Wordless Wednesday

Flashback Friday Revisited – Performance Campione

This Friday we’ve decided to revisit one of our past Flashback Friday posts, in response to a number of questions we’ve received here on our blog.  Ever since our Flashback Friday – Fall/Winter 1984-85 post, people have been writing to us with questions about the Performance Campione frame that was featured in that catalog (and post).  Apparently there are still quite a few of these beauties out there on the road (or recently discovered hiding in someone’s basement!), and if you take a look at the frame, you can see why:

With Columbus SL tubing and a classic red and chrome color scheme, the Performance Campione was built to last!  It turns out that we have perfect evidence of this durability right here at our headquarters; the personal Performance Campione of Garry Snook (the founder of Performance Bicycle) is parked in the hallway by our lobby! As you can see below, it still looks sharp:

But the questions that we received about the Campione mainly focused on who made the frame.  After a quick call to Garry Snook’s brother, Richard (who you can see here, wrenching on Campione frame), we discovered that the key clue to where it came from is stamped underneath the bottom bracket shell:

The “BMZ” stamp stands for Biemmezeta, an Italian bicycle manufacturer that used to be located near Milan, Italy.  So the Performance Campione is definitely an Italian-made bike!

As the first bike to carry the Performance name, we’re proud of the Campione and the heritage it represents.  If you have any pictures of your Campione, we’d love to see them; post your pictures on our Facebook wall!

Wordless Wednesday

Performance Bicycle Presents the Europeds Tour Trip

Le Tour… that’s all you really need to say and any cycling fan knows what you’re talking about!  With the history, the prestige, the endurance, and the sheer pageantry of cycling’s biggest race, Le Tour is the ultimate cycling experience.  Last year, in partnership with premiere bicycling tour operator, Europeds, we sent one of our own employees, David, to France to see first-hand what it’s like to watch the race in person and ride some of the same epic climbs as the pros.  So what did he think?  He’s still raving about the experience, from the riding to the food, and you can read all about it right here on the blog, of course!

This year we’ve partnered with Europeds once again, but this time to offer this once-in-a-lifetime cycling experience to you! We’re proud to offer exclusive access to the 2011 Europeds Tour Trip, with only 16 total spots available.

And what a trip it  promises to be!  The 7 day/6 night trip includes five nights right on the summit of the fabled Alpe d’Huez, plus the chance to watch three action-packed Tour stages, along with the opportunity to go on some of the most breathtaking bike rides you’ll ever experience.

You’ll experience everything the Tour has to offer from a base camp perched at the top of the famous 21 switchbacks of the Alpe d’Huez, in the Southeast corner of France.  The itinerary for the week includes watching 3 Tour stages in person, miles of fantastic Alpine riding with a small group of only 15 other riders, plus the chance to be exactly where every cyclist wants to be on July 22nd, with a front row seat on the slopes of the Alpe d’Huez!  You’ll be there, along with thousands of cycling-mad fans, lining the mountain as the 2011 Tour thunders up to its last mountaintop showdown!  And after the stage is done, you’ll be hanging out in the midst of the racers and journalists while almost all of the other fans fight their way back down the mountain, as you stroll to your hotel atop d’Huez!

If you want a little bit of the flavor of the Alpe d’Huez on Tour day, check out this video of the finale of Carlos Sastre’s victory atop d’Huez in 2008 (which propelled him to the yellow jersey):

Watching the Tour in person is truly an experience that every cyclist needs to do at least once in their lifetime.  From the chance to watch the pros up close and personal:

2010 Tour passing over the Col du Soulor

To the opportunity to challenge yourself on some of cycling’s sacred ground with new friends:

David and the Europeds group on top of the Tourmalet

To riding on some of the most beautiful roads you could ever imagine:

David in the Pyrenees in 2010

We can promise that it will be an experience you won’t forget! So we hope you’ll join us on the 2011 Europeds Tour Trip, presented by Performance Bicycle.  Spots are filling up fast, so don’t miss your chance to see “Where great rides begin… in France!

2011 Races – Milan-San Remo

This Saturday, all eyes in the cycling world will be focused on Milan-San Remo, or La Classica di Primavera, the first cycling monument of the season and also the longest one-day professional race all year at 298km.  Although known as the sprinters’ classic, Milan-San Remo has been won by an impressive array of cycling champions, from Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi to Eddy Merckx, Laurent Fignon, Erik Zabel, Mario Cipollini, and, in the last few years, Fabian Cancellara, Mark Cavendish and Oscar Freire.

While not known for extreme altitude, Milan-San Remo is  famous for 2 short but steep pitches near the end of the race (which loom even larger after 6 or 7 hours of intense racing), the Cipressa and Poggio climbs.  The March issue of Cycle Sport magazine has a great article on the Poggio climb in Milan-San Remo, where they described it as “the crux of the opening Classic of the year, Milan-San Remo. The Poggio is not as steep, long, hard or beautiful as any of the other climbs we’ve ever featured, and for 364 days a year it is a quiet suburban drag. But on Classicissima day, it is one of the most intense spectator experiences in cycling. Its slopes have been consecrated by the greatest champions, from Eddy Merckx  to Mark Cavendish.”

Last year, 3-time World Champion Oscar Freire won Milan-San Remo for the third time, out-foxing the best riders in the world with a vintage sprint finish:

So who’s going to win this year?  Will Cavendish find his form again; will Freire dig deep for another win; will Cancellara motor away; will the 3-headed Garmin-Cervelo monster of Tyler Farrar, Heinrich Haussler and current World Champion Thor Hushovd muscle their way to a win?  Who knows, but we’ll be watching!

We’ll leave you with one of our favorite photos from La Classicisima, this perfect shot of Eddy Merckx, 7-time champion of Milan-San Remo, winning on the Via Roma in 1966 (which is featured in “The Spring Classics“, an in-depth history and visual tour of some of cycling’s classic races).

If that photo doesn’t get you inspired to get out there and ride this weekend, we don’t know what will!

Wordless Wednesday

Bicycling Magazine Buyer’s Guide – Scattante Americano

Ah spring, a time when the weather’s getting warmer, the day’s are getting longer (especially this Sunday–don’t forget about Daylight Savings), and thoughts turn to more riding and, inevitably, new bikes!  Cycling magazines are only too happy to feed our spring bike fever, and the folks over at Bicycling Magazine have turned up the heat with their latest thorough Buyer’s Guide (available now at our retail stores):

But as you’re flipping through the pages, checking out all the new gear, be sure to stop and take a look at page 28. You’ll find this striking photo of our very own 2011 Scattante Americano Three singlespeed bike, available soon exclusively at Performance. As you can imagine, we’re really excited about how the new Americano series turned out (we’ve got a sneak preview picture of our entire Americano line back on our 2011 bikes post).

Bicycling’s review of the Americano Three starts on page 29 and continues on page 33 of the April Buyer’s Guide, and it gives you a good feel for what the Americano series is all about.  The Americano bikes merge solid geometry and understated urban style with a single-speed drivetrain, all at a fantastic value (leaving you the opportunity to customize your bike to make it as individual as you want, like this Americano that you may recognize from the blogosphere).

If you’re interested in even more eye-candy from our Scattante lineup, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on page 67 of the Bicycling Buyer’s Guide, where we’ve got a shot of our brand new 2011 Scattante CFR Pro road bike (alongside our Scattante Spyder helmet, sunglasses and shoes)!  We’ll have this Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-equipped steed available soon, and don’t worry, it rides as good as it looks!

Wordless Wednesday

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Shimano and Campagnolo Chains

Spin Doctor

So you’ve decided to upgrade to the latest and greatest drivetrains from Shimano or Campagnolo, but now you’ve got to figure out how to deal with the new chain that you need for your new components.  Read on below for some important information, from our Spin Doctor Product Services team, that you need to know before you ever install a Campy 11-speed or new Shimano 10-speed chain.

Campagnolo 11-speed Chain

Installing or shortening the Campy 11-speed chain requires special procedures and tools:

• New chains can only be shortened on the end opposite the special link. The special link is marked by a plastic tag and a batch number.

• The 11-speed chains are connected with a special piloted connecting pin (Ultra-Link CN RE 500). The pin must be driven from the inside out.

• For secure operation the end of the connecting pin Ultra-Link CN RE 500 must be flattened or peened once its pilot is snapped off.

CT-11 in action

• The Campy UT-CN300 chain tool can shorten, connect and peen the connecting pin, or the Park Master Chain Tool (CT-4.2 or CT-4) can be used for connecting and shortening but the Park CT-11 tool must be used for peening. The CT-11’s sole function is peening the Campy 11-speed chain. It should not be used for anything else.

• The Campy 11-speed chain can only be broken and reattached 2 times and the special connecting pin can only be attached to the special link.

Shimano Asymmetric 10 Speed Chains (Dura-Ace HG CN-7901, Ultegra HG CN-6701, 105 HG CN-5701)

Like the Campy 11-speed chain, the Shimano Asymmetrical chains requires some special steps:

• The chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have rectangular cut-outs. The outside outer chain plates will have model designations.

Dura-Ace 7901 chain inside plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an out plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates - connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

Item #50-6585

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed except if the chain is to be discarded.

Shimano Dyna-Sys 10 Speed Chains (M980 XTR chain, HG94 XT chain, HG74 SLX chain)

Dyna-Sys chains have 4 different types of outer plates that facilitate shifting up & down on the cassette or between chainrings.

• The Dyna-Sys chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have no lettering while the outside has outer chain plates that are alternating stamped with HG-X and Shimano.

HG74 SLX chain - inside chain plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an outer plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates - connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed again except if the chain is to be discarded.

In case you’re wondering, the close-up shots of these chains come from sample versions of our new 2011 bike lineup, available soon (shot in the lobby of our headquarters, because it was a sunny spot).  The road chain was on our top-of-the-line 2011 Scattante CFR Pro road bike:

While the mountain chain was on our brand new Access Stealth 3.0 carbon 29er mountain bike, as seen below (we’ll have a whole lot more to share about these bikes very soon):

If you still have questions about Campy or Shimano chains, just head down to your local Performance store or contact Spin Doctor Product Services by phone, email or chat; they’ll be happy to help!

Call: 800-553-TECH
Email: spindoctor@performanceinc.com
Chat: Live Help at PerformanceBike.com

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