This Condor Bespeaks to Us

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The phrase "bespoke carbon bike" is enough to make even the crustiest road freds turn away from a Venge ViAS and take note. Condor are a brand from London who make painfully gorgeous and luxuriously smooth steel and carbon bikes. Black, orange, and Campy Record is a beautiful way to dress up such a fantastic frame. Oh, and those shoes! Italian group and Italian tires = correct.

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If you like the look of this bike and want in on the action, it's time to buy a plane ticket to England since they're only available from the 49-53 Gray's Inn Road storefront.

Everyone knows we love these tires, mostly for the ride quality and partially for the look.

Pamp Up The Jam

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People like bikes. Bikes are fun. Even the stiffest, fastest, most hunched over road bikes are fun. And for most people, bikes don't really have "a point," which is on some level "the point." Bikes are recreation. Some people get paid for riding bikes, but that's not the endgame for most, as much as that pains us to say it. Which is why this absolutely ridiculous Giant TCR was a no-brainer for Riley. Well that and because there's nothing like the refreshing zing of pamplemousse LaCroix.

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The bike was painted by our friends down at Ruckus Composites in Portland, Oregon. Ruckus does the best carbon repair west of the Mississippi (and east, actually) and also some down-right unbelievably good paint. They recently expanded to another paint booth, and we're happy to hear that. Under the matte relief paint is a TCR Advanced SL, which is a bike and range we're partial to, even if we don't carry Giant.

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The build features a bunch of Riley's favorite stuff: Lizard Skins bartape (although he also loves the Supacaz Sticky Kush because its name is so naughty), Vittoria Corsa G+ tires in the widest he can fit, the lovely Selle Italia Max Gel Flow saddle, SwissStop BXP brake pads, and a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. It's still a bit in progress, needing a steerer cut and heatshrink over the etube and rear brake housing, but the easy stuff is done, like the fun & colorful finishing tape on the bars.

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Even though the bike needs a couple small touches to be "finished," it's never not time to ride. Those who know him can tell this is Riley's bike from the amount of dust caked on it - it's not a Riley ride if there's not a little road bikes offroad. "The 'road' in 'road bike' is a suggestion."

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It's a happy bike with a happy rider. Bikes are fun!

Every Bike Is Special, But A Pegoretti Is Something Special

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It's awesome that every bike has the potential to be the greatest bike in the world. It doesn't matter whether it's a locally-made custom geo Eyewater or the rigid 26" mountain bike your uncle had behind his garage: any bike can be the best bike, and every bike is special. But there are always going to be frames, builds, and paint schemes that demand examination and attention and draw second looks.

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Pegorettis will always fit that description. This Marcelo was painted by Dario Pegoretti in the way only he does, and that's exactly how it should be. The PDJ Crew™ have taken to calling him the "Michelangelo of Steel," but his paint is so modern and avant-garde that it would be appropriate to liken his style to Basquiat.

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The build ticks many of our "favorite things" boxes. Vittoria Corsas, Lizard Skins bartape, White Industries hubs... the list goes on and on. And now, in 2018, it's time to induct Dura-Ace 7900 into the classic component hall of fame. The first legitimate electronic shifting and the last high-end five-arm Shimano cranks came from the 7900 era.

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Announcement! We moved! Across the street!

It was a turbulent winter for PDJ, but after half a year of drawing up and then dropping plans, we moved across the street to our dream space at 120 Leschi, next door to our friends at Meet the Moon (yes, it's as dangerous as you'd expect). We still carry all our favorite bikes, tires, and stuff, and our service is even better now that we've got a bit more elbow room. Stop in, say hi, and hang out! Our favorite part of being in Leschi is seeing our extended shop family.

Oh, and stay tuned for info on shop rides! In August, we'll be opening our sister shop in Kirkland alongside our friends at Chainline Brewing, so stay around to hear about that, too!

NO DEAD ENDS!

Winter Riding Tips from a Midwest Refugee

Winter Riding Tips from a Midwest Refugee

As you know, we survived a long cold snap not too long ago. I understand a lot of you passed those days riding with your friends in sunny virtual realms where there is always a tailwind, or headwind--however you want to program it. That's nice and all, but winter riding can be enjoyable. I swear it. Here's some tip for the next cold snap.

Bar Tops

Photo stolen, from post Roadbike forum post that stole this unattributed photo from some place else.

I was still pretty new to the whole training for bike racing thing when I started going out for long days in the hills of Portland with the Cat Ones on the team I'd just joined. I wasn't new to training per sea, and I wasn't quite new to riding either--it had just been awhile--and as such, I thought I knew pretty much everything I needed it know about pedaling a bike with an aim toward racing.

True, I was the only Cat Four racer,  on a team of fast Ones and Twos with a somewhat dubious reputation, but I possessed a special kind of hubris that imbues one with a with false sense of purpose. I rode a lot, often alone--but not lonely--spinning hours away attacking the climbs and riding the downhills like my bike had some special governor on it, keeping me under twenty-five miles an hour, and never more than fifteen in the corners. From time to time however I did get to ride with others who were better, and who provided me with my first experiences riding within a group.

DK was the head of our team. He was a good track racer with a swagger so intense that it could only be considered cockiness. He was a muscular fellow as well, and rode a little like Donkey Kong when in the thick of it. He was most definitely an ass hole, and I mostly disliked him, but he was capable of riding in a straight line, a skill I sorely lacked.

I was watching a lot of racing back then. At the time it was common to see some brave rider off the front, head down, fighting against the wind, and himself, not with his hands in the drops, but with his forearms resting on the tops of the bars. Somewhere around the end of our Sauvie loop I was at the front with Tommy, one of those guys who is somehow crazy fast, wins a lot of races and then disappears into some other pursuit, and there he was, forearms on the tops of his bars. I copied him.

"Tommy gets to do that Bob, you don't. Put your hands back on the hoods." DK said from behind.

I did as I was told.

There was no need to ask why Tommy was allowed to be so goddamn pro while I was confined to the hoods. The answer was obvious: I hadn't spent enough time in the saddle, riding with others. Nor did I have enough control over my bike to be doing anything remotely close to riding like a real boss. Two hours later, close to home, I was yelled at for coasting while on the front.

It would take another two years, a move to Seattle, and the knowledge that my true road racing days were over that I my learning in the ways of the road, and becoming a cyclist, would finally begin to take off. By then it had become easier for me to humble myself enough to learn from riders I respected, and were capable of keeping a clean reputation off the bike as well. Even still you won't find me with my arms on the top of the bars.

There isn't much point to this story, as if there's a point to riding period, when we really drill down to the bottom of it all. But that is why we do this thing in the first place. However, I suppose that if there is a point to this it would be: know what you have to work on and get down to it. You'll end having more fun with your friends.