When Italian style hits & misses

Deda crank 01

I’ve seen this crank by Deda Elementi at Interbike a few years already and never seen it actually being ridden. As both Shimano and Campagnolo hit the market with high-power electronic front derailleurs, I can easily imagine those derailleurs folding this chainring like a napkin. BITD, Italy was where quality racing products were made, and Cinelli and Campagnolo were the standard for components. Setting aside Campagnolo’s market trend, it’s been over a decade since pro riders seriously used Cinelli product. Pursuing the skinny jean hipster crowd is pretty much Cinelli’s only niche now. Is Deda Elementi showing signs of the same?

On the other hand is 3T: once owned by that same parent company as Cinelli and Columbus (tubing), got sold off as a brand, reorganized with production in Asia, and is now sharply focused on competition. Funny that, since the simple yet bold 3T graphics so successfully unite the company’s whole product line. Although individually Deda has some mighty nice components (the Zero100 stem is one of the best looking stems out there), 3T really sets a new standard.

Below, 3T’s Luteus disc-specific cyclocross fork shows that 3T is at the sharp end of racing technology.

3T Luteus fork 02 tapered steerer

3T Luteus fork 03 post mount

Old Shimano

Seen in Downtown Vancouver, in the Fall.

Uploaded by Tal Danzig | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Gainesville back in the day; Jason Levy

Twenty years ago, BMX was at an ebb in popularity. It had started when I was in middle school; when all my friends hung up their dirt bikes for cars and high school sports, apparently the whole world was doing the same. Then I went to Gainesville FL for school. The largest school in the Southeast, and you could count the number of BMX riding through campus on one hand. But there was this one guy with dreads that was always jumping stuff or knocking out flatland tricks. Jason Levy. He was like Obi Wan Kenobi; in a world where all the jedi had vanished the Force was strong with him.

Then freestyle BMX came back with a vengeance in the later 90s, as Mountain Dew-addled kids discovered the X-Games. At this point, Jason had become Darth Vader….the most badass rider around, and everyone knew it. Even though my inner circle of friends consisted of slacker roadies and pizza delivery personnel, Jason and I crossed paths throughout my decade in G-ville.

The video above was made sometime after I left Florida, not sure when exactly. I remember Jason working on that trick where he hops the bike, pirouettes 180 in the air, lands facing backwards, and rides out backwards until he J-turns it to return to forward travel. Apparently he got really good at it. I’d never seen Jason actually do the roof top jumps before, but I had seen him limping off the bike countless times. I have always been awed by his utter disregard for self-preservation.

A More Readable Web

The bike industry is mobile, but our websites are not

Ed. note: cross posting here from G+ because of the relevance to local search, bike shops, and the industry that supplies them

For 20 years on the web, we’ve have been trying to recreate a print aesthetic. Now web designers have given up and gone back to the equivalent of where it began with black text, white backgrounds, and blue links. They’re calling it a “more readable Web.” Elezea talks about the issue and the future of the web in a recent post, with this pull quote

They’re filled with ads and social-media sharing buttons — and more ads. And Google plus-onesies and Facebook likeys. And also more ads. Plus tweet-this-es. Plus ads. (And, under-the-hood, a whole cruise-ship-full of analytics. The page required well-more than 100 http calls.)

My concern is the disconnect from Bros like Jeffrey Zeldman and Anil Dash who tout Readability (a more readable web service), is the business side. It’s not an act of web-design nobility, to scrape a website and repurpose it into your business model. That’s scraping content. It is however, an indication of how frustrating the web is these days. Also, the further disconnect from the beautiful web sites a business can make with how to pay for them.

World Class BMX in Lynnwood

Heard about world class BMX in Lynnwood, Wa, an X-Games level course and athletes riding it. Here’s the video 

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