Thursday, October 29, 2009

Slight change to business hours

We all decided that we liked how we opened after lunch at 1 PM all summer, and this noon opening was pretty brutal, and besides that, business is pretty slow anyway during that hour. So now we open at 1 PM Tue-Fri, not noon.

Until further notice:
T-F: 1-6 PM
Sat: 12-4 PM
Sun, Mon: closed

If our hours cause you undue hardship and prevent you from being a customer, please call or email me, and I can probably meet you by appointment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

end-of-season closeouts

With the way this year has gone, I've put reduced price bikes up here all summer. Some of them even sold! But we still have a few left, and this is as cheap as they're gonna get!

Redline Metro 9:
redline metro 9
In my opinion, this is the best deal you can get on a commuter. They have nice parts, ride nice, and have an attractive color scheme. Only 56 cm left in stock. $399 (was originally $679 or something)

Redline 925:
redline 925
Get in early on this single-speed craze! This is the single-speed/fixed-gear version of the Metro 9 above. The 925 has been consistently among our best sellers since 2006 because it's a great value. At $379 (was $550), you probably won't find one cheaper. 54 cm only.

Torker Boardwalk 3-speed:
From the 'what the hell was I thinking' file:
torker 3sp
I thought this bike would be a good seller, and it wasn't too expensive, so I ordered it earlier this Spring. Turns out to be a somewhat polarizing machine - people either hate it or love it (but don't buy it). But I bet your Mom or teenage daughter/niece/sister would like it. $279

Another nice used bike

This is a really nicely-equipped and well cared for ANT Boston Roadster reconfigured with a rear derailleur and 1x9 wide-range gearing.

It has a fancy lugged stem:

Seat tube: 57 cm c-t
top-tube: 57 cm c-c

$1600 or reasonable offer. Feel free to call or email for more details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Winter commuter ready to roll

Helping one of our regulars thin his herd (so he can rationalize another bike). He's a meticulous guy who keeps his bikes clean and well-maintained.
crosscheck commuter
If you want to get a bike for winter commuting, this one would be hard to beat:
-well-maintained 54cm "bean green" Cross-Check from back when these frames were made of Reynolds 631.
-Schmidt dynamo hub and DLumotec Oval N-plus LED headlight.
-Smart 1x9 wide-range drivetrain with Salsa Crossing Guard, N-gear Jump Stop.
-Nokian studded tires.
-Wheels built somewhat recently by Jim with Dyad rims, Schmidt and Ultegra hubs.
-Cascadia fenders.

This bike is absolutely ready to ride. $1000 or reasonable offer.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another way to do a Long Haul Trucker

I often talk to people for whom a Surly Long Haul Trucker is a near-ideal bicycle choice, but the "touring bike" categorization throws 'em off. They tell me: "I probably would never do any bike touring," as if that's the only thing a LHT can do. It turns out that the qualities that make for a good touring bike also make for a good commuting bike, all-rounder bike, grocery-getter bike, etc, and the LHT fills any of these roles nicely.

Of course, the stock configuration isn't for everybody. Sometimes the customer has a certain concept in mind, be it aesthetic, functional, or both, that can't be gotten straight outta the box. For that, more often than not, the LHT is a good starting point:

Those who insist on tidy and unambiguous categorization may be tempted to label this a city bike, and I'll admit that the classic Frenchie city bike (or modern renditions thereof) was an aesthetic influence. But, beyond frequenting coffee shops and bakeries in high-style, nothing more than a Minnehaha grocery pannier or two is required to transform this rig into a no-fooling-around errand bike or commuter. Taken a step further, underneath the shiny bits, this is still the same rough-and-tumble loaded-touring bike that should be your first choice for a self-supported Trans-Am expedition. In fact, with a set of voluminous Ortlieb or Arkel touring panniers, and maybe a Wald basket up front, this thing is ready to go, right now, as far as you care to pedal it.

More photos of this beautiful bicycle here. Thanks to Mark in Sioux Falls for buying this bike and giving me permission to use his photos of it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Studded tires, special pricing on a pair!

I'm looking out the window at big flakes of snow falling out of the sky and blanketing the ground. In mid October, this could be a fluke or the real thing. That's what makes living in Minnesota so damned exciting!

In any case, contrary to popular belief, winter is a great time to ride your bike. And if you're going to do it, riding on studded tires takes away some of the risk and uncertainty about riding on icy streets, or streets that appear to be clear, but have hidden patches of black ice...

And studded tires, we got 'em now, but don't expect to find them in December:

Hakkapeliitta W106 700x35
Hakkapeliitta A10 700x32
Either is $50/ea or 2 for $90

If your bike can fit 'em, get the W106. If a generously sized 700x35 doesn't quite fit, but it's close, the A10 should work. The A10 has fewer studs, and less aggressive tread, but it's probably your only choice if clearance is a concern. Nokians are tough and durable, but also somewhat heavy and ponderous. If you're looking for a lighter, faster, but still plenty studded tire, and/or one that has a reflective stripe, scroll down to the Schwalbe section.

Kenda Klondike:
700x35 or 26x1.95 $65/ea or 2 for $110

The Kendas are similar to the Nokians. We have used/sold both, and consider them to be more or less equivalent.

Schwalbe Marathon Winter 700x35 or 26x1.75: $80/ea or 2 for $130
The cream of the crop of studded commuter tires is the Schwalbe Marathon Winter. I rode the 26x1.75 version all last winter, and they almost felt like normal, non-studded tires when I was riding on dry pavement. Very smooth rolling for studded tires. They cost more, but they are lighter, yet have more than 2x more studs per tire (it boggles the mind) than the Nokian Hakkapeliitta. They also have a reflective sidewall, which comes in handy if you're riding outside of our 8 hour period of daylight in the winter. I can't recommend this tire enough.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Showers Pass . . .

is a company in Portland that makes some of the best foul weather cycling gear around. HC has not carried much clothing to date, but we want to start offering items from select vendors that the touring and commuting cyclist will really use.

So, we are offering our own version of a stimulus package. Order and prepay for any Showers Pass item from HC by Friday, October 23 and you will receive an HC gift certificate equal to 10% of the purchase price.

This is the perfect time to order as we enter the fall and winter commuting seasons, and this would make great Christmas gifts for your favorite cyclist.

Check out their complete line here.

Stop by or email Jim or Kevin if you have questions.