Urban Velo

  • March 24, 2014NAHBS 2014 Image Gallery

    NAHBS 2014 Image Gallery

    Behold all of our 2014 NAHBS bike images in one place for easy gallery viewing. This was our seventh year at the show, check..

  • February 28, 2014Getting Rad at Shopbike Shootout

    Getting Rad at Shopbike Shootout

    When there is a party in the back alley of One on One Bicycle Studio, it is not to be missed. Over the years 115 N Washington St has become..

  • February 19, 2014City Reports Wanted

    City Reports Wanted

    Urban Velo’s new City Report will be an ongoing, reader-contributed segment that highlights cities around the world. We’ve..

  • February 17, 2014City Report – Pittsburgh

    City Report – Pittsburgh

    The following is a new reader-submitted feature we are piloting. We crafted the first one as a model for future contributions, so share..

  • February 3, 2014Vicious Cycles / Metal Guru Shop Tour

    Vicious Cycles / Metal Guru Shop Tour

    Carl Schlemowitz founded Vicious Cycles in 1994, and has been building custom steel frames in picturesque upstate New York ever since. Like..

    Peacock Groove Minneapolis-Moline Cargo NAHBS Bike


    Erik Noren and Peacock Groove are never shy about… anything, but especially about over the top theme bikes. This cargo bike pays homage to Minneapolis-Moline, a tractor company especially familiar to those in the midwest, and beyond the paint and carrying capability has fat tires (29″+ rear, 20″ front), dual generator headlights, an incredible rear rack, and low gears for tractor-like hauling. The drivetrain is the ultimate manual — two front rings, no shifter, you need to stop and move the chain by hand to achieve the ultra-low gear tractor grip. www.peacockgroove.com

    Dickies Bike Giveaway

    dickiesThe clothing/bike collaborations just keep coming. Dickies has given culture magazine, Monster Children, a free bike to give away. In typical Monster Children fashion, they give little to no information about the bike itself except to say the seat and bars are wrapped in Dickies 874 pant material. Here’s the rub, you gotta be from Australia to win the bike. Do we have readers in Australia? If so, and you win the bike, write a review for us. Thanks mate.

    I Love Riding in the City – El Pelon

    SupNAME: El Pelon
    LOCATION: Boise
    OCCUPATION: Reservations Manager

    Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
    I live in Boise, Idaho. This town is the best for riding. Depending on your style, there is riding made especially for you. From street to vert to dirt jumps to alleycats to commuting to polo….it is all here. I f’n love it. The weather is pretty good most of the year. The other riders are always so great when you see them. Nobody cares about your steed…just as long as you are on it. It is really fly in Boise.

    What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
    I grew up in SoCal so I would have to say that is the my other fav place to ride in (primarily Upland just to piss off the fuzz and all the rich people). The original Pipeline Skate park was in close to my hometown and we shredded the heck out of that joint.

    Why do you love riding in the city?
    Between the other riders and the killer views of the city itself, it is quite frankly the best place to ride. I can jump on a dirt trail and immediately go right to the bar for a carbo load full of Newcastles. Meet some other biker and then hit it off and instantly become friends. I have never lived in a place that loves bikes as much as here.

    Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
    Boise is amazing. Just small enough to not be considered “Big City” yet big enough to be called a metropolis. So many different types of riders to enjoy. So many different types of bikes to gawk at. When you are all done with that….hit up a float on the Boise River and make a total ass of yourself to the beautiful people that live here….they really appreciate the laugh.

    Come and visit! But dont forget your loyal steed. You will need it.

    Check out maniacalone.blogspot.com

    Timbuk2 x Red Hook Crit Especial Claro

    timbuk2Timbuk2 just launched a super limited-edition (only 25 made) Red Hook Crit edition of their Especial Claro. The medium sized bag features lightweight and weatherproof construction, a padded ambidextrous shoulder strap, and of course Red Hook Crit embroidery. There’s room for a 15″ laptop and you can close the bag traditionally or like a roll-top.

