A Beginner’s Guide: flat kit

One of the quickest ways to find your day on the bike turn from a fun adventure to a day of stress and frustration is being unprepared to handle a flat tire or other simple mechanical issues that can arise during a ride. Without the proper gear you’ll soon find yourself stuck on the side of the road or trail, in the best case snagging a tube and tools from a riding partner or friendly passing cyclist or in the worst huffing it back to your car or begging a loved to drive out of their way to pick you up. With that in mind the experts here at the shop have put together two sample kits to help direct you towards the accessories you’ll need to handle most basic road side maintenance.

For the road:


The necessities are:
1) A spare tube
2) Tire levers
3) A way to inflate your tube after fixing a flat.

It may be obvious but it is important to insure you have the proper tube size for your bike (1). For most on the road this will be a 700c x 18-23mm presta valve tube. If you are unsure, the size will be printed on the sidewall of your tires. While wider tires have become quite popular over the last few years for the plusher ride, better traction and lower rolling resistance a 18-23mm will easily expand to fill a 25mm or 28mm tire, while being more compact and lighter for your road maintainance kit.

A simple set of plastic tire levers (2) should do the trick to get your tire on and off after a flat (if you haven’t ever changed a flat check out our videos below on the types of flat tires experienced in cycling and how to change a flat). Somewhat burlier and longer levers like the Pedro’s pictured here may take up a little more space but are less likely to break on you in your time of need. For those rocking carbon fiber wheels it is particularly important to use plastic, and not metal tire levers, so as to not damage the rim.

Finally to re-inflate the tire we are huge fans of CO2 chargers (3). While they do cost a little each time you need to inflate a tire for a new cartridge you won’t be stuck on the side of the road for 20 mins trying to get a tube up to 90psi with a minipump. To keep things compact a charger that only accepts threaded cartridges works great. It is important not to screw the cartridge in until you are ready to use it as otherwise it will slowly leak and you’ll find yourself without a way to inflate a tire when it matters. For a road tire a 16g cartridge will get your tire up to pressure.

You’ll need a way to carry all these items and for this task we find a small to mid sized saddle bag (4) the most convenient, freeing up jersey pockets for your food, phone or clothing accessories and keeping your back free of a bag will help keep you cool. While there are saddle bags large enough to carry all your tools and tubes while also bringing along a picnic for lunch we find smaller saddle bags (just large enough for the essentials in this article) less cumbersome on the bike.

Aside from these absolute basics bringing a few extras along can be extremely helpful. The first is a simple multi tool (5), such as this CrankBrother’s B8, with hex bits from 2.5mm to 6, a Philips and flat head screw driver and a t-25 torx will allow you to adjust nearly any bolt on your bike or cleats. It is also handy to carry a small glueless patch kit (6) along in the event that you or a friend need to fix a second flat. It’s always nice to have something to boot a sidewall blowout (7) with such as a piece of an old tire, duct tape, a gel wrapper or even a dollar bill (or higher demonization) so you can limp home instead of calling for help. We also like to bring along a $10 or $20 bill for emergency cash and I keep an old driver license in my saddle bag so there is always some way to identify me in a worst case scenario.

For mountain biking a similar set up will work well.


