Saturday, November 26, 2011

For the Classic Tourer - Blum's Bike Touring Map from 1896

Every once and a while I'll stumble across something that is too unique to pass up. And this 1896 bicycle map of California roads definitely qualifies. Complete with the original advertisements, this is close to a must have for you touring nerds out there (myself included).

Pending your desire for this type of historical artifact, I found some reproductions on Zazzle. Though not sure that I would rely on such a map for directions now a days. Then again, I don't need a map, I always know where I'm going (at least according to the super sexy British voice on my TomTom).

Monday, November 21, 2011

A New BG Road Bike Spotted in the Wild

Contrary to popular belief, Bruce doesn't only build touring bikes. He has a road bike or two up his sleeve. And to for those in doubt (or that have missed it on Facebook), a new BG road bike was spotted in the wild. Sporting 28mm tires, full Honjo fenders and Bruce's signature canti brakes, it was a sight to be seen this morning outside of Verve Coffee Roasters.

Spotted other BG bikes in the wild? Take some pictures and drop us a line. The more BG bikes on the road the better.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Polishing Some Brakes, Living the Dream

Playing a little catch up on the technology curve can be an interesting. The BG websites are starting to transform into something worthy of 2011, SOPWAMTOS is getting off the ground and people love our shirts (hurry up and buy them, we'll make more. And maybe even some stickers. But I digress). That said, via one of my google alerts I learned of a discussion that compared an el cheapo Tektro canti brake (the 720) to a BG-designed canti brake. That seemed like comparing a Kmart Huffy from the 80's and a Mercx MX Leader. There really shouldn't be a comparison. Sure, technically they're both brakes that fit on a bike - but that's where the comparison really ends. How do I know? I put a set of OEM 720's on my commuter bike and rode it up/down Alba Road in Ben Lomond...

Why You Shouldn't Cheap Out On Crap Brakes
First off, I'm not directly calling the 720's garbage (or Tektro's in general), though in their off the shelf configuration they left a LOT to be desired. Then again, what do you really expect for $27 per set? Here is what I experienced with lack luster brakes:
  • Extreme pad wear.
  • Chunking of aluminum (from rim). This means the rim is taking the abuse, not the pad, causing premature rim wear.
  • High rim temps (due to incorrect pad compound) and very poor modulation.
  • A nasty mess all over the bike from pad dust. All. The. Time.
Am I suggesting that you need to spend $300 for a decent set of brakes? No, but considering this is a component that will help prevent you from going off the road, running intersections or generally going OTB, quality should not be taken lightly (neither should tires, but that is another post). Hard pads will wreak havoc on rim braking surfaces (Jim Langley agrees), offer poor performance and add a cost to replace the pads (and rims if you're not careful).

Where Quality and Art Meet
This is the selling point for the BG aluminum cantilever brakes - they are a beautiful blend of form and function. Machined in the USA, hand polished and come standard with Kool Stop pads, it's hard to really complain about quality. You will be hard pressed to find other bikes with the same brakes - making them quite the exclusive item (not that bikers care about that kind of stuff). Bruce has spent some time over the last few days polishing up more sets of brakes. Reward his effort by picking up a set up for your canti'd bike (cross or road, doesn't matter).  I promise they'll look hot. My new bike is even going to sport these awesome brakes - and yours can too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Going Big Time - Google Product Search

Just a quick morning update before getting back to work on a new fendered road bike (equipped with only some of the coolest stuff made by White Industries), but we're getting cozy with Google Merchant. What does that mean for you? That means our products will now be part of Google's product search (shopping), which enables you to see what great deals some of our products (like the BLT) are against rivals like the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Not saying our competitors products are bad ('cause they're not), but we like to think ours are, well, better.

Which reminds me - tell your friends about our BLTs. We don't have too many left & the sooner they're gone, the sooner we can focus our energy on new cool stuff. Like a new (to you, but not to us) tire for the 29er/cross crowd. But the BLT's gotta go first.

Until next time...