Monday, January 31, 2011

New Product: Cycle Dog Collars

Now dogs can reduce their carbon paw print with collars that are hand made from recycled bicycle inner tubes!

Thanks to a suggestion from Maggie on Facebook, Century Cycles is now proud to carry Cycle Dog collars in a variety of colors in Small (fits necks 6"-12"), Medium (fits necks 12"-21"), and Large (fits necks 17"-27"). Some also feature the patent-pending Pup Top, a dual-fucntion bottle opener/leash attachment.

Cycle Dog collars are quick-drying, non-fraying, and offer soft, cushy comfort and no stinky build-up.

Why bike inner tubes? Tubes are flexible, durable and non-absorbent. Once deflated tubes are hard to recycle by conventional means. Cycle Dog recycled bike tube collars are good for the planet, great for your dog and will last for years with proper care.

Cycle Dog was founded in Portland, Oregon, by cyclist Lanette Fidrych, who is assisted by her two yellow labs and main product testers, Regan Ray and Hanna Mae.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New iPhone app for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

When we first heard about the new iPhone app for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we knew we had to have Doug review it for us -- he's probably the Century Cycles staffer with the most extensive knowledge of the park (living within it as he does) and he just got an iPhone (which he also adores). Here's what he had to say:

"OK, so I downloaded this and it is awesome. Have already found one or two things I was not aware of! It is a big app, but full of great info, including about Century Cycles under the bicycling section. I will be recommending this to everyone."

Here's what Chimani LLC (which specializes in developing apps for the national parks) has to say about their newest product:

The Cuyahoga Valley app, an indispensable resource for anyone exploring our 5th most visited national park, delivers constantly updated content, including the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway train schedule, ranger led events and much more. Users can view daily sunset data (including the Ledges Overlook, one of the park's most popular destinations), listen to the audio tour, plan hikes, learn about points of interest such as Cuyahoga Valley’s historical towpath and access a complete list of facilities including restrooms.

Like the Acadia National Park and Yosemite National Park apps that preceded it, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park app boasts a rich and impressive map interface that is hi-resolution, GPS enabled, includes every hiking trail in the park, and displays interactive points of interest.

"I'm really pleased with the quality of our maps and how they contribute to the park visitor's experience," says Chimani President, Kerry Gallivan. "You won't find a hi-res downloadable version of this map anywhere else. We deliver all 51 square miles right to the user's iPhone or Android. It's a park explorer's dream."

Hikers rave about the ability to follow their progress using the GPS feature, even when cell coverage fails or isn't available at all. "Like all the features of this app, you don't need cell access to unleash its full capabilities. Whether you are riding the Towpath or taking the audio tour of the park (with over 45 minutes of professionally narrated material), you'll always be able to enjoy the full experience of the app," says Gallivan.

The new iPhone app can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes App Store and the Android version from the Android Marketplace (keyword: "chimani") ") for $9.99. A “Lite” version is available for .99 cents.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park app is the latest in a series of apps by Chimani, including Acadia National Park, Yosemite National Park and the Cape Cod National Seashore apps, now available in Android versions as well as the original iPhone versions.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hot Deals for Cold Days #7: Head Out!

Bell Slant Helmet: $27.49 (reg. $54.99)

Giro Indicator Helmet: $19.99 (reg. $39.99)

Headsweats Alpine Reversible Beanie: $11.99 (reg. $23.99)

Half-off prices valid Jan. 27 - Feb. 9, 2011 only.


Save big on safety! A bike helmet is essential and should be worn on every ride. Already wear one? Great! But how old is your favorite helmet? Bike safety experts recommend replacing your bike helmet every 5 years OR after a crash.

The Bell Slant looks and functions like a helmet that costs twice as much. It is super safe and comfortable, boasting 21 large vents and a snap-on visor. The Giro Indicator combines safety with sleek style, with 20 vents and a super-sturdy shell. Either model works great for adults or older kids. Stop in -- our staff is trained to custom fit your helmet to ensure optimal comfort and safety!

At this time of year, we had to include something in this Hot Deal to keep you warm under your helmet, and the Alpine Reversible Beanie by Headsweats is the perfect companion for winter rides. Warm, durable, moisture-wicking, and it features SPF 48 sun protection. This will be your go-to hat all winter long!

Patti The Buyer's Tip of the Day

Now that you have a good helmet, make sure you maintain its integrity:
  • Do not store a bike helmet in an attic, garage, car trunk or other area where heat can accumulate. Excessive heat may cause heat damage.
  • Avoid loaning your helmet to others - you won't know what it went through on someone else's head.
  • In the case of any crash or impact, a helmet should be replaced, even if everything looks okay. A helmet should be replaced after five years, even if it has remained crash-free. UV light, weathering and even pollution can weaken its components over time.
  • Want to learn more? Read our article, 5 Tips: Helmets.

The Fine Print
This Hot Deal is good only January 27 - February 9, 2011 while supplies last. In-store purchase only; no online or phone orders accepted. No coupon necessary. Cannot be combined with other offers.

This information can also be found at: www.centurycycles.com/get/hotdeals

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Free Giant For Women Clinic on February 19 in Medina

We're thrilled to announce that Jackie Baker, a pro rider and expert trainer/coach from Giant For Women, is returning to Century Cycles to teach a free Posture, Gearing and Bike Fit Clinic on Saturday, February 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. bicycle store at our Medina store.

Come meet Jackie Baker and learn from the pro, including:
• Proper riding posture on road and mountain bikes;
• How to choose a properly-fitting bike;
• Hot to fix common posture and fit problems; and
• The gear women need to make riding their bikes more fun.

“This Giant For Women clinic is designed to be helpful for all riders -- any discipline, any bike, any experience level,” says Baker, an Ohio native who purchased her first adult bicycle from Century Cycles in Medina over 14 years ago. She now travels the country doing women’s clinics and events for Giant Bicycles, one of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers, and is making a rare Northeast Ohio appearance.

Refreshments will be served. Each attendee will also receive a 20% discount on any bicycle accessories, parts or clothing purchased that evening.

This event is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, call Century Cycles in Medina at 330-722-7119.

The last time Jackie was in Northeast Ohio in September, she gave a Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic to over 30 women at our Rocky River store (below). Click here for a summary, photos, and comments from attendees.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The bikers go bowling!



Last month we didn't get a chance to tell you what an awesome time we had at Bradnan's Bowling Center in Middleburg Heights -- the site of our Century Cycles Staff Holiday Party! Some of us hadn't been bowling in a couple decades, while others showed up with their own bowling balls, shoes and mad bowling skillz (we're looking at you, Walters!). Regardless of proficiency, a great time was had by all!

Many thanks to Bradnan's for the use of their party room for dinner, for stocking Great Lakes Christmas Ale at the bar, and for the behind-the-scenes tour by Jerry Bradnan.

So do you like that skull bowling ball above? It is a limited edition ball that was issued in tribute to the character of The Bowler in the 1999 film, Mystery Men. It is owned by Sean Burkey, our rep from Raleigh Bicycles, although it didn't really bring him much luck (bowling scores will be kept confidential to protect everyone's reputations). Even Scott was surprised when Sean reminded us that he won it at a Century Cycles bowling event over 10 years ago, when Sean was on staff with us. Of course there is a long story behind it -- ask Sean to tell it when you see him on a Night Ride this summer....



(Click here if the slide show is not appearing for you. Photo Credits: Mike Petcher and Doug Charnock)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Metroparks Planning Meetings need bicyclists' input

The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association has put the Northeast Ohio bicycling and outdoors communities on high alert with this message on their website:

The Cleveland Metropaparks has embarked on a master planning effort and they are seeking public input to determine their priorities and directions for the next decade. While the park always must strike a balance with conservation and public use, they are currently willing to re-examine this balance.

This is OUR CHANCE as the active community to tell the parks what we think! Wish we had MORE outdoor recreation in the Metroparks? More cycling/running races and events? Maybe camping, backpacking, rock climbing, xcountry skiing, MOUNTAIN BIKING?? It’s time to ask!

Please make time to attend one of these meetings and express your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 25- 6:30 to 8:30pm- Rocky River Nature Center

Wednesday, January 26- 6:30 to 8:30pm- Canalway Center

Thursday, January 27- 6:30 to 8:30pm- North Chagrin Nature Center

For more information, call 216-655-3200 or visit Cleveland Metroparks.com

Don't know what to say once you get there? CAMBA has helpfully provided these talking points.

5 Tips: Kickstands - Yes or No?

People buying a new bike for the first time are often shocked to learn that most bicycles these days do not come with a kickstand.

Should you use a kickstand or not? Does a kickstand on my bike make me look like a nerd (or "phred" in cycling parlance)? The answer depends on what kind of bike you're talking about and how you plan to use it. The following tips should help you sort it out:

1. Kid's bikes: Yes. Any kid's bike that does not have training wheels should have a kickstand. For most parents, the reasoning is, "He/She shouldn't be laying that brand new bike in the grass." Actually, laying in the grass temporarily is not really harmful to a bike. Go to any large organized bike event (like GOBA or Pedal to the Point), and you'll see literally hundreds of bikes, many of them worth thousands of dollars, laying in the grass. However, getting your kids in the habit of using a kickstand helps to instill good habits that lead to taking good care of their bikes in general. Thinking about how they leave their bikes when not in use will hopefully make them avoid leaving their bikes out overnight or in the rain, or that worst of all offenses, laying invisibly behind your car in the driveway. Make sure a kickstand on a kid's bike is sized properly. If it's too long, the bike will topple over to the opposite side when used on pavement, but if it's too short, it will sink into the dirt when used on grass.

2. Road or mountain bikes: No. If you have any aspirations of being considered a "serious" cyclist at all, whether you're riding on- or off-road, then the kickstand is taboo, the first warning sign of your phred-ness, whether you're racing or just trying to hang with the group during medium-to-fast-paced club rides. You probably paid a premium price to get a lightweight bike, so why bolt an extra pound or so of steel onto it? Plus, the lightweight tubing used in the bike's frame wasn't designed to handle the additional stress caused by the kickstand clamp.

3. Hybrids and cruiser bikes: Yes. These bikes are intended for more casual riding. You're probably going to make frequent stops to check out flora and fauna along the trail, wait for the kids to catch up, or to bop between the farmer's market and the coffee shop. Cruiser bikes are some of the few bikes that do come with a kickstand these days. Most hybrid bikes have a flat metal plate as part of the frame, right behind the pedals. This is the kickstand plate, so if your bike has one of these, then by all means, go ahead and indulge in a kickstand to make your stops more convenient. If you're using a road or mountain bike for casual riding or commuting, you may want to consider a kickstand for the convenience; check with your bike mechanic to ensure that it can be installed without damaging your frame.

4. Touring bikes: Maybe. The long-distance bike tourist faces the same issues as somebody riding for errands and commuting: what to do with your bike during frequent stops to smell the roses? A kickstand on a touring bike can be handy, but the weight of a fully-loaded bike is often too much for a kickstand to handle. You can try a special kickstand designed for tandems, which has two legs and is able to support more weight. There are custom fold-up kickstands available that are about three or four feet long that provide a way to prop up your bike. As mentioned before, check with your bike mechanic for compatibilty of any kickstand-like devices with your bike. If you have an extended-length cargo bike, such as a Surly Big Dummy or Xtracycle, fortunately, these have a built-in kickstand plate that works well with a standard kickstand with all but the most extreme weight loads.

5. What do I do if I don't have a kickstand? Lean your bike against a tree, post, fence, railing, or anything else that's available. To avoid the dreaded wheel-flop-over, use a velcro strap or similar device to stabilize your handlebar. If possible, try to put the rear tire in contact with whatever you're leaning against; that way, any movement of the front wheel or handlebar is less likely to cause the bike to fall over. If you're riding with a friend, use the buddy system to create a "bike Eiffel Tower"--place your two bikes a foot or two apart, with one facing to the left and the other facing to the right. Lean them together carefully until they are resting on each other. Wherever you park your bike, please be courteous to those around you, and don't block access to doorways, gates, wheelchair ramps, public benches, or sidewalks.

In conclusion, when deciding whether or not to use a kickstand, you should do whatever works best for you without worrying about fashion or what other people think. As long as a kickstand does not impair you or your bike and you want to use one, then go for it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Century Cycles sponsors the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Cleveland; Get your tickets in our stores!

Century Cycles is proud to be the exclusive bicycle store sponsor for the Banff Mountain Film Festival Word Tour in Cleveland! We join On The Edge Films and other local sponsors to bring the world’s top films in mountain culture, environment, and adrenaline sports to Northeast Ohio!

Ignite your passion for adventure when these movies from the renowned Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour arrive in town. The tour makes a stop at the Masonic Temple and Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, for an exclusive showing on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 2011.

The festival kicks off with Friday's Opening Night Reception, featuring beer, light appetizers, and dessert. Appetizers will also be served for Saturday's reception. On tap for both nights is complimentary Red Bull and Caribou Coffee. The receptions, which run from 6:00-7:30 p.m., include exhibits for outdoor enthusiasts, samples, raffles, and prize sign-ups. The films, different each night, start at 7:30 p.m.

Get your tickets early and save! Advance ticket prices, through Thursday, April 7, are $35 for Friday night and $30 for Saturday night, and can be purchased at Century Cyles in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River. Special: Purchase tickets for both nights by March 15 for $60. This deal is only available in-person at Century Cycles and other ticket sponsor locations!

Tickets are also available on-line at www.theedgefilms.com. Ticket prices will increase $5 each on Friday, April 8. Seating is limited.

On The Edge Films, Inc. brings the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to Cleveland. For films, info, and tickets, e-mail info@theedgefilms.com or go to www.theedgefilms.com.

The complete line-up of films is to be announced, but they will include Life Cycles, a mountain-biking production by Stance Films. Watch the video preview below:



(Click here if the video is not appearing for you.)


This information can also be found on our web site at:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What We Ride: Josh and his Surly Long Haul Trucker

Back in 2008, Josh in our Rocky River store was planning a bike trip out west, and he wasn't planning to get a new bike for it. Then, a month before his scheduled departure, he discovered his bike frame was cracked. That's when Josh decided to buy his first brand-new bike, the Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Click here to read what Josh has to say about what he calls "the perfect touring bike." While you're there, check out the other "What We Ride" stories from our staff.

Considering a Surly Long Haul Trucker for yourself? Go here to check out our LHT line-up. Or consult the Surly Bikes Recommended Usage Chart (a Century Cycles exclusive!) to find out which Surly is the right Surly for you, then come see us and we'll help you select wheels and other components to put together your custom-built bike.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hydration packs: Beyond a sack of water

Hydration packs are an often overlooked accessory by many cyclists, but now is a great time to consider one for yourself -- for a variety of reasons ranging from the new types of bikes to the new ways we ride and train. It's also a good time because we have the CamelBak X.L.P. Hydration Pack is currently 50% off at all Century Cycles stores (just $34.99, reg. $69.99), Hot Deal priced until January 26.

With the growing popularity of 29er mountain bikes and more complicated full suspension bikes, water bottle cage placement has taken a back seat to suspension components and frame geometries, leaving barely room for one bottle mount these days. (Smaller road bike frames also don't leave much room for cages.)

Just as bikes have changed, so have hydration packs -- they have advanced beyond a sack of water on your back. They now have extra features that make the ride more enjoyable and many (including this CamelBak that's half-off) have anti-microbial properties to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Why should YOU consider a hydration pack?

++ It's healthier. Medical studies overwhelmingly point to improved athletic performance from a well-hydrated rider. Most riders are far more likely to keep up on the necessary liquid consumption when drinking from a hydration pack.

++ It can carry other gear you need. The CamelBak X.L.P. Pack has pockets to carry a tube, multi-tool, cell phone or some food, to make it more convenient than just a way to hydrate.

++ It is ideal for long rides and training. Considering the MS 150 Pedal to the Point, GOBA, or any other long ride? Hands-free hydration is easy and safer.

++ It can be used more places than on the bike. Today in Rocky River, a woman bought two -- one for her son for riding and one for herself for hiking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get well!

Century Cycles is thrilled to be exhibiting at two wellness events next week -- the Revere Local Schools Annual Employee Wellness Fair on Monday, January 24, and Cleveland State University's WellFest on Thursday, January 27.

With every bike ride we take, we can improve the health of ourselves and our planet! If you'd like Century Cycles to participate in your organization's wellness events or efforts, please email us at info@centurycycles.com.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Boxing a bike

Q: Hey guys! I need to have my mountain bike boxed up to ship to Colorado. Are you able to box it up for me, how much does it cost, and how long would it take?

A: Yes, our mechanics can box up your bike for you. Our charge for boxing a bike for shipping is $50. That's for doing a super-secure job assuming that it's going to be man-handled by UPS or FedEx, with foam, bubble wrap, cardboard, and whatever else we can wrap around the frame and all the parts to protect it from dents and scratches. After you drop off your bike with us, we should be able to get it done in a day or two.

If you're shipping it by train, we've heard the trains handle them more gently, so it does not have to be boxed up as securely as it would if you were shipping it through a shipping company. Want to try doing it yourself? Here's how:

Remove the pedals, seatpost, and front wheel from the bike, turn the handlebar sideways, and put the bike in the cardboard box (if you don't already have a bike box, check with us --we may have one at one of our stores you can have). Put the wheel in next to the frame, the seat/seatpost in the bottom of the box, and put the pedals and any other loose parts in a plastic bike, and secure the bag somewhere inside the box (tape it to the inside, or tie it to the frame). Of course, you can still add any paper, plastic, and foam padding you want just to be safe. We know people who used this method going from Pittsburgh to DC to ride the Great Allegheny Passage, and it worked fine.

Let us know if we can help and good luck with your travels!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Medina hosted Basic Bicycle Maintenance Clinic on 1/11

Thanks to the hearty souls who braved snow and cold to attend the free Basic Bicycle Maintenance Clinic in Medina last Tuesday! As you can see in the photos, Assistant Service Manager Tom Wiseman showed clinic attendees how to fix a flat tire, clean and lube a chain, and do a pre-ride safety check.

Didn't get a chance to attend or had to cancel due to the weather? No worries -- we're hoping to schedule another free Basic Bicycle Maintenance Clinic in the Medina store on Tuesday, April 5 (stay tuned for details!) OR you can attend a free clinic in Peninsula on Saturday, February 12, or in Rocky River on Tuesday, March 15. Click here for more info about the free clinics AND our February maintenance classes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot Deal #6: Hydration and Nutrition Essentials

  • CamelBak X.L.P. Pack $34.99
    (reg. $69.99)
  • RavX Delta X Cages $4.99
    (reg. $9.99)
  • PowerBar Gels 69 cents
    (reg. $1.39)
  • CamelBack Stainless Better Bottle $11.99
    (reg. $23.99)
Half-off prices good Jan. 13 thru 26, 2011 only, while supplies last.

Ride farther, longer and better with proper hydration and nutrition! The CamelBak X.L.P. is a lightweight pack for endurance, triathlon, cross, or mountain bike training and race days. Featuring a 72-ounce reservoir, you won't have to slow down to hydrate, plus easily access pockets for your food, multi-tool, and flat repair kit.

The RavX Delta X is a sleek water bottle cage that comes in black, blue, red, silver, or white and weighs just 45 grams each. It will enhance the look of your bicycle's frame and hold your bottles securely.

Get a burst of energy by refueling in the saddle with PowerBar PowerGel, a concentrated carbohydrate gel that your body can absorb quickly for instant energy. Stock up on all the flavors - tangerine, double latte, raspberry creme, vanilla, and strawberry banana.

The CamelBak Better Bottle features a flip-lock bite valve. The stainless steel material doesn't stain or affect the taste of your water or favorite sports drink. The 0.75-liter capacity won't fit in your bike bottle cages, but it's perfect to toss in your pack for an extra supply, or use the integrated handle to easily carry it or clip it to a belt during off-bike activities like hiking or cross-country skiing.

The Fine Print
This Hot Deal is good only January 13 - 26, 2011 while supplies last. In-store purchase only; no online or phone orders accepted. No coupon necessary. Cannot be combined with other offers.


Patti The Buyer's Tip O' The Day

If you remember only one rule about on-bike nutrition and hydration, remember this one: Drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry. Dehydration is one of the primary - and most easily avoided - contributors to fatigue. In hot weather, you should be downing the better part of two bottles per hour (and almost as much during cold weather, when dehydration is still a risk).

A good way to determine your personal fluid needs is to weigh yourself before and after a hot-weather, long-distance ride. Remember that a pint of water equals 1 pound. If your weight drops more than 2 pounds during the ride, increase your fluid intake proportionately.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hand-built for you: The perfect bike lighting system

You've been looking for the perfect bicycle lighting system. You want a light that's reliable and bright, but you are tired of the hassle of replacing or recharging batteries. Now Century Cycles has customized a solution just for you: A hand-built generator front wheel with headlight, just $199.99 and now in stock at all three stores.

Our professional and highly experienced bike mechanics have chosen custom components and assembled them by hand right here in our shop to give you this front generator wheel, which we've paired with one of the brightest generator-compatible headlights you can find. Besides our expertise and attention to detail, you are also getting a great value -- we are offering this wheel package at a bargain price compared to what you'd expect to pay for all of the components separately.
We started with a Shimano Nexus Dynamo hub. It's silver-colored to match any bike, and it's got a quick-release skewer for easy installation and removal from your fork. Then we took the durable Salsa Delgado Cross rim (in black) and put it all together with 32 silver DT Swiss 14-gauge stainless steel spokes and brass spoke nipples. This wheel will stay true and give you miles of trouble-free service.

The headlight is the Planet Bike Blaze Dynamo. It's got steady and flash modes, and the optically advanced lens provides a superior beam pattern. Another nice feature: The power reserve function keeps the light shining when you are stopped at a traffic light.

The package includes everything you need to light the way on your commute or your next big tour or brevet. You'll need to install a rim strip, plus a tire and tube. Then just put the wheel in your fork, clamp the headlight to your handlebar, and you're ready to roll!

The rim can accept a standard 700C tire in just about any width, from a racy 700x23 racing tire, up to a fat 29er mountain bike tire (your bike frame may limit your tire width choice). It is compatible with road caliper brakes, cantilever brakes, or linear pull brakes. It is not compatible with disc brakes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Photo caption fun: The bread bike

This photo (via Fun Pic) inspired many clever captions from our Facebook friends this past weekend. Feel free to chime in with a caption of your own!

"You'd better have a lot of Dough if you want a bike like this!" -- Michael

"This dude only rides Italian" -- Ricky

"I'll take one on everything bread please!" -- Matthew

"Didn't realize cyclists carb loaded" -- Stefanie

"Optional saddle baguette available." -- Ralph

"The owner must be half-baked." -- Laura

"Haulin' Buns!" -- Moe

"My bike serves 2 purposes - my way to work and my lunch...do you have any butter so I can have a slice right now?" -- Gail

"Let's roll" -- Susie

"Flour Power!" -- Becky

"Do you spread Butt Butter on it?" -- John R.

"Well butter my buns and call me a bisquit. A yeast infection waiting to happen?" -- John P.

"Humm . . . meals on wheels? Where's the wine and cheese?" -- Krista

"Rollin on dough!" - Cheryl

"This bike rides like buttah!" -- Aaron

"One would have to be well bread to ride such a fine bicycle!" -- Matt

"I knead a new bike!" -- Debbie

"Probably stronger than the Cannondale in the background!" -- Scott

"Day Old Special , half off, eh?" -- Jim

"I was just loafin' along..." -- Mike

Friday, January 7, 2011

In stock: VeloNews' #1 product of 2010

Neal Rodgers, Managing Editor of VeloNews (yet a self-described "common, non-techie rider") picked his top 10 products of 2010 and #1 is the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Ultrasoft Shell Jacket. We have to agree -- which is why we have the men's in black and coffee in a variety of sizes in all three stores, plus the women's in black in Medina and Rocky River.

Here's what Neal loves so much about this jacket:

There’s nothing about Pearl’s P.R.O. Ultrasoft Shell jacket that’s wrong; in other words, everything about it is right. It has a perfect, slim tailored cut (not too loose, not to snug), perfect weight (neither light nor heavy) and perfect design (stylish enough to wear to dinner, sporty enough to wear to a cyclocross race.) I love the asymmetrical cuffs, the plush faux fur interior, the oversize metal zippers and the minimalist use of logos; I appreciate that there’s nothing on this jacket that screams “cyclist.” (That’s what the Alchemist Thread Works t-shirt is for.)

A few months back I attended a congratulations party for Tayor Phinney in Boulder, Colorado, and spotted Pearl Izumi president Juergen Eckmann sporting the P.R.O Ultrasoft Shell; that’s a testament, considering he can choose from anything in Pearl’s line. Simply put, in 2010 this was my go-to jacket for all but the warmest summer months. At $160 it’s not an impulse buy, but it’s worth every penny. Perhaps the best compliment I can give is this — I’ve considered buying a second jacket, to keep as a spare for the day Pearl stops producing this model.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle - in Brussels Central Station!

Here's a video that we thought you'd get a kick out of; a new take on an old familiar song:


Click here if the video is not appearing above for you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Take our poll: How cold is too cold?

Last July, 43% of you told us that you'll ride no matter how hot the weather gets (poll: "How hot is too hot?"). That was inspiring to see, especially since we had a pretty steamy summer in 2010.

Now that we're in the throes of winter, we want to know: How cold is too cold?? Click here to take our latest online poll!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our Parent's Pick: The Weehoo i-Go Pedal Trailer

Matt Miller helps us out every summer on Sundays in the Rocky River store (that is, when he's not taking Grandma for a ride on his Xtracycle longtail). An avid bicyclist, Matt is also the father of two kids, age 3 and 5, and a knowledgable go-to guy for a parent's perspective on bicycling products. Here are his thoughts about the Weehoo i-Go Pedal Trailer (above):

When I first saw it, I thought it was just too weird. But I kept thinking about it and I just had to have one. With two kids who are growing, the trailer was too cramped, even being a D'Lite with extra room inside. My daughter will be riding a two-wheeler come spring so I knew she would be uninterested in the trailer. But for longer rides,(translate: longer than around the block) the i-go is perfect.

I really like the recumbent design. The i-go has a much lower center of gravity than the other taller models on the market that make the child sit upright (trail-a-bike, etc...) which has many benefits:
1) The amount of wobbling or perceived tipping is reduced greatly so the rider pulling it doesn't feel as much extra movement and it feels more stable with the weight on the back;
2) The bike pulling it handles much better around turns;
3) With the harness system, I feel much more comfortable with my kid on the back knowing that if either one lets go of the handles, they're not going to fall off.

Which brings me to another point - the i-go allows you to start the transition out of a baby seat or trailer at a younger age. The harness holds them in comfortably while they enjoy the open ride and view. The adjustable seat on the i-go allows me to pull either kid and have their feet on the pedals so they can pedal when they want or just enjoy the ride.

The speed at which my kids are growing has me planning on retiring the trailer come spring and adding a second i-go to my fleet of bikes so my wife and I can take them out at the same time, and my kids won't fight over who gets to ride on the i-go!! (An additional bonus: My wife will not pull the trailer, but she loves pulling the i-go.)

The enclosed drive train is something that I don't have to think about - no pinched fingers, legs, shoelaces, pants, and no greasy mess on anything at all. The kids really do have a longer attention span on the i-go than in the trailer. I can really feel it when my daughter is pedaling. The pack on the back has two pockets for mid-ride snacks and drinks.

I really love this product and am convinced it is the best option on the market for kids who are too big for seats, and not big enough to keep up on longer rides. I can't wait to get another one!

One "con" to keep in mind: It is extremely sturdy and solid, making it a little on the heavy side. You won't feel that while riding, but you might notice it when you're hanging it up post-ride or moving it around.

Suggestion for folks purchasing one for the first time: If you intend on using it on different bikes, buy another hitch assembly. It will be easier to move from bike to bike.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter Hours begin in Peninsula

Happy New Year! With the new year comes the beginning of our Winter Store Hours at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula. Starting this week, the hours of operation for Peninsula are:

  • Monday through Thursday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
Our Bicycle Maintenance Classes begin this week, and start at 6:00pm. If you're arriving for a class in Peninsula at the last minute, the front door may be locked, so just give us a little tap on the door or window to let us know you're here!

Hours of operation for Medina and Rocky River are unchanged:
  • Monday through Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
As always, our current Hours of Operation can also be found at:  www.centurycycles.com/for/hours

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolve to: Join us for a Night Ride in 2011

Happy New Year! Even though the stores are closed and some CC folks are gearing up to do the ABCDEFGHIJ Ride today at noon, there are other important cycling preparations to be made on 1/1/11 for the upcoming year....

It's time to add the 2011 Century Cycles Night Rides on the Towpath Trail schedule to that brand-new, all-blank 2011 calendar sitting on your desk:

Saturday, April 23
Saturday, May 15: Pajama Party for Cleveland Bike Week
Saturday, June 11
Saturday, June 25
Friday, July 8
Saturday, July 23
Friday, August 5
Saturday, August 27
Saturday, September 17
Saturday, October 1
Saturday, October 15: All Hail the Ale for Cleveland Beer Week

In case you're not familiar with them, Century Cycles Night Rides are FREE and open to all skill levels, they start at 8pm, and sometimes we even wear funny clothes. Click here for all the Night Ride details, including videos you can watch if you have no idea what to expect.

Also add June 4 to your calendar -- that's our special Century Cycles Night Ride to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.

Stay tuned for more details about the Ronald McDonald House benefit and the other themed Night Rides, and you can always go to www.centurycycles.com/for/nightrides for the latest updates and information.