January 16, 2013 3 Comments
January 14, 2013 Leave a comment
Every week we’re taking a look at what’s new, exciting or coming soon to PerformanceBike.com – here’s a quick roundup of our first 4 weeks of videos, featuring bikes and gear for every cyclist.
This week’s gear: Sidi Wire Carbon Road Shoes, GORE Oxygen SO Women’s Jacket, Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Drink Mix and the Charge Filter Apex Cyclocross Bike.
This week’s gear: Louis Garneau Course SpeedZone vest, Giro Sonnet Women’s Helmet, Shimano Dura-Ace ST-9000 Shifters, Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Road Wheels and the Charge Cooker Single Speed Mountain Bike.
This week’s gear: Charge Bikes Mortar Pub Bike, Feedback Sports Recreational Work Stand, Sidi Drako Mountain Bike Shoes, Light & Motion Seca 750 Headlight and Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000 Brakes.
This week’s gear: Dakine Juniper Women’s jersey, Dakine Tempest Women’s Short, Dakine Shield Jacket, Dakine Charger Crew Jersey, Time ATAC XC8, XC6 & XC4 Mountain Bike pedals, and the Van Dessel Gin & Trombones Disc Cyclocross Bike.
October 2, 2012 Leave a comment
Since there is almost no way to see everything at the annual Interbike trade show, in our wrap-up we’re just talking about the interesting bikes and gear that caught our eye as we walked the convention hall floor or the Outdoor Demo. Check out our photo album on Facebook for even more shots from the show, and if you missed Part 1 of our wrap-up, you can find it here.
When we visited the Outdoor Demo at Interbike, the bikes we really wanted to check out were the new carbon mountain bikes from Devinci - they’ve updated their entire lineup, from the World Cup winning Wilson downhill bike, to the nimble 29er Atlas to the super fun Dixon all-mountain 26″ ride. We had a blast testing out their new bikes, and even got suspension designer Dave Weagle to break down the 2013 lineup for us:
And since he was hanging out, we even got Dave to explain how Devinci’s patented Split Pivot rear suspension works, and what makes it great:
While we’re talking bikes, Fuji has a great lineup of road, mountain and cyclocross bikes on tap for next year, with updated graphics and components. One of our favorites was this gorgeous 13.2 pound Altamira road bike with Oval components tubular wheels:
Giro was at Interbike with an updated 2013 lineup, but their new Air Attack helmet was drawing lots of attention. Its aero shape may look odd, but Giro designers claim that it is almost as efficient at cooling your head as their standard helmets, yet almost as efficient aerodynamically as their time trial helmets:
Meanwhile their new Empire shoes are all about style, adjustability and fit – laces are back, and they’ve never looked so good:
Pearl Izumi was busy at Interbike showing off their Project X mountain bike shoes, which are as colorful as they are well thought-out. The heart of these new shoes is the sole, which features a flexible carbon shank embedded in the bonded outsole.
Louis Garneau debuted their lightweight Course lineup of shoes, helmets and clothing at Interbike – including this great-looking new helmet and Boa lace-closure cycling shoe:
Louis Garneau won a design award for this Course vest, which features a gripper hem and open back panel so that you can reach in your back jersey pockets – one of those “why didn’t anyone think of that before” moments:
Ergon was on hand with new grips and packs, but their most interesting new gear was this intriguing CF3 Pro Carbon seatpost. It is designed to act as a leaf spring to absorb shock while riding – and it’s intended for use on the road:
And finally, just to show that even the hottest new trend has been tried before, check out this pair of 650B (or 27.5″) mountain bikes from Ritchey – the one on the left is their latest and greatest creation, while the one on the right is Ritchey’s first foray into the 650B world… from 1977!
September 14, 2012 7 Comments
It’s almost time to see if our web merchant Zach has what it takes to ride hard in Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo in Virginia. If you’ve been following on the blog, Zach has been training all summer to take on the hardest Gran Fondo in the US – 104 miles, over 11,000 feet of climbing and dirt road climbs thrown in for good measure! So now it’s time to see how he’s feeling and what gear he’s picked to take on the challenge.
The big ride I’ve been training for is in just a couple of days! I’m ready for it. I feel like I spent the entire summer training for it and thinking about it. I got burnt out on training for a while, right after I peaked too early and then fell off the wagon a bit. Since then I have rested up, done some active recovery, and come back a bit stronger and more prepared. I’ve got everything lined up and dialed in! The only thing that’s bothering me is a brutal allergy attack, but I’ve been getting plenty of rest and come Saturday morning I’ll be riding no matter what condition I’m in!
Over the summer I’ve had the pleasure to ride a few bikes from Fuji to try out and see which one was the best for me, given the riding conditions of the Gran Fondo. In an earlier post I talked about the Fuji Altamira and the Fuji SST. I was able to test out two more bikes over the summer, the Fuji SL1 Comp and the Fuji Gran Fondo.
