Friday, July 31, 2009
David Towne, a pilot for Continental Airlines, a member of the Medina County Bicycle Club, and a regular customer in our Medina store, took a trip to France to watch the Tour de France and ride some of the race routes. He sent us these pictures from the Alpe d'Huez, the most infamous mountain climb in the race's history. Thanks, Dave!
Isn't that a certain well-known American bike racer shown on that sign...?
If you've got the itch to race this weekend, head to Akron for the Rubber City Meltdown, a criterium race on a 1-mile per lap track. It's all part of the Akron Cycling Festival, and also includes a "Blue Line Tour" (a non-competitive ride on parts of the Akron Marathon course and the Towpath Trail), and Bike the Trail - Ride the Rail.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Q: What's the trick to riding your bicycling upside down? A: Lots of centrifugal force along a loop-the-loop track, as performed by Allo "Dare Devil" Diavolo in a 1901 circus stunt, say David Halliday and others in"Fundamentals of Physics." Diavolo coasted down a long runway, building up speed until he hit the approximately 8.8-foot-radius loop, then up and over he went. Based on elementary physics, this figures to a minimum necessary speed for Diavolo of 16.8 feet per second, or about 11.4 mph, to prevent his losing contact with the upper loop and falling. This speed requirement was independent of the weight of Diavolo and the bicycle. "Had he feasted on, say, pierogies before his performance, he still would have had to exceed only 11.4 mph," the authors say.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Morrigan's bike needed a little more; the cassette body on the rear wheel was about to come completely off. Something missed by other shops, a shameless plug for us! The delay was gonna make it too late in the day for them to make the next campground, so I offered my floor to them, and they quickly accepted. I think the idea of a shower and AC helped. Dinner at the Winking Lizard is where I found out more about their trip.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009 7:00am until 4:30pm - Beginning at the tunnel under the railroad tracks about 1 mile north of Peninsula, closed up to the Interstate 80 bridge, just south of Boston Mills Road.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 7:00am until 4:30pm - Beginning at the northernmost intersection of the Towpath with the Carriage Trail (about 5 miles north of Peninsula), closed up to the Station Road Bridge near the Brecksville Reservation (about 7 miles north of Peninsula).
If you are renting bicycles from us and/or starting a Towpath ride in Peninsula on either of these days, we recommend that you head south to avoid both closures.
Please note that the maintenance work may need to be re-scheduled due to weather conditions, so the trail closure dates may be subject to change. We will try to post updated information here as it becomes available.
Saturday, July 25, 2009 - Walk+Roll Detroit Shoreway+Gordon Square - 1:00 to 4:00pm
Nearly three miles of streets and paths will be part of this event, which showcases one of Cleveland’s transformative neighborhoods. Walk+Roll is partnering with Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization on this special event. More info...
Sunday, July 26, 2009 - Walk+Roll Slavic Village - 1:00 to 4:00pm
This is the most ambitious Walk+Roll to date! Nearly eight miles of streets and paths will be used for this route, which will include two Cleveland Metroparks, an inner-city golf course, a waterfall and history center, numerous new commercial and residential projects, public art projects, Cleveland Botanical Garden’s community garden, bicycle polo, skateboard lessons, youth concerts, and many historic churches. More info...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Origin8 Joe-2-Go Coffee Cup Holder solves the problem of how to carry your favorite non-bottled beverage on your ride. It clamps to your handlebar with a sturdy hinged metal clamp. It holds any beverage in a tapered cup, whether the cup is disposable or reusable.
I picked one of these up a couple of months ago when we first got them for our Hot Deals for Cold Days specials earlier this year.
I had tried an inferior model of coffee cup holder in the past. The cup holder part was made of a thin layer of bare aluminum, which did not grip a cup very well. I had a couple of cases where I went over a bump or railroad tracks and suffered an unplanned ejection of my beverage. I tried to solve this by choosing a coffee mug with rubber grippers on the side. This solved the problem somewhat. Another problem, though, is that the cheap plastic clamp holding it to my handlebar did not hold tight enough. No matter how tightly I screwed the bolt in place, or how many rubber shims I put between the clamp and the handlebar, under the weight of a cup of coffee, after a few minutes of riding, the cup holder sagged under the weight of the beverage.
