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!
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.
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.
There’s old school and then there is Old School. Old as in the 1800s, Civil War old, Industrial Revolution old even. The earliest two-wheelers date back to the early 19th century with patented designs and working models first popping up in 1817. As usage accelerated and technology (yes they technology back in the day) the early balance bike or “hobby horse” was upgraded with pedals attached to the front wheel or actual drivetrains – consisting of various treddles, pedals and linkage – pushing them forward. All of these designs rolled on heavy wooden wheels, sometimes shod with steel strips – the resulting rough ride lead to the nickname Boneshaker.
There is also a well-documented Bicycle Boom from the later part of that century, that saw sales and participation soar, with thousands of two-wheelers taking to cobbled streets; recent improvements like metal frames, metal-spoked wheels and solid rubber tires making the Boneshaker much more enjoyable to ride. As the centuries changed and world-wide tensions increased many of these old models were recycled in support of their country’s war efforts. On another front, the introduction of the automobile played a major role in drastically reducing the number of two-wheelers being produced. Not to be out-paced, struggling manufacturers used a constant stream of mechanical advancements such as pneumatic tires, chain-driven transmissions, and more structurally-sound metal frames to keep pedal-powered transportation relevant in the 20th century and in doing so the turned the Boneshaker into what we know as the modern-day bicycle.
The Boneshaker hanging from our rafters made its way from Belgium to Utah when an avid collector wanted to add another antique to his stable. He then realized that it may not be necessary to posses two 150 year wooden bikes and found a good home for it with us. Weighing about 90 pounds this metal-framed relic has stout iron handlebars that you can easily imagine being hammered-out by a blacksmith. The smaller moustache-shaped bar above the front wheel is actually a leg-rest for when it is time to coast along! Thick wooden spokes and metal treads make for a heavy wheelset but are amazingly serviceable – when the wheels get wobbly one just dips the bike into the nearest body of water, this causes the wood to swell and the spokes to tighten. A lot of visitors to the shop find it difficult to believe that it is a real bike that was actually very common place in a century long past. As much as we at Contender Bicycles crave the latest-and-greatest from the bike industry we all feel that it is very cool to have this true piece of cycling history hanging in the shop.
Join BMC Switzerland and SRM Training Systems at Contender Bicycles this Thursday for an opportunity to be one of the first cyclists in the country to test ride BMC’s 2016 models. Riders attending this FREE DEMO can expect:
– 2016 BMC bikes equipped with SRM PC-8 power meters
– BMC SWAG with every demo
– A Chance to win $500 in BMC apparel!
– Food and refreshments provided by BMC Switzerland
What to bring: Pedals, Shoes, Helmet, ID, Credit Card
Where: Contender Bicycles: 989 E. 900 South Salt Lake City, UT 84105
When: Thursday, August 6th 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Looking to score a great bike at a really great price? We have over 200 bikes including a gigantic fleet of Cannondale demos and bikes from their 2016 launch. Select from a huge range of bikes from kid’s to road to mountain to cyclocross.
Great savings on other brands from Giro, Mavic, TIME, BMC & more. Take an extra 20% OFF the lowest marked price on any clothing, shoes or helmets already on sale. All sale items are final sale.
Lazer offers a full range of helmets for road riders, mountain bikers and commuters. There is something for everyone. An ultra-light Z1 or helium helmet is ideal for fast road riders while other models are suited for off-road use or commuting. We can even order the size and color you desire if we don’t have it in store.
This offer was very popular last year and we packed up boxes and boxes of old helmets to be recycled. Lazer has the ability to recycle old helmets in the effort to reclaim materials for new ones. Now is your opportunity to take part in this year’s event and score a nice deal on the Lazer helmet that is right for you.
Lazer helmets from Belgium is the oldest manufacturer of sports helmets in the world dating back to 1919. Since then they have developed protective headwear for skiing, motorsports, paragliding and of course cycling. With features like Rollsys rention, MIPS and Autofit, Lazer produces a lightweight and comfortable helmet for every type of rider.
We absolutely have to share with everyone one of the coolest bikes (for equally cool people) that we have ever built at the shop. Ross and Patti have quite the quiver of tandems and we have been lucky enough to be a part of many of them. This one might take the cake. When Ross and Patti decided to participate in The Crushar in the Tushar, they went all in with this custom Calfee tandem gravel bike.
With 29″ wheels and running drop bars, this is a super versatile tandem. Technically Calfee considers this a mountain tandem. While the primary use of this tandem was more of a gravel/dirt ride, throwing a pair of 700×28 road tires on would make it a top-caliber road tandem. The extra tire clearance and wider range gearing aren’t necessarily something that preclude this bike to being used in the dirt. Swapping between a rigid and a suspension fork up front would be relatively easy and make the bike just “that much better” for specific rides or applications.
In a world where 11 gears of the “one-by” drivetrains seems to be “enough”. This bike features a triple with an eleven speed cassette. While there probably is a 200 gram penalty, the benefits of electronic shifting and a wide array of gearing options seems like a huge win for a tandem. Obviously, cadence on a tandem isn’t probably as easy to vary or to just “power through” a particular steep section of a ride. In the same light, this tandem isn’t going to run out of gears on long and fast downhills. The Di2 shifting also makes quick work of the long cable runs from the captains controls to the drivetrain and allows the captain to see what gear they’re in by looking on his Garmin computer.
If you ever need work on done on your tandem or are looking to get into tandem riding, we can confidently say we are experts. Ross and Patti’s son, Graham, happens to be a long time and highly trained mechanic at the shop. With Graham, we have the ultimate tandem expert having helped design and build not just Ross and Patti’s tandems over the years but a number of other performance tandems.
Here is a little Q & A with Ross and Patti on what keeps them in tandem:
Q. How long have I been “in-tandem”?
A. Ross tried to get me to ride tandem when the kids were young. He bought a Fisher tandem which we rode sporadically for a year or so. When the kids were a little older he bought a Comotion tandem which I was not too interested in riding, so he rode it with a friend for several years. In the late 1990s when the kids were teenage or so, he bought a Davinci tandem. That was when we started riding tandem in earnest. Later we bought another Comotion. In 2008 we bought a Calfee tandem with couplers. A year or two later we bought a Ventana double suspension mountain bike tandem. Right now we are having a Calfee dirt/cross tandem built up.
Q. Marital counseling or marital bliss?
A. I am not nearly as strong a rider as Ross. Riding tandem is the only way we can ride together. I am not much of an athlete but I have some amount of dedication & determination. Ross has mad bike skills & lots of patience. Tandems are not ideal for every couple that rides but they have been great for us. We actually like to share tandem adventures together, not that there is never any friction. But honestly we have had some awesome times!
Q. Favorite road tandem ride?
A. We have been fortunate to be able to experience some amazing road tandem riding. It is impossible to pick a favorite ride. We have ridden in the Dolomites, in the Alps including many of the Tour de France routes, in Provence including Mt. Ventoux, on the Island of Corsica, as well as in many of the western states including the Desperado Dual, the Triple Bypass & the Moab Century.
Q. Favorite dirt tandem ride?
A. We have done less dirt/mountain bike riding. We have found some fun rides in Southern Utah & the San Juans of Colorado.
Q. Scary moments or crashes?
A. Nine years ago we crashed on the MS 150. I had a concussion, a clavicle fracture & several ribs fractures. On our tour through the Dolomites disc brakes were new to us. We experienced brake failure during a descent that could have been disastrous. We attempted one ditching maneuver which luckily worked. We remained pretty much unscathed but very shaken up. Needless to say we got better educated on disc brakes & when we got home purchased the biggest rotors our bike could accommodate. Also we have had several lesser falls on our mountain bike tandem but none of much consequence.
Q. Best moment or memory?
A. So many great memories! One of the best was riding our tandem from Cortina, Italy up to the Refugio Auronzo at the base of the Tri Cime di Lavaredo. All of the riding in the Dolomites as well as l’Oisans area of the French Alps is just spectacular.
Q. Tandem fat bikes?
A. I have been trying to get Ross interested in a tandem fat bike but he is skeptical. He just got a fat bike last year for some snow riding but the season was pretty short. I tend to want to Nordic ski in the winter. So right now I don’t see one in our future.
Q. Advice for new tandem-ers?
A. I imagine many tandem teams are not matched in strength. If the stronger person is not reconciled to riding slower than they do solo that could lead to discord. Riding tandem is definitely different from riding solo. Tandems can go fast on the flats but they are relatively slower on hills. The stoker can’t see much of the road ahead from their position so it is important that the captain communicates well with the stoker. Also the stoker can actually do a lot of steering from behind so it is important that the stoker trusts the captain enough to let him steer. Learning to stand together while riding tandem has been essential to allowing me to ride for long periods of time. It also helps when riding steeper grades. I think it’s a skill worth incorporating. Also, I think riding tandem should be augmented with riding solo.
Are you stumped on what to get your dad this year? Contender Bicycles has a few suggestions that are sure to impress him. We have put together a list of suggestions that are sure to help turn this Father’s Day into one of the best yet.
- TUB Simple Wallet
The Simple Wallet made by TUB is designed for everyday use. It could be used for a night out on the town, dedicated to business cards or holding your debit card and I.D. while you are riding or commuting. Each wallet is composed from different tubes meaning no two Simple Wallets are the same. The wallet holds up to 10 credit cards and the bill strap located on the back is snug enough to hold your cash. We currently have a good selection of these wallets in stock and they all have different colored stitching. Plus they are locally made here in Salt Lake City and are only $12.
- Contender Bicycles Gift Card – $50 Classic Tune-Up
This is the perfect time of year to make sure your Dad’s road, mountain or cyclocross bike is running at its finest. With many sunny days to enjoy this summer, do your dad a favor and let our service department tune his ride. Our Classic Tune-Up covers the basics to make sure the bicycle is in proper working order. The tune consists of truing the wheels, cleaning and lubing the bicycle, adjusting bearings, adjusting the shifting and braking and finally a test ride to assure our work. If you just can’t seem to find the perfect gift for dad this year, the Contender Bicycles gift card will allow him to pick out his own gear and get him out on the roads in style.
- Socks – Because cyclist’s need A LOT of socks…
If you ride bikes, you understand the struggle. Tall socks, short socks, funny socks and of course the new Contender Bicycles Socks; you can never have enough. Get your dad some fresh new socks with a great selection from SockGuy, Giordana, Cannondale, Assos, Pearl Izumi and more. Socks start at $10.
- MIPS Cycling Helmet
Whether your dad is still rocking an old-school helmet and needs to catch up with the times or has a helmet that just doesn’t fit, get him a new helmet with MIPS technology. MIPS protects your brain by neutralizing rotational forces on the head during impact. It adds a low-friction layer between the shell and liner which, upon angled impact, allows the helmet to slide relative to the head avoiding concussion and other brain injuries. There is no better gift than making your dad a little bit more safe out on the road or trail. Our selection of MIPS equipped helmets start at $65.
- Silca SuperPista Ultimate Floor Pump
For the cyclist that has it all (well almost), the Silca SuperPista Ultimate Floor Pump would definitely be the crown jewel of any workshop. At $445, some might say the claims behind this pump are full of hot air. Not so but yes this pump is a little over the top. The SuperPista will stand the test of time and take the stress out of filling-up tires with those finicky pumps that just don’t work. With every detail taken into account down to a hose used in the brakes on Formula One race cars, this pump will allow any rider to spend their energy pumping hills rather than their tires. Silca has long set the standard of what a bicycle floor pump could and should be and the SuperPista has increased the pressure on the competition.
Folks often ask about the Eddy Merckx hanging above the counter at the store and why it is so special. With today being Eddy’s 70th birthday, we figured it would be fitting to share with you just why this bike is so coveted. Happy Birthday Eddy!
You cannot find a bicycle much more iconic or coveted than this 1970’s Eddy Merckx. Ridden by a teammate of Eddy at Molteni, this bike’s instantly recognizable orange paint, Mavic OR-7 rims, and Campagnolo “drilled-out” components speak of an era of steel frames ridden by the hardest of athletes. The name on the downtube is none other than Eddy Merckx, the winningest racer in the history of the sport. Though Merckx still has a company bearing his name, the carbon-fiber creations they now produce will never reach the iconic stature of this lugged-steel racing machine from Eddy’s heyday.
Famous Italian builders such as Masi, De Rosa and Colnago had all been tapped to make bikes for Eddy Merckx as the Belgian rider exploded onto the world stage. We learned more about the heritage of this bike during a visit at Contender with former Belgian professional racer and United Health Care team director Henrik Redant. Henrik listed a number of features on this frame that identified it as a frame made by Kessels in Belgium. As a kid, Henrik watched Eddy destroy his competition every weekend on bikes like this. This Kessel-made bike was built in Belgium and raced in the glory days by a long forgotten domestique. Molteni racing is the team most associated with this bike’s orange livery while the seat tube sports yellow and pink stripes in commemoration of Merckx’s numerous Giro and Tour wins as a member of that famous squad. Adorning the headtube is a mugshot of the man himself.
The components tell a story as well; A mix of Campagnolo Super Record and Nuovo Record parts show their hard use but are surprisingly in-tact due to the constant maintenance by team mechanics. Everything from brake-pad guides to dust caps on the pedals and gum rubber brake hoods is still there. As was the custom those days, the chainrings and rear derailleur cage have been carefully drilled-out to save weight. Even the mounting bolts for the clip on cable guides and downtube shifter clamp are hollowed out for the same reason. One surprising feature is the presence of fender mounts front and back allowing a racer to train on the same bike year round.
Without a doubt our Eddy Merckx is a conversation starter and one that riders of all ages are enthralled with. This wonderful museum-worthy piece is on loan from the owner and we are proud to have one of his prize possessions hanging in our shop.