Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Servicing Shocks, Bleeding Brakes, And More....

Now servicing Fox Forks!
Suspension Serving: Winter may be putting you off your bike, but don't put off servicing your equipment till Spring! Do it now and be ready to roll when the weather finally turns. Europa is now a Fox dealer and can do any servicing on Fox forks. Plus, we can do servicing on your Rock Shox forks as well. Stop by and see us for that shock overhaul.

Say what? You have never had that done to your fork? You should check the servicing intervals for your shock and then maybe stop by and see us. Just a helpful hint there. Your shock performance may not be what it could be.

Also, if you have a mountain bike you love but the fork isn't lighting you up these days, we also can now get forks direct from Fox, and of course, we can also get any Rock Shox, Manitou, or Magura fork you may be interested in.

Winter time is the perfect time to check into servicing your fork or upgrading to a new one as the trails are socked in now anyway and your bike is probably just hanging from a hook, waiting for you to show it some love!

Your brakes need bleeding.....really!
Brake Bleeding: You may not know it, but your brakes probably need bleeding as well, especially Avid brakes. Any brake with DOT fluid that hasn't been bled really should be! Your DOT fluid draws moisture and that moisture affects how well your hydraulic brakes work. A quick bleed and new fluid takes care of your bike for the coming riding season. Typically hydraulic brakes, be they mineral oil based or DOT fluid based, should be bled once a year to rid the system of any air that has intruded during use. And typically with bicycle based hydro brakes, you don't notice how poor your brakes are doing until it is too late. Service those brakes now while riding season is out of season!

Got mechanical brakes and think you don't have to worry? Think again! Your cables and housings are the heart of your system, and if they have never been changed, they probably are taking away from the performance of your mechanical brakes by way of friction and housing breakdown. Mechanical disc brakes put a lot of stress on housings and can make them too flexible, which robs you of braking power. Stop in and have us show you the options to get you mechanical brakes working at peak efficiency. Stopping is good!

Time to tune up!
Maybe you don't have shocks or disc brakes, but you probably should get that rig looked at any way. Wheels need truing, cables and housings need to be checked, and tires and tubes need looking over before the cold weather leaves us and you reach the day that you want to grab that bike and just go for a ride.

Make sure you are ready by having Europa Cycles tune it up for you now. Beat the rush in Spring and avoid waiting for your bike for any period of time!

In the meantime, Europa's "unofficial, bandit blog" would like to wish you all out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for checking us out, and we hope you get miles of smiles in 2014!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beargrease X-9 Arrives!

2014 Medium sized Beargrease Carbon x-9
Another stunning fat bike showed up a few days ago at Europa Cycle & Ski. This time it is the Carbon Beargrease equipped with the x-9 SRAM package. In many ways, I think this is the "smart man's" Carbon Beargrease. Why?

Well, for one, the drivetrain has a slightly lower gear on tap than the XX-1 Beargrease does. That's maybe what it might take to get you through that snow bank, or through that sand trap. Or maybe what it might take to get you three miles up a mountain.

Secondly, the x-9 set up has a faster gear on it for your Summertime riding. Yes- that means you have a front derailleur and front shifter. Boo-hoo! You won't care when you are actually riding this bike if it gets you up, around, through, or makes you go faster. Wider gearing range = good.

But besides this, the Carbon Beargrease x-9 is a different look. It has white Holy Rolling Darryl rims. A white Salsa downtube decal, and a different graphic treatment on the downtube than the XX-1 Beargrease has. Maybe its a bit more "showy"? Hmm..... All I know is everyone that has seen it says they think it is super cool.

Oh, and did I mention that it is about $1500.00 less than the ultra-cool XX-1 bike? Yes. It is. You still get the Beargrease carbon fork and frame, through axles front and rear, and the same great new geometry that the XX-1 bike has. Pretty darn cool, if ya ask me. This one is here, and we have another, size Large, which is to come soon. Stop by and check this out, or our Mukluk 2 & Mukluk 3's which are in stock and ready to slay snow which is coming.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winter Time Values Are Here

The bike shop is not as busy in Winter as it is in Summer. (Duh! Captain Obvious!) So, here are some "deals" going down now that you may be interested in....

Deals on 2013 bikes. Maybe some even better than the sign says, but you'll have to come in...

Easton tubular wheels. Stop in for a crazy price!

Fat bike central
XC ski stuff is ready to go!
Easton snow shoes are in.
Trek Crossrip- a perfect bike for light touring/RAGBRAI
Come in and see all the 2014 models and Winter accessories like clothing, gloves, tights, and all the "deals" we have lurking now that it is Winter.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Carbon Beargrease XX1

Carbon Beargrease XX1
Well, there won't be many of these out there, but here is one that passed through the shop today. It belongs to a local rider who will be on the cutting edge of fat bike technology.

The Carbon Beargrease frame is as technical as any road or mountain bike frame out there in 2014. It features molded in bearing pockets for the headset and bottom bracket. It has internally routed cables, and an XX1 drive train. The carbon frame and fork is a tour de force of carbon wizardry. The tubing profiles and the sheer scale of the frame has to be witnessed in person to be understood.

