Pretty custom rain bike

I’ve already stated my preference for disc brake rain bikes. My Trek Portland is perfect for my needs of a training bike and longer-distance commuter. When I’m old and paid off college (and college for my kid(s)) I’ll probably be riding a custom steel bike. There’s nothing more comfortable for the money. A local guy — Brian Marcroft has gotten into building custom rain bikes and his efforts seem pretty solid. If you have the means and are in the market send him a note and support a local framebuilder.

marcroft



Art at a glance Olympic Sculpture Park

SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park opens this weekend and it’s located on one of my favorite rides: Alki to Alaskan Way to Myrtle Edward’s, up to Magnolia, and back.

With the opening, Seattle commuters and cyclists have art a glance on their next ride.

Update

Grey skies, Space Needle, freight trains, traffic, and a sculpture park – all seen during our ride to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park. More photos in the Photostream.

Sam Sculpture Park



How we doin’?

I barely got in 30 minutes on the trainer last night after nearly being derailed from my challenge to ride every day (damn dinner parties). How is the rest of the crew doing out there?



Photo of the day



The inexpensive center of the cycling universe

With a few Bike Hugger friends in Taiwan for business, I found Shut up and Drink the Kool-Aid’s post about the factory that manufactures Masi particularly interesting.

Last year, at Interbike I met the owner of a Taiwan-based company that makes the majority of bottle cages and the one that makes millions of kickstands and also saw lots of bikes that look like each other. Ironically, much like the automotive industry (is that new car pictured a Lexus, Chrysler or Mercedes?), design homogenization is bound to occur as an industry consolidates.

While low prices means more access to mass markets and sales (that’s Walmarts standard PR pitch), it also means less diversity and I also think that bodes well for the boutique, independent manufacturers that build unique bikes rather than spec a generic carbon frame. I’ll never forget when a former Raleigh employee told me that the box and packaging they ship a bike in costs more than the frame.

When we built up Bettie, we chose a well spec’d and built Surly frame and choice of components. I race on a Trek that’s made in USA and assembled with parts from Taiwan. I also train and tour on a handbuilt Davidson welded right here in Seattle.

I’m benefiting from a local independent builder, a USA manufacturer, and a combination of both. So the question today is, what’s better for the industry, an inexpensive we’ll spec’d frame or a unique handbuilt frame? Or is all well?



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