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. Please note we cannot accept helmets.

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 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 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.

Sugarhouse Cyclocross Skills Clinics

Sugarhouse Cyclocross Skills Clinic

When: Thursdays beginning September 17th – October 15th from 5:30-7:30 PM.
Location: Sugarhouse Park, Salt Lake City. 2100 S. 1500 E.
Schedule: Meet at the NW Corner of the Park (see map below). Barrier Practice for 30-60 minutes, followed by anti-clockwise laps around the park perimeter.

All-inclusive Fees for the entire 5 weeks:
• USA Cycling License Holders: $30 unlimited pass
• Non-licensed Riders $15 one time + $10 each additional day
• Registration online ONLY. You must register for your first clinic!

Fees partially cover the cost of the permits (USA Cycling and Sugarhouse Park), insurance for all riders ($2/rider/day), and the $10/day/rider one-day license fee for non-licensed riders. Licensed Riders must sign in each week, one-day license required each time for non-licensed riders.We are required by the Sugarhouse Park Authority to have the clinic be an insured and permitted event. This is the ONLY time bikes are allowed off-pavement at Sugarhouse Park. Years ago after a couple of incidents occurred during a local cyclocross practice, bikes were officially banned off-pavement. We worked hard to regain the use of the park for a cyclocross practice. Please obey the rules of Sugarhouse Park.

Goals: Learn something about cyclocross technique; how to go over barriers, run up hills, and ride a skinny-tired bike off the pavement. Local ‘cross gurus will lead the clinics and distribute nuggets of wisdom. Cyclocross or Mountain Bikes are welcome.

Rules: Bikes are absolutely prohibited off-pavement anytime except during the clinic! Violation will result in us losing use of the Park. This is a promise. Do not ride on the grass except for Thursdays, during the clinic. Clinic participants are expected to police themselves.

Need more information? Email:

Minimizing conflict with other park users. The time of the clinic is one of the heaviest used times by runners, and runners use the same perimeter trail as for the cyclocross clinic. We must minimize conflicts with runners . First, the cyclists have to be aware of the requirement to be good citizens, second, the cyclists will give the right away to runners on the trail.

What does this mean to you, the bike rider? Don’t annoy the runners! If there is some encounter, apologize. Give them a wide berth and politely announce your presence. Don’t ride your bike around Sugarhouse Park outside the clinic times. If you see someone else doing this, explain to them the ramifications of their actions. Conflicts between cyclists and runners could cause us to permanently lose the Park.

Hone your skills with Bart Gillespie & Ride with Mark Weir!

Crankworx Rotorua,  New Zealand.




TIME: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (choose from three 2.5 hr demo sessions)

LOCATION: Park City, UT (Deer Valley Resort)

Contender Bicycles would like to extend you an invitation to participate in Cannondale’s Lefty Tour. Whether you choose to participate in one of two skills clinics from local mountain biking master Bart Gillespie or want to head out on a ride with pros Mark Weir and Ben Cruz, simply come join us!

To find out more about the event on Saturday, September 5, visit Cannondale’s Lefty Tour website.

Space is extremely limited for each demo session. To sign up for your spot, please go the RSVP page.

Learn more about Mark Weir & the all new Cannondale Habit trail bike.Learn more about Mark Weir & the all new Cannondale Habit trail bike.

Tour of Utah Kickoff Party & Sale Preview!

Meet the Drapac Cycling Team as they prepare to compete in the Tour of Utah. We will be raffling off ZIPP goods including a handlebar, seatpost and stem. We will also have a signed Drapac team jersey and other World Bicycling Relief swag. All proceeds will benefit World Bicycling Relief. This will also be a great time to preview the bikes we will have available for our Parking Lot Sale the following day!

Check out to learn more about the BUFFALO bikes that are distributed throughout rural Africa.

When: Friday July 31st 5-7PM
Where: Contender Bicycles
Who: Pro Riders from Drapac Pro Cycling, and you!

Based out of Australia, Drapac Pro Cycling is a UCI Continental team. With some great podium finishes this year at the Tour of California, Drapac is looking to further make an impact on the professional cycling scene in the United States. Come and wish our friends good luck!


Contender Tour de France

The Tour de France is upon us and that means it is time to root for your favorite riders in Contender’s Tour de France pool. This year we are taking on a fantasy league vibe. It is simple, fun and points will be on the line for every stage. Plus there are great prize packages for whoever accumulates the most points and finishes 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall! Enter by posting a comment with your picks on the Contender Bicycles blog underneath the post “Fantasy Tour de France”.  You must submit your picks before the Tour de France starts this coming Saturday, July 4. Here is how it is going to work!

You pick your squad. Choose nine riders who you think will win stages at the Tour. It is up to you! Pick climbers, pick sprinters, a time trial ace, an escape artist or whomever you think could potentially win a stage. So fill your team with riders from any team that will give you the most total wins! Each win receives 2 points. Of course we can’t forget the final podium. Pick the Yellow Jersey, 2nd and 3rd overall and you will receive 9, 6 and 3 points respectively. Pick the Green Sprinter’s Jersey for 4 points and Polka Dot Climber’s Jersey for 6 points!



