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Hot New Specialized MTBs for 2016

August 25, 2015

Specialized, whose company mantra is “Innovate or Die”, has some great new mountain bikes for 2016 that are sure to have you riding your favorite trails easier, faster, and with a big smile on your face. Featuring revamped suspensions set-ups and an exciting new tire dimension, you can take mountain biking to a whole new edge never seen before with the 2016 Specialized MTB line-up.

Let’s talk fat, FSR 6Fattie fat to be precise. With an array of builds in both aluminum and carbon, there’s a Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie for every riding style The heart of the platform is the all-new 6Fattie Wheel System. It uses 650b wheels and wraps them in super plush 3.0″ tires to provide an amazing, ride-altering level of traction, control, and floatation. And 6Fattie pulls this off without sacrificing anything to climbing prowess. Of course, this is the legendary Stumpjumper, so you can expect aggressive, trail-eating geometry that features ridiculously short chainstays, a roomy top tube, and a low bottom bracket so that you’re combining the Stumpjumper’s ride with unparalleled confidence thanks to the 6Fattie wheels. The best is that female trail riders can get in on the act too, with the all-new Rhyme FSR 6Fattie line-up.

Specialized Stumpjumper 6Fattie

The Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie is sure to put a smile on your face.

We’re carrying two models of the new Stumpjumper FSR 6Fatties, the Comp model at $3,499.99 as well as the Comp Carbon version, which retails for $4,499.99. And for folks that like to try before they buy, you can demo one of the Comp Carbon 6Fatties from our rental department! We’re also stocking the Rhyme Comp at $2,899.99 as well as the Rhyme Expert that sells for $4,799.99.

Specialized is all-in on the 6Fattie concept. They’re offering not just a full-suspension line up with this new wheel system, there are also hardtail offerings in the form of the Ruze for women and the Fuze for men. These hardtail bikes offer the best that 6Fattie has to offer—namely ground breaking control and traction—that puts a premium on climbing with the short, rigid rear end. Thanks to the lower tire pressure and larger contact patch offered by 6Fattie, there’s plenty of bike for all but the gnarliest of descents.

Specialized Ruze Fuze 6Fattie

Both the Fuze and the Ruze feature the 6Fattie fun paired with a rigid rear end.

The Stumpjumper FSR–the non 6Fattie version–is another amazing 2016 bike. Completely redesigned, it features the same shorter chainstays as its 6Fattie counterpart, along with a slightly slacked out front end for a fast, stable riding bike. The carbon Stumpjumpers also feature the all-new SWAT Door feature found in the down tube. This compartment will fit a tube, tool, and pump without rattling or compromising the structural integrity of the frame thanks to Specialized’s carbon molding process. Get your gear off your back and on your bike!

We’re also stoked about the all-new Camber. The Camber might be the one bike we’d want if we could only have one mountain bike. XC efficiency with slightly bigger travel fun, it’s a trail bike that rides fast and flows well. For 2016, the big news with the Camber is that its rear suspension on upper-end models now includes Brain technology. There had been a gap in the platforms that the Brain was offered on, namely with the Camber. While the Epic’s Brain provides total lockout feel until a bump from under the bike activates the suspension, the Camber’s Brain is “Position Sensitive” and allows the suspension to follow the terrain and still preload for big hits. Not quite the XC race oriented set up of the Epic, but not as open like on the Stumpjumper, the Camber suspension’s Brain sets you up for the best trail bike riding experience yet. And, like the 2016 Stumpjumpers, the carbon Cambers feature the excellent SWAT Door.

Specialized SWAT Door.

The SWAT Door. Get your gear off your back!

With the new 2016 Camber we’re carrying three different models; the Comp 29 at $2,499.99, the Comp Carbon 29, that sells for $3,799.99, and the Expert Carbon 29, which features the new Camber-specific Brain design and has a retail price of $6,199.99.

Many of the 6Fattie Stumpjumers and non-6Fattie models, as well as the 6Fattie hardtails are already in stock, while we expect to see the Cambers arrive in the early fall. Like any new bike from Specialized, if there’s a model or a color that you’re interested in and we don’t have it in stock, we can get it for you! Stop by and talk with us about your new mountain bike and all the new models and technology on offer for 2016 from Specialized.

Mopac Mobility Bridge Update

August 19, 2015

Here’s the latest on the progress of the Mopac Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge. We can’t wait to ride this!

