Thursday, March 13, 2014

Must bend like a tree.

The loads placed on a motorbike and a bicycle as they turn through a corner are surprisingly similar. In fact something that most people dont know is that as a motorcycle goes through a turn it shares more with an airplane then anything else. But lets not get distracted. 
Certainly the biggest difference form a road going ( and all motorcycles for that matter) motorcycle and a road bicycle is the suspension front and rear. But that suspension only works when the bike is braking, accelerating or when impacting some sort of bump. Once the motorcycle is leaned over into a corner the suspension is not longer able to bound or rebound. It is up to the frame to absorb any imperfections in the road. Now that not a big deal for our lucky friend on his Mv Agusta while he rides on a silky smooth race track, but its a very big deal when hes on his way home and he hits a small pot hole while going around a bend.
So how does this seemingly unimportant lesson in motorcycle dynamics have
to do with you? While our roads bikes do not have suspension they do critically rely on the make up and built in flex of the frame to go around a corner properly. And to clarify what I mean by properly; your bike should be confidence inspiring when going down hill. You should feel like a super star without being one. The bravest rider in the bunch. In a more technical sense, you should not feel like the bike is about to " come out from underneath you" , or that the wheels are "skating". Or some people describe  that the bike simply does not want to turn . All of this brings me to my main point. And its something that ive heard plenty of people harp on about but im gonna chime in to. Fundamentally when you make a frame to light( > 800 grams ) you are going to start to compromise the way that bike either rides or handles. The reason for this is, to build a bike that is that light you have to use very strong and very stiff carbon. And that translates into a frame that just dances up the hills. But what goes up must come down. And after your long hard, but certainly fun  climb up that hill, you will most certainly be clenched coming down the other side. And that, to me kind of ruins it all. Why would you neuter your riding experience as s whole just to excel at one aspect of your ride. It all just seems a bit silly to me. I like "well rounded" racing bikes. Ones that consider all the aspects of riding. Comfort, speed, handling, climbing and of course good looks. And thats why you should buy a Pianrello Dogma.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A photo essay for your weekend delectation.

 The Campagnolo logo
 Some new old stock.
 One of the longest standing teams.
 All cleaned up for their day in the dirt.
 C-Record track hubs.
Record rear derailleur.

Monday, January 6, 2014

What is Cycling fashion?

Or  maybe a better question would be is cycling fashionable. And if it is what about it embodies that style. Certainly they are politically fashionable, with global warming and environmentalism gaining popularity. No one, as far as I know has every claimed that cycling is ruining the environment or endangering the Relic Leopard frog . So it seem safe to say that the bike is still socially and politically fashionable. Not to mention no one has ever stuffed a pie in the face or a famous cycling journalist.
But what im looking for is something more intangible then political correctness.Im trying to pinpoint a look and a style that embodies cycling in 2014. What makes other people look at a cyclist and say " I want to be a part of that" . Surely its not the road racer. With their super skin tight clothes and hyper OCD matching syndrome. And why if youre going to go through all that care would you make everything black? Very unfashionable!
Then there are the fixie geeks. Tiny handle bars, cut off jean shorts, PRB's, lots of tattoos and to many days without a shower is mostly what comes to mind. So no, they dont get the award for cycling fashion.
And sadly I cant give it to the mountain bikers or the daily commuters either. And there isnt enough time in the day to explain why. If you dont already know why mountain bikers arent fashionable you clearly dont know any.
So far we have ruled out road racers, fixie geeks, commuters and mountain bikers.But, if we dig into the commuter category we find a bit of a sub culture. Im not sure how to describe them so I will illustrate
my point with some pictures.
 Here we have a lovely young women on her way to work. She is well put together in a equestrian sort of style that translates very well for the modern cycling commuter. As long as it doesnt rain. But crucially, what makes her so stylish is that when she arrives at work she simply steps off her bike, removes her helmet and sits down at her desk. And even on the bike these style centric riders always looks good. And not a drop of sweat on their face as they effortlessly and gracefully pedal on down the street. As cool and confident as a  skinny hipster at an 80s dance party. So thats where I rest my case. Get some tweed, maybe a neck scarf and some brown leather gloves and show the world that you put style and fashion above all else. At least while youre cycling.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Staying warm and happy

Well its cold. And when it is this cold I certainly prefer to just hide under my covers and drink hot chocolate. But thats not what being a cyclist is about is it? Therefor we must don our winter gear and brave the weather! Here are a few tips that I can offer having lived in the northeast for many years.
 Firstly you burn almost 3x more calories when its really cold out. You dont die of boredom  after about 15  minutes.You ride ( or at least you should be riding) slow enough to carry on a conversation with your friend. You could stop off and get an espresso half way through your ride. Not to mention whats is better then the scalding hot shower you get to take after riding in the cold for 2 hours?
So riding in the cold can be fun, as I have now shown you. Here a few tips to help keep you happy and spinning away all winter. Start the ride indoors on your trainer.  You will be warmed up and ready to go and if youre dressed properly you will barely notice the temperature. O and as far as dressing properly goes, good gloves, good booties and a good hat goes a long way. Nothing worse then having your ears burn and ache all day. Invest in a few good baselayers and a quality waterproof winter riding jersey or jacket. And dont forget to drink water! Just cause you dont feel yourself sweating doesn't mean you aren't. Have fun out there and let your trainer collect a little more dust. Feel free to stop in if you need some help finding any of those critical items( booties, base layer  or gloves).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A blog post about a blog.

I enjoyed this and i wanted to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as well. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Now is a good time

After the hustle and bustle of the summer time and the beginning of cross season, things start to quite down around most bike shops.  Now is a great time to come talk about that new bike you have been thinking about. Maybe you had some questions about some of the new tech or products that are coming out this year. Take advantage of this slower season to come down and talk to us and help us help you find what you're looking for. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Staying safe

I remember the first 10 speed bike I had. It was a Huffy Santa Fe 26 speed (step through but lets not dwell on that fact). One of the things I remember about that bike is the rim powered generator light on it. It was certainly the first bike with a light on it that I had ever had and the same goes for my friends. I grew up in a neighborhood and a time where night safety ( and safety in general ) on our bikes wasn't ever really considered. But having that light was so reassuring when I would go for a ride late on a summer evening. Fast forward 20 years and light technology has certainly come a long way. Now a days I get to have super cool high power led usb 500 lumen lights. They are certainly a far cry from from the dimly lit and fast fading dynamo light of my youth. But having a super bright bike "headlight" brings on the same super reassuring feeling of not only can "they" see me but I can clearly see where im going. Safety is empowering that way. It doesn't make a force field around you , but in a way it sometime feels like it does.
Now that winter is here and our days go dark nice and early make sure you have the right safety equipment to keep riding and enjoying yourself. From high visibility rain jackets and booties to the very best lights. Have a happy holiday!