Thursday, August 21, 2014

Portland Builds No-Car Bridge

In a perfect world, we'd all get around on bicycles and trains. 

What might happen if cities decided to close down streets and bridges for pedestrians and cyclists? 

Portland, Oregon is giving it a try. Could Milwaukee be next? 

The car-free Tilikum Crossing is being hailed the "bridge of the people." (Flickr/TriMet)

Get Your Cyclocross Wheels from Ben's Cycle Wheelbuilder

The biggest upgrade you can make to your cyclocross bike is the wheelset.

Ben's Cycle is one of the few bike shops to offer a wheel builder service in the store and on our website.  You can select any hub - White Industries, Shimano, Chris King, and others, pair it up with exactly the rim you want, and we'll build the wheels for free.

One of the Milwaukee Bicycle Company Racing Team members recently build up a one set of wheels with White Industry hubs and Velocity Major Tom tubular rims, and another with the same hubs and a HED Belgium rim in order to test out the durability of each rim.

Rear wheels built with White hubs, one with Major Tom rim, the other with HED Belgium
By ordering from us, you get exactly what you want, from number of spoke holes to color. And the price is usually a lot less than a pre-built set of wheels. 

Add to that our pre-season tire gluing special for $55 a wheelset, less if you buy the tires from us, and you're going to be able to get a lot more wheel than you thought possible. 

Of course, you can still buy pre-built Shimano, SRAM, Hed, Zipp, and other wheelsets at Ben's Cycle with tubular and clincher rims, disc and non-disc hubs. If there's something you're looking for, we can get what you need.

Specialized Supports World Bike Relief, Women La Course

Here are two stories from Specialized about the company's support of women's cycling. Women make up a majority of cyclists in the world, and Specialized - as well as Ben's Cycle - is making sure women have the same quality equipment as the men.

The first story is about how the World Bicycle Relief used a large donation from Specialized to provide bicycles to thousands of women in Africa. Studies there have shown a 28 percent increase in school attendance and a 59 percent increase in performance when girls started to ride their bikes to school.

This video is about Specialized riders in the La Course, the women's race in Paris on the last day of the men's Tour de France.

Tubes, Tubes, and More Tubes: Get Them Cheap

We have an abundance, a plethora, a crap-ton, a lot, a wealth, a profusion of tubes for your bicycle tires. Too many. They're bursting out of our warehouse. 

So we need to sell them. 

Here are our specials:

Kenda for $5.49
Each of the tire sizes is linked to our website page.
24 inch Schrader valve

22 inch Schrader valve
20 inch Schrader valve
18 inch Schrader valve
16 inch Schrader valve
14 inch Schrader valve
12 inch Schrader valve
inch Schrader valve

PLUS: If you need 700x18-23 presta valve tubes, you can buy in bulk from us and save even more! Three tubes for $10.49 and 10 tubes for $32.99.

Continental for $7.49
Tour 32-42m with 42m presta valve
Race 2025m with 42m presta valve.
MTB 26 1.75-2.5 with 42m presta valve.
Compact 20x1.1 Slim with 42m presta valve.

Invest in More Bike Lanes to Reduce Sidewalk Riding

Technically, it's illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk if you're past the "learning stage" in the state of Wisconsin unless it is marked as a designated bicycle pathway by the municipality.

Yet many people continue to ride on sidewalks because they feel they are safer.

New York City is creating more protected bike lanes, and guess what, ridership has increased! The city of Milwaukee has been working to increase the number of dedicated bike lanes.

We believe that if more people ride their bikes, the happier our city will be. And the more people who ride their bikes, the safer it will be for all of us. Get out and ride!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two Days Left for Sausage/T-Shirt Deal for Polish Moon Ride

The Bike Fed's Polish Moon ride is Friday, and you have just two days left to get a deal on sausage and a t-shirt! 

Here's the link to the Bike Fed page

For $15, you get all you can eat sausages from Klement and this awesome limited edition t-shirt designed by Hot Sauce Graphics.

We've gone through half of our t-shirt order already! We have both men's and women's sizes available.

Go to paypal and send $15 to You can also stop in at the shop to drop off cash or a check. The price goes up to $20 for the deal on Friday night. 

See you Friday!

Riding Your Bike Makes You Happier

Riding your bike every day can make you happier, researchers say. Not only does riding to work save you gas and money from not driving, daily cycling can improve your mental well-being. 

Plus commuting to work can help riders feel like part of a community, increasing empathy and decreasing aggression.

Momentum Magazine compiled some of the findings in this article

At Ben's Cycle, we strive to help you find the right bike for your recreation and commuting needs. We have Specialized, Cervelo, and Focus bikes along with our famous Milwaukee Bicycle Company bikes. Stop in, take a test ride, go home with a bike that fits you and fits your needs. 

