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Slow but steady

The latest landmark report from the Alliance for Biking & Walking shows a steady increase in bike commuting nationally. Slideshow Image:? URL:?

Benchmarking report shows slow, but steady, increase in bike commuting

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Commuters are slowly but steadily switching to walking or biking to get to work, and the more people who walk or bike, the safer they all are.

Juliana Roubion – first look

Juliana bicycles is set to launch a new addition to its women-specific mountain bike range. The Roubion is a 150mm travel bike that shares a frame with parent firm Santa Cruz’s Bronson.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Bronson, it’s a proven recipe that pairs a carbon frame with 6in of VPP suspension and is built around 650b hoops.?

Emerging in a distinctive turquoise shade, the Roubion that’s currently listed on the Juliana website has also been plastered with the finest kit available from the SRAM group, including a RockShox Pike fork with matching decals, an?XX1 transmission, ROAM 50 wheelset and a Monarch Plus shock.

It’s not yet clear whether or not the Roubion will also be available in an alloy option like its Santa Cruz sibling. We’ll bring you more details as soon as the bike is officially launched. Oh, and you’d be silly not to enter the competition to win one of these – it’s live now on the Juliana website!

Former pro road racer dies at 23

SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — Chase Pinkham, a domestic pro road racer who competed on the Jamis–Hagens Berman, Trek-Livestrong and Bissell teams during his career, died Monday, according to the Jamis team and news reports. is reporting that a friend of Pinkham’s family said the death was caused by an accidental overdose of painkillers. Members of the U.S

Why do some consumers buy bikes from brick-and-mortar stores? Let’s find out, shall we?

ALLENTOWN, Pa (BRAIN) – The IBD industry has been fretting for years about why many consumers are choosing to buy bikes online. Industry research group Gluskin Townley Group, LLC, is turning that concern on its head and looking at why some consumers still continue to buy from brick-and-mortar stores, including IBDs. “All of the bigger world consumer research that we have reviewed clearly indicates that despite all the emerging technology and connectivity, stores are not going away,” said Elliot Gluskin, managing partner of The Gluskin Townley Group.

Best new road gear at Sea Otter

Held just outside Monterey, California for more than 20 years each spring, the four-day Sea Otter Classic is a fantastic place to get a look at new kit. Andrew Dodd already brought us his picks for cool mountain bike gear. And here is our pick of the best of the new road gear below.

Retired pro rider pietro caucchioli is starting a custom bike brand: retired pro rider pietro caucchioli is starting a custom bike brand

Retired pro rider Pietro Caucchioli, a two-time Giro d’Italia stage winner, is starting an online custom bike brand called Divo, and is also heading up Al?, the consumer-direct brand from clothing giant APG, which is the factory for Giordana, Vermarc and many more.

Look out for al? from june: look out for al? from june

Al? will begin selling online in June, offering riders the quality of Giordana or Vermarc garments at a lower price.

Al? will offer three tiers of clothing: al? will offer three tiers of clothing

Al? will have three different tiers of clothing. Astute roadies will notice similarities between Al? clothing and that of other brands coming out of APG.

And don't worry ladies: women will be catered for by al? too: and don't worry ladies: women will be catered for by al? too

Al? will have a deep women’s line as well as the men’s clothing.

Bob parlee's new aero bike: bob parlee's new aero bike

Bob Parlee has been making custom carbon road framesets for a while, but this aero bike is a new venture.

Parlee's finely-tuned aero tube shape: parlee's finely-tuned aero tube shape

Parlee was leery of making aero tube shapes as many of them can compromise ride quality, the company claims, but this ESX bike has the best of both worlds.

Parlee uses direct-mount shimano calipers: parlee uses direct-mount shimano calipers

Parlee uses direct-mount Shimano calipers at the fork and under the seatstays.

Parlee's first seat post: parlee's first seat post

Parlee made its first seatpost for this bike.

The integrated top-cap: the integrated top-cap

The integrated top cap can be removed for a lower position.

Bar fly's new garmin mount: bar fly's new garmin mount

Bar Fly has a new Garmin mount, the SLi, that is aluminum and can fit 31.8 and 35 bars.

The sli mount for attaching a video camera: the sli mount for attaching a video camera

The SLi mount features threads for attaching a video camera like this GoPro or a Garmin Virb on the underside.

