Taking some down time

Taking Some Down Time

Dream Cycle Is Going On Vacation!

But don’t worry, it’s only for a week!

We think bike shop employees deserve some fun in the Summertime too, so we will be closed August 10th – 14th

(of course with our usual schedule that means we will be closed from the 8th to the 16th)

55cm Soma Grand Randonneur in Stock!

We see a lot of bikes at Dream Cycle, but the Soma Grand Randonneur is unique: The lightest Soma frame, it has the geometry of a vintage road bike, but is optimized to carry a front load.

Pictured above, the model we have in stock is the third version of the Grand Randonneur. With this new version, Soma has tweaked the steering to be extra smooth while maintaining the low trail geometry in the front of the frame. Designed for 650b rims, it can now run tyres up to a width of 47mm. In keeping with its classic aesthetic, it takes a 1″ threaded headset, but has been modernized to be through-axle.

We currently have one such frame in stock, a 55cm Grand Randonneur in Moss Green. We’re selling the frame for $1250—Come by the shop and check it out!

Bike Sales / Consultations $50.00

If you’ve scheduled a consultation with us, you should be prepared to help us out with the following information. Think contact points: Handlebars, Saddle, and Pedals. It helps us out if you have an idea of what style of handlebar you’d like on your next bike. You can find a comprehensive database of handlebars at www.whatbars.com, a site developed by a Canadian showing grid of most of the bars available to us from our suppliers. During the consult, we can show you some of these bars, and talk about the features and benefits of each bar. WhatBars is the only quality database of handlebars, so you should take advantage of it. For pedals, you may need to scour the internet. We sell pedals from manufactures like Shimano, MKS, Blackspire (Made in BC), Wellgo, and Exustar. You may need to do the same for saddles; we mostly sell Brooks Saddles in either classic leather or Cambium rubber. If there is a particular saddle you like, make a note, and we can include it in your quote. The more detailed information you can provide, the better and faster your consult will be. If you have some parts that you want to bring to the build, you should either bring them in for us to look at, or, at the very least, make notes about exactly what they are, e.g. if you have a rim or hub then we need to know the exact hole count to ensure we can match it up with the correct rim. Finally, let us know if you’d like any accessories, such as fenders/mud guards, or racks included with your bike.

Service News During the Pandemi!

We are definitely dealing with some challenges during these times on multiple fronts. One, with a 50% increase in cycling the demands for service work are at an all time high. So unfortunately we can no longer accept bikes in for service Tune Ups that we didn’t sell. That being said, we will however help you with small repairs like flat tires & minor adjustments. It’s best to bring your bike to us Tuesday-Saturday so we can see what your bike needs & if we decide at that point we can take your bike in for repair or possibly schedule a repair once the parts come in. We cannot guarantee that you can leave your bike with us as we are a tiny shop and we ‘Fill Up’ quickly. Two, increased demands for bikes & bike parts have also riddled us with availability. Suppliers & manufacturers all over are dealing with wait times up to 2 years on some makes and models. We recently heard that new Surly frames & bikes will not land until 2023. We do have a lot of product in stock & will offer whatever we have to get you rolling..

Hang in there, we’ll we’ll do our best, so keep your head up & rubber side down!

Love peace & bike grease for the Dream Team.

Darren, Ethan, Cam, Zed & H-E double Henry sticks

NEW SPRING HOURS 2021

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Closed Sunday – Monday

Tuesday – Thursday 12pm – 5pm

Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm

CLOSED all statutory holidays.

January Closure

This January we’ll be closing the doors for a much needed renovation.

We’ll be back in February 2021.

Stay safe!

Soma Dream Handlebar Collaboration

When is a handlebar more than a handlebar? Sure the 25° backsweep is massive and anything outside the regular 7-9° range is automatically interesting if only because it’s different. The 50mm rise is massive but it seems these days every third rider is on a Chromag FU40 with a couple headset spacers underneath so that might just be perfect. For those that like to experiment, 50 USD isn’t a huge outlay to try something different and that in itself is interesting as normally niche products come with a niche price tag.

No, I think what makes the Soma Dream bar interesting is the fact it’s a collaboration between Soma Fabrications and a local bike shop, Vancouver’s Dream Cycle, to bring to market a product they felt was missing from riders’ options. In an industry of largely piffling improvements, I truly hope it’s a harbinger of more manufacturers mining for products – big and small – that could make a difference for enough riders to matter instead of offering another limited colourway.

Going way back to the year 5 BC* or so I sort of knew a couple of guys who worked at FSA in Washington State named Chris and Sam. They were into rickshaws and tall-bike jousting and backroom-brazing their own geometry experiments. In a word: interesting. And most interesting, to me, was that they were into modifying existing parts to work better for them.

Whether it was micro-cutting crown races into split races so they could be installed without tools or filing horizontal dropouts to shorten wheelbases it inspired me to cut, grind, file, and thread my own ideas – one of my favourite hobbies to this day. It also made me acute to the plethora of fantastic bike hacks and interesting ideas floating around our little human-powered bicycle world.

*BC = Before Clutch (Derailleur)

As the bike industry matures there continues to be evolution when it comes to both design and componentry but by a large measure this progress is revisionary. Increasing stiffness, adding a cog, bumping up reach until it’s necessary to reduce offset, etc.

There are exceptions. Riders were coming up with various ways to jury-rig handlebar extenders long before FSA started manufacturing the Gravity Light 800mm in 2007. I know plenty of folks who were riding 1x drivetrains on their trail bikes before SRAM released their first 10-42t cassettes. But for every crazy idea like HammerSchmidt or the Wolftooth Tanpan or even the Wheels Manufacturing Emergency Hanger* that are dreamed up and then produced, how many never make it past the bullshitting over a beer phase?

*These were awesome when most bikes had 10mm QR rear ends and hangers were all made of cheese. I was regularly lending mine out.

Now back to what you’re thinking. Yes, this is just a bloody handlebar, not something innovative like an affordable -2° angleset. Is it a wide, 780mm, cruiser bar or a massively swept back regular width mountain bike bar? Both. According to the folks at Dream Cycle, it’s modeled after mountain bike bars in the 1980s and intended for the same purpose as those bikes – comfortably getting off the pavement and seeing things under your own power.

These days it’s called bike packing, touring, and sometimes gravel grinding* and I’m sure many other nuanced categories of riding.

*The steel bike full-dangle DSLR in the bar-bag kind – not the Rapha kit and 30mm travel Lauf fork kind.

Shopping

I’ve appreciated Dream Cycle’s bicycle philosophy since the shop opened on Commerical Drive in 2006. They know what they do* and for almost 13 years they’ve been doing it. Take a quality steel frame – road, commuter, mountain, cruiser, fat bike, etc – and then min-max the part spec so it’s pumped up where a rider will really notice it over the life of the bike and budget where they won’t.

When Darren et. al, are not pumping out repairs they build everything from commuter bikes on a budget to full custom dream machines – from the frame up.

*It’s been said that the secret of success in business is knowing what you don’t do.

I mention it because, despite being a small shop, building bike spec custom from the ground up gives Dream outsized pull with manufacturers they’ve supported long term who are looking to make aftermarket sales and I think there are a number of shops specializing in frame-up custom mountain bike builds who could be doing the same – not to mention manufacturers that could really use some fresh products.

Just this week I overheard a conversation about trying to build a bike for a customer who’s bought into the industry drive to stick the shortest riders on long travel 29″ bikes. Where are the negative rise handlebars, aside from boutique Syntace options, to deal with massive minimum stack heights? Where are the dropper posts that also move the saddle forward to allow for tire-saddle clearance with dropper posts longer than 100mm?

Soma Dream Bar

More than all that, where are all the companies making 12°, 14°, 16°, and 18° backsweep bars in mountain bike widths? Yeah, most riders will probably stick with 7-9° but guess what – they’re covered with infinite options. At this point, I’m happy to have one great option for the 16° | 780mm bar my wrists and elbows prefer.

How much backsweep is too much? I tried a number of different stems with the Soma Dream Bar. There’s no direct translation of bar sweep and stem length, something I discovered dialing in the SQLab 16°, but I was generally happiest with +40mm over a 9° bar and +30mm over my 16° bar.

The climbing position is a surprisingly awesome combination of comfort and power and I could sit longer on my single speed and happily move a higher ratio with gears. It was even great on steep single track climbs like No Quarter. The 25° back | 5° up combo is comfortable with a higher position and on gravel paths and tamer trails, the long stem puts enough weight over the front end to maintain descending capabilities.

Once trails get steep and technical I was quickly out of my element on the Soma Dream. I found the handling vague when rolling into steeps, and both bikes I used it on became a handful to control at speed in rock gardens or any situations with a loose surface. It’s the perfect ultra-comfy bar for the bike I ride everywhere other than the trails I regularly ride.

So yeah, it’s a brilliant piece of kit. It’s not something-for-everyone, but I’m positive that the unique combination of dimensions and price will make for no shortage of Dream Bar sales. More importantly, I hope it stokes Soma, and other manufacturers, to go out and look for the other bar dimensions that would be in demand if they existed. And from there – what other non belly button products are missing?

The Dream Bar sells for 50 USD at Soma or any Soma Dealer near you. It comes in a polished black or silver finish and has 25° backsweep, 5° upsweep, and a 50mm rise in a 780mm length. And it fits a 31.8mm stem clamp.

Article originally written by Andrew Major for NSMB