Bike Hugger

Syndicate content
Bike culture blogged
Updated: 2 hours 40 min ago

Bicycle Black Friday

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 08:50

Been stocking up for weeks

Mentioned our Tool Roll yesterday, of course Clip-n-Seals (a best-selling, and Amazon-featured bag closure made by the parent company of Bike Hugger), and there’s gear on sale too, like this light, lock, and wool cap.

For more bike deals, see DC Rainmaker’s post and hey if you’re riding and relaxing instead of shopping on Friday, that’s what we’re doing, up in Alaska. They’re not on sale, but our Purist bottles are popular too.

Holiday Shopping Endorsement: Tool Roll

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 08:50

Tool Roll doing its job, that it does

This Tinyblackbox pic is our Black Friday/Cyber Monday every shopping Holiday endorsement! Also see the Wired review of the Waxed Canvas Tool Roll from earlier this year and now they ship for free with Amazon Prime.

They’re all hand made in Seattle and built to hold a spare tire, CO2 canisters, as well as a couple bike tools. Bundled up the roll fits right into your jersey pocket. According to Bike Hugger, they designed the roll to help organize flat tire tools, and offer an alternative to the traditional seat bag, which can rub against (and ruin) your expensive bike shorts.

And there’s Jim fixing a flat with his.

Steve Hed, aero wheel innovator and all-around cool dude, passes away at 59

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 07:35

Here at Bike Hugger, we are saddened by the news that Steve Hed has died at age 59. Founder of Hed Cycling, Hed’s personal history has been deeply entwined with high performance cycling, particularly in triathlon and time trialing. Since the mid-1980s, Hed had represented the personification of the American innovator: creative, maybe a little kooky but willing to follow his ideas with equal measures of diligence and honesty. With many hours in the wind tunnel long before it was cool, he helped bring deep profile rims and disc wheels to cycling world, but when his own design for a composite spoked wheel did not produce good results in aero tests, he scrapped the idea (unlike several other manufacturers). Years later he would purchase the rights and equipment to manufacture what is now generally known as the Hed3 wheel. Then in the 21st century he was the leading proponent for the current philosophy of wide aero rims that acknowledge real world riding conditions. Additionally, he led the move towards wider clincher rims and wider tyres in performance road riding, as exemplified by the C2 Belgium rim and the even wider Belgium Plus recently. Something I personally respect is how clean Hed designs are, without all the trademarked and patented gimmicks that companies in Hed’s wake have added to distinguish their products in the consumer consciousness. Arguably, in an industry that is awash in hype, Hed represented a purity of design and purpose.

For such a small company, Hed Cycling has always had surprising connections to the biggest names in cycle sport. When I visited the Hed Cycling’s headquarters in MN a few years ago, the guys were glued to their monitors as they watched Levi Leipheimer power through his ToC time trial, knowingly commenting on how Levi had been consulting on wheels and positioning earlier that year. I walked through Hed’s shipping department to see a box of wheels to be shipped to some customer named “Contador” in Spain.

I couldn’t say that I knew Steve well. With longish, almost white hair, I could picture him blending in at a local coffee shop or farmers market. But he had certain sense of humour. One year he brought a downhill MTB wheel with a deep section rim profile to Interbike. He had this twinkle in his eye as he explained the design. Whenever I think about that occasion, I imagine that Steve built that prototype to answer a half-baked question or a bar bet, and then with the actual data hidden in his hand, he wanted to see how many people would hype it up.

I had met Steve several times at Interbikes over the years, but one of my favourite anecdotes I’m sure he never realized. I worked at a bike shop that was renowned for the retro tastes of one of the owners. That owner bought some vintage parts from a seller on Classic Rendezvous, and when they arrived at the shop I recognized the Minnesota address. In fact, Steve was the seller, and included some Hed Cycling paraphernalia as a bonus. Oddly, those items……erm…..disappeared from the box. So today I’m going to wear that Hed Cycling beanie as I ride one of many bikes fitted with Hed rims. Good bye, Steve.

RIP Steve Hed, an Innovator

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 05:27


As we’re heading out of town, heard that Steve Hed passed. Here’s a video interview with him from last year and it was always like that, every time we met, we geeked out on bikes.

RIP.

A Long Bike Ride

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 03:20

After last night, the country needs to go on a long bike ride; clear its head.

We’ll do that in Sitka, Alaska this week, visiting grandma and local haunts like the P Bar. Also working on Issue 19 and 20 of our magazine. The photo above is from earlier this year when we were riding in Eastern Washington.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Enumclaw: Tractor Pull of a CX Race

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 08:27

Like a tractor pull in the slop

This is one CX race I was super upset to miss, but knew better with a nagging knee injury, and the expected conditions of MUD BOG. There’s a reason Enumclaw is nicknamed, the “claw” too. Cause it grabs at you, robbing speed, and sometimes throwing you down into the mud.

Peter from Woodinville Bicycle shared these photos and Michael Brazel had this to say on his Facebook:

The ENTIRE course was a slick, deep, muddy mess. ‘Tractor Pull’ conditions, 400 watts @ 4 mph. Any firm green grass that could be found was a blessing. I spent the entire hour searching for firm ground. Another small Single Speed A field. This time my start was not so good, last place chasing the group through the first lap. Then, as everybody settled in, I started pulling them back one by one. Midway through the race in 3rd place and the leaders still in sight I clipped a chain link fence and hit the deck hard. I took inventory to make sure all limbs were still pointing in the right direction, climbed back on continued my search for firm ground. Finished the race on the lead lap (thanks Russell Stevenson) and held onto my 3rd place for the day and series lead.

Well raced! I was icing my knee, while Brazel was searching for firm ground. The course was a two mile flat loop that I heard felt completely uphill with a 50+ft run up. Speeds ranged from 3 to 6.5 mph and in the elites, 10-min laps.

Epic as the claw always is. See the rest of the photos Peter shared on G+ and Flickr.

Ballerina On The Golden Bicycle

Sun, 11/23/2014 - 02:21


Guess because she performed before I was born, just now hearing about The Ballerina On The Golden Bicycle. She was performing these tricks 20 years before flatland BMX and to the point of disassembling her bike to get to the good stuff.

At the height of her career, Lilly was considered the best in the circus business

She was about the highest paid circus artiste in the world and having had to do battle with all the great circuses, I still had to wait two years until she was free.” And he added, “I think she was one of the greatest performers I ever engaged. She was an artiste down to her fingertips, her costumes were magnificent, and she had a smile which was so infectious that her audience was with her in the first minute.” Just before her engagement with Bertram Mills Circus in 1962, Lilly had her bicycle gold plated; she became known as “The Bellerina On The Golden Bicycle.”

Lily is also seen performing in this circus documentary, now on DVD.

Lake Effect Snow Storm: FAT BIKES

Sat, 11/22/2014 - 03:58

Roads plowed and getting ridden

Once the nearly 8 ft of snow got plowed in Aurora NY, out came the fat bikes from Chain Ring Rhythm.

We’re not expecting a Lake Effect Snow Storm near us, but will ride in the snow soon enough…

Nearly 8 ft of snow in Aurora

Making the best of it

And in Buffalo Bill Graves was out riding too

Photo: HARRY SCULL JR.

Cycle Chaser

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 03:05


A couple years ago, Matt made a dynamic bike headlight with a Raspberry Pi and a small, battery-operated projector. Then shared it with us during his Built talk, at SXSW. He’s since updated the project to include animations and posted this video about it.

Alternatives to Uber: A Folding Bike

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 08:55

How we get around town

Reacting to the Uber Scandal On Twitter, Chris said it

Oh, look: an alternative to Uber. Won't investigate you or make a scene on Twitter, either: http://t.co/qetdQH79Z7 pic.twitter.com/QeY2BDtuD6

— Chris Baskind (@chrisbaskind) November 19, 2014

and so did @typeonerror and hey, there are plenty of alternatives to Uber, like riding a bike. I asked Josh Hon from Tern about this and he replied…

Biking: a ride with zero wait time, no spying, and lots of nice people

Uber’s the latest disruptive service taking the world by storm. And to be honest, it’s a pretty darn smart and imaginative way to use technology. But for a lot of trips, there’s an even better way to get around town, and that’s on a bicycle. Yeah that’s right, old school technology. But if you think about it, biking has some real advantages. Like for instance you get to leave whenever you want – there’s never any waiting for the next bus or train or finding your car in the parking lot. When you’re ready to go, you just go. Start up and maintenance costs? Well a decent bike starts at 2-3 months of gas money. A lot of times, when traffic is bad, it’s faster to get around by bike.

