Monday, December 23, 2013

All About Snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a winter activity that I was not aware of nor had any knowledge about. When the winter months arrive the bike shop alters it's selection of product to include winter time fun. You'll see skates, skis, snowshoes, and fatbikes available for purchase or rent. 

We have a full selection of Redfeather snowshoes in stock for men, women, and children. This is a great way to get a local product as Redfeather snowshoes are made in La Crosse, WI. Upon my investigation of reading about why snowshoeing is a fun wintertime activity you should consider, I learned that there are snowshoes for fitness as well. This year we got in snowshoes made for runners! 
Snowshoeing is a great low-impact aerobic workout that boosts your cardiovascular health. It's said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe; the learning curve is much shorter than that of other winter sports and your risk of injury is very low.

There are a few techniques to learn, such as walking with a wider stance and choosing whether or not to snowshoe with ski poles. Using ski poles helps with balance but you may opt to use them more for an upper body workout. This is a great way to get outside and attain physical fitness instead of going to the gym every day.

Snowshoeing is a great way to get yourself outside and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air we often deprive ourselves of in the winter months. It's easy to do and learn which makes it even more fun to snowshoe with friends or family. An easy social activity in an outdoor setting? Yes please!

So come on in and see what we have to offer for snowshoes this season! Curious about what snowshoeing is like? Simple, rent a pair. We're here to answer your questions and provide you with a quality product that will make this winter much more fun for you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fatbike Rental

Travis is very excited and pleased to bring Decorah another fun way to enjoy the winter season this year; Fatbike Rental!

You can rent a fatbike for 4 hours for $25.00 or a full day (24 hours) for $40.00 or $250.00 for a month.

I do not know anyone who hasn’t been the least bit intrigued by the fatbike craze. It’s really taken off within the last year. Everyone wants to know what all the hype is about; now you can experience it for yourself. You have your choice of riding a Surly Pugsley or perhaps you’ll choose to try out the new Trek Farley. Another nice feature of our rentals is that they come equipped with bar mitts; they protect against the elements and provide additional warmth for your hands as well.

Fatbikes are a great way to experience some play time in the snow as the larger tires roll over obstacles easily. You also have more to push as well; people who ride fatbikes do not care about pedaling around a few extra pounds. When the tires are squishy it gives the bike extra traction to tackle that snow.

Fatbikes are fun because they let you experience a different way of riding. It’s not about the speed and how fast you can go but about enjoying the ride and having fun! If you’ve had curiosity over riding a fatbike, now is your chance to experience it and maybe even fall in love with it. Don’t let the winter blues bore you and leave you waiting impatiently for the spring season; get out and roll in the snow!


Monday, December 16, 2013

All About Grips!

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive upgrade for a bike this year, consider replacing the grips.  Based on the type of riding you do, different grips are associated.

Have you suffered from numb and tingly fingers? Consider a flared ergonomic grip. It has a “shelf” for you to rest your palm on and helps to reduce pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Ergon is one of the most recognized brands of ergonomic grips, and they have multiple shapes and sizes for different hand sizes or riding preferences.  These grips come in lengths for trigger or grip shifters as well as small and large sizes for different hand sizes.

They also come with or without a built in bar end. Bar ends allow you to have an alternate hand position and lets you not rest your hand in the same spot all the time. Bar ends also give you the ability to stretch out more and give you more hill climbing leverage. There are multiple bar end shapes and lengths to choose from.

One of the most important features of Ergon grips is that when they’re installed you will use a wrench to tighten the built-in clamp that locks them in place and maintains the angle that you find most comfortable for your hands. Other ergonomic grips that do not have a clamp built in will quickly start to rotate down because the shelf that you rest your palm on acts as a leverage point. That, combined with heat and general riding will end up rotating the grip so the shelf is pointing straight down and is no longer beneficial for what it was designed for. With Ergons you can set it and forget it and simply focus on enjoying your ride.

The shop’s favorite from the Ergon line is the BioKork version. Some of the benefits of this grip are that the body is biodegradable, the clamp is 100% recyclable, and the grip doesn’t become sticky or melt in the sun like some traditional rubber grips. It’s a great and functional product for the Earth conscious person in your life.
Another type of grip that’s commonly used in the mountain bike scene is a unique type of silicone grip from ESI. They are very light weight, grippy, and shock absorbent which gives the rider more comfort and more control while riding off road. The most popular of the ESI grips is the model called Chunky which is simply a thicker version that gives a little more comfort compared to others. Many people who ride in the winter will use these grips along with a carbon fiber handlebar because the two of them combined are less cold than aluminum bars and traditional rubber grips. Aluminum bars tend to hold the cold while carbon does not.

We regularly carry grips from Raceface, Specalized, Ergon, and ESI along with a variety of others. If by chance, we do not have the grips on hand that you want, we are happy to order alternatives for you. Grips are a fantastic, simple, and affordable way to freshen up any ride, so stop in today and check them out!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

All About Nutritional Supplements

When you come into the shop and look at the nutritional supplement shelf, you may feel a bit overwhelmed from the selection of goods we have in stock. An assortment of powders, gels, chews, and bars; how do you choose what is best for you and your needs? This post will educate you on everything you need to know about our nutritional supplements along with highlighting store favorites.

One of the most popular nutritional supplements in our store is Gu, a gel-based supplement that comes in a variety of flavors. If you aren't interested in a pop of flavor we suggest Vanilla or Just Plain; Josie’s favorite flavor is Espresso Love and Travis fell head over heels for Salted Caramel.

Gu should be ingested 15 minutes prior to any event, ride, or workout along with 8 oz of water. You should refuel once every 45 minutes after the start of your event. Gu is easily digestible for most, quick to take, and very pack-able.
Gu is high in sodium, potassium, and carbohydrates; it gives you energy and reduces cramping.
Some individuals enjoy getting a jolt of caffeine with their supplements; Espresso Love, Orange, Vanilla, Just Plain, Tri Berry, Jet Blackberry, Chocolate Outrage, and Salted Caramel all have caffeine. Salted Caramel has added electrolytes as well! Your body looses electrolytes gradually as you sweat and one needs to replace them.

Gu can be purchased individually for a $1.50 a pack or you can purchase a box of 24 for $30.00
Another fact that some may find appealing is that EFS and Gu also work with gel flasks that we carry in-store.

The chews preferred by our store would be Clif Shot Bloks, which are easy to open and can be eaten straight out of the package. No fumbling or mess! The Clif Shot Bloks also provide more texture and substance, which many runners prefer so they feel full and sustained.
Clif Shot Bloks are high in potassium and carbohydrates; they have more sugar content than the Gu gels. One should note that the blocks are 100 calories per serving and ½ the package is a serving size.
Another great fact about this product is that it’s 95% organic!

If you prefer a kick of caffeine: Black Cherry, Orange, and Tropical Punch flavors have caffeine added.

Travis loves Cran.Razz
Dan prefers the Black Cherry flavor for the caffeine
Customers Kristin Torresdal and Novian Whitsitt root for the Margarita flavor, which has 3x the sodium content for cramp busting.

We also carry Sport Beans by Jelly Belly which come in 4 delicious flavors: Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime, Orange, and Berry. In addition we have Honey Stinger chews in the Pink Lemonade flavor, which both Travis and Josie can vouch for being tasty! Novian loves the Powerbar Gel Blasts, which are a combination of gel and chew combined. We have Raspberry and Lemon flavors available in store for the Powerbar Gel Blasts.

For bar options we carry several varieties of Clif Bars, right now a fun option is the selection of seasonal flavors; Spiced Pumpkin, Pecan Pie, and Iced Gingerbread. Travis loves the Sierra Trail Mix Clif Bar while Josie found herself loving the new Pecan Pie Clif Bar.
The Clif Bar flavors we have in stock at the store are 70% organic and if you want a little caffeine with that, the Cool Mint Chip Clif Bar will have that.

Clif Bars are great when you really want to have the feeling of eating something sustaining, but not have it taste like a candy. Clif Bars are a good source of protein and fiber combined with vitamins and minerals. If you forgot to eat breakfast, one of these bars will help push you through those hill climbs and sprints.

Hydration mixes are another popular nutritional supplement that many people like. Skratch Labs Hydration Mixes are used by local mountain bike racer, Trevor Rockwell. Novian regularly uses Cytomax which we carry in Cool Citrus.

