Koksijde Highlights


by Byron on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:38 AM

Highlights of the Elite Men’s Race from the 2015-16 Cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium. It came down to a drag race through the mud at Koksijde with Sven Nys winning over Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel amazing.

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Fun with a Faraday Porteur


by Byron on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:33 AM

Faraday Otter

First impressions of the Faraday are, “That’s a very fun bike.” The pedelec config with the lightweight (for an ebike) means you can get a workout if you want or a sweat-free ride to work, and a meeting. It was back in 2012, when Faraday was Kickstarted, for 110K, and 3 years later they’re in bike shops, like G and O Family Cyclery in Seattle.

As shared [on Instagram][https://www.instagram.com/bikehugger/]

Had fun with this @faradaybikes today.

A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on

and the 7-second Vine.

While I’m having more fun and writing a review, see what Kent had to say about his Faraday ride. He also had thought it was fun.

Let’s talk a bit about the electronics. The Faraday Porteur comes with a 250W motor built into the front hub and a custom 240Wh battery pack concealed inside the frame. I’d wondered about the replace-ability and durability of the batteries but the folks at Faraday assure me that the high quality lithium batteries should last through several years of charging cycles and when they ultimately do need replacing, it’s an easy job for a local shop. They estimate current battery replacement cost at $400, but battery tech is getting better year by year and the prices are dropping. The batteries power both the bike’s lights and it’s motor. When the bike is switched on, the lights are on. The integrated lights are nice, bright LEDs.

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Bergans Pack: Fits Your Back Like a Glove


by Byron on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:32 PM

As another follow up to my traveling and photographing bikes/road warrior story in Digital Photography Pro magazine this month, is the backpack I’ve been using when mountain biking. Following my ongoing quest for minimalism and light weight, Bergans sent me their Rondane 6 L and I’ve been carrying the Sony A7R II around in it ever since. The Bergans isn’t for the long days or endurance rides, but traversing a mountain to get a shot this summer, it was all I needed. This maybe my particular quirk too, but I tend to get OCD with all the zippers and pockets on other packs; like, do I really need 24 of them, when just a few would do? No I don’t or need to check them constantly to remember where my lens filter is. The Bergans has a large pocket for a hydration pack and camera, hotel key, food bar, and phone. Of course, shooting with a compact camera, like the Sony, means it’ll fit in the Bergans. Also, the unique suspension system of the Bergans meant it stayed put on my back.


Bergans is a Norwegian company that has expanded their marketing to included biking, and I welcome the focus on the simple function of carrying just a few items, water, and small body cam too. The Rodane sells for $99.00 and the specs are:

Carrying system

Bergans RS3™ Stability System. Back, shoulder straps in ventilating foam with mesh surface.


Top zip opening. Includes Source 2 L hydration system.


Internal zippered pocket for small items. Small pocket on shoulder straps.

Hip belt

Detachable hip strap.

Additional features

Multiple attachment points. Front compression straps. Attachment points for bicycle light/reflector. Plenty of reflective details. Grab handle at top. Key attachment clip. Double sternum strap/carry strap. YKK zippers.

  • Volume: 6 L
  • Weight: 580 g
  • User height: 150–200 cm
  • Hip belt, length: 0–125 cm
  • Fabric: Nylon 210D Velocity
  • Packed dimensions (HxWxD): 43x19x13 cm

Like the Blaze light review, don’t really publish holiday gift guides, in favor of opinions on the blog, and stories in our magazine, but I’d recommend the Bergans as an alternative for the lighter ride days in the mountains.

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Traveling and Photographing Bikes


by Byron on Nov 18, 2015 at 9:43 AM


Another Sven photo from Cross Vegas

After 2 decades on the web, and most of that digital, it’s very satisfying to author a photography print piece with hot CX action for Digital Photo Pro magazine. The photos in the article are from Cross Vegas, capturing Sven Nys in the sand, and the story is about traveling light, a topic I’ve been blogging about for years, ever since the first Macbook Air.

Read more about Sven and Cross Vegas in issue 28 of Bike Hugger magazine and the November issue of Digital Photo Pro is on the newsstands now at a Barnes and Noble near you, delivered to your home or office too. Also, on the web and iTunes.

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Bike Builder Event - Bike Maintenance


by Byron on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:16 PM


Join Bike Hugger at the Lucky Envelope Brewing tasting room, 907 NW 50th Street, Seattle, WA 98107, on Friday, November 20th. We will be hosting our second Built event. We will have a representative from FSA Full Speed Ahead Neutral Support to discuss bike repair and maintenance topics and to answer any questions you may have. We will also have an incredible SWAG bag for all attendees with samples from Clif Bar, Park Tool tire levers and a spare tube.

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Logan Owen’s First UCI Win


by Byron on Nov 16, 2015 at 6:30 PM

Sick shot by @bokanev while on route to my first ever Pro CX win! @iamspecialized @mfgcross

A photo posted by Logan Owen (@logansowen) on

Bokanev gets the shot of Logan Owen on the way to his first ever Pro CX win this weekend in Lakewood Washington at the Subaru Cyclo Cup. On Instagram, Logan said

This was a very special moment for me today. Being able to achieve my first UCI win in front of friends I grew up racing with and on course I grew up racing on was one of the greater moments I’ve had in my life.

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Blaze: Lasers on Bikes


by Byron on Nov 16, 2015 at 9:10 AM

The Blaze is in on demo and it’s sure fun to play with. It’s a freakin’ laser for your bike, after all, and arrived to market last year via Kickstarter. Now that crowdfunded companies are maturing and to continue growing, they need to get product out for reviews and to the media too. Considering the conditions we ride in Seattle, the laser projection of a bike icon, is a supplemental “safety” add on to your current light set up. I quoted safety as I’m not entirely sure of its effectiveness with drivers but it does draw attention on the path. When the Blaze first arrived, I joked on Twitter…

Following Blaze’s lead, other lights project lanes around cyclists, and years ago, I commented on how lights create no effective spatial relationship with cars. Meaning, cars surround an occupant with lights at the corners, where we sit on bikes with the light in the middle. Anecdotally, I’ve been brushed more by cars at night, then in the day, and I think that’s because the driver is focused on the space between the edge of the car and the light, not shoulders or hips. While questioning the effectiveness of a laser pointer for safety in front and in the middle of your lane of travel, where the Blaze absolutely shines is in the construction and feature set

The Blaze Laserlight is assembled from 109 components with the precision you’d expect from a smartphone, not a bike light. It’s made from aircraft aluminum and has diamond cut edges. It’s USB rechargeable, waterproof to the depth of one meter and fits 99% of handlebars.


The charge mechanism, which is magnetic like a Macbook’s charge, is a feature I’d like to see on all lights instead of the micro USB plug. Because of the construction and ease of mounting too, I recommend the Blaze as a gift and for the cyclist that has everything, including a box in the garage full of lights, ever since the first Nightriders.

The light and laser work independently, which means, with or without the laser, you have a 300 lumen LED bike light and that’s just not bright enough alone for the dreariest of rainy season days or nights. To get the maximum run time for daytime running lights, I use multiple lights, and what I’m doing with the Blaze is combining it with the Flux from Spesh. Running the LED and Laser constant, that’s 4 hours of light supplementing the 3 hour run time of the Flux with a 400 lumen Cree LED in battery-save mode.

The novelty of a laser projector on your bike aside (worth a few hours of fun alone), the Blaze is exceptionally well made and I hope Blaze expands their product line to include models as bright as a car headlamp and with a wider beam angle, like the TAZ from Lights and Motion, a go-to-gear favorite of ours.

The Blaze is available direct from a US-based warehouse for $200.

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Thinking of Paris


by Byron on Nov 14, 2015 at 8:25 AM


That time we rode in Paris and just a week ago had a layover at CDG. Our thoughts are with Parisians today after the attacks.

I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one’s future to decide

Joni Mitchell



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CXRex in Effect


by Byron on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Guess CXRex has his own category to not eat the other competitors, but would like to see him on more than a warm up lap…form was quite good for having huge legs and tiny arms too. Read more about CX in Issue 29 and this weekend in Seattle, it’s the UCI-sanctioned Subaru Cup.

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Peter’s Camera


by Byron on Nov 11, 2015 at 8:37 AM


Fitting that Issue 29 is about cross and includes photos from Peter, when the community helped him get a new camera this week. Mark V is sure it was his rooster tail that finally killed the camera, but probably a few seasons of shooting in the wet ultimately corroded it. For the intro to his gallery, I asked Peter why he was out there every weekend

I think the reason cross has such a draw. You can wear what you want. You can compete against yourself or the best in the northwest. In a “I” world you can turn yourself inside out. Get dirty like a kid, bring the family and have a great time. We have lost our sense of community and this is a weekly block party for the fall and winter. Company picnics and a Cul-de-sac parties have gone away. It is rarely that an entire family can compete individually and you can get a child to cheer for their parents.

See the rest of Peter’s photos in the issue and on SmugMug. I suggested Peter set aside some crowdfunded budget for a proper rain cover too.

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