9th & 9th Art Walk

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Contender is hosting Ban Supply Co, a local artisan creating incredible works of “wood cut poster art” for the 9th & 9th Art Walk. Recently they created this piece for our own Peter Barrett for his 50th birthday! We are very excited to have Bree and Nate Millard from Ban Supply Co at the shop this Friday showing off their hand made creations. Swing by the shop to check out their pieces and cruise the rest of the 9th & 9th visiting all the other business hosting artists. The gallery stroll runs from 6 to 9 pm, Friday, May 8.

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Pinarello Dogma K8-S

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Yesterday the staff at the shop caught a glimpse of the new Pinarello Dogma K8-S. We were lucky to have Pinarello’s Luciano Fusar Poli at the shop with the new Dogma K8 in hand! The Dogma K8-S is not just a “game changing” bike for the Paris-Roubaix.  It was designed for long rides on less than perfect roads. It starts with the same front triangle as the Dogma F8, a bike often touted as gold standard for bikes.  Superior stiffness, Jaguar-designed aerodynamics and Pinarello‘s famous aesthetic are all characteristics within the K8-S platform. The Dogma K8-S is a bit like a mullet. Business up front and party in the back. By party we’re referring to a centimeter of rear wheel travel. This elastomer-dampened movement, designed in conjunction with Jaguar’s engineering team, gives enough to take the edge off while keeping the sense of power transfer and efficiency that Pinarello is famous for. At 990gr for the frame, Sky riders are already requesting this frame for several of the six hour plus stages of the Giro d’Italia.

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Speedplay SYZR Pedal System – Blake’s Pick for 2015

The much awaited Speedplay SYZR pedal has finally made it’s big debut! Richard Bryne, Speedplay’s founder and inventor worked tirelessly on the pedal system, constantly tweaking and refining it until it met his expectations – needless to say, it just might be a game changer. Unlike all other mountain bike pedal systems currently available, the SYZR doesn’t rely on the softer rubber lugs on the bottom of the shoe to provide lateral stability for the foot as the cleat was cleverly designed to accomplish this. What does this mean for the rider? A more solid and secure connection to the pedal to improve power transfer. But wait there’s more! Not only is there a more secure pedal/cleat connection, the SYZR’s cleat offers ten degrees of silky smooth float, which is significantly more than any other option currently available.

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Assos T.rally Shorts for MTB – David’s choice for 2015

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Staff member David picked the Assos T.rally Shorts as his pick for best new product for 2015.

Assos of Switzerland is known for making the highest quality cycling shorts available today. Their use of unique textiles and European based manufacturing create cycling-specific clothing that is nothing short of amazing. After decades of producing high-end road wear Assos has released their first mountain specific bibs and jerseys. The Assos T.rallyShorts_s7 bib shorts take cues from their road wear with a supportive, slim fit, compressive fabric and extra-comfortable Golden Gate chamois pad. For the T.rally bib Assos uses an extremely robust textile to resist abrasion from branches and removable hip pads for crash protection. Seamless bib straps are configured for comfort with a wider placement on front and crossing in back to enhance ventilation under a hydration pack. Inside you will find the ever-popular Assos Golden Gate chamois with a new, more durable fabric cover. This extra-thick padding is expertly hand-sewn only on the ends allowing the chamois to float with your body as you move on and off of the seat. Designed for long days in the saddle the Assos T.rallyShorts have been tested and proven – during the grueling 8 day Cape Epic mountain bike event in South Africa – to provide all day comfort for aggressive riders.

Train Louder: Getting juniors ready to hit the road and trail!

We always love introducing youth into the sport of cycling whether it be on the road or on the dirt. We are lucky to have newly retired professional cyclist and Train Louder founder Jeff Louder as part of our junior program. He is a great resource and coach for anyone looking for some direction in their cycling endeavors. From racing mountain bikes as a junior to having raced all of the legendary Spring Classics as a seasoned European professional, his experience speaks for itself. To contact Jeff, check out www.trainlouder.com.

FFKR – CONTENDER RACING JUNIOR PROGRAM from Velosport Racing on Vimeo.

Shimano XTR m9000 11-Speed Components – Zane’s Pick for 2015

Zane likes dirt. He is often found rallying Dry Creek to Bob Sled on his blinged-out Pinarello hardtail or racing a Cannondale Super-X in local cyclocross events. Zane chose the new Shimano XTR m9000 11-Speed drivetrain as his hot new product for 2015. Shimano allows the rider a choice between 1, 2, or 3 chainrings on the impressive new XTR cranks. Their 11 – 40 tooth 11-speed cassette is compatible with existing Shimano freehub bodies, thus not requiring new wheels to retrofit your current ride. We have a bunch of the new XTR 9000 parts in stock at and soon we will see the electronic-shifting Di2 and race versions too.

