WiseCracker Blog

Support Small Business November 24 2015

We're damn proud that WiseCracker is a family-owned small business. Since we launched on our new site last year, Mike and I have been having a blast making high quality products and delivering exceptional service. In the US, small businesses employ over half of Americans, and since 1990 although large companies have eliminated 4 million jobs, small companies have added 8 million new jobs. The small business is a powerful engine of the US economy. (Source: SBA Small Business Trends)

As we get close to the holiday season, folks will be buying all kinds of gifts for family, friends or even the gift exchange at work. We wanted to recognize a couple of companies that we really admire, if you're looking for something really unique or made with exceptional quality, consider the following companies.

Pedal Happy Design

Scott is an amazing leather worker. If you know someone who loves to bike and loves craft beer, you can't go wrong with the bike-mounted growler holder. The quality on Pedal Happy products is second to none, Scott even helped us hand stitch the leather handles that go onto the Duke handheld opener we released this year.


The guys at BELCH know how to have fun and don't take life too seriously. My favorite design of theirs is the "Ride Beer, Drink Bikes" shirt that I wear constantly. BELCH is about real people who want to get out and have fun with friends. Check them out and definitely read their story.

Charlie the Bikemonger (UK)

Hands down one of the most interesting people we've worked with in the bike world is Charlie "the Bikemonger" Hobbs. He loves being outdoors, whether it's surfing or MTB or getting knarly on his singlespeed, and is a big proponent of the fatbike segment. His shop serves much of Western Europe from Swanage on the Southern tip of the UK.

Drake's Brewing Company (San Leandro, CA)

One of Mike's favorite breweries, Drake's initially kicked off during the micro-brew explosion of the late 80's. Nowadays they are known for their California inspired beers that are heavy in flavor. If you're over in the East Bay, check them out for an afternoon brewery tour, or perhaps next time you're at the bottle shop treat yourself to one of their award-winning local brews.

Jekyll Brewing (Alpharetta, GA)

A local go-to favorite in the Atlanta area is Jekyll Brewing, named after an Island off the coast of Georgia. The 'Merican Amber Ale is one to always keep in the fridge (it can be difficult, they go quickly). Their beers used to be a littler harder to find, but fortunately business is going well and you can now find them in the supermarket as well as the package shop. Tours are available Tuesday through Saturday, it's great to see how they grow over time.

Small Business

These are some fun companies that we really admire. With over 28 million small businesses in the US alone, there are plenty to choose from. So this holiday season when you're thinking about giving a gift that is unique or of exceptional quality, think about a small business as well.

Team CoreCo International Fatbike Athletes April 18 2015

From the jungles of Costa Rica to the hills of South Africa to the frozen tundra of Alaska, Team CoreCo will go just about anywhere to ride their fat bikes. They are a non-profit organization based in Costa Rica that supports clean competition in some of the world's most grueling bike races. And they have the most fun doing it too. Here is some background on their team from Will Muecke, one of their founders:

"The motto for Team CoreCo is that we develop the best person, first, and the best athlete, second. That means that we drive an agenda to promote leadership and examples of best practices in the community through our cycling team and drive for a diversity of talent rather than single out specific metrics like podium finishes which can result in a more exclusive and less open feel to the team. We hope that the riders of our feeder programs find that racing under the Team CoreCo flag is an aspirational goal, and that the path to race with Team CoreCo at premier races is attainable to anyone that puts in the hard physical work, but also remains connected and productive in their local community."


What kind of fun do they have? Well, every fall they race in La Ruta de Los Conquistadores which is one of the most grueling bike races in the world. It's a 150+ mile race with 29,000 feet in elevation change. In one of the most vibrant places on planet earth, Costa Rica. It's such a tough race that the team runs camps throughout the summer to prepare. This is on their home turf, so they take this race seriously. And last year one of their racers, Jeff Herrera, won the whole thing. This is a video from Dirtwire TV about his Borealis Yampa CF bike. We even get a little shoutout about the WiseCracker around 2:45.

This year they also ran a team in Absa Cape Epic down in South Africa. This is a huge week-long endurance race over 450 miles and 50,000 feet of elevation change. To make sure they were fully prepared this year, they went with a full pink theme for their kit. If they're going to fly halfway across the world to race in their fat bikes, they need to look good.But there's actually more to it than just racing, they also find a way to connect to the local community. At Cape Epic they partnered with JAG Foundation which is an organization working to combat bullying, create mentoring relationships and and add support to the townships of Western Cape of South Africa. In their words:

"We feel that the team should commit to doing just a bit more that showing up and race, and our hope is that no matter where we go, and no matter where we ride, domestically or internationally, that we make an effort to connect to the local community, and then work to leave a positive impact behind us after we leave."

But sometimes you're not in the mood for one of those hot climates and want to test your mettle against the frigid cold and ice. Maybe something like -10° F to cool off? Kathi, a 3-time winner of this 350-mile race runs an annual Iditarod Training Camp to teach you the techniques for surviving in the extreme cold. Save your fingers, nose and toes! In 2014 Team CoreCo raised over $2500 to support Bering Sea Women's Shelter as part of a group effort for the ITI race.

Their equipment is top notch and at the end of the season in 2013 they decided to transition to fat bikes. They struck up a relationship with newcomer Borealis and started testing out their equipment. They now race both of the Borealis bike models, the Yampa (rigid fork; for XC or adventure/endurance racing) and the Echo (built around the Bluto 100mm travel front shock from RockShox; primarily for endure and downhill racing). The design and feel of the Borealis bikes as frame geometry and material selection optimizes the key aspects of weight, strength and performance. According to Will Muecke, "The machines that Borealis builds are race rockets – versatile, responsive and super-­‐fun to ride."

But it's not all about racing in the worlds hottest, coldest, longest and most challenging races. They also know how to relax as well and are big fans of WiseCracker just let we are huge fans of theirs: "Nothing better than grabbing something super cold, walking over to my bike, and hearing the hiss as I crack the seal on the cap with my Wisecracker, of course!". Here's a little video Will put together after a long race day:

How to open a cold beer after Stage 6 at the 2015 Absa Cape Epic

Posted by Team CoreCo on Saturday, March 21, 2015


The team is big on inclusion, Will recently shared a great post about the important of enjoying the ride you have:

"What is important? Certainly not the bike you ride. Not the make or the build group or whether it is carbon or not. It does not matter that you ride tubeless, or that your bike is over 30 lbs. It does not matter if you ride every day, or week, or month...or if you ride snow or dirt or race long endurace races or just spin around the block or go shopping on your fat bike. It does not matter who you are, where you come from, what job you have or how much you earn. It does not matter if you are male or female, what nationality you identify with or what gender or race. None of this matters. At all. What does matter is that you connect with us and that we connect with you. That we share the good and the bad and that we have a community that supports our silliness of fat bikes, because that silliness is good and positive and powerful. That silliness levels the field for us all, turns us all into smiling eight-year-olds, again, and some of us might actually be eight-year-olds, still. That silliness connects us to happiness and inner freedom and to good, clean fun. And that silliness connects us to each other. And that is what really matters. Ride on. Ride fat. Have fun. Cheers, everyone."

Media credits:

  • Team CoreCo pic - Will Muecke
  • Dirtwire TV video - Thom Parsons
  • Absa Cape Epic pic - Dominic Barnardt
  • Iditarod Trail Invitational pic - Kathi Merchant
  • Team CoreCo pic - Will Muecke
  • Team CoreCo WiseCracker video - Will Muecke
  • Costa Rica Training Camp Day 1 Recon - Will Muecke

Now Available on Competitive Cyclist April 08 2015

I'm excited to share that Backcountry.com and Competitive Cyclist are now carrying some of our openers, including the double-headed Twinduro. They wrote some funny product descriptions on their site, we're happy to be working with them.

Who said beer is not a great recovery drink? Not us. That’s why we had to have a Wisecracker Competitive Cyclist Headset Spacer Bottle Opener. Carry it in your pocket or fit it neatly as a headset spacer under your handlebars, you’ll never need to be without a way to open that brew on the trails again.

Made from 6061 aluminum, Wisecracker bottle openers are designed to last. We’re not messing around here. This will be a seriously durable, essential tool in your kit. The hard-black anodized finish will keep its sheen even after you’ve cracked open hundreds of bottles. And at the same time, the 4.8mm stack height will help you get your position on the bars absolutely spot on. And even if you don’t want to take the five minutes to install it on your bike, at only 16 grams, you won’t notice the weight whether you are carrying it in your cargo pants or in a saddlebag.

If you love us and you love beer, what better way to join the two together than by hooking up with a Wisecracker Competitive Cyclist Headset Spacer Bottle Opener? Fits 1-1/8" headsets.

At Backcountry, we like to think of beer as the ultimate uniting beverage. However serious we can be in the heat of competition, few furrowed foreheads remain once we start popping open the local brews. So it’s only fitting that Backcountry has its own branded opener from Wisecracker. With the Wisecracker Backcountry Headset Spacer Bottle Opener, you can enjoy your favorite beer when you are camping along your own backcountry trails.

Made from 6061 aluminum, Wisecracker bottle openers are designed to last. We’re not messing around here. This will be a seriously durable, essential tool in your kit. The hard-black anodized finish will keep its sheen even after you’ve cracked open hundreds of bottles. And at the same time, the 4.8mm stack height will help you get your position on the bars absolutely spot on. And even if you don’t want to take the five minutes to install it on your bike, at only 16 grams, you won’t notice the weight whether you are carrying it in your cargo pants or in a saddlebag.

