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fat bike

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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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Fat Nats Weekend In Grand Rapids

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Trust us, you're busy this weekend. CDC rolls deep into the idea of February with a celebration of all things bike, with trail-talk, great racing, and the perfect weather for what's on tap. 

The Fat Bike National Championships are back in Grand Rapids this weekend with a new venue and the perfect stage for not one, but two days of racing at Cannonsburg Ski Area. This year, we've got plenty of snow and some frigid conditions in the forecast all week that will help make sure the course is snowy, fast, and a ton of fun. 

Things kick off Friday night at Cannonburg with a unique chance to meet MTB legend Dave Wiens. The current IMBA Executive Director will be at the ski hill from 7-9pm to talk about everything from his six consecutive Leadville 100 wins, his work with IMBA, and thoughts about fat bikes, eBikes, and anything else we talk about. It's a great chance to come down and join the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance, learn about trail organizations, and get excited for the rest of weekend! 

Saturday is the big day, with Fat Bike National Championships running throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Races start at 9a, 11a, 1p, and 3.30p, with awards throughout the day. The weather this week couldn't be more ideal, with temps in the 20s and some snow in the forecast for Thursday and Friday. Expect perfect conditions for the race! 

You can see who is signed up for what by checking out the current registration list here. 

The fun keeps going Saturday night with live music from The Bootstrap Boys in the Bear Creek Room at Cannonsburg from 7-10pm!

Don't stay up too late, though, because Sunday is just as action-packed. Winter Rush brings you another day of racing at Cannonsburg starting at 11am. Multiple categories and distances to choose from, and all on a course packed in from the previous day. 

You can stay up to speed with Winter Rush at Cannonsburg on the

Registration for Sunday's races is open here. 

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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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Back to Big M: Snow Church, Part Deux

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With Winter Rush's Big M Fat Bike Race just two weeks away, we're loading up and heading north again this Saturday, January 6 for one final recon of the course. 

The first of one, two, THREE Great Lakes Fat Bike Series events in the Mitten, it's Big M's big debut. The 17 mile lap has a bit of everything; fast flats, big climbs, and stunning scenery. After some heavy snow over the weekend, much of the forest looks like something out of a postcard. The local groomers are hard at it to make sure the course is fast and fun, and we'll be doing everyone a load of good by getting some additional traffic on the trails. 

We'll be meeting at the shop at 9:30 and working out carpool options, packing up, and grabbing any last minute supplies. On the road by ten, we should see the parking lot by noon. Depending on numbers, we may split into two groups, or the more adventurous among us can take off. We'll meet back at the lot at around 2 pm and make a family decision on more riding or more getting-in-the-car. 

There is PLENTY more about the Big M race at winterrush.com. You should also check out GLFBS for more about the whole series, the other Michigan races, and make sure you support the folks who support fat bike racing in your neck of the woods. We'd also love to see some Grand Rapids and Central District colors do well at the Farmhand Fat Bike Race at Cannonsburg on 1/27, and again in February at Polar Roll! 

To stay in the proverbial loop, RSVP on MyFace and let us know if you can make it. That will make carpool coordination a bit easier, and it'll make Mitch feel even cooler. 

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Santa Forgot The Good Stuff? We've Got A Sale To Make It Okay

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Look, Santa is a busy guy. He can't be perfect all the time, and he may have lost your new fat bike, new helmet, or other gear on his mad dash around the globe. Don't begrudge the lucky kid who ended up with your dream present; go get it yourself. 

We're making that a little easier. This week, we're picking up where Santa left with 20% off all fat bike accessories. From hats to pogies, boots to gloves, get what you didn't get on Christmas so you're ready for a full winter of outdoor fun. 

But, there's more. We have just a few 2017 Rocky Mountain Suzi Qs that need to get out the door. The A30 is a SRAM NX set-up with Maxxis tires with a climb-anything 11-42 cassette. It's the perfect drivetrain for creeping and crawling up steep and snowy trails, exploring new places like Big M or the Winter Sports Singletrack, and riding all year long! 

Need something a bit more spicy? There's a Shimano flavor Suzi Q as well, the A50! All sorts of XT bits, plus an 11-46t cassette with a 28t crankset that's ideal for backwoods exploring. It also boasts a SMOOTHWALL carbon fork that takes off just a bit of weight to keep your rig nimble and snappy. 

The Suzi Q offers big floatation without the wide stance of other fat bikes. The narrower Q factor makes it feel more like your normal mountain bike; it's more traditional, comfortable, and efficient. It's an especially good option if you plan to ride it year-round, or for big rides where comfort becomes more and more of a factor as the miles add up. 

That's 30% off two killer fat bikes that will get you outside and off Watopia a bit this winter. We've got the full spec sheet of both Suzis below to drool over. 

Give Santa a break. Grab what you need this winter and kick off 2018 with a memorable ride. Questions? Give us a call, or stop by and swing a leg over any of our fat bikes, including great options from Fatback and Kona. 

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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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