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Celebrate 30 Years Of Kona (Or Get A Head Start on 2019)

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Kona is ahead of the game in so many ways, but their knack for getting new bikes into boxes and then into our hands probably what we appreciate the most! Ignore the calendar, 2019 is here. 

We're expecting a nice big truck load of fun this week, including some of the most anticipated bikes of the season. While we'll still have 2017s and 2018s on sale through the end of the month, you may want to rub your dimes together for some of the newest and coolest bikes on offer here, there, or anywhere. 

Over the next few days, you're going to see the 2019 Kona Libre (which we waxed heavily on here), the Rove ST, the freshened-up Big Honzo, and the Hei Hei AL. But there's one bike you're really going to want to scramble to see, and that is one that's been 30 years in the making. 

Earlier this month, Kona unveiled (or, more accurately, UNLEASHED!) the 30th Birthday Bike! In order of three decades of sweet rides, they crafted a special edition of the Honzo ST with a snazzy mirror finish, 30th birthday saddle, and a special decal denoting which of the 201 frames made you ended up with. 

The bike is spec'd with SRAM NX1 bits, but you can go crazy thanks to the modular dropouts. There's something about the look of that thing that makes us want to go singlespeed. 

You can check out the Birthday Bike online, but man, you're going to want to see it in person. 

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What Was Your First Bike?

As we were scrolling through old photos to get ready for the Suspension Clinic, we came across plenty of really cool mountain bikes from the 90s. For riders who got their start back in that glorious era, it's hilarious and yet somehow incredible to look back at the technology of that era. 

Manufacturers were just beginning to work with new materials in designs on the road side of things, and some of that quickly made the jump to what was a sport just finding its legs. Mountain biking exploded in the early 90s, and brands were eager to promise the Holy Trinity of cycling, which they still promise today; lighter, stiffer, faster bikes. And just how they did that varied wildly, and looked even more wild. 

Hard tails offered cantilever brakes and suspension forks from Rock Shox and Manitou, but those were still in their infancy. Most offered zero adjustment rubber elastamer travel, some with as little as 20mm. Many riders opted just to stick with their classic steel forks; at least those were reliable! Steel was still king, but aluminum was offered at more and more price points as the decade progressed, ultimately becoming the default material. 

Kona was just a toddler, popping up in 1988 and offering one of the wildest full suspension designs of the era. By 1998, the designers had concocted the Stinky 5, which weighed about 500 pounds, bobbed like crazy, but looked just incredible. The bike was nothing if not bold. 

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Of course the iconic design of the 90s was the Klein. The hardtail option, the Attitude, is still lust-worthy, and we know plenty of riders who still ride theirs around the neighborhood and even on the trails when the tug of nostalgia becomes a bit too much to ignore. It was the Mantra, though, that really set the tone for the outlandish era of full suspension. There's a sense that the designers of the day were really reaching for something, knew they were reaching for something, and just didn't care if it came out just off the mark. By 1999, the Mantra had reached its zenith; Specialized, Trek, and Cannondale would all have Y-bike options well entrenched, and full suspension bikes weren't a novelty anymore. 

What did change, however, were the expectations of riders. After a decade of 'dual suspension', they were less forgiving with pedal bob, blown out pivots, and bikes that weighed well over 30 pounds just to have a few measly millimeters of travel. Like anything else in the industry, the drive was on to improve the design and materials of full suspension to get us to where we are today. The craziest thing to think about is where we are now and where bikes will be in another twenty years; maybe the Mantra won't look so strange by 2040! 

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Do You Even Enduro, Bro?

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Enduro isn't just a lifestyle or a hashtag on Instagram. It's a real way to ride bikes fast, but conveniently, with friends. Let's dive in. 

Starting in May, Thursday nights are dedicated to our FUNduro MTB Series, rolling from City Built Brewing at 6:30. Enduro racing is a series of timed segments with check points that you need to reach in between, but with only so much time to get there. These segments, or stages if you're really into enduro (and you look like you are), are either transfer stages or timed, with your timed stages adding up to a total time, and transfer stages not affecting your total as long as you arrive inside of the allotted time. 