Both of these problems are solved with the Joe-2-Go. I filled my travel mug before I left home this morning with a full serving of Jet Fuel from my Keurig coffee maker. (Yes, I have joined the Keurig Kult. Resistance is Futile.) The Joe-2-Go performed with flying colors during my 14-mile commute to the shop. The handlebar clamp held firm, with no slippage whatsoever. The foam lining of the cup holder kept my mug from flying out, over curbs, potholes, and railroad tracks. Here it is in action on my Xtracycle cargo bike:
The Origin8 Joe-2-Go Coffee Cup Holder is in stock at all three of our stores, and costs $15.99.
P.S. Roadside Finds of the Day: wooden Jesus fish pendant, big rubber ant, and the usual bungee cord:
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Here are some pictures from the last Night Ride on July 10:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
My favorite part of the article is Dan's way of comparing the different bike frame materials: "An aluminum bike is like riding a two-by-four. Riding a carbon fiber bike feels like paddling a kayak in the water. A steel bike feels like the road."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
What distinguishes their mini-pumps is a detachable air hose that stows inside the pump barrel when not in use. The hose is reversible to work on either Presta or Schrader valves, without the need to disassemble the pump head to switch modes. Having the flexible hose means that there's less of a chance that you'll rip out the valve from your tube as you're pumping up a flat tire on the side of the road.
There is an optional hose available that also has a built-in air gauge. I found out, though, that the gauge hose only fits inside the Medium or larger models of mini-pumps, not the Small models.
The Lezyne mini-pumps have so far only been available in Black. They've also made some available is Silver, only as an included accessory on select bicycle models, such as the '09 Raleigh Clubman. Now, for those of us who like to match our accessories to all of the fancy-colored components on our bikes, you can get the Lezyne pumps in Red, Blue, or Gold. By special-order; please call us to check availability.
Check out the Red one here on my Surly Cross-Check!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
During the Tour de France the Rabobank team is riding Giant road and TT bicycles, the fastest, most advanced bikes in the peloton. To help keep the team cool while riding these hot bikes, the squad is using new technology—and some tried and true tricks—to beat the heat.
Spectators who watched the Rabo boys warm up and cool down for the time trials have seen the racers wearing some special suits that appear to be hooked up to tubes. “This year we have brought some new skinsuits with us, and they cool down the body quickly,” reports Van Bommel. “The riders wear them after each stage. On top of that we have special helmets.” (Click to read more on the Giant website.)
Patrick sent this communique a few stages ago:
Road Bike Action magazine has given its readers a sneak peak of the 2010 Giant Trinity Advanced SL 0 TT bicycle. In an online feature by editor Zap Espinosa (from the setting of the Tour de France Stage Four team time trial) he writes: “It was here in Montpellier that Giant bicycles took the leap and introduced their new 2010 Trinity Advanced SL 0 TT bike. More importantly still, they not only showed off a new bike (as Specialized and Trek have also done) but they added a firm date for its availability to the public (which neither of Giant's biggest competitors Specialized (Spring 2010) or Trek (vague) have really done).” He talks at length about the features of the Giant Trinity Advanced SL and supplies several photos of the key areas of hyper-engineering on the bicycle. He also mentions how working with pro teams provides a huge benefit to the consumer market: “Perhaps most important of all, the bike you can buy in September will be better than the bike the Pros are riding today. As the saying goes (and has been proven time & time again) racing improved the breed and so what problems they have uncured and solutions they have found with the team bikes have been incorporated to the production bikes.”
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Our latest e-mail newsletter was sent out this past Thursday evening. If you didn't receive it, you can read it online here. If you'd like to sign up to receive it in your Inbox in the future (and catch up on archived past issues), you can do so here.
Highlights from the latest issue include:
- Pictures and wrap-up of our last Night Ride on the Towpath Trail.
- Bicycle Touring Travelers Visit Ohio
- Two upcoming events sponsored by Century Cycles: Ice Cream Odyssey and Cycle Canalway
- HOT Product - Keen Cycling Sandals
- Staff Profile: Tom Wiseman
- Burley Trailers on Sale
- TechTalk: Freewheels vs. Freehubs
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Can't join us tomorrow? Then plan to join us in the future! The remaining dates for 2009: July 25, August 8, August 28, September 19, or October 9.
(Photo by Doug Charnock.)
Q: Congratulations on coming in second in your age group! How did the race go?
A: I’m used to mountain bike races. When I compete in road bike races, I never save anything for the end sprint. With a race that short, the whole thing is a sprint. I have a Polar cycling computer that’s also a heart rate monitor and it told me I burned 1,600 calories in the one hour and 10 minutes of the race. I went home afterwards and took a nap, then ate burgers and beer -- it was July 4th! (Polar computers are available by special order from Century Cycles.)
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment on a bicycle?
A: Any ride that I don’t crash or break my bike.
Q: Not Alaska?! (Tom and a friend came in first place in the 2007 Fireweed 400, also known as the Great Alaska Double Century, in the Men’s Duo category.)
A: The Fireweed 400 is probably my most memorable race, but it’s not my biggest accomplishment on a bike. I was in Alaska to support the team as a mechanic, but instead of wrenching I ended up riding. It certainly was the best five-day trip I’ve ever had, but I’ve had more exciting races and wins closer to home. I’m much more proud of my mountain bike racing.
Q: What’s your biggest accomplishment in mountain bike racing?
A: I competed in the Ohio Mountain Bike Racing Series from 1996 until 2006, and I spent four of those years ranked in the top 10. It was a much bigger field of competitors and there was much more adversity to overcome to be successful. Those races are what are really at the top of my accomplishments. But it’s not about racing.
Q: What’s it about?
A: It’s about friends.
Q: What bike did you ride in the Twin Sizzler and how many bikes do you own?
A: I rode a Raleigh Prestige road bike in the Twin Sizzler. I’m down to four bikes now. I had 12, but I had to put my wife through nursing school.
Q: Do you have a favorite bike?
A: No. I go through them pretty quickly, getting a new bike every 18 months or so. I’ve owned every manufacturer. Probably the bike I most fondly remember is a Schwinn Homegrown from the mid-1990s.
Q: What was your first bike?
A: My first “real” bike was a Diamondback Apex, which I got as a freshman in college at Kent State.
Q: What’s the best mountain bike on the floor at Century Cycles right now?
A: I really like the Giant Anthem. I’ve been on it for two years and am not planning to replace it, which is unusual for me. Its durability and ride quality are good. It’s a well-engineered bike. The whole package.
Q: What’s your favorite local trail or ride?
A: Vulture’s Knob. I was part of the group that helped Mark Condry build a large percentage of it. He and I are good friends.
Q: What three words describe how you feel on a bike?
A: Just. Three. Words?!
Q: Dirt or road?
A: Definitely dirt.
Q: When you’re not riding a bike or working at Century Cycles, what do you like to do?
A: I like to spend time with my wife and family. Just relax. Read. I’m a history buff. Anything that helps me get my mind off the everyday stuff.
Q: What’s your favorite beer?
A: A beer brewed by a guy I grew up with – Hoppin’ Frog Brewery’s Black & Tan. I also really like Hoppin’ Frog Brewery Boris the Crusher, a dark stout. I remember when he used to brew beer in his basement and now he has a brewery near the Goodyear blimp hangar in Akron.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
A: I was in a race a long time ago and a guy passed me like I was standing still. I asked him, “when do you rest?” He said, “I rest at home.” I do the same thing now – give it everything I’ve got and no rest until I get home.
Q: What piece of advice do you try to share with customers?
A: Spend the extra now and you’ll thank yourself later. If you think you want it, you do. The only thing worse than buyer’s remorse is losing in a sprint.
Twin Sizzler Superstars!
Besides Tom Wiseman, other Century Cycles employees who competed in the Twin Sizzler on July 4th and deserve hearty congratulations include Adam Rady, 1st place in the 20-24 age group; Andrew Copenhavel, 4th place in the 15-19 age group; Drew Rady, 4th place in the 30-34 age group; and Kevin Madzia, 15th place in the 40-44 age group. Way to go!!
All modern multi-speed bikes use either a freewheel or a freehub system on the rear wheel, unless they are using an internally geared rear hub. Most bikes with 7 gears or less on the rear wheel use a freewheel; most bike with 8 gears or more on the rear wheel use a freehub, although there are some 7-speed freehub systems in use. The outward appearance of a freewheel and a freehub is not noticeably different to the average bicycle owner.
In both cases, inside the freewheel or freehub is a set of bearings that are separate from the bearings inside the wheel's main axle. Working in conjunction with these bearings is a set of spring-loaded pawls. When you pedal forward, the pawls lock into position to turn the wheel forward. When you stop pedaling, the pawls release, causing the clicking sound that you usually hear when coasting.
The difference between a freewheel system and a freehub system is in the location of the coasting mechanism.
On a freewheel system, the coasting mechanism is built into the gear cluster. The term "freewheel" refers to the whole gear cluster with the coasting mechanism inside. The freewheel is screwed onto a set of threads on the right-hand side of the wheel's hub.
On a freehub system, the coasting mechanism is a sub-assembly of the wheel's hub. The gear cluster is a unit with non-moving parts, and is referred to as a cassette. The cassette slides into place onto the freehub body and is held in position by a series of ridges, or splines, and locked in place using a cassette lockring.
The diagram below highlights the differences between freehub system (top) and a freewheel system (bottom).
The red dots indicate the position of the main hub's axle bearings. Notice how they are more widely spaced on the freehub axle compared to the freewheel axle. The freewheel bearing placement worked great for decades and was durable enough for most applications. However, when mountain biking exploded in the 1980's, riders experienced frequent problems with their axles snapping in half. This led to the development of the more durable freehub system, and it's used on most better bikes (road as well as mountain) priced over $400. You are still likely to find the less-expensive freewheel system on bikes under $400.
When the mechanism wears out in a freewheel, you just replace the entire freewheel (with gear cluster). When the freehub mechanism wears out, you can remove the cassette, replace the freehub, then re-install the cassette.
These days, since freewheels are mostly used on kid's bikes and less-expensive adult bikes, the quality level of most replacement freewheels available are pretty much equivalent. However, there are a wide range of freehubs available from a variety of manufacturers today. One of the things that makes one freehub better than another is the number of pawls in the freehub mechanism, and the number of engagement points for the pawls. Increasing the number of pawls and/or engagement points makes the freehub engage faster when you start pedaling, with less free "spinning" before the force of your legs gets put to use.
For single-speed drive trains, both the freewheel and and freehub mechanisms are in common use. The working principle for both is the same as their multi-speed brethren. A single-speed freewheel has the coasting mechanism built inside a single cog that is bolted onto the wheel's main hub. These are common on BMX bikes, most single-speed kid's bikes, and many single-speed mountain bikes (both high- and low-end).
A single-speed freehub has the same type of splines as a multi-speed freehub; the freehub body is just shorter to accomodate a single cassette cog. The are common on many single-speed mountain bikes (both high- and low-end).
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The latest long-distance bicycle tourist to stop in the Peninsula store yesterday is this guy, with his home-made snowmobile-shaped cargo trailer, weighing in at 75lbs!
His name is Dave; although I didn't catch his last name, he said all of his friends and the bike shops in his home of Marquette, Michigan (on the Upper Peninsula) know him as "Super Dave." He does a long ride every summer; this year, he's riding through the Midwest, and will proceed through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and then continue down the East Coast to Florida.
He's raising money for The Smile Train, an organization that funds corrective surgery for children afflicted with cleft palate.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
5. Derailleur systems are the "gears" on what type of device? A derailleur is the system that includes the gears (sprockets, actually) on a bicycle. I just found out this week that the classic Cream album Disraeli Gears is named for a roadie's mispronunciation of the word "derailleur." Cool, right?
The title of the album was taken from an inside joke. Eric Clapton had been thinking of buying a racing bicycle and was discussing it with Ginger Baker, when a roadie named Mick Turner commented, "it's got them Disraeli Gears", meaning to say "derailleur gears", but instead alluding to 19th Century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. The band thought this was hilarious, and decided that it should be the title of their next album. Had it not been for Mick, the album would simply have been entitled Cream.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Or: Save yourself 3,000 elephant-ear calories and a stomachache from the Roundup by just donating to BSBP here. It's a tax-deductible act of civic altruism to add to your July 4th festivities, plus founder and BSBP grand poobah Lawrence Kuh (below left) and his crew of skate and bike kids will really appreciate the help.