Bike Consignment Sale- Bring us Your Used Bikes!

Its time to start thinking about trading in that old bike for a new whip! Bring us your used bike to sell at our 3rd annual Memorial Weekend Bike Consignment Sale!

You choose either 80% store credit to spend on anything in the shop, or choose 100% credit toward a new bike!

Accepting bikes now – whether its a DH, mountain bike, roadie, or a cruiser – dust it off and bring it by the shop. We’ll help you check it in, price it, and we’ll store it for you until the sale.

Sale happens Memorial Weekend, May 25th through 28th!

The Classics: TLD A1 & A2 Helmets Reviewed

Troy Lee Designs A1 & A2 Mountain Biking Helmets: Superior Protection and Style

Still have the same bike helmet you bought when you first started riding? With greater awareness of the long-term damaging effects of concussions, bike helmet design has improved industry wide: helmets are no longer designed just to prevent skull fractures. One improvement is Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), a revolutionary technology that lets the helmet slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational violence to the brain caused by angled impacts. Troy Lee Designs feels that MIPS is so important to prevent concussions that they no longer make helmets without it. Come into Start Haus in Truckee and check out our full line of bike helmets, including the A1 and A2 helmets by Troy Lee Design.

The Classic A1 by Troy Lee is an aggressive all-mountain half shell helmet that has been a mountain biking industry leader for more than a decade. Known for being the most comfortable helmet on the market, the A1 has a superior liner, providing protection and all day wear ability whatever the terrain. With its race-inspired design, the Troy Lee A1 features a distinctive style, with eye-catching modern design and graphics. The A1 features:

  • Reinforced polycarbonate shell in-molded with the EPS liner extends down the sides and back of the head for maximum protection and durability
  • MIPS brain protection system, reduces rotational forces to the brain
  • Eight pressurized intake passages draw in cool air for maximum ventilation
  • Eight rear vacuum vortex outlets help exhaust and draw heat from head
  • Triple position adjustable retention system allows customized fit for various eyewear, head shape and riding styles
  • Single piece, ultra plush, removable and washable comfort liner made of anti-microbial moisture wicking material for a dry, comfortable feel
  • Full spectrum adjustable moto inspired visor with anodized aluminum hardware

The Troy Lee A2 is new for 2018, building on all the award-winning features of the A1 with added protection and improved ventilation. The A2 is the first helmet in its class to combine EPP (for slow speed impacts) and EPS (for high speed impacts), setting a new benchmark for mountain bike helmets and redefining mountain bike safety, style, comfort, and ventilation. The A2 features:

  • Huge air intakes – 25% larger than A1 – connected to massive exhaust ports through deep internal channels provide powerful cooling efficiency
  • Updated X-Static® pure silver comfort liner with more material for comfort delivers high performance odor protection and quick-dry moisture wicking
  • MIPS brain protection system. reduces rotational forces to the brain
  • Dual-density EPS co-molded with EPP for state-of-the-art impact energy management at low and high crash speeds, and everything in between
  • 16% more EPS+EPP in the frontal lobe and raised EPS splines provide more protection in the common impact zones
  • Aerospace filament-reinforced polycarbonate shell
  • Break-away anodized aluminum visor screws
  • Rear stabilizer fit system with flexible, slimline arms, including 3-position front and rear locations for a custom fit
  • Expanded field of view works with both goggles and glasses
  • Adjustable strap dividers for a perfect fit every time

Stop by Start Haus and talk to our bike experts and check out helmets and more biking gear to enhance your experience on the trails.


2018 Norco Youth Bikes in Stock!

Biking season is right around the corner in Tahoe and going strong in any direction down the hill. The bike side of Start Haus in Truckee is ready to get you out on the trail or road, with knowledgeable bike mechanics and Giant, Liv, and Norco bikes and gear, including kids’ bikes. Getting kids riding early and often sets them up for great riding experiences throughout their lives. Truckee Bike Park is a great place to hone skills and have fun as a family – and it’s free. Just as you care what you ride, the right equipment can make all the difference for getting kids excited to ride.

Norco youth bikes –  from their smallest kids’ run bikes to their 24” full suspension mountain bike – feature lightweight aluminum frames, custom geometry, and kid-specific components, like short stems and wide bars for more stable handling. Ample standover clearance and short chainstays make it possible to fit kids on bikes with larger wheels, helping them roll over bumpy terrain. Norco bikes help build skills and confidence so kids will love riding as much as you do.


Norco Ninja or Mermaid Run Bikes

Run/stride bikes are the best way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn the basics of riding. Unlike tricycles or training wheels, run bikes teach kids balance on two wheels in natural riding position and control with their feet close to the ground. Ever watched a kid tear down a hill on a strider, heavily dragging their feet, terrified that they’re going to crash? Norco run bikes are designed for mountain kids. Their 12” Ninja and Mermaid bikes have hand brakes with small levers and reach adjust to fit small hands, so riders can get used to hand brakes at a younger age. An aluminum quick release clamp allows for easy adjustment of seat height. They feature lightweight aluminum frames with size scaled tubing, carefully fitted with the lightest components for the best overall ride experience.


Norco Samurai 16”

The Samurai 16″ is a freewheel bike equipped with front and rear hand brakes, something you don’t always find on kids’ bikes. (Coaster brakes aren’t acceptable for kids who can rip or for riding at the bike park.) Along with hand brakes, the Samurai is thoughtfully designed with a lightweight aluminum frame, grippy 16-inch tires and quality components. This bike delivers confidence and control for young riders developing their skills and with a comfortable seat and a cool paint job, they’ll want to keep rolling on it all day.


Norco Storm 2.3 and Storm 4.1

Experienced young mountain bikers need the right gear to push them to the next level. Whether it’s mild off-roading to aggressive trail adventures, the Storm will get them excited to get in the saddle. The Storm 2.3 is perfect for hitting the trails and exploring the neighborhood. It features Norco’s new lightweight aluminum frame and 20-inch wheels, with quality components across the board, including Shimano Tourney 6 speed derailleurs and optional disc brakes and suspension fork. The Storm 4.1 is a step up from the Storm 2.3, both in components and size. The 24” Storm 4.1 is ready to rip. The 4.1 features Norco’s lightweight aluminum frame, 24-inch wheels and quality components, including Shimano RevoShift 7-speed derailleurs and disc brakes, with optional suspension fork. The Storm delivers crisp shifting and responsive handling to help your kid get the most from their ride every time.

Come by Start Haus and talk to our expert mechanics and check out our full line of bikes.

Home Ski Care 101 – Part 3, The Finishing Details

In Part 1 we looked at ski waxing basics, and in Part 2, we got a little more advanced with edge tuning. This week, we’ll take a look at finishing both of those jobs up with brushing and sidewall finishing.


A common mistake we see at Start Haus is folks who think they’re trying to create a glass-smooth coating on the bottom of their skis with wax, and the more the better. The truth is, glass smooth isn’t fast – in fact it creates suction drag on the snow. That’s why ski bases have a pattern in them, and we don’t want to plug up that grind pattern with wax.

We want the wax inside the base, not on top of it. So after waxing and letting the skis cool, it’s critical to finish with scraping and brushing.

It boils down to taking the excess wax off in steps from scraping with a plexi scraper down through a few levels of brushing.

For those who really want to do a detailed job:

  • Start with a wire brush to really dig into the grind structure
  • Follow up with a nylon brush to start smoothing stuff out
  • Finish with a soft brush like horsehair for a polished finish

For those who want to keep it simple, you can stick to a nylon brush.

See the technique here:

Sidewall shaping is a more advanced technique – using some of the tools previously covered in the edging tutorial, plus some specialized tools.

You’ll need:

See the technique here:

This is getting pretty advanced, and as always, the expert techs at Start Haus are here to help you out.

Get Your Bike Ready for Summer

Don’t wait until the trails are snow-free and prime to start looking at your mountain bike – now’s the time to get it dialed in for the season.

To get the most out of your bike, there’s a few things you can do at home, and a few you might want to schedule some time with our amazing mechanics for.


First off – check your tires. Do the treads look ok? Are the side knobs undercut? Center treads worn smooth? And if you’re running tubeless (we hope you’re running tubeless) – now’s a great time to open up the bead to see if you still have sealant, or if it’s formed a big snot ball at the bottom of the tire.

If it’s time to replace tires, check out our tire guide here. And if you don’t have the tools to get a tubeless tire off or back on the rim to check sealant, swing by Start Haus.


Quality suspension makes or breaks a good mountain bike – and too many of us neglect these high-tech pieces of our bikes, resulting in degraded performance and diminished lifespans. Fortunately, the Start Haus is fully set up to do a variety of service and rebuilds on a wide range of forks and rear shocks. Click here to find out more.


Got a screw loose? Now’s a good time to check all the bolts on your bike to make sure they’re tightened to proper torque specifications. Drivetrain check: Nothing’s worse than dropping a chain or skipping gears when you’re redlined on a climb. Brakes howling or not quite stopping? Brake pads and hydraulics should be looked at this time of year too.

All three of these things, and a lot more, are covered in a Start Haus deluxe tune, and now is prime time to book an appointment so your bike runs smooth all summer long. And if you’re ready to take the next steps in doing some maintenance at home, Start Haus has a full selection of tools and the experts to get you started.

Event Soon! – Liv Spring Ladies Ride

Let’s dust off winter and kick off spring season with a ladies’ group ride celebrating the warmer days and the bike season ahead! We will meet at the Start Haus and then head together to Nevada City to explore the new and wildly popular Hoot trail. The Hoot trail is a short, smooth, windy, single-track, 1.3 mile descent, followed by a short climb back up on the road. We will plan to do two laps. Those who want to ride more are welcome to stay. This is a fun ride for everyone meant to bring ladies who bike together for a no-pressure day to ride and make new friends who ride. We’ll freshen up on our cornering skills so that we can make the most of this trail.

Where & When:
Meet up at Start Haus 9AM. From there we’ll shuttle and/or carpool to Nevada City. Coffee and pastries available at Start Haus before the trip.

This event is open to women riders at all levels. See you then!

UPDATE: DirtGypsy Adventures will be providing a free shuttle service for the first 14 people to sign up in the shop! That’s 14 bodies and 14 bikes! (Come on in, give us a call at 530-582-5781, or email to

*** Welcome to our Liv Signature Series – a selection of seasonally-inspired rides and community events. Taking place all around the US, Liv Signature Events are designed to celebrate cycling and inspire women to discover new possibilities through welcoming and fun bike rides and informational clinics. Liv Cycling USA #HowWeLiv #LivSpringRevival ***

Miracle March Update- Still Have Great Skis on Sale!

Winter is holding steady in Tahoe, with 12+ feet of new snow so far in “Miracle March” and resorts are extending their seasons. Start Haus in Truckee’s winter blow out sale is still going on as well, with sweet deals on-top-of-the-line skis. Here are some that you could still snag:


Dynastar Legend Women’s X84 We get it, life is busy and when you can hit the slopes, you want to grab a reliable ski and go. For “one-quiver” skiers, the Legend X84 is an all mountain ski that can cover all terrain with confidence. The X84 is made with Dynastar’s newest Powerdrive Free construction, delivering great response, power and control. Touted as a comfortable ski with great response, Dynastar’s Legend X84 has the torsional stiffness and edge grip needed for high performance on firm snow and is also very versatile with its 5-point sidecut and tip and tail rocker. The X84 has a full wood core with 100% fiber sandwich construction and ABS sidewall to drive energy more efficiently to the edge of the ski for increased edge grip and dynamic ski control.  On sale for $359.97!


Atomic Vantage 85– If you’re looking for a zippy, all-mountain ski for ripping on groomers and an occasional dip into the park, the Atomic Vantage 85 is your ski. The narrowest ski in Atomic’s All Mountain collection, this ski does a little bit of everything. It is lightweight with great edge hold and a flatter tail and more directional shape than Vantage skis in previous years. Its healthy rocker in the tip and tail allows lightning fast turns and effortless lines. The Vantage 85 features extra thick sidewall blocks to suppress vibration and transmit power and hardened steel edges for a strong edge grip.  On sale for $239.99!


Head Monster 88– The Monster 88 is a ski for all-mountain skiers who love to charge. Stiff and performance oriented, the Monster 88 rewards skiers who push it, providing unparalleled stability for deeply carving into powerful arcs at top speed. Described as “a beast,” the Monster 88 boasts an old school design of metal-reinforced wood. If you’re an advanced skier looking for a beefy, edgy hard charger built for speed, this is your ski.  On sale for $419!

With fresh snow, spring skiing in Tahoe is going to be all-time this year. Stop into Start Haus to check out the great deals on these skis and more performance skis and winter gear.

See a pair of skis or a helmet you like? Try the code SKI40NOW during checkout!

2018 Norco Sight- In-Stock Now

Norco Sight 29 & 27.5: Two Top Tahoe Bike Contenders

The perfect Tahoe bike is something we can debate until we’re blue in the face – but for a bike that can take on our region’s gnarly terrain just as well as it can head out for an all-day epic on the Tahoe Rim Trail, the new Norco Sight is tough to beat.

Start off by picking the personality you’re looking for –29-inch wheels with great rollover and speed, or 27.5 for a more nimble ride perfect for those who prefer to pop off of little lips and rocks rather than plowing through them.

The 29er gets 130mm of well-controlled travel in the rear, 140mm up front. Enough to mash through the local rock garden, but without slowing you down on the climb. The 27.5 gets a little more with 140mm in back and 150mm in front – great for getting rowdy without dumbing down your favorite flow trail.

But geometry is what really defines the character of these bikes, and the Sight hits all the right angles and measurements on the head. The head tube angle backs off the crazy-slack trend to balance stability and maneuverability, while a steeper seat tube angle puts you in a better climbing position. The chainstays grow in proportion to reach as you go up in size, giving the bike incredible balance.

At Bike Magazine’s recent bike review roundup – the Bible of Bike, the Norco Sight ended up being not one, but two of the testers’ favorite out of a field of more than 30 bikes.

Jonathon Webber wrote: “They simply do everything extremely well, with absolutely no fuss. Set them to 30-percent sag and go ride. They’ll pedal, climb and descend anything you want, but both are most impressive due to their suspension performance on descents.”

And the ladies loved it too, with Lacy Kemp writing: “For the first time in my three-year tenure as a Bible tester, my favorite bike was an easy choice. The Norco Sight 27.5 was the clear winner. I could not stop riding this bike. It felt awesome on everything.”

Check out Bike Magazine’s video review of the 27.5:


And the 29r:


Swing by the Start Haus to throw a leg over the new Norco Sight and see if it’s the perfect Tahoe Bike for you.

Völkl Early Releases! 2019 Mantra M5 and Women’s Secret

Tahoe’s “Miracle March” has skiers celebrating and calling in sick to work. Start Haus got another great score in March – an early release of the new version of Volkl’s iconic ski, the M5 Mantra and the women’s 2019 Völkl Secret.

The Mantra has been an innovative leader in all mountain skis since it first hit shops in 2005, earning a loyal following that has held strong for more than a dozen years among competition that rushed to add metal to their all mountain skis. The Mantra’s composition of Titanial sandwiching with a solid wood core inspired a whole new segment of 90-100mm waist width category skis.

But with the M5 (named for the 5th generation of the Mantra), Volkl is raising the bar again by heavily modifying the first layer of Titanal, resulting in a lighter ski with the same Mantra chargeability. The M5 brings back the traditional camber underfoot, with a rocker/camber/rocker profile. There is a full sheet of Titanal underneath the wood core, but the first layer only has Titanal in U-shaped forks in the tip and tail, which Völkl calls the Titanal Frame. They also decreased the waist width from 100 to 96 and gave it a shorter turn radius (19.8m radius in the 177cm length). Völkl engineers also added carbon in the tip of the shovel, adding rigidity and sharpness turn to turn.

The Mantra M5 and the narrower Secret (the women’s version that replaces the Aura) still have a full sidewall and sandwich construction, providing Völkl’s signature stability. The skis are available in the same lengths, ranging from 170 cm up to 191 cm.

Early testers have nothing but love for the Mantra M5. According to SKI Magazine, “The Mantra M5 provides an unmatched combination of stability, smoothness and, more so than ever before, liveliness that made it incredibly fun to ski in all types of snow conditions.”

Swing by the shop to check them out!


Home Ski Care 101 – Part 2

Home Ski Care 101 – Part 2

Last week we talked about the first step you can take in home ski maintenance – waxing. This week we’ll take a step up in technique and tools for edge tuning. This can be a little more intimidating than waxing, and if in doubt the expert tuners at Start Haus will get your skis singing – but if you’re ready, follow this simple guide.

Like last week, we’ll assume you aren’t a ski racer for today’s blog. For most of us, a few files and a few guides to set base and edge angles will give all the performance we’re looking for.

Guides – Setting the Angles:

The most common ski tune at the Start Haus is a 1-2, or a 1 degree base bevel and a 2 degree side bevel. That’ sharp without being crazy sharp, keeps the ski from catching when it’s not on edge, and works in a variety of conditions.

So we’ll need a 1 degree base bevel guide and a 2 degree side bevel guide.

It isn’t required, but a custom clamp will help keep the file on the guide.

Files – Shaping and Smoothing:

We start with a first cut file to shape the ski. Then we move on to a second cut file to start smoothing things out.

Finally, we wrap up with a polishing stone to really get the ski edges running smooth and fast.

It’s easier to show, not tell how to use these tools, so take a look:


As always, our experts are here to answer any questions as you dive into the world of ski tuning.