Eppstein Uhen Bike Tour is New Golf for Business Leaders

Cycling is becoming the new golf, a chance for business people to connect, talk, and exchange ideas. 

The Eppstein Uhen Beyond Design Bike Tour is one of the prime Wisconsin examples of this kind of new networking.Over 300 business executives from around the state connected with EUA in some way rode from Waukesha to Monona Terrace in Madison.

Ben's Cycle supported the ride last Friday with two mechanics, a sag wagon, and repairs at Lake Mills and Waukesha. Vince, our owner, and some employees also did the ride to Madison.

It was a great day to ride and support a great cause. We can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Race With a Friend! Cross the Rock Relay Aug. 30!

Some things are better done with a partner. 

And Team Velocause is giving you a chance to pair up with someone to race cyclocross at The Rock!

Velocause, one of the teams sponsored by Ben's Cycle, is promoting Cross the Rock, a cyclocross relay race on August 30. Each person does one lap, then dismounts from the bike, and high fives the partner who goes on to do the next lap.

Save time by registering early.

Plus, there is a patio bar at The Rock, in Franklin, laser-cut trophies, and a DJ putting out the sound on the hill! 

We will be there supporting the racers and perhaps sampling what the Umbrella Bar has to offer!

Triple Up at Polish Moon Ride Friday

If you have not yet registered for the Polish Moon Bike Tour, a benefit for the Wisconsin Bike Federation, you can hit a triple: Get a Bike Fed membership, sign up for the historic first annual Polish Moon ride, and register for all-you-can-eat sausage and a t-shirt! 

The Polish Moon ride is a fundraiser for the Bike Fed. But it will also be an event of epic fun with food, a party, accordions, beer, and a police-escorted 14-mile slow ride around Walker's Point and other Milwaukee neighborhoods. 

1. Go to the Bike Fed website.
2. If you are not a member of the Bike Fed, the ride will cost $35. But you can become a Bike Fed member (which gives you discounts at bike shops, a rad magazine, and supports bicycle advocacy around the state) and register for the ride at a discounted $50.
3. There's more! Simon from Ben's Cycle will be cooking up sausages at the event! For another $15 (presale; $20 at the event) you can get as many sausages as you can eat AND a limited edition t-shirt created by Hot Sauce Graphics. Either come into the shop to pay with cash or check or pay online with paypal. Go to Paypal and pay your $15 to

Support the Bike Fed, go on a great ride, eat a ton of sausage, get a great t-shirt, maybe drink from beer from Milwaukee Brewing Company. 

Isn't Milwaukee awesome in the summer? 

Specialized CruX Cyclocross Bikes in Stock at Ben's Cycle

Ben's Cycle just received its first shipment of the 2014-15 edition of the Specialized CruX cyclocross bikes, and they look amazing. We did get one 49cm Ui2-equipped carbon, a size that can be a challenge to find!

We took some out for a test ride. We raced the carbon CruX and the aluminum CruX E5 in all sorts of conditions last year. The bikes had a tight, responsive geometry. What we liked best about the geometry of the CruX was how balanced it was: We felt like we were centered properly on the bike, neither too far forward or too far back. Plus the stiffness in the bottom bracket and the front end meant our power use was very efficient.

This year's models are the same frames with different paint schemes for both the carbon and aluminum models.

Specialized took its time to develop a cross-specific bike, and with input from multiple national champion Todd Wells and the California Giant Strawberry pro team, created a race-specific geometry that flows through corners and nimbly jumps out of them. 

Bicycling Magazine did a review of the CruX Expert, which you can test ride at Ben's.

Here is an excerpt from a review of the top-level CruX from
"...the CruX is a match made in heaven for efficiency-minded riders who tend to rely on explosive bursts of speed in a race. It's an absolute rocket ship under power, with an ultra-stout backbone that doesn't yield even a little when you're mashing on the pedals."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cyclocross Tubular Gluing Super Special from Ben's Cycle

While tubulars are without a doubt the best way to go in cyclocross, gluing them can be a messy and time-consuming challenge.

That's why you should let the experienced technicians at Ben's Cycle glue them for you.
photo by Craig Daemmrich

We're running a pre-season special on tubular gluing: 
  • We'll glue up a set of tubulars on your wheels for $55. This includes one layer of CX Tape, and at least six layers of glue. 

  • Even more? Build a set of wheels with our wheelbuilder program, buy the tubulars from us, and get the gluing done for FREE!

Ben's Website Gets Direct Link to Sale Items

Ben's Cycles often buys products in large batches, or we get a significant discount on items we regularly stock. 

When that happens, we pass those savings on to our customers. 

Now you can find those savings with just one click on our website.

On our website, there's a direct link to the items we have on sale.

There are a lot of items there for sale, and the list changes daily as new product comes into our warehouse. Bookmark the page so you can regularly check out the new products!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Missing Robin Williams

Not only was Robin Williams the funniest man in the world, he was also an avid cyclist. 

Here are two profiles of Williams as a cyclist that are worth reading to remember him.

Bicycling Magazine


In Milwaukee, it's raining. The world seems a more dreary place today. 

Williams' solution would be to laugh and go ride your bike. 

So that's what we're doing. 

MBC Racing Team Places Well in Ore to Shore

The Ore to Shore mountain bike race in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the most popular point-to-point races in the country. The Hard Rock version is 48 miles of challenging fire roads, single track, and steep sandy descents. 

For those of you who are curious, here's a helmet cam video of the Soft Rock distance.

Several Milwaukee Bicycle Company Race Team members made the trip up north and had great results. We're even on the front page of the Ore website! 

Rick and Vicki from MBC Racing
Ian Haupt, 18, who races for ISCorp on the road and MBC Racing for cyclocross, placed 25th overall and second in his age group.

Ron Knutkowski finished 54th overall and eighth of 76 in the 35-39 age group. Chad Tucker finished 99th and was 16th in the same age group.

Rick Walls, pictured above, finished 144th and was 29th of 118 in his 40-44 age group, while Vicki Pink, finished 502nd, good for 4th in her age group.

Dan used his MBC Grit mountain bike

Monday, August 11, 2014

Help Nominate Vince Hanoski as Milwaukee's Character of the Year

There's no doubt that Ben's Cycle owner, Vince Hanoski, is a one heck of a character.
If you've ever had the pleasure to meet him either in or out of the shop, you'll know that he treats everyone as if he's known you forever. He's constantly on the go, knows everyone, and will do anything to help out a customer.

He is definitely a Milwaukee character. And now, thanks to the Shepherd Express, we have the chance to make that title official. 

The Shepherd is running its annual Best Of Milwaukee edition, and one of the categories is "Character of the Year." We can't think of any person who is more of a character!

So we'd really like you to vote for Vince here. We have until August 21 to nominate him. 

You can write in as many categories as you'd like, and we'd sure appreciate a vote for best bike shop as well!

We asked customers and clients for reasons you should vote for him as the Shepherd's Character of the Year:

1. "Vince always takes the time to offer amazing customer service.  No matter how busy he is (and if you ask him, he's always busy). I'm impressed by the fact that even though he's the owner, he strives to always be there to help his customers."

2. "I had only been in the shop for a moment or two.  I had an appointment, and Vince felt I had waited too long and offered to buy me a taco from the restaurant next door!  Ben's Cycle is the only local bike shop that I will shop at.  Vince rocks!"

3. Of course the guy's a character!  No shop owner I know fabricates and welds up his own bike fixtures, run a kickass website, fixes customers flats, gets on his bike for some serious riding, then laces up the skates for a hockey game .  Vince does all that, and more.  And he always has some interesting story or event to talk about over a beer.  Absolutely he's a character.  My kind of bike shop owner!   Go Vince!

4. I love Vince and he is definitely a total character.

I brought in a used scooter that I bought for my daughter, and it had a kick-stand that was cracked.Vince took it to the back and welded it back together for me and completely fixed it. No job too small or out of the question.

I also really loved the time he took me on a tour of the internet stations upstairs and all the stuff crammed in all the nooks and crannies upstairs.
5.  What I love about Vince:
  • How short he really is;
  • How he thinks the rear ramp on the Ben's truck is safe;
  • He races the Chequamegon 40 & drives home the same day;
  • Always goes out of his way to assist/help people;
  • You're in a conversation with him, and he then engages in another conversation with someone else;
  • Is fair and provides the best pricing in town;
  • Keeps his pick up truck spotless (trucks are made to get dirty);

courtesy of Paul Moroder Photography
  • He's doubled the size of Ben's since he took over from his father, Larry.  
  • He's buying vacant properties along Lincoln Avenue and rehabbing them into housing and business properties to keep the local economy thriving.  
  • He knows more people than anyone else we know.  
  • He puts on a hell of a party (Downer Avenue).
  • When he's not zipping around the shop, making three phone calls at the same time, he constantly exercises: he plays hockey, rides, lifts, and does whatever else he can find to keep him busy and active.  
  • He dotes on his wife and two sons and still manages to run a successful small business.   
  • He created the Milwaukee Bicycle Company brand that makes steel bikes cool.

So go to the Shepherd's page and nominate Vince for "Character of the Year." And if you don't know how much of a character he is, stop in at the shop sometime at 1018 W. Lincoln to see for yourself!

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Ride a Single Speed

Over the last few years, biking to work and for leisure has become an important lifestyle for many people in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis...