Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Custom Bike Build: My Mukluk.

My Salsa Mukluk is finally finished.  I've been planning to get a Mukluk for a long time now.  This time last year I had a blue frame coming in for myself.  I ended up selling my frame to a local customer.  He's quite happy with it.  That prompted my to have Mr Pofahl build up my current drop bar fat bike.  I've been quite happy with that!  

When this year's Mukluk 2's rolled out I again had a frame and fork come in for myself.  Once again I sold that due to high demand.  This left me in a bit of an interesting position.  I wanted a Mukluk and had all the parts to build it.  Blue's a perfectly good Mukluk color, but there are now a bunch of those out there.  A solution to this was easily found at my local powder coating shop!

Shazam!  One non-standard Mukluk.  

The color is a very bright orange with a gold metal flake clear coat.  It looks amazing in person, and it harder than heck to photograph.  The contrast against the all black components and the black Revelate bags is awesome. 

Drivetrain set up on this bike is a 2x8 with a 10spd Sram set up.  The shifters are Sram TT style bar ends with Paul Thumbie thumb shifter mounts.  I really like this set up so far.  Shifting is great and the range of the 15t-36t cassette seems really good.  The brakes are Avid XO hydraulic discs.  Bar is a Salsa Promoto Carbon with a Salsa Promoto Ti stem.  Grips are my favorite, Dimension cork.  

Little 140mm rotor, big black Salsa hub, little DT Swiss spokes, big 36t cassette cog!

Big Fat Larry's on 80mm drilled Rolling Darryl rims should be about optimal for all around winter conditions.  

I love how this bike turned out.  I look forward to bombing around on it, snow or no snow!  It's time to rip it up!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday Sale and Festivities!

We're planning on having a good time on Black Friday!  Here are some items that we are featuring on sale.

Cygo-Lite Turbo Mini 330 Lights regularly $104.99, on sale for $84.99!  Curtis and I have been using these for a while now and are really impressed.  These are great little lights for a phenomenal price.

Buy any graphic bike jersey...

...and get 50% off any Bontrager Race bike jersey!

Polar insulated water bottles are on sale for $7.99, from $11.99!

T Shirts from All City, Surly, Salsa, and others, all $5 off!

15% off in stock headsets Cane Creek and Chris King, plus 50% off headset installation!

These and other items will be on sale Friday only!  Stop in and see what's new for winter, and save big on select items.

In addition to having items on sale, Curtis will be leaving a mountain bike ride in River Bend Nature at 12pm noon.  We're planning on having a little bonfire out back, and we'll have coffee and some treats available all day.  Skip the malls and join us this Black Friday for a little more relaxed shopping experience!  You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Revelated Mukluk

To match our decked out Pugsley, here's a winter bomber ready Mukluk!  Full bag set up from Revelate Designs and set up with a decent set of optimized bar mitts this is ready to rock.

These bikes look great with all that black nylon.  Here's to winter, it's just around the corner!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Park Point, Duluth.  Next time I return here it'll the beach will be frozen and I'll be on a fat bike. 

Happy Saturday folks.  Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Custom Bike Build: Califonia Bound El Mariachi

We finished the build today on a stunner of an El Mariachi.  This one's headed for sunny California.  James took advantage of our Salsa El Mariachi/Whiskey fork frameset deal as the basis for a heck of a single speed.

James wanted a light weight, durable, comfortable, and elegant single speed.  I think we hit the mark completely.

James sent us some used, but still gorgeous, first Gen XTR cranks for this build.  Matched to a titanium Race Face BB and a classy Salsa ring it's a heck of a combo.  Latest generation XT pedals really look great next to the vintage cranks.

Thomson seat post and stem play very well with Salsa's Bend 2 bars and Ergon grips.  Clean looking and super comfy, this is a great set up.

The lines on this bike are great.  White Industry/Stan's wheels, great drive train parts, and serviceable, reliable components make this a winner.  It is built with darn near forever components, and should ride like a dream.

Thanks again James, happy trails!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Duluth Cruise Photos

I got a chance to ride this weekend in Duluth, MN.  I love Duluth.  I love the water, the scenery, the hills, and the people.  Duluth just has a great feel to it.  It's a relaxed town with lots of access to the outdoors as well and has a thriving art community.  There are a lot of bikers, hikers, canoeists, skiers and all sorts of outdoors people.  It's my kind of place for all kinds of reasons.

One of my favorite types of riding is the town cruise.  There is nothing quite like bombing around town.  I love casually picking my way through downtown, into residential areas.  My Duluth ride started up on the hill just west of Hermantown.  The roads up there are almost all dead smooth, fresh pavement. The new Challenge tires at 70psi just floated along.  Heading down the hill I made my way to Skyline Parkway, a gorgeous curving road that winds along above the lower part of the city.  I love this road.  

Pedestrian bridge heading down to Canal Park and the lake.

Fair weather on a beautiful bike makes for a happy me.

Bike path under Interstate 35.  Nice lines and light.

Love this shot.  The lake is simply gorgeous.  I really enjoy spending time down by the water.

This is an actual street in the middle of Duluth.  It's rough as a cob, narrow as any gravel around here, and a blast to ride on.  The big tires made this totally do ride able.  I would have been cringing on the 23c tires I had on this. Riding a sub 18 lb bike both up and down these hills is a dream.  It handles great, goes up hill like a goat, and still maintains a high level of comfort and control.

Saw this guy on my way through town.  Big ole deer for sure.  Looks like a nice 8 pointer.  I hope I can see one like this next weekend!

For those of you who have never been to Duluth I highly recommend a trip up.  The town itself offers a ton of recreational opportunities, and the riding of all types is stellar.  I can't wait until I can go back.  Next time we make it up there it'll likely be snowy, and I'll have my Mukluk with.  That will open all sorts of new riding possibilities as well!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Revelate Designs Frame bags, Gas Tanks, Mountain Feed Bags, and Viscacha seat bags.

We now have the full line of Revelate gear in stock in the shop. We have frame bags for Mukluk's and Pugsley's in stock in most sizes along with Tangle bags of all sizes.  The new products in stock are the Pug bags, Gas Tanks, and we've restocked Mountain Feed Bags.  All of these items work great by themselves, or are impressive when paired as the whole.  Though these look great on any bike, a well equipped fat bike is a beautiful thing.

Surly/Revelate branding on the Pugsley/Moonlander bags is great.  I love this logo.

The Viscacha seat bags are truly one of my favorite things ever.  I move mine between many bikes.  When the need arises for a bag that can hold large or awkward objects, or when I don't know fully the need, this is the bag I go to.  Between the super rigid mounting to the seat post and the excellent compression straps anything in these bags is held quite securely.

All bags are sewn in a black fabric with red highlighted threads.  As a whole they match quite well and would match any color bike well.

For easy access to cameras, food, phone, or anything else the combination of a Gas Tank and Mountain Feed Bag is a great set up.  These are easily transferable to any kind of bike and any style of riding.

All of the front bags utilize high visibility fabric as liner fabrics.  They all feature nearly waterproof outer fabrics, sealed seams, and water resistant YKK zippers. They are all made in the US and rival the best quality bags I've ever seen.  Quality and fit are excellent throughout the line.

We are very excited to finally be able to offer these products for sale in the shop.  I've used Eric's Revelate products for quite a while now.  They are some of the best purchases for cycling I've ever made.  Stop in today or give us a call to discuss your options and questions.  As an official Revelate dealer, we're here to help in any way we can. We'd love to help get you set up with these fine products!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday night ride: Murphy Hanrehan in the dark.

Tonight we'll be meeting at Murphy Hanrehan park in Savage for a night mountain bike ride.  Lots of guys will be on fat bikes, some will not be on fat bikes.  All are welcome regardless of ability level.  Curtis will be leading a group of faster riders on the expert loop.  I'll be leading a group of slower riders on the beginner and intermediate loop.

This goes without saying, but you will need lights for this ride.  7pm through the woods is mighty dark!

We hope to see you there.  Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Challenge Parigi Roubaix Tires.

I like big tires.  For any type of riding a larger tire of similar weight will allow for lower pressure, lower rolling resistance, more comfort, and better traction.  When I consider how I ride road bikes, (leisurely, casual, social group or solo rides,) big tires are just as applicable.  My modern Trek Madone is an amazing bike.  It's efficient, comfortable, stable, and it handles better than any other road bike I've ridden.  All of this was with 23c, high quality tires ridden at 90 psi.

As good as this all was, the lure of a bigger tire was calling.  Enter the Challenge Parigi-Roubaix.  These tires are big, 29.5mm wide on Hed Belgium series rims.  They are light, 306gms on my scale.  They offer 260tpi casings, near full wrap tread, and feature a fine file tread pattern.  They look classic and modern at the same time.  I love them.

Classic herringbone tread with a nice looking hat patch make these tires really stand out.  It's worth noting that while they fit really well in the Madone, they did not fit in under the Sram Force brakes.  swapping to Shimano Ultegra's easily cleared the tires.  They in fact offered more clearance then the frame and fork.

Fit front and rear on these is a legitimate 3-4mm at full pressure.  I have no worries about running them in this bike. The tread pattern looks sticky as all get out.  I can't wait to get some real time on these this weekend.

I'm heading up to Duluth this weekend with Meg.  I plan on giving these a good workout simply bumming around town and heading up the shore.  The mix of super uphill climbs and mixed condition downhills combined with some nice relaxed road riding should make for a perfect trial run!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Red and Blue Salsa Fat Bike Hubs.

Salsa's fat bike hub sets are now available for aftermarket purchase.  These come with color matched skewers and offer a great base to build fat bike wheels with.  They are Salsa's higher end, quad sealed bearing hubs and feature alloy axles and rebuild able free hub bodies.  These would be a great place to start a build from, or would make for a great beginning for a second winter or summer wheel set for your Fatback or Mukluk.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Milltown Cycles Fall Gravel Tour: Henderson Holler Part 1.

Sunday's Henderson Holler was a blast.  It was an incredibly windy day, 20-30 mph near constant wind, with a weather advisory to match!  As such we shortened the route from 46 miles to a total of about 30 miles.  The tree below shows the wind.  All the branches are nearly straight out!

Our crew started with just six of us, (Jerry's out front.)  We eventually were caught up by a seventh rider who started a bit behind us.  After the first few miles the clouds cleared off and we rode under sunny skies for the rest of the day.

Lots of farm work still being undertaken.  Yellow jacketed riders flanked by tank-like tractor tracks.

A huge thanks is owed to our fearless leader Jim for all of his work putting these wonderful routes together.  It's a pleasure to work with him to bring these events to fruition!  Looking good in Molteni jersey on his Fargo.

Lots of great barns were seen on this route.  The woods behind this one are a county park.  It is positioned right on the river, and offers legal camping.  Given the seclusion I can't imagine it's very busy.  We may start and end this ride here next time.  I'd love to get some before and after camping in combination with these rides!

We found a "nature trail" in Henderson that needed exploring.  It turned out to be a short hike a bike section leading to yet more camping sites within the city limits.  While not great riding, it was a welcome way to get to know the area a bit better.

We took a little break at the campground on top.  Out of the wind and in the sun was a great place to be.  The whole day was ridden at a casual, conversational pace.  It was a great ride.  

That's all for now.  Part 2, from Henderson on, will go up later this week.  Happy Tuesday all!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Milltown Cycles Fall Gravel Tour: Henderson Holler.

Tomorrow will be the third ride of our Fall Gravel Tour.  We will meet at the parking lot in front of the Corner Drug Health Mart in Le Sueur for a 12 o'clock ride time just as before. The address is below, and the parking lot is large enough not to be missed.

204 Valley Green Square , Le Sueur, MN 56058

This ride is again around 46 miles.  This map my ride map is approximate, but small changes have been made.

These cues are correct and have been checked.  The course will be marked as it has been before.

2011 Henderson Holler

Start at Parking Lot at the southwest corner of Bridge St. and S. 2nd St.
Left on Bridge St. (West)
Right on 333rd Ave. (Co. Rd. 18)
Right on 324th St.
Keep following 324th through several corners
Left on 316th St.
Right on Rush River Rd.
Right on 300th St.
Turns North and becomes S. 9th St. (Henderson)
Right on Minnesota St.
Left on S. 6th St.
Left on  Main St. (MN 19)
Right on Fort Rd.
Right on 331st Ave.
Left on 270th St.
Left on 351st Ave.
Right on 276th St.
Right on 371st Ave.
371st bears right and becomes 361st Ave.
After some twist and turns 361st turns North and becomes Co. 12 (paved)
Right on Jessenland Rd. (Co. 27) (paved)
At “T”, follow Jessenland Rd. to the Right (South)
After the big descent, Left on Co. Rd. 6 (paved)
Right on Co. Rd. 5 (paved), across the MN River into Blakeley
In Blakeley, Right on Co. Rd. 1 (Union Trail) (paved)
Up the hill, then Right on 250th St. W. (paved)
Becomes gravel (Chatfield Dr.)
Left on Salisbury Hill Rd (Climb to Top and Turn around come back down)
Left on Chatfield - Becomes Henderson Station Road
Follow Henderson Station Rd. around to the left
Just before the bridge...
Take Hard Right on  Pumpkin Hill Road (very steep)
Follow Pumpkin Hill Road to US 169
Cross over 169 and follow Cambria Road on the other side.
Right on Forest Prairie Road (paved)
Left on St. Thomas Rd. (paved)
Hard Right on Myrick Rd. (gravel)  Big descent
Follow all the way down into Le Sueur
Left on Hazel
Right on Division
Left on Commerce (MN 112)
Bear to the right as Commerce Splits, follow Main St.
Left on Bridge St.
Back to Parking Lot

We hope to see many of you there!

****A word about tomorrow's ride, bring lights front and rear! With Daylight's savings time in effect tomorrow, it will be getting near dusk if not sundown depending on when people finish tomorrow. Sunset is supposed to be at 5:30, so come prepared and be smart. A flashing front and rear light are suggested.****

Friday, November 04, 2011

Enve Carbon Road Fork.

Parts are slowly coming in for a Steve Potts road bike build.  One of the biggest ones came in today.  Enve Composites makes the nicest carbon stuff around, period.  The fit and finish, overall quality, and performance are just first rate.  Their fork is a perfect pairing for a Potts road bike. 

We went with their 2.0 version for this build.  At 375 grams it's frighteningly light, but still quite stiff.  Their 1.0 model is even lighter, and is stiffer than this fork.  The softer ride quality is what we were looking for.  The weight is still very light, and the matte finish will match the Potts' matte finish very well.  

The overall appearance of the fork is quite trim.  The fork lists a max tire size of up to 32mm actual measurement, something I really like as well.  A quality tire in 27-28mm would be perfect in here in my opinion.  

The bold graphics manage to be understated.  I really like how they look.  It's just enough without being gaudy.  

Enve forks molded carbon dropouts.  The legs are seamlessly connected, the whole fork looks like it flows together. 

This will be attached to the frame using this black Chris King Sotte Voce headset.  It should make for a stunning frame set that will last a very long time.  

Thursday, November 03, 2011

45North Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tire

David of 45North was kind enough to lend us a prototype Hüsker Dü tire to check out.  I've actually had the pleasure of riding this tire in the sandy MN river bottoms.  I loved it.  It rolls noticeably faster than a Larry, and corners quite well.  Oddly enough from a company who's job is designing winter specific parts, I think this will likely be the best fat bike tire for general mtb use in summer.

Bold, modern graphics really make these tires stand out.  This shot really shows the large side knobs well.  These corner extremely well.  They are not as aggressive as the Surly Nates, which may be a good thing.  You can also see the squared off, blocky mid knobs above the side knobs. The ramped center knobs are visible at the top of the tire.  

Profile wise this tire is flatter than a Larry on the same rim.  It's casing shape is similar to the Surly Endomorph.  This is on a 82mm Rolling Darryl rim.  I expect the tire to be more round shaped on a 65mm rim such as the new Surly Marge Lite or classic Large Marge.

My overall ride impression of these was great.  They roll like crazy, corner well, and wade through sand with aplomb.  I am excited to get these in the shop.  They will be my go to summer tire for my soon to be lighter Pofahl.  They will be really fun to try in winter of course as well.

Due date on these is right after Thanksgiving.  We will be getting 5 or 6 sets in stock as soon as they are available.