Category Archives: Videos

nate hero

Staff Infection: Nate Borgenicht (VIDEO)

Nate may be one of the newer employees here at the shop, but that doesn’t mean that the man is suffering from a lack of experience. As an avid cyclist for over a decade now, Nate has quite the colorful history when it comes to the road and mountain bikes he’s owned. From Q Factors to rare road frames from the 60s, never has a Contender employee been so steeped in myth and questions about who and what he is -He’s the Kaiser Söze of the shop:

So where are you from originally?

I’m a Utah native, born and raised right here in Salt Lake City. Never lived anywhere else.

So you never were a nefarious crime boss? 

No.

Are you Hungarian? 

What?

I said when did you start riding bikes? 

I started riding road in high school, my junior year. My dad gave me a 1961 Paragon he’d bought in Berkeley from the want ads. It was parked in the basement when I grabbed it. It had old Campy stuff on it. I put on new brakes, relaced the hubs to some new wheels and put in a new bottom bracket. I rode that bike for three years.

Talk about the Paragon. Go:

I looked through bike forums on the internet and found the guy that built the frame, Lars Zebroski. He’s passed, but I actually contacted his friend and racing companion, Victor Vincente of America, who rode a custom made Paragon from Lars as well -he told me about the bike and all the history behind it. It’s a cool story. The bike is really one of a kind. And Victor is a pretty important figure in cycling history.

I feel a future post coming up. Why do you like the Paragon so much?

I love the old Campy stuff -the coolest thing about the bike is that it has 52-44 chain rings. It’s called “man gearing”

Speaking of, ever killed a man?

That’s a ridiculous question.

Ridiculous because you’ve killed so many? 

You’re nuts.

So what‘s your fascination with old bikes? 

It’s all about the Q Factor

What is Q Factor? 

Q Factor measures the width of a pedal, crankarm and bottom bracket relative to the riders foot. There’s been research that says a narrower Q Factor is beneficial to a rider because it’s similar to how a foot tracks when we’re walking.

You’re a nerd. A possibly deadly nerd.

Yeah…It’s a design that Campy uses currently and it’s more prevalent on older bikes. It’s a way to line up the hips of the rider with the crank arms and pedals. Basically you’re bringing the pedals and crank closer to the foot of the rider to increase efficiency.

 

 

It’s a cool idea because everybody has a different anatomy

Are you calling me fat? 

I’m not calling you fat.

You can call me fat, just don’t kill me and my family. Do you mountain bike at all? 

Last time, I’m not Kaiser Soze. But I do mountain bike. A friend of mine sold me his ’98 Jamis Dakar -that was my first one. I have some of my best memories from mountain bike trips to Southern Utah. We’d take the VW van down and just rally with friends.

Sure. Just down there to ride bikes, not run drugs or bury bodies. I get it. So what do you like better, road or mountain? 

I like road better because I don’t like to force my off-road confidence, I like it to come to me. But I’m ok forcing that confidence on the road.

What are some of your favorite things at the shop? 

I like the Giordana Laser Bib ShortsThey were the first pair of bibs I owned and their seams are better than anyone else’s.

The Giordana Laser Bibs. Nate only poses like this when he's really satisfied with the bibs he's wearing.

The Giordana Laser Bibs. Nate only poses like this when he’s really satisfied with the bibs he’s wearing.

I’m also a big fan of the Pearl Izumi Elite Arrow Jacket. It feels like your basic polyester shell but it’s totally water proof! It surprises me every time.

"What? Oh this old thing? It's just the sweetest piece of waterproof cycling clothing EVER" -Nate letting us know how he feels about Pearl's Elite Arrow Jacket

What? Oh this old thing? It’s just the sweetest piece of waterproof cycling clothing EVER -Nate letting us know how he feels about Pearl’s Elite Arrow Jacket

 

I just bought a Scott Spark 740 because that thing rips. I love the 27.5 wheel size. I definitely feel like there are more benefits than compromises with that size.

So what do you do when you’re not riding? 

I still have a solid group of friends since highschool. We rock climb or play basketball.

So you guys still do some extortion together?

What?

I asked if you’d ever been to Portland together? 

No, why would we… weird question. Anyway, I also like to read biographies of interesting people. 

What’s the best biography you’ve read? 

I don’t know. I haven’t read that many. I should probably read more.

So, as a biography, how accurate is The Usual Suspects? I mean, with regards to you and your crimes and such.

I’m just going to stop responding.

Have any nicknames? 

Yeah, ‘Stir Fry Nate’

Not the one I was expecting. 

Stir frys man, c’mon! Anyway, If I’m doing well, I’m chopping a lot of vegetables. I love a good stir fry. How long has it been since your last stir fry? I can’t get enough of them.

What I’d like to do now, Nate, is run through a list of common statements made about you and have you tell me if they’re true or not. Sound good? 

Yeah man, let’s do that -but then I gotta roll. Kinda jonesing for a stir fry now.

Great. Here we go, first one: Nate only sleeps on his left side

That’s partially true.

Nate has an irrational fear of different time zones

I think it’s pretty rational

I mean, really any fear of time zones is irrational. 

That’s true. But what is time? It’s so subjective. That freaks me out.

What about this one: Nate believes handsome people are somehow more genetically similar to orangutans than other less attractive people because orangutans are “one handsome ape.” 

Is that a quote? Did I say that?

My sources say you did, yeah. 

Who are your sources?

I can’t reveal my sources, sir. Torture me if you want. But it’s not going to happen.

Fine. I don’t want to piss off any gorilla fans out there but seriously, I can’t be the only one who thinks that.

Cycling Crazies and Tour Toes- It’s Tour of Utah Time! (VIDEO)

Cycling fans, let’s get real.  Utah’s roots in bikes and bike racing run deep. So it’s no wonder the Tour of Utah is a big deal a really big deal to all of us crazy cyclists that call Utah home.

I’m here to rally the troops. I’m here to insight a movement of pure cycling super-fan madness. Let’s paint our faces. Let’s lose our voices. Let’s wear weird costumes. Let’s have questionable amounts of our bodies visible in said costumes. Why? because we all know the second best thing to actually riding in a tour is standing on the side of the road with no shirt and a red clown wig ringing a cow bell like the cow has a gun to your head.

I think we’re off to a good start with this: Our good friend Martin Cole decided to show his TOU fever by painting his frickin’ toes!

This is what I'm talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows

This is what I’m talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows. Well played, Martin.

But I want to see some of this too:

El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU

El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU

And definitely a bit of all this:

Obviously this needs to happen in the TOU.

Obviously this needs to happen.

Questioning this man's taste? Don't. He's spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Questioning this man’s taste? Don’t. He’s spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

 

These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.

These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.

we applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don't necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom.  But isn't their a part of you that's thinking this wouldve been funnier if the dude's were shirtless? Yep. Us too.

We applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don’t necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom. But isn’t there a part of you that’s thinking this would’ve been funnier if the dude’s were shirtless? Yep. Us too.

Now, we definitely don’t want to see any of this:

 

But hey, if the great Jens Voigt says he loves us, then we know we’re doing something right:

“I’ll never forget my first day in Utah. I was still jetlagged—yes, I am pretty good at that— and on Stage 1 I have to go to the front with Joost Posthuma and a couple of Garmin riders. I still hadn’t adapted to the altitude and finally on the last climb I just blow. I mean it was a spectacular detonation! So there I am dead last going up this climb. I couldn’t even hold the wheels of the sprinters. I just wanted to find a ditch to crash into until an ambulance came and picked me up. But the fans kept yelling, “shut up legs,” and they just cheered me up. So I kept the faith. That is real fan support.” -Jens Voigt in Bicycling Magazine on his experiences in the TOU.

We’ll see the racers up here in Salt Lake this Saturday, August 9th for stage 6, the ‘Queen Stage’ -where the racers will be suffering climbing up Emigration, Big Mountain, Guardsman and then finishing in Snowbird. It’s a little over 12,500 ft of elevation in 107 miles. Which also means it’s a little over ridiculous.

You can get a spectator guide or download the official Tour of Utah mobile app HERE.

And I better not be the only one out there in a speedo.

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2014 Tour Wrap Up: Nibali Didn’t Crash (But He Also Won)

 

Vincenzo Nibali, stepped down from the podium in front of the Champs-Elysees on Sunday a champion.

He had lead the 2014 Tour for every single stage less two, he’d won four of it’s 21 stages, and his lead of 7-minutes and 37-seconds was the biggest margin of victory held in the Tour since Armstrong’s win (now officially not a win) in 1999. Nibali is also now one of only a handful of riders that has won the Giro, the Vuelta and the Tour –all three of the Grand Tours.

Regardless of all this, some look at Nibali’s win as simply a result of better rider’s bad luck with crashes and injuries early in the Tour.

Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour in 2012 was passed over by Team Sky because they wanted to focus on Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour winner. When Froome crashed out along with Alberto Contador, it was suggested that Nibali was just the best of what was left in the peloton.

However, even before their unfortunate crashes, Nibali had a two-second lead on Contador and Froome after he won Stage 2. When Froome crashed out in Stage 5, Nibali put more than 2 minutes between himself and Contador. When Contador’s unfortunate crash occurred on a downhill in Stage 10, Nibali went on to win the stage as it climbed to a ridiculously steep mountain finish atop La Planche des Belles Filles. Nibali then went on to win two more mountain stages across the Alps and Pyrenees.

It’s pretty obvious that Nibali didn’t simply ‘slip’ into a spot made empty by the unlucky crashes of some talented riders. The Italian is a true talent himself. Maybe now he’ll get some respect.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Point is, we’re excited to see him next year. Complementi Vincenzo Nibali!

The Tour’s official website popped out this little video highlight reel of the 2014 Tour. Take a look:


EN – Best of 2014 – After the race by tourdefrance

cody hero

Staff Infection: Cody Wignall, aka The Big Wigs (VIDEO)

FACT: Being a Contender all-star is probably one of the best things you can do with your life. And our very own Cody Wignall is a shining example of this. The young man started at Contender when he was a mere 16 years old. Now, seven years and seven bikes later, he’s become one helluva Contender employee. The kid knows everything!

Let’s get to know the guy behind the guy behind the guy.

How did you happen to start at Contender so young?

I started riding road bikes a little and knew Ryan from the shop rides. When I found out I had to do community service for my high school and that doing flat repairs and learning the ropes at Contender would actually qualify, I jumped on board. When I turned sixteen, they took me on full time and I’ve been here ever since.

Cody and one of his favorite TIME frames, the VRS Vibraser. Look how happy he is.

Cody and one of his favorite TIME frames, the VRS Vibraser. Look how happy he is.

So this is literally the first job you’ve ever had?

Job? You mean I’m not still doing this as community service?

You are. Don’t expect a paycheck. Forget what I said.

Gotcha.

Moving on….how long have you ridden? 

I started riding a road bike and showing up to the group rides in 2002. But I’ve been on a mountain bike forever. Everyday, after school, I’d try and do wheelies.

Do you ride road or mountain more? 

I prefer mountain. I hate cars and the bad drivers that drive them….badly.

How many bikes do you own? 

I have seven bikes, two classic Schwinns: a Stingray and a Collegiate, a cyclecross bike, a Pugsly snowbike, and then a couple mountain bikes and a road bike.

Do you have a favorite? 

The Pugsly -it turns heads.

Cody's favorite bike, his Pugsley. He calls it Pugs. we call that totes adorbs.

Cody’s favorite bike, his Pugsley. He calls it Pugs. We call that totes adorbs.

YOU turn heads, my friend. Where’s your favorite place to ride? 

I love riding Flying Dog in Park City. It gets you out of the way of everyone and there’s a beaver dam you ride past too. Pretty sweet stuff.

 

Cody showing off his Pugsley with Ryan and Alison.

Cody showing off his Pugsley with Ryan and Alison.

 

So what do you do when you’re not riding or [cough] volunteering at the shop? 

I do a little photography, I hike with the wonderful Emily [girlfriend], I’m taking business classes at SLCC and Blake is trying to teach me how to cook.

So what are some of your favorite things we carry? 

Anything TIME. I used to have two: a VRS Vibraser and a VXS. The new Skylon looks amazing.

I really Like Assos Clothing. I was lucky enough to visit their North American headquarters last month. I’ve always been a big fan but I think their stuff is pretty unique in the cycling world. They really innovate. I like their style too. You can tell a rider wearing Assos from a mile away. The T.equipe bib shorts are awesome. They’re the best bib short I’ve ever ridden in.

Cody refused to model these Assos T.equipe bibs.

Cody refused to model these Assos T.equipe bibs.

And I think Rolf Wheels are awesome too. They’re such a good value and it’s a great wheel. My favorite is the Vigor. For the money, it’s a good option because it works so well with the terrain we have here in SLC. It’s bullet proof and it gives you some aero ability too. Good wheel.

Cody does his best to dramatically present his favorite wheel: the  Rolf Vigor.

Cody does his best to dramatically present his favorite wheel: the Rolf Vigor.

But truly my favorite things at Contender are Ernie and Graham [Contender mechanic and proud new father -profile forthcoming]

To sum up, It’s just Graham. Zane’s a close second, though.

Anything else the people need to know? 

I’m part of a Schwinn gang. We like to cruise around downtown on the weekends.

Do you ever get into any gang fights or turf wars? 

No. We do bar spins though.

How close have any of you come to getting a tattoo of ‘Schwinn Gang 4 Life’ across your back? 

One of Cody's infamous Schwinns. If you see someone doing a wheelie on this bike, chances are it's the Big Wigs

One of Cody’s infamous Schwinns. If you see someone doing a wheelie on this bike, chances are it’s the Big Wigs

Not. Not close at all. That’s idiotic.

Ok, Wiggs, let’s cut the crap, time for some hard hitting questions: Rumor has it you’re really good at sax. 

Excuse me?

Sax: The saxophone. My sources tell me you can really blow. 

Yeah, well, I play sax on sax on sax on sax

Like Kanye? 

No, he makes stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks. Totally different.

So are you a sexy sax man?:

Yes. I’m the embodiment of everything sexy about the sax.

Any nicknames? 

My original nickname in the shop was Captain Wiggles. I think I’ve graduated to Big Wigs now.

Fitting for the man who is godfather to Ernie, Cyrus and Leo

I needed something commanding. The mutts respond to authoritative titles.

Cody showing off his wheelie skills. And our Contender kits.

Cody showing off his wheelie skills. And our Contender kits.

Have you ever considered staring in your own brand of motivational speaking videos?

No.

I have the perfect tag line.

Lay it on me.

Picture it. Lights are dimmed in a packed conference hall. Spot lights scan the stage.You jump out from behind a giant poster of your head, playing an especially sexy sax solo. As the music swells and the audience’s applause becomes a deafening roar, you turn to your audience and say, “Dig the Wigs”.

What ensues thereupon can only be described as pure pandemonium. The Wigs is big, the Wigs is very, very big. 

It’s perfect.

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The Tour So Far: Crashes, Casualties, and Unrequited Love (VIDEO)

PHOTO: Christophe Ena/AP

There’s a reason they call a rider’s attempt at the Tour a campaign, it can get bloody.

Already this year the Tour has suffered some heavy casualties. No doubt before the peloton rolls past the Champs-Elysees in a couple weeks, there will be more.

With Mark Cavendish crashing in the first stage, defending champion Chris Froome retiring his campaign during Stage 5 after having three crashes in two days and Alberto Contador out yesterday from a wreck that resulted in a broken tibia, it looks like current race leader, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is staring at a very possible Tour de France win.

-If he doesn’t crash or lose some crazy time in the Alp stages ahead.

Nibali’s two-and-a-half minute lead in the GC means a lot of folks are calling the Yellow Jersey his to lose.

Vincenzo Nibali is the current leader of the Tour. Photo: courtesy of London Evening Standard

Vincenzo Nibali is the current leader of the Tour. Photo: Courtesy of London Evening Standard

Since the focus of the Tour so far has been crash after crash after crash, we might as well take a look at some of the Tour’s biggest crashes in the past couple years:

Now, if the Italian does succeed in finishing first in Paris, there are already rumblings that he wouldn’t have really ‘earned’ his championship because of all the mayhem that plagued the first part of the Tour and the key riders that were taken out to let him slip into that yellow jersey a little more easily.

Nibali must be feeling like he gets no respect.

A feeling crystallized when he was denied a kiss by one of the podium girls after winning Stage 2:


Who doesn’t want to kiss an Italian?? Maybe if he wins the Tour she’ll give him a hearty pat on the back.

I guess we’ll see how well Nibali climbs in the Alps.

MartynAshton2

Paralysed Martyn Ashton Inspires Homage (Video)

PHOTO: Courtesy Bike Magazine

Last September, Martyn Ashton, the legendary UK mountain bike trials rider and former World Champion, was finishing work on his second short film of trials style riding on a road bike, Road Bike Party 2 (embedded below), when a fall from a platform ten feet off the ground left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Falling backwards off a platform during a trials demo at the Animal WD40 Action Sports Tour, Ashton was airlifted to a local hospital where he spend the following six weeks recovering from the accident. In the interim, he grabbed some friends to help him finish the stunts in the video, which he edited and released earlier this year.

It’s pretty #$%&ing rad:

It turns out Ashton’s awesome stunts have inspired some folks out there. Especially a dude from Italy named Vittorio Brumotti, a trials star himself, who’s done his best to pay homage to the infamous Ashton by putting together his own little piece of road bike insanity that he just released:

Pretty amazing stuff to be riding around a working quarry, jumping onto bulldozers, and not even having to wear an orange safety vest. Italians are the coolest.

