San Marco x Team Cinelli Chrome | Concor Saddle

Fixed Gear Girl Taiwan - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 20:31
Team Cinelli Chrome introduces the Concor Racing Saddle in collaboration with Italian saddle maker San Marco.
Categories: Fixed

Winter Grime.

Lockedcog - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 19:53

Not sure what it is about the build up of winter’s nastiness that looks so good but I do love it. When it’s exceptionally wet out I like riding my old Cannondale for the daily runs and it sure gets a nice little makeover. Hard to beat a solid road bike for those typhoon days and dummy drivers who’ve never seen a rain cloud!


Categories: Fixed

In the News: Contador says he could have died in Tour de France crash

VeloNews - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 18:52

Alberto Contador's Tour-ending stage 10 crash was the last of many setbacks that plagued his 2014 Tour de France ambitions. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Talking to BBC Sport at a training camp in Gran Canaria, Alberto Contador said he is not bitter about crashing out of this year’s Tour de France because he knows it could have been worse: he might have died.

The Spanish star broke his right tibia, or shinbone, during the Tour’s 10th stage, and after riding on for nearly 20km, he eventually gave up.

“When I think I was going 77kph at the time and I only broke my tibia, well, on balance, that’s good,” he said.

“Maybe I lost the Tour, but I didn’t lose my life.”


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Categories: News

5 takeaways from the PPB’s latest ‘Bike Theft Trend Report’

BikePortland - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 18:29
Stolen bikes at drug bust in Old Town-14 Over $2 million worth every year.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When it comes to the battle against bike theft, data plays a huge role. Online registration and listing services rely on data to aid in your bike’s recovery, the police use data to determine whether a bike is stolen or not, the public can use data to measure progress (or failure) over time, politicians often use data to determine whether or not a specific issue is worthy of their attention, and so on.

The latest numbers released by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) are definitely worthy of attention. They show that bike theft is costing Portlanders well over $2 million a year and that at least 8 bicycles are stolen in our city every single day.

Just before the recent Bike Theft Summit, the PPB released their latest report (based on statistics from the Police Bureau Data System (PPDS)). Before sharing an analysis, keep in mind that improving the accuracy and availability of these stats is part of our larger effort on bike theft. I also want you to be aware of the following caveats:

  • I’ve noticed a few inconsistencies and I’m still working to clarify a few numbers with the PPB.
  • The 2014 numbers only go through October 31st, so I’ve made conservative estimates to arrive at annual numbers based on the past three full years of data.
  • The PPB estimates cases of bike theft are under-reported by about 15-30%.
  • These stats do not include bikes taken from residences/garages during burglaries (I’m not yet sure why). As many of you know, this is a huge chunk of the problem and we’ll be working on including these cases in a future report.

Even with those caveats, I think we have enough numbers to help us get a clearer picture of the problem. Here are my takeaways:

Bike theft has grown significantly since 2008

The chart below shows the number of reported cases from 2011 through October 2014 (I’ve estimated the total 2014 amount):


Going back further, I’ll use numbers reported by Sarah Mirk in her excellent 2010 article in The Portland Mercury. Mirk reported that there were 2,300 total reported cases in the 21 months between May 2008 and February 2010. That’s an average of 110 bikes reported stolen each month. In their most recent report, the PPB says there were 7,678 bikes reported stolen in the 34 months from January 2012 through October of 2014. That’s an average of 226 stolen bikes per month — a whopping 105% increase.

Based on my own estimates I think it’s possible that by the end of this year we’ll go over 3,000 reported bike thefts for the first time. That’s an average of about 8 bikes every day of the year.

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Are thieves developing a finer taste for bikes? theft-valuesgraph Estimated value of stolen bikes and number of reports.
(Source: PPB)

About half the stolen bikes in the PPDS are given an estimated value. In all of the past four years, bikes with a value of about $500 have accounted for the most thefts. One interesting trend in the numbers is that the average estimated value of a stolen bike has more than doubled since 2011 — from $320 to an estimated $732 in 2014. This could mean that thieves are getting more selective.

Also eye-catching in the latest report is the number of high-end bikes being stolen. Over 16% of them had an estimated value of over $1,000.

The number of bike thefts is close to the number of auto thefts

According to the PPB’s latest bike theft report, from January 2012 through October of this year there have been 7,678 reported bike thefts. One of my goals is to get better data to compare these numbers directly to other, similar crimes. For instance, the PPB’s online CrimeStats tool tells us there were 8,956 cases of “vehicle theft” in the same period. That number includes cars/trucks and motorcycles, which leads me to assume the number of cars stolen in Portland is similar to the number of bikes. We need more data to get a clearer picture of this comparison (I’m also curious about total estimated value of cars stolen versus bikes stolen).

Portland’s $2 million a year (and growing) problem

Using these estimated values, the PPB says the total value of property loss due to bike thefts is over $2 million per year. According to my estimates, that number spiked from just around $1 million in 2012. The huge increase is from a combination of more — and more valuable — bikes being stolen.

Put another way, in the 34 months between January 2012 and October of this year, Portlanders lost an estimated $5,435,750 in stolen bikes. That’s about $160,000 per month.

Downtown/northwest is where the action is theft-map

Over 25% of all reported bike thefts from January 2012 through October of this year happened in the five neighborhoods we typically think of collectively as “downtown.” The Pearl District, Downtown, Old Town/China Town, Northwest, and Goose Hollow accounted for 1,931 of the 7,678 bike thefts in that period. Downtown led the way with 780 thefts while Northwest and the Pearl District had 422 and 411 respectively.

Getting more police resources dedicated to this problem is one of our top priorities. When that happens, we know exactly where we’d like them to focus.


These stats are a good start; but we need to make them even cleaner and more complete in order to really grasp the state of bike theft in Portland. Hopefully someday all the local datasets — Bike Index (which is the same as ours), Project 529, and the PPB’s reports, will all be integrated into one.

Stay tuned to our coverage as we continue to raise the profile of this issue and take more steps forward.

— Download the PPB’s Bicycle Theft Trend Report 2014 here (PDF).

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Categories: Culture

Christmas Books Special

The Bike Show - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 18:13
Jack Thurston is joined by a galaxy of stars from the world of cycling literature to pick over the cream of this year's crop of bike books. Nominating their cycling book of the year are Feargal McKay, Ned Boulting, Herbie Sykes, Daniel Friebe, Tom Southam, Richard Moore, Max Leonard and Emma O'Reilly. Guy Andrews, founding editor of Rouleur magazine, is on hand with his crystal ball to look at what cycling books we might expect in 2015 and years to come.
Categories: Podcasts

Marshman steps down as LEVA executive director

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 17:08

FORT MYERS, Fla. (BRAIN) — After three years with the Light Electric Vehicle Association, including the past year as executive director, Heather Marshman announced she is resigning effective Friday.