Skratch comes in easy to use single serve packages or 1 lb bags, the benefit of the 1 lb bags are you get 40 servings per bag! We have four flavors to choose from for the single serve packages; Raspberry, Orange, Lemons and Limes, and Pineapple. The 1 lb bags come in two flavors- Raspberry and Lemons and Limes. To use the single-serve packet, mix one packet with 16 oz of water.
Many individuals like using Skratch Labs Hydration Mix due to it not being sticky or sugary. Travis said that the Lemons and Limes flavor tasted just like natural lemonade. 

The hydration mixes are all natural and they replace electrolytes along with enough calories to help fuel muscles. They are flavored with real fruit; you won’t find artificial colors or preservatives in these mixes! Plus, the Skratch Labs Hydration mixes won’t upset your stomach or leave a bad aftertaste.

This is just a basic run down of our nutritional supplements and what they can do for you. You will find we have a variety of products but we aren’t even scratching the surface for variety.
For example other choices for chews are Gu Chomps or other flavors of Honey Stinger.
Alternate brands of gels are: Power Gel, Car-Boom, Honey Stinger, and Hammer Gel. We can also order smaller sizes of the EFS Liquid Shot for you as well.
There are several other Clif Bar flavors you can order along with Clif Builder Protein Bars, Luna Bars, and Mojo Bars.

If you see a nutritional supplement or flavor we do not carry in the store and would like to order, just ask! We are more than happy to get the product in for you and it usually comes within a day of ordering.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Come On In!

Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 30th and we would like to invite you to stop in. 

We have many great bikes currently on sale right now; bikes for adults and children alike! Why wait until next year? Get your bike now so you have it on the first nice day of the riding season.

We also have an excellent special on our CycleOps trainers right now. Buy a trainer and you have the option of getting 10% off any regular priced bike in store.You won't see Amazon offering you a deal like that!

We also have a special thank you for those purchasing regularly priced Surly or Specialized bikes from us. You get a free t-shirt from our selection of Specialized or Surly shirts that we have available in store!

We have many great gift ideas for the bike-lover in your family or your college student commuter. Keep them safe by getting them set up with a quality light from NiteRider. NiteRider lights are rechargeable which makes them a very green alternative to battery powered lights. 

We have many accessories that can make commuting or general bike riding easier and more enjoyable for you. Maybe you purchased a smart phone this year? Why not get a smart phone holder for your bike? Wanting to give all-weather riding a go? Check out our selection of fenders and other winter accessories.

Don't forget to upgrade your helmet! If it's been over 5 years or you had a head-impacting crash, it's probably a good idea to replace it. We believe that helmets are the least expensive life insurance options you can invest in. No one is too experienced or inexperienced to wear a helmet; accidents can happen to anyone at any time.

We also have shirts from Clockwork Gears for those who want to represent their love of bikes, but not be "branded." Clockwork Gears shirts are fun and definitely make a statement. We have assorted sizes for men and women as well as several designs to choose from.

For those individuals who love other winter time activities, check out our ice skate, ski and snowshoe selections.

We may be a small town business but we have the means to cater to your needs. If we do not have it in store we can special order it for you, no problem! We're here to answer questions and help you make the most of your bike riding experience. 

Have someone on your list that is difficult to shop for? We have gift certificates!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Winter Commuting-Yes You Can!

Did you know that you could commute to work all winter long? Well you sure can!

The basics of winter riding are simple, you want to have layers, a good coat, and your extremities covered. Most of us have items we can easily layer, which makes the first part simple.
If you have a winter coat, you may already have one that is water and windproof. If you do not have a coat that is water or windproof you may consider getting one. Otherwise look for an option that you can wear over your winter coat-use it for the windy and wet days that you'll be riding in. I personally didn't realize the benefit of having a wind and waterproof layer until I had one. It really makes the ride much more tolerable.
You can wear simple tights or long johns under your pants to give you added insulation; and don't forget warm socks!

