Last week saw the delivery a unique addition to the sports nutrition category in the form of cookie mix by Skratch Labs. Cookies? You may ask. Yes cookies, like when you were a kid. Cookies like you’ve been avoiding in your grown-up attempts to eat “healthy”. Skratch Labs leader Allen Lim believes that active adults benefit from the proteins, calories, salts and sugars that real food provide. That is why his company doesn’t produce any of the over-synthesized ‘power foods’ that are heavily marketed towards runners and cyclists. In turn his Skratch Labs drink mixes enhance hydration with actual, perishable ingredients not chemical rich combinations flavored to taste like such. Also, Mr. Lim would like cyclists to get their energy from balanced meals, rice cakes and now, yummy cookies.
Since I like cycling and cookies, in equal measure, I bought a box of the Skratch Lab cookie mix and headed for the kitchen. This mix does require the addition of a cup of butter and one large egg to make a batch of cookies. The easy to follow directions suggest adding fruit for taste as the sweetness will compliment Skratch Lab’s salty mix. I made my batch with some fresh strawberries and the results were well received. Upon initial tasting you will notice that these are some distinctly salty cookies. Don’t worry though, the salt is there to aid your body’s re-hydration by replacing lost electrolytes. I’ll up the fruit ratio next time to balance the taste profile, and I’m already planning a batch with high cacao chocolate on top. Sports nutrition just got delicious thanks to Skratch Labs cookie mix.
We invite all local junior cyclists to join us for a series of indoor riding clinics. Hosted by Contender Bicycles, this series of four clinics will be led by retired professional bike racer and Train Louder founder, Jeff Louder, and are designed to cover basic training principles with the goal of instilling good training habits at an early age.
The clinics are open to USA Cycling junior categories in all cycling disciplines (road, MTB, CX, etc.). The clinics will start at 4:00 PM. Arrival as early as 3:45 is encouraged for bike set up on CompuTrainers. Each clinic will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes and will involve moderate to strenuous exercise.
The cost of all four clinics is $30. Registration can be made HERE on Contender’s site. Space is limited to 25 junior riders. Registration closes at 1:00 PM MTN on Tuesday, February 3rd. Attendance at all four clinics is not required; however, the cost is the same regardless of how many sessions attended.
- Any bike that fits on a standard trainer can be used
- A slick rear tire is required for mountain bikes
- Rear wheel should have a trainer skewer – can be purchased for $12.99 at Contender if you don’t already own one
- Clipless pedals preferred but not required
- Heart rate monitor required
All of us at CONTENDER BICYCLES would like to sincerely thank you for your tremendous response to Kit Up Africa. WHILE we had hoped to collect a substantial amount of apparel, we were overwhelmed to have collected over 400 lbs of cycling apparel and footwear.
We are excited to announce that the majority of our donation will be headed to Botswana. Some of the apparel will even go to the national team time trial champions (luckily we collected over 30 plus skinsuits)!
Here is what we collected!
- 400+ lbs of cycling apparel
- 425+ jerseys
- 250+ shorts & bibs
- 50+ longsleeve jerseys
- 75+ jackets & vest
- 30+ skinsuits
- 70+ pairs of shoe
- 100+ accessories including baselayers, warmers, socks and gloves
Let’s talk about our donation drive to help Kit Up Africa. The response has been amazing. Since starting the drive at the beginning of the month, the donations from everyone coming into the shop have been more than we ever expected. It’s unbelievably impressive to watch the piles of clothing, shoes and accessories just keep coming in. We’re so excited to show Adam Austin and his Kit Up Africa cohorts just how generous everyone here has been!
What’s really exciting for us here at the shop is seeing how everyone has rallied around a cause and become excited about donating kits and gear. We did our best to get the word out and it looks like it paid off.
Gita Sporting Goods, distributor of Giordana cycling clothing here in the US reached out to us and sent a box full of BRAND SPANKING NEW shorts, jerseys, and other amazing pieces to the shop to help in our efforts with KUA!
