Fender Flaps: your bike’s fashion statement

UPDATE: Yeah - I’m recycling this post from last year. I had a co-worker tell me today that they came across this post so I thought I’d re-run it. I’m going to Lowe’s tonight to get new flap material. Seems I’ve worn a hole in my rear flap…

There’s been some comments around fenders lately. One of the most important aspects of a good fendering job is a solid buddy flap. The concept is - even with full fenders, your buddy riding behind you is probably getting a good stream of wet grit in their teeth. The buddy flap gives you more coverage leaving you friends dry and clean.

Buddy Flaps makes some pretty sweet custom flaps if there’s interest in showing off your “hugger” love.

What you make the flap from is tends to say a little but about you:

Leather flap Leather - “I’m a cowboy! Saddle up!”

Leather flap Semi Truck - “I ride so much that I need REALLY THICK rubber to hold back all the grit”

Leather flap Half Bottle - “I have so many bottles, yeah I’ve got one to waste to keep you clean”

Leather flap Leopard Print - “I like to party all the time”

Leather flap Duct Tape - “I only make a half effort for my friends because I know it’ll fall apart soon anyway”

Me - I use MP2x50 PVC Sump Pump Discharge Hose. You can get it by the foot at the hardware store and it lasts forever. What does that say about me?

Great bike video—“Monday”, just an average ride

This is pretty much exactly what my daily ride is like, except for the sound track, mountain biking, bmxing, trialing, and fantastic scenery (at least at this time of year) and almost everything else.

The joy of riding though? These guys nail it.

The rider is Mike Bentham, a trials rider out of Victoria BC who’s recently re-launched his website. If you’ve been watching trials videos in the past you’ve probably seen his stuff before.

LEDs, Immersive media, and GPS for your bike

Remarkably, as our readers requested, we found innovative LEDs (tape!) and a new bike computer with built-in GPS. The video also show robots and these immersive High-Def pods from Intel that I thought would rule for watching le Tour.

Kona Ute—Rock solid cargo bike

UPDATE by Andrew: Wired linked to Dave’s review. Nice!

I got a chance to try out Kona’s upcoming integrated cargo bike, the Ute. I gotta say, this is one solid ride. The ute’s a longbike: a 29er (update: 700c x 47) with a giant rack built in capable of carrying 4 panniers, a couple of passengers, or just about anything else you can strap to it. Several longbike designs have been around for a while now, the Ute’s take is an integrated design – the extended cargo area’s built right into the frame. This makes the bike super solid. Add in smart design, great components and you’ve got yourself a one-stop cargo hauling go-anywhere machine.

The Ute’s integrated cargo area goes way beyond simply not having to bolt on a rack – being an integral part of the frame means it’s strong. This bike’s got no detectable lateral flex, even loaded with groceries and kids. No having to steer out of side to side way when hauling stuff home, and no trouble at all when standing on the pedals for a little extra power.


The long wheel base and gentle geometry contribute to a very stable ride with no harshness over bumps. Given this I was surprised at how nimble the ride was, slaloming the local playground went great. In fact the Ute handled everything I threw at it with aplomb: steep descents, hard climbs, up and down curbs, (shallow) stairs. Riding the Ute under load’s like driving a volvo station wagon.

Integrated design doesn’t stop with the rack and ride. Low, rounded top tube means you don’t have to tip the bike on it’s side to get your leg over, a huge bonus on a loaded bike. 29 inch wheels and wide Continental tires make for great rolling over any obstacles. Braking design is very intelligent – Hayse mechanical disc brake up front for power where you need it, v-brakes in the back for security. The wide gearing handled getting me back up the steep hills between my grocery store and my house easily. The bike comes equipped with wide, upright handlebars and very nice cork grips which were great for cruising and getting a bit of additional leverage when standing up. An integrated kickstand keeps the bike upright when you’re loading her up.

Carrying capacity is predictably huge. The well designed, large rear deck has cutouts to allow you to bungee odd sized loads down and the cargo area has space for 4 panniers. The bike came with Kona grocery bag style panniers, which were able to swallow just about everything I could put in there: jackets, hats, sweaters, extra helmets, several grocery bags, whatever. Being able to use standard panniers gives you lots of options as well – want water proof? Go for some oyster buckets! Passengers were no trouble at all. A stoker stem and some foot pegs let me haul my 6 year old all over our neighborhood.

My favorite part about the Ute was what it meant for my lifestyle. I was able to take the bike on many trips I wouldn’t have been able to make on a standard bike: Delivering Christmas dinner to some relatives a couple miles away; dropping my kid off at school; groceries and gift shopping were all easy as pie.

One thing to change? Make the bike easier to carry. The integrated rack moves the balance point back behind the seat post, making lifting and maneuvering the bike a bit awkward (especially up stairs to a gate). Adding a utility handle on the rack would help and add a hand-hold for passengers.

Check here , here and here for other Hugger impressions.

Update:: Production bikes will have rubber grips, and the included panniers have a rain proof integrated cover.

Formula One for Bikes?

carbon%20rotor.jpg I was touring CES when I wandered over to the Intel/BMW Formula One Auto Team exhibition. The F1 team had a bunch of displays for people to touch and play with. One impressive display was the steel disc brake rotor for a normal production car…and the full carbon disc for the F1 car. Talk about a huge difference in weight.

I’m not a big fan of disc brakes, but I was wondering why carbon disc brakes are not being built for cycling. Is it cost? Service life?

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