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    Friday, June 30, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Tour Scandal! Doping Again!

    When will it end? We all know that most of the Peleton is involved in drugs in some way shape or form, but there's a way to handle these types of situations. There's also a time that works best for everyone. That time is AFTER the race, or AFTER they have been proven guilty - not on an accusation. The day before the big race starts, and the day that most of the tourists arrive in Town.

    Let us know how you feel - reply to the post and send me an email with your mailing address, and I'll send you a limited edition Randall Scott T Shirt!

    Tour in turmoil as Basso and Ullrich ejected
    Mancebo out, too
    By AFP
    This report filed June 30, 2006

    The Tour de France was thrown into its biggest crisis since the 1998 Festina scandal Friday following the suspensions of the men most favored to take the yellow jersey in this year's edition.

    photo: AFP

    A day before the start of the race, the first since seven-time winner Lance Armstrong retired, organizers said even more riders could follow Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla in being suspended from the race by their teams.

    Earlier in the day, 1997 winner Ullrich, and his teammate Spanish teammate Sevilla, were suspended by T-Mobile when fresh evidence from the ongoing Operación Puerto doping probe in Spain - which has implicated a reported 58 riders to blood doping - was released late Thursday. (see list below)

    Riis walks to a press conference after reaching his decision...

    photo: Casey B. Gibson

    That decision was soon followed by Ivan Basso's exclusion from CSC's Tour squad, as team manager Bjarne Riis told reporters here Friday that Basso's link to an ongoing doping probe in Spain had forced the team's decision. Basso, the recent winner of the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France runner-up last year, is also named on a 58-strong list which Spanish investigators claim have been involved in blood doping.

    Francisco Mancebo, who finished fourth overall last year, was also suspended by his AG2R team because his name appears on the list.

    ... but didn't make it to the podium.

    photo: Casey B. Gibson

    If the 28-year-old Italian is thrown out by his team, it would mean that three of the top five finishers from last year's race would be absent.

    There are also doubts over Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan, whose team Astana was given the green light to race the Tour by the Court of Arbitration for Sport late on Thursday.

    Astana is the team which has most riders' names on the list.

    After a series of crisis meetings Friday between the recently-installed Tour director Christian Prudhomme and the AIGCP, the body which represents the managers of all the teams taking part, Prudhomme was unequivocal in the race organizers' position.

    "We're happy about T-Mobile's decision to suspend Sevilla and Ullrich," said Prudhomme, who is directing his first race in place of the retired Jean-Marie Leblanc. "Last night we received official documents from the Guardia Civil (Spanish police) via the Spanish cycling federation.

    "We then had a meeting with the AIGCP. During that meeting it was decided that the race's ethical code will be applied to the letter and that none of the riders suspended will be allowed to be replaced. "The sporting directors of each team will now contact the riders concerned."

    Tour organizers, who have been keen to avoid any repeat of 1998 when the race almost collapsed due to a major drugs scandal, are putting pressure on teams whose riders are being linked to the probe in Spain.

    CSC team manager Bjarne Riis, a Tour winner in 1996, emerged from one of the crisis meetings saying nothing had been decided over Basso's participation.

    "We had a good meeting. Everyone agreed on the ethical program we have with the different teams. Now I'm going to talk to my team, and make a statement a little later," said the Dane.

    Riis later said he personally made the decision to exclude his top rider.

    "It's my responsibility to make this decision and suspend Ivan from the race," Riis said. "I have to think about the team, that is now the most important thing. I trust Ivan Basso, but now it is up to him and his lawyers to show he has nothing to do with this affair."

    Prudhomme meanwhile reserved special criticism for the Astaná-Würth team of Vinokourov, suggesting organisers could put further pressure on them to pull riders out.

    Prudhomme said fresh evidence from Spain which arrived late Thursday was even more damning and would have condemned them in the eyes of the CAS had it been made available earlier.

    "Astaná-Würth is a bit more complicated because there are so many names from that team being linked to the doping probe," added the Frenchman. "Some of those implicated are on the Tour, and some are not. To us, it looks like they have been operating a team doping policy."

    The following riders were named in the ongoing Operación Puerto doping case by Spanish investigators on Thursday


    • Michele Scarponi (I)
    • Marcos Antonio Serrano (Sp)
    • David Etxebarria (Sp)
    • Joseba Beloki (Sp)
    • Angel Vicioso (Sp)
    • Isidro Nozal (Sp)
    • Unai Osa (Sp)
    • Jaksche Joorg (G)
    • Giampaolo Caruso (I)


    • Ivan Basso (I)

    Caisse D'Epargne-Iles Baleares

    • Constantino Zaballa (Sp)

    Saunier Duval

    • Carlos Zarate (Sp)


    • Francisco Mancebo (Sp)


    • Jan Ullrich (G)
    • Oscar Sevilla (Sp)


    • Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Sp)
    • Jose Ignacio Gutierrez (Sp)

    Communidad de Valencia

    • Vicente Ballester (Sp)
    • David Bernabeu (Sp)
    • David Rodriguez (Sp)
    • Jose Adrian Bonilla (Sp)
    • Juan Gomis Lopez (Sp)
    • Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Sp)
    • David Latasa (Sp)
    • Ruben Plaza (Sp)
    • Jose Luis Martinez (Sp)
    • Manuel Llorent (Sp)
    • Antonio Olmo (Sp)
    • David Munoz (Sp)
    • Javier Cherro (Sp)
    • Javier Pascual (Sp)former rider and now an official

    • Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp)

    Riders retired or suspended for doping

    • Roberto Heras (Sp)
    • Angel Casero (Sp)
    • Santiago Perez (Sp)
    • Tyler Hamilton (USA)
    • Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (Sp)

    Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Bike to Work Day and Hurricane Wilma

    Tomorrow is the official bike to work day for Boulder and Denver. Please go to the link below and register for lots of prizes. Also check out the area map for all of the breakfast stations around town. Free breakfast for all! Colorado is a premiere bicycling state. To celebrate bicycling for transportation, fun and health, Colorado has designated each June as Bike Month. At the same time, Colorado joins a nationwide effort to encourage cycling novices and enthusiasts to experience the fun and freedom of safely riding a bike to work, school, errands and recreation.
    Bike to Work Day Wednesday, 6/27/2007.

    Hurrican Wilma Destroys Trails

    “Familiarity with our surroundings often causes us to become bored with what we use everyday or envious of what others have at their disposal. Mountain bike trails are no different. All of us have thought to ourselves and said out loud that the trails where we live are not up to par with what this or that area of the country has. For those of us who are guilty of this it may be useful to put things into perspective by looking at an example of a region of the USA whose trails have been hard hit by natural disaster. For riders in southeast Florida Hurricane Wilma roared through their area and either closed trails for weeks and months or, as in the case of the trail at Quit Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, FL, were destroyed all together. Imagine an entire trail closed for good as a result of only a couple of hours of severe weather flattened over 80% of the trees in the park, amongst which weaved 5 ½ miles of twisty single track.” All one needs to validate the cliché, “you never know what you have until it’s gone,” is to read a few of the following posts from regarding Quit Waters Park and it will surely make us all appreciate what we have.”

    Some posts from local riders on

    "This trail is still closed, because the trail was mostly destroyed by hurricane Wilma.The county has yet to let anyone in the park for clean-up,and there is no word yet on when this will happen.You can get futher info here"

    "Hello everyone! It has been two weeks since Hurricane Wilma came thru South Florida and, as we all know it destroyed all the bike trails in its path. Now, it’s up all of us to reclaim them. Oleta River, Markham Park, Amelia and Quiet Water’s trails are in need of volunteers now more then ever. There has been a good effort in the clean up process but we need more people to make it happen. So please, if all of us that ride the trails can volunteer some time & effort on the weekends, we all be riding the trails again soon."

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    King of the GC jungle

    King of the GC jungle

    During last year's Dauphiné Libéré George Hincapie won two stages before heading to France to help secure Lance Armstrong's seventh Tour victory; this year, the week-long tour is one of Hincapie's final preparation races before he tackles France in July as one of Discovery Channel’s GC hopes. It was just before the Dauphiné that he spoke to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes about his new role, life without Lance and that crash in Paris-Roubaix.

    The 2006 edition of the Tour de France has the potential to be a very different experience for George Hincapie after spending the last seven Tours in the service of Lance Armstrong, helping the Texan take a record seven wins. But now, with Armstrong retired, the team will head to the race with no clearly defined chief. Instead, they will have a more open look - José Azevedo, Yaroslaw Popovych, Paolo Savoldelli and Hincapie himself will be the team’s potential GC riders, with support likely to be given to whoever is in the best position later in the Tour.

    The notion of Hincapie as a candidate for the yellow jersey may seem a strange one. He’s better known as a Classics rider after all, with victory in the 2005 Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne and second in that year’s Paris-Roubaix to his credit. Improved performances in the mountains in recent years and good time trialling ability have seen his stock rise in stage races, however, to the point where he's being factored into some observer's Tour calculations.

    "I kind of miss going out training with him, but the team has been successful up to this point, anyway."
    -Hincapie speaks about the Tour and racing, post-Lance

    Last year he won two stages in the Dauphiné Libéré, including the prologue, before going on to take a mountain victory at Saint-Lary Soulan (Pla d'Adet) in the Tour de France. With a 14th place finish overall in Paris, 23'40" behind team leader Armstrong, it's prompted some to wonder what he could achieve if he wasn’t always expending energy riding for someone else.

    This year, he may get his chance to find out. Around the time of last year’s Tour directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel first discussed the idea of Hincapie as a possible GC contender; now, almost twelve months later, the American is putting final touches to his Tour preparation at the Dauphiné. He’s looking forward to July, but is also a bit nervous about making any predictions.

    “I have never been in this position before,” he told Cyclingnews days before the Dauphiné started in Annency. “I'm very excited about it but I'm definitely hesitant to say how well I will do. I just don't know. I'm pretty sure that I can do a lot better than last year, without expending that energy [riding for Armstrong], but how much better I don't know. Hopefully as good as I can be!”

    “Going into the Tour, myself and Yaroslav [Popovych] will probably be the leaders...

    See the Hincapie Cycling Line at

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Discovery names Tour nine

    Discovery names Tour nine (from 6/16/06)

    The Discovery Channel squad also announced its roster for the Tour de France on Friday.

    Director Johan Bruyneel said he has confidence in the team to be headed by George Hincapie.

    "Although 2006 will be my first Tour de France as a director without Lance on the team, I am extremely motivated to have our team continue to be a major factor in this race," said Bruyneel. "I had a similar feeling in 1999, when we came in as an underdog even though we had strong riders. I am confident that with the team we are bringing that we can have at least one of our riders finish in a top placing in Paris. The road to the Champs Élysées is difficult and many things can happen. Our guys are ready for the challenge."

    Discovery Channel for the Tour de France

    · George Hincapie

    · Yaroslav Popovych

    · Paolo Savoldelli

    · Jose Azevedo

    · Egoi Martinez

    · Pavel Padrnos

    · Viatcheslav Ekimov

    · Benjamin Noval

    · Jose Luis Rubiera


    · Vladimir Gusev

    · Michael Barry

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    How to get more speed on flats and descents

    By Sean Coffey

    Sam Chiba is a good climber. At 5940 and 127 pounds, he flies up hills, but when it comes to flats, the bigger guys easily catch him. "My skills are good--I'm always the last to start walking technical sections. But my skills and climbing ability don't make up for my lack of power," says the 28-year-old software engineer. "Last year I did well on the hilly sections of a mountain bike tri-athlon, but as soon as we hit the flats, the big guys beat me. This year, power is key."

    To help Sam boost his power, we recruited USA Cycling Elite Coach Bill Edwards, who has been involved in competitive cycling for more than 50 years and is still racing at age 69. He's currently the team director of the Houston-based Southern Elite Cycling Race Team.

    "For Sam, increasing power means leg-specific workouts in the gym and on the bike," says Edwards. "Power is the force applied to the pedals (leg strength) multiplied by the velocity of the pedals (leg speed). You need both-strength and speed-to develop power. Get strength at the gym with squats, leg presses or lunges. The leg strength you develop in the gym is absolutely necessary, but it's not enough to generate power on the bike because the exercise speed is very low (about 10 repetitions per minute). To be powerful on the bike, you must develop speed-specific leg strength by working on leg strength at the desired leg speed with power intervals. You may have huge, muscled legs, but if you don't develop the leg speed, you'll never keep up."

    You, too, can follow Edwards's program for more power. Just follow these five steps.

    1. Consult a certified trainer before hitting the weights. There's a right way and a wrong way to lift, and the wrong way could lead to some nasty injuries. Warm up on a stationary bike for 10 minutes, then stretch. Stretching before a workout will minimize wear and tear on your body.

    2. Select a weight that lets you easily do 12 reps. Note the difficulty each time you lift, and when it feels like you can increase effort for two consecutive workouts, raise the weight one notch.

    3. Remember, muscle pain is part of the fun. When you hit the gym, you'll pay for it when you ride. Rest on rest days, and don't expect to have the same pep you had before you started the program. Be patient, stick with the plan and you'll see results in six to eight weeks.

    4. Take a break every fourth week, and don't do the program more than three times. After three weeks, take an entire week of easy, recovery-day-type riding with only one gym day, then resume the program at a cadence 5 rpm higher than before. After following this program for three months, you should be plenty buff and ready for a new challenge.

    5. Check your progress. The low-tech, inaccurate way to check is to compare your speed on flats and descents to the big guys'. For a precise, high-tech measurement, use a CompuTrainer ($1,199; 800/522-3610;

    "The development of strength and power must be sport-specific," says Edwards. "Training is more effective if you can accurately measure your progress. One of the best tools for developing cycling-specific strength is the CompuTrainer. You can easily design workouts that are tailored exactly to your needs and that provide a progressive resistance power-development program."

    Friday, June 23, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    New allegations against Armstrong

    Lance sure knows how to win a race – but he can’t seem to win with the media and with the courts. With the American presence in pro cycling growing every season – let’s just hope nothing comes out of these (or any other) allegations!

    Latest Cycling News for June 23, 2006
    Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

    New allegations against Armstrong
    Barely three weeks after the Vrijman report dismissed L'Equipe's allegations that Lance Armstrong used EPO in 1999, the now retired seven-time Tour champion has come under fire from another angle. French newspaper Le Monde is reporting in its Friday edition that Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs prior to contracting testicular cancer in 1996.

    The allegations were made during the SCA Promotions vs. Armstrong trial that is in progress in Lance's home state of Texas. SCA Promotions is an insurance company that paid Armstrong millions of dollars for his Tour wins after the team took out a $420,000 insurance policy in 2001. But following the publication of David Walsh and Pierre Ballester's book, LA Confidentiel, les secrets de Lance Armstrong, which alleged that Armstrong had used illegal drugs, SCA disputed the $5 million payment for the 2004 Tour, saying that it wanted evidence (Armstrong's medical records, for example) that the allegations were untrue.

    In court statements obtained by Le Monde, Betsy Andreu, the partner of Armstrong's ex-teammate and friend Frankie Andreu, related her version of events that took place in an Indiana hospital on October 28, 1996, while he was being treated for cancer. "[The doctor] started to ask him banal questions, I don't remember," Le Monde quoted from an excerpt of Betsy Andreu's testimony. "And all of a sudden, bang, have you ever taken doping products? He replied, yes. [The doctor] asked which ones. And Lance replied: EPO, growth hormones, cortisone, steroids, testosterone."

    Betsy Andreu's statement was made on January 17, 2006, and according to Le Monde, backed up what her husband had said to the court on October 25, 2005. "I don't know how the doctor formulated his question, but the response was that he had taken EPO, testosterone, growth hormones and cortisone," said Frankie Andreu.

    But a third person present at the hospital in 1996, Stephanie McIlvain, an employee of Armstrong's sunglasses sponsor Oakley, denied the Andreus' version of events. In her testimony on November 14, 2005, she said that there was no conversation like that between Armstrong and his doctors. But her story has been questioned by Greg Lemond, who recorded a phone conversation with McIlvain on September 21, 2004, where she said, "If I am cited, I'll do it...For I won't lie. You know I was in the room. I heard."

    Three others were also in the hospital room: his then girlfriend, Lisa Shiels, his trainer Chris Carmichael, and Carmichael's wife Paige. Neither those, nor the doctors who operated on Armstrong, were called to give evidence by the lawyers of the Texan, nor SCA Promotions.

    Lance Armstrong's own deposition, given on November 30, 2005, denied that any doctor had asked him whether he had used performance enhancing drugs. He claimed that Betsy Andreu had a grudge against him, and Frankie Andreu gave the same story to support his wife.

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Randall Scott Cycle Company Announces the Sale of Hincapie Clothing

    Boulder, CO – June 23, 2006 – Randall Scott Cycle Company, America’s Premier Cycling Company, announces the sale of Hincapie Clothing . Hincapie clothing is the brainchild of Rich Hincapie, George’s brother, and has constant input from both George and the pro teams that Hincapie sponsor.

