Flat pedals are something of a rare sight around the Bicycle Times office. From full-lycra to full-face mountain bike rides, chances are we’re clipping in.
All this cleat-lovin’ makes it even more interesting that when the Spike pedals from Spank showed up at the office there was a bit of a scrum to see who would get to ride them. With a massive platform and 10 adjustable pins per side, it was pretty clear they would be taking traction to a whole new level.
The aluminum alloy body is cold forged rather than extruded for a better strength to weight ratio, is only 12mm thin (not including pins) and features an angled leading edge and sides to help deflect pedal strikes and for cornering clearance. Each pedal features eight hex head pins and two grub screws per side and they all come uninstalled for a little DIY setup. The body spins on a steel spindle with an oversized steel bearing on the inside and an IGUS bushing on the outer. The body itself mounts fully flush against the crankarms and requires a pair of included washers to keep it spinning freely. The bearing’s bulge is also imperceptible underfoot. At 400g per pair, they aren’t super light, but competitive with other high quality flats.
Riding with a pair of super-sticky shoes like the FiveTen Freerider VXI, the Spike pedals deliver an insane amount of grip. While it obviously cannot replicate the lifting forces of a clipless pedal, the combo all but eliminates foot rotation, so if you need to adjust you have to lift up your foot and place it back down. With less aggressive footwear this issue largely disappears.
Over the past few months I’ve ridden the Spikes on all sorts of bikes, from trail riding to city rides to fat bikes in the snow (they shed snow very well). One little turn of the acorn nut to tighten up some free play was all the maintenance needed. Safe to say the thin profile and massive size of the Spikes has spoiled me against all other flats. They’re available in five colors for $129.
Let’s get this out of the way first. This is a $900* jacket. No one would deny that is a lot of money. Perhaps you find the notion of such an expensive garment to be absurd, or even offensive. Perhaps this jacket is not for you. Would you want to live in a world where there are no Ferraris? No America’s Cup racing yachts? No privately-funded space exploration? I certainly wouldn’t. So for the next 400 words or so, let’s set that number aside and examine this product for what it is. Ready? Ok, here we go…
PEdALED is the work of Japanese apparel designer Hideto Suzuki who was disillusioned with the fashion business and took time off to build log cabins, of all things. When he returned to apparel, he created PEdALED to make clothes that complimented his new lifestyle. The Winter Urban Riding Jacket is the capstone of the collection, and is hand made in Japan.Tweet Print
There are a lot of races that bill themselves as the “toughest”, but none can hold a candle to the World Cycle Race, a wild ride around – you guessed it – the entire planet.
The 18,000-mile (or more) route is entirely up to the rider, and contestants can choose to ride east or west from the starting point in London. There are no stages or checkpoint. The route is entirely up to you. There will be a small ceremonial ride through London before racers toe the line for the official start at noon.
While countless men and women have circled the Earth by bike and set numerous records along the way, the first mass-start World Cycle Race was held in 2012 with Englishman Mike Hall taking the win in 107 days, setting a record for unsupported circumnavigation. Only three of the nine starters completed the ride.
Brooks of England is hosting a pre-race celebration at its B1886 boutique in London tomorrow night, February 28, and a few racers, including Hall, will be on-hand to answer questions and inspire your own tour. There is a good chance several of the riders will be riding Brooks saddles, and the brand released a special edition World Cycle Traveler for the 2012 edition of the race.
Want to get in on the action? The 2015 edition starts April 4, 2015. You can sign up now. Maybe I need to clear my calendar…
The Ridgetop Ramble is a gravel road ride that circles through the Shawnee State Forest in southern Ohio. You might think Ohio is flat, but with more than 7,000 feet of climbing your legs will likely argue that.
When the Swallow Bicycle Works crew showed up for the big event, though, they were greeted with a healthy eight to ten inches of snow. The call was made to postpone the ride, but they didn’t let the opportunity go to waste! Plus their photos look like so much fun I had to share and invite everyone out.
The snow changes everything. The terrain develops a micro-character as tracks develop on the snow and ice. As your eyes drift over a landscape that will change before the next ride, a frozen mud rut, left during warmer days, calls your attention back to the surface under the tires. Tracks from four-wheel-drive machines are tempting. They offer the legs a bit of rest, but the deep ice-edged tracks, are just like a game of “Operation”, touch an edge and you’re out!
If you can make it out next weekend, you’ll have your choice of 100k and 70k loops with more gravel than pavement and (hopefully) no snow. Everyone gets a map and a cue sheet and it’s a social ride, not a race, and entirely self-supported.Tweet Print
It’s hard to imagine a more unassuming guy than Joe Breeze. Unlike his contemporaries Gary Fisher or Tom Ritchey, who are easy to spot in a crowd, Breeze could be the guy standing in line in front of you at the grocery store, or your friendly neighbor who always greets you with a wave and a smile. Of course, if you live in Fairfax, California, there’s a good chance he is both of these things.Tweet Print
While many brands have introduced “endurance” road bikes over the last few years, few have taken the idea to quite the extreme as Trek. The Domane was developed with considerable input from Swiss pro cyclist Fabian Cancellara, who is known for his steam-engine riding style, using his massive power output to crush cobblestones in the fabled Spring Classics. He is said to enjoy the bike so much that he rides it year-round, even in the Tour de France, choosing it over Trek’s racier Madone model.
The frame features the intriguing IsoSpeed decoupler, an ingenious system that separates the seat tube from the top tube and seatstays, and allows the seat tube to flex and pivot at the mounting point. If you stand next to the bike and put your weight on the saddle, you can see the seat tube flex slightly, but while riding it is imperceptible until you hit a bump.Tweet Print
Lighting is a crucial element for bicycle safety. While there are plenty of battery-powered lights on the market, they only last for so long before the batteries need to be replaced or recharged—plus you have to remember to bring the light with you! Dynamo hubs offer endless electricity, powered by your pedals. The only trade-off is that the small amount of rolling resistance you get while generating that electricity can be, well, a drag. A new hub from Biologic has a way to get around all that.
Let me answer this question first: no, this is not a Krampus with holes drilled in it. While ECR closely resembles its 29+ brethren, it is a completely different beast. The frame is different, the geometry is different, the build kit is different and the fork is different.
Built for loaded touring, exploring and “Escaping Common Reality”, Surly designed the ECR from the ground up with versatility and cargo capacity in mind. It has eyelets for pretty much anything you can imagine: Up to five bottle cages, three sets of Salsa Anything Cage mounts, mounts a cargo rack out back, fenders (if you can find some wide enough), lowrider or cargo racks on the fork, a Rohloff hub, even a Surly trailer mount. All of this is made possible with Surly’s stout 4130 steel tubing (‘natch) and unique rearward-facing dropouts shared with the Ogre and Troll models.Tweet Print
I have gotten fat this winter, and I couldn’t be happier.
Just before Christmas this neon dream of American-made aluminum showed up from the Khaki Santa (aka the delivery guy) and made my riding bright.
Fatback is built exclusively around fat bikes, and it has kept this decidedly American sport homegrown by partnering with Zen Fabrication in Portland to build all its aluminum frames here in the U.S. of A. It’s built from 6000-series aluminum with an oversized headtube, three sets of bottle cage mounts, an S3 direct mount front derailleur mount and a 31.6 seatpost diameter.Tweet Print
Mountain bikes have been reaping the benefits of hydraulic disc brakes for years now, and while they were finicky at first, the products available now are virtually maintenance-free. When they first began appearing on road bikes, mechanical discs were the obvious stop-gap—a brake cable is a brake cable, after all. But now that discs are becoming more prevalent, roadies want the benefits of hydraulic fluid, too.
First came a series of cable-actuated master cylinders that mounted in all sorts of places, and now at the high end, you can get a complete hydraulic brake system (combined with shifters) from Shimano or SRAM. But many of us already have disc brake bikes and perfectly good drivetrains. The new HyRd (pronounced “high road”) brakes are technically an open hydraulic system, but since it moves the master cylinder from the lever to the caliper, it doesn’t require any special cable or hose routing, and can work with any shifters.Tweet Print