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Bikes, hubs, jeans, a camera bag, and more

Commuter, Concept, Utility / Cargo Bike 7 744
Specialized Source city bike

Photo via

The new Specialized Source is a bike that caught my attention as I was looking at the 2012 Global Product Launch coverage at Bike Hugger. The sporty urban bike comes as either a derailleur version or with a belt drive. I like the fact that it includes fenders, a bell, and a dyno-powered light…feature that you need in a serious city/commuter bike. As much as I love to read news about bikes like the Venge or the new Tarmac SL4 at the Specialized event, this type of urban bike is what really gets me excited from a design standpoint. I’ll echo the closing sentiment in the Bike Hugger post, “This is the sort of mixed-modal ride we’re looking to see come out of companies over the next few years.”

Update: BikeHugger has pictures of the Alfine equipped belt drive Source 11 in their Flickr stream. Check out the other shots from the event too.

Chrome has a “this is my city” photo contest going on now to coincide with the release of their new Niko camera bag. The winner will receive one of the bags…and a Nikon DSLR to go in it. Check out their Facebook page for details, and take a look at some of the photos that have been submitted so far (and in the second album here). I am submitting an image this afternoon too, so look for my shot of Greenville soon… and hit me up with a few “likes” (Update: my photo is here).

Lagomorph wooden bicycleThe folks at Lagomorph Design normally create custom furniture and cabinetry, but they recently decided to build a bike. Not surprisingly, it’s a wooden one.

The GOKISO aerospace hub was designed to “keep bearings from getting compressed when the axle shaft deforms under pressure.” It features 4 sets of deep groove bearings per hub, instead of the 2 sets of shallow bearings found in a normal hub. Read more about the design at Gizmag.

Via BikeRumor, “Kirk Pacenti Offers Open Source Freehub Design, Suggests Industry Moves Forward.”

Levi's bike commuter specific jeansLevi’s, who you may remember was the title sponsor of this year’s Oregon Manifest “Constructor’s Design Challenge”, is introducing the “Commuter by Levi’s” bike specific clothing line this week.  According to the company, “the 511™ and Trucker Commuter products integrate an array of features that address cyclists performance, convenience, safety, mobility and protection needs while maintaining the durability and classic styling that people expect from the Levi’s®brand.” Just a few of the special features are performance stretch fabric, 3M reflectivity, NanoSphere technology (for water and dirt resistance), and rider specific tailoring and seam reinforcement. I am all for products like this that aim to push transportational cycling further into the mainstream, so kudos to Levi’s for introducing this line of clothing for urban cyclists.

Finally, I want to mention Jim Gallant’s Homebuilt HPV page. He has quite a range of bikes featured…all pretty interesting. I particularly like the tandem he built to ride with his kids. His motorized cargo bike is pretty cool too.

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  1. Steve A July 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm -  Reply

    Why would a dynamo be needed on a commuter bike? The dynamo is not only heavy and draggy, but a theft target to boot, while the predictable distance facilitates rechargeable batteries. I’d only get a dynamo if I started touring.

    • Amoeba July 25, 2011 at 3:48 am -  Reply

      The joy of dynamo lights. Fit and they’re always there. With a hub dynamo, from walking-pace your lights are lit and the drag is unnoticeable. And they’re easily bright-enough to spot potholes at night on otherwise unlit roads, but despite being bright, they don’t dazzle when properly adjusted, because they have the required beam geometry.
      I’m a dynamo convert, and I liked them so much, I fitted them to my son’s bike too.

      I suspect that the biggest real argument against, is the cost. For me the primary concern was the safety of my son, so I paid the ~£200 cost.
      For a hub dynamo set-up, you need the dynamo / generator, a new wheel, front and rear lights. But then, if you are a regular cyclist and ride on the road in all weathers, how much do you value your life?
      My favourite set-up is Shimano DH-3N71or DH-3N80 [both 3.0 watt output]; Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ Fly [40 Lux @ 10 metres (considerably brighter but less dazzle than the otherwise excellent Fenix L2D flash light); stand-light – stays on for several minutes when bike stationary; integrated reflector]; Busch & Muller Toplight Flat S plus [Linetec technology – better visibility; stand-light; integrated reflector] Note: with the 3.0 Watt dynamo, it is feasible to run more than one rear light.
      Unfortunately, these Shimano dynamo hubs only seem available with the thieves’ favourite Q/R skewers, so security skewers are necessary. Cheaper Shimano dynamos are available with nutted axles, but these were discounted because of shorter potential service life.

      Read more here:

  2. art July 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    “…the predictable distance facilitates rechargeable batteries.”

    I agree in theory, but in practice am chronically incapable of remembering to charge batteries.

    • Nick F July 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm -  Reply

      Agreed, I would say in NYC a self-contained light is a far higher theft target than a dynohub… you can certainly take battery powered lights with you, but it is a huge hassle (and like charging, inevitably forgotten). I’d much rather have something integrated with my bike that was useless on the thief’s garbage mountain bike.

  3. mommus July 19, 2011 at 9:48 am -  Reply

    love your piccy of greenville!

    • James Thomas July 19, 2011 at 11:01 am -  Reply


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