Saturday, September 29, 2012

First bicycle touring visitor at our NEW Medina store

Today at the Century Cycles store in Medina, we had the pleasure of meeting a cyclist who was passing through the area on her cross-country excursion. Kate Trono began her journey in San Francisco back in August. Though she experienced many different weather challenges, none of them dampened her spirit as she was all smiles when she walked through our doors.

Kate is traveling to Rochester, New York. She is raising money for brain cancer research and has raised nearly $22,000 on this journey. Kudos to her for her strength and tenacity! If you're interested in tracking Kate's progress you can follow her by going to pedalingforacure.com. Best of luck to Kate on her journey!

You can see more photos of traveling cyclists who have stopped in all three of our stores in our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Medina store opens tomorrow; Rocky River and Peninsula re-open today

After yesterday's big move, Century Cycles stores in Rocky River and Peninsula re-opened this morning, and Medina will re-open tomorrow (Thursday, September 27) at its new location at 1059 North Court Street, on the Marc's side of the plaza, just four doors down from its previous location. Thanks so much for your patience as we moved and established a flagship store to better serve everyone!

Above is a photo of the bike parade that happens when you move hundreds of bicycles to their new home! For more photos of the move, check out the album on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/PZJbj2

And here is the press release announcing our new flagship store:

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT:
Tracey Bradnan, 440-781-7690 or tracey@centurycycles.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2012

Century Cycles Marks 20th Anniversary, Expands to New Store Location in Medina

MEDINA, Ohio – Century Cycles (www.CenturyCycles.com) is marking its 20th anniversary with record sales, numerous awards and now a flagship store. Founded in Medina in 1992, Century Cycles is expanding and transforming its original store location into a flagship store for the three-store chain. The larger, more state-of-the-art Century Cycles is at 1059 North Court – on the Marc’s side of the plaza behind McDonalds on Route 42, a few doors down from their previous location at 1079 North Court.

The new Century Cycles store in Medina will open to the public on Thursday, September 27, at 10 a.m. It is 8,500 square feet, more than double the size of its previous location and bigger than the other Century Cycles stores in Rocky River and Peninsula. Besides expanding bicycle display areas and the service department, the new Century Cycles Medina will also handle the company’s buying, receiving and distribution of bicycle accessories, parts and clothing throughout the chain.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our long tradition in Medina,” said Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan, who is also a resident of Medina County. “We are grateful for Medina’s support for the past 20 years, and we are excited to have a bigger, better, state-of-the-art bicycle store to continue serving Medina and Northeast Ohio’s bicycle needs for the next 20 years.”

In May, Century Cycles helped the Medina schools launch their first Bike To School Challenge, which encourages, educates and incentivizes middle school students to ride bicycles for their health and well-being. The program, which is also conducted in Bay Village and Rocky River schools, was cited among the reasons that Medina was honored recently as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People.

Last week at Interbike (www.Interbike.com), Century Cycles won a “Build More Than Bicycles” Award from Bikes Belong (www.BikesBelong.org) for Bike To School Challenge – an honor bestowed upon only three bicycle advocacy programs nationwide. Century Cycles was also awarded a Top 100 Gold Star Retailer Award from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News’ (www.BicycleRetailer.com), an award recognizing the top 2% of independent bicycle shops in the U.S., with gold status conferred to winners in multiple years. This year Century Cycles has also won Best Bike Shop in voting by the readers of Cleveland Magazine, West Shore Live Well and The Medina Gazette.

About Century Cycles
Founded 20 years ago, Century Cycles (www.centurycycles.com) is an award-winning, locally-owned chain of independent bicycle stores in Medina, Peninsula and Rocky River, providing bicycles, bicycle accessories, and friendly, expert service to northeast Ohio bicyclists and their families. At its Peninsula location, Century Cycles also rents bicycles year-round for riding on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interbike Outdoor Demo Report

Last week, I had the privilege of being in Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Interbike bicycle industry trade show, and made it to the Outdoor Demo in Boulder City on Tuesday.

I started the day off early by arriving around 7:15am in order to get ready for the Tour de Lake Meade. The ride goes from the demo area right in Boulder City, and drops down to the shore of the Lake Meade National Recreation Area. I stopped by the Raleigh tent to pick up a 2013 Raleigh Revenio Carbon 4.0 bike, which the folks at Raleigh Bicycles had generously set aside for me.
The bike rode like a champ. The Raleigh T700 carbon frame and carbon monocoque fork provided a smooth, yet stiff response. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic drivetrain shifted flawlessly in every direction. Raleigh's RE2P geometry provided an aggressive position that was just upright enough that I'd be comfortable on it for the long haul. The stem was installed with a downward angle, which was fine for this 23-mile ride; the only change I'd probably make if I were to own this bike would be to flip the stem to the upright position for more comfort on 100-mile endurance rides.
Define your life...at Lake Meade.
The ride itself was quite a kicker. It looked like about 100 or more people showed up; some on demo bikes just like me, and others on their own bikes. Other than a few rollers at the very end by the lake, the ride is all downhill for 11+ miles, then we turned around and rode 11+ miles all UPHILL.

With enough of the road for the day, I turned my attention to the demo's off-road loop. This trail winds around the hills in the desert above Boulder City with intermediate-level terrain interspersed with winding curves, rocks, and loose dirt. There are three sections where there's a steep drop, followed immediately by a steep climb back up to your original level. The third of these dips is notoriously the most difficult, being the steepest, and the dirt gets really loose near the top.
Dirt Demo singletrack
Of course, the first thing I wanted to grab was the new Surly Krampus:
This bike does exactly as it was designed to do--hit the sweet spot between the traction and floatation of a snow bike, with the speed and agility of a traditional 29er mountain bike. I usually ride a Medium frame mountain bike, but there wasn't one available when I showed up at the Surly tent, so I grabbed a Large, but as it turned out, this was ideal for me. I was able to rail the curves, and cleared the infamous third dip in the trail without having to hop off or dab my foot.

The Krampus is named for a mythical Troll-like creature, and even the sound of this bike lives up to the name. As the 3-inch wide tires glide over the dirt, they make a ROAR like I've never heard before. Surly says that the geometry of the bike is designed around a short stem and wide handlebar. The handlebar on this model was very wide, but it had a traditional 90 or 100mm stem, and that felt fine.

Keep an eye on this blog in March, as we will have a full size run (Small, Medium, and Large) of the Surly Krampus complete bikes in stock as soon as they're available!

Before my ride on the Krampus, I stopped by the Pearl Izumi tent, where they had samples of their new Project X off-road shoes. The Project X shoes are designed to provide the stiffness and performance like any high-end carbon-soled shoe, with the slight flexibility and walkability needed for enduro races, adventure touring, and other situations where off-bike running and walking is required.
I normally take either a size 44 or 45 shoes, and they were out of 45 at the time, so I went with a 44. During the Krampus excursion, the shoes gave the on-bike performance that you'd expect. I didn't have to test the off-bike performance that much due to the Krampus's sure-footed traction, but walking between the demo tents proved no problem for the shoes to handle, although by the end of the test, my toes started to feel a little cramped, proving just that I really needed the size 45.

Next, I wanted to try out a full-suspension 29er. I've been toying with the idea of getting a new one for myself, and the Giant Anthem X 29er has been on the list of candidates. At the Giant tent, they had an Anthem X 29er 1 available in Large, so I was off to the races.
I was blown away by the smoothness of the Giant Maestro suspension on this bike. Even more than on the Surly Krampus, I could hug all the corners tight and fast, and this was the only other bike on which I was able to clear all of the dips in the trail. The Shimano SLX/XT drive train shifted quite fine. Just to provide some unbiased comparison, I also rode a couple of other duallie 29ers from non-CC brands, but the Giant Anthem X 29er remains at the top of the list.

Back at the Surly tent, I caught a glimpse of the Pugsley in the new School Bus Yellow color:
The main change in the Pugsley for this coming year (besides the color) is the switch from Large Marge rims to Marge Lite rims, with the cutout sections, which take about a pound of weight off the complete bike. The other new color, available in December, will be Engine Red.

To show some off-road love to Raleigh, I went and grabbed the Raleigh Talus 29er Carbon Pro and put it through its paces on the loop:
While not quite as plush as a full-suspension bike, if light weight and top performance are your main concerns, then look no further. The carbon frame had point-and-shoot response, the Fox fork smooth things out up front, and the SRAM X.0 drive train shifted like a charm. I cleared all but the third of the dips in the trail; perhaps not so much the fault of the bike, but maybe to the desert heat wearing down on me...

