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Mountain

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Dirt Church: Your June Schedule of Services

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We had a blast this past weekend at Maple Hills, so we're going to keep doing the Lord's Work right here in Grand Rapids. 

After a break for Memorial Day and the following weekend, you'll have two chances to join us in praising the gods of dirt, the saints of singletrack, with two new venues to give thanks and praise. First up, join us on June 10 at Wahlfield Trail. It'll work the same as we've just done for Maple Hills; meet at the shop for coffee and breakfast around 8:30, then get rolling around 9:15 to 9:30. We'll work out carpools and caravans, or you can plan to meet us at the trailhead around 10:15. 

These Dirt Church rides are a great chance to try something new, too. We have a selection of Kona and Rocky Mountain bikes to demo, but you do need to call ahead to reserve the bikes. We won't demo any unscheduled bikes on Sundays, because we're trying to keep things laid back and fun. We'll bring the bike to the trailhead for you and even get the pedals, seat height, and suspension dialed in; when you're done, we'll take care of it for you! 

Our demo fleet includes:

Kona Hei Hei
Kona Big Honzo
Kona Process 153

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt
Rocky Mountain Pipeline

Our second Dirt Church for the month of June will come a week later. We're heading to Richmond Park on June 17, with the same free bike demos, breakfast, and more grilling while we spend the day riding! If there's a little something you'd like specifically, bring it, but we'll have the traditional barbecue fare on offer. 

Sundays are for preserving a sense of reverence, and there's no reverence quite like that of riding bikes in the woods with friends. 

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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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My Kona: Wes' Kona Big Unit

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We're looking forward to spring, and some of us slightly more than others. Folks with new bikes, or bikes that have been built up as something new, are especially antsy. Wes' Kona Big Unit has him jonesing to shred, with a utilitarian build that's tough enough for a big season. 

The 2016 Kona Big Unit began as a frame and built up as a singlespeed. Heading into 2018, the bike is going to be the everyday shredder, race winner, and trail crusher for Wes. Because he travels a lot for work, the bike needs to be very easy to maintain, tough as nails, and be suited for any number of trail systems. 

The frame itself is a rarity these days, and hasn't been in production since 2016. It's made of 6069 scandium, which offers a springy steel ride but at a much lighter weight than even aluminum. The frame also spearheaded the now nearly universal sliding rear drop out that has swept the industry, making it easier to adjust your wheelbase to how you ride, as well as switch between singlespeed and gears. That choice is an easy one to make now, because it takes about 30 minutes to switch back and forth once you get the hang of doing it. 

Another big choice was to stick with the fully rigid Whisky fork. It takes off a bit of weight, sure, but with little maintenance or adjustment, it's also a bit of a time saver for a rider who admittedly puts his bikes away wet, mud, and quickly. 

That utilitarian theme extends to the drivetrain, where he's opted for 1x10 components with a tight 11-36 cassette. Putting in big miles means he'll through anywhere from four to six chains this summer, and 10 speed components add up to a lot of savings. He's gone with a SRAM GX groupset, paired with a 34t Wolf Tooth Oval chainring up front. There appears to be just a bit more room for a bigger ring, which may prove useful later in the season and in any potential gravel races. 

After a few years on ESI grips, he's back on ODI grips, a Prologo Novo saddle, Shimano SPD pedals, and RaceFace seatpost and bar. He's switching to an Easton 90mm -17 degree stem to lower the front end. 

The wheels are Stan's Crest with Schwalbe Racing Ralphs in a 2.25 front and rear. 

This bike weighs in at 23.1 pounds, not the lightest the world, but there's some weight to be shed from the crank when the need arises. 

What's your Kona story? Let us know about your bike, it's history, and why you love it and we can feature it on the site! Contact ilikefatbikes@gmail.com with your Kona photos and tall tales. 

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CDC Does Spring Break In Knoxville!

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Spring is a curious thing in Michigan. You can’t rely on anything when it comes to the weather, and even the tail end of March can be snowy and cold. You need a break, and we’re doing most of the planning.

This year, we’re heading south to Knoxville, Tennessee for Spring Break 2018! Get far enough south to enjoy the warmth, but close enough that the drive doesn’t eat up your whole weekend. Knoxville is home to a massive network of urban trails, most of then dirt, that winds through the whole city. We are packing up and bringing the tribe with us; meet up, catch up, and hang out with the CDC crew for three days of dirt riding!

Trail expert Courtney Joesel will be leading skill sessions and rides over the course of the three-day trip. She’s a certified expert who has already helped instruct riders at our Louisville MegaCaverns trip earlier this winter. Courtney is a ton of fun to ride with and everyone who gets time with her is a better rider for it.

Sound like fun? Call or stop by the shop for more details and to reserve your spot on the trip. Lodging rates and other expenses will be determined as we get a little closer to the trip and will depend largely on how many people are planning on joining.

Stay tuned for more information throughout March and make sure your bike is ready to rock!

You can get a taste of the Knoxville scene here. 

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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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