Most people associate Norco with adrenaline-fueled gravity and freeride mountain bikes, for good reason. The company’s head office is located in British Columbia, Canada, the heart of those cycling disciplines. But Norco is not all dirt. The Indie models, part of the company’s Urban Performance line, are designed for pavement and come in either straight or drop bar configurations. The Indie Drop 1—obviously with a drop bar—is the middle sibling of the trio.Tweet Print
If you find yourself thirsty for a beer while in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area, check out Cycle Brewing at 534 Central Avenue, located in the heart of the business district. This small bicycle themed brewery opened six months ago and serves just beer, no food. It’s a fairly open space, dimly lit with a few tables tucked into semi-private areas. A large garage door on the front of the building opens on to the sidewalk, and in January it let in a comforting, cool breeze.
Cycle Brewing’s four fermenting tanks equal a seven-barrel system and when I strolled into the brewery during my vacation there were twelve beers on tap. According to bartender Jose Perez, most pints are $5 each but on Tuesdays they’re all $4. Growlers of select beer are $8 and happy hour specials are daily from 3-6 p.m.
I tried a pint of Unicycle Mosaic which features Mosaic hops. Beyond the distinctively hoppy flavor are citrus notes balanced in a light body of gold color. Up next was the medium bodied Ryerish Red. It has deep flavors of rye and went well with the chilly night. Wheelie is a malty offering and combined with the other nine beers ready for consumption, there’s something pleasing for everyone’s taste buds.
Be sure to check out the custom taps fabricated from old bike parts by Ted “Moto Ace” Lee of St. Pete Bicycle and Fitness. The locally made artwork adorning the walls is also for sale, and a hodge-podge of cranks and sprockets melded together by Brad Augsburger creates an interesting looking table. With plans for a bike rack and a little more remodeling of the interior, Cycle Brewing should become a staple for the area and on your short list for places to quench your thirst after a day on the beach or an evening exploring the gulf coast by bike. Be sure to have cash in hand because credit cards are not accepted. Enjoy!Tweet Print
The Back In 5 U-lock from Ortre is a compact theft deterrent designed to keep your bike safe as you dash into the store or grab a coffee. It’s not the strongest lock and I wouldn’t use it as a primary lock in high theft areas, such as on campus, but as a secondary lock or use in low crime areas it functions fine.
Unlike most locks, this one has push-button locking, so the key doesn’t need to be in the core to lock it. Measuring 4 by 7 inches, the BI5 is just long enough to secure my front wheel to the down tube, or lock the top tube to a rack, and it’s small enough to fit in a jean pocket. It’s also light, 520-grams, so I left the BI5 in my pannier, which was perfect for when I forgot my other lock or made unplanned stops on the way home from work. BI5 is a good lock for $40 and better than no lock at all. Two keys are included and four colors are available.
In this installment of winter riding and how to enjoy it, or at least survive, I’m focusing on the all-important toes and feet. Keeping this area of the body warm and dry when the temperature drops below freezing can be a struggle. With the proper footwear though, a trail ride or commute to work can be as easy as slipping on a pair of socks.
As with any cold weather riding gear, the layers used should first block the wind, then provide warmth, while managing perspiration. The climate you live in will dictate the footwear and layers used, but here in the north a full range of options is beneficial for the fall and winter months and the huge weather changes experienced from day to day, or even from morning to night. Where you ride is also a factor, but I use the same footwear for both commuting and mountain biking.Tweet Print
Fyxation is a Milwaukee based company founded in 2009. Its first product was the robust Session 700 tire, the tall, high volume rubber you see here. Fast-forward a few years and the company now has a complete line of components and frames focused on urban riding.
The Quiver is a 4130 cro-moly frame with rear facing, horizontal dropouts. The company’s proprietary derailleur hanger allows the frame to be offered as a single-speed for $800, or with 1×10 gearing for $1,200, and 2×10 gearing for $1,390. I’m testing the 1×10 equipped with Sram’s Apex drivetrain and rear shifter.Tweet Print
By Shannon Mominee
If you like custom frames, clever accessories, cool components, and good people the Philly Bike Expo is the place to be. Dennis Jordan of The Leather Arts Store displayed his handmade toptube leather wine bottle holsters, saddlebags, belts, and shoulder bags. Jeff Williams’ booth featured bike-themed paintings. A display of vintage Schwinn Paramount track and road bikes were on display across from a sprint competition sponsored by RELoad Bags.
Click through to see what you missed. Read the full storyTweet Print
By Shannon Mominee
Nothing signals the coming of winter more than an earlier setting sun. And for much of the country that also means wet weather and darker streets during your commute. There are many companies featuring great products to help us all safely navigate through the season while remaining relatively dry. Here are just a few. Read the full storyTweet Print
By Shannon Mominee
A lot of people immediately associate Norco with gravity and mountain bikes, I know I did until the Indie Drop 1 showed up at the Bicycle Times headquarters. Truth is, Norco has many bicycles designed specifically for commuting and street use.
Double-butted, 4130 chromoly is used for the frame and straight bladed chromoly fork. There are braze-ons for front and rear racks, full coverage fenders, and two bottle cages. Pretty much all you need to accessorize the bike for commuting and errand running.
Reflecting its intended urban use, the parts package consists of Shimano 105 derailleurs and shifters , with less expensive Shimano components filling in the remainder of the 2×10 drivetrain. The wheels are Shimano hubs laced to deep-V WTB Freedom Cruz rims. A set of Hayes CX-5 mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors scrub speed, and though they are a little squeaky up front they have a great amount of stopping power that’s easy to modulate without skidding.
With full coverage fenders a 28c or maybe a 32c tire will fit into the frame, depending on the tire’s height. Without fenders a 35c tire can be used.
The Indie Drop 1 is one of the most comfortable bikes I’ve thrown a leg over. A quick stem swap and everything else lined up perfectly. My size 57cm tester has a 72.5-degree head tube angle that keeps steering at a predictable pace, yet quick enough to maneuver around road debris without being race bike twitchy.
Look for a full review in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times.
By Shannon Mominee
With prime riding season knocking on the door, it’s time to tune-up your beloved bicycle, and prepare yourself for the miles ahead. Food, hydration, and the means to fix a flat will only add to your cycling enjoyment, so be prepared. Here are a few products to keep you pedaling through the warm weather and beyond.
Food, it’s what supplies the energy to your legs and keeps you satisfied.
Kind creates a variety of incredibly delicious snack bars consisting of all-natural ingredients. I’m talking real food; fruits, nuts, spices, and grains. The easily recognizable chunks of whole food are easy to digest and taste much better than some gooey mystery substance. There’s just something about chewing that is normal. My favorite bar is Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, but you can’t go wrong with Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. Gluten-free, kosher, and about $2 a bar. Also available by the case. Made in U.S.A. www.kindsnacks.com
To easily hydrate, you could ride one-handed all-day-long , holding your water bottle. But I think you’d be happier using a bottle cage.
With a Blackburn Slick Cage you’ll hardly even notice that it’s there. The Slick is made from a polycarbonate material and weighs a measly 23 grams. It has a sleek design, lifetime-warranty and cradles a bottle securely. Available colors are black, red, white, pink, and blue. Retail is $15. Made in China. www.blackburndesign.com
You carry a cell phone when you ride, right? You should also carry the basics to fix a flat and save your significant other the trip to pick you up roadside.
The Syncros Saddle Bag Kit is a super compact bag with a tube and a set of plastic tire levers. It attaches to your saddle rails with Velcro and has a waterproof zipper. I recommend also stuffing a patch kit into it and a fiver. You never know when you’ll get multiple punctures on a single ride. The kit is available with either a 26”, 29”, 650b, or 700c tube. Retail for all kit sizes is $25. Made in Taiwan. www.syncros.com
And to inflate the tube you’ll need a pump and there are many options to choose from. Here are two.
The Airace Turbo Road/CO2 pump is compact enough to fit in a backpack and inflates using a 16-gram threaded CO2 cartridge (included) or by the tried and true pumping motion. It features an aluminum barrel and separate valve heads for use with the CO2 cartridge or without, and fits both Presta or Schrader valves. Max-pressure is 120psi. Retail is $38.
If you travel as light as possible and don’t mind spending more time pumping, the Airace Torch Road weighs 78 grams and is 5” long. It has an aluminum barrel and a thumb-lock lever. The Torch Road stows easily in a pocket, also fits both valve stems, and has the same 120psi. max-pressure. Retail is $35. Both pumps are made in Taiwan. www.airace.com.tw
By Shannon Mominee
At Rotating Mass Media, publishers of Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times Magazines, we practice what we preach and do our best to ride our bikes to work.
Through rain, snow, wind, sunshine, and the dark of night, our staff commuted by bike to and from the office 594 days, equaling 10,762 miles, in 2012. That’s an increase of 231 days and 4,075 miles over our 2011 total. Unfortunately, that number doesn’t reflect the days spent working from home, during which rides at lunch or to end the day are encouraged.
Those 594 days and 10,762 miles in the saddle saved 538 pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere and kept about $2,000 in our pockets, instead of handing it over to the oil companies.
Our estimated 720,000 calories burned riding to work is equal to 2,400 Snickers bars. Fortunately, we eat more than candy around here, so I don’t need to estimate the number of cavities kept at bay. If you can’t relate to candy bars, picture 4,800 cans of Dale’s Pale Ale or 2,667 chocolate-frosted Dunkin’ Donuts. We actually may have come close to consuming either of those….
Overall, Bicycle Times Editor Karen Brooks, right, led the charge again, commuting 128 days for 3,200 miles. This earned her a staggering $256 at the rate of two bucks per round-trip commute. Let’s hope she spent it on something nutritious or fun. (Brooks says: “I will probably spend it on chocolate donuts!”)
How many days did you commute this year?Tweet Print