So here's how we'll do it. We BUST from City Built (try to the Fresh Ass Salad when we get back) at 6:30, with 30 minutes transfer time to get to Richmond Park Flow Trail. You can do it pretty easily, it's not that far. Then, we'll do two timed stages, both of the Flow Trail, before meeting up and heading back to City Built, which will count as the final transfer stage. We'll have MAJOR AWARDS for first, second, third and DFL, of course. The winners will live with glory forever, and get a taco from City Built. So, really, pretty good incentive to send it. 

Win once? Good. Twice? Impressive. Win the most this May and you'll be crowned King (or Queen) for the month by hitting all the events! We will not make our King and Queen dance slowly around the bar listening to Endless Love

Looking for a better description of enduro racing, or at least one with a more exotic accent? Watch the video below. 

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Support The Trails with Central District Cyclery and WMMBA

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It's a new year, and we're really looking forward to so many rides, races, and unforgettable days on the bike. We're extremely fortunate to have some many different and diverse trail systems in West Michigan, and one organization to thank for it. West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance helps build, maintain, and protect trails all over our region, and in doing so, they give us places to go out and ride year-round. 

WMMBA is our local International Mountain Bike Association chapter and works to advocate in the interest of mountain bikers at the local, state, and federal level. They also play a huge role in growing our mountain bike community through events and clinics. WMMBA's efforts are maintained primarily through membership dues and donations from people who just really love riding. 

In 2018, we've pledged to donate $15 for every mountain bike sold straight to WMMBA. We proud to join a number of local business that work to keep our trail builders building, and help to protect the unity of our mountain bike community by coming together to support the folks who support our trails. 

Any mountain, any time this season, and your new bike day will do everyone just a bit of good. 

You can help today by buying a bike, but if that's not happening soon enough, you can become a member of WMMBA and add your voice to the community. 

To learn more about WMMBA head here. Be sure to join us at Cannonsburg on Friday, February 9 to meet IMBA Executive Director and mountain bike legend Dave Wiens. 

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Riding into the New Year! with Courtney Joesel

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We're way into 2018, and it's time to look up and look ahead to what we want to do this year. Courtney took a look at what has her motivated to ride, improve, and be happier this season, and her thoughts might jump start your ambitions! 

Now that the holiday season has passed and I am able to take a breath from the stress, it is time to start getting into my new routine.  I made a decision this past November/December, I was going to focus on getting my body healthy and honing in on some of my mountain biking skills.  I took time to look back at my riding season last year.  What did I like about it? What did I not like about it? What do I want to accomplish with my riding this coming year?   So let's explore….

What did I like about my riding season last year? I loved that amazing places I was able to travel to and the amazing people I was able to meet.  My goal last year was to just ride and figure out what the definition of fun would be for each ride because that changes constantly. Sometimes I just wanted to be outdoors and try to figure out the different trees in the trail, just laugh and talk with another rider cruising around, or maybe it was just to feel like bike moving below me as I tried to corner in different ways, or maybe it was pushing my self up some climbs to see if I could beat my previous time.  Fun was different for every ride.

What did I not like about my season last year? I let fear take over.  The thing I say over and over again about what mountain biking does for me is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone.  Well, I seemed to lose sight of that a bit this past year.  Maybe it was because I was stressed in lots of other places in my life and I needed that comfort zone….who knows.  I found myself avoiding things that I had done before that had been no big deal, but I just felt scared. I let excuses be my MO. 

What do I want to accomplish with my riding this coming year? Finding that confidence and work on my bike handling skills.  That is a pretty loaded goal.  But so what do I think that will look like for me? I want to be able to go on a ride and be comfortable with the idea that I am capable and that I do belong there.  I want to be able to feel like the bike is also an extension of my body and I can understand more of what I am feeling and manipulate it.  I feel like for me this year, those to concepts go hand in hand.  To understand my body and bike handling will hopefully increase my confidence that I can push myself.  

Now it’s time to ask yourself those same questions:  What did I like about it? What did I not like about it? What do I want to accomplish with my riding this coming year?  

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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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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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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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