Friday, December 13, 2019

Friday News And Views

A collection of proposed Harley-Davidson HPC vehicles.
Sea Change In HPC Terminology and Sales Afoot:

A recent "Bicycle Retailer And Industry News" post on their website has an interesting story about how HPC (Hybrid Powered Cycles) are now breaking into the power sports dealerships and what sort of "vehicles" are being promoted for sale in these avenues and why. While this is an interesting, and frankly, not surprising development, what I found interesting were the terms used to describe these things in a couple of places in the article.

Giant, the Taiwanese based bicycle titan of the industry, was quoted in the article saying the following about people coming to a show where they displayed HPC vehicles, "....... it makes sense to give them a peek at the latest from the industry leader in hybrid cycling technology." (NOTE- blue highlighting done for effect) Interestingly not using the ubiquitous term "e-bike" here.

While "getting more people on bikes" is always given as a reason for electrifying bicycles, it is interesting to note that this trend to sell through power sports dealers is reaching dirt/moto bikers and they use the bikes not so much for transportation, or even as a mountain bike, but as a sort of "pit bike", or two wheeled ATV to recon courses or to watch events from as they zip from point to point around a course. If this is actually the case, it would seem that the aspect of cycling is secondary to "just getting around easier" so that it becomes more of an avenue for the manufacturers to make product flow than it would be for achieving the ideal of getting folks to get out of cars and exercise.

Finally, an interesting quote from a Specialized's Saul Leiken, head of e-bike marketing, "I talk to a lot of riders who don't expect IBDs (Independent Bicycle Dealers) to sell electric bicycles, even though bicycle is in the name. They see electric bicycles as vehicles and they expect to find them at a retailer who sells vehicles.." (Again, blue indicates my emphasis.) Vehicles, not bicycles. Kind of a fundamental difference there.

Bicycles in the early 20th Century were fitted with motors, while still having pedals, and they were bundled with straight-up motorcycles for sale alongside of traditional bicycles. So, all of this is just the same scene, only a 100 years later. What happened back in those days? You know the answer. I've been pointing to this all along. And what happens when Yamaha, Honda, and Harley-Davidson finally start making their versions of electrified two-wheeled vehicles? These HPC's will eventually just become electric motorcycles. Time is telling.....and will tell. Stay tuned......

The Standard Rando 2.0 is coming in Spring 2020
 Twin Six Teases New Standard Rando:

Twin Six, the clothing company out of the Twin Cities since 2005, has been teasing an update to their classic Standard Rando bike on Instagram and Twitter. They've shown detail shots but this is the first I've seen of a full-on bike shot.

The Standard Rando was supposed to be their take on a "go-long" road bike, but since it came out upon the advent of the gravel scene, it was quickly adopted as a gravel bike also. I had one for a few years just selling it off recently, as a matter of fact, since it had QR wheel attachments and putting anything over a 38mm tire in the rear was asking for issues with clearances. Actually, the fork was not much better for clearance, come to think of it.

But now I'm seeing some improvements. Is that a 44mm head tube? Maybe..... Through axle attachments for the wheels, perchance? And what about tire clearances? Hmm...... I'm seeing fork accessory mounts, and in one image I saw, there are two down tube mounted bottle boss sets, one on the seat tube, and if there is one on the down tube, well.......

Not to mention, T-6 frames are generally pretty reasonably priced. Depending upon details, this could be a front runner to replace the Raleigh Tamland Two. Tire clearances will be key, as will what the steer tube compatibility is as well. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for future details........

I got these fender "skirts" at Frostbike years ago.
So, What Have You Been Up To Lately?

Yeah, so this is a "blog", right? You come here to see what I am up to, what I am thinking of late, and all you get lately are these posts about old stuff. So, you may be wondering what is up lately. (Or maybe not....but why are you reading then?) Anyway, here is an update on December so far.....

On the bicycling front, I've gotten a few rides in. Mostly commutes though, and I've fallen ill with a nasty head cold here. So, I never got to enjoy those great days last weekend when it was so warm out. I did get the C.O.G. 100 recon done though, which was huge. That was a major goal before the end of 2019.

I've been doing a LOT of reorganizing in the "Lab" at G-Ted Headquarters. This is due in part to my lack of being "on top" of things down there throughout the Summer months. But there is another major issue which will be talked about here soon enough which necessitated the doing of the deed now. Actually, truth be known, I've been busy organizing for months now. Since last Spring, really. Anyway.... More on that front soon.

I finally got that other chain lube which I wanted to use in the last "Lube Off".  It's kind of a "cottage", home-made type formula with a pretty big following in SoCal with mountain bikers, for the most part. I got this stuff on my chain which was part of the GRX group test, and I have something like maybe an hour on that so far. I'll try to squeeze in some more rides here and there, but I have to rid myself of this pesky cold first.

I also came across these pictured Surly branded "fender skirts" which I found while re-organizing stuff in the Lab recently. These plastic guards were part of a schwag giveaway that Surly did at Frostbike, like maybe what? Ten years ago? At least that long. So, don't ask "Where can I get those?" because you can't get them. Not that I am aware of.

I decided that since the Orange Crush rig was now dedicated to single speed and nasty weather that these flaps belonged on that bike. I attached them with a nut and bolt to my Planet Bike Cascadia AX fenders and I will see how that goes. Glad I found those things again!

That's all for this week! Stay tuned for more "Rear View" stuff and the Trans Iowa Stories coming Sunday. 

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