Friday, February 26, 2010

goodie box

as mentioned below......goodies were found in MN. Fresh off the brown truck from the fine fellas over at Flanders Bros Cycling in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010


 This past weekend the captain and i headed on up to minneapolis for the annual Frostbike event hosted by the folks at QBP. The weekend kicked into gear as soon as i arrived in missoula to catch the flight out on thursday morning. Captain instructed me to meet him at The Pancake Parlor for coffee and breakfast and then a leisurely stroll afterwards over to his old place of employment called Brady's Sportsman Warehouse, who just happens to be in the middle of closing their doors after many decades of business. The captain WAS their ace mechanic and shop manager and fortunately kept me in mind when sifting through the old parts drawers before heading towards the closeout table. Two boxes and a $100 later we were heading out the door of Brady's to make for the airport. With one minor hiccup.

 If the captain doesn't have his wallet or keys tied to his arse be prepared for an intense game of seek and find. We spent the next and final moments leading up to check in time tearing the captains house apart. Finally from the basement i hear the war-cry of sweet success. And finally we were on our way to the airport.

 Minneapolis is a big city with a healthy dose of  bike culture, we only ventured into three shops during our short visit but the potential for finding a great shop is limitless. Our first stop was Oberpillar's shop called One on One bike studio. When you first enter the shop you first get hit with a wave of caffeine influenced aroma. And without missing a beat all three of us b-lined it towards the bar and placed our orders. Americano in hand you could stroll across the large floor space which had art work of every kind hanging, standing, leaning, and stuffed into corners. And yes, they did have actual art there too....on display was a photo display  from a local artist with a velodrome influence. good stuff. In the middle of the floor was a line of new and recently refurbished bikes, each bike deserving of a fine look over. As we ventured into the repair area and greeted with an invitation to see the basement, coffee still in hand (second fill) we each stepped down one person at a time, allowing each the opportunity to get far enough ahead so we could soak it in without any disturbance. Bottle caps line the steps downward, and slowly you enter the large basement barely lit by 1000w bulbs and the 20 degree increase in heat from the old furnace had us down to tees in short time. Tip-toe speed was still too fast to soak it all. Next thing you know all three of us were neck deep in part bins simply labeled. I grabbed a pedal bin and quickly found an old Torrington pedal from the 30's-40's. The thought of finding the match made me dig deeper-deeper. My mind and hands drifted from the task and then back into more bins labeled 'saddles'. I pulled an old Messinger saddle from the box and put it to the side, and then a plastic covered Selle Anatomic. Never did find the Torrington match. An hour later we emerge.....prizes in hand. Me..two saddles. The old shimano 3spd shimano shifter from a muscle bike. Mark went back to the shop the next day with his 9 yr old son and found two BMX projects. Great entertainment for two $2.00 espresso's and $6 in saddles.

 After leaving here we were on our way to get some lunch, refueled to see the next shop and more importantly to meet up with my good pal Adrian who works here. Flanders Bicycle shop, the ultimate pro road shop where trophies and past years jerseys are predominately displayed, and the bikes soooo clean you could eat from them. After catching up with A- and while he was being requested to sharpen a pair of skates he too allows us to self-tour the basement. I think it must be a requirement for shops in minneapolis to have basements full of cool stuff. Not nearly in the same league as the first, but we did come across some fantastic gear from yesteryear.....old Velonews magazines from the 70's, 6 boards full of old single freewheel cogs, and another prize that i just had to have (i'll share later). We stayed until close, dragged Adrian out with us and then we were off to do more damage. This time heading to a nice corner pub and then later back on over to Oberpillars for an evening full of shinnanigans. It's gets a little blurry from here but we did eventually make it back to the marriot after a $40 cab ride.

 The next day came quick and we ventured on over to QBP for the indoor expo., QBP is a behemoth of a parts distributor and i was in awe of it's size, and interested to see how they function. Also at the show was long list of vendors who were here to show and talk to us dealers. It felt much more personable than other expo shows, and it appeared that vendors felt the same way.  We had questions about product and they too had questions for us, many with the same can we sell more product ? what are we missing and how can we add it ? How about Manitou adding a 36mm stanchion fork with 160-170mm of travel and would be mirrored after their current El Dorado DH fork ??? sweet.

How about Sun, and  Dt-Swiss finally bringing tubeless rim technology to market. And lots of dependable brands that always seem solid....Salsa with the additions of the Vaya, and Fargo. Both bikes designed to be ridden just about anywhere. I could go on and on but i'll spare ya.

It was a good show. And it was good to see so many familiar faces, to talk to other shop owners who have similar struggles and worries, and then relax a bit knowing that in the end we're all just here to make the world a little bit better. The more bikes and bike minded folks on this earth is for the better.

over and out and happy to be home !

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Norton the GT fella

hooks me up again.....thanks mr. norton ! Yes, a confession....i have a problem when opportunities arise to purchase old bicycle parts that still look new. I just can't help myself.
first, it was a NOS ti Xizang a few years ago trading the frame in towards a new suspension fork and now a NOS 6" travel carbon dually. I have no idea at this point of what i'm going to do with it.....hang on to it till i have enough parts to build it up i suppose. Who knows.

Fiashetti's Masterpiece

Johnny's classic road bike

in for service....light overhaul of bottom bracket and headset bearings, new saddle, and fixing a seatpost that just wouldn't stay put.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

stem sizer

lending a hand in helping Steve figure out the perfect stem size to go along with his new Ragley handlebar.....the stem sizer you see here is actually made over in Billings by the Bike Fit fellas, and it is easily the nicest stem sizer on the market. So if you're in the need for that just right position swing on by and try it on for size. Then if need be have a custom one-off stem made for the perfect position. Yeehaw !

Friday, February 05, 2010

bike build

First revealing of Johnny D's new SC part was overlooked and budgets were thrown out of the window. Big fella J.D. just said "build me a bad-ass Nomad !" and so we obligued. Thanks for the fantastic project John, it was truely an honor to build a bike for you.

frame - 2010 SC Nomad
shock - Cane Creek DB
headset - King 1.5 no thread
fork - Fox 36 Talas RC2 1.5"
stem - Thomson X4
handlebar - Chromag OS
shifters - Sram X0 triggers
brakeset - Formula ONE 180/160
grips - Sunline lock ons
seatpost - Gravity Dropper 4"
saddle - Chromag trailmaster
crankset - Raceface Deus
f.derailleur - Shimano XT
r.derailleur - Sram X0
chain - KMC 9SL

cassette - Sram X0 11-34

wheelset - custom built Hadley on Mavic EN521
(20mm front/10X135 rear)

tires - Schwalbe Big Betty

fun hog !