BikeCommuters.com

Author Archive: The Bike Geek

The bike geek is a dude that enjoys all sorts of bicycle riding. He has been a bike commuter, Mountain bike racer and recreational roadie. He has an affinity for gadgets, software and data, lots of data!

The Bike Geek: Abus Bordo Granit X plus 6500

Hello fellow bicycle riders! I know it is late but I had a fun filled weekend hiking and riding my mountain bike that I did not have a chance to ride my Spicer Cycles CX bike until today.

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If you visit our Facebook page, you noticed that I posted a picture of something resembling an X-men belt, it is actually the Abus Bordo Granit X plus 6500 (say that three times fast) lock.

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I had the chance to ride to the post office for a quick errand so I decided to take the lock with me for a first impression. This lock is like nothing I’ve ever seen, it folds tidily into a pouch that features a very versatile strapping system.

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Notice I was able to strap the lock to my Axiom Streamliner DX rear rack which helped counter balance my 2 Wheel Gear pannier backpack convertible. You can also attach it in lieu of a water bottle cage, but I’m a thirsty guy so I need both cages on my CX.

The Abus Bordo Granit X plus 6500 is a little heavy, weighing at about 3.88 lbs but unless you are carrying it in your backpack, the weight is not too noticeable.

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The lock features 5.5mm steel bar made of special hardened steel and Soft-touch coating on the bars and matching silicone lock body cover protects bike’s paint job. Just be careful with the links because they can pinch you.

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As I arrived at my post office, I immediately parked my bicycle with the tire inside the rack. Well, the lock was not long enough to lock the front tire and the frame so I decided to lock my bike to the side of the rack. Mmmm, not too happy about that.

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Since I was only going to go inside the post office for a couple of minutes, I felt OK leaving my bike locked as the pictures show, but no way I would leave my bike locked like that for an extended period of time. Why? I think my wheels are an essential part of my bike and since they feature quick release skewers, they would be easy to steal.

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The lock also comes with a key that has a little blue LED so you can find the hole in the dark, I think that it is a nice little feature.

The Abus Bordo Granit X plus 6500 is sort of like a flexible U-lock, but bulkier, and heavier and the price…. $179.00 which is over twice as much as a Kryptonite lock. I also did not find any guarantee if your bike gets stolen while using this lock, that is a bummer for a lock of this price point.

We will try to break this lock using rudimentary tools, will it hold up? We will see soon….

The Bike Geek: Spicer Cycles Cyclocross bicycle

I just realized that I’ve been doing my weekly posts for almost 4 months without my smart ass getting fired from BikeCommuters.com. I reckon that is a good thing… Anyhow, I’ve been having fun writing all these posts since I got my bike mojo back and I have been lucky to have been given the chance to review some cool things.

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about how I like to look at Craigslist for good deals and sure enough, I found a deal that I just could not resist. As you can see from the picture above, I got this Spicer Cyclocross from Craigslist for $200, yup, $200!!!. Unfortunately that meant that I had to get rid of one bicycle because I’m a condominium dweller with no garage so we say good bye to my very trusty Devinci Caribou 2.

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Luckily the Devinci Caribou 2 will stay in the BikeCommuters.com family since its new riding partner is our beloved Editor-in-Chief RL Policar. Let’s not get mushy about the Caribou because this Spicer bike is really exciting and intriguing. I’ve never heard of Spicer Cycles so a Google search revealed that this company is an American company that creates handmade frames; mainly fixed gear and pursuit frames with the occasional mountain bike, cyclocross bike and road bike. The Spicer website does not have much about them and their history and unfortunately the seller did not have much information about the bike other than “my ex-husband bought it for me”.

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My new-to-me Spicer Cycles Cyclocross comes with a mix of interesting components:

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Campy Chorus shifters and derailleurs

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Alex Rims, Vuelta cranks, Michelin Cx Tires and a carbon fiber fork. Not bad for $200.

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Notice that I already added some of my favorite bicycle commuter accessories such as the top tube bag, handlebar mirror, dual matching bottle cages, Crank Brothers eggbeater pedals, frame pump and a rear blinkie. What is missing? The rear rack! This Spicer cyclocross bike comes with no holes for a rear rack so I ended up ordering an Axiom Streamliner Road DLX rear rack for bicycles with no mounting holes.

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The rack uses the wheel skewer to secure the rack and a securing bridge that attaches to the fender hole.

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I had to improvise on securing the bridge mount with zip ties, but this means that I can still commute with my favorite Pannier/Backpack convertible from 2 Wheel Gear.

Come back for the exciting adventures that awaits and for a full review of the Axiom Streamliner DLX rear rack.

The Bike Geek: Burley Travoy

Hello fellow bike commuters! Did you miss your Monday Bike Geek fix? Me too, but I had a very busy weekend and I was not able to write my weekly post. Let’s just hope that I still have a “job” at BikeCommuters.com (who are we kidding, I effin’ run the show here!)

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So the unofficial start of summer is here and two of the things that are on my bucket list is to do a bicycle camping trip and learn to play golf. Well Burley is one of those companies that is well known for their trailers (they did have bitchin’ tandems years ago) so they sent a Burley Travoy to fulfill that bike-camping dream of mine.

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This thing is freaking awesome, it folds so it is out of the way if you live in a Condo and it is very sturdy once it is fully erect. It comes with a tote bag with neat little tie downs, quick release bicycle attachment, 12 inch wheels and it carries up to 60 lbs. I’ve been planning a small trip to a camping ground 23 miles away from where I work so stay tuned for that adventure in the near future.

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In the meanwhile, what to do with the Travoy? Well, since I started learning how to hit that little white ball, I figured that I can ride my bike to my always crowded golf range and when the time comes, I can use the Travoy to haul my golf clubs around! Pretty neat, eh.

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We will be putting the Travoy to the test, come back for the updates!

The Bike Geek: The Bicycle Blue Book

Most of us are familiar with the famous “Blue Book” for cars. If you are not familiar with it, this little book (now a website and app) would give you an estimate of what a car is worth.

So a blue book for bikes would make sense, right? I mean, we all want to know what our bike is worth if we want to sell it. As an avid buyer and seller of bicycles on Craigslist (I’m not a flipper), I can tell you that the bicycle blue book sucks. Here is why: the prices are no where close to what the Los Angeles market dictates. This means that if you list your bike at “market value” you always get that buyer who wants to buy your bike at “blue book value”.

Here is a couple of examples of my personal experiences:

I sold a 2004 Giant TCR for $500 on Craigslist, Max Bicycle Blue book value: $300. GTFO.
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Sold a 2007 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 on Craigslist for $450, Max Bicycle Blue Book value: a ridiculous $169.
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Friends have also told me that when they try to sell bikes, the bicycle blue book value is way off.

Why such discrepancies? Not sure but here is my theory: According to the bicycle blue book site, it gathers data from Ebay and other sources but it does not cite Craigslist as one of the main sources. As far as I know, Craigslist contains more bicycle listings than eBay and it really dictates the market value of a bike more accurately.

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Sure you have idiots on Craigslist trying to sell piece of shit bikes for unrealistic prices, but that is where the art of bargaining comes in. On the other side of the coin, if you happen to be a buyer and you get that uninformed seller and throw the blue book value at them and they bite, you just scored a nice deal.

So if anyone is selling a Bianchi Via Nirone for $169, hit me at a thebikegeek@bikecommuters.com.