BikeCommuters.com

Commuter Bikes

My first ride of 2017

Welcome to our 3rd post of 2017! Yeah, I went on a small rant last week but it makes my blood boil every time I read anti-cycling comments on social media. The sad truth is that some of these “keyboard warriors” do manifest their aggressive behavior on the road, they forget that some of us do have families and that killing a cyclist is killing a human being.

IMG953035

But I digress. You know how I always keep bragging that it never rains in Southern California? Well, it has been raining for the last 3 weeks ruining any chance of a bike commute or along ride. However, I did squeeze in my first ride of the year; a total 1.8 miles that kicked my ass.

These were no ordinary miles, this was also no ordinary ride; it was my first Cyclocross race. Before I go into the dreadful details of my performance (or lack thereof) I want to mention what an awesome job the Inland Empire Biking Alliance is doing. This is my second organized event that I attend that is organized by the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and I am very impressed by their organization and ride amenities. If you are a cyclist that lives in the I.E., I highly recommend you joining their organization.

28691

So back to my Cyclocross experience, it was a shit load of fun! We were taught the basics of cyclocross and then we raced one lap around the track. Unfortunately for me, I had been sick the week before so my lungs gave up 3/4 of the way and ended second to last. It’s OK, the experience was worth my 6 dollar entrance.

What is next now that cyclocross is over? There is another ride that the Inland Empire Biking Alliance is organizing called the “Redlands Rossa Strada IV” which is a combination of pavement, gravel and singletrack, perfect for a cyclocross bike!

We will get back to posting commuting articles once I start riding again, sorry but I just hate riding in the rain.

Sticker Bomb Fixed Gear Bike

Hello and welcome back to our weekly Monday post. We are getting close to Christmas and to the end of 2016 so things get wacky since our workload gets lighter and we have lots of time to surf the net for “inspiration”. One of those hair-brained ideas came from RL as he continues his Sabbatical and is still wondering if The Grand Tour is better than Top Gear. He showed me a picture of a scooter that had been “Sticker Bombed” and was considering doing that to one of his scooters.

As you can see, a “sticker bomb” scooter is a basically a scooter that is full of stickers, so yes, an idea came to mind: What if I sticker bomb my Awnry Bikes testing mule? First item of business was to get a shit load of stickers, once the stickers arrived, I enlisted the help of my young daughters to apply them all over the frame.

2016-12-18_03-08-36

Yes, I had to use child labor but if Apple does it in China, why not me? I mean, I do feed, cloth and drive my darn kids everywhere! Anyhow, here is the result:

2016-12-14_09-03-53

I think it came out rather good! And better yet, my girls really liked it and they would be willing to ride a sticker bomb fixed gear bike! In fact, they shared the picture on their social media accounts and it got a good response.

2016-12-18_10-08-00

So as I am getting close to launching my own line of simple but fun commuter bikes, I’ve been working on incorporating this sticker bomb scheme into one of the Awnry bikes called the Awnry “Da’ Bomb” (yes, my kids came up with that name). Some of the challenges have been the durability of the stickers and the lack of water resistance but I have gathered a team of skillful engineers to solve that issue. Well, not really, my co-worker is helping me out since he works on different types of decal substrates.

20161218_220636

Awnry Bikes is almost ready to launch, the bikes were slightly delayed because of some added features such as anti-theft bolts, flip-flop hubs and brakes needed to be added. We will have the official launch announcement once we are satisfied with the bikes.

So what do you think about the bike? Yay or Nay?

Winter Bike Project Part One

Hello bike riders, I hope you enjoyed your extra hour of sleep, I know I did. I am excited to share with you that the search for my “winter” bike has come to an end. I shared with you 3 potential candidates on the BikeCommuters.com Facebook page; one folding bike and two single speed bikes.

Candidate #1 was a KHS Flite 200. We reviewed this bike back in 2008 and I doubt that it has changed much. The bike was $50 over my budget so I decided to wait.

flite200

Candidate #2 was an Origami Full suspension folding bike. At $220 was just a tad over my budget but I like this bike a lot. This bike sold right before I contacted the seller.

14606427_1194547483945910_4533399760903233491_n

Candidate #3 was a fully decked out State bike. This bike had it all; fenders, baskets, bell and a coaster brake. I am not a fan of coaster brakes so I decided to move on.

state

As I kept looking for my winter bike, I stumbled upon an ad that was selling a singlespeed/Fixed gear bike for $100.00. I contacted the seller for more details regarding the brand but he could not tell me what kind of bike it was but the frame was in like new condition. I was intrigued. Since the seller was close to my work, I decided to meet with him to check out the bike. The bike was basically a full blown mutt. Brandless frame, Redline wheels, SDG saddle, raceface seatpost, Shimano exage crankset and brakes, easton stem, ITM handlebar and Crane creek brake levers. Oh, it also had a carbon fiber fork. So yeah, I bought the fucking thing, it had a carbon fiber fork!!!

20161106_125514

Now, if you saw the pictures of this bike on Instagram or Facebook, you make have noticed that it had stickers on it:

20161106_125539

What the hell is an Awnry Jackson? Well, if you have not googled it yet, here is the story from a blog post on MtnBikeRiders.com:

Introducing: AWNRY Bikes N’ Stuff
March 29, 2010 – Main, Mountain Biking

Fullerton, CA, March 29, 2010 –(PR.com)– RL Policar and Moises (Moe) Ramirez have launched AWNRY Bikes N’ Stuff. “Moe and I have wanted to do this for a long time.” Policar stated. The famous blogging duo originally founded 2 very popular websites, MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com. Ramirez said, “When we got into the bike media business, the whole idea of becoming our own bicycle brand really intrigued us.”

Though mountain biking is in the heart of Ramirez and Policar, they’ve also launched the AWNRY-Jackson. This is the hipster friendly single speed or fixed frame. The Jackson only comes in black. Ramirez stated, “once you go black, you never go back.”

-4130 chromoly frame and fork
-Horizontal dropouts to easily adjust chain tension
-Accepts 1 1/8″ headset, 27.2mm post and 68mm BB
-Handles up to 700 x 38c tire
-Front fork and seatstay bridge are drilled to accept brakes in case you decide to add them

20161106_220421

Yes friends, I am living my dream of having my own brand of bikes for $115 (the rear wheel needed a spoke). I also had a bunch of decent parts on my parts bin that I added to the Awnry Jackson: Carbon Fiber ITM handlebars, Paul brake lever, Panasonic Tires from Wabi Bicycles, Selle Italia saddle and Crank brothers pedals.

20161106_220431

20161106_220435

20161106_220439

What is next for the Awnry Jackson? Get decent decals made, I suck at cutting them by hand. I will also experiment with more reflective materials since I will be riding this bike a night.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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.

spicer

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.

2016-05-04_01-27-47

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”.

20160605_114545

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

20160605_114628
Campy Chorus shifters and derailleurs

20160605_114632

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

20160605_114608

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.

20160605_123432

20160605_123436

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

20160605_123550

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.

Rad Power Bikes-RadWagon Electric Cargo Bike First Impressions

We took delivery of the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon for testing. After a 45 minute assembly session, we were on the road. Yes, you read it right, this is an Electric Cargo Bike. Reminiscent of my old Xtracycle, but electrified.

radwagon radpower bikes bikecommuters.com

This bike is powered by a brushless direct 750w drive motor,  48V 11.6Ah Li-Ion With 30 Amp Continuous BMS Samsung 29E Cells. Battery life, depending on mode ranges from 15-50 miles. They say top speed is is 20mph, but I got it up to 21.5mph on the flats.RadWagon

It’s a steel frame with entry level Shimano components. The electronics give you 5 pedal assist modes and a walking mode. The RadWagon weighs 75lbs, but handles really well. Comes with Tektro Mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors. Oh yes, it does come with fenders and a rack, which makes it a strong candidate as a “commuter bike.” To read more tech/spec info, simply go HERE.

My favorite feature on this bike would have to be the rear cargo area. It has a wood deck and floor boards so you can carry passengers or cargo. Check out the fender skirts on this bike, that’s in place so your fingers, legs, dress or anything that could get caught in the rear wheel…doesn’t. I like how they made it clear so it doesn’t take away from the look of the bike.

The total payload, that includes rider and cargo is 350lbs. I’ve yet to load it up with cargo, but I know when I had my Xtracycle there was some twisting that could feel. So I’m going to make sure I look out for that on the RadWagon.

radpowerbikes

 

 

This is the control panel. You can set your pedal assist, check your speed, ODO and max speed as well as battery life. The panel also has a built in USB charging port, just in case you want to plug in your device while riding.  IMG_5640

As you can see on the control panel, there’s ZERO miles, that’s because we just finished putting the bike together and we’ll be testing it out in the next few weeks. So stick around for the review.