Thursday, February 28, 2013

North American Handmade Bike Show 2013: Part 2

   And it's time for round two! Enough chatter, on to the bikes:

  This time trial bike was a real piece of art. I really recommend opening these up and looking at them larger (by clicking on them). The bike was a 1x10 with DI2 electronic shifting. The shifters are small round black buttons in the end of the aero bars. The battery is a custom, USB powered and located in the frame. 

The headset and brakes are also really wild. Completely internal cable routing to rear facing V-brakes. The levers are mounted on the front of the crown height bars (a hand is on the rear brake).

   Even the front wheel was out of control. The hub was real narrow and the outer part of the axle was wing shaped.

   This Huffy was the bike that won the Giro in 1988 by Andrew Hampsten. Huffy used to be a major contender in these races.

   This Schlumpf Innovations crank featured an internal 2 speed, operated by buttons on the end of the bottom bracket spindle you hit with your heels. I got a chance to try this out, and it was surprisingly easy and natural feeling.

   Here's Zac trying out a bakefeits cargo bike. Man, one of these would be fun with a pile of kids in it!

   This bike wins most eccentric paint

   And lastly, Geoff is confused and enraged by a 4 chainring crank... a quadruple. For use on tandems, apparently, of which there were many.

   That's the full report from the North American Handmade Bike Show. Want more? Check out bikerumor for some extensive posts on individual products.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

North American Handmade Bike Show 2013: Part 1

   Last weekend I had the chance to attend the NAHMBS. Clunky acronym aside, this was a really fun and awesome show. I'm going to skip the pleasantries and jump into the pics!

   One of the titanium bike companies had a sweet little custom frame.

   Festka was showing off what was a pretty ridiculous track bikes. The fade on this was really beautiful.

   Sanomagic is a company working with wooden sailboats and their interiors, and put their considerable skills into this bike. Wood everything! Seat, wheels, bar plug ends, cable ends... Everything!  It was a pretty incredible sight!

   Shimano was there with a couple cool things as well. here Shimano has combined the Alfine 8 speed internal hub with a DI electronic shifting system. Since it's internal, there's little readout on the handlebar telling you what gear you are in.

   Shimano's second cool technology was a clear plastic disc brake set, showing the inner workings of a hydraulic disc brake. A 4 piston brake no less!

Lastly, for this post, here's a bike with two awesome pieces of tech: The first is a cable-to-hydraulic adaptor. Brake cables go in; hydraulic cables come out. It was a sweet way of running juice brakes on a road or cross set up, even if a little clunky.

   The Second cool thing on the same bike was some carbon composite brake rotors. I mean, if you're going to go to the trouble of using the hydraulic converter, might as well go all out! You may recall I posted about some similar rotors a while back, so it was awesome to see them in real life.

Well, that's all for now - But there are more pictures and more awesome thing to check out, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Marshal Mesa vs Hall/Heil : Trail vs Road

   There are two pretty fantastic rides from our place in Boulder I frequent, and with our not-so-recent move to Gunbarrel, I've been contemplating how to get to them. Bus? Nothing like sitting on public transit in skin tight Lycra. Car? What am I? Some kind of invalid? So I'm riding to the trail head LIKE A MAN. I have ridden each form the front door, and it's surprisingly not so bad. It is a great way to get additional miles and also maximize a workout.

OK, to compare the two trails, here's a graphic:

Road        Mixed Use          Trail

   Let's start with Marshal Mesa. This ride takes you parallel Foothills and Cherryvale, then along about a 22 mile loop form the Marshal trailhead heading West toward Eldorado Canyon then back East toward Superior. This ends up back at the trailhead and back to Gunbarrel the same way:

Marshal Mesa +

Marshal Mesa elevation profile

Marshal Mesa = 45.5 miles
  • Road: 16.5
  • Mixed: 14.5
  • Trail: 14.5


   Next is Hall / Heil. This goes North on one of any number of country roads paralleling 63rd North. Once you get to Lyons a quick lap around Hall followed by a harrowing trip through the rock garden. Back through town and then South up Picture Rock and down Heil. Then it's back down Neva to the house.

 Hall - Picture Rock - Heil

Hall / Heil  elevation profile

Hall / Heil = 43 miles
  • Road: 25
  • Mixed: 2
  • Trail:  16


   So the result is that there is a bunch more road on hall / Heil. The mixed use stuff, mostly jogging trails and dirt roads really are nicer than the paved roads for riding a mountain bike on. The trade off is that Hall / Heil is a lot more technical and more fun mtn biking. so, If you're looking to ride form my house, for some reason, and feeling like more fast miles, hit up Marshal Mesa. If you're feeling like some more technical trails at the expense of some road riding, hall is your best bet!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday WTF: Low Budget Flatland

   I found myself in the weird part of YouTube the other night, and came across this:

   The crowd is really getting into it! I wish I knew more about this but all I can say is it looks urban. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Weekend Project: Pallet Coat Rack

  Last weekend Natalie and I decided to take down the generic coat rack in the entryway and put up something a little more modern! Here is the space before we got started:

So much room for activities!

   Natalie found a pretty cool idea on Pinterest, so we tried to replicate it. We both liked the kind of abstract look and uncluttered look. Initially we were looking at pallets, but they were fairly rough and kind of hard to come by. I suggested we build something to our liking. Here's a start:

Laying out the design

   Once I cut out all the parts, I painted it the color of the trim in the entryway. On to ASSEMBLY!

