Saturday, January 31, 2009

A new project

After nearly a year in the planning, one long awaited bike project is finally close to being done. I've heard from the builder recently, who only has to finish up the rear end. Then the bike will be off to paint. I'll say that the bike is lugged, but that's all you're getting for now. This one should be worth the long wait, I'm stoked!

There is other exciting news coming that promises to make this year really special for us. Like the aforementioned frame, this too has been a long time in coming. All is full ahead for the coming year on the fun bike front.

to round out the shop redo, we are going to be refinishing the 80 some year old maple floor. We will be closed for a period of 3-4 days starting February 8th or 9th. I will post an update on that closer to the actual start.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Candy

Brandi from Industry Nine sent me these images of their flanged hubs to tide me over while I wait for mine. These use the same bearings and drive mechanism as their aluminum spokes wheels. They are sure to be great performers, and should round out my new wheel set really well. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Questions for the news anchors.

I can't help blaming the media lately for some of the economic issues lately. Sure, I can see that people are being laid off, retail numbers are down, manufacturing is losing ground, all that. What I can also see is that most of the people I know are in pretty much the same shape they were several years ago. Many people have stable jobs and incomes. A lot of people own houses they could and continue to be able to afford living in. A lot of people are doing just fine. It is hard to look at any source of media lately and find any good news at all. Last night's news spent very half the newscast on the latest economic numbers, the fact that Target laid off a bunch of people, and Obama's controversial new economic bail out package.

I have a hard time believing that dwelling on these issues day in and day out every day has a positive effect on the country as a whole. How can we every hope to get people out and spending money if everyone is preaching doom and gloom all the time? Sure, your house is worth less, don't sell it. Sure, your retirement account is worth less, don't retire. I know that this doesn't work for everyone, and sure there are a lot of problems we need to solve, but really, most people are doing well.

I talked to one of our bike reps the other day who seemed pretty bummed about what he had been hearing from shops in my area. People are apprehensive about the year in general. They don't know what bikes will sell, they worry about repair orders and stocking numbers. I gotta tell you we're all going to be fine. Last year we should have had a terrible year by all accounts. We had the economy in the tank, and our shop had no front entrance for over 9 weeks. In all actuality, we're still here.

In an environment of worry and apprehension, we're all rearing to go here. The shop will be redone, the new bikes look great, the shop will be ready for more efficient work. I think we'll have an even better year this year than last. All over the place, I've seen bike shops that have had record years both in sales and repairs in 2008. I think 2009 will be no different. I know that we are all doing it here, but try and do your best to talk to your fiends, family and coworkers. Try to be an example of optimism instead to pessimism. If you know someone in need, help them out as you can. Most of all though, do yourself and all of us a favor and turn the news off.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

-17 Degrees.

That was the temp when I woke up this morning. I have to say, winter is finally starting to wear on me. I have not been riding as much as I would like due to the really cold temps. I am an admitted wuss when it comes to being cold on the bike, and my asthma is a real bitch when it's this cold to boot. At least it's sunny today, and we've got a lot to keep busy with. After last week's business, Meg and I spent a relaxing weekend in Duluth visiting some family. Saturday morning I had some time to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while. It was really good to see them, and was a great reminder of the best of people I have met in this business.

It's been a productive few days since I got back. We got most of the painting done yesterday and today. The cleaning and organizing is an ongoing affair though. This is the biggest challenge with the project here. We are changing the whole set up of the shop. The benches are being moved, the counters are drastically changed, wheel racks need to be re anchored, the set up of the sales floor is changing, there's some wiring to be moved, and phone and data cords have to be rerouted. So yeah, it's all a big mess right now. The good news is that even with the clutter to go through, the shop already looks and flows better than it did before. So it's all going to be good in the end.

We've been getting work done on projects and products for next year as well. We've got all sorts of goodies coming from Bontrager, Industry Nine, Pofahl, Rawland and many others. These products will be tickling in over the next few weeks, and I'll have reports on them as we get them. You won't find any doom and gloom economic worries here! We're all looking forward to the year, and are ready to rock for the upcoming season.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shop redo part two.

Work on the shop continued at a frantic pace last week. The big project started on Tuesday. We shut down the shop for three days and busted ass getting stuff done. It was chaos for a while there. In the end, it all came together with much help from friends, a ton of great food and coffee, and some beer for relaxing after the 10 plus hour days. We took over 1 ton of material out of the shop to the Recycle Center and Construction Landfill. It's probably the biggest change to the building in over 50 years. That's all for now on that issue. There is some organizing and painting to do, then I'll have a huge picture post to show what's all been done.

Work continues to progress with Sean and Anna on next years Rawland bikes and accessories. I have to say, there's some stuff coming that should blow you away! I am totally excited, and there will be a ton of really happy people once these come down the pipe.

It's been bitterly cold up here in the last few weeks. We've had temps ranging from 26 degrees to -24 degrees, sometimes only seperated by a day! We had a fifty one degree swing in one day last week! That was nuts.

I've set up a Monocog as a dedicated winter bike. I finally broke down from cabin fever and bought a set of Nokian 29er studs. Holy crap! I was skeptical before getting them, but am totally sold on how these things work. They've really let me ride without most of the fear of wrecking myself on the hard ice we're known for 'round here. I'll be writing a full report on these later in the week, but they have really been a lifesaver.

Meg and I have been enjoying a few days up in Duluth visiting her aunt after all of that mess from last week. I am going back to work tomorrow to patch a few nail holes in the plaster, then we'll prep for paint. There is a few more things to do, including some intensive floor cleaning. Yay, mopping! It is all coming together rather well, and is turning out better than I had hoped.

So, take care for now, stay warm, and We'll have pictures and updates on a lot of things in the coming days here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Check your rear ders!

A quick look at the repair I worked on this afternoon. Took out all of the outer drive side spokes. If you haven't checked your der lately here's a friendly reminder.

Cure for the cold.

It's another chilly one out there today in MN. It was only in the low single digits below zero this morning, but there's snow and double digits below coming before the weekend. I'm busy at the shop today building three Rawland single speeds, so there's much to keep busy with. Wheels and rough builds will be happening today, with fine tuning and detail stuff on line for tomorrow.
I'll be off to Menard's later as well to pick up some lumber for Friday's build party at the shop. Stop in and check out the progress if you're in the area. All for now, cheers.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

End of the year Redline closeout

We've got several Monocog 29ers and a D440 on closeout at the shop now. In store pick up price is $350 on any of them, and shipping is available. Here's what we have.

17" 2008 Black and Yellow Monocog

15" 2008 Black and Yellow Monocog

54cm Orange and Creme 925

All other 2008 bikes and components in stock are 20% off. Let us know if there's anything we can set up for you.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year.

Happy new year to all! We had a great holiday break. Christmas went really well. Meg and I saw a ton of family and friends. Great food was eaten, good spirits were shared, and the company couldn't have been better. While we had a lot of engagements to attend too, it was a pretty relaxed couple of weeks, and really was a nice break.

Things at the shop continue to take shape for next year. This winters renovations have started, and progressing nicely. I can say that the shop has never been this clean or organized. This is only the beginning. The changes happening now are so large I'm going to hold off on posting pics until it's complete. This maybe a while, so I'll reserve the right to change my mind. Phase one of the shop redo is nearly finished, and what a change it's been already.

Looking back, it was one of my best years here. So many good things have happened, and so many changes have happened for the better. I have a ton to be thankful for this year. While things are going well now, I've set a lot of resolutions for myself to live up to. I hope look forward to a challenging year, and it should be another great one!

My cousin Jesse came down to the shop over lunch for a little roller initiation. After about 5 minutes of wobbling, he had it down.
Rocky was playing on TV for extra motivation as well.
All in all a great day. Have a great new year, and may it be a good one for everybody! Cheers.