BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: single speed

Commuter Profile: Danny Abalos

Howdy Bike Commuters… We put out a call to arms for Commuter Profiles back in the day, and we had some lukewarm responses.  Since none of the velo monsters who initially emailed us have responded with a completed questionnaire, I have decided to cajole my friend Danny from NYC into submitting his Commuter Profile!  We hope the photos inspire you to share your commuter profile story too.  Get ready for more silly sarcasm and major hipster points… without further ado, Danny Abalos’ 15 minutes of Bike Commuter Internet fame:

Danny Abalos and his red single speed Schwinn in a white spaceship (a.k.a. his office)

Name: Danny Abalos


How long have you been a bike commuter?

5 years since college + 5 years at college before that. So, 10 years!

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

I hail from California, but I hate driving and traffic, so I got a job in NYC which is super bike friendly and it’s totally extra hipster points when you ride your bike everywhere. The subway is cool too, but bikes rule. My ride to work is a pretty easy 3 or 4 miles of  the beautiful bike lane-lined Brooklyn waterfront.  It only takes about 20 minutes, allowing me to get to work only 20 minutes late every day!

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

I already mentioned the extra hipster points right? So you can assume that I have five hundred friends on facebook because I ride a bike.  Also I never buy an unlimited metro card because they are lame, so I save about a hundred dollars per month to spend on things like… not gas.

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I work at an Architecture firm in New York City.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I have a lovely minimal shiny red single speed Schwinn with an awesome “ratio” that I know nothing about.  Editor’s side bar: one time Danny g-chatted me telling me the story of how some guys were admiring his bike on the way to work, and they kept asking him what his ratio was.  I told him they meant his GEAR ratio, but that I also did not know an easy way to answer the question! HA.

The red single-speed Shwinn with street cred and something about "ratios"

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

Sure, but it’s more of a photo thing. I see lots of public art (or maybe it’s wannabe graffiti) during my commute that is pretty cool!  Plus, check out the dope view of the city I get twice a day over the Pulanski Bridge as I ride from Long Island City to Brooklyn to and from work.

Clever stencil...

Does this count as public art?

Along the bike path.

More art on the bike path.

Scenic Waterfront views.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

Nobody is phased, come on this is Brooklyn!  Honestly though, I’m just a regular guy like everybody else.

How about bicycling advocacy?  Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

I try to get my friends to bike everywhere by saying that we are in a bike gang, but I still don’t have a name for it yet.  Editor’s side bar: this is actually true and not sarcasm.  Our other friend, Justin, was bummed that he doesn’t have a bike yet so he can’t join the unnamed architecture bike gang.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

Sure, check out my ghetto fender I made out of an aluminum foil box today cuz the roads were a little moist in the pictures over there.

Danny's bike on the way into town- check out the killer view (I'm obviously talking about the view of his Aluminum foil box "fender"!)

Thanks for sharing, Danny… All the readers out there must be jealous of your separated bike path and green painted bike lanes – I know I AM!  So, if there are any other Cycle Ladies and Gents interested in submitting their commuter profiles, please email us at info{at}bikecommuters{dot}com.  It’s so easy and fun, even Danny can do it.

Redline Urbis Hits the Streets

Back in September during the Interbike show, Redline Bicycles set out some bait and wanted to see what the people’s reaction was to this bike. Well because of the overwhelming response, they are finally coming out with the Redline Urbis.

This is the info I got from Redline directly

affordable fixie freestyle bike, who else other than Redline to bring you a bike designed from the best mix of BMX parts, and Street/Urban design.

This bike will come fixed w/flip flop hub so the customer can put a freewheel on it if desired(a rear brake will be included but not installed).

We had taken some video of the prototype during Interbike and if you missed it, here you go.

But the kind folks of Redline sent me these photos today to give you all an idea on the actual production model. These photos were taken right outside the Redline HQ.

MSRP will be around $549.99 to $599.99

Interbike 2008- 183rd St. Bicycles

The story behind this brand is very interesting. Many moons ago, Steve Richey was the GM for KHS Bicycles, and on his way home one day from work, he was mugged by a few thugs with automatic weapons on 183rd St in Los Angeles County. So from that day on, he had vowed to somehow use that street name to do something with bicycles, a few years later, you see its outcome.


We’ll get more information about the company, prices and etc. Right now they are only selling frame sets.

From Single to Nine

A lot of us like to ‘simplify’ our drivetrains by either converting a multi-speed bike to a single speed/fixie or by building them from a bare frame. I built this Ibex X-ray Single Speed back in October of ’05 for commuting purposes.

I’ve been wanting to convert this bike into a 1X9 for a while — this set up is more versatile and allows for my friends to borrow this bike and go ride with me.

Here are the details of my conversion:

First, I began by removing the single speed kit using my trusty Ice Toolz Cassette remover, then I installed the 9 speed cassette on the freehub.

Next was removing the chain by using a chain breaker:

then I installed the rear derailleur, yep, a Dura-ace derailleur that I scored for cheap on Ebay.

I then installed a Soulchain 9 speed chain using a method to size the chain described here.

Although I have a pair of STI Dura-ace shifters, I didn’t want to change my current setup, so I opted to go ‘old school’ by installing a Suntour Friction bar end shifter given to me by our good friend Ghost Rider.

I then had to go to my LBS to purchase the shifter cable, housing, the BB guide and a new bar tape.

Here’s how I guided the cabling:



After removing the old bar tape, I installed the new bar tape so I can conceal the shifter cable. I chose yellow bar tape so it can match the color scheme of the bike and to be more visible to motorists.

I rode the bike around the block, after a few adjustments the bike shifts very smooth and it is ready to ride to work!

Guest Article: Coaster Brakes, by Shane Stock of Oso Bike

Shane Stock of OSO Bike riding his Coaster Brake Bike.

If you were a kid during the seventies, you may remember the old Schwinn Stingrays–they had banana seats, and thick tires in the back for skidding. My friends and I used to ride those bikes around all summer and we were pretty hard on them. We would race them around the bumpy dirt trails of the vacant lots in the little town of Othello, Washington. We would make ramps out of boards and cinder blocks to make our bikes fly. Or we would go to the elementary school and go under the monkey bars, Then we would grab the bars and let our bikes go flying out into the lawn. The bikes were pretty much all singlespeeds with coaster brakes. I do not recall ever having a coaster brake go bad, which I think is remarkable considering the abuse they took.

Schwinn World that I fixed up from the flea market.

If you go to Asia you will see a lot more adults riding bikes, and many of them are riding singlespeeds with coaster brakes. Why do coaster brakes seem less popular in the U.S.? Some of it has to do with the fact that 10-speeds have become popular, and it is not possible to have a conventional 10-speed with coaster brakes. If a person rides around on a 10-speed with caliper brakes for 10 years, he gets so used to the caliper brakes, that it feels weird to go back to coaster brakes.

Cruiser that I bought from Walmart for about $100, then spent another $100 modernizing it. It already had a coaster brake, but I changed the crank to a higher ratio.

I have always liked singlespeed coaster brake set ups. The places I have lived have been fairly flat, so I don’t need all the gears. If I hit a hill that is too steep I just zig-zag up it, which has the same effect as gearing up. I like coaster brakes for the following reasons:

1. They almost never require maintenance or adjustment. And, contrary to what some people believe, they can be serviced if needed (which is almost never).

2. They don’t make any sound when you are coasting (no tick-tick-tick “fishing reel” sound that you get with other setups).

3.Your foot is always on the brake. With caliper brakes you sometimes have to move your hand to a different position to grab the brake lever.

4. You don’t have the risk of braking too hard on the front wheel and flipping over, which happened to me one time and wasn’t fun.

5. They do not get wet and slide when it is raining.

Another Schwinn World from the flea market. I had to buy another bike for $20 just to get the handlebars (threw the bike away, saved the handle bars).

For more information about OSO Bikes or coaster brakes, check out www.osobike.com