Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Salsa Cycles New Anything Cage HD And More!

Field testing the Anything Cage HD recently.
Today Salsa Cycles announced a new component for Fargos, Mukluks, and Blackborow fat bikes that are equipped with the Three Pack bosses on their forks and down tubes. It is a nylon reinforced plastic rack/cage for carrying roundish objects like tents, dry sacks, or what have you. I got to field test a pair on my awesome Blackborow DS and you can read my review of the Anything Cage HD's HERE. Salsa Cycles has a nice post on the development of this product you can read HERE.

We can hook you up with a set of Anything Cage HD's for your bike, or if you'd like to check them out on my bike, let me know and I can arrange for that. These will be a great addition to any Salsa bike with Three Pack bosses and could really help you "Adventure By Bike" be that on the Tour Divide, camping trips locally, or just for running errands.

2014 Mukluk Forks were recalled. Did you get yours checked?
Mukluk Fork Recall:

Salsa Cycles has issued a recall of Aluminum Bearpaw forks as used on 2014 Mukluk 3, Mukluk 2, and Titanium Mukluk bikes. If you own one of these bikes, and you have not had your fork checked out, please see the recall notice HERE, stop riding your bike immediately, and see a Salsa Cycles Dealer for your solution. 

Here's what you can expect: At Europa Cycle & Ski, we contacted all owners of Mukluk 3, Mukluk 2, and Titanium Mukluks that were purchased from Europa Cycle & Ski. Those bikes were checked and 100% of them were in the recall. Next, we offered the Carbon fork upgrade option or just to have the original fork replaced. Upon getting confirmation of which way the customer wanted to go, it typically took two working days to receive and replace the forks at no charge to the customer, (original fork replacement only), or at a modest upcharge, (Carbon option is $200.00 and includes through axle, end caps, and a carbon fork plug for the steer tube.)

So, if you are reading this out there and haven't gotten your 2014 Mukluk checked out, do it NOW!!

Custom 2013 Mukluk 2 trade in.
Killer Muk 2 Trade In:

Looking for a super-sweet Mukluk in a size Medium for a song? Look no futher than this highly customized Mukluk 2 built from a frame and fork for a local rider that just traded up to a Carbon Beargrease 2.

This bike features the alternate black/purple scheme for the Mukluk 2 from 2013 and is super rare. Add to this the impossible to obtain Limited Edition Purple Rolling Darryl rims laced to Mukluk 2 hubs.

The bike also features custom purple anodized bits like the head set spacers, cable ferrules, and even the cable crimp ons are purple anodized! This amazing looking bike, a one of a kind you'll never see anywhere else, was meticulously maintained by the previous owner and is in almost mint condition save for a few very hard to find mars in the paint in the usual places. Really- this bike looks almost brand new!

Check it out today at Europa Cycle & Ski. It won't last long at our price.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blackborow And Blackborow DS: Salsa Cycles New Fat Bike Platform

Blackborow is the ultra-flotation fat bike from Salsa Cycles
Hey there! Today I want to walk all of you through Salsa Cycles' newest fat bike platform- Blackborow. I'll share a video which gets to the specific technical features of this model line hosted by Salsa Cycles' product engineer, Pete Koski in a minute. First, I wanted to answer the obvious question many of you may have about the Blackborow bikes, "Why do we need fatter fat bike tires?"

In other words, we already have these gigantic 3.8"-4.0" fat bike tires, so what in the world would you do with these things? Aren't they just going to slow you down and make the bike harder to ride?

Okay- maybe there are more questions than just one! 

First off, I will tell you from personal experiences that a fat bike just may spark an interest in you to take the bike to the least obvious places to ride a bike that you can think up. When I got my first Mukluk which was shod with 3.8 inch tires in 2011, I went for the whole snow biking thing. I found snowmobile trails were a ton of fun to track down, and sometimes, if conditions weren't just perfect, my rear tire was apt to bust through that crust that the tracks of snowmobiles make and forward progress was tougher. 

My original Mukluk with 3.8" Larry tires
Then in Summer, I found out that the super low lake levels meant that there was a ton of sand and muck to traverse. Ordinarily, I could never have ridden a bike here, and the fat bike was allowing me to do a lot more than I ever could before, but it also still did the things my other mountain bikes did as well. I had an ever expanding palette of places to ride. More than ever before. Exploring places to ride became a much looked forward to activity. However; there was always the thing in my mind that said, What if you had even better flotation? 

The fat bike world was and still is changing very quickly, but one thing is certain, the Alaskan idea of ultra-flotation bikes, sparked by Surly's leading with the Big Fat Larry tire, has resulted in a new, wider tire platform that has proven to remain as nimble as 3.8" tires but far more capable in terms of going off the beaten path. The newest tires are all 4.5" to almost 5" wide, and because that plays havoc with the previous 170mm wide rear spacing, the newest fat bikes are all using a standard based on a 190mm rear end. Blackborow follows suit, but with its through axle, which sets wider than a traditional quick release, the over lock dimension is actually 197mm out back.

Blackborow DS: A "dual" single speed drivetrain fat bike
So- the bigger frames and tires allow you to go deeper into territory that dictates the use of the most flotation and stability that you can get. Muddy, marshy lands? No problem. Deep, loose sandy and rocky areas? Yes. Snow that's 6 inches deep and shifty? Go for it. Blackborow and its wide, 100mm Surly Clown Shoe rims shod with 4.8" Lou tires can handle whatever the territory dishes out.

Now you need a technically advanced frame and fork to deal with that huge wheel, and the Blackborow has that. (See the video link below) But if you are into really getting off track, the Blackborow family has another choice that may be right up your alley- The Blackborow DS. Eschewing derailleurs, which can get clogged or hung up on rocks, weeds, and sticks, the DS, (or Dinglespeed- see the video!), can safely go into the craziest terrain and get you back out again.

So, backing up to my original thoughts- The older Mukluk I had showed me I needed more flotation to go to the places I wanted to go more effectively and with less effort. Bigger, floaty-er tires were going to help, but my old Mukluk wouldn't really work with them. Especially not on wider rims like the Clown Shoes, which help maximize flotation. The Blackborow solves my desires in that area and allows for a full drive train set up with no chain contact on the rear tire. However; I decided to go with the dingle speed set up, because I want to go to the really crazy places, and derailleurs may not be a wise idea!

Anyway, check out what Pete has to lay on ya below and then come in to Europa Cycle & Ski to see these new fat bikes yourself. Plus, we have the Trek fat bikes along with other cool Salsa rigs to check out as well.

  video

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mukluk Ti- Overview Of The 2015 Model

The 2015 Mukluk Ti

Mukluk Ti- Overview Of The 2015 Model : by Guitar Ted

The Mukluk line is Salsa Cycles' core fat bike offering. Salsa Cycles introduced a titanium Mukluk first for the 2012 model year and they have consistently upgraded this bike into the super-versatile, do anything anywhere bike that it is as you see it here. Before I get into the specific things that make the Mukluk Ti unique in the Mukluk line, let's see the basic features of this model.....
  • Frame: Seamless, triple butted 3/2.5 titanium alloy frame tubing. 
  • Fork: The new, ground breaking, game changer that is the Rock Shox Bluto. (A discussion about a suspension fork on a fat bike will follow these feature listings.)
  • Alternator Drop Outs: Make for a very versatile set up. Single speed, Rohloff specific, and geared versions of this drop out are available for this frame depending upon your preferences. Plus- A longer or shorter wheel base can be selected depending upon load carrying/terrain demands. 
  • Wheels: Rolling Darryl rims with cutouts for weight savings and a great balance between flotation and trail performance. Surly Nate 120TPI folding bead tires for ultimate grip in all situations. Salsa Conversion hubs with the front being the "new" standard of 150mm, which will be the go to width for fat bike front hubs going forward. 
  • Drive Train: SRAM X1 fat bike drive train featuring an 11 speed, wide range cassette with a Type 2 rear derailleur for "slap free" and stable chain performance. No front derailleur eliminates the muck gathering component and cleans up the handle bar with one less shitfer and cable to maintain. 
  • Components: Premium Thomson components, WTB Pure V saddle, New SRAM Guide Brakes, and Salsa finishing kit put a worthy finishing touch on this top-shelf model.
Okay, so two things about this model that we get asked most often about are the "need for a suspension fork on a fat bike", and whether or not titanium really makes a difference in the ride versus the aluminum. First, the ride question.....

