Slow Roll Detroit by mark on Jan 08, 2016
Detroit has a lot of exciting and positive transformations happening each day. Slow Roll is one that we are amped to see!
Happy New Year! by mark on Jan 04, 2016
Mark's Gift Guide for the Picky Gentleman by mark on Dec 11, 2015
I’m picky about the products I use. I want something that will last and I can use for years to come. I test a lot of different products and it’s a rarity when I don’t find something I would change about a product. My wife tells me that I’m difficult when it comes to gifts. If you have someone in your life like me then perhaps my gift guide will come in handy. See the full guide >>>
Riding Towards Winter by mark on Dec 08, 2015
Autumn can be an exhilarating time for traveling by bike. It can also be a little unpredictable. Daylight hours are quickly waning, the temperature is fickle and rain can string together for days. Dressing for the season is challenging but keeping your bike running smoothly can be just as difficult. We've pulled together our top 5 tricks to keep you pedaling through fall:
5.) Keep those chains clean and lubed! Rain and road grit will accelerate chain wear and annoy you endlessly with creaks and squeaks. Wet lubricants like Pedro's bio-friendly Chainj or Finish Line's wet lube are great for fall. They're thicker than dry lube so they will stick to your chain better in wet conditions. The downside is that road grit is also more likely to collect. A simple chain cleaner/degreaser will help get rid of the dirt. For maximum effect, clean your chain before applying the lubricant.
4.) Check your brakes and pads. Wet rims take longer to stop so it's important to make sure your brakes are adjusted properly as we hit the rainy season. Inspect your brake pads to make sure they aren't too worn and are free of small debris. Adjusting brakes can be tricky so when in doubt bring your bike to your favorite local shop for a fall tune-up.
3.) Inspect your tires. Fixing a flat tire when it's raining and you can barely feel your fingertips is no one's idea of a fun time. Before the weather takes a turn for the worse check your tires for cuts or debris embedded in the rubber. If you have a lot of cuts, a cut larger than 5mm, or your tire's profile is becoming squared off then it's time for replacements. Consider a wider tire for better stability and comfort in adverse conditions and something with a Kevlar belt to help combat punctures.
2.) Break out the car wax. A nice layer of car wax on your bike's frame can prevent dirt and grime build-up and make your post-ride cleanup much easier. Be careful not to get any wax on your brakes or rims!
1.) Be bright, keep dry. Our number one tip for a safer and more enjoyable ride in the fall is to outfit your bike with lights and fenders. Lights are a must for the creeping darkness we face as winter grows nearer. A good front light will have modes for varying conditions; flashing for daylight rides and solid for riding in the dark. The same goes for a tail light. Adding fenders to your bike will block the majority of road spray coming off your tires. If you haven't ridden with fenders it will be an enlightening experience.
With a little planning and a positive attitude any bike ride can be fun. Get out there and enjoy everything autumn has to offer!
Supermarket Streetsweep by mark on Nov 04, 2015
We're happy to be on board again as a sponsor for the Supermarket Streetsweep. For the past 9 years this race has produced thousands of pounds of food and thousands of dollars for the San Francisco and Marin Food Bank!
Grateful Red by mark on Oct 08, 2015
We introduced a slew of new products at Interbike last month, one of the most interesting being the Grateful Red. It's the evolution of our ever popular Rack Blinky 5. For the most part it looks the same as its predecessor, but looks can be deceiving. The Grateful Red is built on the same case but the internals are vastly different. Rather than 5 separately encased LEDs, the Grateful Red uses 28 LEDs mounted on the same strip. What does that mean? It means a much brighter light and the ability to integrate some great flash patterns while keeping long run times. The tail light will offer steady, superflash, and courtesy flash modes powered by two AAA batteries. MSRP will be $19.99. Look for full details on our website soon as this light will be available next month!
Pickin' & Skiddin' by mark on Sep 22, 2015
This is too good to not share!
Love to Ride by kristin on Sep 04, 2015
Here at Planet Bike we’ve been participating in the local Madison Love to Ride Challenge. The Love to Ride Challenge is a movement that has been spreading across the world and aims to encourage more people to try riding a bike to see how much fun and beneficial cycling can be. The program creates a sense of community and competition through local workplace teams and members can give encouraging messages and “high fives” to other members via the online interface. Rides can be measured in miles or minutes and the emphasis is more on just taking a trip by bike rather than racking up the mileage. What really sets Love to Ride apart from other programs is its roots in behavior change theory and a short survey given to participants when they register to find out what prevents them from riding more often and what motivates them to ride. Based on the answers, the program aims to help support new and old riders alike with personalized messages and encouragement. According to the Love to Ride Challenge website, the program has encouraged over 29,000 new cyclists to get out and go for a ride. We think it’s a fantastic program and the social aspect of connecting new and experienced riders together is a great way to encourage people to give cycling a try. In Madison our B-Cycle bike share has also joined the project and has given a free ride code to all registered members of the challenge so that even folks without a bike can be part of the movement. There are lots of prizes and incentives up for grabs in the program as well.
All seven of us at Planet Bike already ride our bikes a fair amount and don’t need a lot of external encouragement to get on our bikes, but we’ve found it really fun to be a part of this program and it’s gotten many of us to ride more than usual. You can easily check in on other local workplaces (they’re separated into groups based on number of employees) and encourage riders with the click of a button. We’re just about halfway through the 64 day challenge and we’re proud to say that we are currently leading the organizations with a staff of 7-19. We’re hoping that this program spreads across many communities throughout the nation and world and encourages traditional non-cyclists to see why riding a bike is so awesome. Even if you’re not part of a local Love to Ride challenge we urge you to encourage someone to go for a bike ride and discover the power of the bicycle!