PeopleForBikes launches letter writing campaign to restore funding for bike projects

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes says President Trump’s 2018 proposed budget is not good for bicycling. The group said the budget proposes to cut overall funding for the Department of the Interior by 5.3 percent and the Department of Transportation by 16 percent. “If approved, this budget will cut funding for bike trails and paths in our National Parks and National Recreation Areas

BRAIN Dealer Tour: Is Palisade the next big MTB destination?

PALISADE, Colo. (BRAIN) — BRAIN’s Dealer Tour braved rain and even a bit of snow pedaling about 20 miles from Grand Junction to the small town of Palisade on Thursday, visiting the town’s Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports. While Palisade is best known now for its wineries and its peaches, the town could become one of the major mountain biking destinations in a few years, if the owners of Rapid Creek have any say in it.  The store is owned by  Scott Winans and  Rondo  Buecheler. Buecheler was the founder of Over The Edge Sports in Fruita, Colorado, (where the Dealer Tour visited Wednesday) where he helped build the trails and biking community that made Fruita one of the most popular mountain bike destinations in the country. In Palisade, he has similar plans.

Federal budget deal includes funding for some bike-friendly programs

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — A budget deal reached by Congress this weekend includes funding for bike projects including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program, said Katy Hartnett, the director of government relations for PeopleForBikes. The deal, reached Sunday, would fund government operations through Sept

Sweet Protection introduces two new mountain bike helmet models for spring

TRYSIL, Norway (BRAIN) — Sweet Protection, a Norwegian developer of helmets, protective gear and technical clothing for the ski, whitewater and mountain bike markets, has released an updated version of its top-of-the-line Bushwhacker II helmet as well as the more affordable Dissenter helmet model.  “At Sweet Protection, we have a passion for perfection that drives our desire to outfit our core markets with the safest, highest performance products available,” said Christian Erga, head of marketing for the brand. “We are always looking for ways to improve across our helmet, padding and apparel categories to better protect you while on the trail, the mountain or the water

A simple guide to getting organised for cycling

With bike riding comes a certain amount of faff, and a large amount of gear. Aside from the bike you’ll be riding, there’s the specific clothing you need, lights that need to be charged, roadside essentials and spares such as tools and spares and on-bike nutrition that have to be organised. Making sure you’ve got everything together takes time and planning, and the more riding you plan to do, the more organisation is involved.

  • 13 tips for cycling to work
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  • Best mountain bike: the ultimate buyer’s guide

Anyone who’s planning on riding regularly – whether for commuting purposes, training or just because – will know that there’s a degree of groundwork that has to be done. Keep things ticking over with a little washing here, a spot of organisation there, and you’ll find everything runs all the smoother, both literally and figuratively. 

My cycling journey started with commuting to work and expanded exponentially from there. Along the way, through trial and error, I’ve got myself a little plan of action I try to follow to make my riding as smooth and hassle free as possible. Having everything ready to go is also a huge help when the weather is miserable outside, and the slightest obstacle might mean the difference between getting your ass outside and on the bike, and staying in instead. 


Preparation, preparation, preparation

I am not a morning person. I find consciousness hard without caffeine. I’m often unable to muster the sufficient physical awareness to open both my eyes before I’ve swallowed half a mug of coffee. As a result, leaving my ride kit assembly to the morning of the ride is a no-go for me, as I’m generally not compos mentis enough to guarantee I won’t forget something crucial. 

I’ve paid quite literally for this in the past, having turned up to a trail centre several hours’ drive away only to find I’ve forgotten my riding shoes. That is not a cheap mistake to make, but thankfully there was a decently stocked bike shop at the trail hub and I like to think I’m helping contribute to the local bike shop economy. Other mistakes include forgetting tyre levers; not expensive in terms of money, but wheeling a bike for an hour down a country lane in search of a bike shop certainly wasn’t the exciting ride I’d had in mind. 

5 top tips for the disorganised cyclist

1. Set up a lights charging station

2. Get a kit bag

  • Showers Pass Waterproof duffel bag review (pictured above)

3. Use a retractable key and pass holder

4. Start a newspaper stash

  • How to quickly dry your soggy cycling shoes

5. Empty and clean your water bottle or reservoir 

Don’t forget the post-ride routine

1. Wash down the bike

2. Stick your gear in the washing machine

3. Put your lights on to charge

4. Check your tyres

5. Replace any used spares

6. Pack your bag the night before!

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

5 essential bits of MTB kit for the Highland 550

Earlier this year Matt Orton took on the Highland 550, a long distance self-supported mountain bike time-trail route through the Scottish Highlands. During his solo expedition he learnt a a few things and discovered some essential kit for such an epic ride.

  • Ortlieb Handlebar and Accessory Pack review
  • Horse for the Course: The Highland 550

Here are five bits of kit to consider packing on if you’re planning to ride a long distance,self-supported mountain bike any time soon.

1. The SPOT Gen3 personal GPS Tracker


The SPOT is a mandatory item of kit for the Highland 550 and with good reason. With over 4,300 rescues worldwide (and counting) the emergency beacon facility could well save your life. In addition to hailing the closest emergency response teams it boasts a host of other features including a simple text message to a list of contacts to check in and an assistance button to alert friends and family to non life threatening problems.

Once activated it will allow your progress to be followed via SPOT’s adventure portal. It also links up through third party sites such as trackleaders.com to provide overall coverage of larger events such as The Tour Divide and the Highland 550.

  • £129.99 / US$169.95 / AU$TBC (Plus monthly subscription)
  • www.findmespot.eu

2. Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System

  • £29.95/ US$29.99/ AU$TBC
  • www.sawyer.com

3. Maxxis Chronicle Folding 120Tpi Exo Tr Tyres

  • £99.99 each/ USD$95.00 / AU$TBC
  • www.extrauk.co.uk

4. Trek ‘n Eat Peronin High Tech Food

  • €4,95
  • www.trekneat.com

5. SRAM X-SYNC Direct Mount 26 tooth Chainring

  • £74.99/ US$99 / AU$TBC
  • www.sram.com

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

When a Public Space Doesn’t Want You – Kvæsthusmolen

The Bicycle Chef on Kvæsthus Pier
A late-summer evening in Copenhagen. Copenhagenize Design Company arranged for The Bicycle Chef – Cykelkokken to serve up a delicious snack for our guests from the City of Bordeaux, including Mayors from surrounding municipalities, who were visiting our city to learn about bicycle urbanism and public space.

Ole Kassow from Cycling Without Age was invited to spread his good word about his amazing project. Being urban designers, we thought it highly appropriate to exploit the potential of Copenhagen’s newest public space – Kvæsthusmolen?- a redevelopment of a quay in the heart of the Danish capital.

Summer is lingering this year, but the space was rather empty at 18:30, with only a few people enjoying the evening. We arranged for the Bicycle Chef to meet us at the “Kissing Steps” and set up for serving our guests from his converted Bullitt cargo bike.

It was going to be a classic Copenhagen arrangement. Or so we thought.

In all the material about the new, public urban space, grand descriptions are employed. “A space for cosy and quiet moments“, they tell us. “A good urban space also invites people to linger“. Indeed. The spot we chose – the Kissing Steps – is “a perfect place to share a moment in the sun.” Not a dry eye in the house.

There is nothing in those descriptions to indicate that using the space would result in an angry employee from the Scandic Front hotel nearby storming out to us in the middle of the urban space and informing us in no uncertain terms – read: rude – that we had to move. That the space upon which we stood was private property and that we had to leave it immediately.

When we questioned this bizarre statement with comments about public space, we were informed by this man that it WASN’T public space – it was owned by The Royal Danish Theatre?- also located nearby – and that the Scandic Front hotel pays “a lot of money” to rent it. Therefore we, as Copenhageners with international guests, were not allowed to have a private picnic.

Damn. There we were. Ready to experience a place for everything, a place for excitement and a place for US.

We were ready for a vibrant urban space and nine steps for kissing! As RealDania, the philanthropic fund who financed it says on the project website, the goal with the space was:

• creating an urban space which communicates the transition between Frederiksstaden and Holmen through a wide architectural “embrace” that extends the classical understanding of space in Frederiksstaden, staged through a sensual mixture of materials and a “fairy-tale” composition of lighting, which in itself makes the square enticing; both day and night?
• to soften the transition between land and sea, e.g. with a stairway, and to enable a broad spectrum of recreational activities on and by the water?

RealDania’s declared mission is “To improve quality of life for the common good through the built environment“.

What an amazing array of glossy, marketing texts about this new destination.

We were the only people in the space at that moment. The outdoor seating for the hotel was packed up for the evening – and probably the rest of the year. While Angry Hotel Man didn’t seem very certain about his claims, we had distinguished guests arriving so we chose to avoid educating him in public space and, instead, roll over to the other area on Kvæsthusmolen, along the harbour, to begin our evening.

The Lulu and Cykelkokken Ole Kassow
The World’s Youngest Urbanist, The Lulu, helped Morten out preparing for our guests. Ole Kassow did his magic and all went well.

