Archive for the ‘Fixed’ Category

List of car-free places

August 7, 2009

Thanks to Carlton Reid @carltonreid for the following link.


Riding Fixed from Canada to NM

July 10, 2009

Inspiring story of willpower.


July 10, 2009

Enjoying my morning cup of Joe and a driver with his priorities straight pulls in. An average economy Saturn with a Merlin Ti road bike on top. Who else has a bike that costs more than their car? Good for you.

Bike of the Future?

September 17, 2008

So a colleague from Italy shared this photo.

This is some interesting engineering removing the standard chain drivetrain and allowing a direct connection to the wheel.  One engineering hurdle is the strength of the wheels without spokes.  Anyone seen anything similar?

Urban Velo Issue #5

January 1, 2008

uv5_coversplash.jpguv5_coversplash.jpg Download or view Urban Velo on your computer. 100% free, no catch. The browser version features clickable hyperlinks. The PDF version is set up for printing on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, and allows you to zoom in and out.

Urban Velo – Issue #5 New!January 2008 Contents include: The Dirty Dozen, Pedicabs After Dark, American Bike Punks in Tokyo, Techno Crashing, Faber’s Cyclery is Closed, Melburn-Roobaix, Residue & No Exit comics, how to adjust your rear derailleur and install that all-important front brake, plus reader-submitted photography from China, England and New York City and more.Download PDF View in Browser 


Vanilla Bicycles: A Story About Sacha White

December 30, 2007
Below is a link to a 10 minute movie about the Portland frame-builder Sacha White and his story with Vanilla bicycles.  


Bicycle Sundays in Mexico City.

August 12, 2007


The Mayor of Mexico City has instituted an idea to make his community more livable. On every Sunday, the main avenues are closed to motorists and open to pedistrians and cyclists.
Now before you think this idea is over the top, consider the last time you were at an outdoor lifestyle shopping mall. No cars, no noice, a little sense of community. Durham, NC has ‘The Streets of Southpoint’ and ‘American Tobacco’ both are open-air markets with restaurants and no problems associated with vehicles. Kids can run around, adults get alittle exercise and some fresh air.
I hope the success in Mexico City gains momentum and large US cities consider this alternative. My family would welcome this move.

Read the story.

Urban Cyclist Magazine #2 Now Available!

August 2, 2007

Great read.

View or download here. 

Sweet !

August 2, 2007




July 31, 2007


I love the matra “Simplify until it breaks”.  Some examples include the Google search box, Apple products, Safety razors and fixed-gear bikes.  The products are so well designed no instructions are necessary.

The Google search box is the best and most used search engine due to it’s simple design.

Apple Co-founder, Steve Wozniak incorporated this matra into the first home computers.  Apple users love the simple and elegant design.  I bought an iPhone and haven’t read any user’s manual, yet I can use every function.  Extremely intuitive.

I was tired of the “how many blades and how expensive can we make these” marketing blitz with razors.  Applying the simplify until it breaks matra, I ended up with a “The Art of Shaving” safety razor (one blade) from Germany.  The razor provides the best shave I have ever had.

I set up my Lemond Fillmore fixed-gear bike for commuting. The only maintenance is chain lube and tire pressure.

One could only hope more companies adopt this practical philosophy.

Riding backwards

July 18, 2007

Here is my review of the 2005 Lemond Fillmore in full commuting attire.

July 13, 2007

2005 Lemond Fillmore Commuter

When I purchased this steed from Outback bikes (Atlanta), it was not really commuting worthy (30 miles round-trip, 195-lb rider, rain/snow/shine, full change of clothes) The Fillmore skeleton is True-Temper’s OX Platinum steel with Bontrager carbon-fiber fork and seat post. Stock wheels were Bontrager Select with 20 spoke front and 24 spoke rear. It was spec’d for speed, not durability.
So I made some commuting mods. I added a rear rack (keep the load on your bike, off your back). I stole the Nite Rider Trail Rat and Vista-Lite Eclipse rear flasher (both lights are dependable, fair inexpensive) from my touring rig. I changed the wheel treads to Specialized Armadillo tires to minimize flats….minimize, not eliminate. Kryptonite Kryptolok is my lock of choice. Kryptonite did replace the barrel lock and stood behind their recall, for that I admire them. And then added MKS GR-9 Platform pedals & clips so I could ride with whatever friggin’ shoes I wanted to.
As if I didn’t really already spend enough money, it was now time to tweak some components. I have always hated drop handle-bars, especially for commuting, so I looked for something clean and simple…..and found the Soma Noah’s Arc handlebars. They are comfortable and look sweet. To finish out the handlebars, I exchanged the old mtn. bike brake lever I was using for a Paul’s E-lever. The E-lever is a clean design, however lacks enough torque (two finger design) for being the only brake lever. For grips the Ergon GP1 seem to make a lot of sense with wrist support and comfort. Well, if I had to do it again, I would spend my money on iTunes and put cheap grips on. Coffee is carried in a Nissan thermos and fits your standard bottle cage.
The stock wheels were light and fast, in my dictionary this means not durable, especially the conditions and loads that they were being exposed to. So I called John of Kovachi Wheels and he built me a sweet set of Mavic Open Sports wrapped around some high-flange Phil Wood hubs. When I first opened the Kovachi wheel box, I spun the hubs between my fingers and could not believe how smooth the bearings were. Expensive……and you get what you pay for. After many miles on a Brooks saddle on my touring rig, I opted for a new B17 Champion honey saddle (heavy and comfortable). My college bud (Matt Wagner) toyed around with carbon fiber as a hobby. He made me a carbon fiber light switch cover that I never found a good use for. Well I wrapped the inside with leather and wrapped it on the top tube as a a ding guard.
I am a firm believer in one bag. If I travel for business or long weekend trip, it all needs to fit in one bag and I don’t want to change bags if I am commuting, flying, or driving. My one bag of choice is the Tom Bihn Empire Builder. The difficult part was attaching it to a rear bicycle rack. So the current mod using a pizza stand, mounted flipped and turned to slide the bag in and strapped to. I will post again specifically about this bag and attachment method. I love this bag and that attachment method is quick and secure.
Enough about the free company endorsements, how does she ride?

I love this bike for commuting and running an errand or two. The steel frame is firm, however smooth over the terrain. The geometry works wells for my needs, no neck, shoulder or back pain. The bottom bracket region is firm while cranking uphill, no noticeable weakness. The carbon fork and seat-post are a plus with vibration reduction in the hand and ass departments. The thick Armadillo tires ride hard like rocks, no forgiveness, however flats are definitely minimized. The Phil Wood hubs are incredibly smooth. I am now sold and will always buy his hubs. I will buy again and then beg for mercy from the wife. I ride 3 +/- times a week in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area. My commute is 14 miles one way with only a few rolling hills. The terrain varies from a dirt road short-cut to bike lanes to road shoulders to the American Tobacco trail.

Future desired mods include a CETMA 5-rail front rack in lieu of rear rack, a steel fork with more rake and braze-ons, elimination of all the Lemond and Bontrager decals, and a brake lever with more torque.

My 3-year old son rides a fixed gear.

July 13, 2007


I purchased this bike for 3 year old son on last Black Thursday for $30. I was unaware at the time it was a fixie. As I assembled it, I noticed the “No Brakes” decal. I thought this could either be a bad idea or a good one, no in-between. Anyway, we rolled with it.
Within one week of riding it, my son can skid, and ride backwards. I still haven’t mastered these skills. Now after a couple of weeks, he rides with no hands and controls his speed downhill really well.
Okay it’s a Huffy, however it was only $30 and is a fixed gear. The only other highlight is the foam (no flat) tires. The only modification is a “Bad Car” bell. My son hates cars as much as I.

My Favorite New Bike Shop.

May 24, 2007

Black Sheep Cycles in Charlotte, NC.

With 200 miles separating this Fixed-Gear heaven from my home, I had to wait….and I hate waiting.  After four months, and the alignment of their shop hours and my traveling plans through Charlotte I was able to ‘kick some tires’.

First thing you notice is the outdoor fenced dog park.  Woody started pissing all over the lot with excitement.

Next thing I noticed were two Vanilla bicycles on the sales-floor.  Okay…..yes I drooled.  Matt assisted and said they were the owner’s and not for sale.  That was good news, I didn’t need to take out a mortgage for another bike.

Matt then proceed to show me around the sales floor.  This place was more like a museum of bikes that you dream about, ANT’s, Desalvo’s, Vanilla’s and limited edition Campy track gear.

Our son Benjamin, quickly grabbed a train car with the Thomas the Tank railroad for children.

Upon walking to the front of the shop, bottom lip still dragging the ground, I find the lounge area with sofas and one dog per sofa.  God I love this place.

The other unique feature was the shower & lockers in the restroom for commuters use.  If I were to own or work in a shop this would be the blue-print of design.

Every bicycle in the shop was unique.  Most of them being fixed-gear or single-speed or commuter based.

I bought a cool T-shirt and they threw some swag my way.

My Favorite New Bike Shop.

Only on a Fixie.

May 4, 2007