Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Team Singular? And other news....

Hey there world. I have a question for you. If you come here, there's a pretty dang good chance that you like bicycles. Heck, you probably ride them quite a bit. Some of you may even *gasp!* race your bicycles!

Well this post is aimed directly at the latter. See, Singular likes racing. We like the crowd that hangs at mountain bike races. Y'all are good folk. You talk about bikes enthusiastically, so much so that probably have a blog that talks about them too. Kinda like Charlie here.

To that end, Singular is looking for a few ambassadors. Looking for a few riders that race and are willing to fly the flag proudly. We like riders that are happy to be what they're doing. Results are important, but not #1. We want riders that are respected in the field. Maybe even liked! We are a small, very small company, so we can't offer much, but a discount on the frame, and a jersey should go a long ways.

Do you think you have what it takes? Send an application [creativity counts!] to Sam and I, and we'll get something rolling. Copy us both on the application: theprairiepeddler@gmail.com and sam@singularcycles.com good luck!

In the news department, I am expecting some Gryphons here any day nowAs of this moment, they're in Miwaukee waiting on paperwork to come through. Got my fingers crossed that I'll be able to go over and pick them up soon!

I'm also expecting a few Peregrines to come through in the next week or two as well. If you've got a deposit on either of these, expect to get an email from me soon so we can set up delivery of your new toys!

I've been out doing a little bit of riding lately too. Its hard to get out when the daylight savings hit, so riding is limited to weekend hours now. That or early mornings after I drop the kids off at school. A few weeks back, Ben up at Milltown invited a bunch of friends up/over for a nice gravel tour around his neck of the woods. It ended up being a perfectly glorious autumn day. You can see all the photos here, but here's a snapshot of the day:




On Sunday last, Eric and I went up to an old haunt: the Human Power Trails in La Crosse WI. This is a whole network of very well built, super fun trails. I always enjoy my rides up there. If you're ever close, you owe it to yourself to get a lap or two in.





Anyways. Get out and ride! Next week is the WI CX state finals in Hales Corners. Look for the Singular Kite to show!

Listening to: The Currect. Drinking: Coffee of course!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Too good not to share.

I mean really. This is awesome. If you're trying to get bike paths installed in your city, this video should prove to be an absolutely invaluable tool. I can't wait to bombard PdC with this. Its 13 minutes, but it is well worth the watch.

Boulder Bike Story from Bikes Belong on Vimeo.

I know. Two posts in one day. Weirder things have happened. I think.

Listening to: A babbling three year old torture her sister.

A Kite flying teaser, and new reads.

First things first:
Carbon fork.

daaaamn! Singular Cycles Kite cyclocross prototype.

Reynolds 853 main tubes, 4130 stays. Investment cast Henry James style drop outs. Center mount brake posts. Its got all the right things going for it. This is a 60cm version, and built up as you see, its all of 21lbs. Lightest bike I own. I took it out for a spin this morning at La Riviere. You'd think that there wouldn't be all that much of a difference between two high end steel bikes, but there sure is between the Kelly, which I've owned now for......5 years I think, and this new Singular.

Prototype Kite, fresh build

Thing is, there was. Its not that the Kelly felt dead on the last ride, its just that this Singular felt sprightly on this ride. I rode the same wheels on both bikes, so it sure wasn't them, it had to be the frame materials. The Kite was an easy, eager climber. It got up to 'sprint' readily. Changing direction was a simple matter of thought and movement. I've got high hopes for this bike on Sunday at CamRock. Look out 4's! Sam has got another hit on his hands here.

And since I know I"ll be getting the question; I don't know when, and I don't know how much. But its likely next season as my best guess. If you have questions, keep and eye out for the Singular kit at the WI races this fall. Hey, I may even make a MN race or two as well.

On the reading part, I was directed to a new blog by my friend Jason. He has thsi cool blog focusing on two of my favorite passions, bikes and photography. He's been getting awesomer at image making, and finding neat blogs out there in the web-o-sphere, including the Adventure Monkey. I've been reading it this morning and am quite impressed with his photographic style, and his choice of riding. Gravel is good! I look forward to keeping up with him, and maybe take some inspiration from him too.

