Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alex's Recovery Gift - A New Albion Bicycle

Vanessa won a New Albion Starling mixte frame in our contest with Momentum Magazine. She had it built up (by Seven Stars Cycles) for her wife Alex as a gift. Alex was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in May. She had her thyroid removed in June and is recovering. We wish them both well.

New Albion Privateer Matching Forks

Optional matching forks are now available. While it is not hard at all to find black CX fork these days, we wanted to create a fork that best suits the original sport touring concept we had in mind when dreaming up the Privateer.
Cureved CrMo blades and 1-1/8" steerer. Lugged sloping crown. Fits 700c tires up to 41mm wide, cantis or V-brakes. Double eyelets at the dropouts. Mid-blade low rider pannier bosses. 50mm rake. 390mm axle to crown.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Here's a Shop That "Gets" Our Starling

Gladys Bikes, a women-owned shop in Portland, introduces their newly built 1x8 Starling in the following manner:

  • Meandering rides on city streets with no particular destination in mind
  • Taking the long way home from work
  • Cruising through puddles on Spring day
  • Trips to the farmer's market, followed by rides home with a basket filled with produce
  • Anything by Loretta Lynn
  • That feeling like you're flying that you get when you ride downhill from Pittock Mansion or Mount Tabor
  • For $900, she's a steal
  • 1x8 gearing makes it perfect for city riding, with nice low gears to get you up the hills (and higher ones for flying down them)
  • Strong steel frame makes for a smooth and stable ride
  • Mixte style step through allows for a great deal of stand over clearance for a wide variety of rider heights (approx. 5'3"- 5'8")
  • Lots of clearance for fenders and racks, meant to haul anything you need it to rain or shine
  • Robin's Egg Blue [we call it Peacock Blue] for the win!
  • Stem and handlebars can be set to the height and length that are perfect for you, so it fits just so

The beauty of building a bike from the frame up is you can more fully suit the ride to the customer. The Starling's geometry is not a one trick pony. She can be built "sportfully" to take on long sightseeing rides, as well an easy going cruiser. Semi-custom builds are definitely something to explore if your shop hasn't been doing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sandra's Privateer Update

Hi Evan,

Logged 1,958 miles on my New Albion Privateer for the National Bike Challenge. I started logging the miles once I was in receipt of my bike beginning in May. Not a bad way of breaking-in a new bike!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Urban Velo Reviews the Homebrew

Urban Velo Magazine took the Homebrew through its paces on the streets of Pittsburgh. They put together a fairly detailed review, which anyone consider the bike should read. And we really feel they get what we were trying to accomplish with the bike. It's not a bike for bike snob or bike geeks, but it is for someone who loves bikes and loves to ride.
Jeff wraps it up with, "At the moment I have 16 working bicycles at my disposal. Even though another one might be more appropriate for a given ride, I keep opting for the Homebrew. That pretty much sums it all up."

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Albion NewPrivateer Build with Origin8 Space Bars

The Devil's Teeth Bakery... after the chalk-wielding munchkins have departed.

New Albion Privateer: Alt MTB bar all rounder build.

The New Albion Privateer's frame geometry is follows a all-rounder road bike/touring geometry. It will most often be built up with road drop bars, but it does lend itself well to flat bar builds for folks who appreciate a more leverage and comfort a wider bar affords. This 52cm is built with an Origin8 Space Bar, Sturmey-Archer M90 thumbshifters, Shimano Claris crank and derailleurs. This build is by Swell Bicycles.

The Origin8 bar provided a very comfortable hand position for cruising the low-key Outer Sunset. It was trimmed down slightly I think, because I didn't get the feeling I would clip a car mirror in tight traffic. On the ride to find places to photograph this baby, I kept thinking how well it fit me without any adjustments whatsoever.  The handling was pretty predictable with the Soma lugged cross fork. We plan to get our own matching fork in a few months. It will have slightly more rake and may quicken the handling slightly.

Sturmey Archer M90 Thumbshifters

Horizontal dropouts allow for geared or single speed builds. Cable guide
is moved a little more forward than usual to make it more friendly
for internal gear hub cable routing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Custom Privateer by Pedal Revolution in SF

Just spotted this on the Pedal Revolution blog.

"Pedal Revolution built up this customized New Albion Privateer into a very special touring bike that is responsible for the safe transport of not one, but two riders. Our customer wanted a bike that she could use for daily riding and long distance touring that would be able to transport her dog Frances. After getting feedback on what she wanted the bike to do and some of the particulars like custom paint, we made some recommendations on rack set-ups and component choices. The Privateer frame was a logical choice for its comfortable road geometry and clearance for wide tires/fenders and rack mounts. She wanted the bike to handle like a road bike but accommodate a more upright position and be suitable for bike camping and touring. Lastly, we needed to find a way to carry Frances and her doggy carrier on the front of the bike. Attempts were made with Frances on a rear rack but being a dog, she yearned to feel the wind in her whiskers and see the road ahead."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gravel Bike reviews the New Albion Privateer

Check out the Gravel Bike review of the New Albion Privateer!

"New Albion Cycles has successfully delivered an affordable, versatile frame with their Privateer model. With features found on frames costing much more, it’s an outstanding bargain that should deliver many years of service to recreational and utility riders alike."

Monday, July 7, 2014

Contest: Tell Momentum Magazine Why You Want a New Albion Starling Frame Set

Win on our freshly minted Starling frames.....

This week on the Momentum Mag Contests Blog, we have a great giveaway to help you create the perfect city bike.
You could win a New Albion Cycles Starling frame set (frame and fork only). Durable and graceful Tange brand steel mixte/ step-thru frame is the foundation for a sprightly town bike. The winner can custom build this frame set with whatever components and accessories that suits their riding needs and style. Can be built with internal hub gearing, single-speed, or with derailleurs. Will fit racks and fenders. Peacock Blue. (Components are not part of the prize. Click here to learn more about this frame set.) ($379.99 value)
For your chance to win a New Albion Cycles Starling frame set tell us why you want to win. Share your answers in the comments below. We will accept all answers until the end of the day on Sunday, July 13, 2014. Please include a valid email address that we can reach you at should you be this week's winner. | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr
Rules: No purchase necessary to win. Each week's giveaway ends at 8:00 pm EST on the final Sunday. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Contest is open to legal Canadian and US residents 18 and older as of the date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Prizes unclaimed within three weeks will be reallocated to future promotions at the discretion of the publisher.

Friday, June 20, 2014

New IRD Wide Double Crankset

If you've been looking for a double crankset with a super low climbing gear, give these IRD Defiant 94mm puppies a look.

They come standard with a 46 tooth big ring and a 30 tooth little ring. That combo gives you a decent range for the flats, but doesn't preclude some serious loaded hill climbs either.

The great thing about 94mm five bolt rings is that they're still relatively easy to find compared to 3 bolt and 6 bolt patterns. Sugino, Surly, Blackspire, Raceface, Dimension, Vuelta, FSA, and TA, as well as the IRD Mjolnir rings are still readily available in the 94 BCD size, so there's no need to horde away spare chainrings.

Aesthetically they're similar to the existing 110 and 130 BCD versions. These cranks offer low tread (q-factor) and a super stiff pedaling platform due to the straight crank arms. They're a great choice if you need a lower climbing gear than a 110 double can accomodate or you want to swap out a touring triple crankset. 8/9/10 speed compatible, and they'll work well with the IRD Alpina touring front derailleurs too.

Preorder from Rene Herse >>>

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Privateer in Gravel Touring Mode

Continuing with our new tire experiment, we got a set of 700c Soma Cazadero tires mounted up on a Privateer set up for some off road touring.

This looks right.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eddie's Privateer Drop Bar Build

One of our first Privateer customers just rebuilt his bike with some fresh new tires and drop bars.

"An update on my Privateer. I tried all manner of trying to get used to upright with Albatross bars and bar ends. I adjusted every which way up down sideways. Not for me. So I installed my fav compact drops, Sora 9 brifters, and a 6603 Ultegra triple crank. The bike still rode kinda harsh and clunky. Last gasp was to try some Grand Bois Cypres 32 mm tires at 70 psi. These replaced Maxxis Refuse 28 mm tires pumped to 80 psi. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can’t quite believe the tires can make a big difference, but I swear the bike seems faster??? And cruises over rough surfaces really well. I mean really well. I thought this would just be my town funky bike, but now it has turned into something more subtle. I like it."

Be well.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Homebrew Gravel Style

Took our 650B'ed Homebrew on a little gravel adventure after closing.

 The Cazadero tires ride great. Not much more I can say. Super fun!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Homebrew 650b Conversion

I had a extra set of Velocity Atlas 650b wheels lying around, so I thought I would set them up on a Homebrew complete bike and see how well they fit.

I think the results are quite pleasing. It really looks like the frame was made just for these tires.

I traded the stock IRD B57s for some Rivendell Silver long reach calipers, and the brake reach lines up just above the bottom of the slot. This allows for plenty of fender clearance, even with 38mm tires.

These brakes are super easy to adjust, so the entire operation took maybe 10 minutes after I pulled the bike out of the box. I used the venerable Panaracer Col De La Vie tires, which were at one time pretty much the only 650b tire you could get.

