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01/13/12
English (US)  

The Bicycle Trailer to Meet EVERY families needs!

Now in stock at Down Cycles! :>>

The Weehoo iGo is a revolutionary new approach in the design of children's bicycle trailers. While there are a multitude of options for bringing your child along for a ride, none offer the same flexibility as the Weehoo iGo Trailer.

=> Traditional bicycle seats, while secure, limit the child's movement and involvement with their parent, and with riding. Not to mention all regular seats on the market today have an upper size and weight restriction that limits most riders over 5 from fitting properly.

=> Tag-a-long style trailers attempt to solve the size, weight and involvement problem by freeing the child from restraints and placing them (almost) on their own bike that mom or dad can pull along. The drawback? Kid's rarely will want to stay focused long enough for you to enjoy the length ride you had originally planned, and once they start getting tired...that's it, time to go home.

=> Canopy style trailers solve the weight, size and exhaustion issue by providing a secure seat for the child to ride in. But unfortunately, it's usually quite tough for the rider to keep an eye on their kid(s) inside and obviously, the child is almost completely detached from the experience of riding.

:idea: The Weehoo iGo Trailer solve ALL of these problems. By placing the child in a secure recumbent cycle, they can be properly secured so if they do get tired and fall asleep (or aren't quite old enough yet to really want to participate in pedaling) the rider has no worries about them falling off. For those children that want to participate, the Weehoo iGo trailers accommodates riders from 2-9 years old and places them in a great position for viewing everything the ride has to offer.

The Weehoo iGo Trailer is truly the single best product on the market today for parents that want to take their younger riders along for a ride.

NOW IN STOCK AT DOWN CYCLES....rental program coming this summer!
^:^^XXX!

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10/04/11
English (US)  

Right Now Down Cycles has 2011 and previous model year Bikes discounted! We are having our Fall Sale! Hundreds of dollars off brand new bikes by GT, Cannondale, Mongoose and more. We even have a Demo Cannondale RZ 120 available in a size Large in mint condition for $1000.00 off MSRP!!!

Check out the GT Distortion, Force and Sensors, all on sale and all award winning bikes!

Also worth noting: 2012 Bikes are rolling in as we speak. We have kids 12, 16, 20, and 24" built up and ready for the holidays. Down Cycles is also stocking road bikes. We have race bikes starting at $750 and up. The new 2012 Cannondale EVO is in stock!

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08/14/11
English (US)  

GT is releasing a new whip for 2012 (Frame only). A 29er Titanium Xizang! This frame will retail in the US for $2200!

Interesting spec: Cable guides for continuous cable (nice for all us East coast racers),post mount 74mm rear disc tab and a tapered steerer tube!

Interested buyers should lock in with a down payment. This frame is being produced in limited numbers.

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08/13/11
English (US)  

Always sad to report a Stolen bike! This one was picked off from a customers home in Montrose New York around two weeks ago.

Record Your Bike Serial Number!!!

Much too often customers call us with the bad news that their bike was stolen. I can predict the next line that they’re about to ask every time: “Do you have the serial number for my bike?” Never make the assumption that shops record this information. Most shops do not. It is the owner’s responsibility to jot down this information. Shops may write a serial number down on the purchase invoice or the owner’s manual. The owner should file this information someplace safe for future reference.

Off to the point of this article: A customer and friend reported (around 2 weeks ago) that his new ride was ripped off. Of course he did not record the bikes serial number. This particular bike is a one of a kind and should be fairly easy to spot.

Stolen was a customized Superco Satellite (24" size wheel) dirt jump bike. The Satellite is built specifically around 24” wheels and will not accept a 26" wheel. The frames finish is “Raw”. The "Raw" is basically just a clear coated steel frame that displays the bluish hue around the weld areas. The Superco decals are red and adheared on the frame down tube.

We built this bike from new and old parts. The frame was new as is many of the components. The following build listing will help identify this particular bike.

Frame: New Superco Satellite 24” Raw color with red decals (and a small Red,Yell,Blk Down Cycles sticker). This bike is designed as a single speed style Dirt Jump frame. The frame does not have a derailler hanger. Rear drop outs are horizontal BMX style 135mm mountain spacing.
Fork: Used Marzocci DJ (maybe a 05 DJ II ?) with QR drop outs Matte Black (and scuffed)with gold air assist top caps. Impac headset internal style (Campy) Matte Black.
Crank: New Profile with Mid BB (press fit bottom bracket bearings) Arms: powder coated black.
Front chain ring: New Profile in Gold Anodized (This ring is no longer available from Profile. I purchased it for the customer on close out).
Front wheel: Used 24" Sun Rynolite (All Black) with bolt on hub and black spokes. This was the stock wheel speced on an old Iron Horse Porter 24”. The front wheel is a bit tweaked (not perfect).
Front tire: Used Maxxis Hookworm 24” x 2.5”
Rear wheel: New Atom lab single speed cassette style 32hole hub with bolt on axle(32H is a bizarre choice for a 24” size wheel). The hub is matte black laced and laced to a 32H Halo 24” gloss black hoop (very hard to find this hoop in 32H). The Halo hoop has white HALO decals.
Rear tire: New Halo Twin Rail 24" x 2.2" Black
Chain: Gold KMC
Pedals: Used Atom lab general issue in bright red.
Stem: New TruVativ Hussefelt DH 50mm White
Bars: Used TruVativ DH risers Matte Black
Brakes: Front and rear Cable actuated discs (not sure of the brand). Black cable housing.
Seat post: New Kalloy Matte Black
Seat: New Action DJ Black and grey

Please contact the shop or police if you spot this bike: Shop telephone number 914 827 9570
A Superco Satellite 24” is not a common bike. This build kit makes it a one of a kind. The Halo 32H 24” rear wheel is a real freak. So is the gold profile front chainring. This bike should stand out like a sore thumb.

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04/29/11
English (US)  

I have a new bike in the quiver and she’s an odd bird, one I never thought I’d invest in. I’m now the proud owner of a 29er, specifically the EWR Ti-motion 29er.

Like most of you I’ve been curious, to say the least, to test out a 29er. The hype has been that they outperform 26” wheel bikes. Most people who have made the switch say they will never go back. Last summer I (briefly) demoed a GT Zaskar 29er on two lift assisted runs at The Canyons in Utah. I walked away impressed.

The bike was quick and handled amazing, well beyond my expectations. I returned from this trip with this grandiose idea of selling off my 6” travel carbon, high tech, XTR full squishy and replacing it with a 29er hardtail. It took me long enough, but I finally built up a raw Titanium EWR with working man’s parts (rat rod style). My new rig weighs in at 26lbs (with tubes and pedals). This bike could easily be built lighter.

My first ride was in not so favorable conditions, just like each ride since. This season the woods are greasy on the east with roots that are dripping in green slime. Even so, what I noticed immediately was an increase in traction thanks to the larger tire to surface contact patch. The larger tire also gives fair warning if it’s about to break loose and spin out unlike a 26” tire that just bloodies your knee into the shifter before you can do a thing about it.

The gains in traction are also noticeable when cornering. The tires hook up like mad in the turns and give plenty of warning when you’re pushing hard. The big tires drift long before you get pitched! This sensation, as you can imagine, inspires confidence!

A 29er is not necessarily faster than a 26er. It’s only faster if you can keep it spinning. Let me try and explain: The big wheels must be brought up to speed and that takes slightly more effort, but once up to speed they roll faster than a smaller wheel. The catch is this: you need to keep the wheels spinning. This riding “style” may not suite certain riders.

29ers are wonderful and faster if you ride wide open. A rider who is constantly on the brakes will not recognize or reap the rewards of an increase in speed. However, the 29er wheel will roll over the lumps and bumps better than a 26er which a novice rider will appreciate! Speed demons will not notice the rolling over benefit since pinners jump the lumps never riding through them.

I was able to run much higher psi in both tires since the tires get so much traction. I’m at over 50 psi at the moment even in early season East Coast mud! The harder tires are faster and less likely to flat, but they do ride hard as a rock. The Titanium frame absorbs some, but Ti seems to ride more similar to alloy than 4130. This is my first Ti bike and I expected a softer ride, but EWR built this bike for racers. I’ll take the stiff responsive ride over a spongy wet noodle any day.

The bottom line is this: Consider a 29er if you’re an experienced rider who likes to ride fast or if you’re a newbie with guts that’s chasing down your bro’s who have been riding forever and if you race XC/marathon events. All I know is my new Ti-motion is a keeper for sure and I like that it already looks old!

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03/03/11
English (US)  

Down Cycles is offering GT Rental (road and mountain) and Demo bikes (full suspension mountain) this season!

We will have flat bar GT Nomad 2.0’s for rental that are perfect for recreational rides along with GT SRS Series 4 road race (drop bar) bikes for the enthusiast!

For mountain, we have the GT Karakoram 2.0 29er (29” tall wheel) in sizes Medium, Large and Extra Large and the Avalanche 3.0 Disc (26” tall wheel) in size small.

Prebook soon online at downcycles.com!

We are building up our 2011 Demo’s right now! We will have five high end 2011 models to choose from including the Mongoose Boot R Apprentice DH, GT Fury DH, GT Sensor Expert 29er trail and the GT Force 2.0 all mountain! We also have a size Large Cannondale RZ 120 Three (2010 model year).

You must qualify to rent bikes, so make sure your credit card has available credit for the retail price of the bike (pricing is listed on our website) and bring your valid driver’s license (or a secondary photo id that matches the name and billing address on the credit card). It's recommended that you bring your own personal helmet and form of hydration, but lender helmets will be available as will bike racks (fee's associated), water bottles, locks and tool kits).

Maps of trails and road bike rides can be printed/downloaded off our web site at downcycles.com.

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01/07/11
English (US)  

The problems associated with consumer reviews:

Consumers have developed a false sense of security when it comes to relying on star ratings. As a retailer, I take the time to review comments made on the internet for products that I sell. Down Cycles is confident in every item we sell. If an item we sell is rated poorly, I research the issue. We certainly do not want unhappy customers. So far, I’ve been able to easily debunk every poor online rating.

For example, a customer called interested in bikes that sell for under $400.00. I recommended one in particular that I like that fit the bill. We have been selling this particular model successfully for years. I know that for the money, the bike I recommended would be hard to beat and it was the perfect choice for this person’s style of riding. This customer took it upon herself to Google the bike and found some negative reviews! This scenario plays out on a daily basis. This time the customer alerted me of the poor reviews. Most of the time, I’m sure, the customer reads the poor reviews, considers our shop one that doesn’t care or lacks knowledge of bikes and never calls us back.

