Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bicycling on Giant road bikes: Debut of 2012s, Best of 2011s

There’s quite a Giant presentation on the website for Bicycling Magazine.  Editor Mike Yozell was among the international journalists invited to the global media presentation in Majorca, Spain, of Giant’s 2012 Road bike line in June.  He not only provides photos and comments about Giant’s new bikes, he also takes time to feature the new Giant WheelSystems, OverDrive 2, and Giant line of tires. 

Of his Giant Majorca experience, Yozell writes: “We were treated to fantastic weather and the chance to put loads of miles on Giant’s new bikes at their 2012 road line launch on Majorca. Located in the Mediterranean, Majorca is a jewel of an island—offering mile after mile of cycling-friendly roads, towering climbs, and sinuous descents. We were able to put the bikes through their paces and came away suitably impressed. As claimed, the 2012 line is Giant’s best yet.” 

Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan is heading to Giant dealer meetings this coming week (NOT in Majorca, we must add!) and will have a chance to see them for himself -- and you'll be seeing them in all three Century Cycles stores very soon!

Back in June, Bicycling's 2011 Editors’ Choice Awards singled out three Giant road bikes as the best in their categories. Giant topped all other manufacturers in this year’s awards and was the ONLY brand to win multiple categories.

“…the Lincoln Town Car suspension is gone as engineers build in speed while still insulating the rider from road vibrations. The Giant Defy Advanced 1 does all of this without breaking a sweat.” “’It was the most spirited in ride quality of the bunch,’ said one tester.” “After pushing the bike to higher speeds on descents, our staff found great handling without any twitchiness.”


“Giant wins its third straight Editors’ Choice crown in this category, thanks to the Avail’s versatility. Despite upright geometry, this bike felt speedy and climbed well. The parts are well chosen, especially the DT Swiss/Giant wheels and mixed Ultegra and Dura-Ace components.”


“The Defy 2, a winner in 2010, stays on top. Handling is stable, partly due to a comfortable upright position, but you can still carve corners. A Shimano Tiagra group offers reliable shifting, and carbon fork and seatpost plus 25mm tires smooth the ride.”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Serfas Cycling Jerseys: Affordable Performance

Century Cycles has carried the Serfas brand of cycling accessories for many years, and have enhanced our customers' cycling experiences with their popular saddles, tires, pumps, tools, and locks.

We are now offering you jerseys from Serfas, combining the benefits of cycling-specific technical wicking materials at a price that leaves enough in your wallet to enjoy the post-ride celebration.

For men, the Serfas Summit Cycling Jersey ($29.99) comes in Red or Royal Blue, and features 14-inch front zipper and a zippered rear pocket. The Serfas Tracer Cycling Jersey ($39.99) is available in Royal Blue/Black, also features a 14-inch front zipper, and has a traditional 3-pocket design in the back.

For women, the Serfas Ventilator Sleeveless Cycling Jersey ($29.99) comes in Blue or Pink and features a 12-inch front zipper. The Serfas Horizon Cycling Jersey ($34.99) comes in White with Pink accents, and is a short-sleeve model with traditional 3-pocket back. Both women's models feature a loose-fitting hem for a comfortable fit and multi-sport function.

All four jerseys are now in stock in our three stores (size and color selection may vary by store).

Friday, July 29, 2011

In search of the perfect smartphone holder

With the recent rise in the popularity of the iPhone and other smartphones, we've been getting a lot of requests in our stores for handlebar-mounted phone holders. There are several products out there, and from the feedback we've gotten from some customers, they have nice features, but few have all of the perfect combination of features to make them "just right." We've done some research on other models that might fit the bill, but at a price (some over $60) that many consumers feel just isn't worth it.

The first product that we stocked was the Ibera iPhone/iPod case.

  • Touch-screen compatible
  • Quick release for removal of phone from handlebar mount
  • Not waterproof
  • Tight fit; must remove protective phone cover to insert into case
  • No camera port
Price: $23.99

Availability: In stock

Topeak is one of our favorite manufacturers of bike accessories; we're big fans of their rear racks, trunk bags, handlebar bags, and fenders. They showed us their new iPhone Dry Bag at Interbike last fall, but it has only been available in very limited quantities for the past month or so. This case has a clear plastic window for an iPhone's camera lens; in our in-store tests, though, the pictures came out a little cloudy.

  • Waterproof
  • Touch-screen compatible
  • Topeak's QuickClick mount for easy removal from handlebar
  • iPhone camera port
  • Somewhat tight fit; may work with some thin protective covers, but not with thicker silicone or rubberized covers.
Price: $29.99

Availability: In stock

We recently received a sample of a new product in this category to try out. It's the BiKase Phone/GPS Holder, made by a company called Gear Grinder. To give this phone holder a real test, I tried this product out last week during a mountain bike ride at Mohican State Park. The BiKase mounts quickly and easily to your handlebar, stem, or frame using two Velcro straps. The straps have some stretch to them, so you can get a secure attachment regardless of how thick or thin the bar you're attaching them to is.

I use the Cat Eye Strada Wireless bike computer, which operates by pushing down on the bottom edge of the computer itself. So, I wanted to situate the BiKase so that as I rode, the BiKase would not bump up and down on the bike computer, causing it to keep switching modes or resetting. I strapped the BiKase onto my stem, in a position so that it was not overlapping with my Cat Eye:
This seemed to work well, until about 4 miles into the 25-mile Mohican loop. I rode over a few roots, and the BiKase got jostled so much that it bumped into my Cat Eye enough to make it pop out of its mount. I saw the Cat Eye flying on my right to the side of the trail, so I stopped immediately to pick it up. I searched through the weeds until the horseflies started going into dive-bomber mode, but never found my Cat Eye. I did, however, find a case of poison ivy on my leg two days later.

