You can read more about Mr. Thomas and see samples of his work at his web site: www.thomasironworks.com
Thursday, December 31, 2009
A bicycle, of sorts, under the Christmas tree
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturdays - Thanks for the memories!
Pat, Trish, and Bernd
Chris and his mom
Thanks to all of our friends and customers who stopped by in your Crazy Christmas Sweaters to help make our holiday season fun!
The Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturdays made the local news a couple of times, in these articles:
- Ugly sweater could earn you prize at bike store - West Shore Sun, December 17, 2009
- Century Cycles has Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturdays - West Life, December 23, 2009
You can re-live all of the memories from Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturdays 2009 with this slide show:
50% off Pearl Izumi AmFIB Tights - Hot Deal #5!
The Fine Print
This Hot Deal is good only December 30, 2009 through January 13, 2010, or while supplies last. In-store purchase only; no online or phone orders accepted. No coupon necessary. Cannot be combined with other offers nor is subject to holiday sale discounts.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Two days left in 2009 to get a credit or make a donation
Towpath to Whiskey Island
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hop on a great deal on a tandem bicycle!
- Niobium steel/carbon ExoGrid Technology frame with carbon seatstays
- 10 speed Shimano XTR drivetrain and triple crankset
- Carbon seatposts, fork, and handlebars
- NEW Ultegra 6700 shift/brake levers
- Winzip mechanical dual-piston disc brake with 10-inch rotor
- Santana Shimano Sweet 16 wheelset
- Terry Fly & Butterfly Ti rail saddles
- Super-cool Bahama Orange finish
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Have a Surly Christmas!
What does this mean to you, the Surly-consuming public? Well, in a few weeks, you may see our store windows festooned with a big Surly Pirate Flag sticker, the secret symbol informing you that we are a preferred purveyor of all things Surly. But you knew that already.
You may see us stocking a wider range of sizes in one or two models of Surly bicycles. Or you may not.
What's new in the Surly pipeline for 2010? The biggest news is that the Pacer road frame will be available for sale as a complete bike, in the new British Racin' Green color:
It features a Shimano Tiagra compact double drive train, including Tiagra front derailleur, rear derailleur, 12-25 9-speed cassette, and integrated brake/shift levers (a step up from the bar-end shifters found on the Long Haul Trucker and Cross-Check). A real steel road bike for a real steal at $1,175.00.
Speaking of the Cross-Check, it comes back unchanged from 2009, available as a frameset or complete bike in Gloss Black or the color we've all learned to love to hate or hate to love, Beef Gravy Brown.
To the delight of many picky touring cyclists, you can now choose 26-inch wheels in any size frame of the Long Haul Trucker; the 700C wheel option is still available for 56cm or larger frames. The new color is (She Wore) Blue Velvet:
There are still a handfull of the older Olive and Truckaccino color LHT's left.
You can still get your hands on a Big Dummy in either Military Green or Black, a Karate Monkey 29er mountain bike in Black or Chum Bucket Red, a Steamroller track bike in Black or Creamroller, the Instigator frame in Black, the 1x1 frameset in Black or Orange, the Traveler's Check frameset in Dark Blue or Brownlow, and coming soon, the Pugsley frameset in Grandpa's Jammies (don't ask, I don't know):
To all of our friends out there in Surly-land, believers and non-believers alike, have a Merry Christmas!
P.S. Don't forget about our final Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturday this week!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
So long, sycamore
Monday, December 21, 2009
Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturday #3
Peninsula: Pam with Sales Manager Doug
Rocky River: Staff members Ray and Ken (on left), owner Scott Cowan (far right) with three friends; all six pictured are graduates of Bay High School.
and cycling socks manufacturer SwiftWick:
Don't forget that you've got ONE MORE CHANCE to wear YOUR Crazy Christmas Sweater into any of our stores this Saturday, December 26, 2009 and claim your FREE gift (with any $10 purchase)!
P.S. A big thanks to Cool Cleveland and Plus College Cool Blog for recommending our our Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturdays to their readers!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Jeff Lenosky rides Giant in "Latitudes"
Professional mountain biker Jeff Lenosky joins other pro riders in locations around the world in the new DH Productions film "Latitudes." This clip shows Jeff in scenes from his riding in San Juan, Puerto Rico on the Giant STP.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Perseverance and Patience = The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
Friday, December 18, 2009
Hot New Product: Electra Classic Crochet Mesh Cycling Gloves
It's hard not to notice that for the past couple of years, the retro look is IN. Steel-framed bicycles, leather saddles, and leather handlebar tape, not to mention the classic cruiser-style bicycles that are popping up and turning heads in neighborhoods all over.
