Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello everyone!  I'd like to wish everyone safe and festive Thanksgiving (Americans and non-Americans alike).  It's a rather scorching 82 degrees F (about 28 C) here in Tucson and it feels like it's too hot to bike (sorry for those of you with snow)!  But I toughed it out today...


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Brompton Saddle Height Insert Fitting

Brompton has released a video showing how to install a Saddle Height Insert Fitting.  This fitting limits the seat post height a maximum extension to the height that you prefer.  No more guessing when you pull your seat up!

I've had a prototype of this for since BUSC, but just got around to installing it today.

Installation was pretty easy, as shown in the video.  You do have to make sure that the fitting "bottoms out" on that back slot.  And when you are cutting the fitting, err on the short side (cutting off less material).  You can always go back and cut another section off.

Fitting is bottomed out

There are a couple of things to note:
  • You will still have to make sure that your saddle is pointed straight forward.
  • If you share the Brompton, you will have to set the insert for the higher (taller) position.  Either that, or buy another Bromtpon!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

100,000 pageviews!

Just a quick post expressing my gratitude for everyone's visits to this site.  I plan to continue providing interesting content for a while.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Interbike 2014 roundup

I just came back from Interbike 2014 last week in Las Vegas.  I'm going to break up my observations into three sections: Brompton, Tannus Tires and overall observations.

The big news this year is the addition of new colors, which will replace some of the current colors.  Admittedly, these new colors look just slightly different from the colors they will replace.

Lime green, which I think replaces yellow or maybe Apple green

Lagoon Blue, replacing Arctic Blue

Berry Crush, replacing Claret

Lagoon blue main frame with orange extremities
Cherry Blossom, replacing hot pink

Vanilla main frame, replacing desert sand.  The extremities are  Turkish  green.
The MetroGnome crew admiring the new colors
 Damn, I thought I had a picture of Tempest blue, which will be replacing Cobalt blue.  Oh well, there's a good one here.  I hope I got all the new and replaced colors correct... if not, let me know in the comments.

Also, there will be an option to have black handlebars (except for the P-type), seat post, and cranks on select color schemes.  I think the current selected color schemes are lime, white, lagoon blue, and berry crush (although these are subject to change).

Lime green with blacked out extremities

Tannus Tires
I was able to ride a prototype formulation of Tannus tire polymer (tentatively dubbed Aither 2.0) on a Brompton, and I must say I was very impressed.  Although there is still a touch of dead feeling to it, it feels much closer to a tubed tire, and there is much less rolling resistance.  The tire will be designed  specifically to fit a Brompton and is about 90% developed, targeting final release in early 2015.  The new tire will be available in black, and perhaps only black (which would be fine by me).

Tannus Tires with their current generation of tires.

Overall Observations
There was a big push to electric bicycles this year.  There were at least a dozen that were available for demo rides outside, and a few more inside on display.  They were all fun to ride, from the top of the line Stromer ST2 to the more frugal folding e-Joe Epik.  I was particularly impressed with e-Joes... they got all the basics right (throttle controlled and/or pedal assisted), costs under $1350 for the base model, and were a hoot to ride.  I can really see how these electric bikes could get a lot more of the casual riders and potential commuters out on the road.  I'm looking forward to getting my ShareRoller soon.

Electric e-Joe
Yeah, it doesn't fold like a Brompton...but it's still fun to ride!
I also noticed more folders this year.  However, they were mostly cheap copies of Dahon / Tern models.  Dahon had a model with a Rohloff hub as well as a 30th anniversary edition which looked very nice (and should be at over $5000 each).  Tern had some minor updates, one of which was adding a custom BionX kit.  I had a go on this one also and it was fun.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New colors due for Brompton in 2015

It appears that Brompton will be producing some new colors for the 2015 model year.  I haven't seen them in person yet, but Portapedal has some pictures up here.  They really don't look to drastically different from the colors they will replace, but it's a nice change to have nonetheless.

I'll be at Interbike next week and hopefully will be able to see these new colors in person.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tannus tires saves the day

A knarly nail tried to ruin my ride today... my Tannus flat-proof tire wasn't having it.

Tannus tires are available in the US through MetroGnome Music and Cycle to Go.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bromptons in the (virtual) wild.

I love it when I randomly see Bromptons, especially at non-Brompton specific events or websites.  One such case I recently saw was Charlie Sorrel from Cult of Mac.   For a guy who writes for a Mac website, he sure does like to write about lots of other cool non-Apple stuff.

