Product Launch: 2011 Globes

2011 Globe Roll

I came to the Globe 2011 product launch in San Francisco imagining Steve McQueen launching Mustangs through intersections. What I got was underground bike tours, organic artisan foods and a glimpse of a passionate cycling community supported by an emerging brand that is becoming completely immersed in urban cycling.

Globe is a stand alone brand created by Specialized that is focused on urban cycling, culture and advocacy. This small group of specialists are equally immersed in their respective fields and commonly united to create bikes that enable a cycling lifestyle. From our base of operations in the hip Soma neighborhood, the Good Hotel provided the perfect setting to reiterate the appeal of a cycling lifestyle. "Globe Moves People," and by creating products that remove barriers and enhance the biking experience, Globe hopes to move more people on two wheels.

What’s new for 2011 is Globe’s strengthened partnerships with local and national cycling coalitions. Globe is riding the ride.

When I got the invite to head out to the left coast and ride around San Francisco for a couple days there certainly wasn’t much arm twisting needed. Early Tuesday morning I was awaiting my flight anticipating Kimmy Gibbler and her puffy sleeves. Several urban cycling events, partnerships and the utilization of the viral connectivity that is social media helped to promote the May 12th launch. Globe’s attitude of conservation and social responsibility are echoed by several other S.F. area organizations, like the San Francisco Bike Coalition, Good Hotel, Bicycling Coffee and The Disposable Film Festival, which were all part of our experience while in town.

After several long hours on planes and in airports I finally arrived in S.F.O. and was greeted by non-other than Globe’s lead engineer, Amber. We boarded the BART and headed downtown. A couple blocks off of Market St., on the corner of Mission and 7th, is Good Hotel. This self-dubbed humorous and eco-friendly hotel was to be the Globe team’s and their quests’ home for the following couple days. Some well-received Thai food and good conversation with a small representative of Globe didn’t end my long day – I was still working on East Coast time. 

Good Hotel

Good Hotel.

Most of the crew headed back to their rooms while Jessica from Globe and I headed to Dr. Sketchy’s SF. Dr. Sketchy’s was founded in 2005 by Molly Crabapple in Brooklyn, and became somewhat of a movement. They ask a simple question: Why can’t drawing naked people be sexy? "In San Francisco, Dr. Sketchy’s gives you a monthly opportunity to draw rhinestone encrusted burlesque performers, bearded ladies, cute girls on bicycles and anything else we can conjure up to tantalize your pencils." I’m not sure they mean the graphite kind.

Chicks on Bikes at Dr. Sketchy's

Yep. Those are girls on a bike.

The next morning was the official 2011 Globe presentation. Each of the 4 Globe models for 2011 were discussed. Careful thought about the aesthetics, taking inspiration from our visual environment, helped influence the finished products.

ROLL

  • Lowest price point.
  • Well built full Cr-Mo frame with Reynolds 520 / 725 main tubes is simple, yet durable
  • Extremely durable Cr-Mo fork, with clean profile and built to withstand daily urban use
  • Alloy 42-tooth track-style singlespeed crankset
  • Super high-profile deep V 700c rims compliment the Roll’s distinctly urban design
  • Bolt-on front and rear hubs provide excellent ride security and curb thieves looking for "free" wheels
  • Roll 2’s keyed front wheel retentions system finishes off the fork profile and makes the design lines disappear
  • Fixed gear or freewheel rear hub, you decide 

2011 Globe Daily

DAILY

My whip for the couple days in S.F. All new for 2011

  • Step-through frame or more traditional horizontal top tube
  • Traditionally inspired Globe A1 frame in standard and step-thru versions
  • Classic uni-crown, curved blade fork in steel and alloy
  • Custom, durable steel ‘zeppelin’ fenders
  • Custom, bolt-on ‘phone-dial’ hubs
  • Bolt-on front and rear hubs provide excellent ride security and curb thieves looking for "free" wheels
  • Custom, Globe basket with integrated U-lock holder (5 KG), or rear rack (10 KG)

LIVE (under review by Justin Steiner)

  • Designed around the front rack. Specially engineered front fork to accommodate the front rack. "Classic style, unlimited utility. Grab some groceries, carry a laptop, bonfire at the beach, BYOB. Life/Live is what you make it."
  • Globe A1 Premium frame with smooth welded main tubes for one strong and lightweight package
  • Integrated front porteur basket system with aluminum bottom lets you carry all your goods comfortably (capacity = 50lbs)
  • Step through frame available with the classic double top tube “mixte” design for easy on and off access and/or riding with skirts
  • Internally routed cables to clean up the design lines
  • All alloy pedals that evoke Italian styling
  • Color matched Globe steel fenders fit right in and have are a more durable alternative to the omnipresent plastic variety
  • Slim, yet effective, the color matched alloy chainguard keeps your duds clean
  • Proven Body Geometry Fitness saddle with front and rear bumbers for long-haul durability

HAUL

  • Big rear rack is part of the frame. "Pack, move, tow, recycle. The bigger the load, the better the Haul. A true cargo bike with urban style. When you can get the job done on two wheels, who needs a trunk?"
  • A1 Premium Aluminum frame with integrated rack & aluminum deck makes loaded transportation simple and easy (capacity = 100lbs)
  • Step through frame designs are offered in addition to the standard geometry for easy on and off access and/or riding with skirts
  • Internally routed cables to clean up the design lines
  • Globe City grips delivers form and function in one considered design
  • Globe City pedals features a Varus wedge that slightly angles the foot for a more natural and comfortable position
  • Wheels feature double-walled 700c rims with 36 spokes for maximum durability
  • Body Geometry saddle uses a V-groove design and vibration dampers for comfort and support, even on dodgy roads
  • Globe steel fenders are a more durable alternative to the plastic variety
  • Slim, yet effective, the color matched alloy chainguard equipped on the internally geared model keeps your duds clean

After the presentation we were asked to choose our bike for our underground bike tour of San Francisco by SOSF. The tour ibegan along the S.F. waterfront, AT&T Park (home of the Giants) and Mission Bay. Joseph Baerman Strauss’ lesser-known 91-year-old 4th St. bridge and it’s $400k fake counter weight along with Shit Creek was next up. 

4st Bridge

fake counter wieght

4th St. Bridge and Shit Creek.

From there we headed to Mission. We rode to Balmy Alley and listened to our guides explain some of the fantastic murals and history of the neighborhood. Each mural was inspired by Diego Rivera and WPA murals. Balmy Alley has become a canvas for local activist artist to examine US foreeign policy in Central America and the issues pertinent to community.

Balmy Alley MuralBalmy Alley Murals.

A picnic lunch was set up for us in Mission Dolores Park with a picturesque view of the city. The park is a center for cultural, political and sport activities since the 1960s. No surprise that hipsters love it on the weekends.

Eat and park. Wait, no. Park and eat. Mission Dolores Park. Eat and Park. Wait, no. Park and eat.

Following lunch we headed down "The Wiggle" – a local bike route that minimizes the hills for which San Francisco is famous. The Wiggle lead us to the Duboce Bikeway Bike Mural by Mona Caron that depicts the broad spectrum of cycling from the bay to the coast.

Bike MuralDuboce Bikeway Bike Mural.

The official tour ended back at the hotel. However, I was on a bike perfect for some city riding and my legs still felt great. I was able to talk Jessica from Globe into taking me to see the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve never been to San Francisco and by bike was a perfect way for me to get a vibe for the city. What better way to see one of this countries greatest landmarks! So we started our trek into blustery Pacific headwinds towards Strauss’ better known bridge seeing some sights along the way.

I could swim that.

Alcatraz. (I’m not sure Magneto could have done it – the Golden Gate Bridge doesn’t look like it could reach that far…)

Golden Gate Bridge is basically red.

The Brooklyn Bridge… Nah, I’m just kidding.

That turned out to be a long day in the saddle and well worth it. After the ride it was time to settle in for some amateur and locally-made artisan foods. Across the street from the Good Hotel was a parking lot that played host to The Disposable Film Festival honoring S.F. Bike week and also the finish-line for the evening’s Alley Cat race. Before the sun went down and the films began, local culinary artists were invited to peddle their creations to hungry cyclists. Following the shorts, a couple drinks with my Globe and Specialized hosts was a great way to end a fantastic day. 

Food Vendors

Food vendors.

Bike Valet

Bike Valet.

The next day was the 16th Annual Bike to Work Day for San Francisco that celebrated some of the city’s newest innovations that are helping to make cyclists safer. Specifically, the segregated bike lanes on Market Street. I was able to prolong my stay to partake in some of the festivities. Energizing stations were set up around town to keep riders upright and help with basic mechanicals. Although one of the most bike friendly cities in the country, the Bay City has been facing a severe deterrent to implementing recent cycling legislation. A legal injunction a few years ago has left an impass to cycling related projects that could benifit the urban bike community. Despite this, San Francisco remains one of the best cities to ride in. The San Francisco Bike Coalition along with Mayor Newsom are hopeful that when the injunction runs out, a city-wide bike network will be in the near future along with several other projects. The Mayor’s hope is that S.F. will rival cycling capitals like Portland and Amsterdam. 

Bike to Work Day Press Conference

Bike to Work Day press conference.

I came back from the left coast impressed. Not only was I impressed with the local support, on several different levels, for a cycling lifestyle – I was impressed with Globe’s apparent commitment to help sustain that lifestyle with purposeful products.

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