Wood & Steel

Wood & Steel

The cargo hauler at the street faire this evening.

A Cool Tool for Bay Area Cyclists

SF BikeMapper

S.F. BikeMapper

Rapha Stays in S.F.

Rapha SF

The Rapha pop-up shop in San Francisco was originally scheduled to close August 1, but the company has decided to make the S.F. “Cycle Club” their first permanent retail location.

Rapha S.F.

Boston’s Hubway Ready to Roll


Boston’s Hubway bike share system officially launches this Thursday with an inaugural ride scheduled for 10am at City Hall Plaza. The system will be implemented by Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share, with bikes supplied by Canada’s Bixi. Initially the system will be comprised of 600 bikes spread across 61 stations, with plans to expand in the future. The pricing scheme is similar to other bike share systems with annual, 3-Day, and 24-Hour memberships available. From Hubway:

On Earth Day, April 21, 2011, Mayor Thomas M. Menino signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share, officially announcing the launch of a bike share system in the City of Boston. Planned as a regional system, New Balance Hubway was initiated under Mayor Menino’s nationally recognized Boston Bikes Program, which aims to build Boston into one of the world’s premiere cycling cities. The City of Boston is working with MassDOT, MAPC, MBTA and the FTA to expand the system into more Boston neighborhoods and surrounding communities.

The installation of the system will begin in July 2011 with more than 600 bicycles at 61 stations to be located widely throughout Boston. Hubway will eventually expand into surrounding neighborhoods and communities, creating a single regional system.

View the station map here.


Brompton Oratory Jacket

Alfine 11 / Gates CT Upgrade Update

Alfine 11

In June I posted a note about upgrading by Civia Bryant from the stock 8-speed Alfine hub to the new Alfine 11 and swapping the stock belt drive for Gates’ new CenterTrack (CT). It’s been nearly a month so I thought I’d post a quick update for those who are looking to make a similar upgrade.

At this point I’ve obtained the rear wheel with hub, the small parts kit, the Versa VRS-11 brifters, and the mysterious and difficult to obtain “outer receiver unit” (more below). The drivetrain parts from Gates, including a 50T CT front pulley, 24T CT rear pulley, and 118T CT belt, are currently in transit.

I’ve learned a few things you’ll want to be aware of if you’re upgrading from an Alfine 8 to an Alfine 11 on a drop bar bike.

  1. The 8-speed cassette joint from your old hub is not compatible with the 11-speed. You will need to order the CJ-S700 small parts kit for the Alfine 11.
  2. If you have a 5-arm, 130mm BCD crank, you’re all set. But, if your existing crank is of the 4-arm, 104mm BCD variety, you’ll want to be aware that Gates will not be producing CT front pulleys to fit your crank until this coming winter. In the meantime, there are two possible solutions. One is to use your existing crank and front pulley until the CT comes available (to my surprise, I learned that CT belts will run fine on non-CT front pulleys). The other is to swap out your existing crank for an Alfine or some other 5-arm model. The Alfine crank and bottom bracket are designed to work with the Alfine hub so they’re a natural choice (assuming they’re compatible with your frame).
  3. The “outer receiver unit” is pictured here (see item no. 6). Unlike the Alfine 8’s cassette joint with its built-in cable stop, the Alfine 11’s cassette joint requires this separate cable stop. The issue is that the receiver unit is currently only available in the U.S. as part of the SL-S700 Rapidfire shifter kit – it cannot be ordered separately. This means purchasing an expensive shifter kit just to obtain this small part. Fortunately, QBP is aware of this problem and will be importing the part for individual purchase this fall. In the meantime, it’s possible to substitute a Jagwire barrel adjuster for the Shimano cable stop, but it’s not a great solution. Of course, if you’re running flat bars this a non-issue because you need the SL-S700 shifter anyway.

As you can see, it’s taken some time to figure this out and obtain the necessary parts – this is not unexpected given the fact that these products are just now coming available. Fortunately, I’m in no hurry and the suppliers (Gates, Civia) have been extremely helpful.

Stay tuned; the next installment will be a report on the actual installation and initial testing of the new drivetrain.

Disclosure: Gates and Civia are sponsors of this website.

L.A. Passes Bicyclist’s Anti-Harassment Law

L.A. Times

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed a law that makes it a crime to verbally or physically threaten a bicyclist in the City. The new law also gives bicyclists the ability to sue in civil court and collect up to three times their damages (plus attorney’s fees), even before the city presses criminal charges. This is a groundbreaking ordinance that some are calling the toughest in the nation.

More in the L.A. Times

© 2011 EcoVelo™