Chrome: New Kicks & New Store

Written by greghxc on . Posted in Uncategorized No Comments

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A few weeks ago, we were invited to drop by Seattle’s new Chrome HUB at 1st and Seneca to check out the new space and get a peek at some new products. We hadn’t had the chance to drop by since the soft opening, and, with a suspicion we may also get a free beer or two out of it, we found ourselves on our way late one Friday afternoon.

Friend of Go Means Go, Billy, poses behind the bag bar because we bring you real human interest stories.

Friend of Go Means Go, Billy, poses behind the bag bar because we bring you real human interest stories.

Featured prominently at the front of the store is the custom bag bar, where you can choose to get your right or left handed bag custom assembled here in Seattle from a big stack of materials. The fee is small, and the turn around is less than a week.

The rack of materials would allow for some some seriously eye-melting combos if that's your thing.

The rack of materials would allow for some some seriously eye-melting combos if that’s your thing.

The bag bar also offers Chrome’s custom military salvage program, which is cooler than you might guess. Instead of reusing random surplus (which they’ve already done for some time), Chrome HUB locations allow military and police/fire veterans and their families to bring personal military duffels, fatigues, uniforms or fire jackets in to be used as the material for one of their bags.

Chrome was showing off some of their new shoes, up for release in the very near future.

You had me at camo.

You had me at camo.

Chrome’s new line of shoes (both lace-ups and slip-ons) are their first without an insert reinforcing the sole, making them less bike-specific but more comfortable off the bike. They are also the first to use repurposed boot making machinery for forged rubber soles, fusing the rubber directly to the upper and in theory making them harder to split. Which is awesome, but really if you put anything in camo, I’m already sold.

There are other colors, I’m not sure why:

This is not camo.

This is not camo.

This is also not camo.

This is also not camo.

Nice branding, but still no camo.

Nice branding, but still no camo.

I believe these are out this month, I’ll certainly be trying some one when I can.

Seattle’s new Chrome HUB is located at 1117 1st Ave where they are open every day.

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Introducing Wraith Fabrications

Written by greghxc on . Posted in Bicycle, Cyclocross, Gear, Road 1 Comment

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Checked my inbox this morning to find this sexy snap from Adam Eldridge’s new project Wraith Fabrications. Wraith is launching a line of hand-made, stock-sized frames made here in US. It looks like Adam is hoping to bring the philosophy used at Stanridge to a frame/fork combo with less of a price barrier.

Wraith is offering both a road and cross frame constructed from triple-butted Columbus Life (and a Zona backend on the CX) tubing. The frame/fork combos run $1090, and have a limited quantity available for pre-order with a $300 deposit. Frames set to ship next month. Check out the site for sizing and details.

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Gevenalle CX

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Gear, Portland No Comments

You may remember Retroshift- the still somewhat new brand offering an alternative to brifters for your geared cyclocross bike?  Well they have a new name, and have jumped headlong into more solutions for cross racers that feel the need for more than one gear.  Founded by Adam Clement in 2011 (as Retroshift) in Portland- the first product offerings were the CX1 and CX2 shifters and soon after followed by the BURD (Blatantly Upgraded Rear Derailleur) cyclocross specific derailleur. The company focus is providing solutions for cyclocross. All products are built in Portland OR using both Taiwanese and American made parts.

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Mobroll Tour 2014: May 1st – 18th

Written by Tall Bryan on . Posted in Alley Cat Racing, DIY, Events, Media, News, Ride Your Bike, Seattle, Travel, Washington 1 Comment

“Imagine biking with your friends to all the dope Puget Sound seaside cities and going to shows, alleycat races, seeing art, watching films, doing workshops, camping out, and going on critical mass rides. Now stop imagining and do it.” – Thomas Kolb

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MOBROLL 2014 is coming to your town! Grab your bike and ride along. Starting May 1st in Bellingham and ending May 18th in Olympia. Riders can ride the whole tour, a few days, or just join for the afternoon. However long you can ride along one thing is for certain, you are going to have a blast on two wheels!

May 1st-4th Bellingham
May 4th Anacortes
May 5th Whidbey Island
May 6th Port Townsend
May 7th Kingston
May 8th Bainbridge Island
May 9-11th Seattle
May 12-13th Bremerton & Port Orchard
May 14th Gig Harbor
May 15-16th Tacoma
May 17-18th Olympia

Full list of events, dates, cities and RSVP HERE.

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First look: Blackburn Outpost Racks

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Gear No Comments

Got a box of goodness from the folks at Blackburn the other day- and I’ve been scrambling to get a bike together to test it out.  Inside the box was a front and rear set of the Outpost World Touring racks, a Central rear pannier, and the Central front light (pannier and light post coming up next week.)

My Raleigh Port Townsend has long been a favorite testing platform for this sort of thing, but I’ve also been waiting on parts after a broken brake lever opened a can of worms for me in what I’d need to get back on the road.

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I’ve got it back together enough to install the Outpost Racks, with which I’m impressed with so far.  The installation went fairly well, with the racks giving options for just about anybody out there looking to put together a stout touring rig.  The Outpost racks use Easton Scandium and aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum tubing in their construction- with adjustability options to accomodate 26″- 29″ (or 700c) wheels.  On opening the box, I was a little unsure what bike I’d be able to put the racks on.  They looked really big and at first I thought they would be for the fatbike.  Holding them up to the frame, I quickly realized that they were built for a 135mm “standard” rear spacing and a 100mm front- not my 190/135 combo.

The Outpost racks (front and rear) are very customizable, utilizing a nifty sliding lower attachment point that fastens to your frame or uses an extended quick release axle (not included) if no braze-on is available.  I found the racks to be easy to install, with a lot of adjustability, even if your frame doesn’t have all the attachment points of a full-fledged touring frame. In attaching to the seat stays, you’ve got three options.

  1. Attach to rack braze-ons – the method I used for the rear rack.
  2. Attach to cantilever brake posts – the method I used for the front rack.
  3. Attach to frame via included P-clamps.

The bars used to attach to the frame/posts/clamps have little rounded eyes that accommodate the angles that may be needed to get a good solid connection without bending the rack or mounting hardware.  The rear rack is rated for 55lbs and seems plenty stout.  Here you can see it with the Central rear pannier that they sent along as well (I’ll break down the features of the pannier in another post.)

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The rear rack sports a mount to attach a reflector or rear light.
1The front  rack has a removable top rack platform, features high and low pannier mounts and sports the same design and customization options of the rear rack.
9photo 3I really liked the adjustability and I can see that you’ll get a clean install as a finished product- with whatever bike you may choose.  Now that I have everything installed and cut to fit, I’ll take it off and get a weight on the rack.

The Outpost Rear rack retails for $125, with the Outpost Front retailing for $100.

See more from Blackburn HERE

I’ve got a couple more things to put together on the bike, and then I’ll get it out for a ride and let you know how the rest of the stuff works out.

 

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