Posted on November 17th, 2015 at 1:59 pm.
Posted on November 6th, 2015 at 10:54 am.
One of the cool things about having a good friend or a partner with a different knowledge set than you is that it gives you access to expertise without having to be an expert in everything yourself. Since my partner is a bike mechanic, it means I don’t have to master a headset press — and he doesn’t have to master WordPress.
Although I’m very familiar with basic bike maintenance, I’m by no means an expert. Sure, I understand how to adjust my derailleur, but I’m always going on guesswork. And un-expert guesswork, at that.
That’s the problem that the new derailleur tuning system from OTTO DesignWorks, a startup based a few miles south of Portland in Wilsonville, is trying to solve. Their OTTO Tuning System uses an iPhone’s camera, visual alignment technology, and a set of gauges to help you quickly adjust your derailleur. It’s compatible with most Shimano and SRAM 9-, 10- and 11-speed cassettes, and costs $39.
Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 1:16 pm.
Electric bikes have a very bright future in Portland. There are many reasons why: Many Portlanders love cycling and our city encourages it, we have hills and steep bridges to pedal up, our expensive housing is forcing longer bike commutes, and e-bike technology — as technology tends to do — is always getting better/lighter/cheaper.
On that note, I had the opportunity to test ride the Bosch eBike System last week. From what I’ve heard around the industry, their new mid-drive system is the best on the market. As the largest automotive parts supplier in the world and with over a century of experience, it’s not hard to fathom that Bosch could jump into this market and deliver a solid product.
I also noticed that Xtracycle decided to spec the Bosch system on their Edgerunner cargo bike. That alone is a good sign that the Bosch system is worth paying attention to.
Posted on May 12th, 2015 at 1:31 pm.
Posted on May 5th, 2015 at 2:34 pm.
gauges to create 3-D models of your gearing.
(Photos courtesy OTTO DesignWorks)
The rising tide of products that combine physical objects with mobile apps has come to do-it-yourself bike maintenance.
OTTO DesignWorks, a startup based a few miles south of Portland in Wilsonville, says its first product will offer “perfect shifting in under five minutes” for people with Shimano and SRAM 9-, 10- and 11-speed gear cassettes.
As the video below shows, the company sells gauges that can be attached to a cassette and derailleur. Its free mobile app then uses a smartphone camera and photogrammatry — the mathematically intensive process of turning images into three-dimensional modeling — to diagnose the situation and walk someone through the tuning process.
Posted on April 21st, 2015 at 1:34 pm.
Here at BikePortland we get a fair amount of product pitches (especially since the advent of crowd-funding). Just when I think I’ve seen it all, something new pops up. Cases in point are two products that have found their way into our inbox in the past few weeks: A periscope and an on-board mister for your bicycle.
Yes, you read that right.
The Spruzza ($59) is described as, “an on-board cooling system that attaches quickly and easily to your bike. Spruzza ‘air-conditions’ by allowing you to spray just enough water to cover and cool your head, face and neck. The relief from the heat is immediate.”
Posted on April 21st, 2015 at 12:01 pm.
Posted on February 11th, 2015 at 12:58 pm.
Showers Pass, a riding apparel company based in southeast Portland, continues to push the boundary on innovative bike apparel that works in wet weather. Their latest is a jacket that packs up small and packs a high-tech rain-busting punch. I’ve got one to try out so stay tuned for a proper review.
Posted on January 20th, 2015 at 3:41 pm.
Here’s an interesting idea: A sheet of polypropolene that wraps around your rear light to make it more visible and less annoying at the same time.
How are rear bike lights annoying? Did you forget the huge debate and discussion we had back in July after we shared how someone spray-painted “F*** you and your epileptic bike lights.”
Now a London-based product designer hopes to solve that problem with his “Sombra” — a “lampshade” for your tail light. Sombra’s creator, Offer Canfi, was inspired to create the product after being passed by another rider during a nighttime ride in central London. “He had one of those blinking, bright-red taillights, and in the dark it played some nasty tricks on my eyes,” writes Canfi on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site he’s set up to fund the first run of Sombras.
Posted on December 5th, 2014 at 11:22 am.
Bells are the rare bike accessory that hasn’t really changed much in the past century or so. While shifting and braking and other bike tech has evolved considerably over the years, many people still use bells that would seem right at home on a high-wheeler. (I personally have two bells I use almost every day — both made of brass that’s dinged with a low-tech, spring-actuated lever.)
Then there’s the Orp, a product invented and designed right here in Portland by Tory Orzeck that’s decidedly modern in its looks, feel, and sound. I’ve been using the Orp since last summer in all sorts of conditions and I’m finally ready to share my impressions.