Comment

Don't Be A Randy: Dress Right For Winter Riding

randy-a-chritmas-story.jpg

It's winter. For those looking to get outside, cold weather riding is not nearly as masochistic as it's often portrayed by cycling publications or your buddies who'd rather stay on the couch. This season, mix in outdoor rides the right way with just a few easy tips that the more experienced cyclist already knows. 

Of course, the gear is half the battle. Winter riding apparel can get expensive, but there are a few pieces that are truly worth investing in, but that might change from person to person. Stop and think about how and what gets cold on you. For example, I've got no trouble with my feet; wearing winter riding boots with normal socks is almost too much, and I've ridden with normal MTB shoes and covers in temperatures well below freezing. My hands, however, are cold all the time. They go purple in late September and don't look return to a normal skin tone until May. For me, investing in good heavy gloves, especially lobster-style, was the best money I've spent for riding in the cold. 

Before you get dressed, think of where you're riding. If you're hitting frozen gravel roads, you may want to focus on wind-proof gear for higher-speeds and a great wind chill factor. A thinner rain jacket might actually be a great idea, just remember that it isn't going to breathe like normal material. It's always a good idea to avoid hills in cold weather. Climbing might be too hot, but you're going to freeze on the downhill. Flat gravel roads are ideal because you can control your effort and, in effect, your heat. 

More folks fat bike this time of year, and that's a very different thing to dress for. Slower speeds (except for Nate, he's so fast all the time) mean wind chill is rarely a factor, and you'll need jackets that breathe to stay comfortable. Try different clothes to see what works best for you at different temperatures and different efforts. If your fast friends are going, you can probably wear less as you'll be riding harder. If your buddy is making his first fat bike attempt ever, maybe dress a bit warmer so you stay comfortable while cruising or stopping. A fleece-lined jacket or long-sleeve jersey, a thermal vest, a neck gaitor, or a mix of all three should cover you down until the most frigid days. 

No matter what outer jacket you pick, having the right base layer can make a big difference. Your base layer helps trap heat while also getting sweat off your skin. Having a breathable jacket is useless if you're wearing your Allendale High School Footbal cotton t-shirt underneath; cotton will soak up your sweat, and we promise that at some point you will go slow enough to get cold and then you'll be absolutely frozen. 

When in doubt, bring more. For big rides, I bring a second long sleeve jersey and a second pair of gloves in my frame bag. It's overkill nine times out of ten, but for that one time you or a friend really needs something dry or warm, it's like having a team car following you deep in the woods at just the right time. It's always great to keep a few snacks, plenty of CO2, a multi-tool, even a spare battery for your light in there, just in case. 

Maybe the biggest thing to remember when you head out is not to over do it. You're going to be exercising; you don't need to look like a 'tick about to pop'. Wear what you'd wear to run, ski, or hike, then wear a helmet. Vests, thin jackets, and other light pieces that are easy to peel off and pack away can be great to have, especially if you're starting early and the temperature is expected to rise while you're out there. 

When you've got the right stuff and you know how to wear it, riding all winter long isn't a huge deal. You'll find out what works for you in what temperatures and be able to adjust to any weather. In truth, the hardest part of winter riding is just getting yourself to step out the door; after ten minutes, you won't even be thinking about it! 

SAMPLE Clothing List. Perfect for a steady two-hour ride at 21 degrees in the woods. 

Socks: Normal
Boots: Lake MXZ303
Bibs: Normal
Pants: Louis Garneau Baggies
Base Layer: Pearl Izumi Thermal
Jersey: Pearl izumi Long Sleeve Fleece
Jacket: None
Vest: Castelli Thermal
Neck Gaitor: Castelli or Buff
Head: Same
Gloves: Pearl Izumi Lobster
 

 

Comment

Comment

All I Want For Christmas Are These Half Dozen Things: A CDC Christmas List

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 11.04.58 AM.png

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and that means our list of cycling needs and wants gets a little longer...and a little bit more visible to ensure they all get checked off the list. Here's our in-house blogger/cyclist/bike nerd, Cody Sovis, wish list for December. 

1. Kona Rove NRB DL. It may not be completely realistic to stick a new bike right at the top of the list, but I'm going to do it anyway. The Kona Rove NRB DL makes this list for a couple of reasons. First, I really do think this bike is the best value out there right now; for $2k, you've got an all-day road bike that, with another wheelset, can hop in a crit or do 100 miles. The stock wheels are 650b do-anythings that cover your bases for gravel, pavement, and a splash of trail. The WTB Horizons might be perfect for the new 100 mile gravel races in West Michigan next spring, namely Lowell's 100 mile option and the Psycho Killer and Barry-Roubaix. 

