Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Yes, you may have noticed that Fahzure has been MIA lately and Spoke(n) has lagged because of it. Well, while the precise injuries and impediments will eventually be revealed here, suffice it to say that much was missed this summer and fall (so far!). Spoke(n) Interbike coverage is absent, but let's not let that get in the way of a good time:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Red Bull Rampage 2012-Part 1, Those who were robbed

Red Bull Rampage pictures! There has been a lot of kvetching on the Interweb (mostly by people who weren't there) about who should have won, placed higher or been awarded best trick. While Fahzure totally supports the judges' discretion and ranking, from where we were standing, it could have been a bit different. We who? The usual suspects (plus Godspeed)!

People rode bikes 4 miles in to the venue:
 And waited for the Red Bull hired help to park them:

Here's what RG3 missed. The riders up high on the ridge waiting their turns, NBC camera guy in the foreground (there were at least 1/2 a dozen):

 Wil White (and fam), riding in jeans, was full on Fahzure-style steez. The flattest, most consistent tables of the comp. Click that Oakley Sender to see what I'm sayin'.

Total flatness off the Oakley Sender:

I'm not sure what judges didn't see in WW's run. 3's, flips? Well Ok, but the steeze and general confidence through 2 clean runs should have been to 10.  Claw had a nasty line, classic Freeride, dropping in from the ridgeline into the main bowl, snowstyle. He even left powder trails:

Because Darren Berrecloth failed to nail his ending 3, and he was heavily docked. While near perfect execution seemed to help out WW only marginally, other riders like Claw and Brendan Semenuk were eliminated despite mind blowing moves.  I think that if Claw had cleaned his 3, he could have hit the podium, then again the judges generally under appreciated the upper section riding, perhaps cause they couldn't see it (well)? Which brings us to Bizet.

Cedric Gracia and Ann Caroline Chausson aside, Fahzure's not seen much out of France of a freeride inspirational nature. Although Bizet finished 2nd, there is a good argument that his 2nd run was the best of the day. His disastrous first run ended less than a quarter of the way through, as he was sent tumbling 80 feet down a slope stopping at the edge of a 20 ft cliff. The solid riding of the second run included:  a terrain hit, upper bowl, backflip;  the Oakley sender; and, a total of 4(!) backflips including one corked.
Landing the backflip clean in the upper bowl:
 Another flip down below:

While a handful riders might have been robbed, no one lost anything, in fact, more than a few gained some respect. We'll talk about more of them in Part 2.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This is how to ride a bike

I can't imagine bike riding being any more fun, creative, woodsy. Mitch Chubey's got the steeze. Pleasant dreams tonight:

Chubey Opener Brighter Segment from Mitch Chubey on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hump Bike-Only One Thing Wrong With This Bike

My friend PS generally grades his efforts at a B-; it's part of a psycho-projection strategy to keep him striving for more.  Today's Hump Bike is a stealthy middle weight with almost nothing wrong. In the shop to replace the broken bullet-style LX R. Derailleur, that is about the only thing wrong with this obviously carefully considered daily driver. Look closely and you will find the perfect value package of efficient, adjustable near- vint goodness. Plus, it's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none

Oury grips, "relaxed" stem and Hell Bent Bars:

Poison Spider sticker, xtra long Surly steerer tube fork, I'm not makin' this up:

LX Hollowgram crank (octalink) and rad, Shimano, super-commuter all metal A530 pedals (DHers?):

Parallel push brakes, Avid and Shimano both made 'em, these were the burliest ; reflectorized Maxxis tires that do not get flats:

LX brake levers with multiple leverage ratio positions and, part of that near perfect, integrated shifters:

One of three QRs that actually work: Salsa; DT RWS; and, real Shimano camming QRs, alloy. Again, the best value:

Full wrap fenders, two cages (probably from days gone by), who needs a QR seatpost on a townie? Okay, here comes the tricky part, what make is it?  All the clues are here (see answer at bottom of page):

 I'm down with Old Man Mountain, hand brazed racks:

 Crazy cowgirl sticker, see!:

Chainstay protector made of inner tube and ice and water shield sealant tape, black, natch:
So consensus opinion is that this is a murdered, vint '94 Schwinn Homegrown. Those S bend stays. So as not to miss the opportunity for improvement/upgrade, Fahzure will give this bike a B-, at least until one correction is made.  Did you spot it's only other short coming? Let Fahzure know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Huck Wizard

Huck Wizard, your own inner, unleash, you should:

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Week on the Web 2

Clear those tabs.  Here's an innovative take on flatland, make the rhythm rock to the bike:

I met this guy Joe while I was in NYC a couple of summers back.  A former architect, he builds and sells one bike at a time, each one of them unique.  I heard one of his employees, Krys was hit by a car and has a long road to recovery, maybe you can help. Maybe you'll want to after watching this video:

The Inverted Bike Shop from Show Love on Vimeo.

Professional builder takes 12 years to build one bike.

10 ways sex is like riding a bike.

Drinking alcohol may significantly increase problem solving skills (and your willingness to tell others they a wrong?).

