The draw to save money can be big. Shopping from the comfort of your home can be a factor. There are six things we think you should consider when deciding on how and where you are going to purchase your new bike.

  • You know what you are getting
  • Fit
  • Assembly
  • Service
  • Trade In
  • We support your community

You Know What You are Getting

When you shop locally you can see it, feel it, touch it and even ride it.  If something costs less then something else there is likely a reason. It could be the quality of the construction. The substitution of cheaper parts that won’t work as well or last as long as another part. The amount of support could be different, from the post sale support to warranty coverage to follow up services. Saving money upfront may not mean that the item you have actually purchased is going to cost you less. 
Just because one model may work for others it doesn’t mean it is right for you. You may have different needs and wants.  What works for one may not work for you. Can you really tell if the bike is going to work for you by a review?


You’ll know it is the right size. Fit is key to having a comfortable bike to ride. Not all bikes fit the same.
 A bicycle is not like other sports equipment. A baseball, soccer ball, a bat to name a few, work the way the manufacture designed out of the box. They differ from a bicycle that requires assembly and adjustment to your body to be comfortable. 
While you might have a primary size of shoe you wear, I doubt every shoe is the same size in your closet. Different uses require different fits in shoes. Same for the bicycle. Not every bike is going to fit the same way and the fit of your bicycle is going to be essential to how comfortable you are during your ride and how the bicycle handles.


Assembly by a professional bike mechanic ensures your bike is properly adjusted and ready to ride when you pick it up. 
Over my 25 plus years in bicycle retail I have seen all sorts of bicycles improperly assembled. Much of it down right unsafe to ride.


Most local shops provide a service package of some kind with a new bike purchase. It is normal for new bikes to experience a break in period and need a little attention after several rides.

Trade In

When the bike is outgrown bring it back to us and we will trade it in towards a new bike. Then fix it up and get it to a new happy owner. Keeping it out of the landfill and putting some money back in your pocket.

We support your community

As members of the community we make donations to local community organizations, speak to local groups about cycling and participate in organizations to increase cycling opportunities and access in our community. We ride where you ride and use that knowledge to help you choose the right bike for the riding you want to do.

Cost you might not have considered

Having the bicycle properly assembled will add to the cost. Having to change stuff out to make the bike comfortable after your purchase will cost extra. Getting the bike fit to you will add cost to the bicycle. Follow up adjustments after your bicycles break in period while normal will cost money for online purchase. Much of these services are included when making a purchase from your local bike shop.

So give your local bike shop an opportunity to earn your business. You’ll likely be glad you did.

This is the last in our series of places to ride for families, couples and road cycling.

We all love to ride with our families, partners and many of us enjoy road riding. All of these recommendations are based on personal rides from the staff. These recommendations have been made to riders just like yourself and have received lots of positive feedback.

Of course all of us in the store love to learn what your riding needs and preferences are and then we can make recommendations based on your needs and riding preferences. Just come on by.

I hope you enjoy these rides. Let us know what you think and what other rides are your favorite.

When thinking road rides we are thinking about rides that are geared towards road bikes but would certainly be appropriate for fitness bike cyclists that want longer rides.

There are so many great places to ride road bikes in our area.

No matter which direction you want to head you can build a ride using roads that motorist are used to seeing people on.

South County down to North Beach and Chesapeake Beach

When talking to local road cyclists you’ll find that most enjoy riding in South County. With all of the side roads in southern Anne Arundel County you can generally have routes that are not full of cars. Many of these roads are narrower and lack wide shoulders or any shoulders. Roads like RT 2 and Muddy Creek offer generous shoulders in many areas.Lots of cyclists ride in this area and I have always felt that if you hang out at popular stopping points for cyclists in South County that you will meet every cyclists in the Washington DC Metro area.

Popular destinations in South County are Deale, North Beach, Chesapeake Beach, and Rose Haven. Chesapeake Market and Deli is a popular stopping point in Rose Haven and if you want to make a weekend out of it check out the Inn at Herrington Harbour. Sweet Sue’s Bake Shop and Coffee Shop is cyclist friendly and a frequent destination in North Beach. The Chesapeake Beach area as places for the cyclist to refuel whether they are heading south to the famous rollers or beginning to work their way back north.
Lots of groups ride in this area the Annapolis Bicycle Club has some popular routes with Cue Sheets on their website here.

If you’re looking for a more tailored route swing by the shop and I can help you plan a great route.

If you’re a road cyclist you’ll definitely want to explore the great cycling that South County offers.

Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore is full of great places to explore on your bike. People enjoy the flat roads and low volume of cars that are the norm.
One popular route for cyclists and triathletes is the EagleMan Ironman bike course. The route starts in Great Marsh Park in Cambridge and is a 56 mile loop with 700 feet of elevation change. You can find a route for this on one of ride programs like Strava, Map My Ride or Ride with GPS. A quick Google search will provide a bunch of resources. A Cue Sheet is linked below.
The Six Pillars century route is also a very popular with 37, 56 (the EagleMan Route) and 100 mile routes. Here are the Cue Sheets for all three of these routes from the 6Pillars site.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is the second in a three part series of places to ride. We all love to ride with our families, partners and many of us enjoy road riding. All of these recommendations are based on personal rides from the staff. These recommendations have been made to riders just like yourself and have received lots of positive feedback.

Of course all of us in the store love to learn what your riding needs and preferences are and then we can make recommendations based on your needs and riding preferences. Just come on by.

I hope you enjoy these rides. Let us know what you think and what other rides are your favorite.

When thinking about couples rides we were thinking about rides that would make for a fun date or a weekend adventure. Riding is fun but making a weekend out of riding with other activities is even better.

Great for a day trip or a weekend St. Michaels won’t disappoint.

The St. Michaels town limit sign is almost exactly 60 miles from the center of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Make a day of it or check into one of the many Bed and Breakfasts in the area and create a weekend of cycling and sightseeing.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is the first in a three part series of places to ride. We all love to ride with our families, partners and many of us enjoy road riding. All of these recommendations are based on personal rides from the staff. These recommendations have been made to riders just like yourself and have received lots of positive feedback.

Of course all of us in the store love to learn what your riding needs and preferences are and then we can make recommendations based on your needs and riding preferences. Just come on by.

I hope you enjoy these rides. Let us know what you think and what other rides are your favorite.

When thinking about family friendly rides we are thinking about rides that have kid friendly things to do along the way and are safe for children to ride.

Cross Island Trail

The Cross Island trail runs west to east for six miles across Kent Island. One of the things we love about this trail is that it doesn’t feel like a typical multi use trail. It feels more like you are riding at the beach as the trail meanders along and crosses water allowing a great opportunity to spot wildlife. The cool thing about this trail is all the great things to do along the way with your kids.

Read the rest of this entry »

Part 3 – Our Final of the Kids Bicycle Buyer’s Guide

What size bicycle should my child ride?

Getting the right fit for your child is so important for their safety but also their comfort.

  • Can they safely stand over the bike? At least an inch between rider and the bike.
  • How is the reach to the handlebars? Can the rider safely turn the handlebars while maintaining a safe grip on them?
  • Can they operate the braking and shifting?

12 inch bicycle – 35-40”

16 inch bicycle – 39-46”

20 inch bicycle – 45-52”

24 inch bicycle – 51 -63”

When talking about sizes in children’s bicycles we talk about wheel size. This is different from adult bicycles were we talk about the frame size.

What type of bike should my child ride?

  • What type of riding does your family do and how often?
  • What are the other children in the neighborhood riding and where?
    • BMX style, versus a more traditional bicycle.
    • Dirt versus pavement.
    • If your child will be riding mainly with them then that style of bicycle might be the best choice.

If your family rides longer distance then comfort and type of bike will be important.

Longer distances:  Family rides more than just around your neighborhood. You seek out places to ride as a family like bike trails etc.

Read the rest of this entry »

Part 2 of our Kids Bicycle Buyer’s Guide

(If you missed Part One check it out from yesterday.)

Weight: A few pounds give or take may not seem like a lot of weight difference in an adult bicycle but it can be a world of difference for your child’s bicycle. A three pound difference on a bicycle with a 30 lbs. rider is 10% of the rider’s body weight. Where with an adult 150 lbs. rider that would be a 15lbs difference. Adults wouldn’t enjoy riding a bike that was an extra 15 lbs. heavier proportionally why would our children?

Extra weight can come from not only the frame but the materials used in the components. Steel vs. aluminum. Example: A three piece crank using alloy crank arms will not only be lighter than a one piece crank set but it uses a higher quality bottom bracket that will make pedaling easier and smoother for the rider.


When talking about sizes in children’s bicycles we talk about wheel size. This is different from adult bicycles were we talk about the frame size.

Kids bicycles come in 12 inch wheels, 14 inch wheels (generally not a bike shop size) 16 inch wheels, 18 inch wheels (generally not a bike shop size accept in a BMX style) 20 inch wheel and 24 inch wheel.

2017_Trek_Kids_Dialed_Girls_HR-resizePosition: A more upright position is certainly the preferred position for the 12 inch and 16 inch size. When you get to the 20 inch it tends to be a crossover size as far as position. Some manufacturers stay with a more upright position where others tend to go towards a more adult like position. The belief is that the adult like position is a little easier to ride. Offering more comfortable riding longer distances and easier when transitioning to a larger size. Neither is right or wrong but something to consider. A less confident rider will likely benefit from being a little more upright.

Frame: Not all frames are created equally. How do the welds look on the frame? Especially at the drop outs. Are the drop  outs stamped or welded to the frame?  Does the manufacture stand behind its product with a warranty? Most major manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their frames. If you were to need the warranty how is that handled? Do you work direct with the manufacture or does the retailer take care of it on your behalf?

Read the rest of this entry »

Kids Bicycle Buyer's Guide Ad

Everyone remembers their first bicycle ride and the feeling they had.

Selecting a bicycle for your child should be a fun and memorable experience.  Hopefully this Kid’s Bicycle Buyers Guide demystifies this process. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Your child will enjoy riding their bike more if they feel they are in control of the bike and not the bike in control of them. When you purchase the next bike for your child please consider;

  • proper fit
  • proper assembly
  • and quality.

By considering the above items during your purchase you will be well on your way to finding a bike you and your child will love!

If your child requires training wheels be sure to check compatibility prior to purchase.

There is a lot that goes into making a kids bike what it is yet if you focus on three things and check one thing

The Big Three

  • Fit
  • Proper Assembly
  • Weight

Check This: Training Wheel Compatibility

The Importance of Fit on a Child’s Bicycle:

Getting the right fit for your child is so important for their safety but also their comfort. The first thing to look at is can they safely stand over the bike. There should be at least an inch between them and the top of the bike to allow the rider to safely dismount the bike.

Reach: The reach of the bicycle needs to be proportional to the rider for both children and adults. Proper reach will allow the rider to have proper control over the bicycle.

How is the reach to the handlebars? Can the rider safely turn the handlebars while maintaining a safe grip on the handlebars? Or do they have to let go of the bars a little to turn the handlebars? If they do this means the reach is too great. Sometimes you can adjust the position of the handlebars and sometimes you need to pick out a different bike.

Right Size Components: The next part of fit is making sure that the components are properly sized. As humans grow their body proportions and bone structure changes. When looking at a brand of children’s bicycles you should see a progression of changes to features of the bicycle to make it proportional for the intended rider size. Are the brake levers easy to get their hands around? Many brands don’t very the size of important components that will make it easier for your child to ride and control their bicycle. Properly sized components will make your child more comfortable while riding.

Is the saddle the right size? Are the grips the right size? Are the pedals the right size? Wrong size components can be a safety issue as well as a comfort issue. Grips that are two big won’t allow the child to properly and safely grip the bars. A saddle to large may not be comfortable for their bone structure.

A properly fit bicycle will increase the riding enjoyment for your child and be safer.

Proper Assembly

Assembly: Proper assembly of a bicycle is critical to its safe operation. Making sure parts installed and adjusted properly are essential to the bikes safe operation. Bicycles arrive to stores in boxes and require assembly to install the parts, adjust the brakes and gears making sure everything is tightened to specifications and the systems are working properly.