Best of all here are the prize packages! The winners will be notified via email after Le Tour ends and points are tallied!

Your size of Assos T.neoPro_s7 Bib Shorts
Contender 1st Place Goodie Bag

Your choice of color and size Giro Atmos Helmet
Contender 2nd Place Goodie Bag

Your choice of any Tifosi Clarion Lens Sunglass
Contender 3rd Place Goodie Bag

Any questions? Email Contender’s Race Official Cody at

The Contender Cyclist Spotlight – J.R. Celski

We’re starting a new feature on the blog where we will occasionally highlight some of the great folks that walk through the door of the shop and give you a glimpse into their life and why they enjoy cycling. We’re calling it the The Contender Cyclist Spotlight. We are starting it off with a bang getting to know J.R. Celski who is a 3 time Olympic Medalist, 2 time Olympian and World Record holder in the sport of Short Track Speed skating. J.R. has a decorated history in the sport as he started skating at the age of 3 and began competing nationally at the age of 6. He moved to Salt Lake City in the fall of 2008 to join the US National Short Track Team and made his first Olympic team in 2009 after suffering a laceration to his left quad. J.R. made his second Olympic team in 2014 where he would go on to win a silver medal in Sochi, Russia. He underwent hip surgery in the fall of 2014 and is currently recovering and training to compete again. J.R. spends a lot of his time riding a road bike since it’s great cross training for speed skating. Recently, J.R. rode home from the shop on a new TIME bicycle. Let’s find out more…


Q. When did you first get into the sport of cycling and what attracted you to it?

A. I first started cycling in 2004 in Southern California. I was introduced to it by a former coach. It is a common cross training platform for speed skaters to build a strong cardio base early in the season. I loved it immediately after starting!


Q. How would you describe yourself as a cyclist?

A. I like to think I’m somewhere between a climber and a sprinter. Not stronger at one more than the other, but can hold my own on both fronts. I prefer climbing and long 3+ hour flat rides in big groups.

Q. Name your top two favorite rides. Why are they favorites?

A. My favorite rides are Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake and the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) from Long Beach to Laguna Beach in California. I love Emigration because it is a climb you can make as hard or easy as you want depending on what your goals are. The last part of the climb is just hard enough to whet the appetite a little bit. I grew up riding the PCH so it’s very nostalgic for me. It is a fun ride because you’re right on the coast, and usually there is a nice tailwind going south that you can cruise with for miles. Enjoy it while you can because the headwind will crush you on the way back in!


Q. Do you have a favorite spot for pre or post ride treats or coffee?

A. Not anywhere in particular, but I love me some Reeds Extra Ginger Brew and a huge homemade pasta with ground beef and lots of vegetables after a ride. Hits the spot every time.

Q. What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of cycling?

A. I think one of the most challenging aspects of cycling is technique. As a speed skater, I spend a lot of time correcting my technique and learning the proper mechanics to be more efficient on the ice. Cycling is very similar in the sense that the more efficient you can be with pedal strokes, body position, and shifting, the more energy you will have when you need it. Another simple yet important aspect I find challenging is properly nourishing and hydrating before, after and especially during rides! 4 hour rides + low on liquids in the bottle, not a good combo!


Q. If you could give someone getting into cycling any piece of advice, what would it be?

A. I would first give the advice to learn how to properly clip in and out of the pedals in a parking lot or on a quiet neighborhood street. I recommend doing this before showing up at a group ride with your friends and pulling up to your first busy intersection not knowing how to do it. A recipe for disaster if you want to learn the hard way. Also, be patient! Like anything in life, it takes practice to get to the point of being comfortable and confident on the bike.

Q. What motivates you to ride?

A. Knowing that I have the opportunity to get better and improve upon my weaknesses. There’s so many things I know I can do to be a better cyclist, and every time I ride is the next time I’ll be able to go out and do them. Also, the sense of fulfillment after completing a tough ride. There hasn’t been a time yet where I’ve gotten back home and said “I regret going out on my bike.”

Q. Do you follow any competitive cyclists or teams? What races excite you?

A. I follow Team Sky and BMC pretty close. I definitely look forward to the Tour of Utah every year. You can find me on Capitol Hill cheering them on.


Q. Do you participate in any organized cycling events whether it be racing, touring or advocacy?

A. I haven’t participated in any cycling events thus far, but it’s only a matter of time before Ryan or someone else at the shop convinces me to come out and embarrass myself!

Q. What is your favorite thing about cycling in Utah?

A.  I love the fact that you can choose from several different canyons that vary in difficulty, and are all unique in their own way. The elevation changes and the altitude make it challenging and always keep it interesting. I also love the sense of openness and proximity to nature I feel every time I ride. Living in Salt Lake definitely has it’s perks for cycling. Lots of bike lanes, canyons and flat rides to choose from.


We all share a similar passion for cycling. At Contender Bicycles, we are excited to learn more about cyclists in the community and share their experiences with everyone. To learn more about J.R. visit his website and follow @celskeet on Instagram!