Posts in the category Interviews

A week in review: Tons of gift worthy items, more bike porn from Philly, a bolt on power meter, plus lots more!

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Check out more super cool items from the 2015 Philly Bike Show, one of the more intimate events we get to cover, plus lots of gift ideas for your fellow cyclist…. (or that said cyclists can point to their friends and family). Plus, the new Watteam Powerbeat bolt-on power meter, sub 900g wheels from Spada, Speedplay’s less costly SYZR pedals and Brett Favre’s sick new Project One.

Grab that last piece of pumpkin pie before anybody else notices and delve in to last week’s coverage…..


IB15: Abbey Bike Tools Adds a Bearing to Their New Bearing Press, Plus 12mm TA Crombie Tool, More

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It wasn’t long after Abbey bike tools started making products that Jason Quade started getting requests for a bearing press. Like most of his tools though, he didn’t want to make something just to make it. It had to work better and make the task at hand easier to get the Abbey seal of approval.

Jason has been hinting that he had been working on a bearing press for sometime, but this is the first time we’ve seen it in person. Built using a modular design, the tool will be adaptable to just about any frame and should make the process of installing press fit bottom brackets or headsets much easier down the line…


Counterpoint: ‘Motor+Bike=Motorbike’ – Marc Basiliere’s Take on E-Bike Trail Access

Photo: Kip Malone

Photo: Kip Malone

I knew that finding a counterpoint for the Michael Kelley E-Bike interview would be challenging due to the passionate opinions on all sides of the e-bike trail access debate. While the pro-e-bike lobby feels an urgency in expanding the market and user access to product, the anti-e-bike lobby fears the loss of land access they have fought so valiantly for, for decades. What everyone can agree on is that adoption seems inevitable, and finding industry members of the community would be problematic due to the pervasiveness of the technology. Any counterpoint would have to do justice to those who want to keep their trails motor-free.

Enter Marc Basiliere of Lindarets. As we were in the process of publishing in the Michael Kelley interview, Marc was gearing up to launch his new “Motorbike” shirt (Motor+Bike=Motorbike), all proceeds from which go to IMBA in support of their current position against motorized vehicles on trails. The project was inspired, as he said, by a frustration that big industry support of IMBA by members of the e-bike manufacturing community would overwhelm what he perceived to be the voices of the individual trail users calling for pause and consideration in allowing access. In Marc’s mind, there are disastrous implications for embracing the technology on cycling trails without caveat, from the disruption of trail harmony and safety to both the access that we currently enjoy and potential future access. So when the Kelley piece went live, Marc pasted the copy for the shirt, his e-bike manifesto, into the comments section. He then volunteered to be the counterpoint, so I gave him a call… READ MORE ->

Interview: Alex Webster of Hermes Wheels


After years building custom wheels for one-off customers and small batch production partners, Alex Webster, founder of Hermes Sports, found himself limited by what he perceived to be a performance ceiling in the product he could make using existing hardware. From his years of industry exposure and experience in wheel-building, and with the help of an engineer friend, Alex has spent the last three years developing and testing the VK wheel system from the ground-up, and it’s finally on shelves and ready for consumers. And, according to Alex, the wheelset delivers on the road.

But an innovative new product isn’t the whole story. In parallel with the development and testing process for these wheels, Alex has worked to establish a domestic manufacturing network for his proprietary parts, as well as setting up assembly facility in downtown San Diego. For Alex, Hermes is not just an opportunity to produce the wheels he wants to ride and to see in the world, but it’s an opportunity to stimulate and support the local and domestic manufacturing infrastructure… READ MORE ->

Interview: Jeff Tiedeken of Monkey Likes Shiny


Jeff Tiedeken is a member of a small, elite class of hired gun, high concept developers and fabricators within our industry, a group many people don’t even know exists. They hang out on the fringes like mad scientists, their whole purpose to live outside the industry box, think up cool stuff, and make that cool stuff happen. You’ve seen Jeff’s work without even knowing it. Maybe you’ve ridden it. Maybe you’re in love with some of it. But you’ll never know.

Jeff’s company, Monkey Like Shiny, is a full service design and fabrication shop out of Berkeley that works on projects from bicycles components to satellite parts. He also occasionally breaks loose and designs and builds a ludicrous concept bike just because he loves bicycles and he’s got a weird itch. By some strange twist of fate, Jeff and I just happened to be hanging out at the Peacock Groove space, workshop and lair of infamous Minneapolis-based builder, Erik Noren, who mentored and inspired Jeff as a kid to make stuff, make cool stuff, and to go the extra mile.

Armed with celebratory beverages, we retreated to the back of the shop to talk about Jeff’s unusual sources of inspiration, the sometimes depressing realities of high-level development in the cycling industry, and his current completely ridiculous concept project bike – a bike designed for 50 years in the future. Who needs a headset when you can just use a giant sphere? READ MORE ->

Interview: John Jones of Jones Precision Wheels

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“I’ve had my espresso. I’m ready for questions.”

In many ways, it was predestined that John Jones would build custom wheels for a living. After all, wheels have been a constant underlying theme in his long and diverse industry career. Having started in a bike shop very soon after coming to the states, John quickly fell in love with the process and art of building wheels. He later joined the pro mountain circuit in the 90’s, traveling around the world and wrenching alongside other rock star mechanics of the time. He managed operations for brands like Outland VPP and Chris King, as well as a coffee delivery service before establishing Jones Precision Wheels.

Armed with his trusty Gabe Fox to cover the business end, John is now focused on tailoring wheels to customers full time. Every wheel begins with a conversation and is built as though John was building it for himself. In this phone interview, an espresso-fueled John Jones tells the story of how he got where he is and shares his personal process and philosophy for building wheels.


Interview: Michael Kelley Advocates for E-Bikes On The Trails


As a co-founder of IMBA and as Vice President of that organization until 1999, Michael played the strong diplomat in establishing use rights for mountain bikes first in California, then abroad. He helped to establish the argument for bicycles by working hand-in-hand with hiking and equestrian groups as well as state and federal spaces that strongly felt that mechanical advantage had no place on trails. Simultaneously, he helped to develop educational programs for trail users, personally posting “Rules of the Trail” at trailheads, so this new mountain biker trail user would have a code of conduct. He has spent countless hours since the early 80’s personally building and maintaining trails across the west. His life’s work advocating for mountain bikes won him induction into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2002.

Now 72, Michael has taken on a new role in advocating for bicycles – electric bicycles, which he views as the newest technology that can bring new people to the trail to enjoy the outdoors and to enjoy the ride as he has. And, as someone who initially argued for mechanical advantage use on trails for mountain bikes, he believes there is a case to be made for these motor assisted vehicles… READ MORE ->

Interview: Garrett Kautz of Strawfoot Handmade Musettes and Accessories


Garrett Kautz started Strawfoot Handmade out of a desire to make clever bags and accessories for his friends. Five years on, Strawfoot produces a collection of bags out of natural or repurposed materials. Strawfoot also makes the occasional limited availability product such as gear bags for Niner and leather BB gun straps for Blackburn Designs (for cyclocross biathlon relay race for the Rangers camp). The designs within his collection are simple but surprisingly functional. Materials are natural or domestically made whenever possible and fasteners are steel or brass as opposed to plastic. Every piece in the collection is designed for durability and to gain character with age and use. I spoke with Garrett in his backyard several weeks ago (as he juggled his toddler on his lap) to get a feel for the operation… READ MORE ->

Interview: Adam Clement of Gevenalle


Gevenalle, or Retroshift as it was known in the Beforetimes, was forged in the cold, muddy pits of Portland cyclocross to address a need for durable, serviceable, cross-specific componentry. Years on, founder Adam Clement continues to charge forward with the fourth version of his iconic shifter and brake lever system as well as a suite of similarly thoughtful and functional drivetrain components designed to keep racers racing in the most extreme course conditions in style…