Brumotti is a big fan of Ashton. In fact, Brumotti says that, “Martyn was one of my inspirations and I was a huge fan of everything he did on Road Bike Party. My new film is my dedication to Martyn’s work.”

Brumotti is right to pay the man such high regard. All it takes is one look at Martyn Ashton’s Facebook posts, where he’s currently inspiring folks to try something that gets them out of their comfort zone before July, or even reading over a couple quotes about his accident and how he’s dealt with the aftermath, to realize he’s a particularly rare person. I’ve long held the belief that trials riders have a supreme ability to look at something -whether it’s terrain, an object, or a ridiculously precarious drop- and allow themselves to think positively enough about it that they pluck up some courage and go for it! Where most of us see an absolute no-pass-nightmare and go pedaling in the opposite direction, our heads full of self-doubt and negative talk, trials-minded folk will smile, hop on their bike and give it a shot. How would it be to have that outlook on things? I can’t help but think that attitude is helped Ashton during his recovery from the fall. It seems like it’s continuing to serve him well now with his new endeavors.

No doubt it’s been an adjustment, but judging by the photos of him hitting a velodrome on a hand cycle, swimming, rowing or trying out some canoeing, you can’t really say Ashton has slowed down.

All of us at Contender are huge fans of this guy. We’re excited to see what he does next.

zane hero

Staff Infection: Zane Enders (video)

When Zane Enders came on to Contender’s staff earlier this Spring, who knew he had so many talents? Not only is the young man ridiculously enthusiastic about riding his bike, but it turns out he’s particularly fast and commonly airborne on the ski slopes too.

AND, judging by at least one of his nicknames, he get’s along pretty well with the ladies.

Let’s take a closer look at the enigma that is Zane Enders:

Zane! Are you from Utah orginally? 

Yessir. Born and bred in Ogden and Pleasant View. I came down to Salt Lake for school. I’m studing Computer Science at the U. I’m nerding out.

Is that Mark Whalberg pimpin' some Assos T.equipe bib shorts? Nope. It's our very own Zane. Don't worry, folks make that mistake all the time.

Is that Mark Whalberg? Nope. It’s our Zane showing off one of his favorite bib shorts: the Assos T.equipe. Don’t worry, folks think he’s Funky Bunch all the time.

You must really like computers. Have you ever wanted to be Matthew Broderick in War Games? 

I absolutely have. I also thought the kid from Live Free or Die Hard was pretty cool too. He could hack into anything.

Have you ever hacked into anything? 

I jail-broke my iPod Touch…but I don’t think that counts.

So how long have you been riding bikes? 

I’ve been mountain biking since I was 13. My cousin, Lea Davison gave me a bike. She now rides for Specialized’s pro team. But that was my start. From there I was talked into doing the 24 Hours of Moab race when I was 14. It was a lot of fun. After that I did it six years in a row.

Your cousin rides for Specialized?!?! Very nice! How does it feel to be that close to fame? 

Well, there’s actually a YouTube video of me doing a jump at Mammoth Mountain. It went viral for a month. So I’m fairly famous too:

So (ahem) it looks like you ski a little too. I love that you’re viral. 

Yeah. My friends thought I was going to break my knees on that jump. I was the only one who did it. They were too scared. I ski raced for 10 years until I graduated high school. I did the Junior Olympics when I was 15 and I placed 3rd in the Western Regions for G.S. My dad’s had me skiing since I was two years old.

No road biking? 

Not yet. Growing up, my dad always thought it was too dangerous.

I get that, totally. Why risk the harm of doing 20ish miles an hour on a paved road when you could really play it safe and do ridiculous jumps at 60 mph off of mountains on your skis? Makes total sense. So what else do you do besides mountain bike and play it safe on the bunny slopes?

I recently got into Warhammer 40k. Yep, kind of a nerd.

Zane admits to playing this game. The nerd's faces have been cut out to protect them from cyberbullying

Zane admits to playing this game. The nerd’s faces in this photo have been cut out to protect them from cyber-bullying. Zane, however, should be bullied relentlessly.

Kind of? Is that like Dungeons and Dragons? Do you use a twelve-sided die? 

Kinda. It’s pretty interesting actually. It’s like, set in a dystopian science-fantasy universe and you have these miniature characters that you can buy and paint an–

–Let’s stop you right there. You are now a galactic nerd. Changing subjects completely,  what do you like that we carry in the shop? 

