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Posts Tagged ‘Bikepacking’

Opus Spark Spotlight

Category: Featured Items

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Opus bikes is a Montreal-based bicycle brand which we’ve been carrying for several years. They offer a full spectrum of bikes, but one of their best-kept secrets is the touring-oriented Opus Spark.

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Our most popular version of this bike is the Opus Spark Adventure 4. It has a frame with adventure-oriented geometry, with a lower bottom bracket and longer chainstays for greater stability on rough terrain.

It has a Shimano Claris 24 speed drivetrain with road-style shifters to keep control at your fingertips, powerful dual-piston mechanical disk brakes, and fast-rolling 700c wheels. Best of all, it comes fully equipped with fenders and a rack, so you’ll be all set to hit the road and have an adventure! Although this is an adventure-oriented bike, it also makes a great commuter – just add lights!

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The Spark 4 Adventure is a fully-loaded adventure machine at only $1399. Come down to Denman Bikes and try one today!

Interested in trying bikepacking? Join us at the Swift Campout 2019!

Category: DBS Community

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We’re proud to announce that we will be involved in our local Swift Campout, a yearly bikepacking adventure organized by Swift Industries, a manfacturer of high-quality bike luggage. (Disclaimer: we sell their gear, but it really is that good – come check it out) Check out mechanic par excellence and glorious Swift Campout leader Kyle Mason’s page for further details!

Our Swift Campout – Vancouver Edition this year will be at the Nanaimo Lakes. You can take a bus or bike to Horseshoe bay, and after that it’s a short 30-40km ride to the campsite. The full GPS route can be found here.

Anyone is welcome to the ride – as you can see from this post about the 2017 Vancouver Swift campout, a wide variety of people attend. However, be prepared to camp, to pack in and pack out, to carry everything you will need on your bike, to fish, to swim, to enjoy the sun, and maybe even to pan for gold!

We hope to see you there!

Kona Spotlight

Category: Featured Items

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Kona Bikes is one of the newest additions to the stable of bike brands we carry at Denman Bikes. Founded in Vancouver in 1988, they offer all sorts of bikes, from mountain bikes to e-bikes to road-bikes to cargo bikes and more.

In this post, we’ll be highlighting some of Kona’s most exciting offerings that we have in-store, listing why we like them and why you will too!

Kona Sutra
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The Kona Sutra is Kona’s answer to a touring bike. And what an answer! It comes kitted out with all the goodies that make a modern touring bike a dependable, stable machine that will take you anywhere your legs can handle. It has a wide-range, 27 speed Shimano gear train; powerful mechanical TRP Spyre disc brakes; wide, comfortable drop bars to allow for switching between many hand positions; and all sorts of braze-ons all over the frame for compatiblity with almost any accessory you could wish.

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Even better, the Sutra comes equipped with a Brooks saddle, renowned for their comfort even with ultra-long days in the saddle, as well as fenders and a rack right out of the box. Pair these with some high-quality bike luggage from Ortlieb or any of the other brands we sell and you’ll be ready to hit the road for an epic trip!

The Kona Sutra will get you into bikepacking and touring at $1899. Come down to Denman Bikes and try one today!

Kona Sutra LTD

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The Kona Sutra LTD may appear to be just an upgraded version of the Sutra, but that’s only part of the picture. Whereas the Sutra is made for long days in the saddle, loaded touring, and general enjoyment of the scenery, the Sutra LTD is a bit more. As Kona says on its website for the Sutra LTD, it is what happened when a “bunch of mountain bikers dreamed up something wild: a drop bar bike that felt like a mountain bike and rode like a mountain bike.” As such, it has been very successful in this amorphous category of bike, being featured in Bikepacking 2017’s Gear of the Year, as well as receiving further plaudits.

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So, what makes the Sutra LTD tick? As with the Sutra, it features wide drop bars, allowing for a variety of hand positions but plenty of control for more technical riding. It also features disc brakes, but these are in the form of Sram Rival hydraulic disk brakes for more power. The drivetrain does away with the front derailleur for simplicity, instead featuring a wide-range 11 speed cassette to give you the gear range you need. Finally, this bike is tubeless-ready, allowing you to have all of the advantages of tubeless tires: lower pressures, fewer flats, and lower weight!

The Kona Sutra LTD can be had for $2799. Come down to Denman Bikes and try it today!

Unit X

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What is the Unit X, exactly? The Kona Unit started out as a single-speed suspensionless mountain bike, built for fun and simplicity. It was a simple bike, made for simple pleasures, ripping around on pavement or trails, and generally recapturing the fun of your first bike, or BMX.

The Unit X changes the formula by adding gears, although just in the form of a rear derailleur, which I’m sure we’ll all agree is pretty essential in some parts of Vancouver.

The Unit X has a 1×11 speed Sram NX drivetrain, SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes which offer power and modulation, tubeless-ready 27.5″ wheels and high-volume tires, and a sturdy 4130 chromoly frame compatible with dropper seatposts.

The Unit X sells for $1699. Come down to Denman Bikes and try one today – we guarantee you won’t leave without a smile on your face!

Honzo

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The Honzo is the most mountain bike we sell, and it’s proved to be very popular. The Honzo was one of the first mountain bikes to adopt larger 29″ wheels, and helped spark a trend towards larger wheels on mountain bikes.

The Honzo features the same 1×11 SRAM drivetrain as the Unit X, Shimano hydraulic brakes, 29″ WTB wheels and tires, and comes with a TransX dropper seatpost right out of the box.

All this trail-riding goodness will cost you $1799. Come down and try one out at Denman Bikes today!

Dew City

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The Dew City and its other Dew siblings are Kona’s value-oriented city do-it-all bike. Although they’re intended mostly for pavement riding, they are well-suited for light trail riding, especially those with higher-volume tires like the Dew, Dew Plus, Dew City, and Dr. Dew.

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The Dew City has 700c wheels, v-brakes, and a 27-speed Shimano drivetrain. It’s available in a wide variety of sizes for all riders.

The Dew City is priced at an affordable $599. Come down to Denman Bikes and try one today!

The Globetrotting Cyclist – Biking Overseas

Category: Pro Tips, Uncategorized

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Are you one who craves adventure? Interested in a long-distance cycling trip, or even one overseas? Cycling is one of the best ways to see a country – to quote a time-worn cliche, it turns the journey itself into the destination. Not for you the plane, harbinger of cold and flu, sausage-stuffed with passengers; the bus, with leaking lavatories, innumerable stops, and air conditioning always too hot or too cold; expensive car rental, with navigation of foreign insurance and road customs. On a bike, you’re never far away from a beautiful stop, and you never have to worry about parking.

However, there are a few things which will help maximize the fun in your overseas cycling adventure.

First, whether you’re taking a bus, train, or airplane, you are likely to have to pack your bike. Baggage handling can be hard on your bike, so make sure you pack it up well! Specialized bike containers are available for frequent travellers, but a low-cost option is often to purchase a used bicycle box from your local bike store and pack it up in that. Of course, your friendly local bike mechanic can do this for you, too! One of the myths surrounding shipping your bicycle by airplane is that your tires might explode as the pressure in the airplane’s cargo hold decreases. Since pressure at sea level is 14.7 psi, the maximum relative change in tire pressure is this – unless you’re running your tires at or higher than the maximum inflation for your tires, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any issues.

Other countries may also have different standards for bicycle components. A great example of this is tires – go to any bike store, and there are a dizzying array of different tire sizes available for differing standards over the years. Make sure you are aware of what components will be on offer in your destination country(ies), and carry spares if you are worried about availability of compatible parts, or if you’re going to be far away from places you can get your bike repaired!

Similarly, a good toolkit is very useful to have, along with some of the basic skills required to fix common bike issues. Good things to know how to do are to replace or repair tires and tubes, true wheels, replace brake and shifter cables and adjust the same, and replace chains. Of course, you can make it less likely that you’ll encounter some of these issues by having your bike tuned up and travel-prepped by a competent local mechanic. A suggested toolkit to take would be chain oil, a set of allen keys, tire levers, patches, spare tubes and/or tires, a pump, spare spokes, spoke wrenches, and standard wrenches as needed – of course, a multitool can substitute for many of these.

Aside from a toolkit, make sure your bike is kitted out with the equipment appropriate for your trip. A good helmet, lock, and lights are a must, as well as bags for carrying luggage. Ortlieb bags are one of the most well-regarded brands of bicycle luggage in the world, and we stock their full product line at Denman Bikes.

Finally, if you’re interested in doing a bicycle vacation over just a regular vacation, consider that many countries have a rich cycling heritage and may have better cycling infrastructure or a better attitude towards cycle tourists. That being said, locals are often happy to see cycle tourists wherever you might go!

I hope that this helps inspire your next bike trip, or to open your mind to the possibilities of overseas cycling. Happy riding!

Carry More Comfortably with Racks and Bags

Category: Pro Tips, Uncategorized

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One of the major perceived drawbacks of biking over automobile transportation is the lack of cargo carrying capacity. However, with the right setup, most would be surprised at how much a bicycle can help you carry.

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Of course, not all of us can be the hero in the above picture, but luckily, there are all sorts of bicycle accessories that can help you carry what you need to where you need it to be.

A backpack is a useful cargo tool but the physical exertion inherent to cycling often leaves you sweaty, which in combination with wearing a backpack is sticky and uncomfortable. A key item in freeing yourself from the tyranny of the backpack is a rear rack, often colloquially known as a “rat-trap”.

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Axiom Journey Rear Rack

These can have cargo strapped on them directly, with bungee cords, rope, or whatever is at hand, but are better combined with rack-mounted pannier bags or rack top bags. Pannier bags attach securely to a pannier, but can be removed and carried with a convenient handle. These are among the highest-capacity bicycle luggage items available, many featuring separate pockets. Some are even fully weatherproof to keep your stuff dry in the Vancouver wet. These range from the rugged to the urban chic.

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Blackburn Wayside Backpack Pannier (L) and Basil Urban Fold Messenger Bag (R)

Rack top bags also attach to a rear rack, but to the top, rather than the side, of the rack. These generally have a lower capacity than pannier bags, but are less bulky.

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Blackburn Barrier Rack Top Bag

Beyond this, many other options for hardcore bicycle storage exist – smaller handlebar bags which mount to your bars, seatpost bags which mount to your seatpost below your saddle, frame bags which mount within the main triangle of your frame, front panniers designed to mount onto a pannier rack attached to your bicycle’s front fork, and even specialized cargo bikes for carrying extremely heavy loads.

If you’re thinking of getting geared up for serious cargo carrying, come down to Denman Bikes and our experienced mechanics and salespeople will be happy to help you get set up with the best bicycle cargo system for your needs!

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This could be you… adventure awaits