BCB is Authorized NORCO Dealer

There’s a new bike brand in town; NORCO bicycles.  Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe not, but they’ve been in the two-wheeler business for 50 years now and know a thing or two about bikes. Diane and Andy have been talking to the fine folks at NORCO for a while, and then test rode a handful of their bikes at the SouthEast Bike Expo in March which sealed the deal.  Excellent product line, smooth operation, fine craftsmanship and great trail handling.

Bryson City Bicycles is excited to be stocking a number of NORCO bikes for great riding in the southeast, including selections from the Charger, Faze, Fluid and Storm lines.  And finally, quality crafted kids bikes for less than $300.

Also noteworthy – Bicycling Magazine Editor’s Choice Awards selected three NORCO bicycles as their 2014 category picks – the 29″ Hardtail Charger 9.1, the 27.5 Sight Carbon Full Suspension 7.1, and the CityGlide Commuter.  That’s quite a sweep for any bike brand.

Help us welcome NORCO.  Come on in and check out the brand new shipment.  Maybe your next bike will be a NORCO.

Charger 9.1

Charger 9.1

Sight- Carbon 7.1

Sight- Carbon 7.1

 

 

 

 

New trail system in Graham County

We are always interested in new places for fat tire riding. Anything from sweet, flowy singletrack to forest service roads. We’ll take the opportunity to ride on dirt over dodging cars most any day.

The folks at GREAT (Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team) in Graham County have helped open a section of trails and roads near Lake Santeetlah outside of Robbinsville.  Here is your map of the area.

SanteetlahLakeTrail_Portrait

Nantahala Area SORBA will be out on Saturday, April 12th at 10am to help GREAT hold the grand opening of this system.  We invite all interested riders to come out and enjoy a beautiful morning riding a trail that is light on technical, but full of fun.

This is a collaboration between the USFS Cheoah district office and Graham County, and the acceptance and use of this trail will lead to additional trail riding opportunities in Graham County.

The trail is old forest service roads that have been reclaimed and worked on to provide a level of riding that is good for most riders.

For more information, contact Bryson City Bicycles.

Tsali is in epic condition!

Went out this afternoon to see what shape winter had left the trails. A friend and I took the bikes out and did right loop. I can’t believe how good the trails are right now! The entire single track section of right loop is perfect. So buff and so fast. We did stop a bunch of times and remove tree limbs, branches, and toppers that littered the trail. In all, we probably stopped 5 times to remove tree litter. Remember, the derailleur you save may be your own!

There are the normal wet spots along county line road, so just bunny hop them. The downhill at mile 3 is still washed out and rutted, but that will be a chore for the NAS SORBA chapter to attack soon. Look for a work party to get together soon. There are two trees down across the trail, but they are pretty easy to port over, and next time we get out, the chapter will have a few new people chainsaw certified.

So, wherever you are today with all that snow and cold, come to ride Tsali. It’s better than ever.

The beauty of the dropper post

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Ok, admit it. You are a gadget person. Neat stuff, these handlebar remotes. You want to easily change your bike at the press of a button. Kinda like Speed Racer could in the Mach 5.
SpeedRacerSteeringWheel
But why do you need a dropper post? One word. Control. that’s right, you can control your bike better when you have dropper. Why? Cause it’s easier to pilot your bike if you are on the bike, and without sliding your butt off the back of the seat. So, if you can drop the level of your seat 4 or 5 inches while you are riding, you don’t have to completely change the position of your body. Changing your body geometry causes you to have too much weight behind the bike, not centered over the two wheels. Being centered over the two wheels, over your cranks, is pretty optimal for control.

So, recently I bought a Kindshock Lev post for my bike. I had installed more than a few on bikes in the past, but now I wanted one. What I like about this post is the handlebar remote, the super cool way that you can adjust the collar and where the cable attaches to the post, the fact that it is air controlled, not hydraulic fluid, and the seat mount system. You can turn the post so the cable mounting tab is out of the way. The seat mount adjusts 360 degrees so you can turn the post. Super slick. The remote lever is very easy to operate, and pretty durable looking. The cable is a standard shifter cable, so it is easy to obtain if you have an issue. The package looks and feel good right out of the box. However, the housing that covers the cable is not optimal. I immediately ditched it in favor of regular Jagwire cable housing. More flexible, easier to get the kinks out of the housing.

On downhill runs, just flick the handlebar lever while seated, and the seat drops. And, you don’t have to drop it the entire amount of travel. This puppy will stop wherever you want. I drop mine an inch or two for jumpy, flowy sections. That way, the seat doesn’t hit me in the butt when I pull the bike up for lift off. When going down bigger stuff, like stairs and drops, I depress the lever, and it drops the whole 5 inches and you can lower your center of gravity for nasty sections, like Burnt Mountain at DuPont.

When you get to the bottom, lift out of the seat, hit the lever, and the post extends to max height in a slow and controlled way. Now, you are back at optimal cross country height for pedaling efficiency. So sweet!

Flatlanders might scoff at the idea of a dropper, but I’m telling you, the ability to drop the seat out of the way, even a little bit, helps. On every technical section at Santos, Alafia, or Boyette you are scooting back behind the saddle to lower your body weight. Now you don’t have to compromise your natural balance on the bike to make your bike more maneuverable.

So, you have a cable that controls the drop. Not a hose full of hydraulic fluid. And, the cable doesn’t move. Some droppers have the cable routed to the top of the seatpost, and when you hit the button, the cable and housing move the amount of travel. So, when you drop the seat level, you get this big belly of cable which can get hung up on stuff. And no bleeding the post (like brakes) when it stops working.

The post comes in 3 different amounts of drop, from 4 to 5 to 6 inches. The diameter of the post comes in 3 sizes, from 27.2 to 30.9 to 31.6. There are external cable options, or internal options (the Lev integra) for frames that have internal cable routing.

Check them out, then order one through Bryson City Bicycles. We have some in stock and can get the rest. While not cheap, as always, nothing this cool is ever free. But, it’s still less than some of the competition.

Ride on.

Rumble Strip research project by NC State

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Click on the above flyer to learn more about the project. The Institute of Transportation Research and Education is working to understand the effect of variations of gaps in rumble strips on roads. Road cyclists of all levels are being asked for a 4 hour period to ride downhill (and get a ride back up the hill) and give their feedback on how rumble strips affect riding and braking. You need to be able to ride at speeds of higher than 20mph. The study will be in March. They have various weekday and weekend windows available. Please contact Sarah O’Brien at NCSU. Her contact info is on the flyer.

Service with a smile

It’s that time of the year. You want to ride, but the elements just won’t cooperate. Maybe you ride anyway, and you find that all your components are now muddy and sluggish.

Never fear, Spokey Joe is here. Just back from his SRAM certification classes on mountain bike service, that guy can freshen up your ride for spring.

Here are some of the system overhauls we suggest to make your bike better than ever–

Suspension service- Have more than 50 hours of riding on your bike since your last suspension overhaul? Haven’t had it done since you bought the bike? Well, having the lowers removed, the seals and wipers and oil replaced will make that bike ride like new again! The biggest thing I hear after we do this service is “Wow, it didn’t feel bad, but it’s AMAZING how good it feels now!” Get it done! $50 plus parts. Full rebuilds or custom tuning available as well. From replacing springs to changing cartridges, all this can be done.

Drivetrain service- Spent a season shifting and riding? Chains wear out by stretching. Rings and cassettes wear the ramps and pins and tooth profiles with torque and abuse. Now is the perfect time to place the chain, chainrings, bottom bracket, and cassette. WHY, you might ask? All these parts work as a system, and they wear at the same rate. Replace them all at the same time, and it shifts better. I can’t tell you how many times folks have replaced just the chain and brought it back because it still doesn’t shift like it should. Replace everything and it shifts like butter. We only use Jagwire cables and housing with L3 slick coating. We never suggest or use galvanized cables as they become sticky and slow in no time due to water causing them to oxidize. Reuse the housing? Not on our watch, as the housing catches the dirt and it binds to the walls of the housing. This is the time to replace cables and housing, and maybe upgrade the shifters and derailleurs, maybe to 9, 10 or 11 speed components. Prices depend on system type.

