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fatbike

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

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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. 

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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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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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Winter Rush Heads To Big M In 2018!

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People! We admit it, we're getting a little antsy for winter riding. This fall has been an absolute treat, but as the leaves fall and the temperatures take a nosedive, we're looking ahead to January with really good reason. 

This year, we're helping bring the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series to Big M. January 13th, 2018 will bring us to the Manistee National Forest for a great adventure in the woods! Choose from a 17 or 35 mile race with different categories open as well. 

Sure it's a race, but if you've done any amount of fat biking, you know that when you race in the winter, it's always more of an adventure! There will be two aid stations on the course, but in between, it'll be just you, your guts, and your trusty fat bike against the elements! The right set-up, the right tires, and the right attitude are all just as important as strong legs. 

For more information about the race, head here. Check out the full Great Lakes Fat Bike Series schedule and get some races under your belt this winter! 

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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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Winter Biking

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Winter Biking

A big part of riding outside in the Winter happens to be nocturnal. Riding bikes at night is a ridiculous amount of fun. Granted, you need to have decent lighting. A simple handlebar and helmet light will do the trick. In my experience, around 300-400 lumens is ideal where having more, seems to be too sharp and make funny shadows. While I have not crunched the Strava mileage, I am pretty sure that I have logged more night miles than day miles at Merrell Trail in Rockford.

Here is a preview I regularly post pics when out riding follow me @kentwatwit and @centraldistrictcyclery on Instagram.

 

-Kent

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