If you have been in the shop this week you may have noticed a new employee helping out. If not here's your chance to come on in and meet the newest addition to the BBC, Walter. He adopted us late last week and seems pretty cool with hanging around the shop and greeting customers. Walter is very laid back and playful, so stop by and say hello. Thanks


Dish = bad, off-center rim = good

On a typical multispeed bike, the width of the gear cluster causes rear wheel offset, or “dish”.

The above diagram is from Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle Wheel, and shows that a much higher spoke tension is required for drive-side spokes to balance the lateral (side-to-side) forces on the rim. [Ignore the red lines for now.] The weight of the bike and rider are therefore supported almost entirely by the drive-side spokes, which effectively halves the number of spokes in the rear wheel. The diagram shows an old six-speed hub; the offset is even greater for current ten-speed hubs. This results in a wheel that is less sturdy and more prone to go out of true than a comparable front wheel.

In order to compensate for dish, some wheel designs move the non-drive hub flange closer to the center; this helps even out spoke tension but does not add lateral strength to the wheel. Other designs use twice as many drive-side spokes as non-drive-side, which requires a rim that can support the tension of three closely spaced spokes.

One clever solution to rear wheel dish is the off-center (or asymmetric) rim. The idea is simple: move the spoke holes to the left side of the rim. This allows for a rear wheel with both wide spacing between the hub flanges and equal spoke tension. In the diagram above, the red lines show what the spoke angles would look like if the rim had off-center spoke holes.

Mavic’s top-of-line, carbon-spoked R-Sys wheelset is built with an asymmetric rear rim. The shop has several of these wheelsets in the store and you ought to check them out, if only to marvel at their light weight (1355g the pair) and multiple high-tech features. A cross-section of the front and rear rim shows the asymmetric shape of the rear:

[One quick note: The voluntary recall of Mavic R-Sys wheels has nothing to do with its asymmetric rear rim. In fact, they're not even recalling the rear wheels. Whether carbon spokes are a good idea...well, that's an entirely different topic. 12jan2009]

In a slightly more traditional vein, Velocity USA offers two excellent off-center alloy rims. The Aerohead OC is a light (418g) semi-aerodynamic rim that is built for speed, while the Synergy OC is a burlier (490g), wider rim, perfect for the tourer, the clydesdale, or mountain biker.

Both rims come in a variety of sizes and spoke hole drillings, and can be purchased individually or in pre-built wheelsets. The guys at the shop can help you decide which options would best fit your needs.


Birmingham Bicycle League Mystery Ride, Saturday December 20th...

Once again we are hosting the Birmingham Bicycle League ride from the shop this Saturday, December 20th. The ride will roll at 9:00am and we will be on the road for approx. 3 hours and there will be one sprint zone this week. Please go to http://www.bhamvelo.com/blog/?page_id=32 for a detailed description of the ride and the rules/regulations that we ask all participants to abide by.

The shop has multiple changing rooms for those folks coming in from out of town that need a place to change into the riding gear and the shop will open at 8:00am. There will be water, Powerade and air available at shop prior to the start of the ride. After the ride we will have food and drink that has been graciously donated by Milos Hamburgers and Tracy's available to all ride participants.


Scott Bicycle & Zipp Wheel Demo & the B.B.L...

Scott Bicycle has brought their demo van to Birmingham and it is full of road and mountain bikes for you to test out. The three featured Scott bikes are the Addict, the Spark and the Genius. In addition we also have seven (7) pairs of Zipp Wheels to demo. The featured Zipp Wheels are the 404 clincher, 303 clincher, 202 tubular and the Flash Point 60 clincher. All the wheels come with Zipp tires and all we need is your cassette and you will be ready to ride.
The demo road bikes, mountain bikes and road wheels will be available starting Tuesday December 2nd. Please call or stop by the shop for more details including the models and bikes sizes currently available. The demo bikes and wheels are available to ride for up to six (6) hours and reservations will be handled on first come first serve basis.
For the riders that are going to participate in Birmingham Bicycle League (B.B.L.) ride on Saturday, December 6th the Scott Addict's and the Zipp wheels are available to demo on the ride. The bikes and wheels will need to reserved by Friday, December 5th by the close of business (6:00pm) and can be picked up Saturday morning starting at 8:00am. The B.B.L. ride will leave from the bike shop at 9:00am and will return around 12:00pm (noon). Lunch will be provided for all the B.B.L. riders by Smiths Oysters and Steaks and is sponsored by Scott Bicycles and Birmingham Bicycle Company! Please call or stop by the the shop for more information and to place your reservation today.


White Industries ENO eccentric hub

Many people have a lonely old multi-gear bike in the garage that they’d like to convert to singlespeed or fixed gear. One big hitch, however, is that almost all geared bikes nowadays have vertical dropouts. When you ditch the derailleur, there is no way of adjusting the chain for correct tension. Bummer.

Unless you have a White Industries ENO eccentric rear hub! This nifty item has a small offset between the axle and the nuts, which means you can adjust chain tension by TWISTING the hub in the dropout before tightening the nuts. This is the real deal! You can run it fixed or free, or flip-flop between the two. If you choose to run fixed, White Industries has a splined fixed cog system that is more reliable than traditional threading; no more stripped threads or loose lockrings, even if you are the gnarliest skidder in town.

The ENO comes sized for road or mountain, with or without disc brake mounts. The guys at the shop can help you choose the right model for your needs, and then build up a rear wheel that will serve you for years and years of smooth rolling. Being a specialty item, the hubs are not stocked and do need to be special-ordered.

White Industries is a precision bicycle component manufacturer in Petaluma, California, and has been around since 1978. More information can be found at their website:



With night rides in full swing everyone is digging up their lighting systems and making sure that they still work. If you are looking for an updated headlight that is super simple and compact take a look at the Niterider MiNewt Mini USB. This little guy puts out an impressive 110+ lumens while using a small and light lithium ion battery pack. It can be charged using the wall charger or with your computer's USB port. Best of all it only cost $100!! Come by the shop check it out.



We all hate to see the end of the time change every year but there is one positive to this time of the year, Night Rides!!! Birmingham has some nice rides to fill your evening riding desires. Monday night at 6 pm at Bham Bicycle Co for a 20-25 miles ride, Tuesday 6 pm at Pepper Place in downtown for a very cool 20-25 mile ride and Thursdays at 6 pm at Bham Bicycle Co for another nice night ride option. All ride require taillights and a quality headlight that you can see with. Check http://bhambikeclub.org/ and our site's calendar for more info.


Vintage Fixie

Here's a recent addition to my collection, an 1895 Elmore safety from the golden age of cycling. This is a good example from the transition period between high wheeler and diamond frame. The frame is very tall with a steep head angle and short top tube for a very upright (almost standing) riding position. It has a fixed rear hub with fork pegs for coasting. The coaster brake had not yet been invented and brakes were unfashionable at this time, especially on men's bikes. The rims are wooden with single tube pneumatic tires. It is driven by a hand-made block chain. The grips are cork.
Elmore went into the automobile business in later years and was a division of General Motors for a few years.



Dave just picked up his new cross bike, a 2009 Scott Addict CX RC. This is a 14.88 lb cyclocross bike!!! The frame is built using the same technology and HMX carbon as the Addict road bikes. Parts include Sram Red drivetrain with FSA SL-K Light crankset, Ritchey 38mm carbon tubular rims laced up to DT 240 hubs and Ritchey carbon bar and stem. Look for this fancy ride and the future cross races.


Busy Sunday?

This Sunday afternoon the guys from bhamfixed.blogspot.com are hosting the Downtown Hoe Down. It starts at 3 p.m. under the bridge on Morris Ave. and will last through the afternoon.

Birmingham's fixed gear scene is growing steadily and this is a great chance to meet new people. The omnipresent long skid and foot down contests will be held, as will a rousing game of bike polo.


Take a Ride on a Storck...

The fine folks at Storck have dropped a couple of their bikes at BBC to let our customers to take them out on test rides. For those of you that are not familar with the brand; Storck is a German company with history rich with technical innovation that is backed up with some of the industries most stringent testing protocalls. You can read more about the company and their full line of bikes at http://www.storckbicycle.com/usa. In addition you can read a mountain of reviews from all over. Just follow this link: http://www.google.com/search?q=storck+bicycle+reviews&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLR.
The bikes that we have are the Storck Scenario C1.1 (57cm) and a Fascenario 0.8 (55cm) Both bikes are built up and ready to ride and have been equipped with Shimano Ultegra and Ritchey components. Please stop by and take a Storck for a ride!



This past weekend was the MS 150 ride in Orange Beach, AL. The ride had a great turn out and the Cureseekers were a big part of that. We had over 20 riders, with many MS rookies and lots of Top Bananas, push themselves and do a really great ride. We hope to grow the team again next year and get more riders wearing the "Polka Dots of Power". We would like to thank everyone who participated in the ride and especially all of the volunteers who made it such a great experience. Thank you!! Join the movement.



Ian just picked up his new ride, a custom painted Gunnar Roadie. The color is "Pink Panther" with an old school panel look. The frame was built by the same masters that build Waterford steel frames using 0S2 tubing. The parts mix includes SRAM Rival drivetrain, Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels, Profile carbon fork and Thomson stem and post. Check out http://www.gunnarbikes.com/ for more


Tour of Missouri

So, I just flew home from the Tour of Missouri and boy are my arms tired. Ok, all kidding aside. My arms are tired, but that is because I was on moto duty the whole week. Riding around on the back of a moto carrying a set of wheels for six stages (I was along side the road for the TT) makes the arms a bit tired. I'll fill in with some more details later.



Musings (continued)

Sunday - US Pro Road Race Championships. But first, Josh and I were selected to "support" the Stars and Stripe Challenge Ride. This was a charity ride sponsored by Palmetto Peloton Project, a local non-profit organization that raises money for cancer advocacy and research. They had a turn out of about 500 riders. This meant we had to get up early to get our car ready and get to the course for a 7:30 am rollout. This, while everyone else was still snug in their beds. Oh well, that's the breaks. We snuck back to the hotel after parading the riders around for one lap of the course. We joined the rest of the Mavic crew and got the other cars and the motos ready for the big show.

If you ever get the chance to ride in the race caravan at a pro race, DO IT. NASCAR has nothing on the pro caravan. Screaming along, inches from the car in front of you. You've got cars on the left moving up, cars on the right moving back, and don't forget about the motos. Every time you turn around, there's another moto making your life interesting. They buzz about like you just through a rock at a bee hive.

We supported this race "euro" style, which meant Mavic 2 and 3 (the cars) and Mavic moto 2 actually started in front of the peloton. Once a break got off the front, Mavic moto 2 would drop behind them until the gap was sufficient for a car to drop in. Then, if a chase group developed, the same thing would happen. Moto drop back, then a car, with the other car dropping behind the break. Confused yet? I was initially. But since I wasn't driving I just focused on jumping.

The course consisted of a small circuit and a large loop. The total race consisted of 3 small circuits, 4 big loops, and 3 more small circuits. The first circuits were supposed to be somewhat parade laps. WRONG!!! About a half-mile into the race, the racers decided it was game on and hit full gas. The front of the caravan was still pretty compacted at this point. So, everyone was pushing hard to make room for the race. Nothing like starting the race flat out. That is why one of the TV motos dumped it on the first lap.

