From Japan (Part 3): the Mini Velo

japan%20mini%20velo.jpg

So my group was walking the streets of Tokyo after finding the Tsukumo Cycle Sports bike shop, home of Kalavinka Cycles. Kalavinka bikes are known as top notch keirin bikes.

Anyways, we were walking along when I saw a Bianchi Mini Velo 9. The Japanese have this thing for bikes with really tiny wheels, but there is a subgenre of bikes that look like regular road racing bikes but have 20-inch wheels.

Here’s an example I found. It’s an aluminium frame about 52-54cm size, with downtube shifters. Looks like fun, but I’ve never ridden one.

Though I could have easily ridden this one. Check out how the only thing keeping this bike from being lifted is the feeble lock around THE BRAKE HOUSING. Bike theft isn’t the problem it is in other countries, apparently

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In the Bike Shop: Trek’s Precision Fit Socket Technology

Wanna get a bike shop mechanic to do a spit take, say, “hey the new Trek Madone has got precision fit socket technology!” Some may just spit their coffee right out their nose, laugh uproariously, shake their head, or remind you of that year the Madones used Klein’s bottom cup design on their forks and how that didn’t work.

Same thing when talking to a guy like Bill Davidson who can prove he’s seen it all before in the industry, by showing me a 1985 Magic Motorcycle external bearing bottom bracket design – referred to here in an FSA article from 2004. “But hey, you can just press those sockets in by hand, according to Zinn! “Righto!” according to the mechanics.

All for technology here at the bike hugger, we’re also skeptical of precision anything when it comes to headsets and bottom brackets. Well, at least the old-school mechanics we know are. Whom btw, also didn’t trust Mavic’s Heliums or the Krysiums, which revolutionized the built-wheel market.

A topic for another day is square v. compact frame design. As I said to our friends at Novara yesterday, “taking a 1/2 pound off a square bike would’ve been an even more impressive achievement.”

More on the new Madone

  • Cyclingnews just published an extensive review and photos
  • Zinn reviews Trek’s technology, including the “very unique 90mm bottom bracket shell” that has no cups or machining.
  • Our post
  • The bikes are showing up in dealerships right now
  • The damn derailleur hanger still isn’t replaceable!
  • We’re working on getting a bike to review


Yuba Mundo Utility Bicycle

yuba_mundo.gif Taking another tact on the utility bike is the Yuba Mundo. I hadn’t seen it before and was tipped by Ben Sarrazin who, according to his bio on Yuba’s site, worked for several years with Xtracycle. Props to the straightforward design, and for building a bike to, “to carry things, to ride anywhere.”



Stupid and Amazing Videos

Filed under Stupid is the back-to-back recumbent seen below. Contrast that with this “amazing” video of motorpacing at 110 mph and then back to stupid, we have the sideways bike. Then there’s the Cobra in Malorca, which is def amazing.



Bike to Work Day sets Records

Cascade Bicycle Club counted more than 19,000 cyclists on Starbucks Bike to Work Day setting a new record for Seattle. The Group Health Commute Challenge also shattered expectations with more than 7,500 riders commuted an astonishing 997,830 miles. According to Cascade, that’s nearly a million pounds of CO2 saved. Not only that, but think of all the stress relief of not sitting in traffic.

Nationwide Iowa reports records, as well as San Francisco, Marin County.



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