Tripping the DA Electric
by Byron on Mar 27, 2008 at 5:27 AM
Any mention of electric and drivetrains reminds me of the time I rode home from Seward Park with Joe Barrato. Joe’s a local racer, been around forever, and his Mavic Mektronic failed one night in the rain at Seward Park (the Seattle Thursday night crit). He was stuck in the 53 x 17, or maybe 19, all the way home and cursed it the entire time – every permutation of the various curse words was heard, including some entirely new ones. Out of sympathy, I climbed in the big ring with him and the Mavic Mektronic was never seen or heard from again. It became a don’t ask/don’t tell subject and he may have smashed it with a rock, buried it, or sold it on Ebay.
The ghosts of Mektronic past may not come to visit Shimano, there’s no doubt they’ve got the engineering staff, but skepticism remains until any shifting system survives a Seattle rainy season. And that’s not even considering the noise it makes when you’re riding with your brohams, the newsgroup supposition that electric shifting is a myth, or that it’s arrival may result in a factory-burning uprising from the commuter masses.
From Stumptown to Rwanda
by Byron on Mar 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM
There are so many different programs sending bikes to Africa, we could probably start a blog just to track all of them … today the News Tribune profiles Duane Sorenson, Stumptown Coffee, and Bikes to Rwanda.
Most of my employees are ex-bike messengers … talking with growers in Rwanda, I asked what their particular challenges are, Sorenson said. They said, ˜A bicycle would completely change my life.’
Stumptown is also involved in the racing scene, sponsoring teams, and races.
Sonoma Bike Launches
by Byron on Mar 26, 2008 at 4:41 AM
Dynacraft launches Sonoma Bike, exclusively online
… a new line of adult bicycles designed to offer today’s rider superior value and performance. With bikes designed for both serious riders and recreational
riders, Sonoma will debut with eight models for men and women ranging from
the Karma Beach Cruiser ($249) to the top of the line CN:7 full carbon
fiber road bike ($2,499) … Online sales are a core strategy for Dynacraft SRG. Based on the success we’ve had with selling some of our other models online, we’ve
decided to sell Sonoma exclusively through its own website
Is there finally a market for online bike sales? Many have tried and failed with various strategies – I met a fellow roadie who was riding an Airborne a couple weeks ago.
I’m thinking, probably and you can bet the purchasers will take those to their local IBD. Dynacraft SRG also markets Tony Hawk’s Huckjam Bikes.
From our YouTube Channel
by Byron on Mar 26, 2008 at 4:21 AM
This week on the Bike Hugger YouTube Channel, we’ve uploaded the rest of the Huggacasts and will upload new ones next week, live from Shanghai. More videos
The Dura-Ace DL
by Byron on Mar 25, 2008 at 1:17 PM
Heard the chatter, talk, rumors, and various discussions about 09 Dura-Ace? So have we and a reader just sent us a link to Roues Artisanales. A tech site that’s gathered all known DA data to date in once place. And, finally!, DA is routing cables along the bar and with hoods that are Campy style or SRAM style.
Favourite Handlebar Wrap
by Mark V on Mar 25, 2008 at 9:33 AM
I have this thing about wrapping handlebars…perhaps an obsession. When I was still a novice, I once took an hour wrapping and re-wrapping the same handlebar which led to another hour of lovers’ spat with my exasperated girlfriend. I have on occasion wrapped a bar with brand new tape, only to rip it off moments later after I decided it was “wrong for the bike.” I have also carefully transferred tape and re-applied it to three bikes over a period of two years. I have crashed on some tape repeatedly, bolstering it with electrical tape until the original wrap was barely visible. When I go to Japan, I stock up on coloured electrical tape because I think that Japanese electrical tape works best for finishing the terminal end of the handlebar wrap. One time, an ex-teammate drove an hour and half to have me work my handlebar wrap magic on his new bike.
At this point, I have a plethora of preferences for wrap.
My favourite wrap is Cinelli. The “cork” type, not the “gel.” With the exception of the Cinelli’s newly re-introduced “corky” wrap, the cork label is a little misleading, since there are but tiny bits of cork in the clearly foam-based tape. However, the “corky” wrap is almost entirely natural cork and makes your bar look like a wine cork.
Back to the regular Cinelli cork wrap: it’s been the standard since before I got into cycling. Its dense tapered foam has just the right amount of grip and cushion for me, and it’s adhesive backing means it’s much less likely to slide on the bar than the gel type. Cinelli changes the colour offerings from time to time. One of the new ones is the World Championship wrap kit with WC colours striped the whole length of the tape (seen here). Includes chromed end caps with the WC stripes again. Expect to pay about $30.
The only beef I have with Cinelli is that it’s not terribly durable. The Fizik microtex bar wrap makes a pretty good rainbike wrap. It’s a little thin on cushion, but it can be combined with Fizik’s excellent Bar Gel under-wrap padding. Fizik tends to retain its vivid colour even through a couple seasons of weather.
A lot of people love cloth wrap like Tressostar or Cateye, but I don’t really care for it except on mtb bar- ends. It’s grippy but lacks cushion utterly. I have never understood the appeal of Benotto wrap…if you are too recent to cycling to know what that is, just believe me when I say that sometimes progress is good.
What’s your favourite wrap?
Bikes and Africa
by Byron on Mar 25, 2008 at 7:51 AM
News from World Bicycle Relief and AfricaBike
We uploaded a photo of Calfee’s bamboo bike yesterday and it was featured in Velonews last month.
Bettie Big Dummy
by Byron on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:37 PM
That’s Bettie loaded up with a Big Dummy Frameset for transport to the bike shop – the light filtered in through the garage windows from a bright Spring day
Bringing Bettie Back
by Byron on Mar 24, 2008 at 7:30 AM
With Spring, warmer temperatures, and less rain, it’s time to bring Bettie back and we’re rev’ing her to 2.0. Just in time for the project, a Big Dummy was spotted in West Seattle.
I started thinking about an updated Bettie in this post and thought our readers probably have some thoughts on building another longtail, sport-utility, cargo bike. We’re building Bettie with a Big Dummy, transferring over most of the parts and the purpose of the project is to simplify it down – make Bettie easier to use, more friendly, and significantly less whippy.
How would you build up Bettie 2.0?
Photos and Linkage
by Byron on Mar 23, 2008 at 10:25 AM
Subscribers to our feed will notice we’re splicing in our photostream and del.icio.us bookmarks. That’s bonus hugganess and the del.icio.us bookmarks will contain more random bike-related links that we may not post direclty on, like this totally NSFW bitch-cruiser. Note that next week we’re in Shanghai and blogging it all up with lots of photos and links coming.
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