Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review of the Giant Trance X2

The Giant Trance X2 recently received a sweet review on Mountain Bike Action, because it is a completely sweet bike at a sweet sweet price.

Here just a taste of the review called "Giant Trance X2: Virtually Unknown--Unbelieveably Good Trailbike"

"The five-inch travel Trance X2 has that rare ability to flow down technical, fast-paced descents while feeling sharp and energetic under power and while climbing. The reason that I wrote it up here is that the relatively affordable Trance X2 outperforms or equals trailbikes that cost over twice its price."

Monday, May 18, 2009

How We Roll

Boulder has more bikes per capita than any other town in the U.S. (or so I'm told), and this spring I've joined those who have one bike for mountain biking, one bike for road biking, and one for commuting. And while this seems an ideal situtation, it will result in the occasional conundrum when trying to decide which one to ride on your day off.

Road or mountain? Road or mountain? This morning I agonized over that decision for far longer than I should have. In the end, I chose mountain, and upon getting geared up, hopped on the bike path to the RTD station in Boulder to catch the N to Nederland for some spring riding in my former backyard.

It ended up being a fortuitous decision. While waiting at the bus station, a guy came rolling up on one of our demo Maverick ML8's. I introduced myself to him and found out his name is Francois (or something like that, I can't manage anything in French). He was on vacation from France of course, but with only a map and a recommendation of where to ride, I felt he might not get the full picture of Ned riding, so I offered to show him some exclusive trails that weren't on his map.

On the way I pointed out various points of interest like a tour guide, explaining the mining history, popular landmarks, and animals of the area. Occasionally, he just had to stop for a picture. I can't say that I blame him. We made a circuitous route back to town where we dropped in on Randy at his new digs for the Happy Trails coffee shop and bike info place. It's right across the street from where he used to be in the old train cars. It's a neat place and he's settling in nicely. Not only that, but he's also decided to start doing burritos soon- a veritable staple of the Colorado cyclist's diet. Sweet.

Then I took Francois up to Sugar Mag where we connected to the West Magnolia Trail system- his original destination. In the afternoon on a Monday there is almost nobody up there and that's the way we like it. I gave Francois some last bits of advice before splitting off on my own, heading up to Magic School Bus to see how the conditions were. Up by the old mine, the answer to that question was snowy and wet. I turned around there and descended back into the trail network after plowing back through the creek at the bottom at full speed- gave myself quite a bath there, but hey, it's a dry climate and it washed some sweat-stink off to boot.

At the trail head on the way out I ran into Mike Barrow and friends from the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance doing good works as usual from the saddles of their trusty Maverick full suspension bikes. His comrade had a chainsaw in a Bob Trailer (the most useful of trailers ever, I can attest) and they were clearing downed trees left over from the winter so no one makes a mess of the trail trying to ride around them or, conversely, makes a mess out of themselves trying to ride over them.

I tried to pick up the bus back down to Boulder at the Park-n-Ride in Ned but it turned out the schedule got botched by one of the drivers or something, so rather than wait there another hour for the next one I decided to ride down. This, despite the fact I had no food left, no money, and little oomph left in the legs. Peak to Peak, to Magnolia, to the Canyon Road, to the Bike Path, to the Bike House- home sweet home- that is to say, where the refrigerator full of food is. I stumbled in through the door five and a half hours after I left it, feeling like I had just done one hell of a bike ride, clamoring for food, liquid refreshment, and a cold shower. A bit of an epic ride for so early in the mountain bike season, but hey, the Full Cycle guys? That's how we roll. I suspect there'll be a few more of those before the season is done for.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Demo Days in May!

We have a fleet of the best bikes for you to take for a FREE test ride!

Where & When:
Saturday, May 16th
10:00 - 5:00
Full Cycle - 18th & Pearl in Boulder

Saturday, May 23rd
10:00 - 5:00
Full Cycle - 230 S College in Ft. Collins

Bikes available:
- Giant Anthem X2
- Giant Trance X2
- Ibis Mojo SX
- Maverick ML-8
- Spot 29er 1x9
- Spot 29er Carbon Belt Drive
- Giant TCR Advanced SL
- Ultramotor (it's electric!!)

