Tuesday Treats 69: Charlie the Bikemonger

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Your once a week dose of retail therapy from Singletrack’s Premier Dealers, stockists and advertisers.

Tuesday Treats gives you a quality serving of independent bike retailing and a chance to win big in this week’s prize draw.

This week, we revisit Charlie the Bikemonger.

Those of you with a half-decent memory will remember the positivity we received on publication of Charlie’s introductory feature story. A man of many words, a thinker, a joker and thankfully an all-round mountain bike enthusiast. We jumped at the chance to get him back on the front page…

Surly Pugsley Custom. Anyone else getting ‘A-Team van’ themed finishing-kit?

Apart from the obvious… we’re all a year wiser, what’s changed in the last year?

What’s changed? … bloody everything. We are selling more fat bikes than any other kind of bike. We have become wheel size blind, so used to looking at fat tyres, 29+ etc… that 26ers are now looking like 24s and we’re all getting very confused.

We have moved the shop round the corner into an old factory, so we now have space for parties, an extra sofa, a kitchen, and even his and hers toilets. 21st Century and all that.

Any new lines in-store that really tickle your fancy?

Coming in the Spring… I have ridden the new Surly Instigator, it’s a 50mm wide 26” rim with 2.75” tyre, so it’s actually bigger than a 650b. They have mated this with a 140mm travel fork… and I am riding like a teenager again. It’s bloody good fun! The punctured tyres to punctured lung ratio will be about 1:1. An incredible beast of a bike!

What has been hot, product-wise this summer?

ESI grips… these are so comfortable and we even have ‘Jeff Jones Specific’ extra long ones.

What’s the score with demo bikes and custom builds?

Where many bike shops are rammed with a range of normal bikes (often with the betamax wheel), the line up in my shop looks somewhat dirty and odd. You see, the way we do things here; we build a demo bike up, ride it, get to know it, so we actually know what we are talking about. You can come down, try it out and then we will build you one. What do you want to try?… Jeff Jones, Salsa Fargo, Surly cargo bike, Salsa Warbird, Tom Ritchey, Pugsley, Krampus, Instigator? The way things should be.

Salsa Warbird for the crossers

Any events that are worth the effort, travel and pain/joy?

Absolutely. It’s ‘Global Local Fat Bike Day’ this coming Saturday! (Swanage, Dorset). An informal gathering for fattists, plus we have a bunch of Surly demo bikes. To add a bit more flavour the ride ends at the Square & Compass for the ‘Beard, Beer and Cheese Festival’. Seriously.

For more info on the ride, drop us a line to: 01929 475 833

‘Global Local Fat Bike Day’. This coming Saturday, 7 December, Swanage, Dorset. Worth the pain for a warm welcome, beards, bikes, cheese and… beer!

Now for some crystal ball gazing. Where are we all headed; a fourth wheel size? The return of bar ends?!

The gravel racing thing is looking good. Yeah, it’s sort of road/cross and nothing entirely new, but since our mechanic Rob Jefferies was killed I don’t like the road too much, too bloody dangerous. There are so many gravel routes, and they are fun, fast and drifty… but also peaceful and safe. Salsa have made the awesome Warbird bike for this job, I have built myself a titanium one, and we will be hosting some gravel events down here in Dorset next year.

Remember how the whole world (except Jeff Jones, me, Fisher, and Surly) thought that 29ers would never catch on. Oh how we were mocked with our big wheels. Anyway… 26+ the Surly Instigator wheel size. You will all be riding these in downhill, dual slalom situations…. trust me I have a beard. Check out our stuff over here or get engaged on Facebook (where we post stuff) when I have the time.

Oh, and how could I nearly forget this. You have also only seen just the start of ‘the fat’. It’s going to change, just as mountainbiking in general has. When mountainbikes first turned up, cyclists asked why we need fat tyres and the mountain bikers questioned suspension. Then beardy folk questioned gears, and then most cyclists questioned fat bikes.

Mr. C points at the future… Fat Forks with 110mm of bounce

So… landing with me next week we have 110mm Saso suspension forks that can take up to a 4” wide tyre on 135mm front hub! Fat bikes are fast, damned fast, and this will mean that a fat hardtail will eat up trail centres and DH runs… it will also eat that annoying bloke on the supermarket bike with too many accessories who thinks his bike is the best in the world, it will totally kill him. Believe.

Lastly, remind us. What do Premier Subscribers get from you guys?

Currently we are offering 20% off ESI Grips (until 31 December ’13) …

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Otherwise, we always offer Singletrack readers a free fresh cup of lovely, Chris King Coffee if you visit the shop. Valid until I run out, then it might be crappy instant temporarily.

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Comments (10)

    I was under the impresion that one of the benefits of Fat Bikes was that they negated the need for suspension forks?

    “Salsa Pugsley” that is rare. 😉

    To Mos, fat tyres can only do so much suspending, but probably still better than my old Mag 20s! 😀

    Cheers Johnnystorm. This week is very much a Surly/Salsa sandwich, hence our exotic bike tastebuds were clearly in overload

    mos… tune the tyres for the surface, tune the forks for the big drops.

    the big tyres, in my mind , one of the best advantages is cornering traction and speed.

    has anyone stuck a fat bike under steve peat?

    fat bikes are ace, but the tyres (and the resulting undamped suspension-effect) can be a bit of a handful in certain circumstances. A suspension fork on a fat bike would be a f***ing RIOT.

    He does a recipe column in his local paper too…

    Did his chilli cheese scones a while back – pretty good 🙂

    jeff… thanks, so many people talk to me about the recipes and how they enjoyed them. But when I ask how it went, they tell me they didnt cook it, just liked reading about it.

    The cheesey chill scones are good… but do try the “Beefer Reefer”

    Hi Charlie, will you be getting a Salsa Colossal demo?

    Peaty on a fat bike,now that would be something to watch!

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