Check out the green anodized bits that.....
The wheels feature through axles front and rear for the ultimate in torsional stiffness and precise tracking. The through axles themselves are DT Swiss RWS type which are very easy to use. The wheels slip into and out of the frame easily, unlike some other through axle set ups I've seen and handled.

All that stiffness is handled through a massive carbon fiber Beargrease fork that features a 51mm offset for nimble handling. Not only that, but that fork and frame are suspension corrected. (Yes......that is a hint)

Of course, the wheels have to look good too, just check out hose fancy anodized green hubs. (They are the very same used on the Muk 2, just with different end caps.)

.....match the green graphic on the downtube.
The XX1 drive train is a game changer. It is a top of the line drive train from SRAM. Best of the Best here. The technology is really amazing. There is no front derailleur. The chain ring has alternating wide-thin-wide teeth that mate with the chain perfectly. The reason for this is for chain retention. The theme of chain retention is carried over to the rear derailleur which has a clutch mechanism in it to help keep the lower part of the cage from flopping forward on bigger hits and bumps. This keeps the chain from whipping and coming off the front ring. Not only that, but it won't clatter off the chain stay either. Nice and quiet.

Need low gears? How about a 42T rear cog? (!!!) You can swap out front rings to get lower than you'd ever need to go, and the highest gear on the cassette is a 10T. This requires a special free hub on the hub, but it works very well. Oh has eleven cogs! 

The brakes are high end Avid and come with the two piece rotors which should prove to be great stoppers and quieter than the one piece rotors are. Those brakes will be stopping the Holy Rolling Darryl rims which are mounted with 45NRTH Dillinger tires which feature stud pockets in case you would want to use 45NRTH's excellent alloy/carbide studs. Those are really easy to install too, by the way.

All this goodness comes out to be about 26.3lbs with no pedals. is expensive. We sold this one, and these will likely be non-existent for quite some time from Salsa. We do have two Beargrease Carbon x-9 bikes which have the same frame and fork with a 2 X 10 drive train instead of XX1. The price of those steeds will be just shy of $3500.00. We'll have a Large and Medium sized examples hitting the shop soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Fat Bikes Are Coming! (And Here!)

Salsa Cycles Mukluk 3
The fat bikes are coming! The fat bikes are coming! And...........some of them are here!

Just recently we saw a size Large Mukluk 3 come in which is stunning this year. The black with white rims is striking, and the top tube detail in blue and red, along with white decals on the down tube is a nice touch.

But what is really cool about the 2014 Mukluk 3 is that it comes with the super-light, newly designed Bearpaw aluminum fork. This saves a lot of weight over the previously spec'ed Enabler fork, which was steel. And I might be crazy, but the Bearpaw looks to have even more clearance as well. The 82mm Rolling Darryl rims could be mounted with a Surly Bud and should clear the fork with no issues.

The Mukluk 3 also comes with SRAM's new fat bike specific X-5 crank and X-7 rear derailleur controlled by 9 speed trigger shifters. Shifting performance should be top notch with the Mukluk 3. All cables are fully housed as well to protect them from the elements and to ensure that long term shifting performance stays at a high level.

Surly Nate tires grace the rims here and are a solid, all around choice for a fat bike for ultimate traction and Winter or Summer riding. However; Europa Cycle & Ski is carrying a selection of alternate rubber from Surly, 45NRTH, and Vee Rubber should you desire something a bit different than the Nates seen here. Just let us know and we'll make a swap to your preferred tires.

It should also be noted that along with this size Large Mukluk 3, which retails for $1800.00, we will also be getting a size Medium in this same color scheme along with a size large and Medium Mukluk 3 in red. We also just received and built up a Mukluk 2 in size Medium.

So, come on down and check out the selection of fat bikes at Europa Cycle & Ski for a bicycle that may allow you to enjoy the outdoors 12 months out of the year!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Salsa Mukluk 2 In!

Going, going....
Our Salsa Cycles fat bikes all should start showing up now that we have seen the first one hit the door. This time we have a Mukluk 2 in the fantastic gold metallic hue that Salsa spec'ed the bike with this year.

Salsa made a few minor spec changes for this model over last year. The biggest change is the front hub. Going forward all Salsa Cycles fat bikes will utilize a front hub with front disc brake standard mounting. This means that older Salsa hubbed front wheels will not be compatible with the Bearpaw aluminum fork without an adapter that is available from Carver Bikes.

It's a good move that will bring Salsa in line with all the other fat bike marques besides Surly in this regard. The Bearpaw fork is astounding, by the way. Far lighter than the previously used Enabler fork.

Front hubs now will be convertible to 15mm through axle with an end cap swap. Maybe for a sus fork? (Hint) And it will cross over to the Beargrease frame should you get a Muk 2 and want to upgrade in the future. Same thing for the rear hub as well, by the way.

Last year the Muk 2 used an e-13 crank, but this year Salsa specs the Surly OD crank, which in my view is a better deal from the standpoint of bottom bracket compatibilities and upgrades. The e-13 was a dead end and in my view, had its own peccadilloes in regards to reliability.

