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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Borealis Echo

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

So it’s looking official- Borealis Fatbikes has taken the reins as the company pushing the limits of fatbikes, bridging the gap between 29′ers and those that want tires with more than 4″ of rubber beneath them.  When it comes to carbon- they’ve got more out there than anyone.  Now with two frames- the Yampa and the new Echo, Borealis also offers their Carbondale rims, and a carbon fork- Oh my!

The Yampa has been seen quite a bit in adventure racing (with a number of wins) this last winter, and the Echo brings out more of the mountain bike feel, with a suspension tuned geometry and a 100mm Rockshox Bluto suspension fork.

Will fat mountain bikes be the wave of the future?  It’s unlikely.  But for every 100 people that don’t see any use for fat tires, there is somebody out there that is drawn to these double wide wonders, happy as a pig in shit every time we throw our leg over one of these peculiarities.

Carbon fatbikes aren’t cheap and and fat wallets help- the Echo will be offered with 4 spec levels ranging from $4000-$7200.  So start pinching your pennies.

 

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The Berliner Fahrradschau

Written by Benjamin Owen on . Posted in DIY, Events, Handmade Bicycles, Travel 1 Comment

Editors note:  This is the first post by one of two new Go Means Go contributors.  They are Northwest kids living in Europe and embarking on a bike trip.  You’ll be able to find their ramblings here on GMG.  Part diary, part travelogue, with writings from the road- we’re happy to have Ben and Chase onboard.  Ride on, you crazy diamonds.

A bicycle can get you where you want to go, but like many 20-somethings, we don’t always know where we’re going. It is times like those when it is sometimes good to let your bike take the lead. We, along with hordes of others, let our bikes guide the way and this time all roads led to Berlin for the Berliner Fahrradschau (Berlin Bicycle Show).

We consciously chose to do no prior research or investigation of the show and its vendors so that Berlin itself could show us what its bike culture, fashion, and ambition is. With no expectations, we rolled up to the venue, and it did not disappoint.

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57 Varieties Time Trial

Written by Tall Bryan on . Posted in Alley Cat Racing, Bicycle Racing, Events, Races, Rides, Seattle No Comments

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This Saturday, April 5th, 327 Words presents the 57 Varieties Time Trial, an alleycat-style bike race around a variety of spots in Seattle with checkpoints and performance detraction options at time-honored destinations and way-stations.

Begins at 2020 Cycle @ 21st & Union in Seattle, WA on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 3:27pm sharp, signups commencing around 2:30 or so.

Get all the info and check out the impressive list of sponsors HERE.

 

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Sharing Wheels: Kids Bike Work Parties

Written by Tall Bryan on . Posted in Advocacy, Events, Volunteer, Washington No Comments

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is a non-profit organization dedicated to “connecting unused bikes to people who need wheels.” Once a year in June kids have the opportunity to trade in their bike they have outgrown and get a bike that fits them. At the Kids Bike Swap, kids donate their old bike and receive a voucher for the value to be redeemed towards another bike Sharing Wheels has refurbished.

Sharing wheels needs the help of the community to help prepare kids bikes for the upcoming Kids Bike Swap on June 8th. To help join them at one or more of their scheduled work parties. Tools and snack provided, all skill levels of volunteers welcome.

Location: 2525 Broadway, Everett WA 98201 sw-logo-061

Upcoming work party dates:
Thursday 4/10 6-9 pm
Thursday 4/24 6-9 pm
Saturday 5/10 10-3pm
Thursday 5/22 6-9pm
Sunday 6/1 10-3 pm
Wednesday 6/4 6-9 pm

More information at the Sharing Wheels Website.

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Meet the Maker: Ruthworks

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

I came across Ruthworks via Facebook and reached out to Ely in San Francisco where he works at his home shop, enjoying the opportunity to spend time with his family. Ely is the owner, sewer, leather worker, cutter, designer and fabricator at Ruthworks, with quite a few beautiful items available for randonneurs, tourers, commuters and every day folks.

We did a little interview and it went something like this:

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