Recently Spotted

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What is Foundry Cycles?

As I’m touring all over Georgia and the Southeast the next week with Foundry Cycles (and Lazer) I wanted a quick intro of who or WHAT the brand is. In due time I’ll put this in my own words, but it is 10:30pm and I’m sitting in a hotel room exhausted!

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II Women's MTB Shoe
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Recently Spotted: Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II Women’s MTB Shoe

It seems that the Pearl Izumi shoe the X-Alp Drift has been redesigned. I should say, thankfully re-designed. Going from a 3 strap velcro system, to a shoe that looks like a hiking sneaker. I can say this is on my list of wants for the hike a bike trips, bike commuting and trips with the family. Easier to walk in. Functionally good looking and cheaper than a lot of cycling shoes. That sounds good to me if they fit!

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II MTB Shoe MSRP $110

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II Women's MTB Shoe Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II Women's MTB Shoe Almost every bike shop in America will be able to get these shoes through my employer, QBP. We currently are out of stock in them but will be getting them in the next week or so. Sizes 36 through 42 whole sizes. Pearl Izumi, I wear a size 42 if you want some reviewed! 

Oh yes, I wasn’t paid or bribed, and I may make money off of these if you buy them through your bike shop who buys them through my employer, and that shop is in the southeast. That’s my disclaimers. Thank you for listening.

Dear Bike Shops, Own Your Brand

It is a funny thing, this time of life that we are living in. That marketing and the “hype” can change someones thoughts and feelings so deeply. A great commercial can change your views of a product more than 10 reviews. The lure of a new bike, new brand, or different culture can be simply pulled from the color of a jersey.

One large goal I have right now is to empower and connect that of bike shops and bike minds across the Southeast. In my travels I hope to pull, piece and play match makers to make the area I love so much to be more bike friendly.

There is one very blatant thing I am seeing as I travel across my land.

We are Eating Each Other’s Dinner

Competition is healthy. I promote it, thrive on it and it drives me. Attempting to be competitive by playing in a ball game I don’t understand due to lack of confidence and self awareness is another thing completely.

How many people do you know that poke fun of someone simply because that person has what they want?

Too many shops are looking at their competition for direction on where they should be going with their own store.

Why? Why are you selling road bikes when you are never on a road and have no one in your shop that road bikes?

Why? Why did you start selling tri bikes when you secretly make fun of them, you’ve never gone from T2 to a run. You don’t know what it means to need to change your bike fit to make this better.

Why? Why are you still ordering 26″ full suspension bikes when you only recently sold the one you’ve been sitting on for the past 8 months?

WHY? Because they are.

You brought in road bikes because you saw Joe’s bike shop doing well with road bikes. You wanted a part of the 1% pie that is road cycling. You took valuable floor space from your thriving mountain sales and put road bikes among the showroom. You brought in more shoes, and higher end spandex. Maybe you started stocking aero bars because you thought that’s what would sell. You have to send someone to fit school because no one in your shop rides road, or has ever had a road fitten done.

You did all this because Joe’s bike shop is doing it.

What are you good at?

Do you only commute and tour? I can guarantee you can sell the crap out of it if you own it. Be proud that you are a commuter. Show off your bike, feature it, OWN IT.

Build Together

Let Joe’s bike shop be a good road shop. If you aren’t a road shop, that’s okay. Be what you are good at. Send the roadies to Joe’s and work with Joe’s to send you the commuter and mountain bikers.

There is a Bigger Fight

Instead of competing with Joe’s bike shop for those 100 roadies you have in your town (and say you hate roadies), how about we figure out with Joe’s bike shop how to convert more people to bikes from golf, hiking, camping, kayaking, tennis & eating nacho’s at the local bar.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to OWN that 1% of the market if together we are all making the market bigger instead of splintering the market and making it weaker.

Hold on, wait a minute

Please don’t confuse this rant with saying every shop should specialize in one segment. I know many shops that cover the wide range of niche’s very well. They empower staff members, the buyers are educated, the owners are hands on. All very good…no GREAT things.

What I am saying is that looking at what the guy is doing across town to help you figure out what you should be doing, or allowing it to dictate what you sell or stock is wrong. Believing in what you do, marketing yourself, owning your brand and believing in bikes will get us all much further.

The bike shops in the same town should be fighting for the same rights and message.

We are all doing this because we love bikes and we want to make money. Now let’s get more people on a bike.

Bontrager Vella Camu Shopper Review
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Bontrager Vella Vana and Camu Bag Review

I am putting these two bags together in one review as other than straps and zippers they are much alike. 

Getting women to use bicycles as a form of transportation is rather important to me. I feel as society see’s more women on bikes, as more women empower their children and families to chose a bike, the more we success we will have with getting better laws, infrastructure and movement forward in the US for bikes.

Making biking easier, more functional, and well better looking is a huge step in to doing the above. I feel Bontrager is making strides in this.

Bontrager Vella Vana Messenger MSRP: $110

Bontrager Vella Vana Messenger Bag Review

A streamlined messenger bag that comes in black or a deep purple. The unique feature of this bag is on the back, under a zipper two clips are hidden to firmly snap this bag on to your rack.

Other features in the bag include:

  • A separate, elevated, sleeve for your laptop to keep it from hitting the ground
  • Expandable when you need more room
  • External key and wallet pocket
  • Padded messenger strap

Bontrager Vella Camu Shopper MSRP $110

Bontrager Vella Camu Shopper Review

The basics of this bag are the same but instead of a messenger bag it is shaped to fit a paper grocery bag perfectly. The messenger strap is replaced with two hand straps and the top is closed by a zipper top.

The bag still has the installation feature onto a rack, expansion feature with a full zip around the bottom when you need to carry more and adds side straps to cinch down on the sides and keep things safe!

Bontrager Vella Camu Shopper Review

Things I Would Change (Cons)

The bags are really good and durable bags. They’ve encouraged my better half who is a true girly girl to branch out and use a bicycle for other things. With that, I have to make note of a few things that I hope in the next run they address.

  • More mounts for blinky lights
  • More reflective bits
  • Some sort of tie down on the bottom for when I have precious cargo and can’t fathom the bag coming unhitched
  • Maybe a rain fly
  • More colors. Make it fun, make it eye catching. (Remember hi-viz yellow is the new black!)

 Some other cool photos and features


This product was provided for free for review. I was not bribed or paid for this review. 

All City Macho Man Madness
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Preview: All City Macho Man Cyclocross Bike

One of the most exciting parts (there were many) of Frostbike 2012 is the reveal of the new All City Macho Man Cyclocross bike. This is the geared version of their well known Nature Boy.

All City Macho Man Madness

I can tell you right now this bike is what I’ll be racing next cross season, and will be ordering the gold frameset option as my pit bike. Yes, I said it.

Some of the below photos are my own from the show, some are Jeff Frane of All City. 

All City Macho Man Specifications that Matter

Frameset: 4130 ChroMoly steel, double butted, externally tapered, overlized, awesomeness.

Fork: 4130, lugged crown

Derailleurs: 105 rear & CX70 Front

Okay really. It’s steel. It’s new 105 that feels yummy in your hands. Tiagra hubs, cassette and bla bla. This will be my race bike for 12-13. I plan on using the fully built bike like you see above as my pit bike and building up the GOLD frameset option with nicer spec to save weight.

Wheels of Change
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First Ever National Women Cycling Forum


Wheels of Change
Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way), will appear as the keynote speaker at the inaugural National Women Cycling Forum.

The forum will be held Tuesday, March 20, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the 2012 National Bike Summit.

Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States — making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009. But that trend is shifting. This Forum will be the first national gathering specifically dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing how to engage more women in bicycling.

 

“This critical topic and rising energy is gathering momentum across the country as more women of all backgrounds are starting to ride or getting more involved in the movement,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, Communications Coordinator for the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “We’re eager to start a continuing conversation aimed at increasing the number of women who bicycle for transportation and recreation.”

 

 

Learn More over younder_____ http://nationalwomencyclingforum.eventbrite.com/

 

 

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