Don't worry everyone...
CX season is almost over....


More gems of ingenuity coming out of Kickstarter.... Here


From our CX loving friends in Tati-ville comes this adorable collection of animals doing their thing....Here


Now everyone has a chance to be a Rockstar!.... Here
If you have less than 500 twitter followers, don't even bother...


Oh those crazy Dutchmen and their love of CX!

Posted by Greg W.


Here's a great article about the value of endurance athletes as employees... Here
Also great impetus to let juniors pursue cycling as a sport.




and this


Great turn of the chapter in this near-tragedy-turned-happy-ending-story.... Here
Long live Gloucester!


Get ready for the world's most aerodynamic bicycle pumps...


In case you haven't seen this very awesome video...


Start your week off with a little dose of awesome.

#1469 // Review \\ 2014 Giro Product Catalog

Helmets, gloves, shoes oh my! For the last 4 or 5 years, Giro has been at the leading edge of cycling-chic. Just below pretentious thanks to loads of useability with an enviable balance of form vs function, the Giro book has become one of the highlights of the IBD year. Here's a quick look at the remarkable and new.
Let's get the obvious out of the way first...
This is the Aspect. Because Giro always wants us staring at certain helmets and scratching our heads in wonder. It picks up where the Air Attack leaves off. The visor is removable.
The cool-factor is not.
We are actually looking forward to trying this so-called, superlight, super aero, super cool helmet out.

Speaking of, the Air Attack adds a couple of new colors. 

The other high end helmet of note is the Cipher.
It is Giro's new freeride / DH helmet of choice.
Giro makes a big push into cold-weather gloves for 2013.
This is the 100 Proof. $85 of extreme hand protection.
Official usable low temperature of this glove is 15 degrees.
We are guessing it can go as low as 10.

Slightly less intimidating is the plain ol Proof. Rated to 30 degrees.
Would we wear this glove during 30 degree late-November CX races...
Probably not. Would we wear it during 18 degree
late-January, 3 hour base-mile road rides... You bet.

This is the Pivot... "Our most versatile winter glove".
At $70 dollars it seems a little plain. But this glove will probably be a fool-proof
way to keep your grubby hands acceptably warm this winter.

Just had to include this 2-page photo spread because it is so rad.

Let's not forget summertime handwear. This LTZ II should be
a great glove for those new-age, no padding needed roadies.
Only $30 as well.

This is the new, top-o-the-line Prolight SLX. A new Easton EC90 Sole and
slightly thinner materials make this shoe a claimed 205 grams.
Lighter even than the Empire Lace-up.
Note that that weight is achieved with Giro's "Ultralight" footbed,
which will probably (hopefully) be replaced by most users with a more supportive insole.

Also updated is the very popular Factor. Price goes up $10
but you get that new Easton EC90 sole... That's the "ACC" part.

We've already discussed our love for the Empire.
As such hopes were high for the 2014 model. The new shoe gets that new ACC bottom part.
The blander color selection leaves a little to be desired.
Subtle is not what this shoe should be about.
This one left us wondering what the Giro R&D office
was smoking on this day. Which closet does this get put in?
Won't beginner spin class buyers think even less of
"clipping in" after seeing this on the shelf?


Bet your weekend wasn't this good.....


Is it CX season yet!?

#1466 // Review \\ 2014 Jamis Bikes

Jamis as a brand is often considered second tier among the industry giants. Without a huge advertising budget the company often loses out on the "advertorial" game ( advertising that leads to editorial coverage ) and subsequently, the bikes do not get the media coverage they deserve. On the other hand, ask any shop that carries the line-up and you will be hard pressed to hear a negative comment about the bikes. Riders usually have sentiments that are similarly positive when talking about the bikes themselves.

The 2014 Product Book came into HQ last week and some interesting things stood out.

