Where is the best place for shop updates and deals?

Facebook of coarse! Keep up with the latest goings on in the shop. Find out the lastest ride info, product reviews and updates and the current deals. Just log into Facebook.com and search Birmingham Bicycle Co. or follow this link http://www.facebook.com/#!/bhambicycle.



Just in at the shop...2011 HED Ardenness SL wheelset. They are built using super smooth HED Carbon front and Sonic rear hubs laced to their 23mm wide Belgian scandium rim. Retail for $1050 and weigh only 1440 grams!!!


2011 Tour De Blue...

The 2011 Edition of the Tour de Blue, Cycling for Prostate Cancer Awareness will roll out from the shop Saturday, April 23rd. The ride will feature some new routes at the same distances that we have done in the past with 50, 75 and 100 mile options. The ride is fully supported and will have frequent, well stocked rest stops staffed by friendly volunteers. Tour de Blue is a fund raising event that supports the Urology Health Foundation (UHF). The UHFis a 501(3)(c) unprofit whose primary mission is to educate men in poorest counties of Alabama on the need to be tested for prostate cancer. UHF also performs free clinics throughout the year, testing men for free and assisting these men with free treatment if their tests are positive. All of the money stays here is Alabama and goes directly to those that need help to most. Please come out and help us raise funds for this very worthy cause. You can also follow the Tour de Blue on Facebook. Please click on the "Like" button to get the latest news on the Tour de Blue and updates on the Urology Health Foundations good works.


Birmingham, Pelham, Shelby County partners create new 'epic' trail at Alabama's Oak Mountain State Park

Bikers, hikers and joggers now have even more ground to cover at Oak Mountain State Park.Officials have opened a new 4.5 mile section of bike trail that increases the mountain bike route of the state's largest park to 22 miles.
The two-part addition -- Lake Trail and Bridge and Rattlesnake Ridge -- is a result of a partnership between the state, Shelby County, the City of Pelham and BUMP, the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers organization.
The new section, plus the construction of an additional three miles due to start mid-month, has brought the park's bike route the designation of Epic trail from the International Mountain Biking Association. Currently there are 52 trails worldwide with the Epic trail distinction, officials said. More...


Floyd can't get a break...unless he gets in a break.

American, former coach set to face trial on hacking charges.
Floyd Landis has declared his desire to win New Zealand’s Tour of Southland, where the former Phonak rider sits in fourth place just over a minute behind race leader Jeremy Yates. Landis announced his aims on the same day French court officials revealed the disgraced Tour de France winner and former coach Arnie Baker will stand trial on hacking charges.
“I want to win – it’s going to be tough but that’s the goal,” said Landis. “A minute’s quite a bit to make up so some bad weather or bad luck on the other guys’ part is probably what I need.
Landis is riding with the Orca Velo Merino squad in Southland. He believes riding with a group of young, enthusiastic riders has helped motivate him.
“It’s fun to be around the young guys – they have dreams and goals and get up in the morning all excited to race …it’s good for me,” Landis said. “I remember feeling that way – not that it’s different now because I enjoy racing my bike but it is harder to get motivated at times.” More...


Can you win TdF without doping?

Suspended Austrian speaks at USADA science symposium...

Bernhard Kohl has said that it is not possible to win the Tour de France without resorting to doping. The Austrian appeared at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's annual science symposium on Monday in Leesburg, Va.
"People know in cycling that's it's not possible to win the Tour de France without it," Bernhard Kohl told the website FanHouse.com. "It's three weeks, 3,000 km and you climb (the equivalent of) Mount Everest four times. That's just not possible."
Kohl speaks from a position of considerable experience, having doped his way to a third-place finish in the 2008 race. He was subsequently revealed to have tested positive for CERA during the Tour and handed a two-year suspension. He has since retired from the sport. More...



We Facebook, do you?!

Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and keep track of your favorite businesses and organizations. We offer exclusive deals to all of our customers that follow us on Facebook. All you need to do is go to www.facebook.com/bhambicycle and hit the "Like" button. We post day to day shop news, discounts, group rides and all manner of silliness. Sign up today!


First look: Scott Plasma 3 Ultimate...

