Mine sure as hell isn’t, and now the UCI says I’m not allowed to ride in their silly little races because of it:
Mine sure as hell isn’t, and now the UCI says I’m not allowed to ride in their silly little races because of it:
It was just a few months back I was reporting on some sweet up-and-coming RF products. Well, forget everything I said, because they’ve officially announced they’re going out of business. More info at the following sites:
R.I.P. You will be missed.
Due to it’s layout, teensy apartments and ridiculous population, New York City seems to be one of the better places to set up a bike share program. Alas, it has been green-lit, and should become available sometime in 2012.
Head over to Dowser.org for the full story: http://dowser.org/new-york-citys-bike-share-program-to-launch-in-2012/
Personally, I think it’s a great idea, even with the obvious drawbacks (lost, stolen, and damaged bikes, plus occasional inaccessibility due to all the bikes near you already being used). For one, apartments are sometimes so incredibly small, it’s difficult to find space to keep a bike, much less two, should you have a roommate or spouse. Parking is close to impossible, resulting in most people opting not to own a car, meaning they have to walk, get a cab, or take the subway or bus. The latter three mean you have to rely on–and be near–others, as well as continue to waste fuel. Walking allows you to be alone, burning only calories. The downside is, it’s slow.
Due to space constraints, many don’t have bicycles at home. And because there are few safe places to keep a bike on the streets of the city, I can imagine many people opt for alternative transportation so their bikes aren’t stolen while they’re at work or shopping. But, if you had instantly available bikes that you didn’t have to lug up stairs, maintain, or worry about throughout the day, it may get more people to ride to work, the store, or just for exercise.
I’m hoping the program is successful for NYC, and other large cities begin to open similar systems of their own.
After biking in NYC, pretty much everything else seems boring to me. The city has an overall feel of bike friendliness, with the majority of drivers and pedestrians yielding the right-of-way to cyclists, even at times they shouldn’t have to. Even with all the traffic and red lights every few blocks, the speeds you can hit on the flat roads, and the distance you can cover in very little time, make you almost feel like you’re flying. Unfortunately, not everyone gets along with the bikers.
Last year, NYC passed a "bikes in buildings" law, where companies work with building owners to provide indoor areas for works to safely store their bikes during the day. Obviously, some people have a problem with this:
Near Times Square, a cyclist is able to get out of heavy vehicular traffic, and "safely" travel in designated bike lanes, typically painted in green. I noticed plenty of buses, delivery vans, police cars, and people blocking these lanes more often than not. Apparently, it’s not a problem I, alone, noticed:
But, cycling in NYC isn’t all bad. I toured the city with my brother-in-law who lives there and knows it well, as well as on my own a few times. But, if you’re too timid to get lost, then figure out where you are over and over, you can hook up with Bike and Roll NYC, and go on a legitimate tour of the city. They also offer bikes for rent, for those who don’t need a guided tour. Just remember to bring your camera.
Links via Cyclelicious
I’ve also gotten a lot more photos of my trip posted to Flickr recently, most of which were taken during bike rides. You can check them out here:
London’s Royal College of Art graduate, Anirudha Surabhi, has created a recyclable helmet, made mostly of corrugated cardboard, which just might hit the shelves in a few months.
It’s called the Kranium–which isn’t particularly creative, so thankfully the design makes up for it–and is reported to weigh less than a standard foam helmet, as well as have 4 times the strength. Unfortunately, it also has at least 1.5 times the awkward mushroom-head looks of normal helmets, so hopefully he’s still working on that.
(see what I mean…?)
Autumn is here, it’s getting cool outside, and I’m suddenly too lazy to devote a lot of effort to some posts I’ve been wanting to get up. So… get something warm to drink and check the following links on your own time.
Crank length vs maximum power output: a nerdy look at what effect your crank length has on your total power output and fatigue:
Cyclist’s helmet cam footage helps convict driver:
Here’s the video that led to the conviction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94vzorR8fFM
19th Century Bicycling: Rubber was the Dark Secret
Traveling, not being traveled: 4 quotes on bicycling from the late 1800s
World’s Lightest Bike Weighs Just 6 Pounds
The Secret to a Long Life – An Old Man and His Bike
Oh, man, how I’ve wanted to do this very thing so many times. In Columbia, MO, dog owners seem to think leash laws are optional, so they either let them run free on public-use trails, or put them on those damn retractable leashes, pop in some headphones, and look the other way while their dog runs 20′ ahead–or across the trail or street–to cause near-misses for cyclists. I’ve also been chased by unattended loose dogs in peoples’ yards, and it’s pretty difficult to defend yourself against a biting animal while you’re trying to both stop, and keep from running into things.
The guy in this story was chased down by a couple loose dogs, and not only defended himself against them–and the owner–but the owner wound up getting a ticket for their bad behavior.
Well done, Boulder County, CO!
I’ve been riding a set of Race Face Turbine cranks since 1999, and they still perform like the day I got them, along with the RF taperlock titanium bottom bracket I bought at the time. These originals were machined in Canada, before RF decided to start out-sourcing a lot of their products to China.
Well, after a few years absence from the market, the Turbine model is returning! And although they still have a look similar to the older ones, they’re totally different.
The original Turbines used a classic square-taper bottom bracket, back before integrated spindles had ever been thought up. The 2011 models, of course, are going with the integrated spindle, only you can have it made of North American-sourced titanium, or cheaper (heavier) steel.
The other obviously change is the 4-bolt chainring pattern, one less than the classic version. They come in double-, triple-, or double+bashguard chainring combos.
I haven’t yet found where they’re made; hopefully they machine them in Canada, just like the good old days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were out-sourced to China like everything else. If you look around MTB forums, you find a lot of issues with RF cranks these days, with many older riders lamenting about the high quality of the older Turbines, back when quality control was better, and everything was made in-house. If Race Face knows what’s good for them (and their customers) they’ll get back to making their own products, and stop with the low-rent Chinese vendors.
For now, though, I’m happy to see the return of the iconic Turbine brand. Unfortunately, my classic cranks and BB are in such great shape, I have no reason to drop a few hundred dollars on the new ones.
For more on all of Race Face’s new products, check out Pinkbike.com
It’s not often I get to combine two of my favorite things–Formula 1 and bicycles. German builder Storck Bicycle GmbH, has partnered with F1 team Cosworth, to create a one-off electric bike to commemorate F1 driver Rubens Barrichello’s 300th Grand Prix.
Company founder Markus Storck presented the Raddar Multiroad Carbon bike to the AT&T Williams driver at the Spa racing circuit ahead of his landmark race, which he will compete in this Sunday, August 29… that’s tomorrow, folks!
As well as the custom Cosworth branding that mirrors the graphics on the Williams-Cosworth FW32 F1 car, it has a special logo created by the team to honor Barrichello’s landmark of 300 F1 races. It’s built around a carbon fiber frame, a 250W Swiss-made electric motor, hydraulic disc brakes and ‘advanced gear shift electronics’ but, unfortunately, no flappy-paddle gearbox.
Storck founder, Markus Storck, said: "Formula One racing is all about achieving technical precision and perfection, key elements in the DNA of Storck Bicycle GmbH. I am honored to have been asked by Cosworth to present one of our highest performing products to one of the highest performing men in motor racing, Rubens Barrichello, as he celebrates 300 Grands Prix this weekend."
Mark Gallagher, General Manager of Cosworth’s F1 Business Unit: "It is an absolute pleasure for Cosworth to be a part of Rubens’ 300th Grand Prix celebrations and to present him with this unique Storck bicycle. Cosworth and Storck Bicycles have a close relationship and this bike embodies the pursuit of technical excellence that Formula One is all about. It is this pursuit of excellence that has also taken Rubens to an incredible 300 Grand Prix events, so we thought it a fitting gift to celebrate his impressive F1 career to date."
A soused Stuart man was jailed after deputies say he was engaged in an "obscene argument" with his bicycle, a recently released arrest affidavit states.
County Sheriff’s deputies spied Richard Bialon, 68, around 4 a.m. Tuesday "yelling at his bicycle" in the parking lot of a Mobil gas station in the 3900 block of South Kanner Highway.
"Customers were coming to the Mobil and were very disturbed as to the yelling and obscene argument the defendant was having with his bicycle," the affidavit states.
