Updated: 07/29/2014 8:25 AM
Created: 07/28/2014 10:52 AM WDIO.com
If you have not bought a new bike within the last decade, this story is for you. We caught up with Kraig Decker, the marketing director at Continental Ski and Bike in Duluth. We asked what's new?
"The materials they're using, they're getting a lot nicer as far as ride quality, weight," says Decker. "And also the components and features."
In shop, we find some wild bikes. Some with crazy suspension. One bike had just one arm going down to the wheel, just like what you'd find on a car. The brakes are also getting more sophisticated. Most newer bikes have disk brakes, especially the ones that go through a range of terrain.
"On a rim break, you have wet, muddy on the rim surface," says Decker. "When the brake applies, it takes a few revolutions before you wear away all the muck to have good breaking."
Tired of changing your gears by hand? How about an electronic gear shifter?
"Traditionally, for the last 100 years it's been run by cables, switching all your gears," explains Decker. "This is actually electronically done."
Decker says carbon fiber frames are gaining in popularity. The reason is they are incredibly light and strong. The dampening property of carbon fiber makes for a more forgiving ride.
With mountain bikes, it's all about suspension. We're shown an extreme example of a bike with multiple coils and shocks.
"This is for going down crazy terrain, banked corners, jumps, rocks, roots," says Decker with a smile. "Your likelihood of getting hurt on that terrain is pretty high."
Decker says that popularity of "nitche" bikes are growing the fastest.
People don't want to go out an casually ride," says Decker. "They want to have a fat bike, a road bike. They want to do something that's really different."
Fat bikes are also turning heads. Big tires for easy control in sand, snow, and ice which is perfect for extreme Northland riding. They've been around for about a decade, but interest is growing at an exponential rate. The price, however, can be big as well.
Right now, your most inexpensive fat bike is still $1,500. But, Decker says he thinks the price will drop in a couple years as popularity continues to grow.
And that road bike with the electronic shifter? It runs about $5,000. Probably not for the casual rider.
As Duluth advances its biker conscience, connecting bike trails and building new ones, you can bet you'll see more fancy bikes on the road, and on the trail, in the years to come.
Missing Duluth Kids Found in Buffalo, New York
The Duluth Police Department says two children reported missing have been found safe. The department announced Friday evening that 7-month-old Shaniya Chism and 2-year-old Jameicia Chapman were found in Buffalo, New York.
Girls-Only Shop Class Aims to Narrow Industry Gender Gaps
More women are now pursuing STEM fields, but there's still huge gender gaps in industries like manufacturing, machining and carpentry. a girls-only shop class at one Northland high school might be a way to change that.
FEMA Awards Grant to Lake County to Mitigate Structure Fires
FEMA has awarded Lake County, Minnesota over $500,000 in a grant for the addition of metal roofing to 65 residential and commercial structures. Construction on some of the buildings can start as soon as the roofing season in northeastern Minnesota begins.
MN Congressional Delegation and Lt. Gov. Meet at White House About Steel Imports
Minnesota's federal lawmakers met with officials at the White House on Friday, to press their case about the problem of steel imports.
Gogebic Taconite Withdraws Wisconsin Application
The state Department of Natural Resources says a company that was looking to open a huge iron mine in northern Wisconsin has officially withdrawn its plans. Gogebic Taconite was considering digging a 4½-mile long mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior but announced last month it was closing its office in Hurley and future investment in the project wasn't feasible.