Marla Streb says that bike shops need to clean their bathrooms, was she talking about the Rose?

Lot's is happening in the Yewtah bike scene.  Not only is the (almost) Whole Enchilada Enduro scheduled for this fall, Ali is sayin' that he will be putting on enduro races this summer.  Of course, the Tour of Utah is coming our way this summer with the Salt Lake City stage finishing downtown on 300 West, August 10 at 3:30-4:00pm. With no major climbs in the day's parcours, its likely to be a sprint finish.

Tired of being a spectator? Learn how to build bicycle frames, here in the Wasatch.

On the other hand, the Salt Lake City Mayor's office doesn't seem to understand the important cross- disciplinary nature of cycling and has abolished the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee, established in 1986. Let the Mayor know what you think:

Want to make a bigger impact and have a resume booster, as well? How about joining the new Salt Lake City Parks, Open Space and Trails Board?  Applications due Friday, 4/13/12 5pm. Alternately, you could get involved in the Granary District and the upcoming charrette.

With Fabian out for a bit, Fahzure's interest in the peloton has shifted.  With no Contador, Schleck in poor form, Martin down, Valverde back, Sanchez showing strong, this year's Tour De France is looking interesting.  What's that you say? Cadel? Well he seems to have enough on his plate to distract him (click to see tweets from Cadel's "better half"):
Yep, still holding on to her last name, going on a "bucks night out," blackmailing her hubby and retweeting her own tweets (which Stevil points out, is like drinking your urine).  My picks for the TDF? Sanchez, Voelker, Van Garderen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hump Bike-Like a Nightmare Before Trail Riding

You've probably seen Nightmare Before Christmas with its cast of cast-offs, each one with a bit of extra "character." You've probably also seen some Ferraris, Lambroghinis, Maseratis or Porsches (hmmm, maybe an exception there) in red or black, rarely yellow. Those of you old enough, will remember when every bike was made of steel.  Enter today's Hump Bike: Sunny Whale:

This one, the color of caution, I can't describe the waves that this Whale created when it debuted in 1984. While the velophilia had become accustomed to the Cannondale name through its introduction of bike trailers (its first product), a few years earlier, and, more recently a road frame, big aluminum tubes, differently sized wheels and that yellow color made the bike a showroom floor standout. Rolled aluminum tubes for any bicycle purposes were rare, limited to handlebars and BMX seatposts (road seatposts were still mostly cast), until Gary Klien welded up a frame as grad project. Cannondale quickly appropriated the aesthetic (Klien's were sooooo hot), and dropped this trials/mtb/bmx hybrid. The first bikes had Dia Compe caliper brakes; judging from the roller cams (metal rollers!) on this bike (one of the rare instances where V2 is more valuable than V1), it is an '86:

Rolling Hall, a pedalling misfit of a most unique nature, is the perfect owner for this bike.  Usually a townie, Sunny Whale gets laps on the Shoreline, Broniel's or even Glenwild. Some of that Nightmare character: Schwinn Approved Speedo, cup holder, Oury ("the cult") grips:

Of course Rolling and Fahzure share an affection for 24/26 combo, both of us former Killing Machine owners. Hey, it works for motos and Travis Brown likes his 69er. This 46er has mint vint 24 in goodness with a real spoke guard, Suntour XC Pro hubs and derail:

 Hite Rite, and Nitto/Suntour seatpost, natch:

Sugino AT crank was the working man's option, a price point pick over the more expensive XC Pro:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Granary District-Bike Spot?

The Granary District, an area from roughly 600 S to 900 S and from 300 W to I-15, in Salt Lake City is a pocket neighborhood slowly being revitalized. The biggest recent addition is the new ArtSpace Commons at 400 W and 800 S which despite its LEED Goldness, has an awful eastern European gulag aesthetic:

The design "aesthetic" probably came down to money,  as the spaces are well equipped, energy efficient and affordable. This has lead to a plethora of non-profits locating in the ground floor of the building including: Heal Utah, Wild UtahA Gift To Africa, Save Our Canyons and Tree Utah. Any philanthropist (holiday gift giver?) could save a bunch of time while doing good, unloading coin on this block.

The Artspace development, combined with a recent symposium on the GD has built momentum for master planning the area to bring it greater vitality and consistency in redevelopment. The core of the GD is almost certainly 400 W, you know, that street, with the tracks down the center, that you currently avoid because it has the worst surface in the entire city. On my way through the area the other day, both of my kids slid out and one went down on the pavement due to rail tracks that run in the roadbed roughly parallel to the direction of travel.  Here's an idea of how to create a spectacle for the neighborhood: wait 'til a rainy day and hold a crit. With Fabian out, the Roubaix is anybody's race (Sagan?), so start your training here;  if you're on a road bike, the right 5 feet of this road are that "challenging":

 Truth in advertising:

Those tracks which, if you blur your eyes a bit and open your consciousness, could become a cycle boulevard with barrier protected center bike lanes:

Efforts by locals and the City have been underway for about a year now to redesign the neighborhood.  A series of gatherings and seminar has already taken place with a coffee klatch at the Utah Pickle Factory the other night.  Fahzure got word of this gathering and decided to check in with developments and plans:

The Utah Pickle Factory, artist/maker coop, graciously hosted the 20 or so folks hashing out a framework for incorporating bikes into the area.  This gathering was in anticipation of a Charrette, April, 26th-May,1 organized by The Granary District folks. The UPF is a cool building, sitting at a rakish angle to the street and with a broad porch and bikable ramp.  Not too many bikes at this bike meeting:

The inside space is one project area after the next:

Exactly what I would expect from this type of space's bathroom, a torn homage to the man who crushed culture:

As a cycling community, I think that it is important that we are involved and support this process.  The GD folks are taking the worst cycling street in the city and attempting to transform it into a vision for neglected areas in SLC. Big props for that. This visionary sees bikes as critical to future cities:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Down by the river

This time of year, the riverside trails are coming alive, there's action from muskrats on the bank, birds in the trees and humans on the path. The sheer numbers provide for likely encounters with free bicycle culture.

Which brings me to: Why the hell hasn't somebody developed a low cost DIY trailer system for bikes using bed frames, shopping carts and bicycle parts? It seems that the utility movement is taking off but, other than Surly ($700!) and handful of garage operations, nobody is making heavy duty trailers and a reliable DIY design is absent. That (and maybe a few other things) is what Jose is up against (click to enlarge pic and notice the fine detail):

Jose was attempting to extend his MB4, with trailer, through the addition of some angle iron. The apparent chaos in this picture has some order: the two lag bolts held together with a hose clamp are being used as a leveller; the cordless drill motor stator shaft (hardened) is being used as a punch; disc brake rotors act as anvils:

While I would like to believe that Jose is some sort of trailer impresario, truth is it was a bunch "wrong tool for the job." I sent him to the Bicycle Collective (celebrating its 10th year) to get more useful parts and use some good tools. Each of the prior pictures has alluded to it, so you knew it was coming, the crux of the DIY quandary, the trailer hitch, solved with clothes hangers: 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

For $1,600, Fish On.

By: Rolling Hall

Two Hump Bikes ago we asked if you'd kick down the coin to ride a vintage Giant; and 'Friends with Benefits' took the majority vote. Sufficient for careless socializing or a good romping when the SO's being a crazy ass bitch, the Red Sled would make a legit addition to any two-wheeled horde. Today's Hump Bike keeps the rigid and Taiwan-built theme rolling, but is its asking price too fishy?

Fishers have a rich history of clever marketing and bold claims, and today's fully customized, used Trek Bicycle Corporation Gary Fisher Collection Sawyer (really Trek, really?) embodies just that. Fisher once claimed to have invented the mountain bike and pushed hard for acceptance, even going so far as to falsify a build:
"…Gary Fisher paraded a bike that he claimed was the first mountain bike, but it was easy for Frank Berto to show that many of the components were not yet available when the bike supposedly was built. Gary Fisher admitted that it was a replica loosely based on the long-lost original…"
He did start a company called MountainBikes, and he was part of an off-road cycling movement during the late 70's, but he did not invent the mountain bike.
A similar story goes for his brands marketing of 29er wheels. They were an early adopter, but by no means the first company to use 29in wheels. Their early marketing, however, would lead one to think otherwise. They did, in fact, ride the 29er wave like pros. Aside from failed, I'm-first claims, the Tweed Tool has contributed to putting mountain bikes into the hands of countless riders. For that we're forever grateful and today's Hump Bike continues to do just that.
Looking to cash in on niche styles, the Sawyer sports the clean lines of a NAHBS piece and early mountain bikes, but forgoes the progressive, passionate, and hard work of custom builders in favor of cheap Taiwan labor. Like mainstream fixters, the Sawyer looks to prey on PBR-fanboys. Tatt's? Check. Cool facial hair? Check. Custom, hand-built mountain bike … no? Well, check off that box with this 'custom' Sawyer!
So, what makes this mass produced mountain bike custom? It appears this Fisher's been the fine recipient of some bolt-on upgrades -- qualifying it as custom. (We were hoping for some custom, trippy paint … but, we'll have to keep wishing.) According to our seller, Bontrager-branded DT Swiss wheels, XT drivetrain components, and a Ti Brooks saddle make this Sawyer custom.
It's pretty apparent the seller fell victim to the shiny bits under the glass counter at the Bike Shoppe, like a large mouth falls victim to a spinner. The seller doesn't state why the Sawyer's being returned to the pond -- only that it has about 50 miles on it. Maybe the missus didn't like the tatt's and soul patch, or the sleeveless flannel and cut-off jeans rubbed him the wrong way on the first ride.

Either way you can purchase a Trek Bicycle Corporation Gary Fisher Collection Sawyer with a warranty for $1540 from a Trek Concept Store or catch this 'custom' Sawyer for $1600. So, what do you think, is the seller a master baiter? Or, is this a fish that's worth riding?

Let us know if you think:

 something's fishy … I'm not going down on that.


Reel it in, she's a keeper.