Biketober Bike Deal Blowout

We hope you’ve had a chance to check out our daily Biketober Bike Deal on our Twitter feed every day this month, because we’ve had some pretty sweet deals.  But don’t worry if you haven’t, as we’ve got you covered!  We want to send Biketober out with a bang, so we’re offering all 31 Biketober Bike Deals this Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

So how do you find out what the Biketober Bike Deals are?  You can either check search our Twitter feed, or just head on over to the handy Biketober Bike Deals page on performancebike.com.  There you’ll find all 31 Biketober Bike Deals, along with the special coupon code you’ll need to get the amazing deal price (sorry, no other discounts apply with these blowout prices).  These bikes may not be available in every size, but you may just find exactly what you’re looking for, at a price that can’t be beat!

Just to show you a small sample of the array of options available, check out the last 3 Biketober Bike Deals:

2010 Breezer Greenway 3.0 Comfort Bike

MSRP: $869.99  Deal Price: $499.99

use code BIKETOBERDEAL29

2010 Diamondback Response Mountain Bike

MSRP: $409.99  Deal Price: $279.99

use code BIKETOBERDEAL30

2010 Kestrel Talon SL Road Bike

MSRP: $3349.99  Deal Price: $1999.99

use code BIKETOBERDEAL31

We hope you find the Biketober Bike Deal that’s right for you (but remember to use the special coupon code that’s specific to each bike)!

2011 Fuji Outland 29er & Breezer Cloud 9 Mountain Bikes

Since the folks from Advanced Sports dropped by the Triangle Fat Tire Festival last week, we thought we’d share a couple of short videos about the 2011 mountain bikes they brought along to show off.  First up is the completely redesigned Fuji Outland 29er, a great looking 29″ full-suspension bike with 100mm of travel front and rear:

Also on display was another all-new design for 2011, the Breezer Cloud 9.  Designed by mountain bike pioneer Joe Breeze, the Cloud 9 is a 29″ carbon-framed hardtail, with performance features like extra-short chainstays and the Apex disc brake mount:

These are 2 great looking new bikes from Fuji and Breezer, ready to make some waves in the mountain bike world.

Triangle Fat Tire Festival Wrap-Up

For those of you near our home base here in Chapel Hill, NC, we hope you had a chance to stop by the Triangle Fat Tire Festival this past weekend.  The weather was fantastic, the crowd for the endurance race was huge, and we had a great time hanging out, racing, and talking to folks about our new mountain bikes and Hans Rey’s fantastic Wheels 4 Life charity.

The field for the endurance race was deep and varied, with a mix of first-time racers, blazing-fast expert riders, and one awesome tandem team (of which we somehow failed to get a picture)!  One of our favorite rides for the day was this vintage GT All Terra steed, with period components and shoes.

Of course we also wanted to show off our new 2011 Access mountain bike lineup.  As you can see in this shot of just some of the new bikes, we’ve worked hard to expand our exclusive line of mountain bikes.  In the coming weeks we’ll share more details about the amazing array of mountain bikes in the Access line (with both 26″ and 29″ wheels), which will expand and build upon the heritage of the Access bikes we currently have on sale right now.

Fuji and Breezer Bikes were also in attendance with redesigned 2011 bikes to show off, so we’ll have some great video previews to share with you soon (sadly the GT demo crew was waylaid by traffic and couldn’t make it to the festival in time).

After the race was over and as the festival was winding down, everyone got down to the serious business of refueling while swapping tales of epic singletrack and the next big ride.

We thought we’d get in on the fun of the after-race awards ceremony, so we gave away a GT Sensor 9r to one lucky festival-goer–the very same bike that our own David and Chris put through its paces in the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race (out in western North Carolina) last month.  But we also talked to everyone we could about Hans Rey’s great Wheels 4 Life charity, a non-profit organization that provides bikes for people in developing countries that truly need them.  Thanks to the generosity of everyone at the festival, we were able to send $568 straight to Wheels 4 Life on their behalf–enough to provide for 4 bikes that will help change lives for the better.

So thanks to everyone who stopped by our demo tent to talk, or who helped out in our efforts on behalf of Wheels for Life.  The Triangle Fat Tire Festival was a great event once again (thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and organizers from our local mountain biking organization) and we at Performance were happy to be out there with our hometown crowd.

Giro di Lombardia Preview

This Saturday brings the 2010 pro road cycling season to a close with the last Classic of the Season, the Giro di Lombardia.  Known as the “Race of the Falling Leaves”, the Lombardia winds it way north from Milan, through beautiful Italian countryside, and then up and down the wooded hills that surround the picturesque shores of the famous Lake Como.

The race has been run over a variety of courses throughout its 105 year history, but this year it checks in at a hefty 260km–quite the test for tired legs at the end of a long season.  The Lombardia is known for its short but steep climbs such as the famous Madonna del Ghisallo ascent, which passes the church of the patroness of cycling.  The Madonna del Ghisallo chapel is a must-see for any cyclist who gets the chance, as the interior is adorned with countless bikes, jerseys and other gear from champion cyclists from Fausto Coppi to Francesco Moser to Eddy Merckx (plus many, many more).

So who does this long and difficult race favor?  A good place to start is with last year’s champion, Phillipe Gilbert.  Fresh off of a strong showing at the World Championships, Gilbert has maintained his strong form, as demonstrated with his decisive win at the Giro del Piemonte just this week (which he also won last year in the lead-up to the Lombardia).  Thor Hushovd, the newly crowned World Champion, will also get a chance to show off his new stripes while racing in the final race for the Cervelo Test Team (which is shutting down after the season ends).  Andy Schleck will be there racing for Saxo Bank for the last time, while Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi will be trying to win one for the Italians.  With a strong field and a prestigious title on the line, the Giro di Lombardia should provide an entertaining conclusion to the end of the racing season (plus the scenery will be pretty nice, if nothing else, as seen in this shot from legendary photographer Graham Watson).

To check out the Giro di Lombardia here in the US, tune in to Universal Sports Saturday morning or log in for their online coverage if you don’t get Universal Sports on your television.  Then get outside and enjoy some beautiful fall riding of your own!

SparkCon Bicycle Chalk Art

SparkCon is an annual art festival intended to showcase, celebrate and influence the creative talents of the Triangle region of North Carolina (the home of our headquarters). One of the many facets of the festival is the Raleigh Street Painting Event where hundreds of artists come together to transform Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street into a giant art gallery. Last month 2 members of the Performance creative team, web designer Jennifer Kunkel and print designer Rob Morales, decided to join forces and showcase their talent with some sidewalk art for the masses.

Things started a bit rocky, to say the least. Awake before noon on a Saturday, and far from the safety of their cubicles, Jen and Rob initially felt intimidated working in a medium as foreign as chalk and concrete. However, they quickly got the hang of it and set off adorning their respective six-foot sections of sidewalk.

Over the next three hours, what emerged from the gravel and chalk dust was a diptych narrative addressing the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. Rob’s piece titled “Couch Potato” depicts the fate of those living in a world without exercise. Confined to his couch, the potato watches television and wishes for better things.

Meanwhile Jen’s “Monsieur Le Fry” was a much more light-hearted piece that found the same potato transformed into a “skinny fry” burning calories on a whimsical bike ride through the forest.

Those visiting Fayetteville Street that day were visibly moved by the power of Rob and Jen’s work, staring in awe for minutes on end before leaving to undoubtedly find their nearest Performance Bicycle store.

Product Profile – Shimano Dyna-Sys

If you’ve been keeping up with what’s new in the mountain bike world, you’ve probably already heard of Shimano’s Dyna-Sys technology (and you will definitely see these components popping up on 2011 model bikes).  So what is this big shift (pardon the pun) in Shimano’s mountain bike drivetrain systems?

Basically Shimano has come up with a family of 10-speed mountain bike components, with a goal of optimizing drivetrain efficiency.  Most folks with Dyna-Sys will have a 3×10 setup (with a 3 ring crankset and 10-speed rear cassette), although a 2×10 option will be available as part of the racing-oriented XTR Race component system (the XTR Trail system has a triple crankset).

The goal of the new 3×10 setup is to allow the rider to stay in the 32-tooth middle ring for more of the ride (since so many full-suspension bikes are designed around this standard) by adding a wider range 10-speed 11-36 tooth rear cassette to the mix (although 11-32 & 11-34 are also available).  When you do need to shift the front derailleur, Dyna-Sys cranksets feature “CloseStep” gearing so that shifting from the middle 32-tooth ring is smoother; instead of a 22-tooth granny gear, there is a 24-tooth ring, and instead of a 44-tooth big ring, there is a 42-tooth ring.  The overall gearing range doesn’t change that much from a standard 27-speed setup, but you’ll be able to stay in the middle ring longer and experience a better transition when you do need to up- or down-shift with the front derailleur. A new 10-speed chain, derailleurs & shifters are needed to complete a Dyna-Sys drivetrain.

For a visual explanation of the changes, check out this video featuring our local Shimano technical training representative, who dropped by our headquarters to talk to our Spin Doctor Product Support team (our in-house technical experts that are ready to answer your questions via phone or email):

Dyna-Sys technology will be available as part of Shimano’s XTR, XT and SLX components, so you’ll be able to try out this new drivetrain technology for yourself as an upgrade to your existing ride or on a new 2011 mountain bike. 

New 10-speed Dyna-Sys XT components are available on our wesbite right now, and XTR components are due in very soon. As always, if you have any questions about these new components and how to upgrade, get in touch with our Spin Doctor Product Support team and they’ll be happy to help.

Flashback Friday – Mountain Bikes from 1993

It’s about time for another Flashback Friday, and since our local Triangle Fat Tire Festival is coming up (Saturday, October 16th), we thought we’d look back at a little Performance mountain bike history.  Our subject for today is the Spring 1993 catalog, which sported a cover with classic Onza barends, an XTR crank, and a Manitou 2 suspension fork artfully placed in the middle of a stream (no word on what happened to the rest of the bike… or the rider):

First up in the catalog (and also straddling a stream) was the high-end M003 model mountain bike, which forgoes a suspension fork (although the goemetry is suspension-ready) but was fully kitted out with a Shimano XTR drivetrain.  Weight for this True Temper AVR chromoly-tubed beauty: a respectable 22.5 pounds (ditching a suspension fork was the only way to keep the weight down in this era).

Next up were our more budget-friendly offerings.  The M103 model also had a tig-welded chromoly frame, but featured a Rock Shox Quadra suspension fork and a Shimano Deore XT grouppo.  The M203 mountain bike was our “downhill mountain bike racing” model, with a 7000 series aluminum frame, although we’re guessing that the elastomer rear suspension was not exactly ready for the Red Bull Rampage.  Our last model was the M303, our budget Shimano Deore LX-equipped bike, but still light enough for easy stair-portaging.

But that brings us to the sweet lineup of suspension forks that we offered in 1993.  As you can see, we had it all: a full range from RST (whose forks featured a choice between steel springs, elastomers, or air/oil damping), the heavy-duty looking Tange Shockblades, the somewhat-terrifying (yet 2-time world cup champion) Allsop Frankenstem, the Rock Shox Quadra and Mag 21, along with the always reliable Manitou 2.  The 2 standouts on the page have to be the Manitou 2 and the Rock Shox Mag 21; if you were looking to upgrade your fork in 1993, it was bound to be one of these 2 forks that you lusted after (suspension travel for these beauties: 2″-2.5″).

It wasn’t just suspension forks that were being upgraded, as Shimano’s SPD pedals were “quickly becoming the standard among off-road enthusiasts”.  But those neon toe-straps are ripe for a comeback!

And who could forget the Scott AT series handlebars.  You could get integrated barends with the AT-2 & AT-3 models, but why stop there when you could go all out with the AT-4 model, with a full-on, wrap-around aero-esque extension.  These bars were really used in serious competition, too, as you can see in this story about the 1990 World Championships in Durango, CO (just check out the 3rd photo).

Finally, this last catalog selection has absolutely nothing to do with mountain bike history, but we just couldn’t resist sharing.  Behold the glory that is the Performance Durango Trail Shield.  Yes, that is a headband with a snap-on sunglass lens, and yes, we did actually use the tagline: “Have you ever wanted eye protection that didn’t hit the dirt just because you did?”

We hope you enjoyed our brief look back at mountain biking in 1993, but remember that if you want to see the future of mountain biking (and you are in the Chapel Hill, NC area), be sure to stop by the Triangle Fat Tire Festival on Saturday, October 16th.

Performance will be there in force with a great selection of 2011 mountain bikes to test ride and check out.  We’ll bring along our Access mountain bikes (including samples of our new line of carbon 29ers, which look fantastic), and our friends from Fuji, Breezer and GT will be there too with mountain bikes from their 2011 lineups.  There will also be a 6 hour endurance mountain bike race plus a whole host of other events to keep the entire family entertained/distracted (while you check out the bikes)! We hope to see you there.

Charm City Cross – Day 1

These crisp early morning temps (at least in our area) can mean only one thing–cyclocross season is fast approaching!  This year we’re going to follow along with 2 of our Spin Doctor Advisors, Randy and Eric, as they navigate the sometimes crazy, but always fun (OK, sometimes painful), world of local ‘cross racing.  We hope it will encourage you to get out there and give cyclocross a try at an event near you–or at least go check out the excitement of a local race.

This year they decided to start out the season with a road trip, heading up to Baltimore, MD for an early-season test at Charm City Cross, part of the popular Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross series.  Without more preamble, here is Randy’s recap of the action in the Charm City:

Under the glow of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor nightlife, and temperatures that had us wishing we’d packed our favorite hoodies, EWEB, Turits, Josh and I giddily unloaded our bikes and bags and settled in to our weekend digs. After 30 minutes of bad TV, a careful outlaying of skinsuits, water bottles, and salt tabs, and a word or two about tire pressure and pre-ride strategies, we restlessly slumbered, each of us secretly nervous about the 45 minutes of vomit-inducing racing we were slated to face at 11am the next day.

The weekend’s venue was the beautiful Druid Hill Park. It butts up to The Wire’s Amsterdam, but the Barksdale crew laid low and seemed pleasantly amused by the 1000+ Lycra-and-ironic-facial-hair clad racers warming up around the park pond. The Charm City Cross course featured a fast prologue of pavement, wide sweeping grass turns, and a tight off-camber hole shot leading into a bottleneck of hairpins. The rest of the course undulated through shady expanses of grass, dirt and sand into sun-exposed fields replete with bone-jarring holes, hidden railroad tracks, and a man-made staircase run-up that was clearly designed to mock those short of leg and long in pain.

At 10:45am Webster, Turits and I made our way to the start line and broke the nervousness of the year’s first race with good-natured heckling, supportive high fives, and North Carolina-proud peacock posturing. Our 2-3 class was at capacity, and when the start whistle blew, 125 racers jumped out of the saddle and began the frantic and chaotic sprint for the hole shot. Turits and Webster both possess great power out of the gate and were quickly in the lead group. I am not so great out of the gate, but thanks to the purpose-built race machine under my saddle—the 2010 Fuji Cross RC—I managed to hold on to a spot in the chase group.

If there is one rule to live by when it comes to Cross, it is that one must get to the front quickly lest one fall victim to bottleneck pile-ups, unskilled rider mishaps, and course tape entanglements. I do not often live by the rules (and in this race, neither did my legs), and consequently found myself dismounting to step over fallen riders, track standing before hairpins, and pulling tape and compression socks from my rear derailleur, all as I watched Turits and Webster pull farther and farther away in the lead group.

Turits I didn’t mind seeing putting the gap on me—he’s much too strong to ever consider a rival—but Webster–WEBSTER!–was looking to decimate me, and that I simply could not handle. So began operation Reel ‘em In.

Three laps in and with three to go, I had recovered from the pain of the start and was feeling strangely…good. I stood and attacked on the climbs, took the inside line to pass riders in the corners, my dismounts and remounts were shockingly fluid, and most importantly, I was gaining on Webster and Turits (and they both knew it).

Turits yelled for me to push harder, knowing he had enough cushion to remain unthreatened by my kills. But Webster had the look of a zebra in the final moments before succumbing to the lion. His run-ups were labored, his dismounts were shaky, his head couldn’t stop turning back to search for the little man about to pass.

And so it was, that in the middle of the bell lap, I overtook Webster and nearly caught Turits. Turits took me by 6 positions and as many seconds. I took Webster by 3 positions and maybe 5 seconds. It was a damn fine first race and we all congratulated each other on great performances (although it should be noted that Turits experienced mechanical difficulties during his final 2 laps and basically rode singlespeed to the finish).

Post race festivities began in haste with Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPAs and big, cheap and delicious taco truck burritos and fried plantains served up by Curbside Café. Well buzzed from the racing and the beer, we cheered on our buds Todd Hunter, Scott Frederick, Nathan Wyatt, Travis Livermon and Evie Boswell-Vilt and Cara Applegate (from the Performance Bicycle Racing Team).

Then we drank more beers (you know, for rehydration purposes). And when the day closed down, we ventured out to Federal Hill for more protein and carbo-loading at a great little place called Abbey Burger. Nothing beats a hand formed patty of medium rare meat, topped with a fried egg and artisanal sharp white cheddar, served between two halves of an English muffin, with a side of house made chips and the coldest micro brews in town. Food coma set in quick and we all slept like, well, guys who just raced Cross and drank and ate like kings for the day.

