Get The REAL Dope On The Million Bike Recall! Relax, We Are Here To Help!

Safety Recall Notice: Quick Release Skewer

As most of you may already know from the news outlets, TREK has currently issued a massive recall on their bikes. There is a little bit of confusion on what the the problem actually is that TREK is highlighting. We want to explain to you what is REALLY happening.

This is not a TREK Bicycle problem. It is a FRONT QUICK RELEASE SKEWER PROBLEM! Bike manufacturers, like Trek, do not make QR skewers. It is a component part that is sourced like any other part for a bicycle. And because this part, like the one above, is not solely sourced and used by TREK, it is not limited to use on just TREK bicycles.  Many other bicycle companies have sourced this exact same skewer! These other brands of bicycles will eventually be recalled as well. But TREK, with a high regard for your safety, did initiate the recall because after they discovered the potential incompatibility problem with this skewer and front disc brakes, they wanted to be proactive and get it resolved asap.

Keeping the above in mind,  this recall only affects bicycles with a front Disc Brake! So, it’s very easy to determine if your bike is affected by this recall or not. If your bike has a front disc brake , your bike may be included in the recall and therefore, you should contact us.  We will then determine for sure to see if it is actually is.  If you have a skewer like the one at the top of this email, it is. If it has a skewer like the one below, it is not.  And, if it does have one like the one above – relax, we will have the skewer to fix the problem and it’s super easy! And of course, there is no charge to you!  And if you want it to be safe asap, view the video at the link below and it will show you a perfectly fine quick fix!

If your bike doesn’t have Disc Brakes – nothing for you to worry about!

Below, we have included a link to a quick 1:45 minute video which helps explain the recall further, along with that quick fix we mentioned. We have also attached a link to a PDF file that shows you a diagram of the potential problem as well.

If your TREK bike is affected, we apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you – TREK will be giving you a $20 coupon to use towards any Bontrager/TREK product, redeemable through December 31, 2015 at any authorized Trek retailer.

And, because Endless Cycles would like to make sure ALL bikes that may be eventually included in this recall are safe, we’d be happy to check any disc brake bike you own, no matter which brand of bike it might be, at no charge! Just bring it in! If it is affected, we can make it safe for you! too  And at no charge to you as well!

One last thing, if you don’t know how to properly use your quick release skewer we’d love to show you how to properly use it – disc brakes or no disc brakes!

Jeff and Scott, Endless Cycles

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If You’ve Never Ridden Crockett Hills Regional Park, You Should!

I’ve been riding at Crockett Hills Regional Park lately, and recent additions have made it a worthwhile trip.  The park has been open for about seven years.  It’s an old ranch with lots of steep fire roads that weren’t much fun to ride.  About five years ago two multi-use singletrack  trails were built.  A good start, but totaling about three miles, it didn’t appeal that much to me.

In November and December of 2014 about seven more miles of multi-use narrow  trails were added.  As with the original narrow trails, these were designed by Hilride, a company formed by former IMBA/Subaru Trailcare Crew members.

To get to the park take Highway 80 east to the Pomona St. exit in Crockett.  It’s the last exit before the Carquinez Bridge.  Take a left at the signal.  Go about a half a mile and turn right onto Crockett Blvd.  The park entrance is about a quarter mile up on the right.  From the parking lot go through the trailhead gate.  Stay left and head up the fire road.  It will get real steep for a short pitch.  This is actually the hardest climb of the ride.  When the trail levels out there will be a trail marker on the left, indicating to turn right onto a singletrack.  Be aware that almost all the greenery on the sides of the trail is poison oak.   This will take you up to the park proper.  When the trail tees turn right and go to the tunnel that goes under Cummings Skyway.  The top singletrack starts on the far side of the tunnel.  This trail snakes along near the top of the hills, and will eventually take you to an asphalt helipad.  Ride across the helipad and you will see a gate.  There is a map on the gate, but none of the new trails are on it.  Go through the gate and start the descent.  It has lots of humps and table-tops and bermed switchbacks.  The trail will bottom out and will merge with a fire road.

Stay on this road until you reach a gate. There is a corral and small shed nearby. Ride left through the gate and veer right onto another fire road.  Go up this to yet another opening and go left through it.  You will see the new singletrack that crosses it.  The track to the right switchbacks up a hill for about a mile and ends along a fence line.  You can see the little flags that mark where the trail will go in the future.  A nice out and back.

The track to the left will take you to the nicest section of the park.  Ride up it until it intersects to the right.  Take the right.  It switchbacks multiple times for over a mile and ends on the fire road where you started.  Again, you can see where the trail will be headed in the future.  It’s more fun to do these trails as out and backs.  Just stay on the narrow trails.  You will be rewarded with a great downhill run.

When you reach the intersection, go right…More snaking through the trees until it switches back and ends up at the corral with the shed.  Retrace your route on the fire road back to the singletrack that brought you down to this valley.  The big fire roads can take you back up, but they are boring granny gear grinders.  Who needs that?  Check this place out.

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Review: The EMazing Electric Bike

Review: The EMazing Electric Bike

I live in Castro Valley, and I bicycle commute from my house to the BART station almost every day.  From my stable of bicycles, my choice for commuting is easily the EMazing Electric Bike.  It is an electric assist bike, which operates with a lithium battery.  Each pedal stroke is made easier by the electric assist, so I can get to my destination without breaking much of a sweat.  My bike is a single speed, but the newer Emazing Bikes have gearing and a stronger assist than what I have.

As a baby boomer, I was a kid in San Francisco, and experienced the bad drought (kids had to line up to use the bathroom at school and the last person flushed), Jimmy Carter (he had vision but the world wasn’t ready for him), driving 55, and the energy crisis.  It was instilled in me to not waste energy (shut the lights!) and precious resources from a young age.  I took to cycling as a mode of transportation in college, which wasn’t easy because I went to UC Santa Cruz and lived in Ben Lomond (15 miles one way), but I was younger and stronger back then.

I’m older now, have more responsibilities, and I’m in a hurry all the time.  I still have my convictions to not waste precious resources, and would like to ride a bike to commute instead of using my car for a simple 6 mile roundtrip commute to get to public transportation, but it’s not easy when you don’t live in a place like Davis, where it’s all flat.  There are hills in Castro Valley!

The Emazing Bike fits with my ideals.  I have a Topeak pannier system on the bike, and I can put my lunch and what I need for work or yoga in the panniers and go the BART station.  There are now bike lockers by Bike Link at the station, and it costs only 3 cents an hour to park my bike in one of the sturdy lockers.  Not only do I get to the BART quickly because I don’t have to drive around to look for parking (and wasting gas), but it costs literally pennies to park (It costs $3.00 to park your car in the BART parking lot).

The electric assist is exactly what it is, i.e. the battery/motor assists each pedal stroke, making it easy to pedal, even more so on an incline.  You can also go faster with the electric assist than on a normal bike.  You still have to pedal, but the pedal strokes are easier than if there was no assist.  The assist has 4 speed modes: No Assist, Low Assist, Medium Assist and High Assist.  I rarely use No Assist—what’s the point, I’m riding an electric ASSIST bike.  Most time, Medium Assist works fine for most conditions, and I use High Assist when I’m a little tired, heading up a steeper hill, or I want to get somewhere really fast without sweating too much.

I went on the Endless Cycles Thursday night road ride in Cull Canyon to test out the bike before I bought it.  I easily rode past everyone on the hills and flats, including the hard core road cyclists with their carbon fiber bikes.  However, I wasn’t able to keep up on the fast ride back to the shop because it was mostly gentle down hills, and I had no lower gears to propel the bike faster and could only coast.  I even got on Briar Ridge, which is one long and steep hill, and I easily outpaced a road cyclist to the top!

I wish there were more bicycle riders in Castro Valley.  I think it is an ideal place to own a bike and get around town, like the folks do at Davis, but I can see why there aren’t…Castro Valley is pretty much built on the foothills and some of the hills can be daunting or too much of a workout for someone who is not in great cycling condition or that hasn’t been on a bike in quite a while. Well, the Emazing Bike is perfect for those folks!  Whether it’s to commute like me,  get around town, or to get to BART or to just run some errands, it’s perfect.  You’ll see me at the supermarket pushing my bike through the store and putting items into my panniers instead of a shopping cart.  It makes me feel very French with a baguette and a bouquet of flowers in the panniers coming out of Safeway.  The Emazing Bike gets 2 thumbs up from me.  Now, there’s no excuse not to ride a bicycle.

–Georgia

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Cycling 101 – Preparation H or “Keeping Your Cycling Experience From Being A Pain In The Ass.”

I’m not attempting to “tell” you anything!

After all, you’re “YOU”!

All this post attempts to accomplish is to help you learn, and avoid, what the author only learned through his often embarrassing, tiresome and frustrating mistakes! Below are some tips that go far to ensuring a good riding experience:

Preparation –

Proper preparation should not begin on the day of a ride, especially if one is riding with others. Whenever possible, check in advance for any gear, riding food (sports drinks, energy bars) and anything else that might be required for the ride. Procure it well in advance of the ride. Having to shop for needed items on the day of a ride has many drawbacks. It can delay ride start time, force the change of the original ride plans and sometimes result in the cancellation of a ride altogether. Any of those eventualities will not make you popular if you are intending to ride with others. Those possibilities can, also, result in a severe case of the “should haves”!

On ride day, always go through at least a mental checklist to make certain you are bringing everything you want with you. That really cool, lightweight titanium tool you paid big bucks for won’t help you if it is back sitting in your garage when you need it!

Always check your bike! This should not be limited to checking tire pressure and whether the brakes are properly functioning. Results from the Hebron collider have provided possible evidence for a theory widely held by many cyclists. They theory holds that some cosmic comedian is taking almost identical bikes from different universes and switching them at night! Cyclists go out the next day only to inspect their bikes and find that there are maintenance needs they would swear were not there the previous day. It is always preferable to learn of a maintenance need while in the safety of one’s own well equipped garage!

Finally, good preparation includes taking whatever steps you personally require to ensure that you have successfully met your bathroom needs prior to the ride! Some ride routes do not pass facilities with modern plumbing, with the proper accoutrements, nor do they afford much in the way of privacy. There are few experiences worse than cycling while experiencing a growing need for damming. Remember that bike shorts cannot be used as a substitute for Depends!

Food –

(Hey reader! How is that for a transition)!

I’ve found that what I consume the night before a ride can effect both my pre ride night’s sleep and how I perform on the day of the ride. Personally, I try to avoid heavy foods and dairy products. Most of all, I don’t drink any alcohol, especially red wine, the night prior to a ride. I don’t want to feel too “heavy” from the food nor too dehydrated from the drink. However, what foods work for you both the night prior to a ride and the day of a ride are a matter of personal experience. I’m just saying determine what works best for you and stick with it. (Over consumptions should, also, be avoided. You paid good money for that lighter bike. Don’t cause your bike to gain weight)! Eat something before the ride! I, too, once believed that eating anything prior to a ride would cause me to feel sick during, at least, the initial stages of a ride. Experience has taught me that isn’t the case. I would recommend such consumption occur far enough ahead of the ride as to allow the food to be properly digested. However, eating something does help one’s stamina on a long ride. Also, drink water prior to a ride. Proper hydration is vital for a comfortable ride. While both food and water may be consumed during the course of a ride, your well-tuned, Lycra/ cool max covered machine of a body will perform much better if you begin the ride properly fueled.

On the road food is, also, important. Carrying gels, energy/protein bars or other food items that can be placed on one’s person or in a camel back are a good idea. You can’t predict when you will get hungry and eating establishments aren’t always plentiful. While “pocket” food is a good idea, years of cycling have lead me to believe in stopping for “real” food (e.g. sandwiches, burgers or burritos). Real food seems to be the best delivery system for bring need protein and carbs into my body. Its impact last the longest. It provides a good excuse to get off the saddle and enjoy a “butt break”.
All food and water consume should be timely so as to avoid the much dread “bonking”! “Bonking” occurs when one’s body simply says “enough” due to insufficient food or water. It makes riding miserable and sometimes even causes the need to end a ride. Eating or drinking after the “bonking” stage has been reached is only minimally helpful and rarely completely defeats “bonking”. Again, drink water (or your sports drink) and eat something when you feel the need!

What you drink on the ride is determined by personal experience. Some cyclists have their own personal “super sauce” (and are referred to in the literature as “Cycling Super Chickens”). Others use a favored sports drink or even chocolate milk. I prefer water. It is refreshing and doesn’t mess up my camel back. Whatever one drinks, always carry water. If nothing else, it far superior to any of the other drinks mentioned when the need to remove foreign matter from eyes or grit from cuts and scrapes occurs.

AVOID THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL ON A RIDE! No, don’t tell me how it is “ok” and you can “handle it”. Alcohol consumption should be reserved as a post ride reward. Knowing that there is a good, micro brewed IPA in my post ride future has certainly proven to be a great motivator for me!

Equipment –

Always remember your helmet! If you don’t wear a helmet, don’t present me with your insipid arguments as to why helmets are not needed. People who don’t wear helmets are referred to by other cyclists and in the literature as “no brainers”. Almost everybody who has ridden for any length of time has a “helmet” story about how wearing a helmet saved him. For most of us, the head’s contents have proved quite useful. Heads do not like to assume the part of a “landing gear”, but some form of “forced landing” is not always avoidable. Helmets help keep head contents where they belong when such occasions occur.

Spare inner tubes, as well as patch kits should always be brought. If you haven’t had a flat, you haven’t ridden for long. These items can be readily placed in most camelbacks or in expandable bags that are attached under the saddle. Placing these items in the “under the saddle” type of bag helps to ensure you will always have these much needed items with you. It is also good for carrying such items as maps. These bags can be especially good as a place to conceal items you wish to hide from a spouse! Nobody would think to check there!

Eye protection is very important! Cycling glasses or goggles can protect one’s eyes from the wind or airborne foreign bodies or those that get shot up from the ground. Being able to see clearly is a great help to any cyclist. Additionally, there are many cycling glasses (nonprescription) that come with changeable lenses that allow the cyclist to select a tint that is best suited for a given day’s lighting conditions. Riding with properly tinted glasses not only helps with visual clarity, but can help prevent eye strain and eye tiredness. (Many of us have found that wearing yellow tinted lenses on a grey day not only provides better contrast, but it places one in a “happier” state of mind. I would caution to avoid using too dark a tint of lenses if your route will take you from bright light directly into shadow or darkness. You don’t wish to be temporarily “blinded” while steering a moving bike! (The same thing applies to a ride that may not end until nightfall. Obviously, one can always resort to carrying multiple lenses.

Water bottles are ok for short rides, but for rides of any duration I prefer Camelbacks, or the otherwise named Personal Hydration Systems. (Too P.C. a name for my tastes)! The advantages to a “camelback” are many. You don’t need to reach for and remove a bottle from some place down on the bike frame. Your first sip won’t taste of the grit than can cover objects riding near the ground, like the nipple on a water bottle. Most “Camelbacks” provide pockets, netting and adjustable elastic straps for carrying needed stuff, including cycling clothes not required at the moment. The expandable, zippered pockets on some “camelbacks” make it a good “grab” bag for storing whatever cycling items you want to ensure you take with you when you ride. (As long as you return items or replace them as needed, every time you grab your “camelback, you’ll know you have those items you keep there for a ride).

One needs to bring a proper assortment of tools, or ride in the company of somebody who does. This need can easily be addressed by owning a cycling related “all-in-one” tool. You will be amazed at the practical design and ingenuity that some of these products demonstrate. There are many such devices that are fairly small and lightweight. Such a tool will generally get you through most tool needs. It’s a person choice as to whether there are some other tools you choose to carry.

Cell phones can be extremely helpful in emergency situations. They can, also, be extreme pains in the hands of Pavlov Ian cyclists who insist on breaking a riding rhythm in order to take a cell phone call about a meaningless matter from a family member who would have happily left a voice message! Let me continue to run on about cell phones! Some of us can remember that we were able to cycle before cell phones existed! I don’t even own a cell phone! Equally annoying are those cell phone owners who don’t consider the possible needs of their fellow riders, such as myself, and leave their cell phones at home!

Thanks. I’m better now.

Otherwise, the rule I use when determining my “must bring” equipment is the probability of its use versus whether I wish to carry the extra weight. If you find yourself internally debating whether to bring a tool, bring it. It is better to learn it wasn’t necessary than for the reverse to be true.

Beer -
Beer is my POST-ride drink of choice. I’ve found it to be the most refreshing and satisfying drink to have post ride. It seems to give the body exactly what it craves and to do so quickly. Of course, one must moderate one’s consumption to account for the fact that it is a POST ride drink and the body will be somewhat dehydrated. So, it’s best to limit oneself to consuming a REASONABLE amount. Another idea is to have the ride finish at your home where you can share your microbrew collection. Just be responsible. Don’t ruin a riding experience with your post ride behavior!

That is most of what I’ve learned from my riding experiences.

Another thing I’ve learned from experience is to retain the reader’s attention by limiting my writ….

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To Ride or Not To Ride

To ride or not to ride
That is the question.
To accept the gathering storm clouds as portents
Of unsafe cycling conditions
Or to consider them as beacons
Heralding possible adventure
That is the question

Should one heed the warnings of the undependable,
With their satellite photos and backwards scribblings
Or should one relent to the overwhelming desires
Of his own heart’s calling?

Should one way the possibility  of involuntary cycle departure
Resulting in unwanted familiarity with asphalt and gravel
Against the excruciating dullness of mundane  domesticity
Where the greatest challenge is the avoidance
Of Honey-do entreaties?
Oh, but for a clear sign
Such as a clarion call from a fellow cyclists
Embroiled in the same rumination!
For is it not better to have one
With whom to share an adventure
And upon whom to heap with the burden of folly
Should ones effort prove unwise??

If only such internal strife
O’er possible heavenly actions
Had been rendered unlikely
By finding myself in the fabled land called California!

Time must not be allowed
To be the final arbitrator!
I Shall Ride!
Dawn thy cycling gear!
Mount thy cycle!
Onward for shop honor, bragging rights and Saint Schwinn!

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THE 2015 EC CYCLING KIT!

THE 2015 EC CYCLING KIT!

The 2015 EC Kit has finally been finalized!  After much back and forth, customer input, design limitations, etc, this is what we are proud to be offering for 2015!  It is a different look for us, while at the same time keeping our 3 main colors and background in play, just with different priorities.  We know it won’t appeal to everyone, but we didn’t want to offer the “same ‘ole thing that is just slightly different” again this year. Hopefully you’ll continue to fly our colors and pick up a set when available!

When will that be you ask?  This weekend at out Humongous Sale, we will begin taking pre-orders and have a fitting kit available for you to help figure out what size you’ll need.  We are using Fast Freddie Apparel/Zaavy again this year so if you purchased last year’s kit, you already know what size you’ll need! And remember, you’ll need to pre-order/prepay by the end of October to get our kits AT OUR VERY BEST PRICES!!  Prices will be posted later this week!

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Looking Back – Not Just For Nerds

I’m really no different from the nay-sayers (or should I say the ‘nattering nabobs of negativism’? No, that’s ‘too Spiro Agnew’ for those of you who may remember). For too many years I made fun of people who wore rear view mirrors on their glasses while cycling. “Hah! What a bunch of nerds!”

Well, about a year ago, while on an Endless Saturday road ride, I talked to some of the riders who wore them. They swore by how effective they were. Did I mention my hearing isn’t what it once was (though it is better since I started wearing Wind Blox)? I was discovering that riders ahead of me were yelling “Car back!” before I even knew a car was coming. I began to realize this could be nasty on a solo ride or one that I was sweeping. I was also starting to appreciate cars with low-restriction exhausts because I could hear them (and don’t even get me started about electric cars that can sneak up on you like a metallic ninja!) So I cashed in my cool card and bought a glasses-mounted rear view mirror , aptly named “Rear Vu” Bike Mirror, at Endless.

It took a couple of rides for me to get it dialed in (bending the stem, moving the mirror and getting used to glancing at it) but now I’d never go back to road riding without one. They’re sturdy, the weight penalty is about nil, they’re cheap, (did I mention they’re cheap?), the return policy is incredible and the gentleman who makes them lives in Fremont! I’ve become so used to them that when I ride off-road, I automatically glance at my upper left looking for what’s behind me. I don’t really need them for mountain biking because I’m more concerned with what’s coming at me (roots, rocks, skunks, etc.) than who might be sneaking up on me from behind. But for riding the road, I can now say I feel they are a necessity! I normally wear glasses and sometimes actually find myself looking to find a mirror to my left when walking!

Yes, I’m a more humble human being but better, and safer, for it.

EC Rider

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At Endless Cycles, Special Orders ARE SPECIAL!

Before we opened Endless Cycles, we were just like you, bicycle enthusiasts who liked frequenting and shopping at bike shops. One problem that each and everyone of them had though was processing a Special Order when they didn’t have exactly what you needed. You’d give them your money and then wait. And wait. And wait some more. You’d sometimes even get lame excuses like “that manufacturer only ships product after the 4th blue moon after the fall equinox” or “what special order? You placed a special order?” or the infamous, “the special order guy is out right now”. BS, someone dropped the ball. When we opened EC, we aimed to fix that. If we don’t have the item you want but can get it, well then, you pay for it and we will order it asap! Most of the time you’ll get it the next day! Sometimes, even the same day! Maybe a week, max! It’s hardly ever more than 10 days! And we match internet pricing as well as long as it’s a legit price! Why do we do this? Because we can and it’s not called a SPECIAL ORDER for nothing! It’s SPECIAL! So skip the internet and don’t settle for an another bike shop that says, “special order, that’ll take at least a month.” Stop by EC and we will get it for you asap! Why? Because WE GET IT!

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My 2014 Salsa Beargrease. Let Me Tell You About It!

About a month ago, I bought a carbon fiber 2014 Salsa Beargrease.  I test rode this bike at a Salsa Demo day at Endless Cycles earlier this year.  My intent at that time was not to buy a fat tire bike.  I was at the demo to test ride the 2014 Spearfish with the new split pivot design (by the way, it was awesome and a way better ride than my 2013 Spearfish, which doesn’t have the split pivot).  For the heck of it, I took out the fat bike too.  I tested a carbon fiber Salsa Beargrease, which has no suspension.  Salsa calls this bike their racing fat bike.

Despite this beefy bike’s looks, due to the big, fat tires and fat frame, it was pretty light (31 lbs) and it had low enough gearing to peddle uphill easily.  When I hit the down hills, I had a grin on my face.  The big tires give the bike lots of traction, which made me feel more in control, instead of feeling scared of falling and skinning my knees and elbows or worse if I didn’t tap on the brakes and slow down (I am a big chicken about hurting myself).  On the Beargrease, I didn’t want to slow down.  Granted, the fat, heavier than normal tires increases the Beargrease’s rotational mass, but with it’s bigger footprint, I found myself peddling on fast down hills and through turns because I felt safe.  Big tires = lots of traction.

I didn’t buy the bike then.  My complaint was that there was too much vibration on the handle bars at speed.  Scott at Endless told me to let out some air from the front tire and the tire would absorb more of the vibration.  My demo time was over though, so I couldn’t try doing that.  I told Scott that if Salsa came out with a full suspension fat bike, I would be very interested.

