Greg Lemond Washoe

Greg Lemond Washoe

Many cyclists from the 90’s cringe at the memory of Trek’s nefarious destruction of so many classic, high-end brands, as one by one they first gobbled up the Gary Fisher, Klein, Bontrager and LeMond brands, neutered them and eventually killed them off, leaving ruin and nothing but cookie-cutter OCLV products in their wake. Money, money, money.

For a short time, it seemed like the Trek LeMond bikes would escape that fate, as a clean product line was briefly maintained by the Trek overlords, which included some decent Reynolds 853 frames. Despite their amazing popularity, the hand-welded frames likely didn’t make enough profit for Trek compared to mass-produced molded frames, so LeMond eventually disappeared, too.

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image from Greg LeMond Bicycles

Last year, Greg LeMond himself re-entered the cycling industry, bought Time USA and is now selling two bikes carrying his name – his full name this time. One of those bikes is the Greg LeMond Washoe, an ultralight Reynolds 853 road racing machine. Luckily, it’s available as a frameset with a color-matched Enve carbon fork. As others have noted, the frame isn’t a classic remake – it carries updated, modern geometries, on oversized headtube and PressFit30 bottom bracket shell. It’s also set up to accept either mechanical or electronic components. Plus, it’s made in the US and hand-painted in Minnesota without the use of decals! The result is a frame priced like a full-custom frameset, but in 7 stock sizes. So if you ride, say, a 58cm frame like I do, then you’re out of luck.

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Breadwinner Cycles

Breadwinner Cycles

A friend recently tipped me off to a Portland’s Breadwinner Cycles, which has won awards at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Run by Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira, Breadwinner builds a fine selection of classic yet innovative custom steel frame types. They make their own custom stainless dropouts and their frames include matching lugged crown steel or carbon forks.

The Aufderheide is probably my favorite Breadwinner, a touring frame with every possible mounting point you could ever want. Set up with fenders, lights and a rack, you could use this as your daily commuter – especially if you have a long commute.

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above and below: the Breadwinner Aufderheide
images: Breadwinner Cycles
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The Arbor Lodge is a porteur-style frame with an integrated front rack, and comes in flat top tube or mixte versions. There is even an option for an integrated lock!

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above and below: the Breadwinner Arbor Lodge
images: Breadwinner Cycles
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The Continental is a classic road frame with a level top tube, lugged fork and traditional geometry. Breadwinner gave this frame clearance for fenders or up to 38c tires without fenders, so you can use this frame for many purposes.

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above: the Breadwinner Continental (image from Breadwinner Cycles)

Breadwinner also offer two carbon-forked road frames, the B-Road gravel racer (claiming two Trans Iowa wins!) and the Lolo, a lightweight road racer. The hardest part might be choosing which Breadwinner you would ride the most.
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above: the Breadwinner Lolo
below: the Breadwinner B-Road
images: Breadwinner Cycles
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Ritchey Road Logic Frameset

Since Raleigh stopped offering their International frameset, it’s been more difficult to find a higher quality, production steel road frame. Ritchey has been selling their Road Logic frameset for a few years now. It has a somewhat classic, understated appearance in a great black paint scheme. The Ritchey Logic tube set is triple-butted and heat treated, which is unheard of in a $1000 frame and fork. The fork is all-carbon and is mated to an included Ritchey integrated headset. The best part? It’s available in six sizes; being tall, I’m not a big fan of the semi-compact geometry, but most people should be able to find a size that fits.

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above: Ritchey Road Logic frameset (image from Ritchey Design)

Ritchey notes that up to 28c tires can be used with this frame, and you’ll find builds on-line run the gamut from racing bikes to commuters. Cool!!

Public Bikes

A friend of mine and his wife recently bought a pair of Public Bikes city bikes, which reminded me that I had perused their web site last winter. The inexpensive, imported bikes are not typical low-quality Taiwanese imports – a careful inspection of the parts specs will show some surprisingly nice pieces for such low cost bikes. Other reviews you’ll find on-line repeat similar opinions: surprisingly decent finish details and touches like painted fenders, nice rack options, etc.

A couple of my favorites are their R16 road bike, simply because this type of classic steel road bike is now very hard to find (see also the more expensive Pashley Clubman Country).
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above: Public Bikes’ R16 road bike (image from Public Bikes)

They also have a series of mixte frame options, which is also not easy to find (also check out the Soma Buena Vista, available as a complete bike or as a frameset). The M7i is available in a great Dutch orange scheme with an internal shifting rear hub. I’s like to see a three speed option in this bike.

