Archive for December, 2009

Everything that is old is new again.

December 20, 2009  |  Comments Off on Everything that is old is new again.

Whippet Safety Spring Frame from 1885:

Whippet_Safety_Bicycle

Transition Blindside 2008:

blindside_builds

Credit to Wikipedia and Sicklines for images.

Cycling 2.0: The lengths we go through to be lazy?

December 17, 2009  |  Comments Off on Cycling 2.0: The lengths we go through to be lazy?

M.I.T introduced this clever little gadget in Copenhagen touting it as the next big thing in cycling. Allegedly the functioning of the unit is to store kinetic energy from braking and allow you to release it later in a “burst of speed.” You might remember a similar idea being utilized in Formula One car racing.

Aside from the devices function sounding cool, I always thought the beauty of cycling was in the simplicity of the invention. M.I.T however, seems to disagree. I do appreciate that they seem to have put their device on a hipster friendly “track” bike (“tarck” is more appropriate) and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it is available in every color scheme to match your Velocity Deep V or B43 wheelset.

Is this invention going to be as prominent as indexed shifting(where your shifter clicks with each gear change),which was met with some resistance, and even today some still prefer friction shifting, or will this invention go the way of  the recumbent bicycle, once said to be the next evolution, but shrank to now a small eccentric niche of the cycling world. (sorry, bent riders, don’t get too “bent” out of shape on this one!)

My take on it is that anything that takes away from the simplicity of cycling or has a complex operating method will detract people away from it. I have non cycling friends who are afraid to ride a bike with multiple gears, and cannot comprehend when or  how to know the “right” gear. I think this would only make matters worse and end up with people pressing the boost button right into intersection traffic.

However, my message to M.I.T is this: If you make it in lots of pretty fluorescent colors, they will buy it. Well, at least this guy will (and probably also press the boost button right into oncoming traffic)

original article and photo sourced from Gizmodo

Trip into the wayback machine.

December 17, 2009  |  Comments Off on Trip into the wayback machine.

You think these kids ride tarck bikes with aerospokes now? It certainly appears they had colorways down to a science in 80s.

bitchin

Bitchin’ picture courtesy of Hey Okay

Urban Climbing Practice

December 15, 2009  |  Comments Off on Urban Climbing Practice

Not all of us have the luxury of living in a great, hilly, and scenic place like Dripping Springs, TX (home of Lance Armstrong and some nasty hills he is famous for training on). When your home is an urban environment, and you want to get out and practice your climbing you have very few options.

A riding partner recently said that on their trip to California, it was easy to spot the Texans in the pack , as they gasped for air and fell to the rear once the roads turned slightly steep. Climbing requires a constant power output maintained over a long period of time. When you can’t find a real hill, or simply don’t have the time to drive a few hours just to ride your bike, you can always go parking garage poaching.

The first rule of parking garage poaching is don’t get caught. It’s beneficial to also not tell everyone about your favorite spots, although ask your local longboarder because they tend to know some good spots in the city if they are willing to share.

The ideal garage has a constant grade upwards. You want to find one that lets you climb for at least a solid minute or two, and has very few if any flat sections so that you don’t get to take a break. Every city has these, however getting in is always trouble. We, here at highflange, have found the best luck with riding in dodgy places when we dress and act like we belong there, and treat the property with respect. That means no throwing your water bottle or helmet, like you saw Marco Pantani do in “Le Tour,” despite the incredible temptation to do so, along with the feeling you get when you imagine that you are climbing the alps, and every passing car starts looking increasingly like mountain goats staring back at you.

It’s also a great ride when the weather turns sour. Rubber down. Ride hard. Bring a puke bucket.

IMG_1114

Brilliant Bike Chain Clock

December 14, 2009  |  Comments Off on Brilliant Bike Chain Clock

I’m sure we have all seen the chain ring wall clocks but take a look at this thing:

clock

The chain rotates as time passes with an emphasis on “the cyclical nature of time”.  It reminds me of the older style school room bells that haunted my youth.

If you want to give a really wild Christmas gift you can buy it here.