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The Warm-Up: A Critical Start (with Maghalie Rochette)

Cyclocross is an intense sport, requiring 100% effort from the starting gun through the finish tape. For nearly an hour we ask our body to respond to the constant balance of effort and recovery and this requires preparation. So when it comes to warm ups you may be left wondering: How long? How intense? What should I be trying to accomplish? When to start and finish your warm up? What does a ‘cross warm-up look like?

Explore the answers to these questions with Specialized/Feedback Sports Cyclocross Superstar (and recently crowned Canadian and Pan-Am Games Champion) Maghalie Rochette. 

Why Do We Need to Warm Up? 

MR: The main goal of the warm-up is to prepare your mind and body for the demands of a race. Your routine should be long and intense enough to warm you up, but not wear you down. Cyclocross races start really fast, so you need to work hard enough in the warm-up so that when the starting gun goes off your body isn’t left in complete shock. 

I like the warm up to feel like it “opens up” my legs, lungs and heart so my body is ready and accustomed to the effort when the race starts. There’s a textbook of physiology going on in the warm-up, and although I’ll spare those details the objective is to feel like you’re ready to hit the front and stay there!

How Do You Prepare Your Mind?

I find that the warm-up is also a time to get into a good mental space – a time to get into your own bubble and get acquainted with (and enjoy) the effort that’s coming. I listen to music when I warm up. I have a few different playlists with different kinds of music, depending on the mood I need to be in. Sometimes races call for being aggressive and sometimes you simply need to smile and have fun. Either way, I listen to music that makes me happy and find this will get my mindset where I want it to be.  

This is also a good time for visualization. I do pre-rides of the course earlier in the day. David and I find the most challenging points in the course during this recon and my warm-up is a good time to recall these strategic points and what’s needed to perform at my best.

The mix of physical and mental preparation is what truly makes up a warm-up routine!

David is the coach, the mechanic, and the guy who makes it all happen – setting up the trainer is part of the deal!

 

Does the Weather Affect Your Warm-Up? 

MR: The basic structure of my warm-up does not change, though I do adapt it depending on the temperature, or other factors that may affect how I feel. For example, I don’t deal well with extremely warm weather. I tend to over-heat very quickly, so I have to be meticulous when racing in the heat. If it’s hot outside, I’ll change my warm up drastically. 

One of the things I’ll do differently on a hot day is that I’ll skip the trainer and will instead find a road to warm up on – the wind in my face is refreshing. I’ll also shorten my warm up and often I will even skip the “build up to threshold”. I may just go out to spin and do a few short sprints with full recovery between each to make sure my legs are opened up, but that my heart rate doesn’t get too high. It’s difficult to bring your heart rate down in the heat, so there is no reason to bring it up super high before the race starts.

Alternatively, the trainer is amazing when the temperature is really cold! That refreshing breeze from riding the road isn’t so refreshing anymore!  

Fatigue – does your training plan affect your warm-up?

While I won’t divulge the details of my training, there is an ebb and flow to a season’s preparation. Fatigue happens. Fresh legs happen. Some days you feel great, and others you don’t. I remember at the 2018 Bern World Cup, I started my warm up and my legs felt sluggish.  That particular day in Switzerland I felt like the best strategy was to diminish the intensity of the warm up. I did the same routine, but I turned it down 10%. Turns out it was the right call, because I felt amazing during the race. 

There are days where the best way to deal with heavy legs is to do a few solid efforts, and then you start feeling better. Other times, I know my legs are tired, so I just decide to spin easier for a longer period of time before I start the efforts. Pay attention to where you are in your training to decide which is better. 

Unfortunately there is no magic, pro cyclocross racer, top-secret solution to this problem. Making the right call takes time and experimentation and every rider at the start line of a World Cup has gone through the process of refining their most effective routine.

The best advice I could give is to record everything in your training log afterwards. You can write how you felt during the warm up, how you decided to adapt your typical warm-up, and how you felt in the race afterwards. Trial and error is your best friend…

The Details – Give Us the Specifics!

I like to keep my warm-up pretty short. 

