Big Brands Sale Ends 11/27



    My name is Jonathan Page. I am an American, but for much of the last 11 years, I’ve lived and raced in Belgium. I came here because I wanted to one day be the World Champion of cyclocross. So far, I’ve made it to the 2nd step on the podium of Worlds, but I haven’t stood on the top! Most weeks, from September to February, I have two races, but I can have as many as five during the tough “Christmas Series races.” Once in a while, though, I’ll have a week with none. This weekend I have quite an [...]

    Sores, lesions, cuts, pinching, boils. No, I’m not talking about a pair of ill-fitting heels that you wore to dance the night away. I’m talking about your saddle. These five ailments yield a visceral shudder, they’re not foreign to women who’ve spent any considerable time in the saddle. And while it may seem like no one ever complains about saddle pain, if you spend a few minutes with a group of brutally candid women, you’ll hear all of the nitty-gritty-details. Sure, with years and years of riding under your belt, you might declare that you have a bum of steel, [...]

    November marks the beginning of the cyclist’s New Year. Although dead leaves blow through the streets, morning frost covers the tarmac, and the sky is a drab and ominous grey, the off-season brings the cyclist a sense of renewal. Through the cold winter, we rejuvenate. The period not only gives us needed mental and physical rest, but it also allows us to reset objectives to start again with a clean slate. We can absorb the experiences of the last season, analyze them, learn from them, and then plan for what is to come. A steady progression in fitness is equally [...]

    Regardless of whether you’ve caught Superprestige fever, or if you never want your race season to end, you’ve surely been wrestling with the idea of adding a cyclocross bike to your stable. And like anything in the weird world of cycling, there are a myriad of options to choose from. That’s why I’m going to walk you through some of the choices that you’re going to be faced with before you make your next big investment. To get you started, hone in on why you actually want a ‘cross bike. If your goal is to just try a race or [...]

    I’ve been riding in the Fi’zi:k R3 road shoes for most of this season, first mounting cleats to them in early May. I waited for the worst of the spring weather to subside so as to not subject the supple kangaroo leather to too much moisture right away. This means, of course, that I rode through the rather warm Salt Lake summer in a shoe constructed primarily of a less-than-breathable material. The surprising part? It wasn’t uncomfortable. First Impressions: Let’s back up, though. The out-of-the-box presentation of this pair of shoes was a genuine delight. Each shoe is mounted to [...]

    There are over 4,000 brick-and-mortar bike shops in the United States, and a handful of internet bike retailers of note. So why shop online at Competitive Cyclist? It’s because we provide the best of both worlds. Even though we operate online, we sacrifice none of the personalized service of a local bike shop. That service starts with our bike experts. Every member of our staff has a grasp of technical detail that’s, well, awesome. And we know that the most effective way to share this knowledge is as unpretentiously as possible. We take pleasure in demystifying jargon. Call us with [...]

    You’ve planned the trip of a lifetime for you and your carbon companion. However, while your travel arrangements are limited to getting to the airport on time, your bike’s transport takes time, money, consideration, and until now, a dash of experience. Photos by Ian Matteson And while the least expensive method of transport is to get a used cardboard bike box out of the dumpster, when your bike arrives on the conveyor belt in a crushed box, you’ll know that you should have reviewed your case options. Cases run the gamut of prices, but so long as they feature a [...]

    Michael Barry: Motorpacing

    A cyclist, especially a racing cyclist, is constantly looking for a reprieve from the wind, to save energy, to gain an advantage, and to move faster. The wind is often our nemesis. We battle it. Sheltered from wind, we find our wings. In the belly of a flying peloton we pedal freely while eating up kilometers; tight in the slipstream of a motorcycle or car, we can easily double our speed. Not only do the riders and vehicles increase our speed, but they also become a carrot, drawing us beyond our perceived limits. Above Photo: Walter Lai The discipline of [...]

