ZenCog Bicycle Company: Riverside's Bike Shop.

Feb 28: Intro to Bike-Packing

Swing by Jacksonville’s best bike shop on Saturday, Feb 28 at 3pm for a free roundtable discussion about bike-packing and bike touring! Todd and Rosie of Roam the Woods are prepared to take you through the basics of planning, preparing for, and undertaking a bike tour or off-road bike-packing adventure. Check out their bikes and setups they used on their Great Divide tour, and ask all your pressing questions about self-supported touring logistics. What do bears eat, again?

About Roam the Woods

At Roam, we believe in the “Hike your own Hike” philosophy. We bring an informal classroom to the outdoors, teaching you basic skills to enjoy the backcountry safely and confidently. A trip in the woods should be a nice backpacking vacation. Our mission is to provide high quality, economically-conscious, women-focused backpacking courses. Utilizing the wilderness, participants build on and continue to develop self-reliance and confidence in a non-judgmental, supportive group setting. At Roam we learn by doing, slowly building up responsibility as group and individual confidence levels increase. We believe this is your experience and the energy you put in will be a direct result of what is gained from any course with our program. 

 

Get Hitched at ZenCog

hitch, trailer hitch, bike rack hitch, car rack, bike rack, yakima, kuat, thule

So you’re in love. You go everywhere together, and it’s heart-rending when you’re apart for too long. We know the feeling. That’s why we decided to let you take the plunge with us!

You can now get hitched right here at ZenCog!

Once you’ve made the decision, we offer a personal consultation to discover exactly what will work best for both of you (or heck, all four of you). We’ve done all the research, squared away the paperwork, and created a smooth, full-service experience. We’ll do all the legwork and invite you back once everything’s ready to go on the big day.

Then, just drop off your car, pop down to Bold Bean for a leisurely coffee break, and come back to a securely-installed hitch, ready for the bike rack of your choice…from Saris, Thule, Yakima, or perhaps Küat. Simple as that! You + your bikes, 2gether 4ever. Love is sweet.

For more info on our customized hitch installation, call Jacksonville’s most romantic bike shop at 904-619-0496.

State of the Bike Shop 2015

bike shop owner, cyclist, presidential, Garf Cooper, Surly, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Fat Bike

State of the ‘Cog 2015

Last month’s State of the Union address got our gears turning, and we thought we’d do a little year-in-review of all the great ZenCoggery that took place last year, and hazard a few predictions for 2015.

So, my fellow Jacksonvillians,

We are five years into the life of our shop. So first is an expression of love and gratitude to ALL of our customers. You guys bought more bikes, components, and accessories, and got more shit fixed in the first eight months of 2014 as you did in ALL of 2013. Loyal folks who spread the word to their friends that we provide a great service, with syrup on top, are how we stay in business to keep doing what we do.

Our goal is to offer bikes that align with our mission: to introduce more people to everyday cycling with practical options like cargo- and child-carrying capabilities, and to help people incorporate cycling into their lifestyles, by outfitting cyclists for bike touring and bike commuting in Jacksonville. We researched and added several new bike lines, with more under consideration.

First, Detroit Bikes, a boutique made-in-America steel bike manufacturer based in — you guessed it — Motor City, USA. They’re committed to building bikes domestically while maintaining an accessible price point.

We also introduced Biria, a cycling company with German roots, with a unique “Easy Boarding” city model with a very low stepover, great for folks with joint stiffness or hip flexibility issues.

For those of you with a thirst for belt drives, internal hubs, and titanium, check out our new line Spot Brand Bicycles for road, cross, and mountain.

We’re now Jacksonville’s exclusive Kona dealer! They have a really great range, from practical commuters to rugged mountain bikes.

Most recently, we got hold of Co-Motion Cycles, an Oregon-built bike company that shares some core values with ZenCog: high on performance, low on hype, with a homegrown spirit and a dedication to integrating bikes into daily life. They offer some of the most bulletproof touring, cyclocross, commuter, road, and adventure models available, with a variety of tandem, tandem+, and airline-friendly options, along with fully customizable paint finishes.

These are all in addition to our time-tested lines including Linus, KHS, 3G, Vilano, and of course our old favorite Surly Bikes. Come on in to check out all the great stuff we’re getting into — we’re here to offer our advice and guidance. First step is always just helping you identify your cycling style and goals.

Now trending: bike tours! We’ve been busy around the shop getting cycle tourists outfitted for tours large and small. In 2014, we built and customized more touring rigs than we did all the way up through 2013! Folks are headed to the West Coast, Canada, South America, across Europe, to the Keys, and even all the way to Japan. We’re stoked about the upswing in people getting in to bike touring. It’s really the best.

Back on the homefront, maybe you noticed we’ve been spiffing up? Not only do we have some new custom built-in storage in the shop (thanks to Matt of our Southeast Alaskan friends Alcan Outfitters), we got a brand new logo in 2014! Karen Kurycki of CMYKaren, based over at CoRK Arts District, pulled out the big guns, taking cues from our classic “ensō” branding and bringing it all together with a logo that really comes full circle. We’re finally introducing new ZenCog-branded gear and you’ve pretty much run through our hat inventory. Keep an eye out for restocks and new shop tees soon, and get in touch if you’re interested in pre-ordering a ZenCog cycling kit later this year.

If you’re reading this, you’re already enjoying our rebuilt website, also a new addition in 2014. So far it’s been super helpful in helping us get the word out about new inventory and talking about upcoming events, not to mention introducing you to our staff of weirdos. Thanks to Katie at Storycrafted for the website build and content services.

The shop and our staff are gung-ho for community events. Anything that brings neighbors together and gets us outside contributing to our hometown is A-OK in our books. Over the last year, we hosted and sponsored a bunch of great events, including the Sweet Water Pub Crawl (raising funds for the St. Johns Riverkeeper), Up the River Downtown (ditto), the Dirty Duval Bike Olympics III, Bikes Beers & Brats, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, two Jax ReCycle bike refurb days, and a handful of hands-on bike skills workshops and bike wash fundraisers.

Three and a half years of weekly rides in, we officially passed the 1500 mile mark with the Saturday morning family R.A.M. Ride. If you haven’t joined us yet, please do! It’s a great way to get comfortable with road riding, introduce your kids to cycling, learn bike-handling and road safety skills, find out about great little places in the community, or just peel you out of bed on a Saturday morning.

Yep, lots of highlights, but running a business always brings learning opportunities. We tried a couple of bike lines that didn’t work out, had a few repairs that took longer than promised, and we’re still looking for my u-lock key. Knowing that in an age of viral Yelp reviews and impromptu Twitter campaigns, when an independent shop like us can be defined by a mistake or a disgruntled customer, we’re grateful to have your continued support, your trust, and your business.

In 2015, we’re looking forward to even more community involvement, honing our focus on bike commuting and bike touring, and finding forever homes for even more of our two-wheeled friends. Maybe we can even outdo our Folio Weekly Best of Jax Runner Up status! (Does that really mean you think we’re one of Jacksonville’s best bike shops?!) We invite you to come talk to us about your bike questions or ideas anytime. And be sure to check here or on Facebook regularly to find out about upcoming events like Intro to Bikepacking on February 28th and Bike Smut in March. Hope to see you here.

My fellow ZenCoggians, “Let’s begin this chapter — together — and let’s start the work right now.”

RIDE BIKES!!

Garfield Cooper, IV
ZenCog Bicycle Company

Surly Superfan Coupon

It’s no secret that here at ZenCog, we’re pretty big fans of Surly Bikes. And if you’ve ever read their blog, you know they live up to their name. They’re fans of steel, they’re not too fancy, and they’re not afraid to build bikes that are great at weird things. Like tackling snow. Or, you know…cold mud here in Florida. Hell, some people think riding a bicycle across the country is a weird thing. We just call it a bike tour.

In fact, they’re one of our favorite bike lines to recommend for touring, and they don’t require a second mortgage. Most of the folks here at the shop have one or two in their bike garages, so you know we’re not trying to sell you on something we don’t believe in. Surlys are our daily drivers, despite being designed for heavy touring, or cyclocross, or mud bogs.

So here’s a little late Christmas present from Surly: $150 off your complete bike purchased between now and April 1. That’s APRIL FOOL’S DAY, but the deadline’s no joke. It’s good for any complete bike in stock at ZenCog or currently available to order. If you’ve been straddling the fence on your Disc Trucker, your Moonlander, or your Straggler, go ahead and pull the trigger. We’ll see you at the shop.

Consignment: Niner 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike – Medium

Niner R.I.P.9 Full Suspension 29er Mountain Bike

SOLD

Aluminum MTB – Size Medium – 2010 or 2011

Components:
Crankset Deore XT w/ Raceface Bashguard & Narrow-Wide 32T chainring
Derailleur Deore XT 10 speed
Cassette Deore XT w/ Wolftooth 42T cog
Pedals Ritchey SPD Style
Brakes Avid Elixir 5 Hydraulic Disc
Brake Rotors Avid 185mm G3CS
Shifter Deore XT 10 speed
Stem Thomson Elite X4 100mm
Handlebar Niner
Seatpost Thomson Elite
Saddle WTB Speed V
Hub (front) Hope Pro II
Hub (rear) Hope Pro II EVO
Rims Stan’s ZTR Flow
Tire (front) Panaracer Rampage 29×2.35
Tire (rear) Maxxis Ardent 29×2.25
Grips Ergon GS1
Fork Fox Talas 29 – Tapered 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″
Shock Fox Float RP23
Great used condition with life left on everything. Traded in by a bike addict only to make room for a fatty.

Accessories included: Bottle cage
Color: Silver/Aluminum
Condition: Very Good – no major scratches or suspension issues, but has been ridden
Price: $2500  

Consignment: Bottechia Custom Build Italian Road Bike – Medium

Early 90s Custom-Build Bottechia Lugged Italian Columbus Steel Road Bike

Frame:
Frame Size 54cm (Medium)
Gorgeous lugged steel

Components:
Shimano Dura-Ace Everything
Mavic Open Pro Rims laced to Dura-Ace hubs
San Marco racing saddle
Downtube shifters

Accessories included:
Bottle cage
Seat bag

Color: Dark Royal Blue

Condition: Good Vintage

Price: $650

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Consignment: Specialized Aluminum Cyclocross Bike – Small

2010 Specialized TriCross Sport Cyclocross Bike

Aluminum Cyclocross Bike – Small

Measurements:
Frame Size 52cm (Small)

Components:
Cantilever brakes
3×9
Read full specs: http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/archive/2010/tricross/tricrosssporttriple#specs

Accessories included:
Frame pump
Bottle cages (2)

Color: Graphite/Black

Condition: Excellent

Price: $650

photo 2 Specialized Cyclocross

Specialized TriCross Sport 2010

Specialized TriCross Sport 2010

Jacksonville Cyclocross Halloween Edition 2014 at Willowbranch Park

On Thursday, October 16, 2014, we saw a great turnout for the final race of the 2014 cyclocross season in Jax. The route was mercifully less muddy than the previous week, but still athletic, requiring leaping traverses of the ditch and a few dismounts for stairs and berms.

I was sick all week so took the excuse to stay off the bike and get these shots. Sorry to whoever had to take my last place this week.

ZenCog lead mechanic Matt Bort (look for Minnie Mouse in the pictures) placed third in his division for the second time this season. We’re so proud.

 

 

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Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day 2014

The International Mountain Biking Association’s 11th annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day took place on October 4th, 2014. SORBA Jax organized a local event at Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park in Jacksonville, Florida.

From IMBA’s website:

TKMBD is an annual celebration held officially on the first Saturday of October. The event, developed and coordinated by IMBA, strives to encourage communities around the world to join together and ride mountain bikes with youth. Over the years we’ve had tens of thousands of kids participate from across the globe, including: Italy, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Malaysia, and Mexico. Informal or formal, one child or 100 children, TKMBD celebrates the joy of riding in the dirt.

Besides being good, healthy fun, the goal is to develop a connection between kids and the natural world around them. Today’s children are tomorrow’s land managers and politicians — future decision-makers for important matters like recreation and access to public lands. How different might our current access landscape look today if previous generations of policy makers had grown up riding bikes on natural-surface trails?

Despite moody weather, Jacksonville’s event had a great turnout of brand-new trail riders and avid groms from four to thirteen. ZenCog owner Garf Cooper joined representatives from several other local bike shops in guiding groups of kids on the trails. He also kindly demonstrated the proper technique for going over your handlebars while traversing an obstacle. (No pictures, unfortunately.)

Check out some photos of the activities below, and mark your calendar for the first Saturday of October, 2015!

 

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Consignment: Red Raven Custom Fixed-Gear (Flip/Flop) Schwinn Pursuit Bike

“Red Raven” Custom Fixed-Gear Pursuit Bike

SOLD

Classic Schwinn Super Sport pursuit frame. 1987, looks brand new.

Own a piece of cycling history and help Raven meet his goal, riding for Multiple Sclerosis: throw a leg over Raven Stands-Alone‘s custom-built track bike for legs like tree trunks. Yes, the chainring really is that big. (Also available: Raven’s Brooks B17 leather saddle in great condition.) Freshly powder-coated, for a squeaky-clean look.

Measurements:
Frame Size 54cm (Medium)
22lbs complete with accessories

Components:
Lugged steel frame (brazed for gears, if you wish)
Flip-/flop hub (currently fixed; can be converted to single speed)
Lightweight anodized platform pedals
Bullhorn handlebars
Rear brake (brazed for front brake also, if you wish)

Accessories included:
Bottle cages (2)
Cateye Cycle Computer
Toe Cages

Color: Red gloss

Condition: Good/Vintage

Price: $500.00 Marked Down! $350

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