Category Archives: Products

From our own correspondent

Jim’s Bike Blog sometimes calls on the work of its foreign correspondent: Ben Peipert in Taiwan.
Ben credentialBen, our oldest son, lives in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital. Last month, he attended the Taipei International Cycle Show, billed as Asia’s biggest showcase for makers of bicycles and cycling components.
This year’s 25th edition of the show — March 20-23 — featured 1,103 exhibitors, 291 from overseas and 812 from Taiwan. The number of exhibitors was slightly more than last year’s 1,092.
Ben, an excellent photographer and regular bike commuter in Taipei, reports that this year’s show was somewhat disappointing — photographically.
Taipei Cycle Show logoThe 2013 show, he says, focused more on components and accessories than assembled bicycles. Brake cables and crank sets tend not to be as photogenic as brightly colored frames, which were featured in the 2011 show.
Nevertheless, Ben got some nice shots of the wares on display.

Ben photos 1

Ben photos 2

Ben photos 3

Ben photos 4

Ben photos 5


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Masters of the craft

A custom bicycle show is akin to an art exhibit.
Masters of their genre
showcase their latest work. Some of the creations might tend to the avant-garde. Others are in the style of the classics.
Some of the best custom bike builders from Texas and beyond — and, make no mistake, they are artists — will be displaying their work Oct. 27-28 in Dallas at the fifth annual Texas Custom Bicycle Show.

Front view of a Gallus track bike built by Jeremy Shlachter

The show, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., in the city’s Deep Ellum nightlife district, will include road, mountain, city and track bikes, built in steel, titanium and carbon. The doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
“There will be builders, illustrators, T-shirts and other entertaining bicycle-related diversions TBA,” says the online info for the show.
The aim of the event is to “promote the fine work of custom bicycle builders, foster a deeper understanding of the bicycle, and increase the desire of everyone to get out and ride, especially on a beautiful, custom, handmade bicycle.”
Among the exhibitors will be friend and neighbor Jeremy Shlachter of Fort Worth, owner of Gallus Cycles. The name for Jeremy’s line of bikes, Gallus, comes from his days as a bicycle messenger in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Gallus,” he says, is Glaswegian slang for “bad ass.”

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An obligatory stop

BOULDER, Colo. — A visit to Boulder wouldn’t be complete without a stop at University Bicycles, the oldest bike shop in this university town and one of the best I’ve ever found.

Cruiser bikes at University Bicycles

I dropped in the other day, not so much to shop but simply to soak up some of the thriving biking culture in this fitness-concious town, where my youngest son spent four years at the University of Colorado.
It’s the sort of town where, on a Sunday morning, say, throngs of Boulderites are out at sunrise, biking, jogging or hiking. It seems as if a city ordinance requires all residents to engage in early-morning physical activity, with heavy fines for slugabeds.
A focal point for the fitness buffs is University Bicycles, on Pearl Street in downtown Boulder. The shop opened in a small basement on Pearl Street in March 1985. Within eight months, the growing business moved to its current location at Pearl and Ninth streets.
For any cyclist visiting Boulder, University Bicycles is an obligatory stop.

Mural on the side of University Bicycles

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A stamp of approval

Another small indication of the increasing use of bicycles in the United Stares: The U.S. Postal Service has issued a series of “forever” stamps to celebrate — as the USPS put it – “the American love of bicycling, one of the most popular outdoor activities in the country.”
The inaugural issue of the four stamps took place on Thursday in Minneapolis, which had been ranked No.1 by Bicycling magazine among America’s bike-friendly cities. Ironically, Minneapolis dropped to No. 2, after Portland, Ore., in the latest of Bicycling’s biennial rankings, issued May 21.
USPS art director Phil Jordan designed the stamps using illustrations by San Francisco illustrator John Mattos, said the USPS news release. Each of the four stamps features a different kind of bike and cyclist: a young child learning to ride, a commuter pedaling to work, a road racer intent on the finish line and an airborne BMX rider.
The forever stamps are always equal in value to the current first-class, one-ounce rate.

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It’s called a Nubrella

Our Sunday morning neighborhood bike ride was cancelled today because of storm squalls that rolled though the Dallas-Fort Worth area until after lunchtime.
And then I saw this, from The Telegraph of Britain: a hands-free umbrella that sits on your head like a collapsible bubble.

Photo by Solent News

Called a Nubrella, the contraption was invented by Alan Kaufman, 49, of Florida, The Telegraph reported.
“The major advantage is the wearer doesn’t have to carry anything when not in use as it goes behind the head like a hood,” the newspaper quoted Kaufman as saying.
“The umbrella was long overdue for some innovation, now people can ride their bikes and work outdoors completely hands free while staying protected. Millions of people are required to work outdoors no matter what the conditions are and simply can’t hold an umbrella and perform their tasks.”
I guess it’s no more dorky looking than spandex shiny-heinie shorts and those little rear-view mirrors that stick out to the side of your helmet.


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Bicycles and beer!

A reminder for anyone who hasn’t seen this on Facebook:
Two of my favorite
local businesses, Trinity Bicycles bike shop and Rahr & Sons brewery, are teaming up Sunday for a bicycle swap meet at the brewery.
Bicycles and beer! That’s a combination that’s hard to beat.
Shop owners, cycling clubs, charities, frame builders and industry reps will be on hand for the event, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 701 Galveston Ave. on Fort Worth’s Near South Side.
The brewery will be open for a special Bike Swap Tour and tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For $7, you get a limited edition Bike Swap pint glass and a tour of the brewery. And the beer is complimentary.
Sounds like a great way to spend a chilly Sunday.

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A Texas showcase

Mark your calendars.
The fourth annual Texas Custom Bicycle Show
is being held this year on Oct. 15-16 at the Austin Convention Center at 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. in downtown Austin.
“The bikes get better and better each year,” says friend and neighbor Jeremy Shlachter, owner of Gallus Cycles in Fort Worth.
Gallus Cycles will be among the 23 exhibitors of this year’s Texas Custom Bicycle Show, which began in 2008 at the Superdrome in Frisco, a far-north suburb of Dallas.
Tickets are $5 at the door and good for admission on Saturday and Sunday. One dollar from each ticket sold goes to support the Austin Cycling Association.
“It takes a lot for me to be impressed, and I’m usually my hardest critic,” says Jeremy, who has exhibited all four years at the Texas Custom Bicycle Show. “But I am really looking forward to the show this year because I’m bringing some stunning bikes to show off.”
Jeremy will be exhibiting the stainless randonneur bike that he built for himself for participation in the Paris-Brest-Paris race in August, an all-rounder road bike, a classic mountain bike and what he says is “the most complex bike I have built to date” — a belt-drive fixie.
The diversity of Jeremy’s showpieces reflects the variety of bikes to be on display at the show — road, mountain, city and track bicycles built with such materials as steel, titanium and carbon.
This year’s show also features component and accessory manufacturers homegrown in Texas.

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