Two Thousand and Sixteen has been a very long year. Not necessarily because of a grueling race schedule, tons of miles or lots of new records.Read More
Tubeless tires are now as common as disc brakes in mountain biking. What was once though unnecessary has been fully accepted and adopted by the masses.Read More
A helmet is different from all other gear. For starters, you wear it every single time you ride. What other piece of gear is that true of?Read More
Try them out. Bontrager has really upped their game with these modern knob shapes and tread patterns, you will not be disappointed.Read More
Give me two bikes with the exact same parts, the Specialized Epic and the Trek Top Fuel, blind fold me and send me down a trail, and not only will I be able to tell you which is which within 10 seconds, but I’ll keep the Top Fuel over the Epic every day and on every trail. It’s simply that much better of a bike.Read More
Every persons body is different. You will react to various nutrition offerings different than I will, which makes recommending a product difficult, right? Well, not necessarily.Read More
Grips are pretty straight forward. In one way or another, they keep your hands firmly on the bar.Read More
With a light feel on the face and excellent visual fields, these are just what you need for twisty single track and 50mph road descents.Read More
Grips, pedals and saddles are arguably the most important part of your bike, as they are the only points you touch. I've tried a bunch of different grips trying to find something that keeps you comfortable all day across varying terrain. Thankfully, that search ended when I found ESI grips.
The simplistic design scares some off, but truly, it's precisely why people love them. With the basic round design, you can adjust your grip to maintain comfort all day. Getting locked into one position can cause nerve damage so having the ease of adjusting them is incredibly nice. Along with cushion the silicone provides, the varying thicknesses allows you to get a grip that dampens the trail chatter to whatever degree you need, keeping your hands happy.
While the racers edge is their super light offering, each level of grip has its own strengths for varying terrain. For races with rough and long downhills, I opt for the Chunky grip to get a bit more cushion, and it's incredible.
There is something incredibly confidence inspiring about having a nice big grip, filling up your hand. I don't have the longest fingers or the shortest out there, but having the thicker grip makes it feel like I've got more control of the bike. Mix that with the amazing tactile feel of the silicone (when its both wet and dry) and its a winning combo. Cover it in mud, snot, water, drink mix or sand and you're still good to go!
Downhill or uphill, ESI is the winning grip. There's a reason so many World Cup racers use them. Check them out!
As an endurance mountain bike racer, I do workouts regularly that burn three, four, and even five thousand calories. These aren't simply opportunities to survive though, I'm trying to push my body as far as it will go, to train it to be used to eight and ten hours of racing. With those kinds of physically taxing workouts, I have to replenish calories while I'm on my rides. So I use Infinit Nutrition.
During an NUE mountain bike race, every minute counts. Even though you're out there for most of the day, I have been merely seconds behind folks at the very end. The goal then becomes how to go as fast as you can with everything, including nutrition. What I've found from racing is that my body won't always handle eating solid food, especially when I start to dip into the five and six hour marks. But, it will still put down water just fine. To experiment, I began looking for a solution that was entirely liquid based. Something that would fuel my workouts for training, acclimating my body to it, but would also be fast for racing. After trying a few brands and disliking all of them, I found Infinit.
Infinit takes a holistic approach, designing their mixes to have everything the body needs during activity. Not only does this make life simpler, but it eliminates human error (which during a race can be quite high). I try to take in 300 calories and 20 ounces of water an hour while racing. I found that using their GoFar formula, I could get that all in! 300 calories and one bottle of water. Simple, easy, effective and it tastes good! Nothing like trying to choke down important calories only to not be able to handle the taste of it during the last hour of a race. Between bottles of GoFar, I'll use a gel flask and take in Napalm, which is their gel (also made from powder so that you can adjust its viscosity). This stuff is also fantastic to help give you a quick boost, especially during hard efforts. I occasionally mix it up too. While GoFar is my drink of choice, in the beginning of a race and at the end, I'll throw in some JetFuel and Speed to get caffeine involved. That has saved me more than once during a hard training ride or race.
Infinit is the solution that fits all of the needs I could have on the bike and I couldn't be happier with their nutrition! While other products get mixed reviews, I have found that 9/10 people who try it, absolutely love it.
You can check out all their awesome products here: infinitnutrition.us and even get a 10% discount using the code "PTP" at checkout.
What is the goal of a bike shop? Or rather, what should be the goal of a bike shop? I have found the answer to this question is the difference between enjoying your local shop or hating it. Any retail establishments goal should be to fill a niche in the market by providing what the markets customers want and need. For shops, this is not limited to goods though because often times services are required.
I have been to dozens of bike shops, in states all over. With very few exceptions, they all seem to have determined what will sell in their area and they carry those products, which shows they're taking their selling seriously. However, because it is a two sided coin, service is an equal piece, and most shops I have been to do not take it seriously.
When a customer walks into a store, they are there for a reason. Sometimes its to buy a bike, sometimes it is to ask a question, and others they are there to kill time. A shop employee should take that into account and be ready to help them do any and all of those things. I've wandered into shops looking for details about a specific component group and found that the staff "doesn't know" nor do they offer to find out. "I ride single speed bikes so I don't know about that group." Really? That is your idea of serving a customer?
On the flip side, there are countless shops that have been absolutely abused by bike teams and racers. For whatever reason, these folks think they are entitled to some level of treatment that is a cut above the rest of the world. They expect employees to bend over backwards for them, to talk to them about racing for hours, or to give them free gear. If you're one of those people, think about this for a moment: I went to Best Buy yesterday. I've been there a hundred times over the years and the employees know me well. I ask them when they're going to start giving me free installation on my home theater system in return for my loyalty -- can you imagine how that would go over?
Sponsorship is a different animal, but if you're a sponsored athlete your entire agreement with the shop hangs on them making something from you. There should be a way that they are benefitting from the relationship. Walking in like you own the place is NOT what you are entitled to do if you are sponsored by them! Remember the economics of your relationship and don't abuse it.
Joe's Bike Shop is one shop I have found in particular that I really enjoy using. They encapsulate what I've said above and treat their customers with respect, serve them well, try their best to meet their needs and are friendly in the process. They don't even really know me, but every time I go in, they have exceptional service and have answers to all of my questions without any thought as to what kind of cyclist I am.
If you're in the Baltimore area, I highly recommend them.