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Powered by Strava, the 2011 KOM Challenge was a climbing competition that was designed to be fun and highly rewarding. Over 8000 riders worldwide particpated, ranking up millions of feet (meters) of altitude (and attitude) over the 12 months. This individual, team and bike shop competition was brought to you by Studio Velo Cycling.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A SWEET Cyfac and a SWEET Bargain!

As some of may know I've been a Cyfac (Gothica) owner for nearly three years and have found to be one of the slickest handling bikes I've owned. And  Cyfac one of the few carbon-fiber bikes NOT made in China available - and hand built by French artisans who actually ride what they build.

Studio Velo is one of the leading Cyfac dealers in US and currently have a top of the line Cyfac Absolu demo on sale. It's a 56cm, and that's the reason I'm sharing this with you rather than riding it myself. This beauty can be had for only $5300 - that's over 50% of list on this gorgeous example of a bike. The spec's are awesome:
  •     Groupo- Dura Ace 7900 w/ Deda cockpit and Selle Italia Saddle
  •     Wheelset- Dura Ace twheels with Hutchinson Fusion 3 tubeless tires

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rapha Condor JLT Team Kit

I can be a total, all out fawning Rapha sycophant is I care to be, and was excited to get their email this morning announcing the reworked Condor JLT Team Kit salivating I read.: "Designed for elite-level racers, the Rapha Condor JLT range is now available. Using the same technology and construction as Rapha Pro Team products, highlights include the Team Issue Jersey, made from a lightweight, breathable fabric and cut for an aggressive riding position. The Team Issue Bib Shorts, meanwhile, feature an anatomic Cytech pad specifically positioned for racing. Both jersey and bib shorts have coldblack® technology for superior cooling." Almost before I finsihed reading that I was reaching for my wallet as I clicked on the link to the Rapha website. Voila! A delicious looking jersey and underneath it I was crushingly disappointed to see the thumbnail for the shorts overlaid with "OUT OF STOCK". There must be some sort of disconnect going on between marketing and production at Rapha. What were they thinking? I can't be the only potential buyer thwarted.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Energy Drinks Linked to Heart Disease?

A recent article in the New York Times caught my eye and gave me some cause for concern. As cyclists, we take for granted that we've got healthy hearts, and usually lean (or somewhat) bodies do seem to indicate a lower intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. Now it seems that scientists have found a link between a substance found in red meat (and many energy and body building supplements) and risk of heart disease. That substance is carnitine (yes, a word that shares it same Latin root with those after ride carne asada burritos). It appears that carnitine fuels as yet unidentified bacteria in your gut to create a rather toxic chemical called TMAO (has has been proven to cause heart disease in mice). This rather complicated and insightful study made me look closely at the label of my new favorite hydration drink, Skratch Labs exercise mix. Fortunately, there's no need for a change here, as  has nothing but natural ingredients. Should you care, I'm especially fond of Oranges (both real and Skratch Labs).

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Cycling Tips: Wear Drunk Tank Pink and Avoid Confrontation

A recently published book, by Adam Alter, and entitled "Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave" is a fascinating read about the many (we're talking almost infinite) ways our perceptions are manipulated by our surroundings (this is beyond just plain advertising). The title, for instance, alludes to a catchphrase for the jail cells where disorderly boozers are frequently housed to sober up; the idea being that the color pink has a calming effect on an inmates(s) no matter how rambunctious they might be. Carry that idea onto your road bike, then and go directly to your local Rapha (a brand with a penchant for the color pink) vendor and start assembling your own calming pink kit. Who knows, that motorist who cuts you off might be looking for a hug rather than the finger.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tuesday Cycling Tips: OSMO Single Serves

I've been a big fan of OSMO's Active Hydration for quite some time, so I was stoked to walk into Studio Velo last month to find another way to pack this excellent product on longer rides. I can stuff a couple of OSMO single serves into my jersey pocket and not have to "conserve" the bottle I leave with. They're also a great way to sample another flavor in their active hydration line.

Rumor has it that many top riders dump their "sponsors" drink from their bottles and refill with Dr. Stacy Sim's active hydration formula. Who knows for sure, but it sounds as good as it tastes and heck, I'm riding better so it must be the drink.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Cycling Tips: Heart Rate Monitor Comfort

When I first started using my Garmin 500 with the optional heart rate monitor I found a couple aspects of wearing it irritating - literally and figuratively.  I would often get a rash under the contact points after a four hour plus ride, especially on hot days - that was the literal aspect. On very cold days, I couldn't get an accurate HR reading. Turns out that there wasn't enough conductivity between the sensor bands and my pale skin. I solved both issues with some Aloe gel, applied to the monitor band contact points before strapping it on.
Aloe Gel for Garmin Heart Rate Monitor Strap Comfort

Friday, March 8, 2013

Awesome Dutch-made Tendem Pub Crawler

It's hard to characterize this Dutch treat drinking machine - we're impressed that it claims to be able to climb a 6% percent grade - with 17 aboard! The ten pedalers will have to work hard at carbo loading to keep the 5mph top speed claimed for this lightweight ale hauler. Let's do some calculations - a full keg of beer comes in at about 160 lbs, we have five rather fit cyclists hammering on each side of the bar for 1750 lbs (although Hammacher-Schlemmer notes that it'll accommodate riders to 300 lbs.).

Add the driver/bartender in at 200 (plus) pounds, a bar-maid roaming the deck, and three inebriates strapped on the rear bench for an additional  600 or so, non-cranking, dead-weight pounds. That totals some 2750 lbs combined for passengers. The machine itself comes in at a svelte 2300 lbs so we're pushing (literally and figuratively) over two tons here (not including the beer nuts). Which leads me to some concerns about the return trip down that 6% grade...there's no mention of any braking system!

Do you see any potential product liability issues here? Those concerns might stop lesser companies but there is a caveat in small print at the bottom of the page: "Please note that special conditions and guarantee limitations apply to this product." I bet there are.

Oh, did I mention, the Pedal Pub will only set you back a mere $40,000. And I wonder, is the gearing fixie? We wouldn't want the other side of the bar slacking off on the climb!

As it turns out I was so intrigued (captivated) by this charming throwback to place a call to Hammacher-Schlemmer regarding some of the unmentioned details - well they have no idea if it has brakes - it seems they are just advertising it for the manufacturer. The famous H-S lifetime guarantee is not this product. nor could they provide any delivery time estimates if I placed an order, or even the shipping costs. They did offer me a brochure on how to start my own Pedal Pub business that they could provide me...hmmmm, let me consider that, perhaps I could show up at some stages of the Tour de France (nix the HC sections though).

If you're interested, you'll find this beauty under   Toys & Games >> Ride On Toys.( I presume those are Adult Toys).