29 October 2010

Health Benefits Of Cycling

A guest column from Mark Taylor, Editor-in-Chief and Founder of British Bike Association

With so many of us in an unhealthy state right now because of lack of exercise and bad diet, cycling is an even more important way to keep fit and healthy. While going to the gym is another option, cycling has so many other benefits. If you are one of those people who do not have the patience to go to the gym and spend a long time running back and forth on a tread mill, then cycling may be the best alternative for you.

So what benefits can you get from biking? They are numerous. First, you will be able to stay healthy. When you are on your bike, all of your body parts move, allowing you to get an overall body workout. In effect, you will be able to lose weight, tone muscles, and strengthen your heart and respiratory functions. Aside from the health benefits, you will also get a lot of things on the side. Cycling can save you a lot of money. Rather than spending a lot of money on a gym membership that you will have to pay monthly, you will just have to spend once to buy a bicycle. In the long run, the cost of buying a bike will be cheaper compared to monthly gym membership fees. If you plan to take your bike to work, it will also help you save on the cost of buying fuel.

Being out on your bike daily also enables you to appreciate your surroundings and have fun. You can meet new friends and neighbors that engage in the same activity. In addition, you will also be able to appreciate the beauty of nature which you have probably neglected before because you did not have time to slow down and stay in touch with nature.

Cycling also helps you break away from routine. Spending 30 minutes on a treadmill everyday can start to get boring. Cycling enables you to visit new places or explore new surroundings while at the same time making sure that you get the daily dose of exercise that you need to stay healthy.

(photo left) BicyclingHub.com cycling clothing expert and London, U.K. native Kevin Langton can testify first-hand to the healthy benefits of riding after a long day's work.

It is also a very effective way to reduce stress. If you spend a very busy day at the office, you will surely need a way to relieve yourself from stress. Aside from drinking out or sleeping, cycling can help relieve you from stress. Looking at the things around you while cycling can help you realize that the world is such a beautiful place to live in and that even if you had a bad day at work, there are a lot of other things around you that make life beautiful.

More importantly, cycling is an effective way of staying healthy and having fun at the same time. It can help you lose unwanted pounds while simultaneously allow you to build new friendships and appreciate the beauty of nature. Cycling can help you escape gym time but still stay healthy at the same time.

24 October 2010

Buy A Showers Pass Elite Cycling Jacket Get A Hood For FREE

Update:  Due to the popularity of this promotion we sold out of Showers Pass Hoods yesterday!  Sorry we have to discontinue it.

We love this promo and it's a great one for the fans of Showers Pass.  Purchase an Elite 2.0, Women's Elite 2.0 and Elite Pro and get a hood for free You must add an Elite jacket and the hood into your shopping cart to get this discount.  Go to our Showers Pass page for more details.  Ends October 28th.

21 October 2010

University of Oregon Football is number 1

The University of Oregon Football team is the number one team in the country according the Associated Press.  Bicyclinghub.com is owned by an University of Oregon Alumi so it should only make sense that we are ranked number 1 on www.google.com!  We are located in Portland, Oregon and Bicyclinghub.com stocks this jersey year round.  Buy from someone who loves the U of O and is a proud alumi of the school.  

Bicyclinghub.com also owns www.collegecyclingjersey.com.  Find University of Oregon cycling jerseys at http://www.collegecyclingjerseys.com/oregonducks.html

20 October 2010

7-Eleven Cycling Jersey coming in September 2013.

7-Eleven Jerseys are coming again.   This will be a limited production run and they will go quickly.

Purchase 7-Eleven cycling jerseys here.

We're really excited about this! BicyclingHub.com is proud to be stocking Retro 7-Eleven Cycling Jerseys in Fall 2013.   Now you can own a piece of American cycling history and honor some of the dedicated cycling professionals, including Davis Phinney, Andy Hampsten, Alexi Grewal, Rebecca Twigg, Ron Keifel,  Jim Ochowicz, and Bob Roll, who fought to establish a strong presence for a U.S. cycling team in the international cycling arena.  Achieving significant stage wins during the 1985 Giro d'Italia and 1986 Tour de France, Team Member Andy Hampsten won the Giro d'Italia, one of the most exalted cycling events in the world, in 1988.  Team 7-Eleven became one of the major cycling teams for the next decade (with Motorola assuming sponsorship 1991 through 1996).  As of 2009, Team 7-Eleven is the only cycling team to have been inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

Purchase 7-Eleven cycling jerseys here.

BicyclingHub.com stocks over 100 cycling jerseys year round.  Visit us on the web at http://www.bicyclinghub.com/

19 October 2010

New Technology Makes Pearl Izumi's 2011 Cycling Apparel Line a Real Gem

Pearl Izumi, one of the leading manufacturers of cycling apparel in the United States, chose to debut its new line of cutting-edge technologies--including the new 4D Chamois and In-R-Cool, Transfer Aero, and Transfer Minerale fabrics--at Interbike, the world's largest industry trade show. BicyclingHub.com staff sat down with representatives to glean more information and catch a sneak peak at forecasted best-sellers for the Spring/Summer 2011 line.

While "trickle-down economics" has its detractors, Pearl Izumi's commitment to "trickle down technology" has already gained some traction in the marketplace with both its P.R.O. and Elite lines of cycling apparel. New fabrics designed and developed for professional athletes (such as In-R-Cool) are now available to consumers at a competitive price point, without compromising on quality or design.

Dare to Wear Black on Even the Hottest of Days: In-R-Cool Reduces Perspiration while Blocking the Sun's Rays

Planning a cycling vacation through France's renowned Loire Valley in steamy July, or continuing your usual group rides in Miami, Florida straight through the hothouse month of August? Now you can stay as cool as you look in Pearl Izumi's vividly-colored jerseys and cycling shorts with proprietary In-R-Cool technology, designed to reduce fabric's surface temperature while increasing both performance and comfort by reducing perspiration--up to 50% more when compared to traditional black performance wear. By creating a fabric that brings reflective cooling benefits of white to dark materials, In-R-Cool deflects harmful UV rays and provides UPF 50+ sun protection.

To further enhance comfort, In-R-Cool utilizes a special perspiration-activated technology that cools body surface temperature by 5%--one more way to keep you cool, even under the hottest conditions. So before you plunk down the benjamins on one of those expensive, new-fangled "cooling vests" some of the pros have been sporting during the Tour de France, consider slipping into the P.R.O. LTD Speed Jersey or Elite Jersey and In-R-Cool bib shorts instead. Both your body and your wallet will thank you.

Another new innovation up Pearl's sleeve? TRANSFER with Minerale fabric is comprised of finely crushed volcanic rock designed to draw moisture away from the skin. These natural minerals create a porous yarn structure, increasing both moisture transfer and odor absorption: two key elements to sustained comfort levels, especially on long rides. With an enhanced dry rate up to 50% faster than regular performance polyester, cyclists can eschew the discomfort of a soggy wet top and stay focused on the road ahead.

And for the track fiends and time-trial junkies, where aerodynamics are crucial and every second counts (literally)? Pearl is proud to present Transfer Aero. Often paired with In-R-Cool in a garment, this fabric is uniquely textured and positioned in strategic areas to reduce wind drag by over 15%, when compared to traditional flat performance fabrics.

Cold Black: similar to In-R-Cool, Cold Black technology reflects UV rays away from the body, enabling the cyclist to remain just as cool in a black jersey as a white one.

Still haven't seen enough? Take a Seat.

New for 2011 is Pearl Izumi's 4D Chamois Pad, available in the full men's and women's P.R.O. lines. The biggest change from its predecessor, the already-comfy 3D Chamois (still found in the Elite line of shorts and bib shorts for men and women) is its pre-shaped anatomic cut, providing 4-way stretch to conform perfectly with a body in motion, The 4D chamois folds while sitting, so the natural position of your body is molded to its form. And 12 mm of 3-layer variable density padding and new foam technology allow for a 35% lighter chamois.

Also new from Pearl Izumi: all white cycling shorts for both men and women will be made with grey chamois pads to allay any fears that color chamois won't bleed in the wash. "If you're fast enough to rock the white," as one of the Pearl Izumi representatives commented, you can now ride with extra confidence!

Got a question about Pearl's different levels of chamois in their Select, Elite and P.R.O. lines of apparel? Call your favorite cycling clothing experts toll-free at 1-888-817-8060 and we'd be glad to share our advice, experience and expertise.

Pearl Jam!

Team-inspired construction and performance fabrics in the Elite LTD jerseys are combined with sublimated graphics and Direct-Vent side panels for style, performance and comfort. Combine with matching Elite LTD bib shorts, as shown in the models above, and you've got a full team kit ensemble as colorful as you.

Women's Specific Designs are the Designated Ringers of Pearl Izumi's 2011 Catalog

(left): Japanese cherry blossoms and detailed stitching on the Women's Elite LTD jersey and matching Elite LTD shorts makes this one of our favorite women's kits in the Pearl peloton.

"These aren't men's jerseys just sized down anymore; it's a complete women's line," explains our San Diego Pearl Izumi Rep.

After perusing the collection for ourselves and noting the fine details stitched within each piece, down to the cursive scripting on every women's jersey or shorts; the flattering designs incorporating hour-glass shaped color blocks to give its wearers a slender, trim-to-waistline appearance; angled jersey pockets to provide easy, on-bike access; larger grippers that are welded, not stitched to lie flat against the leg, rather than the dreaded "sausage casing;" and a well-stocked library of color stories to aid in easy accessorizing and matching of tops and bottoms, we couldn't agree more.
Pearl's taken their compression-style shorts to a whole new level for the new year. We love the detailing on these 2011 P.R.O. In-R-Cool Shorts for women, pictured above, right down to the cuff line. Cycling shorts that grip the leg securely to prevent ride-up, without cutting into the leg? Sign us up.

Pearl Izumi's new 2011 Ultrastar shorts for women, such as the White Spyro seen here, have a little something extra: waistband and cuffs that can be rolled up to show off some extra design and flair. Whether you roll them up or lie flat against the skin, you can wear them to spin class or the next group ride and feel fit, fast, comfortable and ready for anything. Non-constricting leg gripper = "anti-sausage effect"--a nice bonus!

Our Favorite Innovation in the Upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 Collection
Note the new radio pocket, left, to be included in the P.R.O. and Elite lines of jerseys for both men and women. Designed as an extra hidden rear jersey pocket, this sweat-proof storage compartment is a convenient place to stash your cell phone, GPS unit or music player without fearing the sweat of your labor will render your electronics incapacitated. And with a built-in cord plug for easy access to your IPod, MP3 player or team radio, you'll never miss a call up to the front again.

14 October 2010

Bicyclinghub.com is moving November 1, 2010

BicyclingHub.com is moving to 642 SE Stark Street
We are excited to announce that BicyclingHub.com is moving at the end of this month!  Our new location will allow us to expand on our retail presence here in Portland. We shall continue to offer outstanding customer service online, and will be looking to extend this same level of service, face to face, to our local customers starting in February of 2011.
We have the largest selection of quality men's and women's cycling clothing in the Pacific Northwest!

Our new address is 642 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97214.  If you're visiting Portland be sure to stop by and say "hello"

08 October 2010

Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show: Building More Bicycle-Friendly Communities, One Frame at a Time

"If you build it, they will come:" that's the intent, at least, behind the Third Annual Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show happening this weekend in the cycling hub of Portland, Oregon. With over 35 exhibitors at the Sandbox Studio gathered to feature some of the country’s finest handmade bicycles, related artisanal products, and their creators, and an expected 2,000 individuals in attendance over the course of the two-day event (October 9th-10th), this goal may very well be realized in abundance. New for 2010, the show is expanding its offerings to include educational programming and seminars on topics such as Injury Prevention for Cyclists and Bike Fit and Custom Frame Design, provided by Upper Echelon Fitness and Bodywise Physical Therapy. Representatives from United Bicycle Institute (UBI) will also be on hand to answer questions from both professionals and the general public. (photo left): Jude Kirstein of Epic Wheelworks creates revolutions in her studio every day.

With the theme of "Hands Hammers Files and Fire Make Bicycles," attendees will have the unique opportunity to view the latest designs (some constructed specifically for the show) and chat with custom frame builders such as Ahearne Cycles, Land Shark Bicycles and Sprout Cycles about their craftsmanship, choice of materials, and why one might consider an independent frame builder versus a mass-produced model found in a traditional bike shop when shopping for the bicycle of their dreams. Looking to outfit the special lady in your life with a custom steel frame that incorporates the "four elements"--"beautiful, Italian, simple and classy--into each design? Contact M.J. at BellaDonna Cycles. Need haul a serious--we mean, serious-- amount of gear? Look no further than cargo bike specialists at Metrofiets to help you take a load off. Want to share that special blend of cycling love with your companion? Co-Motion Cycles, based out of Eugene, Oregon, can put you on a custom "bicycle built for two" that's as unique and distinctive as your relationship.

(left): Andy Newlands right at home in UBI's Portland campus with one of his women's steel rigs.

