Wordless Wednesday

Product Profile – 2011 Scattante Americano

We Want YOU to Win an Americano!

It doesn’t matter whether you roll retro, metro or somewhere in between; you’ll love how the Scattante Americano single-speed road bike lets you declare your independence from fossil fuel-powered transportation.

The Americano comes in 5 classically cool versions, each as American as hot dogs, baseball and constitutional democracy. Speaking of which, in honor of that celebrated day in 1776 when our forefathers declared their intention to create our beloved USofA, we’re going to give five lucky people the Americano bike of their choice (a $599.99 value). Like us on Facebook & enter the Performance Bicycle Americano the Beautiful Independence Day Sweepstakes now for your chance to win!

2011 Scattante Americano 1The Americano 1 is covered from crank arms to dropouts in a blanket of white and subtly accented with polished chrome. Add the practicality of full-wrap fenders and the convenience of running fixed or free with a flip-flop hub, and you have all you need to run one-speed on the one-way.

2011 Scattante Americano 2Get ready to roll. From its classically-styled chromoly frame and fork to the graceful forward sweep of the bullhorn-style handlebars, the Americano 2 is the perfect synthesis of urban cool and no-frills functionality.

2011 Scattante Americano 3The backswept, chrome polished handlebars of the Americano 3 help you maintain a stress-free upright position, Velo saddle and BMX grips add comfort and control and the full-wrap fenders work to keep you dry when the streets are anything but.

2011 Scattante Americano 4If the Americano 4 were candy it would be a mix of licorice accented with some of those spicy hot cinnamon thingies. With its sleek black chromoly frame, anodized chromoly fork and alloy crankarms, and alloy track bars with grips, the Americano 4 is elegantly simple, fun to ride, easy to maintain and contains no artificial ingredients.

2011 Scattante Americano 5Who says red means “Stop?” When you’re cruising on the Americano 5 single-speed road bike, all you’ll want to do is go, go, go. But when do do need to stop, it’s nice to know that you can count on the Tektro dual-pivot caliper brakes with top-mount levers for efficient deceleration.

We the People of Performance Want YOU to Win an Americano. Like us and enter now!

Cycling Stories: NC State Time Trial Championships

We’re passionate about cycling, whether it’s riding around the neighborhood with our family, or racing in the local criterium.  So every now and then we like to share cycling stories from our own employees, in their own words.  This week Bob and Erik, product distributors at our HQ in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are sharing their day at the NC State Time Trial Championships:

Bob and I [Erik], two members of the Garneau Custom p/b PowerBar team, decided to try our luck at the North Carolina State Time Trial Championships. Although it’s my 3rd year racing, I had never been on a TT bike until this spring. I was hopeful & confident going into the event, but Bob’s been racing his bike since the late 70s, so this was pretty much routine for him. He knew what he could do and what his opponents could do, so all he had to do was execute and hope for a tailwind!

Ed.: photo proof that Bob's been racing for a while

We loaded up Bob’s truck with our gear and headed up one day early to give the course a good pre-ride. After a loop with a local (to us) rider, we headed into downtown High Point, NC to watch the North Carolina State Championship Crit races. The crit venue was great; a covered, outdoor bus terminal was transformed into the start/finish line, with a stage, bleachers, food vendors, P.A. system, big-screen TV that popped out of the top of a van (with a video feed of the race from numerous roof-top cameras), plus a VIP area that Bob and I somehow got invited into! Nothing like sitting in the shade, eating free food, drinking free beer, and watching some bike racing! This must be what Phil Liggett and Bob Roll do year round; what a job!

Bob on top of the Master's 50-54 podium

The next morning we staged at a local high-school and set up our trainers. As a testament to the difference in experience between Bob and I, I spent the night prior carefully pinning my race number to my jersey, while Bob simply pulled out a can of Elmer’s spray glue to affix his number just before hopping on the trainer! We started warming up for the atypical TT course, discussing mental notes from the prior day’s recon ride. The course was a true 40k, but it wasn’t as flat as most, which I preferred. Bob, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so happy with it, going so far as to say, “this isn’t a TT course!”

Erik on the Cat 3 podium

Bob went off first, shortly after 8:35 am, and I started about 10 minutes later. I won’t bore you with the details (since hearing a play-by-play of a time-trial is only exciting to the one telling it, and even that’s a stretch) but as I rolled across the line, 40k later, I looked for Bob to see how he rode. Not sure of our exact times, we traded stories of how the race went and waited for the announcement from the race organizer. I was able to put down a time of 56:22.327 (26.45 mph avg), good enough for the silver medal in Cat 3! But Bob was the big winner, with a time of 58:47.759 (25.37 mph avg), putting him atop the podium in the Master’s 50-54 category! So congratulations to Bob for a great effort and well earned win! All that was left to do was load up the truck, find a good Mexican restaurant to grab lunch, and head home.

Everything is on Sale!

This is definitely one sale where the name says it all! Everything is on Sale here at Performance, now through Sunday 6/25, in-store, online & by phone!  It’s our biggest sale ever, and we’ve got great savings in every category, including 50% off Performance jerseys & shorts, 20% off tires, 30% off sunglasses, 30% off tubes, 15% components, 15% off 2011 Scattante bikes, 20% off helmets, 15% off shoes, 20% off tools, and much, much more!

If it’s on our site or in one of our stores, it’s going to be on sale through Sunday!  Plus we’ve got extra-special doorbuster products up to 70% off available in our stores and online.

So what are you waiting for–don’t miss out on the biggest sale in our 29 year history!

Wordless Wednesday

Product Profile – Allen Sports MT1 Bike Rack

Since the summer travel season is in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to do a product profile on that cycling travel necessity, the trunk-mounted car rack. We know what you’re thinking – what could be interesting about a car rack? They do the job, but they can be so big and heavy that you end up leaving them mounted to your trunk all the time so you don’t have to deal with taking them off and storing them (come on, you know you’ve done this)!

That’s where the Allen Sports MT1 Bike Rack comes to the rescue (along with it’s higher capacity brother the MT2 Bike Rack).  The MT1 Bike Rack is so compact and easy to use that you can literally bring it along in it’s included carrying bag, just for when you need it, even when you’re travelling! Take a look at this video of the MT-2 Bike Rack in action (the only difference from the MT1 Bike Rack is its extendable arms, to carry 2 bikes instead of one):

We’ve tested the MT1 Bike Rack on our own cars, and it really is as easy as the video makes it look.  Here’s a shot of what the MT1 Bike Rack looks like in it’s fully-folded state:

In case you forget how to unfold and install the rack, the folks at Allen Sports conveniently print all of their instructions right on the back of the rack, with clear diagrams that you can refer to when you get started with the installation process:

 As you can see from the instructions, it is just a matter of unfolding the arms in the correct order to get the rack ready to install on the trunk of your car. Unfold the lower foot first, and then open up the upper support arms (which snap into place with those little silver buttons):

Here’s a better view of the little buttons that snap the arms in place – when you are ready to fold up the MT1 Bike Rack, you just reverse the steps of unfolding the arms, and you start the process by pushing in the silver buttons to release the arms:

Once the MT1 Bike Rack is fully unfolded, you are ready to mount it to the trunk of your car. After you have the rack situated correctly, it’s just a matter of tightening down the 2 upper straps and one lower strap to secure the rack in place. The feet that contact your car are covered in a durable but soft rubber compound, so as not to mar your paint job (even if your car is a vintage Volvo 240, like the test model seen here). The adjustable feet of the MT1 Bike Rack allow it to fit a wide range of vehicles, but you can refer to the Allen Sports website to see if your car is compatible:

Once the rack is secure, you just pop your bike into the padded support trays, tighten down the securing straps, and you’re ready to hit the road:

Another nice feature of the MT-1 Bike Rack is the padded lower frame, which keeps your bike out and away from your car, so that your car’s or (more importantly) your bike’s paint is left scratch-free:

If you are looking for a trunk-mounted bike rack that is easy to install (and un-install), is stable and secure while in use, yet is compact enough to bring along when you are travelling, then the Allen Sports MT1 Bike Rack or MT2 Bike Rack could be just what you are looking for.  Give either one a try, and you’ll be surprised at how often you’ll reach for this unassuming little bike rack when you need to hit the road with your bike.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Hydration 101

Spin DoctorProper hydration is key to your optimal cycling performance, as all bodily functions depend on good hydration. Sweating out as little as 2% of your body weight reduces your body’s ability to pump blood and cool itself!