(All bikes checked out for 2 hours on a first come, first served basis!)

What to bring:
A valid driver's license
Credit Card
Pedals if you want to use your own

What to do:
Take a high-end road or mountain or electric bike out for a couple of hours. We'll provide directions to local trails. HAVE FUN!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Weekend Awesomeness

Lotso stuff going on at Full Cycle this weekend:

Kona Demo Day Saturday @ Full Cycle on Pearl - CANCELED
Rain, rain go away. Stay tuned for a rescheduled demo day...

Freiker Fundraiser
Freiker is seriously cool. They put little microchips in kid's bike helmets that register when kids park their bikes in the bike racks at school. They track the number of days the kids bike to school, and then the kids get prizes if they ride a certain number of days. How awesome is that. I wish they had it for adults. Anyway, come by Full Cycle on the Hill or on Pearl this weekend, donate at least $5 to the Freiker program at participating schools, and you're entered to win kid's bike gear, grand prize being a kid's bike! The first 200 people to donate $10 or more get a prize RIGHT AWAY. No kidding.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Art of Road Biking

I've been an avid mountain biker since I bought my first bike that wasn't a BMX back in early high school (a fully rigid, cro-mo Giant Yukon) but never got into the road bike thing. The only road bike I had ridden was a borrowed Bianchi Vigorelli, and it was more reminiscent of a medeival torture device than a bicycle. I knew, at least in theory, that road biking could be fun, but wasn't in any financial condition to get one on a par with the mountain bike I was riding.

I've since become a career bike fitter at the premier bike shop in Boulder, and I've fit road bikes to hundreds of people until I was blue in the face. It got me thinking, I should give this road biking business a more concerted effort now that I can finally afford it.

Next thing I know, I've spent the entire winter building up a Giant Defy Advanced frame from the ground up with SRAM Red and Ksyrium wheels- a sweet bike by all accounts, and I'm donning lycra and shaven legs.

I feel like I've turned to the Dark Side, but now that I've ridden it a couple times, I realize this thing can go fast- like, scary fast, and I like that about it. I also realize how road riding could turn my legs into mountain bike power houses. I like that too.

To diversify your cycling options seems to be the Boulder Way. In that sense I find that the different disciplines in cycling are analogous to the disciplines in martial arts. Road biking is like Tai Chi. It's a meditative, zen-like thing. You get out on an open stretch of road and have deep thoughts. Mountain biking, then, is like Aikido. If you don't flow with the trail and work it's contours to your advantage, you'll likely get thrown to the mat. I did Aikido in college, so of course I'm still a mountain biker at heart.

BMX and mountain bike freeriding are like Kung Fu- all high flying, in your face, acrobatics. People who see you flipping through the air like Bruce Lee respect and fear you. Riding a cruiser bike or a comfort hybrid? That's like watching Kung Fu Panda on DVD. Just sharing my opinion, that's all.

So, do I like road riding enough to keep doing it? Only as much as I like cycling enough to keep doing it. So, yes! And next year? Maybe I'll try my hand at a little Kung Fu action.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Paddy's Party to Benefit Valmont Bike Park

Hey all,

Full Cycle and Kona Bikes are throwing down to raise money for the new Valmont Bike Park, with a St Paddy's day event at the Boulder Theater. For those not familiar Valmont Bike Park is going to be the premier bike park in the country with over $1 million spent developing dozens of acres in Boulder with jumps, pump tracks, singletrack and cyclocross courses. It will be amazing, but it’s going to be even better if we can raise some more money for it.

So to help raise money, Kona has given Full Cycle the rights to show New World Disorder 9 on Tuesday, March 17th, St Paddy’s Day. This movie is the by far the best to come out recently, it's simply an outstanding video. Cost is a low $10, and all the proceeds go to benefit Valmont Bike Park.To sweeten the pot and help us sell out we are adding the following:Over $3000 in free stuff to be given away!!

  • A new Kona Coilair (see below). The sweetest trail/freeride/downhill bike ever made by Kona

  • 2 Free Passes to Winter Park for this Mountain biking season. (That's a SEASON pass, not a day pass) wow!!!

  • 2 Full Face Carbon Giro Remedy helmets (over $200 each)

  • Tons of other free stuff from Pearl, Giant, Fox, Look, Oakley, Jett MTB and more

Also there will be:

  • A trials demo by Ripstoke—these guys got skills

  • A showing of the Best of Earthed 1 thru 5 movies to kick things off in style

  • Beer specials by PBR (that about kicks it)--repeat beer specials from PBR

  • Help from our friends at Mafia Racing, BMA and Valmont Bike Park and others to make this a fun time.

Come down and join what is to be the best kick off to the season, for a great cause. I know we’ll all be jazzed to hit the trails and get going on another great riding season. Wear green to get a discount on extra tickets to win more stuff.

A clip from the video!!

Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday 3/17/09 (St Patty's Day)

Time: Doors at 7pm, start at 8pm

What: New World Disorder 9 and fun

Where: Boulder Theater

Tickets: $10 at Full Cycle, $12 at Boulder Theater (service charge is $2)

Buy your tickets ahead of time at

Please come out and support the cause, and of course have a great time too!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kona Reviews

Thinking about getting a Kona?

Kona gets a ton of bike & product reviews from around the world, and they've compiled all their 2009 reviews here:

Read the review, and then stop on by Full Cycle for a test ride. We think this will make you very very happy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

26" Wheels or 29"? You Make the Call.

Allow me to enjoin the debate over whether 26" or 29" is the way to go for the mountain biking enthusiast. If this is discussion you've already had with your biking buddies, you've already found out that people tend to be as opinionated about this as they are about everything in the bike world.

Some say that the 29er is a silly fad, and that the only reason people are latching on to them is to be different. I think this is premature statement at best and, at worst, stupid one. On the other hand, there are those who will tell you that the days of the 26" wheel mountain bike are numbered, because the 29" is far superior in every possible way. This also is a premature statement at best, and at worst, really, really stupid.

The simple fact is 29" is right for some people while 26" is better for others. It all depends on what you want to do with your bike that determines which one is the better call. It all comes down to understanding the pros and cons of each size, of which the following are just a few.

The Pros- Because 29" wheels are a larger diameter, they give several distinct advantages over the 26". They roll over bumps more smoothly and maintain their momentum more easily. They allow for a larger tire contact patch with the ground for better climbing and cornering traction.

The Cons- The larger diameter 29ers result in a wheel that has more rotational mass, meaning there is more inertia to overcome in order to get the bike both moving and slowed down again. The wheel is also taller, but with the same width hub as on a 26er, meaning the lateral stiffness of the wheel is less, which in turn increases their susceptibility to ending up "taco-ed" in a crash. Cramming these large wheels onto a smaller frame without compromising the geometry or creating unwanted toe overlap presents its problems too. If you are less then 5'4" your chances of finding a nice riding 29er are almost nil.

So what does all this translate to in the real world? What type of riding is best suited to which wheel size. Here's how I see it.

If you enjoy the simplicity of a hardtail frame and you're not a midget, the 29er is a great option. It will ride smoothly sans suspension on most trails, and makes for a great singlespeed or commuter. Taller riders also get along well with the greater wheel size. A guy who's 6'8' riding a 26" wheel makes about as much sense as myself (at 5'9") riding a 24" wheel. The proportions just work out better.

If you like tackling really rough trails and jumping off of everything in sight with abandon, and are sometimes a little rough on your wheels, you'll probably get along better with a 26" wheel full suspension bike. Let's face it. There's a reason that 29er downhill bikes simply don't exist. It's a stupid idea. Even 29ers with 5" inches of full suspension travel seem to me to be a little like an amphibious car. In it's effort to be versatile it ends up not doing anything very well.

So there you have it- yet another opinion on top of a mountain of opinions, but I'd like to think of it as the little flag on top. Of course, in a perfect world, we'd all have a 29er and a 26" and we could pick which one to ride depending on the trail we're riding that day and how we feel. Until then?... shop wisely.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spot Titanium 29er

My obsession to purchase local products has now lead me to a new experience. Spot Brand bikes are located a mere 15 minute drive south to Golden, CO. Part of their business does involve importing frames but if you are willing to invest a little more coin you can be riding a light, smooth and classic steel or titanium frame hand made right here in Colorado. With over 20 years of welding experience, Spot Brand produces high quality 29er, Cross, and Town bikes.

Their introduction of a Titanium 29er frame this fall got me thinking. Titanium frames are stronger than steel with a very similar ride quality. Of course with most top end frame makers they only make ti frames in limited runs so I made it a point to join in on the first batch. The aesthetics are up to you. Most titanium fanatics go with a brushed finish with simple decals. For something with a bit more class and uniqueness, you can have logos and even your name bead polished into the finish. I went with the later.

Dressed with the finest Shimano XTR and a Maverick SC32 fork, my new Spot Brand should be riding sometime in the spring. Oh yea, it takes a few months so order one now if your looking for the perfect cross country racer. Available in single speed belt drive, geared or both? Yes, paragon dropouts lets you change from geared to the Gates Carbon Belt Drive System.

Full Cycle
Sales Manager

Help Build the Valmont Bike Park!

Hey all - Valmont Bike Park is doing a matching fundraising campaign and the last day to donate is this Friday.

Bikes Belong has agreed to match up to $10,000 in funds raised from individuals by this Friday 2/6 dollar for dollar. If you haven't donated yet, now is an excellent time to do so - you'll have twice the impact.

So far they are $5,000 toward the $10,000 goal. So step up if you'd like to see a world class cycling facility within city limits. This project is extremely exciting. Give anything you can!

Click here to make a tax deductible donation.

Monday, January 26, 2009

We have Velodrome Fever

We love Boulder's new Velodrome.

I won't waste time with words. Check out Ryan Hughes' helmet cam video:

Now. Come by Full Cycle and behold the magic that is our Felt track bikes! People our banging down our doors for these, and for good reason. They're going fast.

Friday, January 16, 2009

11 Reasons the Giant Reign is THE Colorado trailbike

We at Full Cycle sell a LOT of Giant mountain bikes to a LOT of happy campers. The majority of those are various incarnations of the Trance X, which was subject to stellar reviews in the press, yet most of the employees that ride Giant mountain bikes are on the Reign. Why is this?

11. I ride one, and my judgement cannot be questioned. (HA!)

10. 6 inches of travel is approximately 6 times more fun than none as long as the bike doesn't weigh more than an earth mover. The Reign does this, and yet somehow the earth moves anyway.

9. Hydro-formed tubing, low center of gravity, nearly indestructible pivots, the little drain hole in the shock cradle- Who'd-a-thunk-it? The engineers at Giant, that's who.

8. The "bang for the buck" quotient is well nigh astronomical... Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but Giant is the biggest bike company on the planet, which means big buying power, and some of that savings gets passed along to the end user: That would mean you.

7. The slack/relaxed geometry translates into a bike that loves to go fast, loves to fly, and is so easy to handle it practically balances itself.

6. Seriously, dude. Just look at it. Ain't she a beaut?

5. The Maestro suspension, while technically a floating pivot design, seems to ride better than other floating pivots, which is the best design on the market to begin with. They took the best and made it better. Anyone who doesn't agree with this assessment is perfectly entitled to their opinion, of course. That opinion would just be wrong.

4. The satisfaction of, when faced with a daunting array of obstacles, just moving your weight back and RUNNING IT OVER, all the while giggling like a toddler is an experience you simply can't put a price on.

3. The odd name will become readily apparent when you ride it.

2. If you got the legs, you'll find it's really fun to out-climb people on their dainty little x-country bikes.

1. The Reign rules... supremely and magnanimously.