The drivetrain is SRAM X-9 which is great stuff. Brakes are the good ol' reliable BB-7's, only now in a special all black colorway. It looks "right" with everything else on the Muk 2. We've got Surly Nates in the 120TPI folding bead variety, which are excellent tires, and the Holy Rolling Darryl rims. Seat post is a Thomson set back topped with a WTB saddle.

Complete, this Size Large with heavy test pedals installed is right at 32lbs. Priced fairly at $2400.00, this is a great, turnkey set up for all around fat biking anywhere. The Salsa geometry is dialed for soft conditions, (snow, sand, or mud), to trail riding in Summer. The fork is sus corrected for the future. Parts are solid, and high performance. Plus, it looks killer! 

We should have a size Medium coming in, then we'll also be getting in both colors of Mukluk 3's. Right now we have the Muk 2 and the Origin 8 Crawler fat bikes on hand. Stop in and see these rigs or take one for a test ride. We'll have some hot coffee and some good tales to share with ya..... 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

2014 Fargo & Vaya Overview

The 2014's Salsa Cycles Vaya and Fargo models are in and built up at Europa Cycle & Ski now. Let's take a look at the shiny new goodness and see just what Salsa Cycles has packaged into these venerable adventure cycling machines.........

Salsa Cycles 2014 Vaya 2 model.
The first rig up is the 2014 Vaya 2. The Vaya series has been about exploring your roads, be they paved, gravel, or dirt. The Vaya 2 for 2014 refines the idea of adventure cycling further with great spec and a killer look.

The new look includes refreshed, subtler graphics, nice, now key component accents and a nice touch of anodization to give the bike some pop. Overall, I believe this is the best looking Vaya graphics package we've seen yet. 

The heart of any bike is the drive train, and Salsa spec'ed a great choice here with the triple crank 105 gruppo with Avid BB7 brakes in a special all black livery. 10 speed STI levers do the initiating of gear changes with the long cage 105 derailleur and triple compatible front derailleur finishing off the job. It's a smart, durable, reliable spec.

The gearing range is super for fast paced road riding all the way through to grinding up a gravel road climb or to making that loaded down Vaya go up that mountain pass. Triples may be passe' these days, but they still are the best for wide range gearing and keeping your momentum up when you are loaded down touring. Take note RAGBRAI folks- the Vaya is the perfect bike for RAGBRAI. Steel frame, disc brakes that stop you in wet or dry conditions, and stable handling to keep you out of trouble in the pack.

The Vaya comes shod with excellent Schwalbe touring tires with reflective stripes for safety. These tires also have Schwalbe's highest level of puncture protection for peace of mind while you while away the miles.

Wheels are made up of Salsa by Formula hubs in a complimentary blue ano and these are laced to Sun Ringle' Inferno 23 rims. Solid wheels for touring.

The Vaya fork has mid-blade eyelets for low rider mounts, further enhancing its touring capabilities. Of course there are rack mounts, and fenders are also possible with the Vaya's fender eyelets.

Salsa Cycles Vaya 3 for 2014
We also are carrying the Salsa Cycles Vaya 3, which features the same frame and fork but with a more price conscious spec. Here we have the new Shimano Sora 9 speed STI group. The new Sora levers drop the stubby thumb lever for true STI paddles and the hood shape is reminiscent of last year's Tiagra levers. So you get familiar shifting with a wide ranging triple crank, wide range cassette, and Shimano's easy shifting feel. 

Salsa Cycles 2014 Fargo 3
The Fargo is the ultimate touring machine for off road and with a swap to smoother rubber, it can also be a heavy duty loaded touring companion. Or set it up with frame bags and do "rackless" adventuring. Or use it as your primary mountain bike. You can even use a 100mm front suspension fork. Sounds like a bike that can do a lot, no? Well, there's still more!

The Alternator Drop Out
Now Salsa Cycles has added the Alternator Drop Out to the Fargo, which allows for using an internal hub gear, (like the excellent Rohloff 14 speed hub), or you could go single speed.

I like the Alternator because one of the main points behind the Fargo from my point of view is its ability to "bushwhack" through deer trails, backcountry, and the like. Whenever you do that, you run the risk of whacking your rear derailleur. (I've seen it done on a Fargo, and had it happen to me.)

So the Alternator may be your savior. It allows for a field conversion to single speed to bail your self out of a failed derailleur episode. I once had to help push a fellow Fargo rider 8 miles back to the cars once when we couldn't convert his crippled Fargo to a single speed. Sure wish we would have had Alternator drop outs then!

Up front we have the new from last year's model, 44mm head tube, which allows for a tapered steer tube fork, if desired, or a straight 1 1/8th steer tube fork, as shown here. The Fargo 3 comes with the new Fargo steel fork which is longer to account for 100mm suspension forks. (Last year's was only 80mm suspension corrected.) You can also see the new, forward facing braze ons for water bottle cages or Salsa Cycles Anything Cages, (which require 3 mounts a piece.) The new forward facing mounts are said to better withstand impact forces to the front wheel and creates a sturdier way to carry water bottles or light gear. By the way, you can still easily reach a water bottle from a front mounted cage, so that is not a concern whatsoever.

