Urban Velo

  • July 14, 2014New Albion Homebrew

    New Albion Homebrew

    In 1579 Sir Francis Drake landed in northern California and dubbed it New Albion. In 1976, Jack McAuliffe founded the now defunct New..

  • July 10, 2014Worksman Cycles Gallery

    Worksman Cycles Gallery

    Housed in a former candle factory in Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest manufacturing traditions. Worksman Cycles is a..

  • July 9, 2014Wolfpack Civic Center Crit Racer Profile: <br /> Sean “Young Blood” McElroy

    Wolfpack Civic Center Crit Racer Profile:
    Sean “Young Blood” McElroy

    Sean McElroy had only known about the Civic Center Crit for a week, maybe two, before coming to claim the dog tags in the men’s road..

  • June 4, 2014Fuji Feather CX 1.1 Bike Review

    Fuji Feather CX 1.1 Bike Review

    Cyclocross bikes have long been a choice for the rider looking for a versatile machine—enjoyable on long road rides, capable on trails..

  • June 2, 2014Issue #42 – Available Online

    Issue #42 – Available Online

    Contents Include: Utilitarian Bicycles in China, City Report: Washington DC, Gallery: SF Courier Portraits, Redhook Crit Women’s Race,..

    L&L Society Tahoe Ride


    I was asked to fundraise for and ride at this year’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Tahoe ride, but had to decline for various reasons. Riding for and with the L & L Society was a great experience and I plan to do it again, but this video of the Tahoe ride convinces me that I’m going to focus on this event next time. I hear this is the best, and most challenging, ride to participate in and now I believe it. Also, the ride experience is one thing, but the satisfaction of, and people you meet through, fundraising is genuinely the most rewarding part of it all.

    How To Tie and Solder Spokes

    Tied and soldered spokes were once a final touch from the finest mechanics upon the highest quality wheels, but have for the most part faded into obscurity. Seen only rarely these days, many cyclists have never personally laid eyes upon a set of tied and soldered wheels, let alone question the history of the practice or learn to tie their own.

    Back in Urban Velo #11 published in January 2009 we explained the practice and showed you how to get started with the help of local old school wheel wizard Scott Wickham Jr.

    Read the whole article in our magazine archives, and check out the other 42 issues we’ve published to date absolutely free, no catch.

    HouseTrike

    Bike camping seems to be the rage right now, but for slower traveling nomads or those living in the city, popping up a tent in public gets you in trouble almost immediately. An Amsterdam artist, Bas Sprakel, has considered this dilemma and created an intermediate between bike camping and homeless domiciles, called the HouseTrike. The mobile temporary home includes a bed with an internal locking mechanism for safety. Sprakel is considering making adjustments in the next fabrication and taking the bike on a tour of Europe to show it’s practical nature.

    To me it was important that is was multi-functional and practical for all most everybody who is living without a roof above their head. It didn’t need to be luxurious but it had to be a device solving their basic needs, both psychical and mentally. So it is a bed that can be locked from the inside so you sleep well and feel fresh the next day. The box has a lot of space to store a lot of stuff but is still small so it is stil light and easy to use. Also extended it is still small and therefore you can sleep anywhere you want, also in the city without being noticed that fast. It provides in a very sober way all the basic needs.

    That’d Be Rad

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    That’d be rad… that was rad. Absolutely amazing family film from the Zenga Bros.

    I Love Riding in the City – Terry Crock

    terryNAME: Terry Crock
    LOCATION: Massillon, Ohio
    OCCUPATION: Technology and Automation Shop Manager

    Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
    I live near Massillon, Ohio. I build custom bicycles for myself and my children, which we use to ride on biking trails between Massillon, Navarre, Dalton, and Canal Fulton, Ohio. These are all small towns, fun and easy to ride around in, without much traffic. Canal Fulton has a canal boat pulled by horses that people can ride as the biking trail in that area follows the old Ohio and Erie Canal that was in during the 1800′s. Sometimes one has to make their way around the horses pulling the canal boat as one rides the trail. Massillon has a bicycle shop directly on the trail for any needed parts or repairs. The biking trails in this area are generally flat and easy to ride.

    What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
    Right now that city would be Navarre, Ohio because it is somewhere safe to ride with my children. And one can smell the fresh bread being baked at Nickle’s Bakery!

    Why do you love riding in the city?

    The cities I ride in would be considered small with populations below 40,000. The good thing about that is the small town attitude in which auto drivers tend to see bicyclists as other people instead of targets.

    Check out: undergroundvelo.proboards.com

    What Rides May Come

    So, this is a clever way to promote your semi-custom frames, no?
    Nolobi sells customizable frames with variations in colourways, wheel sets and accessories.

