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After a broken leg sidelined his competitive softball playing, Mark Miller’s exercise routine took a different direction. During rehab, the athlete turned to swimming to ease the pressure on his joints. Next, he added cycling and running to his regimen, becoming a world-class triathlete. Eventually, that led to Miller opening his own custom bike shop, Precision Bikes, which recently moved to a bigger space at 114 Rena Drive.

MillerM 7446 RMay
Photo by Robin May
Mark Miller

Miller’s transition from workout warrior to self-made businessman took several years of intensive training, competing and networking.
Twenty-two years ago, the then 34-year-old competed in his first long-distance race with a group of about 20 local triathletes. Gradually, Miller pulled ahead of the pack, putting 50 half-Ironmans, 27 full-Ironmans and 15 marathons under his belt, including Ironman Roth in Germany and Escape from Alcatraz. In 2010, he reached the pinnacle of the triathlete class, competing in both the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Isklar Norsemen Xtreme Triathlon in Norway.
“The Norsemen was the hardest one for me,” Miller says. “I ended up having to spend 9.5 hours on the bike that day before I started running the 26 miles. It took me right at 15 hours to finish.”
Along the way, Miller befriended John Cobb, owner of Cobb Cycling in Tyler, Texas, who had worked with some of the world’s greatest cyclists including Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond. “John Cobb taught me the most about cycling and the wind tunnel,” Miller says. “I owe a lot to him for taking me under his wing.”
For a while, Miller trekked to Cobb’s Shreveport cycling shop every weekend to work. “I just wanted to learn the cycling business, and I chased it for a long time,” Miller explains. After a few years, Cobb offered Miller a full-time job running his main warehouse. A year later, Miller decided to return home to open his own store.
With the help of close buddies Frank Camalo and Dr. George Sobiesk, Miller launched Precision Bikes in a small space at 3214 Johnston St. in April 2004. Another long-time friend and co-cyclist, Ruud Vuijsters, designed Miller’s website. Miller quickly became known for his custom-made bikes and personalized fittings. “I feel that I’m more of a destination place now,” Miller says. “Most of what I sell is for the racer, whether it is for the road or a triathlon.”
As demand grew for his customized services, Miller decided to expand to a larger location.
Last year, Miller opened at his new spot on114 Rena Drive. His longtime employee, Amanda Shone, came with him, along with two part-time repairmen. The 3,500-foot space has two repair stations up front and one in the rear; a showroom with racing and cruising bikes, athletic wear, shoes and accessories and a private room for bike fittings. Bike brands include QR, Cervelo, Felt, Colnago, Pinarello, BMC, Specialized and Linus. Clothing lines include Louis Garneau, Zoot, Coeur, Soas and 2XU. For shoes, Precision Bikes carries Sidi, Louis Garneau, Mavic, Specialized and Shimano.
Precision Bikes is Fit Institute Slowtwitch (F.I.S.T.), John Cobb and Retül certified, allowing Miller to custom-fit triathletes with cycles that move along with racers’ bodies. “I guess the thing that I offer that nobody else does is the fitting experience by positioning people on bikes,” Miller says. “Cycling is my passion now. I love going to work.”
Miller’s reputation in the cycling world grew quickly, attracting customers from throughout Louisiana as well as Texas and Mississippi.
Many professional triathletes have dropped by Precision Bikes, including Chris McDonald, Linsey Corbin, Anna Cleaver and world champions Chris McCormack and Miranda Carfrae. Pros have also taught Miller’s cycling camps in Lafayette and Mississippi.
Now that Miller is living his passion, his next goal is to complete the toughest challenge of them all — the USA Ultra Triathlon. Held in Tampa, Fla., this grueling double ironman consists of a 4.8-mile freshwater swim, 224-mile bike course and 52.4-mile run course. Athletes have 36 hours to complete the race.
At 55, Miller shows no signs of slowing down. “I am the last one of the 20 racers that started with me 22 years ago,” he says in his laid-back, unassuming manner. “I’m now training with guys in their 20s.”
Precision Bikes is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed Wednesday and Sunday. All fittings by appointment only. For more information, call (337) 981-7686, e-mail markmiller@precisionbikes.com or visit the website at precisionbikes.com.

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Look 675:

Targeting the race and sportive market, the French Look 675 aims to be sharp and fast with enduring comfort, and as we rolled along our local valleys the frame worked hard to smooth the decaying road surface.

The integrated stem creates a very tidy front end, the top tube angle increasing to meet it, while the underside sweeps down to join the head tube. Angular tube shaping up front is mixed with flattened stays at the rear and a slim 27.2mm diameter seatpost, for a combination of both space age and conventional looks.
The stays and seatpost certainly offer a reasonable amount of compliance, and a different saddle might improve things further, but with such racy wheels there’s a limit.
Mavic’s 50mm deep Cosmic Carbone SSCs are noticeably stiff, and both help and hinder the bike. Through some testing switchbacks the dextrous front end turned in beautifully, the wheels helping to carve consistently, and over rolling hills their stiffness complemented the frame’s superb power delivery to climb efficiently.
Going back down, handling and agility were both top notch, the incisive fork coping well with some optimistic cornering. The surprise is the usually excellent Exalith braking track; shedding speed definitely required some forward planning.
As the wind got up it tugged at the front wheel as we passed gaps in the hedge; the wider carbon spokes give more purchase for the wind, making them a little harder to handle, but in combination with the fairly conventional frame it didn’t give great cause for concern. And as the rain set in, wet weather performance was predictably consistent.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.

Come check out the new wheel sets that just came into the shop!
*Mavic Cosmic SL carbon clincher
*Mavic C29Ss mAX (29er wheel set)
*Mavic Aksium
*Mavic KSYRIUM Equipe
*Mavic Cosmic SL (exalith breaking surface)
Come check out the new wheel sets that just came into the shop!
*Mavic Cosmic SL carbon clincher
*Mavic C29Ss mAX (29er wheel set)
*Mavic Aksium
*Mavic KSYRIUM Equipe
*Mavic Cosmic SL (exalith breaking surface)
Come check out the new Mavic jersey retailing $115 and the Mavic H2O jacket retailed at $180. Both bike specific apparel are made to keep you safe on the road.
Come check out the new Mavic jersey retailing $115 and the Mavic H2O jacket retailed at $180. Both bike specific apparel are made to keep you safe on the road.


CEEPO VIPER with a custom paint job.

Built with SRAM BLACK and ZIPP bars \ shifters.

Mavic Cosmic carbon \ clinchers.