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    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 [...]

    Looking forward to the 2006 cycling year, the worst kept secret on the horizon has been 2nd edition Helium wheelset coming from Mavic. We’ve heard rumors over the last month or so, but we finally have some information we can sink our teeth into. Many of you likely recall the Helium — first seen in 1996, it spawned the pre-built wheelset revolution. Folks quit hand-building wheels component-by-component, and instead embraced the fact that companies like Mavic could supply them with rock solid ready-made wheelsets. The Helium was a brilliant design: It was fairly lightweight by the standards of the day [...]

    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 [...]

    We’ve been selling beautiful road bikes for years, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned talking with our customers -- the world’s most discriminating cyclists -- it’s that very few of us are mere ‘roadies’. Rather, we’re cyclists through and through. Sometimes we race hard, sometimes we ride just to see the view. Sometimes we big ring it through organized centuries, sometimes we go on a quick spin to the coffee shop. But our love affair with road bikes most definitely doesn’t keep us from logging serious mileage on our mountain bikes. Riding off-road is natural to us. We’re just [...]

    Over-bosomed and over-Pradaed. Over-biceped and over-moussed. The throbbing excess that defines Las Vegas and the people who willingly go there isn’t a dull pain for me. It’s a sharp and totalizing isolation made real with every perfumed waft of a would-be runway model with whom I’d never have the courage to speak, and with each obnoxious decibel emitted from a cabana shirt-draped cafone with whom I’d never have interest to speak. Putting the requisite smile on my face and conjuring up sufficient focus to do deals is a daily challenge when the mere task of walking through the hotel lobby [...]

    Amazingly a year has passed and trade show season is back upon us. As we speak the Euro Bike show in Freidrichshafen, Germany is winding up. The Milan show begins just a few days thereafter. Once Milan wraps up, the proverbial cats will all be out of the bag: We’ll know with a good bit of clarity the full gamut of temptations for 2005. Herewith is real news, not gossip: Pinarello: The big news is that of the 3rd generation Dogma known as the Dogma FP (we’ll give you 10 seconds to think of what FP stands for). The 1st [...]

    Colnago Closeouts

    I’m not a big fan of airplanes, but I made the flight to Chicago this weekend because I couldn’t say no to an invitation to see the introduction of the 2005 Colnago line-up. For the moment we’re sworn to secrecy, but you can rest assured that our friends from Cambiago were anything but complacent going into 2005. It’s going to be a big, big year for them. We’ll post comprehensive info as soon as Colnago gives us the green light to do so. Given the fact that Colnago is now all-but-completely-focused on 2005, they were kind enough to make us [...]

    None of us here has ever shopped for a 6-figure wristwatch, and only one of us has been to a vacation spot even loosely defined as a ‘resort.’ Nevertheless, we somehow ended up in the August 2004 issue of the Robb Report magazine. Somewhere in between the report from the International Elephant Polo Championship in Thailand and the 12-page review of the Rolls Royce 100EX Convertible (a car that ‘…addresses the motoring public’s urgent need for a proper convertible’) was a full-page spread about the Pinarello Dogma Ego and the fact that Competitive Cyclist is the only Pinarello dealer in [...]

    Ultegra-10 Update

    Trade show season is only about 6 weeks out, so the time is nigh for the rumor mill to start cranking. The first interesting tidbit we have to share is from the #1 bike industry behemoth, Shimano. Shimano is starting to show off its new-for-2005 Ultegra 10 speed gruppo. Rather than paraphrasing, let me just go ahead and quote Harald Troost, press relations officer for Shimano Europe: ‘After the conspicuous revamp of the Shimano Dura-Ace components last year, it’s Ultegra’s turn now to get an extreme make-over. Ultegra has been remodeled into a completely new, high-end, road racing group set. [...]

    Three quick notes: 1. We’ve had a couple of interesting BMC-related developments this week. First off, we’ve finally received our first shipment of Swiss Edition BMC Team Replica frames. They are breathtakingly gorgeous. It was certainly a worthwhile wait. Secondly, we’ve started carrying the BMC Streetfire road frame. At only $690 for a Dedacciai 7003 triple-butted aluminum tubeset with similar Crosslock Skeleton technology to what you see on the Team Replica, plus a full-carbon Easton fork, it’s an incredible value. 2. As promised, we’ve posted a lot more comprehensive information (including some really nice pictures) about the new SRM Dura-Ace [...]

    First things first: Major props to Fassa Bortolo’s Fabian Cancellara for winning today’s Tour de France Prologue. His ride was amazing, and it was another notch in the belt for Pinarello in 2004. It seems like whenever a high-profile race is on the line, the protagonists (and more often than not, the winner) are on a Pinarello. Once again, kudos to Cancellara, and congratulations to the Pinarello braintrust in Treviso for continuing to develop some of the very finest bikes on the planet. We love rumors, and we’ve come across a rather interesting one from a really reliable source: You [...]

    Three quick items of note: 1. Our remaining Litespeed Classic complete bikes are on sale for a whopping $800 off. The sale is limited to stock we have on hand here. The bikes will be on sale ’til they’re gone, but at $800 off that won’t be long. The pricing shown on the Classic page reflects the sale price. 2. We’re having a mini-Pinarello sale at the moment, with 20%-25% off on 2004 Prince framesets and Marvel framesets. It’s a great chance to save some serious cash on a bike of a lifetime. Our gut instinct is that this might [...]

    We’ve received a torrent of e-mail in response to cyclingnews.com’s May 21st story about Alessandro Petacchi’s Pinarello Dogma. As of today, he’s won an unprecedented 8 stages of the Giro d’Italia on his mean blue machine. Here’s the story in full: ‘Alessandro Petacchi’s bike sponsor Pinarello is understandably more than a little happy at the Italian sprinter’s domination of the stage finishes so far at the year’s Giro d’Italia. Out of the seven ‘sprinter’s stages so far, Petacchi has landed five of them aboard his magnesium Pinarello Dogma. Petacchi features in Pinarello’s latest ad campaign for the Dogma, but as [...]

    Riding season is upon us in full force. We’ve been exceedingly busy this spring, and we’re certainly thankful to all of our customers for keeping us so! Some notes of interest of developments over the last few weeks: - Pegoretti let us know that they finally cured their tubing shortage problem on the Big Leg Emma. As some of you might have heard, Columbus provided Pegoretti with their seatstays and chainstays for their BLE trade show bikes, but subsequently refused to manufacture the stays for the production BLE’s. As such, there has been no delivery whatsoever on them. After months [...]