"I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with our esteemed members and sponsors in this blossoming industry, and I plan to do whatever I can in the future to continue my support of light electric vehicles," Marshman said in a statement.

LEVA Chairman Ed Benjamin and the board have begun a search for a replacement. Benjamin said he would assume many of Marshman's duties in the interim.
Marshman has been a part of the e-bike industry since 1998, when she began working for Total EV, an early distributor of e-bikes and other electric vehicles. She also worked for WaveCrest Labs, another pioneering e-bike company.

She took over the top position in August 2013 after the death of former executive director Sid Kuropchak.

"Heather has done an outstanding job, during the difficult time of helping LEVA through the loss of co-founder Sid Kuropchak, and later building membership and expanding programs for LEVA," Benjamin said.

Categories: News


Lockedcog - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 17:05

80kmh on a track bike is far from easy and even more so without anyone up front cutting the wind. Leader’s Brian Safa recently took on the challenge descending into Tlayacapan near his current locale in central Mexico. Looks like some rad scenery all anround and I couldn’t agree more with his reasons for picking the spot. Keep up with the cool stuff he does down south over on his bloggy


If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Safa peep this interview on Jambi-Jambi!


Categories: Fixed

New Census data shows zero-car households on the rise in Washington County

BikePortland - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:51
washco no-car map Estimated rates of zero-car households in Washington County.
(Map: Census Reporter – click image for interactive version)

Central Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Beaverton are now as car-lite as many parts of east-central Portland.

More than 15 years after the MAX Blue Line tunneled westward into Washington County, and as the county prepares for investments in an array of bike infrastructure including a neighborhood greenway network, several protected bike lanes and its ever-growing network of multi-use paths, it’s becoming commonplace to live without a car in the county’s central cities.

“If you live in Orenco, it’s right on a transit line. It’s a very dense, walkable neighborhood where you have your amenities right there.”
— Jenny Cadigan, Westside Transportation Alliance

One possible factor: rising prices in central Portland may have pushed more low-income households into the suburbs. The lower your income, the less likely you are to own a car and the likelier you are to walk, bike or ride public transit for transportation.

However, Washington County’s poverty rate didn’t rise last year. It fell. It’s only added one percentage point to its poverty rate (from 9.9 to 10.9 percent) in the last five. So the shift might be that carlessess is becoming more viable for the poorest households. Also, non-poor people might be spending their limited income on other priorities.

“In my opinion, it’s whether you can get to your job easily without a car,” said Jenny Cadigan, executive director of the Westside Transportation Alliance. “If you live in Orenco, it’s right on a transit line. It’s a very dense, walkable neighborhood where you have your amenities right there.”

Whatever the reason, Washington County’s zero-car population is almost certainly rising. Though margins of error mean that we should give or take a percentage point on all these figures, the county’s estimated rate of zero-car households leapt by an entire percentage point from 2012 to 2013 and is up a point and a half since the 2008-2010 census surveys. That’d be the fastest increase in the metro area.

no-car households washco Source: 2013 and 2008-2010 American Community Survey. *2013 data is for one year only and has margins of error of give or take one percentage point. We focus on it in this post because the 2013 jump in estimated low-car households in Washington County was so large.
(Charts: BikePortland)

That’s not all. The sort of households BikePortland likes to call “low-car” seem to be rising fast in the county, too:

washco 1-car 2-person Source: 2013 and 2008-2010 American Community Survey. *2013 data is for one year only and has margins of error of give or take 1 percentage point.

Where are these changes taking place? That’s hard to tell with precision, but the map at the top of this post suggests that the shift is centered around the three swatches of the county that were built before the automotive age and retain their historic street grids.

Ride Along with Justin Gast-11 (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the north side of central Forest Grove, the Census Bureau estimates that 27 percent of households live without cars, give or take 8 percentage points.

Washington County’s shift toward low-car life doesn’t seem to be related to changes in the number of people per household. There have been no clear changes to household size since at least 2007.

“My first instinct is that the county is attracting younger people who are choosing not to own cars,” Cadigan speculated. “I don’t know who Intel and Nike are hiring and attracting. People are choosing to live closer to their jobs.”

How does Washington County compare to other nearby areas? It’s not wildly different. Here are some more maps, all of them published Sunday on the wonderful and based on 2009-2013 census data released this month. Note that the color scales are different on each map; on Multnomah County’s, for example, census tracts of the second-lightest color have zero-car rates comparable to tracts of the darkest color in other counties.

Multnomah County:

multco no-car map <\/scr"+"ipt>"); //]]>-->

Clark County:

">clark county no-car map

Clackamas County:

">clackaco no-car map The 44 percent carlessness rate in southeast Clackamas County is almost certainly a statistical fluke. The area has fewer than 100 households.

The trend here — zero-car rates of about 25 percent of households in the pre-car gridded parts of inner-ring suburbs — isn’t unusual nationally. You can see it in Kenton County, Kentucky, outside of Cincinnati:

">kenton county ky no-car map

And in Clark County, Indiana, outside of Louisville:

clark county in no-car map

One thing different in the above two counties is that they don’t have the further-out hubs of low-car life that are visible in Hillsboro and Forest Grove. But Montgomery County, Maryland, which is even more prosperous and job-rich than Washington County, looks more familiar. As in Washington County, you can see the neighborhoods where commuter rail lines have connected to (and allowed further development of) small historic downtowns:

montgomery county md no-car map

There’s a possible lesson in these maps for those of us interested in reducing suburban dependence on cars. Advocates spend a lot of energy trying to expand bike, transit and walking infrastructure to new parts of suburbs, and that’s an admirable goal. But even in suburbs, low-car and car-free life seems to already be totally plausible in neighborhoods that have two things: densely connected street grids and frequent public transit into the central city. Maybe we should spend as much effort increasing the population capacity of these functioning neighborhoods — including the ability of low-income households to live there — as we spend fighting to improve sprawling ones.

You might also enjoy this recent comment of the week about making Beaverton the country’s #1 bicycling suburb.

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Categories: Culture

Tortoise comes to aid of overturned tortoise

GrindTV - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:50

Tortoise, left, rescues another tortoise after it had been flipped over. Video screen grab

Imagine being a tortoise and somehow finding yourself upside down, on your back, unable to flip yourself over to get back on your feet.

Such a plight befell one tortoise recently in front of a group of schoolchildren at the Taipei Zoo. There the large reptile rested, on its shell, with its stout legs facing skyward, as helpless as a critter can be.

But then something remarkable happened. The accompanying footage, which was captured three weeks ago but began to circulate widely on the Internet this week, shows a second tortoise investigating the situation briefly before playing the hero.

The tortoise companion ultimately positioned itself in a way to get the best leverage, with the kids cheering its every move, and with a single a herculean push, it flipped the overturned tortoise back onto its feet.

Both reptiles the wandered off as if this were no big deal.

The video was uploaded by a YouTube user named AuDi Yu, who was visiting the zoo with his daughter. “The smart companion has saved it,” reads part of the title.

More from GrindTV

Video: Seal falls in love with surfer

Wipeouts don’t discriminate

Surfing Lake Tahoe? Yeah, surf’s up 

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Categories: Culture

Cycling: Unnamed ride has new name - Jackson Clarion Ledger

Google News | Cycling - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:30

Jackson Clarion Ledger

Cycling: Unnamed ride has new name
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Cycling: Unnamed ride has new name. In November, the steering committee for "The Not Yet Named Bike Ride Across Mississippi" launched a contest to give a name to the big ride. After. Loading… Post to Facebook. Cycling: Unnamed ride has new name In ...

Categories: News

Last San Jose Bike Train of 2014

Cyclelicious - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:24

Rain is maybe forecast for Wednesday morning. Conditions on the Guadalupe River Trail are challenging from Santa Clara Street south, and at Montague Expressway. Note this tree, for example, wedged across the entire undercrossing at Montague Expressway.

Shoulda brought my chainsaw. This tree is wedged across the entire trail under Montague  Expressway.

As of this morning, the trail is clear north of Santa Clara Street, past the airport, under Highway 101 through Trimble Road.

So who’s in? I’ll have baked sweets for the good boys and girls who meet me at San Jose Diridon Station or Bel Bacio Coffee at 8 AM.

San Jose Bike Train is a slow pace group ride from downtown San Jose to destinations north (towards the Bay) along the Guadalupe River Trail.

Remember, you can check South Bay trail conditions here, which tracks water hazards but doesn’t work well for debris leftover from the previous day’s flooding.

Categories: Culture

I could have died in Tour - Contador

BBC Sport | Cycling - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:15
Spanish star Alberto Contador on crashing out of the Tour, his glorious return at the Vuelta and his rivalry with Chris Froome.
Categories: News

Public Support for NYC Toll Reform Highest in the Suburbs

Streetsblog New York City - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 15:39

Since March, Move New York has made the case that its traffic reduction and transit funding plan can succeed in Albany. Proposing to raise car tolls in the transit-rich but congested Manhattan core while lowering them in more distant, car-dependent parts of town, Move NY seeks to avoid the political pitfalls that have sunk road pricing in the state capitol before. So how do the voters feel about this plan?

According to poll results Move NY released today, the plan is backed by a plurality of the region’s voters, 45 to 34 percent, with support stronger in the suburbs. When the plan’s benefits are explained, supporters outnumber opponents by a two-to-one margin, the group says [PDF].

 Canadian Pacific/Flickr

Drivers exiting the (free) Queensboro Bridge at Second Avenue in Manhattan. Photo: Canadian Pacific/Flickr

The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group over seven days in November, surveyed 1,003 registered voters in the 12-county MTA service area. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percent, with a greater margin of error in subsamples. Move NY did not share the poll’s exact phrasing or cross tabs, saying they “will have to remain proprietary.”

Move NY is proposing to add tolls on the East River bridges and across 60th Street while lowering charges on outlying MTA crossings. The plan would raise $1.44 billion annually, with three-quarters going to transit capital and operations and the remainder set aside for bridge and highway maintenance. The plan could play a critical role in filling the $15.2 billion gap in the MTA’s capital plan.

Other recent public opinion data on toll reform came from Quinnipiac in June. In that poll, 49 percent of New Yorkers were opposed and 41 percent in favor of a “toll swap” similar to the Move NY plan. (The Q poll mentioned adding East River tolls but did not mention a toll at 60th Street, a key component of the Move New York plan.)

It’s difficult to say how the Move NY proposal stacks up against the 2008 congestion pricing plan in terms of public opinion. When framed as a “charge” to drive in Manhattan below 60th Street, congestion pricing typically polled in the 30s in Quinnipiac polls from that time, but when people were asked what they thought of preventing fare hikes by implementing congestion pricing, support shot up over 60 percent.

But according to the Move NY poll, the fair toll plan now enjoys a distinct advantage: Just 22 percent of the region’s voters back the Bloomberg-era congestion pricing plan in the new poll. When told about the fair tolling concept, backers outnumbered opponents, 45-34, with support strongest among voters in Long Island (52 percent) and the northern suburbs (48 percent). After respondents received more detail about the exact toll changes to each crossing, support rose to 56 percent, with 36 percent opposed.

After voters are told more about the plan’s benefits, support increases to 62 percent with 31 percent opposed. When they are presented with criticisms of Move NY, support drops slightly to 55 percent. The survey also found that, among transportation issues, voters are most concerned about congestion, the cost of tolls, and the condition of roads and highways.

In other cities that have implemented similar road pricing policies, public support always soars after implementation, when people can see the benefits for themselves.

In January, Move NY will come out with a final version of its plan, using the poll results to tweak recommendations. For example, 63 percent of respondents said they were more likely to support the plan if it included additional express bus service, and 69 percent said the same of variable off-peak tolls. (An earlier version of the Move NY plan, developed by “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, included variable tolls. The idea was later discarded in the name of simplicity.)

After the final report is released next month, Move NY will transition from developing its recommendations to advocating for them in Albany as Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature address the MTA capital plan’s $15.2 billion gap and other transportation funding questions.

Asked by a reporter today if voters and legislators would be disinterested in adding tolls to crossings that are currently free to drivers, Move NY’s Alex Matthiessen pushed back. ”Our plan is an antidote to the constant raising of fares and tolls,” he said, pointing to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s report showing that inaction will lead to more debt, paid for by toll and fare hikes. “If you don’t come up with a revenue source, the MTA and Albany don’t have any more options.”

Categories: Culture

Molly Shaffer Van Houweling sets U.S. hour record

VeloNews - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 15:38

Van Houweling beat the U.S. elite women's record, which had stood for over 24 years. Photo: Christopher Jennings

She didn’t start the 2014 season with her eye on the hour record. But that didn’t stop Molly Shaffer Van Houweling from diving into an accelerated track program to take on the U.S. women’s hour record at the end of her summer road season.

Facing a 24-year-old record set in Colorado Springs by Carolyn Donnelly — 44.028 kilometers — Van Houweling rode 44.173km on Sunday at the Velo Sports Center track in Carson, California (formerly the ADT Event Center).

Inspiration struck in early September after she heard that Jens Voigt would attempt the world hour record. As the German rode into the history books on September 18, she set about planning the attempt with help from her husband, Rob, who “likes to geek out about all things bike-related,” she said.

Though Van Houweling’s track experience was limited to a few beginner sessions at the Hellyer velodrome in San Jose, California, she drew on 11 years of road racing to pick up the discipline quickly. The 41-year-old is no stranger to racing the clock, having won the time trial event at 2014 UCI amateur world championships in Slovenia.

