Bike Hugger at SXSW Create

This year’s SXSW will see the launch of a new interactive venue called SXSW Create aimed at hackers, DIYers and creatives. Bike Hugger will be a large part of this new venue, which is open to the public and will run from Friday March 7th through Sunday March 9th, culminating in a Bike Hugger Mobile Social.

The lineup of participants is pretty staggering—everything from laser engraving systems to 3D printers will be on display and Bike Hugger will be teaming up with Nokia for a special look at the stunning Lumia smartphone, which we’ve been using for a lot of coverage recently.

On Saturday, Byron will lead a set of talks about wearables, bike tech, and mobile photography. Joining him in the Create Lounge on stage are Myriam Joire and Dan Rubin.

On Sunday we’ll head out for a special edition of the Mobile Social thanks to our partners at Nokia and Tern with special guests Rapha and Jeremy Dunn. If you’re in Austin for South By, you’re not going to want to miss this ride. We’ll have a fleet of bikes too.

For more information on our mobile socials see and for more information on the incredible lineup of events, talks and booths see the SXSW Create page. Details are developing and we’ll update them.

Fizik Cyrano R1 stem

Fizik Cyrano R1 stem

As a saddle manufacturer, Fizik belongs to the new guard of companies that have challenged Selle Italia and Selle San Marco in the premium saddle demographic since the 1990s. While some companies such as Specialized and Bontrager (a Trek house brand) have marketed saddles as a way of making sure to get the biggest piece of the pie when it comes to complete bike sales, Fizik as brand began as a saddle maker first and foremost. With the backing of parent company Selle Royal, the Fizik brought a fresh approach to saddles in both shape and materials. Their designs have been hugely influential to the market, and several of their designs, such as the Arione, have become icons already. Fizik also became well known for their handlebar wrap, allowing both professional teams and aesthetically-minded riders to colour-coordinate their saddles and bars.

Fizik Cyrano R1 stem

A few years ago Fizik launched a shoe line, which honestly is a really tough market to enter. There is no shortage of shoemakers pushing the envelop of style and technology. As an industry observer, I am curious to see how that move pans out for Fizik in the long run. On the other hand, Fizik’s line of elegantly engineered “Cyrano” seatposts surely deserve more appreciation, though the low market profile can partially be attributed to the current fashion of proprietary seatposts on high-end carbon frames. Yet most recently Fizik debuted a line of handlebars that incorporate the same fit/positioning concepts as their saddles in a full line of dropbars for the road. In a manner similar to their spectrum of 3 saddles to fit different styles of riders, the handlebars are available in three basic bends, each with several levels of construction (eg carbon, aluminium). For a first look at the bars, go here for my earlier writeup.

If a company is going to make handlebars and seatposts, clearly they should be making stems as well. Thus, the Cyrano stem.

Seahawks Super Bowl


As I said to Zeldman while in NYC, Seattle is such a passive/aggressive city, a blue collar port/tech town, without a unifying vision, it’s good for us to unite about something and go Seahawks! Since the dotcoms, been to some crazy parties and the 12thFanAirlift was one for the ages. The Royalton bar erupted with cheers with each score, and then a We Are the Champions singalong after the win. Before the game, spotted more bikes too, like this Shinola and an obligatory CitiBike photo.


Once back in Seattle, I’ll have more stories to share, before the next adventure.

Go Hawks! Shake a Cowbell


Bike NYC

Last year we covered CX Worlds in Louisville here on our blog, a feature for Wired, and I raced with the Masters. This year we flew the 12th Fan Airlift to watch the Seahawks in the SuperBowl. While our heart is with the racing, we’re being in the moment with all the other Seattle fans and having a great time with our hosts, including Brad the CEO.

Brad CEOl

CEO Brad Wears Glass

Haven’t been to NYC in a few years. The first cyclists I spot are riding into the sunset, winged like Icarus, in front of the GE Building and hey the Empire State is blue and green.



So GO Hawks! And shake a cowbell for Nys and his competitors.

Empire State

Empire State is Blue and Green

Mark V tinkering: Elevn Brake Adaptor

Elevn cantilever brake adaptator

I found this interesting item from Elevn BMX Racing. It is a brake adaptor that can reposition cantilever brake bosses on a BMX frame. It is necessary that the existing bosses be the type that thread into the frame and are removable, a feature more common among aluminium and composite frames/forks than steel. After all, this is a product designed for the BMX racing demographic, which hasn’t been the realm of steel design in decades. However, the adaptor’s potential for 700C touring and cyclocross bikes is what caught my imagination.

The Elevn brake adaptor was designed to allow BMX frames built for the 20 x 1-1/8” wheel standard (ISO 451) to accept the 20 x 1.5” (ISO 406) standard. These two wheel sizes, though both often referred to as “twenty-inch” are actually different enough that neither tubes nor tyres are interchangeable. The ISO 451 usually takes a narrow, knobby tyre for the youngest age-group racers who will eventually grow into frames that take ISO 406, the same rim size that adults use. The Elevn adaptor allows the cantilever brake arms on a 451 frame to be repositioned to work with a 406 rim, thereby stretching the useful life of an existing frame for a growing child.

What do 10yr olds and BMX bikes have to do with cyclocross and touring bikes? Nothing, but the ability to easily reposition a cantilever brake boss is normally an insurmountable obstacle to changing the wheel size on those bikes. If the bikes have caliper brakes, there are a various reach brake calipers that would allow a mechanic to convert a 27” (ISO 630) to 700C (ISO 622), or perhaps 700C to 650B (ISO 584). With the Elevn adaptor, one can shift the brake arms towards the dropout from a position that works with a 451 rim to a 406 rim, a difference in radii of 22.5mm. The radius of a 650B rim is 19mm smaller than a 700C rim’s. Since most cantilever brakes have at least 15mm of pad adjustment, this would most likely allow one to convert a 700C frame/fork with cantilever brakes to fit a nice fat 650B wheel/tyre, assuming that the brake bosses are removable.

It is necessary that the brake bosses be removable, since if the original boss where still in place it would be in the way of the repositioned cantilever arm. Also, the Elevn adaptor cannot be oriented differently to fit a larger diameter rim because it relies on the spring anchor holes of the original boss to maintain position.

On one hand, this isn’t really relevant to most of us, but it’d be fun to experiment. I wonder if an older Redline Conquest frameset would work. Before the more recent versions, the older aluminium bikes had sorta high-ish bottom brackets and decent tyre clearance. That’d make an interesting setup.

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