The Unicyclist

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by Byron on May 03, 2015 at 7:41 AM

If you’ve been following along on Twitter, last month saw an aerobarred, 36-inch unicycle with panniers in the neighborhood. Didn’t get a photo, but tweeted the sighting and the one-wheeled oddity became like bigfoot. Then the character rode by Hugga HQ and I scrambled to get shots with my phone, pointing it out the window, up and then down the street…grainy and in low-rez, followers were replying back, “we need to see the bones,” like Big Foot.

Then on Friday, finally a closer shot.

ballah uicycle

The reveal! Finally a better photo

As I learned, these unicycles are built for adventure and I guess he’s training, cause the terrain here is hilly and that wheel is fixed. Where he’s going to ride that, I don’t know…but packed up I’m guessing it’s across Africa or something.

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Trek QR Recall: An Audible Click

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by Byron on May 01, 2015 at 2:59 PM

qr

Lever in disc rotor causes crash

Since Trek announced their massive quick-release recall, it’s been discussed in back channels and online. As the news broke, Trek told me in email that they pushed hard for the recall

We pushed CPSC on the recall. It was our discovery that we took to them to see if they were aware. They were not and we started working on the voluntary recall at that time. Our stance is that safety is a huge priority for Trek. We investigate every accident reported to us and in our investigation into an accident last year we made this discovery. Went to CPSC and are now taking this action. It’s a big number and it’s not easy to undertake but it’s the right thing to do and the decision to work with the CPSC was easy to make when we realized what the potential of the issue was.

Today, our magazine contributor Patrick Brady wrote on RKP about quick releases and cited a conversation I had with an industry insider about a clickable quick release

Someone needs to invent a skewer that will emit an audible click once the lever is tightened sufficiently. Until it’s properly tightened, no click. It’s a simple message: When you hear the click you’ll know you’re safe.

Sound silly? It isn’t. It’s smart and here’s why…the main problem is a cyclist belief system that the special riding club knows how to make a critical part of a bicycle work and others don’t. The end result is injuries, some serious. When wheels fell out of my bikes last year, it was laughed off, blown off, and seriously said to me, “that’s how it is.” I believe that’s because “racing” drives the marketing so much in the bike industry. So perhaps someone that isn’t hard, suffers, and races sure as shit doesn’t know how to put a skewer on, right?

Idiot skewer user!

Wrong. This is a design problem and it’s designer’s job to protect users and consumers from themselves. Whatever design solves this problem, has to do more than retain the wheel in the fork with either tabs or hooks, as is required by law now.

A clickable quick release sure sounds good to me and honestly, I know very smart people in tech who like to ride a bike once in a while and don’t know how a QR works, like at all. That’s just not something they should have to think too much about; despite the historical context of Tulio’s genius that cold day in the Dolomites.

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Matt’s Apple Watch

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by Byron on Apr 29, 2015 at 11:37 AM

Matt

Magazine contributor Mathowie AND his Apple Watch arrived at Hugga HQ today for a lunch ride. We’re discussing like when Google Glass was all shiny and new. See Matt’s initial reactions from a post in the Medium Bicycles Collection.

Here he is wearing it in the shop…

Matt in the shop

And what happened at the movies

Wearing this watch in a movie theater is not a great idea. Any time you shift in your seat, your watch awakens. When you get a notification — if you look at it — you’ll learn some are small fonts on black backgrounds and not that bad while others have notifications with big white icons and light gray backgrounds that light up a room.

My rocky first 24hrs with the Apple Wᴀᴛᴄʜ

How will the watch perform with Strava? We’re gonna find out….until then, read Matt’s fatbike story about Riding the Pacific Northwest Coast in January in Issue 21.

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DZR Mechanics: Urban Cycling Shoes

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by Byron on Apr 29, 2015 at 11:06 AM

DRZ Mechanics

DZR’s new Mechanics just arrived at Hugga HQ and I’m planning a date night, just to wear them. With the right socks, they’ll match the Shinola!. The Mechanics are really nice, noticeably well-crafted, and remind me how just a few years ago, urban cyclists were asking for kicks likes these. The Mechanic is an unassuming California deck shoe with authentic classic status. It features natural rubber and a full-length nylon mid-sole/shank designed with strategically mapped stiffness for a combination of power transfer while pedaling and flexibility for walking. Available now for 99.00 from DZR shoes.

