Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year's Hours and Ride

We will be closed Monday, December 31st and Tuesday, January 1st to celebrate the New Years holiday.

Our second annual New Year's Day ride will leave from the shop at noon. A food/coffee stop will of course be the highlight. Come start 2008 with a ride and get a few miles under your belt for your annual mileage goal.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Day Ride

First, Happy Holidays to everyone from Jim, Kevin and Mark. We appreciate your business and look forward to meeting your cycling needs in 2008.

Come join us for a Christmas Day ride. The kids just want to play with their toys anyway, assuming you assembled them correctly.

Meet at the shop at noon. Given its the Christmas, our food stop will either be a Chinese buffet or Starbucks. Come hungry.

UPDATE: Four hardy souls rode on Xmas day with a stop at the Hard Times Cafe for libations. Heavy snow was falling when we started back and with the light traffic, the ride home was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Looking For A Cool Commuter? Sold

Kevin is selling his Claud Butler. Go here to see detailed specs and pictures.

Here's a taste:


Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday hours

For Christmas, we will be closed Dec 24, 25, and 26. For New Year's, we will be closed Dec 31 and Jan 1. We'll be open normal hours otherwise.

We're working on some kind of zany New Year's Day ride. Maybe a Christmas one, too.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tune-up special

In about 2-3 months, the snow's going to start melting, and about 200 people are going to want their bikes tuned up on the same day with a 24-hour turnaround. In all likelihood, this will prove to be an unrealistic expectation, even for our talented and efficient shop staff. Beat the crowds and save yourself the disappointment of a long wait by bringing your bike in now, and we'll give you a 25% discount on labor ($45 instead of $60). Offer good through the end of January 2008.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Studded Tire Update

As some of you found out on Saturday, the Nokian studded tires have suddenly become hard to get. We unexpectedly sold out of the 700x35 model, and were unable to get any to replenish our stock. I looked into Schwalbe, but they were also impossible to get in any of the 700c sizes. Kenda makes the Klondike, which appears to be very similar to our beloved Nokian 700x35. Kenda makes great tires, though their reputation seems to be based on their lower end budget models. These 700x35 Klondike tires have 100 carbide studs and are rated to 85 psi (Nokians are rated to 65 psi). I mounted one on a Velocity Dyad rim and it measures 32 mm wide and 32 mm high, a bit skinnier than the Nokians of the same size. The upshot of this skinniness is that they might fit some bikes where the Nokians are a bit snug. I don't think they'll fit a fendered Redline 9-2-5, unfortunately. Originally, I thought the Kenda Klondike would be a stop-gap until we could get more Nokians, but now that I've seen them, I think they'll become a regular item in our inventory.

For 26" (559 mm) tires, we still have the Nokian Mount & Ground 26x1.9. We also now have the Schwalbe Marathon Winter, 26x1.75.

All of our studded tire models are now $65 each or $110 for a pair. (If you stopped by Saturday and missed out, you know who you are, and I'll still honor the 2 for $100 deal for you).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

650A, 650A -- its back!

650A, commonly known as 26 X 1 3/8, is used primarily on old English 3 speeds. Availability of rims has been scarce of late, particularly the 40 "holers" which a majority of Sturmey Archer Hubs are drilled as.

We were able to get a decent supply of Sun CR18 rims in this size in 32, 36 and 40 drillings. Â $40 each.

Come and get 'em while they last.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dynamo Hub Users Beware!

A story out of the Northwest indicates that bike thieves have gotten smarter. Apparently, thieves are becoming aware of the value of front dynamo hubs and have taken to stealing them only.

One rider had locked his bike correctly using a U Lock and a cable through both wheels. Using a small set of bolt cutters, theives cut the spokes out of the front wheel and walked away with the hub, leaving the rest of the bike locked securely to the rack.

Pitlocks are one solution and we carry them here. Otherwise, be sure and lock your bike in a well traveled, visible location.


Friday, November 30, 2007

New Spaces

On the eve of opening in our new location, I found some pictures that provide perspective to what has transpired over the past few months. The new space will be a work in progress for awhile but the changes are pretty dramatic.

We could not have transformed the space without the amazing skills of our mechanic Mark. He is not only a whiz at most everything bike related, he is a master electrician and, despite the fact he doesn't own a jig saw, a pretty good carpenter as well.

Aside from the one Jim posted yesterday, we don't have many pictures of the almost finished project yet but here are a few of the space when we first saw it. We'll let you be the judge when you come for a visit. For those of you not local, we will post more pictures over the next few weeks.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Re-opening Saturday

We're working on a few final details to tie the room together, but we're planning on being open for business during our regular hours starting this Saturday. The Saturday ride will meet at 7:45 AM at our new location.

work in progress

work in progress

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We're Moving!!!!