Even better is a folding bicycle because it fits so well with trains and buses and ferries and cars - every other form of transport. Raining hard in the evening? fold your bike and catch a ride home with a friend. Need to get across town – fold your bike and hop on the subway for part of it. Best of all, you never need to leave your bike chained outside because it folds and stashes in a closet or under a desk.

But you know what I love best about biking? It’s that my short trips add up to a work out so that when I get home at the end of the day, I can lounge around and be lazy, guilt-free. Guilt-free laziness? Now that’s something precious.

Last month I went back to my 25th reunion at Stanford. Since Stanford’s a pretty big campus and events were scattered all over, I decided to bring my bike with me. I packed my folding Tern into my Samsonite, hopped on a plane in Taipei, and arrived in SF a short 14 hours later. Every day, I’d drive to campus, park in alumni parking (very far from everything), pull my bike out of the trunk and within 10 seconds have instant transportation. My first stop was visiting my freshman dorm (that I shared with Peter Thiel) and just as I was pulling up, ran into one of my closest friends who was visiting with his family. That’s another one of the great things about cycling - the interactions with people that you just can’t get if you’re in an enclosed metal box.

Zipping around campus by bike, I managed to do everything I wanted to during Reunion weekend - even managing the double-booked time slots because I could get from one side of campus to the other in just a few minutes.

On my way back to Taipei, heading to the airport I took my first Uber ride. It was a surprisingly good experience. But if you’ve got a choice, try a bike. You just might like the experience even more.

Agreed!

Also with the burn-ban-bad air in Seattle, we’re thinking more about zero-emissions, multimodal transport and the fun you can have too…like with an electric car and a folding bike. I’ll tell you more about that in feature story I’m working on. For now, see the vignette I shared in the Medium Bicycles Collection about driving to a rails-to-trails ride with a BMW i3.

An i3 on the way out of town to a ride in the mountains

Winter Bicycle Jackets and Gloves

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:51


One of the reasons we’d don’t publish gear shootouts on our blog is kit made within the past few years is all so good – really. Find the jacket that fits, a style you like, appealing brand, budget, and your epic ride and/or commute to work is covered. We’ve gone from on-fire hot Gore to their much more all-condition ActiveShell. A once clammy eVent jacket that fit like a garbage bag is now tailored like the Elite Pro from ShowerPass and being used by a Tour team (free cover story in Issue 18).

I made the Vine above last night having some fun, asking our follows if it was cuff over or under? Also to bring up a function of the jacket gear makers can iterate and offer as a unique feature. The interaction of the cuff and glove seems little studied or designed. Depending on the jacket, glove, and cuff I’m either over or under; wind chill, wicking, and temperature changes also affect cuff over or under decisions. I may even change it mid-ride too.

I asked Steve Gluckman from Novara (their also great Veritas jacket is reviewed here) about this topic and he said

Waiting for Assos to develop glove-base-layer-outer-shell system and charge $1,500.00. Cause when you’re out in the elements things like a gap or wrinkle can bug the shit outta yah.

For sure and what you’re seeing in the video, is the new Gore Windstopper, soft shell gloves have a Primaloft liner in them with a pull and a pull on the glove. A bit clunky to get on, but worked very well in the 25-32 degrees temps I’ve ridden in so far because of the warm fleece and the wicking liner. However, that wicking resulted in damp wrists and when we turned into the wind, chilled wrists. So mid ride I’m switching to cuff under, because that wicked moisture from my apparently sweaty palms is pooling on my wrists.

As Steve said, you know exactly and instantly where there are gaps in the microclimate your body and gear are making; especially, when moisture pools and the wind hits it…

So, let’s see a company like Gore, ShowersPass, and others work on the glove/jacket cuff integration. It’s an area in outdoor gear left undeveloped and under designed.

Commenting on a poll we took, Dave Bartel said

Well, I layer a lot, but the outer shell for me almost 100% of the time I need gloves is my largely windproof (some venting) thin Castelli shell. Great elastic in the cuffs, so jacket almost always over gloves for me, unless I’m using full-on mitts. Gotta be about -15C for me to break those out.

Castelli hasn’t developed a system either for their excellent Gaba. Until then, it’s glove over OR under. On our ride together last weekend, Steve is wearing a Novara Headwind with cuff over and riding their new Novara Strada 50D.

Steve with his Headwind Jacket and Novara bike

BMX World Champs

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 07:01


While we’re focused on CX, there’s other bike racing going on, like the BMX World Champs and this edit from the UCI. The speed is remarkable.

Ice Bike Racing

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 10:09


In the 1930s, what are a couple of cyclists supposed to do but attach a skate to the fork of their safety bicycle? These days we’re riding fat bikes in the ice and snow, like we did earlier this year in Park City. Also read about the new rides we did in the new year and snow in Issue 8 our magazine.

Urban Cyclocross Racing - Red Bull Velodux

Sun, 11/16/2014 - 02:33


Red Bull Velodux took CX racing to the next level, putting top notch racers against a technical off-road course, with an “all-things-go” attitude towards doing whatever it takes to inch past your opponent.

AND! A Lemans start. As we posted last month, it didn’t have the Red Bull sponsorship, but they were racing urban CX in 1943.

Another Weekend of Cross

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:10

Before racers pin their numbers on and line up, here’s a gallery of photos from Woodland, our fav race of the year in the Pacific Northwest. DBC Photography and Woodinville bike shop shared these with us, including Mark V and me racing single speeds. See the rest of the photos on G+ and Flickr.

This set up worked well. A 40T 130mm bcd ring swapped out for the 44T. 10sp rear wheels with SS spacer kits, and modified Salsa “Tuggnut” axle tug.

Why is Woodland so good? I asked Matt from Crosssports…

It’s pretty simple. Location, atmosphere, course design, and occasionality are the essential elements for a special cross race, and WP scores pretty close to a 10 on all.

Indeed.

Huggacast Shorts: Issue 18 Puddles Are Gathering

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 04:28


An edit for Issue 18 of Bike Hugger Magazine. Puddles are Gathering Available dropped this week on iTunes and the Web. Annual subscriptions are $16; individual issues are $4. Your money directly supports the authors, photographers, and editors who contribute to Bike Hugger. Like Patrick Brady, Zanne Blair, and Matt Haughey.

Audio samples: DJ Schmolli - Just The Way You Set Fire To The Rain (2012)

Veterans Day Bicycles

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 04:35

Expecting a war bicycle on Veterans Day? Of course and this photo is from the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps.

Read their story on the Army History Journal and remember, CX was invented during War time too

In the late 1890s, the bicycle craze was sweeping [Europe and North America, not just within the civilian population, but also within military circles. Many countries in Europe had established the bicycle as a means to move formations of troops onto the battlefield economically and swiftly. American military observers at maneuvers across Europe reported back to their superiors in Washington on the success of the military bicycle.

25th Infantry Bicycle Corps story was also a PBS special and now on YouTube

Issue 18 Puddles Are Gathering

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 05:09

Katusha in Showers Pass jackets

An issue about how heavy rain weighs on our minds drops on iTunes and the web today with these articles from me, Patrick Brady, Zanne Blair, Kyle Ranson, and Matt Haughey.

The story by Kyle I first heard at Interbike during a Showers Pass media meeting and asked them to share it in our magazine. It’s the free cover story and about a small Portland company supplying a Tour de France team.

One otherwise average February day in Portland, Oregon, Showers Pass got a call from Team Katusha’s promoters. The spring classics were just around the corner, and the racers were in desperate need of some decent rain jackets.

The “rain” cover for was designed by Pfaltzgraphics. Subscriptions to our ad-free magazine are $16; individual issues are $4 and subscribers directly support our authors, photographers, and editors.

Berlin Wall by Bike

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 03:23


This one time we rode along the Berlin Wall, checked in at Checkpoint Charlie, and rode a free Freitag fix.

Checkpoint Charlie

Visited a famous shop and also noticed the fashion. Berlin is truly a great bike city and today they’re celebrating the fall of the wall, 25 years ago.

Keirin Cycle Culture Cafe

Read more about Berlin in our archives and on Flickr or G+

Issue 18 Cover

Sat, 11/08/2014 - 06:46

The “rain” cover for issue 18 that drops Monday on in iTunes and the Web. Ad-free subscriptions are $16; individual issues are $4 and subscribers directly support our authors, photographers, and editors.

In the issue are stories about how heavy rain weighs on our minds.

The gear and bikes we ride too.