The Fargo 3 is spec'ed with a SRAM Apex brifter, SRAM X-7 rear derailleur, and a 2X 10 drivetrain for great off road performance. Schwalbe Rapid Rob's, (the original Racing Ralph tread pattern, by the way), and Sun Inferno 25 rims with sealed bearing hubs make for a sturdy and high performing wheel set.

We'll have fat bikes arriving late September/early October, so stay tuned for those, but come in now to see these fine adventuring bikes which are super versatile, high performing bicycles unlike anything else out there.

Friday, August 23, 2013

2014 Updates

Farley Complete & frame only option
Europa Cycle & Ski will be receiving a Size Large Farley this Fall which should be pretty exciting to see. The Farley features a few nice things that will set it apart from other fat bikes, and some things that are proven components as well.

Farley will be aluminum in its construction, both the frame and the fork. This bike will feature suspension corrected geometry, a tight rear triangle for better dry weather handling, and a super low standover height, important when the conditions are softer.

The bike will also feature Trek's rear through axle design which should really stiffen up the rear end and better handle the higher traction/leverage inducing rear wheels of fat bikes. Internal cable routing will not only clean up the overall look of the Farley, but it will also protect the cables from the mucky-muck that fat bikers like to ride in. That should also play well with frame bags.

Farley will come with proven, industry leading Surly rims and tires. The tires will be the fast, grippy 3.8 Knards, but if you need something grippier than that, a 3.8" Nate will slot in there perfectly. Farley will be a 170mm rear/135mm front design and can handle up to 4" tires on the 82mm rims with ease. (We'll have to do some checking on Big Fat Larrys when our rig lands at the shop.)  The really monstrous Bud and Lou will likely be a no go here, but Farley is about fast fat biking, not the ultimate snow/sand/bog biking.

UPDATED: I got a hold of some specs. The Farley will have dropper post routing and a 31.6mm seat post, (standard dropper post size), plus the spec sheet is listing Husker Du 4.0" tires. We'll see what shows up on the bike. Every image I've seen, (including the dealer preview), has shown Knards.  Hubs are Salsa hubs, but I do not know if they are the Level 2 or 3. Brakes are listed as Avid "DB3" hydraulic brakes. (A new brake from Avid?) The frame set option lists the black as well as the Powder Blue shown. Framesets come with an FSA head set, Closed Convert drop outs, and take a low, direct mount derailleur.

I'll post more on this exciting new rig when we get ours in, likely in October sometime.

 Fargo 3: 

Our shipment of Fargo 3's arrived already, and next week we should see them out on the sales floor. This is an all new Fargo and will be the best Fargo yet.

The big changes here are found at the front and the rear of the new Fargo frame. Still made from Salsa Cycles' own custom designed CroMoly tubing, the Fargo now comes with Alternator drop outs. This is a big deal, since that Alternator opens up more options to the rider such as single speed set ups, hub gearing options, and a way to bail your self out in case of a derailleur damaging accident. (Don't brush that one off, I've seen it happen a couple times myself!)

At the front, you have the new, 100mm suspension corrected steel Fargo fork with new, front facing bosses for water bottle cages or Salsa's "Anything Cages". The longer fork matches up with current XC suspension fork lengths, so if you want the Fargo to be your mountain bike with suspension, it's a snap to swap in any straight or tapered steer tube suspension fork. The front mounted bosses are there because they are going to resist load inertia better than the old, rear facing cage mounts and they still are easily reached while riding. It's an improvement over the old design, showing that Salsa isn't going to rest on their laurels, but they are looking to refine the bikes to be the best that they can make them.

The component spec has been improved as well, but I'll put up another post soon with actual spec and actual bike images next week. Stay tuned for that and for the Vaya 3 images and spec as well.

2013 Specials: We have a couple Warbird 2's and Colossal 2's at amazing prices right now. Check in with Europa Cycle & Ski and see the deals, or e-mail the shop for pricing on these great road bikes from Salsa Cycles. We need to move these on out the door, so the prices are attractive and you get one of the best gravel rigs, (Warbird), or long haul road bikes,( Colossal), that you can find anywhere.

We also have some 2013 Vaya 3's and a Vaya Travel at great prices as well, so be sure to not miss these deals on some fantastic road/gravel/touring bikes from Salsa Cycles.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Looking Ahead At 2014

Hey there folks! It's been a few months since any posts have shown up here, but that's because it was dig-doggity-busy! Someone's gotta turn and pull the wrenches around the shop, and that guy is me. So.....anyway.

Plans are laid and bikes have been ordered. Here's what you can expect to see coming soon at Europa Cycle & Ski.......

