Friday, November 19, 2010

Giant Anthem X 29er 2

The other day I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time with the hottest new bike in Giant's 2011 line-up. Before I get too much into it I would like to describe this bike as what you get when you mate a howitzer with a razor blade. The 2011 Anthem X 29er has all the design features that previous 29ers simply didn't provide. The combination of it's tapered head tube and QR15mm front thru-axle give you razor sharp stearing and a BB92 bottom bracket to ensure stiffness clearly shows that Giant went the extra mile in producing their first ever full suspension 29er. Giant also uses their Maestro suspension system which gives you a single floating pivot point to increase your pedaling efficiency. The frame was designed using Giants very own ALUXX Aluminum, a light weight grade of aluminum created to withstand the highest tolerances, not to mention it is molded at Giants in-house foundry.

If you're looking for a bike to pound the competition into a fine powder, look no further. This bike has already been proven a race winner as Carl Decker of Giant's pro race team won the 2010 Sea Otter Super-D in California. I feel confident in saying the Anthem X 29er will far exceed all expectations, don't believe me? Come on down to our 3020 location for a test ride,we've got a medium in for limited time as a demo, so come in and ride it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The best season for cycling begins now. Nothing is automatic. Step out the front door,
throw your leg over the bike for your commute and the sleepy winter mind comes alive.
A quick trip for groceries becomes a complex adventure. The ride to often becomes the
event of the day, and some of the best conversations are the ones a winter cyclist has with
them selves and the environment. Should I ride the off camber ice transition next to the
parking lane, or the sidewalk? How are the cars doing with these conditions? Wow! I
made it down that whole block of tire ruts without putting a foot down. Now that was a
little bit of hell. So hard core. I’ve never seen snow do that. I’m sick of the wind.
My god that’s beautiful. Cars are so filthy. I didn’t know it was possible. I’m going to be
so strong come spring and my skills are growing like mad. The list goes on and on.
Sun., Nov. 21, 2pm David Meyer and Chris Huff (me) will be presenting a talk
on Winter Biking at the Midwest Mountaineering, Expedition Stage. I started winter
commuting 17 miles at midnight to my job sorting at U.P.S. in Eagan the winter of 1987.
My first winter bike was a Schwinn Varsity, and my gear was well suited to deer hunting
at that point, but also worked for cycling. I’ve had many winter bikes since. I rode a
Centurion Ironman down Franklin Ave. the morning after the Halloween blizzard in 30
inches of snow. I’ve run various MTBs geared and single speed. I’ve had everything go
horribly wrong and gotten some good lessons from that that I can help you not repeat.
I’ve seen a lot of what works and what doesn’t and I’m still learning every year. David
has run fixed and this year is running a kick back brake and has an impressive resume
himself. So come to Midwest Mountaineering on Sunday if you want some of this frost earned wisdom. It's free.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hubsters annual retreat!

Every year at the shop we close our doors for a day or two and assemble ourselves for some dedicated Hubster time. This year we were fortunate enough to land at the beautiful Lily Springs Farm just east of Osceola, Wisconsin. Go there! So we had two days to cram in as many trainings, workshops and bottles of wine as possible. I tell you what, mission accomplished! One of our good friends, Celia Kutz, was an amazing presence as our all-star facilitation trainer! Many thanks Celia! Will was on point with the food, the vegan cuisine machine. Lily Spring is set on Mud lake, a modest sized body of water best seen early in the morning hours. I have never seen such dense fog, amazing! All in all, it was a great way to spend a pair of days with The Hub Family. Thanks to eveyone, espeically Lily Spring Farms!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Women’s Appreciation Night : Rescheduled

To our wonderful women customers:

We would like to say thank you. Please join us for our first annual Women’s Appreciation Night on October 9th, 2010* from 7pm to 9pm at the Hub Bike Co-op (3020 Minnehaha location).

You may have participated in our Women’s Weekly rides, maybe you rode your first Triathlon with our neighbors at the YWCA, rode RAGBRAI across Iowa for 7 days, braved the weather at the Twin Cities Tour de Cure, raced in an alley cat or hit the trails by the lakes. Or maybe you started commuting to work by bike.

We want to thank you for doing it with bikes and gear from the Hub Bike Cooperative, so we invite you to come have some eats and drinks and hang out with us. There'll be a line of 2011 women-specific bikes for demo and new women’s cycling apparel on display, too. The Hub thanks Zipps Liquors and the local vendors and artists in partnership with us.

Please bring friends and RSVP at

*This is the new rescheduled date for the event! Please disregard any previous information about this event happening on 9-26-10.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Speedhound Bikes Now at The Hub

We have partnered with local bike company Speedhound, and now have a demo bike and framesets available at our 3020 store. These bikes rock! They are made in Minneapolis and have all the flair you would expect on a custom frame. These are unique framesets that allow for almost any drivetrain option due to their patent pending drop out system. Allowing for a super tough belt-drive is the focus of the system, but singlespeed, geared, and fixed gear also work.

However, there are a lot more bells and whistles to the bikes than just the drivetrain. For example: there is an investment cast double crown fork with inset badges to add the bling, multiple brake system options (caliper, canti, coaster, or v-brake), and 8 color options. Nice!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WE want YOU to race cyclocross!

Want to start cyclocross racing but don’t have a bike or any
experience? The Hub wants to fix this for you with a serious sale featuring big discounts on race-ready cyclocross bikes and free cyclocross technique clinics led by 2008 Cat 4 Cyclocross State Champion Jeanette Sample and David Meyer, 3rd place in the 2008 Single Speed Cyclocross National Championships.

The free cyclocross clinics will be every Monday from September 13 through October 4 at 6 pm in Matthews Park on the corner of 27th Ave. S. and 25th St. E.

What's that? Now that you've got your skills dialed you need a bike? That's cool, we've got you covered:

2011 Redline Conquest Pro, Cyclocross Sale price $1522.93, normally $1849.99

Redline's Conquest Pro gets key upgrades to the frame with an integrated headset, BB30 bottom bracket and a slightly tighter rear end. All of these improvements create quicker handling and makes this one fast racing machine. Component makeovers include the quality Mavic Aksium wheels, aggressive Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires and easy to adjust Kore Race+ brakes. The sure shifting SRAM Rival combined with the FSA BB30 Gossamer crankset handle gear changes flawlessly. While the frame has features like the Dirty Mudders Power Stay to eliminate chain suck, it also sports a full compliment of braze-ons for rack and fenders that make this bike a blazing fast commuter when it’s not 'cross season.

2009 Bianchi San Jose Pro Cyclocross Sale price $699.99, normally $1049.99

Looking to race Single Speed 'Cross this year? Want an exceptionally refined high quality steel frame? We have an amazing deal for you! The San Jose Pro frame is disc-brake ready and built with Bianchi Chromo Lite heat treated steel and comes with a disc-ready carbon fork. This build
gets the extra Italian touches like a Fi?zi:k Pave CX Sport, cyclocross specific saddle and Deda Elementi Big Logo stem, and Deda Elementi Big Piega handlebar combo. Light, agile and race ready the San Jose Pro also has fender and rack mounts to make this single speed an ideal year round commuter.

Does cyclocross sound like it might be your style?

How about now?

Then go check out the Minnesota Cycling Federation for info on your local races. We'll see you in the mud!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Want to See the Future?

Minneapolis just came out with the latest iteration of their Bicycle Master Plan. There are several meetings coming up that allow for public comment.

On the first quick read there are a few items of note. We're excited to see that Minnehaha Ave will have its current bike lanes extended all the way to Franklin Ave. There are a grip of other cool bike lanes and boulevards too. For example, Franklin Ave may get bike lanes all the way from Hennepin to Riverside.