We just wanted to send out a sincere thank you to Gita Sporting Goods/Giordana for their generous gift. Pretty awesome to see everyone coming together to affect positive change in a cycling community across the globe from us.
Thanks so much to EVERYONE who’s donated. And if you haven’t yet, Come on down! Our donation drive will continue through to the end of the year.
Now get outside and go enjoy the snow on a fat bike. There wasn’t one in your stocking? Hmmmm…..maybe you should come see us…
If you’re like us, you have a closet full of old cycling kits that you’re not using anymore – they’re probably taking up precious room in a drawer or closet somewhere. Ever think your significant other would love to reclaim that space? Or maybe you’ve embraced minimalism and are living a spartan life of less (but still, inexplicably, you’re holding onto your 4+ bikes…actually we respect that). Maybe that drawer full of old jersey’s is Fluffy The Feline’s favorite hangout – which means even on the off chance that you do actually wear something from your old kit, you’ll be laughed at for A) having cat hair all over it and B) having a cat in the first place.
Hipsters At DI
The logical step is to drop that load off at Goodwill – and that’s not a bad idea for getting stuff to folks in need, except that last time we checked there weren’t a lot of needy cyclists hanging out at DI waiting for fresh jerseys to come in while eying the rollerblades (so awkwardly tempting – like that 99 cent Will Smith CD you found). You want you’re used tech gear to get in the hands of people that will truly appreciate it. Cycling gear is expensive! Why not make sure your used gear lives a second life with peeps who are stoked on riding and will use the stuff like it was meant to be used?
Well friends, we here at Contender have the perfect solution…
Clean Out Your Cycling Closet, Bring It To Contender, Donate It To Kit Up Africa
Since it’s the season for giving and we know a lot of you need to make room for all the new garb you’re gonna rake in, we thought we’d team up with a little outfit called Kit Up Africa, an organization that delivers donated cycling kits, clothing and shoes to cyclists in Africa who love to ride just as much as we do. It’s a great way to support cyclists and racers that truly need good gear in a growing bike community half a world away! Check them out on Facebook.
The Backbone Of KUA – Adam Austin
For just setting up his nonprofit this past January, Adam Austin, KUA’s founder, has already made a huge contribution of clothing. Adam is an avid cyclist with roots in and around the Los Angeles area. He’s a long time racer who decided that he could piggyback his idea of donating used gear onto the already awesome efforts of Mike’s Bikes Foundation, which, since 2007, has collected and shipped donated bikes from California and distributed them throughout Africa. It’s an impressive bit of cycling centric philanthropy for sure; one that truly makes an immediate impact.
We’re extremely proud to partner up with Adam and Kit Up Africa for the Holidays. And we’re excited to see our donations deliver indispensable, functional gear to contenders and podium dreamers, just like us, a continent away.
Kit Up Africa is a non profit organization to get used cycling kits (and clothes) to the growing cycling community in Africa
So, Here’s How It Works
For the entire month of December, bring in an old jersey for donation and get 20% off a new jersey.
Bring in an old pair of bibs and get 20% new bibs.
The same goes for shoes, jackets, arm warmers, gloves, etc. – really anything you think is donation worthy and not full of holes or road rash rips.
We won’t be accepting old helmets, however.
Basically, we’re doing a donate like-for-like deal. Whatever you bring in to donate, you’ll get 20% off a matching piece. Pretty simple? We think so.
We’d also be amiss if we didn’t say that everything should probably be laundered and not freshly pulled from your race-day bag that hasn’t been opened since the RMR crit season ended. 😉
Let’s Kit Up Africa, Contender!
What an excellent way to make sure your old kits, cycling gear and cycling shoes go to folks who will not only appreciate it, but use it!
Let’s show Kit Up Africa how generous Contender Bicycles is. Like them on Facebook, look for us as one of KUA’s partners on their website and, most importantly, drop your donations off in our bin here at the shop!
And Happy Holidays!
Too Cold Outside To Ride?
We almost agree. Although the right clothing makes a difference between freezing your tail or enjoying some time in the saddle during winter, sometimes it’s just too damn icy to suit up and head out.
That’s Where Trainers come In.
They’re a great way to maintain cycling fitness in the wintertime (the best way, of course, is signing up for our awesome Computrainer Camps)
And the best trainer we’ve seen (and carry) is Wahoo’s Kickr Power Trainer.
In fact, not since global warming have we found a better way to kick winter’s butt! The Award winning Wahoo Kickr will woo you with it’s instant, accurate power measurement and controlled resistance that’s managed via your iPhone, compatible Android devices, iPad, BTLE enabled Mac Book Pro or ANT+ enabled PC. The Kickr also supports open third-party software options, which means Kinomap, Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad all easily integrate Kickr data. And Wahoo says there’s more coming.
The Kickr’s large flywheel and electromagnetic resistance is the key to it’s realistic road feel.
Stop Driving Your Family/Neighbors/Dog Nuts.
And if you’re tired of (or you’re spouse is fed up with) blowing out eardrums when you’re spinning and watching a movie because the trainer’s loud and the movie needs to be louder, you’ll be happy to know that the Kickr is just as quiet as a fluid trainer – so no shouting over the Lord of the Rings trilogy at full blast is necessary (for proof, listen to Julian as he pedals in our video above). Plus, space-saving collapsible support arms keep it compact when you decide to head over to a friend’s house for a spin session. Like your friend with the really big TV and exotic stereo in the basement – and a wife who took the kids out for errands. Those collapsible arms come in handy when you finally decide to put it in storage too (synonymous with the term “March”).
The Kickr is simple to set up, just take your rear wheel off and attach your bike to the Kickr’s cassette and skewer. All your data is transferred wirelessly to your iPhone, iPad or Android.
Compatible with all road and even mountain bike wheels anywhere from 24″ to 29ers, simply take the back wheel off your bike and connect it to the Kickr, download the Wahoo App or use your favorite third-party software and get riding! Choose from 10-speed or 11-speed models to fit your drivetrain. And if you ride glorious Campagnolo, Wahoo has an adapter that’ll get you on the Kickr as well.
As always, if you have any questions or want a demo of the Kickr in action, stop by the shop or give us a call.
Our Latest Art Installment
We’re excited to show off some new cycling art on our walls courtesy of Jake Hoj and his precise pen and ink work. A longtime Contender customer, Jake was kind enough to let us hang up some vintage Campy inspired pieces to spruce up our walls.
Some sweet vintage Campy bars courtesy of Jake Hoj.
If you’re a true Campagnolo fan, than it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jake chose the elegant lines and functional beauty of the Italian manufacturer’s components as his subject.
Although all of Jake’s pieces are pretty impressive, we’re partial to his “The Lung” piece, which organizes the choice vintage Campy pieces into an outline of a pair of lungs. It’s a great piece that expresses the indelible bond between man and machine that epitomizes cycling. Because, you know, lungs are important to us endurance folk.
Want One For Yourself?
If you’d like to pick up one of Jake’s prints, we’ll have them available at the shop in a few weeks. the “Lung” print is going for $50 and the smaller prints are $30 individually, or $140 for the five piece set we’ve shown you here.
But you can also head over to his shop on Etsy, VeloVintage to see some more of his work (including some sweet VW’s and a Vespa) and order a print for yourself.
Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us, Jake!
Come on down to the shop and check out his stuff.
Back in July…
We announced TIME Bikes’ latest flagship race frame, the Skylon and shed some light on the new frame’s features and technology. If you’ve forgotten why 2015’s ZXRS successor is so special, click on the link above to see our post, but here’s a little reminder:
- Built from a single form, without butting, based on TIME Bikes’ RTM technique
- New asymmetrical, monobloc chainstay is exceptionally stiff
- Utilizes Vectran fiber throughout the frame to keep the ride comfortable
- Mechanical and Electronic compatible in one frame – with internal routing for both
- Lighter (945g), stiffer (+30%) and stronger (+45% bottom bracket rigidity) than the ZXRS
We Have Colors!
Originally we had a limited run of the Skylon as we waited for TIME to make more available. Well, we’re happy to announce that we now have the Skylon in all four color variations TIME produces, Plasma, Team, White and Red:
Clockwise From Top Left: Plasma, Red, White and Team color varaitons on the new TIME Skylon
But Wait! There’s More… Introducing the Izon!
The TIME Izon combines race bred speed and agility with all-day comfort. Plus it comes in a disc compatible version!
Not only do we have the Skylon in your favorite color, we also are happy to announce the arrival of TIME Bikes’ latest carbon bundle of joy, the Izon!
The Evolution of TIME’s Evergreen NXS Geometry
Long known for it’s comfortable position between TIME Bikes’ all out, super aggressive race frames, and their more upright, comfortable gran fondo geometries, the NXS was the Porsche 911 of the TIME product line – the sports car you could live with everyday. In the NXS’ case, it was the road bike you could hammer up a canyon climb on Monday, race your local crit with on Tuesday and then roll out for that weekend’s metric century – all the while enjoying a bike that sucked up bumps like your cyclometer sucked up miles without leaving you permanently hunched over from too aggressive a position.
For 2015, TIME is introducing the Izon as a natural progression of NXS ideals. Labeled as their ‘Altitude’ collection, the Izon will keep a short head tube and compact geometry up front for a quick, responsive feel and combine that with the rear triangle pulled from TIME’s long-distance work horse, the Fluidity, to keep the Izon comfortable and compliant for all those miles measured in smiles.
One of the biggest difference between the old NXS and the new Izon is the capability of the Izon to accept traditional mechanical as well as electronic drivetrains without modifying the frame. Removable grommets for running Di2 or Campy EPS retain the frame’s clean look regardless of how you choose to switch gears, while internally routed brake cables keep the Izon’s lines even less obstructed.
Asymmetrical chainstays provide a no-watt-wasted response to frame flex on the drive side. TIME Bikes’ proprietary CMT (Carbon Matrix Technology) front dropouts and lightened rear dropouts keep every ounce possible off the bike without affecting TIME’s always robust build. An aero seatpost keeps the Izon as slippery on the flats as it is nimble in the hills.
The disc brake compatibility of frames NOT equipped with TIME’s new Aktiv Fork (keep reading below) is an exciting addition – reflecting an industry trend of embracing disc this side of the pavement and emphasizing TIME’s grasp of new technologies that positively enhance rider experience.
Tech That Improves The Ride: The Aktiv Fork
TIME’s Aktiv fork: A mass, a sandwich of two spring blades and a damper stabilize against harmonic vibrations.
Speaking of adapting tech that truly improves rider experience, the Aktiv fork, designed and patented by TIME, is a revolution in minimizing detrimental road vibrations experienced during riding. TIME says road vibrations between 245Hz and 50Hz cause fatigue and micro-traumas to the joints, not just affecting ride comfort, but the riders ability to hold the road and control the bike, compromising safety and performance.
The Aktiv fork incorporates tuned mass dampers – a mass, a sandwich of two spring blades and a damper- that vibrate themselves to stabilize against harmonic vibrations and reduce their intensity.
This close-up of TIME’s Aktiv fork shows a cut-away of the tuned mass damper.
The Aktiv fork is an ingenious way to enjoy a smoother, softer ride and it’s available across the whole TIME 2015 bike line as well as the brand new Izon and Skylon frames.
Curious about the new frames and the Aktiv fork? Come in and see us! We’d love to answer your questions.
Thank you for all of the great photo submissions for our #ContenderRides Photo Contest! Check out the gallery below! We apologize if somehow your photo was over looked. We had so many photos that we lost a couple!
Graham Greenlee is one of the fine mechanics here at Contender. If you’ve had your bike serviced with us, chances are you’ve seen his smiling mug wrenching and probably mixing up a fresh cup of Tang®. We thought we’d sit down and chat with Graham to gain a little insight into what makes the man such a phenom when it comes to keeping your bike in top shape.
Are you from Salt Lake?
Yep. Born and raised. I went to Highland High School and then I was at Westminster for a while.
How long have you worked at Contender?
I’ve been here since March of 2005. Which means it’s almost been ten years.
What did you go to Westminster for?
A bunch of classes. I had a hard time committing to the school part of school. I think at one point I was going for a B.S. – I also took three semesters of Japanese.
Just decided I should probably take some classes. Japanese seemed like the right way to go.
Got it. Are you married?
I am. My wife Dannie and I have a 17-week-old boy named Jack.
How’d you and Dannie meet?
We went to high school together. Then she moved to Hawaii and I didn’t see her for a while. One day, I was in the parking garage at Westminster. We hadn’t seen each other since our high school graduation four years earlier. She saw me and yelled a hello and we’ve been together ever since.
I hear Westminster parking garages are a hotbed for hookups like that.
Did you wrench before you started at Contender?
Nope. All my training has been on the job. I did work on the sales floor for a year. But then they decided to teach me how to be a mechanic. I liked that better.
So what do you do when you’re not at the shop?
I play a lot of video games and watch a lot of movies.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Mostly anything. I like The Big Lebowski or the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies. Definitely the original Star Wars more than the new ones.
Did you like any of the new ones?
Yeah. I liked the first one. You know, despite what everyone else says, I didn’t mind Jar Jar Binks.
That’s a dangerous admission, my friend. You sure that’s not off the record?
No. Leave it in. I’ll stand by that.
So how many bikes do you have?
Like, rideable ones? I’ve got four frames laying around and then four bikes that are built up that I ride.
My GT Grade that I use for cyclocross:
Graham cyclecrossin’ it up with his signature wolf hat and his GT Grade.
…My Surly Moonlander snow bike, a SCOTT Ransom mountain bike and an old SCOTT CR1 that I’ve turned into a single speed.
…Plus I made a stool out of an old TIME RXR.
You’re crafty. I like it. What’s your favorite bike you have?
I love my snow bike, the Moonlander. It’s fun to ride. It’s slow and dumb.
What’s your favorite bike ride?
The Amasa Back trail in Moab is fun.
What’s your favorite part about it?
I don’t do a lot of introspection. I don’t question why I like It. I just know that I like it.
Exactly like Jar-Jar
It’s probably best no one think too much about Jar-Jar. So what keeps you at Contender?
I have no other marketable skills. Actually I have an advanced EMT certificate. So if you ever need an I.V. started, I can help.
I’ll let you know. So your mom is known for her wicked delicious treats she brings into the shop for all the staff. How does she make such wicked delicious treats? And how are you not 300 pounds from growing up with all those wicked delicious eats around?
She cooks and bakes a lot. I guess practice makes perfect. I have really good genes I guess. Plus I have a rigorous exercise routine.
What’s your favorite treat?
Her chocolate cake she makes for birthdays is the best.
Speaking of exercise, do you race at all?
I’ve done the cyclocross series for six years now. I’ve been in the C’s the whole time.
Apparently your rigorous exercise routine isn’t that rigorous.
So what’s your favorite thing we carry at the shop?
I like the TIME bikes. The blue ZXRS we just got in looks real good.
Graham’s range of visible emotions is fairly limited. Thus the fact that he’s smiling while holding this sweet TIME ZXRS frame proves just how much he likes it.
Any plans for the future we should know about?
I plan on having ten kids and living on a farm. I’ll be completely off the grid except for a telemarketing business that I run out of my house. My children will do all the grunt work. I’ll have a little circle of mobile homes.
So it’ll be like a compound?
Yeah. Of mobile homes.
Anything you wished we carried?
Yeah. Tang. It’s good. I don’t know why – that whole introspection thing again. Water feels funny inside of me. It sits too heavy.
As opposed to TANG?!
I can’t explain it. Plus they sell Tang in bulk at Costco.
Has Jack had Tang yet?
Nope. He tried an Otter-Pop once. He wasn’t sure about it. Plus Tang’s not for home. Tang’s for work.
Did you know that in 2013 Buzz Aldren stated that ” Tang sucks.”
He had it in the 60’s. They’ve improved it since then.
Have you ever tried Sunny Delight?
I would call Sunny Delight poor man’s Tang except I don’t know if it’s actually cheaper.