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A Holiday Weekend

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 05:58

We’re off for the holiday weekend. Hope you are too and riding big miles.

 

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Ben Weaver Rides the Great Divide

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 15:22

Ben Weaver, that guy that rides his bike and plays music along the way is back at it. And, this time riding the Great Divide.

Whether you’re a full-blown adventure junkie or “more of a music person,” I expect you’ll enjoy Ben weekly journal as he rides and shares his music and poetry with the communities along the way.

Ben and Keenan, the filmmaker, deserve credit for the different take on an edit and I’m pleased to see it and wish them well.

 

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Riding the Raging River

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 15:37

While everyone was thinking about it, some more freaked out than others, the cougar attack at Tokul Saturday didn’t dampen the festivities and spirts of those riding the Raging River.

17 miles of new trails opened and connected a lollipop-shaped loop for a total of 21 miles with 4K feet of climbing. The short version of the story is

I rode my MTB with the commissioner of public lands, then it rained real hard, and I was super nervous about cougars, after hearing the tragic news as we were shuttling up to the towers…

It was epic. When the thunder clapped and the skies opened for an hour-long downpour I didn’t hesitate along with the other riders because I know I’d never get to shuttle up the 7-mile climb again, so I went for it.

And, I’m glad I did.

Earlier with the sun shining brightly, dignitaries open the trailhead and unveiled a very nice and big sign. The first loop I rode was the green, a short climb then a flow decent. Then after getting dropped off at the towers, I took my time descending in the greasy conditions at one point skating when the clay-like mud caked up in the tires.

It was misty.Back at the park, I drank beer with attendees and enjoyed the grounds.

The big #ragingriver reveal with @waDNR @EvergreenMTB 17 miles of new trails. pic.twitter.com/joXZTzt2LF

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) May 20, 2018

Raging River is the latest in an effort between the DNR, Evergreen, and various stakeholders to open up more forest land.

Waiting out another squall here for a bit before the descent.As I’ve been sharing in various posts, there’s a renaissance of mountain biking going on the Pacific Northwest. Miles of new trails are connected existing trails and eventually. they’ll comprise hundreds of miles intersecting with the Mountain to Sound Greenway.

My personal fav, Lake Ollalie, is approached from the Iron Horse, a jewel of rails to trails. What this all means is hours of riding for roadies or mountain bikers without ever seeing a car.

I asked Yvonne Krause, the Executive Director of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to explain the backstory of how we got here and she replied

The new and diverse 17 mile Raging River trail system is the result of an effective public/private partnership between Evergreen MTBA and WA Department of Natural Resources.

We successfully partnered to both fund and build phase 1 of these trails, now open to riders of all abilities and offering views, climbs, a backcountry experience, and thrilling descents.

Raging serves a fast growing need for mountain bike resources in the Puget Sound Region, and is already relieving pressure at crowded existing MTB trailheads.  DNR is innovating in bringing more recreation to our working forests and is filling a currently underserved recreation need for mountain bikers. Raging offers economic benefits for the communities of Snoqualmie, North Bend and Issaquah, and fosters close to home recreation and healthy lifestyle choices for residents of many Puget Sound communities.

Evergreen, DNR, and everyone else couldn’t be more ecstatic with how this trail system turned out, and can’t wait to deliver the next phase to their membership.

After riding it, I’m ecstatic too, and encourage you to try it.

To get there, take I-90 to exit 27. Then make a right if arriving from the East or left from the West. Park or continue to the parking lot (1/4 mile) up the road in the Snoqualmie Point State Park.

The climb is about 45 miles and 95% on singletrack.

Since I wrote this story, a fund has been set up for the survivor of the cougar attack.

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Pivot Cycles Trail 429

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 09:07

Pivot’s sell so well, they could just keep making the same models, with iterations and sell through another few seasons, probably more. But that’s not how their designer, Chris Cocalis operates. And, the Pivot Cycles Trail 429 was just released.

I can walk you through the specs point by point, it’s a checklist of what mountain bikers want their whips to do, but more importantly I’ve not met someone more focused on delivering to market the absolute best bikes he can.

