Tuesday, July 29, 2008

not just for fun!

as gas prices rise, people are beginning to talk more and more about using their bikes as transportation and not just recreation. all of us @ proteus ride when we can, but none of us live totally car-free. It's really easy to come up with an excuse to drive: I have to bring something heavy home, it's raining, that road is not very good/safe/smooth etc.

I have been trying really hard lately to not let those excuses get to me and it has been really nice. A simple thing that has made a big difference is playing around with baskets and racks!

front basket: I have a really simple one that goes on and off and hangs from the bars and it has become one of my favorite bike accesories, It's really nice to ride around, haul stuff, AND not have a sweaty back from a bag.

Rear rack, a simple easy way to make your bike much more utilitarian. I have a large wire basket that I zip-tied to the rack and I was able to ride to an outdoor movie with food, locks, a blanket, and 2 folding chairs. the weight always seems weird for the first minute but then you totally adjust, I've found that larger loads feel better once you get going. One of the many items that I drool over in the shop is a quick release basket for rear racks. It looks really classy and goes on and off in seconds.

now, anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bicycle acquisition problem. I have had plans to add an xtracycle attachment to one of my bikes for a few months, but Xtracyle has been sold out for the year for some time. Just in time, we received a couple Kona Ute's. These bikes are SO COOL. 8 feet long, built for cargo, handles really steady, still able to hop over curbs and small logs, room for 29'er mountain bike tires and has front disc brakes. Can you tell that I want one? unfortunately living in a small Baltimore row home with 9 bicycles and a wife who has been far more tolerant than necessary would suggest that this is probably a bad move for me. That said, I can't stop thinking about picking one up. Come give one a try, because it's COOL!

pretty long-winded entry I guess, but if you still have 10 minutes to kill, watch this segment from CBS Sunday on increased bicycle usage.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

proteus bicycles @ the tour!

well not really. but let me explain... every now and again, we get people coming into the shop asking if our bikes are as good as trek, cannondale, specialized and giant. I then take the time to explain that in many ways, no bike company is necessarily better or worse than any other (big box bikes excluded). The main thing those other companies have going for them is size and name recognition so the average non-cyclist still may have heard of them. Pacific Bicycles has totally taken advantage of this in buying the names of Schwinn and Mongoose and using that to sell unsafe, poorly-assembled bicycles in big-box stores.

But that's not the point of this post at all. I just wanted to let you know that 3 brands of bicycles we carry at Proteus are currently being ridden in the Tour de France.

The Garmin Chipotle Team rides Felt.

Barloworld rides Bianchi.

Euskaltel Euskadi rides Orbea.

The tour has been pretty interesting this year, and it's pretty much on in the shop non-stop. If you haven't been watching, you might want to turn it on this Saturday, it should be a pretty cool stage.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

nope, it's not the latest in club wear...

as the temperature climbs and the humidity rises, it seems a lot easier to skip riding because of the heat. We got this crazy gadgety type base layer in. It's basically a polyester fishnet singlet. The box says that the mesh feature creates space between you and your jersey, and that this improves air flow and cools you more. I have to admit, I was skeptical when I saw it...mainly because it looks silly and I look silly enough on my own without making it worse with wacky get ups. If you are a little more fit than I am, you can probably wear it with a little more confidence. That said, I put it on and hopped on the bike today and I could definitely feel a difference. so if you are suffering through the heat and you want to suffer a little less, maybe pick one up and give it a try. and then you'll have something cool to wear when you head out to the clubs on the weekends (just wash it after you ride in it :)


Thursday, July 3, 2008


I get really excited when someone brings a bike in and has it modified to do something that it is totally capable of doing (and doing well) but it's not the "normal" use of the bike.

I haven't seen it, but I know that one of our customers named Meghan has a Jamis Coda Sport but she has fat tires on it and does light mountain biking with it.

You can also ride a cyclocross bike on singletrack. Here's Josh riding a log pile last winter. Admittedly, Josh is a much better rider than I am, I wouldn't try this myself.

The Jamis Nova Pro is a really cool bike. I raced it through most of last year's cyclocross season. We recently sold one to a woman named Candace who will be using it as a fast and light touring bicycle. She's got some slicks on it, and we found out that using a monostay adapter, we can set it up with a rear rack even though it has carbon seatstays. Cool! Here's some pictures.

Candace's bike


are you doing something cool with your bike? Drop us a line and let us know, send a picture if you have one.

jim (AT) proteusbicycles.com