Internationally experienced, locally focused.  We're lifelong bike people, and a bit outside the box.  Calling us "cyclists" is a little too confining.  We ride bikes on trails, roads, bike paths.  We ride to work, we ride to the grocery, and we ride for fun. Come ride along! 
We specialize in expedition & touring bicycles, bikepacking gear, high-quality trail bikes and fatbikes, utility & commuter rigs, singlespeed MTB & road rockets, vintage cycles, and used bikes of all kinds, along with unparalleled technical and customer service.  Join the Velorution!

What's New:
04.16.14 - Durango Bikes app launching soon; Also, awesome group rides!
We're proud to announce that we've partnered with My City Bikes to launch a new app, Durango Bikes, which will be a great resource for newcomers to bikes, Durango, or both!  This app will help the new rider or resident find the best commuter routes and basic MTB trails in our area, along with other helpful info.  We are stoked to sponsor this project and hope it helps more than a few people out!  Launching in the very near future - more info on the forthcoming app, the My City Bikes project, and so on here:  http://bit.ly/DurangoBikes  Check it out, and let us know what you think!
On another note, our group ride last night was awesome.  Fifteen of you rad riders showed up and we had a great time on the newly- reopened South Rim trail.  We also had the most eclectic assortment of bikes I've seen in a while (outside of the shop, of course) - fatbikes, 29+, full-sus, hardtails, full rigid, singlespeed, handbuilt... all as unique as the people that ride them.  Thank you all for coming out, let's keep these rides rockin'!

04.14.14 - Nice job all you Gravel Grinders!
Thanks so much to everyone that came out to the Durango Gravel Grinder on Saturday!  We had a record turnout and a great time.  We had everything from CX race bikes to fat bikes on course.  The weather mostly cooperated, although we all had to dodge a bit of lightning and rain.  We had a lot of finishers on the 115-mile route, with good friends Danny Powers and Kylie Krauss coming in first and second overall.  A lot of folks set personal mileage records, which is awesome!  Matt Turgeon, race organizer, couldn't ride because of an injured wrist - so he decided to just run the first 45-mile loop.  Nuts.  Only four of us signed up for the 160-mile route (one dropped early), and Jordan, Alex, and I rode together almost all day, deciding to not call it a race at the last minute and finishing together before heading over to Carver's for food and drink (thanks, Mike!).  For the record, 160 miles on a singlespeed hurts.  Of course I knew that, from last year, but a year's time has a way of making one forget...

This is what the sky looked like most of the afternoon.  Despite the ominous appearance, we somehow managed to avoid getting rained or lightning-ed on - instead, we just rode huge loops around the storms (on course).  Sure was pretty.

04.08.14 - New Clothing Line, New Shop Tees, & More!
Oh boy.  These shirts, long since dreamt up, are just now in the mail, printed by none other than our buddy Clint at the Tillman Project.  If you know our shop, you know that while we love riding downhill fast, we value riding up the hill as well - and these tees playfully recognize that.  So if shuttles aren't your thing, come check these early next week!

Here's the other print... also with the logo on the back.  Wicked!

Also, we're stoked to have added Endura clothing to our lineup here at the shop.  This Scottish line of technical apparel is super high-quality and very reasonably priced.  We've brought in a solid selection of jerseys, jackets, shorts, and glasses for the summer in both men's and women's versions.  Awesome colors too - come check them out!

Spring trails in Durango... mmmm.  Get out and ride, now's the time!

04.05.14 - Wheels, Gravel Grinders, and Spring is ON!
Just finished building these 29+ wheels up for one of Durango's nicest pro- racer/product R&D cycling illuminati... perhaps you'll see them flying by on a trail near you, being thoroughly tested.  Pretty stealthy though!

Speaking of new product, the venerable Sea Otter Classic is coming right up next weekend.  We're about to see some pretty sweet bikes get released - stay tuned for details and some good news!

