The best bike is the bike you ride!

My overwhelming philosophy since I started in the retail cycling business is that a bike is only as good as the amount it gets ridden. Whether an issue of fit or practicality, a bike needs to make its owner want to get out and use it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I used to race cyclocross and I really loved it.  It was a bunch of fun because it was absurd, yet intense, to be out on a road style bike with skinny little knobs, going full out for 45 minutes with lots of running, carrying the bike, and sometimes, falls, too!  In a sense, it's a little bit like being a little kid again, playing in the mud and snow.

Cyclocross helped me build lots of skills that helped both my road and mountain bike riding, and it was also fun because it was smaller than the mountain bike races I had entered, and the racers were far friendlier and more relaxed.  On top of that, the courses are usually very specator friendly.   You ride laps, about 5-8, depending on the course and your speed (or, in my case, the lack thereof), and so if you have friends or family come and set up in a good spot, like by some barriers or near a steep hill, they can get a very entertaining race experience and witness some classic falls.

So, after years of not having a cross bike, or having a cross bike that I commuted on and didn't race, I've decided I need to give it a go again.   I'm older, slower, and heavier now, so it should be interesting, but on the bright side, I'm hoping it'll still be fun!

Here's the race I'm planning for the weekend:!__cyclo-x-sienna-lake/directions

Yeah, Sienna Lake.  Seems kind of appropriate for me to do that race...

So come on out and see the fun.  The old guys race early - maybe I'll see you there!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Velo Orange elk hide city grips

I recently decided to add some Velo Orange elk hide grips to a couple of bikes and I was really, really impressed when I added them to the Velo Orange porteur bars I was using in the build.  I simply put on a layer of cloth bar tape, which, as it turns out, wasn't absolutlely necessary, but did add a little cush and added a bit of texture.

They went on easily after some initial trial and error - I taped the bars first, then laid the elk hide over the bars.  I then spent a few minutes working the leather, trying to form it around the bars,before I peeled off the double sided tape and had at it with the needles and waxed thread.

Unlike my earlier attempt on the Miyata, which had MTB diameter bars, the Porteurs were road diameter, so the seams set up nicely in a baseball style stitch - I'm not sure if that's the official name, but take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself.

Once I completed the sewing, I popped in the old school bar plugs, which looked just right, and then applied some leather preservative, to darken and condition the leather, so it just matched the saddle, too.

The pictures below are on the Raleigh Super Course I have for sale, priced at $350, and with the smooth Reynolds steel and the VO leather, it's a luxurious city cruiser!

I can, BTW, do this for your bike, too!  Email me and we can plan color, price and any other extras you might enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In the shop now

Veloswap gave me some good opportunites to add to my inventory.  I added a Miyata 210, and a Peugeot, model TBD, but with the carbolite 103 tubing.   A picture is below.  I'm trying to determine the best bet for fixing it up.  My thinking is a nice VO Model 3 saddle, plus some elkhide leather handlebar covers, maybe in brown, maybe in black.    That would set it up as a nice rando bike or classic town bike.  Whatever color the saddle and grips are, I plan to make the toe clip straps matching VO leather.

It's a large, and will be for sale shortly.  Notice the slick internal brake cable routing, too!

Any opinions are welcome!