To avoid this problem, I could have mounted the BiKase horizontally on the left side of my handlebar, or on the top tube of my frame, as shown here:
I rode with this setup for a while, and it worked fine, other than occasionally brushing my knees against the BiKase when pedaling out of the saddle.

Aside from the mishap with my Cat Eye, the BiKase worked well, and I'd still recommend it; just be careful how you strap it in place in relation to your bike computer. I was able to use my phone's touch screen with no problems, and my GPS tracking app continued to work accurately to map my route, even under the tree cover of the mountain bike trail.

The BiKase has a roomy storage compartment that will work with a variety of devices: iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, or even automobile-type GPS units (which you can see acting as a stand-in for my phone in the photos above).

The BiKase is not waterproof, but its thick neoprene skin does work well to protect your device against bumps. It also has a zippered opening and a headphone port, no camera port.

Price: $24.99

Availability: In stock

What features are most important to you in a smartphone holder for your bike? Have you tried any model of phone holder yourself yet? How well has it worked for you? We're interested to hear your feedback, so let us know in the comments to this post.

For all your inferno needs

Don't let the high heat stop your fun! As this sign in our Medina store (a Chris Walters Original) points out, Century Cycles has everything you need to keep rolling as the temps rise -- from water bottles and hydration systems to lots of jerseys that wick moisture (read: SWEAT).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Well-Reviewed: Sunlite Bamboo Bike Basket

Bicycling Magazine put the Sunlite Bamboo Quick Release Front Basket ($39.99; available online and in our stores) in the spotlight as one of "9 Beautiful Bike Baskets" that "hold everything from Chimay to Chihuahuas" in style.

Of the Sunlite Bamboo, they said:
This lightweight bamboo-slat basket attaches via a quick-release handlebar mount, making removal a snap. At the beach? Chain your bike to a boardwalk rack, remove the basket, and throw the shoulder strap over your head to carry your towel, sundries, and Hollywood trash rag down to the sand for a day of sun, surf, and relaxation.
The Sunlite Bamboo is perfect for the Chamay, but if you want to carry your Chihuahua on your bike, we (like Bicycling) recommend you forego the Sunlite Bamboo and instead get a Nantucket Pet Basket -- stylish AND safe for your precious cargo!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pictures from the NiteRider demo Night Ride

The weather was looking pretty threatening this past Saturday for our latest Night Ride on the Towpath Trail, but it cleared up just in time for a pleasant summer evening ride! Over 60 people braved the dark clouds and showed up to ride. Thanks to everyone for attending!

Thanks also to Tommy from NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems for bringing us our 3rd annual NiteRider demo night!

Congratulations to Andrew Hanna, who won the drawing for a NiteRider MiNewt.150 Cordless headlight, courtesy of NiteRider.

If you haven't experienced the quality and reliability of NiteRider headlights yet, now is the perfect time. We've got new 2012 models arriving, and that means we've marked down our older models. Stop in for a great deal on these headlights:
Our next Night Ride on the Towpath Trail is on Friday, August, 5. See for full details, including 5 Tips for how to prepare for a Night Ride!

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Like a babe in swaddling clothes

When we arrived one morning a few weeks ago to open the Rocky River store, we found an old Henderson on our back doorstep, along with a note that read:

"1940 Schwinn for restoration. Please find me a good home. Thank you!"

Trust us: It found a good home and is now among many other beautiful old bikes that have been saved from the trash heap.

Debby's Bike Trip: Lots of heat, corn, and Japanese Beetles

We have been posting regular updates from Rocky River customer Deb Milano, as she attempts to complete the second leg of a cross-country bike trip along the Northern Tier Bicycle Route.

Keep an eye out for Deb and her group on Thursday, July 28 -- they will be bicycling through Northeast Ohio that day (Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan plans to ride with them for a bit) and a luncheon in their honor will be held at Cleveland Yacht Club in Rocky River.

Here is Deb's email update from July 20, entitled "CORN... CORN.... and JAPANESE BEETLES"
Have spent the past two days riding in 100 degree heat. Yesterday we rode 80 miles into Kewanee, Illinois, and today rode 80 miles into Streator. It has been so hot, that I haven't wanted to stop to take many pictures; while riding you create a slight breeze, when you stop, you fry.

We are riding through what is known as the Greenhouse of America, aptly named due to hot, wet summers with long, humid days making it a perfect environment for crops. All we have seen is corn and soy beans for miles and miles. The only thing saving us these past two days has been a great tail-wind and fairly flat terrain. I have been able to cruise along in my big ring while Japanese Beatles bounce off my face and helmet. Oh! the wonders of cycling.

We are on the road at 6am, the first of us to arrive at the hotel, got in at noon. We rewarded ourselves with Root Beer Floats and then proceeded to crash in our rooms. We have an 86 miler tomorrow and 98 miles the next day. It is just STIFLING out there.
Here is her July 23 update:
OK, I know everyone is HOT.

So, I am trying not to complain about the fact that is was 100 degrees on the bank thermometer yesterday in Logansport, Indiana. Logansport, a town in north-central Indiana, is where we are spending a rest day (not leaving our air-conditioned rooms). The early morning bike cleaning and laundry took place and now we are literally CHILLING. Everyone is in need of rest, if for no other reason, getting up at 4:30 am, to be on the road at the first hint of light. To make matters worse, I woke up to the cursed rear flat tire Thursday morning. Gratefully, I accepted the assistance of the guide, Carol, to help me fix it.

Flat terrain and no services for miles and miles. We find ourselves stopping at the occasional house and asking for water and/or the use of their outdoor hoses. The Sag vehicle and the van are on the road with us, but the drivers have had their hands full trying to keep track of everyone and assisting riders when they have reached their limit. Bottom line, we all made it in safely yesterday- had chicken and pasta salad for dinner - went to bed and dreamt of what else? CORN.

Yes, we are still in corn country. Who eats all of this? Logansport and Huntington, Indiana, where we are headed tomorrow, both lie on the old Wabash and Erie Canal and served as transportation hubs, thus their beginnings back in the early 1830s. The canal was replaced by the railroad which continues to service the farm industry today. Originally, Indiana and Western Ohio land was home to the Miami Tribe who traded with the early settlers until their ranks were so thinned that their impact was no longer a factor.

As we spend our last day in Indiana tomorrow, we are expecting more of the same heat and a few more hills. My knee is still acting up; I have had 25 diagnosis from 25 cyclists. It feels like a tendon/ligament issue, icing it and taking Advil - just have to deal with it.

I am excited about riding into Home-state of OHIO and hoping I will see many of you on Thursday. Until then - Stay COOL!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some answers

A guy named Skip over at Surly Regional Intergalactic HQ posted this list last month of "Some answers to just about any bike forum post I’ve ever read." Since these answers are also many of the questions we often get in our stores, I've decided to rip them off, er, re-post them here:

If you think your bike looks good, it does.

If you like the way your bike rides, it’s an awesome bike.

You don’t need to spend a million dollars to have a great bike, but if you do spend a million dollars and know what you want you’ll probably also have a great bike.

Yes, you can tour on your bike – whatever it is.

Yes, you can race on your bike – whatever it is.

Yes, you can commute on your bike – whatever it is.

26” wheels or 29” or 650b or 700c or 24” or 20” or whatever – yes, that wheel size is rad and you’ll probably get where you’re going.

Disc brakes, cantis, v-brakes, and road calipers all do a great job of stopping a bike when they’re working and adjusted.

No paint job makes everyone happy.

Yes, you can put a rack on that. Get some p-clamps if there are no mounts.

Steel is a great material for making bike frames - so is aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium.

You can have your saddle at whatever angle makes you happy.

Your handlebars can be lower than your saddle, even with your saddle, or higher than your saddle. Whichever way you like it is right.

Being shuttled up a downhill run does not make you a weak person, nor does choosing not to fly off of a 10 foot drop.

Bike frames made overseas can be super cool. Bike frames made in the USA can be super cool.

Hey, tattooed and pierced long shorts wearin flat brim hat red bull drinkin white Oakley sportin rad person on your full suspension big hit bike – nice work out there.

Hey, little round glasses pocket protector collared shirt skid lid rear view mirror sandal wearing schwalbe marathon running pletscher two-leg kickstand tourist – good job.

Hey, shaved leg skinny as hell super duper tan line heart rate monitor checking power tap train in the basement all winter super loud lycra kit million dollar wheels racer – keep it up.

The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

The following short answers are good answers, but not the only ones for the question asked – 29”, Brooks, lugged, disc brake, steel, Campagnolo, helmet, custom, Rohloff, NJS, carbon, 31.8, clipless, porteur.

No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride.

Sometimes, recumbent bikes are ok.

Your bikeshop is not trying to screw you. They’re trying to stay open.

Buying things off of the internet is great, except when it sucks.

Some people know more about bikes than you do. Other people know less.

Maybe the person you waved at while you were out riding didn’t see you wave at them.

It sucks to be harassed by assholes in cars while you’re on a bike. It also sucks to drive behind assholes on bikes.

Did you build that yourself? Awesome. Did you buy that? Cool.

Wheelies are the best trick ever invented. That’s just a fact.

Which is better, riding long miles, or hanging out under a bridge doing tricks? Yes.

Yes, you can break your collar bone riding a bike like that.

Stopping at stop signs is probably a good idea.

Driving with your bikes on top of your car to get to a dirt trail isn’t ideal, but for most people it’s necessary.

If your bike has couplers, or if you have a spendy bike case, or if you pay a shop to pack your bike, or if you have a folding bike, shipping a bike is still a pain in the ass for everyone involved.

That dent in your frame is probably ok, but maybe it’s not. You should get it looked at.

Touch up paint always looks like shit. Often it looks worse than the scratch.

A pristine bike free of dirt, scratches, and wear marks makes me sort of sad.

A bike that’s been chained to the same tree for three years caked with rust and missing parts makes me sad too.

Bikes purchased at Wal-mart, Target, Costco, or K-mart are generally not the best bang for your buck.

Toe overlap is not the end of the world, unless you crash and die – then it is.

Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.

Yes, you can buy a bike without riding it first. It would be nice to ride it first, but it’s not a deal breaker not to.

Ownership of a truing stand does not a wheel builder make.

32 spokes, 48 spokes, 24 spokes, three spokes? Sure.

Single speed bikes are rad. Bikes with derailleurs and cassettes are sexy. Belt drive internal gear bikes work great too.

Columbus, TruTemper, Reynolds, Ishiwata, or no brand? I’d ride it.

Tubeless tires are pretty cool. So are tubes.

The moral of RAGBRAI is that families and drunken boobs can have fun on the same route, just maybe at different times of day.

Riding by yourself kicks ass. You might also try riding with a group.

Really fast people are frustrating, but they make you faster. When you get faster, you might frustrate someone else.

Stopping can be as much fun as riding.

Lots of people worked their asses off to build whatever you’re riding on. You should thank them.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Local Raleigh sales rep. is "Commuter of the Month"

Sean Burkey is the Cleveland-based sales representative for Raleigh America, as well as a former employee of Century Cycles. He provides extraordinary service for us and other bicycle dealers in the territory of Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania for Raleigh bicycles, Diamondback bicycles, and Avenir accessories.

Sean was featured as the "Commuter of the Month" in the July 15, 2011 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News magazine. Here he is commuting with his two kids on his Raleigh Circa 1.0:
You can read the whole article here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ice Cream Odyssey sees dreams come true for local youngster!

On Saturday, July 16th at the Medina County Bicycle Club Ice Cream Odyssey, Century Cycles teamed up with Bikes 4 Kids, MCBC, and Medina County Job and Family Services to provide a bicycle to Karina.

Karina is 12 years old and is a foster child to Charlene and David Bakalar, who hope to make her a permanent part of their family very soon. Karina's wish for a new bicycle came true in the form of a beautiful pink Raleigh Eva 2.0. The bike was presented by Mike Petcher from our Medina store in front of Ice Cream Odyssey riders, who were happy to applaud the occasion.

Here is Karina (on right, in pink) surrounded by her loving family (and bicycle)! - Charlene, David, and Morgan:

Towpath Trail Update: Now OPEN from Peninsula and south

Following cleanup work by National Park Service maintenance crews, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is now OPEN from the Lock 29 Trailhead in Peninsula, continuing to the south. The trail is still closed between Lock 29 and Boston Store Visitor Center.

Our bicycle rental service in Peninsula is now OPEN for business, and the Night Ride on the Towpath Trail on Saturday, July 23 is on as planned, featuring free bike headlight demos from NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems!

Related trail and park news:
  • Some closures of the Towpath Trail may still be in effect in areas of the Metroparks, Serving Summit County. Latest updates can be found at:
  • Train service on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad resumes today between Peninsula Depot and Akron Northside Station, including the Bike Aboard service.
  • CVSR train service between Akron Northside and Canton is still suspended until further notice.
UDPATE: As of 1:45pm on Friday, July 22, ALL of the Towpath Trail within the CVNP is now OPEN.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Towpath Trail and Night Ride Update

    As of the most recent information that has been made available by the National Park Service, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is CLOSED between the Hunt Farm Visitor Center (on Bolanz Rd, south of Peninsula) and the Boston Store Visitor Center (on Boston Mills Rd, north of Peninsula). This is due to flood damage caused by storms earlier this week.

    Until further notice, our bicycle rental service in Peninsula is not available. The store remains open for our normal hours for full sales and bicycle maintenance services.

    We are keeping our fingers crossed that the trail will be re-opened in time for our Night Ride on the Towpath Trail this Saturday, July 23, featuring free bike headlight demos from NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems. We will announce whether or not the ride is on or cancelled by 3:00pm on Saturday.

    We apologize for any inconvenience.

    You can check for the latest trail closure updates on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park web site at:

    In related news:
    • Bike Aboard service on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is suspended until further notice.
    • Train service between Akron Northside and Canton is suspended until further notice.
    • Some sections of the Towpath Trail in the area of Metroparks, Serving Summit County are also closed; updates can be found at:

    5 Tips: What to bring on every bicycle ride

    One question we often get asked by new bicycle buyers is "What do I need to carry with me when I ride my bike?" The list of five items below are the essentials that you should have with you every time you ride.

    This is in addition to whatever clothing, shoes, gloves, etc. that you find comfortable to wear while bicycling, and of course, your helmet.

    1. Basic repair and maintenance kit

    The basic supplies you should have in your kit include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump, and a folding multi-tool. Even if you are not familiar with how to fix a flat tire yourself or make basic adjustments, having the necessary tools and supplies is a step in the right direction, and a passing Good Samaritan might be able to help get you going.

    Arrange these items carefully in your seat bag, so that any sharp edges of your multi-tool don't wear a hole in your inner tube!

    2. Water and/or sports drink and a light snack

    Staying hydrated is a necessity on a ride of any length, even in cooler weather. You might think that on a shorter ride, a snack is not necessary, but a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances might put you out on the road or trail longer than you expected. You can stash an energy bar in your bike bag or jersey pocket, which could give you a much-needed boost for the final pedaling push back home.

    3. Cash and credit/ATM card

    Some stores have a minimum amount for credit card purchases, so you should always carry a little bit of cash for the small purchases, such as an extra light snack or a refill on your water. It's a good idea to have some of that cash in a few single $1 bills, in case your only option is a vending machine. A credit card is handy if you have any major mechanical issues; if you happen to be lucky enough to be near a bike shop when this happens, you'll be covered for what replacement parts and any labor charges that you might need to incur.

    4. Personal identification

    In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, it will be helpful for emergency personnel if they can verify your identity if you are unable to speak for yourself. If you are stopped for a traffic violoation, you may be in even bigger trouble if you are unable to produce identification. In the worst-case scenario, you might also want to think about having your medical insurance information with you as well.

    5. Cell phone

    If you have ride-ending mechanical issues, or get caught out after dark without a headlight and taillight, then calling a friend or family member to pick you up is your best last resort.

    Most modern cell phones also double as a camera. If you witness or are involved in an accident, any photographic evidence that you collect could prove invaluable at a later date!

    See more "5 Tips" on our web site!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    What We Ride: Tracey Bradnan

    Tracey Bradnan works on marketing and events for Century Cycles, mostly out of the Rocky River store. Her husband, Jerry, surprised her with an Electra Blanc et Noir cruiser bicycle for her birthday - a bike so pretty, she actually displayed it inside her house for the rest of that winter! Tracey uses her Electra cruiser for around-town riding - biking to school with her son, going to the library and out to lunch, and riding with friends. In fact, her cruiser love is so contagious that there is now a cruiser gang on her Bay Village street -- her husband Jerry now rides an Electra Straight 8 and her neighbors bought Electras, too!

    The Blanc et Noir comes so perfectly appointed with fenders and a ding-dong bell that Tracey hasn't had to add many components besides a handlebar basket - which usually carries lots of other things besides her bike helmet (blame the helmet lapse in this picture to a hurry to get to a TV reporter!). She is really looking forward to shopping the new Electra Zone in Rocky River for matching socks and replacing handlebar streamers she lost.

    Check out more of What We Ride on our web site!

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    What's your favorite cycling movie?

    Earlier this year during our spring customer appreciation party, Century Cycles celebrated Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, which Bicycling Magazine argued was "the greatest cycling movie ever made." Others might bestow that honor on Breaking Away, which we also paid homage to at our 2009 season kick-off party. There are several other contenders that we could name, and probably a few that we haven't thought of.

    What's your favorite cycling movie?

    Click the link to take our latest online poll and let us know!

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    What's in your sandbox?

    With cyclists itching to get out and ride during the very snowy winter we had this past year in Northeast Ohio, we had a record number of people asking about the Surly Pugsley bicycle. We did manage to special-order a couple of them for our customers, but a few more were left in the lurch after the bikes were sold out from Intergalactic Surly Regional HQ.

    So, always looking out for our fellow Surly fanatics, we decided to grab a couple now during the season of low demand for snow bikes. In stock as of now are a 16-inch frame Pugsley and an 18-inch frame Pugsley.

    If you're not already familiar with the Surly Pugsley, it's a mountain bike with tires that are almost four inches wide. These babies will roll over snow, sand, mud, small children, and just about anything else in their way.

    Even if you don't think you need a Pug, you'll want one after you take a test-ride. Just look at the big smile on SurlyVegan's face after her test ride (even though we couldn't convince her to ride it down the middle of the railroad tracks, like the rest of us did):
    So, just like Great Lakes Brewing Company occasionally makes a preview of its Christmas Ale in July, you can get your snow bike now--get 'em while they're hot! You don't have to wait for snow to ride it, either; the Surly Pugsley can give new meaning to the term "beach cruiser."

    Speaking of Surlys, we re-stocked a couple of our most popular models, the Long Haul Trucker and the Cross-Check. Here's are list of what's currently in stock in our stores:
    • Long Haul Trucker
      • 52cm, Black
      • 54cm, Blue
      • 56cm, Blue
      • 58cm, Blue
    • Cross-Check:
      • 46cm, Robin's Egg Blue
      • 50cm, Beef Gravy Brown
      • 52cm, Robin's Egg Blue
      • 54cm, Black
      • 56cm, Beef Gravy Brown
      • 56cm, Robin's Egg Blue
    As always, please call us before you stop in to verify that we have the size and color in the store location that's most convenient for you, and also verify that it's assembled and ready to test-ride.

    Also, please note the date of this blog post before you call. We'll have someone call in April of 2013 saying, "I read on your blog that you have a 52cm Cross-Check in Robin's Egg Blue in stock." Don't be that guy. By that time, the latest colors from Surly will be Moldy Bleu Cheese, Pond Scum, or who knows what.

    Photos by Doug Charnock (except for the crummy ones).

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Debby's Bike Trip: Crossing the Mississippi

    A few days ago, we got this update from Rocky River customer and friend Debby Milano, who is continuing her quest to bicycle cross-country this summer:

    Greetings from Stillwater, MN located on the St. Croix River, some 20 miles northeast of St. Paul, MN. Spending a rest day here, after 3 challenging days of riding.

    We left Wadena, MN on Saturday morning and immediately encountered strong head winds, gusting up to 35 miles per hour, which made for very slow going. My friend, Kit from Nantucket, and I rode together and took turns pulling. There was some relief after 45 miles as our direction changed, but still was a long 6 hours in the saddle covering 83 miles as we rode into Lilttle Falls, boyhood home of Charles Lindbergh. Little Falls sits on the Mississippi River, which is already formidable this close to its source. Still riding through rolling farmland with the ever-present odour of turkey processing farms. The crops are mainly potato, soybean and corn. The corn is mostly feed corn, not our Sweet Ohio corn.

    After leaving Little Falls, we headed for Milaca. 62 miles of pleasant riding through neatly appointed farmland. Today for some reason, we encountered many dogs, at least 8 wanted to run along with us whether to take a bite out of our legs or just to play - not so sure. As well as dogs, we passed goats, alpacas, horses and as always cows. Two exciting sitings were those of two Bald Eagles and a Sand Hill Crane. Took a wrong turn today adding on four miles. Never, Never---- do you want to take a wrong turn, there are already enough miles on the plate.

    The temps are still in the nineties with high humidity. Fueling for these conditions is extremely important. Downing lots and lots of electrolytes, stopping regularly for water refills, greasing up with sun-screen at every Sag stop. We find the ever-vigilant Sag (support and gear) wagon, about every 20 miles. The Sag is a station-wagon loaded with water, Gatorade, fruit, salty snacks, cheese, salami, sun-screen, etc... The Sag driver is keeping track of us on the road and provides a safety-net in case of any break-downs, whether those be mechanical or physical.

    And the Sag was extremely important for yesterdays' ride of 108 miles! Hit the road at 6 am to try and beat some of the heat as the early morning temps were very pleasant, as were the smooth roads with a Wonderful TAIL WIND. Clipped along nicely covering 70 miles by 11 am. Much of the same terrain with the riders spread out over quite a distance. By the fifth day of riding, everyone has found sister riders who share their philosophy of cycling; your pace is the same; you like to chat alot, a little or not at all; you like to stop and take photos; you spend a considerable amount of time at the Sag or restaurants or you plow ahead at full speed. All of these factors will determine where you fall in the line-up. Consequently, those of us who rode the entire 108 miles came staggering into Stillwater, 6 and-a-half to 9 hours later. Towards the end of the ride (the last 25 miles), we encountered some serious hills, which were exhausting this late in the game. Nevertheless, 17 of us were jubilant upon finishing - always a very rewarding feeling.

    So that brings me back to Stillwater, a charming, little river town, which came into existance in the 1850's with a lumber boom. Stillwater, at that time, had the largest concentration of white pine in the world, which led to Stillwater being the largest lumber producer in the world. The town prosperred and lived off the revenue until lack of forethought brought the boom to an end in the 1920's when the forests disappeared and the lumber ran out. Tourism is the new industry and by the looks of the activity in town, a successful one.

    Just taking it easy today. Already cleaned and lubed the bike. Did my laundry and now I am going to look for food. Another 84 mile day tomorrow, riding along the Mississippi.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Photos from the July 8th Night Ride

    What a great turn-out last Friday night -- we counted 218 people on the Night Ride! Check out the slideshow above to see if our Century Cycles photographer, Doug Charnock, captured your photo. (If the slide show above is not appearing for you, click here.)

    Looking back:

    We tried to get a photo of all the people who had Bike Glow lights on their bikes, but the photos didn't turn out all that great. Soooo....we'll try to take another photo on the next Night Ride, which means YOU have time to join the Bike Glow Gang!!

    Looking ahead:

    Speaking of the next Night Ride, it is Saturday, July 23, and it's a special one -- the NiteRider demo truck will be here and you can try one of their awesome bike lights for FREE during the Night Ride. This is our 3rd year hosting Tommy and NiteRider, and it's usually one of our biggest Night Rides of the year!! Hope to see everyone there, at the very least to give Tommy a warm Northeast Ohio welcome.

    On last Friday's Night Ride, we were also chatting with some folks who are starting to plan their beer costumes, in preparation for the October 15th "All Hail the Ale" Night Ride for Cleveland Beer Week. Can't wait to see what they come up with!

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Just in time for back/bike to school!

    Simple and stylish, the Electra Cruiser 7D is the perfect way to bike to class for any girl who wants the cool ride of a cruiser, along with seven gears to tackle any hill in the neighborhood or on campus.

    At just $279, this bike would also get thumbs up from her economics professor! Stop in to test ride this and our full line of Electra bicycles for the whole family.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    How would you stack up in Le Tour?

    In case you hadn't heard, it's the beginning of the second week of this big bike race that's pretty popular over in Europe. Anyone can ride a bike, right, so what's stopping you or me from competing against the pros for the big money, other than a contract and a plane ticket to Paris? Well, plenty, apparently, according to some of the items on a list from the latest Bicycling Magazine of the differences between an average cyclist and a professional racer in the Tour de France:

    Average speed on flat terrain:
    You: 17-18mph
    Pro: 25-28mph

    Average speed on mountainous terrain:
    You: 9-10mph
    Pro: 21-25mph

    Miles ridden in a week:
    You: 75-140
    Pro: 700-800

    Calories consumed during a ride:
    You: 200-450
    Pro: 4,000-5,000

    Hours of riding on a "rest" day:
    You: 0
    Pro: 2-3

    Cost of a race bike:
    You: $2,000-$7,000
    Pro: $9,000-$14,000

    Chain replacements:
    You: Maybe once a season
    Pro: 2-3 per Tour

    Hours of sleep per week:
    You: 40-50
    Pro: 70

    Source: You Versus The Peloton, Bicycling Magazine

    On a semi-related note, a couple of bicycle accessories caught the eyes of different CC staffers this past weekend. The "Bikestache," is well, as it claims, nothing short of glorious:

    Our favorite in Peninsula were these bass-guitar-shaped pedals on a customer's bike:

    So, while it may not be possible for you to be Andy Schleck, with these two items, you can be just a step away from being a bike-riding Allman Brother.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Rocky River customer continues her cross-country bike quest

    Longtime Rocky River resident and Century Cycles customer Debby Milano, 60, biked halfway across the United States last summer, and last Tuesday she arrived in Fargo, North Dakota, to finish her cross-country trip on the Northern Tier Bicycle Route -- planning to bike with 25 other women to Bar Harbor, Maine, with a stop in Rocky River along the way.

    Debby was featured on the front page of the West Shore Sun newspaper last Thursday. In the story, she says cycling "has a hold on" her, despite the tragedy that struck her group last summer when one of their members was killed by a pick-up truck while cycling in North Dakota.

    We'll be giving you regular updates on Debby's progress as we receive the periodic emails she sends to family and friends. Here's her update from last Friday:

    I arrived in Fargo this past tuesday, and immediately ran into and reconnected with friends from last years' ride. I spent some time on odds-n-ends with bike maintenance and the purchase of energy supplements, chamois butter, thermal water bottles, etc.... in anticipation of the riding ahead. Wednesday was our official orientation day. We gathered as a group and introduced ourselves, gave a little background info and proceeded to discuss safety issues which included traffic, tornadoes, ticks and poisonous snakes - YIKES, what have I gotten myself into! We ended our day with our send-off dinner; all of us full of pent-up energy and eager to hit the road the next morning.

    On Thursday morning, we rose early, gathered in front of the local bike shop for the obligatory group photo and then jumped on our bikes and we were off. What a release of emotion over the next few hours as we settled in and the 25 of us slowly spread out along the rode as we made our way from Fargo to Pelican Rapids, MN. It is a fact that the level of nervous energy builds over the last few weeks prior to a long-distance ride. You ask yourself: is everything in order at home; have i trained sufficiently; will my body hold-up; do i have everything that i need in the way of fuel and equipment. It is only when riding again, that all of the concerns and questions begin to fall away.

    Of course, everyone from last year's ride carries with them thoughts of Barbara, our friend that we lost last year when she was hit by a pick-up truck. We have all had to deal with that tragedy in our own way and those of us who have returned to finish the ride value the opportunity more than ever.

