Category Archives: Bike Tech

Where’d you get that bike?

Where bicycles are made:

  1. 130,000,000 – Produced globally in 2007
  2. 67% produced in China
  3. 56,000 produced in USA
  4. 99% of bicycles sold in USA in 2013 were imports (16.2 million bicycles)


Top 5 producers:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. EU
  4. Taiwan
  5. Japan

tumblr_n3itbg8hsn1rpvmfno1_1280 (2)Sources: Various as reported in Momentum, May-Jun 2015

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The Hottest Bicycle Shop in Town

DT Fire 5-30-15 COMP CIn typical upbeat Downtube Bicycle Works fashion, this new slogan appeared on the gutted shop in early May after the earlier disastrous fire.



The Downtube now has a “full service, pop up” shop in the adjacent motor vehicle bay. If you stop in, you’ll find the same friendly service from a group who has been through hellish times as they move forward to a new and better Downtube Bicycle Works.



Just now, the gutting is complete and work is underway on the upstairs apartments (the source of the fire) and the shop.

The owner provided the following statement:

Robert, Eric, Adam, and all the Downtubers appreciate everyone’s concern and patience as we continue to recover and rebuild after the fire. We are now offering full bicycle repair service out of our garage next door to the store, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 12 noon – 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We also have the primary essential parts and accessories for immediate sale, and we are special ordering everything bicycle, often with 1-2 day delivery. The renovated store will reopen later this season with new, exciting features. Please stop by and say hello in the meantime.

Stand by for a grand reopening!

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Raw Talent . . .



This year’s gift idea comes from the talented hands and mind of local artisan, Oliver. You can see and purchase this handsome tree ornament (jacket pull, or necklace) at the Downtube Bicycle Works.

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Ears Cold? Try These

Cat Ears Ear Covers 11-14-14Here’s a handy way to keep your ears warm(er) and to reduce annoying helmet-head wind noise – Adventure Cycling’s “Cat Ear” Ear Covers. These are simple “polar fleece” triangles with a strip of hook-and-loop on each side to secure the “ear” to your helmet straps. Although the photo borrowed from Adventure Cycling’s “Cycle Source” on-line shop shows red, they come only in black.

Worth the $12.00 – part of which would seemingly go to Adventure Cycling’s programs.


Model – Courtesy Adventure Cycling

Detail – With bill/coins for reference

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Commute by Bicycle – Book Review

The Bicycle Commuter’s Handbook* by Robert Hurst would make thoughtful gift for someone contemplating commuting by bicycle. This pocket/purse size book packs a lot of useful information into its 97 pages. However, an urban rider with 5-8 years of experience would enjoy this book as an entertaining refresher with some perhaps new ideas.

The included sections are “Equipment and Clothing,” “Preparation,” “The Ride,” “At Work,” and “Routine Maintenance.”

“Preparation” has some good thoughts on route planning based on different skills and riding preferences. Among tips that would be evident to an experienced rider but valuable to a newcomer is the observation that the most important ingredient for a bicycle friendly street is the attitude of the people who use it. Street features the author recommends avoiding include high traffic speeds, on-street parking, time-sapping traffic signals, oblivious pedestrians, interstate entrance/exit ramps, high schools(!), damaged road surfaces, and bad attitude or “street vibe.”Bicycle Commuter's Handbook 2013

Again for the prospective commuter, “The Ride” section has a number of tips to avoid trouble – better to read about them and be prepared rather than to discover that, for example, longitudinal cracks can get you in trouble.

One not so obvious observation in the “At Work” section is the attitude about cycling and cyclists commonly held by one’s non-cycling co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. While the experienced cyclist already will have experienced this phenomenon, it might be “news” to the budding commuter the first time she clumps into the office in helmet with a messenger bag. The author notes that the USA never had a bicycle commuter culture, so forewarned is forearmed.

One helpful section covers diagnosing (and correcting) bicycle fit issues by the nature of the pain experienced. This and other straightforward bicycle fit tips are a break from what one might have read in articles that are more “technical.”

Overall, this is a nice little book – well written and well organized.

_ _ _ _ _
*Hurst, Robert, The Bicycle Commuter’s Handbook, (Guilford, CT), 2013, ISBN 978-0-7627-8468-4, US$12.95.

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Filed under Bike Tech, Comings and Goings