ground

Transportation organization says bike share use was up 25% last year

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Riders took more than 35 million bike share trips last year — 25 percent more than in the year before, according to a new National Association of City Transportation Officials study. NACTO noted that last year, the San Francisco Bay Area relaunched its bike share program with 10 times the number of bikes it previously had; likewise, Honolulu launched a bike share system, Biki, that quickly became the eighth-most heavily used bike share system in the U.S. The number of bike share equipment providers operating in the U.S.

Texas retailer Chad Plumlee opens third store, Giant Lakeside, in DFW area

FLOWER MOUND, Texas (BRAIN) — Longtime Texas retailer Chad Plumlee has opened his third store, called Giant Lakeside. The new location will serve the market around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the communities of Flower Mound, Grapevine, and Coppell. The 3,500-square foot location carries Giant, Liv, and Momentum brands exclusively

Lauf Trail Racer 29 fork review

Off-the-wall developments in suspension forks are few and far between, so it’s no surprise that the Lauf TR 29 – which we took an initial look at a few weeks ago – turns heads with its 60mm of travel supplied by a series of leaf springs.

Lauf is keen to point out that the TR 29 is very much a cross-country and marathon race fork, and with a weight not much more than its unsprung rigid cousins at 1050g, it’s clear to see how it might appeal to the shaven-legged sector of mountain biking.

The monocoque carbon uppers feature a full carbon tapered steerer, while the wheel’s axle is secured by a 15mm axle to two lowers that attach to the uppers by way of 12 glass-fibre leaf springs. These leaf springs give the TR 29 60mm of travel; not much but enough to take the edge off the hits.

This 60mm is obviously undamped, both in compression and rebound. Lauf says this is because 60mm isn’t enough to need damping, but as a result it can feel a bit ‘boingy’.

BikeRadar's testers can't remember another piece of kit getting the amount of attention lavished on the lauf – everyone passing wanted to give it a squeeze!:

BikeRadar’s testers can’t remember another piece of kit getting the amount of passing attention lavished on the Lauf

Leaf springs offer no friction, and with friction being the killer of small bump sensitivity in most forks the Lauf excels here. It’s odd to say, but it’s a joy on rough fire roads, completely taking out any buzz from the ground.

Take it into anything more demanding though, and its weakness starts to show – it’s incredibly laterally flexible. We raced with it at Ben Nevis, including parts of the World Cup course there, and when things got fast and twisty, it didn’t take long for it to be overwhelmed with steering accuracy being a particular problem.

The result is that the Lauf is definitely a niche product. If you ride predominantly smooth fast trails with a rigid fork, you may find the addition of small bump sensitivity and a little extra traction thanks to the wheel tracking the ground better a bonus. Faced with the realities of UK cross-country racing, the Lauf really felt out of its depth on the racecourse.

The Lauf fork can be ordered direct from www.laufforks.com. Worldwide shipping costs US$65.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Lauf Trail Racer 29 fork review

Off-the-wall developments in suspension forks are few and far between, so it’s no surprise that the Lauf TR 29 – which we took an initial look at a few weeks ago – turns heads with its 60mm of travel supplied by a series of leaf springs.

Lauf is keen to point out that the TR 29 is very much a cross-country and marathon race fork, and with a weight not much more than its unsprung rigid cousins at 1050g, it’s clear to see how it might appeal to the shaven-legged sector of mountain biking.

The monocoque carbon uppers feature a full carbon tapered steerer, while the wheel’s axle is secured by a 15mm axle to two lowers that attach to the uppers by way of 12 glass-fibre leaf springs. These leaf springs give the TR 29 60mm of travel; not much but enough to take the edge off the hits.

This 60mm is obviously undamped, both in compression and rebound. Lauf says this is because 60mm isn’t enough to need damping, but as a result it can feel a bit ‘boingy’.

BikeRadar's testers can't remember another piece of kit getting the amount of attention lavished on the lauf – everyone passing wanted to give it a squeeze!:

BikeRadar’s testers can’t remember another piece of kit getting the amount of passing attention lavished on the Lauf

Leaf springs offer no friction, and with friction being the killer of small bump sensitivity in most forks the Lauf excels here. It’s odd to say, but it’s a joy on rough fire roads, completely taking out any buzz from the ground.

