Salsa Vaya Claris Adventure Touring Bike

2017 Salsa Vaya Claris with Tubus Cosmo rear rack and Ortlieb Backpacker plus
2017 Salsa Vaya Claris with Tubus Cosmo rear rack and Ortlieb Backpacker plus

The 2017 Salsa Vaya has some updates over previous model years, and one of those is the introduction of a Claris 8 speed build. The bike is being sold as a “road adventure and light touring bike.” I started looking to build up my own touring bike out or Eloise – my vintage Motobecane. As the price point for the SRAM build I was looking at crossed $1000 I started to recall my long unfulfilled desire to own a Surly Long Haul Trucker. That lead me to my favorite local independent bike shop Huckleberry Bicycles. The staff there, continuing their long run of really good service and sound advise, turned me on to the Salsa Vaya.

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A picture guide to bikes for car owners

If you’ve been living in a car-centric world like most of the US, this picture guide to bikes for car owners can help you understand the different styles. Bikes are just as varied – and maybe more so – than cars. That can make selecting a bike a bit confusing, especially for first time buyers. Most of us have ridden a bike as a kid, but if there has been a gap of a decade or more since you have thrown your leg over a bike, then you are probably in the “first time buyer” camp. When you are a kid you probably just begged your parents for whatever the other kids had. As an adult your decision making process is probably a bit different.

Or maybe not…

At any rate it can be helpful to think of the different bikes in a context of something you already know – different cars. So, here’s your picture guide for bikes. A side-by-side cheat sheet.

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The physics of banging your head

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Call me Jeremy, because I spoke on reddit the other day. And I got the expected backlash. This was augmented by the fact that I spoke about… wait for it… bike helmets. Nothing will get folks worked up as quickly as bike helmets and cyclists rolling through stop signs. But I just can’t seem to keep myself out of helmet discussions.

However, I just happen to be the type of guy that can find value in someone telling me I’m a complete idiot. Keep reading →

Fixed gear style, disc brake safety

I sure wouldn’t have thought of it. But putting a disc  on the crank of a fixed gear bike is, for the most part, just as good as putting it on the back wheel. At least, that was the idea that SyCip Designs bikes had on display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

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While the astute among you will note that this setup will do nothing if your chain breaks, that is no different than the forces at play on bikes with only a track hub.

According to quotes, “The crank will never turn fast enough under braking to heat the rotor…” This makes sense if you think about the gear ratios involved, and addressed one of my early concerns about this setup.

If nothing else, it is creative thinking. And that is innovation.

 

Lugged Frames

There is, at least for me, something about lugged frames that evokes all of the classical beauty of the bicycle as art. I don’t mean to diminish from the absolute skill and craftsmanship that goes into non-lugged frames. But every time I see carefully accentuated lugs on a handmade bicycle, it just seems to underscore the attention to detail that is the very embodiment of “handmade.”

This year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show didn’t disappoint in the area of beautifully detailed lugged frames. Keep reading →

Oddity Cycles with a fat bike for the kids

Fat bikes have been a common theme at the North American Hand Made Bike Show. And this year continued that tradition, including a fair number of small framed youth models.

Among those showing up with a fat bike for the kids was the Fort Collins, CO builder Oddity Cycles. While their adult bikes were noteworthy, I’ll have to admit that this single speed fat bike for the kids pretty much dominated my attention at their booth.

Oddity Cycles Youth Fat Bike Keep reading →

Your source for cycling news: NPR??

national-public-radio-npr-logo_100318079_mI’ve been out of the habit somewhat lately, but I’ve maintained a list of online sources that I routinely scan through for story ideas for here (JustAnotherCyclist) and VeloReviews. In addition to my list of the usual suspects, I also rely on a few Google Alerts to help throw in some variety.

Every once in awhile I find cycling related post in my Google Alerts emails from National Public Radio (NPR) sources. Usually these are stories about the environmental impacts of cycling, or the apparent dangers of cycling, or stories regarding key cycling related transportation legislation. I was a bit surprised, however, to find an article about a particular pro cyclist. An article that would have fit in just about any cycling magazine, blog or website you can imagine. Keep reading →

The fastest bicycles in the world

Optum Time TrialistSpeed and competition seems to exist in some form in all of us. I’m willing to bet that even the most casual of casual cyclists has, at some time, felt the urge to go faster than someone or something in their vicinity. It seems to be a universal constant. For some, that urge is a lifelong passion, and those folks have come up with amazing ways to make the bicycle go faster and faster. Keep reading →

Softride Solo 700 – an introduction to beam bikes

If you’ve never seen a Softride, or bikes that look like it, you might be wondering what’s going on here.  No, this isn’t a folding bike.  Rather, it belongs to a class of bikes known as beam bikes.

Beam bikes place the seat on a beam that attaches to the frame near the head tube and suspends the rider over the rear wheel without a seat tube or other support.

There actually are a few different manufactures of this frame design, many of them competitive.  They had a growing following in the 1990’s among the time trial and triathlon crowd, up until the UCI got involved.  In 1999, the UCI banned beam bikes – or more specifically, any bike without a seat tube – from competitive events, declaring them an unfair advantage.

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Video of new Look 695 bike

Video posted to Look Cycle TV’s video stream on YouTube shows the new Look 695 – the latest crown jewel in the Look bicycles lineup – in action.  Notes on the video advertise:

695 : technological revolutions that maximize performance.
ZED 2 Crankset: Unequaled stiffness to weight ratio. Unparalleled
performance. The all new LOOK C-Stem and HSC 7 FORK: Unrivalled
stiffness and light weight, adjustability, and precision handling. [sic]

The folks over at CyclingNews.com have some of the technical specs in their article.  You can watch the video for yourself:

Update: On July 27, Bikerumor.com posted more detailed specs of this bike.