Bike Night at MIA

Jake, July 16th

The MIA, as part of their 3rd Thursday event series, hosted a special bike night called "Tour de Force".  It was a huge success and we were happy to be a part of it.  The folks at One on One Bike, and Surly beer hosted a send off party and a guided ride to the event.  Upon arrival anyone who rode to the event was able to ride right through the museum where they were greeted by a smiling Freewheeler ready to valet their bicycle.  We're guessing we parked close to 600 bikes that night and we didn't lose a single one!

Fattest Bike Shop in the Cities Revisited

I blogged about The Midtown Bike Center becoming the fattest bike shop in the cities a few weeks ago.

It was basically because we have so much good food, like ice cream, sandwiches and waffles. 

Apparently a lot of you liked what you saw. 

The yellow blur behind the counter is one of our employees. 

How do expect us to get as fat as we had hoped if you keep us running around like that?

Seriously though, stop by any time and check out all the good stuff.  See you soon.

Chris King Hub Overhaul

Ahh, the Chris King hub tool. It's almost to nice to use.




Removing the axle.


Disassembling the drive shell.


Lots of delicate little parts.


All cleaned up and ready for re-instalation.





Tyson knows suspension

This Sid needs a new Crown/Steerer/Upper assembly due to the corrosion around the steerer tube near the crown.


Driving new seals into the lowers.



Tyson bleeding the Pure damper.



Adding 10cc of oil to the lowers.



Torquing the foot nuts to 50inch/lbs


Mechanic Training at Freewheel

At Freewheel, our mechanics receive continuous training in order to provide the best

possible repair service. Luckily they don't mind staying late on a Sunday night to do it.

Thre are a lot of parts inside an Avid Juicy Ultimate brake system.



Karl is very meticulous

Karl is very meticulous.

Bryan is a good supervisor.


Andy and Phil working as a team.


This reapair stand was a little too tall, wish it had on the fly adjustable height.


Bleeding the boss's brakes.



Graham is having fun.



Chris - July 3, 2009

Just in time for the start of the Tour de France, enjoy this compilation of memorable crashes!  (You know that's the only reason you really watch...)


Josh- July 1st, 2009

So you know how sometimes you find that t-shirt that is just your favorite t-shirt in the world. Well its not even mine, but Chris's new (old stock) "t" is the coolest. Why you may ask? Well because its vintage, it features a famous bicycle brand, and it has a mustache. That's why. Check it out and and if you have a shirt that's even 50% as wicked cool send an image of it to

Yeah that's the shirt and Chris giving awesome customer service on the telephone while posing for this picture. Just wait it gets better.

Yeah that's Tom Ritchey screenprinted on to a T-Shirt welding up a sweet P-23 or something.

Josh - June 24th, 2009

Mark Little was spotted using the Shimano shoe fitter to.........

You guessed it!!! Cook his pizza.

Don't's Dura-Ave quality pizza.


Josh - June 9th, 2009

Mark headed over to the Midtown Bike Center to drop some tires off on his way home. From what I could tell he had somewhere around a 100 tires, a complete bicycle, and bicycle frame and fork in tow on his Bikes At Work Trailer. A near impossible feat for most people Mark handled the heavy load with ease. The picture does not do it justice, but we'll await his recap of how the trip ended out.

Josh - May 28th, 2009

The long awaited arrival of the Trek Soho has finally come to fruition. We've got a 20" in the store just waiting to rail the streets of Minneapolis. Trek must have changed the color mid production and I think it is a good thing. The bike looks nice and rides nice. Stop by and check out the belt.

Complete with a sealed coffee cup designed to fit into a h20 cage this bike is the the urban commuter's Mini Cooper. Painted to match fender and reflective sidewalls on the tires really set this thing off.


Josh - May 27, 2009

I typically don't just post links to other peoples reviews of stuff, but this is worth it. If you like lightweight mountain biking stuff you'll love Sram's new XX group.

I scream, You scream, We all scream MIDTOWN

The Midtown Bike Center is on its way to claiming yet another unique achievement in the bike shop world.  We took a couple of original ideas, such as a bike shop with a coffee shop and a bike shop with bike parking and a bike shop with showers and lockers and we put them all together to make the ulitmate bike commuter location.  We are now striving to be the fattest bike shop in the Twin Cities or maybe even the world.  I don't mean PHAT, I mean fat.  We are preparing for our fatness with some new uniforms, the pants are modeled here by Kristin:

You may be asking, 'Hey Gabe how are you going to do this?'  Well I'll tell you. 

1.  We now serve some of the best ice cream in the Twin Cities and the third scoop is only $0.75 more than the double, so it is kind of a no brainer.

2.  We get some sweet pastries from one of the Saltiest Tarts in the metro.  Check them out at -

3.  We serve great tasting, super charged smothies.  You can super charge yours with Endurox to make the trip home easy-peasy.

4.  We also have Belgian waffles - Mom always said breakfast was the most important meal of the day.


5.  We have some pretty dang good sandwiches.  They aren't home made they are 'bike shop made' which is much better, trust us we are employees of the fattest bike shop in the Twin Cities.


6.  As if that wasn't enough we have snacks too.  Plenty of different kinds of fruit, yogurt, Clif Bars, Clif Shots, Clif Shot Blocks, Snickers, Pro Bars, Power Bars, Power Gel, Luna Moons for the ladies, and Twisted Fruit for the kid in all of us. 

Stop in often to see us GROW into the bike shop we are striving to be.



Josh - May 15th, 2009

SELMA IS IN THE HIZZHOUSE!!! The long awaited Scandium singlespeed specific sister of the ever popular Mamasita has finally arrived. And she's lookin' good. I would have to say she not only got the EBB from the El Mariachi side of things, but the good looks too! Sleek and shiny she'd be a wonderful addition to any already well stocked stable, but would certainly fill the void if you are living without a single or a 29er. Sizes medium, large, and XL all came in. Get em while they're spicy.

Blue is a good color on you.

Curvy stays offer plenty of tire clearance and a super plush ride.

Big ole EBB and don't forget the ever popular mantra, "If it ain't moto, it's worthless!"

Greenway Traffic Jam - May 11th

Greenway riders beware.  Today is May 11th, which marks the first day of national Bike To Work week.  Here are a couple photos of the Greenway near the 13th ave exit.


Who would have imagined a traffic jam with a flagman on the Greenway?  I hear Minnesotans joke that there are two seasons in Minnesota, Winter and road construction.  I guess it is true.

Josh - May 13th, 2009

The guys from Chrome were in yesterday and boy did they have a surprise in store for me and now you. You may remember their slip on shoe from a couple years back, the Milo. Well...forget about it! Chrome is taking things seriously on the alt apparel side of the business and will be expanding the shoe line with 3 or 4 different models in varying colors. I got a first hand look at these bad boys. The quality and craftsmanship is very cool.  Check out the images below and I'll try to explain what the images don't show.

As you can see these aren't your racer boy, carbon fiber soled, going broke for speed shoes. They're the perfect flat pedal casual ridin' to work shoe though. The rubberized outside protects your Cordora or Suede upper and even the laces are made of Cordora with metal ends in place to ensure the longest possible life.

Even the box they come in is a piece of engineering genius, made to last and serve as storage for those cute notes you got from you crush in high school. Yeah you know the ones I'm talking about. Or you could just put all those spare bike parts you have sitting around in there. All the shoes should retail for between $70 - $90. They even have a reflective tab on the heal to make sure you have one more excuse to not get hit while riding home after dark.

Let me know your intitial thoughts on the new Chrome shoes JOSH.


Josh - April 14th, 2009

Jim's 30 year old Freewheel Bike water bottle is still in use today. Apparently the top is cracking so it is on its last leg, but we'll send him a new one and see if it lasts another 30 years. Personally, as someone that is not 30 years old, it is beyond my belief that a plastic bottle can last that long. But its exciting to see.



Gabe's Ride Home April 13th

Hi everybody.  My sister lives in Minot, ND and my parents live in Duluth, MN, for Easter I went to my sister's house to see my 6 month old twin nephews.


