Bike Brands and Conglomerates That Own Them

The list below was quickly assembled from Google and sourced back to the respective company website, but it should not be considered an exhaustive list.  I decided to put this list together to look at the bicycle market and how it seems like there are fewer choices in today’s market.  There is also the proposed tariffs here in the U.S. on the imported bicycles from overseas.  While this Bloomberg report covers that angle pretty well, you have to wonder what it means the American bicycle market.  Will the tariff make it much more expensive to pick up a kid’s BMX bike from a big box store or make the price of the average entry level road bike increase by 25%?  I guess we will have to wait and see on that, but I won’t hold my breath while we wait to see high end mountain or road machines being manufactured here in the U.S. due to the tariffs.

Accell ASI* Dorel Cycleurope Pon
Haibike
Winora
Batavus
Sparta
Koga
Lapierre
Ghost
Raleigh Diamondback
Tunturi
Atala
Redline
Loekie
Fuji Bikes
SE Bikes
Kestrel Bicycles
Breezer Bikes
Oval Concepts
Phat Cycles
Tuesday_Cycles
Cannondale
Schwinn
Kid Trax
Caloi
Mongoose
GT
Fabric
Sugoi
Sombrio
Charge Bikes
Guru
Bianchi
Dbs
Everton
Gitane
Kildemoes
Monark
Crescent
Puch
Spectra
Tec
Peugeot
Definitive
BBB Cycling
Cervélo
Derby_Cycle
Faraday
BikeNED
Gazelle
Santa_Cruz
Union
Raleigh UK
Univega
Rixe
Kalkhoff
Focus

*Owner of Performance Bike stores

Note: Pon has offered to acquire Accell, which would certainly make the others look at each other as potential buyers, but the tariff situation could make for an interesting outcome for all of them.

So which bike brands are not owned by a conglomerate?

  • Trek
  • Specialized
  • KHS
  • Kona
  • Colnago
  • Pinarello
  • Merida
  • Ok, I give up. Check this Wiki list for another few 100

Shimano Upgrade on ’07 Raleigh Cadent Carbon

The components on my 2007 Raleigh Cadent Carbon, while functional, were getting a little long in the tooth and I was ready to move up to an 11 speed double from the 10 speed triple that came on the bike.  Originally the bike was built with a Shimano drive train by Raleigh with 105 Shifters and Ultegra Derailleurs.  The triple would usually stop shifting to the big ring at least once a year when the cable housing started splaying apart on the shifter end of things.  Luckily I got used to this and had some spare housing to fix when that would happen.  Other than that, the 10 speed triple set up has been very reliable for the last seven years.

I started looking at piecing the new groupset together over the winter and my friend that owns a local bike shop offered me the NikNik discount to get me going on the project, but I did not want to order the parts through him and put him to the trouble swapping out items if something needed to go back that he couldn’t sell in the store.  Being the procrastinator I am when it comes to big decisions, I held off until I came across some Ultegra 11 speed shifters on the clearance table at the local Performance Bike store.  According to the mechanics, the shifters were new and had been installed on a customer’s existing bike, but then the customer decided against the upgrade and returned everything and had the same mechanics remove the stuff they had just installed. The wasted effort of the endeavor was evident in the bike mechanic’s tone as the story was told. So I grabbed these up with no idea where I would come up with the rest of parts.  As I was checking out, one of the managers, Luke, said if you want those, take a look at this and we went back to the clearance table where there was also a FSA Gossamer compact 10/11 speed 170mm crank.  I wasn’t sure if it was my size or not, so I held off until I could check my current crank arm length.  Once at home, what I had thought were 172.5 mm crank arms were actually 170 mm just like the Gossamer crank on the clearance table.  So back to Performance the next morning to grab the cranks.  With two major parts down at a very good discount, it was time to figure out where to buy the other parts.

While talking with my friend at the local bike shop, I asked about Shimano pricing and how it was supposed to be cheaper now that they have limited the number of the distributors and he said he sees the same prices on Wiggle that he gets from Shimano directly.  Sure enough, my price comparisons showed Wiggle generally beats any of the online bike part retailers so I placed an order with Wiggle for derailleurs, cassette, bottom bracket, cables and housings.  I ended up needing a bottom bracket as the Gossamer crank set had a press fit bottom bracket included with it and I needed a 68mm english.  The final pieces for the project were not part of the drive train, but I wanted to upgrade to save some weight.  Those were the fork, stem, and seat post.  I ended up going with an Amazon source for the carbon stem in my size of 100mm 17 degrees, and Bike Nashbar for the full carbon fork and seat post.

Finally, I did want to spend some money with my friend’s local bike shop even though I would only pay cost due to my close relationship with NikNik. Maybe I will blog about NikNik one day.  This final purchase was a new wheelset.  I bought the Mavic Equipe S wheelset based on what was left in my budget and think they will work fine for me and my style of riding.

Once my wife had left for the weekend to kid sit the nephew while her sister did some house hunting in D.C., the bike rebuild started.  I don’t remember what order I did it all in, but eventually I ended up with all of the new parts installed and in need of some tuning and adjustments.  I watched a few YouTube videos, especially on the shifter install and cabling as I have no experience with routing the cables along the handlebar.  It was not too bad to get going once you get the shifters in the lowest or highest setting so the hole for the cable lines up so you can get the end to catch in the right spot.  Cable housing length was a guesstimate, but seems to be working.  The longest and hardest part of the build was the alignment and adjustment of the front derailleur.  I don’t think it would take half as long next time, as I now know that with a compact crank and an 11-32 cassette it’s almost impossible to get the set up to be completely silent.  The rear derailleur was easy compared to the front, but it was the one that needs some adjusting after the first ride.

One issue I did hit while doing the rebuild was trying to get the crank spindle installed into the new bottom bracket.  I was pretty much convinced that I bought the wrong bottom bracket or the crankset was not compatible with the bottom bracket.  Finally a timely YouTube search lead me to a Park tools video that explained it could take a couple of hits with a rubber mallet to get the spindle through the bottom bracket.  A couple of whacks with the mallet and the crankset was installed.

Some other items I spent a little time researching before installing them were the cutting of the fork steerer and determining chain length.  YouTube was helpful and remembering I had bought a tube cutting guide a few years ago made it a lot easier to get a straight cut.  I did not wrap the steerer with tape where I planned to cut.  I just used a mini hacksaw and went slow and steady rotating the fork and trying to make as much of the cut to the outside of the steerer tube.  There was not any fraying of the carbon on the last cut from the inside to outside of the tube and I ran a sharpening stone (I couldn’t find my file) over the top of the steerer to smooth out everything before installing it.  The biggest pain with the fork was getting the crown race off the old fork and getting it installed on the new fork.  I was able to get it installed, but it was really tight on the new fork.  To determine the chain length, I used a video that walks you through using a little piece of coat hangar to hold the chain together while you adjust the chain manually from the smallest sprocket and small chain ring to check the rear derailleur tension.  Then repeat the process with large chain ring and largest sprocket.  I ended up cutting off about 6 links before installing the link pin.

By the time I finished everything on Saturday afternoon it was in the 90’s outside and I was mentally beat.  So I delayed a ride until I had some rest and cooler temps and that was this morning at 6am.  I took the bike out and did my normal route from my house to edge of Lake Jordan, which is 30 miles round trip.  When I got on the bike, front and rear shifting were working fine; but a couple of miles into the trip the rear derailleur did not want to go down to the 11 speed sprocket and there was some chain chatter in the smaller cogs.  Pulling on the rear derailleur cable let me know that tightening the tension on the cable should make that stop and it did, but it did not address the shifting into the 11 tooth cog problem.  What I think has happened is either the cable stretched or the set screw for the outermost position wasn’t quite right, but I am leaning toward another theory that when I wrapped the handle bars I had already made my adjustments and wrapping the cable housing on the handle bar may have resulted in adding some tension to the cable.  I also wrapped the bars too close to the stem which puts more tension on the cables, so I will cut that back and then adjust the set screw and see what I get.

Overall, the ride was great.  Being on the road between 6 and 8 am on Sunday was quite different from my normal ride times of weekdays between 6 and 8 pm.  The front derailleur shifted smoothly and looked like it was going to let the chain fall off onto the crank arm a couple of times, but never did so I think I need to tweak that set screw as well.  The wheelset is pretty quite and rolls well.  While I took meticulous measurements and tried to match all of the new parts so they were measuring the same, I may have missed something on the handlebar and shifter set up as I did get a little numbness in my hands on the ride and come to think of it I did the shifters and handlebar angle by eye and never did measure like I did on the seat and seat post re-install. Update: Measurement of the shifter hoods showed I was off my about 4cm to the high side and I was able to adjust the angle of the handlebars to get the new hoods within a few mm of the old measurement.

