Urban Velo

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

abus_granit_futura_mini-1

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.

Ride The Black Line Series

Encino Velodrome – Ride The Black Line Summer Series 2014 from Rafael Hernandez on Vimeo.

Cross Season is coming, but velodrome racing is still in full swing. Catch some of the action going down at the Encino Velodrome during the Ride The Black Line summer series every other Wednesday night through September 3rd.

Things I’ve Learned About Bikes

things-about-bikesThis article from NSMB.com is weighted towards the mountain bike side of the bike industry, but some of these points are universally true:

Rule #1 – If the primary upgrade over last year’s bike is a new graphics package, think about looking elsewhere. If you buy that bike, when next years graphics package comes out your bike is going to feel old. Single colour paint schemes age better than the flashy shit.

Read more.

Cannibal’s Bottle from Heavy Pedal

cannibals-bottle-promoWell, this is gnarly. Heavy Pedal’s Campbell’s soup/Merckx/Warhol/etc. bottle design, now available on their site for $11.99. I wouldn’t suggest putting soup into this…stick with water, or human blood.

City Report: Antwerp

City: Antwerp, Belgium

Nickname: Koekenstad

Claim to Fame: Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium behind Brussels. Eighty percent of the world’s diamonds come through Antwerp, where they are bought and sold between dealers from around the world. According to some, the fashion industry in Antwerp ranks with those of Milan and Paris.

History in 100 Words (or less): Local lore holds that Antigoon was an unfriendly giant who lived near the Schelde river. His job was to collect a fee from people who wanted to cross. You can’t pay the fee? Antigoon would cut off your hand and throw it in the river. Brabo was a brave young soul who found this act unacceptable. He gave Antigoon some of his own medicine before killing him. Brabo lopped off the hand of the mean giant and threw it into the river. From it grew the current city of Antwerp. The name, “Antwerpen” is actually a Dutch phrase that translates to “hand throwing.”

Read more.

Kryptonite Messenger Collection

How much does your bike mean to you? Check out a sneak peek of a new line of Kryptonite locks designed by bike messengers.

The Louisiana Liberty Bill of 1890

LLBVia Shadow Steeds in the Crescent City

Signed by Governor Francis T Nicholls on June 13, 1890, House Bill No. 81, also known as the Louisiana Liberty Bill, granted all bicycles and tricycles and other foot or hand operated vehicles full rights to public roads.

The bill was finally passed after years of effort by members of the Louisiana Cycling Club, especially Harry H. Hodgson, who was the Chief Consul of the Louisiana Division of the League of American Wheelmen, and State Representative E.A. Shields, who was a member and president of the LCC.

Read more.

Issue #43 – Available Online

cover43Contents include: I Love Riding in the City, NAHBPC 2014, Amtrak Roll-On Service, Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit, Product Spotlight: Superb, Specialized, Gevenalle, and Brooks, City Report: Antwerp, MPLS Velodrome, Gallery: Kevin Sparrow, Product Reviews: Surly, New Albion, Ilumenox, and ABUS, Fun Rides, On the Move, Narrow-Wide Rings Explained and Knog Night Ride.

Download it for free, purchase it from the Apple Store or order a printed copy online.

Can’t Fool The Youth 3: Johnathan Davis

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Fixed freestyle — not dead, still fun to watch.

City Reports