The affidavit didn’t specify what the argument was about [probably a pesky derailer; God knows I've yelled at mine a time or two] or whether Bialon had accused the pedal-powered vehicle of wrongdoing.
Bialon, of the 5500 block of South Kanner Highway, had been imbibing all day and was described as "very intoxicated."
He was arrested on a misdemeanor disorderly intoxication charge and taken to jail.
Some clever person has turned the Williams Avenue bike lane in Portland, OR, into a Mario Kart race track. If the City is as cool as they pretend to be, hopefully they’ll just leave it alone and let everyone enjoy the upgrade.
More clever than another vinyl sign: a bike shop in Altlandsberg, Germany, advertises themselves by mounting their entire inventory of 120 bicycles on the exterior wall of their store. Shop co-owner Christian Peterson, the man who came up with the great marketing ploy, is certainly a genius.
Awhile back, EighthInch mentioned they were working on a cyclocross frame for this year. Well, today they’ve released a sneak preview of their new Butcher freestyle frame, but is this the cyclocross frame they had talked about before?
Sidenote: "sneak peak" apparently means releasing specs and nearly a dozen HQ photos of the frame. They seem to have a lot to learn from the auto industry.
Anywho, here’s some info on the frame:
- Sizing: 50, 53, 56, 59cm
- Double Butted 4130 Chromo
- 45/45 Integrated Headset
- Mid Bottom Bracket
- Removable 990 Brake Mounts
- Removable Cable Mounts
- 700×45 Tire Clearance (maybe more)
- Bar Spin Clearance In All Sizes
- Includes Mid-BB and Integrated Headeset
- ESTIMATED STREET PRICE – FRAME ONLY: $300 FRAME+FORK $350
Oh, and here’s a profile photo:
Now, tell me that doesn’t look like a singlespeed cyclocross frame to you. If that’s the case, it looks like an excellent frame, although I’m not sure I’m too happy about the mid bottom bracket (it uses press-fit bearings instead of a standard threaded bottom bracket). The integrated headset is a nice touch, though, as are the butted tubes and extra gussets aft of the head tube.
If this isn’t the CC frame, then it’s at least a great platform for it. I wouldn’t mind seeing disc brake braze-ons and a normal BB shell on that bike should it still be in the development phase, though.
For more info and pics, check out their blog: Butcher Sneak Peak
Designer Luke Douglas is showing off a concept bike he came up with as an entry for the James Dyson Awards. The bike, which is still in the early prototype stage, uses a tiny front wheel for maneuverability (I’ll complain about this momentarily) and a much larger rear wheel for stability. The rear wheel has a toothed drive, which sends power through the rear wheel rim, totally negating the use of spokes. The overall design is a bit awkward compared to typical 700c bikes, but it looks like it might work over the long run.
I’m going to try to get in the habit every Friday of posting links I find throughout the week. It’ll go a lil’ sumthin like this:
Traffic Master Jersey via Cyclelicious
Great things about to come from Sette Bikes via MtnBikeRiders
Shop Updates and Projects via Winter Bicycles
The Vintage Mountain Biker via Singletracks
Loving the Bike T-shirts via Lovingthebike
Felt 2011 road bikes via BikeRadar
Dave Weagle Awarded Split Pivot Patent via BikeRadar
Bishop Bikes’ Photostream via Flickr
Creating an Off-Road Conversion via 650B Palace
Michelin Tire Sweepstakes via Lovingthebike
I’ll try to get a longer list next time, but it’s time to get some sleep.
Edit: back with more links…
Bicycle via Hyperbole and a Half
Proposed Bike Path Restaurant Inaccessible by Automobile via Wisconsin State Journal
Floyd Landis: ‘I Saw Armstrong Using Drugs’ via Fanhouse
and… Cycling Fans Root for Dopers to Get Caught via The New York Times
Monkey Light via MonkeyLectric
Okay, done for reals this time.
I’m really happy with my EighthInch Scrambler V2 road frame–great compliancy, stiff bottom bracket, strong, but on the heavy side–but now its replacement is coming (not for me; I plan to build my own frame eventually). Today, EighthInch opened up pre-order sales for the new, improved Scrambler V3 frameset for $170.
