Friday, October 26, 2007

Bianchi and Giant fixies featured in Maxim

The current issue of Maxim with the lovely Eva Mendes on the cover has an article "Get Your Gear Here" about the best new single-speed, or fixed-gear, bikes. They write, "These cycles have a single drive train and no derailleurs. In true fixed gear mode, the bikes don’t coast; if the wheels are moving, so are your legs. Impractical? Slightly. Badass? You bet."

The article features two bikes we carry at Century Cycles. Here’s what Maxim has to say about them:

Bianchi Pista ($580): The racing freaks at Bianchi know that fixed-gear bikes are nothing new – they’ve been making them since 1886. This flashy chrome model has a short wheelbase for responsiveness and a smooth-riding steel frame.

Giant Bowery ($575): N.Y.C.’s Bowery may not be that tough anymore, but its namesake bike is, with durable racing components and a lightweight aluminum frame. This model also has a flip-flop hub for coasting. Wuss.

Maxim also provides these city riding tips from single-speed champ Jared Bunde:

  1. Don’t hesitate. Make a move and go with it so others will have time to react – especially dawdling pedestrians.

  2. Eyes up. Look inside parked cars and taxis for people about to get out. You don’t want to be "doored."

  3. Fall safe. You’ll have a close call or a crash at some point. When it happens, let your body roll with it.

We've got a few of the '07 Pistas left in stock in our stores now; we expect to have both the new '08 Pistas and the '08 Bowerys in time for the holidays.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Where In The World Is Century Cycles?

Over the years, some of our customers and employees have sent us pictures of themselves wearing their Century Cycles gear in various places. We decided to make this another recurring feature here on our blog.

Where in the world have you been with the help of Century Cycles? Send us a picture of yourself in your Century Cycles jersey or t-shirt (or if nothing else, with one of our water bottles). Include any interesting story or details that you like. Some time next year, we'll present a gift to whoever has sent us a picture from the most fun, far-away, exotic, or unusual location. E-mail your photos to

To get things rolling, here's our own Michael from the Peninsula store from his visit to Spain last month. On Sept. 16, he got to watch a stage of the Tour of Spain (La Vuelta) race from Villacarrillo to Granada.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Levi

American cyclist Levi Leipheimer, still blessedly untainted by a doping scandal, turns 34 today. He’s currently featured in a TV commercial promoting California, along with a few other famous Californians you may recognize.

From today’s The Plain Dealer: "Leipheimer will join Astana, reuniting with former colleagues Johan Bruyneel and Alberto Contador from the now-defunct Discovery Channel team. Leipheimer, who finished third in the 2007 Tour de France, said that the decision was an easy one. Bruyneel, the new Astana general manager, was Discovery’s team director. Leipheimer and Contador, the reigning Tour champ, were teammates."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Orrville Cyclocross

I found myself with a day off this past Sunday and in a racing mood, just to get the competitive juices flowing for the upcoming Iceman Cometh Challenge race. The closest race was the Orrville Cycling Club's Cyclocross series, so I loaded up my Raleigh XXIX mountain bike and headed to Orrville.

We sell a lot of cyclocross bikes, such as the Raleigh RX 1.0, to people who don't race, and that's fine; they make great light touring and commuting bikes as well. Part of the process is often explaining what exactly cyclocross is. Rather than try to go into the details myself, the Wikipedia entry provides a great overview. The best look at the guts of the sport, though, are probably best shown in a video such as this one from the 2007 Starcrossed Cyclocross race in Seattle.

Anyway, back to Orrville...I didn't have any hopes of being competitive no matter which category I signed up for, so I registered in the Masters 35+ category, since that would be an hour-long race, instead of just 45 minutes for the B race or 30 minutes for the C race. Contrary to the tame "old guys" connotation of the name, the Masters category in any type of race is usually filled with dudes who have been racing for 20+ years, sometimes even former pros (neither of which applies to me). But, I got my money's worth in a workout, and ended up 7th out of the eight of us that signed up in Masters.

