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The kitchen island at Hugga HQ has become a mobile device test lab for our new mobile site. The latest build includes search and archives. Next up is a single, responsive design.

Chandler’s Sealant Secret Disclosed

I haven’t ridden a clincher all year on my bikes or those in on long-term test.

Can’t forget the Ridley Double Flat Tastic though.

Double Flat Tastic

The other exception is the Modal in Fixed mode with Campy Moskva 80s and Michelin Pro Service Courses. The Pro is the version before Michelin started numbering them. I’m not one for retro or nostalgia and mostly into the new. However, that setup worked and rides so well, that I locked it in and made it fixed.

Mixing it Up with Fixed

A big dose of bike geekery here

How I’ve been riding all year with no flats is with sealant. My tires are filled with the milky substance (not Propofol) and I carry a can of it with me. There has been a catastrophic failure and a sidewall tore in a race from a nasty pothole, but no flats.

In a long thread on G+, that started with me asking to get schooled in FMBs, we eventually got to sealant and Chandler Snyder decided he was going to blog again about the topic and disclosed a sealant secret

We made our own sealant for the shop and sold it. I feel safe giving out the “recipe” now that the shop has been sold to new owners and is a totally different place now. This stuff worked so good, people would come by it from the other side of town. Now, please don’t think I’m going to rewrite the book on anything here or blow your minds. Sometimes its the simple things that make a HUGE difference. With that in mind…here’s the recipe for the Secret Sealant:

Sealant of choice: Stans or Caffelatex

Glitter…that’s right Glitter: as fine as you can buy at your local craft store That’s it! Seriously. Glitter is great stuff! It helps to clog the holes faster, hence using less sealant and not allowing as much air to escape. Caffelatex wasn’t around then, but now that its here and doesn’t use Ammonia as its anticoagulant, which will degradate latex tubes over time. Instead they use CO2. Stans is great stuff, and my personal choice if asked, with the exception of the latex rule.

Take whatever amount you use for the tire setup, road, cross, mtb…etc and pour it in a cup before you put it into the injector. Pour in the glitter and give it a good mix, then put into the injector you’re using. Ive found that the syringes used by EMT’s/Firefighters that are full of saline and have a screw on/off needle tip, work the best. The only thing is, you have to have a tire/tube with a removable core. The Caffelatex injector doesn’t require removing the valve core, which for using sealant by itself works great. You can custom widen the opening/tip so that the glitter moves through easier. Then gently, and firmly press the injector on, make sure theres a good seal, and plunge away. This is where you’ll know if you found the smallest glitter possible. There’s super fine stuff out there, just ask your local club kid friends! Once its all in, give the injector a couple of pulls and pushes on the plunger so the sealant doesn’t backfire on you when you pull the end off. Wrapping the coupled valve and injector with a rag while pulling off helps to keep from making any mess as well.

Put glitter inside your tires? Go for it. That’s a good a tip as hacking Hed and Mavic wheels into a Hevic

Mavic Hed Hack CX

Just-built pair of Hevics

KEEN Arroyo Pedal shoe review

KEEN 01

When my sometime girlfriend moved to L.A. last month, she abandoned a lot of her stuff in my apartment. She wanted me to ship a bunch of items to her, but other items she explicitly said she didn’t want to bother to send…..so I threw them out. I mean, it’s time for new beginnings and such; I don’t need her shoe collection staring at me every time I come home. But then of course she calls me to say that she can’t find any shoes that she likes in L.A. (really?). I’ve been smoke screening her for 2 weeks now about “when I’m gonna send her shoes” along with that really soft pillow we playfully fought over each night. I guess I’m gonna have to send ol’ Fluffy down to Cali with a note saying “Sorry I threw your shoes in the dumpster”.

However, with less flats and stilettos cluttering the entryway of my apartment, I decided to get some casual cycling shoes to compliment my “serious” cycling footwear. For some time I’ve really wanted to try KEEN shoes, but their men’s sizes don’t run quite small enough for me. It just dawned on me that I’ve been wearing Salomon running shoes in women’s sizing for years, why not KEEN? Soon I had acquired KEEN’s Arroyo Pedal shoe, which takes an existing sport-sandal-type shoe from the KEEN collection and adds a stiffened sole and SPD 2-bolt, recessed cleat mount. KEEN shoes tend to be fairly wide in the toe box, even though the last of women’s shoes are usually too narrow for my foot. I sized the Arroyo like I do all my cycling shoes, choosing a 39 based on my Sidi shoes, and the selected KEEN felt snug and secure. Since the upper readily gives, even a snug fit proved comfortable for longer walks. When I say the sole is stiffened, the shoe is still oodles more flexible than something like a Sidi Dominator. The shoe was immediately comfortable to my feet, but not in a flimsy flip-flop manner. Walking in the shoe, I had this weird sensation like I was walking barefoot, like I could feel all the contours of the ground but that my feet had grown tougher, more supportive, and grippier. I don’t even like sandals, but I could instantly wear the Arroyo for a full day working on my feet….if the Seattle climate hadn’t already closed out sandal season.

For cycling, the Arroyo is a competent if not competition-worthy article. For someone like me, for whom a rigid Sidi has been my default shoe in all waking hours, I’m not going to say that the Arroyo is about performance. The Arroyo’s super comfy, soft uppers with speed lace closure lack the support for hard pedaling, particularly if one pulls hard on the back-half of the pedal stroke. Without a heel cup, your foot slides fore-aft. So maybe no track racing for these kicks, but for commuting and errand days these shoes kill. Walk around all you want on supermarket linoleum floors, and you’ll never again do an unintended moonwalk in the produce section. Hang out with your non cycling friends, and they’ll probably never notice the cleats. Hell, even you’ll probably forget that you have cleats until you unlock your bike.

I think the perfect match pedal for the Arroyo would be a wide-platform clipless like the newer Shimano M530 or Crank Bros Mallet. The Arroyo would also work well with regular platform pedals, but because the upper is so minimal I don’t that it would be suited for toe clip & straps.

The Arroyo’s mesh and nubuck upper is waterproof but unfortunately provides NO warmth in the recently arrived NW damp n’ drear. Ah, Arroyo…I just got to know you, but now we’ll have to put this relationship on hold until warm weather returns to Seattle….because there is no way in hell I’m moving to L.A.

KEEN 02

Jack o’ Lantern time at the bike shop

The pumpkin has to get to the bike shop somehow, and my messenger bag is actually a hammerspace. After the pumpkin, I loaded my lunch and a camera too.

Pumpkin delivery system 01

Pumpkin delivery system 02

Pumpkin delivery system 03

Daily Commuting During Viadoom

When the rains return and temperatures drop, I see less bicycle commuters out on the roads. The #viadoom has changed the dynamic with more Seattleites looking for alternative ways to get to and from work. Traffic is stalled by the Viaduct being torn down. If you’ve visited Seattle, that’s the main aerial along the waterfront.

viadoom paths

Bike path over on the left

Anticipating the big event, the DOT has painted new lines along Alaskan Way and we’ve even got a new path that gets within a chainlink fence of the destruction.

columns

There once was an elevated highway here

I rode yesterday during rush hour to talk with the daily commuters and met Brenda and Leo. Took some iPhone photos.

Then this morning I met Ben, Jessie, and Tali. He walks with them to school in the Hugga HQ neighborhood and then rides to work.

commuter during viadoom

A modern family

Note his Pro commuter setup. That’s been honed to perfection after many years of riding in traffic and the rain. Viadoom was not bother to these commuters and all were happy to have more cyclists on the road.

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