Urban Velo

The New Lakeshore Jacket from Upright Cyclist

Photo by Jeremy J MatthewsFrom Upright Cyclist:

This is our play on the perfect cotton jacket cut for the city. It’s the right weight for short commute hops on windy cold days. It’s built in a Cordura ™ Cotton shell by Artistic Milliners. It’s a super durable, but breathable textile with long lasting use in mind. It’s cut for the street, but functional on the bike. A little moto, a little workwear, it’s styled with a coaches collar, has doubled nylon ribbing on the side panels and shoulder for stretch over the drops. Retail is $249.

Watch for a review soon. In the meantime check out www.uprightcyclist.com

Photo by Jeremy J Matthews, jeremyjmatthews.virb.com

Funnell – Kickstarter

Well, this is intriguing. After an initial failed Kickstarter, Make It Happen went back to the drawing board and refined their all-in-one backpack jacket combination. Funnell is a backpack with quick pull strings that unveil a hooded rain jacket that covers both the wearer and the backpack. The advantages are obvious, but I couldn’t ignore one snag…how is the jacket washed? I couldn’t tell if the jacket is actually removable from the bag for cleaning, which would be crucial if wearing this on a bike and accumulating sweat.

Regardless, the Kickstarter is off to a powerful start and base level contributions of $139 secure you a pre-order immediately.

SSCXWC2014 KyFnCx GIF

sscxwc2014

The Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships 2014 are a wrap. Bikes were pedaled, serious was thrown out the window, fun was had. Look for a full image gallery later this week — until then ready yourself for the 2015 edition in Victoria BC with some smooth jams courtesy Topher.

The Wolf Pack Hustle 2014 HP Gran Prix

Posted on by in Video with 0 Comments

A more official take on the under-the-bridge sprints event from Wolfpack Hustle, the 2014 HP Gran Prix

Seatylock Combined Bicycle Seat and Lock

ca_red_3

People are always trying to find ways to combine a bicycle lock into something else, whether it be hidden in the seatpost, incorporated into the frame, or in the case of the Seatylock, into the rails of the saddle. Using a quick release bracket compatible with most seatpost heads, the $85 Seatylock saddle easily clicks on the off the bike (going back to the same position when replaced) and hides a 3 ft articulated lock underneath. While it eliminated having to wear or carry your lock in a bag, it’s up for debate if the Seatylock is actually any less conspicuous on the bike than a more run of the mill lock bracket, though it does come with the added benefit of preventing saddle theft. The design is available in two different widths in a number of colors, though I can’t be the only one that would like to see an add-your-own saddle version, particular as people can be about their saddle choices. Pre-order yours at their Kickstarter

The Piano Pedaler

eric_rich_2014_hindsley-18
By Rachel Krause, photos by Grant Hindsley.

A Salt Lake City man’s piano bike blurs the line between bikes and music.

“You don’t see that everyday.”

“That’s one way to do it.”

“Is that a… piano? On a bike?”

Eric Rich is used to hearing these responses when he plays his piano at the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmers’ Market. Each week he transports his piano back home with him. On his bike.

In 2010, Eric Rich saw a friend’s band perform at the farmers’ market, and learned they racked in $800 in one day. “Maybe I can go and make money doing what I really love.” He talked to his brother who was a welder, and in three days they built a bike with a piano trailer.

The first piano bike was built out of an old Weser Brothers piano he found through the classifieds, some wheelbarrow wheels, a fork, and a headset. Rich, who picked up the keyboard and piano about eight years ago to fill in for some recordings for some hardcore punk bands, loves that he is able to transport the piano through his own power, without a middleman or boss. He doesn’t describe himself as an hardcore cyclist, but is a car-free bike commuter. “My favorite part about bikes is the idea of it—that you’re the fuel to it,” Rich says. “I also love the design aspect of it.”

The bike he currently rides is not the original piano bike. After a rough winter when the bike fell into disrepair, Rich decided it was time to make a new piano bike. “Design-wise, it was important for me to make it integrated. The old one had too many pieces, this one would be one connected piece. That was my number one goal. I lost so much power with just rolling resistance. Building this new bike was about making it more efficient and making the gear ratio lower so I can take it more places.”

Rich started a Kickstarter fund in 2013 to purchase a better quality Yamaha piano and raised more than $6000. After raising the money, he spent months scouring the internet for special parts. Much of it came from Amazon and Saturday Cycles in Salt Lake City, which specializes in randounneur and touring bikes. In the end he spent about $5000. And it was worth every penny. The original bike only had one back wheel, which made it fairly unstable. The new bike has two back wheels. The original bike had cantilever brakes in the front only. The new bike has a disc brake in the front and two disc brakes in the back.

The current piano weighs in at about 380 pounds and the entire bike is about 420 pounds. Rich plays all of his own compositions (although he added a Yann Tiersen song to his repertoire recently.) For the most part, he says people are widely positive about the bike, although he will encounter the aggravated motorist who thinks Rich is taking up too much room on the street.

He recently rode the piano bike up and down a canyon road, a feat he doesn’t consider easy by any imagination. “I took it up a little canyon for a wedding, and when I rode down it was very very difficult. With the center of gravity so high and the road tilted, it could easily lose traction.”

Rich plays weekly at the Downtown Farmers Market, as well as other festivals and conventions, including the Sundance Film Festival in Park City. The farthest he has taken it was to Columbia, Missouri, for the True/False Film Festival in the spring of 2013. He transported it in an enclosed trailer that was donated to him by his family’s neighbor. One day he hopes to be able to make trips like that by the power of his own bike.

Rich has been designing a Piano Bike 3.0 that would be capable of cross country travel.

“I love designing things,” he says. “For the bike, the biggest challenge is making it narrow enough but also wide enough so it doesn’t tip over. The design challenge is very interesting. The physical challenge is also very interesting to me. I just want to see if it’s possible.”

Rich has been researching options and designing a new model. Piano Bike 3.0 would use a carbon fiber piano, which albeit very expensive, would weigh less than half what a traditional piano weighs.

For now, Rich will keep playing at the farmers’ market until later this fall, and then has plans to start an ensemble and has purchased some new percussion equipment in hopes of playing with others soon. “The piano bike is really hard on my body, my back and wrists start to get very sore. I like to be able to switch it up.”

In the long term, Rich hopes to get a sponsorship (carbon fiber pianos cost about $100,000) in order to make his dream become reality. “I want to address all the physical and design challenges of riding a piano bike across the country, but in the end, I want to share design and music with people that will hopefully inspire others to be creative.”

Originally published in Urban Velo #44, October 2014. Written by Rachel Krause, photos by Grant Hindsley. Contact us at brad@urbanvelo.org with your feature story pitch.

Seattle Aftermass Discussion

It’s quite long at nearly an hour of panel discussion, but if this is your sort of thing, Joe Biel from Microcosm Publishing and the creator of the documentary, Aftermass, discusses the video and the changing dynamics related to cycling in a post-critical mass society.

Surly Wants Women Product Testers

Deadline Surly wants female product testers, and boatloads of email to sort through from people wanting to hop on the free product gravy train.

So here’s the deal, Surly is in need of female bodies to wear and tear the new goods. There is a criteria for this. If you meet this criteria then please reach out. If you do not meet this criteria please do not.

Check the qualifications and if you think you fit apply within at the Surly Blog.

Kickstarter – Orfos Lights


Orfos is running a Kickstarter to fund the production of their bike lights with 360 degree visibility, a unique feature for current lighting systems. They attach by, what look to be, incredibly strong magnets and rival car lights in brightness. The current funding tiers are essentially pre-orders for either a front or rear light with the option to buy both, however, at $119 each (rising to $140 after Kickstarter) I wonder what demographic will pay at this price point. Still, the 360 degree feature is an innovation most light manufacturers should consider.

Upright Cyclist New 12.5 oz Riding Denim

Photo by Jeremy J MatthewsThe Upright Cyclist 12.5 oz Riding Denim pants are sewn in Los Angeles from American-made Cone denim. The cuffs have an internal reflective panel for visibility when rolled.

Available in 32, 33, 34 and 36 waist sizes, all come pre-hemmed in a standard 34” inseam length. Retail is $119. Check out www.uprightcyclist.com

Photo by Jeremy J Matthews, jeremyjmatthews.virb.com

City Reports