Friday, April 29, 2011

Help Wanted

Curtis and I are looking for a coworker.  We are looking to hire a part time, 20-40 hours a week, mechanic/sales person for seasonal work.  Our requirements are pretty simple.  Fist off, you need to be mechanically inclined.  You don't need to be a bike mechnic right now, (although that would help,) but we need to be able to train you to work on bikes.  If you are not comfortable with mechanical tasks, this job isn't for you. 

Secondly, you need to be a people person.  This job entails dealing with the public on many levels.  Whether it's dealing with sales on the floor, calling customers in regards to repairs, or participating in group rides, you'll be talking and dealing with people every day.  If you're not one to go out of your way to help people, or have trouble approaching people this may not be for you either.

Thirdly, you need to be a biker.  This may sound like a no brainer, but it's a big deal to us.  Curtis and I live and breath bikes.  It's the culture we've built around the shop, and it's the public image we have and deserve.  This is a place for bikers, and you should be one in a large way.

This job provides a ton of opportunity to the right person.  We offer many insites and contacts with good companies throughout the biking community.  We have a personal relationship with many many good customers.  We pay wages in line with industry standard, along with discounts on bikes, parts and clothing. We offer flexible scheduling and time off as well.  Starting pay based on experience will be $8.50-10 and hour.  A low cost apartment above the shop will be available for rent if needed or desired.

If this sounds like a job you'd be interested in give us a call or stop in and pick up an application.  Thank you, and have a great Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bridgestone 500 Town Bomber.

I thought I'd share some photos of a different kind of bike build I finally finished.  I acquired an older Bridgestone 500 a while back.  The bike was mostly stock, and was in very good shape.  The size fits me pretty well actually, but the narrow, deep, terrible old road bars had to go.  The bike's tires we also in need of replacement. Other than that, it's in great shape.  The components hardly show any signs of wear, and the paint is quite good.

This bike is meant to be a town bomber.  The super swept Bontrager bars put me in a really comfy cruiser position.  I love this aesthetic and riding position for cruising around town on hot summer nights.  Really good looking Bridgestone brakes allow easy clearance for the big 35c Bontrager slicks.  I love these tires, it's a pity they aren't made anymore.  They make a 32c tire that's pretty close though.  Nice tires for about $20.

The Shimano 600 cranks are some of the most aesthetically pleasing, commonly available cranks I've seen.  I just love the lines.  There's some rub marks on these, but they are in great shape really. The bike has a full Shimano 600 drivetrain.  I swapped the original chain to a modern HG-40, which makes shifting much smoother.

With the aggressive stance, this bike just looks fast.  The bars sweep back enough to keep the seating position comfortable, and it handles very well.  I can't wait for hot humid nights, good friends, and the dark roads around Northfield.  Soon enough.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Custom Wheel Build, Mark's Chris King Touring Wheels.

We've been talking with Mark since last year about building a lifetime worthy touring bike.  The idea for the bike build was to build a bike that would be fun unloaded on gravel and back country roads while performing traditional touring duties equally as well.  We arrived at the consensus that the Salsa Vaya in titanium would meet his needs best.  It has sporty enough touring to cruise gravel with aplomb, while handling the short overnight, and ultimately cross country tours that Mark has planned.

Any great bike starts with a killer frame, (check,) and awesome wheels.  This bike will roll on some of the nicest touring wheels you can get.  The build starts with deep red colored Chris King disc hubs.  These hubs roll really well, and they are as durable as it gets.  These are arguably the nicest hubs money can buy, and they'll work very well for the foreseeable future of this bike. They use fully serviceable cartridge bearings throughout. Anything from Chris King is stunning to look at.  They are like bike jewelry.  These will match a headset and bottom bracket also from King.  Combine all of those with a Ti frame and steel fork and the most expensive parts on this bike will last forever.

The wheels are shod with a really cool set of tires from Continental.  These are called the Cyclocross Speed.  This is the larger 42c version.  It features a generous file tread smoother center section with actual side knobs.  This is a near perfect tire for dry, smooth gravel.  They are big enough to provide ample comfort, and they roll like crazy. These also feature a reflective sidewall, something I am a huge fan of.  It provides a large measure of safety and visibility for no weight penalty.  These would make an excellent mixed condition touring or commuting tire as well.  At $25.99 they are quite reasonable.  Big, squishy, go fast.  I love 'em!

These wheels are build on DT Swiss's proven TK series touring rims.  They are reasonably light for their intended purpose, and the have proven to be very durable under some of our most demanding riders.  For spokes we used Sapim's triple butted Force spokes.  These have more material down at the spoke elbow.  They seat into the hubs very positively, and reinforce the weakest part of the spoke.  The spokes weigh almost nothing more than a standard butted spoke, which makes them a no brainer on this kind of wheelset.

This is the start to what promises to be an amazing bike.  We just received the frameset from Salsa, and I'll be assembling the bike over the course of the week.  I'll have full build photos and a write up when it's complete.
Happy hump day everyone.  We hope it's a good one for you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This guy's got it right.

I can't say it much better than these folks.

Thanks for the forward Wally.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eric's Pofahl Tandem Teaser

Eric has been working with us for a while to aid in the design and build of a new tandem for he and his wife.  They are long time tandem riders, and have a 30 plus year old Santana tandem that has served them well.  Tandems are what local builder Mike Pofahl really enjoys building.  He has built some really gorgeous tandems that I've personally seen, and I'd love to have one for Meg and I some day.

Eric's bike will be a modern touring tandem.  It will have clearance for 700 x 50c tires with mud room, and will have just about every braze on imaginable for versatility.  There will be many details that will really shine on this bike.  I can't wait to get it built and ready to go.

Mike has all of the major work done on the frame and fork.  I have the frameset here at the shop to set up with the wheels to fit Eric and Margit for custom stems to match the bike as well. Here's a teaser shot until the bike is ready.  It's going to be a stunner.  Man I love fillet brazing!

Happy Friday all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Looking for Salsas?

Looking for a 2011 Salsa bike?  We have a number of Salsa bikes and framesets in stock at the shop.

Vayas are in stock in 56cm and 57cm.

We have a Mukluk complete available in 17", and a Casseroll in 53cm on the floor.

A Large El Mariachi Ti is in stock and ready to go as well.  (Medium pictured.)

Fun Guy Green Fargo frames are in stock in medium and large sizes.  These can easily be built to suit as a full up custom.  They also would be an easy swap for owners of older Fargos looking to change to the new geometry.

Fargo Completes in Medium and Large will be shipping to us this week and are available for purchase.

While many of the complete bikes from Salsa are not currently available, frame sets of popular bikes like the Fargo, Vaya, Chili Con Crosso, and Casseroll are available for purchase.  We specialize in working with customers to build bikes to match your exact needs.  Give us a call and see what we can do for you today!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Custom Wheel Build, Matt's 26" Stan's 355 Race Wheels

Matt got a hold of us a few weeks ago looking for a bang for the buck, go fast race wheel set.  He races in a lot of local mtb races, and was interested in something a little more specialized than his current Mavic Crossrocs.  We settled on using a pair of DT's new 370 hubs as the starting point for these wheels.  The 370's are DT's new mid range hubs.  They feature a rebuild able 2 pawl clutch mechanism, and proven DT quality cartridge bearings.  They roll increadably smooth, and should last a very long time. 

The 370's are heavier than the 340 or 240 series due in large part to a steel axle and free hub body. I don't regard this weight increase as an all bad thing.  I'd love to see a steel free hub body option for the 240's for instance.  This would combat the ubiquitous marring that light alloy free hub bodies receive from steel cassettes.

For Matt's wheels we chose to use Sapim Lazer spokes, and locking alloy nipples.  In the 26" lengths these spokes provide plenty of strength for what Matt's intended uses are.  They are quite light, and yet pair to Stan's 355 tubeless rims they will be easily stiff enough for his riding style and weight.

To match the wheel's intended use, we set up a pair of Schwalbe Rocket Ron TLR tires in 2.25" size.  THese are not cheap, but are very impressive.  They are very light at under 460gms, and yet have real knobs and a real world casing size.  They are reported to roll very well, and should match the dry, hard pack conditions commonly found at Buck Hill and Murphy-Hanrehan.

For under $500 these wheels offer a lot of dependable performance for the money spent.  The tires are a premium set of rubber that shouldn't disappoint.  All round, these are going to be a killer upgrade that should serve Matt well for years.

Happy Thursday all.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Gravel Haiku

Tires crunching gravel

Spring buds recycling the frost-

Breathes air in my soul.

-geezer biker

Inspired by our gravel ride the other night.  I like it. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Fun Guy Green Fargos and Fat Tuesday Ride Plans

We received our Fun Guy Green Fargos at the shop this morning.  These are really good looking frame sets!

The color is the same as the previous generation bikes, but the new panels change the look quite a bit.  The panel colors are light silver with a darker hue of green.

All panel accents and colors are in a darker, more metallic silver.  As with the Bone colored Fargos, it all adds up to be very classy and refined looking. (Apologies for the finger in frame!)

These are in stock and ready to be purchased as a frame set for $599.99, or we can of course custom build a bike to suit your needs.

The Fat Tuesday Ride will meet at 7pm at Goodbye Blue Monday in Northfield.  We will had to The 620 Grill for half priced burgers and libations.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 01, 2011

2011 Salsa Fargo, Fun Guy Green Addition!

Do like Fargos?  New 2011 Fargos?  How about older Fun Guy Green Fargos?  How would you like to have a new 2011 Fargo, but in Fun Guy Green?

I really like the new geometry of the Fargos.  I think it's a more relevant, more versatile, and more suited to the mixed use riding I usually do.  While I like the new color a lot, there'll always be a sweet spot in my heart for Fun Guy Green, I know I'm not alone there.

Well the Salsa has recently announced a new color for the 2011 Fargo frame sets, Fun Guy Green!  I am very excited to have a matched pair of FFG Fargos in my stable.  These are available only as frame sets, and are in stock in all sizes.  We will be getting a Medium and a Large frame set in to the shop for stock on Tuesday.  Other sizes are available for order.  These sell for $600 just like the bone colored Fargos.  They will have appropriately colored green panels like the 2011 model.

Let us know if you'd like one, (or heck two!) of these fine frame sets.

So to wrap up, if you'd like one of these,

that looks like this,

(Photo credit to Colin Monty.)

give us a call and get your frame coming today!