Each week, as part of our Three for Thursday series highlighting bike culture, bikes and gear as celebrated by local shops, BikeRadar checks in with a different outlets around the country to find out what's hot with riders in different areas. This time, we dropped in at the Road 34 Bike Shop, Deli and Tavern in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Fort Collins has a reputation as a bike- and beer-friendly town. This northern Colorado college town boasts more than 300 miles of bike lanes and paths, as well as an extensive singletrack trail network. It's also home to a number of craft breweries, including New Belgium.
It comes as no surprise that someone in a town such as this would find a way to combine a love of bicycles and beer into a single business. Will Overbagh is that person. Overbagh opened Road 34 Bike Shop in 2003. Two years later he purchased the adjacent bar, creating the best of both worlds for many cyclists – a place where you can get a quick tune-up and a beer after a long day on the trails.
1. The coolest thing in Road 34: the repair stands
On the surface, a repair stand might seem like a mundane piece of equipment, not something you'd select as the coolest thing in a bike shop. But a good stand – along with a well-thought-out repair station – is comparable to an ergonomically designed desk, allowing one to work smarter and more efficiently.
Road 34's three repair stands are noteworthy because they hang from the ceiling. This makes it much easier to work around the bike, particularly when working on the non-driveside. "It also makes it much easier to sweep the floors," added shop manager Milton Dumdei.
2. Road 34's bestseller: the Yeti SB-95 (and beer)
Road 34 primarily caters to mountain bikers, and it's clear from the moment you open the front door that there's a great deal of affection for Colorado-based Yeti Cycles. From the bikes on the floor to the vintage frames that decorate the walls, this shop bleeds turquoise.
The Yeti SB-66 has been popular with customers, though not as much as its big-wheeled sibling. "Twenty-niners are very popular right now. We've sold more than a dozen SB-95s," said Dumdei.
Its pedal-friendly Switch suspension system, five inches of travel and slack angles make the SB-95 a good choice for the many steep, rocky trails that weave their way around the mountains west of Fort Collins.
3. Right now they're lusting after: a dropper seatpost
More specifically, Dumdei is lusting after a KS LEV dropper seatpost. The KS LEV features several clever features, such as a remote cable mounted to the main body of the seatpost, rather than at the top of the telescoping portion, ensuring there are no issues with changes in cable length.
Like Dumdei, we appreciate the clever design features and reliable performance of the KS LEV.