I unboxed them this morning on Vine

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A Sage Ride

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by Byron on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Sage

Sage in a grove of trees along the Burke-Gilman, a rails to trail path in Seattle

A triathlete, his head down, in a full aero tuck and a face full of misery passes us. Our speed is slower but by all accounts much more enjoyable. The sun is out and the temperature sits just above 70-degrees – a perfect spring day in Seattle. Today we are taking our first ride on the Sage Skyline. The Skyline is Sage’s titanium road machine. The frame itself is U.S. made from 3/2.5 tubing. Sage has outfitted the Skyline with couple of nice frame features including Breezer-style dropouts, a 44mm head tube and their carbon clip cable guides. The clip routes mechanical cables under the down tube. For bikes equipped with electric shifting systems, the clip detaches from the frame, providing a wire port for internal routing of the shifter wires.  A few hours in the saddle reminded us of titanium’s ride quality. It’s a classic and refreshing feel, a nice complement to a spring ride.

Nathan

Adjusting the bike and getting the light right

And as good as those crisp, cold beers we had at the famous North City Tavern after the ride. A couple of sips in, rediscussed the relevance of Ti, especially for the forest service roads being ridden these days.

North City

North City Tavern, established 1947

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Roads in Nepal

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by Byron on Apr 27, 2015 at 7:24 AM

Nepal

Damaged roads in Nepal as shot by Prakash Singh for AFP/Getty.

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Issue 23: A Thousand Miles

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by Byron on Apr 26, 2015 at 9:18 AM

Sun

For a thousand miles don’t turn off this road…especially, when it’s a thrilling, fast, twisty-curvy descent with a grueling grind of a climb back. Riding those long miles this Spring and Summer is what issue 23 is about, momentum and worth another mention before we start editing and writing issue 24.

As a monthly, 24 will mark 2 years of issues and a hat tip to those that subscribe.

It’s very much appreciated.

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Vined! Scott Solace

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by Byron on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:32 AM

In Issue 15, Patrick Brady wrote about the disc version

Unlike some bikes in the endurance category, the Solace is still a proper road bike with zippy handling. Many endurance bikes feature touring bike geometry with a longer wheelbase and slower handling. What’s different about the Solace from other offerings is the fit. With a longer head tube and slightly steeper seat tube angle, this bike is meant for riders who no longer have the flexibility of a teenage gymnast, which is to say most of us generate more power when we’re not folded in half.

Scott Solace

The caliper-brake version in on demo, is the same bike with different brakes, and equally good looking. Here’s a 7 second review with what you need to know.


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Even Lighter and Faster

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by Byron on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:06 AM

Now I can’t say our mobile site is vertically stuff and horizontally compliant like a race bike, but this week it’s even faster for sure. About 2 years ago, I shared

Over the weekend, we’re turning on Google Page Speed Service to deliver our blog with more blazing speed. Engine Hosting is already fast, with PSS it’s even faster: 15% decrease in load time and a 30% faster speed index.

Now we’re running a 93 score out of a 100 on Google’s Page Speed Insights with lots of code tweaks. That’s judged by a second to load criteria, correlated to time to above-the-fold load. In other words, hit our site on your mobile and like blam! it’s there for you to read.

What prompted this update is most of our traffic now is mobile, at times 90%, and in-app. As of this week, Google will prioritize mobile sites in search, with a mobile friendly label, like this one

mobile-friendly

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Cargo Bikes NYT

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by Byron on Apr 23, 2015 at 8:38 AM

A growing contingent of eco-minded and health-conscious urban parents are leaving their car keys at home and relying on high-capacity cargo bikes for family transportation.

Our kids have long since outgrown this phase, but yep we took them to school on a cargo bike too like the NYT reports today. See the first ride 7 years ago on an Xtracycle. Also that one time we hit ludicrous speed


If you’re thinking about ditching your car to take your kids to school, more posts about cargo bikes are in our archives. Also see this post from 2013 when we hit peak cargo bike after the Wall Street Journal and New Your Times mentioned them.

While your mileage may vary with your kids, as our cities fill up with cars, we expect more families to reconsider their transportation needs. In Austin, where the traffic is some of the worst in the country, my good friend Shawn takes his kids to school on a cargo bike and wrote about that earlier this year.

It’s like your minivan,” I said.

fjsjf

Shawn’s cargo bike

More resources include Revolutions Per Minute and Workcycles on Facebook.

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