He does it year after year…

The Trail 429 is an update to the popular Mach 429 Trail with an even higher level of stability and control over technical terrain with innovative frame design and progressive geometry.

As I tell all my roadie buds, take that fitness you have, don’t stop pedaling at a high cadence, and you’ll be amazed at what you can ride over.

I’m amazed and I suck at the technical stuff.

I haven’t ridden the Trail 429 yet, but I’m sure I’ll clear even more previously unthinkable sections of the trail I ride. That’s because the chainstays are shorter, reach is longer, head angle is slacker and the seat angle is steeper.

We shortened up the bike’s rear end while increasing its reach

explained Chris.

The overall wheelbase grew in length, which adds stability, but it’s not so long that it takes away the bike’s versatility.

The shorter chainstays add to the Trail 429’s ability to quickly accelerate and keep the bike nimble in tight conditions.

Chris also said that the “Goal was to retain that awesome Mach range while improving the bike’s descending abilities.”

Like I said, cyclists are pushing trail bikes harder and demanding they perform. Pivot built a bike in response and it’ll hit that sweet spot.

Learn more about the Pivot 429 Trail here. It ships in sizings to fit every rider and you can spec it as a 27.5+ or 29. The six different configurations range in price from $4,699 to $8,699.

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Wright Brothers Offers Van Cleve and St. Clair Bicycles

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 12:09

The Wright Brothers are making bikes again and doing so to fund the work of a family foundation dedicated to preserving the Wright legacy worldwide. The foundation’s  initiatives include maintenance and programming of Hawthorn Hill (the Wright brothers’ success mansion), restoration of the original Wright Company buildings (the first U.S. airplane factory) and preservation of aviation history around the globe.

The bikes include the Van Cleve 1896 for $4750 and the St. Clair 1896 at $3950. Both townies are named in homage to the Wright family history.

Van Cleve 1896

The Van Cleve model harkens back to the Wrights’ top-of-the-line build and pays homage to their mother’s ancestors the Van Cleves. For commuting or weekend the Van Cleve features Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal rear hub, TRP Spyre brakes, and Gates Carbon Drive CDX belt. The MSRP is $4750.

  • Accessory Mounts: 2 water bottle mounts, rear rack mounts, front low-rider mounts, front and rear fender mounts
  • Bottom Bracket: Co-Motion eccentric with Shimano external bearing cartridge
  • Brakes: TRP Spyre, PM front, 160 mm 6-bolt rotor. TRP Spyre, IS rear, 160 mm center-lock rotor
  • Crankset: Shimano Alfine 170 mm arms with Gates CenterTrack 39t front sprocket (U.S.A.)
  • Drive: Gates Carbon Drive CDX belt 118t (U.S.A.)
  • Fork: Co-Motion taper-gauge Cro-Moly with CNC steerer (U.S.A.)
  • Frame: Co-Motion-designed Reynolds 725 heat treated double butted Cro-Moly tubing (U.S.A.)
  • Gears: Shimano Alfine 11-speed, internal rear hub
  • Grips/Tape: Co-Motion/Lizard Skin Lock-on grips, Black
  • Handlebar: Co-Motion/FSA city bar
  • Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet 1-1/8″, Black (U.S.A.)
  • Kick Stand: 2-leg center stand
  • Levers: Shimano flat bar levers, road pull
  • Saddle: Selle Anatomica X1, Black with gunmetal rivets (U.S.A.)
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite, straight, 27.2 mm diameter, Black (U.S.A)
  • Shifter: Alfine 11 Rapid Fire
  • Stem: Thomson Elite, X2, 100 mm, 10 deg, Black (U.S.A.)
  • Tires: Vittoria Randonneur Pro 700 x 35
  • Wheelset: DT 350 Disc front hub/Velocity Dyad Rim 700c. Shimano
  • Alfine 11 rear hub/Velocity Dyad rim 700c (U.S.A.)
  • Color: Metallic Black
  • Sizes: 46 cm, 50 cm, 52 cm, 54 cm, 56 cm, 58 cm, 60 cm & 62 cm
  • Weight: 24.2 lbs (54 cm size)
St. Clair 1896

The original St. Clair bicycle was named for Arthur St. Clair, the first president of the Northwest Territory of the United States, comprised of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Today’s version is designed for everyday and recreational weekend rides with a comfortable riding frame made of Reynolds 725 tubing, easy-to-shift Shimano Alfine 8 drivetrain components and smooth stopping SRAM Avid BB5 disc brakes. The MSRP is $3950.

