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Boy, the good weather just keeps on coming. This weekend is looking about perfect in the mid to high 70's after early low clouds. Absolutely perfect for cycling and no afternoon thunderstorms!
Speaking of the Tour, my favorite team is out of the hunt for GC after Stage 17 but I suspect the team survivors will be quite animated in the final two mountains stages.
Stage 19 is going to be quite exciting. While there are only a handful of podium hopefuls this year, this stage is likely the final major opportunity for Team Sky's rivals.
Sure, Stage 20 has two mondo climbs, including Alpe d'Huez, but I suspect the overall will be settled in Stage 19. With much more tortuous climbing and great lanching pads for those epic TdeF attacks, this one should be action-packed. The leader is 3:10 ahead of his nearest rival but in this stage that three minutes could evaporate. The contenders will be looking to bag the Yellow Jersey or gain back minutes in this stage. No matter what happens in Stage 19, Stage 20 will be a lot of fireworks and pain too!
The shot here is a new one for me. Doesn't go anywhere (on a road bike anyway) and is very steep. The building shown is at the summit of Jarvis Road, off of Vine Hill Road near Scotts Valley. A very nice out & back route but with beasty climbs in both directions. Not long, but pretty steep on both sides (Strava). A few maps show this route going through to San Jose-Soquel Road but I couldn't find anything that looked doable on a road rig.
Easton Summer Promo
Looking for some new handlebars? Special pricing available to MyTeamCar.net customers on most Easton bars: EC90 SLX3, EC90 Aero, EC70 SL3, EC70 Aero, and the standard EC70. Very good pricing for a short time on the above models. I should be able to match or beat any competitive and verifiable offer you find out there so don't waste and money looking elsewhere.
Of course, always very good pricing on any other Easton products, especially wheels. Buying a set of wheels from MyTeamCar.net is a good decision. First off, I install free. On top of that, you get better support if something goes wrong. I have loaner wheels and much faster support. And I also provide the first inspection, truing, and re-tensioning free of charge. You can't find a better value than that!
Velocity USA also has some hot deals on wheels, rims, and accessories this summer. Up to 40% off on select wheels and wheel sets. The killer deal is on their Road Standard wheel set. Each wheel is hand-built with your choice of a A23, Aerohead, Fusion or Deep V rims; laced 3-cross with DT Swiss Champion spokes and brass nipples to the ultra durable Velocity Road hub (which is easily up-gradable to 11 speed). This wheel set is great for your heavier riders and adventure bikes as it comes with a steel axle and cassette body.
HEADS-UP: I Just listed two sets of hand-built full carbon tubular road wheels on eBay. They could be used for cyclocross by a lighter rider (54cm or smaller frame) but they were built for road racing. Only used in a few local criteriums so nearly brand new and in very good condition. Check them out here. 10% off to MyTeamCar.net customers.
While the Velocity wheels below are a great way to get to disc brakes others are more interested in getting to 11-speed drive trains. Some say, "Ah, you don't need it!" I say, every little bit helps. I haven't priced out Shimano but I can offer SRAM Red 22 kits right now at $1095 to get you to 11-speeds on your road bikes. Shimano should be close so let me know and I'll quote you a Shimano kit.
This kit includes Brake/Shift Levers, Front Derailleur, Rear Derailleur, Cassette, and Chain. Of course, there are exceptions. You need to have 9/10-speed cranks and an 11-speed compatible rear wheel. Most Mavic road wheels support 11-speed cassettes and many newer higher-end Shimano, Easton, and Zipp wheels support 11-speed cassettes. Many also provide freehub conversions, which generally run ~$100. In most cases you don't need new cranks or brake calipers. So, add in a discounted upgrade labor charge of $99 and you're in with the trendy crowd without being so much in debt.
Velocity-USA has been shipping a new disc-based road wheelset called the Aileron. Yea, I know, it's expensive to go discs since you need a frame and fork that supports it. However, those of you looking to build a new bike or have a disc-ready frame and/or fork, these wheels are the ticket. Priced at under $1K retail ($795 for Comp version) and sporting a stiff and wide 25mm alloy rim with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and alloy nipples.
At just under 1600g for the set, they are a great choice for an all-arounder wheelset with awesome durability even for the monster riders out there.
Of course, your typical discount applies to the retail prices on both models of wheels. I can also build a custom set for you using the Aileron rim or any other rim compatible with the disc hubs. I think my next project just might be a disc-based road rig. Keep in mind, this type of road rig is actually a ready-to go cyclocross or trekking bike by just swapping tires and maybe cassettes.
I can now accept credit card payments on my silly phone using Intuit Payment Services. It's much better for me than PayPal and hopefully a convenient option for you. Of course, as always, PayPal, check, or cash are always welcome, too. The bad news is that invoice payments via Intuit no longer works until I upgrade my version of their software. For now, cash, check, or PayPal still works.
The Parts Express store is still kinda clunky but please give it a look and let me know what you think. Parts Express Some of you already have accounts on the site so just log in or request a password reset if you don't recall. Your user name is the email address you used to create the account. Doing so will also allow you to update your service profile, contact information, and see your discounted prices.
If you don't see what you want, browse my suppliers below and I'll order it:
Cane Creek | Smartbikeparts.com | BTI/USA | Hawley USA | J&B Importers | Hawk Racing | iBike Sports
Velocity Wheels | Easton Cysing Products | Wahoo Fitness | SeaSucker | IceToolz
This shot is also at the summit of Jarvis Road. Double-click and view the image. It's a very old diesel or gas pump I think. The building above and this pump are relics of a by-gone era in the Santa Cruz mountains. The house there was pretty rustic with dead cars, trucks, and farm equipment everywhere.
I've been selling used and new items on eBay so keep that in mind when you're looking for parts, wheels, bikes, or clothing. Right now I have my track bike and some solid Cane Creek training wheels at bargain prices. I'll be putting up some hardly used racing carbon tubular wheels soon. Check out my eBay collection. Yes, you can avoid eBay shipping and get 10% off by buying directly from me. I'll deliver free!
Wahoo KICKR's seem to be back in stock so lead-time is back to normal, about 7 days. I can't justify spending that much money on a trainer, but they are pretty awesome for those who have real jobs and can't get out to ride. You can go buy one locally or online but buying from me gets you a better price and much better support, of course. MyTeamCar.net is also an authorized Wahoo Fitness dealer. Those of you looking for the latest in indoor trainer technology, the Wahoo KICKR is amazing. I'm placing my usual supplier orders soon. Please let me know if you need anything not currently available via Parts Express. I have many items on-hand and I can deliver very quickly. I tend to carry tubes, tires, chains, cassettes, bar tape, bearings, brake pads, and other common consumable items in my vehicles. So that kind of stuff is always available fast. Just let me know what you need or order on my site and I'll get it to you ASAP.REMINDER: If you ever have any issues with your bike after I service it, please call/text/or email me ASAP. I'll find you and get it fixed as quickly as possible. Stuff happens. Part of the value of my service is that you don't have to return your bike or wheels to a shop. I will come to you, no-charge of course.Again, don't forget about my Spot Tune-up Service. This is a cheap and convenient way to keep your bike rolling smoothly and efficiently. I find you and dial-in brake and shift cables and take care of any minor issues that can be resolved onsite. Only $30 and extremely convenient.PLEASE NOTE: MyTeamCar.net customers enjoy competitive pricing from all my suppliers. The list prices shown on my site are not necessarily what you'll pay. If you know that the price is higher than your local dealer or favorite online retailer, just shoot me the link and/or let me know. I will match any reputable price out there. I can usually get just about anything. If you need things quickly, just mention the specifics. I can get most things in my hands overnight, next-day, or two-day, it just costs more for shipping. And, yes, you will receive tracking info as soon as I receive it. Okay, shut-up and ride!