Secondly, this whole line up of bikes just makes more sense for how we ride today. There aren't many road or crit races left, and odds are that you already have a bike for those. I really can't imagine buying a drop bar bike that doesn't fit at least 40c tires on 700c wheels, or 2.1" tires on 650b MTB wheels. For the gravel, adventure, commute and majority of riding, having the flexibility to swap between two sets of wheels and invest more in a single bike with a nicer drive train simply makes sense. That's why I'd secretly love to nab the steel 'bling ship' version of the Rove, the LTD

2. WTB Byway 47c. Right along with the Kona Rove, the Byway is a tire that blurs a lot of lines. Mounted to 650b wheels, it's a slick tire with just enough bite to be a capable and trusty rubber for tying in more trails to your normal gravel route. Especially for folks who love to ride to the ride, it's fast on the pavement and still a blast to toss around at Cannonsburg or other singletrack systems that aren't too rocky. 

3. Serfas TSL-1200. Alright, full disclosure, I already have one of these. It's on here because it's been one of the best investments I've made for night riding, especially during cold and snowy fat bike rides. The external battery packs last longer than a single unit light/battery combo not just because they have more juice; being able to keep that battery warm in a frame bag or jersey pocket makes a huge difference. I leave my light on the bars and the pack in the frame bag almost all season, just grabbing the pack to charge up. Even on the coldest days, I can get 1.5-2 hours or two rides on a single charge at the second highest setting. 

That external pack also has some other good uses. It has a USB port, so you can charge your bike computer, phone, even your camera. I use it for traveling a lot, especially to bike races where I may not be in my car before, during or after the race and want to keep my phone with me. For big rides, such as my five hour epics during the #Festive500 during the holidays, I'll usually plug my phone in to make sure I can listen to my tune and make an emergency call for a ride home, should worst come to worst. 

3. Winter Rush Registration. This would be a great thing to unwrap! Get your fat bike friend all signed up for a fat bike race this winter and keep them motivated to put some miles in even in some colder weather. There are dozens of fat bike races and rides all over the state, and even across the Midwest with the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series. Of course, we're a bit partial to Winter Rush, which will include a race at Big M on January 13, plus the USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championship at Cannonsburg in February. 

4. Velocity Aileron US Build. You can never, ever, ever have too many wheels. I've had a ton of luck with the Velocity Ailerons, but I've never gotten my mitts on a USA build. It's about as American as you can get, with Aileron rims laced up to Industry 9 hubs. Tough, light, and they set-up tubeless exceptionally well. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 10.55.31 AM.png

5. Snacks. Seriously. I go through a ton of Hammer Fizz in a week, and nothing would jingle my bells like getting a pack of grape Fizz that would have be set for a few months. Having a few gels, bars, or bloks on hand are always nice, and if you've got a cyclist with a special favorite, grab 'em a box. You'll totally make their day. 

6. A Get Out Of Jail Free Card. This one doesn't cost you a dime. Give your cycling spouse or pal one coupon to let them skip something in favor of a ride. It could be dinner with the in-laws, watching a romantic comedy, or a visit to your Aunt Mertyle's. Here's the thing about this card, though; you don't get to hang it over their heads after they use it! 

7. A Tune-Up. Especially once the snow flies, it's a great time to get your road, gravel or mountain bike in the shop for a well-deserved overhaul. CDC is offering 20% off all parts and labor, so if you book your big tune now with a gift card in that amount, it'll still be a surprise under the tree that will make them happy all spring long. 

What are you hoping for this Christmas? Let us know in the comments and we'll make sure we get it in stock! 

Comment

Comment

James Cleans Up: Muc-Off For A Clean Bike

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.25.16 AM.png

Late fall and early winter here in the mitten can mean all sorts of different weather in a short time. Sometimes times that random weather can leave your favorite riding surface a little wet which can make your favorite bike pretty messy. That sucks. Good news is it doesn't have to stay that way! It can shine like new again after a good cleaning with my favorite line up of Muc-Off products! Check em out!

I like to start off with the bike cleaner so I get all the big nasty stuff off the bike before moving on to the more intricate parts. Give the whole frame a good misting of water; it just needs to be damp but not sopping, then give it a spray with the magical pink stuff. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then give it a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush or something of the sort. Then, rinse off the bike. At this point, you can either let it air dry or wipe it down, dealer's choice.

Now that the frame is done, it's time to tackle that gross drivetrain. This time, you start right off spraying that wonderful fluorescent green stuff all over the chain, chainring, cassette, and jockey wheels. Gotta let it sit a couple minutes again then start in with whatever cleaning brush you prefer to scrub out that grime. Give it a rinse and wipe down with a rag and you're ready for the final phase, lubing that chain. My preference is the ceramic lube but have been known to use the wet or dry kind from time to time.

Now that the bike is looking good as new it's time to go get it dirty all over again! For the right sprays and lubes, stop by and we'll show you what we use every day in the shop. Cleaning your bike is the best way to get more life out of parts and to avoid expensive replacements and repairs. It helps you keep an eye on wear and tear, and it's a great use of five minutes whenever you ride.  

Comment

Comment

Welcome Back, Bob!

IMG_1600.jpeg

Greetings!

I’m Bob.

I started out riding bikes like most kids.  At first just around my neighborhood as a mode of transportation. I grew up in the small town of Allendale where there isn’t much to do. To entertain myself I started making jumps in my parents’ driveway and yard. It wasn’t until I was fifteen when I started getting hooked on BMX bikes. A friend from school raced at the old BMX track in Wyoming and around that time started making bigger jumps. Every day after school, we’d get together and ride our bikes until it was too dark to see. 

My first bike shop job was in 1998 where I started at Village Bike Shop. I was fresh meat and would do the jobs that included tasks no one else wanted to, but I also did new bike assembly and sales. 

I eventually moved to Cycle Therapy in the Standale area.   It was there that I started to really get involved with more of the service side of bicycles.  I learned a ton from Scott, and many of the things I learned there are still necessary for the repairs I do today.

In late 2011, I heard that Nate was going to open a shop in the downtown area, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. We got together and figured out a plan. The shop opened in February of 2012 and provided service to the downtown Grand Rapids area.  In February 2013 we parted ways on good terms.

I started at Alger Bikes in March of 2013 where I became the service manager. Since bikes were getting more and more technologically advanced, I decided I wanted to learn to do everything myself. To me, bikes should not have to be sent out to have work done when services can be done locally.

In January 2015, I attended a week long, intense schooling at SRAM Technical University in Colorado Springs, CO. It was there that I earned certification in the service of all SRAM, AVID, and RockShox parts. I now have the knowledge to diagnose, overhaul, and tune all of their components. Repairs can now be completed in-house which not only saves time on service work, but also makes it so I am able to bond with customers and make sure their bikes are working perfectly.

I also developed a great understanding of the Lefty fork. I pushed for several years to become a Lefty service center. Although the service center never came to fruition, we were able to service all our customer’s forks in-house.

After nearly 5 years, I’m back at Central District Cyclery, which is where I met my wonderful wife Emily in 2012. We got married in 2014 and reside in the Midtown neighborhood of Grand Rapids with our son, Miles, and our two insane dogs, Frank and Ramona. We all love riding bikes as a family, especially at our favorite vacation spot — the Leelanau Peninsula. 

I love riding bikes and want others to enjoy it as well.  I primarily ride BMX and commute to work, with some single track thrown in there for fun. I started riding DJ bikes a little over a year ago and having been having a lot of fun doing that, when I’m not crashing super hard.

It is because of this love and knowledge for bicycles that I treat every repair as if it were my own.  I assure you that the quality of work that comes out Central District Cyclery is one of the best, and I aspire to make it the destination of service work in the Grand Rapids area.

Comment

Comment

Thanksgiving Week at Central District Cyclery

HappyThanksGivingCDC.png

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays because it gives you all morning to ride and work up an appetite. We're very thankful for every single ride we get to enjoy, and every single customer that has supported us since we opened. It's been an incredible year, and we are grateful for each and every one of you. 

We'll be closed Thursday to eat and stay closed Friday to ride it off. Spending time with friends and family is always a treat, and having both days to enjoy are really a treat. We hope you can skip the lines and sales and do something outside. Take a new friend or family member biking! Go for a wintry hike. Whatever you love to do, share it with someone special. If you're lucky enough to have the day off, make sure you do spend it wisely. 

Don't worry, we've got you start on holiday shopping figured out. The crew will be back in action on Small Business Saturday from 10a-5p. And we're making it worth your while to step away from the leftovers and swing by. We're really doing you a favor and letting someone else eat that last slice of pie. 

This Saturday, support local and shop our special of the day. Everything in the store is 10%! Even our "Clearance Conifer", which is already stacked up with clearance items and special deals. Whatever a sale item is listed at, take an additional 10% off, this Saturday only! 

Not sure what to grab that cyclist of yours? That 10% is good for gift cards, too; your $100 gift card is just $90! 

If we don't see you before Thursday, have a fun, safe, and delicious Thanksgiving and a great turkey-burner of a ride after. We appreciate all of our Grand Rapids cycling community, and we can't wait for more adventures. 

Comment

Comment

Lighten Up, Folks: Carbon Fat Bike Rim Special at CDC

IMG_0083.jpg

Our pals at Velocity just rolled out the most highly-anticipated product since the quick release (thanks, Campy!), and that gave us a really, really good idea. 

Like any good bike shop, we've always got some carbon hoops bouncing around for a rainy day. We've had some Sarma 80mm carbon fat bike rims in our back pocket just waiting for a good reason to get them laced up. Then, Velocity made our dreams come true with new fat bike hubs! They're like their MTB hubs, but available in 177/197 widths and with a bit of a bonus. Instead of 3 pawls, they've got 6. Do the math, and that's twice as much! The front hub weighs in at 198 grams, with the 177 rear 258 grams. We have HG and XD drivers in stock, too, so if you're running Shimano or 11/12 speed SRAM, we've got you covered. 

We're kicking off winter fat bike season (fat is always in season) with a hot deal for cold weather. We'll build you a set of Sarma rims (650 grams each) on Velocity hubs with DT Swiss spokes for $800. Yep, Carbon fat bike wheels of under $1k. Gotta be 150 mm front hub, and we can build 177 or 197 rear hub, just let us know which you need! 

Carbon rims will take a solid pound or more off your aluminum rims, especially if you're still running tubes and rim strips. Lighter wheels are the best investment you can make on your ride. Even if you aren't worried about racing, it's so much more fun to shoot out of corners, fly up hills, and feel a lot more snappy out on the trail. With lighter wheels, your fat bike might just become your go-to year-round bike...if it isn't already. 

There's a catch because of course there is! We've only got five sets of Sarma rims in stock, so it's first come, first serve, and when they're gone, they're gone forever. With that little splash of mortality, stop by or give us a call. Not sure what spacing you need? We'll look for you, no problem. 

 

 

Comment

1 Comment

Welcome Courtney to the Central District Cyclery Crew!

IMG_1622.JPG

Courtney began mountain biking in her mid-twenties where she fell in love with the variety of physical and mental challenges involved in the sport.  She began traveling and experiencing new trails on a regular basis. Attending skill clinics and festivals around the country is one of her favorite ways to meet new riders/friends and explore new areas.  Courtney is an IMBA ICP Level 1 Instructor and Ride guide, First Aid Certified and previous Dirt Dawgs coach. When not on her bike, Courtney is a speech therapist in the Grand Rapids area, finds herself outdoors, and loves spending time with family, friends, or her cats. 

Our gal is going to be a huge help out on the trails! She'll be running events and demos, plus plenty of rides year-round. Watch for an ambitious calendar of FUN to pop up next week here on the site and on Facebook. What kinds of rides do you want to do this winter? Let us know! 

1 Comment

Comment

Mitch's True Grit Test Ride: Taco-Level Goodness from Lauf

IMG_1626.JPG

First and foremost, allow me to introduce myself, I am Mitchell. I’m
essentially The Stig of CDC, powered by tacos, fueled by Hamm's, and
always searching for that velcro gravel. I've been around the shop for
a couple of years, racing, riding, and participating in general tomfoolery
. You'll see me around hosting shop rides, in a taco coma, or
searching out hobo trails around town.  I’ll be making some blog posts
here and there concerning stuff going in, out, and around CDC.

A little over a month ago we had the pleasure of announcing that CDC
is now one of three shops in the US to be a premium Lauf Dealer.
Currently, we have one of their first full bike build kits, the True
Grit. This thing comes dressed to the nines: Laug Grit SL fork (30mm
travel),  SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain and brakes, fancy carbon (frame,
bars, seatpost),  and American Classic rims paired with some tubeless
Maxxis Rambler 40c's.

This bike is legit, but not too legit to quit, because this bike does
not want to quit.

I was fortunate enough to hold this bike in my possession for an
extended and damp weekend. I tried to vary the terrain I rode as to
get a solid and diverse reading on how this thing handled.

First things first, before I put on any of my own accessories, aka
snack bags, lights, and bottle cage, this thing came in at an amazing
18.2lbs. This thing flicks up and down berms, bends around trees, and
blasts pass that guy on gravel you’ve been trying to beat on Strava.

While riding around town the Grit SL fork and tubeless Ramblers soaked
up anything and everything from potholes, curbs, loose gravel, and
downed squirrels. That 30mm of travel really cushioned out the ride
way more than I expected, and with that, it was time to turn to the
gravel.

The first bit of gravel I hit was fairly level and compact, nothing
too wild or out of the ordinary to slow you down but maybe a stray
rock here or there. You could still tell you were on gravel, but
this seriously smooth things out. Even zipping around corners of loose
gravel felt way safer with that front wheel forced down more on the
ground due to the progressive travel of the fork.

Shockingly, I only noticed any bob in the fork while I was out of the
saddle pedaling hard. It was not substantial by any means nor do I
think I took away much energy I was putting out. This is the only
downside of the fork to me, no lockout like a traditional suspension
fork.

While I found this bike and fork to perform amazing on pavement and
well graded gravel, the real test as going to be found on washboard
gravel and seasonal roads/two tracks.

I had some hesitation going into the washboard based on some other
reviews I had previously read and watched, but I found the Grit SL to
really smooth the road out. Granted, it was not as smooth as silk, but
it was a much smoother ride than the carbon fork on my single speed
gravel bike.  On seasonal and two track roads, this thing really
excelled and proved it by allowing me to carry such control and speed.
The bike begs you to push it fast and take some risks you might not
normally. Go off a drop at speed, roll down that steep hill, own the
off camber, blast through the rock garden like you built it.

Pair this bike with some more cushed-out 650b road plus tires and holy
guacamole, this will be one heck of a go anywhere, do anything bike.

Have a gravel bike you already love? Then just buy the fork! It may
pack a little more weight than your everyday carbon fork but you will
lust after the forgiveness this fork offers you from hitting roots and
ruts at speed.

Nate, if you are reading, I’m sorry, but I will not be returning this
demo. I really like how it looks hanging by my front door.

Comment

Comment

The Right Lights For Shorter Days

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.46.07 AM.png

Well, it's that time of year again. The time where daylight is at a minimum and darkness becomes our new friend. That's right, Daylight Savings has hit and it's going to be dark earlier and earlier. Bummer. But if you're anything like me you don't want to let the lack of light limit your time in the saddle so it's time to light up your life!

When it comes to light options there are tons of companies out there that make a variety of different styles, lumen levels, and battery type. That being said I'd like to focus on some lights that are perfect for those quick trips; whether it's a commute, a quick rip around town, or just cruising with some buds. I'm talking about Light & Motion’s new Vibe models. These little guys are super cool because you never have to worry about remembering to turn them off! Let me explain. Simply mount them on your handlebar, fork, seatpost, chainstay, wherever really, then start riding and the vibration from moving kicks them. Stop moving and about 30-45 seconds later they turn off all by themselves. How neat is that!?

Aside from that “no worry” feature they have some other pretty cool aspects. Caught in some unexpected rain? Waterproof keeps these babies going so you stay seen. Can't ever find a USB cable for charging? No need since you can plug these right into a computer with the built-in USB end. Have a case of the droppsies? Built super tough to withstand even being thrown at the ground. And let's not forget that the taillight is super bright so you can run it in the daytime to stay safe out there at all times!

Comment

Comment

Get Tan...Tires from WTB

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 10.41.51 AM.png

You've seen those great looking gumwalls or skinwalls out in the world, right? Here's where you get 'em. 

WTB has been nailing the world of cycling for years now, and they've ratcheted it up to 11 this year. Their range of mountain, gravel, and road tires have a reputation for being tough, flat-resistant and really easy to set-up tubeless. 

We're stocking a wide selection of WTB tires this fall, including everything from their 27.5"+ Rangers to the famous Nano 40s that are great for gravel and even singletrack. Diehards have had their fingers crossed for a while that these tires would get offered as skinwalls, and they finally have! 

One tire we really think you should check out this cyclocross season is the Cross Boss. The 35mm tire has a great tread for grass and sand, and just enough tread to give you grip in those short sections of mud you'll find at a lot of Kisscross Races. We've also ridden them a ton in the winter, and they're surprisingly good in snow for cruising gravel roads all winter long. 

You can check out the Cross Boss and all those tanwalls on the WTB site, or you can swing by and pick them up here at CDC! 

Comment

Comment

Winter Rush Heads To Big M In 2018!

facebook+cover.png

People! We admit it, we're getting a little antsy for winter riding. This fall has been an absolute treat, but as the leaves fall and the temperatures take a nosedive, we're looking ahead to January with really good reason. 

This year, we're helping bring the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series to Big M. January 13th, 2018 will bring us to the Manistee National Forest for a great adventure in the woods! Choose from a 17 or 35 mile race with different categories open as well. 

Sure it's a race, but if you've done any amount of fat biking, you know that when you race in the winter, it's always more of an adventure! There will be two aid stations on the course, but in between, it'll be just you, your guts, and your trusty fat bike against the elements! The right set-up, the right tires, and the right attitude are all just as important as strong legs. 

For more information about the race, head here. Check out the full Great Lakes Fat Bike Series schedule and get some races under your belt this winter! 

Comment

Comment

What Is Road Plus?

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.42.52 PM.png

You might have heard the term before, but what does it really mean?

Well, it's a different way of looking at and building a road bike. It's really almost crazy to think that it was only four or five years ago that that only option for a road bike was either a heavy and slow touring bike and super-light, aggressive road bike with 23c tires. That's changed, and with good reason. Most cyclists don't race criteriums, or road races, and would rather trade extreme lightweight and aerodynamics for more comfort and bigger tires. Road plus is the next step in the slow move to offerings bike that do more things well (pavement, gravel, trails, touring, etc.) rather than one thing perfectly (win bunch sprints). 

First, more and more bikes have fork and frame clearance to fit 28, 30, or even 32c tires in what we'd consider a traditional 'road' frame. The emergence of gravel bikes, which are a hybrid of road and cyclocross bikes, have wide tire clearance and a longer, road geometry. Bikes of that ilk can fit up to 40c or even 42c tires, plenty of floatation for even Michigan's sandy gravel roads and two tracks. 

But for riders looking to really open up all trails, roads, and adventures, road plus goes even further. The idea is to replace the 700 wheel with a mountain bike style 650b wheelsize, which has a small diameter. Pair that with a 47c or wider tire, and you've turned a road or gravel bike into a rigid mountain bike. Companies are starting to offer new bikes with these wheelsets stock, like the Kona Rova NRB. Many riders have opted to run the WTB Horizon or Byway 47c, which offers nearly twice the width of a traditional road wheel, but a slick center tread that reduces rolling resistance. 

The question you hear most often isn't about the actual numbers, though. People are less likely to ask what it is as they are who the wheel size is for. Well, we think it's for most people. Unless you're doing fast group rides and races all the time, the flexibility of the 47c tire means you get a lot more out of one bike. The perfect set-up might be to have a set of road tires on traditional road wheels for hopping into a big grand fondo or Grattan, and riding your 'mountain' wheels for training, trails, gravel, and every day. They're wheels for gravel grinders, bike packers, commuters...really anyone that doesn't care about winning the town line sprint on Tuesday nights. 

You can check out the Kona Rove line-up here, with all Road Plus bikes denoted by the NRB tag. Kona won't say officially what NRB, but they do say it isn't necessarily 'New Road Bike'...we'll leave you to guess. 

Comment

Comment

Welcome Lauf To Central District Cyclery!

OPEN dressed UP with a Lauf Grit

OPEN dressed UP with a Lauf Grit

This shouldn't come as a shock to you. CDC is bringing in Lauf forks and bikes, and we're pretty excited to get our hands on all the cool stuff. 

Lauf started out a few years back in a basement in Iceland. Yep, Iceland. A prosthetic designer and an industrial engineer thought up the rough design of a new suspension fork for mountain bikes and fat bikes that was inspired by their respective fields. No shocks, no fluids, no seals or stanchions. The design was light, low-maintenance, and a huge leap forward. 

Most Michiganders first spotted Lauf forks on fat bikes. The Carbonara found a niche providing some dampening in the cold months, where the trails were icy and rough, but the frigid temperatures slowed forks or were too tough on their seals. When the weather warmed, the forks had earned their spot on the bike and rider stuck with them all summer. 

That same technology and performance were already in action on the Trail Racer, Lauf's XC or MTB fork, with the same 60mm travel as the Carbonara. It wasn't too long before the guys at Lauf saw the need for a slightly retooled option for gravel racers. Gravel roads have a different sort of rough than trails due to the type of terrain (potholes and washboard vs. tree roots, rocks, and drops) and the frequency of the impacts. The Grit offers 30mm of high frequency dampening for gravel grinders and all-day road adventures, the exact type of stuff we love doing here in Grand Rapids. 

In the process of learning and designing the Grit, Lauf engineers looked at the data they had and decided to take it one step further. Instead of designing the fork and leaving it that, it was really only another step to take that information and create a full bike. The True Grit was born. 

The True Grit grew out of the Grit fork and is made more for going anywhere than winning a crit. In fact, there's no cable routing for a front derailleur, making it a 1x11 set-up with the ability to run SRAM eTap, which is totally wireless. It clears big wide 42mm tires and offers a geometry that balances a low, aerodynamic frontal profile with all-day comfort in vertical compliance. 

You'll be seeing more and more Lauf popping up at the shop, including a demo Lauf True Grit for you to take out and put through the paces. 

ImageGen-2.jpg
ImageGen-1.jpg

Comment

Comment

Checking In On The Kona Cyclocross Crew

941A3731.jpg

It's October, and cyclocross season is in full swing not just in Grand Rapids, but all over the US and Europe! 

Kona put the new 2018 Super Jake under two of their most experienced and tough riders, the legendary Helen Wyman and Kerry Werner. The two American World Cups were the high points of September and were big targets for Kona riders. After strong rides, Kerry turned his attention to KMC 'Crit' Fest in Connecticut, while Wyman went across the Atlantic to do what she does best; battle the Belgians on their home turf. 

Helen is doing a very cool series of one-minute videos at her races, which are definitely worth checking out and following on Vimeo.  She gave the new Super Jake its first European podium at Neerpelt in Holland this past weekend, too! 

If that's got you jonesing for some cyclocross action, there's plenty to be had right here in Grand Rapids. The Beer City Growler is the second of the Michigan CX Series on Saturday, October 7, right at Wilcox Park. With a bit of rain in the forecast, it might be a truly Belgian experience for everyone, with the promise of mud, beer, and a lot of fun! 

Sunday, Kisscross is back in action for the second race of the season, this time at Highland Park. Many racers will be taking on both days, with the famous flyover expected to feature at both races. With plenty more racing to come this season, as well as other big tests like Peak2Peak at Crystal Mountain, the Lowell 50, and of course the Iceman Cometh, a double-header weekend is great preparation for the rest of your fall campaign! 

Make sure your bike is in perfect shape, even if you aren't, by getting it in for a tune-up this week, and we'll see you in the mud this Saturday and Sunday! 

Comment

Comment

Look Out For The West Michigan Coyotes!

21766829_1882616225334530_8698611947154322334_n.jpg

We've had a blast watching the West Michigan Coyotes this summer! Central District Cyclery is working with West Michigan Riders and Breakaway Bicycles to support this composite group of shredders from all over the West Michigan area. 

The squad is comprised of kids ranging from 6th to 12th grade with an interest in taking on the MiSCA MTB Series. The most recent stop was just north of Grand Rapids at Cannonsburg, where the Coyotes had 15 riders take on a tough course and 95-degree temperatures to take in a whole slew of podiums and plenty of smiles. 

Our riders don't just hop in for races. The team has a dedicated group of parents and volunteers that host practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a variety of local trails that help develop a full skillset for our racers. Fitness, technical skill, and basic maintenance and repairs all add up to the team's agenda. The ability to take any terrain is important, with the MiSCA calendar taking racers all over the state. 

The final MiSCA race of the year is October 8 at Brighton, and we're excited to see how the Coyotes perform. They have a few more weeks of practice and one big race to cap off an exciting season. 

Follow the Coyotes and wish them luck on their Facebook page right here! 

Comment

Comment

Merrill Trail, Home of The Michigantuan MTB Race on 9.30 and 10.1

static1.squarespace.jpg

Next week, state champions will be crowned at Art Van Sports Complex, but those titles will be won just next door at Merrill Trail. 

Short's Brewing Mountain Bike Series comes to Grand Rapids, and it's the perfect time, too. The weather has been incredible all month long, giving everyone plenty of time to rack up the miles in September. And that's a darn good thing, with the State Championships looking to be a big test of fitness and technical ability. 

Saturday is all about the cross country race, with Merrill contributing the bulk of the course and some sections of the short track also getting tossed into the mix. There isn't much elevation gain, but the relentless balance of technical sections, singletrack, and wide-open racing near the start finish mean there isn't a single place to relax on course. 

Sunday, it's one for the short trackers. With Grand Rapids home to dozens of great cyclocross racers, this seems sure to be a really interesting contest. Riders can take their fitness from Alma Grand Prix, Midland CX, and last week's Kisscross at Richmond Park and throw it at the day's races on a short, fast and wide open loop. 

Registration for both days of racing is right here. 

Comment

Comment

Top Five Hand-Up Foods For Elite, Serious Cyclocross Racers

Cyclocross demands a commitment to training and diet, and that extends past the weeks and months of #crossiscoming right into the very middle of the event. We've selected the important foods and drinks you need to peak, bro. 

First off, if you eat or drink when you're on a bike, that food or drink becomes known as 'nutrition', which is like food but with all the fun sucked out of it. Triathletes loves nutrition, and they're known to stuff it strange places. But they have to, because their shirts don't have pockets. 

Anyway, this 'nutrition' can make or break your day between the tape, so we've picked our top five favorite hand-ups. Take this as the gospel, and make sure they're on your grocery list heading into the weekend. This is especially important, as you'll most likely be performing hand-ups for others before or after your race, and in a shark/lamprey type of symbiotic relationship, you'll rely on others to provide hand-ups for you. Don't let them down. 

1. Pea Soup. Pea soup is a powerhouse food that combines an appealing green color with a refreshing pea flavor that's sure to help you dig deep. Served boiling hot (i.e. scalding) and with some cilantro as garnish, try to splash it in your friend's face early and often so they are properly fueled. Super Soakers work well. 

2. Twinkies. Packed with sugar and other important nutrients like synthetic cream and yellow dye 12,242 the quick-shot energy from a Twinkie is tough to beat. It's also soft, so if the person has to grab the bar in a panic after taking the hand-up, it squashes neatly and poops out its creamy filling. Don't worry, they'll still be able to eat it after they take the next turn, and they'll likely have bits of it in their bar tape for weeks to come. 

3. Veggie Burgers. In today's diet-conscious environment, we suggest ditching the traditional bacon hand-up in favor of a more environmentally alternative. No animal cruelty, a reduced impact on resources, and plenty of flavor options make this a much more green option to protein-rich cyclocross nutrition. Most people like Spicy Black Bean, but you can really stand out from the crowd by going for the Garden Veggie version. 

4. Cookies. Everyone loves cookies. We're not going to even try to joke about this one. Bring cookies. 

5. Boone's Farm Wine Coolers. Look, beer has been done guys. We get it, Hamm's, PBR, all great. I mean, since you can't get a good urine-flavored can of Schlitz in Michigan (can you?) those are solid alternatives. But Boone's Farm goes down like a Kool-Ade and offers a tasteful nostalgia for simpler times. Junior year of high school, some wine coolers, a sunny day, Rebecca...oh she was a good girl...but we're getting away from the topic. (I'll wait for you, Rebecca)

blanco-new-bo-electro-Carp-X-1141.jpg

 

Put your nutrition and preparation to the test this Sunday at KissCross at Richmond Park. We'll be there. With a cooler. 

Comment

Comment

September At Central District Cyclery

21191857_1512848225449323_9220799064142823806_n.jpg

...and all of a sudden, Labor Day Weekend is done and dusted. We're looking ahead to a busy but very fun fall here in West Michigan! There are plenty of cool things going on, and you're going to want to make sure your bike is dialed in and ready to rock. 

Coming up real quick is the first KissCross of the year, and we're setting it up! Our mad scientists are laying out the course at Richmond Park on Sunday, September 17. Racing for fun, racing for beer, and racing for hand-ups starts at 10am with the Kid's Race! 

Just two weeks later, there's a State Championship on the line at Merrill! With the start and finish located just next door at the Art Van Sports Complex, The Michigantuan is September 30. The Short Track race is the following day, October 1! Two days, tons of fun right here in Grand Rapids.

But there's plenty more to look forward to beyond the big races. We've got CX Clinics heading into the race at Richmond, on Thursday, September 7 and on Thursday, September 14. Learn a thing or two, plus have a ton of fun, right at Richmond Park! It's a good way to get a little sneak peek at the actual course, too. 

Stay tuned for some night rides, tune-up specials, and great new tech and gear popping into the shop this month as well. Stop by soon and say hello! 

 

Comment

Comment

Kisscross #1 at Richmond Park!

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 11.04.04 AM.png

Cyclocross is almost here! We're excited to bring you the first Kisscross race of the year on September 17 at Richmond Park. 

Kisscross is a darn big deal. The series began with 30 guys and gals, content with someone shouting "Go!" and racing for beer. Over the years, it's grown to include more city and county parks all over West Michigan, with an emphasis on local shops, local businesses, and local racers who just want to have fun. 

There is a full points series over the course of the five race days, starting in September and ending in November. Each stop features a different park, and a different local shop takes on course design. We're excited to highlight Richmond Park in Grand Rapids, and to put on a challenging, unique course that you're going to love. 

Cyclocross is a great way to get into racing. It's fast and intense, but only as intense as you make it. There's no pressure; after a lap or two, most spectators have no idea who is winning or who is last! Most are more focused on food hand-ups, cheering, and simply enjoying the race. And that's easy to do, because cyclocross is by far the best spectator-friendly type of cycling. On a short 1-1.5 mile course, the whole course is easy to see! 

The kid's race starts things off at 10:30, followed by the 30 minute Beginner/Junior race at 11am. The Experts start at noon for a full 60 minutes, with the Sport category capping things off at 1pm. 

We'll have tons of prizes, and the spoils don't always go to the victors! Everyone has a great chance to pick something pretty sweet. 

Check out all things Kisscross right here. 

Comment

Comment

Dropper Posts And YOU!

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 1.52.29 PM.png

As you stroll casually through Central District Cyclery, you're going to notice plenty of dropper posts. Once a rarity, dropper posts are popping up on stock builds from brands like Kona because of the way they change how people ride. 

Dismissed as enduro-only, the technology has become almost standard on mountain bikes ranging from dedicated cross-country to most trail bikes. Using either a mechanical cable or hydraulic line, the dropper post gets your set out of the way in a number of situations. 

The most obvious use of a dropper will be on steep descents. Getting your seat out of the way allows you to get way, way back and hold more traction. Especially on rough, loose, or rooty downhills, you'll also avoid getting rammed by the seat, pushing your weight forward and generally scaring the crap out of you. 

But droppers are also useful in turns. Fast, flowing trails can allow you to drop the seat and drop your center of gravity. The lower, the better, and the more traction! Getting used to doing this can take a bit of practice, but once you've got it dialed, it can make your singletrack skills much stronger. 

There are some other benefits, too. We've had some folks looking for dropper posts for transportation. You can drop the post in order to fit in your car, without having to use a tool and tape measure to get it back to the right height. We've also put dropper posts on bike belonging to older riders who find balancing at stop signs or getting off the bike difficult for their hips, knees or ankles. Dropping the seat gets it out of the way and safer to mount and dismount. 

Stop by Central District and hop on a bike with a dropper to get a feel for how much it changes your riding style. You'll find it on a number of Konas, including the Big Honzo! 

Comment