The Nemesis gets SRAM's XX1 11 speed, single chain-ring, super-efficient grouppo. This 19.75 pound bike will make racers think twice about heading out to the XC events with their dual-suspension rigs

The 2 race-ready Icon ( CAAD beater ) models go largely unchanged except for Shimano Ultegra 11 speed on the Elite.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the 2014 products is the new Xenith. Long loved by domestic racers who found themselves on Jamis sponsored teams, the Xenith gets edgy this year by hiding BOTH brakes from the wind. Tektro side pulls come standard and the expressed advantages are:
#1 - Better frontal aerodynamics.
#2 - Highly tuned seat-stays that no longer need to be overbuilt to support braking action
Jamis is definitely going out on a limb with this move as it may turn off purists and riders who are specifically looking for an "aero" frame.

A neat technology that racers and hardcore riders will never see... The one bolt adjustable stem featured on Jamis' nicer hybrids and relaxed bikes.
More features that recreational cyclists (and bike shop sales managers!) can appreciate.

Another move against the tide... No Xenith road bike is available with electronic shifting for 2014. That doesn't stop Jamis from offering (and including with each bike) intelligently designed replaceable plates for various shifting set-ups. It's logical ideas like this that enables Jamis to stand out much higher than other mid-level brands.

Day-Glo! Not even the sensible designers at Jamis can resist the yellow/green tide.

More start design on bike models that usually do not get the R&D resources. This time fork tweaks that make for a more stable ride on the Endura ("Gran Fondo" style ) race bikes.

Whoa, we forgot what glossy looks like! Here is the stunning new 2014 T2.
Also the only Jamis to offer electronic shifting.


Yep, we'll take it!


And just like that.... Riding bikes is cool among the female hold-outs...
The vibrating bicycle saddle.... Here

posted by Matty Clark


A moving short video highlighting the power of cycling. Be sure to have a tissue or 2 nearby....

posted by Matty Clark


Interbike is just around the corner!
Just 2 things we're looking forward to:


Everyone needs to watch this great animation about the TDF


The war on dopers gets a little more vocal (from the popular roadresults.com site):


Flying under the radar during the Tour this year is this high-tech, water filled cooling jacket from ChampSys. It's all about keeping the Lampre boys cool during their warm-ups.

#1457 // Review \\ Giro Empire Shoes

By Hunter Pronovost

     It's not often something that is designed to be flashy also end up working really well. The Giro Empires are an anomaly in the cycling retail world where you often end up sacrificing style for function or a reasonable price for low weight. I've put just about 2000 miles on my Empires so far and I'm happy to report positive things about them
    "The Empire is a blast from the past". So says the Giro catalog for these made-for-Taylor-Phinney kicks. If you are buying these for the styling, stay away from the black. I went with the silver/green colorway as the all-black was just too boring looking in my opinion.
The Tejin material is relatively easy to keep clean.
That's important with these attention getting shoes.
The laces, however, will probably not last the life of the shoe.
Inexpensive, near-identical replacements can be found
on the internet.
The good  

  The Empires are light. I'm a sucker when it comes to rotational weight. I have personally weighed 8 or 9 pairs of shoes in the past year or so. The only shoes that were lighter than the Empires were the Mavic Huez's. The Empires fit my foot far better than the Mavic's. The Empires weigh 235 grams for my size 44. I can love em just for that reason... But there's more.
    These shoes are a breeze to make tight! Or not-so-tight, depending on the day's ride. I find myself pulling out lots of lace from each eyelet before putting them on and taking the extra time (  20 or so seconds max ) to pull each eyelet to just the right tightness. The "Tejin" faux leather grips the laces well and the shoe stays just like that. Tie em up and you are good to go! These have not once come untied during a ride. Even if they did somehow come untied, the laces don't release thru the eyelets easily. I tested... You can ride in these with just pulling them snug. The tongue has a elastic pull tab where you tuck the excess laces under. I'm sure the purists appreciate that look but it makes my feet feel a little less aero, having those laces on top there catching the wind. So I just tuck them into the shoe on the heel side. Again, not once have the laces come out from where I put them.