About a month ago, Salsa came back for another demo day.  They were featuring their 2015 bikes.  Salsa introduced the full suspension fat bike, the Bucksaw at that demo day.  I was very excited about it so I was at the demo early in order to take this baby out.  The Bucksaw was not carbon fiber, but was aluminum and it was still light.  But, for some reason, I was not as impressed with the ride as I was with the Beargrease. Or, maybe, I was just only as impressed as I was with the Beargrease.  But, because of the price difference between the Bucksaw and the Beargrease, I asked myself, “Do I really need full suspension on a fat bike?”  The Bucksaw was a little heavier than the Beargrease and it cost more.  I asked the Salsa rep if they were going to come out with a full suspension carbon fat tire bike.  The response was that if they did, it would be very, very expensive.

I loved the Beargrease I had test rode earlier in the year, and I told Jeff at Endless Cycles that I’d get the Beargrease if it had front suspension.  As always, Jeff had a solution.  I could change out the carbon fork for a RockShox Bluto fork.”  I said ok, and bought the 2014 Beargrease off the showroom floor and ordered a Bluto fork for it.

I’ve been taking the bike to Lake Chabot on the Endless Cycles Tuesday night rides and on an occasional weekend trail ride.  I’ve also ridden it on a 15 mile Thursday night Endless Cycles road ride out on Cull Canyon. I even ride it around Castro Valley.  I LOVE THIS BIKE.  It’s really lightweight, t’s fun to ride,  and, as a side benefit, I am the center of attention.  I had a guy stop me on the road to take a picture of me and the bike for his mountain biking girlfriend (at least that what he said).  I get a lot of comments, like “Where’s the engine?”,  “Oooh, big fat tires”,  “Is it heavy?”, “Looks like a motorcycle”,  “Can’t take a motorcycle on a trail”,  “Can I pick it up?”,  “I’ve never seen a bike with tires like that before”, and “Do you take it to the snow?”  Regarding the last comment, I hate the snow—too cold, but I will say, although it was initially developed for the snow and works great on the beach as well, but you don’t need sand or snow to ride this bike, I ride it everywhere.  Currently the bike won’t fit on my Yakima bike rack because the tire trays are too small for the fat tires, so, until I figure out how adapt that, I ride it from my house to wherever I want to ride (locally).

I mentioned earlier that the Beargrease is big framed, which adds to its beefy looks.  Well, I was at the Castro Valley Fall Festival recently, walking my Beargrease through the fair, and there was a guy walking towards me with his standard, but now wimpy looking in comparison mountain bike .  He looked at me, he looked at my bike, then back at me…I think I felt him physically shrink.  My Beargrease is just badassss looking.

Downsides, the black “paint job” (I don’t know what you would call it, it’s not exactly paint) on the frame is not even (note from the editor: it’s the naked clear coated carbon fiber, no paint. Naked carbon fiber has no uniform look)  but I don’t mind it.  Also, sometimes, I feel the wheels make the bike a little too bouncy, i.e. hard downward strokes on the pedal make the bike bounce a little.  Scott suggests taking out some more air, and I’ll have to try that.  Right now, I use 8 psi in the front and 10 psi in the rear tire.  I make sure to move my butt away the seat when I’m going downhill over bumps.  I don’t want that seat to bounce up and knock me off the bike (I guess this would be true on any bike though).  Once, I did see Mike at EC bounce a fat tire from his Mukluk like it was a basketball!  Finally, the brakes are not hydraulic, and are too mushy for my taste.  One of my many fears is coming down the steep last part of Live Oak and not being able to stop for cross traffic.  I’m considering putting hydraulic brakes on the bike.

Now, my 2013 Salsa Spearfish is just sitting in my garage feeling neglected.  I can’t help it though, the Beargrease is just so much fun to ride.  And for newbie riders, I think starting out on a fat bike could do wonders for building confidence on the trail.  There’s just something comfortable and comforting about the big ole, fat tires.

Georgia – Boffo Ride Leader & Shop Consigliere

Action Photo provided by Don K.

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