An Unexpected Respite

A Pleasant Day, A Pleasant Surprise

What a treat. The normal high for today’s date in our neck of the woods is 95F, but it only reached a mildly pleasant 80F this afternoon. It made for an unexpectedly enjoyable commute home.

BP = Bicycle Power

Eric over at Tubulocity has designed a new T-shirt in response to the BP disaster in the Gulf. From Tubulocity:

Like everyone, I’ve been troubled by the BP disaster in the Gulf. Many people are hoping for future alternative energy technologies that will allow them to continue driving their cars. I believe the solutions start at home and a lot can be done right now through conservation and becoming an educated consumer. While the bicycle may not be the only answer, those of us who ride know it is a beautiful alternative that’s great for our bodies, minds, social lives, and the environment.

I created this design as a way of of raising awareness that there’s an alternative BP. That alternative is BICYCLE POWER.

Well said, Eric! The shirts can be ordered online for $20.



Here are a couple of Panda portraits showing my new Civia bars versus my old Nitto North Road bars (both installed on the LHT). As different as these bars look, surprisingly, the fore/aft grip positions are nearly identical. The wrist angles (aka sweep) are different though; the Nitto is at 70 degrees, while the Civia is at 50 degrees. While the Civia wrist angle provides more leverage and a feeling of quicker, more secure steering, the 70-degree angle of the Nitto is more casual and relaxed. The Nitto has a couple of centimeters of rise which also contributes to the relaxed feeling. I haven’t yet decided which I prefer…

Civia Aldrich – 50 Degrees
Nitto North Road – 70 Degrees

For those of you who are riding bars other than drops, how much sweep do you prefer?

How much sweep do you prefer?

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Paul Thumbies

Regulars who read this blog know I’m a long time fan of bar-end shifters set to friction mode. I’ve been using bar-ends for over 25 years and I still find them to be the most intuitive and comfortable shifters available (for me). The only drawback to bar-ends is that they only work on a certain, limited set of handlebars that have the proper inner diameter and enough sweep to point the shifters toward the rear of the bike. This eliminates a good 50% of the available bars, some of which I’ve been dying to try out.

My second favorite shifters after bar-ends are old-school mountain-bike-style thumb shifters. High quality thumb shifters are pretty much a thing of the past, but a super alternative are Thumbies from Paul Component Engineering. Thumbies are cool little shifter mounts that convert bar-end shifters to old-style thumb shifters. They’re available in models to fit Shimano, Campy, and SRAM shifters, they’re beautifully machined, and they truly are a joy to use. The icing on the cake is that Thumbies open up access to many of those other handlebars that don’t accept bar-ends.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ll be testing a bunch of handlebars over the next couple of months. The first set are the 50 degree Aldrich bars from Civia (see above). Next in line are a set of Nitto Promenade porteur bars. Neither of these bars accept bar-end shifters, so the Thumbies will be getting a good workout and earning their keep.

Paul Component Engineering

History of Brompton Film

A new film chronicling the history of the Brompton folding bike company is due out on August 2nd. From Brompton:

A DVD has been produced by British Local Histories on the history of the company. The end product is a very polished, insightful and interesting film charting the Brompton’s development from its beginnings to the present day. Featuring interviews with inventor Andrew Ritchie, footage of the bikes being made in the West London factory, action from a past Brompton World Championship and much more, the DVD is a real “must have” for any Brompton enthusiast.

A trailer of the documentary can be viewed on the Brompton website. The DVD will be available through Brompton dealers.

View the trailer

His & Hers Step-Throughs

When Michael was little, she always wondered why “boys” bikes had the high bar since they were the ones who had something to damage. Makes sense to me. Perhaps it’s time to officially declare the step-through “gender-neutral” or even “man-friendly”.

Cycle Superhighway Videos on Good

Good Magazine collected a few videos of the new London Cycle Superhighways.


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