Salas Cycles' X-9 Beargrease Carbon
 Beargrease Carbon: Okay folks, here's the rig that will fundamentally change fat biking for the masses. A fat bike that will come in at around 25lbs or so with a fully functional 2 X 10 drivetrain, through axle hubs front and rear, which will increase handling feel and handle those big meats better, and finally, be trail tuned for dirt, racing, snow, and sand. The new rig comes with an astounding carbon structure that you will not believe until you actually see this thing. The fork is suspension corrected, (hint), and beefy as all get out. A truly amazing rig. We thought last years 28+ lb Beargrease aluminum was hot. Yeah.....

Okay, with a tag at about $3500.00, this ain't cheap, bro, so it is what it is. The best fat bike you can buy now. (That's right, you could come in and claim it now, if you want, before it arrives) One is coming. Size Large. These will go fast, (everywhere),so don't dally.

 The staple bike in the fat bike line up is the Mukluk 3. This year you'll see a few tweaks to components, making this an even better bike than before. Salsa Cycles says this is the "expedition" fat bike, which means it will roll over stuff like small logs, under brush, mud, sand, and that Ford Pinto down the block from your house.

The biggest news is the aluminum fork, which came from last year's Beargrease, but is fully featured with Anything Cage Mounts, and rack mounts. That'll cut weight, ride nicer, yet still offer the Mukluk's versatility which we all have come to love. Alternator Drop Outs means ease of using the biggest Surly rubber on the 82mm Rolling Darryl rims, along with single speed capabilities.

The Muks will roll on Surly Nate 3.8"ers and will come in this lucious red with black wheels, or a mean looking flat black with white rims. (See the carbon Beargrease above for a hint on what that will look like.

We're getting in four: Two in each color in Medium and Large sizes. Expect to pay around $1800.00 each. These are vastly improved from the standpoint of weight and critical components, so check 'em out soon.

The Mukluk 2 will be showing up soon as well. Check out the gold metallic lusciousness here! A total pimp machine? Only in looks, because this is an awesome trail riding bicycle folks. Same aluminum fork, Nates, and Alternators as the Muk 3, but here we see an upgrade in components to 2 X 10 SRAM, and those wheels are lighter too. It's the best value in the fat bike line from Salsa, if you ask me. Lookin' at about $2500.00, and if I am right, we got a Medium and a Large in this too.

We must be nuts! Well, I'll tell ya this much- You can not buy a more capable, versatile, performance fat bike that can do it all than with what Salsa offers. There will be other players, but Salsa is ahead of the curve with fat bikes since 2010 and they've gotten noticeably better every year.

Anyway, all of the above is expected to hit the shop by September/October.

Fargo: For 2014 we are stoked to be bringing in the most versatile hard tail 29"er on the market now- The Salsa Cycles Fargo. There have been some awesome tweaks to this ride for 2014. Let's start with the blue one first....

That's the Fargo 2. It will be showing up to Europa with a Carbon "Firestarter" fork, which has a 15mm through axle Maxle QR, front facing Anything Cage mounts, and is suspension corrected for a 100mm fork. Now did I remember to tell you that fork is carbon fiber? Yep! Light, strong, and versatile. This is the best steel Fargo yet. Now that isn't all folks. This bike also has the Alternator Drop out in back now- a first on the Fargo. Single speed? Yes. Internal gear hub? Yes. Multi-speed derailleur drive train? Yes. All with one frame. Plus- if you should KO your rear derailleur on a bushwhacking trip, you can scooter on back home on yer SS'ed Fargo, no problemo.

Yes- it still will have all the rack mounts too, so set this up for touring, or bag it with bike packing gear, or slap a 100mm travel tapered steer tube suspension fork on this and ride it as your main mtb. Fargo don't care.

Now that mustard colored beauty is the Fargo 3. You get a bit lower end components, and a steel fork, but everything else the Fargo 2 does the Fargo 3 can as well, just at a lower cost of entry. Expect to see these super versatile, fun rigs in at Europa late in the Winter.

Raleigh Tamland:

A bit of back story here: The Tamland is a gravel specific geometry rig from Raleigh that can cyclo cross, do light touring, commute, or tear it up on RAGBRAI with a rack on the back. But there is more to the Tamland story here and it has to do with myself.

You see, I've not been too quiet about what I think is the "right" way to do an all-arounder bike that would be better on gravel roads. Raleigh heard me making noise, so they called me up, put me on the speaker phone with their brand manager and product engineers, and asked me what I would do. Unbelievably, they did everything I asked for, and here it is: The Raleigh Tamland 1 for 2014.

So, of course we're bringing in some of these and you'll have a chance to tell me I am utterly mad or a genius. Whichever, here's the skinny: The frame is 631 Reynolds. There is a good reason for this. Raleigh went to their long time partner, Reynolds, when they wanted to do this bike, and asked for the prestigious 831 Reynolds tube set to be used, but when Reynolds heard the plan, they offered a suggestion. They thought 631 would be a better ride, so the tube set was designed, (specifically for this bike), and made into what you see above- the Raleigh Tamland rig. 2 X 10 drivetrain, disc brakes from TRP that have dual piston action, (which no other rig out there will have in this class), and new wider rimmed Weinman wheels shod with the most excellent Clement MSO tires. Expect to pay about $1600.00 for this bike which will be more versatile and better suited to gravel travel, sport touring, (rack mounts!), and commuting than the competition's rigs in this range. Plus, (not to toot my own horn here), it has geometry specifically suited to the roughest roads and will be the most stable rig with the highest level of comfort around.

