Christmas shopping chaos has begun. It's hard to even go grocery shopping these days, let alone going to the post office, or any of the specialty shops around town. It's kind of a feeding frenzy. Except I like to give gifts. I think we all like to give gifts. And...
Entries in flask holster (6)
That's right, you can now get your flask custom engraved from Ahearne Cycles!
The way it works is simple. You order the number of flasks you want from the Ahearne website. Once you've placed your order, you then send an e-mail with the logo or image that you want to see on the flasks. The file format to send is either a pdf or jpeg file. Or, if it's text only, you can choose your font and send it as a Word document. Please send the file exactly as you want to see it on the flask.
All the details for the ordering process are on the Custom Flask Engraving page. Discounts are available for orders of ten or more flasks. There are also discounts availale for bike shops, clubs, cooperatives and teams.
You can order your custom engraved flasks with or without the Flask Holster. Remember, though, if you order both together you receive a $5 discount.
To be sure your flask is ready to give as a Christmas gift, orders for custom engraving must be submitted by the 10th of December!
Here is my entry to the 2011 Oregon Manifest. The 50 mile ride was good. The weather was just about perfect, even if a little hot, and the route took us through some awesome backroads. There was a combination of paved roads and gravel, with a lot of climbing along the way. I was very pleased with the bike. It was solid, quiet, had the gears I wanted for climbing and it carried the load without a hitch. I ran some pretty large tires so that the gravel sections weren't a problem, and descending with weight the bike felt sure and stable. The bike did everything I asked of it, and did it well.
There were a lot of great entries in this event. I can't imagine having been a judge, trying to decide which bikes were winners. I think a congratulation should go out to everyone who did the work building the bikes, and for all those who rode the ride. And a special congrats to Tony Pereira for taking the cake. Nice job Tony!
Here are photos of the Ahearne entry with a summary of features to follow.
This is the Ahearne Cycles entry to the 2011 Oregon Manifest competition. There were several criteria that the all the entrants were supposed to fulfill, most of which were in the realm of bikes that I often build. The bikes are to have lights, fenders, a locking system, a way to carry things besides the rider, etc. Here's a quick list of the features this bike offeres:
24 inch front wheel, 700c rear. The rack is fixed to the frame and is rated at about 50 lbs. maximum capacity. The small front wheel allows the basket to be lower, which drops the center of gravity and makes for a more stable ride with a load.
The basket has an integrated lock holder (no rattle), a bottle opener, corner bumpers (dead tire), a weatherproof DiBond base (aluminum sheet with a dense plastic core -- light-weight & bomb-proof), a large waterproof bag by Inside Line Equipment, and shown here there are 2 speaker mounts and a water bottle cage (also on the basket). There is also a bolt-on utility bag on the rack which is for spare tubes, tools, straps and bungee cords, etc.
There is an insanely bright lighting system (600 lumens!) that runs off a rechargeable battery pack hidden under the rack, which is charged off the generator hub. It's a prototype lighting system by Light On! lights. The wired tail light is internally routed, and if you look closely, it is mounted to a bolt that runs through the seat tube and serves the double purpose of being a seat post lock -- the seat post is slotted, and can't be removed without taking out the light mount bolt.
Speaking of security, there's a hidden lock for the kickstand so that, when the kickstand is open and the lock engaged the stand can not be retracted. I'd love to see a thief try and ride off on the bike, but not be able to figure out why the stand won't go up.
The bike has clearance for very large tires. The fenders are full wrap, with a 26 inch rear fender covering the front wheel. There's a supplementary blinky tail light and reflector on the rear fender by Portland Design Works.
Beyond these features, the bike has a lot of the little things I believe should be standard on a hard core commuter bike: full gear range, bell, pump, disc brakes (advisable, especially for rainy climates), wide puncture resistant tires, comfortable upright riding position, wide flat pedals, etc.
The final thing is the aesthetic, which is subdued and classy. I didn't want to over-invent a machine that has been designed & refined for well over a hundred years.
The last thing is, this bike is for sale. It's built to fit me, so it's large. The top tube requires that someone have at least a 33 or 34 inch inseam or better for standover. The top tube length is a 61 cm. The rack is brazed into the frame so cannot detatch for shipping. Shipping out of town is possible, but it will have to be a large crate. If you're interested in knowing more details, please contact me.
In Portland, Oregon, we're pretty lucky to have Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks and nature reserves in the country. The main through-way in the park is Leif Erikson Rd., which is a mostly unpaved fire road that runs nearly 12 miles from one end of the park to the other. Forest park is a great place to walk or ride, and it's only about 10 minutes (by bike) from downtown.
Yesterday I rode through the park. The sun was shining and by mid afternoon it was nearly up to 70 degrees. I rode the new 29er touring bike totally unloaded to see how it handled, changing the tires from 47c semi-slick road tires to WTB Exiwolf 29” x 2.55 – big fat knobby off road tires. This is the same bike I picked up in Eugene and rode back to Portland a couple of weeks ago. It's a stable bike, but I wanted to see how it handles at speed over bumpy terrain.
This bike was built primarily as a touring bike, and has the clearance for fat tires and fenders. I haven’t reviewed this bike yet because I wanted to spend some time in the saddle in various conditions and see how I liked it. For the trip back up from Eugene it was great. Very stable with weight, sure handling, comfortable, a wide gear range. Even with about 15 pounds of gear on the front I was able to ride no-hands without a problem.
Going through the park yesterday I was again impressed with the stability and handling. The bike has detachable low rider mounts and a fairly sizeable upper deck on the front rack, which means it can hold a lot of gear. Even unloaded the bike steered easily, and flying down a rocky, gravelly section of Lief Erikson I sat back and took my hands off the bars and the bike held its line easily. Stability, no hands, with or without weight on the front – I like it.
I didn’t remove any of the racks, and carried along my u-lock in the integrated lock holder on the rear. The bike also has large stainless fenders, mud flaps and a kickstand – all these things add up, and make the bike heavier than one I would usually ride through the park. I would like to strip the bike down to the bare essentials at some point and try it out. But, even with all the extras on the bike I was very impressed at how quiet it was – no rattles, squeaks or knocking. Even the lock shackle is wedged in so it can't rattle. The only thing I noticed was that in especially bumpy places the lower part of the front fender would shake back and forth enough to hit the knobs on the tires -- not a big deal, and to be expected riding off road with fenders.
Another trip I want to take is with the bike fully loaded on the same trail, just for a comparison – fully loaded front and rear panniers and a dry-sack on the upper deck of the front rack. I want to pack it as if I were going for a long trip off road. It will be slower going, obviously, but I’m very curious to know how it feels. I’m fairly certain that it’s going to do just fine.
You know what would be even better, would be to pack it as if I were going on a long bike trip, and then go on a long bike trip. We’ll see what this summer brings…
Flickr Photo Set
Off Road Touring Bike
Check out Bill's new light touring/ commuter bike. It's got everything he needs to take himself and his stuff on the road.
A quick run-down of features: lugged frame with double chain stays and chain stay mounted disc brake tab; plenty of clearance for 35c tires and fenders; two-level rear touring rack; front rack with integrated light mount and internal wiring, and with detachable low rider racks; pump and three water bottle mounts, and a flask holster mount on the under side of the top tube; and the whole thing is built up with some very nice parts.
Bill picked it up this past Saturday. He came to the shop with his girlfriend, and she already seemed reconciled to the fact that she'd probably be sharing the bed with Bill and his new bike that night.