  • Accessory Mounts: 2 water bottle mounts, rear rack mounts, front low-rider mounts, front and rear fender mounts
  • Bottom Bracket: Co-Motion eccentric with Shimano external bearing cartridge
  • Brakes: Avid BB5, 160 mm rotors, 6-bolt front, center-lock rear
  • Crankset: Shimano Alfine, 170 mm arms, 39t chainring
  • Drive: Sram 850 chain
  • Fork: Co-Motion taper-gauge Cro-Moly with CNC steerer (U.S.A.)
  • Frame: Co-Motion-designed Reynolds 725 heat treated double butted Cro-Moly tubing (U.S.A.)
  • Gears: Shimano Alfine 8, internal rear hub gearing, 8 speeds
  • Grips/Tape: ESI Extra Chunky silicone grips (U.S.A.)
  • Handlebar: Co-Motion/FSA city bar
  • Headset: FSA Orbit X 1-1/8″, Black
  • Kick Stand: 2-leg center stand
  • Levers: Avid flat bar levers
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Nekkar Flow
  • Seatpost: Race Face Ride XC, straight, 27.2 mm diameter, Black
  • Shifter: Alfine 8 Rapid Fire
  • Stem: FSA Gossamer, 100 mm, 6 deg, Black
  • Tires: Schwalbe Marathon 650B x 42
  • Wheelset: DT 350 Disc front hub/Velocity Dyad Rims 650B, Front.
  • Shimano Alfine 8 rear hub/Velocity Dyad rim 650B (U.S.A.)
  • Color: Graphite Blue
  • Sizes: 46 cm, 50 cm, 52 cm, 54 cm, 56 cm, 58 cm, 60 cm & 62 cm
  • Weight: 26.4 lbs (56 cm size)

Both bikes look great and are for an even greater cause.

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Duer Jeans for Bike Month

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 06:22

At the risk of using a dated cultural reference, I always wanted a pair of Chuck Norris Action Jeans. You know why, because they “won’t bind your legs.” Duer Jeans are as close as I’ll get to the action jeans version. I’m wearing them for Bike Month and long after that.

I’m not stunt fighting in action movies. Just riding a townie around Seattle. While the designers probably made them without any reference to Chuck Norris I’m happy those jeans have finally arrived.

They have a gusseted crotch, reinforced seams, and are from Duer and a follow up to their Kickstarter, a revolutionary no-sweat pant. Getting more current, imagine if Lululemon for Men made a pair of jeans that were so comfortable, it’s what you wore all the time.

Like, wore them so much, you get a second pair to not wear them out.

That’s what I did. My wife did too. The straight and narrow Onyx.

Wearing the stretchy denim includes on/off the bike and for travel. Duer sent me their seriously technical fabric, in the L2X denim flavor to coincide with National Bike Month. You bet I recommend them for commuting and when paired with a breathable tee or collared shirt. Prefer Chinos, Duer makes those too and calls them Live Free.

It make sense that sells a DWR treated denim for wet weather as well. They’re based in Vancouver, a city like Seattle just north of the border in Canada.

In comparison, these feel like premium sweats when on and much less stiff than the denim Rapha or Levis sells to cyclists; although, without the visibility accents.

Duer denim is made with Spandex, COOLMAX, and Silvadur for odor controls.

That’s lots of tech. What you need to know is they’re low rise, true to size, and very comfortable. I’m not a brand ambassador for Du/Er just an enthusiast and respect them for launching a successful company from Kickstarter (that used to be a thing).