    What do you do after riding 470km through three countries in one 17.5-hour pull? Eat vegan pizza in an Italian parking lot at midnight, apparently. Well, I guess that you crack a bottle of champagne with Andrea Peron, too. At least this is what sticks out when I look back at my best/worst day on a bike. Back in August, I chose a different way to get home from EuroBike, one that included a 17.5-hour bike ride with 4,277 meters of climbing from Friedrichshafen, Germany to Fonzaso, Italy. Now, given the tradeshow timeframe, I had some notable industry types accompanying [...]

    Although we’re used to seeing droves of new bikes from our favorite manufacturers every year, the bomb that Santa Cruz dropped with this year’s lineup was downright staggering. The revamped models embraced the burgeoning 27.5-inch wheel standard have proved that it’s here to stay. However, most of the attention paid to the mid-wheeled bikes went to the 5010 and the Bronson. The differences between the models are subtle, at least on paper, which has resulted in a flood of questions from riders wondering, “Which one is for me?” After spending a month riding both, here’s what we’ve discovered. The similarities [...]

    You’d be hard pressed to find a family with more combined mountain bike talent than the Athertons. In 2013, Rachel had her most dominant season yet, which saw her take home both the World Champion stripes and the World Cup overall. After a stunning start to the season, Gee was narrowly edged out of the World Cup’s top spot, which resulted in the closest, and arguably most exciting points race of all time. And while older brother Dan has since retired from Downhill racing, he continues to be a threat on the Enduro World Series, as well as being the [...]

    As someone who’s been involved in the cycling industry, in one way or another, for the better part of 24 years, I’ve heard over and over again that women are not as competitive as men. And while it pains me to hear it, after attempting to start a women’s cycling magazine, and also being party to several surveys aimed at getting more women to ride, I actually feel the weight in the words. But is it that women aren’t inherently competitive, or is it that they just don’t compete in cycling? If you take a look at triathlon participation, for [...]

    Arriving home, I pull off my sweater. The scent of the workshop has woven its way into the fabric: grease, paint, rubber, flux, and oil. In the aromas, I can identify each distinct chemical, but together they mean only one thing. I inhale for half a second as I pull off the sweater. To me, it is the aroma of bikes being built and torches with flames heating tubes in the hands of craftsmen wearing dark glasses and royal blue aprons. It is the smell of fresh paint, ball bearings being carefully placed in cups of white grease, and tubulars [...]

    A blood-curdling shriek pierces the darkness. “Rampage!” It’s Friday night at an impromptu campground in Virgin, Utah. The sun set hours ago, and the revelers are carrying on. Walking through the campsite is like being in an exposed field during an electrical storm. In the moments of eerie silence, you can feel the next eruption coming, long before the thunderous chanting streaks though the night sky. The energy builds like atmospheric static, and when it’s discharged in the form of a deafening roar, the experience is awe-inspiring. We spectators are a force of nature. Good Friends and Ripping Girls: The [...]

    Photos: Ben Kuhns With today’s fabric capabilities, making something water- and windproof isn’t exactly an achievement. Instead, the true testament to design capability is incorporating the aforementioned into something that’s lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. Not surprisingly, though, this is where most manufacturing titans begin to wane. However, what is surprising is that the tiny, American-made first-timer, Search And State, achieved all of the above with its first time out of the gate. And gladly, all of these characteristics are housed in what I can only call, simply the best fitting jacket that I’ve ever ridden in. First Impressions: It’s black. [...]

    In any discipline of bike racing, there’s arguably no component that’s more important than tires. This is especially true in mountain biking, where the amount of variables in both trail conditions and tire design are staggering. Whether you’re riding in a desert or a rainforest, choosing the right tires will make the difference between feeling like you’re on rails, and being straight up out of control. However, while grip is key, nobody wants to feel like they’re riding around on tractor tires either. In other words, the most aggressive option isn’t always the best choice. To start, I’ll handle a [...]

