Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday WTF: Awesome Edition

   Got this from the guys over on BikeRumor, where all the news drops first. Check this out!

"Look out below!"

   This fearless fellow is taking his TT bike off a ramp onto an inflatable landing pad! Can such a thing even get more awesome??? I say yes, yes it can!

Bring on summer!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Cannondale Synapse: Now With More Weird Bottom Bracket

   Cannondale introduced the new Synapse recently. This bike is designed for the longer ride, with a more forgiving ride than the SuperSix. The market is people looking for a ride for longer distances, or road races with a rougher ride.

The goods

   One of the neatest features of this bike is the split seat tube at the bottom bracket junction. 

The weirds

   Seems like a great place to hide a spare tube. Anyway this design is meant to spread the load on the bottom bracket shell. A wider base means more stiffness. Compare this to the normal BB, where the shell is considerably wider than the down tube and seat tube:

Normal alloy bottom bracket

   This is upposed to give the bike some great lateral stiffness! You may also notice that the chain stays are flattened, this gives the rear end a bit of flex to absorb the road vibration.
   The last thing is the seat post, which is pretty wild:

27.2 seatpost

   This seatpost is smaller than a standard seatpost, which is 30.9. This more narrow seatpost is supposed to flex more, giving a smoother ride. You may also notice that the clamp is integrated into the frame, which gives a pretty smooth and sleek look. Check one out today!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cool Technology: Scott Spark 29, the Twilnoc and Shock Direction

   Stopped in to Boulder Cycle Sport the other day and had a chance to check out the Scott Spark 29. I have been casually looking for a full suspension 29er for racing, and so this caught my eye. 

Stock photo

   There are a few things that I like about this bike - mainly the rear shock position. I really like style that pushes along a tube rather than on the bottom bracket. Here, have a graphic:

Yes                                                No

   This style puts the force from the suspension into a tube from the end, rather than adding more force to an already heavily weighted area. This is largely  matter of opinion, but it's my blog so my opinion is what we'll be reading about.

   Back to the Spark! This bike has a pretty cool lockout system called TwinLoc. This shock lockout system will lock out both the fork and the rear shock with one switch. 

TwinLoc lever

   As far as I'm able to tell, there is no way to lock out the shock and fork separately. It would save time when switching from road to rough stuff, but I could see how you'd want to have the back locked out and some action in  the front. In any case, it's a pretty sweet bike!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday WTF: Track Edition

   What's that you say? Riding a fixed gear with no brakes at breakneck speeds isn't dangerous enough?  Well climb aboard! You can fall off the top AND the bottom of this thing. 

Death race?

   Ah, clueless design. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sweet Outdoor Feature of the Bike Shop

   Natalie and I were heading down to Pearl for a walk the other day, and saw this awesome set up outside University Bikes

Get you bike tools and parts here!

   This vending machine had tubes, tools, snacks... everything to get you back on the road if you were caught in a pinch! And since it's facing out, it's accessible 24-7.

Close up of the goods.

   So next time you're stuck near Pearl and 9th with a flat or an empty stomach after hours, wander over to U Bikes and stock up!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hating on Fixed Gears

   My experience with fixed gears is limited to the bikes I rode for a few weeks each and decided to go back to freewheel. I found it fun but inconvenient. I have a few friends who ride fixed all the time and can ride without paying attention. That said, I stumbled across a picture the other day of an anti fixed gear thing that I thought was funny:

   After a little more internet research, I found several really aggressive anti-fixed gear sites:  (warning: audio advertisement)

   ...As well as a bunch of threads on other cycling sites with varying opinions of riding fixed. In my opinion, the animosity comes from the perception of fixed gear riders as using a bike as an accessory. With stores like Urban Outfitters selling them, it's easy to understand why they seem like a fashion statement.

   I find it hard to see the practicality or attractiveness of this:

Pure Fix Cycles Lima

   But I sure find this sexy as hell:

Specialized Langster Pro

   Both are fixed gears... I guess you gotta take the good with the bad. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday WTF: 36er city bike

   This week's WTF is brought to you by the folks over at Jruiter Design. This bike is designed for the city dweller looking for a quick way to navigate the metropolitan downtown. Check it out:

   Initial thoughts? Well, wheelie-ing seems like it would be pretty easy, and steering would be strange as you pivot around the back wheel, which is right under the rider. Here are some more shots of the bike:

The cockpit (Also an airport themed gay bar in Chicago)

The triple clamp (Also a WWE wrestling themed bar in Atlanta)

Pretty minimal Tire Clearance (Also a NASCAR themed bar in Kansas City)

   Lastly, here's a shot of it in action. I have to say, weirdness aside, I would love to take this thing for a spin!

The blur effect (Also a trendy bar in Hollywood)

   It does kind of reminds me of an early bicycle...

The dandy horse (...and we're back to a gay bar)

   Check out more over on innercity bikes

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crazy Vintage BMX of the Day

   Check out this sweet bike from GT. This appears to be a full suspension BMX bike! I couldn't find any more information about it, but here are a bunch of pictures:

GT full suspension BMX

Upper pivot

   Check out the innovative chain tensioner! With the right clamp design, this could be a cool tensioner for a single speed. It's interesting to note that this would have to go on the lower (return) of the chain. It would have to run with a pretty large chainring for the chain to clear the tensioner.

Read dropout

   Here is where the shock should go, but it is not attached. I would have liked to see how it was meant to be mounted. It's also interesting that it has a bit of a camming motion.


This reminds me that GT has always had a thing for overly complicated suspension systems:

GT I-Drive

   Here's a simple force formula for how this suspension system:

Solve for WTF

   That's about it for this bike. Keep an eye out for even weirder bikes, after all it's weird bike season.

Monday, April 8, 2013

CX Rear Rim Upgrade

   Last weekend I took my cross bike on an awesome ride.  I went through North Boulder Ranch, took the back roads from Lee Hill to 4 Mile then hit up Betasso.

View counter-clockwise

    I had never ridden such a rough trail on a CX bike, and thought it was a lot of fun... until I got home. I thought my rear rim was just a little out of true from my enthusiastic ride...

1.                               2.                                3.

   If it had been just one place, I would have probably let is slide until it became a larger problem. A wheel will work OK one spoke down. But three! Three spokes were pulled out of the rim. I think that this could have been caused by have an uneven tension on the rim, so these spokes in particular were carrying a lot of weight. That combined with a long ride full of brief but sharp impacts were more than the rim could handle. 
   I hopped on eBay and did a little research into a new wheel, a new wheel set, a new bike, some sunglasses, a vintage Huffy jersey and a team RAD onesie for the little guy. FOCUS. As it turned out, I had this WTB Speed Disc 32 hole rim that a friend gave me. I have never laced up a rim, but though I had nothing to lose here!

Step 1. Tape the old rim to the new rim. What I'm going to do is just move the spokes and nipples one by one to the new rim. Here  I've taped the two rims together. It was important to get the spokes lined up properly, and the valve stem hole in the right spot.

Taped together

Step 2. Move spokes from old rim to new rim. The first thing that I did was loosen all the spokes on the side that the new rim was on. This let all the spokes relax a bit and gave me some wiggle room for the transfer. I started with one spoke, then went about 4 spokes away, and kept going in a somewhat random fashion until I had all the spokes and nipples moved from the old wheel to the new wheel.

Some moved spokes

3. remove old rim, true new wheel. Once all the spokes and nipples were moved from the old rim to the new rim, I untaped the old rim, and took it off. What was left was a very loose lace up of the old hub, spokes and nipples to the new rim.

Almost done

4. Re-True new wheel. Now that the wheel is together, I tightened the spokes to true the wheel. Here it's important to make sure that none of the spokes were over tight or too loose, and the rim i s not too wobbly. This is a bit of guess and check.

   And here is the wheel all built up! The first ride yielded many pops and creaks from the spokes, but that's normal. I took a spoke tool with me for the first ride, since I expected the rim to settle a bit, and wanted to be able to fix any wobbles on the spot.

Final product

   The new rim is 26.5mm wide compared to the 20mm width of the Open Pro that I took off. The wider rim needed to be taken into consideration, because you don't want to run a rim close to or wider than the size of the tire. These tires are 35c, or about 35mm. The wider rim also means a larger contact patch for the back tire. Bad for road, good for trail. Fair trade off. This makes me want to build a whole wheel now!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday WTF: Ruin any Shoes!

   This Friday's WTF comes from a link a friend sent me. These guys are making a bolt on plate for your street shoes to make them into clipless shoes. For example - here's some kind of Nike high top made into a clipless shoe. Great for those days when you want to hit the court, and ride your fixie, and do neither well.


   The next example is a dress shoe ruined with a clipless mount. 

Stylish Stupid

   Why would you be riding a fixed gear in a suit? This is a serious question... I can't think of a reason. 

"The line to kick our asses starts over there."

   Finally, why not add a cleat to the softest soled shoes on the market? This is one step away from just bolting the clips right to your feet.

Converse 'the-crash-resulting-from-these-shoes-will-make-you-see' Stars

   One large reason you wear cleats is because you want a good power transfer to your pedals, which is the result of a firm sole. Casual shoes do not have a firm sole. In my opinion, you're just one short step to this:

Clipless... sandals?

   ... and inevitably, this:

Pinacle of cool.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

26... 29... 36???

   With the recent popularity of 29 inch mountain bikes, and even more companies getting into the 650b market, it really opens the doors for unique and awesome bikes. How about this, the wily 36er:

The Pofahl 36er

   When considering a 36er, what do you have to get custom? Well, pretty much everything. The frame, fork and wheels for starters. There are companies that are specializing in this kind of thing, although the market is still pretty thin. Companies like make custom wheel and spoke cutting in the UK.
   One of the first companies to popularize the 36 inch wheel size was Coker. This bad boy is the hottest thing on the beach.

The Coker Monster Cruiser

    The large wheels aren't as strange on a cruiser, but, man on a mountain bike, the effect is a little jarring.

   Oh what's that? 36" wheels aren't enough? Well check this puppy out:

Triple Titanic

Monday, April 1, 2013

Huffy's Foray into high end BMX

   This is not even an April Fools Joke! Huffy really made a kick ass BMX bike a while back. As many of you know, I used to be pretty heavy into BMX when I was younger. I still love keeping  up with BMX racing and the trends of the sport.

*bike shown actual size

   I stumbled across a bike the other day that was both surprising and nostalgia inducing. This is the Huffy Primus:

   Before you mock, let me paint you a story with words. First the specs: This bicycle was ahead of it's time a bit in terms of technology:
  • 7075 aluminum frame with headset gussets
  • european threaded bottom bracket 
  • long 21.75" top tube
  • square stays for impressive stiffness
  • came stock with Profile cranks and hubs
  • 1-1/8" internal headset.
  In a nutshell, the bike was built to be raced, and no corners were cut. Next, the history! In the late 90's, economy bikes were starting to really be seen in large stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Huffy was associated with these stores, but also attempted to sell this BMX bike in bike shops only. This turned out to not be fantastic, for a number of reasons... People were not quick to embrace a brand that was so closely tied with the economy market, Shops were not thrilled to apparently compete with large stores, and there was a wider profit margin in economy bikes. Deterred, Huffy stopped making these bikes in the mid 2000's.
   Now, check out some pics:

   No arguing that this bike was a purpose built race bike. It's a bit of a shame it never took off, with the history of Huffy race bikes as we saw at the NAHBS:

1988 Giro de; Italia winning Huffy

   Long live the Primus!