We all know one of the easiest and most effective ways to upgrade your ride is by upgrading your wheelset. Wheelsets can speed up acceleration, drop weight, increase speed, and make you coast effortlessly. The question a lot of riders run into is whether to go with upgraded aluminum wheels, or make the switch to carbon. While there are inherent benefits of each, it really comes down to what you value in your riding. We are going to talk about some of the benefits associated with each, to put riders in a better position to make the best decision for their ride.
One of the most notable advantages of carbon rims is aerodynamics. Carbon rims will almost always outperform their aluminum counterparts in wind tunnel tests, and these aerodynamic advantages can make all the difference in long rides and race situations. For this reason, we offer three different rim depth options on the new Tommaso Corsa Wheel line, to best meet every riders aerodynamic and aesthetic needs.
Another clear advantage of the carbon rims is vibration reduction. As all riders know, more carbon on your bike translates directly to reduced vibrations due to the nature of the material. Carbon frames, forks, stems, and seatposts deliver a smoother ride through the reduction of road vibrations, as carbon dampens vibration much better than aluminum. This also applies (in a huge way) to carbon rims, and you definitely get a smoother ride out of a carbon wheelset than its aluminum counterpart. Which makes sense, considering your wheels are the first contact point with the pavement.
Up until now, we have only been looking at the advantages of carbon rims, but aluminum rims don't always come up second best. During harsh weather riding, such as rain or snow, aluminum rims have a clear advantage, as aluminum braking surfaces perform better when very wet. Carbon braking surfaces and brake pads tend to have somewhat decreased braking abilities in wet condition and need to be dry for optimal performance. On the other hand, aluminum milled braking surfaces work quite well across the board and offer consistent, reliable braking in all weather. Carbon rims have gotten significantly better in regards to braking over the years, so riders need not worry about being able to stop, but alloy rims still win this round.
While weight savings is an attribute people associate with carbon rims, this belief is more based in the fact that riders going to carbon are generally upgrading from a lower end aluminum rim. The thought that carbon rims automatically offer huge weight savings over aluminum rims is actually a widespread fallacy, and many times carbon rims and aluminum rims of the same level are only a few grams apart.
While sometimes weight savings may be less significant than one would think, there is one advantage that becomes immediately apparent to most riders, and that is acceleration. Carbon rims just seem to accelerate better, which can give you that edge when racing against friends, starting at that stoplight with cars behind you, or getting ready to climb that hill.
The final benefit of the carbon rims is the leap into aesthetic and auditory awesomeness. We all know carbon rims look sexy, turn heads, and can really make any bike look incredibly sleek and well equipped. Many riders, absolutely love the sound that carbon rims give when coasting, and it really let's others in your riding circle know that you upgraded (if that is something you care about). Honestly, they just sound and look great, which in a sport where aesthetics are more important than most cyclists care to admit out loud, is a benefit that just can't be ignored.
To those of us who have been riding for some time now and are quite familiar with the sport and what makes one bike better than another, carbon rims show money well spent. For example, an aluminum bike with a great component set and carbon rims will perform better than a lower level carbon frame with aluminum rims and lower end components, while costing the rider the same amount. Investing in your wheels is a move that will pay performance dividends to your riding for years to come.
Whether or not upgrading to carbon rims is worthwhile for you is a personal choice. Considering all of the above factors, as well as your budget, and really thinking about the type of riding you are looking to do is a great way to get started. The new Tommaso Corsa Carbon Rims are currently running at the unbeatable introductory price point of $500 for the holiday season, which for many riders makes the decision that much easier.
If you have been looking to make the upgrade to carbon rims, take advantage of the incredible half off holiday sale on these rims. This special promotion will only last through the end of the week, so don't miss out.View full article →
While in Las Vegas for the 2015 Interbike show, a few of us were lucky enough to attend a historic event, the first Cyclocross World Cup in the USA. Having never been to a professional cyclocross event in my life, I was very excited to see what all the hype was about. Luckily Shimano/Pearl Izumi was awesome and hooked us up with some free VIP tickets, and cowbells, for Cross Vegas.
Before the race started, we got the opportunity to walk around and check out all of the different obstacles and features that the course had to offer. With dirt, logs, and deep sand on various regions of the course, I was very interested and new it would be thrilling to see the teams race. ... Read Full ArticleView full article →
If you are a parent with young kids, you are probably anxious to get them into all the fun that two wheels have to offer. Who doesn't want their kids to enjoy that same incredible mixture of excitement, nerves, and freedom? Which brings us to the real question of training wheels or a balance bike? This has been a heated debate for the past 5 years or so, causing many arguments and even pitting parents against one another on the best way to teach the little ones to ride.
Like any great argument, there is a notable point of disagreement, which is whether to teach kids the way we all learned, training wheels, or whether to venture into the relatively new world of balance bikes. I think most of us have a lot of fond memories associated with our introduction to the bicycle, so it is easy to see how nostalgia can easily leave one thinking that the way they learned is the best or only way to go about it. Continue Reading ...View full article →
At Giantnerd we love cycling and other outdoor sports, but we also have a passion for music. Many of us believe sports and music go hand in hand, and that music can really help you push yourself to perform better as an athlete. While at the Vail Mountain Games this year, our purchaser ran into the owner of Redfox Wireless, and we were very intrigued by their product selection. We decided that we enjoy listening to music while we exercise and compete, so we figured most of you would as well.
Shortly after the Vail Mountain Games, we decided to place an order and try some of the Redfox product line out. Their flagship product is the Edge Bluetooth Wireless Headphone system, so we figured that would be a great place to start. Having used lots of different Bluetooth headphones, our staff was a little skeptical, but we thought, "Hey, if it's good enough for Olympic athletes and was ranked as the Best Headphones by Runner's World Magazine, they may be worth a try". Well, all I can say is we weren't disappointed, so much so that some of our staff members literally work with them on all day now. These things are really awesome, you can even answer all of your phone calls at the touch of a button, and be easily heard with the built in speaker. They have awesome sweat protection to, because they were actually designed by athletes for athletes, and you know, all athletes do sweat.
After a great trial of the headphones, we decided to test some of their other products. Next on the list was the Redfox Rover Bluetooth Speaker. This speaker easily connects, via Bluetooth, to your phone or iPod and is extremely portable. It even comes with a mount to attach it to your seatpost, so you can enjoy quality sound wherever you go. The durable rubber coating and waterproof protection really puts this thing over the top, as no one likes a speaker they have to baby and never really get tot use.
We have been thrilled with how the new Redfox gear has been performing, and highly recommend it. If you have been looking for a great Bluetooth system that is ready for all of your workouts, Redfox is the ticket. Check our new selection of Redfox Products here, and find your perfect system today.
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This past weekend, Justin and myself decided to take our first swing at an adventure cycling trip. So, we built up an Illimitate and a Avventura, ordered some racks and bags, and headed West. It was simple to pick a route, and all you need to do is find a Forest Service Road made of dirt or gravel, and you are in business. This was our first real test of the new Adventure Disc Bikes, as well as our first adventure cycling trip, so we didn't quite know what to expect.
Justin and I are experienced backpackers, so we had all the gear we needed and were very familiar with all the National Forest and Wilderness area regulations. After ordering two Topeak Explorer 29er Tubular Racks, a Topeak MTX TrunkBag DXP, a Topeak MTX TrunkBag EXP, an Axiom Journey DLX Lowrider, and an Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Panniers, we were all ready to go. With the bikes packed up and looking adventure ready, we headed West on I-70 toward Silverthorne to US 9. After a scenic drive, we hit Ute Pass Road, where we planned to enter National Forest space and start riding. It was now time to park the car and see what these new Adventure Disc Bikes are all about!
Full of energy and excitement, we hit the gravel began to climb. It was shocking how easy it was to ride with this weight on the bikes, and all I could think was how much easier this was than backpacking. With the sun beating down on us, we continued to climb through ... Click Here to read the whole article!View full article →
Recently, I have gotten a chance to thoroughly test the Tommaso Illimitate on pavement, dirt, and gravel roads. The Tommaso Adventure Road Disc line is a significant deviation from our road line, and these difference offer a plethora of benefits. These bikes are all new for 2015, and they are already gaining quite a bit of popularity, so when I got the chance to test them out, I was excited to say the least. Without further adieu, let's get into what make the Illimitate the top of the Tommaso Adventure Road Disc line.
*Panniers and Racks Not Included
When pulling the Illimitate out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the amazing paint job and look of the bike. The matte black look is sleek and sexy, and it really has the look you want in an Adventure Bike. The new Corsa TC40D rims are tough and aero, and the full Shimano Tiagra drivetrain makes the Illimitate our best spec'ed aluminum bike. This new bike is perfect for commuters, adventures, and road riders alike.
The Tommaso Illimitate features the compact frame that our road riders love and trust, specifically designed for disc brakes. The shaped tubing looks great and offers dependable, comfortable riding year after year. The frame is fully equipped for a heavy duty rear rack and front panniers, making it incredibly versatile. The compact design offers unprecedented power transfer, which is key for climbing in dirt and gravel. With the vibration dampening of a carbon fork featuring sleek, internal routing for the front disc brake, this bike is ready for any adventure.
The Illimitate is the only Tommaso bike with a full Shimano Tiagra drivetrain. We upgraded to a Tiagra crank, to give this bike an advantage over the 2015 Monza. The shifting is impeccable, it's easy to tune, and a blast to ride. We put a compact 34/50T Tiagra crankset on, backed up by a Tiagra 12-28T cassette in the year. This combination is great for climbing and I was thoroughly impressed by how it performs off road in varied conditions.
We know you need extra stopping power when going off road or commuting in the most extreme conditions, so we outfitted every Tommaso Adventure Disc Bike with premium Avid BB5 disc brakes. These brakes work incredibly well on the road, in the dirt, when wet, and when dry. The versatility is fantastic and sure to please riders of all interests.
For our Road Disc Series, we upgraded the Tommaso Corsa rims to Tommaso Corsa D rims. These rims have 32 strong spokes, can handle the varied terrain you seek as an adventure rider. The Illimitate is equipped with a Tommaso Corsa TC40D wheelset and Kenda Kwick Tendril Road Tires. The rim and tire combination performs great on the road and in dirt, but once we got it into thicker sand and gravel, they did have a little slipping on steep uphill and high speeds. If you are looking to do a good deal of gravel and heavy sand riding or touring, you could benefit from upgrading to a more knobby tire.
The Illimitate features the same great handlebars on the Tommaso Monza. These compact bars allow riders to easily use all positions of the handlebars with comfort. Riders no longer have to deal with overly deep drops, and will be pleasantly surprised with the flat sections on the center of the bar to relieve pressure on the wrists.
All 2015 Tommaso Bikes feature our new comfortable customer WTB Volt saddle. When you get a lightweight, comfortable, and durable saddle, what's not to love? Not to mention that it has a specifically designed "Love Channel" to relieve pressure in all the right places.
In conclusion, I cannot wait to take the Illimitate out for another weekend adventure. The bike is awesome and exceeded my expectations in rough conditions. The brakes and smooth and powerful, the frame can handle all the racks and weight I could throw on it, the gearing is quick and precise, and the wheelset is powerful and durable. I will probably upgrade the tires before another long, grueling trip through various terrain. Honestly selecting one tire to cover all the different option this bike has would be tough, and it really comes with a nice all around wheelset. The adventure bike game is totally new territory for Tommaso, and I am loving it!
If the Tommaso Illimitate sounds like the perfect bike for you, we have a special offer. Take an extra $50 off the Illimitate all week long, by using code "ILLIMITATE" at checkout. This great value ends on July 8th, so hurry while it lasts.
Until next time, have fun and enjoy the ride.
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Have you been looking for the perfect commuter bike this season? Well, we specifically designed every 2015 Tommaso Aluminum Bike to better meet your needs as a commuter and a rider. Whether you get one of our Aluminum Road Series, Women's Specific Road Series, or Adventure Disc Road Series, your new frame will be rack-ready to give you the options you demand as a commuter.
With rack mounts drilled and tapped into ever 2015 Tommaso frame, it is easier than ever to add the perfect rack to your new bike with ease. These sturdy mounts can handle almost any rack on the market, and allows riders to add gear and luggage for commuting or touring trip.
We recently ordered some new racks and tested them on the bikes, to make sure they meet Tommaso standards, and were thrilled with the results. These frame racks have between a 45-55 weight limit and attach easily with nothing more than an Allen wrench.
If this sounds exactly like what you have been looking for, then you are in luck. This week, we are offering 25% off all bike racks.
Use code LUGGAGE at checkout to save 25% off every rack we offer. Offer valid thu 5/26
CLICK HERE to checkout out our rack selection today!View full article →
Over the past month, we have looked at a different bike from our 2015 Aluminum Line each week. After checking out the Monza, Tiempo, and Forcella, I finally got to spend quality time on the Imola. The Imola is our number one selling bike every year, and with such a great package at under $500, it is easy to see why. While the Imola may not have some of the bells and whistles of other models, it puts in work where it counts. So, let's get down to the brass tacks and see what is new with the Imola for 2015.
Upon inspecting the Imola, I was very pleased with the new color scheme for 2015, and thought the overall look of the bike was great. The next notable change was getting rid of the old Sunrace shifters and generic crank, with both being replaced by Shimano Claris components. With the shifters, derailleurs, and crankset all being Shimano Claris, it is looking like a pretty nice change from previous year models. The new gearing looks great, and the Imola still stays true to its roots with a 24 speed drivetrain that has made it a favorite for riders who want a large range of gear options.
The 2015 Imola is going to use the same great compact frame that all of the other 2015 Aluminum Road Series will be using. This is great, because in previous years the Imola has had a slightly downgraded frame that didn't take advantage of tube shaping technologies. The new compact frame design allows riders to get more power out of every pedal stroke, and adds comfort on those long rides. The Imola differs from the other 2015 aluminum bikes, by offering a steel fork, instead of a carbon one. While this does increase the weight and vibration transfer slightly, it also makes for a tough, sturdy design that will last year after year.
This year's drivetrain looks great and performs even better. 2015 is the first year we have ever used a Shimano crankset on the Imola, and the difference is undeniable. Shifting is smooth and pickup is great, thanks to the new gearing ratio. By switching the chain rings from 30/42/52T to the new 30/39/50T, while keeping the cassette a 12x25T, riders gain increased climbing power without sacrificing a high top speed. The shifters feel great, and are a huge upgrade in ergonomics from the Sunrace shifters of previous years. If you have ridden Imolas in the past, get ready to be impressed.
The Imola dumped the old, heavy 32 spoke Weinmann wheelset we have used for years, and got upgraded to the new Tommaso Corsa TC-20. This new wheelset is lighter and tougher, not to mention better looking, and sure to become a favorite of Imola fans. With the strength of 20 front and 24 rear spokes, you can still count on the Imola to handle whatever the road has to dish out and ask for more.
The handlebars are another change for the 2015 Imola, going away from full size to compact. While these handlebars do differ slightly from our carbon line, they still offers compact drops, allowing riders to easily access this valuable positioning with ease. Now riders of all levels can easily enjoy the benefits or lightweight, compact handlebars.
The last notable change to the Imola for 2015 is the saddle. Tommaso joined forces with world class saddle manufacturer WTB, to create the custom Tommaso Volt saddle. This saddle offers lightweight comfort and performance, with the specially designed "Love Channel", this saddle relieves pressure and leaves you ready to power through whatever the road has to offer. If you have been displeased with overly tough road saddles in the past, get ready for a welcome change.
As you can see, some great changes have occurred since 2014, and leave many wondering how it is possible to fit so much value in a road bike for under $500. Well, it may not have been easy, but it was definitely worth it. With upgrades in every possible area, the 2015 Imola shifts like a dream and rides like a bike twice its price. It would be nice to have a carbon fork on the Imola, and there are some definite benefits of having a couple extra gears on the cassette, but all in all I was impressed. I ride a lot of bikes and have tested every Tommaso model we have ever sold, and I can say without a doubt the new 2015 Aluminum Line is our best yet. The new Imola looks great, rides better, and comes with the unbeatable quality and service you expect from Tommaso. If you are looking for the perfect entry level road bike, the Imola is your ticket to fun and freedom.
If the 2015 Tommaso Imola sounds like the perfect bike for your 2015 season, we have a special offer for you. Take an extra $50 off the Imola all week long, by using code "IMOLA" at checkout. This great offer expires on May 13th, so don't miss out.View full article →
This week, we are going to be looking at the Tommaso Forcella, which in previous year's has gone by the name Imola Carbon. We decided that with the huge upgrades this year, that this bike deserved a new name. The Forcella is not just an Imola with a carbon fork anymore, it is its own distinct bike, with some amazing features not seen in any of our other aluminum bikes. At $599, this is definitely one of the best values in cycling today, and is sure to change the way you look at an entry level road bike.
For 2015 the Forcella is equipped with a full Shimano Claris drivetrain. That's right, the crankset, cassette, shifters, and derailleurs are all premium Shimano Claris. This uncompromising approach brings brilliantly smooth shifting and power, that you are sure to notice immediately. The 24 powerful Shimano Claris gears offer a great range and allow riders to easily climb large hills and speed through the flats. So, let's get into what is new this year, and why the 2015 Forcella is most certainly not just an Imola with Carbon Fork.
For the frame, we use the same high quality frame you will see of higher end models like the Tiempo and Monza. This allows riders at all price points to enjoy the awesome power of a compact frame set with tons of style from our premium shaped tubes. With an HCT carbon fork, the Forcella drops weight and decreases road vibrations with ease. A great new feature of the Forcella's frame is how commuter friendly it is. Equipped with mounts for heavy duty racks on the back, this bike is sure to become your new favorite way to get out and explore.
The 2015 Forcella is the only bike in our 2015 Aluminum Road Series that features a full Shimano drivetrain. There are no mixed and matched pieces on the Forcella, as every component is designed to work perfectly and fluidly together offering the performance that every rider deserves. With a Claris 30/39/50T Triple Crankset in front and a Claris 12x25T Cassette in the rear, you are given an incredible range of speeds to help you conquer old roads and find new challenges.
Going away from the Weinmann Wheelsets we have used in the past, the Forcella enjoys an upgrade to the stable and reliable Tommaso Corsa TC-30 Wheelset. With the strength of 20 front and 24 rear spokes, the Forcella can take whatever the road throws its way, and ride away in style. Featuring a 30mm rim for added aerodynamics, centrifugal force, and road dampening capabilities, the TC-30 is the best wheelset we have ever put on an entry level bike.
Across the board for 2015, we went with a more compact handlebar than we have used in the past. While these handlebars do differ slightly from our carbon line, they still offers compact drops, allowing riders to easily access this valuable positioning. Now riders of all levels can easily enjoy the benefits or lightweight, compact handlebars.
For 2015, we worked directly with WTB to create our customer WTB Tommaso Volt Saddle. We use this same saddle on premium carbon bikes like the Aggraziato, and are now sharing this breakthrough in technology and comfort with all of our road bikes. With a specially designed "Love Channel", this saddle will relieve pressure and keep you comfortable exactly where you need it, so there is nothing to think about except how much you are enjoying the ride.
With all of these incredible changes for 2015, we are confident that the Tommaso Forcella is the best entry level bike on the market. With a full Shimano Claris drivetrain, Tommaso Corsa TC-30 wheels, a premium HCT carbon fork, and the comfort and performance of a WTB Volt saddle, this bike will leave you blown away at all the value it fits in the $599 price tag. The only thing I found myself wanting was a little more range in the cassette, but with an 8 speed system, the Forcella does everything you would expect and more. If you have been looking for a great bike for 2015 that will turn heads and won't break the bank, the Forcella is the ride for you.
If the 2015 Tommaso Forcella sounds like the perfect bike for your 2015 season, we have a special offer for you. Take an extra $50 off the Forcella all week long, by using code "FORCELLA" at checkout. This great offer expires on May 6th, so don't miss out.View full article →
Next up for testing in the 2015 Tommaso Aluminum Series is going to be the Tiempo. After riding the Tiempo for the past week, I was thrilled to see how the changes and additions to the 2015 model compared to the 2014 Tiempo. Let's take a look at this incredible bike and see how much value can possibly squeezed into a $699 road bike.
All the 2015 Tommaso bikes have undergone a notable transformation and the Tiempo is no exception. Upon my first inspection with the Tiempo, one change really jumped out at me, and that was the crankset. The crankset really got upgraded this year, going from a generic triple to a premium Shimano Sora double, to optimize weight savings and efficiency. The new Tommaso TC-30 wheelset looked amazing as well, and I couldn't wait to get this baby on the road! Without further ado let's delve into this masterpiece of affordable road cycling technology and see what it can offer riders this season.
As with all the new 2015 Tommaso bikes, the frame for the 2015 Tiempo is brand new and totally re-designed to give you superior comfort and power on every ride. This lightweight, compact frame features a premium HCT carbon fork, offering great efficiency and vibration dampening. We also added mounts to the rear triangle, making the 2015 frames perfect for commuters and city riders who want to add a heavy duty rack to the frame.
In the previous year models of the Tiempo, there has always been a 3x9 drivetrain. For 2015, we changed that to a 2x9 system, to increase efficiency and make tuning a breeze. We also replaced a heavy triple crankset with a new Shimano Sora double, making for smoother shifting and great weight savings. The new 11x28T cassette offers a wider range than the old 12x25T, which makes a huge difference one climbs and straightaways alike. We also dumped the Sunrace shifters and replaced them with Shimano Sora shifters, to match the shifters, derailleurs, and crankset for the smoothest ride ever. Having ridden the previous year's Tiempo, the difference in this drivetrain is night and day. The crisp shifting really blew me away, and truly changed my opinion about what an entry level groupset has to offer.
Another one of the most notable changes for 2015 is going from the heavy and clunky Weimann wheelset to the fast and stylish Tommaso Corsa TC-30 wheelset. Featuring a 30mm rim and bladed spokes, you get the perfect blend of aerodynamics and weight savings. The 30mm rim also helps to dampen road vibrations, adding comfort that most thought could never be achieved with an aluminum frame road bike.
We feel it is essential for every rider to be able to use all the positions on the handlebars comfortably and with ease. On our 2015 Carbon Road Bikes, we went with an ultra-compact handlbar design that made utilizing the drop feature on the bars easier than ever. Riders loved the new handlebars so much, that we decided to trickle down this great technology to the 2015 Tiempo. If you have felt constrained to one or two positions on your handlebars, get ready for a breakthrough on the way you ride!
The last notable change to the Tiempo for 2015 is the saddle. Tommaso joined forces with world class saddle manufacturer WTB, to create the custom Tommaso Volt saddle. Offering lightweight comfort and performance, with the specially designed "Love Channel", this saddle relieves pressure and leaves you ready to power through whatever the road has to offer.
In conclusion, if you have ridden the Tiempo, or similar road bikes in the past, get ready to be impressed. Shifting is smooth and reliable, climbing is powerful and explosive, vibrations are minimal, and the bike feels great. The only real downside I saw while riding the bike was that it was only a 9 speed. Having an extra speed would have been great in some situations where I needed just a little more power, but that is unfortunately a drawback for the Sora system as a whole. Moving to the 11x28T cassette really gives you a wide range of options though and riders who are currently using 8 or 9 speed system will be thrilled by its functionality. The wheels are great and cut through wind easily, while the hubs let you coast like a dream. All in all, I had a blast riding the 2015 Tommaso Tiempo, and I know you will too!
If the 2015 Tommaso Tiempo sounds like the perfect bike for your 2015 season, we have a special offer for you. Take an extra $50 off the Tiempo all week long, by using code "TIEMPO" at checkout. This great offer expires on April 29th, so don't miss out.View full article →