Posts tagged #News

Umlenker or Top Pull Device.

Recently had one of these wheel into the store and thought that it was a clever idea and worthy of a mention.

A company called Speen make this device called the "Umlenker" which translated means the top pull. Nifty little doo-hicky gives you a clean and simple method of running a traditional bottom pull road derailleur with a top routed cable. Genius, which being manufactured and designed by a German company is not at all surprising.
The device is just the silver bar bolted onto the top. They make a version for Sram, Campy Etc.

 Visit them online to see their gizmo's
Posted on May 11, 2014 .

We're Back...

After a long hiatus from the blog I am back in the saddle, so to speak. Last year just did not seem to have enough hours in the day but I feel refreshed and ready to go.

There have been many projects and restorations over the past few months and I have documented some of the more interesting ones in pictures. Also, as visitors to the store will know, some bamboo has been experimented with and quite successfully I might add. So there is plenty to share plus, of course, some of the usual repair and upgrades that we get in I will share with you as I know from the hits I receive on previous posts, these are quite popular with those of you that are working on similar projects at home.


Posted on March 31, 2014 .

Team Sky Christmas Card Factory

          With lots to celebrate this year Team Sky got into the Christmas spirit by making their own cards. Not sure if this is going to catch on or if they plan to do print jobs on the side but they are sure offering a quick turnaround. Hopefully Staples will soon adopt this method in their printing shop...              

Neat little video showing how Team Sky prepared their Christmas cards this year.
Posted on December 20, 2012 .

Global Cycling Network

            Coming to the screens in January is a new cycling channel. Due to hit 'You Tube' on January 1st 2013 is the 'Global Cycling Network' a free original content channel for all things cycling. The initial feedback seems good and it promises to have all kinds of content covering the gamut of cycling. Take a look at the preview and add it to your favorites.

Posted on December 15, 2012 .

New Crankset From Sugino

The Road OX801D
          Sugino, the Japanese company famed for making some of the best crank sets to grace bikes through the decades have come up with yet another innovative design that is both stylish and addresses a common problem when choosing a gear combination. Lack of choice.
The MTB ZX801D
           The new OX801D for road and the ZX801D for MTB features a 110 and a smaller 74mm bolt circle diameter that enables the use of rings only usually obtainable on a triple. This new design and the selection of rings available gives you 13 possible combinations. Perfect for those looking for the ultimate touring setup or a cross racer looking for a tweak to the standard configurations. Mtb  options for running a wide gap for a low climbing gear on a tough or muddy course. The choice is yours.
Close-up Showing the 74mm. BCD for mounting  the smaller rings
           The build quality is superb, typical Sugino, and the outboard bearing bottom bracket configuration is very stiff. The setup also gives you the lowest Q factor available when using the lower 74mm mount rings at 145mm for the road and 156mm for the mtb. Let us know what your gear requirements are and we can put together the best combination for you.
Posted on December 6, 2012 .

Hoy Bikes

          6 x  Olympic Champion and 11 x World Champion, Sir Chris Hoy, officially launched the Hoy Bike brand last week,finally. Rumours have been flying for weeks that a bicycle venture was in the offing and now we know. Through a partnership with the Evans Cycle Shops Sir Chris will be releasing a range of bikes due to be released in March of 2013.
          Initially the range will consist of three road bikes and four city bikes however, the range will eventually be expanded so expect to see mountain as well. Even though it was denied that the range was to compete with the successful range of fellow Olympian Chris Boardman, there is already a planned release of a limited edition track bike. Should be fun to watch...
Posted on December 3, 2012 .

