Archive for the ‘Blue Collar Cyclist’ Category

Gary Fisher Bikes and Trek Bicycles Offer Financing Deal

May 21, 2009

Editor’s Note: Anthony Coley sends us this tip for those of you looking for a new Urban or Commuter sled…..

Been thinking about buying a new bike but don’t have the cash? Check out Trek’s “Go By Bike” deal at:

No Interest, No Payments for 12 Months on all Trek and Gary Fisher Bicycles over $750 until the end of May 2009. ( not much time left, so don’t dawdle ) With the U.S. economy’s current state of affairs, this type of deal is pretty much unheard of. If I hadn’t just bought a new bike I’d be down at my local Trek dealer ordering a 56cm Trek District ( they only have a 60cm in stock at this time ), which happens to qualify for this deal.

If you participate in Trek’s “Go By Bike” deal, make sure to pay off the balance before 12 months so you don’t get dinged with interest!

2009 Sea Otter Classic

April 16, 2009


Join the crew of The Cyclist as we get sneak peaks, hear rumors, take photos and test rides on the newest products hitting the internet.


Hoss Technical Gear: Stallion Short- First Impressions

April 12, 2009

Finally, the third in the Hoss collection, the Stallion Short. This is a bit different from the Ponderosa Knicker in that it has a separate, removeable inner short, which I did remove! It is a bit cold for just shorts yet here, so the Stallion got slid over a pair of tights during it’s first few uses with me. I’ll get to the inner liner when it warms up here shortly.

The Stallion's removeable liner

The Stallion's removeable liner


As you may have guessed from reading the other two Hoss posts, I am a bit of a freak when it comes to looks with my clothing. I will say that the Stallion Short passed muster right off. It had no funky quirks with it’s muted “Black with Logo” print, which got my thumbs up right off. The fit, like the Ponderosa Knickers, was spot on. Unlike the Ponderosa though, the Stallion is a “boarder style” short. (Think surfing) with it’s lace up fly closure. I liken it to the old school football shorts. At any rate, it works and there isn’t a buckle to dig into your “overhang”, if you are sporting one. Let’s just say it is comfortable and leave it at that, shall we?

The removeable liner allows you to mix in ome layers with the Stallion

The removeable liner allows you to mix in ome layers with the Stallion


The leg length is down to the bottom of my knee caps on me. Nice length, I think. It has the similar gossamer feeling fabric of the Ponderosa Knicker. Thin, but I was okay with it. Lots of comfort and freedom of movement here with the Stallion. There is no provision to tighten the leg openings though, so if you don’t like your short legs flapping in the breeze, these shorts may not be for you.

Functionally, the Stallion has decent sized pockets. One is rather large. Big enough for a good sized camera, or a pair of summer weight gloves to be stashed in. There are a few other smaller pockets, but no slash pockets to stick your hands in. If you haven’t worn boarder shorts before, this is common, but I think a couple of pockets in the normal places are called for here, especially since the Stallion has a removeable liner, and it looks good enough to wear casually in non-cycling scenes. Anyway, as a cycling short, I don’t mind this lack of pockets in the normal places. Again, things ride nicely in loaded pockets on the bike. A big plus if you are going to bother to sew in some pockets in the first place.

I’ll be back with some warmer weather test results with the inner liner soon. Stay tuned!

Hoss Technical Gear: Ponderosa Knickers: First Impressions

April 12, 2009

The Hoss Technical Gear parade continues on The Bike Lab with the Ponderosa Knicker up next. As I stated in the previous piece on he Polo Pony jersey, I am pretty particular on what I put on my body. Don’t ask where I got my sensibilities, I just know what I like, and what I don’t like!  The Ponderosa Knickers  I was sent were in the “Logo Print” pattern. It’s kind of a stylized “barbed wire” look. I wasn’t too keen on wearing these outdoors due to this, I’ll admit. But outdoors I did go, and wearing these knickers too. You know, the pattern kind of grew on me, but I would prefer the black, and there are other three other styles to choose from as well. So no worries there.

The pattern on these knickers were a little much at first.

The pattern on these knickers were a little much at first.


The Ponderosa Knicker has a 6 panel sewn in short with a chamois that is Cool Max and “Sanitized” with a multi-layer technology for your riding comfort. I found it to be quite pleasant. The inner liner fit well, and the chamois was comfy up to three hours in the saddle. Moisture management in the cool temperatures I was riding in (25- 50 degrees) wasn’t an issue, but I’ll reserve judgemet on that until I get into warmer temps. The outer short is pretty thin feeling, but oddly enough, I felt warm with just a wool long john wearing these even in the coldest range of the temperatures I rode in. The outer short was unobtrusive, easy to adjust, and stayed pretty much right where they are pulled up to. No “plumbers crack” action here! The legs came down to just about middle of the calf, right where they are supposed to. Fit-wise, these seem right on the money.

