Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Before & After: 9th street style

Christmas has passed (hopefully everyone had a good one) and as we approach new years, we reflect upon what may change in the coming year. Resolutions are on most peoples minds and partying it up on others. Here at the shop we've got some changes of our own that we're taking with us into new years.
we're excited to present to you a new series entitled 'Before & After'. Its pretty straightforward in that we get a bike in for a restoration and show you the resulted product.
For our first documented case we had a customer bring in an old Ross bike that belonged to his girlfriend (lots of sentimental value) and as a gift he wanted to restore it and make it look brand new. Below is the result of the before and after brooklyn style


As you can tell its been pretty well used and being a vintage year, its done well to last this long under use. The customer wanted to restore it to a color akin to that of the original but not quite as plain. So we ended up with a great result with a fantastic clear coat that hearkened back to the original scheme

gorgeous eh?

So if you have any basement bikes that really mean alot to you or just a clunker you'd like to breathe life into, give us a shout and we'll work out the best possible options for you. Makes for a fantastic gift!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Well im off...

Im heading back to the desolate ice fields of Massachusetts tomorrow so posting will be delayed on my part until next week. Posts may still show up either from Chris or Henry but if you dont hear from us dont cry. You can always visit Tony and crew at the shop to get your fill of brooklyn-bicycles-flavored cocoa knowledge. Happy holidays everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bianchi super pista

Just got them in. And. One of the only57cm frames IN THE COUNTRY is in our possession. The frame is actually quite gorgeous at that. Upon arrival, we noticed that theres a few differences with this frame than the prototype. The welds look excellent- all smooth and not rippled like the proto was. The underside of the bottom bracket also has a small gusset from where the cutout meets the chain stays. Its pretty awesome. Stop by and check them out before theyre all gone.

Shawn rides like a pro

Last night me, Shawn and Tony went into the park with our mountain bikes to take full advantage of the snow and sled-made slopes. We had some great riding and even though alot of it was powder, the bikes held up great. Eventually we found some snow/ice covered stairs and found it was the best spot to do some runs. It all went smooth and it was nice and fast. Tony and i went first without a hitch but then Shawn came up and showed us his skills. Hilarity ensues

Dont be fooled though. Under normal circumstances, Shawn rides...well...ok

Spotlight: Miriam Weiskind

Miriam, a good friend of ours, has on ongoing series of shots she does entitled 'bikes of NYC' which captures the beauty of bikes in their natural habitat against the raw backdrop of New York City.
Shes got some great shots. Below are the framed shots we've got here at the shop.

my crummy phone camera does these shots no justice

If you dig her work or want to see how great these shots and presentation really are, stop by the shop or if you wish contact Miriam directly through her website. Or we can sort it out for you. Either way they make for great art and would be a fantastic christmas present.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is approaching

For christmas this year i figured id do something special for my girlfriend. She has a heavy clunker bike from a brand called columbia and it is horrendous. It weighs a good solid 50 pounds, is caked with rust and is stuck in one gear. Aside from it being close to inoperable, its a big pain for when i have to lug it up my third floor apartment. Not fun at all.
So since i work here at Brooklyn Bicycles i figured now would be the perfect time to give her something a little more functional. It took alot of searching but i found something that suit her quite well. I ended up ordering a Pake track frame in limited edition purple. When it finally came in i was pleasantly surprised by the paint job.
Brilliant color (ignore the terrible picture quality). So with some help from our head mechanic Pete and the boss man Henry, we got this beauty built up in one day and it came out great. Put some NOS parts on it (we can get you most of these parts from EAI) for sheer class, white cloth tape, mks gr-9 pedals, some alex track wheels with formula hubs and shimano 105 brake levers. Also decked it out with a Kryptonite Evolution Lock and cable (i dont want my work to be for naught)So it looks gorgeous and the lady loves it. We're Pake dealers so if you like what you see, we can easily build one up for you. Pake makes great tange frames and theyre super reasonably priced. Stop by the shop for a consultation and we'll set you up.
Remember, keep warm, keep your bike in good shape, and most importantly, ride the thing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chris King Swift Road Racing Hubs

Well, I heard about these when they were debuted at Interbike this year, and seems like they should be available soonish. Some discussion on the fixed.gr/nyc boards renewed my interest and I was curious as to what the difference is between the Swift Road Racing hubs and the Classic Road or CX hubs, and after digging around on the interweb a bit I think I've got the gist.

Anyway, I've got a wheelset that I got straight from Chris King, it just so happened that they are in on the know and spec handbuilt wheelsets built to take a beating, and I was actually going to build myself the exact same wheels, believe it or not. We can get our hands on DT swiss rr1.1 double eyeletted rims laced 3x with DT swiss double butted spokes to King Classic road or CX (higher flanges) straight from King. I've been super happy with my wheels, and sadly they are awaiting my return to Vancouver where they might find themselves moving from my TCR to a... CX bike?? Hmmm...

The King Classic hubs are renowned for their 72 point of engagement (yes, 72. That's almost 3x the standard 24 tooth pawl-type freehub body in your run o the mill road hubs) and the resulting whine, as well as their super burly sealed cartridge bearings.

Ring Drive

The new Swift road hubs use a Titanium Ring Drive system which is new, and it's now 45 tooth engagement. A pair should clock in at about ~320g, which is about 50g less than a pair of Classic Roads. They're available in lower drillings, 20 to 32 hole and will pair nicely with anything from a classic semi aero rim to a deep section carbon jobby, and King says they're designed to allow for radial lacing now to boot.

via bikerumor.com

Kinda bummed that they switched to a different (see:lamer) font for the Swifts, but I guess they wanted something new. Someone convince Tony that he needs these and get them in the shop! Still no Powdercoated White or Purple options (you'll have to stick with Phil for that), but all the usual crazy King colors will be available. As usual, we can snag any of these goodies that catch you eye from a single hub or hub set to building you up the wheels of your dreams.

Meanwhile, I'm in Seoul, South Korea freezing my... well, it's really, really cold here. I'll throw some pics up when I get around to thawing my trigger finger.

Check our new fan page out on the FACEBOOK, or as our good friend Gerard calls it, "Face-head." BECOME A FAN! You know you love us.

<3 Chris

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We've got a facebook fan page

We just put up a fan page for the shop so if you will, head on over here and join the fun

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

represent your favorite bike shop!

Here's the scoop guys: we've got house t-shirts now. Both come in all sizes and all genders- including robot.
Sizes for the whole family

get one for that special robot in your life

Now folks keep in mind these shirts are screen printed in our very own Brooklyn. Support local business and pick one up today!

Monday, December 14, 2009


You know, the moment that rolf released the new vigor this year i admittedly just sighed and said 'ehh its just another wheel.' Personally, i thought the low spoke count and deep v section was pretty scary. I had heard horror stories from a few buddies of mine about the ride being super stiff and unforgiving. However, they didnt ride Rolfs and i gotta tell you these things are awesome. theyre super light, stiff where it really counts and come built standard with american made white industries hubs. Awesome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rain instead of snow

Man, its on days like this where we here at brooklyn bicycles get to thinking about how we can add stuff to the store. Exciting stuff (Or at least what's exciting to us). So today Pete decided to showcase Tony's bike. It looks prettyyyyy nice.
Shawn absorbed by the beauty

Henry and Pete basking in the Masi's glory

It was really quite interesting watching pete rig this up. He used the same methods we use to secure bicycle saddles to frames to keep thieves from snatching posts. Great idea pete. You know what they say; 'idle hands spend time rigging things' er...or something like that.

On another note, we got our first shipment of via brera's here at the shop. Really a cool bike. stop by and check em out.

Thanks for the excellent cookies Jonathon and Co.
My good friend Ben is building a bike. You can check it out here

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rocky Mountain Bicycles

So. We have some awesome bikes from the folks at Rocky Mountain Bicycles and we are so stoked to be carrying them. These guys do alot of the hands-on work required in building bikes which is what alot of companies cant say.
The newest model we've got our hands on is the Altitude 10 and i must say, this thing rocks. You get 140mm of travel in the front and rear shocks making this bike more than perfect for those heavy duty, less traveled paths out there. Shimano SLX, RockShox, rmb stuff galore. Check their site for full specs and if you'd like to test it out, come on down and dont be shy. ps- they build their own wheels and stress them three times. they even sign off on each set with the initials of the builder. Cool eh?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter riding- part 2 prepping that bike

Alright so we've gotten your body all sealed up and protected before old man winter can touch you with his creepy old man hands. Now we'll do the same for your bike...just minus the clothing (or put clothes on your bike if it pleases you). First we touch the chain. easiest to do.

