The Bike Shoppe

The Bike Shoppe
Your Ogden Utah bike expert since 1976!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Autumn Riding

With the days getting shorter and trails getting smoother, the best way to experience October is from the seat of a mountain bike with a light strapped to your head, handlebars, or both. We've been hitting the trails both early morning and late evening to get the most out of this time of year. It really can't get better. The trails are in perfect condition almost the entire month, traffic on the trails is at a minimum because most people have started to transition to inside mode, and the temperatures are still good enough that when grinding up a climb you stay plenty warm. Here's a short video of one of the night rides. For those familiar, this is Sardine Loop from Wheeler's Canyon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Enduro Racing

I've raced twice on my bike. That is if organized races are the only ones that count. Otherwise, every time I get on my bike it's a race. I digress. Last year's race was the Bell Wasatch Enduro and this year at the new, improved Bell Enduro Cup. Both times were the same course. I was completely average, finishing 26 out of 54 in my class and 69 out of 140 overall. But I had a great time. I chatted with lots of other racers, checked out Ross Schnell's new Trek Remedy 27.5, and said, "Hey" to Brian Lopes (not pronounced "Lopez"). I don't know of any other races that give you time to hang out and have pros and joes hanging out together. To give you an idea of what enduro is-essentially just trail riding as fast as you can-I recorded the last stage. It's a bit long, but you can see me almost go down for no apparent reason. For those of you familiar with the trails at Canyons, this is Insurgent to lower Holly's.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Demo Ride

I didn't immediately order my new bike after I sold my last one because I was impressed with every bike I rode, so I didn't know what to buy. I have ridden lots of great mountain bikes and the trail I was riding determined which bike was best. However, well before I sold my last bike I was trying to decide which bike I wanted to replace it with.

The way I finally decided which bike was best for me was by thinking about why I liked each bike. Whether it was the way it climbed, how easily it rolled over obstacles, how it felt in the corners, how it pedaled coming out of the corner, or how well it could wheelie. Once I determined what I liked about one bike, I did the same on the next bike and then compared the bikes. I took advantage of opportunities to ride bikes at demo events so I didn't base my opinions on the same few bikes. I rode hardtails, short travel and long travel full-suspension in both the 26" and 29" bikes and a 5.5" travel 27.5". The things that I liked about each bike helped me determine which bikes I didn't like because they didn't do the things I decided I liked. As stated, I rode lots of great bikes and really enjoyed each one.

The reason I chose the SB-66 is because it had everything I liked about each bike I rode. I felt confident on it immediately and only became more comfortable. People always try to convince others that they have the correct opinion. However, some bikes play to some riders strengths and help mute their weaknesses. Your friend's bike may be perfect for him/her but not even close for you. If you buy a bike based on someone else's opinion and you don't have the same strengths you'll end up trying to convince yourself that your $3000 purchase was good rather than enjoying the ride. But if you take the time to demo some bikes before you make your purchase, and make sure they are set up for you, you will end up with a bike that may make you faster but will definitely help you enjoy biking more.

I also took this same philosophy and applied it to road biking. Admittedly I rode fewer road bikes, but the concept is the same. Try different bikes and pay attention to what you like about them. Make sure each bike is set up for you. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was set on getting a Trek Domane until I rode a Madone. It was still comfortable, but I felt more confident on it at high speeds. If I hadn't taken the Madone on a demo ride, I would have purchased a Domane and liked it well enough. As it is, I have a Madone that has helped me find a renewed interest in sticking to the pavement.

So if you want to figure out what bike is "The Bike" for you, ride a lot of different ones. On June 8 you can ride a Yeti or on June 22 ride a Niner. Both companies will have demo trucks set up at the Rainbow Gardens trail head. Or ask The Bike Shoppe or your friend if you can ride one of their bikes. Also, here's a video that is rad, you know, just for fun.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

That is a really inexpensive carbon bike...

This is a picture of one of the counterfeit frames Specialized tested.

There have been a lot of people coming into the shoppe for tires to put on their new carbon wheels lately. Several times when I've asked which set they went with they've told me some "knock-offs" from China that they have paid $400 or so. This made me concerned because I understand how badly a ride can go if your wheels give up.

So I started looking into counterfeit product. Specialized has someone whose full-time job is finding and battling counterfeiters. They even picked up some of the product and tested it. With frames, the aluminum head tube cups became separated which will cause wobbly steering. They did say they found varying degrees of quality, but how can you know with a fake product anyway which company is doing a decent job and which is producing dangerous product.

None of the counterfeit companies are doing quality control. Most people don't realize when they buy a bike, they aren't only paying for cost of labor and materials. They also are paying for the research and development, which includes safety and fatigue testing, and a company that has their name on the product. That means the company wants to defend their reputation and is willing to take care of you when their goods have issues, sometimes even if it's not their fault.

Last thing to mention. At The Bike Shoppe, we heard from a local guy that is quite internet savvy, but had a lapse in judgment. He ignored all the rules he typically suggests others follow, such as never purchase something with a cashier's check or money order, and tried to purchase a counterfeit Shimano grouppo. When he didn't receive it he contacted the company and they said he had to buy multiple groupos to get the price advertised. So he either had to send them additional money, and risk the possibility of losing much more money, or just cut his losses.

Here is a link to an article from Bike Radar about counterfeit product.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Want to go fast?

Most of these blog posts have been about fat tires, some were very fat, but recently I've spent some time on skinny tires and down in the drops. This hasn't been entirely foreign to me, I had a road bike until I sold it late last summer. What has been foreign is that the two bikes I have been riding are both very fast and both very comfortable. One is more comfortable, the Domane, and the other is much faster, the Madone. I first rode the Domane last summer and was blown away by how comfortable and efficient it is. My first ride on the Madone  blew me away because of how fast and stable it is. Matt had his best time up the Divide on a 2013 Madone, even though it was early season and "only" equipped with Ultegra.

My first real ride on the Madone was through Sardine Canyon to Logan and I was blown away by how fast AND comfortable it is. I signed up for my first shot at LOTOJA this year and had made my decision to ride it on a Domane, until that ride. Undoubtedly, the Domane is the more comfortable ride and still more than acceptably quick, as demonstrated by Fabian Cancellara this Spring. But the new Madone is the fastest bike I have ever ridden and silly fun to ride. Because of this, I ordered my Madone today. And also why I am willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort, as provided by the Domane, in exchange for some extra speed. Here's a video about what makes the 2013 Madone extra special.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Rock Shox Vivid Rear Shock-Is it a big deal?

Recently, Rock Shox released this video to let people know about their new Vivid and Vivid Air rear shocks. People all over the internet were outraged that they weren't able to purchase these new wonders, because you had to have a UCI license to make the purchase. Some even resorted to saying things like, "Well, I didn't even want one anyway." What do you think, did the marketing people turn you off of their product or make you want to have it more?

2014 RockShox Vivid R2C on Pinkbike

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yeti spotted at The Bike Shoppe

We just built up a fleet of Yeti Cycles SB-66, both aluminum and carbon, and the SB-95. SB stands for Super Bike. 66 is for 26 inch wheels and 6 inches of travel. 95 is 29 inch wheels and 5 inches of travel.

Yeti has a rich history in racing with legends like John Tomac, Paul Rowney, and Julie Furtado. Few brands generate the kind of excitement that Yeti Cycles has. They even continue to produce the amazing ARC frame that was originally developed in the early '90s.

Here are some videos explaining how a company can label a bike a Super Bike.

Friday, February 8, 2013

San Jorge Training Camp 2013

February 1-2 we closed down (mostly) for training in St. George. We discussed many important matters of how to best help those of you coming into the shop, as well as how to huck a 4 footer on a hard tail 29er. Jacob Harper was able to grasp onto both of these concepts best. We were able get in some riding while down there. This is a video of one of the trails we rode. Directions were somewhat limited and we ended up in a wash with an insane climb back to the vehicles. We lead hard lives here at The Bike Shoppe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3x, 2x, or 1x?

I'm in the market for a new bike. I've been trying to decide which components to go with and even which gearing. I've ridden a 2x10 drive train for the last 2 years and have loved it. The thing I like best is that it is simpler than a triple crank. I definitely like the range of a 3x10, but I hardly use the full range. With SRAM's XX1 group, simplicity is taken up a notch, or maybe down because smaller numbers are simpler. This is the route I'm convinced I should go. Having a much wider ratio cassette but combining it with only one ring and making it very difficult to drop a chain makes me think I'll spend more time riding and less time messing with my bike.

 Here's a video that talks more about XX1. If you have more questions you can stop in to The Bike Shoppe and ask, I've been trying to find a way to talk myself out of it for a less expensive kit and so I've researched it and all of it's flaws. Plus you can take a look at it yourself, we have a couple kits there for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Buy Local or Buy Online

Most of us have heard that buying local helps the local economy, but how does it help the consumer making the purchase. This is a good read to help you decide if it's worth your time to go to a local bike shop, gain a relationship with them, and have them help you decide what the best way to increase performance and enjoyment on the bike would be or research endless forums about how to shave 30 grams by re-lacing your wheels with lighter spokes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

More Biking in the Snow

Here's another snow bike video. This edit is to appease the critics (Nate and Cody) of the last one. It's shorter and the music is more rock oriented. The next video with still be with fat tires, just not as fat. I'm looking forward to filming that one, you all should look forward to watching it.