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Hey ladies in the place, I’m callin’ out to ya!

May 5, 2017

Maybe it’s because I’m the father of two amazing girls, or perhaps because the strongest figures in my life were almost all women, or maybe it’s just because I’m not an asshole and believe in genuine equality … but I’ve always respected women. I’ve never been big on the “shrink and pink” philosophy that has permeated much of the sports world regarding “women’s specific designs.” I fought that trend hard when I was running things over at Masi Bicycles. There was a huge push to chase sales in those days, trying to capitalize on the trend to develop “WSD” bikes. Some of those designs were genuinely thoughtful, to the credit of those particular brands, but many were simply pink paint jobs on badly designed products. Some of the bikes were damn-near impossible to ride with the super steep seat tube angles, crazy head angles, wonky fork rakes … small wonder many women rejected them after trying them. For Masi, we used the same frames as the men’s in most cases- lighter tubing in smaller sizes- with contact points more biomorphically suited to women- narrower bars, saddles with wider sit bone areas, etc.

But I digress …

One of the things I’m most proud of with the partnership with Castelli is the fact that the #sugarkits are offered in women’s styles. Unlike #shrinkandpink bike designs, Castelli’s women’s clothing has functional features suited to a better fit for a greater number of women. Shorter bib straps, wider hips, proper women’s chamois, and jersey with shorter torso, narrower shoulders, and silhouette more closely matching a woman’s shape. The goal of the kit design itself is to be “universal”, so the artwork works- in my opinion- for anybody who likes to wear stretchy clothing when they ride their bike. And the pink Zevlin bar tape is rad no matter what your gender is … this is Giro month after all!

I’d like to think that, if either of my grandmothers were alive today (and they were two of the biggest influences in my life), that they would say, “that looks really nice, Timmy.” Both of my daughters like the clothing and bar tape- and they have great style, despite being related to me. So, ladies, I hope you dig the kits as much as I do because it was important to me to be able to offer a women’s fit. A properly designed bike is totally genderless, but the fit, form, and function of clothing is one area where thoughtful women’s specific features make sense. Thankfully, Castelli makes some of the best in the business.

#sugarhigh preorder window closes on May 15th, and first 10 paid kit orders receive free Zevlin #sugar tape

Tim aka Sugar

UPDATE; #sugarkits #sugarhigh special gift for first 10 paid kit orders!

May 3, 2017

BOOM!

Sugar_Threads_proof_PKZB

Here it is; as mentioned previously, the first 10 folks to place a paid order for complete kit of bib and jersey will receive a free gift- a roll of custom #sugarkits Big40 2.5 tape from my wonderful client/friends, Zevlin.

Without paid marketing guy exaggeration, the Big40 2.5 tape is my absolute favorite and I was in love with it before Zevlin became a client. I hate wearing gloves- and have the scars to prove it- and also have long fingers. The 2.5mm thickness of the tape provides great comfort and thickness to fit my hand really well. Plus, the grip of the tape is exceptional as well- wet or dry. In essence, it’s the perfect match for the awesome Castelli kit!

I will contact the first 10 folks to place their paid complete orders, and confirm the gift. If for some reason, you don’t want the tape or pink ain’t your thing (that’s cool too), then you can choose to pass the tape on to the next paid customer. Totally up to you.

Many tanks to Zevlin for the awesome tape … it’s gonna look #sweet with that #sugarhigh kit!

Sugar

#sugarhigh- The second coming of Sugar!

May 1, 2017

Ever do a 100+ mile ride and bonk so hard that you roll wobbly into a 7/11, drop your bike on the ground, nearly slip and fall on the slick linoleum in your cycling shoes, get an Extra Super Double Gulp® size Mountain Dew and a bag of powdered donuts, and lay on the sidewalk covered in powdered sugar, looking like you just left Jan Ulrich’s retirement party for Tom Boonen? Me neither … except for that one time when I did.

That’s one of those rights of passage many of us have endured over the years of cycling; relying on a sudden #sugarhigh to help us limp our stupid asses home because we either didn’t prepare for the miles and conditions, or we bit off way more than we could chew. As my dad would say, “writing checks your ass can’t cash.” Lord knows I’ve done it more times than I can count. Sometimes, you just get carried away by going on adventures that you didn’t plan for, because the riding is too good to stop, or the company is too fun to say goodbye to. Epic rides get even more epic when you have tales of woe to tell afterward. I’ve often said, “stupidity should be more painful,” but I’m lucky it hasn’t (always) been painful for me. Small miracles!

Hence, the birth of #sugarhigh.

The bright colors and the awesome design are a lot like a blast of good ole sugar right into the bloodstream of your soul … but hopefully without the shakes and seeing spots or hearing voices. Unless that’s your thing, of course.

The initial order window closes on 5/15 … that’s two weeks to check between the sofa cushions, and cash in all those empty bottles and cans you’ve been hoarding. It’s worth it. The first 10 people to place an order for a bib and jersey kit will receive a special gift … details to be shared soon … that will really tie the room together. You know you want it. I know you want it. So get it! Initial delivery estimate is July 3rd … just in time to set off your own fireworks.

Thanks to Castelli and Mike Heenan for yet again creating an awesome design. This new colorway of the original #sugarcrash kit is gonna be gorgeous. The team order website is live now, so you can start placing orders today. Make sure you look for project Sugar Threads 17.1.

Basic details;

  • Bib shorts- $115
  • Jersey- $90
  • LONG sleeve Speedsuit- $165 (if minimums are met … and I *really* want one of these, so please order lots of them!)

Like the original #sugarcrash kits, these are race fit, so they are snug and will make you precisely eleventeen percent faster at a 30 degree yaw angle. #science If you like a looser fit, order one size up. If you like it sleek, snug, and aero(iseverything), then order your usual go fast size.

Needless to say, I am yet again stoked beyond words and can’t wait to wear this glorious kit!

Tim aka Sugar

 

Something #sweet this way comes … 

April 29, 2017

Been quiet here for a bit too long, but good news is coming on Monday, May 1st … so stay tuned!


Sugar

Only gonna say this once …

November 11, 2016

I’ve been struggling to find the words to express my feelings after Tuesday’s election. I doubt there’s been anybody waiting for me to say anything either way- it’s not like my opinion matters in the grand scheme of things, nor do I possess any kind of power or influence. Yet I’ve felt the need to say something.

So, I’m only going to say any of this once, and then I’m putting my head down and working on creating the change I want to see in my world, and for my daughters. I’m sure I might lose a few more friends or followers- I know I’ve been losing them for months now. Hell, I may even screw myself out of a job or potential work with clients, but saying nothing seems a greater risk.

Yes, I voted for the candidate who didn’t win. She wasn’t my first choice, but she seemed the best qualified of those we had to choose from, and her faults seemed to be far less faulty than the other guy. The ugliness and length of the campaign divided many of us into camps we wouldn’t normally be in, and made many of us look at the other side of the argument in a negative light. I can honestly say that in my short(ish) 46yrs, I’ve never experienced a more divisive and toxic environment than we have now. I can’t begin to go into all the variables and causes and intricacies in one post- and frankly, Im unqualified.

Without a doubt, both parties failed us. Hillary is not perfect. Trump is far from the standard the vast majority of my Republican friends would prefer. Bernie didn’t get a fair chance, and the third party candidates were never heard above the noise or considered remotely viable. And then the Electoral College … I can’t even go there. Our “system” is broken, but it’s nothing new- it’s been broken for decades, and long before I was old enough to vote.

In the end, on Tuesday, we all lost.

Now for the ranty part …

Trump won on a platform that tapped into the economic and social fears of good, honest people. He also won on a platform of very ugly divisiveness, hate, xenophobia, blatant sexism, and outright lies. Many very good people are now stained by the ugliness they don’t agree with. I don’t believe for a second that all Trump voters are ugly, bigoted people- many of them are people I have called friends. Unfortunately, they are drowned out by the minority of Trump voters who are, and who now feel emboldened to do really hateful things with impunity. Already, hate crimes are on the rise. And yes, some of those attacks are being carried out by “liberals” against Trump supporters too. But, it can not be overstated that the KKK and various neo-Nazi groups have loudly celebrated the Trump victory and have come out of the fringes to show themselves. It’s real, and it’s happening in small towns, large cities, and in schools across the country. And, to those who turned a blind eye to this part of Trump’s message because they agreed with certain parts of his platform and not the uglier parts, I’m sorry- but the blood is on your hands as well.

Listening to or reading the comments by folks saying that liberals are being whiny babies for not getting what they wanted is astoundingly hypocritical, when I’ve spent the last 8yrs listening to the same people say “he’s not MY president” or “I didn’t vote for him”, and things I won’t bother repeating. For 8yrs I’ve been told that the guy I did vote for- and liked- was the worst president ever and that his policies would destroy the country. 8yrs. I got to listen to people talk about buying more guns and ammo now to prepare for a new civil war of ideology- and threatened armed resistance if Hillary won- tell liberals to just shut up and accept the election results.

