Apr 2nd 2017 Hi all - Kevin here, just clearing my mind. Hope everyone out there is getting psyched up for spring biking trips. Weather has been awesome and it's been great to see everyone out riding. There is a lot of energy in the shop in preparation for the AZT which is now less than a week away. Good luck to everyone else heading down for the race!
I found Garrett today doing a little training taking his bike for a walk. In keeping with proper etiquette he even had a leash on it (although I doubt it would have got away from him). Hiking a bike through the Grand Canyon sure sounds like a bitch to me! But yea - I'm jealous for sure.
A little Recap:
NAHBS 2017 SLC: I had a super fun time at the North American Hand Made Bike Show (NAHBS), and was sad the rest of the DP team could not join me. NAHBS is such a sweet show and inspires so many design ideas swirling around my head. What’s going on in the world of handmade bikes truly bridges bikes with art. It was refreshing to be at a tradeshow of true craftsmen (women) - not just teams of salesmen.
I was really impressed with:
- The incredible bikes coming out of Fort Collins: Black Sheep, Oddity Cycles, MoonMen, and I think I'm forgetting a few others. James Blakely very well could be the driving force inspiring the next generation of bike designers and builders. Keep up the good work guys!
- The sweet stuff REEB, Gates, and Pinion are doing with the pinion gearbox. 9 speed with 600% gear range- sweet. Riding mostly single speed lately - I’d personally like to see 5 speed 400% range and half the weight. (And thanks Reeb for letting us get some bags out on display!)
- Steve Biliniki: Bilenky Cycle Works While doodling away at my computer in the back, I started talking to Steve. I’ve always been a huge fan of his work, and was awestruck to meet him in person! We’ve built some cargo bags for some of his bikes in the past and I look forward to doing more in the future! Check this video: https://vimeo.com/24363961
- 3D printed titanium: The word was up to $1000 for a headtube and $300/lb for raw titanium power (input material for the 3D printer).
- Hipsters… where were the hipsters? I was expecting a larger contingent.
Salt Lake wasn't quite what I was expecting. Great bike paths, and check out the safety flags for stopping traffic. Kazzy just HAD to test this out for himself:
look at that general lack of traffic. Where are the cars?... pretty safe place: He is in the intersection of a bike lane and crosswalk. But, be weary of the liquor store and surrounding area. At dusk on a Saturday night the 100 yards surrounding the state run facility felt like stepping onto the scene of a zombee attack: Herds of slow moving/loitering people everywhere and a whole lot of you-know-what being guarded inside. (I myself was far too afraid to stop and take a picture, much less dare to try and go inside.)
NAHBS 2018: I was rooting for Boston... they choose Hartford CT. Close, but entirely not the same place. None the less...see you there next year! (PS. my sister lives in Boston, so that's a good excuse for the bias.)
The Shop Remodel project
Although it seems like it will never end – we are actually getting close. Yes – for the last 4 months we’ve been hard at work remodeling and re-arraigning things.
We moved into our new shop July of 2016, and went straight back to work… When we carried our machines down the stairs out of our old shop I was excited at the prospect that we would never have to carry them up a stairway again. But that promise only lasted 6 months before we fell back on the idea of moving them upstairs at the new shop.
With the help of friends we installed a beautiful steel handrail around the loft to gives that true “behind bars” indentured servitude experience that I want everyone to have while sewing.
So many little things make the big difference - like our new faux wood flooring and tons of LED lights.
New & ongoing design projects and design evolution-
BikePacking Kit & Frame Bags:
Yes – we are now fully operational with converting *.jpg pictures of bikes into frame bag patterns. This is something we’ve actually been doing for >2 years, but are now efficient enough at it to do for everyone. We can also offer this capability for top tube/Jerry can bag and a few unlisted products.
It's particularly sweet because you (the customer) don't have fuss with finding a big enough piece of paper, making the pattern, doubting you're accuracy, then futzing with getting it the mail.
Jerry Can bags:
Yes – we are building them, we will get some standard models/sizes posted soon, and also offer custom builds.
Standard design has 2-3 Velcro attachments to frame, vinyl contact patch with frame, padded and lined side panels, #5 zipper with zipper hide-away.
Geissler II bottle bag:
We're producing a new bottle/feed bag. 1L Bottle sized with sweet 1 hand open and close draw string. Not on the website yet, but should be soon. (If you order a standard Geissler or Lost Man... expect us to offer the new model instead)
We’re working on new XtraCycle bags for compatibility with the new LEAP long tail conversion kit. After a nearly 2 year hiatus from offering a cargo conversion kit – Xtracycle has released a new updated version of the FreeRadical. We’ve had a look at the Leap – It is a great new model out with lots of additional braze-on’s on the rack hoops. The rack bars are taller and longer for compatibility with 29” wheels.
Just a clarification:
Toklat bags: There seems to be some confusion on this front: The name of the bag has nothing to do with pot laws in Colorado… Toklat is the name of a cabin at the town site of Ashcroft, CO in Castle Creek Valley. All of our seat bags have been named after features upstream from Ashcroft.
Why are so many people buying the small Toklat bags? I’m not sure – my preferred size is Medium
I was excited to release the “Mushroom” top tube bag… Again – more confusion from the customer base. We’ve had to scratch that name off the list. While we’re on the topic, don’t expect the “Snatch” bag to be released anytime, ever. We’re trying to keep it clean here folks!
If you're looking for more braking power... Better stopping ability than the most expensive disk brakes on the market... Look into getting one of these:
Yes, Sean our 3 month old has unmatched power for stopping your ride. While the rest of you cruise around at full speed - expect to find me in slow, careful, even blissful control. (PS. is he trying to poop right there?)
And finally- Kazzy's been saying it for years: "Purple... I want Purple" is the newest color on the rack.