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Springtime Exploration by bike

Here in Ashland, winter means we ride our bikes in the valley floor, and ski up in the mountains; but as spring begins to take hold, we follow the receding snow up and into the mountains as the roads and trails we love are once again uncovered.

Because the floors of the various valleys around here get hot as summer approaches, rides that tie in both valley and mountains tend to have a short ideal riding window, or need to be done with careful attention paid to when you’ll be in the low, hot areas, and when you’ll be up higher. Right now, the window is good for the red cinder roads to the East of the Cascade Siskiyou Monument, so a friend and I decided to spend the day exploring the roads that link the Iron Gate Reservoir and Copco Lake in California to the Cascade Siskiyou Monument to the North in Oregon.

Following the old road up to and over Siskiyou Summit, we descended down into Hilt, the first town on the California side of the border—noting along the way, and with quite a lot of dismay, that the landowners along the decommissioned section (that has long been a favorite cycling route) had really closed it this time. This probably means that the right-of-way will go away, and the roadway will get grandfathered in to those who live along it. One more piece of beautiful broken pavement gone, and I'd like to allocate some of the water that was blurring my vision as I careened down the interstate at 45 mph to be tears shed in its memory, if that's all right....

Between Hilt and Hornbrook, the only the only connectors are small, rough, and steep, and since we were going to be covering a fair bit of ground, we wanted to take the more efficient route, so we hopped on the interstate. It wasn’t long though before those few miles were over, and we were back on small roads.

My favorite barn in Hornbrook with some of the CORP train's cars behind it

In Hornbrook, we got to see the CORP train sitting with its cars loaded with plywood while mechanics’ backs peeked out from the open doors of one of its locomotive’s engine compartment. I like Hornbrook, but like many of the towns that grew up around the railroad and logging, it seems to be struggling to find its way forward. Last year parts of it got burned in the Klamathon fire, but overall, it’s looking pretty good, I think as we pass through on our way out to the Klamath River, which we’ll follow up to the reservoir.

In another example of the ups and downs of an area with limited economic activity, the Fish Hook Restaurant is closed now. Three years ago, when I last did this ride, I was surprised to find it open and went in to have a piece of pie and hear about how many eagles there were in the area and how the water tasted like soap or hairspray…I can’t quite remember which, but it didn’t sound very tasty. I slowly steer off memory lane and back onto the road as it tilts upward leading to the first summit with a view of the reservoir.

Climbing into the rocky hills around Irongate Reservoir

Iron Gate Reservoir is beautiful this time of year. The grass is green, the water is high, and the Klamath River flowing out of it is cold and gleeful. Later in the summer it will probably be full of toxic algae that gets started in the water that's warmed by its time in the reservoir, but right now it’s beautiful as we roll along beside it.

Cruising along the water
Irongate Reservoir

Around the North side of the reservoir we turn off the main road and climb up onto the higher ground to the North of the lakes, where we meander through a maze of red cinder roads that skirt the Monument. Once our bikes are well-coated with red dirt, we emerge onto the pavement that we’ll take back to Ashland. Whenever I ride in this area, I inevitably find myself thinking that I’m either farther along than I am, or that I have farther to go than I really do because the pines just stretch out in all directions, and the road is undulating, but not enough to really tell you where you are. The climbs aren’t terribly steep, but they seem to go on for ages…so it’s a welcome sight when we finally we make it to the sign that tells us that Tub Springs is only 1/2 mile away, and I’m happy for that because the water at Tub Springs is tasty, and I could really go for a swig of tasty water right about now!

After we stop and talk to a woman who’s filling up jugs with spring water, we set off for the final leg of our ride.

Just a bit more climbing a few more miles, and we’re at the top of the Greensprings Summit. From here it’s all downhill for long enough to give you a neck-cramp! The views on the descent down into the Rogue Valley are lovely, and this time of year the grass is green and the Vetch is spreading out like giant purple paint-splashes across the landscape. It’s times like these that I really love my Chromapops! But it’s not all super-saturated colors and polarized skies: the wind is blowing up the valley and into our faces as we tick off the last miles of the ride so that when we finally pull into town, I’m ready to clean up, make some late lunch, and enjoy the day’s memories from the comfort of my couch.

Rides like these are one of the reasons I love this area, but when I think about it, I’ve found similar ones everywhere I’ve lived. In most places it seems that the trick is looking for the small roads, and spending time poring over maps at home. I’ve found that if I look at maps enough, I just can’t stay home: I have to go out and explore to see what all those twisty lines actually look like on the ground. Getting to see what the unexplored (by me) places on the map really look like is probably one of my favorite things about riding a bike, and every time I get to do some exploring, I end up with even more ideas for other places I want to check out!  So keep an eye out for those little roads because they might just end up being your next favorite ride!

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Onyx Racing Hubs Are Here!

Today we're really excited to announce that we're adding Onyx Racing Products' hubs to our catalogue! 

And for a limited time you can get 15% off any pair purchased using code "ONYX_PAIR" until FEB 28th.

Minnesota based Onyx has been around for many years, having started out making hubs for BMX racing, and has slowly been gaining a following in large part because of their unique Sprag Clutch freehub, which gives virtually instant engagement (technically there's a tiny amount of rotation needed to engage the clutch, but take it from us: it's imperceptible) and infinite engagement points.  

After the instant engagement of the freehub, the next thing that jumps out about these hubs is what happens when you stop pedaling: silence!  In a world where loud freehubs are synonymous with high-quality and fast-engagement, Onyx hubs are a total anomaly because of their silent freewheeling.  And there's more to that silence than quiet: because when you coast, the sprags disengage, there is almost no drag caused by the freehub mechanism.  This is a big departure from traditional pawl-based freehubs, which generally employ some combination of more pawls and stronger pawl-springs to ensure quick engagement, which translates to more surfaces dragging across more teeth with greater friction, and therefore more drag. 

Onyx's road hubs are heavily relieved to shed weight, and like all of their hubs, are available in a huge range of colors!

To complement the low-drag freehub mechanism, Onyx hubs come stock with Enduro hybrid ceramic bearings to lower drag even more!  Hybrid ceramic bearings have lower drag than their steel counterparts, and are an upgrade that few hubs come with out of the box.  The fact that Onyx hubs come with them stock just shows that racing is more than just part of their name: it's part of their entire design ethic.  These bearings are protected from the elements with extremely tight tolerances in the bearing covers, and a labyrinth seal between the freehub driver body and hubshell.  And for those who want either full ceramic or full steel bearings, they are replaceable when and if they wear out.  

Onyx offers the Helix hubshell option on many of their hubs to save even more weight and give a truly unique look

Beyond the bearings themselves, Onyx hubs have an easy to use, and very solid bearing preload adjuster mechanism (with titanium bolts), which can really help get the most life out of a set of bearings, and which we feel is a great feature on any hub.  It makes adjusting the bearings possible (which a good thing to be able to do even with cartridge bearings), and also makes disassembling the hub much easier.

So can you get one to fit your bike?  The answer is almost undoubtedly "yes"!  From fatbike to road, BMX to boost singlespeed disc hubs, there is an Onyx for just about any spacing and configuration! 

If there's a downside to the design of these hubs it's that the sprag clutch is relatively heavy.  There is simply a bit more steel in the freehub than is necessary in most other designs.  Whether this is a big deal to you, is a decision you'll have to make, but we tend to feel that the benefits are worth the bit of extra weight for most riders.  For reference, a standard rear ISO disc mount Onyx hub weighs about 100 grams more than a comparable hub from Chris King.  It's something; but it's not unreasonable by any means, and we feel that the silent, low-drag design makes a small weight trade-off acceptable for most uses.  If you're trying to build an ultralight project bike, you might be better-off going with something from White Industries, but for most other uses, these hubs will be hard to beat. had two different engravings on their set of hubs!  Photo courtesy of

One final, and very important note about these hubs is that you can get custom laser engraving at no extra charge!  When you consider the almost encyclopedic range of color options that the hubs have, and the fact that you can mix and match end cap and axle colors, this means that you can customize them more than just about any other hub on the market!  There are a few limitations on what you can have etched onto a hub, but within reason (think single color mainly), the options are endless!  The photo above from shows that intricate patterns are no problem, so as long as the design is single color and not copyrighted, you should be good to go!

These technically superb hubs are backed by a 5 year warranty, and we're really stoked to have them.  We're excited to be able to offer something that offers riders a unique product that has proven extremely durable and functional, and are happy to answer any questions about them so let us know if you've got any!  Also note that if you don't see a configuration on our site, just get in touch because it may take us some time to get everything up! 

In the meantime, head on over to the product page to take a look at the options!

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Custom parts kits are our specialty!

Do you want to make a matching kit, but aren't sure how to do it? We're here to help!

One of the things we enjoy most is helping our customers get the best parts kit for their bikes.  Sometimes that means something as simple as making sure they get the right headset or bottom bracket for their bike, but other times that means helping them match-up parts from various manufacturers to create a cohesive group that will give them a beautiful and functional build!  And remember also that just because these photos don't have wheels as part of them, we can also build complete wheels to fill-out your kit!

Because White Industries offers their cranksets with a variety of extractor cap colors, you can match your cranks to the rest of your parts in a really low-key, but effective way! This kit includes the White Industries M30 crank with Chris King ISO B Front and ISO B Rear Hubs, and a Chris King Threadfit 30 bottom bracket in Matte Punch.

Not everyone knows that Chris King makes beautiful headset spacers to match their other parts. This kit includes their ISO AB Front and ISO B Rear Hubs, Threadfit 30 Bottom Bracket, InSet 2 Headset, and Spacer Kit all in Matte Slate.
This White Industries kit includes the M30 Crank, BSA Threaded Bottom Bracket, and Zero-Stack 44 / External Cup 44 Headset in blue.

Sometimes black is best! This kit includes White Industries' M30 Crank, BSA Threaded Bottom Bracket, and Zero Stack 44 / External Cup 44 Headset all in black.

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AVT.Bike Will Not Pass On White Industries Price Increases!

Our friends at White Industries recently put out the following statement (below) regarding a pricing surcharge due to increased raw materials costs as a result of recently imposed tariffs. At AVT our entire business is built around brands that manufacture in the USA and we're proud to support this.

As a result we at AVT will not be passing on any price increases to you the end consumer... White Industries prices will stay the same for the foreseeable future. We love what White Industries are doing, and consider their products to be not only incredibly well designed and engineered, but also great value for money.

As an added bonus you can also get further discounts on certain White Industries products including CLD & XMR hub pairs, and G30 cranks as part of our CROSSISCOMING August Sale. Shop the entire sale here.

White Industries Statement:

"We wanted to give you guys an update on some changes you will be seeing for hopefully a short period.

TARIFF surcharge

In your recent orders you may have noticed there is a now a line item that says, "TARIFF SURCHARGE: USA COMMODITY INCREASE DUE TO RECENTLY IMPOSED TARIFFS."

The surcharge is due to severe increases in material and bearing costs. Despite using US made aluminum, steel, and titanium, we have still seen an increase of well over 28% in raw material cost alone. For this reason we have had to start attaching a 4% surcharge on all orders. Rather than increasing our prices, the tariff surcharge is listed making it easy for us to adjust or hopefully eliminate this surcharge when/if the tariff situation stabilizes. Thank you for understanding."


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Shopping Cart Issues on IOS / Safari

Since we launched the new website a month or so back we've been working to fix a few bugs. One of which was emptying the shopping cart when going through the checkout process using Safari on an IOS device (ie iPhone / iPad).

After some extensive testing we've uncovered the cause...

When we launched the new website we also switched to a fully secure site (with all URL's using HTTPS). For some users that had stored a cookie on Safari from the old site, we suspect this then causes the shopping cart to empty on the new site.

The fix for this is simply to clear your browser cache in the Safari settings in your IOS device as follows.

1. Go to Settings and then Safari:

2. Click on Advanced.

3. Click on Website Data.

4. Select "" by clicking the red circle to the left of it.

5. Select "Delete" to clear the cache just for our website.

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How To Redeem A Gift Certificate

If you're lucky enough to have a gift certificate to use on AVT.Bike here's how to redeem it.

1. Select the product (s) you wish to purchase and add them to the Cart.

2. Checkout as normal.

3. When you get to the Checkout page you'll need to either login to an existing account or create a new one.

4. When you get to the Shipping section of the Checkout process, enter your Gift Certificate in the field shown and hit Apply.

5. This will then apply the Gift Certificate to your Account Balance (please note it does not apply it to the Basket total directly). You'll know the Gift Certificate has been applied as it will display this success message at the top of the page:

And then it will also show "Apply Credit Balance" alongside the other payment methods:

6. Select "Apply Credit Balance" as your payment method even if you still need to pay the balance of the order using Credit Card or PayPal. Click "Continue To Payment" which will show this "Payment" section of the checkout. 

7. Select your preferred payment method to pay the balance and hit "Complete Order", this will display a secure credit card payment screen hosted by Braintree (or direct you to PayPal if you selected that method). You will also see on the right hand side that the Gift Card has been applied and the balance to be charged is shown:

8. That's it! Sit back, wait for your email confirmation and your goods in a few days...

Any questions at all on redeeming gift certificates just Contact Us.

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New Website: What's New On AVT.Bike

Improved Navigation

With so many products and different categories on our site we wanted to make it much easier for you to find the product you're looking for. Our new Fly-Out navigation lists each of the major product categories and their sub categories. From there you can navigate via the category pages to find exactly what you're looking for.

More Product Information

On the product page you'll now find much more product related information. Starting with a gallery to showcase multiple product images which we'll be adding to over time. In addition to this we've added related products, and clear information on shipping & delivery times. Finally for major brands such as Chris King, White Industries and Phil Wood you'll find a brand specific footer with further product information.

Responsive Design Including Mobile Compatability

Our new site uses a responsive design so whatever screen size you view this on it will scale to suit. This includes mobile, enabling you to browse product and checkout from your phone.

New Payment Gateway

We've integrated PayPal's Braintree Payment Gateway into the new site to provide a 100% secure and PCI compliant payment process whether you are paying via credit card or PayPal.

User Accounts Carry Over

If you had created an account on our old website, this has been migrated over but you now need to login using your Email Address (and not Username). Your password will remain the same and all of your address details will have been moved over. Going forward you will be able to view any purchase history, but this does not apply to orders prior to June 2018. We still have a full archive of any past orders, so please contact us if you have any questions regarding historical orders.

Free International Shipping

In addition to our existing Free USA Shipping over $75 we've now added a free International Shipping option for orders over $350. Please consult our shipping policies page for more info on this as it only applies to First Class USPS International Shipping.

New Products

You find new products on the site from Astral by Rolf Prima, Knight Composites, Our own AVT Works Custom Wheels and Paul Components latest Purple Ltd Edition Pre-Order amongst others.

Revised Legal Terms & Email Usage

In line with recent EU legislation related to how customer data is used (otherwise known as GDPR), we've updated all of our legal disclaimers; Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions, Returns Policy, Warranty Policy. We've also adjusted how we collect emails related to newsletter subscriptions to be fully GDPR compliant.

Comments, Feedback & Suggestions

We hope that you find the changes we've made useful and that they improve your browsing and purchasing experience. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions we'd love to hear them via the contact us page.

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