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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Specialized FATBOY PRO #letsride @iamspecialized

All the fun of a fat bike with the performance of a Specialized. The Fatboy Pro combines a lightweight frame, RockShox Bluto fork, and 4.6" Ground Control tires to create a geometry similar to Specialized 29er geometry for nimble handling in the most extreme conditions.
  • Fully butted M4 Premium Aluminum frame w/ up to 5-inch tire clearance is lightweight and stiff
  • RockShox Bluto RL Solo Air spring shock w/ TurnKey damping for traction in all conditions
  • Fat 26" disc, alloy single wall rims are designed to handle even the worst terrain
  • Specialized Ground Control Fat 26x4.6" tires roll over anything
  • Race Face Next SL crankset w/ 100mm spindle is built for power no matter the terrain
  • Shimano XT, hydraulic disc brakes w/ Ice Tech pads and rotors for max stopping power
  • SRAM X0, 11-speed derailleur w/ carbon cage for reliable and precise shifting

Changing Gears

Changing Gears from Bruna Martini on Vimeo.
Changing Gears is a 20 minute short film, showing the journey of 5 young Londoners as they cycle from London to Brighton. Having never met before, and each from different backgrounds and life stories, the film is a look at the transformative potential of the bicycle in bringing people together and breaking down barriers. On show is an insight into the sense of freedom and independence young people gain from a bicycle in a city, the worries and problems they face growing up there, and how they react to new geographies outside London.

Screened at Look Mum no Hands in London in September 2014

Friday, January 30, 2015

Against The Elements - Bikepacking Through Wales

Against the Elements from Ian Barrington on Vimeo.
A three day bikepacking trip through Wales, starting at the Great Orme and finishing in Llanwrtyd Wells. After enduring two days of near constant wind and rain, there was one last challenge before we made it to Llanwrtyd.

Riders: Neil, Gian, Andy & Me.
Cameras: Contour +2 & Olympus SH-21
Music: Alt-J - Estocada

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Showers Pass Refuge Jacket and Pant–the Perfect Fat Bike Shell

After two solid years of year-round fat biking in Colorado, with seasons that seem to change quickly to bitter cold, I have been enthusiastically searching for the Goldilocks of shells to wear while riding my fat bike. My criteria: a lightweight shell that can handle the brutal minus-something cold of the Rockies, but versatile enough to be my go-to jacket for cool fall days. Last season I went to several stores and tried on countless jackets and pants, after making do with my snowboard apparel the previous season. I left all of those establishments disappointed.
Enter the Showers Pass Refuge series. While not specifically designed for fat biking, this jacket and pant are a product of forward-thinking garment engineers who obviously spend a lot of time in the outdoors. The shells are versatile enough to use for skiing or mountaineering, but with obvious cues to cyclists such as the drop down tail and reinforced seat and shoulders.
Breathable and flexible, the jacket is the perfect all around fatbike shell for use even on cool fall days
Breathable and flexible, the jacket is the perfect all around fatbike shell for use even on cool fall days
The Deets, From Showers Pass:
  • Featuring fully seam taped, 3 layer EliteTM waterproof-breathable hardshell fabric for exceptional breathablility
  • Reinforced shoulders protect the fabric from back pack straps
  • Extra long core vents prevent overheating
  • YKK Aquaguard Vislon water-resistant zippers
  • Ergonomic easy-grip zipper pulls
  • 360 degrees of 3MTM ScotchliteTM Reflective Material trim for maximum visibility
  • Removable, adjustable hood fits over a helmet and stows in inside pocket
  • Double toggle hem cinch for adjustability
  • Drop-down tail protects from road spray and wet stadium seats
  • Soft, moisture wicking lining at collar
  • Locker loop at collar
  • Front handwarmer pockets, back pocket and chest pocket with audio port
  • Two light loops
  • MSRP: $279
A closer shot of the vents in the Refuge Jacket, along with the side hand warmer pockets. The chest pocket zipper can be seen in the background. There is ample storage in this shell.
A closer shot of the vents in the Refuge Jacket, along with the side hand warmer pockets. The chest pocket zipper can be seen in the background. There is ample storage in this shell.
  • Fully seam taped, 3-Layer Elite™ waterproof-breathable hardshell fabric for exceptional breathability and total weather protection
  • Durable reinforced seat is perforated for breathability
  • Thigh vents prevent overheating
  • Articulated knees with reflective accents
  • YKK Aquaguard Vislon water-resistant zippers
  • Reflective trims for low light visibility
  • Hook and loop cinch straps keep pant legs away from chain and crank
  • Ankle zips for easy on-off over shoes
  • Thigh pocket is accessible while on the bike
  • Suspender compatible
  • Women’s specific pant available
  • MSRP: $225
    Drop down flap is perfect for commuting, or for the chairlift if you are skiing. The side pocket easily holds a few goodies. This flap snaps back up into the jacket
The Refuge Jacket and Pant were designed with what Showers Pass calls an Elite 3-layer performance fabric, which is fully seam-taped, stopping rain and snow from creeping into the zippers. This fabric, like other popular brands, is fully waterproof and breathable (not a spray on barrier), with  extra-long core vents. These vents are, in my opinion, the crown jewel of the shells, allowing a lot of good airflow in for cooling, with a thoughtful mesh fabric beneath the zippers to keep the zippers from coming open too wide. This mesh also prevents larger chunks of snow from sneaking into open vents. They are well-placed, but the one downside to them is that because of their length and reinforced seam sealing, they can be tough to zip up or down, especially while riding. It is a small tradeoff given the bombproof seams, and I see no way they could have been designed otherwise. These vents are equipped with what they call Aquaguard Vision zippers, and 360-degree 3M Scotchlite reflective trim–perfect for commuters or a ride home in the dark after coming off of the trail...

Will cycling see the return of the solid tyre?

Korean company Tannus Tires claim to have built a solid tyre that 'will compete with' regular pneumatic ones.
A Korean tyre company has come up with a solid bike tyre that it claims will compete with the regular pneumatic variety. After being launched three years ago in Asia, Tannus Tires are hitting the UK market.
Using a newly developed compound polymer called Aither, they offer the prospect of punctureless riding with a rider-friendly level of comfort and rolling resistance.
Solid tyres are nothing new. They’ve been around as long as the bicycle itself but were quickly superseded when Dunlop made the first practical pneumatic bike tyre in 1887. Typically heavy and giving an uncompromising ride, solid tyres have trailed in their wake ever since.
Tannus Tires have developed a solid tyre that 'will compete' with regular tires
But Tannus’s European sales manager Jazz Walia says: “We won’t convert everyone but people need to forget what they know of solid tyres and try them with an open mind.”
Some of the advantages of a solid tyre are obvious. Retailing at £99 a pair and boasting the ability to do 9,000 miles before needing replacing, Tannus Tires could be useful for winter training or commuting, as they eliminate the worry of stopping and getting cold while changing a tube. The 700x23c Musai model also weighs in at just 380g, not far off the combined weight of Continental Gator Skin, inner tube and rim tape — and they come in two grades to imitate different tyre pressures. Although still heavier than a pair of tubs and with a rolling resistance eight per cent higher than a regular tyre, they felt fine for daily commutes — although a bit harsh for longer training rides — when CW gave them a run.

“We’re still developing and improving the tyres,” says Walia. “We’re looking at doing a budget, mid and performance version and have a five to 10-year plan, possibly getting riders in the Tour de France on our tyres.”


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brooks Land’s End to John O’ Groats Panniers

Our new travel panniers are named after the famous “Land’s End to John O’ Groats” cycle route which traverses the length of the island of Great Britain between its two furthermost extremities. Hundreds of cyclists attempt this 874-mile route yearly, facing the challenges of Britain’s inclement weather.
The panniers are waterproof, light and durable to meet the demands of long distance cyclists, without sacrificing style. The closing system of the bag featuring a stylish leather insert enables cyclists to adjust the volume of each bag from a minimum to a maximum, as follows:
-JOHN O' GROATS Front Panniers min/max 12/15 l
-LAND'S END Rear Panniers min/max 19/23 l
(Our Land's End pannier no longer features the outside pocket, there is however a small zip pocket and a larger map style pocket on the inside).

Gevenalle CX and Shimano STI comparison @Gevenalle

Gevenalle CX and Shimano STI comparison. from Gevenalle on Vimeo.

Introducing: The NFD

National Forest Development roads are used to access our wilderness spaces and are often found in very wild and unkempt conditions that require a sturdy and reliable vehicle.  My NFD was developed with these roads as inspiration for discovery and adventure well off the beaten path.  Built for the B+ format tires for sure-footed and comfy travel.

I don’t know about you, but the size of these tires looks spot on.  Then there’s the luggage, expertly crafted by Porcelain Rocket.  The Alfine 501 8 speed rear hub and the Son generator hub wired to the B&M Luxos U for charging capabilities.  Me? I may just go out on this beast and never return.  Somebody feed my animals for me?
The frame is designed for backpacking, unapologetically.  The suspension exists in the 27.5 x 3.25″ tires and will not fit a suspension fork.  It is also designed around a PF30 BB to give options to run that BB, an eccentric for single or internal geared drivetrain, or Shimano 24mm with the right adapter...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bicycle Traveler Magazine January 2015

Bicycle Traveler Magazine January 2015

In this edition:
An unexpected adventure
Maya Goldstein discovers that Central American hotels aren't just for sleeping in.
Interview Amaya Williams
Amaya talks about the process of putting together a trip photo book.
A life in a day
A day's thoughts while cycling in Patagonia.
Equipment information and more…

10 Common Misconceptions about Randonneuring | Off The Beaten Path

With Paris-Brest-Paris coming up this year, a lot of people seem to be interested in randonneuring. They like the idea of a challenging, but not competitive, sport. Many brevets feature great scenery, a sense of adventure, and wonderful people to ride with. Unfortunately, all to often, I hear people say: “It sounds wonderful, but I couldn’t do it.” In many cases, that isn’t true. Most randonneurs, myself included, are pretty average people. Here are ten common misconceptions about randonneuring:

Tips for Treating Cyclists Saddle Sores | CyclingInform

Saddle sores can become a serious problem that can create havoc for any cyclists working to a weekly training schedule. Once the cyclist’s saddle sore becomes serious enough it can ruin weekly goals and force you to stop training. It is very important to prevent saddle sores from even developing. Here are some tips…

Dutch Suburbs Are Like America’s, and Protected Bike Lanes Work Fine There | StreetsBlog

People the in U.S. street design world — sometimes even people who write for this very website — regularly say that U.S. development patterns mean that Dutch street designs can’t be immediately adopted in the States.
That’s a lot less true than you might think.
Of course some ideas can’t/won’t port over wholesale. But especially by European standards, the Netherlands is actually probably one of the most spatially similar places to much of the U.S. Guess where this is:
Count the fast food signs, the car lanes all leading up to a big freeway underpass. If not for the protected bike lane this could be Anywhere, North America. But this is actually in Amsterdam proper.
The reality is that only a minority of Dutch people live in the medieval centers of Amsterdam, Gouda, and Utrecht. Though many tourists visiting Amsterdam for a couple of days don’t typically see this, many Dutch people’s daily reality includes stuff much more like this: