October 24, 2012 Leave a comment
July 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Since Performance Bicycle was founded in 1982, we thought that today was a perfect time to look back at the Tour de France in 1982. With 6 time trials on the schedule, Bernard Hinault was the odds-on favorite to take his 4th Tour de France title (he had won in 1978, 1979 and 1981), as he had already won the 1982 Giro d’Italia. Other cyclists of note in the race were Gerrie Knetemann, Joop Zoetemelk, Johan van der Velde, Sean Kelly, and a very young Phil Anderson.
The race began, as expected, with an Hinault victory in the opening time trial in Basel, Switzerland. But after 2 road stages, Australian Phil Anderson sprinted to victory and the yellow jersey in Stage 2 and wore the leader’s jersey for the next 9 days (only the second time that the yellow jersey was not worn by a European).
Just to keep things interesting early in the race, the organizers through in a stage that passed over the cobblestones in northern France, documented in this short movie from French television:
As expected, Hinault took back the lead after the first time trial, even though he didn’t win the stage. After marking his opponents in the Pyrenees, Hinault won the short individual time trial of Stage 14 to expand his lead. In the Alps, Hinault again kept an eye on his closest competitors, after a short delay due to a farmers’s strike on Stage 16:
The final time trial win by Hinault made his coronation as Tour winner a formality, but Hinault wasn’t called the Badger for no reason. He responded to criticism that the 1982 Tour was “boring” by attacking the entire peloton for victory on the final stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, while in the yellow jersey!
June 29, 2012 Leave a comment
The 2012 Tour de France features 22 teams and 198 riders in cycling’s biggest race. The pros will battle it out over 2,173 miles of steep mountain passes, quaint country villages and hectic sprint finishes. Only a lucky few will get the chance to win a coveted stage of this year’s race. It’s a life-changing experience for the pros – from that point on, they can say that they won a stage of cycling’s most famous race.
So we thought it’s time to share the acclaim. You probably won’t be lining up to contest the prologue in Liege, Belgium or the next 20 stages across France – but you could be selected as a Performance Bike Stage Winner! We’re going to randomly select one lucky participant as our Stage Winner after every stage of the Tour. Each winner will be highlighted with his or her photo on the Performance Bike Facebook page after the Grand Depart in Liege on Saturday, June 30 all the way to the triumphant finish on the Champs-Elysees on July 22. Our Stage Winner will receive the never ending fame that comes with being a Performance Bike Stage Winner – plus a $30 Performance Gift Card to commemorate our 30th Anniversary!
How do you become our next Stage Winner? Just head out for a ride and have someone take a picture of you riding your bike. Show us your climbing prowess, your suffer face, your victory salute or your sprint finish. Or just a shot of you cruising down the bike path with your kids or hitting the local mountain bike trails – we’re not as demanding as the pros and we don’t have to comply with UCI rules!
Tweet your photo to @performance_inc with the #stagewinner hashtag or post it to our Stage Winner page on Facebook to enter. We’ll pick a new winner every day of the Tour (even on rest days, just because it sounds like fun to “win” the rest day). You can only win one stage in our contest, but share as many photos as you like. We’ll be posting our pics too – we hope you’ll join us in our race to become a #stagewinner at the same time as the pros race in France!
May 29, 2012 Leave a comment
The 2012 Giro d’Italia is over, and what a final weekend it was! Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to ever win a Grand Tour, while also snagging the first overall Grand Tour win for Team Garmin-Barracuda. It was such an exciting final weekend that we had to corral the highlights here on our blog, just so we could enjoy the battle for the Maglia Rosa one more time.
First up was Stage 20, which included an ascent of the fearsome Mortirolo before a finishing climb up the punishing, and legendary, Stelvio. Aided by his trusty lieutenant Christian Vande Velde, Hesjedal powered a select group of GC favorites most of the way up the Stelvio in pursuit of the surprising Thomas De Gendt – who threatened to gain almost five minutes on the chasing pack of GC men. Hesjedal closed the gap to De Gendt in the final kilometers, but a cagey Joaquim Rodriguez sprinted away near the finish to gain a precious few seconds in his quest to keep the Maglia Rosa.
On the Giro’s final day, Hesjedal lined up for the final time trial 31 seconds down on Rodriguez – but in a display reminiscent of Greg LeMond beating Laurent Fignon in the final time trial of the 1989 Tour de France, Hesjedal powered his way through the time trial to best Rodriguez by a scant 16 seconds in the final tally.
What a race and what a finale to the season’s first Grand Tour – there was drama, a great storyline, and the always impressive Italian scenery. Here’s hoping that the competition for this summer’s Tour de France will be just as exciting!
February 8, 2012 Leave a comment
For today’s product profile, we’re talking about Louis Garneau cycling gear. Founded in 1983 (incidentally, only one year later than Performance Bicycle), Louis Garneau has worked hard to create innovative cycling apparel, as they so aptly explain on their site: “It has and always will be our mission to conceptualize, design, and engineer technological products that will provide racers a competitive edge and recreational cyclists an improved experience.”
