Viewing entries tagged
Cycling

1 Comment

Foil That Bike Thief: Some Tips on Stopping Bike Crime

crime.png

There has been a wave of bike thefts in Grand Rapids over the past few weeks of months. The weather is good, everyone is riding, and whether you're tossing your bikes on a rack to get the trailhead or just running inside quickly for a coffee on your way to work, the scum of the earth is always lurking. We wanted to offer just a few ideas on how to make sure your bike is as safe as possible. 

Lock It UpNo, you lock it up! I know what you're think, 'No kidding'. But what kind of lock you use can make a huge difference. A lighter cable lock is the most portable for your commute, and if you're just stopping for five minutes for a coffee or to drop off a library book, you're probably okay. Anything longer, and we'd recommend investing in a steel U-lock; and if you have both, use both. Many bike thieves use different methods for these two locks, and it's slightly less likely they'll have both, have time to use both, and can cut both without be spotted. 

Stay Where Daddy Can See You. Whenever possible, lock up your bike in view. Even if it's from a window of a co-workers' office, the break room, or through the door of the coffeeshop, having it visible means you'll be able to see anyone lingering near your bike, and other people will be able to spot suspicious activity, too. PRO TIP: If you're in a place people know you, park in the same spot every day so they might be able to notice strange activity. However, it can also be good to park your bike in different spots so a casual thief can't rely on coming back for it if they were scared off the first time. 

Add More Protection. Bike on your car rack? Yeah, that little rubber or nylon strap isn't deterring anyone. Just as many bikes are stolen off cars, so even if your rack as a locking mechanism, considering adding U-lock or cable lock to its arsenal to make it a bit more daunting. Especially if it's a trunk rack that can literally be taken off in a minute or two, you need to offer some kind of road block; trying running a lock to any tow points below the bumper using think cord to lengthen your lock. 

Register Your Bike. If someone rips of your rig, it might just be for a joy ride. Register your bike and there's a slim chance you may be reunited if the bike ever ends up in the hands of the law. 

Be Vigilant and Communicate. Watch for any suspicious behavior, keep track of who rides what, and if you see photos of stolen bikes, keep your eyes peeled and help find them. Share posts or photos of stolen bikes on social media, too; perhaps the best way to deter theft is to make it clear that ripping off someone's Kona means living a life in the shadows, with all of Grand Rapids watching for the thief to slip up. 

 

1 Comment

Comment

Bike Love: 20% Off Service Special Through Valentine's Day!

Bike Love.png

We're rolling into Februry, the month of love, passion, and Fat Bike Nationals. 

It's also a great time to get your bike tuned up. Whether you're trying to dial your winter rig back into shape after snow miles or salty commutes or getting your fair-weather bike ready for spring, February is perfect. It's a quicker turnaround, and now, we're making it even better with 20% off our Level 3 Tune Up! 

-Washing crankset, chain, cassette, front and rear derailleur in an industrial parts cleaner

-Also includes installation of new chain and cassette
-Bike wash
-True and tension wheels
-Adjust front and rear hubs
-Check and adjust Bottom bracket
-Check and adjust headset bearings
-Adjust brakes and gears
-Wipe down the frame and lube chain.
-Check and tighten all bolts
-Check and inflate tires

There's plenty to get ready for this month, too. Of course, we're really excited about USA Cycling's Fat Bike Nationals on February 10, followed by Winter Rush at Cannonsburg the following day. It's a full weekend of fat bikes, and such a cool opportunity to bring our cycling community together in the dead of winter. 

And it looks as though winter is coming back, too. After two weeks of unseasonably warm weather, there is snow in the forecast and consistently cold temperatures that should make our weekend of racing a big success, as well as our daily riding much more fun. If you're still looking to get out on a fat bike this winter, you're in luck. We have all 2017 fat bikes up to 35% off, with even a select few 2018 models on discount as well. In the snow and all summer long, you'll love your Rocky Mountain or Kona fat bike, and we've got some sweet rigs to get you out there. 

Comment

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

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

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

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