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.
Northlanders Work To Improve MN Child Protective Services
After a Minnesota boy died despite 15 reports of child abuse, Governor Mark Dayton organized a task force to improve the system and protect our kids. The group visited Duluth Wednesday for input from people in northeastern Minnesota.
Request Denied to Remove Judge on Peterson Case
A prosecution request to remove the judge handling the felony child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson has been denied.
Bilingual Signs on FDL Reservation Preserve Anishinaabe Culture
Two new bilingual signs have been put up in St. Louis County, to show the English and Ojibwe names of lakes.
Wade Stadium Gets New and Improved AstroTurf
New AstroTurf has been installed at Wade Stadium, and crews will be finishing up the final touches in the coming days. The turf means there won't be the need to water and fertilize the field next year.
YWCA Honors Women of Distinction
The YWCA held a special celebration of women and the roles they play in the community on Wednesday. The honorees at this year's Women of Distinction Award Luncheon include Babette Sandman, Shunu Shrestha, Betty Brasgala and Joan Peterson.