Bike Shop Hub Center:

The business and work culture of Bike Shop Hub in all it's glory.

When we have new products, sales, weird marketing ideas, commentary on the cycling industry, or embarrasing photos of of the staff, this is where you'll find it.

And since we are located in Arizona, we'll talk about the cycling scene in the state.

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Send In Your Cycling Photos

We get to see and touch and test all sorts of great cycling gear here at our world headquarters. But we actually get to meet very few of our customers in person.

We just know you are out there taking pictures of your amazing cycling adventures. We want to see them! The best ones will be shared on the relevant section of this blog: Bike Cargo Trailers, Bike Touring, Bike Technology and Family Cycling.

Yearly Archives: 2006

Plug-In Hybrids

The movie Who Killed the Electric Car? (just out on dvd) gave an excellent review of the history of the development of the electric car in the 90′s and its subsequent demise. Much is explained also about the debate over hydrogen technology. At the film’s conclusion, the development of hybrid technology is discussed with a glimmer of hope in the idea for a plug in hybrid.

Hybrids today store energy from braking and reuse that energy for low speed travel. Hybrid’s such as the Civic and the Prius use NiMH batteries that try to maintain a level of a 60% charge in order to maintain their battery life. These hybrid’s batteries will only store enough energy to travel short distances.

A group called Cal Cars has begun a project to convert the Toyota Prius into a plug in version. This modification allows for the Prius to be plugged in over night and then travel mostly on battery power. This greatly improves the fuel economy of the hybrid during the time that the battery power is in use. Unlike pure electric cars, the Plug-In Prius can still be fueled up for longer trips. The plug-in hybrid offers the best of both worlds offering a great opportunity for the future.

Cal Cars is trying to grow the idea of the Plug In Hybrid and convince auto mobile manufactures of its viability. For more info go to http://www.calcars.org/priusplus.html.

Wandertec Custom Touring Frame

Here it is, our first custom touring frame. This was a project for the fun and joy of learning the art of frame building. We may become involved further in custom touring bikes in the future.

This bike is setup with longer chainstays to accommodate racks. It has an additional third water bottle mount and braze-ons for mounting racks. A Surly Cross-Check fork was used. Mostly Shimanon 105 components were installed with a triple chain ring. The tires are the touring worthy Schwalbe Marathon XR’s with Mavic A719 rims.

Interbike 2006

I’m back and settled in after a successful Interbike. We had the excellent opportunity of getting a corner of the VooDoo Cycles booth. It kept things interesting with the great cast of characters cycling through the booth. Here is a pick of the booth …..

I’m Upgrading My Lightbulbs

I just saw “the movie” that all those with an environmentalist mindset will inevitably see, “An Inconvenient Truth”. I know it is those who need to see this movie the most that probably won’t see it. But for those of us who have an interest in this topic, the movie is an excellent presentation of the environmental problems and potential catastrophes our world faces today.

Al Gore is the star of the movie, essentially giving a 1.5 hour presentation. Generally the information is similar to much of what has been circulating about our global environmental crisis for years. The movie’s strength is in bringing together a variety of the current environmental problems, potential threats, positive and negative ideologies, and suggestions for change. By presenting all of this information together, the movie achieves a sense of momentum. It gives a sense that the crisis is growing exponentially but so is our understanding of it. The movie serves as a rallying point for environmentalists to congeal their ideas for combating the problems we face ahead.

Though this movie will probably not be viewed by the majority of the worst polluters among us, perhaps it will be seen by their children. This movie is the perfect tool for teachers wanting to explain global warming to their students.

The end of the movie reads of messages encouraging the viewer to make changes in their lives. I decided after watching this movie that I needed to make at least one change in my life. I decided to reduce my use of energy by updating all of my light bulbs to fluorescents, installing a timer on my heating system and installing a motion sensor on my front porch rather than just leaving the light on.

Go see this movie and reduce your energy consumption!!! Bike More…

Style & Bike Commuting

I’ve been talking to a friend about some of the barriers to bicycle commuting. From this discussion, I’ve come up with a list of the most significant barriers:
1. Style/Appearance: Sweatiness/general disheveledness caused by bike commuting.
2. Luggage Capacity: Inability to carry extra stuff (groceries, piles of books, boxes, etc.)
3. Effort: Laziness or feeling overworked
4. Safety: Feelings of being unsafe on a bicycle in traffic
5. Weather: Problems with in climate weather

The solution to all of these barriers is easy and simple, drive your car instead….

But, let’s not forget all of the attractive aspects to bike commuting:
1. Save on gas, car wear & tear.
2. Do your part for the environment and world politics, by reducing oil dependence.
3. Get exercise & commute at the same time.
4. Avoid and reduce traffic congestion.

I’m convinced that there is a significant group of people who are very aware and interested in the advantages of bike commuting. It seems to me, that they likely can’t make the switch to bike commuting because of an issue with a barrier. This group is very much ‘on the fence’ and in an effort to encourage bike commuting, this group is very worthwhile to focus on.

Someone who is ‘on the fence’ as a bike commuter, is likely to already be comfortable on a bicycle. We could derive, that they have overcome Safety and Effort barriers. Weather and Luggage Capacity barriers can affect individuals very differently, but we could derive that potential bike commuters who are already comfortable with cycling would have gained some ability to deal with these two barriers.

