In celebration of Earth Day, Timbuk2 is unveiling a new initiative, Timbuk2 Life Cycle. It’s billed as “an environmental responsibility program to reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and reimagine Timbuk2 bags”. It includes partnerships with organizations such as yerdle, iFixit, and TerraCycle. They’ve also hired a full-time repairs sewer for their San Francisco operation.
Learn more at lifecycle.timbuk2.com
Last year we reviewed the Fyxation Quiver frameset, and now a complete 1×10 build is available. The bike has a SRAM Apex build with a 46 tooth chainring and an 11 – 32 cassette. It doesn’t quite have the gear range of a double road or ‘cross bike, but it’s wide enough for most riding. The bike fits up to 47 mm tires, or 35s with fenders, for whatever sort of roadway you’re looking to throw at it. Track ends allow you to convert to singlespeed later, be it for bad weather or just a change of pace. Retail price for the complete bike is $1100, you’ll have to budget another $40 for the made in the USA leather wine bottle caddy from the Fyxation leather line.
Rechargeable bike lights are big business, with theft resistance being the next nut to crack. Most lights are easily removable to make taking them with you a reality, and the Double O takes it an extra step with a magnetic fastening system. The Double O light bodies snap together when off the bike into a single unit, and the hole is large enough to pass a u-lock through if you’re looking to fairly inconspicuously and securely leave them behind. Pretty cool idea. The lights are USB rechargeable, with a 2 hour steady and 4 hour flashing runtime, with 80 lumens of front and 45 lumens of rear output. You’re definitely paying for the unique industrial design — the pair is available for Kickstarter preorder for $130.
Gravel and mixed surface road racing is great fun, and the quick rise in popularity of this sort of riding has brought forth a number of versatile, performance bikes. No longer are road designs completely dominated by the needs of racers, there is a proliferation of bikes for the way the rest of us ride. The Niner RLT 9 is the mountain bike brand’s first foray into not-mountain-twentyniners, and an impressive looking bike for the serious all-around rider. The hydroformed aluminum frame and full carbon fork features “fire road” geometry — slightly longer chainstays, a slacker headtube angle, and a lower bottom bracket than road road bikes. The bike has clearance for up to 1.9″ wide 29″ tires without fenders, or meaty 700c tires with fenders. While the frame and fork do have fender mounts, they also feature the latest in tech with a tapered headtube, PF30 bottom bracket shell and internal routing compatible with traditional cables and Di2 electronic systems. A great real world bike that can get you to work one day, get dirty on some light singletrack the next and tackle a dirt road century on the weekend. The frameset retails for $1049, with complete bikes starting at $1999. Check the full geometry and spec at www.ninerbikes.com
The Wolves Kit from Roulant Clothing is available for pre-order until April 22nd, with 5% of purchases going towards the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund.
Murdered out bikes don’t always work, but the new 2015 Marin Lombard is an example of it working and working well. This $1500 complete bike features an aluminum frame and carbon fork with geometry brought over from their cyclocross race bike and massaged just a bit for better all day performance. Avid BB7r disc brakes do the stopping with SRAM Apex 10 speed shifters mated to an X7 mountain clutch rear derailleur changing gears and preventing thrown chains. The 50/34 front rings and 11-36 cassette have plenty of range for the commute or all-day mixed surface ride. The tubeless ready rims are a great touch at the price point, and the front fender mounts and double eyelets in the back make it a capable commuter or light tourer. The color scheme will look good no matter the current day’s style, with reflective highlights adding a touch of shine to the black on black frame. I had the chance to ride the new Lombard around San Francisco for along day of exploring, and it proved to be a fun and capable ride. It had the gear range to handle the steep climbs, and felt stable bombing and weaving the other side. Predictable and aggressive, the Lombard proved the versatile kind of bike I tend to prefer. Road, light trails, anything in between. I can see fast weekend rides, in-town commutes, and the occasional two or three night tour on this platform. Look for full specs on this and the lower tiered $1000 model soon at www.marinbikes.com
Cogma is a small clothing manufacturer out of Steamboat Springs CO, founded out of the frustration of a long time racer’s feelings that the technical female clothing choices were particularly lacking. The Brigitte riding dress is made in San Francisco from 4-way stretch Italian fabric, and sports a large rear pocket and on-the-bike features that don’t leave it looking out of place the second you step into the coffee shop. The $105 dress features a large back pocket with reflective accents, a long front zipper for ventilation, and a pleated back opening to prevent snagging on the bike seat. What the dress doesn’t have is a liner or shelf bra — the Brigitte is meant to be pulled over your favorite sports bra and riding shorts. I’m admittedly not the best at picking out women’s clothing, but I could see this one from Cogma reaching a number of riders that otherwise haven’t been able to find riding clothes that fit their style. Available in grey or mint, see more at www.cogmabikewear.com
Timbuk2 partnered with New Jersey based TerraCycle to create these unique messenger bags. Made from reclaimed US Postal mail bags, each one is slightly different. Otherwise, expect the same high-quality bag that Timbuk2 is known for.
Check out www.timbuk2.com
There is no question that fixed gears have peaked, the era of any old bike with track ends being desirable is over as the market was flooded with street track bikes over the past decade. Contrary to popular belief however they aren’t disappearing, and there are plenty of new and old riders that love the look and feel of a track frame on city streets. Soma was early to the game with their original Rush frameset, and for 2014 have revamped it to reflect the style that brought so many of us into track bikes — the classic steel Japanese keirin frame. Small diameter tubes, side tacked pencil seatstays and a one-inch threaded headset yield a classic look, TIG welded construction keeps the costs down. And since most people will be riding this in the real world rather than on a banked track, the bike has clearance for 32c tires and sports a single seat tube bottle boss. And yes, it is drilled for brakes. Available in chrome in sizes 49, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61cm. See more at www.somafab.com
Assuming you are actually using them, quality tools are typically worth the expense. Few things are worse than breaking parts while wrenching with sub-par tools, or sub-par tools themselves breaking after light use, and while quality tools can set you back a few extra dollars, the longevity tends to pay for itself over time. Abbey Bike Tools is a relatively new entrant to the game, making short run tools for professional mechanics for the past couple of seasons. Pictured is the double sided Crombie, a $45 tool with a Shimano/SRAM cassette lockring tool on one side, and a Campagnolo spline on the other. The long, solid handle gives plenty of leverage to break a stuck cassette lockring free, and more than enough to tighten it down far too much if you’re not careful. Since you tend to use a cassette lockring tool in conjunction with a chain whip, conveniently so the Crombie handle is designed to slip inside of the $40 Whip-It chain whip for one stop shopping. Really great looking stuff coming from this Bend, OR shop. Check out their HAG derailleur hanger alignment gauge too, billed as a rebuildable, shop quality tool and the last one any shop will ever have to purchase.