Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fixing in Lycra

Yo, this girl stomps your fixie moves, don't be a hater. Just remember there is always someone better out there. Unless of course your #1. You may have seen this floating around, but if you haven't, check it. I have noticed more and more Fixie Tricks video's appearing on the web. Most of them kind of lame, like someone track standing. DUH, your on a track bike...that's like posting a million videos of some kid doing a 12" bunnyhop on his BMX bike. That's the basics, move on to something a little more technical before taking your camera out. That reminds me...the other day when I was riding home and was waiting for a light to turn a dude rolled up next to me with a "faux fixed". Front brake only, single fixed. What' the hell.

and some new school footage of a video coming out.
and representing the SF bay...MASH.

We also have the MASH SF video in-stock $39.99 if your interested. You can email sales {at} wrenchscience {dot} com and we can drop it in the mail for you. Garrett who is in the video, and is also the assistant art director is a good friend of the shops and painted a super rad mural in our Berkeley store. Come on by and check it out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


People just love there bikes, especially the UK guy who was busted "making hip movements towards his bike". I now have a new word to add to my vocabulary. Cycle-Sexualist. Doesn't every bike nut out there have a little cycle-sexualism in them? Although I don't agree with having sex with bicycles, I really don't agree that someone should be prosecuted doing weird things behind locked doors, especially to themselves. Let him be. You make the call after the jump Cycle-Sexualist

Race for Tara

Tara Llanes had a terrible crash at the Jeep King of the Mountain, that broke her back and paralyzed her from the waist down. Tara Injury What a drag. She's a competitor so I'm certain she'll be back in some way. Tarek Rasouli went through something similar a few years back. Tarek Injury and he now has a company, rasoulution, to help build slopestyle courses and represent athletes and he does a pretty good job at it. Tara is still in the rehab side of things so she has some time to think about how she's going to get back into it. Last weekend a Race for Tara was out at Sand Hill to raise some funds. Our buddy Blake was out and took some pictures. Sand Hill Tara Race and he said they raised $7000 over the weekend. Good hearing the community is out to help. Keep it up.

Here's a few other links on Tara.

tara llanes road to recovery
CBS coverage of Tara

Friday, November 16, 2007

Peter the Great

Peter is going through the thick of it right now. This is the grand finale, this is where all the heart felt comments and tears need to be pushed into a funnel of positivity. This is when all the prayers and thoughts are building the synergy to get Peter past this point. This is the time for everyone to come together to rally behind Peter. The time is now, you can comment on this page but I really hope that you can take the time to donate a few dollars. Peter's expenses are skyrocketing and if it isn't bad enough to go through something like this, to come out and be in debt for years to come doesn't help. Donate, donate, donate...don't be

From Peters friend Alekist ...

Peter was transferred to Stanford the day we last spoke. He started total body irradiation the next day and received 11 radiation treatments over the course of 4 days. He then got one "rest" day before starting his first dose of industrial strength chemo on 11/10. This was a one day infusion and he got another rest day before starting a second dose of high dose chemo, which was also a one day infusion. This was followed by another rest day, which was also the same day his sister's stem cells got harvested using apheresis. She did a phenomenal job and was able to donate 3 times the number of stem cells the transplant team was hoping to get. Peter got her stem cells transplanted yesterday without too many problems. Now we wait..

So far, there haven't been any serious complications associated with his treatment apart from the expected side effects of high dose chemo and radiation. This includes uncontrollable pain and nausea in addition to a series of other really horrible side effects, but he's staying strong spirited through it all. He knew better than most people what to expect after hearing me talk about my work for the last several years with kids going through radiation, chemo, and transplant, but nothing could ever prepare a person for what he's going through now. Things are expected to get worse for the next week or so before they get better, so we have a bumpy road ahead. Although the odds are stacked against Peter, he and his family and I remain hopeful. We know that if any person could beat the odds, it would be Peter.

Peter's body is still being attacked by the chemo and radiation, and possibly soon from his sister's cells, so he's unfortunately too sick to have visitors at the moment. However, I will keep you posted and will let you know as soon as he begins recovering and is ready for visitors again.

We are all thinking about you Peter and we look forward to hanging out, riding bikes and talking shop. We'll see you real soon.

Peter's Latest Words
The Great Petersauras

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Slopestyle is big kids BMX

If you pay any attention to Slopestyle events such as Crankworx at Whistler or the others that are popping up across the world you know that mountain biking is going to a whole new level. Andreu Lacondeguy is doing superman-back flips like he's doing a regular jump off the curb. He's got em' on lock down, and in the New World Disorder 8 video he does a can-can-backflip. In the past these are tricks that could only be done in the Playstation 2 game BMX triple X. Which we just discussed as the best bike game produced so far, where's the slopestyle game? The kids in the BMX arena however are serving up tricks that defy gravity. Scotty Cranmer just landed a front flip tailwhip?? If you want to see what the slopestyle guys will be working on next, just start watching some BMX videos, because they're the ones that are pushing the envelope. Here's a couple to get you hooked, then you can start perusing the internet.

Cranmer front flipwhip

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Ride gets Award

Ellsworth has been building bikes for a longtime. This past year they came out with something a little bit different then what you would expect from Ellsworth. The Ride. The Ride uses a very special rear hub,nuvinci that doesn't have individual gears but more of a planetary system that allows any gear placement between low and high. No shifting noises or gear changes. You really have to ride it to feel how the rear hub works.

Tony Ellsworth hates the word cruiser or comfort bike, he likes the word lifestyle. So if your wondering what the bike is designed for you can think, lifestyle. Look cool, ride cool, and still be able to climb a hill in a seated position. Popular Science agrees with Tony that the bike and technology is a great idea and have awarded him the 2007 Best of What's New Grand Award. You can read the details.

RAMONA, CA (BRAIN)—Ellsworth’s The Ride bike is the recipient of the 2007 Best of What’s New Grand Award from Popular Science in the Recreation category.

Each year, Popular Science reviews thousands of new products and innovations and chooses the top 100 winners across 10 categories for inclusion in their annual Best of What’s New issue—its best-read issue of the year. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category. All of the winners will be featured in this December’s special issue, on newsstands November 14.

“The Ride rides like no other bike on earth—a smooth, almost silent glide,” said Tony Ellsworth, president, founder and chief executive officer of Ellsworth. “The sleek and stunning design was inspired by another ground-breaking new technology which eventually led to The Ride becoming the first bike to use the revolutionary gearless NuVinci Continuously Variable (CVP) drive. No off the shelf parts would do as the patent pending frame and fork, as well as many other components were specifically designed for our first ‘Cruiser.’”

You can test ride "The Ride" at our brick and mortar store or you can read more about it at The Ride

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fit Your Bike

Road Traditional

Anyone who knows anything about bikes, will tell you that fit is the #1 thing to consider when buying a bike. Each manufacturer has a particular geometry to get the most out of there designs. Getting a correct size frame will give a position that is optimal in getting the most from the bike. Whether it's a road or mountain bike.

Road Sloping
The body is a remarkable piece of equipment. It can adjust itself to try to be as comfortable as possible in any situation. Thus, you find people who have been riding the wrong size bike for a long time. The body adapted.

We developed a fitting system that we have found to be the best on the web. WS Fitting System The design is based off a few different concepts that were distilled down to the core. Eddy Merckx, Lemond, and Independent Fabrications were all used in cross referencing sizing measurements.

We have also made some images to show you how to measure your own bike to not only cross reference the WS fitting system, but also for us to see what you've been riding and how your new fit will affect you. We have found that most people are fit incorrectly, so if your measurements seem vastly off on your own bike most likely you were misfitted to begin with. That means your new bike will give you another reason to go out and do longer rides.

I'm going to explain the measurements in detail and you can click on the image to get a view of how to take it as well.

1. Saddle Height - Saddle Height is based off of your true inseam. Not your pant inseam. To know that you have taken the inseam measurement correctly, you can approximate that your true inseam will be about 1-1.5" longer than your pant inseam. The saddle height is measured from the center of the bottom bracket, which is where the crank is bolted to the frame, to the top of the saddle measuring along the seat-tube.

2. Top Tube - Top tube makes up for the majority of your cockpit area. The major component being the stem, which we will get to a little later. This measurement can be tricky if you have a compact or sloping geometry. Which means the top tube slopes down towards the seat-tube. Both measurements are measured parallel to the ground. For a traditional frame, measure from the center of the head-tube back along the top tube to the center of the seat-tube/seat-post. If it's a compact frame, measure from the center of the headtube, parallel to the ground, going back to the seat-tube where ever the intersection is. With some compact frames that intersection will be at the center of the seat-post.

3. Seat Tube - If you go into a shop and they say, "Stand over this bike.", "yes, it's a perfect fit!" Then you know that employee or shop, doesn't know much about fit. The Seat-tube is a secondary measurement to the rider compartment. In an ideal situation you will get both a perfect top tube and a perfect seat-tube, but it doesn't always work out that way. Each manufacturer has a different view of fit and stem length. There are ideal stem lengths for frame sizes, but once again the human race doesn't have alot of consistency so not everyone has an ideal stem length either. To measure the seat-tube center to center, measure from the center of the bottom bracket, the same place as the saddle height, to the center of the top tube along the seat-tube. To measure the seat-tube center to top, measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube. Keep an eye on manufacturers measurements as some measure center to center and others measure center to top. Apples to apples.

4. Handlebar drop - This is primarily a comfort measurement. With the threadless stem/forks out today there are limitations as to how many spacers you can put below the stem. Generally the most is 35mm, although some go as much as 50mm. The more spacers under the stem the higher the bars. The higher the bars, the less weight on the front wheel which will take away some of the descending and cornering prowess. So a good rule of thumb is to go as low as you can, while still being comfortable. To measure your handlebar drop, measure from the floor, perpendicular to the floor, to the top of the saddle. Then measure from the floor, perpendicular to the floor, to the top of the handlebar. Subtract the saddle height from the bar height. 2" is the most common drop for good handling and comfort.

5. Stem Length - There can be vast discussions about stem lengths as to what length is best. The bottom line is that it still needs to fit. Your anatomical measurements give a "rider cockpit" that cockpit is your top-tube + your stem length. Yes there are other variables, such as straight post, offset post, seat angle, saddle length and such, but the "rider cockpit" calculation will get you 98% of the way there. Anything more will most likely need a higher scientific calculation, like going to UC Davis for a VO2 max metering and wattage. To measure stem length, measure from the center of the headset bolt to the center of the handlebar. Oversize bars can be tricky to measure, so make sure to go to the center of the handlebar and not where the faceplate meets the stem.

6. Your cockpit - As I stated above if you take the stem length (#5) you just measured and add it to the top tube length in measurement (#2) you will have your overall reach. If you go through the WS sizing system it will tell you an ideal "rider cockpit" based on your overall measurements. You can compare them to your existing bike and you'll get a sense of what your reach will be on your new bike. If your an avid cyclist and have been riding in a particular position for many years and find it comfortable and don't want to change, not a problem. The fitting system is designed to get you a perfect fit, but back flexibility, medical ailments or just plain riding style will also influence the outcome. We look at the measurements, but your feedback is what helps deliver the perfect fit.

WS Fitting System

Monday, November 12, 2007


The 11 best cycling cities has just been released and SF is #8. That's great and all, but what about the worst trail access in an area. I bet SF Bay Area, would be ranked #1. It's just plain sad the amount of trails that are closed in the Bay Area. I don't know of any place in the country that claims themselves to be the first at something, but not allow it. Most places make a museum and a sign showing off there pioneering town. The whole bay area could have something like "Bay Area : Home of Mountainbiking, where you can only ride firetrails and run into nazi hikers that sabotage the trails with piano wire and metal stakes." It kind of has a ring to it. In an era of overweight people, high gas prices and lots of violence, you would think opening trail accesss to people would be a no brainer. Now if you live here and you want to tell me there is plenty of trails, I'm not talking about the vast poaching that every mountain biker in the bay does, but the truly open access trails. There are few good ones, but it sure is far from the closed ones.

Back to SF and the other top 10's, good work. At least there are a few towns looking out for those people out there on 2 wheels, doing something good for themselves and the environment.
8. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the U.S, so a core bicycle system is key here and it also is consistently ranked by Bicycling Magazine as a top city for cycling. Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation in San Francisco, with about 40,000 residents commuting to work regularly by bicycle. There are 63 miles of bicycle lanes and paths throughout the city.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition endorsed eight candidates for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and all were elected. The board, which is the transportation authority for the city and county, puts highest priority on pedestrian and cycling needs, followed by mass transit.

With the number of commuters growing, all public transportation has been equipped to carry bicycles, and driving lanes are being converted into bike lanes.

Highlights: Designated street lanes and traffic signals. Biking is core to its transportation infrastructure. Large bicycle culture with some political influence.

Here's a link to the other's on the list. Bike Friendly Cities

Thursday, November 8, 2007

List for Craigs

If you live in the SF Bay area you know of If you live somewhere else in the world, you probably have a craigslist and will hear of it sometime. It's the locals place to dump there old crap and post whatever crazyness is on your mind. If your a bike guy, you have either sold a bike on craigslist, bought a bike on craigslist, or found your stolen bike on craigslist. Leif was perusing the bikes for sale and came across this classic craigslist posting.

$950 firm and I mean firm, not a damn penny less, I don't even care if your crusty ass grandma come crawling over to have me drop this price-I WILL NOT, NEVER DROP THE DAMN PRICE BELOW $950 in pesos!! I WILL ONLY RESPOND BY PHONE or by email or if you come by in person and have that stinking 89 year old grandma of yours in your place. SO, LEAVE YOUR damn #, your cell #, your home #, your mom's #, your work #, your next of kin's #..and DONT forget to READ THIS COMPLETELY in Ingles!
Just built from scratch with imported frame from Indonesia a dark, and I mean damn near midnight Yugioh grey 55cm steel, not plastic or these cheap carbon fiber girly bikes are made of these days, this is tungsten metal rod, not off the press from Oakland track frame w/fork and knives, alloy drop outs from Plutonium metallic chips, Chris Evert King headset,31.7 round off to 32 instead deda pista track bar 42cm standing alone in Al+ MgSo4 derrivative BOT components, deda fig newton 110mm but can substitute it with Nevlar coating newton instead, Phil Wood bb's made of mercuric ball coating, White and Black Industry One 44t crank with alloy screws soak in brass solution, Phil Wood 16t cog with Surly degenerate ice tips from poland inc., polished ( I did that myself with pledge spray Phil Wood flip flop hubset (used), black DT Swiss rr, tt 1.7 rims, black DT Swiss comp spokes in a floral setting, black brass nipples painted since it was rusty, Surly tug nut taken off my other junkers and beaters, Thompson black seatpost spray painted and Sella SMP black saddle bought at a flea market. No blakes or pedals, they cost too much and you may not be able to afford it sucker. MUST MEET ME at MIDNIGHT at my house or a local school yard, I'll be dress in my pikachu outfit or my tinkerbell outfit to avoid suspicion, CASH ONLY IN PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!! please no USD's, just cash or a truck load of SNL's dvd' there or be square fellow fixated bikers.
There's so many things wrong with this post I'm not even going to get into the details, but if anyone gets in touch with this guy, let me know if show's up in the tinkerbell or the pikachu. Here's the link to the original Rad Track Bike

So the Bay Area is one of the largest Fixed / Track areas in the U.S, not to say they aren't everywhere, but if you've ridden around SF at all then you know the per capita of track bikes is very high. One of the shop criers, Blake, sent me this video from LA, it's not the extreme riding of MASH, but its cimematic and makes me want to ride around at night against a big white wall with a light on it. Check it... LA FIXED

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Zipp Press Release

It's official. The little kids around the corner, SRAM, have bought the carbon wheel kings ZIPP. Doesn't have any real effect to ZIPP other than they will probably have some more money to do even more cool things. SRAM will probably have a SRAM RED / ZIPP wheel come out by the end of 08, speculation of course. Here's the official press release.
CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—SRAM has closed the deal on the recent purchase of Zipp. The closing period only took 45 days.

Customers should continue using existing SRAM and Zipp channels for orders, customer service and information.

There are no changes in how either company is operating its business. Now that the transaction is complete, the management teams will be meeting to discuss how to optimize operations for the benefit of its customers.

As previously announced those plans include:

Zipp’s management team will remain intact and continue to report to Zipp president Andy Ording. Ording will report to SRAM chief executive officer Stan Day; there will be no layoffs as a result of the transaction; the current Indianapolis location will remain the manufacturing center for Zipp wheels and components; Zipp product warranties will be honored and continue to be serviced in the Indianapolis facility; Zipp’s distribution network will be maintained; and all Zipp contracts and business relationships will be honored.

“Zipp is a great company and respected brand, with a strong management team, advanced technology and superb manufacturing capability,” Day said. “We look forward to bringing both successful companies together and synergistically delivering a growing strategic range of products to our customers.”

If you haven't heard of Zipp or haven't looked closely at the range, I would do so. Especially take the time to read through some of the technical specifications as they do some incredible innovations.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Tony and Jeff from Magura stopped by the shop to talk 2008 Magura. After taking a closer inspection of there products I have to say Magura is on to something. That something is attention to detail. Everything Magura touches has details that I haven't seen from other manufacturers. They brought in some forks and brakes and some of the new Syntace bar/stem/posts, which looked great as well. After a little tech seminar I took them up into the hills for our local all mountain trail burn down the the side-o-hill. From the ride back it sounded like they enjoyed the ride. They left me with a fork and brakes to beat up, so in a few months I'll write another recap review. Which reminds me, that I have to thank Dan from Ellsworth for leaving the demo bike for another day so Tony had something ride. Good work. Now to the stuff.

From the brake standpoint, the Louise has some really cool features. For example the hose going into the caliper can rotate with the direction of the caliper, allowing for a smooth housing routing no matter where your stops are. There is a bleed valve at the lever so you don't have to remove the whole top cap and the whole lever can be removed with 1 screw, for easy replacement if broken or you want to upgrade to carbon. It just all makes sense. The Marta SL is just plain light with incredible modulation.

The Magura fork line is just now starting to get some footing, but I can say when you look closely at one of there forks you see the German manufacturing and engineering staring right back at you. You can see crisp lines and a very high-end finish. When the fork is off the bike you look at the double arch and it seems to stand out. Once on a bike however it doesn't stand out at all. Plus that double bridge is crazy stiff. One thing that I think is a prime example of Maguras attention to detail is the stainless steel drop outs and brake disc tab mounts. Perfectly aligned and won't' be crushed. They are also forward facing to counter act the braking. There Albert system is about as easy as it gets for understanding how a platform works and you don't have to be brain surgeon to use it or adjust it for you riding style. Last the servicing of the forks is easy breezy, meaning you won't have to send the fork back to the manufacturer for servicing.

Just wanted to say thanks again for stopping by and we look forward to you guys coming out again. You can get some more information at magura

Monday, November 5, 2007

Peter's Latest Word's

Peter just sent us an update...
Donate to
Hey folks,

Sorry it's been so long since I've given you guys an update. Got behind on them cause the most recent treatment was a bit harder then the first and I just didn't feel like doing much. I'll try and keep it short. After the first treatment I got about a two week break where I stayed with my parents. It was nice to be home but it was also very hard to manage the pain and I missed being in the hospital. After a bone marrow biopsy they discovered that I still had leukemic cells in me bones, so it was back to in the hospital again.

This time the chemo treatment was 40 times more potent then the last. I was so drugged that I luckily don't remember the first three weeks of treatment. Unfortunately that treatment didn't do a thing to the cancer. My cancer apparently has a chromosomal abnormality that makes it very resistant to the drugs, meaning the chemo didn't do a thing. The next treatment on the agenda is a bone marrow transplant. My sister is a perfect match so she'll be the donor, and I'm being transferred to Stanford to deal with the BMT experts. The odds aren't on my side but it is certainly better then no marrow match at all so I'll take it. Some numbers suggest that this treatment has a 1 in 5 chance of succeeding, but that doesn't really take into account that I'm young and my sister is a perfect match.

I'll be in Palo Alto for a while. The first week in the hospital they are going to blast me with radiation to kill off the leukemia. The next week they'll start me on an industrial dose of chemo. After that they'll begin infusing my sisters stem cells and I'll just be waiting for my immune system to start recovering. After I'm out of the hospital they have to monitor me everyday so I'll be living in Palo Alto in some patient housing, close enough that if there is an emergency we can jet over to Stanford. This is going to suck big time. But I it's better then dying. Ok that's all for now.

I miss you all and appreciate all the support i've been getting. Hope to see some of you soon.


Peter could really use any donations you can pony up, so take some time to do something good and put the $20 you were going to use on drinks at the pub to good use.

Peters Previous Posts

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