Surly LHT Disc Option for 2012


Surly has announced they’re adding a disc-brake version of their ever-popular Long Haul Trucker for the 2012 model year. This new bike is not just a standard LHT with disc tabs welded on; it’s a separate disc-specific frame and complete bike. They will continue to offer the classic LHT for those who prefer cantis.

Photos to come…


Specialized Tools

I’m a big fan of versatile bikes that are ready for just about any challenge a year-round utility bicyclist might encounter. Bikes with strong frames, robust wheels, puncture-resistant tires, fenders, lights, racks, bells, and bags. Bikes that don’t provide any excuses for not using a bike instead of a car. I have a couple of bikes like this and I recommend them to friends. About 90% of my riding is done on all-purpose bikes.

I think of these bikes as being analogous to specialized tools such as freewheel spanners and headset wrenches. While we don’t use them as frequently as adjustable wrenches or multi-tools, a specialized tool for a specialized job is nice to have on-hand when it’s required.

While these “multi-tool” bikes see the most use, specialized bikes that fill the gaps not covered by more conventional designs can be an important part of a car-free or car-lite lifestyle. Cargo bikes and folding bikes (as shown above) are two of the niche bikes that serve specific purposes not covered by more versatile bikes. I think of these bikes as being analogous to specialized tools such as freewheel spanners and headset wrenches. While we don’t use them as frequently as adjustable wrenches or multi-tools, a specialized tool for a specialized job is nice to have on-hand when it’s required.

The Yuba Mundo and Brompton M3L shown above are at two ends of a spectrum of bikes that fall under the umbrella of “utility”. The Mundo is a dedicated cargo bike capable of hauling up to 440 lbs. plus rider. Yuba offers a number of accessories for the Mundo that make it possible to carry such diverse payloads as furniture, bicycles, 6-8 bags of groceries, a second adult, or even a pair of small children. You’re really only limited by what can be strapped on the side rails, and what the rider can comfortably hold up and balance while sitting still.

The Brompton represents the far opposite end of the utility spectrum. It’s one of the smallest folding bike available, which makes it immensely useful for those who ride public transit or drive sub-compact cars and have the need to carry a bicycle in the trunk. The fold is quick and easy; with a little practice, the M3L can go from rolling to fully folded in less than 30 seconds. The package is neat and tidy, and the chain is hidden between the two folding halves. Brompton offers a wide variety of bag options, making it possible to use their bikes for commuting, touring, travel, and grocery shopping (some people even fold the bike and place it right in their shopping cart with their groceries).

We reviewed both of these bikes if you’d like to have a closer look at either.

Yuba Mundo
Brompton M3L

Thursday Morning Commute: Cloud Show

Cloud Show

Saddle Height, Simplified

Saddle Height

Here’s a simple and reasonably accurate method for determining proper saddle height (SH). Depending upon how you prefer to do the math, it’s known as either the “Rivendell Method” or the “LeMond Method”. Regardless of what you call it, the results are essentially the same.

First you’ll need to determine your pubic bone height (PBH). You’ll need a wooden dowel* (something like a broom handle will do), a metric tape measure, and a helper. In bare feet, stand with your feet flat on the floor, 10″ apart. Place the dowel between your legs, and while pulling it upward with a force that approximates sitting on a saddle, have your helper measure the distance from the floor to the top of the dowel in centimeters. This measurement is your pubic bone height. To be sure you get an accurate reading, repeat the process a few times while making sure to keep the dowel level. Once you’re sure you have a good number, write it down or send it to yourself in an email so you have it for your next bike purchase.

Once you have your PBH, it’s simple to calculate your saddle height. Here’s the Rivendell math:

PBH – 10 to 10.5cm = SH

And the LeMond math:

PBH x .883 = SH

Let’s use my 88.5cm PBH as an example.

Rivendell: 88.5 – 10 to 10.5cm = 78.5cm-78.0cm.
LeMond: 88.5 x .883 = 78.15cm

I like the Rivendell math for its simplicity, but I like the LeMond math because it scales at the extremes. Either are accurate enough and will place you in a range that will give you plenty of power while sparing your knees.

Once you have your SH number, adjust your saddle to the proper height by measuring along the seat tube from the center of the bottom bracket (where the cranks bolt on) to the top of the saddle. Note that Rivendell recommends adjusting the math slightly for extreme crank lengths, but for the large majority of people riding either 170mm or 175mm cranks, these numbers are good.

There are number of other ways to determine saddle height, but I’ve gotten consistently good results using this simple, straightforward method. Enjoy!

Rivendell on PBH

*A wooden ruler or relatively thin hardbound book can be used in place of a dowel.

Wednesday Morning Commute: A Touch of Fall in the Air

Wednesday Morning Commute

Tiny Bikeshop Concert #2

Tuny Bikeshop Concert 2

Banjo Brothers and Now Bikes have teamed up to bring you the second show in the Tiny Bikeshop Concert series. The first concert took place back in March at Calhoun Cycle in Minneapolis, and from all reports it was a blast. Tiny Bikeshop Concert #2 will once again feature Brianna Lane, the talented singer/songwriter who first came to fame among bicyclists when she embarked on a car-free 1,100 mile concert tour from Milwaukee, WI to Boston, MA. The show will take place this Thursday evening (8/25) from 7-9pm at Now Bikes in St. Paul.

The two-hour event will be free to the public and feature Q&A sessions with factory reps and the bike shop staff. Now Bikes owner and co-sponsor Bob Sumada will also provide in-store incentives for anyone who stops by.

The show will be preceded by a 5:45pm shop ride from Calhoun Cycle in Minneapolis to Now Bikes in St. Paul.

We’ll post a live stream of the event on EcoVelo starting at 5pm west coast time.

What: Banjo Brothers Tiny Bikeshop Concert (FREE) at Now Bikes featuring Brianna Lane
When: August 25 from 7-9pm
Where: 75 N. Snelling Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104
Live Webcast:
RSVP on Facebook: RSVP

Banjo Brothers
Now Bikes
Brianna Lane

Park Tool N360 Installation and Adjustment Guide

Park Tool

Park Tool has posted a complete installation and adjustment guide for the NuVinci N360 hub on their website.

Park Tool

© 2011 EcoVelo™