Category Archives: commuter bike
New York #CitiBike

This is the only piece of journalism regarding New York City’s new CitiBike program worth the watch. Idiots exist on both sides of the fence and Jon Stewart goes a great job once again presenting this well-overblown story. Also, “Keep it up, keep that bitch in the air, keep that bitch in the air, yea, there you go, that’s how you do a CitiBike”.

I will say this: Gage + DeSoto hit it on the head:

Jun 10, 2013 12 comments
Rivendell Bicycle Works Pop Up in SF
RBW_showroom_Manny-1

This weekend in SF, the world-renown bicycle company Rivendell opens its first ever pop up shop. There’s no official flier or anything, just this post on the Brooks England blog, which gives us these details:

Rivendell Bicycle Works SF
June 1st through 9th
12pm – 7pm
3156 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110 ‎

May 30, 2013 Comments are OFF
Lauren’s Icarus Commuter
Beautiful Bicycle: Lauren's Icarus Commuter

Any guy will tell you that putting a bike together for his lady can be an emotionally taxing event. Luckily for me, Lauren knew exactly what she wanted when I proposed the idea of buying her a new bike for her birthday. She loved my Icarus and Ian’s work but wanted something practical to commute on here in Austin. I was pushing for a full-on touring bike but she doesn’t like the idea of bigger tires and wanted something zippier.

What we agreed on is a mashup of a few things: primarily a long-reach caliper, lower trail road bike. It’ll fit 28c tires and fenders or 32c without, it has rack mounts on the front and the rear for any sort of light touring or camping we’d do but most importantly, the front cockpit is by no means racey…

She liked the riding position of her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine build but wanted the bars a little wider and better stopping power than her cantis. After finally wrapping my head around figuring out what she wanted, we met up with Ian of Icarus Frames, who measured her and went through the new frame procedure.

In the meanwhile, I started looking for parts. Rather than going all budget, I splurged a bit and went with a lot of American-manufactured products. Ian was making a stem to accomodate the back sweep of Nitto Albatross bars to which we’d run barcon shifters on. Chris King had these “ox-blood” Sotto Voce headsets at NAHBS, so I picked one up. Then, I consulted my friend PAUL and kinda went all out. Soon, I had purchased Canti Levers, polished Medium Racers, Moon Units, Polished Tall & Handsome seat post, Funky Money cable hanger and it didn’t stop there…

As with any commuter, gearing is a key factor. Lauren had been riding a single speed to work consistently but some of the hills en route to her teaching job were a bit tough. We also want to be able to do longer rides out to the hill country, so I chose the White Industries VBC cranks (46/30) with a mid-cage Shimano 105 rear derailleur and a 12-32 cassette. Shimano 105 hubs to H+Son TB 14s are bomb-proof, budget wheels. Topping the build off are Panaracer Paselas 32c, Brooks B 17 S saddle and tape.

The paint would be from Fresh Frame and the color we chose is an elusive one. Was it blue? Or green? It changes with the light. In the shade, it’s sort of jade but in the sun, it sparkles blue. Whatever it is, the final product is stunning.

While the bike is shown here, sans racks, we’re in the process of tracking down a good front basket and a rear rack for panniers. The bike is light, coming in at just a hair over 19 lbs and it “rides like a dream”. If it were my bike, I would have done a few things differently but that’s the beauty of a custom bike, you get what YOU want and trust me, there are few arguments I’m willing to engage in with this lady. She always gets what SHE wants… who can blame her? Further down the road, I’ll look into new panniers and maybe a porteur bag but for now, I’ve spent enough money on this thing!

Many thanks to Austin Bikes for the build, Bens Cycle for the assistance in the components, Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames and Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame.

May 6, 2013 39 comments
Lauren’s New Icarus
Icarus_Porteur_Laurens

Being the girlfriend of a “bike blogger” has as many ups as it has downs. The obvious down being that I’m on the road a lot but one of the ups is, well, this… Lauren loved her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine porteur but wanted something more suited for front-loading and longer rides in the hilly landscape that is Austin. Maybe, just maybe, some camping, too.

I chatted with her a lot about what she wanted and we came up with this “sportif porteur”. Mid trail for front-loading, fender / rack mounts, long-range gearing and an upright riding position. She didn’t want big touring tires, so its designed to fit a 28c with fenders or a 32c without. The build is quite reasonable, with higher-end components where they count.

Once we resolve which basket or rack we’re gong to use on the front, I’ll shoot more photos, highlighting Ian at Icarus‘ handywork. For now, this is all you get…

May 1, 2013 5 comments
Northside Wheelers 3-Speed Suicide Porteur
Beautiful Bicycle: Northside Wheelers 3-Speed Suicide Porteur

Malachi’s Northside Wheelers porteur is one of the best examples of how you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a classy ride, just a little creativity and insight. It doesn’t hurt to have Danny Hale of Shifter Bikes on your side though…

This bike is very similar to Dan’s own singlespeed porteur (which was stolen last year). It’s a Taiwanese frame, painted matte black but has some sneaky detailing. A coaster brake keeps the bike’s silhouette clean, while a Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub aids in scaling Melbourne’s hills.

How the bike shifts is one of the most clever details: a Campagnolo downtube shifter is mounted to the seat stay, allowing Mal to “suicide shift” this sleek beauty. Other details include a Northside Wheelers saddle, crafted by Mick Peel of Busyman, pinstriping on the hub / rims, pink nipples, Campagnolo Strada cranks and custom painted fenders. It’s a sleeper! See for yourself in the Gallery.

Apr 18, 2013 23 comments
I Love This Bike So Much…
Details-1

… that I refuse to post any of the photos I shot of it today, save these two. Tomorrow, when the light is better, I’ll re-photograph it. All I’ll say now is that you don’t need to have a custom frame to make a tricked-out ride.

Apr 11, 2013 6 comments
Shinola for the Baselworld Watch Show in Switzerland
shinola_runwell_01

Above is an photo of a one-off, custom brass plated Shinola Runwell that has been created for the Baselworld watch show in Switzerland next month.

“Based out of a factory in Detroit, Shinola is the first brand to make watches at scale in the United States in over 40 years and Basel will be the brand’s global premiere.

The bike was conceived by Shinola’s Creative Director Daniel Caudill and executed by Sky Yaeger (formerly of Bianchi and Swobo) as well as a team of builders at Shinola. The bike is based on a Shinola Runwell chassis that was built at Waterford Precision Cycles in Wisconsin and then brass plated in Detroit. Plated fenders, chain guard and a vintage lamp round out the package. After plating the frame, fork and components were given a patina that gives the bike a rustic sensibility.”

This is the only one that was made and it is not for sale. Coincidentally though, Shinola has launched their ecom site and kicking off their pre-sale campaign for watches right now. Anyone can order a Shinola Runwell watch or bike by going to Shinola. I am jonesin’ for one of their watches!

See my Initial Reaction to the Shinola Runwell here and feel free to contact Shinola to carry them in your shop. Also, check out the Places We Work section of their site. It’s pretty rad.

Mar 13, 2013 Comments are OFF
Josh’s Avery County Cycles Colorado Commuter
Beautiful Bicycle: Josh's Avery County Cycles Commuter

When Josh from Avery County Cycles won the rookie of the year award at this year’s NAHBS, I don’t think anyone was surprised. I for one, was not in the least bit. His self-described Colorado front-range commuter is a mixture of things. Part cross bike, part light-tourer / commuter, with a trail suitable for off-roading. He kept the rear end tight, at 405mm and a nice, even bb drop of 65mm. While there are rack provisions on the rear, Josh prefers a bit of backpack camping.

Enough about the use and geometry, this is a show bike with all the suiting accoutrement. The hardware is copper-plated, there’s a machined lamp tab on the non-drive fork, Avery “A” fork crown inlay and a ‘perty blue matte coat of paint. The color really looks great in person. In fact, this whole bike looks great in person and in photos. See for yourself in the Gallery!

Mar 13, 2013 16 comments
Gordon’s Firefly Cross
Beautiful Bicycle: Gordon's Firefly Cross

“A little bit of racing and a little bit of light touring” seems to be what a lot of people want from their cross bikes. That’s exactly what Gordon told Firefly when he put down his deposit. This cross bike has fender and rack mounts for weekend getaways and mini-v’s for road riding. Come cross season, he’ll pop on some 32c cross tires and get her nice and muddy. It’s always a pleasure to photograph a Firefly, especially when the owner is such a stand up guy. Denver has such rad bikes and such great people. It’s been a hell of a trip. Oh and, thanks for the hangover man!

Feb 28, 2013 14 comments