Freeze thaw cycles

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The Stumpjumper has a new fork that’s actually an old fork of the same color from another bike. Now, it resembles the 1984 Stumpjumper, but with mid-fork rack eyelets. Studded tires and fenders are key to urban cycling; it hasn’t snowed in a week and over twelve hours of sunlight makes some meltwater during the day as snowbanks fade in gothic grace. At night, puddles freeze into icy mirrors. Footprints and tire tracks are fossilized until the light of tomorrow.

Spring mania has set in as roofs are shoveled and bikes are awakened from hibernation. For months, everyone ate and slept too much. Now, they’re buying road bikes even as the roads are still iced over. Anticipation.

Freeze Thaw Cycles is the name of an exceptional bike shop in State College, PA. They stock practical touring and commuting cycles, as well as interesting used equipment and mountain bikes for the local state forest. They had a small stash of 86mm BCD chainrings for my SR Apex triple in 2008 when I first visited. They also supplied a used LX rear derailleur to replace mine, which had seized. For a few days, I had to cross rumble-strips to shift to a smaller cog.

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8 thoughts on “Freeze thaw cycles

  1. Thanks for the new desktop background image. There was a time when almost every bike shop in America had just such a sign. I bought my first big-boy bicycle under such a sign, in 1962. A Schwinn (of course) hand-built stingray conversion. I can’t remember what the original schwinn frame was that was used for these conversions but back then nobody had a factory stingray. The shops and garage gangs were building them and every kid I knew had a hand built one. There was a kind of rivalry between the different makes, and while schwinn was the Palomino there was something else that was considered a little rougher and faster, the Arabian version. It’s on the tip of my tongue but I am old and forgetful.

    • Duke, This shop’s been around since 1963(?), now called The Bicycle Shop. The head mechanic has been there since 1978, when he was still in high school. Don’t be deceived by the sheen of Salsa and Specialized bikes within, this place is old-school. Let us know when your memory returns with the name of the Arabian.

    • Mary, Freeze Thaw had a “wheelbuilding couch” when I first visited. In the new location, it looks more like a bike shop.

      D.C. looks nice these days. I miss the spring season in Maryland, but not those summers.

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