Dehydration is a serious problem for us as cyclists, especially when temperatures & humidity rise. On those hot days that critical 2% can be lost in less than an hour! For safety and optimal performance, we need a balance of fluid, energy and electrolytes before, during and even after exercise.

Staying hydrated is a big and coordinated effort of your stomach, intestines and circulatory system.

Stomach: The stomach’s job is to prepare food and fluids for the intestines where absorption into the blood takes place. It adjusts the saltiness of food to match that of the intestines and blood, to speed absorption. Sport drinks are isotonic, which means that they are formulated at just the right saltiness so they move more quickly to the intestines.

Bottom line: Isotonic drinks move faster through the stomach than water alone.

Intestines: Fluids, food, electrolytes and energy molecules have to pass through the intestinal wall to reach the blood stream. The key constituents of sport drinks are designed at the molecular level to move more easily and quickly through the intestinal wall.

Bottom line: Sport drinks accelerate the passage of energy, select nutrients and water.

Circulatory System: The blood stream transports oxygen, fluid and fuel to the muscles then moves metabolic wastes and heat away. To work it needs fluid and salts, and isotonic sport drinks supply them and more.

Bottom line: By providing fluid, energy molecules and some salts isotonic sport drinks support the circulatory system and exercise performance.

Skin: The skin protects us, on cold and hot days. During hard exercise and exercise in the heat, your body loses necessary moisture and blood salt levels rise.

Bottom line: Sport drinks replace water and help to balance critical salt levels in the blood.

Kidneys: The kidneys function to maintain blood volume and saltiness, but during exercise, blood flow is diverted to muscles, heart and skin and so the kidneys are basically off line. After exercise the kidneys work to normalize blood fluid volume and saltiness.

Bottom line: Drinking sport drinks right after exercise can speed recovery from exercise.

Bottom Line Overall: To stay hydrated during the hottest days and hardest workouts, you need a sports drink made up of water, energy (from carbohydrates), and electrolytes (salts).

All of the sport drinks we carry feature a blend of these important nutrients, but, as always, if you have questions about any cycling nutrition & hydration products (or anything else we carry), give our in-house Spin Doctor Technical Support team a call at 800 553-8324 (TECH), or send your email question to spindoctor@performanceinc.com.  They’re ready to answer your questions and offer advice 5 days a week.

Anniversary Sale Give-A-Way

Celebrate, Save & Win

It’s our Anniversary! We’re celebrating 29 years of offering an unrivaled selection of quality cycling products and great value. Help us celebrate by taking advantage of our special Anniversary Sale pricing online, in our latest Performance catalog and at a Performance Bicycle retail store near you. Plus, enter our Anniversary Giveaway for your chance to win a brand new Scattante CFR Comp road bike, a $2,699.99 value!

2011 Scattante CFR Comp Road Bike

2011 Scattante CFR Comp Road Bike

The challenge with designing a bike meant to go fast is trying to make it comfortable, too. While lighter and stiffer materials and designs can serve up speed, they can also negatively affect overall ride comfort. The designers of the Scattante CFR Comp took these competing characteristics into consideration at every step in the development process to produce a lightweight carbon speedster that won’t beat you up during a long day in the saddle. Decked out with a Shimano 105 drivetrain and smooth-rolling Shimano R500 wheels, the Scattante CFR Comp is the epitome of a bike that not only embraces its duality but flaunts it.

  • Full carbon monocoque SL6 frame and carbon fork
  • Carbon fork with 1 1/8″ alloy steerer
  • FSA Team Issue, carbon crankset
  • Shimano 105 5700 components
  • Deda alloy/carbon handlebar and seatpost and alloy stem
  • Alex ALX298 wheelset
  • Schwalbe Lugano tires

Enter today for your chance to win!

Europeds Tour Trip: Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d’Huez… the iconic climbing test that every cyclist wants to try at least once! One of the coolest parts about our Europeds Tour Trip is that you will be staying right at the top of l’Alpe d’Huez for 5 nights, in the small alpine resort town.  You’ll get the chance test your legs on this legendary climb every day if you want to,  right before the pros come thundering up the mountain, during Stage 19, to the roar of the thousands of fans who will line the narrow mountain road like a natural amphitheater.

