Suburban Assault

Archive for the ‘Cool Bikes’ Category

Pics From The North Texas Vintage Bicycle Swap Meet – Garland, Texas

with 2 comments

Yesterday, we drove out to Garland, Texas to check out the North Texas Vintage Bicycle Swap Meet – sponsored by Don Johle’s Bike World and Rat Rod Bikes. I love bike swap meets because they’re clearing houses for bike hoarders – my kind of people. Fortunately, my wife always comes along and brings me back to reality. Otherwise, we would have a garage full of bikes and no money to pay the mortgage.

Instead, I satisfy my vintage bike addiction with my hoards of photographs. Here are a few (click here to see the set).

We did discover a great new (to us) bike shop. While at the swap meet, we popped into Don Johle’s Bike World to check it out. It was a small, run-down, mom & pop type establishment with an odd mix of road bikes, BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and cruisers – as well as a few cool vintage restorations (mostly BMX). What won us over was the really friendly staff, who you could tell, really loves bikes.

Lil' Tiger

Sold

Line Up

Bananas

Klunker

Jonathan

This is Jonathan from the bike blog: A Bicycle’s Point Of View. Here is a great write up that he did for the Swap Meet.

Written by dickdavid

June 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

Cooper Bikes USA – Open For Business

with 4 comments

I’ve written a few times about Cooper Bikes. Click here to read about when I first heard about them, here when they launched in the UK two years ago, here when they started shipping to the US a year ago, and here about their US pricing.

Well now they are officially in the United States. Go to CooperBikesUSA.com to check out their bikes. You can also like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

Here’s the story behind these bikes: Cooper Bikes was founded by Michael Cooper, son of John Cooper the racing and automotive legend, who’s vision is behind all the MINI Cooper cars today. They mastered four wheels, and now they’re tackling two. The Cooper family has strived to create a very simple, elegant, and classic line of bicycles that are comprised of top quality English components such as Brook Saddles, Reynolds tubing, and Sturmey Archer hubs. Every bicycle that they design has ties back to Cooper racing excellence. While these bikes are crafted in such a way to deliver complete comfort and riding satisfaction, they are nothing short of chic and stylish. Cooper Bikes are designed for that leisure ride down to the park or your daily commute to work.

Being a MINI Cooper driver and enthusiast as well, I can attest that the John Cooper Works editions of those cars are highly regarded, premium upgrades. They truly have made a name for themselves in the automotive industry. What impresses me about their story is that, even with all these automotive accomplishments, they chose to build bicycles. Really nice bicycles. If you go the the Cooper Bikes blog, you can read through a bunch of great write ups and reviews about their bikes.

Now, after their launch in the UK two years ago, they’re trying to build a following in the United States. Going up against so many other great and established bike brands, they’ve got their work cut out for them. You should expect to see them pop up more and more over the next few months. If you happen to see one in your local bike shop, you should ask to take it for a test spin.

Personally, these bikes have become the Holy Grail of my bike wish list. Although slightly higher in price range, I appreciate the value in the quality and design that’s built into these bikes.

Plus, there is something about this brand that really appeals to me. Perhaps it’s their brand heritage. Perhaps it’s their reputation for high quality and craftsmanship. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a fan of MINI. Perhaps I just have a soft spot for the new guy – the underdog. Perhaps it’s because their bikes are so limited in availability and rare to find on the road.

Maybe it’s ALL of these reasons. If you want to buy one, order here.

Single Speed T100 Monza

Single Speed T100 Sebring

Three-Speed T100 Zandvoort

Single Speed T100 Spa

Single Speed T200 Championship 50

5-Speed T200 Reims

5-Speed T250 Aintree

Written by dickdavid

September 24, 2011 at 6:40 am

Schwinn Launches Limited Edition Sting-Rays

with one comment

From an email that I got from Schwinn:

Vote for Your Favorite Color Sting-Ray on Facebook and be Entered to Win a Sting-Ray of your own.

Get ready! Schwinn is proud to reintroduce a limited edition of the Schwinn Sting-Ray.

First launched in 1963, the Schwinn Sting-Ray is one of the most iconic bikes ever created. Only 900 of the exclusive Schwinn Sting-Rays will be available for sale in four unique colors: Apple Krate, Orange Krate, Lemon Peeler, and Grey Ghost. The Schwinn Sting-Rays will be individually numbered and exclusively available at independent retailers.

To spread the joy of riding, Schwinn is offering Facebook fans a chance to win a Schwinn Sting-Ray of their own.

For your chance to win click here and vote for your favorite Schwinn Sting-Ray color.

I’d like to say that I want one for my kids, but it’ll probably be me riding it the most.

Written by dickdavid

September 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

Redline Bicycles Changes Their Metro Series For 2012

with 9 comments

2012 Redline METRO Classic © Redline Bicycles

2012 Redline METRO Sport © Redline Bicycles

I think that I’ve already established that I am a Redline Bicycles fan boy. I’m even a bigger fan of their METRO Series. That’s why I’m posting about some changes in that series, which I think are an improvement.

First the biggest change. They’ve gone from a lineup of 3 bikes in 2011, METRO 9, METRO Sport and METRO Disc, to just 2 for 2012: METRO Classic and METRO Sport. The next obvious change is that they’ve gone from the flat and riser bars to all drop bars. To me, this was a nice surprise – mostly because I’ve been looking for a cheap touring/road bike. Until now, I was interested in their 2011 Conquest Sport – which wasn’t added to their 2012 lineup.

Another plus for me is that the METRO Series offers a 4130 Double Butted Chromoly option with their Classic – not available in the Conquest Sport (which was aluminum). I know steel isn’t the lightest, most ideal material for bikes, but I’m a huge fan of how strong and amazingly durable 4130 is. If you want something lighter, the METRO Sport comes in 6061 Double Butted Alloy aluminum.

The new 2012 METRO Classic comes set up with Shimano Tiagra components, reliable and smooth without the huge price tag. This replaces the SRAM X5 on the 2011 METRO 9 model. The 2012 Sport comes with Shimano 2300, which I’ve read is a lower end group (also used on the 2011 Conquest Sport).

Both new models are set up with disc brakes, Avid BB5 for the Classic and ProMax for the Sport.

So far, I haven’t been able to find any pricing for the new 2012 lineup. As with most of the Redline commuter bikes, I hope that these new models will be priced on the low end.

Written by dickdavid

September 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

Adult Sized Big Wheel

with one comment

Image © Big Wheel Rally - Please Visit Their Site

Image © Big Wheel Rally - Please Visit Their Site

Here’s a fun Friday treat for you. Remember Big Wheels? Some of my best childhood memories are from when we were drifting our neighbor’s 3-wheeled racer up and down the street until the wheels wore holes in them. Good times.

A quick Google search lead me to Big Wheel Rally, a company who makes Big Wheels for adults. Yep, another ride added to my wish list.

Check out the video:

Written by dickdavid

August 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

So I Upgraded The Gearing On My Redline Monocog

with 13 comments

Fix Flat Flowmaster

I’ve been documenting the conversion of my Redline Monocog, single-speed mountain bike, to a street-ready, Suburban Assault machine. Here is the story of my latest upgrade – the chainring.

To sum up, I bought the bike with the intention of getting back on the trails. Somewhere along the line, my taste in cycling has moved more towards street riding and commuting. Wanting to make the best of the situation, I started converting the Monocog to a street worthy machine. I’ve been happy with the bicycle, with the exception of it’s off-road gearing – too slow for riding around town. The ultimate goal was to upgrade the drivetrain to make it work better on the street.

The original set-up had a 32T chainring (up front) and a 20T cog (at the wheel), which gave it a 1.6 gear ratio (please forgive me if I butcher the science of bicycle gearing – my intent is to articulate a general basis of comparison). My first, and cheapest, solution was to switch out the cog from the 20T to a 15T. Click here to read about that. This brought the bike to a 2.13 gear ratio, which worked fine but I could tell I needed more.

Just recently, I decided to upgrade the chainring from a 32T to a 36T. This would bring my gear ratio to a 2.4 – just enough to make the ride interesting, without killing me on my commute to work.

32 to 36

Getting The Part (Sorry, but this is long. If you don’t want to read a rant, skip to the install):
I decided to support my local economy and do this upgrade with my nearby bike shop (which will remain unnamed for reasons that will be explained as you read on). I rolled the Monocog right to the service department so that there wouldn’t be a mistake about what part I needed. Changing out a single-speed chainring would have been an easy upgrade, but I was willing to let the shop do it – again, to support my local bike store.

After standing around for several minutes (they weren’t busy, but preoccupied with their repairs) one of them eventually made eye contact and, I guess, felt obligated to ask if I needed help. After explaining to the guy my intent, he was more than happy to check in the back for an available part. As expected, there wasn’t one available and he would have to special order it. He gave me a verbal quote for the price of the part and I gave him my name and phone number. He told me it would take a week to get the part in. I wasn’t in a rush, so I was more than fine with that timeline.

A week went by. No phone call.

I called them a few times. Although very helpful, none of the employees were able to locate my part. They all kept referring me the person in charge of ordering – who wasn’t available when I called. At the end of the second week, I went by the store and inquired about my part. Again, after standing around for a few minutes, I was eventually helped. They checked and no part. Not wanting me to leave empty handed, he gave me a business card with the name of the parts ordering person and the best time to call.

I managed to eventually get hold of him by the end of the third week. He looked, but couldn’t find the part. He checked his order log, and found no record of the order. He apologized and said he could re-order it for me. At that point, I still wasn’t in a rush, so I told him to order it.

Because it was such a hassle, I talked myself out of letting them install it. All of a sudden, I wasn’t so gung-ho about supporting my local bike shop.

Towards the end of the fourth week, my 36T chainring finally came in. When I went to pick up the part, another person – who was completely unaware of everything I went through – brought me my part. Although it wasn’t his fault, I felt completely deflated when he just handed it to me and walked off. I guess I was expecting another apology or appreciation for my patience. To add insult to ego injury, I noticed the price was $10 more than my verbal quote. I wanted to set it down and just leave at this point.

But, I’m a man of my word. They committed to special ordering that part, and I committed to purchase it. It took longer than expected, but they completed their end of the deal – I felt obligated to complete mine. However, I will not be supporting this store with any future transactions that involve special ordering.

The Install:
Installing the new chainring was pretty easy with just 4 bolts holding the old one on. Since I was going with a larger gear, I had to put on a longer chain. This is where the install got interesting.

I’ve used a chain tool several times over the years, but I have to admit, I’ve never been trained on how to properly use one. This being a topic for another post, I’ll give you the quick version of the story. As I was reconnecting the links, I discovered that I had done it wrong. In my attempt to undo my mistake, I bent the tip to my chain tool. Bad went to worse, and I ended up tearing up my chain – my quick install came to a halt. I decided to pack everything up, take it in and just get it done quickly.

Not wanting to return to the shop where I bought the chainring, I decided to take my bike to the Plano Performance Bike (Note, I am mentioning them by name – it was THAT great of an experience.) instead. I got there a few minutes before they opened, but they were happy to let me in. The service guy Henry, not only salvaged my chain, but he also showed me the proper way to use my chain tool. I even got a replacement tip for it.

Conclusion:
Overall, I am completely happy with my upgrade. The Monocog is now a perfect street-ready machine – well worth all the hassle.

The unnamed bike shop did manage to get the part – eventually. Although somewhat friendly, they did fail with their follow-through and customer service.

In contrast, Performance Bike is now my favorite bike shop with their outstanding customer service. They’ve restored my faith in local bike shops.

