NEW THIS SEASON! STUMPJUMPER EXPERT DEMO PROGRAM

Posted by Dave on

New this 2019 season Specialized Sumpjumper Expert bike demo program. 

Since 1981, Stumpjumper has proven over and over that it's "the ultimate trail bike."" At 20% stiffer and active during hot laps, the Stumpjumper has the most usable travel when you need it." With its threaded bottom bracket and longer, slacker geometry, you'll be amazed at how well the Stumpjumper climbs and descends with its 150 mm of travel up front and 150 mm in the back (140 mm on the 29er). After one ride, you'll be drinking the Kool Aid too!

Here's how the program works; A. Call the shop @ 413 582-0733 and  reserve a "Stumpy". We have all long travels in both 650b and 29er. In 650b, we have small and medium. In 29er, we have medium, large and xl. B. We set up your bike and adjust shock pressures. C. Pedals-you supply yours or we have platforms. D. The cost? A hundred bucks. This rental fee will be applied to the cost of a new adult bike if you decide to buy or just rent for the day. E. Read and sign the waiver and leave credit card# for any damages that may happen. Accidents do happen. 

See you soon here at the shop and more importantly, see you on the trails. It's time to ride. Charlie, Geoff and Dave

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S-Works Roubaix, SRAM Red 22, Mavic R-SYS SLR

Posted by Stephen on

10% of your body weight. For me, in-season anyway, that would be around 14 1/2, 15lbs. Totally reasonable to imagine a road bike in that weight range, right? Personally, I had never thought of bike weight as something relative to rider weight; I had never considered what percentage of body weight a bicycle should be. This past October, though, our customer Doug arrived with a folio of hand-written charts, diagrams, lists, and scribblings and took a survey around the shop. He asked each one of us to tell him what we weigh, and then what our lightest bike weighs. Sure enough, across the board, none of us had answered with a bike that was significantly higher than 10% of our body weight. OK. Good. He then said that that's what he'd like to attempt to achieve with his new build. So you know those scenes in early 90's sitcoms where something absurd or unexpected happens or is said and time freezes, a record screeches to a sharp halt, and everyone has that knowing look of apprehension and goofy unease? Well, when Doug told us of his wish, our shop must've looked like a scene from that. We knew that this was going to be a challenge. Very difficult, if even possible at all, you see, because Doug weighs under 130 lbs. To say that this has been a work in progress, or a long time coming, would be an understatement. photo 1 (6) So first things first, we had to decide on a frame. The Tarmac would've been the obvious choice, but coming from a Serotta Ottrott, the geometry wasn't going to work in this situation. The Roubaix was almost exactly what we were looking for, regarding fit numbers, and to our surprise - at least at the S-Works level - there wasn't really any sort of weight penalty for ending up on the Roubaix. Perfect. Problem solved. We put a 52cm S-Works Roubaix frame on order. Which brings us to the component group. Generally, a good attitude to take is that all of the high-end stuff - Shimano's Dura-Ace, SRAM Red, and that Supah Rekkid or whatever from that other brand we don't see much of - is all relatively the same in regard to how well it performs and how light it is. Of course, we all have our preferences, but truly, when it comes to the best stuff, we generally like to acknowledge that it's all pretty awesome. This however, as I'm sure you've gathered, is not exactly a customer with your typical needs. We knew going into it that our quest was going to be a game of milligrams, and more specificly, a game of shaving milligrams wherever we can. SRAM Red 22 allowed us to do that. Everything comes in just a touch lighter than Dura-Ace. Armed with this knowledge, Doug stretched himself out to take a short little spin on my (much too big for him) Focus Izalco, equipped with Red, to get a feel for the group. He liked it, and so it was ordered. photo 3 (3) Would you believe me if I told you that we took a razor blade to some of the tabs on the inside of the SRAM Red 22 hoods? Believe it. Game of milligrams, remember? Wheels next. So, there is a whole world out there of esoteric boutique shallow-profile carbon tubulars, created seemingly only with weight in mind. Immediately, these were ruled out. Impossibly expensive, impossibly elusive, and completely impractical for your everyday cyclist, these wheels may be eye candy, but Doug actually wants to ride his bike, ya dig? We needed to look in a slightly more functional direction. Thankfully, there is a bit of a Venn diagram going on, and there does exist a small selection of wheels that are A) sub-1300g and B) versatile enough to be used as everyday wheels. The best choice of that shallow pool were Mavic's R-SYS SLR wheels. photo 4 (2) Anecdotally, I can tell you that the R-SYS SLR wheels are incredible. I raced on them for a season, thanks to the generosity of Mavic, who was supporting the team that I was on at the time. They were many things at once, most notably incredibly light - they were my wheel of choice for any race featuring a long and challenging climb. They were also ridiculously stiff and responsive, and would've fared just fine in a crit. They cornered as perfectly as one could hope. A lot of this is due to their super-innovative spoke technology, employing the use of those drinking-straw looking hollow carbon spokes, giving the wheels a sort of wagon-wheel look. Naturally, the rear wheel's driveside is spared from this treatment, as a poorly adjusted rear derailleur shifting into carbon spokes would not necessarily result in funtime happiness. Instead, it is outfitted with more traditional Mavic spokes. photo 2 (6) So from there, it's mostly finishing touches. S-Works carbon crankset with SRAM X-Glide chainrings to link up nicely with the Yaw front derailleur, which is, by the way, 100% living up to the hype. Doug is going to be perched on a carbon-railed Romin saddle, because performance and comfort are absolutely not mutually exclusive. photo 1 (7) Here's where I could go on about changing out small bits of hardware for lighter versions of the same thing, but really, I don't want to bore you too much with that - We'll save that information for Doug, maybe the only person I've ever seen get so excited about charts and graphs and milligrams and marginal gains. To be completely honest, his enthusiasm for this process has been contagious: Never really one to care about the weight of my bikes (so long as they're in the general neighborhood of "light"), I found myself getting really into his quest for the magic number of 10%. We're still a few parts away from completion - his pedals, for instance, are with him - but it looks like we're on target, amazingly, and it's been one hell of a trip. photo (21)