I understand that customers take precautions and research purchases. This is fine and dandy and I recommend everyone continue to do so. It’s simple to pull up information on virtually anything these days. I read views myself before diving in with a purchase. Please be smart and weed through the nonsense in these reviews. Understand that you are not reading reviews submitted by experts!
This customer that confronted about the poor reviews on a bike that we love to sell was willing to send me the links. This is what I found and always seem to find with customer reviews:

Six reviews of the bike were found, three of which were negative. The consequence of a half positive half negative review set the rating of this bike at 2.5 stars. Not an attractive item to consider buying! I could see why this customer doubted my recommendation!

To be frank, I was shocked and dismayed. How could a bike that we find perfectly sound and incredible bargain be such a lemon? After all, I got in this business not to rob or upset customers, but to offer them a quality product that they will enjoy for many years. I prefer that customers actually ride their new bike, not use it as a clothes hanger.

Consumers have a tendency to never blame themselves for a poor decision. The first negative review was from a rider who obviously purchased the wrong bike for his style of riding. He complained that the wheels bent the first week and he constantly had problems with flat tires. Surprisingly, he admitted that he rides hard and jumps. He felt as though a $350 was a lot to spend for a bicycle and it should to hold up to his punishment. One of two things went wrong with his experience. Either the shop he bought from didn’t ask the proper questions before selling him the bike or this customer didn’t bother to explain his style of riding to the shop before buying. I got the vibe that the parent of an aggressive child who they bought the bike for was writing this review. My conclusion to the first negative review: “Busted” as they say on Myth Busters. This review should be tossed out. The customer bought the wrong bike and should have saved up for a bike designed for jumping. Star rating now at three, still ugly.

Next negative: This person was really “***” angry. They just can’t get comfortable on the bike. The fit is all wrong. It turns out they are 5’9” tall and bought a 15” size bicycle. The rider is 5’9” tall! They bought the wrong size bike! How dare they give the bike a negative review? A size 15” fits riders 5’ tall! The specifics were left out, but I assumed they bought online and didn’t consult a professional. This hell bent moron tried installing a longer/lay back seat post and longer stem to compensating for buying too small a bike. They complained about flipping over the bars on every ride and issues with toe overlap. Conclusion: “Busted”… There is nothing wrong with the bike itself. There is something wrong with the consumer. Star rating now up to 4 stars and looking pretty good!

Last negative rating: The consumer has listed a 2002 year bike along with the rating for a 2009! Not only that; the model is not even the same! This review should be omitted entirely! Conclusion: “Busted” Star rating for the bike now at 5 stars or 5 flaming chili peppers or 5 whatever’s.

People, don’t be sheep! Read these reviews and be smart! You were slick enough to do your research, at least do it right. Learn to trust the experts in the shops. We did not open a bicycle shop to steal your money and sell you junk! Most shops are sincere (probably 99% of them) and prefer you enjoy cycling. You should be able to tell in 10 seconds whether you’re talking to a shop that cares or not. Come in and visit us, explain to us your style of riding, and ball park price range that you’re able to spend. I know it’s hard to believe with all the scams and sensationalism on TV, but we will sell you a quality product that is sure to last you many years and bring you enjoyment. Buying the proper bike at a shop that cares could change your life for the better!

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01/01/11
English (US)  

“I racked my bike and some POS stole my seat. Do you have a seat in stock that fits my bike?”
For some reason, customers assume that seat post size is standard. Low and behold their disbelief when I tell them that posts begin at size 25.4mm and go all the way up to 31.6mm in increments of a tenth of a millimeter!

Seat post clamps are not as much a headache. Make sure your clamp didn’t get nabbed as well. Typically one of four size clamps fit your bike: 28/30/32 or 34mm. You may have an odd ball size if your bike is 50 years old or was purchased at a department store.

You must bring your bike into the shop in order to buy a new seat post. Down Cycles measures the frame with a micrometer measuring tool. This measurement is a ball park figure. The frame has been clamped down on the post and the true inner diameter may differ from the clamp area. We trial fit new posts in the shop to determine the proper fit. For instance, a measurement at the clamp area may read 27.0mm on the micrometer. We then attempt to install a 27.0mm post in the frame, but it can be a sloppy fit. Then we fit a 27.2mm post and whamo, perfect fit. The 27.0mm post would not perform properly on a bike designed for a 27.2mm, no matter how crazy tight you make the seat clamp! You could also ruin or crack the bike frame tightening down the seat clamp onto the wrong size seat post.

Sorry you had your post stolen! Don’t make the ordeal any worse on yourself! Get the bike into the shop to buy a new post otherwise you will drive back and forth multiple times to get it right. Please don’t roll up for a new post without your bike with this much too common statement: “I need a post for my 94 fisher Y bike.” (My guess on that model would be a 31.6mm by the way).

A new alloy post, a decent seat and a bolt on clamp will set you back minimum $60.00. Sometimes we have old seats hanging around we can set you up with that would be OK on a station bike.
Next time you rack your ride, use a bolt on, not QR seat clamp or bring your seat, clamp and post with you after you lock up. It sucks that we have to live this way, but such is life. I’m not sure why thieves would want your grunge old seat. Defend yourself against stank seat sniffing weird-o’s for crying out loud. It’s a long ride home without a saddle!

