Downhill and Dual Slalom – The Extreme Breeds!
DOWNHILL is much more than most people think it is. These heavy bikes usually have more suspension travel and clearance than an SUV and are not meant to be pedaled very much, if at all. The last few years has shaped this sport and is easily the most thrilling type of biking. Riders descend mountains at upwards of 50 miles per hour through rock gardens, dense forests, dry trails, all with steep sections betwixt by drops. These psychos are easily recognized by their full body armor, full face helmets, and a desire to destroy the body. Recent technological advances have allowed for more extreme riding with greater control. Ski lifts and trucks are the way to the top, hydraulic disc brakes, fatty fat tires and full suspension make the way down. A weekend trip to one of the ski resorts is in line for this sport!
DUAL SLALOM (roughly translated as dual suicide) is another emerging style of riding. It is much like downhill in the way that only crazy people ride it, but it is much faster and on a less technical trail. More often than not, these races include two racers side-by-side on a clean dirt trail with large jumps and bermed turns. These bikes have less suspension travel and weigh less. Pedaling comes to be more of an issue than downhill. Mountain bike street/urban riding and dirt jumping is done quite a bit on these dual slalom bikes.
The most common type of mountain biking is that of cross country. 85% of mountain bikes sold are intended for cross country riding. ‘Over the river and through the wood to grandmother’s house’ is the basic jist of cross country. Weight is a large factor on these bikes, the lighter the better. Currently the most common bikes have 27 gears for a wide range of conditions. Clipless pedals, fat knobby tires, suspension forks, and hardtail frames are staples to cross country riding. A long ride for this type of bike is 25 miles. Price range on these go from $329 to easily $3999 and up. Six to eight-hundred bucks will get you a nice bike with a smooth shift. Beyond that, its just the difference between a Porsche and Ferrari.
HYBRIDS bottom line – The machine of tomorrow for the family man (and woman). Hybrids are a combination of road bikes and mountain bikes with comfort as a major factor. You get to sit up tall on a hybrid. Take the kids out on the paved trail. Ride to get in shape. Go roll around the neighborhood. Cruise the C&O Canal. Take a bike tour of Washington D.C. You aren’t worried about off-road or racing. You just want to be comfortable. That’s the idea behind the hybrid.
Ask for the following models: Raleigh Detour & Route Series Specialized Crossroads Series
SPORT COMFORT bikes are our most popular sellers these past few years. What started as mountain bikes retrofitted with smooth tires and tall handlebars morphed into hybrids. Are you too manly for a hybrid but don’t want a mountain bike? Every once in a while, you want to take that dirt trail, roll down the curbs, and experiment mountain biking. Can’t run anymore because it hurts too much but need to keep in shape? We’ve got the solution. These are essentially burly hybrids. The wheels are the same size as a mountain bike, 26″ in diameter. The tires are wider than a hybrid. Sport Comfort bikes are great for family rides around the neighborhood and along bike paths. They aren’t as fast as the hybrid but they take a pounding a little better. Come compare and contrast the sport comfort of bike with the hybrid with a test ride.
Ask for these extremely popular models:
Diamondback Wildwood and Wildwood Deluxe
Raleigh Venture Series (V 3.0, V 4.0)
Specialized Expedition Series
Cyclo-cross bikes are similar to road bicycles: lightweight, with narrow tires and drop handlebars. These bikes typically have greater tire clearances, lower gearing, stronger frames, cantilever brakes and an upright riding position, compared to a typical road bike. They also share characteristics with mountain bicycles in that they utilize knobby tread tires for traction, and many have disc brakes. Although these bikes were originally designed for competition, they have gained popularity to a wider market due to their multi-terrain capabilities.
Just Arrived – Felt Road Bikes! Road bikes are not your basic 10-speed from the 70’s ladies and gentlemen. Let’s face it. That old dusty 1973 Schwinn World Tour sitting in your garage isn’t a road bike. We’re talking about Lance Armstrong, drop bars, Tour de France, carbon fiber, 100-mile rides in a single day is possible on these bikes. These are quick thanks to narrow high-pressure tires and sub-20-pound complete bikes. Of course, Spandex (Lycra is the actual material) shorts for added comfort. Starting at about $700, road bikes are for paved road riding only. This is a real growing part of our business, with many customers using their bikes for commuting, long charity rides, or for just a good fitness ride.
DIRT JUMPING – The latest surge in BMX riding is dirt jumping. Also called trails bikes, these bikes weigh a little more in order to be bombproof. Double and triple wall rims, GYROs and three-piece cranks adorn these incredibly popular bikes. Fortunately the manufacturers of these bikes have put out sweet models starting around $250.
Brands we carry for dirt jumping: We The People, Free Agent, Eastern, Felt, Specialized
BMX RACE – Racing at a real deal track is best done with a light race bike. One rear handbrake is typical to race bikes. We stock entry level race bikes starting around $199. One of the best BMX race tracks in the East is located by our shop. Be sure to pick up a race schedule and check out the track during your visit.
Brands we carry for racing: Redline, Eastern, Free Agent, Felt
STREET/PARK – Skate parks, half pipes, railings and ledges are the place for street bikes. Common highlights of these bikes are pegs, GYRO’s, front and rear 990-style brakes and smooth tires. Looking for a great place to ride? Check out Wakefield Park just outside the Beltway and Braddock Rd.
Brands we carry for park riding: Eastern, Diamond Back, Specialized, Felt, Free Agent
Beyond the BMX category of youth bikes, you can find anything from a 12” balance bike for a toddler, to true compact race bikes. Generally most children under eight go with a simple coaster brake model. The slightly older child typically is looking for a bike with hand brakes, and for longer rides, a bike with gears is popular.
Raleigh has introduced one of the best folding bikes we have seen in years. We try to keep this model in stock so you can give it a test ride. With a internal eight speed rear hub, this Raleigh I-8 Folding bike is built to last. We can special order KHS & Dahon brand folding bikes as well. These bikes are popular with campers, boaters, and commuters, needing a quality bike that is compact for travel. Call Jim or Jake for more information concerning these compact bikes. Special orders accepted in this category.
The E stands for electric assist bikes. These bikes come in several frame styles, hybrid, sport comfort, and mountain. A frame or rack mounted battery is used to operate a motor to assist the rider, with a handlebar mounted control. Most of the controls allow the rider to select a level of power that may be associated with the pedaling power from the rider. Local laws typically restrict the maximum speed of these bikes.
Looking to improve your balance? A unicycle is just the bike you may be looking for. Generally this is a bike to show off your youthful side, but these can often be seen at charity event rides. The bold unicyclist will have special pedals and all-terrain tires and take to the mountain trails.