A hot time trial bike for a cool £10,000 ($15,591 approx)...
This is the Scott Plasma 3 Ultimate – the same bike that the HTC-Columbia team rode in the time trial stages of the 2010 Tour de France. Scott have only produced 20 of these Plasmas to date, 18 of which are being used by the ProTour team, so we were privileged to see and have a quick test ride on this model at the recent BikeRadar Live cycling festival at Brands Hatch. Designed with input from former Formula One aerodynamicist Simon Smart of Velo Science, the Plasma 3 will not go on sale to the public until 2011, when we expect it to cost around the £10,000 mark. More...




Birmingham Bicycle Company presents…

Bring your bike in during August and September for our “Bike Wash and Detail” service at the regular price of $35 and the shop will donate $5 from each wash to the Make a Wish Foundation. Stop in to get your bike detailed and help grant a wish.

Make a Wish Foundation Mission Statement:

“We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”

For more info call 205-870-8330 or visit www.bhambicycle.com


Tour De France Cyclists Make It Past Dreaded Underwater Stage!

FRANCE—Luxembourger Frank Schleck, a rider with the CSC team, emerged from the 182-kilometer underwater tunnel stage Monday triumphantly clad in a soaked yellow jersey after braving electric seaweed, underwater volcanoes, cyclist-trapping bubble fountains, carnivorous plants, man-eating fish, and electric eels. "These stages are always a pain," said a visually exhausted Schleck, who went on to complain about the stage's lack of turbo zones and power-ups. More...


Le Tour de France at le bike shop!

Every year in July we kick back at the shop and watch the Tour de France. This year is no exception, we will have the live broadcast on in the morning and have the re-broadcast on at lunch. Please stop by and crash on the couch, have a sandwich for the Big Blue Bagel and enjoy watching the worlds greatest race. Can't make it to the shop but still need your fix? Watch the coverage on Steephill.tv. There is a wide variety of links to the live day to day coverage  along with route profiles, weather, etc.


Phys Ed: What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About Women?


Several years ago, Dr. David Rowlands, a senior lecturer with the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University in New Zealand, set out to study the role of protein in recovery from hard exercise. He asked a group of male cyclists to ride intensely until their legs were aching and virtually all of their stored muscle fuel had been depleted. The cyclists then consumed bars and drinks that contained either mostly carbohydrates or both carbohydrates and protein. Then, over the next few days, they completed two sessions of hard intervals. One took place the following morning; the next, two days later. Dr. Rowlands found that the cyclists showed little benefit during the first interval session. But during the second, the men who ingested protein had an overall performance gain of more than 4 percent, compared with the men who took only carbohydrates, “which is huge, in competitive terms,” Dr. Rowlands says. More...


Jason is RAAMing it!

Our service manager, Jason Barksdale was choosen to crew  for Team Type 1 for this years edition of RAAM (Race Across America). You can follow Jason's adventure on his Facebook page. Jason is the lead mechanic for the 8 man team and is currently somewhere in the Rockies. You can follow the route and progress of all the teams at RAAM website. In addition you can find out all kinds of other info at the RAAM webiste including the insane solo division. Check it out!


Birmingham's own...Jennifer Schuble!

Jennifer Schuble was near graduation at West Point when she suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident during hand to hand combat training. Shortly after that she was in an auto accident that damaged her arm - and was then diagnosed with MS. For many folks, that would have been the signal to give up. Not this lady; at 33 she's a gold medal winning member of the US Paralympic cycling team. And somehow she manages to fit in being an engineer for Mercedes-Benz. Recently, she took time out of her busy schedule to talk to Pez.

The Swiss champion and a magic bike?!

After decades of using chemicals to win races, cyclists have found a new wheeze: motorised bikes. This Italian video has caused a sensation on the continent by showing how Fabian Cancellara, a Swiss cyclist, could have pulled off his two impressive victories in gruelling races this spring.
Cancellara is laughing off the allegation that an electric motor cunningly embedded in the frame gave him the boost to streak ahead of the pack in the Paris-Roubaix and the Tour des Flandres. "It's so crazy that I haven't anything to say," the racer known as Spartacus told the Swiss press. "I don't feel like spending much time on such a stupid story." More...


What's the Skinny on Wide?

If you’ve taken a look around the road aftermarket wheel landscape recently, you have probably noticed a trend toward wider rims. HED calls it C2 rim profile (available on their Jet carbon clincher wheels, Stinger carbon tubular wheels, and Belgian series aluminum clinchers). Zipp rolled out their new wide 303 carbon tubular and have now introduced the 101 – an alloy clincher with the wider profile. Velocity has also jumped on board with their A23 alloy clincher. I decided to give the Velocity A23’s a try, replacing my failing Ambrosio Balance rims.

The Rim
The new Velocity A23 rims weighed in at 440 grams. A bit heavier than the claimed 426 grams, but most claimed weights are a little on the light side. The weight is around that of the Mavic Open Pro (a rim I considered to be a standard all around rim).

The depth of the rim is a good 20 mm. They measure up a little shallower than the HED Belgian series rim (24 mm) and a good bit shallower than the Zipp 101 (30 mm).

The width is what all the hubbub is about. The Velocity is a solid 23 mm wide, as are the HED’s. The Zipp is listed at 24.5 mm, but has a slight bulge below the brake track (what they call “toroidal” shape) so it is closer to 23 mm across the tire bed. For comparison, most road rims are around 19 mm wide.

The Build
I built these up somewhat old school (if you know me, than you know that is my style). DT Swiss Competition spokes and brass nipples (both in black) bridged the distance between my DT Swiss 340 hubs and the Velocity A23 rims in a 3 cross pattern – nothing crazy here. I like classic looks and durability. As has been my experience with most Velocity rims, the A23’s built up round and true quite easily.

The Ride
Mount a 23c tire to any of these rims and it pumps up slightly larger than on a standard rim. I got about 1.5 to 2 mm more tire width. The same was true when I mounted a 35c ‘cross tire. The increased width isn’t the only factor to the ride. The profile becomes rounder as the sidewall of the tire straightens out a bit. Instead of looking like a light bulb, the cross section is more like a U. This gives a more consistent contact patch when cornering. Rolling resistance is reduced as well. Also, with the increased volume of the tire you can run lower air pressure. Instead of the normal 110 (there is really no need to go above that, even with regular width rims), you can run pressures around 90. I am still experimenting to find the sweet spot, but think it probably lies in the 70 – 80 psi range for me.

The ride of the wheels can be described in one word – smooth. Whether it’s the lower air pressure, the more consistent contact patch, or something else, these wheels just feel good. I have not had the opportunity to really push these in a corner to see if they stick better. As for wheel durability, ask me after ‘cross season as these wheels will probably see some time under the ‘cross bike later in the year. Prior experience with Velocity products would indicate that they will hold up well. I do not have enough miles on them to see how the rim width will impact tire wear.

These wheels definitely have a good ride to them. I would say that the ride approaches that of a good tubular, even with a bomb-proof, heavy-duty training tire mounted up. Did I notice a sudden increase in speed? No. But these wheels did have a noticeably smoother feel. Would I ride wide rims in the future? Definitely. As a matter of fact, these may have spoiled me. I hope to get my hands on a set of the HED wheels to ride on the road.

As a side note – If you frequently change wheel sets, wide rims may not be for you (unless all your wheels have them) as changing the brake set up might be somewhat of a hassle.

Just for reference – Theses wheels are under my Ridley Damocles with Maxxis Re-Fuse tires.

If the wide rim revolution has you interested, come by the shop. If I’m there, my bike probably is as well. You can check the wheels out and take them for a quick spin if you like.


Ride for Wishes Training Ride & Cookout, May 29th!

The first Ride for Wishes training ride is scheduled for Saturday, May 29th at 8:00am from the bike shop parking lot. There will be three different distances offered with a cook-out after the ride. This is a perfect oppurtunity to come and learn about the Make a Wish organization, register for the Ride for Wishes event in Orange Beach AL and hang out with good friends. If you have questions about ride be sure to call us at the shop (205) 870-8330.


Easton EC90 SL Carbon Clincher Wheelset

Just in at the shop...Easton EC90 SL Carbon Clincher wheelset. They weigh in at 1550 grams and are built with Sapim bladed spokes and 38mm deep carbon rims. The hubs roll on super smooth Grade 3 Hybrid Ceramic Bearings. Easton uses a Thermatec braking service to ensure more braking consistency on the carbon rims. Retail price is $1799.99. Stop by and check them out.


New Thursday Night Shop Ride!

Paul Tower and his wife Nicole are leading a NEW shop ride on Thursday evenings called "Torpedo Thursday". The ride will be a celebration of anaerobic, oxygen-free metabolism featuring a few good climbs with "brisk" pacelining in between according to Paul. Please check out the ride description on the Event Calendar or better yet show up and ride! Nicole promises not to ride to hard to embarass any of the guys.


Shimano Launches New 10-speed MTB Drivetrain Technology

OSAKA, Japan - Today Shimano announces the launch of a new 10-speed drivetrain technology for mountain bikes called Dyna-Sys. Next to the extra gear, Dyna-Sys features a completely redesigned drivetrain with many additional benefits. The first Dyna-Sys products for the Deore XT, SLX groups and non-series will be available this spring.
The main new features of Dyna-Sys are closer gear ratios for a smoother shifting performance and improve power transfer creating optimized gear combinations for more efficiency and durability. According to Shimano, Dyna-Sys offers a more stable drivetrain. More...


Birmingham Bicycle Co. Is Six Years Old!

It is hard to believe that the shop is six years old today, April 15th, 2010. We want to thank all of our loyal customers, friends and family members that have supported us through thick and thin over the years. Without you we could not have made it this far. It has not been an easy road but the shop and our awesome customers make it all worth while. We look forward to the next six years and the good times.

Thank You!



Driver's side: When vehicles and bicycles collide...

When vehicles and bicycles collide, it's often an adult behind the handlebars.

By Ginny MacDonald -- The Birmingham News

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration re­ports that more adults are killed or injured in motor vehicle-­related bicycle crashes each year than children are.
In Alabama in 2008, there were 269 bicycle highway crashes killing 10 people and injuring 194. NHTSA recommends that riders of all ages:
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet
  • Check bicycles by using the ABC method: air pressure, brakes and chain.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night.

More info at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/, http://www.bikeleague.org/ and http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/.


Lawmakers Criticize Bike-Friendly Policy.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—New Department of Transportation guidelines that encourage investments that provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians have drawn heated response from Republican congressmen.
“They’re accusing the Secretary of Transportation of being on drugs because he wants to waste money on bicycling,” said Bikes Belong executive director Tim Blumenthal. “In some ways that is a good balance to the optimism and upbeat feeling from the Summit. Secretary LaHood’s announcement was unbelievable, but there are still people out there that don’t share our enthusiasm.” More...


Ride Calendar Updates

We have spent some more time updating the website Event Calendar and have added a number of week day bike shop rides. We hope to have rides for just about everyones taste. Some of the week night rides have started to meet and some are waiting until the 1st week of April. Be sure to check back often and see if we have a ride that fits your needs. If you have a burning desire to lead a ride from the shop please contact us at the shop and we can help work out the details.


Walter R.I.P. 03/20/2010

For those of you that knew our beloved cat Walter, he passed away on Saturday, March 20th doing what he loved, hunting and being outside in the sunshine. We believe that he was bitten by a poisonous snake while hunting in our neighbors side yard. There were no signs of obvious trama and we do know that he would take on a snake if he came across one. Walter was a very loving, sweet cat that my wife, children and myself will greatly miss.


Campagnolo: 11 Speed Versus Triple Crankset

For its 2010 component range, Campagnolo presents a brand new 12-29 cassette for 11-speed drivetrains. The new cassette exceeds the commonly used 28 teeth of the sprockets offered by the competition and enables the 11-speed drivetrain to be even more versatile. In fact, the new 12-29 combination used with a compact 50-34 crankset generates metric developments analogous (2,49/8,84m) to those of a 53-42-30 triple crankset.
The use of a compact crankset instead of a triple also makes it possible to obtain better chain alignment and a substantial weight reduction. The really big news is that Campagnolo has managed to keep a single rear derailleur configuration, avoiding the problem of the double option: choosing a derailleur with medium or short arm.


SRAM Launches Entry Level Road Race Groupset.

CHICAGO, US - Sponsoring Lance Armstrong raised SRAM’s visibility in the road race market. To capitalize on this notoriety and widen its market position, SRAM developed a brand new entry-level group set. Until now SRAM had three levels of group sets, the Red, the Force, and the Rival, as well as the non-series, on the market. More...


Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being.

