New Albion is a San Francisco based bike brand that understand the beauty of the classic bicycle era. Their name is a nod to Sir Francis Drake, the English explorer/privateer who during his circumnavigation of the globe and raids on Spanish flotilla’s landed somewhere on the Northern California coast which he dubbed “New Albion”.
(Sir Frank pictured above in a more reflective moment)
The Homebrew is one of their road bike offerings. Typically sold as a drop bar road bike, the Homebrew is a perfect option for modification and customization. The versatility of this bike lends itself well to handlebar swaps and a variety of riding styles. Designed as a classic lightweight steel road bike, it also makes an excellent everyday commuter and light tourer. Outfitted with a good assortment of braze-ons, the Homebrew will accommodate most front and rear racks, a wide range of tire sizes, and fenders.
Pedal Revolution built this one up as a comfortable upright do-all bike. Add a basket to the front and a rack on the back and you’d have a great commuter/weekend touring bike. We added a classy Soma Sutro stem to compliment the San Francisco Bay (“New Albion”) headbadge, a Wald tourist bar, IRD friction thumbshifters, retro-styled Tektro brake levers, Panaracer Pasela tires, a softer saddle, and cork grips. Come by and check this and the other New Albion bike offerings. Lovely well-thought out bikes for many types of riding.
56cm – $965.
Greetings from the capital city of Cuba! As a part time Pedal Rev employee I asked the good people at the shop if I could make my worldwide blogging debut via the shop blog, and for better or worse they agreed, so here goes nothing. I am extremely fortunate to find myself in the middle of a six month leave of absence from my regular job (an OUSD teacher) in order to spend some time in the land where rum and music flow freely and where socialism meets palm trees.
did I mention that cuba is a socialist state?
Before heading off, Pedal Rev master mechanic / all around good human being, Joel Bartell proposed the idea of building up a ‘Cuba Bike’ in order to take with me. The aim was to create a strong, reliable, versatile and utilitarian rig that would serve as a commuter with the possibility of doing some touring as well. This is of course no new territory for Pedal Rev, who pump out many fantastic refurbished bikes that serve similar purposes on the streets of the bay area. All this was to be done with the added challenge of setting up the Cuba Bike on a very low budget as I would be leaving it behind at the end of my stay with the hopes that it will continue to bring many kilometers of happiness to its next owner.
The bike catches the attention of many here on the island. One of the unique features that often confuses many is the 9 speed LX shifters that came off of an old bike of mine. People often give them a perplexed look and ask what they are and what purpose they serve. This is no surprise given the overwhelming abundance single speeds found here. The most prevalent of these being the ‘Flying Pigeon’ a Chinese made bicycle weighing a stout 40-ish lbs, built with a tremendous amount of rake on the forks that was imported during the 90’s during the special period (a rather difficult chapter in Cuban history due to the fall of the USSR and socialist block) in order to compensate for the lack of public transportation options.
bicycle alongside el comandante.
I’ve done a handful of 4-6 hour rides that have involved leaving the city limits and using a network of country roads, ferries and the national highway system to explore the coast and valleys surrounding Habana. Turns out that the highways have way less traffic than the city and the quality of the roads is often far superior to the city streets who’s conditions at times remind me of some of the most technical mountain bike trails in the bay area. It also turns out that riding for hours in the blazing Caribbean sun takes its toll on you.
Twice now I’ve found myself in dire straits due to lack food and/or water mid ride. Most recently I was saved by a small food kiosk in the beach town of Guanabo. I approached the establishment labeled “Amigos de Jorgito” and ordered a cold Mango juice followed by a Hawaiian pizza. I was initially intimidated by the size of the pizza that was placed in front of me, but fear not fellow blog readers: I emerged successful and took it down in its entirety. I’m still not sure who Jorgito is, but I now definitely consider him an amigo and credit him for fueling me for the remaining 2 hours of my ride back to the city.
On that note I’ll wrap it up for now. Much thanks again to Pedal Rev for the space to write. Until we meet again I leave you with the words of a famous bearded Argentinian who also transplanted himself here – albeit for slightly different reasons — !Hasta la victoria siempre!
yours truly, moments after meeting jorgito!
Spring is upon us and what better way to celebrate than giving your best friend a sprucing up.
Pedal Revolution is offering a Tune Up Special with 20% off parts. Bring you bike in for a free estimate. If you need a tune up, any additional parts included in the service are discounted 20%!
Just a few years ago rampant colored accessories reared their brightly colored heads in the bike world once again. Colored rims, cranks, pedals, bars, tires…you name it, the kids couldn’t get enough. They’d pile into the shop – hands sweating, eyes glazed, and outfit their bikes with anything colorful they could swoop up. Cooler heads have weathered the most recent color storm in bike culture (those of you that have been on this merry-go-round for a minute might remember past color tornados in the bike industry like the 80’s mountain bike paint schemes and anodizing craze). Things have calmed down once again to a more neutral palate.
This little gem gives a nod to the colorful fixie craze a few years back, but keeps it classy and classic! A beautiful silver Japan built Panasonic lugged frame set teamed up with some nice parts and a bold set of pink hoops we’ve had floating around Pedal Revolution just waiting on the right friend. This bike is pure fun. Set up as a single speed but with the option to run fixed gear if so desired. Hey, the kids are alright.
52cm Seat tube with a 56cm top tube.
Classic Fuji Sport steel frame rebuilt into a quick little get-around single speeder.
54cm – $350.
Never a dull moment down here at Pedal Revolution. The latest exotic creature on the floor is this “Unicorn” dubbed frame. Someone was deeply in love with this bike and went to great lengths to apply an extraordinary patina of weirdness to the frame. Most likely, this bike began it’s life as an early Japanese built rigid mountain bike (prob a Univega). Fast forward to sometime in the not so distant past where a stunning paint job (with a direct nod to the “Japanese excitement stripe” movement of the 80’s) was painstakingly applied. After that, Unicorn themed decals perfectly matched to the original Univega font were created and stuck on.
Aldous Huxley penned “The Doors of Perception” in 1954, extensively describing a mescaline trip he took over the course of an afternoon. His book has been cited as an early reference and pre-cursor to the psychedelic age that came after. It’s entirely possible that the owner of this bike was on some high grade mind expanders when they vision quested this incarnation into being. Regardless, you won’t need drugs to appreciate the majestically freaky awesomeness of this bike. We at Pedal Rev rebuilt it from the frame up into a great utilitarian machine ready for daily use or parade status. Commute on it and get ready for a lot of compliments. Dig it.
19″ – $385.