    Get one for $140 from shop.redhookcrit.com

    Don Walker 1994 Pursuit Bike at NAHBS


    Things were different in the ’90s. Steel was still real, purple was cool the first time around, the the rules allowed builders to push bicycle design in the name of speed. Don Walker built this bike for Shawn Wallace to use in the 1994 Commonwealth Games, where he ended up taking home silver in the 4 km individual pursuit. Besides the frame construction, note the one sided fork and Russian tensioned Kevlar disc wheel. Great to see a well-used bike from a different era of racing and bike construction making a public appearance. www.donwalkercycles.com

    Six-Eleven Bicycle Co NAHBS Track


    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


    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


    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.

    Zoic Downtown Jacket

    zoicThe Zoic Downtown Jacket is a simple, stylish softshell that’s also reasonably priced and very well thought-out.

    Like much of my favorite cycling apparel, it only comes in black. The Downtown Jacket has some subtle blue accents as well as a small amount of reflective trim for safety’s sake. The soft, stretchable fabric looks good and feels good. It’s 86% polyester and 14% spandex with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating.

    DSC_1176I’m always surprised at how well modern DWR softshells repel water, and this one is no exception. But keep in mind, you have to treat them right to maintain their performance. That means limit their trips to the washing machine (Zoic claims their treatment is good for 30 washes) and when you do wash it, it’s probably a good idea to use a DWR specific detergent such as those offered by Nikwax.

    The jacket features a rather casual cut, which combined with the subtle branding makes it a nice choice for those of us who aren’t racer-boy slim. It’s also good for uurban riders who don’t like to stand out in a crowd. It features four zippered pockets, two for your hands, one on the lower back and one on the arm for your MP3 player (with internal cable routing). And while it is a relaxed fit jacket, it still offers a traditional drop tail, as well as an adjustable waistband.

    The Downtown Jacket retails for $115 and comes in sizes M-XL. Check out www.zoic.com

    No More Bike Paths Ever!

    LW0727_bikerulesOk, this is an interesting case of which the ramifications are probably no need for concern. Still..

    This Salon article details the case of Marvin Brandt Revocable Trust vs. United States, in which the courts ruled in favor of the family who opposed a bike path being laid through part of their land. Here’s the amusing hypocrisy. They are descendants of the owner of a sawmill that built railroad ties, and they stated,

    “They want to bring a train through here, that’s fine. We never expected and we never agreed to a bicycle trail.”

    To the family, it isn’t that the government is using their abandoned land through right-of-way privileges, but that it’s a bicycle path and not a TRAIN. Umm…OK.

    The larger ramifications of this case are more concerning, in the decision undermines the legality of already established bike paths obtained through right of way privileges. But yeah, good luck fighting the established benefits of Rails-To-Trails programs and tearing up all that asphalt.

    Read the full article on Salon.com

    Cateye Rapid X

    Cateye Rapid XIf memory serves correct, my very first blinky light was a Cateye. The classic design used two AAA batteries and required a coin to pry the two halves apart from the yellow rubber gasket. That thing cost less than $10 and lasted for years until I either lost it or gave it away.

    To say the blinky light market has evolved would be a gross understatement, but Cateye seems to have kept up with the times. The Rapid X features a state of the art COB LED module and a 200mAh USB-rechargable lithium ion battery. It weighs just 23g, which should make it an appealing option for road racers and weight weenies alike.

    Cateye Rapid XOne of the best features of the Rapid X is the side visibility. It’s nearly as bright from 90° as it is from the back. Interestingly, the light isn’t overpoweringly bright. It seems that Cateye put more value on runtime than lumens, as the light is claimed to run for up to 30 hours in flashing mode. Regardless of which of the six modes you are in, when the battery gets low, the unit automatically switches to flashing mode, ensuring you an hour of burn time. Back home on the range, you’ll need just two hours to completely charge the battery.

    Cateye Rapid XConstruction seems solid, and the tool-free elastomer-based mounting system is as simple as can be. While I used to be loathe to trust a rubber band to hold my light on, I’ve grown more confident as light manufacturers have obviously stepped up their game. One of the two provided mounting straps will allow you to mount it to 12–32mm tubes.

    cateyeAt first I was going to complain that the rubber back panel comes off fairly easily, which could cause you to lose parts of the unit when charging or transporting it, but then I realized that won’t be a problem if you leave the mounting strap attached.

    The Rapid X retails for about $40. Check out www.cateye.com

    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

    Friday Follow – Amanda Nauman

    MG_1895-710x941Amanda Nauman is a Felt bicycles employee and a consistent podium achieving racer, so naturally her feed is filled with racing photos, podium shots and felt bikes. She takes consistently beautiful shots while out riding and has some pretty epic photos taken of herself while racing. Of course, there’s always a random dog photo or two thrown in as well.


    Instagram : Amanda_Panda_
    Blog: PandasPOV

    Upness Updates

    screen-shot-2013-07-12-at-7-26-11-amCycling, Running and Hiking apparel brand, Upness, is still spinning the wheels, putting out new products monthly and collaborating with other small brands to produce high-quality, stylish, and USA made goods. Birthed as a brand to inspire others to get out and get moving (vertically), Upness also exists to raise MS awareness (both creators have a connection to the struggle). Upness quickly made a name for itself in the cycling and vertically inspired communities, and both creators have recently begun blogging about their riding experiences and other related ramblings.

    Follow their Instagram for the latest news and inspiring shots of other Upness advocates.

    And hey, don’t sleep, ’cause most of the pieces they create are limited editions…like these amazing kits they put out this winter.

    Brewsvegas Poster Ride

    Brewsvegas Poster Ride from Brewsvegas on Vimeo.

    Next time you throw an event and need to do some promotion, watch this and get inspired to do it on your bike instead of a car. It may not be as quick (if you are traveling as far as these guys), but it will be infinitely more enjoyable.

    #CrashtheCrash Marathon Crash Video feat. Aerial Footage


    I Love Riding in the City – Pamela Murray

    NAME: Pamela Murray
    LOCATION: Charlotte, NC
    OCCUPATION: Founder of the Charlotte Spokes People

    Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
    I live in Charlotte, NC. I live in Plaza Midwood which is an older neighborhood about 3 miles from Uptown (the center of the city). I can ride everywhere and do everything by bike. I like to get other people riding bikes to places so I started the Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride then I started signing businsesses up to the Bicycle Benefits program. Each week, we visit and support local businesses who support bicycle riding by offering anyone who rides to their business a special offer. It’s a great cycle of support. I figure if I can get people to ride at night to great bike friendly places and make it fun, they may bike more often on their own. I ride year round and host the ride year round. The weather is great and the terrain is flat to rolling hills.

    What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
    My favorite city to ride in is my own since I can ride my own bike. When I’ve ridden in other cities, it was always a rental which is never as good. And I’m more familiar with my own city.

    Why do you love riding in the city?
    I can go everywhere and do anything on my bike – especially since I got my Burley Travoy trailer. I can do a week’s worth of grocery shopping, bring home my Christmas tree… Even before the trailer, I could strap most things on my rack – a sled, sleeping bag, banners… I ride my bike as my default transportation. I drive as an alternative or when I’m going somewhere with my entire family. I love the freedom and empowerment and the level of enagagement I feel with the community, outdoors, myself when I’m riding my bike.

    Check out facebook.com/PMTNR

    Indianapolis Radder Day Rides

    Radder Day Rides ColorOrganizer, Nathaniel Tact, has begun throwing monthly, casual bike rides around downtown Indianapolis called Radder Day Rides. Simply for the love of riding and communing with other cyclists, these rides are not billed as Critical Masses, Alleycats or any other such association. They do, however, give you the chance to take home raffle prizes from local businesses…just for showing up! Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I really like the idea of a no-stress bike ride that still gives everyone something to take home.

    This also seems like a decent alternative to avoiding the sort of prize debacle Brad linked to in this article.

    The first ride held in February suffered from low turnout, but that was due primarily to the demotivating winter weather and the March 29th ride promises to be better attended. If you’re in the Indy area or just passing through, join in on the fun. Check out the Radder Day Rides Facebook page for all the updates and prize offerings.

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