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above: Public Bikes M7i mixte (image from Public Bikes)

Perhaps my favorite choice is the Public Bikes V1, a single speed city bike with some nice parts, great details like painted fenders and chainguard, and a crazy low price. A matching front rack is available, and can be used to mount a basket. My friend flipped the bars upside down, path racer style for a hipper look and more efficient position.
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above: Public Bikes V1 city bike (image from Public Bikes)

Samsung Does Not Support Updates for Their Own Blu-Ray DVD Players

Filed under Stuff Dave Does Not Like: our recently-purchased Samsung Blu-Ray that will no longer play most new Blu-Rays. As it turns out, many others have realized that Samsung stops providing the necessary firmware updates for their Blu-Ray players after just a few years. As new security features are added to Blu-Ray discs, Samsung Blu-Ray players increasing can’t play them, while other manufacturers regularly provide firmware updates.

See these articles:
Why Your Samsung Blu-ray Player May Not Play Your Movies

Samsung BluRay Complaints
“the service person putting his hands up and saying that they didn’t have the appropriate firmware update to play the DVD! What??? Seems that Samsung firmware was not always up to date. Plays regular DVDs okay and I get get to Netflix. So I tried it again with another Blue Ray DVD just recently (August) and it did the same thing even with a firmware update.”

“the player would not play hardly any blu-ray disk because of no support for the new protection.”

“It was used maybe 10 times and it won’t play Blue-ray DVDs, only regular DVDs.”

“My father had me look into his Samsung BD player that only plays DVDs and not BluRays.”

“Of course, after the warranty runs out, I get a new firmware download and my blu-ray will not play any discs.”

Wishbone Design 3-in-1 balance bike (and trike)

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Wishbone Design’s limited edition alphabet bike, about 15 minutes after opening the box

Just a quick post to help spread the word on a great product out of New Zealand, distributed worldwide. We ordered our Wishbone bike on-line and our 2 yr old daughter was cruising on it less than a week later.

While balance bikes are all the rage right now, Wishbone Design’s 3-in-1 bike offers something significantly distinct and better. As the name implies, the 3-in-1 can be configured in three ways (shown below): a trike, a low, slack-angled (shallow angled) bike or a higher, standard-angle bike. By “angle”, I’m referring to the fork angle – analogous to the head tube angle on a standard frame bike. The shallower slope in the trike and low bike configurations means the bike is more stable; the steeper angle in the high bike configuration means it handles like a “real” bike – so your toddler not only learns balance, but proper steering as well. The seat height is adjustable in all three configurations. Note that a non-trike 2-in-1 version is available for older kids.

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The 3-in-1 arrives partially assembled, with an ingenious design that allows any average intelligence monkey to put it together properly in about 15 minutes. Lots and lots of thought has gone into the seemingly simple design. Clear instructions, a tool kit and all the extra parts for changing configurations are provided. The only thing missing is a Phillips head screwdriver. The tires are even partially inflated. Overall quality of construction, materials, etc. are absolutely top notch.

The frame and fork are made from plywood, the handlebar is solid wood, the tires and handlebar grips are rubber, the axels are steel with aluminum spacers, and the composite rims include cartridge bearing ‘hubs’. I’m a little neutral about the white tires, but the look is definitely unique. The wheel bearings were a little tight, but they will likely loosen up; there was a little squeak out of one hub, which may be due to my own over-tightening. I wasn’t sure how tight to make the fixing bolts; regardless, a couple drops of oil made the squeak disappear.

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Our 34″ 2.5 yr old cruising on her Wishbone!

My daughter was born 9 weeks prematurely, and as such has struggled a lot with her gross motor skills. She seemed interested but perplexed by our neighbor’s kid’s conventional tricycle. She took to her new Wishbone in a matter of seconds, cruising down our drive and smiling ear to ear while exclaiming “my bike!” At 2.5 years old and mediocre gross motor skills, the trike is perfect for her and the seat has plenty of room to move up in the trike or low bike configuration. We wish we would have bought this when she was 2 yrs old. Some 18 month olds could probably use the trike easily. I’m not sure how long our daughter will keep hers, but the claimed 1-5 yr old range seems dead on.