Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Many cool things at Frostbike.  Just a couple of my “highlights”.
The Bones Rack from Saris is a good rack for families that don’t have a trailer hitch or want to own one rack and move it from car to car.  In my opinion there has been some issues with its current design that keeps it from being a great rack.  It's hard to lock it to the car, can’t open the trunk/hatch while it’s on the car, the floppy straps, hard to snug it tight to the vehicle, cumbersome to readjust the angle of the arms; etc.  Not deal killers, just inconveniences.  Well, they pretty much addressed all those issues with their new Super Bones.  By the way, Saris is having a special for March, bring in your old rack (any brand) and receive 20% off any new rack from Saris.

The other thing I wanted to see was the Lauf Carbonara suspension fork.  Not only did I get to see it, QBP had it on a couple of their fat bikes so I got to ride it.  Unfortunately Kris and I weren’t dressed for a long test ride, but it was long enough to find out that we liked it.  Kris and I aren’t much for riding rigid mountain bikes in the summer so we park the Pugsleys in the garage when the snow melts.  Unlike last year’s Frostbike there wasn’t a whole lot of snowon the test track so we were able to test it out on dirt.  My first thought when I saw a picture of it a few months ago was how does it deal with rebound?  Very well, thank you; no pogo stick action at all. With 60 mm of travel it’s just enough to take the edge off of a rough trail.  And, at 1100 grams, it’s a pound and a half less than Rockshox’s Bluto - Todd

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rookie Mistake By The Boss

Travis left his Salsa Carbon 1 Beargrease at the shop this week. I took it out for a ride.

I’m not much for writing reviews and this will probably be one the more unusual ones that you will read. First some background. Kris, my wife, and I have stock Pugsley’s. Comfortable and very capable bikes, and with the few upgrades Surly did to them last year they’re a good bike. The one downside is that they are, well, heavy. Hence, my interest in wanting to get out on Travis’ bike.

Kris and I headed to River Bend for a short ride. As you might expect, the first thing I noticed was the lightness (about 10 lbs less than mine) of the bike, and how when I pushed on the pedals the bike got down the trail quicker and with much less effort when going uphill.

When we got back into the truck to go home Kris turns to me and says “You can’t buy one.” I’ve never mentioned to her that I wanted one so I asked why she said that. She said if I did I’d be riding alone because she wouldn’t go riding with me. She said it was too hard for her trying keep up with me. Just by looking at me she said she could tell how effortlessly I was riding compared to her.

So there you have it. Take it from my wife (who’s never ridden one), if you want a fast ride get a Carbon Beargrease. Just be prepared to buy one for the significant other too - Todd

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Salsa Rattler Belt Buckle Give Away

A few days ago Salsa released this beauty! A 3"x4" belt buckle that displays quite a scenery. Put this baby on you'll be saying "hey, eyes up here!"Well, this baby is so sweet we've decided to give one away. This lucky person would have to purchase any new Salsa bike from us in January or February. We'll hold a random drawing on Monday, March 2nd so be sure to get into the shop and make your purchase by February 28th!

If you don't wear belt buckles, consider this a medal or trophy?!? Good luck!

Monday, February 02, 2015

2015 Trek Emonda SL 6

I got the chance to shoot a couple photos of the new Emonda SL 6. We've actually had three special orders for the SL 6 in the last two weeks. Makes me believe that last week's warm-up got some people thinking about summer.

Matte black finish on the SL 6 (viper red also available) is subtle & sleek.

Stock SL 6 weighed in at about 16lbs. Is light the new aero?

The gloss block embossment of the TREK brand logo definitely not loud.

The Paradigm Race saddle comes stock and has gotten a lot of compliments since conception.

Dura-Ace 11 speed is smooth as butter.

The 2015 Trek Emonda has been featured in many articles with rave reviews about the ride. Most of the articles feature the high-end version, which holds a hefty price tag of over $15,000, but you can get into a carbon framed-Emonda at around $1400. Come see if "light is the new fast".

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2014 Salsa Bikes On Sale!

Last week Salsa let us in on a deal that would give us the opportunity to get some overstock 2014's. These are all brand new but at great prices! Nothing has really changed on them going into 2015, just the color schemes. Here's a glimpse of what we have.