Nowadays there are many other good options, but for the money I still think they're a great value. They may not be the fastest rolling tread pattern, or the lightest casing (that distinction goes to the Soma Grand Randonneur tires), but they roll pretty darn smoothly and they give the bike a nice traditional look that I enjoy.

For rough roads, gravel and dirt paths these wider tires are a smart upgrade. The minimum reach on the Silver brakes is 57mm, so you could easily set them up with the 700c wheels and have an extra 650b wheelset ready to swap out depending on the kind of riding you planned on doing. All it takes is a quick brake pad adjustment and you're ready to go.

Besides the obvious pneumatic suspension gains, going to larger tires has the knock on effect of improved grip when cornering. Do to the increased volume you'll be able to run lower pressure without worrying about pinch flats. Lowering the pressure will increase the amount of rubber in contact with the road while leaning into a turn. You'll really appreciate increased stability if you ever find yourself descending a steep chicane with loaded panniers.

Another nice thing about running 650b wheels on the Homebrew is that the geometry remains relatively sporty compared to a heavy duty touring bike. The short chainstays and steeper headtube angle keep the handling lively and responsive, so it's still fun to ride with just a small front rack or saddle bag.

If you're 650b curious but you're on a budget, you might want to give the Homebrew a closer look. Converting it to 650b wheels only takes a few minutes and you probably already have the tools you'll need to make the swap.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sandra's Privateer Build

Hi Evan,

I've already posted a picture of my new Privateer on the New Albion FB page, but thought I'd send along this picture of it in the sun with a SOMA rack on it on with my brevet bag from Ruthworks SF. 

I'm putting miles on the bike and am really enjoying riding it around. 

Looking forward to more updates on the New Albion blog as more people discover what a great value these bikes are besides a heck of a lot of fun to ride. 


Monday, April 7, 2014

New Albion Cycles Dealers So Far!

We just want to convey a hearty THANKS to those who have given New Albion Cycles a chance in their shop. We know we have been selling for only four months, so we are grateful for all you shops who see our potential and have given us some of your precious floor space. (Customers: If you don't see a shop near you, don't be afraid to ask your local bike shop to order one for you. Many of our sales are special orders.)

Some shops that have picked up the Privateer all rounder frame include:
Cranky Jeff's Bicycle Shop, Rapid City, SD
Citizen Chain SF, CA
Bikes Not Bombs, Jamaica Plain, MA
All Bicycles, Deerfield Beach. FL
Sid's Bike Shop NYC
Onion River Sports. Montpelier, VT
Rapid Transit Cycle Shop, Chicago
Ciclo Urbano, Chicago
Aaron's Bicycle Repair, Seattle, WA
Polkadot Bicycles, Lincoln NE
Laughing Dog Bicycles, Amherst, MA
Island Hopper's Bike Shop, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Ikon Cycles, Sacramento, CA
Dream Cycle, Vancouver BCUnion Street Cycle, Vancouver BC
Bikesmiths, Bloomington, IN
American Cyclery, SF, CA
Swell Cycles, SF, CA

Ozone Bikes, Austin, TX
Green Bike Coop, Waldport, OR
Cyclotopia, Corvalis, OR, NJ
Motostano, Redwood City, CA

Jinji Cycles, Denver, CO
Gladys Bikes, Portland, OR

Some shops that have picked up the Homebrew road bike include:
Pedal Revolution SF, CA
A Bicycle Odyssey, Sausalito, CA
American Cyclery SF, CA
Saturday Cycles, Salt Lake City, UT
Bicycles and Smoothies, Houston, TX
Stone's Cyclery, Alameda, CA
Polkadot Bicycles, Lincoln NE, Richardson, TX

Fitz & Fowell, Montreal, Canada

Other Dealers: If you don't see your name listed here and you are stocking us, let us know.
Retail Customers: If you walk into one of the shops and don't see a New Albion, don't be afraid to ask them to order one for you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Privateer Build for

I just had to take some pictures of this bike before sending it off. The Privateer is such a versatile bike, so it can be built up many different way for different conditions and riding styles. This one is set up for unpaved roads, long distance rides and some light trail riding.

We used all our favorite parts on this build. Plenty of gears, friction shifters, chubby tires, and a semi upright hood position make this build ideal for all day rides off the beaten track.

The Soma Classic Curve fork matches the frames geometry perfectly, and looks great with the silver panels and components. The traditional fork blade bends make this especially compliant ride.

Tons of clearance, even with 38c tires.

The Sun XCD rear derailleur allows you to shift a wide range cassette paired with the Sugino XD triple cranks.

Keep an eye on for the upcoming review.