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Olympia Cycle & Ski, 1813 Portage Ave

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bike Feature: Marin Terra Linda

In the last 3 or 4 years we've seen a huge increase in the number of high performance hybrid bikes on the market, and for good reason. Many customers who have previously owned hardtail mountain bikes and used them mainly for daily commutes and fitness riding on pavement and light trails have discovered that their bikes are a bit overbuilt for their purposes. Unless you're carving up rougher trails or bombing downhill a hybrid offers more efficiency and therefore faster, more pleasurably riding.

What we haven't seen a lot of are women's specific hybrid designs, but that's not the case with Marin. They've created this Terra Linda model that features tube lengths tailored to a women's dimensions. The frame is made of triple butted aluminum and the bike also features a lightweight carbon fibre front fork. Also featuring a Shimano Sora drivetrain this bike is great value at $800.

If you're a women who likes fitness riding or commuting in a relatively upright position using flat bars but you still want a fast, light bike come and check out the Marin Terra Linda.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bike Feature: Marin Pioneer Trail

We don't know exactly what's going on with the weather these days. As this is typed it's about -25C outside but within a day or two it's supposed to be close to 0C. Whatever the case we know that spring is coming and as happens every year it will be here before we know it.

That's why we're already receiving 2010 Marin bikes, including the Pioneer Trail pictured above. In the last few years we've seen a real manufacturers' focus on base model hard tail mountain bikes and the Pioneer Trail is no exception. The components are standard fare for a bike in this price range with an entry level Shimano drivetrain and some house-brand bits. It's nice to see some reasonably light weight butted alloy used in parts like the bars and stem.

The biggest feature of all though is the quality 6160 double butted hydroformed aluminum frame. The attention to detail with the design of the tubeset that makes up this frame is second to none in this price range and we anticipate it will make this model a hot seller. The Pioneer Trail is only $470. We have most sizes for this model in stock now so stop by anytime to check one out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Specials: '09 Giant Bowery

We just received notification that the first big shipment of 2010 Giant bikes is on it's way to us. Until then we're still featuring a handful of 2009 models that are remaining on the showroom floor including this Giant Bowery. It's the last one we've got and it's an extra small.

The Bowery is one of our favourite newer additions to Giant's line-up. We've featured it here in more detail before but it's worth repeating that it's one of the best deals for a single speed drop bar commuter we've ever seen, with a regular price of just $580. The only thing that could make this deal better would be a sale price of only $460!

If you need an extra small commuter this is very likely the best deal you'll find, period.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gore Ride On Cable System

Cables are often a neglected part of a total high-performance component system. Many of us are willing to spend thousands of dollars on top end component groups to get the best shifting possible but we settle for standard cable and housing. While there's nothing wrong with 'normal' housing and conventional stainless steel cable there are definitely ways to improve on it.

One of, if not the best cable and housing upgrade option out there is the relatively new Gore Ride On cable systems. Gore actually made cable and housing for a while in the '90's but stopped a little earlier this century. Now they're back with an improved product that is light weight, and more importantly, shifts as smoothly as anything we've ever tried.

Set up is basically the same as with conventional cable and housing except that you also use provided sheaths to cover the cables between cable stops, and you use the provided ferrules in the appropriate spots. To be honest there's no revolutionary technology here, at least none that meets the eye. The Ride On cable system simply has less friction than anything else available due to proprietary cable coating and housing lubrication.

We haven't tested this product for long so we can't comment first hand on durability just yet but early reviews from others indicate that it should hold up well. In fact the Ride On cable system has received the stamp of approval from Sram, who uses a version of the system on bikes sold with the top end Sram Red component group.

We have a few sets of the 'Low Friction' Ride On system in stock now (there are a few versions available) that are specifically designed for road bikes, and the complete system sells for $75. For a little more data on their shifting performance vs. other cable and housing designs check out the graph after the jump.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bike Feature: Focus Cayo EXTREME

They've finally started to arrive: Focus Bikes! New to Olympia for 2010 these German made bikes are good enough for the Milram Pro Tour team, and now you can buy your own piece of the European peleton.

Three road models have recently arrived and they're all spoken for, but more will be coming soon. Pictured above is the recently built up Cayo EXTREME with full Dura Ace. This same frame model can be ordered stock from the supplier with top end components from Shimano, Campy, or Sram, which is kinda cool.