Functionally, the pockets were good sized and plentiful. Stuff I put in the pockets was secure and rode well while on the bike. It didn’t get in the way of any manuevering I was doing, which was a pleasant thing to find in these knickers. While lots of pockets are cool, if the stuff you put in them doesn’t ride well on the bike, you probably won’t use them. Somebody at Hoss must be paying attention here, because I found this to be one of my favorite features of the Ponderosa Knickers.
So far the only thing I was hoping for was that Hoss would consider doing the knicker idea with a removeable liner. Yes, it would cost more, I realize that. But it would make them much more versatile. For instance, in colder weather I like to wear a tight with a chamois built in and slap some knickers over the top for functionality. (Pockets!) Plus, I don’t look like one of Robin Hood’s Mery Men on my bike. (Not that men in tights is a bad thing, just sayin’!) So with that in mind, I still am impressed with the Hoss Ponderosa Knickers. I’ll come back with some warmer weather testing results soon.

Hoss Technical Gear: Polo Pony Long Sleeve Jersey: First Impressions

April 12, 2009

In our review of the three pieces of clothing from Hoss Tecnical Gear, we will break out each piece in its own post. This time it is the Polo Pony Long Sleeve Jersey’s turn. The jersey is a basic, no pockets piece, but is stylish and functional. Let’s take a closer look.

The Polo Pony Jersey

The Polo Pony Jersey


The jersey has a loose, comfortable fit. No “luv handle” showing tightness here, which is a good thing for me! I was impressed with the comfortable feel to the jersey and it hangs off me just right. No weirdness in the fit department. Nice and roomy, with lots of freedom to get your groove on. Now how does it look? I’m pretty picky in this area, and I will throw a piece of clothing out just because I don’t like the way it looks on me. So with that in mind, lets take this with a grain of salt, okay? I liked the collar and the two snap button opening. Okay, that was a bit close, because collars have to be “just so” or I’m thinking leisure suit and it is going in the rag bin. (Hey, I said I was picky!) The color I was sent was listed on the  Hoss Technical site as “grey”. Now I like that. No “made up” color, just “grey”. I wasn’t too stoked on the grey color though until my wife swayed me with some very nice compliments. So I tried it out at work, (yes, you could wear this as an everyday shirt, it looks that good) and the ladies I worked with were very complimentary. Now normally I don’t get comments like this, and <em>I’m not saying you will</em>, but that was a major plus for me.

So, enough with the vanity already, how did it work? As in cycling? Great question! I rode to work in it several times and wore it on some extended rides of up to three hours. Honestly, it wears really well. The freedom to move is translated into a garment that doesn’t hinder you and ( a cliche’, I know, but here goes….), disappears. The temps were rather cold on these rides, so I was layering. The Polo Pony works well with wool and base layers, I am happy to report. The long sleeves weren’t too long, but did a great job of not creeping up while riding. Just right for me, and I’ve got longish arms.

A bit of arun from my first wearing of the jersey.

A bit of a run from my first wearing of the jersey.


So far, I have only one nit with this jersey. Honestly, I am going to lump in the Polo Pony with a lot of current jerseys with this comment by saying the fabric “runs” and snags a bit. I’ve included a pic of this phenomenon to illustrate my point more clearly. (Pic is of sleeve on the opposite side of the elbow.) This is something I find absolutely maddening. I had a riding tee and two jerseys from different companies do exactly the same thing last summer. Hopefully this can be remedied, because as it is, I am hesitant to wear this out in non-cycling venues, which I could have done, and would, if it had not done this. One more thing: I can’t figure out just what does this, it isn’t like I pulled it on a staple or barbed wire or anything. Weird!

Other than that, it has been smooth rding with the Polo Pony. I’ll report back with some feedback in warmer weather conditions soon.

Iron Horse Files Chapter 11

April 8, 2009


Iron Horse filed for Chapter 11 reorganization this past Tuesday after originally having originally filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Read the full scoop at Bicycle Retailer.

CENTRAL ISLIP, NY (BRAIN)—A judge converted the Iron Horse Bicycle Company bankruptcy case from Chapter 7 liquidation to Chapter 11 reorganization on Tuesday.

Andrew Thaler, a newly appointed attorney for Iron Horse, filed a statement requesting the change on Monday in the Eastern New York District of U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Three of Iron Horse’s Asian factories filed an involuntary petition for bankruptcy on March 2 in an attempt to recoup $5 million apparently owed to them by the bicycle company.

Thaler’s filing states that Iron Horse doesn’t contest the petitioning creditors attempt at relief under the bankruptcy code, but referred to a portion of the code that allows a debtor to convert a case from Chapter 7 to Chapter 11 at any time.

The judge agreed and the case will move forward as a Chapter 11. The deadline for a Chapter 11 plan and disclosure statement is August 4.

Also, this week, Cliff Weidberg filed an application for authorization to retain Thaler’s law firm, Thaler & Gertler, LLP, to represent Iron Horse in the Chapter 11 case.

Weidberg said he has paid the firm a $75,000 retainer—$50,000 of which came from his own pocket—and will pay all the firm’s other customary fees in exchange for advice, preparation of documents and representation in court.

