Editor’s note: Each year we cover dozens of the most beautiful bikes in the world at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and other local shows. But what happens to them after the display booths are disassembled and the lights go out? After all, bikes are built to be ridden, not to sit around and look pretty. So we followed up with some of the bikes and builders we’ve covered in the past to see how these works of art are holding up.
By Montana Miller. Photos courtesy of Sam Whittingham.
Sam Whittingham founded Naked Bicycles on Quadra Island, British Columbia 14 years ago. He builds everything from steel track to long wheel-base cargo bikes. At last year’s NAHBS, he showed a gorgeous stainless steel road bike. We followed up to ask him where it’s been.
Dirt Rag: Where is the bike now?
Whittingham: The stainless "road adventure" I rode to the show and displayed last year has become my daily all road bike. Currently waiting patiently for me by the shop door.
What’s the best ride you’ve had on the bike?
I’ve had a few great rides on this thing. I did the 275km Victoria Grand Fondo, a huge epic on paved and not so paved roads with mondo climbs. Also did a few logging road exploratory rides. Most recent epic all road adventure was "100k on New Year’s Day". That included single track, road, logging roads and even some beach.
What kind of riding are you doing the most on the bike? Is it being used to do what it was designed for?
Definitely being used for that which it was designed and then some.
How many hours went into building the bike, and how many hours has it been ridden?
think build time on that bike was about 30 hours, with all the custom touches. Ride time is at least 400 hrs so far, with lots more to come.
Now that you’ve used the bike, is there anything you would change?
Not really. I swapped out the Nokon housing for standard, which improved the shifting. I also did my own change to the Paul Racer Brakes so they are linear pull instead of standard yoke pull. Not quite as powerful but completely eliminates any dreaded yoke pull fork shudder
What cool stuff are you bringing to Denver?
I’m concentrating on customer bikes this year.
By Karen Brooks,
If you happen to be in the southern New Jersey area this weekend, the Shore Cycle Club is putting on the annual Winter Bike Shop Expo. It’s a chance to check out new models from the likes of Bianchi, Fuji, Jamis, Giant, Specialized, and Trek, and to hear a couple of speakers: David Hale Sylvester, accomplished world traveler (by bike) and author of the book “Traveling at the Speed of Life,” and yours truly, Karen Brooks, editor of Bicycle Times.
The Shore Cycle Club’s newsletter pointed out how important it is to keep riding through the winter—if you haven’t, and need some motivation, come out and visit the Expo.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Sylvester will be speaking at 12:30, and I’ll go on at 2:00.
It’s all happening at Atlanticare Lifecenter, 2500 English Creek Ave Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 08234.
Hope to meet some Bicycle Times readers there!
By Gary J. Boulanger.
The sky was blue, the sidewalks were bustling, and the IPA was flowing on a warm, 62-degree Sunday afternoon in Marin County as a gaggle of Mountain Bike Hall of Famers gathered in San Rafael, California on February 10 to raise a pint and funds for Marilyn Price’s Trips For Kids organization, which takes underprivileged youth out on the trails.
The 15th Annual ‘Brews, Bikes & Bucks’ attracted local riders, supporters, and bike industry personalities to the Broken Drum Brewery where the owner, Noah Berry, donates all proceeds of the day to Trips For Kids, based just down the street. The non-profit receives the bulk of its funding from the Re-Cyclery Thrift Shop at 610 4th Street, with inventory donated from local supporters and several bicycle companies.
The nice weather brought out several pioneers, many of whom rode in on bikes, including Joe Breeze, Otis Guy, Gary Fisher, Scot Nicol, Charlie Kelly, Chris Lang, Dave Garoutte, James McLean, Jacquie Phelan, Mert Lawwill, Bruce Gordon, Sky Yaeger, Dave Koski, and our own fearless publisher, Maurice Tierney.
From left: Chris Chance, Joe Breeze and Mert Lawwill. Chance and Breeze are legends with the torch, and Lawwill was the star of "On Any Sunday", plus a talented mountain bike suspension designer.
From left: Chris Chance, Scot Nicol and Otis Guy. Chance ran Fat Chance Cycles out of Boston, once called the Ibis of the East. Nicol founded Ibis Cycles, called the Fat Chance of the West? Either way, Guy is always smiling, and is fitter than you’ll ever be.
