Hell’s Belles is a European women’s bike polo tournament, with the third running happening in November 2013 in Barcelona. Olivier Minh was on hand and shot a great assortment of black and white portraits of the tournament competitors, posted in full at www.olivier-minh.fr While almost a year old, the images are well worth flipping through.
Gevenalle (the artist formerly known as Retroshift) introduced the Blatantly Upgraded Rear Derailleur a couple of seasons back, taking a Microshift rear derailleur, swapping some pulleys and increasing the chain spring tension and giving riders a reasonably priced derailleur alternative better tuned for the grit of cyclocross. Now comes the Blatantly Upgraded and Rebranded Derailleur for the front shifting duties, this again uses a Microshift derailleur, this time their top-end road unit with a swapped out cage. Gevenalle removed the flimsy carbon cage and replaced it with a stiffer steel unit better tuned to the smaller double chainring sets on cyclocross, gravel riding and pro-commuter type bikes. The rear derailleur is available starting at $69, with the front derailleur $50 in either braze-on or clamp-on mounts, with economical crash replacement policies on each. See more BURD at www.gevenalle.com.
Local to Urban Velo framebuilder Michael Brown of Maestro Frameworks is making a name for himself building adaptive bikes, namely for Mike Trimble, a man born without arms in the wake of the Chernobyl accident who is now able to ride for pleasure and transportation. Pittsburgh Magazine ran an article about their project, and their plans to ride the 350+ miles to Washington DC together.
Early retirement from Columbia Gas in 2009 gave him an opportunity to focus solely on bikes. He apprenticed under Mike Flanigan, a legendary Boston-area bike builder, before opening Maestro Frameworks in 2011, commuting by bike from his Squirrel Hill home.
People with disabilities started seeking him out. “I didn’t go out of my way to look for this market, but people keep finding me to do custom things that nobody else would touch,” Brown says.
A Pittsburgh woman with one short arm, on which her hand protrudes from her elbow, asked Brown if he could get her on two wheels for the first time in her life. He designed a bike that allowed her to shift gears with her longer arm while resting the shorter one on a modified handlebar. He also built a bike for a young man with dwarfism who had been riding ill-fitting children’s bikes and was ecstatic to ride a high-performance bike that fit him.
Then came Trimble’s request — at that time Brown’s biggest engineering challenge to date. To design the steering system, Brown says he sat on the bike and imagined that he had no arms. His first prototype extended the bar to underneath the armpit, but that made Trimble lean to the right. The second version, which Trimble controlled with his stump, allowed him to steer.
Read the whole article at www.pittsburghmagazine.com
The Soma Wolverine is a 700c adventure frameset — call it a gravel grinder, call it a monster-cross bike, call it whatever you’d like but it’s yet another entry into the non-racer offroad capable road bike. The $600 frameset has full chromoly tubing, with a matching lugged Tange chromoly fork. The frame is disc specific, has clearance for 45 mm tires, an English threaded bottom bracket, and has rear rack and fender mounts all around. The sliding dropouts make it derailleur or internally hub geared, or single speed compatible, and are split for Gates Carbon belt drive compatibility. The sliders are compatible with aftermarket Paragon sliders if you’re looking to run a Rohloff hub. Pretty great looking frameset, I can see many miles upon such a build. See more or order direct at store.somafab.com
Last week the New York Times published an article about a group of artists memorializing pedestrian and cyclist traffic deaths with sidewalk stencils. Worth the read, Memorializing Traffic Deaths With an Artist’s Touch.
“Instead of just saying Seth died here, this is where something terrible happened, those wings are saying Seth is flying by, Seth lives here,” said his mother, Debbie Kahn, who watched the image being created. “It’s also a warning: Be aware, be careful, life is precious.”
Read the complete article at www.nytimes.com
Raleigh found that a lot of people are hitting the road less traveled on their skinny tire bikes and sold through the disc brake equipped Tamland last year. The industry calls them gravel bikes, a whole lot of non-racers call them the road bikes they’ve always wished for, and Raleigh is introducing the Willard line for these sorts of riders in 2015. The pictured Willard 2 has a retail price of $1750, and features a disc specific 6061 aluminum frame and carbon blade/tapered alloy steerer fork with a Shimano 105 11-speed build and TRP Spyre disc brakes. The bikes ships with 40 mm tires and has fender tabs for foul weather riding and commuting and has real-world 50/34 x 11-28t gearing. The published weight is just under 23 lbs. Also look for the $1300 Sora equipped model. Availability at shops should be in time for those prime October gravel rides.
These guys so get it. Bikes are fun, spread the word. Check out this video with Tyrone Stevenson Jr, founder of the Oakland Scraper Bikes crew inspiring kids to spend their time wrenching and riding.
How aerodynamic is a beard? Specialized engineers use their wind tunnel to find the answer we’ve all been waiting for.
This Saturday on August 16th is the 9th Annual Seattle Bike-In at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill, presented by the Northwest Film Forum and the Gigantic Bicycle Festival. Starting at 8pm take in eight bike-shorts and the feature length Premium Rush, free of charge.
Bianchi has updated their popular Volpe line of do-it-all cyclocross bikes with the 2015 Volpe Disc. The disc specific steel frame and fork has rack and fender mounts for versatility and ships with 35 mm tires, a 10-speed 50/34 double Tiagra drivetrain, and Hayes mechanical disc brakes. If disc brakes aren’t your thing the Volpe Classic has a triple drivetrain and cantilever brakes on a similar platform. See more of the 2015 sneak peak, including the new full carbon disc equipped Zolder cyclocross bike, from a Bianchi insider at www.stickboybike.com