I have the Duers in Vintage and Galatactic. Both costs $129.00 and shared here with a referral link that gives me a credit back so I can get even more super comfortable jeans. If clicked and a pair of Duers are purchased, you’ll get a credit too: $25.00.

Pretty much like the ones Chuck Norris wore.

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3T Strada Pro, 1x Aero at a Lower Price

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 15:10

While I was hanging out with Sony and taking pictures, 3T announced the Strada Pro for $4900. The Pro is layered with a slightly heavier frameset and ships as a complete bike with SRAM Force 1, Discus C35 wheels, a San Marco saddle, and an Aeronova bar. It’s a 1x aero road bike at a much lower price.

As shared when it launched, the Strada line is an aero road bike designed around a 28mm tire. We rode pre-production units during the launch, but can say with certainty that they are as fast as you’d expect a Vroomen-design to be.

If you’re interested in wider tires, as we are, then the Exploro is the better choice from 3T.

We believe so strong in the Strada that we always wanted to offer it in multiple version,” explained Vroomen in the press release. He continued, “An important part of this is offering a complete bike at a more affordable price.”

For comparison, the Strada Stealth costs $4000 for the frameset.

What you need to know is this is an aero-road bike with 28s and not for gravel. It’s for road but with all the benefits of a wider tire. And, the design anticipates 1x for road getting and update to 12 cogs. While there is considerable range with 1x, the jumps are still upwards of 21% and that lacks the “feel” of a 2X drivetrain.

Read Mark V’s take on 1x v 2x here. Read more about the Strada Pro here as explained by Vroomen.

The frame was incredibly difficult to make, the fork even harder, and when it was finally all working and ready for production, one giant question remained: Would anybody want it?

Yes they do and the 3T Strada Pro seems like the bike Cino Cinelli might have designed if he were alive today. Bold, forward-thinking, and running ahead of market safety. Not saying that the Strada is the future, but there isn’t anyone else taking such risks.

It’s also reminiscent of a Hooker and the Walser time trial frames that Gerolsteiner used in the ’00s and the FES bikes the German Olympic teams used. Specifically the low profile fork height and obsessive reduction of cross area. Some aero bike designers have swooping shapes and bulbous forms while other designers decide what items have to be present on a bike (bottom brackets, headsets, brakes) and then minimize them as much as possible *before* they start streamlining them.

The Strada is in the 2nd group and includes the drivetrain. In something of a first for a smaller company too, the bikes are available to ride today.

In the Seattle area, that’s from Metier.

 

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Felt Compulsion

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 09:48

While road designers are busy motorizing their fleets and we haven’t seen anything innovative in several seasons, mountain is flourishing on the dirt with new, “ride over anything,” bikes. Like the new Felt Compulsion.

I was just telling a old roadie friend of mine, take that fitness you have from the bike miles, pedal at a high cadence, and be amazed by the fun you’ll have on the trail.

Four years in development, the new Compulsion is versatile enough for everyday trail riding, but was specifically created for the most technical descents of the world’s roughest enduro race courses. Having ridden the FRD, this looks next level with 165mm of rear suspension travel paired with a 170mm fork. The Compulsion features Felt’s Equilink suspension technology that pedals efficiently while handling pretty much anything.

Chipped

The carbon Compulsion also features Flip Chip technology, which allows riders to dial in their preferred setup and geometry through the adjustment of small “chips” inside the seat stays. By flipping the position of the chips, riders can adjust their Compulsion’s head angle by 1 degree, along with adjusting their bottom bracket height by 10mm. In addition, the Compulsion also comes with Felt’s newest “mid chips,” which let riders achieve geometry in between the high and low settings offered by the standard flip chips. So riders get three different geometry options in one frame.

Two complete bikes—Compulsion 1 and Compulsion 3—are available, along with a frame kit. The 1 costs $5499 and the $3999.

The Compulsion was designed specifically for single-chainring (1x) drivetrains with Boost hub spacing, internal cable routing, a trunnion-mount metric shock, and massive tire clearance (up to 2.35-inch-wide, measured). It has a 73mm threaded bottom bracket to stop bb creaking.