Then I rode (in a car) with my mom back to Duluth and I slept there Sunday night.  Monday I got up and grabbed some breakfast and my bike and got ready to ride down to Minneapolis.

I rode on the streets through Hermantown and Proctor and then got on the Willard Munger Trail a mile or two South of Midway Road.  Here is the first thing I saw:

Just what you want to see April 13th while riding a road bike.  Don't worry, I am a true Minnesotan this barely even slowed me down.  However this pretty much ended my trip.

I first noticed this bald spot about 8 miles out of Hinkley unlike the one that has been growing on top of my head, which I noticed about 8 miles out of high school.  Anyway, I did the first thing any truly hard core biker would do, I called my mommy and asked for a ride home.  She came and got me. I put my bike in the trunk and as I closed it I had a new appreciation for the motto Cars R Coffins.  I am back at Midtown now, so come on in and see me if you want any tips on why you should replace your tires regularly.




Josh - May 6th, 2009

4:15pm a three man team left Freewheel for ominously dark south near Bloomington, Minnesota. The gloom and doom grew the closer we got to our destination, the Black Dog time trial. Black Dog is an out and back, just over 7 mile loop, of treacherous pavement, if you can call it that, with gaping pot holes prepared to swallow the likes of any 700c rim. The long wait for our turn to mash gears against wind and our own bodies resistance to efforts of this form was well worth it. All said and done we had close to 40 miles in by the time we road down, around the course, and back home. Most people drove, but not us. This will most like become a pretty regular event, at least for my compatriots Bryan and Steve. Catch them at the Freewheel parking lot if you are so inclined and race against yourself for the fun of it.

Josh - April 4th, 2009

I'm still recovering, mostly from sunburn, from 5 days of good hard MTBing action in Sedona, AZ. Recovering is good though. I can highly recommend a trip down there and definitely look up the guys at the Bike and Bean. They've got a place for you to stay and you can ride to dozens of trails straight out their front door. I could go on and on about all the great experiences we had down there, but I'll make you stop by the store and talk to me. Here's some images in the mean time to get you started.

I made some adjustments to my XC race bike that I hoped would serve as an okay alternative to renting: Suspension fork and Kenda Nevegal 2.3" tires. Although I'm sure it was a better set up than a rigid fork and Schwalbe Racing Ralph's after 30 miles of rock climbs and descents it got a little harsh. Most guys we saw were riding between 5" and 6" dualies.

Ryan had 29 in wheels as well, but with a plush 4 inches of front and rear travel. The slick rock in Sedona is said to rival that of any in Moab.

Sedona is said to have one of the largest concentrations of natural vortexes. This is clearly me riding through one and getting ultra rad.

Stephen - April 3rd, 2009

One of my favorite bicycle stories is when folks who love cycling upgrade their gear over the years.  Blake stopped by this week and told me about how he started bicycling some years back with a Trek 2300.  He was new to the sport then and wanted to make sure he was going to stay with it.  Now, Blake is a serious and passionate bicyclist and decided to get equipment that will allow him to tackle newer and tougher challenges.  After shopping around a bit, he decided on a sweet red Trek Madone 5.5 with Bontragger components and a full SRAM Force group.  Now That's American Muscle!  Best of all, he sold his old bike to another potential cyclist breaking in to road cycling, so he's keeping the spirit of inclusion which is what riding a bike is all about.

Jake Feb 13th: Something Fun

Remember the Big Wheel?  If you grew up anytime between 1976 and 1985 you know exactly what a big wheel is. Well Trek makes the worlds greatest big wheel and it's called the MOD.

The front tire is a regular bike tire so you can replace it after all of your burn-outs wear through it, unlike the old version with a plastic tire which, when worn through meant it was time for a new big wheel.  

To get a taste of just what these things are capable of check out this video.  If you have a little boy who likes to jump off things you might want to ask him to leave the room before you click play.


Don't try this at home!  Seriously!  But if you do, call me first so I can go next!

Madland - February 5th, 2009

Stephen and I raced in the Ice Bike Loppet this weekend on a sweet course made on the lagoon between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun.  We were both using Nokian Extreme 294 tires to get a secure grip on the ice.  I learned that racing is hard work but fun when you don't care when you finish.  Next year I'll train more (more than not at all, that is).  

