The Reward


We’ve been training, racing, and traveling much lately and took a break on Sunday in Portland to eat at Andina. The last course was this Peruvian Canoli that we shared. Moments like this we aren’t concerned about what we were eating and staying in shape. Just enjoying it as a reward.

Crisp quinoa studded cannolis stuffed with passionfruit mousse, served with mango-lemongrass sorbet and caramel

SXSW Panel Picker 2012

We’re working now on the Mobile Social SXSW for 2012. The ride is back, bikes, and much more. I’ve also got a talk in the Panel Picker and voting starts today. The talk is about how Textura Design, our publisher, got started with consumer products, blogging, and eventually social media. It includes what we’re doing today on Bike Hugger and how you can bring your great, big idea to market.

Ten years ago, we had this idea to make a product that’d keep our coffee and chips fresher. We researched, designed, and manufactured it all with sweat equity and many late nights on the Internets. Today people call that being a Maker. Back then we were just trying to make a buck. This talk will share how our product ended up in the Space Shuttle, Antarctica, pantries, and Grandma’s looms.

Personally, I’ve been talking at SXSW for years now, even before Bike Hugger and decided it was time to share what I’ve learned in a decade of Independent Manufacturing with Social Media.

One Less Car PDX

One Less Car PDX

Like the young woman we saw on an old Fuji, a well-worn bike with a “one less car” sticker on it is expected in PDX. The rust, patina, and obvious miles on this bike, indicated to us the owner gave up cars long ago. Also fitting there’s a BMW in the background.

I don’t like tall headtubes

When I’ve looked for new bikes for myself, the first parameter I use to weed out potential choices is head tube length. I don’t think I ride a very extreme position, but I do ride a small frame. Though it is true that taller riders typically ride with more saddle-handlebar drop than shorter riders, I think that manufacturers have over-compensated. For instance, Ridley bikes have a 130-135mm head tube (integrated) on their smallest frame. Ridiculous. Orbea has a 105-110mm integrated head tube on their smallest bikes, which looks nice for me since I can use an 80-84deg stem, maybe with a 5mm spacer underneath. At 115mm, I need a 73deg stem slam on the headset bearing cap.

TCR headset

Until recently, I rejected Giant’s newest carbon bikes because they have 120mm head tubes; I don’t want to have to use a 67deg track stem on my road bike. Then I found out that the TCR Advanced SL uses the Campagnolo Hiddenset standard for the top of the head tube. Here you can see that I’ve replaced the stock bearing cap with a Campy piece (I’ve actually gutted it so it’s just the wafer-thin carbon). That saved about 10mm+; enough so that I can just barely get the handlebar where I want it with a 3T 73deg (negative 17deg) stem. So now I’m in business.

I’ve always liked the radical sloping top tube that Giant pioneered on road bikes back in the 1990s, when Mike Burrows designed the Compact TCR for the Taiwanese bicycle company. Commonplace now, Giant compact frames were daringly different back then but have since influenced almost all the high-end road bikes. For me, the Giant TCR directly inspired the custom road and track bikes (Sycip, Davidson) I have designed for myself and others. When I was considering a new carbon bike, I really liked the latest TCR Advanced SL, and solving the headset/head tube stack issue was the last technical hurdle.

Fuji PDX

Fuji PDX

A young women on a old Fuji riding through a construction zone. That’s PDX.

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