Small Builder Innovations

So as Byron and I are talking today bemoaning the fact that all the major companies’ offerings all pretty much look the same and offer the same value, I mention that it is actually good for the industry as it allows more specialized and boutique companies to bring new things to the forefront as people are not having their needs met from the cookie cutter offering of hte major bike companies.

Small builders can much more easily do one-offs and custom things since that is really their business anyway. I was out riding Critical Mass this past friday night and ran into David Wilson, an old friend that I knew was doing some framebuilding. He told me that he had opened up his own frame shop and was doing some really interesting stuff. I definitely had to check it out since he was riding along on a Borracho! He has fashioned a cargo bike using some very interesting engineering (check out the steering on this thing!). He was always an innovative guy and has a true passion for cycling. Seeing him do his deliveries on this very inspirational.

I love that the industry still has a place for small builders with great ideas. Let’s hopw that we get to see more and more of this type of thing. Plastic bikes from plastic companies are great for some people, but its guys like David that keep the soul of cycling alive.

Fixed and Loathing in Vegas

In his second post, Mark V reports on Easton, Truvativ, and more.

Las Vegas, Interbike 06, Day Two

Vegas is best taken at night when the neon lights are wondrous and sidewalks are chock-a-block full of revelers. During the day, the sun is too hot and a billion f*ing times too bright; the natural light vindictively pointing out the strained artificiality…kinda like seeing Celine Dion in person.

WORD One of the big industry moves this year was Bell Sports’ acquisition of Easton. In the short run, there’s been a shake up on company reps and the product availability headaches during the transition, but we’ll have to wait a few months until the new designs hit the shops. For my part, I welcome the death of the “twin-thread” spoke design leftover from Easton wheel division’s previous identity of Velomax, in which the spoke threaded into the hub flange as well as having a standard nipple at the rim.

Well-Traveled Cyclist Learns to Love Seattle

The Seattle PI reports on the travels of Rune Monstad, all 16,000 miles of them, and how Seattle has helped him out after a thief stole his wallet, passport, and pride.

Dear Mayor: Take Note of Cyclist Death

In a stark contrast, cyclists are featured on the front page of the Seattle times today as part of Mayor Nickel’s plan to fight global warming and a cyclist dies from the injuries she sustained in a collision with a van.

My friends are close to the cyclist and they’re all devastated – I’m devastated. I gave her husband a ride on Bettie last week at a Schooner Exact Brewery party.

There’s a memorial ride planned tomorrow from Westlake at 5:30. I’ll be out a town visiting and old friend who suffered a heart attack, but pay my respects here, wish the family well, and hope our Mayor also notices that we also need safer streets in Seattle.

Update

KOMO’s Tracy Vedder reports on Susanne and her family

A freaking bamboo fixie!

I’m back home in Seattle, getting caught up on postings, and photos. Mark V is on special assignment for Bike Hugger@Interbike and sobered up from all the crazy partying to email his day one report.

Fixed and Loathing in Las Vegas, Day One

by Mark V from Elliott Bay Bicycles

I strode out the plane, past the airport terminal’s slot machines, into the baggage claim. Next to me, the tanned blonde’s floral print top looked like a tarp pulled tight over a pair of F-16 jet fighter nose cones; nothing’s for real here in Vegas. But I’m not in this city of blackjack and 24-hr liquor stores to talk about reality … or aerodynamics. Byron said to find the fixed gear junk at Interbike, and that’s what I’m going to do … no matter how many $9 rum-and-cokes it takes.

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