My assessment is that the first barrier, Style/Appearance, is the barrier that has the widest impact on potential bike commuters. Style/Appearance is important to some degree in most professions. If you are on the fence over this issue and bike commuting, it is likely that you need to appear professional, clean, or in uniform at your job.

In order to reduce the impact of the Style/Appearance barrier to bike commuting, several things need to happen. Potential commuters need to take steps in finding ways to maintain their style & appearance while bike commuting; cycle clothing manufactures need to develop new lines of commuter/professional clothing; & businesses need to become more aware of their employees interests in bike commuting, offering support for bike commuting style/appearance & installing facilities such as showers, lockers and bicycle storage where applicable.

Quite a bit could be said about how commuters should go about improving their style and how this could be supported by businesses and the bike industry. I’ll be getting more into suggestions on biking style and appearance in some coming blogs.

As far as the other barriers to cycling there is a lot of great info on bike commuting at the following link. http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/commuters.php

The CELLO’s Literary Foreshadowing

Recently, I’ve been clued into an interesting literary reference concerning the name of the Wandertec CELLO bike case. My uncle had been reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, the literary classic written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1967. He came across a passage which would seem to be the inspiration for naming a bike case “CELLO”.

Marquez writes, ‘Besides Fernanda’s old trunk, which they had sent her off to school with, she had two upright trunks, four large suitcases, a bag for her parasols, eight hat boxes, a gigantic cage with half a hundred canaries, and her husbands velocipede, broken down in a special case which allowed him to carry it like a cello.”

I should note that this quote is the only reference to this “special case” for bikes. Though my uncle was certain that he had figured out how the name for the Wandertec bike case had been determined, this was not the source , just an intriguing coincidence.

The true source of the CELLOS name was inspired by Philip Novotny, the originator of the BOB trailer itself. Philip has been involved with the project on a conceptual level since close to its beginnings. He was discussing the concept with a friend. They were discussing the often awkward difficulties of checking a bicycle on an airline and dealing with the inconsistent over-sized baggage policies. As it seems that bicycles are sometimes discriminated against with higher charges, the idea of naming a bike case as something that was charged more favorably was born. By naming a bike case the “CELLO”, the traveler could report with honesty that they were transporting a CELLO.

Wandertec Cargo Net for BOB Trailers

We’ve just introduced a new product! It’s a simple devise, but very useful in combination with a BOB trailer. The cargo net works very nicely to hold gear down in your BOB trailer.

The development of this cargo net has come out of our work on a new, forthcoming product, the Wandertec Sax which is a liner for a BOB trailer. It will be designed to work in conjunction with the Wandertec Cargo Net. This combination of products is intended to make using a BOB trailer more convenient for shopping and transporting miscellaneous items.

The Wandertec Cargo Net will not be listed on this site until it is available with the Wandertec Sax. However, we have made an arrangement with our dealer the BikeTrailerShop.com to offer this items. Have a look…

York Cycle Show-!st UK & Belgium Dealers

The Wandertec CELLO had its debut at the York Cycle Show this past weekend. http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4377

The CELLO appeared at our new dealer’s booth PMS Ltd -> http://www.uk-recumbent-bikes.com/ Though the show was mostly attended by recumbent and road racing enthusiasts, being that it was hosted by the CTC a bit of the touring contingency attended as well.

We’d like to not only welcome PMS Ltd as our first dealer in the UK but also A-Bikes of Belgium has joined our team-> http://www.a-bikes.be/ We are very excited about the inclusion of these two new dealers to our list for their passion, interest and support for bicycle commuting and touring products.

Interesting Accesories for BOB Trailers

Our new dealer BikeTrailerShop.com has been offering quite a range of interesting ways to accessorize your BOB trailer. Being that our interest with the Wandertec CELLO is to expand the use potential of the BOB trailer, it fits perfectly in with the range of products offered.

Some interesting product of note are rear lights that fit on the Yak fender or Ibex fenders.

They also are offering the ESGE double kickstand, a great solution for keeping your BOB and bike upright for easier use. An interesting range of bags and containers includes the Ortlieb RackPack XL which can be used instead of the BOB DrySAK, a Handwoven Basket designed specifically for the BOB trailer, and a large cordura bag with a ton of interesting features for the BOB by Battlelake.

For shipping the BOB beyond the CELLO, they are offering the Ortlieb BigZip as a bag that you can pack all your gear and BOB trailer in and ship on the plane.

Have a look at their interesting selection of accessories and parts for some ideas on how to get more use out of your BOB trailer.

Wandertec Custom Touring Frames

After several months of practicing and gradual effort, I’ve nearly completed building a custom touring frame. In the months ahead I will be building bike frames to replace all of my current bicycles as well as outfitting my family and friends with custom bicycles. I’ve been working together with my friend Joe Murray of VooDoo Cycles. He has been lending a hand with tools and skills as this new project gets underway.

The goal is to begin offering custom frames through Wandertec sometime in the future. I am interested in building touring specific road and mountain bikes. I am also interested in bikes specifically suited to work with bike racks and/or bike trailers, possibly even with racks integrated into the frame. I’ve been dreaming of a frame with a bike trailer somehow more closely integrated into the frame, to allow for a lighter, yet stronger trailer with better handling characteristics. This would likely be a very specific expedition style rig designed specifically for long bike tours but perhaps not having multi-use appeal.

Check back for pictures of new frames in the coming months!