From personal experience with my aluminum Mukluk and my titanium Mukluk, the answer to the ride question is, "Definitely yes. The difference in smoothness is very noticeable with the titanium frame." Not only that, but the titanium frame is corrosion resistant, and the aesthetics are nicer on the titanium version versus the aluminum Mukluk. The titanium details concerning the ride quality alone are worth the upgrade though.

Now for the suspension fork- The fat tires have a degree of suspension absorbing ride feel for sure, however, the tires get bouncy. There is no rebound control at all. With a suspension fork, the fork damper works in concert with the tire to provide a much more controllable ride feel along with a deeper, smoother bump absorbing performance. You will get better traction up front, plus the Mukluk Ti becomes an all year around bike, capable of going faster around corners and over bumpy terrain than many traditional 29"ers or 27.5"er hard tail mountain bikes. The bottom line is that the Bluto fork makes the Mukluk more versatile, faster, and more fun.

That said, a carbon Makwa fork from Salsa is compatible with the Mukluk Ti for those who insist on or want the rigid fork option.

Conclusion: The Mukluk Ti is Salsa Cycles most refined, all around capable fat bike. It has options galore, unlike anything else in the fat bike line up from Salsa, or other fat bike producing marques, for that matter. If you can only have one fat bike, this is the one to aspire to. The Mukluk Ti has you covered in any situation you might find yourself in. Come on down and see this beauty, or any of the other fat bikes we have on the floor at Europa Cycle & Ski soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Farley 8, Beargrease Carbon Fat Bikes Are In!

The Trek Farley 8 fat bike
With September closing out, we are starting to get more of our fat bike inventory into the shop. Here's one we've been pretty excited about- the Trek Farley 8.

The Farley 8 is using the same frame as the Farley 6's are, but it is outfitted with SRAM's X1 11 speed group that dismisses the front derailleur and still has the full range of gearing you will need to clean the terrain of your choosing. This also eliminates crap from getting collected in the critical bottom bracket/rear tire area, which is good when the going gets sloppy.

Furtermore, the new Rock Shox Bluto is on this rig. Again- you will not believe how much better a fat bike can be until you try this. Many died in the wool mtb'ers have left their full suspension rigs in the shed after getting a fat bike with a front suspension fork, and the Bluto is currently the only readily available suspension fork purposely designed for fat tires like the Bontrager Hodag 3.8 folding bead tires on this bike.

The color of the bike is arresting! It is a bright matt green finish, so you won't lose your rig in the mud or snow, that's for sure!

As you can see, the Alpha aluminum tubes are highly shaped and optimized for the fat bike design. Plenty of room for the frame bag of your choice, (I highly recommend Bike Bag Dude or Becker Gear Bike Bags), and there are triple bosses on the inside of the down tube which can accommodate Salsa Cycles Anything Cage, or simply a water bottle cage. There are rack and fender eyelets as well on the Farley 8.

The wheels are unique on this bike, and in the fat bike world. The new Bontrager Jackalope wheels use the time tested idea that Bontrager helped introduce in the 90's of using an offset spoke bed. Not to be confused with the offset Pugsley wheel idea, the Jackalope wheels are offset, (not the frame and wheels as with a Pugsley), to promote even spoke tensions which yield a stronger, longer lasting wheel. The central rib reinforces the rim structure where the spokes are pulling, and also lends more lateral stability. PLUS- these are tubeless ready rims! You get rim tape for both wheels to enable a tubeless set up with the Hodag tires. How cool is that?

The Farley 8 sports internally routed cables, which is nice from an aesthetic standpoint. It also is outfitted with a port for a dropper seat post. Obviously, dropper seat posts are only a down hill, mountain bike deal, right? Wrong! 

 Consider how difficult it is to remount any mtb if you lose traction on a climb, or lose momentum in very uneven terrain. Try a bike with a dropper seat post in these situations and you will be able to drop the saddle so low that remounting and getting going again will become like child's play. Plus, a dropper seat post can help you remount and start again in deep snow. Considering all the potential ride enhancing benefits of a dropper post for a fat bike, it is great to see that Trek included this port to accommodate using one.

