What's going on in the curly bar world? CyclingTips Digest showcases articles from our sister site, CyclingTips. In each installment, you might find endurance coverage, power-to-weight ratios, gravel bike tech and, of course, lycra.
Toolbox perfection? A look at Abbey Bike Tools’ new tool kit
By: Dave Rome
When it comes to working on modern bikes, what tools should go in a good cycling tool kit? Abbey Bike Tools’ new kit provides some valuable insight into that very question.
Abbey Bike Tools is commonly regarded as one of the best makers of premium cycling tools, and you’ll be hard-pressed to attend a professional road, ‘cross, or mountain bike race and not find an Abbey tool hidden in the box of each mechanic.
The maker of those green tools is now offering its own pre-made tool kit. However, unlike many cycling tool brands, Abbey doesn’t make, or rebrand, everyday hand tools that are needed for fixing bikes. Instead, the Oregon-based company focusses on making cycling-specific tools and believes the best general-use hand tools come from the companies that specialise in making those tools for use across many major professional service industries.
Ben Thomson is not, in any conventional sense, a normal guy. He operates at a different speed and a different intensity to most other people, with laser focus that shifts from one project to the next. He has fingers in many pies. Many of those pies are hot and messy.
Case in point: in the last month, he has jumped 30 feet across a railroad, continued his planning for a tilt at the world paced bicycle land speed record, and announced that he’s giving away his bike shop for free.
JRA with the Angry Asian: Weekend reboots, rebooted
By: James Huang
Fruita, Colorado holds a special place for me and my wife. Situated an easy four-hour drive from our home in Boulder, Colorado, it’s a mountain biking mecca with a seemingly endless expanse of high-desert trails, breathtaking views, plentiful camping options, and, yes, even fantastic pizza despite being a small town of just 13,000 residents.
For more than 10 years, it’s been an annual pilgrimage for us to head out there with friends, ride our legs off for hours, then bask by the glow of a warm campfire as we recount our days over hot dinners and cold drinks.
Things have changed a bit since those earlier years.
How one bike brand is making others look environmentally irresponsible
By: Dave Rome
At this year’s Taipei Cycle Show, I got talking to a product manager who was in the midst of setting up a new bike brand. Normally I’d glaze over upon hearing another such story, but this was different. It was filled with talk about disposable and non-recyclable products, irresponsible packaging, poisonous working conditions, and an over-complication of the bicycle that’s designed to have you buy more, more often.
Enter Bjorn Bikes. A start-up out of Vancouver, Canada that aims to raise awareness about how environmentally hypocritical our pedal-powered scene can be. The brand’s first model, a do-it-all, make-it-what-you-want gravel frameset, is made with up to 60% recycled stainless steel and a fork that’s up to 70% recycled aluminium. The bike is accompanied by a grip made from recycled materials, and there’s a tyre in the works, too.
For us multi-disciplined cyclists, or even those of us who need different travel mountain bikes for different terrain, which would be your one bike you would always have?
Since March 2019, I’ve been putting an idea to the test – whether it was possible to live with one bike for an entire year. It was, in part, an exercise in minimalism – removing the drawn-out decision between a number of bikes down to a single simple choice. Subtraction, not addition. Removing the ‘what’ to ride; replacing it with just ‘when’.
But it also gave a good opportunity to dig into something that seems to come up all the time in gravel bike reviews and in the comment threads beneath them. And that was this: is there such a thing as a quiver-killer? Can a bike truly straddle both road and gravel, with little compromise in either world?
Many of us are accustomed to the concept of traveling with your bike. The idea is simple, after all: you pack up your bike, fly with it somewhere cool, ride it somewhere new and exciting, and then reverse the process and go home. However, what if the purpose of your trip isn’t to ride your bike, but a bike would still make the most sense just for basic transportation? How much easier would traveling be if you just had a bike with you everywhere you went?
Giant Contend AR 1 2020 review: Fresh and affordable all-road
By: Dave Rome
If the lines between road and gravel bikes were already blurry, then the way things are trending is likely to confuse you even further. All-road bikes are relatively new and aim to do everything a good endurance-style road bike does, albeit with a pinch of additional versatility. As the name suggests, they’re designed to handle all roads. If you can point the family sedan at it, then an all-road bike can go there too.