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NEWS, REVIEWS & INFORMATION

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At Mellow Johnny's, we're sorta nuts for cyclocross. We watch European races with names we can't really pronounce. We listen to Flemish commentary and fancy that we understand a bit of it. We spend way too much time each Monday discussing the weekends events, and our managers pull their hair out each cross season trying to accommodate all of the day off requests. Needless to say, we're pretty excited that Cross Nationals is happening in our back yard.

Below is a list of events happening at MJ's over Nationals week. For racers, our service staff is prepped and ready to take care of all your needs. We're a ten minute bike ride from the course and are happy to dial in your race machine after every pre-ride. Our GM just told me the story of how he got on the podium at Cross Worlds in '06, and I work right next to an employee who was 9th at Road Race Nationals a few months ago. Our staff is full of seasoned riders just like these, who get overly excited talking about tire pressure and tubular cement.

Spectators, just sit back and enjoy the vibe. Cross is physically brutal,...

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Poler

Poler items convey a sense of ease and earthiness. Their products inspire us to relish the everyday adventures of our lives, and we are so excited to feature this brand in store.

If you've never heard of Poler, check out the quote from their own website that pretty much sums the brand up. And next time you're around, swing by the shop to check out our assortment of Poler hoodies, hats, bags and tees. This is a company offering good value and a great point of view.

"It’s stuff that is made for people that have adventures all over the world while wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. It’s for people that wonder why everyone is trying to pretend they are going to do first ascents on alpine peaks instead of celebrating the fact that they are having adventures that are awesome in their own way."

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Laney

The Juan Pelota Cafe is one of our shop's greatest treasures. The vibe and quality of products complements the bikes we sell, and the cafe has built its own separate clientele of downtown employees and residents. If you've never been, swing by the next time you're out. The cafe has a knack of making every customer feel special.

Learn more about one of Pelota's star employees, Laney.

1. Where did you grow up and what brought you to Austin?

I grew up in rural central Pennsylvania near Hershey. I went to school in Philly and started working at Penn State Children’s Hospital as a nurse in the PICU. I worked there 5 years and decided I wanted a new adventure. I had never been to Austin (or even Texas) and didn’t know a single person here. That sounded perfect. I packed up what fit in my car and arrived 2 months later.

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We've just received this beautiful, single speed Trek Superfly 29er. With a thru-axle, rigid fork, Shimano brakes and one of the coolest paint jobs we've seen in a while, this bike has skyrocketed to the top of the employee want list.

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Cycling and coffee. These things are so inextricably linked that practically any ride not leaving from a bike shop, rolls out from a coffee bar. Chris King sells espresso tampers. Rapha sells mugs, and there are numerous cycling inspired coffee blends available.

Juan Pelota, our in house café, has always sought out the absolute best products to serve and sell. The staff is constantly training, hosting coffee science classes and perfecting their craft. It's an almost fanatical search for the perfect cup of coffee, and the staff of Juan Pelota has left no stone unturned.

For anyone interested in enhancing their own coffee experience, or anyone struggling to find a gift for the cyclist in their life, we present the following products. All of these are in stock and available for purchase in store.

1. Hario V60 Gooseneck Kettle

For the perfect pour over, a Gooseneck Kettle allows for a slow, steady stream of water. This allows you greater control and guarantees a great cup.

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Bike racks have come a long way in the past few years. Gone are the days of constantly starring into your rearview mirror and tightening straps every time you stop your car. Today’s racks are simple, effective holders that make transporting your bike easy and secure. One of our favorites is the Kuat Sherpa. We love it because it solves several problems.

1. The Sherpa is made of aluminum, so it weighs much less than most other hitch mount racks.

2. You don’t need to remove any wheels to mount your bike. The Kuat accommodates multiple tire sizes (20”-29”).

3. There is no need to remove mounted bikes to open the lift gate or get into your trunk, the Kuat tilts down to allow access.

4. While the Sherpa can be easily removed, it also tilts up and out of the way when not in use.

5. Because the rack is a hitch mount, it never makes contact with your vehicle. No chipped paint or straps to deal with.

The Sherpa rack also has the ability to fit accept an additional 2 bike tray, for a 4 total bike capacity and includes a cable lock to keep...

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We've long been fans of the Trek 7.2 FX. This bike has been a top seller in our shop for years, and has pretty much dominated our fitness bike category. It's just a great all around bike, at a really accessible price point.

With new 2015 models now on the floor, it's good to see that Trek is continuing the FX tradition of value. They've added a disc brake option to the line up to ensure stopping power under any condition, but even with this upgrade the bike comes in below $600.00, and the non-disc versions are below $500.

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Caitlin Ford

Caitlin is one of our star Mellow Johnny's employees. She's incredibly friendly, rides all the time and is an integral part of our shop sales team. Someone who is able to disabuse you of the idea of bike shop "elitism".

Learn a bit more about Caitlin here:

1. Where did you grow up, and what brought you to Austin?

I grew up in Philadelphia, but came to Austin in June to take a drafting course at UT and decided to stay.

2. First cycling memory?

The ET ride at Universal Studios. I was six or so. I remember crying (a lot) in line because I had never ridden a bike without training wheels and I was convinced I'd have to during the ride.

After that I began riding with my Dad to baseball games in South Philly, I started out following alongside him on the sidewalk while he rode in the street.

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Bikes are the best, and the pleasure of introducing someone else to the joys of cycling ranks right up there with catching a rainbow or surfing the perfect wave. To help facilitate this feeling and keep Christmas gifts a surprise we are happy to announce our annual bike delivery service.

Swing by the shop and purchase the bike of your choice. We’ll hold and deliver in the local area for free between 9am and 3pm on 12/23. No need to hide the bike in the attic or assemble it in the middle of the night.

If interested, email Robbie for more details. Because this is always a popular service, we are only offering delivery on 12/23 and only for bicycle purchases.

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Trainer workouts are to fun as:

a. Cavendish is to climbing

b. Cipollini is to restrained

c. Sagan is to slow

In the past we would of accepted any of these answers as correct. It was a general consensus that the trainer would make you strong, but you would sacrifice a bit of your cycling soul with each hour spent on one. That's what so appealing about the Wahoo Fitness KICKR, the thought that you can gain strength over the winter months and actually have fun doing it.

There are several key factors that separate the KICKR from other trainers on the market, and I believe that these fall into two major groups. The first is the hardware and physical design of the trainer. The second is the software the trainer supports.

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If you're coming out to enjoy one of our Black Friday Rides, or swinging by to shop our discounted bikes and clothing on Friday, be sure to drop by the cafe. Not wanting to be left out of the sale action, the Pelota's are offering nice discounts on coffee by the bag, Mast Brothers gift worthy chocolates and practically all of their coffee brewing equipment.

In addition, the cafe will be releasing more discounts via Instagram in the next day. Check their feed to learn the secret handshake.

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Rapha Tags

It's hard to break down a piece of Rapha gear. A review of one jersey could carry on for a while, as new details are discovered with each wear. A touch of embroidery on the left sleeve. Embossed zipper covers. Custom grippers. Every detail designed with purpose, and nothing overlooked.

As jaded as bike shop employees can be, there is always a crowd in the receiving area when a box from Rapha arrives. We gather around and sort through the new styles. Feeling the weight of the product and associating the new goods with some of our regulars.

"Todd's gonna buy this one, I guarantee it."

"Oh man, Bernardo was asking about these socks."

And yes, Rapha gear is pricey. Deservedly so. It's a great day when I get to pull out my longsleeve country jersey from a few seasons ago. Something about wearing that jersey makes cycling more fun. I can't afford a closet of Rapha gear, but what I do have I treasure. That's what makes Rapha such a great holiday item.

Being the only retail shop in Texas stocking Rapha gear, we encourage you to come by and try...

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Turkey Day Sale

For Black Friday we have quite a few amazing deals for our in store shoppers. From MJ branded goods, to bikes, tires, parts and accessories. Come out early for our Black Friday bicycle ride, then peruse the shop at your leisure when you return. We've got great coffee, smoothies and post ride snacks, as well as unique items that you just can't find anywhere else.

Brands like Rapha, Chrome, Brooks and Oakley are key features in our store and as always, our own MJ branded items make fantastic gifts. We'll also be featuring free domestic shipping online for Cyber Monday(12/1). Visit the site on Thanksgiving day to check out our popular MJ Holiday packages. These are available exclusively online and are a hassle free way to save money on popular MJ branded goods.

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Gonzo

Andrew Gonzales is a key member of the Mellow Johnny's team. Charismatic, friendly and incredibly talented when it comes to anything on two wheels, Andrew is one of our all-star staff members. While his natural habitat is in the basement finishing our most complex bike builds, Andrew can occasionally be found behind the upstairs service counter.

Learn a bit more about Andrew here:

1. Where did you grow up?

Tampa, FL.

2. What drew you to cycling?

My Dad was a big rider. He raced BMX, Mountain and Road, so naturally I tagged along and wanted to try riding for myself.

3. First Bike?

Haro Group 1 BMX. It was one of those old Haro's with the bent top tube.

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While our Black Friday sale is always a big one, we currently have some pretty amazing deals on Trek bikes that probably won't last until the 28th. Check out the list below and give us a shout at the shop if you're interested in any of these bikes. We have multiple sizes available for almost all of these closeouts.

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