My Project One Process

So you all know about my love for Project One and how it is my absolute favorite thing about selling bikes and bladdy bladdy bladdy… But today I wanted to explain exactly what I do when setting up a Project One and why it is so special to me. Now, we also have other people in the store who are amazing at selling Project One as well, but I wanted to go through my process.

1. You come in and say you are looking for a new road bike. We talk about pricing and it comes up that you could be in the market for a brand new customized Trek Project One. You ride the bike and love it. Perhaps you want to go home and mull it over or you’ve got your mind made up, either way, I’ll get you set up right.

2. We go through all of your options together. Either you have just gotten off a test ride of an amazing Madone or Domane or you’ve brought some ideas from Trek’s great Project One website (, we’ll figure what works best for you. We go through everything on the bike: color (of the frame, cable housing, tires, bar tape and sometimes wheels), components, wheels, bars and most importantly sizing. I will make sure that you get the bike set up so that it does everything you want it to. Not only will frame size, stem length and height, handlebar width and saddle size be addressed but also component sizing. A double crank with an 11-23 cassette probably isn’t going to be the best thing for most riders out there and I will help you figure out what you need. There are even options that might not be availible through Trek, like a SRAM equipped bike with compact crank and an 11-32 in the back. I can make that happen for you.

3. We order the bike and your work is done. After signing off on the bike and putting down a deposit, you don’t have to do anything but wait for your new friend to arrive. While the bike is at Trek I keep an extremely close eye on it to make sure that it will be coming in on time and that nothing is hanging it up. I’m known back there for calling or emailing them the second that something changes on one of our bikes. This is one of the reasons that our Project Ones come in so quickly. I will email you regarding status updates on the bike and I’ll let you know when it ships and when we can expect to have it built at the shop.

4. Whenever we have a Project One come in, I am the first person to look at the bike and make sure everything is to your specifications. If something didn’t come in right, I will make it right. We build up the bike to the correct sizing specifications and we’ll add any accessories that you may need. It is amazing to see a bike come together just as you wanted it to.

5. One of my favorite parts is when you come in and see your beautiful custom bike for the first time. I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when I bring their bikes down the stairs. I will make sure that everything is perfect for you and you can ride away happy. I love happy customers.

I maintain a sense of ownership over every Project One that I sell. They are all my babies and I am very proud of all of them. Whether it’s a fluorescent yellow and red Madone 6.9 or a simple understated platinum Domane 6.2, I remember all of them. I love seeing one of my bikes come in with a ton of miles on them and hearing the compliments people receive. It really makes my day. I may love Project One more than anyone else out there selling them and I think that comes from the personal connections I make with the customers. I will remember your name, I will remember your bike. Designing a bike is a process, and its not about the swipe of a credit card to me. It’s seeing people so happy with their bikes that they designed. It’s hearing about the rides they are doing and checking out their pictures. It’s knowing that there is a bike out there unlike any other with an equally unique person riding it.


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Another AMAZING Project One!

The beautiful Hill Slug, too!

This is one of our newest Project Ones. It is for a customer who bought one of the first Project One bikes ever, a Trek 5900 from the early 2000s. She decided to get a new bike (she was definitely due for one), but she wanted to keep the essence of her old one. Her 5900 was white with a stylized silver eagle on it and had the personalization of “Hill Slug” on the top tube (although she is anything but!) We were able to make her a bike that worked perfectly for her: White background with white to silver flames and a white barely visible Trek logo. Since this is the baby of Hill Slug, she named it “Hill Slug, too!” This bike was just too pretty not to blog about. :)

Zoom in on the picture to see the subtle Trek, it’s really cool!

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What You Need to Know About Buying a Road Bike

I’ve been selling bikes for quite some time (about 9 years) and I love it. I love finding the perfect bike for people and having them love it. But I also understand that buying a bike (especially a road bike when you are just getting into it) can be a daunting task. Most people have a ton of questions and that is perfectly ok! When you walk into a shop looking to get into road biking, you shouldn’t be expected to know the difference between Shimano and SRAM components or whether you need a triple or compact crank. Any reputable shop should be able to help you out with those questions and help you find the perfect bike that fits your needs. However, there are some things that will help you have a much better (and fun!) buying experience. Here’s what I think are the top things to know when buying a road bike.

  • Give yourself time At our shop, the average time it takes to buy a road bike (from “Hi, I’m looking for a bike” to ringing everything up) is at least 2 hours. This gives you quality time with a sales person who will answer your questions and set you up on the right bike. Giving yourself this time allows you to be fitted properly and take the bike (or bikes) on a test ride to see how it feels. This also allows for time to shop for accessories and gives time for installation. There is nothing worse than buying a bike in a hurry. You forget that you need things, the fit might not be spot on, the sales person gets flustered and it results in an all around not great experience. Give yourself time to buy a bike and I promise, it will be a lot easier and less stressful.
  • Test ride On a road bike, you really do have to feel the road under your tires to get a good reading of the bike. We suggest that all perspective road bike customers take the bike out on our “4 Mile Loop.” This has a bumpy flat road, a hill, a descent and a smooth straight section so that you can tell how the bike is going to feel on virtually any terrain. 4 miles is a good amount to see how you feel when you settle into the bike, but its not overly long. We try not to wear out our customers before they buy the bike! ;)
  • Don’t keep secrets We run into this sometimes. We will fit someone to a bike in the way that looks good to us and send them out the door thinking that everything is great. Then the customer comes back however much long later saying that they have always had the pain in their back/neck/shoulders/knees/saddle since they got the bike and its kept them from riding. When we ask why this wasn’t brought up earlier, the customer usually says that they thought they were supposed to feel that way and didn’t think there was much that could be done to alleviate their pain. We want to make sure that you are out there riding without pain, so if you experience pain on the test ride, we want to know about it! Something that shows up in 4 miles is definitely going to be a problem in 50 miles, so please let us know! We are here to help you get the best bike possible and we have a lot of expertise on our side to help out with whatever pain you might be experiencing.
  • The perfect fit is the one best for you When people are starting out in the road biking world, they get a lot of things telling them that they have to be down low and aerodynamic in order to get the most out of riding. While this may be the most efficient fit for some people, it doesn’t work for others. Any shop you go to should be open to getting you higher/lower in the front and making sure that you are not too stretched out. At our shop, we are not concerned with making the most aerodynamic efficient fit (unless you are), we want to make sure that you are comfortable, because if you aren’t comfortable, you aren’t going to ride. If this means that you need a taller stem, that’s ok. Riding comfortably is a lot more important than riding the most aerodynamically.
  • Budget for accessories I can’t tell you how many times I have sold a bike and the person didn’t want any accessories and then they are back within 2 weeks buying a bunch of stuff. Buying the accessories with the bike makes it easier to get out there and ride! If you are just getting into road biking you may need: pedals, shoes, bottle cages, computer, helmet, gloves, shorts and a jersey (and possibly more or less depending on what you are using the bike for and what you may already have). I usually say that if you are buying a bike that is $2000 or more, budget at least $500 for other things. If the bike is less than that, you should be ok with $300 for accessories, but keep in mind that, like all things, you do get what you pay for. Trust me, if you buy a pair of shorts with your bike, you will be so much happier out there riding than if you didn’t. :)

I love selling bikes. There is almost no feeling that compares to seeing someone walk out of our shop with a new bike, happy as can be.

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In times of crisis, we tend to look for the familiar

So I’m back in one of my favorite cities in the world, new York, but don’t worry I didn’t get mugged or anything. I’ve never felt unsafe here and I feel truly comfortable, even more so than in San Francisco!

Here’s what happened: I was walking across the Brooklyn bridge (something I hadn’t done before) and I got to the Brooklyn side and realized “oh no, I need to go to the bathroom, like, now.” I’ve never been to Brooklyn, so I had no idea what might be there much less who might let me use their rest room. Then, in front of me pops the green signs and white mermaid of, you guessed it, starbucks. It was a godsend. Not only do most Starbucks have restrooms but I was also in the mood for an iced coffee after my walk. Going into that Starbucks was like a taste of home in an area that I know nothing about. All Starbucks look very much the same and I think that is a big part of their appeal. No matter where you are, you can go to Starbucks and feel at home. Plus, this one makes a mean iced decaf non-fat upside down caramel macchiato ;)

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It’s just like Calvin waiting for his beanie

For those of you that haven’t been in the shop while I am there and I haven’t talked your ear off about the topic at hand, I am getting a new bike! :D

I am not going to lie to you, I have a perfectly good 2008 Trek Madone 5.1 WSD that doesn’t get as much use as it should. I have been trying to get the fit right on it for the last couple months and it just hasn’t felt right. Then I took one of our 2013 Trek Domane 6.2 WSDs out on a test ride and it was the first bike that I didn’t want to get off of. It was amazingly smooth and comfortable. The isospeed decoupler that separates the seat tube from the top tube and the seat stays creates a super smooth ride that softens out the bumps in the road without being squishy.

So I decided that I wanted one. But the main question was: What color should it be? I have been a fan of pink since I got my Madone5.1 WSD, but I love blue as well. So I told Kevin (my brother) to play around with Project One and I’ll check out what he came up with. He came up with this and I LOVED it!

My New Bike!

I ordered it mid August and I can’t wait for it to get here! I check my dealer site every day to see if it is shipping yet. I feel like Calvin when he is waiting for his beanie from the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs cereal! I want my new bike!!!!!!

Oh, and my Madone will be getting good use now too. My cousin will be training for a Trek Travel trip and I am letting her borrow my bike, so we will be riding together! :)

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I still wear my Livestrong band

Being immersed in the cycling world like I am, it is hard to ignore all the Lance craziness that is going around. Did he dope? Why did he give up? What is he hiding? I’ve read numerous articles on the subject (not neccessarily for my own benefit, but so that I could look like I semi-knew what I was talking about at the shop when people asked me about it) and some of them made me very sad and some made me very happy. There was one on MSN that I shot a very angry email to after I read it because it was so egregiously false and self righteous on the part of the author. But I also read the article in News Week that mirrored my own sentiments about the whole thing. And how do I feel? Well, let me give you a little history.

I grew up with Lance, I started working at the shop in 2001, right smack dab in the middle of Lance mania. In between the years of 2001 and 2006, the most common question I was asked at the shop was “Is this the bike that Lance rides?” and I was all too happy to say that yes, Lance Armstrong, the best cyclist in the world rides a Trek. He was a sense of pride for not only Trek riders but all cyclists in general. If Lance could bring cycling out of the “ESPN 8 de Ocho” phase, then being on a bike must be pretty cool. Then he retired and the “Lance thing” died down a little bit, and I don’t have an issue saying that more people were interested in bikes when he was riding one competitively. Yes, there were and are other great cyclists out there, but none could inspire the average person to get off their couch like Lance could.

When he came back, it wasn’t really the same. There was more drama than needed with both him and Contador on the team and he didn’t win, so people didn’t seem to care that much. But wait, once he was accused of doping by the USADA and stopped fighting the charges, everyone was interested in Lance again, and everyone has their opinions about him.

I believe in Lance. That’s not to say that I believe everything that he says, and that I believe he didn’t dope. No, I think that he probably did dope, but everyone else was doing it too and he was just levelling the playing field. What I believe is that this is a man who beat a particularly nasty case of cancer and went on to win 7 tours, raised a ton of money for cancer research and encouraged people to get out there and ride. In my mind, there is no single person who did as much for cycling as a sport than Lance, and I think we owe that to him.

I believe in Lance, and I still wear my Livestrong band.

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Who knew you’d meet “crazy-liberal-democrats” at UC Santa Cruz???

Of the three classes that I’m taking, one of the most interesting is titled “the making of environmental policy”. It’s quite an interesting class taught by one of california’s top anti nuclear advocates. The class goes over everything, from how to get information that the government doesn’t want you to have to how to make and change policy. Recently, we’ve been talking about our “big project” which is to create a bill and submit it either to the state or congress. In order to help with the process, our professor brought in former speaker pro tem of the state assembly, Fred Keeley. He went over how he drafted and passed the Marine Life Managment Act of 1996. It was really cool to see how our state system works from the inside out. After class, I walked down with mr. Keeley and spoke to him about bicycle legislation and how we can reverse the damage done in the transportation bill in the house of representatives last week. His ideas: try to get to it from the state side first. Pretty good idea if you ask me. I’m planning on going to Sacramento with my dad this year to do just that. I can’t wait! :)

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Overall good commercials but where were the clydesdales?????

My family doesn’t really watch the super bowl to watch the super bowl. Sure we can recognize a good play froma  bad one in football, but really the super bowl is about the commericals for us. So here’s a list of a couple of the ones that stood out for me:

  • Audi Vampires: I really dislike the Twilight saga so I was glad to see all of those vampires burst into smoke. Also, a pretty good way to advertise those headlights, I want some!
  • Naked M&Ms: The voice of Vanessa Williams as the never-before-seen-on-TV upper class brown M&M was perfect, as was the part where the red one tore off his candy coating and got down. Who doesn’t like little sexually amorphus chocolate creactures dancing naked at their party? No on, that’s who.
  • Sketcher’s Quigley: This one was the great “under-dog” commercial of the game. The fat little English Bull Dog out running the grey houds was great, as was the appearence of Marc Cuban at the end. So much better than their super lame ads in the past.
  • Doritos: They do a good job with all of their commercials for the super bowl every year but I particularly enjoyed the one where the dog burried the cat and bribed his owner with doritos not to tell any one. Simple, and that Great Dane probably could have eaten the guy, so I think it was a good choice. The other one that stuck with me was the one where there is a bratty little kid with a bag of doritos who is bragging about the fact he has them and his (presumably) grandmother and baby brother do not. The grandma slingshots the baby who grabs the doritos from the brat. Who hasn’t been in their shoes and wanted to do exactly the same thing?
  • Pepsi Max for life: I love Regis, so that was the icing on the cake to a hilarious ad where a Coke delivery man wins Pepsi Max for life. My question is: how did the supermarket fit all that Pepsi Max in their ceiling?
  • Chevy apocalypse: Last but not least, I would say the best ad of the night. The 2012 Mayan prophecy has come true and the only people alive are 4 guys who drive Chevy trucks. When asked why “Dave” isn’t there, they answer that he drove a Ford and didn’t make it. Super funny. I just bought a Ford and now am thinking “Should I have gotten a Chevy Sonic?” Just kidding, I love my car, but this ad was marvelous. And the twinkies at the end were great too.

Two things I was disappointed about though: 1. The amount of movie trailers was crazy! Come on, I don’t watch the Super Bowl commercials to see an ad for G.I. Joe 2. And 2. There was only one Budweiser ad with the clydesdales! Aren’t they their signature animal? A little disappointing Bud…

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UC Santa Cruz = Best place to ride!

I started back at UC Santa Cruz on January 10th and if any of you have been there, you know that the campus is HUGE! I was having to take the bus to and from class to class in order to be only a minute late rather than the 15 minutes late I would be if I walked. After about a week of this frustration, I thought to myself, hey, why don’t I bring my bike and ride from class to class? So that’s what I did. I live at home and drive down there twice a week and I bring my Trek 7.5FX WSD with me. It’s great! I’m able to ride around the most beautiful campus in the world and I get to classes on time or earlier! My 7.5FX is a great ride, super comfortable, fast, and stable, even with a back pack or pannier bag on the back. I get out of class, hop on my bike and take in the redwoods while I ride, and it smells much better than the bus! :)

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We have Ultegra Di2 bikes coming in!

That’s right, we have a fleet of Ultegra Di2 demo bikes coming in. Right now, I have a 50cm WSD Di2 Ultegra Madone 6.2 coming in on Thursday! This bike is super cool, it has the brand-new Ultegra version of the Di2 electric shifing, Bontrager Race wheels, and the full made-in-the-USA 6 series Madone frame.

The 6.2 Ultegra Di2 bike we have coming in

Why Ultegra Di2? Because Ultegra Di2 gives you the advantages of Dura Ace Di2 without the price tag. Ultegra Di2 costs about as much as traditional Dura Ace but it shifts electronically. We spec’d these women’s specific design bikes with this because it doesn’t have shift levers but rather shift “buttons”. This means that it doesn’t take as much effort to shift as it did before. Great for people with small hands or weak wrists!

We will be getting in a fleet of these (size 44-54cm) within the next month for people to demo. We are very excited to be getting these in!


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