Suburban Assault

Archive for the ‘Cool Bikes’ Category

You Can Get A Cooper Bike In The US

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Image From Cooper Bikes. Please Visit Their Site.

Being both a bicycle and MINI Cooper enthusiast, the Cooper Bike has become one of the many on my wish list. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been available in the US since it’s release a year ago. According to the Cooper Bikes site, there has been a US representative in New Jersey. Through email, I discovered that they were still expecting inventory. Bike pricing wasn’t available, but the quoted shipping price was very expensive. I decided to wait until one was available closer to me before pursuing it any more.

Now it looks like Cooper Bikes is making more of an effort to push it through the States. This blog post has made me optimistic about them eventually making it to north Texas. Perhaps I’ll see a Cooper Bike on my next MINI rally. Perhaps the excitement will be enough to encourage more distribution in the U.S.

Fingers crossed.

Written by dickdavid

October 29, 2010 at 5:48 am

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Madsen Rolls Out Updated Utility Bikes

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I’m a big fan of the utility bike and even a bigger fan of Madsen Cycles. Today, they announced the release of their updated 2011 utility bikes. This version is based on feedback that they’ve gotten from current owners.

Here’s a gallery of the upgrades.

Here’s a video of the upgrades.

Written by dickdavid

September 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

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In The Mood For Some Utility

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For some reason, utility bikes have captured my interest. Having a the ability to haul stuff around gives me a great alternative to taking the bike instead of the car.

Even though there are a bunch of great options out there, here are a couple of bikes on my radar lately.

CIVIA Loring:

Trek Bikes (From the Gary Fisher Collection) Transport:

Written by dickdavid

July 9, 2010 at 8:32 am

The Only Reason I Like Yard Sales

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I typically hate yard sales. Every time my wife sees a sign and calls it out, I usually pretend I don’t hear her until we miss the turn. It’s an ongoing joke, because she knows how much I loath the idea of spending my hard earned cash on somebody else’s junk. I’ve got plenty of my own junk. Sure, there’s the occasional gem, but those are too few and you have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the yard sale pros. Well, I ran across one of those gems.

My neighbors were having a sale this weekend. As I was walking the dog, I noticed a pretty interesting bike parked out front. At first, I thought it would make a nice ride for my wife (to compliment her cruiser). But upon closer inspection, I noticed the size was a bit smaller. It was a 24″ Murray kid’s bike.

I wasn’t sure how old it was, but the styling was retro. My neighbor asked if I was interested and I replied with a question, “how much?” She said $20.

My first instinct was to decline. IF I were interested, it would be for my daughter – but I wasn’t sure if she would like it.

I finished walking the dog, jumped on my bike and did a small ride. When I arrived back home, my kids were finally awake. I told my daughter about the bike I had passed up and assumed that, by now, it had been sold to one of those yard sale pros – just minutes after me passing it up. For kicks, I popped my head out the front door to double check. Sure enough, it was still there.

She asked if we could take a closer look and I agreed. Seeing the fake leopard skin seat covers and cool purple paint, she immediately fell in love with it. As we were inspecting the bike closer, my neighbor walked up an gave me a newer price, $15. Still hesitant, I insisted that my daughter take a spin on it. She loved it and so we ended up taking it home.

It’s got some surface tarnish on the chrome, and it’s in major need of a tune-up. I can do most of it myself, but I will need to have a pro inspect and adjust the 3-speed drive train. My first step was to clean it up and get it rolling again, but eventually, I’ll replace the rubber and the pedals. Even if it doesn’t end up being a great bike, we’re only out $15.


Written by dickdavid

June 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm

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My Summer BMX Project

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My wife’s cousin found this (hopefully) gem in the trash. It’s a TREK Jet BMX bike that hasn’t been shown very much love. The previous owner was fond of orange. So fond of it, that they didn’t bother masking off the components and painted EVERYTHING.

I’m not sure if I can salvage it, but it will be a fun little project to share with my son. Hopefully, he’ll be inspired enough to learn how to ride it.

Today we spent time breaking it down and evaluating the parts. Most of them are shot, but the frame and fork are solid and straight. I’ll probably keep the wheels, headset, bottom bracket and crank. Everything else will get replaced. My goal is to use as many donated parts as possible and keep the cost low.

The next step is to start stripping the horrible paint job – probably to the metal. My son is already thinking about what colors he wants to repaint it.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the summer.

Written by dickdavid

May 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

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Redline Urbis Available May 1

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Redline Urbis - Image From Redline Bikes - Please Visit Their Site

You may have read some stuff about the Redline Urbis here and here. I just received a link from one of our readers showing that it’s now on the Redline site. They mention that it will be available for purchase on May 1, starting at $549 – lower than originally predicted.

I’m not exactly why I’m so psyched about this bike. Perhaps, it’s because I’m fond of my Monocog 29er. Maybe, it’s because I’m really liking the simple yet unique configuration. Probably, because I’m just a fan of the brand and I’m glad they’re dipping their feet further into the urban market.

Here are some specs from their site:

Frame: Redline Full Chrome Moly, Double Butted Main Tubes,120mm Spacing
Fork: Redline Full Chrome Moly, Disc Tabs
Headset: Threadless 28.6mm
Frt Der: NA
Rear Der: NA
Shifter: NA
Crank: Redline Alloy 36T
BB Set: ISIS, Hollow CR-MO Axle
Cogs: 16T Single Fixed
Rim: Alloy 36H Deep V
Hub: RL Nutted Disc Frt, Alloy Nutted Fixed – Free rear
Spoke: 14 Guage Stainless Alloy Nipples
Tire: 700 X 35 Reflector Side Wall
Bar: Redline Alloy JR Cruiser 550 mm x 90mm
Stem: Redline Alloy Forged
Saddle: Redline Pivotal
Seat Post: Redline Alloy Pivotal 27.2 x 320mm
Brakes: Tektro Alloy Disc
Brake: Lever Tektro Alloy 2 Finger
Pedal: Polycarbonate Clear
Color: Satin Steel

Written by dickdavid

April 20, 2010 at 10:59 am

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Nice Little Gem For Sale

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Saw this on Facebook and thought I would pass it on:

The folks over at Silverback Bikes has a bike for sale!! They just built it up: Single speed (not fixed) raliegh technium. Classic frame. 56cm. Good for someone around 5’11-6’1. Cheep!!!$250

You can contact them through their Facebook page.

Written by dickdavid

March 31, 2010 at 10:45 am

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Catch Villy Customs on TV – Tomorrow Morning

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Villycustoms is going to be on Good Morning Texas (WFAA) in the morning. If you’re a fan of bikes, cruisers or 2-wheeled coolness, check out Fleetwood Hicks (the guy who brought custom cruisers to Dallas) on the TV on Tuesday morning, January 12. The show kicks off at 9:00 am.

If this is when you’re sleeping in or commuting to work, be sure to set the TIVO.


If you missed it, you can catch the segment HERE.

Written by dickdavid

January 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

$15 For A New Bike

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Well, sort of.

Last year I bought a Redline Monocog, which was my first bike purchase in about 15 years. It was on mega-clearance, and I had convinced myself that a new single speed, 29er was just the motivation I needed to get back into trail riding. It’s an awesome bike that’s loads of fun to ride, but in the end, it failed at motivating. I ride it, just never off-road.

As it turns out, mountain biking just doesn’t seem as fun for me and my old bones. After discovering the suburban assault, I seem to get more enjoyment out of riding around my neighborhood and town.

This became a problem with having the Monocog. Even though it’s a fun ride, it was geared for off-road pedaling – which translates to SLOOOOOOOOW. If I remember correctly, the front has a 32T crank and the back is configured with a 20T single gear, great for getting the torque you need on the trails but likes to spin softly when on the streets.

Having a slow bike was fine but my new bike had become my back-up bike, forcing me to rely on my old, geared bike for long commutes or group rides. It seemed a waste. My first thoughts were to trade in the Monocog for something a little more street friendly. That just seemed like too big of a hassle, plus I don’t think I would have gotten such a great deal on another bike. The next idea was to just convert the Monocog with some better gearing.

Not knowing the best gear set-up for single-speed road riding, I went to the internet. I compared several single speed road bikes and decided to try out a larger crank chainring. Not wanting to make a big jump at first, I figure moving from a 32T to a 42T would do just the trick.

I talked to Nick, one of the great mechanics over at the Richardson Bike Mart who immediately related to my problem and put me at ease with his “Right On” attitude. We talked about the cost of upgrading to the larger crank chainring, which would have required a special order. In the end, it would have cost me about $40 – 50 in parts and labor, plus a few days of waiting. This wasn’t too bad, but with all the holiday shopping and my crazy schedule, I almost decided to put it off for a few more weeks.

That’s when Nick suggested I try going with a smaller back gear. He had a 15T in a box ready to replace the 20T that came stock on the Monocog. For about $15 parts and labor, he could have me switched out immediately and give my bike the speed it needed. I told him to go for it.

When I jumped back on the saddle, I was amazed at how losing 5 little teeth on my back gear could make such an amazing difference. That little change was enough to turn the Monocog into a nice little ass hauler. It was like having a brand new bike.

Written by dickdavid

December 29, 2009 at 7:05 am

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Took The Cruiser For A Spin

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A couple of weekends ago, I decided to give my wife’s cruiser a little spin to get a taste of the beach life. Of course, with temps close to freezing, I couldn’t get the complete picture.

This was the first time that I’ve actually taken a lengthy ride on this type of bike. I’ve done the occasional test ride, but I’ve never taken one for a true spin.

It’s definitely a different experience. All of my bikes are designed to put me in a forward riding position, but the cruiser puts me upright. It was awkward at first, but I soon discovered that it was more comfortable on the neck and back. Another obvious difference is the spread of the handle bars. The cruiser’s bars are wide and angled back. Although this worked well with the upright seated position, the steering was less responsive. Since the cruiser is more for slow, casual riding, I didn’t see this as an issue – just different.

The single speed gearing seemed perfect for flat, smooth terrain, but required a bit of work to haul it up hill. Granted, the seat position was lower for my wife, so I couldn’t get a nice leg extension without standing. I’m thinking that with the right seat height, inclines would be more manageable.

The overall ride was fun. There’s something about the carefree personality of a cruiser that removes any intention of getting anywhere fast. When you detach that from the ride, all you have left is a relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable spin around town. The cruiser is obviously more about personality and less about utility, which is why I have one on my bike wish list.

Written by dickdavid

December 16, 2009 at 1:00 am

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