If you like riding the road, but want to explore new routes, the Specialized Diverge is perfect road bike, for however loosely the word “road” is used. Specialized has continually pushed road bike design in exciting directions that make getting out for a ride more fun than ever before. The Roubaix has been proven to be a fast and comfortable bike for the spring classics, or Midwest roads that are a little rough around the edges. Recent interest in cyclocross and gravel riding have made bikes like the Crux and formerly the Tricross the focus of a lot of riders, but they’re for distinct styles of riding. The motivation behind the Diverge, as Specialized puts it, is that it’s for “When the road less traveled is still too crowded.” On-road performance is critical to the design of this bike so whatever the surface you find yourself on, the fun doesn’t stop.
Available in aluminum and carbon fiber models, there’s a Diverge for any intrepid explorer. Some features that make the diverge unique are disc brakes for consistent stopping power whatever the terrain or conditions, fender mounts, expanded tire clearance for 35C wide tires (32c with fenders) and endurance geometry to keep you comfortable in the saddle all day long. So if you’re considering gravel events like the Almanzo, Filthy 50, Barry Roubaix, or any of the other myriad of gravel events in the upper Midwest, or you want to explore new roads, look to the Diverge. See the models below.
The best clothing for casual cycling is different than what you might put on for a full day of riding. If you’re riding out to dinner with friends, or enjoying beautiful weather with no mileage goal, why not feel good and look great doing it? Today’s post comes from Katie, ERIK’S Apparel Product Manager; read on for some great new pieces for your casual rides this year.
This past week was the first time this March that actually felt like spring had really sprung. As I was riding my bike into work I passed by 15 “new” bike commuters, or people whom I just had not seen commuting on my standard route yet. The beautiful morning mixed with the growing bike commute traffic made me want to point out some great apparel options that we have for our riders that are new this year.
New for 2015, ERIK’S has brought in a selection of Specialized Utility Clothing, a few Endura Urban Pieces, and some Terry Metro Collection items.. This clothing is made from performance fabrics, has a relaxed sporty fit and is designed to be stand up to the rigors of biking without looking like bike-specific gear. These items are great for every ride any day, whether the ride is an hour out with the family on the local bike path, commuting to work, getting a cycling workout in, or just enjoying being outside and exploring on the bike anywhere. Not only will these items be comfortable on the bike but they are also work appropriate clothing, fashionable to hang out in at your favorite brewery, going out to Brunch in the North Loop of MPLS, Jaunting through downtown Madison, or going out to eat in the 3rd Ward in Milwaukee.
Whether you’re riding a fun fitness bike like the Sirrus or Vita, cruising back alleys on a Raleigh Back Alley, or rolling around town on a fixie, these pieces are designed to be as flexible as your weekend schedule. The utility and casual clothing that we brought in is designed for everyday use and designed to go on any ride and to make our you happy and comfortable while you explore new riding territory. Take a look; if you need specific advice on a piece, stop by one of our Minnesota or Wisconsin locations and ask us!
Specialized Men’s Utility Polo – Merino blend polo with hidden key pockets on the back. Performance, comfort and Midwestern style all in one shirt. The merino blend is comfortable next to your skin and is comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.
Perfect for casual date
nights and daily adventures.
Women’s Specialized Utility Crew – Merino blend cycling specific shirt that looks great and is made for daily adventures with the family, will look great for meeting friends at the local coffee shop, or be a great piece for commuting to work. This crew shirt has hidden key
pockets and creates a
flattering and sporty silhouette.
Terry Transit Top – Style meets function with this stunning top. For women on the go, or those who want to explore the world via bike and look great doing so. With a longer back, you can ride in style without sacrificing coverage. This top is made from performance fabrics, is cut and designed for extended bike rides, and looks fabulous for dates and movie nights in the park.
Endura Engineered Boxers – NEW boxers that offer a fully engineered chamois and a great fit. These fit more like a performance brief with a quality low-profiled chamois and are great for bike rides that are 1-2hrs long, or jaunting around the city for all day urban explorations. If you’ve never tried a padded short before, consider these for a new level of comfort in your rides.
Specialized Men’s Utility Shorts – These shorts feature a forgiving fit that is comfortable for all day riding and looks great both on and off the bike, plus a little bit of stretch to keep you comfortable.
Terry Metro Crop Pants – The metro crop is similar to the metro short we are familiar with. This cute crop creates a flattering silhouette, is made from stretchy fabric and is very comfortable to spend a day on the bike in. These pants are perfect for bike trail adventures, nights out on the town, and are super cute for work.
Erik’s has many more Utility/Casual cycling pieces than I mentioned above, stop in to see our selection today and make the most of your summer rides! Tell us in the comments where your favorite casual ride is to, we’re always looking for cool new spots.
Bianchi’s Infinito CV is the perfect bike for long rides as well as going head-to-head on your favorite group ride. This was the take away from our first rides on the Infinito CV last year, and the hits don’t stop there. Bianchi may be the oldest bike manufacturer in the world, but technologies such as their Countervail vibration damping technology and others keep them at the forefront of the cycling world, whether it’s the pro peloton or the local club ride. Available either with Shimano Ultegra, or with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and disc brakes. Here we take a look at this great endurance ride as well as some of the other C2C (Coast to Coast) bikes from Bianchi. These bikes are available at select ERIK’S locations across Minnesota and Wisconsin – check the product pages linked here to find one near you.
The Infinito CV is tailor-made for long rides, but don’t let the extra comfort fool you, this bike still rails on corners and has power to spare when accelerating. With a higher head tube and longer chainstay, the Infinito will keep you comfortable however long the day’s ride is. The secret of the Infinito CV’s comfort is the Countervail technology. By introducing a viscoelastic material to the construction of the frame, Bianchi tweaks the typical nature of carbon fiber for the better, but don’t take our word for it:
Impulso / Impulso Dama
Shown above, the Bianchi Impulso, is available in men’s and women’s (Dama models). These models are similar to the Infinito in rider style and are well suited to riding longer distances in comfort. Made with an aluminum frame, the cost for the Impulso comes in lower than the Infinito, making it a good option for beginner riders or those looking for a great value.
The final bike in this category is the Intenso. Where the Infinito represents the pinnacle of technology, the Intenso shares the same frame geometry and utilizes Kevlar in the fork and seat stays to give it enhanced vibration damping over a standard carbon frame. ERIK’S carries the Intenso in women’s and men’s versions spec’ed with Shimano 105 or Ultegra 11-speed drivetrains. We’re partial to the trademark Celeste Green, but if you prefer something less iconic, the 105 level bike comes in red.
Intenso / Intenso Dama
Wheel on in and try one today, and get ready for a season of epic rides!
New for the 2015 Model Year, Specialized and ERIK’S will be offering the S-Build Program. For those who wouldn’t think of buying “off the shelf,” the S-Build program allows you to create the ideal bike in look and performance. The first options available in this platform are the S-Works Tarmac and the S-Works Epic. Unique and limited edition colors and paint designs are part of what makes S-Build so great, but the other part is how you can dial in your ride and choose the parts you want. Add a Body Geometry Fit in the mix, and you’ve got a lightning fast bike that is tailored to your sense of style, your body and especially your riding style.
The S-Works Tarmac is available in a handful of colors and options – Frame sets start as frame, fork and seatpost that you select components for, while disc modules include disc compatible wheels from Roval. The first options available for colorways are the “Lean” shown below, “Clean” (a blacked out subdued design), or the “Mean” shown in the feature image above. Currently, other color options for the Tarmac include the Team Saxo design or a very special Michael Kwiato limited edition colorway. Stop by one of the MN or WI ERIK’S locations to see what other colors might pop up.
Once you’ve settled on a frameset or module from those available, the next step is picking the components. Choose the right crankset, chainrings, stem and bar, along with the bits that make your bike truly yours such as cable housing, bar tape and saddle. We recommend that you work with one of ERIK’S Body Geometry Fit Technicians to ensure that the handlebar, saddle and stem not only look good but make your time in the saddle more enjoyable.
Not to be left out, mountain bikers can get in the game too with the S-Build Epic – either as the S-Works Epic 29 or the S-Works Epic World Cup 29, and just the same as the Tarmac above, you can choose some standard colors as well as more adventurous options, so when you toe the line at your next race or trail ride, people will know your by your bike – possibly by your speed as well.
The S-Works Epic Lean above is flashy yet clean, but it’s more than a show piece. The S-Works Epic is the first full-suspension mountain bike to win a World Championship, but it didn’t stop there; ridden by the likes of Burry Stander, Jaroslav Kulhavy, and Rebecca Rusch among others, the Epic is race proven by pros and weekend warriors alike. Exact spec of this bike is determined by the model, but here are a few variations available in the S-Build program for the Epic…
As with the Tarmac, riders can choose from a handful of options to create their dream bike. ERIK’S staff can help you select the right shifting and braking components to complete your new ride. When selecting and ordering your new bike with ERIK’S and S-Build, you know immediately what is available, and there is no time difference between these unique options and any other special order. Your bike ships to the store where one of ERIK’S trained mechanics builds it up and gets it dialed for the best season of riding yet!
To ensure that all parts are properly selected and your new bike meets both your and our standards, S-Build is only available at one of our Minnesota or Wisconsin locations, so stop in today and get started on designing your new ride. Items included here are often limited runs, so ask an ERIK’S staff what’s currently available, and stay tuned for new limited edition colorways!
What’s the best board for freestyle riders? Look no further than the Burton Blunt. A good freestyle board is flexible for jibbing but with enough pop to get you up on boxes, rails or kickers, and the Blunt has got all of that plus more to spare.
The Blunt is a playful freestyle board that’s perfect for tearing up the park or running groomers. Available in standard widths as well as wides, Burton’s got you covered if you need a good park board for your big feet. The Blunt is built with a Flat Top shape that is flat underfoot with early-rise tip and tail for catch free jibbing and a forgiving landing if you under/over rotate. Plus the Pro-Tip technology in the tip and tail reduce the weight in these areas for lower swing weight and easier rotation. The jib-friendly construction has a torsionally soft feel that is fun and forgiving.
Whether you’re new to freestyle or well-seasoned, having your stance dialed is critical. The Blunt includes Burton’s exclusive EST Channel System for fine-adjustment that’s super easy. Twin shape and flex make the Blunt a capable board in standard and switch positions to help boost your confidence game. The channel on the blunt comes with a three year warranty so you can ride in confidence.
We recommend pairing the Blunt with any of Burton’s EST bindings for best performance, but we especially like the pairing with the Burton Cartel binding. If you’re the type of rider who likes to modify their stance on the hill, make sure you’ve got the EST Tool and you can spend less time adjusting and more time riding your perfectly dialed stance. This season, give the Blunt a try and elevate your park game.
We just got a new Fatboy in town – the Specialized Fatboy SE dropped this week from Specialized and it’s just in time to make the most of your winter riding. The Fatboy family of bikes is generating a lot of buzz because of excellent spec, great values and an awesome ride, and this model just makes it available to more riders.
Built on the same great M4 Premium Aluminum frame as the rest of the Fatboy models, the Fatboy SE swaps out the carbon fork for an aluminum model and features a Tektro Aries disc brake. The Fatboy SE is built up with a SRAM x5 drivetrain set up 2×10 to push you through a winter wonderland.
The color on this model is also great for riders looking to customize the look of their ride with other colors since the matte charcoal is low key. The same great Fatboy SL rims are included and mounted up with a 60 TPI Ground Control tire. Best of all, the Specialized Fatboy SE is only $1500 – What are you waiting for, get out and ride this winter with ERIK’S!
Gloves and mittens are one of those pieces skiers and snowboarders often overlook – you probably picked the perfect jacket and made sure it looked good/worked well with your pants. Being comfortable (warm and dry) means the difference between enjoying a great day on the hill or mountain versus tucking your tail and heading back home a wet mess. We always recommend a good pair of gloves or mittens and we’ll go so far to say that two pairs is a must for any serious skier or boarder. Between working zippers, holding poles or strapping into snowboard bindings and all the things you do with your hands, they have to work all the time. Even better if a you can work a camera, your phone or open a package of food so you can refuel without taking off your gloves.
Mittens or Gloves?
Everyone has a say in this debate. Gloves give you the best dexterity and are great for people who like to express themselves with more than a thumbs up sign after a great run, but on the coldest days they can leave some people cold. Mittens are the warmest option and give the best high-fives, but to work with a phone or camera, they can be a little tricky. We like having both kinds in our arsenal because conditions can change and a spare set of gloves is always a good thing.
Burton/Gore Tex – names to count on.
Burton makes some of the best mittens and gloves for snowboarding; so good that many skiers use them, and that’s totally cool by us. Gore Tex is renowned for its waterproof properties while still being breathable so you can sweat in Burton Gore Tex gear all day long and still be comfortable. All of the gloves and mitts in the Gore Tex collection are two piece with a four-way stretch liner (removable) and a waterproof/breathable outer shell meaning you can use each on their own or as a system for whatever the conditions call for. With features like Screen Grab palms, you can operate a phone or smart device without taking off your mitts, and with Sticky Icky Grip Palms, its not easy to drop your phone from the chairlift.
When the day is over, just pull the liners out of the Gore Tex shell and let your gloves or mittens dry out for another epic day of riding. Build to be warm with Thermacore insulation and tough with a synthetic leather palm, you can ride all day long with Burton Gloves or Mittens. Click on an image above to go to a specific style, or see them all at the collection link to the left.
Are you looking for the perfect freestyle snowboard boot? Look no further than the Burton Ruler. Whether you like surfing turns on powder days or running park laps, the Ruler is a boot that has proven its worth over the years and deserves its rightful place between you and your board.
With features like a Shrinkage™ Footprint Reduction Technology, Speedzone™ lacing, Power Spine backstay and more, the Ruler is fine-tuned to deliver a responsive boot that still lets you tweak and grab with style. All riders, but especially those with large feet will appreciate the Shrinkage technology that reduces the exterior boot size by a full size. This means that everyone can benefit from low or even NO toe-drag! Speedzone lacing makes getting the right support a breeze.
When the mercury drops, riders will appreciate the Thinsulate™ insulation to keep them warm and the B3 Gel in the sole that works to cushion impacts even in the coldest weather. The Imprint 2 Liner is heat-moldable for a custom fit and sports Hot Pockets to boost the warmth on the coldest days because after all, the cold just keeps the fair-weather riders away!
At the heart of the boot, the Power Spine backstay allows riders excellent toe to heel response but doesn’t limit flex from side to side letting you flex and feel the terrain as well as pull a fully-extended stalefish with ease. Strategic flex notches in the boot outer also allow for even flex when pressing or tweaking.
This season look no further than the Ruler for freestyle performance on the big mountain or the backhills, and with Erik’s Boot Love guarantee, you can be confident in your selection. Find the perfect fit at one of our Minnesota or Wisconsin locations or online today and enjoy the season!
If you hadn’t already heard, The Specialized Fatboy has been a popular bike ever since it’s launch last year, and the interest in fat bikes is growing more and more every year. The big question for riders who already know the allure of fat bikes is – when are they going to make a kid’s version? The following Fatboys are reported to be coming soon, but as of now, delivery and pricing is not published for the US market.We got the following info from the internet and put it together in one place to give you the answer to questions you might have. Take a look at these great looking models for the little rippers – we’ll keep you posted as soon as they’re available for order and in Erik’s locations.
UPDATE – The first shipment of these bikes is expected in mid-december, and both sizes will retail for $999.99. We will have information on our website by the end of the weekend here, but you can pre-order one today at any of our 22 Erik’s locations.
2015 Specialized Fatboy 24
Inspired by the adult version of the Fatboy, the 2015 Specialized Fatboy 24 is built on a fully-butted A1 Premium Aluminum frame and fork and features a 1×9 drivetrain anchored by a Sram X4 rear deraileur and a trigger shifter. Designed for kids on the go, the aluminum rims are a fat-specific (90 mm ride) 24 inch disc rim with 32h lacing and Specialized Ground Control 24×4.0 tires. Hub spacing is 170mm in the rear. Stopping power comes by way of a Tektro Aries mechanical disc brake.
2015 Specialized Fatboy 20
The only thing the 2015 Specialized Fatboy 20 skimps on is size. Built on a fully-butted A1 Premium Aluminum frame and featuring the same 170mm rear hub spacing and the same SRAM X4 1×9 drivetrain. Featuring 20×4.0 Ground Control tires, young riders should have no problem going where mom and dad go on their full sized fatties. See the colors below – these are preliminary colors and could change slightly depending on availability. Like the 24 inch model, the Fatboy 20 is equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes. Geometry for both bikes is available at the end of the post.
2015 Specialized Fatboy 20/24 Geometry
Specs on these models should not be considered final, but geometry numbers are reliable if you’re looking to figure out which one is a better fit for your little fat-biker. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask one of Erik’s experts at one of our Minnesota or Wisconsin locations.
As cyclists, we like the idea of actually riding all year long, and the rise in fat bikes is great for that, but sometimes your schedule doesn’t allow to get outside and the short winter days can be a challenge for cyclists. For this reason, trainers, rollers and indoor cycles are often a must for riders in the Upper Midwest.
What’s your goal?
We often talk about what your goal is with a trainer – whether you just want to log some virtual miles, stay loose and active, or work on a specific skill such as strength or power in cycling. All of the available options Erik’s carries can meet these needs, and in unique ways. There’s a newer technology, however, that you may not be aware of: direct drive trainers. In an effort to squeeze every bit of performance out of a trainer and make it incredibly easy to use, this is the result.
At the heart of any direct drive trainer is the frame and resistance unit, but how it connects to your bike is the first thing you will likely notice. Direct Drive Trainers effectively replace your rear wheel. By removing the stock wheel on your bike, and placing your bike on the unit, all that’s needed is to make sure the chain is in place on the gears and tighten the quick release skewer. There is no rubber tire and as a result, switching back and forth between training and riding outdoors is easier than with any other option. This makes direct drive trainers a great way for mountain bikers to utilize a trainer without investing in a trainer tire or second wheel.
What Makes Them Unique?
Aside from the attachment method, what makes a direct drive trainer unique will depend a lot on the model, but we’ve found in general that the FEEL is unlike anything else we have ridden. When pedaling, especially at start-up, the feeling in the legs is almost indistinguishable from riding on real pavement. The units Erik’s stocks start with a similar frame and a heavy fly wheel inside of a housing – this is where much of the realism comes from, but each unit takes a different approach to resistance units. All of these units are fairly heavy, making them super stable, especially under hard efforts. If you are a rider who like to go to the point of blackout on your intervals, then there really is no better option than direct drive.
Direct Drive vs. Indoor Cycles
Indoor cycles such as the Pro Form and models from CycleOps have traditionally been the most feature rich options for riding indoors, but some people don’t have the space to dedicate to them, making it an impractical option. With heavy flywheels and a ton of adjustment options, they do provide great flexibility for multiple riders and a great workout. With all of the options including power measurement, the ability to virtually ride courses and vary intensity is great for your workout, but they come at a cost. Direct Drive trainers offer a lot of options and realism over standard rear wheel trainers, but at a fraction of the cost of an Indoor Cycle. The most full featured option of direct drive trainers (Wahoo Kickr) costs half of what a similarly featured indoor cycle does.
The Silencer from CycleOps features a magnetic resistance unit starts at $659 and is built with the same rugged reliability and life time warranty that CycleOps products are known for.
Resistance is adjustable with an included remote and offers 5 different resistance levels in addition to the normal gear shifting on your bike.
Compatibility is limited to SRAM and Shimano drive-trains and will accept 9/10/11 speed cassettes. The $729 version includes a 10-speed Shimano cassette.
Weight of the Silencer is 39 lbs, and is optimized for 700c wheels without the need to add a riser block. Mountain bikers will want to add one to level the bike.
The Turbo Muin by Elite has a fluid resistance unit, and is a great option for riders who like to get the absolute most from their trainer workouts. It’s max wattage is the highest of these three at a leg-crushing 2500 watts at 90 RPM, making it ideal for strong riders looking for high-intensity workouts.
Resistance on a fluid unit such as the Turbo Muin is what we refer to as progressive, meaning it gradually increases with speed. The result is that by working through your gears and increasing wheel speed, the resistance gets harder. This resistance curve is designed to copy the feel of riding on the road.
Compatibility like the CycleOps comes out of the box as SRAM/Shimano 9/10/11-speed but an option is available for Campagnolo freehub bodies as an aftermarket piece.
Weight is similar to the Silencer at 39 lbs as well, though one thing that differentiates the Turbo Muin is the ability to fold the frame for storage.
Wahoo Kickr lists for $1098.99, making it the most expensive option Erik’s offers in this category, but with good reason. The Kickr measures power and can be connected with a Bluetooth 4.0 or ANT+ connection meaning you can control the unit with an iPad, iPhone or other device as well as track power data with compatible computers like the Garmin Edge line.
Resistance is variable through the app, Bluetooth compatible computers or even a connected PC computer by using an ANT+ dongle. It is also compatible with a whole host of third party options such as Strava, Trainer Road and more, as well as Wahoo’s own app.
Compatibility like the previous models is optimized for Shimano and SRAM 9-11 speed cassetes and comes with a 10 speed cassette. Like the Turbo Muin, it can be adapted to fit Campagnolo 11 speed. Like all direct drive trainers, it does well with mountain or road bikes in a variety of wheel sizes.
The weight is an impressive 45 lbs for the Kickr, but since the legs also fold away and it includes a carrying handle, moving it is not difficult.
One of these three options are a great way to up your trainer game this winter and be ready to ride outside at a moment’s notice. The major benefits aside from realism are ease in setting up the trainer and the ability to easily keep your bike ready to ride outdoors, making it not only a good option for the off-season, but also great for conditions early and late in the year that making getting out on the road or trail tough.