Category Archives: News

Demystifying Mountain Bike Wheels and Tires with Bobby Brown

When mountain biking first hit the scene, wheel sizes were pretty standard at 26 inches.  This is basically due to the fact that the old Klunkers riders were throwing down mountains were 26 inch Schwinn balloon tire bikes.

In recent years, the mountain bike industry has seen phenomenal technological upgrades.  One hot topic of debate lately is wheel sizes and tire sizes.  Bike companies started producing 29 inch wheels and tires and found that they crushed obstacles on the trails.  Then, some found that splitting the difference between 29 inch and 26 inch, at 27.5 inches (or 650b) gave riders better control.

Now manufacturers are playing around with different tire sizes on these wheels.  With the popularity of fat bikes (26 inch wheels with 4-5 inch wide tires) companies are starting to produce wider tires on 27.5 and 29 inch wheels.

So what’s the best tire/wheel size combination?  How does one understand all these new-fangled sizing gizmos?  Here to help is former Sopo shop manager and former board member, Bobby Brown.  Bobby works for Maxxis Tires as a Marketing Specialist and was recently interviewed by on the subject.

Click here to listen to the podcast on Singletracks or play the podcast below.  Not only is it very informative, but it’s great to see a fellow Soponista contributing to the bike industry on this level.

Halloween Bike Costumes: Do’s and Don’ts and Ideas

If you’re like any perfectly normal functioning adult you’ve had you’re Halloween costume planned for weeks, if not months.

OK now, let’s be real.  Most of us will be hitting the thrift stores pretty hard this weekend, scrambling for that last minute random idea.  But if you’re on your bike this Halloween, you might need to put some extra careful thought into your costume.

Remember the basics of your riding style and what you’d normally wear.  There’s a reason skinny jeans are popular with cyclists, and not bell bottoms.  Keep away from baggy, flowy outfits that could get caught in your gears, chains, or spokes.  If you normally wear a helmet, continue to do so.  You can incorporate it into a fun outfit!

While capes may seem like fun idea to give you that full on Superman-faster-than-a-speeding bullet feel while riding, they might get caught up in your rear wheel.  Black is usually a Halloween staple, but stay away from too much of it on Halloween.  You still need to be visible.   Masks are great, but stay away from full-faced ones–they can limit your peripheral vision.

Now for some of the best ideas on two wheels.

1. Incorporate your bike into your costume.  You can be literally anything that rides any type of mode of transportation.  You could be something classic like a train conductor and dress your bike to look like a train, or sailor/boat combination.  You can also think more off-the-wall, like Chris Pratt in Jurassic World riding a Velociraptor or even a Snoopy/red dog house combination.  Check these out for inspiration:

bikecar astronautneverending horse and jockeystar wars bike


2.  Think about the silver screen.  There’s plenty of movies that have bikes, or involving biking in them, and you wouldn’t necessarily have to decorate or alter your bike.

bmx bandit dvd cover et_bike peewee wicked-witch


3. Want something a little more ironic?

bike lane

4. The best ideas for riding with your buds:

Muppets-Group-Bicycle-Ride pacman



#TBT: That Time We Won an ABC Award

ABC Award


This beauty hangs above the double doors as you enter Sopo.  We received the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign’s (now Coalition) 2008 Community Project of the Year.

Shop Art

Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.” -Grant Peterson, Founder, Rivendell Bicycle Works

If you’ve ever been to Sopo, you’ve probably noticed our exquisite decor…or not.  Just like a bike, the art on our walls is functional and handmade by volunteers.

makefriends2 sopo doors sopo mission sopo rules

Sopo Gem: Best Friends for Life

Check out this custom tandem that arrived in the shop this week!




#TBT: That Time We Were on PBA 30

This video from the early days of the shop shows the quintessential awesomeness of Sopo.  Still true to this day, if you’ve ever wondered why we started and what we’re all about…watch this video!  I’m not sure which is more amazing…the fact that we’re still true to our mission 10 years later, or the fact that a lot of volunteers in this video are still around!

Sunny Skies Ahead: Cleaning Your Bike


The skies have finally parted and it looks like the sun is here to stay for the week!  If you’ve been riding in the rain this past week, your bike is no doubt grimy, mucky and downright disgusting.  Consider taking 15-20 minutes out of your day to clean it up.  Cleaning your bike gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with your bike. If you’re like me, you usually just give the tires a quick squeeze and then it’s bang…out the door!  Cleaning your bike gives you an opportunity to slow things down a bit, inspect all the parts in detail, and notice anything that might need fixing.


Splashing through puddles seems harmless…


For a quick clean, you’ll need:

-Two rags, one for washing and one for drying
-Warm, soapy water (I like to use a mixture of Dawn and water, but use whatever household soap you have)
-Chain lube

-Spray bottle
-Old toothbrushes

Squirt some soap into your bucket and fill with water to your desired level.  How much should you use?  Just eyeball it depending on how dirty your bike is and how detailed you want to get.  Dip one rag in the soapy water and start wiping down your bike, top to bottom.  I like to start on the handlebars and headset and work my way down the fork and front wheel, then move on to the top tube and the rest of the bike.  Starting at the top will allow the soap to run down the bike onto already dirty parts near the bottom.  If you start cleaning your drive train first, and then wipe down your seat and frame, you might find that you’ll have to clean your drive train again to get all that new soap out of there.   You can either dry your bike as you go, or wait until you’re all done!

When it comes to cleaning the chain, you want to make sure all the muck is off the chain and that the chain is nice and dry.  If your drying rag isn’t soaked, use it to grab your chain and pedal about 10 cycles or so.  Repeat until all the gunk is off, then lube it up.  A clean and well lubed drive train is the number one way to keeping your bike in good working order and can save you tons of time and money in the long run.

Depending on how much time you want to take in cleaning your bike, you can use an old spray bottle and fill it with the same soapy water solution.  Using a spray bottle is great for getting in those small, hard to reach places like in between your gears.  The spray bottle method might also be a good idea if you live on the fifth floor of an apartment building and you find yourself doing most of your bike maintenance in your kitchen.  Old toothbrushes are also great for getting in those hard to reach places where fingers just aren’t going to fit.

Can a bike love back?

Can a bike love back?

New Belgium Clips Entries

NBB clips

Last Friday, New Belgium Brewing hosted the Clips Beer and Film Tour on the Beltline at Old Fourth Ward Skate Park.  The short films and unique beer tastings expanded our minds and our palates despite the misty weather.

Some films focused on art, some films focused on conservation of natural land, and some films (naturally) were bicycle themed.  Here are a few of the films featuring bicycles.

Koochella Rising from All-City Cycles on Vimeo.

Geoff McFetridge /// The Sea Rambler from Farm League on Vimeo.

Sunday is Ladies Night, and the Feelin’s Right

Every Sunday from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. is Ladies Night at Sopo!  All ladies, transgender and LGBTQ are welcome.  Sundays are less crowded and present a great opportunity to get some special attention to fixing up your bike.

Volunteers Jacqui and Tonee help a customer make some adjustments on her bike.

Volunteers Jacqui and Tonee help a customer make some adjustments on her bike.