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Volagi Liscio Demos

 

Liscio_Ultegra11

New Volagi Liscio 2 with Ultegra 11 and TRP Hy/Rd hydraulic disc brakes.

We have been a Volagi dealer for over a year now. As a road bike rental company, our model has been to demo bikes such as the Volagi Liscio, renting them to customers before they spend their hard-earned money on a new bike. Here, we take a look at one of our brand new Volagi Liscio demos.

Liscio_FrontEnd

The Liscio 2 front end, showing the internal routing of the cables.

A few weeks back, we took delivery of a brand new Volagi Liscio 2 with the new Ultegra 11 speed group and the TRP Hy/Rd Hydraulic disc brakes. We’ve always loved pulling the new Volagi bikes out of the box, and the new Liscio 2, with internal cable routing throughout, has a nice, clean look.

 

We ordered this newest bike with the new Shimano Ultegra 11 speed drivetrain and the new TRP Hy/Rd hydraulic disc brakes. The end result is a stunningly beautiful and functional bike. The white on black colorway with red trim inside the fork and rear stays is really complemented by the finish of the Ultegra gruppo.

Ultegra11Crankset

The Ultegra 11 crankset features a new 4 arm spider that accepts chainrings for either compact or racing drivetrains.

 

 

The Ultegra 11 crankset has the same, new 4-arm design as Dura Ace, and it allows standard or compact gearing without having to purchase new crankarms. This simplifies things greatly and allows for easy conversion should you decide to change up your front-end gearing.

Below is  a close up of the new  Ultegra 11 Rear Derailleur. An option on Ultegra 11 is a longer cage derailleur, which allows for the use of an 11/32 cassette. For those riders who have been using road triple drivetrains, this will allow for similar gearing options when coupled with with compact gearing up front. The added benefit of this option is an increase in shifting simplicity over road triple options.
Ultegra11_RD

The new Ultegra 11 rear derailleur comes in a longer cage option that allows for the use on an 11/32 cassette for lower gearing options.

 

 

The TRP Hy/Rd hydraulic brakes are cable-actuated and have the hydraulic reservoir built into the calipers, allowing for the use of standard brake levers. The braking feel is similar to that of rim brakes, but provide much better stopping power. This will be especially noticeable to riders who lack hand grip or have smaller hands.

This cable-actuated hydraulic brake system also has some side benefits over full hydraulic systems. This system doesn’t require special hydraulic brake levers. Given the ugliness of the new hydraulic road levers, this is a big benefit! Additionally, you don’t have to worry about hydraulic lines running the length of the bike, and it also negates the chance of losing your brakes after a crash when your levers get take a big hit. Also, should this happen, it’ll be much cheaper to replace a standard cable-actuated lever than a hydraulic lever.

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The Hy/Rd front caliper-the cable is routed internally through the fork and the caliper is cable-actuated with the hydraulic reservoir incorporated into the caliper itself

HyRd_Rear

The Hy/Rd rear brake caliper.

 

The brakes feature pads that move independently and provide strong, noise-free braking. For some of our repeat customers who have ridden the mechanical disc-equipped Volagis, this is a game changer. Most have commented on the fact that the brakes feel “normal” but have greater stopping power.

So how does all this go together? The Ultegra 11 speed group is amazingly swift shifting, with a very light feel at the lever, compared to previous versions of Ultegra. This is immediately apparent in the repair stand and on the road. The movement from one gear to the next is fast and crisp. Front shifting is simply amazing! The trickle down from the Dura Ace 9000 mechanical group is apparent. Coupled with the new Hy/Rd brake system, these bikes are a dream to ride – great shifting, coupled with great braking. Add in the plush ride of the Volagi frameset and you have a bike that you’ll want to be riding all day long.

If you’d like to do a Volagi Liscio demo, give us a call (949-374-6079). You can read more about our demo process and how it works here (http://synapticcycles.com/calfee-and-volagi-demo-bikes/).

Long-term Bike Tire Review-Grand Bois Cerf

This is a follow-up to the earlier bike tire review where I gave my initial impressions of the Grand Bois Cerf tire.