The other is EcoVelo. Its kind hard to tell you what its all about with sounding like a cheesy rip off of their about me page. So I'll just quote 'em:
Welcome to EcoVelo. This site is the public expression of our personal commitment to reduce our impact on the environment by employing bicycles as our primary mode of transport. By sharing what we learn from this endeavor, while also providing an aesthetically pleasing experience that celebrates the beauty of the bicycle and the joys of everyday bike riding, we hope to inspire others to make a similar commitment.
Its a well laid out page, with what is becoming a common thing here, beautiful photos. This will be interesting to follow their adventures too.

Lisenting to: The Current, Minnesota Public Radio. Drinking; rich dark coffee and feeling good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Sale! There's stuff here I don't want , you NEED!

Stuff that no matter how cool it is, I just don't really want in the store any more!

Item #1:
Bontrager Rhythm Elite wheels. 29" of course, offest spokebed, tubeless ready. These are brand spankin' new! Includes skewers and rim tape.
From store

$375, shipped.

Item #2:
Easton XC-1 SS 29" wheels. Super nice, highend wheels for your SS 29er. Incredibly smooth bearings, surprisingly stiff straight pull spokes. These are great for an XC race weapon. Again, these are brand new, in the box. I have three sets.
From store

$650, shipped.

Item #3:
Surly Mr. Whirly crank set + Race Face bb. Both items are used, though not heavily. Cranks are 185mm long. Yeah. one hundred and eighty five millemeters! They're huge. If you're tall[like, really tall], or want tons of leverage on your SS, these are what you want. There is a bit of heal rub, though nothing bad. Ring pattern is 104mm, 4 bolt.
From store

$200, shipped.

Items #4, #5:
White Industries ENO cranks. One Polished, one black. Both 180mm, both have a 32t ring. Both just unwrapped from shipping.
From store

From store

$180 each, shipped

Item #6:
Thomson Seat post, 32.4x367. Yeah, 32.4mm. Black in hue. Talk about a weird size. No picture on this one. Its a Thomson post, y'all know what it looks like.
$60, shipped. I know, really. $60 is a killer deal. If you or a loved one needs it, let me know.

Welp, that's about it. weather here has turned to rainy, wet crap, we're losing light quick, and I'm not getting out enough to ride. I gotta change that. May be time to shift hours around.

Take care.

Listening to: Explosions in the Sky radio on Last.fm. And watching a three year old ride her strider OVER boxes saying "Sweet jumps!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wheels are turning...winter race style...

Prairie Pugsley Parade?
Chilly Coulee Cruise?
Hellish Hills of Ice?
Wookies of Wisco drinking Wiskey?

I'm thinking February sometime. Gomez is working on one in January. JP in Menomonie is also getting one going.


That is all.


Listening to: Morning Edition, Minnesota Public Radio - and coffee ingestion! Mmmmm coffee...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A month. Already? Really?

Geez. I didn't think that I was THAT busy. Guess I was.

BRAVE ride, SidieFest, standard shop business, USGP Cyclocross in Madison. Seems like everything comes to a head in September. And I didn't even do everything I wanted to. Too many other commitments. Oh well.

Singular updates! Gryphons and a few more Swifts will be coming middish October. Peregrines will be coming in mid to late November. I know lots of you out there are chewing your nails off waiting for the Peregrines. Stop doing that. Its not good for you! If you want to garuntee your spot in line on either of these bikes, drop me a line, and put a $100 deposit in paypal to theprairiepeddler@gmail.com Be sure to let me know what size you need, and any other pertinent information.

In other news, Sam went to Italy a while back to talk with Nevi, makers of fine Italian Titanium bikes. What they talked about is the much rumored Titanium Swift. It sounds as if an agreement has been made to come up with a production Ti Swift. No pricing has been arrived at yet, but rest assured, it'll be in the $2k range. There won't be a regular production run either. If you would like in on this, be sure to let me and Sam know. More details will be forthcoming. In the mean time, dream over Sam's personal Ti prototype. Nice stuff!

Ok. Off to work. I know many come for photos here besides my random verbage. I've been shooting lots, and will have a photo post soon. For now, a shot from Sundays USGP Cyclocross race in Madison:

Ryan Trebon

Listening to: the wind howl around the house. Sure feels like autumn is here today...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Singular T's

So you want to pimp out the Singular brand? Hey! I can help you with that! Just arrived, I have a bunch of T's available for your back. $15 and they're yours. I have Medium, Large and XLarge ready to go.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Singular Stock update!

