Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Helium Bike Case

When I saw this on the Boulder Report I thought - that's the ticket. That's the bike case I need! I've been in the market for one for a while since I'd like to travel with a bike. Maybe this fall, definitely next summer. The air filled bladders of the Helium Case allow it to be deflated, saving valuable storage space when it's not in use, protect the bike, and make it luggage-like enough to ease you by the ticket counter Gestapo at the airport. So, I emailed the maker and got the following response:

Thanks for your interest in our product. The Helium bike case will be available for purchase at many locations as well as online dealers by the end of January. We will email you or you can visit our web site for the official release and dealer locations.

Not exactly vaporware, but not exactly hardware yet either. I can't wait that long. So, I'll probably get something hard sided and see how this thing pans out in the market.

Scott Breakaway

Confusing title. Ritchey makes the Breakaway cyclocross bike with the seat clamp cluster coming apart, allowing you to pack the bike into a small box and get it on an airplane. People seem to like them and one woman I met recently said that she toured across Scandanavia on one. So, I'm sure they're durable.

Scott is apparently trying to compete:

"The Addict CX RC and Addict CX framesets feature an integrated seat tube to shave approximately 100 grams off the complete bike. These are the kinds of details that produce the lightest cyclocross frame on the market."
Also, the first all carbon frame with carbon seat-mast cyclocross bike that will dissasemble itself when you re-mount it, allowing you to pack the remining carbon shards into a little tiny box and send it back to Scott on an airplane.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You hear that, Ahmedinejad?

Midget Cross Bike

Someone's frame building experiment: A midget single speed cyclocross bike. Impossible to shoulder but fun to take to the BMX park and school the kids with.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homebrew camera mount

Why GoPro when you can GoKodak? This guy mounted his point and shoot camera to his handlebars using a reflector mount and what I think is a 1/4-20 screw. It held for a whole cyclocross race and got some decent if slightly shakey footage of the start until the camera gave up at 3 1/2 minutes.

Carbon flesh core tool

If you learn one thing from reading this blog, let it be this: choose the right tool for the job. For example, choose an alloy seat post with a robust clamp for mountain biking and cyclocross racing. When you choose a carbon seat post and it snaps on your remount, and you're left hovering tubing shards that threaten to eviscerate you, you'll need something good to get it out of your frame. For example, here is a fellow using a cable cutter to yank the remnants of a poor component decision out of an otherwise nice bike: (sorry about he crappy focus)

The rider who owns the bike snapped the post on his first remount of a race and twisted the now useless top section off like the stem of an apple, throwing it to the ground. He then ran to his team pit where one guy went at it hammer and tongs to get the old post out and swap an alloy post from another guy's bike. Meanwhile, his teamates and buddies taunted him with cries of "must have gone to 6 newton-meters man!" (referring to the 5 N-m torque limit on most carbon clamping bolts).
This rider now knows not to use a part that fails catastrophically in planned use. Specialized, for all the cyclocross riders they sponsor, still doesn't get it. They're still selling the Tricross with a carbon seat post that has a big gaping hole right in the middle of it filled with a gummy bear known as a 'Zertz' vibration dampening insert.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Airing out the undercarriage

Way back in 2008 we wrote about really firm saddles like the Tioga spider web creation seen at a race last weekend:
BTW, this was on a rigid carbon framed 26er. Although you'd do a lot of standing on descents, the bike is probably so light that you don't get very fatigued in technical sections or on ascents.


According to Campagnolo (through Lennard Zinn):

Why didn’t Campagnolo react to BB30?
Campagnolo, like Shimano, has stuck with a 24mm integrated spindle on its cranks. According to chief media officer Lorenzo Taxis, it would have been easy to make a BB30 crank, but it offers no performance advantage.

Read the Velonews article here.

Read the original nippleworks post here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A little artwork for the wall

Just picked this up at a Friday night track race. Looks about a 100 times cooler in person.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Changing Kilt

A friend and mountain bike riding buddy who is also a first-rate seamstress made me a sweet changing skirt/kilt/wrap (if you can think of a great name, email me). It's got velcro and a soft lining and lets you strip off your bike shorts behind your truck after a ride or race with a little dignity:
Check out the sweet bicycle embroidery around the pocket (good place to stuff the things that just came out of your jersey pocket).

I promise to get some better pics as the season goes on. I just feel a little self concious about photographing myself in a public parking lot while changing. Maybe I'll need to stage a photo shoot.

Anyone else want one of these?

Tapered Cross Forks

I noticed at a cross race this weekend, that Van Dessel is now making cross frames with a tapered head tube. Looks like a 1 1/8" bearing on the top and a 1 1/2" bearing on the bottom, as is becoming popular in pro level road race bikes and suspension forks. Although it may stiffen the front end of the bike and result in more precise steering, the improvement has to be negligible given the amount of lateral flex that results when 700c road wheels are ridden hard off road. Still, I haven't ridden one, so I can't say, but I'd like to know more. The Van Dessel fork must then be proprietary, because to my knowledge, no one else is doing this with their cross frames.

Photo stolen from

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Beer Season

As the cyclocross season heats up (or cools down, depending on how you look at it), I find myself interested in fine Belgian beer once again. In this country, that means buying super expensive imported beer, or looking into one of the many quality American based Belgian style breweries. Fortunately, one of them has hit it big and is available almost everywhere. Yes. New Belgium.

They're one of the few companies for which I really enjoy the marketing. This ad above is from a magazine. Except for the part where they describe the Twin Cities and Chicago as part of 'The Western Land', I love it. I also noticed that they are following the lead of Oskar Blues and putting their craft brew in a can:

I also noticed this woman, who I've decided to call the Good Beer Witch. Who is she? Where did she come from? Did she arrive by bicycle?

And now, for your moment of zen:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Typo, right?

I mean, we're talking about two little rectangles of nylon, some straps and a zipper. Which, on the right person is priceless, but this is not what I had in mind.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Does not compute

Why would you sepnd $300 on a set of Zero Gravity GX cyclocross brakes when you could spend $100 and get a lighter set of TRP Eurox Brakes or a $200 pair of Paul Neo Retro's, made in the USA, still lighter. It just doesn't add up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Habanero Ti

Custom geometry, Ti frames, 8-10 weeks delivery, low prices. Habanero.

Made in China, , straight gage tubing, that's how. Still, no one seems to complain about them.

Business Socks

Don't you know that's why they're called business socks? As seen at the first cyclocross race of the season.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Incredibly nifty little bike trailer

One more from Gary F at Eurobike. A mini cargo trailer that folds up onto your bike rack. Very cool. Very wiz-bang.

Gary F at Eurobike

Gary Fisher has been feeding the web some fantastic photos from Eurobike. For example, this one of a beautiful cargo bike and this one of an adult sized push-bike. Warning, the women love a sharp dressed man, and as such, Gary has found some scantily clad groupies to take his photo with. Not everything this man does at his job is safe for yours!