MoPac_Mobility_Bridges_Summer_2015_Update

 

MoPac_Mobility_Bridges_Summer_2015_Update2

New Garmins: Bigger Features, Smaller Packages

August 18, 2015

Garmin has become the go-to company for sports data collection. And it’s no wonder since their products are generally plug-n-play and host a bevy of features sure to make even the most data-driven rider content. Just released and now in stock at the shop are the new Garmin Edge 25 and Edge 520.

The Edge 25 is a “basic” cycling computer. The term basic is used loosely as the 25 is the world’s smallest GPS bike computer. If you’re a rider of a certain age (ahem) you may remember the Avocet 31. The Edge 25 seems similar in size as memory serves. But obviously the modern take on the tiny cycling computer packs way more of a punch.

Garmin Edge 25

A lot of punch in a little package. The Garmin Edge 25.

The Edge 25 tracks distance, speed, and time. If you purchase the Edge 25 bundle, included is a heart rate monitor strap and cadence sensor, which lets you capture those data points as well. The standard 25 comes with the unit itself, stem/bar mount, and charger. You can also purchase the heart rate monitor and cadence sensors separately, but the bundle, if you want those features, is the way to go in terms of saving money.

Like many of Garmin’s other units, the Edge 25 will let you save and plan activities using Garmin’s own data management software, Garmin Connect. And when paired with a smart phone, the 25 offers instant upload of finished, saved rides and allows you to share a link where others can follow you on your ride, be it to work or across Texas. The Edge 25, like other Garmin units, is water resistant and feels substantial and durable when in hand.

The 520 is a long needed update to the venerable 510 (which itself was a long overdue update to the 500). The most immediately noticeable differences are the slightly smaller size, and thus lighter weight, and the high resolution screen, which looks great.

The 520 comes ready to utilize add-on features from other companies, things which until now have been software plug-ins and add-ons. For example, the 520 comes out of the box ready to offer in-ride challenges through Strava live segments. It can report cycling-specific VO2 max and recovery time when used with power and heart rate, and it pairs with compatible ANT+ indoor trainers for data display and control for those of you that like to ride on Swift Island.

Garmin Edge 520

The Edge 520 is for those looking for every data point they can collect.

As we’re talking about a Garmin product, it makes perfect sense that the 520 would have special features related to Garmin’s own Vector or Vector 2 pedal-based power meters. Utilizing either of those pieces of equipment will let you track Functional Threshold Power (FTP), watts/kg, and “cycling dynamics,” presumably related to efficiency of your pedaling stroke. Like the Edge 25, the 520 is a connected device that offers automatic uploads and live tracking, but also offers smart notifications, the ability to send and receive courses, social media sharing, and weather updates.

Just like the Edge 25, the 520 comes either as the unit itself, or in a bundle offering that includes the heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. And, as is the case with the Edge 25, with the 520 the savings is had in getting the bundle over getting the unit and add on sensors separately.

Come by the shop and let us show you the new Garmin Edge 25 and 520 today.

Ridden & Reviewed: Castelli Inferno Bibshorts & Climber’s 2.0 Jersey

August 13, 2015

It seems that over the years we’ve talked a fair amount about how to dress for cooler temperatures and cold weather. Maybe it’s because it’s rare that we get prolonged stretches of cold—this past winter notwithstanding. Or, maybe it’s because the scarcity of cold riding conditions means we’re inexperienced, leading most to ask “what should I wear” when the mercury starts to fall. Or, maybe it’s because we just assume that when it’s hot the recipe is simple: helmet, sunglasses, jersey, bibs or shorts—depending on your preference, socks, and shoes.

But not all hot weather gear is created equal.

Short sleeve jerseys generally come in slightly varying weights. If you’ve been by the shop recently you’ve seen a fair number of Bicycle Sport Shop branded pieces from different companies. Take all those jerseys in hand and compare them. Not for fit, which is surely going to vary, but for texture and weight. With standard jerseys there’s typically little difference. Most are similar in terms of fabric feel and weight, even from competing brands.

Then there’s Castelli Cycling.

Castelli has two pieces out that are tailor made for Texas summers–their remarkable Inferno Bibshort and the stunning Climber’s 2.0 Jersey. Both pieces push the boundary of what can be done with minimalist, yet sturdy fabrics to bring you unparalleled hot weather cycling comfort.