An aside: Josh was injured during a training run in the week prior to the race, but made the trip to B-more anyway. He was invaluable as our porter, wingman, photographer, videographer, biggest fan, motivator, pit crew, hand-up and stand-up guy, DJ, navigator, hipster-connect, chiropractor, and friend. Josh is a fast Cat 2 racer who will surely be having fun and looking relaxed during all future races.

Day two recap to come….

2010 UCI Road World Championships

We hope you got a chance to check out the Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia this past weekend (and yes, some of us did actually stay up to watch the finish of the men’s elite road race live), because there was some pretty exciting bike racing on display.  The rolling circuit course around and through the seaside town of Geelong had 2 sharp climbs that whittled down the peloton with each passing lap, and provided a springboard for endless attacks, but in the end each road race ended with a brutal bunch sprint to crown a new world champion.  Out riding and didn’t catch the racing?  Don’t worry–you can catch all the highlights at Universal Sports cycling page.

In the Under-23 races, American phenom Taylor Phinney lived up to the hype by earning a rainbow jersey in the time trial, and then backed it up with his second medal by sprinting to a tie for 3rd in the road race (won by Australian Michael Matthews).

In the women’s races, Emma Pooley of Great Britain won the time trial, while Italy’s Giorgia Bronzini won the road race with a perfectly timed sprint on the challenging uphill finish (edging out perennial contender Marianne Vos of the Netherlands).

In the elite men’s time trial, Fabian Cancellara proved once again that he is the master of the race against the clock.  “Spartacus” won his record 4th world title with a dominant performance, finishing over a minute ahead of Briton David Millar, with Germany’s Tony Martin filling out the podium.

The final event of the weekend was one of the most exciting, as the elite men’s road race came down to a bunch sprint of 20-odd riders, won by Norway’s “God of Thunder” Thor Hushovd (the first Norwegian to don the rainbow jersey as world road champion), ahead of Denmark’s Matti Breschel and Australia’s Allan Davis.  But this race was a fascinating and constantly surprising affair, as riders kept launching attacks during the last few laps, only to get reeled in by a hard-charging peloton (although the rate of attrition in the peloton was high with all of this aggressive riding).  In the end it looked like Belgium’s Phillipe Gilbert (a pre-race favorite and probably the strongest man in the race) had found a way to break away for good on the final lap, only to be chased down by a group led by defending champ Cadel Evans a few kilometers from the finish.  Of course everyone was ultimately swept up by a final select group, that included Hushovd, which led to the fantastic sprint victory by the Norwegian.

All in all, a fitting end to an exciting weekend of racing action!

Triangle Fat Tire Festival + Mountain Bike Demo Day

We’ve got big news if you live in the Triangle Area (near our home town of Chapel Hill, NC).  We’re heading to the Triangle Fat Tire Festival, home of the 6 BC Endurance Race, and we’re bringing some sweet bikes along to test out.  In addition to the great events put on by the local Triangle Off-Road Cyclists group to keep the whole family occupied, plus a great 6 hour mountain bike race on the trails of Briar Chapel to test your skills and stamina (don’t worry, you can also race as a team or just do a 3 hour version), there will also be a chance to test-ride and ogle an array of cool new bikes!

Of course we’ll be bringing along 2011 versions of our exclusive Access line of 29″ mountain bikes (including some samples of our hot new Access Stealth Carbon 29″ mountain bikes–you will want one of these), but we’re also bringing along some friends with their new rides.  

Fuji Bikes will be in full effect with samples of their new lightweight carbon cyclocross ride, the Altamira CX, along with their totally redesigned full-suspension Outland 29er mountain bike.

Legendary company Breezer Bikes will also be there, showing off their gorgeous new Cloud 9 29″ hardtail (it’s almost too good looking to get dirty!)

Still not enough for you?  Well, you can also expect to see mountain bike star Eric Carter and the rest of the GT Bicycles Good Times Tour rolling into town, with a demo fleet of Carbon Forces, Marathons and Zaskars, along with aluminum Zaskar and Sensor 9rs (plus who knows what else in tow)!

So if you are around our area on Saturday, October 16th, and are interested in bikes, then the Triangle Fat Tire Festival is where you want to be.  Sign up to race the endurance race (you even get a post-race meal with your entry fee) or just show up to check out the festivities and all the new bikes.  We hope to see you there!

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