by andrew_f_martin on Jul 02, 2007 at 1:15 PM
Now that it’s sunny and dry without a drop on the 10-day forecast …it’s time to start thinking about the rain bike. Some people dread the thought of getting back on the winter bike, but right now is probably the best time to get started with improvements and maintenance. I know that Brian Marcroft is already starting to get requests for Custom Rain bikes, and I’m about to order some new Velocity DeepV rims for my disc brake wheels. The best way to ensure a trouble-free winter of riding is good prep work!
B.I.K.E. The Movie
by Byron on Jul 02, 2007 at 9:56 AM
Fredric King, producer Fountainhead films, sent us a B.I.K.E. The Movie pre-release packet with DVD and I dug the artwork so much I scanned and uploaded it for this post.
There’s so much going on with the film, the BLBC, and freak bikes, that it’s like a bike culture mashup:
“Driven by anti-materialism and a belief that the impending apocalypse will render cars useless and leave bicycles in power, Black Label Bike Club battles mainstream consumer culture and rival gangs for its vision of a better tomorrow.”
And that’s not all …
“This fascinating and gorgeously gritty film provides insight into a passionate subculture, and exposes the darker aspects of living on the wild side.”
The film is edited from over 385 hours of footage for over 2 years and “this shit comes from the gutter.”
An earlier post from us on the BLBC and the NYTimes.
Single Speed Across America
by Byron on Jul 02, 2007 at 8:01 AM
I couldn’t believe it either, when I read that John Spurgeon road RAAM on a single speed built by Ira Ryan cycles in Portland. I was checking in on the results, there’s a mention, and Bike Portland posted earlier on it as well…
To me that’s sorta like using a fully-loaded track bike to tour, but then again the roadies I know probably think the Bettie is stupid.
Photo of the Day: Greg and Sirikit
by Jason Swihart on Jul 02, 2007 at 7:27 AM
That’s Greg and Sirikit Valentin at the Des Moines Crit.
Bike Hugger Photostream
by andrew_f_martin on Jul 01, 2007 at 7:32 PM
My biggest problem with bike racing is that it keeps you from riding your bike as much as you might like (huh?). We are in full-swing “Crit” season right now. The general rule to do well is race, and rest, or maybe do short, intense intervals. Races usually comprise of 60-75 minutes of a lung-busting tour around 4 city blocks. I like crits, I tend to do ok at them, but it’s days like today (Sunny, 78deg) that I get a little miffed that I have to race a crit. I spend a solid 4 hours driving to the race, getting ready, racing, and driving home. What a waste of a perfectly good day?!
I’m tempted to race getting the Tandem back together and rolling to Portland with my wife in the STP. At the least I think I’ll be taking some time off the circuit to get back into those long, sunny rides that I miss.
iPhone in Pocket
by Byron on Jul 01, 2007 at 6:50 AM
Rode with the iPhone in my jersey pocket yesterday. It fit well in my old Timbuk2 strap pouch that I carry in my jersey. Also fits their large cellphone holder for shoulder straps.
As other reviewers have found, the iPhone is a breakthrough device that does all that you’ve read or heard about. I’m struggling with the touchpad now and I’m not going to try and ride and talk with it for a while (not that you should do that anyway).
Check our Photostream for a set of photos taken with our iPhone.
Sealline Urban Shoulder Bag
by Byron on Jun 30, 2007 at 9:04 AM
Pam’s been testing a Sealline Urban Shoulder Bag for a couple weeks and reports that she likes it’s light weight, styling, and features, but found that the carrying handle was too small and the shoulder strap twisted when riding.
Understanding that Sealline is differentiating themselves with features, like their QuickClip closure (shown below), it’s also nice just to have a big flap of velcro to throw the bag closed. What I noticed is the “heft” (or lack of it) and when compared to my Timbuk2 bags, I’m concerned that the Sealline isn’t going to last as long or get that Timbuk2 patina.
It’s like a nice sweater that you know if you wash it, it’ll lose it’s shape.
In the bike shop: Jerry’s Davidson
by Byron on Jun 29, 2007 at 8:03 AM
Jerry Baker has been riding in the Northwest since the roads were dirt, back when shorts were wool, chamois were leather, and you switched gears by removing the wheel and flipping it around. Here’s Jerry with a new Davidson
by andrew_f_martin on Jun 28, 2007 at 12:59 PM
I’ll admit to being a bit of a label-hound when it comes to my bike stuff, but other times I want the cheapest part to do the job. Then there’s that special case where the brand name part is the SAME as the knock off. Apart from graphics and color - these wheel bags are identical. I have a couple of each in my garage right now and after inspection it turns out they are the same. I got the Performance bags for $9 on sale!
I’m a big fan of wheel bags. Keep yourself and your car clean if you need to lug them around. Protect them fragile spokes from people trying to pack overstuff the trunk on the way to the race.
Hugger rolls the Reynolds Attack
by andrew_f_martin on Jun 28, 2007 at 11:10 AM
The Attack wheels have been on my Trek for a week now and I’m reluctant to give them back.
First off they are Carbon Clinchers – “Everyday Carbon” they say. How cool is that? I prefer tubulars for race day, but I can guiltlessly ride these to work without fear of being stranded with a flat. I’ve been running them in place of my Bontrager Race-X-Lite Aeros and the difference is noticeable.
For race day, I have carbon race wheels - light, aero but super stiff they are not. When I get out of the saddle to sprint I feel like my front end is a little “whippy”. In the past I just assumed that was the fork, but after riding with the Attack wheel I know that’s not it. These wheels are SUPER stiff laterally. I’m not sure if it’s higher spoke count or the fact that as clinchers the rim is 5+mm wider, but they really hold up to the strain (more on the stiffness below).
One cool concept built into their rims that I’ve never seen before on carbon is that they put a “braid” on the braking surface. It’s some sort of fiber that wears better than traditional carbon and gives you better brake modulation. They suggest Baradine pads for best performance. I rode the rims wet to see how that that would be handled and rather than the typical “sliding” feeling of wet carbon braking, they were actually pretty similar in feel. Maybe everyday carbon is realistic after all.
Stiffer than #$%&
Trying to figure out what made the Attacks so stiff when he was riding them, Byron chatted with Reynolds product guy and learned that
“the 32MM Attack is the most compliant in what’s a stiffer rim overall because of the lay up. The lay up is intended to resist twisting and being vertically stiff, while also not harsh (not an easy task, I’m sure). He continued, “a wheel compresses into a oval shape with the rider’s weight and torque pushing and pulling the spokes. With the carbon clincher, the rim is rigid and stiff, no matter how high or low the spoke tension and that translates into better power transfer, which is what a rider feels as ‘stiffness.’”
What Byron described as a bit jarring on a commute is “stiff and on rails” in a race. He also noted that it’s very similar to when he switched to carbon bars and realized how much flex is in aluminum bars.
You don’t realize how much a wheel deflects or compresses until you ride one that doesn’t. The Attacks also climb exceptionally well, for not being very light, because of the power transfer.
Take the long way home
CyclingNews.com has also written the wheels and we saw a lot of consistencies to our experience, but we look at it as a way to cheat the commute. Solid, light wheels can buy me some time on the way home. That means a couple minutes quicker on the way home, or an excuse to squeeze a couple more miles in on a sunny day.
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