Category: Tech

February 10, 2010

Racebak Review

My Racebak review is up at RoadbikeReview.com.

September 26, 2009

Interbike Bits

I only spent a day and a half at Interbike this year as I had other things to tend to this year. I didn't take too many photos as I was saving my energies for shooting races, but here are some things that got me to break the camera out.

LOOK 464 Track Bike

LOOK-464_Track

A relatively inexpensive aluminum LOOK track bike, for those that can't afford a 596.

Storck Aero 2

Storck Aero 2-3

I know I might come off as biased for pointing this bike out as I've previously covered Storck, but this bike is all sorts of sick. Plenty of TT bikes have brakes inside the fork nowadays, but who has integrated, carbon leaf-spring brakes? Add on Shimano Di-2 electric-specific customizations and you have one helluva bike at a mortgage-worthy price tag.

Storck Aero 2-Integrated Carbon Leaf Spring Brake

Dahon Folding Helmet

Dahon Folding Helmet-2

Dahon Folding Helmet-4

It's a helmet, that folds. Not something I need for my arsenal, but kudos for the ingenuity.

They also have a bike -- wasn't in the booth when I visited -- that can charge your iPhone off the front hub dynamo.

Prologo Nago Evo TTR

Nago TTR Cancellara-2

Saddle of Spartacus, World Champion

Rock Racing

Rock Racing Bikes-2

Rock Racing Bikes-4 Rock Racing Bikes-6

I can't see myself riding coated in RR logo, but what I liked about this bike was a production bike where all the components have an integrated design: Prologo saddles, Lightweight wheels, cranks, seatpost, cockpit, etc... You can even get matching helmets. Everything fits into the overall design. It took getting a lot of manufacturers on board to do something like this.

Giro Prolight

Giro Prolight

Giro Prolight-2

This was all over the peloton at the Tour de France, though Lance interestingly stuck with his Ionos. Perhaps he thought the Ionos looks better... which it does.

It really does feel different to have almost nothing sitting on your head, and I liked the elastic, no-adjustment strap that swoops around the back of the head. I was less sure about the feel of the chin strap, which felt a little too tensioned as a result.

At $200, this one is mainly for the "racers".

July 13, 2009

Review: Jamis Sputnik

sputnik-rbr.jpg

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

July 2, 2009

LOOK 566 Urban

look_566_urban_mockup.jpg

I did a writeup for RoadbikeReview on the LOOK 566 Urban. No the bike hasn't actually been released, but they might, so head on over there to find out what might be.

June 23, 2009

New Madone?

Lance Armstrong Group - (c) Ken Conley

Levi Leipheimer Group - (c) Ken Conley

Lance and Levi were both sporting 'stealthy' Trek Madones at the Nevada City Classic. New prototype Trek? Beats me. Click photos to view large.

Update 3: RoadbikeReview points out some of the changes

Update:

Black Madone.jpg

Update 2:

Armstrong's bike from training camp (more photos), i.e. the old madone

Bikes - (c) Ken Conley

April 29, 2009

RoadbikeReview checks out Sea Otter (Part II)

Some more Sea Otter Classic booth videos from RoadbikeReview:

April 24, 2009

RoadbikeReview checks out Sea Otter (Part I)

RoadbikeReview just posted a bunch of videos from Sea Otter (more to come). I ran out of time to stop by the Edge booth so I'm glad there's video. I heard riders on the pro course singing the praises of Edge composites, especially the forks. It was hard not to notice all the bikes at the San Diego Handbuilt Show sporting the Edge wheels and forks.

I did stop by the Fizik booth, mainly to choose the color of my next saddle. The Arione was always a bit thin for me, but the Antares looks just right for my next bike.

Videos:

April 27, 2009

Rooly Sunglasses Part II: Rooly Partial Review

Rooly "Partial" Sunglasses rooly partial.jpg

$89, glossy black, silver, glossy blue, matte chrome, interchangeable lenses

In the over-saturated arena of sports performance sunglasses, the Rooly "Partial" easily holds its own against heavy hitters Oakley, Giro, Smith and Rudy Project. They include lightweight "Trinine" frames, interchangeable lenses, shock-resistant Megol rubber nose and temple pads, polycarbonate lenses and 100% UVA and UVB protection.

