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6Fattie MTB Fun For Kids

November 27, 2015

Specialized is no stranger to innovative kids bikes. Just like their wildly popular Hotwalk, which has become a perennial go-to for toddlers learning to ride, the Big S has a new rig for riders in the junior field—the Riprock.

The Riprock comes in 20” and 24” wheel sizes and offers big fun in the form of uber fat 2.8” tires that will have young riders rolling up and over challenging, chunky terrain they come across and having more fun than you can shake a suspension fork at.

Like the adult 6Fattie MTBs, the Riprock is built for fun.

Like the adult 6Fattie MTBs, the Riprock is built for fun.

Just like with mom or dad’s 6Fattie mountain bike, the Riprock is all about confidence inspiring control, a plush ride, and all-conquering traction. The fat tires and the comfort and control they provide make the Riprock a bike every rider, regardless of their age, dreams about—freedom, exploring, having fun with buddies, and getting out there and getting after it.

Along with the new 2.8” tire width found on the Riprock, the rest of the bike is dialed for real riders, like the 6Fattie adult bikes so many of us at the shop love. Thoughtful geometry keeps the bike predictable and fun to ride with a low standover height, a suspension fork adds to the confidence inspiring control offered by the wide tires, and 1X drivetrains and disc breaks makes for easy shifting and plenty of stopping power.

The Riprock lineup comes in girls and boys versions and a bevy of colors.

The Riprock lineup comes in girls and boys versions and a bevy of colors.

The Riprock 24” comes in three models starting with the basic Riprock, which has cable-activated disc breaks, The Riprock Comp, which adds a hydraulic lockout to the fork for easier climbing prowess and hydraulic discs, and the RipRock Expert, which runs Shimano’s Deore hydraulic discs and features upgraded drivetrain components as well.

The Riprock 20” retails for $449.99, and the 24” wheeled models are $499.99 for the base model, $749.99 for the Comp, and $999.99 for the Expert. For both the kid that loves to ride and those that want to love riding, the Riprock is an excellent choice, especially if mom, dad, or an older sibling are looking for a trail buddy to explore with.

Canned Food Drive Ride A Success

November 24, 2015

This past weekend, thirty smiling, excited, and kind-hearted riders joined us and Easton Park, Bicycle Sport Shop Cycling Club’s Premiere Corporate Sponsor for 2016, for our first Canned Food Drive Ride. Young and old, roadies and mountain bikers, guys and gals, all joined in as we rode to make a difference in our community by supporting those in need of a little help this holiday season.

The ride to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas was cool and clear.

The ride to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas was cool and clear.

We collected nonperishable food items at all three of our stores and employees, customers, and friends made contributions large and small to the cause. On Friday, November 20, we gathered all the donations from the Research and Parmer stores and sent them to Lamar for the next day’s big ride.

Despite Saturday’s hefty winds and early clouds, the sun came out and a good group–including many of our Cycling Club members—-loaded messenger bags, backpacks, panniers, baskets, racks and trailers with all of the donated items to transfer them to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas by bike. As we prepared to embark on our delivery, Therapy Coffee was on hand to keep us warm with their delicious espresso and coffee drinks.


Riders unload bags and bikes with all the generously donated items.

The ride from the Lamar store to the food bank was 7 miles of talking, laughing, and smiles. Even with cool temps, spirits were warm as everyone pedaled up Congress. Once at the food bank, we unloaded the donations and the CAFBT staff set to quantifying all the food generously donated over the previous weeks—435 pounds, which equals 363 meals for Central Texans in need. Simply amazing!


Professor Al holds the receipt–435 pounds of donated food!

The ride back—right into a stiff north wind—was at least downhill and everyone made it back to Lamar for some breakfast goodies and a sense of satisfaction from a job well done. Everyone had great fun, all the better as it was for a great cause.

We’re so pleased that so many customers, employees, and friends were all there to lend a hand. There was even a couple who had never done an organized ride—this was their first one! We’re also excited that folks from Easton Park were involved in making the event a success. Easton Park’s Lifestyle Director, Amy Vleck, said “[t]oday was a blast, and I am so glad I got to participate! I’m very excited Easton Park is partnering with the Bicycle Sport Shop and looking forward to what else we’ll plan for 2016!“ We can’t wait either.

Thank you to everyone that played a role in making the Canned Food Drive Ride such a hit.

Mopac Mobility Bridge Update

November 12, 2015

Here’s the latest on the Mopac Mobility Bridge. When this is complete it’s going to change the way folks ride to and from southwest Austin!



Brighter is Better–Be Seen and be Safe

November 5, 2015

There’s more to consider when riding in low light conditions than simply outfitting yourself or your bike with lights, and that’s how visible both your body and your bike may be. Whether it’s dawn or dusk, nighttime, or just a grey, cloudy day, being seen on the bike is imperative to help ensure your safety. Yes, great light options are a big part of the puzzle. But there are other options—for both on the body and on the bike—so that you can be seen and be safe as the days get shorter.

The cycling industry has come a long way when it comes to on the body visibility, and aren’t we jumping for joy that solid chartreuse jerseys are no longer de rigueur for being seen on the bike. Reflective clothing elements like hi-viz stitching, eye-popping piping, and light the night fabrics are leading the way in keeping you seen and safe yet stylish, and Castelli’s Mortirolo Reflex jacket  ($239.99) is a great example of that. It’s no secret we love Castelli and that we’re particularly fond of their cool weather gear. The Mortirolo Reflex jacket is an amazing piece that features a full reflective shoulder panel and lower back, with Windstopper and zippered chest vents on the front. It’s the ideal piece for chilly early morning rides.


Castelli does cold weather gear right. And the addition of large swaths of reflective materials is welcome.

Hi-viz colors are still utilized in cycling clothing. After all, the goal is to be seen. But clothing makers are adding features to the typically fuddy-duddy, old school offerings one thinks of when you think hi-viz kit. Endura’s Luminite2 jacket for men and women ($154.99) sports the traditional hi-viz yellow with large, reflective designs. But the cherry on top that we’re most excited about is the built-in LED light in the back pocket. Pure genius.

Endura's integrated light is a simple solution. Never forget your tail light again.

Endura’s integrated light is a simple solution. Never forget your tail light again.

Visibility isn’t just limited to your torso though. Just as higher mounted lights increase the odds of being seen, you can run Specialized’s Echelon2 helmet ($69.99) which features reflective elements on the back of your head. For your feet, Specialized offers the highly anticipated Body Geometry equipped Recon Mixed shoe ($224.99) creates moving heel reflectivity that’s more likely to catch the eye of other road users.

Two of our favorite clothing vendors offer tried and true hi-viz pieces that are sure to make you stand out in a crowd. Pearl Izumi’s ever-popular Elite hi-viz yellow/green jersey ($99.99) is a cycling wardrobe staple, as is the Specialized Deflect jacket ($129.99) offered in a stunning electric orange that won’t be missed. Not only does the Deflect come in a great color, it has 3M reflective laminate, and is wind and water resistant, yet breathable for our sometimes cold but clammy winter riding conditions.

Bridging the gap from body visibility to bike visibility is Chrome Industry’s Night Series bags. We have a selection of the Bravo ($179.99) and Yalta backpacks ($139.99) and the Mini Metro ($159.99) and Citizen messenger bags ($179.99) that all feature highly reflective materials and elements to really add a large swath of reflectivity to your ride.

We're big on reflective elements that don't appear reflective during the day. Like those seen on Chrome's night series bags.

We’re big on reflective elements that don’t appear reflective during the day. Like those seen on Chrome’s night series bags.

On the bike, again, aside from great lights, there are intelligent items like Continental’s City Ride II ($19.99 to $24.99) with reflective sidewalls, Thule’s super Shield pannier bags with reflective elements for your bike’s racks ($129.99 to $149.99) as well as Bontrager’s Shopper pannier ($49.99) option. And just to bring out the kid in us all, RydeSafe’s reflective stickers in various colors and designs ($9.99) and Nathan’s reflective tape ($8.99) are great options to add some flare and safety to your bike.

Who doesn't love stickers?! Rydesafe's come in assorted shapes and colors.

Who doesn’t love stickers?! Rydesafe’s come in assorted shapes and colors.

Last but not least, the reason we can be out there in the first place are the bikes themselves, and some of them are getting the hi-viz treatment too. Trek has a number of models out that feature their “seeglass” paint. The paint’s effect in the day is a particular sparkle but at night the bikes become highly reflecative. These bikes—like Trek’s 7.2 FX and 7.3 FX hybrid models as well as their Silque SLX road bike and Skye 26 mountain bike—are great looking and great for being seen—at any time of day!

Come into the shop and into the light with some great visibility options and keep the ride going all fall.


November 2, 2015


From our friends at the League of American Bicyclists!

On Wednesday and Thursday the House of Representatives are going to voting on the transportation bill- including up to three votes to cut eligibility for biking  projects.
We need your help!
Please ask your Representative to vote NO on the Carter amendments 68 and 69 and Yoho amendments 158 that would end eligibility for biking and projects.
Last week the Transportation Committee, led by Chairman Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member DeFazio (D-OR), passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRRA). This bill includes a carefully constructed agreement on bicycling and walking funding that we support – and need to defend.  It maintains funding streams for biking infrastructure projects, and it maintains the local control aspects and competitive processes that have made the transportation alternatives program effective.  
Rep. Carter and Yoho have introduced amendments that undermine that agreement. Rep Carter has two amendments. One amendment makes biking and walking projects ineligible for certain types of transportation funding. The second opens up the transportation alternatives funding to road and bridge projects.
Representative Yoho’s amendment would make the Recreational Trails Program ineligible for any transportation funding.

Please ask your Representative to Vote NO on the Carter and Yoho Amendments.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Get Lit–Light Up Your Next Ride

October 23, 2015

As the seasons change, riders have less daylight to ride in. Does that mean you have to ride less too? Not necessarily. How you ride and with what light set up can make all the difference.

To begin, Austin City Code and Texas Transportation Laws require bikes to have a working front light and a rear reflector when being ridden before dawn and after dusk. And, frankly, a rear light is a better option than just a reflector. Beyond that, there are light options available to meet all types of cycling needs.

If you’re a mountain bike rider that tackles trails after work, a light that truly illuminates a broad swath of space in an area with little ambient light is a must. For dedicated commuters riding not only in the darker portions of the day, but also around town during work hours, lights are a must. Road riders sneaking in a workout need to see road debris and be seen when getting that workout done during lunch or after the kids go to bed. And even recreational riders, heading downtown to catch a show, need to comply with the law and stay safe.

Lights come in many designs and with a number of features. The most important things to consider are:


How and where does the light mount? Does the mount require tools? Can it be mounted on the bike, helmet, or bag? Silicone straps are what many lights use for mounting, making it easy to take your lights with you when parking your bike for extended periods. Higher mounted lights are easier to see, making helmet mounts a popular option.


Is the battery rechargeable or do you need to have replacement batteries? If it is rechargeable, how long does it take to get a full charge? Most lights use a USB charger, and many charge in about 4 hours. Perfect for making sure you have enough light for the ride home from work.


Lumens measure the amount of light that is emitted. Watts measure how much energy is consumed to produce the light. How many lumens does the light emit? More lumens means a brighter light.


What different settings are there in terms of the output? Is it just a steady beam or is there a flashing mode? Is there a high and low setting? Running your light in a low or even flashing setting in areas where there is some ambient light can conserve battery for when you really need the higher output setting.

How important any one feature is often depends upon how you are riding.

Recreational Commuter Road Ride Trail Ride
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Mounting dT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc
Run Time dT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc
Recharge Time dT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc dT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBcdT9KeXnBc

With so many lights to choose from and with each having a seemingly endless array of features, we’ve picked out a few of our favorites for wherever your bike takes you.

Serfas's TSL-2500 is the light to have for nighttime trail riding.

Serfas’s TSL-2500 is the light to have for nighttime trail riding.

Our favorite trail light is the Serfas TSL-2500 headlight ($399.99). At 2500 lumens this is the brightest light Serfas has ever made. Some around the shop compare it to a car headlight. It’s that bright. Tool-less mounting options let you place it on your bike or helmet, with different cord lengths to reach the external battery pack in a jersey pocket or Camelbak. It also has a remote option so you never have to let go of the bars to turn it on or change settings. Its wall charger takes 4 hours for a full charge and in “non-overdrive mode,” it’s still 1600 lumens strong and will run for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Bontrager's Ion 700 is a great solution for the dedicated commuter as well as road riders training when the sun is low in the sky.

Bontrager’s Ion 700 is a great solution for the dedicated commuter as well as road riders training when the sun is low in the sky.

Recreational riders cruising town may be able to see fine but still need to be seen. The Serfas USL-155 ($39.99) fits the bill for a reliable headlight. At 155 lumens it’s great for city riding where there’s sufficient ambient light, or for cruises along Town Lake as the sun begins to set.

Specialized's Stix Sport light set is small and easy to use, perfect for recreational riders or those looking for a minimalist light during sunrise rides.

Specialized’s Stix Sport light set is small and easy to use, perfect for recreational riders or those looking for a minimalist light during sunrise rides.

For a tail light for riders that may get caught in waning daylight, there’s the Serfas Thunderbolt taillight ($44.99). Silicone strap mounting and USB rechargeable, the Thunderbolt is a nearly ubiquitous light on employee bikes that primarily see commuter miles. There’s also the Specialized Stix Sport light set ($54.99) a front and rear combo pack that’s small on size but big on versatility. It has 7 to 14 lumens output and depending on if it’s in steady high beam mode or flashing, can run for 2.8 to 18 hours. It too is USB chargeable and its mounting options are endless too, fitting a wide range of bars and seatposts, including aero posts with separately available straps.

Of course, lights aren’t just for night. Think about daytime running lights on a car. It only makes sense to run lights on your bike during the day as well. Many lights have “daytime modes” specifically designed to be more visible during clear daylight. These settings also generally consume less power, prolonging your battery life.

Lights like the Specialized Flux Expert have setting specifically designed for daytime use.

Lights like the Specialized Flux Expert have setting specifically designed for daytime use.

Bontrager’s Flare R ($59.99), the aforementioned Bontrager Ion 700, as well as Specialized’s Flux Expert ($99.99) are all great options that work well for commuters and road riders that offer specific daytime running modes. These settings use specific lumen outputs as well as flash patterns to attract the eye and make the light more visible even during clear daylight.

There are countless lights out there, and many, many more in store so you can find the one that’s just right for how you ride. Stop in and let us light the way for you.






Sunset Valley Elementary’s Bike to School Day

October 14, 2015

We’re really happy to have helped Sunset Valley Elementary School with their third Bike/Walk to School Day last week and are inspired by the success they have had. We hope you will be too. Read all about it below!

Bike to School Day3

The Sunset Valley Elementary (“SVE”) School Bike/Walk to School Day ( is a bi-annual event that takes place during the fall and spring semesters and focuses on encouraging students to go to school by bike or foot.
The October 7, 2015, event was a huge success. The event was held by the bike rack area of campus, with tables set up to welcome the riders and walkers. They were greeted with free breakfast tacos, coffee (for parents and volunteers) and sports drinks, as well as many giveaway items (horns, bells, blinky LED lights, handlebar tassels, etc.) for the kids.

Bike to School Day2
There was a drawing for four complete bicycle commuting kits, which included a bicycle, helmet, cable lock, and rear blinky light (all graciously donated from our local cycling community). These kits would enable four students to commute by bike to school safely and legally.

Bike to School Day6

The event is always highly anticipated among students and parents, and participation increases every year. The October 2015 event had a total of 41 cyclists participating and some students rode as far as 2 miles to school. Others (who live further) drove with their parents to a starting point nearby and rode their bikes the rest of the way. The bike rack was completely full!

The drawing for the bicycles (with accompanying kit) took place at the morning assembly. The four lucky students who won had smiles on their faces and were thrilled to go on stage and receive their new bikes, helmets, locks, and lights. The best part was seeing these bicycles get put to good use the very next day when two of the bikes were spotted on the bike racks. The event had a very festive atmosphere with students, parents, and teachers all enjoying the fun.

Bike to School Day1

The Coordinating Team, which executed the event, consisted of SVE parents: Sean O’Bryan, Chris and Holly Brewster, Courtney and Mark Power-Freeman, Steve Duffy, Milay Viciedo-Duncan, Ernest Salaz, Rose Hernandez, Marc Bruner, and Ketan and Supriya Kharod. All are SVE parents who value and support cycling in our community. The Coordinating Team also received support from the SVE PTA along with SVE Principal, Kim Placker, and SVE Assistant Principal, Emily Bush. This event would not have been successful without their support and without the support of the City of Sunset Valley.

“The event sponsors were also crucial to the event’s success,” said Sean O’Bryan. Special thanks to those that joined us in helping SVE with this great event: Bikealot (rechargeable blinky lights and bells), Yellow Bike Project and SVE parents (for the donated bicycles), Bikehaus (for some of the giveaway prizes), and Aspire (for the sports drink samples).

SVE’s next Bike/Walk to School Day event will be in May 2016. They expect it to continue to grow and inspire more kids and parents to get out of their cars/SUVs, get on their bikes or walk to school, and increase both their activity and enjoyment within their school and community. We do too!


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