Welcome to the City Bikes clearance bin for all the overstock thoughts, rants, news items, and other idea fragments that we need to turn over. Check back often, as stock is refreshed frequently

Friday, May 25, 2007

Meet Mike

Not Merchandise Man Mike, but this random guy named Mike. I met him briefly at Bike to Work Day, he lives about two blocks away from me, and has been commuting into the city every day by bike for 30-something years. I was kicking myself for not getting a picture of him, as he was very entertaining, perhaps a tad eccentric (so rare in bike circles...), and certainly memorable.

Anyway, fortune smiled, as this Mike turned up last night at a planning meeting in Mt. Pleasant for doing International Carfree Day in DC (nice folks, they've got some big plans, go to their site to keep up to date or to find out how to help, they could use manpower, cash, printing services, good ideas, etc etc....). I recognized him instantly, asked for a pic with him holding his favorite sign (he has about 4-5, all with a 'bicycling is patriotic' theme), and had a nice chat about traffic on the Mt. Vernon Trail.

No point to all this, I just thought that Mike deserved a mention in the blog, as 30 years in the saddle is pretty remarkable.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bike to Work Day wrap up

Another BTW Day come and gone... I chose to forego the Preakness-infield madness of the Freedom Plaza rally to commune at the Crystal City pitstop, which was organized at the last minute by the folks at the BID. Checked out about 25-30 bikes, mostly Walmart bicycle-shaped-objects with slack shift cables and sketchy brakes, and one poor guy who dropped a left crankarm off a pretty Scott cyclo-x bike.

The weather was a bit murky, but 133 people still rolled through this pit stop. There was a fairly serious crash at the tricky exit to the tunnel under the VRE train tracks, a lady got bussed off to the hospital with a concussion. I haven't heard any other reports of mishaps, though.

Besides Crystal City, City Bikes was doing bike checks at NIH and Bethesda, manning the table at Freedom Plaza, and leading the Mt. Pleasant ride. Lots of coffee consumed among us, that's for sure. Great photos to be found at Gwadzilla's blog....

WABA reports 6600 registrants, which is a lot (a record?). We (the shop) have had a few irate emails about t-shirt shortages, which for the record, isn't really our department, but we're passing them along to WABA. Y'all are quite passionate about your free t-shirts, that's coming through loud and clear.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

08 Specialized Bikes - posted by CityBikesMike

Langsters in city-based paint schemes (why no DC 'No Taxation Without Representation' model?), new TT bikes that are HOT, a HotWalk for my son, 2 Rockhopper 29'ers under $1k... exciting stuff in the middle of the season.

I'm going to actually call Bob and suggest that they look at making a DC-based model. Everyone should know what is going on with the statehood push. I'm not sure how much people out in the world actually know that the good people of Washington, DC, don't get a vote in Congress. Talk about a rad bike. We could sell those suckers hand over fist! Here's hoping. The red and white with DC flag would be pretty hot looking, I think...

On the right, we have the sock Langster, the Langster Boston, Langster London and Langster Chicago. Below that is the new TT bike. Horizontal drops, center-pull front brake, vertical seat mast with removable seat clamp that provides 40mm of fore-aft adjustment, a second seatpost with 35mm of setback, team paint schemes, full carbon, prices down below $3k, fully super aero design with a frontal area less than one inch throughout the ENTIRE BIKE, new chainrings (good thing), SRAM TT carbon group and Red components, new Tri-specific saddle with two different NOSE widths. I almost wish I rode a TT or two during the year. Oh, and I wish I could afford it! The bike with Zipp 404 wheels, fully dialed is close to $8k. There's a good chance that that price will change but not much.

The Langsters will be priced just $50 over the stock pricing. What you can't see is the colored chains and paint details.

On the left, we have the Langster Seattle (with plastic fenders with wood-grain treatment), Langster NY (cabby paint scheme, 16" wide bars and 'rider carries less than $20 cash' decal on the drive-side chainstay) and the two Rockhopper 29'ers. The Rockhopper Comp Disc 29'er and the Rockhopper Disc 29'er.

All the Langsters are aluminum frame with steel fork so it's just the parts that are switched up. When you put these together with the new Tricross Single (below), you've got a solid onespeed lineup for the boys and girls.

Oh, the Langster Chicago has a decal that looks like there's a sticker over top of the 'L' and it spells 'Gangster.' Pretty funny stuff.

The HotWalk is a teaching bike for the little ones. Instead of training wheels, you get a bike that the kids learn balance on, as opposed to pedaling. Emma is still training-wheel-dependent and I should have gotten something like this for her. We won't make the same mistake with Jeremy. We'll see how Emma takes to this as well. She'll probably want to play with it as well.

I wish I had some high-res pics to show y'all, but all I have is the pics from the .pdf Specialized sent out. The good news is that these are not renderings, but actual pics of actual bikes.

These bikes are real, they are on the water already and your local Spec'd shop will see them in the next month or so (if they are smart and order them). Check out the pics, go ask your local bike shop to get you one or two and hold on for the full 08 roll-out in mid-July. Rumor has it that there's a 29'er Stumpjumper in testing right now with an enduro sl-style frame. Maybe I've seen it, maybe I haven't... Also, maybe the stump fsr bikes are going from 120 to 130 next year (like my 06 carbon stump fsr).

As soon as I saw these bikes, I realized that Specialized was trying to eat Bianchi's lunch. Bianchi hired Spec'd central-region guy about a year ago to be their national sales manager. This guy Mark has come out of the gate REALLY hard, pushing Bianchi to grow (without adequate systems support, if you ask me) and A LOT of people got pushed out of Bianchi dealerships because they (we) didn't want to play ball. I'll spare you the details, but I think that Spec'd has rolled out models to push Bianchi out of their super-established niche (29'ers, onespeed 'cross bikes, fixies). I've been given a few 'wink wink, nod nod' looks when I've mentioned this to a few people in the know so I might actually be on to something. I'd rather ride a Specialized anyway in case something goes wrong as I know that Specialized will take care of the product. I don't have that confidence about Bianchi. If you look around, you'll see a lot of new Bianchi dealers this year as they move into one shop after they got spit out of a different shop. More power to the shops who have gotten good service from Bianchi.

So, check out the bikes and let me know what you think. We'll be ordering next week fo sho. I'm most excited about the HotWalk for Jeremy. This is a RAD idea and I'm glad that they are pulling through on this model. I may be accused of being a Specialized nut, but it's stuff like this that makes me really like this company. I can rock their sub-30lb 6" travel bike and my boy can ride his rad little balance-teacher...

Thanks to Brandon, Andy, Bob, Jason, Luke, Deacon and the rest of the Specialized bike teams for pushing through some really rad stuff mid-year.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens"

Jimi Hendrix probably didn't have bikes and the retail sale of them in mind, but that's about all we know. And while we'd never suggest that you'll exit this blog any wiser, we do hope you'll drop in every once in awhile and get a small taste of the DC metro bike community, and the day-to-day in our two shops.

Coming soon, we'll get some info up on some new stuff we're bringing in for the season, post some pics from Bike to Work Day (sign up, please), and whatever else strums our Strat.