Thaler & Gertler will also negotiate with creditors, preparing a plan of reorganization and taking the legal steps to carry out that plan.

According to the initial involuntary bankruptcy filing, Iron Horse owes a combined $5.14 million to Fairly Bike Manufacturing Co., Ltd, Shenzhen Bo-An Bike Co., Ltd and Acetrikes Bicycle Co.

According to former employees, Iron Horse stopped operations at its Holbrook, NY office in late January, although Weidberg said in a court document that the company continues to manage and operate its business.

Iron Horse is now known for their downhill style bikes on the market.  At any given time there has been well known riders riding their bikes to victory. As of the date of publication their website has not been updated since December 2008 and many important pages like, Riders, are not available.

Handmade Bicycles : The Series

April 3, 2009

Editor’s Note: In this series, Grannygear introduces us to some custom frame builders and takes a closer look at the process of making and delivering a custom, handmade bicycle to a customer.

Part 1 – The Custom Frame Experience

Part 2 – Chosing Materials and Builders

Part 3 – Meet the Steel Frame Builders

Part 4 – Meet the Aluminum Frame Builders

Part 5 – Meet the Titanium Frame Builders

Part 6 – The Fit

Part 7 – The Fit Part II

April Fool’s is Over the Top

April 1, 2009

This is a distributor of bicycle parts that has several April Fool’s “new products” on their dealer site.




My all time favorite :


Bontrager’s April Fools

April 1, 2009

Press Release – Bontrager inForm® Technology Aids Armstrong’s Recovery



Lance Armstrong and Bontrager today released more details regarding Armstrong’s recent collarbone surgery. While it was previously reported that Armstrong’s right clavicle was screwed and plated back together after his March 23rd crash at the Castilla y Leon stage race in Spain, Armstrong and equipment sponsor Bontrager, jointly announced that he was the world’s first recipient of an inForm® CarbonClavicle™ Upgrade.

Originally slated to be released at the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon) Convention May 18-24th in Las Vegas, Bontrager moved up the launch date of the inForm CarbonClavicle to aid the return of Armstrong to the peloton.

“The original intent of the Bontrager inForm line was to use medical research to aid us in creating better cycling contact points, such as saddles, shoes, and grips. But when we did the research into the most common cycling-related injuries, the broken collarbone proved to be an area where we could  actually help cyclists get back on the road sooner,” relates John Balmer, head of Bontrager Development.

The CarbonClavicle, available for both left and right shoulders in four male sizes and four WSD (Women’s Specific Design) sizes, is an actual carbon fiber replacement of the clavicle. Developed with the aid of Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Mark Timmerman, a Bontrager consultant, the inForm CarbonClavicle has greater shock absorption, greater impact strength, and a greater tensile strength—all while being grams lighter than the OEM bone.


“The installation on Armstrong was completely coincidental. But I must admit, the Bontrager marketing team was doing high-fives when we heard about Lance’s crash. It really was a marketing god-send. I mean, could there have been a better way to launch the new Bontrager medical Upgrade line?” explains Chris Clinton, Bontrager Marketing Manager.

The installation procedure is substantially quicker than the conventional collarbone repair procedures of stabilizing, drilling and pinning, as this is a full replacement. Essentially, the broken bone is completely removed and the CarbonClavicle is anchored in place. Armstrong’s procedure took approximately 30 minutes and will reduce his recovery time from 3 weeks, to 5-7 days for the sutures to fully heal.

The delay in releasing details was due to an extended approval process with the UCI, which has now ruled that since this piece is structural yet provides only minor aerodynamic advantage over the traditional ‘bump’ of a healed broken clavicle, it falls with the current parameters of the UCI rules.

Future sponsorship plans include full support and pre-emptive upgrades for the full Trek-Livestrong U23 team. “These guys are early in their careers, and if averages apply to the team, we think we can prevent about ten or more future breaks across the 12 members of the team,” adds Clinton.

Backed by Bontrager’s best-in-industry 5-year warranty, inForm CarbonClavicles will be available through referrals from Trek and Fisher dealers exclusively. Retail prices will be set by the retailer.

For more information, visit Bontrager online at

Hoss Technical Gear: On Test

March 31, 2009
The Stallion Short

The Stallion Short

In this post, we’d like to introduce you to some of Hoss Technical Gear’s products that we will be testing over the next few months.  Hoss started out as a company that aimed to give the mountain biker value for the dollar spent. Making a name for themselves early on with the Ponderosa short, Hoss soon branched out into other value driven clothing items. Today, we are going to be looking at three items: The Stallion Short, the Ponderosa Knicker, and the Polo Pony Long Sleeve Jersey.

We will break out each piece with more technical descriptions and our initial impressions in posts coming up over the next week or so. We also have a women’s “Kiva” jersey, but obviously Arleigh will be handling that department. So look for her impressions on that coming up soon!

The Polo Pony Long Sleeve Jersey

The Polo Pony Long Sleeve Jersey

The Hoss Technical Gear Ponderosa Knicker

The Hoss Technical Gear Ponderosa Knicker