Urban Velo

  • August 12, 2014Surly Straggler Review

    Surly Straggler Review

    Shortly after Surly introduced the Cross Check some fifteen years ago, someone chimed in that they wished for a disc brake option. After..

  • August 5, 2014ABUS Granit Futura Mini U-Lock

    ABUS Granit Futura Mini U-Lock

    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..

  • August 1, 2014Issue #43 – Available Online

    Issue #43 – Available Online

    Contents include: I Love Riding in the City, NAHBPC 2014, Amtrak Roll-On Service, Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit, Product Spotlight:..

  • July 14, 2014New Albion Homebrew

    New Albion Homebrew

    In 1579 Sir Francis Drake landed in northern California and dubbed it New Albion. In 1976, Jack McAuliffe founded the now defunct New..

  • July 10, 2014Worksman Cycles Gallery

    Worksman Cycles Gallery

    Housed in a former candle factory in Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest manufacturing traditions. Worksman Cycles is a..

    WOHO Introduces the Flying Fender 2.0

    WOHO has released an updated version of their Flying Fender. Version 2.0 is one-size-fits-all, and has a distinctly Gundam Wing inspired design. Like the previous version it’s super lightweight (45g) and attaches with Velcro. It can be rolled up and stored in a number of ways, and retails for $14.99.

    Check out www.wohobike.com

    Fyxation Open Fixed Gear Street Crit

    Fyxation_Open_11x17_Flier_2048x2048 Fixed gear street crits have become quite the hit. Crossing over from alleycat to more official street racing, these races have been gaining in popularity and attracting riders from across the country to compete and July 26th brings the Fyxation Open to Chicago. An unsanctioned event held alongside a more official-like crit, it will be interesting to see how lap times compare. Fixed gear, drop bars, no brakes, and a $300 and Fyxation Eastside bicycle first prize. 75 rider limit, $30 to register at www.bikereg.com.

    Road Bike Party 2 – Behind The Scenes

    You’ve surely seen Road Bike Party and RBP2, but a behind the scenes documentary was released just a couple months ago. Here’s a little back story on these amazing videos and the riders involved.

    Tallinn Bicycle Week 2014 Recap Video

    Posted on by in Video with 0 Comments

    Human App Data Visuals

    Posted on by in Video with 1 Comment

    This is how we move from Human on Vimeo.

    Human is an app designed to improve your health by motivating you to move for at least 30 minutes a day (is this what we’ve come to?) and helping you track your progress. The video above is a beautiful visual of the information they pulled from the app to determine when and how we move through our respective cities. There are so many considerations to draw from the visuals, but let’s just look at all the pretty for a bit.

    Designer Paul Smith & Mercian Cycles Collaboration

    PAUL SMITH x MERCIAN CYCLES — MR PORTER — THE EXCLUSIVE from MR PORTER on Vimeo.

    What a great little short about a collaboration between fashion designer, Paul Smith, and the frame builders of Mercian Cycles. Go into 3:20 for some rad shots of Smith dressed to the 9′s pulling track stands on his murdered out custom frame. This guy is legit!

    I Love Riding in the City – Stu Babin

    stuartNAME: Stu Babin
    LOCATION: Houma, LA
    OCCUPATION: Hydrographer

    Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
    I live in Houma, Louisiana, the origin of Alan Moore’s {revised} Saga of the Swamp Thing. A story of monsters in the swamp might seem fanatical; however, it’s something I think about constantly as I ride the back-roads here.

    What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
    I’ve been lucky enough to travel from CA to NYC and spent some time overseas while in the U.S. Navy. Mountain biking in Ocoee, Tennessee, is one place I will never forget, yet I still love riding in the swamps, my backyard, every weekend the most.

    Why do you love riding in the city?
    We’re primarily flatlanders down here (as near sea level or slightly below), but we have an excellent mix of gravel and dirt roads through sugar cane farm roads along with smooth and rugged asphalt through lonely swamps. In addition, just under a hour drive away, there are superb mountain biking trails in Norco, LA and one of the best urban cycling escapes called “the Big Easy,” the city of New Orleans.

    Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city…Poetry anyone?

    I wrote this poem a few years ago about riding treacherous bayous only a few brave will witness…

    The Beast
    You shouldn’t have come here.

    As demons rise from your forgotten memories
    volume set to creature overtones of this swamp
    and here I ride, half-naked across damp grass watching.
    The smell of death always finds me.
    Sweat dripping rhythm from the Devil’s breath
    sipping the witches brew under yellow eyes
    as my skin begins to burn from her disease.
    The crow flies bringing cooler wind of change.
    And wickedness is his reflection in murky water
    as ghosts of harmony slowly disappear,
    The beast craves blood.
    Discover an unfamiliar place of the same.
    Your darkness hidden under stories by others
    could turn back now, but you won’t,
    it’s too late.
    You shouldn’t have come here.

    http://instagram.com/antistu

    Cyclist Dies After Being Struck by Allegedly Drunk Police Officer

    Photo from Excelsior.com

    Photo from Excelsior.com

    A cyclist was struck and killed by a police officer in Mexico City over the weekend, and another is in the hospital in critical condition. A sedan carrying two adults and two children was also hit by the police car. It is reported that the driver of the car, Federal Police (Policia Federal) officer Brenda Barrón Magali Rivera, attempted to flee the scene, but was was stopped by witnesses who became hostile towards Rivera and the other officers in the car. More than 100 officers in riot gear came to the scene to assist Rivera and her passengers.

    It is alleged that the police officer was intoxicated at the time of the crash, which occurred on a busy street outside the Mercado Sonora in downtown Mexico City. Rivera has been released on bail, and according to District Attorney Rodolfo Rios Garza, may face manslaughter charges; today it was announced that the results of Rivera’s toxicology report are negative for alcohol.

    Tonight cyclists in Mexico City will ride in honor the fallen rider, and will install a ghost bike at the site on Saturday. Local activists are seeking legal resources to aid in ensuring justice for the fallen rider and his partner.

    Read more about the crash in Mexico City here (in Spanish)

    Timbuk2 Especial Raider Backpack Review

    DSC_1680The Especial Raider backpack was designed for people who don’t just want to ride to work, but who want to log some miles before they punch in. People like the Mission Cycling club, who collaborated with Timbuk2 to design this backpack. The main parameters were that it had to be a lightweight bag that wouldn’t impede your performance on the bike, but it also had to carry all of the essentials. And that includes not only clothes, but shoes, as well.

    DSC_1679Timbuk2 really rose to the occasion. The Especial Raider weighs less than one pound thanks to its primarily ripstop nylon construction. It features ventilated padding on the back and shoulder straps, but not so much that it feels bulky. The shoulder straps are adjustable, and so is the sternum strap (it can slide up and down so you can adjust the height). On the outside the bag features one zippered pocket across the top and two stretch pockets on the hips. There’s a blinky light tab and a hook and loop tab to hang your helmet on once the ride is over.

    DSC_1673Inside the bag, things get much more interesting. Though the bag has a rather trim profile (roughly 10 x 18 inches) it offers more than 1000 cubic inches of carrying capacity. The bag has two internal shoe compartments that basically keep the bottom half of each shoe in place. Then there is the back panel pocket, which includes a plastic folding board and a hook and loop strap. This system allows you to fold your clothes and keep them neatly pressed against your back. Finally, the bag has a built in metal hanging hook that allows you to conveniently suspend the bag while you change.

    DSC_1670As someone who works a 9 to 5 and has to adhere to a business casual dress code, I truly appreciate this bag. Even when I’m not heading to work, I like the light weight and functionality of the bag. And I like the way it looks, it’s clean, simple and black (though there are now new color options). The bag fits me quite well, and unlike a lot of commuter specific bags, it’s quite appropriate for off-road riding, too.

    IMG_3371My only real nits to pick with the bag largely revolve around wishes, not truly complaints. First, I wish the bag were more water resistant. I mitigated this by riding around with an extra-large Ziplock bag for my phone, wallet and other valuables that aren’t waterproof. I wish they had provided a convenient way to deal with the excess straps (I took care of this with rubber bands). And I wish the exterior pocket was a little deeper because once you unzip it all the way, things have a tendency to fall out.

    The Especial Raider backpack retails for $79. Check out www.timbuk2.com

    Alligators and Cornflakes

    There are too many amazing one-liners in this 3:40 video to pick a favorite. I just…just…there are no words. This guy has taken them all.

    “Dead Red” Law Passed in Indiana

    idaho_s04_0830Going into effect on July 1st, the “Dead Red” law will allow cyclists and motorcyclists to roll through a red light after…wait for it….2 minutes of waiting. As this article mentions, cops aren’t going to put a stopwatch on you, but we do have the option of ignoring the red light for our own convenience and at our own peril. Similar to the “Idaho Stop”, we’ll now be able to run the red…legally, but only because the light tripping sensors embedded into the pavement aren’t activated by our svelte figures and lack of body mass due to all that riding we’ve been doing. Ultimately, this means very little for us by way of convenience, but it does afford us a couple of exploited privileges. 1. We can cite the law should we get stopped for running a red, if we are sure that hypothetical stopwatch wasn’t being used on us, and 2. It’s a step in the right direction for establishing the “Idaho Law”, which, let’s face it, most of us follow already.

    First the gay marriage ban was struck down and now Dead Red laws. Mark my words, Indiana is the new Oregon…or maybe Idaho.

    Bike Jerks 2014 All City Championship

    Posted on by in Events with 0 Comments

    ACC_2014_Poster_REV Three days of event — track, cross, alleycat — await at the 2014 All City Championship July 10-12 in Minneapolis. See more at www.bikejerks.com

    Chrome Forged Rubber

    Chrome has introduced the Forged Rubber line of shoes, featuring natural rubber soles fused directly to the shoe uppers using decades old tech that just works better. These 70 year old machines were rescued from Slovakia and refurbished, bringing old school shoe making tech back to life. Each sole is fused to the shoe without the use of adhesives or stitching, creating what promises to be a more durable shoe, more akin to army boot construction than sneakers.

    FRMFT_Flyer Check out the Forged Rubber construction and pick up your own pair of shoes at discount at the mobile factory tour, slated for the Chrome stores in New York City July 1-2, Chicago July 11-12, Seattle July 18-19, and Portland July 25-26.

    Knog Night Ride Pittsburgh

    knog_nigh_tride_pittsburgh-4Night rides are best spent exploring the grimey underside of things, at least that’s always been my opinion. Nothing like ‘cross bikes, charged lights and a sense of adventure. A couple of weeks back Knog came to town with a bag full of lights and we got together a few friends for a couple of hours of the finest bike paths, dirt trails and renegade no man’s land railroad track riding we could throw together. Light car and lighter trail traffic make night riding all the better, even if on this particular evening rain made for some treacherous bridge crossings and wet feet all around. Stopped for some backpack beers atop a soon to be developed wasteland, hopped the tracks where trails unofficially converge, filled our stomachs with sandwiches that feature it all. Great times, as all friendly night rides should be.

    Look for the next Knog night ride in New York City, tentatively scheduled for the evening of July 24th.

    Breadwinner Cycles B-Road

    Breadwinner Cycles B-Road from Breadwinner Cycles on Vimeo.

    It’s Friday. If you needed a little motivation for a long weekend ride…here it is. Ira Ryan taking on the Oregon Outback atop the Breadwinner B-Road, a bike designed specifically for this type of riding.

    Progress Packaging LeTDF Musettes


    Progress Packaging has teamed up with a number of companies to create TDF inspired musettes for the stage beginning in Yorkshire. They can be purchased at the address in the video and Creative Review has a full listing of designs available.mus1

    Brooks Cambium C15

    C15 Slate - 34

    Brooks England’s leather saddles have been a classic bike component for a century, with countless people swearing by their well worn, old-school Brooks over more modern materials and construction. Just a couple of seasons ago Brooks introduced their first Cambium saddle made not of leather but of an organic canvas and vulcanized rubber top, providing a waterproof and maintenance free Brooks. The latest is the narrower and racier C15 Limited Edition, meant for distance riders and people that prefer a lower profile perch. Brooks saddles have never come cheap and the C15 retails for $225, but given that it isn’t rare to find decades old saddles still in service the price can be a bit easier to swallow. See more at www.brooksengland.com

    Amtrak To Add Bicycle Cargo To All Long Distance Routes

    Unknown In big news for bicycle travelers Amtrak has announced that they are adding baggage cars with bicycle cargo capability to all 15 long distance train routes that they serve. By the end of the year riders should have roll-on bicycle service, expanding the horizons of where you can take your bike, or where you can ride to and find an affordable way home. I’ve utilized roll-on service on the west coast to travel between cities, and it’s a great feeling to be able to ride directly to and from the train station. Look for 55 new cars capable of carrying bicycles by the end of 2014. Read more at www.post-gazette.com

    MYBELL Customizable Horn and Light

    MYBELL is for the person that wants to update their horn like they update their ringtone, when conforming to everyone else’s ding and blink just doesn’t cut it. You can customize two different — one for catching people’s attention, another for not scaring folks on the shared use path — and a custom programmable light pattern. Output tops out at 105 dB for the horn and 110 lumens for the LEDs. Drag and drop customization makes things easy, MYBELL shows up as a drive when you plug it into a USB port to update or recharge. Easy on, easy off, see more and pre-order your own for $99 if you like what you see at the MYBELL Kickstarter.

    Forever Forward

    The riders at Forward Set through together this short doc on creator, Kirk Tsonos, and his daily happenings.

    FWDSET: Forever Forward from Forward Set on Vimeo.

    City Reports