From Japan (Part 5): Team Pedal from Shimano

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by Mark V on Jun 08, 2007 at 5:19 PM

pedals%20team%20display.jpg So I found these Shimano R540 SPD-SL pedals in a bike shop called Narushima Friends in a neighborhood of Tokyo.

Notice the team colours that are not currently available in the states. I saw Milram, Gerolsteiner, Rabobank, T-Mobile…hmmmm, I forget the others….whatever. The pedals are also cheaper here than stateside.

They shop was pretty well stocked with clothing and hot bikes (carbon Merckx, Pinarello Dogma). I was especially happy because they had a lot of Assos clothing in size small. That meant I could try it on to confirm that “Assos size small” was still smaller than other brands. Now when I go home, I can confidently buy Assos for myself through my shop. That’s right…there’s a reason I work in a bike shop: to support my addiction. Mark needs new cycling duds, and Mark is a little dude.

No, Byron, you can’t get the bro deal on Assos. It’s all about me. pedals%20milram.jpg

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Goodbye Hed Alps

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by Byron on Jun 08, 2007 at 3:31 PM

alps.jpg I was clicking around Hed Cycling’s site, checking on ceramic upgrades, what teams they’re outfitting for the tour, that sort of thing, and noticed the “it’s not you, it’s me” letter to the Hed Alps

“You don’t know how hard it is for me to say this, but I think it is time for us to break up. We had some great times I’ll never be able to forget your light weight and durability, and you are still super fast. You were an awesome ride but things have gotten stale. It’s not you, it’s me. “

The Hed Alps have been replaced by the Jets (were the Alps like a starter wife?), an excellent wheelset that I’ve been racing on this year and have reviewed on Bike Hugger a few times. In most every race I’m in, I see a set of Alps, usually with the decals worn off, and looking a bit worse for wear, but still rolling and racing. My first Hed wheelset was the Alps and I sold them on Craigslist earlier this year. The dude that bought them was thrilled, happy, and amazed that he found a pair on Craigslist. Here’s to you Alps … goodbye.

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Bike Hugger come good

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by andrew_f_martin on Jun 08, 2007 at 9:56 AM

I posted last winter about “ What’s best” - some blather about passing cars while commuting to work. I was wrong. It’s been a full week and I’m still on a mini-high about what’s REALLY the best: winning my first Cat Pro/1/2 race. 5 years as a Cat2 with sparse results, but never a win. It’s been season after season of training - mostly by riding the 20 miles to and from work. Finally!

Too bad I didn’t zip the jersey. Thanks to Amara at wheelsinfocus for capturing the moment.

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Team Bike Hugger Report

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by Gina Kavesh on Jun 08, 2007 at 7:26 AM

note: Gina directs the Wines of Washington women’s team, organizes them into Bike Hugger- sponsored composites for the big National Calendar races, and has been racing in the Northwest for as long as anyone can remember. We asked Gina to report on the team’s progress and what’s next on the calendar — Byron

Whew — Mt Hood Cycling Classic is done. What a relief which is sort of hysterical when you realize I was sitting in my office every day while the rest of the Bike Hugger gals were out there baking their brains. Sitting in ones office knowing everyone else is racing is actually harder than you think it should be. Fortunately for me cell phone coverage was decent & I got semi regular road race updates from Eric when he wasn’t too busy coaxing the gals to work, catch on, to sit in & everything else that goes on in the team vehicle.

For those who haven’t looked the Wines of Washington/Team Bike Hugger gals held their own just fine and dandy against some stiff competition. Our results

  • 7th Overall in GC
  • 13th Overall in GC
  • 2nd Team Overall GC
  • 2nd & 8th Place Stage 1
  • 7th & 11th Stage 4
  • 10th Stage 5

Really — those aren’t shabby numbers when you realize everyone on this team is working full time and has a full family life. It’s pretty darn impressive to see local Washington and Oregon riders going head to head with a number of the National Big girls and see them do just fine.

So what’s next — well Nature Valley Grand Prix is next on the docket. This time the kits we’re wearing will be the familiar colors of Team Group Health of Seattle fame. For those who aren’t familiar with Team Group Health aka Sound Velo it’s a women’s only team in the Seattle area. They’ve been instrumental to the growth of women’s racing in the Pacific Northwest and have developed many riders of which 3 will be racing NVGP along with some of us semi-regular bike hugger gals. It’s truly a great partnership and great opportunity that Team Group Health has offered to us. Better yet I finally get to come out of my office and actually race versus coordinating race funding, mechanics and assorted sundry stuff that goes into getting a team to a bike race. Whew — racing my bike at NVGP almost sounds like a vacation versus what I’ve been doing while the gals have been racing.

I will be blogging on the team blog so stay tuned. Racing begins June 20th with a prologue crit. Not sure what a prologue crit feels like but my guess is 150 gals who are primed for a 5 day stage race will make it one heck of a fast crit.

After that we’ll be at Cascade (no I won’t be there, I avoid any race that has minimal oxygen in the air aka above 3,000 feet). From there — hopefully Tour De Toona the big momma of all women’s racing in the country. Toona is the only stage race where the women’s race is the premier event and the women race the exact same distance as the men do. It’s by far the hardest race I’ve ever done, but for some insane reason I hope to get back this year to settle up a score with a couple hills that really hurt last year.

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Elect bike-friendly candidates

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by Byron on Jun 08, 2007 at 7:07 AM

On Tuesday June 26th from 5:30 - 7:30 PM, join The CBC Action Fund (an affiliate of the Cascade Bicycle Club) Senate Transportation Chair Ed Murray (invited), Council Transportation Chair Jan Drago, and Councilmember Richard Conlin for a happy hour and fundraiser at the Pike Brewery and Pub.

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From Japan (Part 4): Mini mini in Roppongi

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by Mark V on Jun 07, 2007 at 4:33 PM

mini%20mini%20blue.jpg

This is a”mini velo” type bike I saw in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. In Japan, Mini velo bikes include anything with small wheels, including Moultons, Bike Fridays, and a whole host of Japan only bikes, but not exclusively folding bikes.

Just a few more days till my homeboy and me jump a bullet train for Kyoto and attempt to ride back through the mountains of central Japan. Currently enjoying not working in a bike shop.

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From Japan (Part 3): the Mini Velo

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by Mark V on Jun 07, 2007 at 7:20 AM

japan%20mini%20velo.jpg

So my group was walking the streets of Tokyo after finding the Tsukumo Cycle Sports bike shop, home of Kalavinka Cycles. Kalavinka bikes are known as top notch keirin bikes.

Anyways, we were walking along when I saw a Bianchi Mini Velo 9. The Japanese have this thing for bikes with really tiny wheels, but there is a subgenre of bikes that look like regular road racing bikes but have 20-inch wheels.

Here’s an example I found. It’s an aluminium frame about 52-54cm size, with downtube shifters. Looks like fun, but I’ve never ridden one.

Though I could have easily ridden this one. Check out how the only thing keeping this bike from being lifted is the feeble lock around THE BRAKE HOUSING. Bike theft isn’t the problem it is in other countries, apparently

japan%20mini%20velo%20lock.jpg

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In the Bike Shop: Trek’s Precision Fit Socket Technology

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by Byron on Jun 07, 2007 at 5:19 AM

Wanna get a bike shop mechanic to do a spit take, say, “hey the new Trek Madone has got precision fit socket technology!” Some may just spit their coffee right out their nose, laugh uproariously, shake their head, or remind you of that year the Madones used Klein’s bottom cup design on their forks and how that didn’t work.

Same thing when talking to a guy like Bill Davidson who can prove he’s seen it all before in the industry, by showing me a 1985 Magic Motorcycle external bearing bottom bracket design – referred to here in an FSA article from 2004. “But hey, you can just press those sockets in by hand, according to Zinn! “Righto!” according to the mechanics.

All for technology here at the bike hugger, we’re also skeptical of precision anything when it comes to headsets and bottom brackets. Well, at least the old-school mechanics we know are. Whom btw, also didn’t trust Mavic’s Heliums or the Krysiums, which revolutionized the built-wheel market.

A topic for another day is square v. compact frame design. As I said to our friends at Novara yesterday, “taking a 1/2 pound off a square bike would’ve been an even more impressive achievement.”

More on the new Madone

  • Cyclingnews just published an extensive review and photos
  • Zinn reviews Trek’s technology, including the “very unique 90mm bottom bracket shell” that has no cups or machining.
  • Our post
  • The bikes are showing up in dealerships right now
  • The damn derailleur hanger still isn’t replaceable!
  • We’re working on getting a bike to review

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Yuba Mundo Utility Bicycle

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by Byron on Jun 07, 2007 at 4:55 AM

yuba_mundo.gif Taking another tact on the utility bike is the Yuba Mundo. I hadn’t seen it before and was tipped by Ben Sarrazin who, according to his bio on Yuba’s site, worked for several years with Xtracycle. Props to the straightforward design, and for building a bike to, “to carry things, to ride anywhere.”

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Stupid and Amazing Videos

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by Byron on Jun 07, 2007 at 4:36 AM

Filed under Stupid is the back-to-back recumbent seen below. Contrast that with this “amazing” video of motorpacing at 110 mph and then back to stupid, we have the sideways bike. Then there’s the Cobra in Malorca, which is def amazing.

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