There were a few juniors in the C race as well:

Here are a few more shots from the B race action:

A beautiful day, and another one of the many great, wacky excuses that we've come up with to enjoy ourselves on bikes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Free CAMBA Preview at Ray's MTB

I went to the free grand opening preview for CAMBA members at Ray's MTB Indoor Park this past Friday. When I pulled into the parking lot, I wondered where they were going to put everyone inside the park, as there were more cars in the lot than I had ever seen there before. But, with all of the expansion that Ray has done for this season, there was plenty of room for everyone.

I checked in at the CAMBA table inside, where they were taking applications for anybody who wanted to come that was not already a CAMBA member.

As always, there is an area equipped with tools, pumps, and workstands in case you need to make any adjustments to your bike.

I first went to Ray's at the beginning of the first season, in the fall of '04. I went again later that season, then once during the '05-06 season. I didn't make it at all during the '06-07 season. I always had a good time when I went there to ride, but my personal impression was that the riding was either too easy or too difficult; there was not enough intermediate (Sport) terrain. This is something that Ray has definitely addressed this season. The new Sport section consists of 15 separate "rhythms," or sections of trail. They are all accessed by from a raised wooden platform known as the Moen deck. You can hang out on the platform, scoping and the different rhythms and challenging your friends, or you can keep coming back to the Moen deck over and over in a continuous loop, doing each rhythm one after the other, keep doing your favorite ones over and over, or repeat the more challenging ones until you can clear them!

Riders of all ages enjoyed the Sport area from the Moen deck:

What surprised me the most is how much fun the new Beginner area is. The Beginner Room has a section with some features that are built very low to the floor for beginning riders to start to develop their handling skills. But it also has a platform with a few ramps that lead to banked turns, a rock garden, and log pile. These are a blast, and I spent a long time riding them over and over!

The Gary Fisher XC Course loops around the entire building, and run up through the rafters in some parts. It's a great way to get a riding experience most like what you would riding a regular mountain bike trail in the woods. For most riding at Ray's, platform pedals are recommended, but if you expect to spend most of your time on the XC course, you may want to consider sticking with your SPD's or other click-in type pedals. I found myself having a hard time pedaling up the climbs into the rafters using the platform pedals on my Cannondale Prophet.

To sum it up, with this season's expansion at Ray's, no matter what your skill level or riding style, there truly is something for everyone. If it's been a while since you've tried the riding at Ray's, it is worth making the trip for another look. If you've never been there at all, then all the more reason--go check it out!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bikes and Baseball in Boston

If you’re headed to Boston this weekend to cheer on the Indians, be sure to check out the Boston Bike Film Festival, which starts today. Tomorrow would be a good day to be in Boston, to see “Guerrilla Mechanics,” a short film about a secret squad of guys hoping to fix the world one bike at a time, then watch the Indians beat the Red Sox. Go Tribe!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lives Defined: Wade Wingler

This link comes to us once again from Bike Bits, the e-newsletter of the Adventure Cycling Association. We try to highlight local people for stories like this, but I thought this one was so relevant that I had to share it.

On his web site at, Wade Wingler of Indiana writes "I'm 36 years old. A few years ago, I weighed 317 pounds and was pretty sure I would die before I reached 50." The site tells the details of the changes he made in his life to turn his health around.

He continues, "Fair warning: In the end, what I'm about to share with you will basically boil down to: The best way to lose weight is to eat right and exercise. If you're looking for a pill, product, program or ploy, you'll not find it here."

Needless to say, his exercise program includes cycling. He started with a bike he bought for under $100 from one of the super-stores. First he rode one mile at a time. Soon he would ride two miles. When he started riding 15 miles, he realized is department store bike was not going to cut it any more, so he visited his local bike shop, who set him up with a Giant Cypress. Eventually, he got into organized events of 50+ miles, and got himself a Giant OCR-2 for those rides, although he still uses the Cypress for short jaunts around the neighborhood.