These glasses are extremely comfortable, fit very securely on the face and don't get in the way of peripheral vision as they protect your eyes. While swapping lenses can get a little tricky, it was no more difficult than swapping out the lenses on a pair of Oakley Flak Jackets or Smith Reactor Max glasses. You can also order additional lenses through their website.

Each pair includes additional yellow lenses for low light conditions and a zippered neoprene case.

April 24, 2009

Rooly Sunglasses Part I: Rooly Proz Review

Liz Hatch - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Guest Blogger: Al Painter, Integrate Fitness

Southern California sunglasses manufacturer Rooly is probably the best kept secret in the eyewear industry. Their products are used by Major League baseball players, professional skiers, golfers and snowboarders as well Olympic track athletes and elite level endurance athletes. And, of course, professional cyclists like Tony Cruz and Taylor Tolleson of BMC as well as Liz Hatch of Vanderkitten, who was showing off her pink frames on the Laguna Seca race course.

Rooly came out to Sea Otter to showcase their wares so took the opportunity to give some of the lenses a spin.

Rooly Proz Sunglassesrooly proz.jpg

$109, glossy black, matte black, matte chrome, interchangeable lenses

First up was the Rooly Proz, which are part of their "Fashion Performance" line. The Proz feature an interchangeable lens system allowing you to adapt the glasses to whatever light conditions necessary. They feature lightweight, polycarbonate Trinine frames. I found changing the polycarbonate lenses to be a breeze -- "husband proof" as my wife called it.

While the lenses provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, they didn't seem to fit the same way after the initial swap. They also tended to sit higher on the nose and didn't seem as snug a fit. However they didn't fall off, slide or jiggle with activity, so don't let fit issues be a deal breaker that gets in the way of owning a high quality pair of eyewear. You can also try the larger Prospect frame.

Each pair also includes additional yellow lenses for low light conditions and zippered neoprene case.

December 21, 2008

Marcus Storck Interview

I had to go shoot another booth just before this interview was done so I'm enjoying seeing what I missed. Full of fun Storck facts, like how Trek inadvertently gave birth to Storck Bicycles.

November 17, 2008

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

November 15, 2008

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.

September 25, 2008

Interbike Wednesday: P4! Lance!

Cross Vegas Lance Armstrong20080923_5510

Cervelo P420080923_5068

So much went on Wednesday, but I'm still buried under a mountain of photos and have little time to write. Two of the major items are the ones you see above. Yes Lance raced 'cross, perhaps the oddest presence in a field that had Justin England wearing an awful wig, a rider dressed as Elvis,and fans pushing dollar bills into the helmets of passing riders. The field split quickly into two races: the race for the victory between Trebon, Craig, Wells, Johnson, and others in the first group, and the race to shoot Lance Armstrong in the second group. You can see more of my Lance photos in my Road Bike Action Web gallery.

There's also the Cervelo P4: get yours now before the UCI rules it illegal. If the water bottle were frame it might be illegal, but as it is removable, somehow it isn't. They claim its the fastest possible bike: UCI legal or no. I'm a little sad to see that physics hasn't somehow designed a better looking bike. It kinda looks like someone welded together a TT frame using tubing from a bunch of different spare bikes. RoadbikeReview has a video of the naked frame, so you can judge for yourself.

September 23, 2008

Interbike soon

I leave for Interbike tonight -- I'll have to do Outdoor Demo another year. I probably won't have time to do much coverage here as I'll be supporting MTBR's and RoadbikeReview's much more detailed efforts. I'll also be trying to corner Fritz of Cyclelicio.us for some commute bike recommendations. He's covering Interbike for Commute by Bike. Just yesterday, two of my co-workers asked me for recommendations. so I've been perusing Commute by Bike's bike database.

August 27, 2008

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 RoadbikeReview.com

July 17, 2008

Yeah, Thien!

roadbikereview_logo.jpgFrom Bicycle Newswire:

...Since his hiring, Mr. Dinh has made an immediate impact on the site, which has expanded its offerings to include editorial product reviews, expanded race coverage, and cycling videos.

