News

Winter Biking Guide

Winters in Minnesota can be harsh, just take a look at the Minnesota DNR’s “Winter Misery Index.” But we’re a hardy bunch, and over the years many of us at Dero have adapted to, even embraced, riding our bicycles year-round. Between our office staff, we have over four decades of winter riding experience! How did each of us come to enjoy cold weather riding? Read on for our winter biking highlights, challenges, and tips on getting started.

How many seasons have you ridden in the winter?

  • Chad, sales administrator: This is my third year riding through the winter//living in Minneapolis.
  • Natalia, sales coordinator: Going on year 11!
  • Ben, marketing specialist: This will be my 10th winter of riding.
  • Jenn, sales coordinator:  I’ve ridden the last 14 winters.
  • Bri, marketing director: Five, I think.

What is most challenging about winter biking?

  • Natalia: Long stretches of darkness makes it tougher to get out of bed with enough time to commute. Otherwise, for fun it’s not hard to get out the door!
  • Ben: Variable conditions–i.e. Snow, ice, mud–makes everything take longer when riding during the winter. So budgeting the appropriate travel time is one of my biggest challenges.
  • Jenn: The darkness! I am so bad about keeping my lights charged. The bright, super duper crisp cold below zero mornings filled with sparkling, crunchy snow and plenty of sunshine are gorgeous and make up for night descending upon us at 4:30pm.
  • Bri: The distance, but I’m lucky to have the option to take the light rail for half of the way (in any season).

Favorite part of winter biking?

  • Chad: I love the calm and stillness that you experience while riding during winter, I love watching the snow come down in heavy heaps through the yellow glow of the street lights. It’s all quite romantic. I also appreciate the process of building of a winter bike. I’ve learned more each year about what makes a fun and efficient winter bike.
  • Natalia: I think it’s one of the most beautiful and still times of the year to ride.
  • Ben: To be honest, what I most enjoy about winter riding is the dearth of other riders. I savor the quiet and stillness afforded by the colder temps and empty bike trails.
  • Jenn: I love how the landscape of the city completely changes. Minneapolis is lush and green all spring and summer. In the winter, the bare trees and absence of underbrush show a spartan river landscape full of birds of prey, deer, and other critters usually hidden by the foliage. You can hear the ice on the lakes and river moaning and creaking like an ominous song. It might seem strange, but without the bawdy flowers and thick, dark leaves, the city seems like a much more wild and untamed place.
  • Bri: It feels like you own the trails – and the stillness.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to try riding in the winter?

  • Chad: If you want to get riding in the winter, I’d recommend good gear for your digits and extremities. Good gloves, warm boots and a wool neck gaiter are essential, in my opinion. I would also caution against getting overdressed, you’ll warm up pretty quickly when riding and you can always carry an extra layer to throw on should you get cold.
  • Natalia: Go slower to avoid falls and give yourself more time to get there. Bring a bag so you can add or remove layers as needed. YOU DON’T NEED A FAT BIKE TO RIDE IN THE WINTER (but it can make it really fun if you want to go off-road).
  • Ben: Check the weather before you first set out, and make sure to pack appropriate layers for your return trip. A 10-degree difference later on can make a huge impact on your comfort. As you experience various conditions, try keeping a log or journal of your riding setup. Over time, your collected observations will help you feel prepared for any winter riding scenario.
  • Jenn: Jump in at a level that feels achievable for you. Riding your bike to a bus or train stop to supplement your journey is a great starting point! Basing your standard of success on someone who’s been doing it for 10+ years will likely prove to be too daunting. Try one day a week and see how it goes! You usually figure it out pretty quickly- what’s going right and what you might need to change.
  • Bri: It doesn’t have to be every day, just try it once a week! Layers, layers, layers. It will take some time to figure out how much to wear – even after all this time I sometimes screw up. I highly recommend wool base layers.
 

Anything else you want to share?

  • Chad: Gear down, stay loose and enjoy the moments.
  • Ben: Winter biking can have steeper learning curve than other modes of riding. Give yourself time and don’t be afraid to ask others for advice.
  • Jenn: Riding in the winter is something a lot of us do for convenience and a few frankly for bragging rights, but the reality is that there are many more who simply have to, because it’s their only source of reliable transportation. Minneapolis makes this easier than most places I’ve been through miles and miles of dedicated cycling infrastructure that is often plowed and cleared even before the main arterial streets in the morning. However, I think we have great strides to go in order for cycling to be accessible to everyone.
  • Bri: Fat bikes are awesome. Studded tires are awesome. Winter biking is awesome.
News

New STEELGREEN™ Planters for Protected Bike Lanes

Designed by DEZIGNLINE™ and sold exclusively by Dero, STEELGREEN™ Planters are designed to create safer streets. These 4-foot long multi-purpose planters are perfect for bike lane buffer zones: protective, green, portable, and customizable to promote community identity. Manufactured by Dero with 100% steel and galvanized for rust resistance, the strong, durable basin is available in numerous colors, and their forklift-ready base can be anchored to the surface for added stability. Planters are also appropriate for transit corridors, streetscapes, pedestrian malls, urban plazas, corporate and academic campuses, and more.

 

For bike lane buffer zones at signalized intersections, add the PEDISTILL® Hand+Foot Rest, an optional accessory that turns STEELGREEN Planters into convenient red-light rest stops. Bicyclists grab, hold, and enjoy staying on their bikes while waiting for the green light. Available in galvanized finish, choose the hand rail, the foot plate (complete with non-skid surface), or both.

PediStill

STEELGREEN Planters are customizable. Basins are available in a galvanized finish, or in a color that reflects your community’s branding. Optional ARTPANELs (galvanized or color) are 24”L x 8”H removable steel panels featuring a standard bicycle graphic, city logos, or other custom imagery and even advertising. For streetscape use, STEELGREEN Planters can be ordered with galvanized locking rails around the top rim to make bike parking and locking easy.

STEELGREEN Planters are a part of the Streetscapes product line, which also includes BIKERAIL.  Cities can quickly and easily combine STEELGREEN Planters with BIKERAIL sections to create highly protective and aesthetically pleasing bikeway corridors.  STEELGREEN™ Planters are patent pending.

Bike Storage

Introducing the Dero Two-Tier Bike Locker

Dero takes long-term bicycle storage to new heights with the new Two-Tier Bike Locker. Building on Dero’s popular single-tier bike locker platform and Dero Decker 2-tier bike rack, this multi-level locker is easy to load and provides a high-level of security.

The Two-Tier Bike Locker provides a space-saving solution to meet the increasing demand for covered bike parking. Municipalities, governments, universities, and businesses will love the sturdy steel construction with locking options that include a u-lock/padlock compatible handle or a keyed lock, while bicyclists will appreciate the enclosed security and optional gear hooks.

The Two-Tier Bike Locker ships flat to save on freight, comes in galvanized and powder coat finish options, and has a modular design.

News

QBP’s Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship

If we haven’t already made it abundantly clear, most everyone at Dero loves bikes. What you might not know is that many of us got our starts in the bike world working at local bike shops. In 2015 when our friends at Quality Bicycle Products approached us about helping sponsor a femme, trans, and women-only scholarship to help more underrepresented folks gain bike mechanic and industry skills, we jumped at the opportunity.

Three years later, we are proud to continue our support of QBP’s Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship. Read the full details and find the link to apply below.

The QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship is dedicated to increasing gender diversity within the bike industry. Funded by QBP and brand partners, scholarship recipients attend the United Bicycle Institute’s 2-week Professional Repair and Shop Operation class in Oregon.

Equipped with the expertise and connections gained from this class, scholarship recipients can affect even greater change in their communities, making bikekind a more inclusive place for us all. Through hands-on learning, component-by-component study, and formal lecture, scholarship recipients come away with the skills to advance their careers in the bike industry, gain advanced mechanical knowledge, and deepen their bike industry network.

Thanks to the success of past years and the generous support of our sponsors, this year we’re excited to send 32 women on this adventure.

APPLY HERE

You can read the full list of eligibility requirements at QBP’s site, or email [email protected] for further information.

News, Public Bike Repair

New Dero Metal Head™

The new Dero Metal Head™ is ready to rock the world of public bicycle repair. As the only all-metal pump head currently available, the Metal Head’s sturdy cast aluminum construction and easy-to-use functionality takes center stage.

Metal Pump Head

Additionally, the new pump head features universal Presta and Schrader valve compatibility, and its rubber gaskets are serviceable with a separately available kit.

Metal Pump Head

Paired with our steel-reinforced, rotating hydraulic hose and robust line of Air Kit bicycle pumps, you’ll be singing praises for the Metal Head’s durability.

Metal Heads require occasional maintenance and replacing of parts to remain serviceable.