CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE:
RIDE LEADER NOTES – PDX Bike Show in Review
WRENCH BENCH – Adjusting Your Rear Derailleur
TURNING THE CRANKS – It Must Be the Shoes
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Spring Burn
GEARHEAD – Cordless Riding
TEAM NOTES – Mudslinger
SHOP NEWS – Facebook Contest / Orbea Basque Event
SURVEY – Your New Bike
RIDE LEADER NOTES
PDX Bike Show in Review
by Roger Colwell
When the dust had settled around the Oregon Convention Center in the wake of the 2011 PDX Bike Show, I was as optimistic as ever about the state of bicycle retailing–and cycling in general–than I had ever been. The show had resulted in a bunch of new business for our shop, and I felt invigorated from the shared energy and enthusiasm shown by attendees and exhibitors alike.
With that in mind, you can imagine my excitement when it came time for this year’s show in late March, which had been moved to the Portland Expo Center in North Portland. With a few years of bike show experience under our belts, the extravaganza offered endless possibilities for Sunset Cycles to spread the word about our two shops, build our brand, and showcase our top bike lines from Specialized, Orbea, and Ridley. Our incredible prize drawing package wouldn’t hurt either…I secretly harbored visions of the hoards descending on our booth, ignoring the other exhibitors, showering us with praise and affection, fanning us with palm fronds….
While this year’s show might not necessarily have been the embodiment of a crazy dream, it was, by all accounts, a rousing success. Show organizers have reported an attendance figure of nearly 6000, and vendors by and large were as happy as I was with the turnout.
In contrast to Seattle’s bike show, which has a 20+ year track record and an annual attendance of 8200, the three-year old PDX Bike Show is quite successful by a number of metrics. Still, what do we need in the Rose City to take the show to the next level? I can think of a few things:
• More manufacturers exhibiting
• More local bike shops exhibiting
• Deeper involvement from local bike clubs and racing organizations (OBRA, Portland Wheelmen, and Portland Velo…this means you!)
• Pro riders on hand to make appearances with their sponsors and to meet the public
• An expanded swap meet
• Rides or other events held in conjunction with the show
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. But it is a start to help brainstorm ideas for our next steps. If Portland really is the greatest city in the U.S. for cycling, it deserves the biggest and “baddest” consumer bike show anywhere.
If you were able to make it to the bike show, thanks for supporting our sport and stopping by to say hello. As for the Sunset Cycles presence at future versions of the PDX Bike Show…that’s something you can count on. I feel confident in our ability to provide the best selection and service to Portland’s west side cyclists, and we’re proud to put that on public display.
Thanks again for your continuing support of “Beaverton’s Bike Shop.”
Adjusting Your Rear Derailleur
It’s a problem every cyclist experiences: Your shifter cables have stretched, resulting in a chain that’s jumping all over the place. In this short video, you’ll learn how easy it is to make the fine tune adjustments to your rear derailleur for buttery-smooth shifting that’s as crisp as the day you bought your bike. NOTE: If these adjustments don’t work for you, please bring your bike to Sunset Cycles, as a number of other issues (chain wear, worn/dirty cables & parts, etc.) might be present.
TURNING THE CRANKS
It Must Be the Shoes
With three major contact points on the bike to consider (hands, butt, feet), it’s curious that many riders overlook any one of the three. This month, we look to the feet, highlighting the importance of cycling footwear and the factors involved in proper shoe fit and cleat position.
LENGTH: Since the sole on a bike shoe is rigid, you don’t need to worry about having much room for forward toe movement. Your toes should rest as close to the end of the shoe as possible. A good test is to stand with shoes properly cinched down, wiggling your toes–if they move freely and don’t hit the end of the shoe (but are no more than a centimeter from the end), you’ve found the right shoe length.
WIDTH: A common complaint is, “I had to buy a larger size because my feet are wide.” Often, it’s not the width of your foot, but the lack of proper arch support that lends a feeling of width. Unfortunately, most shoes off the shelf come with poor insoles. Consider buying a set of good aftermarket insoles you can use when you’re shopping for shoes. We sell a great insole made by Specialized which comes in 3 different amounts of arch support. Also, ask about our “arch O-meter,” which will accurately display the type and size of insole you might need. Finally, cyclists who have very wide or very narrow feet can choose from a shoe brand such as Specialized, who offers narrow, medium, and wide shoes in some models for fitting these tricky types of feet.
CLEAT POSITION (fore/aft): If your shoe is even a half size too large, it’s likely that your cleats are positioned too far forward, resulting in lack of power and comfort. Because your foot contains what biomechanic engineers call a “pre-stressed” arch, your cleats must rest far enough back on the shoe to properly engage the spring in the arch. A cleat mounted too far forward results in your foot flattening out and loss of power.
CLEAT POSITION (lateral): Ideally, you want your hips positioned over your knees and ankles for the proper alignment of bones. Proper lateral cleat adjustment can accomplish this.
TILT: A good insole, accurate shoe fit, and proper cleat position only take us part of the way toward maximum power and comfort. Roughly 85% percent of us have some degree of VARUS, that is, we put more weight on the outside of our foot than on the inside, which robs us of power and stresses the knee. The solution is to get the shoe parallel to the cleat, either by using a shim under the toe of the insole, or between the shoe and the cleat, which you tilt the entire shoe/foot combo. Many riders need a combination of these for true correction. As a nod to this 85%, Specialized builds a degree and a half of correction into their shoes, which alleviates at least one step in correcting for varus.
Our fitting expert John is happy to offer his professional advice to help solve your shoe/insole/cleat issues. Just ask on your next visit with us.
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH
Each month in CHAINRINGS, Sunset Cycles previews another great Washington County bike ride. With the varied terrain available in our area, each ride is certain to be a winner.
Our ride rating category is simple, ranging from one CHAINRING (easiest) to five CHAINRINGS (most challenging). Here’s the criteria:
One chainring: Flat ride, minimal climbing
Two chainrings: Rolling hills, short climbs
Three chainrings: Moderate hills, possibly some short, steep climbs
Four chainrings: Challenging terrain with numerous, longer climbs
Five chainrings: Very difficult terrain with numerous, steep, long climbs
RATING: FOUR CHAINRINGS
It’s time to blow the carbon out of the engine, clean the rust off the chain, and lube the chassis…this 35.6-mile “Spring Burn” will test your early-season fitness. The loop, which starts and finishes at our Bethany store, features two monster climbs: The 3.5-mile climb near the start to the top of the West Hills and the 3-mile burner from Highway 30 up the infamous NW Logie Trail Road. Scenery? You bet. Oxygen debt? A real possibility! Here’s a full route description, map, and elevation profile, all receiving the official Sunset Cycles stamp of approval.
No cables…No problem!
While not an entirely new innovation in the world of cycling, cable-less electronic shifting systems do offer a radical departure from traditional cable-driven systems. Over the past ten years, the big players in the component market have experimented with electronic shifting, but Shimano’s newest generation, Di2 (Digital Integrated Intelligence) brings the technology into reach of the average cyclist.
Any cycling innovation carries inevitable questions of reliability and dubious benefits, but Shimano hit it out of the park with this one. The system enables you to shift gears faster (especially on the front derailleur, which moves 30% faster!), gives an accurate and effortless shift, eliminates cables and housings from an otherwise “clean” bike, and removes potentially worn or stretched cables from the riding equation. The front derailleur even has a self-trimming function for wacky gear combinations.
You will sacrifice a few grams in weight, and of course, the systems isn’t free (electronic Dura Ace kits are north of $3k; Ultegra much less at $1500). Battery life? Not really an issue: Shimano estimates you can ride up to 620 miles on a single battery charge.
Still not convinced? Our informal poll of a recent European spring classic race showed over half of the pro peloton riding electronic shift-equipped bikes. Ask at either of our shops for a demo of this innovative and eye-opening technology.
Sunset Cycles at Mudslinger
Greg Kempthorn: I remember the first day I tried downhill skiing: I could turn left but had absolutely no idea how to turn right. It made for some good entertainment and I got down the hill and tried again. I’ve only skied about 6 times since. That’s kind of how it went at Mudslinger. The first lap was about survival. Bikes aren’t supposed to slide all over the place, are they? And when they do, how do you control them? Cross courses definitely offer a lot of challenges. But when you add the steep downhill with cutbacks, roots and trees brushing up against your shoulders, that is an extra skill one MUST have. The first lap was huge learning curve. I got off the bike several times to let groups of riders decend past me because I was really tense, and I wrecked a few times on the first lap.
Mostly just bailing out as I “ran out of talent” as my teammate Dan would say. Fortunately, I was able to regroup with most of these guys on the hills which was starting to give me some confidence. The second lap was faster, but I had a bad wreck as I was decending down the slimy wet clay road and hit a dipty doo a little off angle. No injuries except for a small bruise and some swelling on the inside of my right ankle bone where my bike came down. I made sure I applied Jeff’s wisdom to not get too close to the rider in front, especially on descents. It was good advice because a guy went flying head over heels with his bike flipping up in the air as he braked a little too hard. The last eight miles I was pretty tired, and started to get some cramps in the front right quad and calf. Maybe the 42 degree wet weather had a little to do with it. So, I’ve got that one behind me and may just have to try another one! Can you teach an old dog new tricks? We’ll see. I secretly thought I would do better, but it really didn’t matter; I had a blast! And isn’t that what it is really about?
Russell Weyant added: I’ve done countless mountain races, but for some reason, I was feeling a bit unsure the night before. Schedule, age, family, and weather…it adds up to limit the time you would like to train; but having fun is what seems to be the most important to me. Nerves aside and food in me, we headed to the race as the pouring rain started. It didn’t let up and only looked worse as we pulled off of I-5 toward Corvallis. The rain got worse as we got closer to Blodgett…
From the start, I jumped out and clung to 4th wheel for a while as we were pacing up the first hill. I started to slip and slide but found a nice rythim for myself. Made it up to shortcut, the first singletrack and cleaned it, I was not clean at this point by any means but started to pick off a few more riders and then hit the downhills. I LOVE my new ride with suspension. I picked off a lot of riders on the down as I expected. Back to climbing, I started to pick a few up and was in a groove. Hit Staircase and while it is a tough one, I did catch the tail of the 1’s and passed a few there as well. Back to to the down hill or “the nice brown slip n’ slide” as it’s known. I even cleaned Root Down, the off camber rooted section and made it pass 5 guys all walking. I felt really good but then the legs started to fizzle on the last climb to the top again, then went back and forth with a few guys and even stopped and gave a CO2 to a guy who had flatted 5 times. Karma just seemed like a good thing at the time. Made up time on the slip n’ slide of Collarbone and Panama but then lost a few spots on the run in to the finish line.
Overall, I thought i was closer to the front then I was, 16th with a time of 2:28, but it could have been worse and I had a blast on the downhills–maybe Super Ds are the racefor me? Too bad it was so wet and cold that we couldn’t show our colors off better but there is much more racing to come. It was great to be there with the team–pouring rain or not, I had a fun.
Congratulations to Russell (16th place) and Greg (4th place) on their muddy finishes!
NOTE: The Sunset Cycles Team will hold regularly scheduled rides from May through September every other Saturday at 9am, with departures alternating between our Bethany Village and Scholls Ferry stores. For more information on the Sunset Cycles Team, please ask a store employee.
Be sure to find Sunset Cycles on Facebook. Each Tuesday, we’re posting a great FREE prize, and we draw the winner’s name on Thursday. It’s your chance to win some incredible prizes–just last week we gave away a pair of Crankbrothers Candy pedals (retail value: $80)! Like us now on Facebook and post a comment to be entered.
Orbea Basque Event Coming Soon!
Keep an eye on our blog, website, and Facebook page for an upcoming EXCLUSIVE event that you can’t afford to miss–a wonderful event where Sunset Cycles will bring a bit of Basque culture, food, music, and of course, CYCLING to Portland’s West side. Artisan-crafted bikes from Orbea will be available for test rides and close inspection. Coming in mid-May.
Speak, oh ye denizens of the Sunset Cycles world! Give us your opinions on this month’s question…
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