Category: Cycling Links

How bicycles were made in the 1940’s

Back in the mid 19th century, Britain was renown worldwide for its bicycle industry.

In this vintage video by the British Council Film, you’ll get a pretty remarkable look at how workers at a Raleigh bicycle factory built steel bikes almost entirely by hand back in 1945.

Skip to the 11:36 mark to watch one guy prepare more than 1,000 new pedals in an 8-hour shift, and how women were trained to fill new tires and tubes in less than 50 seconds (14:08).

The plant was demolished nearly two decades ago and turned into part of the University of Nottingham. Nice to see a bit of its history still remains.

Yesteryear “GIVES BACK”

We are very proud to announce the donation of 2 Saris Cycle Aid Stations to the City of New Bedford.  In an effort to promote more cycling in the city, these custom made work stations will be strategically placed.  One will be near the entrance to Wing’s Court in downtown and the other near the visitors center at Fort Taber in the south end.  It was unanimously agreed that these are the 2 highest cyclist traffic areas in the city.  The downtown/Purchase street area has many students from Umass and Fort Taber is a gathering spot for walkers and cyclists both.


Each one of these workstations are built to order and are available in 12 colors.  They come equipped with 8 heavy duty tools which are the most commonly used in home repair.  Tire levers, pliers, adjustable wrench, torx, phillips and standard screwdrivers make up the set.  They are affixed to the workstation with stainless steel cables and are only able to reach the bicycle that is to be serviced.  These stands are in use in most major cities throughout the United States and are virtually tamper proof. 

In coordination with The New Bedford Bicycle Committee, Mayor Jon Mitchell along with Sarah Clermont who is with Mass in Motion, this whole project was the mastermind of Kim Camara, owner of Yesteryear Cyclery. ” I felt it would be a great idea for both residents and visitors to the city to have a way to fix a minor problem ‘on the fly’ without the need of a service call.”  Each workstation has an ID plate with a “QR” code that can be scanned by any smart phone and recieve instant repair tips.  Also affixed to the main tubes is a stainless steel plate which states, “Are you in over your head ??? Give us a call.”  with the phone number of the bike shop. We will gladly give over the phone advice and tips or arrange for free pickup and transport to the store to better resolve the problem if the need be so.

Look for these workstations and feel free to use them !!!



November 26, 2013

by Don Stefanovich

Fat bikes can be used for riding around town or races in the snow. (Image: Flickr user fotoman311)

Fads always have a polarizing effect; they create as many haters as followers. The bike industry is no exception. Enough trends have come and gone in the last few decades of cycling that we could fill a War and Peace-sized tome to those that have become fixtures of our sport and those that have faded into obscurity.

While PeopleForBikes believes in anything that gets more people on two wheels is a very good thing, fat bikes aren’t a hit with everyone at the party. We know some of you have done it – looked on with disgust as someone mounted one at the trailhead, made fun of a friend for riding one to work or maybe even rode one yourself when no one was looking.

What started as a niche product, available through only select manufacturers, is now creeping into the product lines of mainstream mountain-bike makers. Folks now shamelessly smile aboard their fatties and these big tire beauties even have their own international day of recognition: Global Fat Bike Day on December 7. There’s even a Global Fat Bike Summit. Not bad for a “fad.”

Today there are a number of fat bikes on the market from a variety of boutique brands. Even some of the big names in the biz are “rounding” out their lineups with them. But how did we end up with such an epidemic?

Which came first, the fat bike or the mountain bike? (Image: Flickr user Chris Sgaraglino)

The First Fatties

Some argue that the first fat tire bikes were also some of the first mountain bikes – the “ballooners” or “klunkerz” of Marin County, California. These modified 1940s Schwinn cruisers had high-volume “balloon” tires that were ridden on and around Marin’s Mount Tamalpais in the 70s and 80s. But most accounts put the birth of contemporary fat bikes in Alaska during the early 90s. Just like Marin’s klunkerz, they evolved to go where their two-wheeled contemporaries could not.

Who actually developed the bikes varies with the source, but Mark Gronewald is often credited. Reportedly, he invented the first fatties to gain a competitive edge in ultra-sport races, such as the 1000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational. Others point to a gentleman named Ray Molino, whose big tires appeared around the same time in New Mexico and Texas, where touring bikes were needed to cover great distance in the desert.

Existing bike frames were modified to accommodate the wide wheels, often by welding two rims together, and tire carcasses were cut and sewn to fit the rims. With rims up to 80 millimeters thick and high-volume tires up to four inches in diameter that could be run at low pressures, tackling deep snow and soft sand on two wheels didn’t seem like such a silly notion.

But it was most likely the Minnesota-based Surly brand – previously known for commuters and singlespeeds – that brought big rubber to the masses. Their Pugsley was the first mass-produced fat bike and debuted in 2005, rolling on Surly’s own Large Marge rims and Endomorph tires. The rest, as they say, happened after that.

Fat bikes can even be ridden on warm days in the city.

Why go fat?

So, why would any self-respecting cyclist be caught dead on one of these? There are plenty of reasons, including the original impetus of floating over snow and sand, but perhaps the best reason is one shared by just about any form of bike: it’s fun.

Should you dump your daily driver for a fat bike? Of course not. Will a portly steed in your stable render your full-suspension bike obsolete? Not a chance. But there is a simple pleasure that comes with forgetting about things like weight, rolling resistance and Strava times, and instead, charging your favorite singletrack on a steel frame and big rubber with no abandon. So go on, ride one. As the rocks and roots disappear beneath the corpulent casings, perhaps you too will fall in love with a fat bike. And if not, at least you tried it. We won’t tell anyone.

FUN 107 Auction

Here’s a chance to bid on ALL kinds of “killer deals” for Christmas.  The WFHN 107FM annual auction.  “Seize the Deal”  held Monday Dec 2 through Friday Dec 6.  We have FOUR  (4) really great bikes on the block.  Save hundred$$$$$$.  Click on the image below to go there !!!!   DO IT  !!!!”    


How to lock your bike


How to Lock Your Bike     ByEmily Furia and Gina Welch


Some foolproof advice on reducing the odds of theft—or at least increasing your chances of getting your stolen bike back


1. Find something sturdy to lock the bike to. Make sure thieves can’t simply lift the bike over it.
2. Watch out for scaffolding and “sucker poles”—shake them first to ensure they’re solidly in the ground. As Kryptonite product manager Don Warren puts it, “The bike is only as secure as what you’re locking it to.

3. Wheel theft is on the rise. If you can’t lock one of yours, take it with you. But don’t park the bike that way long—thieves will start to strip it.

4. Don’t use a U-lock around your bike’s top tube, says Michael McGettigan, owner of Trophy Bikes in Philadelphia. A thief could use the frame as a lever to pop it open. Use the lock to secure a wheel to your down tube.

5. Locks are about buying time. A burly chain at least 12mm thick will delay thieves the longest.

6. Remove the front wheel, then lock both wheels together with the frame, bike mechanic Ruzal suggests.

Mark your bike
“A thief’s big concern is, ‘Can I sell this bike in 30 minutes?’” McGettigan says. “Thieves don’t want one that’s easily identifiable.” Write your initials at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock on each tire with a Sharpie.­ Or pen your name on the top tube and cover it with layers of clear packing tape. A thief can remove it with some effort, but it probably won’t be worth the hassle.

Take a mug shot

Write your bike’s serial number in marker on paper and have someone photograph you displaying it next to your bike. Also take shots of identifying details and keep them stored in your phone. There’s no theft without proof of ownership. Have yours ready.

Buy new locks
That Craigslist find might be a bargain, but it could be compromised or outdated.

Know your neighborhood 
Talk to a local bike shop. The staff should be well versed on the amount of theft occurring in the neighborhood and may have some targeted advice about where (or where not) to lock up. Or check with a local advocacy organization.

Steer Clear 
Avoid stoops where people hang out on milk crates, McGettigan says—loiterers may tip off thieves. Don’t lock at train stations; park a block away so no one will think you’re gone all day. Best case: well-lit areas with foot traffic, near buildings with video surveillance.

Still Want More? Go on the record

On Bike Shepherd, you can enter your bike’s serial number into a national database and buy three scannable, tamper-­resistant QR stickers for the frame. The idea is to make a would-be thief wonder if selling the bike will pose a hassle. BikeSpike uses GPS to locate your bike—and cellular technology to share that location in real time.