...Also, as a direct result of the hiring of a dedicated site manager for RoadBikeReview, traffic has more than doubled in the last six months. Cebedo continues, "The monthly traffic of RoadBikeReview has increased from 180,000 users to over 400,000 from January to July.

Fritz of Cyclelicious introduced me to Thien back when he had just been hired as RBR site manager. Since then the site's really grown leaps and bounds -- I really like how they're starting to introduce video reviews, like the Campy Super Record review I linked to last week. Even as a photographer I have to appreciate the additional insight that a video can provide.

Oh yeah (bias disclosure), and I just got my first review bike for RBR last night. It's a Storck Absolutist 0.9. My poor Look 585 is jealous. It's frantically looking around for ways to drop down to the 14.8lbs of the Storck, but it's alright -- I think my Look is still prettier.

July 8, 2008

Campy Super Record 11 Video

RoadBikeReview's got video of the new 11-speed groupset

April 9, 2008

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

March 25, 2008

Solar Bike Rider Lamp

solar-bicycle-rider-lamp.jpg

While a bit amusing to think of a "solar lamp", but this little solar metal rider pedals away when exposed to a light source and doubles its own light source when plugged in. I'd love to see video of the metal rider crank away.

via popgadget

July 10, 2007

Odd little bike helmet with air filter

The article/BoingBoing refer to it as the Stormstrooper/Star Wars helmet, but it feels more Transformers to me:

transformers.bike.helmet.jpg

Created by Stephen Green of Brunel University, the helmet sports an airfilter to help riders with asthma/hay fever. I don't know if that's the front or the top of the helmet above, but I'm pretty sure I won't be sporting one.

'Star Wars' helmet to help cyclists

via BoingBoing

update: darn it, I missed this when cyclelicio.us posted this a full day ago. Been scrolling through the feed reader too fast to get all the TdF content in place.

June 12, 2007

Bike art and DIY bike helmet lights

bike.part.sculpture.jpg led.bike.helmet.jpg

via the Make Blog (1, 2) comes two projects that show what you can do with your bike gear in your spare time: Bike Component Art and attaching LEDs to your bike helmet.

June 4, 2007

DIY bike trailers roundup from Make

bamboo.trailer.jpg

The Make Magazine blog has a roundup for trailers you can build for your bike on the cheap, whether it be out of bamboo, wood, or other materials.

Make Blog: The Bamboo bicycle trailer & DIY bicycle trailers

June 1, 2007

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.

madone_fuselage_weights_chart.gif

Trek Madone

May 19, 2007

Maker Faire - Bikes

Maker Faire features dozens of bike-related exhibits and demonstrations (see last year's entry, "Crazy fun bikes at Maker Faire". I only managed to make it to a small sampling of them today, but I hope to hit up some more tomorrow (e.g. Wooden Bikes).

Nemo Gould/Nemomatic.com bike and bike-related sculptures:

Maker Faire - Nemomatic.com Maker Faire - Nemomatic.com Maker Faire - Nemomatic.com

Urban Mover electric bikes:

Maker Faire032 Maker Faire029 Maker Faire033 Maker Faire030

I took the UM24 folding model out for a test ride. I've been denied boarding onto Caltrain more than once due to lack of bike space on the baby bullets, so a 49lb folding electric bike is quite appealing (the battery pack even quickly detaches if you want to distribute the weight more evenly). It was very different from the electric bike I currently own. My model requires you to manually control the throttle to get the power assist. The UM24 also has a throttle, but it also has a speed sensor that takes the bike up to full speed the second you start pedaling. It takes a second or two to get used to this immediate acceleration, but soon you're crusing around the fairgrounds having the time of your life. You can also get a torque sensor instead, which will make the power assist kick in more on the hills but less in the flats.

The model at Maker Faire used NiMH batteries, but the 2007 models are switching to LiON. The 2006 models are forward compatible with this update, but you do need to buy a new battery pack and motor -- probably not worth it until your NiMH battery pack runs out of juice.

Miscellaneous bikes (LED bike and bike merry-go-round):

Maker Faire050 Maker Faire042

April 22, 2007

Garmin Edge 305: Hot

Garmin Edge 305I finally got to take my Garmin Edge 305 out for a real spin today. I've been sick all week -- the training data shows that I'm still a bit under the weather -- but I really couldn't pass up the opportunity to view my climb up Old La Honda in full GPS/Heart Rate/Cadence/Elevation/Speed detail. I can see in the data the 30-seconds it took me to get my chain back on; I can see in the data how I spent nearly half of the 2-hour ride in a Zone 5 heart rate; I can see that I really need to work on my maintaining my cadence.

The Edge 305 comes with two different ways to pull apart your data. The included Training Center software is a PC application that lets you graph up to four streams of data against each other (e.g. pace, speed, elevation, heart rate, cadence, % max HR, and grade). It also comes with a rudimentary map that highlights the route and shows the location of the selected data point. I haven't even begun to fully explore the Training Center as it also includes workouts that you can load onto the 305 as well as courses.

The other application is the MotionBased.com service that lets you upload your training data. It comes with a free Lite account and constant ads to try and get you to upgrade to the full account ($8-$12/month). The MotionBased app isn't as good at pulling apart your data, but it comes with some killer Web features: Google Maps integration, export to Google Earth (KML), and the 'Map Player", a Internet-Explorer only application that lets you playback your ride on a map (not Google Maps).

Its going to take me awhile to fully experience all the features the 305 offers. I'm looking forward to trying out the automatic GPS lap markers for my ride to work as well as more of the training features.

Part of me was holding out for a power meter. It would certainly provide even better training data than something like the Edge. But the Edge is cheaper and I also find it to be fun. My inner map-nerd really likes to see my data GPS-located, which is something that power meters can't provide. I'm also not a competitive cyclist, so something like a power meter would be extravagant whereas the Edge seems to be a more justifiable gadget-geek purchase.

garmin305.motionbased.olh.gif garmin305.trainingcenter.olh.gif

Booster Blades: cycling meets skating?

booster-blades.jpgThe makers of Booster Blades call them "the alternative to roller skates and bicycles." They are essentially roller blades retrofitted with V-like riser that lets you lift the boot up while the wheels keep in contact with the ground. Somehow the required motion resembles pedaling, but I don't see it in the video.

Booster Blades

via Gizmodo

April 6, 2007

Pulse Helmet Design

pulsehelmet1.jpg pulsehelmet2.jpg

The Pulse Bicycle Safety Helmet is just a design submission, but it's an interesting one at that. Designed by Julie-Ann Davies, the helmet features an mp3 player, bluetooth headset (for cellphones), and storage for your cycling computer -- the . On the safety front it features a large LED rear light and a customizable reflective shell. The ear drop with speaker is also only on the non-road side. I'm not convinced it ventilates well, but the design shows a lot of good thinking on how to take the bicycle helmet into the 21st century.

via Popgadget

February 26, 2007

MP3 bike shorts?

pearl_izumi.vertex.jpgOne thing that was clear during the Solvang time trial warmups is that the riders like their iPods (see photos below). Cycling accessory companies certainly have a market for blending tunes and riding. Oakley took the tunes craze to the next level by releasing the Thump glasses with integrated mp3 player. Pearl Izumi wanted to get in the game but their product line was less conducive: mp3 bike gloves? mp3 arm warmers? mp3 shoes?

Their choice: mp3 bib shorts. The shorts feature integrated touch controls on your leg to switch tracks and adjust volume. Somehow, somewhere (insert joke), the shorts store 16-hours of mp3 playback and bluetooth connectivity. Not everything about these shorts is ridiculous: $100 from each pair does go to help the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Fabian Cancellara getting ready to warm up Tom Danielson Ivan Dominguez Hincapie warming up

via Gizmodo

Shimano's automatic transmission

Shimano transmission

In a move that will certainly inspire battles along the same lines as automatic vs. manual tranmissions for cars, Shimano has announced a "Shimano Coasting Components" with a three-speed automatic transmission for bikes. I find that novice bicyclists tend to push too big of a gear, so I imagine that this could be a very beneficial technology for the casual cyclist.

See also Shimano's electric shifters

via Gizmodo

September 11, 2003

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

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