Of course one of the things he raves about are Brommies.  While there are a few things that he thinks can be changed, overall he says it would be the bike he would keep if he could only have one.

In addition to a post solely about Bromptons, Charlie also wrote a post about traveling light.  In that post, Charlie considers his Brompton as his main transportation mode of choice for excursions lasting upwards of two weeks.  The post also contains lots of excellent advice in terms of the types of clothes to pack  (merino wool trumps all) and stuff like gadgets and chargers.

Here are the links to Charlie's posts:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

BUCDC 2014 me!

Here's a video that I finally finished from the BUCDC footage that I had.  This is the first time that I've really done some serious video editing... I probably had over an hour and a half of footage to try to pare down to under 3 minutes.  The GoPro died somewhere close to the end of our journey, so I just lumped the images together.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 BUSC Recap Part 3: The Championship!

Sunday was race day!  The weather was very warm and much more humid that this Arizona boy is accustomed to.  The day started off with Todd and I riding the Metro to RFK Stadium.  I was wearing a tweed-ish jacket that I bought at a thrift shop, while Todd was decked out with his Beetlejuice / referee / zebra outfit.

We arrived at the race site just before the crowd that left from BicycleSpace.  It was really starting to warm up by the time the race got started.

I was pretty slow during the race... much slower than last year.  I hadn't been able to ride the Brommies nearly as much as I wanted to this year, plus I had just come back from two weeks in Brazil (excuses, excuses).  All of that in addition to the heat and humidity.  Regardless, I still had fun and I didn't put a foot down, which became my impromptu goal during the first lap.

Here is my on-bike GoPro footage (note that Luke from Calhoun Cycles is yelling my name every time he passes me):

Official BUSC 2014 recap video from BicycleSpace:

I unfortunately missed the fastest folding contest and the best dressed announcement as I was waiting to get a wonderful panini from a food truck that was out there.  Oh well.  As always, it was a blast and I hope to be able to do it again next year!

Joe in DC Flickr gallery:  

Calhoun Cycle Flickr gallery:  

Calhoun Cycle blogpost: 

MrTinDC Flickr gallery:  

Marty's entry in The Brompton Diaries: 

Photo gallery from Amy Ta: 

Monday, July 21, 2014

2014 BUSC Recap Part 2: Brompton Urban Challenge

The Brompton Urban Challenge took place on Saturday during the 2014 BUSC weekend.  The BUC is basically a scavenger hunt where we post silly pictures of ourselves in front of landmarks in Washington DC and share them on social media.

I teamed up with with the Tucson crew (Todd and Mike) and we teamed up with a couple of locals (Amy & Mike) to go conquer DC.  They gave out numbers to each of the teams and we were Team 5.

Todd and Mike, both from Tucson and on Team 5

Gathering in front of BicycleSpace 
Lining up

Jordan from BicycleSpace yelling out the instructions for the BUC
The clue sheet had something like 40 clues to solve... way to many for us to accomplish in about 4 hours.  The following pictures are some of the clues that we solved and shared on Instagram and Twitter:
A dude with one of those 3-letter shirts

The glass-enclosed Kogod courtyard at the National Portrait Museum

Capital Bromptonshare

Teaching a stranger to fold a Brommie

Team 5 posing in front of the big maze at the National Building Museum

H Bar on H Street

Todd waiting to do the fastest time at the compulsary Tow & Slalom checkpoint 

The biggest Union Jack we could find

Buying our White Elephant gift (a Washington DC shopping bag) for  a lucky team

In the line with some protesters

Nice fanny...pack

Kicking down the Washington Monument

The Smithsonian Institute Castle

Thinker on a Rock statue at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Rocking out with some street musicians

Bromptons at rest at The Brixton Bar
There were also some videos taken, but I haven't been able to figure out how to show them on here.  Anyway, when it was all said and done we ended up taking first place!

Team 5 at the finish line at Brixton Bar... Winners!
We got our pick from a pile of stuff that BicycleSpace graciously provided... I got a BUSC hat and some Ergon cork grips!

I'm going to try to put together a video from my GoPro footage... the battery died about halfway into it, but I should be able to make something interesting.

Here is a link to the Tagboard which has most of the pictures from all of the teams:

An once again, Marty at Brompton Diaries has a great writeup of this event: