02 Jul 2014

Made in ‘Merica Month! Get your MUSA bike now.

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It’s no secret that we love well-built American bikes. This month, in honor of American traditions of craftsmanship and capitalism, we’re offering up to $500 off and free assembly on all MUSA bikes and frames ordered within the month of July.

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Choose from carbon, steel, and titanium options from Trek, Moots, Waterford, Gunnar, and Chicago’s very own Humble Frameworks. Stop in to discuss model, size, components and lead time soon. Maybe be the first to order the new Trek Emonde, the lightest production road bike on the market!

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13 Jun 2014

Friday the 13th H.Y.S.T.: Lazer, Bontrager, Nathan, Cycloc, EID, and Electra

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At NCC, we have a problem.

We have a problem of bringing in way more cool things than we can tell you about unless you stop in the store. We’d like to change that – please stop into the store everyday. Thanks.

We know that’s not a reality, really, so we’re going to start a regular series of posts called “H.Y.S.T.” posts. H.Y.S.T. stands for Have You Seen This? (or Those, or Them, or That thar). The posts will consist of new items in the store we think are pretty cool. They might be big or small, fancy or basic, but they’ll all be new.

Today, we’ll start with something fancy.

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE NEW HELMETS?

Check out the new Lazer Z1 (top) and Bontrager Velocis (bottom) helmets – the lightest, most ventilated options on the market today.  These are the first arrivals.

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HAVE YOU SEEN THESE NEW BOTTLES?

No matter what time of year it is, having an insulated bottle is a good idea. These new Fire and Ice bottles from Nathan Sports are a great idea. They are insulated, reflective, and easy to use. How is one bottle easier to use than another? These have a no-slip cap, so you can open and close it with wet hands. And it has a wider poppet so you can more water at once. That’s how it’s easier.

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HAVE YOU SEEN THESE DOHICKIES?

Next up is another smart solution product – the Cycloc Wrap. It’s a rubber leg band (protecting your pants from the chain), a useful accessory strap for keeping things on your bike rack, and a very handy bungee strap for keeping wheels in line when they’re on your car rack. They come in a handful of colors. Smart stuff.

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HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR FRIEND CRASH AND NOT KNOW HOW TO GET A HOLD OF THEIR FAMILY?

When you’re on a ride with friends, it’s never a bad idea to tell them who to contact if there was an emergency. The EID system is by far the most simple and economical solution we’ve seen. The tags are cheap and can attach to a seatbag or jersey very unobtrusively. Load your emergency info (contacts, medical info, bike information, etc) into your free EID account and then anytime the QR code is scanned, it accesses the information. They are available as wristbands, tags, and they’ll have stickers for bikes soon. Easy.

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HAVE YOU HEARD OF A CLUTCH OUTSIDE OF A CAR?

The last little fun thing today is truly a plain product. It’s boring. But it’s so straightforward and useful that we had to share it. Electra has a number of small bags, clutches and satchels that affix to the handlebars. They pop off easy and can be toted around. This one happens to be a great size for everyday adventures. And compared to the more industrial options on the hbar bag market – this one is a steal.

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That’s it! That’s a HYST post. Now you can CABT.

07 Jun 2014

The new and incredible Trek 7.3 FX WSD.

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The 7.3 FX has long been one of our best sellers here at NCC. The model tends to straddle that fence between utility bike and sporty fitness bike better than anything else we sell. We received the latest rendition yesterday, and we’re astounded by the improvements they made to an already impressive model.

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1. TUBELESS READY RIMS! on a $659 bike!
2. Brilliant new BLENDR Stem/Accessory system. The bike comes with integrated mounts for Bontrager Trip computers or Bontrager Ion lights. It’s clean and solid.

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3. Internal cable routing (but the good kind – serviceable and tight). You can’t see the #3, because it’s internal. Get it?
4. You can’t see the arrow pointing down, but #4 is for what appears to be a new redesign of the DuoTrap system to be compatible with both ANT+ and BLUETOOTH systems. You can stream your speed to your phone without draining the battery using GPS! Brilliant. Again.

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5. Alivio 9-speed Shadow derailleur. Tech is trickling faster than ever these days.

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6. Juicy, delicious colors, Seeglass reflectivity, and uber-tasteful minimal decals.

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We’re so pumped to see more new revisions and revelations from Trek in the coming months. We’re building up the new Marlin models and are stunned by the value packed into those bikes. They’re beautiful, too. High-fives to the spec, tech, and design teams at Trek. Keep the kits coming.

05 Jun 2014

Smart Sizing! The new Trek Marlin and Trek Skye series

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Today Trek announced new “Smart Wheel Sizing” on their new Marlin and Skye intro mountain bikes. We’re excited to see this solution. Big wheels and small frames are not a great combo for anyone – not the rider, not the mechanic, and not the engineers, so this is a great step for bikes in this price range.

Any new Marlin or Skye bikes with frames smaller than 17″ will feature 27.5″ (650b) wheels instead of 29″ wheels. This will benefit the handling and overall management of those bikes. It will lower the standover and inspire more confidence. Wheel-Size_Chart

As someone who talks to a lot of parents looking to get their kids on bikes that will last, I think this is a fantastic idea. The 13.5″ models are a great bridge to getting young riders up to full-size wheel bikes, and making it easier for them to mount up is going to be a great.

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The new Skye S with 27.5″ wheels

The new Marlin 5

The new Marlin 5

We’ve politely avoided the 27.5/650b kerfuffle up to this point, because this is Illinois. I think this is a great entry point for the technology in our area and for our store culture. We’re not opposed to 650b being used for gnar huckage, but it’s just not something we have much of around here (gnar). But using a now-established wheel size to solve a problem and deliver it at an impressive price point? That is something we like to talk about.

The new Marlin and Skye models will be at NCC starting tomorrow, so come on in and check them out.

 

23 May 2014

The Barn Quilt is up!

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Last summer, we launched the NCC Barn Quilt Project, and yesterday, it came to a form of completion.

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We shared the concept last August, and throughout the Fall, we had reflective stickers and patches made. We knew we wanted to eventually create an actual Barn Quilt for the side of the building, but at that point, none of us had neither the time nor talent to make it happen. Enter John Flowers. He was looking for a bike in the shop, saw the Barn Quilt concept, and said “Hey, you know, I paint those…”

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He made a few for us, and we put the 4′x4′ up on the wall yesterday. He did a great job. 

We put a smaller one in the shop above our dressing room, too.

2014-05-23 09.39.21From the original post:

We wanted to have something rich with cultural, historical, and geographical meaning. Barn Quilts have rich history in the Midwest. They act as a rural coat-of-arms for farm families. Some quilts played a role in the Underground Railroad, as certain block patterns were coded messages, leading to safe passage and to freedom. They’re not something you see here in town, but something you see out on long rides in the country. We like long rides in the country.

Our quilt has some meaning, too. The obvious horizon line, with the straight road as far as you can see, is a familiar sight to DeKalb area riders. The gravel color is intentional. The compass rose references direction. Ours, as North Central Cyclery, is pointing “onward and upward”. Barn Quilt lore tells that the four-pointed star means “bright day” – telling of early rides or long rides in the sun. Our pattern has ten rows of crops symbolizing ten years of business. The whole concept evokes a rural community vibe that we can identify with. 

This is our Coat-of-Arms. This is our Family Crest. This is our Barn Quilt.

We still have stickers and patches available in the shop!