Many of us ditch the saddle bad as we are already carrying a hydration pack that can hold all our essentials. For mountain biking it will be more even important to insure you have the proper size tube (1). While you again will have no trouble getting a 2.1” tube to stretch up to 2.2” or even 2.3” if necessary the plethora of wheel sizes mean you are going to be out of luck if you carry a 29er tube while riding a 27.5” wheel bike (or vice versa), so if in doubt double check the sidewall of your tire and tube to make sure they match up. With more space and weight being less of a concern many of us at the shop like to take advantage of the cost savings of using a cupped CO2 charger (2) that can accept threaded or the less expensive unthreaded CO2 cartridges. Speaking of CO2 you are going to want to bring along a 20g cartridge (3) if you are riding a 27.5” or 29er tire to fully inflate the tube. With not being able to fix a second flat likely meaning a long hike out (vs on the road where you will likely be able to call a friend or a cab for a ride) it is always good to carry an extra cartridge. To this end, it is always a good idea to have some burlier glued patches (4) (and glue) on hand if you experience a second flat. A way to boot a sidewall blowout is a life saver in the backcountry is even more important out on the trails. Contender Bicycles owner and general bike guru Ryan finds wrapping one of his tire levers in duct tape a handy way to bring some along for just such a problem (5) Because there are more things to adjust, and the increased likeliness of a broken chain we like to bring along a larger multitool on our mountain biking adventures, particularly one like the Syncros 13CT Composite Tool with Chain Tool, (6) so we can fix most problems on the fly. The chain tool addition makes it easy to remove any damaged sections of chain, while a SRAM PowerLink (7) makes putting your chain back togher a breeze.

For guides on how to fix flats and other mechanical issues check out the videos below and subscribe to our youtube channel.

It’s time to OPEN U.P.

open up

At Contender Bicycles one of the things we most love about our jobs is setting customers up with the bike that fits their needs. For many this simply will be a stock bike from one of the great brands we carry. For others slight modifications may be in line, different gearing or crank arm length are common. As one of the premier bicycle retailers in the US we are also privileged to put together a number of custom builds for customers looking for something very specific. Last fall we joined the OPEN Cycles community as their newest dealer. We were really excited by what they have to offer, namely the lightest production 29-er frame on the market, the O-1.0. Based on the response we have gotten, clearly, are customers have been as excited as we were.

For those not in the know OPEN was founded by Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervelo, and Andy Kessler, former CEO of BMC, two men who clearly know bikes. Their goal with is to build simple bikes in a community driven manner. To this end they have done their best to involve their community in the bike design process as much as possible (from personally engaging in feedback with their community, to posting videos explaining the technology or having the community decided the color of their new frameset). The standards at OPEN are also incredibly high. to the inherent variability in manufacturing some O-1.0 end up outside of the tight weight tolerances OPEN is willing to accept. Instead of scraping this frames they have decided to give them an layer of paint and a new model name, the O-1.1, same great frame… just little heavier and little less expensive.

With the recent release of their Unbeaten Path (U.P.) Open has broken the model again. While many serious cyclist follow the mantra that the right number of bikes to own is “n+1” where n equals the number you currently own the OPEN U.P. may be the first bike that will truly be an “n-1” addition. The U.P is a bike that is best explained with one word: versatile. The most obvious example of this is the ability to run either 700c (29er) wheels with 23-40mm tire or 650b (27.5”) with 2.1” tires. Rolling on skinny road tires the U.P. is a capable road bike with confident snappy handling, while the geometry isn’t ideal mixing it up at a crit, few could find fault in its on pavement capabilities. Where the U.P. truly shines however is once the tires get larger than 32mm and the road becomes less than uniform. With such a large selection of tire options available the U.P. is poised to excel anywhere from your next cross race to an epic adventurneering ride. This tire size versatility is afforded by a unique dropped driveside chainstay. In addition to increasing clearance to allow such wide tires it also allowed Vroomen to keep the chainstays to a short 420mm length, giving the U.P. a fun, sporty ride compared to the longer stays common on cyclocross/gravel frames. And while many cross/gravel frames on the market are using one of the various “road” disc hub spacings that have been introduce OPEN went with the standard mountain 142x12mm rear and 15mm front thru axels, so you can choose from a ton of great wheel options.

It is more than just the broad tire selection the U.P. provides that will allow you to tailor this versatile frameset to become your “n-1” bike. A BB386EVO bottom bracket is compatible with any number of mountain or road cranks (with up to a 50t outer ring). While the MultiStop routing plugs allow you to cleanly run any (cable, electronic or hydraulic shifting) cables internally so you can choose the drive train the fits your needs and budget. Finally a set of bolts on the top tube make bring any extras you may need for a long ride along on your next adventure.