Bird is The Word – E Bikes – Maybe the E is for Everybody.

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I remember hearing about some electric bike that Lee Iacocca was behind over ten years ago. I thought it was a pretty ridiculous idea. I had a lot of reasons to doubt them. I was a category one bike racer who was definitely too proud to even consider one. I also thought that if the batteries on my laptop would only last 75 minutes, how good could the batteries on these bikes be? The question marks went on and on. Ten years later, Alison was looking at Orbea’s city bikes in a catalog made specifically for the European market and she saw an electric model that she thought would be cool. We tried and tried to get them to import one for us. It never happened. In 2013, we were (admitingly with some reluctance in my mind) able to get our hands on one of Cannondale‘s European electric bikes.  Alison immediately adopted the bike into her day to day routine and my doubts were declining quickly. The only problem was that we couldn’t source another one as this model was only for the European market. A few months later, the guys at BMC introduced us to their Swiss sister company, Stromer and told us to bring a couple of bikes in to try. Within three months, we each had the ST1 model my Buddy Gas scooter was on KSL.com. Needless to say, we were hooked.

In the following year or so, I’ve really opened my eyes to how many different people an E bike can appeal to. It doesn’t matter who you are (or how fast of cyclist you are), the electric bike is for everyone. It’s just that we will all find different ways to integrate it into our day to day. For us, they are the answer to getting out of the car or off the scooter and to making lots of short trips in and around town.  Alison and I use our bikes for running errand, grocery shopping, going to University of Utah games, getting dinner or even taking our dogs for a cruise in our Burley Tailwagon trailer. Other E bike equipped friends make much longer commutes that sometimes includes hopping aboard Trax or commuter rail. Some use E bikes to not have to play the parking game that seems to be getting harder and harder in Salt Lake. Others use them to ride with their fitter and faster spouses or to overcome their physical limitations or to simply get back to their house at the top of the avenues or high-up in Emigration Canyon. One five minute ride on the Stromer will help any cyclist see that there is a place for an E bike in their world.

Frequently I am asked why not ride my everyday bike for these same short trips. It’s a fair question and one that I expect. A normal bike is certainly fine for these types of trips and there are a lot of people doing just that. I certainly respect them for doing it. For me, most of my daily cycling trips aren’t long enough to get dressed up in my cycling gear or even to consider the ride beneficial or physically rewarding/challenging. At the same time, the short half-mile ride from the shop to my house climbs at least 300 feet and is just enough to break a sweat and to drive my heart rate up. Not a great way to end the day and it has even made falling asleep difficult in the past. So I figure if I’m not going to get all geared-up, I might as well ride a bike that allows me to stay cool, to get there quickly, to keep dry and safe (fenders, lights), and to carry stuff that has no place on my road bike. The added bonus is not needing to carry a second pair of shoes or a change of clothes. Also worth mentioning is that there is no need for special licenses or insurance like a scooter. In general, if riding my bike is why I’m getting on the bike, then I’ll break out the mountain or road bike and the appropriate attire to make it happen. If the ride is more of a means to an end, then the E bike (and a helmet) is all I need!

We all know that cycling in general is a pretty green activity and we can easily see how if a quarter of the city’s population rode bikes, that it would be a much better place from several viewpoints. And if E bikes can help us get there, then we should be all for it. It is pretty rare that something like this can appeal to such a broad range of people. From a 14 year old student who thinks of an E bike as their first vehicle to someone who just wants to be cruise the bike paths and feel the wind in their face, the E bike really has something to offer everyone.

So I’d encourage everyone to get out and ride an E bike.  I think you’ll see that they really are for Everybody.

Here’s a pic of me on a lunch run courtesy of the Google street view folks.

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Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc Wheelset – Nate’s Pick for 2015

Nate introduces his choice for great new product of 2015, the Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc wheelset. Being an avid commuter, bike tourer and uphill racer he likes his bike parts to be reasonably lightweight with a high degree of durability. That being so, he feels that Mavic‘s first disc road wheel checks all the right boxes. Mavic is responsible for some of the world’s most popular road rims and mountain wheelsets so they took the best of each to make a bomber road disc wheelset that weights just 1553 grams. Featuring machined rims, bladed spokes and carbon hub bodies, the Ksyrium Pro Disc Road wheels are light and strong while offering great aerodynamics in a wheelset that can be used for cross racing, gravel grinding or daily road use.