As Olympians go for the gold in Vancouver, even the steeliest are likely to experience that familiar feeling of "butterflies" in the stomach. Underlying this sensation is an often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our "second brain".A deeper understanding of this mass of neural tissue, filled with important neurotransmitters, is revealing that it does much more than merely handle digestion or inflict the occasional nervous pang. The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body. More...

No love for Floyd...

French Judge Issues Arrest Warrant for U.S. Cyclist Floyd Landis!

French judge has issued an international arrest warrant for disgraced U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis for allegedly hacking into a lab computer at a facility run by the country's anti-doping agency, the agency's head told Reuters.
Landis, whose surprise victory at the 2006 Tour de France was stripped after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone, was banned from cycling for two years and only returned to the sport last January. He now faces far more serious charges, according to Pierre Bordry, the head of France's anti-doping agency, the AFLD. More...



Big thanks to our awesome Jamis rep, Margo, she brought us a 2010 JAMIS EXILE II 29er to the shop for a demo. The bike is a 17" with a 590 mm (23.2") top tube and 749 mm (29.5") standover height. It has a 7005 series aluminum frame with a mix of Shimano XT and SLX with a Rockshox Tora fork. If you have not experienced riding a 29er stop by and hit your favorite trail with the Exile II. For more info and complete specs check out the Jamis website.


BBC Event Calendar Update...

Our calendar guru Shawn has gone on a mission to make our shop event calendar super up-to-date and we believe that he has gone over the top. Please look over the events that we have posted and be sure to let us know if we have missed anything, so far for the year. If there is an event that needs to be listed, please let us know and we will post it. Please send all event updates to mike@bhambicycle.com and I will make sure they get posted!

Shimano Launches 11-Speed Internal Hub Gear!

NUNSPEET, the Netherlands – Shimano is currently on Tour in Europe meeting their OE customers for the new product presentation (NPP). Among the 2011 products, the component maker announced the next step in internal hub gear technology. One of the remarkable new components is the Alfine 11-speed internal hub gear.
The new 11-speed internally geared hub technology is part of the Alfine group positioned for sport use. This hub gear will offer three more gears, at a lighter weight than the current 8-speed version. Upgrading this group will further encourage the use of internal hub gear bicycles in the sports market. More...


BBL@BBC Blast The Cold!

30 heart souls showed up for this morning's edition of the Birmingham Bicycle League winter training ride. Today's ride is sponsored by Birmingham Bicycle Co., Scott Bicycle, Ion Sports Nutrition, Red Bike Coffee and Tracy's. The weather is in the low 40's with a light mist and wet roads but it looks like it's going to clear soon and be a good training day. We want to thank each one of our sponsors and encourage everyone to come out and get involved in Birmingham's best winter training series. Be sure to visit the Tria Cycling Team website @ http://www.bhamvelo.com/blog/ for the latest BBL ride updates and post-ride recaps.


Killer White-tailed Deer Attacks Cyclist (True Story)!

Tuesday night I was doing a night road ride with 3 buddies. We were on Rex Lake approaching Grants Mill Rd. We were slowing for the intersection when we noticed a large buck running along beside us, 10-15 yards off to our right. I shined my light on him and said, "look at that big buck". Steve said, "wouldn't it be bad if he hit one of us?" and 10 seconds later I got ran over by a deer. This stupid animal came from my right, knocked me off my bike and popped my right forearm with one of his antlers (just a minor wound). After I hit the ground, I heard hooves slipping and sliding on pavement and as I looked around the deer was up on his hind legs with his front legs pawing in the air. Needless to say I freaked out and did my best to scramble off the road and out of his way. I can look back on this now and laugh because it is somewhat funny, but at the time I was panicking and totally freaking out.

Went to the doc the next day and got a tetanus shot and an antibiotic, no telling what was on the tips of his antlers before he punctured me.

I've seen them run along beside me many times in the past on the trail and on the road. Next time I see one running along with me I will be stopping abruptly.

Watch out for deer!


Eye Candy

A few recent additions to my collection...enjoy!
  • 1953 Claud Butler 25th Anniversary Jubilee model. Cyclo Bendelux 4 speed drive, chrome fork with lantern bracket.
  • Pair of little Frenchies, (back) Paris Sport (made by Starnord) wheel size about 20", (back) Motobecane, wheel size about 16". Both have 8 speed Huret drive with downtube shifters.
  • 1937 Colson deluxe original. Oogah horn on the bars.

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