Bringing Back Dayglow – Lemond Maillot Jaune

Throwback Thursday – Lemond Maillot Jaune

Lemond Z Team

This early to mid 90′s Lemond Maillot Jaune is a hand-made classic road bike with lots of cool features. For those that may not know, Maillot Jaune translates to yellow jersey. The brightly painted frame is constructed with Columbus tubing and is equipped with Shimano Dura Ace 7400 components. This bike was ridden by the Z Team in the Tour de France by Greg Lemond and other great riders during that time. This particular frame was in production before Lemond was later purchased by Trek making it a collectors item.

Greg Lemond Z Team

Lemond Tour de France

 

Lemond Hand Made

 

"Yellow Jersey"

 

Lemond Z Team

 

Lemond Columbus

 

Lemond Victory

Photo: CNN

When Baldwins Ride Bikes (Badly)

For the record:

We love Alec Baldwin. Is he more handsome or is he more funny? We don’t know and that’s why we love him. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get into some $#!%.

The latest:

Apparently Baldwin was arrested in NYC Tuesday after riding against traffic (the wrong way) down 5th Ave and 16th Street on his bicycle. When the police stopped and tried to cite him, he decided to give them an ear full, which resulted in Mr. Baldwin being arrested. He received a summons for disorderly conduct as well as a summons for riding against traffic.

Not one to shy away from criticizing the police and photographers that follow him, after his release the 56 year old actor tweeted, ”New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”

What bike was he riding when all this went down?

The Cannondale Bad Boy. Not kidding. You can’t make that up:

The Bad Boy for a Bad Baldwin. It looks like it's swearing at you even when it's standing still.

The Bad Boy for a Bad Baldwin. It looks like it’s swearing at you even when it’s standing still.

Hopefully this makes your humpday just a bit more enjoyable; perhaps a little more benign.

And if you have any questions about this or any other Cannondale, stop in or give us a call. Because we love when celebrities getting arrested gives us a chance to sell bikes

CNN has the full story HERE

Julian's known for his prophetic knowledge of all things bike AND his trademark mismatched socks

Staff Infection: Julian Fowkes

Contenderites: We’re starting a new feature on the blog where we highlight a member of the staff and give you a glimpse into their life and loves. We’re calling it Staff Infection (I’m sorry) and it’s coming to you hot off the Contender press -watch out. This week, we’re talking to a tall drink of 22 year old water named Mr. Julian Fowkes. The man rolls deep. Let’s find out more…

How long have you been riding? 

I’ve been riding my whole life. I used to do BMX when I was younger and now I do Mountain and race a bit of Road.

What do you like best, road or mountain? 

I just like riding bikes.

Julian's favorite piece of equipment in the shop: His TIME ZXRS

Julian’s favorite piece of equipment in the shop: His TIME ZXRS

What made you start racing road? 

I ran cross country in HS and a good friend of mine started talking to me about how much fun he had racing road bikes. I met Ryan [Littlefield] and he’s been a friend and mentor ever since. So I decided to come work for him a couple years ago.

What else do you do? 

Well, I’m getting married in June (que the audible sound of hearts-a-breaking… everywhere) and I’m working on my generals at community college.

What’s your favorite race you’ve ever done?

The Tour of the Gila. Because it has lots of cool climbs and the locals were all really nice. Plus there’s not a lot of amateur 5-day stage races in the U.S., so that’s cool.

What’s your favorite piece of gear at the shop? 

I love the TIME ZXRS. For me, it’s the highest quality bike money can buy. That’s why I have one. It’s choice. Plus it’s hand made by little french grandmas so you know there’s a lot of love in that frame.

I also love Mavic wheels. They’re such a good bang for the buck, they’re super aero and they’re really durable. And they’re french, just like the TIME. I wish french grandmas made them too. But still cool. My favorite are the Cosmic Carbone 40s because they’re race wheels that you can ride everyday. So it’s the Porsche 911 of bike rims. That’s a good thing.

Julian shows off his favorite wheels, the Mavic Cosmic Carbone and his equally impressive time piece.

Julian shows off his favorite wheels -the Mavic Cosmic Carbone- and his equally impressive time piece.

…And Probar Meals are amazing. I like the Peanut Chocolate Chip.

Let’s get real. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? 

I’d be an Aspen tree. Because they’re all connected underground.

And finally, if a zombie apocalypse occurred, do you think you could take ‘em down with a shotgun from your bike? 

With a shotgun? No. Give me a .45. I’d fall off with a shotgun. Unless I was on something with full suspension, like a ScalpelBut either way I’d be a zombie destroying machine. Pretty sure I was born to fight zombies on a bike.

We couldn’t agree more Julian, we couldn’t agree more…

Hey kids, when Julian gets hungry, he reaches for a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip ProBar. And he does it while wearing the finest gold band digital watch around.

Hey kids, when Julian gets hungry, he reaches for a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip ProBar. And he does it while wearing the finest gold band digital watch around.

 

Our Solar Array In All It's Glory

Did You Know Your Favorite Friendly Neighborhood Bike Shop is Utilizing Solar Power

Cyclists Are Acutely Aware Of Their Body’s Relationship With Energy

Thoughts of it’s production, distribution and conversion are a heavyweight of preoccupation for anyone who rides a bike. We’re either eating because we’re going for a ride or because we’ve just finished one up. And we don’t know what to do with a meal that falls in between those two. What’s the point of eating if the meal isn’t going to be used for, or recovery from, riding?

Food allows our legs to push up Millcreek. Legs turn cranks. Cranks power the chain. That chain drives our wheel. It’s the transfer of energy being turned into work; it’s power, sweat and speed. We live, thrive, hammer and bonk based on the energy and power we’re able to pull from our Lycra-clad, farmer-tanned bodies.

We, as cyclists,realize the production of power is a good thing. It makes things like canyon climbs easier and blending our recovery smoothies possible. And if we can do something to increase our production of power, dammit, we’re in.

A Building Green

When Ryan and Alison had the chance to create their purpose-built dream shop last year, they knew right away that they wanted to build green.

“We wanted to have an overall green presence” Ryan says, “Everything in the new shop is electric. There’s no gas, so we needed a good green source of electricity.”

Last October, three months after moving into the new shop, Ryan and Alison had an array of 60 solar panels installed on the roof of Contender HQ. Not only would the new array allow them to run a leaner, greener shop, but the investment in solar energy was a way to make more power- something cyclists can never pass up.

Intermountain Wind and Solar finishing up their installation of our new solar panels

Intermountain Wind and Solar finishing up their installation of our new solar panels

The array was installed by Intermountain Wind and Solar and it’s impact on the day to day operations of the shop have been heavy.

The Stats:

Since we haven’t had the panels a full year, it’s been exciting to see what kind of power these longer, sunny spring days have been able to produce. Lately, each day has been showing us a new record high as far as the kilowatt-hours produced from the array. As of this writing, the highest amount our panels have produced has been 119 kilowatt-hours (on May 1st)!

What does 119 kWh of energy produced mean for a shop like Contender? On average, year round, the shop uses 125-130 kWh per day. That number will rise significantly in the winter and summer months when the heat or A/C is going full blast and the CompuTrainer classes are in full swing (to around 250 kWh in January) and drop just as significantly during the milder spring and fall months (we averaged a usage of about 73 kWh this April). So the amount of power being produced is very significant. The array is not just supplementing Contender’s energy usage, on some days its production provides all the power we need. 

Here’s some more stats:

Since the array has been installed, it’s generated about 10.1 megawatt-hours. That’s enough energy to light the Eiffel Tower for 50 hours -no small feat considering it takes 3.37 kWh to light the tower for just one minute.

Our energy produced also equates to planting 183 trees, powering a light bulb for nearly 90 years, or powering 12.5 commercial airline flights full of passengers from New York to Los Angeles. Not too bad for your humble, neighborhood bike shop and an array that’s only been operating for six months.

Look at our graphs! click on the link below to check out our stats for yourself

Look at our graphs! click on the link below to check our stats for yourself

If you want to check out a very colorful graph that gives all kinds of stats and info on our array and it’s energy production, click here.

Throwback Thursday – 1975 Swing Bike

Throwback Thursday – 1975 Swing Bike

Although this bike looks a lot like a Schwinn Stingray, if you look closer you will see this bike is a breed all its own. While most bikes only have one axis for steering, this bike has two! Swing Bike was a brand that produced bicycles which allowed for steering at both the front and rear wheel. This bike features a locking pin that allows the rider to switch between “swing” mode and standard riding mode for more versatility. Swing Bike produced bicycles for three short years and are now considered collectors items.

Ryan pedaled the Swing Bike around to test out his skills. Check out the quick video of Ryan tearing it up below:

Swing Bike

Swing Bike

Swing Bike

Swing Bike

Swing Bike

Swing Bike

Swing Bike Ryan

 

DSC00488

It’s TIME To Get Real

We thought we’d take a little time (not a pun) and talk about what makes TIME bicycles so unique in the world of cycling. Since we have quite a few hanging in our shop and some even built up and begging to be ridden by you (you know who you are), believe that when we say they’re special, they’re special. We’re always excited to do a custom TIME build for a customer who really wants to ride something extraordinary.

Made In France, For Real

We’ve carried TIME frames for over ten years now because, in short, they’re undeniably one of the finest bicycle frames on the market. What’s impressive about TIME (what isn’t??) is that they are essentially a small, boutique-style manufacturer whose technology and designs are second to none. Their labor intensive, hand built techniques only allow them to produce about 70 frames per week. Yet, since 1987, TIME has crafted frames that have constantly garnered the praise and accolades at the highest tiers of bicycle racing. Year after year, they’ve consistently shown a commitment to true innovation in their work.

20 years later, nothing has changed.

A Couple Years Back…

Our humble proprietors Ryan and Alison were lucky enough to take a tour of the TIME factory outside of Vaulx-Milieu to see how these amazing frames come together. The pictures you see here are all shots Alison took while touring the factory. Now, some of these pictures are pretty exclusive. When the good people of TIME weren’t looking, Alison grabbed some shots of a few things that she wasn’t supposed to shoot. She’s nothing if not fearless.

So Why is TIME’s Production Process That Special? 

Great question. Glad you hypothetically asked it. TIME actually weaves it’s own carbon in-house! That’s a big deal.

One of Time's weaving machines used to bring the carbon fiber together

One of TIME’s weaving machines used to bring their carbon fiber together

What Does Ferrari, Lamborghini, and TIME Have in Common?

A TIME carbon frame is something different, unique. Think of it as a fine french garment to dress your cycling dreams and aspirations around. The hand-built process and craftsmanship that a TIME carbon frame represents is something you won’t find anywhere else in the bike world. Their process of using RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) to produce their carbon bikes isn’t used by any other frame manufacturer in the industry. But you know who does use RTM? Ferrari and Lamborghini for their chassis.

Want to ride a French bike built the same as an Italian supercar? Get a TIME! 

In Their Small Workshop-Factory In Lyon, France…

TIME utilizes huge weaving machines to produce their various carbon fibers. Because TIME’s production process begins with the individual strands of carbon fiber, they can actually tune a frame’s characteristics by adjusting the degree of the weave they use (from 0deg to 65deg depending on whether the braids of carbon are ‘bi-directional’ or ‘unidirectional’), as well as actually introducing different materials, such as Vectran fibers, that they then weave with the carbon to give the material more flexibility. They will also weave in Kevlar to strengthen strategic areas of the frame that consistently see heavy stress loads. This gives their engineers the ability to customize the characteristics of each tube that goes into a frame.

Close up of the finished carbon weave

Close up of the finished carbon weave

Socks of Carbon Stitched Together Like A Fine French Suite

At this point in the production process, the carbon fiber resembles an almost cloth like tube or sock. These tubes are then cut to specific lengths, sorted and then slipped over wax molds of the frames, forks or handlebars they’re producing. It’s a process that, at points, more resembles knitting or creating a garment than what you would normally think producing a frame should look like. No joke, TIME primarily employ women for this part of the production because of their smaller hands and superior dexterity. The intricate work required to join the various socks together is one of the reasons TIME insists on still producing their frames in house; these ladies are ridiculously skilled and the quality of their handwork is second to none. In this sense, a TIME frame is truly haute couture: a frame custom designed and hand crafted by skilled craftspeople. These frames could almost be described as art just as easily as a functional bicycle frame.

Check out the video below that shows how the various carbon weaves come together and the hand work involved in creating a TIME frame:

The RTM Process

The completed molds with their socks wrapped and stitched together are then put into a pressure-fitted metal mold tool. TIME’s proprietary resin is then injected and a constant temperature of 100 degrees is maintained to ensure the resin penetrates the carbon evenly without any air pockets or inconsistencies. No other bike manufacturer in the world creates their frames using this process.

The wax molds that the carbon fiber socks are wrapped around

The wax molds that the carbon fiber socks are wrapped around

More wax molds!

More wax molds! Here you can see part of a frame mold

One of the lovely ladies that stretches the carbon fiber 'sock' over the wax molds. Please note the beefcake picture hanging on the wall. The French are a passionate people.

One of the lovely ladies that stretches the carbon fiber ‘sock’ over the wax molds. Please note the beefcake picture hanging on the wall. The French are a passionate people.

One of the high-pressure molds used to inject Time's proprietary resin into the carbon fiber

One of the high-pressure molds used to inject TIME’s proprietary resin into the carbon fiber

From RTM To CMT

Once the frame is cured, it’s heated in an oven to melt out the wax mold from inside the frame. Then the headset and bottom bracket inserts are precisely set with a high-tech jig and TIME’s proprietary CMT (Carbon Matrix Technology) dropouts are set as well.

The CMT process is just as unique as the rest of TIME’s production techniques. They use the process for their seat posts, stems, and a few other small parts as well. Basically, TIME takes hand prepped flat sheets of pre resin-impregnated carbon material, chills them to maintain their density and then wraps them up like cinnamon rolls before subjecting them to 10 tons of pressure for a few minutes. The resulting pieces are remarkably dense but extremely light.

These pieces are then bonded to the frame and then the frame is hand sanded and hand painted -a procedure that takes place in a special dirt and dust free chamber that is specifically designed to control any contaminants from entering the air as well as limiting the amount of pollutants released from the painting process.

Hand paintin' your ride!

Hand paintin’ your ride!

The Quality Is Checked

The completed frame is then scrupulously poured over and quality checked to exacting medical levels of measurement. It’s one of the reasons TIME can offer a lifetime warranty on their work.

Building Something Special

Now, all the technology in the world can be thrown into a frame and it can mean absolutely nothing if the frame doesn’t ride well. But a TIME has French pedigree. There’s a reason Ryan and Alison and most of the staff ride TIMEs. And there’s a reason TIME can spend so much time and man hours on their frames and still be around for 20 years. The bikes ride, for lack of a better word, perfectly. There’s no one that rides a TIME frame for a serious chunk of mileage that doesn’t praise it as one of the best they’ve ridden. Not only are these frames an enigma in how they’re produced, they ride like nothing else out there as well. Like I said earlier, they’re special.

That's a nice rack...of completed Time frames

That’s a nice rack…of completed TIME frames

100% Hand Built Sounds Expensive

Now, it’s probably safe to assume that a bike frame that has this level of care and attention poured into it is going to cost some serious dollars. You’d be right. But there’s a reason they’re our favorite frames to build up for a customer. Plus, We have some great news for you.

We have a quite a few frames in stock that we picked up from TIME at a great price. Which means we could build up a very cool bike for you at a very reasonable price.

Whether you’re looking for the comfortable yet agile  TIME Fluidity or the race inspired geometry of a TIME ZXRS, we’ve got you covered. There’s plenty of the amazingly versatile TIME NXS frames available as well. The point being, if you want us to custom build you the TIME of your dreams, we can definitely accommodate you.

What Is A Contender Custom Build?

There’s nothing more exciting for any of us here than helping a customer pick out a frame and then talking about all the great ways we could build it up. From the groupset and wheels to the handlebars, stem and seatpost, we can customize a build for you anyway you want. If this were an ice cream shop, we’d have a helluvalot more than 31 flavors. We have a huge inventory of parts and if we don’t have it, chances are we can easily get it for you. If you’d rather we take care of the details, we can cater to that too. Tell us the types of rides you like to head out on and we’ll point you towards the frame that caters to your style of riding. Then we’ll make sure we build it up to do exactly what you want it to do.

The Contender Difference

Once the bike is built, we’ll spend the time necessary to make sure your fit on your new ride is dialed in for maximum enjoyment and comfort for your style of riding. After all, what point is getting your dream bike built up if you don’t feel comfortable on it? Our staff easily has over 30 years of combined experience in fitting (I don’t want to say Ryan is old, but he may hold the lions-share of those years) which means we have the know-how to set your bike up right. When we’re done, not only will your bike feel like an extension of your soul (I’m not kidding), you’ll be given a fit sheet with all your measurements and run down of how we set you up on your new ride. It’s a thorough process that we’re happy to offer because we know how much of a difference it makes.

Plus, anytime you buy a new bike from us, any accessories or extras you find yourself needing get a healthy 15% discount.

Come In And Check The Time!

We love TIME bikes and we love getting people excited about riding them. Our staff is more than happy to show you the frames we have and discuss build options. If you’ve ever thought about having a bike built up, we’d love to spend some time, answer your questions, and get you rolling towards your dream bike!

Throwback Thursday – Rossin Italian Road Bike

Throwback Thursday – Rossin Italian Road Bike

Rossin Top Tube

Rossin is an Italian manufacture that may not be recognized by many, however this bike is beautiful and definitely deserved the spotlight in this weeks Throwback Thursday entry. From the Columbus SLX steel frame construction to the Shimano Dura Ace 7400 Series components, this bike certainly turned some heads at the shop while it was here being serviced. Similar to Colnago, Rossin was known for their detailed paint schemes. Check out the photos below!

Rossin Italian Road Bike

Rossin Chain Stay

Handmade Quality

 

Rossin Seat Tube

Columbus SLX Tubing

Rossin Fork

Rossin Columbus

We Have Unbelievable Prices On Scotts !!!!!

scott logo

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.