Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Ride

I like to go for bike rides on Christmas. My second favorite kind of ride (second to single track, of course) is neighborhood exploration riding.  I headed out for one of those rides in the afternoon. I don't get to ride south of the river much, so I wanted to take full advantage of the light traffic and go get lost in city for a while.  It had the potential to be one of the crappiest rides of the year, but I'm going to have to put it in the top 3 for 2011.

I lost a good pair of pants to this ride. Good pair, as in 'the pants I don't wear to the shop' kind of good. Exactly at the moment I thought "Oops. Forgot to roll up my pant leg..." passed through my brain, I heard a terrible ripping sound and my bike stopped dead in the middle of the road.

Then I noticed a gash in my monster truck tire. No flat, but a slice big enough to stick your thumb through (maybe not yours. I don't know how big your hands are). Not to worry- I had a pocket full of tire boots with me.

Later it started raining. 40 degrees, spitting rain, no fenders (I don't care what you say. I don't like fenders. And I keep my bike clean without them.), and I lost my rain pants 3 weeks ago. It could have been a recipe for a miserable ride home, but I couldn't seem to keep a big dumb smile off my face (it helped that my hands and feet stayed warm and dry). I even took the long way home. I shouted holiday greetings to the only other biker I passed, but he didn't seem to be enjoying himself as much as I was (understandable). It wasn't an epic day of riding. You won't find any videos posted about rides like this- slow, around town, without a single bar spin. If there was a video, I promise it would be too boring to watch. Still, it was fun. Really fun.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trial Run

I did a quick trial packing for my trip (17 days to go!). I still have yet to load up the bike to see how it handles (and how slow I'll be...), but that'll just happen when it's happens, I guess. One of my panniers still needs some repairs- the one I found on top of a trash can (not in it. I promise)- other than that, I'm ready to roll.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Good Holiday Gifts

I have two suggestions if you need a holiday gift for the bike nerd in your life. Specifically the mountain bike nerd in your life. And even more specifically the lady mountain bike nerd in your life.

Have you heard of the GBNEMBA Ride Like a Girl/Wrench Like a Girl series?? No. Well, the ride series brings Pro/Expert local riders and coaches together with beginner mountain bikers to teach skills to build confidence on the bike. Thus creating new gnar shredders, making the world a better place.  The wrench part of the equation happens here at Hub (keep an eye out for 2012 dates coming in Feb/Mar). Clinics cover basic maintenance, to help these women keep their rides shred ready. The final component of this collaboration is fundraising for The Elizabeth Stone House. Here's where the holiday gifts come in. First up- a very cool women's 'Ride Like a Girl' limited edition jersey:

100% of the proceeds from this mountain jersey (think- no pockets or zippers... mmmmm, comfy) benefit The Elizabeth Stone House. We've got 'em in women's sizes XS to XL. $40

 Next up is the Wrench Like a Girl Trial Side Fix It Kit (the name may need some re-working...):

Included in this kit is, a SRAM PowerLink (for chain fixes), a tube (for flat fixes), a few zip ties (for MacGuyver fixes), and a Park MTB-3 multi tool (for every trail side fix). This kit is gender neutral, so you can get it for everyone on your list. $30. I'd also like to note that everything in this kit was donated- so 100% of the $30 will go to The Elizabeth Stone House! Come check them out!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trusty Steed

I meant to do this post on Sunday- which was exactly one month away from the start of my trip, but time got away from me. I've been meaning to do a number of things in regard to this bike trip, that haven't quite happened yet. Like putting some miles in on the bike... That seems to be the theme of this weblog- not riding bikes enough. Good thing this arrived today:

I have, however, managed to get a bike put together. The Brown Machine had been sitting idle for a while, and it has proven its worth over long distances. So that seemed to be the most logical frame of mine to hang some parts on. I'm going with a 2x9 drive train (no granny gear, but I won't have much in the way of elevation change to deal with), hand built wheels (natch) with Michelin tires, and my fave seat and pedals combo.

I'm going with the Surly Open Bar for the handlebar. Not a very conventional choice, but this guy has really grown on me. I think it's very comfortable, and it gives a couple of different hand positions. Will it work for me over a month of riding? There's only one way to find out...

I'm still on the fence about the front basket. I really love this guy (it's a Takeout Basket from PDW), but I'm afraid it won't fit enough stuff. I do have a nice CETMA front rack I could put on there for maximum cargo carrying, buuuut- it won't fit in the bike box I'm packing up in (like the Takeout will), so I'd  have to find some other way to get the thing down to FL. I don't want to brag, but I'm a pretty efficient packer (the last time I checked a bag was 2002), so I hope I can put those skills to good use here. I'm going to test those skills this weekend with a trial run/ride. I'll let you know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hub is going to be CLOSED on Thursday, in order to put ourselves into a food coma. And CLOSED on Friday, as well, to put ourselves into a shopping coma (just kidding- my family's going to get bags of bike tube rubber bands for Xmas this year).

We'll be open for regular hours, high noon to 5pm, on Saturday.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The stars aligned today just long enough for me to get out of the 'office' and go for an MTB ride. Beautiful weather, a couple of free hours in the middle of the day, and a fully working bike- a very rare occurrence.

I didn't expect to run into anyone else on the trails, what with it being 1pm on Monday, but I happened upon a woman out for a hike. I didn't want to startle her, so I hoped she'd hear me pedaling. She didn't, and I really didn't want to interrupt her tranquil hike with an "on your left!" Then I remembered I was riding a bike with a bell. (It's my dedicated MTB bell- my four legged trail riding pal responds to it without me having to yell at her.) So, as I rode up a gave a quick 'Ding! Ding!' (always two in a row, I think it sounds nicer..). She said, "Oh! Isn't that a pleasant little surprise. Have a nice ride."

It is pleasant. I think it communicates "Hello! I'm here." Which is much different than the car horn's "You're annoying me. Get the eff out of my way." There are plenty of different tones- high pitched aluminum, resonant brass, old school telephone sounding. and so on.

It's weird, but at the moment I don't even have a bell on my commuter bike, and there are so many people out on the road to communicate with. I'm not going to move the one from my mountain bike- it's taken me a long time to get it that broken in- so it looks like I'm going to be in the market for a new one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've been planning a trip for this coming January. A bike tour trip. So far the planning process has been pretty passive. I spent the summer reading other people's tour blogs- some good ones and some really not good ones. I did a lot of day dreaming about it. I decided to ride through the south east (I've never been there, and it'll be warm-ish in January). I got maps from Adventure Cycling. That's about as far as I got with the planning process.

The shop move took up a large amount of brain space and energy, so I put off making any concrete plans for this adventure until things started to settle down around here. It's settling-ish, so I bought plane tickets this week. It's time for me to stop day dreaming and get some details nailed down. I leave for Florida on January 4 and I have a flight back to BOS from Austin TX on February 4. One month to ride 1300ish miles (one of those details I think I should work out...), that's do-able, right?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Closed on Saturday

Yep. CLOSED this Saturday (11/5). To wrench at the LUNA Chix Cyclocross Clinic with Katerina Nash. Should be fun!

See you Monday.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

H-ween Ride

Oh man. So much fun. I love, love, love seeing people and bikes of all shapes and sizes go for a little ride together. And the costumes. Oh the costumes. So many animals, ninjas, 1%ers, mythical beasts, a couple of Elliots (of E.T. fame, natch), plumbers, cartoon characters, I could go on...  I definitely could have put more effort into my costume- I was a crab. All it took was a red hoodie, a couple of oven mitts, and a backpack. Next year I'll see what I can do about stepping it up.I collected a handful of high-fives from folks spectating on the side walks, and I overheard one woman say "They're making me so happy!" Fun for everyone. I wish I had gotten some better pictures to entice you to come on the ride next year (as if costumes and high-fives aren't enough), but here's a couple:

Lots of lights, bike blinky and otherwise

 That's the hwangsta on the left, dressed as a nevernude, complete with shower.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New and Improved!