During a race day I’ll probably ride on the course 2-3 times, which amounts to about 30-45min of riding time before I actually start the warm-up. I think it’s important to keep that in mind when creating your routine…you don’t want to end up riding two hours before your race has even started (especially if you only train an hour at a time).

Traveling to Europe for a World Cup campaign means we do without a lot of our conveniences, like a warm-up tent!

 

Here’s what my typical cyclocross pre-race warm-up looks like: 

**I do this warm up on the Feedback Sports Omnium trainer. I prefer the Over-Drive version, because it offers progressive resistance the harder you go. This allows you to pedal hard without spinning out. We have some competitors who use the Zero-Drive, and some who use both, depending on where they are in their training!

10 minutes easy

5 minute build up (from tempo to a little over race pace)

2 minutes easy

3 x 30 second build up (from race pace to fast)

2 min easy

Immediately after I finish the trainer session I eat a gel with caffeine. At the start grid and I do one quick start of about 5 seconds. That short sprint is also an opportunity to finalize your starting gear.

I feel like this warm up (less than 25 minutes total) is enough to open me up, but it doesn’t leave me fatigued.

Practice Makes Perfect

As I mentioned, we are all different, so my warm-up routine may not work for you. However, I encourage you to find one that you like and practice it in training to see how it makes you feel. I’ve done the same warm up for the last 7 years, so I know this one works for me. It can get boring to do always the same thing, but at the same time, it brings tranquility and confidence. My body knows this effort and my mind is confident this is getting me ready to perform. 

 

Thanks Maghalie! If you’re unsure of whether to use a trainer or rollers check out Maghalie’s article on that very subject. If you’d like to get to know David Gagnon, Maghalie’s coach, partner, and mechanic a bit better read this quick Q&A here.

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The Feedback Sports Gift Guide

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

It’s that time of year!! Everyone is busy playing reindeer games; slogging through the mud and snow, spraying each other with power-washers, picking grass out of chains, and the whirring of an Omnium Over-Drive fills the air like the Carol of the Bells, …wait. We got the holidays mixed up with the peak of Cyclocross season. Let’s try that again.  Ahem. THE HOLIDAYS are UPON US!!  And while our products have been listed in several amazing Holiday Bicycle Gift Guides*, we thought we’d put a little gift guide together of our own.  We asked several co-workers to share what their favorite Feedback Sports Product is and why.


The Feedback Sports Gift Guide

  1. Thomas McDaniel (Product Marketing Manager): “The Dual-Sided Pic. It’s one of those tools that forces you to look at your bike differently. When I put it in my hand I automatically want to slow down and pay close attention to how my bike is doing – in that way it’s one of the most important tools in my collection.” – This says a lot because Thomas’s “collection” is…robust.  
  2. Scott Knight (Western Sales Manager): “The Bottle Opener. Because it’s ridiculously over-built and awesome.”
  3. Jeff Nitta (Vice President): “The Velo Wall Post.  I like its simplicity for hanging bikes when prepping them for a ride.  I have one at the end of my garage so I can pump up the tires, lube the chain and check to make sure the bike is ready to go.  When I’m done with it I fold it up and it’s out of the way.”
  4. Sammy Rutherford (Eastern Sales Manager: “My Omnium Trainer!! Nothing keeps my legs in better cycling shape during the off-season.”
  5. Will Allen (Product Engineer): “My favorite FBS product is the one currently in development.  The products we currently have are all great, but what we’re working on for the future is even better.”  Wow. Well played, Will. 
  6. Mike Guinta (Product Engineer): “Eggnog.”  “Mike, we don’t make eggnog.”  “…Fine. Tools. I like the tools.”
  7. Lisa Hudson (Co-Owner/Accounting): “The Velo Hinge because it maximizes the storage space for my quiver of bikes!

And there you have it–straight from the folks at Feedback Sports.


We wish you a very merry Holiday Season.  We hope you enjoy the time with your family, friends annnnnnnnd, we also hope you get the chance to sneak out for a ride. It’s never too cold. Never.

*And finally, here’s that list of legitimate Gift Guides we mentioned earlier, plus a contest that would make someone’s holiday very Merry, indeed. 

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Race-Day Warm-up with Amanda Nauman

Though we all know that warm-legs are fast legs… it’s can be hard to know where to begin. You might wonder, “Should I use a bike trainer or rollers?” How hard should I go before a race?”, “For how long?”, “Should I do intervals?”, “Why is my skinsuit so tight?”, “Is my number pinned properly?”.  While we can’t really help you with the last two questions, we did find some experts to share what works for them in terms of the first four.

We asked our friends, David Sheek (Carmichael Training Systems Coach) and Amanda Nauman (known to friends and the cycling community as “Amanda Panda”) of Team SDG – Muscle Monster for some general preparation tips and a warm-up plan to help anyone maximize their race-day potential.

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~From Amanda and Dave~

Our friends at Feedback Sports have really stepped up the game with a solid range of traveling goodies that are also amazing products to have in any garage. Whether traveling to Europe or chasing events around the United States, Feedback has made it easier to be prepared at home and on the road. A few of our favorites are the Team Edition Tool Kit, Omnium Portable Trainer, and Sprint Work Stand which all fit into the bottom of our cases for travel.

Being Prepared: Pre-Event Warm-up

A pre-event warm-up is designed to increase muscle core temperature, start the body’s cooling processes, and activate energy systems. Here’s a step-by-step guide to activating your body for a great performance using the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer.

Warm-up

It’s pretty common for a warm-up routine to be 45-60 minutes. You need to spend some time at lactate threshold and throw in a few high-intensity efforts to activate the processes related to producing and processing lactate, but you want to do as little as possible to achieve those goals. A generic warm-up includes 15-25 minutes of spinning, 5-10 minutes at LT, and two 1-2 minute VO2 max efforts. Variations of that will typically get the job done. A long warm-up is likely to generate more heat so weather and other variables are taken into consideration.

The nature of your event also plays a role in your warm-up. If your event is going to start out relatively slow, like a road race, then you can minimize the warm-up activities. If the event is going to start hard, like a cyclocross race, then it’s important to activate your energy systems and lactate processing systems.

Variations on the Weather

There is a fine line between activating your body for a great performance and hurting your performance through overheating in your warm-up. After warming up some higher energy systems, your muscle temperature and core temperature are elevated and primed to race. In warmer temperatures it is recommended to cool down for about 10 minutes before going to the start line to avoid any chances of overheating. In cooler temperatures it is recommended to add clothing layers and maintain that elevated core temperature en route to the start line.

Go to the Start Line

If you’re going to be standing on the start line for a long time before you start, as is often the case with cyclocross races, you’re going to be standing still. In this scenario, try to go to the line wearing enough clothing or layers to stay warm. Plan to hand your clothing off to someone with a few minutes to the whistle.

The focus on staying warm during and after a riders’ warm-up routine pays off because you will be ready for action right from the start. Keeping your core temperature at an optimal level enables you to start faster, get to the front of the race, and stay there.

Taking the proper steps to activate all your energy systems through a proper warm-up, all starts with the right trainer routine. It’s difficult to find an event that allows for sufficient open road to correctly hit the warm-up zones that your preparation requires. Traveling with the Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive guarantees the freedom to create and execute a routine around an ideal warm-up that will set you up physically and mentally for success.

TimeCTS ZoneRating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 10-Point Scale
10 minEndurance Miles (EM)4-5
2 minTempo6
2 minEM4-5
2 minTempo6
2 minEM4-5
2 minSteady State (SS)7-8
2 minEM4-5
2 minSS7-8
2 minEM4-5
1 minClimbing Repeat (CR)8
2 minEM4-5
30 secPower Interval (PI)9
2 minEM4-5
30 secPI9
5-10minEM4-5
Off Trainer – Head to Startline
10 min Active Cooling2-4

*Amanda is currently rocking the cyclocross and gravel scene. She and David clearly know a thing or two about race-day preparation. Thanks for the tips, David and Amanda!  We’ll see you (and your Feedback Sports Race Day Essentials) at the Cyclocross Nationals in Kentucky! #pandapower

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The Omnium at the Spring Classics

Feedback Sports is thrilled to be supporting several Pro World Tour Road teams for 2017; Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo.  Picture bike geeks like us, at the Spring Classics, watching the mechanics prep the racers with our products.  It’s quite a nerdy sight to behold.  Right this minute, in fact, Feedback Sports is excitedly shadowing Team Lotto Soudal at the 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico.  This is the first season that the Omnium portable trainers are officially in use with our Pro World Tour Road teams. It’s as if our child graduated as valedictorian and is off to the Ivy Leagues (only with bikes…or holding up bikes and racers and…you get the picture).

