Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

Wanderlust Wednesday: Q & A With Arrowhead 135 Finishers Donald Wood and Brian Gillies – Full Interview

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

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Last week we had the opportunity to chat with Donald Wood (AKA “Woody”) and Brian Gillies, the only two cyclists from Michigan to finish this year’s Arrowhead 135 ultra-endurance race. They were kind enough to share their experience and offer some insights into the event with us and several other local folks who also came to hang out. In that spirit, we thought we’d keep on sharing and post the full interview on our blog for fatbikers everywhere to read. Give it a read below, even if you don’t have a fatbike; it’s casual, funny, and full of useful wisdom. Be advised that it is a bit on the lengthy side, but well worth it.

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I’d also like to use this opportunity to introduce a new blog segment called Wanderlust Wednesday. Alliteration aside, the placement in the middle of the work week is deliberate, since that’s when I often find myself scheming about what I’d like to do over the weekend, as well as daydreaming about where I’d like to go someday. We’ll feature regular adventure-oriented tips on subjects like navigation, cooking, field repair, trip reports, and of course some gear reviews. We also love guest content, so if you have pictures of a dirty bike in a beautiful spot, a tale of a trip gone horribly wrong or wonderfully right, or a suggestion for something you’d like to see, send it our way to processing@treefortbikes.com, and put BLOG in the subject. On a related note, we’ve also set aside some of the store for our new curated selection of bikepacking gear to help you eat and sleep outside comfortably, since nobody wants to have to ride home tired, sore, and hungry. We’re also working on expanding the outdoor section of the website for you mail-order folks.

Past the break is a complete transcript from last Wednesday’s party/talk/Q&A. I’ve tweaked a bit of syntax for ease of reading, but other than that I’ve left it totally intact in order to best convey Woody and Brian’s wisdom. Their opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of Tree Fort Bikes or the Arrowhead 135, although we do greatly value their experience, and we are of the opinion that they are a pair of hardcore, genuine, friendly dudes.

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Seen and Heard – Frostbike 2013

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Frostbike is a both a trade show and a celebration of cycling culture and community. Organized by our friends at Quality Bike Products in Minneapolis, it’s an event showcasing new and otherwise seriously cool cycling goods, along with the folks who design and bring them to you. It was a privilege to be a part of this.

Check out our Frostbike photo tour, where you’ll find product sneak peeks for 2014 and other great gear that caught our eye.

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Giro 100 Proof Winter Glove Review

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The 100 Proof glove is the warmest offering for Giro. It’s a split finger glove (also called “lobster claw”) that pairs your fingers together to better trap body warmth. Included with the glove is a light weight glove liner made from a moisture wicking fabric to help keep your hands dry. All in all, these gloves are designed to keep you warm and dry in the most frigid of temperatures.

The split finger design is meant to help keep your fingers warmer, similar to a mitten but with some added dexterity. The increased range of motion is important for gripping on handlebars and operating a bike’s controls.  (more…)

Fat Tuesday #2 – Frame Bags

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Mukluk with Salsa Frame bag by Revelate Design

If you’re looking to saddle up for extended rides, fat bikes can present a unique problem: few rear rack options exist for these extra-wide frames. Traditional rack setups make an already-bulky bike even bulkier when lumbering down tight trails.

One solution to the problem is a frame bag, a carry system that makes use of the bike’s inner triangle. You may have noticed these large bags used on the Tour Divide, the race featured in the cycling documentary Ride the Divide. These bags provide ample storage for gear needed on long rides, and Salsa and Surly have put them to work: both companies turned to Revelate Designs to create these bags to fit their specific fat bike frames. (more…)

Introducing Fat Tuesday’s – A Weekly Post About Fat Bikes & Gear

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The Salsa Mukluk is as good on the trail as it is in the snow

If you’ve spent time poking around the shop side of TreeFortBikes.com, you may have noticed a curious something that we’re peddling on this corner of the internet: a bike with really, really big tires. Some of you may be more than familiar with the sight; certainly others are already totally-pumped owners of such a steed.

We’re talking about fat bikes — a bike that’s built entirely for use with tires that run (get ready) about 4 – 5 inches wide. Why, you ask? So you can float! Well, in a sense. The expanded surface area of these tires suspends the cyclist higher aloft on loose surfaces like sand and snow, and also permits the kind of super-low air pressures that make a tire into a regular cushion, emboldened to trample over the more impassable reaches of earth. Okay, I’m already a little out of breath. Honestly, there is a lot to say about fat bikes. There’s frame design and proprietary parts unique to fatties; there’s the market to explore, including new and veteran brands that are taking fat bike outfitting to the next level; and, of course, there are adventure stories to be told from the trail, where the boundaries of fat bike riding are constantly being expanded and re-imagined. (more…)

9 Tips for Photography While You Ride

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Cycling is a great activity to take a camera along on.

Everyone loves photos. They tell a story, let our imaginations run or give us a glimpse into places and things we don’t get to experience for ourselves. Consider this: We love photos so much, Facebook recently spent roughly $1 billion to purchase Instagram. Photos are an incredible way to capture and share the joys of riding.

Below is a list of nine tips that can help you create better photographs on your ride. They are not surefire steps to make your photo to go viral — instead, they’re simple tips to help you achieve consistent results and better enjoy the experience of taking photos. DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that photography is artsy, fun, expressive and enjoyable. There is no right or correct answer. It’s all about personal preference. As such, these tips are generally accepted as a good foundation to core photography knowledge. However, going against tradition can also create successful work, as history has shown. So read up, enjoy and give it a go. (more…)

Topeak RideCase iPhone Case

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
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The Topeak RideCase iPhone case and mounting bracket is a pretty solid offering from Topeak. The case and mounting bracket can bring a welcomed addition to your daily commute with a few hidden surprises. It makes a nice everyday case that can be slipped onto the bike in the blink of an eye and have you off riding in no time. Of course all that doesn’t come without a bit of a back story of our initial impressions. (more…)

Finish Line 1-2-3 Starter Kit

Friday, February 24th, 2012
Finish Line Starter Kit

The Finish Line Starter Kit is a great way to get started on the basic maintenance plan. There is no arguing that most cyclist don’t take proper care of their bikes, and who can blame them. If it’s nice, go ride. However it does take it’s toll on the equipment and leads to higher replacement and repair costs.But with this starter set, it give you all the basics to use towards maintaining your drivetrain. It also makes an inexpensive gift for just about any cyclist.

Included in the set are a 4oz. bottle of Finish Line Mutli-Degreaser, a Finish Line Grunge Brush and a 2oz bottle of Finish Line Dry Lube. Each provides and accounts for an important step in maintaining your drive train. Braking down the dirt, cleaning the dirt away and lubing which protects your drivetrain from wear and tear and keeps it running smooth.

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Jagwire Disc Brake Multi-Tool

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Jagwire Disc Brake Multi Tool One of the most fun parts of the winter months is adding new products to our online catalog and finding hidden gems in the mix. One such product that we wanted to take a minute and highlight is the Jagwire Disc Brake Multi-Tool. One of the stand out features that is that it covers a short list of multiple purposes, all while remaining a component specific tool. Most “multi” tools try to do to much while cramming it into an almost unusable package. Don’t be fooled by the the multi tool name attached here, it is still very much an everyday shop tool that you’ll find in a tool box or on a work bench.

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The Bottom Bracket (Un) Standard

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

PressFit30 on the Foundry Auger w/ Sram Force Crank Bottom brackets are a part that many cyclists tend to either overlook or are completely unaware of – much less what style, shape, or size it is. The Bottom Bracket (often abbreviated to bb) is the bearing assembly that the crank arms rotate on. In recent years the choices in bottom bracket type have expanded greatly and it seems every year some new form or standard is set. It’s also a part that isn’t much thought about when it works, but when things go wrong it can ruin a day on the road or trail. If you’re building a new bike or repairing an old one, here’s a list of all the info you’ll need to determine what kind of bottom bracket you have. (more…)