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S-Works Camber: New for 2014, New for Charlie!

Posted by Stephen on

chuckscamber The days are getting longer. Maybe not any warmer (yet), but as the mornings start a little earlier and darkness falls later and later each day, it's getting pretty tough to not think about the season to come. We're all starting to consider the many ways we can improve our rides once it's a little less bitter out, and I think it's safe to say that Charlie has set the bar for most significant upgrade for the season with this brand-new, never before available S-Works Camber 29! Now, the Camber itself isn't new, but in past years the highest zoot version you could get into was the Pro level bike, which is definitely nothing to shrug about. Charlie was on one himself, and he's a guy that appreciates performance goods and doesn't waste time with inferior product. Every ride like it's your last & every component choice thoroughly thought through, right? Well, for the 2014 model year, we are happy to be able to offer (and ride) an S-Works level Camber. chuckscamber4 There are a few obviously huge upgrades made in the transition from Pro to S-Works, the biggest of which being the full FACT carbon rear triangle, as opposed to the aluminum of the Pro frame. The shock is a Fox Float CTD with Autosag, and the FACT 11m carbon is significantly lighter & stiffer than the Pro's FACT 9m. That's like, two full m's worth of weight savings! The new internal cable & hydraulic line routing is also a pretty huge aesthetic step forward, giving the bike a ridiculously clean & unencumbered look. chuckscamber2   So, regarding the build, I could more or less copy & paste the entry for our build of Charlie's old Niner, but it seems to have been lost in our website switchover of the last year, so here's the rough run-down: XTR! All the way through, really. We adapted out the BB30 frame so that we could run the super-stiff & feathery XTR cranks, which shift in a zip when paired with the direct mount XTR front derailleur. The XTR brakes are absolutely industry-leading, and let this be a testament to their quality: of the hundreds of brakes I've had to bleed, I would say under 1% have been XTR. XTR shifters of course, cabled to an XTR rear derailleur to keep the chain slap at bay. Matt & I were successful in pushing Charlie to installing a Thomson stem & seatpost, which, according to Chuck, haven't been on a bike of his in years. Our reasoning was that they are just as light as their carbon peers, but will hold up for ages against the rigors of the trail. We connected the stem to an Easton EC70 carbon bar with 1" of rise. For wheels, we went with the tried & true Industry 9 hubs - which offer a ridiculous amount of freehub engagement - laced to Stan's ZTR Flow EX rims. Finishing it off, Charlie loves the Specialized Ground Control tires, which makes sense because they are as fast as they are stable. Pretty solid choice for 'round these parts. chuckscamber1   Want one? You know what to do...!    

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Getting FAT over the winter

Posted by Stephen on

We ate too much over the holidays. So much that even our bikes are now noticeably fatter. fattie4   This isn't an awesome photoshop job - you know as well as I do that I am not capable of that - we actually received the long-in-production and eagerly awaited Fatboy Expert from Specialized. For a while, it seemed like Bigfoot, a UFO, or the Loch Ness monster: believed in - even spotted by some, with questionable blurry photos - but with no concrete proof for folks like you & I that the thing actually lives, breathes, EXISTS. UNTIL TODAY! fattie2 The winter can often be an awkward time for a bike mechanic. Way less glamourous than in the summer; spokes can only be inventoried & benches can only be straightened out so many times before you're treading a worn path. I only mention this to set the stage for how eagerly I was anticipating this bike's arrival: If it arrived at any point in the year, it would be a cool thing to check out, but arriving in the dead of winter - in the middle of a cold snap, no less - this thing became my raison d'etre since the day we received notification of shipment. To summarize that last paragraph in internetese: I HAVE MUCH EXCITE FOR THIS FATTY. How could I not? I mean, LOOK AT THE FRIGGIN BOX IT CAME IN: fatbox Yes, that is an adult-sized human in that box. I'd have got in too, but then no one would've been able to take a photo and we'd just be two grown men hanging out in a cardboard box. Also, Matt plans on using this as his house going forward, and I didn't want to encroach on his territory. Didn't seem totally respectful, ya know? OK. Now that the important stuff is out of the way: This is the only one of these that we have, and likely the only one that Specialized will be able to furnish until March or so. It's a 19" frame - size large - and will not last long at all, so consider this the official starting pistol ringing out announcing the race to get down to the shop! I have a feeling that my job description changes to "guy who rides this thing around the shop grounds" until it's gone. That's alright by me! fattie3  

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A Pair of New MTBs

Posted by Stephen on

New for Specialized's 2014 lineup are the Enduro Comp 29 and the Camber Expert Carbon 29, both of which we received & built this past week. enduro1   So here is the Enduro Comp 29. It's a 155mm travel frame with a Fox Float CTD Evolution shock with Autosag, with 160mm travel up front on the RockShox Pike fork. That translates to this, essentially: SQUISH! Test-riding this baddie out front of the shop, we were able to just ride right on through the 4" curb, like it wasn't there. It doesn't stop at that, though: Not only is this beast a suitable all-parkinglot bike (yuk yuk), it's also fully prepared to take on whatever gnar a mountain can throw at it. Braaaap! enduro2 The frame is made from Specialized's super-reliable M5 aluminum, and equipped with a mixed-up X9/X7 drivetrain, with Formula C1 hydraulic disc brakes. The 200mm front rotor will stop you on a dime. So will the 180mm rear rotor, actually. Maybe even on a 1 cent Euro coin. Those are a little smaller, I think. We have a size large (19") in stock right now, but won't for long! camber1 So that right there is Dave's Camber Expert Carbon 29. Dave is a man of taste. Dave is a man of style. Dave is a man who likes his blue almost as much as he likes ripping the nearby Earl's Trails & Bachelor Street. This year's Camber Expert is not only one of the nicest looking bikes Specialized has unveiled, it's also one of the most no-nonsense fun rides you can find. The Camber is situated between the all-business race geometry of the Epic and the long-travel squish of the Stumpjumper FSR. It falls into a territory that Specialized refers to as "trail", though I'd certainly not hesitate to call it a more-capable XC bike. You could totally race this, but it's not going to smoke you if you're out on it all day long with friends. camber2   Here are the importants: 110mm travel on the frame, 110 on the Fox Float fork. The drivetrain is SRAM XO & X9, brakes are Formula T1 S. It comes spec'ed with Roval Control Carbon 29 wheels, which are super light and super stiff. Dave chose to swap out the stock Henge saddle, which comes in black, for the flashy new Romin Expert Gel, which was a no-brainer, aesthetically. We also went with the matching blue aftermarket Specialized Contour XC grips for the same reason! camber3   Come on in and check these matching blue shredders out. Though we can't guarantee that Dave won't be ripping around the local trails on his, we'll at least have all the information you could ever hope to need. Maybe more, even.  

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