Friday, September 28, 2012

Bikes and Babies

The BBC series, "Call The Midwife is "a moving and intimate insight into the colorful world of midwifery and family life in 1950’s East London" 

It debuts on PBS this Sunday, Sept. 30. (Check your local stations.)

Why should you care? Practical cycling is featured prominently throughout the show.

As Tansy Rayner Roberts blogs, "The bicycle is an essential icon of the series, with the nurses all flying every which way on wheels to get to their charges and appointments, often through streets that are thick with people and/or deep fog. They represent very much the independence and hard work of the midwives, and Chummy’s inability to ride a bike was a beautiful if quite sad at times example of how out of place she was among them, and how she was going to have to work so much harder to be a useful member of the team."

The video reveals how the actors felt about riding the vintage bicycles on set. 
If you catch it, let us know what you think of it. More clips at

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Soma DC from Tokyo Fixed

Soma-Cross-4, originally uploaded by

Another killer Soma build. Those Rivendell Jack brown tires really pop on the gloss black frame.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Interbike 2012: Our Favorites

Howdy Folks!

It was a busy week, but we made it back in one piece. Here's a few of our favorite products that we saw at the show this year.

Phil Wood was showing off one of the prop bikes from Premium Rush.

Nitto had a sample of their new minimal rear rack in chrome.

Finally Nitto is making a 31.8 Moustache bar!

The Pashley Clubman is a nice, traditional country bicycle.

King Cage had some strapless toe clips and a frame pump on display.

Phil Wood x Sycip x Santa Cruz. Wow... This thing is even more impressive in person.

Cinelli was showing off some neat pedals straps.

Volagi had their new steel bike on display.

Sugino really stepped it up with these Zen double cranks. Same great looks as their world class track cranks for your road bike.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 Interbike News From Soma

Triple Cross:  KVA stainless steel goodness

Hey, we know you might be more excited by Chris King doing press fit bottom brackets for the first time or some other OMG news streaming out of the Big Show in Vegas right now--  but in case you do care about what's going on with Soma and are wondering why -- again -- we are not showing off our wares at Interbike, here is the scoop of some of what we have planned for 2013.

1. Double Cross Disc: We are finally losing the canti bosses on our Double Cross DC. It will be renamed aptly "Double Cross Disc". The new color will  be Old Gold.  ETA: Feb. 2013. No change on the traditional Double Cross.

2. Juice: Our 29er will be finally updated with geometry more friendly to 100mm travel forks. 80mm will still work. But it is now optimized for 100mm. We originally resisted since a 100mm fork jacks up the cockpit kind of high and puts a lot of stress on headtubes, but it seems it is harder to find 80mm travel forks these days and the brave souls willing to ride them. It will also lose the bent top tube (We have shortened the seat tube by a 1/2" to help reduce some of the standover height gained by the straight top tube, but effective top tube lengths are same as last year. New color: Nickel  ETA: Feb. 2013

3. Triple Cross (Pictured - sort of): We are doing a limited run of a KVA stainless steel cyclo-cross frame. Disc only. It will be mirror polished, not painted as pictured. It will probably be fillet-brazed and not TIG'd. It will have a slightly more conventional CX geometry than the Double Cross and weigh at least a 1/2 lb. less (fillet-brazing weighs more than TIG). Sizes: 50 - 60cm. ETA: March 2013

4. Smoothie SS: We are doing a limited run of a KVA stainless steel version of our Smoothie road frame.  It will be mirror polished, not painted. It will probably be fillet-brazed and not TIG'd.  ETA: April 2013

5.  New colors on tap for:
- Buena Vista: Pearl White w/Portofino Green panels, Old Gold w/Black Panels
- ES: Nickel (not as elegant as the Deep Red, but sexier)

6. Raindog Fenders: Traditional fenders that are replacing the EuroTrip line. In black, silver, Get the EuroTrip's at a steal while they last. Available: Nov. 2012

7. Eldon Rims: Super shiney,  box section, double wall, road rim with double eyelets. 19mm wide. Non-machined sidewalls. 490 grams. 32 or 36h. Great choice for vintage builds. Available now.

8. The Pick Up Artist: Last but not least, our front linkage steering cargo bike will be a reality in 2013. Will be equipped with a modest but functional SRAM drivetrain, Avid cable disc brakes, and Ahearne-MAP handle bar. ETA: February 2013

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

650b Soma San Marcos from FreeRange Cycles

Here's a gorgeous build featuring our new Terra Cotta Soma B-Line tires. Looks amazing on there!

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Will 650b Replace 26" Wheels?" "Really? You want to ask 'that' question?"

Alex Rankin asks the above question and more as he questions various players in the industry about the industry's sudden embrace of 27.5/650b tire size for mountain bikes.
Our own Jim Porter was one of those interviewed and he did a decent job giving a micro-history of 650b. For the record we have no frickin' opinion whether 650b will/should replace 26". That was one of the 'other guys'. (Interviews took place at Eurobike. Via Pinkbike)

Eurobike did have on display a ton of 27.5 frames and components. There might be more 650b offering in Europe than in the USA in 2013. Schwalbe, Maxxis, Scott, Rotwild, Ghost, Silverback, Rocky Mtn., Rockshox, SR Suntour. We are kinda pissed that RS is  releasing their 650b fork with a tapered steerer. I guess we have to steer our B-Side customers toward X-Fusion.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Soma Buena Vista Build

Soma Buena Vista Build, originally uploaded by Blacktop Cyclery.

A nice build from Blacktop Cyclery in Bakersfield CA.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tail Lights with Frickin' Laser Beams

Can you believe it's been 15 years since Dr. Evil asked for "sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads"? As far as I can tell they still aren't available for general purchase, though I didn't catch any  Shark Week this year, so correct me if I am wrong.

What we have seen are LED tail lights with lasers that mark the ground next to the bike to create your own pseudo bike lane as you ride. Despite being laser thin, the red markers are fairly visible to a vehicle coming up behind you. The intent is to draw extra attention to the cyclist and perhaps encourage drivers to give the cyclist a little more space.

We have picked up such an item for our retail shop. The "Oculus Phaserline" is a decent 5-LED flasher with multiple flashing modes and packs two "Class 3" lasers. The extra juice needed by the lasers does reduce the usual long run time of these types of lights, but heck -- we are talking frickin' laser beams here! Our price: $29.99. Only attaches to seatposts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

BV drop bar build from 718 Cyclery

Check out this photoset from 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn NYC.

The Buena Vista makes an excellent road bike for any kind of rider.