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2509 Sheridan Blvd.
Edgewater, CO 80214

(303) 232-3165

We love riding in the dirt and on pavement, and we respect and service all bikes. We are overjoyed to see you on a bicycle and will do everything we can to keep you rolling. We also sell Surly, Salsa, and Fairdale bikes (because they are rad).



Comparing Surly's Drop Bar Bicycles (Including the Midnight Special)

Yawp Cyclery


Surly just released a bike called the Midnight Special. It's a drop bar bike with a lot of tire clearance. Sound familiar? About two months ago they released another drop bar bike with a lot of tire clearance called the Pack Rat. In fact, before that, they already had a couple of drop bar bikes with a lot of tire clearance. What's going on? Are all of these bikes just excuses for Surly to invent color names like "Expired Yogurt," "Sweaty Hat," and "Javelin Catcher Red?"

Surly excels at putting good products into the world, but they often don't say a lot about them. That's great. The bikes speak for themselves. Unfortunately, we as consumers are under such a deluge of new products that often our attention is diverted to companies that scream for attention. In that environment, Surly's bikes can sometimes be glossed over and lumped together. The purpose of this post is to explain some of the differences between several Surly models that may appear to be very similar.

Obnoxiously, marketers invent categories just to sell product. So while we'll be discussing some fine points here, let's not buy into the validity of "lunch ride bikes" or "charity ride bikes" or any of that nonsense. We're going to focus on distinctions that are worth our time. I'll be spending most of this blog discussing the three bikes I've recently spent the most time on, and then at the end we'll broaden the scope to include a few other models.

It may help to imagine that these bikes are all characters in Super Mario Brothers 2. You can certainly beat the game with any character, but each is significantly different from the others. I've arranged the bikes along a spectrum with stability on the left and agility on the right.

Mario 3.jpeg

The straggler

I've had a Straggler for many years now, and we've been through a lot together. It's seen everything from pavement to single track and hasn't flinched at any of it. I ride it almost every day, am happy to ride it any distance and on most kinds of terrain. It's simple to convert the bike to a singlespeed and so enjoyable to ride that way that you may not convert it back.

I have ridden the Straggler into sharp turns with no brakes, assuming imminent death (it's a long story). I haven't asked a bike to corner like that before or since, but the Straggler handled those moments flawlessly. Note: take spare pads with you if you're riding in the mud in Oklahoma.

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 8.21.33 AM.png

Let's call this bike the Mario of the Surly lineup. It's responsive, but stable. For people who are new to the game, the bike is easy to control and, while being a workhorse, is pretty fast. For advanced players, there isn't a trick you can't do or a secret area you can't get to with this bike. Want to carry turnips around? No problem. Want to carry turnips overhead? That's...weird.

Mario 3.jpeg


The disc trucker

The Disc Trucker is a long and stable bike. It's very different from a Straggler. It doesn't want to get rad. It is still fun to ride on dirt, but it doesn't want to lean over or get up in the air. It doesn't want to go fast or slalom through trees or ride over logs. It will do those things, but it would much prefer going on a long tour. The Disc Trucker is a touring bike. It handles like a dream (Mario 2 was all a dream!) when it's loaded. It's a great bike when it's unloaded, and a very comfy commuter if there are no logs to jump between your house and your job. When you look at the Disc Trucker and the Straggler side-by-side, it's easy to see the similarities. Yet I cannot emphasize enough how differently they handle. The frame geometry and the shape of the tubing have astonishing effects on how these bikes feel. 

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 8.23.24 AM.png

We're going to call the Disc Trucker Toad. Toad is strong and doesn't jump well. Can you beat the game with Toad? You sure can. Can Toad carry magic potions and turtle shells and huge keys while remaining fast and agile? Yep. Just don't ask him to jump. 

*The Long Haul Trucker is identical to the Disc Trucker, but it has rim brakes. The Long Haul Trucker is also Toad. Two Toads!

  Disc Trucker and giant toadstool.

Disc Trucker and giant toadstool.

Mario 3.jpeg

The midnight special

I first saw the Midnight Special in a bar at a Surly event last summer. I stood there spilling the beer I'd forgotten I was holding onto the floor while verbalizing something like, "Oh no," because, well, have you seen the Midnight Special? 

This bike is new, so I may post a longer review once I've spent more time with it. Yet it only takes a few turns to notice the difference between this bike and the others. It accelerates faster. The handling is superb! The best way to talk about the handling is to talk about making biscuits. Know how it feels to press an overturned glass into biscuit dough that's been rolled out? It's soft and pliant and there's a twisting motion involved and some kind of oddly satisfying vacuum sensation? That's how it feels to corner on this bike--somehow sharp and pillowy at the same time. After I cornered for the first time, I laughed out loud and then swerved all over the street like a maniac, trying (and failing) to find the bike's limit. It's fast. Precise. Responsive. You can't lean it over too far, and it knows your intent in regards to where you want to go and how fast. It may look like a gravel bike, but it's a road bike. It really is. It's also a gravel bike. And also, have you seen the Midnight Special?

   Colorado pavement.

Colorado pavement.

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 8.23.31 AM.png

On our spectrum of stability---agility, the Midnight Special should be as far to the right of the Straggler as the Disc Trucker is to the left. Descending Lookout Mountain, the Midnight Special is unbothered by the switchbacks, even if they're a little sandy. It's really fast, unlike the Princess, but it floats and can change directions in midair, so in our analogy it'll be the Princess.


Have I mentioned how well the Midnight Special handles? While climbing Red Rocks and descending Lookout Mountain I had to keep recalibrating my brain. It's like riding bikes while depressing the B-speed button.

  You will have to pee no matter which Surly you ride.

You will have to pee no matter which Surly you ride.

  You will have to pee probably because you met up with a bunch of other Surly riders at a brewery.

You will have to pee probably because you met up with a bunch of other Surly riders at a brewery.

  P.S. We'll ride bikes and drink beer with you no matter what you're riding.

P.S. We'll ride bikes and drink beer with you no matter what you're riding.

While the Midnight Special is a road bike, riding snow that's simultaneously bumpy and slushy is no problem (even while taking a picture). Jumping is no problem. Cornering on dirt is no problem. 


What happens when you ride with 700 wheels? I have no idea, but I can't wait to try. Hopefully we'll have the chance to post another review in the future after we've had more time with this bike.


Mario 3.jpeg

THe Pack rat

The Pack Rat has to be Luigi because he's the only character left, and they're both green. That's about where the similarities end. To compare it to the other models, the Pack Rat is more stable than the Straggler (especially with a loaded front rack), but has a shorter wheelbase than the Trucker and feels snappier. While Surly rightly places this bike in its touring category, we here at Yawp! see it as an upgrade for the Cross Check. Sure, the Straggler is also kind of an upgraded Cross Check, too, but the Pack Rat is a little less expensive than the Straggler. Many of the people who use Cross Checks for commuters and urban bikes might find the Pack Rat well suited to their needs. Higher volume tires smooth out rough surfaces (I don't know about the rest of the country, but Colorado's pavement is rugged as a cowhand), and the stock parts spec is really great. Integrated shifter levers are easy to use, and the included 24-Pack front rack alone makes the Pack Rat a great value. The bike is designed around a front load, so there's no wheel flop when that rack is weighed down.

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 8.23.17 AM.png

If those descriptions don't help you sort things out, here are some helpful slides from Surly. I've used many of these bikes beyond their recommended surfaces, and things have almost always turned out fun. However, these graphs provide useful guidelines (sorry about the arm intruding into the last photo).


To recap: the game is fun no matter which character you select. Some characters are probably better suited to you than others. Beware dinosaurs spitting eggs, and throw your vegetables.

Thanks for playing. You win!

The Ice Cream of the Crop; Fatbike World Championships

Yawp Cyclery

"It's been said that fatbiking is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience"
--Carl Sagan

It is -10 degrees at 7:45am and I am walking through the town of Crested Butte. This quiet street smells of woodfire, and up the street a truck engine heaves and refuses to start. To be excited about a bike ride in such conditions is not sane, but what is sanity other than a human endeavor that's incompatible with the universe surrounding us. At least, that's what Camus thought. But I don't care about what Camus thought--it is the morning of the Fatbike World Championships, and I am ready to get crazy. It is ten below zero and it is time for ice cream.

  Photo: Brandon Stahnke

Photo: Brandon Stahnke

This is the third iteration of the Fatbike World Championships. Riders may choose to participate in a 3-lap ride of about eighteen miles or a 5-lap race of about thirty-two. Tires must be 3.8 inches wide at a minimum and at 8psi at a maximum. It takes place in the middle of winter at 8,900 feet in the Colorado Rockies.

That's absurd. 

Sometimes a fatbike ride is a fatbike ride, and sometimes it is a search for meaning in a cold and desolate universe. Camus said it first. That is more or less a direct quote.

  Photo: Rebecca

Photo: Rebecca

Human beings do a lot of things that are absurd. We do these things, it seems, to alter consciousness. Amusement park rides, bike rides, creating a work of art--these things briefly remove us from the mundane and from the torments of being trapped in a human mind.

Some absurd activities are too dangerous or grueling for my taste, but FBW is just the right combination of bicycles, foolishness, satire, camaraderie, and beer. Tying a number to your handlebars almost always means you're in for something "serious." At FBW, you can race seriously, if that's your thing, or you can line up next to the abominable snowman, a banana, and Scooby Doo, and be as serious as a flask of whisky will permit.


I've participated in a fair number of endurance cycling events, and I've never seen so many high-fives, so many costumes, and so many people enjoying themselves. Several times during serious events I've seen someone get really upset because they aren't doing as well as they'd hoped--so upset that they've thrown their bikes. You can barely even lift a fatbike--let alone throw one--so what choice do you have but to enjoy yourself? 

  Photo: Rebecca

Photo: Rebecca

  Photo: Rebecca

Photo: Rebecca

The fields through which the course winds are so pretty it hurts. It's still and silent out there, except for the crawling crunchy sounds of big fat tires grinding along a groomed trail (off of which a few people wandered, judging by the sunken, semicircular depressions of front tires in deep snow with human-sized faceplant craters beyond).


Grand settings like this one always remind me of Sagan's Pale Blue Dot, which for me expresses the idea of the absurd best.

  Photo: Voyager

Photo: Voyager

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.


"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the pixel on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

  Photo: Rebecca

Photo: Rebecca

That may not seem to be about fatbikes, but it is. Our best human conceits are those that admit their folly right upfront. Then we can just calm down and have a really good time, and we can smile until the cold makes our teeth ache like they are about to crack apart.

Most people recognize my costume as some kind of bird of prey. This year, someone mistook me for an eagle. No big deal. Owls don't care about that kind of thing. (Never mistake an eagle for anything else, however; eagles are really uptight). But some people, like Rebecca, can take things just a little too far:

  Photo: Rebecca

Photo: Rebecca

Fatbike Worlds is really fun, and it's almost all fun. Admittedly, it's not completely all fun; it's difficult to eat and drink sufficient quantities when it's so cold, so the day is ripe for bonking and dehydration. The hot shower I took afterward was quite painful, and I myself was cold enough that I couldn't tell if the water was hot or cold. My skin was all colors of pink, white, red, gray, purple, and blue. None of that is what I'm thinking about now, though. I'm thinking about high-fives, jumps, sketchy cornering, that 70 year-old woman who rode IN A WONDER WOMAN COSTUME, and about seeing so many people grinning uncontrollably. 

If absurdists like Camus are right, then we are looking for meaning in a meaningless universe and any meaning we find is of our own making.

It's fine to make our own meaning, as long as that meaning has tires that are at a minimum 3.8" wide and are run at a psi of 8 or less. Camus said that. I swear.


Make Good in 2018 - Yawp! Cyclery's Ambition Tradition

Yawp Cyclery


I once thought of New Year's Resolutions as foolish; I believed that one should constantly strive for self-improvement, and that if one wanted to change something about one's life, the date on the calendar was superfluous. While I still agree with that, it's becoming more the case as I age that I'm often overwhelmed with the mundane and forget to ask myself important questions about self-improvement. New Year's is a fine reminder to do so. Additionally, with the way that time has accelerated these last few years, New Year's comes around about every four months, so trying to make resolutions in between New Years' Eves would tax a person unreasonably.

For most of us, our cycling goals are some of the least important goals we might have. You may want to make peace with a relative, change careers, or any number of really important things. Do those. But also make a cycling goal.

Last year we posted a blog called Cycling Goals are Trivial; Try Setting One Anyway. I can only speak for myself, but I suspect this holds true for some of the other people who participated in last year's Goal Program: my goal turned out to be more difficult than I imagined, took me to places I didn't necessarily want to be, and yet even if I hadn't completed my goal I'd be pretty glad I tried (if you're so inclined, there are blog posts about said efforts here and here). While my goal in itself was trivial, the experiences it produced meant a lot to me. I made some good friends because of an arbitrary goal--what a wonderful thing. (It wasn't all great--I also drank a lot of nasty water:)

Like me, you may find goal-setting to be exhausting and obnoxious. If you're thinking this Program is not for you, remember these two things: 1. Why make a bunch of spur-of-the-moment bad decisions when you could make your bad decisions in advance?

2. There will be prizes for anyone who meets their goal.

The folks who set goals for 2017 really blew me away. They aimed high, and if they did not hit their targets it wasn't for lack of effort. Thanks to all who participated, and congratulations to those of you who met your goals. 

If you aren't sure what kind of goal you want to set, here are a few examples:

-Commute to work by bike one day per week, every week.

-Ride 7,000 miles in a year.

-Thin out the stable and only ride one bike in 2018.

-Ride 1,000 miles on dirt.

-Bikepack for one weekend.

-Bikepack the Colorado Trail.

-Finish a 50-mile event.

-Ride a hundo every month.

-Clean everything at Dakota Ridge.


Challenge yourself. If commuting to work will not be a challenge, set a different goal.

Buying a new bike, getting your touring rig all situated, or finally getting your brakes dialed are all good goals, but they don't count toward this program. Your goal must have to do with riding.

Set as many goals as you like; only one prize per participant.

You have until January 31st to submit your goal.

To sign up, just fill out the form below. This year, we'll be sharing everyone's goals publicly in the beginning of February so that we as a community can support one another in the pursuit of these goals.

Name *

The Adventures of Levi and the Wrong Forms of Transportation

Yawp Cyclery

As a teenager, I had a Toys-R-Us (soon to be Toys-Were-Us) mountain bike that I enjoyed riding through the woods and down flights of stairs. It weighed as much as--but didn't handle as well as--a tank, and it sounded like a sack full of silverware tumbling downhill. In college, I liked the idea of selling my car and getting around on two wheels. The notion made me feel tough and "urban," whatever that means, but in reality I rarely rode my bike anywhere.

There was a marked turning point where a bicycle changed my life dramatically, and set in motion the events that led to the formation of this bike shop. In 2005 I was working at a bookstore, to which I daily rode the bus. It was crowded, rude, inhospitable to reading, time-consuming, and supremely unpleasant. My birthday falls near Christmas, and in the winter of 2005 my wife talked my family and her family into pooling efforts and purchasing a bicycle for me. I started commuting to work, and that quickly became my favorite part of the day. I soon thereafter started working in a bike shop and, well, here we are.

I'm writing about this because I recently rediscovered the booklet that my wife made for to announce the gift, and I'd like to share it with you. 


Obviously she knows me better than I know myself. Thanks, Rebecca.

And if you are happy that our bike shop exists, you can thank her, too.

Yawp! Cyclery's 2017 Gift Guide

Yawp Cyclery


Want to get a gift for a friend or family member who rides a bike but don't know where to start? Here are a few things that we Yawpers have tried and loved. 

Bags of all kinds

By fastening a bag to your bike, you can carry more stuff. When you carry more stuff, you can ride farther. Every time you ride farther, a reindeer gets its antlers. We are fortunate to stock bags from two fantastic Colorado companies. J.Paks and Oveja Negra produce high quality goods and are exactly the kind of people you'd want to support. My Oveja Negra Chuck Bucket turned into a catch-all necessity on this particular day when I could not have manipulated a zipper with my frozen fingers even if there had been an enchilada plate behind it. My J.Paks frame bags are not just bikepacking essentials; mountain biking without a hydration pack is the best! No matter the kind of riding or type of bike, all riders are happier without stuff in their pockets or on their backs. Every time you ride without a hydration pack, a beer can gets its koozie. 