A bicycle store has trained mechanics that assemble their bicycles. Many other stores use the same people who assemble the grills and furniture to assemble the bicycle. We’ve seen front forks on backwards, stems on backwards, brakes not hitting the rims to name a few.  A bicycle is not like other pieces of sporting equipment that arrive to from the manufacture ready to be used. They require proper assembly with the final and most important step setting it up for the rider.

Training Wheel Compatibility

Precaliber12Girls_21909_A_Alt9-resize-weebTraining Wheels: If the bicycle you are selecting does not come with training wheels and your child needs training wheels you want to make sure the rear wheel axle is long enough to accept training wheels. Training wheels vary in quality and thus durability. Some attach with just a single arm down to the wheel while others have a strut that attaches to the chainstay to offer a stronger more solid system. Most training wheels are bolted on but some have been designed with a hand removal able nut making for easy removal when the time comes.

Here we have covered three of the most important items to look at when selecting a bike. There is much more to consider. Please come back tomorrow for the next installment of the Kids Bicycle Buyer’s Guide.

Do you become overwhelmed when you have to find a gift for that certain someone? Especially a cyclist. We’ve got you covered with our Cycling Gift Guide and are here to assist you.

Cycling Gift Guide FB PostGift buying for the cyclist should never be a challenge. There are certain things a cyclist can never have enough of. Then there are the things the cyclists’ wants but often won’t treat themselves to. In many cases they simply aren’t aware of what they are missing by not having the item.  How riding is much more enjoyable or getting to the trail is made easier. Some of the gift items fall into multiple categories.

Having the right accessories can make all the difference in riding enjoyment.

Cyclists can be defined in many ways for simplicity we broke them into three groups and included a category for small gifts such as stocking stuffers’ office gifts or those for friends.

Beginner Cyclist – BC

Every cyclist should have these Essential Accessories – A person who is just getting started. Maybe they recently bought a bike or are getting back into it. The right accessories can really increase the cycling enjoyment

Frequent Cyclist – FC

A person who’s cycling is a regular activity for them. Riding a few times a week or several times a month. Might do an organized ride or two in a season.

Cyclist Who Has Everything- CE

This is the cyclist who rides several times a week and it is a big part of their life. If you have a cyclist friend you’ll know if they fit this category.

Stocking Stuffers Small Gifts – SS

When you need a gift for a cyclist but don’t want to spend a lot.

Gift Guide

Some items may show up in multiple groups. Certain items you can never have to many of.

Beginner Cyclist

BC – Helmet – Need we say more? It’s a law for children under 16 years old in Maryland. Helmets should be replaced every 3 – 5 years. PRICE RANGE: $40 – $200   Learn more about helmets

BC – Bell or Horn – In Maryland it is a law that you have a bell or horn on your bike. Many will say that your voice counts, but it doesn’t meet the requirement of the law. A bell is such an easy way to let people know you are approaching them.  PRICE RANGE: $7 – $20

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Steps to Start Bicycle Commuting to Work

1.       Set a commuting goal

2.       Plan your route.

3.       Check your bike over.

4.       Plan your clothing and gear needs.

5.       Commute by Bike Your First Time


Set a Commuting Goal

One of the easiest steps but also the most important. Set your goal of how often you want to commute to work by bicycle. Is it once a week, giving you flexibility in your schedule and weather? Is it so many times of month? Set one and then write it down and create a way to track it. Goals that are written down and tracked are more likely to get completed. Share your plan with your friends and co-works, this will create some accountability. Maybe you’ll even have some people interested in joining you.

Plan Your Route

You may or may not be able to ride the same route you drive to work every day.

When you’re driving to work look at the shoulders and road conditions. Do you see other cyclists on the roads you use? Drive other routes to work and see if they are better. Ask others who bike to work how they go.

Use Google Maps with the bike feature for some inspiration if you are not sure about the best route. Strava heat maps are another tool to help your planning.

Maybe you don’t commute the full distance to work. We know of several people who drive to a certain point and then ride the rest of the distance in to work on their bike. They enjoy the benefits of riding and often save a lot on parking.

Do a dry run one day when you are off. You’ll familiarize yourself with the route and not be as worried the first time you’re doing it for real. Bring some friends along for the ride and have fun with it, get breakfast or lunch close to your work and then ride on home.

Check Your Bike Over

Just like you maintain your car to make sure it is reliable you’ll want to make sure your bike is ready for its new roll. Check the conditions of the tires and the gears and the brakes. A bell on your bike will come in handy to alert others of your presence. If you are going to ride in low light or darkness you’ll want lights. If you have any questions come by the store and we can go over your bike together. Do you have a way to fix a flat if you were to get one?

Here is a link to help you inspect your bike.

If you increase your bike commuting there are accessories that you’ll want to consider but aren’t necessary to get started.

Puncture Resistant Tires – These reduce the likely hood of getting a flat. If your route has rougher roads or sections with debris you’ll want to consider these.

Fenders – If you ride in wet conditions or after a rain shower these will help keep you dry and your bike a little cleaner.

Clothing – There really is no bad weather to commute in just poor clothing choices. Cycling apparel has come so far from gear to keep you dry to apparel to keep you warm. If your desire is there you can commute in temperatures below freezing to over a hundred degrees.

Plan Your Clothing and Gear Needs – So how are you going to get your stuff to work?  Can you ride to work in the clothing you work in? An easy solution is to drop off some extra clothes when you drive to work one day. Many commuters bring in their cloths for the week and drop them off the first of the week and bring the dirty stuff home at the end of the week.

Pro Tip: If your clothes are dry cleaned find a cleaner near work to take your clothes to or have your clothes picked up and dropped off at work.

Lots of bag options are available to get your gear to and from work. Many commuters use a messenger style bag to carry their clothing and electronics in. It can be multipurpose on and off the bike. Backpacks are popular as well.  You can install a rear rack on your bicycle and attached bags. Panniers are popular but there are also briefcases for laptops that attach to the rack and bags made to carry dress clothing.

When starting out you want to keep it simple to keep it fun. Just drop off your clothing prior to the day you plan to commute to work.

Commute by Bike Your First Time

You did all the preparation and the hard stuff now do the fun thing and enjoy your commute to work by bicycle. Have a great ride. Don’t forget to take a few photos to document the occasion! Congratulations on your accomplishment!

A bike is 30 times less expensive to buy and maintain then a car.Last year I wrote the Bicycle as a great solution. It was full of compelling reasons the bike is a great solution to a lot of our countries issues.

Check it out here.

With Bike to Work Day this Friday May 18th I wanted to share a few reasons why you should considered riding to work at the least, some days.

  • It’s Fun
  • You’ll arrive feeling better
  • You Save Money

It’s Fun

Riding is certainly more fun than sitting in your car. Set a goal for yourself. Maybe once a week, two or three times a month. Then be sure to track it. Goals that you track are more likely to be accomplished. Make your initial goal something easy for you to achieve. Picking a modest goal will allow you to ride to work on the “Chamber of Commerce Days” so you get comfortable with it.

These are fun goals that you should look forward to completing. After all, work may not be fun, it should be, but riding to work will certainly start the day off right.

You’ll Arrive Feeling Better

“Increased Productivity – Bicyclists and walkers arrive at work with less stress than those who commute by automobile. The Berkeley Wellness Letter reports that “chronic exposure to traffic congestion produces an increase in baseline blood pressure, lowering of frustration tolerance, increases in negative mood, and aggressive driving habits.” In contrast, bicyclists and walkers often report feeling relaxed and more alert after arriving at work, ready for a more productive day.”


Feeling better and being healthier is always a good thing.

You’ll Save Money

You’ll also save money. Both on your medical bills and on your parking costs.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, moderate physical activity (such as bicycling to work) saves 5 to 12 percent in annual medical costs, compared with a 6.5 percent savings from employees who don’t smoke.”

Increasing your activity will decrease your absenteeism at work. While that may not sound like a great reason it does mean that you’ll be healthier when you’re not at work allowing you to have more fun.

Fewer miles on your car, especially commuting miles in traffic means less wear and tear and maintenance.

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post. 5 Steps to Start Commuting to Work.