Or maybe I'm crazy.....we'll see! 

 Now there is a premium Tamland as well, but it goes at about $2400.00, which we at Europa weren't sure about stocking. But rumor has it that one example in a 58cm size might just be floating around for your perusal, (and test riding pleasure, if you are this size), in the Spring. Stay tuned...

The Tamland 2 has the same frame, fork, wheels, tires, brakes, and geometry as the Tamland 1, but it comes decked out in Shimano's newest Ultegra 11 speed, which is a big improvement upon the old Ultegra gear. We're pretty excited to see both of these Tamland's coming in the months ahead.

Stay tuned. There will be more soon......

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The "Thick" & The "Thin" Of It

Today I want to introduce you all to two new, and vastly different, bikes we just got in at Europa Cycle & Ski recently. The "thick" one is Origin 8's "Crawler" fat bike and the "thin" bike is Salsa Cycles new "Warbird" model. Let's take a look at the Crawler first...

Origin 8's Crawler fat bike
The Crawler is a bike I am somewhat familiar with having ridden the previous pre-production version two years ago at Interbike and the final version you see here last year at Interbike. The Crawler is in the"fat bike" class of bike, sporting 26" X 4" wide rubber, but it diverts from the Surly/Salsa type fat bikes you may be familiar with from that point on. This is a very unique bike, even without the ginormous tires and wheels. I'll detail ot all the nuances for you now..

Note the derailleur hangar
This bike's drivetrain is very unique for a fat bike. It has a NuVinci 360 hub that features Constantly Varying Transmission, (CVT), for a wide range of drive ratios. Notice that I didn't say the word "gears" here. That's because the NuVinci transmission doesn't have "gears" inside it. It also gives the rider a very different sensation at the pedals.

Without going into deep technical jargon, the deal here is that you have the ability to vary your ratio without "steps" that a traditional drive train would feature. Even internal geared hubs have "stepped ratios" and you feel this as a change to your cadence/pedal pressure as you change gears. With a CVT, you have no such "steps", only a smooth change from "easy" to "hard" and anywhere in between.

Massive tire clearances
The other distinguishing factor here is that the Crawler is not a "symmetrical" rear triangle frame, although it uses a 135OLD spacing, like a traditional MTB. It is also not as offset as a Pugsley by Surly is. It is offset very slightly to the drive side to optimize the chain line with the 100mm bottom bracket/crank set fitted to the bike. All this allows plenty of clearance by the tire.

The hydro-formed aluminum frame is also designed with plenty of rear tire clearances, so while I do not know that bigger than 4.0" tires would work, it looks like they may with the 80mm rims the bike comes with. Also, more versatility is offered with the provided rear derailleur hangar, which with a traditional geared set up and rear hub, may allow for a truncated drive train and therefore a slightly lighter set up. Obviously, single speed set ups are supported as well.

Clearances at the chain stay
The frame also has rack mounts on the rear and on the CroMoly steel fork up front for load bearing duties. Braking is handled by the ever reliable Avid BB-7 mechanical disc brakes, and the Origin 8 Devast8er fat tires are a good all-around snow/sand/mud/dirt tire for year round fat biking. Of course, Surly tires in the 3.8" range or Big Fat Larrys will be okay here. The larger Bud and Lou are unknown fits at this time.

Finally, the icing on this fat cake is that the retail price for owning this unique 20" framed monster is less than anything currently available in fat bikes. MSRP $1400.00 is over $300.00 cheaper than anything else out there. Check it out! These Crawler's are hard to get right now and we expect this one examnple will be all we'll see until Fall. Don't wait! Check this out now.

Salsa Cycles Warbird 2
I've talked a lot already about the next "thin" bike for this post. It is the racing gravel grinder bike by Salsa Cycles: The aluminum Warbird 2.

The Warbird 2 is a disc brake bike bred to deal with the rigors of rough gravel and go really fast doing it. It features a hydro-formed, lightweight aluminum frame that has been tweaked to allow maximum front triangle space so a frame bag and water bottles will all fit there with no problems.

Carbon fork
The Warbird 2 also features an Enve Composites carbon fork with tapered carbon steer tube. Yes- it is super-light! The tapered head tube hides an inset sealed bearing head set from the harsh elements. Braking duties on this bad bird are handled by Avid Road specific calipers and rotors are 160mm front, 140mm rear to help keep the weight in check.

You'll note that all cables run under the top tube in full run housings. This is done to beat inclement weather, mud, and dust while you enjoy perfect shifting and braking despite the conditions.

Frame fitments are sparse, as Salsa believes that a top tube type frame bag and a seat bag are how most garvel racers will carry the goods they need. There are three water bottle mounting points: One on the seat tube, down tube inner triangle, and one underneath the down tube.

