Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Surly Bikes colors now in stock!

The Surly Cross-Check, in one of the most eagerly-anticipated new colors in years, is now in stock at Century Cycles!

The Cross-Check in Foamy Hospital Green has arrived, as well as a couple of the new Long Haul Truckers in Smog Silver.

Here's our complete list of in-stock Surly Bikes as of this minute:
  • Cross-Check
    • 50cm Beef Gravy Brown
    • 52cm Foamy Hospital Green
    • 52cm Robin's Egg Blue
    • 54cm Black
    • 56cm Foamy Hospital Green
    • 56cm Black
    • 58cm Black
  • Long Haul Trucker
    • 46cm (26-inch wheels) Black
    • 52cm (26-inch wheels) Smog Silver
    • 54cm (26-inch wheels) Smog Silver
    • 54cm (26-inch wheels) Green
    • 56cm (700c wheels) Smog Silver
    • 56cm (700c wheels) Green
    • 60cm (700c wheels) Green
  • Disc Trucker
    • 56cm (700c wheels) Green
  • Ogre
    • 18in Green
  • Moonlander
    • 18in Space Black
Of course, these bikes are located throughout our three stores, so call us to double-check if your favorite is in a store near you. We can always send a bike to another store for you to check out; no extra cost or obligation to buy on your part!

Coming soon: Surly Pugsley in Engine Red!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spook-tacular Savings on Bike Tune-Ups and Everything Else!

Whether the nasty fall weather has you spooked to stay inside, or you continue to ride no matter what, now is the perfect time to bring your bike in for its annual tune-up! Print the coupon below for spook-tacular savings on all of Century Cycles' Tune-Up Service Packages.

Plus, see the other coupon for more spook-tacular savings on everything else in our stores!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

140 Beer-Clad Bicyclists Hail the Ale on Final Night Ride of 2012

The ale was officially hailed! Thanks so much to the 140+ beer-clad bicyclists who rode with us on Saturday, October 20, for our final Night Ride of 2012 in celebration of Cleveland Beer Week.

A hearty "cheers!" and congratulations goes out to the winner of our Best Beer Costume contest, Bill "Beer Keg" Wolohan, pictured above receiving his Century Cycles prize from Rob Gerrity of Sierra Nevada Brewing.

Lots of other folks dressed in wonderful costumes -- check them all out in the slideshow below and see if you can spot the Wright Pils, the Chimay Trappist, the Burning River, the Angry Orchard, the Home Brewer and many more! We also gave away a huge box of prizes provided by Century Cycles and our excellent fellow sponsors, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Winking Lizard and MDS Foods.

Our 19th season of Night Rides will commence in April, 2013 -- if you had fun this past season, we hope you can join us NEXT season!

Click here if the slideshow above is not appearing for you. All photos by Doug Charnock and Mike Petcher.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Special Deal: Surly Merino Wool Hoodie

A while back, I was raving about my new Surly Merino Wool Cycling Jersey. Those are now available for by special-order from Surly through us, your local Intergalactic Surly Dealer. Men's sizes Small through 2XL, and Women's sizes X-Small through XL; black or gray for either, $149.99 each.

Also, Surly received the first shipment of their new Merino Wool Hoodies, and are making them available to us at a special price. And, since we'd never EVER (ever) take advantage of a special price without passing the savings on to you, our dear customers, instead of the suggested retail price of $159.99, the Surly Merino Wool Hoodies are available by special-order for a LIMITED TIME at the special price of $89.99.
THERE'S ONE SMALL CATCH -- There was a quality issue with this first batch that Surly received. They found that with repeated friction (such as might be caused by a backpack or messenger bag strap), the outer material tends to form lots of "boogers" on the surface. (The civilized world refers to this phenomenon as "pilling.") So, rather than ship the whole lot back to the factory, they decided to make them available to us at a discount, with no anti-booger guarantee.

This is a fine deal on one fine wool garment (it's actually 80% New Zealand Merino Wool and 20% polyester). It's got a full-length zipper with a zipper garage at the top of the neck, understated Surly logo on the left sleeve, two hand-warmer pockets, one internal stash pocket, and drawstring hood. The zipper is Euro-style, meaning that the zipper pull is on the left side. Available in Black or Brown in unisex sizes Small through 2XL. The sizing is pretty true; the Large fits quite smartly on my 5-foot 11-and-three-quarter-inch bag o' bones.

