Hotspur and Bikehugger
by Mark V on Feb 10, 2008 at 10:22 AM
Though Davidson Bicycles’ new Hotspur frame precipitated from Bill Davidson’s ideas on what a high performance bicycle should be, Bike Hugger provided the impetus to bring the idea to reality. Bike Hugger had previously worked with Bill on the Modal concept bike, based on some of my ideas about travel bikes. Setting aside the Modal’s unique features, Bill used Byron’s off-the-shelf race bike as starting point for the Modal’s geometry and then tweaked the geometry to improve the fit. Then a funny thing happened when Byron actually got to ride the bike. The Modal turned out to fit and perform better than Byron’s regular race bike.
Which begged the question: what would happen if Bill built Byron a bike designed for performance? This gave Bill the perfect opportunity to pull out some tricks that he’d been waiting to use … some subtle refinements on the titanium materials.
New chainstays, new top and down tubes, and different machining for the head tube stock. Above all, Bill wanted to build a new bike, but still offer customers a custom fit, durability, high performance, and a reasonable delivery time. The idea had been simmering for some time, but he doesn’t believe anyone should have to wait more than a couple months for a custom bike.
For the Hotspur Byron wanted a bike optimized for the type of racing he does most often, criteriums and rolling road races. Something along the lines of what the Dutch call a kermesse bike. A bike like that is typically a bit more relaxed than what would be considered an America-style criterium bike; a little more stability makes for surer footing on circuit races on poor or cobbled roads. Also, the kermesse bike is better for all-day training rides. This isn’t really a bike designed for Le Tour’s high mountain stages; it’s a bike designed for the roads we really ride.
@ the NAHBS
by Byron on Feb 09, 2008 at 7:31 AM
[UPDATE - from Andrew: PHOTOS!]
I just missed Lance at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show on the first day, but got some photos, video for our Huggacast, and checked the Hotspur.
Andrew is covering the show today and more posts are coming.
Bilenky Cargo Bike
by Jason Swihart on Feb 09, 2008 at 6:20 AM
Cycle Monkey’s Bilenky Cargo Bike at the Handmade Bike Show … from the Bike Hugger Photostream.
Davidson Hotspur Debut
by Mark V on Feb 08, 2008 at 9:20 AM
Today in Portland, Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles debuts the Hotspur frameset. In an age of single-season-use carbon frames built built for some Pro Tour rider and amongst the surge in intricately crafted, lugged steel, Bill Davidson makes his own statement: a bike is a rider’s tool that should acknowledge age-old lessons while not ignoring new technology.
The Hotspur is simply a bike designed to allow the owner to maximize his potential as a rider and to give an excellent service life. Though well established as a steel frame builder, Bill made the jump to include in-house titanium fabrication about a decade ago because he recognized the metal’s excellent qualities. Since then he’s kept an eye on carbon fibre, but to him it just hasn’t offered the durability and design flexibility of titanium. With the Hotspur, Bill has combined newly available titanium tube options and the best of the carbon fibre seat stays.
More on the Hotspur’s materials and design in later posts…
Brakes on a Keirin Bike
by Mark V on Feb 07, 2008 at 8:31 AM
Five years ago few people knew the difference between Kirin and keirin. But the traditional, steel track bikes used in the Japanese professional racing circuit have become highly desirable. Rather than comment on the irony of the Japan’s handbuilt bike renaissance following the collapse of its large scale manufacturing and exports due to the so-called “yen shock” of the late Eighties and increasing costs of labour, I thought I’d stir up the brake/no-brake argument about riding those treasured track bikes on the road.
Who would put brakes on their keirin bike?….Professional keirin riders.
Why would they? Because they go too fast when they train on the road (if they need to train on the road, since the velodromes there are open all year). No matter what, riding with brakes gives you more options for stopping, and you can stop in a shorter distance in more conditions than just using your legs to halt the fixed gear.
Those pro keirin riders get paid pretty well, and they frequently race into their later thirties. Though crashes are frequent in actual racing, that’s just part of the job. Getting injured because of a crash on the road doesn’t pay the bills.
A lot of keirin builders also make “training” bikes: fixed gear bikes that are designed to accept brakes front and rear, sometimes with provision for fenders. These bikes do not meet regulations for the keirin circuit, but they are meant to give keirin riders an affordable and suitable training tool for the road.
If you really wanted to ride the certified keirin bike on the road with brakes, you could get something like this precision product made in Japan (photos courtesy of famed keirin rider Koh Annoura). The special mounts allow you to temporarily mount regular road brakes to the bike without altering the bike or even damaging the paint. Cheaper (and kinda cheesy) versions have been available for years in Japan, and I believe Soma will be debuting in this country something in between the two.
Orange Bikes Arrested!
by Jason Swihart on Feb 07, 2008 at 6:22 AM
Captions? Here’s mine
“Fashion Police impound all orange bikes!”
Uploaded to Flickr by fixedgear.
More from the Bike Hugger Photostream.
Electric Bike Reviews
by Byron on Feb 07, 2008 at 5:40 AM
A reader wrote
Does bike hugger have any reviews or suggestions for an electric bike I could use for my work commute. Thanks.
Bettie is an electric hybrid and we’re certainly down with any form of urban transportation that isn’t a one-person SUV, but we haven’t specifically reviewed an electric bike. We have posted
maybe our readers have some tips?
RideCivil Feb08— 2/15/08, 5:30, Westlake
by Dave R. on Feb 06, 2008 at 9:46 PM
Well, RideCivil’s taken a bit of a winter break but it’s time to get back in the saddle and ride. Come join us for a civilized ride through downtown, emphasizing the integration of cyclists, civilians and car drivers on our road ways. Route is TBD on departure, but we’ll probably ride for around an hour at a social pace through our fair city. Generally those who show make the ride their own, but the spirit of the ride is light, fun, and cooperative. Hoping to see you there!
Bike Hugger Beer & BBQ @ SXSW
by Byron on Feb 06, 2008 at 6:00 AM
Bike Hugger is hosting a bike community event at SXSW this year with rides, a barbecue, and all-around fun times. Of course, you’re all invited!
Besides the free beer, free food, and cool scwhag (yes, the BBQ is free!), you can also discuss the web with members of WaSP, hang out with dudes like Hugh Forrest, and meet the internet famous.
The BBQ is open to all Interactive, Gold and Platinum badgeholder and Bike Hugger guests. To get on the guest list, sign up on Upcoming.
Check below for the ride details and back here for updates.
Don’t know what SXSW is; well, it’s where the various music, film, interactive industries converge and we’re bringing a bike hugga flava to it.
Beer & BBQ
Bike Hugger Beer & BBQ on Upcoming
Saturday, March 8
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Brush Square Park, North Tent (across from the Austin Convention Center)
It’s pedals not panels and bike culture blogged. Free beer! Free Food! Cool Schwag! Bonus browser debate with WaSP!
Open to all Interactive, Gold and Platinum SXSW badge holders, and our invited guests.
First round of beers is dedicated to Sheldon Brown.
The BBQ and Urban Ride sponsors include
Saturday morning, we’ll join a local ride, and get back in time for the Urban Ride.
Meet at the Susanna Dickinson House – map – North end of Brush Square Park, at the corner of 5th and Trinity Street.
Saturday, March 8
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
After meeting, we’ll ride to the REI Austin Store (get some schwag!), then to the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art for a tour, and back to the park.
Join the Urban Ride on Upcoming. Note that the REI Schwag and Museum passes are limited to the first 20 SXSW badgeholders.
Yellow Bikes & Rentals
Austin Yellow Bike Project is bringing 4 bikes to the ride and BBQ. You can grab one of those to ride or rent a bike from Bicycle Sport Shop. Please bring your helmets.
If it rains, we don’t expect many Austin cyclists to show and will just meet at the BBQ. We’ll ride regardless cause we ride in the rain all the time.
All over Austin
Ride all over Austin, as a bike hugga would do
- Out for coffee
- Around town
- Commuter challenges!
Austin Cycling Links
Green Lanes and the Right Hook in Seattle
by Dave R. on Feb 05, 2008 at 6:32 AM
The Seattle Times had a big article on bike safety and infrastructure yesterday. The focus was mostly on the danger cyclists face from traffic turning right at intersections – see collisions #3, #4, and #5 at BicycleSafe.com for drawings. This is the danger that killed Bryce Lewis in September last year. It looks like the city’s taking a few experimental steps to deal with these types of issues, including some Green Lanes, known as Blue Lanes in other civilized portions of the world, at a few intersections. Great news says I, but why so slow?
According to the Times we’ll be getting 4 Green Lanes to go with the dotted line bike lane markers on Stone Way:
The sites are southbound Dexter at Denny Way, both ends of the Fremont Bridge, and North 145th Street where Shoreline’s new Interurban Trail meets the city limits.
Presumably the city will be monitoring these intersections to see how much of an improvement (if any) the new lanes are. The article notes that Portland, which has been using blue lanes for more than 15 years, noted that the lanes have changed motorist and cyclist behaviour but not always for the better.
City officials videotaped traffic and found that motorists yielded far more often to bikes in marked blue lanes – and that cyclists glanced at cars less often, a problem. Still, drivers and cyclists said the streets seemed safer.
I’ll be interested to see the results of the investigation, and it sounds like the Eastlake and Furhman intersection is next on the list for improvements.
It’s great to see that the City’s taking action here, however embarrassing it is that we’re more than a decade behind our sister city to the south on this front. The optimist in me wants to believe this is the first of many improvements from the Bicycle Master Plan, and that things will move along quickly. But for the pessimist in me, the word that stood out most strongly in the times article is ‘gingerly’. I can appreciate a a prudent approach, especially where one risks making things worse through change. I’m not sure Seattle runs that risk.
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