At this point I am very happy with being able to do the upgrade and stay around a $1,000 budget including the wheelset.  Would I try to tackle doing the tear down and rebuild on my own next time?  It’s hard to say, but I am glad I did and have that experience now.  There were times when I was so frustrated and tired that I made stupid mistakes like cutting cable housing to length while I had the new cable inside of it.  DOH!  And who knew a front derailleur could be such a pain in the butt.  If you remember the original Star Trek movie and Khan goes into battle with Kirk and Khan forgets to think in three dimensions and is easily dispatched by Kirk.  I think the front derailleur is the same.  You have height, angle and depth.  If any of those are off, then it’s not going to work correctly.  See the bottom of this post for some photos.  Here are parts and prices and weight information.

Parts/Price List and Sourcing:

Part Description Cost Source/Link
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-R60 Ultegra 6800/105 5800 Hollowtech ii Black/Grey English Thread  $16.99 Wiggle
Crankset FSA Gossamer Crankset 34-50 CK-C6028  $83.00* Performance Bicycle
Chain Shimano Ultegra 6800 / XT M8000 11 Speed Chain Silver 11 Speed  $39.01 Wiggle
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-Speed Braze on Front Derailleur Grey/Black 11 Speed  $27.99 Wiggle
Read Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800 Rear Derailleur Black/Grey GS Medium 32T Max  $51.99 Wiggle
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-Speed Cassette Silver Grey 11-32T  $49.99 Wiggle
Brake Cable Set Shimano Road Brake Cable Set  $6.99 Wiggle
Shifter Cable Set LifeLine Performance Gear Cable Set – Shimano/Sram Black One Size  $13.24 Wiggle
Shifters Ultegra 6800 11 Speed  $175.00* Performance Bicycle
Fork Nashbar Full Carbon Road  $128.00 Nashbar
Stem RXL SL 3K Amazon  $42.00 Amazon
Seatpost Nashbar Carbon  $40.00  Nashbar
Bake Calipers Ultegra 6800 $78  Nashbar
Wheels Mavic Equipe S & Tires  $357.44  LBS
  Total w/o Wheels  $752.20  
  Total w/Wheels  $1,109.64

*- Performance Bicycle Clearance Table Items (new condition and warranty)

For those interested in weights, here is a breakdown as best I can using either the specifications from the manufacturer or actually weighing the component.

Part Old New Old Weight New Weight Diff Grams
Bottom Bracket Truvativ GXP BB Ultegra 6800 106 76 -30
Crankset Truvativ Elita Crankset FSA Gossamer CK-C6028 compact 1095 770 -325
Chain Shimano 10s Shimano KCNHG900 11 speed
Front Derailleur Ultegra ’07 Triple FD-6800 11 Speed 113 87 -26
Read Derailleur Ultegra ’07 10s RD-6800 Medium Long Cage 32 max 218 210 -8
Cassette 105 12-27 10 Speed Ultegra 11-32 11 Speed 265 283 18
Brake Cable Set JagWire Shimano Road Brake Cable Set
Shifter Cable Set Clarks Shimano Road Shifter Cable Set
Shifters 105 ’07 10sp/Trip. Ultregra 6800 11 Speed 500 447 -53
Fork Raleigh Carbon Alloy Steerer Nashbar Full Carbon Road 715 367 -348
Stem Eleven81 100mm 17 degrees RXL SL 3K Amazon 49 39 -10
Seatpost Raleigh Carbon Nashbar Carbon 306 241 -65
Brakes Generic Road BR-6800 343 335 -8
Wheels Forte Apollo Mavic Equipe S 1650 1690 40
Total 5360 4545 -815

DSC_0460 DSC_0464 DSC_0465 DSC_0466 DSC_0468 DSC_0469 DSC_0471 DSC_0472

Three’s

If bad luck runs in three’s, I hope I am done with BL for a while.  So I backup my OS drive on my photo processing workstation and tell Acronis TrueImage to shutdown the computer when complete.  Well, that shutdown was permanent, it would seem, as the motherboard on the system will not even reach POST.  So a capacitor has probably gone bad, but I can’t complain about the Gateway refurb that I picked up on the cheap almost five years ago.   And now I get to build a new system and get to include my niece when I build it to see if she has any interest in future geekdom.  The second incident is appropriately a two-fer.  I went to load the bike on the rack to meet a friend to ride with Debby and noticed a rear flat.  No big deal I have a spare tube and can replace it once we get to the meet up location.  Replacing the tube went okay and while I was getting ready I reached over Debby while she was bent over and my elbow caught the best of her pointy little helmet and I almost fell as she stood up, but in the process I knocked my bike over trying to catch my balance.  No big deal, I tell them to go on I will catch up as I was not in the best of moods at this point.  Finally ready, I start off and all is okay until I take the first hill.  Going in to easy gear the chain goes over the top of the cassette into the spokes.  Luckily I un-clipped before the drive train completely locked up.  Got it working enough to ride the 1/4 mile back to the car and rigged a spare tire and my belt to a tree limb for a temporary work stand.  Made some adjustments and thought all was well and started off again.  All was well for the first six miles when I met Debby and her friend on the way back in.  So I turned around caught and passed them and then the trouble with the rear derailleur started again.  I was so frustrated by this point my bike may as well have been a punching bag.  Too frustrated to deal with it again, Debby went to get the car.  Sadly I was not a nice person to be around from that point on.  Then to top things off, the third incident of BL was when I am supposed to photograph the executives at my work. I set up my office as a temporary studio and the first couple of test shots went well.  Lighting and contrast are looking decent with the US and NC flags as the backdrop; then the camera reports “Err”.  I am like, can it get any worse?  I swap lenses, reset the camera, totally reset all the settings, pull the battery and nothing seems to help.  Luckily with the newer complicated cameras I have seen the light and keep the manual with me.  I looked up the meaning “Err” in the manual and what it basically said was if you get this message a lot have the camera checked out by service personnel, but tripping the shutter should overcome the error condition.  Shutter tripped, error goes away.  Now if all my other troubles could do the same with just the click of a shutter release.

Fitness 2.0

Three years ago, January 2009, I was in the midst of a fitness renaissance. I was working out with a personal trainer (PT) a couple of times a week and I eventually lost close to 30 pounds. My doctor took me off of one diabetes medication and my hemoglobin A1C levels were well below what is considered diabetic or pre-diabetic.  After about nine months of working with my PT, he left the gym to focus on his full-time job, a physician’s assistant in the cardiology department at a local hospital, and his new home. I tried to stick with cycling and use the group fitness classes to keep my fitness program going, but schedules and an overcrowded gym made it easy for me to find excuses not to go and I ended up relying solely on cycling.  That worked for a while, but a year ago this week I fell while mountain biking and fractured my left wrist to the point of needing a plate and nine screws to fix it.  I ended up only getting 560 miles in on the bike in 2012 after riding 1,200+ in 2011, which matched my mileage in 2009 while 2010 was only 800 miles.

Fortunately, the lack of exercise and fitness and the extra pounds I am carrying has not impacted my body in the form of eye, circulatory, or heart problems usually associated with long-term diabetes. I was first diagnosed in 1992 at age 30.  A recent stress test found no issues and my yearly eye exams show no signs of diabetic implications. So I consider that I have been given a second chance to make changes and restart my fitness program.

This year I have not made some strict new year resolution to keep.  It’s January 17th and I have not been to the gym yet, but I have started to watch my portions and take advantage of the convenience protein shakes and I have cut the amount of diet soda with caffeine I have to 16 ounces per day and I am drinking well over 8 glasses of water per day as well.  While I have done this almost two weeks, the weight loss has been minimal and I know it will increase once I can get in some cardio several times a week. This past week I ended up with blister on my heel that kept me out of the gym and from wearing practical shoes in the middle of winter for that matter.

So to keep me honest, here are my stats at the start of the year.  Weight 222.  Blood glucose average in the morning 150.  Now I am at 217 and I am waiting a couple of weeks before starting to track my sugar levels.  If I could only talk myself into riding my bike in the winter. I have started participating the local diabetes support group and we are weighing in each month. So there is more incentive there to get on with the program. So officially my goals this year are “13 in three-quarters” and 1,300 in 2013.  This means I plan to lose 13 pounds in each quarter between now and  the end of the third quarter and ride 1,300 miles this year. Stay tuned to see I how make out.