Shimano Alfine 11

           As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a big fan of internally geared hubs, from the old Sturmy Archer systems through to the new crop from Shimano, I think they are the best option for anyone who is a recreational rider, they are hassle free, need very little adjustment and are easy to keep clean. Another plus for people that transport bikes in the back of a car or pick-up is that there is no derailleur hanger to bend. Nothing screws up the shifting quite as quickly as a bent derailleur hanger.
          However, as much as I am a fan of internals for Recreational riding I have never recommended them for aggressive mountain bike applications. Except for one model, The Rohloff 14 speed internal hub. These hubs are in a completely different league and that goes for price as well, a Rohloff setup usually runs around $1400.
          Recently though Shimano has stepped up the game a little, the new Alfine 11 speed hub, although looking similar on the outside to the 7 and 8 that preceded it, are completely re-vamped internally. The 11s are even running an oil bath system just like the Rohloff. A sign that things have changed somewhat is the emergence of some cyclo-x rigs running the new Alfine 11. The hubs are also compatible with the new Gates belt drive setup. It is a bit soon to tell if these hubs have the durability required but initial feedback seems quite positive. We have a couple of projects in the workshop at the moment, which will feature a little later here on the blog, and an Alfine 11 is definitely on the short list as the drive choice.
Alfine 11. Total gear ratio of 409%.

Posted on November 19, 2012 .

Airless Tires in our Future

A Colorado engineer has come up with a new tire design. Not just another new tread pattern but a whole new approach. Instead of the usual threads encapsulated in rubber he has gone for the latest in carbon nano-tube technology. Result is a tire that mounts directly to the rim and requires no tube or air pressure to give it shape. The nano-tubes can be adjusted to give different ride characteristics, much like adjusting air pressure, and are covered in the rubber coating with the tread pattern. Not available as of yet but I am sure it will not be long before they are filtering through into the bike shops. In the meantime have a look at the video. If nothing else they look cool.

Posted on November 8, 2012 .

Park Tool Goes For Gold

           Anyone who wrenches on a bike knows Park Tool Company. Venture into the back of any bicycle workshop and it will be a sea of blue handled devices as far as the eye can see. Our workshop is no different. Well the good folk at Park will be celebrating their golden anniversary in 2013 and to celebrate the fifty year milestone they are releasing a limited edition gold plated Y wrench, or as it is called in our workshop the "3 pronger." This tool is never far from my hand or pocket and is used more than any tool on the bench. Anyone looking to honor their favorite bike mech should look no further...
The mainstay of all bike mechanics...

Posted on November 4, 2012 .

Heated Bike Lanes on the Way

             An idea being looked at in Holland is gaining ground across other EU countries that suffer from icy winters, heating the bike lanes. The small town of 'Zutphen' in the eastern part of the Netherlands will likely be the first town to be equipped with the lanes, at the moment they are waiting for a final decision.
             The technology proposed for the paths is a modified Geo-thermal energy source producing enough heat to fend off the snow and ice on the paths.
             The Netherlands has an estimated 18 million bikes for a population of 17 million people, so seems like a good choice for the initial scheme. They have around 35,000km of designated cycle paths across their nation. The cost of the heated trail has been estimated at around $40,000 - $83,000 per mile of trail.
             If the technology is successful more of Europe's bigger cities will jump on board and already there are rumors that London is looking at a version for the city center.
Posted on October 24, 2012 .

Human Powered Helicopter Challenge

         Some very smart kids at the University of Maryland are closing in on a record and a $250,000 prize put up by the Sikorsky helicopter company. The challenge, which has gone unclaimed for over 3 decades, is to build a human powered helicopter, capable of reaching a height of 3 meters for a span of 1 minute. The machine must also be controlled to stay in a 10 meter box.
        Check out the video below, they are not quite there yet but I don't think it will be long before the good folk at Sikorsky are cutting a check.

Posted on October 23, 2012 .

Tour of Britain 2013

The 2013 Tour of Britain dates have just been released and mark the 10th anniversary of the event. The route will be finalized and made public next spring but the dates are as follows; Sunday September 15th to Sunday 22nd September. The tour this year will also team with the ride London event that will take place in August.
Posted on October 11, 2012 .

Aston Martin Bikes

News this morning from the good folks at Aston Martin, builders of some of the best looking cars on the planet and of course James Bond would be walking everywhere if not for them. Well it seems that they felt the need to design a bike worthy of their name and came up with the "One-77" limited to a run of 77 and with a price tag of 25,000 pounds, roughly $40,000. Their website is a little sketchy on details but heck they look cool.

Posted on October 10, 2012 .

