December 2016

Keep Those Fingers Warm! Cold Weather Gloves



It’s that time of year again when the temperature plummets and you start to layer up. While everyone has a different definition of “cold” we find ourselves fortunate here in Southern California with brisk mornings and evening but usually have the warm sun on our shoulders. One of the hardest pieces to choose in these conditions is gloves. Your hands are the leading point when cycling and one of the most important. So with this in mind, we are taking a look at two of our favorite gloves that reduce the bulk but minimize the bite.


Pearl Izumi Cyclone

One of our go-to gloves comes to us from Pearl Izumi in the form of the Cyclone Gel glove. The glove is light and seemingly thin but with its softshell exterior blocks the wind while also being water resistant. This aids in keeping your digits protected from the elements while your body keeps the blood flowing through them warm. On the palm of the glove, you will find five large but low-profile gel pads that aid in comfort too. This glove is also compatible with most touchscreen devices, so you don’t have to remove a glove to snap a photo or make a call to your buddies. They don’t take up much room in your pocket if you decide the warmth is too much and are thin enough that they don’t affect your grip on the bars or hoods. These are a great addition to anyone’s gear bag.

More info:
MSRP: $40.00



Bontrager Velocis Windshell

Next, we take a look at the Bontrager Velocis Windshell glove. This glove is very similar to the Cyclone but with a few key differences. First off the outside top portion closest to the wrist uses a very similar stretchy softshell material that blocks the wind and is water resistant as well. From the knuckles down to the fingertips Bontrager uses a type of synthetic leather material that is a bit bulkier than the Pearl Izumi, but the trade-off is that you get better water and wind protection which can be important if the temperatures drop or the weather takes a turn for the worse. On the entire palm of the glove this same synthetic leather is used and on the thumb, index finger and middle finger there is a rubberized texture for added grip. The center of the palm features a very low profile pad for added comfort. The tip of the index finger is also touchscreen compatible. We find this glove performed a bit better when the temperatures dropped below 35° F, or the weather decided to take a turn and rain on us for a long portion of the ride.

More info:
MSRP: $49.99


Thanks to all the participants, our 2016 event was a roaring success. We are thrilled to gather again with cycling enthusiasts and bike collectors from around the world in Paso Robles, California in April 2017. Eroica California offers a most memorable cycling experience – a weekend of cycling entertainment including an ocean view ride with various route lengths and a Concours d’Elegance for vintage bicycles. Join us for the two-day festival beginning Saturday, April 8 and culminating with the heroic ride on April 9th.



Once again, Eroica California will organize a Concours d’Elegance for vintage road bicycles. Our goal is to become the world’s leading bicycle concours by setting the standard for all other events around the world. Each year, we have a different marquee brand. For 2017, Willier Triestina(to be confirmed) will be the marquee in celebration of their 111th anniversary.  We will have more awards in 2017, including Best in Show, Best Bianchi, Best Willier and many other special categories. Please click ‘Learn More’ below for detailed information.

Sunday Funday: Old San Fernando

Ride Description:
The northeast portion San Fernando Valley has a wealth of history from the area’s early years. We will be making a few stops across the City of San Fernando, Pacoima and Sylmar to introduce some instagram-worthy valley sites such as the San Fernando Mission, Lopez House, Pico House, San Fernando Middle School, San Fernando Brewing Company and so much more.
Ride Mileage: Approx 13 miles

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Parking: There is parking at the Sylmar / San Fernando MetroLink Station. There is also the option of taking the 8:45 a.m. Metrolink Train from Union Station to arrive at 9:16 a.m.

Meet at 9:30 a.m. Roll at 10:00 a.m.


Sunday Funday Rides are free and open to LACBC members plus one guest. Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for membership online (or become a member at the ride!)

How To Turn Your Regular Bike Into A Solar EBike With This Solar Wheel


The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which kicks off January 5, 2017 in Las Vegas is considered the world’s largest consumer electronics event. From autonomous cars and self-driving tech to robotics, wearables and connected devices, the event showcases what’s to come in the future of gadgets.

There will be around 250 French tech companies at CES 2017. In addition, 172 French startus will attend CES as part of La French Tech at Euraka Park. One of those companies, Rool’in, will preview a connected solar wheel that turns a regular bike into a solar e-bike.

There are other solar e-bikes on the market, but they come pre-made. And the concept of turning your regular bike into an e-bike is not entirely new. Geo Orbital also has a detachable wheel that turns your bike into an e-bike. But the difference with Rool’in lies in the wheel.  Their wheel is a solar wheel loaded with photovoltaic cells that keep the wheel charged up as you pedal. No plugs or wires are necessary.