Tour de Cure Photos

Just completed posting the photos from NC Tour de Cure charity cycling event which raises funds for the American Diabetes Association. Each year it grows and I am truly amazed by the Red Riders and Team Red as well as the other riders who complete this event each year. This year the current total on the web site is $204,871.88, which is 82% of the quarter million goal. I also have to give some props to Tommy Babb for not only volunteering as a HAM Radio/SAG driver, but assisting me by shooting some great pix while on the road with the riders. This year's schedule had me going straight from the long ride start to the finish where a shorter ride was starting later that morning. I tried to split up the days into reasonable chunks so the images will be easier to find, but it might be a bit of crap shoot on the finish segment. I have shot this event for the last three years and next year the plan is for Debby and I to see you on the road as fellow cyclists instead of photographers. So if you know a volunteer photographer, the gig is open.

Performance Procyon Sunglasses

20-1984-RED-ANGLEFor the last few years, I have been wearing a pair of Performance Bicycle’s Procyon cycling glasses with a prescription insert for riding. I am on my second pair after the silicon nose pieces deteriorated due to sunscreen and sweat and the local store swapped them out for me. I am still using that pair and picked up a spare a few weeks ago and now it looks like the prescription inserts are on clearance and I can no longer find the Procyon glasses on the Performance web site. This is sad as these were decent glasses other than the silicon nose pads and ear pieces. The nose pads get really nasty looking before they finally refuse to stay in the wire nose pad frames. The problem with the silicon ear pieces is they will start sliding off of the temples if you pull the glasses off with a helmet or hat holding them in place. The simple solution for the ear piece problem is super glue if you manage not to lose one when it gets stuck behind your ear. The nose pads, however, are a different story. My first attempt at a replacement was to use heat shrink tubing over the metal nose pad frame. This worked, but offered little if any cushioning. So while at the local Home Depot to pick up some nuts for the lawn mower, I browsed the hardware aisle and came across rubber bolt covers. I picked up two size 10 for about a $1.

Once at home, I cut off the heat shrink tubing and slid on the cap over the metal frame. They looked a little small, so I took them off, boiled some water and dropped the caps into the water for about a minute. Then I slid them back on the nose pad metal frames and they went up just far enough to cover the whole metal nose pad frame. Hopefully this, along with the spare pair, will keep me in riding glasses for a few more years.

2011 Run for Our Heroes and the rest of the day

Got an early start to the day at the Run for Our Heroes – Raleigh Police memorial Foundation's annual 5K run/walk.  The guy who won, Joe Moore, had an insane time of 14:44.  This was the 3rd annual as well as my 3rd time photographing the event with another photographer, Dr. Waters. My photos can be found at the performancepixel.com site under 2011 or this link.  After the the event I was able to get some lunch at Napper Tandy's before stopping by Cycle Logic to walk off lunch with NikNik the bike shop dog.  Then home for my own almost 50K on the bike.  The day was finished up with my nephew Quinn's 19th birthday party at the mall where he was able to ride the carousel once again.  The little guy played us though, when it came to give up the ticket to ride operator it was no where to be found.  Then, as he rode the carousel, he held up his hand and inside was the ticket we spent several minutes looking for while holding up the ride.  I guess we really need to stop counting, but a 19th birthday for Quinn represents 13 more than the doctors ever thought he would see.  You go Quinn. 

Another Creaky Knee Hike and a ATT Ride

I was able to get outside a little this weekend with a Saturday ride on the American Tobacco Trail with Emily and another Creaky Knee Hiking Club event today to make it two for two on the exercise front.  The rest of my time this weekend went to watching Quinn's baseball game the Miracle League Field in Cary on Friday and trying to get this blog working again after something ate my .htaccess file.  Godaddy support said to check the DNS setup that I was not pointing to the correct server.  Sorry guys, nothing changed on that side of things.  I am pretty sure it was a plugin that ate it, so I am a little bit afraid of the W3 total cache. I might try it again after a complete back up of the site.  Here are the exercise stats…