Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Best Nutritional Article I've Read In Awhile

We get the Hammer Nutrition magazine every quarter or so. It's generally crammed with lots of good information about ultra-event nutrition, training, and even some good stories. The most recent issue had a great article on sugar consumption. At least I didn't drink 35.5 gallons of soda this year! Check it out!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A great quote

This is one to live by:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

What a great way to live life! I found this while reading The Death Valley Tricycle Expedition Blog.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Terracycles Cargo Monster has arrived!

We received our first Cargo Monster today and hooked it up to a Catrike Trail. This thing is a blast! Kate took it home for the weekend to try it out on trips to Costco and shopping for Thanksgiving. We will have her thoughts on it next week. In the meantime, here is a video of Kate and Andres playing around in the parking lot.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Volunteers Needed for a Metro Bike Study!

I just received the following from Steve Crosley, Senior Transportation Planner at Fehr & Peers. If you are interested, please contact them directly.

Volunteers Needed for a Metro Bike Study!

Metro is looking for volunteers to help study the sustainability benefits of the Metro Orange Line and its integrated bikeway. We’re trying to determine how the bikeway and storage facilities have encouraged alternative travel modes, reduced car usage, and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

We need your help to survey bike riders, walkers, and even park-and-riders who are boarding the Metro Orange Line and to count bike and pedestrian trips on the Orange Line bikeway. This is positioned to be a pioneering new study and would help make the case to include bicycle facilities in every new transit infrastructure project Metro builds.

The survey dates: Wednesday, December 9th & Saturday, December 12th.

Eight (8) stations on Wednesday, December 9th, from approximately 6:00AM - 2:00PM.

Two (2) stations on Saturday, December 12th, from approximately 10:00AM - 4:00PM.

We’d like to staff each station with several volunteers, at 2-hour intervals. Can you help us by volunteering?

Please visit the website below to read more and submit contact information or sign up for a volunteer slot.

Questions? Please contact Steve Crosley at 310-458-9916 or

Thanks for your interest!

2009 Pizza Century

Every year, Tim Woudenberg and Phil Plath gather the masses (okay, about 20 of us) together in Half Moon Bay for a 94 mile ride down to Santa Cruz and back, with a stop at Upper Crust Pizza on the north end of Santa Cruz.

It's a long drive to go ride 94 miles, but is great meeting up with friends that I get to see only a few times a year. Tim has ridden on a few of the Bent Up Cycles RAAM teams over the years, and I am looking forward to sponsoring his solo effort this year.

This year's ride was also the official "return to cycling" for David, who is just returning from 8 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Welcome back David!

As usual, I forgot my camera, but Bill Bushnell took some great pictures and posted them here.

I only did half the ride. It was cold and drizzly, and chatting with Lee Mitchell about our upcoming RAAM seemed like more fun than being cold and wet!

Thanks to Tim and Phil for hosting the was great seeing you all again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catrike Named Manufacturer of the Year

On 11/05/09 Big Cat HPV, LLC manufacturer of Catrike, was awarded Manufacturer of the Year for under 125 Employees by the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Paulo Camasmie, company founder and Catrike designer, was there to receive the award and said, “This was a lengthy and strict process, and the competition was very high, so it is a great honor for us to receive this award. Only in this country a person without knowing anyone, but with a dream, the will and a fair amount of competence, can start a business, and 9 years later receive this incredible award. Thank to the MAF and their judges.”

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Terracycles Cargo Monster is here!

Terracycles is one of our favorite manufacturers. Pat, Robert and the gang are always working on something new and innovative! Their attention to detail is second-to-none and their customer service is well-known in the recumbent industry.

Pat and Robert have spent the past year designing an XtraCycle-style system for recumbent trikes and bikes. But to call this just an XtraCycle for recumbents would be doing it a great disservice! Each model is custom-build for the specific bike/trike that it is going to be installed on. You can also convert 20" bikes to a 26" rear wheel (works on most, but not all, models). Finally, all XtraCycle parts and accessories will work with the system.

We are expecting our first Cargo Monster next week and will post additional pictures and thoughts then. In the meantime, check out the pictures at the Flickr site (many thanks to for sharing these photos)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Safe Cycling in Los Angeles

Perhaps with the conviction of doctor Christopher Thomas Thompson on six felony counts and one misdemeanor charge when he slammed on his brakes in front of two cyclists in Mandeville Canyon last year, drivers in Los Angeles (and around the country/world) will start taking notice of cyclists as legitimate road users. The Los Angeles Times certainly did! Check out their mulit-faceted article on safe cycling in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Year of Brevets in Review

I spend this last year in an epic quest to complete an entire brevet series. For the uninitiated, a brevet is a long distance cycling event that it non-competitive and time-limited. The standard lengths are 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km and 1200km. Other distances are possible, but these are the most common. My goal was to complete the early season brevet series to qualify for the Gold Rush 1200km Randonee. I had mixed results - I had many fantastic rides, some absurd failures, and many lessons learned.

I rode all of my events with the PCH Randonneurs, a Ventura-based group of ultra-distance cyclists. The 200km event started in Ventura, rode south along PCH to Malibu, back north all the way to Montecito, and then back down the coast to Ventura. Although it was a flat ride, it was quite windy in the morning. I remember riding down East Hueneme Rd. leaned way over into the wind that was blowing ferociously against my full-disk rear wheel! By the time we made it back to Ventura for lunch, the wind had died down and I continued riding to Montecito with my good friend, Bruce. It was a great way to start the season, and we finished in 9 hours, 30 minutes.

The 300k started with pouring rain. I'm not talking drizzle here, I mean RAIN...something we are not all that accustomed to here in SoCal. Fortunately, I grabbed the shower cap out of the hotel room, and while it may not have been a great fashion statement, it kept my head dry throughout the event. This ride went from Ventura up to Lake Casitas, over the Casitas pass through the foothills to Montecito, more climbing in the foothills above Santa Barbara and up the coast to a beach turnaround, and back along the coast to Ventura. We then headed south and inland to Moorpark, over Grimes Canyon to Filmore and back out to Ventura.

While this ride was wet for the first 5 hours, it was a great ride. This was the first ride where I started meeting new people. Joseph Maurer and I shared a hotel room at the start, and I rode with several others throughout the ride. While some cursed the rain, I rather enjoyed it. I find riding in the rain akin to being a 7-year-old again, splashing through the mud puddles. I did learn, however, that clip on fenders are not deep enough to prevent spray from engulfing the rider behind me on a fast descent!

More to come...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Following the rules of the road - are we considered vehicles?

My wife always manages to find great articles on cycling for me to read. This one was a particular gem!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've been meaning to try the SRAM bar end shifters for some time. Unfortunately, you need a SRAM drivetrain to run with it, and the RED drivetrain does not work with a triple crankset. So...welcome SRAM XX! SRAM XX offers two cassette sizes in 10 speed - 11-32 and 11-36. The long cage XX rear derailleur will handle the triple cranks as well as the wide range cassettes. Finally, SRAM confirmed that the road bar end shifters will work fine with the XX system - perfect!

I currently run Dura Ace bar end shifters with a SRAM 1070 11-28 cassette, Dura Ace medium cage derailleur, and an FSA SLK Light triple crankset. This system has always worked well for me, but I am limited to a 28t max cog in the rear. I have tried the IRD 11-32 and 11-34 cassettes, but they aren't exceptional. In fact, the 11-34 is downright impossible to get dialed in! The SRAM XX system gives me the best of both worlds

I've had the chance to ride a couple times with this new system, and my overall impressions are very favorable. The shifters feel quite different from the Shimano counterparts. They are smoother, with less of a "ka-chunk" feel. The size of the TT500 shifter is wider for better connection when shifting, but they also feel more blunt. Of course, the Dura Ace shifters have the rubber/plastic-like cover that are more comfortable, but the darn things always fall off!