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10/29/10
English (US)  

Bring a flat repair kit while cycling! I can’t stress this statement enough. It’s not if you get a flat, it’s when you get a flat! Riding a bike for ten miles is not too difficult. Walking the bike home ten miles is no fun at all.

What‘s in a “flat repair kit”? The basics are a patch kit and a pump. These two essentials will get you out of most jams. They weigh hardly anything and take up little room. It’s a good idea to bring one or two tire levers to help remove the tire from the rim, but it is possible to remove a tire without them. It’s also smart to carry a spare tube since a torn or busted off valve can’t be patched.

Experienced cyclists may tell you to bring a Co2 kit. These devises are helpful especially when racing and work well during mosquito season, but a good pump works perfectly. Inflating with a Co2 can also blow a patch off the tube if done in a hurry. It’s also difficult to control the tires bead “seat” using a Co2. You could potentially blow the tire off the rim when inflating with a quick burst of air.

Another smart idea is to bring a thick piece of rubber and electrical tape. The rubber will work well to repair a ripped/torn tire and the tape can be used for holding the rubber in place inside the tire. Tape can be used for replacing an out of place or broken rim strip. Every rim (except tubeless) has a strip of cloth, plastic or rubber wrapped around the rim outer diameter and over the spoke nipples. The rim strip acts as a barrier between the rim and tube. Tubes can easily flat from contact with a spoke nipple or from contact with the hole in a double wall rim (a rim with two layers, the outer layer is drilled to insert the spoke nipple, usually speced on higher end bikes).

Anyway, be prepared for a flat tire because you are going to get them. Use your head when making a repair and remove the object that cause the flat before filling up the repaired, or new tube. Visually check the outside of the tire for a foreign object while carefully feeling around (for something sharp like glass) inside the tire with your hand.

Pump the leaky tube to locate the hole. The location of the hole determines the cause of the flat. A single puncture on the outer part of the tube indicates debris such as glass, a nail, tack, thorn, a staple, etc…

A hole on the tubes inner part, the part that faces towards the rim indicates a problem with the rim strip or spoke head. Visually inspect the rim strip. Most likely it shifted slightly revealing the sharp edges of a hole(s) in the double wall rim. Use you electrical tape and tape down the rim strip after shifting it back into place. File down sharp spoke heads. A sharp spoke nipple can poke through the rim strip and puncture the tube.

A hole with two gashes next to one another is called a “snake bit flat”. This type of flat can usually be repaired using two patches. A snake bite flat is the result of a large impact. Riding straight into a pot hole or riding fast through rocks causes this type of very common flat. Go ahead and make the repair to the obvious double puncture, but also check the tire for thorns. A thorn stuck in the tire will cause a very slow leak. The lower than normal pressure was most likely the cause your snake bite flat.

Always check your tire pressure before a ride. Tubes leak down all on their own. Road bikes will need airing up every ride. Mountain bikes may need air every other ride. Low tire pressure is not only annoying to ride and dangerous, but can cause you to get a dreaded snake bit flat.

Remember to buy a new patch get every few months. The glue in the patch kit dries out in a hurry. I’ve never had good luck with glue less patches, but I guess they could get you out of a jam and are better than nothing. I’d consider glue less patch only temporary. A properly patched tube is perfectly sound for pressures up to around 50 psi. Roadies should install a new tube after a patch repair. Road racing tires typically inflated to 120 psi. Patches do not work well at these intense pressures. Pump your road tire up to around 80 psi after patching and limp home.

If your tube explodes while riding, you have a serious tear in the tire or on the tires bead. If the tube has herniated outside the tire, get ready for a Ka Boom! Usually a rim brake pad is out of adjustment (or the rim itself is not installed correctly) and has worn through the tires side wall. A weak side wall eventually will give out, when it does; the tube protrudes into the rim brake and then explodes. The tube will deflate rapidly and could cause a rider to crash. This type of trailside repair is technical. The bead is under lots of pressure when inflated. You can try taping that thick piece of rubber against the tear. It may hold long enough to get you home. A patch will not repair the gaping hole in the tube. You will need a new tube for this repair. Do not apply the brake on the ride home, unless you have a tool to fix the out of position pad that caused the flat. Watch for clearance on the bulged repaired tire. You may have to disconnect the rim brake altogether just to get home.

In desperation, a dollar bill is pretty tough and works OK for side wall repairs. Energy bar of Gu wrappers will suffice as a quick fix. If your tube blows to smithereens and you have no spare, stuff the tire with vegetation then muscle the bead back onto the rim to get home. Believe me when I tell you that this actually works!

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10/25/10
English (US)  

I have narrowed “skipping gears” down to a few culprits. I’ll list the possible causes in order from common to bizarre.

1. Have you installed a new chain recently? If so, your new chain is not conforming to the bikes worn out sprockets. Solution: Reinstall the old chain or buy new sprockets (front chain rings and rear cassette). Remove the new chain right away! Ride the new chain more than a few times on the old rings and it will wear premature or break under the added stress.

2. Inspect the chain for a stiff link. Locate the bad link by freewheeling the crank backwards and eyeing for a jump in the derailleur jockey wheel, apply lube to the stiff link (Tri flow works well). Pry/twist/bend the chain in all directions to free up the link. Most likely, the bearing between the plates is bulged and deformed and the link can’t be freed up. Solution: New chain (if it is not too old and worn out) or new link.