    For more than 50 years, the Hincapies have dedicated themselves to excellence in the sport of cycling. By combining the lessons that they have learned on the road with excellence in customer service, quality craftsmanship, and stylish designs, Hincapie strives to share successes and contribute to it’s customers.

    Randall Scott Cycle Company - America's premier cycling company is revolutionizing the cycling community. Our philosophy is to combine personal world class service and premium cycling products from the most reputable manufacturers in the industry with competitive online pricing. With 24/7 email or phone support, our world class staff of cycling specialists are always available to answer your questions. Try the Randall Scott Difference and join our thousands of satisfied customers. Randall Scott Cycle Company -Live the Legend!

    For more information please visit

    To find Hincapie Clothing products, please visit Randall Scott's Hincapie Page

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Wired to Win: Film Synopsis


    A jumpy home movie shows a six-year-old boy learning to ride his first bicycle with help from his father. The narrator tells us that with each moment, each new experience stimulates growing networks of cells in our brains. "We used to think these changes happened only in childhood, but now we know that our brains never stop developing — they keep wiring and rewiring themselves with every experience and every challenge." After several initial failed attempts — and even crashes — the boy begins to show improvement and confidence. Finally, he is riding alone in a seaside park, amazed at his own accomplishment.

    Cut to a spectacular full-screen aerial shot descending the steep eastern escarpment of the Col d'Aubisque in Southern France. As the camera drops down the mountainside, we discover a ribbon of cyclists and vehicles streaming down a narrow, twisting, corniche road. This, says the narrator, is the legendary Tour de France – a 3,400-km, three-week bicycle race that has been called the world's most grueling sports event, and the ultimate test of the human brain.

    Australian pro cyclist Baden Cooke and his French teammate Jimmy Caspar are two of the 200 riders competing in the legendary race. Just to finish in Paris, they will need to avoid danger, stave off crushing pain and fatigue, control their emotions, seize fleeting moments of opportunity, and stay highly motivated. It's the brain that controls all of this.

    As the tightly-packed peloton speeds towards the first sprint finish of the Tour, the sudden crash of one rider sets off a horrific chain reaction, and nearly 100 riders are taken down. Jimmy Casper is one of the most severely injured. To everyone's astonishment, he opts to continue in the race for as long as he can. Meanwhile, Baden, one of the few unaffected by the crash, manages to win his first ever stage victory, thus becoming one of the favorites to win the coveted sprinter's green jersey.

    As the race unfolds, the destinies of Baden and Jimmy diverge. Jimmy desperately wants to help his team by remaining in the race, while Baden becomes the unexpected team leader. As the race crosses the Alps and the Pyrenees, the film combines spectacular live-action footage with cutting-edge computer graphics and medical imagery to demonstrate how each brain responds to experience and challenge in ways we're only just beginning to understand.

    "Our goals may not be those of pro athletes,” says the narrator as the remaining riders reach Paris at the end of the punishing three weeks, "but we're all wiring ourselves to win. Any activity that challenges us, and gives us a sense of purpose, will nourish and strengthen our brains."

    The film ends as it began, with the home movie of the 6-year-old boy triumphantly riding his two-wheeler on his own. "We fall, we get up, we learn," says the narrator, "Powered by the human brain, there is no end to what we may achieve."

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Randall Cycle Company Today Announces the Giveaway of a Brand New, Free Iron Horse Sunday Frame Signed By World Cup Winner Sam Hill

    Boulder, CO – June 22, 2006 – Randall Cycle Company Today Announces the Giveaway of a Brand New, Free Iron Horse Sunday Frame Signed By World Cup Winner Sam Hill. Randall Scott Cycle Company, America’s Premier Cycling Company, has decided to offer this frame for free in appreciation of it’s customers. Only one of these signed frames are available, so visit for more details.

    Iron Horse Bicycles produces world championship winning bicycles, including the incredibly popular Sunday series. Iron Horse utilizes the infamous DW-Link System on several of its bicycles, including the XC Race oriented Azure, The 5 inch travel all-mountain MKIII Hollowpoint, the free-ride 7Point series, and the world cup winning downhill bikes – the Sunday.

    Sam Hill, the current US Open Champion, has won several World Cup races this year and last, is currently ranked #1 in the world, and has finished in the top 10 in the world the last 3 years. Sam Hill races for Iron Horse Bicycles and is recognized around the world as a versatile and consistently good rider.

    Randall Scott Cycle Company is America’s premier cycling company is revolutionizing the cycling community. Our philosophy is to combine personal world class service and premium cycling products from the most reputable manufacturers in the industry. Our world class staff of cycling specialists are always available to answer your questions. Try the Randall Scott Difference and join our thousands of satisfied customers. Randall Scott Cycle Company -Live the Legend!

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Randall Scott Cycle Company Announces the Sale of 2007 Tommaso Bicycles in North America!

    Boulder, CO – June 21, 2006 – Randall Scott Cycle Company, America’s Premier Cycling Company, announces the sale of 2007 Tommaso Bicycles. Randall Scott Cycle Company has been able to sell a small sample of the 2007’s to the public with great review from the public. The new 2007 Tommaso Line is now available for sale in quantity and is proving to be another successful year for the brand. Randall Scott Cycle Company offers Tommaso Bicycles in both Dealer Ready form (non-assembled) and with a Pro Build Service (pre-assembled). Tommaso Road Bicycles are also shipped to any continental U.S. location with free ground shipping via UPS.

    Tommaso is known for producing top of the line bicycles. Bringing Italian heritage, style, and performance to the masses, Tommaso frames focus on ride quality without sacrificing performance, rider fit through superior geometry, and creating an experience rather then a ride. Tommaso also offers a special guarantee through the Randall Scott Cycle Company. Tommaso and Randall Scott Cycle Company offer a 10 day trail period for all Tommaso Bicycles, with a 100% money back guarantee (excluding return shipping) Tommaso bicycles are only produced in limited quantities, and usually sell through production runs in a matter of a couple of months.

    Randall Scott Cycle Company is America's premier cycling company is revolutionizing the cycling community. Our philosophy is to combine personal world class service and premium cycling products from the most reputable manufacturers in the industry with competitive online pricing. With 24/7 email or phone support, our world class staff of cycling specialists are always available to answer your questions. Try the Randall Scott Difference and join our thousands of satisfied customers. Randall Scott Cycle Company -Live the Legend!

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Update: Product we love! 2005 Iron Horse MKIII Team Review

    In continuation from my previous review on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 “Product we love! 2005 Iron Horse MKIII Team Review”, I have since made some minor adjustments/upgrades on my MKIII which I thought worth while mentioning.

    I have had a chance now to ride a variety of trails more than once and am getting a feel for what I am looking for with regard to my suspension. I will focus on the front end for now and address the rear at a later time. The Marzocchi Z1 Light ETA/TAS remains plush and responsive and really, minimal adjustment is required here, but some minor tweaks can really make the difference on the trail. Occasionally when climbing I utilize the ETA system reducing travel, but only on open buff trails. The downside to the ETA is you will lose some feel and performance from the fork, so when ascending more technical sections definitely leave it open, the fork feels somewhat restricted when the ETA is activated. In addition, I have tinkered with the travel adjust, but have found I still have plenty of steering control with TAS on max travel setting. At higher speeds in tighter sections, a few turns on the TAS towards the negative and you will notice slightly more responsive steering. At roughly 150 lbs I have not needed to add any air to the fork and I have the compression dampening in the open position, however, I found 16 clicks of rebound dampening to be a nice fit for the rock garden up at Hall Ranch in Lyons, CO (see link: Hall Ranch in Lyons, CO).

    Handlebar length and position can effect steering, control and overall comfort on a bike while riding. My stock bars (Easton EA70 Monkey) are quality, but should be cut to fit the needs and size of the rider. At a smaller/average build at approximately 5’9, I cut my bars to a total length of 655mm measuring in a straight line from end to end. A simple pipe cutter or a hack saw should make easy work of this. Also make sure to file down any rough edges after you make the cuts. As soon as I hit the trail I found a noticeable difference. Not only did I have better control over the bicycle, my riding position was improved and I was less fatigued after the ride. Oh, I forgot to mention, during this procedure I installed new ODI Ruffian Lock-on grips w/locks for obvious reasons…these babies are sweet and a great compliment to any all mountain machine.

