New Brooks Flyer S Saddle

I have just bought a Brooks Flyer S leather saddle from Pedal and Thread in Adelaide.  I had been umming and ahhing over getting a leather saddle for a few months and finally decided to jump in.  The exceedingly rainy weather here has been a bit of a deterrent with rain being a bit of a no no on leather.

The decision on which saddle to get was fairly straight forward with the B17 the most recommended model for touring.  The Flyer is the same saddle as the B17 except with springs.  The usefulness of these springs seems a bit controversial but I really like the look and don’t care about the extra weight.

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Omafiets Cycles

So there’s a new bike store opening in Sydney.  “So what”? I hear you say… another bike store, in a market which some may say is already saturated.  However, this is a really interesting concept.  What they do, is import second hand bikes from Holland.  Apparently, the Dutch government gives tax incentives to people to buy bikes, so they generally turn them over quite quickly (and sell them very cheaply).  So, what the guys do, is buy a container load (I’m assuming unseen) and ship them to Australia to sell.

I was lucky enough to meet Oliver (one of the owners of the store) at Cycle Recycle and he invited us to have a sneak peak at the store before it’s official opening.  (photos to follow) The shop is in Marrickville, an edgy, coming on trendy part of town.  The store is a bit hard to find, being up a side street off a major road, however it does make parking easy and I’d imagine it will be much easier to find once there is some signage in place.

Now, the bit you’re really interested in – the bikes.  Well, there really is an assortment, in all sorts of conditions.  There are plenty of what I’d call your typical “Dutch bike” – not many gears (3 or below), beautiful curving handlebars and an upright seated position.  Lots of the bikes have dynamo hubs and front and rear lights, and most bikes have a rear rack (or front basket).  Brooks leather saddles abound.  The bikes vary in condition – from really good, to well, average, although I suspect that some of them were actually damaged in transit.

There’s also a few more interesting bikes including a recreational tandem bike, and a very large cargo bike and a few touring bikes.

I think it will be interesting how they go.  I hope they do well – I like the idea that you can buy a cheaper bike that is still good quality, and the guys that run the shop seem really passionate about getting people onto bikes, and super friendly (I even got to mind the shop for a while), but I worry that some of the bikes are a bit expensive for what they are – I mean $500 for a second hand single speed with coaster brakes seems a bit steep, even if it is in really good condition  – I mean when was the last time you rode a bike with coaster brakes?   Yet there are also some really good deals to be had – $1100 for a fully kitted out touring bike – including dynamo hub, double kickstand, front and rear racks, handlebar bag and lights seems like a really good deal.

However, the shop is well worth a look.  Did I buy a bike?  You’ll have to wait and see Smile

Queensland Cycling Strategy 2011-2012

In September, the Queensland Government released its cycling strategy for the next two years.  The strategy sets out what the Queensland Government will be doing to promote cycling for this period.

This post is going to be on my thoughts and general musing around the cycle strategy and as such, isn’t really in a narrative format.  More dot pointy and some times ranty.  You have been warned!

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Gear Review – Louis Garneau Santa Cruz Skort

I thought I’d do a little review of one of my cycling skorts.

I got this skort a few months ago (from Team Estrogen) to cover up my lycra.

The skirt is a wrap around style, with a velcro tab protecting your modesty, and a webbing  buckle to hold it all down.  On first impressions, the pattern is not as obvious as in the picture – it is there, however it looks like a plain black skirt.

The skort is quite short (I’m only 160cms, and the skirt still comes mid thigh).  The fit is pretty easy, thanks to the velcro tab and buckle which makes the skirt super adjustable.

The knicks are a mesh type liner pair, that are pretty short (to hide under the skort).  You probably wouldn’t want to wear them as an outer layer however, as they are pretty seethrough.  The chamois is bright orange (which I think is quite fun).  It’s quite thin, but moulded, and for me, quite comfortable.  They are held in via a couple of little button snaps, and pop out quite easily.

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The chamois (don’t worry, it’s clean)

I think the skort is awesome.  It covers up the lycra really nicely.  I’ve worn it on some long rides (80-100 kms), and it seems to not get into the way.  The only thing is, that because it’s a wrap around skirt, the flap tends to fall open when you ride – it’s probably more of an attractive ‘off the bike’ than ‘on the bike’ skort, however you could probably fix it with a press stud or two.

The blurb says that the skirt is suitable for mountain biking, however I’m not so sure. I think it’s certainly durable enough, however I can imagine trying to get off the back of the saddle, and getting it caught in the rear wheel.

In summary?  For road riding – it’s fantastic.  Really comfortable and I think it looks great.