When I wrote this post on Medium, I was mad about quality control in the bike industry and now the Interwebs are fired up about business practices. Recalls, defects, and biz practices had me talking all weekend with insiders who also wondered if the aging boomer leadership of this industry is capable of taking it further, like to the next level. As if Burke and Trek’s dealings with Lance and company are and were any less ethical than a trademark battle. Or offshoring manufacturing, gray marketing yourself with mail order, and paint jobs that’d never pass the most lenient EPA inspections in the States. People are mad at Spesh, sure, shake your fists, but welling consumer anger would grow much fiercer if more daylight showed them how bikes are sold worldwide. Remember the sport’s greatest hero is world-class bully funded by a bankster and supported by big bike companies.
While editors and ad departments are yelling at each other about running the Spesh story and risking ad dollars, I’ve held the 7th issue of our Magazine to add late-breaking reports on this topic and another. Expect it later this week.
The reporter who heard about Spesh v. Cafe Roubaix story convinced a reluctant shop owner to tell him about it, updated his report today, and we’re waiting for an email from Spesh with a response.
Heading out for a ride and expect a collective Spartacus, "I AM ROUBAIX" moment by the time we get back.
After noting a Spartacus moment was coming on this, I’ll add the bike industry has not seen anything like it before. This type of reaction is normally reserved for companies like Amazon, Intel, or Walmart.
As soon as Spesh responds will run it and until then remind you what Roubaix is. It’s the most beautiful race in the world or a random bike like this one I spotted on Capitol Hill last year.
The conditions in Bend this weekend are best described by this photo Matt sent us of a Suffer Face Snotcicle. How cold is it at the Deschutes CX? Too cold for clever catchphrases describing how cold it is.
Pro podium finishers literally crying in tents after the finish cold. A few years ago, it was almost as cold and I was hypothermic, emotional too. That’s when
Mahan, who’s comforting Russie in the photo, pulled me off my bike. He then dragged me to the Redline tent to get warm and a few minutes later handed me a cup of Espresso. In the tent, Tim Rutledge checked on me, made sure I wasn’t hypothermic, and handed me a plastic rain cape. The propane heater steamed the cold and wet perspiration off of my kit and I felt at home.
Back to racing next weekend for us and today it’s riding in the cold with embro’d legs. When Matt gets back to Seattle and warms up, he’ll have a report; including how well Di2 worked, staying upright, and hydraulic fluid clotting.
I first spotted Muc-Off’s C3 Ceramic Bike Lube at their Interbike booth, where the staff demonstrated that the lube fluoresces under a black light. The idea is that you could use a black light to check to see if you’ve adequately applied the lube to all the links, which would be a cool idea if I was still in my freshman dorm room discovering Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon for the first time but slightly less useful in the typical bike shop. Neon-glow party tricks aside, this lube works exceptionally well, in both cyclocross and commuting. The “ceramic” C3 lube adds boron nitride to the mix. When it comes to chain lube, there are only three that I like: Chain-L, ProGold Prolink, and this Muc-Off C3. It is marketed as a wet lube, and I think of it as a good choice for the Pacific Northwest, particularly during the wet season. Of the three lubes that I like, it is perhaps the most troublesome to clean off of your hands and other unintentional surfaces, but it is more tenacious than ProLink and does not require as much prep prior to application as Chain-L does. Quiet-running, easy to apply, lasting, reasonable clean-up, smells nice…no reason to gild the lily, if you’re looking for a dependable lube give it a try.
What I like about this latest light from Knog, is I can ride up with spot on low and then shine brighter than all o’ them cats they got on glow. This year, Knog has iterated light after light and sends them out with Aussie-marketing language like this..
Loaded with a colossal 550 & 170 lumens of light between them, the Blinder Arc 5.5 and 1.7 gives riders total visibility and freedom at night, all from a super-compact, super-light, USB rechargeable, 100% waterproof, integrated silicone package. Weighing in at a mere 100g and 150g respectively. Equipped with one of the latest high-intensity XM-L2 Cree LEDs the Arc 5.5 floods any road or trail in light giving riders total night vision, whilst the Arc 1.7 pumps out 170 lumens of seriously bright light using an XB-D Cree LED, keeping motorists and road users at bay. Incorporating an elliptical beam of 16° vertical and 24º horizontal beam makes the lights visible to others at over 1000m.
Knog Arc 550 Solo
I’ll parse that out to simply mean, “These lights brighten up the dark, good, mate!” I use these Blinders when the days are short and I’m out riding like yesterday. The simple control choices are nice too because I don’t need to flip through light routines like I’m decorating an Xmas tree. Just bright, brighter, brightest, and flash. Find Knog at a shop near you, their store, and on Amazon.com: Arc 1.7 for $64.98 , Arc 5.5 for $119.98.
Knog On Board
HT to Mos Def for the rap lyric in the opening sentence of this post. It’s from Close Edge.
We’re getting such a good response, accepting more of your wish lists…
To celebrate our 7th issue of Bike Hugger Magazine and it’s the time of year, we’re taking your contributions. Get them in quick because the deadline is December 6th December 8th at Midnight and this is one-time exclusive. If we pick your response, we’ll send you some sweet scwhag, including new gear we’re releasing in 2014. Issue 07 drops next week.
Here’s the setup…
You’ve got Twitter IPO money, a billionaire’s war chest, and you can do whatever you want with it related to the bike. Like, construct a retractable roof over the I-90 floating bridge for when it rains all day in Seattle. Buy a rockstar bus and outfit it for Clydesdale master’s racing, or maybe develop an even more invisible helmet, or a better bolt-on electric wheel for fixies!
We’ll take a #bikewishlist tweet, G+ post with the hashtag, or Google Doc submission, but no hand-written notes please, cause there’s not enough time….
For your doc submission, send for 800 - 1,000 words and we’re editing the issue now.
Full speed ahead with Wired’s BMC custom Timemachine
This is a custom BMC Time Machine that Wired built up for the opening of their pop-up holiday retail store in NYC. After the pop up closes, Wired’s whip will get ridden around San Francisco at full speed with the Strava crew chasing. Then hung up on the wall with the other bikes they’ve built, like the ones I showed you with Glass in this video.
See more about BMC’s bikes from this Summer, when we visited their Test Center in Park City.
As I wrote in October, “4 years after lighting up the switches on all the design blogs, the Copenhagen Wheel is coming to market and another wheel that looks just like it called the FlyKly.” Today, Super Pedestrian, the company that licensed MIT’s tech to make the bolt-on motorized wheel released this video showing it in action. Where FlyKly got their money from the crowd, Super Pedestrian did from investors and both companies are rushing to market.
Still amazed that what I thought was an interesting student design project made it to market. Two versions of it! One is red and the other white.
So was that an Amazon informercial on 60 minutes for a fantasy product before cyber Monday or can we expect to get bike parts delivered to our door by drones? Check back in a few years and remember that Bezos exclusively sold Segways (code named Ginger) on Amazon. Bezos and Kamen predicted personal transporters would change how cities were designed and cyclists like us rolled their eyes. Since 03, bikes have had more of an impact on moving people around cities, and Segways are for tourists, and mall security. However, a drone used to rush results from the official’s tent to 40+ Masters racers, so they can see where they finished quicker, sure!
In a media deja vu, we’ve been here before with Bezos and maybe he’ll realize Amazon can get products to shopper’s doors with bikes like this fast cargo instead of drones.
If skeptics are wrong; well, then fly them bike parts and Clip-n-Seals around town Bezos!
An important update to those fans that thought, F you and the Fat Bike you rode for Wired is this bike, lovingly just posted by Guitar Ted. My belief that fat bikes needed to go faster freaked the fans out who mistakenly believe they’re supposed to go slow.
Don’t get me wrong; riding in the snow is a hoot, because, well, you’re riding in snow. But trudging along at less than 10 mph wears thin after 45 minutes. Snow biking feels like a sport that hasn’t figured out what it wants to do yet, much like mountain biking in the days when crazy Californians bombed down Mount Tam on bikes they’d built themselves.
I concluded the Wired article with this note
People made the same complaints about mountain biking back in the day, and look where the sport’s gone. The same thing could happen to snow biking as another generation of builders and tinkerers pushes this budding sport forward
and now that builders are figuring out what they want to do with these bikes, go ride one everywhere. We did, had fun, and will again, like we did this Summer on a Fatboy.