Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Photo - The Handlebar

The Handle Bar out on the road with happy patrons
Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor
Our Friday Photo is the Handle Bar, Indy's mobile, pedal powered bar. If you are looking for a fun outing with a group of people (Up to 16), this night be a good option. A two hour rental is $300, or $400 on weekends. They provide a driver who steers and breaks. You and your group provide the power. You have to bring your own beer and wine (No hard liquor), which keeps your costs down. It gets great online reviews. On the Trip Advisor web site, out of 113 reviews, 104 rated it "Excellent" and 9 rated it "Very Good."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

VIDEO REVIEW - 2014 Fujil Altamira 2.1 Specs and Features

2014 Fuji Altamira 2.1 Review - Quick and Comfy Entry Level Road Bike

Bill Hannah of Circle City Bicycles tells you a little bit more about the 2014 Fuji Altamira. Whether you are new to cycling, haven't ridden in a while, or just need a new bike for riding around town, the 2014 Fuji Altamira offers comfort, durability and style at a lower price than fancier carbon fiber bikes.

At Circle City Bicycles we are committed to helping find the perfect bike and accessories for you. Come in today and take a test ride on the 2014 Fuji Altamira 2.1 or any of the other bikes we have in stock.

We'll see you soon!

5506 Madison Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46227

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 Scott Addict SL Racing Road Bike Review | Circle City Bicycles

New 2015 Scott Addict SL - Lighter, Better Performance + Price Drop!

While the full package remains nearly identical to the 2014 model, there are some minor changes, headlined by a Syncros saddle, mid-compact gearing and updated paint.

2015 Scott Addict SL Features:
  • HMX-SL carbon layup for the ultimate in lightweight performance
  • Full SRAM Red 22 kit
  • Ritchey cockpit
  • Syncros RL1.0 carbon clincher wheels
  • Weight: Sub- 1kg frame/fork and 12.96 lbs (54cm complete)
2015 Scott Addict SL Technologies:

Oversized Bottom Bracket

In order to best manage power transfer our engineers developed a down tube and bottom bracket intersection that is the widest of any road bike currently on the market. The wide cross section and smooth transitions better manage loads and yield a laterally robust structure which increases pedaling efficiency by effectively delivering power to the drivetrain rather than losing it to unwanted frame flex.

Tapered Headtube

The Addict employs a tapered 1 1/4 - 1 1/8 tapered head tube and co-developed fork, adding structural integrity to the frameset without overdoing it.

HMX SL Carbon Fiber

HMX-SL utilizes Nano-technology, which incorporates a Carbon nanotube reinforced epoxy resin as well as T1000G Carbon Fiber. The Carbon nanotubes offer an improved strength perpendicular and at off-axis to fiber direction, which allows for a better inter-laminar shear strength. The cohesion between the fibers is improved compared to our industry leading HMX Carbon blend offering an unprecedented resistance. T1000G is the world's highest tensile strength fiber. This fiber is traditionally used for aerospace or defense applications. Strategic use of this new material results in a frame that is lightweight without compromise in power transfer.
Race Geometry

The geometry of the Addict and the Foil is Competition Road, validated by out ORICA GreenEDGE and IAM Cycling teams and enjoyed by the most discerning customers. The handling and fit you’ve come to expect from SCOTT will be familiarly aggressive.

F01 Aero Technology

F01 Technology is based on the theory that a partial airfoil shape without the trailing edge can produce the same aerodynamic advantage as a traditional foil shape. Modern foil shapes are largely based on models and ratios created for airplanes by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), but because bicycles attain speeds far less than those of airplanes, these ratios do not necessarily apply to bikes. SCOTT Aero Science engineers have thus developed F01 Technology to create unique, bicycle specific tube shapes which maximize aerodynamic efficiency at lower air speeds.

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Safety Bicycle

The 1885 Rover Safety Bicycle
Photo courtesy of Mud Sweat n Gears

The dandy horse was the forerunner of the bicycle. Then pedals were added to create the boneshaker. Since the pedals were attached directly to the front wheel and there was no gearing, it was quite slow. This problem was solved by making the front wheel larger, which led to the penny farthing. The penny farthing was a very practical device, and sparked a huge surge in the popularity of cycling. It did have a major drawback though - It was dangerous, for a couple of reasons:
  • The rider sat up very high, so if anything went wrong, the rider had a long way to fall.
  • If the rider hit a pothole or other obstacle, the bike could tilt forward and eject the rider - This was the dreaded "header."
In the 1870s, bicycle designers began to realize their were alternatives to a large wheel with pedals attached. Henry Lawson introduced a lever driven safety bicycle in 1876. Other designers kept the basic design of the highwheeler, but made the front wheel smaller. These bicycles were known as "dwarfs." A treadle driven dwarf was manufactured in 1878. In 1884 the chain driven dwarf McCammon Bicycle was introduced. These didn't gain much of a following, as the safety bicycle design showed more promise. In 1879 Lawson introduced the first practical chain driven safety bike, but it still had a front wheel that was about twice as big as the rear wheel. The 1885 Rover safety bicycle had similar sized front and back wheels. It is perhaps the first design that would be recognizable to us a modern style bicycle.

With the introduction of the safety bicycle, there was a huge surge in the popularity of cycling. No longer did you have to be a daredevil to ride a bicycle.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Photo - Tour of California Finish

Peter Sagan took third by the narrowest of margins on Stage 8 to win the Tour of California
The 2015 Amgen Tour of California had a thrilling finish last Sunday. Before the race started, everyone thought the race would be decided on Stage 7, which had a mountain top finish on Mt. Baldy. Peter Sagan of Slovakia, known as a sprinter, did well enough on the climb that he was only two seconds behind the leader, Julian Alaphilippe of France. Stage 8 was relatively flat, which means that most of the field would finish with the same time. However, there were some bonus seconds available for winning sprints. Partway through the stage, there was a sprint with 3 seconds to the winner, 2 seconds for second place, and one second for third place. Mark Cavendish, Alaphilippe's teammate, won the sprint, preventing Sagan from getting the three seconds he needed to take over the lead. Sagan took second, which would have left him tied for the lead, except that Alaphilippe managed to take third, which allowed him to maintain the lead by a single second.

At this point, Sagan knew what he had to do. He had to finish the stage in one of the top three places, and ahead of Alaphilippe. If he did that, the bonus seconds would give him the overall victory. In a dramatic finish, Mark Cavendish won the stage, and Wouter Wippert was a clear second. Third place was nearly a dead heat between Sagan and American Tyler Farrar. For a few minutes no one knew who finished third, while the race officials checked the photographs to decide. As you can see from the photo above, it looks like Sagan took it by maybe an inch.

[Video] 2015 Fuji Transonic - "Confidence to Push the Boundaries of Fast"

Since the Unveiling of the 2015 Fuji Transonic it has been praised by everyone from Bike Radar to Velonews.

"We immediately enjoyed the Transonic's responsive ride. While laterally stiff at the bottom bracket and through the stout chainstays, the bike isn't overly harsh vertically like some aero frames are. Too often, frames with huge cross-sections (and aero seatposts) transmit more road impact to the saddle and handlebars than you'd like. The Transonic feels much more like a round-tubed bike. Sprints and uphill accelerations are spirited, but the bike feels sure-footed in fast corners, even on choppy surfaces."

"The design allows for less redundant material in the brake and frame, decreasing weight, but does not have any negative effect on brake power or modulation. Don't be surprised if the new standard crops up frequently over the next few years."

Fuji spent two years developing the Transonic and the result is a frame that is much more aero than its SST, but close in weight to the Altamira.

Fuji not only harnessed what it learned developing its Track Elite and Norcom Straight in the wind tunnel into a road bike every bit as formidable, but also upped the ante in an already-prodigious road lineup. Stiffer, Lighter, and now FASTER.

With aerodynamics conquered and a new potential for unprecedented speed, Fuji focused next on unwavering control to instill the Transonic's riders with the confidence to push the boundaries of fast.

The seatpost has a proprietary aero shape, and it's rough surface on the seatpost helps prevent slips. Di2-equipped models fit the battery inside the seatpost to keep it out of the wind. An internal, wedge-type seatpost clamp keeps air flowing smoothly.

Fuji curves the seat tube to create a modest cutout for the rear wheel. Tucking in the wheel helps keep air flowing around the wheel/tube area.

And many many more features across 8 different models!

Come in and talk to us today about YOUR perfect bike!

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Monday, May 18, 2015

NuVinci Hubs

The NuVinci Hub is continuously variable
Fallbrook Technologies has an innovative product that allows for continuously varying your gear ratio. Actually gear ratio is not the proper term, because there are no gears. Instead, power is transmitted through rotating balls. Here's a video that explains how it works. There are a number of reviews of it out on the Internet (Utah Trike, MTB), and here's what they say in a nutshell:

  • It's very smooth
  • Since it is infinitely variable, you can fine tune your gearing
  • Shifting is very easy
  • You can shift while stopped or coasting
  • It is reliable and requires little maintenance
  • The only downside is that it is heavy, weighing just over 5 pounds
The Nuvinci hub comes as standard equipment on the Origin-8 Crawler mountain bike. Stop in at Circle City Bicycles and take one for a spin.

Fallbrook Technologies sells its power train technology for a wide variety of other applications including:
  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Wind Turbines
  • Electric Bikes 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Photo - Local Bike Art

Local Bicycle Art on the South Side of Indianapolis

This week's Friday photo features some local bike art on Indy's south side. Someone has created a  family out for a bike ride from used (and a little rusty) items. It looks like Mom and Dad along with Junior on his tricycle. The art is on the north side of County Line Road between State Road 135 and Shelby Street.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Penny Farthing

The Penny Farthing, Highwheeler or Ordinary Bicycle
In previous bicycle history articles I wrote about the dandy horse, which was the forerunner of the bicycle, and the boneshaker, which introduced pedals onto the bicycle. The problem with the boneshaker was that with the pedals attached directly to the wheel, it was slow. Imagine if you had your bike in its lowest gear  all the time - That's what riding a boneshaker would have been like. This problem was later solved by making the front (drive) wheel larger. Eugene Meyer of France is now considered the originator of the highwheeler. James Starley of Great Britain came up with a similar design about the same time (1880s).

The highwheeler's large front wheel allowed greater speed, and the larger wheel rolled over the rough, often cobblestone roads of the 1880s & 1890s easier, like today's 29" mountain bikes roll over obstacles easier. It did have some drawbacks, however. The main  one was that it was dangerous. Under hard braking or if the front wheel hit something, the rider could be thrown forward off the bicycle. This was known as a header. In an effort to prevent these, some bikes were made with the small wheel in front. While this did prevent headers, mounting became a problem. On the traditional design, there was a small step on the bar behind the front wheel which went down to the small rear wheel. With this new design, there was no place to put a step.

I visited the Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen, Ohio in 2004. At that time, they showed an informative video about riding highwheelers. Since they were direct drive, the only way you could coast was to take your feet off the pedals. To do this comfortably, riders would throw their legs over the handlebars. Here's a video that shows this technique (The rider later looses control and crashes).

Today we call these bikes highwheelers, ordinaries (compared to those newfangled safety bicycles which later replaced them) or penny-farthings (since the two wheels resembled the relative sizes of penny and farthing coins in Great Britain). When they were in their heyday, they were simply called bicycles, since the basic design we know today was not yet in use.

Bike designers in the 1890s realized that by using a chain drive with different size gears, they could achieve the same speed with much smaller wheels, leading to what was called the "Safety Bicycle." Despite their dangers and a relatively short time in production (Production ended in 1893), highwheelers popularized cycling, and they are considered a symbol of the late Victorian era. One gentleman named Thomas Stevens road a penny farthing around much of the world during 1884-1886. I'll write about him in a later post.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Enhance Your Daily Ride With These Encouraging Instructions

Avoid Soreness, Improve Handling, Being Alert and More!

Two easy and most overlooked ways to improve your bike's performance: Inflate the tires before every ride, and keep the chain lubed.

But, here are 14 more tips that you may not have thought of!

2. To avoid muscle soreness and fatigue, don't hunch your shoulders. Tilt your head every few minutes to stave off tight neck muscles. Better yet: stop to admire the scenery

3. If you don't have a chance to slow for an obstacle such as railroad tracks or a pothole, quickly pull upward on the handlebar to lift your front wheel. You may still damage the rear wheel, or it might suffer a pinch flat, but you'll prevent an impact on the front that could cause a crash.

4. Relax your grip. On smooth, traffic-free pavement, practice draping your hands over the handlebar. This not only will help alleviate muscle tension, but also will reduce the amount of road vibration transmitted to your body.

5. Periodically change hand position. Grasp the drops for descents or high-speed riding and the brake lever hoods for relaxed cruising. On long climbs, hold the top of the bar to sit upright and open your chest for easier breathing. When standing, grasp the hoods lightly and gently rock the bike from side to side in sync with your pedal strokes. But always keep each thumb and a finger closed around the hood or bar to prevent yourself from losing control if you hit an unexpected bump.

6. As your effort becomes harder, increase the force of your breaths rather than the frequency.

7. Stay far enough in the traffic lane to avoid being struck if doors on parked cars suddenly open. You'll likely hear some honks from motorists who don't understand why you won't pull to the right to let them pass— a honk in your ear hurts less than a door in your face.

8. On descents, your bike is much more stable when you're pedaling than when you're coasting.

9. Always ride with your elbows bent and your arms and shoulders relaxed. This prevents fatigue caused by muscle tension. It also allows your arms to absorb shock instead of transmitting it to your body.

10. When riding one-handed for any reason, grip the bar on top, next to the stem. If your hand is farther out - such as on the brake-lever hood - the bike is more likely to veer dangerously should the front wheel hit a rock, bump, or pothole

11. Get more life from your tires by switching them from one wheel to another. The rear wears more than twice as fast as the front, so swapping every 500 miles or so significantly extends their longevity.

12. Break up long rides with a 15-second sprint every 30 minutes or so- adding variety to a monotonous pace is better training, relieves saddle pressure, and stretches and relaxes your body.

13. After you grab your water bottle, don't tilt your head to drink. Tilt the bottle and squeeze the water in. You'll have more control.

14. The key to smooth, reliable, non-damaging gear changes when you're pushing hard is to ease your pedal pressure at the instant you move the shift lever. You need to lighten the load on the chain for about one revolution so it won't balk, crunch, or possibly break. Then hit the power again.

15. For optimal handling with 20 pounds or more of cargo, put approximately 60 percent of the weight in the rear panniers or on a rack, 35 percent on the front rack or panniers, and 5 percent in a handlebar bag.

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Friday Photo - Biking to the South Pole

Dan Burton road across Antarctica to the South Pole

In 2012, Helen Skelton of Great Britain reached the South Pole by a combination of cycling, skiing and kiting. This was the first time anyone used a bicycle to get to the South Pole.

Eric Larsen attempted to become the first person to reach the South Pole from the Antarctic coast solely by bicycle. Previously he had journeyed to the North Pole, South Pole and summit of Mt. Everest within a one-year time span. His plan was to arrive at the pole in January of 2013. He was able to cover 175 of the 750 miles from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole before he was forced to abandon the attempt. It had taken him ten days to cover the 175 miles, and at that pace his supplies were insufficient.

Dan Burton of Utah, a distant relative of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackelton, heard about Eric Larson's attempt. When Larsen was unsuccessful, Burton decided he would take a crack at it. Now Dan's background is a little different from the others. Ms. Skelton has kayaked the entire length of the Amazon River and finished the 78-mile Namibian Ultra-marathon. Mr. Larsen has been doing polar expeditions since 2006. Dan Burton wrote software for 23 years. He was also born a little earlier (1963) than Larsen (1971) or Skelton (1983). When Burton was laid off from his software job, he decided to open a bike shop. He also wanted to get healthier, since his blood pressure, cholesterol and weight were a bit high.

When customers at his bike shop started asking about fat tire bicycles, which he decided to purchase and rent out a couple. He rode one of them across Utah Lake on New Year's Day. After Larsen's abandonment, Dan started seriously planning his attempt. He studied what Larsen had done, asking "Why was he unsuccessful?" He decided to do a couple things differently. Rather than using panniers, he pulled a sled behind his bike. This would make the bike less likely to sink into the snow, and the sled would not catch the wind like panniers would. Burton also realized that Larsen made decent time, but he started too late in the season. Dan calculated that he needed at least 60 days for the attempt.

Burton started out for the pole in late 2013. Before he arrived at the pole, Maria Leijerstam from Great Britain beat him there, using a recumbent tricycle, motorized support, a shorter route and the McMurdo-South Pole Highway, a compacted snow road. Burton made it to the pole solo, over unaltered terrain, although he did have supplies cached along the route. Check out his blog for more information about the trip. It still remains for someone to cycle to the pole without re-supply.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

[VIDEO] 2014 Fuji Altamira 2.1 Review | Circle City Bicycles

Check out this breakdown of the 2014 Fuji Altamira 2.1

Designed for road racers looking for an ultra-lightweight, all-around competition platform that excels on the climbs, meet the grand tour-winning Fuji Altamira.

Stay tuned to our YouTube Channel for more Videos!

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Monday, May 4, 2015

Amgen Tour of California

Some of the Tour of California racing will take place along the Pacific Ocean
The 2015 Amgen Tour of California will begin on Sunday, May 10. The race format is similar to the Tour de France, but it only has eight stages instead of 21. Many of the same teams and riders that will race in the Tour de France in July will participate. Here are a few of the better known teams that will be attending and their best known riders:

  • BMC has American Tejay van Garderen, Tejay finished fifth overall in last year's Tour de France and won the 2013 Tour of California.
  • Etixx-Quickstep has British rider  Mark Cavendish, the best pure sprinter in the world, along with his lead-out man, Mark Renshaw of Australia. Cavendish, who is also known as the Manx Missile since he comes from the Isle of Man, was named the all-time best sprinter in the Tour de France by a French newspaper. He has 25 stage wins in the Tour de France, trailing only the greats Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault.
  • Team Sky features Chris Froome of Great Britain, the 2013 Tour de France winner, and runner-up to teammate Bradley Wiggins in 2012. He crashed out of last year's Tour de France.
  • Tinkoff-Saxo has a couple heavyweights: Alberto Contador of Spain, who has won the Tour de France twice, and Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who has won the Green Jersey at the past three Tour de France races. The Green Jersey is awarded to the top sprinter. Although Cavendish is the best pure sprinter, Sagan is a sprinter who can climb. This has allowed him to win points on moderately hilly stages where Cavendish cannot.
There will be live coverage starting at 5:00 PM each day from the first Sunday to Friday on the NBC Sports channel, which will cover the last couple hours of each stage. The stage on Saturday is the one which will probably decide the overall winner. It finishes on Mt. Baldy at an elevation of 6,500 feet. Coverage of the Mt. Baldy stage will start at 4:30 PM. Stage 8, the final one, will finish at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with coverage on NBC (Not NBC Sports) starting at 3:00 PM.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Photo - Alaska Glacier

A Magnificent View of an Alaskan Glacier

This week's Friday photo comes from Gregg Bleakley, who tells his remarkable story in an article entitled "Bike Touring Special: How a Tour Changed One Man’s Life and Career." He traces the journey back to a software presentation he was giving in Fresno, California. No one was interested in his presentation, including himself! He started planning a bike trip on the longest road he could find - The Pan-American Highway. It was another three years before he took the plunge, quitting his job, selling his home and initiating the big ride.

Gregg and a friend flew to Deadhorse, Alaska to begin their journey. Deadhorse is a town very near the Arctic Ocean with 25 to 50 permanent residents. From there they headed south, towards Tierra del Fuego. They started out on the Dalton Highway, which is over 400 miles long, but there are only two other towns on the highway besides Deadhorse. A little more than 100 miles of the highway are paved.

Their trip went well for a while. They viewed some spectacular glaciers in Alaska. In the Yukon Territory of Canada they saw 14 bears in two days. It was in southern Mexico that they encountered a serious problem. A group of bandits ambushed, beat and robbed them. Gregg's friend decided it was time to go back home, which he did. Gregg, however, decided to press on.

Gregg purchased a camera and began taking photographs and writing in his journal. When he finally returned home to Seattle, he wasn't sure what he would do next. He wasn't thrilled with the thought of returning to software sales. He was asked to give a slideshow of his trip, which led to an introduction to Rich Clarkson, the former director of photography for National Geographic Magazine. Rich said “You know, there are other people out there like you; people who need to be out in the world following their curiosity. At the Geographic, we call them photographers.” Clarkson then offered him a scholarship to his photography workshop. Since taking the class, Gregg has worked as an adventure travel photographer. You can find some of his writing & photography at his website,