    Tom Teesdale Suffers Heart Attack on RAGBRAI

    dmrdc5-5q427cih4ew1kmbdl30j_original In sad news RAGBRAI is reporting that long time framebuilder Tom Teesdale suffered a heart attack and passed away while participating in the annual ride across Iowa on Monday the 21st. Tom was an influential craftsman having been involved in the 1980′s era Fisher bikes, and known throughout the world of small-time builders.

    Son John Teesdale said his father loved his family and had a passion for bicycles.

    “It’s nice — well, it’s not nice — but if you’ve got to go out, you might as well go out riding your bike,” he said.

    Read more at www.ragbrai.com

    Swobo Minneapolis Folsom Fist Fight

    Minneapolis rules, and this is more evidence. Swobo gets it.

    In It Together Fest and Alleycat

    In It Together Fest Alleycat flyerIn It Together Fest (InFest) is a celebration of underground art, music, and activism throughout DC, running from July 31–August 3. It’s four days of shows, workshops, and activism; occurring in DC’s homes, basements, and other non-commercial creative spaces. And on Day Three of InFest, there’s also a kickass alleycat!

    The InFest Alleycat is like a tour de DIY. The race will guide riders to the city’s myriad creative spaces—checkpoints at community-built skateparks, house venues, graffiti havens, art trails, etc. Along the way, checkpoint tasks will encourage riders to participate in creative expressions.

    Check out www.infestdc.org

    Dragon Shirt Sale – $5!

    uvdragon-2
    Roll with the red dragon and a winning hand of cards for just $5 plus shipping. The art was originally made for our annual Spring Roll alleycat but we decided it would work well on a shirt as a standalone piece. Time to make space for a new design, pick one up while supplies last. White Gildan Dryblend 50/50 shirt, available in sizes S-XXL.
     

    Price: $5.00

     

    Etnnic Bikes


    Etnnic Bikes is a new frame maker from overseas, specializing in unique urban frames that are both utilitarian and compact. They will be releasing electric models, 20″ fixies and more in the near future.

    Etnnic on Facebook

    Deux North Hunt 4

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    We’ve posted the previous Deux North videos, with this one being the most recent in the inspiration and scenic series. Hunt 4 follows the Deux North team for a couple of hundred miles out of Santa Cruz, riding and testing the new Specialized Diverge “adventure road” bike en route to the 100 mile Grasshopper Adventure Series Race.

    Superb Bicycle Overland Prototype

    Superb-Overland-full

    This is my kind of bicycle. The widespread epiphany that big tires are comfortable and can take you to awesome places on a “road” bicycle has led to a number of choices in the realm of versatile frames built for real world riding rather than pure racing. Superb Bicycle just posted a few pictures of their latest efforts, the Overland. Build it with flat bars and racks for commuting and city riding, or drop bars for gravel and cyclocross endeavors. Clearance for up to 40 mm tires gives you more cushion for the pushin’, steel tubes keep it real. The prototype is 4130 steel, but Superb is threatening to make it out of Columbus Zona for that much better, and lighter, of a ride. Check out that flat crown and hooded dropouts (with replaceable hanger!). Good stuff. See more at www.superbbicycle.com

    Meet the Blackburn Rangers

    Meet the Blackburn Rangers, headed on the road for 2014 to use and abuse the latest equipment for months long real-life testing that the lab can’t emulate. Most of us live in cities, and most of us want to get out for an extended road trip now and again. Even if your trip is only a few hours, you might be happy that one of these people made sure that pump or pannier is good for the journey. Watch and catch some views from the Great Divide and Pacific Coast Highway routes. “Get out there.”

    Surly Straggler 650b

    straggler-650b-15_cs_sv_930x390

    Last year Surly released the Straggler upon the world, basically a disc brake equipped version of the venerable Crosscheck, but different. It’s a great bike, we’ve been riding a pair of them since their introduction with a review of the 700c version slated for Urban Velo #43.

    Surly has just announced the Straggler 650b, another different take on more of the same. This isn’t just a spec change, the frame and fork feature different geometry to fit the 650b wheels, a boon for people of shorter stature that have experience toe overlap problems on the 700c Straggler, and for everyone else that is finding the benefits of the ‘tweener wheel size. As the big brains at Surly say, “650b wheels strike a nice balance between the benefits of both 26” and 700c sizes. The smaller wheel allows smaller riders to fit well on smaller frames, produces a stronger wheel, makes fitting big ass tires easier and are more agile than their larger counterparts.”

    Halo Vapour Wheels

    halo vapour wheels

    Halo is a UK-based brand founded in 1995. Their initial focus was on bikes that were designed to take flight, but they’ve expanded their line to include cross country mountain bike and road bike wheels. And with stateside distribution they’re set to make their mark on the US market.