Kvæsthusmolen was designed by Danish architects Lundberg & Tranberg.

The question remains. Can you boldy proclaim “public space” and then try to kick people off of it? And in a city that prides itself on public space like few others? The lines between private and public are blurred here on Kvæsthusmolen. The Royal Danish Theatre even tries to brand the space as Ofelia Plads / Ofelia Square, complete with a website. Even though the official name is Kvæsthusmolen.

Screengrab from The Royal Danish Theatre’s website. Just because it’s weird.

As Mayor Morten Kabell has said, “There is nothing called Ofelia Plads – except in the imagination of The Royal Theatre“.

Mayor Morten Kabell, on Facebook, has looked into this. He writes:

The stairs and Kvæsthusmolen is owned by the Ministry of Culture and administered by ofeliaplads.dk. They have leased a part of the place to Scandic Hotel for restaurant purposes, but far from it all. On the hotel’s area you cannot make a private event or picnic.

But at the rest of Kvæsthusmolen, you can sit and enjoy yourselves, have a picnic and so on. When it amounts to a bigger event, you have to apply for permission from ofeliaplads.dk just like you’d have to if the area was owned by the city.

We weren’t in the (closed) cafe space near the hotel. We were in the middle of the area. It would be interesting to see a plan showing the exact lease area. The whole area was deserted. You would think that creating some life in the space would be regarded as beneficial to everyone, including the businesses.

But hey. So maybe it’s a free-for-all in this new urban space. Organisations can make up names for it. Hotels can kick you out of it – and, what’s worse, hotels that only have a dismal 3.5 rating on Trip Advisor.

This may be routine in other cities in the world. This is not, however, fitting in the Copenhagen in which I choose to live and work.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Specialized S-Works Carbon Enduro 29 first ride review

Not many have endured quite as well as the Enduro. After a solid 17 years on the market in a variety of different guises, Specialized’s long travel trail bike has had yet another refresh in a bid to make it climb and descend that bit quicker than its predecessor.

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Specialized S-Works Carbon Enduro 29 Highlights

  • Full carbon frame with 165mm of rear wheel travel
  • Improved and now internal cable routing
  • Ohlins fork and shock
  • SWAT storage compartment
  • Single ring only
  • Tweaked suspension tune
  • Can be swapped to 650b plus wheels/tyres easily
  • No more press-fit bottom bracket

Appearances can be deceptive

A cursory glance may be misleading here as, on the surface at least, the 2017 S-Works Enduro 29 doesn’t look dramatically different to the bike it replaces. While it still uses the same X-Wing frame design there’s a plethora of changes throughout.

Gone is the press-fit number so many disliked. In its place sits a threaded bottom bracket which should make maintenance that bit easier and hassle free

The seat stay bridge is no more. Instead, the carbon seat stays get bulked up and when paired with the Boost axle spacing, means there’s plenty of tyre clearance should you wish to drop plus tyres into the frame. According to Specialized, the Enduro 29 will easily accommodate up to a 3in tyre.


Any Enduro that uses a carbon front triangle now features Specialized’s handy ‘SWAT’ (Storage, Water, Air and Tools) box. This is essentially a box that sits within a hollow in the downtube, under the bottle cage. For those not into carrying a pack, it’s actually incredibly handy.

Cables are routed internally and, rather than loop the rear gear cable and rear brake hose right under the bottom bracket, they now straddle the base of the seat tube, sitting on top of the bottom bracket instead.

Speaking of the bottom bracket, gone is the press-fit number so many disliked. In its place sits a threaded bottom bracket which should make maintenance that bit easier and hassle free. On top of that, the fact that all the pivot bearings are the same size should also make big overhauls a little more straightforward too.

Scandinavian precision and plenty of gears

Aside from the suspension, just like many other 2017 top-end bikes, the S-Works Enduro is clad with SRAM’s latest 1×12 XX1 Eagle transmission

Specialized S-Works Carbon Enduro 29 Ride

It’s when the trail gets really rowdy that the control from the fork really shines through

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Cavicchi promoted to director of global operations at Bern

KINGSTON, Mass. (BRAIN) — Bern Unlimited, Inc

Component brand 3T launches its first bike — and creates a new category

ARTIMINO, Italy?(BRAIN) — The historic Italian component brand 3T — which was bought last year by its president and CEO, René?Wiertz, and Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen — is introducing its first bike, which may be the industry’s first aero gravel road bikes, called the Exploro. The company said it spent a year developing the bike, including tests at the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel