This tandem came in for a dust off and lube up last week. It was purchased at a local auction years ago, and then traded so it seems unlikely to ever trace the origin, which is too bad because this is not your ordinary custom tandem.


The builder cut the back end off a bike and the fork off another bike and welded them together here, leaving the headset and steerer tube in there to hold the stoker handlebar.


Welded a tube between the cut off chainstay nubs.


And secured that tube to the bottom of the back bike with a proper big fat old weld. The back end of the tandem was pretty low, but no problem, just cut a piece of the Ashtabula out and re-weld the crank arms back together, they measured about 155. The timing chainring was the existing on the rear crank, but a drive chainring was added by welding another chainring onto spacers. Rickety? You bet. Kick ass? You bet! The owners want it to roll around the neighborhood and it will continue to do that for sure, this was fun to work on. Mostly :)

We are excited to share the newest coolest jersey available in the whole world!


Cobra Verde is a green coffee energy drink made right here in Iowa City. It is all part of the continuation of the coffee cart that was outside the shop for our first few years. The jersey is being manufactured by Podiumwear in Minneapolis and the jerseys are manufactured there, that’s right, not just made in the USA – made in the midwest! The jerseys feature other awesome local businesses like White Rabbit, Flat Black Studios, and even little old 30th Century Bicycle. The center pocket is custom artwork by 30¢ Wrench and all around good guy Donnie! Jerseys are $60 and you can order HERE through Monday. We will have some in stock here in the shop as well, but the best way to be sure you get one is to order from the website. And what’s the password you ask? verde of course

Nice day out there in Iowa City .

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And here is a nice bike all accessorized and ready to be picked up today.

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Inside we have a nice reorganization of our sales floor.

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And we’re listening to Bon Iver, isn’t that nice?


Check it out, 30¢ Squad coffee roaster Jarrett is in the paper again.


Combining his love of coffee roasting and his education in art he threw together a little found object composition demonstration for us yesterday morning over a cuppa, explaining that the juxtaposition of a perfectly roasted bean and a shiny tin was one of the first techniques employed by artisan coffee roasters in, uh, the middle Roman / Germanic times. Yeah? Um, sure. Hey look over there!

This caught our eye over at Urban Velo:

Mobility Lab recently held an event at George Mason University’s Arlington, Virginia campus with former Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood on the future of transportation in America. He predicts that in the next 25 years we will see a huge expansion of nationwide passenger rail, wide adoption of driverless cars, and continued gains in biking and walking infrastructure.

“Transportation is always about the future,” LaHood said. “There are no Republican roads or Democratic bridges,” he added.

About his prediction that America’s future transportation needs would be met more by passenger rail than automobile, LaHood referenced a “pent-up demand for passenger rail,” and said, “The people almost always get it right.”

LaHood told the audience that if Eisenhower had signed a “Passenger Rail Bill” rather than the Federal Highway Act, then America would look much different than it does today. LaHood envisioned a future America that looks, transportation-wise, more like Europe. Smart-growth advocates in the audience undoubtedly were pleased, as the Federal Highway Act is widely considered to have played a significant role in urban sprawl.

When asked by an audience member how a major infrastructure project like the rail LaHood envisions would be funded, LaHood was unequivocal in his response. He called for an increase to the national gasoline tax ”not raised since ’93″ of 10 cents, tied to the inflation rate. He also referenced the Highway Trust Fund as a good starting source of funds, but said it should be supplemented by a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) tax, tolling, and public-private partnerships operating to cover the shortfall.

LaHood’s final pronouncement was that while America is no longer number one in transportation, it can be. The countries that are surpassing us, such as China, are investing heavily in rail. If America does that as well, it will create jobs in the short term and ensure our competitiveness in the long term.


A bike shop, like most businesses, provides goods and services for payment. Usually cash money. But sometimes we get paid in beer. Or organic vegetables.

IMAG0868Mike Ward rocks the biker tan, click for recent interview

Or a Gogol Bordello concert. Mike Ward and his moustache stopped in the shop yesterday on his Nice Bike looking for a good 2 hour plus road loop around Iowa City. So we busted out the maps and sent him on his way down around Sharon Center way where he could check out some quiet roads and maybe see a horse and buggy or three. In return he put us on the list for their show at Blue Moose. Thanks Mike, it was a sweaty blast!

No matter how winter might choose to complain, there is no denying that spring is getting ready to sproing. Marching lions turn into lazing lambs and all that kind of stuff. As the calendar turns to bike season proper there are lots of cool things going on already and more to follow. This weekend there is the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, CO.

BreadWinnerPhoto Jeremy Dunn

Steve is heading out this evening via the ironhorse and in addition to browsing around in pursuit of the finest in unnecessary bike themed beer bottle openers will be lending a hand at the new and exciting BreadWinner booth. Due to travel:

the shop will be closing early today, about 4:00!

Normal winter hours resume tomorrow 10-5:30

You don’t have to go all the way to Denver to see cool bike stuff, either. Next Tuesday at 6:30 night BIC is hosting their super spring shop expo and we will be there showing off the latest and greatest in bicycle themed novelty beer bottle openers. Just kidding, but we will be there! All the details are on that link, page 6 of the newsletter.

Not to be left out Think Bicycles has a presentation next Wednesday at the ICPL regarding the redesign of the Burlington St bridge here in Iowa City. This is an important advocacy opportunity to make our community more livable, please join us in lending your support.

More to follow but too much to list here, just get ready to get active – spring is coming!

Local artist and all around bike rider Josh knows a thing or two about a thing or three.


He took his vision of a convenient and stylish headset mounted lock bracket and made it reality.


Custom cast aluminum headset spacer with skull holds a lock and says don’t mess.

A collection of things and happenings from the last week.


Early morning rides in Iowa generally offer a moment of profound beauty. Or foggy misty rainy sleet sometimes.


We built up this Surly Cross Check commuter this week. It’s green and pink and white, mostly.


Not everyone is a fan…


Another view of that Surly, a vision realized.


And look what we got in the mail this week, Happy Holidays everyone!

Poker Run is tonight! $10 entry fee gets you a coffee at Wake Up, a beer at Trumpet Blossom. Ride to five places in Iowa City and get five cards Start at Wake Up & end at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe where you play your hand to win gift certificates to WAKE UP, Trumpet Blossom, 30th Century Bicycle, or White Rabbit! Music starts@ 5:30 with the musical stylings of Chasing Shade & We Shave!! A portion of the proceeds goes to the Crisis Center.

ICCSA Season 2 Launch Party is tomorrow night at Trumpet Blossom!

Lots of options to support local artists: $50 will get you a meal and an ICCSA commemorative print all while getting a healthy earful of Dustin Busch’s pickin’ & croonin’. If you decide to do the full CSA subscription for $350, you get six pieces of artwork from six local artists. If those options are too rich for your blood, $10 will get you in the door tomorrow night for music and a commemorative print and the opportunity to hang out with a segment of your arts community.

Shameful, sheepish self-plug time: 30¢’s own Cody G. is one of the repped artists this season, so she’ll be there to tell anyone who will listen all about why it’s worthwhile to spend an entire month+ making a letterpress artists’ book of Art Bears‘ 1981 still sleeping sleeper album The World as it is Today.

Let’s keep this dance with the devils of intellectual property law going with this Italian bar plug that landed in the shop earlier this week. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

This is amazing.

Wood and nettle shall we take a pedal? More info HERE.

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