The XX system, with an 11-32 cassette and compact 34/50 cranks, will give you the same low gear as a triple crankset with an 11-28 cassette. Need lower gearing? The 11-36 with a compact double will give you one lower gear, with a triple, you get two lower gears! However, I'm not sure the rear derailleur can handle the 15t spread in the back with a 22t spread up front associated with the triple cranks.

The downside? These cassettes are quite expensive at $328. My hope is that the technology will trickle down next year to the less expensive lines.

Pros - Get a wider gear range in 10 speed or simplify to a 20 speed system and get the same low end. Great alternative to the IRD cassettes, regardless of which rear derailleur you use. Smooth shifting.

Cons- Expensive. Not as comfortable as the Shimano shifters.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Barcroft

Lots of Barcroft

We were having fun today taking pictures of the new Barcroft bikes in stock. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sandy Earl Conquers Ring of Fire on her Carbent HPV Sea Dragon

As Chris Young, Team Carbent rider says, "Kicked the everlovin' SHIT is always a good way for a ride report to start!" Enjoy Sandy's report below:

Not to be overly modest or anything, but I kicked the everlovin' SHIT out of the Ring of Fire. Dana - the bike was amazing. The race bag was also amazing - possibly worth a mile or so right there. I'd say "equally amazing" but a pink thing that sits there and holds your waterbottles without issue or complaint can't possibly hold a candle to that "simple" carbon stick.

I 'd set a goal of 168 miles, figuring that committing to - and achieving - 14 mph would be a RAAM-worthy test on that course. I also knew that 168 would require perfect - or near-perfect - execution by both racer and crew, with a side order of good luck. At 14 mph, I would be climbing slightly over 1000' per hour....

Long story short, the Carbent now holds the womens' 12-hour record at ROF: 171 miles. The expired record of 130 miles was set on a Bacchetta (Sara Kay Carrell) in 2007. In 2007, Ring of Fire was the UMCA's designated 12-hour championship course, and the recumbent race was (relatively) hotly contested - in other words, more than one person showed up, so there was a real race on. Other recumbent results that year were: Keith Kohan (socked Gold Rush, 212!!!) and John Schlitter (Bacchetta, 166). The last makes me feel just a little bit more RAAM-ready....

110% crewing by Robert was definitely key as temperatures crested at 100 degrees F. Hottest area of the course was, predictably, the exposed climb up Dufur Gap Road which one hits in the early afternoon. Last year (riding unsupported and upright) I went into a moderate heat emergency on that climb and spent the rest of the day fighting heat cramps and worse. I don't know how much ice we went through, but it was a "too much is not quite enough" commodity. My core temperature never went up significantly. I drank like a fish, peed like a racehorse, and ate respectably.

As a testament to the tough conditions, 171 was good enough for the womens' overall 12 hour win. The pre-race favorite, Martha Walsh, was on track for an excellent race - probably on par with her course record of 193 - but wisely pulled out for a couple of hours to head off the early stages of heat exhaustion. DNF's and early retirements were the norm for the 12-hour course.

With the climbing, the course doesn't feel exactly "recumbent friendly". On the other hand, I'm not sure how much more I'd have gotten out of the upright this weekend - perhaps a bit, but I doubt I'd feel like going out and doing it again today. Given a choice, I'm pretty certain I'd prefer the Carbent for the night loops: 2200' of climbing in 26+ miles, but over 50% of the climb is in the first 3 miles.

Sandy will be racing solo in Race Across America 2010. To follow her progress and musings as the race gets closer, check out her blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Carbon Aero 2.0 Ready to Go!

Jim (JV) has decked out his CA2.0 with everything he needs for the upcoming 400K and 600K PCH Randos brevets. Check out his bike:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Holiday Hours

Please note, Bent Up Cycles will close early on Friday, September 18th at 4pm, and we will be closed Saturday, September 19th in observance of Rosh HaShanah.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bent Up Cycles Aero Bag Revisited

We had a few people request pictures of a rider accessing the bottle holders on our new bag, so here is a video!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Catrike Dash Review

Here is the first review of the new Catrike Dash from Parker Ball, reviewer for BentriderOnline.