    Headed to the mountains this weekend, possibly for some lift action. Will keep yah posted.

    by Sam (the local Prefontaine look-alike)

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Courage ’06 Update: Hincapie Is Back!

    by Richard Pestes

    Hot off the PEZ carrier-pigeon: George Hincapie has confirmed he’ll join his best bud Lance Armstrong and friends Eddy Merckx and Phil Liggett for an exceptional weekend of riding, relaxing and raising funds for kids with cancer this Sept. 8 & 9. There’ll also be room for 30 ‘regular’ folk – and here’s how you can join ‘em…

    Two Full Days To Hang With Your Heroes
    Over the years lots of us have had a chance to meet Lance, George, Eddy, and Phil, but for most it’s only been a quick hello. Imagine spending two full days riding, relaxing, and actually talking with these guys – as part of a small group of only 30 other people. That’s what we’re talking about – a chance in a lifetime. But it’s also a chance to raise some serious money for a supper cause, and end up feeling pretty good about yourself, and doing something great for others.

    George has confirmed he’ll be in the Canadian Rockies Sept. 8 & 9. So should you.

    Team Time Trial Added!
    Part of the weekend’s riding will feature a fun Team Time Trial, with teams led by Lance, Eddy, and George. Phil Liggett commented “I didn’t know there was such a thing as a ‘fun’ time trial” – but we’re pretty sure everyone will be all smiles for this one.

    Phil’s never heard of a team time trial actually being ‘fun’…

    Last September 30, lucky folks spent a first-class weekend in the glorious Canadian Rockies, riding their bikes with Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Phil Liggett, Chris Carmichael and Johan Bruyneel. We’ve just learned that Lance is returning to Calgary September 8th and 9th, 2006, and this time cycling icon and close friend Eddy Merckx will be along for the “ride”! Here's your chance to be a part of it all...

    Eddy Merckx – as most of you know – is widely considered the greatest cyclist of all time – winning 5 Tours de France, multiple Giro’s and Vueltas, World Championships, almost every major Classic and countless other races in the 1960’s and 70’s. The man is a legend… and spending the weekend with Eddy AND Lance…?


    Imagine yourself in a small group like this – led by Lance and Eddy – cycling past 10,000 ft peaks in the Rocky Mountains.

    The Fight Continues
    Tour of Courage organizers Joe Dutton and John Dielwart thought their task to help raise $6 million in just over two years was completed last year, with the successful creation and funding of the “Lance Armstrong Endowed Chair in Molecular Cancer Epidemiology” housed at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary. Lance had a different take, and was eager to come back and ride the Canadian Rockies again – and continue the fight against Cancer by helping raise funds for another good cause - this time for Kids and the pediatric oncology department of the soon to be opened Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. When it opens this September, Calgary’s Alberta Children’s Hospital will be the most state-of-the-art children’s hospital in North America.

    This year’s goal is to raise $750,000 to care for children with cancer (pediatric oncology) – so you know it’s a worthy cause.

    With the winningest Tour rider on board for another year, Joe and John’s challenge quickly became how to improve an event that was first class all the way, and still attract 30 major donors who want to make a serious contribution of $25,000 (Cdn) and enjoy a once in a lifetime riding experience with Lance,
    Eddy , Phil and friends.

    How Amazing Was Last Year? Take A Look…
    PezCycling was fortunate enough to provide exclusive coverage of the event, which included an awesome 5 hour 130km ride from Lake Louise to the Columbia Icefields, and the second day’s 50km run down the scenic Bow Valley Parkway – remember Lance’s attack with 5km to go?

    I can tell you this event was primo all the way, and the hanging and riding with Lance, Phil, George, Chris and Johan was open and relaxed – just like you’d expect on a weekend group ride with friends.

    How close can guests get to these guys? Check me out sitting on Lance’s wheel…

    A Worthy Donation
    With only 30 spots available for this year’s event, expect it to “sell” out fast, as a chance to spend 2 days riding with Lance, Eddy, Phil, and a couple of Lance’s other ‘buddies’ - and contribute important dollars for pediatric oncology - is
    indeed a rare occurrence. George, Johan and Chris have not yet confirmed, but have all been invited back…

    The donation structure includes a fully tax deductible minimum donation of $25,000 (exclusive of event staging costs) for entry into the ride, made directly to the The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

    The organizers know that a weekend riding with Lance, Eddy and friends is a fantasy come true, and will be planning a luxurious two days consistent with the exclusivity of this cause. The staging costs, expected to be in the order of $20,000 per rider for the ultra-first-class event, would then be paid separately. (Costs may be lower depending on the level of “luxury”).

    The Details
    When: September 8 & 9, 2006
    Who: Lance Armstrong, Eddy Merckx, Phil Liggett… You.
    What: Two days riding and hanging two of the biggest names in cycling:
    - luxury ground transportation to/ from Calgary Int’l Airport
    - 2 nights all inclusive accommodation at 5-star hotel in Lake Louise
    - “team” gourmet dinner
    - all meals
    - custom cycling gear and other special treats
    - two day fully supported rides – approx distance 130km and 50km
    - luxury coach transportation to/from rides as needed
    - mechanics, bike assembly, delivery provided by Calgary’s superb Ridley’s Cycle
    - tax receipts available for Canadian and US citizens
    - Minimum donation: Cdn $25,000 + $20,000 staging costs per person

    I was one of the lucky few at last year’s event, and I can honestly say it was truly an amazing experience. The common look on the guests faces was “disbelieving glee”, and Lance was happy to chat with anyone who wasn’t tongue-tied (hey it happened to a few guests!), and the riding with these guys was … unbelievable. The organization was superb, with no detail overlooked, and even though the donations were very well spent – what guests remember is spending two days of their lives riding with Lance. It was worth every penny.

    Limited seats are still available, but the event will not be oversold – and last year’s Tour of Courage SOLD OUT by mid June.

    - Send an email to
    - and we will reply in the next few days.

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Randall Scott Cycle Company Announces the Sale of Commencal Bicycles for the First time in the US!

    Boulder, CO – June 20, 2006 – Randall Scott Cycle Company, America’s Premier Cycling Company, today announces they are now taking orders for Commencal Bicycles. A limited number of Commencal Mountain Bikes will be available to the US public – with Randall Scott Cycle Company being the 1st to receive them. The Randall Scott Cycle Company ( is proud to be working with Commencal (, and feel that the partnership is a good match with it’s brand philosophy and current line that emphasizes such brand as Fox Shox, Marzocchi, 661, Fox Clothing, Iron Horse, Foes, and more. Commencal produces bicycles that are known for their quality of construction, racing heritage, quality suspension, and value.

    Commencal is known the world over for it’s racing heritage, superior product, and excellent value. Max Commencal started producing bicycles in 1999 via France, and sponsor such riders as Nicolas Vouilloz, Ann-Caroline Chausson, and Cedric Gracia. Commencal is already posting impressive results on the Professional Mountain bike circuit at both National and World Cup events. Commencal’s most popular mountain bikes include some of the best full suspension designs on the planet. The Supreme 6 Series is their renown 6 inch travel free-ride series. The Meta 5 series is an extremely popular 5 inch travel All-Mountain Bike that has experience racing and riding in the Alps, as well as winning endurance DH races – proving to be extremely versatile. Commenal’s Meta 4 series is a XC bicycle that has won numerous races in Europe and is Highly sought after. Commencal is the exclusive bicycle manufacturer to offer an adjustable headtube angle, on select models, that will not effect the bottom bracket height. Commencal is able to achieve this through on adjustment in the head tube itself, rather than changing the Rear Shock position. Commencal’s Homepage can be found at

    Randall Scott Cycle Company - America's premier cycling company is revolutionizing the cycling community. Our philosophy is to combine personal world class service and premium cycling products from the most reputable manufacturers in the industry. Our world class staff of cycling specialists are always available to answer your questions. Try the Randall Scott Difference and join our thousands of satisfied customers. Randall Scott Cycle Company -Live the Legend!

    For the Complete line, Availability, and Orders, Please visit Commencal Product Can be found at the Commencal Page at Randall Scott Cycle.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    SRAM Goes Big for 2007

    SRAM goes big

    Big DropRounding out its series of 2007 product launches, component maker SRAM last weekend unveiled its new range of components aimed at the demanding all-mountain, freeride and downhilling segments of the mountain bike world. James Huang braved the steep and rocky trails of Moab, Utah to get the low-down on the new kit.

    SRAM introduced a wealth of MTB products at its Sea Otter Classic mini-event earlier this year, but noticeably absent were products designed specifically for freeride and high-end hardcore all-mountain riders. The company openly admits to being last to the party, but has clearly made a big effort to fill in the gaps for the 2007 model year with a second product launch held in picturesque (and borderline other-worldly) Moab, Utah. With the help of a few of its sponsored pros, SRAM unveiled three completely new long-travel single-crown fork platforms, a new freeride-specific brake, and updates to its drivetrain offerings.