The hour effort played to Van Houweling’s strengths, but prior to the record attempt, she enlisted the help of Andy Lakatosh, a 28-time U.S. national champion, to help with one small but crucial track skill: the standing start.

“Up until last week I’d never done it before,” Van Houweling told VeloNews. “I was nervous thinking about it, that I wouldn’t be able to even get my gear up to speed to avoid falling on the corner.

“Hellyer is banked at a gentle 23 degrees,” she wrote in a report for her team, Metromint Cycling. “The Velo Sports Center velodrome is 45 degrees in the corners. My first sight of it on December 6, only eight days before my scheduled attempt at the record, took my breath away. Standing at its edge felt like standing on the lip of a double black diamond ski run having only mastered the bunny slopes.”

Fortunately for Van Houweling, her fears were unfounded, and she rode her way into the U.S. record books, but it wasn’t easy.

“I cannot say that I enjoyed it, although I did try to think as many positive thoughts as I could,” she said. “Lots of friends wished me luck and I tried to think about them out there.”

With seven minutes remaining in the hour, she drew on inspiration from two close friends. “Ellen wanted me to ride like I was on fire, and Beth told me to ‘go at ‘em like a spider monkey,’” Van Houweling wrote. “So at my most desperate moment, an image of a flaming spider monkey sprung into my head, along with good vibrations from the rest of my supportive friends and family. I almost cracked a smile.”

When the gun sounded at the end of 60 minutes, she’d held her lead, which had grown as large as 24 seconds at the halfway mark.

“It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t sound that hard … We’ve all raced for an hour … But about 30 minutes in it occurred to me, ‘Now I see what they’re talking about.’ It’s really pretty miserable.”

Yet perhaps it wasn’t that miserable. Van Houweling hinted that she may return to the track to set the bar even higher. “I would be interested in doing it again, since this was my first attempt, and I don’t have a lot of experience on the track,” she said, “maybe see what I could do at altitude as opposed to sea level.”

For now, it’s back to work for Van Houweling, who is a law professor at University of California, Berkeley. In fact, on Monday morning, the day after setting the record, she hopped in the car and drove back to the Bay Area, where she had an afternoon meeting.

After an hour of misery on the track, it’s likely that most drives or meetings don’t feel quite so long anymore.

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Categories: News

Safer, better cycling race - TODAYonline

Google News | Cycling - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 15:30


Safer, better cycling race
SINGAPORE — Safety is the priority for the organiser of the rebranded 2015 Cycle Asia Singapore — formerly known as the OCBC Cycle Singapore — with next year's mass cycling event to be held from April 10 to 12 at the F1 Pit Building. Announcing the ...
Cycle Asia Singapore to relaunch in Jan 2015 with new safety measuresAsiaOne
Cycle Asia Singapore 2015 to feature enhancements, registration opens Jan 15The Straits Times

all 6 news articles »
Categories: News

Pima County Holds Better Sidewalks Hostage to Get a Road Expansion

Streetsblog New York City - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 15:04

 Jude Ignacio and Gerardine Vargas via ## Leadership Forum##

Pima County insists on widening Broadway Boulevard, whether Tucson wants it or not. Photo: Jude Ignacio and Gerardine Vargas via Preservation Leadership Forum

West of downtown Tucson, Arizona, the city runs up against the interstate first and then the mountains, cutting off development. But east of downtown, the city sprawls on for miles. The Sunshine Mile, a shopping and dining corridor centered on Broadway Boulevard, stretches two miles just east of downtown, between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road.

Pima County and its Regional Transportation Authority are pushing the city to widen Broadway for the length of the Sunshine Mile. And they’re threatening to withhold money for bringing the sidewalks into compliance with the Americans for Disabilities Act until Tucson complies.

The long and sordid story begins in the mid-1980s, when engineers predicted that traffic on Broadway would skyrocket from about 35,000 vehicles per day to 56,000 by 2005. To prepare for that veritable onslaught, planners concocted a scheme that involved widening Broadway from less than 100 feet to 150 feet.

The projections never came to pass. Traffic on Broadway has never exceeded 45,000 cars a day, according to Laura Tabili of the Broadway Coalition, which is fighting the road widening. In line with the rest of the country, traffic has actually been declining for the last 10 years. The most recent daily traffic counts on Broadway are now down below 35,000, less than in 1987, and in general the volume is only that high east of the target area.

Traffic volumes have never even come close to the 56,000 AADT projected for 2005.

Traffic volumes have never even come close to the 56,000 AADT projected for 2005. Image via Colby Henley, Rincon Heights Neighborhood Association

But the engineering fantasies of the 1980s still made it into a 2006 ballot initiative, in which Pima County residents voted in favor of a half-cent sales tax to pay for the RTA’s 20-year plan. (Pima is the only county in the RTA’s jurisdiction.) Project number 17 on that plan was the widening of Broadway Boulevard, in accordance with 1987 projections that had already been proven wrong.

Currently, Broadway has two travel lanes in each direction plus a center turning lane, for a total of five. Some intersections also have right-turn lanes. The 1987 plan would have widened that two-mile stretch of Broadway to eight motor vehicle lanes, including dedicated bus lanes. Wider bike lanes and sidewalks were also part of that plan.

Subsequent models found no advantage whatsoever to the eight-lane design, so most of the conversation now centers on a six-lane option. It’s still up in the air whether that would include two dedicated bus lanes and how wide the bike lanes and sidewalks would be.

One thing that’s not in dispute is that the Sunshine Mile needs better sidewalks. Even the Justice Department has warned the city that it needs to bring its sidewalks into ADA compliance. Today, sidewalks are absent altogether in some places and in others are only three or four feet wide, with no wheelchair ramps and too many parking lot curb cuts to meet ADA standards.

Mary Durham Pflibsen chairs the Citizens Task Force, which the City Council charged with settling on and recommending a final design. She says inviting sidewalks and safe bicycle lanes will bring more people into the area, but they have a long way to go to get to “inviting” and “safe.”

“Sometimes there’s a sidewalk but there’s a light pole in the middle of it,” said. “It’s not really very navigable for wheelchairs. We have two subsidized housing [developments] that are primarily elderly and disabled residents, and most of them don’t have cars, so you see people with walkers and wheelchairs out there all the time.”

“We would like to well exceed ADA compliance,” Pflibsen said.

But the county and the RTA took it too far. The engineers over-designed the road to the extent that bike lanes, sidewalks, and landscaping would together take up 46 feet of the right-of-way, necessitating the teardown of many neighboring properties — 15 of which appear on the National Register of Historic Places, with 21 more eligible for the list — while adding a traffic lane. In the end, this six-lane design was wider than the eight-lane option. The budget could top $71 million.

