Browse Month by December 2012
Advocacy, Bicycle

I like bikes, but…

This instructional video from way back is designed to teach drivers to watch out for bikes. It does of course place much of the blame for poor handling and unsafe roadmanship on the cyclist- but even to acknowledge bikes on the road is something that I wish happened in modern drivers education.
Reality- we share the road and have to get along. What can we do to educate and inform drivers and cyclists to our shared responsibilities on the roadways?

I found it on the Light and Motion blog

Bicycle, Gear

Holiday Gift Guide for Cyclists, Part II

For the second installment of the Holiday Gift Guide for Cyclists, here are 5 more hand selected items under the $100 mark that are sure to please that special cyclist in your life. Also I would like to note you should be able to find all of these items locally, support your local bike shop!

I (Tall Bryan) enjoy riding for daily transportation, fitness, racing cyclocross and alley cats and just about any other excuse I can find to get  myself on two wheels. You are just as likely to catch me on my cruiser with flat pedals and no helmet as you are to see me in a full kit on my road bike. So hopefully there should be a gift option here for your lucky cyclist no matter what type of bike and riding they prefer.

DeFeet Shoe Covers & Gloves: ($40.00 for both)

DeFeet

Lets face it, the cold weather is here to stay for a while and if you plan on being on the bike for the next couple months few things get you as much bang for your buck as a pair of  well made gloves and shoe covers. DeFeet products are quality, affordable and get this, 100% made in the USA. You can pick up a pair of Duragloves and some Slipstream shoe covers for under $40. Choose from classic black or a handful of colors/styles. You’ll be looking pro in no time with a matching set.

Knog Rechargeable Boomer Lights: ($75.00 for front & rear set)

knogboomer

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen the sun in weeks. Part of riding in Seattle means riding in the dark. Making yourself visible on the bike during these seemingly never-ending days of darkness is very important. What better way to let someone know you care than with a set of lights for safety? The USB rechargeable Boomer lights are bright, hold a good charge, don’t look too obnoxious on your bike and are easy to attach/detach so you can take them into the store or pub with you (don’t leave them on your bike, they will get stolen). They are light and unobtrusive too. Throw them in your jersey pocket or handlebar bag in case you unexpectedly get stuck out after dark.

Crane Bicycle Bell: ($15.00-20.00)

Cranebell

What do you get the cyclist who has everything? How about a classic bicycle bell from Crane Bell Co? These Japanese made bells are some of the nicest available. Several models available although I would recommend the larger brass one for the best sound. They tarnish over time and look really great, especially on a vintage bike. Can  usually be had for under $20.

Coozie of the Month Club: ($90.00)

coozies

While this gift idea doesn’t have to be specifically for cyclists, I think it still qualifies. Most cyclists do enjoy a cold one after (or sometimes even during) a good ride. Cory of Dank Bags hand makes these coozies here in Seattle. Joining the club gets you a custom coozie mailed to you once a month for a year! So sign up your favorite cyclist/beer drinker. Its the gift that keeps on giving.

3-Way Hex Wrench: ($10.00-15.00)

3way

I will resist the temptation to make bad jokes about every cyclist needing a 3-way and simply state: If you own a bike you should have one of these at home. Many people prefer not to work on their own bikes, and that is totally fine. But sooner or later you at least have to tighten a bolt, raise or lower a seat or in some way take a wrench to your bike. A 3-way or Y-wrench with 4mm, 5mm and 6mm hex keys is essential and possibly the most versatile bicycle tool you can own. Check out how much This Guy likes his! I’m always surprised by how many cyclists do not own this most basic repair tool. Chances are someone on your list needs one!

Bicycle, Gear

Holiday Gift Guide for cyclists.

It’s sometimes difficult to shop for cyclists.  Different interests, cycling disciplines, styles- What one is happy for the other might not be.  We are trying something a little different this year.  Four cyclists pick 5 items each that cost $100 or less.  This is the first of them, the others should be out this week for last minute shopping ideas for the cyclist in your life.

These are my (Ryan’s) picks.  I race single speed cyclocross, but you can more often see me riding around on a porteur bike in town or on my steel Raleigh Record Ace.  I would more than anything consider myself a transportation cyclist.  I like clean design and rugged construction.  I don’t like wearing bright cycling clothing, instead I lean on the side of bright lighting and reflective clothing accents.  I will also say that it’s really hard to A) keep things under $100 and B) only pick 5.

