Fatties Fit Fine

30 11 2008

Some bike porn from the NRG booth at the Bow Cycle Bike Expo this weekend.

Surly Pugsley - fat tire maddness.

Surly Pugsley - fat tire madness.

I really liked these low profile platform pedals at the NRG booth.  Grippy, large platforms, light and excellent bearings - plus they come in black.  I'll be ordering a pair of these babies.

I really liked these low profile platform pedals at the NRG booth. Grippy, large platforms, light and excellent bearings - plus they come in black. I'll be ordering a set of these.

An apt slogan for a company that makes the Pugsley.

An apt slogan for a company that makes the Pugsley.

Winter Tire Test – Pink Bike

30 11 2008
Pink Bike

photo: Pink Bike

Pink Bike did a winter tire test back in 2005 that may be of interest to any winter bike warriors out there.  Most of the tires in the test remain unchanged so the results should still be valid.

Bow Cycle – Vik’s Picks

30 11 2008

Nick Thompson

photo: Nick Thompson

Bow Cycle is one of my favourite LBSs – even though it isn’t really all that local! [15km ride each way from me]  I’ve been a customer since before ’96 and bought a lot of my bikes/parts there over the years – including: Surly Big Dummy, Surly LHT, 2 BikeE CTs and Cannondale R800 – as well as lots more bikes for my friends.  They are keen to expand their on-line presence and have asked me to keep a blog on their shop website here.  Content will be about 50% written just for my Bow Blog and 50% recycled content about bikes I’ve bought at Bow.

Bow Cycle is a great shop so I’m happy to help them out and they’ve hooked me up with great bikes so I’ve got lots of Bow Cycle related ideas for posts.  They’ve agreed to let me have some bikes on short and long term loan so I can ride them and write reviews.  That’s ideal for me as I love to try out new bikes without having to deal with buying and selling them.  So if you have any specific bikes you’d like to get some feedback on let me know.  If Bow Cycle has one in stock I’ll talk to them about getting it for a test and post my evaluation.

The first bike will be a Bow Bicycle Company 2-4 cyclocross bike which is a special design/spec made for them by Cannondale.


30 11 2008
Masi fixed gear goodness at Bow Cycle Bike Expo

Masi fixed gear goodness at Bow Cycle Bike Expo

Shadows of a Dummy

29 11 2008
Heading home with a load on the Big Dummy

Heading home with a load on the Big Dummy

I had a fun ride today on the Big Dummy down to Bow Cycle for their Bike Expo.  At 30kms round trip it was a good effort on my injured leg.  Cruising over ice & snow covered paths was a challenge, but I made it without problems.  Of course right in front of Bow Cycle I managed to blow my dismount and end up in a pile under my Big Dummy!  I can’t even blame it on my SPD pedals as I was riding BMX plaftorms.  I survived with no major damage to my foot – my ego – well that’s another story.

The expo itself was lots of fun.  I’ll be posting photos tomorrow of the cool stuff on display.  Besides the Surly booth I had fun playing with the Shimano road bike electric shifting gruppo – slick.  Given all the bling I went home with a full load on the back of my Big Dummy.  A new bike I’ll be playing with over the next week or so…what could it be?…=-)

Black Friday Sale Ends Today

29 11 2008

I rec’d this email from the Bike Friday Yak List.  If you’ve been thinking about a Tikit or Bike Friday Travel bike you can get 15% of until midnight tonight as long as you get a black one.  Since all the cool kids ride black Bike Fridays this isn’t really much of a restriction.

I’ve had my eye on a Bike Friday travel bike all summer ever since I ran into two Bike Friday owners in town with their sweet rides.  It’s much easier to resist a bike when you can’t see and touch it in person!  I was actually thinking I might get a Bike Friday that wasn’t black [gasp!], but I may have to reconsider.

Black goes with everything!

Black goes with everything!


Buy any Bike Friday – as long as it’s black –
Get 15% off!

Hello Friday Friends,

We can’t let a Black Friday go by without giving you the chance to own one at a wicked price.

For today and tomorrow only, you can get any Friday you like as long as it’s black, at 15% off. We usually only reserve that price for our friends, family, dealers, and random acts of generosity. Like today …

How about turning over a new commuting leaf with a Model-T tikit for just $850, normally $999, a saving of almost $150, in any color you like as long as it’s black? Or, for a few dollars more, get the famous Hyperfold version. Here’s a movie of how you grocery shop with a hyperfold tikit. And here’s the none-too-shabby fold of the Model T. A thoughtful (and useful) Christmas gift it makes …

Or a what about a black beauty from any of our new streamlined and simplified 2009 Model Range? Best of all, you can save money without leaving your house and battling with the post-Thanksgiving stampede.

Call or email our Sales Experts at 1-800-777-0258, email sales@bikefriday.com, who are working hard on this post Thanksgiving Day to take your order.

Offer expires at midnight Eugene, Oregon time. As long as we receive your email by midnight November 30 (giving you til Sunday) and your payment by close of business Monday Dec 1, the deal is yours. If you have a local Bike Friday dealer, the order will be shipped to that store and your dealer duly credited. Discount applies to the bicycle only – black paint is free, spend your savings on some cool Bike Friday accessories.

Please quote black magic code 1532

Burn carbs, not hydrocarbs!

Bike Friday Travel Team
3364 West 11th Ave Eugene, OR, 97402, USA
Phone 800-777-0258 | Fax 541-687-0403 | Cellphone 541-513-7711 (USA) Email: sales@bikefriday.com Bike Friday Blog: http://www.bikefriday.com/blog

Once you go black you never go back!

Once you go black you never go back!

My [old] Winter Bike

29 11 2008


I posted this in Nov 2006 to my personal blog.  I’ve just stripped down this bike and cleaned up the frame before putting it into storage.  I’ve got a new winter bike project in mind for this year, but I’m still waiting on bits to arrive…=-)

Schwalbe Snow Stud

Schwalbe Snow Stud

It’s hard to believe November just started and the streets are already covered with ice and snow. I have been bracing myself for winter I just didn’t expect it to start so soon and with such vigor. Oh well such is life in the Great White North!

My Schwinn mtn bike (AKA the Urban Assault Machine) got the nod as my winter ride. I slapped a Schwalbe studded tire on the front and a Schwalbe Marathon XR on the rear – both 26″ x 1.9″. Studs aren’t really needed on the road, but the bike paths are not well cleared and without automobile traffic they don’t stay ice free the way well traveled roads do. We actually had a debate a few weekends ago, at the start of the LOTR marathon, whether or not studded tires were a benefit or hindrance for a Calgary winter cyclist. Dwayne and Nick felt they were not useful and I think they are – especially a lightly studded tire like the Schwalbe. My thinking is the studs add a bit of weight and might be less desirable on dry roads/paths, but the first time you hit a stretch of ice on the bike paths you’ll be glad you had a studded tire. I only put studs on the front because if your front wheel slides out you crash in two seconds. A sliding rear tire can be controlled and can even be fun. Bottom line I’ll be able to test out my hypothesis and report back at the end of the winter.

SKS fender and old school Avid mech discs

SKS fender and old school Avid mech discs

Fenders are essential in the winter – at least if you want to stay reasonably clean. I’d prefer full coverage fenders, but I had these clip on SKS fenders kicking around so I’ll use them for now. I am also feeling a bit lazy and setting up full coverage fenders on a front suspension mtn bike with disc brakes is “do able”, but it would take a lot of fiddling.

Schwalbe Marathon XR & SKS rear fender

Schwalbe Marathon XR & SKS rear fender

The Schwalbe Marathon XR isn’t the ideal winter tire, but I already had it in my inventory and it is more aggressive than the semi-slick Continental Travel Contact tire it is replacing.

Grippy Wellgo BMX Pedals

Grippy Wellgo BMX Pedals

I ditched my Time platform clip-in pedals for some studded Wellgo BMX pedals. Secure footing with any shoes or boots and it is easy to put a foot down when the inevitable sliding starts. I just have to try and keep the studs from engaging my shins!

OMM rack & Cateye LD1000 blinky

OMM rack & Cateye LD1000 blinky

I mounted a Cateye TL-LD1000 rear blinkie to my seatpost. I’ll use a Planet Bike Superflash blinkie on my seatbag and a Planet Bike white front blinkie on my handlebars.

Princeton Tec EOS Headlamp

Giro Helmet, Princeton Tec EOS Headlamp & Planet Bike Blinky

No I am not finished with the lights! I’ll use a Planet Bike rear helmet blinkie and a Princeton Tec EOS headlamp attached to my helmet. The EOS can be set to flash to be seen or set to steady light to illuminate the road.

I know this seems excessive, but when driving to work in the AM I am constantly amazed at cyclists cruising around in busy traffic with minimal or no lights and dark clothing. I am a cyclist so I should be more aware of bikers than most drivers, but in many cases I only see them at the last minute. So I’d rather look a little over cautious than be dead or seriously injured.


If you want more info on winter biking check out the Ice Bike website.

Momentum Longtail Article

28 11 2008
March/April 2008 Momentum Magazine

March/April 2008 Momentum Magazine

The Mar/Apr 08 issue of Momentum Magazine has an article about the rise of the long tail bike..=-) Since Momentum provides free PDFs of the whole magazine and posts the text of many articles to their website I figured they wouldn’t mind if I posted an image of the article with photos on this blog.

I’d encourage you to check out Momentum on a regular basis. They seem to be one of the few bike magazines in touch with practical non-race oriented cycling. What a refreshing change from the mainstream cycling press.

Josh’s Big Dummy

28 11 2008
Josh Maus

Photo: Josh Maus

Why the Big Dummy:

Originally I considered adding an Xtracycle free radical to a mountain bike but never made it around to doing it. I have a few friends with Xtracycle setups on their bikes and I envied their ability to haul things around– chairs and coolers to picnics, recyclables to the recycle center, ladders, etc. I have been living car-free for almost a year now and wanted a bike that could bring groceries home, or could be loaded up and go camping with, or be used to transport large items when needed. When I saw pictures of the Big Dummy I decided it was the best route to go.

Build spec:

  • Salsa Pro Moto Bar
  • Salsa stem
  • Swobo grips/bar ends
  • Avid BB7 disc brakes
  • Chris King Nothreadset
  • Shimano Deore XT drivetrain
  • Salsa Delgado Race rims
  • DT Swiss 14 gauge spokes
  • Shimano XT hubs
  • DMR Bikes Transition 26×2.2 tires
  • Salsa seatpost
  • Brooks B17 saddle

I have never had the experience of putting a bike together until the Dummy. I asked Paul McKenna (local bicycle shop owner) for his help with selecting components and assembling it once everything arrived. His help was greatly appreciated! I went with Salsa components because they are associated with QBP (just like Surly) and they make high quality stuff, Swobo just because, Shimano hubs/drivetrain because of the value and quality, Brooks saddle to see what the big deal was about their saddles, Chris King headset because it’s a unique project, and DMR tires because they looked good for urban riding.

First impressions:

“Whoa this bike is long!” (but you get used to it after awhile) I really think it rides better when carrying a load, the inertia keeps it rolling with very little effort. Also, the frame feels solid and bullet proof with several years of hard use ahead of it.

Josh’s Foosties Review from Powered by Nachos

Why Ride a Bike Friday Tikit?

27 11 2008

I could write a 7 paragraph post about why a Bike Friday Tikit is such a cool & practical bike, but I think this video answers the question more elegantly!

Dirt Rag – Big Dummy Review

27 11 2008

photo: Dylan

Dirt Rag has posted a review of the Big Dummy and some Xtracycle accessories on their site.

How to find what you are looking for?

27 11 2008
Where is that 8mm wrench?

Where is that 8mm wrench?

One problem I forsee with the single Mega-Blog is that if you only want to read a specific type of content [Surly Big Dummy or Bike Friday Tikit related posts for example] you can’t just go to a blog that is dedicated 100% to that topic.  However, there are some tools to give you the ability to screen content so that you only read the stuff that interests you.

  • Categories: I’ve setup a few categories to divide up content into several main types [such as Cargo Biking, Commuting, Reviews, Bike Touring, etc…].  If you look at the upper right side of this blog page you’ll see a section of links called “categories”.  Every post will belong to one or more categories.  If you just want to read the posts about cargo biking than click on that category and all other posts will be screened out.  This will leave you with only cargo bike related posts and will essentially be the same content as my old Big Dummy Blog.  Note categories will only show up when I’ve posted something in that particular section of the blog.  So at the moment you won’t see a category called “bike touring”, but as soon as I post a travel journal link this category will appear on the upper right of the blog.
  • Tags: The categories above are fairly broad and may give you too many posts that are not related to your topic of interest.  In that case you can look at the lower right part of the blog page and you’ll see a list of “tags”.  These tags are more specific so you can click on “Surly Big Dummy” and only see related posts or Ortlieb and only see those posts.
  • Search: A third way to screen content is to use the search box at the top right of the page.  Type in a search string and posts with that string in the text will be displayed.

I’m hoping that with these tools it will be easy for you to find what you want to read and screen out the rest.  Let me know how it works for you.

The Firefly Big Dummy

27 11 2008
The Cycle 9 Blog

Photo: The Cycle 9 Blog

It’s no suprise I like a nice Surly Big Dummy build.  Add a Nuvinci IGH to it and it’s even more up my alley.  Throw on some ridiculously fun tires plus an e-assist motor and you are sure to have my attention.  Morgan [from over at the Cycle 9 Blog] did a great job on this Big Dummy.  It’s big, it’s bold and it can haul more than you can imagine – especially with the e-assist.

Read more about the Firefly here.

Lazy’s Feed

27 11 2008


Okay so the feed for this site is located at this link.  [I think!]…=-)  I’ll work on getting a button over on the bottom left of the screen.

One blog to rule them all!

26 11 2008


I’ve got more than 5 blogs on the go…heck probably more than 10 if you count even the ones that rarely get updated.  Although it has been fun it’s also a lot of work.  I have been thinking about making things simpler, but at the same time I know it’s handy to be able to refer to a site that only covers the topic that interests you – say Bike Friday Tikits.  I’ve pondering what to do that would make my life easier and while maintaining the ability to keep specialized content separate.  I’ve decided to move to a single WordPress blog that will incorporate all my bikey interests including:

  • bike touring
  • recumbents [particularly for randonneuring]
  • folding bikes [particularly the Tikit]
  • bike commuting
  • cargo bikes [particularly the Big Dummy]

I’ll be setting up a wide range of categories so you can sort through the content on this blog more easily.  If you just want to see bike reviews you’ll be able to skip the rest of the content.  At the same time it will bring the readership of the different blogs together and may expose folks to other types of bikes they hadn’t previously been interested in.

As I’m new to WordPress there may be some hiccups as I get things setup.  I’ll be mining my old blogs for content and transferring the worthwhile posts to this new blog with the goal of having a one stop resource for all my bike interests. So you’ll see some posts you’ve read before – perhaps you’ll find the information useful and if not just skip ahead to new material.  The old blogger blogs will remain active although I will not be updating them.