Due to the DirtRag review, I've been getting lots of questions on the Frames. No surprise there, really! Good reviews drive business! So I went to the basement there, and did an inventory. These numbers are good for today, August 24.

XL - 19
L - 18
M - 6

S - 2
M - 3
L - 3

So there you have it! If you're looking for a M Swift, better get an order in soon! Once these are gone, I won't be reordering till mid winter or so. The Gryphons and Peregrines are being made as I type. We should be seeing these in October or so.

Just a short, business-like update today!

listening to: Boot Liquor;Americana roots music for Cowhands, Cowpokes and Cowtippers.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dirt Rag review is in!

And boy, was it good. Not glowing as in "this is the best bike in the universe" good, but more of a "dang, this bike just flat out handles really well".

I've already seen a small uptick in traffic because of it. Looking forward to more soon!

If you are looking to buy this, or anything else from me, i've got a nice stash of parts laying about. White Industries SS cranks. Thomson stems and seat posts. Avid BB7 brakes and SD7 levers. A complete silver Shimano Alfine system. Origin8 bars. Titec Hbars. Continental Tires. A list of nice stuff for sure. I'll acutally be working on putting together a parts package over the next few days for those who want a complete. I'm getting more requests for that than I thought I would.

Since I've had the Singulars here, I've sold about 12 of them. Two just went out yesterday, and probably another today. I've gotten a few pictures of built up rigs. Figured I'd post 'em here for your pleasure.
From Swifts Customer

From Swifts Customer

From Swifts Customer

From Swifts Customer

The cool thing is that these are all over. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, California, Illinois, and soon to be everywhere.

Its gonna be a good day here. Hope its the same where you are.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer time at the shop = work. Lots of work.

And that is what is primarily keeping me from updating this silly blog.

So whats been up at The Prairie Peddler? Lots. Like the last post said, we got the first shipment of Singulars in, and they're moving out at the nice pace. Which I'm sure will pick up once the DirtRag review hits the news stand. I can't wait to read what David thought of the bike. This is almost worse than waiting for Christmas. Of the bikes that are out there [10 at last count] build pics and ride impressions are coming back. The bikes all look fantastic, and I'm collecting a few images that I can post here and at my flickr account for those 'shopping'. I'll post something here soon on that. I've been getting a few questions on pricing, and the introductory price time period is over. Price for Frame, Fork, Phil EBB and prep is now $590. Still a fantastic deal for what you get, and nicely in between Surly's and Salsa's. There's a gap there in that market that I wanted to fill, and I think these do that quite nicely!

Repairs have been nice and steady, always keeping me on my toes, and even staying late on some days. Tis the life of a bikeshop owner. Feast and famine I tell ya.

I've been getting out for semi regular rides too. Gravel grinders, weekly road rides, weekly trail rides. A smattering of racing. Its all good. Of course, I'd like to be riding more, and as soon as I finish this, I'll head out for a bit of dirt, but I'm just happy to be able to head out on the bike.

From riding 09


From riding 09

Top of a 6 mile climb.

From riding 09

Matt's new Singular, built in Winona at Pat's abode.

From riding 09

High above Winona on the Holzinger Lodge trails. Beautiful flowy fun. Wish I had time for more laps....

From riding 09

backroading it somewhere in Crawford County.

From riding 09

Part of the BRAVE route. This is the second year fo rthe event. This year we cut milage down to 100k for the long route, but took out all of the gravel we had last year. Lest you think that cutting milage will make this easy, there's still LOTS of climbing out there. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000' worth over the 65 miles. Come on out/over/down/up for a great ride on September 19th!

Time for dirt! OUT!

Listening to: Neko Case on Pandora.
Drinking: Sumatra roast form McGregor Coffee Roasters: Support your local roaster!

Friday, July 10, 2009

And just like that!

They're here!

After a paint delay, and what seemed like eons at customs, the Singular Swift's and Hummingbirds have arrived! Taking orders NOW! Call or email. If'n you need parts, I'll be happy to set you up with what ever cures your lust for shiney bits.

From singular

The first ones are already out the door and built. Reports are filtering back that the ride is just what they've been expecting.

I just got mine back from Dirt Rag. I'm eagerly awaiting seeing this review. The bike came back a bit beat up, but no worse for the wear. Just goes to show that they really do RIDE the bikes they test. Awesome.

Next up, Mountain Flyer? Would love to get one tested there too! Got my feelers out. Hey, gotta get one to Mark over there at The Cyclist Site too.

Listening to: Hank III
Drinking: Dales Pale Ale from Oskar Blues

Monday, June 8, 2009

Supercar Friday.

So there I am, good intentions filling me up on Friday morning. I have lots of work to catch up on. Some wheels to build, repairs to finish up and get out the door. A bike or two to build. A new employee to break in(really!). A full day. So I skip the morning road ride, and head to work, only to round the corner and be fronted with roughly $750,000 worth of cars sitting in front of my shop.

In my past, long buried by two wheel transport fandom, is a history littered with combustion. My Dad used to race sports cars at some of the regional race tracks. For 10 years, my summers revolved around changing tires, watch Dad rip around Elkhart Lake, Brainerd, Black Hawk Farms, and various auto cross courses. It was cool for sure, seeing all these fast cars. I remember watching Paul Newman walk right by me up at Brainerd. Saw Indy Cars and IMSA protoypes at Elkhart Lake. Up to about 15 or 16, it was awesome. Then something happened. Instead of girls and cars, I found bikes. Wierd, I know.

But there has always been a lurking motohead in me. Cars can indeed be cool.

And there was LOTS of cool sitting on the street outside the shop on Friday. First thing I see is a Corvette. Average enough. A Pontiac Solstice. Meh. A Ford GT. Another Ford GT. Nice! A Lotus Exige. REALLY nice! A Louts Elise, another Corvette, and right out the door of the shop, a Ferrari 430 droptop.

And the trophy wives to match.

So there went my good intentions of getting to work early. And they all sounded awesome driving away.

Anyways. On to the pics. Of course I took pictures!


GT, Exige, Corvette


So pretty

Listening to: Bon Iver and Arcade Fire on iTunes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good morning! Good morning! Its time to rise and shine!

That there's lyrics from a wake up song that we sing to the girls in the am's. When we sing that song, the day almost always ends up being a really good one. Lately, we've been singing that song alot.

As a result, the mornings have been really, really blessedly wonderful. Warm, sunny, inviting for an hour or so tour on the bike[s].

This is one of the reasons why there's been a dearth of updates here. Just having too much fun on the wheels, and keeping very busy in the shop itself.

Enough with the pleasantry's. That's not what you come here for.

First order of business: Singulars! They are indeed finally on the water after a small paint/sticker delay. Its still hard to call it as to when they'll be here. Best I can figure is a week to a week and a half on the water, then a day or three in customs, then two to three days on a truck, then here. I AM having a few air mailed over, but they're for the folks that have been kind enough to put down deposits. Parts for those who've ordered items are starting to flow in. Wheels will be built this week. Cranks will be fondled. Headsets imaginarily adjusted. Life will be good!

Two: Picsures. I like pictures, YOU like pictures. So lets get on with it!

Wonderfull section of trail:
woods trail.

Day two on trail:
5-20 morning ride

Day three on trail:

OH! and one last thing: I've never been much of a moto-head, but I found something this past week that is sending my heart all a flutter. I can SO easily imagine fully and completely enjoying one of these Mac Cafe Racers on the roads around here. 500cc Buell engine, light weight frame. Flat out gorgeous looks. Gotta get over the $16k price barrier though...and that pesky UK thing too.

Listening to: Beastie Boys/Paul's Boutique.....kickin' the gnu k-nowledge!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Project: Mary A

I've had this Mary since way long time back. I've ridden it, abused it, and generally treated it like any bike should be treated. Not these last couple years though. Its been languishing on a hook in the garage, awaiting parts.

A sale popped up that I thought could give new life to Mary. A complete Alfine wheel was offered at a great price, so I bit. All the necessary bits were purchased, including a few to increase its usefulness in its intended goal. Trail building macheen.

But first, its gotta be tested, right? And that I did this am. We got about a .5" of rain last night. Enough to make everything slippery and fun. And oddly ridable, but considering the sand we have here, its ok. fwiw, the Kenda Karma's [I]suck[/I] in the mud, but we all knew that already, right?


posed shot.

ALfine motion

Initial set up was a bit tricky because there were no instructions, and no additional parts included with the wheel purchase. A bit of fumbling around got me the parts I needed, and asking a pointed question on MTBR got me shifting right.

The first ride was good. Everything worked and shifted like it should. Once things dry out a bit more, I'll take it out again for a longer ride up at Yellow River. Should be fun!

Listening to: Plans and conspiring and goals.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3 trail building session.

Over here in Pdc land, we've got a new trail building toy. One of the local riders/builders runs a small CSA farm, and he likes euro stuff. This combination gets him some really cool euro toys to play with. the tractor is a two wheeled BCS with a diesel conversion. The attachment is an Italian flail mower. The result is a much more capable DR trimmer. You'd be surprised what this thing will go over. And through.

BCS tractor

BCS tractor

The result is a perfect width trail. about 36" or so wide. All thats left to do is rake and ride in most cases. Yes, trimming the edges needs to be done to get ride of prikker stuff.
BCS trail

Yesterday, in about 4.5 hours we mowed in roughly 2.5 miles of trail.

I'll be going out later today to finish up trimming the corridor, and get a few passes in.

Listening to: KDEC 100.5. Broadcasting online, finally!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Decorah Time Trials = Fun!

Cranko Flow from Marty Larson on Vimeo.

So last weekend was the Decorah Time Trials. Its always a fun time. The crew in Decorah has built an awesome set of trails through the hills, in town! This is the first of two video's that I have composed. Ryan, Eric and I all took our Pugsleys over to through through the trails. There were certainly a lot of looks and sideways glances at the start line. We could almost hear the comments.

"what are these guys thinking!? Haven't they seen the mud?" "Don't they know its rained?" Those tires have NO tread!".

And to tell the truth, I kinda though that too.

Then I rode. And it was simply awesome. I love my Pugsley.

Listening to: The Noise Downstairs. //WIfes Band. It was awesome.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Singular Pricing and new toys in the shop!

Yeah! Here's the long awaited post, letting y'all know what the Singulars are going to cost. Those who've been so generous as to put a deposit down already have an idea, but this is definitive!

First a brief rundown of the models:
The Swift is the mountain bike of the bunch. 29" wheels, Eccentric BB for SS duty, Cables stops and hanger for geared duty. A nice versatile bike. And good looking to boot!
Singular Swift

The Gryphon is much the same as the Swift above, but is designed specifically for drop bar off roading. The Gryphon is also designed to be run rigid, as can be seen with the short fork.
Gryphon front angle

The Hummingbird is an interesting one. Nominally a 26" mate to the 29" Swift, but it can be run with a 26" wheels and a suspension fork, or as a 69er with the supplied rigid fork and a 29" front wheel. This MAY be able to accept 650b wheels too. We'll have to wait to see if they truely fit though. No promises there.
Singular Hummingbird proto #1

These three bikes come as a frame, fork, and Phil Wood eccentric module. The head tube is faced/chased before leaving the door, and the frame is JPWiegle'd.

Price? $465

The Peregrine is the true chameleon of the bunch though. Lugged frame, clearance for BIG tires, rack mounts, eccentric bb, Disc brakes, cable stops and hangers, fender room, drop bars, Nitto North's, flat bars...you name it. The best lable is probably going to be a monster cross. This is the one you want to take with you all the way.
Production Peregrine #1

Arenberg Peregrine

Price? $635

Nice prices for nice bikes. Of course taxes and shipping apply where applicable and all that jazz. Check out Sam's flickr page for more shots of each of these bikes.

I've got a few wheels that can be sold with these bikes too. Just rolled in yesterday from the man in blue, Easton came through with 6 sets of the XC-1 29" wheels. Single speed specific, but enough room on the cassette carrier for at least 4 cogs if you float that way. Taking a set out here and playing with them gives a very nice first impression! Super smooth bearings. Seriously light. Perfectly round/true. I could give you the schpeal from Easton direct, but that's no fun. Since I just got 'em, I don't have any ride time on a set, but Cap't Bob over at 29inches has been riding a set, and seems impressed. Check it out!

Easton XC-1

Easton XC-1

Price? With a Singular: $490. Just want a set? $550.