Farmington Canal Trail high wheel bicycle ride.

4 05 2010

Spent May 1st riding on the Farmington Canal Trail with The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop and their high wheel bicycles. We covered 33 miles, very impressive for a high wheeler! There was a stop at the halfway point to consume the incredibly delicious Sweet Claude’s ice cream. A great day!





Locking Your Bicycle: Good and Bad 2.0

22 04 2010

U-lock around front wheel and post with cable lock through rear wheel? FAIL!

The U-lock must be used around the frame and post to be effective. FAIL!

I was out walking around New Haven yesterday and once again I came across some horribly locked bicycles. So, to recap the U-lock needs to be around your frame AND the post you are locking to. If you use a cable it should be a secondary form of security to leash your wheels. The cable should never be used to attach your bike to the post. Cables can be cut!! If you lock your bicycle to a post or rack in New Haven with a cable the chances of it getting stolen go up dramatically. U-lock frame to post. Again. U-lock frame to post.
Please visit my How to Lock Your Bike page for detailed locking instructions.

Inexpensive Master Cable locks around frame and post? FAIL!

On closer inspection one of the cables has already been cut! This bike is already half-stolen. FAIL!!

U-lock around frame and post? Cable looping BOTH wheels? Locking skewers? Cable lock on seat? GOLD STAR!!





Review: Portland Design Works – RADBOT 1000

30 03 2010

Portland Design Works – RADBOT 1000 1 watt taillight with built in EU approved reflector.

The RADBOT 1000 has one directive: to defend you and your bike from rear collisions.

I have found a new favorite taillight. Sorry Superflash. You are still my faithful number 2 but, there is a new number 1. I have been using the Portland Design Works RADBOT 1000 for the past month and I must say I am very impressed with the design and flashing power of this light. The RADBOT 1000 features a 1.0 watt red LED made in Japan by Nichia brand. Below the LED flasher RADBOT also has an EU approved rear reflector. Some communities require a rear reflector whereas the use of a flasher is optional. Combining both into an attractive and smart package is a great move by the PDW designers. The RADBOT comes with a the standard seatpost or seat stay mounting option but, PDW also includes a rear rack mount. The really cool thing is that they are all identical to the clip mounts used by Planet Bike. So, if you use multiple mounts on different bikes you can swap the PDW and Planet Bike lights as you please. I’ve been using a combination of the RADBOT and a Superflash lately and am quite pleased with the adverse comments from ‘some’ motorists. Like most lights the RADBOT 1000 also has a belt clip on back and also comes with AAA batteries included.

The light itself is very well designed. There is a 1.5 second delay built into the on/off switch. The need to hold the button down to get it to turn on helps to prevent accidental turn ons when the light is in a bag or pocket. The japanese LED is the same one used in the brake lights of new automobiles! It has three modes. Rock Steady, zZz, and zZz POP! It runs for 30 hours flashing and 15 hours on steady. You can view each mode in the PDW RADBOT 1000 video below (click link).

RADBOT 1000 from PDW on Vimeo.

RADBOT 1000. 1 watt japanese LED. EU approved rear reflector.





People for Bikes

17 03 2010

Here’s an interesting video from a bicycle advocacy group called People for Bikes that aims to improve bicycling in America. They are asking cyclists to take their pledge. They are aiming for 1 million cyclists. Check out their site by clicking here.





Budget Transportation: Zebrakenko 5 speed.

15 03 2010

1980's Zebrakenko 5 speed fully accessorized for the Elm City.

When I was a little kid the bicycle shop down the street sold Zebrakenkos. Later as a teenager, when I began working at that same bike shop, The brand was long gone and the shop used barrels of old Zebrakenko t-shirts as shop rags. They lasted for years. I wish I had saved just one! Anyway, Zebras are definitely not one of the more popular Japanese brands from it’s era but it is certainly of similar high-quality. When I saw this commuter I just had to make it one of my ‘Budget Transportation” posts.

This Zebrakenko 5-speed is from the early 1980’s and has a beautiful lugged Japanese-steel frame. It sports a nicely worn Brooks saddle, factory red fenders, comfortable upright seating position, original Pletscher rack, and a single gear lever to change the gears. The bicycle is in immaculate condition for it’s age and was likely ridden very little. The owner purchased it for $225.00 in fully restored and tuned-up condition. It has been accessorized with a front basket, folding rear baskets, cork grips, MKS rubber pedals (smooth!), and a Planet Bike Superflash taillight. The cost of the accessories added was around $125 including installation. Not bad! $350.00 for a fully decked out around town commuter with lots of style to match. This is a seriously classy looking bike.

Zebrakenko 5 speed ready for the city.

The front basket is perfect for carrying your lunch, or maybe a small dog? Woof!

Rear baskets fold down for carrying larger items, like grocery bags. The Planet Bike Superflash keeps everything safe in traffic.





The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop – Commuter of the Month

10 03 2010

Each month The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop names a lucky individual (or family) as their ‘Commuter of the Month.’ It’s a great idea to honor those who are making an effort to commute to work without the use of an automobile. And, I am very honored to be named the Commuter of the Month for March! Thank You Devil’s Gear!

If you or someone you know wants to be considered for The Commuter of the Month send the following information to The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop through their Contact Us page here.

Do you commute to work or school by bike?
Do you know some one who does ?
Send us contact info for how to get in touch with them.
And you or they will be commuter of the month !!

1. Name?
2. What is our nickname?
3. What do you ride? Make? Model?
4. What is your rides nick name?
5. What is your commute?
6. Funny Anecdote
7. Favorite bike tip

Click here to view The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop’s Commuter of the Month page.





Rinky-Dink Roof Retro-Fitted with Righteously Recycled Rack

10 03 2010

Yakima rack securing the wheel for journey to pending adventure.

Since the demise of my automobile my options for transporting bicycles to places afar has been impeded. So, in order to alleviate this problem I donated one of my old Yakima racks to my best riding buddy’s car . . . The Lemon. The Lemon is a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon that doesn’t have much room inside for bicycles and gear. The Lemon also has limited possibilities available for attaching a bike rack. The spoiler on the back negated virtually every single rear carrier made. The car sits too low to allow for a receiver hitch mounting. And there really isn’t much roof available for a roof rack. Fortunately Yakima’s specs do allow for carrying two bicycles with the setup shown in the photographs. Aside from the donation of the rack (Yakima Q-towers and bars) The Lemon had two Yakima Copperhead bicycle racks, two pairs of Yakima Q46 clips, and a 6 pack of lock cores purchased for it. Roof racks aren’t cheap investments and the total for everything purchased was about $350.00. But, if the Q-towers and bars had to be purchased new, the cost would have been closer to $500.00. It is a good idea if you are in the market for a roof rack to check the want ads for one. They last forever (I have accessories I have been using for 20years), and you can really save some loot buying what you can get used and augmenting that with the purchase of new accessories. I love roof racks. They hold the bicycle very securely. You can access the insides of the car with the bikes loaded. And, the do the best job of protecting the painted finish of your bicycle.

Yakima rack installed, loaded and ready to go.

The Lemon ready for adventure.