It's not exactly the best kept secret in the world but its about time we announced it to the world. We are moving to a bigger location 1 block east -- 4301 East 54th Street. This location is almost double our current size and the shop and most of our inventory will all be on the main floor. We are planning a customer lounge area with some comfortable seating, a lending library and refreshments.

We will be moving the week of November 25th and our goal is to be in by Friday, November, 30th. Our phones and internet connection will be moved on Thursday, the 29th and of course, will not change. The shop ride will happen as usual on Saturday, December 1 leaving our new location at 8 AM.

The shop will be in a state of flux the entire week as we make the move. If you absolutely, positively need something, stop by or call and we will do our best to dig it out of a box. If you order over the web, let us know if you need it immediately and we will do what we can to get it shipped. Otherwise, most orders will be sent out the week of December 2. We won't be doing any repairs this week.

Look for a Grand Opening celebration sometime in January after the holiday craze is over.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday closing

HC will be closed this week on Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving. We will be open for "Black Friday" at the usual time (noon). I fully expect Friday to bring a line at the door, and a frenzy of irrational spending. No need for fisticuffs though; we have enough Banana Bunkers for everybody.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nokian studded tires - "deserve them"

Deserve Them! Yeah, it's kind of a funny motto for a product like this. It probably sounded less odd in Finn. But don't let the awkward marketing get in the way of you trying these tires this winter. For many of us, the winter cycling season is not to be missed. The truly cold and snowy days (that make cycling a hardship) are surprisingly rare, but the daily risk of icy streets is likely to be with us for months. That's where a pair of good studded tires come in -Â ride over black ice and slippery packed snow without fear or hesitation! Most people don't believe how well these work until they try them. As an added advantage, the extra weight and rolling resistance will transform you into a powerhouse next spring - when your friends are still trying to shed the winter pelt, you'll be stronger than ever.
The Nokian studded tires are equipped with carbide steel studs, which are hard enough to last 3-6 seasons of typical winter commuting. We are aware of slightly cheaper studded tires that were pretty much worthless on ice after less than one winter season because the softer steel studs got worn flat. This doesn't happen with the Nokians. I bought a set three years ago, and they're still going strong.

Presently, we carry two commuter-friendly variants: 700x35 with 106 studs and a 26x1.9 with 160 studs. Get a pair of either for $100, or $60 if you want just one (not optimal).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Banjo Brothers Bags Are Back in Stock

We just received a good supply of the Commuter Backpack, Market Pannier and Messenger Bags. They are the perfect gift for the commuter on your Christmas list.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Change in Friday, 11/9's Shop Hours; Saturday

We will be open from 12-5 on Friday instead of 12-6.

On Saturday, the ride will leave at its regular time of 8'ish. The shop will be open from 10'ish to 4

If you have suggestions for a ride, please post them.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Oliver James Thill

entered the world yesterday weighing in at 8 pounds, 12 oz. (140 oz.;3968 grams; 3.96 kg.) and measured 20 inches long (508 mm; 50.8 cm.).

Guessing weight, Eric P. wins a $10 HC gift certificate for his entry of 8 pounds 11 oz.

In the length category, we have a tie. Beth and Dan both guessed 20 inches. They each win a $10 HC gift certificate.

Names -- there were some outstanding entries and the panel of judges had a very difficult time picking clear winners. But 2 stood out above the rest:

Velocipete with "Blueberry Thill" and Jim W. with "BB Thill". They each win a $10 HC Gift Certificate.

Honorable Mention goes to Eric P. for "Jethro Thill" and to the Other Scott for "Thor Thill". Each receive a signed and numbered Banana Bunker directly from the boss himself.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all for playing.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Man Child Thill is Here! A Second Chance To Win!

I have it on good authority that he is a strapping, healthy baby boy. Mother and child are doing well. No name yet but they are working on it. Once that is announced, the distinguished panel will name the winner(s) of the "Name Man Child Thill" contest.

Now, let the games begin.

Post your guess at Man Child Thill's height and weight at birth. The person submitting the answer closest to each will win a valuable prize. That's two chances to win -- height and weight.

Post often but do it before noon CST on Tuesday, 11/6.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Future Man Child Thill Needs Your Help

For those of you who don't already know, Jim and the missus are having a son next week. "He" has not yet been named and they need your creative suggestions.