Friday, August 28, 2009

HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS Information now in English!

We love the new Scorpion FS trike from HP Velotechnik. Unfortunately, it was hard to share information with anyone who didn't read German. Well, HP Velotechnik has finally updated their site. Check it out:

HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Aero Bag is here!

I see a lot of recumbent seat bags...Fastback, RANS, Bacchetta, Radical Designs, Interia, Arkel...there are many choices out there! Over the years, though, I realized that none really catered to the performance-oriented crowd. What do I mean by this?

In my experience, when racing and doing ultra distance events, hydration bladders are only so effective. You need to use bottles to easily know how much water and/or calories you are consuming. The problem is...there are no bags out there that hold water bottles in a place that is easily accessible and aerodynamic.

When you are racing, you don't need a huge amount of space...just enough room to carry the essentials like tools, personal items, food and some clothing. With other bags on the market, your small keys and tools fall to the bottom of the bag and you need to pull everything out to get at them.

Our new bag addresses all of these issues, and more! You are out riding hard...don't need the shoulder strap. Your jacket will fit in the bag...don't even think about tucking it into some shock cord on the top - it's not very aerodynamic and could fly off if the wind picks up! The velcroed pouches are not too big, not too small. I put my wallet, keys and cell phone in one, and toolkit in the other. Perfect.

We went through several prototypes of the bottle holders to get them just stiff enough so that you can easily put the bottle back in without crumpling the holder on the first try! Once you know where the holders are (you can't see them), it's easy in, easy out.

For safety, we have a wrap around reflective strip and a tab for holding a tail light.

The bag is built with ABS stiffeners so that it won't sag. The top has one also, but personally, I take it out so I can fit a little more in the bag, if needed. It will fit all narrow hard shell seats and the Bacchetta Euromesh. It WILL NOT fit on the RANS Hoagie, HP Velotechnik BodyLink, and Optima seats.

It is available in four colors - black, yellow, red and Team Carbent Pink (limited edition)! Check it out at the Bent Up Cycles website.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Within The Cycling World, a Perfectly (bent) Marriage; Bent Up Cycles Purchases Barcroft

Van Nuys, CA – Within the world of bicycle manufacturing and bicycle retail, there are plain old everyday bicycles and then there are…recumbents.

Southern California-based Bent Up Cycles, one of the country’s largest retailers of recumbent bicycles, is pleased to announce the purchase of Barcroft Cycles, the Falls Church, VA-based manufacturer of such state-of-the-art recumbent bicycles as the Barcroft Dakota, the Barcroft Virginia, the Barcroft Oregon and the Barcroft Columbia, a tandem recumbent.

According to Dana Lieberman, founder and president of Bent Up Cycles, the purchase of Barcroft Cycles is not only a sound business decision that will fulfill the needs of his clients all over the country but, in some respects, fulfills a dream he had almost a decade ago. "One of my first recumbents was a Barcroft Dakota...I loved that bike! Sleek lines and perfect geometry made for one of the best rides available.”

Recumbent bicycles, touted for their low, sleek styling and a rider-friendly, ergonomic design that allows any rider – including those with lower back and knee pain aggravated by traditional “vertical” riding positions – have become increasingly popular over the last few years and the privately owned Bent Up Cycles has, since 2003, been servicing a rapidly growing niche market.

Lieberman, who had been buying and selling recumbents privately for years, opened his first storefront in 2003. Within two years, customer response from all over the world prompted not only the establishment of a web-based retail operation but called for a tripling in size of the retail location. In 2006, and in response to customer demand for even more specialized frames and components, Lieberman established Carbent, a manufacturer of custom carbon bikes and frames.

The purchase of Barcroft Cycles, says Lieberman, is the perfect addition to the family of high-end, high-performance recumbents, tandem recumbents and three-wheeled trikes that Bent Up Cycles offers.