Brake service- SRAM suggest that you replace the pads, rotors, and bleed the brakes once per year. Replace the brake pads and rotors together. Whenever you change pads, replacing the rotors at the same time will ensure that your braking system continues to work. Rotors take all the heat and abuse and never get any thanks. They weaken over time, and they begin to howl in pain and frustration from lack of service. Different pad compounds wear rotors in different ways, and the brake pad residue reacts in different ways to different pad compounds. These things can reduce brake stopping power, create noise, or worse. While we’re at it, we can bleed the brakes. Those 6 mls of fluid take a ton of abuse from heat and dirt as well, so replacing that fluid will keep the brakes from feeling spongy.

Full tear down- The big daddy of service. All that water, dirt and grime lives in the nooks and crannies. We’ll take the frame down to just the metal, replacing everything that is worn or damaged. The bottom bracket is notorious for holding mud and water, and causing all kinds of creaks. The headset can be a source of frustration, where mud and water collect and never feels bad until a bearing completely fails. Retighten and align the derailleur hanger to make shifting smooth and quick. Check pivots, bearings, and bushing in the suspension to make it flex the way it should. True the wheels, bleed the brakes. $200 plus parts.

Bryson City Bicycles has a full supply of brake parts, drivetrain parts, and wipers and seals for Fox and Rockshox forks and shocks. Call to schedule an appointment now for spring cleaning!

The poor 12 Days of Christmas…

I feel bad for that trite old rhyme. Everyone is sending you a gift list that uses the 12 Days theme. No one gets 12 presents anymore. That was back in the day before Amazon.

Here’s a list of things that Diane and I can’t live without on our bikes, and a little reason why. A few times in the last week I have been reminded that you folks who are fans of Bryson City Bicycles really appreciate that we “don’t give no guff” and tell it like it is on bike parts. So, here is a list of cool toys that Diane and I suggest and use:

Raceface carbon handlebars. We were both against carbon bars forever. With a really good reason in our heads. We didn’t want to crash and snap a carbon bar. That would really hurt the wallet along with some random bodypart, right? Fahgedabadit! Raceface is making their super strong bars that are so strong they are probably just as likely to break as a metal bar. Plus, the benefit of taking the last little bit of vibration out of your hands is so worth it. I found this out after riding my bike with the new bars, then going back to another bike with aluminum bars on the same trail. The difference is amazing.

A’me heated grips Diane swears by these things. She won’t ride on days when the temp outside is below 50 degrees. Unless she has these grips on the bike. These things are great. Don’t tell her, but I snuck them out on my bike a couple of times, too. Simply replace their non-heated brothers and slide the new ones one, strap the battery pack to the frame (it’s little and unobtrusive) and GO. Warm hands are wonderful. They now have them for road bikes, and I did an install of these not long ago. You can set them up on a road bike on the drops or on the tops, so you can have warmth at the right spots.

SRAM XX1 drivetrain. Ok, this stuff isn’t on my personal bike yet, but it’s on the Niner RIP 9 demo bike a the shop. It’s different. It’s weird. But, it’s wonderful. Most of us ride in the middle ring of our triples. Some of us ride in the big ring of our doubles. Occasionally, we all ride in the granny gear. But wait, the XX1 doesn’t have a front shifter! That’s ok. The 11 cogs on the rear wheel of the bike are all you need. Why? While it is tough to say without getting into gear inches, you are able to move the chain around the gears at the same rate as your granny gear without sacrificing the pedaling umpf of your middle ring. You create more torque in your middle ring than you do in the granny gear, but the 42T cog on the back turns the wheel at a rate similar to dropping into the granny. It’s a huge advantage to be able to use the same cadence of the 32T chainring and turn the back wheel around at a high rate of speed. So, you go up hills you probably didn’t succeed at in the past. And, really, most of us don’t ride in our big ring. But, for you top end junkies, there is a 10T cog so create some serious jam on the flats and downhills. The only problem is that your left thumb is going to get lonely. So get a bell.

