5 Easy Spring Upgrades

When we think of upgrades, we often think of parts for our bicycles. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. You can get a significant performance advantage by updating some of your older, worn out gear without dropping a bunch of coin.

Here’s our suggestion for 5 easy upgrades that can help you go faster, be more comfortable, and be safer. And the best news is that there’s plenty of options to fit any budget.

1. Helmet

Did you know that most cycling helmets should be replaced after 5 years, regardless of whether or not you’ve been in a crash? If you’ve been in a crash that involved a head impact, replace your helmet immediately, even if it looks fine. Fortunately for you, helmet technology has come a long way. Helmets now are lighter, breezier, and more aerodynamic than ever.

New helmets have more vents, are lighter and more aerodynamic than older models

2. Shorts

After about 50-100 washings, most cycling shorts are about ready to call it quits. The chamois pads become compressed with repeated use and cease to provide enough support and cushioning, and the lycra will wear out and become more transparent (which might be why nobody wants to ride behind you). If it’s been a while, you might be surprised by how comfortable a fresh pair of shorts feels.

Give the guys behind you a break, and get some new shorts. Our newly redesigned Ultra shorts are engineered for speed and comfort

3. Sunglasses

We used to think that sunglasses were simply sunglasses…until we got to try out some of the new ones available. Today’s glasses have features like photochromic lenses that change tint in the sunlight, hydrophilic construction so the glasses won’t slide down your face when you sweat, and lighter, tougher frames.

Newer sunglasses, like these Scattante Mestre shades, are packed with features to help better protect your eyes and enjoy the ride

4. Water Bottles

Hopefully you took our advice and gave your old ones a thorough cleaning, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a new set–especially if your old ones are leaky. New water bottles can be a fun way to add some color to a ride, or replace those old leaking bottles you’ve had forever.

New water bottles that don’t leak, like this insulated one from Camelbak, won’t get sticky hydration drink all over your frame

5. Socks

Ok…this one isn’t so much of an upgrade, we just love cycling socks. New socks are a good way to express yourself in a sea of lycra. Whether you go super serious with some all black tall socks, or let out the wild side with a bright pattern, new socks can make even pasty winter legs look good again in the spring.

Land of Enchantment indeed. Socks are an great way to spruce up those pale winter legs

Real Advice: Dressing For The Fall

Today we continue with our Real Advice series – hard-earned practical knowledge from real riders here at our home office. This week we hear from a team member who has a special fondness for some late season riding.

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My favorite days to ride are October or November days when I wake up, look outside and see grey skies. Of course I love getting in some good riding in warm, sunny weather, but there’s something about the solitude of those overcast days that really makes me remember why I love this sport. Maybe it’s the loneliness of the road, maybe I ride better in lower temperatures, maybe I just really look forward to that post-ride pumpkin-flavored carbohydrate recovery beverage that’s only available at this particular time of year. Who knows. What is for certain though is that without dressing right for the weather, those rides would not be nearly so enjoyable.

When it comes to dressing for the fall, there are two things to keep in mind: layers and versatility. Dressing in layers not only helps keep you warmer by trapping air between the layers, but it also lets you more effectively manage exactly how hot you get by allowing you to remove layers as the day warms up. It also helps if your clothing options are versatile, and able to be combined in different ways to adapt to the conditions. It’s not unusual for me to start off a fall ride at 6AM dressed in several layers of clothes, only to return home at 2 in the afternoon in shorts and jersey with my pockets stuffed with warmers and jackets.

So, if you’re ready to get on the fall riding gravy train (with carbon fiber wheels, of course), then follow this handy dandy guide to dressing for the fall.

