Seaotter classic 2016!

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Its that time of year again, time for the Sea Otter classic. Four days and 3 night of all bike fun! If you are not familiar with the  seaotter its the larges bicycle festival in the world! With MTB races, downhill enduro and xc, road races and the first unofficial cross race of the year, and over 300 venders shows off all the new and hot bike stuff you can live with out.

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This year I’m switching it up a bit. This is my 4th year of attending the seaotter and every year i have a blast. I did the 60 mile costal fondo the first 2 years and had a great time, minus the 2500′ climb in the last 2.5 miles, but this year ill be doing the 25 miles MTB tour, same amount of climbing but about 40 miles less. I wasn’t planning on riding in the tour this year but I won a weekend pass and an entry to a ride or race from the bicycle times/dirtrag  contest on Instagram and a camelbak KUDU 18 pack. Pretty sweet giveaway, ill be doing a review on the pack in the next few weeks

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Im really stoked to see all the new products from all the venders, shimano and sram usually debut new groupsets and most of the bike company have 2017 models on display. You can usually score some pretty sweet deals on parts and clothing too, last year i scored a couple really nice jerseys from an itialian cycling clothing  Pissei for 30$ a pop. I always like going by certain booths to see what new products they have coming out. The guys at ESI grips have always treated me well and I’m stoked to see what new products they have.

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If you ever wanted to check it out you won’t be disappointed its 4 solid days of racing and bike fun, over 300 venders and the swag is pretty nice too, hats bottles and socks and anything else you can think of are handed out, i always stock up on the free stuff. Be sure to follow me on instagram (@fbt_cyclist) to see all of the fun I’m having!

 

 

 

 

 

Eroica time!

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Its that time a year again the Eroica is upon us. The 2nd year of the California edition of the Eroica will take place again in Paso Robles CA April 8th-10th, conveniently located 25 min from my house. Last year was a great time, so many great vintage bikes, lots of bianchi’s, colnago’s, Pinerellos, and many more.

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The Eroica has 4 different rides, The “short” ride is a 39.9 mile ride with 12 miles on unpaved roads with 2200′ of climbing. The medium ride is 73 miles with 18 miles of unpaved road and 5900′ of climbing. The new costal ride is 87.2 miles 25 miles unpaved and 7300′ of climbing. The last ride is heroic ride which is 126.9 miles 36 miles unpaved and just under 10,000′ climbing. Mind you all these rides are being done on pre- 1987 bikes some even from the 50’s and 60’s. I’ve been trying to build a bike this past year but it just didn’t happen, I hope to have a bike put together for next year and ride the short ride.

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On a recent trip to my local shop they had on display this amazing vintage Masi with full campy record. This is a restored bike with a new paint job and some re-chroming. This thing was in perfect shape, it had no expense sparred, the chain rings, brakes, down tube shifters and brake levers were all drilled for weight savings. this bike was areal eye catcher! They have been getting all kinds of great bikes around this time for eroica .

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Also on the radar is the seaotter which is the weekend after Eroica. This is pretty much my favorite 2 weeks of the year for cycling you get the best of the old and the best of the new in a 2 week span. If you haven’t been to either seaotter or Eroica, i highly encourage you to check it them out, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Cav’s Cervelo S5…

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Looks like Cav is adjusting well to his new ride taking the over all win at the Tour of Qatar and only missing out on the final sprint victory by millimeters. He’s riding all new gear down to the saddle and it looks like it agrees with him. Those gigantic enve wheels are doing just that making me envy them. Doesn’t look like its slowing him down any. Cav also switched from shimano to speedplay  which it a huge change in its self, when i made the switch to speedpaly their was defiantly a learning curve, shimano is a toe first then heel down engagement while speedplay are a straight down motion if you try and go toe first the cleat won’t engage.

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12 February 2016 15th Tour of Qatar Stage 05 : Sealine Beach Resort – Doha Corniche 1st : KRISTOFF Alexander (NOR) Katusha, Leader of the Points Classification 2nd : CAVENDISH Mark (GBR) Dimension Data Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

But the question is which bike looks better? specialized venge or cervelo s5? Sound off in the comment section which you prefer!

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Mark Cavendish's Specialized S-Works Venge

BMX and MTB lost 2 greats…

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This past couple weeks have been rough for the cycling community, two great riders in their respective fields were laid to rest and to top it off the first ever documented case of “mechanical doping” was discovered. The MTB community lost a great rider by the name of Kelly McGarry, the 32 year old rider past away from cardiac arrest on Feb 1st, he was well known in the downhill scene for doing some of the biggest drops and jumps including backflipping a 72ft gap earning 2nd place at the 2013 redbull rampage. An outpouring of grief and support came from the MTB community in the days that followed his death.

While Kelly’s death was sudden i wasn’t as familiar with him as i was with Dave Mirra who passed away just 3 days later from a self inflicted gun shot wound. Being a BMX rider in the early 2000’s you couldn’t read a BMX publication without an interview or an amazing photo add with Dave defying gravity. I logged many hours on both of his video games that were named after him, Dave was the face of bmx for over a decade.

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Dave was a consistant figure in BMX for almost 20 years, turning pro in 92′ and retiring from competition on 2011, during that time he racked up 24 X-Games medals it was the record until 2013. One of the first pro,s i remember to have a signature shoe on DC. Dave mostly completed in ramp and halfpipe competitions but wast afraid to get down and dirty and ride street either. In one of my my favorite BMX videos road fools 9 dave goes on a west coast tour with some of the best street riders of the time. He not only holds his own but actually does some pretty gnarly stuff, in that video Dave goes for a grind down a rail and eats it hard to where his feet hit the back of his head and the crew dubbed it the scorpion grind.

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Since retiring from BMX Dave was a decorated triathlete being a sponsored athlete for cervelo. Finishing top 20 in his age group and even qualifying for the knoa ironman. Being extremely competitive it was a great fit for him in his life after BMX.

While being a competitive triathlete would be enough for most people Dave also drove professional for Subaru  global rally cross, and also driving with Travis Pistrana in the redbull car. He finished as high as 8th during the season. Once released from subaru dave drove for redbull mini and earning 2 x games medals .dave_mirra

On Feb 4 2016 police found Dave with what appeared to be a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his truck. Its hard to see people who you once looked up to so much do something like this, I can’t speculate what he was going through i only knew what he showed on the outside, He left behind a wife and 2 kinds my heart goes out his family and thank him so much for all he did for BMX.

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Since Dave’s untimely passing the BMX community has come to show support in the way of painting their pedals gold in remembrance in honor of his gold medal winning gold plated bike. I plan on doing this too on both my MTB and road bike. BMX lost a legend and no one will be able to fill that hole. If you know anyone in crisis please urge them to seek help.

Shoes to fit my weird feet, Pre-review of the Lake cx237

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So I finally pulled the trigger on the best fitting shoes I’ve ever tried on. Ive been in the hunt for a properly fitting pair of shoes since i started seriously cycling. A couple years ago i tried on a pair of lake cx237’s and fell in love with how well they fit, what i didn’t fall in love with was the $300 price tag. Before that i had tried a few pair of shoes. My fist pair were a pair of entry level pearl izumi that took both MTB and road cleats with 3 velcro straps, pretty basic but they did the job i was running the shimano A530 platform/spd pedals. Then i went to a pair of northwave’s which were to big and didn’t fit properly but it still wore anyway, then i went with the pair of bontrager rxl they fit the best and I’ve been wearing for a a couple years now, but i still couldn’t get the Lake’s out of my head.

After years of looking on eBay and scouring the internet for a sale i finally found them on sale on a website i go to often and is based in the town where i live, they post daily sales and always send out discounts emails to members, so last week the planets aligned and they had them for half off ($149.99) and i had a %20 off promo code which brought down the final price to $121.43, I was stoked behind belief that i finally had my “perfect fitting” shoes. Due to my weirdly odd shaped foot i can’t wear most narrow shoes like sidi’s and fizik’s, the lakes hit it on the head with there wider toe box and fits my flat no arch foot great. Im really stoked to put some miles on these shoes. Im runnng speedplay zero pedals they don’t have the traditional 3 hole boy pattern they have a 4 bolt pattern but they provide a adapter plate to mount to 3 hole shoesLake-CX237

If you have zero arch like me i highly recommend lake shoes by far the best fitting shoe I’ve found. They have a full grain leather upper and a carbon sole and are pretty light to top to off. I hope after all these years i haven’t built up these to be more than they are, but I’m super excited to put some miles on these very sleek and stylish shoes. Check out lakes site for their full line of road, tri, MTB and cold weather shoes.

FBTC’s holiday gift guide, part 2

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Continuing on with my holiday gift guide i have a great pair of shoes at a great price. The Bont riot are a great pair of shoes that pack a lot of high end features on a budget price. Ive been wearing bontrager RXL shoes for a while now these have been the best fitting shoes I’ve found till  saw the Bont’s. Bont are unique in the fact that all of their shoes are anatomical with a wide toe box and the carbon composite sole is easily heat moldable for a truly custom fit, all at a MSRP of $149.99 but easily found on the good old inter webs for around $90-$120, i found mine new eBay for  a steal $70 shipped. Bout also has a fancy system of tracing your foot and measuring the widest and longest part and telling what size and width to get, I’ve been wearing a 46 in most cycling shoes the Bont fitting system suggested a 45 regular width, the fit well and with a heat molding will make them fit perfect. If looking for a good light shoe at a great price give the Bont riot a chance. Only negative review i have is that where the upper meets the sole it loos unfinished needing a rubber strip for a more finished look, which Bont sells separate”bumper” for $10, why they don’t just add them on i have no clue

 

 

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Next up on the list is a second Silca product that has quite a buzz about it. The Slica Impero Ultimate frame pump is just that, the ultimate frame pump. I have an old 80’s Slica floor pump i inherited from a relative when i started to get in cycling, this thing is built to last, I’ve been using it for years with no issues they make absolutely great products that are not only built for years of use but look great too. Silca claims that the impero can inflate a 23c tire to 90psi in 100 strokes, which is either great or horrible i have to clue, i use a co2 inflater in my flat kit, but if your looking for a top of the line frame pump check out the impero!

 

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Another must have for any cyclist is a work stand. It literally makes working on your bike 1000% easier. The park pcs-9 is a great work stand for the home mechanic, at  price of $139.99 it a good deal on a park stand, it folds up for easy transportation for taking to the races or cleaning and lubing your bike after a ride. if you don’t have a work stand i highly recommend getting one, i use mine all the time weather I’m cleaning and lubing the drivetrain or giving my bike a bath. Its also great for bike storage i always have one of my 4 bikes in the stand. Do your self a favor and grab a park stand and you won’t look back.

 

Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyres (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyres 

 

 

What cyclist doesn’t like to ride new tires, nothing better than unfolding a new tires and putting it on a rim. Ive been running the Michelin pro 4 endurance for a few years now, and over that time  I’ve had about 1 flat. Im currently running a 25c tire on a hed beligum + rim and i absolutely love them. The pro 4 endurance has a a nice kevlar side wall to help with puncture protection, and it works really well for me i rarely get flats (knock on wood). The pro4 has a great rubber compound with excellent grip and also come in a in a few different colors to match whatever color your bike is. At a price of $44.99 its as good as tires the cost %50 more. If your in the market for a light, grippy and tough tire give the Michelin pro 4 endurance a try

 

zecto light

 

As a cyclist i can never have enough lights, i have lights for all my bikes along with flat kit with co2 set ups and tire levers. Im always stoked wen some one gives me a light as a present i always end up using them. The Lezyne zecto drive pro is a great all purpose light, it functions as a front a rear light and has 3 different colored aluminum bezels if thats something you’re in to. The red LEDs range between 10-40 lumens and the white LED’s go from 40-160 lumens. USB rechargeable and a fairly quick recharge time of 2.5 hours and a cool red green and blue led inside the power button to tell what the battery level is. Lezyne always makes really rice products and the zecto drive is no different its made well and looks cool and it water resistant, this thing can take pretty much any riding condition, if your like me and like to have light for all your bike pick up one of these cool. At $49.99 its a tad on the pricy but you really get what you pay for.

 

FBTC’s holiday gift guide, part 1

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The holidays are upon us and anyone who knows a cyclist knows how hard it can be to shop for them for presents. This holiday gift guide is going to showcase 10 awesome products any cyclist would love to have all under $150.

 

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First up on the list are the Tifosi escalate pro. At a retail price of $149.99  you get 6 pairs of glasses. Tifosi has a great system of where the ear pieces clip on to the frame giving you 3 different frame options with 2 set of lenses for each frame style. I’ve been using these the past couple months and  i really like them, my favorite style are the shields where the ear pieces clip directly to the lenses giving a super sleek look. The lenses pop out really easy in the full frame and half frame. Tifosi has 2 different options of the escalate with either a clarion blue or a clarion red, and each have a clear smoke and ac red lenses. These are great glasses and have an option for any weather condition. Tifosi really hit the nail on the head with these glasses and I’m looking forward to what they have to offer in 2016! Go check out Tifosis web site for all their new products

 

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Next on the list is a $125 set of hex wrenches from italian pump maker slica. Silca’s new HX-ONE hex wrenches are the hot must have holiday gift for cyclists. This is what slice has to say about their new HX-ONE, “For the HX-One we had to start with the finest S-2 Tool Steel, a shock resistant steel which has been refined by Swiss and German toolmakers for the optimal balance of strength, hardness, shock resistance and dimensional control. S-2 yields stronger tools with much harder surfaces for prolonged tool AND fastener life. The keys are then coated with thin-dense Chrome, a process generally reserved for mold tool components or optical grade surfaces inside molding tools. This coating provides the hardest, most dimensionally stable finish possible on each hex key. Finally, each tool is spray coated with a high-grip, high-visibility textured polymer finish for maximum grip and control. No more dropping your tools with greasy fingers or losing them on your workbench!” Go check out silcas site for more info

 

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If your looking for a great stocking stuffer you can’t beat the Pig pen from Pedros. The Pig pen includes the pig chain cleaning unit cleverly designed to look like a pig! it also comes with a bottle of pig juice degreaser fluid and chain j lube. At a price of $39.99 its an awesome way to keep your drivetrain clean and lubed. I love Pedros products a lot I’m always stoked when they come out with something new because i know its going to be rad. Do you self a favor and buy all of pedros products!

 

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Next up is the Lezyne mini GPS should be on every cyclists wishlist this year. Its compact design and reasonable price makes this gps. At $139.99 its significantly less than their competitors, and you still get a ton of great features including Optimized GPS recording, stores up to 100 hours of data, Scrolling data ticker and auto start/stop functions
Custom alerts,Up to 10 hours of runtime and weighs only 29 Grams. The main display includes Moving time, ride time, elapsed time,Distance: Current, Trip Total, Trip Odometer
Speed: Current, Average, Max. Elevation: Ascent, Descent, Current Laps
Temperature Time: ride time, clock,GPS signal strength, Battery life indicator
Semi-customizable display: 2, 3 or 4 fields, Manually choose bottom field, or set to auto scroll. The bigger brothers also include text message display, Heart rate monitor compatibility bigger battery and display for only about $60 more, Lezyne really did their R&D when they made their new GPS line and is guaranteed to take a bite out of the garmin market go check out lezyne for all their fine cycling products

 

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Next up is my one MTB item on my list, the praxis wide range 11-40 10sp cassette. I actually really want this for my stock 14′ giant trance sx 27.5, its currently set up with 1×10  34t front chainring and 36t cassette, which makes climbing some what of a hellish experience. With the help of this cassette and the matching 32t praxis chainring its going to revive my now “outdated” drivetrain, Praxis really hit the nail on the head with this cassette, you can now breath life in to that 10 speed that you thought was dead. Praxis markets this cassette as a direct swap, you do not need to even shorten the chain. At a price of $130 its an inexpensive way to get up  the mtn, go check out praxis for their full line chain rings cassettes and bb for road and MTB