In the bike industry, as in many others, distributors are often thought of as merely the "middle man" between suppliers and retailers. Technically, as a distributor we are in the middle, but we view our role as one that does more than merely moving products from manufacturers to IBDs.
We view our role as one that serves retailers, manufacturers, and ultimately, consumers. We do more than warehouse and ship products. We also add value for brands and IBDs alike by forming strategic partnerships with manufacturers to secure great deals on consumables and premium products. When we can offer great deals to our customers, they in turn can offer their customers more competitive pricing. And the work we do behind the scenes to promote emerging brands and products helps build both consumer awareness as well as market penetration.
That behind-the-scenes work presents the perfect opportunity for us to engage both manufacturers and IBDs in insightful conversations. As we prep for Interbike 2016, we realized we wanted to have these conversations more than just once a year in a crowded, too-brightly-lit convention hall.
Join us for our first episode, a frank and funny conversation between three leading ladies of the industry: Beverly Lucas, CEO of Knight Composites; Jude Gerace, owner of Portland's custom wheel building studio, Sugar Wheel Works; and Katie (bleep) Compton, 12-time National Cyclocross Champion and all-around bicycling badass.
We met up with Bev and Jude at Sugar Wheel Works, with Katie calling in from home to join the conversation. This podcast was recorded and edited by the Sprocket Podcast and produced by Cyclone Bicycle Supply, in August of 2016.
We're headed back to Mountain Bike Oregon this week for another fantastic long summer weekend of #knightrides and #nightrides. That is to say we'll have two of our most exciting Cyclone-exclusive brands on hand to test out on the trail: Knight Composites and Exposure Lights.
RIDE KNIGHT AT MBO
Knight Composites will be bringing a full quiver of 27.5, 27.5 and 29er wheels to demo. We recommend reserving your demo wheels in advance using our sign up form, so that we can get your bike in the stand, swap out rotors and make any necessary adjustments and get you out on the trail on the best carbon fiber rims money can buy. Can't pre-register? Stop by our booth anyway…Wheels will be released for demo on a first-come, first served basis all weekend long.
*NOTE: Knight wheels are available for demo on rider-owned bikes only; we are not able to install Knight wheels on demo bikes at Mountain Bike Oregon.
NIGHT RIDING WITH EXPOSURE LIGHTS
If you love night riding, endurance racing, or just being exceptionally well-lit riding around the city you're going to love Exposure Lights. Designed and built in Great Britain, Exposure enjoys a fanatical following in Europe and among the ultra-endurance crowd around the world. We're proud to add them to our premium product offerings, and we can't wait to show them off. Stop by our tent to check out the samples on hand. We'll also do a short night ride from camp on Friday, August 26th at 7:30pm to demo the lights as a group.
If you can't make the ride because, well…beer…just swing by anytime over the weekend to take a look at these incredibly well-made lights.
SPIN TO WIN AT THE CYCLONE GRILL-OF-FORTUNE!
Also on Friday evening, join us for the GRILL-OF-FORTUNE at the Cyclone tent from 5-6pm. We'll be serving up sausages and brats and a chance to win fantastic prizes—including fun schwag, Honey Stinger, bike parts and accessories, day passes to the Lumberyard, and a chance to win one of three grand prizes— 2-FOR-1 ADMISSION TO MBO 2017.
We'll have some wicked wildcard prizes and silly shenanigans in the mix, as well. Vendors, guests, guides…everyone is welcome to take a spin on our prize wheel!
Although we make our bread and butter supplying retailers with the staples of bike industry consumables—chains, lubes, tires and the like—we’re always on the lookout for well-designed, products to add to our mix. Sometimes it’s a no-brainer good value that allows retailers to offer their customers a great deal while improving profit margins. With Exposure Lights, we wanted to add them to our catalog due in part to the quality and performance of the product, but to be honest, it’s also because we’re totally smitten over these lights for numerous reasons.
