Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lemond road machine.

It's been a while since I've had a true road bike in the stable. I've been spending a lot of time on my Rawland with 35c Bontrager road tires and my vintage Campy equipped Bianchi. This frame has been hanging in the basement for quite a while now. It's one of the last OX platinum bikes made in Waterloo. I've always been a fan of the classic Lemond bikes, and when I heard about all of the troubles, I bought one of these to keep around.

I've liked the SRAM groups since they was first introduced. Truth be told I still like the shifting system of Campy better, but with their asinine switch to 11 speed puts them out of the running in my mind. I'm not going to even go there. The Rival group is really a true out and out performer. For the money it's light durable, and really nice to look at. The parts finish is great, and the shifting performance mimics many of the traits of it's more expensive brethren.

The wheels are definitely the business end of this rig. I am, and have always been a wheel guy. These are some of the best all around road wheels I've ever used, and they should be! These have been under my bikes for almost 4 years now, and they have been consistent performers all through that time. There are lighter wheels out there, and certainly more cost effective wheels, but I really love how these ride. The tubulars are Conti's Sprinter Gatorskins, which have also proven themselves time and again to be rock solid performers.

Here you go then, good to look at, and really nice to ride! I'm looking forward to putting serious miles on the bike this season.
Alpha Q CS 10 fork matches the frame rather well. Standard S-3 headset from Cane Creek hold it all together. The SRAM brakes are one of the stand out components of the group for me. I love the performance and feel these offer, especially paired with the Bontrager Carbon road pads and rims.

Chopped B-17 Special. I've yet to find a saddle I want to spend more time on. It just works. Cutting the sides really makes for more of a traditional racing saddle fit, without sacrificing durability or classic looks.
Rival OCT standard crank. We live in MN, I've yet to see the need for a compact crank, at least how I ride. There is a wider range 12-26 rear cassette, which should handle WI hills just fine.
A nice clean looking back end rounds out the build nicely.

New Mini Racer

I've always thought that minis are cool. This year's Flight series from Redline takes that to another level of awesome. What a cool bike for a little shaver to run around on. This bike weighs nothing, and has looks that'll kill at the track, or just around the block. At around $600, these are not inexpensive bikes. Compared to a lot the other activites such as dirt biking or hockey, $600 is down right reasonable. Red and white go fast, this thing is built for speed.

Happy Thursday. Thoughts go out to Guitar Ted and all of the participants of Trans Iowa this weekend. Here's hoping for just bad enough weather to make it fun, and for a safe trip for all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Family Photo

Here's a quick picture of the new family.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New bike bridge in Northfield!

This is a huge improvement in biking and walking specific infrastructure in Northfield. The spans of a new pedestrian bridge over the Cannon River went up over the weekend. This now makes it possible for people to cross both Highway 3 and the river with out going through traffic. There is a large collection of baseball and soccer fields on the trail following this bridge. This makes it much easier and safer for people to cross town for these and any other reason. I'll have a more in depth photo essay when I can get over there myself. These photos come from our resident photo journlist Eric.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So I should be riding in the Decorah Time Trials right now, but my sister had other plans. She had a beautiful baby girl yesterday at about 4:30 in the afternoon. Everything went really well, and both her and baby are healthy and safe. No name yet, but she's gorgeous. More to follow. Cheers!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Bike Shop Gourmet, Episode One.

We've grown weary of late of the normal food from home or sandwich fare available downtown here. Sure, you can get really good Mexican food, or a nice steak from down the street, but that'll run you quite a bit for two people. Working with the meager cooking setup we have, namely a toaster oven and a microwave, we are going to start some new experiments into just what kind of food we can cook while really not trying at all. Here's where the magic happens, for now. Last night's repair party was the first attempt of this new paradigm. It was a bold first step, Salmon steaks, asparagus and green onions. A little garlic salt and some olive oil were the only condiments, as we want to keep this as simple as possible. A simple foil pack held everything together, and in it went at a marked 400 deg for about an hour. It was perfect! Paired with a nice Fat Tire, some good music for ambiance, the new couch seating, and we were set. Eating like kings with little to no effort, and for $11.29 for the two of us. Hard to beat Subway prices for a hot meal like that.We are going to be expanding our efforts this week with the addition of a true size gas grill out back, with the later addition of a full charcoal grill for long roasts and ribs. I'll keep you updated as we progress on this most needed and notable change in bike shop behavior! On the menu today, Parmesan stuffed pork chops. Presentable serving plates to come soon. Cheers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Repair Party.