We have a few Spearfish, a Horsethief XX1, a couple Colossal's, & El Marriachi. All at least 32% off. We'll get more pics up as we finish building them. If you're curious to see what we have or what we can get, give us a call or send us an email.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Trek Farley - We Still Got 'em

We've noticed that there has been quite the shortage with the Trek Farleys this year. Yes, we've sold some already as well, however, we've still got some left! If you haven't gotten your fat bike fix yet now is the time.

19.5" Trek Farley 8

Bluto Fork has gotten a lot of great reviews

Comes stock with one of the best rims on the market - ready to go tubeless

We currently have (1) each of these sizes for the Trek Farley 6
14.5", 15.5" & 19.5"

Great components for the price, probably why they are mostly sold out!

The Trek Farley 8 retails for $2999 & the Trek Farley 6 retails for $1699. Didn't get what you wanted for Christmas? Maybe you got some extra Christmas money and it's burning a hole in your pocket? Maybe you need to sell your car so you can get this bike...either way, you will not regret it!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Beargrease Sighting

Finally, some snow!

On Friday and Saturday my family and I took a trip down to Milwaukee, Wi to get in some family time for Christmas. On Friday as I parked the truck the temp gauge registered over 50 degrees...crazy! However, by the time we returned home to Byron late Saturday afternoon we had about 3-4 inches on the driveway ready for snow-blowing.

Today I was able to get in about 3 hours (mostly on the Douglas Trail) on some pretty well-packed trails and had a blast on the Beargrease. It's probably been over a month since I have been able to ride on some snow like this....which is sad. I'm hopeful that heading into January we'll get another 2-3 months of some nice snow and temps for riding fat bikes.

Hope all are getting in as much fat biking as possible, regardless of the conditions!

A cabin setting stop surrounded by birch & pine trees create a nice backdrop.

Bear (my dog) and the #SalsaBeargrease. The Beargrease could go on forever, Bear could not.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Bontrager Ernest Jacket

Last winter Santa brought Kris a Pugsley which, coincidentally, showed up on the same day as the Pugsley that I ordered for myself!  Funny how that works. So, last year was pretty much our first real year at fat biking. And what a year it was with all the snow and the bitter cold. The polar vortex made it hard to choose the proper clothing. My normal biking attire wasn’t quite doing it and my heavy duty insulted jacket was overkill. This fall I purchased a Bontrager Ernest Jacket in hopes of finding that right jacket. The Earnest has less insulation around the core compared to the other jacket but it still has the highly wind resistant material on the front panel. The biggest difference is the breathable arms and back.

I’ve had a couple of rides recently that were a good test for the jacket. I did two gravel rides with the temperature in the 30’s and a 10-15 mph breeze. As with most rides I started out feeling cold, especially on the arms.  Was thinking that arm warmers would have been a good idea but as I got into the ride and warmed up I was fine.  When I was riding with the wind I got too warm so I opened up the zipper and let the breeze pull the heat away through the breathable back. When I turned back into the wind, zipped it back up and the body of the jacket blocked the wind from my core and conserved the warmth that I had.

This past week we got our first taste of snow for the season. Kris and I headed up to Northfield with two of the shops fat bike rentals for CROCTS (local IMBA chapter) inaugural Sechler Park group ride on Saturday and then into River Bend Nature Center here in Faribault on Sunday. Both days were in the teens.  Light snow falling on Saturday made for a beautiful ride with the 25 or so others we rode with on the new single track. Unlike my other biking jackets that are tight fitting the Ernest is roomy allowing for as many layers as I see fit.  I had on a long sleeve base layer and a long sleeve jersey for both days. I wasn't chilled either day, even with stopping and chatting numerous times.

Looks like I have the jacket figured out. Now to move onto what to do about finger and toes.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

45NRTH Gets You Through The Winter!

The snow and cold may be upon us for the next 4 months in the upper midwest but that doesn't mean you have to set up your trainer and start logging hours on those boring indoor rides. These 45NRTH products will give you little excuse to be inside on the trainer over the winter, after all, the tagline for 45NRTH is "Unparalleled Cold Weather Performance".

Starting With Footwear:

Built for frigid weather, the Wolvhammers will help keep your little piggies warm on those long cold rides rated for temps between 0-25 degrees. They come in the 2-bolt or flat bottom version. Retail: $325

The Fasterkatt is designed specifically for wet winter cycling & cyclocross. This is a mountain style cycling boot with the 2-bolt compatible system. Best temps to wear the Fasterkatt....25-45 degrees.
Retail: $225

Jaztronaut is an insole to help block cold cleats and keep your feet extra warm. A wide range of trimmable sizes are available for a retail price of $50.

The Bergraven gaiter is designed specifically around the Wolvhammer for knee high protection while riding in the deep snow. The Bergraven retails for $85

Friday, October 24, 2014

Surly 1X1 Build

Color: Green Grass Grows All Around
Build Concept

As most people know the 1X1 was Surly’s first bike, a true classic which the brand was built upon.  Though all the years and technology changes the 1X1 has certainly had some updates but is still a timeless bike.
I’ve wanted a 1X1 for quite some time but never really wanted to downgrade (yes, 26” is a downgrade) wheel size from my 29ers.  Now that 650B (27.5”) has all but killed off 26” wheels for cross country bikes I thought it might be fun to experiment with the new wheel size.  I know that 650B wheels are hardly new, and have been making a big push into the major cycling marketplace for years now, but this will be my first significant amount of time I’ll spend on them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Women's Bike Mechanic Scholarship Through UBI

With help from sponsors like, QBP, SRAM, Liv, United Bicycle Institute (UBI), Pedro's & Park Tool UBI is offering (10) scholarships for women to attend bike mechanics. The dedication to getting more women on bikes and supporting the development of more female mechanics is very cool.

As per the QBP site, the scholarship has two primary goals:
  1. To grow the number of talented women working in the bike industry
  2. To grow female ridership
Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on their potential to do both of these things. This scholarship will cover the 2-week Professional Shop Repair and Operations class. Additional support is provided by Nuu-Muu and the Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition (OIWC). This open call for applications begins October 20 and will close Nov 15. Scholarship winners will be notified via email by December 19.

There is more information and a link to the scholarship application here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2015 Salsa Beargrease Is Here!

Earlier this week we got the new Beargrease Carbon 1 in and we finally got a chance to get some pics of it. If you're looking for a ultra-endurance super-fast racing fatbike this is it. Full carbon from front to back with internal cable routing.

My personal opinion I think Salsa got it right with the white on black, looks simple yet rich.

Salsa went for everything fast. Salsa Fat Conversion hubs are paired with the Surley Marge Lite rims and suited with the 120 tpi 45North Dillinger 26 x 3.8” folding tires.

Equipt with the SRAM X1 drivetrain the Beargrease Carbon 1 will keep you moving forward but when you need to stop the SRAM DB5 hydraulic brakes will provide you that sure stopping power.

From this angle we might be able to put some aero bars on and beat Fabian in a time trial! This fatbike is no slow bike that is for sure. The 1,000 mile Iditarod Invitational in Alaska is calling your name.

The new Beargrease is leaving fresh tracks.

Salsa Beargrease is Adventure by Bike.

A Salsa film about the Arrowhead Ultra 135.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Finding Peace & Serenity in Gravel

I took off tonight around 5pm and the temp was still 72 and barely a breeze. This combination doesn't happen too often this time of year in Minnesota. I find myself thoroughly enjoying the gravel more-so this year and it brings me to a place of peace and serenity. The gravel roads and countryside backdrops in SE MN are simply breathtaking. On gravel it seems as if I can enjoy the scenery more than I can racing my road bike in the heat of summer. Tonight alone, on only a 24 mile gravel route, I stopped a half dozen or more times just to smell the country air and take it all in. Below are a couple snapshots of the ride.
The 2015 Boone 5 Disc that takes me pretty much anywhere I want to go...and I can ride it all day. One of the smoothest and most comfortable bikes you'll find.
I zoomed around a corner to find a pasture full of cows. I was going to keep riding but I thought I saw one of them holding a sign that read "Eat Mor Chik'n".
This guy felt it necessary to mash a bunch decorations together to fill his front yard. I'm assuming a Halloween theme was the intention but I'm not sure it was accomplished. Nevertheless, "A" for effort since my front yard currently stages 3 small pumpkins and some dog poop.

In close, I find that the best places to ride are the places with less's to peace & serenity.

2014 Fall/Winter Bontrager Look Book

Whether you want to look at the latest Trek/Bontrager products are just admire the photography I think this has some eye candy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2015 Beargrease Tease

This is all you get for now...we have a size large Carbon Beargrease at the shop.