Finally, the Durango Gravel Grinder is only one week away.  One-hundred and sixty-eight hours from RIGHT NOW there will be many of us out on La Plata's county roads, suffering away the miles, probably against a gigantic headwind.  We will also be having a great time, so I hope you're on the start list.  Start is here, 0700 hours sharp!  No entry fee, no support, but please sign up in advance here.  Cody and I are both going to be out there enjoying what hopefully is a beautiful day, so we will be closed Saturday, April 12.  Come join on a beautiful tour of the entire southern half of La Plata County!

04.01.14 - Tonight's group ride is cancelled because of the dust storm!
Sorry, everyone - but we've been getting hammered with dust storms this last week, and we're not keen to ride in today's, even though it's nothing compared to the monster we had Sunday.  Soooo... let's try next week.  See you soon!

03.30.14 - Finally, the promised Utah photojournal
Took a bit - lots going on around here these days!  But here you go, photos from our latest MicroTour are up.  Click here to check 'em out.

On a separate note, we've been doing tons of repairs so far this spring.  However, we're thankfully getting most of them turned around in a few days or less.  So if you're wanting that tuneup taken care of but don't want to wait a week, bring it on down.  We'll take care of you!

03.25.14 - What good is a bikepacking trip...
...without hike- a- bike?  Not much, in my estimation. 

Obviously I'm being facetious, but there's a kernel of truth in there.  To me, having to get off the bike and walk or push or carry means I've reached the end of what's typically accessed.  It means exploration of places less traveled, and for that I love me some good ol' hiking.  By that standard (or any other, really), we had a great trip last weekend!  Photojournal to come...

03.19.14 - The desert is calling
It's high time we got back out to the desert for a little microtour.  As is our spring tradition of sorts, we're going west for a little pre- crazy- season rejuvenation, and as a result we'll be closed Saturday, March 22.  We may close a little early on Friday too, if everything gets done, to better make our escape.  Back on Monday, with photos, as always!

In other news, it's also that time of year to start up our group rides.  This year we'll begin with a Tuesday night group ride on April 1st.  Meet here at the shop at 5:45pm.  This mountain bike ride will be a pleasantly paced, no drop ride, and all skill levels and bike types are welcome!  Ladies, you should come out too - Sandhya and Erica will probably be riding with us some weeks.  It's probably a good idea to bring some form of lighting, even if it's just a headlamp and a blinky for riding the road home.  We'll finish the ride up down at the Steaming Bean, where they'll re-open just for us with beer and coffee available!  We may add other group rides as the season waxes - skill level specific rides, women's specific rides, etc - but we'll just see what the demand is.  If you have an idea, just let us know!  As always, keep an eye on the Events page for the latest and greatest, because things are always in flux.

We'll leave you for the weekend with the straw that broke the camel's back - our buddy Andrew from Bedrock Bags just got back from a little jaunt in the desert and taunted us with this video.  Thanks for the prodding, Andrew!

03.11.14 - Gravel Grinding
Sorry for the lack of updates, faithful blog- followers... it's been a little nuts around here.  We're still cranking repairs out in a few days or less, though, so bring your bike on down for that love it desperately needs! 

My friend Kylie and I got out for a good gravel loop this last weekend.  The Durango Gravel Grinder (which starts here at VC) is less than five weeks away... and 160 miles is a scary prospect off the couch.

Instead of sitting on said couch, we headed out into the beautiful weather and enjoyed 70 miles of LPC's finest gravel roads.  It felt good to be on the bike for a long day again - I don't think I've done much over three hours since last fall.  Seventy miles didn't feel too bad, but coming into town, I realized how painful the prospect of another 90 was.  Guess I'll have to ride a bit more the next few weeks!

Kylie, ex-Indy Fab racer, now on the Surly train.  Quote of the day:  "I thought road riding here sucked until I got a cross bike..."  True, that.  There are hundreds of miles of sweet gravel roads here, just waiting for a little larger tire than your average road bike can manage.  If you're curious about bikes, routes, or otherwise, of course we can help you out.

Spring's here.  Time to ride for reals!

02.26.14 - Frostbike!
Some of you know that I took a little business trip up to Minneapolis this last weekend.  Nope, although I did have fun up there, it wasn't a vacation - going to the upper midwest during one of the coldest, wettest winters in recent memory isn't my idea of vay- cay time.  I went to visit our main supplier of bike stuff, an awesome company called Quality Bicycle Products.  QBP is the parent organization of Surly, among other brands, and they also distribute the vast majority of the parts and accessories you'll find in our shop.  Every February, QBP puts on a mini trade show called Frostbike, and this year they invited me to come up for an all-expenses-paid trip to their central nervous system (apparently we're the type of shop they really dig, and wanted to show it!).  I say QBP is awesome not, however, because of the free trip, or even because of their products.  I've been working with QBP for over fifteen years, and have watched as they've grown into a powerhouse of environmental consciousness and bicycle advocacy.  They also treat every one of their hundreds of employees very, very well - all of which means that everyone at Q is a true pleasure to deal with.  If VC were a distributor instead of a shop, we'd strive to be like QBP.  But enough mushy stuff - here's the lowdown on a few of the many cool things I saw at the show.  First off, Surly is releasing a brand-new fatbike model (pictured above) called the Ice Cream Truck.  The ICT differs quite a lot from the current Pugsley or even the Moonlander.  It's made of 4130 chromoly steel, of course, but instead of having an offset rear triangle to accommodate standard 135mm hubs, the ICT moves to a symmetrical, 190mm rear end - the same as the 9:ZERO:7 bikes we already stock.  It also can run 5" tires front and rear with tons of clearance, moves to a 44mm head tube and press-fit BB for stiffness, and has much-updated geometry compared to the Pugs.  As you may know, I like the Pugs geometry, but I was told the ICT is similar to the Krampus, and I like that idea even better.  Think modern trailbike - quick rear end, stable front end, playful - and you'll be close.  These should be available in June or July, we'll have some, and if you want one you'd better let us know, so we can pre-order you one.  I imagine the first run will sell out almost immediately.  Okay, next in line...
Surly also released a new version of the Karate Monkey, called the Ops.  This bike takes the venerable KM, adds a 44mm head tube, a new modular dropout system, a Fox fork, and a 2x10 drivetrain.  For those of you not into full rigid single-speed, this bike is the ticket.  The new dropout system means upgrading to a rear thru-axle is easily done, and converting back to SS is also possible.  Finally, this bike has a super- sweet paint job: Translucent orange, through which the welds and heat marks are all visible.  It looks awesome.  Once again, we will have these on the floor once available, probably sometime in April.
Just for kicks, while there, I signed up for a friendly little tire changing competition.  After the first day, it was apparent that a few of us were really close.  We each did a couple rounds, knocking the times down by a second or two at a time.  With only a few minutes left in the comp, the time stood at 2:05, with my best time only a second slower.  I took one last run at it, and all those years of race wrenching kicked in, leading to a finishing - and winning - time of 1 minute, 51 seconds.  Next to me in the photo is Bobby, from a local Minneapolis shop, who claimed second with his 2:05.  I knew I had won some tools from Pedro's.  What I did NOT know was that it was a full-on master mechanic's tool kit, complete with race box, worth about $800.  I was (and am) stoked!  What?!  Thanks QBP, thanks Pedro's!  We'd been needing a few replacement tools for Cody's workbench...

Frostbike was a great time, full of new products, educational seminars, and best of all, new people from small indie shops all around the country.  I made a point to sit down at a different table for every meal, to meet someone new and see how other folks around the States are running their shops.  I hope to make it back next year.

That said, I was ready to get back to Colorado.  I flew into Minneapolis in a blizzard.  The day I left it was 7 degrees with a couple feet of snow on the ground, and it was a humid cold.  I've often been happy to see the Rockies rising up to greet me on the way back west, but flying over the Sangres on the way into Durango just made me, as ever, happy to live here.  Get out there and enjoy it!

02.10.14 - The ECR is here... our new favorite touring bike
Surly's latest creation is here at last.  The ECR is a wicked- fun combo of the Krampus and the Ogre, making it extremely well- suited to touring in some of the roughest areas you can imagine.  Desert touring?  Tundra touring?  4x4 road touring?  No problem.  This bike, however, isn't just limited to bikepacking or touring.  If you've been wanting a Krampus, but aren't stoked on 1x10 drivetrains, the ECR is complete with a 2x setup.  The Jones Loop handlebars are pretty sweet too.  I really kinda sorta mostly want one of these.  What's ECR stand for, by the way?  Escape Common Routine is Surly's preferred designation - I like my own Everyday Crushing Rig.  Make up your own acronym!  Whatever you call it, this is a sweet bike for just about anything short of launching doubles or winning the Iron Horse.  Check it out next time you're in our neighborhood.

Also, we'd like to officially welcome Cody Wilkins on board as our latest Velorutionary.  Cody first came in here two years ago, and we've kept in touch since then.  The timing finally worked out and he's now one of the folks you'll see here on a regular basis!  Come say hi sometime soon.

Finally, come on out this Saturday, February 15, for the final fatbike race at the Nordic Center!  Should be a good time... we'll all be there.  And yes, this does mean we'll be closed Saturday the 15th for the race (any time there's a fun race to do, I'd prefer we all do it rather than leave someone sad and lonely in the shop).  Back on Monday, as usual!

02.03.14 - A nifty little fatbike video
The Herald's new web TV channel, 4CornersTV.com, featured Joey, VC, and the Nordic Center's fatbike races recently.  As Cody would say, el sweeto!  Check it:

01.31.14 - I love Freudian slips, but not junk from the internet
Couldn't help but laugh when I saw an ad, complete with a wonderful Freudian slip, for cheap Chinese carbon parts served up on a cycling news website this morning.  This ad just captures what is wrong with so many bike industry practices on so many levels, in such an unintentional way.  I added the frame and comments for fun, and to get the point across a bit better. 

"SAFE UP TO 15%"!  Fifteen percent of what?  Average rider's weight?  Average rider's downhill speed?  Fifteen percent of the time?  One thing's for sure - I won't be the guniea pig to find out what happens when you hit 16%.  Yikes.

It's obvious that this is just a translation error, but it brings several things to light, not least of which is the questionable quality of the parts coming out of the B- or C-level factories on the Asian continent.  Sure, there have been huge quantities of decent-quality bikes and parts coming out of Asia over the last 30 years.  But every time someone walks in with some eBay purchase that was "a good deal", I can't help but think of all the ways in which no, it wasn't such a good deal.  If a person buys parts direct from some small supplier in Asia, s/he is likely buying something that is low-quality at best and downright dangerous at worst.  Particularly when it comes to carbon fiber parts, it's extremely difficult to tell the difference between good and bad.  Beyond quality issues, it's easy to forget that low price doesn't just magically happen - one has to externalize real costs to get there:  Environmental, social, and cultural.  That person is outsourcing jobs.  That person is helping create an America where we don't know how, or have the capability to, actually make anything.  Finally, in a lovely place to live like Durango, that person is contributing to the demise of many of the reasons we all live here - a unique town with a unique culture, not some strip-mall, homogeneous hell.

It's obvious that the American bicycle industry isn't about to stop importing products from Asia.   But you can help turn the tide of strip-mall-ification by choosing high-quality manufacturers that actually makes the things they sell in the same place they are based.  Better yet, just let the pros at your local high-quality bike shop do their work and help you out, and ask them for US- made or locally-made products.  If you're in the right shop, you shouldn't feel pressured and you should feel like the shop folks have your best interest in mind.  Here at VC, we obviously need to sell things in order to stay open.  But if a product just isn't right for you, we aren't going to recommend it to you, plain and simple.  Can we beat the internet on price all the time?  No way.  Can we beat the pants off the internet on customer service, knowledge, enjoyment of experience, and actually having the product in front of you?  Hell yes.  Will we still be here, helping make Durango a unique and sweet place to live, in twenty years?  Probably so, but long-term it will depend on how Americans regard small, knowledgeable retail establishments compared to faceless, anonymous, internet commodity brokers.  We've got your back - so far you've got ours.  Let's keep it up!

01.28.14 - Roller Races tomorrow!
That's right, folks - the annual Snowdown Roller Races are back.  They're happening tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5:30pm at the Steaming Bean, down the street from VC.  We hang out at the Bean pretty often (Cody's partner Erica runs the place, and I like the vibe), but tomorrow should be a little less mellow and a lot louder.  Head to head racing on rollers, cheering spectators, beer, and cowbells - it's like Belgium except inside and, well, the racers aren't actually going anywhere.  Nevertheless, it's pretty fun, and who doesn't like to watch Garrett (left) turn himself inside out year after year? 

I never race, partially because I'm never in shape this time of year but mostly because I suck at riding rollers.  True story.  BUT, I will be helping out, as I have in the past, with the technical details.  Cody will be there slinging coffee and beer for the Bean.  As such, we'll be closed Wednesday the 29th at 5:00pm.  Back on Thursday morning as usual!

Come on down to the Bean and enjoy the show.  See you there!

01.20.14 - Getting out there, kids and all
A Durango-dad customer of ours sent us this photo of his new Pugs Special Edition, kitted out with a ski-equipped trailer for his young daughter.  If you have kids and you want to fatbike in the snow, well, what's stopping you?  These guys are having a blast up in La Plata Canyon!  Hmmm, guess this could work for dogs as well...

Happy MLK Day!

01.10.14 - A whole bunch of goodness
Yes, it's been a while since I've posted, and I have a bunch of stuff to share with you all.  First up - come on out to the Nordic Center's second fatbike race tomorrow!  The race starts at 11am, so be there early to register and do some pre-riding.  Fifteen bucks gets you in, and we're providing prizes for the top three men and women.  It will be awesome.  Oh yeah, we'll be closed Saturday the 11th for the race.
Now for the good stuff - photos!  This awesome photo from the Peruvian Andes was sent to us by good friend Kurt Sandiforth.  Kurt started in Maine one year ago, aiming to circumnavigate the globe on as little pavement as possible.  To that end, he's riding a Surly Pugsley through some of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen.  When faced with two routes, he likes to take the less- traveled one; sound like someone you know?  I probably won't bail to join him.

Kurt also sent us this photo of his old riding gear vs. the new... we just sent some new threads his way.  He certainly got the life out of his first VC shirt.

Kurt's doing this trip the good old fashioned way - that is, no deep pockets.  He rides until he needs cash, then works to save back up.  I respect that!  You can check out his travels here.  And keep an eye here for more photos from his journey!

Back here at home,
we have this sweet photo from Stony Pass, outside of Silverton.  Amy Schwarzbach, a customer that just found herself on a shiny new 9:ZERO:7 fatbike, took this photo and sent it our way.  Looks like she's already got the idea... that's probably higher than I've been on my fatbike this year.  I'm jealous!

Wrapping up today's post, we have this pretty new frame to show off.  Our customer Patrick had us procure this beautiful Independent Fabrication 29er frame.  Based in New Hampshire, the IF folks sure know how to build a nice custom frame.  This is one bike that will fit Patrick like no other - made with a keen eye for his measurements and preferences!

This understated example of American craftsmanship features full custom geometry, custom tube wall thicknesses, super-slick welds, a 44mm HT, rocker adjustable dropouts with 142x12 thru-axle compatibility, and the satisfaction that comes with knowing you're riding one of the best out there.

Hope to see some of you at the fatbike race tomorrow.  Ciao!

01.04.13 - Thanks, everyone, for a wonderful 2013!
We know, we know, the new year's begun already.  But 2013 stayed busy up 'til the very last second, so better late than never.  A huge thank you to all our customers for making this last year awesome.  A special thank you goes out to our local, repeat customers - we really like getting to know people and to me, personal relationships are what local business boils down to.  We're all just trying to get by in this beautiful little slice of the world, and one of the things that makes Durango different from most towns our size across the nation is Durango's strong local small biz communtiy.  I'm not claiming business is all that makes a place unique - but so far, Durango has resisted the "strip-mall-ification" of America better than most other towns of 20,000 people, and that has a lot to do with local business.  We appreciate all of you who realize the impact your dollars have, and understand the difference between shopping at local businesses vs. corporate chains.  Rest assured that we, in turn, do our part to recycle those dollars back into Durango.  Thanks again, Durango - looking forward to a wonderful, busy, and fun-filled 2014!

Looking for older posts?  Click here.