Thursday, November 20, 2014

Philly Bike Expo 2014 Part 1

Last weekend we flew to Pennsylvania for the fifth annual Philly Bike Expo, put on by the folks at Bilenky Cycleworks. It had been a couple years since we have attended this show, and it has grown even bigger than previous years, drawing more builders and component makers from all over the country.

We flew out from Oakland with three bikes, including one of the new Ventana El Gordo fat bikes. Thankfully we didn't have any troubles getting everything checked in and our flight left on time.

Flying over the Nevada desert, we saw some huge parabolic solar mirror arrays.

The skies were mostly clear, and we didn't have much turbulence.

After a stop in Burbank we flew on to Denver, landing just in time to see the sun going down behind the mountains.

We finally got to Philly around 1 am, got the bikes unloaded and caught a taxi to our hotel across from the convention center downtown.

We forgot to bring a tire pump, so the first order of business was finding the nearest bike shop to fill our tires so we could have some transportation. Neil rode his new Ventana El Gordo and we took a spin around downtown.

Thanks to Frankinstein Bike Worx for the air!

The weather was a little overcast, but thankfully it didn't rain on us.

Next we stopped by 
to say hi to Dave and Simon at Firth and Wilson, a shop that specializes in cargo and transportation bikes.

When you have so many cargo bikes in the shop, you have to make the most of the floor space.

The crew from R.E. Load Bags was also there with a full assortment of packs and messenger bags for the show.

The folks at F&W really practice what they preach, so of course they brought their booth to the convention center by cargo bike.

We had a big group, including several different kinds of front loading bikes.

Taking the lane is easy when you've got this much cargo!

We rolled straight into the convention center and couldn't help taking a few laps around the empty show floor. 
More pictures coming in the second post from our trip!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Customer Interviews: Commuter Peter Krasnoff

Peter Krasnoff is a long time Rohloff user who has SPEEDHUBs installed on two of his bikes. Peter was notoriously tough on bike frames and drivetrains, and he had broken two frames in the past due to shifting problems. We installed his first SPEEDHUB on a Cannondale Bad Boy, and he was impressed with its low maintenance design and ability to withstand his four day a week year round commute in hilly San Rafael, CA. After a year and a half of trouble-free commuting performance with the Rohloff drivetrain, he decided to get a new mountain bike built around a Rohloff hub, Gates belt drive system, and a Spot Rocker frame.  Around the same time, he put a deposit in with famed local builder Steve Potts for his version of the ultimate commuter frame to replace his Bad Boy. When the frame was finished the following year, we moved the Rohloff wheel over to the new frame and built the bike up with a variety of titanium parts for a super commuter that he rides nearly every day.

Learn more about Peter, his unique, handcrafted Potts, and why the SPEEDHUB works for his riding style below.

Watch renowned framebuilder Steve Potts explain the frame be made for Peter Krasnoff:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Customer Interviews: Mountain Biker Scott Sumner

Scott Sumner is one of the most devoted Rohloff converts we know. We've set up four of his mountain bikes with SPEEDHUBs, and he says he'll never go back to a derailleur system. He has even convinced a number of his riding buddies to try out the Rohloff internal gear drivetrain, and afterwards they had us build up bikes for them.

Read on to learn why Scott is such a fan of his Rohloff SPEEDHUBs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Customer Interviews: Commuter & Trail Rider Dylan Menges

Dylan Menges was the proud recipient one of the first Surly ECR builds we put together after the bike model was released last year. Dylan lives in Columbus, Ohio, and uses his ECR to commute around town and explore the bike paths and trails along the Scioto River. He is a true adventure rider and wanted a bike durable enough to serve him reliably for rides of all kinds for many years to come.

Read on to learn more about how Dylan uses his Rohloff SPEEDHUB-equipped bike and what other features stand out on his ECR.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Neil and Xan MTB Road Trip: Part 4 - Nevada and Home to California

After reloading the bikes in Saint George, Utah, and with grins still on our faces from riding Zen trail (see Part 3), we drove on for a few hours into Nevada. We slept in the large Las Vegas suburb of Henderson so we could hit Bootleg Canyon the next day. I had never ridden there, but it had been on my list for quite a while. Neil had ridden there several times during the US bike industry's annual fall trade show, which includes two days of bike demos at Bootleg. This would be his first time riding here without the craziness of the trade show though.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Neil and Xan MTB Road Trip: Part 3 – Colorado and Utah

After some epic rides in the Springs, it was time to pack up the car and start the real adventure. I crammed all of my stuff into the van and we headed north to do one of Neil's favorite rides in Golden back from when he was in college. Even though I've spent plenty of time in Colorado at this point, I still sometimes go on a ride that totally blows my mind. Golden Gate Canyon was absolutely one of these rides.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Neil and Xan MTB Road Trip: Part 2 - Riding in Colorado Springs

After meeting up with Xan to help him move out of the dorms at Colorado College, I stayed in Colorado Springs for a few days to ride some of the area's great trails and take a break from driving. On my first day, Xan took me on an epic double loop ride that included two of the best downhill runs in the Springs. These loops represent my idea of the perfect Colorado Front Range ride – long climb following by long descent. We climbed 5,000+ vertical feet, and our legs definitely felt it by the end of the ride. Living at sea level and riding trails that start above 6,000 feet only added to the strain for me, but I was happy to be out of the car and on the bike!