Okay, I wasn’t sure about the switch to these tires. I am a bit of a fuddy duddy when it comes to tires. I tend to ultimately stick to tires I’ve used in the past even though I occasionally try (waste my money on) other tires. Most often, I end up on Continental Grand Prix 4000s or Ultra Races or Vredestein Fortezza Tri-Comps. Everything else that I’ve tried up to now feels slower or doesn’t corner well. There was the time where some Avocet FastGrips took me down on a slick road at 35 mph. Then there’s the sluggish ride of the Specialized Roubaix tires (unless you pump them up to ungodly pressures, but then what’s the point in riding a higher volume tire?). Anyway, you get the point.

Now, I’ve come to the Grand Bois Cerf Green Label (28C width). They are puffy, measuring slight wider than it’s stated size of 28C (28.2mm on my DT Swiss RR 1.1s), pumped up to about 95 psi. They roll quietly and comfortably, absorbing quite a bit of the road shock. They take the edge off expansion gaps and roads that have small rises in the pavement due to underground roots. This is great, but there’s always a trade-off in speed, right? Wrong.

On three separate rides when I first got them, they have proven to be faster. On my first commute on them, I easily managed a bit over 17mph round trip when I had been working pretty hard to go 16mph round trip. On a 32 mile ride over the weekend, I rode 18mph over a 32 mile course that I usually have to work hard to stay over 17.5mph. Then, this morning I just flew in to work, getting here about 5 minutes faster than average. Granted this is a small saCERF_JET4mple, but it indicates why I may have found a new “go-to” tire.

I now have completed a few years of riding on these tires. Lately, I have been mounting them up the HED Jet 4 rims or the HED Ardennes wheels. These rims are the newer 23mm width rims. When these tires are mounted on these rims, the wider rim allows the tire to “round out” , providing a nice round profile. Shown on the right is the GB Cerf mounted on the HED Jet 4. It’s difficult to see, but the tire is nice and round when mounted on this rim (See the picture on the right). The Ardennes imparts the same profile to the tire. I have completed multiple double centuries on these tires and have found them to perform well. Fast and comfortable!

For those who want to know about the actual width of these tires, you can see in the next picture, that the tire measures just over 29mm when mounted on the HED wheels.

It should be noted that most newer bikes will not accept tires this width unless specifically built to CERF-_MEASUREaccept larger tires. For example, one of my racing bikes has an Easton EC90 fork. The Cerf Green Label does not fit into this fork, Fortunately, the Grand Bois Cerf Blue Label (26C) tire measures out at ~27mm wide on the HED rims and fits just fine, giving a nice round profile as well.

So, if you’ve read this far, you’re likely wondering why you’d want to try these. First, my experience with these tires indicates that they are actually faster than most other tires that I have tried. Second, they are higher volume tires. This means that tire pressures can be lowered without giving up speed. I weigh 185lbs and I typically ride mine at 85psi rear/80psi front, and this provides a very comfortable ride without any reduction in speed. Third, their nice, round profile when mounted seems to make them much more predictable in corners. This is a subjective thing, but I feel much more confident during hard cornering on these tires than I do on most other tires.

Okay, negatives? Well, some claim that these tires are prone to flats. While I have flatted on them, I have not noticed them to be especially flat-prone. Though, if you tend to ride on glass-strewn or thorn-covered roads, these might not be the tires for you. If you tend to be careful about what you ride over and check your tires for debris after ride, you will probably do fine on this tire.

You can buy them here on(http://www.compasscycle.com/tires.html). Please, note that I have no skin in this game. I don’t sell these tires and don’t get any money or freebies from Jan Heine or Compass Cycle.

Bike Tire Review-Grand Bois Initial Impressions

This is bike tire review that I pulled off another blog I write. I was reminded of it when out for a ride on these tires and was telling another rider about how well they rode.

When I walked in the door last night, there was a package waiting for me containing two brand new Grand Bois Cerf tires. I had been trying to decide between the Challenge Paris-Roubaix (700X27C) and the Grand Bois Cerf (700X28C). A survey of some people who had tried both seemed to indicate that the GB Cerf might be a little less susceptible to flats resulting from glass, which was what tipped me toward the GB Cerf. Given that there has been a lot of interest in the tire lately, I thought I’d write up a small bike tire review.

Jan Heine (of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly and the importer of the Grand Bois tires) was kind enough to answer some of my questions and gave me a brief rundown on widths of some of the tires (measured on a Mavic MA-2 Rim):

Grand Bois Cerf 28 mm: 28.5 mm actual
Challenge Paris-Roubaix 27 mm: 29 mm actual
Grand Bois Hetre 30 mm: 31.5 mm actual

This was helpful as the bike they’d be going on was built to accept up to 30C tires and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t purchase a tire that I could not use. As it turns out, there was plenty of room:

The Grand Bois Cerf under a SRAM Red Caliper.

The rubber on the GBs seemed quite sticky coming out of the package and the beads were tight. It took a bit of hand strength to get the GBs onto my DT Swiss RR 1.1 rims. I was able to get them mounted without the use of tools but it took a little bit of grunting and cursing. Okay, maybe a lot of grunting and cursing. I think this was due to the “stickiness” of the tire. It seemed to really grab the rim sidewall as I was trying to muscle the bead into place. Much different from the other tires I normally use.

Once mounted, I pumped them up to around 95 psi and then went looking for my calipers. At first measure, they were 27mm wide. I went and measured my Jack Brown Green labels  from Rivendell (33.3mm on a Mavic Open Pro-how did Grant do that?!!!) and my 25C Conti GP4000s (25mm on an Open Pro). I waited a bit and then re-measured the GBs and found that they had plumped a bit over time (to around 28.2mm).

I was pleased to find that they had a nice round profile once mounted as well. The Grand Bois were replacing some Specialized Roubaix Pro II tires (the ones with the 25C casing and the 23C tread; measure 26mm wide on the DT Swiss rim), which seemed squarish when mounted. I hoped that the rounder profile would provide a bit of a nicer transition when cornering and might give the ride a bit more plushness as well.

The first ride came this morning on my commute. It’s hard to say from one cold morning commute, but the tires were definitely more compliant than the Specialized tires they replaced, making the ride much more comfortable, in general. They felt faster and seemed to hold in corners nicely, as well. I find that the Specialized tires seem to feel sluggish at lower pressures and only feel fast around 115 psi. This seems to correlate with my commute times as well. Unlike the Specialized tires, the GBs felt fast at 95 psi while still taking the edge off the imperfections of the road surface. I’ll have to ride them more and play with tire pressure a bit to dial them in, but I’m really impressed so far with the ride of the GB tires. After I’ve ridden them a bit more, I’ll report more on my impressions.

You can purchase these through Jan Heine’s online shop: http://www.compasscycle.com/tires.html

Unique Laguna Beach Travel Information

This Laguna Beach travel information was compiled by Marvin Davis (@farmtotable on Twitter) and kindly provided to us for use on this blog. Please, feel free to let us know if something should be added to this listing.

We are often asked about fun things to do in the areas we serve. Sometimes, we’re even asked where is a great place to stay. For that reason, we thought it might be nice to post some ideas for people. Here, we provide some interesting Laguna Beach travel info. August is an especially great time to visit the Laguna Beach area, and it is a one-stop shop for outdoor adventures. We highly recommend this area as a base camp for your Southern California adventures!

Info Sheet – South Orange Coast Base Camp at Crystal Cove State Park near Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park (http://crystalcovestatepark.com/) makes a great base camp for just about any adventure (Kayak/SUP/MTB riding/Road Bike riding/Hiking/Swimming/Scuba/Surfing/Snorkeling). The South Orange Coast from Newport to Dana Point has sufficient topography to make launching & landing kayaks/SUP’s in most weather conditions a breeze. Exploring this beautiful area will reveal many small coves, hidden beaches, and beautiful vistas.

Be sure to treat yourself to the Shake Shack located along HWY-1 at least once.

If you are unfamiliar with this venue and just want to get a feel for Crystal Cove, stop by the Beachcomber Cafe (http://thebeachcombercafe.com/_crystalcove/index.aspx) located right on the beach. Great beach vibe with breakfast, lunch, dinner, served inside or on the deck and a separate bar outside.

While staying in one of the vintage Crystal Cove Cottages, just get yuppie grub from Trader Joes  ((949) 494-7404) at the nearby Crystal Cove Promenade (8086 E Pacific Coast Hwy 92657) shopping center or take out from local restaurants. One of our favorite takeouts is whole roasted chicken and a Caesar salad from Banderas ((949) 673-3524; http://www.hillstone.com/#/restaurants/bandera/ ) at 3201 E Pacific Coast Hwy in Corona del Mar 92625.

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Crystal Cove Cottages

Unique accommodations range from tent/RV camping at the Crystal Cove State Park’s new Moro Campground, to hiking in to an Environmental Site, to rustic beach Cottages located right on the sand. The Moro Campground tent sites are located closest to the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and cost a whopping $50/night, but could just be one of the finest adventure base camps ever.

Accomodations:

Environmental Sites (Hike may not be suitable with heavy gear/boats.)

Link to site: http://www.crystalcovestatepark.com/camping.htm

Reservations by ReserveAmerica:http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Crystal_Cove_Sp/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=CA&parkId=120022

Moro Campground

Link to site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5WhiHC71Jc

Reservations by ReserveAmerica: http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Crystal_Cove_Sp_Moro_Campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=CA&parkId=123400

Cottages

Link to site: http://www.crystalcovebeachcottages.com/html/index.php

Reservations by ReserveAmerica: http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Crystal_Cove_Beach_Cottages/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=CA&parkId=120742

Prices range from ~$40/night for a secure dorm room to ~$200/night for a complete house. Reservations are available 7 months in advance but cancellations often come up, especially the week before.

I like the beach cottages 16, 19A, 32, & 37 because of the short portage to launch. My wife’s favorite is 33 located along the bluff. The dorm units do not work for couples. Cottage 2 has some restaurant noise. ADA units 1, 18 , 38D require handicap placard. The only unit I cannot recommend is 19B as it is located below 19A and can be painfully bad with noisy kids living right above you, jumping off the beds, running across the floor, etc.

Other Accomodations:

The Carriage House in Laguna Beach is a relatively affordable private accommodation with kitchen.

http://www.carriagehouse.com/

Another great base camp option is the cottages at nearby Newport Dunes RV Park.

http://www.newportdunes.com/cottages.html

The 1 bedroom w/lofts and Beachfront 1 bedroom w/lofts are very nice. Pricey during the summer, but the off season rates have been running ~$150/night for a nicely furnished cottage. Launch from beach a stones throw from cottage for a peaceful flat water meander of the Newport Back Bay, or head on out through the channel to see what adventures await. Located along some good road bike routes and there are a few nice little MTB routes and hiking trails nearby, including the Back Bay Loop (http://www.irlandmarks.org/assets/pdfs/BackBayLoopMap.pdf) that you can access directly from the RV Park.

Laguna Beach Weather

Use the following link to check out what to expect from the weather during your stay: http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/92651

Laguna Beach Events

Local events include Pageant of the Masters (A unique must see experience where the art comes to you life size (http://www.foapom.com/), Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Festival, Art Museum, Live music (Ever heard Sachmo Covers? That sound exactly like Louise Armstrong?) in a multitude of indoor and outdoor venues, great little shops, museums, art galleries, with free trolley service around town and to the beach. Check out the Laguna Beach Calendar of Events for more options for your stay.

Laguna Beach Calendar of Events: http://www.lagunabeach.com/calendarofevents/

Outdoor Activities:

MTB Riding: There is some great year round (closed after winter rains) MTB riding in Crystal Cove State Park and you could always hook up the with the RADS and Brian Lopes if you are looking for a more extreme Pro level adventure.

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MTB in Laguna Beach

No known pump tracks or DJ/Freeride sites, but I’m sure they’re there somewhere.

MTB Trails:

http://www.mountainbikebill.com/elmorocanyon.htm

 

Check out the MTB Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6v5FLPQcUo

Note the ridge line trails are completely devoid of Poison Oak.

 

 

MTB Rentals (Stumpys, Mojos, Blurs, Oh My!):

http://www.cycleogical.net/

http://lagunacycleryshop.blogspot.com/

 

Road Riding:

Nice road bike rides North/South along HWY-1 and as far East as you want.

http://www.octa.net/pdf/bwmap_full.pdf

Road Bike Rentals:

Don’t have your road bike with you but still want to go out and enjoy cycling the South Orange Coast? Contact Joe (949) 374-6079 at Synaptic Cycles for a great rental price on a super smooth Calfee or Cervelo delivered right to your door!

http://synapticcycles.com/

 

Kayaking/Stand Up Paddleboarding:

Newport Bay also makes a good launch site.

http://www.newportbeachca.gov/index.aspx?page=904

Dana Harbor is a very nice launch site.

http://www.funorangecountyparks.com/2011/08/baby-beach-dana-point-harbor.html

Kayak/SUP Rentals:

Kayak/SUP Rentals from Southwind Rental Base (949) 261-0200

http://www.southwindkayaks.com/rental-rates.html

SCUBA:

SCUBA is a great option with much sea life and interesting topography and artifacts, include including an old anchor and a WWII vintage F4 Corsair (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23871) located just offshore from Crystal Cove.

Surfing:

Surf Report (949) 494-6573

http://www.orangecounty.net/html/beaches-lb_crystal.html

Watch for submerged rocks.

Day Trips:

Avalon on Catalina Island makes an excellent day trip from the ferry terminals in nearby Newport Beach (Catalina Flyer http://www.catalinainfo.com/) or Dana Harbor (Catalina Express http://www.catalinaexpress.com/index.php). Tip: Catalina Express currently has a promo for free round trip travel on your birthday.

 

How to get around:

Train Service: Regular AMTRAK Train service aboard the Pacific Surfliner is available from nearby Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, or limited service from San Clemente.

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/AM_Route_C/1241245649505/1237405732511

Call (800) USA-RAIL for reservations and monitor http://twitter.com/PACSurfliners for latest updates.

Buses:

OCTA #1 municipal bus travels HWY-1 from Long Beach to Dana Point (and occasionally San Clemente) with stops near Crystal Cove State Park. http://www.octa.net/bus-routes-and-schedules.aspx

 

 

 

Orange County Road Bike Rides-Newport Coast

There are great road bike rides throughout Orange County that have incredible views of the ocean. The Newport Coast sits along the coastline of Southern California, tucked between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar. There are few places along the coast that enjoy such a beautiful view of the California coastline. Given the setting, it’s not difficult to see why it would be a local favorite for road cyclists. Here we list a few great Orange County road bike rides near Newport Coast.

The one difficulty with riding in this area is that riding along the PCH to the north takes you through Corona Del Mar, while riding to the south takes you through Laguna Beach. Both of these coastal towns are wonderful places to visit, but riding a bicycle through them can be a bit frightening, especially for those not accustomed to newport-coast-2-300x143riding in higher traffic areas with little or no shoulder or bike lane. Your best bet if you want to ride the coast road is to get out early during lower traffic times.

Fortunately, there are other options for those staying in one the resorts in the Newport Coast area. Many of these options offer road cyclists a nice variety of terrain, with nicely paved roads and terrific scenery. We are starting to compile some routes for those staying in the area and we will be sharing links to route sheets on this page as we move forward.

Here’s a few great road bike rides in the Newport Coast ares (all start from Newport Coast and avoid the higher traffic areas of the PCH):

Quick Hill Workout-A 7.2 mile loop with almost 1500 ft of climbing!

Laguna Beach/Dana Point/Lake Forest Loop-44 mile tour of some of Orange Counties nicest areas.

Corona Del Mar/Irvine/Laguna Beach Loop-32 mile ride with varied terrain.

If looking for Orange County’s number one road bike rental service, give us a call today!

We Deliver High-End Road Bike Rentals!

August 2, 2013Joe BartoeNews

Usually, when the phone rings around here, we find that customers have some familiar questions for us. “We are staying in [insert town/city here]. Do you deliver there? Is there an extra charge for that?”

Just to have the record set straight, we want to let you know that we deliver high-end road bike rentals to areas within an ~30 mile radius of Dana Point, for free. I know this might not be very helpful to those of you who ahome-bikere not familiar with Orange County and San Diego County.

It’s difficult to create and exhaustive list of places within this radius, but we can to give you some idea.

In San Diego County, we deliver to Oceanside, Carlsbad, Leucadia, La Costa, Encinitas and Del Mar along the coast, and we’ve delivered inland to Rancho Santa Fe, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido.

In Orange County, we can easily deliver to the coastal areas such as San Clemente, Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, Newport Coast and Huntington Beach. We have also delivered to inland areas like Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Orange, and Fullerton.

This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list but it covers most. Don’t worry, we don’t get angry or testy if you ask where we deliver. We just wanted to say it somewhere so people can find it. So give us a call and we’ll set you up with your bike and get you out on the road!

So, give us a call! We carry bikes from Calfee, Volagi, and Focus!

 

Avengers assemble!-New Bicycle Jerseys in stock.

March 16, 2013Joe BartoeNews, Products

CureSearchIt’s been a little over a year since my good friend and graphics guru, Jon Grant, lost his son to leukemia. If you have followed my company’s goings on, you are likely aware of our efforts to help Jon and his family raise money to help pay for the hospital costs associated with Auggie’s treatment.

Recently, I decided it was time to put new bicycle jerseys together, and of course, I asked Jon to start putting some ideas together. We decided to simplify and go for a lighter blue color style with navy and orange accents. The result, we think, is a very nice looking jersey. SYNA_jersey_2013_FINAs we finished up the jersey, I asked Jon to place the CureSearch for Children’s Cancer on the back pocket, along with the words “For Auggie”. We also added a special message from Auggie inside the pocket.

One thing everyone should know about Auggie is that he most wanted to be a super hero, and he wanted everyone to be one with him. Auggie would run around with his cape flowing in the breeze, fighting crime. If you had the pleasure of meeting Auggie in person, there was a good chance that he would hand you a cape and urge you to come help him fight. Even in the hospital, he would sing the theme song from The Avengers television series.

We are asking you to buy our cape, in jersey or vest form, and help us to fight children’s cancer. We are donating profits from our jersey sale to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Please, join us in this fight! For more info on CureSearch, click on the logo.

The pricing is as follows:

$75 Jersey
$70 Wind Vest
$100 Thermal Vest.

$10 per garment sold will be donated to CureSearch in Auggie’s name.

Here’s a link to the sizing charts:

http://www.voler.com/help/#HelpSizingCharts

You can order the jerseys directly in our online shop: http://synaptic-cycles-shop.myshopify.com/ .

Or you can contact us directly via email: joe@synapticcycles.com or phone: 949-364-6079 to purchase.

Marriage retreats with a twist…

We have partnered up with Via Seminars!Couple-Riding-Road-Bikes We will be putting our skills at organizing group and corporate events to work in a new and exciting way.

Via Seminars offers a unique take on marriage seminars, offering an amazing vacation in the world’s most beautiful places combined with intense couples workshops. Based upon issues they saw in their friends’ marriages, as well as their own, Iliana (Berezovsky) Glovinsky, MFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and her husband, Eli Glovinsky, sought ways to improve and strengthen their own marriage. They ultimately decided to confront the issues in their marriage, taking time off from their careers, traveling and re-learning how to reconnect with each other. It was from this experience that the idea of Via Seminars was born. They want to help couples to reignite the love, friendship, closeness, passion and intimacy in their relationships.

In early June, Via Seminars will be holding their first marriage seminar experience in San Diego. During their stay, couples will be staying in beautiful Coronado at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Over the course of 6 days, couples will experience a unique combination of a resort stay in one of California’s most beautiful cities, along with a cycling getaway, and Via Seminars marital workshops.

Tetra Pro complete with SRAM ForceSynaptic Cycles will be responsible for planning and implementing the 5 days of riding. The first day will involve a shake-down ride to dial-in bike fit while we make our way to the Coronado Ferry Terminal and back. Day 2 will feature a ride to the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, with an incredible 360 degree view of San Diego. Days 3-5 will take us on some challenging rides in the North and East County areas of San Diego. During these rides, you will get a taste of just about everything San Diego County has to offer, from incredible coastal views to desert vistas. In all, we will likely cover 150-200 miles over the course of the week, should you choose to ride every day.

This promises to be an incredible experience for couples that take part. We look forward to providing the best possible cycling experience for the couples during their stay!

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2013Joe BartoeNews

Happy New Year, everyone! It seems that 2012 was quite the blur! It started out fast and then hit the wall! Just like the owner. We kept moving forward and have now gotten a second wind, thankfully!

We had our trials and tribulations over the past year. The biggest difficulty we had was due to hacking into our site that resulted in it being down for multiple months. Fortunately, we have solved that issue and put up a brand new site. If you haven’t  had the time to browse around, please do! We are very happy with our new site and our new web developer (Thanks Luke!).