    Totem fills 'extreme freeride' void

    Big Drop At the top of Rock Shox’s new freeride lineup sits the Totem which offers 180mm of travel housed in a gargantuan single-crown chassis. Along with the new long-travel-specific Mission Control damper (see sidebar for more information), the new platform features 40mm diameter 7000-series aluminum stanchions, a forged Al-66TV crown, and cast magnesium lowers that are said to contain enough material to make two sets of SID lowers. The lowers are heavily braced not only in the arch area, but also around the lower bushings where a pair of Power Bulge reinforcements combat bushing slop and increase overall chassis stiffness. In addition, Rock Shox has integrated a set of SpeedLube ports that offer the ability to rapidly change oil bath lube as well as a clearly-defined disc hose mounting location on the arch.

    Totem will be offered in coil, Solo Air, and 2-Step Air spring options with either 1 1/8in or 1.5in diameter aluminum steerer tubes. A refined Maxle 360 20mm thru-axle system is standard and all forks will come equipped with post-type disc mounts for rotors 203mm in diameter and larger. Weights range from 5.9-6.3lbs, including axle and full-length steerer. What’s the cost, you ask? Hope you’re sitting down as MSRP for the Totem will range from US$995 up to a whopping US$1150.

    New Lyrik caters to high-end all-mountain crowd

    The Lyrik is designed to be a premium-level all-mountain fork with 160mm of travel and will also feature the new Mission Control internals. At first glance, Rock Shox’s second new platform is essentially a downsized Totem with 35mm diameter aluminum upper tubes, a forged Al-66TV crown, and Power Bulge-equipped cast magnesium lower legs (sorry, no SpeedLube ports, but the disc hose mounting location remains).

    As with Totem, a variety of spring options are available, including coil U-Turn, Solo Air, or 2-Step, and a 1.5in aluminum steerer will be optional on the coil-sprung version. All varieties will utilize the Maxle 360 20mm thru-axle system and will also feature post-type disc mounts for rotor sizes 160mm and up. Weights range from 5.1-5.73lbs, including axle and full-length steerer. MSRP for the Lyrik will range from US$920 up to US$1050.

    Rock Shox Domain offers durable freeride performance in mid-priced package

    In the mid-priced category, Rock Shox offers up the Domain, a sort of hybrid of the Totem and Lyrik platforms. The Domain chassis dimensions are similar to those of the Lyrik, with 35mm upper tubes (made of taperwall steel, in this case), a forged and hollow 6061 aluminum crown, and cast magnesium lowers. Total travel, however, reaches a Totem-like 180mm (depending on model). Upper-level Domain versions receive the new Motion Control IS damper while the others get more pedestrian internals with basic rebound control.

    Big Drop Domain will be available in U-Turn (115-160mm) and coil (180mm) options. As with the other new platforms, the Maxle 360 system will be standard along with post-type brake mounts for 160mm rotors and larger. All versions will be offered with 1 1/8in or 1.5in aluminum steerer tubes, and weights range from 6.15-6.5lbs. As described earlier, Domain will be a solidly mid-priced fork at US$530 to US$590.

    New Avid Code brake adds pistons and bearings

    Avid’s Juicy Seven and Juicy Carbon brakes have proven to be excellent all-around stoppers, but hardcore users have pined for a more purpose-built design. In response, Avid displayed a prototype of its new heavy-duty four-piston brake at last year’s Interbike and now we know its official name: Code. The new brake sports a four-piston caliper and new master cylinder design that produces 27 percent more stopping power than a comparably-equipped Juicy Seven. In fact, according to Avid main man, Paul Kantor, in-house tests of the new brake have shown that only Magura’s Gustav M trumps it in terms of sheer clamping force. That being said, Kantor was quick to point out that, “the goal was not ultimate power, but more power with lots of control.”

    Big Drop Some readers will question Avid’s decision to stick to a two-piece caliper when others (notably Hope) have decided to go the one-piece route, but Avid feels that the four large M6 steel bolts that hold the two caliper halves together lend a measure of stiffness that is impossible to achieve with a single unit. Regardless of the philosophical dichotomies, much attention has been placed on heat management for Code, as its intended usage will undoubtedly have to dissipate more energy than in XC applications. The hose banjo has been moved as far away as possible from the pistons, and stainless hose hardware is used exclusively at the caliper to better radiate heat into the air. Speaking of the banjo, Avid uses an innovative centrally-located (and adjustable) mounting position which is sandwiched by the caliper halves to provide shielding from trail hazards. Both hose ends are threaded for easy hose length alterations.

    Up top, the new master cylinder is equally purpose-built for abuse, with three cartridge bearings to support each main pivot and a two-piece lever with a breakaway feature. A center-mounted Speed Dial contact point adjustment and a front-access reach adjustment make for easier customization when running moto-style as well. The handlebar clamp uses the same dimensions as Avid’s Juicy, so Code will also be Matchmaker-compatible for a cleaner setup.

    Code will be offered with either 185mm or 203mm rotors only, and will come standard with organic pads to provide more linear stopping power (metallic pads are optional). Weights will vary depending on setup but will start at approximately 561g for a complete front brake with a 185mm rotor. MSRP will be approximately US$230 depending on rotor choice.

    Truvativ’s Holzfeller trims down and beefs up

    Big DropOne division of SRAM that has also experienced widespread success in the freeride world is Truvativ with its excellent line of heavy-duty drivetrain parts, including the ubiquitous Holzfeller cranks. For 2007, Truvativ introduces the new Holzfeller OCT version which drops 75g from the current Holzfeller yet tests 10 percent stiffer. These improvements are gained through the use of Truvativ’s hollow forging process, dubbed Open Core Technology, which is said to afford the company the unique ability to forge higher-strength aluminum alloys such as the 7050. Mark Pippin, head of SRAM’s 'Cogtech' division, claims that in-house evaluations proved the new crankset, including the company’s Howitzer bottom bracket, to be the strongest of its main competitors (by as much as 40 percent in one case) while offering comparable levels of stiffness at a weight savings of 40g over the next lightest option.

    Holzfeller OCT will be offered in three chainring configurations (Rock Guard double, DH single, and Bash Guard single) as well as three chainlines (51mm, 56mm, and 66mm). Conveniently, switching between different chainlines will only require a bottom bracket swap as both crankarms use a bolt-on style of attachment. MSRP for a set of Holzfeller cranks will be a competitive US$235, plus US$47 for the Howitzer Team BB.


    Big DropThere isn’t much to mention here that wasn’t discussed in our Sea Otter Classic coverage, but there are a couple of notable items. SRAM has finally developed a low-mount ('top swing' in Shimano-speak) front derailleur to accommodate those frames for which a high-mount just won’t work. Unfortunately, the new derailleur will only be offered in the X-7 level for now.

    The only other real point of interest from SRAM was something that wasn’t even shown to us in Moab. SRAM is developing an ultra-lightweight high-end cross-country cassette using titanium for all of the cogs. Details were sparse to say the least, but there was mention of the use of hollow rivets to hold the cogs on to the carrier. Keep your eyes open at the next World Cup as Blackbox-sponsored rider Christophe Sauser is allegedly currently testing prototypes.
    Off to ride

    Naturally, Moab’s status as a mountain bike mecca provided ample opportunity to put in some quality chamois time on some of the new gear on a few of the area’s most famous trails, including Slickrock and Porcupine Rim. Some downhill shuttle runs and a quick trip over to Bartlett’s Wash were tossed in for good measure as well, and all of our rides were graced by the presence of a handful of SRAM-sponsored riders, including SRAM-bassador Greg Herbold, Syndicate rider Kirt Voreis, and BC sensation Tyler Morland.

    The overriding first impression of the Lyrik U-Turn on our cross-country rides was the excellent chassis rigidity. Regardless of line choice (and some of mine were admittedly, ahem, less than ideal), the Lyrik held firm. The new Mission Control damper proved to have a very wide range of adjustment with changes in low-speed and/or high-speed compression damping settings making a tangible difference in ride quality, and on one particular occasion, the Lyrik also managed to handle a sizeable drop with nary a quiver. One interesting thing to note is that none of the wiper seals on any of the test forks showed even a hint of weeping after two days of hard riding, indicating not just good seal quality, but also extremely tight bushing tolerances.