There is also a goal of cutting bike theft in half by 2015. The method to doing this is either missing or hidden somewhere in the document. Given the level of incidents we are hearing about, they will hopefully start on this ASAP.

For our future bikers, there is a goal of fully funding Safe Routes to School programs for all schools. This includes having bike parking at all schools too.

All in all there is a lot of good plans in the works, there may be some details that need to be worked out however.

Monday, August 9, 2010

bike stuff at the mn fringe festival!

All I had to hear was bicycles powered musical instrument and I knew I wanted to see this play. Feminist history and circumnavigation of the globe sealed the deal.

Minnesota Fringe Festival
At The Ritz Theatre Proscenium 345 13th Ave NE

Thursday Aug 5, 10 pm
Saturday Aug 7, 1 pm
Sunday Aug 8, 7 pm
Thursday Aug 12, 8:30 pm
Sunday Aug 15, 2:30 pm

About SPIN

Part concert, part theatrical performance, SPIN is an innovative musical show that investigates The Bicycle as muse, musical instrument, and agent of social change.

Through a series of songs played live on a vintage bicycle, award-winning Canadian songwriter and actor Evalyn Parry welds social history, social commentary, song, monologue and projections. From the amazing true story of Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride around the world in 1895, to Igor Kenk, Canada’s most notorious bicycle thief; from 19th century feminism to corporate sponsorship to the end of oil, Parry pursues her theme of two-wheeled freedom in a four-wheeled world. Engaging, funny, personal, political and thought-provoking: SPIN will make you love your bike more than you already do, and if you don’t already ride a bike, you’ll want to run out and get one.

Directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones
Featuring Evalyn Parry, Brad Hart and Anna Friz


part theatre, part musical gig, part spoken-word poetry and part documentary…whatever it is, it is brilliant.” The Toronto Star

…spectacular. A great story with smart writing, innovative music and visual presentation made for one of those performances that will be remembered as a Sound Symposium classic.” Sound Symposium 2010, Newfoundland

This extraordinary production not only connected me with a deeper understanding of why I do this cycling advocacy work, but also reminded me again why I’m so passionate about it. The bicycle as musical instrument was also thoroughly enchanting and beautifully played. Thank you for this inspirational and much needed work – long live bicycles! Yvonne Bambrick, Executive Director, Toronto Cyclists Union.

Music, image and story blend seamlessly in this funny, smart work and Parry’s extraordinary skill as both musician and storyteller are the foundation of the show’s magic. The music is catchy and memorable, the lyrics and stories are clever, rich and personal, and that bike-musical-instrument invention is fantastic… Spin was undoubtedly the hit of the 2009 Hysteria Festival Moynan King, Hysteria Festival Director

SPIN can be performed in a variety of settings, from theatre, to music club, to festival stage. It can be performed in its full (80 minute) length or abbreviated versions.


For bookings and more information contact:

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of The Ontario Arts Council, The Toronto Arts Council, The Banff Centre and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in the development of this project!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Around Town

Bike Night at the MIA

Join 5,000 bike lovers for this second annual Bike Night. On Thursday, July 15, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will be host to an evening of biking-related artsy stuff, including Bike Film Festival screenings, bike safety checks* from The Hub, bicycle poster-making stations and local custom frame builders discussing their craft. You can also enter a drawing for a Traitor Luggernaut track frame and a Giant Women's Via 2 being provided by The Hub, Traitor Cycles, and Giant Bicycles! Optional bike ride starts at Gold Medal Park in Downtown Minneapolis at 5 PM, Event starts at 6PM at The MIA.
pics of bikes for the drawing donated from The Hub, Traitor Cycles, and Giant Bicycles
Giant Women's Via 2 (left) and Traitor Luggernaut (right)

* mechanics from the Hub will be on-hand to give bikers quick repair diagnoses and do some minor on-the-spot work. If your ride needs some tweaking, stop by our tent for a free quick safety check.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Extra room for rent

Just got to test out a new Mission Workshop backpack. I have to say it arrived at an opportune moment, just in time for my equivalent to moving day.

The Vandal, their larger bag has a serious number of pockets and expansion sections (6 separate sections total). At first sight you might wonder why. Before filling it, it stays a relatively sleek backpack that doesn't feel like a parachute. Once you've hit your 5th supply stop for the day it quickly becomes a happy addition to the family. Unzip the middle expansion section and find a smile inside. Keep adding stuff, keep riding, no worries about how to carry the next add-on.

It, and it's slightly smaller version (The Rambler) are designed by the founders of Chrome. It's also made in the US by a contractor that also specializes in military equipment. If we could get all the defense contractors to start making bike stuff instead of war stuff we would really have a win win situation.

I carried everything in the pic above minus the table and chairs*. It was heavy, but stayed well balanced without the feeling of being pulled over backwards. The weight stayed in line with my center of gravity and the reinforced back eliminated all jabs from sharp cargo.

As for things I would have added? A quick loop or easy to reach pocket for stashing a U-lock (mine fits where the belt loop would go, but it is a bad spot when loaded). There is a lot going on with the bag though, so maybe I missed it. Also the compression straps have a locking mechanism that work great, but are a little difficult to release.

All in all a great bag to have when you are ready to carry a bag that adapts from medium to XXL, when you need the extra room, or unexpectedly encounter lots of extra stuff you really want to take home. I also plan to take it on future train and d. diving missions. It's tough, waterproof, and adaptable.

*that is my old backpack (Ortlieb Packman Pro) I dropped right inside the new backpack, all the clothes and rain gear for a camping trip, old skool trainer, 7lbs misc food, 12 pack misc beer, book, and u-lock. There was still room for more.

Mission Workshop has some messenger bags in the works as well. Look for them soon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bike events this weekend!

Not enough bikes in your life? Try some of these events this weekend.

The Hub's Spring Bike Expo and Midwest Outdoor Expo
You'll find hundreds of free seminars on all things outdoor, have an opportunity to meet and greet with vendors, and find huge discounts on gear! Midwest Mountaineering has been doing this big top event for 25 years and it draws thousands of people from across the state. The Hub joins in the celebration with a seminar on international bicycle non-profits and a sale on bikes and gear. Goes from Friday April 23rd through Sunday April 25th.
Find details at: and

Minnesota Bicycle Expo

Brought to you by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) the expo is Friday April 23 (3-9 pm) & Saturday April 24 (9am-6pm), at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. We'll have a booth there too, so stop by and say 'hi'! According to their site "the Bike Expo will showcase some of the newest information for bicyclists. Throughout this two-day event find tips on bike rides and destinations to explore, new equipment to ride, road and trail safety guidelines, contests & prizes and more." Info at:

The Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride (MIBR), established in 1967, is the longest running century bike ride in Minnesota. They have other distance options with 30-65 mile loops too. This ride is Sunday April 25th and you'll need to register before 9:30.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Will The Government Bike?

A few interesting updates from the governmental side of things:

From the City of Minneapolis, "As of this Monday, March 22, Nicollet Mall has reopened for bicycling 24/7. Since 1997 the Mall has been restricted to bicyclists Monday through Friday, 6am to 6pm. As part of the City’s effort to express buses are moving off Nicollet Mall to the new bus lanes on Marquette and Avenues. This paves the way for elimination of the Nicollet Mall bicycle restriction."

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced his new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. The LAB thinks "It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation." While it doesn't have concrete proposals in it, this is good language to start with. Reactions have spanned from people cheering in the streets to predictions that this new policy will cause “economic catastrophe"(quote from The National Association of Manufacturers).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Carnival Pugsley Demo Rides FREE!!!!

This Saturday January 30th in conjunction with the St Paul Winter Carnival the Hub will be hosting the Surly Pugsley Demo Fleet for your test riding pleasure. Come to the Lake Phalen boat house, and experience a joy of humongous tire snow flotation. Demo will run from 10am to 4pm. Rides are free, but we will need to hold on to a State issued ID and a credit card during the demo.

Really we're piggy backing on the main event which is the Lake Phalen Ice Boat races. The Winter Carnival says these boats on skates will do up to 60mph. So come out for a Pugsley ride and watch the fast boats too.

A description of things Pugsley straight from the Surly web site follows. "Who should ride Pugsley? Hunters of all types (animal, mineral, or vegetable), beach/desert riders, snow/ice riders, wilderness explorers, and anybody else in need of a bike that will provide extra stability, traction, and floatation when the terrain gets loose and unpredictable. If you fall into any one of those categories, you should ride a Pugsley. The premise behind Pugsley’s design is the allowance of tires with a larger-than-average footprint. It was created to go where other bikes may flounder. Our frame and fork will accept 4" tires on 26" rims. The flotation and traction gained by using large volume, low-pressure tires (we highly recommend the Surly Endomorph 3.7 tires) can get you over and through otherwise unrideable terrain: ice, snow, sand, mud, wet rocks and roots. In many conditions, bigger is better."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

no half steppin' on the big block

All I have to say about the All-City Big Block complete is that it may be the best complete to come down the pipe in a long time. I mean that, I’ve been a long time fan of the venerable Surly Steamroller but the Big Block is a whole lot of bike and is my new favorite complete, hands down. As I type this, a legion of beer-sodden demon monkeys have been loosed from the bowels of Surly HQ to hunt me down but it’s a risk I had to take.

Let’s start at the bottom, the frame, double-butted chromoly tubing, a straight-blade lugged fork and stainless steel investment-cast dropouts with integrated chain tensioners. Did I mention the dropout has the silhouette of the Hennepin Ave bridge? Or that the frame clears a 700x32c tire easily? Or that the bottom bracket height is track-legal? The folks over at AC topped it off with a simple, classy paint job too, a subtle red metal-flake with white fork tips, nice. Oh yeah, it’ll barspin with a 25 in it too if that’s your thing.

The heart of a track bike is the drive train and there’s no half-steeping here either. A TH Industries cartridge bottom bracket with real steel cups, no Shimano plastic crap here, nice bearings and 100g lighter than other square taper bottom brackets in its class. From there we step out to the cranks, All-City 612’s with a 46 tooth, 1/8” chainring. You want stiff, here you go, the stiffest 3 piece I’ve found under $200. An All-City 17 tooth cog and a KMC chain round out the package nicely.

Next up we have wheels, a bike can’t roll without something to roll on, right? All-City standard track hubs laced 3x to Alex R540 rims, a fixed/free rear, cartridge bearings, a shouldered axle, triple section rims, these are ready for some beating on. They even threw in a pair 700x25c Vittoria Zaffiros to ice the cake.

You’ve got to have something to hold on to right? Right, how’s about a pair of 30mm rise bars a nice 9 degrees of sweep (my personal sweep of choice) on a 4 bolt stem for you? Not enough you say, well that’s cool, the kids over at AC tossed in a Cane Creek S-3 headset to sweeten the deal. Why throw such a nice headset into a factory complete? Because it makes the bike ride better, it’s a subtle thing. Bars, grips and stem length are all very personal but if you’ve already got a nice headset to roll on you’re more than halfway there. The last little touch is that they give you a pair of cyclocross levers and mid-reach brakes, want to run it as a freewheeling singlespeed? No worries, just strap a nice bmx freewheel on that rear wheel and you’re ready to rock.

All in all it’s a sweet ride, sharp handling, smooth ride, stiff in a sprint and it goes where you point it. A lot of track bikes feel really squirrelly on the street, lots of toe-overlap, oversteer at low speeds but the brain trust over at AC have managed to get around all of that and make a killer bike for everything from gunning for your local alleycat crown to running to the grocery store. Nice work guys.
All images stolen from All City site and blog.