Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Unicorn Has Landed - the Rock n' Road Tire is Back!

From the depths of the NAHBS show came a ray of light from a far flung corner - and then I yelled at the idiot that opened the side door. Didn't he know that most frame builder's are light sensitive? Like Vampires? The NAHBS show represented a bit of a relaunch party for BG Cycles, as we have a couple of good things headed your way. Some of you have been asking about these things for years, and we finally got around to listening to your pleas...

The Rock n' Road Tire is Back in Production

After years of being locked away in a dusty corner of the shop, we have decided to bring back the original Rock n' Road tire - along with a host of improvements. Don't know about the original? Well, a quick trip down memory lane:
The original tire was designed by this mountain bike guy named Joe Murray (you might have heard of him). It was designed to be a large volume, fast rolling tire that could handle all conditions - jack of all trades master of none. That's not the most interesting part. What made is tire unique (and of the reason it wasn't as popular as it should have been) is that it was built for 700c wheels. That's right, this was a  29er tire before 29ers became all the rage. How early? Try 1988...
Few imported bikes from that era would fit such a wide tire do to import duty issues. While that sounds ridiculous, it made sense to some as the only other bikes that could fit such a big tire were Dutch bikes. The logic was simple: to protect a US manufacturing segment from overseas competition (or just a company that started with an "S" and ended with an "N"), create a import tax (based on certain dimensional criteria) so high that it prevents the import of a competing product (before their production was sent to the far east...but that's another post).
While we're excited the tire is back, we made some improvements along the way. Most notably:
  • It's bigger! The new tire measures out at a nice 43mm ( or 1.72" for the Imperial folks).
  • It's lighter! The new tire is over 100g less per tire. While I'm no gram counter, that's a lot.
  • It's higher quality! This new batch was built by Panaracer's Japan plant. It has a nice kevlar folding bead and a classic gumwall.
  • It's more affordable than you think! We will announce pricing when the tire lands, but in the meantime, head over to and sign up for our newsletter (sign up is at the bottom of each page). There will be an early bird special of sorts, but that's the only place it will be announced.

More Lugged and Fillet Brazed Frames

Ed Litton and I had so much fun building lugged and fillet brazed frames for the show that we decided to keep on doing it. But we're doing it with a little bit of a twist. Between the two of us, we have a little rat's nest of classic building materials - Cinelli lugsets from the 60's and 70's as well as out of production tubesets that would make any classic cyclist drool with envy. If you really want a classic lugged bike we can do those - in the proper classic materials. Not too many builders can make that claim.

Cyclocross Magazine and Wired Like Us

Hard to believe, but both Cyclocross Mag and Wired think we're pretty cool.  So cool in fact that there might be a follow-up that includes our new tire and a pretty red cross bike. But that's all we can say for now. Thank you for being patient - now enjoy the new tire pics:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guess We Were Found Out at NAHBS

The NAHBS show - a place where bike nerds aficionados old and new get together for more visual stimulation of the bike glands than they will have for the next twelve months. Fueled by coffee, the lingering smell of almost wet paint and the occasional sandwich from the Mr. Pickle's around the corner, the public pounded us with their questions and stories of bikes loved and lost.

And contrary to expectation, Bruce was nice to people. For the whole weekend...
Ed Litton, Bruce Gordon, Wes Williams & Gary Fisher chatting it up

But there was some other excitement hanging around the Bruce Gordon booth. Not only did we sell a load of SOPWAMTOS shirts and give away almost a thousand (as in 1,000) stickers,
we also got a little mention in Cyclocross Magazine for this little surprise:
What is that you might ask? A preview of the re-release of the original Rock 'N Road tire. For you lovers of fat, do it all tires for your 700c bike - the original off-road 29er tire is back. Made by Panaracer, and sized at 700x43c, the real deal should be ready for public consumption around the end of April June.
And this isn't just any tire, but one designed by some guy named Joe Murray. Rumor has it he may know a thing or two about tires and dirt.
Joe Murray with a signed copy of his tire design - courtesy

There was much more from the show than this, but to be honest, we're still a bit wiped out from the whole thing. Watch in the next few days (weeks) as we mention more cool stuff from another fun show.