The Transition is available later this month for $599.00
First saw this new travel case from Thule at Interbike and was very impressed then. This is the second unit to ship out of Thule’s Chicago factory and I’ll leave it in the dining room as long as the family allows. It’s a travel case sculpted so well, it looks like art. It also combines, style, protection, and convenience with its integrated work stand. So what the industrial designers at Thule did is take their roof rack tech, put it into a bike case, and then attached a bike stand to it.
Brilliant and we’ll try it next month on our next trip. We normally travel with S&S bikes, but for this case, we’re making an exception.
With some exotic thermo engineering, using hydrogen peroxide as fuel, a new world speed record was set for a rocket-propelled bicycle. Watchmaker Hublot sponsored the effort. While not as dramatic as Van Damme’s epic split, the rocket bicycle does spew out a massive plume like a dungeon dragon AND, as the exotic thermo engineer tells us,
If you were to pour it (the fuel) on your hair, it’d catch fire.
Lance is spending the only currency he has left and that’s to tell all. The bomb he dropped in the Daily Mail isn’t surprising for those that follow doping in the sport. What the explosiveness also reveals is how bike industry media still doesn’t tell the story. 2 weeks ago, and what prompted an editorial in our Magazine and a post on Medium, is Lance’s interview with Bike Radar. In a 2 part exclusive, he said he was ready to talk and didn’t say anything substantially more than what he told Oprah.
As the conspiracy blows apart, it’s time for a what did you know and when did you know it moment in the sport and to follow the money. Meanwhile, the old-schoolers in the sport still marvel and sell Horner’s “amazing win.” We hope he’s present too at the UCI’s impending Truth and Reconciliation committee meetings.
Those meetings may play out with the same irony as this interview being done in Celebration, Florida, developed by Disney and where The Truman Show was filmed.
Results don’t show it, but that was my ride of the season. Photo: Kevin Tamura
In a season that’s included CX Worlds and CrossVegas, I’ve written about the importance of starting the race, finishing it, and breathing. Last weekend at MFG Woodland, those topics combined with blowing up. Lap one went like, I’m in, I’m in, and then boom. That I finally have the fitness again to go that hard is great, to blow on lap one of the biggest race in Seattle well; it’s what Jacques Anquetil said, “There are no races, only lotteries.” And in that lottery, it takes lots of luck to not crash, as many did in the elite fields.
You know in a techno song, there’s always some kinda high-pitched noise like a siren? That shrill sound syncopated with my pedaling after a warp-speed start. It indicated a system failure was approaching, but I kept pushing towards the max, hanging on at the back. As the pack rode away from me, I got angry, because the space that separated us was just a gap that I couldn’t close. Damn gap.
Concentrated now on finishing, I eased up, settled into a manageable rhythm, and regrouped. When the leaders lapped me, I went into the race zone again, and a few laps later crossed the finished line with nothing left.
After the race, Anthony Dickson who recently upgraded to the elites and raced with me said
“Damn, racing with the 1/2s is hard. Why did I ever upgrade and subject myself to this pain? Cross is anticipation, exasperation and elation, all in that order. Can’t wait to do it again next week!”
Yup and later he also said, “it helps to train if you want to race cross (and do well) - learning that this year.”
I’ll add to that advice something Matt Hill would say, “In training, you push to learn where your max is, so in racing you know when to back off, lest you blow at the worst time.” On the same intense lap, Matt blacked out in the pits from an acute asthma attack. Had that randomness not happened, he would’ve likely podiumed.
Ed. note: Date night has turned into a date weekend with the Seahawks today. Mark V raced with a report to follow.
Shook off the bike-racing monk robes for a date night with Pam and Micheal Buble at the #Deltasea Flyaway event. Met him backstage, wearing Glass, and his reaction was like anyone I meet who hasn’t seen Google’s wearable computer before (he asked if I was a super villain and if anything weird was happening). The video also shows his appeal. He’s personable, a throwback to another, simpler time with a performance that represents the standards well.
The plan was for Max to podium in the Cat 4s on his Davidson and in Bike Hugger kit. Then move up, race well, and get his name and new bike out there – it’s built to race cyclocross in the Pacific Northwest mud and all conditions. After building the bike up and during Max’s first ride, I got two texts one Summer afternoon. The first was a joyful photo of a climb and then a few hours later…
As Max learned, the Davidson is NOT an MTB! He overcooked a turn on the descent and crashed. He’s recovering now, back to riding, and racing next season.
Notched chainstays for wide tires
We’ll tell you more about the bike when it gets raced. It’s an interation of the D-Plus with room for really wide tires. See more photos about Max’s first ride that ended in a crash on the Tiniest Princess’ tumblr.
Coolest thing about this project is when we were writing about cargo bikes, I called for a Pho Cargo project and well, here ya go. I was thinking it was a bakfietsen with pho pots, but this works too.
Conceived as a support for small pieces of lives, as an ephemeral house or as a vertical street food restaurant, it might deviate from its original yet wide function and become something else, an unexpected urban animal. A mini-concert hall? A poetry podium ? It probably just needs to circulate, to stroll around the busy streets of Hanoi and then it’ll decide by itself which disguise to adopt…
Seen during a trip to Rome in 2008; cycle chic, urban, and in traffic.
Occasionally during the seven years that we’ve been publishing Bike Hugger I’d post on the topic of the influence of bikes on fashion. This was usually precipitated by the bike’s re-emergence on fashion runways, in television, movies and in commercials.
For reasons that are better left to a sociologist, the bike’s lofty zenith seems to have passed and like Sandra Bullock it’s now headed back to earth at high speed.
The bike backlash has been noticed by trend-spotters in the media and several linkbait articles ran this weekend in the New York Times, Times UK, Specator, Deadspin and even on our local TV station. Cyclists are now the attackers of motorists. Pariah that break the law and leave damage behind them. Just like PotofStew did, you can follow the anti-bike sentiment on Twitter or anywhere else people gather online to rant and complain.
At the risk of further stoking flamewars, what’s important here is that cyclists have a PR problem and bike-lane people aren’t equipped to handle it. Thanks to the work of social planners we’ve got more bike lanes in this country than ever before but there isn’t the advocacy there to help teach anyone how to interact with a bike.
Maybe it’s when bikes got tagged as part of “transportation” or when “cycle chic” articles began to pop up in the press but the core issue is that motorists rule the road and a cyclist doesn’t look, act or feel like a motorist. We are “the other” and we all know how groups react to “others”.
Responding to bad PR isn’t the job of the planners and developers that got the bike lanes installed. They’re still celebrating increased bike ridership by setting up bike trip counters so we can admire how awesome we are.
With so much hate swirling around us, I want to keep it positive here on Bike Hugger. We’re going to celebrate bikes, not help tear them apart. For more related commentary on this topic, see posts from Seabikeblog, Freebeacon, and this comment from Fredcast.
Unfortunately, like many arguments in polarizing debates, this one from NYTimes is too idealistic and unrealistic. Making major and expensive changes to infrastructure takes time, money and will. These are three things in short supply in this country. Besides that, the author’s premise smacks of the same attitude that we see on the roads. It’s as if cyclists are lying on the floor, kicking and screaming, “but these roads are inadequate for ME so I won’t obey the laws. I won’t! I won’t! I won’t” Really? How hard is it to come to a full stop at a stop sign? How difficult is it to stay as far to the right as practicable? Is it really that hard to ride predictably and to signal your intentions? Really? If you want the money to come and the will to change, then invest the time. And the only way this will happen is with a change in attitude and actions.
One of our editors, David, started and ran the Rockland Bicycling club in his home county just outside New York City. Every ride the club did started with a safety speech, each one involved single-file riding with hand-signals for turns, full stops at signs and light and no one ever complained about the difficulty in following the rules of the road.
I’ll end this post with with a message bike advocates and media could share
The inattentive cyclist endangers only himself. The motorist must be held to a higher standard.
Last year, Sidi introduced the Wire as their flagship road shoe, replacing the Ergo3. Sighted in prototype form on the feet of riders such as Peter Sagan, the Wire is probably the most dramatic revision to the Sidi top-end in a decade, replacing the three fasteners of the Ergo series with just two twist ratchet/tension cord units that Sidi calls Tecno 3 system. The shoe is also offered with a choice of two carbon soles. The Vent sole is an all-new carbon design with vents underneath at the toe and mid-foot while the SP has a Speedplay-specific mount without vents. Since I ride Speedplay Zero pedals, I considered getting the SP, but in the end I chose the Vent because it was available in my size in the Cannondale Team colours.
Sidi always brings solid construction to their product, even if it seems to be laden with a lot of gimmicky devices. I have a 13 yr old pair of Sidi Energy shoes, then the flagship model from the same company. The Energy has a telescoping rod in the arch of the shoe that was designed to allow the rider to “fine tune the stiffness of the sole.” That shoe has held up quite well over time, but that rod in the shoe arch has never produced any noticeable effect. On the other hand, the Wire Vent’s array of features are all genuinely contributing something to the rider.
First off are the Tecno3 buckles that the Wire debuts. These are a further refinement of the cable & twist ratcher buckle that appeared on Sidi production shoes back in the 1990s with the Sidi Tecno. This time the twist mechanism is smaller and lighter than ever. The tension cord is much more supply than previous versions and despite the “Wire” name do not appear to be metal. By using just two Tecno3 buckles per shoe, the Wire eliminates the ratcheting instep buckle that has been a feature of the top-end Sidis since 1989. Instead the Wire winches down the instep pad with one Tecno3. The forefoot area, previously occupied by a Tecno2 buckle and a Velcro strap, is now managed by a single Tecno3. The thin tension cord leaves the tongue largely uncovered, and the shoe designers took advantage of this by incorporating vents into the padding of the tongue.
Compared to the older Sidi Ergo, the Wire upper feels more supple. With the Ergo, I generally adjusted the shoe before I mounted the bike and then adjusted once more after a couple hours. I find that I have to adjust the Wire a lot more often because I don’t instinctively know how the shoe will feel later in the ride. The shoe is distinctly better vented than my previous Sidi shoes; in fact the venting in the tongue felt a little weird at first since I’ve never had a shoe that cooled that area well. In time the fit of the shoe has become more familiar, but I will always be disappointed in the ergonomics of the Tecno3 ratchet. The buckle has a grab lever that flips up to allow you to turn the piece, but the tab to flip the grab is small enough to befuddle cold or gloved fingers. Usually I have to visually confirm the position of the buckle before I reach for it, because I cannot figure it out by touch alone. And staring at my shoes is not what I want to do in a pack of riders at full gallop.
A more subtle Sidi innovation is the Heel Security System (HSS), first debuted in the Sidi Ergo. Fitted to the back of the shoe right above the moulded heel cup, the HSS snugs the shoe around the knob of the heel without putting pressure on the Achilles. Newer versions of the HSS like on the Wire are adjustable (not while riding). Personally, I really appreciate how much this bit enhances the fit of the shoe, but I could hypothesize that someone with a different foot might not find this particularly advantageous.
The full-carbon Vent sole is more than adequately stiff, and again the vents are actually functional. However, the close-able toe vent interfered with mounting the Speedplay cleat, so I removed the portion of the vent that slides to close the opening. The cleat itself blocks a bit of the vent but not all. This is probably would not be an issue if my shoe were bigger than the hobbit-like size 39. Of course, I could have gotten the SP sole, but that wasn’t available in my size for the Team Cannondale edition. Also, the SP sole is a bit thinner than the Vent for total cleat/shoe stack, which would mean I would have to adjust my saddle height depending on which shoe I was going to use. Since half my road bikes have integrated seatposts, adjusting saddle heights is far from my favourite pre-ride ritual.
Compared to my old Energy shoe, the Wire Cannondale Team Edition is lighter (261gr/shoe vs Energy’s 282gr/shoe, size 39), but not nearly enough to put the Wire into the ultralight category. At $550 for the limited edition ($500 for the regular edition), the Wire is no bargain either. There are plenty of other shoes out there that can simply connect your foot to a pedal. If you’ve never liked the fit of Sidis, don’t even look here. If you calculate a shoe as an equation of dollars versus grams, your solution won’t be Wire. If you are buying a Sidi, particularly a flagship model, you are going for fit, quality/durability, and style. And if you buy the Cannondale Team version, make sure you like the colour green, because you’re gonna have that shoe for a very long time.
Some people can wear just about any shoe, cycling-specific or otherwise. They can use price, style, colour, or even weight as the top of considerations when shopping for a new shoe. And then there are other people for whom fit is the dominant factor in a shoe buying decision. And while no single model of shoe can fit all foot shapes, some seem to fit a wider variety than others. For me and many others, Sidi is the gold standard for cycling shoes. They are expensive but durable. They are well-made but somewhat heavy. They are consistent in fit and quality but perhaps a bit slow to incorporate new trends. And having established those traits as consistent, riders are willing to come back to Sidi whenever need or want leads them to a new cycling shoe purchase.