Road Test: London’s new cycle hire bikes

On 30 July, 6,000 bicycles will be available for hire on the streets of London. Registration costs £1 a day, £5 a week or £45 a year and the bicycles are free for the first 30 minutes, then a rising scale of £1 for the first hour, £4 for the first 90 minutes, £15 up to three hours. The bicycles will be distributed across 400 docking stations. So what are the bikes like? Continue reading

If the bike fits…

bike-fit

Following on from last week’s show on well-being, we look at the importance of getting a good fit between rider and machine. Scherritt Knoesen of The Bike Whisperer, is a leading London-based bike fitter. We talk geometry, contact points and pedaling action. Read Grant Peterson’sPetersen’s article The Shoes Ruse on the folly of clip-in pedals and cycling-specific shoes. If you go for a fitting with Scherrit tell him you heard him on The Bike Show. You never know, you might get a discount!

Illustration from Cycling Manual, 23rd edition, 1954

Wanted: Bicycle Mechanics

This week’s show looks at the chronic lack of bicycle mechanics with the Ninon Asuni of Bicycle Workshop. Ninon founded Bicycle Workshop nearly thirty years ago after deciding she’d had enough of working as a librarian. She’s now among Britain’s most highly regarded bicycle mechanics with a devoted following in London and the rest of the country. Sean Lally and Ian Perkins of Cycle Systems Academy talk about their mission to train a new generation of cycle mechanics and to reinvent the profession.

Plus more from Paul Fournel’s Need for the Bike. This week he talks about landscape and the bicyclist. If you buy the book online from Amazon using the link (left) Resonance gets some of the money. If you’d rather buy it from a shop, then choose the excellent Calder Bookshop in Waterloo. Music from The Vines, Half Man Half Biscuit and Harmonia.

Play on links below.

Season Opener: Childhood Daze

(C) Cycling England 2008
A youthful feel to this season opener with a visit to Lockleaze Primary School in Bristol, one of an number of Sustrans ‘Bike It’ schools acros the country. Plus childhood memories from Paul Fournel, reading from Need for the Bike* in person at the Calder Bookshop. We get the inside scoop on the much-awaited Sturmey Archer S3X, three speed fixed gear hub, from SA’s General Manager Alan Clarke.

If you are a parent or teacher and want your school or your kids school to be a Bike It school, you can ask on the Sustrans website.

Image credit: Cycling England 2008

Play on links below. Other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) are here.

*If you buy Need for the Bike by following the link (left), some of the money goes to Resonance FM!

Cycle Show Round Up

I went to the Cycle Show yesterday looking out for the big themes that will help define cycling in 2010. I tend to glaze over in of the forests of identical crabon road bikes and hydraulically-enhanced mountain bikes, so if you want the latest on road and MTB, I’m afraid you’ll need to go elsewhere. Last year’s show proved that the fixed wheel craze had well and truly entered the mainstream with every bike company and their sister coming out with pared down ‘urban fixies’, some bringing the aesthetic of the flamboyant trick bike to the established form of the entry-level Langster and Pista. The fixed wheel bikes are still there this year but in much smaller numbers. What I found most interesting in this year’s show was the rennaissance of the hub gear, with Sturmey Archer leading the way. Continue reading

Fixie-Killer: Sturmey Archer S2C

Today was trade/media day at London’s annual Cycle Show at Earls Court. Among the most talked-about new exhibits was the long-awaited Sturmey Archer three-speed fixed wheel hub, the S3X. In the craze for all things fixed, Sturmey’s ancient ASC, a three-speed fixed hub that went out of production in the mid 1950s, has been selling for enormous sums on Ebay and for a few years now it has been rumoured that Sturmey would bring it back into production. The S3X is now ready to roll. Continue reading

Blazing Saddles: Inside the Brooks factory

For long-distance cycling they’re a must and they’ll improve the look of any bicycle. Brooks leather saddles date back to the 1870s and are still made in Birmingham where they were first invented. Steve Green of Brooks talks about the history and the craft of the most venerable and most comfortable bicycle saddle there is. We also listen to some of the fantastic machines (pictured, left) that are still going strong in the Brooks factory.