Beargrease Carbon 1 (Catalog image)

Salsa Cycles Beargrease Carbon 1: We also have this rig on the showroom floor now. A gleaming white with black accents Carbon Beargrease 1. It also features SRAM's new X1 11 speed set up and has the new SRAM Guide brakes which we feel are a better design than past Avid Elixirs and what not. The Beargrease was a hot bike last year, and with good reason- it is light, (26lbs ready to ride), and has fantastic handling. This year this rig sports Surly Marge Lite rims and Dillinger 120TPI ties for the lighter weight, faster performance that the Beargrease line represents.

This bike is Bluto fork compatible as well, so it could be a year round mountain bike, or the fast paced snow/sand/mud bike, or just a great bike for any conditions you find yourself riding on/in off road. The handling is dialed too, and our past Beargrease customers would agree that you cannot go wrong with the combination of excellent handling and light weight the Beargrease has.

Stop in today to see these or any of the other fat bikes we have coming in soon or that are on the floor now for your riding pleasure!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Salsa Mukluks Arrive!

Possibly the best color on a fat bike I've ever seen.
The Salsa Mukluks are arriving and in this post I will detail what we have in so far. The Mukluk is Salsa Cycles mainstay fat bike. The fat bike with versatility and all-year-around use designed right in.

Common to all Mukluks is the aluminum, 170mm rear spaced frame with Alternator Drop Outs. This frame with these special, swinger type drop outs, allows for several drive train set ups. You could go single speed, use an IGH hub, (internally geared hub), or utilize the drop outs as a way to change your wheelbase for different handling characteristics.

These frames also feature continuous cable housings to seal out dirt and grime. All Mukluks have 31.6mm seat posts so you can easily swap in a dropper post for more versatility. Rack mounts are standard, as are the triple bosses on the down tube which support Salsa's Anything cages or a water bottle cage in two different positions. There are also water bottle bosses on the seat tube on Med-XL sizes, and one under the down tube.

Mukluk 3 in White w/Red & Blue anodized accents
Mukluk 3 in Ruby Red
The Mukluk 3 has been seriously upgraded this year and remains the same price as it was last year. Upgrades include the brakes, which are Avid hydraulics this year.  Wheels are upgraded to Holy Rolling Darryl rims. Ten speed SRAM drive trains are upgraded from last year's 9 speed set up.

The Mukluk 3's get the Salsa Bearpaw Aluminum fork with Triple Bosses for two Anything Cages or two water bottles. A rack could also be subbed in as an alternative set up.

NOTES: The Muk 3's are seriously good deals. Salsa Cycles is a leader in the fat biking market place and competition has refined the breed to give customers of the 2015 models the best value in a fat bike yet from Salsa. The look of the past Mukluks has been okay, but this years graphics and paint jobs are the best, in my opinion, that Salsa has yet put out. On any of their fat bike models. That Ruby Red may be the prettiest fat bike color ever.

The Mukluk 2 in this crazy sparkly Orange

 The Mukluk 2 is also upgraded for 2015, and- obviously- the fork is the new Rock Shox Bluto suspension fork. Salsa Cycles had a big hand in getting this fork produced and were able to plan geometry and the resulting handling ahead of time for their fat bike range. For instance, last year's Mukluks were all suspension fork ready. Not convinced a fat bike needs a suspension fork? Read this. My buddy MG tells it like it is and he's a really good mountain biker.


The Mukluk 2 also brings a refined drive train with Surly's OD crank set and SRAM components featuring the Type 2 derailleur which has a clutch mechanism to keep the cage from whipping the chain over rougher terrain onto the chain stay. The result is a much quieter ride, and less dropped chains.


NOTES: The Muk 2, second only to the Ruby Red Muk 2 for the best paint job ever, is a serious all terrain, all year around fat bike. You could enjoy maximum traction, crazy cornering grip, and all with more control than ever via the front suspension fork. Of course, you can easily swap to a rigid fork for a lighter weight set up.


Come on down and check out our growing fat bike corner in the shop and look for more posts coming soon on our new arrivals.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Farley 6 Is In!


We have Trek Farley 6's in stock now at Europa Cycle & Ski. This is only the first of our "fat bike fleet" which should start trickling in now over the next month or two.

The Farley 6 is Trek's entry into the fat biking world. The Farley 8, which we will also have, will be Trek's top of the line fatty for '14/'15. The 6 is a great bike, and calling it "entry level fat bike" is really an insult. Check out the features to see why.....
  • Trek hydroformed aluminum frame and fork with the Convert rear through axle and braze ons for racks front and rear and even fender mounts!
  • Bontrager "Hodad" tires which are 26 X 4.0 and really are that big. 
  • Rims are Sun Ringle' "Mulefut" 80mm wide with cut outs.
  • Race Face crankset, 2X- with 30mm pipe spindle, outboard bearing bottom bracket
  • Shimano XT Cluth Type rear derailleur with a 10 speed cassette. 
  • Avid Elixir Hydraulic Brakes
And the price? Two years ago a fat bike like this would have cost you close to 3G. Now you can walk out the door with this bike for under $1800.00 (plus tax) There really isn't anything "entry level" about this rig.

Stay tuned for more fat bike announcements coming soon!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Fat Cometh!

A full suspension fat bike will be at Europa Cycle & Ski soon
We've placed our orders and following is what you can expect to see at Europa Cycle & Ski in the coming months for fat bikes. It will be the widest selection of fat bikes we have brought in to date.

Leading the charge will be the wildest fat bike produced to date, the Salsa Cycles Bucksaw. A full suspension fat bike utilizing Dave Weagle's Split Pivot design. This will be for the rider looking for the most traction mated with one of the best full suspension designs produced today. Go over stuff that you never imagined you could. Go up stuff you never had the traction for before. Ride it all year, anywhere. The Bucksaw 2 will be as shown in this stunning gold-ish orange color.


The Beargrease XX1 and X01 will be represented as well. Last year this was the hottest selling model we had on the floor. With a light, nimble carbon fiber frame and fork, this was the lightest production fat bike you could get. Now it's even better. Two spec levels to choose from too. 

 
The Beargrease Aluminum model is one we're pretty excited about. Same great Beargrease geometry and handling, same carbon fork, (The Makwa), and set up with a wide ranging 2X10 drivetrain with Marge Lite rims and 45NRTH tires. At well below three grand, this may be the best value in the line up. 

 The magical ride of titanium mated to the Rock Shox Bluto fat bike fork? Amazing! And with a 1 X 11 SRAM drivetrain, this will be a crazy good fat bike for all year around explorations. Fitted with the Alternator drop out, the possibilities open up for tailoring the bike to your specific adventuring needs, or just know it is there if you need it to bail yourself out of trouble should you find it necessary to go single speed. 


 The Mukluk line up will also be represented by the Mukluk 2. The same Mukluk 2 you know and love with a color change, Rock Shox Bluto fork, Holy Rolling Darryls, and Nate tires. Not just for snow and sand anymore, but a capable, all year around trail bike. 

Looking to just get in the door on fat biking? Look no further than the capable, versatile Mukluk 3. This year the upgrades are hydraulic brakes, Holy Rolling Darryls, (last year these had undrilled rims and mechanical brakes), a Salsa Bearpaw aluminum fork, and a 2X10 drivetrain highlight the changes. All for the same cabbage as last year's model! 

Whoa! The bike that blew us out of the water was the brand spankin' new Salsa Blackborow. Not a Mukluk! This is a brand new model featuring the widest rims and tires for the most flotation possible in fat biking. Based on the 197 X 12mm rear axle standard, and a new 150mm wide front fork, (Rock Shox Bluto compatible wheel!) and through axles front and rear, this is the epitome of expedition/back country/do anything fat biking today. Blackborow features a full range 2 X 10 drive train and geometry dialed in for maximum stand over clearance and maximum stability in soft conditions. It doesn't get any fatter than Blackborow!

I'm throwing this one in there to show ya'all I am puttin' my money where my mouth is. The Blackborow DS, (Dingle Speed ya'all!), will be my fat bike for the coming Winter commutes and trail bustin' in the Cedar Valley. It's a variation of the Blackborow more fine tuned for bushwhacking fun, which is what I like to do come Wintertime. Dingle Speed? Yep! A two chain ring/two rear cog drive train. Each cog/chain ring combo adds up to the same total teeth, so you don't have to change tension on the chain to use either the high or low ratio. No derailleur bits mean nothing to get iced up or whacked off in the under brush. We won't be bringing in another one for the floor, but if ya see mine and want one, let us know! We can order this or any of the Salsa fat bikes, (or other fine bicycles), if we don't have the size or color you want. 

That's it for the Salsa stuff. Stay tuned for a separate post on the Trek fat bikes coming in soon to Europa Cycles!

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!