    As for our downhill rides on the Totem fork, Code brakes, and Holzfeller OCT cranks… okay, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a downhill pansy (come on, I lived in Michigan for the last 14 years!) Regardless, attempting to keep up with HB, Voreis, and Morland on our downhill runs and watching them do their thing at Bartlett Wash proved to be an eye-opening experience on a number of levels as it became plainly obvious why these guys are paid to do what they do. Equipment-wise, though, the Totem certainly proved capable of making up for a lack of downhill skill as it saved my rear end on more than one occasion. Chassis stiffness was even more impressive than with Lyrik, and small changes to damper settings were also very noticeable as well. Unfortunately, our downhill /freeride excursions didn’t provide much of an opportunity to put the brakes or cranks through their paces in a proper fashion, but for their limited use, the Code brakes displayed a light and precise lever feel with little evidence of caliper flex, and the Holzfeller cranks were markedly more rigid than the Stylo Team cranks which graced our cross-country loaners.

    Departing words

    In all, it seems that SRAM has recognized its freeride shortcomings and has clearly has put forth substantial levels of effort to enhance its presence in those arenas with totally new technology dedicated to the segment, as opposed to rehashings of present stuff. Some readers may scoff at the high cost of the new Rock Shox Lyrik and Totem forks, in particular, but those costs may prove to be justified if our early impressions are any indication.

    Many thanks go out to our guides, Kyle, Matt, and Brian, for showing us the best lines and providing us with some handy local info, and to Ashley at Western Spirit for the post-ride grub!

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle Tests Hayes El Camino Brakes

    On test: Hayes El Camino, January 26, 2006
    Power, control and adjustability

    Hayes has finally unveiled the long-awaited replacement for its venerable Mag series of hydraulic disc brakes. The El Camino offers up a variety of new features, and James Huang takes a look to see how well the new brake stacks up. The El Camino is Hayes’ first all-new hydraulic disc brake.

    Does anyone even remember anymore how long Hayes has been in the bicycle-specific hydraulic disc brake market? If it seems like forever, that's because Hayes was the first widely-accepted disc brake on the market and one of the first to gain OEM spec on new bikes. Those early products offered then-unprecedented stopping power in a durable and relatively compact package.

    Unfortunately, that original design has carried over largely unchanged from the late 90s all the way to last year's introduction of the new G2 caliper design. In spite of the new caliper, though, Hayes hydraulic brakes still suffered from a bit of 'on-off' modulation woes and the ergonomics were never quite spot-on. For 2006, Hayes is looking to retake the disc brake throne with the introduction of the all-new El Camino.
    What's an "El Camino"?

    When the folks at Hayes say the El Camino is "all-new", they're not kidding. The new master cylinder assembly signals a major departure from Hayes' styling themes of old with a very clean-looking and compact design. Much of the credit for the new, tidier appearance goes to the neatly integrated fluid reservoir. The big story with the levers, though, is the adjustability. The El Camino levers offer both tool-free reach and leverage adjustment to not only customize the fit but also the lever feel. Interestingly, the leverage adjustment is not unlike Avid's Speed Dial setup on its cable-actuated brake levers. Although the El Camino obviously isn't a cable-actuated brake, the concept is the same as are the benefits.

    In addition to the levers, Hayes also introduced an all-new caliper design. The new "mono-block" one-piece forged aluminum caliper is reportedly Hayes' lightest design to date. It is also alleged to be significantly stiffer than even the still-pretty-new G2 caliper and includes a sizeable window for ventilation. I can't verify the lightness claim, but a quick glance at the substantial webbing and bracing on the new caliper certainly makes it seem believable enough.

    Finally, Hayes paid a little attention to the rotor, too. The common 6in and 8in diameters are available, but now there is also a midsized 7in rotor. This new 7in standard is definitely picking up steam in the marketplace as it provides a little more stopping power with only a modest weight penalty (8in rotors can add about 100g each as compared to 6in ones). All of the rotors use their new V-cut pattern which is said to offer increased pad contact area with decreased weight, while also simultaneously providing moderate mud clearing ability. For super muddy XC races, Hayes still offers the mud-specific Mud Cutter rotor in the 6in size.

    Total weight for our 6in setup was 454g and 480g for the front and rear, respectively, including rotors and all hardware.
    Bolting them on

    The split clamp on the lever is absolutely a wonderful feature which I wish everyone would incorporate. Okay, admittedly, many people are using lock-on grips these days so this may not be a huge issue. However, if you're running traditional grips, getting those suckers off at home so you can slide non-split clamp levers on and off can be a major pain. Also, these levers are completely ambidextrous so there is no hose swapping required if you run moto-style.

    The same post-mount-plus-IS-adapter caliper mounting standard carries over from previous iterations and allows easy fitment on both International Standard-equipped forks and frames as well as the 74mm post mount standard that Manitou pioneered (and which Marzocchi has adopted for '06). Thankfully, no paper-thin shims are required for adjustment; just loosen the bolts a hair, pull the lever to self-center the caliper on the rotor, then tighten up and go.

    One nice feature on the new caliper is the rotatable banjo on the hydraulic line which allows you to adjust the exit angle of the hose as it exits the caliper body. Particularly given some of the idiosyncratic new full suspension designs around these days, it's nice to have some flexibility in placing the line during setup.
    So howzit work?

    The major performance features of any brake should be power and modulation, and the El Camino delivers both in spades. After a short break-in period, initial bite was positive without being too grabby and overall stopping power was more than plentiful for most cross-country applications with the 6in rotors. While I don't have numbers to support this, the new caliper design certainly feels stiffer what with the pleasantly firm feel at the lever. If there is any flex at that end of the system, it isn't readily apparent.

    However, as the folks at Pirelli say in their tire commercials, "Power is nothing without control", and the El Camino satisfies this requirement nicely as well. Hayes has clearly learned some lessons from previous brakes and dialed in substantially more modulation than was previously available. The somewhat "on-off" feeling of the old brakes has been thrown out with the bathwater in favor of very precise control.

    Speaking of modulation, the little Power Control dial actually proved to be quite handy. Small adjustments produce very tangible differences both in power and lever feel. Some will say that the responsibility of power modulation lies in your fingers, but this feature makes it so that your fingers have to do a little less thinking. More importantly, the combination of the Power Control dial and the reach adjustment make for an excellent combination when it comes to fit. Customizing the El Camino to fit your own paws should be no problem.

    Ok, so any complaints? Maybe just a few little ones: first of all, the lever blade pivot is a tad sloppy and there isn't much you can do to tighten it up. Perhaps this is just a pet peeve, but I prefer my pivots to be slop-free or as close as is practical without binding. Although I found the tool-less reach adjustment to be quite handy, I did find its propensity to adjust itself during a ride to be a bit annoying. A dab of Loctite took care of that easily enough, though, and still allowed for frequent adjustment without the concurrent migration. Also, somewhat strangely, the lever seemed to lose some of its "snappiness" further into a ride. I don't know what the issue was here, but it was more of a subjective thing and didn't affect the braking performance at all. The folks at Hayes acknowledged each of these issues and they are apparently already being addressed with running changes in the production line so current brakes may not have these niggles.
    The final word

    In the grand scheme of things, the El Camino is an impressive piece of stopping hardware. Overall power is bountiful and modulating that power to the ground is eminently controllable. The tool-free adjustments are surprisingly handy and the clean styling certainly doesn't hurt. True, the El Camino isn't the lightest brake in the world, but it does fall right in the range of its main competitors and the weight makes a bit more sense when you consider that this brake is also designed to cover the full breadth of applications from cross-country to freeride and downhilling. As an all-around disc brake, this one seems to have the bases covered quite nicely, with maybe just an untied shoelace or two.

    Weight: 454g (front), 480g (rear), including 6in rotors and all mounting hardware
    Pros: Outstanding power and excellent modulation, readily user-adjustable ergonomics and feel
    Cons: Pivot slop, occasionally inconsistent lever feel
    More information:
    Cyclingnews rating:

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Behind the scenes with Damiano Cunego at fi'zi:k

    On a recent visit to saddle maker fi'zi:k, marketing manager Massimo Fregonese gave Cyclingnews a sneak preview of the new fi'zi:k advertising campaign featuring Damiano Cunego called "Il Piccolo Principe" (The Little Prince). Well known as a devoted fan of The Doors, when Cunego burst on to the cycling scene at the 2004 Giro d'Italia, his first nickname was "The Lizard King" but the young Italian rider from Cerro Veronese didn't like it very much and it didn't stick. His new nickname, after the children's tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, seems to be something he likes, so Fi'zi:k was inspired to use the famous tale, written by Saint-Exupery in 1943, just a year before the French pilot disappeared flying a recon mission. Today, this magic tale still speaks volumes.

    Massimo Fregonese took Cyclingnews 'backstage' for the photoshoot with Cunego as he explained up front that, "It's not very often that you can spend some time with a pro cyclist, completely out of the racing environment and without them having to think about training, races, their results, the bike set up… all that kind of thing." After Massimo showed the concept of the ad campaign to Cunego, who liked what he saw, the wheels were put in motion. "We scheduled the photoshoot to happen just before Christmas and on December 23rd, Damiano came up to Munich to work on our 2006 fi'zi:k ad campaign."

