BikeCommuters.com

Commute

Make your own Studded Ice tires

So now that you know how to make your own tire chains, now you can learn how to do your own studded ice tires. Noah from KC Bike Commuting posted a great DIY on his blog.

Doing it is easy, but time consuming. I spent about an hour per wheel.

Before you get started, you’ll need a pair of Mr. Tuffy (or equivalent) tire liners. I went with one size up from what’s recommended because I wanted to make sure the liner would cover the screw heads.

Click here to read Noah’s great DIY.

Learn how to make your own tire chains for your bike!

Over on MtnBikeRiders.com, I resurrected an article that my brother, Randy wrote a while back. Before getting station to Yuma, Az, Randy was stationed in New Cumberland, PA. It would snow there all the time and even parts of the might Susquehana River would freeze. So when he was there, he decided to try his hand in making some chains for his bike.

Check out the How To right HERE.
tire chains for bicycle

Kids and Christmas

Yesterday I was listening to a radio show and the host was Jilian, the trainer from Big Fat Loser. She was talking about a study she recently read that stated the best presents for kids this season would be fitness equipment such as dumbells and treadmills. She went on about how she disagrees with it and thinks that giving a kid dumbells for Christmas is not only cruel, but it will make them resentful towards fitness in general.

I do agree with her and I wish I could find the study she was talking about to read more about it. What sucks to me is the fact that bicycles are not being marketed enough as “this season’s hottest gift!” Usually it’s the Wii or a new laptop or anything technology related.

Here’s the deal, if you have kids and are dead set on getting a Wii, well first of all, good luck! Those things are harder to find than a Leprechaun. If you still can’t find the Wii by next week, consider going to your LBS. What kid wouldn’t want a brand new bicycle for Christmas? That has to be one of the best presents any kid could get! Sure the Wii or any tech gadget would be cool, but a bike can literally change a child’s life. You know all the health benefits as well as the confidence they get from riding a bike. But think about grooming the next generation of riders that will eventually be the people that will be leading our current bicycle companies.

Take for example gOrk Barette, He works for Seattle Bicycle Supply, the parent company of Redline Bicycles, Torker and La Pierre. Gork got into bikes as a kid. He raced BMX most of his life, and look at him now, he’s the Marketing Director for SBS. Talk about cultivating kids to take over!

So what’s my point? Well, it’s simple really: rather than getting something that is technology related as a present, get something that will be more rewarding than going to the next level of a video game….get your kid on a bicycle!

Christmas Lights for Bikes!

Our buddy Noah over in Kansas City had a holiday-themed post over at his blog the other day…he found some Christmas lights for his bike!

Totally inspired by this, I proceeded to scour the Web, looking for similar battery-powered LED lights for my commuting bike after a search of several local stores turned up bupkis. Yeah, that’s right…I said “BUPKIS”!

Finally, after a good bit of searching, I discovered exactly what I wanted — multi-colored blinking LED Christmas lights powered by AA batteries. I got them from a site called “Deal Extreme”. Right now, there is worldwide FREE SHIPPING on this item!

As Noah indicated on his blog, the battery case for these lights is a bit flimsy and not exactly waterproof. I, too, added a rubberband and a plastic sandwich bag to reinforce the battery case and slipped it into the pocket of my pannier. The full light cable is three meters long fully extended, so I ran the lights up my toptube, around the headtube and down the downtube, securing the cable with a few zipties as I went.

Here’s how it looks:
Christmas lights

Wait — let’s try this poorly-made video to see how things look! The really bright red flash to the right is my Planet Bike “Superflash”:

The picture doesn’t do these lights justice — each LED blinks from red to green to blue, purple, yellow and orange and there are a multitude of flashing patterns!! As I rode home tonight from the annual Hillsborough River Christmas Boat Parade, I got a lot of honks and shouts of “Hey, Santa!” from passing motorists and pedestrians. It was AWESOME! Now all I need to do is grow a big belly and a white beard!

Company Profile: Nirve Bicycles

Nirve Bicycles became one of our friends a few months ago. They supplied us with a super cool Ultraliner to review and ever since then we’ve been best buds.

Under the leadership of Dan Bon, who I may add is probably the tallest guy I know in the bicycle industry, Nirve is known to be the premiere bicycle company that specializes in designer,quality beach cruisers, choppers and bicycle components. You may have seen some of their bikes that have some great designs such as Hello Kitty, Paul Frank, John Deere, Pink Panther and many more.

This past Friday our very own Khoa N.(our own Sports Photographer), headed down to Fountain Valley, Ca.to meet up with Dan Bon to pick up the newest bike to hit our testing grounds, the Night Owl.
nirve night owl

nirve night owl
Photos by Khoa N.

While Khoa was at the Nirve headquarters, Dan gave him a tour of their showroom floor and Khoa was able to take some great photos of some of the most unique bikes that I’ve seen. Check out the photo below — they actually have a bike rack in the front…which means they encourage bike commuting!

As you walk through the Nirve doors, you’re greeted with display cases that show off their goods as well as a hall of fame that has photos, posters, magazine articles and other memorabilia that makes Nirve so popular. During one of my visits there, I saw a collage where Nirve presented some of the stars of the hit TV show The OC with some tricked out chopper cruisers.
nirve bicycles lobby
Nirve Hall of Fame

One of the best things that I think makes Nirve better than some of the other cruiser brands out there is the detail that they put into their bikes. Check out the “mural” they have on this Lahaina cruiser.

Nirve carries a whole slew of beach cruisers in so many different styles that they pretty much boast that anyone can find the cruiser that will fit their personality to the tee.

There were two cruisers/choppers that caught my attention form Khoa’s collection of photos. The first one is called the Cannibal.

I love this bare metal look. Look at that welding…now that’s nice! I hate bikes that have weld jobs that look like someone just squeezed out a tube of toothpaste onto the metal…but not Nirve…it basically looks clean.

Another attention to detail was found on this bike. I mean c’mon — Firmstrong, Giant, Trek or other cruiser makers has nothing on Nirve when it comes to the details…

So you’re probably wondering why we did a company profile on a beach cruiser company. Well it actually came about because I have yet to see anyone commute on a beach cruiser. So I wanted to break into something new with commuting and possibly crack the stereotype that beach cruisers are not long haul commuters. But in reality, ANY bike can be a commuter! I’m just grateful for Dan Bon and Nirve to allow us to use their bike to help introduce cruisers as commuters.

What’s great about the Nirve Night Owl that we’re reviewing is that it has mounts for a rear rack if I wanted to install one. Plus, it has a chain guard to protect my slacks from grease. But if you’re not a rack kinda person, you can also use those mounting tabs for a set of fenders. But since we’re testing this in Southern California…there’s no need. We’re basically in a drought and only really see a few weeks of rain a year.

So for the folks who are bike commuting with multi-geared bikes, fixies, mountain bikes, utilitarian bikes and road bikes, my goal is to give you insight that you can easily commute to work or anywhere with the use of a beach cruiser.

I do want to thank Khoa for taking the day to spend with Nirve Bicycles and thanks again to Dan Bon for providing us the Night Owl for the review.

To see more of Khoa’s Nirve visit photos, click HERE.