We're here for you!!
To reach customer service, give us a call at 515-630-0130 during hours of operation.
You can also reach us through live chat via Facebook Messenger during hours of operation.
You can also shoot us an email at [email protected], and we will respond at our earliest convenience.
Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. -6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
New Years Day
How do we contact you if we have questions?
To speak to our customer service team, call 515-630-0130 during regular store hours.
You can also reach us through live chat via Facebook Messenger
What should I take with me on every ride, no matter the distance?
Whether you're leaving the house to ride for an hour spin around town or to ride across the country, there is a minimal amount of things we recommend you have with you at all times:
Multi-tool. This handy little gadget is a swiss army knife for cyclists. It will usually have multiple sized allen keys, a flat head screwdriver, a phillips head screwdriver and a chain tool. This will enable you to make any minor adjustments needed on the bike, to ensure your ride goes smoothly.
Tools and supplies to fix a flat, which would include the following:
If you are uncomfortable fixing flat tires, that's ok! Having the tools and supplies necessary is still important, cyclists are incredibly friendly folks, if you're broken down on the side of the trail, it is considered good etiquette within the cycling community for passing cyclists to ask if you're doing ok. Accept help and maybe make a friend in the process!
Food and Water. Staying hydrated and energized is one of the most important things we can do to ensure a fun day out riding. Conversely, being parched and hangry is the best way to turn a good ride sour.
A twenty dollar bill. Carrying a little cash is always a good idea, you never know when it might come in handy.
How do I pick the bike that is right for me?
With what seems like a mind boggling array of bicycles available for different types and styles of riding, it can be overwhelming for riders to figure out which type of bike is best for them. The easiest way to figure this out is to ask a salesperson at your local bike shop. Good shop staff will ask questions about the type of riding you anticipate doing, goals you might have, and what your budget is. Bad shop staff will drown you in unnecessary “bike speak” and tech terms that show how smart they are. Also, at the end of the day most bikes can handle all but the most extreme ends of the terrain spectrum. What's comfortable to you is what's most important and as cycling industry professionals it's our job to guide you through that journey.
What are the rules of the road for cyclist in Iowa?
Here's some helpful links for the laws and regulations that surround bicycle use on Iowa roads:
From the Iowa Bike Coalition
What are the best practices for riding off-road?
Riding dirt trails or singletrack is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have on a bike. That said, it is important to understand that there is a responsibility that off-road riders have when they hit the trails. This trail sign can be seen on almost every multi use trail system in the country. Basically, it says that it is the responsibility of the cyclist to yield right of way to all other trail users.
Additionally, there are some other behaviors to consider when riding off road on a bicycle:
Always ride within your skill level. It takes time and practice to ride a bike on technical terrain and to maintain control on an ever changing trail surface. Riding within one's limits decreases the chance of injury to both you and other trail users.
Respect the Trail. On most trails systems there are volunteers that spend countless hours maintaining them. Respect the time they put into your trails and don't ride when you feel that you are damaging them. CITA has some guidelines that they would like all riders to follow, here’s a link to that info:
Respect other users. Remember, multi-use trail systems are just that, a trail that is used by many different types of users that travel at different speeds and are looking for a different experience. Be courteous, and friendly when out on the trail. Being respectful to other trail users is the best way to ensure future access for two wheeled traffic.
How often should I service my bike?
Often we tell customers “You should have your bike serviced as needed”. In reality, there isn't a cut and dry service interval that fits all bikes and all riders. Mileage and physical wear are primary indicators that you may need to have your bike serviced. However, most shops will give you a free estimate for any work that needs to be done. We recommend that you have your bike checked over by your local bike shop’s service department at least once a year provided you are keeping up on the basic maintenance yourself. Things like:
Maintaining tire pressure. Maintaining proper tire pressure will ensure you get maximum life and performance out of your tires. You should check this before every ride.
Lubing your chain. Depending on weather conditions and the type of riding you are doing, riders may need to lube their bike’s chain every ride. However, using the old adage “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”, is the best policy. Over lubing or improper lubing your bike’s wear parts can actually cause premature wear as well. Most riders typically stick to a once every couple rides lube schedule.
Keep your bike clean. A clean bike is by far the most important This is the most important maintenance riders of any mechanical abilities can perform on their bikes. Mud, moisture, and debris prematurely wear parts and cause failures. No need for power washers, expensive bike specific solvents or tools here….Just wipe it down with a noncorrosive cleaner and a rag as needed. This is not to say these bike specific products aren't helpful, but they are not a necessity.
Here’s some helpful links for those looking to increase their knowledge of basic bike maintenance:
Park Tools YouTube Channel
Global Cycling Network Tech Channel on Youtube
What is an eBike?
An electric bicycle also known as an e-bike or ebike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor which can be used to assist propulsion.
According to leading bicycle retail analysts, E-bikes are the fastest growing segment of the bike industry. Here’s a brief overview of terms to help in your understanding of these electrified chariots.
Mid-drive. These bikes have the motor located at the crank. Advantages of locating the motor there are that all the other parts of the bike are essentials the same as a pedal powered bike. They generally offer more performance and power than a hub driven e-bike and can be found on most bikes currently in production by established bike manufacturers.
Hub-drive. These bikes have an electric motor integrated into the rear wheel usually. They generally have a lower price point and offer less assist power to the rider. They do require a few extra steps when performing repairs where the rear wheel must be removed, but don't require a mechanic's help to do so.
Head unit. This is the display found on the bike that will give info like, battery life, assist level, distance and speed.
Controller. Usually located on the handlebar and used to control assist level.
Choosing an e-bike is just like choosing a pedal powered bike. Finding the correct size and style of bike ensures that you will get the most out of your riding experience. Talk to the folks at your local bike shop to help guide you through this process.
Three Class System of E-bikes:
Class 1: pedal assist only, up to 21mph
Class 2: pedal assist and a throttle, up to 21mph
Class 3: pedal assist only, up to 28mph
What sized bike should I get?
This is a question that we get a ton of and there are cycling industry professionals that dedicate their entire careers to answering this question. Rather than diving into the mountains of data that is currently available on this topic, lets focus on a few basic concepts to consider:
Most riders will fit on two stock sizes of any given bike. For example, If you examine the size chart that is provided by most bicycle manufacturers, you’ll see a lot of crossover in size ranges, ie a size medium will fit riders between 5’6” and 6’0”, and a size large is designed to fit riders between 5’10” and 6’2”. Well, what if you are 5’11”? This is where riders should utilize the two most effective tools they have at their disposal:
Test rides. Go to your Local Bike Shop and test ride the two sizes in your fit range. This is the best way to determine what works best for you.
Ask a professional. Experienced salespeople at reputable bike shops are a riders best friend when it comes to making a final decision regarding bike size. They have more than likely sized thousands of riders and generally have a wealth of knowledge to share on the subject.
Additionally, remember the bicycle is a machine that works in conjunction with its rider. Therefore, your observations and experiences are critically important to determining the best fit for you. We often have beginning riders say, “I’m not a bike person, I do know enough to know whether this is the right size bike for me”. While a beginning rider might not have a clear picture of how to quantify what they are experiencing on a given size, rider impressions are an extremely valuable part of the process. Describe your experience to your salesperson and it's their job to translate into a bike that fits you and your needs.
Tubeless tire setup.. what's the benefit, and what's involved?
Tubeless tires for bicycles are one of the most significant new technologies of the past decade. Running tubeless tires have all sorts of benefits for all sorts of riders:
Lower Tire Pressures. Tubeless systems allow riders to run lower tire pressures which if done right, increases traction significantly, especially for off road riding.
No More Pinch Flats. A pinch flat occurs when the tube gets pinched between the tire and the rim. Eliminate the tube, and it's impossible to get a pinch flat.
Puncture resistance. The sealant used in tubeless tire systems also seals small holes in the tread. We had bikes that have dozens of thorns in them but remain inflated.
Decreased rolling resistance. Removing tubes from tires, lightens the bike in the place where riders feel it most, at the wheel. We find that bikes with proper tire pressure and tubeless systems feel more lively on climbs and faster on the flats.
Now onto what you need to know about setup. Most bike shops will only set your bike up tubeless if it has a tubeless compatible tire mounted to a tubeless compatible wheel. This is the only way for shops to guarantee their work and receive warranty support should there be an issue. If doing the setup yourself using the proper parts will ensure best performance and the least amount of maintenance. Here’s a list of all the things needed to set a bike up tubeless:
~Tubeless Rim Tape
~Core Removal Tool
Additionally, here’s some helpful links from industry leading manufacturers regarding tubeless systems and setup:
Stans No Tubes
What is a gravel bike?
As the name suggests, a gravel bike, in a general sense is one intended to ride on gravel roads and light single track. What started out as a sub category within road bikes has now become the fastest growing segment of the pedal powered industry, behind e-bikes. As the category grows it is starting to encompass a wide range of configurations. Currently, there are gravel bikes with really wide tires, both mountain and road style handlebars, mounts for racks and fenders, ones meant for use in ultra distance events, and ones meant for multi day exploration. While all that seems like a lot to digest, we think the most important consideration when looking at gravel bikes is: Does it work for my intended purpose? Features like a wider handlebar, more upright/comfortable rider position, and improved traction from a wider tire can benefit most riders. At its core the gravel bike is meant to be comfortable and stable handling, two characteristics that add to most riders' experience on the bike.
Bikepacking? Isn't that just bike touring?
Essentially, yes. If you ask twenty cyclists “What’s bikepacking?”, you’ll more than likely receive twenty different answers. In reality it's all cycle touring in one form or another. For us the distinction lies in the type of terrain that's traveled over. For the most part, if you are touring on dirt mainly it is considered bikepacking. Conversely, if your tour takes you mainly over paved surfaces it's commonly referred to as touring. Regardless of the terminology, getting out on your bike is a good thing. The thing to take away from all this is that the emergence of bikepacking has led to some exciting new ways to carry stuff on your bike. Here’s some links to some bag makers we really like:
Oveja Negra Bags
One T Designs
What tire pressure should I run to get the most out of my riding experience?
If you follow any cycling related groups on the internet, you’ll see this question at least once or twice a week. There are many factors that contribute to what the ideal tire pressure is for a given tire and rim combination. So, there isn't a “one pressure that fits all” answer. Here’s some things to consider when thinking about tire pressure:
Max is not recommended! The pressure listed on most tire’s sidewalls is the max tire pressure recommended for that tire. It is not the ideal tire pressure you should run to get the maximum life and ride quality out your tires. Also, this doesn't take into account the maximum tire pressure recommended for the rim that the tire is mounted to.
High tire pressure is NOT faster. While it was thought for years that the high tire pressures decreased rolling resistance and therefore increased speed, there is significant data out now that says this isn't the case.
Rider weight. Rider weight is one of the most significant factors in contributing to ideal tire pressure. A 200lb rider won’t get the same ride feel as a 130lb rider on the same tire and rim combination at the same psi.
Ride Quality. This is more subjective, Once you’ve found a good range of tire pressures that work for your tire width, rim width and rider weight, experiment within that range to find what works best for you. As previously mentioned, there isn't a “one pressure fits all answer”.
Tire construction and Intended use. Manufacturers are currently making their tires in different ways. The most common distinction you will see is: Light and Fast or Durable. What does this mean? Well, basically it refers to the thickness of the tire as it relates to the casing or base construction. A lighter tire tends to flex more at the sidewall because there is less material supporting it. Conversely, a more “durable” tire tends to be thicker and have a stiffer feel at the same psi as its “lighter” brethren.
Here’s some reliable resources from trusted tire manufacturers to get you started on finding the ideal tire pressure to maximize your riding experience:
Schwalbe Tires Guide to Optimal Tire Pressure
WTB (Wilderness Trail Bikes) Guide to Rim/Tire Width Compatibility
Tire Ted Talks from the 2018 Philly Bike Expo Featuring UltraRomance (Lighthearted and fun, but has some great material)
Silca’s Pressure Calculator (makers of some of the highest quality pumps ever made)
Any tips for winter riding?