Charlie Kelly and Gary Fisher started a little home-brewed company called "Mountainbikes" in Marin County back in 1979, and Charlie still flies the flag in Fairfax with this more modern machine.
Above left: Trips For Kids founder and director Marilyn Price enjoys gathering the tribe together every year, and Joe Breeze seems pleased as a schoolboy. Above right: Mert Lawwill raced motorcycles with Steve McQueen, designed full suspension bikes with Gary Fisher, and still cuts a mean figure in black leather. Son Joe handles marketing for Shimano America.
Maurice Tierney with Gary Fisher and his wife Alex.
Local gal Sky Yaeger designed many Bianchi, Swobo, and Spot bikes you see in your neighborhood. Now she’s whipping up something really special for Shinola, a new company based in Detroit.
Like several Marin County-based Mountain Bike Hall of Famers, Joe Breeze has his name on the down tube, and lives within riding distance of the Broken Drum Brewery in San Rafael.
Bruce Gordon was a key figure in the development of the 29er tire in the 1980s, and this 2013 model shows off his updated Rock N Road tires, featured in the latest issue of Bicycle Times.
After some socializing and bench racing with old pals, Gary Fisher and his wife rolled out to catch the Larkspur ferry back to their flat in San Francisco.
The 15th Annual Trips For Kids fundraiser, "Brews, Bikes & Bucks" gathered at the Broken Drum Brewery in San Rafael, California. Among the mountain bike pioneers were Chris Chance, Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Jacquie Phelan, Mert Lawwill, Otis Guy, Chris Lang, Dave Garoutte, Maurice Tierney, Sky Yaeger, James McLean, Dave Koski and Broken Drum owner Noah Berry. Not pictured: Charlie Kelly, Bruce Gordon, and Scot Nicol.Tweet
The waiting is over, the first issue of 2013 is here. It has already shipped to subscribers and will appear on newsstands across the country February 12. Remember, if you subscribe, not only will you never miss an issue but you will likely get it before anyone else. Don’t want to wait? Order a single issue or subscription for your tablet computer, or order a single print copy here.
On the cover: "Lame Lighter 2.0" by Rich Kelly.
Bikes to the Rescue
By Karen Brooks
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, bicycles came to the forefront in New York City as useful and appropriate tools for helping communities recover.
Mackinac island: “Watch the Bike!”
By Jeff Potter
There’s a small island between two Great Lakes where bicycles reign supreme, lending effortless style, clean air, and a relaxed pace to life for residents and tourists alike. Kings of the scene are the dock porters, who haul amaz- ing loads with their own leg power.
Interview: Trek president John Burke
By Gary J. Boulanger
The head of the largest bicycle company in the U.S. speaks about lessons he learned from his father, the company’s down-home approach, and the Lance effect.
We test two heavy-duty, long-distance, adventure-touring bikes: the Co-Motion Divide and the Salsa Fargo, as well as two stylish and practical city commuters, the Viva Kilo and Fairdale Flyer.
- Retroshift shifters
- IRD thumb shifters
- Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders
- Knog Bouncer U-lock
- Bontrager cold-weather gear
- Endura Urban Softshell jacket and Urban pants
- Rapha winter gear
- Axiom Kingston Commuter 18 pannier
- Bontrager Interchange Market pannier
- Hyalite Equipment Swingline panner.
New column: Fix It
By Eric Mckeegan
Our column on bike maintenance and repair kicks off with some friendly advice on the most basic step for bike health: how to properly lube your chain.
Registration opened today for the first-annual CycleSF, a ride for bicycle riders of all stripes to cycle around San Francisco to raise funds for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Twenty-four miles of San Francisco streets will be open for cyclists to create the city’s largest cross-town bike parade.
The event will take place on Sunday, April 28, with a fundraising goal of more than $100,000. Funds raised will go towards new bike racks in San Francisco’s parks, as well as the Recreation and Parks Department’s scholarship fund that supports recreation programming for low-income children and families.
The mission of CycleSF is to promote cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle, and to celebrate the role of the City’s Recreation and Parks Department in providing a healthy recreation environment. The event aims to build civic unity through a fun-ride that invites bicycle riders of all levels to traverse our city together, and communally experience San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods from the seat of a bike. Thousands of bicycle riders will raise funds to support SF Rec and Park’s recreation programming and park system.
Produced by Jumping Fences Inc., CycleSF is not a race, but rather a fun-ride. The ride will start at 7 a.m. in the China Basin/Mission Bay area, navigate around the city, and end in Golden Gate Park. The course will be monitored by the San Francisco Police Department during these times. As the ride is not a timed race, there will be designated traffic breaks staffed by SFPD and SF MTA officers where vehicle crossing will be directed at critical points. There is also an “Elite” Rider option for riders to pay an extra $35 to ride in an escorted pace group, ahead of the main event.
Interested organizations and individuals should get involved by supporting the cyclists along the route, riding in the event, donating to support the work of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, or by celebrating at the Finish Line Festival in Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park. The Finish Line Festival is open for the public to enjoy food and beverages at CycleSF food truck station and beer garden, entertainment at the official CycleSF costume contest, yoga provided by lululemon athletica, live music and more!
Registration is open at www.cyclesf.org. There are great fundraising and donation incentives including a chance to win a bike from PUBLIC Bikes, CycleSF Bike Jersey and Bib Shorts! For more information on the event beneficiary please visit http://www.cyclesf.org/beneficiary
CycleSF Quick Facts:
- Ride starts at Terry Francois Blvd at Mission Rock St
- Route lengths: 13 miles or 24 miles
- Route finish point: Speedway Meadow – Transverse Dr, Golden Gate Park
- Registration Fee: $40
- Suggested donation: $25
- Elevation gain: 24 mile course = 1,200 feet, 13 mile course = 800 feet
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
By Stephen Haynes
There are very few cycling goods out there that live up to the perceived reputation inherent in the name given to them. The Wolvhammer winter boots from 45NRTH are a fine example of performance actually meeting perceptions.
“We started from the conceptual standpoint of making a mountaineering boot work for cycling, rather than taking a cycling shoe and trying to make it warmer” says Daivd Gabrys, brand manager at 45NRTH, a rather new brand that specializes in cold-weather cycling products. It is this focus that makes the Wolvhammer boots stand out from the competition.
The inner boot is lined with 45NRTH’s Monster Fur, a super soft and warm layer that makes me think of some masochistic plush doll hugging my feet. The inner boot is laced up with a cinch closure that can be tightened up with gloves on. No need to tie laces. The Aerogel Jaztronaut insoles are noteworthy as well for their suppleness and resistance to the cold coming up through the bottom of your foot. These insoles can be purchased separately for $50.
Getting my feet into the inner boot has been the biggest chore for me. There is a little pull tag to gives you a little purchase while cramming, but it always seems to be a bit of a struggle. I hardly consider it anywhere near a deal-breaker though, more like the price of admission, and a pittance at that.
Once you’ve got your feet secure in the inner boot, the three-part (Cordura, Sympatex, and fleece), water-resistant outer zips up with a water-resistant zipper that is locked down with a Velcro strip. A Velcro ankle strap also secures the upper of this mid-calf boot.
A nice mudguard on the heel, over the toe and surrounding the lower foot, keeps the really nasty splashback at bay. These things even have a gaiter hook should you need extra protection.
An SPD-compatible Vibram sole rounds out the bottom of the boot and reiterates the fact that “robust” doesn’t seem adequate it when talking about these things. On the dozen or so rides in the Wolvhammers they’ve not yet disappointed; keeping my feet both warm and comfy (and this from a guy who generally has cold feet issues). I can confidently say that they are, without a doubt, the most comfortable riding shoes I currently own as well.
The Wolvhammer’s are stiff yet responsive while pedaling. What I mean is, they interact well with the pedal as far as stiffness is concerned and seem to spring board you out of each pedal stroke. Plus, they’re oh-so-squishy comfortable. The one setback I’ve had while wearing them is walking in them. Despite looking at the construction from a mountaineering boot point of view, they hike more like a cycling shoe. Which is ok because, well, they’re cycling boots!
I look forward to many more rides with the Wolvhammers. I only hope that our winter here in Pennsylvania gets a bit more winter-ish to give me the opportunity.
Multiple U.S. Pro Road Champion and Giro d’Italia stage winner ‘Fast Freddie’ Rodriguez is excited to share his East Bay California roads with friends during the August 17 Fast Freddie Gran Fondo. There will be four routes to choose from: Gran, Medio, Corto and Piccolo/kids.
Registration opens February 1, and anyone interested in pre-riding the 100-mile Gran Loop with Freddie Rodriguez on February 2 can register here. The pre-ride, like the main event in August, begins and ends at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California, where Rodriguez has called home nearly 20 years.
Rodriguez, 39, began his professional career with Team Saturn in 1996, and has raced alongside Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Steve Bauer, three-time World road champion Oscar Friere, two-time World road champion and Olympic gold medalist Paolo Bettini. Recently, he raced for Team Exergy, placing third, fifth, sixth, and 11th in the first four stages of the 2012 Tour of California against the world’s top sprinters.
To register for the Gran Fondo, visit ffgranfondo.eventbrite.com after February 1.Tweet
By Jeff Lockwood.
I’m driving home after barely hanging on for a pathetic 16th place in a soul-crushing amateur cyclocross race in Rillaar, Belgium when I get an email from a friend in the United States asking me to translate “Handups are not a crime!” into Flemish.
The timing of the email turned my grimace into a smirk.
About two hours earlier, roughly forty local spectators dressed in unremarkable dark clothing that represent a statement of function over fashion, are gathered on either side of a demoralizing off-camber snow- and mud-packed turn that I’ve just cleaned. Instead of cheers or being offered quick sips of beer, I’m met with cold, judging stares and the din of Flemish conversation.
I could have definitely used an audible or alcohol-based moral booster, but offers of heckling, beer, money or other goods to racers during competition, at professional and amateur levels, are foreign concepts in Belgium—where ‘cross is king.
Thus, there’s no literal Flemish translation for “handup.”
This is a far cry from my experience racing ‘cross in the United States where friends and strangers along the course loft screams of support along with creative motivating heckles towards all categories and positions of racers. At one particular race I’m essentially stopped in my tracks and “forced” to drink a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon before I continue on my way.
A racer at a race in Flagstaff, Arizona gains some American-style motivation.
This week, the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships are being held in Louisville, Kentucky—the first time in a land that’s beyond driving distance from Belgium. There is sure to be a large contingent of rabid European cyclocross fans descending upon the Bluegrass Sate. These supporters, along with the racers, are going to encounter a wholly different, yet just as enthusiastic and informed, sea of people lining the course.
Originally from Vermont, Amy Dombroski has spent the last two seasons living and racing at the highest levels in Belgium. From inside the tape, she’s seen crowds on both sides of the Atlantic.
“In America, chances are the spectators will be as fit-looking as the Elite racers. Whereas in Belgium every spectator, aside from the little whipper-snappers ripping about in their Sven replica kits, will have either a beer or a cigarette in close proximity.”
A family of Sven Nys supporters.
While the atmosphere on the spectator side of the course tape in the United States is more interactively celebratory, the scene in the party tents and along the courses in Belgium is most definitely a huge alcohol-fueled boisterous bash, but it’s a hands-off form of appreciation. Mostly. There have been isolated incidents that have led to racer injuries and racers abandoning their bicycles to chase after beer-tossing spectators [video].
While Dombroski recognizes the differences in the culture around the scenes, she’s quick to point out similarities.
“As different as the appearances are, the love is still deep and true in both countries. In America the love is authentic because whether a masters rider or a Category-whatever-number, he or she appreciates what the elite racers have gone through to be where they are, because they’ve experienced some of that "abuse."
A perfect slice of the Belgian cyclocross target demographic.
In Belgium the love is genuine because cycling culture is so deeply rooted. Belgians carry the emotion and ownership of cycling that I could only compare to Americans & American football.”
Ironically the Elite races will be held on Super Bowl Sunday.
After slugging out his professional career in the Belgian cyclocross pressure cooker, Ben Berden is a Belgian native racing in the US for the past two seasons. Competition in the United States is a welcome change for him. He appreciates the warm reception racers receive in the US. “There are 20,000 people at the races in Belgium, and they’re not really necessarily going for the race, but more for the party. Instead of beer handups and stuff like that, everybody goes to the beer tent.”
A scene from inside one of the party tents following the finish of the 2012 Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium.
Jonathan Page, a New Hampshire native, is a four-time US National Cyclocross Champion (most recently claiming the title two weeks ago), and has been living and racing cyclocross in Belgium since 2002. When asked about handups and heckling along courses in the United States, Page adds, “I’m not sure what to say about that. I’ve grabbed a few dollars in Vegas [at CrossVegas], and I’d probably do it again.”
How do I translate “Handups are not a crime!” into Flemish? After getting home and unloading the car, I text a Belgian friend for some translation help. Amused with my explanation of the essence of the statement, he ultimately delivers, “Een renner een pintje aanbieden is niet onwettig!”
When I press Dombroski specifically on her thoughts about the offerings of beer and money and heckling taken to the next level in the United States, she replies, “This is what makes the sport of cyclocross so unique—the varying atmospheres. They’re both different and I hope it stays that way. American ‘cross does not need to become Belgian cyclocross.”Tweet
The idea is a simple one: for each of the limited-edition Source 2 LTD bikes sold by Specialized, the company (along with partners SRAM and Gates Carbon Drive) will donate a Buffalo bike to health care workers in Kenya through World Bicycle Relief, a non-profit organization that helps transform individuals and their communities through the power of bicycles.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the bicycle is hugely important to health services—akin to an ambulance. It expands the reach of healthcare workers by five times, enabling them to reach both the sick and clinics, including patients in the most remote locations who may previously have had no access to healthcare.
The Source 2 is designed to be the ultimate city or commuting bike, with a Gates belt drive, a SRAM 2-speed Automatix hub, pre-installed fenders and rack, and SRAM hydraulic disc brakes. It retails for $1,500. It is stocked only at select Specialized dealers but can be requested by any Specialized dealer.
The Buffalo bike is designed specifically for use in Africa where roads are often unpaved and bicycle maintenance is scarce. It is tested and assembled in Africa with sturdy, durable components that are compatible with local replacements for years of reliable use. World Bicycle Relief co-ordinates the Asian-source parts and supervise its assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe; Kisumu, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Since March 2008, WBR has sold more than 40,000 Buffalo Bicycles across eight countries in Southern and East Africa.Tweet
I wouldn’t normally post about an event like this, but it sounds like an adventure, especially considering the 2012 event was shortened because there was a GRIZZLY BEAR ON THE COURSE.
GranFondo Canada announced today that registration is now open for the second edition of the RBC GranFondo Banff, which is scheduled for Saturday, August 24.
The only event of its kind to take place completely within the boundaries of a national park, the ride will start and finish in the beautiful mountain town of Banff, Alberta, with a planned 142km course that takes cyclists into the heart of the Rockies to experience the awe-inspiring nature of Banff National Park.
Last year’s inaugural event was incredibly popular, drawing a sellout of 1,500 riders from across Canada, the U.S. and as far away as the United Kingdom. The bike route in 2012 had to be altered because a grizzly and her three cubs were feeding on the side of the road along part of the course. The same is possible in 2013. It is one of the realities of staging an event like this in a national park.
Capacity for the RBC GranFondo Banff is again limited to 1,500 participants and demand for the event is expected to be very high. For more information and to register, visit www.rbcgranfondobanff.com.Tweet
Today I’m bringing you a buffet of interesting morsels from around the world-wide internetz:
Photo by Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer
Growing bike rack business run by homeless men
When Cleveland was shopping for bike racks to install around the city a few years ago, they were forced to look out-of-state because there was no local option. Now, thanks to a program known as Metro Metal Works, there is. Run by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, the program cranks out bike racks at a local homeless shelter, employing people on the skids—many of whom are homeless or just out of prison. The program is so successful that Lutheran Metro has purchased a bigger warehouse space with room for more powerful welders.
Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer
The ‘Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States’
You might not think of Washington D.C. when you think of natural environments for a bike sharing system, but today it is the United Stats’ most popular and successful program of its kind. It took countless people to make the dream a reality, but the root of the idea, Slate writes, can be traced to a graduate student’s late-night idea two decades ago. One of the most interesting takeaways from the piece: Capital Bikeshare’s largest number of employees are actually drivers—members of teams who redistribute bikes from locations with an excess to locations without.
Coffee and bikes, together at last
There’s no doubt the most important beverage for any cyclist—after water—is coffee, and espresso no less. Two product designers combined their love of both into a coffee-vending trike for off-the-grid delivery at festivals, street fairs, or anywhere really. Dubbed Velopresso, it was designed from the ground up as a rear-steer trike with a low carbon footprint, near silent operation, and the finest espresso available. The production model is expected to go into manufacturing in the UK this year, no word yet on prices. Wish I had one of these parked outside…
Designers redesign the bike—again
And finally, in yet another example of designers turning the bicycle into something it’s not: Designaffairs have built a bicycle they’re calling Clarity from a polymer called Trivex that’s completely clear. Used mostly in helicopter windshields and jet fighter canopies, it can made into any shape by injection molding. Designaffairs says it has “high impact resistance, lightweight properties and a gentle flexibility that usually would only be expected on an old Italian steel frame,” which is odd, because old Italian steel frames have none of those things.
By Maurice Tierney
The Boda Boda “Cargo Cruiser” is only the second bike from the Yuba braintrust, following the Mundo cargo bike released in 2006. Hard to imagine a bike company paying the bills with only one bike to sell, but Yuba has flourished with the singular purpose of the Mundo, which is carrying stuff affordably, comfortably, and efficiently.
I ride a Mundo, and it’s a great bike that can carry up to 440 lbs. of stuff, plus driver. Four bags of groceries? Two passengers? No problem. But It can be a bit much to handle sometimes. Stairs, small rooms, and public transportation all present challenges.
Enter the Boda Boda, which in simple terms might be described as half a Mundo. With its aluminum frame it’s half the weight (35 lbs.), half the payload capacity (220 lbs.), and twice as easy to maneuver. Surely not the same cargo bike.
On the contrary, maybe it’s not a cargo bike but a regular city/cruiser bike with some added room for stuff. It’s just a little bit longer than a regular bike, easy to maneuver onto bus racks and other public transportation, and its longness is perfect for a child seat or adult passenger, two full bags of groceries, or both.
There’s two models available; the step-through model comes in apple green or white and is more suitable to smaller riders (5’0″ to 5’7″) while the step-over model, which comes in green, is designed for humans from 5’7″ to 6’2″ and still easy to mount. Included are a Bamboo rear rack, cork grips, ding-a-ling bell, and kickstand. The spec is entry-level. At less than $1,000 it’s priced to get more people on it. The parts selection is perfectly functional without too many bells and whistles. A deluxe edition is soon to be, and it will up the ante with fenders and dynamo-powered lights front and rear.
The ride is cruiser-like and functional with an upright position; big, wide, comfortable handlebars; and good pedaling efficiency. An 8-speed SRAM derailleur provides enough gear choices for most conditions. A custom Yuba saddle is a nice touch, although female tester Poppy found it more comfortable than I.
I see the Boda Boda perfect for folks just getting into the idea of the utility cycling lifestyle. Imagine hauling your kid to school while getting a little exercise—sure beats sitting in a steel box with a brain-frying device to your ear. Kid hauling, grocery getting and such are all good times (assuming the infrastructure is good in your town). Parking lots at the grocery store become a joy instead of a nightmare as you roll right in and park by the door while the automobilians struggle. That’s the life!
This life is yours for the low low price of only $999! Step Right Up! Other accessories include the Peanut Shell child seat at $169, Baguette bags at $77 each, and a center stand (recommended) for $69.
But wait! There’s more! What are all those other accoutrements attached to the Boda Boda pictured here? Why it’s a battery and motor! Yes, you are looking at the electric version of the Boda Boda, priced at $2,697. Well, yes that’s quite a few more dollars, but those bucks might make the difference between embracing the lifestyle and staying in your car.
The electric assist Boda features a BionX motor system for pedal assist and battery regeneration. The BionX system is the real deal. After a long day it can really make a difference between riding or not if you’ve got a lot of hills in your way. The 350 watt motor is good for speeds up to the gubmint-regulated speed of 20mph. And the 9.6 amp hour battery is good for up to 37 miles, depending on terrain and load of course.
And it’s fast! I hit the turbo button on the trigger and hit the top speed of 20 in half a city block, about seven seconds. It’s also rad that the BionX has regenerative powers, such that you can set the bike to slow you down and recharge the battery at the same time. This is best on downhills, but the brake lever switch can be adjusted to regenerate the battery as you approach stop signs. I actually used the system for a few days without charging the battery. I’d set the BionX into re-gen mode, ride the Boda like a resistance trtainer, and then expel the power when I needed a kick. The BionX system adds 22.5lbs. to the total weight of the Boda Boda, bringing it to 57.5 lbs.
Allright, let’s wrap this up. The Boda Boda is a great way to expand the endless possibilites of cycling. Priced right, it’s a no-brainer for those looking to get deeper into the possibilities. The electric verision, while costing more money, breaks down even more walls to cycling nirvana.
In a statement today, Raleigh Canada announced it will be ceasing manufacturing and assembly at its Waterloo, Quebec, facility. The facility will remain open as a warehousing and distribution center.
Raleigh Canada’s Waterloo facility has manufactured and assembled bicycles on a seasonal basis for over 30 years. Manufacturing and production employees at the Waterloo facility will continue to be actively employed until they are laid off at the end of the normal seasonal production cycle in June 2013. As a result of Raleigh Canada’s decision to cease its bicycle manufacturing and assembly activity, approximately 100 production employees will not be recalled from their normal seasonal layoff in January 2014.Tweet
Every great bike deserves a great bell. We’ve partnered up with Portland Design Works to bring you this special King Ding bell with our logo laser etched on it. The solid brass bell with a brass striker gives the perfect tone and sustain. The alloy mounting hardware fits 22.2-25.4 handlebars and includes a rubber shim for a secure fit.Tweet
CycloFemme is a celebration of women on bikes. Its annual Mother’s Day ride unites riders, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or bicycle preference to share in the joy of cycling. In 2012, its first year, 163 rides were registered in 14 countries with many others joining in to celebrate in their own special way.
For 2013 they are inviting women—and men—to ride to honor the past, celebrate the present, and empower the future of women in cycling as they aim for twice the number of rides in twice the number of countries on May 12, 2013.Tweet
The Adventure Cycling Association‘s Awards Program began in 2003 as a way to recognize organizations and individuals who are doing extraordinary things in the name of bike travel. For 2012, five individuals and a bike shop have been recognized for their contribution to bicycle touring and travel.
The June Curry Trail Angel Award acknowledges individuals or groups encountered during a bicycle tour who have time and again made cycling journeys easier. The 2012 recepients are Byron Seeley, Kelly White, and Vicki Howell, of Jeffrey City, Wyoming. Located in a ghost town halfway between Rawlins and Lander on the TransAmerica Trail, these three provide resources and shelter to cyclists where none otherwise exist.
The Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award is for those whose efforts have contributed to the success of bicycle travel. The 2012 recepient is Ian Klepetar of Gansevoort, New York. In 2007, Klepetar dreamed up Bicycle Benefits, a program through which users display reflective helmet stickers to receive discounts at local businesses.
The Sam Braxton Bicycle Shop Award honors bicycle shops that provide exemplary services to bicycle tourists. The recipient of the 2012 award is Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside, California, for the incredible care and attention with which they serve their customers. The shop, opened in 1977, is not very large, but shares the same spirit and tenacity that Sam Braxton’s shop once exuded, one that creates life-long bonds and friendships, instead of just returning customers.
Finally, the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Christopher Marsh of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Marsh’s work in New Mexico on the development of Bicycle Route 66, and his efforts toward its official designation as U.S. Bicycle Route 66 have gone far beyond Adventure Cycling Association’s expectations.
Nominations for the 2013 Bicycle Travel Awards will open Monday, July 2, 2013. If you would like to know more about past winners and how to nominate someone, visit www.adventurecycling.org/awards.Tweet
By Justin Steiner,
It’s force of habit; without thinking twice, I hop in my car, start the thing and immediately turn on the headlights. Middle of the night, middle of the day; doesn’t matter.
Why, you ask? The short answer is that I just feel safer being as visible as possible to other road users. Largely this desire to be seen is driven by two experiences. One, years ago, I was hit from behind in broad daylight by an old man who simply “didn’t see” me, despite the fact I was riding in the middle of the lane of travel wearing a BRIGHT yellow jacket. And two, my experience as a motorcyclist has taught me that being seen can be the difference between life and death. Not to get all serious on you, just pointing out the facts.
Anyway, back to the lights. I recently purchased a pair of rechargeable rear lights for my girlfriend and I, in an effort to fend off motorists this winter. Like many mornings on the way to work, it was dreary and overcast today. So, as usual in these conditions, I turned both my front and rear lights to flash mode, hoping to make myself as visible as possible. With rechargeable lights front and rear, I don’t feel guilty burning up batteries in daylight on the way to work. Of course having lights won’t necessarily protect me from having another roadway incident, but the peace of mind is well worth the investment in my opinion.
Over the years, we’ve tested quite a few rechargeable headlights, but comparatively few rechargeable taillights. Below are a few USB rechargeable, lithium ion or lithium polymer powered options that might be of interest.
Blackburn Super Flea – $45
The Super Flea powers three bright LEDs between 15 hours (steady) and 28 hours flashing.
Bontrager Ember USB – $30
Bontrager’s Ember puts the power down through one1/2-watt and one 5mm LED. Burn times range from 7 hours to 35+.
Cateye Rapid 1 – $35
Cateye’s Rapid 1 employs one “high-powered” SMD-LED to provide 2 to 10 hours of run time.
Cygolite Hotshot 2W USB – $40
Cygolite utilizes one two-watt LED in the Hotshot, providing 4:30 to 300+ hours of illumination.
Knog Boomer USB – $40
Knog’s one “super-bright” Boomer LED burns from 3:30 hours to 12 hours.
Light and Motion Vis 180 Micro – $49
The Vis 180 Micro powers three LEDs (one rearward facing red, one amber on each side) between 4 and 20 hours.
NiteRider Solas USB – $45
The Solas powers one two-watt LED between 4:30 hours and 36 hours, depending on mode.
Serfas Thunderbolt (UTL-6) – $45
The Thunderbolt stands out from this group by using 30 micro-LEDs to pump out 1:45 to 9:30 hours of light.
Sure, these lights are more expensive than a regular AA- or AAA-powered taillight, but you also have to account for the cost of replacement batteries. On average, a AA- or AAA-powered blinkie of comparable light output retails for right around $30. Add in around $10 for rechargeable batteries, and you’re at a very similar price point to those listed above.
Of course, another viable alternative would be a dedicated hub dynamo setup with front and rear lights. This setup is highly viable if you’re riding the same bike all of the time. That said, it seems most folks who run dynamo lighting systems also supplement those lights with additional lighting.
One way or the other, the moral is the same; be seen to be safe. Ride safely out there.Tweet
We’re excited to annouce the debut of our first Bicycle Times riding kit, made by Voler. It’s perfect for riding with friends, century rides, racing, you name it. Fly the colors of your favorite cycling magazine.
You’ve got options
Embracing the style from the pages of the magazine, the new kit features a club cut jersey with a full zipper, raglan sleeves, and three rear pockets. The shorts are available in bib shorts or traditional style, each with a high-end chamois.
We’ve got them all in a huge range of sizes from extra small to XXXL, as well as ladies-specific sizes.
Get the set
Tops and bottoms are sold separately, though you can order a package deal that includes matching socks, and get a free subscription. It’s also available with bib shorts or traditional shorts—your choice!
And for a limited time, you can get any of this great stuff for 15 percent off during our holiday sale. Just use the coupon HOLIDAY15 at checkout in our online store. There’s lots of closeouts on markdown for the holidays as well.There’s still time to get a gift for a riding friend – or yourself.
In recent years YouTube has been branching out into original programming, and a new channel from Shift Active Media will be bringing cycling coverage right to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
The Global Cycling Network will launch January 1 with professional analysis from former racers—said to include David Millar—and race coverage.
Through its partnership with Google (YouTube is part of Google, after all), they also will host monthly Google+ Hangouts with interactive discussions.
We’re excited about more outlets covering our favorite sport. Will you be watching?Tweet