Panama Bike Pimps

From Feature Shoot via Zannestar come these pimped-out Panama bikes photographed by Jose Castrellon.


Aero Photo: Jose Castrellon

Jose Castrellon is a photographer based in Panama. For this portrait series, Priti Baiks, Castrellon searched for men in streets and alleys all over Panama who decorate their bikes, their only means of transportation, using objects such as horns, boomboxes, and religious symbols.

more panama

Ghetto blaster Photo: Jose Castrellon

These are like Scraper Bikes, Panama style with their own flare.

Kool Stopping Brake Howl

There was a slight buzzkill with the Parlee CX H (for Hugga). Lots of fork shudder, chatter, and a sickening howl that this one time scared a seal off the beach. I was riding along Alki Beach were baby and juvenile seals rest occasionally and the Seals Sitters were out. I stopped to look, brakes howled, and the seal was frightened. The Sitters were unhappy, I felt bad about it, and I decided at the point that the brakes on the Parlee must not scare animals.

Bikes must not scare seals Photo: 2011 Robin Lindsey via Seal Sitters

So with the help of Mark we tried various setups, massive toe-in, and one race on Mini-V brakes. I forgot how much I disliked v-brakes, so we pulled those off immediately, but not before I bronco’d the bike reaching for a handful of brake on a descent.

Kool Stop Greens are Harbor Seal friendly

Then Joe (Redline’s Master Mechanic) recommend Kool-Stop ceramics and that was it. I’m running the R-Sys SLRS with the Exalith treatment. Your mileage will vary of course, but no more shudder on my setup or a howl that scares seals away.

As I wrote earlier about the R-Sys, Mavic recommends their pads, but the Kool Stops work and cost 1/2 as much. They also did not get buzz sawed from the Exalith treatment. Also, with the right pads, those wheels are even better.

Giant TCR Advanced SL review

Giant TCR

In the 1995, Giant debuted their Compact Road Design, and three years later the Taiwanese company became the bike supplier to the ONCE professional cycling team. I remember those yellow TCRs really stood out amongst all those European bikes, the first really radical departure from traditional look of road bikes in decades. At the time, the concept was that the radically sloped top tube, long seatposts, and adjustable stem would allow just 3 frame sizes to fit everybody. Ultimately, that 3 size concept didn’t endure, but the TCR did demonstrate that the level top tube was just an arbitrary design element and that a long carbon seatpost could be used to tune the ride of an otherwise tight and rigid rear geometry. After the past 15 years, almost every major manufacturer has incorporated sloping top tubes into their road racing designs.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a series of custom bikes for racing, recreation, and courier work that were built in steel, aluminum, and titanium. They all had some ideas that I’d stolen from those TCR designs, even though I’d never owned one. But after all my travels in Taiwan over the past four years, visiting their high-end factory in Taichung, meeting Giant founder Liu, and hanging out with sponsored pro team Rabobank, I kinda had a jones to try out the TCR. Certainly, if I were to get another carbon frame, I would get a Taiwanese bike, and it doesn’t get anymore Taiwanese than Giant.

Giant  TCR Advanced SL

The Zombie Apocalypse Will Not Be Motorized

Post Halloween fun from The Prudent Cyclist.

Uploaded by The Prudent Cyclist | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Why Don’t You Just Jump!

Tom Meeusens jump!

Tom Meeusens’ spectacular ditch jump at the Niel Jaarmarktcross 2011 in Belgium. Photo taken by kristof ramon

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