Category Archives: Dealers

With help from Penn Cycle’s Michael Weiss, Trek replaces my X-Caliber frame

A few months ago I noticed two small cracks developing at the top of the seat tube on the frame of my 2011 Trek X-Caliber 29’er. It gradually got to the point where seat post wouldn’t stay up. A couple of my fellow riders suggested that I check with my local Trek dealer since the Trek Care bike warranty covers “Frames for the lifetime of the original owner.”

I bought the bike from Penn Cycle (see my June 2011 blog post for the story).  And although we have two Trek dealers here in Rice County (Mike’s Bikes in Northfield, Milltown Sports in Faribault) that I regularly patronize, I knew that Penn Cycle would have my original purchase info in their database.

 

Continue reading With help from Penn Cycle’s Michael Weiss, Trek replaces my X-Caliber frame

Big Ring 2nd Gear Art Auction is this week at the Angry Catfish

Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar Joshua Klauck and Ben Rogowski Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar
Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction Three weeks ago, I stopped by the Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar in south Mpls on my way to the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout.  I wanted to take some photos so that I could promote this week’s Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction that’s hosted there. The event, a benefit for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), features many Northfield-area artists among the 17 and is being organized by Northfielder Bill Metz.

I met the owner, Joshua Klauck, and the general manager, Ben Rogowski, who graciously posed for a photo with the poster for the event.

You can see some of the artwork that’s been donated by the artists on the event’s Facebook page where Bill has been busy posting updates and photos.

FIT to be TRI’d: My local mountain bike clothing store

A couple months ago I paid a visit to FIT to be TRI’d (just after it moved to the Tiny’s Building in downtown Northfield) to ask owner Tom Bisel if he could recommend a base layer that would help me deal with the problem of sweating when mountain biking in cold weather.

Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layerHe didn’t hesitate to recommend the Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layer because it not only is very effective at wicking moisture away from the body but it dries in 8 minutes.  Sure, Tom… 8 minutes? I didn’t think it possible. But it’s turned out to be the best piece of sports clothing I’ve ever purchased.  It’s wicking is amazingly effective and it really does dry that fast. Read this review for more details.

Last Sunday I tossed my 20 year-old lightweight snowboarding jacket into the wash (I’ve been using it as my mountain biking jacket) and it pretty much disintegrated.

Griff Wigley in his Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layer and Sugoi RPM JacketSo back to FIT to be TRI’d I went this week to see what Tom would recommend for a waterproof, ventilated jacket that I could use during the cool/cold months of the year and that would resist abrasion. I walked away with the Sugoi RPM Jacket and promptly crashed on the ice while riding the upper Arb.  It resisted.  We’ll see how it does when I race at the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout next week and then during the spring rains which we’ll hopefully have soon.

Tom’s been one of the people to get the Cannon Valley Velo Club off the ground in the past year and is currently the president.  It’s looking like the club’s going to cater to mountain bikers this year, too. More to come on that soon.

Why I didn’t buy my mountain bike from Milltown Cycles

Robbie Wigley with her new Trek 7300 WSD from Milltown Cycles, somewhere on the Sakatah TrailRobbie bought her new hybrid bike (Trek 7300 WSD) at Milltown Cycles a month ago and was pleased with the advice/treatment she got from owner Ben Witt and manager Curtis Ness. The day she purchased the bike, we couldn’t wait for them to assemble it as we were due to meet some friends at the Cow.  No problemo. Curtis delivered it to our table.

So after I spent a weekend at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival trying out mountain bikes, I spent an hour with Ben at my morning office at the Blue Monday, talking pros and cons of all the possible variations of which mountain bike to buy, given my price range, riding ability, planned use, etc.  His recommendation: a 29er hardtail, the Gary Fisher X Caliber.  I told him to order it and promptly tweeted the news.

A couple hours later, I got an email from Ben (he also uses Google Talk/IM which I found to be very helpful):

I hate to say it, but I can’t get that bike for you.  They are sold out for the year, and they don’t list an estimated time of arrival for the new 2012 models.

He then recommended that I get the bike from a competitor, Penn Cycle in Bloomington, which did have one in stock in my frame size:

I’m sorry to have that as the only option I can offer.  There are not many bikes that are similar to that to offer as alternatives.  I think you’d be very happy on that bike, and we can easily get the tires, pedals and other accessories here for you.

Ben Witt and Griff Wigley with a Gary Fisher X Caliber at Milltown Cycles in Faribault, MNBen Witt and Griff Wigley with a Gary Fisher X Caliber at Milltown Cycles in Faribault, MNWhaaaa?  Couldn’t he could sell me another bike in that price range with similar features? I wanted to buy a bike from him.

He was adamant. The X Caliber was the bike that was best for me and it made no sense to wail till fall to get one.  He was confident I’d be a long-term customer of Milltown Cycles and that he’d make a fair profit from whatever accessories, parts, and service I’d need.

I got my bike later that day.  And a few days later, he outfitted it with Eggbeaters and tubeless tires. Watch out, Hans Rey.