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  • Jul 10 2009

    Cargo Bike Century: Bullitt Goes the Distance

    Larry vs Harry Bullitt at the start of its Epic century ride

    The June century was scheduled for the last day of the month and was tagged "The Great Cargo Bike Century". Derek has a sweet Utilitarian Transports cargo bike. I have a most beautiful Larry vs. Harry Bullitt cargo bike.

    The day before the ride I installed bar-ends, swapped on my clipless pedals, put on an XL stem and installed a cyclometer. Ready to Roll. I did add a few non-essentials for the ride: a couple of pink Flamingos and a cooler with ice, Izzies. San Pellegrino and a variety of snacks. I called Derek to see if he needed any help getting his UT ready to roll. The Heart of the UT is a Surly One x One (which we had converted to a One x Eight last week (see his new derailleur hanger here). Derek's response was to state the obvious in the world before the Bullitt: Cargo Bikes are not designed to do a century ride on. He's on for the ride, but he's going to pretend that his Surly Cross Check is a Cargo Bike : (

    UT Cargo Bike
    Bullitt Cargo Bike

    For a moment I panicked thinking that I might be setting myself up for more punishment than I could handle, but after a quick think (2 seconds) I decided I was right on track with the Bullitt as the day's steed. I thought for another 2 seconds about stripping off the deck from the Bullitt to save weight, but I decided that was silly and then as mentioned I ended up loading a cooler up (how often can I have fresh chilled grapes 80 miles into a century?).

    The ride went smoothly and the Bullitt was a joy to be on, even at mile 99. I ended the day with 115 miles and put in a 5 hour day of work after the ride. The Gear range was perfect and the Alfine 8 speed hub shifted flawlessly all day long. The Bullitt is just a sweet riding bike that happens to be capable of carrying 200 pounds of stuff when I'm out and about.

    This video is also available at our youtube page: Bullitt Century

    See a Video of Derek's Utilitarian Transports Bike HERE

  • Dec 27 2008

    Folding Ice Bike

    Dahon Mariner w/ 20" Schwalbe Marathon Winter (studded) Tires

    Minnesota is cold. So cold that we actually have ice. Lots and lots of ice and the ice lasts a long, long time. Pastor Paul (Minnesota also has a lot of Lutherans) wanted to use his new folding bike for more day-to-day riding in the winter (applause!) which he is well accustomed to doing in the warmer months (we have a few), but the heart of winter is a tough sell in Minnesota. Paul is an avid rider and actually was easily persuaded to winterize his Dahon Mariner with a pair of Schwalbe Winter Marathon tires. Sweet Ride!

    Studded tires slow down the ride a bit, but not nearly as much as a serious patch of ice will slow you down when your not using studded tires (How fast am I going when I'm laying on the road?). We have some experience in regard to studded tires and we give a big thumbs up to the Schwalbe Marathon Winter Tires. These 20 inchers are 1.6" wide and take 70 psi. Nice! Chubby without being so wide that they'd cause you to float in snow and a high enough pressure to help you get to work on time (how civilized!). We also stock them in 700c as well as 26". We sell a lot of them and have a lot of happy customers because of them.

  • Dec 03 2008

    Cargo Bike Project

    Front end of Marlin's Cargo bike

    Basement projects at Perennial Cycle cover a pretty wide array of bike related interests. Marlin is a mechanic at the shop that recently learned how to use the torch and was looking for a fun, practical project. This cargo bike project is Marlin's take on a practical load carrying bike that you can ride around all day without feeling as though your driving a bus, or a tank.

    Marlin's "to scale" drawing for cargo bike project

    There were a lot of little sketches like this around when the project was going strong. This is the most detailed drawing I ever saw of the Cargo Bike. I'd say that Marlin had a little extra energy after having a sandwich from Caffrey's (I recognize the bag). The sandwich bag sketch gives the main idea behind the design..

    The frame is a  steel 90's Fischer mountain bike frame that had a oversized (1-1/4") headset. To convert the front end to fit a 20" front wheel he got a 1-1/8" headtube that happened to fit nicely inside the original headtube and used the new headtube to extend the headtube down. This allowed him to put a large, heavy duty (yet lightweight) rack on the front of the bike.

    The rack is brazed onto the frame of the bike and thus when you turn the bike, it does not move with the fork and handlebars like you'd expect a front basket to. The fact that the rack is quite low (this is the reason for the 20" front wheel) means that the weight on the rack does not throw off the handling of the bike much at all. When there is not a load on the rack you don't even notice that the bike is cargo-minded.

    You can see a lot more of Marlin's work and see more current projects at his website

    Nice work Marlin!

  • Sep 25 2008

    Phil's Sweet RANS Dynamic Trail

    Dynamic Trail

    Here's a bike that gets in a lot of miles on the paths around the area. Phil rides a lot and has used a variety of bikes over the years. The past few years have been all about the RANS crank forward bikes. He likes to go fast in an ergonomically friendly position.

    Custom Handlebar and Riser setup

    The handlebars and riser are custom modifications that have helped make the bike very comfy on the wrist, shoulders and hands. Instead of using the stock "straight" riser, this bike is set up with a RANS curved riser which brings the handlebars back about 3-1/2". The handlebars are swept back cruiser style handlebars with Ergon Grips with built in bar-ends for a variety of hand positions.

    Forza Crankset

    Forza 145mm Crankset with FSA chainrings

    The other major modification this bike has are the 145mm Forza cranks. These are a nice, triple crank option that can work for a variety of bikes. The Forza cranks are available in 145, 155 and 165mm lengths and the bolt hole pattern is 130/74mm.

    Phil is out putting real miles on his bike. I see him on the trails regularly and he's always smokin' down the trail at a quick pace. Looking good Phil!

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