Bags of all kinds: $45-170


Surly's Petite Porteur House Bag


Just the right size for an all-day ride or part of an overnight kit, the Petite Porteur House fits on Surly's 8-Pack front rack. There are plenty of small pockets for valuables, and replaceable waterproof liners for each pocket. The donut capacity of the large compartment is 12-18, depending on the shape of the box where you buy your donuts. 18 beers? No problem. 

The regular Portuer House is also great, but it is huge. If you need to haul your hockey gear or upwards of 40 donuts, that's the bag for you.

8-pack Rack: $100 (black or silver)

Petite Porteur House: $100

Porteur House: $150


Dynamo lighting


This gift involves a lot of pieces, but is totally worth it. You can always give someone just a part of this gift, forcing them to buy the rest. They'll thank you later. The complete setup consists of the dynamo headlight, the generator hub, and the optional taillight. 

Dynamo lighting is great for anyone who falls into one of these categories: they commute daily in the dark; they are tired of losing lights to theft or otherwise; they forget to charge their lights; they remember to charge their lights but leave them plugged into the wall; they sometimes don't plan to stay out late but then have a few unplanned beers and have to find their way home in the dark. Every time you find your way home in the dark after a few unplanned beers, Gary Busey falls up a flight of stairs. 




It's silicone, so you can microwave it, dishwash it, freeze it, grill it, bake it, crush it, pack it, squeeze it, throw it, drop it, and it will be fine. 

Once, Gary Busey fell up a flight of stairs with a Silipint and it was fine.

Silipint: $12


Neck tat



flat bar cross check

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 1.32.18 PM.png

For only $875, this flat bar Cross Check is one of the best commuter and city bikes you can find. It's so great, you'll have friends no matter where you go.


merino wool helmet liner

Everyone should keep one of these in their backpack all year. It's light enough that you'll never know it's there, but it'll save you from frostbite when you have to find your way home in the dark after a few unplanned beers. It's one of the best pieces of clothing you can own.

Merino Beanie: $26


hip pack from north st. bags

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 10.37.19 AM.png

They're called hip packs, but don't let The Man tell you where to wear them. 

Hip (or wherever) Packs: $49-69


Knog oi bell 

Not only is the Oi bell sleek and compatible with either road or mountain bars, but it's also directional. That means it's louder when you're in front of it than beside or behind it. Neat! 

Oi: $20


civia venue

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 1.21.19 PM.png

The Venue is a great bike for getting around town. Eight speeds, lightweight, sturdy, and $479.


fix it sticks


This multi-tool is good for so many reasons. It can access bolts that are difficult to reach. The bits are replaceable (and thus you can add or remove bits so the tool is customized to your bike). There are no moving parts to break. Plus, every time you fix a thing, Gary Busey un-makes a movie (but not Lost Highway).




No matter who you're shopping for, it's almost certain that they appreciate the joys of complete thoughts and fine motor control. Helmets decay in UV radiation, so if a helmet is more than a few years old or has ever been dropped, it should be replaced. Kali helmets will keep your loved ones safe and looking good. Plus, every time you crack a helmet and not your skull, Oprah gets a neck tat.

Helmets: $49-100


Blingle Speed

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 2.09.21 PM.png

If you're only going to have one gear, it had better look good. They're also incredibly light and surprisingly durable. 

Endless bikes is owned by a woman and the cogs are made right here in the USA. They come in all sizes and in so many colors.

Endless cogs: $50


paper for staying found by Singletrack maps


Ever had four people crowding around the screen of a Garmin? If so, you might prefer this groundbreaking new technology. It never runs out of battery, never breaks during a crash, and never has connection issues. You can spill stuff on it, drop it in the river, find the nearest water source, and fold it into the shape of a swan. Every time you consult a paper map, a cyborg decides not to kill a human.


Sweet bloom coffee


Yeah, this appears on our gift guide every year, but it deserves to.

Sweet Bloom Coffee: $17ish




Need a gift for someone with feet? 

Nifty Socks: $13-20


This strider comes with pedals


Strider bikes have been helping kids learn to shred for years now. The new 14x model comes with a pedal kit, so once your child has mastered the balance bike, you can install the cranks and chain (included) so that this is both their first and second bike. 

14x: $209


This salsa comes without pedals or anything else


What's holiday shopping if you don't get a little something for yourself. 

Ti Timberjack Frame: Get ready for this: $2,399.