressive all-mountain machine by mating the ride quality of the legendary 5.5 EVP with the burly aggressiveness of the Uzzi. Understanding the demands that the 6 Point 6 frame is expected to shoulder, Intense employs [...]

    The Granfondo The seriousness of Italian Granfondo culture made itself apparent to me at the hotel breakfast table on Sunday morning about 90 minutes before the ride was to begin. It was 7:00am, and next to the juice, cereal and fruit was a big pot of warm penne, along with a tureen of thin marinara and some freshly ground parmesan. While a meal of early morning pasta is something you read about in the ‘inside scoop’ articles about the pros in VeloNews and Cycle Sport, the idea that a mortal would consider such a meal struck me as insane. I’m [...]

    Background Giovanni Pinarello raced bikes professionally in the 1940′s, and like all pros he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he took part in his first Giro d’Italia. Italy isn’t unlike America, though, in that dreams aren’t always what they seem: 3 weeks after the start Giovanni found himself finishing the race in the maglia nero -- the black jersey worn by the rider in dead last. The lanterne rouge of the modern-day Tour de France is by comparison something of a footnote, one of the million bits of microscopic data that give us wonderful conversation and laughter in the place [...]

    2006 Pinarello and Opera Bike Sneak Peek In time we came down from the foothills of Montello and rode the last km’s back to the hotel. Given that these would be the exact roads we’d take back to Treviso for the final miles of the Granfondo, I knew their flatness and the slight tailwind that accompanied them would be a big help. After cleaning up and eating lunch, I had the opportunity to review the 2006 Pinarello and Opera Bike bike line in detail. Normally, I wouldn’t see these bikes until the Interbike trade show in October. Getting an 8-week [...]

    F4:13: The Maiden Voyage While we’ve had tremendously good fortune selling F4:13 frames since their introduction in May, I still hadn’t ridden one for one simple reason: Only a small handful had made it to the US before the Granfondo, and our allocation of those frames barely put a dent into our backorders. We’ve yet to put an F4:13 into open inventory. Rather, each one we receive is already spoken for, so we ship them out the same day we get them. Of all of the things I had to look forward to during my trip to Italy, getting some [...]

    CZoom Imaging Technology We’ve worked quite hard over the last several years to provide our customers (and potential customers) with thoroughgoing product overviews. We try our best to avoid regurgitating the boilerplate marketing palaver most manufacturers provide us. Rather, we strive to evaluate each product with the same exacting eye shown by our customers. We express our findings in the informational text that accompanies each product on our site. Our hope is that these write-ups are a useful resource as you make purchasing decisions. Nevertheless, we recognize that sometimes what you really need to do is hold a product in [...]

    Nestled in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest just two hours north of Competitive Cyclist, are 38 miles of pristine singletrack, the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail System. The name pays tribute to a Creek Indian who made his home in the area around the Sylamore Creek in the 1800′s. The construction of the trail system built largely on grant money is currently nearing the completion of Phase 2. Completed, the trails will boast greater than 85 miles of trail -- largely without encountering any private property. On May 7, 2005, Syllamo Mountain Bike Trails played host to Red Bull’s regional qualifier [...]

    Turner Demo Center

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually ride your dream bike before you purchased it? Now you can. Here at Competitive Cyclist, we understand the difficult decision as one tries to wade through a mountain of information and attempt to choose which mountain bike will be ‘the one.’ With new suspension technologies seemingly being introduced every month, it makes that decision all the more challenging. One suspension design has survived the test of time -- the Horst Link. The Horst Link is a ‘fully active’ system, meaning it’s free to compress and rebound at all times, both when the [...]

    June means a lot of things to a lot of people. But in context of the bike industry chatter we’ve been getting here at Competitive Cyclist, what June means most of all is that it’s only 4 months ’til Interbike and the introduction of countless cool new things for 2006. Topping the list of what we’ve seen so far: Colnago: Our customers are eagle eyed, and one of them was nice enough to point out this picture to us of Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd on what appear to be old C40′s. Check out the old-school slender tubesets, the lack [...]

    We’ve known for the last few weeks that an announcement was imminent from our friends at Pinarello that they’d be releasing their first-ever carbon fiber frame. They’ve used the occasion of the Rimini bike expo to show it off to the public for the very first time. It’s known as the F4-13, and to us it looks like a million bucks. The technical details are -- for now -- fairly sketchy. One glance confirms some critical details: You’ll get the same Onda fork and Onda seatstay you find on the Dogma bikes and the Prince SL. Interestingly, Pinarello has decaled [...]

    Power might well be the ultimate training metric. Power isn’t only for racers, but for everyone who wants to see their cycling improve. Power, as you learned in high school, is defined as force times distance over time, and is measured in watts. The point of measuring watts is to accurately quantify the force applied the pedals. And with that number, one can also determine energy spent, in kilojoules (kj). A joule is about 22% of a calorie, which, in terms of bike riding efficiency, means that one kj is roughly equal to one kcal (we generally associate 1kcal as [...]

    In recent weeks Litespeed has unveiled the details of what’s undoubtedly their most ambitious promotion ever: With the purchase of a complete Litespeed bike you get a free set of Real Design wheels. On a Dura-Ace equipped bike you get a free set of Real UltraSonic 40 clinchers, and with the purchase of an Ultegra-equipped bike you get a free set of Real UltraFly clinchers. Some of you might be familiar with Real Design from the mid-1990′s. They were an up-and-coming aftermarket component manufacturer -- not unlike what FSA and Truvativ were just a few years ago. Just like FSA [...]

    While we had good intentions of sticking to the promise we made last week of providing you with a new product review every Friday, we got a little sidetracked this week as we put the final touches on an important new aspect to the Competitive Cyclist website: The Gruppo Calculator. You’ll see a new product review from us next Friday, but for now allow us to give you a quick overview of the Gruppo Calculator. While we love nothing more than selling complete new bikes, we recognize that many of you already own gorgeous, once-in-a-lifetime framesets. Even with this frameset [...]

    Even though the Pegoretti Big Leg Emma has been available for sale for almost 18 months, production has been a trickle for a variety of reasons. Many of you have shown us Job-like patience as you’ve awaited your BLE’s. As this picture indicates, BLE frame construction is actually moving along nicely at the moment. The hold up now, though, is the fact that Dario has brought all of his painting in-house. Nailing down the fine points of paint isn’t a can of corn (or else we’d all be painting our own bikes, I suppose). Once he perfects his paint process, [...]

    Limited Edition Team Rabobank Colnago C50 HM Few frames have the race pedigree of the Colnago C50 HM. You can trace its lineage back in time to 1996 when its predecessor -- the Colnago C40 -- was ridden by Johan Musseuw, Gianluca Bortolami, and Andrea Tafi to a Team Mapei 1, 2, 3 sweep of the podium of Paris-Roubaix. It was a historic day of dominance befitting a bike that was so outrageously ahead of its time. In the time since, the C40 has progressively evolved -- the C40 became the C40 B-Stay, which became the C40 HP, which begot [...]

    2005 DeRosa Update

    A huge sigh of relief here! DeRosa bicycles have found new distribution in the United States. The DeRosa press release is below. One quick preface: Albabici is run by Gianluca Caliari -- the former head honcho at Trialtir USA. He’s an absolute class act, a man with 100% integrity and a complete focus on the customer. This is really nice news for everyone involved. ‘Ugo De Rosa and his sons announced today the appointment of Albabici, LLC as their new American partner and exclusive distributor for De Rosa frames, bicycles and accessories in the United States for the next three [...]