The hood is cut rather large, as you can see; it's designed to fit over a bike helmet.
Call us to get yours while they're hot!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ruin A Bike Thief's Day

BE WARNED: We're hearing about more bike thefts than ever -- out of garages, in front of restaurants and bars, even from driveways as people prepare to go for rides.

Remember: Lock your bike at ALL times (even in your garage!) and read our article, 5 Tips: Preventing Bike Theft, for the best ways to lock it up.

You can also follow Cleveland Stolen Bike Alerts on Facebook to get the word out about your stolen bike or to help others find theirs.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Take our online presidential poll!

The last of this season's Presidential Debates is tonight. The focus tonight will be on foreign policy, but where do you think the candidates should stand when it comes to bicycling? Take our latest online poll to let us know!
Our last online poll asked, "Bicycles built for two: What's your verdict on tandems?" The largest number of respondents (42%) either have a tandem already, or want to get one. However, the next largest (24%) said "Heck no - solo is the way to go." You can see the full results of the last poll here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

CVNP announces Temporary Towpath Trail Closures

Cuyahoga Valley National Park News Release

For Immediate Release - Friday, October 19, 2012

Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, 440-546-5995, 440-343-7355 (cell), or

Towpath Trail Temporary Closure

Brecksville, Ohio – The National Park Service announces the closure of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from the Frazee House Trailhead to Station Road Trailhead, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, Monday, October 22 through Friday, November 9. The Towpath Trail will be open evenings and weekends. The closure is necessary to repair the failing Sagamore Waste Weir and clear brush along the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Frazee House Trailhead is located at 7733 Canal Road, Valley View 44125. Station Road Trailhead is located at 13513 Station Road, Brecksville 44141.

CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information, visit or call 330-657-2752.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tech Talk: Bikes for Heavy Riders

Q. I am a very overweight person, and I'm thinking about getting into cycling to improve my health. Is there a bicycle for me?

This is a question that we receive on a regular basis. We commend these individuals for their commitmet to get in shape, and we assure them that yes, EVERYONE can enjoy the benefits of cycling.

In choosing a bicycle, you'll have many of the same considerations that any person would have. You'll want to choose the right style of bike for you, based on your comfort level, and where you'll be riding the bike. There are a couple of extra considerations that heavier rider should take into account, however.

Frame Material

While there are advantages to an all-steel frame for any rider (mainly durability and comfort), the majority of entry-level and mid-range bicycles these days are made with aluminum frames. Steel, aluminum, or titanium would make an excellent choice of frame material for any heavy rider; all would hold up under normal non-aggressive riding conditions for recreation and fitness. The exception would be extremely lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber racing bike frames.
Cross-section of a single-wall rim


In contrast to the actual bike frame, the wheels are the most common failure point we see with heavier riders, even among riders who are only slightly above average weight. So, this is the first upgrade that we recommend doing up front.

Cross-section of a double-wall rim
The original wheels that come on a new bicycle typically have 32 spokes per wheel, but more is better. Enty-level bikes usually have single-wall rims, but better bikes have more durable double-wall rims. Some rims are still available in steel, but these are usually very cheap single-wall models. The best and strongest double-wall rims are made of aluminum.

For even more durability, the rims should have metal eyelets on the spoke holes. Stainless steel spokes are pretty standard.

Freewheel rear hub
For multi-gear bikes, there are two type of rear hubs--freewheel hubs and cassette hubs. The difference between the two is in the design of the axle and in the coasting mechanism. The important point, though, is that cassette hubs are much stronger and more durable.

Cassette rear hub
So, we recommend using 36-spoke wheels with double-wall aluminum rims and a cassette rear hub. If you upgrade the wheels immediately when you buy the bike, rather than waiting until your original wheels inevitably fail, we can give you credit for the original wheels, since we can re-sell them to somebody else.

Bike Styles

Hybrid bicycle with 26-inch wheels
As mentioned before, the style of bike you choose is mainly driven by your riding comfort level and where you want to ride.

Hybrid bicycle with 700C wheels
For paved and unpaved bike paths or riding around your neighborhood, a basic hybrid bicycle works well for many people. Most of these bikes have large cushioned saddles, very upright handlebars, and shock absorbers on the front wheel and the seatpost. Some of these bikes come with 26-inch wheels, while some come with 700C wheels (roughly 28-inches). Either wheel size should work fine, although especially heay riders might want to consider going with a 26-inch wheeled bike, as the smaller-diameter wheels are inherently more durable. (For more information about different wheel sizes, see: Tech Talk: Know Your Tire Size.)

Flat-foot bicycle with traditional frame
Flat-foot bicycle with step-through frame
Some overweight folks have issues with mobility, flexibility, or balance. If this is your situation, you might want to consider a flat-foot bicycle. These bikes resemble the old-fashioned beach cruisers, and they have a different frame design that allows the seat to be positioned low enough so that when you're sitting on the seat, you can put your feet flat on the ground. This provides a more stable-feeling and comfortable riding experience for many novice riders. The bikes are available in single-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed, and 21-speed versions, with traditional frames and step-through ("women's") frames, so there's something to suit everyone's needs.

Rigid (unsuspended) mountain bike
Front-suspension mountain bike
If you're a little more athletically inclined, and want to get a bike that will grow with you as get in shape, you might want to think about a standard mountain bike. These bikes usually have front suspension; the more expensive models have full suspension front and rear. However, if you're just looking for a very sturdy, beefy bike to cruise around the bike paths on, a fully-rigid mountain bike might be more to your liking. You'll be in a more aggressive riding position (i.e. less upright, more leaned forward) on a bike like this, compared to a hybrid or flat-foot bicycle. You'll still have a nice wide tire for plenty of traction and support.

Road bike
Cyclocross bike
A "road bike" is what we might have referred to years ago as a "10-speed" bike; they are distinguished by their skinny tires and drop handlebars. There is a special class of road bikes called cyclocross bikes; this would be a good option if you want this style of bike, because they still allow you to use a fairly wide tire.

Most bicycles are available in several different frame sizes, but don't worry; we'll help you pick the size that's best for you.

Whether it's been 2 years or twenty since you've been on a bike, there's one out there for you. By picking the style that works best for your needs, with some consideration of potential parts upgrades, you'll be well on your way to pedaling the pounds off!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where We Ride: A Family Ride on the Towpath Trail

Autumn is a wonderful time to ride the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail with your family – cool temperatures, fewer crowds, and beautifully-colored autumn leaves in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. However, your family may include a cranky 'tween who begrudges any bike ride longer than a quick trip to a friend’s house.

Tracey Bradnan has one of those. When she’s not doing Century Cycles’ marketing and events (and modeling her beer armor to get ready for this weekend's "All Hail the Ale!" Night Ride), she’s figuring out ways to get her 12-year-old bookworm on a bike. One of her solutions is this edition of Where We Ride (and probably the simplest ride we’ve ever featured).

Tracey gets her son to ride 14 miles on the Towpath Trail by breaking up the ride with a big, tasty reward in the middle. She, her husband and son park at the Station Road Bridge Trailhead off of Riverview Road (just south of Route 82 in Brecksville), unload the bikes, then cross the bridge to the Towpath. They pedal south to the Lock 29 exit in Peninsula to have lunch at the Winking Lizard. The food and the break make her son forget the first 7 miles and fortify him for the 7-mile return trip. (Besides money, don’t forget to take a lock on this ride, to secure your bikes while you’re in the restaurant.)

Since Tracey lives in a Cleveland suburb, she starts from the north, but other families could start from the south – park at the Botzum Trailhead parking lot off Riverview Road and ride north to Peninsula (with Szalay’s Farm Market a nice stop-over in-between). This is also about 6-7 miles one-way.