When neighbors balked, the engineers came back with a sidewalk-only option — that widened the sidewalks to 12 feet and cost $22 million. The ADA minimum width for sidewalks is three feet. Tabili estimates that five-foot sidewalks — which wouldn’t require more land acquisition — would cost no more than $4 million. Of the $22 million quoted for the engineers’ design, $18.5 million is for acquisition and demolition.

“The inflated price of the ADA sidewalks is frightening the city into capitulating to the widening to get the money,” Tabili said. “The city of Tucson does not know it, but they probably don’t need the county’s money to upgrade the sidewalks.”

Tabili sees it as “bullying” by Pima County and the RTA. If the city wants to widen the sidewalks but not the road, it will have to pay for it alone — and pay back $7 million the RTA has already spent for acquisition and design. But throw in some more space for cars and voilà! – Tucson gets the money from the 2006 RTA ballot initiative, plus some county money thrown in. ”In order to get the money from the county that was promised for the road widening, they’re prepared to sacrifice central Tucson neighborhoods,” Tabili said.

This diagram shows the properties at risk on just one segment of Broadway.

Properties at risk on just one segment of Broadway.

The city of the Tucson technically has the power to decide on the final design, says Kylie Walzak of Tucson’s Living Streets Alliance. “But the RTA and Pima County have all the money,” she said, “and their primary concern is vehicle capacity.”

“I think everyone — no matter what their vision for the final roadway is — wants us to be a destination,” Pflibsen said. “We want a strong sense of place, full of thriving local businesses. What hasn’t been decided yet is how can we best do that without threatening historic properties?”

Many properties along the corridor have already fallen into neglect as owners anticipate the road widening project, Tabili said.

There are now several designs floating around, and the Citizens Task Force has been unable to reach consensus.

In October, the 13-member task force did a straw poll, showing a majority in favor of the six-lane design, but with some dissent. Two members would only support it if it included dedicated transit lanes from day one, and one — Pflibsen — refused to support six lanes in any configuration since all the designs on the table would widen the right-of-way. Another dissenter vehemently opposed even the consideration of transit lanes.

“Our fear is that the city and the RTA are dangling fancy transit improvements to appease community criticisms of the resulting demolitions,” said Walzak. “But they won’t go on record committing to dedicated transit lanes; instead they offer vague plans for future high capacity transit like BRT or streetcar when they have no funding for these improvements.”

The task force sent the City Council both the majority report and the dissenting views, letting the Council know they were stuck. Although the task force hadn’t meant for the document to indicate any final decision, and although the Council meeting was reportedly a “study session,” in which votes are not supposed to be taken, the Council ended up voting to approve the expansion to “six lanes including transit,” without clearly specifying what that transit might include. There was no vote on any specific alignment, though, so the design is still up in the air. Importantly, the question of dedicating two lanes to transit remains unsettled.

Last week, the task force issued — by consensus — a one-page document of recommendations, but they’re still vague and don’t move any closer to a final design. The half-hearted recommendations call for things like “narrow[ing] the roadway where possible to minimize impact” and “manag[ing] acquisitions to minimize costs and derelict properties.”

Plans are expected to be finalized by the the city this spring.

Categories: Culture

So Cal Winter Gear: Specialized

Twenty Nine Inches - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:59

We reached out to a few vendors, those that had a complete line of clothing for pretty much all typical cycling conditions that would allow a near ‘one stop shopping’ experience, to see what they would put together to outfit an MTB rider under a certain set of Fall through Winter conditions (my winter conditions, to be exact).  In So Cal we get very little rain and when we do, we just wait a day or so to avoid the clay soil and the skies clear up.  But things happen out there on trail and having something in the pack that sheds a bit of water can be really helpful.  Temps may get into the 30s, but typically we are riding from the 40s to the 60s, especially during the night riding season when we get the most bang for our riding buck by hitting the trails after work and after sunset.  We do get a lot of wind.  And we typically climb for long periods of time, then descend.  So good layering, moderate temp ratings with no heavy focus on H20, but an ability to fend off wind is a big plus.  Oh yeah.  One more thing.  I like bib-knickers.  So those were on my wish list – GrannyGear.


Dry under the Deflect H2O hooded jacket. I am happier than I look.

We begin with Specialized.

I was sent the following:

  • Merino base layer SS in size LG.  $70.00  Featuring VaporRize® moisture transfer merino wool blend fabric, the fit is form-fitting as a base layer should be.  Wool, especially the Merino blends, are simply amazing for the combo of warmth, weight, and overall livability.
  • Tall Winter Wool Sock 74, size LG. $20.00  Moisture transfer merino wool blend yarns make this a super snuggly sock to slip on.  My first thought was “nice socks”.
  • Deflect H2O Expert Mtn Active Shell Jacket, size LG.  $200.00   Gore® WINDSTOPPER® Active Shell wind/water-resistant and breathable woven fabric with mesh lining, many techy features like inner storage back pockets and a hood have this looking like a very nice piece of gear.  And its green.  Very green.
  • Deflect H2O Comp Mtn Short, size Med.  $90.00  Deflect™ 2.5 layer wind/water-resistant and breathable woven fabric and water tight zippers have this looking like a short for sloppy, wet conditions.
  • Therminal Mtn 3/4 Bib Tights with SWAT, size Med.  $110.00  Therminal™ insulating brushed-back fleece fabric, a wind front panel over the chamois front, and integrated storage sets this apart from any other bib-short or knicker I have seen.
  • Therminal Mtn Jersey LS, size LG.  $120.00  Therminal™ insulating brushed-back fleece fabric and an integrated hood have this looking like a tech-hoodie, suitable for trail and around town wear.
  • Atlas XC Pro Jersey SS, size LG.  $98.00  VaporRize™ moisture transfer knit fabrics and laser perforated venting with a simple look have this ready for layering duties.
  • Lodown Glove, size LG.  $25.00.  Not what I would call a winter glove, but that might be a good thing.

“Nice socks!” is what I thought when I slipped on those Merino wool Tall Socks.  Man…I could just walk around the house in those, sipping coffee and looking out at the wet day.  But I was going riding, making the most of an opportunity to ride in between rain storms before it really rolled in and shut the trails down.  I was wearing the Merino base T, the socks of course (in normal riding shoes), the Therminal SWAT knickers, a set of Merino arm warmers from my kit bag, the Deflect jacket, and a set of mid weight gloves.  It was a warmish storm so temps were in the mid to high 50s but dropping. Light sprinkling soon turned to steady light rain so it was a good test of what I was wearing.  The next time out I did some hill intervals to work up a good sweat, then rode a few miles of 25mph+ downhill on pavement to see how some of the gear treated me in direct wind and with a good lather going, simulating the typical binge and purge style of riding we see here…climb, climb, climb, then drop like a rock.  I also did a road ride into a headwind for a few hours to see how that worked out for the Therminal tights, etc, then mixed in some other trail rides, blending the new gear with staple items from my closet or gear bag to see how it all worked by itself and together with other things I had.  I think I have a pretty good idea of how the products perform in the conditions I used them in and where they might or might not excel.  So, in no particular order…