The day-glo underside has kept up
appearances through the 2000 miles of use.

Another great thing about this Tejin material is that it doesn't loosen up when wet. This was an unexpected bonus about the Empires. I have never had a shoe that didn't feel "gushy" or soft when it got soaked by rain while out on a ride. Every shoe I've ever owned, when it got wet, I had to tighten it up to compensate for the slop. Not so with the Empire. They feel exactly the same while soaked as they do while dry. Sure it's a tiny detail but it makes me dread getting soaked a little less.

 The not so good

    Giro makes a their "SuperNatural Fit System" a big selling point on these. All it basically means is the insole has insert-able pads of varying thickness for the user to dial in arch support. I never touched them. I rode the shoes for 100 miles with the stock insoles and then put in the pair of Fi’zi:k heat mold-able ones from my previous shoes. The improvement was notable. Anyone who has a favorite brand of aftermarket insoles will tell you that the ones that come with most shoes these days are crap. While the Giro Fit System insoles are nice and on par with other shoe makers versions of the same, they will probably sit in my parts drawer for a long time. But I'm not holding that against the Empires because it's just the way it is these days. Want the best fitting shoe? Get a good insole.
    The Empires boast the Easton EC90 brand unidirectional carbon fiber outsole. They are stiff. But they could be stiffer. I appreciate a shoe with nearly zero-flex. The Empires are not zero-flex. If you have spent time in other popular Giro shoes like the Factor for example and are ok with that level of stiffness, the Empires will be fine for you. I however, prefer more stiffness. Going back to the insoles, when I dropped in the Fizik heat-moldable ones, the perceived stiffness of the shoe when up a noticeable amount. There is a layer of carbon in the Fizik beds that adds a little weight sure, but makes this shoe go from feeling good, to great.
    Those are really the only real "cons" I can put on the list for these shoes. They are reasonably priced at $275 or less. They are light. They fit great. They look cool. And they love the rain! Here's to hoping that Giro keeps them around for while, adds more awesome color choices, and perhaps beefs up the sole a bit. 


Here is a "must watch" if ever we've seen one.....


These guys from Philly have finally put together a thorough response to the age-old problem of using your regular bike in a TT-efficient manner... Here




and this


Jonathan Vaughters is already looking at this technology for an additional advertising revenue stream for the Garmin Slipstream Chipotle Barracuda whatever team they are called these days.

posted by Matty Clark


If you are neat Connecticut this weekend....
Beer burgers and bikes!... Here


"Hey what's that thing in the corner over there doing?"
 "Oh that... It's just printing my new frame for CX season."

Totally awesome stuff here.

Charge TV: Week 11: 3D Titanium Printing from Charge Bikes on Vimeo.


There is no shortage of creative rain guards out there.
Here's another nifty option soon to be available.

posted by Lynay Smith


Awesome event if you are in the Boston area this weekend... Here


Are you good at heckling?....
Go here


Electric bikes are illegal in the Big Apple???
Who would have guessed... And now they are being cracked down upon... Here


Ok, so you may not be this guy.
Or this guy...
Or this girl...

But buy this jacket... And you will just as Rockstar as them....


We can think of some other uses of this poster...
Anything that reduces bike thefts is a good thing.  


We scored well in this test ( scored low? )...
Need to work on #3 though.... Sometimes one way streets must be be taken for shortcuts, ya dig?


This project for a chargable power source is awesome. Glad to see it is well on it's way to funded.
Support it if you can.


We're not sure how to feel about this new cycling kit from Asia.
There is something from the C.A.R.N.S prize bag for the whoever where this first in a CX race come fall.


Cyclists are not Rockstars...  Unless you are 20+ feet up off the ground....Here

posted by Matty Clark


Here at HQ, we watched over the weekend as this guy, Louis Gaffney, almost Rockstar'ed his way to the Cat3 win in the SunnyKing Crit in Alabama.... ON A CX BIKE. Way to go Dude