In the Bike Shop: Mark’s Back

Stopped by the bike shop to check on the Modal and there was Mark! Freshly back from Japan, not limping on a bum knee and with the usual surliness and lots of tales to tell from his tour of Japan.

markv_back.jpg

For kid’s funny exercise

Just in time for the 4th, an email from a Chinese distributor of the QQ bike that says, “Forward and Back by hand. Control direction by feet. To inspire kid’s intelligence and build the bodies from funny exercise.” Well that was fun just posting about it and watching the animation. Also check the video.

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A Native Planet’s Race Videos

Last night at the Tuesday Night World Championships in Kent Washington, I noticed a Native Planet Race Team team member kitted up with a helmet cam and corresponding camera near the finish …(one tip: move to the front)

Big Dummy Gets Smarter

Checked in with Surly Bikes yesterday on the Big Dummy and learned from Dave Gray, the Product Design and Development dude, that new factory samples are en route. Those samples should address much of our concerns with Bettie

  • Stand-over height
  • Rohloff’able
  • Whippiness
  • Disc brake compatibility

In my long-term Bettie notes, I’d complained about the stand-over height and whippiness as the two biggest issues. Cargo bikes should drop the top-tube right to the bottom bracket so you can easily step into and out of the bike, especially with a load or kids or both: the latest Big Dummy uses the Instigator’s top-tube design. The whippiness is an obvious problem and inherent to trailers whether attached or not. Any longtail should make that better, and Surly is making it stiff.

Planning ahead

Now that it’s sunny and dry without a drop on the 10-day forecast …it’s time to start thinking about the rain bike. Some people dread the thought of getting back on the winter bike, but right now is probably the best time to get started with improvements and maintenance. I know that Brian Marcroft is already starting to get requests for Custom Rain bikes, and I’m about to order some new Velocity DeepV rims for my disc brake wheels. The best way to ensure a trouble-free winter of riding is good prep work!

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