Below is the press release from our friends at Lotto Soudal showcasing the race along with some pictures from day one.  Enjoy!

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The 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico takes place from 8 March 2017 till 14 March 2017. In seven stages, the riders will cruise through the Italian landscape. This year, the punchers and the climbers will get a few opportunities to win a stage, but also the time trialists are getting a chance of a stage win.

Just like last year, the Tirreno starts with a team time trial of 23 kilometres in Lido di Camaiore. The second stage is the longest of this edition with 228 kilometres. The largest part is flat but there is a steep climb at the end. Day three is an opportunity for the sprinters. Because of the slight uphill road it’s not guaranteed there’s going to be a bunch sprint, a puncher can win too.

The fourth stage will be very important for the GC. There’s a monstrous climb at the end of the stage on an altitude of 1.675 metres. The fifth stage seems ideal for the punchers but you can’t write the climbers off for the win. The sprinters will get their chance the day after. This Italian race ends with an individual time trial of ten kilometres on a flat course.

Lotto Soudal will participate with Tim Wellens, Maxime Monfort and Tiesj Benoot among others. The competition for the overall victory will come from riders such as Michal Kwiatkowski, Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot and Bauke Mollema. The atypical winner of last year, Greg Van Avermaet also participates.

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We have a team to ride a great Tirreno-Adriatico. We got for example Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens who are in great shape. There are some possibilities to achieve a nice result. We have two opportunities with Tiesj and Tim and two  with Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts. The big goal of this Tirreno is to conquer a stage win. We are going into the Tirreno to give everything we’ve got. We are not going to hide somewhere in the peloton. The Lotto Soudal team cannot do that every stage but we are picking up where we left off in the Strade Bianche.”

“The stages are similar to previous editions, so we know as a team what to expect. Just like last year we start with a team time trial. I belief we have a team to aim for the top five, that would be amazing. Day two is a course where Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot can exploit their abilities. There are hills and climbs on the route and the finish is uphill. It’s not very steep so we can definitely battle for the victory this day.”

“Day three is a sprint stage so we are going to take our chances with Jens and Jürgen. Day four is the toughest stage with a long steep climb. There is no plan yet for this stage. We are going to wait and see how, for example Tim Wellens, stands in the GC to defend his chances. During the fifth stage there is another chance for Tim and Tiesj. There is another steep uphill climb at the finish where they can exploit their abilities. Day six is also a sprint stage, thus a chance for Jens and Jürgen. We end the Tirreno-Adriatico with an individual time trial on a flat course.”

“Except for the big mountain stage we have more than enough chances to go for a stage win. The team is so strong that we can divide the pressure without one person getting all the pressure on his shoulders. That puts the riders at ease.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczynski, Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Bart Leysen.

Stages

Stage 1 Wednesday 8 March : Lido Di Camaiore – Lido Di Camaiore (TTT) (22.7 km)
Stage 2 Thursday 9 March: Camaiore – Pomarance (228 km)
Stage 3 Friday 10 March: Monterotondo Marittimo – Montalto Di Castro (204 km)
Stage 4 Saturday 11 March: Montalto Di Castro – Terminillo (187 km)
Stage 5 Sunday 12 March: Rieti – Fermo (209 km)
Stage 6 Monday 13 March: Ascoli Piceno – Civitanova Marche (168 km)
Stage 7 Tuesday 14 March San Benedetto Del Trono (ITT) (10.5 km)

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Interbike: A Delight and Terror Since 1982.

interbike_2015

air supply album

Interbike. Upon doing a little research I found that it’s been alternately delighting and terrifying the bike industry since 1982.  Kind of like the band Air Supply (who coincidentally won “Album of the Year” in 1982). If you’ve never been to Interbike, allow me to break it down for you. And just for fun, let’s stick with the “1982 Air Supply” theme.
For the bike aficionado:
Pure delight. It’s as if you’ve been listening to the Air Supply cassette tape over and over again and after waiting all year, you’re flying to Vegas to see them in a huge group concert LIVE with front row tickets!!  You might even get to touch that one guy’s HAND (or hair)!  There are bright lights, loud noises and smoke (only at Interbike, it’s cigarette smoke instead of a fog machine).

concert
For the exhibitor:
Excitement/Terror. You are a mix between the band members and the roadie. You love singing “Sweet Dreams”.  You know it inside and out (you even sing it in your sleep). And suddenly it’s only a few days before your biggest group concert of the year.  You just need to get yourself, your fellow band members, and instruments onto the bus so that you MAKE it to said concert.

Annnnnnnnnnd then…someone has laryngitis (the van lights won’t work with the rented U-HAUL trailer).  Maybe one band member realizes they forgot their guitar (confession: I am out of business cards). Or quite often, another band decides against going to play this group concert but they still want to send their guitars, soooo could you please take theirs?  SURE THING. PLENTY OF ROOM! Juuuuuusst a little bit of pressure.

guitars_10

*Now add Cx Vegas into the mix (picture the lead singer of Air Supply going to race his bike after the big concert).

That’s Interbike.

But now prep-time is over. The van is on it’s way, with extra A-frames, stands, parts, bikes, snacks, signs, and Omnium trainers and our newly released TOOLS!! All band members are accounted for (at least as of today) and we’re more than ready for this concert to begin! We hope to see you all either at our booth (#11165) OR at Cx Vegas (look for our tent–it will be the fun one).


 

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Track Racing with Lucas Clarke

With the USA Masters Track National Championships in full swing (Indianapolis) and those “games” currently happening in a country that rhymes with “trio”, we figured it’s the perfect time to talk about track racing. We’ll admit that we’re a bit fuzzy on this subject, so we asked one of our favorite local track racers (and avid Omnium user) Lucas Clarke to tell us a bit about it. Read below as Lucas demystifies all things track to this company of commuters, roadies, Cx racers and MTB aficionados.

velodrom-omnium_1058-Border

  1. Name / Team / Years racing:  Lucas Clarke / Primal-Audi Denver / 9 years racing, Cat 2 on the Road, Track, Cat 3 Cyclocross.
  2. Your favorite race: My favorite race on the Track is the Individual Pursuit which is a 4k time trial on the track.  You vs. the clock, all out for 4000 meters.
  3. How do you integrate the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer into your training and racing? It’s virtually impossible to find a stretch of road anywhere near my house to do 3-5 minutes sprint efforts holding 900-1100 watts safely.  Those are the bursts you need for road and track racing. With the Omnium I can do that in my basement before the sun event comes up–no cars, no stoplights. On race days at the track, you’re parking and walking, juggling your bike, your bag, all your gear, etc. The Omnium just makes it all easier.
  4. Top Speed on the track: My top speed at Track Nats this year was 40.3 mph.
  5. What’s up with those brakes? What brakes? We don’t need brakes. It makes the racing simple, fast and a bit dangerous (cue Kenny Loggins).
  6. How long do you have to track stand on that one race? The match sprint is notorious for the awesome track stands.  You try and out fox the other sprinter to get them to lead you out and then make your JUMP.
  7. What are your gear ratios and how often do you changes throughout the races and why? I typically like to run smaller gears in the Points race (where the speed is often going up and down a lot) 50 x 14 (96.4 gear inches) and for more steady tempo races like the Scratch race I run a larger gear, 53 x 14 (102.2 gear inches).  You want to be able to spin and get  “on top” of the gear without destroying your legs.
  8. Do you ever get dizzy and/or have you thrown up during a race? Not really, you really get in the zone by following the black and red lines and you immerse yourself into the race.
  9. Track racing seems so “dignified”.  Do you extend the courtesy of saying “on your left” when you pass during a race? All passing on the track should come on your right, passing on the left is only allowed if you are above the blue line.  This keeps the races safe so no one is pushing you off the black line (sprinters line).
  10. So…no? No.

We’d like to congratulate Lucas on another solid season of track racing. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter for more fast (and slightly dangerous) bike action. Picture everything above come Fall but add a Cx bike…and brakes…and take away the track. 

Related links: 

*Intentional vagueness of the intro sentence can be attributed to Rule #40 and Coca Cola.

 

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Tour de France 2016

As we’ve mentioned before, our company lives by a somewhat “less than traditional” annual calendar.

  • The new year starts after Cyclo-Cross Nationals.
  • Spring arrives the day of the Paris-Roubaix.
  • Summer technically rolls in with the kick-off of the Tour de France.
  • Fall is Interbike (and Cross Vegas).
  • It’s officially “winter” when Omnium lunch-rides become the norm.

So here we are at the summer and the beginning stages of the most exciting event to cycling fanatics around the world. Here at Feedback Sports, we’re doubly invested in that all of us  fall into the “cycling fanatics” category, but we also look at this as the best product field-testing in the Universe.

We are fortunate enough to partner with four world-tour cycling teams–all of which will be at this year’s TDF; Tinkoff, Trek-Segafredo, Lotto-Soudal and IAM Cycling. Attending the Tour gives us a chance to connect with the team directors, mechanics and racers. We see them using our products with an almost super-human speed and elegance. We get to see our products being put to the test in some of the harshest conditions.  It also allows us to spot trends and get inspiration for new products. But don’t take my word for it.

IMG_4104

I was able to corner Doug Hudson (Feedback Sports founder/president) for a quick interview before he left for the TDF to see it through his eyes.  And I do mean “quick” because Doug is an engineer by trade and quite efficient (so it will only take you about 30 seconds to read it).
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Q: How many years have you/Feedback Sports attended the TDF?
A: This will be the 3rd year.

Q: What’s it like being in the pits with the mechanics?
A: I like watching their efficiency.  Typically there are two mechanics washing bikes and two mechanics checking and tuning the bikes.  With 9 racers there are up to 27 bikes to wash and maintain each day.  3 bikes for each rider (one on each of the two team cars and the one being ridden).

Q: Tell us about the crowds.
A: The crowds are impressive in shear size and enthusiasm.  The climbs are the craziest, but each town the tour goes through usually has a Jumbotron showing the race and a party atmosphere.

Q: Favorite stage:
A: The Mt Ventoux stage should be epic!  We were able to ride Mt Ventoux last summer, so I can’t wait to see what happens in the race up it.

Q: Most memorable TDF story/experience:
A: In 2014, Lisa (Doug’s wife and co-founder of Feedback Sports) and I got to ride in the team cars of IAM Cycling.  As huge Tour fans, it doesn’t get any better than this; seeing the peloton up close, listening to race radio and hearing the team tactics from the Sport Directors.  It’s amazing how good the drivers are at dealing with all the chaos around.  Descending at 50+ MPH with racers and fans all over the place takes some serious skill.

Q: How will this year be different from previous trips?
A: This is our first time in the Pyrenees so we are excited to check out the famous climbs like the Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aspin.


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See? Told you. Fast and efficient.

We’ve got some fun things planned for the next few weeks.  As the Tour gets rolling there will be a few contests (Tinkoff and Lotto Soudal), plus a few other little gems that will make you feel like you’re along for the ride (even if you can’t be there in person).  So make sure you follow us and our partnered teams on social media because you won’t want to miss a thing!!

*We’ll even have a commercial on NBC (set to run on July 14th).  
We’re a bit excited.
Yep. Just a bit. 

 

Continue reading Tour de France 2016

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Sea Otter Recap 2016

Tuck this lil’ buddy away until next year, because Sea Otter 2016 is a wrap!!

This cute lil' guy.eric in tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, the van is unloaded (and dust-free, thanks to our tech-specialist, Eric Hockman), with everything is back in it’s place.  Ahhhhhhh.  Nothing like that feeling you get as a collective company when you look back on an event like Sea Otter and know it’s been your best one so far.

