9/21/2016

How to Follow All The Coverage From Interbike 2016


Interbike 2016 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV starts today and if you are a bike tech geek like me you're going to want to watch the media coverage closely if you are unable to attend.  I would be blogging from Interbike like I did last year but other commitments kept me from attending this week so I will be closely monitoring all of the coverage on the Internet.

This is where companies from every corner of the bike industry will be debuting and showcasing their products to bicycle retailers, importers, distributors and the media.  With more than 1,400 exhibitors, it is the largest show of its kind in North America.  For bike people, it's like being a kid walking into the biggest candy store ever.


Over these next three days many new products will be creating buzz in the bike world.  Some of these products will be seen for the first time at Interbike and the media coverage is always excellent at the show.  Below I will post some information and links so you can also keep abreast of all the cool new bikes, accessories, gadgets and apparel from Interbike.


With so many brands at Interbike you may want to view the Exhibitor's List to see who is going to be there this year.  Use the Exhibitor List Search to narrow the results.  Once you know who the exhibitors are you can do Google searches with the brand name and "Interbike" to bring you to the media coverage, photos and news for that brand.

Bike websites and blogs have staff reporting from Interbike daily with all the latest news and photos from the show.  Below is a list of some of my favorite sources that you can check out over the next week to keep updated on all the great new offerings from bike companies and manufacturers before they show up at your local bike shop.








Use the following hashtags for Interbike 2016 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to also see the latest reports from the show.

#Interbike16
#Interbike2016
#Interbike

Following the extensive Interbike media coverage will keep me on top of the latest bike tech.  Seeing the new bikes, gear and gadgets months before they show up at my local bike shop is pretty cool.  There are always a bunch of things that catch my attention at Interbike and I'm really looking forward to see what this year's show brings to the table.

Penn Cycle & Fitness
http://penncycle.com/about/the-great-september-sell-out-pg1794.htm
2016 Trek Bikes at the Lowest
Clearance Prices Allowed.

9/17/2016

Become a New Member or Renew During the MORC Member Drive at Surly Brewing

Image Credit: Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists

The Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) are holding their annual membership drive at Surly Brewing in Minneapolis on Sunday, September 18th from 11:30am to 5:00 pm.  If you are a current MORC member or would like to become one here is a great opportunity to meet other MORC members and talk about the great trails they maintain here in the Twin Cities. 


There is plenty of bike parking at Surly Brewing located at 520 Malcolm Ave SE in Minneapolis so make a day of it, get in a ride and support your local IMBA Chapter by renewing or becoming a member of MORC.


If you are one of the first 100 mountain bike enthusiasts that wants to support the organization that gains and maintains trails in the Twin Cities by becoming a member or renewing your current membership, you will receive a free pint of fantastic Surly beer.


While you're there joining in on the camaraderie with your fellow MORC members, grab some of the awesome food from Surly's menu.  There is something on the bill of fare to please every palate.

Central Lakes Trail
http://www.centrallakestrail.com/
Get out and enjoy 
the beautiful gem known as 
the Central Lakes Trail!

9/12/2016

45NRTH Introduces New, Redesigned and Plus Winter Tires

Image Credit: 45NRTH

45NRTH introduced a couple of new aggressive studded tires for fatbikes as well as 27.5+ bikes and a redesigned tread on a couple already in their lineup.  The announcement came over social media and their new website on Thursday, September 8th.   Below I go over some of the details of these new tire offerings to choose from for this Winter.

Wrathchild 26X4.6 Studded Tire

Image Credit: 45NRTH

Wrathchild is a new more aggressive studded fatbike tire in the lineup that has 224 XL concave studs with deep lugs and an open tread pattern designed to shed snow.  45NRTH touts this tire for use "From loose snow to icy freeze-thaw and everything in between, Wrathchild craves the best and worst winter conditions."  Wrathchild's tread design and concave studs seem to make it an ideal all-around Winter tire that is going to provide plenty of traction for cornering, braking and the icy stuff.

Wrathchild will be available in a 26x4.6 studded-only version with a 120 tpi casing and a tubeless ready folding bead.  Fits 65-102mm rims.

Wrathchild 27.5X3.0 Studded Tire

Image Credit: 45NRTH

Wrathchild will also be available in a 27.5x3.0 version for plus bikes.  It has deep, aggressive lugs that dig in with tall side lugs for cornering traction and XL Concave Aluminum Carbide studs for icy conditions.  This new tire will give 27.5+ bike owners all-conditions traction this Winter whether it be for commutes to work or rolling fast on the packed, icy singletrack.

Wrathchild will be available in a 27.5x3.0 studded-only version with a 120 tpi Ultralight casing and a tubeless ready bead.  Fits 35-50mm rims.

