Back in Black

I was at the grocery story once, loading up the kids and the car, when a beautiful Porsche pulled up next to me and an older gentleman stepped out. We got to talking about his ride, and I asked him what the top speed was.

“I have no idea,” he said, which left me a little dumbfounded. Then he elaborated.

“I didn’t buy it to go fast…but I like the idea that I could go fast if I really wanted to.”

I immediately thought about my bike. I probably don’t get as much out of my Dura-Ace Scattante CFR as a pro would, but I love the idea that I have a bike that could get me there if I wanted it to.

Shimano Dura-Ace is the crème de la crème of Shimano’s component line up, a favorite of pros and amateurs alike. For every bike manufacturer, the Shimano Dura-Ace equipped bike is the gold standard. It becomes the template for every bike that follows, injecting it with performance, trickle down technology, class and style. Our Scattante line of bikes is no exception. We spend enormous amounts of time on the frame layup and geometry, and working on all the small details like graphics. The goal is to create a machine that delivers race-worthy performance to cyclists of any level. Because while we all know that the Toyota is a great, dependable, practical car, at the end of the day it’s the Porsche that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

cfr_black_hero

2013 Scattante CFR Black

With the launch of our all-new, lust-worthy Scattante CFR Black — decked out with Dura-Ace 11-speed 9070 Di2 electronic shifting, the latest evolution of Shimano’s race proven technology — we decided to take a stroll down memory lane to see where we’ve been.

2006

In 2006, the Scattante CFR LE was at the top of the line with a full Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 drivetrain and carbon monocoque frame. The bike was decked out in that year’s best components.

2006 Scattante CFR LE Road Bike

2006 Scattante CFR LE Road Bike

The 7800 series shifters with external cable routing

Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 series shifters with external cable routing

2008

In 2008, Shimano went to Dura-Ace 7900. Cleaner internal cable routing and refined components added efficiency, ergonomics and saved weight.

2008 Scattante CFR LE Road Bike with carbon Control Tech components

2008 Scattante CFR LE Road Bike with carbon Control Tech components

The 7900 series shifters

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 series shifters

2010

The 2010 Scattante CFR Team was quite an evolution. While the Shimano 7900 drivetrain remained unchanged, a full Italian Deda Elementi Ultra cockpit, Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels, and a brand new frame with a tapered head tube and BB30 bottom bracket took center stage.

2010 Scattante CFR Team Road Bike with as bevy of high-end components

2010 Scattante CFR Team Road Bike with a bevy of high-end components

2011

For 2011, Scattante went electronic. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 was truly a remarkable innovation, so the Scattante CFR Pro design had to match. The CFR Pro was one of our personal all-time favorite bikes with color-matching anodized TRP brakes, Prologo saddle and Schwalbe Durano tires.

Scattante CFR Pro Road Bike was a new milestone in component and graphic design

Scattante CFR Pro Road Bike was a new milestone in component and graphic design

A cleaner appearance thanks to Shimano Di2

A cleaner appearance thanks to Shimano Di2

2013

So what now? What does the Dura-Ace experience have to offer a rider of every caliber for 2013? How about another gear, brand new technology and components, and a black-out paint job. The Scattante CFR Black brings the “wow factor” to every Sunday group ride. Click here to learn more about the Scattante CFR Black, or Enter to Win one now.

cfr_black_fork

Scattante CFR Black fork with Shimano Dura-Ace brakes

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Scattante CFR Black headtube

cfr_black_downtube

Scattante CFR Black downtube

Flashback Friday: 1982 Tour de France

Since Performance Bicycle was founded in 1982, we thought that today was a perfect time to look back at the Tour de France in 1982. With 6 time trials on the schedule, Bernard Hinault was the odds-on favorite to take his 4th Tour de France title (he had won in 1978, 1979 and 1981), as he had already won the 1982 Giro d’Italia. Other cyclists of note in the race were Gerrie Knetemann, Joop Zoetemelk, Johan van der Velde, Sean Kelly, and a very young Phil Anderson.

Bernard Hinault

The race began, as expected, with an Hinault victory in the opening time trial in Basel, Switzerland. But after 2 road stages, Australian Phil Anderson sprinted to victory and the yellow jersey in Stage 2 and wore the leader’s jersey for the next 9 days (only the second time that the yellow jersey was not worn by a European).

Phil Anderson

Just to keep things interesting early in the race, the organizers through in a stage that passed over the cobblestones in northern France, documented in this short movie from French television:

As expected, Hinault took back the lead after the first time trial, even though he didn’t win the stage. After marking his opponents in the  Pyrenees, Hinault won the short individual time trial of Stage 14 to expand his lead. In the Alps, Hinault again kept an eye on his closest competitors, after a short delay due to a farmers’s strike on Stage 16:

Greve des coureurs, 1982. Presse Sports – L’Équipe

 The final time trial win by Hinault made his coronation as Tour winner a formality, but Hinault wasn’t called the Badger for no reason. He responded to criticism that the 1982 Tour was “boring” by attacking the entire peloton for victory on the final stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, while in the yellow jersey!

 

Wordless Wednesday

30th Anniversary – Performance Team USA Jerseys

Looking through old catalogs as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, we were reminded of the fact that Performance Bicycle was the official technical clothing supplier for USA Cycling for many years. In fact, our kits were worn at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Take a stroll through our archives to see the Performance designs worn by Team USA through the years.

This first image, from our 1997 Summer catalog, shows the first kit created by Performance for the U.S. National Team – as you can see, it’s being modeled by a young Christian Vande Velde!

By the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the kit for the National Team had changed to the eye-catching design you see above in our Spring 2000 catalog. This jersey was worn in medal-winning performances by several American athletes.

marty_nothstein_2000_olympicsMarty Nothstein won a gold medal in the Men’s Sprint event on the track, and recently wrote a book about the experience called “The Price of Gold”.

Lance Armstrong earned a bronze medal in the Men’s Individual Time Trial (although you know how that worked out).

And Mari Holden rode to a silver medal in the Women’s Individual Time Trial.

By the time of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, our design for Team USA Cycling had changed to the classic design seen above in our Summer 2004 catalog (and as you can read, what we sold was not a replica, but the exact same jersey worn by the team). This jersey was also seen on Olympic podiums, as you can see below.

The Men’s Individual Time Trial originally featured 2 U.S. cyclists on the podium, as Tyler Hamilton won gold while Bobby Julich took the bronze medal. However, years later, Hamilton was stripped of his medal for doping violations and Julich’s ride was revised to a silver (although he has stated that he’s keeping the bronze regardless of what the record book officially says).

Dede Barry also won a silver medal in the Women’s Individual Time Trial (with no controversies after the competition, like the men).

Here at Performance Bicycle we’re proud of our time supporting the athletes of Team USA. If you’re looking for a way to show your American pride on the bike today, check out our USA Flag Jerseys online.

Flashback Friday: Guess the Year Quiz

For today’s Flashback Friday post we’ve decided to create a little historical quiz, in honor of our 30th Anniversary. We’ve combed through our catalog archives to find a series of pages from catalogs through our 30 years in business. Your task is deceptively simple – match the page below with the year it was published. Post your answers in the comments below, and good luck.

Years:

1982

1985

1989

1994

1997

2000

2002

Catalog pages:

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

G.

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Flashback Friday – Road Components in 1987

Inspired by the original 7-Eleven team, the first professional American cycling team to compete in the Tour de France (in 1986), we’re going to look back at road components in the Performance Bicycle catalog of the late 1980s (1987, to be precise). Organized by Jim Ochowicz, and with a fun-loving group of riders including Alex Stieda, Eric Heiden, Bob Roll, Ron Kiefel, Chris Carmichael and Davis Phinney, the 7-Eleven team laid the groundwork for the growth and success of American professional cycling. But, as you can see in the following video, they had a bit of a roller coaster ride in their very first Tour:

So with the 7-Eleven team in mind, we thought we’d delve into our archives to share a few pages from our Summer 1987 catalog, to see what kind of components you could get after you were inspired to ride by watching America’s first pro team in France:

But before you got your components, you first had to get a kit that looked the part. We had you covered with our own pro-inspired gear featuring the top teams of the day (like 1986 Tour winner Greg Lemond‘s La Vie Claire team):

 But we’re here to talk parts, so let’s get started with cranksets.  In 1987 you had many manufacturers to choose from, including Suntour, Sugino, Campagnolo and Shimano, all with elegant cold-forged style crankarms. Of note was the Sugino crankset, which featured a carbon-fiber reinforced outer chainring:

As we move on to brake levers and brakes, you’ll find no integrated shift/brake lever setups, as road bikes were still using downtube-mounted levers to handle the shifting duties. But you could choose from brakesets made by Shimano, Campagnolo and Modolo, an Italian brand whose brakesets had a definite sense of panache (or maybe we’re just suckers for black):

When it came time to complete your component setup with a rear derailleur, your options were manifold, as evidenced by our offerings from Suntour, Sugino, Mavic, Campagnolo, Shimano and Huret. Of note here was the increasing prevalence of indexed shifting systems (where one click of the shifter meant one gear shift), instead of the old-style friction shifting (where you had to listen for the chain as it shifted gears). Also interesting is the (at the time) “worlds lightest derailleur”, the Huret Jubilee, item K below. At 146 grams, it would still be lighter than SRAM Red or Campy Carbon Record!

After all this focus on components, though, we couldn’t resist sharing a few pages of the road bikes we had on offer in 1987. Hailing from our own Performance brand of bikes, we had the Corsa frameset, featuring lugged aluminum tubing. Available with an array of custom build kits, the Corsa was a true race-ready steed:

But if your taste was for a bike with European flair, we had you covered there as well, with beautiful bikes from Eddy Merckx, De Rosa and Pinarello. In case you’re wondering, the lovely paint job on the Pinarello is called “Spumoni” after the tasty Italian dessert:

We hope you enjoyed our quick trip back in time to check out road components from our catalog during the time of the 7-Eleven team. It’s always fun for us to look back at where we came from as we work to bring you the best cycling value and selection in the present day!

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!

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.

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