Category Archives: Cycling Events & News

We Have Unbelievable Prices On Scotts !!!!!

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Are the extra exclamation points necessary? 

Lord yes. Why? Because we were lucky enough to grab a bunch of sweet Scott bikes at great deals. Which means we can offer them to you at great deals.  

Some of you might remember our sidewalk sale a couple weeks ago. If you were here, you know that most of the Scotts were going for 40-50% off of their regular retail price. It truly was epic. And I don’t use that word a lot. I’m pretty sure I saw a few of the pigs we keep (part of the forthcoming Contender Farm Initiative) sprout wings and fly their pretty pink butts out of their cozy pens atop Contender HQ. Because we have such a great relationship with Scott (seriously great. Like, there’s talk of moving in together and neither one of us even minds when the other uses their toothbrush) and because Scott bikes are amazing, we decided to bring in some of their most popular mountain and road bikes and have ourselves a little Saturday Morning Scott Bike Blowout. Well, it was a huge success- tons of lucky folks were able to get seriously amazing deals on bikes and we took another historic step to becoming your favorite, friendly neighborhood bike shop.

We were also lucky enough to have Scott bring down a bunch more bikes to offer you, the people, more choices on some great bikes at prices. It was a great way to easily save $500, $600 or even over $1000 on some incredible bikes. 

Julian and Nate Can't believe the friggin' sweet deal on a Scott 650

Julian and Nate Can’t believe the friggin’ sweet deal on a Scott Spark 650

Now, if you missed this cavalcade of historic pricing on some of the best bikes out there, don’t you fret. Scott was generous enough to leave some of these bikes with us and we are still offering them at great prices.

On the mountain side

We have Sparks (full suspension), Scales (hardtails in both 27.5″ and 29″ wheel options) and even a few Geniuses (Scott’s full suspension, all-mountain offering with a whopping 150mm of travel)

For the road

We have some Foils and CR1s -both are carbon road machines with great components and a reputation for speed and perfect handling.

So here’s the kicker

Scott is going to take all these beautiful bikes back very very soon! And when that happens, your chance to save some serious scratch on a new Scott bike for the spring disappears -just like these gorgeous spring days. That’s right, do you really want to wake up in July to 95 degree heat and no new bike?!?!?!? No. You don’t.

Come on in and take a look at what we have in a Scott bike while the gettin’ is-a-good! These bikes are marked down 40-50% off retail and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Paris-Roubaix:The Guts, The Glory, The Grime

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Think you’ve survived something as nasty as Paris-Roubaix? Read our blog about the classic race, and tell us your story. There will be Contender goodies involved for the best tales! Keep reading for details….

In 1896

When two textile manufacturers wanted to organize a cycling race from Paris to the new velodrome they had just built in the small, rural town of Roubaix, they had a journalist ride the route to see what the course and conditions for the race would actually be. The hope was that the journalist would enjoy his ride and recommend his paper help promote the fledgling race. As the story goes, when he finished his ride, the freezing temperatures, the howling wind and the apocalyptic rain had done him in -he was convinced that not only was the route a nightmare of mud, bad roads, and barbarous conditions, but that sending a group of racers on these same roads would be ridiculously dangerous. 

Now, I’m not a huge steward of history but I’ll say this: if some guy (who, by the way went on to be a deputy organizer for The Tour) decided in 18-friggin’-96, the same era that had Jack the Ripper, Polio, coal-covered child laborers, and doctors that still used leeches for bloodletting (!), that a bike ride was too dangerous then you know it was pretty gnarly. 

Half the riders that signed up for that first Paris-Roubaix decided not to show up.

But they ran the race anyway. It was a huge success.

And That’s Kinda How It’s Stayed

The only time the race was shut down was during the two World Wars. In 1919, organizers decided to survey the route to see if any of it had survived the shelling of the First World War. What they found, they said, were road conditions that could only be described as “hell”.

But, again, they ran the race anyway. And It garnered it’s famous name: The Hell of The North.

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Fast-Forward About Another 100 Years

Paris-Roubaix is a spring classic; a test of the stupidity  endurance and fearlessness of riders stupid brave enough to face it’s mud, grit, weather and cobblestones.

And we love it! We revel in the ridiculous idea of having to race on some of the worst roads in Europe. It makes you giggle. It seems so hard -so dumb- to subject you and your butt to conditions so purposely bad- but there’s a strange attraction to it. There’s a bizarre affinity attached to events where everyone involved agrees that what they’re doing is probably a bad idea, but they’re going to do it anyway. Why? Because, dammit, other people will think you’re crazy and it’ll probably make a good story. Call it evidence of the unyielding human spirit. Call it our need to push and test the boundaries of what we can suffer. Call it something dumb you and your friends decided to get together and do.

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Call it something nasty under your breath.

The Point is, We’ve All Done Something Similar

We’ve all decided, for whatever reason, that we are going to undertake some misadventure with full understanding that it could possibly be the worst thing we ever decided to do. But hell, you’re friends are doing it, and you don’t want to be the only one left out. So you’re in. All the bloody way in.

In recognition of Paris-Roubaix this week, we thought we’d ask all of you to give us your most courageous, near-death (or near near-death) stories.

We want stories that revel in the wreckless abandonment that has engulfed us all at one point or another in our sporting careers. We want the stories that your significant other hopes you don’t tell at get-togethers because it just proves that they married down. We want the stories that are marinated so unabashedly in poor decision making that letting your cat prep your taxes is a comparatively good idea. Yeah. That’s what we want.

Here’s One To Get You Started

Mine has to do with a (seemingly) sunny Saturday in February about ten years ago and my friend’s idiotic attempt to get some winter ya-ya’s out and a whole bunch of early season miles in. Truth be told, I was just as eager to ride after 3 months of winter as he was. We decided to ride out to Provo Canyon (where we would end up hiking our bikes through more than 6 miles of snow drifts), into Heber where the sun quickly disappeared, then Park City; where it actually began to snow. By this point, we were out of daylight because of the time we had lost hiking up most of Provo Canyon with our bikes on our shoulders. We had no choice (because hypothermia was setting in and we just wanted to get the #%$! home) but to hop on I-80 and be done as fast as possible. I remember calling my mom from a 7-Eleven in Jeremy Ranch, letting her know where I was, what I was about to do, and that if I didn’t come home this might be the reason why.

I guess we could’ve stopped, stayed at the 7-Eleven and had someone pick us up. But we didn’t.

We saw the snow, we saw the semis shooting up huge rooster tails, we knew we’d be dodging black ice and we decided to do it anyway. We hopped onto I-80 and cruised down the canyon. It was one of the scariest, dumbest things I’ve ever done.

 

So what’s your story? Leave it in the comments and if we love it, we’ll post it! When you post it, look for an email about some Contender goodies heading your way!

Hope you watched the 111th edition of Paris-Roubaix this morning!

 

 

The Contender Camp

Contender Bicycles is excited to again offer a power-based cycling camp for this upcoming fall and winter. Now in our fifth year, the Contender Camp utilizes a science-based approach to assist cyclists in improving their cycling performance and general fitness over the winter. With our new location, we are especially excited for this year’s camp in our new-and-improved training room. Being able to build our new training space from the ground up gave us the ability to create our ideal space.

By utilizing the accuracy of a Computrainer, we’re able to provide consistent and measurable power-based workouts in a controlled and motivating environment. This approach truly optimizes your time spent on the trainer during those dreary winter months and will help you achieve a higher level of fitness for the springtime!

We begin the program by customizing each rider’s training intensities based on the results from an initial lactate test performed here at Contender Bicycles.  With these results, we’re able to determine accurate training zones for each individual to use during the camp and in turn provide them with quality workouts that deliver the appropriate workloads necessary for improvement.