Knowing his son will be both manly and ultimately have a wide range of interests, the name should be catchy and communicate that -- hey, this kid's no ordinary Joe. When he goes to his first day of school, the teacher taking attendance should know this is a future renaissance kind of guy. "Archimedes Thill"! "Here". Has a nice ring, no?

Here are a few suggested categories and names to get you started:

Science: Aristotle Thill -- certain to get him stuffed in a school locker at some point. President of the science club for sure. Little chance of being starting tackle.

Photography: Henri Thill. Never needs an excuse to wear a beret and smoke clove cigarettes. Chicks will dig him.

Cycling: Eddy Thill. His friends will call him the Cannibal. Will be named most likely to grow up to be like John Belushi.

Nordic and Greek Gods: Gunnar Thill. Will be able to crush steel beer cans against his forehead by 8th grade.

Post your suggestions in the comment section. Our distinguished panel of judges will review all the entries and forward them on the the Thill's for consideration. The person submitting the most creative suggestion will win an HC gift certificate.

If, by some remote chance the Thill's actually use a name submitted, the same distinguished panel of judges will have to figure out what the hell to do then.

Look for daily contests next week guessing Man Child Thill's height and weight, eye color and any other. Winners will receive a limited edition banana bunker, signed and numbered by Man Child Thill's father or an HC gift certificate.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

break out the parade bike!

Last year at this time, the Saturday ride inadvertently found itself knee-deep in the hooliganism that is the University of Minnesota homecoming parade. Well, it's happening again, and we fully intend to inadvertently infiltrate the parade again. The weather is predicted to be crisp, but clear and sunny. So bring your parade bike, whether it is a pimped-out Surly, rusty 3-speed, Karate Magna, or what have you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

hats, hats, and more hats

I just invested heavily in handmade cycling caps from Grovecraft. Holly there makes great hats out of discarded and second-hand fabrics. At this time of the year she makes winter hats out of various sweaters and similar warmer fabrics. Like fingerprints, they are all unique and no two are alike. A variety of colors, styles, and patterns are available. The winter hats are $40/ea and what we have left of the summer hats are $25/ea. Stop in to check them out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

more stuff you might want

We obtained a couple more of the Duluth Pack bags. At the moment we have the small saddle bag formerly known as the Little Joe and the large handlebar bag formerly known as the Hobo bag.

Also, I just discovered a small stash of black 32h Velocity Synergy 650B rims. They are $130/set (front symmetrical, rear O/C). Everybody needs black 650B rims, right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Friday night ride!

From Mark Stonich:

I'm planning to lead a Hunter's Moon Ride leaving the shop at 8:00 PM Friday night Oct 26th.

Planning to go around the airport
Through Fort Snelling Park, with a bit of easy off-road
Up the trail to M'Haha Falls & across the Ford bridge
Through Hidden Falls and Crosby Lake parks.
Then stop at Bakers Square on Ford Parkway for a snack and to warm up.

Forecast is for cool & cloudy with a slight chance of rain.

Mark's night rides were really fun and well attended earlier this summer. Now that things are settling into Fall, I am glad to have another opportunity to have a moonlight group ride. I hope you can make it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Duluth Pack bags on the way

After much anticipation, it looks like we are finally going to be getting the last of the Duluth Pack bike bags, which were formerly known as the Baggins bags sold by Rivendell. Kevin and I, between us, bought pretty much the entire line of Baggins bags for our own personal use long before we started HC, and we love them. I don't know the whole story here, but I believe these were excess stock that Duluth Pack had the last time they stopped being the supplier of the Baggins bags. Now the present ownership of Duluth Pack wants to make room in the warehouse for other fine merchandise by selling them to us. The examples I've seen have a leather Duluth Pack seal on them and are not identified with any other brand. In any case, the bags we are getting are as follows:

Bar tube (formerly known as the candy bar bag): $40 - quantity available: 1

Small transverse saddle bag (formerly Little Joe): $100 - quantity available: 3

Medium/Large transverse saddle bag (formerly Adam): $140

Seat bag (formerly Banana Bag): $95 - quantity available: 3

Large handlebar bag (formerly Hobo): $120 - quantity available: 2
We are just getting a few of each, and given the past popularity of these bags, I'm pretty sure they won't last long. Call to order.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Nice Used Rides

I just listed two very nice bikes we took in as trade-ins. Check them out on our home page.

1) Bianchi Volpe -- 58 cm; $550

2) 1970's vintage Fuji Grand Tourer -- 25"; $150 SOLD

Call or stop by to check them out.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lake Pepin Ride

UPDATE: Someone asked me for the course profile so here it is.

Nine good friends of HC rode around Lake Pepin on Sunday in what turned out to be a gorgeous day. After a quick stop for coffee in Hastings, the group headed towards Red Wing for the start. Heading south into Wisconsin, we battled a pretty strong headwind which we hoped would be the tailwind needed to push us home on the last leg.

After summiting the Bay City Hill, we made our traditional stop at the Smiling pelican in Maiden Rock for pastries and a chance to sit in their always gorgeous garden. Continuing south, the group split up based on riding speed, and we were all to meet for lunch at the Eagles Nest Coffee Shop in Wabasha. We enjoyed great food and company sitting on their patio, and it was indeed difficult to begin the trip north.

The minute we did turn north, the winds helped us make great time. The group again broke up a bit based on speed but we all made great time heading up the road. Thanks to Tim, Marcia, Rob, Matt, Scott, Eric, Dan and Ron for joining us on what was a really great ride.

Marcia, riding into Nelson.


Eric on his new Kogswell, riding into Nelson


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Surly Long Haul Truckers coming soon

I just ordered four Surly Long Haul Trucker complete bikes in the popular 58cm size, and I expect them to Arrive on Sept-19. They are $985 as spec'ed, or $1100 with a Brooks B17 Champion Special saddle and MKS touring pedals. If you want one, call or stop by as soon as possible. If you decide you want one two weeks from now, it'll probably be too late. These are great bikes and a tremendous value for the price.

UPDATE: We now have one 58 cm and one 54 cm LHT bike for sale. We also have a 56 cm LHT that is built with parts out of HC inventory.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Studded Tires

It's way too early to think of snow and ice covered roads -- some of the best riding is yet to come. But when it does come, you'll want to be prepared if you plan to ride all winter.

We carry the Nokian Hakkapellitta in 700 X 35 C and the Mount and Ground in 26 X 1.9 sizes. We have a decent stock of both and will get more in the next few weeks.

They are $60 each for both sizes but you can buy a set for $100. We recommend a set over just putting one on the front or rear.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lake Pepin Ride, September 23

We are planning a ride around Lake Pepin, weather permitting on Sunday, 9/23. We now have a trailer so we can transport a number of bikes safely.

More details to follow -- check back.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Saturday ride

Now that we have the long holiday weekend out of the way, we can get back to the usual Saturday ride. HC @ 7:45 AM. Everybody is welcome.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Saturday Ride this week

HC will be closed on Saturday. Kevin and I both have plans and won't be able to do a Saturday ride. I'm sure a few people are up for doing the ride in the absence of our strong leadership. Comment here if you plan to show up.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Celebrating Labor Day

HC will be closed Saturday, September 1 and Monday, September 3 in honor of Labor Day.

Regular hours will resume Tuesday, September 4.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Just a reminder that we will be closed Tuesday, 8/21 and Wednesday 8/22.

Regular hours resume Thursday.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Riders Beware

The City of Minneapolis chip sealed 54th Street in front of the shop. There are lots of loose gravel piles so riding is treacherous. I saw one rider go down this morning.

Please be careful if you are headed this way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Hills Are Alive

Jim's out of town on vacation so Saturday's ride planning falls to me. So far, we've had off-road rides, easy rides and theme rides. But hey, we've never had a hill ride.

You won't get cue sheets, turn by turn directions or maps. Suffice it to say that the ride will involve hills, including one named after a state. It will still be an easy pace but if you show up riding anything with a single speed, no whining's allowed.

You will burn enough calories that you can eat one of these without feeling guilty.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Redline 925's Back In Stock

This is a great value in a commuter bike -- mooustache bars, flip-flop rear hub, fenders and chainguard. $490.

We stocked these when we first opened and decided to bring them back based on demand. We have them in 54, 56 and 58 cm sizes. Â Come in and check them out!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Atlantis Frames Coming Soon

We just learned that we will be receiving two 58 cm Atlantis frames in the next week or so. This is the Swiss Army knife of bikes and can be built up in a wide range of configurations.

Frame and fork with headset -- $1500.00. These will go fast so if you want one, don't wait.

We also just received a new shipment of Brooks Saddles in a variety of models and colors. Call or stop by for details.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Breezer Commuter Bikes -- Back in Stock

We have received a shipment of the Freedom and Uptown models of Breezer's well designed commuter bikes. The Freedom features a Shimano 3 speed internal hub while the Uptown comes with the Shimano 8 speed Nexus internal hub. Both come as either a diamond or step-thru frame option.
Call for sizes and frame availability.