Batavus Lightning

5

by Byron on Oct 24, 2007 at 6:23 AM

Simple, sturdy, Dutch. The Batavus Lightning is a urban, city bike. It’s equipped with Nexus 7 and roller brakes, which means clean lines and just a few cables.

It’s modern looking and focused on form and function. With the big Schwable tires, powder-coated 7005 aluminum frame, and heft, the Lightning rides very solid, with sure steering, and comfort. The flat bar and adjustable stem are for an upright position. I was able to climb hills with the gearing and straight up, really dug this bike. There was plenty of tire clearance for fenders.

batavus_midnight.jpg

With the dropouts, sliders and 130 spacing, I think you could run a fixed or single-speed as well. It’s a very understated bike and where an old-school bike industry dude would comment that it’s just another aluminum, flat-bar city bike, with 700c, and big tires; another would note that it’s got Dutch style and Nexus! One thing I did wonder is why there’s no bottle cage mounts? Well that’s because the Dutch are minimalists.

The Batavus Lighting rides well on paths and in the city.

Notes

  • MSRP is $999.99 and it’s shipping now to your local Independent Bike Dealer.
  • Roller brakes are nice, but don’t brake like DA.
  • Batavus’ website is not easy to navigate. I was unable to find this bike there, but your local dealer should get more details from SBS.

Update

The name of the bike was corrected to Lightning.

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Bag mount for Dinotte tail light

3

by Dave R. on Oct 23, 2007 at 10:14 PM

dinotte I just picked up a Dinotte tail light. A real review of the light is coming later after I get a chance to try it out. Mounting the light has been a challenge for many the simple O-ring system included works great for front lights, not so great for tail lights. Dinotte’s released an updated frame mount recently, but I’d rather have the light on my excellent Alchemy Goods messenger bag since I frequently switch bikes but always bring my bag.

Here’s a mounting option I made for the bag, out of $4 of pvc pipe. It tucks into the external side pockets on the messenger bag. The mount let’s me adjust the aim of the light both left/right and up down.

The AG Messenger bag has two external pockets on the sides of the bag. I usually use the pockets for my saddle cover. Since the pockets are made of inner tubes (like the rest of the bag) they are pretty grippy and stretchy.

My mount consists of a 3/4inch PVC ‘T’, 3 matching elbow fittings and a slip-fit bushing. Two elbows go on to the ‘cross’ edge of the T, and are adjusted so the elbows follow the same plane as the T fitting. The 3rd elbow points outward, and provides a mounting spot for one end of the Dinotte O-ring. The elbows aren’t quite long enough to reliably fit both sides of the O-ring, so I picked up a bushing as well, which I fit in to the elbow leaving just enough of a seam to allow the other side of the O-ring to slip into.

To aim the light right or left, I can just turn the 3rd elbow in the direction I want. Aiming the light up or down is done by rotating the light engine and O-ring on the elbow/bushing joint. The aiming feature is important since the bag could fall on various parts of my back and point in various directions depending on the contents or day.

The battery pack fits perfectly inside the legs of the mount. The mount fits into the external pockets with a bit of work, which is also great. The small amount of stretch I get on fitting the mount in the pocket ensures the whole apparatus stays put. More Pics here.

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Finger Bikes, Action Figures, and More

2

by Byron on Oct 23, 2007 at 6:28 AM

finger_bikes.jpg During a recent visit to Seattle Bike Supply for a product line review – Batavus, Lapierre, Redline, and more – we got to talking about the bike industry, history, stories, and Chuck Hooper, SBS President, told Tim Rutledge and me about the strangest prototype he ever approved.

Shown here, it was a finger bike with matching John Purse action figure head. Sales surprised all and remarkably, I remembered the ads for finger bikes.

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Orbea Lobular Pista

3

by Mark V on Oct 22, 2007 at 8:13 PM

orbea%20side%202.jpgOrbea doesn’t really advertise that they do full custom aluminium frames, but they do. I’m not talking about custom spec’ed kits; I’m talking frame geometry. And not just top tube length: full custom geometry!. They also make a track version of their sexy Lobular aluminium road frame. Put the two together and you get HOT HOT HOT.

Check this bike.

I was gonna get the Easton wheels, but they are now pushed back to January. And I already had these Corima wheels.

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p> orbea%20side.jpg

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p> virtual size 48cm

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p> seat tube actual: 39cm c-t, 35cm c-c

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p> seat angle 75.5 degrees

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p> head angle 73.75degrees

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p> effective top tube: 52cm

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p> chainstay: 38.5cm

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p> bb drop: 4.8cm

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p> frame/fork/headset: 1602gr (real)

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Frame is Orbea/Dedacciai aluminium, and the fork is Zeus FCM full carbon

Also: Fizik Arione k:1 carbon saddle, Easton EC90 Zero seatpost, Easton EA90 stem, Easton EC90 Track Ergo bar (carbon), Corima 4-spoke front and rear C+ carbon track disc with Conti Sprinter tubulars, DA crank, Sugino Zen ring, DA cog, Wipperman WeiSstern chain, Yoshida grips, Speedplay Zero stainless pedals.

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p> orbea%20seat%20stay.jpg

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p> Weight is about 14.5 lbs with Corima wheels, maybe less. It weighed 15.5 lbs on high-flange DA hubs on clinchers with a front brake.

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p> orbea%20downtube.jpg

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Taipei Bikes Work

6

by Jason Swihart on Oct 22, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Last Friday in Taipei, I went for a second ride with Dahon to test ride some prototypes and hang out. On the way, Josh Hon and I riffed about how we ride in the U.S. all decked out in Spandex, cleats, and helmets, whereas in lots of other places in the world, bikes are just normal part of life, no fuss required.

Apropos that conversation, in Taipei I saw people moving themselves on bikes, but I also saw a ton of people using bikes for work–such as this ancient woman grunting a load of who-knows-what to who-knows-where. These three wheelers were everywhere–some heavily modified with gas-powered motors and low gearing. But only this one was moving slowly enough for me to get a photo–whatever she was hauling must have weighed a ton.

Photo: Grunt, originally uploaded by mobil’homme.

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2 Mile Challenge in Davis

0

by Byron on Oct 22, 2007 at 8:15 AM

Sue, in charge of the Hugga Hookups, had a chat with the 2 Mile Challenge bus boss and got the down low from a recent stop in Davis, CA. There’s also lots of photos of the Davis stop and more on Flickr.

Video available on our Huggacast.

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Team Bike Hugger on the Cross Circuit

3

by andrew_f_martin on Oct 22, 2007 at 6:18 AM

Racing Cross I finally got my single speed cross bike setup. Saturday was a shakedown ride, and today was the Redline Cup at the Kelly Creek Cross Race. I’ll spare you the details of the race, but will tell you that hanging out with a bunch of ‘crossers is a great way to spend a Sunday. The atmosphere at a cross race is like a party with people bundled up for the fall weather, tipping back some beers, snacking on bbq, ringing the cowbells and yelling for all they are worth. That, and it’s a GREAT way to have a go at racing. It’s a no-pressure environment, most any bike is welcome, and you can get a 1-day license for $10. Interested? - post a comment with questions and we’ll do what we can to make sure you have what you need to get started.

looping coursesThe courses typically loop back on themselves and offer many good vantage points for spectators. Vendors join the fray to offer all sorts of goodies and raise money for a number of causes. Today’s race was to benefit a local Bonney Lake Food Bank. One of the cool aspects of the race is that people tend to “adopt” riders during the race. A couple nice folks at the top of the run-up were vocal BikeHugger fans by the end of lap 3. The kit gets noticed as I got a number of comments after the race. One guy even came up to me to ask if “are you the guy that raced with Cipo?” - YEAH!

Demonstrating my somewhat fluid dismounts:Racing Cross

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How Clif Bar Rolls

0

by Byron on Oct 21, 2007 at 1:29 PM

In Huggacast Episode Eleven, we go inside the Clif Bar biodiesel bus before it departed on the 2 Mile Challenge tour. Clif Bar’s 2MC is educating the masses to the benefits (personal and for the planet) of urban cycling. Clif Bar found that 40% of urban travel is 2 miles or less and the magic bus demonstrates how easy it is to ride to work, school, or the store – all within 2 miles.

Bike Hugger is working with Clif Bar to blog from the various cities the 2MC visits.

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Cyclists safer in numbers?

4

by Dave R. on Oct 20, 2007 at 9:45 AM

Biciclette fumettose

The New York Times Freakonomics folks had an interesting run down of studies on cycling safety a couple of days ago, under the title Will Bicycling to Work Get You Killed?. Timely considering another recent fatality here on the West Coast.

The intuitive answer is that the more riders there are, the higher the chances of a fatality. The article sites a counter-intuitive result from the Safety in Numbers study (Full text): “An individual’s risk while [cycling] in a community with twice as much [cycling] will reduce to 66%”.

Weirdly, the Freakonomics article morphs this study (and a few other links) into a discussion of cyclists obeying traffic laws and helmets. The cited study actually draws a very different conclusion: more pedestrians or cyclists cause motorists to behave differently.

It seems unlikely that people walking or bicycling obey traffic laws more or defer to motorists more in societies or time periods with greater walking and bicycling. Indeed it seems less likely, and hence unable to explain the observed results. Adaptation in motorist behavior seems more plausible and other discussions support that view.

The Pucher study noted in the Freakonomics article looks into the methods used in the Netherlands and Germany to improve cycling safety. Almost all of the methods noted improve infrastructure or law enforcement:

  • Better Facilities for Walking and Cycling
  • Traffic Calming of Residential Neighborhoods
  • Urban Design Oriented to People and Not Cars
  • Restrictions on Motor Vehicle Use
  • Traffic Education
  • Traffic Regulations and Enforcement

Maybe I missed it, but I really didn’t see much information in the cited articles about how helmets or cyclist behavior was involved in improving safety. I’m all for education and safety equipment, but I’m always amazed at how the media discussion tends towards pushing responsibility for safety away from infrastructure and motorists.

The only mention of modifying cyclist behavior in the studies is Pucher’s note about traffic education for motorists and non-motorists. In addition to encouraging motorists to be aware of non-motorists, children overseas are routinely educated in defensive behavior when dealing with traffic. Genius, I say.

The Jacobsen and Pucher studies were published about the same time, so it’s easy to see how they failed to influence each other. From my point of view, Pucher et al could have added another item to their list: More cyclists in the Netherlands and Germany made all those cyclists safer.

The other cool thing here? Getting your spouse, friend, or evil arch enemy to ride makes you both safer. All the more reason to get everybody out riding. Bring on the bike busses!

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