Hydro Rim Brakes at the Tour

Cavs goes fast

A Venge with Hydro R

Haven’t heard if Hydro Rim brakes helped Cavs in the Tour’s crash yesterday, but that he’s riding them is news and a win for SRAM. We got the PR and this photo of his bike on Friday.

I reviewed and fully approved of HRR earlier this year and on Tuesday will attend a clinic, building up a bike with RED 22 HRR. That post about Hydro brakes, and much more, is also bundled for free with our new magazine for iOS.

Where SRAM’s new “22” groups are a response to their competitors—it’s Red 2012 with another click— Hydro is the story. The development in brakes is an engineering statement that’s as much about SRAM as a company as how bikes stop. This is the company who brought us GripShift, fought for years to break up how drivetrains were sold, and now is moving the market with a break-through product that again challenges a conventional market lacking a major jump forward.

Making a Magazine 7 Years After a Blog

Finishing off our launch week with an editorial-type post on Medium about Making a Magazine. I go into more of our strategy and thinking about publishing a magazine seven years after a blog. Also see David’s post on writing longform about Budnitz

Bike Hugger was early in blogging and social media. We saw the change in media consumption, production and usage coming way before the traditional media started to think about it, and we contributed to one of the most important changes in media history – the rise of the consumer voice and the liberation of idea sharing from consolidated mainstream media to formats that are accessible to anyone. Social media has given depth and breadth to the conversation on pretty much every topic, and everyone who wants a voice has a voice. Good, right? Well, yeah. And not so good all at the same time.

Also, to commemorate our launch, we made a poster for ARTCRANK tonight. I’ll have those with me and giving them away.


A commemorative poster

The Joy of Long Form Writing

Budnitz bikes Journalism is, for a large part, about leaving things out. It’s about trying to figure out how to fit 1000 words of description into 100 words of space. As a long time writer, I’ve always enjoyed the mental Jenga of trying to construct something to the confines of the medium. I’ve worked in magazines, written books and penned things for blogs like Bike Hugger. Each other them—even the almighty web—has its own

But many times the remaining article comes out good, but lacks some of the creative juice that was flowing when it was written intra-cranealy. When you take out words to fit the space, you take out part of the story.

That was one of the driving factors behind the new Bike Hugger Newsstand magazine. Our publishers, 29.io are known for doing long-form publications where the story can tell the story and it doesn’t have to be shoved into the size of feature or blog post.

Case in point—in our first issue I did a profile of serial entrepreneur—cum bicycle builder Paul Budnitz. Ordinarily an article like my interview with Paul would run about 1000-200 words. But when I went to talk to him and to find out more about his world view and his crazy path to bikedom, I found that the city he’s settled into in Vermont and his back story with the companies he founded plays as much a part in the creation of the bikes as do the welds and the titanium.

The result is 5000 words that look at the man and why he keeps jumping from careers that many people would call “crazy” into other careers that people would call “crazier.” It’s something I’m particularly proud of and it wouldn’t be possible without this format.

After the jump (see, here’s that problem with the confines of the web) is a brief excerpt of that piece, and if you’d like to read the whole thing we invite you to check it out on the Apple Newsstand, or jump to our dedicated page to getting a hold of the magazine at mag.bikehugger.com.

Recon Jet Video

Predicted, expected, and here’s the HUD for cyclists from Recon Instruments.

Recon Jet, Pilot Edition, will ship with applications designed for cyclists and triathletes. This limited edition model is for first movers and will ship several months prior to full production. Through wireless connectivity to third party devices (via ANT+ and Bluetooth), the athlete will have access to critical information including heart rate, cadence and power output. Its comprehensive suite of on-board sensors also delivers a full portfolio of precision performance stats and data such as speed, pace, distance, time, vertical ascent and more.

Earlier this year, when I snow biked with Smith Recons, I knew HUDs for cyclists were coming; changeout the UI elements to bikes instead of board sports and done. Add ANT+ and even better. Spurned on by Google Glass, Recon has released the Pilot Edition with an SDK for developers. Already thinking of how to connect this to a power unit? Yep, that too or say a map overlay of the TT course with instructions on what power is expected…

During Google I/O Wired tried a pair of the Jets and so did Tim Bray. In July, I’ll travel to Recon’s offices in Vancouver, BC to check out the Jets.

Magazine: Inside Issue 01

It started with this tweet

Mark V and I went out for a pint with fish and chips and ending up at this odd Tom Douglas restaurant in South Lake Union. I tweeted that, The Brave Horse responded, and Mark V wrote an email providing more feedback. Reading his response, I proclaimed, “that’s an article for the mag! Restaurant reviews by bike!”

mag content

iPad screenshot from Issue 00, the sample that ships for free with the app

And that’s a good example of we’re doing with our new Magazine. First it’s in a format where we have more room for content and second we’ve got more time to write. In our social channels and often here on the blog, I’m pulling bits and pieces out of the data firehose and sharing them. That’s digesting, curating, and doing so quickly to keep up with and entertain audiences on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, G+, and YouTube, with the occasional podcast. That’s a lot of work and at times, the content lacks the context or in-depth reporting a particular topic requires or even what we really want to write about. Like Mark V has a thing for fish and chips and is super upset about chain wear with 11 speeds.

Longform (feature-length writing and reporting) is a reaction to the state of the web too. It’s now so full of distractions, tough to keep anyone’s attention or focus. Audiences are also changing, with the majority on mobile now. So we’re carving out a deeper niche for our content with an ad-free, subscription-based magazine app. For an audience we hope wants to spend more time with us and what we do. If you followed my posts on Medium (a site for web writing), I was experimenting their with bike vignettes and storytelling too and some of that content ended up in the magazine.

Our magazine is native and built from the ground up for smartphones and tablets. Because of our blog roots, it’s free of traditional magazines concerns, which have been stuck adapting their print to the web, offering glorified, PDF readers, and reliant on ads. To that point, another term to describe what we’re doing (and others like The Magazine or the thousands of titles on iTunes), is Micro or Subcompact publishing. That’s an enterprising, independent publisher like us who is monetizing their own content by charging a small amount.

You can read more about mobile magazines and micropublishing in these posts

To learn what Mark V thought of Brave Horse, download the free app from iTunes and subscribe to get Issue 01 for $1.99. There’s much more than just Mark in the magazine. Here’s the Issue 01 TOC

  • Intro
  • A Six Thousand Dollar Cruiser
  • Giro Recap
  • Brief History of Major Road Bike Innovations
  • A Raver in the Rain
  • The Rebirth of the High End Cyclists
  • Go-to-Gear: Niko
  • A Ride to Weezerville – Mark’s restaurant review
  • Hozan C-205
  • 5 Trends Mar V Wants to See in Road Bikes
  • Dum Dums Repair
  • Pedaling Past Change

For those who don’t live in Seattle, Tom Douglas is a Pacific Northwest Celebrity chef with several restaurants. South Lake Union is just north of downtown Seattle and was previously warehouses, stables, and import/export houses. Now Amazon is making the neighborhood into their company town. Cyclists ride past that change everyday, including me and Mark. Amazon employees that work in South Lake Union, have been nicknamed Amholes, for their sometimes rude behavior.

We’re writing Issue 02 now and focused on Urban. More on that next month.

Finally, for Droid users, we went to market first with iTunes and are now considering other mobile platforms. Until then we do have a Droid app called Currents from Google. It’s their magazine-style reader and serves up our content ad free. It does not include the subscription-based content. For now, that’s exclusive to iTunes and iOS devices.

Hey if you’re happy with things just as they are, keep reading the blog. It’s maximized for mobile and we’ll keep posting as usual.

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