The frame

   I set up a small jig to space out the slats and screw holes. Since this is going to be the first thing you see when walking in the door, I wanted to be sure that the details were good. 

Nearly complete!

   I also built in some small shelves for holding keys and stuff. They are kind of hidden so it looks pretty clean .

Objects shown more blue than they appear

   And of course Max was lots of help...

'My heart yearns to run...'

   Hanging was a bit of an ordeal. Unfortunately, I had about 50% success rate finding studs, but I'll spare you pictures of me patching holes. Eventually, I was able to get everything mounted:

Ready to be used!

   ... And then I took max for a nice run!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Has DH Science Gone Too Far?

   This post is a two-fer! It's not often I post on a downhill bike, but these two are worth a second look. This bike looks like it could survive a head on with a train. Or maybe the guy is actually 5'2" 

Monster bike!!!

   Next thing is just some kind of internal drive system. I wish I could find more info on it, but here's what we have:

'Direct' drive


Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday WTF: Pedal Powered Rock Crawler

   There are tons of bikes out there, to fit your every need. If you're into bombing hills and big hits there's a bike for you...

A man's sport

If you are into speed on the open road...

Another man's sport

Heck, even if you're into being the target of ridicule...

There's a bike for that

But what about the off road driver turned cyclist? Well enter the TrailCart, an off-roading machine, powered by you:

Teh Future?/

   This bad boy is all wheel drive, has around 15" of articulation and impliments the Shimano Nexus 8 speed shifting system. 

Fun for young and old

   Seems like a fun thing to crawl around the rocks on. Still, all I can think of when I see it is this:

The OG pedal powered car

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bicycle Chariot Races? Awesome level: 92/100

    I stumbled across this gem over on In celebration of Rome's 2,762 birthday, the organizers have been having some fun with a chariot race for the masses. Gone are the horses and weapons - these chariots are pedal driven!

Faster! you pale steeds

Navigating the downhills seems a challenge

   Turns out this is not an uncommon thing. Here are some other folks working like horses in their own pedal-chariots.

Working with one another           Crashing into one another

Gives 'cutting off' another rider a new meaning

Cyclocross chariot racing is the next logical step

   Seems like many of these are modified 55 gallon drums with wheels. My opinion? I LOVE IT! and in the interest of trying all types of cycling, I feel like this is the next logical step. Who wants to be my horses?

Monday, February 11, 2013

New XC Wheels

   The wheels on my Spot mountain bike are some pretty beat up WTB SpeedDisc rims laced to some Shimano 575 hubs. These have served me well, even through the Colorado Trail. But, as happens with many miles, they are suffering:

This is AFTER a bunch of spoke work

   I have been on the look out for some new wheels and have had my eye on the Mavic TN719 rims. Turns out they have a couple hub options. They have a set with Shimano 529 hubs or Shimano XT hubs. I chose the XT hubs for another $30. The weight distribution looks like this:
  • Old Front: 2.03 lbs
  • Old Rear: 2.10 lbs
  • Old Total: 28.05 lbs
  • New Front: 2.03 lbs (no change)
  • New Rear: 2.18 lbs (+0.08 lbs)
  • New Total: 28.14 lbs (additional +.01 due to new tires)
   Well, I was enthusiastic for dropping some weight and it turned out to be a bit of a wash! I had even written in space in this draft for a picture of the scale with so much less weight. Oh well. What I did gain was stronger and smoother hubs, which is worth a bit of a weigh penalty. Here's the bike with the new set up:

New tires really make a bike look hot

   I had a chance to ride the new set up Saturday, and it was very good. The main difference was in braking; my old  front wheel was deflecting to the left when I was braking hard. I give this wheelset a solid 4.5/5, the cost and strength making up for the weight.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sexy Bike Blog of the Day

   Sometimes when you want to sell parts, you just have to get some ladies in the pictures. Enter Stradalli bikes, makers of carbon frames wheels and frames. What makes this the Friday fun-day post is a simple image search:

Look at all that skin

   I didn't skew these results at all, just I turned safe search off. Wait a minute - one of these is not like the other...

Get that clothed asshole out of here!

   You know what they say: Sex sells! Based on the mixed reviews on the quality of the product, they may want to spend a little more time here:

Proper product development

Check out the Stradalli blog for more chicks hanging all over bikes in their unmentionables, or better yet - get on your bike and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Peter Sagan's Custom SuperSix EVO

   What we have here is Peter Sagan's custom Cannondale SuperSix EVO. What is interesting about this frame is that it's a custom carbon frame, mating a rear end from a 54cm to the front end of a 58cm. This gives a short back end, with a longer top tube and some added reach. Why? Because he's the the tournimator, that's why.

Victory tastes good

   Here's our hero's whip:

SuperSix EVO custom 54-58cm

   And here's a shot of a standard 58cm from our good friends over at ebay:

SuperSix EVO 58cm

   These images may not convey it properly, so here's a composite:


   What's interesting about this is that you need a special mold to build a frame, since every size has it's own mold. So building this wasn't as easy as lopping off the back of a 54 and gluing it on the front of a 58. Here's a carbon frame mold:


   So, to get this bike to have two parts, the mold has to be specially made to work with this size. Sagan is a talented rider, and Cannondale must believe that he's got what it takes to support him with this rocket ship of a bike!