bikes

Afterpay comes to The Pedaler

We are stoked to give our customers the chance of purchasing gear from us via the funky Australian Start Up Afterpay.  Rather then one lump sum payment, Afterpay allows our customers the chance to buy via 4 monthly instalments while still getting the kit today.  Get onto our online shop and check it out.   Free shipping via the online store for all orders above $250.  Get your Pas Normal, Attaquer and Machines for Freedom kit, plus other cool gear in tasty instalments.  

 

If you have any queries regarding Afterpay, send an email or drop a line.  

Why Ben built a bike? - Johnson Bikes Part 1.

The Pedaler chats to Ben Johnson from Johnson Bikes about frames, carbon and his unfulfilled Grafton ambitions. 

Nathan White (The Pedaler):  When did you start up Johnson mate?

Benny Johnson (Johnson Bikes):  Ahh, would have been 2012/2013.  When I finished up with Uni in Queensland, I came back up to work in the shop (Noosa), and being around bikes and seeing what was happening in the store, I wanted a bike for myself.  Between the brands, I just couldn't find something that was exactly what I wanted.  I guess it stemmed from that.  Looking at the stores and across the brands, they were all making very similar bikes. a so it all started with the development of the Esquire frameset.

Across other brands you would either get bikes that were very long in the head tube, with a longer wheel base that were sort of more a comfort bike.  Or from that, going to a very aggressive race road bike. I guess I wanted something that was a balance in between, and I just couldn't find that on the market.  They were either going for that comfort option or going too racey.  

The Esquire Frameset is a good balance between.  You are still very low in the head tube, because I'm not a big believer in going higher for comfort.  I think getting the balance between the back and the front of the bike and getting into a better position is the best way to go.  I think you can achieve that with the Esquire Frameset and that's where the Johnson stemmed from.

 

NW:  How long did it take to go from idea to fruition?

BJ:  It was an arduous task.  It took a few trips to Asia.  I went to the Taiwan bike show which was a real eye opener.  From that, going to different manufacturers, it was hard, pleading my case and trying to get things in such small quantities.  It made getting things get off the ground very difficult.  Then trying to find a company you could be quite hands on with, and be involved with the R and D and the development of the bike as much as I could.  I was learning a lot about carbon fibre, and how to manufacture a bike, and the differences between carbon fibres and resins.  I was quite particular with what I wanted to achieve and with the outcome of the bike.

Then trying to find a company you could be quite hands on with, and be involved with the R and D and the development of the bike as much as I could.

NW: I guess in a era now with so many people talking about Carbon frames, and getting Carbon Framesets from Taiwan, it really important to separate yourself from that market.  I guess you do this through your own input and your own design features around the bike rather then relying upon stock framesets landing then getting them painted up yourself and calling it a bike company.

BJ: Yeah exactly.  There is a huge difference.  Just because it is carbon, doesn't make it good. The whole manufacturing process and how carbon fibre is laid and the whole moulding process is incredibly important regarding stiffness and how you can manipulate the carbon fibre to suit your desired design outcomes.  Yeah there is a big difference between just your basic carbon frame and we have tried to demonstrate that.  The carbon we have used is the most expensive carbon that you can buy, whereas a lot of other company's to reduce costs have used different carbon fibre, but I wanted to produce the best bike we possibly could.

NW:  Where did all your graphic inspiration come from.  They're amazing bikes to ride but they look just, for want of a better word, pretty.  Where did that come from?

BJ: (Laughs) When I was growing up, I was a mad keen cycling fan from Jacques Anquetil and Merckx and all those old bike racers. I loved the look of old steel bikes and wanted to create a unique looking bike and I don't think there was anything else on the market at the time like that.  I wanted the vintage aesthetic and have the bike branding as well look like it had been around for fifty years.

I loved the look of old steel bikes and wanted to create a unique looking bike and I don't think there was anything else on the market at the time like that.

Benny J's Dad Chimes in: He was obviously watching bike racing on Black and White Television then. 

