Eric Porter, Darcy Turenne (OK, so she rides for Norco but we still love her!), and Phil Sundbaum signing autographs.
The Product Toss
Packed house watching Summer of Shred.
It's not all that often that people take the time to review a comfort bike, so I was nonetheless intrigued when my co-worker Tim "Masi Guy" Jackson, forwarded me a review that somebody wrote about their Haro Heartland Express LE.
The post came from a blog simply called "Jon's Bicycle Blog"...so I would assume the owner of the Heartland Express LE is named Jon. Jon's relationship with his Heartland Express LE started when he decided he needed what he described as a "Florida Bike": a bike he could do decent mileage on, was zippy, and was comfortable. Based on his love for his Masi Gran Corsa, Jon decided to check out what Haro had to offer (for those of you who don't know, Haro and Masi are "sister" brands...we share the same ownership and same building). After doing his research, Jon headed to one of our dealers called The Energy Conservatory where he purchased his Heartland Express LE.
Jon goes on to describe his first ride about his Heartland. He set out for a quick 10-mile ride without any water, tools, or tubes. As he headed down the Pinellas County Trail, he soon discovered that he was doing more than just cruising along on his new comfort hybrid, we was flying along at 20 mph. As he continued along at his brisk clip, thoughts about being "deceived" by his perception of his Masi road bike entered his head. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he'd be able to pedal so smoothly, quickly, and comfortably on a comfort bike. He pedaled onward until he realized that it would be getting dark soon, so he reluctantly turned around and pedaled home, basking in the "I love my new bike" glow.
At the time he wrote the review, Jon had put on over 500 miles on his Heartland Express LE. In his own words, Jon says, "And I still love the bike. 500+ miles later, it’s my weapon of choice here in Dunedin. It’s not comparable to the Masi, but that’s not its purpose. I can roll out, do 20 miles, and roll home, or roll into work and back. Or just pick up groceries, or toss a tent in the saddlebags and head out to camp".
I couldn't have said it better myself.
It's great to hear feedback this good about a bike that we put a lot of effort in "getting right". Since the comfort category represents a large chunk of Haro's business, we really wanted to make sure the new Heartland series was spot on. We looked at lots of different comfort bikes and examined what other manufacturers were doing right and what they were doing wrong. We looked for ways to improve the common comfort bike. In fact, we even went as far as purchasing a very popular comfort hybrid that one of our competitors makes just so we could analyze how it rode. The brand will remain nameless, but underneath the flashy looks and big brand name was a bike that had such poor handling, it's a wonder anyone buys them.
Once we had done all of our homework, product managers Pat Crosby and Wayne Doran set off to make what we feel are the best darn comfort bikes on the market. Here are just a few of the things that make Heartlands superior:
- We steepened up the head angle so the rider wouldn't feel the dreadful "wheel flop" our competitor's bike had.
- We got the seat angle right...it's just slack enough to be easy on your back, but not so slack to where you can't pedal efficiently. The super-slack seat angles that some of our competitors use that put your feet too far in front of you just isn't efficient. Once you start to pedal up any sort of an incline, you'll see why.
- We welded the seat stays higher up on the seat tube; this provides a better platform to mount racks and child carriers. We noticed many of our competitor's bikes welded their stays too low on the seat tube, making rack mounting difficult or impossible.
- We added extra water bottle cage mounting holes: 2 pairs on both the standard and step-thru frames. Having an extra mount is nice if you want to mount an extra bottle for longer rides, lighting system, or a tire pump.
- We use sealed bottom brackets and cassette rear hubs for longer life and less maintenance.
- We use nice tall bars to put you in a comfortable, upright riding position.
- And above all, we use the most comfortable seats and grips we can find.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop there. I guess one of the points I'm trying to make is we're not all that surprised that Jon loves his Heartland Express...a whole lot of "love" went into making those bikes.
Happy trails, ya'll...
Jon's Heartland Express LE
(Ex Post from Bike Biz Babe)
One of the first things you’ll probably notice is the fact that our new site is blog based, so it’s highly interactive. We’re committed to updating the blog on a regular (if not daily) basis with news, stories, pictures, videos, and anything else we think you’d be interested in reading and seeing. You’ll also be able to leave your own comments and feedback…in fact, we encourage you to chime in and leave comments.
I’ll also be handing the blogging keys over to our athletes and some of my Haro colleagues so they will have the ability to bring you Haro news from wherever they happen to be in the world.
While you are here, be sure to check out the 2009 bike line. Many months of blood, sweat, and tears went into the creation of these bikes. We are truly proud of our new bikes…sure, we’re a little biased but we are all convinced this is the best Haro MTB and asphalt bike line ever. We hope you like what you see.
So grab a cold one, sit back, and enjoy our new website and the 2009 bikes.
MTB/Asphalt Brand Manager
Yep, that's me!
I just got back from a two week trip to Tanzania with Aaron Lutze, Hans Rey, and Caleb Smith. We went there for Hans' charity Wheels 4 Life which raises money to donate bikes to people in 3rd world countries living in poverty so they have some mode of transportation so they can make it to and from work and to do daily chores like going to the market or getting water. We were able to raise enough money from flips for life to bring ten bikes of our own to donate to the villagers.
Go to http://www.summerofshred.com/ to get all of the other details and pics from this trip.
Here at Haro, we watch this show regularly and really enjoy how Shayne and Shannon connect with the locals and capture the culture in all the really interesting places they travel to.
We thought it would be cool to see if Shayne and Shannon would be interested in a couple of new Haro cruisers so we e-mailed them through the On Surfari web site.
They responded and were totally interested in checking out our new bikes. After exchanging a few e-mails and phone calls, we set up a time for them to come in and pick out a couple of bikes to take home with them to Puerto Rico.
It just happened that Shayne and Shannon were in California this week for the ASR Show (Action Sports Retailer Show) and had time to stop by our office with their new daughter Coral.
Shayne and Shannon exemplify what our cruisers are all about: a comfortable, laid-back lifestyle. Our Zimzala cruiser name comes from the surf dictionary and means "A free spirited person who finds peace with sand between their toes".
We hope Shayne and Shannon enjoy riding their new cruisers and look forward to seeing them again real soon.
Neal has a new project he's been working on for the past few years: electric motorcycles. Think these are cheesy little electric bikes you'd likely see putting along in the slow lane? Think again. Neal's Zero X electric dirt bike accelerates from 0 to 30mph in less than 2 seconds. In fact, they rival the performance of many 250cc gas-powered bikes in terms of power and speed.
With so much attention being given to alternative-fuel vehicles, Neal's Zero X is really starting to get some attention in the media.
Check it out!