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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.

——————

~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.

Time CTS Zone Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 10-Point Scale
10 min Endurance Miles (EM) 4-5
2 min Tempo 6
2 min EM 4-5
2 min Tempo 6
2 min EM 4-5
2 min Steady State (SS) 7-8
2 min EM 4-5
2 min SS 7-8
2 min EM 4-5
1 min Climbing Repeat (CR) 8
2 min EM 4-5
30 sec Power Interval (PI) 9
2 min EM 4-5
30 sec PI 9
5-10min EM 4-5
Off Trainer – Head to Startline
10 min Active Cooling 2-4

*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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Love, Sweat and Gears…and a Gold A-Frame – RAAM 2017

Race Across America (RAAM)
One of our favorite things is when different facets of our cycling worlds collide. This happened a few weeks ago when one of our local Feedback Sports racers, (and all around cycling do-gooder) Paul Majors was lead mechanic for the Love, Sweat and Gears RAAM team. As an official sponsor of RAAM, this local connection was dream come true. If you’re not familiar with RAAM (Race Across America), here you go… 

Race Across America (RAAM) is one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well.

In 1982, four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Relay Teams were introduced in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Team sizes are 2, 4 and 8 persons. Relay Team racing made the event accessible to any fit cyclist.

There is no other race in the world like RAAM. There is no race that combines the distance, terrain and weather; no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it – racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.


Now back to Paul and the team. We happily outfitted team Love Sweet and Gears with A-frames, Pro-Elites and RAKK (plus a few sets of tools). Fully dialed with Paul (and under the direction of Team Captain, Chuck Magnus and Team Director, Jay Wuchner) these super-human athletes finished in 1st place for all 4 person teams (and even out-paced most of the 8 person teams). They put our gear through the wringer for a 3000+ mile adventure.  The team made the crossing in 6 days, 3 hours and 39 minutes – averaging 20.79 mph. We asked Paul a few questions regarding this phenomenal experience. After reading his answers, maybe you’ll be tempted to put RAAM on your bucket list as a racer or a mechanic! 
FBS: Tell us specifically how our products made a difference at this year’s race.
Paul: First off, all of the other teams were in awe of our Feedback Sports set-up. We would pop out of our trailer, set up the A-Frame and start taking the bikes out. Each bike had it’s own safe place to land. The A-Frame was perfect–it sets up in less than 10 seconds and keeps the bikes safe and off the ground.  We also used an A-Frame in the back ofeach follow van for the same reason, as the bikes go in and out of the vans well over 350+ times.  It is so important to keep them safe and stable.  One of the best parts of the Pro-Elite work stand is its flexibility.  I could put any bike in it with so much speed and accuracy–regardless if it was some funny shaped TT bike or a road bike with an aerodynamic seat post.  The Pro-Elite just always worked perfectly and quickly.

 

FBS: What was the hardest part of RAAM from the standpoint of the mechanics?
Paul: Believe it or not, one of the hardest parts of RAAM is before the race even begins.  You have to get to inspection.  For the head mechanic, this is a nerve racking time.  There are so many rules and so much prep on the bikes to get ready for inspection.  But I was prepared.  We showed up and we set up two of the A-Frames. We placed 4 bikes on each A-Frame with it’s lights on and all shoes and helmets by each bike.  Everything was organized and laid out.  The extra wheels rested on the sides of the A Frame, out of their bags.  The inspector showed up with a hard no-nonsense expression.  She took one look at our layout and commented, “You guys look very organized.” Our inspection was over in less than 10 minutes.  Then the inspector took pictures of our setup to show other teams how it should be done. Thanks to Feedback for helping us with all parts of the RAAM!
FBS: What are some of the other challenges you faced?
Paul: One of the other fun parts of RAAM is what we call “the fire drill”.  Every 80 miles or so we change out racers.  One pair of riders finishes their pull and another pair starts.  With that we change out bikes as well.  All this happens in less than 30 seconds and the vans need to be ready to put back on the road with the new racers and no stopping in forward progress.  All of this has to happen in the dark in a new place every time.  We color coded our A-Frames and RAKK so that all team members knew (based on the color) what bike went where.  New bikes that were going into the follow van, were always on the gold A-Frame.  The new bike going into the shuttle van, was always on the yellow RAKK.  The next racers new bike, was always on the red RAKK.  and the bikes that are coming off the road were always placed on the black A Frame.  This helped eliminate the problem of the wrong bike ending up in the wrong place – and out of the 58 times that we performed the fire drill, we got it right EVERY time. 

So there you have it.  Perhaps the best example we could find, combing bike storage and maintenance to get a successful result…racing round the clock …for a week. Color us impressed, team Love, Sweat and Gears!! Congratulations to all involved and thanks for representing Feedback Sports products at RAAM 2017!

Mechanics’ National Championship

Cyclocross races typically consist of athletes performing and the crowd cheering them on.  The Mechanics’ National Championships give the mechanics the chance at the spotlight.  The Mechanics’ will now have the opportunity to compete for prizes.  This is an opportunity to recognize the most highly underrated part of Cyclocross – the mechanics.  Without the mechanics none of the pro athletes would perform the amazing feats we see at each race.  This opportunity allows the athletes, fans and industry to recognize the mechanics that work so hard to make this sport a success.  The 2016 Champion Tom Hopper pictured above earn the right to be the 2016 PitBoss of Cyclocross.

Date: Friday, January 6th, 2017

Location: City Steam Brewery

  • 942 Main St/Hartford, CT
  • Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

 

WHO’S THE NEXT PITBOSS OF CYCLOCROSS?

The inaugural Mechanics’ National Championships was a tremendous success and created the opportunity for each mechanic to test there metal against other mechanics to recognize the best in the industry.  In 2017, with new competition structure each mechanic will be given the same task and race against the clock for perfection.  The mechanic with the best time and best performance will become the 2nd Annual Mechanics’ National Champion, thus carrying on the coveted title to fight for.

Click here for all the latest details.  See you there!