I wanted to try the Surly Moonlander; I had ridden the models we've had in stock in the store before, but never really had a chance to take one on a "real" trail ride.
The Moonlander proved to be the trail-crusher that you'd expect. Don't worry or try to finesse this bike around, just let it rumble over whatever the trail throws at you. Maybe I should have finessed it a little bit, though, as about 2/3 of the way around the loop, it started feeling squirrelly, and I realized that the front tire had gone flat. I had to walk it back; I'm not sure how far, but it felt like nearly a mile. By the time I got back to the Surly tent, I was cooked, so I took a break to hang out with the Surly guys and some other demo attendees.
I noticed the row of Surly Troll bikes in the back, looking so lonely and neglected, so I decided to take a quick spin on one. I didn't do the full singletrack loop; I just followed a paved bike trail out a bit to where it crosses the singletrack, and then rode the last couple hundred yards on the singletrack. With the proliferation of 29ers and fat bikes, the Troll has become somewhat of a red-headed step-child in the Surly Bikes world, but there are still many situations that call for a rigid 26-inch wheeled mountain bike (around-the-world touring, anyone?). The Troll handled both the paved trail and the singletrack capably. I find myself wanting one; I have no real need for it, but it's just so...cute!
Some Trolls are still available in Orange, but the new colors will be Black and Dark Egg Plant (Purple Nurple).

The last hour of the day I spent back at the Raleigh tent, tooling around the pavement on a couple of their commuter bikes, namely the 2013 Raleigh Misceo Trail i11 and the 2013 Raleigh Tripper. The Misceo Trail i11 builds on the platform of their popular Misceo series, with front suspension and 700x40 hybrid tires, and add an internally-geared 11-speed Shimano rear hub. The bike had the go-anywhere performance and versatility that we've come to expect from the Misceo series, and the 11-speed hub was a simple joy to shift.

The Raleigh Tripper uses the same steel frame and fork as the new-in-2012 Roper and Furly, but mated to a Shimano 3-speed internally geared hub, and a flat handlebar instead of a drop bar. It's oriented to the urban commuter market, for somebody looking for a hip, simple bike, but wants a little more gear options than a fixie or singlespeed.
The disc brakes stopped sure, but I found the narrow handlebar to be not to my taste. The integrated stem/handlebar combo doesn't give any options for adjusting the handlebar position, so I see a lot of aftermarket stems and bars being sold to those who choose this bike. Overall, not really my cup of tea, but a fine choice of bike for those who it is.

Monday, September 24, 2012

REMINDER: All three stores CLOSED on Tuesday, September 25

PLEASE NOTE: All three Century Cycles stores will be CLOSED on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 as we all pitch in to help move the Medina store to our NEW bigger and better location!

We will re-open on Thursday, September 27. It is possible that the Peninsula and Rocky River stores will re-open on Wednesday, September 26; check the Hours of Operation page on our web site, as well as our Facebook page and Twitter feed for the latest information.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tech Talk: Help! My seat keeps slipping!

Having your seat adjusted to the proper height is one of the most important factors to enjoying your bicycle rides most efficiently and comfortably. There's nothing more frustrating, then, to have your seat constantly slipping down, or swiveling side-to-side, or both.

Fortunately, this is usually an easy problem to fix.

Clean and apply new grease to the seatpost

Bicycle mechanic applying
grease to a new seatpost
When we assemble a new bicycle, we apply a thin coat of grease inside the seat tube of the bike frame. This helps the seatpost grip and stay in place. This might sound counter-intuitive; grease is slippery, so wouldn't that make it slip more? In reality, the grease actually helps the surfaces of the seatpost and seat tube stick together. It's kind of like putting sand under your car tires when you're stuck in the snow. At the same time, the grease prevents corrosion and keeps the seat post from getting permanently stuck in the frame.

Periodically, you should remove your seat post from the frame, and wipe the old grease off with a rag. Insert the rag into the frame with your finger and try (as much as possible) to clean the old grease from the inside of the seat tube as well.

Using your finger or a brush, apply a thin coat of new grease to the inside of the seat tube, or the outside of the seatpost. Re-insert the seat post to your preferred height, and clamp it in place.

Use standard bicycle grease if your frame and seatpost are both any kind of metal (steel, aluminum, or titanium). If either your frame or seatpost, or both, are carbon fiber, DO NOT use grease. Instead, use a carbon assembly paste. This performs the same function as grease, but is specially formulated so that it does not chemically react with the carbon fiber material.

Some frame-seatpost combinations might be especially stubborn and prone to slippage. You might even try carbon assembly paste on these even if they are metal. If you do try using carbon assembly paste on metal parts, clean and re-apply the paste even more often (two to three times per year) to prevent seizing.

Check and replace the seatpost clamp

The clamp that holds your seat post in place in the bike frame is either a plain bolt-on type, or a quick-release. The quick-release models are convenient, because they allow you to change your seat height as needed without using any tools. However, the bolt-on models do tend you keep your seatpost in place more reliably.

If you have a bolt-on clamp that's not holding, the bolt or clamp assembly may be stripped or cracked. Replacements can be found from around $8 to $25, depending on the quality.

Bicycle with quick-release seatpost clamp
Most quick-release seatpost clamps have an adjustment knob; it is located on the opposite side from the quick-release lever. Open the quick-release lever, and turn the adjustment knob clockwise a bit. As you tighten the adjustment knob, you'll be able to close the quick-release more securely, but if you tighten the knob too much, you won't be able to close the quick-release lever at all. Repeat this process until you find that "happy medium" point where the lever is tight enough to hold the seatpost, but not so tight that you can't close the lever all the way.

Bicycle with bolt-on seatpost clamp
If you can't find that ideal adjustment point, it may be possible that your quick-release lever is worn out. The quick-release clamps that come on inexpensive bikes tend not to hold very well even when brand new. Replacement levers can be found for as little as around $10, or as much as $40 for a very high-quality model that will be less prone to wear out.

If you're not sharing your bike among family members, and you don't have any need to adjust your seat height on a regular basis, you should consider replacing your quick-release clamp with a bolt-on clamp. You can get a higher-quality replacement at a more reasonable cost, and it will hold your seat in place much better.

Bicycle with integrated quick-release
seatpost clamp
When installing your seat clamp, make sure the opening in the clamp lines up with the slot in the frame (except for carbon frames or seatposts). Usually the slot faces the rear of the bike, but sometimes they face the front. It may help to apply a little grease to the inside surface of the clamp, as well as to the threads of the adjustment bolt.

Bicycle with integrated bolt-on
seatpost clamp
On some older bikes, the seatpost clamp is not a separate ring of material; it's integrated as part of the bike frame, with just an opening for the bolt or quick-release skewer to pass through. In these cases, it's not possible to replace the clamp itself, but you can still replace the bolt or quick-release lever.

Addressing tilt issues

You might not be having a problem with your seatpost slipping down, but maybe you're seat is spontaneously tilting forward or backward while you're riding. This is an issue with the clamp at the top of the seatpost that holds your seat.

Cruiser-style seat rail clamp
Some hybrid and cruiser bikes have a style of seat clamp with two nuts on the left and right underside of the seat. You can usuallly tighten these two nuts with a 14mm socket wrench. Alternate tightening the left and right sides a little at a time so that the tension is balanced on both sides.

Many modern bikes have a clamp that holds the tops and bottoms of the seat rails between two wedges. This assembly is held in place by a single bolt, which can usually be adjusted with a 6mm hex wrench. Try tightening this bolt if you're having trouble with your seat angle slipping.

Seatpost with single-bolt
seat rail clamp
Some of these single-bolt clamps have a smooth clamp surface, which provides an infinite range of adjustment of your seat angle, or "micro-adjustment" as it's called. Others have a serrated surface, kind of like a set of teeth that lock the seat in place at your desired angle, but you have to choose the angle to match one of the "clicks" available within the set of teeth. If you've got a serrated clamp and you've been have tilt slipping issues, you probably need a new seatpost, because the teeth have become ground down.

For aggressive off-road riding, the best style of seatposts have a dual-bolt clamp. The two bolts work in opposition from the front and rear of the clamp to keep your seat at the desired angle. This gives you the best of both worlds: micro-adjustment and secure holding power.

Seatpost with two-bolt
seat rail clamp
Regardless of which of the above types of seat rail clamps you have, if you've tightened the bolts and you're still having trouble with the seat tilting on the fly, follow a procedure similar to that described above for the seatpost and frame seat tube: Take the clamp apart, remove the seat, and clean any old grease and grime from all of the bolts and pieces. Inspect the pieces to make sure they're not cracked or stripped. Apply grease on the bolt threads and where any metal-to-metal contact occurs, and re-assemble everything.

Of course, if you're not into the do-it-yourself thing, bring your bike on in to any Century Cycles store, and any of our expert mechanics can check it out and do what it takes to get you rolling again.

Seatpost and clamp sizes

Note that seatposts come in many different sizes. The diameter of the seatpost is measured in millimeters. This must match the INSIDE diameter of the seat tube on your bike's frame. There is no standard diameter, but some of the most common on modern bikes are 27.2 millimeters, 30.6 millimeters, and 31.6 millimeters. If you buy a seatpost that is too large by even 1/10 of a millimeter, it probably won't fit in your frame. Likewise, if your seatpost is too small by 1/10 of a millimeter, it WILL slip down, even after all of the above corrective actions are taken.

Minimum Insertion Point
markings on a typical
seatpost
Seatposts also come in different lengths. Almost all of them are marked with a "Minimum Insertion Point." This means that the seatpost must be installed so that all of the area below the minimum mark is within the seat tube in the bike frame. If you ignore this guideline, you run the risk of cracking your frame, causing permanent damage to it, and maybe to yourself!

If you feel the need to raise the seat higher than the minimum insertion point, then the bike you're riding is likely too small for you. However, you may be able to address the issue by purchasing a longer seat post.

Seatpost clamps are also measured by the diameter in millimeters. Note that this must match the OUTSIDE diameter of the seat tube on your bike's frame. The seatpost clamp diameter is NOT necessarily the same for all bikes that use the same size seatpost, because the outside diameter of the frame will vary depending on the thickness of the material used for the frame tubes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where We Ride: Smith and Jones Parks Tour

Cathy Kasper is a Sales Associate at our Medina store. She enjoys taking medium-to-long rides on the rural (and preferably flat) roads around Medina County and the surrounding region. This ride is one of the many variations she does on a regular basis.

The route is mostly flat, and totals just over a very manageable 50 miles. Starting at Public Square in downtown Medina, head south on Court Street, and take the first right onto Smith Road. You've got a couple of short climbs at the beginning, but then a long, gradual downhill as you head due west. Smith Road eventually takes a right-hand bend, and then dead-ends on, you guessed it, Jones Road.

Continue west on Jones Road. You'll run across State Route 58. If you're up for a snack or lunch to fuel up for the rest of the ride, turn right on Rt 58, and it becomes Main Street, leading you right into downtown Wellington. Look for Bread-N-Brew on the left-hand corner. Sorry; despite the name, it's not a brewery, but they've got a scrumptious selection of sandwiches and coffees.

To contine the route, go back down the way you just came on Main Street, and turn right on Jones Road. Here's where the "park" part of the ride starts. You'll go through the Wellington Reservation, where you can take a detour on a few miles of paved and crushed stone trails. If pedaling your bike is not enough, you can rent a paddle boat and pedal around one of the two reservoirs!

As you continue on several more county and state roads, you'll pass near Findlay State Park, home to one of Northeast Ohio's favorite mountain bike trails.

As you make your way back east towards Medina, you'll go through Spencer Lake Wildlife Area, a public hunting and fishing reservation where you can also enjoy some short hiking trails. Just up the road is Letha House Park, where you'll find more nature trails, wildlife viewing areas, picnic shelters, and even an observatory. From here, you're about a 10-mile cruise back to your starting point in Medina.

Click here to go to an interactive map of this route, with notes, mileage, and elevation charts.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Online Poll: What's your verdict on tandem bicycles?

Did you know that Century Cycles has tandem bicycles? In fact, our Medina store is Northeast Ohio's exclusive Santana Test Ride Center. Stop by to check them out!

What's your verdict on tandems? Click here to take our latest online poll and let us know!


Last month's poll asked, "What is the longest distance you've ever bicycled in a single day?" We have a lot of century riders out there, as the largest number of responses (39%) have ridden "100 miles or more." Not too far behind was "Over 50 miles, but less than 100 miles" with 29%. You can see the full results of the last poll here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lubies like bikes, too

Besides delicious wings, burgers and beer, Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants are known for their distinctive interior decor, where it's not unusual to find a full-size NASCAR race car hanging upside down from the ceiling. The restaurants also reflect the local area, which is why, when it was time to decorate and open the new Quaker Steak & Lube in Lakewood, they wanted bicycles to get in on the action, too.

"As we were building the restaurant, we saw a lot of bicyclists in Lakewood, and it was obvious that this is a big bicycling area," said David Miller, VP of Facilities and Development for the chain, when he called us.

His idea was to display a new bike, as well as a few vintage models to bring back fond memories for diners. He came to the right place -- Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan has an extensive bicycle collection and was happy to loan bicycles from it, as well as a new bike from the store's inventory.

So, stop in Quaker Steak & Lube in Lakewood for a great meal and a fun time. When you enter from the back parking lot, look up -- there you will see a 1968 Schwinn Fastback...


...and a 1950s Schwinn Hornet cruiser.


If you enter from the Detroit Avenue door, look up to see a brand-new Electra Rat Fink cruiser bicycle.

Our congratulations to Quaker Steak & Lube on the opening of their new Lakewood location -- and our thanks for including us and our bicycles in their fun!

Friday, September 14, 2012

New markdowns on tandem bicycles

Our Clearance Sale now includes SANTANA, the "ultimate tandem bicycle experience!" Century Cycles - Medina is Ohio's official Santana test-ride center and now has unprecedented end-of-the-season pricing.
 
Here's your chance to test ride and get the bicycle built for two you've always wanted. Santana models marked down include:
  • Arriva SE (now $2999, was $3499; size L) - chromoly frame, best value!
  • Arriva (now $3599, was $4399; size M) - best components!
  • Sovereign SE (now $3499, was $4249; size M) - carbon fork, prizm finish!
  • Sovereign (now $3999, was $5399; size S) - biggest seller!
  • Beyond (now $9999, was $11999; size M) - the ultimate, featuring a carbon/titanium frame!
And here are tips on how to shop for your first tandem -- pro's and con's, frame types, wheel sizes, and more!
     
     

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Follow us (virtually) to InterBike!

Next week, September 18 through 21, a contingent from Century Cycles will be attending InterBike, the US bicycle industry's annual trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can join in and get sneak previews of the hottest new bicycles, clothing, and accessories coming in 2013!

The slide show below will be automatically updated with new photos throughout the show. Just check back to this page often! This same slide show can also be found on our web site; just click on over and bookmark: www.centurycycles.com/goto/Interbike12

Of course, we'd like to hear your feedback about what we're seeing, and what you'd like to see! Check out the updates and comment to us on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter!


Click here if the slide show above is not appearing for you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We need your, er, SUPPORT!

All three Century Cycles stores are now collecting donations of new and gently used BRAS (including sports bras!) for the Celtic Club Fights Breast Cancer, which will display them in October to raise breast cancer awareness, then will give them to battered women's shelters.
 
Here is the donation box in the Rocky River store (although we recommend personally handing your bra to a bike mechanic to see if his face turns red).
 
 
And here is the basket in Medina (although we promise to keep Tom away from any future donations).
 
 
You can also bring your donation to this Saturday's Night Ride, and thanks in advance for all your SUPPORT of this very worthy cause!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bike Maintenance Class at Polaris on Sept. 20

By mid-October, we plan to announce a full schedule of bike maintenance clinics for late-fall and winter, but you don't have to wait until then to get educated about your bike!

Don Barnett, Service Manager at Century Cycles Medina, will be teaching Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance at Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights on Thursday, September 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Don is an experienced mechanic and teacher, and this class is a great way to learn everyday basics and emergency repair, plus get your bike ready for fall riding or winter storage. Click here for more details and how to register for $19.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Git yer beer on: All Hail the Ale Night Ride Oct. 20!

It's time to start planning those beer costumes! Join us to celebrate Cleveland Beer Week on two wheels at Century Cycles’ 3rd Annual All Hail the Ale Night Ride on the Towpath Trail on Saturday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m.

This FREE nighttime bicycle ride will begin at Century Cycles bicycle store in Peninsula (1621 Main Street/Route 303) and will end at the Winking Lizard Tavern next door with the tapping of a special Sierra Nevada beer provided especially for the event. For more information (and to see LOTS of photos of cool beer costumes!), go to www.centurycycles.com/for/CleBeerWeek.

“The All Hail the Ale Night Ride is in tribute to the post-ride beer, a long and sacred tradition in bicycling that we’re proud to celebrate and uphold,” said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles.

Details for Cleveland Beer Week’s only bicycle ride include:

·        Decorate yourself or your bike in tribute to the event theme “All Hail the Ale!” While beer costumes are not required, they are highly encouraged and a special prize will be awarded for Best Costume. Everyone in costume will be entered to win additional prizes donated by Century Cycles, the Winking Lizard and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

·        Pedal your bicycle with a crowd of fellow bike-and-beer lovers on a 13-mile nighttime bicycle ride on the Towpath Trail. It will roll out at 7:30 p.m., but plan to arrive earlier to admire your fellow rider’s beer-inspired garb, take a spin on the Blender Bike, and enjoy the pre-ride festivities.

·        At the ride’s halfway point, there will be Oktoberfest-themed snacks – cheese generously provided by MDS Foods in Massillon, sausages, pretzels and other salty delicacies – to fuel the ride back to the Winking Lizard Tavern and make you REALLY thirsty for some good beer.

·         After the ride, Night Riders are invited to the Winking Lizard Tavern in Peninsula for a tapping of a special beer provided especially for the event by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, one of the pioneers of the craft beer movement in America. Not to be a buzzkill, but there will be no beer (except perhaps root beer) allowed or distributed on the Night Ride until the tapping.

·        The All Hail the Ale Night Ride is free and no pre-registration is required. However, bring a few extra bucks, because the All Hail the Ale Night Ride wants to further celebrate Cleveland Beer Week by supporting its charity, the Malone Scholarship Fund. Cash donations will be collected pre-ride and post-tapping.

·        Century Cycles will also be making a donation to the silent auction to benefit the Malone Scholarship Fund at BREWzilla, the party that culminates Cleveland Beer Week. For a chance to bid on the bicycle and other auction items donated by local breweries and companies (plus enjoy more amazing beer), attend BREWzilla on October 27. Tickets and info are at www.clevelandbeerweek.org

In 2010, Century Cycles conducted an online survey to ask Northeast Ohio bicyclists which style of beer they prefer after a bike ride. The overwhelming favorite among the 114 respondents was Ale/Pale Ale/IPA, which garnered 44% of the votes. That was followed by Wheat/Belgian (21%), Porter/Stout (18%), Light Beer (10%), and Lager (7%).

All the pesky details:
While the Night Ride is FREE and requires no advanced registration, Night Riders must sign a waiver before participating and are responsible for the purchase of their own beer and food at the Winking Lizard. This ride is at night, in the dark woods on an un-lit trail. That is why bicycle lights and helmets are REQUIRED. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult; young adults under 21 should ignore all the excitement about the beer tapping. Finally, make sure those beer costumes don’t hang or catch in a bicycle’s spokes or chain (falling off your bike tends to ruin the fun) and that you can still wear your bike helmet in costume.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Big STOMP fun for all

Karl, Rich and Ryan (above) from Century Cycles Peninsula helped Derrick set up and work STOMP last Saturday -- the Summit Tour of the MetroParks -- an excellent event we were once again proud to sponsor and support!

This year, STOMP switched from a predominantly road-oriented ride to a ride exclusively on the Towpath Trail. The venue also saw a big change, as they moved the start/finish from the Howe Meadow in the CVNP to Lock 3 in downtown Akron. The changes didn't affect attendance, with over 1,000 participants, which means we were thrilled to see LOTS of Century Cycles friends and customers! Of the 10-, 20-, and 30-mile route choices, we hear the 30-mile route was the most popular of the day.

Huge kudos to the Summit MetroParks folks -- the event was wonderfully organized, they had plenty of staff and volunteers out in full force, the food and live music were excellent, and Derrick raved that the new downtown Akron venue "absolutely kicked ass."

In a file under "mutual admiration," we also have to thank the MetroParks for their kind tweet of thanks to us:

We'll let you know as soon as we hear the dates for 2013. In the meantime, if you have feedback about STOMP, email it to marketing@summitmetroparks.org, and be sure to check out our slideshow below!



(Click here if the slide show above is not appearing for you.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

News from Surly Intergalactic Headquarters

If you're a devotee of Surly Bikes, much of this is old news to you, as you're probably already following their blog and Facebook page. For the somewhat less initiated, here's a quick run-down of what's new and exciting from the Surly gang.

Probably creating the most buzz around the Interwebz in the past month or so is Surly's new mountain bike, the Krampus. What is the Krampus? It's a "semi-fat" bike, made to bridge the gap between a regular 29er mountain bike and a snow bike. Before you get all cranky, no; it's not a new wheel size standard. The wheels are based on the 29er rim size (622mm bead seat diameter), but just, well, fatter. Three inches fat, to be exact. They've taken to calling it "29+."

"I stole this shot from Maurice at Dirt Rag because he probably won't sue us." --Skip from Surly
Why do you want a Krampus? As one tester described it, while a regular snow bike, such as a Surly Pugsley or Moonlander, makes you want to drop it into the lowest gear and see what kind of muck you can plow through at low speed, the Krampus feels more like something you want to crank into high gear and cruise over the most gnarly terrain. It's built more for speed, while still giving some of the traction and flotation advantages of a snow bike.

The Krampus is expected to be available as a frameset (along with new Rabbit Hole rims and Knard tires to go with it) some time around December of this year. Complete bikes expected some time in the spring. Pricing will be around $750 for the frameset and $1950 for the complete bike (subject to change). The color, of course, will be Swamp Green.

What is a Krampus? In Norse mythology, it's like the Anti-Claus. He follows Santa around, and stuffs the bad little boys and girls into a sack, and carries them back to his lair to be eaten.

You can find more answers to your questions about the Surly Krampus here.

Next on the new bike front is a new take on an old favorite. So, we always make a big deal out of the Cross-Check, with its forward-facing semi-horizontal dropouts, makes a great bike for both geared and singlespeed setups. (Ok, maybe it's not THAT big a deal, but work with me here...) The Cross-Check has been available as a complete geared bike for a few years now. If you wanted to build a singlespeed Cross-Check, you had to order the frameset and put together the parts on your own. So what about for those singlespeed fans who don't have the time, or expertise, or are just plain lazy (trust me, I know where you're coming from) to spec out a singlespeed parts kit on their own?

