Counterbalance Bicycles in Seattle is Closing

October 27, 2023 9:26am by rob
I was in Seattle this week and was sad to discover that my favorite Seattle bike shop is closing. I spoke briefly to Counterbalance Bicycles owner Peter Clark. It’s nothing too dramatic, but after twenty years he’s ready to do something else. The shop will close its doors in about two weeks. Most of the stuff is currently 30% off.

Clark took the shop over from Ti Cycles back in 2003 (Ti Cycles moved its operation down to Portland). Located right on the Burke-Gilman trail near University Village, the shop offered the perfect balance (no pun intended) of service and selection. I bought a lot of tires, tubes and lube there, along with my trusty Cross Check. The shop was especially loved by bike commuters. I know it will be missed!

Exterior photo via

Chris Currie of Ministry Cycles

October 24, 2023 9:13am by rob
If you’ve been around the mountain bike world for a while you may remember Speedgoat back in the 90s and early 2000s. Speedgoat was founded by Chris Currie in 1997, and he ran the successful ecommerce business until he sold it in 2010. Chris later joined Stan’s Tubes as Creative Director, where he stayed until last year. Through all of this time, he has gotten more deeply involved in suspension design, and he finally launched his own company–Ministry Cycles–last year. I’ve talked to Chris a few times since then and also finally got to meet him in person in August at the MADE Show in Portland. Super cool guy!

Chris just did a great interview with Singletrack. You can read it here. And be sure to follow his Instagram, as it’s entertaining and educational!

Seller Spotlight: Watson from Upcycle

October 17, 2023 12:24pm by rob
This week's Seller Spotlight is on Watson, the co-founder of Upcycle, a new peer-to-peer bike rental marketplace. He has a bunch of parts sitting around from riding and owning lots of bikes over the last several years. Some cool ones include a SRAM GX Eagle crankset and a Specialized S-Works Romin saddle.

And now for our five easy questions!

How did you get into bikes?
I’ve been riding bikes most of my life. I started riding dirt jump bikes in high school which somehow evolved into cross-country racing. Growing up, I raced for my high school cross-country team in Petaluma California, at Casa Grande High School. After graduating, I sold my mountain bikes and bought a road bike and a fixed gear which I used to ride around in college at UC Davis. Now that I’m an adult, I have all the bikes again! N+1 as they say.

What bike do you ride the most?
The bike that has the most miles is my Baum cyclocross bike which I use mostly as a road bike.

What is your favorite bike ride?
For mountain biking, I like Demo Forest in Santa Cruz. For road biking it’s hard to beat riding in Mallorca.

Campy or Shimano?
Sram because it’s what I’m used to and their road brake levers don’t have lateral movement. But I would heavily consider Campy on a future road build!

Any big plans for the next year?
Continuing work on Upcycle, racing BC Bike Race 2024, going to Bentonville, finishing a Dario Pegoretti build that my wife bought me, and riding bikes wherever life takes me!

Win a Canyon Spectral and Support the Marin Museum of Bicycling!

October 13, 2023 9:19am by rob
Our friends at the Marin Museum of Bicycling are giving away a Canyon Spectral CF 8 K.I.S. All proceeds benefit the Museum and the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Click here to learn more!

New Zwift Hub One and Zwift Cog Upgrade Kit!

October 12, 2023 11:37am by rob
The new Zwift Hub One and Zwift Cog upgrade kit now offer virtual shifting for Zwift users. This is an absolutely brilliant move by Zwift that will help streamline the setup and experience for most riders! I can't wait to check it out!

Great explainer video by DesFit below! And you can check out these new products at

Jobst Brandt Ride Bike!

October 10, 2023 9:07am by rob
I finally got my copy of the new Jobst Brandt book from Isola Press: JOBST BRANDT RIDE BIKE! I was lucky enough to have talked to Jobst quite frequently when I was a high school kid working at Palo Alto Bicycles in the 80s. It was Jobst who talked me into taking my bike to Italy when I was studying abroad in college--I'll always be grateful for that. Stoked to see the memories contributed by my buddy Dave Mac. And I still have the poster of Bill Robertson on my wall!

Buy the book at

The Cross Check is Dead

October 5, 2023 9:17am by rob
Last month we reported that Surly discontinued the Steamroller. And now we are sad to report that the Cross Check is going away, too.

The Cross Check was first introduced in 1999. I bought a Cross Check frame in 2006, built it up and commuted on it for about eight years. Surly wasn’t the first to offer an affordable, practical cross bike (Bianchi had done this with the Volpe, and Redline had done it with the Conquest). But it had a lower price, more adaptability and best of all you could order it from any LBS.

Jeff Frane of WIlde says, “it is my contention that the humble Cross Check is the single most influential bicycle of the last 30 years. I’m not claiming it invented anything, but it certainly popularized and democratized several key concepts such as big tire clearances, versatility, utility, parts compatibility, etc. and ushered in the steel bike as a cult “bicycle person” trait. Owning a Cross Check was a major waypoint in countless riders journeys through cycling. It was THE bike that made people realize that perhaps the dominant paradigm that the industry was pushing wasn’t all there was out there.”

Here’s a pic of my old flat bar Cross Check on my drizzly Seattle commute in 2008. I built it with Paul Thumbis, Shimano XT cantis, an 8-speed Ultegra drivetrain, heavy 700 x 32 Continentals and Planet Bike fenders. It was bombproof and I loved it.

In 2014 I took it apart and transferred most of the parts to an Indy Fab Planet Cross I’d bought on eBay. I then donated the frame to BikeWorks in Seattle. I definitely got my $300 worth out of it. And I’m sure it’s still going strong somewhere. The Cross Check will never die.

Shop Surly on BikeList!

Parlee is Back!

October 3, 2023 9:37am by rob
Good news out of Massachusetts: legendary carbon fiber bike brand Parlee Cycles is out of bankruptcy and has big plans under the stewardship of new owner and CEO John Harrison. Bob Parlee remains in place as Chief Designer, and the company has been able to retain most of their employees as well. You can read the press release here and listen to an interview with John Harrison on the Bike Rumor podcast.

Fit Videos: Do You Know Your RAD?

September 28, 2023 10:02am by rob
When I was sized to my first high quality road bike in 1984 it was simple: stand over the bike, lift it up to make sure you had an inch or two clearance, and you were good. Then choose between a 10 or 11 cm stem. Done!

Things got a bit more complicated with sloping top tubes in the 90s.

But things have gotten downright weird in the last ten years or so, especially with mountain bikes.

About five years ago Lee McCormack published his theory of RAD on PinkBike. What is RAD? “The Rider Area Distance (RAD) is the imaginary line between your bottom bracket and the centers of your grips.”

I’d ignored this whole RAD thing up to now, but after two years of riding a Large Ibis Ripley that feels too cramped for me, I measured my RAD yesterday and it helped confirm that I need more reach (for many people, though, RAD will indicate your are riding a bike that is too BIG).

Check out the videos below and let me know your thoughts!

Shop mountain bikes on BikeList!

Cross vs Gravel!

September 25, 2023 11:05am by rob
I thought it would be fun to compare my 20 year old IndyFab cross bike to my new DeSalvo gravel bike.

Steel fork vs carbon fork
Canti studs w/v-brakes vs disc brakes
1 1/8th head tube vs tapered head tube
2 c-rings vs 1 c-ring
13-26 8 speed vs 11-42 11 speed
QR vs thru-axles
Clearance for 35mm tires vs clearance for 50 mm tires
35mm tires with tubes vs tubeless 48mm tires
42cm road bars vs 44cm flared gravel bars
Standard seat post vs dropper post

What did I miss?

Shop gravel and cross bikes on BikeList!

Displaying posts 31 - 40 of 213 in total.