New Lights

Another light, well it is the season, the Cateye "Nano". Lots of lights to choose from these days, the usual standard aa and aaa battery units, these are fine but the cost adds up quickly replacing batteries every five minutes. Rechargeable ones, with the battery pack that hangs in the bottle cage or a little bag under the top tube are o.k but a little inconvenient. Until this year the usb rechargeable units were not that great, now however we have a 600 lumen light without the added weight or hassle of a connected battery pack that can be quickly charged via a standard usb port on the computer. The nice features are the standard flash mode but also a setting that flashes one led while having the other shine a constant beam, see and be seen.

Helmet Mountable
Run Time High: 1.5 hrs
Run Time Low: 4 hrs
Hyper-Constant: 2 hrs
Flashing: 35 hrs

Posted on October 4, 2012 .

Tacx Drop Bar Light.

The good folks at Tacx have come up with another great idea. The "Lumos" drop bar light. It fits into the bar end of any drop bar and has a nice powerful red LED light that alerts drivers following of your presence. Now this is not a new idea, there are many makes and models that do the same thing however, where this Tacx unit differs is that it also has a forward facing white LED light as well. It obviously has to drop down below the bar a little to be able to shine forward but it is completely unobtrusive and stays out of the way of any hand position and fits well to the bar.  

We have fitted a few already and the initial feedback has been very positive.

Posted on September 29, 2012 .

2013. The Year of the GPS.

This is the time of year when we start to see new product brochures hitting the mail box. This year has seen its fair share of literature describing new shiny products that should hit the shelves in 2013. one such flyer that caught my eye was from the good folks a t Cateye. Well known for their fine cycling computers and light systems they are now eying the gps market, long the domain of Garmin. While I have nothing against the Garmin systems, they have produced great performing units for some years now, however good as they may be they are pretty expensive. Any other company looking to break the Garmin hold on gps is going to have to do something special and this is where Cateye could make a dent, they are planning to offer some pretty low priced models. One even has a tentative price tag of below $120. It remains to be seen if they can pull this off but that kind of price point certainly will have some takers. I will keep you informed and hopefully we will start to see them soon.

Posted on September 23, 2012 .

Re-Inventing the Wheel.

The bike business is a business like many others, ideas come and ideas go, some good some bad and many are just there to let people know that the company ain’t dead. Every once in a while an idea comes along and just kind of hangs in the periphery, just waiting for their time to come. One such idea is 650b wheels, not that the 650b wheel is a new idea, hell it’s not even an old idea it has been around for decades, but to mountain bike designers and riders it is relatively new. There are some people, and I myself am one, that contend that if we had designed mountain bikes from the ground up in the beginning instead of modifying road bikes and cruisers to go biking in the woods, we would probably have opted for 650b wheels right from the start, however modifying frames led us to the smaller 26 inch wheels that then became the mountain bike standard for so many years.
        A few years ago we made the quantum leap to the 700c wheel, more commonly referred to as the 29er, which has made a huge impact with off roaders. This has made it difficult for the 650b though. Going so long with one choice, the 26, then adding the 29er quite recently has meant some reluctance from mass manufactures to add yet another wheel size and different bike geometry to already swollen product lines. Luckily the fear of being left behind by the competition has won out and we are seeing many choices from frame companies along with tire and rim manufacturers for 650b. This is very good news. And here's why; Choices.
As mentioned before the industry standard 26inch wheel MTB has been around since the start of mountain biking, the 29er or 700c MTB wheel is a relative newcomer and the 650 b is the new kid in town. The important thing to keep in mind here though is to not disregard any of the old wheel sizes just because there is a new one. They all have their place when looking for a new bike.
During this bike season we have seen a lot of new customers, which is very nice, a lot of new MTB’ers have come through the door as well and a good deal of them have opted for the 29er. Now don't get me wrong a 29er is a fantastic machine but it is not for everybody.
Designing frames and frame geometry for big wheels is tough, sure anyone can build a bike to accept big wheels but getting the handling and feel dialed in is a very different matter and it is especially difficult getting it right on mid to small frame sizes. We have seen many, many riders lately that look like they have been swallowed whole by their bike and, while this arrangement is fine for a gentle trail ride, on a more MTB specific trail or good single-track it must be akin to riding a bull elephant with colic.
Before I carry on let me clarify what we actually mean when we talk about these different sizes. Below are the measurements, in millimeters across the wheel, bead to bead. The bead of a rim is about 3mm down from the top of the rim.

26        559mm
650b    584mm
29er     622mm

As you can see the 650 falls about midway between the other two you will also note that the bead seat diameter of the 29er is the same as a standard road 700c so why do we call it a 29er when it is really only a modern 27inch road wheel. Well it is because some bright spark decided to measure the diameter outside to outside with a fully inflated mtb tire on, which gives you a measurement of roughly 29inches. Confused yet?
Anyway, back to the business at hand.  If you are a tallish or leggy person the big wheel option is definitely a choice for you. The frame size will be plenty to accommodate the extra clearance while still maintaining the ride characteristics of a good mtb. All the rules of bottom bracket height and head and seat tube angles still need to be obeyed and they can be with a mid to large frame size. However, if you are, shall we say a little vertically challenged, this is where problems arise. The rules of designing a bike to perform well for the rider tend to get thrown out the window and it all becomes about designing a small enough frame to at least reach the pedals on while the design is sacrificed to fit a big set of wheels. This really does not work. The cut off for a bike designed for the rider instead of the wheels generally falls somewhere around the 5’6” mark. There are exceptions for those with exceedingly long legs in relation to body height but generally speaking this is where sticking with the 26” wheels tends to be the better option.  Now though we have another option 650b.  This is where the slightly smaller size gives us, as frame designers, much more scope to still design the bike for the ultimate ride and handling but still giving the option of bigger wheels.
A Soma "B-Side" Built and ready to roll.
For those wanting to know more about the options available in the 650 or 29er range stop in or fire me an email. There are lots of choices. At the moment some of the best 650b frames tend to be from companies like Soma who offer the B-side. I expect some of the major names to start producing complete 650 bikes in the next year’s product line.
Posted on September 23, 2012 .

Laser Lights Are Here!

Well we are nearing the time of year when light begins to fade and safety becomes a concern. The last few years have seen quite an influx of new lights and high density LEDs that function for many hours on little power etc. Something a little different this year though is the inclusion of laser beams. Yep lasers, hell I'm of the opinion that anything with a laser has got to be good. We should be receiving our first batch any day now so I will have a test report soon but for now take a look at the pictures to see what they are all about. Basically in addition to the high density LED light we have two lasers pointing down to highlight a path for motorists to stay clear as they pass.
Posted on September 21, 2012 .

Velocity Tubeless Road.

The good folks at Velocity have produced some great rims over the years and anyone that I have talked wheels to knows that I am a big fan. A little while ago there was a bit of a re think in the way road tires performed best, the general consensus was that a road tire of 700x23 performed best when mounted on a rim of around 19mm wide however the footprint of a 23 tire seems to favor a rim that is a little wider. The Velocity A23 is a good example and now we can mount it tubeless.  The tubeless system is very similar to the Stan’s mtb method. A special rim tape is used and a tubeless valve mounted in the rim finishes the job. You can use any sealant in there for added security, the Stan’s is good but we prefer the Caffe Latex brand. Once mounted this setup will give you as close to the ride of a tubular wheel as you can get without getting out the glue!

Posted on August 26, 2012 .

The New Crop Of Disc CycloX Bikes.

       When the rules changed to allow disc brakes into cyclo x events I was a little underwhelmed at the initial offerings available for the season. It was not unexpected, the rule change was talked about for many months in earnest and I assumed that manufacturers would have been ready to roll with disc equipped bikes from the get go. I was wrong.
       It seems that everybody needed a year to get their respective asses into gear and, it seems, 2013 is the year for great disc cross rigs.
       One such bike is the new Raleigh RXC Pro Disc.
Shown above in full race spec. Including carbon rims and Shimano Di2 group. However we also are able to build the full carbon frame and monocoque fork up in any custom configuration.
Posted on August 22, 2012 .