We'll be working late tonight to get a bunch of repairs done before the weekend. We'll be putting on a little gathering with some beverages and pizza at about 7:30 or so. Stop by and grab some dinner, check out the new toys, or just to chew the fat. Cheers.

Friday, April 17, 2009

36er Stair Ride

Thursday ride photos and a new Pofahl.

We had a great night last night for some riding. The weather was just perfect, 60 degrees and a light breeze. A cousin of mine came down from the cities for his first mountain ride ever. That's not to say he has never ridden on dirt before, but this was the first trail ride he's done on a true MTB. He's been looking at a bunch of entry level 29ers in both geared and single speed variants. I set him up on one of my Blackbucks with H Bars and normal SS gear such as BB7's.Beard needs to be trimmed.
Prison at sunset.
I decided to pull out the big bike for this ride. It's been a while since I rode the 36er, and this is the first ride since I swapped the drive train to a higher tooth count. It had been a 25-18, and I had problems with chain stretch and things just not playing nice together. Since then I've acquired the huge 23t freewheel from White. What a thing of beauty. It's just so damn big! This lets me run a normal 33t font chain ring up front. Combined with a KMC Kool Lite chain it should be a trouble free drive train for years to come. I also switched from the Profile Racing Cranks to a set of the Stronglight 94 bcd cranks I got a while ago. This dropped over a pound off the bike without any real discernible disadvantage in regards to performance.

Steeper than it looks.
I am continually amazed at how easy this bike is to ride. On steep climbs, you do feel the weight of the wheels. The funny thing is that it does not feel proportional. The wheels do not feel 3 times harder to ride, which is about what the weight difference is. Traction on this bike is great, the only limiting thing on climbs is the motor. On the SS, there are hills I can't make it up in this gear combo. It's geared to the flats and rollers, and I know it. The geared bike can easily go anywhere I can on my other bikes, and then some. For the most part of the ride, I was left with the realization that the 36er is easier to ride on a lot of the terrain. The tires just roll over the small irregularities so well, that there is a noticeable decrease in rolling resistance. I could just ease into the cranks and slowly pull away from the others without much effort. The short rollers are just crazy. By hammering hard, the momentum of the wheels just pull into the hill and over.

Coming into the park, we passed some local fire fighters cutting a few trees down. They have been doing some of the regular controlled burns for the grasses and wildflowers lately. Getting further back into the park, we passed a fire can and a big water cooler. It was already pretty late at this point, so I figured that they wouldn't get to burning that far. I was wrong. It wasn't a big deal, but it is a little disconcerting to come around a corner to a burning grass fire! We just turned around and took the other path home. It was pretty cool to watch though.
So the ride was great. Jesse had a great time and has decided on a Moncog Flight for his first MTB! What a way to start out. We're going to throw a set of J Bars on there and a set of Ashima rotors. With those couple of small changes, he'll be set for years.

I was over to Mike Pofahl's the other day to pick up a tandem. Meg and I are going to borrow one frmo him for a while to see if we like riding them. We'll go from there in regard to what we'll do for our big ride for the summer. Mike is just completing work on a pretty special tandem. This is a bike he's built for a blind customer. The gentleman loves to ride, and a tandem lets him get out and actually feel the ride while putting real miles on. This tandem is build to be as adjustable as possible for the captain position. This will allow him to have as many different people as possible ride with him. The bike is really good looking, and has some great lines. It's awesome to see custom bikes that actually solve real world problems for customers. This is a perfect excample of that.

Gotta love the fillets. There are at least three more bikes I need Mike to build for me. Oh for funding!
For a complicated bike, the lines on this are just awesome. The white is really classy as well.

All for now. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flowering into Spring.

Eric sent us a few pictures from a recent local adventure trip. This first picture is of one of the first blooming wildflowers of the year, the ground hugging Pasque flower.

Here's a shot of the beautiful bluffs on Lake Byllesby.

Happy spring, (and tax day.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Afterwork Ride

It's finally spring at the shop. The weather has been amazing for the last week and a half or so. It's made for a huge influx of work at the shop. We'll be placing our third order for bikes in as many weeks, and things all over are starting to pop.

In line with the weather, we'll be having our first Tuesday night ride of the season tomorrow. We'll leave from the shop at 6:30, so if you need to prep at all come a bit earlier. Call me tomorrow if you're going to be a bit later and we can schedule accordingly. The plan is to ride for 2-3 hours, then have beer afterwards. Let me know if there are any questions. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bling for cheap, (relatively.)

We have a couple wheelsets we're looking to sell to a good home. Both were for customers who have ordered them and canceled payments. I'm not happy, but hey, it's a chance for you to get a killer deal on some nice stuff.

