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Olympia Cycle & Ski, 1813 Portage Ave

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Events: Movie at Cinematheque

Wed Sept 1 to Thu Sept 2 – 7:30 PM


Critical Mass cycling events can be somewhat controversial, even among committed cyclists. While we suspect the movie featured here may lean in one direction (we can't say for sure though) it is still worth a look no matter which way you lean, and is sure to be thought provoking regardless.
More info from the publicist follows:

The cycling phenomenon known as Critical Mass is a reclamation of public space that started in San Francisco in the early 1990s and spread by the internet throughout the world. On a set day, at the end of every month, cyclists and other self-propelled people ride en masse through city streets. Vancouver has become renowned for its big Critical Mass bike rides, and particularly the party spirit that attracts all types of cyclists. You Never Bike Alone charts the development of these mass rides in Vancouver and asks whether cycle activists are succeeding in their goals.

Product Review: Straitline Platform Pedals

If you're into trials or Freeride DH riding you know how beat up your pedals can get. Not only do rocks, trees, park benches, concrete sculptures, and much more destroy your pedal platforms, they also wreak havoc with the axles and bearings. That's why Straitline Platform Pedals are a good investment - they are extremely durable, with nickel plated hardened alloy axles and a main platform body machined from proprietary high strength aluminum.

What's more, the axle assembly can be rebuilt easily and with minimal and standard tools if you do happen to bang the pedals up a little too much.

These pedals come in a bunch of colours, though we just have white in stock (we can order others on request). At $180 they're not the cheapest platform pedals in stock (we 've got others that are literally less the 10% the cost) but they're worth the cash to compliment a nice trials or Freeride build.

Product Review: FRS Healthy Energy Drink

Looking for an energy drink that isn't chalk full of sugar and caffeine? We were too, so we found FRS Healthy Energy Drinks. FRS - which stands for Free Radical Scavenger (another term for antioxidant) - drinks have just 90 calories (25 calories for the low cal options, though we don't have those in stock at the moment).

FRS is fueled by quercetin, a powerful antioxidant found in foods like blueberries, red apples and grapes. Quercetin works by naturally triggering the body's ability to produce more real energy.

Editor's note: We can't really speak to the science of it all, but we can attest to feeling infused with more energy shortly after drinking this product. Heck, maybe it's a placebo, but it works!

They're in stock for $3.25 each. The manufacturer recommends consuming 3 of these a day, though that might get a bit expensive. We like them for a pre or mid workout beverage to provide that little bit extra get up and go (they're also a good thirst quencher).

Bike Feature: Niner Jet 9

Okay, we're going to cheat here a bit. Typically we like to write reviews and features of things in our own words, from our personal experiences using the product. However, this Niner Jet 9 29er dual suspension racing bike frameset just came in (special ordered for a long time Olympia associate and all round good guy) and we had to post a pic.

We have no direct experience with the bike, but are excited to check it out, so at least for now we're posting the blurb below from the product's website:

Re-introduced for 2010, the JET 9 is our fast, light, race-ready full suspension bike. Designed around the same award winning CVA™ suspension system found on our other suspension frames, the JET 9 features 80mm of plush, fully active travel.

Speed was the main design concept of the Jet 9, and the geometry is focused on a balance between stability and maneuverability, and is designed to give the same precise steering as our hardtail frames. All linkage pivots are outfitted with full complement sealed cartridge bearings for a smooth, friction-free suspension, and a custom valved FOX RP23 shock offers superb bump compliance and damping. New forged linkage increases strength and stiffness without any penalty in weight.

Product Review: Tektro Top Mount Brake Levers

If you ride 'cross, or if you commute on a bike with traditional drop bars, and you don't already have a set of top mount brake levers you really need to get a pair. Really. We're not usually this dogmatic, and the truth is you'll survive without them, but wow is it nice to have them.

Put simply, top mount levers, such as the ones pictured here, provide a second position for you to brake from, so if your hands are on the tops of your bars you can brake without changing position, which in some situations means maintaining crucial control of your bike.

Your bike's brake cables pass from your traditional drop bar brake levers through these secondary levers and on to the brakes themselves. Either set of brake levers can be pulled to activate your brakes with equal force. They really are a great little invention.

We have a few sets in stock right now, and they only cost $30 for the set, but if you come in to buy a pair be sure to purchase ones that accommodate the correct handlebar diameter - we have both standard sizes in stock.

TRP Brakes

Cyclocross season is fast approaching, so don't be surprised if we have a few more 'cross specific postings on this site, like this one: Check out these sweet TRP EuroX Canti brakes. They look like old-school canti's but they have new-school adjustability, like an easy Allan key adjustment to toe in your brake pads. Speaking of pads, the brake set comes with 'normal' pads and special pads for carbon rims, just in case you already have a sweet wheelset too.

We can attest first hand to the excellent braking power of these TRP's, and although they have a traditional aggressive canti design the arms don't stick out too far so for most set-ups rear heal strike shouldn't be an issue.

