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Shop News: June 2014 Chainrings

SUMMER NUTRITION SALE…ONE WEEK ONLY!

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

 

Duro_tifosiSunglasses

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 project529.com/garage

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

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

Shop News: March 2014 Chainrings

Orbea AVANT

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.

Wow.

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

Shop News: February 2014 Chainrings

B3buyB3profile_3 (1)

Always keen on working improving relationships with local businesses, we were fortunate enough recently to discover a social networking business start-up–B3buy–that will improve our online presence. Their product, a B3profile, is a new kind of online social store where you can interact with us…in real time! This social store will have all of our content, exclusive coupons, live chat, and more.  Check it out HERE, let us know what you think…AND, get your 20% off coupon for this deal:

Smooth Out the Ride

20% off Suspension Tuneups – (see info above on where to find your coupon!) Discount applies to labor and parts on Fox or Rockshox forks and rear shocks. Work must be scheduled and completed no later than March 31, 2014. Discount applies to in-house work only, as some work may require return to manufacture for service.

Tech Tuesday

Join us on 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

John vs. California: January 2014 Chainrings

[ed note: Shop foreman John made a recent trip south for some technical training at Specialized. Here’s his VERY entertaining story…]

It wasn’t Disneyland, but it could have been. Our arrival entailed as much pomp and circumstance as any trip to Walt’s favorite theme park, facilitated by limousine vans and continental breakfasts, all arguably outside the deserving of the rag tag bike shop dwellers that we were.  Amid unseasonably cold weather, our eclectic crew rode through the non-descript streets of California, our stomachs stuffed, wondering what our next 72 hours would hold at this unseen fantasy factory. As we pulled into the parking lot of our destination there were no waving movie characters to be found. Instead, we were greeted by dusty, stickered Subarus toting bike racks, and in lieu of firework shows and fantastical blue steeples, we were welcomed at the front door by a bold, glossy, red “S.”  It may as well have stood for “SWEET!” given the number of my compatriots who muttered the word as we shuffled into the modern lobby of the big silver building we were still estimating the size of.  Through the duration of our trip, that word never left our mouths: “sweet…”

We were here, at the Specialized Bicycles world headquarters in Morgan Hill, California.

Morgan Hill, for many, is a bedroom community that feeds the collegiate centers of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley hubs like Cupertino and Palo Alto, and a bit over an hour to the northwest, San Francisco. Amid the predictable features of northern California sprawl, sat, inescapably, the dusty and broad hillsides that yield some of the world’s favorite avocados and wines. Rolling and vast, many of our group found the terrain to have been largely understated in the bike shop lore preceding their plane flights here. These hills are ripe for ripping on a bicycle. And it was hardly just our group that recognized the beautiful terrain.

Those intimate with mountain biking history will recall this region to be the birthplace of mountain biking: from the “clunkers” of the late 60’s and early 70’s, to some of the first large-production runs of the famous Specialized Rockhoppers. The grandfathers of contemporary off-road biking (Breezer, Fischer, Ritchey, Sinyard, et al.) saw exactly what our group of wide eyed tourists did. Vast, winding, warm hills, peppered with technical rocks and plentiful switchbacks remind any rider that there is no coincidence in the roots Specialized holds here. The company’s presence and impact on an otherwise sleepy burb are notable, as passing bicyclists not sporting equipment bearing the familiar Specialized bicycle names of “Stumpjumper” or “Tarmac” garnered sideways looks, and a few muttered jokes from even our group of out-of-towners.

While our assembly of industry vets was not slow to provide wise-cracks at others’ expense (you expected otherwise?) we weren’t exactly gathered for a convention of bike shop snark. We had flown from all corners of the U.S. to participate in a variety of Specialized Bike Components University (SBCU) classes. While some sat in lecture with sports scientists from the Colorado College of Medicine waxing physiological in Body Geometry Fit classes, others explored shopable, on-site build-outs of storefronts, learning about retail sales and visual merchandising. I was there for the Technical Service class where we were granted access to industry leading tools, tech, and experts. Conducted in a sterile, though stocked, room of suspension forks, carbon fiber wheels, and electronically shifting bikes, the Tech class was all business. This didn’t stop us from taking a few minutes to nerd out on arrival.

Don’t let me understate that.

We really nerded out.

specialized frames

Our carbon fiber friends for the day. There were many more where these came from.

By the time we mopped up our drool it was time to begin bleeding the latest Sram Red road disc brakes. Subsequently we set in on Magura and Avid brake systems, and the next day disemboweled some Fox Float forks. By the final day we were adjusting Shimano’s electronic Di2 shifting components via both firmware and software. Yawns, laughs, and the occasional push-up at the expense of a dropped tool were shared among the class comprised of many midwesterners, Californians, Texans, and the odd Floridian.

Regional ties and talents were better displayed on the daily bike rides than in the classroom as it became quickly apparent whose backyards featured technical hill climbs and who erred to the flat, paved stuff back home. To the delight and relief of all, we were granted a shot at all disciplines across our three day stay as we rode the finest offerings of Specialized’s cyclocross, road, and mountain bikes during the famous Specialized campus lunch rides.

Our first day we sought dirt trails to see exactly what the new Sram hydraulic road calipers could do mounted to the latest cyclocross builds (ridden pre-recall). No one was let down. The Crux Pro Race models we demoed were more than up to our hard stops and rapid, if not squirrely, steering demands. They were showcased in an impromptu lap race we held in a large clearing of a pathway as rollers, berms, and harsh ascents were easily tamed on fine carbon fiber, balanced geometry and fantastic shifting.

Our experiences on the road ride proved no departure from the giddiness and simultaneous ease we’d felt riding the ‘cross bikes the day before. My Roubaix Pro slurped up road vibration so well I found myself seeking cracks and inconsistencies in the pavement to enjoy the forgiveness rarely afforded to my aluminum-accommodated behind. The hydraulic rim brakes modulated so well I would’ve believed there were disc rotors on my wheels. Reports from my classmates shined, too. The Venges sliced air in crosswind and headwind alike, and the Cannondale faithful who’d yet to sample the Tarmacs were forever converted from that day forward. Climbs were lively among all, and our descents a tad too brave.

california cover shot

Not bad…right? The top of our steep ascent in brisk conditions nearing dawn. PDX pal Brett Fleming is in this photo on the right.

This confidence would betray some (read: me), as our final day of riding featured an extended, and technical mountain bike ride that bore more “baby heads” than most maternity wards. Technical lines were the theme of the day and I was found wanting in my attempts to pursue others through rocky ascents and tricky switchbacks astride the S-Works Enduro 29er. Familiarizing my rapidly tenderizing hips and thighs with the high side of mountain banks and boulders while mountain bike riders the world-over cringed, I kept myself in the mix with a healthy blend of hustle and “point and shoot” line taking that was forgiven with my remarkable 160mm travel Rock Shox Pike and 29er Captain tires run at 8 PSI. At around 28 pounds and decidedly slacker in geometry than other members of its MTB family, the Enduro eagerly dug in for dusty climbs that might have phased me on even some cross country bikes. My panting prayers of thanks for the Sram XX1 42 tooth rear cog were rewarded by the bike gods who granted me a speedy final ascent up a steep peak boasting some famous Strava alumni.

Though hardly a winner of any such ascent over my stay, I certainly felt like one. The SBCU team went to great lengths to leave each of the class visitors imbued with a sense of achievement and awe. During our stay we were treated to a tour of the in-house museum hosting one of the very first Rockhoppers and even the toy room of design guru David Egger filled with improbable, impractical, and wildly imaginative bikes that bore semblance to anything from Flinstone Era mountain bikes to Ford GT cars. Between chef-prepared lunches and Specialized comped beers at night, we found ourselves on a particularly memorable tour through the deceivingly large headquarters. Breezing by enough product mockups and industrial sketches to keep my design-inclined self occupied for the day, our tour concluded with a happenstance encounter with the owner of the international company: a cordial, maybe frazzled, Mike Sinyard. Gracious enough to lend a moment he replied to a question from a group member who asked what the most challenging part of his work was. Without flinching he replied,

“Nothing. It’s all easy when you love bikes.”

And while our retention for suspension rebound curves and familiarity with the intricacies of hydraulic calipers had been deeply instilled over our 3 day technical course, it was that quote that we all took special care to etch in memory. That, was, after all, the heart of it. We were all there because we loved bikes and for the many of us visiting, we left loving them just a little bit more.

….

Almost a week after first passing under the glossy “S” adorning the headquarters in Morgan Hill, my roommate asked me how my trip was. My reply was easy:

“Sweet.”

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

Shop News: January 2014 Chainrings

Tech Tuesday

wheels2 Join us TONIGHT for our monthly technical series. The topic: What’s Up with Wheels? (5:30-6:30 pm)

Get the 411 on how wheels work. We’ll cover truing, composition, construction, clincher vs. tubular vs. tubeless, basic repairs and products, and much more.

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