Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Salsa 2015: Fat Bikes

The 2015 Beargrease 2: Alu Beargrease returns!-$2599.00
Saddledrive in Utah has just concluded for QBP, which is the dealer only show our distributor has every Summer. The new Salsa Cycles rigs have been revealed and in this first post we will get a look at the newest fat bike offerings.

New for 2015 are three fat bikes, the Blackborow, the Bucksaw, and the Aluminum Beargrease, (which really is a returning model). Continuing models include Beargrease Carbon and Mukluk line ups (with suspension forks!)

So enough with the words! Let's look at the new rigs first!

Beargrease Carbon 1- $3699.00
The range topping Beargrease XX1- $5599.00
Range topping Bucksaw 1- $4999.00
The Bucksaw 2- $3999.00
The Mukluk Ti for 2015- Now with suspension!- $4899.00
The Mukluk 2 also will sport a Rock Shox Bluto fork- $2999.00
The Mukluk 3's get Holy Rolling Daryls and hydraulic brakes- $1899.00
The Muk 3 also is available in the stunning Ruby Red
The Blackborow 1- Biggest tires on the widest rims! $2799.00
Blackborow DS- 2 speed bushwhacking machine. $2299.00
So- There ya have it! The line up for 2015 from Salsa Cycles in terms of fat bikes. I'll be bringing you some finer details on the bikes later. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

So- You Want To Ride RAGBRAI?

The "perfect" RAGBRAI bike looks like this
RAGBRAI is happening this month, and if you are going, you'd better have all your ducks in a row already, so this post won't be for you. This post will be for those who are about to decide whether to tackle this ride someday.

This is also a good post for anyone looking for a "road" bike, and wants the best bike for the recreational, versatile type of riding.

First off- let's get something out of the way here. Taking a skinny tire equipped, racing bike design and converting it to RAGBRAI duty is NOT the best thing to do, despite the urgings of your "RAGBRAI veteran" rider. Yes.......you could do what they say. Yes.......it's worked for years for lots of folks. That said, there is a better way to do the job, and here is why......

  • Bicycles with drop bars and capable of only running 25mm or less wide tires are generally designed from a racing perspective. This does NOT mean it is a "fast bike". It only means it was designed from a racing perspective and will work best if you want to race a bike in a criterium or on a road race. I've noticed something about racing bikes at races- They don't use racks, kickstands, or aerobars in criteriums. Get the picture? In other words- You probably wouldn't put a trailer hitch, running boards, and a touring rack on a C-7 Vette, because.....it's a race car for the street. Same deal with a "racing bike" folks. Same deal.
  • If you want comfort, versatility, and accessories then a racing design is the last bike you want to look at despite all the promises of "speed". Look folks- speed comes not from the bike, but from the rider. Okay, now that this dirty little secret is out in the open, let's drop the testosterone and look at what folks really should have for a ride like RAGBRAI......
Trek's Crossrip bikes are also perfect RAGBRAI rigs.
Accessories: When we sell a bicycle for a RAGBRAI rider, they typically want to put a rack on there to carry "stuff", and many even want to be able to pull a trailer or haul a "trail behind" bike to take a kid along. A racing bike has a lightweight rear wheel meant to handle a single rider that weighs about 180lbs. So......yeah, that wouldn't be smart to throw a rack on to carry a load. (Unless you like broken spokes, wheel issues, or wearing out hubs fast.) Many folks like kickstands. Racing bikes cannot handle kickstands because their tubing is optimized for riding at the lightest possible weight for the frame and handle in a stiff, efficient manner. Kickstand clamps require high strength, thick walled chain stays or a chain stay mounted kickstand plate. Not gonna find that on a Trek 1.2 folks.

These accessories call out for a different kind of bike. A more versatile, "all-road" bike like a Crossrip from Trek, a Tamland from Raleigh, or Salsa Cycles excellent Vaya. All of these models can take a rack, and they all are comfortable bikes which racing bikes are not meant to be. Racing bikes are meant for racing, not comfort. These bikes I am mentioning are designed with comfort in mind. But please skip over them if you don't want to be comfortable. (Remember- going fast doesn't come from the bike folks, it comes from a rider that is comfortable on the bike, and fitness.

Finally, a word on tires. There is a huge misunderstanding when it comes to tires for riders attempting RAGBRAI. Many think that the skinniest tires they can buy will make them "faster". Nothing could be further from the truth. Skinny tires will definitely make your bike less comfortable, and it will make your bike more prone to flats and spoke breakage. Many will poo-poo this idea, and we as bike shop retailers will be more than happy to fix your flats and broken spokes, plus we'll gladly sell you wider, cushier saddles. But you could avoid all of that by riding proper tires at lower pressures and guess what? You'll have lower rolling resistance and less mechanicals. This isn't something I'm making up either. Studies are being done across many different entities which show the same outcome. Tires are suspension. Suspension damps vibrations which otherwise would reach you, (sore butts), or vibrate your machinery to death (broken spokes and more), and with high pressure, unforgiving skinny tires, you don't get any of that, and you won't be faster.  (Remember- People are either fast or slow, bicycles are a minimal factor in the speed equation)

So, there are some hard, cold truths about bicycles for RAGBRAI. Hopefully you folks with open minds will find it useful......





Friday, April 11, 2014

Fat News

Sub-Grand Fat Bike!!!
Fat Bike Sale:

If you've been on the fence about this fat bike thing, and needed a shove, well now is the time. We've reduced the prices on all remaining fat bike inventory, including a smokin' deal on the Origin 8 Crawler, which is marked so low I can't tell you on-line. Seriously!

We've got two Mukluk 2's and a couple 3's on the floor and when they are gone, they are gone. They won't last long at the prices we've marked them at, in fact- one sold already! 

The new full suspension Bucksaw
 Bucksaw Full Suspension Fat Bike:

We've known for three years that Salsa Cycles was working on a full suspension fat bike, but we had almost given up hope of  ever seeing it. Well, recently Salsa Cycles introduced Bucksaw full suspension fat bikes in the "1" & "2" levels. Based upon the highly acclaimed "Split Pivot" rear suspension design by Dave Weagle, the Buckshot is no novelty. It is a serious, trail oriented mountain bike.

The question we keep hearing is "Why the fat tires mated to full suspension? Aren't the big tires enough?" Great question, and here are a couple of reasons why Bucksaw makes great sense:

  • Big tires have Big Grip: Mountain biking is all about traction and keeping your traction under control. Think about that. Without traction, you are either out of control, or not going anywhere. Fat bike tires have a huge contact patch with the ground. A much larger contact patch than an ordinary mountain bike tire could ever have. More knobs equal more grip. You can go faster, climb better, and brake harder. 
  • Big tires are Undamped Suspension: While it is true that big fat bike tires have "springs" of air that can absorb a lot of trail deformities, that energy that is absorbed has to be returned either as heat, or an equal and opposite force. In terms of pneumatic tires, that energy returned will cause the tires to bounce. Suspension can arrest that energy and dissipate it, instead of your arms and legs doing that job. (Which I think sounds better than me having to deal with that energy!) With Bucksaw, you not only have superior traction, but you have a system to keep it under control as well. 
Bucksaw models will be available in the Fall of 2014, but if you want one, you may want to pre-order the bike, as these will be in high demand, being the first out of the gate with such a design on a wide scale. Come in and talk with us about these or any of the other excellent Salsa Cycles bikes we have or that we can order in for you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Raleigh Tamland 1- The Road Bike With No Limits

Raleigh Tamland 1: Image courtesy of Cyclo Cross Magazine.
Here at Europa Cycles, we are stoked to be able to offer the Raleigh Tamland 1 model. This is a very unique bike that hasn't been available before. It is a very versatile design.

But first, it has to be said that one of Europa's own employees, (yours truly), actually had a hand in helping to develop the geometry and some of the features of the Tamland. (<==Click the link to find out the story.)