What’s your family’s favorite Towpath ride? Email us at with the subject line “Our favorite Towpath ride” and we’ll feature them in an upcoming article.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Deagan's Bike Night Grand Prize Awarded at Finale Party

Hodala! Bottoms up and cheers to Donna Winfield of Rocky River, who won the Deagan's Bike Night grand prize, a Raleigh Cadent i8 bicycle from Century Cycles. She is pictured celebrating with (from left to right) Sean Burkey from Raleigh Bicycles, Scott Cowan from Century Cycles, and Dan Stroup from Deagan's Kitchen + Bar.

We had a rockin' time at the Deagan's Bike Night Finale party last Thursday, handing out lots of other prizes to Donna and all the other great folks who biked to at least one (but mostly more!) Deagan's Bike Nights this summer -- everything from socks and t-shirts to bike lights and gift cards, culminating in the grand prize bike giveaway.

Donna and her husband, Terry, had biked to at least six Bike Nights since June, and they got entry forms for the grand prize drawing each time they did. In fact, one of Donna's entries was chosen to win a Deagan's t-shirt right before another was chosen to win the bicycle. She had been out of town for work earlier in the day, but quickly rushed to Deagan's to make sure she didn't miss the drawing -- and it's a good thing!!

Our thanks to Deagan's for another great season of biking, eating and drinking. We're already looking forward to the THIRD annual Deagan's Bike Night in 2013!

Check out all the photos from the finale party in the slideshow below! (Click here if it is not appearing for you.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Century Cycles in Medina to the rescue for cross-country cyclist

Here is our new friend Taylor Langley. Taylor and his friend Jess were traveling cross-country on their bicycles from Washington to Maine when Taylor was hit by a car in Medina. Thankfully, Taylor's injuries were not serious. His bicycle, however, was a total loss and had to be replaced by the driver's insurance company.

A search for their local bike shop brought them to Century Cycles. After a bit of  down time while the insurance settlement was finalized, the process was complete and Taylor and Jess were back on the road. Here is Taylor (light blue) with Medina staff members and his brand new Surly Long Haul Trucker, ready to ride!

You can see more pictures of long-distance touring bicyclists who have visited our stores in our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Taylor Langley (left) with bike assembler and fit technician Tom Wiseman (Assistant Service Manager in Medina)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Deagan's Bike Night Finale Tonight!

Come see if you won this Raleigh Cadent i8 bicycle at the Deagan's Bike Night finale party tonight, and help us celebrate another fun summer of bicycling to Deagan's every Thursday night!

Besides the drawing for the bike, we'll be giving away lots of great prizes from us, Raleigh Bicycles and Deagan's! Bike Night starts at 5pm (bike to the party for one last chance to enter to win!). The prize giveaways will start at 7pm, culminating in the grand prize giveaway of a Raleigh bicycle from Century Cycles. All winners MUST be present to redeem their prizes.

Learn more:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cleveland's best!

Everyone at Century Cycles was thrilled to see we once again -- for the third year in a row! -- have won the reader's pick of Best Bike Shop in Cleveland Magazine's annual Best of Cleveland issue! On Friday, we'll be celebrating with all the other "bests" at the Best of Cleveland Party at the Rock Hall.

Until then, we will enjoy a cookie -- with much thanks to our awesome accounting firm, Howard Wershbale. (Those bicycles taste as good as they look!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Contest: Design the next Liv/giant Avail Inspire Bicycle

2012 Liv/giant Avail Inspire
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the 2012 Liv/giant Avail Inspire women’s road bike, Liv/giant and Young Survival Coalition (YSC) are hosting, for its second year, an Avail design contest, running through the month of October, 2012.

Last October, Liv/giant and YSC asked young breast cancer survivors to design graphics for a special-edition Liv/giant Avail road bike, the sales of which benefitted YSC, the premier organization supporting young women diagnosed with breast cancer. Survivor Emily Gresh’s design was chosen, and the theme of the design, “Inspire,” became the name of the bike model: Avail Inspire.

Participants create their graphic designs on a frame template that can be downloaded from YSC’s website. They are also asked to submit the story behind their design. The contestant whose design is chosen to be applied to the 2013 Avail Inspire model will receive one of their personally-designed bikes as part of winning the contest. This bike will also be one of the models that Liv/giant donates to young survivors who will train for and ride in the 2013 YSC Tour de Pink fundraisers.

Liv/giant sold out its 500 Avail Inspire road bikes in 2012. For each of the bikes sold, 10% of the proceeds were donated to YSC. You can still find these bicycles in stock at all three Century Cycles stores!

Liv/giant Press Release

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Merino Wool Jerseys from Surly

My long-sleeve wool jersey from Surly Bikes has been a staple of my cool-weather riding wardrobe for several years. The folks at Surly Intergalactic Headquarters have been busy updating their wool jerseys, and the new versions will be available to order some time in the next week or two.

While at Interbike last month, we got to enjoy a fashion show, featuring volunteers from the industry modeling the latest clothing and gear. At the conclusion of the show, the vendors donated all of the goods for a silent auction, with all the proceeds going to Bikes Belong. I had pretty much been ignoring all of the wares on display, until Tracey came over to me in a flurry saying, "Kevin, Kevin, look, look, you have to see...!" Well, to what did my wondering eyes appear, but one of these fancy new Surly Merino Wool Long-Sleeve Jerseys, sitting right there on the auction table (along with a pair of DeFeet Wooly Bully socks)!

So, like that last thing I needed was another long-sleeve wool jersey in black, but the price was right, and it was for a good cause. Somebody had already place the minimum bid, so I jotted down my name and upped the ante by $10. Lo and behold, when all was said and done, I came out the winner! There was a women's model available, too, and wouldn't you know it, Tracey won that one!

Here's a comparison of the New versus Old Surly long-sleeve wool jerseys:

OLD Surly wool jersey (front, beer not included) - half-zip, logo on upper arm
OLD Surly wool jersy (back) - three elasticized pockets, logo on center pocket
NEW Surly wool jersy (front)
NEW Surly wool jersy (back)
Highlights of the NEW version:

  • Full-zip
  • Zipper garage under chin
  • Higher collar
  • Heavier-weight material
  • Thumb-holes for easy layering-over
  • Single rear pocket with dual-zip openings
  • Logo moved to lower left arm, plus on zipper pulls
Of course, it's still 100% Merino Wool for itch-free comfort, and will also be available in Gray. Suggested retail price is $149.99. I'll be showing it off tonight at the My Reasons To Ride Video Contest Award Celebration and Deagan's Bike Night. And, it works great for OTHER outdoor activities, too:

Also coming soon will be a Surly Hoodie in a wool/polyester blend in Black or Brown, $159.99.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SPECIAL ALERT - Early store closing, Towpath Marathon trail closure

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a special event, all three of our stores will be CLOSED at 3:00pm this Saturday, October 6. For our rental bicycle service in Peninsula, the last time we'll let rental bikes go out will be 1:30pm.

Also note that due to the Towpath Marathon, the Lock 29 Trailhead parking lot will be unavailable for parking beginning at 5:00pm on Saturday, October 6 until the conclusion of the race some time Sunday afternoon. The Overflow Parking Lot (up the street towards Terry Lumber) will be open both days.

The Towpath Trail will be CLOSED the morning of Sunday, October 7 until the conclusion of the race. The closed area includes from the Botzum Trailhead to the south, up to the Canal Visitor Center to the north. To check when bicycle rentals will be available Sunday afternoon, please feel free to call us at 330-657-2209.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ride on, Bob McKissack

It was with great sadness that we recently learned of the death of Robert McKissack. Bob worked for several years as the bike rental guy, among other things, at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula.

Bob was also a long-time resident of Peninsula, and remembered the days before the store was a bike shop, and could recount tales of its days as Mitzi's Bar, and before that, an upholstery shop.

As an avid cyclist, Bob enjoyed riding long-distance tours around the midwest, and enjoyed stopping by the store every November to show off his medals from the 65+ division of the Iceman Cometh Challenge mountain bike race in Traverse City, Michigan (above).

Bob also loved the Cuyahoga Valley, serving as a volunteer for the National Park and the Scenic Railroad; he was known as the "tallest elf on the Polar Express." At the request of Bob's family, memorial donations can be made in Bob's name to the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, c/o Administrative Office, 1403 West Hines Hills Rd., Peninsula, OH 44264.

Bob's obituary is posted online.

Bob McKissack will be missed, and we extend our condolences to his family.