Handbuilt Show Photos

July 15th, 2017

Some days you just feel like your running around with a bag on your head.

Some days you feel like a king.

Pictures courtesy of Crawling Spider Photography
Because really, instead of enjoying the pictures on this blog, you should be buying something from Bryce.
Its that time of year in Park City where people start dreaming about their next custom bike.
There has been much discussion in shops online regarding the value of high end bicycles since there are so many “house brands” that ride quite nicely.
We’ve had the same opinion for at Dharma Wheels for many years. Boutique brands and custom bikes are timeless. Think about it. If you buy a 142 rear spaced bike with Chris King hubs, so what if the industry goes BOOST because you’ll have top notch hubs that can be built into any rim of your choice for years to come. If that bike is full suspension, the hubs will outlast the frame pivots.
Is that 142 bike going to ride poorly? I think not. People tend to follow trends with less expensive bikes. We still see 26″ wheeled Turners and Ibis’ that people love. I ride old skis that have been brushed a million times and glide like the wind.
As far as the custom process goes, I’d like to share this from my man Carl Strong.

And speaking of Carl and the wonderful bikecycles he manufactures, lets talk about the Handbuilt Bike show.

How great was it that the pinnacle of hand built goodness came to Salt Lake in March? Right?
Look, master Chef and good friend Chris King put a hub in a whisky bottle!

Even more exciting was Paul Price, and his array of CNC’d goodness.
No idea why some of these pictures show up sideways.

Tim from Mountain Velo, of coursse, made the event and we chatted about Iron Maiden and custom geometries.
I had no fewer than 3 people from Portland offer to buy my Team Evil shirt off my back…..one even offered $66.60
Evil is dead – long live the Black Train of Death.

This reminds me that RAGBRAI is almost upon us…..good times.

I mentioned to Anna and Sycip that we should pose for Stevil, and instantly we all did this.

With that, you may ask what my favorite frame was, its show creator Don Walker‘s tandem – and by the way – if you order a track bike or tandem – you go to the front of his build que.

With that, I’ll conclude with the fact that it was amazing to see so many custom bicycle people flock to the show. Builders met customers and it was beautiful. Our shop acts as the middle man – we match, or if you will, act as road manager between customer and fabricator.
Because its a pretty precise business.

Happy 4th!

July 9th, 2017

Well Happy 4th of July Everybody!

Other than hanging around in the Mojave Desert in my Nudie Suit looking for UFO’s and the spirit of Gram Parsons, My darling life partner and I attended the spectacular 4th of July Parade of Park City.

You will see in this perfectly timed picture taken by the Kimstress – my Neighbor, Coach Dar, as well as Paul – both wearing time period wigs and tailed jackets along with yours truly. Boom – all that in one pic….thats why she’s an engineer.
The 4th of July parade is a great time for the town, but also a time for the good people of Los Angeles/San Diego Salt Lake to hooch themselves up and day drink like they were going to the playboy mansion or some orgy in the Hollywood Hills that picks their guests from photo submissions.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, its just funny from the guy who started out doing dentures for cowboys and farmers in Summit Co. 16 years ago.
Anyway, the parade was a blast and I was very impressed to see many Airstreams rolling down mainstreet courtesy of Gene at VAR.
You know me, I’m a sucker for the silver bullet.

Chris McNally is as well – here he captures Scots’ “Silver Twinkie”

Airstreams, boutique bikes and buddies – pretty cool right?
Chris does all the artwork for the Ibis instruction manuals and shipping boxes – just one more little thing that high end companies do to make their products special.


The trails were riding nicely and the finest bike fitter in town, Tim of Mountain Velo snapped a pic of an old signpost that some naughty rider tagged with our shop sticker. Princess Di was the “official” shop trail being that it was closest to our front doors. I ask people all the time how the traffic is out there in the past 5 years I don’t think any two people have been on the trail at the same time – so there it is you think the Crest or Flying Dog is a superhighway.

This reminds me of a similar sign post sent to me by Gullo, the “Mayor” of my former home of Flagstaff.

In exceptional photo contributions, let me share this custom build we did for Adam O, right at home in the mountains.

And there is this beautiful Big Fat dummy all decked out for trail work.

Sorry to take a somewhat sad turn, but a fond adieu to Wild Rose, a fellow Kona and Ibis dealer and one of my favorite shops in Salt Lake. This weekend was their last.

I know, its easy to place blame.

But take a look at this gem passed on to me by Dirt Rag founder Maurice…..if you want to know why I own a shop – its because this is how it used to be.

Well, you ca never go home.
Vecchios is still a great shop and they had Lance Armstrong over to chat about the tour.

Take a listen. HERE. That’s all I got – enjoy.

Let the riding begin

May 14th, 2017

Well its nice out there. Here is a pic of a Kona on the Park City rail trail system.

And Mothers Day….so happy Mothers Day to everyone out there.

Here is a picture from a place I used to live, called Flagstaff in Arizona.

The road to Snowbowl never changes – we just get older. Great to see the pines.
In fabulous SW Utah, the wonderful people of the DMBTA have submitted a trail plan to the BLM to add more trails to our extensive trail network…because more trails are rad – right?

In all honesty, we are so very proud to support DMBTA in the south and MTF in the north. I can break it down into a very, very simple statement – we are all stronger together than we are as individuals.
And let me tell you, some of you individuals have some interesting ways to pass the time that involves the bikecycles.

Remember, it’s all fun and games ’till someone gets hurt – then its just fun.

Mud Season Events

April 30th, 2017

Alright……so its mud season in Park City….meaning that if you are not going to Costa Rica – you should be riding in Southern Utah or attending the Fruita Fat Tire Festival with founder and spiritual advisor Troy Rarick.

We’ve been attending for years and it really is a marvelous time.
Though I hear that Saturday was a Powder Day.

Our friends at Epic Rides held the Whiskey Off Road event this weekend as well.
Good times as well.
In fun pic news, I’ve always been interested in cycling people who….
1. have other people get tattoos of them.
2. have other people go as them for Halloween

For he record, I’ve checked #2 off the list so get cracking people.
With the end of regular ski season the high shit is super dialed right now comes pond skimming. Here are a bunch of Air Force Pilots who fly for United that went as “flight attendants who beat the shit out of the doctor.” costume plan. Game-Set-Match.

Glad Park City has some creativity left in its bones.

Happy Birthday Dharma Wheels Cyclery 2017

April 2nd, 2017

It’s time to celebrate – and not just for the fact that I’ve crafted a post for the first time since Thanksgiving. But its my shops birthday. Actually its not my shops birthday. Here is the story buckaroos….when I got to Park City to start my dental office at Kimball Junction before it was a total shitshow urban meltdown- I was kind of fresh off the “bike shop” train because I had just worked 8 years in a very cool, mom and pop, every kind of bike you can think of walks in the door, several 50 something mechanics, best service in Ann Arbor place that was founded in 1932.

And in case you think it was weird that I eventually put a dental office in my bike shop bike shop in my dental offfce, let me remind you that Campus Bike and Toy was a toy store and hardware store before getting into bicycles.
Anyway, when I began my S Corp for the dental side of things I was also wrenching for a local shop in town and freelancing my services to race teams and individuals. As my book of bike business grew I thought about building out a shop into the building I had purchased for Silver Creek Dental. Many reading this post know Troy Rarick and I asked him what he thought about my idea.
“Do it….Do something radical.” was exactly 100% what he said.

Just like any adventure – you have doubt, you wonder if its going to work, you run the numbers and are as honest with yourself about things. You do the best you can and give it 100%.
Thank goodness it worked.
The shop opened up in 2005 and many new patients had us work on their bikes before they let us work on their teeth. Its true.
In 2011, we acquired the Santa Clara property and signed the documents on April 1st. I’ve always liked April 1st for the cycling industry (Ibis was founded, WTB, many many others) but actually don’t care for April fools jokes.
So here I sit with dozen years behind us at Dharma Wheels and my how things change. When I started the shop, I never thought I’d have a computer in the work bench area – now I can’t imagine a work station without it. QBP catalog – the bible – the anchor – would never go away…..and now its not available in print form. Getting cycling culture from the internet – never in a million years – but its happening and this blog is a small bit of proof. For the better, SW Utah is building trails and a cycling culture. Up north, bigger corporations attempting to swallow up market-share and attention of customers. It will be its own post, but at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show in Salt Lake, I talked to many fellow shop owners as well as framebuilders and industry people about “the industry” and where its going.
That will be an ongoing commentary, and just one of the challenges of small business – adapting to change. But as Tommy Hurl always says, “I don’t fear change – I fear things staying the same.”
So raise your glasses and sing – “Selling what Dr Jon likes since 2005″

And a big thanks to my business partner/accountant/auto mechanic/interior decorator/legal advisor/chef/parole officer – the Kimstress.

Opening day 2016

November 27th, 2016

Well dear friends and comrades, it is my great pleasure to make sure that you know that ski season is upon us.

In the north of the great state of Utah, winter has come late this year. It has made for excellent fall riding, but a longing for the snow on which to enjoy the “vintersphorts” on.

Here is a pic from Ed from last month where snow was only to be seen up high.

Down “low” in the Salt Lake valley, there was cyclocross

Before I forget for another week, let me give the biggest of props to those who participated in the “largest shot-ski” event in the country which spanned the entirety of the main street of Park City.


In all the corporate mongering thats been going on, its nice to see a little local flavor here and there.
I’m preparing for when Vail asks if they can buy Dharma Wheels…..really the answer is simple.

While we’re on it, lets talk about shops…because they used to be the backbone of the bicycle industry. What is the backbone now you ask? That is for me to not know, and for all to speculate.
The fact remains that sadly, shops have been going under.
And here is another one by Bama.
Here at Dharma HQ, we embrace change….because we realize the simple truths…

Thank goodness I paid off my student loan in 2004.
My kind hearted life partner, Mrs. Dr. Evil and I were talking just today about the long journey it took to get the brands we have stickered on our front door(s) and shop trailer. And speaking of awesome brands, here is Ibis founder Scot Nicol who recently won the Grinduro.

Speaking of things that I can trace to 1989, which was when I first began the mountain biking….there was the distributor QBP……which actually started out of Steve’s Dads’ hardware store in MN. They recently have put the mighty print catalog to bed in favor of the electronic one but have created a retrospective.
QBP link HERE.
The “QBP Catalog” was the JCPenny catalog of the bike industry….you would order up the parts for the cutomers before they could just buy it on Amazon and then, borrow the catalog on a Friday night to make up your Christmas list of dreams for parts that you could never afford working at a bike shop.
Ahh, old times.

Thats cool, just remember, 1993 was only 10 years ago.

Alrighty, back to the serious stuff, it was wonderful to see the Ibis folks on some SW Utah trails the past couple of weeks.

Thanksgiving and cycling make me think of two things mostly….the Flight of the Pigs and the Appetite Seminar

Well, and the more I think about it, Scot also does a “steeps of San Fransisco” bike ride around the same time as Steve’s Hairnet ride

And with that we’ll close it out and I’ll get back to what I was doing.

Mud Season Post

October 23rd, 2016

This time of year in Park City is affectionately known as mud season….named for the lack of trail dryness that the cold weather and rain/snow showers bring. Its true, the days are hit and miss, and the uppers stuff becomes unridable…..but there are some excellent conditions that appear as well.

There has been some snow up high.

Personally, this time of year is OUTSTANDING for southern Utah…and here is a pic taken by the Mooseknuckler himself on the Kentucky Lucky Chicken trail.

So the summer season in Park City wraps up and come August, everybody is counting down the days until ski season.

September is “bike show season”. With Eurobike in Germany and of course Interbike in Fabulous Las Vegas.
From both shows, the highlight bike is the Moots Baxter.

This is actually a kind of bike that we’ve been doing for people for years……utilizing custom geometry. Its a bike that you can run my favorite 35 C width tires on….or 29″ tires as well. Suspension fork?…..you could do it. Drop bar?…..its possible. Fast enough to ride on the pavement, comfortable enough for singletrack.
People have asked by models like this haven’t come out in the past…..there really just isn’t that much demand…..bike fabricators don’t just put out there the stuff that they like….they put out there the stuff that sells.
Speaking of interbike, let me encourage you to help Steve keep Underbike alive and musically significant with Planes Mistaken for Stars. Go HERE. Also the animal on the cover of their album looks like one of my cats.


After the Interbike showdown…..Outerbike and the Red Bull Rampage always fall into line.

Cyclocross season is technically upon us, and I say it every year….I love cyclocross – its the only racing that I’m any good at here in Utah since there is little climbing and no velodrome. But I’d rather ride in the warm desert air than slug it out between mountain showers like these studs.

Has it really been that long?

July 17th, 2016

Last blog entry……28Jan? can that be right? I guess it it. Its been busy it always is but thats how it goes.
Let me explain….

The first part of the year is always busy with the highly intelligent people who make custom bike orders early, because they know that is takes 10 weeks to get a bike welded up…..then perhaps another few to allow for the parts to be “in stock” at the various distributors.
Take a look at this (Carl) Strong fat bike frame with custom painted front fork.

Nice, right?
Anyway, I was out of town for Feb and March doing some community dentistry for an underserved population in the rurals of northern California.
And then it was the end of ski season and the wait was on for the trails to dry out.

I know, I missed a lot of stuff….like the Winter Carnival of Steamboat

And the Hurricane and Fruita Fat Tire Festivals

Shit, I even missed the Squealer, which is a mega bummer since Jim and Kim had the final Flight of the Pigs this past fall.

Oh well, they live in Utah now, so I’m sure they have some cool cycling things in the works for these here parts.
May and June are BIG TIME sales months….and sales were good. Ibis led the charge, followed by Turner, and then Kona.
For small shops, you have better sold through your inventory before the 4th, because just around the corner, the larger retailers that loose money on bikes blow their inventory out.
Anyway, now that the sales season is over, I’ve got another dentistry adventure planned, so it’ll be another little while before I write again.
Thanks again to our loyal customers who support us, and just know this, in the past – and in the future, when a larger entity comes knocking with a purchase offer for my shop….the answer is simply……no.

Read the news HERE.
And enjoy my favorite part of the Park City Follies…..the Valiens!

Things Bicycle Companies Do Well

January 28th, 2016

Lets begin by talking about Kona – the best little big or big little bike company in the biz.

Bicycle sales will be going customer direct…in fact they already are….backcountry.com, wrenchscience, etc are all in your homes via the interwebs. Thats fine….innovate, adapt and overcome. Bike shops need to be prepared to focus on service before sales and thats always been our focus at Dharma Wheels – lucky us.

So Kona bikes loves bike shops…in fact, they have the class and professionalism to ask us if they are okay opening up competing shops in Park City and St. George Santa Clara. Of course, because we love bike shops, we said “absolutely!” lets work together to grow the brand in the area.

Kona has opened up a shop of their very own in the beautiful state of Washington, where I have been to take part in their product launch programs. They are also offering online channels to get the rider the correct parts. Does this hurt shops? Only shitty ones. Both dealers and customers can use the site and when done correctly, shops can still make money. Check it out. Konaparts.com

Okay, so Kona makes good choices, supports riders and shops and in general, has the best vibe in the industry…..check out their best selling bikes, the process line.

Kona Presents the Inaugural Process Challenge from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.

In local news, Sundance is in town. Guess how I know?

I’m glad there is snow this year. I hear there is a lot of snow out East.

Its been warm and beautiful down south….and look, there are even some new features on the trails. Photo credit Lukas.

Let me share with you a photo from Chris King, whos parts I’ve been selling for 25 years.
When you own a fabrication shop, you can make ANYTHNIG……..A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Need a hinge….make it…..need a hasp…..make it…….need a tool…..make it.
Anyway, being a wheelbuilder, I love their fixtures.

Alright, well, if you’re in Park City, you should go to the unofficial Bikedance Event……and though Sundance is cool, its not as cool as if the Boss offers you a brewski

The New Year Post

January 13th, 2016

Well, its time for the New Year’s Post.
Lets start with a happy bicycle picture.

I secretly love christmas holiday cards that are sent to the shop. They hit me right in the feel goods. This is one from one of our distributors. As a traditional shop, I strive to support our supply chain even though I see more and more people bringing in their parts for us to install. And more and more, the parts are spec’d correctly.
Lets move on to a beautiful pic sent in by Zeke in IA that goes to show that there are no bad days, only under clothed riders.

Here is a picture of the reclusive Ibis snow fat bike.

This was sent in from the Oregon coast by Stanly Beaver and Nick Fucking Sande.

Its true, fat bikes are fun.
Lets get to some riding photos. Here is St. George, Utah.

And the road to the Pine Valley Mountain….also in beautiful St George.

In case you missed it….

Thats right.

And Stein Eriksen also merged with the universe.

Stein was my favorite skier. As many younger people did in Park City, I met Stein skiing. He loved skiing. He LOVED skiing. In the most basic way that surfers, motorcyclists bikers, cyclists or mountain climbers love their sport.
Stein was fast, he’d have crowds following him down the slopes and man……he was fast.
For those of you who read this but don’t know me well, I raced for Stein Eriksen Sport, the family’s sport shop. It was a 100% class operation. Didn’t matter so much if you finished first – though we did have some fast people…..but anyway, the Ericksen family provided support, money and motivation to us all and I’m forever grateful.
The sport of skiing grew because Stein was such a great ambassador. Always motivated, always competitive, always fun – that was Stein. He was able to get people to be excited about skiing just by being around him. Guess what, thats what the best bike people do.
Anyway, the ski industry was lucky to have Stein, Park City was lucky to have Stein and the stories that have been circulating around are living proof of a life well lived.
You may or may not know that Stein was a gymnast and much of his freeskiing was derived from gymnastics.

A group was talking about cosmetic dentistry and plastics and somebody asked Stein “hey, have you had any work done?” he replied “why would I have any work done, I’m Norwegian?”

Winning isn’t everything, but if your at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, take a look at the trophy case….you will then understand the meaning of achievement.

Next time your out there in the snow, take a turn for Stein.