DRESSING FOR THE FALL

1.    FALL ESSENTIALS:

  • Shorts and Jersey: I continue to ride in my usual bib shorts and short sleeve jerseys well into the fall. When combined with the below listed items, this is the foundation of a versatile riding kit that can adapt to almost any weather condition.
Shorts and jersey are a good foundation for the fall

Shorts and jersey are a good foundation for the fall

  • Base Layer: invest in a long and a short sleeve or sleeveless base layer. Base layers are worn under the jersey (and under bib straps, if you wear bib shorts) and add an extra light layer that can help keep you warm, while moving sweat away from your skin—essential for hot or cold weather. I personally prefer merino wool base layers for fall riding, since they keep you warm, but won’t make you overheat if the day ends up warmer than you think.

A base layer will help keep you warm and wick away sweat

  • Arm and Knee/Leg warmers: warmers are usually a better option this time of year than long sleeve jerseys or tights. Good ones are usually just as effective as tights or a long jersey, but they have the added advantage of being removable as the day warms up—plus they roll up small enough to be stuffed into a jersey pocket for storage
Arm, leg or knee warmers can keep you warm and are easily removed if you get too hot

Arm, leg or knee warmers can keep you warm and are easily removed if you get too hot

  • Vest: a good wind vest is essential for this time of year. It helps keep your core warm, and most of them will block the wind pretty well. If you’re really pushing it hard, you can always unzip a bit to get more air moving. Like warmers, these have the advantage of being removable and low bulk, so they can be easily stored in a pocket if necessary.

A wind vest will help keep your core warm

  • Long Finger Gloves: For most riders, long finger gloves are essential. Cold fingers become stiff and lethargic, which is bad news since as cyclists we depend on our fingers to operate the brakes and shift mechanisms, so keeping them warm is essential. Don’t go for heavy insulated gloves or ones with WindStopper material though, as these are usually too warm for this time of year, and you’ll just end up with sweat-soaked gloves that may chill your fingers even more.

Full finger gloves help keep your hands warm in cool temperatures

  • Headband: On very cold mornings I like to start off wearing a headband. The headband keeps your ears and forehead warm, while still allowing heat to escape through the top of your head. As an added benefit, when it’s time to remove it, the headband is so small you almost won’t notice it in your pocket.

A headband helps keep your ears and forehead warm on cold mornings

  • Toe Warmers: I reserve these for only the coldest mornings. As the name implies, these are little half booties that go over the ends of your shoes to help add insulation to your toes. Again, once these are no longer needed, they can removed and stowed in a pocket. If you’re like me and have toes that, once cold, will never warm up no matter what, you may want to try oversocks, which are just like normal regular socks, but tougher, that you wear over your shoes to help them hold in some extra warmth. 

Toe warmers add some extra warmth to your feet on the coldest fall days

2. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER: Remember that cloudy days will be colder than sunny ones, and windy days will be colder than calm ones. It’s also a good idea to check the entire forecast for the day—or at least the next few hours. Dress appropriately for the weather, but if you’re unsure what to for given conditions, then check out this cool app from Bicycling Magazine.

3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY: After I get dressed for a ride, I like to go stand in my driveway in an area exposed to the wind for a minute or two and see how I feel. On a cold morning you should start off feeling slightly chilled, but not cold. If you’re shivering, then you don’t have enough clothes on, so go back inside and add a layer. If you feel nice and toasty warm, that’s pretty much a guarantee you’ll be roasting within the next 20 minutes, so you could probably stand to drop a layer or two. During your ride it can sometimes be tough to know when it’s time to pull over and take off a layer or two. Surprisingly, your ears will generally be the best indicator of how hot you’re getting. If your ears start to feel warm or hot, then it’s time to either unzip or shed a layer.

4. BRIGHTEN IT UP: My favorite kit color is black, and I make no apologies for it. During the fall though, I realize that just isn’t practical or safe. The days are shorter, and drivers are more distracted with leaves and stuff, so it’s more important than ever to stand out while on the road. I personally opt for a fluoro yellow wind vest, and leg and arm warmers with plenty of reflective accents on them. You don’t necessarily have to go fluoro, but choosing a bright color like red, blue or yellow will help you be more visible to passing cars.

5. ROLL WELL STOCKED: Speaking of shorter days, you need to roll prepared when you ride in the fall—especially if you’re going solo. I always stuff a set of safety lights in my jersey pocket, even if I plan on being back before dark. A good set, like the Blackburn Flea 2.0 combo are lightweight and very bright. Also remember that there are fewer cyclists on the road, so there are fewer people who can help you if you are having mechanical problems. Make sure you have a flat repair kit and multi-tool, and you know how to use them. 

What Would You Do With $1,000?

We all have a dream cycling list in mind. Whether it’s the carbon fiber-everything bike we’ve been eyeing for months, some new clothes, or the ultimate upgrade kit, there’s something that every cyclist dreams of having. For a limited time, we can help you make that come true when you enter online for your chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Performance Bicycle.

When word about this contest got out around the office, it got us thinking about what we would do with $1,000 to spend at Performance. We asked some folks  and got some pretty interesting answers.

So how about it? What would you spend $1,000 Performance Bucks on? Tell us in the comments section.

Ben from our bikes division is clearly already looking forward to the start of CX season:

Ben's 'cross-inspired picks

Ben’s ‘cross-inspired picks

Johnny, one of our in-house product developers, has had the chance to test out a lot of the latest and greatest mountain bike equipment. Here are some of his favorites:

Johnny's picks for mountain biking

Johnny’s picks for mountain biking

Robert the copywriter is getting ready to head out for some bike touring this fall. Here is some of the gear he’s going to be taking with him (this is also some great stuff for commuting):

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Robert’s commuting picks

Kyle, who’s one of our designers, is a pretty dedicated tri-guy. When you’re doing three sports in one day, having the right equipment is important. Here’s some of his favorite triathlon stuff:

-OR-

Kyle's picks for triathlon

Kyle’s picks for triathlon

Erik, one of our buyers, is kind of our go-to in-house authority on all things road racing. Here’s some of the stuff he finds essential for training and racing:

Erik's picks for road racing

Erik’s picks for road racing

For your chance to make your own dream cycling list come true, make sure that you enter now!

Say Hello To The New Louis Garneau

A couple of months ago, when the Performance Bicycle Group Ride of Excellence was assembling after work, we all noticed Jeff and Chuck wearing a previously unseen kit. It looked lightweight, comfortable and definitely had a pro fit. They were all decked out in the new Louis Garneau Course kit, ready to take it for its first test spin. We all agreed that it looked great and that the test would probably be more effective if we each had our own set of Course jerseys and bibs to test out.

Feeling cool in the Louis Garneau Course kit

Sadly, this was not to be, so over the next 40 or so miles, the rest of us sweated it out, jerseys were unzipped, and baselayers were cursed while Chuck and Jeff still looked cool as cucumbers. After the ride, they both agreed that it was by far one of the most comfortable kits they’d ever worn. The chamois was incredibly comfortable, the shorts offered amazing compression and stayed in place, and the jersey offered, as Chuck would later say, “absolutely incredible breathability”. Indeed, the new Course jerseys are almost transparent, they’re so thin. Chuck later tried riding on a 90 degree day in the Louis Garneau Course jersey with a baselayer on, and still found it to be comfortable and cool.

A few days later we got a glimpse of the new Course Aero Helmet, which graced the heads of Tommy V and the Europcar crew at the Tour de France, and the new Course shoes, which feature an all-new fit, razor thin carbon soles and new BOA-style lacing system.

Pierre Rolland’s Course helmet looked great in polka dot

If you’d like to know more about the Course helmet, here’s a video from our Learning Center.

These were just the first glances we had of Louis Garneau’s new 2014 line up, and everything we’ve seen since has lived up to the incredibly high standard set by the Course line. Every jersey, every pair of shorts, every helmet and every pair of shoes has been redesigned for a new, sleeker fit, updated graphics, and all-new ergonomics that improve the fit, breathability, and weight of their gear.

The crowd went wild when they saw how great Thomas Voeckler looked while wearing Louis Garneau Course shoes, bibs, jersey, and helmet.

If you’re looking for a kit that delivers a next-to-skin fit and pro-level performance without the bleeding edge advancements, then check out the Louis Garneau Elite series. The Elite jersey and shorts have the competitive and fast enthusiast rider in mind. For most of us here at Performance, there is at least one of these kits in the quiver. They’re excellent for longer rides, fast group rides, racing and everything in between. The next-to-skin fit is super comfy, and the incredible chamois pad keeps you comfortable all day long.

Louis Garneau Elite jersey

The Louis Garneau Performance line was designed for the enthusiast rider. A more relaxed fit keeps things comfy for those long, wandering rides or for the rider who prefers not to feel like they’ll need turpentine to remove their jersey after a ride. But don’t let that fool you. This writer has more than a few miles laid down with the Performance jersey and bibs, and has found that they are excellent for high mileage days. The jersey is highly breathable, while the bibs offer plenty of support with a great pad that’ll keep you from squirming in the saddle. The updated graphics help take this kit to a new level of finish that always looks great.

Louis Garneau Performance jersey

The folks up in Quebec have been busy, and it’s paid off big time. To browse our full collection of Louis Garneau clothing, helmets, and accessories, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Louis Garneau brand, Mr. Garneau himself reflects on thirty years in the cycling business below.

How to Deal with Weather

It’s been kind of a weird summer, weather-wise. It seems like most of America is either baking in a heat wave or underwater with heavy rains— all of which can make getting outside to ride seem less than appealing. But don’t let the weather get you down. While most of us prefer to get our riding in when it’s 80 and sunny, sometimes rides in challenging weather can be more rewarding. You just need to make sure you’re properly prepared.

“There is no bad weather, just bad clothing” is a saying that has been variously attributed to World War II Norwegian commandos, Eddy Merckx and Gaynor from our tech department, but no matter the source, it’s as true now as it has always been. Clothing technology has come a long way in the last few years, so making the right clothing choices can turn what would be a miserable ride into a great one.

 PointLoma_2011-154If it’s a little wet out there, then staying dry is your first priority. Rain jackets are no longer the non-breathable pieces of plastic from days of old. Nowadays space-age fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent provide highly breathable water- and wind-proof protection from the elements, while lighter weight, packable jackets have Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finishes that are low volume and pack easily into a jersey pocket or hydration pack, but don’t breath as well and offer more limited protection. It’s also important to keep your feet as dry as possible to avoid blisters, hot spots and athlete’s foot. A good pair of water-resistant overshoes can help your feet stay nice and dry, without overheating, in all but the most torrential downpours.

A packable rain jacket can provide lightweight, comfortable protection from light rain or high winds

If you’re riding with a group, or want to keep yourself (relatively) free from grime and road spray, then fenders are a must. There are many options available, from the much beloved “beaver tail” rear spray guards, to removable clip on fenders, and full bolt-on fenders. Your choice will depend on what kind of bike you have and what level of protection you would like. Lights are also a necessity when the weather is rainy, since visibility is reduced and many drivers may already be distracted by the weather. For optimal safety, try combining a medium brightness blinky headlight with a very bright rear light. If it might be getting dark, consider adding in a 1000+ lumen headlamp to light your way.

Fenders like this one from SKS are easy to install and remove

And hey, don’t forget to wash that bike after a good soaking. Nothing is harder on a bike than wet weather conditions. Taking a few minutes to wipe away the dirt, clean your chain, and re-lube all the moving parts can save you some headaches down the road.

_MG_2266But what if it’s blazing hot out? Here again proper clothing, equipment and common sense become the best tools to ensure you enjoy your rides. Many jerseys now are available in super lightweight fabrics that help shield you from the sun’s rays and breath extremely well to help you stay cool. Wear light colored fabrics or jerseys made with coldBlack to help reflect some of the heat. On very hot days you can also opt for a sleeveless jersey or use a few simple tricks that’ll help you cool down. Unzipping your jersey as much as possible is a time-honored way of cooling off and is one of the most effective. Loosening your helmet a little bit and removing your sunglasses also seems to help most people feel cooler. And, of course, splashing yourself down with some water will provide relief.

The Ultra jersey from Performance combines lightweight fabrics and ColdBlack technology to keep you cool

When it’s hot, the most important thing is to be smart and be prepared. Don’t ride during the hottest parts of the day, or if you decide you simply must, then choose routes with plenty of shade and plenty of places to top up on water along the way. Staying hydrated is probably the most difficult thing to do in extreme heat, so make sure to bring more water than you think you’ll need. Hydration packs offer the ability to carry up to 3 liters of water, which should be enough for most rides. If you prefer to use bottles, try using an insulated bottle like Polar, and carrying a third bottle in a jersey pocket. To replace lost electrolytes, bring some hydration tablets or powders like Nuun, Skratch Labs or Hammer.

Insulated water bottles help keep your drink cold on hot days

For more ideas on how you can beat the heat, check out our article in the Performance Bicycle Learning Center.

Product Profile: 2013 Performance Clothing

13PBS_PB_Clothing_Brand_FBOur new line of 2013 Performance clothing is our best lineup of Performance brand cycling gear ever. Our clothing team logged long hours designing and testing this gear to make sure that it meets the highest standards for both value and performance on the bike, for every level of cyclist. Give it a try and we know that you’ll love this cycling clothing as much as we do!

The new lineup of Performance clothing is divided into 3 levels: Ultra, Elite and Club.

Ultra clothing is designed with the latest performance technologies to meet the demands of serious cyclists. It’s optimized comfort and durability for racing and training, to give you a performance advantage.

Elite clothing is for the experienced cyclist looking for enhanced comfort and quality. It’s designed to take you from short group spins to all-day century rides with its precision designed support.

Club clothing is our foundation line for essential quality and value. It’s for cyclists who want comfort and value, from casual to long distance rides.

As the top level of our cycling gear, both our Ultra and Elite lines feature physiodynamic design.physioSo what does that mean? Think of it as the perfect synthesis of comfort, aerodynamics, and support for cyclists. It features a best-in-class Italian-made chamois with 4 way stretch, variable density and anti microbial properties – perfect for all day in the saddle. Aerodynamic leg and arm bands enhance airflow over the transition areas, while multi-panel construction supports cycling muscles for maximum power delivery. Plus maximized fabric placement wicks sweat and allows ventilation for all day comfort.

ULTRA  physio  coldblack

Designed for serious riders, our Performance Ultra cycling jersey with physiodynamic design has tons of new features that’ll enhance the way you ride, whether you’re training, racing or testing your endurance. Open knit fabric pattern allows air to pass through the fabric, moving moisture away from your skin for quick evaporation. Coldblack technology in the shoulders reduces skin temperature under direct sunlight, so you stay cool and comfortable. Next-to-skin fit enhances speed, compression arm bands stay put, silicone gripper hem prevents ride-up and three pockets hold race-day essentials.

DSC_2915

Performance Ultra jersey & shorts

Coldblack coldblackis an all-new finish applied directly to the fabric, which delivers better heat management and better protection against harmful UV rays. To achieve this double sun protection coldblack uses a unique combination: absorption and reflection. Coldblack reduces the absorption of heat in dark colors and reflects up to 80% of the sun’s rays, so the rider stays noticeably cooler.

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Performance Ultra jersey & shorts

Our Performance Ultra women’s cycling jersey maintains comfort without compromising competitive performance utilizing the same physiodynamic design and coldblack technology as the Ultra men’s jersey - in a women’s specific design featuring a tapered collar, gripper-free arm openings and next-to-skin styling.

DSC_2779

Performance Ultra jersey & shorts

Constructed for the weekend warrior or the everyday racer, the Performance Ultra shorts give serious riders the best technology at the best price. In addition to Coldblack technology on the fabric surface, we also added a new Italian chamois with Skyve technology to eliminate all possible pressure points while enhancing breathable support. The physiodynamic design with ergo-panels, flatlock stitching and compressive fabric promotes riding comfort. Powerband leg grippers stay put while cutting through the air. The Ultra shorts are the most comfortable, best-fitting shorts that money can buy under $100, and are available in men’s, men’s bib and women’s versions.

ELITE  physio

The Performance Elite men’s cycling jersey utilizes a physiodynamic design and has everything you need for every kind of ride. Polyester/spandex fabric moves with you, wicks moisture away from your skin and gives you a streamlined fit. Strategic mesh panels and full zip keep you cool while the tail light clip and 360° reflectivity keep you visible. Silicone gripper hem won’t ride up when you’re down in the drops and three pockets hold your extra gear.

DSC_4956

Performance Elite jersey

Physiodynamic design also helps to enhance the cycling motion for regular commutes, club rides, tours or off-road excursions while wearing the Performance Elite women’s cycling jersey (also available in sleeveless). It will be your new go-to piece for comfort on every ride, carefully designed with a women’s specific fit.

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Performance Elite jersey & shorts

The Performance Elite shorts are the best everyday shorts you can find. We combined our new physiodynamic design with the best technical properties and an updated fabric blend to keep you well-supported and comfortable on every ride. New Italian made, multi-density chamois gives excellent cushioning on longer rides; reflective accents, and new Comfortband leg grippers feature silicone prints for a soft, no-slip grip. The best quality shorts you can find for under $80, available in men’s, men’s bib, women’s and women’s bib versions.

DSC_4970

Performance Elite jersey & shorts

CLUB

Whether you’re pedaling around the neighborhood or training for your first charity event, the Performance Club II cycling jersey provides the cooling comfort you need to ride well. Polyester fabric leaves your skin dry, thanks to its fast-wicking properties and front zip keeps you well-ventilated as the day heats up. Reflective logo improves visibility and three pockets hold keys, nutrition, plus other essentials.

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Performance Club jersey & shorts

The Club II cycling shorts (available in both men’s and women’s versions) blend fast-wicking fabrics with comfort-focused features for everyday riding performance. Six panels follow the pedaling motion and stabilize your hardworking muscles. Breathable foam chamois with silicone inserts provides cushy support and eliminates hot spots. Adjustable drawstring waist gives you a custom fit. Silicone leg grippers stay put, plus they feel great.

Holiday Gift Ideas

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Since we’re in the holiday spirit here at Performance Bicycle, we decided to take a stroll around our home office to find out what some of our coworkers recommended for the cyclist on your gift list. We talked to folks from accounting to merchandising to discover some great cycling gift ideas, even if you’re just shopping for yourself!

First up are a few ideas from Alison, a merchandise planner in our components division, and also a budding road cyclist.

1. What is your favorite piece of cycling gear that you used this year?

I love my Diadora Women’s Aerospeed 2 road shoes:

And I don’t have this Selle Italia Women’s Diva Gel Flow saddle, but I rode it on a friend’s bike and it was great – I need to get one!

2. What is a great stocking stuffer product for a cyclist?

Forté Grip-Tec handlebar tape is perfect for any road cyclist.

3. How about another holiday gift idea – non-cycling related?

I haven’t been very good this year, but I would like some Frye Harness 12R boots.

Zach is a merchandise assistant on our clothing team who loves to ride anything with 2 wheels – he’s going to learn how to jump on a dirt bike next.

1. What is your favorite piece of cycling gear that you used this year?

I got to test-ride some Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher front & rear road wheels – they are awesome.

DSC_01202. What is a great stocking stuffer product for a cyclist?

The Blackburn VIP SL Ride Wallet comes in handy when you want to stuff your phone or credit card in a sweaty jersey pocket.

3. How about another holiday gift idea – non-cycling related?

A ukulele, just because.

Alicia is our clothing product developer, responsible for the design and fit of our private label apparel – but she really loves to hit the trails on her mountain bike.

1.  What is your favorite piece of cycling gear that you used this year?

The Performance Women’s Thermal long sleeve jersey is great for cold-weather riding.


2.  What is a great stocking stuffer product for a cyclist?

Extra CO2 cartridges are always appreciated by the cyclist on your list.

3.  How about another holiday gift idea – non-cycling related?

I love it if my friends donate to a local charity on my behalf.

Johnny is a merchandise assistant for our components group, and all-around fast guy on any bike that you put him on, be it road, mountain or whatever.

1. What is your favorite piece of cycling gear that you used this year?

The Rock Shox Reverb Adjustable Seatpost is really useful and dependable.

2.  What is a great stocking stuffer product for a cyclist?

Stan’s sealant is a must if you want to go tubeless (and you should).


3. How about another holiday gift idea – non-cycling related?

Some sweet socks from Stance.

Michal works in our accounting department, and is a regular fixture on our lunch time road rides.

1. What is your favorite piece of cycling gear that you used this year?

Other than my bike….. I’d have to say Speedplay Light Action road pedals:

However, I do love my Pearl Izumi Thermal leg warmers. Couldn’t ride this time of year without them.


2. What is a great stocking stuffer product for a cyclist?

Everybody loves a good tail light (especially for this time of year) or one of those cool little multi tools.

3. How about another holiday gift idea – non-cycling related?

Socks, socks and more socks. Preferably Smartwool!  [ed.: apparently you can't go wrong with socks!]

smartwool

Mark is a member of our product development team – so riding his bike and testing new gear is one of his job requirements!

1. What is your favorite piece of cycling gear that you used this year?

The internal clutch on the Shimano XTR Shadow+ rear derailleur really works to reduce chain slap on my mountain bike.

2. What is a great stocking stuffer product for a cyclist?

Dumonde Tech Original bicycle chain lube works to keep your bike running smoothly, and every cyclist wants that!

3. How about another holiday gift idea – non-cycling related?

Foothill’s Brewing Olde Rabbit’s Foot Imperial Stout – it’s hard to find, but oh so delicious.

Product Profile: Louis Garneau Course collection

For 30 years, Louis Garneau has stayed the course with race-inspired, high-tech cycling clothing. Now, they’re introducing their Limited Edition, premium Course line that delivers even more technology and performance than ever before. You can find the entire Course collection on Performancebike.com, but here’s a breakdown of a few of the innovative new products from this collection of high performance cycling gear.

Winner of the 2012 Eurobike Award for design excellence and innovation, the Course SpeedZone cycling vest was developed in cooperation with Team Europcar to provide great utility and protection. Louis Garneau’s patent pending opening on the rear of the vest allows access to your jersey pockets and provides visibility if you are wearing a race number. The ultra-light, stretchy fabric moves with you, offers wind and water resistance and breathes extremely well, plus an inner flap behind the full zip gives further protection while the mesh back panel prevents overheating.

The Course Race cycling bib shorts are a perfect example of a product that has been specially constructed to shave seconds, maximize muscle performance and keep you going strong, long after you’ve dropped the rest of the pack. Tight-fitting, high-compression fabric supports your thighs for powerful pedaling efficiency and is embedded with sun-reflective, coldblack technology to prevent overheating. Minimal seams increase aerodynamics, Power Mesh bibs keep you cool and a “nature calls” panel makes for easy pit stops. The new 5Motion chamois closes the deal with the amazing comfort of 3D pre-shaped wings, vented mesh, pressure relieving zones and antibacterial protection.

Designed to help you ride better, faster and stronger, the Course Race cycling jersey is a great looking piece packed with serious high-tech features. Three innovative fabrics move with your body, increase aerodynamics and wick moisture, plus coldblack technology dramatically reduces the jersey’s temperature to prevent overheating. The Course Race jersey is full zip and features pre-shaped shoulders and a wide silicone gripper hem to keep the jersey in place when you’re down in the drops. Textured sleeves give you an aero edge and triple back pockets with MP3 compatibility hold your race essentials.

Gloves that combine a firm grip with the right amount of padding and aeration for competition can be hard to come by. But not anymore, thanks to Louis Garneau’s Course cycling gloves. Their progressive padding process relieves pressure on the ulnar and median nerves, plus eliminates sources of friction for an amazing level of comfort. Then they added a sun reflecting, coldblack finish to the upper, so your hands won’t overheat. Finally, they seamlessly integrated their Ergo Air Zone system for effective temperature regulation and moisture evacuation. Hands down, this is a hard glove to beat. [Note: Course cycling gloves are available for pre-order, and will be in stock at the end of November]

Louis Garneau pulls out all the stops in their most competitive footwear, the Course 2LS road shoes. They’re equipped with a thinner, lighter and stronger Exo-Jet carbon outsole, plus Garneau’s HRS-300 internal polymer system which effectively transfers all your energy into pure power. Multi-vent technology circulates air throughout the interior to keep your feet feeling dry and fresh. Insert the red insole for extra warmth in cold conditions or the blue insole with refrigerant for cool comfort in hot weather. Double BOA L5 closure system evenly distributes pressure, offers infinite degrees of fine-tuning and lets you customize the level of security and tension. [Note: Course 2LS road shoes are available for pre-order, but will not be in stock until early 2013]

Shop the entire Limited Edition, premium Course collection on Performancebike.com.

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 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.

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 Jersey online.

Product Profile: Louis Garneau Mondo Bib Short & Jersey

For this week’s Product Profile, Ali, from our Clothing division, is here to talk about the brand new 2011 Louis Garneau Mondo bib short & jersey.  The new 2011 clothing lineup from Louis Garneau is packed with advanced technology to enhance fit and performance, plus look great while you ride (as you can see in the cover shot above, from the April 2011 issue of Road Bike Action magazine).

The Louis Garneau Mondo bib short is a really neat piece of equipment. The power band at the leg openings is the most comfortable leg opening you’ll find on any short! There’s no hair pulling or bad “sausage-leg” from a tight silicone gripper, only an aerodynamic fit with a second-skin feel.

Besides the fact that the Ceratek fabric on the hips looks really cool, it has a great purpose; the abrasion resistance it offers is huge. No picks or snags.

Detail of Ceratek material

The bib uppers are Louis Garneau‘s Carbon-X Mesh fabric; it has a high spandex content so if you’re tall, medium or average height for your size, it will fit like it was made for you. And as a bonus, all of the fabrics in the Mondo bib short are UPF/SPF 50 so you don’t have to worry about getting a funny tan on your thigh from a panel here and there that aren’t the same UPF/SPF as the others!

Detail of Carbon X Mesh

Of course all of this high-tech design and fit would be no good without an excellent chamois.  But Louis Garneau has done their homework with the Mondo bib short, as their 4 Motion chamois is great. It has 4-way stretch so it moves with you; preshaped wings so there is no bunching, pinching or weird folding of the pad; high density foam in all of the right places and strategically placed mesh vents to keep you comfortable.

With all of the comforts of a high performance bib, plus a great chamois and technical fabrics, the Louis Garneau Mondo bib short is a piece I believe you’ll find to be worth its weight in gold when you get out on the saddle in a pair.  And to complete this high performance kit, Louis Garneau offers the matching Mondo jersey, featuring the same performance fabrics and fit found in the Mondo bib short.

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