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, 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.”
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.”
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.
Join messenger, author, poet and sometimes Urban Velo contributor Kurt Boone tonight at 7pm EST at Shindig.com for a video chat and poetry reading from his recent book “Bard of New York.”
The Glowbelt is one of those crossover products that makes a lot of sense, in a lot of applications. The pocket sized device hides a spring loaded 50″ length of LEDs that is adjustable in length to wear around your waist, over your shoulder, around a backpack, or as small as an armband. The Glowbelt runs for nearly 60 hours on two CR2032 batteries, that while not rechargeable are pretty shelf stable if you were to stash the Glowbelt for emergency use. Given the power source and small LEDs, the Glowbelt is best as a secondary bit of safety lighting. Available in a few colors, see more and look for their upcoming Kickstarter at glowbelt.co.uk
Housed in a former candle factory in Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest manufacturing traditions. Worksman Cycles is a 116-year-old, family-owned bicycle maker producing machines first designed in the 1930s and whose best-selling model, says Worksman spokesman Bruce Weinreb, is not a carbon-fiber road bike but a steel tricycle designed for carrying 500-pound loads across factory floors.
From the rugged-looking building to the decades-old machines used for bending and crimping the steel tubes for the bikes, every part of the company’s business model seems to be philosophically in line with the bicycles they produce: low maintenance, no frills, and designed to last forever. For more than a century, Worksman has survived by focusing on the niche market of manufacturers needing industrial bikes to carry people and equipment on their factory floors, and Worksman show few signs of changing.
The company itself began in 1898 in a lower Manhattan store run by Morris Worksman. Worksman started out selling Columbia bikes, says Weinreb, but began selling his own design that was purpose-built for workers carrying heavy loads around the city. Worksman’s 1915 patent shows designs for a tricycle with a removable back box.
Generally speaking, the faster the bike the less fashionable the bike bell. That’s not to say they’re not useful on road bikes too, just that you don’t see too many of them out there. The Osaka Roadie Bell is a mini bell that can fit on the inside of the brake hood or on the cable housing, providing a temporary unobtrusive bell that doesn’t take up handlebar space. The bell attaches with an aluminum clip, and is easy to remove or switch bike to bike. Available at your local shop or via the Soma Fab webstore for $18.
Great video from the team behind Useeme bicycle turn signals. Flashing wrist bands with motion sensors, Useeme automatically begins flashing when you hold your hand up to signal a turn, and stops when you return it to the bars. Final products should be available this fall — get in earlier with the Indiegogo campaign.