Issue 23: A Thousand Miles

Sun

For a thousand miles don’t turn off this road…especially, when it’s a thrilling, fast, twisty-curvy descent with a grueling grind of a climb back. Riding those long miles this Spring and Summer is what issue 23 is about, momentum and worth another mention before we start editing and writing issue 24.

As a monthly, 24 will mark 2 years of issues and a hat tip to those that subscribe.

It’s very much appreciated.

Vined! Scott Solace

In Issue 15, Patrick Brady wrote about the disc version

Unlike some bikes in the endurance category, the Solace is still a proper road bike with zippy handling. Many endurance bikes feature touring bike geometry with a longer wheelbase and slower handling. What’s different about the Solace from other offerings is the fit. With a longer head tube and slightly steeper seat tube angle, this bike is meant for riders who no longer have the flexibility of a teenage gymnast, which is to say most of us generate more power when we’re not folded in half.

Scott Solace

The caliper-brake version in on demo, is the same bike with different brakes, and equally good looking. Here’s a 7 second review with what you need to know.


Even Lighter and Faster

Now I can’t say our mobile site is vertically stuff and horizontally compliant like a race bike, but this week it’s even faster for sure. About 2 years ago, I shared

Over the weekend, we’re turning on Google Page Speed Service to deliver our blog with more blazing speed. Engine Hosting is already fast, with PSS it’s even faster: 15% decrease in load time and a 30% faster speed index.

Now we’re running a 93 score out of a 100 on Google’s Page Speed Insights with lots of code tweaks. That’s judged by a second to load criteria, correlated to time to above-the-fold load. In other words, hit our site on your mobile and like blam! it’s there for you to read.

What prompted this update is most of our traffic now is mobile, at times 90%, and in-app. As of this week, Google will prioritize mobile sites in search, with a mobile friendly label, like this one

mobile-friendly

Cargo Bikes NYT

A growing contingent of eco-minded and health-conscious urban parents are leaving their car keys at home and relying on high-capacity cargo bikes for family transportation.

Our kids have long since outgrown this phase, but yep we took them to school on a cargo bike too like the NYT reports today. See the first ride 7 years ago on an Xtracycle. Also that one time we hit ludicrous speed


If you’re thinking about ditching your car to take your kids to school, more posts about cargo bikes are in our archives. Also see this post from 2013 when we hit peak cargo bike after the Wall Street Journal and New Your Times mentioned them.

While your mileage may vary with your kids, as our cities fill up with cars, we expect more families to reconsider their transportation needs. In Austin, where the traffic is some of the worst in the country, my good friend Shawn takes his kids to school on a cargo bike and wrote about that earlier this year.

It’s like your minivan,” I said.

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Shawn’s cargo bike

More resources include Revolutions Per Minute and Workcycles on Facebook.

27.5/29+: What is it Good For?

trek

Trek Farley accept 27.5+, if you’re into that

I wasn’t at Sea Otter this year, but heard that the emergence of 27.5+ and 29+ wheels and tires was the talked. I asked our magazine contributor Nathan Wright for his take and he said told me this drinking a few beers

As with fat bikes, the industry is attempting to create a new niche to sell a few more units. This is due to a lack of sustained industry growth. Basically, fat bikes, and 27.5 didn’t yield the financial returns companies where looking for so they combined them hoping to produce the magic formula for profits. They failed. In reality the 27.5+ and 29+ is the industry finally admitting the failure of fat bikes for the masses without saying it. The marketing teams have been up late trying to make a bad idea seem less terrible. If they couldn’t sell a fat bike, the next best thing is to sell a chubby bike. Going forward 27.5+ and 20+ will be known as muffin top tires.

The guys at Bike produced a nice video about the new 27.5+ and 29+ wheels and tires. They asked the question of whether or not the new sizes were simply a scam to sell more product. While the guys at Bike left it open to viewer to decide for themselves, ultimately the bottom line will be the final judge. It is unlikely either 27.5+ or 29+ will be around for more than a few seasons. As with fat bikes, it will be hard to convince people to buy a heavier, slower machine with a limited performance range. It is worth noting that both Alex Cogger from Rocky Mountain and John Riley from Trek both compared their bikes to the revolutionary iPhone. Could it be 27.5+ and 29+ will change the world? Or has the industry doubled down on Apple Maps and is lost? Maybe they where simply all in the same marketing meeting.

My response was

My latest demo is a 29r drop-bar adventure bike with barcons. In overly segmented times like these, when I hear complaints, I say. “You know there just happens to be a custom builder than can make whatever you want.” Can’t decide? Have a monster cross, camping wonder made that’ll run whatever wheels you want. Let the marketers fall on their own swords and ignore the trends that are confusing.

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