Lifeproof iPhone case: ($79.99 for iPhone 5)

ip5_charge_port_black_1_3

I realize not everyone has an iPhone, nor is this a bike specific product. But I’ll say that I’ve been using this case for my iPhone 4 for over a year and more than once it’s saved my phone. Completely waterproof- if you can toss your phone in a jersey pocket or use their handlebar mount for the case and let it rain. Also available for iPhone 4/s & iPad

Feedback Sports Table Top Digital Scale: ($47.99 at JensenUSA)

TableTopScale_web

Whether you are building up your bike or selling stuff on Ebay- it’s handy to have a scale. I’ve even used mine to weigh out coffee for my Aeropress. It sits in the top of my toolbox, ready to go. Feedback Sports also has a hanging scale and digital calipers. I have been using all three of these in the shop for 2 years now without fail.

Swrve Cordura Regular Fit Jeans: ($100)

CORD_reg_jeans_blk_sid_grande

I have been stoked on every Swrve product I’ve seen. They have become the only pants I ride in, and they are comfortable off the bike as well. The Cordura jeans are 10x more resistant to saddle abrasion and have a little stretch in them to boot.

Portland Design Works Dios Thronous saddle: ($40.00)

702_dios_thronous_red

Wet saddles suck- and if you’ve got a Brooks, it can be hard on the leather. This looks like a great saddle for a town bike- one that gets left outside in the rain. Made of EVA injector molded foam- it won’t absorb water. Wet outside? Brush it off and go. Pretty damn handy if you ask me.

Lezyne Pressure Drive hand pump: ($44.99)

LZ1213

This pump is compact, pumps to 120psi, fits both schraeder and presta and won’t break the bank. Machined out of aluminum, it’s lightweight and fits well into a bag or jersey pocket. Might as well throw in a small patch kit and some levers too. Because the ride they aren’t carrying their flat kit on is the one they’ll need it on.

Gear, News

Chris King Factory: Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek

Chris_King_Headsets

Head on over to Bloomberg Businessweek and check out the article on Chris King. Portland Bike Maker Sees Made-in-USA Demand from Overseas. The article gives a great profile of the company, Chris King himself and is sure to learn you a thing or two you didn’t already know about the Portland, Oregon company that makes some of the most durable and desirable components on the market. Did you know Chris King hasn’t run any ads for over ten years and relies solely on their good reputation?

Don’t miss the photo tour of the factory either. Lay your eyes on what was up until now only seen by employees of the company. I love the secrecy! A Rare Tour of a Rare Business: Chris King’s Made-in-USA Bicycle Factory.

Bicycle, Bike Porn, bikes

Donhou Emerald Town Bike

Donhou Town Bike

Donhou Bicycles out of the UK builds some absolutely beautiful two-wheeled machines. This gorgeous townie especially caught my eye. Wouldn’t she look beautiful rolling through the Emerald City?

Originally seen at CycleEXIF. Check out the story behind the build and lots more photos of this bike on Donhou’s website: Alanna’s Town Bike. I’m sure you can kill some time flipping through the gallery of the rest of their builds as well.

Bicycle, Media

Jake Ryder and his freak bikes

Jake is a rad dude- I met him when he lived in Seattle.  He now resides in Portland and is doing great things for freak bikes there.  I’ve been on rides that he’s had his music bakfiet on and I can say it brings the party up a notch. Yay bikes!

DIY, Gear

Worn Bicycle Saddle: Don’t Toss It, Recover it!

Recoveringyoursaddle

Your saddle is one of your body’s main contact points with your bicycle. Obviously it’s position and shape can have a very direct effect on how your bike and body feels. If you ride a lot, perhaps you are similar to me and have found a specific saddle or two that you pretty much always ride. Sooner or later you’re going to end up with a stash of saddles that are worn out or have torn covers. These often get banished to the rain bike or the pub bike before finally being retired. Instead of just tossing your dead saddle and buying a new one you can alternatively tackle recovering it yourself, or pay to have it done for you.

If you are the DIY type or just good with your hands you might enjoy tackling it yourself. There are several different methods I’ve heard of that you can use to go about removing your saddle’s old covering and installing a new one. This one seems like a pretty easy to follow process, but depending on your specific saddle, your steps might be slightly different. How To Recover An Old Bicycle Seat.

Another option worth considering is paying to have your old saddle recovered. After all, some of our “old saddles” have titanium or even carbon rails. They are light weight and expensive, certainly worth paying a fraction of their original cost to have some new life breathed into them. I’ve come across a few local people who can do this for you if you bribe them with the right amount of booze and/or cash. There is also a gentleman online who you can mail your saddle to and have it recovered in the material of your choice. He also does repair or replacement of the foam padding and hardware on your saddle as well, if your busted seat is in need of more than just a new cover. The two San Marco Rolls saddles pictured below are some examples of his work. Check out Recovered Saddle.com.