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Shop News: June 2014 Chainrings


Stop in to stock up on nutritional products from Hammer, Skratch, Clif, and our newest offering, ProBar. For one week only, we’ll be offering 20% off any nutritional product. Offer valid 6/10 through 6/17. productline-mealbar-top

Speaking of ProBar, if you haven’t tried this brand yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. Packed with a massive 380 calories in the “Meal” version, the ProBar is a delicious, compact bar that might be all the food you need to carry on a long ride. They’re just moist enough to avoid any tree bark-chewing analogies, and come in a variety of flavors to suit all tastes.

Salvation at the Bottom of a Bottle

We’ll leave it to the experts to debate how much and how often you should drink during exercise. Here’s an interesting article on the subject, and yet another one here. What we do know is that you’re going to need a few water bottles to get you through the heat. We’ve got a variety in stock, including Sunset Cycles-branded PURIST bottles.purist bottle



Eye protection during the ride isn’t just a convenience—it’s a safety and health issue, too, as harmful UV rays can pack a punch on your retinas and flying bugs and debris can be a real pain. Our lineup of Tifosi shades are just the ticket. We’ve got a rack full of different styles and lens colors, so stop by to pick a pair that suits your tastes.

Summer jerseysendura-hummvee-short-sleeve-jersey

Dress for summer cycling success in one of our lightweight jerseys from Endura and Specialized. Look for Coolmax fabrics, generous zippers, and light colors.

Vented helmetswomen's helmet-propero2

The last thing you need on a warm weather ride is a hot head. The helmets from Specialized (check out the Propero II) and Lazer offer a massive number of vents and allow for airflow over your melon…translating to a much more comfortable ride.


Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: Team Notes


Shop News: May 2014 Chainrings

Project 529 IMG_20140514_132440022

Help fight the growing epidemic of bike theft by registering your bike for FREE on May 29th. Talk to us in the store about this exciting project that pits us (the bike owners) versus THEM (the bike thieves). More at

Time for a Tune Up!

IMG_20140513_092228614Our repair wall is filling up with customers’ bikes needing tune ups for the summer. Stop in today to avoid the longest wait of the season and beat the rush.




Going AWOL

Give me gravel, or give me…gravel. We’ve been riding unimproved roads for years and never knew it would be the “cool” thing to do. Modifying our road bikes to take a beating, the bumpy roads lead us to the most obscene vistas imaginable. Thanks to the recent popularity of hitting the long, lost forgotten byways of America, bike manufacturers are stepping up their game and offering rides specifically suited for gravel roads and bumpy old pavement. awol

The latest Specialized entry in the category is now available in the shop: the AWOL, with a delicious list of features, including:

  • A Rocker dropout  to make the bike fully compatible with many drivetrain options: 2X10, Belt Drive, Internal Gear and Single Speed
  • Crazy tire clearance on a wide fork to allow you to run any tires from 26c to 29×2.2”
  • Distance Rider Geometry (long wheelbase; upright feel; stable ride) that is focused on the rider who rides their bike a long distance and looks for comfort above speed.
  • Endurance components designed for comfort: Low gearing, gel in the bar tape and seat

Stop by for a test ride and envision the endless miles of rural Oregon passing beneath your saddle.


Trio by Kuat

The hottest way to CARRY your bike is now in stock in the store: The Kuat Trio, featuring the 3 Way™ fork mount system, allowing you to carry any bike you own. Top that off with a slim line design, security system, and rugged good looks and you have the most complete fork mount rack ever designed. kuat trio

This stylish and aerodynamic rack lets you carry 1 bike on your factory rack crossbars. Includes cable lock.




Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: Team Notes

One Sweet Bike Build

Part of the fun of running a bike shop is getting our hands dirty with new bike builds. And sometimes, those builds are of “cream of the crop” bikes…high-end, slippery machines designed with one goal, and one goal only: To go really, really, really fast. Such was the case with this time-trial demon known as […]

Shop News: April 2014 Chainrings

40 Years of Looking Forward: Specialized Spring Promotion – Save 20 to 40%!

As we mentioned in “Ride Leader Notes,” it’s Specialized’s 40th anniversary…and you win! Look for coupons redeemable for Specialized equipment, including your chance to win a Specialized “Throwback” water bottle via emails from Specialized, on social media sites, and on various web banners. Dates on this sale are limited (April 17-27th).


Join the Sunset STRAVA GroupStrava-Subscription-Card-Only

If you use Strava to track your rides, why not join our shop Strava group? We’ll soon be updating our  Strava shop page to include a discussion board, ride planner and leader board to track who is riding the most.


Orbea Avant: Disc Bike of the Year

Congrats to Orbea, whose wildly popular new “Avant” model (SEE LAST MONTH’S REVIEW HERE) has won the Cycling Plus magazine bike of the yearAvant-9896


Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: A Product We Like

A Product We Like: April 2014 Chainrings

Flat tires are part of being a cyclist, but being stuck out on the road doesn’t have to be. Enter a product we really like, the Birzman Infinite with CO2 inflator, which are flying off our shelves.birzman

Handheld inflators and pumps aren’t new, but if you’re going to use one, why not use one whose dependability is matched only by its good looks? The Birzman Infinite operates either as a compact pump (delivering up to 160 psi) or allows the use of a CO2 cartridges for faster inflation. The beautiful cnc-finished body comes in silver or gray and includes a mounting bracket, along with a valve that works on both Presta and Schrader valves. $50, and worth every penny!

Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: Team News

7 Things To Know Before Buying an Expensive Bike

Nobody likes to make a bad buying decision. Here’s a valuable primer and insight into the “seedy underbelly of the cycling retail world” 🙂 before you plunk down your hard-earned cash.

  1. Know thyself

It’s time for an honest accounting of your cycling habits. Even if you’ve been riding a number of years, your mileage from a few seasons ago isn’t an accurate reflection of your mileage today. And even though you might have raced before, that doesn’t mean racing is in your future. The opposite is also true—perhaps you’re just entering the cycling fray, and your modest riding today doesn’t reflect the type or style of rider you long to be.

Similar questions should be asked about your primary cycling goals: Commute to work? Do a triathlon? Aiming for the pro racing peloton? Riding simply for fitness on the weekends and the occasional weeknight? These will all have the greatest bearing on what type of bike you need, and by default, the options and features decorating those bikes that will have the biggest influence on price.


  1. Look at the frame first

You’ll do yourself a favor if you think of a bicycle not as one item, but rather as a sum of three main things: The frame, the components, and the wheels. And while the latter two can be exchanged for a different flavor, once you’ve bought a frame (and to a lesser degree, the fork), you’re stuck with what you bought.

It’s best to start your search—or bicycle material education process—for the frame material that best suits your needs. In today’s marketplace, that means you’ll probably be talking about the “big three”: Carbon, aluminum, and steel (and sometimes a combination of these).

Carbon usually comes with a higher price tag but can give some comfort due to its lightness and vibration-reducing effects. Aluminum is often found on lightweight road bikes and is prized for its responsiveness. Steel frames are arguably the most durable of the three, extremely comfortable, but carry a little weight penalty.

You can drop big bucks on carbon, but it might not be your best bet. Same for top-end aluminum bikes that are quick and responsive–but the ride can be much more harsh than you’d like. Refer to rule #1 as a reminder of how to match a bike to your riding habits.


  1. Not all brands are created equal

Here’s a secret many bike shops won’t share with you. Like car dealers, bike sellers often feel the pressure to move inventory of a particular brand. Wondering why that bike in the corner seems like the perfect fit for you, but the salesperson keeps steering you toward another model that he thinks is “really great”? Might be a sign that your friend at the shop doesn’t have your best interests at heart.paper

Do your research. Ask around and find a reputable brand or two before you start test riding. Equipped with some knowledge, you can then hit the bike shop. But be sure to shop with an open mind—most good bike sales people will help narrow down your choices and gently lead you in the right direction.


  1. Not all shops are created equal

Drawing another parallel to car dealerships, not all bike shops offer the same level of service, selection, and good prices. Finding that perfect mix is elusive, even in an area where there are plenty of bike shops. Some brands have price protections set by the manufacturer, so keep that in mind—if you like the service and convenience of a particular shop, ask them to match the price from a shop across town. You’ll be amazed how often they will honor your request.


  1. Don’t be sold by paint

Hey…there are a lot of sexy bike models out there, with enough glittery paint jobs and nice handlebar tape to cover an entire beauty pageant. But don’t be swayed by a nice paint job or a few design elements—as cool as they might look. After your research narrows down the candidates, take your prospects out for a spin: A test ride can help you separate the “wow” from the “meh.” Then, ask the more important questions: What type of warranty is offered? What about follow-up service in a month or six? Has the dealer heard of any problems of frames or forks developing cracks over time with a certain brand? Probe just as deeply as you would when buying a new car. It’s your ass on the line and in the saddle.


  1. Size matters

Whoever said size doesn’t matter obviously has never ridden an ill-fitting bike. While a test ride might be enough to wow you, moving from one size to the next (up or down) on a bike can make massive differences in how efficiently you ride and how much you enjoy your new expensive bike. Poorly fitting bikes might be the prime reason why people make an exodus from the sport—a bad fit leads to a sore body leads to the presumption that “it must have been the bike.”ad-1936-Mead-Ranger-792x1024

If your shop of choice doesn’t offer professional fitting and sizing services, move on. Budget part of your purchase for a good fitting, which is worth every penny and will help ensure you make the proper bike size choice.


  1. Pay it off over time

In tough economic times, there are a host of reasons why you might want to finance the purchase of your bicycle. Ask your shop if bike financing is available. You might find that some brands and shops offer financing, while others want the cash up front. If the installment plan makes sense for you, ask this question up front.

Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: Survey

Shop News: March 2014 Chainrings


Breakthroughs in bike models don’t come around the bend every year, but the new Avant from Orbea goes on the record as a notable exception to that rule.Avant-9896

Pitched by the Basque cycling company as a relaxed-geometry road bike, we weren’t sure what to make of it until we rode it.


For those of you who like to ride long distances in comfort, the Avant is the machine for you. And you’re not going to sacrifice responsiveness, as the Avant accelerates well and holds the radius on turns. Where it really shines is during long sessions in the saddle, enhanced by features such as disc brakes, its taller head tube, and super clean lines unbroken by cables.

orbeaavantWe have two different models of the Avant available in the shop: The carbon M30D (Full Shimano Ultegra, $3,299) as well as the H10D alloy (Shimano 105, $1,599) if you’re looking for a lower cost version. The delicious Avant M-Ltd (carbon frame, Zipp 303 wheels, SRAM Red 22, and HFX hydraulic disc brakes) is also available ($8,999) on special order.

Tech Tuesdaytech tuesday

Join us in one week (March 11th) for another edition of Tech Tuesday, your chance to gain further insight into the mechanics of bicycles…what makes them tick, how to repair them when they break, and more.

Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: Local Focus