Crank Brothers Candys Everyone needs pedals. And this is a huge can of worms. Everyone loves their current pedals. And pedals break. Frequently for some. It used to a running joke among CB owners that you had to have two pairs, one in the shop being repaired, and one on the bike. Those guys fixed that. My current pair hasn’t given me any problems for the last two years; since the redesign most folks haven’t had any issues. But, still, the CB guys do an amazing job of repair work when it is needed. Diane and I use them because we don’t like to fiddle with stuff. No adjusting screws anywhere on the pedals. They are super easy to use, and to get comfortable with. The cleat has the “adjustment” on it, as the edges are cut in different ways to make it easier or more difficult to get out of. They have built in float so your knees will love you at the end of the ride (float is how much your feet can move around without knocking your cleat out of the pedal). They come in 4 different versions from cheap to stupid expensive. The $60 versions come in lots of colors, and are low dollar enough that you can toss them out when you change the colors on your bike.

Diane’s review of the Niner!

My Niner Maiden Voyageby Diane Cutler, Bryson City Bicycles

After two years of me saying I didn’t need a 29er because I didn’t have confidence to ride the kind of trails that required one, and Andy retorting that if I rode a 29er, it would give me the confidence, I finally bit the bullet. As a brand new Niner dealer, I test rode a few options and decided on the gorgeous and responsive Jet9. I’m 5’4” and could probably have gone with either a small or a medium, but because of my long torso and gorilla arms, I felt more comfortable with the stretch on the medium.

So with a group of nine fun-loving MTBers (4 of us on Niners) we set out to Bent Creek on a beautiful, almost 60 degree November afternoon. First we climbed, and baby, can this bike climb; zippy and stiff, the pedals spun with more ease than my 26” full suspension ever did. Then we climbed steep, twisty, rooty, rocky singletrack. YIKES…this is where I usually bail. But the Jet9 ate the roots even at slow speeds and handled the climbing better than my lungs.

Resting at the top, I absorbed the pep talk from my reckless downhill junkie companions telling me “the bike will do all the work if you just hold on”. So down we all went. And they were right. The Jet9 was nimble and graceful, devouring the drops, rocks and roots like a monster truck. My job was to steer clear of trees which I did with aplomb and I arrived at the bottom in one piece with a huge smile on my face.

Please understand I have not a single bad word to say about my old 26” full suspension friend… I loved that old bike, but my new Niner is a game changer for me, opening trails that I would never have dared to try.

Dear IMBA Chapter and Club Leaders,
Jenn Dice here, IMBA Government Affairs Director. I am writing to bring your attention to the href=”” target=”_blank”>super important alert that we sent your chapter or club earlier today.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is in danger of being eliminated, and it is the single greatest funding source for trail development across the country.

If mountain bikers don’t call to support continuing RTP — which has funded 15,000 trail projects — the program will be eliminated.

I am asking you to take this alert and, if appropriate, post it on your website or Facebook page, and send it to your individual members asking them to call or email your U.S. Senators and Representatives.

The email we sent makes this easy; the phone number and a sample script are included. If you know of a trail project touched by the Recreational Trails Program in your state, please make sure to include it in your message, too.

You have probably received a few alerts from other bicycling groups during the last few days. It may be confusing and we stand ready to answer any questions you might have.

Bottom line, RTP represents a lot of money for our sport — $85 million a year. If it disappears, we will lose trails.
IMBA is one of the few national groups working to protect RTP funding, hence my request that you take our alert and forward it to your entire community.

Thanks for doing what you can to save dedicated funding for this vital program.

All my best,
Jenn