The wheel is connected by Bluetooth to the app which lets users set the charging level of the wheel as it corresponds to their speed. The solar wheel has GPS and gives the user the ability to choose the best location to park the bike to optimize battery charging. The wheel comes in three wheel sizes, 20, 26 and 28 inches, including one for mountain bikes.

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Preview Some of the Design Options for the Slauson Segment of the Rail-to-River Bike/Pedestrian Path

I am currently working my way through Metro’s design concepts for Segment A (above) of the Rail-to-River project and will explore some of them more fully in a longer story ahead of next month’s meeting in South Central. But, in a year that has been mostly terrible from start to finish, it is nice to end on a positive note with happy drawings of how a blighted corridor might be transformed in a deserving neighborhood.

One of the more interesting things to note is that a survey Metro distributed this past fall (and we wrote about here) found that respondents would most likely use the path for walking and were much less likely to use it for biking or to connect to transit.

The survey was far from scientific, of course, and while many of the respondents live in South L.A. or are advocates for the area, the bulk of respondents were not necessarily folks that live along Slauson itself or ones that commute to work or school along the corridor.

Even so, such a finding does actually support the case I’ve made in previous articles for the project to be designed with South Central families in mind. Meaning that adequate space for walking, amenities (like benches, art, lighting, and fitness equipment), and even for the vendors who have been working along that corridor for a decade or more (as a way to help activate the space and make it feel welcoming and safe) will be key to making the project successful and community-centric.

13 New Road Bikes for 2017


From the cheap to the expensive, these 13 road bikes all have something to offer for cyclists looking to upgrade in 2017


Lightweight Urgestalt

Lightweight has expanded its roster of products beyond expensive wheelsets to include expensive framesets. The Urgestalt frame is designed to be stiff and light foremost (790g claimed weight for a 54cm frame; 310g for the fork), with no aerodynamic treatments. The geometry is race-oriented with short chainstays, long reach, and short stack. The frame is offered in six sizes (48, 51, 54, 56, 58, and 60cm) and is electronic and mechanical shift compatible.

Unlike Lightweight’s wheels, which are made in Germany, the Urgestalt is made overseas. The company recently dropped its USA prices, so the black frameset (frame, fork, post, and headset) sells for $5,500 (but was $6,500), and the Weiss Edition (which is the same frame, but with white “Duraflon” coating) is now $6,000 (originally $7,000). The Urgestalt disc frame—coming late spring 2017—will start at $6,000 for the frame kit (frame, fork, and headset but no post).


Colnago CLX

Though the $5,900 (frameset-only) Italian-made C60 gets most of the love, Colnago’s mid-range bikes shouldn’t be overlooked. The new CLX uses a Taiwan-made monocoque carbon fiber frame, which Colnago representatives claim weighs less than 890g: That’s less than Colnago’s C60 (the claimed weight of a painted 52cm is 1,050g).

The CLX is lighter and costs less as a complete bike than just the C60 frameset. Built with full Ultegra mechanical (down to the cassette and chain), the CLX sells for $3,500 with Shimano RS11 wheels, and $3,700 with Fulcrum Racing Quattro wheels. The CLX uses Colnago’s ThreadFit 82.5 bottom bracket (which aims to combine the best benefits of a threaded and press-fit BB), is electronic and mechanical shift compatible, and is offered in eight sizes and four colors.



Look 765 Disc

Look’s 765 Disc is the company’s first disc-brake equipped road bike. The model is in the endurance style, with both a shorter reach and taller stack, and more relaxed handling due to longer chainstays (410mm) and longer trail (64.6 or 64.8mm, depending on size). The frame is primarily a carbon-fiber composite; however it has an additional layer of flax linen in the fork and chainstays, which, Look representatives claim, damps vibrations for a smoother ride. The frame features thru axles front and rear, Flat Mount brake calipers, a PressFit 30 bottom bracket shell, and is electronic and mechanical shift compatible.

The claimed frame weight is 1,100g for the frame, with a 350g fork. Three builds are available: Shimano Ultegra mechanical for $3,800, Shimano 105 for $3,000, and a SRAM Apex 1 flat bar build for $2,500. Five sizes and three colors are offered.


Basso Diamante SV

There’s a dirty secret about the “Made in Italy” sticker on some carbon frames: Due to some loopholes in Italian law, the frames are not actually “made” in Italy the way a normal person would define it. Basso’s carbon fiber frames, however, are made at Basso’s facilities in Italy, alongside the composite parts the company makes for motorsports racing teams on Formula 1, Moto GP, and World Rally Championship circuits. The Diamante SV (Super Veloce) is the brand’s top-of-the-line frame. It’s in the aero-road-style frame, with a claimed weight of 820g before paint.

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Five of the most bizarre new cycling products



Muc Off –50ºC lube

First up is Muc Off -50ºC lube. Do you frequently ride in sub-zero temperatures? Do you live in the arctic circle? Are you planning a winter invasion of Russia? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then Muc Off’s -50ºC lube could be the product you require to keep your drive train running smoothly in the harshest of conditions.



Have you ever wondered what Geraint Thomas carries his bike in? The answer is the $999 Douchebag. The name ‘Douchebag’ came about when the company asked the internet for naming suggestions. Always a good idea, we speculate Baggy McBagface must have been a close second.


Tacx Magnum

The Tacx Magnum has to be the ultimate indoor trainer money can buy. It may be a hefty €7000, but it is ideal if you also enjoy running and can even simulate 20 per cent gradients. You might want to check with your significant other before you set it up in the lounge though!



Bored of just pedalling with your legs? Worried that cycling is giving you the upper body of a Tony Martin T-Rex? Well, as long as you have four grand the Varibike could be the solution.

Similar to a regular bike, the Vari also features a crank on the handlebars that, according to the makers, can give you 31 per cent more power.


Vadolibero Bike Butler

A common complaint we hear from cyclists who have a spare £2000, is that there really aren’t enough wall mounted bike stands available with inbuilt speakers. Well, thanks to the Bike Butler, that exact product exists. And as an added bonus, it can charge your smart phone wirelessly. What more could you want?


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Night-time shredding – video

We first went for a ride with Tom & Ruby back in the summer. But now the nights have drawn in, you’d expect the shredding to stop; not for Tom & Ruby. Kitted out with her own lights, Ruby the Hungarian Vizsla has been tearing up the trails after dark.


Taylor Phinney: Cycling needs saving



Cyclingnews interviews the American, who came close to quitting this year, on putting the spirit back into the sport.

What’s the point? It’s a question that Taylor Phinney has asked a lot of himself over the past year, and it’s a theme that crops up continually as Cyclingnews catches up with the American in Catalunya, where he’s settling in to his new surroundings at the Cannondale-Drapac team.

That Phinney still finds himself in the world of professional cycling is something of a surprise, given that he was “pretty certain” he was going to pack it all in this year. “I’d go to bed at night and dream about what I was going to do with my life,” he admits.

Phinney, who has shouldered a heavy burden of expectation from an early age, suffered a career-threatening leg break in 2014 and this year completed his first full season since the rehabilitation process. It went well, but his outlook on the world changed during his injury lay-off, and he found it increasingly difficult to find meaning in pro bike racing.

“We’re in this place in the sport where it’s like ‘watts, watts, watts, go up to altitude, boom, boom, boom’. But it’s like hold on, why? Tell me why. No one tells you why.

“So many kids get burned out in this sport because you throw them into this pressure cooker of numbers that completely takes people away from the sense of actually riding a bike.”

Phinney did a lot of thinking this season and decided to stick with it – “I realized this was the dream…I realized how incredibly lucky I am” – but concedes that if he were just coming into the sport now, he probably wouldn’t last very long. “Look at a kid like Campbell Flakemore, he turned pro with BMC, raced half the year, then quit.”

Phinney has begun to lay down the foundations and the base miles for the 2017 season with day-long outings on the bike which have helped him reconnect with what he sees as the essence of the sport – “exploration, adventure, betterment of mind and body”.

They have sharpened his awareness that for cycling to continue to make sense to him, to continue to matter, he must always tie what he does in the professional environs – and structured training plans, intervals, and power analysis all await in the coming weeks – back to those roots.

“Where do you go from this wild, analytical, wattage-based sport that didn’t exist 15 years ago?” he asks. “For me it’s mindfulness, being present, actually understanding what the fuck you’re doing. You have to bring it back to a sensory experience at some point, otherwise we’re just going to be like robots.


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Pacoima’s Van Nuys Blvd Celebrates L.A.’s Newest Protected Bikeway

This morning, Pacoima celebrated the city of Los Angeles’ newest protected bike lanes on Van Nuys Blvd. The Van Nuys parking-protected bike lane extends 0.8-miles from Laurel Canyon Boulevard to San Fernando Road. This is the city’s fourth protected bike lane facility, and the first in a predominantly low-income Latino community.

This morning L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, community leaders, and city staff celebrated the recently installed bike lanes in a ceremony at Pacoima Neighborhood City Hall.

The Van Nuys Blvd Safety Improvement Project was workshopped in April and finalized consensus designs were announced in May. The new street configuration will reduce corridor speeding that has contributed to crashes resulting in death and injury.

The boulevard received an asymmetric road diet, removing a single northbound lane to add two bike lanes. The southbound bike lane is fully parking-protected, with the positions of the bike lane and the parked cars switched. There are merge zones at intersections, with no specialized bike signals or floating transit islands, as L.A. debuted on Los Angeles Street downtown. The northbound bike lane is not protected, but includes a narrow striped buffer.


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