Urban Velo

Six-Eleven Bicycle Co NAHBS Track

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Six-Eleven Bicycle Co is a one of my perennial favorites at NAHBS, with this customer bike destined for the track catching my eye. Quite obviously a pure-bred race machine, the bike isn’t missing on the finishing touches. Check the elegant seatstay bridge, the pass-through stem detail, and the line work the carries from the wheels across the frame. Great bikes out of Roanoke VA. Check out www.sixelevenbicycleco.com

Sunrise Cycles NAHBS

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Sunrise Cycles from Tokyo, Japan had perhaps the most eye catching bike at the 2014 NAHBS. Builder Yu Takai’s personal bike, this commuter is full of meticulous custom metalworking to create the unique truss-like structures throughout. It took Yu Takai two months of work to build this bike, I can only imagine how slow the progress was brazing together the top tube/seat tube junction. The detail work is impressive and over the top, from the obvious metal forms to the integrated lights and painted steerer tube. The Japanese bikes that make it to NAHBS never fail to impress. www.sunrise-cycles.com

Breadwinner Cycles B-Road NAHBS Gravel Racer

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Breadwinner Cycles officially turned one year old at 2014 NAHBS, and introduced the B-Road gravel racer to the world. Breadwinner partner Ira Ryan threw his years of gravel racing and riding into this bike, building it with all-day epics in mind. Three bottle bosses help with the all-day cred, as does the clearance for 38c tires (32c with fenders). The bike features oversized Columbus Sprint tubing with either disc or cantilever brakes, downtube shifter bosses for versatility, and a modified ENVE fork so the B-Road can have full fender coverage. www.breadwinnercycles.com

Moses Pedestrian Alert System

Moses from Jacob Cyriac on Vimeo.

Functionality aside, “Moses” as a device that “parts the crowds” is pretty hilarious branding. Moses is a bicycle mounted pedestrian alert system which relies on Infrared technology to locate obstacles in front of the rider, then emits flashing lights and random noises to grab the pedestrians’ attention. In Sweden it is rude to use a bell (so sensitive, they are!), so the noises are a polite way to ask permission to pass. Moses is only an experiment at this time and no mass production has been suggested at this point.

Surly Pants Installation and Modification

pants9From Surly:

As I began looking at sizes I quickly realized that I was pretty hosed in the inseam department because I, like many other Midwestern Americans, am built like a door. The Surly pants seemed to taunt me, saying; ‘Oh, your waist is 36, but your inseam is 32?! Look elsewhere fatty.” Undeterred, I was absolutely gonna cover my shame with our sweet, sweet pants. What follows will be important information for those door shaped people also wanting to cover their respective shame with our nifty trousers.

Read more.

Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition Kickstarter

Fix It Sticks Replaceable EditionWell, that didn’t take long… The latest Fix It Sticks Kickstarter project surpassed its funding goal with 29 days to go. It’s not really surprising, though. The original product (which we reviewed in July 2013) was pretty good, and they decided to improve it, and offer more options. Kickstarter supporters get a solid deal on the new and improved version, and everyone’s happy.

Fix It Sticks Replaceable EditionThe new and improved version that landed in our mailbox is the Replaceable Edition (there’s also a new T-Way Wrench). It looks a lot like the original version, but it’s made of steel and features magnetic bits. The expected MSRP is $36. Stay tuned for a review down the line.

Check out www.fixitsticks.com

Growler Cage

Growler CageIn a word, “Wow!”

It’s a bottle cage for a growler.

www.growlercage.com

Fietsklik Bike Accessories

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Fietsklik began simply enough when a group of school friends dropped a case of beer from the back of a bike. The Amsterdam based Fietsklik team is familiar with bikes as daily transport, and felt they could design a better modular system for getting beer and other daily needs home safely.

A few weeks back Julius and Jonathan stopped through town and I had the chance to see the Fietsklik items up close, albeit in the midst of a serious cold snap. At its most basic Fietsklik is a plastic base that fits on most standardized rear racks that then allows various side bags to snap into the sides, and a large cargo box to fit on top. Each accessory securely snaps into place and can be locked down with a barrel style key to prevent the whole bag or box from going missing. Even without the keyed lock, the bags and box are securely fastened in place, requiring depressing a hidden release and preventing them from falling off on their own. The box is sized perfectly for a case of 24 bottles, and features a handle and wheels for use in the grocery store. If you don’t have anything at all to carry, the box collapses flat. A child carrier is in the works, but the next round of safety testing is expensive.

It’s a pretty slick system, and not priced outrageously like some other system solutions can be. I especially can see the removable, wheeled cargo box being very useful for some shoppers. My main concern for the entire system is the same as with most anything based on plastic construction — long term durability. It would be a shame to break off one of the engagement points trying to click it all in place while you aren’t paying attention. I have no experience, simply conjecture. The risk you take in the name of items that securely click and lock together as a system it seems.

Fietsklik just launched their Kickstarter to help get the child carrier off the ground, and to otherwise get their system into the hands of the US market. $99 gets you the Klik rack adapter and a single bag or cargo box, with various other tiers for other bag and box combinations. The child carrier starts at the $215 level, and is the ultimate goal of this round of funding.

Fietsklik is designed and manufactured in Holland and worth a look if a modular cargo and bag solution meets your needs, and especially if a child seat is in your future. Overall I truly liked what I saw. See more details and check out a video at the Fietsklik Kickstarter.

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.

Polar Bottle ThermaLuxe

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 10.38.14 PMThe Polar Bottle ThermaLuxe is a vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle. Made from food-grade 18/8 stainless steel, it’s intended for both hot and cold beverages. Polar Bottle claims it will keep a hot beverage warm for 5 hours, and a cold one cool for 24. In my experience they’re not far off the mark, and it definitely keeps hot tea steaming hot for hours if you keep the lid closed.

Speaking of the lid, it still utilizes the same Half Twist cap that I wrote about in 2012. After further use, I still stand by my past criticisms, but I’ve simply become accustomed to it and now I don’t mind so much.

The ThermaLuxe retails for $40, but at the moment Polar Bottle has it on sale for $20. Check out www.polarbottle.com

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