Results tagged “bike” from spare cycles

Review: Jamis Sputnik



My Jamis Sputnik review is up on RoadBikeReview. Head on over there and lemme know what you think!

Brooke Miller's National Champion LOOK


Brooke Miller's Look

Brooke Miller's LookWe already had the lights setup, Brooke Miller's Look 595 was just sitting there looking pretty, and you can see the rest. I shot these real quick and would have liked to spend more time catching every stars-and-stripes detail, but ain't it a sweet ride?

More Photos

Look 596 Track


Look 596 Track

I shot some more Looks last night. I was only supposed to shoot the 576 and 566, but the 596 track bike was looking oh-so-hot. I also got some shots of Brooke Miller's stars-and-stripes bike. It almost makes me want to build my 596 up as a track bike, but I prefer gears.

Storck Absolutist 0.9 Review


Storck ReviewMy review is up on RoadbikeReview, please check it out and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your critiques as one of the things I struggled on was how to find the right voice with the review -- i.e. the right balance between marketing info, personal anecdotes, attempted humor, and critique.

And yes, as the review reveals, I did crash the bike (lack of attention), though as you can tell from the video at the end that the damage wasn't too bad. I didn't really want to do a video, but I liked the video for the Campy Super Record so much that I thought it would be a bit hypocritical to not do one myself. I also became enamored with the idea of using my Park stand to rotate the bike around during the video -- I know it sounds silly, but it's like the stand was made so you could easily spin the bike around for shooting a video :).

I'm sad to see the bike go, even if my garage is a bit crowded. We're going up OLH today for our work lunch ride and I could really use all the assistance I can get.

Storck Absolutist 0.9 Review on

Storck Absolutist 0.9 Photos



You may have noticed the Storck Absolutist 0.9 photos appearing in my Flickr photostream. I got a bit corny with the photo above going for the visual pun, "The Storck Takes Flight," aka the E.T. shot. I was looking to take a different shot as I despise catalog-y shots, so I raised the bike up and shot upwards. You'll also find a flash-fade experiment -- shooting faster than flash sync speed so you see the light wave -- in the set as well. Thien keeps telling me ever since I shot the Look Mondrian bike that I have a "Ken Conley" shot, so I try to defy him however I can.

I'm wrapping up the test riding and will start writing up the review for RoadbikeReview soon. You'll have to wait for that to get the official word, but I will say that I shattered some PRs on the bike.

I also shot the new Look 2009 line: 566, 576, 596, and 966. They are some beautiful bikes and I can't help envisioning myself pulling up to the line on a 596. That bike can split a hair. I was never much a fan of the 496, which seemed oddly chunky for a TT bike, but the 596, that's aerodynamic sculpture art. I hope to share those sometime soon.

My White Bicycle


Thanks Fritz and Ron:

My bike, not my wheels

My white bicycle, my white bicycle

Riding all around the street Four o'clock and they're all asleep I'm not tired and its so late Moving fast everything looks great.

My white bicycle, my white bicycle

See that man, hes all alone Looks so happy but hes far from home Ring my bell, smile at him Better kick over his garbage bin

My white bicycle, my white bicycle

The rain comes down but I don't care The wind is blowing in my hair Seagulls flying in the air

My white bicycle


Policeman shouts but I don't see him They're one thing I don't believe in Find some judge, but its not leavin'

Lift both hands, his head in disgrace Shines no light upon my face Through the darkness, we still speed My white bicycle and me

My white bicycle, my white bicycle

Of course, I'm not done making my bike even whiter. I'll be adding a wet white Ritchey cockpit and thien's trying to sell me on some DT Swiss 1750s.

For more white bicycle content, checkout the G-max dream version (via bicycledesign).

The hottest my bike will ever Look


My bike, not my wheels

I was shooting some bikes for Look, so we took the opportunity to play dress up with my bike as well. As you might have guessed, the Zipp 808s aren't mine, but whenever I want to make someone jealous, I can break out this photo and pretend that I left them at home. I could have shot them with Lightweights instead, but I happen to think that Zipps look far cooler.

I'm still learning the whole studio lighting thing. We used two Pro Foto Acute 2Rs with softboxes, black bed sheets, a garage door, and some custom hangers I made out of fishing line and rope. I should have used a backlight to better define things, but I didn't have an extra remote to trigger another light. Also, a note when you're using fishing line to hold the bike because you think it will be easy to Photoshop out: it's not, so try your best to keep it from crossing any part of the bike.

Bike Built!



My Look 585 is built, with all credit to Francois/Francis and Thien of MTBR/RoadBikeReview, who soldiered through a long Friday night to make sure I looked pretty on Sunday's group ride. I've posted a photo below that makes it look like I actually did a lot of the wrenching, but, truth be told, I probably spent more time cleaning up my spilled beer. Thanks also goes to Sports Basement, which is rescued us from having to abort when we discovered that the threads on the bottom bracket needed to be chased.

IMG_5160 IMG_5167

My contributions: I attached the rear brake, right shifter, put ceramic bearings in the wheels, ran and cut some cabling, and did half of the bar tape. A pretty sorry total given the amount of effort that goes into a bike. I got to learn a lot from watching Francis handle a lot of the difficult wrenching, and Thien showed me the proper bike nerd details that one is supposed to pay attention to, such as cutting the rear brake housing so that the Dura Ace logo shows and lining up the tire logo with the valve stem. With ownership of an awesome bike comes great responsibility.

Build list:

  • Frame: Look 585 Origin
  • Group: Dura Ace shifters and derailleurs, Ultegra SL crank/brakes/cassette
  • Seatpost: something heavy scavenged from my old bike
  • Seat: Specialized Gel Toupe, also scavenged from my other bike
  • Wheels: Neuvation M28 Aero2 with Enduro ceramic bearings
  • Cockpit: Ritchey Pro stem and handlebar
  • Tires: Michelin Pro Race 3

This build is not 'final': based on the Ritchey booth at Sea Otter, I'm now eyeing their new Wet White finish for the WCS 4-Axis steam and WCS Logic II road bars. It currently has a Ritchey Pro cockpit and I scavenged a seatpost and saddle are from my old bike. The seatpost is especially heavy and is one of the reasons that the build topped out at 17.15 lbs instead of the planned 16.5 lbs. The frame also came in 0.33 lbs over, possibly due to the white paint. It should be in the 16 lbs range when I'm finally done.

IMG_5172 IMG_5171


All the parts on this build were selected by doing research in the RoadBikeReview forums and the wrenching was done by Francois and Thien, so I can truly say, "This bike build powered by the good folks of:"

Stage 1 Bikes/Pre-Race


Rock Racing - (c) Ken Conley Marco Polo - (c) Ken Conley

Stage 1: Bikes and Misc

I took quite a few Rock Racing bike photos before the race as they were all nicely lined up for me. The photo on the left is sort of a virtual Rock Racing skull -- each skull is an eye and the bike rack is the nose. Or perhaps I need more sleep.

The old Marco Polo bike (another photo) also caught me eye. It's way cooler than their new design, which is just the Astana blue Madones. Unlike Levi's backup bike, the Disco Logo still flies.

I also snagged some candids as the riders emerged from their hotels:

Chechu Rubiera - (c) Ken Conley Bobby Julich - (c) Ken Conley Tyler Hamilton - (c) Ken Conley

Stage 1: Bikes and Misc

My build


All the parts for my Look 585 should be on the way:

  • Frame: Look 585 Origin
  • Group: Dura Ace shifters and derailleurs, Ultegra SL crank/brakes/cassette
  • Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece
  • Wheels: Neuvation M28 Aero2 with Enduro ceramic bearings (I've personally confirmed that John at Neuvation does respond promptly to e-mails; customer service + price + local Cali was a big plus for me)
  • Cockpit: Ritchey WCS Logic Road Bar and WCS 4Axis Road Stem
  • Tires: Michelin Pro Race 3

The online tools I've found estimate the final build weight to be about 16.5 lbs. It's about thousand dollars per pound to shave more off of that, so I'm quite happy.

I was originally going to buy the parts from local bike shops, but was a bit shocked by my survey. Two bike shops didn't even having pricing for groupsets, which lead to me getting price quotes that were astronomically high (above MSRP!). One of the two actually told me to buy the parts on the UK site probikekit, which I did after I saw their ridiculously low prices. Another Web site is Excel Sports, which has a closeout on 2007 Look 585 frames.

There were bike shops that were quite good: the folks at Silicon Valley Cycling Center and Palo Alto Bikes were solid, giving me real quotes for parts and labor that were very reasonable. They both also happen to be Look dealers. I will be sending money their way one way or another, so I don't feel too guilty. In the end, the Tour de Georgia forced my hand: there was no way I was going to get riding in before that, and I'll need the extra $$$ to pay for the trip.

Look 586 Mondrian


Look 586 Mondrian Limited Edition

Look 586 Mondrian Limited Edition Look 586 Mondrian Limited Edition Look 586 Mondrian Limited Edition Look 586 Mondrian Limited Edition

Copy of IMG_9022 Copy of IMG_9039

Not my bike -- there's only 50 of these puppies, so hunt down your local Look dealer if you want yours.

I don't even have my Look 585 assembled and I'm already taking photos of other bikes to make it jealous. I was a bit of a Mondrian nerd in college, so the idea of a Mondrian-inspired, limited edition, bike of awesomeness appeals to me. The top photo is my favorite because, for me, it evokes Mondrian's "Lozenge" compositions. I would have attempted to steal the Look 586, but the S-sized frame would have been a bit clown-ish for my 6'2" frame.

I should note that I'm terrible at studio shots -- my prior studio lighting experience was two headshots and never anything with bikes. Bikes are more well-behaved subjects, but I had not anticipated the difficulty of photographing spokes on a black backdrop: the 586 appears to be riding on a magical spoke-less Carbones. While the black works for the closeups, a white backdrop is definitely the way to go for a profile shot.

RoadBikeReview: 586 Mondrian Limited Edition

Disco Lives (Almost)

Discovery Channel TT Bike - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

You can tell it's the start of the season -- Levi's backup bike is still his old Discovery Channel bike, albeit with a black piece of tape that somehow disguises its origin.

New Trek Madone, Trek blog


madone.pngI've been jealously following Neil@ROAD's coverage of the new Trek Madone. Just the other day I was test riding a Specialized Roubaix and now Trek has to go and modernize their lineup a bit with... (drumroll) and sloping downtube! Actually, there's quite a lot that's new with the design. Spinopsys points out the new 90mm bottom bracket. There's also a new seatmast design, a prettier paint job, and various weight-saving improvements that have shaved 250g off the package.

The new lineup will be divided into "Pro Fit", "Performance Fit" (30mm taller head tube for comfort), and "WSD (Women Specific Design) Fit". I can barely afford the entry level Roubaix right now with it's Shimano 105 group, so I'm pretty sure the base-level Ultegra Madone is out of my range.


Trek Madone

Now that's an electric bike I can ride


Surfing the Web to find out if the General Wesley Clark for President rumors are true? Who cares? What I want to know more about are the WaveCrest electric bikes that Clark is promoting. In the past I've ridiculed a certain other electric bike because (a) it is designed to look like a dinky moped (b) it goes slower than my road bike (~22mph in the flats) (c) it is designed to look like a dinky moped.

WaveCrest's bike, on the other hand, (a) is designed on a mountain bike frame (b) gets up to 30mph (c) can be taken off road, possibly even mountain biking (one of its intended applications is military use). Also, the bike has pedals - though none of the videos actually show the pedals being used so I'm not clear as to how functional they are (though they are mounted on a triple chainring).

What else makes the WaveCrest special? Their key technology is advertised as an adaptive electric propulsion system that can reconfigure the torque/efficiency of the motor thousands of times per second. Their first application is a bike, as that is the easiest, but in the future they are eyeing the automotive industry. - Election Race? First, Check Out This Bike - Another press release with video links in the sidebar

New Trek bike on tour


Will Swetnam had mentioned this a couple of days in his blog, but I couldn't find the photos that he was mentioning. He's now followed up with details and a link to actual photos. Accordig to Swetnam's description, the bike is only 1/10th of a pound lighter than the 5900, but it's been re-engineered for much better airflow.

Trek Madone

and for comparison, the 5900:

5900 photo