- August 12, 2014
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, 2014
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, 2014
Contents include: I Love Riding in the City, NAHBPC 2014, Amtrak Roll-On Service, Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit, Product Spotlight:..
- July 14, 2014
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, 2014
Housed in a former candle factory in Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest manufacturing traditions. Worksman Cycles is a..
I love this. It’s a Transport For London PSA that addresses road rage by all users (cyclists included), but seems to go beyond faulting poor transport habits and touches something deeper, maybe something more human. In the end it calls for a sense of calm, as if the problems we face on the road are unavoidable and maybe we need a new approach to their management. It’s a little pie-in-the-sky thinking, but a suitable reminder regardless.
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Riverton – a suburb of Salt Lake City, and ride/take the train to work in the heart of downtown every day. Salt Lake has a great cycling infrastructure, with wide streets and miles of dedicated bike lanes. During lunch, I’ll leave my bike chained up and take one of the city’s bike share bikes out for a ride.
What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
The only other city I have ridden in was London, which was equally harrowing and peaceful. The cars, lorries, and taxis fly past you, but it felt less chaotic than here in the states. It felt like they were aware of you.
Why do you love riding in the city?
Riding a bike is the best way to connect with a city, you are right in the middle of it all, and there is nothing separating you from the city. I’ve found more “hidden gems” and places of interest while riding around on my bike than by any other way.
Join messenger, author, poet and sometimes Urban Velo contributor Kurt Boone tonight at 7pm EST at Shindig.com for a video chat and poetry reading from his recent book “Bard of New York.”
Oh America..you so cute. Now enough with the jokes, let’s go Lance!
In 1579 Sir Francis Drake landed in northern California and dubbed it New Albion. In 1976, Jack McAuliffe founded the now defunct New Albion brewery in Sonoma, which was regarded as the first American microbrewery. And in 2012, New Albion Cycles formed with the idea of bringing classic bicycle designs to the market. The Homebrew is their flagship model.
The Homebrew is best described as a classic roadbike with a hint of modern technology. It joins just a handful of bikes on the market with downtube shifters. The steel frameset is lugged and TIG welded, and of course readily accepts racks and fenders. The fork features a 1” quill stem and eyelets for a mini rack and fenders.
The Homebrew offers a classic cycling experience that countless cyclists have enjoyed in recent years by restoring second hand bikes from the 80’s. But not only are those old bikes becoming harder to find, their downfalls are eventually exposed, namely poor braking, a lack of hill-friendly gearing, and limited tire clearance. The Homebrew takes care of all of those things with aplomb.
If you’ve never ridden with single-pivot brakes you might not appreciate the mechanical advantage that dual-pivot side-pull caliper brakes offer. But it’s night and day, and so thankfully New Albion decided not to go that retro. The IRD B57’s have clearance for up to 32mm tires, which is good because the Homebrew can accept them. It ships with 700 x 28c Kenda Kwick tires.
The tires might be more aptly named Komfortable, as they’re rather high volume and low pressure (85 psi max) makes for an incredibly comfortable ride. The tires are mounted to 32-spoke polished aluminum rims.
The drivetrain is predominantly composed of Sun Race components. I have nothing but good things to say about this groupset, and the pairing of a 50-32 crankset with an 11-32 cassette was highly appreciated. Pittsburgh, like San Francisco, is a city known for its steep hills.
Downtube shifters aren’t for everyone. They’re not as convenient as STI or even bar-end shifters. But they get the job done. They also make for a clean looking handlebar with less cables to interfere with a front rack, should you choose to go that route.
I did, in fact, ride the Homebrew with both front and rear racks for the majority of the test. I occasionally strapped packages to the rear rack, but I rode with a handlebar bag nearly every single time. The additional weight on the bars was quite obvious at times, especially on rough roads and when locking the bike up. But for the most part it wasn’t a hindrance. And because I was usually able to fit everything I needed for the day in said bag, I was able to commute on the hottest days of the year without a backpack or messenger bag. For someone like me, who almost never rides without one, the experience is refreshing.
And that might be the essence of the Homebrew, it’s a refreshing change of pace. It’s not a technological wonder, it’s a classic. The kind of bike your parents rode, the kind that made millions of people fall in love with cycling. It’s also worth noting that the bike is simply beautiful, as countless people pointed out during my time on the Homebrew.
