Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tech Talk: Swapping Tires to Make your Mountain Bike more Street and Bike-Path Friendly

Q. I have a mountain bike, but I don't ride it on serious off-road trails. Can I swap the tires to something that's more suitable for streets and bike paths?

We frequently help people with this issue in our stores. The answer is yes, by all means, on almost any bike, you can choose tires that are best for the type of terrain that you ride.

Mountain bikes usually come with tires that have an aggressive "knobby" tread that's great for rough singletrack trails, where you need a tire that will provide the best grip on rocks, roots, loose dirt, and mud.

By switching to tires with a smoother tread, you'll enjoy a more quiet ride on pavement and smooth trails, plus you'll be able to keep up your momentum with less effort.

This is also the first step we usually recommend if you have an old mountain bike that you'd like to convert to use for commuting or touring.

There are several options available depending on your needs and your budget; here are a few of our most popular.

Related article: Tech Talk: Know Your Tire Size

Kenda Comfort Tire
This is one of our most popular and inexpensive tires ($17.99). It's the same tire that comes on the Raleigh Venture series of hybrid bicycles, and on our rental bikes in Peninsula. It's 1.95 inches wide, just a little narrower than most mountain bike tires. The tread is great for unpaved bike paths like the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, with enough grip to handle with ease even if the you come across a little loose dirt or gravel. 65psi maximum.

Kenda Kross Plus Tire
This $21.99 tire has the same width (1.95 inches) as the Komfort tire above. It's got a much smoother tread down the center, so you'll get even less rolling resistance. But, the large side knobs give you extra grip during sudden sharp turns. 65psi maximum.

Serfas Drifter Tire
This is our favorite all-surface tire. At $31.99, it's a little more expensive than the choices above, but you get Serfas Flat Protection System (FPS), which is a Kevlar belt inside the tire tread for better resistance to glass, thorns, and other debris. The unique inverted tread gives you a smooth center section for rolling efficiency on the straight-aways, but grips on the curves when you need it. The tire comes in a 1.5-inch wide version for faster rolling and lighter weight, but it also comes in a 2-inch wide version for a little more cushy ride and better flotation and grip on loose dirt and gravel. 65psi maximum. It also comes in a 29er version (70psi maximum).

Geax Street Runner Tire
This $28.99 tire is great if you're thinking about entering a duathlon or triathlon, and want to get your mountain bike as race-worthy as possible instead of investing in a new road bike. Available in either 1.25-inch or 1.6-inch width, it has lower weight and rolling resistance compared to all the tires listed above, and it's pretty durable, too. Best of all, you can pump it up to a maximum of 100psi.

Continental Gatorskin Tire
We carry the Continental Gatorskins in several popular sizes for road bikes, and they're our go-to choice for road cyclists who want a long-lasting tire. If you're looking for maximum protection and performance on the pavement for your mountain bike, then let us special order a pair of the 26-inch Gatorskins ($54.99 each) for you. 116psi maximum.

More Q&A

Q. Will I need new rims?

A. No, all of the tires above will work with your existing mountain bike rims. Even if you're switching to a narrower tire than your originals, rims are designed to be compatible with tires in a range of widths. The exception might be if you've got super-wide rims like you might find on heavy-duty wheels designed for aggressive downhill or freeride mountain biking.

Q. Will I need new inner tubes?

A. Maybe. Inner tubes are designed to work with a range of tire widths, e.g. 1.9-2.125 inches. So, if you're switching from a 2.1-inch mountain bike tire to a 1.95-inch smooth tire, you won't need a different size tube. However, if you've going to a much narrower tire, you'll need narrower tubes to match.

Even if your tire choice doesn't require different size tubes, if you're going to the trouble of having your tires replaced, we usually recommend replacing your inner tubes as well. If you've had the original tires and tubes on the bike for quite some time, it's probably a good idea to replace them with fresh tubes just to avoid getting stuck with a flat tire because of an old worn-out tube.

Q. Can you change the tires for me?

A. Yes; our labor rate for tire changes is $8.00 each.

All prices listed above are current as of the publication date of this article and are subject to change.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Le Tour de France starts Tomorrow!

For the entire month of July, worldwide attention will be focused on the most famous and exciting bicycle race on the planet, Le Tour de France. This year's contest, the 99th edition, starts with 198 of the fastest cyclists on the planet storming the roads of the opening prologue in Belgium. To make it to the finish in Paris 21 days later, they will need an extraordinary amount of determination, perseverance and luck.