Of course one of the racers they were thinking about was Thomas Voeckler, leader of Team Europcar at the 2011 Tour de France. Here’s a shot of Voeckler during his gritty ride to hold on to the yellow jersey during Stage 18 of the Tour, on the slopes of the Galibier.
And just to show how passionate the Garneau folks are about their gear, look no further than this video ode to creating the special customized gear for Voeckler’s days in yellow:
Of course we said that we were going to talk about new 2012 Garneau gear, so what better place to start than with their Corsa cycling kit. As you can see below, the Corsa line was designed for ultimate cycling performance, with features such as the Aero Lazer Band at the arm and leg openings plus a “next to skin” fit so you can stay sleek and streamlined, and Carbon-X mesh for optimal muscle compression and support. The designers at Garneau even went so far as to use special Speed Tech shoulder panels to reduce frontal pressure and cut wind resistance while you are in a riding position.
The Louis Garneau Mondo kit includes many of the aerodynamic features of the Corsa line, including the Aero Lazer Bands and “next to skin” fit, along with nifty little details like a dedicated music-player pocket. The Equipe line of cycling wear is designed around an ultra-lightweight and breathable jersey, to maximize cooling, while the Equipe bib shorts offer a compressive fit (these shorts are a definite favorite around our office).
Like we said, the people of Louis Garneau are passionate about their work, and it shows in the details of their products. This passion can be directly traced back to the company’s founder, the eponymous Louis Garneau himself. A former elite cyclist, Mr. Garneau still plays an active role in the development of his company’s products, for, as he says, “Our innovations exist because we create products that function, perform, and are proven on the bike. We ride, we ride, we ride again, until we are certain a product will provide our customers a competitive advantage, and I have never removed myself from that group of test riders.”
As a final note, it was also interesting to learn that Mr. Garneau is a bit of an artist, creating a series of canvases as a fundraiser for the Fondation du Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (although with his company’s emphasis on design, maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise):
January 6, 2012 2 Comments
The title of this post may be looking ahead to 2012, but it seems like we should start by looking back at 2011. It was a busy year around the world of cycling, and the same was true for us here at Performance Bicycle. We opened 11 new stores across the country, from Michigan to Texas to California to Illinois to Indiana to Georgia to Idaho, bringing our grand total of stores to over 100!
We’ve been busy here on the Blog as well, bringing you our always different Wordless Wednesday posts, our informative Spin Doctor Tech Tips, plus our coverage of interesting events like Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, racing with our coworkers at the Burn 24 Hour Challenge mountain bike race, and getting to see a small race in France that you might have heard of (we’ll give you a hint, it involved some pretty cool scenery).
We’ve also had a great time giving away some great prizes, through our website and over on our Facebook page, including some lucky Ride Like a Pro SRAM winners, and of course our Scattante Americano Giveaway over the Fourth of July.
We always enjoy watching the professionals do their thing every year, and 2011 didn’t disappoint in that regard. The folks over at Bicycling magazine put together a great slideshow of pro cycling highlights from 2011, from the season-long dominance of Phillipe Gilbert, to Alberto Contador’s win in the Giro d’Italia, to the drama of Cadel Evans’ first Tour de France win, to Juan Jose Cobo’s Vuelta a Espana triumph (aboard a Fuji Altamira):
We also loved finding and sharing all manner of cycling videos, from ones that inspired:
To ones that involved crazy German mountain bikers:
To ones about the incomparable Chris Akrigg:
Or the equally awesome Danny Macaskill:
To a postman living his dream of riding with the Pros:
To a mountain biker losing a battle with a hartebeest:
Basically, we just loved all things cycling!
So what are we looking forward to in 2012? More and better things, of course! We’ve got new store openings planned, a fantastic lineup of new gear and new bikes (seriously, there are some awesome bikes we can’t wait to show you), more cycling events to cover, and fun giveaways and prizes to share. Plus it’s our 30th Anniversary, so that’s a pretty big deal (and it should be easy to find “pearl” cycling gifts)! Performance Bicycle was started in Garry Snook’s basement here in Chapel Hill, NC in 1982!
August 12, 2011 2 Comments
Last month during the Tour de France, we celebrated the nine teams riding bikes equipped with SRAM Red components with our Performance Bicycle Ride Like A Pro Sweepstakes. After sharing their favorite Tour de France moment, past or present, in 140 characters or less, 3 lucky winners were chosen to win a complete SRAM Red, Force or Rival component group!
Here are the three lucky winners (and their favorite Tour moments, all Lance-related) who will be riding SRAM like the pro riders from AG2R La Mondiale, Team Katusha, Liquigas-Cannondale, Pro Team Astana, Team Saxo Bank Sungard, Team Garmin-Cervelo, Team Radioshack, Saur Sojasun and Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team.
Steven Austin – SRAM Red Limited Tour Edition component group
Every time I ride with my buddies & we begin the hill climbs…I stare at them & “beat them down” with my eyes as Lance did a few years ago.
Troy Long – SRAM Force component group
2003 TDF Lance Armstrong climb of Luz Ardiden…crash 1.5 times then win the stage. Plus the helmet pass off at the bottom of last climb!
Michael Lauziere – SRAM Rival component group
Armstrong says it was one of his weakest races but 03 Stage 9 Lance was forced off road and showed the world how amazing of a rider he is.
Since we got so many great entries, we thought we’d share more of our favorites (with a few links thrown in to illustrate the stories) :
This years crash involving a car and a rider going through the barbed wire fence. That had to hurt. Hats off to him for finishing the stage.
the crazy mountain stages.
My favorite moment was just a couple years ago when a big Texan came back from retirement and rode to an incredible Podium finish! Go Lance!
1995 TdF: Team Motorola “wins” a stage together to honor fallen team member Fabio Casartelli who died the day before in a crash.
Thomas Voeckler showing tremendous heart chasing down attack after attack on days where he was “supposed” to relinquish his jersey.
Watching the favorites battle each other up the Plateau de Beille in stage 14. And hoping there is more battles like this in the Alps!
The Look. Nuff said.
watching these teams just grind it out. these guys are machines watching them makes me want to train harder!
Lance Armstrong cutting through the cornfield after Joseba Beloki crashed. It showed exactly why he is a true champion.
Just started biking so all of it so far.
Seeing Hoogerland finish stage 9 and receive his King of the Mountain jersey after that horrific crash. What an inspiration!
Watching Tyler Farrar get his first Stage win on the 4th especially after losing his friend. What a great guy and an inspiration
Thor Hushovd taking off his shoe during a race so the mechanics in the team car could fix his cleat and then putting the shoe back at 38mph
Favorite Tour de France moment would have to have been Thor Hushovd defending his jersey like the giant that he is.
7/24/04-Stage 19: TT @ Besancon. @ the finish 100s of Germans booing Lance. 100s of Americans cheering. Lance wins. Crowd erupts: USA USA
My moment would have to be watching Lance Armstrong win for the first time after beating cancer. I was only 10 or so & it was mind-blowing.
Eddy Merckx soldiering on after having been attacked by a spectator
Watching Greg LeMond overcome a 50-second deficit on the final day of the 1989 Tour to beat Laurent Fignon by eight seconds.
My favorite part of the tour was just watching the progression of Lance Armstrong as he overcame hardships and became the best!
2007 when Marcus Burghardt hit the yellow lab (both were okay) and how all of the cyclists after that only asked if the dog was okay!
Levi Leipheimer winning the ITT in the 2007 Tour de France. Spectacular.
Greg LeMond getting Bernard Hinault back by beating him a year after team orders stopped him from winning
It was a pleasure to see the true workhorse George Hincapie win a TDF stage a couple of years ago, after working his heart out for others!
Stage 16 1995 Armstrong raised both index fingers upward acknowledging Casartelli as team finished together to acknowledge teammates death
High school (early 80′s): I was inspired to ride by “The Badger” Bernard Hinault. Seeing him climb TT & sprint – he is one of the greats!
Eddy Merckx winning all four jerseys in his first tour in 1969
ALL OF IT!!!
Thanks to everyone who entered our Ride Like a Pro sweepstakes, and congratulations to our winners! You can find all of our past contest winners here.
August 4, 2011 1 Comment
In honor of the Tour de France victory of Cadel Evans, we’re making it a little easier to ride like Cadel, or at least wear his Diadora shoes! Our Diadora shoes are on sale right now, including the Proracer 3 road shoes worn to victory in the 2011 Tour de France. We’ve had a chance to check out the Proracer 3 here in the office, and it’s definitely got Italian style to go along with it’s pro-level features (which include an extra-thin, yet highly rigid carbon sole, durable D-Skin microfiber upper, and Multifit Adjust closure system with Micro CL buckle and Quick Adjustment strap, to find your perfect fit).
One of the most respected brands in cycling, Diadora has been worn to victory in the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta, the Olympics, the World Hour Record, and, of course most recently, in the 2011 Tour de France. Diadora makes a full array of road and mountain cycling shoes that employ innovative technology to offer unmatched, pro-level power transfer, superior ventilation and the ultimate in ergonomic comfort.
But since we’re talking about Cadel, we thought we’d share the best pictures of Cadel that we took during our Performance Tour du Jour trip to France. Above, Cadel is powering the chase group up the Col du Galibier on Stage 18, to narrow the gap on Andy Schleck.
Cadel sprinting to the finish on top of the famous climb of Alpe d’Huez in Stage 19, with Andy Schleck in the background.
Cadel rocketing off at the start of his time trial in Grenoble, in Stage 20.
Here’s Cadel in the peloton during the final stage in Paris, riding down the Rue de Rivoli in his new yellow jersey.
So if you’re ready to ride like Cadel, check out our Diadora shoes on sale today!