Bodum Saves me in Portland

1

by Byron on Jan 23, 2007 at 7:38 AM

I’m in Portland, visting clients, talking new technologies for bikes, and possibly going to see a new bike. After a restless night in a hotel, my Bodum travel press poured a cup of coffee with creme! Nice! While it’s not the perfect cup we’ve discussed before, the pour sure brightened my day.

Bodum

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Dear God, what is that thing?

6

by Frank Steele on Jan 22, 2007 at 2:19 PM

treehugger | HyperBike: Hype or Hope?

HypeBike.jpg

Here at the Hugger, we love all kinds of bikes, and all kinds of riders: Low riders, tourists, commuters, racers, messengers. Even folks on trikes and those crazy MTV bikes from the ’80s where the rear wheel could pivot (what were those called?).

So it’s hard to harsh on somebody with something a little different. But the HyperBike reminds me of Mark Twain’s description of golf: It’s a good walk spoiled. Theoretically, it’s an attempt to take concepts from racing wheelchairs and upsize them to create a new kind of human-powered vehicle, one that uses hand as well as foot propulsion.

The HyperBike’s inventor has a working prototype and is looking for investors, so perhaps that excuses some of his more dubious marketing. He throws around 50 mph as an achievable speed, and says his bike will be better able to mix with car and truck traffic because its speed is closer to theirs. Unfortunately, in the demo video, we never see one exceed rest-home speeds. And each time the prototype approaches 5 mph, the outrigger wheel out front heads for the clouds until the rider (walker? prisoner?) slows back down. Maybe the production model will have wheelie bars

Also posted to Gizmodo, where many of the readers point out problems with the design: absurdly high aerodynamic drag (compared to recumbents or uprights) and a size that requires secure parking – you can’t just lean it against the wall of an apartment or office.

The inventor is interviewed in today’s Hamptons Online. Maybe there’s more here than meets the eye, but I’m dubious.

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Pretty custom rain bike

19

by andrew_f_martin on Jan 20, 2007 at 10:58 PM

I’ve already stated my preference for disc brake rain bikes. My Trek Portland is perfect for my needs of a training bike and longer-distance commuter. When I’m old and paid off college (and college for my kid(s)) I’ll probably be riding a custom steel bike. There’s nothing more comfortable for the money. A local guy — Brian Marcroft has gotten into building custom rain bikes and his efforts seem pretty solid. If you have the means and are in the market send him a note and support a local framebuilder.

marcroft

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Art at a glance Olympic Sculpture Park

0

by Byron on Jan 20, 2007 at 9:05 AM

SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park opens this weekend and it’s located on one of my favorite rides: Alki to Alaskan Way to Myrtle Edward’s, up to Magnolia, and back.

With the opening, Seattle commuters and cyclists have art a glance on their next ride.

Update

Grey skies, Space Needle, freight trains, traffic, and a sculpture park – all seen during our ride to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park. More photos in the Photostream.

Sam Sculpture Park

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How we doin’?

11

by andrew_f_martin on Jan 19, 2007 at 4:23 PM

I barely got in 30 minutes on the trainer last night after nearly being derailed from my challenge to ride every day (damn dinner parties). How is the rest of the crew doing out there?

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Photo of the day

0

by Frank Steele on Jan 19, 2007 at 1:42 PM

speedy

untitled, by ~Raymond.

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The inexpensive center of the cycling universe

6

by Byron on Jan 18, 2007 at 8:02 AM

With a few Bike Hugger friends in Taiwan for business, I found Shut up and Drink the Kool-Aid’s post about the factory that manufactures Masi particularly interesting.

Last year, at Interbike I met the owner of a Taiwan-based company that makes the majority of bottle cages and the one that makes millions of kickstands and also saw lots of bikes that look like each other. Ironically, much like the automotive industry (is that new car pictured a Lexus, Chrysler or Mercedes?), design homogenization is bound to occur as an industry consolidates.

While low prices means more access to mass markets and sales (that’s Walmarts standard PR pitch), it also means less diversity and I also think that bodes well for the boutique, independent manufacturers that build unique bikes rather than spec a generic carbon frame. I’ll never forget when a former Raleigh employee told me that the box and packaging they ship a bike in costs more than the frame.

When we built up Bettie, we chose a well spec’d and built Surly frame and choice of components. I race on a Trek that’s made in USA and assembled with parts from Taiwan. I also train and tour on a handbuilt Davidson welded right here in Seattle.

I’m benefiting from a local independent builder, a USA manufacturer, and a combination of both. So the question today is, what’s better for the industry, an inexpensive we’ll spec’d frame or a unique handbuilt frame? Or is all well?

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