Product Profile: Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers

Zipp Speed Weaponry has been making innovative carbon wheels since 1988, when they manufactured their very first disc wheels in their factory in Indiana. Zipp‘s founder, Leigh Sargeant, started off building components for Formula One racing cars, but moved into the cycling world when he saw the opportunity to apply his knowledge of carbon and making things go fast. Ever since those first disc wheels, Zipp wheels have been proudly made in Indiana – here’s Scott from SRAM (Zipp‘s parent company) to explain how their “made in the USA” claim is no exaggeration:

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheelsets (available as separate front & rear wheels) are the latest all-around performers from the speed masters at Zipp - and they’re already proven winners at pro cycling’s most demanding races. Triathlons, criteriums, breakaways, field sprints, or even Grand Tour mountain stages – 303s excel in any environment. That even includes the cobbled surfaces of the Spring Classics, where this year Tom Boonen has been dominating proceedings on Zipp 303s (tubular front and rear models, in his case).

Boonen E3

Tom Boonen at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen 2012 - Tim De Waele - Cycling

So what makes the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheelset special? It’s been completely redesigned with Firecrest shaping that has been designed specifically to account for the differences in airflow patterns between clincher tires and tubulars, so it far exceeds the aero performance of any other clincher wheelset in its class. It features a wider design that puts more rubber on the road during cornering (but without increasing rolling resistance) and a unique vibration-damping technology that reduces rider fatigue and improves handling. You can see the special Firecrest shape in the cutaway view below:

The Firecrest shape is more aerodynamic than any other rim design, improving handling in crosswinds and enhancing wheel strength and overall ride quality. The 45mm rim depth of the 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher is a classic all-around performer and the patented Advanced Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) dimpled pattern smooths airflow across the rim’s surface.

Plus a wider distance between hook beads gives the tire a more stable shape without adding rolling resistance, in one of the lightest deep-profile carbon clinchers available (the entire 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheelset comes in under 1500g).

To complete the package, Zipp has refined its venerable 88/188 hubset, reshaping the hub body and pushing the non-drive-side flange and bearing out by 7.5 mm on the rear hub to increase overall stiffness and strength.

All of these features are combined in the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheelset to create a wheelset that is perfect for the serious recreational rider or the hardcore racer who demands the ultimate in speed and performance for climbing, descending, sprinting or cornering! Here’s Eric, our component product manager, with his video review of the 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheelset:

Keep an eye out for Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon wheels on the famous cobbles of this weekend’s treacherous Paris-Roubaix – where only equipment that combines speed, light weight, and utter reliability make the cut for the pro’s bikes. And check out the rest of the Zipp wheel lineup on PerformanceBike.com!

Product Profile: Light & Motion Commuter Bike Lights

Light & Motion has been designing and building lights for over 20 years from their home in Monterey, California – from lights that are designed to go 200 feet below the ocean, to lights that shine the way for a midnight ride on the trails. But one place where they really decided to apply their lighting talent is lights for bike commuting. In typical fashion, Light & Motion did their research, and then created a series of compact, USB-rechargeable, and seriously powerful commuter lights that are unlike anything else on the market. Light & Motion took the concept of “see and be seen” to a whole new level with these commuting lights, incorporating advanced LED lighting technology and amber side lights to make your commute brighter and safer!

The Light & Motion Urban 300 LED Headlight and Vis 180 Tail Light combo packs a serious visual punch, but they both also incorporate brilliant amber side lights to give commuters and road cyclists complete visibility in traffic – especially important at intersections, where having increased visibility from any angle is essential. Of course ease-of-use is also handy, so both the Urban 300 LED Headlight and Vis 180 Tail Light feature Micro USB charging ports and tool-free mounting for quick and easy attachment and removal. The Urban 300 LED Headlight is powered by 1 white LED with a 300 lumen output and the aforementioned 2 amber side lights that provide 180° of visibility and project clean patterns of light. There is also a battery charge indicator that accurately reports the charge status (so you know when its time to recharge), all in a package that weighs only 112g – even though the lights are housed in a solid-feeling metal body. Runtime for the Urban 300 LED Headlight is 2½ hours on High, 4½ hours on Medium and 8½ hours on Low, with an empty-to-full recharge time of 5 hours.

The Light & Motion Vis 180 Tail Light, also available individually, blazes forth with 3 red LEDs with a 35 lumen output, along with its 2 amber side lights to provide 180° of visibility. To put those numbers in perspective, that’s about 10X the power of a common AA powered tail light! And the Vis 180 Tail Light is not just another blinky light in another way, as it doesn’t blink, but instead pulses in a concentrated pattern that attracts attention from anyone on the road. You can cycle through 4 modes on the Vis 180 Tail Light: Pulse High, Pulse Low, Steady and Paceline (which eliminates the top pulsing light), with runtimes from 4 hours on high to 20 hours on the Paceline flash setting. The built-in Li-Ion battery charges in only 4½ hours, and like the  Urban 300 LED Headlight, there is a battery charge indicator to accurately report the charge status. Mounting the Vis 180 Tail Light is simple with a tool-free, adjustable mount that easily attaches to your bike frame, seatstays or seatpost without compromising the viewing angle. Alternatively, you can utilize the locking mount clip to slip the Vis 180 Tail Light on your favorite messenger bag or backpack. You can read what Bikerumor thought about this powerful tail light when they reviewed it here.

The Light & Motion Vis 360 LED Headlight and Tail Light package is the first all-in-one light with a powerful LED headlight, amber side lights, and a four lumen tail light, that delivers a full 360° of visibility to the rider. Easily mounted on your helmet with an easy-on, easy-off snap mount, the Vis 360 LED Headlight and Tail Light improves your visibility while riding, even to passing SUV’s! At only 130g, its balanced fore/aft weight makes it barely noticeable on your helmet, but the 1 LED headlight with a 110 lumen output (and amber side lights) combined with the 3 LED tail light with a 4 lumen output means that you will definitely see and be seen out on the road. Runtimes vary from 2½ hours on High, to 5 hours on Low and 20+ hours on Flash (all settings adjusted via the single headlight button), with a recharge time of 4½ hours. To get a better feel for the Vis 360 LED Headlight and Tail Light in action, check out this video from Chris, who has been commuting 15 miles each way with this lighting system for the past few months, and is a big fan of it’s versatility and power:

Product Profile: 2012 Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Cycling Clothing

Our product profile this week is focused on Pearl Izumi cycling clothing. Pearl Izumi has been making high performance cycling apparel for 60 years now, and their gear has been tested by the US National Cycling Team, elite-level pro teams and world-class athletes. Pearl Izumi translates this product testing experience into high performance cycling wear, creating world-class cycling clothing for riders of all levels.

If you’re looking for their most advanced materials, innovative designs, and flawless function, you’ll want to try their P.R.O. line of clothing. Short for Performance & Race Optimized,  Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. cycling gear is the top end of their range of products, featuring their newest innovations in technology, race-ready fit and detailed construction with P.R.O. level fabric technologies.

The foundation of the P.R.O. line of cycling clothing is the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. In-R-Cool Bib Shorts. Fabric details with the P.R.O. In-R-Cool Bib Shorts include P.R.O. Transfer fabric, to improve airflow and breath-ability, along with In-R-Cool technology with coldblack, which reduces the fabric’s surface temperature by up to 35° F under direct sunlight. Factor in the anatomic 8-panel design, which easily moves with you and offers a streamlined fit, and the pre-shaped P.R.O. Seamless 4D Chamois with breathable, moisture-managing 4-way stretch material, and you’ve got shorts that perfectly conform to your body in motion. 

Detail of the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. In-R-Cool Bib Shorts

The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Leader Short Sleeve Jersey is a great match to the P.R.O. In-R-Cool Bib Shorts, with all of the features you’d expect to find in a technically advanced garment built for racing performance.

P.R.O. Transfer fabric with In-R-Cool technology is utilized, along with a race cut that gives you a next-to-skin fit for improved aerodynamics. Other cool details are welded direct-vent panels that help circulate cool air, a gripper hem in back that stays put, and reflective elements to keep you visible. Three back pockets, plus a sweat-proof pocket to hold your gear and electronics, round out this race-ready jersey.

Detail of the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Leader Short Sleeve Jersey

You can find a full array of new Spring 2012 Pearl Izumi cycling gear here, including more P.R.O. level gear to get you outfitted from shoes to gloves. If you want to add a bit more style to your next ride, you should also take a look at the Pearl Izumi’s LTD line of jerseys, available for both men and women:

Finally, we just get a kick out of this video about how Pearl Izumi makes a prototype sublimated jersey, compressed down to 90 seconds:

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Thanks and Happy Holidays from Performance Bicycle!

From all of us at Performance Bicycle, we want to take a moment to say “Thanks!”, and wish you and your family a happy holiday season! Plus we wanted to share this great “thank you” card created by Adam, one of our graphic designers and proud owner of an amazing Christmas sweater!

And if you haven’t quite finished all of your holiday shopping, remember that our shops are all open until 6PM on Christmas Eve and are full of great last minute gift ideas (and gift cards) for cyclists!

Eric’s Top 5 for Cyclocross

Eric, the product buyer for our components division, loves racing cyclocross. In fact, he plans his whole cycling year around the few short months of the cyclocross season. And since North Carolina is a hotbed of sorts for ‘cross on the East Coast, there’s rarely a weekend when he’s not donning the kit of our Garneau Custom team and pushing himself to the limit for an hour on the pavement, grass, sand, mud or whatever else the course has in store.

Eric’s definitely a guy who knows his cyclocross, so we asked him to give us his top 5 component picks for ‘cross season, and why he picked them.  Will your next ‘cross race still be one of the most painful hours you’ve ever spent on a bike if you get this gear? Of course! This is cyclocross after all – but you might as well look for every advantage you can get.

1. DV3k Tubular Wheelset – This wheelset is lightweight (sub 1400 grams), plus it has an advanced carbon layup, 46-mm rim depth to slice through the mud, and the smooth ride of a tubular (although you can also get the wheeelset in a clincher version).

2. Avid Shorty Ultimate Cantilever Brakes - They don’t call these brakes “ultimate” for nothing; they can be adjusted to have a wide or narrow stance, have ample mud clearance, and just plain look good (plus it doesn’t hurt that the world champ races with them on his bike).

3. GORE RideOn Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables - Cross can be muddy… like really muddy. With GORE’s sealed cable system, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s a no-brainer.

4. Challenge Grifo Tubular Cyclocross Tire – Cross racers are serious about their tires, from the tread patterns to the tire pressure to the history of the manufacturer. The Grifo is still made by hand, with a versatile tread design and the supple performance that only a high-end tubular can deliver (but a clincher version is also available).

5. Shimano CX70 Crankset – Part of Shimano‘s first foray into the world of purpose-built cyclocross components, this crankset excels with a 46/36T gearing combination mated to Shimano‘s reliable and efficient 2-piece design with smooth-shifting Hyperdrive chainrings.

Product Profile: New 2012 Fuji Bikes

We know it’s still 2011, but we couldn’t wait to talk about the new 2012 Fuji Bikes that are showing up online & in our stores. Fuji has a great lineup ready for the new year, and they’re building on the success of their first Grand Tour-winning bike! Juan Jose Cobo of Team Geox-TMC won the Vuelta in style aboard Fuji’s new flagship road bike, the Altamira. Cobo, the “Bison”, stormed into the lead atop the feared Angliru by riding away from the field in dominating fashion.

The new 2012 Fuji Altamira 3.0 Road Bike is built on the same DNA as the Cobo’s Vuelta winning ride, and we got to see this great looking bike in person here in the lobby of our Headquarters (one of the benefits of working here is getting to see cool bikes like this on the way to your next meeting).

While we can’t promise that you’ll ride like Cobo, the 2012 Fuji Altamira 3.0 is an ultralight road platform that has been tested and refined on the Pro Tour, so it won’t let you down if you’re powering up a climb, sprinting for the county line or railing the hairpins on a high-speed descent.

The shapely C4 carbon frame features a tapered head tube and oversized downtube to provide a stiff and stable platform that responds instantly to rider input.  Plus it just looks good – these pictures don’t do the very cool carbon finish justice.

In back, the slender seatstays provide for a resilient and comfortable ride built for long days in the saddle. Rounding out the package, the 2012 Fuji Altamira 3.0 is outfitted with a ready-to-race mix of Shimano 105 and color-matched Oval brand components.

At the core of the frame, the oversized downtube mates with a massive bottom bracket junction to provide maximum strength and stiffness for efficient power transfer. The 2012 Fuji Altamira 3.0 definitely lives up to its Grand Tour pedigree.

Of course we’ve got a few more new rides from Fuji to offer right now, including the 2012 Fuji Cross 3.0 Cyclocross Bike seen below,which features a flattened top tube for shouldering the bike more comfortably and securely, plus a lightweight alloy fork with plenty of clearance for even the most mud-slathered cross tires.

The 2012 Fuji Newest 1.0 Road Bike is built around a lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fork to provide both responsive handling and a comfortable ride, along with the flexibility of a 30-speed drivetrain, so you never run out of gearing in the hills.

The 2012 Fuji Roubaix 3.0 Road Bike is the latest iteration of the popular Roubaix line, a great combination of value and performance.  Its lightweight, custom-butted aluminum frame with bonded carbon fork delivers a supple, responsive ride, and the Shimano Sora drivetrain provides quick, precise gear changes.

The 2012 Fuji Absolute 2.0 is great for those looking for a more upright riding position than a drop handlebar road bike offers – it’s a great combination of the performance and handling you want on the road with the all-day comfort of a hybrid bike.

Finally, and definitely not least, we present the 2012 Fuji Altamira 2.0 Di2 Ultegra Road Bike.  Offering all of the features of the 2012 Fuji Altamira 3.0 above, the 2012 Fuji Altamira 2.0 features Shimano’s brand new Ultegra Di2 shifting system – the latest development in Shimano’s Di2 electronic drivetrain systems, Ultegra Di2 delivers fast and accurate shifts every time, yet is engineered to be highly durable and dependable.  We’ll definitely have more to say about this amazing bike soon!

Product Profile: Eastern Bikes

For today’s product profile, we’re going to talk about a new line of BMX bikes now available here at Performance. Eastern Bikes is a fellow North Carolina company that was founded in Raleigh in 1996, and is currently headquartered about 40 minutes from our own corporate office. Eastern Bikes is serious about BMX, and they’ve got a team of rad riders to show off their bikes, like Eric Holley catching some air below.

But if you really want to watch their team in action, head over to their video page to see their crew tearing up bike parks, urban environments, and pretty much anything else that looks fun and challenging to ride. In the video below, the Eastern team headed out to the Woodward West camp to ride all the set-ups and meet up with young campers and other visiting pros.

Perfecting the tricks performed by the pros on the Eastern team takes lots of practice. And the Nitrous line of Eastern BMX bikes is the perfect place for the young rider to start. They deliver the look and feel of a pro bike, but in an affordable package. While these may be beginner’s BMX bikes, they are designed and assembled with the same quality and attention to detail that goes into Eastern’s pro-level bikes, with a solid component spec that won’t hold the newbie rider back.

With its steeper head and seat angles, shorter wheelbase and front and rear brakes with detangler, the Shock Freestyle BMX Bike is the ideal entry-level bike for the beginning flatland rider, or it would make a great all-around BMX bike for smaller/younger kids too.

2011 Eastern Battery Freestyle BMX Bike

The Battery is the perfect bike for young riders who want to take a stab at perfecting jumps and tricks or who just want to cruise the neighborhood in style.

2011 Eastern Lowdown Freestyle BMX Bike

The Lowdown Freestyle BMX Bike is perfect for the beginner BMXer who wants a well-built bike that’s going to stand up to rough use. It features a rugged steel frame, forged chromoly 1-piece crankset and alloy U-brake for efficient speed control.

2011 Eastern Piston Freestyle BMX Bike

An ideal BMX bike for smaller riders and beginners the Piston Freestyle BMX bike is ruggedly built, so it can stand up to the stresses doled out by novice riders.

So if you’ve got a young rider ready to give BMX a try, check out our selection of Eastern Bikes - they’ll get the look & feel of a pro bike, but in an affordable and durable package that will survive whatever they throw at them!

Product Profile: Devinci Cycles

Savvy cyclists have been grooving on this Canadian company’s handmade offerings since 1987. Forging its reputation by designing and handcrafting extraordinary bikes that deliver extraordinary performance, Devinci stands for excellence, vision and an unwavering devotion to the art of the bicycle and the thrill of the ride. Devinci road bikes and mountain bikes are products of constant innovation. They’re rigorously tested beyond industry standards, and actually warrantied for the life of the original owner. That’s passion. That’s Devinci.

Check out this tour of the Devinci factory in Canada to see what Devinci’s dedicated staff of bike pros, skilled engineers, and visionary designers are all about, and the work that they put into every bike:

Devinci Road Bikes

The Devinci Leo SL R road bike is race-ready, rider-friendly and priced to put high performance within your reach. A full-carbon frame and carbon fork strike a perfect balance between compliance and rigidity, and Devinci’s exclusive High Performance Geometry design puts you in the optimal position for comfort, ergonomics and aerodynamics.

The Devinci Leo SL R delivers excellent power transfer, precision control and responsive handling for a truly amazing ride, whether you’re fond of Gran Fondos or determined to dominate county line sprints.

Devinci Mountain Bikes

From the fast and lightweight Dexter high-performance XC bike, to the Dixon all mountain rig with 145mm of super-compliant travel, to the Wilson downhill bike with its motocross-inspired shape, each bike in the Devinci lineup of full-suspension mountain bikes features innovative Split Pivot design for optimum traction, efficiency and reliability. Equipped to rip, Devinci mountain bikes are ready to rock your rooty, rocky, rut-filled world.

Here’s Dave Weagle, designer of the Split Pivot suspension design, giving an overview of what makes this suspension design work so well:

You can see Devinci bikes in action on the World Cup Downhill MTB circuit under the Devinci Global Racing team. Currently Steve Smith, riding his Devinci Wilson downhill bike, is in 4th place in the World Cup Overall standings with one race remaining in the 2011 UCI World Cup.

Shop our selection of Devinci bikes here.

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