Everything Old is New Again…

Our friends Matt and Ken from Palm Beach Bike Tours had an interesting article a couple weeks ago that we wanted to share with the rest of you — a bike-commuting pioneer from the first U.S. gas crisis.

devon

Take a look at the article by clicking here. Apparently, synthetic fibers were all the rage in commuting clothing even way back in 1974…polyester is KING!

Car Free Fridays!

For Immediate Release

LAST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH IS “CAR-FREE FRIDAY”

First Bike Ride Jan. 30!

Advocates strive to create a more bike-able, cleaner and healthier Los Angeles County

Los Angeles, Calif. — Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) has launched a new campaign called “Car-Free Fridays” to encourage both new and experienced riders to commit to using the bicycle as a means to commute to work and to make their shorter trips by bike at least one Friday of the month.

The campaign is aimed to get more people on bikes and to highlight the global and personal benefits of riding a bicycle. To celebrate the first “Car-Free Friday,” on January 30, LACBC will host a ride, meeting at 8 a.m. at Hollywood/Western Metro Red Line Station and will head downtown, to L.A. City Hall.

Sustainable choices and transportation alternatives are a popular means of reducing our carbon footprint, reducing air pollution, staying healthy and saving money. Choosing to commute by bicycle, even on occasion, can have immediate positive results on our health and on the environment.

“Riding your bike on Car-Free Fridays is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and get a work out at the same time,” said Council President Eric Garcetti.

“If you already ride or walk your commute, pair up with a co-worker or classmate and show them the joys of car-freedom this Friday, and every last Friday of the month. If your New Year’s resolution included reducing your carbon footprint with a human-powered commute, this is the perfect day to give it a try.” said Jen Klausner, Executive Director, LACBC.

“I started using my bike to go to the grocery store, and I noticed that I came home happier and I even saved a few bucks on gas,” says Susan Beeker, a new rider who now commutes at least three times per week on her bicycle.

“Car-Free Fridays is great idea that will encourage folks to start and continue bicycling”, comments Ron Milam, of BikeSage.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become a priority for many Angelenos, but it is not always easy to dedicate extra time and money to get to the gym every week.

“According to the British Heart Association, cycling at least three hours a week cuts your risk of heart disease in half compared to those who do not cycle or perform other exercise,” said Marisa K. Bell, MD Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. “Other studies have shown that exercise such as cycling can reduce levels of depression and stress and improve mood and self-esteem.”

Riding a bicycle for just 10 miles a week can save at least $520 a year, shed calories, work to reduce California’s emissions from cars and light trucks which are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in California. It helps reduce traffic congestion which costs the regional economy $9.3 billion annually.

Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to build a better, more bike-able Los Angeles County. LACBC is the only nonprofit, membership-supported organization working exclusively for the millions of bicyclists in Los Angeles County. Through advocacy, education and outreach, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.

For more information please go to www.la-bike.org or contact aurisha@la-bike.org

Dynamic’s “Synergy” Road Bike — first look!

We’re really pleased to be able to unveil Dynamic Bicycle‘s newest performance-oriented machine, the Synergy road bike. The official release of the bike is scheduled for the Seattle Bike Expo in March, but the good people at Dynamic allowed the staff of Bikecommuters.com to be the very first testers outside of their own company. How do you like them apples?

Dynamic is known primarily for its shaft-drive bicycles (the Synergy is a bit of a departure for them), and they’re not afraid of trying new drivetrain options around their company. We here at Bikecommuters.com have talked about the concept behind this particular bike before, and were blown away when Dynamic told us they were going to go ahead with this machine.

Please bear in mind as we write about and show photos of this new bike that the version shown here is a pre-production model — a prototype, if you will. The production version will have a couple of minor differences in parts spec, paint scheme and frame characteristics, and we’ll show you a photo of that at the end of this first look.

synergy

Billed by Dynamic as “the world’s first production internally-geared road bike”, this bike is aimed at the performance enthusiast who likes to think outside the box. With a drivetrain based around a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub, the other item that really makes this bike stand out (and excites the hell out of me!) is the STI-style shifter co-developed by Dynamic and a Taiwanese component manufacturer.

shifter

Up until this point, the only shift controllers for the Alfine and other Shimano internally-geared hubs were trigger pods or a twist-grip unit, neither of which was appropriate for a traditional road bike without some kludgy workarounds to get those shifters onto road drop bars. Not anymore — the Dynamic’s STI shifters are AWESOME and open up a world of tinkering opportunity for cyclists. I’d venture to say that if Dynamic offered these shifter units by themselves, they’d make a mint!!!

That’s a little bit beside the point for right now, though. This Synergy road bike blends the STI-style technology and an IGH into a sleek, road-worthy package that is capable of some real performance. Parts spec on this prototype is very nice and include a couple of house-branded parts (crankset and external-bearing bottom bracket), Tektro brakes (R720 and R538), Ritchey Pro and Comp seatpost, stem and ergo handlebars, Cane Creek IS-2 headset and Alex 32 hole rims wrapped in some of my favorite road rubber: Vittoria Rubinos in 700c X 25. And, of course, the sweet Shimano Alfine hub.

The heart of the beast, as it were:

alfine

The frame is TIG-welded aluminum in the common “compact geometry” configuration with sloping top tube. There’s nothing particularly wild about the frame — merely a well-executed oversized tubeset with some gracefully flared chainstays. The pre-production frame comes with mounting points at the seatstays for a rear rack, but no matching eyelets at the track-style rear facing forkends. Patrick Perugini, president of Dynamic, assures me that the production frame WILL have those crucial eyelets to mount a rear rack. The pre-production frame’s carbon fork comes with eyelets for fender mounting, but as we saw on the OSO a few weeks ago, there’s little chance a fender will fit into those narrow spaces between fork, tires and brakes. I’m not clear as to whether the production fork will have those eyelets.

Dynamic is loaning me this bike for testing purposes for only a few days — so I’ll get some actual reviews up pretty soon. I received it on Tuesday via UPS and have already put about 35 miles on it…and so far I can say that it is comfortable yet nimble, it performs very nicely from a functional standpoint and I’m really glad to see such a machine on the market.

I’ll leave you with a photo provided by Dynamic that shows the bike as close to actual production as possible. There may still be a couple of minor tweaks, but this at least will show the production color scheme:

production

Oh, and by the way — Mercutio Stencil: great guess…you nailed this one! Thanks to the rest of you for throwing your comments into the ring.

Coming Soon: A New Bicycle by Dynamic

Here’s a sneak peek at something that arrived at the Bikecommuters.com East Coast Secret Laboratory today:

dynamic box

It’s the new model from our friends at Dynamic Bicycles…so new it hasn’t even been announced anywhere else!

Wait a minute…Dynamic? Aren’t those the folks who make those shaft-drive bikes? Well, yes — and this is a departure from that. The new bike is a) a really great idea that we’ve talked about on this site in the past (the idea, not this particular bike) and b) fairly unlike anything else currently on the new bicycle market.

It’s a road bike…but so much more (and a little less). How’s that for a tease that tells you almost nothing?

box

Stay tuned as we get this machine unpacked, assembled and on the road. I’ll be posting a “first impression” article next week if all goes well, and then you’ll get more details about what makes this bike so different.