For the type of riding I like to do at resorts like Park City, it seems perfect. You can hit the big jumps or old school, single, single track.

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Rapha Gavia 88 Collection

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:31

As this year’s Giro d’Italia gets started, Rapha launched the Gavia 88 Collection. That’s a brand new vintage-inspired, but highly technical cold-weather kit (jersey, jacket, baselayer, bibs) that pays homage to the 30th anniversary of Andy Hampston’s incredible 1988 win on the Passo di Gavia in some of the worst riding conditions this Grand Tour has ever seen.

It’s that day

The day the big men cried.

I knew the Gavia collection was coming because Andy Hampsten told the crowd who attended his talk at the Seattle Club early this year that it was.

Andy entertaining the crowd at the Rapha Seattle Club in February.

He just couldn’t keep that secret and how could he. The collection celebrates a legendary ride and brings the spirit of ’88 back, a time when cycling was capturing our hearts and minds instead of making us angry on social media because of Froome’s participation.

What you need to know about the collection:

  • In wintry conditions, Andy wore an undershirt to fend off the cold on the Gavia. Rapha’s limited edition version of the Pro Team Race Cape is inspired by that ride, but its modern materials make it a jacket he wishes he had had.
  • Hampsten’s attack on the Gavia famously moved him into the leader’s maglia rosa. The limited edition jersey is modeled on the one he wore on the stage itself – the blue of the combination classification leader.
  • Despite horrific conditions on the stage, Hampsten wore only his team edition shorts. Based on Rapha’s Classic Bib Shorts II, these special shorts will see you through a range of riding temperatures, though Rapha wouldn’t recommend riding through a blizzard.
  • The morning after the Gavia stage, the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper heralded Hampsten’s brave attack. A special version of Rapha’s lightweight and breathable Pro Team Base Layer is printed with the pages of that very edition.

Read more about Andy Hampsten and what happened in 88 in this Medium story. And, for a short time see the bike he rode.

There is an incredibly special bike on display at Rapha Seattle for the next few weeks. pic.twitter.com/dFegmPOhFL

— Andy Bokanev (@bokanev) May 4, 2018

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Raging River Grand Opening Celebration

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 19:14

Seventeen miles of mountain bike trail are opening near North Bend. It took two decades to accomplish and a team of dedicated state trail builders. Partners in the trail building, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are celebrating with a grand opening on Saturday, May 19 at Rattlesnake Lake.

The celebration activities will include bike shuttling, bike demos, community vendors and a beer garden. Dignitaries include Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Executive Director Yvonne Kraus and local and state leaders. Shuttles will start at 10 a.m. with a program kick-off and remarks at noon.

Combined with DNR’s nearby East Tiger Mountain Bike Trails, the addition of Raging River puts over 40 miles of mountain biking trail next door to Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend residents and just a 30-minute drive for Seattleites.

Recent trail system expansions have rapidly positioned the corridor to become a big draw for out-of-state visitors looking to spend a weekend riding. Pending additional funding and coordination, DNR plans to connect the Raging River and East Tiger mountain bike trail systems, with additional opportunities to ride straight from downtown North Bend.

I try to get out at least once a week to ride the Grande Ridge and Lake Ollalie. It’s remarkable the amount of work being done and the quality of the trails.

Commenting on the new trails Franz said, “Providing recreational access to our public lands is a cornerstone of our work.” and “This trail system is a great example of how we can connect people with publicly owned, working forestland by creating opportunities to play and explore. It’s an amazing addition to the outdoor destination area that the Snoqualmie Corridor has become.”

“These new world-class mountain bike trails are the result of an innovative and cost effective public-private partnership between DNR and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance,” said Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Executive Director Yvonne Kraus. “Raging River provides much needed close-to-home recreation opportunities for our region’s fast growing communities, and will deliver direct economic benefit to the surrounding cities of Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance thanks DNR for the leadership they’ve shown in meeting the needs of our region and our sport.”