The overall goal of the program is to provide you with a training experience that’s not only enjoyable, but also effective! We will strategically implement multiple types of technique building exercises and interval work throughout the program.  With this approach, we can maximize certain exercise’s effectiveness and promote continual progress throughout the entire training camp.  Our program is built over three specific blocks of training that are each six weeks long.  Block I will focus on maintaining gains achieved during the summer months by building upon your aerobic base and improving your pedaling efficiency on the bike. Increasing our ability to apply force to the pedals in addition to improving our skill and coordination at a high cadence are fundamental aspects of training and will optimally prepare us for the higher intensities that will follow in Blocks II and III.

Having refined our training program from last year under the direction of Dr. Eric Taylor and Ryan Littlefield, we are excited to bring another comprehensive program from them along with all your favorite instructors from last year!

CLASS SCHEDULE 
M/W Morning:  6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
M/W Evening: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
T/TH Early Morning: 5:15 AM – 6:45 AM
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

Camp participants have the opportunity to participate in a Saturday Make-Up/Bonus Class from 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM. Additionally, the trainer room is open during shop business hours for use by all Camp participants

BLOCKS OF TRAINING
BLOCK I:  MON, NOV 4 – THU, DEC 19 (no classes held NOV 20 & 21) *bonus class included
HOLIDAY BREAK:  DEC 22 – JAN 2
BLOCK II:  MON, JAN 6 – FRI, FEB 14
BLOCK III:  MON, FEB 17 – THU, MAR 27

PRICES
INDIVIDUAL 6 WEEK BLOCKS: $280.00
INITIAL LACTATE TEST: $100.00
FOLLOW-UP LACTATE TESTS (if desired to reestablish training zones): $100.00
CAMP SPECIAL: $940 (all three blocks and two lactate tests included)

Blake Vatne will again be doing all of the lactate testing at Contender Bicycles. For your initial testing, please feel free to set up a time with him during the month of October before classes begin. Please note that although retesting lactate levels at some point halfway through the camp is optional, we recommend reestablishing your training values in order to maximize your gains and foster continual growth throughout the classes as you get stronger and stronger on the bike!

In order to simplify our billing system for the classes this year, we are doing online registration. If any participants are interested in paying for all three blocks in advance, we’d like to extend them a special offer by including a follow-up lactate test free of charge. Once you have registered online, your spot is reserved.

To sign up for Block I & your initial lactate test, please use this link: Sign-up

To take advantage of the camp special (all blocks and two lactate tests), please use this link: Sign-up

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.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF TRAINING WITH A COMPUTRAINER?
First, you are using your own bike on a Computrainer allows you to train indoors in the same position you use out on the open road. So for each ride you don’t have to adapt to going back and forth between a stationary bike and your personal bike.

Second, using a Computrainer allows you to ride at precise intensities prescribed in accordance with the values specific to your ability. Once you set a specific workload or wattage, the Computrainer instantly adjusts to keep your workload steady regardless of your cadence. In addition, there is only a little flywheel to help “carry you through” the effort. In other words, there is no coasting on a Computrainer. It all adds up to making the most of your training time and turns every RPM into an investment in your fitness!

WHY TRAIN BASED OFF OF LACTATE THRESHOLD VALUES?

WHAT IS LACTATE?
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.

WHY LACTATE TESTING?
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.

HOW IS A LACTATE TEST PERFORMED?
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.

HOW ARE BLOOD LACTATE LEVELS MEASURED?
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.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF POWER BASED ZONES OVER HEART RATE TRAINING?
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.

CYCLING CAMP STAFF
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.

ERIC TAYLOR
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.

RYAN LITTLEFIELD
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.

BLAKE VATNE
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 LITTLEFIELD
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.

Naked Cycling

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Thousands of naked cyclists rode through the streets of Mexico City to mark the World Naked Bike Ride this past weekend. The event was to raise awareness of the importance of cycling for exercise and as a way to reduce fossil fuels.

I figured I should ask our own Omar to comment as he is a native of Mexico City. Maybe he might have some insight into the Mexico City World Naked Bike Ride? Well, not so much. Omar had a one word comment, “gross”.

