- December 1, 2013
- November 26, 2013
Johnny Coast builds his Coast Cycles out of an unassuming garage on a Brooklyn dead-end. His bikes are traditional in look and..
- November 19, 2013
It’s not everyday that you see a $12,000 custom bicycle, let alone a newly constructed one with ’90s era Shimano and Dia-Compe..
- November 5, 2013
Racks, baskets and on-the-bike bags are essential accessories for making cycling a part of everyday life, at least as far as I’m..
- October 21, 2013
More than 300 individuals representing 80 organizations gathered in New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of BikeBike, revisiting the city..
Read more at www.vayabags.com
Check out www.blaqpaks.com
Fyxation’s Black Friday sale means 20% off everything, through Sunday night. Check out www.fyxation.com
The Cycle Messenger World Championships are headed to Mexico City in 2014, May 28 – June 5. Check out one of the promo videos, this one for an alleycat on Friday May 30th.
For those who need a really bright headlight—I mean a really bright headlight—I call your attention to the NiteRider Pro 1800 Race. Designed for mountain bike racing, there are legitimately times when I’ve felt the need for a truly high-powered light with a long burn time. For example, a long time ago I used to work 10 miles out of the city, and the last 5 miles took me up a windy country road with few streetlights and lots of fast moving pickup trucks. Not only was riding home dangerous because traffic might not see me, but the long downhill stretches allowed me to cruise at the legal speed limit. And at high speeds, more light is always better.
There are also people who just want to feel a little more powerful when they’re out there mixing it up with cars in the city at night. I assure you, you’ll be seen with 1800 lumens. I’ve actually had a lot more cars yield the right of way when I use super bright headlights, perhaps because they assume I’m on a motorcycle.
The package includes everything you would expect, including quick-release bar and helmet mounts. The helmet mount does allow for the slightest amount of jiggle, but the bar mount is rock solid. It also allows for an incredible amount of adjustment, so even if your bars have a lot of sweep or you have to mount the light on the tapered portion, you can still make the lamp point straight ahead.
At 1200 lumens you can expect to get about 1 hour and 30 minutes of run time. At 700 lumens you should get 3 hours, 400 lumens yields 4 hours, 200 lumens 12 hours, and 80 lumens 25 hours. It takes about five hours to fully charge the four cell Lithium Ion battery. Apparently a battery this powerful requires a real charger, thus it’s not USB rechargeable.
I do enjoy using the Pro 1800 Race for its intended purpose—nighttime mountain biking. While I had been quite content riding with my various high-powered commuter lights, I really couldn’t be happier now.
One last thing to mention is that the light unit has a really simple eight-step battery gauge. As long as it’s bar-mounted, you can always see how much power you have left.
The Pro 1800 Race weighs 484 g and retails for $350. Check out www.niterider.com
Johnny Coast builds his Coast Cycles out of an unassuming garage on a Brooklyn dead-end. His bikes are traditional in look and construction, with small diameter tubes and lugged or fillet brazed joints. Both styles are used in this half-lug bike — check out that headtube junction. Call it an all-day, single speed road trainer or top-end commuter, either way this one is destined for some miles. While the bike is new, many of the parts are 4-5 decade old Campagnolo, with the surface scars of long ago rides. I wouldn’t scoff at spending some long weekends on this one.
Check out a brief tour of Johnny Coast’s shop in Urban Velo #32.
Bookman has just released a simple, yet relatively brilliant new product (no pun intended). These dot shaped magnetic reflectors are designed to add visibility to your steel frame. A package retails for $12.
Check out www.bookman.se
The Pixel Port is part of Osprey’s Portal Series, which puts an emphasis on carrying and accessing your personal technology—your mobile phone, your laptop, and of course your tablet. One thing that I can’t deny is that Osprey knows how to make a good backpack, so even though the Pixel Port isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I knew it would be someone else’s. So I handed the backpack off to a friend who just happened to be researching backpacks already. Here’s what she had to say:
Things that are cool about it:
• Adjustable sternum strap that fits my small frame
• Bright green lining
• Front zipper pocket that’s not too deep, so I never have to fish around for my phone/keys
• Key clip on the inside
• Lots of organization
• My 15.6-inch laptop fits snugly. And when my roommate’s Macbook Air was in there instead, it still felt very secure.
• iPad window—works. But when there’s not an iPad in it, I still used the pocket for small nick-nacks that I didn’t want to have to fish around for (small bottle opener, thimble, pair clips—although there are also other pockets you can put these things in). Once, I left a notepad in there that was open to my to-do list for the day, and that was awesome.
• I like how low-profile this bag is. And also how light it makes three bottles of tequila seem.
I wish it had Velcro so I wouldn’t have to use the clips all the time when I’m running around town with this bag.
The Poxel Port is available in four colors: pinot red, black pepper, chestnut brown and grey herringbone (pictured). Dry weight is 1 lb 10 oz. It retails for $119. www.ospreypacks.com
Trash Bags makes top quality custom bags, and a couple of pieces of serious winter gear. It gets cold in Minneapolis, you need to bundle up to ride through the winter cold snaps. Smoking, skitching, helmets, drinking… this video hits all the controversial points.
Check out our Trash Bags shop tour from our last visit to Minneapolis.
A close friend snapped this photo of a sharrow with a some added paint the other day on the way to work. She says it best, “This is one of the most validating pieces of infrastructure I have ever seen. I love them!”
The DZR Marco is a polo-specific SPD-compatible high-top built around a nylon shank that provides a strong, stiff platform for efficient power transfer on the bike, in a style you can wear off. Polo can be a rough sport on the ankles, but the Marco’s high-top design includes a surprising amount of protection. The ankle padding feels like a cross between a lightweight hiking shoe and the pillowy interior of a skateboarding shoe without making them look like a set of clogs. I’ve never really been one for wearing high-tops, but after taking a few knocks, I have to say that I may be converted.
The Marco’s sole is well designed for both clipless and flat pedals. While I ride clipless for polo, I was impressed with the grip the sole had on flat BMX pedals. On the clipless side, the new fiberglass filled nylon shank is noticeably stiffer than earlier DZR models, and reportedly much more durable under serious abuse. The recessed cleats rarely touch the ground, a huge plus for folks using soft cleats, though be prepared to use a spacer under your cleat if you prefer clipless pedals with a platform. Another benefit of the large cleat area is that I didn’t have a problem with mud gumming up my cleats when the weather turned sour. Despite the stiffness of the soles, I was very comfortable wearing the Marcos for the full length of a polo weekend including the six-hour drive to the tournament.
Stylistically I really dig the black with gum sole, and the embossed mallet on the lace strap. The toe box and sides of the Marco are perforated to allow for better ventilation in warmer weather. Given the perforation, I was surprised to notice that my feet never felt as though they were sloshing around in the shoe, even in a torrential downpour. My feet were very wet, but the ventilation made sure that the shoes didn’t fill up with water.
The DZR team has been very receptive to comments from the polo community with regards to what players want from a polo shoe. The $130 Marco addresses the issues I’ve had in the past with other clipless shoes for polo and is worthy of being the first purpose-built polo shoe. www.dzrshoes.com
Contributed by friend of Urban Velo and ever-traveling polo player Nico Paris.
Fixie ‘Cross yes please! Uphill Sprints?! Clear your calendar, you’re going to be too busy riding bikes to do anything else, ever. Los Angeles is lucky number 13 on Chrome’s Wrenched Nation Tour and they’ll be sticking around a little while. Orange 20 is opening its gallery space next door for Chrome’s pop-up shop through the next month.
The fun starts November 22nd with a #FooRace hosted by Alvin of CBNC – any bike, any rider. Saturday the bikes hit the track in Carson for the Wolfpack Track Invitational. Follow @Orange20Bikes for updates.
