Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday News And Views

Specialized teased the new Globe brand redux Tuesday. Image courtesy of Specialized
Specialized Re-Ups Globe Brand As EV Line:

You may remember in the late 90's, early 00's that Specialized offered city and cruiser bikes under the "Globe" brand name. (And a touring bike by that name in the 80's and an electric bike line recently that failed) Well, that name is coming back, (again) and will be electrified (again) when it does in late 2022. 

According to Specialized's Globe landing page, these bikes will be dealer only and Specialized claims that they will have a comprehensive support system using their dealer network which will help make the launch a success.

Interestingly, Specialized chose to use the term "EV" instead of "ebike" or "pedal assist" when describing the Globe brand's products in the language on the landing page. If you don't know, "EV" stands for "Electric Vehicle" which leaves the door open to fully-electric vehicles in this brand launch. 

Comments: In the world of electrified bicycles, it is a well known fact within the traditional bicycle industry that internet brands selling product in the HPV (Hybrid Powered Cycles) segment is kicking butt and taking names. Traditional brands in the industry are looking on as brands like Pedego, Rad Power, and others sell bike after bike. 

Obviously, it is a better experience and a safer bet to buy an electrified vehicle from a known brand with a wide network of dealerships. However; the mainstream brands have hogtied themselves to the Class I, II, and III code for electric bicycles and have mainly been providing variations on traditional bicycles fitted with electric motors and batteries. Meanwhile, brands like Rad Power are not tied to that design philosophy and have offered bicycles with a decidedly different take on two-wheeled transportation which has struck a nerve with the younger demographic and non-cycling crowds. 

Taking a look at the image Specialized provided, it is easy to see that this is a more "Rad Power-like" take on an HPV cargo rig. So, I suspect that Globe will not be providing bikes for the Lycra clad crowd and will be going after that same demographic that Rad Power, Pedego, and their ilk has tapped into. Meanwhile, that use of the term "EV" on the landing page is interesting. We will have to wait until this Fall to see what is up.

FDNY PSA about Lithium-Ion battery charging safety.

Fires Blamed On HPV Battery Charging:

Recently two fires connected to the charging of Lithium-Ion batteries for electrified bicycles has been in the news. 

The first was from a Florida bicycle shop, but when more information was released on that particular incident, it seemed that it was partially a user error situation. 

However; in the New York City borough of Queens, it appears that a spark caused the fire in the mid-afternoon which caused severe damage and sent some firemen to the hospital to be treated. 

Comments: This has been an ongoing issue for bike shops who are asked to service electrified bicycles, tricycles, and the like when consumers have purchased the bicycles on-line or used. The risk of fire is rather daunting, especially when Lithium-Ion fires are difficult to extinguish. Insurance policies often do not provide coverage for such fires for businesses and this also puts shop owners in a bind. 

The problem will need to be addressed as the electrification movement gathers steam. As it stands now, many shops refuse work when it comes to electrified bicycles, trikes, and scooters unless they are from a brand that they serve. So, if you are in the market for something like this, make sure you understand the dangers of charging and handling batteries and that maintenance may be difficult to obtain. 

Jingle Cross Cancelled:

In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, the race director of Jingle Cross announced that due to a scheduling issue, Jingle Cross was cancelled for 2022. In the announcement seen on Bike Iowa's website here, race coordinator John Meehan, MD, states that he had secured a date for the event, which was not going to be a World cup event this year, but two months after the typical World Cup scheduling deadline, "the UCI awarded a nearby UCI World Cup on the same weekend." Presumably that would be the UCI World Cup event slated for October 15th in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Attempts to reschedule the event were unsuccessful, so the result was that the event was cancelled after an 18 year run. The announcement did not indicate whether or not there would ever be another Jingle Cross event with Meehan only signing off by saying, " Hope to see you down the road."

Comments: It might be worth noting here that Fayetteville is the home of the Walmart family's efforts in terms of cycling and that the Fayetteville based January 2022 UCI Cyclo-Cross event was sponsored by Walmart. The UCI also requires a pretty sizable investment from the promoters to host a World Cup event. Seeing that Jingle Cross 'elected not to pursue a World Cup' and that the UCI filled that void with the Fayetteville event, it might point to a money issue at the heart of this matter. 

Whatever the main issue was, it seems to point to the end of the run for an Iowa based cyclo cross event of national caliber. I could be wrong, but after 18 years and with no written assurance of future Jingle Cross events in the announcement, the door seems to be closing on this chapter of Iowa cycling.

Simworks Doppo High Plains Drifter. Image courtesy of Simworks.

Simworks introduces Klunker  Style MTB:

Simworks made a splash this week by introducing a klunker style MTB which they say is a modernized version of the style for today's mountain biker/bike packer. 

Sporting a steel, twin-top tube design, and having clearance for either 29" X 2.3' tires or 27.5" X 2.6" tires, the Doppo High Plains Drifter can be had for $2500.00. (It's not entirely clear to me whether that is for a frame and fork or...?) 

Comments: I love a klunker/cruiser style bike and especially one with 29" wheels. This looks good, but only 2.3" tires? Ahh...... Hmm. And that price? Not sure what you are getting there, but if it is a frame/fork only? Yeah...... Not sure from the website what is up there. Maybe you can figure it out... My guess is that's just the frame/fork. 

It's a fine choice, but my take is that if you are into these klunker style MTB's, an old Sawyer or an OS Cycles Blackbuck, if you can track one down, is a much nicer bike and looks as good, if not better, and takes bigger tires. (Note- Cue comments section with modern-day, currently available choices) 

Guitar Ted on a GTDRI a few years back. Image by Rob Evans.

Hall of Fame Ride Reminder:

Okay, so this Hall of Fame deal goes down in less than three weeks in Emporia, Kansas. If you are going to be there June 1st, you can buy a ticket to the banquet and see me get feted for gravel tomfoolery over the years. 

But if that doesn't fit your schedule and you'd like to come on a ride set up by N.Y. Roll which aims to recognize my accomplishments, then see this post on his blog. N.Y. Roll is adding details as they become clearer. So, check back there from time to time, or check the "FN&V" weekly coming up to the date set. If anything comes up, I repost it here on Fridays. 

A Note On The Date Chosen: N.Y. Roll thought- ya know - it might be cool if I was on this ride, so the date chosen reflects the time I have open to do the ride. That just so happens to be a Sunday, since I work on Saturdays. This also happens to be a Sunday where I don't have to play at church in the band. So, I apologize for a date that may not work for you, but again- since this is a ride honoring me, it seemed to make sense for me to be there to N.Y. Roll. So, no giving N.Y. Roll a hard time about the scheduling of this deal, okay? 

That's a wrap for this week! Thanks for reading G-Ted Productions!


NY Roll said...

Not to put Speesh down but I have found the Urban Arrow or Yuba bikes catch my eye more than a Speesh or Surly cargo bike. I feel for me they allow a more diverse hauling capacity. But then again I want to haul my 100lb dog around.

teamdarb said...

That Doppi bike has the same issue every single klunker I have one makes them to fit smaller folks!!! Schwinn was killing it when they had the 24 inch wheeld versions of their cruisers. These days no one is scaling these throwbacks down. I looked at this one thinking why did they not design the 48cm to take 26 or 24- it is in the nose bleed section. Also companies love to display the Medium to large models. Rarely have I seen a small example shown. The smaller frames always lack some feature or designed with different angles. Still waiting to see a boutique rehashed Schwinn Colt or Cruiser for us smaller folks to buy for no darn reason. said...

My biggest question with that has both a dropper and a QR seatpost binder.....Why?!?!?