You may need to spend a little money on items to keep your extremities warm, such as good gloves, head gear, and goggles. Goggles look silly, but they really provide you excellent blockage from snow/sleet and cold air. When you ride in the cold your eyes are likely to tear up, the goggles will prevent that from happening. Also, no worries on snow or sleet flying into your eyes either!
For your head a skull cap or headband that is windproof will keep your ears nice and cozy. I prefer the skull cap because gives full-head coverage and it's quick and easy to put on.
If you have a good pair of gloves, you might consider putting bar mitts on your bike as well. They are a great accessory that can be installed relatively quickly and easily for you. They provide a cavity for your hands to go into, completely covering your hands and wrists. It provides an extra barrier from the wet elements and wind, keeping you comfortable.

One of the other things to do if you ride all winter or are going to, is to get your bike tuned up and looked over. Ask questions! What kind of tires would be more helpful for your riding experience in the snowy months? Studded tires are also available during the icy months and would be a great investment.
Your chain may need to be cleaned and lubed more frequently due to the sand/salt/grit out on the streets and general wet of winter. Maybe you'd like to know more about our removable fenders? Fenders are excellent for helping to keep the wet/slop/dirt off your back, as well as keeping the spray off your face!

A tune up now will keep your running smooth for the winter months to come. Our repair board is not filled to the brim, so we are able to help you quickly and efficiently!
If you are not looking to ride your bike this winter, getting your bike tuned up now will save you a wait in the summer months. It's really that simple! So take advantage of winter and use it for your benefit. Make your winter commute safer and fun, or get yourself primed and ready for some awesome riding for spring!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Did You Know?

With the holidays fast approaching and stress hitting the roof, we'd love to remind you of two great ways to achieve your heart's desire; layaway and the Trek card!

Yes, layaway is an option at our store and we make it easy for you! All we ask is that you pay us a down payment and regularly stop in monthly to make payments toward your purchase. You get your item(s) once they are fully paid for. Simple!
We store everything here at the store, no hassle and no worries on your end!

The Trek card is another great way to make a large purchase on anything $500 or over. You simply come into the store and fill out an online application. Once approved we'll help you figure out a monthly payment so you can get your purchase paid off in 12 months, interest free. Awesome!

As you can see, we have two great options for you to make those larger purchases manageable and easy. Take some of the stress out of the holiday season this year, or any time of year with these two payment plans!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Simply Splendid Socks!

Every year you find yourself in the same predicament; there is that one person you struggle to find a gift for. That wonderfully simple and practical person who has everything they need. We have a solution for you and that solution involves socks!

We received a fun-filled order of SockGuy socks last week; there is sure to be a pair that will please those feet!

We have several designs to choose from ranging anywhere from wild and colorful to simple and fun, and anywhere in between!
We have a variety of lengths to choose from, wool socks, and Channel Air socks.
Channel Air socks are by far the most comfortable sock I've worn. The heel has a great amount of cushion and my feet felt great after standing for 7 hours at work! 

I do not know of a single person who doesn't own or wear socks; the beauty of the gift of socks is that they are easily used. It's a simple, practical, and inexpensive way to put a smile on someone's face. (And have the coolest socks in town!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Importance of Bike Lights

 Bike lights are an important safety accessory that every person needs if they bike at night, in town or on the trails. Bike lights not only allow you to see what lies ahead, but also make you visible to traffic. 

City law states that all persons who bike at night must have a white light on the front of their bike and a red light or reflector on the back of the bike. Both must be visible for at least 300 feet. We have several options for you, based on your bike riding needs.

I started off my bike commuting with two Infini Wukong lights; one white and one red. These are small, battery powered, and inexpensive lights that can be installed easily on your bike or helmet. The Infini Wukong is my go-to for a rear taillight; even if you have a reflector I'd suggest investing in a small rear light. I feel one can never be too safe, especially when riding in town.
The Infini headlight is more to be in compliance with city law and promote visibility, but for distance lighting falls short in my book.

The next step up would be the Bontrager line of lights (Ion for white and Flare for red). These are affordable lights that will give you more visibility and light than the Infini Wukong lights. However, these lights are powered by AAA batteries (3 for the Ion and 2 for the Flare lights) so you will be purchasing batteries on a regular basis to keep yourself safe.

If you really want to have prime lighting I suggest the Night Rider Lumina series of lights. You will find these to be more costly, but the investment is worth it! I was upgraded to the Lumina 650 last year and was beyond impressed. (Note-the Lumina 650 is now Lumina 700)

The Lumina 650 has three levels of lighting; most of the time I keep it on the lowest level for my basic commuting needs. Out on the trails this summer I used the other two levels to aid my ride. It's a very sturdy light and has handled my clumsiness several times. It's a rechargeable light and comes with a USB cord that you can plug into your desktop or laptop computer. No surplus of batteries to stock up on! 

Whatever kind of riding you do in the evening hours we have options to keep you visible and safe! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Be Stationary Not Sedentary!

If you are looking for something to do this winter that is bike related, but you are more of a lone wolf and gyms aren't an option; we have the solution!
Invest in one of our stationary trainers and you can ride inside all winter long! We have several CycleOps trainers to choose from in several price ranges. The Mag Trainer for $179.00, Magneto for $259.00, Fluid2 for $299.00, and the Fluid2 Trainer Kit for $399.00. (Click the names of the trainer options to be linked to them on our website.)
Travis also wants people to know that when you buy your new CycleOps trainer from us, we're offering 10% off of any regularly priced bike!
Now is the chance to upgrade your bike and ride it during the winter!

You might not think you need an upgraded bike, but have you considered what kind of ride you are missing out on? I'll speak from personal experience. I started out on a used Fuji, which got me from point a. to point b. last year with flying colors. I knew for the experience I wanted out on the paved trails, I needed a different bike. It honestly took me 2 rides to figure that out; I did research and decided that a Specialized Vita Elite was the way to go! Now compared to my Fuji, I have a lighter bike that can go faster, and hills are less of a struggle as well.

Another thing that is beneficial with riding indoors right now is that you can make the transition to clipless in the ease of your home. We have an excellent selection clipless pedals and shoes in stock-bonus? We have some shoes on sale as well as in our clearance section!
These are just a few of the shoes we have on SALE!
We also have a small selection available on CLEARANCE!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Winterize Yourself!

The seasons are changing and winter will be coming upon us. Who knows how snowy or cold it will be, but we have everything you need to stay comfortable!

We have some tights on clearance right now! This is a great opportunity to get some cold-weather gear. There is also a Smartwool base layer available as well-I love the Smartwool base layers for biking in or just wearing under a t-shirt. It's a multi-purpose clothing item that will keep you comfortable in more ways than one!

We have a great selection of gloves for wearing out in
the elements for men and women alike. If you feel gloves just aren't enough, then you can invest in some wicked cool bar mitts! They are somewhat awkward to install, but they provide excellent coverage for your hands. Seriously recommended, especially on very cold days.

We have an assortment of foot coverings as well as options to keep your head, face, and ears warm! Balaclavas, headbands, and skull caps are available for you. I used a headband last year and thought it fine; I'm using a skull cap this year and am in love
with it. It's wind breaking and has a wonderfully soft interior. My helmet fits easily over it, and I really appreciate how the sides go down farther to cover your ears.

Lastly, an investment in a winter helmet may be worth it! They are made with a more closed-top design to keep your head from being exposed to too much ventilation, plus, they are made with ear-covers! You can still wear a balaclava under the helmet (I did all of last year).

Goggles are another thing you may find useful in your winter weather repertoire. I wore goggles often during my afternoon commutes-especially when it was snowing or raining. It prevented sleet or snow from getting into my eyes, and they also help to keep your eyes from tearing up. I wear contacts, so it's especially helpful for me!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hey, are you feeling Knardy?

 What's that?!
We have fat tires from Surly?! You betcha!
Get your fat bikes situated with our lightweight, kevlar versions of Nate, Larry, or Knard tires! You can go to Surly (Just click on Surly to go to their website) and read more information on the tires. Cut a little weight off that bike of yours, and then you can truly say you're feeling "Knardy." (Bad puns are not refundable.)

Also, we also have fenders in for your fat bike! Now you can have the luxury of a removable fender for your fat bike. If you want to go out and play in the wet and sloppy weather; you now have the option of keeping your backside dry! (Granted, one might say that takes away some of the fun of getting dirty.)

This week Travis got in very special order-it's the start of our fat bike rental fleet! Look at those bikes just waiting to be built up to go out and play in the snow! If you've never ridden a bike in the winter months, this will be the year to try it! Who says winter has to be dull and boring? It definitely won't be on one of these!