The year wasn’t without some great times. We enjoyed becoming re-acquainted with some of our customers as they came back into town for a visit, and we also had the opportunity to meet some wonderful new people who were using our services for the first time. Additionally, we had the opportunity to go on some great rides with our customers, enjoying learning more about them while showing them what our roads have to offer. All in all, we love to spend time with our customers and welcome the opportunity to provide them with our services.

Our year ended with a special delivery to a couple who would be riding our Volagis from San Francisco to San Diego over a 2 week period. This Swedish couple is planning on following the coast highway for most of their trip. As we bid them farewell, we couldn’t help but feel envious at the trip before them! We can’t usually guarantee a delivery in San Francisco with pick up in San Diego, but the the planets aligned, and we were able to get this to work for them.

As mentioned, we have taken on Volagi as one of our offerings for high-end road bike rentals. As of this writing, we now have 4 Volagis in our inventory, ranging from 50cm to 57cm. Two of the bikes have Dura Ace drivetrains and two have Ultegra drivetrains. Whenever possible, we are trying to upgrade our offerings to make sure that we can high-end rental equipment to our customers.

Volagi has proven to be cutting edge, as other makers are beginning to include disc-braked road bikes to their lines. Volagi, not content to rest on their laurels, have added a new steel bike line called the Viaje. It has many of the same features as the Liscio, but is made of steel, is rack-able, and has even greater tire clearance. It’s truly  a bike for all kinds of adventures! We’re definitely intrigued and hope to get a look at one and maybe get to ride one soon. With some luck, we might have a few to offer for rent soon. Other new additions at Volagi include options on their Liscios for hydraulic disc brakes and internal wiring for electronic gruppos. We’ve been  riding these off and on, and love the frame design and the disc brakes are great to have, especially when descending a twisty mountain road!

We continue our association with Calfee, going into our 3rd year. We have introduced so many people to this brand over the past few years through our rental service, and we are extremely happy to continue to do so! We are often surprised when our rental customers are unaware of Calfee before renting from us, but it gives us an opportunity to introduce them to a great bike company. Built in California from US-sourced materials, these frames are ready for long days in the saddle and pretty much anything you can dish out. One comment we get a lot from our customers is that they climb incredibly well. We had one racer pronounce his stiffer than his Giant TCR. We don’t really like to apply terms like “compliant” and “stiff” when describing bikes. It’s all relative, after all. All we can say, is that we like to ride the Calfees ourselves, at the expense of a lot of our other really nice bikes.

During the past year, we were outperforming our numbers from the first year of business by quite a bit. Most months, we were 50-100% above our sales from the previous year. We owe a lot of this to our customers! We were very pleasantly surprised to have a number of repeat customers this year, and we were even more excited to learn that they had referred a lot of business our way. Thank you all! We strive to provide a great experience to all of our customers, and the return business and referrals validate that we are doing a great job!

Unfortunately, we ran into website issues over the last quarter of the year and saw a significant drop in business. Thankfully, we’ve survived this little glitch and gotten it fixed and now have a fully functional site back online. Thanks for sticking by us during this time! We had several return customers write or call wondering what happened, and it means a lot that you stuck with us when it looked like we were in trouble.

Our new year is beginning like last year. Our first delivery of the year will be to a repeat customer and his wife. He even trusted us enough to send his Power Tap wheel out for us to put on his rental. Looks like he’s planning some serious training while he’s here! We’re also getting the opportunity to do a few corporate events. We’ll be providing bikes and leading a few rides over the next year. These are always a great time and allow us to ride and mingle with customers in a way that we don’t usually get to do.

As we begin the year, we are planning some new things as we move forward. We will be adding more bikes to the stable as we try to keep up with our customer base. Some of these will likely be a new brand that we bring in. Keep your eyes out for these new offerings. We hope to have a few racing wheel offerings as well. Both for rentals or to go along with your rental bike, if you like. We are also trying to gear up a bit so we can offer more touring style events. We have always been able to do this, if people ask, but we would like to formalize it a bit. For now, if you want a guided tour for a day or two, or you’d like to put together a group of friends and do a supported ride for a few days, let us know and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Well, that about covers it for our yearly review!  I have to get going on a bike build as a brand new Volagi just arrived at the door!

We want to take this time to thank all of our customers for being so wonderful to work with! Obviously, without you, we wouldn’t be in business, but also, without you, we wouldn’t enjoy being in business.

Have a wonderful new year, everyone! We hope to see you all soon!

 

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