Josh - February 3rd, 2009

THEY ARE HERE!!! My Industry 9 wheels are finally arrived and are more beautiful than I ever could have possibly imagined. The spokes and hubs gleam brighter than the most stunning of sunsets. The freehub body has better engagement than most celebrities marriages. And they are mine all mine and will complete and compliment my Moots in all its awesomeness.

Just over 1500 grams of tubeless 29er fastness.


We are looking to bring in a couple more sets of stock wheels with in the next couple weeks so let me know if you have an opinion on what colors or options we should get them in check them out at the e-mail me at


Josh - Jan. 24th, 2009

Miker stopped by today to finish up his winter off road bike. I think it could best be described as a "Big Rig". Marcy thought it a which I responded more like a Pug9er. Whatever you want to call it, its a sweet machine. Take a purple Gary Fisher rig, the purple of which looks extremely familiar to the original Surly Pugsley color, then add a Pugsley fork, rim, and tire and you've got the front end of a Pugsley with the rear of a 29er. The outside diameters of the two wheels' rubber are with in millimeters of one another, leaving the handling of the bike intact, but with 3.7 inches of front end benefit. The large low volume tire floats a path over the snow leaving a perfectly groomed trail for the narrower 29x2.3" tire in the rear. Hopefully Miker and I will ride out at Leb tomorrow and get some first hand experience with the "Big Rig".

Even after the Pug frontend conversion the complete bike only weighs 26.75lbs. a mere 10lbs lighter than the floor Pugsley we had in stock earlier this year.

The thing looks like something straight out of MonsterJam for bikes...SUNDAY!!! SUNDAY!!! SUNDAY!!!

Kristin - January 22, 2009

I got frostbite. 

Upon announcing this to the people in my life who do not bike through Minnesota winters, I received a few words of sympathy, but mostly words to the tune of, “Well, yeah…that’s what you get for being crazy.”  Maybe that’s partially true, but oddly enough, the frostbite occurred after successfully braving temps of 22 below zero.

This particular evening was a balmy 5 above and with only 2 miles to ride, I opted out of full face coverage.  A couple hours after arriving home, I was surprised to see a bright red and quite sensitive nose staring back at me in the mirror.  I ruled out sunburn.  I didn’t remember running face first into anything that day.  Yep, I got frostbite.

The next morning, after enduring ridiculous nightmares involving gangrene and nose amputation, I did what anyone should do in such a situation.  I called my mom.  She sent me a list of ways to mask my bright red nose.  Among my favorites were to knit a nose warmer (with a tassel, of course), paint the rest of my face like a clown or invest in a pair of those glasses with a nose and mustache attached.  I seriously considered the latter, but opted for a little bit of makeup instead.  She also sent me a list of herbal remedies for minor frostbite (frostNIP, apparently, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it) including aloe, niacin and vitamin c supplements and horsetail tea, which helps rebuild connective tissue. 

 I’ve religiously applied, supplemented and drank all of the above herbal aids and am astounded by the results.  Redness: almost gone.  Sensitivity: almost gone.  Healing: on its way.  Now the frostbite is peeling and I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have ruled out sunburn.

Anyway, moral of the story is: do not underestimate the ability of above zero temperatures to hurt you and do not overestimate the durability of your skin.  Buy a balaclava and use it!

Josh- January 13th, 2009

Happy New Year!!! Don't forget to check out our blog archives for the last 4 years; 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Check it out Freewheel has representation in Japan at Shimano Corporate. This is Tom's friend Daisuke("loverboy") he helped invent the newest XTR disc brake lever, the 2009 Dura-Ace shift lever, and the Dura-Moca Cappiccuno Maker.


Thomas c/o Josh June 16th, 2009

Sometimes life is more fun when you've got a friend to help you along. In the case of a tandem bicycle its pretty much a neccesity. Here you can see Chris and Pete working and having fun in tandem on a tandem.


Gabe is Moving

Hi everyone.  I recently moved and I did most of it by bike.  Here are some shots for your viewing pleasure.  Keep in mind I was on Riverside for a large part of the trip, it will make the photos a little bit more ridiculous than they already are. 


You've found our 2009 blog archives!  To view the latest blog postings check out our current blog...

The Minneapolis Bike Blog







The Future is Electric

Forget everything you knew, or thought you knew, about electric bikes.  Designed by a bunch of hotshots in Montreal, Trek has re-invented the electric bicycle.  The 2010 electrics will come in three different models, men's and women's--but the only question that matters, when you get right down to it, is:  how well does it work?

The answer?  It rocks.  It will make you laugh.  It will take you back to being ten years old, when bicycles were the coolest thing ever.

The heart of the system is a rechargeble battery that rests on the back rack.  It has four levels of assistance, ranging from 25% to 200%.  Push the button on the handlebar mounted computer, take it to the highest level, and then lightly pedal all the way up the long hills on the River Road without breaking a sweat.  Because it is a bicycle and not a moped, you have to pedal to make it work--but you don't have to pedal hard.  The battery will fully recharge in six hours, although it didn't take that long in the shop the first time we recharged it.

This bike will be ideal for the longer-distance commuter, the spouse who wants to ride with their more serious bicyclist friends, for anyone who wants to use their bicycle for transportation.  Oh, and it's fun--really fun--to ride.  Come on in and check it out.

Night Ride Doin' Good

Monday night, 7:10 p.m., I leave the house and head out into the windy early evening. 

The sun has set, the clouds are banking off to the northeast, and I need to get to the Midtown Exchange, aka the Sears Building, by 7:30.  This would be easier if it were less windy and I was skinnier.  But it isn't, and I'm not, and I'm having second thoughts about joining the Midtown Greenway Bike Patrol nightly ride.  What if they're too fast?  What if I can't keep up?  What if it rains and we're all miserable?  What if we are beset upon by hooligans?  What if?

At the Midtown Exchange's eastern entrance I see a group of cyclists, resplendent in vests, blinking armbands amid a variety of bikes.  Since there are seven of us, we split up--one group rides west toward the lakes, and another toward the Hiawatha Bridge and north along the LRT to the Metrodome.   There have been a couple of incidents lately, and the Greenway Coalition very much needs riders.  We are instructed to not intervene; we are not vigilantes, but rather a presence and several sets of eyes to insure the safety of Greenway riders.

What follows is most surprising:  nothing.

No hooligans, no rain, nothing more than a pleasant, leisurely ride through south Minneapolis with quiet conversation and the occasional hello and thank you from other riders.  What could be easier?  You get to spend a couple of hours on your bike, meet other cyclists, and feel good about how you've spent your evening.

The Greenway needs volunteer riders.  You need the exercise.  Go to to sign up, or call 612-879-0103.  Nothing else you do on a bike will be any more important than claiming what is ours.

-Bob Aldrich


Chrome shoes in stock! -Jake 08/29

We just got the new shipment of Chrome footwear and their siren song is singing for you! 

Jake August 8th, Garage Sale Madness!












It was a ton of work but we got more stuff onto the sales floor than we've ever had.

We basically cleaned out our parts room and put it into boxes and just let people

go nuts.  And nuts they did go! It's been non stop since we opened the doors!












You have no idea how nervous this makes some of the people who work here!

We've gotten attached to some of this old stuff, and looking at pillaged parts room

shelves is a little disturbing!  We've built our rep by keeping those shelves overflowing.

Patrick refueling on some down time.

Ted never let's the stress get to him, He just likes to sell stuff, even if he has had his

eyes on a certain campy downtube shifter from 1987.  Poor Ted.

Alvey shows off his custom Freewheel shirt

Jason Alvey, owner of  The Four Firkins specialty beer store in St. Louis Park, shows off his new Freewheel mechanic's work shirt. He doesn't actually work at Freewheel but he likes bikes and we like beer so we put him on the team, unofficially.


For your viewing pleasure.

Ben's Big Bike with Boxes of Bags

Here is a look at the product transfer process from the Midtown Bike Center to the West Bank store.









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