Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Velo Orange Mixte Frameset

Velo Orange now has Mixte frames in stock. These are lugged chrome-molly frames made for VO in Taiwan. You can get the frame in 3 sizes and I suspect only one color at this point. The introductory price is $499, but listed as $700 on the website.

The Mixte is a step-through frame that is ideal for a city bike where you need to dismount quickly or often. The frame is unisex, not a "ladies bike." Read more about the debate over at EcoVelo.

As with other Velo Orange products, expect high quality and the proper braze-ons for fenders, racks and the like. The frame accepts 700c wheels and tires up to 38mm. The horizontal dropouts would work well with internally-geared hubs if you decide to build your bike up that way. VO usually has a discount on their fantastic components if you purchase them at the same time as the frame.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bike Commuting for The Rest Of Us

One great way to get more time on your bicycle is to ride it daily to work or to school. The bicycles that we discuss on this blog lend themselves to carrying stuff, riding in street clothes and being tolerable in wet weather. In other words they're good for commuting.

The distance and frequency of your bicycle commute is going to be relative to your local conditions, your physical fitness and (in great part) your determination. Eventually you will learn what your body is capable of doing and what kind of equipment you'll need. But what about the point where you're just getting started with bicycle commuting?

Here are two perspectives on bicycle commuting.

Commuting on an E-Bike
Catherine chose an E-bike for her commute because it would allow her to commute more often and dispose of her car. Getting rid of the car not only saves money right away... it also eliminates excuses not to ride. You can read the blog entry (via Lets Go Ride A Bike) and see the video of her commute.

Ryan Leech on Bicycle Commuting
The second video is about Ryan Leech, a professional bicycle athlete, discussing why he commutes by bike. In Ryan's case commuting by bike helps him get in a workout while he gets to work. See the video here.

Here are some other great resources for Bicycle Commuting:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Raleigh Clubman

Raleigh has brought back one of its greatest hits, one of the classic Raleighs from the '40s and '50s, the Raleigh Clubman. It retails for $1130, but here's a tip... you can get the 2009 model on sale at REI right now for $930.

Most reviewers are quick to point out that this is not a touring bike. I'm not sure why... it's all steel and you could load it up and take off across country if you wanted to. In any event, it makes a nice all-purpose around-towner.


Frame: Reynolds 520 Butted Chromo Tubing.
Fork: Lugged 4130 Chromo Road.
Headset: Integrated 1-1/8 threadless.
Crankset: Shimano Tiagra 2pc 34/50t.
Front Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra.
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra.
Shifters: Shimano Tiagra 9spd STI.
Cassette: SRAM PG950 9spd (12-26t).
Brakes: Tektro Dual Pivot Long Reach w/Cartridge Pads.
Color: Brown.
Sizes: 50cm,53cm,55cm,57cm,59cm,62cm.

Raleigh Alley Way

The Raleigh AlleyWay is a new for 2010 model that features a belt drive, Alfine shifters, disc brakes, matching chainguard and fenders and a leather saddle. The retail price is expected to be $1425.

Here are a couple early reviews:

Ecovelo: AlleyWay road test

Bicycle Times: Alley Way minireview


Frame: Reynold 520 Butted Chromo w/CNC Dropouts.
Fork: 4130 Chromo Cross w/Disc Mounts.
Headset: Integrated cartridge bearings.
Crankset: 2pc Forged w/External BB and Gates Belt Drive Chain.
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra.
Shifters: Shimano Alfine.
Cog: Gates Belt Drive 24t.
Brakes: Shimano BR-M416 Disc.
Color: Graphite.
Sizes: 50cm,53cm,56cm,59cm

If you've taken one for a test ride, or you bought one, let us know about it in the comments.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Raleigh Classic Roadster

Yet another earth-toned steel-framed bike from Raleigh. This one has a three speed internally-geared hub with painted fenders and chainguard. The price point is around $500 and you get classic good looks and a comfortable ride. You'll have to add a basket or rack if you want to carry groceries.

If the three-speed doesn't do it for you then spend $400 more for the Superbe Roadster and you'll get an Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub and a front disk brake. You get extra points if you pronounce it "Sue-PER-bee."

Classic Roadster Step-Through:

Classic Roadster Specs: