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The Ultimate Apocalypse Survival Vehicle

October 30th, 2014

I think we’ve all seen enough Walking Dead episodes to know that when the Horde hits the fan, movement and silence are key.  Resources will become scarce.  There will be gas shortages.  After the looting stops, almost all useful items will have been taken or inaccessible…  And if we’re talking 28 Days Later Zombies.   Well…   Unless your name is Usain, you had better have reliable transport.

But you already know this.  It’s Zombie 101.

While the masses converge on car dealerships, fighting for advanced technology in a world that no longer supports it.  While society crumbles to the ground, and the living dead roam the streets.  While others are filling their bathtubs with water for the “Bug In,” just go ahead and toss a garbage can through our shop window and help yourself to the ultimate Zombie survival tool…  A riser bar fixed gear.

Particularly, the Masi Fixed Uno Riser.

Supporting evidence:


Fixed gear bikes are silent

With no coasting, or pawls in the hub for engagement, a fixed gear can pick its way through an urban death maze in virtual silence.

Fixed gear bikes have few parts and need little service

In a world were your next meal may be street Pecans and an expired tin of sardines, simple is better.  Time tested mechanical systems will get you much further than disc brakes and battery powered shifting.  In fact, although the Masi Uno Fixed comes equipped with standard caliper brakes it can be run safely without brakes in fixed gear mode.

Steel bike frames are time tested and will be more durable than carbon during apocalypse conditions

There will be enough soul less beasts stumbling around, your bike shouldn’t be one.  While carbon bikes are light, sterile, and ruthlessly efficient at going fast under ideal conditions, nothing about the end of the world will be ideal.  A steel frame is the obvious choice when your long term survival is at stake.

An upright riding position is key

Awareness is survival.  An upright riding position will give you easier access to weapons as well as allow you to scan your environment.  Riser bars will help distribute the load you will undoubtedly be carrying.  Quick machete access may be crucial when the going gets tough.

And that’s it…  Simple.  Proven.  Silent.

Believe me or don’t, I already own one.

Mellow Johnny’s Winter Layering Guide

October 29th, 2014

As most seasoned riders know, proper layering for winter riding is something of an art form.  Highly debated subjects, like our epic Knee Warmers Vs. Leg Warmer debate of 2013 take place in bike shops around the globe, and each rider slowly fine tunes their winter gear over the course of a few seasons to suit their particular needs.

We’ve cobbled together a simple chart outlining what gear we recommend based upon temperature ranges, and are happy to discuss any of these at length.  Just remember that these are suggestions based upon our experience, and can change based upon a variety of conditions.  We know that people in Minnesota commute in negative temperatures on the regular.  As Texans we can hardly wrap our collective heads around that.  Anyone who lives above 40 degrees latitude feel free to adjust the degree scale as necessary.

Like the guide?  Download the PDF here.

Trek Kids Collection

October 24th, 2014

Kids bikes have come a long way from the coaster-braked, banana seat deathtraps that we grew up with. Nowadays there are almost as many bike options for children as there are for adults. And for not much more than a disposable Big Box bike, you can buy a purpose built children’s bike, designed for safety and durability by a reputable cycling company. Perhaps most importantly, a bike that is built by experienced mechanics.

As shop employees, we all have fond memories of our first bike and the freedom that bike granted us. The end of the driveway, or end of the street was a brave new world to explore and our imagination often took us much further. It’s always our pleasure to introduce someone young to the joys of cycling, and help cultivate that adventurous spirit.

The new line up of Trek children’s bikes makes this task much easier. With multiple size options, colors and styles the new lineup is pretty cool. The new KRX, in particular, is perfect for the budding cyclocross superstar on your life. We’ve just received a large order of these to prep for the holiday season.  With features like gearing, crank length, bar diameter, etc. dialed for younger riders there is surely something for the young cyclists in your life.

Swing by the shop to check any or all of these bikes out.  We’ve also got plenty of kids helmets, gloves, jerseys and T’s in stock to complete the look.

Bontrager

October 22nd, 2014

Bontrager Cycles was founded in Sunnyvale, California by Keith Bontrager, a motorcycle racer and mechanic who became interested in cycling in 1978.  Using his knowledge, education, and experience in motorbikes, he rethought bicycles and built his first mountain bike in 1980.  His breakthrough development came in 1984 when he cut 700C (ISO 622) 40-hole Mavic MA-2 tandem rims to the circumference of a 26″ rim, re-rolling them to create a 32-hole 26″ rim.  Thus were born Bontrager rims, the first lightweight yet strong mountain bike rims. Since then, he has led innovation and development for Bontrager and Trek, who acquired the former.  Keith Bontrager is someone with more races, patents and ideas than a lot of other coveted brands will ever have. The Bontrager Twitter feed may not be prolific, but innovation and product developement is.

Working in a Trek-centric retailer means that Bontrager components and gear are always around.  The items are ubiquitous, and the range of their products is incredibly broad.  So much so that Bontrager wares risk becoming taken for granted.  As go-tos for affordable, high quality products, Bontrager $20 alloy stems, and $90 cycling shoes are unsung heroes.  Meanwhile, Bontrager’s higher end products shine brightly, and we should celebrate them.  Being “the parts maker for Trek, Bontrager sits in an OEM-like space that can be overlooked by media and sexy brand searchers. But Bontrager deserves all the cred of any niche, small batch manufacturer.  Bottom line, Bontrager makes some of the best stuff out there, period.

Below is a small sampling of Bontrager products we sell and believe in.  These are products we use, products that show the quality of the brand and products that live up to Keith Bontrager’s most famous and realistic aphorism, “Strong.  Light.  Cheap.  Pick two.”

The  RL Road Shoe

The big winner is the new Bontrager RL shoe.  After some seasons of Bontrager’s shoe evolution, this version is one we enthusiastically recommend.  Fit, features, and components are spot on. This carbon soled shoe features the much improved InForm Pro Last  for a better fit, as well as a new, more functional buckle and a really clean look.  At $180, this is a great price point for a carbon soled cycling shoe.

The Circuit Helmet

Helmets are expensive.  It seems that prices just keep rising, and while you can get some amazingly lightweight lids these days, paying 25% of your bike’s price for a helmet seems ludicrous.  Here’s where the Circuit comes in. The Circuit features the ventilation and protection of the highest end helmets, yet weighs just a touch more.  It’s a pretty good trade off, and one you likely won’t notice unless you’re doing four hour rides.  At $99 the Circuit looks at home in any criterium, but isn’t so pretentious that you’re embarrassed to commute in it.

The Serano Saddle

A lot of guys at the shop, including our GM, ride this saddle.  It’s not trying too hard, and it doesn’t really need to.  No one made up a term like “distrodensity,” and then tried to convince you that you need it.  With the Serano, there’s a classic styling that looks good on any bike.  The saddle is light, supremely well fitting and subdued.  If you miss your SLR, or the Arione isn’t working for you and longer, the Serano could be a great option.

The TLR Flash Charger Pump

This pump is a perfect example of Bontrager innovation.  A high quality floor pump that has an air reservoir for seating tubeless tires.  The fact is that more and more mountain (and even road) bikes are tubeless, and seating them with a standard floor pump is an exercise in futility.  Being able to seat tubeless tires without a CO2 or compressor makes perfect sense, and the Flash Charger does a great job of this.  It’s one of those simple ideas that are born from experience.

Keep in mind that this is just a sampling of the multitude of Bontrager products.  Items like Aeolus wheels, and XXX stems are works of art and we are happy to talk to you about these in person.  Just as Bontrager is so much more than a parts maker for Trek, the depth of the Bontrager line is so much more than one article can contain.




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