Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Sale!

Come shop Jack and Adam's annual holiday sale happening Nov. 27th until Dec. 23rd. Here's what you'll find:

15% off Store Wide Sale - includes Clothing, Nutrition and Accessories (does not include 2010 bicycles)

40% Off all 2009 Triathlon Clothing

40% Off 2009 Short Sleeve and Sleeveless Cycling Jerseys

40% Off all 2009 Wetsuits

40% Off all 2009 Cycling & Triathlon Shoes

30% Off 2009 Race Wheels

25% Off 2009 Bicycles

Come & get it while the gettin's good!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Silverman 2009


If anyone is looking for a race that will max out their calorie counter, try the Silverman half or full distance triathlon in Vegas. As you all probably know, I was Treasurer of the Baton Rouge High School Poetry Club, so naturally I have composed a haiku to describe the event.

Prepare yourselves...

Are we still climbing?
Holey moley I think so
This is friggin' nuts

The race was a blast, challenging and well organized. I would definitely do it again, just maybe not next year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Trainer Talk

Today I thought I would pick up on a topic Drew touched base on...trainers. It is starting to be "that time of year" again when most of us do not want to ride in the cold, wet, and or wind. The alternative to get your riding in is spin class or riding the trainer at home.

I am in the market for a new trainer for this coming tri season so I thought now would be a great time as any to go through the differences between trainers. Hopefully this will make your trainer purchase decision easier.
Cycle Ops makes a series of trainers starting with the Mag Trainer. The Mag retails for $179.99 and now comes equipped with 5 levels of resistance (the athlete must manually adjust). I would recommend this trainer for those riding under 1 hour with minimal intensity and minimal resistance requirements.

The next Cycle Ops trainer in the series that I would recommend is the Magneto trainer. The Magneto now has progressive resistance without having to manually adjust! The Magneto retails for $269.99. I would recommend this trainer for those riding over an hour with intensity and looking for good quality resistance.

The third in the series of mainstream Cycle Ops trainers is the Fluid2 trainer. This trainer retails for $329.99. I would highly recommend this trainer for the multi-hour trainer rider who is looking for varied intensity, a wider resistance range, and a larger fly wheel to give a more road like feel. There are several trainer options Cycleops makes above the Fluid trainer that offer power readings and a few upgrades. More on those in the future.

This season Jack & Adam's will also offer the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Fluid Trainer. The Road Machine normally retails for $369.99 but as Drew mentioned we are running a special price of $299.99. The Road Machine Fluid Trainer is comparable to the Cycle Ops Fluid2 Trainer offering a wider range of resistance, and a larger fly wheel (the fly wheel is larger on the Kurt trainer) to give a more road like feel.

Please stop in to check both brands out and get your questions answered.
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pop's Picks of the Week

Here is a look at some new products arriving at the shop this week. Bikes, trainers, and greeting cards!

You may have recently seen on our homepage that we are excited to bring Ceepo Bikes to Austin. Well they have arrived! If you have time this afternoon, stop by the shop to see James building the Venom. Nobuyuki "Joe" Tanaka is a triathlete like all of us and he has created some incredible bikes!

James is building up the venom with SRAM Force, Profile Design bars and a killer Easton wheelset.

We've also received a Katana and Stinger so be sure to come by and check them out!

Winter for many of us, with its cold weather and short days, means time on the indoor trainer. There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to trainer brands and models. Answering the following question is the first step in picking the best trainer for you, "Will your workouts be short spin sessions, intense intervals, epic long rides, or a combination of all?" Come by the shop and share with us your answer and we'll help you pick the best trainer for your needs.

We have always recommended the Cycleops series of trainers. Saris' wide range of models, lifetime warranty and great pricing make them an excellent buy.

This week we'll be debuting a new trainer model at the shop. The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. This is the company that built the first Cycleops trainer. Kurt felt there was a better way to build a resistance trainer so they decided to set out on their own and do it.

The Road Machine employs an industry leading 2 1/8" roller to reduce tire wear and a 6.25lb flywheel to keep you spinning smoothly. The Road Machine priced at $369.00 is a serious trainer. When the trainers arrive tomorrow we'll have a dozen available at an introductory sale price of $299.00. If you've been contemplating a trainer purchase this may be a great time to do it and get one of the best trainers on the market to boot.