We'll be bringing in a few of their road and cyclocross models, but to familiarize yourself with the full line of Focus bikes check out their website here, and stay tuned to this blog for more arrivals.
Here's another shot of the Cayo EXTREME to wet your appetite (after the jump):

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

News: Updated Labour Rates

As we look ahead to the upcoming bike season we anticipate the usual flood of repairs, adjustment, and installation requests. Accordingly we've updated are labour rates which you can find here. Don't worry, in almost every case the rates have not increased (and in a couple of cases they've actually decreased) but we wanted to post a little more detail.

While we're at it maybe we should include a polite encouragement to bring your bikes in for a tune up sooner than later. Right now we can turn your tune up around in a day or two in most cases, but later in the season we tend to get backed up, so help us all out (and yourself) and bring your tune up needs to us today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Video: Blizzard Riding

A link to a winter biking video just arrived in our inbox so we figured we'd post it here. It appears we don't have a monopoly on blizzard riding here in Winnipeg, but Williamsburg, Brooklyn? Go figure.

Product Review: Easton mountain bike bars

If you're like us you're beginning to itch for some outdoor riding that doesn't involve big mitts and a balaclava (not that there's anything wrong with winter riding, but it feels like spring is coming). It's right around this time every year that as we get impatient we placate ourselves by modifying our bikes in anticipation of the upcoming recreational and competitive bike season.

One simple upgrade to make is a mountain bike bar that's a little bit lighter, a little bit prettier, or fits your riding position a little bit better. To that end we've ordered in a bunch of new bars including the collection from Easton pictured above. Ranging in price from about $50 to $150 (we have others that are cheaper and more expensive) these Easton bars come in different widths, rises, stem clamp diameter, weight and material, and even colour (well, we've got one model in both black and white).

If you're looking to make a simple tweak to dial in your ride just right this might be the way to do it. Check out our in-stock selection today.

News: Ski Report

The good folks at Riding Mountain National Park have forwarded another trail report to us (actually they sent it just before the long-weekend but we were othersise occupied at the time, but better late then never right?) so we're posting a link to the PDF here.

News: "Real" 2010 Arrowhead Ultramarathon report

And now for the 'real' 2010 Arrowhead Ultramarathon report (no disrespect to Andy Lockery's contribution) from Lindsay Gauld:

2010 Arrowhead Ultramarathon

I know many of my friends have read Andy “The Good Doctor” Lockery’s version of the Arrowhead (editor's note: scroll further down to read Andy's serialized report) and I read it myself with eager anticipation. I’m afraid this will be much more mundane account where I actually try to weave a few facts into the story.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Product Feature: VeloNews

Every month we sell many current edition VeloNews magazines but every so often it's worth highlighting specific editions. This month VeloNews features a 2010 international competitive cycling season preview and follows an unprecedented number of U.S. based pro cycling teams who plan to contend the world's biggest races. Read about the training camps of Team RadioShack, HTC - Columbia, Garmin-Transitions, and BMC. Also read about Tim Johnson, the American cyclocross racer who has made an impact in the Euro-scene.

Of course this issue also contains the latest bike and gear info and much more. We tend to run out of copies by the end the month so come on by and grab yours today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Video: The Free Press feature on Lindsay Gauld

The Winnipeg Free Press has done a brief feature on Lindsay Gauld, who we recently reported about here as he competed in the Arrowhead 135 (scroll down to find our previous reports). Here's the Free Press feature:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Events: Triple Ski Event

For more info click here.

News: Pics from the Arrowhead 135

As a follow up to recent posts about Lindsay Gauld's recent completion of the Arrowhead 135 enduro mountain bike event here's a pic of Lindsay on his rather heavy-looking bike. More pics can be found on Flickr, here (all pics taken by Andy Lockery).

Here's an accompanying note from Andy:

Just a few photos that I took at the Arrowhead 135. Most were taken at Lindsay's request so that he could see some of the different ways that competitors were carrying their gear. There is one of our Icon departing checkpoint one and an excellent still life of Marcus's feet. Marcus was the German born Montrealer who ran the race, and suffered a few blisters and a bit of frostbite during the 50 hours that he was racing (editor's note: Marcus travelled from Winnipeg with Lindsay and Andy to the race). There is a close up of the new Larry front tire , a few of epic Pogies and bags and a few of different rim designs and spoke patterns. At checkpoint 2 Lindsay's bike is the one lying on its side with his tail lite creating a glow on the orange dry bag containing his sleeping bag [to the right of the others].

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Events: IceBike pics

We snapped a few pics of Olympia staff (Liam, Luc, and Wayne) riding IceBike today and thought we'd share them here:

News: Conclusion (part three) of the Arrowhead race report from Andy Lockery


Friday, February 5, 2010

News: Part two of the Arrowhead 135 race report from Andy Lockery

(scroll down to read PART 1)

News: More from Lindsay's recent event (PART 1 of a report)

On Monday we covered Olympia shop founder Lindsay Gauld's latest competitive endeavour: the Arrowhead 135 winter enduro race. Lindsay will write his own report of the event and we will be sure to post it here but we also have a report fom his travelling companion / support team / long time part time Olympia employee Andy Lockery:

Product Review: Cold Weather Booties

The temperature this winter seems to be fluctuating between unseasonably warm and frigidly cold, with not much in between. No matter the case it's too cold to wear regular cycling shoes outside (we often laugh at supposedly 'winter' cycling shoes available from some of the brands we carry - nothing wrong with the shoes, but they're made more for west coast or New England winters than what we have here).

When it's really cold most Winnipeg winter bikers simply wear winter boots (non-cycling specific) and use platform pedals, but when it warms up a bit it's nice to be able to use your favourite cycling shoe and clipless pedal combination. To extend your shoes' temperature range we stock a few different styles of booties from brands like Evo, Sugoi, and more.

They offer wind and water protection, and in most cases provide a decent layer of warmth as well. Couple these with a good pair of insulated winter wool socks and your toes will stay warm even in cool weather. A pair of booties ranges in price from approx. $50 to $70 and we have plenty in stock right now.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Product Review: Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

Most of our customers are already familiar with Camelbak's product, including their backpack style hydration systems and their bottles. A few years back Camelbak really revolutionized the sport hydration industry with things like the self-sealing "JetValve" and "TruTaste" polypropylene bottle material that provide spill free and good tasting hydration.

Water bottles are pretty simple, and there are only so many features you can engineer into a bottle, but Camelback actually gives us something to write about with their Podium Chill Bottle. In addition to the features mentioned above the Chill also has a nice and wide lid that allows you to easily add your favourite sports drink crystals to your water, and most importantly the bottle is insulated. In the cold conditions that we're experiencing at the time of this posting it helps to keep your hot drink hot for a little longer, or keep your cold drink from freezing. We're not saying that hot chocolate is going to be steaming after a long ride on a cold winter's day but hey, every little bit helps.

Of course in the summer the bottle also keeps your cold drinks cooler a little longer. Not a bad idea. We have an assortment of Camelbak bottles, including the Podium Chill (just $17), in stock now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bike Feature: Surly Pacer

This is one of our favourite road bikes, and now it's available directly from Surly as a complete bike instead of just a frameset, which makes it easier for the average Joe to get it out on the road where it belongs. It's called the Pacer, and just like its name it's a simple affair - that's what we like.

Made of double butted 4130 CroMoly steel, with an old-fashioned lugged and brazed steel fork with real rake, this classic affair also features a horizontal top tube and down tube shifter braze-ons so you can use down tube shifters if you wish (a great solution if you decide to just run a rear derailleur and want matching brake hoods instead of a brake/shift lever on the left and a traditional brake lever on the right). Its feel is lively but its geometry is relaxed enough that it can be taken out on long rides; heck, you can take it touring if you wish, though Surly also sells a touring specific model (the Long Haul Trucker) if that's your emphasis.

Maybe best of all the Pacer's frame is made to accommodate large volume road tires. It comes stock with 28mm Continental Ultra Pro tires and can handle tires that are even wider than that - we haven't placed 32mm wide cyclocross tires on the Pacer yet but it sure looks like it could take 'em.

As for the components the Pacer now comes stock with many parts from the Tiagra component group and other decent spec's throughout. In other words it's spec'd with components that are good but not too costly. This brings the whole bike in for a respectable $1650.

Of course you can still purchase the frameset on its own and build it up as you wish, but if you're interested in the complete bike we've got one in stock right now.

Lindsay Gauld successfully completes '10 Arrowhead 135

Editor's Note: Lindsay has successfully completed another edition of the Arrowhead 135, and from the look of his GPS updates it appears he also stuck to his plan of retracing some of the course after the official finish line to get in some more training. Lindsay will no doubt pass on a race report at some point and we will of course post it here. Don't know what we're taking about? can read the original post below:

Lindsay Gauld, the founder and former owner of Olympia Cycle & Ski, is at it again. As many already know, Lindsay's 'retirement', and last year's milestone 60th birthday, haven't hampered his ongoing quest for adventure. Last year Lindsay competed in the gruelling Arrowhead 135, a long distance endurance event held in northern Minnesota in the dead of winter. Further down you can read a race report written about the '09 event.

This year Lindsay is back for more...much more in fact. His goal for 2010 is to complete the same event (which last year took him over 26 hours) and then?...turn around and conquer the same course in reverse. As crazy as that sounds there is a method to the madness - Lindsay considers this to be good preparation for a planned attempt at the mother of all winter endurance events, the Iditasport in Alaska. If your goal is to challenge yourself in these sorts of events there's no substitute for putting in the training miles, so this year's Arrowhead will serve both as an excellent event in its own right and hopefully good prep for things to come.

Many of us enjoy living vicariously through Lindsay's adventures (because let's face it, most of us have neither the will nor ability to do what he does, even if we do find it morbidly enticing), so we're happy to announce that this year we'll all be able to follow Lindsay in real time as he participates in the Arrowhead 135. He'll be carrying a Spot GPS tracker with him during the event and live GPS updates will be posted online as he progresses. We'll embed a map on this page this weekend, in time for the Monday morning start time, so check back here early next week to 'watch' Lindsay progress!

Until then you can read about the event by clicking here, and you can refresh your memory of last year's account by reading more below.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Specials: Craft base layers 20% off

The title to this post kinda says it all: Our in-stock Craft base layer apparel is all 20% off right now, so come check out the good selection of tops and bottoms today!

News: Update from Cross Country Ski Association of Manitioba

News for February from the Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba:

Landmark Feeds Sandilands Classic -- Saturday February 6th at 12:30

The Sandilands Ski Club invites you to come ski their classic ski trails that roll through the Sandilands Provincial Forest. It's a classic technique, interval start event, with distance choices of 2.5K to 26K. It's also the Eastman Region Qualifier for the 2010 Manitoba Winter Games.
A link to online registration is at

The online pre-registration cut-off (much lower fees) is Thursday February 4th. Race-day registration and check-in is from 10:30 to 11:30 AM.

The event website is at
Teulon Open -- Sunday February 7th at 11:30

This new event, which was postponed from January 24th because of a lack of snow, is a classic technique, interval start event held at the Teulon Trails. It's also the Interlake Region Qualifier for the 2010 Manitoba Winter Games. Details are at

The annual Dash For Cash Kids' Sprints, organized by the Seine River Jackrabbits, is on Tuesday February 9th at 7:00 PM at the Windsor Park Nordic Centre. Classic technique. See for information and a registration form.

The Wednesday Night Race Series continues each week at 7:30 at the Windsor Park Nordic Centre. To read about it, please go to

A Triple Event -- CCSAM's Provincial Championships, the 2010 Western Canadian Championships, and a Haywood Canada Cup -- hosted by the Whiteshell Cross Country Ski Club and the Red River Nordic Ski & Biathlon Club, occurs from Friday February 12th to Sunday February 14th in Pinawa. Complete details are at . Final registration closes on Sunday February 7th.

Other events in February:

The Red River Nordic Ski & Biathlon Club is hosting the 8th annual Jackrabbit Jamboree at the Windsor Park Nordic Centre on Saturday February 20th from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. This is a fun day of ski games, ski orienteering, relay and individual races, and prizes for skiers of all abilities, ages 12 and under.

The Birch Tour at the Birch Ski Area near Roseisle is on Sunday February 21st.
The Great Get Off Your Butt & Ski Corporate Relay in honour of Chris McCubbins is on Saturday February 27th at the Windsor Park Nordic Centre.

The Frank Symonds Pursuit at Mount Evergreen in Kenora is on Sunday February 28th.
Shannondale Ski Day, a Heart & Stroke Fundraiser, is on Sunday February 28th.
Please see our Events Schedule at

Our trail condition reports page continues to receive a lot of updates. To stay informed about cross country skiing in Manitoba, visit our website often:

Events: Roller Racing

Another night of roller racing is coming up this Wednesday, Feb 3 at 8:00 PM (warm-ups at 7:00). This isn't an Olympia event, but hey, we're all in this together right?

We're told that there's a new team event this week: Teams of 3, 1000 meters each. So grab a couple of friends and head out for a night of intermitant, brief pain with lots of fun in between.