Few could claim to have the carbon fiber design, engineering or manufacturing experience of Vroomen, and the U.P. may be the pinnacle of his experience this far. An mesmerizing blend of carbon layup, geometry and logical design decisions make for an amazing ride quality. Light enough, at 1150g for a large frameset, and stiff enough to take the whole shot at your Saturday cross race and comfortable enough with Vroomen’s trademark wire-stays, offering incredible vertical compliance and lateral stiffness, comfortable enough for a full day gravel adventure on Sunday. With the right tire selection the U.P. handles confidently on every path from road to all but the most technical single track. With races like Crushar in the Tushar and a myriad of amazing gravel rides along the Wasatch it is no wonder our customers have been so taken by the U.P. since be began carrying Open this fall.

Open UP

Truly illustrating the versatility of the Open U.P. is the recent build we did for a customer looking for the ultimate commuter, after work grinder and weekend Wasatch exploration bike. Ritchey Logic WCS flat bars give this U.P. a bit more comfort on the commute and more confidence on days with more, and more technical, gravel. A recent update to Shimano’s Di2 components allowed the mixing of XTR Di2 shifters and Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur and Ultegra Di2 long-cage rear derailleur so he’d always have the right gearing whether he’s riding the road or the dirt. Finally a set of ENVE 3.4 road wheels and 27.5″ M50 wheels allows for the proper wheel selection no matter the days planned adventure. While this is an example of a truly premium build, for those looking for the adaptability and versatility offered by the U.P. our team would be excited to help you design a build that best suits your needs and budget. Give us a call at 801-364-0344 or drop our Open expert, Julian, an email at julian@contenderbicycles.com.


Scott Big Jon Review

While few things can beat strapping some sticks on your feet to take advantage of the awesome snow we get here in Utah, we still get a bit itchy to hop on a bike and get some riding in. Until recently getting on the bike in the winter meant slogging through another trainer session or braving the cold and icy streets as the plethora of powder has left our trails inaccessible to a mountain bike. Luckily for us the hard men and women of Alaska (and beyond) had suffered through snow inhibiting their riding ambitions for decades and slowly began producing bikes designed to conquer the most austere of wintery trail conditions.

While cyclists harder than us have been riding fat bikes for decades, it has only been in the last few years that industry has taken notice. At Contender we have been blasting the snowy slopes near the shop for a several years on a number of different fat bikes that have come through the shop and our winters have never been so fun.

As with most things bicycle related, this first wave of fat bikes were often high-end models with price points to match. For many these bikes, no matter how fun they might be, would fill a niche too small within their bike quiver to justify the price and although there were a few budget models available, we often found these bikes wanting. The last two years, though, have seen nearly all the major manufacturers take notice and introduce a series of fat bikes into their line. We have excitedly watched as the number of options has increased, opening the fun on the snow to the wider cycling community.

At $1499.99 the Big Jon by Scott may be the perfect option for those who have been looking to go fat without their wallet getting skinny or compromising on performance. Like it’s older sibling, the Scott Big Ed, the Big Jon is built around a 6061 Aluminum frame, which keeps things stiff and reasonably light. With the Big Jon Scott has dropped the bottom bracket and lengthen the chainstays a bit compared to the Big Ed, making for a more stable ride on loose snow or sand. While everyone has their personal preference between Shimano and SRAM we are big fans of Shimano at the shop and were excited to see the Big Jon spec’d with a Shimano XT/Deore build, which we are confident will continue to shift reliably even in the stickiest snow. The house brand Syncros finishings offers solid performance while keeping the price down. The stock Schwalbe Jumbo Jim EVO 4.8” tires will float on the softest surfaces, although as with every mountain-esq bike we would have loved to see a tubeless setup. At 32.14lb’s  in our hands for a medium bike, the Big Jon isn’t a welter weight (but what fat bike is); however, similarly weighted offerings from other brands are often coming in at $500+ more and upgrading to a tubeless would certainty shed more than just a few grams.