Once we got to the bigger circuits, things calmed down a bit. Then we hit Paris Mountain and it did it's job. A group of 12 got off the front. We dropped in behind them (after screaming down the back side of the mountain). Each time up the mountain, the break would shed some people and the group would close. The last time up the climb, those that were left pretty much regrouped. With this, we were pushed to the front and stayed there for the remainder of the race. We were diverted off course before the finish, so I didn't get to see it. But if you take a look at the finish line photo, you'll see Mark (driving the moto) and Collin (peeking over Mark's shoulder) had a front row seat and managed to get the Mavic moto front and center in the money shot.

It was an uneventful race for me as I didn't exit the car. I did see Collin pull a mussette bag out of a chainring from the back of the moto. However, the ride itself was anything but boring. Josh was pushing the Saab 9-3 Aero Sportcombi to its limits to hold our position. That, and he had a goal of making one of the VIP's that rode with us car sick. He didn't succeed in that, but I was sliding around like crazy trying to hang on to my seat and a set of wheels. Fun times!!!!

It's a good thing I have skinny legs.

Now, off to Missouri...


Musings from the jump seat of Mavic 2 (or How I spent my Labor Day weekend)

I got the call a while ago that I would be on the Mavic crew for the US Pro Championships weekend in Greenville. Labor Day weekend couldn't get here fast enough. I had some major news throw a kink in life early in the week, but by the weekend, I was ready to go.

I arrived on Friday, just in time to take care of some of the mundane tasks involved with the running of a neutral support crew. That involved washing the truck (the BIIIIG yellow one - fortunately, the trailer was staying at the hotel for the weekend so we didn't have to wash that), sorting the wheels (yes, all of them) and neutral bikes, and just making sure everything looked good for the sponsors. The first lesson I learned was to make sure you have plenty of clearance when jumping into the truck. I jumped in to grab some gear and BAM, caught a SRAM Force rear derailleur in the top of the head. OUCH, lesson learned and only minor bleeding.

Saturday was the time trial. We set up five pits along the circuit. I spent the day under a yellow tent watching the riders scream through a pretty hairy off-camber turn. I was sure someone was going to stack it in that corner, but everyone made it through safely. These are pros after all. However, you could still definitely tell who had spent some time training on their TT bikes. They were sailing through the corner in their aerobars and maintaining speed. The others...SKETCHY. Sitting up, grabbing the brakes, and changing lines several times through the turn.

We finished our official duties in time to head out for a ride. A group of 6 of us went and did the long loop of the road race. This included the ascent of Paris Mountain. Paris Mountain is a nasty little bump that gains about 1,000 feet over 3.5 miles. The pros would tackle it 4 times, we opted for only once and it HURT!!!!!!

Stay tuned for the road race report...


These go to 11...

We have finally got our hands on the brand NEW Campy Chorus 11 spd group and it is a absolute work of art. All of the changes to the group for 2009 look to be real improvements over the 2008 group not just cosmetic changes. You have to see the group in person to really appreciate how narrow the chain is and how tight the spacing on the cassette is. If you get a chance stop in and check it out. If you want to be the first to own a Campy 11 spd group, here are the spec's for the group we have in stock: crank set: 172.5 53x39, cassette: 12x25, front derailleur clamp: 35mm (1 1/8"). The cassette is compatable with all Campy 9 and 10 spd freehub bodies. The complete group (shifters, front and rear derailleurs, brakes, cassette and chain) sells for $1979.99 Go to Campy's web site for all technical spec's.


Which is better, number one or number two?

The Olympic track events have been going on for a few days and British rider Chris Hoy rode a very impressive Keirin final over the weekend. You can watch him ride the field off his back wheel here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/player.html?assetid=0816_sd_ctm_hl_l0632&channelcode=sportcy

Perhaps even more impressive though was Theo Bos's 2006 Keirin World Title race which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMsotvad5nA

Bos did not reach the Olympic finals because of a round two qualifying crash.
While both wins are almost unbelievable, Bos's rainbow jersey dash has to be one of the most remarkable displays of sheer power ever recorded on a velodrome.


Look Cycle USA Recalls Keo Pedals

WASHINGTON D.C. (BRAIN)—The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Look Cycle USA, have issued a voluntary recall of about 40,000 pairs of Keo pedals.The steel axle inside the pedal can break, posing a fall hazard to cyclists.Look Cycle has received 14 reports of incidents with broken pedals, including seven injuries which resulted in scrapes, cuts, contusions, elbow pain and a knee injury.
The recalled pedals are black and were sold separately from bicycles. Pedal models include the Keo Classic, Keo Sprint, Keo HM and Keo Carbon. The model name is printed in white on the side of the pedal. Date codes between January 2004 and December 2005 are included in this recall. The date code for the Keo Classic, Sprint and Carbon pedals is on a dial stamped onto the pedal. The date code for the Keo HM is on the bottom of the pedal, with the letters A through L corresponding to the month, and the numbers 4 and 5 indicating 2004 or 2005.
These pedals were sold at specialty bicycle retailers nationwide from January 2004 through July 2007 for between $100 and $500.The pedals were manufactured in France.Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pedals and return them to the place of purchase, or contact Look Cycle USA to arrange for shipping and free repair.