    We have been riding through west-central Minnesota for the past two days. Within a few miles of leaving Fargo, North Dakota, we crossed the Red River and entered Minnesota.

    We quickly left behind the flat, prairie terrain of the northern plains and entered the rolling farmland dotted with lakes that is Minnesota. We are staying in very small towns as we slowly make our way to the Mississippi River and then we will follow the Mississippi for some time. We covered 57 miles yesterday and 60 today; the riding was very smooth with excellent road conditions, little wind and not much traffic. We have been getting on the road early as the temps have reached into the nineties both days. Now that we have had our warm-up, we will be riding some serious miles starting with tomorrow's 84, a little less the next day and 107 on Monday. Once every five or six days we will be riding close to a century, with 98, 96 and 94 miles days coming up.

    I am still getting to know the women who have joined the group just this summer. Everyone seems nice, as always. A few teachers in the bunch; a geologist; a biologist; a couple of college professors and still getting the scoop on the rest. A few more days together and we will all be fast friends.

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Free NiteRider bike light demo at July 23rd Night Ride

    Century Cycles is teaming up with NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems to offer local bicyclists the chance to try the company’s innovative, high-powered lights on a Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail on Saturday, July 23.

    The NiteRider bicycle light display will open at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Century Cycles bicycle store in Peninsula, Ohio (1621 Main Street, on Route 303 between Route 8 and I-271, next to the Winking Lizard Tavern). The free Night Ride starts in the same parking lot at 8 p.m.

    NiteRider will have an assortment of its most popular bike lights available for Northeast Ohio bicyclists to demo on the two-hour Night Ride. Those interested in using a NiteRider demo light must provide a driver’s license and credit card as collateral, and all demo lights are on a first-come, first-served basis.

    NiteRider’s rolling showroom, which crisscrosses the country attending cycling events and providing technical race support, will be at the Night Ride with the complete line of NiteRider bicycle lighting systems on display. In addition to the product demo, a NiteRider representative will be on hand to answer questions, distribute catalogs and give away a NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB bicycle light (MSRP: $100) by random drawing to one lucky Century Cycles Night Ride participant.

    “We are thrilled to have NiteRider back for the third year in a row,” said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles. “The NiteRider Night Ride is always one of our most popular of the year and we’re thrilled to host their only Northeast Ohio appearance.”

    To see photos and video from last year's NiteRider Night Ride, click here.

    NiteRider ( was founded in 1989 and is widely recognized as a leading innovator and trailblazer in the bicycle lighting industry. It is known internationally for the stylish design, high performance and quality of its lighting products as well as for its unparalleled, high standards for customer service. Over the years, NiteRider has sponsored legends in the sport like NORBA legend Tinker Juarez and ultra-distance legend John Stamstad, both inductees of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

    Now in their 17th season, Century Cycles Night Rides on the Towpath Trail are free group nighttime bicycle rides on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that start and end at Century Cycles’ store in Peninsula. They attract hundreds of bicyclists who enjoy it as a fun family outing, a unique date night, or a just a casual bicycle ride with friends to experience one of the area’s most popular bike paths in a whole new way – at night! Held from April through October, Century Cycles Night Rides are casual rides (not races) open to all skill levels of cyclists and participants are encouraged to go at their own pace.

    Never biked a Night Ride? Visit for the complete 2011 schedule, videos from past rides, and tips for first-time Night Riders.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Do you ride a bike?


    --you're the kind of guy who gets out on your wheels when fall turns the Metroparks red, orange and yellow. Or maybe you look longingly at that old Huffy collecting dust in the garage. You might be the kind of girl who counts down the winter days until she can hit the Towpath-or even challenges snow-covered roads in between. You might have tried commuting to work on your bike (or just around the corner to pick up some groceries). Maybe you live to throw your muddy ride on the back of that Jeep and hit them mountain bike trails.

    Whatever your way of riding -- Cleveland needs you.

    Ever thought you might feel safer riding on the road if you had a bike lane? Wish there were a bike rack outside of your favorite bookstore? Want to feel like you are part of a bicycling community-like the kind you read about in Portland, San Francisco, or even (gasp) Pittsburgh?

    Cycling of all forms has seen a surge in this region in the last few years. It's time to capitalize on our community's growing interest in a mode of transportation that is sustainable, healthy, social, and enjoyable -- so that we can support it, advocate for it, and grow it.

    Cycling advocates in the region have joined forces in a new advocacy organization called Bike Cleveland. For this ambitious undertaking to be wildly successful, we need all forms of cyclists to give us their ideas for improving biking in our little corner of Ohio. The way we see it, this is going to be the most powerful way for you to express your opinions and ideas about cycling. Think about it like this: it's your chance to sculpt the best organization for serving you.

    When can you get your voice heard? All day for two days: September 10th and 11th. We're coming together for the first ever Bike Cleveland Strategic Planning Summit.

    At the Summit, we will gather to plan the goals, strategy and action plan for Bike Cleveland that will inspire a region hungry for better bicycle infrastructure, policy, and culture. Outcomes of the summit will include defining Bike Cleveland's mission, what it will do and how to get it done, forging strong community collaborations to support Bike Cleveland, and establishing buy-in from local cyclists. The ultimate goal? To create a not-for-profit, legitimate, bricks-and-mortar Bike Cleveland.

    Mark September 10th-11th on your calendar for Bike Cleveland's two-day Strategic Planning Summit. We need you to help create an organization that supports everyone who is interested in riding a bike, in any capacity. To request a formal invitation to the Summit, email Jacob VanSickle at

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Tell Ohio to keep its cycling money!

    Today ClevelandBikes emailed this alert to Ohio cyclists:

    The federal government is asking states to rescind (or send back) money that they previously provided and cyclists are concerned Ohio Dept. of Transportation, already eager not to fund cycling and walking, will only be too happy to send money for cycling projects back. Contact the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Governor to say "NO! Don't single out cycling and walking projects when you make rescission recommendations."

    Governor John Kasich
    Riffe Center, 30th Floor
    77 South High Street
    Columbus, Oh 43215-6117
    Phone: (614) 466-3555

    ODOT Director Jerry Wray
    2nd Floor, 1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, Ohio 43223
    Phone: (614) 466-2336
    fax: (614) 644-8662
    no email address provided

    Background: The Federal Highway Administration informed state Departments of Transportation of another rescission of funds, this time totaling $2.5 billion. Unfortunately, we need to act quickly as FHWA issued their notice as the nation started to go on holiday, asking for the states to respond by July 8th. Here is a link to the information from League of American Bicyclists. In August 2010, almost $1 billion was returned to FHWA from the funds that are primarily used to fund cycling and walking projects, out of a $2.2 billion total rescission.

    Tell ODOT and the Governor, cyclists have already given enough!

    Nationwide, less than 1.5% of funds authorized under the federal transportation law have been allocated for projects to improve the safety of walking and bicycling, even though pedestrians comprise 11.8 % of all traffic deaths and trips made on foot account for almost 9% of total trips.

    By all measure, bicycle riding is up, fatalities are down and a reason is better public awareness of safety and the construction and use of better public facilities for riding, with lanes, paths, lights and signs:

    * The number of bike commuters rose in the US by 64% (1990-09), with the bike share of commuters rising from .4 to .6%.

    * Cycling fatalities (down 21%) and serious injuries (down 31%) (1988-2008).

    *Cities are using a range of activities to encourage riding, such as creation of infrastructure such as lanes and paths.

    Source: “Analysis of Bicycling Trends and Policies in Large North American Cities” Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University (2011).

    Here's the League of American Bicyclists' web page of information:

    Thanks for all your efforts to support cycling and walking projects in Ohio.

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Happy July 4th: Riding a bicycle to learn a country best

    "It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

    Have a wonderful July 4th! Century Cycles is closed today in observance of the holiday and will re-open tomorrow at 10am.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Weekly News Roundup

    Lyn posted this link on our Facebook wall, recommending we install the Bike Part Vending Machine above for when our stores are closed....but should we require that you and your bike match the machine??

    The Cuyahoga Community College (aka Tri-C) is offering free Children's Bicycle Safety and Awareness days at their three main campuses on July 16 (Eastern Campus, Highland Hills), July 30 (Western Campus, Parma) and August 13 (Metro Campus, Cleveland). Free helmets and hot dog luches will be provided for participants. Click here for more details and contact information.

    Now in its second year, the WooMan Bicycle Tour on Sept. 18 raises funds and awareness for the Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund and Wooster Memorial Hospital. Route options of 20, 50, or 100 miles are available, over the scenic rolling roads between Wooster and Mansfield, with food provided by founding sponsor Panera Bread. See for more information and registration.

    Giant Bicycles debuted their 2012 road bike line and VeloNews liked what they saw. Scott will be checking the line out at a Giant dealer meeting in a few weeks and we'll be starting to get these bikes in just as soon as we can. Click here for VeloNews review.

    Speaking of Giant, the Rabobank team started the Tour de France yesterday on a new team bike -- the all-new Giant TCR Advanced SL bike. Check it out here.

    Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects create more jobs per dollar spent than other road construction projects, according to a study released by the America Bike Coalition. Road-only projects created 7.8 jobs per million, while bike-only projects provided 11.4 jobs per million. Take THAT, super-highways! The full report is available here.

    Training for the Bike MS Pedal to the Point, but your bike isn't keeping pace? We have the perfect bike to boost your miles AND your fundraising! Click here to check out the Raleigh Revenio or Raleigh Capri and how we'll donate 10% of the purchase prize to your Bike MS account.

    Are you following us on Twitter? We have 554 followers but are lonely without YOU!

    And let's end with a quote:

    "When the sprits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought of anything but the ride you are taking..." -- Arthur Conan Doyle

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Ice Cream Odyssey: A Sweet Ride In Just 2 Weeks!

    The Medina County Bicycle Club's Ice Cream Odyssey is just two weeks from today -- on Saturday, July 16 -- and it is what they bill it to be: A bicycling outing on a hot summer day over the scenic rolling terrain and beautiful farmland of southern Medina and northern Wayne Counties!

    There are three routes (25, 42, and 62 miles) that start/finish at the Medina County University Center and all traverse through quaint small Western Reserve towns. The 62 and 42-mile routes will take you to Hartzler Family Dairy Ice Cream Shop near Woooster, Ohio, for an ice cream cone (free with your registration, along with a post-ride cookout that has even more ice cream).

    The cost is just $25 per person. To register online and for more details, go to until July 13.

    The Ice Cream Odyssey is proudly sponsored by Century Cycles (we're also helping with sag support), The University of Akron, Medina County University Center, and Hype Marketing.

    Holiday Weekend Hours: Closed July 4

    We hope you get out on your bike this July 4th weekend -- and maybe even bicycle in a parade! Should you plan to be stopping by your local Century Cycles, here are our holiday weekend hours:

    Today: Open 'til 6pm
    Sunday: Noon to 5pm
    Monday: CLOSED for Independence Day
    Tuesday: 10am to 8pm

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Take our poll: How many Night Rides have you biked?

    This year marks Century Cycles' 17th season of Night Rides on the Towpath Trail (woot woot!), a milestone that has inspired our latest poll question: How many Night Rides have YOU biked -- a few per season, just the special ones, none but 2011 is the year you try one?? Click here to vote!

    Speaking of Night Rides, our next one is Friday, July 8 - wheels roll at 8pm from our Peninsula store parking lot and it's FREE, as always! Details: