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Ridden & Reviewed: TiGr Locks Take a Bite Out of Bike Theft

February 4, 2015

 

The TiGr Lock is an interesting solution to the question of, “how can I carry a reliable lock while riding?”

 

The TiGr strapped to my Domane Classics Edition.

The TiGr strapped to a road bike.

The folks behind the TiGr Lock, the family-owned Stanton Concepts, LLC, are in the business of making security devices. They hold a number of patents on various locking mechanisms and sought to create a bicycle lock that was as elegant as the bicycle itself. Constructed of titanium and made right here in the USA, the TiGr Lock is a bow lock that offers simple yet sturdy security.

The TiGr Lock comes in two security sizes and three lengths. The width of the bow determines how secure the body of the lock is. The 075 wide bow TiGr Lock is the smaller size and is perfect for quick trips into the store or coffee shop. The wider 125 bow on the TiGr Lock offers added security by being heavier duty and is great for commutes to work or school.

The length of the bow determines how versatile the lock is. Want to lock your bike and wheels with one device or want to be able to lock the entire family’s bike at the park? Get the long option. Simply locking your bike on the fly as you run errands? The short option is a good bet. The standard length is the best of both worlds, allowing some ability to lock a front wheel along with the bike or a couple of bikes together while remaining a small enough package to easily manage.

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The TiGr Locks are all wrapped in rubberized coating and have small rubber bumpers along the length of the bow so you don’t have to worry about damaging your bike’s finish.

So how does it work?

In the open position it wraps around your bike’s headtube or seattube and secures to the top tube by way of included velcro straps, similar to those used to add security to a full-size frame pump. The lock core simply goes in a pocket or bag and you’re off with your lock. Arive at your destination and use the TiGr Lock’s bow shape to secure your bicycle to a rack or other solid object and the locking core closes the bow with a spinning cylinder lock. The lock mechanism is particularly innovative in that the shape of it and the fact that it rotates means it’s hard to get a tool that might be used to try to break the lock on or around it.

 

Mounting the lock to the bike takes a bit of hand eye coordination. I only got a couple rides with it so I fumbled about a little bit with the Velcro straps. With practice, I’m sure it’s a simple task. You also want to make sure the straps are tight as you don’t want the lock to slip off the frame and dangle from the straps. For the type of riding around town I do—mostly just to coffee shops and the like—the smallest TiGr Lock simply tossed in a bag would be my method of use.

The use of titanium means the TiGr Lock is not only light making it easier to transport, but also secure. How secure? TiGr Lock’s manufacturers sent their locks to Europe for testing because there are no independent bike lock testing labs in the US. The ART® Foundation in The Netherlands performed the testing and their certification standard includes 5 levels. Levels 1 to 3 are recommended for bicycles.

For the TiGr Locks, the ART testing results were that the 075 TiGr Lock meets or exceeds most certification standards and the 125 TiGr Lock meets or exceeds all certification standards for a level 2 ART Rating. The 125 TiGr Lock is the lightest lock with a level 2 (or higher) rating in the u-lock, chain, and folding categories and are the only locks with a level 2 or higher rating that are able to capture both wheels on most bikes without removing a wheel or the need to add a second security device like a cable.

The TiGr Lock is a great option for folks looking for a reliable lock that offers it’s own transport method in a lightweight design.

Get Informed and Make 2015 Your Year of Cycling Advocacy!

January 22, 2015

Our friends at the League of American Bicyclists are on the ball. It’s never too early to start thinking about the National Bike Summit and pending legislative action that can have serious consequences for walking and cycling infrastructure.


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Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.
— President Obama during the State of the Union

It’s a good line that got a lot of applause at the State of the Union, but like everything else, the devil is in the details. And members of Congress need to hear from YOU. 

On May 31, the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money and the current federal transportation bill expires. It’s a topic that’s heating up in Washington, but we already know several things.

  • The likelihood Congress will have a new bill or a long-term funding solution by May 31st is looking slim.
  • But that looming deadline will trigger debate and a potential vote on funding for biking and walking projects in the next transportation bill.
  • We’ve heard from U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx: “What people are viewing as this cute, cuddly bike and pedestrian movement could be a real game-changer.”
  • Republican leaders in the House and the Senate are adamant about getting a bill this year.
  • So the opportunity to weigh in to this critical conversation is now.

The National Bike Summit is our chance to do just that – to educate new members of Congress, and show the strength and commitment of the bicycling community for a strong bipartisan infrastructure plan that fits the needs of the 21st Century. We’ll need a strong showing to ensure the next transportation bill protects and promotes bicycle-friendly policies and funding.

Leaders on Capitol Hill need to hear from YOU – so please join us at the Summit, March 10-12, here in Washington, D.C. 

Right now, we’re working with our allies on the Hill to make sure we have a powerful set of asks when you meet with your members of Congress. In 2014, we helped secure a national goal to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities; in 2015, we’ll be building on that win to continue to enhance street safety for all. We’ll be promoting connected transportation networks so all communities can travel safely and efficiently to work, school and healthcare, and working to improve key federal programs that help to fund better biking in your community.

Like President Obama and Congressional leaders, we believe that a smart infrastructure plan is critical to building the economy and making our nation stronger. Help us ensure that vision includes better bicycling. Register for the Summit by January 31 for early-bird rates. 

See you in March!

Cub Prose; Shopping at Bicycle Sport Shop

January 6, 2015

If you missed Cub’s first piece of literary work, you can see it here. This time, he waxes poetic about the shopping experience at Bicycle Sport Shop.

Good morning my friend, what do you know, what brings you to Bicycle Sport Shop, is your quiver to grow? 

We have flat bars and drop bars, some swoop if you’d like, I really must inquire, what you look for in a bike? 

Or is it lights that you need, so steady and bright, they keep you safe, visible, and shine in the night. Forget not the bell, which rings clear and true, no longer a shout is needed to ride through. And of course the dome on which you depend, our helmets, those heroes, can be your best friend. Be it chains or tubes or repairs of all kinds, our service department will save you the time. 

If you tell me you’re new, know not this great land, the bikes that we rent will fulfill your demands. 

So when the time comes for you to decide, be swift like the wind and have joy in your eyes. You will treasure that moment when those pedals spin, and all you will say is “what a great day it’s been.”

Well said, Cub. Well said.

Holidays Mean Kids’ Bikes!

December 14, 2014

Whether it’s a first bike or a next bike, holidays mean kids’ bikes. And when you get a kids’ bike from Bicycle Sport Shop you’re getting more than just the bike. You’re getting quality materials from the best brands in the business–Trek, Specialized, Sunday, and others. You’re getting bikes that share the same warranty as adult models. You’re getting our same 100% satisfaction guarantee. And you’re getting bikes that are assembled by our professionally trained staff, the same folks that build and check all the bikes we sell. So you know that the bikes for the littlest riders on your list are the right bike.

Like with adult bikes, there are dozens of kids’ bikes to choose from. We’ve narrowed the list down some and have compiled our favorites here for you. And we also have our kids’ bike buying guide to help you along the way.

Trek’s geared bike options for slightly older or more experienced junior riders are popular and are generally our best priced options in this class. The MT 200 mountain bike (which is our most affordable junior mountain bike option) or the Kids Dual Sport hybrid look like mom or dad’s bike, but are purpose built for kids. The new bike in this group, the Trek KRX is a new road/cyclocross offering that easily does double duty with a simple tire swap. All of these bikes are great for the kid that has graduated beyond the 16″ or 20″ wheel size bikes and are especially popular with parents who want their kids to ride with them.

Trek's Dual Sport for kids. Just like mom's or dad's!

Trek’s Dual Sport for kids. Just like mom’s or dad’s!

From Specialized the ever popular Hotwalk balance bike and the Hotrock 12″, 16″, and 20″ wheel bikes are the simplest, lightest, and most size adjustable bikes in their category. With simple styling and kid-specific components, Specialized’s offerings are bound to last for years. Moreover, being light weight and easy to fit, means a bike that’s not only easier to ride–or learn to ride–but it’s also more fun as the bike instills confidence in even the littlest rider. This is something you won’t see in bikes from big-box stores or bikes not from your favorite local bike shop.

Some kids just have to do tricks. And Austin being a hotbed for BMX, it’s no wonder that brands like Sunday Bikes standout. Designed right here in Austin it’s a true BMX brand for riders at every level–from those learning to those at the X-Games. Not only will you see pros like Aaron Ross on these bikes, but now with 16″ and 18″ wheel sizes on offer, Sunday has something for every rider.

The best option for the littlest riders just starting out is a balance bike. The pedaling action of riding is actually a pretty easy skill to learn. But the balancing, that’s the thing that takes practice and concentration. Enter the balance bike and Strider. Strider has arguably been doing balance bikes longer than anyone else. Their simple, cost-effective design makes learning to ride a snap and is sure to create great memories of that first bike.

Balance bikes like those from Strider are a great way for youngsters to get started riding.

Balance bikes like those from Strider are a great way for youngsters to get started riding.

Build a love of riding and make holiday memories that will last a lifetime with a new bike from Bicycle Sport Shop!

Alex’s Ode to a New Bike

November 21, 2014

When you work at a bike shop you don’t go to work one day and buy a new bike. You’re generally not allowed to do that at most shops. Instead, you order it and wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. Or that’s what it feels like.

Our own Alex “Cub” Garza is waiting. And he put his feelings down and penned this ode to his new bike.

There is a bicycle in a truck somewhere…driving…traveling. She is cold and alone and knows not where she is going. Be not afraid my two wheeled friend for you shall be home soon. The fear and sadness you feel after leaving your brothers and sisters will vanish when you realize the many adventures that await your arrival. Your life will be great. Your legend…illustrious. Quietly I sit and prepare for the advent of your existence in my life. Be still.

Beautiful. Heartfelt. And maybe a bit over the top. She’ll be here soon, Cub.

Ridden & Reviewed: Castelli’s Alpha Wind Jersey

November 17, 2014

Its no secret that I have a thing for Castelli gear. I find that for the price Castelli’s gear generally offers the greatest value in fit, function, and durability. When asked what my top 3 pieces of cycling kit are, I always respond:

1.  The Fawsome (aka Gabba) vest

2. The San Remo speedsuit, both the road and CX versions

3. The CW 6.0 CX glove

All are from Castelli.

Today, that list changes.

I spent a solid two hours in the Lamar store on Friday pouring over the various long sleeve jerseys that the shop has in stock. I tried them all on, then tried them all again. It took that long because the selection is so good and the options are all so great. I stood outside in the cold wind in most of them and sat on bikes in many others. I was looking for the best jersey I could get. Because the fact is that I know that buying Winter gear in Texas means buying a piece of kit that you’re bound to keep for some time, even if like me you ride all the time, year round.

The Castelli Alpha Jersey threw me. To my eye and to the touch it seemed more jacket than jersey. (As it turns out there’s a jacket version too, as shown in the video below).

Wind Stop Gore fabrics, a sewn-in inner thermal layer with a separate zipper to keep you warm when venting the outer layer, a high, articulated collar, front zipper pocket. All sounds like a jacket to me.

But then there were the jersey features. Three rear pockets, hem and cuff lines that keep the jacket, er, jersey in place, and a snug, close to the body fit that definitely said jersey.

Not the least expensive option on offer at $249.99, I still purchased it knowing that it’d last me years. Plus, I needed something to wear Sunday. I was planning on tackling a 4 hour ride, something I haven’t done since cyclocross season started, with a few local elite road racers. I knew there’s be few stops to sort out clothing so I knew I wanted something that was basically an all-in-one. And I knew it was going to be about 40 and drizzling most likely.

I was right on every count. The ride was steady, rarely slowing. It was damp and cool. And the jersey was flawless.

Paired with Castelli’s Iride short sleeve base layer underneath and my beloved Fawsome vest, I was only slightly warm on the longer climbs and couple of hot spots the juniors threw in during the ride and, in Goldilocks parlance, I was just right the rest of the time, even on high speed descents and milling about the coffee shop pre-ride. The mist and light rain beaded up on the Wind Stop fabric, which sliced through the cool breeze and kept me warm and dry. The high, thermal neck was quite welcome in keeping the cold out without being bothersome. And in those few instances where I was getting warm, a gentle pull of the zipper on my vest and the jersey and I was able to focus on the wheels disappearing ahead up the climbs instead of worrying about overheating.

Post ride. Vest, jersey, and base layer. Perfect in the 40 degree drizzle and wind.

Post ride. Vest, jersey, and base layer. Perfect in the 40 degree drizzle and wind.

So yes. The Alpha Jersey makes the cut for the top three pieces of cycling kit:

1. Gabba Fawsome Vest and Alpha Jersey (tied)

2. The San Remo Speedsuits

3. The CW 6.0 CX gloves

I wont’ get to wear my new Alpha Jersey this weekend. It’s going to be 70 (and I’ll be racing cyclocross). But I’m already scouring the weather forecasts for hints of Winter weather to come. I’m also going to order one of these Alpha Jackets.

Tell City Council to adopt the updated Austin Bicycle Master Plan!

November 3, 2014

From our friends at BikeAustin.

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Action Alert: Email City Council, sign up in favor of plan

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The Austin Bicycle Master Plan needs your support! Please tell City Council to adopt the updated Bicycle Plan at Thursday’s public hearing!

The 2014 plan is an amended and updated version of the 2009 Bicycle Master Plan. The update sets an overarching goal of creating an all ages and abilities bicycle network in Austin, in which users from ages 8 to 80 can ride safely and comfortably. The update also applies the latest innovations in bicycle infrastructure, such as cycle tracks or protected bike lanes, to the original 2009 plan.

How To Give Support

1. Email City Council Members with a statement of your support. Your email will go to every council member.  Here is a list of talking points.

2. Register your support at City Hall  in person at one of the kiosks at City Hall at 301 W. 2nd Street. The kiosks will be available for you to use after 12 noon on Monday, November 3. The kiosks will also be available to use during Thursday’s meeting.

3. Sign up to speak in favor of the plan at the City Council meeting, which begins at 10 AM in City Hall at 301 W. 2nd Street on Thursday, November 6. If you sign up to speak, please let BikeAustin know at allison.kaplan@gmail.com. We like to be ready with a shorter list of speakers if Council limits the speakers for each side.

Other Helpful Links

Review the Executive Summary of the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan.

Review the entire 2014 Master Bicycle Plan.

Learn more about cycle tracks, green lanes, and separated bike facilities.

Email City Council Now!

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