We’ve been psyched to get several customers out on a Big Jon and based on the photo’s and stories they are as psyched about the bike as we are. Off the show room floor you’ll definitely ready to head off to the nearest snow covered trail and have the most fun on two wheel’s you’ve had since cross season ended. Those looking for alittle more versatility we’ve upgraded the stock alloy fork to a RockShox Bluto for a few customers, a $685 upgrade. At $2184.99 you end up with a darn sexy bike if we do say so ourselves (just check out the awesome studio quality photo at the top of the page that professional photographier and happy Big Jon+Bluto owner David Newkirk shared with us), that is 99% of the way to the Big Jon’s bigger brother and almost $500 less expensive (so you’ll still be able to afford plenty of post ride hot-chocolates to warm back up, or a Charge 20 Cooker so your kid can get alittle fat with you over this winter too… because we all know snow is more fun with your family).


Happy customer Jon couldn’t help but feel the Big Jon was made just for him.

For those not yet convinced by the fat bike revolution we have a number of Cannondale Fat CAAD’s available to rent in the shop.

Come skate ski this Sunday with Miles Havlick!

Miles Havlick Skate Ski

Take a break from the trainer and improve your skate skiing technique with Contender Bicycles athlete, Miles Havlick. Learn something new that will compliment your winter cycling training and get you outside in the beautiful Utah weather.

Many of you chatted with Miles over the summer at the shop. Few knew that Miles is a two-time NCAA Champion from the University of Utah who is now skiing professionally and internationally. Contender was simply lucky to have him at the shop for the summer!

Last week Miles competed at US Nationals and finished on the US podium placing 3rd in the Freestyle Sprint! Check out the podium picture.

Miles Havlick Podium

When: Sunday, January 17 2016. 10:00 to 11:30 AM

Where: Mt. Dell Golf Course in Parley’s Canyon. Meet at the start of the track (You must pay $7 for a day pass)

Bring: Skate Skis, Boots and Poles!

Cost: $0.00 (The clinic is free but you need to pay $7 for a day pass to use the skate track at Mt. Dell)


Win a TIME Skylon

TIME Bikes Le Defi

At Contender Bicycles we love bikes. We love mountain bikes, we love road bikes, we love cyclocross bikes, heck, some of us even still love strider bikes. With all the amazing bikes on the market, and in our shop, we really can’t (and shouldn’t) pick a favorite; however, anyone who’s ever been into the shop know that TIME Bicycles have a special place in our hearts. Perhaps it is their classically beautiful lines, or that being handmade in France using RTM (the only manufacturer in the industry to utilize this more exacting, time intense method) they truly are unique from the dropouts to the top tube in the crowded bike market. Mostly though it is because they really do ride like a dream without sacrificing on performance. They truly are amazing bikes to ride. As much as we love TIME we realize not everyone can afford these amazing bikes (although, the TIME First is an incredible bike at a price on pair with the offerings from even the largest brands).

Now, though, with a little time in photoshop everyone can have a shot a winning one of these incredible bikes. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, and in memory of their late founder Roland Cattin, TIME is having a contest to design a TIME Skylon inspired by principles of “Le defi” (“the challenge”) Roland put forth to his company (“quality,” “passion,” “elegance,” “innovation” and “made in France”). The winner’s design will be produced as a limited edition frameset, to be debuted at Eurobike 2016, and the winner will also receive one of their very own. As an added bonus, if one of our great customers win, there is always a chance you’ll get to see one of “your” bikes hanging up in the show room for sale. So get on it folks! (and let’s be honest, we know you’d be more excited to win this than that billion dollar lottery… err… atleast you have a shot of winning, especially some of our creative customers!).

For more details on the contest head on over to the time-logo-185f9e972c2df65218466557f86c33cd website or Facebook page.

Come Hang with Eros Poli

Eros Poli

Slow down and take a short break from your busy holiday schedule to meet former professional cyclist Eros Poli. Come talk cycling, enjoy some light snacks and drinks and bump elbows with this cycling giant (he’s 6’3″!). Eros will be at the shop Monday, December 14th at 6:30 pm.

Eros is an Olympic and World Champion and was THE leadout man for the legendary Mario Cipollini. However his crowning moment came unexpectedly at the 1994 Tour de France.  At 190lbs, this Italian literally crept into cycling history during that year’s Mt. Ventoux stage. With a 25 minute gap at the bottom of the climb, everyone was cheering for the escapee to survive. Cresting the mountain with over four minutes, he won his first and only TdF stage win and that tour’s “most aggressive rider” award!

Join us in our 2nd year to help Kit Up Africa!

Kit Up Africa
Need to make room for all the new riding garb you’re gonna rake in for the Holidays? Want your used cycling gear to get in the hands of folks (fellow riders) that will truly appreciate it? ‘Tis the season for giving! This is our second year of teaming up with Kit Up Africa a nonprofit that delivers donated cycling clothing, gear and shoes to cyclists in Africa who love to ride just as much as we do.

This year we are trying to rally everyone early! For Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, donate a piece of used cycling gear and get 30% a matching piece – so donate a jersey, get 30% off a new one. Need a new jacket? Donate your old one and it’s 30% off the shiny new one you’ve been eyeing since October. The same goes for shoes, bibs, gloves, hats, etc – anything you think is donation worthy. For the entire month of December we will continue to support Kit Up Africa in the same way however the percentage off a matching piece goes down to 20%.

Contender Bicycles Kit Up Africa

So clean out your closet and help us Kit Up Africa! Last year we donated over 400+ lbs of cycling clothing. Help us beat that number this year!

Here is what we collected last year:

  • 425+ jerseys
  • 250+ shorts & bibs
  • 50+ long sleeve jerseys
  • 75+ jackets & vest
  • 30+ skinsuits
  • 70+ pairs of shoes
  • 100+ accessories including baselayers, warmers, socks and gloves

*Eligible items include all clothing apparel and shoes that can be reused. Discount does not apply to items already on sale. Please note we cannot accept helmets.

The POC Venti Pumpkin Spice Helmet – Happy Halloween!

POC Protection goes grassroots to bring us the world’s first edible helmet. Working directly with Contender Bicycles’ own Ryan Littlefield and national time trial champion David Zabriskie, POC is now ready to unleash their latest lid this Halloween. As prototypes took months to grow, a crack team of crafty carvers – Alison Littlefield along with Cody and Emily, Ernie the Mutt, Penny the Corgi and Leo the Senior worked out the details that would soon become cycling’s tastiest choice in head gear. The Venti Pumpkin Spice helmet is DOT, CPSC and ATK (America’s Test Kitchen) certified to protect your melon in the event of bike crash. An added bonus is that at the end of the season you can throw it in the garden and ten more helmets will grow in its place. Mmm, mmm, Pumpkin Spice – Enjoy!



National time trial champion David Zabriskie testing out The Venti Pumpkin Spice Helmet.


Introducing OPEN Cycle

OPEN Frame
We are proud to announce the arrival of OPEN Cycle to our shop. OPEN is an exciting new brand that allows Gerard Vroomen (formerly the founder and head engineer of Cervelo bicycles) to apply his forward thinking to all aspects of the bike industry. To that end OPEN is more than just a high-end bike brand with very lightweight carbon frames on offer, the name OPEN also references the brand’s desire to work with a very limited number of retailers and to remain transparent with the end user. Their website, opencycle.com, displays email exchanges between the brand’s founder with riders and potential customers. As well, their corporate motto “working to stay small” is foreshadowing future production within Europe once economies of scale allow them to deliver high quality at an equitable price. These ideas represent a refreshing approach within our industry and we gladly welcome them and the OPEN brand to Contender Bicycles.


Our first round of product from OPEN includes the ultra-lightweight O-1.0 and O-1.1 29er hardtails alongside their unique U.P. Gravel Plus frameset. At less than 900 grams the O-1.0 is the lightest hardtail mountain frame ever and already in high demand by riders for use in expert-level cross-country races and grueling events like Leadville or Crusher in the Tushar. Designed to be ridden with 100mm XC forks, such as the the SID and RS1 forks by RockShox, these OPEN hardtails can easily be built up in the sub 18 pound weight range. For something completely different, the OPEN U.P is your Gravel Plus frameset that can be ridden with a 27.5″ mountain-bike wheelset or 700c road and cross wheels making it the most versatile drop-bar dirt bike in existence. Simply switching out wheelsets gives the U.P. ability to traverse mountain trails one day, ride gravel the next and be put into rotation as a cyclocross racer come fall – and you can even ride it on the road! OPEN is already developing their first full-suspension mountain bike and we are sure that it will be as equally innovative as the U.P. and O-1 frames that arrived today.


OPEN Top Tube


2016 Orbea Mountain Bike Demo

2016 Orbea Mountain Bike Demo

Today through Friday is your chance to ride all-new 2016 Orbea mountain bikes! The Orbea demo trailer is at the shop and contains the much talked about additions to Orbea’s mountain bike lineup including the 2016 Loki, Occam, and Rallon. These bikes have been receiving a lot of press and we are excited to have them for a couple days!

When: Wednesday October 12th – Friday October 16th from
9 AM to 7 PM.

Below is a list of Orbea mountain bikes that we will have available to demo:

Orbea Loki 27+ H10 – Medium

Orbea Rallon X-Team 27.5″ Alloy – Large

Orbea Occam AM H10 27.5″ Alloy – Medium

Orbea Occam TR M30 29″ Carbon – Large (2), X-Large (2)

Orbea Occam AM M30 27.5″ Carbon – Small (2), Medium

Please bring your I.D. and credit card in order to demo the bikes. You can demo bikes up to four hours. Please contact Cody at cody@contenderbicycles.com or call the shop at 801-218-2376 to reserve a four-hour time slot on any bike listed above!

Corgi Cross is Here!


If you’ve heard barking coming from inside the bike shop or seen a four-legged friend running around Contender, you’ve probably assumed that Alison and I are big fans of dogs. While we love all dogs, we’re a bit partial to those that come from rescues. So how did we arrive at Corgi Cross? Here’s the short version.

Our two most recent canine additions happen to be of the Corgi breed. One is young and full of energy and the other is….well….the opposite. They get a laugh out of us each time they go up or down the stairs or run through the store. Penny, the younger one, flies up steps and can turn on a dime. She makes it look easy, sort of like Sven Nys.  Ernie can also get it done but not quite so eloquently.  One day as Penny effortlessly leaped up the steps going to the office, Peter made some cyclocross related comment and the ball started rolling. We joked around a bit about Corgis and cross and how Corgis would replace the Lion of Flanders in our dream world. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a Lion hop something? Quickly we had some ideas for a t-shirt or a jersey that would have some Corgis with a crown replacing the coat of arms because after all they are the dog of choice for the Queen.


With a “solid” concept in place, Kevin and Alison dove into design and came up with awesome designs for jerseys, t-shirts and hoodies. With a little research, we found that in Welsh folklore, fairies road corgis into battle. No wonder these dogs can motor. Like most cyclocrossers, we wanted to make sure that fun was the emphasis here!  Since a lot of riders seem to be “powered by” something or “presented by” someone, we decided to notch the seriousness down a bit, have some fun and do some good by donating all of the proceeds from this project to CAWS, a really great animal rescue here in Utah. Our Corgis came from CAWS and we can’t thank them enough for what they do!

So if you like dogs, or like cross (or hopefully you like both), purchase a jersey, a t-shirt or a hoodie and support CAWS and show your true cross colors too! View our NEW PRODUCT section to check out the individual items.


Please note both Corgi Cross logos are on each apparel item. The sweatshirts and jersey have the large logo on the back.

The Contender Camp – Season Seven

The Contender Camp

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are falling, daylight is dwindling and jackets are resurfacing as the threat of El Nino looms! …What we’re trying to say is that Contender Camp is just around the corner!

This year you can register online, over the phone or in person at the shop. If any participants are interested in paying for all three blocks in advance, we’d like to extend a special offer by including one lactate test free of charge bringing down the price of last year’s camp special. Once you have registered, your spot is reserved.

To sign up for Block I & your initial lactate test, please click HERE.

To take advantage of the NEW camp special (all three blocks and one free lactate test), please click HERE.

Already in our seventh season, the camp gets further refined every year. We will continue to offer a Saturday make-up/bonus class and as always the trainer room is open during the shop’s business hours for use by all Camp participants. Plus all your favorite instructors are back this year!

The Contender Camp has been known to…

  • turn you into lean, mean, pedaling machines just in time for spring riding
  • create a new and improved passion for cycling
  • forge friendships that last lifetimes (or until the next group-ride-grudge-match up Emigration)

It’s a little thing we like to call The Contender Consortium. The brain trust of Ryan and Alison’s boundless cycling and training, Dr. Eric Taylor and Blake’s knowledge and impressive backgrounds in sports physiology combine to make this camp the best training option in Utah. Adding Nick, Julian, Cody and Richard to the mix means this year will be better than ever.

How Does Our Class Work?

We take the latest science-based training principles, combine them with our lactate testing and state-of-the-art CompuTrainer facility for catered training parameters and accurate measurements of your cadence and power output. This is essential to get maximum results from your training time in class.

This scientific approach creates the ideal formula necessary to make the greatest improvements in our fitness. Our goal is to make sure you’re not just simply fit and ready for spring riding but to make sure that the fitness, knowledge and skills you’ve gained forge a more confident and better performing rider.

Split into three 6-week training ‘blocks’ or phases, each block uses specific training principles. This challenges Camp participants and helps us see improvements along the way ultimately motivating us to become a better cyclist.

But let’s not forget one of the best reasons to sign up for the class – the chance to meet cyclists who are motivated to stay fit, to work hard and to have fun during those chilly winter months. Plus our expert staff and their legendary choice of playlist keeps you motivated for the entire 90 minute workout.

M/W Morning:  6:00 AM – 7:30 AM (ALMOST FULL)
M/W Evening: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
T/TH Early Morning: 5:15 AM – 6:45 AM (FULL)
T/TH Late Morning:  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
T/TH Late Afternoon: 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM
T/TH Evening: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (ALMOST FULL)

BLOCK II:  WED, DEC 16 – THU, FEB 4 (HOLIDAY BREAK – DEC 23 through JAN 3)

FOLLOW-UP LACTATE TESTS (if desired to reestablish training zones): $100.00
CAMP SPECIAL: $840 (all three blocks and one free lactate test)*
*First time participants MUST have a lactate test prior to the start of camp. For those seasoned veterans, please feel free to use your lactate test at any point throughout the camp.

Blake Vatne will again be doing all of the lactate testing at Contender Bicycles. Please feel free to set up a time with him during the month of October before classes begin. Please note we recommend establishing your training values before the start of camp and, if needed, retest once during camp to reestablish values in order to maximize your gains and foster continual growth throughout the classes!

For additional information, please feel free to contact our shop (801.364.0344) or email Blake at blake@contenderbicycles.com. If you are interested in a class that is full, please email Blake so he can put you on a cancellation list.


For half a century, lactic acid has been considered the cause of muscle fatigue and burning sensation during high intensity exercise. In the body, lactic acid is present in very small amounts even in resting condition. Most of it is dissociated as lactate. The most recent theory on lactate metabolism and exercise is that lactate is a great way for the body to “move” energy between cells. We also know that lactate doesn’t cause fatigue but correlates to it. Lactate can also be used as an energy source. Studies show that without lactate recycling we would need to carry a 150 lb backpack of ATP to complete a marathon. The rate of production and reutilization of lactate stays equal up to the individual reaching their lactate threshold. Lactate threshold is the point where the rate of production exceeds the rate of reutilization of lactate. After this point, excessive lactate begins to build lowering blood pH and resulting in muscular fatigue.

Lactate testing allows you to see exactly how the body is responding to the muscular stress you apply. Using a hand held blood lactate analyzer along with power output data from the Computrainer, your training zones can be established to maximize the effectiveness of the training. In other words, your lactate values and your power levels help map the zones that will stimulate the greatest fitness gains.

A lactate test is performed using a hand held lactate analyzer, heart rate monitor, and a Computrainer displaying power output. When a test is performed there is a standard warm up of 10-15 minutes. This warm up increases your muscles temperature allowing the reactions for energy production to be faster and more efficient. After starting the test at a predetermined workload, intensity is increased every three minutes until you go just beyond OBLA (on set of blood lactate utilization). During each phase of the test, heart rate, perceived exertion and blood lactate level are taken along with current power output. Normally this takes around 15 -20 minutes.

Using a hand held analyzer, blood lactate levels are determined using a pen-point sized blood sample on a disposable chip. The small drop of blood is taken from the earlobe using a sterile, disposable lance. Once testing is complete, the lactate analyzer readings and power output levels are imported into a graph. This graph helps to understand how you body responds to different levels of work and aids in determining your “intensity zones”. These zones are much more effective to use over heart rate zones based on formulas related to age or maximum heart rates.

1. Heart rate changes dramatically with temperature.
2. Heart rate is affected by diet and hydration levels.
3. Heart rate lags increases or decreases in the actual workload.
4. Heart rate does not accurately allow you to see when you are riding in an anaerobic state. In short, the combination of power and heart rate provide a clearer picture of how your body responds to your effort.

Our cycling camp staff brings a unique approach to indoor cycling training. With Ryan and Dr. Eric Taylor having worked closely together to develop our program, our staff shares the same theories and practical approach to training. We believe in using a science-based approach to make you a better athlete.

Ryan brings to the camp over twenty years of experience in the bicycle industry. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Ryan started bike racing and working in the industry at the age of sixteen. As a cyclist, he competed as a top regional rider with success on a national level both as a rider and a manager. Ryan helped develop and manage the most successful team to have ever come out of Utah. What started as a team of up-and-coming local riders turned into a launching pad for several of today’s top American professionals including Dave Zabriskie. With an honors business marketing degree from the University of Utah and over twenty years of bicycle industry experience, Ryan has built Contender Bicycles into what it is today.

Eric has extensive experience as a physiologist, coach, and athlete. Eric has a PhD in physiology, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in muscle metabolism and exercise physiology at Harvard Medical School, and is a currently a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa. His research on mitochondrial metabolism was recently published in the prestigious journal Science. Eric has broad coaching experience with all levels of runners and cyclists. Eric competed as a track athlete for Brigham Young University, running the 800 and 1500 meters. He currently competes as a Category 3 road cyclist and also races cyclocross. Although Eric now calls Iowa home, expect to see him from time to time out on the Utah roads.

Drawn away from his native Minnesota by Utah’s big mountains and deep winter powder, Blake chose the University of Utah to earn a BS in Exercise Physiology. Blake has worked at Contender Bicycles throughout college. Since graduating in the spring 2010, Blake has taken on an integral role in organizing and managing the Contender Camp throughout the fall, winter and early spring months. Besides being a great skier, Blake is an equally enthusiastic cyclist who enjoys riding on both the road and mountain bike. Blake is also very interested and knowledgeable about nutrition, so we at the shop often seek out Blake’s advice when choosing nutritional products.

Alison gradually fell into her role at Contender Bicycles. Shortly after starting to race on the road, she met Ryan on the way out to the local criterium series. After they married, Alison continued to race bicycles and establish her career as an engineer. Experiencing some success racing, Alison decided to put her career on hold and race bicycles full-time. However, a severe spinal injury resulted in multiple surgeries which derailed her plans in cycling. In between surgeries and during recovery, Alison started to work at the shop. Over the years, her role has steadily grown to where she is now an integral part of Contender Bicycles. With her recovery behind her, she still loves to ride and feels lucky to still be on the bike.