Winter project prep: Building a bike

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by Frank Steele on Oct 10, 2006 at 4:50 PM

instructables | How to Build Up a Bike

With winter coming, I know there are lots of Huggers whose minds are turning to new frames with which to meet the spring.

If you’re thinking about buying a frame and components and building it up yourself, instructables.com offers a step-by-step guide to assembling a bike. They break down the recommended tools and provide plenty of photos to shepherd you through the process.

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WSJ brings SUBs to WWW

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by Frank Steele on Oct 06, 2006 at 11:33 AM

WSJ.com | The New Business Cycle

Nancy Keates at the Wall Street Journal looks at the new breed of transportation-friendly bikes making waves in the U.S.

Keane notes that commuter bike sales are up 15 percent in the last 2 years, but still make up a small fraction of total bike sales (she says $900,000, but that must be Euro-commuters only).

Among the featured bikes: the new Specialized Globe, Diamondback’s Transporter, Breezer’s Uptown 8, Electra’s Amsterdam, alongside folding bikes and electric-assist rides.

Keane gets a little wrapped up in the taxonomy – I don’t see why it matters whether it’s a Townie (and why is that capitalized?), comfort, or cruiser bike – but does a pretty good job surveying the segment.

Byron spent some time with her at Interbike, but he (and our Bettie Project) wound up on the cutting-room floor, right next to all of Kevin Costner’s stuff from The Big Chill.

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I tend to find the most random things

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by Happy Cog on Oct 03, 2006 at 8:35 PM

then I send the to Byron and he yells at me to post them. So here goes. They make me smile, hope they make you smile as well. I will continue to post stuff like this to help lighten the mood and give you a little midday cheer.

New Bike Day! Everyone loves new bike day!

Campy Chick Magnet! I ordered 10 of these, report to follow.

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What’s the deal with the big wheels?

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by Byron on Oct 02, 2006 at 3:11 PM

big wheel A Interbike I was handed a mysterious brochure for an event that passed, a product that’s been discontinued, and the promise of secret project to build adult-sized big wheels.

I’m interested. Anyone know what’s going on?

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Crazy Bike Chick says, “hey, Motorists!”

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by Byron on Oct 02, 2006 at 2:46 PM

When she’s not cycling, adventuring, knitting, cooking, and ranting, the crazy biker chick blogs and has some words for motorists.

I ride my bike year-round as my main means of transportation. My bike is not a toy. I don’t aspire to be Lance Armstrong. I’m not too poor to afford a car. I choose a bicycle because its healthier for me, and healthier for the city I live in. I’m not riding in the middle of the lane to slow you down or thwart you. I’m just trying to do the same thing as you - get from point A to point B safely.

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Riding in the Rain

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by Byron on Oct 02, 2006 at 11:39 AM

A reader wrote in to ask a well-timed question about riding in the rain.

Don’t laugh but what do cyclist do when it rains? I’m asking because I would love to get rid of my shitty car and get a bike but I’m worried about the rain here in the bay area.
– Joe, Manning Web and Graphic Design

/images/blog/ Good questions – the best of all possible worlds is full fenders, often with a mudflap (especially if you ride with others), and a rain cape/poncho. If full fenders won’t fit your bike, there are lots of options, including those easy-on fenders.

There’s a tremendous amount of rain gear out there – jackets, rainpants, booties to cover your shoes, gloves, helmet covers. See my post here on riding in the rain in Seattle. I ride hard in the ride, training, and a cape (especially not Gore) is too hot. Windtec (or similar products) are the best because you’re going to get soaked not matter what and what you want to do is stay warm, but not hot.

You still may be a little wet, but you can usually address this either by keeping a couple of towels at work or by finding shower facilities at or near work. When I use to commute, I found a little-used shower in my building, intended for use by operations personnel if there was a multi-day disaster. My commuting partner and I stashed soap, washcloths, and towels at work, used that shower, and found a utility room so we didn’t even have to lock the bikes outside. Also, if a shower isn’t available, use alcohol and cotton rounds - wipe down with alcohol and that should be enough to get you through the day.

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Small Builder Innovations

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by Happy Cog on Oct 02, 2006 at 11:00 AM

So as Byron and I are talking today bemoaning the fact that all the major companies’ offerings all pretty much look the same and offer the same value, I mention that it is actually good for the industry as it allows more specialized and boutique companies to bring new things to the forefront as people are not having their needs met from the cookie cutter offering of hte major bike companies.

Small builders can much more easily do one-offs and custom things since that is really their business anyway. I was out riding Critical Mass this past friday night and ran into David Wilson, an old friend that I knew was doing some framebuilding. He told me that he had opened up his own frame shop and was doing some really interesting stuff. I definitely had to check it out since he was riding along on a Borracho! He has fashioned a cargo bike using some very interesting engineering (check out the steering on this thing!). He was always an innovative guy and has a true passion for cycling. Seeing him do his deliveries on this very inspirational.

I love that the industry still has a place for small builders with great ideas. Let’s hopw that we get to see more and more of this type of thing. Plastic bikes from plastic companies are great for some people, but its guys like David that keep the soul of cycling alive.

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