As mud season in the Vail Valley comes to a close, bike sessions are already in full gear. Riders have gradually been moving their spinning to roads and trails, trading gyms for sunshine and powder-shots for singletrack. This Wednesday, the Vail Recreation District opens its 2013 Mountain Bike Series with the Eagle Ranch Classic.
“We are definitely fully ramped up right now, with new bikes, service and parts, and trying to anticipate what people need,” said Charlie Brown, co-owner and operator of Mountain Pedaler in Eagle. “It has been a slower start riding-wise this year, but people have been riding over here for about a month and a half.”
Brown said Mountain Pedaler in Eagle is the support shop for the upcoming Eagle Ranch Classic, as well as the Boneyard Brawl race in July. The shop will provide mechanics and tools, as well as free work for the race participants.
With the season coming up in full-force, it’s important to know what’s new and improved on the cycling scene.
“For mountain biking, the new wheel size is 27.5, and for the past few years we have been seeing the emergence of long-travel carbon bikes,” Brown said. “In road biking, electronic shifting is huge. Also, proper fit. People spend a lot of money on parts that don’t fit their bikes right.”
Brown said he recommends visiting a local bike shop for a consultation to get the right gear for your ride.
Stephen Keller, owner and vice president for cycling brand sales agency Creagh-Keller Sales, Inc., recently visited Vail from Virginia on an annual company bike trip. Keller has put together some recommendations of components, clothing and accessories to help make your ride a little smoother.
Shimano Cycling Dura Ace Shifting System
This road riding shifting system is smooth, accurate and reliable for precise and efficient performance, according to Keller. New features for the Dura Ace include an 11-speed cassette offering a range of gearing options, more compact lever hoods for improved comfort and control and an asymmetric four-arm chainset for optimizing power. Shifters are available in mechanical or electronic, and are improved with lighter shifting action. Keller said this product is available for all ranges of bicycle manufacturers from Trek to Cannondale, and especially on high-end race road bikes.
Pearl Izumi Women’s Symphony Jersey
This jersey is simple and sleek, with ultra-soft fabric for ultimate comfort on and off your bike. The Symphony has three back pockets, reflective elements for low-light, and a full-length zipper for ventilation. The semi-form fit will leave you riding with mountain ease and style.
Pearl Izumi Elite In-R-Cool Bib Shorts
Keller said these are one of Pearl Izumi’s top selling riding shorts, with cooling fabric and reflective sun protection. The shorts are multi-paneled, making them more anatomy-friendly and their reflective elements enhance safety by helping others see you in low-light.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Leader Cycling Shoes
Upgrade your pedal power with these shoes, which have elongated arch support for optimal support and efficiency. Their uni-directional carbon makeup creates an ultra-light stiffness, and venting for cooling and drainage. The buckle closure allows for micro-adjustments, and the shoes also include an adjustable instep strap and a maximum hold heel cup for perfect flexibility and fit.
Light & Motion Urban 400 Bike Light
If you ever commute by bike, don’t forget how dark the Gore Creek trail is at night. This light blazes the path with ease, and can temporarily attached to your handlebars. The battery is rechargeable and the power charge status will make sure you’re never left without illumination.
Light & Motion 180 Micro Bike Taillight
This taillight lights up the left and the right, so you are easily visible to other bikes and cars—even in dim dawn or dusk. Keller said it’s the first taillight to offer 180 degrees of commuter safety.
Shimano XTR Trail Drivetrain System
The drivetrain system is used to transmit power from the rider to his wheels, and Shimano’s XTR set-up doesn’t hold back. It’s three-ring crank has a carbon/titanium composite 32-tooth primary driving gear, which let’s you take on Colorado’s wide range of terrain with torque and quick shifting—without having to drop down to your granny gear (as much).
Shimano XTR Trail Brake System
Go ahead ... descend. You’ll want to be able to stop on steep singletrack, so this summer may be the time to update your brakes. This trail brake system has it all, with full ceramic caliper pistons, radiator-fin-backed brake pads and aluminum-core rotors to keep your stops quick and quiet.
Pearl Izumi Rev Shorts
Line your seat with these casual riding shorts. Their vent panels are great for air flow, and you can always count on their padded interior for the comfort you can’t go without.
Shimano SH-XC60 Mountain Bike Shoes
Give your feet the support they need to churn and burn. Synthetic leather uppers give these shoes premium protection and durability on technical trails. Their stiff carbon sole also provides strong power transfer on the bike and essential traction off the bike.
Pearl Izumi Women’s X-Alp Seek V Cycling Shoes
Pearl Izumi calls this “the most versatile cycling shoe ever.” The shoes look and feel great as you ride your favorite trails, but also hold true to style and comfort when you’re off your bike and walking though town. They are light on your feet, while firm on your bike for optimal pedal power transfer.
POC Sports Trabec Race Helmet
Protect yourself with this POC Sports race helmet. It combines functionality and performance with a molded fit, strong shell and premium ventilation. The inner core is reinforced with aramid filaments, and the adjustable visor protects your eyes from mud, rain, sun and tree branches.