Outdoor gear

In case you have been away from a window or the internet lately – it snowed! And it’s cold! photo Don’t stay cooped up in your house, there is lots of great stuff to do outside and time is short – Spring is coming no matter what that overgrown rodent says. So we are putting all our in-stock winter stuff on sale!


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45 North Studded tires!

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Wind trainers (if you want to stay inside just to watch tv)

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Nokian studded tires – Deserve Them!

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And all cold weather apparel as well, gloves, hats, Bar Mitts, leg warmers, arm warmers, socks, ear bands, etc – 30% off! And don’t forget the SURLY Superfan coupon is still in effect on ANY complete SURLY – SRSLY. So get in here, and get out there, the winter won’t last and neither will this sale.

In need of a blogpost title sometimes things get desperate. So we took a picture of our new front door hinge, installed yesterday. It might not look like much, but whatever magic lurks under that aluminum now has our door swinging open like it’s 700×23 tire on an Iowa City winter street – SLICK!


This morning’s brisk ride to the shop felt like we are entering the last gasp of winter. What -11 and calm winds Iowa, really, is that all you have left?


So the time seems right for the clearance sale. Winter gloves, Bar Mitts, 45 North hats, and the always popular studded tires are 20% off! We even have a pair of snowshoes left. So come get some, plenty of time to get some use this year, and you will be all set for Next Year!

Riding a bike through the winter is about more than just about the riding you know. Winter cyclists navigate more than just icy streets, bike racks and locks get plenty chilly, too. Wearing a liner glove with an outer glove that is big enough to fit over it keeps your fingers toasty while riding, and pulling off the outer glove and leaving the liner on gives dexterity and takes the bite out of the air while you secure your ride.


After years of fighting to unwind stiff coiled cable locks we find that a U Lock is faster and easier and more secure to boot. But don’t forget your wheels, bolt ons or “locking” skewers let you rest easy that your bike will be just as you left it for that ride home.

Prices are dropping like snowflakes and temperatures! In honor of winter’s latest cute little snowstorm we are going to add a “price chill” to all our winter gear – now 25% off through the weekend.


Gloves, leg warmers, arm warmers, snowshoes and the big one – Studded tires. And fenders, fenders are good for winter riding.


We still have 26″ and 700c Nokian, 45 North and one lonely Kenda. So come on in and deck out your ride with winter stuff before winter goes back into hibernation. A studded tire can be a big help into spring as the freeze thaw can make the morning ride to work treacherous.


Having a winter bike means never having to say you’re sorry!

Built up this 2 speed kick back coaster brake wheel. Twice!

Had to build it twice because the first hub had issues with the braking surface of the hub shell. Fun! The wheel, and the curvey cool Schwinn Paramount Sprint that it was built for, look pretty comfortable even in a snow pile. And how great is it that we finally have a shop snow pile! Woo-hoo for winter.


According the serial number and my interpretation of it this frame was the 15th built in January of 1975. Amazing that it can handle a 700×35 tire! And fenders and a seatpost rack and a handlebar child seat, too.

This is one of the last cool bikes we will work on this year because:

We are closing early December 24th & will not reopen til Monday, January 14th!!


But we are still on normal hours today and tomorrow, and there is lots of good stuff on sale down here, so drop in and check it out if you need snowshoes, or studded tires. Or lights, or a new bike! Or a used tandem? Or even an old chain for an art project or a box of old tubes for a gardening project or something. Or a new bag or even some gloves. Or just to say hi!

Thanks for a great year everyone, it’s been great working for you, and if we don’t see you before our break we will see you:

Next Year!

Dan Marino has long been involved in the winter clothing industry first with Isotoner gloves and then with the signature wool he developed.

Now his famously soft and warm Marino wool is available in a cap from 45 North, the Greazy. One size fits all and oh so versatile and stylish – in stock now!

As the temps are dropping our winter gear is back on the floor in force, don’t hide from winter – kick its ass and have a great time doing it! Yaktrax, & Surly singlespeed hubs will keep you moving by bike or foot no matter how greazy it might get outside.

Studded tires from Nokian and 45 North don’t just look badass, they are! Snowshoes from Crescent Moon are made in the USA, just like Iowa snow.

Pearl Izumi lobster gloves are awesome, Steve is still using a pair he bought 20 years ago, and DeFeet wool liners are another shop favorite.

And we still have a few Soma arm and leg warmers left in the sale basket. So keep on walking and tromping and riding! To work! For fun! For fitness! For ever!

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!

Over the long weekend Steve was given the greatest gift a small business owner can get, time off! So he loaded up the 29’er and rode to snake alley.

Loaded Salsa SS to Burlington by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

The way to Columbus Junction on the gravel roads is pretty well known, but he tried out googlemaps bike there directions to get him the rest of the way. There a still a couple of bugs to work out of their system, even in Iowa we don’t consider this a bike route!

Still, the directions were mostly solid, quiet gravel roads and a couple of surprises, like this old tunnel.

The racing was fun to watch, and it was good to see some old friends and offer nothing but positive encouragement to the hard working racer types. And it was good to drink a few beers while doing it, yes. Spent the night in Burlington, then up early to try and beat the heat on the ride back. Reversed the route to Columbus Junction, which went a bit smoother this time after learning the way a bit on the way down.

The heat beating thing did not work out too well, it was a hot one, but the walk in beer cooler in Riverside was a treat. Swung wide out on the Gritty Brevet course to get some bonus time and miles, barely eeked out 100 for the day.

Loaded Salsa SS home by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

All in all it was a great trip. I tried out new bags from Revelate, the big seat bag held sleeping bag and all clothes for the weekend, the handlebar sling took care of the tent, and the stem bag kept the camera handy as well as food and directions. Used a hydration pack as well for tools and a few odds and ends like toothbrush and such. Very impressed with the way it all rode, looking forward to a real mountain bike trip with them next time I can score time off!

After much consideration we have decided that it is easier to open a bike shop than to move one.

But we are getting there, er, here! In non-moving news, winter finally seems to have found us here in Iowa City. In addition to our normal winter cycling enhancement products like studded tires and generator hub set ups, fenders, and internally geared hubs and we are expanding our stock in other areas to keep you warm and walking!

Winter gloves are a new addition to our ever expanding apparel section. The Lobster mitts from Pearl Izumi are a Steve favorite, he is still using a pair he bought in 1994!

We also have Yaktrax and are starting to carry Crescent Moon snowshoes, too.

We took an Amtrak trip out to Colorado for a week over our break  to top off our spiritual rechargeable batteries and do a little snowshoe testing, too. We stayed at the Shadow Mountain Guest Ranch and we highly recommend it.  An overnight on the train will get you there and back, and they will gladly pick you up and drop you off at the station in Granby.  Back to snowshoe review, the Crescent Moon’s were pretty awesome with a simple and effective binding and toe spikes to help us get up those steep mountain sides. Don’t hide from winter – enjoy it, we do!

We keep harpin’ on our impending move, we know.  It may just be wearing thin.  But, here’s the thing — we’re moving, right?  And, the less stuff we have to schlep, the better.  So, how does 15% off everything in the shop sound?  Including select bikes, like this here Pugsley:

This last-ditch effort to lighten our load is effective immediately until we close for three weeks on Saturday at 2pm.  Come buy some stuff fer cheap!!  Like:

• Arkel bags

• Bianchis

• Nokian studded tires

• SKS Longboard fenders

• Really, almost everything I see as I look around the shop


Stuff not included in the sale would be used bikes and special order items.  Long Haul Truckers are not included, only because we’ve already got them marked down.  If you have questions about specific items, do ring-a-ding on our telephone, or send us some ones and zeros.

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