That's where the above-pictured Single Speed Cross-Check complete bike comes to our rescue. Yes, that's a new frame color, Dark Dirty Blue. This bike comes with all the basics you need, and none that you don't. 42-tooth single speed crankset, 17-tooth freewheel cog, flat Salsa handlebar, Avid brake levers with linear-pull brakes. You purists, don't start on us about that last bit. Read more details here. Possibly available later this month, or next, for around $999.

Finally, you're probably saying to yourself, "But Kevin," (which is a funny thing to be saying to yourself, unless your name also happens to be Kevin), "What about new colors?" Without further ado, here is the list of the never-ending merry-go-round of Surly colors:

1x1 - still just Black
Big Dummy - still just Black
Cross-Check - Black, Dark Dirty Blue, Hospital Foam (don't ask, I don't know)
Disc Trucker - still just Super Dark Green
Karate Monkey - Black and Mandrill-Mug (I don't know what that is yet, either)
Long Haul Trucker - Black and Silver
Moonlander - still Space Black
Ogre - Black
Pacer - still Sparkleboogie Blue
Pugsley - Loaded Yellow and Engine Red
Pugsley Necromancer - still Neck Romancer Black
Steamroller - Black. Complete bikes going away; framesets only
Troll - Nurple Purple and Black
Trucker DeLuxe - still Dave's Frozen Tears

Click here if you'd like to read more techy bits about the above.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bike Count Volunteers Needed

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) needs volunteers to help conduct bicycle counts the week of September 24.

This information helps NOACA measure the use of existing bikeways and estimate the public demand for more bike facilities.

Counting will take place at locations throughout Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina Counties on the following days and times:
  • Tuesday, September 25, 5:00 - 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, September 26, 5:00 - 7:00pm
  • Thursday, September 27, 5:00 - 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 29, 11:00am - 1:00pm
New volunteers must also attend one of the following orientation sessions at the NOACA offices located at 1299 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH  44114:
  • Tuesday, September 18, 6:00 - 6:45pm
  • Wednesday, September 19, 12:00 - 12:45pm
  • Thursday, September 20, 6:00 - 6:45pm
  • Friday, September 22, 12:00 - 12:45pm
Volunteers will be reimbursed for travel costs getting to and from their count location.

For more info or to sign up, please go to http://noaca.org/bikepedcounts.html to fill out a short survey. If you have any questions, contact Marc Von Allmen, multimodal planner, at mvonallmen@mpo.noaca.org or 216‐241‐2414, Ext. 250.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bicycle touring visitor from England stops in Peninsula

Tim from southwestern England is riding from Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California, "just for fun and adventure." He stopped by the Century Cycles store in Peninsula on Aug. 28 to get directions to the nearest campground.

As a reminder, all three of our stores are CLOSED today, September 3, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Here's hoping that you're out on your bicycle today for fun and adventure!

For more pictures of long-distance cyclists who have visited our stores, check out our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Robert loves him some Surly

This is Robert. He stopped by the Century Cycles store in Peninsula on his way home to Hudson a couple of weeks ago, fell in love with our Surly Moonlander, and had to take in home with him. He was so taken with it that he decided he had to have a Surly Big Dummy, and so we ordered one for him the following week.

Here he is proudly showing off his herd of Surlys. Thanks for the photo, Robert, and we hope you're still enjoying riding your Surlys around town, and wherever else!

What Surly is in your future? As always, we've got a selection of the Surly Cross-Check, Surly Long Haul Trucker, and even a Surly Disc Trucker in stock for you to check out, and we can special-order any other Surly for you.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Come to a Public Meeting/Workshop about Bicycling in NE Ohio

Share ideas on how Northeast Ohio can be more bicycle-friendly at one of these public meetings/workshops conducted by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA):
  • Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 6:30 - 8:00pm
    Kirtland Public Library
    9267 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland, OH  44094
      
  • Thursday, September 6, 2012, 6:00 - 7:30pm
    Oberlin Public Library
    65 South Main Street, Oberlin, OH  44074
     
  • Saturday, September 8, 2012, 2:00 - 3:30pm
    Cleveland Public Library, Carnegie West Branch
    1900 Fulton Road, Cleveland, OH  44113
     
  • Thursday, September 11, 2012, 6:30 - 8:00pm
    Cuyahoga County Public Library, Solon Branch
    34125 Portz Parkway
    Solon, OH  44139
     
  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 5:15 - 6:45 pm
    Medina County District Library, Buckeye Branch
    6625 Wolff Road
    Medina, OH  44256
No advance registration is required.

For more information, call Gayle Godek, Senior Communications Specialist, at 216-241-2414, or email ggodek@mpo.noaca.org.