First up, a Gold on Gold set of Industry Nine wheels on Stan's Flow rims. New never ridden and have not had any parts mounted to them, (tires, rotors, cassettes, etc.) Normal price $1050. Sale price $800 shipped to the continental US. Rim tape and valve stems included.

Second, a pair of 2008 gen Bontrager Race X Lites laced to Bontrager Rhythm rims. These are the last of the famed DT 240 hub's versions, laced to Bontrager's 500 gm 29mm wide, offset rim. Tubeless rim strips are installed, and tires have been mounted before. The wheels have never been ridden. $550 shipped.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pofahl Finished.

I sure hate the Vantage rims on this bike, but the rest is just nice. The saddle is a bit goofy in my opinion, but the bike just rocks.
Nice clean 1X7 set up. The bars and seat are set to the customer's preferences. I love the coloring and overall look of this bike. Especially now with the new black tires.
Notice the long fork. The bike was built to Mag 21 specs. When the fork died, he had the rigid made to replace it and painted to match.
New bar tape, tires and cable really cleaned this old beauty up nicely.
Ritchey Logic throughout. This is a really light bike for the age.
This came from Trek the other day. Question is, was it drawn by a bored warehouse worker here or overseas? Made us laugh.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Pretty things.

After a long awaited hiatus, Industry Nine now has a new site worthy of their wheels. Drool on.

Industry Nine

After some ungodly long days this week, I needed a bit of a break. I'm not going to be able to bike for the next few days due to weather, I went for another type of release. I have to admit that I have, and will always be a motor head. Be it cars or motorcycles, I've been raised on gasoline since birth. Both my father and grandfather have been professional mechanics there whole lives. As kids we would go to classic car shows in the back of my father's '40 Chevy Business Coupe. He custom made a pint sized back seat in the car for the three of us, (no small feat,) and I literally grew up in that hot rod.

These days I ride motorcycles a fair amount, and still have a lot of fun going to car shows. I do ride my bike as much as possible, especially around town, but I still love to drive. Dad has maintained a collection of old cars all through my life, and I have helped him rebuild some pretty fun stuff. This morning I felt the need to exercise the demons. The latest car in the collection is one of the only Corvettes I've ever really liked. It's a 1964 Stingray, numbers matching down to the alternator. It's truly a thing of beauty, even if you're not a car person. The lines on this car are just awesome. It's said often, but they really don't make stuff like this anymore.

Driving a car like this is really an other worldly experience as well. This a sports car for a real driver. Nothing is hidden in this car. You hear the engine, you hear the whir of the transmission, you hear the whine of the differential. To contrast this, the car has almost no wind noise at all. It's like it's just slippery. Having a conversation with someone is just as easy as in a modern car, but the atmosphere just a bit different!

Like a single speed mtb, this car is also quite basic. There are no such things as traction control, power steering, engine management systems, forced induction, or low profile tires. 300hp was considered a lot for street driving back then. It's kind of crazy to think that this car was really about as good as it got in 1964. Many cars off the lot today would out handle it when pushed. Like a SS though, this car is cool in a whole different way. It's not about the destination, it's the experience of getting there. 65mph in this car feels like you're flying, and going through corners is whole different world. Simply put, it's awesome.

I'll have to keep riding my bikes to offset going round in these things. Sure the cars get slightly less gas mileage than my Civic, but who cares? Growing up with old cars like these has been something that's profoundly shaped how I look at many modern things, how some simpler things can be just as good or better than not. How to appreciate the way things were, how they were done, and how to care for them. It's an experience I hope I can share with my children some day.

Happy Friday, hope it goes well.

Shop Redo Part 900.....

The Beige.
I kind of like the double row of bike in the middle. Curt showing how late it was. My mother's a saint. Just a few more walls and we're done.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dan's KM

Dan's Karate Monkey is finally done. The bike really embodies a lot of what I think makes a bike great. A nice frame, killer wheels, components that are serviceable and rebuild able, and a Brooks seat. For performance and comfort for the money, this is a pretty sweet bike. Enjoy, I know he will.
Bike shot.
Industry Nine Enduro geared wheels for total versatility. QR front and rear, but 20mm or bolt on compatible. Bontrager Duster rims and XDX tires set up tubeless round out the wheels.
BB7's with Avid cables and levers working Ashima rotors. Love that front hub.
Business end.
A nice shot of the most iconic cycling product ever in my opinion. If you've never owned one of these it's time. You're worth it. Just be prepared to buy three when you like it so much!