Take it into anything more demanding though, and its weakness starts to show – it’s incredibly laterally flexible. We raced with it at Ben Nevis, including parts of the World Cup course there, and when things got fast and twisty, it didn’t take long for it to be overwhelmed with steering accuracy being a particular problem.

The result is that the Lauf is definitely a niche product. If you ride predominantly smooth fast trails with a rigid fork, you may find the addition of small bump sensitivity and a little extra traction thanks to the wheel tracking the ground better a bonus. Faced with the realities of UK cross-country racing, the Lauf really felt out of its depth on the racecourse.

The Lauf fork can be ordered direct from www.laufforks.com. Worldwide shipping costs US$65.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Osprey adds Motion Representation for Midwest sales

CORTEZ, Colo. (BRAIN) — Osprey Packs Inc. has brought rep agency Motion Representation onto its bike market sales team for the Midwest.

Specialized goes 650B – with tires

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized was notable last year for not following the trend and introducing a 650b mountain bike. But the company is not being stubborn about offering its tires in the newly popular size

How to choose a mountain bike

Want to buy a mountain bike? Before you do, read our essential advice on how to make sure you make the right purchase. Whether you’re looking to commute to work or get going on entry-level downhill declines, these tips will help you reach a purchase decision.

1. Three main types of mountain bike are available – rigid (with no suspension), hardtail (with a suspension fork at the front) and full-suspension (with both front and rear shock absorbers). There’s some more guidance in our Best Mountain Bikes under ?500 Buyer’s Guide. Pick what makes sense for the terrain you intend to ride.

2. The first step should be deciding on the budget you have available – and remember that you’ll probably need some extra kit to make riding your new bike a practical and enjoyable experience, such as a helmet, gloves and apparel. These days you can find decent lightweight sub-?500 mountain bikes with aluminium frames, though the more you spend the lighter the bike is likely to be and therefore easier it is to climb and accelerate on.

3. You will also need to factor in a bare?bones maintenance budget of about ?100 a year (this breaks down to a couple of cheap tyres, a new chain, a couple of sets of brake blocks and some workshop labour) – and even more if you plan to do plenty of off-road riding. You could save yourself some of this by doing the work yourself, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty and you feel confident enough to give it a try.

4. In the UK, the Cycle to Work initiative has encouraged employer-purchasing schemes combined with government tax breaks. This makes it possible to treat yourself to some serious equipment, worth up to ?1,000, and feel that you’re getting something back from the taxman at the same time – always a bonus. If your company isn’t in the Cycle to Work scheme or you’re self-employed, creative financing is well established in the bike trade. Many bigger shops and online retailers offer good – and often zero per cent – credit deals that have helped countless cyclists access good equipment with relative ease by spreading the cost.

5. Your local IBD (that’s ‘independent bicycle dealer’ in trade jargon) is a good place to buy, especially if you take a long-term view on warranty and after-sales service. Person-to-person contact should ensure that you don’t get lost in the bike-purchasing woods.

6. Before you step over the threshold of your IBD, make sure you have a firm idea of the extent of your budget. Keep in mind that most local shops will have deals on offer depending on the time of the year, and that they’re always keen to move last year’s stock.

Advice from an independent bike shop can prove invaluable:

7. There’s no doubt that a lot of the best deals are to be found on the internet. Now that buying online is done with barely a flicker of concern, you should be able to find plenty of good deals. But remember to set aside at least ?30-?50 to get things sorted mechanically during the first month because, unlike purchases made at your IBD, you won’t be able to send an internet-bought bike back for its required first service.

8. Ebay and other auction sites are another obvious online option. However, we would only recommend purchasing here if you’re an experienced mechanic.

9. Alloy, steel, aluminium or carbon? The frame material will largely be dictated by the price, but expect either steel or aluminium to cost up to about ?300. From this point onwards, oversized aluminium tubing is pretty much dominant. As you head towards the ?1,000 mark, you might start seeing the appearance of carbon in the fork, and possibly portions of the frame. Steel is the most forgiving of the trio, and will tolerate the most neglect, as long as you don’t let it rust. Aluminium takes hard knocks in its stride but has to be watched more closely after about three years or more of use as it has a limited fatigue life. Carbon is the most temperamental as any cracks or frame damage from careless use usually mean the bike is toast. It should only be considered if you’ve got a long commute on good roads or are planning more serious riding beyond your everyday jaunt to work.

10. 26-inch wheel urban bikes are basically an offshoot of mountain bikes, combining the stouter characteristics of an MTB frame with slightly smaller and more resistant wheels. Fitted with faster and narrower tyres than their knobbly counterparts, they almost match hybrid bikes for speed, while offering better kerb- and pothole-hopping capability. If you don’t want to worry about the consequences of abusive urban riding conditions or you’ve always been tough on machinery, this type of bike is the way to go.

11. Such is the state of refinement and advanced technology in bikes today that virtually any widget or feature you could think of has been designed, tried, tested and put on the market, offering what amounts to an overflowing buffet of choice. Consequently, another way to fine-tune your bike is to think of some of the features you want and ask the helpful salesperson if that combination is already available off the peg.

Suspension is only worth getting if you're going to be doing a lot of off-road riding:

12. Suspension forks are worth considering if?you have to deal with really rough stuff. Of course, if you’re using your bike for leisure-time off-roading, suspension becomes more of a consideration, but otherwise it tends to add extra weight and make life generally more difficult if you live in a hilly area. Steer clear if the main aim is commuting.

13. Internally geared hubs are bulletproof and require little maintenance. They’re available in various models with between 3 and 14 gears, but will add weight and cost to the bike. Derailleur gear systems are more widespread, offer up to 30 gears and are generally lighter – but because they’re more exposed to the elements, they require more frequent maintenance. With regular checks, though, derailleurs are the way to go for ease of riding.

14. You might want to make sure that the bike you’re getting is equipped with sufficient and correctly placed eyelets (attachment points that are built into the frame) to install a rack of some sort, along with permanent mudguards, which are a must-have in this country. Unless you want to get dirty and you’re not thinking of doing any commuting, that is.

15. We’d strongly recommend you don’t buy any bike until you’ve checked it for size. Like with clothes and shoes, sizing tends to vary between manufacturers, so while you might need a bike with a 54cm frame from one brand, you might require a slightly smaller or bigger size from another. You should stand over the bike with both feet flat on the ground, legs close together. Lift the bike up or look at the amount of clearance: you should be able to lift the front and back wheels evenly off the ground by about 7-8cm, which should give the equivalent clearance between your crotch and top-tube. Mountain bikes tend to have designs with a sloping top-tube, meaning the frames are now smaller in size than they would have been in the past when about 2-3cm of clearance was the norm.

16. Equally important is the reach, or distance from the saddle to the bars; a test ride will help you to determine if the position on the bike of your choice is going to be comfortable or not, and experienced shop staff are trained to help you achieve this correctly.

For more advice on bike positioning, check out: and How to get your road bike position right and How to get your seat height right .


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By Emma on February 12, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Interview: Renthal’s Ian Collins

Renthal might be famous as a motocross brand, but what goes on behind the scenes of the company’s successful mountain bike wing??Marketing manager Ian Collins spoke to?What Mountain Bike?about?what downhill racers and trail riders have in common, why motocrossers are scared of mountain bikes, and why high-end production will boom in the UK.

On motocrossers rinding MTBs

“Motocrossers can’t do it, it’s amazing. You see them riding round a motocross track and they’re absolutely pinned. The bikes are so stable because of all the weight, you put them on a mountain bike and they’re scared because it’s so light and it reacts to the ground so much they can’t quite handle it. You don’t have to go downhill on a motocross bike, so that’s alien to them as well. Trees too.

“There are two of us at Renthal who are very focused on the mountain bike side of the business, but within the company there are?a lot of us that ride and we have a regular Wednesday night ride – it’s a group of between four and seven people. Where we’re based we can ride into the Peak District, UK without touching a road.”?

On product testing

“Testing has to be a big part of what we do to make sure the product is right. We’re not a company that goes and buys an off-the-shelf product and puts a brand name on it; we like to develop something from the ground up. Everything has to be proved by us first.

“In the summer we did a load of data acquisition work. We used a handlebar that we strain gauged with eight gauges: that’s four each side, which we measured loads in the x and y axis. We then did repeated runs on a downhill course using a World Cup-level rider on a downhill bike and an intermediate-level rider on a trail bike.?

“We found that the peak loads were the same between the two bikes, so where you’ve got a downhill bike with 8in of travel, the load that’s exerted through the bike on the bar is the same as that exerted through a shorter travel 5in bike going slower.?

“We did a load of other data acquisition work based around cross-country, as we want to get an idea of what sort of loads go through an XC bike. We used a shorter travel bike, and a hardtail to see if that made any difference.”?

Renthal began transferring their motocross expertise to the mtb scene several years ago:

Renthal began transferring their motocross expertise to the MTB scene several years ago

On manufacturing in Britain and whether we’ve lost the skills

“We will see more manufacturing in the UK because it’s getting to a point where it’s similar in cost to produce something here as in the Far East when you take into account duty and shipping, but I think that’s only going to happen at the premium end. At the lower end it will stay in the Far East, or perhaps other countries where labour is cheaper.?

“Everything moves so quickly?so you can gain that knowledge in new manufacturing techniques. Manufacturing is in a constant state of flux and development; you can just learn the new things that are more relevant to today than old-school mass production style.”?

On what makes his job satisfying

“Seeing the brand flourish, to be honest. We always knew it was going to do well but in the last two years we’ve seen it grow exponentially, and obviously I’m at the centre of it, and there’s a huge amount of pride that it’s happening and going in the direction we want it to.”?

For more information on Renthal products visit www.renthalcycling.com.

A version of this interview is published in issue 145 of?What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.



By WordPress on March 3, 2013 | Mountain Bikes
Tags: , ,

Interview: Renthal’s Ian Collins

Renthal might be famous as a motocross brand, but what goes on behind the scenes of the company’s successful mountain bike wing??Marketing manager Ian Collins spoke to?What Mountain Bike?about?what downhill racers and trail riders have in common, why motocrossers are scared of mountain bikes, and why high-end production will boom in the UK.

On motocrossers rinding MTBs

“Motocrossers can’t do it, it’s amazing. You see them riding round a motocross track and they’re absolutely pinned. The bikes are so stable because of all the weight, you put them on a mountain bike and they’re scared because it’s so light and it reacts to the ground so much they can’t quite handle it. You don’t have to go downhill on a motocross bike, so that’s alien to them as well. Trees too.

“There are two of us at Renthal who are very focused on the mountain bike side of the business, but within the company there are?a lot of us that ride and we have a regular Wednesday night ride – it’s a group of between four and seven people. Where we’re based we can ride into the Peak District, UK without touching a road.”?

On product testing

“Testing has to be a big part of what we do to make sure the product is right. We’re not a company that goes and buys an off-the-shelf product and puts a brand name on it; we like to develop something from the ground up. Everything has to be proved by us first.

“In the summer we did a load of data acquisition work. We used a handlebar that we strain gauged with eight gauges: that’s four each side, which we measured loads in the x and y axis. We then did repeated runs on a downhill course using a World Cup-level rider on a downhill bike and an intermediate-level rider on a trail bike.?

“We found that the peak loads were the same between the two bikes, so where you’ve got a downhill bike with 8in of travel, the load that’s exerted through the bike on the bar is the same as that exerted through a shorter travel 5in bike going slower.?

“We did a load of other data acquisition work based around cross-country, as we want to get an idea of what sort of loads go through an XC bike. We used a shorter travel bike, and a hardtail to see if that made any difference.”?

Renthal began transferring their motocross expertise to the mtb scene several years ago:

Renthal began transferring their motocross expertise to the MTB scene several years ago

On manufacturing in Britain and whether we’ve lost the skills

“We will see more manufacturing in the UK because it’s getting to a point where it’s similar in cost to produce something here as in the Far East when you take into account duty and shipping, but I think that’s only going to happen at the premium end. At the lower end it will stay in the Far East, or perhaps other countries where labour is cheaper.?

“Everything moves so quickly?so you can gain that knowledge in new manufacturing techniques. Manufacturing is in a constant state of flux and development; you can just learn the new things that are more relevant to today than old-school mass production style.”?

On what makes his job satisfying

“Seeing the brand flourish, to be honest. We always knew it was going to do well but in the last two years we’ve seen it grow exponentially, and obviously I’m at the centre of it, and there’s a huge amount of pride that it’s happening and going in the direction we want it to.”?

For more information on Renthal products visit www.renthalcycling.com.

A version of this interview is published in issue 145 of?What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.



‘Green lanes’ double in U.S. in 2012

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — The number of protected bike lanes, also called “green lanes,” in the U.S. has doubled in 2012 and is on track to double again next year, according to Bikes Belong. Green lanes have a physical separation, such as a curb, parked cars or plastic posts, between moving cars and bikes