Quiz Time

As the dog days of summer drag on, tempers have begun to fray like an eight year old brake cable. Cyclists are yelling at motorists, motorists are yelling at cyclists, cyclists are even yelling at each other. Things are just getting a bit crazy out there. Therefore, in the interest of public safety, as well as my own sanity, here's a lighthearted quiz for everyone.
1. When someone in the group yells "Car Back," the appropriate action to take is:
A) Drift into the path of the overtaking car while using your rear view mirror to make sure there really is a car approaching.
B) Stay the course. The road belongs to you as much as that #$!@& car.
C) Stop as quickly as possible so any cars in sight can go by unimpeded.
D) While communicating your actions to your fellow cyclists, get into a single file line and maintain a safe distance from the right hand edge of the road while allowing room for the motorist to pass the group, which he/she will hopefully do in a safe and courteous manner.
2. When you decide to move off the front of a paceline you should:
A) Accelerate several miles an hour and move over to the yellow line.
B) Nothing. The responsibility is on the second wheel to come around you.
C) Move out of the way to the right OR drift back and forth a bike width to the left. Either is acceptable.
D) Look left to make sure the lane is clear, flick your right elbow a few times, move a few bike
widths to the left and soft pedal as you move towards the back of the pack. Before moving
back into the paceline, be sure you are the last rider in the line.
3. The rider in this graphic is demonstrating:
A) His support for Florida State University.
B) His support for the Atlanta Braves.
C) Signals for "Look over there to the left," "Look up ahead at that," and "Watch out for the roadkill".
D) Signals for Left Turn, Right Turn and Slowing.
4. In a rotating paceline, if the right hand part of the group is moving at 23 miles per hour, the left hand part of the group should be moving at what speed:
A) Who knows, I don't like word problems.
B) 23 miles per hour as well.
C) 25 miles per hour.
D) 22 miles per hour.
The answer to each of the questions was D. Give yourself 25 points for each correct answer. Hopefully you made a 100%.
While this was a tongue in cheek little quiz which should have made you smile, please remember that we operate on the roads as a group and our collective safety is everyone's responsibility. If you aren't sure what to do in some situations, approach a more seasoned cyclist you respect and ask them what to do.


Check out this guy's bar tape (It's the glow in the dark stuff)...can you guys please find this stuff??



Something Cyclocross This Way Comes

Lately the temperature and humidity in Birmingham have both hovering in the mid 90s and making the afternoon rides downright unpleasant. Granted that hasn't stopped most of us from riding as hard as we can as often as we can, but it just seems to take some of the pleasure out of it.
All of the heat and humidity are making me really look forward to the arrival of cyclocross season. The schedule for the 2008 season has been released and BBC is sponsoring the opening race of the season on October 5th. The venue will be the same as last year's Homewood race.
Last year's race was an epic event with several carbon components left for dead on the course. There is little reason to doubt this year's course will be any easier on the super lightweight stuff.
Take some inspiration from the guys pictured here- the picture dates from the days before Tullio invented the quick release skewer. Steel and wool ruled the day.



Check out Eric's new ride, a Vassago Optimus Ti 29er single speed. The frame is built in the USA using 3/2.5 Ti and Paragon Slider dropouts for chain tension. It features Vassago's Wet Cat geometry, making the bike climb the nastiest technical sections like a wet cat climbs the drapes a grandma's house. Parts include Avid BB7 brakes, Truvativ Sylo crankset, Fox 29 fork and Thomson stem and post. Look for this sweet ride on your next dirt ride.

Google Maps TdF

Check it: Google Maps TdF
That's all.



Riccò sinks his fangs into the Col d'Aspin.

Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) may very well have uncorked this year's Tour de France highlight with an emphatic win in Stage 9. The Italian climbing specialist was comfortably in the main group with four kilometres remaining to the summit when he unleashed a scorching attack that arguably evoked recollections of Lance Armstrong and the late Marco Pantani. Riccò didn't let up much after that initial surge, either: he made quick work of the small chase group ahead of him and then continued to rocket ahead, erasing a near-four-minute gap to lone breakaway leader Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) in just three kilometes (1.86mi).
By the time he crested the summit, 'the Cobra' had given himself 30s on Lang plus another minute on the peloton. Fortunately for Riccò, there wasn't much of a reaction from the main bunch so he managed to hold nearly all of that lead over them through the remaining 26km-long (16.2mi) descent and crossed the line as the day's undeniable hero. Time will tell if the general classification contenders' decision to let him go will come back to 'bite' them in the end: although Ricco professes to only seeking stage wins, it shouldn't go unnoticed that only 2'35 now separates him from the leader's jersey and there's still plenty of climbing to be done.
Riccò's weapon of choice for his assault on the Aspin was his usual Scott Addict Limited, only in this case Scott provided the 25-year-old with a bold custom finish just in time for the Tour. Menacing-looking cobras adorn the head tube, fork, integrated seat mast and seat tube in honor of Riccò's nickname and team sponsor fi'zi:k even got in the game with a custom Arione saddle. Read more...


We got WiFi...and so can you.

In addition to the box lunches that we are offering through Dishin' It Out for $7.00 during the Tour de France, we also offer Wi-Fi internet access to all our customers that want to hang out at the shop. So you can stay in touch the the wired world, eat some great healthy food and watch the Tour. What more could you ask for?

Lunch and Le Tour together...?!

BBC Header
Lunch with BBC & Dish'n It Out
All During the Tour de France

Tour de France

You don't have to miss out on watching the Tour during the week!

Starting on Tuesday July 8th your invited to come hang out at Birmingham Bicycle Company for lunch and to watch a stage of one of the most famous road races in the world.

Delicous made-to-order box lunchs from the fine folks at Dish'n It Out will be available every week day for $7.00!

Verus' will show that day's stage re-broadcast starting at 11:00am.

You will need to order from the menu below by 10:30 am and...

1. Stop in the shop and ask for your pre-ordered gourmet meal.

2. Sit and relax with friends while you watch the Tour
and eat some delicious food!

Dish'n It out Le Tour MenuDish'n It Out

www.dishnitout.com phone: 871-5444
1111 Dunston Avenue Crestline Park 35213
Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm Saturday 10am - 2pm

Tour de France
July 8 - 21

*we suggest pre-ordering by 10:30am

Tarragon Chicken Salad with dried
cranberries, Fresh Fruit, &
Tortellini Pasta Primavera with Crackers & Pita Chips

South Western Grilled Steak Salad with corn, black beans…,
Tortilla Chips, & Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Gazpacho, Spicy Pimiento Cheese with walnuts Sandwich
or Veggie Wrap, & Potato Chips


...bottled water & sodas will be available.

For more information visit our website at
1105 Dunston Avenue • 205.870.8330
Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. & Fri. 9:00AM- 6:00PM; Wed. 9:00AM- 7:00PM; Sat. 9:00AM- 5:00PM



Tour de France - Flashback 2003

Armstrong attacks Ullrich after fall


Cycling Terms: Mix & Match

1. bus stop flop
2. invisible hill
3. knocking and pinging
4. PowerBarf
5. mountain goat
6. In the dining car
7. feeling the chain
8. bug gulp
9. interval
10. Lollipops
11. hammerfest
12. more yammerin’ than hammerin’
13. ironclad
14. “I’m at the end of a hard training session.”
15. spin and grin

a. Swallowing a flying insect whole, without chewing
b. Speedplay pedals
c. Having a fun time in a low gear
d. A steel bike
e. What happens when you fail to click out fast enough at a stop sign
f. A headwind
g. Superb climber
h. What you say when an MTB rips past you on a hill
i. A brutally fast ride or race
j. What you do when a dog in chasing you
k. What happens when that PowerBar doesn’t sit well
l. A good pull
m. Running out of energy on the uphill
n. An easy ride
o. Riding at the back of the pack

How well did you score?



Matt just picked up his new steel stead, a custom Waterford R-33. It is a 64cm frame built from True Temper S3 tubing. This allows a steel bike to be built as light as many carbon frames out there. Parts include SRAM Red group, Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork, and Thomson stem and post with Fizik Arione saddle. Wheels are hand built using Phil Wood hubs laced to Mavic Open Pro rims. What a nice ride!!!



Diane just rolled out on her new ride, a Look 586. It is decked out with SRAM's Red group, Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels, Vittoria tires, FSA bar and stem and Arundel carbon cages. Check out how clean the integrated seatmast is on the Look bikes. As pictured, the bike weighs under 16.5 lbs.


Who needs two wheels when one will do?

Just as Race Across AMerica 2008 is finishing, Ride the Lobster is underway with racers that must be from another galaxy. Well, maybe not from another galaxy; however they are taking riding a unicycle to a whole level. How about 800KM to be exact? If you are not very good with the metric system, that works out to be about 497 miles. That is a whole bunch of miles on one wheel and two knees – ouch.

If you would like to read more about it and sign up for next year’s race, be sure to check out their website at: Ride The Lobster.


Wooden Bikes?!

Wooden bicycles can be found all over the world. These handmade bikes are often larger-scale scooters that you sit on. Made with whatever wood can be found, they use small wooden home-made wheels covered with discarded rubber rims. Read more...


Scott 09 model info released

The 2009 line of Scott bikes will be arriving in a month. Changes for the model year include a revamped Plasma TT bike, the addition of a CX Addict and the introduction of the Genius FS trailbike.
The Genius frame utilizes Scott's "integrated molding process" which allows the company to basically produce a monocoque front end which allows for a lighter frame. The 09 Genius frame will weigh under five pounds for a medium frame, and have 150 mm of travel.
A women's specific Genius Contessa will also be available.
The Genius line will be Scott's first foray into the longer travel trailbike since returning to the American market in 2004.
Read more about the new model year here.


Toughest endurance event in the world

Every year since 1982, ultra-distance cyclists from around the world have attempted what is considered the toughest endurance event in the world. RAAM is basically a non-stop, continuous race in which cyclists ride as fast as they can for 3,000 miles. They cover about 30% more distance than the Tour de France in half the time, with no rest days.

This year the race goes from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. Teams usually cross the country in 6 to 9 days, while solo riders reach the finish line in 9 to 12 days. Of course, solo racers have the extra challenge of riding cross-country with only a few hours of sleep each night. Racers travel through 14 states with 100,000 ft. of elevation.

RAAM is underway now, so if you'd like to read more about it and stay on top of the action, be sure to visit the RAAM website.

Is BBC like the Kickstand shop?

Spend some time with the strip...some of it is pretty entertaining!
Click the strip for a link to the whole series.


$4 Gas and Bikes Are Made For Each Other!!

Go Buy a (nother) Bike - See Below!!


Mudbugs & Music Crawfish Boil

The Open Door Cafe is hosting the Mudbugs & Music Crawfish Boil this Saturday, May 31, from 2-8 pm. The event benefits the Alabama Juvenile Arthritis Foundation and will include a silent auction in addition to the aforementioned crawfish & music.
The $20 admission price covers all you can eat mudbugs with all the fixins'. Adult beverages will also be available for purchase at the Open Door Cafe.
Two children's bicycles will be available in the silent auction.
All proceeds of the event will go to help fund a Pediatric Rheumatologist for the state of Alabama.


Join today's Ride of Silence

Today is the annual Ride of Silence to commemorate cyclists who have been injured or killed and to call attention to the pressing need for more cycling accessible roads in our area. It also stresses the need for all users to share the road.
The ride will begin at 7 p.m. from the parking lot behind Homewood Cycles. The ride will make its way to Lakeshore Blvd. and loop back around to the starting point.
Read more at the Ride of Silence website: http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php


Save That Number!

With my truck in the shop to repair the disaster an errant bolt loosed from the ring gear inside the rear differential, I have been forced to commute to work this week. Thank God I have the legs to make it up and over Hackberry! I have been trying to make myself do this for years. Wake up early and ride to work. Ride everyday. Leave the truck at the office and get a good ride in everyday. I am ashamed to admit that it has taken a catastrophe to get me off my ass and use the bike for something other than recreation. ( It only occurred to me today that I could have rented a car...good thing I'm too cheap for that!) Besides...I love to get on the road bike and actually go somewhere as opposed to simply riding a loop for the sake of fitness.

This post from the Surly Blog seemed appropriate to my new found purpose...

From Surly:
I play this little game while riding to and from work where I memorize the license plate of a passing car. When the next car drives by I memorize that one, and so on and so on. If there is an altercation, I've trained myself to look at the license plates first. So rather than use my middle finger to tell somebody how I feel, I can find out where they live based on that license plate and send them a letter of gratitude.

Flashback 10 weeks to Valentines Day in February. I'm riding within the law and hugging the curb as much as I safely can, doing about 20mph down the street, when a car lays on their horn for a good 10 seconds. They pass me, I memorize the license plate, approach them at the red light one block down, and stare into her window. No words said, no middle finger needed, I had her plates.

I "obtain" her name and home address (don't ask how) and write her the following letter:

"Dear Nancy,
Thanks for the extended horn honk this morning. It reminded me that today is Valentines Day and my wife just loves red tulips, the same red as your Cadillac. So thanks for the horn honk. Happy Valentines Day.
- Cyclist on 66th St."

I also enclose a fake traffic ticket and a copy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation rules of the road. No threats, other than she knows I know where she lives.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. I'm riding to work as usual, signaling my turns, flowing with traffic and abiding by the law when a car honks. I see the familiar license plate and verify the same red Cadillac with an older blonde woman driving. I wish you all could've seen her face when she pulled along side me at the red light and I said "Hi Nancy". All she could do was grip her steering wheel, look straight ahead, and figure out how she was going to get the poop off her panty hose once she got to work.

Score one for the cyclist.



BBC/Bookoo Rider Darrell O'quinn #1 in US!

BBC/Bookoo Team rider Darrell O'quinn is USA Cycling's nationally ranked #1 cat. 3 stage racer. Darrell has been racing with the BBC/Bookoo team for the last two years and is extremely happy with his results; "I want to thank our sponsors and all the little people that have made all of the hard work worth while." In addition to road racing O'quinn is a research scientist at the University of Alabama Birmingham and father of two. When asked what affect this national ranking has on him Darrell says "I am not sure where this is going to take me but I will do my best to remember my humble beginnings when looking down from on high and laughing." USA Cycling results...


Tour de Blue is on the TV!

As you may know BBC is sponsoring the Tour de Blue century on April 26th to help support prostate cancer screening for some of Alabama's poorest citizens. Dr. Brian Christine is one of the fine doctors that practices at the Urology Center and a damn fine Tv personality. Brian agreed to lend his talents to the cause and has filmed a 30 sec. spot that is running on CBS Channel 42 for the rest of the month. If you have not seen the ad on Tv here is your chance. Also, please remember you can get more information and sign up for the Tour de Blue at Active.com and if you can't participate you can still give a donation to the Urology Health Foundation and help men on a local level. The money you donate stays right here in Alabama.


My other bike is a Stradivarius!

Forget the plastic strummer that comes with Guitar Hero, if you want serious heavy metal then get a guitar bike like the one Dieter ‘Didi’ Senft has created.
The 56-year-old German inventor unveiled his latest creation to the world yesterday in Storkow, Germany.
The 5m by 12m (16ft by 39ft) bike runs on four wheels. More...


Urology Centers of Alabama's Tour de Blue Route Maps are Available to Download!

Tour de Blue is right around the corner on Saturday April 26th and we finally have our route maps on the web. The maps are arranged in an out and back format. So there will be two maps for each distance and two turn by turn directions for each distance. If the maps are un-clear or you need more information, please call Mike Fisher at the bike shop (205) 870.8330 Please remember that you can register for the ride at Active.com and if you can not participate you can still donate to this worth while cause on the Active.com donation page.
BBC to Sterrett (50 mile).pdf
BBC to Sterrett (50 mile) Turn By Turn.pdf
Sterrett to BBC (50 mile).pdf
Sterrett to BBC (50 mile) Turn By Turn.pd
BBC to LM Dam (75 mile).pdf
BBC to LM Dam (75 mile) Turn By Turn.pdf
LM Dam to BBC (75 mile).pdf
LM Dam to BBC (75 mile) Turn By Turn.pdf
BBC to LM Dam (100 mile).pdf
BBC to LM Dam (100 mile) Turn By Turn.pdf
LM Dam to BBC (100 mile).pdf
LM Dam to BBC (100 mile) Turn By Turn.pdf

Hell of the North Sunday April 13th 259.5 Km, 52.8 Km Of Stone!

It has been awhile since last we saw a wet Paris-Roubaix and enjoyed the delectable results. It's that time again, this time for the 112th Anniversary of the first running, and interestingly enough, the cobbled sections are probably in exactly the same condition as they were over a century ago - perhaps worse. Indeed, Paris-Roubaix is the greatest anachronism in pro cycling, perhaps in all of sport - she's also arguably the toughest, meanest, evilest beast in all of bike racing. More...


Freire takes Gent-Wevelgem

Rabobank's Oscar Freire won the mid-week spring classic Gent-Wevelgem today in a sprint finish. This victory could mean great things for the Spaniard in this weekend's Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix.
Freire won the 200+ kilometer race on a Rabobank Team Colnago Extreme Power. While you may not be able to win the races that Freire does, you can have the bike he rides. Call Mike or Tim about adding something Italian to the stable.


EPVA announces new weeknight categories

The East Point velodrome has announced new racing categories for the Wednesday Night spring races. These levels are:
New Track Racer
See the Dick Lane Velodrome website for full details. http://www.dicklanevelodrome.com/
One of the main concerns behind this restructuring is rider safety, a matter particularly near to my heart. Pete, Brian and Wayne are also hoping this change will allow riders to find a group where they can consistently be competitive.No one enjoys racing just off the back week after week, surviving from one race to the next. The new categories will also afford riders the opportunity to work on race strategy and technique.
Riders must accumulate points to move up in category.


New Bike Day

The Sheriff has a new ride. It is a Torelli Corsa Pista. Torelli imports the bare frames from Italy and paints them in California. The frame has an interesting design in that the bottom bracket is lugged, the seat stays are brazed on while the remainder of the frame is welded. Deda supplied the double butted tubing which is drawn out to a .5 millimeter thickness in areas.
Riding this bike makes me feel like an eight year-old kid again. It is such a simple, pure type of riding.


Awareness Test

From the Dave Moulton blog: (Excellent blog & Post)
London Transport is a huge government agency that runs all public transport in the City of London. The Underground (Subway) system and those familiar red double-decker buses are London Transport.

They also view bicycles as a genuine form of transport, and have put out this wonderful video. View the whole thing, including the intro; it is quite short.

Turn your sound on and 

My thanks to the Maltese Falcon for bringing this to my attention.


Baylis Track Bike for sale on Ebay...

OMG this is awesome!!!


Really looking forward to the next Alley Cat. I'm sure you guys have been racking your brains trying to think of a new theme or challenge for the next one. What if we just did the same thing? Maybe add another shop to the mix or a new challenge...like an out of the way check-in that is not associated with a shop? Sign in at the cannon on Altamont, for instance...or pound a pint at bottle tree? 


What a rush!

Nineteen intrepid souls braved near whiteout conditions Saturday morning to participate in what may have been the first ever Birmingham Alley Cat.
The first four finishers, all on fixed gears, rolled in with times under one hour and were followed shortly thereafter by four geared compatriots.
Route selection proved critical with three of the top four finishers going clockwise: O'Henrys, Urban Standard then Crestwood Coffee. Regardless of the direction traveled, which way to get over the ridge between BBC and Crestwood posed a problem. A few people, Jerry and Sarah, went by Trinity Hospital, single speed I might add, while Jonathan and Mike did the 10% quarter mile up 56th St. from Crestwood and then finished off the ridge by climbing an even steeper pitch at 58th St.
We've already started thinking about the next alley cat. Let us know what you liked.
Please be sure to let the alley cat's sponsors know how much you appreciate their support. This could not have happened without them. Sponsors include: Crestwood Coffee, Urban Standard, O'Henrys Homewood, Open Door Cafe and Courtland Bibb.


We're still running it . . . don't forget the snowshoes!

The Alley Cat is still on and will begin at 11:00 as scheduled.


Two more volunteers needed

Almost everything is set for this Saturday. We are still looking for two people to step forward and volunteer to man a sign in station. Give Mike or Tim a call at the shop if you can help out. We'll need your services for an hour and a half at most.


Tres Cafe Alley Cat Potential Route...

The shortest distance between two points is just over that there hill...

Click the link for a bikely.com route map I compiled...you may have to zoom the map in a few clicks to actually see the 'purple route line'
14 miles


Alley Cat Prize List Addition

The Alley Cat is jumpin' and the prize list has just had a huge addition. Local fixed gear rider and messenger bag manufacturer Courtland Bibb has graciously offered a messenger bag to the quickest rider on a fixed gear.
Here's a link to a pic of one of his bags.
This prize will be for the straight best time on a fixed gear- no time bonuses will be added for extra coffee purchases. If you want this quality bag made right here in the 'ham- you're going to have to earn it.

Tres Cafe's Alley Cat Map

View Larger Map


Volunteers needed

For the upcoming alleycat to be a success, we need a few volunteers to man the sign in stations at the coffee shops. The time commitment is fairly short- an hour and a half at most. Give Mike a call at the shop if you are willing to help out.


So let it be written, so let it be done...

The Tres Cafés Alley Cat & Cookout has been scheduled for Saturday, March 8th. Mark your calendars boys and girls, this event will not be one to miss. Stops include the following independent coffee shops: Crestwood Coffee, Urban Standard and O'Henry's in Homewood.
Several people have been asking about the exact nature of an alleycat. Here is a description of the format. At registration, entrants get a playing card and a map with the location of the three coffee shops marked. The Le Mans start is scheduled for 11:00. Riders pick their own route. That's right. This is a thinking cyclist's event. Pick your poison. You can climb early or climb late, but you'll be climbing one way or the other. If you do this ride fixed, and the purists will, then gear selection may determine the winner. Using the playing card, entrants will sign in with the race volunteer at each stop. A coffee of the rider’s choice MUST be purchased at least one shop. Get it “to go” because you must bring the cup back to BBC. Time bonuses will be given for extra coffee purchases. The first rider back to BBC in each division wins. Awards three deep per division. Cookout to follow.
Full details are available in the race flyer, follow this link...www.bhambicycle.com/blogfiles/trescafeflyer.doc


Bike Furniture

Do you like Brooks saddles? Yeah...they're heavy and the first 300 miles are like riding a 2x4 with wheels. Oh, and if it gets wet, it becomes heavy expensive trash. If broken in and taken care of correctly, there is no saddle more comfortable!
Soooo...why not make a couch out of a whole mess of Brooks saddles?


NAHBS 2008 Pictures

NAHBS Picture Journal off the Alex Wetmore Blog
I think this is the fourth year for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. 


New Bike Day...

We have all been waiting to see this one roll in! Kelly just took delivery one of the lightest mountain bikes out there, a Scott Scale Limited. It weighs a ridiculous 18lbs as pictured!!! Starting with a Scott CR1 HMX carbon frame and seatmast. Parts include DT Swiss's newest entries into the off road market, the XRC 100 RL carbon legged fork and 190 ceramic disc hubs. The bike is also outfitted with SRAM X-0 shifters/rear derailleur, Magura Marta SL brakes, Truvativ Noir carbon crank and the super cool Scott Pilot SL one piece carbon bar stem combo. I can't wait to see it covered in dirt. Happy trails and happy new bike day!


Now there is no excuse to mis-pronounce all those fancy I-talian words often found on bikes and parts...this link came to me from Sorrell Chew...




Urban Standard signs on as stop in Tres Cafés Alleycat and Cookout!

Urban Standard Coffee Shop, located at 2320 2nd Ave. North in downtown Birmingham has signed on as a stop on the Saturday, March 8th Tres Cafés Alleycat and Cookout.
Urban Standard serves locally roasted Primavera coffees and is open Monday through Saturday. Read more about them here http://birminghamblackbird.wordpress.com/ or here http://bhamweekly.com/archive_article.php?article_id=569&issue_id=91&vol=11.
The Le Mans start for the alleycat will be at 11:00 am. More details to follow.


Alleycat anyone?

A few folks have asked about organizing an alleycat. Drop me a line if you're interested in any of the following: 1)planning, 2)organizing, 3)volunteering and 4)racing.
Remember, without some people willing to do the first three items on the list, no one gets to do the last thing on the list.


Gear inches and ratios demystified

Track bikes are simple beasts aren’t they? The have one chain ring up front, one cog in the back and the bike moves when you pedal, even if that pedaling is backwards. They don’t even have brakes. When you want to stop, you stop pedaling. It couldn’t be much simpler.
Then someone starts talking gear inches or gear ratios and things get a lot more confusing. Hopefully, we can clear up some of this confusion.
The gear ratio of a fixed gear bicycle, or for any single gear on a multiple geared bicycle for that matter, is found by dividing the number of teeth on the cog into the number of teeth on the chain ring. Many fixed gear bicycles come with a 48 tooth chain ring and a 16 tooth cog. Forty-eight divided by 16 is three. This gear combination is expressed as 1:3. This is the same ratio for a 51 tooth chain ring and a 17 tooth cog, 51/17=3. Now that we know the gear ratio number, what does that tell us?
Gear ratios tell us several things. One is the relative difficulty of that particular gear combination. A 1:3 gear ratio takes more force to turn the cranks than a 1:2.53 gear ratio, a 48 tooth chain ring with an 18 tooth cog.
With a fixed gear, proper gear selection is crucial. You can’t shift to an easier gear when it gets hard. You can’t even coast for a second to catch your breath. If your gear is too big, you won’t make it up some of the climbs around Birmingham. If it’s too small, you won’t be able to keep up with the group on Lakeshore Dr. Descending on a small gear is an art unto itself. Since the gear is “fixed”, the faster the bicycle moves, the faster the pedals go round and round, round and round.
Most fixed gear riders use the term gear inches as often as gear ratio. If you know the ratio, multiply that number (3 in the case of our 48x16), by 27 to get 81.0 gear inches. Why 27? Twenty-seven is the “standard” for the diameter in inches of the rear wheel of a modern fixed gear bike. In all actuality, rear wheel diameters vary because of different tire sizes mounted on the rim. If you want the exact value, measure the diameter of your rear wheel and multiply the ratio number by that. Twenty-seven is an easy round number though and easy to use and remember. Comparing various gear inches measurements is the same as comparing gear ratios. Bigger numbers take more “oomph” to pedal, but can move the bike faster on a flat surface.
Multiply your gear inch measurement by pi(3.14) and you’ll have the distance your bicycle will move in one revolution of the cranks. This number will be expressed in inches. Divide it by 12 to find the number of feet you’ll move in that pedal revolution. Dividing by 39 instead of 12 will yield the European standard “metre development.” This measures the same thing, but in metres instead of inches or feet.


Shallow drop bars for fixed gear...

Track bikes were designed with one purpose in mind: going very, very fast for relatively short distances while making left hand turns. Function dictated form. Speed was the primary concern. Comfort was not part of the equation. As a result, many fixie riders find riding in the drops too uncomfortable to do for very long. These people spend the entire ride with their hands on the tops of the bars. They are comfortable, but have lost a great deal of control over the bike, as well as a lot of their power. They also have the aerodynamic profile of a Jeep Wrangler.
FSA has introduced a handful of compact handlebars to its lineup which should help fixed gear riders who want to be more comfortable while riding in the drops. The compact FSA bars all feature a 20 mm shallower drop of 125 mm and a 10 mm shorter reach of 80 mm, as compared to the standard drop and reach of all models. The compact FSA bars have almost a full inch shallower drop than any of Nitto’s track specific bar offerings. The Japanese company’s “shallow drop” bar, the B 125 AA, has a 150 mm drop while its deepest bar, the B 123 AA, has a 175 mm drop.
The two aluminum bars, the Omega and Wing Pro have 31.8 mm clamping areas and are available in even widths form 38 to 44 mm. The carbon models, the K Wing, K Force and SL-K, share the 31.8 clamping area with their metallic cousins, but are not available in 38 cm. All of the compact bars slightly flare in the drops and are measured at the center of the bar ends. This means the bar will be a good centimeter or narrower at the bends. Plan on getting a bar at least one size larger than normal.
The nice thing about the flared drops is it will help alleviate one big issue with using road bars on the track- your forearms will be less likely to hit the tops of the bar when you are sprinting.
For the fashion conscious, the Wing Pro is available in white.

Welcome to the Velodrome!

Those who have ridden Atlanta's Dick Lane Velodrome will be pleased to hear there is some winter maintenance planned that may have a huge impact on the track's racing surface.
A concrete grinder has been rented and will be applied to the back stretch this weekend in an effort to smooth out some of the bumps on what has come to be known as the "Paris-Roubaix of velodromes."
Those who have some time, and an extra tank of gas, can volunteer this Sunday, February 9 from 9:00 to 3:00. Those with no grinder expertise can sign up for leaf raking duty- no prior experience required. Anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge may volunteer to help do some nuts and bolts type work on the boards.
Adult certification classes have been scheduled for March 1st and 2nd. Remember - this course is required if you'd like to race on the track during the season. Junior training is ongoing and is held each Sunday from 3:00-4:30.

Find more info, check out the track's website at http://www.dicklanevelodrome.com/.

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