Popular in the European market, the Exposure brand has been around for a number of years. The company is less well-known in the US, but we’re hoping to help change that. Ask anyone who’s used Exposure Lights what they think about the line and you’ll gaze upon the face of rapture.
Exposure users are an evangelical bunch, and for good reason. Not only are the lights incredibly well made, offering performance and features that crush the better-known competition of high-lumen output lights, but they are finely-crafted, exquisitely designed masterpieces of engineering. With CNC-machined anodized aluminum outer bodies and lithium ion internal batteries, they perform as good as they look, and they look badass, to put it bluntly.
Exposure's Six Pack model offers unparalleled performance for the most extreme rides, packing a whopping 4500 lumens into a mere 386 gram package. There's a quick-reference chart on the underside of the light body (top), to remind riders of burn times at each power level. Better yet, the OLED status display provides real-time updates of burn times at a glance (bottom).
Our staff has been practically duking it out over the demo units we've got on hand. Many of us have used comparable high-lumen output lamps made by other brands to light our adventure rides, tours, and 24-hour races. The consensus is unanimous: Exposure lights’ output matches or beats comparable product by other brands, while offering distinctive features that leaves the competition in the dark.
We now carry the entire 2017 product line, which has been revamped with increased burn times and brightness, along with all associated mounting kits, remotes and accessories. We also stock dynamo hubs by Shutter Precision, made specifically to power Exposure’s Revo light. Not only does the Revo deliver 800 lumens of illumination, it can remain lit for up to one hour after stopping.
At only 110g for the Revo light body, and another 460g for the SP dynamo hub, this light package is the serious adventure rider's dream. When your stamina runs thin and you pause to refuel or pitch a tent, the Stand Light technology powers the light in a dimmer mode. The retained energy allows you to quickly ramp up to full power once you start riding again.
Nearly all of the Exposure lights are USB rechargeable with no wires to contend with while riding. Some models—like the 24-hour endurance-racer favorite, the Six Pack—feature LED output monitors that let you know exactly how much charge is left at each setting. And most are packaged in a zippered deluxe case, reminiscent of fine a fine camera lens, molded to protect your equipment
With 16 headlights and 5 taillight options, and a broad range of prices across the entire line, we feel Exposure offers superior value to consumers seeking performance and style in one package. One caveat: better order now before we scoop them all up for our own night-riding adventures.
|PRODUCT NAME||OUTPUT||WEIGHT||BURN TIME|
|Six Pack Mk7 (EXPSIXP7)||4500 lumens reflex boost; 3400 constant||386g||2 hrs min / 36 hrs max|
|MaXx-D Mk9 (EXPMAXXD9)||3200 lumens reflex boost, 2350 constant||310g||2 hrs min / 36 hrs max|
|Toro Mk8 (EXPTORO8)||2400 lumens reflex boost, 1800 constant||236g||2 hrs min / 36 hrs max|
|Strada1200 (EXPSTRADA1200)||1200 lumens||230g||3 hrs min / 36 hrs max|
|Race Mk11 (EXPRACE11)||1700 lumens reflex boost, 1300 constant||186g||2 hrs min / 36 hrs max|
|Equinox Mk2 (EXPEQUINOX2/2pk)||2000 lumens||140g||0.5 hrs min / 24 hrs max
PLUS another 44 hours when you
add the support cell battery pack.
|Diablo Mk8 (EXPDIABLO8)||1400 lumens||120g||1 hr min / 24 hrs max|
|Axis Mk4 (EXPAXIS4)||1000 lumens||111g||1.5 hrs min / 24 hrs max|
|Joystick Mk11 (EXPJOY11HMBE/BK/RD)||850 Lumens||88g||1.5 hrs min / 24 hrs max|
|Sirius Mk5 (EXPSIRIUS5)||550 lumens||81g||2 hrs min / 36 hrs max|
|Switch (EXPSWITCH)||375 lumens||75g||3 hrs min / 24 hrs max (pulse)|
|Trace||110 lumens||35g||3 hrs min / 24 hrs max (pulse)|
|Flash||110 lumens rechargeable, 40 disposable||75g||3 hrs min / 24 hrs max (pulse)|
Blink when you're driving through Westfir, Oregon—population 250—and you might miss it. Situated about 4 miles west of the slightly better known but still obscure town of Oakridge, Oregon. Both are tucked into in the crook of the Willamette National Forest in Oregon’s Cascade Range.
As railroad boom towns in the mid 1900s, many a lumberjack made their fortune in the area, but when the timber industry began to fade an emerging new sport arrived just in time to put Oakridge back on the map—as Central Oregon’s mountain bike mecca.
Since its inception over 12 years ago, Mountain Bike Oregon has drawn thousands of mountain bike enthusiasts from all over the country and around the world. With over 100 miles of steep, rooty, rocky, flowy single track trails—all within a few miles of each other—Oakridge offers something for everyone, from adventuresome beginner to advanced endurance rider. Every year, MBO serves up the trails with a side dish of hot summer entertainment and all the food and drink you can handle.
TOP: a ribbon of tight singletrack cuts through the bunchgrass clearing at the apex of Alpine Trail near Oakridge, Oregon. BOTTOM: The Jedi portion of Alpine offers fast, flowy, serpentine turns through ferny forests.
The trails are the real stars of MBO. Oakridge is one of only six locations in the world to receive the coveted Gold Status from IMBA. With eight different rides offered each day, trail riders of all stripes love this unique event. Each trail has its own unique personality and character—ranging from steep downhill runs, to highly technical climbs, to flowy, bermed singletrack.
Oakridge Adventures provides the shuttle buses (literally old school buses) and trucks to shuttle hundreds of riders to the top of each highlight trail. Hard-core riders who insist they must ‘earn their turns’ may choose to ride to the drop-in at the trailhead, but most opt for the shuttles, enabling them to do multiple throttle-pinning, ear-to-ear grinning descents on a given day. Even without the climbs, all that shredding builds up an appetite.
To feed 300+ riders, trail guides, and vendors, the 15-person volunteer MBO crew dishes up over 700 eggs, 650 pancakes, and countless gallons of coffee. Lunch consists of make-it-yourself sandwiches with meat, cheese, and vegetarian/vegan options, fruit, cookies, and chips.
By 6pm, most riders have had their fill of trail time and head for the beer garden to enjoy the free flowing taps of Oregon’s finest craft beers, ciders, and wine. Many a friendship has been made in the beer garden, and every year there are repeat visitors, some of whom have attended MBO multiple times.
TOP: In order to serve hundreds of bleary-eyed campers with steaming hot coffee, Augusto Carneiro and Larry Ehmke are up at 5am to start brewing using a giant french press welded specifically for Nossa Familia to use at MBO. BOTTOM: Riders are shuttled to trailheads on school buses and vans, sparing them a 15 mile or greater climb up dusty, exposed forest roads.
By Saturday night people are giddy—high on bike and high on life. They’re also starting to be tired and silly, which makes it the perfect time to put a bunch of slightly loopy adults on kids bikes and race for primes. It’s good-natured fun, but elbows definitely get thrown and the rules may change slightly from one round to the next.
About the only thing more fun than a kiddie bike race for grown ups is a kiddie bike race…on a pump track. This year’s switch in location from Greenwaters Park in Oakridge to the base of Alpine Trail in Westfir did just that, adding an extra layer of hilarity to the event. But don’t mistake the race as just a silly, slightly inebriated distraction; competition is fierce, as this year’s grand prize at the July event was a Niner frame.
Mountain Bike Oregon provides an incredible opportunity for riders to not only enjoy some of the best trails in the Pacific Northwest, but also allows riders to demo new gear, with dozens of brands offering opportunities to sample tomorrow’s bikes today.
TOP: Guides lead and sweep each group ride, with a high ratio of guides-to-guests to ensure mechanicals are supported and no one misses a turn. BOTTOM: Though the vast majority of rides are open to all registered riders, there is usually a ladies' ride on the menu each day.
