Friday, July 25, 2014

2015 Cannondale F-Si Carbon Team 29 - Specs and Features

“While we pride ourselves in building the most cutting edge frames in cycling, our real advantage is in our System Integration approach to bike design,”

said Bob Burbank, Global General Manager, Cannondale. “The 2015 F-Si is for those XC Racers and hardtail purists who are seeking next level handling, speed and efficiency.” (article from

With a slack head tube angle for race bike of 69.5 degrees, the bike is able to handle rough, technical terrain at high speeds. In the tight, technical sections, the super short chainstays (429 millimeters) helps the rider navigate better at low speeds and puts more weight directly over the rear wheel, resulting in better traction. The wheelbase is 43.2 inches (109.7 cm) on the medium frame and the bottom bracket stands at 12.1 inches (30.8 cm) across all frame sizes. The F-Si 29 Carbon sports quick releases, external cable routing and has been designed to supported the recently debuted Shimano Di2 electronic system. The bike will come in four packages: F-Si 29 Carbon Black Inc., F-Si 29 Carbon Team, F-Si 29 Carbon 1 and F-Si 29 Carbon 2.

The Cannondale F-Si Carbon 29 Team
The Cannondale F-Si Carbon 29 Team

Rather than be limited to off-the-shelf standards, Cannondale has applied its System Integration approach to bike design, which develops component technologies and frames as a complete package.

The Cannondale F-Si is no different, as it has been designed with key innovative technologies such as: the new Lefty 2.0, the SAVE 2 seat and new System 29 Geometry. The bike’s Asymmetric
Integration drivetrain has been moved 6 millimeters outward via a new Hollowgram spider to alleviate any clearance issues due to the new chainstays and is matched by an all-new offset rear end. This means a stiffer, more durable rear wheel as well, as a more agile bike without compromises.
It’s all in the carbon. The team at Cannondale used their Speed Save technology to reduce the amount of shock and vibration, which they say helps cut down fatigue and improves overall handling of the bike. The carbon is layered using BallisTec Carbon, which was originally created by the military for ballistic armoring, and uses resins found in carbon baseball bats. The result, according to Cannondale, is one of the lightest, stiffest and toughest frames out there.

See the bike in action:

8850 Stockdale Hwy.
Bakersfield, CA 93311
(661) 883-6268

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2015 Giant Defy Endurance Bikes (Details and Configurations)

 Select From 11 Models at All Price Ranges

With the new Defy, especially the top-of-the-line Advanced SL, Jon Swanson (Global Category Manager for Giant) and his team of three engineers and three designers had a soild foundation from which to build. “We felt that the geometry was incredibly solid, the bike just needed some work in other places,” he said. One areas that the team addressed was that ever-important quality of a performance frame: stiffness.

Swanson wasn’t worried about pedalling stiffness, the feature that keeps the bottom bracket from budging when you add power. “Once you get past a certain point, it does not matter because people are only so strong. Once you get above the 65 N/mm, it doesn’t matter anymore. For example, the Giant [Defy Advanced SL] is at 70, and the [Specialized] S-Works [Roubaix SL4 Disc] is at 67. You’ll never be able to tell the difference. This bike could be at 95, that one could be at 150. Again, you’ll never tell.”

The new Defy Advanced SL and Avail Advanced SL flagships blur the lines even further between what many riders might expect from a 'race bike' and a so-called 'endurance bike'. The more sharply engineering-centric frame shapes are still less than 900g – a number many dedicated competition frames struggle to hit – and yet Giant also claims that they're more comfortable than their previous versions.

Key ride-oriented features include seat tubes, and top tubes that are supposedly more apt to flex over bumps than rounder sections; similarly D-shaped seatmasts and seatposts with slim diameters and lots of extension; lowered seat stays that are said to act more like leaf springs than conventional rear-end layouts; and slender fork blades that balance out the ride from front to back.

The feature of an endurance frame that seems to sit at odds to stiffness is compliance. You want some vertical compliance in frame to minimize the transmission of road vibrations to the rider. These high-frequency vibrations can wear you down on long rides. To manage these vibrations, the Defy borrows an innovation from the 2014 TCX, one of Giant’s cyclocross bikes. The D-Fuse seatpost, with its D-shape cross-section, debuted on the TCX. However, it was designed for the Defy. Swanson and his team wanted to see how the D-Fuse would perform in extreme riding conditions before they put it on the endurance machine.

On the Defy Advanced SL, the D-Fuse is used with an integrated seatpost (ISP). Its shape allows for noticeable flex fore and aft, but almost no movement side to side. The seatstays of the Defy have a low angle, so they meet the seat tube below the top tube. This junction helps to dissipate road vibrations, which take the path of least resistance up a frame. On a frame with seatstays that meet the seat tube and top tube higher up, the vibrations are channelled mostly up the seatpost. On the Defy, they are diverted more to the top and seat tubes. Finally, there’s the front fork. Its beefy fork crown works to provide front-end stiffness, while its thinner, curved legs add to compliance.

While all of the Defy and Avail models are brand new, geometry is wholly carried over – a good thing since they were already highly refined with stable manners and modestly raised front end that's just 15mm taller on average. Giant has taken the bold step, however, of exclusively using disc brakes nearly across the board for more consistently predictable all-weather stopping performance.

All carbon models will be disc-equipped for 2015; aluminum bikes will all be rim brake-only. Impressively, Giant looks to have done this without adding any weight – and in fact, says certain complete bikes even end up about 50g lighter than their comparable rim brake-equipped versions. We measured a top-end Defy Advanced SL 0 model at just 7.3kg (16.1lb)

"Our goal was to have a net zero increase," said road product manager Jon Swanson. 

 Giant has not paired those disc brakes with thru-axles, though. According to Swanson, this was done so as to provide disc-equipped Defy and Avail owners with more wheel choices. Swanson also isn't satisfied with current thru-axle standards as they pertain to road bikes, saying they're overbuilt for the application and insufficiently elegant for the genre.

Officially, eliminating the rim brake calipers also yields easy clearance for tires up to 28mm-wide – although we think many 30mm ones will fit, too.

· Defy Advanced SL 0 (US$10,300): Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain; Shimano R785 hydraulic Dual Control levers and brakes; Zipp 202 Disc carbon clincher wheels

· Defy Advanced SL 1 (US$4,950): Shimano Ultegra drivetrain; Shimano RS685 mechanical Dual Control levers and R685 hydraulic disc brakes; Giant P-SLR0 Disc carbon clincher wheels

· Defy Advanced Pro 0 (US$4,900): Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain; Shimano R785 hydraulic Dual Control levers and brakes; Giant P-SL0 Disc aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy Advanced Pro 1 (US$3,500): Shimano Ultegra drivetrain; Shimano RS685 mechanical Dual Control levers and R685 hydraulic disc brakes; Giant P-SL0 Disc aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy Advanced 1 (US$2,600): Shimano Ultegra group; TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes; Giant P-R2 Disc aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy Advanced 2 (US$2,075): Shimano 105/RS500 drivetrain and levers; TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes; Giant P-R3 Disc aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy Advanced 3 (US$1,750): Shimano Tiagra group; TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes; Giant S-R2 Disc aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy 1 (US$1,375): Shimano 105 group; FSA Gossamer Pro cranks; Tektro TK-R540 rim brakes; Giant P-R2 aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy 2 (US$1,075): Shimano Tiagra group; Tektro TK-R312 rim brakes; Giant S-R2 aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy 3 (US$950): Shimano Sora group; Tektro TK-R312 rim brakes; Giant S-R4 aluminum clincher wheels

· Defy 5 (US$620): Shimano Claris group; FSA Tempo cranks; Tektro TK-R312 rim brakes; Giant S-R2 aluminum clincher wheels

8850 Stockdale Hwy.
Bakersfield, CA 93311
(661) 883-6268

Friday, July 11, 2014

[Cycling Tips] Develop Your Riding Technique With 15 Easy Tips

Follow One or All of These Tips To Enjoy Your Ride That Much More

1. To avoid muscle soreness and fatigue, don't hunch your shoulders. Tilt your head every few minutes to stave off tight neck muscles. Better yet: stop to admire the scenery

2. If you don't have a chance to slow for an obstacle such as railroad tracks or a pothole, quickly pull upward on the handlebar to lift your front wheel. You may still damage the rear wheel, or it might suffer a pinch flat, but you'll prevent an impact on the front that could cause a crash.

3. Relax your grip. On smooth, traffic-free pavement, practice draping your hands over the handlebar. This not only will help alleviate muscle tension, but also will reduce the amount of road vibration transmitted to your body.

4. Periodically change hand position. Grasp the drops for descents or high-speed riding and the brake lever hoods for relaxed cruising. On long climbs, hold the top of the bar to sit upright and open your chest for easier breathing. When standing, grasp the hoods lightly and gently rock the bike from side to side in sync with your pedal strokes. But always keep each thumb and a finger closed around the hood or bar to prevent yourself from losing control if you hit an unexpected bump.

5. As your effort becomes harder, increase the force of your breaths rather than the frequency.

6. Stay far enough in the traffic lane to avoid being struck if doors on parked cars suddenly open. You'll likely hear some honks from motorists who don't understand why you won't pull to the right to let them pass— a honk in your ear hurts less than a door in your face.

7. On descents, your bike is much more stable when you're pedaling than when you're coasting.

8. Always ride with your elbows bent and your arms and shoulders relaxed. This prevents fatigue caused by muscle tension. It also allows your arms to absorb shock instead of transmitting it to your body.

9. When riding one-handed for any reason, grip the bar on top, next to the stem. If your hand is farther out - such as on the brake-lever hood - the bike is more likely to veer dangerously should the front wheel hit a rock, bump, or pothole

10. Get more life from your tires by switching them from one wheel to another. The rear wears more than twice as fast as the front, so swapping every 500 miles or so significantly extends their longevity.

11. Break up long rides with a 15-second sprint every 30 minutes or so- adding variety to a monotonous pace is better training, relieves saddle pressure, and stretches and relaxes your body.

12. After you grab your water bottle, don't tilt your head to drink. Tilt the bottle and squeeze the water in. You'll have more control.

13. The key to smooth, reliable, non-damaging gear changes when you're pushing hard is to ease your pedal pressure at the instant you move the shift lever. You need to lighten the load on the chain for about one revolution so it won't balk, crunch, or possibly break. Then hit the power again.

Read Our Post About Pedaling Efficiency

14. For optimal handling with 20 pounds or more of cargo, put approximately 60 percent of the weight in the rear panniers or on a rack, 35 percent on the front rack or panniers, and 5 percent in a handlebar bag.

15. Two easy and most overlooked ways to improve your bike's performance: Inflate the tires before every ride, and keep the chain lubed.

Finish Line Bikes
8850 Stockdale Hwy.
Bakersfield, CA 93311
(661) 883-6268

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shimano's Brand New Electronic MTB Groupset

Shimano Releases XTR Di2 M9050,  Allowing You To Swap Your Derailleur Cables For Electric Wiring

As with the road versions of the system, XTR Di2 electronically relays signals from the shifters to motors in the front and rear derailleurs. This means that shifts are consistently quick and smooth, as they aren't affected by the slackening of stretched steel cables or by contaminants within cable housings.

Photo By Irmo Keizer

Drawing on more than half a decade of past experience with Di2, Shimano has no qualms calling the 9050 the most advanced Di2 system yet. Many of the possibilities with XTR would not have been possible without the advancements of the E-Tube wiring system (which means the system isn't wireless yet).

Shimano's XTR M9050 Di2 front and rear derailleurs are exactly the same in operation and configuration as the mechanical M9000 items, with the exception of their servo-motor modules. The Di2 system is designed to sync with all of Shimano's new 11-speed components, including single, double and triple chainring cranksets.

As expected, M9050 requires the same Sil-Tech HG 11 chain that the mechanical XTR group uses, as well as the new 11 x 40 M9000 cassette. Basically then, the XTR M9050 Kit constitutes an electronic front and rear derailleur, a pair of Firebolt shifters, a handlebar-mount system display, a battery module, an E-tube wiring kit and a battery charger/computer interface device.

Because the thumb levers on the new Firebolt shifters don't have to be aligned with a mechanical
mechanism, they're free to be rotated around the shifter body in order to best suit the rider. Their default position is also said to be more ergonomic than that of regular shift levers, plus they require less effort to push.

Additionally, using the Shimano Synchronized Shift function, the system can shift both the front and rear derailleurs at once via a single shifter. The system coordinates the two derailleurs with one another, so that they shift together to attain the desired gear rations without "cross-chaining."

Shimano has built in two different customizable shift maps which allow you to change when the front derailleur shifts if the terrain or personal preference warrants it, and the Display Unit can be set to put out an audible alarm that will sound just before an upcoming front shift. Riders can choose to run two shifters and change back between Synchronized Shift modes and manual or ditch one of the shifters completely.

This also offers the ability to run a left or right shifter only, which could be very handy for adaptive bikes where a right shifter (or left for that matter) may not be an option.

Speaking of shifters, XTR 9050 ushers in the new Di2 Firebolt which is a complete new take on the way mountain bike shifters are designed. Since they are simply buttons, Shimano was able to design a shifter that they say is perfectly designed with ideal ergonomics. The rotary design places two buttons directly at the tip of your thumbs. Each lever position can be adjusted independently and the buttons offer what Shimano calls "short stroke, perfect click."

Like other Di2 shifters, the Firebolt shifters are fully programmable including multi shift, shift speed and control of Fox ICD suspension. Changes can be made by connecting your bike to your computer through the battery charging USB cable and Shimano points out that you can program the shifters to perform whatever function you need them to.

Di2 M9050 Component Weights:

• Front derailleur (D-type): 115 grams
• Rear derailleur (GS): 289 grams
• System display: 30 grams
• Shift switch: 64 grams
• Battery Module: 51 grams

How Di2 Components stack up against Mechanical M9000 XTR:

• Front derailleur: M9050 is 5 grams lighter
• Rear Derailleur: M9050 is 68 grams heavier
• Shift lever: M9050 is 36 grams lighter (if you just use one, it is 136 grams lighter)
• Battery Module: 51 grams (extra item)
• System display: 30 grams (extra item)

8850 Stockdale Hwy.
Bakersfield, CA 93311
(661) 883-6268