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.
Having spent my lunch reading over the spew that is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer comments board, I’d ask that the hugger readers take at least a few of these car-focused comments to heart. Let’s not blow red lights. Let’s at least make an effort to stop at stop signs. Let’s be safe when/if riding on the sidewalk. There are a lot of people working very hard to improve the position of the cyclist in the roads, so please make their job easier by following the rules - even just a little bit.
There is interesting article in the New York Times today, all about Portland. The article covers some of the well known cycle-friendliness of the city itself, but really centers in more on the 125 cycle related business the city sustains.
Watch your backs and memorize license plates, Seattle area cyclists. Thursday November 1st Peter McKay suffered a punctured lung after being shot from a moving car. The police speculate the weapon was a .22 hand gun loaded with b-bs. Check out the comments on Peter’s blog to see the outpouring of support form the commuter and Randonneur community.
Earlier in the week police were called to the scene of a road rage incident. A SUV driver tried to hit a cyclist or run him off the road, apparently following him from the Freemont Bridge to Stone Way. Police were called when the driver pulled his car sharply into the bike lane, causing the cyclist to reach out and hit the car’s window.
Update: The PI’s chimed in with an article about tensions between cyclist and cars, specifically citing these two cases. As always, the ‘sound off’ section proves educational about just what people think about cyclists.
I’d imagine most of these incidents go unreported and un-responded to. So Huggers, have you had experiences like these recently? What would you do to reduce tensions between motorists and cyclists?