Barcroft Cycles was founded in 1999 by Bill Cook, a retired journalist who turned his passion for cycling into a business that creates masterfully built recumbent bicycles. “I can’t imagine anyone better than Dana to take over Barcroft. He is a superb recumbent retailer and an innovative, experienced manufacturer of world-class bikes.”

In addition to the Barcroft brand, Bent Up Cycles also carries such fine brands as Bacchetta, Velokraft and its own Carbent HPV brand.

More information about Bent Up Cycles and Barcroft Cycles can be found online at and, respectively.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Catrike dash

This just in from Catrike:

Big Cat is unleashing another beautiful trike; Catrike dash. We finally have a high quality lightweight trike for little Cats. We have had a ton of request for this Catrike and finally the project is complete. The first 50 trikes will ship with the Fluorescent Red-Orange color. This is one of the most visible powder-coat colors we have ever seen. Shipping early September, and custom colors are available. You can place your pre-orders now.


27.5” track, 33.5” wheel base, 28 lbs, 12” wide seat, Seat angle 43 degrees

Sram X-4 rear derailleur, 39t chain ring w/bash guard, 152mm crank, 11-32, 8 speed rear cassette

Fits 30-42” x-seam for riders 4’2” to 5’6” (roughly)

$1250 MSRP plus shipping

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh Baby...can you say Carbon?

The new Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0 is here! Our first one sold so quickly, we didn't have time to get any pictures. But now we have one in stock and I took it for a short spin. Very are some initial thoughts:

I have never been a huge fan of the Bacchetta seat plate mounting system. I always felt like the seat was moving under me. But with the Velogenesis seat clamps and tight seat bolts, I didn't notice much movement.

This happens to be one of those times when the manufacturer's listed weight is MORE than the actual weight of the bike. Our medium frame without seat pad and pedals came in at 20 pounds on the nose - 1.5 pounds less than the manufacturer's specs. This could be due to the newer Bacchetta all-carbon fork and the new light weight brakes.

Speaking of brakes - it's pretty much a consensus that the Alhonga brakes work adequately in dry conditions only. Add water or grit, and you lose much of your stopping power. The new X-eyed brake is much lighter and much more powerful! They are designed as a long-reach brake and will work on all Bacchetta models that take caliper brakes. Note, however, that the new CA2.0 can use a standard reach brake.

The first one we built up a week ago was built with the same components as the Carbent HPV pro bikes. It weighed in at 18 pounds 14 ounces - not bad!

I am delighted to have the Carbon Aero 2.0 on the floor as I think that anyone who is going to spend $4500-$6000 on a performance recumbent should have as many choices as possible. Come on in and check it out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Offerings from Bacchetta!

We've just received the newest offerings from Bacchetta. I will take the next few posts to highlight these beautiful bikes!

The Giro 26 ATT is an aluminum-framed version of their classic Giro 26. Featuring higher end components including a SRAM X-9 drivetrain and Avid BB7 disk brakes, this bike has a smooth, comfortable ride and weighs two pounds less than it's steel predecessor.

Bacchetta has really discovered a good formula for their bike lines. Most models are now available in two specs - a steel frame with basic components and an aluminum frame with higher end components. This system makes it very easy for the customer to differentiate between the various models and levels.

So, how does it ride? Like a Bacchetta, of course! It is stable with predictable low speed handling. The disk brakes will take some time to fully seat, so I couldn't test the braking capabilities, but I have always been impressed with the BB7, and expect it will work well on this bike.

Three years ago, I touted that the best thing I saw at Interbike was the Euromesh seat. I still feel the same way - it is comfortable and breaths well, without being too heavy. Our medium-framed bike, sans pedals and seat pad, weighed in at 28 pounds, 14 ounces. Definitely not the 26.5 pounds claimed on the Bacchetta website, but definitely lighter than the steel bike.

For a complete list of specs and pricing, give us a call or check out our website