The Tamland is billed as a "gravel bike", but that's selling the design a bit short. Here's why the Tamland matters and why you might find it to be the perfect "all around" bike for most of your road biking needs:
  • The Tamland has a stable geometry: This means you have an easier time keeping the bike going forward over rougher roads, gravel, and even dirt!
  • The Tamland is constructed from Reynolds 631 tubing: This means that the ride quality will be smooth, but not "dead" feeling. It is a certain quality of higher end steel that seasoned cyclists seek out in a bicycle. There is a reason why......it feels good!
  • The Tamland has full rack and fender braze ons: This means it can be the perfect commuter, RAGBRAI rig, light touring bicycle, or perfect for your next, long adventure. In other words, it is versatile!
  • The Tamland can fit a wider range of tire widths: The Tamland comes stock with Clement's excellent all around purposed MSO 40mm tires, but you can just as easily mount 28mm road tires all the way up to 42mm dirt road tires and anything in between. Did we mention the bike is versatile? 
  • The Tamland has disc brakes: Disc brakes do several things for you- You can stop safely in any weather, you can use less hand force to stop more quickly and under control, the pads tend to last the average rider at least twice as long as ordinary road brake pads, and if you break a spoke, you don't have to compromise your brakes to keep rolling. The TRP Spyre disc calipers are also unique and powerful compared to the competition. 
  • The Tamland has a Shimano 105 spec level: This means you get reliable shifting, smooth operating drivetrain parts with a reasonable lightweight yet durable cassette, chain, and chain rings. Oh yeah......and it is 10 speed. A compact crank and wide range cassette mean that any hills around here are toast when you attack them. You've got plenty of gear on tap here!
Essentially, you can think of the Tamland as "the road bike with no limits". It can be fitted with accessories, no problems, unlike most lightweight, road racing bikes that are not meant to have racks, fenders, etcetera. It can run on pavement, busted up chip seal, gravel, dirt roads, fire roads, and essentially anywhere there is a path that doesn't require a mountain bike. It may be the only bike you'll ever need.

We've got a full size run of Tamland 1's in now. Stop by and see this and our other 2014 models in stock now. We'll have the coffee ready for you.......

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ready For Spring

Updated service counter
At Europa Cycles, we have been doing some "Spring Cleaning" and sprucing up for the coming season. Many of the things we have done are behind the scenes changes. Things like how we store bicycles, how we track things, and more, which you, the customer, won't really notice other than perhaps we will be more efficient and be getting things done faster than before.
 Other things are very noticeable, like our new Service Counter. We have moved it to be separated from the retail sales counter to make busier times less chaotic for the customers. Service and repairs will now not be in the way of your checking out and getting out there to ride!

We also updated our service packages to better reflect our customer's needs. We sat down and took stock of how many repairs were basic, just check overs, or more serious repairs. Data and experiences over the last decade were considered. The old packages we offered weren't very flexible in terms of "add ons", and some were antiquated, based on tradition which has been rendered obsolete.

So what we came up with is more flexible, reflective of today's rider's needs, and in many cases, will actually ring up to be less money than they would have with the old packages we offered. We're dedicated to doing a better job up front, when we check in bikes, and we feel that will also raise the bar for our service department versus the competition. We're pretty proud and stoked to offer this new system to you in our Service Department, and we look forward to seeing you and your bicycles very soon.

Clothing: We're revamping the entire clothing department, and we are clearing out all of the old stuff. (Yes- bargains on all current inventory!) In turn, we are changing displays and we will be offering two new clothing lines very soon that will be exclusive to the area.

We're pretty stoked about the new lines and how they will enhance your cycling, help you gain higher performance, and look better on your bicycle. Who doesn't like to look better? Yeah........you know you do! So, stay tuned for announcements of the new lines and be prepared to check out the new stuff coming in this Spring for all your Summer cycling needs.

We also just received delivery of all our new Burley trailers for 2014. Burley has always been the premier child trailer brand and commands the highest resale prices aftermarket. But the newest Burley trailers are even better than their predecessors. More features, easier to fold and unfold, and better safety for your little ones are all things that not only separate Burley from the competition, but have made 2014 Burley trailers their best ever.

We've got four models to choose from and also the Burley Travoy commuter/urban cargo unit, which is a trick little two wheeled cart you can take off the bike and right into your office or shopping store. (Even Waterloo's Mayor has one!) We also carry the Nomad, Burley's cargo trailer made to haul a variety of stuff, or use it to haul your baggage on your next tour. Perhaps carry that stereo and "adult beverage cooler" on that cross state ride at the end of July? Yes!

We've also stocked up on tools, accessories, and supplies you'll want to be checking out to help make your 2014 cycling experiences the best ones ever. One of the cool little gizmos we have now is the PRO mechanic stand which is portable and comes with its own carrying bag so you can easily tote this on vacation, to events, or just to use as your stand at home to keep your bicycle happy.