    By: Jeff Stewart When the world first thinks of Assos, we first think of unparalleled quality. Second, we think of you. How long have you worked with Assos, and how did your relationship start? I really doubt the Ellipse Community think of me in second place. Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to interview the Assos girl instead? But, in answer to your question, I have been working with Assos since 2005. I was looking for sponsorship, and had asked someone I knew who worked there if they could help. Two days later, I received a phone call from Assos [...]

    Michael Barry: Bikes

    Like most cyclists, I have several bikes hanging in my garage. Which is my favorite? That’s easy—the Mariposa porteur bike that my father built for me eight years ago. I cherish it, because he built the frame and the carriers, with their simple beauty, and he then carefully selected the parts. But I also cherish it for the memorable rides it has provided. Trips to friends’ houses, back and forth to my dad’s shop, around town with my family discovering parks and back alleys, or out on the town for a night with my wife, Dede. On a bike, the [...]

    If your winter consists of sporadic lows down into the 50s, you might as well stop reading right now. I’m here to tell you how to survive a real winter, no offense to California, so that you’re able to break the monotonous drawl of indoor trainers. First, let’s examine why you’re dependent on a trainer in the first place. Yes, 30 degrees is really cold, and yes, road conditions aren’t ideal in the middle of a snow storm. But, with the right gear, attitude, and some common sense, you shall overcome. Shout it from the mountain top. Now, let’s start [...]

    I was getting fitted for a tuxedo when the very attractive woman sizing me up asked me about my pants. After telling her that I was testing them for a review, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure about the sea foam green color. Without missing a beat, she said, “Oh no, I like the color. I’d definitely wear those.” I replied with, “that’s not exactly what I’m going for.” She laughed. At that moment, it dawned on me that I was wearing my new favorite pants. The Levi’s Commuter line has been around for a few years now, and the [...]

    It’s hard to imagine the shattered peloton’s few remaining survivors were enjoying their surroundings when they hit the lower slopes of Little that afternoon. The fact that Utah’s earliest pioneers chose this stunning spot to harvest the granite for their downtown temple most likely didn’t cross any of the riders’ minds, either. By this point in the day’s horrendously difficult “Queen Stage,” the Tour of Utah’s participants had raced down from the northern part of the state, up and over multiple canyon passes, to this location some 100 miles and roughly 7,500 feet of climbing later. Anything will do as [...]

    The Feed Zone Cookbook by Dr. Allen Lim and Chef Biju Thomas is packed with 150 athlete-friendly recipes that are delicious, simple to prepare, and ready to fuel your rides. The book includes breakfasts, portable snacks, like Allen Lim’s famous rice cakes, after-ride dishes, dinners, desserts, and recovery drinks. And if you enjoy this recipe, you’ll love the new Feed Zone Portables, a cookbook for athletes with easy, healthy recipes and snack ideas that will nourish your best performance. Allen and Biju’s tip: We’ve put a gluten-free spin on the classic fig cookies that many of us grew up eating. These cakes make a [...]

    Michael Barry: The Cross

    Racing cyclocross was once a common method for professional cyclists to stay fit in the off-season. Until the late ’80s, road champions like Roger De Vlaemink, Eddy Merckx, and Bernard Hinault appeared at ‘cross races through the winter. For many of them, it was not only a way to stay active, but also a way to earn a little extra income with appearance and prize money. Then in the ’90s, as the road season became longer, the training more specialized and the peloton more competitive, fewer riders crossed over to the dirt. In the modern peloton, only a select few [...]

    “Well, it really comes down to whether it’ll be an open or a closed casket.” This rather grim quote was spoken to a friend of mine by a coworker during a conversation centered on motorcycle helmets—specifically, the only difference between full and open face options. And while the rather gruesome visual that accompanies what this guy was saying is bad enough, what’s worse is the damned-regardless-of-what-you-choose message that was being implied. It was the classic case of phrases we bike riders, motor-equipped or otherwise, are all too familiar with; “The car always wins” and “You’re no match for a multi-ton [...]