You may have noticed a flood of new product updates recently. Interbike, the bicycle industry’s largest trade show, is coming up at the end of September, so we’ll have lots of product news for you over the next month or so. We won’t be attending the show this year, but we’ll be reporting from afar as the news comes in from our sponsors and elsewhere.
Now, for the latest from Organic Bikes:
The Edwin town bike is the perfect combination of simplicity, style, and comfort. Built for a trip to the market, a stroll through downtown, or a commute to work — the Edwin will get you there with eco-style! With the NuVinci N360 drive train — there are no confusing shift levers to bother with — just turn the single grip control forward or back till the resistance feels right. The range of gearing is enough to tackle the big hills, or for a brisk ride through downtown. Standard on the Edwin town bike is the Farmers Market bamboo rear rack — big enough for two grocery bags and comes with holders for two cups of coffee!
The NuVinci N360 drivetrain is hot this year — we’ll be testing at least two commuters outfitted with this new infinitely variable transmission.
NuVinci N360 Infinitely Variable Transmission hub
Natural Laid-Up Bamboo Main tubing
100% Recycled Alloy Lugs & Rear Triangle
Relaxed around-town geometry
Includes the Farmers Market rear bamboo rack w/dual coffee cup holders (not shown)
Estimated MSRP $1599.99 USD
Available Early 2011
The Edwin looks like a fun and interesting bike. Look for a review later this year.
Gates is debuting their next-generation belt drive technology at Interbike later this month. The new “CenterTrack” design boasts 20% more tensile strength than their existing offerings, while also being narrower and lighter. The slender profile makes this new system easier to integrate with internal gear hubs and provides better debris-shedding than current offerings. The drivetrain will be available for retail purchase in late 2011, but we’ll have to wait until the 2012 model year for widespread implementation on production bikes.
The League of American Bicyclists has published a Policy Research Report titled Climate Change and Bicycling: How bicycling advocates can help craft comprehensive Climate Action Plans. From the Executive Summary:
Climate Action Plans are strategic and comprehensive tools to combat climate change by reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. They are being written and implemented by cities, states, and universities in lieu of aggressive federal action. Bicycling is a convenient, enjoyable, and efficient way to make short trips — 40 percent of all trips in the United States are two miles or less — and it does not emit CO2. As a result, policymakers are increasingly turning to promoting bicycling as a way to meet GHG reduction targets.
Bicycling advocates can help shape Climate Action Plans to include pro-bicycling policies. Using case studies and examples from existing plans, this report examines: 1. how pro-bicycling policies have been written into the Climate Action Plans of states, cities, and universities, 2. examples of plans that include bicycling, 3. how bicycling advocates can best support these efforts, and 4. how to ensure that governments follow through on the promises made in their plans.
Purely coincidentally, but dovetailing nicely with our recent conversation regarding rider position, Chris over at Velo Orange posted an article today outlining his simple method of sizing* a bike based upon pubic bone height. His recommendations are not unlike Grant Petersen’s recommendations outlined on the Rivendell site. Their sizing guidelines are both what I’d characterize as “traditional”; using either of their methods will put you on a frame slightly to dramatically larger than if you were sized at a racing-oriented shop.
Here’s an excerpt:
I generally recommend getting a traditionally-sized frame, one that’s larger than many race bike oriented shops would recommend. The traditionally sized frame will allow you to get the handlebars to proper height without a super-tall stem. And it will allow a reasonable stem extension that does not put too much of your weight over the front wheel. The frame will handle better, be more comfortable, and you’ll look better riding it.
And here’s Grant Petersen on the same subject:
Most riders are most comfortable when the handlebar is a few centimeters higher than the saddle. Some like it four or five inches higher. Some like the look of the bar lower than the saddle, but few riders over 35 like a low bar once they’ve ridden a higher one.
To achieve that bar height, it helps to start with a bike that’s the largest practical size you can ride. We suggest you get the size that allows you to put the handlebar at least 2cm higher than the saddle. That works great for most people. You can always lower the bar if you find it’s too high, but it’s rare when that happens.
Our recent poll showed that a whopping 72% of our respondents prefer their handlebars either at or slightly above the height of the saddle. One way of making sure this is possible is by riding a sufficiently large frame as recommended above. Shops using “modern” sizing methods will disagree with these traditional methods and the resulting size recommendations, but some variation of this approach has worked well for me since around 1980.
*For our discussion, “sizing” should not be confused with “fitting”. Sizing methods are used to determine the frame size that will work best for an individual. This is only a starting point after which the more precise process of fitting takes place. Fitting is the process of adjusting the rider’s position through component selection and adjustment.
PARK(ing) Day 2010 is fast approaching. If you’re not familiar with PARK(ing) Day, here’s an explanation from the website:
PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!
This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, September 17th.