25 Nov 2014

We are thankful for you.

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We are thankful for you – our customers and friends, for being involved in our community in every which way. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Here are our hours for the rest of the week:
Wednesday: 10am-8pm (like normal)
Thursday: Closed (it’s a holiday, called Thanksgiving)
Friday: 10am-6pm (like normal, but no shenanigans)
Saturday: 10am-4pm (like normal, but with more pie)

13 Nov 2014

The NCC Winter Clinic – introducing 45NRTH Sturmfist Gloves

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We hosted our 3rd annual Winter Clinic on November 6th and it was probably the best clinic we’ve ever had.

Not just the best Winter Clinic, but the best clinic overall, ever. We had 65 souls come out to learn the tech and technique behind makes winter riding safe and enjoyable. We used our split format again, with a longer session first and then three smaller sessions covering various topics such as lights, tires, fatbikes, fat flat fixes, and then mini-clinics by 45NRTH and Gore Bike Wear.

Due to some serendipitous timing, we were ecstatic to have 45NRTH bring the very first arrivals of their new Sturmfist gloves. The product went live this morning, so our clinic attendees were the among the first in the world to get their hands on and in them. We were able to take pre-orders after fitting them in the actual gloves. We had to make the whole room pinky swear not to take pictures, and not even talk about the gloves until the public launch. I am proud to say our community has that kind of integrity.



Because we’re addicted to the frenzy of it all, we called in our friend and favorite videogician, Seth Deming, to get footage of the clinic and get the immediate reaction to the product. It was a fun opportunity to ask people what keeps them from riding and what gear they’d like to get, only to surprise them with a solution to one of the most common complaints – cold and numb hands. Check out the video to hear what people said and get the full scoop on the Sturmfist from 45NRTH’s own Kurt Barclay:

Ironically, despite shooting an hour of HD footage, we did not capture a single decent photo of the event. We did, however, capture a bunch of blurry ones (I was nervous – public speaking does that).

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We were also lucky to have Kevin from Gore Bike Wear and Eric from Salsa Cycles on site to share their latest wares. The new clinic format enabled everyone to get up close with the people and products from our visiting vendors. As is our experience with every Winter Clinic, we were inspired by everyone’s interest and passion to continue riding into the winter and embrace the season instead of just hibernating. The whole NCC crew was charged up after the event.

Thank you to all of our attendees, vendors, and friends who made the night so incredibly special.


23 Oct 2014

Big Marsh Mashdown

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Last Saturday, Chad and I played hooky from the bike shop and ventured to the forgotten land of post-industrial Chicago to check out the Big Marsh Mashdown. The Big Marsh Project is revitalizing an otherwise unavailing plot of land on Chicago’s south side and creating something quite incredible.

We’re excited to watch the Big Marsh Project develop and succeed. It’s exciting to see that large of endeavor taking place so close to home. Illinois has a serious deficiency when it comes to mountain bike terrain, so I really like the concept of building our own mountains. The Big Marsh Project is going to revitalize a forgotten area with engaged visitors and ultimately get more people riding bikes more often. That’s something we can get behind and we think you should, too.

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I’ve written up a little review of the day over on the Axletree blog. Click here to check it out! It was a muddy good time.



03 Oct 2014

National Surly Cross Check and Mesh-back Hat Day!

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We decided to claim today, Friday Oct. 3rd, as National Surly Cross Check Day because we all had ours with us today. Coincidentally, all the CC owners are also wearing mesh-back hats, so the holiday is now called National Surly Cross Check and Mesh-back Hat Day!


The Surly Cross Check is the most ownedest bike of all time by the past and present NCC crew. Currently, four of us own them. Past NCC Crewers like Ari, Phil, Tyler, and Russ were all CC owners and probably mesh-back advocates, too.

We encourage all of you who own a Surly Cross Check and wear a mesh-back hat to proudly post a pic to celebrate with us today. It’s also part of the celebration to eat a burrito.


Although Alex doesn’t have a Cross Check, or a mesh-back hat, he still got a burrito.



Happy SCCMBH Day!


30 Sep 2014

Riding the Clouds: Moots Cycles continued.

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Obviously if you’re going to go to Colorado, you’re going to ride some mountain bikes. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur best sellers with Moots have been their cross/gravel bikes, but we have sold and hope to sell their incredible mountain bikes. Three of the four of us own Moots cross or road bikes, so we were excited to spend time on their mountain bikes. In my last post, I wrote about the pedigree of Moots and how it carries into every model, every frame, and every weld. Mountain bikes are central in the heart of Moots. It’s who they are and where they are. So I was pumped to ride their bikes where they were made to ride. We had meetings each day, but the majority of our daylight was spent riding Moots bikes all over Routt County.  Chad and I had the pleasure to ride the Rogue YBB the whole week. It was an incredible bike. The YBB added the perfect amount of cush going down and purchase going up. It was like riding a cloud. This was the longest I’d spent on a 650b bike and although I’ve nestled into 29+ as my favorite tire size, the 650b was a blast to whip around for a change. It felt like a jackrabbit. 20140919_143559 Dean and Aaron rode MX Divides. We all talked about switching bikes at some point, but after the first ride, we had all made home on our individual bikes and ended up sticking with them. It was nice to get comfortable on a demo bike – generally the rides are so short you can’t fully appreciate the finer points of the design. The first day we had the pleasure of riding Emerald Mountain. Emerald is literally the mountain in town. One can cross the river, ride down the path, and start climbing the mountain. It was a postcard we had the pleasure of living in. It’s always entertaining to me to visit places and hear the locals talk about their trails. Not just the types of trails, but the names of the trails themselves. I’m always curious how they got their names, and how long a stretch of dirt needs to be before it gets a name of its own. Hearing Jason describe our route, I just smiled, nodded, and quietly concluded to just stay on his wheel. There were so many trails, connectors, turns, and options.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As we climbed up, we were instantly rewarded with views of Steamboat. Not long after starting, we turned on to a trail called Morning Gloria, a fresh 4mi section of switchbacks and bench cuts. It was really fresh. 15277318392_2f4f8354ea_z Tires and torrents had not yet smoothed out the trail and the hillside roots were still dripping sap. It was a fun climb and I imagine a even more fun descent (next time). We ended up on the top of Quarry Mountain and had a fun jaunt down the backside to home. 20140917_183815

20140917_181654 The next morning we rode Spring Creek. The trail follows the creek up towards Buffalo Pass through incredible Aspen groves and much of the trail is lined with shoulder-height ferns. It’s a safe and agreeable trail, except for one steep rocky cheese-grader section (on which I graded some cheese on the way down). The upper sections of the trail overlooked a few little valleys. The colors were amazing. 20140918_091456 The big day of the trip was a 20mi endeavor in North Routt County, near Clark, CO. This area is close to the Zirkel Wilderness and it was immediately clear that it did not see the same foot and tire traffic as different parts of the county. Matter of fact, I don’t believe we saw a single other rider that day. We did see some horse people (centaurs). There was a sense of “wilderness” about the area. We had heard of some mountain lion sightings on Emerald that week, but I never felt “out there” on Emerald. I did here. I expected a bear or lion to jump out at any time and give us all wicked high-fives. 20140919_145505   20140919_154844 The vistas on this trail were the kind that stop you in your tracks. We would all find ourselves in the front at different spots and the first around a bend would shout out or whoop and you knew there was something good up there. 15314510162_35c6b01c18_z   15291797236_424986c9bd_z (1) I ended up at the back for most of the day – I just couldn’t help but stop again and again to soak in the views (and catch my breath)(and pray we found the right trail). The most amazing landscape of the day was riding through new growth after a fire stripped all the standing trees. At first glance it was a wasteland, but then it was clear that life was abounding. It was glorious. 20140919_164153 We missed a turn on to Scotty’s Run trail. At the time, I did an inventory of my gear to see if we’d survive a night out there. It was a nice daydream, but my inner Eagle Scout was ashamed. I didn’t have some of the essentials with me. Luckily, Aaron fund us the way. 15128223377_6ffc5190d1_k We ended up bushwacking back to the trail, knowing it was close to the stream at the bottom of the valley. 20140919_171541 Once we found it, I was comforted to find that it was no wonder we missed it. It was sometimes impossible to see even when you were on it. It was a little overgrown and the trail was full of debris. It was a rough trail, and the only one who seemed actually comfortable was Chad. We had our suspicions about Chad’s upbringing, and we have now confirmed he was raised by mountain goats. Some of the sections were staircases of rock, with fallen trees and cliff drops, and Chad was just bouncing over them. While the rest of us spent physical and mental energy to get to the end, he only became more and more charged as we went on. It was impressive. And annoying. The sun was setting as we made our way back to the parking lot. It was a surreal moment. As we finished the trail section, I was done. It was fun, but I was cashed. Once we hit the road leading to the lot, though, I didn’t want it to end. I ended up riding comically slow, sitting up, drinking in the experience. It was a good, long day on the bike. 20140919_184120 Our last ride was another spin on Emerald. We had a limited amount of time since we had a plane to catch in Denver, so we just rode up and up and up until it was time to come down. It was a good ride. 20140920_120131 We brought our bikes back to Moots and lovingly washed them down before heading out. 20140920_125252   Even as we lined them up, after spending four days riding them, I couldn’t believe the moment. I’d look at the row of bikes and get giddy all over again. 20140920_081748 Thanks to Aaron, Dean, Bobby, and Chad for being such great riding friends. Thanks to Moots for everything else. All pictures by Tobie DePauw, unless they’re good pictures, in which case they were probably taken by Dean Frieders, Bobby Wintle, or Chad Ament.