Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canceling First Ride

I am sorry, but the rain and temperatures hovering close to freezing make it sensible to cancel First Ride.

I do want to wish you a Happy New Year.  I hope you find many ways to spend days riding your bike or trike in 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rode to work today!

The side streets are still a mess, but my studded tires kept me
going! Fun ride!

Shortening hours for the winter

bikes@vienna needs a cleansing coat of interior paint and days of organization.  We start in after Christmas with a plan to paint, move the service area, and organize, organize, organize.  Our plan is to be open four days per week ...... Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  This extends our closed days to Thursday so the three days Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we'll be officially closed.

We'll keep you posted on our progress with photos and descriptions.

Luminary Ride and First Ride? I doubt we can have them.

The snow storm has created doubt on whether we can have the Luminary Ride on Christmas Eve or First Ride on New Year Day.  The Luminary Ride is out through the neighborhoods of Northeast Vienna which do a wonderful job of lighting the night with thousands of luminaries.  How will that be possible with the mounds of snow everywhere?  It most likely won't be possible so I'm canceling today.

First Ride is a week later so there may be some hope, but the W&OD Trail has sections that are out of the sun and stay frozen.  I have concerns.  Check back here next week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And then...

... Tom and Beryl came in on cross-country skis!

A Customer!

Well, he just stopped by to say hi, but Chris deserves notice for
riding in to see us. Those are Nokian studded tires on his old
Schwinn. Great fun in snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great "Stocking Stuffer"!

For the holidays, here's a great gift set of accessories from Sigma Sport

You get:

BC506 Cycle Computer (regular price $25)

TriLED LED Headlight (regular price $20)

CubeRider LED Taillight (regular price $15)

All three together for only


Hurry! Supplies are limited.

Days are Short, Nights are Long

It's that time of year when the year-round cyclists among us end up riding a lot in the dark. The good news is that there are a huge array of options available in bicycle lights these days. One really good option that Tim uses on several of his many bikes is a system built around a hub dynamo. What's a hub dynamo, you ask? Well, some of you may remember the little "generators" that bolted to your bike, with a little roller that pressed against your tire, creating a lot of noise and drag and just enough electricity to power a dim headlight and maybe a tail light. Well, the hub dynamo is a further refinement of that idea, and a huge improvement. All the power generation components are enclosed in the hub of your front wheel, safe from the elements and directly connected to the rotation of the wheel, so there's no slipping and no noise. There is some resistance... that's the nature of a dynamo... but when riding it's hard to feel any difference.

One more improvement... You may recall that the traditional generator systems left you dark when you came to a stop. Many of today's lights come with a "standlight" that stays on when you stop moving! A very nice safety feature.

We currently have in stock two complete wheels ready to roll. Here are the specs:

For 26" Wheel Bikes -

Shimano DH-3N72 Hub Dynamo: $120
26" Sun CR-18 Rim: $36
32 Stainless Steel Double Butted Spokes: $32
Labor: $45

Total: $233

For 700C Wheel (road, hybrid, touring) Bikes -

Shimano DH-3N80 Hub Dynamo: $168
(the 3N80 is a bit lighter and more efficient than the 3N72)
700C Sun CR-18 Rim: $36
32 Stainless Steel Double Butted Spokes: $32
Labor: $45

Total: $281

The above are just two possible setups. Other options are available. Lights compatible with dynamo hubs start at around $40 for a head light, $30 for a tail light. Ask us about the options available. You can see an example of a wheel and headlight in the shop, so come on by!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Recumbent Bicycle back at bikes@vienna

Recumbent Cyclist
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
After a long drought we have The Recumbent Bicycle back in stock for the holidays. This book is quite interesting for anyone interested in cycling, but of significant interest for someone trying to learn more about recumbents. Do you need a stocking stuffer for someone or for yourself? This book is a good choice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Nihola Family 3 coming to bikes@vienna

Sometimes I just need to be patience.  At least five years ago I started emailing the Danish cycle manufacturer, Nihola in an effort to become a dealer for their tricycles.  I had no success getting a response  for a period of time.  Then I got a response I didn't like.  So I stepped back and scratched my head.

This fall the folks at Fourth Floor Distribution in Toronto have been successful in importing the Nihola Family 3.  I now have a Nihola on the way to bikes@vienna.  I'm excited about the potential for the Nihola products in this area.  The Family 3 provides for an adult piloting the trike and up to three children in the front compartment.  The compartment has a seatbelt or has optional shoulder harnesses.  It also has a hood available to keep young passengers dry and out of the cold.  The Nihola site in Germany says it this way:

     "Our new Öko-Tex-100 hood (an ecological fabric), now available in bright fantastic colours, will ensure that you will be easily spotted by other traffic users. Underneath the hood our smaller Nihola passengers will be cosy, dry and warm.  No expense was also spared for Nihola's lighting system.  Niholas are factory fitted with one of the safest dynamo driven bicycle lighting systems produced by the German leader "Busch & Müller.“ Additional easily fitted bright positioning lights (two in the front and two in the back) allow you to be seen even better.  And each and every Nihola is fitted with super robust anti burst tyres by German tyre manufacturer "Schwalbe.“ Pinched or burst tyres will be other people's problems.   Remember that with a Nihola you are safely on three wheels and won't tip over in any weather, even in wet or icy conditions."  

You can review a number of photos of the Family 3 by clicking on

If you'd like to see how the hood goes on the Family three you can view a video showing the installation at Nihola YouTube Install Video  plus you'll get exposed to some German language too.

I believe that the Nihola Family 3 will appeal to families who have wisely chosen to live close to schools, stores, and activities so they can cycle.  The Family 3 can be the replacement for a second auto and perhaps even a first vehicle.  Sooooooo how much does a Nihola Family 3 cost?  Generously appointed the Family 3 costs $4150.

Thinking that is serious money?  Let me take your mind off that number with a lighthearted video featuring the Nihola trike in an outdoor pageant.  Click on this swimmingly interesting video.

When you've stopped smiling then here's a video looking over a Family 3 up close.

Places to visit:


The Nihola trikes available to bikes@vienna are outfitted with:

7 speed SRAM internal hub
Drum Brakes
Padded Bench Seat
Child Harnesses
Cargo Straps
Clear Front Panel
Rain Hood

The trikes are black frame with a black container (remember the clear front panel) with Rain Hoods in black, red, tan, white polka dots, or green.

The cost ready to ride from Vienna (includes shipping, assembly, and continuing care) is $4150 plus Virginia Sales Tax of 5%.

bikes@vienna is located in downtown Vienna on an alley just off of Maple Ave/Route 123.  We sell cycling equipment that you don't normally find in a bike shop such as folders, trikes, recumbents, and tandems.  We're open five days a week.  We're open on Saurday and Sunday so we close on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We're close enough to the Vienna Metro Station that we can pick people up at Metro and bring them to the store.  Call us before you begin your journey.

128A Church Street, NW
Vienna, VA 22180

First Canal Ride on Brompton

Well, it's taken me too long to get around to it, but Tuesday I
finally tried the Brompton on the C&O Canal. I started at Carderock
and rode about 8 miles out and back, and it was great. The small
wheels handled the surface with aplomb, and the bike was comfortable,
fun, and fast. My speed was right about the same as on my full sized
bikes, and it was great to be able to just tuck the bike away when
done. Watch my personal blog for a longer post and more pictures.