Sunday, June 9, 2013

Keep GoBikeColumbus alive! Contributors needed.

Dear Columbus Cyclists,

It's been a pleasure blogging about biking in Columbus, unfortunately, grad school will be taking me away from Columbus for at least 2 years! I'm looking for someone who is enthusiastic about keeping this community blog alive and learning some of the awesome skills that come along with hosting one of Columbus's more popular bike blogs!

Whether your a veteran blogger or just a newb, you'll have the opportunity to learn or continue to develop the following awesome skills.

  • Writing
  • Social media 
  • Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Website design
Additional benefits:
  • Develop a relevant skill for your resume
  • Meet awesome people
  • Trade blog advertising for sweet bike swag ( I get between 1500-2000 hits a month)
Email me at    for more info!



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Are you ready to ride naked?!

In coordination with the rest of the world, the world naked bike ride is going down once again in Columbus Ohio!!!


Saturday June 15, 2013   at 10:30pm at 400 West Rich
Doors open at 7pm

More info here:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Your guide to buying an affordable commuter bike.

This blog is going to focus on how to buy and modify the perfect bike commuter or entry level racing bike for $200 to $300. 

This is going to be a steel, geared, road bike, that fits you, has aluminum 700c wheels and a three piece bottom bracket.

I'm going to focus on 3 aspects:

  • Your optimal commuting bike
  • A basic parts and modification guide
  • How to judge a bikes condition

*No this guide isn't the only way to do it!

Finding an affordable bike is the perfect way to: get fit, save money, and enjoy life's simple pleasures!
This is my guide, as a first generation immigrant who grew up dirt poor, and eventually flowered into a "professional" cyclist!

Bicycling as a transportation option.
Whether you're biking to your office job through the snow, or just want to whip around town without worrying about parking, this blog is going to set you up for the rest of your life on a bike. First, there's one thing you have to remember, bicycle commuting is a skill which you develop over time. This blog will focus on purchasing, and eventually maintaining your own set of wheels!

Know what you're looking for:

                Types of bikes: Road

Regardless of everything that's out there, I'm going to focus on road bikes because of their affordability, availability and ease of use. Mountain bikes, hybrids, and BMX bikes all have oversized wheels, tires, and frames which impair your progress (through increased friction) down the road as a commuter.

Three types of road bikes.

                Road bikes: These bikes have anywhere from 10-30 gears. The gears are like your transmission. You shift to a lower gear to comfortably travel at low speeds or up hills, and you shift to higher gears to efficiently pedal at high speeds and or down hills. This is the best set up for a commuter bike. 

                Fixed gears: one gear that's fixed to your rear wheel which means you can't coast on your pedals. The only way you can stop is to try and pedal backwards, while you're pedaling forward at full speed. It's like driving a car that can only stop using the e brake. Because of its difficulty to control, this is a terrible option for a novice rider.

                Single speed: Bikes with one speed. If you're going to be riding once a month with no hills, this may be a good starter bike for you. If you're going to try and commute on your bike every day, it might limit you. On the plus side, They are SUPER easy to maintain.

                Material: Steel

Road bikes predominantly come in 3 different materials; Steel, carbon, and aluminum.
Carbon is prohibitively expensive and will begin to crack after 3-5 years.
Aluminum is much cheaper than carbon and the frames last a couple years longer but they produce a harsh ride.
Steel offers you durability, and absorbs road vibrations, making for a comfortable ride.
Steel will last you a LIFETIME.

Fitting: Make sure you can stand over the top tube.

Remember, you want to ride your bike everyday, which means you want to be as comfortable on it as possible! The simple way of doing this is measuring your inseam and figuring out what size bike frame you're going to be looking for. You're going to want something that gives you about 2 inches between your family jewels and your bike frame. After you've purchased your bike, I'm going to go over how to adjust your bike to fit your needs, but for now use the chart below to figure out your frame size.

Seat adjustment: You want to make sure your seat is perfectly level or two clicks tilted back. Your weight should be resting on your butt bones, NOT your hands.
Adjust your seat height: The seat should be high enough that when you extend your leg, your heel (not your toes) perfectly reaches the pedal when it's in its lowest position. A seat that is too low hurts your knees, while one that is too high causes you to overreach and is bad for your hips.

Handlebar adjustment: Sit on your bike, and grab onto your handlebars. Look down, and your handlebars should be blocking your view of the bikes front hub. If not, your bike might be too long/short for your reach and cause back pain. You can adjust this by moving your seat forward/backward, or installing a longer/shorter stem.

REMEMBER: This is a recommended fit guide! Ultimately, what feels most comfortable with your body is what you should go with!!

Components: wheels, crank, bottom bracket, shifters (all the shiny parts on your bike frame)
Right now I'm focusing on how to buy a bike for $100 to $300 with working components.

                Wheel size: 700c aluminum
Used road bikes are either going to come with 700c (cm) wheels, or 27" wheels. 27" wheels got phased out years ago. This means if you want quality tires (this matters if you're riding your bike every day), you're going to have to prioritize finding a bike that has 700c wheels. Bike shops will always have a large quantity of 700c tires at varying price points and varying levels of quality to fit your needs.
                Wheel material: Old school rims are going to come in either steel or aluminum. 
You want aluminum because its light and malleable, meaning when you hit a bump and your wheel goes out of true (gets wobbly) its more easily fixed. This affects you braking power as well as how easily you roll down the road.

Converting a bike from 27” to 700c rims: You can easily slap on a pair of 700c wheels onto any bike that has 27” wheels. You just have to note that because 700c wheels are slightly smaller you might have to buy long reach brakes or modify your existing brakes to reach the braking surface on a 700c wheel.

                Bottom bracket: 3 piece bottom bracket
The three pieces include the bottom bracket, and a crank arm on each side.
Make sure you bike isn't a single piece bottom bracket! This means that both crank arms and bottom bracket are all one metal piece. This makes pedaling drastically harder.
Also make sure that your cranks spin smoothly without any side to side movement. This means the bearings inside are either loose or worn, and need to be adjusted. Having a bike with a sealed bottom bracket (no loose bearings) gives you the advantage of never having to deal with this problem again!

                  Gears: Downtube friction
At this pricing point you're probably going to get downtube friction shifter which are fine for commuting, but not good for racing. If you want to move on to brifters (brake/ shifters) or bar end shifters using the same cable mounts your downtube shifters use.

Now I'm going to teach you how to judge a bike quality.

1. Frame: Inspect the integrity of the frame by making sure there are no cracks in the welds or dents in the tubing. Do this carefully! hairline fractures sometimes slip away from even the most expert mechanics!
2. Check for Loose parts: Bounce the bike on both tires by dropping it from about 2" off the ground. If you hear something's loose or rattles instead of a solid bounce this is bad news. The bike needs adjusted.
3. Listen for grinding: This is the granddaddy of them all!
                1) Have someone lift the bike in the air for you, then proceed to place your ear on top of the front tip of the seat. You should be hearing something similar to when you put your ear up to a seashell.
                2) Spin the front wheel and listen. Spin or move any rotational part: wheels, handlebars, cranks. This will permit you to hear any grinding in the moving parts which means the specific part your testing is maladjusted, or worn out and about to go. Some of these problems take more time and effort to fix than others.
4. Adjust your seat height: The seat should be high enough that when you extend your leg, your heel (not your toes) perfectly reaches the pedal when it's in its lowest position. A seat that is too low hurts your knees, while one that is too high causes you to overreach and is bad for your hips.
5. Ride it! Cruise around making sure YOU like your bike. Think of this as choosing a girlfriend (or boyfriend!), this is a long term relationship, and the last thing you want on a long ride is a nagging pain!
                1) Go through ALL the gears making sure they shift smoothly.
                2) Test the brakes!
                3) Make sure you can powerfully pedal in each without the chain "slipping", or skipping onto another gear on its own.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A quick guide to cycling in Medellin Colombia

So, I spent my winter in Medellin Colombia doing two things I love; starting a business and riding bikes!

For those of you who haven't seen my updates on Facebook I'm going to give you a recap of how awesome cycling is in Medellin, and hopefully inspire some of you to visit!

Lets starts with the fact that Colombia (especially Medellin and Bogota) has an obsession with biking. We have a rich history of grueling tours that crisscross the Andies through its extreme climbs, descents  and climates (yes Colombian mountains do have snow at the top). La Vuelta Colombia (60+ years) and El Clasico RCN (50+ years), combined with our late 80's Cafe de Colombia team, and track world champions have made Colombian's especially fond of the sport. So much in fact that every time I took my bike out to train, I would have people cheering me on!

More Colombian bike nerdage (in english) 

Did you see the Giro De Italia? Are you still wondering why the Colombians are coming? Check it out here!

Urban cycling:
One word, CICLOVIAS!! Medellin's government closes down about 20 miles of roads and highways on Sundays, Holidays and some weekdays to accommodate the thousands of recreational cyclists, joggers and skaters that want to get their workout in. No it doesn't disrupt traffic, roads are closed during low use hours, and this really encourages the everyday citizen to get out and move! Every couple miles you have independent food carts selling water, food and offering bike maintenance. If you want to rent a bike, I would advise starting at Envigado where a mini bike bazaar always organizes itself for the Sunday ciclovia.

The city of Medellin will also shut down roads for themed ciclovias. The Mothers day ride attracted 800 participants!

Every Wednesday, be sure to join El Colectivo Siclas at 7:30 pm in the Carlos E park, for their urban, 15 mile ride around Medellin. You're going to see a lot of expats, as well as every imaginable bike as you traverse different neighborhoods throughout the city (rich, poor, mountainous, etc). I honestly cant even begin to explain the euphoria of parading through some of the cities most infamous neighborhoods, as the locals cheer you on, and join on their bikes. The organizers are REALLY good at organizing the rides and making sure that the 1000 person crew always gets back safely. This is a casual ride, that has one 15 minute beer stop halfway through.

The last Wednesday of the month is reserved for "La fiesta de la Bici", Medellin's Critical mass type ride. About 4,500 cyclists meet at the Mamm museum at "Ciudad de Rio" at 7:30. The ride last about 2 hours and has no stops. As the name suggests, this is a bike party, and if you didnt already know, Colombians are experts at partying! Bring your noise makers, positive attitude, and bikes! Mas amor, menos motor!

Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for Ciclocity. Rides meet at 7pm at the "Suramericana" Metro station near the stadium. Make sure your bike has lights, and you're wearing a helmet, or else you wont be allowed to ride. Tuesdays they ride up the two mountains that dot the Medellin Valley, Cerro Nutibara and El Volador. The views of Medellin from these mountains are always amazing. Thursdays they do a farther ride up the highway to Copa Cabana. Between 20-30 riders always show.

Alley cats became my baby in Medellin. Everyone had seen them on the internet, but nobody knew how to organize them, so I started a series called "Tin Tin Corre Corre". The first couple of races were sprints at "Ciudad del Rio" and the last one was an all out alley cat throughout the city. I sent competitors out to various grocery stores throughout the city to collect non perishable food and school supplies. Every race had between 40-60 competitors, 80 spectators, and $500 worth in prizes.

Road riding in Medellin:
Road bike routes
Colombians favorite road ride by far, is going up "El alto de las Palmas". No matter what day or hour you go, your going to find people from all social classes, riding all kinds of bikes up this 10 mile highway out of the Medellin valley. It takes about an hour and a half to ride up and 30 minutes to fly down (if your going 60mph). Once you get to the top, your riding through rolling hills, enjoying the lush vegetation, coffee and flower plantations, and visiting many of the quaint towns that dot the countryside.

When the roadies aren't going up mountains, they're racing crits in our city race track. Every day the Juan Pablo Segundo track (next to the professional BMX track) is open to anyone who wants to ride, jog or skate their way around. On weekends it's reserved for motorcycle and car racing. Every Thursday at 10 am, there's a criterium race that lasts about 45 minutes.

 Track Racing:
The Velodrome, named after our track world champion Martin Emilio Cochise, is placed in a quaint little neighborhood on the other side of the Metro from our stadium complex. Its an open air cement velodrome with a cafe, and plenty of seating to enjoy the racing. The best part though, is that you can register with the office for about $40 and they'll lend you track bikes to train and race as much as you want.

Mountain biking: 
Check out Barranquero and Todo MTB for more info
MTB routes
To my pleasant surprise, Colombians are also obsessed with mountain biking! They usually meet very early weekend mornings at the San Diego mall gas station at the beginning of "Las Palmas" highway that gets you out of the city. They carpool up the mountain and ride all kinds of courses!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tour of Franklinton!

Who said France had to have all the fun?! Time to race, get drunk, heckle and cheer on your favorite racers!

If you haven't noticed Franklinton is our oldest, and most up and coming neighborhood. Not only is the remodeled riverfront and Cosi making for a spectacular entry into the neighborhood, but 400 w rich, Franklinton Gardens, Franklinton cycleworks, and soon enough the Columbus Idea Foundry!

Who knows, you might just stumble upon you $25,000 dream home while your here!

Online registration closes Friday, (day of costs $10 more),
Event page
FB event

Thank you Team 614 for organizing an awesome event.

Sorry for being MIA on the blog! I was working/ biking in Medellin Colombia for the winter! Updates coming soon!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Hop Party

Tonight there will be a Holiday Hop Party at Revolution Cycles. Ohio Roller Girls will be present to raffle off season tickets. Music will be provided by the lovely DJ Goody2Shoes all evening. There is a toy donation to help kids this holiday season as well as a ugly sweater contest and foosball challenge. Seasonal treats will be served first come first serve.

Revolution Cycles is located at 1201 North High Street, right next to Travonna Coffee Shop.
Doors open at 7, here is a link to the Facebook event and a picture of the flyer.

Holiday Hop w/Revolution Cycles and Ohio Roller Girls

On a side note Julian Valencia has decided to retire from the GoBikeColumbus Blog to focus on the real world. I will be doing my best to maintain the blog and continue to inform the the bike community.
   Sincerely, Andrew Nishio. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September rides!

September Columbus rides have now been updated!

Check out the events page! HERE

We've got some road rides, leisure rides, ciclcocross practice/races, and bike polo games, as well as a major bike polo tournament being hosted here in our city!

Check our event page for dates, and links for details.

Also, if you want to LEARN how to fix your bike, we've got 3 places where you can start!

Thirdhand (recently moved, and still needs volunteers) open Thursdays 6-9 and Saturdays 1-4. Update HERE
Frankinton cycleworks open Saturdays from 1-5. Link HERE
..and if your an OSU student, Bike OSU's mobile bike clinic can help you out. You can follow it HERE

If However you don't want to get your hands dirty and would rather have a shop work on your bike for you..... I've got a tune up coupon for you here!