Merino Base and Tall Socks – Wow, these are winners.  As long as wool does not make you feel itchy, and the new blends are really good for not doing that, then you can forget about those old backpacking socks you had in high school that stretched out and felt like you were wearing burlap.  The base T only once made me feel a bit itchy on the first wearing during heavy perspiration, but never again during the times I wore it.  It was a great combo of warmth and wicking ability and I never felt clammy or ‘wet’ in it.  Not only that, after 4 wearings and many hours of riding, it has zero body odor to it.  Wool is perfect for use on bikepacking or touring trips if for nothing else than lack of stink.  The socks held up well for me, keeping me pretty darn warn even when wet on that rain ride when I wore them with regular cycling shoes.  I get cold toes by just looking at ice cubes, so warm socks for me are a big deal.  They have a moderate thickness, more than a normal sock by quite a bit, but not enough to require a larger shoe size to avoid circulation issues, unless your shoes are already quite tight.  Very nice.  Expect the base to fit very snug as it should.  You want that right against your skin to transfer moisture out and keep warmth in.  Total winners.

merino wool basesocks

jacketDeflect H2O Expert Mtn Active Shell Jacket –  The claims of breathability in a piece of winter gear always seem to be overstated in my experience and that goes for this jacket as well.  Not saying it is anything like a plastic tarp, and this is better than many I have worn, but I still found it to heat up in there when climbing even though the mesh liner kept it from feeling clammy against my skin.  Frankly, I think they, they being all the makers of gear like this, overstate this claim of breathability and I am not sure how that is even rated/measured.  I have not ridden some of the super high-end jackets that claim to be the best at this, but I find that soft shell garments are better for letting you deal with steam from high efforts.  Now, with that said, I still find this to be a very well done jacket and a great core piece of gear for any MTB rider.  The cut is just right…snug enough to keep warmth close to you but loose enough to allow for a couple of layers underneath.  Long arms and a long tail section; the hood that has enough ‘give’ to be worn under a helmet yet allow for head turning, etc, let the jacket roll with whatever position I had myself into on trail.  Nice features abound.  The main zipper finishes off-center and adds a fleecy patch so the chin stays un-bothered.  The hood has a drawstring if the weather really closes in and a tiny visor too.  At the back of the right hip is a zippered access that allows you to reach the three small mesh storage pockets in the back of the jacket, each with a  flap closure to keep things in there.  You also could access jersey pockets and/or SWAT storage that way.  Drawstring waist adjustment and velcro wrist closures keep it battened down.  I wore it in an hour of light rain and it never let anything through.  I wore it on a 25+ mph plunge fresh off some hill repeats and never felt a hint of wind or cold creeping through to my soaked jersey so the Gore Windstopper did just that…stopped the wind from chilling me down.  This would be welcome in most any MTB riders hydration pack or gear bag.  I even love the color.

Below are pics showing the zipped access to the inner mesh back pockets and the nice collar set-up.



shortsDeflect H2O Comp Mtn short – When I first looked at this, I thought “this would be killer for sloppy days on trail”, something we have little of.  Sealed zippers and coated panels make this thing into a raincoat for your butt.  The waist has a velcro/elastic strap for sizing adjustments.   What I did notice to the negative was a couple of things.  The cut is a bit odd.  The legs are long which is good, but even when I first put it on and was walking around the house, I could feel restriction at the top of the knee/thigh with every step and doing a knee raise was met with a big pull across the leg warmers as the fabric of the short drug over the knee.  This continued on trail and was very annoying.  As well, on one ride where it was not wet and only somewhat cold, I wore just a meshy short liner under it and found it had built up a lot of moisture in there, soaking the liner much more than the ride really called for.  Those things make me want to wear this only when the trail conditions require a sealed up short that is a barrier between me and wet grunge.  I can live with the so-so breathability under those conditions, but the cut is a bummer.  Still, if it was a nasty day, I would wear it anyway.  We just do not have much of that where I live, but I bet some parts of the country would love this garment.

hoodieTherminal Mtn Jersey – A techy hoodie, perhaps?  The fabric in this is delightfully fleecy-snuggly.  Yes, I said snuggly.  Again. The fit is semi-loose, tighter in the arms, which are cut long and have thumb-holes at the ends to keep them in place.  I found this jersey to be a slight bit of a miss for me, although under the right circumstances maybe not so.  It breathes well, being that it has no shell or windproof type build, so that is good.  It also does a really good job of transferring sweat to the outside of the garment, keeping it feeling dry against your skin.  I had it hanging up after a good ride where I was pretty damp afterwards from sweat.  Running my hand outside the Therminal jersey, I could feel wet-ness.  Doing the same on the inside showed it was totally dry.  Impressive.  It is thick enough to buffer the cold air under most pedaling speeds, but when the pace picks up or the cold air hits, the air moves through it enough to either cool nicely or chill badly, depending on the situation.  Could we have a bit more wind resistance toward the front of this jersey?  Obviously a shell over it would fix that, and that would be a very warm combo.  A base, this jersey, and the Deflect jacket over it would be a really toasty deal and could be great for rides into the 30s.  I also think the hood is not all that useful for trail riding, unlike the thin and water fast one on the jacket.  Now here is a thought…add a snap to that hood that allows me to bring it around my neck like a balaclava OR use it as a hood if’n I wanna’ and you would have something there.  I would toss my cash at the version of this jersey that is a bit more sleek, the Therminal LS Jersey.  Now, that does not mean the Therminal Mtn Jersey sucks…actually it is quite nice and it would be great on its own for a bit more causal trail ride or something where speeds were slower, like maybe a Fat Bike snow ride in mild winter conditions where the warmth and ability to move moisture would be more of a concern than how it feels on a fast downhill.  It would be great for casual rides that included a trip to town as it looks pretty ‘normal’ and has that hoodie thing going on.  And as I said, in combo with a shell for the faster sections of the ride, it would be a good, heavy middle layer and I would not be surprised if that is the way I use it later on this year.

knickersTherminal SWAT Knickers –  OK…I love knickers.  Always have since back in the day when I bought a set of Boure’ knickers that I wore till they just fell apart years later.  I like how they cover the knee and yet do not require the full commitment that tights do.  Yes, you can do the same thing with knee warmers and regular shorts, but that has nowhere near the style statement that knickers bring to the trail.  They are the handlebar mustaches of cycling pantaloons.  These Therminal SWAT knickers are very nice, what with panels of fleecy-ness in the front along with a wind panel at the chamois front, and that felt very good when riding into the cold.  What at first pedal stroke felt like they would be too thin and light, after I had ridden a while kept me much warmer that I would have thought.  It seems that the Therminal panels do well to retain body warmth.  I have ridden in them from the mid 40s to the mid 60s and they were decent at the lower temps as long as I was generating some body heat and only were just a bit warm at the high end of that temp range. They were even decent when wet although that would have only gone so far.  Wearing these under baggies would be quite warm, although I never used them that way as it was never that cold when I was riding.  I also have had very good luck with the better Specialized chamois and these have been good so far on the longest ride, that being 5 hours.  I even used them on a road bike ride and they did a great job of keeping me well protected during a long slog into a headwind on a cooler day.  However, keep in mind that if the day gets hotter, they are ‘knee warmers’ that do not come off.  SWAT is very interesting:  SWAT (Storage, Water, Air, Tools) technology incorporates bikes, riders, and equipment by putting all necessities in a clean, sleek, and aerodynamic location that’s easy to access.  On the trail rides, at first I had not used it as I always have a hydration pack.  But on the road ride, I stuffed a Lezyne wallet dealie with my car keys and phone into the center pocket of the SWAT bib and used the two side-of-the-thigh sewn in pockets for carrying a route sheet and some Shot Blocks.  That was pretty cool.  I bet the gravel guys would love this as they typically eschew packs of any kind and often wear double jerseys  just to add on-the-body storage.  Later, on another MTB ride, I was using the left side SWAT interior pocket to keep my cell phone in, but this time I was stopping and taking lots of trail pics.  I found that, with the long fingered Lo Down gloves on, that inserting my phone in there required more dexterity than I could repeatably demonstrate.  I just could not feel the opening in the mesh pocket, even when standing still.  Regardless of that it is nice out of the box thinking here Specialized, and the Therminal SWAT bib knicker is a keeper.

Atlas SS Jersey and Low Down gloves –  The Atlas jersey is a good item in the layering system and has a semi-relaxed cut, no roadie style rear pockets, etc.  It really is a simple item with some high techy fabric that feels nicely stretchy and seems to work really well as a layering system, although not a critical one for the way I used it.  It did the job, looked nicely mountain bikey with the cut and color, and just did its job.  The Low Down gloves were good to see in the box of goodies.  I had been using them a lot last spring when I crashed in them and killed them.  They have no padding in the palm (which I prefer), pre-curved fingers, and a wrist closure.  I also was able to operate a touch screen phone in them.  Obviously not a winter glove, they are a good ‘tweener’ glove where the back of the hand and fingers has enough thickness to the meshy fabric to keep you warm.  I typically carry a glove like this to change into later after the morning chill has given way a bit, or, begin in it for the night ride and change to the warmer glove later for the descent.  I also like to have a glove like this for long climbs where I am generating enough heat to soak a warmer glove in sweat, something that works against you later on when you really would like a dry, warm winter glove.  Along with the Answer Products Fall Line XC gloves, which are great in the same conditions but not as durable as the Low Down, these are a good choice for two season riding out in SO Cal….Fall and Spring…and maybe a bit more.  A really good ‘core item’ glove and welcome in the gear bag.

Atlas jersey lo down glove


Final thoughts:  With the wide selection of clothing that Specialized has and the support of the dealer network (bike shops), they make it pretty easy to put together a kit for most any cycling endeavor.  My fav of the test box-o-gear?  Well I think, if I had to pick one thing, that the Deflect H2O Expert Mtn Active Shell Jacket would have to be on the top podium step.  Not as stuff-able as some more windbreaker-ish options out there (it does not pack down really small), it is the type of jacket that would be just what you want in your pack when the weather closes in and gets dicey and is a level above the typical windbreaker or shell.   The reasonable amount of water resistance and the excellent wind stopping fabric, along with the ability to close the jacket up around you would make it a welcome item to crawl into during a ride.  Smartly done and useful.  But then there were those socks…they were really nice socks.  Hmmmm….I may have to pick two favorite things.



Note: Specialized sent over this winter clothing selection at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches for test/review. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

Twenty Nine Inches - 29er Bike Reviews, Rumors and News

Categories: Free

Pair sets world record living underwater for 73 days

GrindTV - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:54
living underwater

Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain emerge after living underwater for 73 days. Photo courtesy of Roane State Community College

In the name of ocean conservation and education, two professors from Roane State Community College set a world record for living underwater for 73 days, 2 hours and 34 minutes in the Florida Keys, according to the school.

Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain, hands clasped, slowly emerged from the water Monday and high-fived as they broke the record set by Richard Presley, who spent 69 days, 19 minutes living underwater in 1992 in the same Jules’ Undersea Lodge used by the professors.

Fain also shattered the world record for a female living underwater, breaking the 14-day mark set in 1970 by scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle.

“There is a sun,” Cantrell said after taking off his mask. “I forgot all about that.”

“It’s warm,” Fain said.

Reuters has the story with some footage of the pair living underwater:

Cantrell and Fain set out to educate the public about ocean conservation, to inspire young people’s interest in science and to make history. They succeeded on all fronts.

“Going in, we had goals that we wanted to accomplish,” Cantrell said. “At the end of 73 days, I think we’ve exceeded those goals. We’ve reached a lot of people. Now the challenge for us is to carry that forward.”

Added Fain, “I really hope that people take away from this that the oceans are something that we need to protect. We need to learn more about the oceans and how they work.”

Bruce Cantrell

While living underwater, Bruce Cantrell taught an online course. Photo is a screen grab from the video

The Jules’ Undersea Lodge is a hotel open to the public in Key Largo, Florida. Described as cottage-sized, it sits 25 feet below the surface and features 42-inch round windows, beds, hot showers, a kitchen, books, music, and videos.

Cantrell and Fain used the underwater hotel as a classroom, hosting nine episodes of an online lecture series titled “Classroom Under the Sea” and conducting video chats with students across the country and around the world.

The video content posted on the Classroom Under the Sea project has been viewed on YouTube in 124 countries.

Presley was on hand Monday to congratulate the professors on besting his record.

Richard Presley

Richard Presley, the previous record-holder for time spent living underwater, congratulated the professors for breaking his world record. Photo courtesy of Roane State Community College

“It’s exciting to see the focus more on education and using technology to involve more students,” Presley said. “We didn’t have that technology in ’92.”

While living underwater, Cantrell also taught a college-credit course—Biology 2600: Living and Working Under the Sea—for Roane State students.

Cantrell and Fain received dozens of letters from students during the project, making it all worthwhile.