Dillinger 4 26X4.0

Image Credit: 45NRTH

Dillinger 4 gets a tread redesign for 2017 that includes taller side lugs and an improved center tread.  Studded versions will have 240 Concave Aluminum Carbide studs(120tpi), Steel-Carbide (60tpi) for ice gripping traction.  This new tread upgrade is designed for improved cornering, speed and rolling efficiency.

Dillinger 4 will be available in a 26x4.0 studded/studless versions with a 120 tpi Ultralight casing or 60 tpi casing both with a tubeless ready folding bead.  Fits 65-102mm rims.

Hüsker Dü 26X4.0

Image Credit: 45NRTH

Hüsker Dü also has a redesigned tread pattern for 2017 with a reduced lug count and taller should lugs for what 45NRTH calls one of the fastest snow tires available.  45NRTH recommends this tire for hardpacked groomed singletrack because of its "perfect balance of low rolling resistance and traction".

Hüsker Dü will be available in a 26x4.0 version with a 120tpi Ultralight or 60tpi tubeless ready folding bead.  Fits 65-102mm rims.












Images Credit: 45NRTH 

Look for all of these tires to be available at your local bike shop soon.  Pricing has not been revealed yet.

9/08/2016

2016 MN Cyclocross Events

Image Credit: Gal Alon

Cyclocross racing season has begun with the Wednesday Night CX series to get riders prepped for the upcoming Fall race calendar.  Details for some of the races in this post are still being worked out as their status with USA Cycling may still be pending or in the permit process.  Below is a list in chronological order.  Race and event organizers, if you would like your cyclocross event listed, please send me an e-mail (or visit my contact page).  I will continue to update information and add events to this post as it becomes available.

Wednesday Night CX-Race #1-August 31, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
Facebook Event Page
CX-MN Facebook page

Wednesday Night CX-Race #2-September 7, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
Facebook Event Page
CX-MN Facebook page 

Wednesday Night CX-Race #3-September 14, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
Facebook Event Page
CX-MN Facebook page 

Wednesday Night CX-Race #4-September 21, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
Facebook Event Page
CX-MN Facebook page

Wednesday Night CX-Race #5-September 28, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
Facebook Event Page
CX-MN Facebook page 

Revocross-October 2, 2016
Clearwater, MN
Online Registration 

Wednesday Night CX-Race #6-October 5, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
Facebook Event Page
CX-MN Facebook page

Wednesday Night CX-Race #7-October 12, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park,MN
CX-MN Facebook page

Image Credit: Gal Alon

Green Acres Premium Cyclocross-October 15-16, 2016
Lake Elmo, MN
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration 

Velo CX-October 22-23, 2016
National Sports Center
Blaine, MN
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Angry Cross-October 30, 2016
Carver Lake Mountain Bike Trailhead
Woodbury, MN 
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Fulton Star Cross-November 5-6, 2016
Aquila Park
St. Louis Park, MN
Facebook Page
Online Registration

Theo With Cyclocross Classic-November 12-13, 2016
Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

MN State Championship CX-November 19-20, 2016
Crystal, MN 

For more updates on USA Cycling cyclocross events in Minnesota visit the USA Cycling events search page.

8/28/2016

Make Your Fatbike a Year 'Round Mountain Bike


If you have a fatbike you probably enjoy those big tires and all the flotation they give on a multitude of terrain options, but plus wheel sizes give you a lighter, faster bike for singletrack and gravel without having to fork out the cash for another bike.

This Spring I had a 27.5+ wheelset built up so I would have some options this Summer.  I like the "plus size" bikes but didn't want to buy one when I can build a plus wheelset and use it on my carbon Trek Farley.  Doing this would give me two bikes in one that I could change at will simply by switching out the wheelset.  Now don't get me wrong, building another wheelset isn't cheap, but in my case (owning a carbon fatbike) it was cheaper than buying another bike and it only takes a couple minutes to convert my fatty to a plus bike.

In this post I will show you what I needed to build a wheelset that matched my bike for what I wanted.  I ride everything on my Farley including singletrack, gravel, bushwhacking and my work commute on paved roads so a second wheel option would extend my ride options and lighten up my bike.


First of all I had to know several things about my bike I was building the wheelset for.  These included:
  • Wheel size compatibility (I chose 27.5+ SunRingle Mulefüt 50mm)
  • Hubs (in my case it was 150x15 front 197x12 rear, both through axles thus I chose Bontrager Jackalope hubs which are the same hubs on my fat wheelset)
  • XD Driver compatibility (my drivetrain is a 1x11 SRAM requiring an XD Driver for the cassette)
  • Spoke hole count to match wheels to the hubs (32 in my build)
  • Cassette needed (SRAM XG-115011-speed 10-42T cassette)
  • Rotor size and brake compatability (Avid Centerline 160mm)
  • Rim strip (SunRingle Rim Strip 584x38 wide) 
  • Tubeless tape to set up tubeless (48mm wide x10m for the Mulefüt 50mm)
  • 34mm Presta TLR valves
  • Tires (Bontrager Chupacabra 27.5x2.8
  • Tubeless sealant (8 oz bottle Orange Seal Endurance)
Basically I kept all of my drivetrain and brake hardware the same to match my fatbike wheelset.  When you build your wheelset you'll have options when it comes to hubs, hoops and spokes.  Your bike's specifications may be different so contact your local bike shop or bike manufacturer to see what parts or wheel sizing are compatible with your fatbike.

