Urban Velo

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

Friday Follow – Jered Gruber

Starting, well…now…we are going to be highlighting Instagram users we think are worth following each Friday.

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First on the docket is professional photographer, Jered Gruber, who somehow manages to get himself positioned on top of various mountains, offering stunning views of switchbacks and epic road riding perspectives. Gruber is a big name in the pro-cycling photography world, but his IG photos of solitary riders tackling a series of switchbacks or mountain roads, simply for the experience of doing so, are most striking to me.

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Instagram – Jeredgruber

Shamrock Cycles Pre-NAHBS Show

IMG_4437Shamrock Cycles just hosted another preview of the seven bikes they’ll be bringing to Charlotte for this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show on the 15th. Drool worthy as ever, the selection features some cross beasts, sleek road machines, and a belt-driven beauty, among others. Fabricator, Tim O’Donnell, snuck in one last custom build that showcases the Alfine 11 electronic internal hub and other pretty rad details you can see for yourself in Charlotte. Look for these bikes at booths 807, 809 and 811.

Viral Video Creator, Casey Neistat, on Rich Roll Podcast

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Ultra Athlete, Rich Roll, interviewed filmmaker, Casey Neistat, for his latest podcast of inspiring individuals. Most cyclists are plenty familiar with Neistat due to his clever and humorous bike-centric videos, which have documented the NYC Bikeshare program, the problems related to bike lane blockages, and more. The podcast focuses more on Neistat’s philosophies related to taking risks and artistic creation than it does bike content, but it’s certainly worth the listen.

Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title

Wolfpack Hustle: The Unified Title Series 2014 from Wolfpack Hustle on Vimeo.

The kids at Wolfpack Hustle just released this Unified Title promo video, kicking off the 2014 series with the upcoming Marathon Crash race going down on the 9th of March. If it’s too late for you to jump into the crash race, get in on all the future action and still compete for the Unified Title.

Get all the necessary info at Wolfpack Hustle.

Torch Helmets Shipped

17e5927a4fa9c181a0257dc852c960de_largeKickstarter funded, Torch Apparel, have shipped out the first batch of LED lit T1 helmets after a long period of product testing, production delays and other unexpected tangles of red tape. As they explain in this recent blog post, the initial shipment is smaller than hoped for and a further delay from the factory will have the next shipment going out in late March…but at least they are on the way!

The T1 helmets are set apart from most other models by their rear and front facing LED lighting capabilities, which can be activated independently by the user. They also house 8 vents, a dual-adjust fit system and can be recharged via USB.

I have contributed to only a couple Kickstarters and although I didn’t purchase a T1 helmet, I did throw in for the corresponding LED lit FLUX backpack, which I have word from Torch will be available sometime this Spring.

Switch Aero System


The Switch Aero System is a highly customizable set of bar ends and dual-position seatpost for cyclists who want a more aggressive Triathlon racing form without having to purchase an entirely new bike. For urban cyclists or light touring cyclists I could see the seatpost mechanism as an added benefit, offering an on-the-fly change in positioning for either aggressive riding or comfort. The Kickstarter has already met its funding goal, but you can still get in on some “early bird” funding for the first seat posts to be released.

Citi Bike is (Not) a Pain in the Ass


Casey Neistat’s latest video takes a more folk-science approach to evaluating the benefit of the new Citi Bike sharing program in New York. Normally, this wouldn’t even be an issue to concern oneself with, but with so many media blowhards still doing their best to smear the program and the illuminati, errr I mean, the all-powerful bike lobby, we might as well have a little fun with it. Spoiler alert, Citi Bike is not a pain in the ass.

Colin Delfosse

Tour du RwandaFollowing up on our video post of the Tour of Rwanda video from last week, Belgian photojournalist, Colin Delfosse, has gathered images from the race for his own portfolio. Delfosse takes the wider perspective, snapping shots of the action, but focusing more on the culture surrounding the race. His images concentrate on the landscape, spectators and overall juxtaposition of earthy African culture against the flash of professional, competitive cycling.

The full series of images can be found here.

Bikes that Fly…sort of


The title for this video is somewhat misleading. This isn’t so much a flying bike as it is a quadcopter that uses a bike for the cockpit, which is a bummer because it got my hopes up. Instead, we’ll just have to rely on this version that although doesn’t ever get airborne, still has serious flying potential. We’ll catch up with the Jetsons soon enough.

An African Race

AN AFRICAN RACE from ben ingham on Vimeo.

Here is a side of competitive cycling you hardly ever see, but is becoming more familiar as team directors tap the African nations for athletes often driven towards distance running due to their prowess of endurance. The video is beautifully shot, a simple narrative of images backed by the Afrobeat stylings of Fela Kuti (which was all I needed to get sucked in). Going beyond just the race, you also get a look at culture in the area and the differences between European and African races (check out the spectator swatting at 2:50).

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