Rubena may seem like a new name in tires to some North American consumers, but back in the Czech Republic they’ve been making tires since 1928. The V66 is their basic touring and commuter tire, available in 26″ and 700c versions, in 28 – 40 mm widths with flat proof and reflective options. The tested V66 has both the 3M reflective stripe on the sidewall and Rubena’s Stop Thorn flat protection system, a stiff 3.5 mm thick strip embedded in the tire. At 450 g each the tires aren’t light, and the Stop Thorn strip is anything but supple, but I’ve always found that heavy tires full of air roll faster and better than lightweight tires with a chunk of glass embedded in them. So far so good, after months of riding around carrying a pair of spare tubes and a pump I’ve yet to have had a flat tire. Stiff sidewalls didn’t make the V66 tires the easiest to put on the rim, but by the same token provide further pinch-flat protection and have bailed me out when not paying the closest attention to airing up before heading out. Perhaps not the best choice for performance riding, but for the everyday grind or a long tour the Rubena V66 with the Stop Thorn casing and reflective strip seems an appropriate choice. At $30 per tire, they’re an economical option in flat proof tires as well. See more about this and other Rubena tires at www.rubenatires.com
If you’re in the NYC area this weekend, don’t miss out on the Vaya Bags 3 Year Anniversary party and sale. Woman owned and operated, Vaya has been kicking out messenger bags, panniers and other accessories from the Ridgewood area for 3 years now, and it’s time for them to celebrate.
Aside from the hangout vibes, they’ll have a bike tube gear set to raffle and crazy in-store discounts. For those far away that can’t make it, everything will be 10% off online from May 24th – 26th.
The goods on the in-store party can be found on the facebook page here.
Although this video is about bike builder, Ezra Caldwell of Fast Boy Cycles, it goes far beyond the process of simply building bikes. Ezra is currently fighting rectal cancer, facing down and processing what it means to live a life that has now been given a timeline, and figuring out how to continue his cycling passion with physical restrictions. No longer allowed to actually sit on a bike seat, Ezra built the “assless” bike that he now rides, which isn’t too far removed from a simple trials bike. The video is beautifully shot, and bike interests aside there is a lot to be gained from this regarding perspective on living and dying. Ezra is a unique individual and we wish him the best.
Giro has been in the cycling shoe game for a few years now, and the Republic is perhaps their most innovative footwear release to date. Undeniably fashion forward, the Republic delivers high-performance and comfort at the same time.
The Republic takes style cues from the athletic shoes of yesteryear, which means old-school shoelaces. Not only do they look good, they do a good job of securing the shoes with no noticeable shifting or heel lift. The perforated microfiber uppers don’t let a whole lot of air in, but they do seem to allow for good breatheability (at least through the months of April and May).
The sole is made from DuPont™ Zytel nylon, and in short I’ll say that these shoes are stiff and light. I feel like I can put every bit of power I generate into the pedals, with zero waste. Whether that’s really true or not, I can’t say, but these shoes feel like serious cycling shoes. On the other hand, unlike my shiny silver road shoes, the Republic shoes are remarkably easy to walk in. Chalk it up to the replaceable rubber-coated treads. My apartment building has notoriously sketchy iron stairs, and I’ve negotiated them with ease in the Republic shoes.
The Republic shoes come with very subtle branding, which is a clear nod toward the urban influence. They also feature an Aegis antimicrobial treatment and an elastic band on the tongue to keep the laces out of your chainring. Overall the shoe’s construction seems second to none.
The Republic shoe is available in US men’s 6 ½ to 13 ½ (EU 39 to 48) in black, white and “lead” (pictured) colorways. They retail for $150. Check out www.giro.com
At the close of the 19th century — just before cars made their appearance — a wealthy American businessman began construction on a private, for-profit bicycle superhighway that would stretch from Pasadena to Los Angeles. It almost got built.