Firebike Chopper

A chopper from Fire Bikes. Also see Hot Bikes.

Uploaded by sdzn | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

The Sprockettes

The Sprockettes in Madison, WI

Been working on snappy captions for this photo and got:

  • Ladies keep your faces out of drivetains!
  • Scene from the Director’s Cut of Planet Terror (available only on DVD).
  • Team mechanics adjust drivetrains during the Tour de Feminine.

That’s the Sprockettes demonstrating their trick, daredevil riding skills in Madison, WI.

Uploaded by Olive Talique | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Drooling on Alberto’s Feet

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Thanks to a deluge of press releases we already knew that when Phil and Paul said that Alberto Contador was “dancing on the pedals,” they didn’t mention how special the pedals were.

Alberto was rocking the new Look Kéo 2 Max in super-champion yellow, and they’re lust-worthy. Look pedals have always been among our favorite, and we’re looking forward to taking a look at these new stompers.

The pedals have a 12-percent greater surface area (compared to the previous Kéo), oversized axle, carbon injected body and they weigh in at 120 grams. It’s unlikely we’ll see Alberto’s pedals in the local bike shop, but their black counterparts will be available.

Hot Bike Commuters

As the post title would suggest, no we’re not working on a calendar of the world’s-sexiest bike commuters (hey maybe!), but instead answering questions about riding to work in the summer and trying to stay cool.

Working hard on our Hugga Comfort line of gear, we’ve been thinking a lot about bike clothing. Last year, during an unusually hot day in the Pacific Northwest Pam and I were caught up in a Commuter Challenge on Seattle’s Alaskan Way when we heard the rattling sound of an old Schwinn Varsity approaching. As the rider’s breathing increased followed by the rush of the pass and his final push ahead of us, I noticed the commuter was dressed in jeans and a cotton tee. A few minutes later we passed the commuter and he was tearing his shirt off, obviously overheating.

We’ve told this story many times to our contacts in the bike industry and hope someday we’ll end up with a greater variety of smart yet attractive technical apparel for commuters. We want gear we can wear on the bike and then wear right into the office–until then commuters are going to have to choose between “dorky” bike gear or sweating through their cotton street clothes.

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E-Bikes Driving Innovation

Having ridden in China, we can say, “good!” for news that China’s workers are growing weary of the traffic and choosing E-bikes. Sure a visitor wants to see the progress in China; all those shiny-new buildings and apartments displacing old hutongs, but then damn that traffic. We wondered if the Chinese were enamored with their cars so much they just ignored it or if some thought, “modern society is traffic? Bikes were better.” Well, 22 million electric two wheels sold last year. Since 07, the e-bike market has been growing here in the States (note those numbers are for bikes and scooters).

The bicycle was a vivid symbol of China in more doctrinaire communist times, when virtually no one owned a car. Even now, nearly two decades after the country began its great leap into capitalism, it still has 430 million bicycles by government count, outnumbering electric bikes and scooters 7-1. But production of electric two-wheelers has soared from fewer than 200,000 eight years ago to 22 million last year, mostly for the domestic market. The industry estimates about 65 million are on Chinese roads.

More E-bikes Please

We hope that market demand continues to grow and the prices drop accordingly. More importantly, the part spec and quality should improve along with the weight. Urban, commuter, city bikes need to weigh less and perform better. Consider what could happen if the innovation that goes into a racing bike was applied en masse to commuters and e-bikes? You’d have a contraption like this

turned into this

eneloop.jpg

and not just for the gadget-crazy Japanese.

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