We've been busy to get ready to be busy helping you. We believe 2014 will be the best year for you to visit Europa Cycles ever. We are ready and waiting to get your bicycles serviced, and to supply you with anything you might be needing to get off on the right foot this cycling season. Stop in and see all the 2014 Raleigh, Trek, and Salsa bicycles plus the Sun recumbents and trikes. And have a cup of coffee on us while you are there. See ya soon......

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spring Will Be Springing!

Playing teacher for a day.
Here at Europa Cycles we are fixing up things in preparation for Spring to come. It's going to be here before we know it!

We helped several folks recently get their rigs readied for Spring and put some knowledge and tricks of the trade into their hands recently. Europa Cycles hosted a maintenance class which provided the knowledge and tools to help these lucky folks learn about repairing and adjusting their own bicycles. They even got to take the tools home with them that they used in the class.

We'll probably do this again during the "pre-season" next Winter, so stay tuned if you are interested in learning how to wrench on your own rigs.

We've been busy primping and preening the store recently as well. If you haven't been in lately, you'll see several details that have been added or subtracted from what you might remember. Come in and see how we've tweaked out things soon! We've also been busy doing some administrative changes that should make for a better customer experience. We've streamlined the service department, we've changed the way we do some procedures, and we've added some structures to hold items in a more efficient, more pleasant to look at way. Small things, maybe, but all will improve the customer experience at the shop.

Need a fat bike? Here's a smokin' deal!
We have a few really smokin' good deals on fat bikes and some left over 2013's at the shop yet. Here's one that I'm featuring today. It's the Origin 8 "Crawler" fat bike.

This is a unique bike in the fat biking world as it is equipped with a super low maintenance Nuvinci hub and has no derailleurs hanging down to get snapped off, iced up, or clogged with mud. It may be the perfect "bushwhacking" bike! Come in and we'll show you this bike, or any of the other great deals on left over bikes. Of course, we have a ton of new 2014's as well to check into.

Hope to see you soon. Ask for the tour of new things, and a cup of coffee!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tune Up Class & Other News

Hey there! It's been a while now, but the rogue shop blog isn't dead yet! In fact, I am just so busy rubbing my hands together to stay warm lately that I don't have time to type on this here page!

But seriously, it isn't the busiest time of the year, obviously. Now that Spring is nigh though, there are the thoughts that should be entering your brain like, "I should get my bicycle(s) looked at soon....." (At least you SHOULD be thinking along those lines!) Maybe you have always wanted to know just what sort of magic bicycle mechanics do to bikes. Maybe the dark art of wheel truing, perhaps, or the deep magic involved in derailleur adjustments. (Well, it really isn't magic, but I have been bombarded with J.K. Rowling references by my teenage daughter lately, so....)

If this vaguely describes you in any way, perhaps the new "Bicycle Repair Classes" is for you. (Click the flyer to observe the text in a larger format.) This year we decided that a more "in depth", hands on approach may be desired by a few folks. It costs more money since you get yer own wrenches to spin that you can keep forever, and the class is "hands on" your very own rig, so you get it tuned up as well. Maybe no one will care to sign up, which is fine by me, since I will go on a bicycle ride instead! (<====HA!)

Special deals to be had.....
In other news....

We have a few "Special Deals" on some Salsa Cycles rigs. How special? So special I can't even tell you openly about them. That's how special! Here are a few bikes that are on our "hot list"....

Size Large Beargrease XX1
58cm & 56cm Warbird 2's ('13 models)
54cm Casseroll ('13 model)
Mukluk 3's- A few to choose from.

PLUS: Several Treks and Raleighs that are RED TAGGED

Interested in buying anything like this for a special price? Tell us you will buy one, (or heck- all of them!), and we'll tell you the price. Don't come tire kickin', cause we won't give you a price unless you are buying. Yes- it is that good of a deal.

RAGBRAI Comes Close in '14!!

In case you had not heard, RAGBRAI 2014 is coming through our area. It overnights in Waverly and Independence. It will be a flat, easy as pie ride, so gear up your steeds folks. We'll be super busy come June, so do not wait to get your new bike or tune up on your old rig. Get in the shop now and beat the rush! Don't look all sorry when you wait till June 15th and we tell you it is a two week backlog on repairs.

Don't say I never told ya so!