New Bike Inventory Photo Album

We've just added a photo album on our Facebook page of current bike inventory. Check it out here: Also have a cool Products Page album. Other news, our Thursday night group rides are finished up for the season. We'll take a two week break and start up the FREE bring your bike and trainer workouts starting Thursday November 12th at 6:15 PM. These are about an hour and half long with a structured workout plan that will help keep your fitness through the winter. These build upon each other every week until the spring so try and come every week.

Is a road disc brake bike in your future?

We all have been wondering about these new road disc brake bikes coming into the market. The big question is are they worth it here in Cincinnati? That answer I think depends highly on the individual. Today I got to take out a brand new 2016 Focus Cayo 3.0 Disc, this bike is a very well equipped Shimano Ultegra 6800 bike with their full hydraulic road disc brakes and DT Swiss wheels with 28mm Schwalbe tires. MSRP of $3,500. The conditions - pouring rain but warm in the 70's, only had a bit of thunder and lightning while out, luckily it missed me. The route - quick urban loop from the shop in Hyde Park down through Eden Park, then up to Mt Adams to go down (yes down) Monastery. Back along the Ohio River then another loop around Ault Park. I also took this same bike out on a longer ride into Kentucky up and over Devou Park earlier on a perfectly dry day. The Questions we all want to know: Are discs heavier: Yes a bit, did I notice, not too much. It's the engine as they say that makes the difference. The Focus Cayo also has thru axles front and rear so is a pretty stiff drive train and front end handling bike. It weighed in around 18 pounds. Do they have more stopping power: No, to me they felt no more powerful than my other bikes with Campagnolo Super Record or Chorus, or Shimano DuraAce 9000 equipped bikes. Do they have better modulation: Again, no I didn't feel any noticeable difference in modulation of the brakes power. Dry braking performance: Because of the above two being the same, no difference to me at all other than maybe a bit easier on the actual finger pull force required to brake at whatever given amount you want. After my dry conditions ride I wasn't very impressed for the added weight. Wet braking performance: Discs are noticeably quicker to grab and start slowing you down. If you know Monastery I felt very comfortable controlling my speed down that, even came to a full stop at the stop signs without much trouble. However as nice as it was having brakes that would grab right when I wanted them to, the tires are the limiting factor. So while I did feel slightly more confident, I still was very cautious on any bends and hit them at the same speeds I would on a non disc bike. A good analogy would be all the SUV drivers who think they can drive fast in the snow, just because you can get going doesn't mean you can stop any quicker when your tires start sliding. The big question, Is a road disc brake bike in your future: Totally depends, do I want one, yes I do. I want one because I have lots of other bikes and it would be nice to have one of these for riding on days like today. Would I get one for my only road bike (living here in Cincinnati), nope not worth the few times a year you'd actually ride in the rain. Would I get one as a second road bike, nope again, I'd get a cyclocross bike because then you've got something much more versatile with the ability to run bigger tires. However, if you really want to have the peace of mind of always having the brakes grab right when you want them to, then yes a road disc brake bike is definitely your answer. So road disc brake bikes are cool, but for a select group of cyclists. Are you one of those?

Bike Wash and Polish Special

Don't forget about our Bike Wash, Polish, and Lube Special - 6 washes for $50

Weekly shop rides have started!

Our Thursday night weekly shop rides have started up again for the season! We leave the shop at 6pm for a different and fun route every week. We have two speed groups, the A Group is a 15-16mph average NO DROP ride. The B Group is a faster DROP ride (so pay attention to the route). Like our FaceBook page to get the weekly route information. We use RideWithGPS for easy downloading to your Garmin, and each ride will have the faster B route option of a longer loop. Plan to stick around after the ride to have a drink and socialize or join a group for dinner out.

Explore the Elements

Element Cycles is happy to announce a new adventure ride series: Explore the Elements. Our first adventure will be a 50 mile road ride along Laughery Creek in Indiana. We will depart from the shop at 7:30am and caravan to our start point in Aurora, IN. The route (courtesy of our friends at Swallow Bicycle Works) runs along beautiful country roads in Indiana with a few climbs and fun descents. This is a totally self supported ride and riders must be responsible for their own nutrition and equipment. There will be one chance to refill bottles and get small snacks in Friendship, IN at a small general store, but other than that pack what you need. The route will be posted, and we will regroup at various points along the route, but know your turns! Here's the route: Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on this and other rides. Hope you can join us on the ride!

TRP HyRd Brake Review

Many of you may already know about these brakes, but we finally got our hands on a pair for review. The TRP HyRd (pronounced High Road) brakes are a cable actuated hydraulic brake. The reservoir and actuating cylinder are right on the caliper, which allows you to easily upgrade your mechanical disc brake bike. Why would you want to replace your mechanical brakes (say your Avid BB7s - which are very nice mechanical brakes) with these? The main benefit is that both pads are actuated together and will auto compensate for wear. So for a sloppy cyclocross weekend of racing you might be able to get away with just a pad swap and not readjusting your brakes after every race. So let's get to the actual review part. This is my Colnago Prestige with a Campagnolo Chorus build. I was quite happy with the Avid BB7 set up (including Jagwire Ripcord zero compression housing) other than the lever through to lock up the brakes was all the way to the bar. So it was a lot of hand movement to actually get them to grab tight, which in my mind is wasted energy and effort. Many of you know I like my road bike brakes set up very tight with hardly any lever pull. The installation of both brakes took only about a half hour. It was very straight forward and while I retained the old Jagwire Ripcord housing, I did have to run new cables as the old ones weren't quite long enough. I also retained the Avid HSX 140mm rotors. Just on the repair stand I was very impressed with the lever feel and throw. The last picture shows just how much lever pull is required to lock them up. Out on the road the biggest improvement for me is the shorter lever pull, these now feel very close to my road bikes in terms of feel. Modulation and power are great, definitely and upgrade vs the Avid BB7s. I think the other nice part is these would be easy to set up with pretty much any amount of lever throw you personally prefer. I can't wait for cyclocross season, I'll definitely feel more comfortable braking very late into those tight turns with them. They come in this black color or silver and are $150 each with rotor.

Thursday Night Shop Rides!
March 19, 2014

Our Thursday night 6:15 group rides start tomorrow night (3/20/14). Again, we will have a couple speed groups depending on who shows up. We will always have a 15-16mph average NO DROP group though. Everyone is welcome so tell your friends! Our first route will be EC26.

HED Ardennes Plus LT

Spring is just around the corner, and if you're looking to make a wheel upgrade this year take a look at the HED Ardennes Plus LT. The new Ardennes Plus LT will offer an overall improvement in your ride with a 25mm wide rim. This means better cornering, better comfort on the road, and increased rolling speed. I put these wheels to the test earlier this month in Asheville, NC for training camp. After a week of riding over 300 miles and over 30,000 feet of climbing, this wheelset lived up to all of it's features. They have great ride quality - even when we found the occasional patch of gravel - cornered great on the hour long descent from the top of Mount Mitchell, and let me hit new speeds my Garmin hadn't seen before. Weighing in at just over 1500g for the set, the Ardennes Plus LT will be a great upgrade for your ride. I'm definitely looking forward to putting more miles on mine. Erika, Element Cycles

Discover a New Road Event
Saturday March 1, 2014 at 7PM

Join us Saturday night for some good food and drinks while learning about the new stuff we have at the shop this Spring.

Crank Brothers Sterling CO2 Inflator Review

This is the Crank Brothers Sterling CO2 Inflator ($20), and it sure is nice. Right out of the box the excellent build quality is very noticeable. It comes with 2 16 gram cartridges and the inflator itself. To use it is very simple, screw the cartridge in, then over the valve and push down. A great feature is that the 'handle' is just long enough to get a couple fingers on so you won't freeze them as you inflate your tire. Others either use a plastic type holder, or a rubber sleeve you have to remember to bring with you. This is definitely my new road side repair pump. Simple, good looking, and functions very well...worthy to be in the shop for sure.