Monthly Archives: March 2017

A Keirin Racer on the Road

The other rider passed us at great speed. Getting passed by “hobby racers” while cyclotouring with my Japanese friends isn’t unusual, especially on valley-bottom roads that see many cyclists. From behind, the rider looked odd. His position was very low. He … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 15 Comments

A True Dual-Purpose Knobby

“Don’t do this on knobby tires!” would be most cyclists’ advice when looking at the photo above. Everybody knows that cornering hard on pavement and knobby tires don’t go together. And yet, the photo shows me on Compass Steilacoom knobby tires. And I … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 28 Comments

Visiting C.S. Hirose

A highlight of my trips to Japan is visiting Cycle Store Hirose. It’s a truly special place. I enjoy talking about bikes with Mr. Hirose. His knowledge is deep, and his ideas and thoughts never cease to surprise me. This time, I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments

Making Strong and Durable Wheels

When building a bike, one important decision concerns the wheels. How do you get the best performance and still make your wheels strong enough to withstand 20,000+ miles of riding on rough roads without needing service? By now, most cyclists know … Continue reading

Posted in hubs/rims, Lighting | 52 Comments

Panaracer: Hand-Made Tires

A highlight of my visits to Japan is going to the Panaracer factory. It’s a magical place, where some of the world’s best tires are made largely by hand. It resembles a storybook factory: Huge machines emit hissing steam. Skilled hands assemble casing, beads … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 42 Comments

Mountain Cycling Club Hillclimb Race

Tokyo’s Mountain Cycling Club reminds me of the Groupe Montagnard Parisien: almost unknown, yet fascinating and influential far beyond their limited membership. The French riders brought us the Technical Trials and modern randonneur bikes, while their Japanese counterparts co-invented mountain bikes. The Mountain … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 4 Comments

Berthoud Saddles and Bags

We’ve been fans of Gilles Berthoud saddles and bags for many years. Above is Theo’s bike with Berthoud GB28 bag and Aspin saddle. These parts have been incredibly durable: I still use the very first Berthoud handlebar bag that he bought 17 … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Racks/Bags | 30 Comments