Category Archives: Product

OPINION: Importance of the headtube angle

The world of mountain bikes is constantly changing.  Suspension can be tuned better than a piano, seat position can change faster than the stock market, and there are more tire choices than beer choices at Pick N Save.  So you walk into your local bike shop (ah-hem…we happen to recommend ours), looking for a new do-everything and go-anywhere mountain bike.  Where do you even begin? Continue reading OPINION: Importance of the headtube angle


It’s not often a small brand decides they have a better solution to the current drivetrain standards set forth from the likes of Sram, Shimano, or Campagnolo.  A good number of companies today dabble in the drivetrain market with producing cranks and chainrings.  Some even have taken a stab at a full derailleur based drivetrain.  Most notably as of late is FSA, a company that has skirted around the drivetrain for most of their existance, but can be found on most other critical components of a bike.  With their recent release of K-Force WE, FSA stepped into the drivetrain game.  How will this pan out for the traditionally handlebar and stem company? Time will tell and hopes of electronic drivetrains going more mainstream will be needed for success.  The road drivetrain market has seen others, Mavic for example, but what about something for mountain bikers?


Nearly 5 years in the works, Box Components came out with their answer to shift a bike.  With all the rage being anything 1x in the mountain bike world today, Box took this and ran with it.  A 1x specific drivetrain, offering a cassette, a rear derailleur, and a shifter.

CASSETTE – Box .two

A very similar product to that of Shimano’s M8000 11-46 cassette, however there are a few subtle differences and one more meaningful.  To start, it’s black.  Looks fresh, we’ll see how this wears over the coming months during testing.  Second, it is roughly on par weight wise to the XT.  This cassette is Shimano compatible, meaning it will fit a standard Shimano style freehub body, so any current wheel setup with 9 or 10 speeds will be compatible.  Due to the nature of mounting this style cassette, versus the Sram XD standard, it is more difficult to get both low cassette weight and low price.  The last, more significant difference is the jump between cog tooth count.  The XT essentially takes their 11-42 cassette, and swaps the 42 for a 46, making the 46 tooth a very much felt ‘bail-out gear’.  Box designed the cassette around its overall range, meaning you will not have a huge jump between any two cogs in the range.  With Shimano jumping 9 teeth, Box is a managable jump of 6 teeth, keeping your cadence spinning smoothly and predictably.  Overall tooth count is as follows from Box: 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-36-40-46.  MSRP $99.99.


A rear derailleur has a big job in todays drivetrain world.  Not only must it reliably shift a chain across a ratio that reaches 500% change, but it also must help hold the chain on the chainring.  All while attempting to hide from rocks and roots that are just itching to steal this precious little gem off the tail end of your bike.  The Box .one rear derailleur delivers on these.  It’s progressive clutch is a one-way system, keeping the chain tight, but allowing easy and smooth shifting throughout the cassette range.  This was a very noticable change from the clutch design of a Shimano or Sram derailleur.  Extremely smooth shifting was felt while dialing the system in while on the repair stand.

Another nice feature that shows time was spent during the design process is their Pivot Tech cable entry arm.  The arm is designed to flex inwards in the event of a crash or run in with derailleur seeking trail debris.  Compatible with a cassette range of 9-46, this derailleur is meant to be used on all major 11 speed cassette options available. MSRP $174.99.

SHIFTER – Box .one

The shifter.  This is where it all started and what intrigued us to bring this fresh and hardly known drivetrain in for a test.  Using the same cable pull as Shimano (compatible with Shimano 11 speed mountain derailleurs), the Box .one shifter has a very unique means of shifting to higher gear choices.  As demonstrated below, you can see the action of shifting is all done with one shift lever, however the shift is done on either of two actions.  Rotationally, this is the standard from both Shimano and Sram, and also inwards, which is a Box only design.

[cycloneslider id=”box-shifter”]

This shifter design is intended on leaving more of the hand on the bar for better control and also easier and a more consistant ability to brake.  Intrigued by the Box shift style? Being Shimano 11 speed compatible means you can add this to any bike you currently have with a Shimano 11 speed drivetrain.  Who knows, this shifter might just make you a better rider.  MSRP $74.99


The Box drivetrain is installed on a 2017 Specialized Fatboy and will be getting tested over the course of the next few months.  We will have an update after this test period to let you know how the system faired through winter fat biking and into spring time dirt.  Already know you want it? Drop by the shop to order.  All orders will include free install through June 2017!

I want BOX!



The Case for 1x

Cycling has undergone many advancements and changes, both good and bad, since its inception.  When the modern drivetrain sprung into existance, component manufacturers began adding more and more overall gears to the system.  Just over the last few years, this idea has changed.  Get rid of the multiples and stick to the rear only has been the growing trend.  Both Shimano and Sram have been pushing the movement to simplify the drivetrain on mountain bikes and a few other genres, with Sram in the front of this.

Hey, where did everything go?!?
Hey, where did everything go?!?

So why are these companies appear to be making riding more difficult with less gear options to choose from? The answer lies in the rest of the drivetrain package.  Both Shimano and Sram offer 11 speed cassettes, with a range that gets as low as a 46 tooth granny ring.  When you factor in Sram’s new ‘Eagle’ kit, the 10-50 tooth range on the cassette gives the rider a 500% overall gear ratio range, allowing the rider to climb the steepest climbs and still reach max speeds on the downhill and flat sections of the trail.

The benefits to all of this is more than most would think.  1) It’s simple.  There is only one derailleur and one shifter.  This limits out redundant gear ratios that 2x or 3x systems notoriously bring to the rider.  2) With less overall drivetrain, you save weight.  We’ve determined the average savings is around 0.75lbs when switching from a typical 2x drivetrain to a 1x.   3) It’s better for your drivetrain. With far less cross chaining, you can use all 10, 11, or 12 gears and not wear your cassette and chain away to nothing.

1x vs a 3x drastically reduces ‘cross-chaining’. Allowing for use of all gears in range with little impact on drivetrain wear.

4) When you determine what type of rider you are and where you are riding, you will find that a 1x drivetrain has you covered 99% of the time.  Our testing has lead us to very few occurrences of wishing for a lower/higher gear.  Even with a 28, yes 28 tooth front ring, paired with a Sram XD 11-speed cassette, your high gear will still warrant a top speed of around 30 mph (28 chainring; 10 tooth cog; 120 rpm).  Riding this fast on any MTB trail is nearly impossible (for an extended time period).  On the reverse side, your 28 chainring and 42 cog will allow you to climb nearly any hill in the area.

Interested in more info? Please stop down to the shop, we have all of your answers to get you setup with the best options from the best brands in the industry to make your ride better!


Good anytime, but especially during the cooler months that are fast approaching, Skratch Labs has now introduced a recovery drink mix that pairs great with options to warm you up after spending a few hours in the single digit temperatures we are sure to experience this winter season.

Try ‘chocolate’ for a extra recovery boost in your hot chocolate or ‘coffee’ in your morning caffeine jolt after an early morning workout.

Skratch Labs

Bkool – Indoor Trainer with an edge

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 9.59.45 AM
The Bkool trainer with views of the simulator
Setup with a Specialized Tarmac

Those looking for the best indoor spinning setup, have a handful of options to choose from, all of which at a premium price north of $1k.  Well, that has now changed.  With the indoor training system from Bkool, your ability to ride  preprogrammed routes, velodrome battles, or your favorite local routes are now possible, and all for well under that $1k mark. Indoor training over the winter is difficult.  The monotony of sitting in front of a screen for hours a week watching reruns of Friends or the ’89 Tour de France, tries even those with the ultimate dedication and perseverance.


Interested in more information, stop down to the store to try a demo or check out the Bkool website.

Demo Product

Upgrades are great.  They let you customize your new or current bike and can give loads of increased performance.  These are awesome reasons to look into changing your bike, however upgrades can come with a side affect: cost benefit.

We are working hard to offer you the ability to give the upgrade a try.  We are starting with mountain product; bringing in a set of both 29″ and 650 Traverse SL Fattie wheels in.  These are mega-wide carbon rim wheels with industry-leading DT Swiss internal hubs.  Additionally, we have a 29″ DVO Diamond suspension fork to give a run.

Why offer demo’s? Simply put, this is very serious product that will give your riding experience a complete change.  On top of our expertise, actually trying this level of product out is icing on the cake.

Come try it.  Full demo-bikes are on their way too…DEMO INFO

CYCLING CULTURE: more than the bike

The following help instill what we as a bicycle retailer are all about, which is more than just bikes, more than just helmets and pedals.   They expand the dynamic of cycling in a special way, they help form the roots of the sport, they help shape cycling culture.

Nupla McLeod
Nupla McLeod

Nupla McLeod The ultimate trail building tool. Rake, grade, level, and form the trail that you are constructing with one tool. We are carrying this to make trail construction easier for anyone who is putting a small loop in their backyard, a few jumps along the side of the house, or looking to volunteer to assist with a larger scale public project. Consistent searching for this specific tool from a local source always turned up with no results, we’re hoping easy access to a great trail building tool will help you with your first or one-hundredth hour of trail work.


Sylmar Vest
Sylmar Vest

Sylmar Vest
Sylmar Vest

Sylmar Dogwear Body Guard Vest Riding with man’s best friend is a great experience. If you check our website or follow us on social media, there is a good chance you have seen a video of riding with Chase, Ben’s yellow lab, who is full of energy, fast, and a great trail dog. In June, 2013, while out riding together at a local area trail, Chase had a horrendous accident that resulted in a 30cm gash down his underside, requiring emergency medical attention.   With a tremendous amount of luck on his side and a month off of any kind of dog fun, Chase made a full recovery and was back on the trail later that year. To help protect your riding buddy from injury, we will be stocking these protective vests for sale and offering them at no charge with any qualifying mountain bike purchase.

Not sure what size to go with? Bring your dog down anytime for a vest fitting.

$37.99   |   No Charge w/ qualifying mountain bike purchase

As a cycling retailer, we will continue to offer products, services, and hours of volunteering to stand for what we believe in, cycling culture. Stop down to find what makes up your cycling culture, we’ll be happy to help.