Vitesse Cycling Musette


by Byron on Jun 03, 2015 at 8:11 PM

A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on

A sucker for waxed canvas, like our tool roll, in burgundy. SF Bag’s musette has been around a shoulder on rides ever since it arrived for review a few weeks ago. What do I like the most about it? Just a simple musette to toss an iPad, wallet, battery, cord, and snack in for the commute or ride into town for a meeting. The Vitesse is made to order and costs $69.00

  • Waxed canvas - brown, burgundy, blue
  • Naturally-tanned grizzly leather tab closure with black screw stud
  • Nylon ajustable strap
  • Two internal pockets
  • Dimensions: 15.5” x 10.5” x 2~.5”
  • Weight: Standard-11.1oz. With flap-13.5 oz.

Mine was made with a flap. Find more photos of the Vitesse on our Instagram.

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Delft Bicycle Parking


by Byron on Jun 02, 2015 at 4:33 PM

Leave it to the Dutch to update a rail station to focus on bicycles.

At the Central Railway Station of Delft (Netherlands) there is room to park 5,000 bicycles in an underground bicycle parking facility.

More information in this blog post. As the video shows, the station features seamless entry from the local bike path, two-tier parking (loading a bike onto the top rack is not as tricky as some people make it), electronic signboards that let you know how many free spaces are in each row, train-ticket sales machines, and video monitors that display train departure times. Revolving doors lead you directly into the station, and an escalator takes you down to the platform with commuter trains leaving for the Hague and Rotterdam. There’s even a bike-maintenance shop on the premises, and a bike-share station for those who don’t have their own rides. Upstairs, you’ll find the bus station, and outdoor parking for an additional 3,700 bikes.

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Grand Fondo Leavenworth 15


by Byron on Jun 01, 2015 at 1:51 PM

not quite the top of the climb

The Swakane Canyon climb during the Grand Fondo Leavenworth was like my One-Eyed Willy on Sunday – gonna find a treasure at the end of it. I knew it and just kept pedaling. The rest of the Grand Fondo Leavenworth stories, the bikes, and set up will appear in Issue 25 of Bike Hugger Magazine later this month. In the Medium Bicycles Collection this morning, I wrote about going into save mode during the final ascent, and just before that thinking someone had stolen my car.

So what did I find? The change I was looking for and what the theme for Issue 24 is about. I also have Mark V to thank for the bike design, setup, and anti-cramping protocol to get through the ride. Here’s his bike


and the rear of mine…the XO derailer is paired to a SRAM Red 22 shifter for 11 speeds and an 11 x 36 spread. I used every inch of those gears too.


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Hodala Valhala


by Byron on May 30, 2015 at 3:46 PM

Hodala Valhalla

As seen at Safeway near the deli

At Safeway last night I found Hodala Valhala and it was like a good omen for our ride this weekend at the Grand Fondo Leavenworth, with reports to follow. For now see the article in issue 13 Mark wrote about GFL, (also in the Medium Bicycles Collection ) and how

Epic things can happen when you spastically grasp at the chance to do something different.

Doing things differently is why I’m there, it was time to mix my riding up, and change is what Issue 24 is about.

Back to that pile of bike/beer awesome, hope there’s one at a store near you too.

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Velo Angel Saddles


by Byron on May 29, 2015 at 10:42 AM

in the gully on the D-Plus

On the D-Plus in the gulley for a test ride.

Sit on enough saddles and you can tell, usually immediately, if it’s gonna work for you and the new Velo Angel sure did for me. Of course, your mileage will vary, but the Angel has features appealing to the Pacific Northwest cyclist, like the the padding system is built and attached to the shell: it’s totally enclosed and 100% waterproof. So no soggy leather or foam, no rotting padding and this is important because it rains where I ride.

Like a gallery piece

An understated company, but there’s a considerable amount of industry-leading industrial design in that saddle

The Angel also uses ArcTech, a unique rail mounting system to deliver comfort (flex absorbs bumps) while keeping weight down. Not content with a single color, Velo has applied “splashy graphics” to the saddle too and I’ve got the blue flavor.

Also, there’s a personal connection to Velo for me. Rode with Velo staffers once in Vegas, during our Mobile Social. For a company that’s been in business for 35 years and makes 15 million saddles a year, they were sure grounded in being about “the ride.”

On the wall

Wall art

The Angel line is available in four versions:

  • Angel Glide: Carbon rail; carbon base; 128mm width; 282mm length; 122g
  • Angel Dive: Titanium alloy rail; gel insert cover; 127mm width; 285mm length; 220g
  • Angel Ride: Titanium alloy rail; gel insert cover; 144mm width; 285mm length; 245g
  • Angel Fly: Titanium alloy rail; gel insert cover; 127mm width; 285mm length; 245g

Check with your local bike shop for the pricing and availability. Summarized: a light, fully-featured saddle with an MSRP of $130 for the Ti rail version, and $290 for the carbon rail/carbon shell version which is a legit 122g.

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North Fork of the Skykomish


by Byron on May 28, 2015 at 1:27 PM


Never saw a fir tree so big, I couldn’t wrap my arms around it. Have you?

Along the north fork of the Skykomish river, didn’t see a car. No cell coverage either. It was what my friend KK+ calls a Digital Detox. There were no drones, no inebriates, no work talk, or networking either.

Just riding on a bike built for a adventure purpose, the Trek 920. Read more about the 920 in Issue 24 Change. I nicknamed it the weekender.

That ride was the type of change I need and it’s a lead up to the Grand Fondo Leavenworth this weekend.


Based in a cabin, the weekender wasn’t set up for camping, but it can do that too

Mark V GFL stories from last year are still being told, and we’re on those forest service roads together this time.

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TiGrLock Mini


by Byron on May 26, 2015 at 12:43 PM

The first Kickstarter we ever mentioned TiGrLock is back with a mini version and already funded, and a staff pick. We’ve got one in and it’s like original, but not like hanging a titanium bow on your bike – the original was designed to lock both wheels and the bike. I asked Jim to tell me about the new mini

We played around with different shapes. We listened to folks. The locking area of our mini is similar to a mini ulock.

The locking area makes it possible to secure a wheel and frame to a rack, or just the frame - like a mini ulock. It works well for the Sheldon method of locking rear wheel and rear triangle to a rack.

We liked how having a straight side enables it to ride on a bike in a stable way.

We wanted to use as little Ti as possible in order to get the price down. The mini uses half as much Ti as our standard length bow. Using less Ti also reduces the weight even more.

What I liked then about Jim and TiGrLock is they send out photos for media to touch and test.

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Along the Duwamish River: Tarmac


by Byron on May 24, 2015 at 8:34 AM


Along the Duwamish River, the Tarmac’s industrial design fits right in.The gear wheel is from the recently rebuilt South Park Bridge and the crane sits near an old Boeing Building. This industrialized waterway served the gold rush, war, jet age, tourism, and I cross it at least once on every ride. Earlier this year, I shared another photo from this park and more thoughts on Seattle’s only river.


A view from the South Park Bridge north towards Seattle


Riverside park with boats working

The Tarmac Disc just arrived for a long term review and is the one I rode in Santa Cruz earlier this year. When the new Tarmac launched, I reviewed it in issue 12. Also from issue 12, see Patrick Brady’s article about the fun we had there

Smooth pavement, knowledgeable riders, sticky 25mm tires and a bike with geometry I trust. It’s a pretty good recipe.

The Tarmac turns heads around town and riding it on familiar routes, I’m appreciating that good recipe even more: a tuned ride and engineering learned from a collaboration with McLaren. Read more about the Tarmac’s intent in my recent Wired review.

It’s the intent and the experience: what a bike is designed to do, how it handles, and the way it connects to the ground for a distinctive Tarmac feel.

On the roads that follow the Duwamish, the connection to the ground is just as distinctive, with the disc brakes making it handle even better.

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The Opening to A Holiday Weekend


by Byron on May 22, 2015 at 11:56 AM


Friday before a holiday and you’ve got some time to waste? Spend hours clicking through these galleries curated by Spoke Sniffer. That’s the Flickr handle of BB who I met at Specialized HQ a few years ago.


We’re riding big miles and relaxing…got a new Tarmac Disc in.

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