I don't know about you but November has flown by for me. If you follow the holiday tradition of sending cards to your colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones, but struggle with finding unique cards to express yourself, you should checkout Skeese Greets Holiday cards. These cards are flat out cool. All of the designs are created with used bicycle chains by Austin's own Stacy Keese. Whether you need a single card or several boxes, we have the latest Skeese Greets designs at the shop. Be sure to also check-out the Skeese Greets Blog for some unique ornament and gift ideas you can create yourself.

Well that's a sampling of some of the new things arriving at the shop this week. Come in and check-out these items and more for yourself. I'm off to find even more cool items for next week. Man I love my job! - Drew aka "Pops"


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Texas 4000 Fundraiser This Thursday!

Texas 4000 is a non-profit organization that hosts an annual charity bike ride from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska. Around 55 University of Texas students make this trek each year to spread Hope, Knowledge, and Charity across North America. The C4 or Come Cure Cancer Concert will be held on Thursday, November 19th at Scholz Garten from 8 PM to midnight to benefit the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased from any member of Texas 4000 ($20 at the door). At the concert, attendees will enjoy the music of Curtis Grimes, Sam Sliva and the Good, and Jimmy Kaiser. All guests will receive a goodie bag and will be entered into a raffle to win a variety of prizes.

Start Time: Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 8:00pm
End Time: Friday, November 20, 2009 at 12:00am
Location: Scholz Garten
Street: 1607 San Jacinto Blvd
City/Town: Austin, TX


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When should you replace your brake pads?

I get asked this several times a week. Knowing when to replace your brake pads and how to do it is very easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes. If you are concerned about your pads being worn out, the first thing to do is take off your wheels. Then look at the braking surface, every brake pad has grooves that are molded in whenthe pad is made. These grooves are wear indicators, when they are gone it is time to replace them.

You should also change your pads if you are putting on race wheels and they have a carbon braking surface. Over time all brake pads tend to get small pieces of aluminum embedded in them from the heat of braking.

To prolong the life of your pads and your rims you should periodically pick out the pieces of metal. If you are running carbon rims you should use special pads that are designed for carbon. These pads tend to brake better and last longer since carbon rims tend to heat up standard pads and wear them out faster than carbon brake pads.

Brake pads are very easy to change, most road brakes have a small allen head screw on the outside of the brake shoe. This usually takes a 2 or 2.5 millimeter allen wrench to undo. Take the screw out and slide the pads out the back of the brake shoe, some pads can be pretty tight so it may take a little patience to get them out. Once they are out you can take the new ones and slide them back in (these are labeled right and left so make sure you put them in on the right side). Once they are in you may need to slightly readjust your pads if the old pads were worn unevenly. To do this you should loosen the 4mm screw that holds the shoe to the brake and make the pad line up parallel with the rim. You have now replaced your brake pads and you can use your brakes with confidence.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Companies at the Heart of Tri

click on image above for larger version.

This year, Jack & Adam's Bicycles was listed as one of Inc. Magazine's fastest growing companies in America. We're very excited to have made this prestigious list.

In each edition of the magazine, there is a photo spread called, "Behind the Scenes: Companies at the Heart of Everyday Life." It's an interesting section so we've borrowed the concept here to create, "Behind the Scenes: Companies at the Heart of Tri." This month we're featuring a photo from Jack's Generic Tri in New Braunfels and some of the companies involved in all of our triathlons. Click on the image for the larger version.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bike Fitting The Sense Corp Texas 4000

Here at J & A's the fit room is always busy, and over the last couple of weeks The Sense Texas 4000 Riders have been coming in the doors on an hourly basis to take delivery of their new 2010 Felt z85 road bikes.

This group of riders are some of my favorite fits each year. Why? Well servicing them brings in some of the most amazing stories I get to hear and simply they are all neat people. Second, it is bike fitting at its best; riders are new with little history or riding experience, that translates into the importance of testing the fundamental process of what is considered a "good" comfortable but rideable (4500 miles rideable) position.

Positioning 50 riders to pedals and bicycles is a clear opportunity to continually tune the process of what is the real science and art of bike positioning. Taking a rider from beginning with no definitive perceptive awareness to the evolved state of knowing what their individual riding position looks and feels like is the part of bike fitting that few systems and technologies can assure. So, if you haven't heard of The Sense Corp Texas 4000 ride for cancer here is a link to read up:

And if you are needing a bike fit or considering advancing your bike position over the winter months, then give us a call and secure your appointment slot, where we will take the time to position you with every consideration.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Texas Tri Series 2009

The Texas Tri Series finisher party is on tap for this Saturday. 121 people have completed the series successfully by either participating or volunteering at every event. On Saturday, each of them will be rewarded with an awesome trophy and some great finisher gear. We will also have a stockpile of goodies to raffle off. A select group of all star volunteers will also be in a drawing for New Belgium Brewery cruiser bike! Of course, we will also be throwing a enjoyable party, with beer, wine, appetizers, and a Mario's deli lasagna as the main course. Leave room for a piece of one the 3 giant Texas Tri Series cakes.

The party is invite only, so if you think you should be on the list and you didn't receive an invitation, then please email

The results for the Texas Tri Series are available at

The 2010 Texas Tri Series lineup will be announced at the finisher party and will appear online within a week after the event. Registration for all of our events opens on December 1st.


Friday, November 6, 2009

"Born to Run" Coming to Austin

Chris McDougall, author of "Born to Run", is making an appearance at Rogue Equipment next Wednesday, November 11 from 2-4pm.

McDougall will be available to sign books (additional books will be available for purchase/signing) and athletes/fans will have the opportunity for a little Q&A with the author.

If you have not had a chance get your hands on the book, "Born to Run" talks about the ultra-running world of the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico and explores the theory that humans evolved as distance runners.
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Field Test Your Way to Faster Racing

The triathlon season is winding to a close and the brutal temperatures of the summer seem to be easing up. For many of Austin’s endurance athletes this means their ambitions start to lean towards running events. The fall and winter months afford great opportunities to set new PRs, run your first marathon or simply build on the fitness that you’ve been working on over the last few months. In order to achieve a new PR or run a marathon it’s important to take stock of where your current fitness is so that you can make sure you’re setting appropriate goals and doing workouts at realistic paces.

The best way to do this is by field testing. Field testing is basically an indicator workout used at the onset of a training program and throughout the season to measure your progression. It is also used to calculate the pacing range for your run workouts such as tempo, steady state, Fartlek, threshold and track workouts. To go out and do these kind of workouts without knowing where your pace should be is a recipe for injury and burnout. You should never begin a training program without establishing some sort of a benchmark for current fitness. If you don’t do that, there’s no way to know if you’re getting any better!

A short race can be used in a pinch for field testing but the problem with racing is that courses, terrain and actual distance often vary, so it’s tough to recreate the same conditions from test to test. This is a very important point for any type of testing, since you’ll be comparing your results from test to test, consistent environmental and preparatory conditions should exist to ensure accurate outcomes. When you field test your goal is to collect pacing data, heart rate data and perceived exertion notes as you will compare all of these points to subsequent testing.

A proper training program will yield single or a combination of changes. Ideally you should see yourself run a faster pace for the given field test after 6-8wks in a program, sometimes athletes will not run faster but their heart rate is lower for the same given effort. Assuming that environmental and preceding conditions are the same this suggests that you can do the same workload at a lower metabolic cost or stress to your body meaning you can run longer at that pace without fatigue!

Your training ranges will need to reflect your field test results. This means adjustments to pacing and heart rate ranges consistent with your higher level of fitness. You’ll want to work with your coach on how to incorporate this data as each athlete has different needs and different goals. Also note that when you do your testing on the track or a flat road that your pacing will be about 5-10 seconds/mi slower on Town Lake Trail or on rolling roads.

So how do you do a field test? There are several good protocols out there but over the years I’ve settled on a 2 mile time trail as the best one for myself and the clients I work with. I like the 2mi time trail because it’s short enough that all levels of fitness can complete it and it’s not so taxing that we have to take a lot of recovery days afterwards. Here’s how to complete and calculate your training paces.

Find a 2 mile stretch of flat road, trail or simply use the track. Make sure this is a place that you can easily get to in the future so that you can keep your tests consistent. Also make sure you keep the 2 days before the test fairly light so you have fresh legs, make sure you note this in your training log so that when you test again it’s with a similar approach. Get in an easy jog for ~15min to warm up and if you’d like do a few strides. Start your watch and begin your 2 mile effort. Use the first 400m to get up to speed, this will keep you from staring off too fast, once at about 400m settle into a pace that feels like the fastest pace that you can sustain, this should feel very hard and your breathing will begin to become shallow and labored, ask yourself while running, “Could I go a little harder and still finish this 2mi?” if the answer is “yes” then speed it up a bit, if “no” then keep the pace right there and focus on staying consistent. At the one mile mark take your split and charge on for mile 2. This is the hardest point, your breathing is rapid your legs are burning and you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. This is where you clear the mechanism in your head and go. Don’t be afraid of blowing up, it’s better to put it all out there than to have left something on the track. When you finish it will have felt like a race effort, be sure to get the split for the 2nd mile, the over all time and if using a heart rate monitor your average heart rate for the effort.

You now have a benchmark as to where your fitness is. Plan to repeat this field test again every 6-8weeks to see how you’ve progressed! If your training is structured appropriately you should see a faster 2mi field test and lower heart rates for the same given workloads in your training.

For more information on Field Testing and how to achieve greater results in your training and racing contact Derick Williamson of Durata Training at



Monday, November 2, 2009

Tires & TPI

I recently received several questions about tires and their TPI. So I decided to clarify a few things about the topic.

1st, TPI stands for Threads Per Inch.

2nd, tires are made with threads. Lower end tires have lower counts which tend to make them heavier and ride more harsh. Higher end tires have higher thread counts which allow them to ride smoother and contour to bumps on the road better. On some tires the threads are mixed in with Kevlar or some other type of durable fabric to make them more resilient to flats. It is important to note that a higher TPI tire is not more prone to flats than a lower TPI tire.

3rd, lower TPI tires are less expensive and are more common for training use. Higher TPI tires are more expensive and tend to be used for racing or for riding roads where you are looking for a smoother ride.

For a great low TPI tire I would recommend the Vittoria Zaffiro Tire. For those of you looking for the high TPI tire consider the Vittoria Diamante, the Vittoria Open Corsa, the Vredestein Tri Comp, or the Continental Grand Prix 4000. Please stop by the shop to check out the selection of the above mentioned tires or to ask questions and say hi.


The Dirty Du

The Dirty Du is just around the corner. At J&A and High Five Events, this is our favorite event of the year. It's definitely less stressful to put on than all the big tri's, but we also love just hanging out, camping, and exposing people to something different . We've added some new things this year:
  1. There is an off road half marathon on Saturday. Rocky Hill Ranch is a beautiful place to run off road. It's just like Bastrop state park.
  2. Cash prizes to the overall champions, plus a $500 bonus for taking down a course record. Check out the names of the record holders:
Men Lance Armstrong 1:36:05
Women Shae Rainer 1:55:34
Relay Adam Daley & Floyd Landis 1:25:50

Did we mention that every participant gets a hooded sweatshirt with their entry?!!! The volunteers get one too!

Our favorite part of the weekend is the Bike Toss and Fly Bar competition. The bike toss is basically a shot put/discus toss, but with a bike. The winner's get some really unique trophies this year. The Flybar is a super-duper pogo stick. We set up a little obstacle course and have a double elimination tourney.

Don't miss out on this great weekend!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Go Local Austin!

Austinites now have a new, bigger, and better way to support local with the new "Go Local" Austin discount card. Jack & Adam's is now a proud participant of "Go Local Austin".

What is the "Go Local" card?: Basically, every time you present your "Go Local" discount card at participating local business you get special cardholder discounts plus you'll be supporting the Austin economy while also reducing the production of paper coupons. The card is honored at many local establishments ranging from hair salons like 4001 Hair Salon, to local coffee dealer Progress Coffee, to Zocalo cafe and many in between.

The card is good for approximately 12 months, costs only $10 and is now available here at the shop.

So all you Austin athletes, keep Austin money in the Austin economy by stopping in at Jack & Adam's and by purchasing the "Go Local" card.

For more information about the program, please visit the "Go Local" blog site here.