San Francisco can be heaven or hell to ride in, depending on if you know where to turn, what streets to avoid, and how to find “the wiggle.” SF cyclist Mat Kladney recently submitted his simplified bicycle map of San Francisco to the See-Through Maps exhibition as a part of the MAPPING AND ITS DISCONTENTS symposium at U.C. Berkeley earlier this month.
“As a longtime cyclist, I recently realized that the mental map that exists in my mind of San Francisco is different from most (and importantly does not exist in print form),” Kladney writes in explaining the map’s design.
The map illustrates popular routes through the city as uniquely colored paths, similar to many public transit maps – a way of suggesting that getting around town on a bike can be as simple as using public transit options. Atlantic Cities compares Kladney’s simplified map to the SF Bike Coalition’s bike-and-walking map here.
It’s not everyday that you see a $12,000 custom bicycle, let alone a newly constructed one with ’90s era Shimano and Dia-Compe components. The old mantra of “the customer is always right” holds true especially well in custom work, where customer preference trumps all else. In this case the customers are accomplished randonneurs with a preference towards the simple, dependable and serviceable parts atop this fully custom titanium Bilenky Cycle Works tandem. The custom racks keep the panniers riding low for stability, and provide a place to mount the dynamo lighting kit required for late-night and early-morning miles. The S+S coupled frame may technically fit in a travel box, but it’s more to make the bike manageable for air travel than to meet the standard size for checked luggage. The cantilever brakes and rear drum brake (for drag on descents) are a classic road tandem combo, even if today’s disc brakes are far more powerful. But this is a bike for customers with a specific traditional build in mind, and Paris-Brest-Paris on the calendar. A beautiful bike destined for lots of miles.
You get all layered up to keep your lungs, limbs and digits warm, but then what do you do to keep that piercing cold wind from stinging your ears? Wear a beanie, or a toque? Wrap a scarf around your head, or ride with earmuffs?
“What’d you say? Turn right at the llama?”
Developed by recreational cyclists in Boulder, Colorado, Cat-Ears were made to dampen and deflect the wind without cutting out all the important sounds we need to hear while riding. Wind noise can drown out other sounds such as traffic and speech, as can hats and scarves. It can also result in unpleasant ear pain and contribute to overall ride fatigue. Cat-Ears are made of an acrylic faux fur material and mimic actual cat’s ears, a method that is commonly used in the recording industry to reduce wind noise. The “ears” are fastened onto helmet straps with a velcro backing and come in a variety of colors.
Classic Cat-Ears are $15 for a set at www.cat-ears.com.
From the looks of this zine, scanned and posted by Kinki Cycle, women’s track racing is alive and well in Japan. The Girls Keirin website is super informative, including rules, history, news, racer profiles and more.
Check out www.girlskeirin.com
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released it’s annual crash stats report and the news is rather bleak. Following six consecutive years of decline in traffic fatalities that trend was broken in 2012, when the number of fatalities rose 3.3%, an increase of more than a thousand additional casualties from motor vehicle crashes, from 32,479 in 2011 to 33,561 in 2012.
The bad news get worse, as the greatest increase in fatality rates is among pedestrians and cyclists, which increased by 6.4% and 6.5% respectively. Injury for cyclists involved in motor vehicle collisions likewise increased in 2012, by 2.1%. Alcohol-related fatalities rose by almost five percent and accounted for more than 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012.
While the report shows that streets across the country are growing more dangerous despite heightened efforts to protect the most vulnerable road users, it reveals that traffic fatalities have dropped by 10,000 in over the past 10 years, and that even despite the increase in alcohol-related deaths, there has been a sharp decline in fatalities involving young drivers (aged 16-20) and alcohol, which decreased by 15 percent in 2012.
The full report on Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2012 is available here.
As you might expect, the bike industry is full of lifelong cyclists, especially in the smaller, upstart brands that don’t always get a lot of media. Check out Jim Decker back in 1977. He’s not just still riding, he’s busy designing a carbon fiber 29″ beach cruiser. Check out www.soulcruzers.com for more info.
Read more about the evolution of Cranksgiving in our feature story from earlier this year in Urban Velo #35, From Cranks To Food Banks.