Friday, August 31, 2012

2013 Update

2013 Colossal
Just a heads up. We have several Trek 2013 bikes in stock already, but the "big dogs"- the Madones and Domanes are now ordered and we'll have some sweet road candy coming in soon.

Raleigh bikes just hit the door today. Look for some cool rigs on the floor as they get built up over the next few days and weeks.

And finally- Salsa bikes are due in sometime late September/early October. We'll have a Beargrease in Large, a Large orange Muk 3, a Medium Muk 2 in white/green, and a Large Muk 2 frame set in black w/purple decals. We'll have six Vayas, split between 2's and 3's, two Warbirds, a Colossal, and a Vaya Travel stainless steel bike. There are a couple I'm missing, but that's the order so far. Let us know if you want to claim one of these by putting some money down, or stop by to check them out. The Salsa bikes will be rad!

And don't forget, we have two Fargo 3's and a lonely Vaya from 2012 we'd love to find homes for along with the no longer available Casseroll, of which we have two of. We're prepared to make some sweet deals on these!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's In The Repair Stand

Late 90's/Early 00's Mountain Cycle San Andreas
The shop is located in the Mid-West. Not known as a hot bed of vintage, high end mtb esoterica by any means. So when I get not one, but two oddball SoCal mtb bikes in for repair, I definitely take notice.

The first rig I worked on is this fine example of a Mountain Cycle San Andreas full suspension bike. The San Andreas model was the bike that Mountain Cycle made their name on in the early 90's. In fact, the bike originally came with disc brakes and Mountain Cycles own "Suspenders" upside down style suspension fork. Back then the San Andreas featured a bellows for a rear damper not unlike what you might see underneath a semi-tractor trailer rig.

This was a later iteration, (possibly the last generation?) of the San Andreas. It had modern disc tabs on the rear swingarm, and it was stamped as being the "5th Version" under the bottom bracket next to the serial number and the Kinesis USA stamp.

Full XTR drivetrain and shifters.
The bike was kitted out in the best of its day: Full 9spd XTR drivetrain and shifters. Paul Motolite brakes and Love levers, with Chris King hubs and head set.

The frame is a tour de force of welding. I was amazed by the yards of weld beads on this thing. The monocoque aluminum construction looked huge and heavy, but the bike was actually quite reasonable for weight. I figured it in the upper 20's, but I did not actually weigh it.

It also had a Thomson stem and seat post with a Selle Italia SLR saddle. Top notch stuff everywhere I looked. And I had to look at everything, since it was in for cleaning, and the bike was covered head to toe with grime.

Mountain Cycle Moho hard tail
The same customer also brought in this nice Mountain Cycle Moho hard tail. This is similar in construction to the San Andreas, but was a model brought out in Mountain Cycle's later years.

This one was no less stunning. Again- a full XTR drive train was on board with a SID fork and ultra-rare ProShift brand CNC brake levers and linear pull brakes.

Ultra-rare, Made In The USA brakes
This rig also featured Thomson parts. The stem and seat post again, which sported another Selle Italia SLR perch. The head set was a black Chris King unit, but the wheels were rare Hadley hubbed ones. Made in the USA, of course.

This rig was maybe even dirtier than the San Andreas, so it probably got a lot of ride time. Even so, the parts were in remarkable condition.

I love seeing old, exotic mtb stuff come through the shop. It is fun to work on, and I get to touch and experience things I only got to see in magazines of the day.

These bikes needed little, but we do work on all types of bicycles at the shop, so if you have something you need looked at- be it a hybrid rig or something vintage like these two bikes, we can do it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2013 Salsa Cycles Update

2013 Salsa Cycles Warbird
Recently a couple of us from the shop got to demo some new Salsa Cycles bikes in Carter Lake Park in the Twin Cities area.

We are pretty stoked to be bringing in some of the new models like the Warbird shown here, and new Mukluks, along with the popular Vaya all-road bikes.

For a more detailed look at what I saw, take a peek here.

Stay tuned. We expect some of the 2013 bike will be showing up at the shop in about a month to a month and a half from now.

Friday, August 10, 2012

2013 Preview: Salsa Cycles Mukluk

Muluk 2 Frame/fork option
At the shop we've got a 2012 Mukluk 3 just waiting for someone to get a raging deal on, by the way. But we also will have some 2013 Mukluks showing up at some point. There have been a few changes made that I want to touch on here.

The biggest, most noticeable change will be colors. Mukluk 3's will now be available in a green and in an orange variant. (We've got an orange one on order) The Mukluk 2's will be white with green and black decals. (I think we've got one of these coming as well.) Also, the Muk 2 is available as a frame/fork only option in the colors shown here. This frame option will not be offered as a complete. (We have one coming)

The most exciting changes on 2013 Mukluks are the addition of the Altenator Dropout. This system allows for a geared or a single speed option for your fat bike. Also, the head tube is a 44mm diameter now which will work with straight and tapered steer tubes.