Geometry is slightly relaxed for stability on loose surfaces like gravel and dirt. Tires are the excellent Clement USH, which features a smooth center tread strip allowing for fast pavement riding, yet has some aggressive "diamond file tread" on the sides for stability and purchase in dirt and loose gravel. These tires are 35mm wide, but the Warbird 2 can swallow up to 38mm rubber if necessary.

Nice orange ano appointments
The Warbird 2's drivetrain features a 2 X 10 set up with Tiagra "brifters mated to a rear derailleur from Shimano's excellent 105 group. Hubs are Formula for Salsa and anodized a nice orange hue to match the bike.

The tubing on this frame is shaped for some comfort to the rider and for maximum mud and tire clearances. The bottom bracket is a PF-30 type and it allows the FSA Gossamer 46T/36T crank set to spin freely. This sort of gearing is really great on gravel roads.

So- is this only for gravel grinding? Oh no! This is a lightweight, disc brake equipped rig that will go on any road, fast and efficiently, with nary a blink at bad weather, mud, dirt, dust, or whatever you can throw at it. Commute, use it as an "all road", all weather bike, or just as your hard core road rat rig. Whatever you want, really. I think of the Warbird 2 as the road bike that fears no road or weather.

This one is a 58cm, and we also have a 56cm on hand. Either will run you $2499.00 and are available now at Europa to scope out and take home. Hit the road on a Warbird 2......any road!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stainless Steel & Rubber

2013 Vaya Travel
Hey folks out there in the inner-web-o-sphere! It's been awhile, but we've been busy here at the shop. We have received a pretty cool specimen that is now on display.

Last year Salsa decided to drop the titanium Vaya. However; they replaced it with what is arguably a far better rig- the stainless steel Vaya Travel.

Stainless steel? Yes! Stainless steel has some similar properties to titanium.  It is somewhat lighter than traditional steel alloys, and it doesn't corrode, so it doesn't have to be painted. However; it is somewhat stiffer than titanium, which can be a great idea for a touring bike.

The "travel" in the name of this model refers to the S&S couplers which are brazed in between sections of the top tube and down tube. These are collets which can be unscrewed to break down the Vaya Travel into two halves. A customer can purchase a separate case which then can be filled with this bicycle and transported via air or by truck to any point in the world for far less money than it would be to ship a traditional bike case or box. Travel bikes like this can be checked as baggage with most airlines as well, saving hundreds of dollars on shipping a bike to have with you on vacations, or for a big tour.

Alternator Drop Outs
In a first for the Vaya models, the Vaya Travel also features a swinging drop out Salsa calls the "Alternator". This allows the owner of the Vaya to simplify the drivetrain down to a single speed, increasing the ease of taking the bike on trips, since there would be less re-tuning involved without a traditional derailleur drivetrain. Or maybe you just do not like gears!

Another neat thing about this would be the option to roll on in single speed mode should a rider get into trouble by shearing off a rear derailleur. Or looking at it another way, one could fine tune the handling of the Vaya Travel by adjusting the wheel base. Options. We like those in our bikes!

Even the decals are special!
Salsa even thought about the future and the Vaya Travel owner. Lets say that you take advantage of the "travel" part of the Vaya Travel's name and you break down the bike, ship it all over for rides, and get yourself into several adventures replete with bumps, bangs, and various scrapes. (We highly encourage this sort of behavior, by the way!)

Well, an ordinary painted bike frame might get scratched, dull, and biffed. With the Vaya Travel, and its no-paint finish, you can simply buff out those biffs and scratches with a bit of Scotchbrite or steel wool. But what about scratched up decals? Well, Salsa Cycles thought about that too.

Along with the bike, Salsa sends along a stack of frame decals in a couple different colors so you can restore the look of those decals, or simply change the look of your bike by changing decal colors. The stock decals are not under any clear coat, so you can even run the Vaya Travel sans decals at all, if you so choose.

29 Plus!
Rubbery Goodness:

Surly Bikes shook up the mtb world late last summer when they sprung the latest creation from their twisted minds onto the world, the Krampus. It is a bike that has as its main focus  the tires and wheels.  

These wheels and tires are dubbed "29+" by Surly. We just think they are loads of fun with tons of possibilities. We got a set of the tires, called Knard, in at the shop and would love to set you up with one or both of them.

What would one do with Knard 29 x 3.0" tires? Well, you can set these up on wider 29"er rims as is, but optimally, these would work best with Velocity's 35mm Blunts, or with the rims they were designed for, the Surly Rabbit Hole rims. (Don't even try to figure out where the names come from- It will make your brain explode.)

Yes- 3 inches wide.
You'll probably only shoe horn these in up front on most 29"ers, and that only on rigid forks without mods. (Sus forks are a no-no for now without voiding warranties and what not.)

You folks with Mukluks equipped with Alternator drop outs are in luck though. Lace a set of Rabbit Holes up to some fat bike hubs and Knard 29 X 3.0 tires will fit front and rear.

Knard 29 X 3.0 tires measure out at 30 + inches in diameter when aired up, and they make your rig, (or a Krampus), ride amazingly smoother with great traction. Here is a great review on the Krampus from some German riders, and here is my own take on the bike after a short demo ride at Interbike last year. These should give you a great idea about how the Knard 29+ tires can revolutionize your ride.

Vaya Travel or Knard tires- come and check both of these great new cycling products out now at the shop. Plus- we have a ton of new and used bikes now to check out with more arriving daily. Stop in and say hey soon. And don't be shy about hitting up the mechanics with a sixer!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Carbon Beargrease

The Beargrease carbon will come in two versions
Well, you've heard by now, (unless you live under a rock), about the fantastic new Carbon Beargrease fat bike from Salsa Cycles for 2014. (But if you do live under a rock, here is the story.)

Salsa Cycles will be working with us this week to determine how many of these fantastic bikes we order for our shop. If you are a small, or a XL kinda guy or gal, and were thinking this is a super cool rig, you'd better tell us you are interested. We probably will not order those sizes unless we have a customer.

So- you figure you'll just wait till fall to order. You won't likely get one for next Winter. These will likely sell out in pre-order. Yes- the pressure is on a bit, but you have six months to figure it out, or more, and we can find another buyer if you bail, no problem. But if you want your name on one, you'd better get in line and put your claim in now. These bikes will be in high demand, and they are the best, lightest, and most cutting edge fat bikes in existence now.

Prices should start at $3499.99 for the 2 X 10 version. The high zoot, XX-1 will be significantly more, but will be the lightest, with a Medium going right at 24-24.5 lbs. That is a full 4lbs lighter than an aluminum Beargrease.

Salsa Cycles has yet to introduce the 2014 fat bike line up other than this- publicly- but we will also be bringing in Muk 3's, Muk 2's, and aluminum Beargrease bikes. So, if any of those trips your trigger and you want to plant your claim now, tell us.

This pre-order goes in later this week, so do not delay. If we do not get any names on the Carbon Beargrease bikes, our current thoughts are to bring in two of them in a medium and a large. They will sell to someone, we're sure of that, so do not wait too long to lay a claim on one. Just call the shop or reply to this post if you are interested.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mondays With Mark

Monday's With Mark is going to happen this coming Monday at 6:30pm and will be held at the shop. The subject for this one will be about tubeless tires.

Tubeless tires; are they right for you? How do they work? All that and more this Monday. Then after this one, there will be one more MWM the following week. It will be about what I saw at Frostbike. There will be more about trends, and in a special for the folks attending, there will be a private showing of the movie short, "300 Miles Of Gravel", which is the documentary of Trans Iowa V7 by Jeff Frings.

MWM is free of charge, so just stop on down to Europa Cycle and Ski before 6:30pm, grab a seat, and listen to me gab about tubeless tires and all manner of cycling stuff.

Hope to see ya there.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Special Project: Finished! Ti Fargo

Well, all the parts finally got sorted and showed up to complete the titanium Fargo for Mike. I must say, it is a stunning bicycle.

Orange/Mango is the theme here, obviously, and several parts came together to give this bike some real "eye candy" besides just being an awesome titanium framed, drop bar mountain bike.

The old steel Fargo had some of the parts in Mango already, such as the titanium Eriksen Sweet Post and orange wrap on the bars of the bike.

Mike also had these outstanding King/Enve wheels with Mango Chris King hubs laced to Enve carbon hoops which were mounted just before it was picked up. The new titanium Fargo frames also have a new 44mm head tube, so we fitted a new Mango Chris King Inset 8 1 1/8th head set to allow the use of the standard steel straight steer tube Fargo fork here.

We also got a new seat collar in an orange anodized hue, a Salsa Lip Loc. The standard seat collar provided is a pewter anodized Lip Loc, by the way. Finally, the orange highlights flow around the frame tubes in the form of a Jagwire cable housing kit. You can see how we routed the cables to keep them out of the way of Mike's planned use of a handle bar harness/bag set up for Tour Divide. Plus it just looks neater with a bar end shifter set up to route the cables in this manner, besides keeping everything off the head tube.

In this view I want to draw your attention to the way I routed the front brake cable. I learned this from former Salsa Cycles GM, Jason Boucher, and I call it the "Boucher Route". It not only routes the cable in a more "out of the way" manner, but the bend coming down out of the handle bar is less severe, and the cable does not touch the head tube. For suspension fork use, it can easily accommodate the length of the axle to crown without replacing the cable.

The handle bar is the unique and somewhat rare Ragley "Luxy" Bar. It has a super shallow drop, short reach, and radically swept drop section that Mike finds super comfy. Unique to this bar is that the top section is a 31.8mm diameter from the stem all the way to where the bar starts to bend to the drops.

The bike turned out fantastic, and it is significantly lighter than with the steel frame. Plus, it should be more comfortable, with an easy to care for finish that looks killer. If you are interested in a titanium frame for yourself, Salsa has Fargos, El Mariachi 29"ers, titanium Warbird gravel grinder bikes, and titanium Colossal long distance roadie rigs too. We're happy to chat with you about any of those or the other fine Salsa Cycles offerings anytime.

See ya soon!