L’Alpe d’Huez may not be the steepest, longest, or highest climb that is used in the Tour, but it’s definitely the most famous.  With it’s numbered 21 hairpin turns (each named after former stage champions), even those who don’t follow cycling have heard of this legendary ascent.  From the base of the mountain to the finish line above the town of Alpe d’Huez, it’s 13.8 km at an average gradient of 7.9 percent.

Each turn records the exploits of a legendary champion, from the first winner, Fausto Coppi in 1952, to the likes of Joop Zoetemelk, Bernard Hinault, Andy Hampsten, Marco Pantani, Lance Armstrong, Frank Schleck and Carlos Sastre (the last stage winner, in 2008).  The Alpe d’Huez has been included in the Tour 25 times since Coppi first won there, and on 20 of those occasions, the rider who ended the stage wearing the yellow jersey has gone on to win in Paris (as chronicled in the book The Tour is Won on the Alpe). It’s definitely the place to be when the Tour comes rolling through!

Photo of Alpe d'Huez by Eric Walthall (which he earlier posted on the Performance Facebook page, from a trip he took)

There have been many iconic moments on the slopes of l’Alpe d’Huez, including the famous scene below of teammates Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault finishing the stage arm-in-arm in 1986, the year Lemond won his first Tour.  Notwithstanding the smiles in the photo below, their relationship wasn’t exactly what you’d call friendly that year, as Hinault, the defending champion, attacked every chance he got even though he’d pledged to support Lemond in his bid for the yellow jersey (as told in the book Slaying the Badger).

One of the most famous recent memories has to be when Lance Armstrong gave his German rival Jan Ullrich “The Look”.  After feigning fatigue on the lower slopes, Lance gave Ullrich this famous backwards glance, and then rocketed away from the German after turn 16 of the climb, just past the church at La Garde. If you join us on the Europeds Tour Trip you can try this trick on your climbing companions, but more than likely you won’t be feigning fatigue at this point of the climb!

There’s still time to book your spot on the Europeds Tour Trip, presented by Performance Bicycle, but there are only a few spots left, so book today!  We hope to see you in France, on the slopes of l’Alpe d’Huez!

Spoke ‘n Revolutions Youth Cycling

Recently a few of us from our corporate HQ had the pleasure of meeting a group of high school students that have big plans for the summer, and a bright future ahead of them.  The students of Spoke ‘n Revolutions Youth Cycling club, from right here in our home town of Chapel Hill, NC, have as their goal to be a “youth focused cycling group that re-introduces student-cyclists to the joys of an active life by having their own cycling adventure.”

And what an adventure they have in store, as they head out on an 1800 mile ride from Mobile, AL, to Niagara Falls, NY, along the Underground Railroad Trail, which follows the route that many enslaved people used to escape to freedom. There’s no doubt that the students who complete this ride will be deeply affected by the things they see and learn during their trek, along with the sense of accomplishment of completing their journey under their own pedal power!

But this trip is really the culmination of almost 2 years of effort, as this group of students, who began their Spoke ‘n Revolutions training as sophomores, actually built their own bikes through working with The ReCYCLEry, NC, a 501c3 bicycle coop. The students earned their used bikes by repairing bikes donated to the ReCYCLEry; learning good bike mechanic skills was the first step along the successful path to confident riding, although they’ve also put in plenty of long hours in the saddle getting ready for this ride of a lifetime!

We met up with this talented group of students, along with the group’s co-founders Kevin and Suepinda, in our Chapel Hill, NC, store, and presented each rider with Performance jerseys, shorts and gloves, so they ‘ll good and feel comfortable during their long days in the saddle. There’s a great article about the team’s visit to our store in the local Herald-Sun newspaper, where our own Gaynor Collestor, the head of our Spin Doctor Product Technical Support team, summed up our feelings the best: “We are all incredibly proud, not of what you’re going to do, but what you’ve already done.”

We hope you’ll join us in wishing the students and support team of Spoke ‘n Revolutions the best of luck and safe travels on their adventure, which is scheduled to start next week! They’re going to have many stories to tell from along the road, and we hope to share some with you right here on our blog, so stay tuned for updates as the student cyclists begin their journey!

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