Performance Tour du Jour: On the ground in France

As should be expected when traveling from North Carolina to Grenoble, France, we spent most of the first day of our voyage on airplanes, in trains and trying to cram bike cases into tiny elevators! The flight to France was long but uneventful, with a few movies watched and not much sleep to be found. When we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport, we ran in to many cyclists ready to ride and watch the Tour, much like ourselves.

We met a nice family on the train – we had met the dad at the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race last year and were pleased to meet his family. We traveled through the airport with them and even competed to see who could fit the most people with bike cases in a tiny elevator:

As you can see, they won.  Eventually we made our way to the famous French high speed train, the TGV, for our high speed escape to the Alps. It was a pretty cool train ride flying through the French countryside, but we have to say that th TGV was not designed with hauling bike cases in mind! Our bikes ended up stacked right by the door of the train, in front of the bathroom – not exactly the best spot for storing some pretty sweet road bikes!

But eventually we made our way to Grenoble (with our bikes), our stopover spot for the night. The weather was wet and rainy when we arrived, but before the day was over (and we passed out from our exhausting day of travel), the clouds cleared and we were treated to our first view of the surrounding mountains where we will spend the next week.

Tomorrow (Monday), we’re off to meet up with our Europeds tour group and head up the Alpe d’Huez for the very first time. Yeah, you could say we’re excited! Or, as the sign says, we’re “fous du tour”:

To keep up-to-date on what we’re doing next, or to get in touch with us, be sure to follow Performance Bike on Twitter and Facebook. We want to hear from you as we head into the Alps!

Celebrate the Tour Contest

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.

2nd Prize – Garmin Edge 800 Bundle, Giro Prolight Helmet, 2 Continental Grand Prix 4000 S Tires

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!

Product Profile – 2011 Scattante Americano

We Want YOU to Win an Americano!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anniversary Sale Give-A-Way

Celebrate, Save & Win

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

2011 Scattante CFR Comp Road Bike

2011 Scattante CFR Comp Road Bike

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

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

Enter today for your chance to win!

National Bike Month Contests – Last Chance

National Bike Month may be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t end the month with a brand new bike! As part of this month-long celebration of all things cycling, we’ve partnered with a few websites to give away some cool new rides.

If you surf over to Bullz-Eye.com, you can enter to win a 2011 Scattante F-330 Fitness Bike in their Bike to Work Month Performance Bicycle Giveaway:

Over at Shape.com, you can enter to win a 2011 Scattante W-330 Women’s Road Bike (designed with women’s specific geometry):

If that’s not enough, you should also be sure to enter our very own 100th Store Give-A-Way, a celebration of our landmark 100th store (plus National Bike Month, of course).

When you enter to win, you’ll have the chance to take home 1 of 100 $100 gift cards, a Pearl Izumi gear kit, or a brand new 2011 GT Sensor 9r Expert Mountain Bike:

These are all great bikes, and winning one would be a great way to close out National Bike Month in style! But if you don’t see a bike or prize you want to win, or you just don’t want to wait, then be sure to check out our huge Memorial Day Savings event, going on now through Memorial Day, online and in our stores! You’ll save an extra 15% off everything, including items already on sale (some exclusions apply)!

Bicycling Magazine Buyer’s Guide – Scattante Americano

Ah spring, a time when the weather’s getting warmer, the day’s are getting longer (especially this Sunday–don’t forget about Daylight Savings), and thoughts turn to more riding and, inevitably, new bikes!  Cycling magazines are only too happy to feed our spring bike fever, and the folks over at Bicycling Magazine have turned up the heat with their latest thorough Buyer’s Guide (available now at our retail stores):

But as you’re flipping through the pages, checking out all the new gear, be sure to stop and take a look at page 28. You’ll find this striking photo of our very own 2011 Scattante Americano Three singlespeed bike, available soon exclusively at Performance. As you can imagine, we’re really excited about how the new Americano series turned out (we’ve got a sneak preview picture of our entire Americano line back on our 2011 bikes post).

Bicycling’s review of the Americano Three starts on page 29 and continues on page 33 of the April Buyer’s Guide, and it gives you a good feel for what the Americano series is all about.  The Americano bikes merge solid geometry and understated urban style with a single-speed drivetrain, all at a fantastic value (leaving you the opportunity to customize your bike to make it as individual as you want, like this Americano that you may recognize from the blogosphere).

If you’re interested in even more eye-candy from our Scattante lineup, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on page 67 of the Bicycling Buyer’s Guide, where we’ve got a shot of our brand new 2011 Scattante CFR Pro road bike (alongside our Scattante Spyder helmet, sunglasses and shoes)!  We’ll have this Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-equipped steed available soon, and don’t worry, it rides as good as it looks!

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Shimano and Campagnolo Chains

Spin Doctor

So you’ve decided to upgrade to the latest and greatest drivetrains from Shimano or Campagnolo, but now you’ve got to figure out how to deal with the new chain that you need for your new components.  Read on below for some important information, from our Spin Doctor Product Services team, that you need to know before you ever install a Campy 11-speed or new Shimano 10-speed chain.

Campagnolo 11-speed Chain

Installing or shortening the Campy 11-speed chain requires special procedures and tools:

• New chains can only be shortened on the end opposite the special link. The special link is marked by a plastic tag and a batch number.

• The 11-speed chains are connected with a special piloted connecting pin (Ultra-Link CN RE 500). The pin must be driven from the inside out.

• For secure operation the end of the connecting pin Ultra-Link CN RE 500 must be flattened or peened once its pilot is snapped off.

CT-11 in action

• The Campy UT-CN300 chain tool can shorten, connect and peen the connecting pin, or the Park Master Chain Tool (CT-4.2 or CT-4) can be used for connecting and shortening but the Park CT-11 tool must be used for peening. The CT-11’s sole function is peening the Campy 11-speed chain. It should not be used for anything else.

• The Campy 11-speed chain can only be broken and reattached 2 times and the special connecting pin can only be attached to the special link.

Shimano Asymmetric 10 Speed Chains (Dura-Ace HG CN-7901, Ultegra HG CN-6701, 105 HG CN-5701)

Like the Campy 11-speed chain, the Shimano Asymmetrical chains requires some special steps:

• The chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have rectangular cut-outs. The outside outer chain plates will have model designations.

Dura-Ace 7901 chain inside plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an out plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates – connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

Item #50-6585

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed except if the chain is to be discarded.

Shimano Dyna-Sys 10 Speed Chains (M980 XTR chain, HG94 XT chain, HG74 SLX chain)

Dyna-Sys chains have 4 different types of outer plates that facilitate shifting up & down on the cassette or between chainrings.

• The Dyna-Sys chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have no lettering while the outside has outer chain plates that are alternating stamped with HG-X and Shimano.

HG74 SLX chain – inside chain plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an outer plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates – connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed again except if the chain is to be discarded.

If you still have questions about Campy or Shimano chains, just head down to your local Performance store or contact Spin Doctor Product Services by phone, email or chat; they’ll be happy to help!

Call: 800-553-TECH
Email: spindoctor@performanceinc.com
Chat: Live Help at PerformanceBike.com

2011 Bikes

Since we’re talking about what we’re looking forward to in 2011, what list would be complete without a little talk about new bike gear!  Here at Peformance Bicycle we are always working hard to give you the best possible value and performance from our exclusive brands, like our fantastic USB-rechargable Spark lights or our award-winning Performance Elite bib shorts.   For 2011, we’re really proud to bring you a brand new lineup of exclusive bike brands.  we’ve got new bikes coming soon that will meet any riders’ needs–from the hardcore mountain bike racer to the urban commuter, from the first-time rider to the elite racer, .  We’re just going to give you a sneak peek of the new lineup right now, but don’t worry, we’ll have more in-depth specs and videos in the next few weeks.

The biggest update to our exclusive bikes is with our Access brand of mountain bikes.  As you can see below (from photos we shot during our employee-exclusive bike preview), we’ve really expanded our Access lineup.

Front and center in the new lineup are the race-ready Access Stealth carbon 29er hardtail mountain bikes.  Yes, we said carbon 29er.  We’ve been testing and refining this new bike for some time now, and we can’t wait to show off its performance (and hot graphics).

But we haven’t neglected our aluminum-framed 29er options, as you can see with the Access Prowler series, with solid component specs and sharp-looking color schemes.

Also new is the Access Raptor series of 26″-wheeled hardtails, available, like all of our bikes, with a range of components to meet everyone’s needs and budget.

Of course we didn’t forget to upgrade our road bike lineup either, with new graphics and components throughout our Scattante brand bikes.

And our popular Scattante Americano single-speed lineup is back with more component style:

And cool custom graphic details:

Plus we don’t want you to miss our updated Transit line of commuter bikes, with their practical specs and understated style.

So, like we said earlier, we’re really looking forward to 2011!  We’ve worked hard to bring you exclusive bike brands that have something for everyone and every need, and we can’t wait to show them off!

Scattante Stories Grand Prize Winner – Gil

So without further adieu, it’s finally time to share our Scattante Stories Giveaway Grand Prize winner.  As we said before, we were thoroughly impressed by all of the funny, heartfelt, and inspiring Scattante Stories that we received.  It made for a very difficult process to pick our winner, but we had to pick one story to win our Grand Prize of a 2010 Scattante CFR Comp Road Bike, Scattante Spyder Road Helmet, Scattante Team Short Sleeve Jersey, Scattante Airfino Bib Short, Scattante Matrix Multi-Lens Eyewear, Scattante Race Gloves, and Scattante Race Socks, and our winner was Gil!

Gil’s Scattante Story is a simple but touching story of a father and son reconnecting by bike and enjoying their time together out on the road.  So congratulations Gil, we hope you enjoy your new bike and all the adventures you’ll have with your son while riding your new Scattante (we’ve heard a rumor that his son Alec will get to take over Gil’s R330)!

My Scattante story is one about a father trying to stay connected to his 13 year old son.

Alec has gotten into fixed-gear cycling in a big way over the past year and he’s really into his riding track bike. It’s been great watching him get into riding, customizing and maintaining his bike. It reminded me about when I was into road biking when I was a teenager. I often watched him take off with friends with a mixed feeling of pride and a bit of loneliness — yes, loneliness.

Alec’s rides were taking him farther and farther away from home. On weekends he’d be out riding with friends from morning til dark. It felt like a metaphor for a son growing up and asserting his independence. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe this is a bad thing, but sill as a dad, I felt our days of bonding over play were coming to an end. He had no interest in trips to the park, the zoo or bowling — the things we typically did before.

Part of me wanted to join him, but I had no bike that could keep up — I don’t count the ‘delivery bike’ that has been a fixture in our garage for the past 10 years and had become a bit of a family joke. When he came home, Alec would share his adventures with me. I would wax nostalgic about my 1982 Schwinn. Alec would meekly suggest I should get a new road bike. I would respond with a non-committal grunt. A fixed gear bike seemed too hardcore for me. A road bike?… At that point I moved the conversation onto the next subject.

Finally two months ago, I built up enough resolve to go into Performance Bike and walked out with the Scattante R330. I was impressed at the lightness, the smooth shifting Shimano Sora gears and the overall comfort for a road bike. I was amazed at how much bikes have changed since my 1982 Schwinn. After a few trial runs getting used to riding, I was ready. Alec and I went out on a ride together for the first time in years.

We both enjoyed road biking together a ton. We took a ride out to the beach together and cruised up PCH. We had lunch. We raced. We saw snakes along the side of the road. We spotted three Ferraris. It was an awesome day for the two of us.

Well let me tell you — Alec and I are now taking rides together 2-3 times a week. Night rides (with lights of course) beach rides, sprints, you name it. For the first time in years, I feel like we are “playing” together. He’s excited to talk to me about cycling, bikes and about planning our next adventures.

I don’t feel like I got my little boy back — instead I feel like I now have something even better. A rich, dynamic relationship with my teenage son, and ample opportunities to bond over shared adventures. My Scattante R330 has played a big part in bringing my son and I closer together.

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Scattante Stories – Chris

Another favorite Scattante Story entry was this tale from Chris.  For sheer poetic imagery, this story of a ride on the beautiful Skyline Drive was hard to beat, so we couldn’t help sharing it with the rest of you.

We’d thought something was wrong, opening the door to find a park ranger pointing at our vehicle in the nearby parking lot.

“Is that your vehicle?” Ranger Simmons asked my wife.

It turned out Simmons wasn’t so much interested in the SUV as he was my Scattante R650 bolted to the roof rack. In particular, he wanted to know if the owner of the bicycle was, in his words, “as capable as the ride.”

After talking about some of the rides I’d knocked out earlier in the week, he asked if I’d be game for an early morning run along Skyline Drive, the spine of the park and the reason for our visit.

We made a plan to set out at 5 a.m. the following morning, and he said that he’d stop back later with something I needed for a safe ride.

We slipped out of the parking area at 5:15, under a full moon and nearly two hours before sunrise. We each had a nifty bar zip-tied to the handlebars above the stem, featuring two bright LED beams and two things that he described as ‘deer whistles’.

We sprang out onto the drive, banking through turns and running up hills past overlooks and the low stone walls that define Skyline.

With our breathing often the only noise I could hear, Simmons explained during one descent that the purpose of the deer whistles was to emit a high frequency noise that White-Tailed deer in the area would hear. “You don’t want to crash into one of them driving, and you certainly don’t want to hit one without a front bumper and an airbag!” I wasn’t sure if he was joking, insane or serious until we rounded one of the furthest corners approaching a ‘bald’, or clearing that my wife mentioned as a nice picnic location on our drive in to the park.

Traveling at 25, 27 mph, I didn’t realize at first that we’d startled a grouping of four does that were working their way down the hillside to our left. They were still on the right of way and slightly in front of and to the left of me. Simmons was to my right, and looked over at me with the grin of a shark about to grab a seal. “Ready?” was all he asked.

At that invitation and challenge, I switched gears for a sprint and took a deep breath of clean mountain morning air. I’ve wondered since if the air I was inhaling didn’t contain the exhaled breath of one of the deer, or vice versa, for as the deer broke for the clearing we were on their tails, literally drafting as they approached their peak speeds. Simmons was nearly growling through clenched teeth, urging me on faster, and moments after we overtook the deer, they broke from us, danced over a low stone wall and into the clearing.

Within seconds they were gone, the moment forever burned into my memory.

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