Urban

The HandleBand
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The HandleBand

I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of this mount but my rockstar girlfriend has debated with me over coffee that this design is very thought out and will benefit many people. Not so secretly, they had me at bottle opener.

What Is The Handleband?

Our phones help us navigate and train. They’re our cameras, our lights, and our emergency link home. So why don’t we use them with our bikes?

The Handleband is a simple tool that brings to light the untapped potential of our smartphones. It offers a simple, elegant and universal means of uniting your smartphone with your bicycle.

Here are a few things that make it unique:

  • (1) In use, it is smaller than a deck of cards.
  • (2) It is removable (so its doesn’t clutter your ride)
  • (3) It works with any phone, bike and case.
  • (4) It is simple and robust. (One reinforced unit)
  • (5) It holds a lot (flashlights, pumps, diplomatic flags)
  • (6) It is a bottle opener.

Check out Handleband.com and Kickstarter page

Urban Cycling Hall of Fame
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Launch of the Urban Cycling Hall of Fame

Now urban biking will have it’s own Hall of Fame thanks to Chrome Industries’ support. The goal is to bring exposure to the culture and history of urban riding.

You can learn more at www.uchof.com, also make sure to follow UCHOF on Twitter and Instagram where they will be featuring people and items that will be in the Hall of Fame.

As part of its launch, UCHOF is issuing an open call to the public to nominate cyclists who have contributed to the urban cycling movement.  The categories include Riders, Organizers and Makers.  Riders are recognized heroes who have earned respect from a local to global level.  Organizers are the masterminds who work behind the scenes of legendary events that play a pivotal role in the cycling culture. Makers celebrate the true artisans of our time and are those who have proven their excellence and add value to the community we live and ride in.

 

From September 18 – 20, 2013, UCHOF will be exhibiting and participating at this year’s Interbike in Las Vegas where they will host the First Annual Urban Cycling Award Ceremony at the Double Down on Sept 18  2013.

To nominate a cyclist into UCHOF or donate cycling memorabilia, visit www.uchof.com.

Commuter Bikes
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Functional Women’s Bike Clothes

As I transition back to being able to commute by bike to work I’m also on the hunt for quality women’s cycling clothing lines that are outside my “race mentality” as of late. A few suggestions have come to mind, but not all of them have women’s options!

Chrome - A good start, key for outerwear, but all black options make me want more.

Swrve - very well thought out, but where’s the women’s love?

Vulpine – yes please. The yummiest wool women’s jersey to have touched my body.

Zoic - Probably the best bang for the buck but very MTB feel.

Shebeest - A staple in many women’s cycling wardrobes. I have my eye on the Bermuda Commuta.

Loeka – I’ll take one of everything please

YMX – Yoga styles meet two wheels

What do you wear to get around town that doesn’t wear out or look to racer?  I’m also going to hunt around the sale rack at REI for The North Face and Patagonia wear.

Photo credit: Bill Fehr

Chrome Welded Transport Bags
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Chrome Welded Transport Rucksack & Postbag

Weatherproof? Check

Clean lines? Check

You gotta love a sexy, utilitarian, commuter bag. Sexy and commuter don’t normally go together but it looks like Chrome got these two bags right. The only thing I am left asking is if it will fit and what the all day comfort will be like.

Chrome Welded Postbag

Chrome Welded Transport Postbag

MSRP: $80

Details: Adjustable cross body strap and interior handles. Meant to be worn over one shoulder or strapped to a bike rack/basket. (Looking for photos of it in this use.) Padded laptop sleeve fits up to a 15″ MacBook Pro. Waterproof 600 denier TPU.

Chrome Welded Rucksack

Chrome Welded Transport Rucksack

MSRP: $110

Details: Backpack style, high-tech welded seam construction. Padded laptop sleeve fits up to a 15″ MacBook Pro. Quick access exterior pocket.

Gotta say, this one reminds me of a Seal Line backpack!

Looking forward to testing these out and seeing out comfortable they are on a long haul.

Learn More over at Chrome Bags

Surly Pugsley Yellow
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Bike Build: Surly Pugsley Banana Cracker Commuter

If you have been keeping tabs on me lately you know that I am moving to Denver, CO where my lady is going into her intern year as a doctor in pediatrics. When we recently went to Denver to look at houses one of our top priorities was that she could ride easily to her main hospital of Children’s Hospital Colorado. We found a home in the Stapleton area, about 3.5 miles by neighborhood streets to the hospital. Her other hospital, Denver Health, is about 7 miles by bike paths and dedicated bike lanes.

As a graduation present for her from medical school I scooped up a 16″ Surly Pugsley for my lady to commute on. I went with the complete Surly build as it has a solid parts spec and I was only going to need to switch out a few things to make it “Doctor Approved.”

Meet the Surly Pugsley Banana Cracker

Surly Pugsley Yellow

You know you are dating a pediatrician when they call their bike “Banana Cracker”

 

Key/Small Changes:

Added white rim strips to the Marge Lite rims
Switched out front brake cable to purple
Purple seat collar
Batcage waterbottle cage
Purple cow horn (not pictured, but awesome)

Bigger Additions and Reasoning:

Purple Thermalite BMX pedals- These are pretty thin with a solid base for pedaling in snow boots if needed. They have replaceable pins to keep a grasp of the bottom of her sneakers/clogs or whatever she wears

Abus Bordo XL Lock – this lock is extra long to get around that fat front wheel and frame for locking. White of course.

Women’s seat- in white (going to find a purple Fizik when possible)

Surly Nice Rack- Not pictured, but a rear rack with Ortlieb panniers (in white of course)

Knog Blinder USB light- front/rear. Will be upgraded to brighter lights in the fall

Surly Black Floyd Tires- Not pictured as we won’t switch these out until she actually starts the commute. Smooth, balloon like tires for easy rolling.

Abus Boro Lite Review
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Review: Abus Bordo Lite

As a rep with QBP we are sometimes sent fun samples to try out, if we like them we can show them to shops and increase sales a bit in that category. Earlier this year I was sent some Abus lock samples, the coolest of course was this folding, cuff like, Bordo Lite.

MSRP: $90
Details:

  • 5 mm steel bars, with plastic coating to prevent damage to the bicycle’s paintwork
  • Silicone cover for the lock body with “soft touch” properties
  • Link construction allows compact folding
  • The bars and the lock body are made of particularly light materials and ferrous alloy
  • Bars are linked with special rivets
  • Premium cylinder for high protection against manipulations, e.g. picking

Colors: Black (reviewed), red, white

As a bike commuter, and someone that likes to empower folks to use their bike everyday this lock excites me. I know, I am a nerd.

The lock is simple once you understand which way to turn the key to lock it back up. It is compact, and yet long enough to lock the front wheel. You can carry it on spare bottle cage mounts like I do, or you can use velcro and attach it to another tube of your bike and it isn’t heavy to put it in your jersey pocket if needed.

$90 is steep for a lock that isn’t a u-lock but the beefier brother to this, the Bordo 6000/90 is supposedly just as strong, especially in cold weather (retail of $129).

I don’t believe you’ll be buying this if your bike cost less than $700 or you are locking it up to run into the coffee shop. If you are design oriented, overly protective of your bike, and don’t want to carry a second lock or cable to lock your front wheel… this lock is for you. I’m completely sold on it and plan to buy one for my other commuter bike, and for both of my girlfriend’s bikes.

Learn more about the Abus Bordo Lite on their website.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid or bribed for this review. The product was provided no charge as a work sample.

Front Full Drive Side
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An Introduction to the 2013 Swobo Fillmore

A guest post by Laura of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA

I love a good mountain bike ride, but if I can’t make it out of the city, there are few things better than cruising around town on a beautiful, warm day with a great bike underneath you.  Atlanta had it’s first glimpse of spring this past weekend.  It was sunny, almost 70 degrees, just a little breezy, and quite literally the perfect day for city cycling.  I had several errands to run and was looking forward to being out and about on a new machine.

Read More

Po Campo Roscoe Crossbody Bag
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Preview: Po Campo Roscoe Cross Body Bag

Ever since Po Campo sent out an email a couple weeks back about the new colors in the Roscoe Crossbody bag I’ve been waiting patiently for Quality Bicycle Products to get them instock. I had hoped they would get them in before Frostbike (industry trade show this week) but unfortunately they did not. Maria from Po Campo braved the snow and traveled to Minneapolis this weekend for Frostbike. She was nice enough to bring along a bag for me to buy!I was able to use the Roscoe over the past couple days to carry around my iPad mini, iPhone and other key items (ID badge, charger, business cards, etc.)

Maria saved the day, so thank you!

Roscoe Crossbody Bag

I wouldn’t say this is a cycling specific bag at all, but more of a great looking bag with touches for those that use it on the bike. The color and function are what completely caught my attention and what I’ll be basing an upcoming review on!

Hopefully over the next week I’ll be able to ride with the bag and can give a pretty straight forward review with more photos of the interior pockets.

Disclaimer: I purchased this bag, super stoked on it and reviews (as always) will be based on using/abusing the product to give you the best feedback possible.

 

Lights on the trail
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Mountain bike night rides

A guest post by Laura Colbert of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA.

I am planning to do some mountain bike racing this spring and thus have been trying to get some extra miles on my mountain bike.  Living in the middle of Atlanta makes this difficult, especially during the week.  Luckily I’ve discovered a local Tuesday night no-drop trail ride.  I’ve ridden this ride a couple times recently and am pretty happy about the added miles that I’m getting without having to go too far or change my schedule too much.

I would like to say that when I first started riding a mountain bike, I thought that only insanity and a love of medical bills would cause someone to try this in the dark.  It was a challenge for me to make it through an entire ride in full sunshine, so why would someone make it harder by limiting what they can see?  As I’ve ridden more and mountain biking has become more intuitive for me, I’ve figured out why some cyclists choose to ride at night.  Night rides are great because:

  1. Winter days are short and dark.  Night rides provide the opportunity for mountain bike fun despite the short days.  Just make sure to bundle up, because the temperature gets colder the later into the night you ride.
  2. In the summer, when daytime temperatures are unbearable, riding at night decreases your chances of being disgustingly sweaty and getting  sunburned, thus increasing your chances of actually enjoying the ride.
  3. Weekends fill up quickly and 9-to-5 jobs leave little time for day time rides.  Night rides fit nicely into a busy schedule.  (I do get a little less sleep on night-ride nights.  I guess something has to give.)
  4. It’s a new challenge.  With just ambient light and a headlight to guide you, your brain has to adjust it’s depth perception and you have to react to the trail more quickly.  It requires you to step up your game.
  5. It’s fun to roam around in the dark woods.  It feels a little like being a high school hooligan (yep, I said hooligan), a little mischievous.
  6. (Don’t tell anyone that I said this, but it gives you the opportunity to ride trails that you might not be able to ride during the day–trails labeled “No bikes” or some private property trails.  Sshhhh…that’s a secret…I’m not saying it actually happens.  I’m just saying that it could hypothetically happen.)

I still consider myself a night-ride beginner, but every time I finish the Faster Mustache Tuesday night ride, I come home with new advice for myself, so I thought I might share some of that with those of you thinking about trying it.

  1. Plan ahead– I was planning on a night ride a couple weeks ago and got home to discover that I had forgotten to charge my headlight battery.  No light, no ride.  No plan, no ride.
  2. Be prepared–During a recent night ride I broke my derailleur hanger.  Luckily someone else had come prepared with zip ties and a chain breaker.  Otherwise, I would have had to walk the several miles home.  You should be fully prepared for every ride you go on, but the risk of walking home/back to the car in the dark and late at night underscores the importance of preparedness.
  3. Double check that your light is fully charged–Having ridden with a dying light before, I can tell you that it’s not fun.  Riding at night is already a challenge.  Not having a light makes it just plain dangerous.  Charge your light and if you think that your ride might outlast your light, bring an extra one.  I ride with the Niterider MiNewt Pro 750.  My night rides are about 3 hours and it hasn’t failed me yet.
  4. Know the trail or ride with a friend who knows the trail (and is the same speed as you)–I’m new to the in-town Atlanta night ride.  The other cyclists have generally ridden these trails hundreds of times or are pretty quick and can keep up with those who are familiar with the trails.  I am neither familiar or quick enough to keep up with the group (only girl on the ride usually…).  This makes for some frustrating moments sometimes.  I often get to trail intersections and have no idea which way to go.  I’ve discovered that I’m pretty good at either picking the wrong direction or not seeing the turn at all.  One of the guys usually comes to track me down or makes loud enough noises so that I can find my way back to the group.  I try to laugh about my adventures alone in the dark, but it can be frustrating.  That said, if you’re going to ride at night, pick a trail that you know pretty well or make sure your riding companions will ride at your pace or come find you when you get lost.
  5. Don’t give up after the first time–Night riding is hard.  Your brain will have to adjust its depth perception skills.  You can’t see as far ahead as you can in the daylight, so you have to react to the trail more quickly.  You might get lost at some point.  Don’t let those things convince you not to try it again.  Give it another shot.  It gets easier and more fun, I promise.
  6. Find a local late-night eatery–You know how hungry you are after every mountain bike ride? Night rides are no exception, so know where the closest late-night joint is located.  We always end our ride at a local pizza place and when we roll up at 11 pm, we’re always the last people in there.  A beer and some slices make the perfect midnight snack before we all split up to head home and go to bed.

For those of you who are night-ride experienced, did I miss anything?  What other advice do you have?

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