Best all of though, these high-end canti's have an unbelievle price of just $70 for a full set, including all required hardware. We haven't asked the shop owner why they're so cheap (the MRSP on the manufacturer's website is $149.99 US) but frankly we're afraid to alert him to a mistake - come and grab these (we have a few sets in stock) while this great price sticks.

FYI, the sets we have in stock are all black, as pictured here. The brakes also come in a really cool red anodized and silver, though we suspect if we ordered those in the price would be closer to the MRSP mentioned above.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bike Feature: Redline Urbis

This is a cool looking bike that we just had to share here. It was special ordered in for a customer, and the new, already out 2011 model looks a little different so we can't get you exactly this bike, but we can special order one that's close.

The Redline Urbis is a new for 2010 fixie model with a front disc brake. The frame and fork are steel (as you'd expect) and it has traditional track drop outs in the rear. What we really like about it though are the aesthetic touches like the deep white rims and matching chain. The unfinished looking paint job is nice too. Truthfully there's not a lot else to say, except maybe that the main frame tubes are double butted and the geometry is pretty neutral - maybe a bit on the zippy side. More than anything it's just a sweet looking, simple ride.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

News: Cyclocross Manitoba Website

As cyclocross season fast approaches we thought it was worth pointing out to everyone that you can find the latest locao cyclocross news, event info, and even a training schedule, by checking out the Cyclocross Manitoba website.

If you just can't wait for the season to start then check out a Wednesday or Sunday "cross lab". here's the schedule below:

Cross Lab Schedule

Saturday, August 28: Whittier Park 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, September 1: Omand’s Creek Park 7:00 p.m
Saturday, September 4: Omand’s Creek Park 7:00 a.m.
Wednesday, September 8: Whittier Park 6:30 p.m
Saturday, September 11: Omand’s Creek Park 7:00 a.m.
Tuesday, September 14: Omand’s Creek Park 6:30 p.m
Saturday, September 18: Omand’s Creek Park 7:00 a.m.
Wednesday, September 22: Whittier Park 6:30 p.m
Saturday, September 25: no cross lab – Menno Cross Race
Wednesday, September 29: Omand’s Creek Park 6:30 p.m
Saturday, October 2: Omand’s Creek Park 7:00 a.m.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Product Review: Voyager Trailer

If you currently carry a fairly large load on your bike, either using panniers or a large backpack / messenger bag, or if you're planning for a bike trip that requires you to carry lots of stuff, you should seriously consider a bike trailer such as the Voyager trailer pictured here as an alternative. The more you carry in panniers or a backpack the higher your centre of gravity rises and the more awkward your bike handles. A bike trailer eliminates this issue entirely by carrying your gear lower than your current center of gravity. What's more, it's noticeably more aerodynamic that panniers and especially on hot days it beats the heck out of carrying stuff on your back.

Of course you can also carry more stuff in a trailer than with any other cargo option, so the more stuff you need to take with you the more sense it makes to use trailer. For anyone who hasn't used a single wheeled trailer before it's worth pointing out that it hardly feels like you're towing anything at all. The trailer tracks extremely well following the natural line of your bike even in sharp corners, and it fits through pretty much anything your bike fits through. It's also very easy to attach and detach from your bike, leaving almost no hardware behind to way down your bike when you're not using the trailer. All in all it's a great way to haul around your gear, and for $428 it will pay for itself many times over vs. using other forms of transportation to get your stuff from A to B.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bike Feature: Giant Trinity A1

Nothing says speed quite like the profile of a triathlon specific bike, such as this Giant Trinity A1. Built to uncompromising Triathlon spec's the frame is incredibly aerodynamic. The perfect blend of carbon fiber and aluminum means you get an efficient ride with just enough give to get you to the bike leg without road vibration jitters.

Best of all though for the one Trinity A1 we have in stock is the price - it's regularly sold for $2379 but is on sale for $1900! We just have 1 size small in stock though, so hopefully if you're in the market for a great deal on a new Tri bike you're also on the smaller side yourself.

If so, come check out this mainly Shimano 105 equipped (with a little Ultegra and Dura Ace thrown in) machine - it won't disappoint.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Specials: End of Summer Super Specials!

We're not saying summer over yet (because it isn't) but as we get closer to the end of the season we're blowing out some of our remaining models, as listed below (prices listed below do not include applicable taxes). Please also keep in mind that all of our regularly priced in stock bikes are at least 10% off right now.

2009 Giant Trance X1, Size S, M, L, Reg price $4300, Sale price $3000

2009 Giant XTC Advanced, Size M, L, Reg price $3750, Sale price $2300

2008 Giant Trinity A1, Size S, Reg price $2380, Sale price $1400

2009 Giant Defy Advanced, Size L, Reg price $2550, Sale price $1900

2009 Giant STP 2, Size S, M, L, Reg price $4300, Sale price $3000

2009 Giant Trance X1, Reg price $900, Sale price $700

2009 Giant TCX 0, Size M/L, Reg price $2160, Sale price $1800

2009 Cannondale Six 5, Reg price $1900, Sale price $1400

2009 Cannondale Six 6, Reg price $1600, Sale price $1100

2009 Cannondale Rize 120 2 , Size M, L, Reg price $3600, Sale price $2900

2009 Cannondale Scalpel 4, Size M, Reg price $2880, Sale price $1950

2008 Cannondale F3, Size M, XL, Reg price $1600, Sale price $1250

2009 Masi Speciale Fixed, Reg price $735, Sale price $535

2010 Torker Graduate, Reg price $600, Sale price $450

2009 Marin Muir Beach, Girls, Reg price $330, Sale price $230

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bike Feature: Cannondale Flash 29er 1

Have you ever heard of a 21 lb 29er with front suspension and full gears, right out of the box? If not, let us introduce you to the Cannondale Flash 29er 1. This bike recently came in on special order for a staff member, and wow is it nice.

Not only do you get a 21 lb 29er (some of us remember when 21 lb's was an excellent weight for a road racing bike) but you also get a beautifully put together components list, including a DT Swiss rear hub that's perfectly matched to Cannondale's front Lefty specific hub (right down to the red anodized highlights on top of the white shell). Actually, our favourite highlight is the red anodized bottom bracket - you really only notice it after you swing a leg over the bike. It's a nice little touch.

Things like the Lefty 29'er Carbon SL w/DLR fork, FSA K-Force Light BB30 crankset, Stan's ZTR Arch 29 rims, and Avid Elixir CR Carbon disc brakes and levers aren't bad either. And of course the Sram XO drivetrain (also anodized red) is pretty swank.

The nicest part of the ride though is the frame itself, which is in great part what keeps the weight down. Not only is it light, but every tube has been optimally shaped to provide a plush yet efficient ride. Carrying through with that theme you can even notice the tapered seat post in the picture above, which provides a little extra flex to take the edge off of your cross country riding. Nice.

As mentioned, this bike was special ordered, but it's almost completely stock from the manufacturer so remember that if you're interested we can always special order a similar dream bike for you too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Used: 2009 Zipp Zed Tech 404 wheel set

This is arguably the nicest used wheelset we've ever had in stock. The deep carbon dish tubular Zipp Zed Tech 404 wheelset is the stuff that dreams are made of. If ceramic bearings, titanium skewers, bladed spokes and super-light weight are the kinds of things that get you going you should check these out.

Selling for almost $2000 a piece new this slightly used 2009 set (used only one season) is available to you for $2500, tax included, for both wheels and the nicest wheelbag we've ever seen.

The only problem now is finding a frameset and components that are worthy to be ridden with these wheels.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Used: Update on used stuff

The following used bikes are in store at the time of this posting. Please call or visit in person for size and component details. Also note that in some cases the bikes have been customized and may come with different components than when they were originally purchased.

Cannondale Taurine, $4000
Trek Portland, $1100
Devinci Chicane, $500
Klein Attitude Race, $1700
Norco Nomad, $125
Trek 7200 Multitrack, $225
Steelwool S.S., $550
Giant TCR0, $1300
Trek 5200, $2200
Giant Anthem, $1800
Trek Antelope 820, $175

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bike Feature: Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2

The Cannondale Scalpel has long been one of our very favourite cross country racing bikes. It's lightweight and very laterally stiff, but what's always impressed us most is its 'pivotless' rear suspension.

Employing chain stays that flex instead of using bushings and complicated linkage designs the suspension is designed like none other. The flexible chain stays are actually preloaded to be bent downward slightly. This means that in its preloaded state the stay wants to return to a slightly more upright position and as a result reacts well to small bumps, eating up chattering cross country trails and providing a plush ride. As the stay starts its bend from preload the wheelbase actually lengthens slightly, further absorbing small bumps. It's a genius design for a cross country bike.

The spec's on this Scalpel Carbon 2 don't exactly hurt either. Lefty Speed Carbon front shock, DT Swis XCR rims, FSA After Burner BB30 crankset with carbon spider, Sram X0 and X9 parts, on so on. We especially like the red anodized touches on the bike that match the red Sram X0 rear derailleur and the bike's paint job. Nice. At $5200 it's not the cheapest bike around, but on the other hand it's an attainable dream. Check it out for yourself and we're sure you'll agree.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Product Review: Keen Sandals

The super-hot weather seems to have subsided but we've still got a good bit of summer left so it's worth posting these SPD compatible bike sandals made by Keen.

Put simply, we love them. They are very well made and durable (we've used them extensively ourselves and have put them through a lot of trying situations). They seem to provide most feet shapes with a great fit, and we love the covered toe box that helps guard your toes from low lying branches and other nasty stuff. We're really impressed after wearing the sandals in hot weather, submersed for long periods in water, and then leaving them outside to dry in the sun, always to find them as good as new with no noticeable degradation of materials or seams.

What's most impressive though is the 'no smell' properties of these sandals. We've worn other similar products that stink something fierce after just a few wears. Somehow these sandals don't smell, even after a couple of years of constant use!

These Keen's are regularly priced at $140 but we're selling them for just $90. We have a good selection of sizes in stock so come and check them out while the weather is still good.