Riding urban, in cities, we’ve got our shortcuts and alleyways to cut into when traffic is bad or we’re trying to make up time. That’s the Seattle Library on the other side and this is downtown Seattle.

Sweetie, while you were at work I destroyed the apartment

Bike maintenance in the confines of a studio loft apartment can get messy.

June 03

Putting the Rain Gear to the Test

Eider Jacket

When this Eider Jacket arrived at Hugga HQ, I thought, “will give it a full review this Fall.” Well, Summer still hasn’t arrived and was glad I had it with me in Portland when the sky opened up and cried Mary on us. That was an instantaneous, total soak through and the jacket repelled the water and kept me warm.

The jacket material is a mystery. It’s like a stretchy Gore, but not labeled as such. It’s soft and not a crunchy shell. I didn’t ride it in long enough or hard enough to know if it’s breathes like the eVent jackets I have. I hope that I won’t have to do that until the Fall.

Uploaded by Hugger Industries | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

No Time For Fashion on Alaskan Way

no fashion

Cycle Chic is an afterthought on the Alaskan Way commute. These cyclists are concerned with the train on the left, cranes and Semis on the right, and cars behind. The detour sign ahead directs us across offramp traffic to and back across the tracks where dump trucks carry their loads. The woman protects herself with knee-high boots and a helmet.

How’s your commute? Are you casually pedaling around without a care or facing a gauntlet like this?

Braking with Carbon Rims

Full carbon rims have come a long way in terms of braking performance. I’ve just started riding 2011 Hed Stingers on the road, in the past having generally reserved similar wheels for track use because of the poor brake feel and also the mandatory tubular tires. The new wheel’s braking felt surprisingly smooth, not shuddering and uneven. I have yet to ride them in the rain, but I was feeling at ease in the dry after one ride. I’m using Swisstop yellow pads, and I felt satisfied with their performance and how they treated the rim surface. For brake pads, they seemed shockingly expensive to me at first, but hell the wheels retail for $2200 for the pair so I guess that’s just part of the game.

One annoying thing about the current generation of toroid-shaped rims is that the brake calipers on the market currently were clearly optimized for 19-20mm wide rims as opposed to 23mm+ of newer Hed or Zipp. As a result, you have to run those calipers, like this SRAM Red, at full open, and perhaps the caliper doesn’t contribute any spring resistance back to the lever to keep the blade from rattling.

Giant TCR Advanced SL

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