Detractors may point out that the frame and fork are made from high tensile steel and not chromoly, but the difference is predominantly a matter of weight, not performance or safety. The decision of course is a matter of cost, which might seem unlikely since at $999 the Homebrew doesn’t fit into the category of affordable, but I contend that it’s worth considering. You’re not going to see a million of these on the streets of your city, and some people like to have a bike that no one else has. But I digress.
At the moment I have 16 working bicycles at my disposal. Even though another one might be more appropriate for a given ride, I keep opting for the Homebrew. That pretty much sums it all up. Check out www.newalbioncycles.com
It’s funny because it’s true. What?..any opportunity to take a good natured jab at Strava is ok with me.
The Glowbelt is one of those crossover products that makes a lot of sense, in a lot of applications. The pocket sized device hides a spring loaded 50″ length of LEDs that is adjustable in length to wear around your waist, over your shoulder, around a backpack, or as small as an armband. The Glowbelt runs for nearly 60 hours on two CR2032 batteries, that while not rechargeable are pretty shelf stable if you were to stash the Glowbelt for emergency use. Given the power source and small LEDs, the Glowbelt is best as a secondary bit of safety lighting. Available in a few colors, see more and look for their upcoming Kickstarter at glowbelt.co.uk
Oh man…this blog post by Nikki Lee is so good on many levels. Well-written, clever and right to the point…on both issues.
If one of those cars does hit you, you’re probably going to get blamed. The police will assume that you were riding unsafely, and what you could have done to better protect yourself. The driver most likely won’t be punished at all. If anything, it’ll be a slap on the wrist.
Now, a follow up post explaining ways to make both situations better would be rad.
Housed in a former candle factory in Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest manufacturing traditions. Worksman Cycles is a 116-year-old, family-owned bicycle maker producing machines first designed in the 1930s and whose best-selling model, says Worksman spokesman Bruce Weinreb, is not a carbon-fiber road bike but a steel tricycle designed for carrying 500-pound loads across factory floors.
From the rugged-looking building to the decades-old machines used for bending and crimping the steel tubes for the bikes, every part of the company’s business model seems to be philosophically in line with the bicycles they produce: low maintenance, no frills, and designed to last forever. For more than a century, Worksman has survived by focusing on the niche market of manufacturers needing industrial bikes to carry people and equipment on their factory floors, and Worksman show few signs of changing.
The company itself began in 1898 in a lower Manhattan store run by Morris Worksman. Worksman started out selling Columbia bikes, says Weinreb, but began selling his own design that was purpose-built for workers carrying heavy loads around the city. Worksman’s 1915 patent shows designs for a tricycle with a removable back box.
Ok Le Tour, we’ll throw you a bone. Chris Froome of Team Sky becomes the first rider to cycle the entire 50k of the English Chunnel. So yeah, that happened. Now let the rest of us do it.
Enter our Facebook contest to win an Abus Bordo 5700.
With the Bordo, ABUS has revolutionized the bicycle lock and established an entirely new type of lock. The Bordo family offers light weight and flexibility in a compact design. Features include 5 mm steel bars and a premium cylinder for high protection against picking. Click here to enter.
Contest ends August 10, 2014.
Generally speaking, the faster the bike the less fashionable the bike bell. That’s not to say they’re not useful on road bikes too, just that you don’t see too many of them out there. The Osaka Roadie Bell is a mini bell that can fit on the inside of the brake hood or on the cable housing, providing a temporary unobtrusive bell that doesn’t take up handlebar space. The bell attaches with an aluminum clip, and is easy to remove or switch bike to bike. Available at your local shop or via the Soma Fab webstore for $18.
Great video from the team behind Useeme bicycle turn signals. Flashing wrist bands with motion sensors, Useeme automatically begins flashing when you hold your hand up to signal a turn, and stops when you return it to the bars. Final products should be available this fall — get in earlier with the Indiegogo campaign.
So yeah, this is happening. According to the LA Times, after this Orange County cyclist gets bottles thrown at him while riding in the bike lane, and after he submitted the video to the authorities in order to press charges against the offenders, he’s now facing potential charges of “words in public likely to illicit a violent reaction,” because….uhh….that’s a thing. What? I’m at a loss for words here, and if I had them, they might illicit a violent reaction or something. Is this highly unconventional or is this just standard car-centric LA procedure?
The upcoming documentary Mama Agatha follows a group of migrant women from all around the world who are learning how to cycle in Amsterdam. Their teacher is a 59-year-old Ghanaian community mother, shown in this teaser. Filming continues though graduation in August with a full-length film to follow.