SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Huckleberry Bicycles is hosting an industry panel discussion this Friday on women’s cycling apparel. Panelists from three brands that focus on women’s urban cycling clothes will speak and field questions from consumers and industry representatives in the audience.
This brand-new Bike&Ride facility will host more than 1,500 bikes and there are even – be still our hearts – dedicated spaces for cargo bikes. There are loads of details; two air pumps, a bike shop, lockers, numerous screens showing train departure and arrival times, restrooms, a lounge if you have to wait for the train. There is even a single shower for the odd “cyclist” who might fancy a spandex ride. Generally, the facility is geared towards the Citizen Cyclist population of the country’s third largest city.
There is, however, a separate section for those who want some extra protection. A secure parking area for 700 bicycles based on a subscription service. It costs 80 kroner a month and you get a chip card. Although if you have a transit card, you can combine it with that.
One great detail is the height of the bars in the cargo bike area. Too low for regular bikes to be leaned against them.
Our über intern Dennis, who studies at the University of Utrecht, was impressed with the second tier bike racks. Excellent ease of use, he says. There is a low bar on them to lock your bike to and they require little effort to lift up and put into place.
All the signs, pictograms and colours (orange and green) used make the facility attractive and user-friendly. We mustn’t forget to highlight how important it is to use architecture and design to make sure facilities fit the users.?
The upper level of bike parking is hardly used because you have to use a set of stairs with a ramp and the connection to the platforms is not at all direct. In the daily routine of a commuter, anything that makes it more inconvenient, however detailed, will not encourage them to consider changing their mode of transport. A2Bism is what we’ve always called it and Hyllie Station lacks that.
Let’s hurry up and get back to the new facility at Malmö Central. That’s the main focus here. The City has proved how serious it is about improving conditions for cycling in an already exemplary cycling city. Their new Bike&Ride should embarrass the City of Copenhagen and they should be incredibly proud of it.
The ticket machines located conveniently at the bicycle parking.
While we’re dishing out love for Malmö here on Valentine’s Day, we should also recall their brilliant behaviour change campaign – No Ridiculous Car Trips.
Here’s what the parking around Malmö Central looked like until recently:
In need of some extra carrying capacity on your ride? Don’t know where to start? CycleLogistics has got you covered.
As you are hopefully already aware, CycleLogistics is an EU-funded project that aims to reduce the energy used in moving goods around cities. We try to influence businesses, delivery companies and private individuals to turn off the engine and pedal their way around town instead. As a part of this project, we ran consumer tests to help the average citizen become more aware of the products out there to help them equip their bikes for more intense transport.? Our consumer tests judged 5 categories of products – cargo bikes, bike trailers, bike baskets, pannier bags and rear shopping trolleys, evaluating 4 or 5 popular brands and products based on their function, price and design. These tests are a pretty big deal – this is one of the first times that anyone has consolidated this much information on such a range of bicycle products and accessories.
There’s quite a lot of variety out there in terms of available products. For instance, do you need a cargo bike to cart your children around? Or perhaps you own a small business and need to move products all over town? Maybe you just like carrying an extra passenger? Do you need a front basket to hold your overloaded purse? Or your four-legged friend? Will your pannier carry your daily groceries, or maybe your laptop? These tests prove that different designs fit different needs. You might even discover an item you hadn’t even considered before, such as a shopping trailer that you can bring into the store with you and then simply hook on your bike before you head home.
The Danish Cyclists’ Federation oversaw the consumer tests on behalf of CycleLogistics and the European Cyclists’ Federation, so you can trust that the organizers really know their stuff. The tests were carried out over the course of 5 days by 5 individuals or small companies who use bicycles on a daily basis. Participants were told to simply incorporate the product into their daily routines and then rate them based on how well they did their job. These test users are therefore experienced and knowledgeable while also entirely unbiased in their reviews.
The full results?from each of the?5 category test are available for download here. Want to read it in your native language? No problem! CycleLogistics has produced a consumer test report in 7 different languages, available for each and every category. Be sure to read them through and share them with your networks – spread the word, find your favorites and see how these products work for you.
For more info on CycleLogistics be sure to check out the website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter
Available exclusively from Halfords, the Aizan has – like all VooDoos – been designed by Mountain Bike Hall of Fame racer Joe Murray. If the sloping top tube design looks familiar, that’s because Murray was one of its earliest proponents, back in the late 1980s. Brought bang up to date with 29er wheels, a nine-speed transmission and a 120mm (4.7in) travel fork, the Aizan looks like a great deal on paper. But is it in practice?
We’re so used to seeing aluminium tubes manipulated into a shape-shifting smorgasbord of profiles that the Aizan’s mostly round, mostly straight plumbing is a breath of fresh air. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that it’s a throwback though – there’s plenty of clever detailing.
The chunkier-than-it-looks down tube is subtly ovalised at the bottom bracket, to help prevent the frame twisting under heavy pedal pressure, and curves gently into the join with the head tube, to help disperse stress from hard impacts away from this vulnerable area.
The top tube doesn’t have any fancy profiling, but the seat tube has a subtle backwards kink just above the front derailleur mount. This helps reduce the length of the chainstays as well as the bike’s overall wheelbase – a clever move that’s aimed at keeping the handling tight and snappy.
Despite that short rear end, mud clearance is decent even with the 2.2in rear tyre, thanks to dimpled chainstays and snaky seatstays. There’s even a set of rack mounts, should you have the urge to saddle up for a longer tour or tackle the daily commute.
Surprisingly, VooDoo has opted for a 120mm travel Suntour fork up front. It’s relatively rare to see a fork this long on a 29er hardtail, the theory being that the bigger wheels roll more easily anyway, so what’s the point in adding more travel?
However, the spot-on geometry and neat frame design touches aimed at keeping the wheelbase in check show that VooDoo hasn’t simply pulled a long fork from the parts catalogue – they’ve thought about it and designed the Aizan’s frame accordingly. Our test fork should have had adjustable rebound damping, but was missing the adjuster knob. Halfords assures us that production bikes do have the adjuster.
Given the Aizan’s competitive pricing, it’s good that VooDoo found room in the budget for a nine-speed transmission. That means closely spaced gears and a useful 34-tooth big sprocket for climbing – both essentials on a 29er.
A flat handlebar reins in the inevitably high front end and chunky Continental tyres give lots of cushioning, but wheel weight is a concern. Tipping the scales at over 5.5kg for the pair (complete with tyres), the Aizan’s wheels are on the lardy side.
We thought those heavy wheels would dominate the Aizan’s ride. Turns out we were half right. The VooDoo has a split personality. On the one hand, it’s hard to escape the fact that this is a heavy bike. It’s heavy to lift out of the car and it’s reluctant to translate effort at the pedals into forward progress in the wheels.
On the other hand, it wants to play. The sorted geometry makes it one of the best-handling 29er hardtails we’ve ridden, at any price. Which just serves to make that wheelset all the more frustrating. The Aizan responds best to smooth, steady, seated pedalling – mashing away at the pedals doesn’t get you very far, very fast.
A good rider can use the VooDoo’s momentum and easy-rolling big wheels to his or her advantage. Read the trail right, choose the right gear ahead of time and keep the pace steady and the Aizan simply bulldozes anything in its path, uphill or down. But it takes skill and experience to pull this off, which is why it’s a good thing that VooDoo got the handling so right on this bike.
With the rear wheel tucked in under the rider there’s bucketloads of traction for tackling steep climbs, while the short wheelbase gives the front end a surprisingly placeable, lively feel.
This bike wants to be pushed hard on descents, but the fork – like all budget 120mm travel units we’ve ridden – ultimately holds it back. The Aizan falls between two stools. The geometry is fantastic, but needlessly weighty wheels prevent it from showing its true potential.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
SEATTLE, WA (BRAIN) — Before crossing Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island for visits at BI Cycle and Classic Cycle, Day 2 of BRAIN’s Seattle Dealer Tour got under way with a sampling of urban riding highlighting the accomplishments of local advocates as well as the challenges they face in easing two-wheel transit in the Emerald City. Straight from our hotel base, we embarked on a stretch of Westlake Avenue where the designated cycling route consists largely of an aisle in a crowded parking lot off the waterfront. Here, advocacy group Cascade Bicycle Club seeks to establish a dedicated bike path to open up cycling on a major arterial flat enough to accommodate a wide range of bike commuters
IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) — Debuting the Bosch system to U.S. consumers for the first time, four bike companies are offering e-bike demos at the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon at Irvine’s Great Park in southern California. The event opened last Thursday and closed Sunday
There were many questions awaiting the industry as we all arrived at Interbike last week. Would the new hall and hotels be an improvement? Would Consumer Day resemble a plague of locusts?
National nonprofit boosts local and state support. LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN) — Bikes Belong is rebranding as PeopleForBikes to bring clarity and simplicity to the organization. The Bikes Belong Coalition and Bikes Belong Foundation will be renamed the PeopleForBikes Coalition and the PeopleForBikes Foundation.
Some of you may remember the article about The World’s Youngest Urbanist – Lulu-Sophia – a couple of years back. Since then, Lulu-Sophia continues to fire off brilliant, simple and rational observations about her life in Copenhagen. Many of them are simple observations.
We were riding down the cycle track along a busy street once and then turned off onto a bike path through a park. “Ooh, Daddy! Listen to how quiet it is all of a sudden!”
Always simple but poignant. Noticing things on her urban landscape that often go unnoticed.
A few months ago, Lulu-Sophia took it to the next level. We were walking and had stopped at a pedestrian crossing, waiting to cross.
We were quiet at the moment. Lulu-Sophia’s urbanist mind was, however, in full swing.
She looked up at me and said, quite simply, “When will my city fit me, Daddy?”
Fantastic. And of course, life as a child in a city is spent staring at the asses of grown ups. Garbage cans are as tall as you. The distance when crossing a street is magnified when you’re that short and your legs are that small.
“Don’t worry. You’ll keep growing and pretty soon your city will fit you perfectly.”
She was content with this answer, nodding and saying, “yeah” as she turned back to look around the streets.
As always with Lulu-Sophia’s observations, she makes me think. Right then and there I started a longer thought process, wondering if my city fits ME. A process that has become constant as I move about my city and all the other cities I visit and work in.
It’s an interesting way of thinking. Does my city fit me? Am I at scale on the urban landscape?
If I think about Copenhagen, there are certainly places where my city fits me hand in glove. Riding along the busiest bicycle street in the world – Nørrebrogade – and crossing Dronning Louises Bridge on 5 metre wide cycle tracks, wide sidewalks and only a single car lane in each direction… I feel like my city fits me.
In the medieval city centre – like all medieval city centres… my city fits me. Cities were designed to fit us for 7000 years, after all. Things, however, are different now. Ever since we discarded all rationality and started engineering streets for automobiles.
Even in Copenhagen there are far too many places where my city doesn’t fit or makes any attempt to. Consider Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard, that vast expanse of political and engineering arrogance with eight lanes of crap slicing through the heart of the capital. Even on the wide cycle tracks on this stretch, I am not at scale.
Top left: Hans Christian Andersen Blvd is the place where flowers die, thanks to the emissions of over 50,000 cars a day. Top right: Looking down at an intersection, from above, you lose all sense of city and realise that the engineering Matrix is firmly in control. Bottom left: This should be the ultimate central geographic and liveable point in the city. City Hall Square. Instead, the boulevard roars through like an angry, swollen river, cutting the city in two.
Bottom right: I count around 22 individuals in motor vehicles (excluding the 60 or so on the bus). Look at the space allocated to them, compared to the 50 odd bicycle users.
It used to be different. At left is the boulevard in 1907 – read more about that here – and at right is the late 1940s/early 1950s, with wide medians.
Another place that I don’t feel like my city fits is right outside my flat in the City of Frederiksberg. It’s an intersection in Denmark’s most densely-populated city and yet the city allows over 26,000 “parasites” to drive through. It’s a dead intersection, only used for transport. It’s unique in that it’s the point where north-south and east-west streets meet. It’s also the intersection we used for our Choreography of an Urban Intersection anthropological study.
I use this intersection several times a day and yet I certainly don’t feel like my city fits me. My city doesn’t seem to give a shit. They are keen to prioritize the cars and their parasties by doing things like this. The street in front of my flat used to be so much nicer. And even during my lifetime.
But they still have the nerve to put up this poster at the intersection. “Frederiksberg – the healthy, pulsing, green heart of the Capital.”
Thinking about other cities, there are some where I feel at scale. Amsterdam, for example. A lot of smaller cities in Denmark and the Netherlands, too. But I’m a city boy so I focus on bigger cities. Most cities have pockets where you feel like you fit, but sadly they are often few and far between.
What about your city? Do you feel like it fits you?
Lulu-Sophia, as ever, inspired me. She instigated a new way of thinking for me – and for Copenhagenize Design Co.. A new goal.
The Life-Sized City. We used to be so good at nurturing life-sized cities. We did it for 7000 years. Now it’s time to do it again. With human observation and design principles.
If you follow me, Mikael, on Instagram (@zakkatography), you’ll often see The Lulu going about her daily business. Often on bikes.
SANTA MONICA, CA (BRAIN) — Pedego Electric Bikes continues to expand its reach by opening its seventh Pedego-branded store in less than three months in Southern California. Pedego Santa Monica opened its doors in early May, and will have a grand opening party this Sunday. The 900-square-foot Santa Monica store joins several new beach city locations including Seal Beach, Redondo Beach, Corona del Mar and Dana Point. Pedego Santa Monica owner Barb Wittels operated her company Pedal or Not Electric Bicycle Tours (which are taken on Pedego bikes) out of a 5-foot-wide kiosk for three seasons before pursuing the idea of opening a full-fledged store