CYCLING TO WORK: COMMUTER PROFILE – DIVYA KOTTADIEL

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November 25, 2016 by Archana Seshagiri

We love bicycles, and at BUMSONTHESADDLE we aim to share this passion with as many people as possible. Biking to Work can be one of the simplest things most Bangaloreans can do to kick off a fantastic day. The BOTS “Wheels of Change” project aims to get more people biking to work via corporate workshops, partnerships, events and simply sharing the joy of cycling to work!

Want to be a part of the Wheels of Change team? Shoot us an email – support@bumsonthesaddle.com


BOTS Cycling to work project - Wheels of Change

On her way to work, she stopped at the signal as it turned red. A little school going kid points at her and expresses to the mother riding the scooter, “I want to be like her”.

Meet Divya Kottadiel who has been riding her bicycle to work ever since she moved to Bangalore. She cycles from Ulsoor Lake to Basavangudi every day where more than 90% of the route is through the busy streets with heavy traffic. Initially she found it daunting, however, she made consistent efforts and eventually learned to negotiate the traffic and the busy junctions. She kept at it simply because cycling to work is fun, sustainable, economical and she reached her workplace and home faster, fitter and happier.

Divya works for World Resources Institute(WRI) and as an environmental organisation, they encourage active modes of commute. A lot of them at WRI bike to work and sometimes they face space crunch while parking their bikes! That’s a lot of bikes!
Divya says its great to see a lot of people using bicycles for their daily commutes. As the number of cyclists on road increase, the safer the roads will be, she adds.

Divya rides a KHS Vitamin B, 20km everyday since 2015. She has also spent time riding on weekends but mostly enjoys cycling to work. She’s also a pianist, a baking enthusiast and enjoys running outdoors.

Thanks Divya for being awesome and doing your bit for the city!

 


THE SPECIALIZED ALIBI – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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November 25, 2016 by admin

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The Specialized Alibi on Indian roads!

BASICS

HOW CAN A TYRE BE AIR LESS?
Most bicycles come installed with pneumatic tires – a rubber tire casing with a bicycle tube inside which needs to be pumped up regularly. This design has multiple benefits offering a comfortable ride, light weight and good traction and have been the preferred choice on bikes from most bicycle manufacturers. The only problem with pneumatic tires and something we hate as cyclists is that we dread and hate fixing punctures on our rides.

The tires that come on the Alibi are completely solid. No tube inside!

Benefits of having solid tires

  • no more punctures!
  • no filling in air before rides
  • items you no longer need to own: Pumps, spare tubes, puncture patches, tire levers, on-ride pumps, tire liners etc.

HOW CAN A CHAIN BE RUST PROOF? WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?
Chains normally require minimal maintenance to make sure they are well lubricated and clean to prevent squeaking, fast wear and tear and to also make sure they don’t rust. A quick splash of water on a chain which is not lubricated could develop a layer of rust if the bike remains unused for a few days.

The Alibi uses a galvanised chain so rust won’t be a problem. You still need to lubricate the chain to make sure its not squeaky, but you wont have to worry about your components rusting!

EXPERIENCE QUESTIONS

HOW LONG DO THESE SOLID TIRES LAST?
Specialized claims these tires last 4000 – 4500kms but a lot of factors can affect mileage – riding conditions, road conditions, braking, etc. Either ways, the rider profile for this machine is not high mileage and mostly fall into the urban commuters and neighbourhood fitness category. The tires are bomb-proof and should last a long long duration.

MORE ABOUT THE TIRE
The Nimbus Airless is a Specialized proprietary tire developed in collaboration with a leading solid tire manufacturer, Tannus.

The 700C tires are 38mm in width, so there’s plenty of contact with the road surface. The tires are made of a micro-closed-cell polymer resin which Tannus calls Aither similar to the compound used to make your running shoe soles.

Specialized quotes 900g for the tire, which is similar to a standard city tyre and tube of this width.

WHERE CAN I GET REPLACEMENTS FOR THE TIRES
You can reach out to your closest Specialized retailer across the country or even buy these Nimbus airless tires online.

WHY DOES THE HANDLEBAR LOOK DIFFERENT?
The bike offers an upright, comfortable riding posture and the handle bar plays an important role in this design. The rise and back sweep on the handle bar allows weight to be eased off the wrist and also helps with a very comfortable reach.

Riders can easily switch out the handle bar with a flat bar or a bar with a much smaller rise to opt for a more performance oriented aggressive position on the bike.

CAN THE BIKE BE UPGRADED TO HAVE GEARS IN THE FRONT?
Not possible sorry. This particular model has been designed with seven gears to keep only the gears necessary for most urban commutes and shorter fitness rides.

Simplicity, Reliability and Comfort dominate the ride experience on the Alibi.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALIBI AND SIRRUS IN TERMS OF RIDE EFFICIENCY AND RIDE FEEL?
Test riding these bikes is the way to really experience this. Both the bikes have a very very different feel because of the geometry of the bike, the components on the bike and the way the rider is actually positioned on the bike.

The Specialized Sirrus is clearly targeted for riders who aim for a faster ride and have longer distances in mind whereas the Alibi is more suited for the urban commuter or the neighbourhood fitness rider.

 

Have more questions on the Specialized Alibi? Do let us know, please do shoot us an email at support@bumsonthesaddle.com

 


CYCLING TO WORK: COMMUTER PROFILE – GANAPATHY SUBRAMANIAN

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November 22, 2016 by Archana Seshagiri

We love bicycles, and at BUMSONTHESADDLE we aim to share this passion with as many people as possible. Biking to Work can be one of the simplest things most Bangaloreans can do to kick off a fantastic day. The BOTS “Wheels of Change” project aims to get more people biking to work via corporate workshops, partnerships, events and simply sharing the joy of cycling to work!

Want to be a part of the Wheels of Change team? Shoot us an email – support@bumsonthesaddle.com


ganapathy-bangalore-commuter-profile3

There are commuters and then there are the zippy commuters. Ganapathy Subramanian has been zipping his way to work through the busy streets of Bangalore on his Silver Shadow (Polygon Zenith single speed bike) since January 2015. And loving it!

Ganapathy commutes 55km every day to work and back and uses this distance and time as a form of training coupled with his commute. These training rides build an overall sense of preparedness for the endurance riding that he loves. Talk about multi tasking – saving time, money, commuting green and having a blast. All at the same time!

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He loves riding at 25-30kph in service lanes while most of the traffic is at a standstill (silkboard as an example). Simple pleasures in life :wink: There are times when he’s forced to take his motorbike to work and those are the lethargic super-long-never-ending days that he hates. Riding a bike brings immense energy which allows him to stay energised and super-productive.

There are lot of welcome distractions through his commutes. He’s had motor-bikers cheer him when he overtakes and autos giving a smile to egg him on. Lately, even the BMTC Volvo buses seem to be bike friendly, he adds. The journey from starting out as a curious commuter with a lot of ‘what if’s’ to now a seasoned zippy commuter, Ganapathy has inspired many of his teammates at Hewlett Packard to bike to work and has contributed to the growth of the commuter’s tribe at HP.

His advice to fellow commuters – “Don’t let traffic bother you. Anticipate the speed and flow of motorized transport and enjoy the commute by looking at the travel time differently – enjoy chasing flyover climbs, glide thru greener traffic by-lanes and wizz past slow moving traffic in most parts of the city”

ganapathy-bangalore-commuter-profile

Ganapathy is also an endurance athlete. He is one of the very few randonneurs in India to have completed the toughest brevet – a 1200km ride in Karnataka – aptly named “Bliss in the hills”. You can also spot him racing for the Cleated Warriers team in various races across Bangalore city.

Thanks for being awesome, Ganapathy.

ganapathy-bangalore-commuter-profile4


CYCLING TO WORK IN BANGALORE: NITIN KATAGERI

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November 13, 2016 by Archana Seshagiri

We love bicycles, and at BUMSONTHESADDLE we aim to share this passion with as many people as possible. Biking to Work can be one of the simplest things most Bangaloreans can do to kick off a fantastic day. The BOTS “Wheels of Change” project aims to get more people biking to work via corporate workshops, partnerships, events and simply sharing the joy of cycling to work!

Want to be a part of the Wheels of Change team? Shoot us an email – support@bumsonthesaddle.com


Have you ever come across a rider who has been commuting to work for over 8 years now and has never had any bad incidents to speak about?

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Nitin in commuter mode!

Meet Nitin Katageri, one of our most positive commuters in Bangalore! He started biking to work as a time-saving-healthy option, which has now become an addiction for him. He now rides his bicycle to be happy. Simple!

cyclist-of-the-week-bangalore-nitin-katageri-1

Nitin has also supported a lot of people to take up cycling as a means of commuting in the city. He feels this is his way of giving back to the city and to their health. The most exciting part of Nitin’s commutes are the curious kids en-route. He thoroughly enjoys engaging with them and inspires them to stick to cycling as long as possible.

What has kept him so positive on road is his attitude of never claiming his right on road, instead his willingness to share the space. He believes that for a place like Bangalore, sharing space is a better way than dedicated lanes infrastructure at the moment. Whenever he gets frustrated by a vehicle slowing him down, he puts on this attitude.

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The Fleet. Cyclists are great role models for kids!

Nitin rides a Surly Cross Check and a Specialized Pitch Comp and commutes 26km everyday.

Thanks Nitin for being simply awesome!

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Cyclists always, ALWAYS, live life large!


SPECIALIZED DIVERGE A1 REVIEW

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November 9, 2016 by Suraj LN Swamy

DCIM100GOPROGOPR9843.

Disclaimer!

This review has been written keeping in mind our Indian context — the roads we ride on, erratic drivers, animals & pedestrians walking on road, etc…

“Let us begin”

Specialized has always designed fantastic bikes for rough-er roads — perfect for the tarmac that most of us ride on a daily basis. It has designed and build several incarnations of the Roubaix, built to take on the teeth-rattling cobbles of Northern France at the Paris-Roubaix race. It also offers a great choice of performance cyclo-cross bikes in the Crux range.

The Specialized Diverge sits somewhere between the two; an adventure road bike designed for all-day rides — commute to work, weekend rides into the country side, occasional racing, cyclocross, etc. The bike is built to tackle any surface it encounters.

FRAMESET

Specialized has been building its aluminum bikes out of two different proprietary aluminum — Specialized A1 Aluminium for its entry-level and mid-range bikes and Specialized E5 Aluminium for the premium, race-orientated models. The Diverge is built from A1 Aluminium. (read more: – http://bit.ly/2do4i0b)

The beefy Specialized FACT carbon fork comes with an alloy crown and allow steerer and features the same Zertz inserts (high frequency shock absorbers) as found on the Specialized Roubaix. While the Zerts absorb high frequency vibrations the carbon fork on the other hand takes care of the low frequency but bigger bumps to give the rider a super smooth and comfortable ride.

The attractive frame, the stealthiest of the range, has a tough anodized black finish, except for a silver Specialized logotype along the bottom of the down tube and a red detail at the bottom of the fork. The cabling is mostly external except for the rear brake cable that routes internally through the down tube. To top things off, the bike comes with a brazed-on mech hanger.

The versatile Diverge has plenty of clearance for wider tires. It comes kitted with 30C (can be taken up to 38C for a smoother/comfortable ride), and has well placed and super useful mudguard and rack fittings.

It’s interesting to see how the Diverge relates to its stablemates in terms of geometry. The wheelbase is longer than the Roubaix — making it an even more stable ride, but is shorter than the cross-specific Crux. Curiously, the bottom bracket on the Diverge is set higher — giving it higher ground clearance and different handling dynamics — than on that all-out ‘cross bike.

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COMPONENTS

The Specialized Diverge uses a Shimano Claris 8-speed gearset. There is a long cage derailleur to handle the combination of compact 50/34T chainset and 11-32T cassette that should get you over most hills, whatever the surface. Shifting quality of the Claris has improved drastically over the years with Shimano trickling down high end group-set technology into the Claris. The only area I found a shift delay was in the front derailleur moving the chain from 1st to 2nd chainring, not a biggie on longer endurace rides. The rear mech performced exceedingly well at most speeds/slopes I threw at it. The shift experience was almost as good as a Tiagra derailleur on my other bike! Excellant. 

The bike was beautifully finished with components from the Specialized stable – a Toupe Sport Body Geometry saddle and matt black Roubaix bar tape with Gel inserts beneath the tape. Super comfortable.

In the past year we have seen the introduction of disc brakes on road bikes to improve braking in two ways

  • Disc brakes by themselves are well know to brake in the worst of conditions
  • Wider tires allow for better grip on road when the brake are applied.

The Diverge uses Tektro TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes with dual pivots (both pads move independently to grip the disc).

WHEELS

The Diverge comes equipped with slick looking disc-specific road wheels – the Axis Classic – which come with an aero profile and relatively low spoke count. The silver spokes are a nice touch too, giving the wheels a distinctive look. The Diverge runs the Specialized Espoir Sport tiers – 30mm tires designed for high mileage training, Gripton rubber compound, 60TPI casing, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection. A perfect recipe for the ride experience this bike was built for.

Read more about the Specialized Gripton compound – http://bit.ly/1PwCfuh

DCIM100GOPROGOPR9856.

RIDING

On the road the Diverge rides like a road bike.

It may not be the lightest model on offer, but it’s no heavyweight either — it’s responsive, handles with confidence in the corners and the wheels maintain their speed well. It climbs pretty well too, although the combination of the all-up weight and wide, grippy tires means you push at pretty much the same intensity all the way up the hill, never quite gaining the upper hand. The Diverge offers a good riding position, with the front end not feeling too high off the ground, which can often be the case with some endurance bikes.

But how does it perform when the tarmac ends? Well, those road-based Espoir tyres are never really going to offer much grip on slush and grass but on broken roads, dirt tracks and gravel they perform well. By altering tire pressure that fits you best, one can get achieve a much smoother ride.

The ride quality of the Diverge itself is really interesting and engaging. The damping effect of the front fork with Zerts keeps the worst of the bumps from reaching your hands without any loss of control and the rear wheel stays planted firmly on the ground. The saddle is comfortable too, adding to the fun of riding hard on bad roads. Handle bar equipped with gel insert beneath the bar tape, makes for an exciting ride — no matter where you’re going.

The brakes were undeniably very sound mechanically, but took some time to sharpen up, with the front still noticeably outperforming the rear by the end of my 5 days of test. I have often found that similar brakes can take a long time to bed in, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Without question, the Diverge A1 is the road bike made for Indian conditions.

Advice: shoes and pedals

Although the Diverge is predominantly a road bike, its capacity to leave the tarmac means you may find yourself in a situation where you have to walk some unrideable trail or cross on obstacle. It’s therefore worth investing in some mountain bike shoes with their tougher, walking-friendly soles and recessed cleats. I am keeping in mind the brevet riders when I talk about the type of shoes & pedals

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You’ll need pedals to match; Shimano’s SPD system is ideal with a broad range that offers some excellent pedals. Alternatives such as Crank Brothers’ Egg Beaters.

Click below for pedals and shoes:

Pedals – http://bit.ly/shimano_pedals

Shoes – http://bit.ly/mtb_shoes

Verdict

Without question, the Specialized Diverge A1 is a perfect road bike for Indian road condition. With the introduction of disc brakes on road bikes, braking in any given condition is a confidence booster. The high tire clearance in the fork & seat-stay means you can add chunky tires and mudguards to battle the worst of winter. An all round good choice when looking for a road bike that can do it all.

You can also read some of the other reviews by clicking on any other links below:

Click here to ride home The Diverge – http://bit.ly/specialized_diverge


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