The first word in winter cycling is: LAYERING. Layering is the single most important factor when riding in the colder months. Heat regulation is the key to comfort when riding in the cold and layering clothes is the best way to do that. We generally stick to clothes that have zippers and vents to assist in regulating heat while riding.
Protecting your extremities is also important. Cold hands and feet is the best way to ruin an otherwise enjoyable winter ride.
Windproofing. The wind is your enemy when it comes to keeping your heat constant during a ride. Windproof outer layers are great.
Protect your Eyes. As previously mentioned, wind can be a bummer. We recommend always wearing some sort of eye protection when riding anytime of year. This is even more important during the winter months and when there is snow on the ground. A good pair of sunglasses will vent well enough to not fog, and protect your eyes from harsh wind, debris and glare.
How do I set my suspension for my weight?
Like most things bike, personal preference does play a significant role in suspension set up. Another factor to consider is that different suspension designs are designed to run different settings to be most effective. However, there are recommended settings that are published by both suspension and bike manufacturers that are a great starting point for most riders. Here’s some things to consider:
Sag. Sag is the amount a suspension fork or shock compresses when a rider is sitting on the bike. This measurement is usually determined when a rider is sitting on the bike with all the gear that they would typically take on a ride. Proper sag ensures that the suspension is working at its best and provides the rider with the most performance.
Rider weight. As with tire pressure, rider weight is one of the most important factors to consider when setting up suspension.
Ride Terrain. Settings that work well on smoother terrain might not be ideal for rougher conditions. Being familiar with the settings you prefer for different types of terrain will enhance your ride experience.
Here are some links to the setting guides for major suspension manufacturers:
Fox Shocks and Forks
Rock Shox Trailhead Tuning Tool
Handlebar width, is wider really better?
The short answer: Yes! For years the cycling industry has been force feeding riders narrow handlebars for all disciplines. But finally, the industry has accepted what most of us already know: WIDE HANDLEBARS ROCK!! Here’s a couple advantages to running a wider handlebar regardless of the type of riding you do:
Increased Comfort. Wider handlebars tend to place riders in a position that is more comfortable and supportive to the rider's upper body. As you can imagine the more supportive your rider position the less you are affected by the fatigue of holding yourself up. Additionally, a wider bar allows riders to open their riding stance and breathe easier. This increased airflow to the lungs helps combat fatigue, assists with heat management and decreases lactic acid build up in the muscles.
Increased control. It is well documented that a wider handlebar increases control, particularly for mountain riders. But wider bars are now commonplace on many gravel bikes when compared to their skinny tired counterpart, the road bike.
Is a dual suspension bike a must to mountain bike?
Absolutely not. The current trend is the cycling industry is lightweight, long travel, aggressive trail bikes. These bikes offer riders the ability to push themselves on more technical terrain and tackle larger more advanced obstacles. That said, they are NOT a prerequisite for enjoying a day on the dirt. Those of us that have been mountain biking for decades will often remind our younger brothers and sisters of days when mountain bikes had no suspension at all and narrow tires with minimal tread. While advances in mountain bike technology have improved many riders' experience on the trail, more is not always better. Talk to your sales person about the type of riding that you anticipate or typically ride and find the type of bike that will provide the best experience for you. That could be a dual-suspension bike, and bike with front suspension, or maybe a bike with no suspension at all. Be open to all the possibilities, not just what is currently on trend.
Where are some places to ride mountain bike trails in the Des Moines area?
There are literally hundreds of miles of dirt and paved trail in the Des Moines Metro area. Here's some links to help you find your next adventure:
Central Iowa Trails Association
Des Moines Area Trails Map
Here’s some additional information to help you find rides and riders across Iowa:
Bike Iowa Events Page
Singletracks Mobil App
Ride Spot (People for bikes)