I really want a Pinarello Dogma XC. It looks so cool -not like anything else on the market. I love how the seat stays are separated.

Zane is a little too excited about the Pinarello Dogma XC. Not sure if you can blame him though

Zane is a little too excited about the Pinarello Dogma XC. Not sure if you can blame him though. Sooo many ladies wishing they were that bike right now…

I have an Osprey bag that I really like too. The back support is awesome and it has tons of pockets. The material is really durable. I’m rough on stuff. To quote my dad, I go through $#!+ like candy.

Do you like candy? 

Not really. Not much of a sweet tooth.

Zane or 'Zanye' to the ladies, letting everybody know that winners don't use drugs but they do use Osprey bags. Yeah!

Zane or ‘Zanye’ to the ladies, letting everybody know that winners don’t use drugs, and they pack their dreams into Osprey bags. Yeah!

I really want a pair of the Assos shorts; the T.équipes. I’m sold on the chamois they’ve built into that. I love lightweight, race-y stuff and those shorts are designed to be raced in.

So I know we have a couple nick names for you at the shop: Zané, Ender’s Zane, Easy Z, Dwayne Zane, Zanetopia, Zanye (like Kanye; obviously our apologies to Kanye), Zanskrit, The Ender from Contender. Fort Zane -the list LITERALLY goes on forever- My question is this: Have you ever had a nick name before working here? 

Yeah. A girl called me Loverboy in high school.

That’s because you’re irresistible. One last question I know everyone wants to know, why did your parents name you Zane? 

They’ve never really had an answer

Well it’s equal parts mysterious and classy. It fits you well.

Picture: Sarah Reingewirtz Source: AP

A Premature Celebration At The Tour of California (Video)

Picture: Sarah Reingewirtz, Source: AP

Eloy Teruel was leading the pack during the seventh and last stage of the Tour of California on Saturday when, after just crossing the finish line signaling one more lap to go, he realized that he had made a pretty serious error in his lap count.

The Spanish cyclist, thinking that he had just completed the final lap of the stage and had out-sprinted his competitors for the stage win, began celebrating by pumping his fists in the air and pounding his chest. It took the announcers and fans trying to get his attention shouting, “One more to go!” as well as the pack of riders gaining quickly on him from behind for Teruel to gather that he had made a mistake in thinking it was the last lap.

 

You can actually see the elation of winning leave his face as he slowly realizes that he’s got another lap to go, and the pack is coming up quick. No doubt exhausted and finding himself misplaced by his early bird sprint, Eloy ended up finishing 56th, while lovakia’s Peter Sagan went on to win the stage.

Pretty embarrassing stuff. But we’ve all been there. Maybe not in front of a massive crowd during the last stage of a major tour, but hey, we’ve all had our moments.

Most embarrassed I’ve ever been on a bike: 

I was flying west down 4th South right here in majestic Salt Lake City, trying to race my friend back to his home at the end of a very long ride. It was a Sunday afternoon and there wasn’t too much traffic out; we hit mostly greens as we started to ramp up our end-of-ride sprint through downtown. I had pulled ahead of my friend across a couple city blocks when I noticed two particularly attractive girls perched at the corner of 4th and Main waiting for the light to change so they could cross the street.

Now, am I hot dog? No. Do I usually embarrass myself? Yep. Is it worse when girls are around? Most definitely. But since I knew I was going to fly by these beautiful birds and because I was feeling pretty damn good about out-sprinting my buddy for three blocks, I had taken my eyes off the road in front of me and was putting in some solid time throwing out the mojo to the babes. I decided the best way to impress them was to fly past in my spandex and shout a wazzup; knowing that I would go by like a shot and they’d be left wondering who that devastatingly handsome blur was. Perfect friggin’ plan. I’m a genius.

It went pretty well. Up to a point. Basically the point where I shouted out my greeting, “What’s up, ladies!” and they turned their perfect heads of cascading locks to see the human bullet preparing to pass them. As soon as I had herald my compliments, I heard my friend scream my name as loud as he could from behind. I instinctively looked up ahead just in time to see the light had long since changed and a Trax train was passing right in front of me.

I grabbed my brakes as hard as I could and skidded to a stop just feet from the passing train. My friend pulled up leisurely behind me, called me an idiot in between chuckles, and then I had to endure sitting there as the girls passed in front of us, making serious efforts not to acknowledge the giant douche who just screamed at them and then almost hit a train. As they crossed, I put my helmeted head down. realizing my matching team kit didn’t really impress anyone but me.

At least Eloy was actually in a race.

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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!