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Olympia Cycle & Ski, 1813 Portage Ave

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bike Feature: Redline 925

The Redline 925 is a simple affair, and that is in large part why we like it. Double butted 4130 steel frame and fork, neutral geometry, single speed, and eyelets for your favourite accessories like full panniers and fenders (actually, it comes already equipped with fenders).

This is the kind of bike that can be used for causal rides or commutes, but it can get you moving efficiently, confidently, and in style. The 925 has been a favourite of ours since we first stocked it a couple of years ago, but we particularly like the new paint job this year - it needs to be seen in person to be appreciated. The very best part of the bike remains the price. Just $590.

Video: Canada by Bicycle, part 5

Time for the fifth in a weekly series we're posting from local bike enthusiast Steve Langston as he chronicles his ride across Canada. We've reached Quebec, where one local character steals the show.

Steve's excellent guide to riding across the country can be found here, or visit the shop to purchase his book.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Events / Rides: 200km and 300km ride this weekend

Looking for a long ride this coming weekend? The Manitoba Randonneurs have a 200 km ride coming up this Saturday starting at 6:00 AM. Here's the route.

There's also a 300km ride beginning at 5:00 AM. Here's the route.

The start for both rides is at the Shell Station on Pembina Hwy and Dalhousie.

For more info, or to let the organizer know you're planning to ride either distance, email Brian Leier at leier(at)

Mavic Cruize Shoes

Most of us who work in the shop have a pair or more of 'competitive' cycling shoes that are very stiff in the sole and made to get the greatest amount of power transfer possible from the legs to the drivetrain. That's great for racing or serious riding and training, but sometimes we're just tooling around town, and that's why we like shoes like the Mavic Cruize.

The Cruize is stiffer than a regular shoe but offers some flexibility when you're walking off of the bike. It has a rubber tread that provides more traction off-bike than most cycling specific shoes. It has laces instead of Velcro straps so it looks more pedestrian. Coolest of all though, it's drilled to accommodate a recessed SPD style cleat that allows you to clip into your favourite mountain bike clipless pedal system when you're on the bike but walk like a normal person when you're off.

At $120 the Cruize is pretty much the same price, or less, than a normal, quality walking shoe but it's truly dual purpose. If you're commuting to work and don't want to walk through the office halls to and from the bike looking all Euro pro, or if you enjoy riding to the Forks and then walking around after you get there, this is probably the shoe for you. We do have a couple of other similar styles in stock though, so come check them all out to see which suits your style best.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Product Review: Enervit Gels

We finally have Enervit products back in the shop. Shortly after we featured some Enervit stuff on this site a couple of years ago we lost our rep and the ability to bring the best sports gels we've ever had into the shop, but we finally have them in again!

The Enervit gels have the usual list of carbohydrates (Fructose, maltodextrins and glucose) and branch chain amino acids to help replenish energy levels and increase muscular efficiency and unless the affect is entirely psychosomatic we can say first hand that mid-ride these little gels really do pack a punch (actually, even if it is psychosomatic it works for us).

There are a lot of energy supplement / replenishment products on the market though, and what really sets these gels apart for us is how good they taste and how well they go down. I mean c'mon, they have a cola flavour...can't beat that. The gels are $2.50 each, and on a gruelling out and back they're worth every penny.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Feature: Focus Mares Expert

We hope you haven't yet had enough of our Focus postings, because we've got another great Focus in stock - the Mares Expert cyclocross bike.

What struck us first about this bike was the price. At $2200 it's not entry level, but equipped with next-to top-end Shimano Ultegra components it's a great deal. There's no skimping on the other bits either, like Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels and an FSA Gossamer Pro Compact crankset. We also happen to like the cool looking carbon cable hanger for the front brake - it's a small thing, but the details are often what sell us on the bike.

The hydroformed aluminum frame has fairly neutral geometry (for a 'road' type bike) and looks like it will withstand a lot of abuse, though in fairness we've only taken it for a leisurely ride. If you buy it, you can use it like it's intended: In the mud, rain, snow, grass, and asphalt.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Video: Canada by Bicycle, part 4

Time for the fourth in a weekly series we're posting from local bike enthusiast Steve Langston as he chronicles his ride across Canada. We're heading west (as most cross country tourers do by the way, so they can ride with the prevailing winds) and are now in Ontario.

Steve's excellent guide to riding across the country can be found here, or visit the shop to purchase his book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Product Review: Accelerade

Sheesh is it ever getting hot out there, not that we're complaining! Suddenly hydration has became very important (well it's always important but you know what we mean). Sometimes you need a little more than just replenishing your water supply though, and that's where Accelerade comes in.

Accelerade uses a unique balance of macronutrients to facilitate better hydration and to replenish energy supplies. It's all a bit technical but they do a good job of explaining their patented formula and it's purpose and effect here, and they have a lot of independent studies to back up their claims (study info is found on the same link).

Of course all the health and recovery benefits in the world won't convince us to use the product if it's doesn't taste good. Thankfully Accelerade comes in a number of flavours and does indeed taste good. We're not saying you're going to crave a bottle of Accelerade the same as you would a post-ride Big Gulp or your favourite beer, but you're not going to cringe as you drink it either - hmmmm, that sounds like faint praise - it really does taste quite good.

We have Accelerade powder in stock right now so if you're planning some longer rides in the next week make sure to pick some up, and then go out and enjoy the amazing weather!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

News: Cycling Ovecomes Parkinson's

Well all of us here at the shop know that cycling can do wonders for the body and mind, but can it offer a temporary reprieve from an already advanced physical disability? Apparently so, at least in some cases.

We stumbled across this recent article in the New York Times that documents a 58 year man who suffers from advanced Parkinson's and is virtually immobile when unaided but can get on a bike and ride it flawlessly.

Take the time to click on the link to the article; it's an interesting, quick read.

Video: Canada by Bicycle, part 3

Here's the third in a weekly series we're posting from local bike enthusiast Steve Langston as he chronicles his ride across Canada. Sadly Manitoba doesn't get it's own video feature - we have to share the lime light with Saskatchewan. Deep down we know we're worthy of a full clip though :)

Steve's excellent guide to riding across the country can be found here, or visit the shop to purchase his book.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bike Feature: Batavus BUB

The Batavus BUB is one of the more interesting bike designs we've had in stock recently. There's a men's and a women's model (the women's is pictured here) but both incorporate a bent, single piece top/down tube. The bike looks pretty cool - the picture posted here doesn't really do it justice, so here's a link to the official BUB flickr account.

According to Batavus' promotional material "the BUB design presupposes the currents present in Dutch architecture, urbanism, and contemporary design and establishes itself as a new icon". We agree, though to be honest we posted the quote here because it's one of the best promotional lines we've ever read. And yes, you read correctly, Batavus is a Dutch company - if any country knows about simple, efficient, daily commuter bikes it's got to be Holland.

Despite it's durable appearance the BUB is reasonably lightweight, owing to its aluminum frame and fork. There are single speed and internal 3 speed models available (we've got the multispeed models in stock), and specially designed front and rear racks are being shipped to us now. The seating position on the bike is upright and relaxed but the bike is still surprisingly agile compared with others in its class. It has a pretty good price too: Just $600 for the men's or women's model. No price on the really cool racks yet; we'll post an update as soon as they arrive.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Events: Pain in the ASSiniboine

This is an interesting race that we thought our customers might be interested in. The folks at Swamp Donkey have come up with an urban race that combines cycling and paddling.

We've long been advocates of urban riding - believe it or not there's some decent mountain riding within city limits - and a few of us at the shop also enjoy paddling on the local rivers (we don't sell boats though, so don't flood the shop with canoe and kayak requests; there are already a handful of excellent local paddling shops). The Pain in the ASSiniboine Urban Adventure helps demonstrate the adventurous fun we can have in our urban environment, right from the city perimiter to The Forks. We think the race is such a great idea we'll even forgive the Swamp Donkey gang for coming up with a race title that is suspiciously similar to our own Red ASSiniboine endurance race :)

For more info visit their site here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Video: Canada by Bicycle, part 2

Here's the second in a weekly series we're posting from local bike enthusiast Steve Langston as he chronicles his ride across Canada. Steve's excellent guide to riding across the country can be found here, or visit the shop to purchase his book.

News: We do bike repairs

It always surprises us a little when someone calls the shop to ask if we do bike repairs because honestly that's a lot of what we do. From simple tune-ups to full overhauls to a la carte fixes for your brakes, drive train, wheels, and much more we're here to help get your bike back into tip top shape.

We have top rate mechanics (frankly we think they're the best) on site to serve your needs - these are guys who love to ride, race, and work on bikes and have tons of experience at all 3, and trust us, they've seen it all.

Most repairs we try to turn over in a day or two but in spring, despite our best efforts, we always have a bit of a back log so it's a great idea to give the shop a call at 888-4586 to make an appointment in advance.

For a full list of our rates click on the "shop rates" link along the right-hand column of this page.