“The opening of this new trail system is the culmination of more than two decades of hard work by many hands to conserve the Raging River Basin,” said Jon Hoekstra, executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. “Healthy, accessible open spaces provide breathing room for our cities, and protect water supplies and air quality. Raging River State Forest sits at the crossroads of Rattlesnake Mountain, Cedar River Watershed, and the Issaquah Alps, providing recreation and wildlife connections from our urban communities all the way up into the Cascade Mountains. Its acquisition in 2009 helped secure a missing link in public open space in the Mountains to Sound Greenway.”

I’m planning on attending the event and riding the new trails. After shuttling back, drinking beer too. See the schedule here and see you there. The meet spot is near Snoqualmie Point Park.

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Green River Trail

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 21:00

Remember that post I shared about riding to a meeting from my house to Redmond 90% on paths and lanes? 

Last weekend heading the other way South, and at a fast-paced clip, we rode for about 3 hours also on 90% paths and lanes. Including, a new stylish bridge across the Green River.

I doubt Tukwila has a tourism staff promoting the Green River trail, focused on warehouse space and retail, but their paths are an overlooked gem in the Seattle area. 

If you live or visit here, I suggest you ride the Green River Trail

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Grand Targhee Mountain Biking

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 20:57

Just heard about a well-kept secret and is mountain biking at Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming. Watch the teaser.

They’ve got about 70 miles of trails on-site now, lift-served and/or XC. Park stuff, chunky technical stuff, and family-friendly, as well.

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Under the Bridge Sometime

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 08:24

I wondered why there was a drummer under the West Seattle Bridge at 10 o’clock on a Thursday night. Was he warming up? His band kicked him out? Flew into the wrong city for a gig with a trap kit and decided to play anyway?

What?

I didn’t ask him but stayed for three songs cheering him on. And, then continued the ride home.

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Diamondback’s DreamRide III

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 09:26

Mike Hopkins’ epic journey comes to an end in the final chapter of the DreamRide trilogy with the Release Carbon.

The end of the story includes an epitaph

We’ve seen mountains and jungles and canyons run deep We’ve raced lava, chased sunsets, and found caves in our sleep The good old dream -Where things are never quite as they seem
Here we go again, Come on old friend We’ve got one more story before we turn in

It’s the perfect place to finally rest. We’ve given our all, our very best
But all good things must come to an end
So here’s to our final story, my friend.
We bid you farewell, with hearts open wide And thank you for joining our final DreamRide.

 

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Tune Out Go Ride

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 17:40

Hope you get out and ride today… after weeks of record-setting rain we’ve got record-setting heat. And, this tree in a lake.

We were shooting drone video of the Iron Horse at the Change Creek Trestle.

The first look at the results were funny because I don’t know that my final edit would be any better than this automagically created one by the DJIGlobal app after weeks of shooting and waiting for good weather.

One of the reasons I spend so much time riding on the Iron Horse is there is little to no cell signal.

I go there to tune out and ride and occasionally with a drone.

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Bicycle Tires More Choices Than Ever

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:20

You know everybody in the bike biz is talking about the motorization of the road and mountain bike categories, but an even more significant trend taking place is in tires. In the past few months, we’ve written about new offerings from

And, there’s even a new real-time tire pressure gizmo from Quarq. Now Challenge has released their TLR, Gravel Grinder tire.

We’ve kept you waiting, but now we’re ready, TUBELESS READY. That’s right, the first of the TLR range is on display at #seaotter. Check them out at booth 764 #challengetubeless pic.twitter.com/A4sFaIEZDC

— Challenge Tires (@ChallengeTires) April 20, 2018

Before that and 120 years after making their first bicycle tire, Goodyear enters the US market with a new line of performance bicycle tires.

Developed with Rubber Kinetics, who specializes in performance cycling products and urban solutions, the Goodyear line utilizes refined compounds and casings, each purpose-built for their intended environments. The tubeless designs covers the mountain, urban, road, and gravel categories.

All of these are worthy competitors to what we consider a benchmark for the Pacific Northwest: the Schwalbe Ones and Panaracer Gravel Kings. (The Compass aren’t new, boutique, and fabulous too).

It’s about to go down with @zippspeed @compasscycle

A post shared by Byron (@bikehugger) on Dec 16, 2017 at 1:44pm PST

As I’ve been saying since last year, it’s never been a better time to be a bike enthusiast with so much great gear, kit, and bikes available. The only hard part with so many choices is finding the brand you love the most. I’ partial to WTB Horizon’s for gravel.

It wasn’t that long ago, when tire choices amounted to Conti, Michelin, or Vittoria.

Of the Goodyears launched, the Eagle All Seasons offer the most new tech; including, what they call Tubeless Complete. That’s a bead and casing that doesn’t require a compressor to install.

If Tubeless Complete works as they say it does and a cyclist can swap out tubeless tires without visiting a shop, that’s a game changer and a competitive advantage.

Because that is not the case now.

Goodyear’s Tubeless Complete tech also promises a supple, consistent feel, and super rolling resistance.

 

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TyreWiz Launches at Sea Otter

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 08:00

Sea Otter is the traditional opening weekend of the North American biking season and where brands launch product. One of the more interesting new products is from Quarq and it’s a real-time tire pressure monitor called TyreWiz.

Just like the system in your car, it reads pressure and reports it to a dashboard. Knowing that bike manufacturers have monitors all over when engineering the next model, I hope we see more of these sensors. Sure, it’s geeky, but I’d like to know what stresses are on my frame; instead of just power.

To TyreWiz and from someone obsessed with that topic, it’s the first-of-its-kind tire pressure sensor for mountain and road bikes. It’s lightweight, durable, and a form factor like the cadence or speed sensors on your bike now.

The accompanying TyreWiz app uses the pressure data to deliver personalized recommendations and pressure alerts. Riders now have access to highly accurate real-time tire pressure data to measure rolling resistance, traction, tire wear, and rider comfort.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhUseS_F6sP/

When I get a demo bike in, part of the review process is how the bike performs at different pressures and on gravel specifically, the perfect pressure is elusive. And, I expect a sensor is far more accurate than pinching the tire.

How it Works

TyreWiz works with tubed or tubeless tires, and even tires with anti-flat sealant. For a Presta valve, just unthread the existing valve core with the included wrench and thread the TyreWiz sensor into the valve stem. The sensor, powered by a CR1632 battery that will last around 300 hours, can be paired quickly with a smartphone or head unit with ANT+ or Bluetooth Low Energy radio capabilities.

TyreWiz costs $199 USD.

Features
  • Designed for road and mountain bike riders.
  • Personalized tire pressure recommendations
    in the smartphone app for iOS and Android.
  • NFC pairing for fast and easy connection by BLE to a phone.
  • Data reported with +/- 2% accuracy at .1 PSI resolution
  •  Broadly compatible with tires that use a removable Presta valve core.
  • Box includes valve core removal tool for installation.
Specs
  • Weight: 10g per sensor for proper wheel balance
  • Wireless Communication: Bluetooth Low Energy, ANT+, NFC
  • Companion App: Android (Jellybean 4.3 or newer), Apple (iOS 9 or newer)
  • Battery Type: CR1632
  • Data Resolution: 0.1 PSI
  • Data Accuracy: +/- 2%
  • Dustproof/Waterproof Rating: IPX7

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The Story of Marshall “Major” Taylor

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:01

Sure, the campaign is selling Hennessy, but still a great story and one that’s under told.

By 1901, Major Taylor was considered the greatest athlete in the world and was the first African American world champion in any sport. Major Taylor was one of the most renowned track cyclists of his time—and arguably one of the most celebrated athletes in history.

His story is known to cyclists and in the Seattle area, the Major Taylor Project empowers youth from diverse communities through bicycling. In MTP after-school clubs, students establish healthy habits, build relationships, gain confidence and discover their ability to affect positive change. I’ve met the organizers and youth involved and it’s a great organization.

Hennessy is celebrating Taylor in its latest Wild Rabbit campaign, created in partnership with agency Droga5. The connection to the brand is “Personalities that exudes a drive, a determination and an ongoing quest to break down barriers.”

In his own words, Major Tayler said

I was a pioneer. And therefore, had to blaze my own trail.

The campaign, running now, includes a 90-second, 60-second and 30-second cut of the ad, as well as shorter 15-second spots. They are dark, edgy, and morph into a vortex where Taylor faces his toughest adversary.

Shot in Ukraine, an unnamed cyclists stars as Taylor and according to Adweek, “The cyclist raced flat-out for four days straight in these awe-inspiring settings. He was so inspired that he raced from dawn to dusk to make certain that he did justice to Taylor’s story.”

I watched all the spots, they’re inspiring and a good way to memorialize a legend in cycling. And, hopefully encourage you to get involved with advocacy like the Major Taylor Project and get youth involved in a sport we hold dear.

Besides these films, Hennessy is honoring Major Taylor with an ESPN documentary, a statue, and a cycling apparel line.

Watch the making of below.

 

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Red Kite Ronde et Vous

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:42

Ed note: crossposting this from RKP and it’s about an event planned for this October. Save the date for Red Kite Ronde et Vous.

Bikes. Beer. Great riding. It’s a simple recipe, but one that reliably produces terrific results.

RKP is going to produce its first event next fall. It will be a gathering of bike makers and bike riders. We’ll look at great bikes, talk to amazing builders and go for two incredible rides.

The event will take place here in Santa Rosa, October 12, 13 and 14, 2018.

Among the frame builders who are already committed are Black Cat Bicycles, Hampsten Cycles, and Argonaut Cycles. We’ll be announcing more in the near future.

Registration will include the two rides, Friday night reception and Saturday night’s event. We will be serving food so you don’t have to leave to have dinner and local beers including Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Co.

Saturday’s ride will recreate Sonoma County’s most iconic gravel ride: Old Caz, guided by none other than Mr. Grasshopper himself, Miguel Crawford.

And serving as our headquarters for the weekend will be our local oasis for cyclists: The Astro Motel.

A few years back we held a contest to name an event we wanted to produce (but turned out to be just too expensive to do), and the winner to that contest was the Red Kite Rondezvous.

We’re reviving that, but with a little twist: We are excited to present the Red Kite Ronde et Vous. We hope to see you in October. We will post registration info soon.

Read what it’s like riding these routes in Issue 21: Drop Bar Playground.

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Godspeed: The Race Across America

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 15:26

Set to release nationwide via Fathom Events on May 22 in more than 600 movie theaters, Godspeed – The Race Across America is a riveting documentary featuring two cyclists on their quest to win the 2015 Race Across America.

Overcoming the hardship of the 3000 mile race, the pair helped raise more than $50,000 for the orphans of Haiti via Building Hope International.

The trek Jerry Schemmel and Brad Cooper make is across 12 states from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans. The documentary chronicles this first-time racing duo as they compete in RAAM for 24 hours a day covering miles of deserts, mountains and plains, to overcome physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

To see if the documentary is playing near you, check the show times on the Godspeed site. And, follow along on their Twitter and Facebook.

A race of this sort never interested me, touring does, but by watching the trailer I can tell it’s riveting, about a personal calling, and overcoming.

And, if you think their feat of strength was great, see what John Spurgeon did on a single speed. Also read about the Race Across Oregon, which is far more manageable, while every bit as hard.

The basic plan for most 4-person relay teams is to have two large vehicles (SUVs or minivans), with racers #1 and #3 in one vehicle and racers #2 and #4 in the other. Ideally the team is making forward progress at all times, and each vehicle alternates having a racer on course.

Finally, Team Type 1 and Team Type 2 did it in 2009

Both teams made it across the country, and that feat hasn’t been lost on the media. The New York Times just picked up the story in its Health section (registration required), and the piece is a nice look at the challenges faced when racing across the country while bravely managing a disease.

 

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