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Month: March 2010

Single Speeds Cyclocross World Championship

Single Speeds Cyclocross World Championship

If you didn’t know that SSCXWC was going to be in Seattle this year…. Now you do. And it’s going to be off the chain. It might even be off the belt drive. Here is a little taste of 2008 SSCXWC. Get ready Seattle!

Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships 2008 from bce on Vimeo.

And a snippet from 2009:

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships [SSCXWC II] 2009 from AllenInk on Vimeo.

Get your training on. And if you don’t race- fret not. This event is going to be fun for everyone. It’s going to be like a mud ball fight on Christmas. But in spandex. And with beer.

Sturmey Archer

Sturmey Archer

s3x-prototype-pic-1-2008-08-21

Sturmey Archer has been doing things a little different than a lot of companies and seem to be bringing back older technologies. Their “S3X” 3 speed fixed hub is one of the most discussed. They made a 3 speed fixed hub in the 1950’s and since it went out of production they’ve been fetching high prices on ebay. I’m not as much of a fan of the aesthetics, as I like the look of a coaster brake or fixed gear and find the cable and shifter not very attractive. I also don’t think I’d be too into the idea of riding around on a brakeless version, as I know that there are a lot of really small parts that hold it together, and I would be afraid that on a skid stop the thing would explode. There is I’m sure a small niche market for this hub, but I’m not in it.

I like my coaster brake. I’m not as happy with the Shimano that I’ve been running for the past few years, it gets really loud if not rebuilt often. The grease is never burned, it just gets loud. I saw a little snippet on the Sunrace Sturmey Archer blog from over at the Tai Pei show, and was impressed. I think it will be a great way for folks to build affordable and dependable urban bikes. And they even have colors if you are into that sort of thing.

s2c

The “S2C” is a 2 speed kick back hub. The “C” I believe and hope denotes that it is a coaster brake, similar to old Bendix models of way back. They also make a brakeless version, to be run with rim brakes that is called the “S2”.

I also really like beltdrives:

moulton-tsr2

This is a prototype Moulton TSR2 with the S2C 2 speed kick back coaster, with a belt drive. That’s my kind of folding bike.  You can see more photos HERE

And for the people that like more options:

cs-rk3

It has a 3 speed internal hub and can run a cassette as well, doing away with your front derailleur completely. How cool is that? Now the fans of chain cases and chain guards can keep their pants clean much easier.

I’d love to get my hands on some of these to test them, they look great. Thanks Sturmey for doing what you do- Remember your roots, and keep innovating.

Review: Alpine Digital Scale

Review: Alpine Digital Scale

Feedback Sports sent Go Means Go a few of their scales and will from here on out be our go to products anytime we need to check what the actual weight is on a product. As we get to play with them, We’ll get a review up for each of the three scales they provided. The Alpine Digital Scale is the first that we have taken out.

alpine_digital_scale2

Taken from the Feedback Sports website:

The Alpine Scale is specifically designed to weigh bicycles, wheels, backpacks and any other outdoor sports equipment. The patented design enables the scale to be clamped into a bicycle repair stand or hung from a ceiling hook.

  • 55 LB S. (25KG ) MAX CAPACITY
  • +/-10 gram accuracy
  • RUGGED SHOCK-RESISTANT HOUSING
  • VINYL-COATED HOOK
  • EASY TO READ LCD DISPLAY
  • ZERO / TARE FUNCTION
  • LBS / KG / OZ SELECTION
  • AUTO SHUT-OFF SAVES POWER
  • (4) AAA BATTERIES INCLUDED
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY

Out of the box, the feel is nice. The rubberized housing will help absorb the shocks and jolts of getting bumped around if you don’t have a dedicated place to hang the scale. The strap attached to the top seems strong enough to hold the 55lb weight limit. There is a sticker on the scale warning that you will damage the scale if you overload it. The vinyl on the hook was nice and my frame didn’t slip or slide around when it was reasonably centered on the top tube, enabling me to take the weight with the stainless steel tube clamped into my work stand. The scale reads quickly, and the buttons are easy to press. If you want to know what your parts weigh in grams or ounces, its done with the push of a button. The accuracy is within +/- 10 grams, which might not be good for lower weights, but if you are weighing items in the 10-20 pounds, 10 grams isn’t that much (a new nickel weighs 5 grams.) Zeroing is done with the push of a button, so if you need to weigh things in a basket, it can easily be done. The 4 AAA batteries that were included didn’t last long, but I popped in some new ones and started weighing everything around. My fixed gear bike weighs 21.16 pounds, which is pretty damn heavy for an aluminum frame and carbon fork. The MSRP is $66, but I was able to find it at a couple places online for much less. Products are not available for sale on the Feedback Sports site.

Though hanging scales aren’t necessary for everyone to have in their home shops- if you are a weight watcher, want to make accurate statements on the weight of a product you are selling on Ebay, or are looking for a gift for the person who might fit into one of those categories- the Alpine Scale could be for you. Other sports enthusiasts will find some use out of a product like this. Backpackers are often curious of the weight they are carrying, and the Alpine Scale would be very helpful. A hanging scale can also mitigate baggage check-in problems at the airport. If you have flown recently then you know that regulations are getting tighter for travel and with a scale, you can maximize the allowances, without getting pinched. That right there can save you the cost of the scale.

Swift Industries: Sum of it’s parts series

Swift Industries: Sum of it’s parts series

I have posted about this before, but you can now purchase the new “Sum of it’s parts” series by Swift Industries and Partybots online.  So if you are the proud owner owner of a Cetma 5-rail rack- go get a Pelican Porteur bag.  And if you aren’t-  there will soon be the saddle bags available.  These look great and are build tough.

swiftbot_bike

From the website:

The Sum of Its Parts Series is a celebration of the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the bicycle, drawn by Karl Addison of Partybots Eco Apparel and Art. The design is an ode to each component of the bicycle’s overall gestalt, form, and function. Each bicycle bag has been silk-screened, cut, and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington.

$200.00 The Pelican Porteur Bag features an olive green cordura flap and front pocket set with a mint/kelly design, and is complimented by grey thread and charcoal trim. You may choose a black, grey or teal body.

(And next week, watch for the Sum of it Parts Saddle Touring Bag)

swiftbot_bag