The new frame has laser-cut drop-outs, as opposed to the stamped ones on the V2. It also comes with rear brake cable mounts, which the V2 lacks completely. Instead of using typical braze-ons, though, they’re using the type you normally find on mountain bikes for attaching hydraulic brake lines (like this), that require full brake housings and a zip-tie. Either system works fine, but I prefer the typical type of braze-on, where you don’t have to run full housings, and save a few grams of weight. The upside to using full housings, though, is that your cables stay cleaner if you ride in wet conditions.
The V2 came in satin black or glossy white, but the V3 adds Raw to the color mix. If you don’t drool at the sight of a raw steel frame (w/ clearcoat), then I pretty much don’t want to be your friend. The downside is, clearcoat doesn’t stick to steel as well as primer and paint do, so you’ll have to keep an eye on it or risk eventual rust.
Check out the EighthInch blog for more info or to get a pre-order in: http://eighthinch.wordpress.com/
We got hit with rain the night before the mountain bike race, so park officials have canceled the race. It sucks for me, since I’ve been planning to have this be my first race for an entire year now. But, it also sucks for all the racers who traveled to Columbia, MO from around the state, only to have to drive back tomorrow without having had a fun race. I guess I’ll see you all out there next year, and maybe the weather will be a little more cooperative.
I headed out there tonight–the night before the event–to see how well the trail had been cleaned up over the previous week. The park crew did an excellent job re-routing parts of Deer Run trail that had been damaged due to fallen trees, as well as a swelling creek that has come a little too close to the edge of the trail. I was really impressed with the effort, since they’ve apparently worked O.T. just to get everything in order; even more so considering we’ve had triple-digit heat indexes over the same time period every single day.
In the middle of my ride, I came up on the Walt’s crew as they marked the race course, and Sarah–the race commissioner–said she hoped she wasn’t putting the markers up in vain. Twenty minutes later, the trail went extremely dark, thunder picked up in the near distance, and an out-of-town racer and I left the rest of the crew to head to our cars. I hopped in mine literally the second a monsoon hit, flipped on the A/C, dried off, and waited for the rain to back off enough that I could see past the nose of my car. I finally drove home at half the posted speed limit, barely able to make out the roads, disappointed that I missed what would have been my first race, but glad that I had a thrilling final practice ride.
Upstart Swiss bicycle maker, Tato, has revealed a new commuter bike with a cool solution for carrying your stuff.
Instead of using a messenger bag, backpack or pannier system, they’ve designed a frame with room inside the front triangle that’s large enough for a briefcase, laptop, or anything else that can fit the 15.75" x 12.5" x 3.75" slot. The top tube is a split design–called Central Storage System for Bikes, or CSSB–allowing you to just slip your cargo into the frame and ride off.
The $1,500 bike comes with a Shimano Deore drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and your choice of rigid or suspension fork. Personally, I’d like to see more aggressive road bike geometry and a drop bar (or bullhorns), and rear axle dropouts that allow for a singlespeed set-up. That aside, it’s a pretty interesting concept, and I wouldn’t be surprised if smaller builders mimicked the split top tube (it can’t possibly be patentable, can it?).
Not to be outdone by Trek, Specialized is also doing a giveaway promo during the Tour de France. Instead of complete bikes, they’re giving away 21 framesets over the next three weeks.
To enter, however, you have to stop by your authorized Specialized dealer each day to pick up a Rider Card, which has a code number on it. You then log on to Specialized’s website and enter your information, along with the code on the card.
What this means is, if your authorized dealer is a long drive away, or you’re too busy to get there each day to pick up a card, you’re pretty much out of the game. I think this is a pretty stupid way to do a promotion, and maybe they’ll get their shit straight next year and do it right.
Stop whatever you’re doing and don’t enter Trek’s Dream Bigger bike giveaway. Last year, I sorta got screwed out of winning any prizes in Trek’s giant WOW! promo because none of my local bike shops were involved. All the while, my buddy in Ohio practically got the CEO’s first born… or at least a some water bottles and other crap.
If no one enters this year, it raises my chances of not only winning, but of shoving it in all your faces, too.
Starting on July 16th, they begin drawing prizes for 10 days in a row, but you can only win if you get started collecting game plays now. So, don’t click the following link, and absolutely don’t sign up to win. Thanks.