Category Archives for "Triathlon Gear"

Road Bicycles

Must Read Road Bicycles Reviews

“Looking for fast, fun and affordable road bicycles? Read more now!”

Road Bicycles

Road Bicycles

Most of us have dreams of riding like the pros on TV—effortlessly spinning up our own versions of the Alps or furiously sprinting to a win on our own personal Champs-Elysées. But for some of us, the tools used by those larger-than-life athletes are at least a touch out of reach. These race-inspired enthusiast bikes are not.

Specialized Allez Comp 105 – $1,750

Getting to my favorite 8-mile climb on a route that includes plenty of broken roads is almost as tough as the climb itself, but the Allez Comp proved worthy. When the dirt became smoother than the remaining pavement, the relatively stiff-riding aluminum frame offered an acceptable level of comfort, keeping me from being jarred too harshly.

The Allez rides lighter than its 20-plus pounds (size 56cm) would suggest, thanks mostly to the stiff, responsive frame. The front end’s rigidity rivals that of a Tour-worthy racer and looks as if it came off a top-end Specialized Tarmac.—Ron Koch

Buy It If: You want a go-fast bike with Tour-proven geometry and upgrade potential
Forget It If: You insist that carbon is king

Felt F5 – $2,299

Out of the box, the F5 reads like a race bike. It has performance-oriented features such as a drivetrain-stiffening BB30 bottom bracket and a stiff fork for competent handling. On the road, though, it shows that it has more nuance than speed.

The F5 is built around Felt’s FC race frame—the same one the Exergy pro cycling team will race in 2012—and includes an appropriately short head tube (160mm on our 58cm test bike), letting you get out of the wind. But the bike’s compliant ride, compact double crank, and stout Mavic CXP-22 rims make it best suited to solo explorations, spirited group rides, and turbocharged commutes.

Felt sees the bike as a do-it-all road platform. While the 34/25 low gear will let you crawl over any hill, the 50/11 top end is fast enough to sprint for a finish line. The handling and geometry skew to the racer’s preference for fast, nimble reactions, but the UHC Performance carbon 3K weave doesn’t. Instead it gives you a more comfortable ride, which was preferred by some of our testers: “I’d rather have a bike that’s a touch too compliant than one that’s too stiff,” read one ride log.—Andrew J. Bernstein

Buy It If: You might race occasionally, but mostly just want to ride
Forget It If: You’ll be tempted to clean the white tires after every ride

Raleigh Carbon Revenio 1.0 – $2,000

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s beloved chip-and-seal surface is hateful when you’re riding a stiff race bike, but the Revenio, despite speed-inspired aesthetics, is no race bike. Instead, it’s a bike that’s comfortable for any recreational rider. Employing flattened seatstays, it handles rough surfaces with ease, effectively muting larger jolts. The steering is neutral, without sluggish turn-in.

Raleigh may have been too devoted to aesthetics, though, especially for a bike in this price range. While the Revenio definitely looks cool, it’s a persnickety bike from a home mechanic’s perspective: Internal cable routing looks clean, but it’s a pain to work with. Similarly, we worried that the red aluminum bottle-cage bolts would be prone to stripping, although we didn’t have any problems.—Joe Lindsey

Buy It If: You want a bike to comfortably cruise on
Forget It If: You like a stretched-out or rear-biased position

Blue Axino EX – $2,900

A new bike for 2012, the EX is the lowest-cost carbon model in Blue’s growing Axino family, and it shares some features and frame shaping with the top-of-the-line Axino. To reduce costs, Blue used less-expensive composites, resulting in a heavier frame (1,150g vs 950g).

As expected from a company with the phrase “competition cycles” in its name, the Axino EX feels like it’s ready to race. With average geometry, you get straightforward handling that’s neither frighteningly fast nor so sluggish as to hold you back in a crit. The EX’s frame stiffness impressed us. Some bikes, including many high-end models, ride as though engineers built differing stiffnesses into disparate parts of the frame. Taken individually, these zones might receive top marks, but in totality, the frames lack unity. That’s where the EX shines: It may not have the stiffest drivetrain or head tube we’ve ever experienced, but it’s balanced in a way that makes the frame feel like a single, harmonized entity. It’s an admirable trait, especially at this price point.—Matt Phillips

Buy It If: You want a performance bike with a damped ride
Forget It If: You’re looking for a lively ride feel
More at 7 Fast, Fun & Affordable Road Bikes

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Fuji Bikes

Fuji Bikes: 2013 Fuji Altamira Review

“Fuji bikes  is an American owned Japanese brand of bicycles and cycling equipment, and one of it’s latest bikes is the Fuji Altamira 1.3. What sets this bike apart from the rest? Read the review now!”

Fuji Bikes

Fuji Bikes

Enter the Altamira 1.3, an all-carbon, disk-equipped beauty that we were excited to put through the paces. Along with tearing the trails up and the bike apart, we also spoke to Steven Fairchild of Advanced Sports International, U.S. distributor of Fuji, to learn as much as we could about the features that have made the Altamira a success.

To take advantage of new- and old-school riders alike, the Altamira has split into two lineages: the 2.x line caters to canti-loving ’crossers, while the 1.x line seeks to attract those making the UCI-sanctioned transition to discs. The decimal refers to the build of the bike, with the lower the number the higher the quality of the components. While an Altamira 1.1 was in the works as a C10 high-modulus carbon frame equipped with a SRAM Red hydraulic disc and tubular wheels, Fuji’s ‘superbike’ was put on hold for the release of some new technology and is available as a frameset only. Thus the 1.3 CX remains the sole Altamira disc bike with slightly lower modulus “C5” carbon—and if our experience with it is any indication of how the 1.1 will perform, we can’t wait to get our hands on one!

The finish appears understated, with a matte black coat accented with yellow and blue designs. Though the matte silver Fuji logo is emblazoned on the massive down tube, it too appears somewhat subdued, as if the bike isn’t quite sure it has the chops to stand out.

The most obvious change over the 1.0’s frame, of course, is the addition of mounts for the disc brakes. New, as well, is the internal routing for the gear cables, which enter the down tube with a special bolt-on aluminum caps. The caps act as housing stops over the oval frame holes. The cables are exposed and accessible at the bottom bracket: the rear derailleur cable continues into the right chainstay and exits the top of the stay with the same bolt-on-oval housing stop, while the front derailleur cable exits behind the sculpted, mud shedding bottom bracket area.

The Altamira 1.3 CX is equipped primarily with a mixture of SRAM Force and Oval Concepts components. SRAM provides the drivetrain: shifters, crank, derailleurs and cassette. Interestingly, Fuji paired a KMC X10 chain with the SRAM. Oval Concepts 300 series aluminum components provide basic support for your contact points with the bike. Braking chores are handled by the venerable Avid BB7 cable-actuated disc calipers. Matching Avid stainless steel 6-bolt rotors mate with the Oval Concepts 327 CX wheels.

The Oval Concepts 327 CX wheelset pairs a high flange hubset with a 22.5mm wide, 30mm tall aluminum alloy rim using 24 two-cross bladed black spokes in front and 28 two-cross spokes in the rear. The spoke nipples are external, making truing easy. In my opinion the rim depth is largely on this “aero” section that adds unnecessary weight. There’s good reason for an aero rim in cyclocross—our Issue 13’s tests verified that such shapes and depth can help shed mud—but I would rather forgo the deep rim for a lighter rim.

Contributing to the wheel heft is the choice of Challenge Grifo Pro nylon tires with a 60 tpi casing. These have the timeless Grifo tread without the supple cotton/polyester casing of the Grifo Open tubular.

The resting weight is 19.2 pounds with the Oval Concepts clincher wheelset, but only a paltry 11 pounds without wheels. With a lightweight set of wheels and discs, this could be a 16.5 pound bike with cable disc brakes!

With such a rigid setup, how does it race? Check out a digital copy of Issue 19 for the full review, with instant delivery.

Find out how the Fuji Altamira measures up and be sure to check out all the ’cross bikes in our cyclocross bike directory.

MSRP: $2979
Frame: Fuji C5 carbon composite
Fork: Fuji 327 C5 carbon composite
Drivetrain: SRAM Force
Cassette: SRAM 1050, 12-28
Crankset: SRAM Force, BB 86 Pressfit
Brakeset: Avid BB7 Road, 160mm rotor front, 140mm rear
Wheelset: Oval Concepts 327 CX
Tires: Challenge Grifo Pro
Handlebar/Stem: FSA Omega compact/FSA OS
Weight: 19.20 lbs w/o pedals, 11.0 lbs w/o wheels
Country of Origin: Taiwan
More at Cyclocross Bike Profile: 2013 Fuji Altamira

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Kestrel Bikes

Kestrel Bikes: All About 2013 Kestrel Legend SL Dura Ace Road Bike

“Kestrel Bikes are quite popular with Triathletes, especially with the latest addition, 2013 Kestrel Legend SL Dura Ace Road Bike. Read what you need to know about this bike below!”

Kestrel Bikes

Kestrel Bikes

The Kestrel Legend SL Dura Ace road bike is a premier, lightweight racing machine that provides best-in-class performance. At a mere 780 grams, the Legend frameset utilizes Kestrel’s next generation Kestrel EMS Pro fork and newly-designed “H” stays to provide a stable ride that will take the peloton by storm. The Legend SL features Shimano Dura Ace 9000 components and Oval Concepts 946 carbon clinchers.

With 20 years of carbon fiber experience, Philadelphia’s Kestrel brand bicycles is truly a leader and innovator of race design against the clock. Behind every Kestrel stands a mighty process: meticulous engineering, modeling, computer-simulations and prototypes, subjected to rigorous structural testing, test-ridden, refined and redesigned. Finally, each frame is hand built by Kestrel using the tightest quality control standards in the industry before the bike reaches the Performance Bicycle sales floor, or is delivered to your door from our warehouse. The Kestrel Legend SL is constructed from 800k High Modulus (high degree of stiffness) carbon, which is 30% more stiff than their 700k carbon, and allows Kestrel to use 20% less material in the production of the frame. The BB30 press fit bottom bracket and tapered head tube further the amount of frame stiffness. A Kestrel EMS Pro SL TT Full Carbon fork with a tapered steerer smoothes out vibration and improves overall handling.

Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed is more than a mouthful; it’s the preferred weapon against the competition. With Dura-Ace 9000, Shimano moves to the next generation with authority. Reduced shifting effort lets you concentrate on riding. There’s more control thanks to improved ergonomics and the unbeatable reliability and durability should give you every bit of confidence. A mid-compact 52/36 Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Crankset was chosen to deliver massive amounts of power directly into the frame, while allowing for a comfortable cadence no matter the grade. Together, these components minimize weight to maximize your overall performance.

Oval Concepts 946 Carbon Clinchers have a 46mm rim height for increased aerodynamics and stiffness under acceleration. These wheels, outfitted with Hutchinson Atom Comp tires with low rolling resistance, are perfect for criteriums or bunch sprints to the finish line. Wrench down on the Oval Concepts 910 SL ergonomic pro carbon handlebar and every effort will be rewarded with miles per hour.

Features:

800K High Modulus Carbon Fiber frame and Kestrel EMS Pro SL TT Full Carbon fork
Shimano Dura Ace 9000 52/36 mid-compact crankset
Shimano Dura Ace 9000 drivetrain with 11-speed cassette
Oval Concepts 946 Carbon Clincher wheels
Oval Concepts 910 SL Ergonomic Pro Carbon handlebar

Specs:

Bottom Bracket: Shimano External Bearing w/BB 30 adaptor
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace
Cassette: Shimano Dura Ace, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 11-sp
Crankset: Shimano Dura Ace 52/36T (48cm, 51cm: 170mm; 53cm, 55cm: 172.5mm; 57cm, 59cm, 62cm: 175mm)
Fork: Kestrel EMS Pro SL Full Carbon, 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ Tapered Steerer
Frame: 800K High Modulus Carbon Fiber, 800K High Modulus Carbon Fiber With Replaceable Dropouts
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace, Braze-on
Grips/Tape: Kestrel Suede Tape
Handlebar: Oval Concepts 910 SL Ergonomic Pro Carbon (48cm, 51cm: 40cm; 53cm, 55cm: 42cm; 57cm, 59cm, 62cm: 44cm)
Headset: FSA Orbit 1 1/8″ Top, 1 1/2″ Bottom with 15mm Top Cover
Levers: Shimano Dura Ace
Pedals: None
Rack Mounts: None
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace, 11-sp
Saddle: Oval Concepts 900 w/Carbon Rails
Seatpost: Oval Concepts 905 Carbon Wrap, 31.6mm x 350mm, 2-bolt Adjustable Head
Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace STI
Stem: Oval Concepts 713 7050 3D-forged 31.8mm +/- 6 degrees (48cm, 51cm: 90mm; 53cm, 55cm: 100mm; 57cm, 59cm, 62cm: 120mm)
Tires: Hutchinson Atom Comp 700 X 23c
Wheelset: Oval Concepts 946 Carbon Clincher, 46mm rim, 20H Front, 24H Rear
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