    Fregonese explained, "It was all new for fi'zi:k and it also new for Damiano to have him do a real photoshoot on a set for us. After his plane from Verona landed in Munich, Cunego's first consideration was to ask me if the pictures we were shooting that day were really going to be used for our ad campaign! I didn't quite know what to think, but then he explained that in the past, he had done some photoshoots but there was never any ads that came out!

    "I assured Damiano that fi'zi:k was going to produce the ads for the Piccolo Principe campaign and then he relaxed. Quickly, Damiano's natural curiosity came out as he asked me a slew of questions about the campaign, why we were shooting in Munich and other things."

    Fregonese continued recounting the story, saying, "Once we arrived at the ad agency, a funny thing happened; Damiano was looking around the place and happen to see a pink Giro d'Italia jersey signed by Simoni. After his initial first surprise as he recognized at this familiar jersey, Cunego then turned away quickly, looking for some other stuff as he clearly considering that Simoni's jersey was not so interesting. Then he saw his brand new Wilier Triestina bike shining under the lights of the photo studio. Suddenly Damiano's face lit up and he started smiling like a kid finding a new bike under the tree Christmas morning."

    Massimo explained that with a tight deadline for the photoshoot, the tempo ramped up quickly. "Pretty soon after Damiano and I arrived at the agency, the atmosphere warmed up. Once all the staff arrived; the art director, photographer, stylist, hair and make up, studio coordinator, assistant, we got down to work for a first try setting up the 'Principe' hairstyle for Damiano with plenty of gel, hairspray and whatever other cosmetic products necessary, Damiano then asked for a mirror and shaped his hair himself only using water."

    "Once Damiano's hair and makeup were right, we started test shooting. After his initial embarrassment in front of the camera during the first couple of hundred shots, Damiano started to enjoy the fun of being photographed. However, the clock is running fast and since Cunego had woken up very early in that morning, by noon it's time for some food…. but what kind of food do you get in Germany? Fortunately, italian pizza is everywhere, so our lunch break worked out well."

    But it was not all beer and skittles for Massimo and fi'zi:k to get the job done and wrap the il Piccolo Principe campaign in one day. "The afternoon session is more difficult and boring. Damiano is getting tired and probably missing his training on the bike and his girlfriend and baby. But he was getting more friendly with all the people in the agency, and he took advantage of a break where there was 'discussion' on creative between photographer and art director to jump on his bike and ride off the set. The message of the moment was clear: don't abuse of the patience of a pro. Yes, you can ask Damiano to climb a mountain for a day, but not to stay in front of a camera for a day."

    As the shadows got longer and Christmas Eve eve came to a close, the session finally wrapped up Damiano get the chance to see a special shot book from the agency; a collection of previous photoshoots. "He was both surprised and proud when he realized that the agency had shot the Tour de France and many other pro riders and races", related Fregonese.

    "So Damiano began the game of recognizing each race and each rider and it only finished when arrived at the airport for the flight back to Italy."
    Once the shoot was done, Damiano headed back to his family for Christmas. Il Piccolo Principe di fi'zi:k was born. "At the end of a long and tiring day, I was very happy to hear Damiano say 'Thank you fi'zi:k, it was a nice experience and I enjoyed the day," before taking off for Italy."

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Ceramics & Aerodynamics: FSA Powers into 2006

    Dedication to innovation and quality has seen Full Speed Ahead grow to become a major bicycle component manufacturer. For 2006 the company is focusing on ceramic bearings, improved aerodynamics and its trademark compact cranksets to steam away from the competition.

    The driving force of bicycle component maker Full Speed Ahead is well captured in their name. FSA stays ahead of the competition through design innovation and manufacturing expertise. FSA's manufacturing base is in Taiwan, but they are truly a global company, with offices in the USA & Italy that collaborate to direct FSA's component development. FSA offers solutions for speed across a broad range of bicycle components; from headsets to wheels; cranksets and bottom brackets, Vision Time Trial & Triathlon bars and handlebars & stems.

    A particularly interesting product from FSA to be launched for 2006 is the K-Force MegaExo Compact chainset. CSC's Ivan Basso used an FSA SLK Compact chainset with 50X36 chainring combination in last season's Giro d'Italia and Tour De France, riding to stage wins in the Giro and a superb runner-up spot behind seven time Tour winner Lance Armstrong in France. This marks the first time a rider using a compact chainset equipped bicycle has been on the podium in a Grand Tour.

    FSA is a strong believer in the compact crankset, Doug Stuart of Full Speed Ahead told Cyclingnews that "a compact crankset is about 15% lighter than a triple set, and weighs 50 grams less than most non-compact double chainsets. And we find that the smaller, more rigid 110mm bolt circle diameter is simply a more efficient platform for pedaling. The Q-Factor is the same as a standard double, yet another advantage over a triple." FSA's K-Force MegaExo Compact chainset uses outboard bearings and an oversize spindle that is stiffer and lighter than most cranksets, which provides optimal power transfer for the rider. That's why Ivan Basso has already made the switch for 2006 to FSA's K-Force MegaExo Compact. And to make for the smoothest shifts possible, FSA has also developed a front derailleur specifically designed for compact cranksets.

    Another key initiative for Full Speed Ahead is the introduction of ceramic bearings.

    For the last few years, Full Speed Ahead has been working with their extensive array of sponsored teams to test, improve, and refine an often neglected product that can provide significant performance advantages. FSA's Claudio Marra explained to Cyclingnews that "our testing shows that ceramic ball bearings are 20% more rigid, 10X rounder and 60% lighter than standard steel ball bearings, which reduces friction. We have found that using ceramic ball bearings can provide speed increases of up to 4%, or a forty meters distance gained over every kilometer."

    FSA's ceramic bearings are not actually ceramic; they are made from pure, solid silicon nitride balls that are mounted in hi-spec carbon steel bearing raceways. To make them, the manufacturing process is long (70 days), complex and expensive. "First off, the ceramic powder is synthesized and pre-treated. Then the silicon nitride material is stamped into spheres, sintered, then specially ground and worked into a perfectly round shape before final assembly." But the cost is worth is, as Marra points out, the performance advantages and longevity (ceramic bearings outlast steel bearings by 5-20X) are real. Marra then explained that "we combine these ceramic bearings with super low-friction seals and a special lubricant in an optimized system; the advantages are hard to see with the naked eye, but you can tell on the bike."

    Ceramic bearing kits are offered for FSA's own products, like the MegaExo crankset and RD-400/488/600/800 wheel series but also for many other brands of bicycle components.

    FSA's Doug Stuart told us that "our ceramic bearings are a big breakthrough so we decided to make them for brands like Mavic, Zipp, Spinergy, Campagnolo Shimano and even Lightweight carbon wheels. Plus we offer ceramic bearings for Campagnolo Record and Chorus bottom brackets and even derailleur pulleys."

    FSA is also busy creating a focused range of high-performance wheels that are designed and built as an integrated system. Perhaps they haven't received the attention they deserve but, like other top FSA products, they benefit from advanced materials and relentless attention to detail. FSA's top of the range wheelset for 2006 is the RD-488. This wheel is a real racing weapon, with a 50mm carbon fiber tubular rim laced to 20 spokes in front and 24 in back. FSA's RD488 wheels don't have just any old aero spoke, but custom drawn Wheelsmith AE-14 spokes. FSA specially designed these spokes to have not only a fast aero profile, but to also to absorb road vibration.

    No wheel system could stand without a hub, and FSA's RD488 wheels have specially selected quadruple ground and polished bearings and special end caps that seal them shut no matter what the weather. FSA attention to detail is evident in features like the radiused flange holes that provide 100% support to front & rear spoke elbows. And all of FSA's 400 series wheels have hubs with a clever mechanism where the entire internals can be removed with two 5mm allen keys. Plus the FSA's RD488 wheelset can be upgraded with a ceramic bearing kit if you need even more speed. Another addition to FSA's 400 wheel range is the RD-460, their first high-performance disc-brake compatible wheel. Suited for cyclocrossers who don't want to mess with tubulars but want the safety and security of disc braking, these new hoops have 24 Wheelsmith 14 gauge butted spokes front and rear.

    As seen on the Cannondale six13 of Gilberto Simoni as he battled to second place at this year's Giro d'Italia, FSA's new Plasma carbon fiber integrated bar and stem are now available.