Rokform's fusion plus rms iphone case: rokform's fusion plus rms iphone case

Rokform’s Fusion Plus RMS iPhone case (US$79/approx ?47) securely attaches to a few different mounts.

The universal mount with its lanyard: the universal mount with its lanyard

The US$29/approx ?17 universal mount, with a rubber strap for mounting to a handlebar of any diameter, also has a lanyard for extra peace of mind.

Rokform's aluminum pro mount: rokform's aluminum pro mount

The aluminum Pro Mount isn’t new from Rokform, but company founder Craig Erion notes that is has been given the highest form of flattery from competitors like Topeak recently.

Avex water bottles with their unique tops: avex water bottles with their unique tops

Avex water bottles feature a unique top to stow the mouthpiece away from debris.

A closed avex water bottle: a closed avex water bottle

The Avex water bottle (US$11/approx ?6.50) when closed. The red button at right pops the top open.

An open avex water bottle: an open avex water bottle

The Avex water bottle when open. The lid snaps back down with the flick of a finger.

Ergon's cfs pro carbon split seatpost: ergon's cfs pro carbon split seatpost

Ergon’s CFS Pro Carbon split seatpost moves 43mm fore and aft. It first showed up as original equipment on a Canyon road bike.

Ergon's new 195g srx3-m road saddle: ergon's new 195g srx3-m road saddle

Ergon’s new 195g SRX3-M road saddle features a relatively flat tail with a small ergonomic indentation. It comes in two widths.

Feedback's april fool's workstand: feedback's april fool's workstand

For April Fool’s, Feedback made a tiny one-off workstand for children. At least one distributor took the bait and tried to place an order.

Feedback's free new iphone app for tracking maintenance history: feedback's free new iphone app for tracking maintenance history

This isn’t an April Fool’s. Feedback’s free new iPhone app helps riders track the maintenance history of their bikes. You can set alarms for when you need to perform different tasks, whether putting on a new chain or refreshing tire sealant.

Fi'zi:k's latest vs saddle: fi'zi:k's latest vs saddle

Fi’zi:k’s VS saddles started with a slight channel. Now, that channel is more dramatic.

The vs line-up: the vs line-up

The VS line goes across the Aliante, Antares and Arione, in metal and carbon rails.

One of fi'zi:k's latest saddle designs: one of fi'zi:k's latest saddle designs

Fi’zi:k held a crowd-sourcing project of sorts for saddle design, asking riders around the world to pick the best designs. This is one of them.

Fi'zi:k's 15 saddle designs: fi'zi:k's 15 saddle designs

These are the 15 finalists that went into limited production.

The super-light xentis squad 2.5 sl: the super-light xentis squad 2.5 sl

The new Xentis Squad 2.5 SL weighs 890g —?for the pair.

Xentis' diamond-machined brake track: xentis' diamond-machined brake track

The Austrian Xentis brand prides itself on the diamond-machined brake track. Machining off the resin makes for a harder, more consistent track.

Xentis wheels use ceramic bearings and carbon hubs: xentis wheels use ceramic bearings and carbon hubs

With ceramic bearings and carbon hubs (220g for the set), Xentis wheels come in about 50-100g lighter than comparable models from ENVE or Zipp.

The wavey extrusion on the xentis tyre: the wavey extrusion on the xentis tyre

Similar to Reynolds’ Swirl Lip Generator, Xentis has this wavey extrustion on its rims for smoothing air over the tire, the company claims.

Lake's new carbon moldable road shoe: lake's new carbon moldable road shoe

Lake’s CX402, despite the moniker, is a new carbon moldable road —?not cyclocross —?shoe.

The side and rear portions of the carbon sole are heat moldable: the side and rear portions of the carbon sole are heat moldable

The side and rear portions of the carbon sole are heat moldable on the US$529 CX402 shoe.

The cx402's internal layer is perforated leather: the cx402's internal layer is perforated leather

First introduced last year, the CX402 is shipping now. The internal layer is perforated leather.

Lake's cx237 road shoes come in standard or wide sizes: lake's cx237 road shoes come in standard or wide sizes

Considerably more affordable, the US4$279/approx ?166 CX237 road shoes come in standard, wide and women’s sizes, with a double BOA closure.

The cx237 road shoe uses a wider than standard last: the cx237 road shoe uses a wider than standard last

The Lake CX237 shoes are a bit wider than a standard road last.

Lake's cx237: old and new school: lake's cx237: old and new school

With a full leather upper, BOA closure and thin carbon sole, the Lake CX237 is a mix of old and new school.

Lake's black cyclocross shoe: lake's black cyclocross shoe

Lake’s cyclocross shoe, with its aggressive, replaceable treads, now comes in all black.

SRM now comes in a aaa option: srm now comes in a aaa option

SRM, long known for its integrated battery on its power meters that required shipping back to headquarters for recharging, now comes in an AAA option for an FSA crank.

Will the aaa option become the default?: will the aaa option become the default?

Whether the AAA option replaces the lithium ion battery across the board remains to be seen for SRM.

SRM's new power control 8 head unit: srm's new power control 8 head unit

SRM’s new Power Control 8 head unit features GPS, among other things. GPS has been notably absent from prior SRM head units.

Lapierre's new aero bike: lapierre's new aero bike

Lapierre’s new aero bike, the Aircode.

A new carbon seatpost with vertical flex: a new carbon seatpost with vertical flex

More and more carbon seatposts are being produced with vertical flex visually denoted, if not actually engineered in.

The aircode – with its internal routing: the aircode – with its internal routing

Internal routing keeps things tidy on the Aircode.

The shimano caliper is embedded slightly into the fork: the shimano caliper is embedded slightly into the fork

The direct-mount Shimano caliper is embedded slightly into the fork.

The fran?aise des jeux edition of the aircode with its traditional brake-mount placement: the fran?aise des jeux edition of the aircode with its traditional brake-mount placement

The Fran?aise des Jeux edition of the Aircode gets this traditional brake-mount placement; the stock version will have the caliper tucked underneath the seatstays.

Lapierre's new endurance bike – the pulsium: lapierre's new endurance bike – the pulsium

The Lapierre Pulsium is the French brand’s new endurance bike. It can fit up to 32mm tires.

The pulsium fork rakes out to 50mm: the pulsium fork rakes out to 50mm

Reminiscent of a Pinarello fork, the Pulsium fork rakes out to 50mm, compared to the brand’s standard 43mm, for increased stability.

Elastomers have been built into this junction of the top and seat tubes: elastomers have been built into this junction of the top and seat tubes

Lapierre has built elastomers into this junction of the top and seat tubes. This prototype isn’t quite as polished as the team versions, Lapierre said.

The flexible junction moves up to 3.5mm: the flexible junction moves up to 3.5mm

The flexible junction can move up to 3.5mm, Lapierre claims.

The pulsium's carbon dropouts: the pulsium's carbon dropouts

The carbon dropouts on the Pulsium are sheathed on either side by a metal derailleur hanger.

A rubber cap hides the seatpost clamp bolt: a rubber cap hides the seatpost clamp bolt

Lapierre tucks the seatpost clamp bolt under this partially opened rubber cap.

Marin Museum selling bricks to donors

FAIRFAX, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Marin Museum of Bicycling will build a Legacy Wall, with bricks marking the support of museum donors

QBP breaks ground on permanent East Coast facility

EAST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa (BRAIN) — QBP has broken ground on a new 120,000-square-foot building here. The building will serve as the distributor’s East Coast distribution center. The Minnesota-based company has operated its East Coast operations out of a leased facility in Middletown, Pa., since 2011

Trail Tech: Off the hook

If you’ve ever installed a tube or tubeless tire on your mountain bike you probably noticed the ridge of material at the top of the rim that juts several millimeters inward from the rim’s sidewall. It’s called the bead hook, and a growing number of carbon rim manufacturers are doing away with this feature in favor of rims designed with straight inner walls. Performance gains, durability and lowers manufacturing cost are all reasons company’s cite for moving away from this long-time rim feature.

Why? Let’s delve into the tech behind this trend.

What does a bead hook actually do?

The hooks on the sidewalls of bicycle rims came about as a way to center the tire around the rim while the tire was being inflated. They were initially developed as a way to hold road tires on the rims when inflating them to higher pressures.

Several things have happened since the bead hook was introduced more than 50 years ago that make it a vestige of our cycling past. The interface between tires and rims has become much more standardized. Rims now have central drop channels that aids inflation and in centering the tire on the rim. Many rims also have small ridges on either side of this drop channel, called the bead lock, that prevent the tire from shifting inwards while cornering. Last but certainly not least, the aramid or Kevlar material used for tire beads in significantly stronger and less prone to stretching than tires of the past.

In constrast with enve's new rims, the older version (shown here) had bead hooks but did not have the bead locks running down the center channel :

ENVE’s original rim design above used bead hooks; the company has recently moved away from them, citing higher impact strength and performance gains

What the bead hook doesn’t do is to prevent the tire from blowing off the rim or keep tubeless tires from burping.

Benefits of hookless mountain bike rims

Rims without bead hooks are nothing new, in fact they are standard for most automotive and motorcycle applications.

Specialized’s wheel brand, Roval, introduced carbon-rimmed wheelsets with hookless rim profiles last year. Within the last week ENVE and Ibis have also debuted new wheelset built with hookless carbon rims. The ENVE M-Series rims do away with the hooked bead design of their previous XC, AM and DH-branded rims. Ibis surprised many with the introduction of its ultra-wide carbon rims, which were co-developed with Derby, who introduced wide carbon rims without bead hooks in 2013.

ENVE's new m series rims feature a rim profile that does away with the traditional bead hook found on most mountain bike rims:

The new ENVE M Series rims cover everything from cross-country to downhill (left to right) and do away with the bead hook while adding a bead lock feature down the center of the rims

Specialized product manager Joe Buckley said the design team made the transition to hookless carbon rims as a way to improve impact resistance and cut manufacturing costs.

“In carbon rim production, there are a couple ways to make a bead hook. You can mold it into the rim, which is pretty challenging because you are trying to pack a lot of carbon material into a very small space.?This can lead to high reject rates at the factory and drive up cost of the rim.?Or you can mold the rim and then machine the bead hooks into the sidewall, which creates a nice bead hook, but adds steps to production, which costs more, and also when you machine the rim, the carbon fibers are being cut, which weakens the rim a bit. By creating rims without bead hooks, we were able to get the impact resistance of the rim to improve by a lot, and bring the cost of the rim down as well,” said Buckley.

Scott Nielson, director of R&D for ENVE Composites, notes that performance gains were also part of the transition to a hookless design.

“Through our development program we discovered that by removing the hook we could produce a rim and tire combination that performed better that rims with hook beads. We feel that the hookless system gives us a performance advantage. The tire shape that results is more stable and gives the rider a wheel that corners better and will not burp,” said Nielson.

Of burps and blow-offs

The primary concerns these companies hear about the transition to hookless rim profiles are? fears of tires blowing off or of an increased likelihood of burping air from tubeless tires.

In both cases, the bead lock (the small ridges on either side of the drop channel) is the primary component in retaining the tire and preventing blowoffs.

These cutaways of derby rims show the central drop channel, used to aid in mounting tires, and the raised bead locks on either side of this central channel that prevent the tire from unseating or burping air:

These cutaways of Derby rims show the drop channel, used to aid in mounting tires, and the raised bead locks on either side of this central channel that prevent the tire from unseating and burping air

EVNE states that the company has been prototyping M-series rims for a year and found greater burp resistance through laboratory loading and months of field-testing with a variety of tires.

Roval introduced hookless versions of its carbon roval wheelsets last year:

Roval rims have been on the market for more than a year and customers appear pleased with the design

“When we introduced our first hookless rim a couple years ago, we did a lot of blow-off testing with our tires as well as our competitors’.?We were pretty confident that tires coming off were not going to be an issue.?We also logged a lot of ride hours on them.?We never had a problem with tire retention in development, and in the couple years they’ve been on customers’ bikes, tires have been staying on just fine, no matter tubed or tubeless.?To sum up, existing standards that companies are using today have been fine,” said Buckley.

The way forward?

So if the benefits are lower manufacturing costs, improved durability and better trail performance, will hookless rims become the norm for all mountain bike rims in the future? Buckley thinks it is possible.

“If you’d asked me that a few months ago, I would have probably answered with ‘maybe.’? With the product releases from our competitors in the past week or so though, it’s looking like what the Roval team discovered might be quickly becoming the norm for carbon,” Buckley said. “As for alloy, that remains to be seen. The manufacturing method is very different, as well as the material, so it’s a bit of a different animal.? There is definitely something to it, though.”