BikePortland subscriber and resident bike theft expert Bryan Hance from The Bike Index checked out the Iota Tracker with an eye towards bike tracking, DIY hacking, and more.
We field a lot of questions about ‘bike trackers’ at the Bike Index – everybody wants a small, affordable GPS tracker for their bike. Sounds like a simple request; but many people are surprised to learn a product like this doesn’t exist yet.
There are a few basic reasons why trackers aren’t as great as you think:
Size/hideability — It is hard to disguise a tracker so thieves can’t instantly find it. And having something that uses several antennas (GPS and cellular) means they aren’t easily hidden – nor are they very small.
Reliance on cellular — Most trackers use the cellular network to report their location, which means most trackers are 50% cell phone parts – and means paying for cell data, supporting a SIM card, having a hefty battery, etc.
Portland is full of seriously top-notch bike companies. Two of our faves are North St. Bags and Islabikes. They’ve both released new products and we’ve got the scoop and photos below…
Here’s an interesting new local product aimed at people who like to be highly visible on a bike at night but prefer not to resemble a mirror when they get to their destination.
The Portland Bike Reflector, which launched on Kickstarter this morning, is a simple concept: a two-piece “magnetic, removable reflector” that attaches to a jacket, backpack or saddle bag when you’re on the road.
San Francisco-based Timbuk2, a bag brand with deep ties into the bicycle industry, will open a retail store in Portland next month. This is the company’s eighth flagship store in North America (they also have stores in Toronto, Venice Beach, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago).
The new store is on SW Stark between 11th and 12th, across the street from West End Bikes (and just around the corner from Chrome, another national brand in the same product niche). Bike-centric highlights of the new Timbuk2 store include a repair station with loaner tools and an air pump and a free bikeshare program for customers who need some wheels.
A launch party happens on July 11th and will feature food, music, and a raffle to benefit the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
Learn more in the press release below:[Read more…]
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
I had no idea what to expect before riding 505 miles in three days on the Oregon Outback last month. What I did know is that whatever happened, I’d count on my gear to help get me through it.
Chrome retail store, walks a customer through
the ordering process.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)
In a town where so many people get around by bike or transit, having a good (and waterproof) bag is essential. That’s probably one reason why Chrome opened up a retail store here two years ago (to go along with existing stores in Chicago, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco (their hometown).
Now the company, known for its iconic messenger bags and roots in courier culture, is touting their ability to offer custom bags sewn and stitched as customers watch.
Chrome spokesman Billy Sinkford said Chrome has offered custom bags in the past via their online store, but they’ve only beefed up the custom program at the retail level in the past two years. Sinkford said the in-store custom option is a way for Chrome to strengthen their connection to local customers. “It’s about integrating deeper into the community… We want people using bags they’re stoked to use.”
Showers Pass is expanding their product line once again with the new “Crosspoint” sock which they say is waterproof and breathable. Check out the photo and press release below and stay tuned for our review once we get a pair to try out…
NEW: Waterproof Breathable Socks from Showers Pass
Three-Layer Bonded Construction Provides Truly Innovative Wet Weather Protection for
Cycling, Running, Nordic Skiing, and Other Outdoor Activities
Portland, Ore., December 3, 2013 – Showers Pass, the Portland, Oregon-based leader in wet and inclement weather protection for cyclists has introduced a first-ever, multi-sport waterproof-breathable sock for cycling, running, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Reflecting Showers Pass’ trademark attention to detail and commitment to solving the problems of cyclists and other outdoor athletes, the new Crosspoint WP sock provides fast, reliable moisture control for even the toughest outdoor sports – while still feeling like a normal sock.
Thanks to a three-layer bonded construction, the new Crosspoint sock provides reliable moisture control and full submersion protection for even the toughest outdoor sports. An Artex waterproof-breathable membrane is sandwiched between the knit outer layer and moisture-wicking Coolmax FX nylon lining for total protection and optimal comfort. A touch of Spandex ensures a snug fit.
“When you’re talking about outdoor sports in winter, it is critical to protect your feet and keep them dry,” says Kyle Ranson, president, Showers Pass. “Being miles from home in harsh conditions with wet feet can get you in serious trouble very quickly. But that’s no reason to be stuck in clammy, uncomfortable footwear. That’s why we’ve taken everything we know about temperature and moisture control in outerwear and poured it into the fabrication of these new socks.”
The Showers Pass Crosspoint Mid-Calf WP sock retails at an MSRP of $35, and is available from cycling and sports outerwear retailers worldwide. For more information on this and other Showers Pass products, visit www.showerspass.com.
About Showers Pass (www.showerspass.com)
Portland, Ore. based Showers Pass designs and markets technically innovative cycling outerwear and bicycle accessories to top independent bicycle dealers, specialty retailers and a strong, loyal consumer base across the United States and abroad. Showers Pass gear is engineered for bicycle racers, commuters, and everyday cycling enthusiasts. The company is focused on designing performance products so innovative that they inspire more people to ride in any and every weather condition.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
A new bike company based in Detroit says they’ve cracked one of the toughest nuts in the bicycle industry: A full-fledged city bike made in the USA that retails for just $550. The “A-Type” from Detroit Bikes is made in the company’s 50,000 square foot factory and it’s about to invade Portland. With a free concert and launch party set for Saturday night, and a local dealer already set up to sell them, I figured it was time to give these bikes a closer look.[Read more…]
Remember the “Orp”? The quirky creation of local product/industrial design firm FUSE has just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. We heard from Orp’s creator and FUSE owner Toren Orzek that they’ve raised over $96,000, easily surpassing their goal of $90,000 with five days still to go.
The Orp was inspired by the tragic right-hook collisions that took the lives of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek back in 2007. As designers and engineers often do, Toren and the crew at his central eastside studio went to work to create a loud bicycle horn that could be heard inside the cabin of a car. The 96 decibel horn is also a bright LED light and it’s much smaller than other loud bicycle horns on the market. When we wrote about the Orp back in December, it had a sound that resembled a fire alarm. After hearing feedback that a more vehicle-like sound would be better, FUSE changed the sound to sound more like the “beep-beep” of a moped.[Read more…]