    This sleek, swoopy steerer is light and stiff; just the type of upgrade that can make a bike special again. Plasma is available in three widths (40-42-44) and four lengths (100-130) that will fit almost any rider. Another FSA stem that is clearly race proven is FSA's 100% CNC machined 140 gram OS-115 model, used by speedy sprinter Robbie McEwen as he rode his FSA bar & stem equipped Davitamon-Lotto Ridley to two stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and four in the Tour De France. Yet another FSA stem that is clearly a standout is the new for 2006 OS-150, forged and CNC finished for high-strength and light (155 grams) weight.

    Throughout the incredibly comprehensive range of Full Speed Ahead bicycle components, the evidence is clear. Where other manufacturers often choose to focus on just one material, FSA looks for the right material application for the right job. They use three grades of carbon fiber, four different grades of aluminum and three diverse types of steel to create Full Speed Ahead bicycle components. Doug Stuart summed up FSA's philosophy up by telling Cyclingnews that "We work with our advanced engineering capabilities and then integrate the key input from all our sponsored riders, from Ivan Basso and Robbie McEwen to mountain bikers like Gunn Rita Dahle, Christof Sauser and our Gravity guys like downnhill rider Sam Hill, just to name a few. FSA then uses our state of the art manufacturing to create great possible components. That way, when consumers choose FSA, they know they are going to win with us."

    by Cycling News Staff

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Cycling News Reviews Assos FI equipe shorts and Intermediate Evo Jersey

    On test: Assos FI.équipe shorts and Intermediate Evo jersey, February 8, 2006

    Swiss comfort

    The importance of having good fitting, comfortable and appropriate cycling gear cannot be overestimated. But is the expensive stuff worth it, or is it all hype? Jeff Jones tries out the Assos FI.équipe shorts and Intermediate Evo jersey, and gives his verdict.

    When cyclists are exposed to the word 'Assos', they generally think of clothing, comfort, Switzerland, and price. The order will vary, depending on the cyclist. Assos is a Swiss company that has been producing expensive, top-of-the-line cycling gear for nigh on 30 years, and claims to have invented the lycra cycling short.

    With the 2006 summer vaguely visible on the chilly European horizon (but most definitely here in the Antipodes), Assos is preparing to launch its FI.équipe bib shorts for the warm weather. Being ideally placed in Australia - and within sight of these shorts when they found their way into the "to be reviewed" bucket - I acted quickly. Some might say...eagerly.

    But wait, there's more.
    Already on the market as a 2005-2006 winter product, the Assos Intermediate Evo long sleeved jersey also found its way into my hands. Although it didn't get as much of a workout as the shorts, it was especially useful on Sydney's cooler days in November and December, before summer decided it was Time and hit us with a 45 degree day on January 1, 2006.

    The technology
    Although at first glance, a set of bike shorts consists of a few panels of lycra sewn together with a chamois of some description, a good set is so much more. The FI.équipe is based on the FI.13 knicks, but fits a little tighter. It uses Assos Type A.360 multidimensional compression Spandex (80% polyamid/20% elasthan), which is designed to contour to your muscles and eliminate constriction. It's not your flimsy lycra either - this stuff is thick and comfortable, and gives you the immediate impression that it won't wear out in a hurry. You can wash the shorts in warm water, but no bleaching, spin drying, or ironing, as these operations tend to destroy the shorts.

    The braces are fairly low-cut, as befits a pair of summer shorts. There is a mesh insert at the back (between the braces) that prevents the braces from moving around and aids comfort. They're also fairly tight when standing upright, but fit well when you're in the aero position.

    Cycling shorts don't only have to be long lasting, they need to be comfortable. Assos is certainly very proud of its Elastic Interface® Technology, which takes the traditional chamois to another level by enabling it to expand and contract, like lycra can. The insert is made up of two main parts: a shock absorbing foam cushion bonded onto an elastic, low-friction pad. The insert is also quite thick, but because it moves with you, it doesn't feel unpleasant and doesn't chafe.

    Assos makes several such inserts, distinctive by their bright orange colour. The FI.équipe uses the Mille insert, which provides a more generous layer of padding than its other inserts. The shorts came with leg grippers, which were of the effective-but-not-too-tight kind. If you want any colour other than black, you're out of luck.

    Turning to the Intermediate Evo jersey, as the name suggests, it's designed for riding in temperatures from 10 to 20°C, or in situations where you are doing a lot of climbing and descending. It's long sleeved, but not warm enough to be a winter jersey...but a little steamy to be used in summer.

    The Evo jersey is made out of a breathable fabric (75% polyester/15% polyamid/10% other) with an Airblock799TM front panel that's designed more for wind-stopping than wet weather protection. It fits nicely to your body without being too tight. A full length zipper is handy for when you are warm, and there is an extra zippered pocket at the back for your keys or spare change. There are also thin, reflective stripes on the back of the jersey.

    Unlike the shorts, the Intermediate Evo jersey comes in six colours: black, white, blue, yellow, red, and grey.

    Enough of the tech, how do these bits of gear perform when actually ridden in? The FI.équipe shorts got a thorough workout from me, and I estimate I did 1500 km in them over the past three months. I used them primarily for racing and longer rides, and found plenty of excuses to get them out of my "shorts basket". It didn't take me long to wear them in, and the slight slipperiness of the lycra against the saddle only lasted a few rides.

    The immediate thing I noticed about these shorts is how damned comfy they were. Apart from being a snug fit, the extra padding in the Mille insert was welcomed on my longer rides. I could feel at one with my machine for four hours and did not need increasingly extended 'out of the saddle time' as the ride went on. Also, saddle sores went away, and there was finally peace on earth. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

    I will say that the FI.équipes are probably the most comfortable pair of cycling shorts I've ever owned, but then again I've been reluctant to ever pay more than about €80 (adjusted for inflation) for a pair of knicks, so that statement should be put in its proper perspective. It may mean I actually spend more money on shorts in future, as Cyclingnews schwag only gets me so far...

    Within the time frame of the review, I couldn't really determine how long the FI.équipes were likely to last. They did hold up very well after three months/1500 km of riding in them, and there were no loose threads or signs of the insert coming unstitched. I typically go through a pair of shorts in about a year of regular riding in them (roughly 4000 km), so the FI.équipes have almost made it to halfway.

    Opportunities to ride in the Intermediate Evo jersey in the context of a Sydney summer were limited, as I mentioned above. I used it on the rare cooler days that we had, and also wore it in the wet a few times. I agree with Assos' recommendation that it be used between 10 and 20°C, and as it is not particularly waterproof, you will likely need a light rain jacket of some description if you're venturing out into the drizzle.

    The Evo breathes well, is comfortable, and is not at all heavy or bulky, so you don't get too sweaty too quickly. I found that I didn't need any more than a base layer to stay warm, and it was great for keeping out the wind. And if it did happen to get up to 25°, I could still keep wearing the jacket without it becoming uncomfortably sweaty.

    The TI.équipe shorts and Intermediate Evo jersey are two more good quality products from Assos. I found the shorts to be very comfortable and (so far) hard wearing, while the jersey was ideal for the conditions that it was designed for. Faults? I can't really find any. They're each at the upper end of the price range for cycling clothing, but by no means overpriced. Top marks!

    Colours: Shorts: Black; Jersey: Black, white, blue, yellow, red, and grey
    Weight: Shorts: 220g; Jersey: 255g
    Pro: Comfortable, durable
    Con: They're not cheap

    Cyclingnews rating:

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Randall Scott Lifestyle

    Shimano 2007 XTR Crankset Global Introduction

    Rounding out the new product debut for 2007 Shimano XTR is the FC-M970 Hollowtech II crankset and ultra-rigid FD-M970 / M971 front derailleurs. New XTR takes the critical triad of weight, performance, and durability even further than the well received current generation system with a new design and incorporating exotic materials.
    Take a look and see why the all new 2007 XTR is engineered for the way you ride.

    FC-M970: Hollowtech 2 CranksetIncorporating the benefit of rigidity with minimal weight of the Hollowtech II combined bottom bracket and crankset system, the new FC-M970 manages to drop even a few more grams while increasing shifting performance and durability .• Patent-protected chain ring design • Enhanced durability • More precise bearing adjustment • Lighter weight and more versatile

    FD-M970: Top–Swing Front Derailleur Fresh front derailleur designs compliment the new group and continue to provide the most confident front shifting available.• Wide pivot links • Multi-clamp and variable cable routing for maximumversatility • Laser-cut XTR logo

    FD-M971: Down–Swing Front DerailleurFresh front derailleur designs compliment the new group and continue to provide the most confident front shifting available.• Wide pivot links • Multi-clamp and variable cable routing for maximumversatility • New limit screw location provides for easier access
    2007 Shimano XTR
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