Bicycle Times contributor Nicholas Carman is organizing an evening event in Anchorage called “The Art of Bikepacking” on July 16 at 7 p.m. at The Bicycle Shop, on Dimond Boulevard. According to Carman, the evening will be part art opening, technical seminar, and inspirational storytelling. There will also be a special presentation with Eric Parsons entitled “A History of Revelate Designs”. Of course, there’ll be free food, beer, and stuff!
Read more about the event.
The 2014 Tour de France begins Saturday in the United Kingdom, and to commemorate the special event, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has developed a surprisingly understated steel bicycle made by U.K.-based Mercian Cycles, to be sold online by mens fashion outlet Mr. Porter.
The collection is called Paul Smith 531, named after the famous Reynolds lightweight bike tubing used by Tour de France champions up until the early 1980s; the number 531 refers to the ratio of manganese (5), molybdenum (3) and carbon (1) in the steel alloy.
Click through to see video of Sir Paul talking about his love for cycling and the making of the bike.Tweet
I was introduced to the benefits of waxed canvas as a Rivendell Bicycle Works employee in the mid 1990s. Specifically, using Filson seconds as a way to wrap tools to fasten to my Brooks leather saddle with a handy leather toe strap. Fast forward nearly 20 years and I discover a Seattle-based craftswoman named Erica Hanson who has refined what Rivendell founder Grant Petersen called a ‘burrito wrap’, and providing tool rolls for bicycle and motorcycle use.
At 17″ x 9″, the Nomad carries much and packs tight.Tweet
Like most cyclists from the 1980s, I’ve been a steady wearer of Lycra tops and bottoms for the road, and baggies and loose-fitting tops for the dirt. A costume for a specific gig, as it were. Now, the garment game is changing, and I welcome it for several reasons, several of which evolved on the same weekend in early April.
As fate slammed our Dirt Rag editor to the tarmac during a freak motorcycle accident in late March, so too went his ability to attend a few media launches prior to the Sea Otter Classic in early April. So, I got called up from the bullpen to attend the Specialized MTB apparel launch in nearby Santa Cruz. There I experienced two things that changed the course of my ride clothing choices: poison oak, and the heavily pocketed and smart Specialized Mountain Bib liner shorts with S.W.A.T. (storage, water, air, tools) technology.
The first was somewhat avoidable (it was uncharacteristically muddy on a hot day on a borrowed bike on a new trail for me, but I digress), but the second was fate, providing an ‘aha’ moment to help me rethink traditional clothing choices: what if the S.W.A.T. bibs could be used under non Lycra uppers and lowers, providing a bit more freedom of movement and making me look less like a mutant ‘spandex’ freak to non cyclists on the roads?
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Billed as ‘the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’, the 9th annual Maker Faire was unleashed on Bay Area hackers, geeks and nerds at the San Mateo County fairgrounds May 17-18, with plenty of drones, 3D printers and curiously cool blinky L.E.D.s. My son Henri and I took our bikes on CalTrain to avoid traffic, snarled parking and to sample free bike valet parking, courtesy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.Tweet
Manufacturing is alive and well in Germany, made evident by a recent tour of three ABUS lock making facilities. Several stock-in-trade ABUS products are still being produced decades after their development, while others, like the popular folding Bordo locks, are prompting the 90-year-old company to add extra shifts to keep up with demand.Tweet
The mad mountain men and women at Pivot Cycles know dirt, and to show they’re not just chubby tire and suspension snobs, they now offer the Vault, a carbon fiber cyclocross and gravel bike designed for exploration on any surface.Tweet
Trek introduced its carbon Domane 6.9 Disc road model with thru axles and its Closed Convert dropouts, with rear dropout spacing now 142x12mm. The fork’s dropout is 15mm. According to Trek, both are able to convert to traditional quick releases. This model is built around the a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group with R785 hydraulic brakes, a 50/34-tooth crankset and a 11-28, 11-speed cassette to tackle the rough stuff.Tweet
Carlos Perez and Greg Fisher are the hands behind Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo, held on the roads of Sonoma County, California. Each fall since 2009, more than 7,500 cyclists transcend on Santa Rosa, California, and its roads take the toll. That hasn’t stopped their events company, Bike Monkey, and a merry band of volunteers from taking care of the roads that take care of the riders, many of whom travel from all four corners of the earth. The event’s organizers got permission from the county to hire their own contractors and repair the roads using funds raised from event entry fees, donations and corporate sponsorships. In all, $40,000 has been spent on patching 48 miles of road.
I spoke with Fisher about what prompted them to take action, and what they’ve done to mitigate road damage, because no one wants to see roads go neglected.Tweet
Photos courtesy of Easton Cycling and Easton Archery
On Monday it was announced that Chris Tutton, owner of Canadian bicycle component company Race Face, agreed to purchase Easton Cycling from its parent company BRG Sports (owners of Bell, Giro, Blackburn and Riddell, and formerly known as Easton-Bell Sports). The deal is expected to be closed for an undisclosed sum by mid June.
Tutton, worked for Race Face from 1994 to 2008 and led Easton-Bell’s OEM division from 2008. He then brought Race Face out of near insolvency in 2011. He plans to keep Easton Cycling’s R&D lab in northern California, and house all sales and marketing staff in its Vancouver, British Columbia, headquarters.
“The team at Race Face is very excited to welcome Easton to the RF family,” Tutton said in a statement. “The core competencies of both companies will help to strengthen and expand both business units. There are also undeniable synergies in sales and distribution to be realized worldwide as well as wins with offshore vendor production networks currently in place.”Tweet
I’ve attended hundreds of bicycle events the past 23 years, and the one I’ve grown to enjoy the most is the Sea Otter Classic, held at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif., every April. When the weather cooperates, it’s heaven on earth.Tweet
The international cycling community lost two of its own recently, Steve Worland and Fabio Rattazzi, and our staff mourns their passing.Tweet
The Raleigh Cycle Company was founded by Frank Bowden in 1888, seven years before Ignaz Schwinn hung his shingle in Chicago. Bowden was a lawyer working in Hong Kong who had to return to England because of his ill health. In 1870, a doctor in Harrogate suggested he take up cycling to build up his strength, so Bowden bought a tricycle and set off to France to tour around. His health improved and he decided to try and encourage others to recognize the benefits of this new form of transport.
Bowden also saw the business potential and while visiting Nottingham he invested in a small company on Raleigh Street which was run by three men, Woodhead, Angois and Ellis, and was turning out about three bicycles a week. Bowden offered his business skills (and money) and The Raleigh Cycle Company was founded. An old lace factory on Russell Street was purchased as a new workshop, and when they outgrew that, a new factory was built on Faraday Road, increasing production to about 10,000 bicycles a year by 1900.Tweet