    DSC_1698When I set out to build my latest city bike, I knew that I didn’t want wimpy wheels, and I didn’t want anything proprietary—not even straight pull or bladed spokes. Even though I’m not known as a wheel crusher, I do like to go off road whenever possible, and my shortcuts often include some of the roughest alleys and parking lots in town. Plus, the bike in question, a Surly Straggler, is spaced for a 135 mm mountain bike rear hub. Enter the Halo Vapour wheelset.

    Designed for serious mountain biking, but not necessarily racing, the Vapour wheelset features 32-hole, deep section, 26 mm wide rims. Made from heat treated T10 aluminum, they’re double walled with eyelets for durability. For the duration of this test the rims held 700 x 35c steel beaded tires. I would think the wide profile wouldn’t work well with anything smaller than a 700 x 32c.

    DSC_1699The rims come laced to forged alloy hubs. Both front and rear feature international standard six-bolt disc rotor mounts. The rear hub uses six double-point pawls which equates to 12 points of engagement. I really can’t ask for more when it comes to responsiveness, and whir of the freehub sounds like that of a very expensive hub.

    Aesthetically, these may be a bit flashy for a city bike, but I like them. The red anodized nipples offer a splash of color without looking gaudy, and the rim graphics warrent a double take. That’s neither silver ink nor faux-brushed aluminum decals—the graphics are laser etched into the rims.

    DSC_1712The rims are tubless compatible though the rim strips and valves not included. The hubs do include an assortment of hardware and adapters for 15 & 20mm axles.

    As tested the wheels weighed 872 g front and 961 g rear. Retail price is $199 front and $295 rear. Check out www.halo-usa.com

    Felt eBikes Site Now Live

    felt-lebowskeFelt Electric, the eBike wing of their company, is now live. The Felt Electric line currently hosts 5 models consisting of a fat bike, full-suspension mountain bike, aggressive mountain/city racer, and a commuter model which includes a step-through frame version.

    In addition to the new site, they will be introducing their 2015 models next week. The electric line allows the rider to achieve nearly 300% power assist if they so choose, or two other levels for more manual operation.

    Rear Facing Camera Catches Driver (Deliberately?) Hit Cyclist

    This one is hard to watch. Earlier this week a rider in Bullard Texas cycling on a very wide shoulder to the right of the white line was seemingly deliberately hit by a passing pickup truck. The Ford F150 pickup driven by 52-year-old Samuel Vercher clearly veers towards the cyclist as it approaches. Maybe it isn’t malice and the driver just can’t keep his giant truck in his lane and should be disqualified from driving, but I wouldn’t give this guy that much credit from my look at the video. It only takes one asshole using their vehicle as a weapon to change your family forever.

    Read the local coverage of the incident at the Tyler Morning Telegraph that identifies the driver and has this quote from the Bullard Police Chief Gary Don Lewis, “We don’t know how close to the line the cyclist was traveling, but I must make it clear that the bike was not struck, it was the vehicle’s mirror that struck the cyclist. He (Vercher) was very upset that he hit the cyclist he says he never saw.”

    I’d be willing to bet that nothing comes of this after the police wrap up their investigation, as the driver is using the old “I didn’t see him” excuse, which in my experience gives drivers the freedom to run over anyone they want without fear of repercussions.

    Read our feature story HD Witness in Urban Velo #40 about the growing number of people using cameras to document malicious and inattentive drivers.

    Bicycle Family Tree


    Not only would the research for this “Bicycle Family Tree” be quite time consuming, but the designers at Wyatt 9 also illustrated the entire poster…each bicycle. That’s impressive. Kickstarters are purchasing a copy of the final print in various sizes, and greater contributions get a t-shirt, name inscription and a vote for the three absent bikes in the piece. Well done Wyatt 9.

    See more of their bicycle themed prints and shirts here.

    Fyxation Open Fixed Gear Criterium

    fyxation open

    Move over alleycat, track criteriums have taken over, and the next chance to race track bikes around hairpins is at the Fyxation Open in Chicago on July 26. Men’s and women’s races will take place in downtown Chicago as a part of the Intelligensia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.

    “Back in the day, fixed gear road racing was a bike racing staple with classic events like the 50 mile Elgin to Chicago race,” said Intelligentsia Cup co-founder and former U.S. professional criterium champion Tom Schuler. “We are excited to host this high-energy form of bike racing, once again reminding us that everything old is new again.”

    The fixed gear races will be held on the same course as the Chicago Criterium and is open to all classes; equipment check will be required on the day of the race. Standard rules apply: track bikes with drop bars and no freewheel or brakes. Cash, prizes and race primes from Fyxation, All City Cycles, Chrome, Nutcase and Abus.

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