First Ever Bike Consignment Sale!

Dust off your old bikes and bring em down to Start Haus for our first ever Bike Consignment Sale!  Happening Memorial Weekend 2015 (May 23 and 24th) we’ll sell your old bike and give you 80% of the sold value in store credit.

Bring in your bikes now until 12pm on May 23rd 2015 and we’ll get your bikes priced and ready to sell for you!  Apply that credit to a new bike, new gear, or our summer ski sale!

Accepting all categories of bikes from mountain, road, cruiser, townie, kids, and Women’s.  Our only rule is the bikes be is safe, rideable condition.  We reserve the right to turn away bikes that don’t meet our criteria for condition, age, or quality.  Simply put, we just don’t want your rusty Huffy or spent burner bikes!

Once the sale ends, sale value will be totaled and you will be notified by email if your bike sold.  Store credit in the form of Start Haus gift cards will be available to pick up starting June 1st 2015.  All unsold bikes need to be claimed and picked up no later than June 15th.  All unclaimed bikes after June 15th will be donated or disposed of.

So turn that old bike into a new one at our first ever Bike Consignment Sale!


The Season of Sales- UPDATED

Its that time of year in Tahoe- the season of sales!  When we go, we go big.  Here is your guide at a glance to figure out what is on sale, and for what level of discount.

UPDATE:  All winter clothing is now 60% OFF!

50% OFF

All Recreational Skis / All Rec Bindings with purchase of Ski / All Ski Helmets (with the exception of the POC Orbic Comp) / All Goggles / All Gloves / All Poles / All Ski and Boot Bags / All Race Protection and Speed Suits

UPDATESki boots are now 50% OFF with promo code BOOTS50


20% OFF

All Ski Boots / All Race Skis (marked at the sale price, 20% OFF Race) / All Race Bindings with purchase of a Race Ski (please contact us for best match with race bindings).


Any item currently marked on sale is listed at the sale price.  For 2015 skis and bindings, we can’t list our half off sale online, so feel free to use the promo code SKI50 .
Coupon is good for one pair of bindings per ski.

Stockli recreational skis are not on sale- these models carry over to next season.


Grab your gear now and ski happy people!


Shop Transformation: Part 1

Start Haus is slowly shedding its skin and growing a bike shop. The transformation has begun!  Over the next few weeks, Start Haus will completely build out our ski room into a Giant Partner Retail Store.



Aaron shaping the bike tuning room. And to think, this used to be an office.


Moving the ski wall.  Soon to be the bike wall.

Moving the ski wall. Soon to be the bike wall.

New ski wall coming together.  Good work guys.

New ski wall coming together. Good work guys.



Race Tech: Why Not All Grinds are Equal

There is much confusion in our marketplace on how and why a ski should be ground a certain way.  Not all grinds are created equal.  Even two different shops with the same machine will turn out different results depending on the specs that are used on the equipment, and by what technician.  Whether race gear or rec, this brief side by side comparison should help you cement your decision to bring your equipment to the specialists:  Start Haus!

Please note:  These images are not doctored (other that the addition of text or illustration) and have been uploaded in full resolution for you to better see the detail.  Click on em to see the detail!


Here is a side by side with a pair of skis ground by our techs, and a pair ground by the “other guys”.  Both grinds are a pattern WS09.  The ski ground by the Start Haus tech is smooth, consistent, and otherwise perfect.  The grind by the “other guys” is far too deep a pattern, inconsistent, and was done with multiple passes creating a wave of deep and smooth patterns across the entire ski.









When caring for your equipment, don’t skimp on maintenance!  Take your gear to the guys who know best at Start Haus.  Our boys in the back-shop truly strive for the best tune available in the US.




Shop News: Giant Bikes in the Haus

It’s an exciting time in the Start Haus company history. As many of you know we made the decision to become a bike retailer and will transition to a full line Giant Bicycles dealer in the spring.  We are incredibly excited to be partnered with Giant; there’s no denying they make an exceptional product at some of the best prices in the industry.  We also feel they make a tremendous mountain bike for the Tahoe area.  If you haven’t already, take a look at the Reign and Trance models.

Giant Reign

The Reign is an aggressive all-mountain machine with over six inches of travel that can take on the toughest Tahoe trails while still descending like a billy-goat thanks to the versatile Maestro suspension.

Giant Trance

The Trance is an all-arounder that climbs like a beast and doesn’t give an inch on descents.  With 5.5 inches of travel the Trance is a great choice for all but the most aggressive of riders that will handle just about everything the Tahoe area can throw at it.

If you are looking for your first full suspension bike that isn’t going to break the bank, we urge you to take a serious look at the all-new model Stance.  Coming in well below $2000 the Stance has 4.7 inches of travel with Giant’s new Flexpoint suspension. It doesn’t ascend quite as well as the Maestro platform, but descends astonishingly well for it’s price and is a heck of a lot more fun and comfortable than rattling your fillings out on a hard tail in the rocky Sierra.

In future blogs we will give more in depth ride reports and reviews of the Giant bikes, for now we hope you will stop by in the spring and check out our selection of bikes, components and soft goods.  We truly love biking and you’ll find the entire summer staff spending almost all our snow free time on the trails, constantly looking for new trails to link, downhills to rip, and we’re always cool with giving up some legitimate ride beta.

Haven’t had the bike tuned in a while?  Stop in for some great promotions we will be running. Our experienced staff is professionally trained, tuning skis and bikes and generally making things work better. Setting it up right is what we live for and we’d love to tune your trusty bike with the quality attention to detail you’ve come to expect in our ski service department.  We hope to parlay your trust with servicing your skis into servicing your bikes as well.

As always at Start Haus we very much appreciate the ongoing customer support, without which we wouldn’t be able to work in the outdoor industry we love, and love to share with you.

Thanks, and welcome Giant Bikes to Truckee!


PTEX In Action: What it Takes

When snow is scarce, damage to your ski is inevitable.  When a gash in the base is deep enough to make its way through the base of the ski, we call it a core shot.  Some are big, some are small, but each repair gets the same skill and attention to detail.  PTEX is a repair some can do at home, but without the base grind, its impossible to get a ski back to looking and skiing like new.  Here is a step by step overview of what it takes to do a base repair.

Step 1:  Identify Necessary Repair

With a gash this big, its hard to miss.

With a gash this big, its hard to miss.

Right down through the ski into structural material

Right down through the ski into structural material.

Step 2:  Prep Your Wound

After trimming excess base material, we sand down burs and groves.

After trimming excess base material, we sand down burs and groves.

Step 3:  PTEX


Using the PTEX gun, we fill the grove with new material.

Using a convex hand anvil, the material is squeezed into the grove filling any excess space.

Step 4: Cleaning Up the Repair and Prepping for Base Grind.

The repair is then scraped to get the surface as flat as possible by hand.

The repair is then scraped to get the surface as flat as possible by hand.

Once scrapped, any holes or bubbles are re-filled and the process is repeated.

Once scrapped, any holes or bubbles are re-filled and the process is repeated.

Step 5:  Base Grind

On the Grinder

Passing through the base grinder.

Passing through the base grinder.

After a few passes on the grinder, this ski is ready to go!

After a number of passes on the grinder, this ski is ready to go!




Tecnica Nordica Side by Side

The Straight Dope on Ski Boot Liners

The heart of the boot story for the 2015 season has most certainly been advancements in ski boot liners.  Several manufacturers have spent significant research and development on creating liners that do three main things; ski well, fit comfortably out of the box, and resisting packing out (feeling too loose) too quickly.

The result of all the hard work is some interesting technology that is sure to trickle down through lines across the board and dictate design trajectories in the future.  First a short history lesson is in order; in the dark ages of boot design vague shell shapes and inferior liners were the obvious issues with performance and long term fit.  Foam injected liners became the primary solution; if you were a serious skier you had to have a serious liner, and spend some serious coin while you were at it.  Foam injected liners still exist and people still use them, however they are far less popular than in years past.

Stock liners have improved by leaps and bounds in the past decade; an injection molding process has replaced over padding and cutting away a material that is disturbingly similar to the material that is placed under a carpet before instillation.  The injection molded foam has far more anatomical shape than previous materials so it fits out of the box far better and will stand the test of time better than ever.

Two manufacturers, Tecnica and Nordica, are at the forefront of new manufacturing processes and materials for this 2014-15 season.  Tecnica produced a trick liner of a new material they are calling C.A.S. or Custom Adaptive Shape in their new model line the Mach1.  The C.A.S. foam is a dense material that fits well and offers great heel hold and shape, it can also be ground with a dremel or punched by a competent boot fitter if you need customization.   The C.A.S. foam has been such a success it is going to be featured several different models next season, and has really been a homerun in sales, and refits- we’ve seen almost none!

Not to be outdone, Nordica has produced a semi-custom liner using a material that is not at all new to the industry but has a proven track record with hundreds of World Cup victories and Olympic medals to its name.  Cork has been used in World Cup liners for quite some time and is the current standard for the elite level.  The cork is usually mixed with petroleum, which allows it to flow or move to the correct crevices.  On their popular NRGy series Nordica placed cork panels in the ankle and navicular area to give great control over the shell and again, a great fit out of the box.  The cork can be heated up for just a few minutes to dial in the fit of the boot, and has had great result from fitters and owners of the boot.

Liners have come a long way in the last decade; they ski far better and fit better than ever before.  More and more skiers are finding they don’t need to invest three to five hundred dollars in custom liners to get their desired fit and feel, and the breaking in process is less painful than ever.  The next few years I expect more research and development in ski boot liners and would expect more exciting innovation.