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…, 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.

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.

XMess Blog

December 22nd, 2015

So much to share during the time of the holidaze. Its always a busy time….Lets start from the first thing I can remember top.

The day after Thanksgiving marked the 20th annual…and final Flight of the Pigs in Phoenix. It was a great time to be had. Jim and Kim Wilcox have hosted this event for people who are cyclists for 20 years and partially due to their move to Utah, the event has come to a close. Jim sent a fare well email stating that rather than pass the event along, that perhaps people would create their own ride. The FOTP’s was something special, something that was all day….and something 100% about the bicycle. One phrase – Thanks You!
Here is the final 20 year sterling silver stem cap made by Hoss Rogers jewelry.

And big thanks to my buddy Lance Runyan from my racing days at Stein Sport for turning me on to the Flight. Love you buddy!
For whatever reason, the Christmas season is always a busy time for the custom bike market.

Sometimes its a shame how nice shiny high end bits are hidden away in a BB shell.

But so it goes.
This was sent in by Paul Price, who you’ll see is a master at the art of deception.

In local news, the 2016 Tour Of Utah course has been announced.

Speaking of Utah, here is the Bob Trailer of Lucas, who was out there building new SW Utah trail.

Let me end with this custom Moots Frosthammer we just finished up.

Merry XMess to you all.

Images and Experiences

November 13th, 2015

Co-Owner Mrs. Dr. Evil and I were sitting around, drinking cheap beer and whisky and talking about how shops have changed. 25 years ago, shops were the hub (pardon the pun) of the industry. They were the link between rider and company. Today its the internet. People used to call us crazy to sell bikes sight unseen – and now its the norm to say “I heard on Pink Bike that this linkage is RAD!” and to plunk down $8K for a bike.
Thats fine. Part of owning a small business – whether its a bike shop or a dental office – is adapting to change and staying relevant. Dharma wheels started out as a service shop with one brand – Moots. I know, back then we didn’t even have Surly….or Chris King…..can you imagine?
Anyway, in beginning to look at the last year of business, we’re seeing more consulting and trip organizing that goes along with our regular and specialized service.
Well, its Fall in Park City and perfect in Southern Utah….lets look at some peoples experiences….
Lets start with Zeke, in the beloved Evil kit that I cherish so. In the great Midwest, its cross season.

Speaking of bicycle people, I’d like to show you Wick in his natural environment.

Lets get into inspiring ride photos. We’ll start with Park City.
And Eric Porter doing what he does best…..on Tidal Wave.

And another view of the Wasatch back.

Lets move on to Southern Utah and Guac.

And here is a favorite view of mine which is St. George from Owens.

Here are some excellent Halloween pics that people sent in.

And the obligatory Homie Fall Fest photo as well.

Thats a lot of bicycle action for one sitting, I better sit back in my camper and relax.

Can You Believe These Pictures

October 15th, 2015

We are the kind of shop that people who ride bikes shop at. It shows in the pictures that flood my inbox every week and more importantly the stories and experiences that people have on the bicycle and equipment we outfit them with.
Lets just get right down to it.
This is fall at Deer Valley. And the new trail, Tidal Wave. And its awesome!

Big thanks to Doug G for the pic.
Matt M sent this one in of PCMR.

Isn’t that just beautiful….make you want to get out there, huh?
And in Park City, you never know who you’ll see on the trail.

Lets keep it in Utah, but move to a Moab photo.

Recently, Outerbike was held. Its the premiere place to demo a bike, from one of the companies that we represent, or to just try something new. They have excellent food, beer, bands, nightlife, excellent ridining….and great people……with great hair.
In the high desert of SW Utah is Gooseberry Mesa, where Otto M (famous Park City Bar Owner from times ago) took this picture.

Another So. Utah pic, this one of Stucki Spring road….and the backside of Stucki Springs trail. By Cim C……owner of Gro Races. Cross registration and Frog Hollow registration are open people…..and those events are cool my friends.

Here is another picture of Gooseberry Mesa (the point) sent in from a Hurricane resident.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you wouldn’t believe it if I told you, but Diamond Simon got hitched.

Here are Cheever and Gene O toasting MN or some shit like that.

I was sent a picture of former Surly employee Nick Fucking Sande riding in the sand.

Check out the Wednesday…..its nice in the sand, snow….or God forbid…..the trail.
This is the obligatory Whistler photo…sent in by KC.

And lastly, Paul had this contribution of his most recent Soulcraft.

Sean at Soulcraft makes a rather fine bike…We’ve sold them for years and I actually own one from the 90′s. Remember the 90′s?