3. Bent rear derailleur or derailleur hanger. Solution: straighten the hanger. Buy a new rear derailleur.

4. Ring(s) are bent or missing teeth (some teeth seem like they're missing, but are purposely formed with ramps to aide shifting. Do not mistake the shift ramps as bad teeth. Both rear cassette and front rings bend, especially on 9sp cassettes with 4 bolt front chain rings. Solution: buy new rings or bend them back with a metal punch and a hammer. I know it sounds crude, but it works. A stick and a rock will do on the trail (also works for bent disc rotors). Check that the cassette is tight to the free hub.

5. The inner cable slipped on the derailleur pinch bolt. This is a common problem with the new Shimano “shadow” rear derailleur. Solution: shift into 1st and 9th, turn barrel adjusters in, and pull inner cables tight. You will need to add barrel adjustment to add cable tension to fine tune the shifts. Watch for outer cables that are cut too short near suspension links. Short cables in this location will cause huge shift headaches.

6. The PAWL mechanism (the clicking sound you hear when you’re not pedaling the bike) inside the rear hub (or inside the rear freewheel on cheap bikes) needs to be cleaned or replaced. The ring gear that is pressed into the rear hub is cracked or has spun loose. The PAWLS engage into the ring gear which then propels the wheel forward.

7. The rear axle is bent, cracked or axle bearings are toast.

8. The chain is bent.

9. The rear wheel is not installed properly or the rear quick release is not tight.

10. You have a 9 or 10 speed chain installed on an 8 speed (or 7/6 speed) bike.

11. You have an 8 speed chain installed on a 9 or 10 speed bike.

12. You have a 10 speed chain installed on a 6,7,8,9 speed bike.

13. You are using a 10 speed derailleur on a 6,7,8,9 speed bike.

14. You are using a 6,7,8,9 speed derailleur on a 10 speed bike.

15. You have a Sram 1:1 ratio shifter installed on a Shimano 2:1 ratio derailleur.

16. You have a Shimano 2:1 ratio shifter installed on a Sram 1:1 rear derailleur.

17. You have a 9 speed shifter installed on a 6,7,8,10 speed bike.

18. You have a 10 speed shifter installed on a 6,7,8,9 speed bike.

19. You have installed the wrong master link on the chain (example: an 8 speed master link (quick link is not compatible with 9 speed chains or vice versa. (Also worth noting: A Sram 8 sp quick link will bind and causes a stiff link when installed on Shimano 8 speed chains).

20. Your drive side crank is loose and is soon to fall off the bottom bracket spindle or the bottom bracket is worn out/loose.

21. Your bike is filthy. Gunk, leaves, or sticks are jammed into the gears or your bash guard has damage from impacts. Clean by picking at the buildup of junk with a small screwdriver and file the burrs on the bash.

22. Check if chain ring bolts are tight.

23. Check the rear derailleur fixing bolt. The plastic jockey wheel bolts may be loose or the derailleur limit screws backed out from vibration. The limit screws may have been set up poorly when the bike was new.

24. You have too many links in the chain.

25. The tension spring in the derailleur is busted.

26. Do you have a DRS (Dual Ring Security) or some kind of chain guide? You may have hit the lower roller on the trail and bent the guides boomerang. The guide may have moved causing the roller to butt up against the frames chainstay. Tweak the guide straight and reposition lower roller (the roller must roll smooth, check for damage and check/lube the rollers bearings. If you do not have a ISCG mount (3 bolts that hold the guide to the frame), you may have to loosen the bottom bracket to reset the position of the boomerang.

27. Have you been riding your bike with the same chain for a few seasons? It’s time for all new drive components. It’s too late to replace only the chain. All the parts associated with the forward drive are worn out. A new chain will not mesh properly with old cogs. The bike’s new chain will skip pedaling up hill and during a sprint when installed on old, worn gears.

Shifting issues can be avoided by keeping your bike clean,maintained and properly lubed. Inspect your bike for damage after a crash and before each ride. Change you chain and cables at least two times per season (that is, if you ride a couple times per week).

Installing a new chain will prolong wear to the chain rings. It’s a good idea to buy a chain checking tool that measures chain stretch. Avid riders should be installing a new chain every 2 ½-3 months when the season is hot and heavy.

I purposely left out information on front derailleur tweaks (although the slipped cable on the pinch bolt fix works for the front derailleur as well). Front derailleur issues are even more complicated to figure out than rear shift issues. I recommend bringing your bike to a shop regardless. As you can read, shifting issues can be caused by a number of problems. I didn’t even mention cable stretch! Yes, cables will stretch only when they are new. Add tension on the barrel adjuster either at the shifter or rear derailleur to tune for cable stretch. Turning the adjuster counter clockwise will add cable tension.

Always carry a spare derailleur hanger with you on rides. A replaceable derailleur hanger is designed to break in a crash to help protect the derailleur itself from damage. It’s common to bend and break off the hanger when attempting to pry it straight by hand. It takes only a few minutes with simple tools to install a new hanger on the trail.

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10/04/10
English (US)  

The last US World Cup event held in the USA was in 2005 at Angle Fire New Mexico. From what I heard, attendance was low all those years ago. There were almost no spectators on the mountain and hardly a cheer as the world’s fastest riders crossed the finish line. Riders were bummed as well as astonished. What happened to US mountain bike racing?

World Cup racing came back to the US this year (finally), hosted by Windham Mountain in upstate NY. The event was a success to say the least. The weather was perfect, the track was challenging with huge doubles and rock gardens and more importantly the crowd was pumping.

As I hiked the mountain I realized I recognized most of the faces that littered the tree line. It was like East Coast riders took a day off to support the event. The fans cheering in the woods weren’t just people from town who were curious and came to check out the mountain. The people cheering were mostly riders who drove hours with their families and friends in tow. Spectators at Windham knew the riders names, their standings on the circuit, and what width handlebar they choose to ride with.

I would like to say Thank You to all of you who attended the event! You deserve a round of applause! This particular race was proof that World Cup DH racers are appreciated in the USA. US racer Aaron Gwin certainly felt the love! The noise coming from the crowd as Gwin charged down the track was deafening! The power of the crowd routing for the only US rider to podium in years made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The US loves DH racing!

Dirt Magazine issue 104 quote on 4X: “Finals were held to a packed audience (one of the best I’ve seen at a 4X).” “The crowds were crazy with boom boxes, stars and stripes and PBR everywhere…very cool to see.”

Dirt Mag: “Windham was a true homecoming for the USA. The town embraced the event with billboards, banners, menus, even church message boards full of World Cup enthusiasm. “
World Cup racing will be back next year again at Windham. Be prepared to park you bike for another day (in June) to support the racers once again.

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10/01/10
English (US)  

Fall mountain biking on the east coast is the best time to ride, especially after a dry summer. The scenery is to die for, the crisp, clean air is uplifting and the dirt is that perfect loamy dark brown. Fall lap times may be a bit slower compared to summers, but railing turns and spraying a dirt roost is exhilarating! Traction is in abundance when you find pristine dirt, but watch out for those dreaded acorns!

This fall, it seems acorns are piled in every turn. I was told that the trees this year produced more than the usual amount of acorns due to stress (not enough rain this summer). Negotiating a turn on these natural marbles of doom can be tricky. I have a few tips for riders struggling to ride in these conditions. The technique to enter and exit a turn covered with acorns ironically is the proper way to turn year round.

When the dirt is just right, we get lazy and trust the dirt and our tires to hold the line for us. This is a bad habit, one that you’ll pay for some day.

Leaning your body along with the bike is not the proper way to turn on natural terrain. Try this technique as you turn on acorns and you will hip check yourself into oblivion. Turning your bike properly may require some effort at first. It’s not easy to change a bad habit, but that is exactly what you’ll need to do in order to stay off you head this time of year.

We are faced with more than just the dreaded acorns in fall. Wet roots hidden under wet leaves deflect our tires and have less than zero traction. Rocks that once had gobs of grip are now dripping in a coat of green slime.

We are lucky we have so much variation in trail conditions. The same old trail that was easy to clean a few weeks ago now presents new challenges.

After learning and applying this riding tip you will rail turns covered in slime, acorns, loose dirt, sand, whatever. It is possible to carve a turn at speed and not slide out. Often you’ll get into a two wheel drift and maybe soil your chamois. Drifting through turns is an awesome sensation when it’s controlled. (This tip doesn’t apply to turning in a deep rut or berm. Most properly built berms can be trusted. Riders can lean their body weight on an angle when riding through berms. All other turns, like the other 99 percent we encounter on the trail cannot be trusted.)

The trick to finding traction in the loose stuff is to keep your body as close to 90 degrees to the ground as possible while leaning the bike with your arms. Your body will lean slightly and that’s OK. For instance, when turning left, lean the bike down to the left, far as possible with your arms while keeping your head upright and in the same position it was in before entering the turn. Look ahead, not down. Apply pressure (weight) down on the right handlebar with your right hand. At the same time pressure down on the right pedal with your foot (like you’re trying to step down to the ground, straight through the center of your bike). The outside right pedal can face down, but it is not necessary to have the pedal in the down position. The idea is to load the tires left side knobbies with pressure, directly down into the dirt. You are looking to eliminate any sideways pushing to the tires side knobs. You need to do all of this while loading the front tire with a tad bit more body weight compared to the rear. You do this by shifting your body weight forward a small amount.

Every bike rides differently and every turn will require more or less body English (the jerky movements your body performs to maintain control of your bicycle). You need to practice a lot and find your bikes sweet spot. Small shifts in weight make a huge impact on maintaining traction. Keep your chin and chest above your stem as a starting point, elbows slightly bent and up. This is called the “attack” position.

That’s the tip! It’s really that simple to explain, but I’m sure it will take loads of practice to master. Never do I see an XC rider on the trail applying this technique. Get used to riding this way year round. It’s insane how much faster you become when you can carve turns with confidence. Eventually, when you master turning, you’ll never take your foot off the pedal again. Stay in your pedals and power out of the turn as you exit. Nail the turn just right and you may loft the front wheel into the air as you exit a turn.

After you have your turns down pat, practice pumping through turns like a skateboarder pumps for speed on a ramp. It’s possible to gain speed when exiting a turn, even a turn covered in acorns!

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09/15/10
English (US)  

It’s that time of the year again, Interbike time. The 2011’s will be unveiled in a couple weeks and 2010 bikes are officially on sale.

Down Cycles 2010 models are available as of now in desirable sizes. Check out the latest posts for bike that are in stock and ready to go. Call us if you are interested in any of these bikes posted even if they’re not posted to purchase on the web site. Make an offer if you like! We do not want to go into winter with any of these bikes.

We have 09 Marin Wolf Ridge Models on sale at shop cost! 2008 Mongoose bikes are on sale at hundreds below cost (08 Mongoose Black Diamonds at $1500.00, size L only). Peruse the inventory and score yourself a deal. Bargains aren’t only found on eBay. Sometimes the best deals are down the street at your local shop.

We have Free Agent BMX and Eastern Bikes on closeout and don’t forget clothing and accessories. We have tons of clothing. I’ll be posting apparel on a daily basis.

Just a note to all: I’m proud to announce that we are now a dealer for Vaude backpacks! I’ve been a huge fan of Vaude equipment for over a decade. We have the full US line of packs in stock.

Marin has demo bikes available for purchase! 2010 Marin Demo’s are selling fast and are in almost perfect condition. Please enquire for desirable models that still may be available.

GT bikes have been our best selling full suspension bikes this year. GT still has a few 09’s on closeout, so give us a call if you’re interested. We have 2010 GT’s in stock and a 2009 Force Carbon Expert (size M) at tremendous savings. The 09 GT Force Carbon Expert is upgraded with wide 26 1/2'” 2010 Ritchey Carbon bars and is only $3200.00! That’s a savings of over $1100.00! The Force Carbon frame will remain unchanged until 2013. No reason to mess with perfection.

Cross season is fast approaching. Marin has a few cross bikes still available for reasonable prices. Don’t forget Surly Bikes. The Cross Check has always been one of my favorites. It’s a bike that can’t be killed, the Tonka truck of cross bikes. GT has a nice cross offering and don’t forget the beautifully crafted Cannondale bikes.

Well, here we go wrapping up yet another year of amazing cycling experiences. It’s time to prepare for the off season, lick our wounds and get pumped for 2011 racing. Down Cycles will be hunkering down building kids and adult bikes for the Holidays. We were fortunate to have had amazing weather, perfect for cycling this season. Hope you had a blast out there on the trails and thank you to all who support our shop! We love what we do at Down Cycles. We are going on 12 years in business this January!

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10/27/09
English (US)  

Impressed with Marin bicycles 2009 line, Down Cycles will move forward into 2010 stocking the brand and testing these amazing machines. The in house support at Marin is exceptional and my outside representative is no slacker, running around the north east displaying and demoing bikes at many different events. Even though my shop is three thousand miles from Marin HQ, they take care of my shop like it’s in their backyard.

2010MarinMtVision

Last season I tested out both the Mount Vision 5.8 and Wolf Ridge 6.8. I reviewed the Mount Vision in a past article on the Down Cycles product tests page. My only peeve was the steepish 69 degree head angle on the 2009 Bike. I felt the HA was too steep to get the most out of the bike. This year Marin Hooked up the 2010 bike with a 68 degree HA, perfect angle for trail riding! Many other improvements were made to the 2010 Wolf Ridge that not only benefit how it rides, but also how it looks.

Marin worked hard and cleaned up the aesthetics on the 2010 Mount Vision. Smoothed out welds on the head tube and seat post tube mimic the look of a carbon frame. Nicely done, two tone paint and slick graphics do an amazing job of slimming down the look of the frames tubes. Headset stack height is lower thanks to internal headset bearings and cable guides are present under the top tube for riders who may install a remote dropper seat post. Most noticeable though is the totally revised links and swing arm. Not only is the new swing lighter compared to last year bike, it’s also stronger and much better looking. The swing arm tubing is now almost all round, looking proper on a pure XC rig.

Marin’s Quad link suspension pivot and shock function close to your calves and inside knee. The old links were fairly wide, the bolts capped off with what I called Frankenstein bolts. Occasionally the link would graze my inner leg. This wasn’t bothersome me, but even the link area has been addressed for 2010. The whole link system and end caps that cover the link bolts are now narrow and have a cleaner appearance. I didn’t feel any part of the suspension touch my legs at any point during my test.

The Mount Vision is and always has been a fun bike to ride. The 2010’s improvements are immediately noticeable when first hitting the trail. On my first day of testing, the trail was littered with downed leafs that were soaked from two days of rain. Typically most bikes spin out on climbs in these conditions. I could not believe how the Marin crawls up impossible, sketchy climbs. I cleaned sections of trail that are hard to ride in perfect conditions, even with 32 psi in the WTB DNA compound tires! The only thing that could stop this bike from inch worming up slop would be the rider’s lack of endurance.

Descending is no sweat thanks to the new slacker head angle and Quad link rear suspension. The Marin gobbles up anything in its path. It does make a ruckus as the chain hits the swing arm. A small piece of felt glued in the right spot virtually eliminated the banging. Taking flight is a breeze. The bike jumps with confidence and is plush when landing even on flats. The suspension is lively and reacts well to boosting off obstacles, bunny hopping over logs and getting through tech sections. The wheelbase is pretty standard for a medium size bike. The ride is lively, this bike is flickable and carves turns like it’s on rails. The front wheel always feels planted and never once pushed on me no matter how hard I drove into the turns.

The new Mount Vision’s weight is acceptable at 28lbs w/pedals and identical to the 5” travel trail GT Sensor that I last tested. Weight can be reduced easily by switching to 2.1” wide tires (Stock F & R are 2.25”) and ditching the 180mm front rotor to a 160mm. Marin has tweaked the leverage ratio slightly for 2010 improving the ride. Riders interested in this bike must understand that the Marin Quad Link suspension is always very active. Pro pedal on or not, you always know you’re riding a suspension bike. The 2010 Marin feels less detached to the trail compared to the 2009 model, but still feels soft compared to other 5” travel bikes. Don’t get me wrong, you can still motor around on this bike and hit mach speeds, but most riders will assume that the plush ride is robbing power even though it is not.

What would make this bike the cat’s meow? I’m nit picking here because the 2010 Mount Vision is a seriously amazing bicycle. Marin is closing in on pure perfection, but I would love to see a few tweaks to the 2011 bike. Add ¼” length to the bikes top tube length (personal preference. I prefer to ride a bike with the front wheel way out in front. Adding a bit of wheelbase will improve the bikes handling through high speed rock gardens). Offer the bike with a seat post that has no kickback what so ever (not really an issue since I was able to slide the seat forward enough on the stock post to take some weight off the rear suspension. Sliding the seat back on the rails on a lay back post brings the worst out of the Quad Link suspension). Switch up to a shorter 80mm stem (hey, it’s the DHer in me. Besides the short stem would complement the ¼” longer top tube and also add to the confidence factor).

Redesign the disc side caliper mount. Space out the two bolts that hold on the drop out or just eliminate the bolt on drop altogether and weld on a fixed disc side drop (also not an issue unless you pull trials moves were the rear brake is locked up, rocked forward and back, flexing the 2 bolts that hold on the drop out). Improve the chain line with 150mm rear hub spacing while keeping the 73mm BB shell (Climbs in 2 and 1 created some noise from the chain line. A 1mm spacer behind the cassette might help reduce the angle, but the ultimate fix would be to dump the 135 QR spacing altogether and spec a 150mm Maxel swing arm like the 6” travel Attack model bike). Lastly add compression to the rear shocks mid stroke (Push Industries could probably tweak the FOX RP 23. Adding compression to the rear shock would help rid mid stroke wallow).

All in all, the new Mount Vision looks better, is lighter, stiffer and rides better. The engineers at Marin sure put their heart and soul into this bikes makeover. This unique bike and the company behind it deserve the many years of success they have achieved with their designs. After all, the Mount Vision has been bike of the year for some time now for a reason. The suspension technology designed into this bike will save your behind from pilot error and grab and claw for some traction when you try and pedal up the wrong line. The following equations simply sum up this review: New Rider + Marin Mount Vision = Smiles. Intermediate Rider + Marin Mount Vision = Applause. Advanced Rider + Marin Mount Vision = Podium!

1 Update

09/09/09
English (US)  

Chain Stretcher XC Race 2009

This Sunday, September 13th is the Blue Mountain Reservation Chain Stretcher XC race. Like races past, DOWN Cycles is donating some sweet prizes. New for this year we will have a four Marin Bikes available for demo/test rides. Anyone is welcome to test out a Marin Mount Vision 5.8 full suspension bike. Riders are also welcome to race the bike during this event!

Marin Mount Vision 5.8

The Marin Mount Vision 5.8 retails for $3465.00. The demo bikes are for sale as this is the last event they will be used for. They will be radically reduced in price down to $2300.00!!! We will have three sizes available for purchase/demo: medium, large and extra large. They are in amazing condition, come with a full 5 year warranty and are professionally tuned. We will also have a 29er hardtail, size 20" for testing!

The guys at the WMBA shortened the track up this year. In a nut shell, the track is designed with a few lung buster climbs and some ripper fast downs. The new layout starts in the opposite direction from years past. See a track map at Chain Stretcher XC Race Map.

I know these trails inside out and I can see three spots that are going to cause bottlenecking. These sections are very technical and can be cleaned, but I can see spastic racers flounder and cause congestion.

First section with issues will be the immediate entrance into “Switchback”. The root step up into this single track will dismount 90% of the racers.

Second section will be most of “Criss-Cross”. Things are going to get ugly after the first few sweeping turns. Criss-Cross becomes very steep and technical with rock sections that resemble something you’d find at a trials event. The steep climb out will finish off any rider lucky enough to get that far.

The section of "Monster" will ride nice in this direction (opposite of years past). Exiting onto "Dickey Brook Trail" will be a pinner section. Get ready for death at marker #34. This is the worst climb on the track. The third section to boggle minds and flip out (or maybe over) most racers will be the rock ups on the first section of this climb. Get past that and grind your way up to “Yang”.

Yang will be a blinding fast run back to the parks start/finish. This section will offer few options to pass so take advantage of any opportunities to when you can.

Have fun out there and please be courteous to other racers. The Chain Stretcher always has a positive vibe. Thanks to the people at the WMBA for running the event! They have been out there buffing the trails out for the event, cutting downed trees and reinforcing areas damaged from rain/overuse. Come visit us at the DOWN Cycles/ Marin Bikes tent. I'll be the one licking my wounds and rubbing out the leg cramp.

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