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Holiday Gifts For Cyclists

It can be difficult finding holiday gifts for cyclists on your list.  Hunting through the Black Friday deals, searching for the perfect item to put a smile on their face can be fraught with peril when you don't have much of an idea of what this cycling thing is all about.  How can you expect to get the perfect gift when you don't know the difference between a cassette and a headset, but you don't want to lame out and get them a Visa gift card with the directive “go buy what you want?”

That's why I'm here to help you out.

In this holiday gift roundup, I'm including a little of everything from the low cost to the lavish.  There's something for everyone from the beginner to the lifelong rider.  So check through the list and check out the links.  In many cases, you'll find something that you hadn't thought of before, or maybe you'll not only find something for that special cyclist, you'll find something for yourself too.

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New Sponsor – The Sufferfest

[dc]A[/dc] few months ago, I introduced a couple of sponsors to The Daily Grind and the Tailwind Coaching Podcast.  You'll remember that I provide ALL the information on this website and in my podcast free of charge: the only cost to you comes if you decide to purchase a training plan or my coaching services.  I give away this information because I love cycling and I love to see people get stronger and enjoy cycling more through their newfound strength.  The introduction of these carefully selected sponsors helps to offset hosting and bandwidth costs, allowing me to provide you free information consistently.

The Sufferfest: Downloadable cycling workout videos. Today, I'm proud to welcome The Sufferfest as a sponsor.  While it may seem a little counterintuitive, the Sufferfest fits perfectly within the Tailwind Coaching paradigm.  When we're lacking motivation, when we're bored with our training, or when we just want to deviate from our training plans for a day, we have The Sufferfest to fill in.  The excellent ASO licensed video, the indie/unsigned artist music tracks, and the amusing in-ride anecdotes help to pass the time on the trainer easily.  The high intensity nature of these workouts ensures that you'll spend your time wisely and get valuable training stress out of your trainer day.

Click the links above or click on the link in the pane on the right to check out their offerings and order.

And a recap of my other two sponsors:

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Specialized, (Cafe) Roubaix,and Lawsuits

Cafe Roubaix WheelsUnless you've been under a rock, you'll probably know that this past weekend has been a bad one for Specialized.  Earlier this year, Specialized issued an ultimatum to the owner of a small Cochran (Alberta, Canada) bicycle shop by the name of Cafe Roubaix.  Their letter stated that his shop is infringing on their trademark on the name "Roubaix."  The claim is that common passers by would associate the name on the sign with Specialized and more specifically, the Roubaix model.  

After this news broke, and with Specialized's history of playing the legal bully, the community sprang into action.  Particularly the online community, who have been pointing out (in no uncertain terms) that they are disgusted with Specialized's legal tactics.  But what is the story behind the Roubaix trademark and why is this making such a dramatic news story?

Click through for further discussion of why this may be the last straw for Specialized.

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Please Welcome Our New Sponsors

[dc]Y[/dc]ou may have noticed a few changes to Tailwind Coaching and The Daily Grind over this past holiday weekend.  Namely, there's a pane on the right side of the site that contains two links to new site sponsors.  RoadID and Competitive Cyclist have come on board as sponsors of the site, and specifically of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, which will help to mitigate the cost of hosting and bandwidth for future podcasting ventures.  

A little information about the new sponsors I hope you'll support:

I've long been a user of RoadID and a proponent of carrying sufficient ID and contact information with you while riding or training.  With the recent rash of injuries on the road, including the death of Amy Dombroski while training in Belgium, it's more important than ever to carry sufficient identification with you on your rides.  This is especially true when riding alone or in more remote locations.  A RoadID is the perfect tool to ensure that your identification is with you in the event of an accident.  By wearing a wrist, ankle or dogtag type ID, the chances of it being missed by emergency personnel is slim, which will result in more thorough care and quicker notification of friends or family in the event of an accident.  My partnership with RoadID will allow me to further advocate for the peace of mind that carrying ID allows for.  

Competitive Cyclist is a leader in the high end online bike retail industry.  While I'm always an advocate of shopping locally at your LBS, sometimes shopping online is necessary these days.  Not all LBS are able to stock the range of items you'll find online, and it's rare to find a LBS that carries the variety of brands that a retailer like Competitive Cyclist does.  Of course, the ability to stretch your dollar further (an important concept in these tough economic times) is always a welcome plus.  On top of the ease of buying online, from a huge selection of brands and product lines, Competitive Cyclist has one of the best customer service departments in the online retail world today.  Having purchased from them a number of times and having had to use their customer service to resolve a couple of small issues, I can safely say that Competitive Cyclist is one of the best bets for online shopping available today.

Check both links on my pages (off to the right hand side, underneath my contact/"follow Coach Rob" pane) periodically for great deals on all kinds of equipment and help support the Tailwind Coaching Podcast (proceeds from affiliate sales go to web hosting space and bandwidth.)

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Counterfeit Cycling Retailers Shut Down

Fake Pinarello

[dc]I[/dc]t's pretty well known that there's a large market of counterfeit cycling products, mostly coming out of China.  What's been debated endlessly over internet forums and group rides are the merits of buying and using these counterfeit products, who it hurts, and if these products are really "OEM" (original equipment manufacturers) versions of the retail products you can purchase at your local bike shop.  Opinions vary from the "sure, I'll try anything" to "you're as bad as a serial killer for purchasing these" and everything in between.

Most interestingly, there's been very little done about these counterfeits thus far.  Sure, Ebay will occasionally take down a listing that's been reported enough times or a major manufacturer (Specialized and Pinarello jump to mind) will issue a release stating that their products are being copied and you should beware of the fraudsters.  Until now, there hasn't been any active enforcement or shutting down of these Chinese retailers. 

Until now, that is…

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