Jeremiah Finds Freedom with a Folding Bike
by Byron on Apr 20, 2014 at 7:45 AM
Jeremiah’s new bike
Another Southby moment, my friend Jeremiah Owyang and I saw each other while stopped at an intersection. We were riding in the cold-ass rain, David was doing a semi track stand and Jeremiah walking pasts says, “Hey Byron, what’s that you’re riding?”
A month or so later, he’s got a Tern and loves it. He just posted on Facebook.
Anyone into the Transformers? No, not the Michael Bay version, the bicycle version.
Thanks to my bud Byron Dl, bike evangelist, who I’ve known for over a decade, he connected me with Tern Bicycles to borrow on loan this 24 lbs (10 kilo) folding 9 speed bicycle that can be tucked under a desk, in a Caltrain luggage rack or in the back of the two door car or in an Uber. Other features include dual brakes, removable pedals, and Shimano gears.
It takes four steps to collapse it, which I’m sure I can do in seconds once I get used to it.
Discussing riding, and getting in shape, Jeremiah also said, “Something changed in me, maybe I had a baby, maybe I care more about things over me, maybe I want to get healthy. It’s about freedom really.”
It really is… whether that’s freedom from the desk, a car ride, or not feeling healthy.
Big Dog in a Sidecar
by Byron on Apr 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM
Then this rolls by
Often thought of a reality show in a bike shop, you know the drama that goes down in ‘em…the customers, mechanics, shop girls. Or, at the least, a webcam to capture shots like this live. Just a big dog in a sidecar rolling by
We’ve posted a bit about working in a shop here on the blog and our magazine. Enough stories for a book one day…
Calculating Bicycle Velocity
by Byron on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM
Found this bike brake light from a news article that popped in my newsreader and it’s quite interesting. LucidBrake inventor, John Craig, is improving his current tail light system that works on de-acceleration with a new TI inductive sensor and entered it in a TI design contest
The sampling rates available on the TI LDC1000 provide hundreds to thousands of readings for each spoke’s transition near the sensor, even for the fastest bicycles. The threshold output on the INT pin provides the perfect way to determine very accurate bicycle velocity - a simple microcontroller count between pulses does the trick. When velocity is decreasing at a significant rate, the brake light comes on.
Like LucidBrake, this inductive sensor could inspire other, new ideas from bike makers to calculate a bike’s velocity. From those measurements, a new simple power meter perhaps?
Waxed Canvas Hugga Tool Roll: Second and Last Batch
by Byron on Apr 17, 2014 at 6:23 AM
Mark wants a koozie version that’ll have to wait
Seamstresses sewed up the last of the waxed canvas we bought into tool tolls and we put another batch on Amazon for sale. The tool rolls are $40.00 while they last, handmade in Seattle, AND 100% more aero than the bag sagging off saddles now with velcro straps that tear up your shorts. Endorsing the Hugga roll, Mark V did have one complaint
no storage for lemons and salt shaker.
True! And maybe we’ll make a mixer roll for the holidays with pockets for ice. A party-time solution we’ll look at later. For now, we want to stop ruining shorts, make changing a flat faster, and easier to keep track of your tools
Ruined Shorts, Demanded a Solution
Beltro’s ruined shorts
So where’d the roll come from? Well, this one time on a ride, Velcro straps flapped my inner thigh like a bird trying to escape for 50 miles. Those ruined shorts, like Beltro’s above, demanded a solution. Also, a bag small enough to not threaten your thighs, is fiddly with tools dropping all over the place when opened. With the roll, tools and spares are organized neatly in pockets and unrolled on a saddle when needed.
Tools, spares, organized, ready to go
If you’ve got multiple bikes, the roll goes with you, not with the bike; a major convenience when you need to get out the door and on the road.
In a jersey pocket
Get them while you can. We spent months developing the roll and starting shipping them two weeks ago. See the posts and more iterations on G+.
Make a World of Difference with World Bicycle Relief
by Byron on Apr 16, 2014 at 9:12 AM
After sharing a ride story from Sea Otter earlier this week, where I met and rode with World Bicycle Relief staffers, here’s a video of their latest campaign being announced today.
Also see another WBR-ride story about Jacob Seigel-Boettner and the documentary, With My Own Two Wheels. It’s about how bicycles and WBR change people’s lives abroad and in the States.
WBR’s goal is to raise $500,000 and they’ve raised $188,161 to date. That’s 1404 bikes so far….
Osprey Shuttle: Rolling Monolith
by Byron on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM
Osprey Shuttle 32
This bag arrived, so huge, it’s like a monolith to gear and travel being discovered. I placed it outside for filtered-light photos this morning. After the pug furiously barked at it, apparently concerned an alien intruder was in the yard, I thought the toddlers next door could pretend it was a spaceship from planet Osprey too!
Like a Monolith
You can stuff your courage AND all your gear in this hauler before your next big trip to race and ride. The Shuttle 32” / 110L is available from Amazon and a retailer near you for $299.95
All the gear you own in one bag
Terpstra’s Winning Roubaix Details
by Byron on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Terpstra winning on a Roubaix
The difference between Terpstra’s bike and the Roubaix SL4 I’ve been riding in the rain, since the Fall, is Force 22 instead of the Red 22 spec. When raced or ridden hard, the fenders are removed and the fast, Zipp Firecrests replace the 30s. Force is SRAM’s value group, with all the features of Red, at a more affordable price. When asked recently about it, I said, if I close my eyes and don’t look at the graphics it shifts just like Red.
My fendered Roubaix on a dreary day
Between the two, there’s about a $3K price difference. Terpstra’s race-winning Roubaix is around $9K and my parking-lot crit, rolling-a-fondo version is $6K.
- Frame: Specialized S-Works Roubaix – 58cm*
- Groupset: SRAM RED 22
- Shifters: SRAM RED 22 DoubleTap with Reach adjust
- Crankset: Specialized (175mm crank arm length) with SRAM RED 22 chainrings – 53×46*
- Front derailleur: SRAM RED 22 Yaw with chain spotter
- Rear derailleur: SRAM RED 22 – Short cage
- Cassette: SRAM PG1170 11-26
- Brakes: SRAM RED Aerolink
- Chain: SRAM RED 22
- Wheels: Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular
- Stem: Zipp Service Course SL - 120mm
- Bar: Zipp Service Course SL-88 - 40cm (c-c)
- Seat post: Zipp Service Course SL 27.2mm 0mm Setback
*I run a 110 stem, 52/36 rings, Contis tubulars or Hutch clinchers, and a Joule instead of the Garmin.
My Roubaix was also seen in our Tool Roll launch, including a gear story in Issue 11.
Terpstra Photo by Gruber uploaded to Flickr
Sea Otter 14: Big Bouncy House of Bikes
by Byron on Apr 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM
My ride/Paris-Roubaix recap this morning bounced around a bit; well, cause that’s what Sea Otter is like, a big bouncy house of bikes. As I said to Patrick and Jim as we walked the expo, “It’s like a constant stream of bike consciousness too.”
Oh look a hot bike then a world champion, and a race, and beer. Then there’s Ned, who when asked about the scene, wryly observed, “Fat Bike Action!” And hey, some kids are flying through the air on BMX tricks, while women raced road.
So how do you capture that? By bouncing around, like a kid in a bike bouncy house, and taking photos, lots of them. Of the 406 shots I took, the 21 best and products that interested us the most were just added to a G+ gallery.
Ergon Seatpost for gravel…
Like the XTR, CX1, and the Ergon seatpost shown in this post.
Paris-Roubiax 2014: Precious Stone
by Byron on Apr 14, 2014 at 8:39 AM
Photo: ©Tim de Waele of Terpstra in the last few meters
Up early for the World Bicycle Relief, Bill Keith Memorial ride on Sunday, watched about 17 seconds of Paris-Roubaix on a cell phone. We were en route to the ride meet spot from Seaside to Monterey.
Then, as the ride gathered we heard that Niki Terpstra won. What a big win for both SRAM and Spesh. Also a fitting memorial moment for Bill, who we were honoring on the ride. Before he died suddenly last year, he was SRAM’s road group product manager. As I learned, Bill was critical to the success our SRAM’s growth in road, tri, and cross. Emotions were running high before the ride started.
That’s because both companies are driven by the ride, performance, and racing. As SRAM’s press release said,
The “Hell of the North” became Niki Terpstra’s “Heaven!”
Terpstra won the monument, the precious stone. After the ride and at the expo, the mood in the Spesh tent at Sea Otter was jubilant with beer coupons being handed out to fans. A Roubaix bike winning its namesake put the wind back in the marketing sails of Spesh, to say the least, after the turbulence of a trademark lawsuit.
Free beer after that win
And I spent the weekend riding a Roubaix SL4, just like the one I ride in Seattle, back and forth on 17 Mile Drive, including a long, steady pull by Gord Fraser that stretched the elastic almost to a snap…
Finally, to the race and tactics, Matt Hill observed
Funny reading people’s comments about “The Favorites” marking each other and canceling each other out at Paris-Roubaix today. Hey, folks? Did you happen to notice who finished second? That’s the reason nobody would work in that break, and why nobody was going to kill themselves to drag a group of any size onto the velodrome.
Watching the recap, I agreed with sore legs from all the riding at Sea Otter.
See more photos from the memorial ride on WBR’s Facebook and a video remembering Bill Keith.
XTR M9000 Debut, Part 1
by Mark V on Apr 11, 2014 at 9:46 AM
Irvine CA: Shimano today introduced new XTR M9000, its most advanced XTR mountain bike components and wheels to date. With this totally new XTR line available in both Race and Trail “Rider Tuned” product families, Shimano leverages its 22 years of engineering leadership producing the industry’s highest performing mountain bike component group. Inspired by the versatility and capability of today’s riders and the terrain they tackle, M9000 offers refined and tested solutions engineered for the way they ride.
Amid all the confetti and “moody” (ie poorly lit) product shots, Shimano launches the new XTR M9000 flagship mtb line. How important is this? This collection of components will define Shimano’s direction in offroad components for the new 3-6 years. Such is the nature of product development, some aspects of the new XTR were decided 3 or more years ago, but doubtlessly a portion of it was a reaction to the most recent trends in the industry. Which is to say, SRAM’s innovative 1x11 concept that they crystalized into their own XX1 debut.
Let’s put all the marketing conceptualization and soft focus glamour shots aside, and get down to how all this is going to affect the industry. Most importantly, Shimano retains faith in the front derailleur. That is to say, Shimano is not committing to 1x11, instead they offer 1x,2x, AND 3x 11sp drivetrains. This is not terribly surprising, since Shimano is truly the undisputed master of front shifting in the realms of both road and mtb components. By offering consumers and OEM the choice of top quality chainring configurations, Shimano is making sure that no money is left on the table due to lack of versatility in product options. In fact, by designing their new 11sp mtb cassette to fit all existing 8/9/10sp mtb hubs, M9000 removes the obstacle of replacing wheels for aftermarket consumers who are looking to upgrade their existing bikes, unlike SRAM’s XX1/X01 which require a special cassette body to fit their 10-42T cogset (in fact, it’s interesting to note that the M9000 11-40T cassette will fit existing hubs whereas the 11sp road cassettes require a wider cassette body). Yet while M9000 will undoubtedly be a paragon of engineering and manufacturing excellence, ultimately it will not have the same impact on frame design that XX1 has had. In the 2014 model year, a number of bikes have already appeared that are optimized for 1x11 drivetrains, or perhaps outright incompatible with 2x or 3x cranks.
Still, maybe this won’t matter since Shimano always makes the best front derailleurs. The new FD-M9000 is a “Side-Swing” design, meaning that the derailleur swings out and forward as it moves the chain to the outer rings, with no vertical vector to cage path at all. Apparently, the new FD-M9000 improves front shifting by “100%”….not 98.5% but a totally not arbitrary 100%. Interestingly, the front shifter cable/housing seems to feed in from the front of the derailleur on at least some of the front derailleur configurations, though I am as yet unsure of all the configurations. For those readers who are neither mechanics nor OEM product managers for bike brands, you should know that there is an utterly ridiculous number of SKUs for mtb front derailleurs due to all the chainring configurations and four different mounts. We’re talking dozens. It is quite possible that OEM will gravitate towards 1x11 just because how it simplifies the front derailleur intricacies.
The M9000 crank will come in narrow Q-factor (158mm) race configuration with a bonded, hollow non-drive crankarm as well as a stouter 168mm Q trail version. As the industry master of cold-forged alloy construction, Shimano once again eschews the use of carbon in the crankarms, but the chainrings incorporate aluminium, carbon, and titanium. The crankarms can accept any version of the highly proprietary M9000 chainrings, available in the following combinations: Single (30T, 32T, 34T, 36T), double (34-24T, 36-26T, 38-28T), triple (40-30-22T). You’ll notice that no chainring is bigger than 40T and there is only one triple chainring combination. Considering that the new M9000 cassette has an 11T cog rather than SRAM XX1’s 10T, the maximum drivetrain ratios are much smaller than they were 10 years ago. Reading between the lines, Shimano basically thinks that (for the high-end of the market at least) the future of 26”-wheels is dead for anything but DH and Freeride, that is to say long travel suspension designs that cannot accommodate 27.5/650B or 29er wheel sizes.
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the XTR M9000 drivetrain a little more, as well as touch upon the other components.
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