We’ll be back at MBO this month offering demo rides on Knight wheels (details below) and a good old-fashioned BBQ. On Friday, August 26th swing by the Cyclone tent for a veggie burger or real-deal sausage with all the fixin's. Come for the food, stay for the mood, and get ready to party all weekend.
RIDE KNIGHT DEMO WHEELS AT MOUNTAIN BIKE OREGON
Cyclone is excited to join MBO once again August 26-28th with Knight Composites. We’ll be offering Knight wheels for riders to demo. If you haven’t yet ridden carbon fiber wheels, now’s your chance to ride the best on the market. Shred all the gnar, roost the berms, huck the drops, kick the tires. Okay, maybe don’t kick the tires, but do put these wheels through their paces and see how much more awesome your ride becomes with Knight wheels. Once you go carbon, you’ll never go back.
Wheel demos will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Wheels can only be demoed on rider-owned bikes; we will not be able to put demo wheels on demo bikes acquired by other MBO vendors. To preregister and reserve demo wheels for a specific day, please send us an email and we'll get you set up.
The rules are simple: Ride 1000 miles, entirely under your own power, without support crews or cars, without caches stashed along the way, and without the benefit of drafting another's wheel to shield you from the wind.
You must haul all the gear you'll need to complete 1000 miles of bike riding through some of the most remote and beautiful, unspoiled areas of Oregon. There are no sag wagons coming to usher you safely home if you bail out; this is an Uber-free zone. It will be extremely hot, extremely dry, and extremely exposed, leaving you susceptible to dehydration and heat exhaustion. There are no cool, luxurious 400-count Egyptian cotton sheets awaiting you at night. Your options are either a bivy sac you carry yourself or a flea-bag motel. Oh, and and it will hurt. A lot.
So why on earth would anyone want to ride the Steens Mazama 1000? And, once decided, precisely how does one do such a thing?
We asked our sales guy extraordinaire, David Barstow Robinson—who completed the ride in 7 days 23 hours and 25 minutes—why he signed on for this. David shared the highlights—and low lights—of his trip and a few photos, because even though the Steens Mazama 1000 is a race, the wild Oregon backcountry insists on picture taking for remembering later.
So, why? I did this race because I wanted to find out what I was capable of, to test my mettle. I wanted to do a long-ride that would take more than just a weekend. I love the whatever-it-is about long rides, and thought that a stupid long ride would involve a lot of that—and it did. I wanted to see Oregon’s diverse landscapes in a unique way. I saw at least a dozen unique landscapes, rode the state's highest road, covered vast stretches full of nothing but nature, and found out where my limits are and how far I can push past them.
The "Oh, hell yes!" moment: Being the first racer to reach the Steens summit. Technically it was a fake summit, but only by about 8’ elevation. It was a real struggle to get up there. Took me about 10 hours. I hadn’t slept much or eaten well at that point.
The "Oh, hell no!" moment: About 8500 feet into the climb up Steens mountain—just a few meters from the summit—I decided to turn around. I drank my ‘summit beer’, then had a bit of a breakdown over giving up so close to the top. I pressed on and finished the climb anyway. Then came a moment on Hart Mountain, as I was grinding uphill on gravel into a headwind. I had been passed by my closest competitor and was fighting off Achilles tendonitis that made me seriously worry about finishing my race. I walked a bit, stretched, found some Icy-Hot in Plush, and started an ibuprofen regimen in Lakeview. It helped, and I pressed on.
Favorite part of the ride? Descending into Lakeview at about 12:30am on day 5, the day after I climbed Steens mountain. I had spent most of the day riding across the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge, which was an uphill slog into a headwind on washboard gravel. I decided to push from Plush to Lakeview (about 36 miles) as the sun was setting. With 10 miles to go I was wearing every piece of clothing I had with me—including rain gear—to stay warm and keep riding. I was about to summit Warner Pass when the GPS beeped at me to turn left onto a gravel road. The official route had us taking a gravel shortcut into town, sparing us several miles and a few feet of climbing. Between the Exposure Revo on my bars and a fairly bright headlamp, I had enough light to ride confidently down the mountain across terrain that varied from overgrown doubletrack to rough gravel. It occurred to me that spirited downhill gravel riding— after midnight, at the end of a very long day of hard riding—may not be the best idea. But I climbed under the no trespassing gate and rode the hell out of it, grinning my head off until I pulled into town and got a hotel room.
|Frame & Fork||Fairdale Weekender
|Wheels||Custom built SRAM X0 rear, Shutter Precision PD-8X front laced to WTB FREQUENCY CX TCS i19 rims|
Arisun Gravel Plus 40c 120tpi; tubes are Cyclone brand with removable valve cores, with some WTB Sealant squirted in
|Drivetrain||SRAM Rival 1x11 42t crank; 10-42t cassette
|Saddle||Brooks Cambium C17|
|Stem||Thompson X4 10"x90mm|
|Brakes||AVID BB7 Road S with 160mm HS1 rotors|
|Pedals||Tioga Surefoot MX PRO platform pedals with screws mounted|
|Light||Exposure Revo dynamo-powered light|
|Electronics||Sinewave Revolution USB charger running to a cache battery
|Bags||Revelate Design bags|
I had a single mechanical issue; lost 50% air at the top of a hill in Oregon City with less than 12 miles to go.
Kit stuff: Patagonia wool base layers, Outdoor Research Helium rain gear and bivy, Gore Tex socks and long gloves, Giro short-fingered gloves, SmartWool socks and balaclava, Adidas Sambas, lots of water (2 bottles and a 2L bladder), tools, and food. The bivy was the only camping gear I brought, so I spent a lot of time camping in post offices and hotel lobbies. I also brought a Patagonia Houdini wind vest, Marmot Calen puffy jacket, Outdoor Research buff, PDX LOX St. Helens U-lock, Endurolytes and Caffeine Pills in a ziplock bag I referred to as 'Pillbo Baggins' .
Favorite piece of gear: My green Marmot puffy coat; very rarely ridden in, but usually put it on within 5 minutes of stopping.
Soundtrack: The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers (Wild Horses played for some cows, while the actual wild horses got to hear Sister Morphine). As the album ended, Who Needs Sleep by the Barenaked Ladies came on, and I laughed at the irony of having slept about 3 of the past 48 hours at that point. Later, while riding across the desert, Beethoven’s 9th. Other random earworms: Minka, by Spike Jones and A Horse With No Name by America. Side note: I'm not usually one to name my bikes, but as I was rolling into Needy near the Mahler Refuge, I officially named my bike The Horse with No Legs, after the song.
Advice to newcomers/first timers to the sport of gravel adventure racing: You can always double your previous best mileage. Go farther, even if you’re not prepared. Drink beer.
As Knight Composites' distribution partner, we could tell you all about the technical specs behind Knight wheels. We could talk shop and explain how "laterally stiff, vertically compliant" really is a thing. We have stats; research that proves Knight wheels are faster, stiffer, and more efficient than the competition. We could try to convince you that Knight makes the best carbon fiber composite wheels on the market, but would you believe us? After all, that's our job, right?
Well, don't just take our word for it. The folks over at Decline magazine have a few things to say about Knight's ride quality. After putting the wheels through their paces, writer Drew Rohde summarized the experience this way:
Knight’s Enduro wheelset have quickly become some of our favorite wheels to ride. Directly comparing these wheels to the Enve M70s we ride so often, we’d have to say the ride quality is superior and we greatly appreciate the vertical compliance. Traction is better, rider fatigue is reduced while we’re still able to rail corners or slam the bike into a berm with force and still have the wheels right beneath us
His ascension was nothing short of miraculous. His tenacity incredible. His rugged all-American good looks and Texas-born swagger combined to polarize public opinion of him: you either loved or hated Lance Armstrong.
I did neither. I’ve always had an affinity for the underdog, so I found myself betting on rivals Ullrich, Basso, and Vinokourov. But Armstrong himself was something of a scrappy underdog who earned my respect; I mean, the man had kicked cancer to the curb and gone on to a brilliant athletic career.
But love him or hate him, more than anything in the history of US cycling, Armstrong’s hero status boosted interest in the sport. The US Postal team fired up both national pride and interest in road cycling as an amateur sport. Road bike sales surged as the number of cycling enthusiasts increased by millions.
I was one of those millions. I fell in love with road racing the minute I entered a local amateur circuit race. I joined a team, trained religiously, and hired a coach. I even went so far as to get my USAC Coaching Level 1 certification. I found myself driving to San Francisco with my teammates to chase the Tour of California around, scribbling messages for Leipheimer and Voigt on the rolling roadways of Santa Rosa.
I had never been into spectator sports but I began meeting up with a group of die-hard TdF fans at the local french café to watch Le Tour on a big screen TV. For three weeks every July, our tribe would arrive, clad in sweaty lycra, our bikes leaning in piles against street signs on the sidewalk as we sipped coffee and nibbled flaky croissants while watching the race. What was it that made us sit transfixed, year after year, watching a sport which—let’s face it—is really not that exciting to look at?
Endurance races like the TdF don’t typify the American notion of “sport” which usually features broadly-shouldered, muscle-bound big dudes either playing ballsports or engaging in some gladiator-type stand-off like boxing or MMA. Pro cyclists don't look like athletes the way we've been trained to think about athleticism. What these skinny, lycra-clad dudes with shaved legs can do with a bike looks subtle, boring even; in reality bike racing is anything but.
So when the doping scandals erupted and pro after pro fell from grace—Armstrong falling hardest of all, being stripped of seven Tour de France titles and facing a lifetime ban—interest in the sport fell too. As interest fell, sales fell. The local race series became a ghost of its former self.
Millennials are not flocking to cycling as a sport the way Gen Xers did. In general, cycling fans all say the same thing: everyone dopes. After all, if your competition is doing it, how else can you be competitive?
It's been a few years since my last road race. I’ve traded my 700c’s for 650b’s in hot pursuit of hero dirt, rock gardens and sweet jumps. But there’s a part of me that still wants to love the Tour and road riding; there is so much history and culture around this annual event that I hate to see it tarnished by doping. Perhaps cynicism is justified, but it still tastes bitter.
Yes, doping sucks, but what sucks even more is giving up something you love because of other people’s bad behavior.
That's why I've decided if you can’t beat ‘em you might as well join ‘em. This year I’m going to enhance my performance—or at least my visibility—as an 100% human-powered athlete, through doping. Sock doping, that is. Better living through textiles.
This week I returned to the French bakery to watch le Tour, partly to see what Cavendish and Sagan could do, but partly to see if the old crew would be there. There were a handful of old-timers, sipping tiny espressos, munching sugary beignets, eyes fixed on the big screen, collective sighs on every crash, and triumphant cheers at the finish.
Maybe we're an anachronistic bunch, but together we carry the torch—for tradition, for competition, for skinny dudes in stretchy pants, pedaling their asses off, trying to perform well in one of the world's most grueling events. This July—like every July—we gather together for three weeks—as best friends, as comrades, and fans and as cyclists. We catch up on what's happened the other 49 weeks of the year in between races. And this year, and I hope every year forward, as a symbol of riding clean we sport our dopest socks.
Join the sock doping party! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tag @cyclonebicyclesupply #dopesocks on your favorite sock doping examples. At the conclusion of the Tour we’ll choose our favorites and send the winners some dope socks to add to your performance-enhancing wardrobe.
You asked for it. And now, you've got it. Announcing our new and improved free freight allowance policy.
We’re reducing our base-level free freight program to $250 and making it easier for you to add bulky, oversized items (BOI) to your freight allowed small parts orders. And if your order totals $1200, we're throwing in a freight allowance for ALL products—including BOI—giving you the best bang for your buck.
Even though BOI items are expensive to ship, we offer freight incentives on them when you include them on larger orders. This freight allowance helps you maintain or increase margins on your end.