Finally, the geometry has been tweaked to allow for a slightly shorter chain stay length and a slightly higher bottom bracket height to dial in the Mukluk as an all around choice for snow, mud, sand, or dry conditions off roading.

Stay tuned for more 2013 updates!

Monday, August 6, 2012

2013 Preview: Salsa Cycles Colossal

2013 Salsa Cycles Colossal steel disc roadie
Road bikes are changing, and if you want to get in on the ground floor, this new Salsa Cycles rig is a great choice.

Dubbed the "Colossal", after a favorite meeting place for rides amongst the Salsa crew, this bike mixes some "old school" steel with new school disc brakes and a geometry meant to give a comfortable ride after long hours in the saddle.

This is another bike that looks to me to be a "perfect" RAGBRAI, long country ride, or weekend event ride bike. Slightly relaxed angles, clearances for 28mm tires for comfort, and a reliable, really wide gear range SRAM Apex group for the hills. The steel frame should be smooth, lively, and will be durable enough to survive RAGBRAI abuse and still be reasonably lightweight. Want to be able to stop in a shorter distance when you get caught out in the rain? The 140mm disc brakes will work rain or shine. No rim brake fouling here! And as a bonus, if you knock a wheel outta whack, or break a spoke, you keep on rolling with the same great braking power and no tire/brake interferences.

2013 Warbird titanium
Another great idea for a disc brake "all-road" bike from Salsa Cycles is this bike, (shown in titanium), the Warbird. This bike features similar stable geometry as the Colossal, the Warbird has a slightly taller head tube per frame size and even more tire clearance for tires suited to smooth dirt and gravel roads.

You don't have to run the bigger rubber, but you could, and with a Warbird in aluminum, or the premium material- titanium- you could have a bike that would tackle just about any road you can throw at it. One bike for pavement, gravel, pot holes, or smooth dirt roads. The Warbird is a very unique bike.

Okay, that does it for some of the cool road bikes, next I am going to show you some of the newest, funnest bicycles that have come out in years. Fat bikes!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2013 Preview: Trek Domane

Domane 6 Series (image courtesy of Trek Bicycles
I'm going to kick off my look at 2013 with probably the most interesting bike Trek has made in many a year- the Domane. (say "doe-man-ay") This bike has a new concept for rider comfort that early magazine testers and online pundits have been raving about. To boil it down to a simple phrase, they are saying "It works."

So, what is it? Trek has made a name for itself in the new century by making some of the meanest, nastiest race bicycles you can buy. Trek continues to find ways to improve upon the breed, and the latest Madone series bikes are razor sharp race bikes that make no apologies to anyone for being race focused and can hold their own against anyone's products out there.

The Domane is a racing bike too, but it does make concessions to rider comfort and it does back away from the cutting edge handling of racing bicycles for the road. Not much, but enough that casual road riders, longer distance road riders, and RAGBRAI riders looking for a nice, fast machine should really take a good hard look at Domanes before looking at Madones.

The big deal here is the "ISOspeed" de-coupled seat tube. Trek engineers essentially made it possible to have the seat tube flex along its entire length from the bottom bracket to saddle without being directly connected to the top tube. (See image above) This smooths out road irregularities up to 50% from what you might normally feel on a bicycle like a Madone. Smoother ride quality means a fresher, more comfortable rider at the end of a long ride.

Trek also developed a new ISOspeed fork, with a greater curvature than a Madone fork, this fork has an increased compliance which means less vibrations going into a rider's body. Bontrager also contributed here with a new handle bar with integrated gel inserts, negating the need for double wrapping or gel pads being added for hand comfort.

Finally, a new, "endurance" geometry was implemented for the Domane which gives this new model greater stability which translates to a bicycle that is easier to pilot over a longer period of time.

Of course, Trek offers the Domane in the highest level of carbon fiber technology, keeping weight down to Madone levels, but also keeping the highest levels of power transfer there as well. But for riders that aren't so well heeled as to buy a high zoot Domane 6 Series, the good news is that Trek will also be offering lower levels in carbon fiber frames and even aluminum Domanes so that all price points will have access to better riding, more comfortable, and easier handling road bikes.

That's it on the Domane. Next up I will introduce two new road/"fat road" bikes that are aimed at a similar crowd as the Domane. Stay tuned..........

Friday, August 3, 2012

Looking Ahead

2013 Salsa Vaya Travel
Well, July, and therefore all the RAGBRAI madness- is over. Now it is time to kick the blog here back to life.

It's been a long, hot month and a half, but we have not been hiding in the A/C. Oh no! And besides our long gravel rides, commuting, and RAGBRAI experiences, we've also been gathering tons of intel on new 2013 bikes that we may be seeing on the shop floor soon.

With that in mind, the next series of posts will focus on what we have seen and heard will be big deals for 2013 bicycles and what you might expect to see on Europa Cycle and ski's sales floor in the coming months.

Stay tuned. There will be lots to see!