Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

If you feel up to a cold and snowy cycling challenge to start the year off, join the Medina County Bicycle Club on January 1 for their ABCDEFGHIJ! Ride (A Bi-Cycling Dandy Excuse For Getting Hibernated In January). This free annual tradition starts at 12 noon sharp from the public Square in Medina. Try to arrive by 11:45am, and there's a group photo at 11:55am before the start. The distance varies from year-to-year, depending on the weather. A map will be provided; no food, SAG support or other services.

We'd like to thank all of our wonderful customers, staff, vendors, and other friends for a prosperous 2013! Here's to an even better cycling year in 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Latest Towpath Trail Construction Update Video

Tim Donovan from the Ohio Canal Corridor brings you this latest monthly video update on the construction of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in the Scranton Road area near downtown Cleveland:

Click here if the video above is not appearing for you.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

NEW from Cat Eye: large-screen Padrone Wireless cycling computer

Cycling does keep us younger, but let's face it, for some of us, there's nothing we can do to keep some parts of us (namely, our eyes) from getting older.

Are you squinting to try to read your speed and distance on your bike computer during a ride? If so, Cat Eye has the answer for you. The Padrone Wireless cycling computer has the largest screen available in the industry, with a screen that's 85% larger* while the unit is 22% thinner!

Features include current speed, average speed, maximum speed, trip distance, total distance (odometer), elapsed time, and time of day. The CatEye Flex-Tight mounting bracket attaches to your stem or handlebar without tools. The wireless setup is easy to configure, and the one-button operation is easy to use.

The CatEye Padrone Wireless Cycling Computer is now in stock in all three Century Cycles stores.

* Dimensions are compared to the Cat Eye Urban Wireless cycling computer.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Century Cycles family to yours!

This Christmas tree is another project by Don Barnett, the master craftsman and Service Manager at Century Cycles in Medina. The tree is made from bike cassette cogs, a full range of 22 of them, from 11-tooth to 34-tooth (with only 31-tooth and 33-tooth missing, as those don't exist!). The garland is made of multi-color BMX bike chains, and the base is a vintage Schwinn spoke guard.

It was a group effort on the part of the Medina store, as Sales Associate Cathy Kasper tracked down the lights, and General Manager Mike Petcher provided the photo.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Holiday Season Hours

  • Tuesday, December 24: OPEN 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Wednesday, December 25: CLOSED
  • Tuesday, December 31: OPEN 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 1: CLOSED
We will be open for our regular hours on all other days.

Please note that beginning on Thursday, January 2, 2014, we will begin Winter Hours in the Peninsula store:
  • Monday through Thursday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
The Peninsula store will stay open until 8:00pm on Thursday nights when that have our School Of Bike classes scheduled.

Hours at Medina and Rocky River will not change.

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Century Cycles 22nd Anniversary Jerseys and Shorts Just Arrived!

Just in time for your last-minute Christmas shopping (or your post-Christmas Gift Card spending), we've just received our NEW custom Century Cycles "Define your life. Ride a bike.™" jerseys and shorts!

Printed for us by Pearl Izumi, they are based on the Pearl Izumi Select LTD clothing line, featuring Select Transfer Dry fabric for moisture management.

The jerseys (available in both Men's and Women's sizes) feature a 12-inch zipper on the front for easy on/off, and three pockets on the back to keep your energy bar, phone, and ride map handy. Our 22nd Anniversary chainring logo on the left sleeve add a little flair! $80.00 each.

The shorts (also available in Men's and Women's sizes) feature wide, gripper-free leg openings and the Pearl Tour 3D chamois pad for support. $110.00 each.

Kevin from the Peninsula store braved today's un-shorts-friendly weather to model the ensemble for us (along with a sweet 2014 Giant Defy Composite 1 bicycle):

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Support Businesses that Support Bicycling

This may be old news to beer aficionados by now, but as of last week, select beers from New Belgium Brewing Company are now available here in Ohio for the first time. In addition to making some darn fine adult beverages, New Belgium is known throughout the land as one of the most bicycle-friendly businesses, not just in the beer industry, but among all businesses.

Based in the bike-crazy town of Fort Collins, Colorado, New Belgium sponsors the Tour de Fat in locations around the country. It's a festival of bicycles and beer, as well as a fund-raiser for various local charities in the events' host communities. The classic cruiser bike symbol is used in their company logo, as well as on their signature Fat Tire Amber Ale.

You don't have to go all the way out west to find a local bike-friendly brew, though. Our own Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon right here in North Olmstead, Ohio serves up an ever-changing menu of food and awarding-winning beers brewed right on the premises. One of their most recent additions is the Trail Head Pale Ale, and a portion of the proceeds of every one of these that you drink supports the Cleveland Metroparks Trails Fund, which helps maintain the Royalview Mountain Bike Trail and the other 270 miles of trails in the Cleveland Metroparks.

Of course, many other Cleveland-area breweries and bars (e.g. Nano Brew and Great Lakes Brewing Company) do their part to support bicycling, through providing bike parking, encouraging their employees to bike to work, providing a bike-friendly atmosphere, and other practices that promote overall sustainability.

Know of any other local businesses that make an effort to reach out and support bicycling? Let us know in the comments below!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

40% Off Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers! Hot Deals for Cold Days #4

DON'T PANIC! There's still time to get the perfect gifts for every bicyclist on your holiday shopping list! This week's Hot Deals for Cold Days include 40% OFF two sweet bike lights, our best-selling cycling computer, and a selection of our popular "Define your life. Ride a bike.™" gift items to fill those stockings!

The NiteRider Mako 200 USB Headlight ($38.99, reg. $64.99) features a bright 2-watt Cree LED bulb that puts out 200 lumens, more than bright enough for Night Rides on the Towpath Trail, commuting to work or school, or as an auxiliary light for night-time mountain biking. It has steady and flashing modes (for increased daytime visibility) and "gills" that emit a red light so it can be seen from the side. The sturdy handlebar mount attaches without tools. Plus, this great light can be charged through any USB port, so you won't be filling up landfills with discarded batteries. It charges fully in just 4.5 hours, giving you 2.5 hours of run time on high, 5 hours on low, or 14 hours in flashing mode.

On more of a budget, and looking for a set of lights just to keep you safe when tooling around the neighborhood at dusk? Check out the Blackburn Voyager 3.3 Headlight / Mars 1.0 Taillight Combo ($20.99, reg. $34.99). Both feature flashing and steady modes, and run on standard AAA batteries, which ARE included! The headlight has a tool-free handlebar bracket, and the taillight can mount to your backpack or rack using the included mounts.

Even the beginner cyclist wants to know "How far have I ridden?" The Cat Eye Enduro Cycling Computer ($17.99, reg. $29.99) tells you that and more, using a simple one-button interface to show you your current speed, distance, ride time, average, and maximum speed. In addition, the pace arrow tells you if you're going faster or slower than your average speed, plus you get calories burned and carbon offset. The heavy-duty wiring holds up to abuse, whether you're commuting on the mean streets or bombing down your favorite mountain bike trail.

Keep tabs on what's going on in the trail or road behind you with our "Define your life. Ride a bike.™" Helmet Mirror ($14.99, reg. $24.99). Made for us in the USA by Monkey Mirrors using recycled glass and bicycle spokes, they fit on any helmet, and can be removed and easily transferred to another helmet.

There's no better way to top off a good bike ride than a nice hot cup of coffee or a nice cold beer. You and your loved ones can enjoy both in style with our "Define your life. Ride a bike.™" Coffee Mug and "Define your life. Ride a bike.™" Pint Glass ($5.99 each, reg. $9.99)! All the while relaxing in your "Define your life. Ride a bike.™" T-Shirt ($8.99, reg. $14.99) - available in sizes for Men, Women, and Kids! (Of course, you can get a better deal on the t-shirt, because as always, you get one FREE when you buy a new bicycle!)

While you're at it, this is a great time to stock up on those small and often forgotten cycling essentials, like our Century Cycles Water Bottles (available in insulated ($7.79, reg. $12.99), Standard ($2.39, reg. $3.99), and Large ($2.99, reg. $4.99) sizes), tire levers ($2.39, reg. $3.99), and tire patch kits (glued $1.19, reg. $1.99 and glueless $1.79, reg. $2.99).

Finally, we have a selection of our Century Cycles 20th Anniversary Jerseys and Shorts, made for us in 2012 by Hincapie Sportswear. Size and color selection is VERY limited, but we have items available in Men's Jerseys and Women's Jerseys ($41.99, reg. $69.99), Men's Shorts and Women's Shorts ($47.99, reg. $79.99), and Men's Bib Shorts and Women's Bib Shorts ($53.99, reg. $89.99).

The Fine Print
These Hot Deals are good only December 19 - 31, 2013 while supplies last on in-stock merchandise only. Cannot be combined with other discounts. In-store purchase only; no online or phone orders accepted. No coupon necessary.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Krampus: Saint Nicholas' Dark Companion

While Saint Nicholas may bring gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe's Alpine region also tells of Krampus, a frightening beast-like creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to drag back to his lair in a sack and punish in horrible ways.
Since pre-Germanic Pagan times through today, men dressed as these demons have been frightening children on Krampusnacht for centuries, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, on an (often alcohol-fueled) run through the dark streets. See more photos at The Atlantic.
In keeping with that tradition, Surly Bikes brings you the Krampus. What exactly is the Krampus? Its big 29x3-inch tires make it look like a snow bike, but it's technically not, although it would certainly do better in the snow than your daddy's mountain bike.

The Krampus is a mountain bike made to be ridden hard and put away wet. The fat Surly Knard tires roll over the rough stuff even better than a typical 29er. The Shimano 1x10 drive train keeps things light and simple. The Avid BB7 disc brakes stop you when you want. Of course, Surly's 4130 cromoly frame and fork take the abuse and feel smooth under your delicate sensibilities. In stock now at Century Cycles in Small, Medium, and Large.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Video: Global Fat Bike Day Ride

Thanks to the eight snow-biking enthusiasts who came out to Peninsula for our ride celebrating Global Fat Bike Day yesterday (Dec. 7, 2013)! We had three Surly Pugsleys, one Surly Moonlander, two other snow bikes, one regular mountain bike, and one hybrid bike with studded tires! We rode 14 miles on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Check out the video from the ride:

Click here if the video above is not appearing for you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hot Deals for Cold Days #3: Holiday Gift Extravaganza! Jerseys, Jackets, Gloves, Socks, and Baskets!

This week's Hot Deals for Cold Days feature hot gift items for every cyclist on your giving list (including yourself)!

We start off with a selection of cycling jerseys for both Men and Women from Primal Wear and World Jerseys. Available in a variety of fun and popular designs (too many to show you here!), all of these jerseys feature short sleeves and moisture-wicking polyester fabric to keep you cool on hot summer rides. A three-quarter-length zipper makes for easy on/off, and the usual three elasticized pockets in the rear keep your phone, energy bar, and map handy. $35.99/$41.99 (regularly $59.99/$69.99)

If your feet ain't happy, nobody's happy, so keep your feet jolly with these Jolly Roger Socks from Primal Wear. Their durable Advanced Air Transfer System construction wicks moisture and regulates temperature. $5.99 (regularly $9.99)

A versatile jacket is a must for every cyclist's wardrobe, and the Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket is our best-seller! Perfect for cool spring or fall mornings, or even layered over a heavyweight jersey in the winter. When the day warms up, peel the sleeves off to convert it to a vest! This ultimate in portable weather protection also gives you two zippered hand pockets, a rear storage pocket, and the Screaming Yellow color and reflective accents help keep you super-visible on the road. $66.00 (regularly $110.00)

Dress up your cruiser bike with a colorful and practical front basket! The Electra Quick Release Mesh Basket easily clips on and off of its strong and secure handlebar clamp. A convenient carry handle allows it to double as a shopping basket! Available in Light Blue, Purple, and Pink to match many of Electra's most popular bicycles! $23.99 (regularly $39.99)

With classic style and construction, the Electra Crochet Gloves are just right for your two-wheeled lifestyle. Plus, padded palms and Velcro closures ensure a perfect fit and long-ride comfort. Available in Red/White/Blue, Green/White/Red, Black/Red/Yellow, and Rasta. $8.99 (regularly $14.99)

The Fine Print
These Hot Deals are good December 5 - 18, 2013 only, while supplies last on in-stock merchandise. Cannot be combined with other discounts. In-store purchase only; no online or phone orders accepted. No coupon necessary.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Online Poll: What activities do you enjoy during the off-season to stay in cycling shape?

Now that winter is almost upon us, many of us look for ways to stay in shape and avoid cabin fever during the cold months.

What activities do you enjoy during the off-season to stay in cycling shape? Click here to take our latest online poll and let us know!

Last month's poll asked "What would you do if you got a flat tire during a bike ride?" 77% of you who responded said "I can fix it myself." For the other 23% of you, check out one of our upcoming School Of Bike classes to learn Flat-Tire Repair and many other skills! You can see the full results of the last poll here.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Sale - Oh What Fun It Is To Ride!

Happy Holidays from the Century Cycles family to yours! Now through Dec. 31, come into any of our three stores and enjoy 10% Off all bicycles (including those already on sale) and 15% Off the regular price of all clothing, parts, and accessories.

And remember, in addition to the offers listed above, we also have these options to make your holiday shopping easier:

  • Gift Cards (buy them in our stores or online)
  • Lay-away
  • Free Gift Bicycle Storage 'Til Dec. 24
  • Free Bicycle Delivery *

* Within our service area. Other restrictions may apply; see stores for details.

Beat the Spring Tune-Up Rush!
Also, take $40 Off Tune-Up Service Package #4.

For descriptions of each Tune-Up Service Package, see: www.centurycycles.com/get/service

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ride with us for Global Fat Bike Day, this Sat. Dec. 7

Snow bikes, or fat bikes as they are sometimes called, have become more and more popular here in Northeast Ohio for cyclists who want to extend their riding season. They are also popular around the world, both in climates that get more snow and less snow than we do, and many riders are finding that they are fun bikes to ride in all conditions.

Snow bike enthusiasts around the world have declared this Saturday, December 7, 2013 to be Global Fat Bike Day. Snow bikers are encouraged to plan rides, get together to admire each other's winter riding gear, take pictures, and have fun!

Never afraid to jump on the bandwagon, Century Cycles has planned our own Global Fat Bike Day Ride. It starts this Sat. Dec. 7 at 8:00am at our Peninsula store. We'll ride on the Towpath Trail. Don't have a snow bike? Bring your regular mountain or 'cross bike, and we can all compare how well they stack up! Coffee and donuts afterwards!

Helmets required. Just show up or RSVP and ask questions on the Facebook Event.

In the market for a snow bike? We've got them in stock from Surly Bikes, with more on the way from Salsa Cycles! Call us to verify model, size, and store availability.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Shop Small this Small Business Saturday!

This Saturday, November 30, 2013 has been designated Small Business Saturday. We encourage you to support small, locally-owned businesses such as Century Cycles, or whatever your favorite local bike shop is, and all other small businesses on this and EVERY day!

For every $100 you spend in a locally-owned business, $45 stays in the local economy. This compares to only $15 out of every $100 spent in a big-box chain store. (Source: Reasons to Buy Local from MindBodyGreen.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! We are CLOSED today!

We would like to wish all of our customers, staff, associates and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are spending the day at home with your family, as we are.

We are open for our regular hours during the rest of this weekend:

  • Friday-Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
See you then for our Black Friday Sale!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Sale All Weekend - Our BEST prices of the season!

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1) ONLY!

Take 20% OFF the regular price of all cycling accessories, including parts and clothing!

Take 15% OFF the lowest-marked price of any bicycle, including those already on sale!

You can also find this information and the printable coupons on our web site at:

Obligatory first snow bike video of the season

Hey, it's snowing outside! Never fear, Century Cycles has snow bikes in stock from Surly Bikes and Salsa Cycles! We had a special guest taking a test-ride in Peninsula this morning:

Click here if the video above is not appearing for you.

We have the Surly Moonlander, Surly Pugsley, and Salsa Mukluk 2 in stock! Call us to check which models and sizes are available in the store nearest you.
2014 Salsa Mukluk 2

Friday, November 22, 2013

Where We Ride: A Report from the League of American Bicyclists

The Leauge of American Bicyclists recently released their Annual Community Survey Data Report for 2012, where they looked at trends in bicycle commuting throughout the nation. You can download the full report: Where We Ride: Analysis of bicycling in American cities

Unless you're a total numbers geek and want to spend hours pouring over the whole report, you're probably just wondering, "Okay, so where is Cleveland in the results?" For you, here's a summary of all the times Cleveland is mentioned in the report:

  • Cleveland ranks 40th for bicycling commuting mode share (0.6%) out of the 70 largest cites in the US. (Columbus, Ohio ranks 35th on this list.)
  • In the top 50 cites where bicycle commuting is growing the fastest, Cleveland ranks 5th. Bike commuting in Cleveland grew by 385% between 1990 and 2012, and by 192.4% between 2000 and 2012.
  • When compared to other cities with a population between 300,000 and 1 million, Cleveland ranks 31st out of 53 cities for bicycle commuting mode share.
The final part of the report appeals to sports fans, where 5 pairs of cities that are typical rivals on the playing field (e.g. New York vs. Boston, St. Louis vs. Kansas City) are compared when it comes to bike commuting. Comparing Pittsburgh to Cleveland, Pittsburgh comes out on top when it comes to bike commuting mode share (1.4%), but Cleveland comes out ahead in both bike commuting growth in 1 year and bike commuting growth from 2005 to 2012 (60.1% vs. 35.9%).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

40% Off Shimano Pedals and Shoes - Hot Deals for Cold Days #2

Shimano Click'R PD-T400 SPD Pedals
$41.99 (regularly $69.99)

Shimano SH-MT33 Cycling Shoes
$53.99 (regularly $89.99)

(50% Off prices valid November 21 through December 4, 2013.)

Shimano's Click'R SPD Pedals offer super easy entry and exit, with a 60% lighter step-in/step-out force required compared to traditional clip in pedals. The wide platform increases shoe support and leverage, while also letting you ride unclipped from starts and stops. These pedals are ideal for the beginner rider, so if you've been thinking about clipping in (and experiencing a 30% increase in pedal efficiency), now is the time to try!

The Shimano SH-MT33 Cycling Shoes are great for all kinds of riding--and walking too! Multi-layer, high-ventilation, stretch-resistant synthetic uppers keep your feet cool while the laces provide a snug, even fit. A larger toe box adds comfort, while the rubber soles provide solid grip for walking. Plus, with the shoelace keeper loop, your laces stay put when you pedal. Available in sizes 40 through 47.

Buy BOTH the Shimano Click'R Pedals and SH-MT33 Shoes at 40% Off and get a FREE pair of Shimano Click'R Socks! Our thanks to you from Century Cycles and Shimano!

The Fine Print:

This Hot Deal is good only November 21 - December 4, 2013, while supplies last on in-stock merchandise only. Cannot be combined with other discounts. In-store purchase only; no online or phone orders accepted. No coupon necessary.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A look back at bicycling's past with National Geographic Magazine

The May 1973 issue of National Geographic Magazine featured not one, but two extensive articles about bicycling.

The first article, "Bicycles Are Back - and Booming!" was about the 1970's bike boom that was just hitting full steam at this time, when most of us were getting our first "10-speed" bikes, as they were known. It even hearkens back to the turn of the century, when the League of American Wheelmen (now the League of American Bicyclists) successfully lobbied for the first widespread paving of road systems. It goes on to discuss the beginnings of the bike-vs.-car controversy, and recalls how the state of Oregon became the first to mandate a percentage of transportation funds be devoted to bicycle infrastructure (which led, of course, to the state being one of the most bike-friendly in the nation today). Of particular local interest is a full-page photo (above) of a crowd of cyclists on the streets of Columbus, Ohio during the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV), at that time already boasting over 2,000 registered riders.

Images of the entire article can be viewed here:

Click here if the slideshow above is not appearing for you.

Immediately after the first article is "Bikepacking Across Alaska and Canada," which chronicles the first leg of Hemistour, a bicycle trip from Alaska to the southern tip of South America. The first leg of the trip follows Dan and Lys Burden and Greg and June Siple as they ride from Alaska back to their home in Missoula, Montana. Not coincidentally, Greg Siple was one of the co-founders of TOSRV. Although not the first cross-continent bicycle tour, Hemistour started the modern bicycle touring movement, and the participants used their experience to plan Bikecentennial, a US cross-country bike tour taken in 1976 to honor our nation's 200th (bicentennial) anniversary. The organization that started as Bikecentennial was eventually renamed to Adventure Cycling Association, and that group has been the premier non-profit that supports bicycle travel through their research and creation of route maps, working with governments at all levels to promote bicycle travel and tourism, and offering the world a treasure trove of other bike touring resources.

Images of the entire article can be viewed here:

Click here if the slideshow above is not appearing for you.

It was later in 1973 that a 12-year-old Scott Cowan happened to be perusing his father's latest magazines, and the above article caught his eye. "What a great idea; taking a vacation on your bike," the young Scott thought to himself. (The photo of a young female cyclist taking a refreshing nude dip in a mountain stream probably didn't hurt.) That led to a lifelong fascination with bike touring and all things bicycling, including the founding of Century Cycles. The rest, as they say, is history.

Monday, November 18, 2013

We Bike in Medina!

This past Saturday November 16, Chris and Petch (back row, left in photo) from the Century Cycles store in Medina did the "We Bike in Medina" ride with the Medina High School student history class project.

The project was created by Nathan Neuwirth (red helmet) and Shane Prebis (next to Nathan). This event encouraged kids and adults to get outside and ride on what may be one of the last nice days of the season. The Chippewa Inlet Trail was used for the ride. Snacks and drinks were provided by the class project members, and Century Cycles provided support and give-aways. Nathan was a Raleigh bicycle winner in our Medina Bike to School Challenge.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Westlake Police Department expands bicycle patrol

Thanks to a $750 grant from the Lakewood Elks lodge, the Westlake Police Department recently added a bicycle to the fleet of over a dozen bikes used for their bicycle patrol.

The bike is a Raleigh Talus 4.0 mountain bike purchased from the Century Cycles store in Rocky River.

You can read more about the grant and the Westlake PD bike patrol in this article from the Westlake Bay Village Observer.

Police departments in Northeast Ohio and all over the country have discovered the benefits of using bike patrols, from both a community relations and a law enforcement standpoint. According to Westlake PD Lt. Ray Arcuri:

"When a call came in about shoplifters at Giant Eagle ... the responding patrol car was stuck at the stoplight at the Detroit-Bradley intersection. A bike officer, bypassing the traffic, made it through the intersection first and arrived on the scene just in time to catch the fleeing suspects."

Century Cycles has been working with several other police departments over the years to help outfit their bicycle patrols, including the cities of Akron, Brooklyn, Brunswick, the Village of Gloria Glens, the Metro Parks Serving Summit County police, and the Cleveland Clinic Police Department.

If you're in law enforcement and would like to discuss your bike patrol needs, please contact us!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2014 Giant Mountain Bikes are In!

Giant Bicycles leads the pack in technology and innovation in mountain bikes, and Century Cycles has their latest 2014 models now in stock!

The hottest trend in mountain bikes this year is 27.5-inch wheels. Originally known as 650B size, this new "tweener" size falls between traditional 26-inch wheels and 29-inch wheels. Why the new size? Many folks feel that 27.5-inch wheels are "just right," combining the best of both worlds--the increased traction and ability to roll over obstacles of the large 29er wheels, with the lower weight and quicker handling of 26-inch wheels. Also, the 27.5-inch wheel size alleviates problems that some riders have experienced with frame design and fit related to the 29er wheels, especially for women and smaller riders.

(By the way, confused by all this talk about different wheel sizes? Our article Tech Talk: Know Your Tire Size will help you sort it out.)

Giant has committed in a big way to the 27.5-inch technology. All of the Liv/giant women's mountain bikes use the 27.5-inch wheel size, and many of the men's/unisex models offer you a choice.

The 2014 Giant mountain bike lineup at Century Cycles is led by the '14 Giant Anthem 27.5 3:
This bike features Giant's ALUXX aluminum frame with Maestro full-suspension, RockShox fork and shock, Shimano hydraulic brakes and Shimano Deore 20-speed drive train. $2,249.99.

We haven't forgotten about the ladies; we've got the '14 Liv/giant Lust 27.5 2:
With Liv/giant women;s-specific geometry on the ALUXX aluminum frame, Giant's Maestro full-suspension technology, Fox fork and shock, Shimano Deore 20-speed drive train and Shimano hydraulic brakes, it'll bring a smile to the face of any off-road diva. $2,449.99.

For you 29er fans, we still have options; the '14 Giant Anthem X 29er 3:
Once again, the ALUXX aluminum frame with Maestro suspension powered by RockShox lets you shred your favorite trails with ease. A Shimano 27-speed drive train and Shimano hydraulic brakes round at the package for only $1,749.99.

Looking to get into serious off-road riding on a budget? We've got two hardtail 27.5 offerings from Giant in stock. The '14 Giant Talon 27.5 4:
Featuring ALUXX aluminum frame, SR Suntour suspension fork, Shimano 27-speed drive train, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, you get high-end performance in a low-price package for $699.99.

The '14 Giant Talon 27.5 5:
gives you an SR Suntour suspension fork, Shimano/SRAM 24-speed drive train, and Tektro mechanical disc brakes for $569.99, all on the same Giant ALUXX aluminum frame.

Men's Journal magazine recently tested several other models of 27.5-inch mountain bikes from Giant. Edit Stan Horaczek came to this conclusion:

"Once you get on, the most immediate advantage you notice is how much more nimble a 27.5-inch tire-equipped bike is than a 29er, especially in high-speed corners. Less gyroscopic force means it's easier to lean over and take banked turns as they're meant to be taken…Ultimately, a 27.5-incher seems like the real deal. Even many pros seem to be making the switch..."

You can read the full article here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Snow Bike Time!

The snow-filled winter season has arrived here in Northeast Ohio. If you want to extend your outdoor bicycling season, now is the time to consider a snow bike. A snow bike, or fat bike as they are sometimes called, is specially-designed to accommodate super-wide tires up to 4 inches wide or more! Century Cycles is your snow bike headquarters, with several models IN STOCK and ready for you to test-ride!

The Surly Pugsley was the original bike that started the snow bike trend. It features a frame and fork made of Surly's custom-butted 4130 chromoly steel tubing, Surly Nate 26x3.8-inch tires on 65mm wide Surly Marge Lite rims, Shimano Deore/SLX derailers, and a SRAM X5 crankset with 22/36-tooth chainrings. $1,749.99. Size Small currently available in Rocky River, Medium in Peninsula.

The Surly Moonlander turns the fat up to 11. Using the same 4130 chromoly steel for the frame and fork, it's made to handle even wider tires, with 94mm wide Surly Clown Shoe rims and 26x4.8-inch Surly Bud and Lou tires. Add Shimano XT/SLX derailers, a Surly Offset Double crankset with 22/36-tooth chainrings, and 11-34 10-speed cassette for even more snowdrift-crushing gears. $2,549.99. Now available in Large in Medina.

New this year at Century Cycles is Salsa Cycles. Their fat bike lineup includes the Salsa Mukluk 2. The Mukluk is the lighter, racier big brother to Surly. Featuring a frame of double-butted heat-treated 6066 aluminum, aluminum Salsa Bearpaw fork, and extra-wide 170mm rear hub spacing, so you get the tire and chain clearance you need with a symmetrical rear wheel. The Salsa Alternator rear dropouts mean that if you want to experiment and change your setup, you can run the bike singlespeed or with an internally-geared hub without any hassles. The Mukluk 2 comes with the same 26x3.8-inch Surly Nate tires as the Surly Pugsley, but on 82mm wide Surly Rolling Darryl rims, which spread the tires out to a full 4 inches wide! The drive train features SRAM X7/X9 derailers, SRAM X7 shifters, SRAM 10-speed 11-36 cassette, and Surly Offset Double crankset with 22/36-tooth chainrings. $2,399.99. Size Medium currently available in Rocky River, Large in Peninsula.

If you haven't tried riding a snow bike yet, come check them out! The huge tires are like rolling snowshoes, but they're not as slow and heavy as they look. And they'd make darn fine mountain bikes even in warm weather.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Big-box store bicycle Hall of Shame

If you're considering shopping for a bicycle as a gift for the upcoming holiday season, here are a few reminders as to why you should look to your local independent bicycle shop rather than the big-box stores.

Bikes from the big-box stores may be cheaper, but the quality of materials makes them heavy and frustrating to ride at best. At worst, the quality of assembly makes them death traps.

The following photos come from Bicycle Shaped Object, a UK-based web site, but we see examples just like these being brought in by customers to all three Century Cycles stores all the time.

An all-too-common issue found on bikes from big-box stores is the fork installed BACKWARDS. That's right, the front end is turned all the way around. Here's one:
And another:
And yet another:
Some of these companies even go so far as to show these bikes improperly assembled in their catalog photos, like this one:
And this one:
And this one:
This next bike has the brake levers installed pointing straight down at the ground, which would make it next to impossible to operate the brakes:
But that doesn't even matter, since if you look more closely, the front wheel is installed backwards, so that the disc brake rotor is not even within the brake caliper, so the front brake will not work AT ALL!
At least the fork is on correctly, but that would be of little consolation, especially if you tried to ride this bike downhill!

Here's a tip: when you apply the brake, the arm of the brake caliper should not come into contact with the tire:
Also, when you apply the brake lever, it should not pull in so far as to come in contact with the hand grip:
To avoid these and other problems, buy your bicycles from your favorite LOCALLY-OWNED independent bicycle shop!