Posts in the category Commuter

First Look: Hold On To The Slippery Streets With 45N Gravdal Studded Tires

45N-Gravdal-on-bike

Riding a bike in the Upper Midwest winter can be a challenge of matching clothing to weather, trying to be seen in the long periods of darkness, but mostly, staying upright. This year we were hit especially hard with an early, wet storm that subsequently froze into a solid layer of ice.

Commuting through downtown Minneapolis, staying upright is a concern, but so is being seen. Although a lot of winter riding is done in the dark, very few of the studded tires on the market have a reflective stripe.

Enter the 45NRTH Gravdal.  A nice 700×38 size, 252 studs and a reflective stripe. The tires check the basic boxes of need, jump past the break to see what else they deliver…

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First Look: Ride Classy With Handsome Cycles’ Mud Butler Fenders

Handsome-Fenders-Mounted Handsome Cycles is a Minneapolis, MN based bicycle company, born out of the Alt, a landmark bicycle shop for the local cycling culture. In business for over 5 years now, they are starting to venture out into their own components, starting with the Mud Butler fenders. Matte black was introduced about a year ago, and they are adding in polished silver now.

The fenders have already been picked up by BTI, as well as sold by Handsome direct and through their nationwide network of dealers. Through one of these channels, you should be able to find them in your local bike shop, or get them right from the company.

We paid a visit to Handsome Cycles to see the new fenders, and pick up a set for long-term testing. Take a look inside for our first impressions…

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PBE14: Random Goodies from Princeton Tec, Wald, Lock Sock & Hubbub

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Got a big, burly chain lock whose metal is still rockin’ hard but with a cover that looks a little rough around the edges? Perhaps it’s letting the steel through to scuff your ride? Lock Sock has you (and your lock) covered. Even better, you can freshen up the look to match your bike or commuter kit.

It’s made from 1000 denier cordura or ballistic nylon that’s tough, but also water permeable. That lets it protect without holding water that could rust your chain or pour out into your bag or down your clothes. Prices range from $25 to $35 depending on print and material. The cover is 38″ long, but with Velcro openings, it can split open to reveal as much or as little chain as you want.

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Greenstar Bikes Continues To Make Bamboo More Affordable

Greenstar Ecoforce

Most new technologies start expensive, but then as more companies begin to use it, the find ways through better manufacturing or economies of scale to reduce the cost over time. Bamboo being used for bikes has followed a similar path, as many have touted this materials properties and abilities, but it was as expensive as carbon fiber to make an entire frame from it.

Pioneered by Boo Bikes for their Aluboo product, the idea of using aluminum lugs and bamboo tubes is a way to drastically reduce the price, but still retain the good properties of the bamboo tube.  Greenstar is a new company using this method to produce an even more affordable single speed bike.

Selling for less than $500, find out what you can get for that price in bamboo after the jump…

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Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

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  • Inspired by the trolls rushing to comment on the news of Seattle’s recently launched bike share, The Bicycle Story put together this Commenter Bingo Card to make a game of it!for your enjoyment.
  • Morvélo Battle Royale is an event with a unique take on bicycle speedway, using a natural concrete oval in an abandoned old market in central Brighton. Pitting all types of riders and bikes against each other in a series of fast and furious knockout heats. The event takes place on Saturday December 6th, 2014, Circus Street Old Market, Brighton, BN2 9QF (UK).
  • You probably won’t find Richie Trimble racing his STOOPIDTALLER™ bike in the Battle Royale but you will find him in the Guiness Book of World Records for riding the world’s tallest rideable bicycle. To watch the “The Making of…” video click here.
  • Tidewater Physical Therapy and its Tidewater Performance Centers are pleased to announce that Christian Vande Velde has joined the lineup of keynote speakers for its 2nd Annual Richmond Endurance Athlete Symposium and Expo on Jan. 24, 2015. Vande Velde will speak on “Life in the Pro Peloton” and take questions from the audience.
  • The Young Heroes Foundation (YHF) today revealed plans for Swazi Cycle VI, its sixth annual bicycle trip through the beautiful, peaceful African kingdom of Swaziland. The trip will take place from May 20 – June 1, 2014. For more information click here.
  • How I Stole My Bike Back is a great blog post telling how Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus recovered his beloved Cielo.
  • Polar Bottle has raised $31,000 for THE Breast Cancer Fundraiser through sales of their water bottle.
  • Each year Western Spirit sells off their rental fleet to insure that their clients are riding bikes that work great and utilize up-to-date components. This is great news because you can purchase one of these beautiful bikes for 40% off retail. Click here to see what’s left of the 2014 fleet.
  • Trips for Kids WNC (Western North Carolina) has successfully completed four years of providing mountain bike outings to youth who would not otherwise have that opportunity.
  • Do you live eat and breath Footwear? Do you dream up Apparel patterns in your head whilst heading to work? Do you believe in the power of the bicycle to change lives? If so, then Specialized Bicycle Components is looking for you! They’re having a Footwear and Apparel Recruiting Event November 21st and 22nd in Portland, OR. Click HERE for details.
  • Don’t blow all of your money on black Friday, save it for the Greensboro Velo Club’s TECHNICOLOR Swap Meet on November 30th.
  • Are you looking for a unique gift for the active guy in your life? CoachUp (the leading private coaching company) offers gift certificates to give the gift of a private coaching session to train with the pros. From golf and running, to cycling and bodybuilding, it’s the ideal gift for those looking to improve their ability and train with a pro.
  • Planning a trip to Moab? Well, there are two new trails that have been added to the vast network that already exists there. They’ve been busy adding to the Navajo Rocks Trail system as well as the Gold Bar Rim Singletrack. Visit DiscoverMoab.com for more information.
  • Road Safety Week is November 17th-23rd. The Evolution of Road Vehicle Safety Inventions is illustrated in the infographic below. It’s essentially a timeline of the standout safety inventions over the last 10 years from Brainy Bike Lights to glow in the dark motorways.

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Public Repairs Get Fancy with Bike Fixstation’s New Deluxe Public Work Stand

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If you live in one of the more progressive cycling cities in the U.S. or the world for that matter, you have probably seen a permanent bike repair station. Chances are good that particular station may have even been built by Bike Fixstation, a public bicycle service company that was born out of necessity. There are a lot of great back stories to bike companies out there, but Bike Fixstation has one of the best. It was during a pub crawl in 2009 that the idea for the public work stations (and vending machines) came about after one of the crew got a flat. No one had a patch kit or tools, and it was after 7 so the bike shops were closed.

Enter the public repair station. With tools and stands at the public’s disposal, plus the availability of tubes through their vending machines, travel by bicycle becomes a lot easier if you run into an issue. Don’t know how to work on bikes? The new Deluxe Public Work Stand includes a QR code so you can download repair instructions on your phone. The new stand is easier to use, capable of servicing 2 bikes at once, and a little more, well, deluxe.

Give your bike a public tune up next…

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Found: WoodOOcycles Crafts Bike Parts out of Wood, Branches Into Handlebars, Pedals & Bike Stands

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It seems that we’ve seen a lot of wood bicycles and bicycle components recently, but that didn’t stop these beautiful handlebars from gaining our attention. Combining some seriously impressive woodwork with attractive, functional designs, the handlebars are the work of woodOOcycles out of La Garriga, Spain. Founded in 1993, the small wood shop makes each bar by hand making each piece unique. Designed mostly for the urban bicycle market, the bars are offered in 4 different styles in multiple colors and finishes.

Love the look of the craftsmanship, but aren’t sold on wooden handlebars? Then take a look at the stunning display racks or flat pedals plus see how a handlebar comes to life, next…

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Trail LED Halo, DS, and XXX Light Systems Long Term Review – UPDATED

Trail LED Halo DS and XXX

From the left: the Trail LED Halo, DS, and XXX lights.

UPDATES: Mounting ring clarification, longer battery life, handlebar bracket included with XXX and DS

Night riding season is upon us and after ten weeks running the Halo, DS, and XXX light systems from Texas based Trail LED, we are very impressed with the industry leading light levels and quality craftsmanship. Set aside the wild looks for a minute and let’s just talk performance. The lights are incredibly bright – Trail LED claims 6,000 lumens for the 10 lamp Halo, 3,000 lumens for the five lamp DS , and 1,800 lumens for the three lamp XXX. While we don’t have the equipment to test those claims, our riding experience demonstrated that each system was significantly brighter than similarly priced systems with roughly the same claimed power. When there are lights with similar claimed outputs, that is – there aren’t too many 6,000 lumen bike lights out there. The single power/mode button is well placed, easy to use with gloves, and offers a satisfying click. The unique if inelegant mounting system -tan colored surgical tubing bands- combined with their helmet hugging shape, reduced neck fatigue and skull inertia compared to traditional coal miner style light mounts.  The surgical tube “mounting rings” hold the lamps infinitely better than the Velcro straps offered by most competitors, they do not snag your helmet pads the way Velcro does, and they will never require zip-tie reinforcement.  The optional bar mount included with the XXX and DS is simply brilliant. The batteries are compact, easy to carry, interchangeable with all three lamps, and spares are half the cost of their competitors. Criticisms, and specifics on each system, after the jump… READ MORE ->

PBE14: Custom Road Steel From Belladonna & Breismeister, Plus JBryant’s 27.5+ Adventure Bike

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The Philly Bike Expo is just a fraction of the size of NAHBS, but it brought out several regional builders that we’ve never seen at the bigger show. Breismeister and Belladonna are two, as is JBryant, who brought along his latest fat tired adventure touring bike.

Above, hailing from Queens, NYC, Breismeister’s steel road bike has a few nice touches, particularly the shapely wishbone seatstay and dropout. More pics below…

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