We did it! We're open for business at our new location- 1064 Cambridge St. (it's on the corner of Cambridge St. and Elm St.).

I can't really celebrate the new space without thanking and acknowledging all the folks who helped make it happen. Like Robert, Peter, Sal, Lisa, Charlie and the whole Youth Build/Just A Start crew for constructing this beautiful spot. And the moving crew- Ben, Casey, Mirabel, Laura, Janet, Jeff, Charlie, John, Erin, Cathy, Kim, Amanda, Kristen, Nancy, Cami, K Rice, and Jen. Oh, and Abby for showing up just as we finished all the work.

We're still breaking it in a little, but we're back to 93% operational. The other 7% will be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CLOSED Saturday 10/22

We're going to shut down operations while we move Hub Bicycle HQ (to 1064 Cambridge St... in case you hadn't heard) this weekend.

Organization isn't my strong suit (you can't be good at everything...), so I'm bringing in reinforcements. We'll be back in action and better than ever on Monday. Just wait until you see the new shop... You're in for a pleasant surprise.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting Colder

It's been a pretty nice fall so far, in my humble opinion. It hasn't really started getting cold yet, but it's definitely on it's way. My very least favorite thing about cold weather is having cold hands. I would sit outside in a bathing suit in December as long as I'm wearing gloves (that's not entirely true).

In the spirit of the coming cold weather we got some new gloves in the shop yesterday. The one I'm most excited about is the Evo Drone. For two reasons in particular.

It looks just like a regular old glove. Black, synthetic material, white loge/highlights:

Here's where it gets interesting. The index finger and thumb have a little flap, so you can expose just enough finger to use your smart phone:

Aaaaand. There's a windproof mitten-y cover that tucks into the back of the glove for when it gets really cold (or for when you ride really fast):

To be fair, I haven't actually used these gloves yet, so I have no idea how warm they really are. I do have high hopes for them. And according to their handy glove-mometer (5-10 degrees?!) they should be nice and toasty.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moving Begins

Before I launch into this post about moving, you should know we haven't moved yet. You can still find us in the tiny shop at 918 Cambridge, until at least October 23. Probably. You know what? I'll let you know when we've moved for real. Anyway... I started the long process of moving today.

I used the Yuba Mundo Cargo bike to start to move some of the stuff we've had in storage. It can carry a real serious load of shelving/bike tools/bike display racks. Once you get the rig rolling it handles pretty well. The farther back the load of crap sticks out the wonkier it handles at slower speeds, but I think more thoughtful crap placement would help to fix that. I'll write more about the bike (I believe the term is "a review") after the move is complete.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lost and found

My favorite benefit to bicycle transpo (besides the health, environmental, economic benefits... oh, and that it kind of is my career/business) is that you find stuff. Stuff that you'd miss if you were riding in an enclosed vehicle. Like this little guy I found in the bike lane yesterday:

This baseball finds its place among the other amazing treasures I've found over the years- keys, a copy of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", $20, bike lights (lots of bike lights), a "Have a good first day of school. Love, Mom" note. All awesome, day-lifting finds.

So what am I going to do with this baseball? Nothing. That's not really the point. The point is... I don't know... that it's fun to find stuff that other people miss because they're trapped in a soul-sucking bubble... riding in a car. That's it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big News!

I promised some big news over on our Facebook page the other day. And here it is...

Much like all of my clothing after that first year of college, things have gotten a little snug around here. At one point this summer I counted 42 bikes (oh... not counting the new bikes we're selling! So 46 bikes...) in this shop of 517 square feet. Busy summer evenings have found folks having to wait to get in the door (thanks for your patience!). I couldn't be more grateful for the growth, but there comes a time to admit you don't fit in your pants any more.

So it's time for bigger pants... WE'RE MOVING! Nobody panic. We're not going far. Starting some time in October 2011 (I'm going to shoot for the 3rd week, but I'll keep you posted) Hub Bicycle will be found at 1064 Cambridge St. I'm very excited about the move, and, as I said, I'm very grateful for the opportunity to grow this little bike shop.

In conclusion, I'd like to tell you three great things about the new shop space:

1) We get to stay in the neighborhood! Definitely priority #1.
2) More than double the work and retail space. Like going from skinny jeans to sweatpants.
3) The wood floors, counter, and chalkboards are reclaimed from a church in the neighborhood. Neat.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Now this is happening

This is what happens when you lose your lock keys.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What a Deal

Welcome back students. Grad students, at least. I know you undergrads are on your way, too. One thing you should know about this great little city you're moving to is that it's great for bikes. It's compact, flat, and packed with diverse neighborhoods to check out. Perfect for bikes.

In order to be a successful bike rider in Boston you need (1) A bike. And (2) The Big 3 for the safety of you and your bike.

Here are a couple of deals I put together for you folks who want a good bike and all the fixin's essentials for success at a fair price. These bikes are single speeds (or fixed gear, if you like. You've got options)- simple, easy to maintain, fun.

Biria Fixed bike, Nutcase Supersolid helmet, PDW Spaceship/Red Planet light set, and Kryptonite Series 2 mini U lock for $500.

Biria Fixed- Steel frame, 42mm deep section rims, mid rise handlebars, good brakes, one speed.
Available in Small (white frame) or Large (black frame) (48cm or 55cm, if you're into numbers)

For those of you who'd like to class it up a bit, with 4130 steel, real track geometry, sealed bearings all around, and custom dropouts.... Tada! The All City Big Block track bike, Nutcase Supersolid helmet, PDW Spaceship/Red Planet light set, and Kryptonite Series 2 mini U lock for $900.

All City Big Block- Great components from wheelset to headset

The helmets are available in a bunch of colors. Stop in to check out your choices.

The fine print is that this deal is available now through the end of September on the stuff we have in stock.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CX time.

It's time for cyclocross. The first races kick off in a week and a half-ish. I wrote a bunch about it last year. This year I'm gearing up to race on a sweet, sweet All City Nature Boy. I've been riding this baby around for a little while (commuting, charity riding, whatnot), but I hadn't done any type of 'cross 'training' until this morning. I've said it before (Sorry, I know it's not a funny joke, and some day I'll retire it. Soon. I promise), buuuuut, if you ever want to ride your bike less, open a bike shop. Man oh man, I wouldn't want it any other way, but being busy fixing bikes makes it hard to be riding bikes.

So anyway, back to this morning. I went for a little rip around the fire roads in The Fells. Definitely more technical than any 'cross course that you're likely to run across, but still really fun. I feel badly that this poor bike is going to be bring up the back of the pack with me all season. It's a zippy little ride that's built for more speed than I'm capable of producing. Sorry bike, but you're stuck with me. At least you get to race, so stop whining.

Even though I don't have any aspirations to win any races (or even middle-of-the-pack any races), I do have a few goals for my season. They are as follows:

1. Finish races (DFL is better than DNF), without puking, or crashing
2. Race DCCX again (by far, my favorite last year)
3. Go tubeless (I'll let you know how that goes)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Best Sunday Ever

Monday, July 25, 2011


I had my first totally unscheduled/unplanned Sunday of the summer. What to do with a full day off and nothing that I have to do? So I thought I'd do some exploring by bicycle. I'd heard some good things about the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. It turned out to be a mellow ride out there- lots of bike path. The route I took also cut through the Minuteman National Historical Park, which was also pretty neat.

Here's the first cool thing about this place- it's FREE for cyclists! What!?! It would be well worth the $12 admission, but my wallet was waved away at the admissions booth. A new policy for this summer, it made what was already shaping up to be a great day even greater. Also there is a well-placed bike rack, which is welcome change from having to hunt for a street sign to lock up to. It felt like a nice "Hey, you, thanks for riding your bike!"

The sculptures on the grounds of the museum are really very cool. As are the grounds themselves. What a beautiful spot. If I had know, I would have brought a picnic. Next time. I grabbed a few pictures, although they definitely don't do the place justice. You'll just have to take my word for how rad it really is.