The Inferno Bibshort is a textile wonder. There are no fewer than six separate fabrics used in constructing the short. Two of which, the virtually sheer GiroAir leg gripper, and the perforated side panels, require the use of sunscreen. Castelli in fact recommends that added sun protection be utilized. The bibs also feature an updated Progetto 2X chamois and a race-oriented ergonomic cut.

Castelli Inferno Bibshort

Castelli’s Inferno Bibshort. A textile wonder .

The Inferno Bibshorts are race cut. My standard medium Castelli sizing had me wondering if I was mistakenly shipped a small when I first tried on these bibs. But after a couple of wear and wash cycles, the initial tightness gave way to a perfect fit. Still, the Inferno does represents the idea that quality bibs are designed and should function like a second skin.

I’ve gotten in this habit recently of taking new gear and, instead of slowly breaking it in, putting it right to the test on long, hard rides. And that pattern held true with the Inferno Bibshorts. 100+ miles with a little over 11,000 feet of climbing, the Inferno bibs were up to Austin’s first 100 degree summer day. The snug fit kept the chamois in place and the excellent fabrics kept dry despite hour after hour in the saddle and numerous water bottles being dumped over my head.

Castelli’s sunscreen suggestion is good advice. And I’d go so far as to say that utilizing sunscreen with these bibs and the Climber’s 2.0 Jersey is to wear these pieces properly. I heeded the suggestion and still managed to get a bit of sun through the Inferno bibs where I missed applying sunscreen or, more likely, it wore off during the course of my ride. With this caveat in mind, these may be the perfect hot weather bibs.

I also wore the Climber’s 2.0 Jersey. Like the bibs, this jersey is an exercise in minimalism. Joking with our eBay czar, I was saying it’s just a bit less than wearing cheesecloth in terms of weight. And, like the leg gripper on the Inferno bibs, it’s close to sheer, especially in the mostly white version. As a result, Castelli again recommends the use of sunscreen with this piece, which I successfully did.

Patterned after their Aero Race Jersey, the Climber’s 2.0 top features the same aero fit, albeit with lighter weight fabrics than the Aero Race. The back utilizes StradaPro 3D material to support the pockets and keep them from sagging. But it’s still thin to the point that it offers just 16 UPF protection, compared to the normal 30 of most other fabrics used in the line. The front and shoulders are made from a fabric that weighs a remarkably light 17 grams per square meter.

Castelli climber's 2.0 jersey

Castelli’s Climber’s 2.0 Jersey. An exercise in aerodynamic lightweight minimalism.

The fit of the jersey feels true to aero size. Like a skinsuit, it is snug with a collarless, low neckline and slightly longer sleeves than a standard jersey. The arm bands themselves are raw seemed at the edge for a flat fit that doesn’t move when riding, changing hand position on the bars, or digging through pockets looking for food. And again, like the Inferno Bibshorts the fabrics do the advertised task of helping keep you dry and cool in relentless heat. I’m typically unzipping my jersey at the hottest part of the day in an effort to get a little more breeze on my core and it wasn’t until I was riding the last few miles home in the Climber’s jersey that I did so–more out of habit than necessity.

At the end of what was my and my friends’ own take on the Tour das Hugel, the kit was dry and still fitting and feeling like it did when I put it on some seven plus hours earlier.

I am once again impressed with the workmanship and quality of Castelli’s condition-specific apparel. And given the rising summer temperatures we’ve seen over the last few days, I, for one, am looking forward to my next ride.

El Diablo’s Poker Dash & Bash A Smash

August 13, 2015

We got together the first of the month with TexasBikeRacing.com for El Diablo’s Poker Dash & Bash. Over 200 riders joined us in the morning for a poker ride that traversed Austin while stopping at each Bicycle Sport Shop location. Starting at 8 AM and covering the terrain through Rollingwood, Loop 360, Balcones Hills, and Parmer Lane before dashing back into Central Austin via Shoal Creek, it was a hot affair befitting the ride’s name.

El Diablo's Poker Dash & Bash

Bright and early for the roll out of the poker ride.

We were lucky that TBR.com brought along goodies from High Brew Coffee for the morning send off. This helped those in need to leave properly caffeinated and ready to take on the course. At the ride’s end, our friends at Real Ale had us covered with cold beer and One Taco got us all on the road to recovery from our efforts with their delicious offerings.

El Diablo's Poker Dash & Bash

Post-ride eats with OneTaco.

During the ride, riders collected a single playing card at the start, then at the Parmer and Research stores, and then back at the finish at Lamar. With four cards in hand and a last one to get , it was on to the evening bash at the ABGB, our gracious hosts. We were there to party and it was for a great cause—to raise money for the Texas High School Mountain Bike League.

El Diablo's Poker Dash & Bash

Loads of great silent auction items at the evening party.

The party featured a silent auction as well as a live auction for a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted Fairdale Goodship road bike, dubbed the Badship for it’s stealthy appearance, with a killer build thanks to SRAM and Zipp. The fifth and final playing card was dealt and hands were played. The winner—holding four aces—took home a Bicycle Sport Shop gift card. Throughout the night we saw trike races between dueling local teams, gold sprints competitions, a busy parking lot tattoo parlor, and more. It was a great night and a lot of fun.

The final event of the night was the auction for the Fairdale Badship.

The final event of the night was the auction for the Fairdale Badship.

We raised a good amount of money for the Texas High School Mountain Bike League thanks to everyone’s generosity, especially that of our generous donors Assos, Austin Massage Company, AustinBikes, Cervelo, Chrome, DNA Cycling, Driveway Series, Focus, For the Love of Mud, Ian Dille, Icebug, Industries, Giro, Origin 8, Santa Cruz, Smith Optics, Teddys for Bettys, Trigger Point, VeloWurks, and Woom.

El Diablo's Poker Dash & Bash

Beers and parking lot tattoos.

Thanks also to our co-host and cohort, TexasBikeRacing.com as we couldn’t have pulled it off without them.

El Diablo's Poker Dash & Bash

Good times at the ABGB.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Ridden & Reviewed: Favorite Sports Nutrition

August 13, 2015

Like the days themselves, rides get long during summer and early Fall months. Even in Central Texas heat, cyclists take advantage of these longer days and more opportunities to ride. Inevitably, those rides turn discussions between riders to things like favorite loops, new gear, and what to eat when going long.

While many of us at the shop are proponents of eating “real food” on rides, the practical reality is that nutrition products today pack a lot of good into easy-to-manage, convenient packages. It’s no wonder that so many of us also mix in a healthy amount of sports nutrition products into our ride diets—on and off the bike.

Skratch Labs

Pre-packaged ride nutrition is a time-saving solution to keeping fueled on rides.

There are a host of products that all purport to do the same things—help keep you fueled when riding, help keep you hydrated with the proper balance of electrolytes, or help you recover. And the shop carries what may be Austin’s widest selection of sport nutrition products. Rather than go into the science of each product and its claimed benefits, we’re going to tell you the ones we like to eat!

One of the newer products in store is the Skratch Labs cookie mix. Yes, cookies. You may already know about Skratch. Between their electrolyte drink mix and the wildly popular Feed Zone Cookbook, they’ve become a household name in a relatively short amount of time. Skratch’s cookie mix is a natural extension of their“real food” school of thought. The recipe is easy, you can make them however you like using your own add-in ingredients and they’re delicious!

Skratch Labs Cookie Mix

Just as good as mom used to make! Skratch Labs new cookie mix is easy and tasty.

Lightly flavored hydration products came on big with Skratch. Osmo Nutrition followed that path with their own active hydration mixes. These are a big hit around here because the subtle flavors and ease of digestion keep us drinking throughout the ride rather than guzzling and getting that water-logged sensation.

Osmo Nutrition

Gently flavored hydration products, like those from Osmo Nutrition, are a staff favorite.

Pulling out the same bar ride after ride can get tiresome quickly. Dedicated riders are accustomed to choking down food knowing they need it, but without enjoying it. Enter Picky Bars. Hill found these on a recent trip and asked the buyers to bring them in. And we’re all better off for it. Seven different flavors in 1.6 ounce, 200 calorie servings that don’t bulge your jersey pocket or your belly.

Picky Bars

Picky Bars are a new addition to our extensive nutrition offerings and are really tasty.

Of course, many of us ride for certain reward foods, be it ice cream or beer, or both! Ride food can be fun and still do the trick of keeping you eating so you can keep pedaling. The ever-popular Jelly Belly Sport Beans, Honey Stinger’s waffles—their take on the European stroopwafle—and Skratch’s new fruit drops, are all great examples of foods that are simply fun to eat and act as a bit of a reward while on the bike.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

Fun foods like Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans make for good ride rewards.

Because so many sports nutrition products are sweet, it’s easy to get burnt out. Attempt to find something savory and the selections get slimmer, even when presented with the large variety we have in store. The Feedzone cookbook offers a good selection of savory items you can make and eat on the bike. Pro Bar oferings are another favorite. They make great mid-day or mid-afternoon snacks as well as post-ride recovery food.

Pro Bar

Pro Bars are great post-ride or mid-ride snacks.

With so many choices and different flavors to choose from, it can get overwhelming quickly. But follow your gut—pun intended—and try a few different options to see what works for you. The nice thing about these products is that they do come single serving, so trying various offerings is as easy as deciding between what to put in your cookie mix.

Topo Chico

Topo Chico. A mid-ride favorite on hot Texas rides

Specialized Dealer Show Highlights

July 23, 2015

The 2016 Specialized Dealer Show was recently held and our buyers were on hand to see all the new offerings from our friends in Morgan Hill, CA. There’s so much to see and experience at these shows, not to mention work to be done and even some fun to be had. Here are a few of the buyers’ favorite 2016 bikes and pieces of equipment, many of which you’ll see soon at your favorite Bicycle Sport Shop location.

Obviously everyone wants to talk about new bikes. How about an aluminum aero road bike, called the Allez Sprint, to start?

Specialized Allez Sprint

The Allez Sprint takes the aero advantage of the Venge and the aluminum knowhow Specialized has developed over the years to create a value packed rocket ship.

Off the charts fat bikes are nothing new anymore, and there’s “seemingly” always another variant coming out. Why not one for your next ski adventure?

Heading to the slopes and want to bring your board along on your ride? Not a problem!

Heading to the slopes and want to bring your board along on your ride? Not a problem!

It’s no secret that Specialized’s cycling shoe game is tight. They’ve been the industry leader in that department for years. And there are a host of great looking new shoes for 2016, in some pretty great looking colors.

Specialized Motodiva MTB shoe

The women’s Motodiva MTB shoe is a perennial favorite

Specialized SC Tri shoe

The all new SC Tri shoe is staggering light and built for short course racing.

Specialized Sworks road shoe

The S-Works 6 road shoe comes in men’s and women’s versions and features a very refined finish.

We’re believers in ebikes as a way to get folks into cycling, back to cycling, and as a means of alternative transportation when the car is too much trouble and a regular bike isn’t quite right. The next evolution? emountainbikes.

Specialized pedal assist mountain bike. ebike

emountainbikes like these are coming. It’s no secret. But there are going to be some learning curves and growing pains to get over. We’re committed to keeping trails open and users riding responsibly. Stay tuned!

It’s not all product presentations. Sometimes you go ride bikes with mountain bike legends like our parts and accessories buyer, Kelly Oden, did with Ned Overend.

Ned Overend Specialized

Kelly takes a spin with Ned Overend on the new Specialized Sumpjumper S-Works 6fattie.

For what it’s worth, the guys said that the new Specialized Sumpjumper S-Works 6fattie–the 650b+ rig, which is new for 2016, is ridiculously fun and THE mountain bike to get.

Adventure cycling, exploring by bike, gravel grinders, whatever you call it, it’s getting bigger and more popular each year. The 2016 Specialized AWOL Evo is the bike our bike buyer, Scott Linville, was drooling over.

Priced at about $2,500 the AWOL Evo has a supernova integrated generator that doubles as a USB charger.

Priced at about $2,500 the AWOL Evo has a supernova integrated generator that doubles as a USB charger.

AWOL Evo

Front view of the AWOL Evo. The front rack and integrated light are really slick.

AWOL Evo

The AWOL Evo sports an integrated bar end switch, custom made for Specialized.

Chris Donahue, our clothing buyer, was on hand as well. Checking out all manner of soft goods, he likely did more work than Scott and Kelly put together. He was pretty excited about some of the helmet offerings for 2016.

Airnet helmet

The new 2016 Specialized Airnet. A $150 offering in a great looking shape that’s more aero than anything else in the Specialized quiver, save the Evade.

Tactic 2

The new Tactic 2 retails for $74.99 and is a great looking MTB lid.

Boels-Dolmans Specialized

Just a sample of some of the great looking kits, particularly women’s gear, that Specialized is doing for 2016.

But again, it’s not all work at these shows.

Win Tunnel wind tunnel

Scott got a chance to put his baggies to the test in the Specialized Win Tunnel.

Win Tunnel wind tunnel

To give you some perspective on how big the Win Tunnel is, Chris is 6’3″.

Like I said, I’m sure Chris did more work than Scott and Kelly.

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