You'll need the same to make it to the finish line of your own personal cycling tour, but a pro-level bicycle wouldn't hurt, either. The Rabobank professional cycling team, sponsored by Giant Bicycles, will be riding the Giant TCR Advanced SL0, with Giant's top-of-the line Advanced SL carbon fiber frame and fork.

You can ride the same technology, but with a more relaxed geometry best for recreational riding and amateur racing, long-distance endurance events, and charity tours like the Bike MS Pedal to the Point. We've got the Giant Defy Advanced SL0 in stock in our Rocky River store.
The bike features a complete Shimano Dura-Ace 20-speed drive train, and Giant P-SLR1 wheel system.

You can follow all of Le Tour de France action in our News Room, including our insider's Guide to the 2012 Tour, Daily Stage Results, Photos of the Day, and Live News Feed from VeloNews. Just click over to:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Giant, Raleigh, and Electra top Consumers Digest Expert Picks in Road, Hybrid, and Comfort Bikes

The August 2012 issue of Consumers Digest contains their experts' "Best Buys" for bicycles, and leading the charge in the road, hybrid, and comfort bike categories are several models that you can get right here in your local Century Cycles store!

Liv/giant Trinity Composite 2
In the road bike category, the Giant Trinity Composite 2 (and its sister the Liv/giant Trinity Composite 2 for Women) earned praise for their full carbon-fiber frames and other wind-cheating innovations, combined with "the best combination of components on a triathlon bike that costs less than $3000." Available by special-order for $2,199.99.
Giant Escape 2
Giant also led the way in the hybrid category with the Giant Escape 2 and the Liv/giant Escape 2 for Women. "The inexpensive Escape 2 has better parts than what you would find on hybrid bikes that cost $100 more.  The highlights include a high-quality aluminum frame (most others are steel in this price range), a 24-speed drivetrain (21 speeds are more common) and double-wall aluminum rims that we believe will hold up better over time than do the single-wall hoops that are typical among economy models." Now in stock in all three of our stores, $419.99.
Raleigh Venture 4.0
Not to be left out, Raleigh made the Best Buy list in the hybrid/comfort category with their Venture 4.0, which features "the best components package of any comfort bike evaluated." Of particular note is the cassette-style rear hub, which is more durable than the freewheel-style hub found on many comfort bikes. We can vouch for the Venture 4.0's durability (as well as that of the Raleigh Women's Venture 4.0), because it's the same model of bike that is used daily by customers of our rental bicycles in Peninsula. Brand-new models are in stock in all three of our stores; $499.99.
Electra Women's Townie Original 7D
Finally, the Electra Townie Original 7D (available in Men's and Women's models) "delivers the best mix of eye-catching style and features that we could find among comfort bikes...including a chain guard." It's been one of our customers' favorites, too, and it's in stock in all three of our stores; $449.99.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Liv/giant women's bike clinics on July 8-9

Join Century Cycles and Liv/giant Ambassador Lauren Ziedonis from Giant Bicycles at one or all of three special women's clinics at our Medina shop on July 8 and our Rocky River shop on July 9. All are FREE!

Women's Bicycle Demo
Find the perfect fit for you! We'll have the new women's Anthem X 29er mountain bike! Test ride road, mountain, and triathlon bikes. Please bring a driver's license and credit card to demo bikes. No RSVP required.
When: Sunday, July 8, 2012, 1:00 - 4:00pm
Where: Century Cycles, 1079 N. Court Street, Medina, OH 44256

Mountain Biking Skills 101
Learn the fundamentals of mountain biking! Mini clinic will go over steering, braking, shifting and basic skills to mountain biking. Arrive early if you'd like to use one of our mountain bikes for the clinic; first come, first served. No RSVP required.
When: Sunday, July 8, 2012, 2:00 - 2:30pm
Where: Century Cycles, 1079 N. Court Street, Medina, OH 44256

Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic for Women
Fixing a flat tire isn't as scary as it looks! Join us for a bike maintenance clinic that will cover the basics on changing a flat tire and how to keep your bike riding safely. We will teach you how from start to finish. Light refreshments will be served; call 440-356-5705 to RSVP -- this clinic will fill up fast!
When: Monday, July 9, 2012, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Where: Century Cycles, 19955 Detroit Road, Rocky River, OH 44116

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Deagan's Bike Night starts TONIGHT!

Deagan's Bike Night was a blast year and now it's back, starting tonight and every Thursday until October 11! 

What's not to like about fun bicycling, great beers, delicious food, discounts for riding, and a chance to win an awesome Raleigh Cadent i8 bicycle from Century Cycles and Raleigh Bicycles? Just bike to Deagan's every Thursday for 15% off your food and drink bill and to enter for a chance to win a new Raleigh bicycle and other great prizes from Deagan's and Century Cycles.

The grand prize Raleigh Cadent i8 bike is already hanging at Deagan's (see below), enticing the gastropub's patrons with its sleek gray aluminum frame and low-maintenance internal 8-speeds -- ideal for riding all over town, commuting to work or touring along Lake Erie.

Get all the details at, then get on your bike and get to Deagan's!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ronald McDonald House Night Ride Photos

It was a wondrous, fun-filled night to ride to help the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland on Saturday, June 2, and everyone at Century Cycles wants to thank the 100-plus people who biked with us through sun, clouds, a beautiful rainbow and (for some) a quick rainfall!

Check out all the photos below, taken by a variety of people from RMH staff to riders themselves. We highly encourage everyone to (a) continue to help and contribute to the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland by clicking here for more info and (b) join us for more Night Rides, including one this Saturday!

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

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

In celebration today of all the dads, grandpas, uncles and men who make a difference in the lives of a child, here is a special photo album of the dads and grandpas who rode with children at the Pajama Party Night Ride last month -- sure to be a special memory for all for years to come. (Photos by Doug Charnock.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Man finishes 3rd cross-country ride in Peninsula

This is Richard Burdyshaw, who just completed his THIRD cross-country bicycle ride on June 12, 2012. He's from Little Rock, Arkansas, but began this latest ride in San Diego, California on March 5.

He followed FIVE different Adventure Cycling Association bike routes: Southern Tier, Grand Canyon Connector, Western Express, TransAmerica, and finally, the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, which brought him to Peninsula, where he waited for his brother to drive down from Mentor to give him a lift.

Thanks for sharing the memories of your many bike adventures with us, Richard! You can read his bike travel blog at:

You can also see more photos of bicycle touring travelers who have visited our stores at the Century Cycles Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where We Ride: Ken's Rocky River to Vermilion Voyage

Ken Hagedorn is an avid road cyclist from the staff of Century Cycles in Rocky River, and one of his favorite rides is The Rocky River to Vermilion Voyage, a 30-mile (60-mile roundtrip) route that takes you along the beautiful shores of Lake Erie west of Cleveland. Click here for lots more details and an online map.

This ride follows U.S. Route 6 (Lake Road), which is also part of the Northern Tier Bicycle Route. In Bay Village, Lake Road also now has "Share The Road" signs to help alert motorists of its popularity with local and touring bicyclists -- thanks to generous support and donations by our Bay Bike To School Challenge program, avid Bay cyclists, and Raleigh Bicycles!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Help! Bike funding once again under attack

The House and Senate are negotiating NOW to produce a final transportation bill, and 20 years of progress on biking, walking and Safe Routes To School could be eliminated -- plus make it impossible for our local communities and governments to access funds for small projects. Please click here to learn more and to contact your local representatives!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Photo Album: Pajama Party Night Ride

Finally! Photographic proof that it was Century Cycles' BEST EVER Pajama Party Night Ride on May 19! Check out the album below with tons of great photos taken by our own Doug Charnock of some of the 250+ pajama-clad people who joined us -- and huge thanks if YOU were one of them!

Many thanks, too, to Bike Cleveland for joining the party to sign people up as members (join them if you haven't -- BC is doing GREAT things for cycling in NEO!), Grunt Girl Racing for collecting everyone's wonderful donations to (and making us all more aware of) Project Night Night, and the always-accomodating Winking Lizard in Peninsula for letting us storm their tasty beer supplies post-ride.

Please share any great pajama-riffic photos you may have in the comments or on our Facebook wall, and see you June 23 for our next Night Ride!

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

PTSD Awareness Rider visits Peninsula

This is Thomas Skinner and his friend Scrubs, who stopped by the Century Cycles store in Peninsula today while on their way from San Diego to Vermont. Tom is a U.S. Army veteran, and he's riding on his Surly Big Dummy to promote awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He's been covered by several major national news organizations, including CNN, Fox, and NPR. You can read more about his trip on his blog at:

See more photos of long-distance bicycle travelers who have visited our stores in our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Free Clinic Tomorrow: Riding Your First Bike MS or Event Ride

If you just signed up for your first Bike MS Pedal to the Point, Pelotonia or another event ride that involves longer distances or multiple days, you probably have a million questions. What bike is best? Which gear is essential? How do I build up my miles? What should I pack for the ride itself?

Join us tomorrow at a FREE clinic offered at all three Century Cycles stores at 6:30pm -- Preparing For and Riding a Multi-Day Bike Event. Our staff will share their expertise and you'll get the answers you need. In our Rocky River store, you can also check out the latest and greatest Raleigh road bikes when the Raleigh Demo Van is there from 4 to 8pm. Go to for more details.

Friday, June 1, 2012

First Medina Bike To School logs 13,171 miles!

The inaugural Medina Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles concluded at Root and Claggett Middle Schools on Tuesday, May 29, with school-wide celebrations of the students’ bicycling accomplishments by Medina’s mayor, school administrators and program organizers and sponsors. Medina middle school students logged 13,171 miles on their bikes and on average 193 students (9.3%) biked each day during the three-week program that ran May 7-25!

“It’s an honor to congratulate Medina’s students for their bicycling,” said Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell in his address to the school-wide assembly at Root Middle School. “Bicycling is important for a number of reasons. It’s a great way to be physically active throughout your life and to help the environment by having fewer cars on the roads. We are committed to expanding the bicycling opportunities in Medina and encourage students to keep bicycling.”

Main sponsors Century Cycles bicycle store in Medina and bicycle manufacturer Raleigh Bicycles teamed up to give away two grand prize bicycles, which were won in a random drawing at the Root assembly by 8th grader Logan Usher and 6th grader Truman Karczewski (below). Both boys biked every day of the challenge.

At Claggett Middle School, the grand prize Raleigh bicycles were won by 7th graders Dustin Green and Nate Neuwirth. Dustin biked all but two days, and Nate biked every day of the challenge.

Raleigh Bicycles also gave Claggett and Root Middle Schools $500 each as an award for exceeding their bicycling goals during the challenge, to use for fitness and bicycling programs.

The Medina Bike To School Challenge t-shirt design contest was won by 8thgrade Root Middle School student Zachary Hunter. He won a prize package from Century Cycles, and his winning design (pictured below) is featured on the front of the shirt given by the bike store to every student who biked to school four days or more during the challenge.

Based on daily bike counts and student surveys, Bike To School Challenge organizers report that both Claggett and Root students took 2,901 rides to school and biked 13,171 miles on May 7-25. On average, 193 students biked each day, or 9.3% of the total enrollment of both schools. This was up from the 1-2% of bike-ridership reported at both schools prior to the start of Medina Bike To School Challenge.

Both schools saved a combined 14,488 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from the environment by bicycling to school during the challenge’s three weeks. They also saved 588 gallons of gasoline (using the average U.S. vehicle fuel economy of 22.4 MPG) and saved their parents $2,205 on gasoline based on the current Ohio average gas price of $3.75/gallon.

Calculating that a 100-pound person burns about 17 calories per mile during moderate bicycling, Medina students burned an estimated 223,907 calories just bicycling to and from school. Studies show that physically active students do better academically and everyday exercise helps combat rampant childhood obesity.

Root Middle School students have a 4.1-mile roundtrip commute to school and biked 7,868 miles during the challenge. The school averaged 128 bicyclists per day, or 15% of the school’s enrollment of 850 students. The students saved 8,655 pounds of CO2 emissions, burned 133,756 calories, and saved their parents $1,316.25 on gasoline.

Claggett Middle School students have a 5.4-mile roundtrip commute to school and biked 5,303 miles during the challenge. The school averaged 65 bicyclists per day, or 7% of the school’s enrollment of 950 students. The students saved 5,833 pounds of CO2 emissions, burned 90,151 calories, and saved their parents $888.75 on gasoline.

Besides Century Cycles and Raleigh Bicycles, other sponsors that contributed prizes and support to make Medina Bike To School Challenge possible were Subway of Medina (986 North Court Street), Nature’s Touch Massage, Medina Recreation Center, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and Guy’s Pizza.

For more information about Bike To School Challenge and to see photos and videos, go to or follow the program at