“When you start hearing back from these students, and they’re telling you, ‘This is so cool’ and ‘What’s it like living underwater?’ you really feel like you are reaching your goals,” Fain said. “You feel like you are making a big difference in their lives. We brought a whole new world to some of these kids.”

h/t to The Washington Post 

Follow David Strege on Facebook 

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Categories: Culture

Technical FAQ: Tubular gluing and taping, cold-weather braking and tire changing

VeloNews - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 13:59

Lennard Zinn recommends one layer of Belgian tape and four layers of glue when mounting tubular tires. Photo: Lennard Zinn |

Dear Lennard,
My shop recently glued up a set of Clement MXPs for me using Tufo Tape and layers of glue. I’ve since been doing some research and found that there’s a bunch of negative reviews about this method, but most seem to reference Tufo Extreme and Tufo Regular tape. It seems Tufo has updated their tape since most of these reviews with just a general Road tape option. I’ve found one review on this presumed newer tape that’s favorable but no other information.

Have you heard any feedback on Tufo Tape and CX recently?
— Logan

Dear Logan,
I checked with Tufo, and the response I received was, “no changes, one tape for road, one tape for MTB, no tape for CX.”

I have tried what your shop did, and I can say that Tufo road tape didn’t work adequately for that application. I used a combination of both Tufo Extreme and Tufo standard road tape and glue about five years ago on a number of cyclocross wheels, and all of them either rolled off in races or would have if I hadn’t re-glued them. I did roll three of them in races before I had the sense to pull them all off. The Tufo tape delaminated (it’s a multi-layer tape), and the tires came off incredibly easily. It’s possible that the glue caused the tape to delaminate, but I know that adhesion without glue is also insufficient for CX with Tufo road tape. I recommend you have the shop re-glue those tires; at least pull one off to see what the adhesion is like before you attempt racing on the other one.

I’ve also tried a combination of Velox Jantex tubular gluing tape and layers of glue, and that also didn’t keep the tires on. I rolled three of those in races, too, before I had the sense to pull them all off.

I only recommend gluing CX tires with’s “Belgian Tape.” Here’s the method, and it also mentions my preliminary experience with Tufo tape and glue in CX; unfortunately, the photos showing the gluing process as well as the delaminated Tufo tape were not archived with the article.
— Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I live in Minneapolis, and with all the new (sort of) road bikes with disc brakes, larger tire clearances and fender mounting, I’m considering a wet/cold weather commuting bike. My question also pertains to fat bikes, which are very common up here.

I’ve looked all over the web, called a few manufacturers, and no one seems to have good information about cold weather performance of disc brakes, whether operating or storage. I’ve seen mention that mineral oil should be stored at room temperature, but that’s very generic advice, and that DOT fluid will absorb moisture.

What’s best in the cold — mineral oil, DOT fluid, cable, or cable/hydraulic with mineral oil (TRP HY/RD)?
— Greg

Dear Greg,
Since hydraulic disc brakes work so much better than anything else in warm and down to quite cold weather, and since there aren’t too many days each year that the temperatures in Minneapolis get down to -10F or colder, I’d still use hydraulic discs. Given that the viscosity of mineral oil and DOT fluid is about the same to start with, I’m willing to bet that the added sluggishness both of them develop in deep cold will be similar.

Below are some answers from some diehard winter riders.
― Lennard

From an any-weather rider in Winnipeg:
“I like mechanical disks for really cold weather, especially if you store your bike indoors. A warm rim planted into soft snow will instantly render rim brakes useless, as the snow melts onto the rim and freezes again. That said, I rode with rim brakes for years, and got by okay. I recently rode with a guy on expensive hydraulic brakes in minus 25C (-13F). He said they worked, but were a little slow. I would stick with less expensive, more robust cables.”
— Andrew

From a dedicated New Hampshire fat-bike snow rider:
“I really have never had an issue with my hydro discs in the winter, aside from sometimes (and this is only an Avid issue) some howling. That being said, I recently switched to the new SRAM centerline rotors and they are very quiet so far.

I also have always run the organic pads instead of sintered. They wear faster, but have much better performance right out of the box.

I personally love my Avid Trail 9 brakes, but next time around I’ll be switching up to the new SRAM Guide brakes.”
— Kris

Dear Lennard,
I have a question for you about road tubeless tires. I was doing my Milano-Sanremo impression yesterday by riding in snowy weather, when I flatted my rear tire. It’s a Hutchinson Fusion tubeless, on a Bontrager race 29 tubeless wheel, on my CX bike. I went to put a tube in, but spent 30 minutes in the cold just trying to get the tire off with no success. Eventually I had to call a cab before hypothermia set in.

In my warm living room this morning, the tire comes off by hand in 10 seconds. I’m assuming the cold yesterday (~34F) shrunk the bead, locking it in super tight? But that’s not really workable if I can’t change the tire in an emergency. Is there a magical tool I don’t know about for cold weather removal, or do I have to switch to clinchers for the winter?
— Alex

Dear Alex,
I think the answer is that there is no such magical tool. I asked a bunch of tubeless riders, including Stan of Stan’s NoTubes itself, and they all said they hadn’t run into that before. So I don’t imagine a tool exists for something that not many people run into. I can’t personally remember changing a tubeless tire at freezing temperatures.

I’m assuming that you meant “around 34F” (i.e., just above freezing) and not “-34F”, when you wrote “~34F.” But if you actually meant you were trying to change a tire at 34 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, then I think there’s a deeper issue here, in addition to the fact that the sealant would be frozen.

If you ride above the freezing point, and even within a few degrees below it, you’re still less likely to have a flat if you are running tubeless tires with sealant than if you’re running tubes. So I’d still tend to stick to tubeless tires for their reliability and chalk this one up as a one-off that you probably won’t ever have to face again.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I have Shimano shoes with hard/slippery plastic bottoms and Look cleats with hard plastic bottoms. No matter how much I tighten the screws (I am strong) they slip after five or six spin classes.

I have tried Loctite blue and red they still slip out of my desired position. I weight 185lbs and spin pretty hard.
— B.

Dear B.,
Try gluing a piece of sandpaper, rough side out, to the bottom of the cleat; I suggest using contact cement (put it on both surfaces, allow them to dry, then stick them together). Once it’s glued on, trim around the cleat and in the cleat holes with a razor knife. The sandpaper will dig into the hard shoe sole and keep it from slipping.

I also wonder if Park Tool’s SAC-2 SuperGrip Carbon and Alloy Assembly Compound might work. This stuff is amazing at how it makes a carbon seatpost that constantly slipped down become super difficult to pull out of the frame.
― Lennard

The post Technical FAQ: Tubular gluing and taping, cold-weather braking and tire changing appeared first on

Categories: News

Should I wash my bike?

Cyclelicious - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 13:57

This is my bike this morning. It’s filthy with mud from my cyclocross skills drills commute this morning.

Muddy bike.  #commute #cycling #sanjose

The trails I use for my commute will remain muddy and debris laden through the rest of this week, with more rain likely this afternoon, and possible through Wednesday afternoon.

As an apartment dweller it’s kind of a pain to clean this bike — I can’t just hose it down in the yard, since I have neither a yard or a hose. All of this gritty debris in the bike can’t be good for the drivetrain.

Should I wash it now? Or should I wait until the rain is over?

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