Bend, Oregon has been described as a wonderful, cycling-crazy town. There are many great bike shops and trails, as well as very accomplished racers and riders that call Bend home.
Nestled in the heart of this cycling obsession is Bend Velo, the ultimate bike shop for community involvement. The owner and employees are involved in local cycling ‘politics’ and have been for some time. Whether it’s city meetings, bike advocacy or bike safety classes, the people of Bend Velo are there to make a difference.
In fact, Willow, a Bend Velo bike mechanic and sales person, is a driving force in commuteoptions.org, an organization driven to show people they don’t need to drive to work. And Bend Velo owner, Eric Power, is a very personable guy, quipping, “What do you call it when two guys are on a bike ride?” I reply, “I don’t know” and he says, “a bike race!”
Bend Velo is located in the “Makers District” of Bend. As Eric said, “it’s called the Makers District because things are made here” (it’s an industrial park filled with small manufacturing and such). The shop itself is on the small side, with roughly 40 bikes in stock (mostly for commuters) and various accessories. They have an affinity for bikes with steel frames. Steel is real, as they say.
Bend Velo's team is extremely in tune with their customers, putting forth every effort to provide excellent service and advice in order to create lasting relationships and return customers. “We can’t compete with Amazon and eBay on price, but we can provide an experience that keeps people coming back,” said Eric.
–Billy Brenden, West Coast Marketing Rep
If you are passing through northern Vermont any time in the future, do yourself a favor and stop by the Old Spokes Home. Don’t let the pun fool you, you won’t find endless games of bingo or intense Wheel of Fortune watch parties here. Instead you will come across a very competent bike shop that offers everything from new and used bikes for sale to all the accessories you need on the trail, as well as a service center staffed with friendly faces.
Old Spokes is a unique establishment in that it is a bike shop and a non-profit organization. Old Spokes Home also serves the Burlington community with their Community Workshop as a job training center, and helps provide low-cost bikes to people in need of transportation. Offering workshops and clinics to local youth and riders of all types thanks to a multitude of volunteer hours, the Community Workshop has become a source for bettering the Burlington area one bike at a time.
One of the other unique features of Old Spokes Home is the bicycle museum that resides upstairs. A collection started by Old Spokes original founder Glenn Eames, it spans all the way back to the dawn of cycling and highlights the cycling advancements since then.
Wood spokes, direct-drive, shaft-drive, and any other pioneering feature you might think of are on display here. The collection certainly helps you take a step back and appreciate where bicycles have ended up today, and Old Spokes Home helps you appreciate the potential for bike shop/community relationships in the future.
–Cam Phillips, East Coast Marketing Rep
I'm writing you to let you know the CO2 and tube Billy Brendan provided me saved my butt!!! I was riding with a friend up in the Zuni Hills in New Mexico a few weeks ago. As we were screaming down this nice easy single track, a thick broken tree branch laying in the middle of the trail rolled up into my back rim. Big-time damage!
Luckily, I was fine, not even a scratch, but my rear derailleur and rear rim were not so lucky. The small branch snapped four of my spokes, ripping one spoke completely out from the rim and creating this big gaping hole. Stan's liquid EVERYWHERE!
So to recap, I was about seven miles into a 14-mile single track up in the middle of nowhere, the sun was setting, it looked like a bear had eaten my rim and derailleur, and I had an unrepairable chain (it snapped as well).
Thank God! Billy had provided me with CO2 and a spare tube at a recent event. I thought if I could at lease get the bike rolling, I could skateboard on one pedal and glide my way back to the trail head before it got too dark. I'll be honest, I was worried that the tube would not hold up. There was small jagged aluminum edges inside the rim along with the big gaping hole where the spoke was ripped out.
I consciously placed the tube in the rim and tire, then filled it up with CO2. So far no leaks! I started my seven mile hike with a combination of gliding where I could, and running with my bike at my side. I've got to say, man, I was really impressed with the tube and I'm now a believer. I was able to get back to the trail head about 9 PM. Would've been a lot worse had the tube failed.
I will always have this memory tied to Slime tubes/CO2. I am now a consumer for life! Thanks again buddy, I hope to see you at my next event soon!
Sedona, Arizona hosts some of the nation’s best bike trails, boasting more than 250 miles of prime singletrack trails tailored to both beginning and advanced riders. In addition to this wide array of routes set against a beautiful desert backdrop, Sedona is also home to an awesome bike shop called the Bike & Bean.
Offering bikes, apparel and accessories, Sedona’s oldest bike shop also features a coffee bar, a repair shop, a ton of rental bikes (all tubeless) and a wealth of espresso-infused cycling knowledge.
Slime West Coast Marketing rep, Billy Brenden, had the opportunity recently to stop in and meet the Bike & Bean team. “You know you’re in an interesting bike shop when you ask an employee what role they play in the shop and he responds, “I’m a mechanic and barista,” said Billy.
While in the shop, Billy had an excellent iced coffee made by Cody and an insightful chat with lead tech Scott, Cody and the local sheriff about the extensive bike trails. “The staff knows the trail system really well, guiding people to trails that meet their ability,” continued Billy.
Headed out to Arizona? Consider making the Bike & Bean your base camp. Let them help you plan your route, including local intelligence on current trail conditions and insight into ride time expectations (as well as a strong cup of java). You can be assured the Slime van will be stopping by next time it passes through town.
–Billy Brenden, West Coast Marketing Rep
Big thanks to Cam at this year's Mohican 100 MTB race. The night before the race, my wife heard air leaking from my rear tire, which was set up with Stan's sealant. I had noticed the tire weeping from several tiny pinholes, but at this point it was failing to seal this particular hole fully (I had freshened the sealant within the prior two weeks).
Looking for bike shops in the Loudonville, OH area, I found one several miles out of town, and worse yet, closing sooner than I could get there. I was hoping to find a new tire. I remembered someone selling tires near race check-in, however there was nothing close to suitable.
I walked a few feet down to the Slime setup and met Cam. Not realizing how new the Slime tubeless product is, I already had some confidence based on brand recognition. I was sure it would do a better job than my Stan's. Cam went over a few of the finer points and benefits of the product. I picked out what I wanted to buy -- an 8 oz. tube of sealant, a 20g CO2 cartridge, and a new cartridge valve -- except Cam wasn't there to sell me anything.
I followed Cam's instructions to thoroughly clean the tire of Stan's before using the Slime. The tire seated quickly and I didn't notice any weeping from the many small holes that were previously leaking. It took me a while to find the spot on the tire that had been leaking, and the Slime made quick work of sealing that up.
The tire held full pressure overnight and I raced 70 rugged miles with no issues whatsoever. I will have some leftover Stan's for sale, because I'm a Slime convert now. Thanks Cam and Slime.
For eight days in May, the bicycling world turns its focus to the West Coast of the United States for the annual Tour of California racing event. Now in its twelfth year, the Tour of California has grown into a premier cycling stage race that highlights some of the best athletes on the world stage.
And we had a front row seat to all the excitement! Slime and Genuine Innovations headquarters are located on the beautiful Central Coast of California, home to Stage 3 of this year’s tour. The longest day of the race, riders began Stage 3 a stone’s throw away from Pismo Beach pier, enjoying 119 miles of crashing waves, rolling vineyards, and lush countryside before finishing on the embarcadero in Morro Bay.
And as they hit San Luis Obispo, they rolled within 200 feet of our office. Bells and Slime flags in hand, we cheered the peloton on as they zoomed past. Talk about exciting!
While I was impressed by the caliber of the event and the strength of the riders who powered through five very windy hours of cycling, I was most excited to see the enthusiastic fans of all ages cheering at both ends of the race. From the amateur inspired by these athletes to dust off an old bike, or the fanatic already bitten by the cycling bug, we here at Slime and Genuine Innovations are proud to be a part of the bicycling community.
Well, I think it's safe to say we made it through another winter. Time to break out your cycling rig, brush off the cobwebs, and get it (and yourself) back into riding shape. One of the best ways to get your ride ready for the season is converting to tubeless if you haven't already. If you already are, make the switch to our new STR Premium Sealant. I've had the opportunity to have it in my mountain bike for the last couple months. Until my last ride, it had yet to be tested with a puncture. Here in Ohio, there aren't the same amount of puncture threats like our West, but protection and prevention are still crucial.
Upon loading my bike back back on the car rack, I noticed a spot of sealant on my front tire. Our new tubeless formula gummed up a puncture so quickly while I was riding that I didn't even hear or notice the puncture while I was on the bike. If that doesn't inspire confidence in your ride, I don't know what will.
So this season, whatever you might ride, make sure you'll keep rolling with Slime! – Cam
If you live in the Southwest and ride mountain bikes, I assume you'll be at Outerbike this weekend. As a huge supporter of all things cycling, Slime and Genuine Innovations are sending a crew to Moab, Utah for this event. We'll have an inflation station, sealant, plugs and co2 if you get a flat tire. We'll have all of the new Slime and GI product for demo and giveaway. We will demonstrate proper use of our new tubeless sealant and new co2 inflators. Did I mention there will be 80 manufacturers from the bike industry in attendance? See you in Moab! – Billy
Billy Brenden, West Coast Marketing Rep
If you're anything like me, and my van, you're feeling a little buried after the holidays. It's probably cold outside, you've likely added a pound or ten and you might have forgotten exactly what your bike looks like. Don't fret, shoot don't even give it a second thought. Just head out to the garage and see what condition your trusty steed is in. Check the tire pressure, make sure your drive train is presentable, go through your Genuine Innovations seat bag and make sure you've got what you need: 20g co2 cartridges, co2 inflator, tire levers and a Slime tube. If all of that is in order, hop on and ride your bike. Maybe you go for a 30 minute spin, maybe you head out for six hours, either way, you're back in the saddle and preparing for another amazing year on your bike. Happy New Year from Slime, Genuine Innovations and me!
The real view from the field.