The SL1 Comp was a very comfortable bike, and would be the perfect bike for someone transitioning into their first carbon road bike, or doing long group century rides. For me, though, it wasn’t quite as responsive as the Altamira during the long climbs. Since there will be 11,000 feet of climbing in the Gran Fondo, I may need to pass on this one. Otherwise, the bike did great on long training rides with rolling hills around the Piedmont of NC. I could easily get 80 miles in on it and feel great afterwards.
The fourth and last bike was the Fuji Gran Fondo. This bike is designed for exactly what it’s named after, riding long and hard during a Gran Fondo, or any other similar style of ride. The bike is a very fast machine, climbs great, is comfortable, and absorbs potholes and gravel easily to give a smooth and plush ride. The upright geometry gave me no problems while reaching for energy gels, a water bottle, or getting my phone out of my back pocket to text my wife that I was OK while riding (just kidding on the texting part). Plainly put, the Fuji Gran Fondo delivers!
So which one did I go for? It was a hard choice. The SST and SL1 Comp were ruled out as top contenders for a Gran Fondo. They’re great machines for what they’re designed for, but not great at long ascents on gravel roads. The Gran Fondo would seem to be the obvious choice, but given that I also had the option of the similar Altamira that’s decked out with Shimano Dura Ace electronic shifting, I went with the Altamira!
There was just something about the Altamira that felt better for me. It’s quick and snappy on the climbs, is very comfortable, it delivers optimal power transfer with its oversized bottom bracket, and at the end of the day was lighter than the rest of the choices. I’ve been riding it for quite some time now, and have made a few changes to prep it for the gran fondo riding conditions. The Altamira came with an Ultegra standard 53-39 double crankset and an 11-25 cassette on the back. I swapped those out for an Ultegra 50-34 Compact Crankset paired with an 11-28 cassette. With that low of a gear ratio, I should be able to ride the hills of the Gran Fondo with no problems! For tires I chose Continental Gatorskins in a 700X25 size, that, when paired with Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher wheels, actually measure out to about 26mm in width. Running this set up at about 90 psi gives it all the cush and grip needed for those long gravel climbs.
So that’s the bike! It’s a very important part of the puzzle, but there’s plenty more that’s needed for the fondo. After testing several products over the summer, I’ve come up with my own personal checklist of things that have worked the best for me from head to toe:
- Shoes: I use Sidi Ergo 3 shoes (similar to the Sidi Ergo 2 Carbon Lite Road Shoes) as the adjustability and control of personal fit on these shoes is unmatched! They’re light, stiff and make for great climbing shoes!
- Socks: DeFeet Air-E-Ator HiTop Honey Badger Black Socks are sooooo nasty!! Defeet has stood the test of time, miles, sweat, rain, multiple washes, and continue to be at the top of the sock drawer.
- Kit: Louis Garneau Mondo Evo Bib Shorts and Team Short Sleeve Jersey - This kit is the absolute most comfortable kit I’ve ever had. It’s light, breathable, and it wicks and dries sweat away in the blink of an eye. Our Garneau Custom Cycling team from Performance wears this combo for our team kits.
- Jacket: Depending on the weather report, I may be packing my Cannondale Pack Me Jacket. It stows away into my jersey pocket nicely and is a welcome addition if the rain starts pouring.
- Gloves: Pearl Izumi Select Gel Gloves because they fit great, are comfortable, and my hands don’t go numb after four hours in the saddle.
- Eyewear: Smith Pivlock V2 Max – I’ve never in my life owned a better pair of cycling glasses than these. The tapered lens tech is no joke, and after riding them I’ll never go to another brand. They’re very lightweight, and extremely durable.
- Helmet: Giro Aeon Helmet – I switched to this after riding a Specialized Prevail for a long time and I have to say, the Aeon feels lighter and it fits my head better. The red and black also match my kit. DONE!
- Nutrition: I thought I had this dialed in, but at the Gran Fondo training ride, I had some severe cramps despite staying hydrated and eating. Since then I’ve started taking GU Brew Electrolyte Drink Tablets. They’re packed with plenty of sodium and seem to be doing the trick! For solid food I’ve always enjoyed the multiple varieties of Honey Stinger Waffles, and margarita flavored Clif Shot Blocks Energy Chews! I also take some supplements here and there such as SportLegs or Endurox Excel, depending on what I’m doing. Lastly, I love Endurox R4 for a recovery drink. The chocolate flavor is my favorite, but they’re all good.
- Inflation: The Spin Doctor Rescue HP mini pump will be tagging along with me. With all the gravel I stand the chance of having to change multiple flats, and I’d rather not carry a bunch of CO2 cartridges.
- Pocket Essentials: The Blackburn VIP SL Ride Wallet will be carrying my ID, credit card, phone, etc. I’ve been using this thing for months and have been caught in downpours and sweat through my jerseys. Everything inside stays completely dry.
- Computer: Garmin Edge 500 with H/R monitor and the BarFly computer mount. All around I think this is the best GPS device out there. I love the compact design and that it’s fully customizable to give me everything I want to know. The BarFly makes it a quick glance of the eye to view the Edge 500, instead of having to tilt my neck all the way down to view the stem mount.
- Water Bottles: CamelBak Podium ChillJacket Insulated Bottle – I dismissed these until I forgot my bottles on a training ride and ended up having to buy water bottles. Now, I’ll never use anything else. It keeps your water cool and that goes a long way both mentally and physically when you’re out there grinding it out.
Well, that’s the gear. The only thing left to do is head back up to Harrisonburg this weekend and ride the Gran Fondo! I can’t wait to get back up there and do it. Hopefully this allergy attack will subside and I’ll have a strong ride come Saturday morning. I’ll have a full report after I get back. Thanks for reading!
July 8, 2011 3 Comments
Celebrate the Tour with Performance and you could be a winner, too!
It’s Tour time again, so we thought that it was only fair that you had the chance to win some pro-level prizes at the same time that the world’s top pro cyclists battle their way toward the podium in Paris. Over on our website, we’re giving away over $5,000 in prizes to 3 lucky winners in our Celebrate the Tour Contest. You may not be podium-bound but that doesn’t mean you can’t look and ride like a pro. And instead of suffering in the peloton for 3 weeks, all you have to do is head over to our site and fill out the form for your chance to win!
1st Prize - 2011 Scattante CFR Race Road Bike
Total Retail Value: $3,499.99
With its feathery-light 3K-weave carbon frame, full-carbon fork, reliable Shimano Ultegra 6700 components and TRP brakes, the Scattante CFR Race Road Bike is fully equipped to live up to its name. From pavement pacing to podium chasing, you can count on the CFR Race to deliver top performance and one of cycling’s best high-end road bike values.
Total Retail Value: $1,069.96
A favorite of many here at our headquarters, the Garmin Edge 800 GPS Cyclocomputer is ideal for touring, commuting, competitive cycling and mountain biking. It has a built-in base map and tracks your distance, speed, location and ascent/descent. Includes a premium digital heart rate soft strap and speed/cadence sensor.
Giro’s Prolight Helmet redefines what an ultra lightweight helmet can be. After an exhaustive, ground-up design and engineering process, Giro has created a helmet that tips the scales at only 200g.
The Continental Grand Prix 4000 S Clincher Road Tire is arguably the best all-around road bike tire you can buy. It’s fast, grippy as all-get-out and tough enough to deliver mile after mile of high-speed, high-performance service.
3rd Prize - Pearl Izumi Clothing/Cycling Shoe Kit
Total Retail Value: $430.00
Team-inspired construction and technical fabrics are combined with original Pearl Izumi sublimated graphics and Direct-Vent side panels in the Pearl Izumi SS Elite Ltd Cycling Jersey. Matching Elite LTD Bib Shorts blend team-inspired construction and materials with original Pearl Izumi sublimated graphics. The ultra-efficient, ultra-light Pearl Izumi Elite Road II Shoe combines Pearl Izumi’s 1:1 Anatomic Buckle Closure System, Elite Carbon 1:1 Anatomic Plate and a lightweight, one-piece upper.
Celebrate the Tour & Enter to Win Today!
June 30, 2010 Leave a comment
The 2010 Tour de France is just days away from the Grand Départ from Rotterdam on Saturday July 3rd. All of the teams are making their way to the Netherlands and checking out the roads on what should be an exciting first few days of racing along some of the same roads used in the early season one-day Classics races.
And what a Tour this is going to be! Lance Armstrong just announced that this will be his final Tour de France, Alberto Contador will be trying to repeat as champion, Andy and Frank Schleck will be teaming up to storm the podium, plus a whole host of other challengers will line up with a chance for glory, from Cadel Evans to Carlos Sastre to Bradley Wiggins and more! And that doesn’t even include the sprint battles on tap between Mark Cavendish, Thor Hushovd and American Tyler Farrar.
Like we said, this is going to be exciting. But you know what else is exciting? How about winning one of 3 prizes worth a total retail value of $6500! In celebration of the 2010 Tour, we’re giving away3 different prize packages, and all you have to do is go to our Tour de France 2010 Giveaway entry page and enter your email address by the last day of the Tour, July 25th.
Grand Prize is a Fuji SST Tour De France Limited Edition Road Bike, with the same frame design and paint job as the Tour-bound Footon-Servetto-Fuji team. 2nd Prize is a Garmin-Transitions team-inspired package, featuring a Giro Prolight helmet, Garmin Edge 500 cyclocomputer, Mavic LE K10 wheelset & Team Garmin kit from Pearl Izumi. 3rd Prize is a head-to-toe Scattante kit, with jersey, bib shorts, gloves, socks, shoes, helmet & eyewear.
It only takes a moment to enter, and who knows, maybe at the end of the Tour you’ll be celebrating victory along with this year’s Tour de France champion!