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What Is Road Plus?

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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. 

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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. 

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Checking In On The Kona Cyclocross Crew

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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! 

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Look Out For The West Michigan Coyotes!

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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! 

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

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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. 

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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)

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

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September At Central District Cyclery

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...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! 

 

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Kisscross #1 at Richmond Park!

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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. 

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Dropper Posts And YOU!

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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! 

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Kona Opens Up The All-Road Rove For 2018

We're all about bikes that open up new ways, places, and options to ride. The much-loved Kona Rove has already built a cult following around the go-anywhere, do-anything platform. It's no surprise that we were pretty darn pumped when we saw the full Rove offering for 2018! 

There are now NINE options on the Kona Rove, making it easier than ever to select the build specifications for how you ride. The Rove used to provide a different spec compared to the race-oriented Private Jake. With the PJ on hiatus (we'll miss you) the Rove gets to open up its offerings to include a more 1x and 2x builds, plus a whole new wheel size. 

First, the Rove starts at just $850 for the aluminum, Shimano Claris rig with 700 wheels. There's no better way to get onto a do-it-all drop bar bike, and one that is truly ideal for commuters. The next big jump is to the Rove ST, the classic steel frame option that we absolutely fell in love with. That boasts the ease of a Rival 1x drivetrain and essential offer a Private Jake build on a steel frame, with very similar geometry.

Here's the real jump. For 2018, Kona went all in on all-road, offering up Road Plus options utilizing WTB's 27.5" wheels and Horizon 47c tires. The wheel size allows for wide tires that can handle singletrack, loose sandy roads, and massive days of exploration. Especially in Michigan, this wide footprint makes a big difference, especially for linking together gravel and trails by pavement without feeling sluggish.

Kona offers three Roves with Plus Road wheels out of the bikes, starting with the Rove NRB. The Rove NRB DL gets you into Shimano 105 and, for our vote, is the best bang for your buck of the whole enchilada for $2099. The blingship of the line-up , however, is the Rove LTD. It's Reynolds 853 steel, Force 1 drivetrain and WTB's KOM carbon wheels in the 27.5" size as well. 

You're going to see more and more of the Rove and all of Kona's 2018 in the shop, so make sure you swing by! Watch our Facebook and Instagram to see what else we're building up. 

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Short's Brewing MTB Series: The Michigantuan September 30-October 1

Fall is a busy time for bike racers, but there's one weekend you're going to want to keep wide open! The Short's Brewing MTB Series takes you into autumn proper with two days of racing right here in Grand Rapids with the Michigantuan! 

Join us Saturday, September 30 at the Art Van Sports Complex for the cross-country race. Riders will take on a tough 6 mile loop that includes parts of the Merrell Trail system, as well as a big chunk of the now infamous short track loop. It's a course that demands a strong technical rider that can deal with short, punchy climbs.

Sunday, riders will be back in action for the short track events! There's no more entertaining way to watch a bike race than short track, and Grand Rapids has some of the very best riders in the state in this discipline. Almost all of the action is within sight of the start/finish, and riders can hop in and race twice in a single day, too. 

Short's Brewing is bringing the beer and the fun, with great prizes from Short's and Central District Cyclery. 

You find out more about the race here, plus get yourself signed up for race day through USA Cycling. 

 

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It's Like Christmas In July! But In August!

2018 is here! One of those fun things in the bike world is the slow release of the next model year bikes well, well before the calendar reflects said model year. And for a long, long, long time that meant seeing the new stuff and then losing sleep over actually getting it until January, or February, or maybe March, who knows. It physically hurt. Seriously. 

Well, no more. Kona made a change, and it's a change that makes so much sense you'd get a $5 bill back. Here's the million dollar idea; you don't see the new stuff...until you can actually get the new stuff. Yeah. Crazy, huh? 

That means you'll be seeing all the 2018 models popping up on The Cog as they're ready to ship. To make sure you don't miss anything, we'll be relaying the unveils and announcements via our social media. We've already seen the new Sutra and two (2) Unit options out. We're expecting to see more Rove, Jake, and Wozo options coming down that long and glorious pipe very soon, too. 

That Unit? Well, in addition to the famous singlespeed, Kona is offering a SRAM NX geared version. It's the flipside of the "Well, if I get a singlespeed Unit I can add gears"; now, you can start with a bomb-proof drivetrain and go SS whenever you want to/need to. For the people into frame color, it also gives you at least consider the choice to grab black or red and get what you're into. 

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Making Room For 2018: Closeout and Demo Sale!

It's 2018 already! New models are shipping right now, and we've got give the new arrivals a bit of elbow room heading into a busy August and autumn. That's pretty rad news for you; it means we have a number of closeouts on Rocky Mountain, plus a few lingering demo Konas including the impossible-to-find Hei Hei! 

Rocky Mountain closeouts include some of our favorite bikes, including the Thunderbolt 730, a race-ready full suspension rig that's still plenty of fun, too. Don't miss the Growler, either; it's one of our favorite plus bikes out there. For more on each of these models, get a hold of us or check out Rocky Mountain's site to compare and contrast. 

2016 Instinct 950 $1,700.00

2016 Thunderbolt 730 L $1,400.00

2017 Thunderbolt 710 M $1,600.00

2017 Thunderbolt 730 M $1,800.00

2017 Thunderbolt 730 S $1,800.00

2017 Growler 730 S $700.00

2017 Growler 740 S $900.00

2017 Soul 700 M $450.00

2017 Soul 710 S $500.00

2017 Soul 700 S $450.00

2017 Soul 710 S $500.00

2017 Soul 700 S $450.00

2017 Soul 700 M $450.00

2017 vertex 930 M $1,100.00

2017 Vertex 950 M $1,300.00

2017 Vertex 950 L $1,300.00

2017 Instinct 930 msl L $2,600.00

2017 Instinct 950 XL $2,000.00

2017 Instinct 950 XL $2,000.00

All Konas Are Demos!

2017 Big KahunaKona M $999.00

2017 Big KahunaKona L $999.00

2017 Big KahunaKona XL $999.00

2017 Jake the SnakeKona 51 Green $1,100.00

2017 Private JakeKona54/Pink$1,500.00

2016 HeiHeiKona LG $1,600.00

2016 HeiHEiKona M $1,600.00

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5,000 Miles with My Kona Private Jake

If I had to, absolutely had to pick just one bike, it would be a bit of no brainer. Sure, I don't want to have just one bike, and n+1 states quite simply that you always need another. But hypothetically, a cyclocross bike is tough to top, and an easy bike to rack up the miles with. 

My Kona has taken on everything from the Barry-Roubaix gravel road race, a massive pre-ride of the Cherry-Roubaix road race, an Iceman Cometh Out and Back ride, and is used almost daily as my commuter. The Private Jake is a workhorse; aluminum frame, carbon fork, the simplicity of a single chain ring, and a proven track record over the last 5,000 miles of being pretty tough to stop. 

It's a bike that's been beaten and put away bloody. It's been crashed, tipped over, thrown over singletrack and saturated with rain and snow and slush so many times that riding it in dry weather seems to short-change the experience a bit. It's simply been a bomb-proof bike, and has reinforced my conviction that everyone should have a cyclocross bike in their quiver for gravel, bad weather, and the ability to go out and do it all. 

Maybe my favorite ride ever on the Private Jake was at The Divide Race last year. They call it a gravel race, but that's only part of the story. There are plenty of sections that barely qualify as two-track, with washed out sections and sand pits and some steep, loose climbs that I'd love to see cars actually try to drive. In other words, it's the perfect course for a burly bike with wide knobbies and a smart, simple gear ratio. Up and down, and even through those annoying, soul-crushing sandpits, the bike just flew. It was a beautiful day on the perfect bike, and one of the best days I've ever had on two wheels. 

As my bike rolls past the 5,000 mile mark, I really can't wait to see what else it can do. My goal is to finally give this bike a chance at its first Iceman Cometh Challenge, with a warm-up for the big day at the Peak2Peak race at Crystal Mountain a few weeks before. This bike deserves to get a shot at all of the races and rides we love doing in Michigan, and it's certainly up for it. 

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15% Off Any Rocky Mountain: Meet the Thunderbolt

Right now, take 15% off any Rocky Mountain. That's in the shop or on order, but we've hand-picked a selection of RMs to that we think are really ideal for West Michigan. Those models are in stock, and we're bringing you a closer look at the full suspension option that's perfect for Grand Rapids, the Thunderbolt. 

Coming from BC, full suspension can mean a lot of different things for a brand like Rocky Mountain. It usually means some much longer travel models like the Slayer (170/165mm) for more all-mountain or enduro riding. The Thunderbolt is a very appropriately spec'd XC bike, with geometry that balances an aggressive racing position with predictable handling for long days in the saddle. 

Instead, the 27.5" wheeled Thunderbolt is 130/120mm and is available in both a Smoothwall carbon frame or aluminum. That carbon option is just 2300 grams for the frame, making it a race-light option that should appeal to those Iceman racers and guys that just want to put in snappy rides in the singletrack. 

