Orange/San Diego Counties:
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Greater Los Angeles Areas:
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Gift Ideas for Cyclists

December 5, 2014Joe BartoeProducts

New Synaptic PosterWe just added a new header to our online store for December called “Gift Ideas.” This is a great place to look around for unique gifts for the cyclists in your life.

Some of the items include our own merchandise, such as the “Enjoy your ride” poster to the left as well as some of our own t-shirts and jerseys.

We went through our entire inventory of products and have reduced our prices on many of them to provide greater values for our customers. Additionally, anything you purchase in the store (except bicycles) includes FREE SHIPPING!

SYNA12003_Tshirt_FRONT_01a

We’ve reduced the prices on our t-shirts and on all of the SockGuy products in stock. Our t-shirts are now available in 3 different colors (Navy, Ash, or Black) and 2 choices of print color (Orange or Light Blue).

The shirts are made by American Apparel and are printed using water-based inks. Once washed, you can’t even feel the artwork. And the shirts themselves are soft to the touch and fit great!

CAFreedomSGXWe’ve been long-time users and supporters of the SockGuy products. We really love their stuff. All the socks in our store are the SGX model, which are thin and provide an incredible compression fit that leaves your feet feeling great all day long. We even wear these off the bike! Other items we carry from SockGuy include arm warmers, shoe covers, and base layers. We use each and every product we sell, and we wouldn’t sell it if we didn’t love it!CAMPY_RD_gsSM_medium

Other fun stuff in our store includes matted prints of bicycle parts. These were hand-drawn by Jon Grant, our graphics guy, and each one has its own story, according to Jon. Each part was beautifully rendered in black ink on white paper, and each print was offset printed in dense, black ink on white, acid-free, Bristol cover. These can be found in the “Bicycle Art” portion of our shop. We sell 9 of these matted prints and when placed in a frame and hung on the wall, they are stunning and would be a great addition to your bicycle-related art collection!

MAFAC_gsSM_mediumOther items in our shop include beer glasses, bottle openers, tools and more. Please, take a look around at our gift ideas for cyclists. If You’re looking for something specific that isn’t listed, give us a call at (949)374-6079. If we can find it for you, we will! If you are looking to rent a road bike in Los Angeles or San Diego/Orange County please contact us as well!

 

Custom Wheelsets For Sale

June 10, 2014Joe BartoeNews, Products
Pacenti_Wheels

Pacenti SL23 Wheelset laced to DT Swiss 240S hubset. Tires are Hutchinson Sector 28 tubeless clincher.

It goes without saying that cyclists come in many shapes and sizes and strengths. A 135 pound climber probably doesn’t need the strength of a wheel built for 220 pound sprinter. And now, with the advent of the off-the-rack wheelsets, we have to be careful of weight limits when purchasing our equipment. It makes sense to have a wheelset built for you and your riding style rather than buying a set that is designed to work for “most people”. For that reason, we are going to start offering custom wheelsets for sale. As part of this process, we are building up some wheels for our rental fleet that customers can demo when they rent one of our bikes, or on their own bikes, if they choose.

Why offer custom wheelsets? There are a ton of benefits to custom-built wheels. Here’s a partial list:

  1. You help design it!!
  2. The wheels are built to fit your needs and riding style!
  3. You can go to any bike shop and get it trued or repaired! We’ll even supply extra spokes and nipples!
  4. Lifetime guarantee for trueness and spoke replacement!

We will be offering only aluminum rims on our wheelsets, initially. We are not enamored with carbon rims for everyday riding for reasons that we’ll get into in another post. Our current favorite is the Pacenti SL23. It is a 24mm wide rim that is tubeless clincher compatible, and it is available in 20, 24, 28, and 32 hole drillings. Weighing in at 450g per rim, it is lighter than comparable rims, and we find that it builds up into a light, strong wheelset. We can also build wheels with rims from DT Swiss, HED, Velocity, and Stan’s.

Shown above is one our first wheelsets. It features DT Swiss 240S hubs laced 2 cross to the Pacenti SL23 rims (24 hole front/28 hole rear), using Wheelsmith double-butted spokes. Total weight of the wheelset (minus tires and skewers) was just over 1500g. We’ve mounted up the new tubeless clincher from Hutchinson, the Sector 28, and have been riding the heck out of them ever since. We now have well over 700 miles on this set and they ride great and have stayed perfectly straight from the start. The price of the wheelset decribed here would be $1100 and would include skewers and rim tape.

Building a custom wheelset is a personal thing, and it’s the best bang for your your buck as far as upgrades for your bike. If you’re considering a new custom set of wheels, give us a call at (949)374-6079. We’ll walk you through the process to ensure that you are getting the wheelset that meets your needs. And the best part is you get to pick your own: hubs, spokes (silver or black), nipples, colors, rims (style and color), and lacing pattern! If you are interested in testing out some our custom wheel builds contact us today!

Bike Rentals-Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties

Since we started our business, we have gotten calls for bike rentals in the greater Los Angeles area. Up until now, we have had to charge an additional fee for serving those areas. It was simply too long a drive and too far outside our normal service area to serve without charging for the extra time and mileage.

We are extremely excited to announce that as of the week of May 26th, 2014, we have officially begun to serve the greater Los Angeles area, along with our other service areas of Orange and San Diego Counties. In doing so, we will offer our same great service, along with FREE delivery and pick up within our normal standard service area. Our new service area will be an approximate 30 mile radius from Santa Monica.

2012_Cayo_Evo_2

2013 Focus Cayo Evo 2.0-Ultegra DI2

To reserve your bike or contact us, check out our designated Los Angeles page. If you use our fillable forms, simply use the pull down menu to specify the area you are interested in. Otherwise, feel free to call us directly. Don’t worry about getting it wrong. We’ll gladly direct you if you’re not sure about what area to choose from the menu!

Liscio_Ultegra11

Volagi Liscio 2-Ultegra 11

Greg Donovan will be the day to day manager/owner of Synaptic Cycles Bicycle Rentals in Los Angeles. He has been working hard behind the scenes to learn the business and get set up and ready to go. He will be starting out with incredible road bikes from Focus and Volagi. His Focus offerings will be the Focus Cayo Evo 2.0 with full Ultegra DI2 drivetrain. Additionally, he’ll have several Volagi Liscio 2 bikes with Ultegra 11 speed mechanical or DI2.

Greg approached me around the end of 2013 with a desire to partner up in the Synaptic Cycles venture. He was a former customer and a great guy so I though it would be worth exploring. Since then, he has worked with me to see how I go about the day to day business, attended the United Bicycle Institute courses to learn more about bike mechanics, and shown a willingness and desire to serve customers in a way that our customers have come to expect.

Along with individual bike rentals, Greg will be offering group and corporate event services, just like in our original service area of Orange County and San Diego County. Please, help me welcome Greg to the Synaptic Cycles family and get in touch with him about your bike rental needs in the greater Los Angeles area!

 

Sock Guy SGX Socks Review

We occasionally run into products that we just plain love. Every product from the Sock Guy that we’ve tried thus far has been fantastic. Here, we wanted to give you a quickie Sock Guy SGX socks review.SGXrasta

According to the Sock Guy website:

“SGX socks are designed with the elite athlete in mind and feature our exclusive Elite Performance Formula. The new SGX sock line provides a compression fit, performance ribbing, enhanced ventilation and a reduced friction profile. These socks feel great, look great, and with SockGuy’s signature Stretch-to-Fit sizing and reinforced toe & heel, SGX socks perform like no other. Guaranteed to be the most comfortable performance socks you’ll ever wear.”

While we’re not sure what they mean by “elite athlete”, we can honestly say that these socks are great for the non-elite among us, as well.

First and foremost, the material is thin without feeling flimsy. Since many cyclists do not like thick, bulky socks, this is a good thing. The second thing you notice about the fit of these socks is the compression fit. They don’t feel constricting, just a bit of compression. They simply feel great on your foot. You can feel the nice, even compression over your entire foot. CAFreedomSGX

Though the effects of compression on your foot might be debatable, the one effect that it has here is that it gives these socks an exceptionally close fit to the foot. There’s not much chance that this sock will bunch up and create hot spots during exercise. Additionally, the toe seams lie flat and don’t irritate or rub like some socks can. This is especially important for me as a scar on the top of my foot seems to get irritated easily for poorly placed toe seams.

Sock Guy indicates that these socks have enhanced ventilation and reduced friction profiles. This does seem to be the case. I wear these socks on a daily basis while riding, running, coaching soccer, running errand3whiteblues, you name it. I have done a lot while wearing these socks and have yet to develop a blister while wearing them or have my foot be clammy upon removal of the sock. They do everything that the company has indicated and more!

While just making a sock that has all these characteristics would be quite the feat (no pun intended!), Sock Guy offers their socks in a number of different flavors. They have an incredible array of designs and offer their socks in a broad range of cuff lengths, from no cuff to 3″ to 5″ and all the way up to knee high. So, if these socks become your favorites, you’ll have plenty to choose from!

We offer these socks in our online shop (http://synaptic-cycles-shop.myshopify.com/collections/cycling-clothing) so you may think we’re a bit biased, but that’s not the case. If you see us out and about, we will generally be wearing these socks (except with flip flops, not a good look!). We love them or we wouldn’t sell them. Give them a try. We think they’ll become your favorites, too. If you’d like to see other options made available, let us know and we’ll see if we can get some in stock. If you’re not interested in socks, and just want to hop onto a bike in OC/San Diego or Los Angeles, please contact us ASAP!

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.

HyRd_Front

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/).

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.

Copyright © 2012 Synaptic Cycles Inc.