Image Credit: Justin Williams

Once I received all the parts I ordered it was time to have my new wheelset built by a qualified mechanic at my local bike shop which happens to be Penn Cycle in Eagan.  My co-worker Justin Williams took to the task, we had been discussing my build for some time and he gave me some excellent information to help in making my decisions on hoops, hubs and spoke choices.  One of his signature spoke configurations was to have the four spokes near the Presta valve in silver (as seen in the picture above) and the rest all in black making it easy to find the valve when inflating the tire or hanging my bike on hooks.

Image Credit: Justin Williams

Once the wheels were laced up and trued it was time to install the rim strip which was the factory matching SunRingle 38mm wide rime strip.

Image Credit: Justin Williams

Then it was time to install the 48mm wide tubeless tape and the TLR Presta valves.

Image Credit: Justin Williams

Now to install the tires, put in the tubeless sealant and set the bead.  Pro tip: make sure the tire logo is in line with the logo on your hoop as seen in the picture above.


Don't get me wrong, I still love my fatty wheelset, but it's nice to have choices when riding a wide variety of conditions and trails.  My Trek Farley has through axles so changing out my wheelsets takes literally two minutes and I'm ready to roll whatever terrain I want.

24.07 lbs
27.18 lbs








Going plus on your fatbike will definitely drop some pounds from your steed, especially if you set up your wheels tubeless.  The picture on the left is with my stock Jackalope wheels w/ Bontrager Hodags (27.5x3.8) tubeless weighing in at 27.18 lbs. with Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 pedals.  The picture on the right is with my new 27.5+ SunRingle Mulefüt 50mm wheelset set up tubeless with Bontrager Chupacabras (27.5x2.8) tubeless with the same Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 pedals weighing in at 24.07 lbs.

Consult your local bike shop or your bike manufacturer to see what your bike's specific sizing/wheel/hub options are available.  Then order all the parts you need for your build and make your fatbike a plus bike anytime you want.  Don't forget to tip your mechanic after he or she sets you up with your year 'round mountain bike.

8/26/2016

Lake Rebecca Singletrack Now Open

Construction is now complete and the Twin Cities' newest singletrack at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve in Rockford is now open.  The new trail system replaces the original 3.8 miles with over 13 miles through Lake Rebecca's Big Woods landscape.  With a series of looping trails, there is something here for everyone from beginners, intermediate to advanced riders.


If racing is your thing, there will be several races coming up at Lake Rebecca that you can get in on.  The first is the final race of the Dirt Cup Mountain Bike Sprint Series on August 31st.  Next up is the inaugural Landscape Structures Big Woods Classic (part of the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series) on September 24th.  There will also be a grand opening celebration during the Big Woods Classic.  Then for some night time racing comes the Nocturnal Mountain Bike Races on October 29th.

For more information and updates on this new trail system visit the Lake Rebecca Singletrack Facebook page and the MORC Trail Conditions page.

8/25/2016

Wednesday Night CX Series Kicks Off August 31st

Image Credit: CX-MN Facebook Page

Wednesday Night CX starts off the early cyclocross season with seven weeks of racing at Aquila Park in St. Louis Park starting August 31st.  "These races will be organized, structured, low key early season races.  A great time to try the sport as a beginner or a chance to work out the kinks for those returning for the new season."  These are not USA Cycling races so results will not be sent, points will not be earned and a USA Cycling license is not needed to race.    

Race Flyer
"These races are a great way to test out the sport, and each Wednesday night will contain races focusing on different abilities so racers new to cyclocross can race against other "newbies" and elite level racers can race against other elite level racers. This will keep all the races fun and safe for everyone."




If you have ever wanted to give cyclocross racing a try, this is your chance.  Entry fee is only $20 and registration starts one hour before the first race each week and ends 15 minutes prior to race start.  Pre-register for the series for $120 at any of the Wendesday Night CX Sponsors.  Start times will change each week as daylight decreases so check the flyer and don't be late.  Advanced race will be around 60 minutes, Intermediate 45 minutes, Beginner 30 minutes and Newbies (8/31 & 9/7) for 15 minutes.  This is a chip timed series.

Course layout changes each week and will be done by that week's sponsoring shop.  Sponsoring shops include:

8/31 Now Bike and Fitness/Synergy
9/7 The Fix Studio
9/14 Angry Catfish
9/21 Maple Grove Cycling
9/28 Penn Cycle & Fitness
10/5 All City/Fulton
10/12 Tonka Cycle/MCT

For series updates or to contact organizers visit the CX-MN Facebook page.
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