 

Disgrace to DayGlow

 

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As the poster boys for the Day Glow revolution in the pro peloton, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders to represent the neon and represent it well. With day glow greens and oranges back in full stride, we need these ambassadors to take charge and lead by example. We thought day glow had finally made it full circle when Santambrogio graced the top step in the Giro just a few days ago but a double doping test failure by both Santambrogio and Di Luca, the day glow was tarnished.

BRIGHTED, the Bike Responsibility Institute of Great Hue Technology Even Dayglow, released a statement saying “although the day glow may have temporarily been tarnished by these recent events, other ambassadors have taken the mantle and will carry on”. Contender Bicycles own Ryan Littlefield is one of those ambassadors and flies the colors well. RyanGlow

If you would like to join the allegiance, stop by the shop and we can get you outfitted in the latest DayGlow Ambassador Apparel and Accessories.

Bikes Turning Left

Had not heard about this legislation until reading this.

Bikes, motorcycles can turn left on red light under new law

TAYLORSVILLE — A law that would allow motorcycles and bicycles to turn left on a red light went into affect Wednesday.

The law was created after cyclists complained that were often stuck at red lights because their bikes do not weigh enough to be picked up by the light’s sensor. The law requires that cyclists wait 90 seconds at a red light before checking the intersection and proceeding with a left-hand turn.

Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, brought the bill to the floor at this year’s legislative session, and it was approved by Gov. Gary Herbert on April 1.

The law will only be effective for one year. If all goes well during the trial period, Anderson said he will have to bring it back at next year’s legislative session to make the law a life long change.

Other states around the country have this same type of legislation in place, and Anderson says that there have been no significant problems with it.

Peter Sagan’s Cannondale Synapse

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Peter Sagan is an up and coming young road cyclist who finds himself in the spotlight a lot lately.  While being considered one of the most promising young talents in the sport of cycling, Sagan has earned many prestigious victories riding his Cannondale SuperSix Evo.  Although the Evo is a compliant well rounded bicycle given how stiff and light it is, Peter Sagan decided he wanted something different for the Classics in Europe.  In particular the 2013 Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix.  Sagan and a handful of teammates on Cannondale’s Pro Cycling Team asked to race the all new Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod rather than the Evo due to its incredible ride quality over the bumpy cobble sections of these races.

All-new Cannondale Synapse HM

This is the bike Peter Sagan pedaled to an incredible second place victory in the 2013 Tour of Flanders behind Fabian Cancellara.  Cannondale tried their best to keep this new bike under wraps until the official launch date, however this was nearly impossible considering Sagan’s incredible form and early season success winning a few races on a bike other than the SuperSix Evo.  But why would Peter Sagan prefer a Synapse over the Evo?  Several features separate the all new Cannondale Synapse by providing more bump compliance than the Evo while not adding extra weight, losing efficiency or reducing performance.   The chain stays are flatter and broader than most bike frames allowing vibrations from rough road surfaces to be diluted and virtually eliminated.  The seat tube splits in two near the bottom bracket to offer forgiveness while not taking away from the stiff feel when you stand on the pedals to accelerate.  The heatube of the Synapse is 3 cm taller than the Evo allowing one to sit back into the bike more for better handling and also allows the rider to be more upright and take pressure off the arms and shoulders for the long days in the saddle.  For riders like Peter Sagan who ride hundreds of miles on bumpy road surfaces, the new Synapse was a no brainer.

All-new Cannondale Synapse HM

Cannondale designed the 2014 Cannondale Synapse to be a “comfortable racing bike in an endurance frame.”  Sagan said the bike is comfortable on rough roads and it handles well on the bumps.  He still likes the way it sprints, like when he is sprinting away from the group and holding on for a solo win.  Contender Bicycles is proud to carry Cannondale and all of their great road and mountain bikes.  Come on down and ride one for yourself!

How to Get Strong on 7 to 8 Hours a Week

This Thursday, April 18, at 7:30 pm at Contender Bicycles, Dr. Eric Taylor will discuss how to stay competitive on 7 to 8 hours a week. In a time-crunched world, learn to make the most out of the precious hours that you have to train. A portion of the evening will be devoted to Q & A. Attendees can purchase a SRM Powermeter at 15% OFF that evening.

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