This stuff is it. Stops that crappy urine/snow/salt/nyc vomit from destroying your bicycle transmission. Shoot some on sparingly, forget about it, then in a week or two or six, put some more on. Always opt for a 'wet' lube such as this for adverse or wet (get the meaning now?) weather. Theyre a tad messy but worth it.

Next water proof that frame with this:
Spray it on your frame directly, rub it around and keep away from fire for a little while unless youre one of those people who like to ride flaming bikes or something. You'll definitely need to do a few applications here and there but it'll do a great job of keeping water and salt from messing your bike. As the name implies, this stuff is used on Boeing airplanes. Thats gotta tell you something right?

Now bare in mind, the road is going to spray alot of stuff at your loved one. Its mostly going to be salt. as long as you keep wiping down after each ride, you'll be golden. Otherwise your ride will look like this:

(Via BikeSnobNYC)
Not pretty huh. That corrossion will run deep over time and then your frame will belong to a dump.

If you ride with brakes, these pads are the way to go:
All weather v-type brake pads. Theyll handle snow, water, venomous acid...maybe not acid but everything otherwise. Stop by the shop and pete will slap em right on there for ya. you'll need linear pull or v brakes in order to run these. cyclocross bikes and mountain bikes typically have these.

and lastly you'll need tires. bigger the better when snow hits the ground. get these:
Maxxis Larsens or any thick tread tire will do. i personally prefer these. They grip real well and there isnt a loss in traction even on the city streets. gooooood times.

Right. I'll cover more soon and we'll finish off this subject with how to handle your bike in adverse conditions next. Theres a few more maintenance things you should know so stop by the shop and i'll give you a free lesson. See ya soon peoples.

Bike Check: Chris' Couplered Bare Knuckle

I just recently had some work done to one of my favorite bikes, and it's almost like New Bike Day for me. So, I'm going to take the time to show it off on the internet, which is of course solely what the military and universities collabo'd with Al Gore to create it for.

I started off with a 54cm EAI Bare Knuckle track frame. This is a great mid-level steel track frame, the tubeset is double butted Deda 12.5 COM. It's got a super high bottom bracket which makes it size a little funny, but it makes it an ideal frame for the track or street. 1-1/8" steerer is much more convenient than a 1", and it's of course "laterally stiff and vertically compliant".

Bilenky Cycle Works did a fantastic job with a S&S Machine BTC (Bicycle Torque Coupler) retrofit, and they did a dent repair and repaint at a really reasonable cost. S&S BTCs are growing in popularity as an alternative to a folding bike when traveling is a concern. I'm about to be bouncing around the world, and after driving 3 bikes to Vancouver from Maryland, and then hauling 2 back on the plane, I really wanted an option that would allow me to fit my bicycle into a 62 linear inch case, which is under airline regulation sizing for check-in luggage.

You can see that the frame has 2 lugs near the seat tube on the top and down tubes - those are the BTCs, and that's where the frame breaks in half. The limit is the size of your wheel, in my case a 700c track wheel.

I've spec'd my frame with some top notch stuff from Chris King, Nitto, SRAM, Phil Wood, MKS, KMC, and Selle Italia. When choosing parts for this build (which has admittedly appeared in several iterations of varying practicality and utility), this time I went for comfort and durability. All the bearings are high quality sealed cartridge type - from the headset to the outboard bearing bottom bracket, which is crucial for Vancouver weather (see: rain, rain, and more rain) in the winter. Risers make for a comfortable ride and keeps my head up for good visibility when negotiating city traffic.

A few other options come straight from the factory spec'd with couplers - Surly's Traveler's Check is a Cross Check that's had BTCs installed,

and the Ritchey Breakaway frame is a road frame with Ritchey's proprietary Breakaway system, and comes with a Ritchey bag. One thing I've read on the interwebz is that the Ritchey bag is actually 64 linear inches, which makes it 2 inches oversize, so you may or may not run into trouble with that. Packing your bag so it's definitely underweight should mitigate any snobby airline worker's wrath, but who knows - that's always been a toss of the dice for me. Cool frame though.

At BKLYN Bicycles, we're Euro-Asia Imports dealers, as well as Chris King, Phil Wood, and all your favorite companies, and we can spec your bike exactly like mine if you're into that. We can also easily get our hands on a Traveler's Check or a Ritchey Breakaway frameset and build it up for you. It's super convenient for me to be able to haul my favorite bike along with me when traveling, and I don't have to pay oversize or bike charges to the airlines. FIGHT THE POWER

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Phil Wood Goodies...

So, dunno if you all have heard, but Phil Wood is bringing a few new variations of their super burly hubs to the market. Seems like they're going after the Chris King crowd, bringing in new colors and a new rear cassette hub, perfect for your training wheels or your cross tubies. As usual, the hubs are a bit on the heavier side, with the cassette rear weighing in at about 511g, but they're spec'd with Phil stuff, and they'll survive the apocalypse so you can escape zombies on your sweet bike.

Phil also have a new ISO fixed hub, it's got an even higher flange than their high flange fixed hubs, and has a six-bolt ISO bolt pattern for a bolt on rear cog, no threading involved, so the idea is no threads or lockrings to strip. I've seen a Chris King ISO Disc front hub respaced to 120mm for a rear track wheel used with a bolt on cog, and Lyle Vallie of Vallie Components has been refining his version of a street fixed hub out in Vancouver, BC, and of course Level components has had their proprietary bolt on fixed hub around for a few years now, but this seems to be the most refined version I've seen yet.

via prollyisnotprobably.com

We're tight with Phil Wood, so we can snag any of that stuff for ya if you're so inclined, and Pete does a fine job of wheelbuilding for anything from Single Speed or Fixed to Road wheels, and of course Mountain wheels. Someone get Pete to finagle a King hub into a bolt on fixed, plz.


Tony's Masi Coltello

Tony's Masi Coltello was half-stolen awhile back - the front end was taken while he was parked in midtown. After sitting around in the basement he decided to get it polished to a mirror finish, and threw some sweet vintage Masi decals on there. It's built up now, but no way is he finished... this frame needs CAMPY, duh.


Ross, Tony, and Henry have been putting this together for awhile, they sent me an early draft. A few things to work out, but the Kits are lookin sharp - I can't wait to swoop mine when they're ready. Get one and show the old dudes in the park who's the boss.

Winter riding- part 1 Clothing

Hey Ross here folks

As it gets colder and the grey mess that is winter approches, many people ask themselves one thing:

"how do i make it through this?...again"

Where im from, a harsh winter full of un-plowed streets and ice covered trees is the norm and because i grew up in that kind of climate, im well prepared for what that winter brings. Now, there are many things i do to prepare for what this weather brings whether it be prepping for my bikes or my home but by far the most important preparation of all is that of dressing accordingly. Sure i love my bikes, as im sure you do, but what good is the bike if the engine fails because it froze up? (that engine is you by the way). We'll talk about bikes later but first and foremost is Clothing...

lets start from the head down:

Its a known fact that you loose a great deal of heat through your head and its even more true during exercise. Thats why its extremely important to cover up your skull during the winter. You need warmth of course but also something that will be comfortable under a helmet and wick sweat away from your melon. I cant stress that enough. Excess sweat gets really cold and if theres enough of it, can lead to hypothermia if you happen to stop running or cycling. I know. Ive experienced it.
Something that covers these areas perfectly is the merino 6-panel beanie by swobo (top) and the Descente Coldout Balaclava (bottom).

Swobo's cycling beanie is great. Plain and simple. Its made of merino wool which is light, itch-free, and wicks away sweat but by far its best property is that it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer (Theres a reason theyve been making cycling gear out of this stuff for ages). It covers up your ears perfectly and the short cycling bill keeps falling snow out of your eyes.

For slightly harsher conditions (and general purpose use) Descentes Coldout Balaclava is a great grab. made of water/wind resistant material and lined with a light fleece, it not only wicks away sweat, it keeps your nose, mouth, cheeks, ears and head warm. Double up on them for added warm (yes i said double). I personally love balaclavas for their multi-funtional use. If you want a demonstration on how many macgyver-like ways it can be used, stop by the shop.

Next, for the torso, my preferred shell of choice, the Endura Gridlock. Its a mid-weight waterproof and totally breathable jacket that really lasts you through the miles out in the cold winter air. Even if you chose to ride fender-less (people do) youd still be golden. Did i mention they come in super visible colors?
Lets not forget gloves now. For me, id be done with a ride in january after about 15 feet without a pair of gloves on. As would any of us. My weapon of choice here is the Pearl Izumi Cyclone

Its got everything a cyclist needs. Rubberized finger grips for no-miss flicking those brake or shifter levers, strategically placed padding in the palm (which i am especially fond of) and super warm material. Padding is so important. Have you ever fallen from a bike while riding on ice? No brainer. Get some or prepare to have icicles for fingers.

Next we need pants. Its the law. Otherwise you'd not only be freezing but youd be in jail. Not so much fun. So in order to get out of the cells and onto the streets, you need not only a lawyer but some Craft Bullet Pants.
Anyone can make an argument here. It usual goes something like "Cant i just ride with snow pants?" or perhaps "bah i already have some winter running pants. that'll be good enough on the bike".
True, you could wear other gear but it wouldnt be as comfortable, windproof, waterproof and lightweight. Even if they had all of those properties, they still wouldnt have articulated knees and 3M relfective striping. Perfect attributes for this city full of wind-tunnel effects and unknown puddles.

Lastly before i get, in the words of Henry Carter, 'thirsty mouth', we're going to get on with the only affordable, comfortable and durable option for protecting your toes from that creepy old man winter-
Booties and toe covers by our pals descente
The major difference between the two is that booties cover your whole foot and ankle, providing total weather protection whereas toe covers do just what they are: cover your toe.

the Element Shoe Cover or bootie (top), is made of neoprene, is kevlar enforced to enhance durability in walking areas, is wind-blocking and water repellent. It also features openings on the bottom for clipless pedals and the shoe's heel. The Element toe cover (right) is made from the same great neoprene and is wind-blocking and water repellent. Easier to deal with and convenient to slip on.

Ok folks i hope that helps you on your quest for winter survival and like always, if you have any questions, stop by the shop any time or shoot us a line. I'll be back Friday to talk about prepping your bike for the winter and how to handle your bike in adverse conditions. See ya then!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Get geared up for the rain!

I started to use my bike as my main means of getting around when I was at University in Vancouver, BC. The Pacific Northwest is known for its relentless rainy winters, and I've gone through my fair share of bike related rain gear. here are a few of my picks for fenders...

Fenders - That's "mudguards" to you UK dwellers - a must have for any commuter, fenders will keep you dryer than without, and hopefully you can avoid the dreaded skunk-tail commuter syndrome. With fenders, I've always found that the closer you can get to the tire, the more splash will be deflected.

My favorite fenders are the Raceblades by SKS out of Germany. Good quality fenders, with a design that makes them usable with virtually any 700c bike. I usually reach for my track bike which doesn't have fender mounts, so this was a no-brainer. The fenders hug the curve of the wheels, blocking most splash and debris. Integrated mud flaps keep surprises from flying up to meet you. The front fender does a great deal towards keeping your feet dry. Available in 2 sizes for super narrow road race tires and wider "XL" version for commuter style tires, and a few different color options keep it fresh.

If you're not into the full fender look, I still like SKS for quick release rear fenders. The SKS X-tra Dry has a great non-slip mechanism that will adjust to fit snugly around any diameter seatpost. There's an allen key bolt to adjust the angle and prevent the dreaded floppy fender that won't leave your tire alone. Combine this with the Race Blades and you're totally golden.

If you've got fender mounts, the Civia Hyland Fenders are a great looking alternative. Subtle details make this a great looking functional option for full fenders.

All of these options and more available at BKLYN BIKES! If you don't see something you like, drop by and we help you find something that works for you.

Stay dry - ride longer...