Friday, February 26, 2010

Walk/Ride Day

Happy Walk/Ride Day everyone!

Learn more here:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beef Gravy Bike Build

My very dear friend (to protect the innocent we'll call him Ryan The Beard), who is Captain and Cruise Director of the USS New England Classic doesn't have a bike. Or didn't... until yesterday. How does a man who coordinates the most epic charity ride in the country and whose bestie is a bike industry veteran NOT own a bicycle? It's a mystery. A mysterious situation that has finally been fixed with none other than a Surly Cross Check.

It's no secret that I like this bike a whole bunch. I think it's just the ticket for someone who doesn't have the space, finances, or desire (gasp) for more than one bike. It's a do-anything rig. With 700c wheels, plenty of clearance for fenders and space for a rack it makes a great commuter, grocery getter or touring bike. The massive amount of tire clearance also has room for knobbies for off road fun. It is a cyclo-cross bike, so a 'cross race would be fun. A little trail riding isn't out of the question, either...especially the fast, swoopy, not-super-technical stuff. It also has semi-horizontal dropouts, which means single speed/fixed is an option, which is what we decided to do with Ryan's The Beard's bike:

It comes as a frame, or as a complete bike, in case you don't want to have to pick out all of the parts. The Cross Check is the tofu of bicycles. It's a versatile and nutritious base that'll take on the flavor of what ever parts you put on it. Maybe that's a bad analogy. If you hate tofu, don't worry, the color this year is 'Beef Gravy Brown'. Black is also always an option, and it seems like either you love or hate Surly's color option. I'm into the brown. I think it's classy.

There's always a downside, right? So what are the 'cons'? Well, the most glaring one is that this bike is no lightweight. It's steel (4130 cromoly, to be exact), so it's a comfy ride, but it's heavy like steel. Another drawback for some folks is that disc brakes are not an option. If you're intrigued, there's a nice write-up (by a real reviewer) of the bike in this month's Bicycle Times.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This Tuesday...and Saturday...

Hub will open at 12 noon on Tuesday 2/16 and closed on Saturday 2/20 due to a root canal (don't be jealous).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Check it.

It's been a while since I've gone on a nice long ride. I've done my fair share of grocery getting, commuting to the shop, and what not, but no rides for the sake of getting out on a bike. My plan is to change that soon, probably some time this weekend, so in preparation I decided to give my 'cross bike (my favorite bike...depending on what time of year you ask me...) a once over. I encountered worn out brake pads, which I expected, and an extremely worn out chain, which I did not expect. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Check your chain.

It's easy to do. Have your bike in the shop with a flat? Have the chain checked. Stopped by the shop to get a little air in the tires? Check that chain. Over time the pins in a chain wear down the plates and the chain lengthens a bit. A worn out chain wears out the rest of your drive train. If you ride for too long with a worn chain you risk spoiling your cassette for any other chain. It can cause chainrings to get shark tooth-y. A chain is the least expensive part of the drive train to replace, and the longer you can keep the expensive parts working, the better. How long should a chain last? It's a common and reasonable question, but difficult to answer. It's a little like asking how long a pair of socks should last. It depends on how you wear those socks, how often you wash them, etc. (Maybe not the most accurate analogy, but you get the point...). The best way to find out how your chain is doing is by measuring it with a tool appropriately called a chain wear indicator, or chain checker.

Here at Hub the chain checker of choice is (that sounds like it came from a 1950s ad...) is the ol' Park CC-3:

There are other tools out there, but I like this one for its simplicity. It tells you exactly what you need to know- either your chain is fine, it's wearing out, or it's worn out.

If I had listened to my own advice (or at least remembered to check it sooner), I wouldn't be investing in a new cassette before my ride this weekend...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


monday 11-6, tuesday 11-6, wednesday 11-6, thursday 12-7,
friday 11-6, saturday 12-5, sunday closed.

Later hours on Thursday to accommodate the folks who work 9-5!

Friday, February 5, 2010

URGENT! The Fells.

Hey everyone. If you ride in the Fells please come to the DCR trail planning meeting on Monday, Feb 8. If you don't ride there, but would like to please come. If you walk your dog, trail run, or hike there, like sharing it with everybody and want to make sure the park is being used fairly and sustainably please come.

The Fells are a great off road resource right here in the city. You can easily ride to the trail from many places in the area.

Here is the Action Alert from NEMBA:

I want to remind you that if you ride the Fells and would like to see more legal riding opportunities there, it’s critical that you attend the Department of Conservation & Recreation’s public forum this Monday night at 6:30pm.

The meeting will take place at the McGlynn School Auditorium
3002 Mystic Valley Parkway
Medford, MA 02155

Click here for driving directions:

It is very important to have a full house of mountain bikers attend this meeting. Opponents to mountain biking are working hard to stack the house, so your help is badly needed. Bring a friend too!

DCR is calling this a Trails Planning Workshop that will help guide the short and long-term management of trails. Attendees will participate in small group discussions during which they will review maps of the trail system and add their input as to access points, desired routes, potential connections, trail issues and problems, and potential solutions. Their input will be reported out to the group-at-large.

It’s very important that mountain bikers speak up and express themselves. Some important themes might be:

1. Fair and equitable access policy
2. Access to singletrack
3. More marked loops
4. Positive use to replace illegitimate use
5. Trail plan re-evaluated periodically
Please attend this meeting – it will play an important role for the future of mountain biking at the Fells.

For any late breaking info, please visit

Philip Keyes

See you there!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Open For Business.

That is all.

Happy bike riding.