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I Want That: Kona's 2019 Rove Line-Up

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We've waxed dangerously close to poetic about these rigs before, but look, when the bikes are this sweet, we're not going to shut up about it. 

Kona went big by offering littler wheels in 2018; the Rove line-up's all-road reputation was bolstered with a number of models getting the 'NRB' moniker and fitted with 650 wheels that allow for more tire clearance. For the sandy, rough stuff in Michigan, that's huge; wider tires mean more two-tracks, more trails, and way more versatility, and if you're looking at a Rove, that's really what you're going for. 

Think of 2019 as tweak of 2018s, with a full 6 bikes on offer ranging from the top-of-the-line Rove LTD to the base Rove. The line-up really hits it all, with plenty of options between 1x and 2x drivetrains, aluminum and steel frames, carbon and steel forks, and 700 or 650b wheels. Odds are there's a build that suits your style, and if there isn't, you can always get the Rove Ti frameset and pick your bits part-by-part. 

Our favorite change for 2019? That's gotta be the Rove ST. The dressed-down option of the LTD, the ST gets 650b wheels for this season, but retains the springy steel fork that we just love having for big days in the saddle. It's dressed in SRAM Rival 1 and flat mount brakes, and for gravel, cyclocross, and commuting, it's one of the best values out there, especially if you're really tough on your stuff. 

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Bike Stuff We Love This Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is almost here. If you're lucky enough to love someone who loves bikes, you know that getting flowers and chocolates isn't really going to cut it. Flowers die, chocolate disappears, and disappears quickly. Instead, we've picked out a few things that'll spice up your Valentine's Day and make your bike riding better, too. 

3 Toes Threadworks Top Tube Bag. Okay, here's how you give your sweetheart some chocolote. Fill up these hand-made top tube bags with something sweet, and once you're headed out for a ride, you can fill it with snacks, your phone, or whatever you want to have close at hang. 

Level 3 Tune-Up. February is the prime-time for service specials, and we've got the Bike Love offer going strong. Take 20% off a Level 3 service, and remember, nothing says "I care" like tightening someone's hubs for them. Faster turnaround time is just an added bonus! This time of the year is a great time to get your well-ridden fat bike back in shape, or get your gravel, road, or mountain ready for spring in just a few weeks. 

A Fat Bike. Yeah, this is how you really show you love someone, or how you get out of the doghouse for getting them a crockpot for Christmas. With in-stock fat bikes up to 35% off right now and plenty of winter left to make the most of one, it's the perfect chance to go fat. Rocky Mountain and Kona make some incredible bikes, and once you throw a leg over one, you'll get it. You can see our current stock list here. 

Have a great week, a Happy Valentine's Day, and we'll see you on the trails! 

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Warm Mitts For Any Weather: Serfas Subpolar Glove Review

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James put the Serfas Subpolar glove through the rigors of a frigid few weeks in Grand Rapids. Thi is his story. 

BRRRR!!! It sure has been cold lately and that can make it difficult to get out for a ride. Difficult but not impossible, all depends on the gear you suit up in to brave those frigid days. There are so many different options out there for all the parts of the body to be covered but the part that counts the most is your sweet little hands that do all the things you want done. So why not make sure they’re nice and cozy? Exactly what a lot of people think which is why that body part gets the most options on ways to stay warm!

Even though there are so many options out there to talk about I want to focus on one particular one, the Serfas Subpolar glove. I’ve been using these gloves for a couple winters now and I gotta tell ya, they are fan-freakin-tastic! As a matter of fact, they’re so good that I actually use them for everyday winter use and not just riding. These babies keep my 10 little digits feeling warm even done into single digit temps like we’ve been experiencing for like the past month. Granted there is some slight cold when I first start moving on a ride but once the blood is pumping away with my vigorous efforts my hands are perfectly fine for the duration.

You may be asking “what makes these gloves so great?” Well for starters they’re windproof and waterproof (2 things that are quite necessary this time of year!), fleece lined for extra warmth, gel padded like regular cycling gloves for comfort, and they’re touch screen compatible. Now for the real kicker, they’re less than $50!! All those great features and a great price!? Sounds like a win to me! Oh and remember how I said I’ve been using them for a couple winters? Yeah, they’re still full of life and will probably see a couple more (barring I don’t eat it and destroy them, fingers crossed) so they’ve got an incredible life span on top of those already great features. The one downside to these amazing gloves is that they’re not waterproof in a downpour rain situation like during the 2017 Barry Roubaix but that was more a personal lesson learned and not the fault of the gloves.

Maybe thick gloves aren’t your thing for winter riding. Maybe you’re a person that likes to wear a thin glove while having poogies on your bike. Maybe you like the lobster claw style glove. Maybe you like to wear mittens and use chemical warmers in them. Whatever you’re flavor may be, its never a bad idea to keep your mitts warm! There are many different options out there. The Serfas Subpolar glove just happens to be my go-to gloves for winter conditions. If you want to ride in the cold, but can’t keep your hands warm during a ride, I strongly suggest giving these a try!

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

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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
 

 

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

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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. 

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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! 

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James Cleans Up: Muc-Off For A Clean Bike

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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.  

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

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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. 

 

 

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

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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.

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The Right Lights For Shorter Days

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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!

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Get Tan...Tires from WTB

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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! 

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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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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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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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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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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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CDC Shop Shirts Are IN!

Our shop shirts are in the shop and ready to get on your body! We've have people asking for months, and good news, the 2017 CDC shirt is finally in stock. These are available in store and by order over the phone, so show your CDC pride, wherever you roam. 

The shirt features our classic logo and a casual fit. They really turned out sharp, and the guys at the shop are digging them. 

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Zoic and Funkier Cycling Aparrel: Casual Style, Comfortable Performance

It's finally spring! It might even be safe to put away your winter riding gear and look towards your spring and summer clothes. Things looking a bit worn or dated? Freshen up your kit selection with the new line of Funkier Bike clothing, as well as plenty of options from Zoic

James and the guys have handpicked a selection of pieces that combine fit, function, and a few great price points. Funkier has been making high-end clothing since the 90s, slowly adding more and more cycling-specific lines over the years as they fine-tuned their materials and designs. They've shown a great eye for combining good-looking clothes that meets the demands of cyclists around the world, and we're very excited to have them featured right here in Grand Rapids. 

We can always order in anything you'd like from Funkier, but we brought in a selection of loose fitting and trail-ready jerseys and shorts that are comfortable, especially for mountain biking and bikepacking. Spandex is always going to be an option, but having a few quality baggy pieces is certainly nice for commutes, bike trips, and for looking like less of a geek stopping for coffee after a big day on the trails. 

We also have a big line-up of the classic mountain bike brand of Zoic. They've been making some of the toughest trail apparel around for years, and they've become a go-to for riders in West Michigan. We picked out some shirts and baggy shorts, as well as the all-important liner. Those short liners provide a comfortable pad and a breathable layer that make your baggy shorts just as cool and comfortable as simply wearing bibs. 

Get your fashion fix this weekend, and get the most out of your kit with Zoic and Funkier. 

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