I’m not a fan of “he’s not my president”, because … whether I like it or not, he is. Until he is impeached or elected out of office in four years, we are ALL stuck with Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. It sickens me to even type the words, but there’s not a damned thing I can do about it … other than make sure I vote in every mid-term election, and make sure I get others to vote. Slightly more than half of the eligible US population voted. Turned off by the toxic rhetoric, or the unpopular candidates, or simply disaffected by the entire process, over 90 MILLION eligible voters opted not to cast a vote at all. WE, as a nation, did a shitty job of participating in the process of electing a qualified candidate … so we got what we deserve. And it sucks for those of us who don’t like that outcome.

On the night of the election, my oldest daughter climbed into bed with me because she was scared of the election outcome. She’s 15 and is old enough to understand some of the implications of having an openly sexist and misogynistic man as President. She’s also got a lot of friends of color and in the LGBTQ community. My youngest daughter is mixed race- half caucasian and half Taiwanese, with dual citizenship. There are potentially very real implications to the outcome of the election for my family, as well as countless people I know. So, I am not going to shut up and accept that Trump is President and not hold his feet to the fire after all the things he said during the campaign … and especially now that there are hate-filled people invoking his name and committing hate crimes. It can’t be tolerated by any of us, regardless of party affiliation. And that goes for those who attack Trump supporters as well. 

You can continue to call me a “pussy”, tell me I’m just “butthurt”, say I’m a “libtard” or “Democrap”, but I’m going to continue to speak out and fight for my daughters. And, I’m also going to keep an open mind. I’m going to hope that a President Trump is different from candidate Trump, and that he’s going to surround himself with people who have the right experience. For sure, I won’t agree with many of the policies, but I will look at them before forming an opinion. I have always tried to be respectful of opinions different from mine, and I will continue to try. I have no desire to go out and buy a gun and prepare for a literal battle of ideology, though I’m sure I’ll continue to receive threats of violence for my opinions.

I will not accept or embrace hatred, bigotry, sexism, xenophobia, or bullying. But I will attempt to work to find ways to move my small part of the world forward. I will fight for my daughters to have a better world. I will offer my support to those who feel threatened, afraid, or marginalized. I will vote and make sure that everybody I know votes too. I’ll get more involved locally. And I’ll do what I can to make sure that this setback for America is temporary, not permanent. We have a lot of work to do, and I plan to do work.

The time for name calling and finger pointing has passed. The election is over- whether we like the results or not- and we have to find ways to work together, and live together. I may not like the man, but I have to accept the outcome and move forward. I have no desire to see bloodshed. I will not be silent, but I will not fan flames of anger.

There’s work to do.

*end rant*

Tim

#HugeInJapan still, again, once more …

November 7, 2016

Sadly, it was four months ago when I wrote the last update on the #hugeinjapan kits from Castelli, extending the purchase window and asking “one last time” for orders. Well, since that time, a lot has been happening in my personal life and I’ve been doing a crappy job of posting here and maintaining updates- and I sincerely apologize.

Well, we never made the minimum quantities for the order, and the clothing was not produced. But I’ve continued to get intermittent questions about the kits. And, genuinely, I really love the design and want to see it come into existence. So … the order window is reopening and we’re starting from scratch. My sincere apologies to those who attempted to get in on the original order- I totally understand if you don’t wanna continue to wait for the order to meet the minimums. I’ve reopened the order window until January 15th- BUT I am pushing to meet the minimums much sooner. I’m not looking to make any money on this kit- though it would be nice- I just want to see the kit come to life and get to wear it myself. Once minimums are met for the jerseys and bibs, I will make one last announcement in case folks want to place an order for items like skinsuits and vests, or arm warmers- since those are the items that are hardest to meet minimums for.

Kit and ordering details are here. Follow link to the order website, and within a few minutes, you can place your order. If you were in the first attempt to get these kits, your information is still saved, you just need to re-place your actual order.

Again, my apologies for the total drop-off on updates. Life has been an absolute circus and it’s been hard to keep things running smoothly, but I’m hoping that things are back on track now … and want to get this kit put to bed and get ready for another new design.

Thank you all for the continued support.

Tim

Guest Feature from Steve Parke; Iron Clad – the days and nights of steel bike frames

November 6, 2016
Steve Parke is a great friend of mine, as well as an industry peer, and former boss. Even though our paths no longer cross with any regularity, we both periodically send up smoke signals to each other. Now and again, Steve will send an email to a group of us friends and colleagues, a bit like a newsletter, sharing his thoughts, experiences, or musings. Steve is one of my favorite people in the bike industry- and in general- so I eagerly read through these eloquently written postings. Steve’s been a part of the cycling industry for decades, and remains an avid and passionate rider. He’s currently working with BicycleBlueBook, helping them grow and prosper, thanks to his valuable knowledge. I have always had the utmost respect for my friend and his insights. We’ve often referred to each other in various ways as trusted advisors and confidantes- something I value deeply. 
It is with great pride that I get to share his most recent prose with you- the first guest article here. 
***
I ordered a DiNucci custom steel frame last year; it arrived this spring, after the NAHBS show.  It’s my third frame from Mark and arguably his best work, given the cumulative years of talent and exhaustive design effort applied to the lugs and tubing.  If you haven’t taken a look at DiNuccicycles.com, it’s worth the browse.
 
