20131127

A sunrise like this on a rainy fall morning...

...is one of the many things that I am thankful for.

The barbed wire kills the romance a bit.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Whether you spend it riding, eating, or both, I hope it's full of lots of good friends and family.

20131118

There's A New Belt In Town

As it turns out, it's not new news, but it's the first I've seen of Continental's dive into belt drives for bicycles.

Image via BikeRumor.
While it looks similar in design to Gates's belt system, Conti seems to be using a lip on the cogs and ring to hold the belt in place instead of a groove.  And though I haven't seen parts available yet for this system, Conti's site has specifics on tension and systems so I assume that something is in the works.  And lets not forget that Continental has been making belts for cars anyway, so bikes seem like the next logical step.

You all know I love belt drives and would be thrilled to see them available to a bigger market for a lower price point, so I'm all for this.  Though I would like to get my hands on one of these belts and compare it to the Gates system, personally.

Image via Urban Velo.
Maybe this means Phil Wood will start production of belt drive parts again.  No objections there.  

20131116

SF Bike Expo

There was a pretty good turn out at the SF Bike Expo today, and even though I arrived before it opened it was still packed to the brim with cycling enthusiasts, part seekers, and curious onlookers.

The best was the endless amount of parts everywhere - you could probably find just about anything that you were looking for.  Someone could easily show up with nothing and leave with a whole bike made of parts they purchased just from the show.

Cupertino Bike Shop was there!
Can't forget the classics!
There were some local favorites there - Soma's booth had some beautiful bikes and goodies, including a belt drive prototype that was constantly crowded with people so I couldn't get a good photo.

A lovely slice of this copper and sky blue ride, made locally!
And as far as belt drives go - there were a lot there, and all were drawing a crowd.  There was even a trainer set up so people could test ride to see how the belt felt on an internally geared hub.  

I think a belt on a fat bike would be a blast.
There were a ton of beautiful bikes there, but the star of the show (at least in my opinion) was a stunning Hetchins.

It was cleaned up and in gorgeous condition!
I'm digging these chainstays!
And of course, no Hetchins would be complete without stunning, intricate lugwork.
Last but not least, there were some incredible "art" bikes floating around.  As monstrous as they look, I got to ride the smaller one, and it was a blast!  Not difficult at all, though probably not the best thing to commute on.

They were definitely the tallest bikes there.
Those are some insane spokes.
I had a good time, and while I didn't buy anything, I enjoyed walking around and seeing such a thriving bike culture.  My only wish is that it's bigger next time!

20131115

Happiness From Ukraine!

Coming home on a Friday evening to a box of Takhion goodies?  Does it really get any better?

I don't think it does.
Original Takhion downtube shifters and brake calipers for this restoration, a few awesome Ukraine cycling caps (which I will most certainly be rocking) and last but not least, a masterfully repaired fork for the Temp that has been damaged for almost two years

I can't even begin to express my gratitude for all of this.  People are awesome.

Once I have some daylight I'll snag some better photos of these goodies, but in the meantime I need to get some sleep to be up bright and early for the San Francisco Bike Expo tomorrow morning.  

Hope to see all of you bay area riders there!

20131111

It's About Time

Slowly but surely, the answer to Where the Hell Are Cycling Jeans for Women is being answered.  REI's Novara brand recently released their full length cycling jeans for women (and men!), which I have to say I've been living in since I got them (no, really) and I'm beyond happy with them.  

I've also recently learned about an IndieGoGo campaign for RYB Denim Jeans, which was featured on Reddit and Cupcake Ride.  Check out their video below.



They've reached their goal already, but you can still donate to get a pair of these jeans at a discounted price.  

In my opinion, they look very similar to REI's design...but having not worn them yet, I don't want to jump to any conclusions too soon!  I'll save that side by side review for later down the line.

So I'm grabbing a pair while I can, because these jeans look amazing and this is definitely a company I'd like to support and see more from in the future...perhaps a pair of jean shorts for the summer?  Or a faded pair?

Anyway, there are only six days left to donate and get these jeans at the promotional price - if not, you'll have the opportunity next year when they're released.  

I do have to say to any ladies that are reading this that would like a pair of jeans right now - I cannot recommend the REI jeans enough.  The photo on their website doesn't do them any justice.  They're perfect.  Get a pair.  Really. 

20131110

Outside My Comfort Zone

I'm really, really unfamiliar with mountain bikes.  Thankfully, I know how to adjust derailleurs, which is all this bike really needs, otherwise I'd have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

This thing is massive.
There's some slipping that's happening while shifting, so I'll do some cable and derailleur adjusting and check bearings and such while I'm at it.  Some grease and a good cleaning will do this bike good.  

I can't even get the whole bike in the frame.
I'd really like to familiarize myself with mountain bikes more, so I'm glad that I'm getting an opportunity to work on one.  Someday it would be nice to add a mountain bike to my stable, so in the meantime I get to see exactly what I would be getting in to.  And hey, I got to ride a 29er for the first time!

20131108

I Lied

One more because I have no willpower.

Just a bit of logo.
I am stupidly happy with how well this Takhion is coming along, and will probably be picking up the finished frame next week!

Restoration and photo are by Ube Urban.  Decals that you will see more of next week are made by the talented Hrrundel.  

20131107

Even the beater needs upgrades sometimes

Timeshare beater bike got new tires a few days ago, because the ones that were on there were no match for the goatheads that plague my hometown.  

The Shipyard was the most necessary tool.
It may have been a minor upgrade, but it made a huge difference.  In my haste though, I grabbed 4000s' and not Gatorskins, but oh well.  I love these tires - I run them on my road bike, and they roll quite nicely, and while they're no Gatorskins they're still tough as nails.  Visually it's nice too; I liked the white, but I feel the black gives the bike an overall better aesthetic.  Maybe.  I'm still a bit torn.

As far as beater bikes go, I'm the worst when it comes to something like this.  It's in my blood to want to upgrade and constantly make things better than they need to be, which is why my timeshare ride still looks as pretty as it does.  Some people can abuse a bike until parts fall off, then they just replace them.  I lack the willpower to do this.  I should have just ridden this thing until the tires disintegrated into a sad little pile of dust, but crap like this keeps me up at night.  At least, it does with bikes - I wish I could be this careful about things like keeping my house clean or remembering to turn off the lights before leaving for two weeks.

Oh well.

It is a pretty bike. 

This is where it sleeps.
It was also my dad's birthday, and he got a slew of awesome bike gear that he's loving so far.  I'm pretty jealous of the tech compatible gloves, actually.