The Wisecracker Backcountry Headset Spacer Bottle Opener fits 1-1/8" headsets. Beer always tastes better from a bottle, and now you can always be prepared for that impromptu hops break.

Andrew the Maker handmade bags April 03 2015

A couple of weeks ago I had a great phone conversation with Andrew Wiloid, aka Andrew the Maker. Here's a guy who leaves a job as a Toyota Master Mechanic to become a stay-at-home Dad and make handmade products full time. He is a very personal guy, he prefers to talk to customers over the phone instead of just working over email or a faceless website. A guy who prefers making products in his own workshop instead of sending the work to a factory overseas. True to form, during our call he was taking his daughter for a walk and I could hear her babbling in the background. Andrew the Maker is a true family man.

Kansas is known for being pretty flat, what is some of the local riding that you do on the weekends?
That is very true about Western Kansas. However, Kansas City, Missouri, Johnson County, Kansas, and Wyandotte County, Kansas are full of river bluffs and rolling hills. There aren’t very many places you can go around here that are an easy ride for long. 

There is a trail called the BuRP that is about 10 minutes from my house. It has a wide variety of surfaces. This single track trail can be flat, wide, chunky, rocky, and rooty depending on the section. This trail is awesome and hopefully in the next two years or so it will be connected to another local park trail that would give it a combined 50+ miles of urban single track. Recently they added an aggressive down hill portion to this trail, that I don’t have the balls to hit. Another great place is WYCO. This trail has some really good climbing segments. Parts of this trail averages 100 -150 feet of climbing every mile. Thanks to the amazing trail building groups and the dedicated trail builders we have a ton of trails all over the metro too.
What is your favorite post-ride beverage?
One of the awesome things about the trail near my house is there is a liquor store at one end of the trail! Honestly, I will drink just about anything but, I prefer pale ales, stouts, and belgian brews. I’ve been drinking a lot of Dale’s Pale Ale lately but, being from Kansas City I also drink my fair share of Boulevard products. I’m not a huge fan of IPA’s although, Pinner by Oscar Blues is a damn fine beer to take on the trail for a mid ride refreshment.
What was it that made you decide to leave your mechanic job to do ATM full-time?

The main reason was that my wife and I decided that when we had kid(s) one of us would stay home to raise them. We kicked around different options but always returned to one of us staying home.  So after my daughter was born, we made the decision that I would stay at home and care for her and run ATM Handmade Goods. Previously, I had been working as a Master Toyota Technician and although the pay was good, the benefits, hours, and environment were horrible. My wife on the other hand, had great benefits, a flexible schedule, and more opportunity for growth. We recognized that I had this growing business that was becoming too much for the 10 - 15 hours  I could dedicated to it a week. So, we decided to roll the dice and see what life would bring us!



Tell me about the equipment you use to make these bags

At first, I was using two consumer grade machines that we owned. After getting my first yard of Cordura, I quickly realized they were not going to work. Luckily, we have a store that specializes in commercial sewing machines in KC. I’m a bit of a gear junky and a tool hoarder so, I have 3 industrial machines for different operations (2 Juki’s and 1 Consew). I don’t really like to compromise when it comes to things like tools so, I continue to invest in machines that make high quality bags and products.


You recently went to NAHBS (North America Handmade Bike Show) in Kentucky. Anything you want to share from being at the show?

I went with a group from Kansas City called the “Kansas City Bicycle Collective” which was started by Vincent Rodriguez who owns Velo+ Bike Shop in Lenexa, Kansas. We represented 5 brands in one booth which was kind of crazy and awesome. The word was that the turnout was smaller than previous years. But, I barely got a chance to use the bathroom most days. It was a ton of fun! I got a chance to talk to a bunch of bike dorks, like myself and party with a bunch of frame builders and industry folks. The amount of press I received after the show was amazing! I would have never thought a frame bag maker would have been a highlight of NAHBS but, I was! The beer holding frame bag attracted a lot of attention and demonstrated my desire to make customized products that meet the requirements of my consumers.


What is the future for ATM Handmade Goods? Anything you want to share or things people should keep their eye out for?

I am expanding my accessory bag line. I plan on doing items that will appeal to more than just the bike packing crowd. Gravel riding is huge in the mid-west so, I’m trying to focus in that area now. There are a couple gear reviews that will hopefully make some waves this summer. Besides that I’m just trying to care for my daughter, keep my head above water making goods, and still ride from time to time.


It's March, we're bored, here's a bunch of new products March 14 2015

We're having a blast in 2015 freezing our tails off and getting ourselves ready for Spring. Soon we will be slaying the trails with the latest bike gear and all the bottle openers you can handle. For example, this recent build-out features 3 WiseCrackers that would let you open 4 bottles at the same time (thanks to the Twinduro double opener action!).


These new products below are available in the WiseCracker Lifestyle Collection !

For those who want to represent the WiseCracker tribe when out and about, we are now offering a few hat options. If you don't like freezing your ears off, grab one of these cool new beanies (available in pink and black).


If you're worried about helmet hair after your ride, you may want to pick up one of these FlexFit hats featuring the classic WiseCracker name on the front and the American Flag on the back.


Finally, for those who want to ride over to a friend's house and bring some beer as well, we have a hand-crafted leather bomber holder so everyone can enjoy the latest craft beer discovery. As always, don't drink and ride!


And just to top things off we had a couple of other minor additions as well. We added additional bike grip combo packs and a new combo pack for bullet valve covers along with a matching WC Lite opener.



Instagram Photo Contest - Bike Upgrade March 10 2015

Spring is right around the corner and we have a giveaway to upgrade your bike. The winner of this contest will receive a WiseCracker bike-mounted bottle opener of their choice.

Here's how to enter on Instagram:

  1. Post a picture of the bike that needs the upgrade and hashtag #wscrckr
  2. You must be following us @wscrckr

The winner will be chosen at random on Friday 3/20. Good luck!

West End Bicycles in Houston February 10 2015

Founded 30 years ago in 1985, West End Bicycles in Houston is nestled in the Rice Military neighborhood north of Memorial Drive. They are well known in their neighborhood for their repair services and rentals to hit up the trails near by. They have been longtime WiseCracker customers, and we recently interviewed them for this blog.

[WiseCracker] What is some of the best riding you've done locally around Houston?

[West End] Double Lake in the Sam Houston National forest is nice and flowy ,perfect for a singlespeed. Closer to town you have Cy Creek.

[WiseCracker] What makes your shop unique?

[West End] We try to make everyone feel comfortable from someone looking for a bike to ride around the neighborhood with the grandkids to the rider looking to do a tour across Asia.


[WiseCracker] What are some of the cool items in your shop?

[West End ]We have bikes on display from the 1800's to the latest from, Specialized, Moots, All City, Salsa, Surly, Vassago, Handsome and local builder, Schott Cycles.

[WiseCracker] This year is your 30-year anniversary since opening in 1985, any special plans?

[West End] We are going to Switzerland to get our blood changed out so we can go another 30...

[WiseCracker] Is your shop involved with anything around the community?

[West End] We co-sponsor the Kids Cup at all the TMBRA.com races.

[WiseCracker] Anything else you'd like to add?

[West End] Just ride.

(Pictured is West End rider Jeana winning her first MTB race this past weekend!)

2015 Tour du Rouge February 03 2015

The American Red Cross Tour du Rouge (Facebook Page) is a six-day bike tour from Houston to New Orleans (May 3-8, 2015) that raises money for the American Red Cross. Donations help provide hurricane relief services along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. Each rider is obligated to raise $2,500 in donations to the Red Cross (and also be prepared to ride a bicycle about 530 miles in six days). The 2015 Tour du Rouge will be the seventh running of this multi-day bike tour, and it has raised MILLIONS of dollars for the Red Cross in the last six years (over $500,000 in 2014 alone).

One of the teams riding in Tour du Rouge has created custom WiseCracker openers. If you donate $25 or more, they will send you one of these red ceramic coated headset spacer openers. Donations can be made to Jeff Johnson's TdR Fundraising Page to qualify for a WiseCracker. Quantities are extremely limited, so when they're gone, they're gone (there are already several committed). If you'd like more than one TdR WiseCracker, you need to make multiple donations. Note in the comments that you want a WiseCracker and provide a mailing address

If you have any questions please feel free to fill out the Contact Us form and we will put you in touch with the folks running this fundraiser.

New Color Options for 2015 January 18 2015

We're happy to announce some new great color options are now available. We have been experimenting with a variety of finishes and now have some brighter colors with a little extra pop!

Blue Ceramic Coated

Pink Ceramic Coated

Red Ceramic Coated

New Limited Products December 28 2014

We're happy to have added some new products to our Limited Runs!

El Jefe is long handheld opener fashioned out of titanium. It features holes so that it can be mounted to your bike in place of a water bottle cage. Or of course just hang it on a hook and use as your kitchen opener. Since it's made of titanium it feels very light in the hand. 

We're testing out some new finishes for stainless steel. They are now available for a limited time with black and dark blue ceramic finishes. 

These combo packs feature an award winning ODI Koozie combined with an aluminum WiseCracker LITE opener.

WC Triple Giants Orange now available December 21 2014

This very limited supply bottle opener is now available on our webstore:

Help us name our latest invention December 15 2014

We have some prototypes for a new handheld only bottle opener and are running a contest over on our Facebook page to come up with the best name. Check out the post, help us name our new opener and win a cool prize!