The woman at the admission booth also tipped us off to the great view from the 6th floor roof terrace of the museum. I have to admit, the weather was so beautiful I didn't spend any time in the museum, which I'm sure is also very cool, but I did get up to the roof terrace. She wasn't joking.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bungee of Death

I'm all for making your bike work for you. Whether you use a front or rear rack/basket you'll probably need to tie your stuff down at some point. I see a good number of folks using bungee cords to do this. I think this not a great idea for a couple of reasons. One- Bungees store up an explosive amount of energy when you tension them. Two- They have sharp metal hooks on the end. When the bungee lets go it sends that hook flying- into spokes, eyeballs, freewheels/cassettes, around hubs. The motivation for this post was a Hub Hall-of-Famer who came in last week after getting a bungee all wrapped up in his spokes, and had a slow motion crash situation. I'm not a fan in general, but especially not on rear racks, because you can't keep any eye on that deadly bungee.

What else are you suppose to use to tie stuff down, then? I have two better options. One costs a little bit of money, the other is basically free. Let's talk the money option first.

Toe straps. Those little guys you use on your sweet old school toe clips (or cages, if you must). They're made of nylon webbing, or leather, with a metal clasp at one end. The clasp has some little teeth that help hold the strap in place after you've cinched it down.

They hold nice 'n tight, without being elastic/explosive. The down side to using these guys is that they're pretty short. They're really designed just to go around your foot and a pedal, which doesn't take much material. You can attach a couple of them together, but there is a limit to what you can hold down. Surly fixed that problem by making Junk Straps- extra long toe straps for carrying junk.

Toe straps cost $5-10 for a pair, and the Surly Junk Strap costs $8. Super useful and versatile. If you want something for cheap. Super cheap. And you like recycling/reusing, you should think about using a dead tube. They're stretchy without being snappy. You can cut them to be whatever length you need (within reason). You probably have one laying around, if you've ever fixed your own flat tire. If not, you can come to the shop and take as many as you'd like (within reason).

To use the tube, cut it so it's no longer a circle. I personally like to cut the valve out, for convenience. Wrap it around your cargo/rack and tie a knot or two. Piece of cake. You can then either untie that knot or just cut the tube to free your cargo. No crashing or losing eyeballs.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

All Good

Yeah, summer!

Things are really in full swing here. Tune ups, custom bike builds, and flat fixes as far as the eye can see. All you folks prepping your bikes for racing, charity riding, long distance touring, brand new commutes to work, knee surgery recovery, and whatnot have been keeping us very busy. Thank you!

We had a great flat fix clinic this month. Great turnout and lots of great questions (that, I hope, were fully answered). I'm looking forward to the next round (August 3).

I got to go mountain biking with my Sig O last weekend. This was after a, I'm going to say 'mostly unsuccessful', first MTB ride last fall. This time nobody bled, and I (swear I) heard the phrase "Well, I didn't hate that." Brought a tear to my eye...

I'm headed out to Woburn for the start of the New England Classic tomorrow morning. I'll be out helping riders, who've helped raise money for the American Diabetes Association, who helps (in part) fund researchers, who will someday (in the next ten years...) cure diabetes! So basically, I'll be curing diabetes this weekend.

We got a super dope new shop bike:

Just try to not smile your face off while you're riding this thing.

Keep it up the good work, summer, keep it up.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I'm registered for the Hampshire 100. I'm not so much going to race it as I am going to try and finish it. I've been thinking and threatening about it enough, it was time to just go ahead and do it.

So far my racing 'career' has only included 45-60 minute 'cross races. This is going to be a little different. So, I bought a book. About bike race training. I read it, and even made notes in it. But I haven't done a single thing it recommends. In addition to being time crunched, I lack a real competitive spirit. It's true- if you really like winning you should not be on my kickball team. Don't get me wrong- I enjoy a good win, but I'm not going to loose sleep (or put in 10-12 hill climb intervals at 90% max heart rate) over anything less than first place. One of these days I'll remember that fact before I throw down another $19.95 for a book that I will earnestly read and then promptly not follow its advice.

What I am doing, instead of keeping track of heart rates and watts and whatnot, is riding my bike as often as possible. So far I've managed a couple of fun rides a week, plus my commuting miles, so that's something. I just hope I can get out for a couple of long rides in the next two months, because DFL I can live with, but DNF would really bum me out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Bike Party

Oh man. The (15th Annual) Redbones Bike Party (and Benefit) was a blast. That portobello mushroom sandwich gets me every time. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi. I know Charlie threatened promised a couple of you "Hub Bicycle Lemonade Stand Fridays", and don't worry- we're going to try and follow through. The party was a good chance to show off the All City Nature Boy I brought along with me. If you didn't already know- I'm happy to announce that Hub is now an All City dealer.

With a couple of complete bikes (currently single speeds) and a handful of frame choices (also single speeds) All City has cranked out some classy offerings. I think they have a great attention to detail- internal cable routing on the 'cross bike, hidden fender mounts for extra sleekness, clever dropouts, a nicer headset than you'll find on just about any other stock bike, and so on. We've got the Big Block (track style) and Nature Boy ('cross style) in stock. Come on by to check them out.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Shirts

Today our semi-surly UPS guy brought us a new batch of Hub Bicycle t-shirts. Printed on Alternative Apparel Basic Crew (aa1070). I put one on as soon at they came in (just like our tune-ups, I always take t-shirts for a test ride before sending them out the door) and I can assure you they are very comfy.

One thing to note, in addition to feeling good on your bod, these shirts come from a company with social responsibility policies that'll make you feel good on the inside too.

$22, sizes S-XL, in the shop or by mail (call or email [infoathubbicycledotcom] for shirts-by-mail).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Adventure Time

I half-accidentally talked myself into a rando/tour/walkabout bike adventure this coming weekend (I know... poor me... that's why it was only half an accident). I'll tell you all about it when it's over (if I make it).

UPDATE: I didn't quite make it, for two reasons: 1) The plan was to ride 130ish to my better half's family house in VT. I kept getting lost, which kept adding to the mileage. I got bailed out after 85ish. 2) I forgot chamois cream. So... that was uncomfortable.

The shop is going to be CLOSED Sat 5/28, Sun 5/29, and Mon 5/30 to accommodate for this adventure.

In preparation, I've been spending a little time transforming my Surly Troll from monster truck to long haul monster truck. Which means gear options, and lots of 'em.

Soooo, if I don't see you before- have a great Memorial Day Weekend! I'll see you Tues 5/31.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It's charity ride season. That time of year when folks saddle up and ride for their favorite causes. If you love bikes and hate diabetes, cancer, ALS, MS, or heart disease there's a ride out there for you. It's a great way to raise money and awareness and get to ride your bike. You were going to give money any way, right? Well, this way you get a bike ride out of the deal. Or maybe you just want a challenging ride, with supported rest stops. That's ok too.

Hub Bicycle is going to, once again, support the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure(s). I love bikes and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986, so it only makes sense to lend a hand to the ADA. First up is the South Hamilton tour on Sunday May 22. (The shop will be closed that day.) And then the most epic New England Classic July 9-10 or, if you're up for it, 9-15 (I'm not sure if/when the shop might be closed. I can't plan that far in advance).

The American Diabetes Association does a whole bunch of good work. Education, research, advocacy, and most importantly summer camp for kids with the 'betes, all get funded through the ADA, which gets funded, in part through folks raising money and riding bikes. As a near grown-up, who attended one such summer camp, I appreciate and have directly benefited from the funds raised during charity ride season.

So, find a cause you believe in, raise some money, and ride your bike.

Monday, May 2, 2011


It's the most wonderful time of the year. Beautiful weather, tons of events, bike-y camaraderie. For those of you who don't regularly bike commute, Bike Week/Month is a great excuse to give it a try. And for those of you who are die hard bike nerds, it's know as Free Breakfast Week. Check it out:

Bay State Bike Week (Month, really)

MassCommuter Challenge

Have fun!

Monday, April 25, 2011


You know you're about to get a great story when someone walks in the shop and says "What's the weirdest thing you've ever found stuck inside a bike frame tube?"

So today my hat's off to John, who found a mouse carcass inside his latest bike project.

Friday, April 15, 2011


One of my favorite on-road things to do with a bicycle is run errands. I find that it's much more satisfying to go by bike. I mean, you have to run them any way, might as well feel good while you're at it.

If you want to get stuff done by bike, you probably need a way to carry stuff by bike. I'm sure you've see the ol' standard bike rack- bolts onto the back of the frame, often seen with a milk crate on top or panniers on the side. That works alright, but let me suggest something else. Put the stuff on the front of the bike!

There are a number of front carrying cargo devices for bicycles, each have their own pros/cons. The two pros they all share over rear racks are 1) It's easier to balance the load on the front (IMHO) 2) You can keep an eye on your cargo (which helps with balance). As I mentioned, there are a number of options out there, I'm going to show you these three, because I've actually used them.

Wald Basket

Wald has been making bike baskets forever (1905). If you've ever seen a paperboy/girl tossing the daily news out of a bike basket (you know, in a movie or something), it was probably a Wald.

  • Come in a bunch of sizes
  • Pretty inexpensive ($20-45)
  • Light weight (depending on the size)
  • Easy to find at your local bike shop
  • Made in the US (if you're into that kind of thing)

  • Limited attachment system (doesn't fit well on all bikes, see above pic)
  • Can't be used on bikes with suspension forks (struts are bolted to the axle and would limit suspension travel)
  • Small-ish weight limits
  • Easily bent
Evo Handbasketle -or- Basklebar

I posted a pic of this brand new cargo device on the Hub facebook page a little while ago. These are two of my favorite names out of the many suggestions. Evo just calls it the 'Handlebar Basket'. Boring, but accurate. It's a basket integrated into the handlebars.


Lighter than it looks
Can be used on bikes with suspension forks
Holds up to 60lbs
Really sturdy
Less expensive that a porteur rack ($67)


Can only be used with a modern style face plate stem
These are the handlebars you get- if you don't like them, tough.
More expensive than Wald baskets ($67)
Only one size- if it doesn't fit, tough

CETMA 5-rail rack

This is my go-to. Handmade by a lovely gentleman in Eugene, OR. I've carried weeks worth of groceries, bags of dog food, other bikes, dry ice (don't worry about it), a microwave, pizzas, cases of beer (such a bike industry cliche), my full travel tool box. If I can bungee it down, I'll take it on my bike.


  • Super versitile
  • Lowest center of gravity, most stable
  • Adaptable to fit many bikes
  • Highest weight limit
  • Not limited by basket sides (but there are fenced versions available if you want)
  • Handmade by one guy


  • Most expensive option ($100-120 for the ones we have in stock)
  • Can't be used with suspension

There are demo versions of the Evo Basklebar and CETMA 5-rail available at the shop if you'd like to try before you buy. But I'm telling you, I think you'll like it so much you won't go back to your old rack (although, I won't hate you if you do, so- no pressure). Come in and check them out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why you should stop.

Welcome back fair weather cyclists! I missed you. The streets seem much friendlier now that you're back. Here's one thing I want you to think about, though.

STOP at stop lights, signs, and for ped-x in cross walks.

People, who are a lot smarter and more eloquent, than me (I?) have explained it better, but here are my two cents.

'Share the road' (while a bit overused and getting a bit watered down) really does mean something. It actually means different things for different road users. Drivers share the road by not passing too close, not honking at or harassing cyclists, and by looking out for bikes before taking turns or parking and whatnot. Drivers share the road by traveling in a way that makes the road safe for all users. I think it's easy to place all of the responsibility of sharing on the drivers shoulders, because they are the ones with the ability to kill another person with their vehicle.

We cyclists need to hold up our end of the sharing bargain. We do that by following the rules of the road. Blowing through, or even rolling through, stop lights doesn't show respect for the other road users. (Not to mention, it's not safe.) I want to be respected while I'm traveling on the road. If I expect that drivers will give me space on the road by not passing too closely, I think it's fair they can expect that I'll give them their right of way when they have the green. Here's another place where the 'golden rule' applies. Respect everybody else's right to travel safely and hassle free(ish), and they'll respect yours. Hopefully.

Now I know Massachusetts isn't world famous for having respectful, patient, courteous road users. Just because that's the reputation doesn't mean that people don't want friendlier streets. And it doesn't mean that's the way it has to stay. Someone has to get the ball rolling, so why don't we start it, by stopping.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

That was nice.

Things are really picking up here at Hub. Yesterday, I got caught up on repairs, so I thought I might leave the shop in Charlie's capable hands, and scoot out a little early.

As I cruised home through Union Square I heard a rhythmic "Psst... Psst... Psst... Psst..." I was really hoping it was something rubbing on my fender. No such luck. My first flat of 2011. I was half way home, and sometimes after fixing bikes all day, I don't want to fix any more bikes. So I started walking. That's what I get for trying to cut out of work early.

A few minutes into my stroll home, a guy, who appeared to be a serious bike commuter, slowed down enough to ask if I needed a pump. I told him I actually had one with me, but I was feeling too lazy to stop and fix it. I thanked him, anyway. He wished me a nice walk and was on his way.

That small interaction with a fellow human, on a spring-ish day, after having a very busy but satisfying day at work, left me with the overwhelming feeling that everything is A-ok. I really enjoyed the rest of my walk. Kinda made that flat worth it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to lock your bike

1. Get a good lock. That means a U lock. I don't have any peer reviewed scientific study results, but I can tell you that as of today 100% of the people who've told me they've had a bike stolen in the Greater Boston Area either didn't have it locked at all, or they had it locked with a cable lock. Cables can be easily cut with something as simple as diagonal side cutters. (Of course, now that I've said that, someone will tell me about losing a bike locked with a U lock...). This is my lock:

This one is the smallest lock Kryptonite offers- The Evolution Mini- 5. I got it because I don't like carrying more than I have to. In the summer (when I'm not carrying an extra pair of gloves, rain pants, an extra set of lights, a thermos of hot coffee, a emergency blanket, an avalanche beacon, dog treats for my rescue dog,
one extra hoodie for warmth, and two days of food & water- just in case) I don't want to have to carry a bag if my lock is going to be the only thing in it and this little guy fits nicely in a back pocket. In the past 6 years I've had this lock (that's why it looks beat up), there have only be a couple of times I've had trouble finding a place to lock up because of it's tiny stature. There are plenty of other larger sizes available, including one that I say is a 'medium', that Kryptonite calls the Series 2 Mini- 7.

On a side-ish note, Kryptonite has new skins for the mini locks. Good if you find yourself living with two housemates with 17 bikes and three identical locks between you, and maybe you're sick of accidentally grabbing someone else's lock and not realizing it until you get all the way to work. For example. Also good if you just want to add a little color.

2. Find something to lock it to. Bike rack, sign post, what have you. Really a bike rack is the best, because, well, that's what it's for. Therefore it's usually placed in way that protects the bikes from parking cars, and keeps them out of the way of side walks. Usually.

Got a place that you think could use a bike rack (in Cambridge, at least)? Tell the city here.

3. Now that you have your lock and a place to lock up, start with the most expensive parts of the bike and work your way down. That means start with the frame, then the rear wheel. Then, if you can manage (see below), the front wheel.

Frame, rear wheel, bike rack. All with a mini lock.

The front wheel can be removed and locked up with the frame and rear wheel, but remember that leaves your fork resting on the ground.

Frame, front wheel, rear wheel, bike rack.

Or you can add a cable to your U for added front wheel security. I know I just said cables are easily cut, and they are, but most thieves won't want to be bothered with two locks. What ever isn't locked, cabled or bolted down is vulnerable to being 'impulse stolen'. If it's easy to take, then it's more likely to be taken.

Front wheel, cabled, for thief inconvenience.

3a. Remember where you left your bike. So that you don't end up like my pal (you know who you are) who filed a police report about his 'stolen' bike, only to find it locked up on the other side of his apartment building. Right where he left it.