Brakes on a Keirin Bike

Five years ago few people knew the difference between Kirin and keirin. But the traditional, steel track bikes used in the Japanese professional racing circuit have become highly desirable. Rather than comment on the irony of the Japan’s handbuilt bike renaissance following the collapse of its large scale manufacturing and exports due to the so-called “yen shock” of the late Eighties and increasing costs of labour, I thought I’d stir up the brake/no-brake argument about riding those treasured track bikes on the road.

Who would put brakes on their keirin bike?….Professional keirin riders.

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Why would they? Because they go too fast when they train on the road (if they need to train on the road, since the velodromes there are open all year). No matter what, riding with brakes gives you more options for stopping, and you can stop in a shorter distance in more conditions than just using your legs to halt the fixed gear.

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Those pro keirin riders get paid pretty well, and they frequently race into their later thirties. Though crashes are frequent in actual racing, that’s just part of the job. Getting injured because of a crash on the road doesn’t pay the bills.

A lot of keirin builders also make “training” bikes: fixed gear bikes that are designed to accept brakes front and rear, sometimes with provision for fenders. These bikes do not meet regulations for the keirin circuit, but they are meant to give keirin riders an affordable and suitable training tool for the road.

If you really wanted to ride the certified keirin bike on the road with brakes, you could get something like this precision product made in Japan (photos courtesy of famed keirin rider Koh Annoura). The special mounts allow you to temporarily mount regular road brakes to the bike without altering the bike or even damaging the paint. Cheaper (and kinda cheesy) versions have been available for years in Japan, and I believe Soma will be debuting in this country something in between the two.



Orange Bikes Arrested!

Captions? Here’s mine

“Fashion Police impound all orange bikes!”

Uploaded to Flickr by fixedgear.

More from the Bike Hugger Photostream.



Electric Bike Reviews

A reader wrote

Does bike hugger have any reviews or suggestions for an electric bike I could use for my work commute. Thanks.

Bettie is an electric hybrid and we’re certainly down with any form of urban transportation that isn’t a one-person SUV, but we haven’t specifically reviewed an electric bike. We have posted

maybe our readers have some tips?

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RideCivil Feb08— 2/15/08, 5:30, Westlake

Well, RideCivil’s taken a bit of a winter break but it’s time to get back in the saddle and ride. Come join us for a civilized ride through downtown, emphasizing the integration of cyclists, civilians and car drivers on our road ways. Route is TBD on departure, but we’ll probably ride for around an hour at a social pace through our fair city. Generally those who show make the ride their own, but the spirit of the ride is light, fun, and cooperative. Hoping to see you there!



Bike Hugger Beer & BBQ @ SXSW

Bike Hugger is hosting a bike community event at SXSW this year with rides, a barbecue, and all-around fun times. Of course, you’re all invited!

Besides the free beer, free food, and cool scwhag (yes, the BBQ is free!), you can also discuss the web with members of WaSP, hang out with dudes like Hugh Forrest, and meet the internet famous.

The BBQ is open to all Interactive, Gold and Platinum badgeholder and Bike Hugger guests. To get on the guest list, sign up on Upcoming.

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Check below for the ride details and back here for updates.

Don’t know what SXSW is; well, it’s where the various music, film, interactive industries converge and we’re bringing a bike hugga flava to it.

Beer & BBQ

Bike Hugger Beer & BBQ on Upcoming
Saturday, March 8
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Brush Square Park, North Tent (across from the Austin Convention Center) It’s pedals not panels and bike culture blogged. Free beer! Free Food! Cool Schwag! Bonus browser debate with WaSP!
Open to all Interactive, Gold and Platinum SXSW badge holders, and our invited guests.


First round of beers is dedicated to Sheldon Brown.

Sponsors

The BBQ and Urban Ride sponsors include

Various Rides

Road Ride

Saturday morning, we’ll join a local ride, and get back in time for the Urban Ride.

Urban Ride

Meet at the Susanna Dickinson Housemap – North end of Brush Square Park, at the corner of 5th and Trinity Street.
Saturday, March 8
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

After meeting, we’ll ride to the REI Austin Store (get some schwag!), then to the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art for a tour, and back to the park.

Join the Urban Ride on Upcoming. Note that the REI Schwag and Museum passes are limited to the first 20 SXSW badgeholders.

Yellow Bikes & Rentals

Austin Yellow Bike Project is bringing 4 bikes to the ride and BBQ. You can grab one of those to ride or rent a bike from Bicycle Sport Shop. Please bring your helmets.

Rain Plan

If it rains, we don’t expect many Austin cyclists to show and will just meet at the BBQ. We’ll ride regardless cause we ride in the rain all the time.

All over Austin

Ride all over Austin, as a bike hugga would do

  • Out for coffee
  • Around town
  • Commuter challenges!

Austin Cycling Links



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