Byron will tell you that I NEED to have matched wheels. It’s a bit of an obsession, but I can’t help it. Anyway - I’ve been shopping for a good internal geared hub to run on my SS Cross bike. I’ve got black hubs - so I need black Internal gear setup. The only one I know of is the much sought-after, but non-US available Shimano Alfine group. I’ve found the disc compliant model (I don’t need disc) in some obscure German site - Alfine Hub in Black. With the weak dollar and that fact that my German sucks if something were to go wrong with the order - is it worth it? Anybody else got a lead?
Spatial relationships and analysis are important when packing a travel bike (at least to me they are). Where Pam spent about a 1/2 hour packing her bike, I spent about 2.5 hours making sure everything lined up, the space was used to its potential, and the package would arrive safe and intact.
Both bikes did arrived safely and with no damage. However my packed items shifted all over the place and Pam’s was in pristine condition. I’m now deconstructing what possibly went wrong with my pack and she’ll just pack like whatever next time. I explained to Pam that it was a guy thing to do the perfect pack and I had to get it right.
Notes on the packing
No worries with titanium and no paint
TSA did not open either case
That’s coffee in the upper right corner and Senor Muggy in the bottom right
There’s only one way to pack the Modal because of the extra wide chainstays that accommodate the dropouts
Scratches are part of it. I think of them now as a patina.
I think my pack went wrong because I put too much stuff in there. I was trying to get it right to 50 pounds with my clothes, shoes, and schwag we got from the event we attended.
The netting serves no purpose other than to thwart the TSA from poking around in the case. The thinking is that they’ll just glance at it, if at all, and move on to the next piece of luggage. It seems to have worked.
The 12” edge-pull case is well made, tough, and durable. For short trips across an airport, it’s ok, but the weight at that angle on your skinny-cyclists arms can get very tedious for a longer haul across terminals. I’d like to have a 4-caster option with a pull tether so I could pull it around an airport on the casters instead of dragging it behind me or pushing it. The Dahon Airporter case has the same problem with 2 rollerblade wheels.
One caution: the caster fits right into the gap between the elevator car and the floor at Seatac. I pulled the case towards me sideways out of the elevator, the caster was trapped in that space, and nearly ripped right out of the case.
I caught it in time and it now has a nice travel bend to it. I decided a slightly bent caster was like a nice scratch. It all adds to the travel patina noted above.
Some of the worlds finest bicycles are built in Oregon and they’re on display this weekend at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Check their blog for the details. The Modal, our latest project, was handmade right here in Seattle. Builders attending the show include
Having worked on bikes for years, I am used to handling tools. I always find those 50-something-function folding multi-tools to be disappointing, having a lot features that are just not practical to use. Give me something simple, but beautifully made. I have a 3-piece set of headset/BB/pedal wrenches made by Shimano that surpass even Campagnolo. However, the set is just about obsolete when dealing with today’s bikes. But I just got the coolest tool out there.
It’s called the Pro Tool Super and it’s marketed in the United States by Euro-Asia Imports. But the back story is that it was originally marketed in Japan years ago by legendary keirin builder San Rensho. Nowadays, it’s made by their successor Makino.
What’s so great about it? It’s a track bike specific tool that tightens 15mm axle-fixing nuts, removes/install track hub lockrings AND cogs, as well as adjust MKS-style axle tugs. The coolest part is the cog removal without a chain whip. The lockring end has a slot that allows you to hook it over the teeth of the cog, though you are limited to cogs about 14-16 tooth. The Pro Tool Super is solid chunk of chromed steel satisfaction. It is the track racers dream, eliminating all other tools from the racer’s kit other than a couple odd Allen wrenches. But at nearly $150, it also be a source of concern. While I’m circling the banking, I hope that no one forgets to put my Pro Tool Super back in my kit if they borrow it.
Not exactly comprehensive coverage, but Dan’s site is great for its video driven take on cycling culture. For example check out his next post on the badass challenge results – winner gets a purse (literally) for riding out to the races, racing, and riding back home. Give Dan’s site a good once over, there’s some great stuff there.
We asked Tom a daily commuter and reader to ride the Intermezzo and blog about it for us. Below is his review.
How to get more people using bikes for transportation? Convenience.
And what could be more convenient than a Dutch designed city style
bike? I reached a stopping point in my work and decided to take the
Intermezzo out for a spin. Let’s see: I’ll need to put on some shorts
and a cycling jersey and change into my cycling shoes. Wait, this
isn’t that kind of bike. It’s a come-as-you-are kind of bike. OK. So
out to the garage, grab a Velcro band to keep my pants cuff out of the
chain. Hey, look at that: full chain guard. So all I need to grab is a
U-lock and my keys. What’s that? Built in lock? And the key is captive
until you lock it? So all I need is my helmet (yes, it’s the law
Down the big hill to the beach. Yikes! I hope the roller brakes hold.
At the bottom of the hill I need to cross a busy boulevard and I’m in
the wrong gear. Ah, no problem for the NuVinci. At the park I stop to
show the Intermezzo to a few friends. Check that out one says; it’s
even got a Batavus branded tire pump. Good thing too as the valve
stems are like nothing I ever seen before. They are not presta and
they’re not schrader. Maybe it’s some new European standard that has
yet to make it big here. How about this: you can adjust the handle bar
and headset angle without tools. There is simple cam release on the
headset. Think “tilt-steering”. I’m not sure it was such a good idea
to try this out while I was riding.
I took a ride along the sea wall as the sun was setting. The hub
dynamo powered headlight came on automatically as the daylight faded.
Interestingly it shut off as soon as I came to a stop. Isn’t there
supposed to be some sort of capacitor that keeps it lit when I stop at
Heading home meant going back up the big hill. Twist the shifter to
drop down to the lowest range. Wow, more than a full turn to go from
highest to lowest range. That’s nice when I want to fine tune it to
find just the right ratio. When I need to down shift for a hill climb
it’s kind of annoying. As for that low range: it worked just fine for
the climb up the short ramp from the sea wall to the street. For
climbing the big hill it just wasn’t low enough.
Summary: This bike is convenient; just jump on and go. This bike would
be great as a rental in a relatively flat seaside town. Here in hilly
Seattle I need lower gearing and more substantial brakes.
The Intermezzo is available from your local Independent Bike Dealer and the MSRP is $1699.00
Texas style bike lanes are featured in the fifteenth episode of the Huggacast. I think this is a token bike lane painted to get federal funding. It’s about 34 seconds long.
What’s the most ridiculous bike lane you’ve ridden?
Bike Hugger was in San Antonio test riding the Modal, a travel bike concept that folds and toggles between single, fixed, and geared modes. Besides this ridiculously short lane, San Antonio did have a good system of paths and roads on the Mission to Mission ride.
Google Videos ongoing sketchiness results in sometimes the 34 second bike lane is available and sometimes not. You can download and view it from directly from our servers.
This November, environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in as many as 65 countries will hit the streets for a 24-hour consumer fast in celebration of the 15th annual Buy Nothing Day, a global cultural phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada.
You can celebrate this “you weren’t born to shop” event in Seattle, on bikes of all types, by joining the Cargo BIke Ride on the 23rd at noon.
In a unanimous vote last night, the Seattle City Council adopted the Bike Master Plan. More over at Cascade:
Today is a milestone in the history of bicycling in Seattle. For three years, Cascade Bicycle Club has worked with the Seattle Department of Transportation, Toole Design Group, the Mayors Citizens Advisory Group, citizen organizations, and thousands of members of the community to craft an exceptional plan. With the passage of the Bicycle Master Plan, we believe we are well on our way to transforming bicycling in Seattle.