Strawberry Bicycles
Doing business since: 1971 (39 years and counting!)
Speciality: steel and and specially-designed castings
Average length of time per order: 6 months
Estimated cost: frame, fork & headset starts at $1,600; complete build ranges between $3,000-$4,000

Why Portland? When the question was put to Andy Newlands, owner/proprietor of Strawberry Bicycle, he stated simply, "Beer and bikes--how much better can it get?" Adopting a more serious demeanor, he cited the City of Portland's exemplary bicycle planning, bike routes, and friendliness towards two-wheeled, non-motorized modes of transportation as key factors when selecting a venue. Indeed, the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, founded in 2007, was initially spurred by a series of meetings between the City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission regarding what might be done to support the bicycling industry. Newlands, amongst others, co-founded the OBCA to bring dedicated frame builders together in order to strengthen their voice within the industry and provide much-needed business and marketing expertise to complement their engineering and/or artistic backgrounds. While he considers it analogous to "herding a bunch of cats," the 3 year old organization is already 40 members strong, with the majority of exhibitors based within Portland's city limits. "[Portland] is the nexus of everything," Newlands states.

(right): Wayne Beauchamp with "The Back 40," his 2005 steel single-speed 29er. With a commute that consists of 3 miles of singletrack and 4 miles of dirt roads into town, this trail-worthy bike doubles as an excellent commuter.

Vulture Cycles
Doing business since: 1996 (incorporated in 1999)
Average number of frames built per year: 37
Average length of time per order: 3-6 months
Estimated cost: frame & fork: $1,700; complete build ranges between $3,500-$4,000

"For me, [the show's] about getting out of the shop and talking to humans," jests Wade Beauchamp, owner and sole proprietor of Vulture Cycles. "It's a chance to see a whole bunch of people who make bikes and love bikes, new friends, and old. Mostly, it's about getting the word out and creating awareness--hey, I exist."

Based 7 miles outside of Bend, Oregon, he specializes in handmade steel mountain-bikes. "Single-speed 29ers are kinda my bread and butter," he remarks while showing off a 2005 purple argyle beauty he dubbed "The Back 40." But that may soon change: in 2009, he started developing a new line of "Town and Country" bikes with a road/cyclocross geometry and disc brakes. The target audience? "They're built for those who want to ride around town, and then escape to the country."

While carbon fiber remains one of the most highly-coveted objects of desire amongst the racing set and club riders alike, due to its lightweight and vibration-dampening properties, most of the frame builders you'll find here choose to work with steel as their preferred medium. "As a builder, steel is a phenomenal material to worth with--especially the variety of tubing available," Rob Tsunehiro comments. "It allows you to really fine-tune a bike frame."

(left): Rob Tsunehiro proudly displays a custom steel commuter bike built for customer in Bend.

Tsunehiro Bicycles
Doing business since: 2008
Average number of frames built per year: 12
Average length of time per order: 3 months
Estimated cost: Frame & fork starts at $1,800; complete build ranges between $3,000-$6,000

A fairly recent newcomer to the custom frame-building scene, Rob launched Tsunehiro Cycles in 2008 shortly before the economy began to take a nose dive and Americans tightened their collective belts (and wallets). But despite the recession and uncertainties in the economy, Tsunehiro is happy to report he's still been able to maintain a steady line of work, with new orders matching his pace.

Why choose an independent, one-man operation over a larger competitor, such as Serotta, Independent Fabrications or Seven? Tsunehiro is quick to list the advantages: "I can offer a higher level of customization, incorporating a specific blend of features into your dream bicycle. Building a custom bike offers a much broader range of choices than stock geometry, design or components; customers in the area can come to the shop and visit the work in progress; they're able to have direct interaction [with me]; and they're part of the decision-making process." His favorite part of the building process? "I really enjoy sitting down with customers to talk about how and where they like to ride…Together, we come up with the best solutions, such as how to accommodate a bigger tire for commuting [if that's what they want.]"

What keeps the bicycle business growing for these manufacturers? According to Tsunehiro, residing in the vibrant and eclectic bike culture of Portland has been an "eye-opening experience" from the industry perspective. "Every kind of cyclist is here--not just the serious 'street warrior.' Everyone's out riding…You're exposed to so many more cycling programs, such as the Community Cycling Center, making cycling accessible to everyone, and that really excites me...The safe bike infrastructure, and promoting cycling as a lifestyle some the something that's really healthy for individuals and or community. It's a big part of what drives me to make this my life's work."

To learn more about the unique benefits and beauty of the Oregon handmade bicycle, visit the Sandbox Studio at 420 NE 9th Avenue in Portland, OR between 10am-6pm October 9th-10th, or consult oregonhandmadebicycleshow.com for more information.

07 October 2010

Castelli Winter 2010 Top Picks

Save 10% off Castelli Winter items
when you spend $100 or more.

Enter Code Castelli10 during checkout to save an additional 10% on all Castelli high-performance items.

Ends October 17th!

1) Castelli Pave Bibtight and Castelli Claudio Bib Short

Here at BicyclingHub.com, we were so impressed with Castelli’s introduction of the Nanoflex fabric in their Pave Bib Tights, Claudio Bib Shorts and Nanoflex arm, leg and knee warmers - that we were hard pressed to pick one item.

Nanoflex is a new fabric exclusively engineered by Castelli. Thousands of tiny silicone nanofilaments coat Castelli’s thermoflex fabric to create one of the most water-repellent fabric finishes we’ve seen! The treatment allows water drops to roll or bounce off of the fabric without leaving any wet spots. The silicone nanofilaments also trap a layer of air between them for added insulation. Each of the Castelli products made using Nanoflex has different areas where they really excel, and we are sure you too will find a favorite amongst the range.

MelissaMelissa Cate

The Pave Bib Tights are a great all-around Winter bib tight made with Castelli's Revolutionary NanoFlex fabric. Through the presence of tiny invisible hairs on the fabric, (like the fuzz on a peach) these bib tights actually allow water to roll right off you! Perfect for keeping you drier in inclement Spring and Fall weather when there's a chance for rain, but it's too warm to wear rain pants. The bib straps on these tights are incredibly comfortable. They also have a very subtle, (but very stylish) Scorpion logo on one hip that I've fallen in love with. Also, these Pave Bib Tights feature Castelli’s popular (and comfortable!) Kiss3 chamois and reflective ankle zippers to boot!

DougDoug Duguay

On September 3, 2010 I left for Montana to ride the Park 2 Park Montana. The temperatures in Montana were unseasonably cold and I didn't pack enough cold weather gear aside from my Castelli Claudio Bib Shorts. Not only were the temperatures down in the 30's in the mornings, we also were in more than one rain shower and we even rode through a hail storm! No problem, the Claudio Bib Shorts, combined with my NanoFlex Arm and Leg warmers, handled it all, keeping me warm and dry and very happy.

2) Castelli Nanoflex Arm Warmers, Leg Warmers and Knee Warmers

Check out our Youtube video!

Winter-weight warmers are always a great way to extend your wardrobe as well as battle ever-changing weather. With the addition of a lightweight fleece that sheds water from that occasional rain shower, the Claudio Bib Short and Nanoflex arm, knee and leg warmers are multi-season, multi-purpose-you can't go wrong!

BicyclingHub.com has been excited for Nanoflex product to arrive, since we first heard about the new technology earlier this year.

Castelli says:
Roger Hammond, who lives in the heart of Belgium, does most of his winter training in the area around Brussels and also in the UK. Carlos Sastre lives about 1000m above sea-level in the mountains north of Madrid in Spain. Both riders were looking for something to keep them warm and dry during their winter preparation and both are more than happy with Castelli's Nanoflex products for 2010.

“This new water-repellent fabric not only bounce off the water drops, it insulates and wicks the moisture away quickly so I don’t get that cold, clammy feeling any longer.”-Carlos Sastre

3) Trasparente Wind Jersey

The Trasparente was voted "best product Castelli has ever made!” by Castelli’s testers. This jacket features stretchy Gore Windstopper X-Lite fabric on the front and around the neck, providing both wind and water resistance. Castelli Warmer fabric on the rear of the jersey and the sleeves will provide enough warmth with breathability so that you do not overcook in this garment. Castelli has long recognized the importance of Wind Stopper Fabric in their winter riding collection and, based on our collective cool Winter riding experience, we very much share this view.

MelissaMelissa Cate

This jersey is my absolute favorite piece in Castelli's line. Don't think of it as a jersey--think of it as a jersey and jacket in one. With the Windproof front panel and the fleeced back, this jersey keeps you warm in the Winter and is also perfect for cool Spring and Fall riding when it's often windy. It features a flip-up collar for extra neck protection. I love the thumbloop feature on the sleeves which mean that they will never creep and leave your wrists exposed to the cold-brilliant! Well worth the investment when you consider the features and how much it will extend your wardrobe.

4) Women's Invidia Jacket

Don't let cold conditions keep you off the bike! Castelli's Windstopper X-Fast Fabric by Gore stops the wind dead in its tracks, forming a protective barrier that keeps heat IN and cold Winter chills OUT. Not only does Windstopper protect you from the wind, it is also highly breathable and will keep you dry from the inside. The Invidia from Castelli is an eye catching jacket that provides superior protection from the elements.

MelissaMelissa Cate

This jacket feels like luxury! I've quickly become a big fan of it for many reasons. My favorite feature is the wide stretchy elastic waist band in the rear. It made for a very comfortable and complimentary fit. The exterior shell is made of Breathable Gore Wind stopper fabric that offers complete wind protection. The interior of the jacket has a warm brushed fleece that is very nice and adds a lot of warmth without bulk. Additional two-thumbs-up features are a flip-up collar that is great for extra warmth around the neck on the coldest of days and the 2 full sized rear pockets that are slightly slanted for ease of use on the bike. The cut makes it super easy to get items in and out of the pocket, and I'm really impressed with the depth of the pockets on this jacket. It's hard to find women's gear, (especially jackets!) which has pockets that are large enough to hold all you might need on a Winter ride. Two rear reflective tabs further catch the eye, and finish off this great piece nicely!

5) Vincente Donna Glove (Women's) and Pioggia Glove (Men's)

These are the gloves you will need for those day's where your friends ask, "You went out in this weather?!" These should be your go-to gloves for those colder days, to keep your hands nice and cozy on those nippy winter rides. A more padded glove with a warm fleece insulating layer and a waterproof membrane, these gloves will retain heat and keep your hands dry. A no-slip palm means you can keep a good grip on those bars in all kinds of weather.

.Kevin Langton:

Men’s Pioggia Glove

“These certainly are my go-to gloves for the depths of Winter. I'm a long one (6'4") and my extremities tend to get very cold in the winter. I’ve had, and do own, other Winter weight gloves but these are the ones that I find the warmest. They help me make it through January and February here in Portland, without getting frostbitten! Plenty of reflective piping on the back of this glove makes those hand-signalled turns a little more visible to fellow road users on those dark commutes home.”

MelissaMelissa Cate

Women’s Vincente Donna Glove

I product tested this glove all Winter long in 2009/2010. It is another multi-purpose piece that Castelli really excels at. It has great features like ample reflective piping, a longer cuff to keep your wrists warm and a no slip palm. The best feature on this glove is that it protects your fingers from the wind and keeps them nice and warm on colder days without overheating you on warmer days. I wore this glove in a temperature range of 50 degrees right down to colder 25-degree days and I was very comfortable throughout that temperature range. I found it even managed to stay dry in light sprinkles and rain showers!

6) Castelli Leggerezza SG0.6 Jacket

The Leggerezza has been one of the most internationally popular and raved about winter jackets that BicyclingHub.com features. One BicyclingHub.com customer writes, “This is a great jacket. In rain it even feels waterproof. It makes you feel comfortable, warm and dry inside.” The extra-light SG0.6 WIND fabric is made from hollow-core fibers that trap air to provide additional warmth in a jacket that seems impossibly thin and light. We love it's simple but stylish design and multi-season functionality and think you will too!

DougDoug Duguay

Comprised of Windstopper stretch fabric on the front and sleeves and thermal panels designed to keep you warm and dry, this jacket offers 3-season versatility at an affordable price point. A key selling feature are the zip-off removable sleeves (easily stowed in one of its roomy 3 rear pockets), allowing you to readily adapt to changing conditions and ride in comfort. Our customers agree!

7) Castelli MC Wool Long Sleeve Jersey and Castelli Women's Opera Wool Long Sleeve Jersey

The MC Wool jersey is quickly becoming BicyclingHub.com’s number one selling item. Here's why we love this jersey- 70% wool and washable 30% acrylic blend makes this full-zip jersey easy to care for. Complete with three rear pockets.

Castelli Women's Opera Wool Long Sleeve Jersey is great wool blend jersey that is cute cute cute. Classically styled with cool Castelli embroidery on the chest for great looks, it features three back pockets, which are rare for a women's jersey! It also features a 50% Merino Wool and 50% fine gauge washable acrylic blend to make it easy to take care of and give it a great soft feel against the skin.

DougDoug Duguay

“With its cool, modern-meets-retro styling, the Castelli MC Wool Long Sleeve Jersey makes an awesome gift to meet most tastes. This will be our best seller for the Holidays in 2010.”

8) Castelli Polare Bibtight

With an optimal temperature range between 32-46 degrees Fahrenheit, "Baby, it's cold outside" is no longer going to cut it as an excuse for skipping out on a hearty commute or big group ride next time the temperature drops. Castelli's stretchy Windstopper (TM) X-Fast fabric in the front panels provide warmth, wind protection and water repellency, and up to 10 times better breathability than competitors's windproof fabrics.

DougDoug Duguay

Castelli’s warmest bib tight combines Windstopper fabric with their heaviest Thermafleece fabric. Guaranteed to keep you toasty in the most blustery winter weather you dare ride in.

9) Castelli Merino Wool Long Sleeve Baselayer

Here at BicyclingHub.com, we've quickly become a convert to Castelli's Base Layers which help keep you dry, and comfortable. During one of our "Try and Touch" testing sessions," we had a hard time letting these Baselayers out of our hands! Soft to the touch, this ultra fine 100% Australian merino wool doesn’t itch, while keeping you warm and dry. It was a tough choosing just one because Castelli makes some incredible baselayers, including the SG0.6 Wind Shirt, Airco Longsleeve and the Uno Plasma.

.Kevin Langton:

“Beware, Merino Wool is highly addictive.” You have been warned!

10) Castelli Fusione Jacket and Vest

Light, breathable, water-resistant: are all words used to describe the Fusione. This jacket weights about 10 ounces and stuffs neatly in your jersey pocket. With 4 large sized vents and Gore’s highly breathable Windstopper fabric you will never get that clammy feeling inside this jacket and/or vest.

DougDoug Duguay

I've always liked vests for 3 season riding. Castelli's Fusione Vest is the best vest I've ever tried. It fits great and Gore's Windstopper fabric breathes really well keeping me warm and dry. My perfect outfit for the Winter would certainly include a pair of Castelli Claudio bibs, a BicyclingHub.com jersey (by Castelli), Nanoflex Arm Warmers, Nanoflex Leg Warmers and a Castelli Fusione Vest.

04 October 2010

"Everything in bicycling is about evolution:" an interview with Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx, five-time winner of the Tour de France and often regarded one of the greatest living cycling legends of all time, was on-hand at Interbike 2010 to debut his new line of 2011 high-end road frames and shake hands of adoring fans from across the globe. BicyclingHub.com staff member Jennifer Clunie met up with him in Las Vegas to discuss some of the most memorable moments of his cycling career, and how we might improve conditions for cyclists in America.

According to the Cycling Hall of Fame, "His record of 525 victories, including 445 as a professional, is untouchable." Nicknamed “The Cannibal” for his insatiable appetite for victories (as well as his ability to destroy rivals), Merckx has won a record 34 Tour de France stage wins, including 6 stages in 1969 and 1972, and 8 stages in 1970 and 1974. Winning each of cycling’s five monuments (Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of Lombardy) more than twice, for a record of nineteen victories, he also holds the distinction of winning the Giro d'Italia five times and the Vuelta a Espana once for a total of eleven Grand Tour victories.

JC: What was one of your most rewarding experiences in your professional cycling career?

EM: "I think for me I best remember the Tour de France 1969 because it had been 30 years since a Belgian guy won the Tour. So for me it was a kid's dream becoming reality."

JC: What stood out most in '69?

EM: "It was the stage from Luchon to Mourenx and in the break was the yellow jersey 140 KM and I was the leader in the Tour de France and they arrived 8 minutes behind me…7:52 I think."

JC: And what was one most challenging experiences or difficult moments in your career? Something that pushed you beyond the limits?

EM: "In 1977 the stage over Alp d' Huez because I was sick…some food infection….the hardest moment."

JC: How did you overcome that?

EM: "You overcome that because when you're at the Alp d'Huez, the day after you still have a stage to do. You recover at night and that's it."

JC: You still have a job to get done?

EM: "Yeah, it's part of the job."

(pauses, then continues) "The hardest moment--maybe even harder--was the hour record in Mexico in 1972. The hour record, because you long to beat the hour record and after 40 minutes you think you can't make it. You're not putting any more into the legs, things like that. And 40 min to 50 min--boy--it's really hard, hard, hard. Suffering, suffering, and suffering again. Then when 50 minutes you see a hand--the hour record. And then 9, 8, 7…then you beat the hour record and it's surely a great moment. The most suffering hour in my career."

JC: Your son Axel has decided to follow in your footsteps, as best he can, into the pro cycling circuit and has done extremely well. What do you think as a father about him following your footsteps?

EM: "For him it would be very hard, no? But because it's his choice that I tell him, you know, that I was happy my parents had me ride so I cannot say 'you cannot ride.' You have to do what you like to do. But I think he was doing a pretty good career. Because he was a Merckx it was not easy for him. All the riders--especially in the young categories--when you go to the start they'll say, 'Merckx is there. Try to be for him.' They don't say, 'Win the race, but be for Merckx. Beat Merckx.' So for him, it was a lot of pressure, too. but he likes it."

JC: How did you start your son cycling? Family rides?

EM: "He was playing soccer and then sometime in the winter when they have the competition he goes with me on the track in Ghent and rides the bike in Ghent."

JC: How old was he at this time?

EM: "He was 10, 11 years old. but before he also biked with me to school or race bikes."

JC: So he began on the track and said, "I want to be like dad"?

EM: "Yeah. I think the track is a very good school for cycling. I would say it's the best school for cycling."

JC: Bradley Wiggins would agree with you on that. :) When people ask, "How can you possibly win so many different areas of your sport: criteriums, roubaixs, one-day stage races, multi-day events like the Tour?...

EM: "My parents made me." [laugher]

"I think you need talent, but also I worked very hard. And in the big races, yeah, you ride to make a name. And then in the small races the organizers pay you, and also the people coming to watch the criteriums pay for watching the criteriums. I think it's not professional if you only ride so they pay for saying you're winning. So I try to win. That's why I was winning so much. Because in the big races I ride to make a name, and the small races b/c I was paid to do these races."

JC: One of your famous quotes in regards to advice for training and getting fast was: "Ride lots."

EM: "First of all, you need talent. And then you also never have to think that you've arrived. As difficult as it is to arrive to the top, it's more difficult to stay at the top. So I think because that you're on top you cannot think have nowhere to train; you have to train harder because you have more competitors and on the end the other riders going to try--it's tough to win--so you don't lose the race."

JC: Do you think that people should target specific training goals (i.e., if you're a track rider, focus on track, if you're a crit rider, focus on crits) or they should adopt more of your perspective?

EM: "You have to do everything, I think, to be a complete rider. Riders focus more now on circuit races and also stage races but it must be possible to do both; if everybody does the same, you can do it. But now the Tour has become so big most of the riders focus on the Tour de France; but there's only one winner in the Tour de France. It's more pressure on the riders now because more newspapers, more TV channels…it's even harder. Also the material's different--but it's still the hardest sport."

JC: Speaking of materials, tell me about the Eddy Merckx bikes. And if I buy one, am I going to ride as fast as you?

EM: (without hesitation) "No, I don't think so. You cannot ride as fast as me. (shared laughter) Maybe you can be faster--maybe you have more talent than me. I'm not the godfather."

JC: How does that tie into your vision for the future of cycling, your brand and your products?

EM: "Everything is evolution. if you think that my bike that won the world championship in 1964 in Sallanches: the weight was 11 kilo 150. And now the bikes are 6 kilo 800; you cannot go under. so you can understand that they make change; also, the materials change. I think the big change is the click [clipless] pedals and also the changes in the brakes because driving is much easier…In my time, you have to sit down on the seat, change, and then go back, so it's completely different. But for everybody it's the same--so it changes nothing in the result."

JC: Where do you see the future of cycling going, both in the professional circuit and in terms of everyday riding?

EM: "Oh, I think you ride every day. Look at the basketball player; he also plays 2-3 times a week so he can be happy and he can be healthy and he recovers. he lives the sport then; it's the life. You train him that. You recover; you train. So If you get hurt; if you crash; it's possible."

JC: How do you think we can get here in America the same kind of mode shares that we throughout Europe? For example, Amsterdam has a 40% mode share of trips by bike; Denmark is close to 36%.

EM: "It's the work of the people who make the cities; when you make the roads, you have to provide the bike roads [bike lanes] so the people can go safely to work; so the kids can go safely to the school. that's why Netherlands is such an example; because they were put in a long time ago. Also, bikes were the way to go from one point to another point--circulation. In the beginning it was only the cars--big roads, fast; now, the roads become smaller because too many cars, pollution, accidents, things like that. So the speed is reduced. So before you could go as fast as you wanted on the highway; now it's limited . I think it's important that people in government, when they decide to build new roads, that they also think to make bike roads for the kids, also for the people who go to work.

"You don't stay in the queues [of cars]--you can can pass; the psychology; and it's good for your health. I think cycling is the most healthy sport for somebody who gets into a sport because if you go run, you have problems with your knees and things like that: the bike puts the weight of your body on the bike..."

JC: So we need to have complete streets on our roadways here in the US?

EM: Yes.

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