Regardless of the type of bikes they ride, we've had a lot of requests from customers lately for the retro-style cycling gloves, with the crochet mesh backs that provide a cool look and a cool feel.
Thanks to Electra Bicycles, we have a new option to offer you now in these gloves. The Electra Classic Crochet Cycling Gloves feature retro construction of 100% cotton mesh on the backs, plus synthetic leather palms with minimal foam padding to provide the protection you need without the bulk that you don't need.
They come in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large sizes, in five classic color combinations to satisfy the tastes of any retro-grouch on your holiday shopping list (including yourself?).
In stock now in all three of our stores, or order online!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
More Christmas Sweaters - and an Extra Saturday!
One more from the Medina store:
And a few from Rocky River:
We've had so much fun seeing you visit in your Christmas sweaters that we've decided to extend the celebration an additional week! Our original final date was this Saturday, December 19, 2009.
Now, call it Black Saturday, or what one big chain store used to call it, the day to come and get "almost everything you wanted but didn't get for Christmas," you can also come visit any of our stores in your Crazy Christmas Sweater on Saturday, December 26, 2009 and claim your free gift with any $10 purchase.
As we've mentioned before, one gift is for beer drinkers, and the other is for coffee drinkers; either one comes with a sample of the appropriate beverage to fill it! (Gifts and samples available while supplies last.)
50% Off Blackburn Voyager Light Combo - Hot Deal #4
We're bringing back our most popular Hot Deal from last winter -- just in time to stuff those stockings for the holidays! The Blackburn Voyager Light Combo is a terrific light set for cyclists of all ages and bikes of all kinds. The Blackburn Voyager 3.3 headlight sports three super-bright LEDs with flash and steady modes, plus it easily attaches to all handlebars without tools. The Mars 1.0 taillight has four ultra-bright red LEDs with mounts that can attach to your bike, pack, or rack.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Blanc et Noir OR Noir et Blanc?
The Million Car Challenge Campaign
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Define your life...in Taiwan AND Hong Kong!
Here's K. Bauer proudly wearing her "Define your life. Ride a bike.tm" t-shirt at Goody Goody Coffee, a popular refueling spot for the many cyclists in the city of Kaoshung, Taiwan.
Only 2 days left on our Electra Hot Deal!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Crazy Christmas Sweater Saturday #2
Mike with staff members Michael and Rich
Not surprisingly, both Bob and Mike selected the "Define your life. Ride a bike.tm" pint glass (along with a bottle of Great Lakes Christmas Ale) as their free gift.
In Rocky River, even "Skinny Fred" got into the act, although rumor has it that he skipped both the beer and the coffee mug--how else would he keep his girlish figure?!?
Join us this Saturday, December 19, your LAST CHANCE to wear YOUR Crazy Christmas Sweater into any of our stores to get your free gift (with any $10 purchase).
Friday, December 11, 2009
Special gifts just got special-er!
The other gift to choose from is just for coffee drinkers – it’s a Century Cycles coffee mug and a packet of 53x11 Coffee, The Early Break. There are a lot of folks who are fans of 53x11 Coffee besides us – including the comic strip hero Frazz. Check out his t-shirt in the comic strip by cartoonist (and fellow bicyclist) Jef Mallett that ran last week:
December 2009 eNewsletter
The latest edition of the Century Cycles Monthly eNewsletter is hot off the presses! If you didn't receive it in your Inbox, you can read it online here. In this month's issue:
- TechTalk: Cycling-Specific Clothing
- New Year's Day Bike Ride options
- An addition to the latest Hot Deal for Cold Days
- 5 Question: Adam Falkner
- Reminders of our on-going Holiday Sale, our Holiday Hours, and Bicycle Maintenance Class schedule
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Staff Profile: Adam Falkner
2010 Bicycle Maintenance Classes
- 15% discount on all parts, tools, lubes, and repair stands
- A free book: "The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" (a $19.95 value)
Plan to get dirty and leave with a clean, well-tuned bicycle! Learn to clean and lubricate the drive train; adjust brakes, derailleurs, hubs, headset, and bottom bracket; and evaluate replacement parts and upgrades. (2) two-hour sessions; $85 per person.
- Medina: January 6 and 13 OR February 4 and 11
- Peninsula: January 5 and 12 OR February 3 and 10
- Rocky River: January 7 and 14 OR February 2 and 9
Exact same curriculum as above, but without the Y chromosome (well, except for your instructor). (2) two-hour sessions; $85 per person.
- Medina: January 19 and 26
- Peninsula: January 21 and 28
- Rocky River: January 20 and 27
This is our master wrenching class! Learn everything from the Tune-Up class plus receive more in-depth instruction about derailleur adjustment and advanced wheel truing. You'll also remove, clean, lubricate, and re-install the crankset, chain, and derailleurs on your bicycle. (3) two-hour sessions; $125 per person.
- Medina: January 14, 21, and 28 OR February 2, 9, and 16
- Peninsula: January 13, 20, and 27 OR February 4, 11, and 18
- Rocky River: January 12, 19, and 26 OR February 3, 10, and 17
Century Cycles stores are teaching a free clinic on flat tire repair every Monday in January and February at 7:00pm in Medina and Rocky River (6:00pm in Peninsula). Because it's the #1 bike maintenance skill all bicyclists need to know, we're making it easy for everyone to learn. No registration is necessary, just show up!
Do you want to take one of the above classes, but can't fit it into your schedule? Or, do you want to learn a combination of any of the topics above, or want to learn something specific, like wheel-building? Century Cycles now offers CC 1-To-1 just for you. It's a training program tailored to YOUR needs and YOUR schedule. $75 per hour, by appointment only.
Call or visit the store you want to attend to reserve your class spot (see locations and phone numbers below). Payment is due at the time of registration. The classes are geared toward multi-speed bikes manufactured after 1985 and are not suitable for BMX, recumbent, tandem, or coaster brake bicycles. Missed classes cannot be made up or refunded.
- Medina: 1079 N. Court St. Medina, OH 44256 phone: 330-722-7119
- Peninsula: 1621 Main St. Peninsula, OH 44264 phone: 330-657-2209
- Rocky River: 19955 Detroit Rd. Rocky River, OH 44116 phone: 440-356-5705
TechTalk: Cycling-Specific Clothing
The world of clothing for cycling is not just all about fashion and vanity. There are good reasons for why bike clothes look and feel the way they do. Cycling-specific clothing is designed to maximize your comfort and performance while riding. Even if you are not a racer looking for maximum speed, cycling clothing still provides benefits that help you get the most enjoyment from your bicycling experience.
Clothing designed for cycling and other vigorous activities is usually made with a blend of polyester fabrics. These fabric promote a process known as "wicking," which means the transfer of moisture (i.e. sweat) away from your body into the air. Even the most basic and inexpensive cycling clothing made of wicking fibers is better than a typical cotton t-shirt. Cotton tends to absorb and hold moisture, which ends up making you feel hotter in hot weather and colder in cold weather.
More advanced wicking fabrics are designed with different types and shapes of fibers on the inside and outside surfaces. The inside fibers are optimized to attract moisture and pull it away from your skin, and the outside fibers are optimized for helping the moisture evaporate into the air. These principles are applied to the fabrics used in both cycling jerseys and cycling shorts.
As for the colors, you can wear whatever your personal preference dictates. Professional and amateur racers wear jerseys adorned with the logos of their sponsors, to provide the exposure for the sponsors' businesses in exchange for their financial support. Some recreational riders like to wear the same clothing to show their preference for their favorite racer or team (just like football fans wear the jersey of their favorite NFL team). The neon green or other bright-colored jerseys that many riders wear are mainly so that they are more visible to drivers on the roads. However, jerseys are available in more subdued colors for those that do not care to attract as much attention.
Most performance-minded cyclists prefer their jerseys to be as tight as possible. If your jersey flaps in the wind, that will slightly hinder your speed. However, even if you're not concerned about speed, a more important thing to consider is that a loose jersey will have the potential to move around and rub against your skin, causing chafing and discomfort.
The same principle applies to cycling shorts; the tight spandex material allows the shorts to move with you, rather than against you, to avoid chafing. Another problem with jeans and even most non-cycling-specific athletic pants is that the seams are positioned right down the middle of the crotch area. This provides a pressure point between your body and the bike seat, causing chafing and hot spots. Cycling shorts have the seams positioned strategically to the sides to avoid this problem.
Cycling shorts also have a padded lining in the seat area. This pad is sometimes referred to as a "chamois," in reference to the material that some are made out of. Many years ago, some shorts had a chamois made of leather. The padding in most modern cycling shorts is made of a combination of polyester fabric and foam padding.
Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of the chamois in bike shorts is NOT to providing extra cushioning in your seat. The primary function of the chamois is to reduce friction between your skin and your shorts and bike seat. Most of the discomfort in the seat that most cyclists experience at one time or another is a result of this friction, and not actually a result of your weight pressing down on the seat.You can enhance the friction-reducing ability of the chamois by applying a lotion or cream to it, such as Chamois Butt'r.
What distinguished less expensive cycling shorts from more advanced models? The better models will use more advanced stitching methods in the seams, resulting in a flatter seam on the inside, which is more comfortable against your skin. The chamois on better models will have a more anatomic shape for more comfort, often with different thicknesses of foam in different areas to provide more or less padding to optimize the friction-reducing properties in strategic spots. Some models incorporate anti-microbial fibers, which help to reduce odor and even potentially harmful infections.
If, out of modesty, you don't want to wear the skin-tight cycling shorts in public, there is a "baggy" style of bike shorts available. These have a tight inside liner that is just like the cycling shorts described above, but a regular loose outer layer that looks just like a regular pair of casual shorts, usually including pockets.
The use of wool in cycling jerseys, shorts, and other outdoor clothing was common many years ago, before polyester and other synthetic fabrics were widely available. In recent years, however, wool has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as many outdoor enthusiasts have rediscovered its natural ability to provide warmth even when wet, wick away moisture, and provide comfort in both hot and cold conditions. The use of 100% Merino wool provides smooth comfort without the itchiness of that old wool sweater hanging in the back of your closet.
Cycling jerseys are available in both short- and long-sleeve for riding all types of conditions. Cycling shorts are also made in long versions, or "tights." For those in-between days in the spring and fall, try arm warmers and leg warmers. These are basically just individual sleeves and pant legs that you can pull on before you start your ride on a cool morning. As the day warms up, you can easily slip them off, and they are small enough to be able to roll up and stuff into your jersey pockets or a bag on your bike.
Cycling-specific jackets and pants let you add an extra outer layer to keep the wind's chill off. Cycling-specific jackets are built to meet the needs of riders more so than a regular jacket--the sleeves are longer to keep your wrists covered even while in the riding position, and the tail is built a little longer to keep the draft off of your back. Both jackets and pants may come in "water-resistant" and "waterproof" designs. The water-resistant types will be more "breathable," i.e. let your sweat evaporate more easily, and are adequate in keeping you dry in mild misty conditions. The waterproof types are better at keeping you dry in a steady rain, but at the expense of breathe-ability.
Up on top, you can wear a wicking bandana or skull cap, which provides some insulation from the cold, but is thin enough to fit under your helmet. You can also add a waterproof helmet cover to keep the rain and snow out (and can help even on dry days to keep the wind off of your head to help you stay warm). For REALLY cold days, swap that skull cap for a "balaclava," which covers your whole head, ears, and neck, leaving just a space for your eyes and nose, for maximum protection from the biting cold.
You are probably familiar with the short-fingered gloves worn by many cyclists, but you can also get them in full-fingered styles for somewhat chilly days, and fully insulated for those winter rides. Even in warm weather, gloves serve three purposes: keeping your hands from sweating and getting slippery all over your grips, providing some padding to keep your hands from getting numb, and protection from getting dirt and gravel embedded in your hands in the unfortunate event of an "involuntary dismount."
We haven't forgotten about your feet! Like jerseys and shorts, cycling socks are made of wicking polyester materials to help manage moisture. When the temperature drops, you can switch to wool socks--several companies make cycling-specific wool socks that help to keep your toes warm, but are still thin enough to fit inside your cycling shoes. For really sloppy conditions, slip cycling booties over your shoes--these are made of neoprene or similar materials to keep the rain, snow, and slush off your feet.
To be ready for all conditions, the old maxim of "dress in layers" applies to cycling as well as to all outdoor activities. Start with a wicking base layer (regular bike jersey), add a thicker insulating layer (winter jersey, wool jersey, or polar fleece sweatshirt), then top them off with a wind-breaking cycling jacket. For your bottoms, start with your cycling shorts, then add leg warmers or tights for extra warmth, then add a pair of cycling pants to keep dry. You can easily stop mid-ride to remove or add layers as conditions change.
Century Cycles has clothing and accessories in stock in all of the categories mentioned above. Our expert staff has the experience to advise you on what's best for your riding style and the types of conditions you plan to ride in. All of these make great holiday gift ideas, too!