I especially like his "Rules to Live By." Common sense advice from a person whose expert knowledge is their own personal experience.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Giant Demo Day at Rays MTB Park

A few of us from the stores got the opportunity to get up close and personal with the new Maestro suspension bikes from Giant. Tom, Keith, Ryan, Scott and myself where allowed into Rays for a sneak peak of the new stuff he has added, and clinic/ride on Giants Maestro suspension system. The day consisted of a small suspension clinic going over the different types of designs used today and in the past. They gave explanations of how they work and don't work and some of the band aids designed to correct for the short comings in the designs. After a short break to talk one-on-one with some of Giants inside people, and couple of their pros, a small lunch was available, then they turned us loose.

This was the line up of bikes we came into Rays looking at and ended up getting to ride. They had all models present. The xc race Anthem, the all mtn. Trance, the freeride Reigns, and the downhill Glorys.

Kelli Emmett was also on hand to answer questions, then stuck around to experience Rays for the first time. She must have had a good time because she only stopped riding to watch the foam pit jumpers.

Here is Tom in action on a Reign and what could be is next new bike, the all powerful Anthem. Direct quote " whoohhhh this thing is fast"

So in closing fun was had by all, stop by and see the Anthems at our Medina and Peninsula stores, we even have one that YOU can take out and ride for a day. So in closing I'll leave you with a preview of the new beginner section at Rays soon to open for the winter.

Thanks to the sponsors,

Giant and Rays

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lives Defined

At Century Cycles, our slogan is “Define Your Life. Ride A Bike.” We’ve found that if you like riding a bike – no matter if it’s daily or only monthly – it comes to define who you are. Just like new mothers bond over tales of sleepless nights, cyclists can hear a bike-riding story that will have them nodding their heads with understanding, empathy, and perhaps a little envy.

That’s what we were thinking when we read this story in the profile of Cleveland Indians’ president Paul Dolan in last Sunday’s Plain Dealer:

"Paul Dolan and Mark Mansour, a Beachwood investment banker and Dolan’s friend since high school, bike together when time allows. They once made the 26-mile trek from Dolan’s sprawling home near Chagrin Falls to Jacobs Field under overcast skies that quickly let loose.

"By Shaker Heights, they were pedaling in a deluge. By Cleveland, they were hydroplaning down Chester Avenue. By Jacobs Field, they were drowned rats stopped at the security gate.

" ‘ Where do you think you’re going?’ the guard said. So the team president had to bare his I.D.

"As they entered the locker room to shower and change, they ran into Indians relief pitcher Bob Wickman, who asked what the heck happened to them. When Paul explained how far they rode in a downpour, the former Tribe closer called them stupid and walked away shaking his head."

Wickman may not get it, but we sure do: Paul Dolan, like us, loves to ride his bike.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Kryptonite Gives Us a Shout-Out

In Kryptonite's blog, they mentioned Scott's visit to their booth at Interbike to chat with Bob Roll, and provided a picture.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Don't Blame Bicycles for our Highway Woes

This article comes to us courtesy of a member of the Cleveland Touring Club. Executive summary:

In the wake of the August bridge collapse tragedy in Minnesota, chest-thumping politicians were on the hunt for scapegoats. One particularly dismaying example is Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, a 2006 Bush political appointee. In an Aug. 15 appearance on PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," she pointed to money spent on bike paths and trails (as well as museums, lighthouses, and other historic preservation projects) as part of the reason there isn't enough money to maintain our highways and bridges. In actuality, accoring to the Federal Highway Administration's own report, in 2006, over $1 billion of unspent bridge maintenance funds was returned to the federal government by state departments of transportation.

The full article can be read here:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

New mountain bike trail in Cleveland Metroparks

I had the day off yesterday, so I decided to go check out the new mountain bike trail in the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks. I rode my bike up from Peninsula on the Towpath Trail in order to partake in the full experience.
The trail is really easy to find (see the directions on our web page by following the link in the previous paragraph). The trail is well-marked along the way as well (with a couple of exceptions) using this type of sign, which has become pretty much standard:
I like how they came up with that official "Mountain Bike Cleveland Metroparks" logo. Does this "branding" effort mean that bigger and better things are to come?

There is a point near the beginning of the Beginner loop where a sign directs you to turn left through a gate in a chain-link fence. For the first-timer, it's not real clear after that, but you need to then bear right, keeping the fence on your right, in order to continue on the trail.

There is another spot, near the end of the Intermediate loop, where the singletrack ends at a gravel road, near a large electrical tower. The marker there directs you to turn left. There is what appears to be another singletrack trail immediately on the left off of the gravel road, so I turned onto it. It didn't take long, after several bumps on the helmet with overhanging branches, for me to realize that this was a dead end, so I turned around back to the gravel road. I would suggest that repositioning the marker, or perhaps another marker, in this area would be helpful to make it clear that you are supposed to stay on the gravel road at this point.

I wonder how many attoryney-hours went into the wording on this sign:

I guess my only criticism of this new trail would be that it's too short. To be fair, that's not a fair criticism; hundreds of volunteer hours went into the building of this trail; they have to start somewhere, and it's a good start.
On my first loop around the trail, my opinion of it was kind of fickle. But I realized that I am probably just spoiled. When you ride your old favorite trails (e.g. West Branch, Mohican) over and over, you get to know the location of every rock and root, and memorize the optimal lines to ride. I always compare this to the way a golfer gets to know the slope of every green on their home course. So, being a first-timer, I was riding pretty tentatively. On my second lap, knowing that there was nothing unexpected that was likely to kill me, I rode a lot more agressively, and was having a hoot of a time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Our industry has fallen too much in love with the extreme aspect
of the sport … It's not about flying down the mountain; it's the
joy of being on top of the mountain."

-- Horst Leitner, mountain-bike suspension designer

(Thanks again to the Adventure Cycling Association's Bike Bits e-newsletter for providing this quote.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best Bicycle Shop of Northeast Ohio

myfoxcleveland's HOT LIST Nominated: Best Bike shop in Cleveland Fox 8 Cleveland, in cooperation with CityVote, is conducting a survey to name the best local businesses. We have been nominated for Best Bike Shop! Click here to view our listing and cast your vote, now through November 10!

And a big Thank You to Northern Ohio Live Magazine for naming us their Best Bicycle Shop of Northeast Ohio for 2007!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Interbike Show Day 3 Report

Whew. We debate every year whether or not to spend the extra money and time to spend a third day at this show. With only two days, it seems like we spend all day going from one meeting to the next, without any time to just wander and check out cool stuff. I like having the third day, but by the afternoon, I felt like a zombie, walking around with numb feet, sore shoulders from hauling a bag full of catalogs, and wandering in circles seeing if there was any booth that I could have possibly missed. There wasn't...

Our first stop for Friday morning was the Tifosi booth, where Gary Thomas showed us there latest line of sunglasses, including a couple of new styles that we think will be pretty popular.

Do these titanium frames look familiar? This is the booth from the Chinese factory that makes the frames formerly known as Airborne! Airborne started out as a mail-order only company, but for a few years also sold through bike dealers such as ourselves. About two years ago, they changed their name to Flyte and went back to mail-order only. Now, they have gone out of business entirely. The frame factory is still in business, and they are looking for new American distributor. Derrick got one of their catalogs, and tried to talk to them, but nobody at the booth spoke English, and the catalog is mostly in Chinese as well. If you have a big warehouse and source for bike components, give them a call!

Burley has made lots of enhancements to their popular line of child trailers. Shown here are their pet carriers, the redesigned Tail Wagon (bottom), and the new Rover model (top).

White Lightning remains the best-selling chain lube in the world, so they haven't changed what works, other than redesigned labels and packaging. The new labels make it clearer which lube should be used for different conditions--the original wax lube for dry conditions, the Epic lube for all-weather use, and the Wet Ride lube for extreme all-conditions use.

This is the new model for '08 from Salsa, the La Cruz. They wanted to provide something to fill a niche beneath their aluminum Chili Con Crosso and Las Cruces framesets. This one has a True Temper OX Platinum steel frame and fork, compatible with disc brakes only. Set it up with a flat bar or drop handlebars; it's equally at home on the cyclocross race course or on commutes of pavement, potholes, gravel, and dirt.
Thanks for following my Interbike reports; we will see you back in Ohio!