Detroit Bike City

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by Byron on Aug 16, 2014 at 5:52 PM


Like Boise, Detroit is a bike town that you don’t hear much about, until now… While that’s an iPad add, the story is still great and shareable.

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ENVE Mountain Fork now shipping

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by Mark V on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:47 AM

First glimpsed at NAHBS, ENVE’s new Mountain Fork is a rigid, carbon fibre design that shares all the industry leading technology and craftsmanship of the companies road and cyclocross forks with some innovative features thrown in. The tapered steerer (1.5”-1.125”) MTN fork has a carbon fibre mini-fender that has an integrated guide to neatly handle brake hose management without the hassle of internal routing. In wet or muddy conditions, the fender is just big enough to limit the amount that the front tyre casts off into your face. In dry conditions, the fender can be removed and replaced with pieces to fair in the attachment points and hold the hose in place. The other distinct feature is a two-position “chip” axle system. The rounded, rectangular chips fit into an eye at either fork tip. A 15mm thru-axle interface is machined into the chip off-center. With the axle in the rear position, the MTN fork has 44mm of rake (470mm axle to crown); the forward position gives 52mm of rake (472mm a-c). The a-c and variable rake make the MTN adaptable to a wide range of wheel sizes and frame geometries.

Why would you want a $625 rigid fork? Well, there are still riding conditions where a rigid fork will outperform a suspension fork, and even if your fork has a lockout, the MTN fork will steer more precisely while weighing perhaps less than half the weight (711gr with fender).

I kinda wonder if custom builders are going to jump on this item for monster-cross or big-tyre gravel grinders. The fork has 88mm of tyre clearance, much bigger than a typical cyclocross fork. The 470-472mm height is far taller though, so you wouldn’t want to retrofit this fork to a CX frame (395mm a-c seems to be a de facto standard for cyclocross forks). But I could slap this fork on my Giant XTC 27.5 and have an 18-lbs bike with more clearance and rubber than my CX bikes.

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Issue 15: Scott Solace

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by Byron on Aug 15, 2014 at 6:37 AM

Take Solace against a guardrail

Take Solace against a guardrail

In Issue 15, Bike Hugger contributor Patrick Brady reviews the Scott Solace and found that

Finally, we’re catching up to the idea that many of us might be happier on a bike other than the ones being raced at the Tour of Flanders.

I asked Nic Sims, Scott’s Director of Marketing to tell me more about the bike’s “zones.” He said

The top half of the bike is the comfort Zone you can think of it as the area of the bike that as a rider we have the most contact points that will feel bumps etc so in this area we have worked to develop the most forgiving ride the big noticeable area is the seatstays, very thin which allow some vertical flex. But you need a bike to move forward and this is through pedaling which is the lower region of the bike or Power Zone, you hear talk about lateral stiffness and this is important as this is the side to side load that pedaling causes, so the better the lateral stiffness the more efficient the bike will be. The Solace has blended both worlds to offer a bike that has excellent pedaling efficiency and amazing comfort.

The bike also has Asymmetric rear end – drive side chain stay is up to 2mm taller than non drive side depending on size, the bottom of the Drive side seat stay diameter is up to 3mm bigger than the opposing stay depending on size, this is to take into account the power forces delivered to a bike comes from the right hand side. We also utilize Size specific tubes and layups – Other companies are talking about doing this now but we have had it for over a year. Tube dimensions change for each size, the seat stays on a 58 are 1mm thicker than on a 49, the top tube is 1.5 mm thicker than a 49 and the down tube is 3mm thicker. The head tube gets extra reinforcement on the bigger sizes, the fork comes in two different layups, the down tube gets a stiffer lay up on the bigger sizes and the seat tube get softer lay up on the smaller sizes.

So that means, the Solace is a performance, comfort carbon bike. That’s what the industry is chasing these days, to find the right mix of layup – the new Tarmac is after this goal too. As Patrick said, for the rest of us to ride, all day, if we want.

I rode the Solace too, threw it into corners, and slammed into the biggest hit on the pavement I could find. Over the bumps, the frame “cantilevered,” and for the rest of the ride, performed as good as expected.

Read Patrick’s review on your iOS device or the Web for $4.99 an issue and $14.00 a year.

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Group rides + aerobars + stop signs = Destiny

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by Mark V on Aug 14, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Casual cyclists and mtn bikers often rail against the snobbery of uptight roadies…what with their slavish dedication to Euro-cool trends, to say nothing of their condescending enforcement of “group ride rules”. But isn’t that society in general? When many individuals must coexist in limited space, our social etiquette becomes more elaborate, and the magnified consequences of an individual’s undesirable behaviours prompts the group to collectively police itself.

Take aerobars for instance. Sure, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are impossibly cool when using them, but think twice about trying to emulate these heroes while on the group ride. FUNNY….er, I mean bad things can happen.

FWIW: anyone wanna have fun guessing where the incident in the video occurred? I have an educated guess based on 5 clues. My guess after the jump

I think it’s Australia based on:

1) Cyclists and cars are using left side of the road

2) Crashing cyclist has his bike with right lever to front brake (common in UK and Oz)

3) Time code on video is last month which is relevant to:

4) Arm warmers on cyclists (since it’s colder in southern hemisphere in July)

5) Palm trees in background

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Speedplay Zero Pave Shipping

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by Mark V on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:29 AM

Speedplay Zero Pave pedal starts shipping, but is the SYZR offroad pedal just a hoax?

Speedplay announces that their Zero Pave pedal has begun shipping. Hooray! For 500 bucks (for ti spindle version) you too can own the road pedal for riding in conditions in which you might have to foot down into mud or dirt, but you don’t plan to walk or run off the bike. After all, with the Pave Zero, you’re still wearing a 3-bolt metal cleat with no traction on shoe with no tread. Simply put, this is a pedal system that makes it easier to get back on the bike and in the pedals, not to be easier to get around off the bike, Because that’s why this pedal exists…because Speedplay-sponsored pro teams demanded a system that debris and dirt couldn’t hinder ingress/egress. The professional riders, loathe to change something as personal as their shoe/pedal system, would clearly balk at using mtb shoes and pedals for just a couple races in the spring, like Paris-Roubaix and Strada Bianca. But for the majority of us non-Pro Tour riders and racers, we’d probably just use a 2-bolt cleat/pedal and a walkable shoe for a gravel grinder.

What I would be sooooooo much happier to see is a mtb pedal that feels and supports like a good road pedal….something like what the Speedplay SYZR promises to do. The problem is that Speedplay has been promising this pedal since at least 2008. At Interbike that year, I snapped this photo of a prototype pedal. I was told that the pedals would ship after the first of the year. Then I was told the same thing the next two Interbikes. Frankly I’ve lost track of how many times those pedals “would be shipping in three months.” Most recently, Speedplay displayed yet another update to the design at this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

Listen, I’m all for thoroughly developing a product before selling it to consumers, but this is just ridiculous. Still, I do hope the SYZR finally makes it to market, because if it performs anywhere close to the hype, it should be awesome.

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Issue 15: A Mt. Bachelor Playlist Photomap

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by Byron on Aug 13, 2014 at 1:12 PM


My editor’s letter for Issue 15 is written as a vignette and shares the music listened to during a 5 hour ride on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. This annotated photomap is an accompaniment to the ride playlist.

Like a headwind in all directions, the uneven, rough-and chunky chip seal surface drained the watts, robbing my legs of speed — setting me off tempo. Grabbing for another gear that wasn’t there on the final hundred feet up to Mt. Bachelor, a dirge shuffled in. Interrupting my concentration, it was a snatch of a song, a click of a shifter. Just a few Morphine downbeat notes from a standup bass and skip!

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RockyMounts Driveshaft Thru Axle adapter for fork-mount bike racks

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by Mark V on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

This year I acquired a new mountainbike, and other than some experiments with a dropbar mtb a few years ago, it’s the first mtb I’ve gotten since the ’90s. Things have changed since then: 29er and now 650B/27.5 wheels, tubeless tyres, carbon fibre EVERYWHERE. But the night before leaving to do my first mtb race in 16 years, the most important change was the evolution of suspension forks. Not because forks are better in some way. No, the crucial difference is that most high-end suspension forks now have some form of thru-axle that wasn’t going to fit the bike rack on my ride’s car. It was 8pm on a Wednesday evening, and we were leaving at 9am in the morning. Not a whole lot of time to find a solution, but luckily REI had one.

The DriveShaft rack adapter from RockyMounts allows your mtb equipped with 20 or 15mm front thru-axle to fit a typical fork-mount rack. It even allows you to lock the bike in place (assuming that the rack itself has a lock too). Hint: the DriveShaft tends to rotate in the fork, so make sure you clamp the adapter into the rack and then the fork on the adapter. All fork-mount racks make me a little worried, but once you clamp the bejeezus out of the rack-to-DriveShaft connection, the DriveShaft’s grasp on the thru-axle seems really secure.

Retails for about $70.

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Issue 15 The Mountains and Burnt Socks

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by Byron on Aug 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM

He’s one of the smartest people I know and Chris Matthews still put his cycling socks in the oven. You can guess what happened next, right? The story of how he rode without socks until the next town with a store, and a sock aisle is featured in Issue 15 of Bike Hugger magazine.

And I can relate. When riding, I often become stupider. I have a permanently-scarred knuckle from this one time when I decided to dry my cycling shorts in the microwave. I did not know that the shorts (a pair of piece-of-shit Pearls perhaps or equally shitty Assos during one of their bad importer periods), had a plastic insert sewn into the pad. I guess the insert held the pad in place and microwaves melted it into a molten, burn-skin-to-the bone mass that scarred me instantly.

Chris didn’t get burnt, but had to endure a sockless ride and luckily no other Rapha Gentlemen saw him sans socks, suffering on a climb. I would have called that out if seen, like I did Lance Armstrong, when he was spotted sockless.

The burnt sock story is featured and you can read it for free with a sign in.

Besides the free cover story, Issue 15 includes 10 more articles like

And a mountain playlist from me.

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Robin Williams: Appreciated

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by Byron on Aug 12, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Robin

RIP

The last time everyone I knew was unmoored by a death it was Adam “MCA” Yauch.

Now Robin Williams.

Bike Hugger Magazine contributor Patrick Brady writes about him as an enthusiastic cyclist.

As a cyclist, his jokes about our proclivities, about the Tour de France, about the bike itself gave us permission to see ourselves through other eyes, to laugh at ourselves. What a gift.

And it seems wherever Robin traveled he stopped at a shop, including the one in Seattle where Mark V works.

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EXO on Bikes

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by Byron on Aug 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM


Back from vacation and finishing up Issue 15 that drops tomorrow, here’s a moment of zen – a video interlude with K-Pop boy band EXO riding bikes around on stage.

The fans go nuts.

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