36T

Written by dickdavid

August 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Redline Previews Their 2012 D-Series Lineup

with 5 comments

Yes, I’m a Redline Bicycle fanboy. What of it? Perhaps it was years of coveting their brand (as well as DiamondBack) of BMX bikes when I was a preteen. After years of riding around on my heavy, department store-bought Huffy, all I could think about was owning one of their cool bikes. My family couldn’t afford it, so it never happened.

Over the years, many newer bicycle brands have popped up in the market and Redline has been overshadowed by some of those other fancier, shinier rides. Redline still has a strong hold on their core market – which is BMX bikes, plus they’ve been offering a great lineup of commuter, road and off-road bikes that come in adult sizes.

However, around these parts, it’s hard to find Redline products in my size – most shops in DFW, just don’t keep enough in inventory. I did manage to pick up a Monocog back in early 2009, with the intention of taking it off road but never have (read more about it here). Because it is one of my favorite bikes, I now have a Conquest Sport high on my wish list.

Redline just released a preview of their 2012 D-Series line up on their Facebook page. The D-Series is Redline’s off-road group that ranges in everything from the simple and economical Monocog, to the fully loaded and pricey D-680. I don’t get off road anymore, so these bikes are low on my radar. However, I would be more temped to get back on the trails if a D610 (or D620) was in my garage.

Here’s a quick peek of the new lineup:

Monobelt 29er © Redline Bicycles

Monobelt 29er
FRAME > 4130 Double Butted Chromoly
FORK > RockShox Reba RL Dual Air 100 mm
DRIVETRAIN > Gates Carbon Drive
Wheels > WTB Laser Disc
Brakes > Shimano BL M445
Tires > Maxxis Ignitor

Monocog 29er © Redline Bicycles

Monocog 29er
FRAME > 4130 Chromoly
FORK > 4130 Chromoly Tapered Leg
CRANK > SRAM 5D 32T
Wheels > Alex DH 19
Brakes > Tektro
Tires > Kenda Nevegal

Monocog Flight 29er © Redline Bicycles

Monocog Flight 29er
FRAME > Sanko 4130 Double Butted Chromoly
FORK > Sanko 4130 Chromoly Tapered Leg
CRANK > FSA Maximus 32T
Wheels > Alex DP 20
Brakes > Avid BB5
Tires > WTB Prowler SL

D26 © Redline Bicycles

D26
FRAME > 4130 Chromoly
FORK > SR Suntour Duro 100mm
CRANK > Redline Monster Chromoly 170mm
Wheels > Alex DM 18
Brakes > Shimano BL-M 445
Tires > Kenda K Rad

D610 © Redline Bicycles

D610
FRAME > 6061 Double Butted Alloy
FORK > RockShox XC 28 MG TK29
CRANK > Truvativ 5D 28-38T
DErailleur > SRAM X5
Shifter > SRAM X5
Wheels > Alex DH 19
Brakes > Avid BB 5
Tires > WTB Prowler SL

D620 © Redline Bicycles

D620
FRAME > 6061 Double Butted Alloy
FORK > RockShox Recon 100mm
CRANK > FSA Vero Compact 36 x 46T
DErailleur > SRAM X7 / X5
Shifter > SRAM X7
Wheels > WTB SX 19
Brakes > Tektro Draco Hydraulic
Tires > WTB Prowler SL

D660 © Redline Bicycles

D660
FRAME > R6 Alloy Double Butted,Hydro Formed Tubing, Tapered Head Tube
FORK > RockShox Reba RL Dual Air 100 mm
CRANK > SRAM S 1400 GXP 26/39T
DErailleur > SRAM X9
Shifter > SRAM X9
Wheels > Alex DP 20
Brakes > Avid Elixir 3 Hydraulic
Tires > WTB Prowler SL

D680 © Redline Bicycles

D680
FRAME > R6 Alloy Double Butted, Hydro Formed Tubing, Tapered Head Tube
FORK > Fox FIT 29 RLC 100mm
CRANK > SRAM X9 26-39T
DErailleur > SRAM X0
Shifter > SRAM X9
Wheels > WTB Laser Disc
Brakes > Avid Elixir 7 Disc
Tires > Kenda Small Block Eight

Written by dickdavid

August 11, 2011 at 6:21 am

Three Well-Priced Urban Bike Sources

with 7 comments

People often ask me where they can find a good, cheap bike. The answer to that question is always subjective, because there are so many types of bicycles as well as so many different types of riding. When I ask what kind of bike they are looking for, the typical answer is, “Well, I’d like something that I can ride around my neighborhood or town, but I’d like to be able to take it off-road as well.”

I believe the reason for this reply is because they haven’t been on a bike for a while and aren’t sure what type of riding they will feel most comfortable doing. Until they can figure that out, these folks typically want a bike that can do everything. Finding that bike is quite a challenge. I am more than happy to help out because I’m glad to hear that folks still have that spark to ride a bike.

I try to steer new people in the direction of something more universal and recommend getting a simple bike that can get them from point A to point B.

I also try to steer them away from discount store bikes. I love Target and Walmart type stores for many things, but not for their bicycles – which are, typically, badly made from poor materials. That being said, if that’s your only option, then go for it. Any bike is better than no bike.

My next recommendation is to check out their local bike shops. There is no better place to find quality bikes, built and maintained by skilled bike professionals, than at your local bike shop. Occasionally, you’ll find a bike at a great price. Plus, it’s always good to support your local shops.

But, even that isn’t the right fit for some folks. This brings me to the point of this post – to showcase some different sources for some well-priced bikes found online. I decided to focus on “Urban” utility bikes to articulate that there are nice, alternative solutions that look good and won’t break the bank. Here are three companies that have done a great job at getting some attention in the blog and social networking circles:

© Republic Bike - Please Visit Their Site

Republic Bike:
Republic is a Florida based company who was one of the first to start offering customizable urban bikes at a really low price. From their site: “At Republic Bike, we decided to shake up familiar aesthetic conceits and expectations of what a bike should look like.  In fact, we decided to leave it up to you. The only tools we offer here are those to let your creativity go for a ride. You pick, choose, swap and decide, and we’ll build it, box it, and ship it out. It’s a bike we design and build together.  It’s built by us & you. (more) ” Early criticism pointed out the low quality steel used in their frames. Since then, they started offering some nice Chromoly solutions at a slightly higher price. They offer fixed gear/single speed models as well as Dutch inspired bikes with up to 3-speeds. Prices range from $399 to $499.

© State Bicycle - Please Visit Their Site

State Bicycle Company:
State is based in Arizona and also offers inexpensive urban bikes. Unlike Republic, State’s bikes aren’t as customizable. Their niche is offering bike models for a limited time before ‘retiring’ them. This gives you a chance to own a limited edition bike at a low price. From their site: “Our goal is to bring the most attractive, high quality, and smooth riding fixed gear/single speed bicycles to the market at the lowest price possible. We currently offer 13 different color combinations, 3 handlebar styles (bullhorns, riser bars, and drop bars), and 4 sizes (49cm, 52cm, 55cm, and 59cm). Each bicycle model that we offer is available for 3 months to a year before it is “retired” and we release newly designed models to replace it — when they’re gone, they’re gone. (more)”  Keeping it simple, they offer basic components with one type of Chromoly frame model that is single speed. Price is $429 with free shipping.

© Public Bikes - Please Visit Their Site

Public Bikes:
Public is a San Francisco based company. Although higher in price, they offer up a wide variety of well-designed, European-inspired bikes. From their site: “We design and sell urban bikes, along with accessories to make riding more enjoyable, practical, and chic. Our European-inspired bikes ride like butter. They come in single and multi-speeds in all sizes. You can dress in casualor business attire, and wear pumps, tennis shoes, or flip flops – just about anything – while riding our bikes. And we have baskets, bags and other gear to go along with them. These bikes will make you feel like a kid again, and this is every bit as important as anything else. (more)” Unlike the more messenger/fixed gear type bikes featured by the other companies, Public offers more bikes that keep their riders upright and comfortable. They’re not as customizable, but provide great design that’s accessible with most budgets. Frames range in steel quality, with the Chromoly bikes at a higher price. You’ll find gearing options from 1 to 8-speed. Prices range from $550 to $995.

Written by dickdavid

June 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Street Ready Redline Monocog 29er

with 37 comments

Redline Monocog, Single Speed 29er

Stock 2008 Redline Monocog 29er

I was looking for an off-road bike back in late 2008, and decided to go with a single speed 29er. After reading some great reviews in Mountain Bike Action Magazine, I narrowed my choices down to either a Haro Mary SS or a Redline Monocog 29er – both reasonably priced, good performers. Unfortunately, my local bike shops had trouble keeping them in inventory, so test rides were hard to come by.

I finally stumbled across one in early 2009. Richardson Bike Mart happened to have a 2008 Redline Monocog 29er on clearance and was priced to sell quickly. The frame size was actually large and I’m, borderline, sized to fit most mediums – I took a test ride anyway. Sure enough, it fit in both length and height and I immediately fell in love with the ride. It was mine.

Little did I know that my intent to get back on the trails would dwindle as my love for street riding grew. The fate of my new off-road bike was that it never actually got off-road. I still enjoy riding it around town, and with a few tweaks over the years, I finally turned it to a nice street bike.

Drivetrain
The first thing that I had to change was the gearing. Since it was an off road bike, it was geared for low-end torque to power through rough terrain and rocky climbs. The stock set-up was a 32-tooth chainring paired with a 20-tooth cog. This sucker was slow on the streets with a 1.6 gear ratio. My first thought was to put a 48-tooth chainring on the front to bring it to a 2.4 gear ratio, but my bike shop guy talked me into a much cheaper solution – replacing the cog from the 20 to a 15-tooth. This brought it to the current set up to 32/15, a nicer 2.13 ratio. Still slow, but for the price of $15, I can live with it for a while.

Update: scroll down to the bottom to see the newest update to the chainring.

20 to 15

Handling
The next change was the handlebars. The stock bars on the Monocog are wide – which I guess is standard for mountain bikes ( This is what the stock bars looked like). I prefer a narrow bar to give me quicker, more responsive turns. Instead of buying a new bar, I opted to just take a hacksaw to the stock one. With a little over an inch and a half off of each side and some new Lizard Skin lock grips, my turn was greatly improved.

Update: Scroll down to see how I’ve updated – somewhat reverted –  back to some wider bars.

Riding The New Bike Lane

Mounting
I’ve changed out the pedals several different times. The first switch was from the stock pedals to clipless, Shimano SPD pedals – which are my default choice for mountain biking. Since I never got this bike off-road, I found clicking in and out at every stoplight quite annoying. Not wanting to completely give up on SPD, I tried a hybrid Campus Pedal from Performance, giving me a flat pedal on one side for quick mounts.

I would have been happy staying with those pedals, but I was lucky enough to win a pair of really awesome VP-Components, VP-001s. Read my review on the pedals to see how much I love these things and why they’re my final choice.

VP-001 on the Redline

Gripping the Road
The Monocog still wasn’t completely street smart, so my next big upgrade was the rubber. The Monocog’s stock WTB knobbies, which were designed for some serious off-road traction, did not perform well on the street. Unfortunately, finding fat 29″ street tires in my local bike shops was next to impossible. I eventually found these Serfas Drifter City Tires at my local REI at a nicely discounted price. I was immediately impressed with the improved performance and traction of these tires. Also, their beefy 2.0 width keeps the pavement cracks and potholes from rattling my bones.

Rubber

Street Converted Monocog

That’s it for now. Slowly, I’ve managed to get this off-road beast converted to a slick, suburban assault machine.  If I were to make more upgrades in the future, I might look into a bigger chainring and a fancy saddle.

Street Converted Monocog Goodness

Street Converted Redline Monocog 29er

Click here to see all the pics of my Monocog.

UPDATE:

Through some wheeling and dealing (via sales, coupons and Team Performance points), I was able to obtain a Brooks, B-17 Saddle for quite a bit under suggested retail. Admittedly, at first, I wanted the Brooks because they look pretty cool. But it didn’t seem very practical having one on a utility, street scooter like this – but rather some fancy, expensive, custom built frame. Plus, having never sat on one, I couldn’t imagine anything built without a pad could even be comfortable. However, everybody that owns a Brooks, swears by them. Because of that, plus the incredible amount of heritage and craftsmanship that goes into their products, I had to take advantage of that special price and try one out.

The B-17 is one of the best upgrades that I’ve ever made to any bike. I was wrong to think that such a nice saddle should only be attached to just nice bikes. This saddle looks good, and improves the look of ANY bike – new or old. The styling is classic and timeless. Also to my surprise, the comfort of the B-17 is amazing, and is expected to get better as the saddle wears in over the years. I expect to upgrade all of my bikes – even the ones that I don’t own yet – to a Brooks Saddle, as soon as I can afford them.

Redline Monocog

Monocog With Updated Brooks B-17 Saddle

ANOTHER UPDATE:

Wanting to get more speed, I decided to upgrade my drivetrain again. This time I switched out my chainring from the stock 32T to a 36T. This will bring my gear ratio from the original 1.6 (32 front, 20 back) to a 2.4 (36 front, 15 back). Here is my write up on the not-so-fun experience ordering the part, as well as the unexpected problem installing it.

32 to 36

New Chainring

36T

ANOTHER UPDATE:

I was able to pick up another pair of the VP Components, VP-001 pedals – this set in black. Now, Monica is looking like a slick ninja. The old pair of VP-001 pedals went to my other bike.

Redline VP

Ninja Monica

ANOTHER UPDATE:

During last year’s work commute, I noticed that my hands were getting numb because of extended periods of time keeping them in the same position. I added some old bar ends back to my other bike, and having multiple places for different had positions seemed to help. Unfortunately, when I ‘trimmed’ the bars on THIS bike, I made them too narrow to add bar ends. I had to get a new handlebar.

I ended up getting a cheap Ritchey Comp riser bar. In spite of the instructions that came with it (see pic below), it was quite easy to install. I’m keeping the really wide stock width for now, but I may end up trimming them a little bit down the road. The new bars, along with some cheap bar ends, definitely gives me more hand position options.

Installation Instructions

Check out the installation instructions that came with these. Wow!

Wide Stance

Put The Old Bar Ends Back On

U.S. Pricing For Cooper Bikes

with 2 comments

I’ve been following the release of Cooper Bikes, and now that they are available in the United States, I decided to do some digging to find out availability and pricing. So far, 4 models are available in the States, T100 MonzaT100 SebringT200 Championship 50 and T200 Reims. The only place that you can get one is Prestige of Mahwah, in New Jersey.

I’ve been trading emails with the folks at Prestige, and they are in the process of setting up a dealer network in the U.S. Hopefully, there will be one near us soon.

I’ve also been given prices. Given the fact that these are imported, ’boutique’ bikes, I wasn’t expecting anything cheep. With their reputation for high quality and attention to detail, Cooper is known to charge a premium for their products. These bikes are no exception:

T100 Monza $1175.00
Available: 52cm, 57cm, 61cm

T100 Sebring $1175.00
Available: 57cm, 61cm

T200 Championship 50 $1600.00
Available: 57cm

T200 Reims 5spd $1700.00
Available: 57cm, 61cm

Not actually, seeing or riding the bikes, I’m going to hold my judgement on these prices. Sure, there are several comparable bikes out there for a lot less. The Cooper Bikes, however, have been getting a lot of great press and are starting to develop a good following. I would personally pay this premium if the bike holds true to it’s brand reputation. Hopefully, I’ll be able to test ride one to find out.

Written by dickdavid

November 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm