Urban Velo

Nutcase Unframed

Between their usual wide breadth of stock colors and now the latest limited edition Nutcase Unframed artist helmet designs there is no shortage of different styles to choose from. The first run of Nutcase Unframed edition helmets features art by Sandra Ramirez from Columbia, Ray Moore from Germany and Todd Standish from San Francisco. In addition to the helmets, art panels will be on display in the Nutcase booth at Eurobike and Interbike, and auctioned off to benefit World Bicycle Relief.

Vier Compact Collapsible Lock

We first showed you the Vier compact lock about a year back, and since then the design has been further refined and has hit Kickstarter for the final push into production. Perhaps not as quick to deploy as a u-lock, but it packs down much smaller thanks to the way that all four parts separate and fit into a small pouch. Click and twist the 14 mm shackles into the non-locking end body, then slide the body with the lock core on and go, just like the u-lock you’re familiar with. While compact, it’s not hte lightest at approximately 3.25 lbs. Eventually you’ll be able to order up longer shackle sections for securing multiple bikes in a garage or apartment, definitely an intriguing concept for home or work storage that is higher security than the braided cable so many of us rely on indoors. No lock is perfectly secure, and the Vier team has their mind straight on it, “Our main goal was to design a lock with the same level of security as a U-lock but in a compact form. VIER will protect your bike against lock picking, prying, hacksaws and bolt cutters. No lock on the market can protect us against angle grinders and hydraulic powered jacks.” Get in early for $65 at their Kickstarter and receive your lock by the new year.

PDW Omnium – Alpenrose Velodrome August 9th

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If you are in Portland this weekend, don’t miss the 2014 Portland Design Works Omnium held at the Alpenrose Velodrome. $15 for adults to race, $5 for juniors, and free entry for the attendees. Head on down and enjoy some free BBQ, free rootbeer and free ice cream and watch a bunch of people go fast and turn left. Party down, wish I was there.

Dahon Explorer Program

DAHON EXPLORER FLYER

Dahon has recently announced their Explorers Program, and is looking for half a dozen riders to share how they use a folding bike to explore their world. Apply and you might find yourself with a new bike.

Cyclist are encouraged to submit a brief description of why they would be a perfect brand ambassadors for DAHON and how their stories could inspire others to incorporate bike into their lifestyle.

What makes the commute to work exciting?
Where will your DAHON bike take you?
How will a folding bike change the way you live, experience the environment on a deeper level and move around without constraints?

Submissions will be accepted until August 20, 2014 at explorers@dahon.com

Fyxation Pixel

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We’re getting one of these in for review soon, but until then check out the Pixel on video.

ABUS Granit Futura Mini U-Lock

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The ABUS Granit Futura Mini U-Lock has been my go-to lock for almost three years now, locking up my bike on streets across the country and throughout Western Europe. Whether making my daily Post Office run or locking up in high theft cities like New York, San Francisco and London, in every instance my bike has been there when I’ve returned, which is perhaps the ultimate positive review.

One only needs a lock better than the next person to avoid theft in most cases, and the sense to only lock to sturdy immovable objects, and with this mini u-lock from ABUS I’m fairly certain that in the vast majority of cases I have the next guy down outgunned. The reputation of German engineering is well-earned, and the family-owned ABUS lock company upholds the lofty national standards. The 11 mm shackle and case are made of a custom formulated hardened steel alloy with a double locking cylinder that requires a thief to cut the shackle twice in order to free the lock without a key. The top-end lock cylinder is pick and corrosion resistant—I’d know, as an unplanned back pocket lock ejection left one of my ABUS Granit Futura locks laying out in the rain and mud for a weekend before being retrieved, and working as well as ever. Each lock ships with a pair of keys and a key code card for additional keys, or for ordering an identically keyed lock. It’s hard to explain how convenient having a pair of u-locks using the same key has proven in high-risk theft areas.

At 690 g the ABUS Granit Future mini is the lightest high security mini-shackle lock I’ve used, beating similar competition by 300 g or more. Be forewarned however that at just 2.75” wide the shackle opening can be impossible to fit around certain parking meters or large diameter signposts other locks slide over. That said, over the years I’ve yet to find myself completely frustrated by the size—quite the contrary, it easily slides into pants’ rear pockets and my backpack and I’d prefer the lighter weight to larger shackle any time. Being made in Germany by well-compensated, dedicated employees with top-end materials and testing comes at a retail price of $85. There are less expensive locks, there are higher security locks, but this one fits my needs just right.

Can’t Fool The Youth 3: Johnathan Davis

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Fixed freestyle — not dead, still fun to watch.

BibBits Magnetic Race Number Holders

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It’s been a while since I’ve donned a number on my jersey, but the standard issue safety pins were always an annoyance. Between the risk of sticking yourself during the last minute adjustments, snagging expensive technical jersey materials, or forgetting about the pins and leaving rust stains coming out of the washing machine. I wouldn’t say that $15 for four sets of BibBits magnets is a smoking deal, but but it’s not going to break the bank and might be one of those niceties that makes the race day jitters easier to deal with, if you’re into that sort of thing. Imported my Canitoe Road.

Banjo Brothers Convertible Waterproof Pannier Backpack Review

banjo_backpack_pannier-1 Being a teacher carries with it many rewards, an unencumbered commute not being among them. Panniers help with this at least while on the bike, removing the overstuffed backpack and providing relief for the sweaty back and achey shoulders that can accompany. But how about when I dismount and unhook the panniers? Off the bike, most perform as well as a lopsided briefcase.

The transformer mechanism of the Banjo Brothers Convertible Waterproof Pannier Backpack is one of those so-simple-it’s-stupid concepts. A large flap provides top closure and conceals the backpack straps in pannier mode, with a simple hook and elastic strap rack attachment. Unhook the bag from the rack, flip over the flap to expose the backpack straps and hide the pannier mounts, adjust the straps and you have a backpack. The pocket on the flap remains outermost in both modes, with zipper access on both sides, which is convenient for never fumbling for wallet and phone. Though it may not be my first choice for hiking around all day, the padded straps and chest strap make it a serviceable backpack. To transform back to pannier, the straps fold back neatly and quickly, securing the ends and requiring little fuss. Flip the flap and you’re good to go. Banjo Brothers’ execution is simple, fast, and functional.

banjo_backpack_pannier-3The bag has 1100 cubic inches of space—plenty of room for laptop, change of clothes, work shoes, and lunch and the roll-top closure with burly, removable welded-seam waterproof liner keeps everything dry. Two side outer pockets, one zippered, one open, are decently sized and though the zipper was mangled on our sample, Banjo Brothers has a reputation for great warranty and replacement service. This bag would have been replaced right away, but I was too busy using it to care. Light loops and reflective piping help with low-light visibility

When overstuffed with an open top the roll-top waterproofing is null and void, and unfortunately, the straps to clip the flap over the top in backpack mode when it’s this full sometimes aren’t long enough to reach. At 3 lbs it’s not the lightest, although removing that waterproof liner on dry days can save almost half a pound. At $80 it’s a total commuter bargain.

Written by Katie Horowitz, VP of Education, PPWP.

Modify Watches Cycling Designs

15009da8290aca5bb811a9977dfeeb0c Modify Watches is a couple year old company making relatively affordable customizable watches that allow you to choose the face design and band color, even allowing you to create your own completely custom face artwork if you’re so inclined. A number of bike brands large and small have gone ahead and created their own designs as shown, but you’re only going to the cycling collection watches in person at shops like One on One in Minnepolis, West End Bikes in Portland and Fast Folks Cyclery in Austin to name a few.

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