And so thats that. In shop news, customs are happening and bikes are about 8 weeks out right now. Enve wheels are 30 days out (for us, 60 not for us). Look for shock and fork service specials in the new year….as soon as we catch up with current orders. Ride and Smile!


September 27th, 2015

Its the end of summer. Its busy. Here is what is going on.
As you can tell by the title, Interbike is in the books- the annual trade show and gathering has come in and gone like a shower in the desert. It was a chance to look at the state of the industry, and the state of retail. And that is good, because retail, my friends, is dead.
That is why we are small, agile, adaptive….and focus on service….because lets face it, you can buy your parts for less than I pay on Amazon or Backcountry.
Woah, and if that bums you out, check out THIS.
Welp, as I said before, stay flexible my friends.
In good news, there is THIS from UDOT south.
But lets get to the big dance.
By the way, my favorite part of Interbike is the fact that some people go in costume.

Impressive, right?
So, first and foremost, the brains behind Interbike (Read Pat Hus) had registration available at Dirt Demo….meaning that we didn’t have to register at Mandalay Bay or drive to and from Bootleg Canyon just to get the show started. Great idea.
At the show, attendance was moderate……both by vendors and attendees. Many young mechanics come to the show to get free stuff and to shop for their next bike. That cool, they’ll grow out of it – or not.
At dirt demo, the only bicycle I rode was the Turner RFX. Its beautiful, it rides great, and it will help you shred if you are fast.

Another part of Interbike was the Ride 2 Recovery….which went from Bootleg Canyon to Lake Mead….the course formally known as the Hangover Ride.
While I prefer riding from downtown Vegas, this is also a great route – 12 miles down, 12 miles up.

Its super fun, and worth it…because of people like Chris.

Fancy handcycle, wouldn’t you say?
Well, after seeing friends and colleagues at the show, it was time to depart and get back to work.
Here is a great shot from Adam. He’s riding the backside of Bowhunter in upper Deer Valley.

And here is another great costume….”Radical RicK”

Pictures from the end of Summer

September 9th, 2015

Lets get down to brass tacks here.
Much has happened in the world since the last post….a month ago.
Lots always happens.
Here is a great pic that was sent in that really reminds me of late summer bikepacking trips.

Speaking of late Summer, here is some late Summer snow seen at the lift service DH runs in Montana.

Montana is where people go if Utah is too populated for them….and there are more people in the county where Detroit is located than the entire state of Utah…at least there was in 2001.
Speaking of states, some customers in Colorado sent this in….evidently people are stealing the “Colorado 420″ sign… now there’s this.

Back to Utah, here is one of our own getting rather rad.

Here is a great shot of Jim from Vecchio‘s, which is now my favorite shop in Denver [sic], because Salvagetti is going down.

Its a tough world out there in retail. The solution is to stay flexible and to provide services your customers need. For example, we’ve been really curbing our sales….not that we had huge numbers in the past….but focusing on service is where we started, and what we’re most comfortable doing.
Plus, as Jim will tell you, people that order handbuilt wheels are some of the most fun customers you’ll have.
Captain Dave got married…and how hungover do you have to be to not be able to get off the lawn for the ceremony?
This hungover.

Getting on to the most professional of news, Turner has unveiled their RFX, which of course looks sweet!

And rides nicely as well…..They will be at the big dance, known to all as Interbike….and I’m sure that their booth will be packed with shop rats who want to ride a bike they have no intention of purchasing unless they can get it at 65% off (like a Giant, Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, Santa Cruz, Niner, Insert your housebrand bike here, et. al). Anyway, thats cool and its part of the biz, so it is what it is. Most people go to Outdoor Demo to ride bikes….I go to hear people who have never picked up a torch tell frame manufacturers how their bikes should be designed……Its pure magic.
One of those people so has their nose to the grindstone every day is Steve of Coconino…and here is one of his bikes that he makes with his own two hands.

And when you think custom fab, you should think of these bits and pieces from Hoss Rogers.

Alright, thats all I have, see you at Interbike.

And don’t forget…

Thats the way the world goes round

August 9th, 2015

The cycling world was turned upside down recently with the untimely death of Will Olson.

Will was a Colorado mountain town guy. Actually worked for a living and rode a ton. He loved the mountains and loved snowboarding in the winter and trail riding in the summer. Will supported local enduro events and had a Strava alias. Anyway, he was one of the good ones and he perished doing exactly what he loved.
Lets move on to more uplifting topics…..shall we.
I was sent THIS link from my friend the Angry Asian about the custom bicycle world….since that is what we do.
I get asked this quesiton all the time and I can boil it down a little bit for you. There are many fine choices of house brand bicycles out there, and many are color coordinated and fancy looking….because those companies have project managers who are somewhat passionate. Thats cool. Tag Heuer makes watches and they are good.
Custom/Boutique bicycles are of higher quality and its really only the owner who can appreciate that. Yes, the frames are straighter and more durable….and that is a measurable difference but a custom paint job on a Turner is also sexy and unique….same with custom decals on a set of Enve wheels.
So really, the customer is at the center of the storm on this one. Do you want a Tag Heuer or do you want a Rolex?
The Tour of Utah is going down and what is going up is this group of Park City people climbing up to Guardsmans pass to see the Empire climb.

Also in Park City is this wall ride, sent in by pro rider and all around nice guy Eric Porter.

Also in cool Utah pictures was this shot captured by Nick Van Dine as he flew over Zion.

In other cool bike shot news, I’d like to show you this pic that Hoss Rogers sent me from PHX…..deep vintage custom.

For some reason this bike makes me think of BeetleJuice

This beautiful pic is from Opie, who hopped a train north to Canadia and then rode home to WA… can do that you know?

Here is Julian in the Specialized wind tunnel. I’d bet ten dollars that this is the first and last time they’ve ever had beer in that tunnel.

Well, let me leave you with more pictures of RAGBRAI and follow up tours….because they are so good.

Yes, that is Sturgis my friends.

RAGBRAI in the books

July 26th, 2015

Its Sunday evening, and the RAGBRAI is over.
With the advent of social media, its been fun to follow. But let me tell you friends….its more fun to do…..even the hot steaming porta-potty baking in the Iowa sun…..its really the best. Click on the galleries…..and feel the love.

Here are some pictures from around the Wasatch range.
Here is the top of Baldy…

And just downhill from Baldy is Deer Valley’s newest and biggest berm, Tital Wave.

Closer to Old Town, Matt sent in this pic.

Its hot in southern Utah, but here is a pic from the Southwest.

Outside of the great state of Utah, here is Kevin rocking the trails of my birth state, Michigan.

As we get into August, the nights will get cooler and we’ll start to be thinking of snow bikes and ski season.
I’ll leave you all with this nice pic I was sent about riding with “buddy”.

One of the good ones.

July 22nd, 2015

The past little bit has had a great deal of happiness and sadness in it.
Its not what I want to report, but its the truth – Andy Wright was killed in a motorcycle crash last week.

Let me tell you about Andy. He and his business partner started up BTI, which is a wholesaler of bicycle parts for bicycle shops. Andy and Preston started their business out of a garage. And they were the first distributor that the Dharma Wheels Cyclery had an account with back when the shop was operating out of a health club spin bike room. Andy was the kind of guy that believed in the small business side of the bicycle industry. He valued his employees, he valued the bicycle shops that had accounts, and he loved people who rode bicycles. Anyway, go out there and have a ride for Andy. Then go and support your local bike shop.

In other sad news, I’m sure that you’ve heard about the shooting at the recruiting station in TN. Very sad once again.

On happier topics, there is much new in the bicycle world.
The greatest tour in the world is happening right this very second. RAGBRAI is going down. I’ve said it before, and I”ll say it again…..if you do one tour in your lifetime, do RAGBRAI….its the best and there is absolutely nothing like it.

In bicycle news, new 2016 products are starting to come around.
Turner Bicycles has launched a new version of the Czar.

Kona has unveiled their 2016 lineup.
My favorite….today….is the Roadhouse

Let me tell you what is great about Kona. Its that they are a great bike company. Not too small….not too big…..great riding bikes, durable, stylish, well appointed. Timeless. In the years that we’ve carried them, they have NEVER let us down……never…..and I’m a picky person. All 2015 enduro bikes that they produced have sold….no closeouts and no “racing to the bottom” (read Santa Cruz, and did you hear Marzocchi is going to shut down?).
Great job Kona people….you really are a great company and I”m proud to be a dealer.

On the boutique side of things, Moots has released their 2016 Psyclo X…..the finest cross racing bike that money can buy.

And in other fabrication news, it was fun to see,hear.view the Sycip brothers along with Chris King himself visiting Curt in Napa for a Cielo frame building session.
You know that when those people get together, there is good food, good wine, good friends, and good times.

I got a pic of this beautiful mountain cruiser built by Steve Garro at Coconino.

And I simply must share this from Jim at Vecchio‘s entitled “Voiding warranties since 1998″

Funny, right? just like this…