Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Now would be a good time

The timing of the onset of Spring in Minnesota can be a tricky thing, but in the bike repair business, it tends to be pretty clear when Spring starts. In one day we go from having no bikes to service to being completely swamped with work. Of course, the rush is typically motivated by a couple days of unseasonable weather, and expectations of getting the bike back the same day or next day are highly unrealistic when you're the 20th person to drag your neglected bike through our door 15 minutes before we close on a Saturday. It would be better for everybody if these things were attended to in advance. Just like me writing this blog post when I should be finishing my taxes...

Anyway, in the last week, I've received numerous communications that say something like: "I want to bring my bike in before you guys get too busy. When would be a good time?" I can't predict the exact date when we're gonna be swamped, but as I type this, it hasn't happened yet. Grand tally on today's sales an hour before closing: $15. So NOW would be a wonderful time to bring us your bike for service. Then you can pat yourself on the back when you're out riding your well-tuned machine while everybody else is in futile negotiations with their curmudgeonly bike mechanics to be moved to the front of the queue.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Twin Cities Bike Swap

The Twin Cities Bike Swap has become a harbinger of Spring hereabouts, and it's tomorrow (Feb 13) already! I've got the semi-trusty HC schwag-wagon loaded up, and I'm ready to make some questionable deals! So come on up to the National Sports Center in Blaine, and bring some cash. And since it's practically Valentine's Day, bring your special someone for a romantic day of pawing through greasy cast-off parts. Better than roses, if you ask me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pre-Swap deals on cool parts

We have recently been getting some good deals on cool parts, and finding things we forgot we had. Stock up for future projects, or build a whole bike around some cool component. Keep an eye on this list, because I'll be adding to it as I unearth various treasures in preparation for the twin cities bike swap this Sunday. These will be sold on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. If it doesn't sell this week, we'll have this stuff (and more) at the swap. Everything is NEW unless specified otherwise.

Sugino XD single speed cranks. This is the popular XD crank (standard Rivendell issue), but in a single-speed version. It comes with a semi-cheesy but usable 46t chainring, but the cold-forged crankarms are more than worth the asking price, in my opinion. Right now, we have these in silver, 165 mm and 170 mm lengths. $70

Shimano Alfine crank and bottom bracket set. Nice looking modern single-speed crank with 39t chainring and chainring guard. 170 mm arms, silver. External cup bottom bracket included. Chainline is 42 mm, which will work with Alfine/Nexus hubs and most single-speed/track hubs. $120.

Vintage Suntour XC Pro Microdrive crank (used). This crank is used by me, but the wear on the chainring teeth is minimal. There is some "polishing" on the crankarms from the insides of my shoes, but otherwise it's in great condition. Chainring bolt circle is 94/58 mm, which allows for some really interesting gear combinations (wide range ultra-compact double with bashguard, for instance). Included rings are 42/32/20t. Crankarm length is 170 mm. Great (and pretty) touring triple for those who don't care to push high gears. $150

Alfine front dynamo hub. I have these in silver 36h and black 32h. Can be used with or without a disc brake. These are more nicely finished than most of the other models of Shimano dynamo hubs. These have become my go-to dynamo hub when spending $250+ on a Schmidt hub is out of the question. $110.

Surly Instigator frame and headset (used). Size M (18"), black, includes FSA Orbit XL-II headset and Thomson seatpost. Overall, this frame is in very good condition, aside from a few very minor scuffs in the finish and decals. $350

Pug-front conversion kit (used). This includes a barely used symmetric Pugsley fork with uncut steerer tube and a Pugsley wheel with a Hayes disc hub and Large Marge 32h XC rim, Endomorph tire, and tube. $300

Friday, February 4, 2011

Almanzo 100 and Almanzo Royal 162 offer

Final numbers are rolling in as registration for the venerable Almanzo 100 and brand-spanking-new Almanzo Royal 162 draws to a close. Rough estimates put the number of registrants at around 700!!! This kind of enthusiasm is well deserved for this world-class FREE event. While it's officially billed as a race, for most of us, Almanzo is nothing more and nothing less than a challenging ride on beautiful roads with good friends. I love Almanzo: the bikes, the people, Spring Valley, the roads, the whole scene. Forget about L'Eroica or other exotic events - Almanzo is right in our backyard, and in English, too. And that's why you'll see HC listed as a proud sponsor for this fine event.

Anyway, we donate a little cash to the organizers, and a nice prize or two for participants, and we evangelize this thing to whomever is willing to listen. But we want to go a little farther in support of Almanzo. In the month of February, anybody on this list can take 15% off a purchase. It's just for the month of February, and each person on the list can take the discount off one sale, whether it's a $5 tube or a $3000 bike. The purchase has to be either in-stock items or pre-paid special order items - the only catch is you have to ask for the discount at the time of purchase, not later, and you only get the Almanzo deal once.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sturmey-Archer 3sp rebuild class, Feb 12

We will be hosting a 3-speed hub overhaul/rebuild class at HC on Saturday, February 12, 8AM-Noon. The class is taught by Mark Stonich and focuses on the Sturmey-Archer AW hub (the most common model). The fee for the class is $60, and is required to reserve your spot. Clean hubs and tools will be provided for your use during the class. There are a limited number of openings, so let us know right away if you're interested.