Whatever size bike you need, there is a good chance that Surly makes it.


Here we have a 42cm and a 62cm Cross Check.


Our bike fit experts had to bust out the calipers, levels, plumb bobs, beers and astrology charts but it looks like we once again got the right size bike to the right rider! Be happy, ride Surly.

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!

If you liked LOG from Blammo, and who didn’t?

Then you are going to love all the great bike parts made by Grammo!


Like these pink cantilever brakes that are going on a hospital foamy Surly Cross Check commuter build we are starting on. Pink all over the place, you’ll see when we get it done. In other revolutionary consumer products that make your life even more worth living, lets talk chainguards like this one here on this super fine Ira Ryan commuter / racing bike.


Bicycle chains and the Common North American Driveside Pantleg are natural and bitter enemies. Many peacemakers have attempted to end the conflict. Steel leg bands, velcro leg bands with added reflective capability, even the bulldog clip has been tried but they can only broker temporary truce arrangements, they can’t stop the lubeshed. The chainguard, however, can and does!


So if you are tired of grimy pantlegs and looking for them durned pantleg peacemakers every time you want to take a ride consider if a chainguard is right for you.

Want to let you all know about a couple of exciting upcoming events. First, this Saturday November 10th at 12:30 pm you can join Michelle Gin for lunch next door at the Trumpet Blossom. Michelle was the sole US representative to the International Peace Bike Tour from Nagasaki to Hiroshima. A talk about her  bike tour and experiences will follow at 2 pm so check out one or stay for both.

We are proud to have sponsored Michelle with financial support and equipment for her 600 km ride to rid the world of all things nuclear!

The next weekend, November 16th – 18th, the Jingle Cross Rock returns to the Johnson County Fairgrounds bringing bar banging bicycle battles back to bear!

Er, bare? We are sponsoring the Women’s Beginner race all 3 days, and 30¢ Squadateer Leader Steve will be racing (riding?) the singlespeed events on  Saturday and Sunday. Come on down to ride, race, watch, volunteer, sing, drink, photograph and / or just run around in your undewear!

First up – Poker Run this Saturday, Oct 6th at 4pm! No you don’t have to run (we will shake our heads and frown at anyone that does) ride your bike! Starting at beautiful Wake Up Iowa City and finishing right next door at the delicious Trumpet Blossom Cafe. Now about that moonshine… As soon as the shop was closed on Saturday Steve jumped on his bike and went for a ride, this is his story.

I rode the Masi CXR, with bags and lights to ride into the night on the Moonshine Metric, a gravely 100 km ride put on up in Mt Vernon. Had to do the ride up and back as well because there is not a bus or a train that goes that way, and we are a car free business as you may have heard? Well, now we share a car with zip car, but that is a story for another blog post.

Had to stop by home quick and the ride up was quite a push to make it in time for the start but I made it in time for the pre ride particulars from ride organizer Craig, in the black jersey here.

And we were off on the ride proper, about 10 of us, starting at 6 pm. This was a self navigated ride using cue sheets. I was riding with Charles from Cedar Rapids and we were having too much conversation and not enough paying attention so at this intersection we got a bit confused. We stopped a friendly passing motorist and asked for a bit of directional clarification but we still went astray for a couple of miles. Whoops. But hey, lookit that moon! And since we were stopped anyways (confused) it was a great time to snap a picture. The rest of the ride went smoothly for us, we stuck together until mile 45 when Charles decided to wait for some riders in Solon. I needed to keep moving as I wanted to get home before dawn (it was about 9:30 now) so I rolled out alone.

The rest of the ride was uneventful except for the occasional possum encounter, and the Harvest Moon was living up to its name, offering up numerous Unidentified Farming Object sightings as they worked through the night. After a brief stop at the start/finish for a clothing adjustment to keep off the evening chill, the ride home was awesome. The moon was way up, car traffic was way down, and the miles just kept clicking off until I had finished what has to be one of the most convoluted routes ever, the map looks like I went mountain biking!

Moonshine Metric by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details

Highly recommend the Moonshine Metric, and hope to see you on the Poker R(ide)un this Saturday.

The season of cross is upon us, and the 2013 cross bikes are arriving in force. Tear up that cross course or those famous Iowa B-roads with some flash and maybe some panache.

Daaang, Masi CXR:

Smokin’ like a Bianchi Cavaria:

Seductive Soma Double Cross, ooh hurts so good:

There are so many rad all-terrain events going on right now, take yer pick. Last weekend (so put it on your calendar for next year), the Culinary Ride. This weekend, our old friend, the Gritty Brevet. And, in a couple weeks, the Poker Ride. While you likely wouldn’t want to ride one of the bikes shown here, the Sugar Bottom Shit Show is not to be missed, and from what we hear, the turds will be provided.

And, don’t forget all the group rides and cross events coming down the pike.

Friday afternoon I (Steve) decided to go on an overnight bike tour. So, naturally, I had a beer.

Left the shop early, quick stop at home to pack and off! But where to go? Anamosa of course, to say hi to ragbrai. There was a bit of headwind, but the temps were in the 80s so no complaining. Saw the first riders in Mount Vernon, taking their time on the 45 mile day, it was 5:30 and they still had 25 miles to go!

Escape to Ragbralcatraz by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

It was a nice ride, and from Springville there were lots of riders still out enjoying the short day and the cool temps. Set up the camp. Did you know we can get tents, sleeping bags and pads and other camping gear? Well we can, and this 1-person Sierra Designs tent and Nemo sleeping pad are great for bike touring, they pack small and light. Had a good time wandering around taking in the sights and smells, and found some old friends from rides gone by to do some catching up.

Then a quick pack and ride home to get to the shop by 10 Saturday morning. Using a Revelate seat bag and handlebar sling took care of all the gear. I was surprised to think that really you could do the whole week carrying all your gear with just this set up. It rides well, and when you consider the weight of racks and full sized panniers, plus all the extra stuff they invite you to take along, this is a pretty great set up.

Escape from ragbralcatraz by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

The ride back offered tailwind, which was great, but I was not aware that my route was also the vehicle route, so the first 15 miles were hectic being passed by lots of buses and RVs. Another ragbee in the books, in under 16 hours!

Will Whitmore played at the Trumpet Blossom earlier this week. In addition to fabulous vegan eats, espresso by Wake Up Iowa City and more awesome beers on tap than you can shake your empty PBR tallboy can at, our neighbor has a sturdy stage that is hosting some great music. So check their website, like their facebook, or stop in for food and drink and check the posters to get in the know on who is playing next!

Also on tour this week, a lot of people on bikes! As the annual last full week of July ride across Iowa rolls on more people angle towards it to take in a day or two.

One of Steve’s old college friends came through and spent a night on his way to Marshalltown. Steve rode out of town with him yesterday morning, and then on the way back in ran into these guys just heading out on their versatile Masi cyclocross bikes.

Another bike tour in Japan coming up in August, we are excited to be helping the only representative from the U.S. participate in the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War World Congress. Michelle Gin will be cycling 550 kilometers from Nagasaki to Hiroshima and still has a bit of fundraising to go before the trip, so check it out. As Michelle says, by contributing you are supporting a young woman leader, cycling, our shared environment, nonproliferation, peace, a healthy planet, and collaboration across borders.

Over a week passes and we suddenly realize we haven’t updated the blog. We get so busy we tend to think things like, “nothing’s really happening around here, it’s just hectic.” But, lo! We take another look around, remember to bring out the camera once in a while, and whaddaya know, loads of stuff are blog-worthy.

This lil’ feller (or not-so-little if you note the chainguard) got some much needed grease in all the right parts and will soon get a re-covered seat. Revamped for the grandkids, old is new!

Disenchanted with your road bike? Swap that handlebar to something a bit more cruise-y and rediscover your bicycle bond. New adventures await!

In the case of the Masi CX Uno, new is new. Set up for commuter and light-tour duty, the CX Uno is ready to excel.

Next time somebody calls you a grease ball, just think of our little friend here at the shop, a literal ball of grease scraped from a fancy road derailleur.

For those of you that don’t know, we put on a gravel ride in late September.  Well, we did last year, and we are doing it again this year, September 25th, and you can get all the details HERE.  You should sign up!

We are changing the start location this year to be right here at our shop, so we had to figure out how to get to the route, so Cody and I went out to ride the first half on Sunday morning.

It was a nice day for it, sunny and warm, and mild (if any) wind.  We both rode MASI cyclocross bikes, Cody on her Speciale CX and Steve on his Speciale CXSS.

The roads were fairly bumpy and really dusty.  We did not see many cars, which is always a plus as they kick up so much dust, but we were still well coated.  An inexpensive sunblock option.

On the way into town we stopped at the Taqueria truck for veggie burritos, a great ride!

Next Page »