Know of a teen crazy about bikes? Maybe they’ve talked about getting into the cycling industry? Send them our way!
ERIK’S Junior Apprentice Program is now accepting application. Click here to apply now!
Who is the Junior Apprentice Program for?
We love bikes! ERIK’S is looking for young adults who are just as passionate about them as we are. The Junior Apprentice Program is designed for teenagers 15-18 interested in a career in the cycling industry. In the program students will gain the skills and expertise needed to become a bicycle mechanic.
What is ERIK’S Junior Apprentice Program?
ERIK’S wants to prepare the next generation of bike mechanics for a career in the cycling industry. Those accepted to the program will receive professional bicycle mechanic training. Participants will begin with online training that leads into hands-on in-store bicycle mechanic labs and testing. The program runs from December 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Some participants that complete the program may be offered employment with ERIK’S.
What is the Application Process?
The deadline to get your application submitted is October 31. Teens who are selected will be interviewed before the final selection.
The long wait for the return of the Specialized Sequoia is over! The new version of this popular bike enhances Specialized’s line-up of adventure road bikes.
For those old enough to remember, the Specialized Sequoia first hit roads in the early 1980s as a traditional touring bike. It was made of steel and ready for long distances. The bike was built to handle the weight of panniers. The frame had a more relaxed geometry than traditional racing road bikes. In other words, the handlebars were higher in relation to the seat making the biker’s riding position more vertical.
As mountain biking grew more popular, touring road bikes started to disappear. Since the 80’s the Sequoia line was discontinued more than once. But go-anywhere road bikes have come back strong in the last couple year. These adventure bikes are hardier than the touring bike and are designed to handle almost any terrain. Enter the Specialized 2017 Sequoia!
The new version of Sequoia has some awesome features that make an incredibly versatile bike.
- The Specialized Hover Bar with a 20mm of rise allows the geometry of the bike to be more responsive while allowing for a more neutral riding position on the bike.
- The 42mm 2bliss ready Sawtooth tire which rolls well on pavement – about the same feel as a 32mm tire – while still stable and grippy when you go off the pavement and onto the gravel and rocks.
- Thru axles in the front and back for responsive handling.
- Size specific Steel tubing allows for the frame to be built for the specific biker-size giving you the best ride possible.
- A full selection of rack, fender, and bottle mounts including multiple options on the fork.
- The Burra Burra bag collection from Specialized was designed in conjunction with the Sequoia for a full line of bags to carry all of the necessary gear for your adventure.
Who is the Sequoia for?
The Sequoia is perfect for the rider who wants to be able to go anywhere. It was developed to fill the needs of the Adventure rider but the things that it offers translate to a large segment of riders. It can just as easily handle a 600 kilometer brevet or a daily commute through the city.
Where does the Sequoia fit in the lineup of Specialized Adventure Bikes?
The Sequoia fits between the AWOL and the Diverge. It is lighter and it has a more responsive geometry than the AWOL. It has more tire clearance and rack options than the Diverge.
Because of its history, there was a lot of anticipation for this bike. The Specialized 2017 Sequoia lives up to the hype and we think you’ll agree. Swing by your local ERIK’S to test ride this awesome bike.
We all know that winter is coming. To some that may cause a twinge of fear, but to others that means skiing, snowboarding, fat bike riding and many other winter activities. For all you winter junkies who have been waiting all summer long for that first run down the mountain, your wait is over… and may never have to go away. Dust off your snowboard and skis, because Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN just opened up their new Neveplast® slopes.
Neveplast® is an innovated design of plastic bristles that simulate real snow conditions. There are different types of Neveplast® for downhill skiing/snowboarding, tubing and Nordic skiing. At Buck Hill they have Neveplast® slopes for your downhill sports as well as Neveplast® for tubing. They plan to have these slopes open all year round. But once the snow making conditions are ideal they will cover up the Neveplast® slopes and everything will be back to normal.
So, does Neveplast® work? The short answer is yes!
We sent a group of ERIK’S employees out there who are avid winter sports enthusiasts. Their take away from trying out the product was pretty positive. At first they were a little hesitant, unsure if it would actually hold up to their carving. But after a little testing, they got the feel for it and pretty soon they were carving down the hill like normal.
The Good: It works! Neveplast® does feel a little different than snow so you need to be a little bit more deliberate in turns. It took a couple runs for our guys to get a handle of it, but it wasn’t long before they were out there doing their regular turns and tricks.
The Bad: Friction, heat and your board. The Neveplast® can create some friction and heat up your board, especially when using the tow rope to go up the hill. A few riders noticed some damage to their boards after a couple of runs up and down in a row.
Because of the friction it is recommended that you take short breaks between each run to allow your board to cool down. This will be a lot better for your board because excessive heat can be harmful to the base of your board. It is also recommended that you have a pair of skis or a snowboard that is specifically for summer use. We would recommend getting a board with harder base to use on the Neveplast®. Softer bases will get damaged easier.
Overall the experience was good. Neveplast is not the same as snow, but for skiers and snowboarders looking to stay sharp in the off-season, it is way better than nothing.
Buck Hill has plans to create a bigger run requiring the chair lift to get to the top. They also plan to add in a ramp with an air bag pit for big jumps and tricks. Buck Hill is now open, so dust off the board and skis and give to the new Neveplast® system a try.
Be sure to stop into your local ERIK’S for all your winter sports needs. See you on the slopes!
I’ve ridden quite a few endurance road bikes over the years, but I have never ridden a bike like the Specialized 2017 Roubaix.
Specialized has released the newest – some say revolutionary – 2017 Roubaix and Ruby. I was granted the honor of giving it a test ride and I was blown away! Why? Because Smoother is Faster! Read More…
It’s the one block party that all of my friends go to. Well, maybe not literally, but they’d all be welcome. At the Riverwest 24 Hour Bike Race in Milwaukee, WI, you see all types from within the cycling world—seasoned road racers in full kit alongside bike messengers in cutoff jeans; recumbent riders at eye level with youth pedaling 20-inchers. Read More…
Over the years many customers ask for advice on how to get relief from cycling related foot pain. Their symptoms range but are typically burning and/or numbness in the toes and/or feet – and in some cases with debilitating pain.
The majority of cycling related foot pain issues are caused from compression of the foot, specifically the ball or forefoot. Nerves running through the Metatarsals or knuckles of the foot can be compressed resulting in what’s referred to as “hot foot”. Symptoms can show up or grow worse on hot days, long rides, or rides with a lot of climbing. While no one solution is a guaranteed fix for everyone the majority of them center on reducing the pressure on the ball of the foot and giving the nerves more room. Here are some proven things to look at:
Make sure that you have enough room in your shoes especially in the ball and toe box. Do not over tighten the straps, often people who have had hot foot or pain will leave the straps, laces or buckles closest to their toes loose. If necessary, you can also have your shoes stretched at a shoe repair store. We find that this only helps if you just need a little bit more room since the materials used for cycling shoes are generally designed to not stretch. If you have wide feet make sure to purchase shoes that come in a wide width; several manufacturers offer some models in widths. Lastly, pay attention to where the mechanical closures sit on the top or side of your foot. If the tongue or buckle hit a sensitive spot on your foot it can definitely cause issues.
Shoe stiffness and Arch Supports / Orthotics
While stiff soles are fantastic at transferring your energy to the bike, they can also be part of the problem. Think about standing barefoot on concrete – your feet will primarily contact at the heel and the ball of the foot. If you were to rock forward onto the ball of the foot to simulate cycling, there would be a lot of pressure on a very small area. To relieve this issue some shoe manufacturers have incorporated more arch support directly into their sole as well as have orthotics inside the shoe to help distribute the pedaling load over a greater surface area. Orthotics are important in that they contact the foot from the toes through the arch to the heel essentially forming a gasket between the foot and the sole of the shoe. This distributes pressure over a greater surface area. We have found Specialized BG insoles to be very effective in alleviating many causes of foot pain. The three key features that set them apart are:
- The arch is moved just slightly forward: Since we pedal with the ball of our foot this forward arch placement helps to lift pressure off of the ball of the foot and distribute it over a greater area. Standard walking and running Orthotics stabilize and support the foot from the heel, and while those can be an improvement over a flimsy stock insole, they are not nearly as efficient for pedaling or effective at reducing cycling related foot pain. This slight change in arch placement is the game changer!
- They are available in three different levels of arch support: You can get the correct amount of support your feet need. The correct level of arch in a foot bed will effectively contour and support your foot reducing the pressure by spreading it out over a larger area. Note that as the arch height increases so does the Metatarsal button height allowing both features to work as intended.
- Metatarsal Button: This pad or bump is built into the insole just behind the ball of the foot. It slightly lifts and spreads out the metatarsals giving more space for the nerves to pass through.
Cleats and Pedals:
- Cleat hardware: This doesn’t happen often, but we have seen where the wrong length cleat bolts were installed. They can push up into the sole of the shoe creating bumps or pressure points.
- Cleat position: As a starting point we recommend a position between your first and fifth metatarsal joints. In some cases, further back can help some riders. This cleat position can help take some pressure directly off of the bony parts of your feet that are more sensitive. Note: it may be necessary to lower your saddle to compensate for this adjustment.
- Pedal Type: Road style pedal and shoe combinations are best at distributing the load over a large area, the larger the surface area the better. Smaller cleat style pedals like SPD on a more flexible shoe can lead to some riders feeling the cleat through the shoe, causing a pressure point. This can often be remedied by going to a stiffer shoe, or a trail style SPD pedal that has a large platform to distribute the load.
Saddle height: A higher saddle position can cause a rider to point their toes as they reach for the pedals. This can potentially put more pressure directly on the ball of the foot. Adjusting the saddle down a couple of millimeters may make a difference.
Pedal style: Try to push more through the center of your foot, versus concentrating all the effort on the ball of your foot, this should help to spread the load out over a larger surface area of the foot. This is more of a technique change, and may not work for everyone.
Cadence: If you tend to push higher
gears, try speeding up your cadence. Ideally you should pedal at a cadence of 80 to 100 rotations per minute. Not only is it a more efficient, but the higher cadence will put less pressure on your feet.
Socks: Choose as thin of a sock as possible to ensure there is enough room in your shoe. Cushioning socks can help people with bony feet, but make sure that they don’t take up too much room inside your shoes. Generally a thin minimally padded sock is best for cycling.
Wedges and cants: While we only recommend using these for correcting foot, knee, and hip alignment, cants and wedges can have a side benefit of distributing the pressure more evenly over the ball of the foot. It’s important that you work with a fitter to see if they work for your specific needs.
Morton’s Neuroma: This is a medical condition that affects the ball of the foot, and is most common between the third and forth toes. Morton’s Neuroma is a thickening of the tissue around one or more of the nerves leading to the toes. It generally causes sharp burning pain in the ball of the foot, your toes may also sting, burn, or feel numb. Some people may have a sensation as if there is a pebble in their shoe.
Bike Fit: A bad fitting bike can cause many problems. Often issues are related and so one problem could cause another. With so many variables and possible solutions, the absolute best way to address all of them is with a professional bike fit. Anyone who has ever suffered with foot pain on a ride will confirm that any solution will pay off dramatically in more comfortable miles on the bike.
Interested in getting a bike fit? ERIK’S offers Specialized Body Geometry Fit. It’s a comprehensive program to help you ride faster, longer and more comfortable. Our Fit Technicians analyze your body’s unique attributes, pedal stroke and body position to truly match your bike to the needs of your body.
PLEASE NOTE: Many of the approaches discussed in this list should be helpful for relieving pain during cycling, but if you have any of these symptoms for longer than several days we recommend seeing your doctor.
Fit Friday blogs address issues of fit in bicycling. The information here is not meant to be a substitute for a bike fit as everyone is an individual with unique needs, goals, and riding interests. To find out more about ERIK’S Fit services, check out our website or stop by one of our stores.
Ryan Dungey knows a thing or two about bikes. The professional motorcross racer has won every major title in American Motocross and Supercross. But he doesn’t stick to just bikes with engines. Ryan is an avid cyclist.
ERIK’S: What did you think about the Specialized Body Geometry FIT experience?
Ryan Dungey: The bike fit experience was very eye-opening for me. Overall I feel much more comfortable in the saddle. It was only millimeters of adjustments, but those changes made all the difference! Knowing I’m getting the most out of my pedal stroke and power is mentally good to know!
ERIK’S: What improvements did you noticed to the bike fit after adjustments were made to your bike and equipment?
Ryan Dungey: The adjustments that were most noticeable were the inserts in my shoes and adjusting the cleat positioning. The little bit of support in the front part of my shoe and the support in the arch made my pedal stroke feel more connected, smooth and efficient. The cleat adjustment kept my right knee from coming across as I pedaled downward, which was uncomfortable.
ERIK’S: Would you recommend a Specialized Body Geometry FIT to other cyclists?
Ryan Dungey: Yes, I think everyone should be fitted. It will save you a lot of stress on the body if you get fit correctly from the beginning! I would recommend a fit to someone who has been cycling for years or just starting. I’ve cycled for 10 plus years before getting fit. I believe it could have saved me from a lot of discomfort and aches and pain.
Specialized Body Geometry FIT is a comprehensive fit philosophy created to help cyclists ride faster, longer and in greater comfort, while reducing the chance for injury. ERIK’S FIT Technicians analyze your body’s unique attributes, pedal stroke, and body position to match your bike to the needs of your body.