Monday, March 31, 2014

Tune-up Season is on!

It happens every year, the weather breaks and there's a mad rush of bikes coming in our door for springtime tune-ups. Many have been hibernating all winter, others will have ridden straight through it in all sorts of conditions. Either way, everyone wants their bikes to be ready to go for that first nice day. Well it's coming quick! We think getting your bike tuned up should be an easy process, so here's what you need to know.

Our tune-ups are $60 for labor. The services included are adjusting of the brakes, derailleurs, bottom bracket and hub bearings, wheel true, basic cleaning (though it's always nice to make sure your bike is pretty clean before giving it to a mechanic to work on), lube, air and inspection of all moving parts. If you need any parts replaced that is in addition to the $60 labor.

No need to call ahead, we do estimates for service on a walk-in basis and can schedule an appointment for you once you and your bike are here. A mechanic will see if your bike needs any parts replaced and find out if there's anything in particular you are concerned with.

This time of year we start getting booked pretty quick and there can be up to a week before the next available slot. So you don't have to be without your bike for more than a day, we ask you drop it off the day before your appointment. Even the day of is fine if you can get it here by noon. We'll have it done and give you a call by the end of the day.

So if you think your bike might need a tune-up now is the time, you don't want to have to miss out on any of the wonderful weather that is bound to get here right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Catlike helmets are here!

Finally we've gotten some Catlike helmets in stock!
Right now we carry two models. The Whisper, which some of you may recognize as the helmet Thor Hushovd has worn in many a stage race while kicking everyone else's lycra wearing butts. Look how happy he is with it!
And we also have the Kompact'o pictured below.
The Whisper is available in both small and medium for $225, and Kompact'os in small, medium and large for $115. Come by and check them out!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


The daylight hours are getting longer, and with lighter days comes warmer weather and more people out on their bikes. So whether you're riding to meet friends out for drinks, need to flee a springtime hookup gone horribly wrong or you just feel like buying your steed a present, we've got the lights for you. There are tons of options so we'll share our faves of each category: USB rechargeable and battery powered.

-Battery Powered-
The Knog Strobe is by far our most popular light. No surprise considering the list of things it has going for it. It's unobtrusive, requires no bracket, is inexpensive, comes in a bunch of cool colors and is available in both front and rear. It uses two watch batteries (which we sell replacements for) and is surprisingly bright. $15

For rear only we also have the Planet Bike Blinky 7 and Superflash. Both mount with included brackets and use standard AAA batteries. The Blinky 7 has 7 LEDs pointed in various directions for better visibility, and the Superflash has a 1/2 watt LED that can be seen from up to a mile away. Both also have handy little clips on the back so you can attach them to your belt loop or bag. Blinky 7: $18, Superflash: $30

-USB Rechargeable-
What a good idea this was. Who likes buying batteries? It makes waste and is just a drag. Knog designed these lights knowing most people have access to a computer, so all you have to do is plug it into a USB port for an hour or two once the indicator light turns on. They have stretchy silicone mounts so they're really easy to put on/take off and require no brackets or setup. The Knog Blinder line comeS in both one and four LED versions, and in both front and rear. Blinder 1: $30, Blinder 4: $45

From humble lights to make you visible when riding in the city, all the way up to the Nite Rider Lumina 700 which could light your way on a moonless night in the woods, we've got you covered. Pop on in and check them out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Touring Bikes, the low-down.

Bike touring may just be the ultimate bike related adventure. There's just something so cool about the freedom of a self propelled adventure through woods and towns while breathing the fresh air of new places

Since bike touring season is upon us, we figured we'd write a little breakdown on what makes touring bikes special. Touring bikes need to be able to do a few things really well - carry all your gear, carry all your drinks, carry you in comfort over long distances. For a frame to accomplish these things it generally is different from road and cross bikes in a few ways, so I took some pictures for comparison.

First is a Surly Disc Trucker touring bike
and second is an Orbea Aqua road bike
*please note, if you click on any of these images they will enlarge so you can actually see what's going on.*

-Longer wheel base and chain stays-
These two things work to make the bike handle more smooth and stable which is good when you're carrying a lot of weight. In addition to that, the longer frame also absorbs shock better, leaving you feeling less beat up after a long day riding. Last little benefit this geometry tweak adds? The longer chain stays puts your rear pannier further back making it less likely you'll have problems with your heels hitting them aka: "heel strike". The geometry in general is also a little more relaxed and upright because that's more comfortable over long amounts of time. If you look at the above pics these things are totally visible.

 -All the water bottle bosses-
If you're going to be able to ride endlessly through the day you're going to need to keep hydrated and have a good way to carry your drinks. Because of this touring bikes generally have braze-ons for three bottle cages. Usually the third goes on the under side of the down tube (as pictures above), but it can be anywhere it will fit.

-Multiple rack/fender mounts and Reenforced Eyelets-
So many. A standard touring bike can have up to 8 sets of eyelets/mounts. You need to have options right? Also, If you look at the eyelets on a single speed urban bike versus the eyelets on a purpose built touring bike you will be totally impressed with how burly the ones on the touring bike are. This is because a lot of weight will likely be carried on a touring bike, so those eyelets need to be super strong and hold up over bumpy roads and hundreds of miles all while under load. An eyelet breaking is something no one wants, so they are designed to withstand pretty serious abuse. With these two pics, the touring bike has two eyelets as holes in part of the frame, and the road bike doesn't even have any. If you look at the larger images of the bikes up top you can see all the eyelets and water bottle braze-ons, too.

-Other things-
Touring bikes tend to be made of steel because steel is easily repairable. Many have 26" wheels because that size is a lot more common in the more remote areas of the world, making it less likely you'll be completely stranded by something as small as a flat tire. The wheels also usually have more spokes than road wheels because it makes them stronger. Lastly, they usually have a wider gear range and fatter tires which help make a larger variation in conditions comfortable. All of these things serve one basic purpose, to reduce the chances you'll get stuck somewhere because your bike failed you.

So there it is, what makes touring bikes different, special and absolutely destroy at their jobs. Clever stuff right? Show this to the next person who scoffs that you have so many bikes, maybe they'll get why people who like bikes tend to have more than one.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Forward

It's that time of year again. The days are getting longer and so are the shop hours.

We will be open from 11am - 7pm Monday through Friday and 11am - 6pm on Saturday. Still closed on Sunday - sorry!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stuff We Love: SKS Seatpost Fenders

Fenders may not be the most gorgeous or exciting accessory you can buy for your bike, but they are definitely one of the most useful.  Just ask any cyclist riding around on a rainy day if they want to have the wet and muddy butt they almost surely have. No one is going to be like "Yes. I love walking into work/class/the grocery store with a wet and muddy backside." No, they're going to be like "This is terrible and why I don't like riding my bike unless it's sunny, dry and 70 degrees out."
Well riding can be comfortable in any conditions if you have the right setup. Enter the SKS X-Tra Dry. It is a plastic fender that clips onto your seatpost with an adjustable strap. It's wide enough to catch pretty much all errant flying debris, really easy to switch from bike to bike if you have more than one, and is also great for group rides so you're not spraying your friends behind you. Another great use we've realized? It's awesome for mountain biking. Mountain bikes and fenders have never been a good mix (suspension, wide tires, general getting-caught-on-stuff), but by just clipping this to your seatpost all that is no longer an issue. Group snow rides? Even more fun when you manage to stay dry!