Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Urbane Holiday Soiree

Last Friday evening, about fifty-odd people converged to celebrate together whatever year-end holiday they observe. Under cover of darkness we met, descended a short staircase at 720 Bathurst, and proceeded to eat, drink, be merry, and pedal our butts off. Our friend Navid brought GoldSprints, a stationary fixed-gear bicycle race using Urbanite track frames; our friend James from the Bicycle Music Festival brought his bicycle-powered sound system, running off of a BionX wheel he got from us; and our friends from Chocosol came by with their bicycle-powered blender to mix up some amazing margaritas. Three entertaining and awesome ways to transform our muscles into merriment and calories into something cray cray! Massive amounts of thanks and a rousing round of big ups go out to those mentioned above, as well as our hosts, CSI Annex, all our staff, their friends and families and everyone else that was there. We hope you all had a blast, as we did, and we look forward to another great year of cycling and all that.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Serial Numbers and You

Serial number on BB shell
One of the most important pieces of information to have about your bicycle is the serial number. Typically found on the underside of the bottom bracket shell, a serial number is a unique identifier which, when submitted to the police database, can help reunite you with your bike should it ever be stolen and subsequently recovered. Serial numbers consist of strings of alphanumeric characters which contain information about your bicycle. This information usually includes year of manufacture, model, and frame size.

Now called Bike Shepherd
Some bicycles do not have a serial number, or it may be unreadable. In cases such as these, or should you wish added protection for your bicycle, we have Bike Shepherd. Previously known as Bike Revolution, Bike Shepherd combines weatherproof heavy-duty 3M adhesive stickers with QR codes linking your bike to an online database. If your bike is stolen, Bike Shepherd sends out alerts via various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Anyone with a smartphone can scan a QR code and see if a bike is stolen or not.

In any case, no matter how you record your bike, having a means of concretely identifying it as yours is an invaluable asset. And if purchasing a used bike, here are a few things to watch out for:

Filed-off serial number
Scratched-off sticker
Igor Kenk

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tweed Ride Toronto 2011

Jeremy selects a winner for one of our giveaways
Tweed and tea, a match made in England

The inaugural edition of Toronto's Tweed Ride, which occurred this past Saturday the 15th, was a great success. Urbane Cyclist hosted a tea service in nearby Grange Park, with refreshments, treats and support provided by Merchants of Green Coffee, ING Direct, Ontario Natural Food Co-op and Sweets From the Earth. Three varieties of tea, about 300 cookies and a whole lot of tweedy cyclists made for a great afternoon. There were some stunning bicycles, including a shiny Schwinn Tandem and, of course, a pennyfarthing. There were draws for prizes from Brooks and much, much merriment. Thanks to Bikes Without Borders and everybody else who had a hand in this superb Saturday. We'll be putting some more pictures taken at the tea service (courtesy of Single Malt Studios) on our Facebook page, so check them out and tag yourself if you fancy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Six Rivet Status

Andrea Meneghelli, Michael Firn and our own Nancy Kendrew

We here at Urbane are proud to annonce that we have been designated by Brooks England as one of their Supreme Dealers. This honour is bestowed upon only one hundred shops worldwide and we are ecstatic to have been chosen to be among this select group which includes such renowned shops as Condor Cycles and Harris Cyclery, former home of the late, great Sheldon Brown. Brooks presented us with this accolade at Interbike, North America's largest bicycle trade show. In addition to the Supreme Dealer designation we were awarded a limited edition violet Swift saddle, the presentation of which was made by Andrea Meneghelli and Michael Firn and accepted by our own Nancy Kendrew. We are currently displaying this beautiful saddle in one of our vitrines and we eagerly await the arrival of our Supreme Dealer plaque. Many, many thanks to Brooks England, their North American distributor Highway 2, our knowledgable staff and of course our customers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interbike 2011

Amy Walker and our own Kathleen
Once again its Interbike time, a time when bike shops all over North America send a lucky few to observe, report and drool over all the new toys being introduced for the next year. Our contingent is there spotting trends and running into friends. Pictured is our own Kathleen next to Amy Walker. We know Amy through Momentum Magazine and now she has written a book as well. Called "On Bicycles," it is an anthology of articles by cyclists of all kinds, including our friend Martin Hoopdriver.  We wish her the best on this latest endeavor.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

2011 Eugene Yao Bicycle Design Award

The judges
 The winners from this year's Eugene Yao Urbane Cyclist Bicycle Design Award have been chosen. The award was set up in honour of Eugene Yao, one of the founders of Urbane Cyclist, who sadly passed away in 2008.
Judged by a panel of four including Carey Chen and Nancy Kendrew of Urbane Cyclist, the award goes to the OCAD student who comes up with the most innovative bicycle design and is awarded on an annual basis.

This year's honourable mentions are up first with their summaries and a few comments from judge Carey Chen:
Jef Bradshaw - Airdrop Bicycle
"The Airdrop travel bicycle is a bicycle and bag system designed to solve the problems associated with transporting a full sized touring bicycle. The bicycle folds up in 3 min. to 62 inches in total dimension, which is under the max. dimensions for a checked bag on most airplanes, buses, and trains avoiding the charge for oversized baggage. The mechanism that allows the bicycle to fold/lock rigidly when in use is the main design component of the bicycle.
"However, the most revolutionary element of the Airdrop bike is its multi-use bag system. The bag that the bike is transported in zips apart into two halves that become the rear panniers. The panniers are used to transport any equipment while the bicycle is in use just like normal panniers, except that when you need to transport the bike on a bus, plane or train the panniers can be reconfigured in order to envelope and protect the bicycle. The travel bag has extra pockets so that the user can put hard materials or clothing in to protect the bike while in transit. This unique bag system allows you to have your bike bag with you at all times for whatever may arise."
Carey - "I am unsure about the folding mechanism and the durability of the panniers but otherwise interesting."

Bin Hur - Two Essential
"Everyone has memories of their first bicycle ride. In our everyday life, a bicycle is the most basic, healthy and fun means of transportation.
"For every bike riding experience it is crucial that one wears a helmet. However, after parking the bicycle, the helmet can become an annoying burden. You have to carry that bulky thing around with you!
"Another crucial element for bicycle riding is the bicycle lock. There are people out there who dare not to wear helmets, but no one dares to park their precious bike and leave it vulnerable to theft!
"So it is clear that helmet and lock are a perfect match to be combined. It will encourage people to wear helmets, as it will be possible to safely leave it locked with the bicycle." 
Carey - "An interesting concept but the materials would have to be refined as weight in a helmet is definitely an issue."
And now, the winner...

Henry Chong - Revelo LIFE-bike 

"A small, unique bicycle design that is compact and easy to transport, yet comfortable to ride." 
Carey - "The electric penny-farthing, or in this case maybe a dime-nickel, was the most impressive of the entries." 

Congratulations to Henry Chong! A job well done.

More information on the competition can be found here.  Donations to the Eugene Yao Award Fund can be made through OCAD Development and Alumni Relations.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Ride Don't Hide

Michael with our very own Nancy.

Urbane Cyclist was proud to host Michael Schratter's Toronto press conference for his round-the-world-trip raising funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Michael is cycling to increase awareness and shatter the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. His solo voyage began August 1st 2010 and since then he has ridden 32 000 km through thirty countries on six continents. He is scheduled to reach Vancouver on November 12th of this year after completing the last 8 000 km of his trip. For more information or to make donations, visit ridedonthide.com.

Also please check out a nice little article from Metro here.

Friday, June 17, 2011


The other morning in front of our store, the 3 bikes parked all happened to be staff-owned Urbanite's.  It looks like we can safely say we practice what we preach here. 

(FYI, we design and import our own frames and can build them up in numerous ways). 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Brothers Dressler uses Urbane's old wheels for their exhibit with Sibling Rivalry at the Interior Design Show 2011

Brothers Dressler are participating in the Sibling Rivalry exhibit at the Interior Design Show 2011. They employ reclaimed materials throughout their work, and have used rims and old wheel assemblies supplied by Urbane Cyclist to build lamps. The lamps are built using a barrel-stave design and the light is routed through and secured to the hub.

The rims are single-walled box section rims and after assembly are filled with inlay to hide the spoke nipples. Since the rims are not meant to be immediately identifiable as bike rims, they'd prefer not to label it as 'bike art', but rather just the adaptation of discarded technology to a different end.

For more pictures and explanation visit the Brothers Dressler blog.