The Thunderbolt line-up starts with the aluminum frame, Deore equipped 710. The 750 bumps to SLX, and it's the 730 MSL that adopts the carbon frameset with the same spec. It's the 770 MSL that gets a true World Cup quality build, combining the carbon frameset with Shimano XT 1x drivetrain, RaceFace Turbine crankset, and ZTR Crest Tubeless wheels. 

Stop by and see the full Thunderbolt line-up and get 15% off your new bike. If it isn't on the floor, we'll get it if it's available. 

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Trade In Sale: Trade In, Trade Up, and Get A Rocky Mountain!

You've had your eye on that new ride for months now. This month, we're making it easier than every to get off your old rig and onto any Rocky Mountain in stock at CDC, or one not even on the floor! 

Yup, you read that right. We're believers in the great design, quality, and fun of Rocky Mountain Bikes, and we want to get you on one. Trade in your old bike and you'll get 15% off any Rocky Mountain, whether it's in the store or not. 

You can find out more about how we do the whole trade in thing here, and of course, feel encouraged to call with any questions. But then, you better get lookin' at all the options. 

Option 1: You're Going To Win Iceman. For most Michigan races, it's a pretty simple recipe. 29" wheels, hardtail, with 100mm of travel. Rocky Mountain's XC offering is the Vertex, and like much of their line-up, there's a spec for every price point and every rider. If you're headed to Europe for a World Cup, there's the 990 RSL, a serious bling ship that offers the best stiffness-to-weight ratio out there. The best bang for your buck might be the 950, an alloy version of the Vertex dressed out in XT that's up for anything. 

Option 2. You're Going Full Suspension. The Thunderbolt is RM's full suspension all-rounder that's perfect for Grand Rapids. A balance of travel and XC geometry gives you capable, efficient suspension in a singletrack-ready position that keeps the bike quick and snappy. From the aluminum 710 to World Cup quality 770 MSL, there's a rig right for you. 

Option 3. You're Going To Have Tons of Fun. The Growler, no doubt. 27.5"+ wheels are so, so much fun, and if you haven't tried them, you really need to. Sure, they add some practicality to your ride, especially here in West Michigan. The sand pits tend to disappear with 3" tires, and the added traction on steep, sharp climbs lets you put down the power. But the biggest thing is how fun,  they are; they add an inch to the width of the trail, and allow you to lay the bike out in corners even more than your fat bike. There are a few builds of the Growler, with the 740 serving as our go-to for many area riders. 

What else is in stock? You can check to see what's bouncing around here, or stop by. Call to check Rocky Mountain's availability, too, and we'll make sure we get the bike of your dreams out of bed and into the store. 

 

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Active Commute Week Tips That Don't Stink

It's Active Commute Week in Grand Rapids, and you're probably one day into five fruitful days of smart commuting. If you're going by bike, we've got some ideas to make it more fun. 

If you're riding your bike to work for the first time, there might be some uncomfortable things you're not digging. From what to ride, what to wear, and how to get there, it's easy to get a bit turned off at the idea of rolling to the office late, sweaty, and tired. But it ain't gotta be that way! We've got a few tips that'll make your roll to work funner-er than ever before. 

1. Get going! Leave two minutes before you think you need to. This is useful on both ends of your journey. Giving yourself a bit more time takes the stress out of the ride, so you can enjoy the pedaling and allows for any issues with stop lights, crosswalks and other travel issues. Since those probably aren't going to slow you up, it also gives you a few minutes to lock up and change before you hit your desk. 

2. Freshen up. If your place of work doesn't have a shower, don't worry. One way to make sure you don't smell is to stash some cooling wipes at your desk. They'll help you cool off and get the worst of your sweat, too. Of course, keeping a stick of deodorant either in your back or at work is also a pretty easy to way to smell like an Irish Spring, rather than a Kent County Ditch. 

3. Two shirts. Pack your nice attire, wear something else. Especially if you're using a backpack, your shirt is bound to get a little perspiration in the pits and back. Wear a light jersey or active t-shirt to stay cool, and toss on your nice Armani dress shirt when you're at your destination. At the end of the day, change again and your snappy shirt stays clean! 

4. Racks vs. Panniers vs. Backpacks. This totally depends on your commute and plans. Having your bike set up with a rear rack or a rear rack with panniers greatly increases your carrying capacity, but also your comfort. It also makes it easier to work in daily errands into your commute, saving you time. Panniers make it easier to stop for a few groceries on the way home, or transport other things you'll need throughout the day. For most day-to-day commutes, a good backpack should be enough, plus it means you can keep your bike nice and light in case you're heading out to train or join a group ride when you leave the office. 

5. Be safe. Wear a helmet, and we strongly encourage daytime lights, especially a rear blinker. If you're riding during morning and evening rush hours, making yourself as visible as possible makes the roads safer for you and for all cyclists. Know the rules of the road and ride defensively...and make sure you smile and wave to everyone. Let's get those good vibes going with everyone on the trail and roads. 

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Down and Dirty (Kanza) on June 3!

This Saturday, our very own James Gunderman is heading out for another run at the Dirty Kanza! 

The 200 mile race takes riders through the rolling hills of south of Emporia, Kansas. It's early June date means the weather is always a toss-up, with rainy years turning the race into a muddy, slow slog. Dry years can offer clouds of thick, choking dust for hour after hour, mile after mile. 

The race has become the iconic gravel road race, with hundreds of cyclists from all over the country flocking to Emporia for the race. There are all 100, 50 and 25-mile options, ensuring there's something accessible for all skill levels. 

Dirty Kanza also offers some interesting bike choices. You'll see riders on road bikes, gravel and 'cross bikes, mountain bikes, even fat bikes. In muddy years, lots of racers opt for singlespeed to avoid potential drivetrain disasters, grinding out a massive day without shifting. 

It's a big deal. You can follow James LIVE! on the Athlete Update website on Saturday, and don't miss his recap on Thursday from 7-8pm at the shop, where he'll tell us how it all went down! 

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Rocky Mountain and Demo Bikes Sale Starts Tuesday!

The Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend can be a bit of a buzzkill. After three days of fun in the sun (on a bike), it's back to the grind. Well we've got a few things to make it a TON better.  First, all Rocky Mountain bikes are 15% off! But that ain't it. We're trimming our demo fleet, which means you get a SWEET deal on 2015, 2016 and 2017 demo bikes. 

Get yourself up to 40% off retail on hot demo rigs from Kona and Rocky Mountain. You already know how much we DIG the Hei Hei  and you can grab one for a nice deal. These bikes are in great shape and are carefully tuned-up to make sure it'll feel like new, even if they aren't actually new. 

Below is a list of the bikes up for grabs. Stop by to check the bikes out for yourself! 

2015 Kona Hei Hei. 18"

2016 Kona Hei Hei. M

2016 Kona Hei Hei L

2017. Rocky Mountain Blizzard-10. L

2016 Rocky Mountain Altitude 930 L

2016. Rocky Mountain Instinct 930 M

2016 Rocky Mountain Instinct 950 M

2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 920 L

15% off ALL Rocky Mountain bikes, and up to 40% off on demos....Tuesday is going to be a darn good day! And yep, we're closed Monday to go shred, too! 

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The Kona Hei Hei Line Up Is Ready To Roll!

It's the time of year where we've got some good miles in and the big one-day adventures are calling! Ready for your biggest day on a mountain bike yet? The Hei Hei gives you the forgiveness you need for rockin' day in the woods. 

Kona does a tremendous job with the Hei Hei line-up, and every year they seem to tweak the spec to make sure there's a Hei Hei for every type of rider. From aluminum to carbon, race-ready to trail-tough, they always mix things up to the point there's an almost hand-picked parts list coming stock on their model choices. 2017 is no different, and with a slew of 100 mile races and weekend rides coming up, it's a great time to take a closer look. 

The base level Hei Hei is all aluminum and features 100mm/120mm travel, perfect for West Michigan. The spec is solid, with a Race Face Aeffect crank and Shimano XT 1x11. It's a bike that really balances race and trail geometry without feeling like it comes up short on either end. 

From there, things get carbon, and there are no fewer than four build specs to choose from. The 'Race' options forgo the dropper post for a lighter option, with the Supreme builds cranking it way past 11 to 12 speed SRAM Eagle. The Hei Hei DL is the best bet for Shimano lovers, coming with XT 1x11 and a Fox Float 34 fork paired with a Float Premium shock. We think this is a great bike for around Grand Rapids, especially if you do more than a few Quadfectas throughout the season. 

Plus, that green is so, so cool. 

For us, the top of the line is the Supreme. It keeps the same 120mm travel fork, but in the shape of the Rock Shox RS-1. Internally routed dropper, WTB's sick Ci31 rims, SRAM Eagle 12 speed in *GOLD*, all on the FUSE suspension platform that's stiff but playful. It's a dream bike, for sure, but after seeing these in person, you really appreciate how much things have changed since the Hei Hei first came out as Merlin titanium, fully rigid 26" rig with canti brakes.

 

 

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