Bicycle frames are so very modern these days, what with nano-partical, uber-impregnated-carbon, and monococque molding, all baked and issued from precise molds with careful layup schedules dictated by CAD drawings that have long since predicted the FEA required, to produce a compliant, but stiff frame – but it has become, I fear, exquisite oatmeal.
 
The embedded industrial design of a carbon frame has permanently re-figured how our eye looks at a bike frame and measures beauty – I’m in the neo-set  too, being the proud owner of a custom Italian rig that weighs next to nothing and handles like a Ferrari. But still I yearned for the essential elegance of steel.
 
Steel frames are visually minimal compared to their modern brethren, but they own the legacy of how we speak about, and understand bike frames.  Ride quality adjectives are all sourced from the benchmark of steel – which is at the top of the list when it comes to defining: comfort, durability, and resiliency.  For years, you could get these wonderful qualities from a steel frame but had to surrender to heavier weights and whippier handling as trade offs.  I think DiNucci took a huge bite out of this apple and solved a lot of those old complaints.
 
I have a special appreciation for artisans that work with steel, tracing back to the smithy’s of yester-year who understood the temperamental relationship between heat and iron and knew how to make the steel submit to shape without robbing its integrity.  Those folks came from craftsmen guilds long ago and those groups sponsored from the early sapiens, which beat on heated metal and drug all of humanity forward with their knowledge.  The treatment of modern steel has changed immeasurably, but the lineage is ancient.
 
My frame took a while to get to me, so if short-on-patience is your bag, a project like this will challenge you – take the journey anyway; it will be worth your time.  Mark starts with the customary interview, then does the CAD drawings and then picks up the torch and runs the lathe – who does that anymore? Not many!  Everything is precise.  Each frame gets custom attention to the areas where weight can be trimmed based on tube butting’s. When it arrived I carefully unpacked it and let my eye wander around the frame and discovered many small studies in form and curve.  Staring at a beautifully crafted frame lifted my mood – go figure. 
  
During the process, I would call Mark from time to time to ask how it was going, but mostly just to chat, and because I like how his mind conjures the world of bicycles.  Progress was steady, but sometimes stalled by benefactors in the supply chain who were slow to deliver as promised – nothing is stock “off the shelf” in this ensemble and it took a while to get it right.  The aiming point for completion was the 2016 NAHBS show in Sacramento, where he showed my frame (raw) and it took best in show. 
 
So how does it ride?  Dreamy, smooth, sure, and fast when I am motivated.  Descending is flawless with great cornering manners, and those longer-than-usual chainstays soak up the imperfections in the road with ease.  It feels like there is 30% less “harshness” showing up in the seat and bars on rough pavement. 
 
What does it weigh?  A mere 17 pounds with a steel fork, Dura Ace mechanical 11 spd and American Classic Argent wheels.  A 17lb bike with a steel frame!
 
Years ago, I worked with a highly pragmatic, exceptional, mechanic who did not worry so much about the cosmetics on a bike (translation: color).  He used to chide customers who fretted over the color choice and one day, in a state of semi-exasperated retail bliss, blurted out to a potential female customer: “lady, color on a bike is about as important as feathers on a fish.”  I always thought he was “kinda right and kinda wrong,” but it turns out, I am a little closer to that lady than I would like to admit.  Selecting the color, working through Mark, who turned over the paint work to Joe Bell was the second artisan’s hand that would shape the final look of the bike.  I sent along a circa 1988 Silca frame pump, still in great working order, and asked for it to be painted to match.  Such a fantastic pump for actually fixing a flat; but really, pretty cheap plastic all in all – yet, they do last with care. Also, I asked for “red” which I later learned was to be interpreted as, “on the red spectrum” and came out a lot closer to orange.  The official paint color Joe used was, Bryan Bayliss Cad Red; its rare.  To be honest, the color was not what I had anticipated, but the work was just flawless and the pump was given special attention – a perfect old school compliment to a modern frame execution.
 
When I take it out for a ride, other riders occasionally spot the craftsmanship and register a praiseworthy comment. And while I am the steward of ownership, it is the artisans, with their mad skills that deserve those compliments, so I pass this along in honor of Joe and Mark. 
Thanks for reading,
Steve

Fork Crown.JPGFrame.JPG