Upon getting back to Colorado, many people who’ve never attended Sea Otter ask what it’s like.  The usual reply that you’ll get from any company that HAS been there is this: “It’s so much better than Interbike.”  Don’t get us wrong.  Interbike is great for many reasons.

But Sea Otter is:

  • Not Vegas. And it’s outside. Enough said.
  • Surrounded by every type of bike racing you could imagine.
  • A chance to catch up with industry friends and cycling folks from all over the place.
  • In California, where it’s 80 degrees vs. Colorado where last week here it was like this:

spring blizzard

 

But all those points aside, here are a few notable high-lights from the Feedback Sports side of things:

 

  1. The Bicycle Leadership Conference Feedback Sports’ founder/President, Doug Hudson has been attending the BLC for the last 5 years.  In a our weekly company meeting Doug explained the significance of this annual event. “The BLC continues to be one on my favorite industry events of the year.  The keynote speakers, learning sessions and networking are invaluable.  The morning rides along the coast are incredible.  The networking started as soon as I landed in Monterey when I was able to share an Uber ride with former pro racer Tim Johnson who was also on his way to the conference.   I leave the BLC each year with new ideas and inspiration to make Feedback Sports better than ever.”
  2. We unleashed the Feedback Sports Scorpion–our newly acquired product.  This was a huge hit among consumers, media and dealers alike.
  3. The Omnium made it’s Sea Otter debut as well.  It was so fun to talk with the general public and watch their eyes light up when they realize just how bitty and light-weight the Omnium can be.
  4. Primal Wear’s Women’s Mtb Clinic: Saturday morning, Lisa and I got the privilege of demo-ing two Yeti’s from our Colorado neighbors (literally, Yeti Cycles is about 500 yards away from the Feedback Sports headquarters) and take to the trails with some very rad women. Breakfast and coffee, first of course. PLUS a question/answer session with Sonya Looney, Karen Jarchow, Feedback Sports’ own racer, Caitlyn Vestal and Kasey Clark.  More sightings of strong women who crush it on and off the bike abounded throughout Saturday into the afternoon.  Team Luna Chix, Courtenay McFadden, the Stans NoTubes-Pivot women, the ladies from Raleigh Clement, the list went on and on.  #morewomenonbikes #heckyes
  5. NICA Omnium Raffle: Speaking of more people on bikes, let’s talk about NICA for a second.  The National Interscholastic Cycling Association is a mighty, happy force. Their mission is to develop interscholastic mountain biking coast-to-coast by 2020.  YES, PLEASE!!! We love being a sponsor and want to do everything we can to get more kids on bikes and spread the NICA word.  Saturday we were able to do just this and raffle off an Omnium to one very excited young man.  Check NICA out and see how YOU can help them reach their goal as well.

And on top of that, there was riding, camping, racing, laughing and maybe an escaped Octopus incident.  Still not sure on that last one.

So a huge THANK YOU to those of you who stopped by and said hello, those who offered us their hospitality (MTBR) and kindness and of course to our dealers and customers. It truly made this the best Sea Otter so far!!

mtbr party

*For our full facebook photo gallery, CLICK HERE!

For additional gorgeous images (courtesy, Eric Hockman) CLICK HERE! 

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2016: Mud, Snow, Bacon and Magic!

Every year around this time, most people are getting ready to wrap things up.  For many of us, the new year holds an air of undefined, magical promise.  We set goals, we plan trips, we make resolutions, and we delight in wondering what 2016 may bring! But for those of us who adhere to the cyclocross calendar, this is when the record skips.  Yes, 2015 may be wrapping up, but the cyclocross season will not be dismantled, boxed up and put away until January 10th, 2016. That Sunday marks the end of Cx Nationals, and therefore is what we like to think of as “the proper end” to the year.

 

We don’t make the rules.  We just ride by them. If you really want to argue the validity of the cyclocross calendar, take it up with USAC–where if you have a December birthday, your “cross age” is 2 years older than you really are for the majority of the racing season.  It’s a little “Alice in Wonderland”-crazy. One could make the comparison that it’s just as crazy as the mud and snow we ride in or the people who give bacon hand-ups while heckling words of encouragement.  We embrace that sort of crazy with open arms.

 

All of us at Feedback Sports consider ourselves very lucky in that our work often coincides with where and how we like to play. So next week when the rest of the world is coming back from winter break and “going back to work”, we will be at Cx Nationals in Asheville, NC.  And if you guessed that we’re a little bit excited, you’d be right.  Even more so than usual. Because in addition to racing, this year we’re the official USAC Trainer Sponsor! Click here to witness our excitement. 

This means we’ve assembled and boxed up 40 or so of our newest product–the Omnium Portable Trainer to introduce it to our cyclocross family. Well, really the Omnium’s lead product engineer, Will Allen did all the work. We mostly watched and offered to hold the tape gun, but that’s beside the point. The point is, they are on their way right this minute!!  On Monday we’ll be setting them up and getting them ready for anyone and everyone that wants a proper race warm-up!

If you’re going to Nationals, you HAVE to come by the warm-up tent and say ‘hello’.  It’s a rule–you read it, you have to do it.  Plus we’ve packed treats. And even though you may be “treated-out” after the Holidays, everyone knows that 4 days into the “normal non-cx calendar year” means it’s okay to eat things like that again. If you aren’t attending Nationals, don’t fret.  We’ll have a social media presence that will rival Ryan Seacrest in Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve.

You won’t miss a thing.  Including the Omniums.  Sure the attendants in Asheville will get quite a sneak preview, but ask your local bike shop right around that time and chances are they’ll have one you can “ooooh and ahhh” over. And trust us.  That’s exactly the response you’re likely to have.  Riding the Omnium is like nothing you’ve felt before…except perhaps riding your own bike on the road. Precisely how we designed it.

And though we adhere to the cyclocross calendar, we also acknowledge the “traditional (albeit, less fun) calendar” as well.  We wish you a very Happy New Year from everyone here at Feedback Sports and hope some of that magical promise comes to fruition in 2016!!

Yep.

 

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Around the World with Feedback Sports

Maybe it’s the size of our company (11 employees), or the small-town vibe that we embody by living and working in Golden, CO. Regardless of the reason, many people are surprised to find that Feedback Sports has the world-wide reach that we do.  

The company may have started in Doug and Lisa Hudson’s basement, but Feedback Sports products are now available in over 40 countries. You can find our signature red anodized items from Australia to Venezuela.

 

Ford Isbey, our International Sales Manager recently went on a 10 day trip to Asia to visit dealers and distributors in the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and Korea. A quick introductory word about Ford. He has an incredibly friendly and genuine nature.  He could befriend an abandoned, rusty old car and what’s more, he’d undoubtedly have a few fun and wacky adventures with that car before the day was over.  Ford looks forward to such trips not only to talk shop, but to reconnect with his friends/business associates–many of which, got their first peek of our newest product, The Omnium.
ford with catalog    viewing omnium  
For Cx racers like the Feedback Sports crew,  it’s easy to categorize the Omnium as a “race warm-up tool”.  But as Ford’s travels progressed it quickly became evident to all of us that the Omnium takes the “KOM” for trainers in general. Whether it’s for racking up the base-miles, bike fits or (yes) warming up at a race, our international dealers, distributors and customers want it. Click here for more pics resulting from this trip.
omniums at show

Needless to say, Ford is…pretty busy.

When giving a recap of his trip (and it’s carry-over product buzz) at our weekly company meeting, Ford said in his jovial North Carolina accent, “Bud, lemme’ tell ya. Orders have been flyyyyyin’ in faster than I used to shuck corn as a kid.” Okay, okay, full disclosure: it may not have been that exact quote, but it was something like that and Ford is on Thanksgiving vacation already, so we’ll stick with that. 

In closing, be patient.  Availability for the Omnium is getting close, both domestically and internationally.  Or as Ford might say, “It’ll be here sooner than the leafers on the Blue Ridge Parkway”.*

ford at show     omnium in sk

*Unless you are also from North Carolina, you may need to click here for the translation of that phrase.