BJ: (Laughs) I was obviously born in the wrong generation.  So trying to balance the vintage aesthetic but still utilising all the modern building techniques and technology that we could.

NW: Do you still get a buzz seeing your own name on the bikes all the time?

 

BJ: Yeah I still get a buzz.  It's great seeing your own bikes on the road and it is really satisfying seeing people looking good on them.  I've become quite passionate about bike fitting and making sure your bike fits you well so I get a great buzz from that too.  

NW:  So if we wanted to gain access to some quick cash, we could just use that same signature (on the top tube on every Johnson Bike) on a bunch of blank cheques and go to town?  That's the same autograph on the company cheque book?

BJ: (Laughs) Yeah it is mate.  I might have to change that now. (Laughs)

Part 2.  Tomorrow.   

Wheels aren't wheels and the thirst for G2I.

...

 

Battle on the Border is getting close. Be sure to give your race rig the 'once over'.

With the annual stage race Battle on the Border less then 2 weeks away, now is the time to ensure your machine is ready to roll.  There is nothing worse than training for an event only to be let down by your equipment.  Here is a list of the crucial points worth checking.

  1. Tyre Wear - Check your tyres thoroughly for any cuts, or signs of degradation. Degradation usually shows itself by the tread of the tyre starting to crack. 
  2. Chain Wear - A stretched chain means gear slip, you don't want this. If you are running Campagnolo, and have a vernier at your disposal, it is quite easy to check your chain for wear. Count out 6 links and measure the length of the chain, if it is over 132.6mm your chain is worn. A new campag chain will measure 132.2mm.  If you do not have a specific chain checker for Shimano and Sram chains, a simple way to check wear is to shift the chain into the big ring on the front and the lowest gear on the back (ie 25 or 28t). When the chain is in this position, attempt to lift the chain off the front chain ring. There should be no give in the chain in this position.  If there is it would suggest that your chain is worn out. (Again, if you run Campy, then be sure to have it fixed and race ready before you head to remote race locations as the likelihood of finding spare parts is poor).
  3. Cassette and chain ring wear - If you have a worn chain, you may also have worn out your cassette and chain rings. The teeth on your cassette and chain rings should look slightly squared off on the top, if you notice that they are starting to look like sharks teeth then they are worn out. On the cassette an easy way to do this is look at the middle gears, and compare this to the 11 or 12 tooth cog, typically most people will be riding in the middle of their cassette for the majority of their rides, so these are the cogs that will show wear first.
  4. Cable wear - Deterioration of cables is the unseen destroyer on race day. If you are running a mechanical groupset, a fraying cable can creep up on you and suddenly snap when it is under load. It would be a good idea to completely remove your cables and check for any kinks, or frayed sections. If you have internal cables make sure you pull a sleeve through from the exit point to the entry point near the lever before removing the cables, otherwise you may spend more time than necessary trying to reroute your cables. Also be sure that your cables are not crossed inside the frame. It is amazing how easily this can happen.  It is not always obvious when cabling a bike, but the shifting will turn very bad, very quickly if you accidentally do this. When pulling cables through a frame, make sure to check that they don't pull on each other before tensioning them to the derailleur. 
  5. Brake pad wear - This is an easy one, as most brake pads have wear indicators. Make sure you have enough meat on your brake pads, and of course if you are swapping to carbon wheels chuck in your carbon specific brake pads. 
  6. Bartape - This is purely aesthetic, but getting to the start line with crisp new bar tape always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

Words by: Joshua Prete
                  Wurkshop Manager

Johnson Esquire SL - New Bike Day // New 'The Pedaler' Brands

words / photos - Josh Prete

Born and raised in Noosa by the enigmatic ex-professional cyclist Ben Johnson, we give you the Johnson Esquire SL. Benny has poured his heart and soul into his Johnson frames and his Featherlight range of wheels. Trust me, the results speak for themselves.

 

As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the Esquire SL is a lightweight frame with uncompromising handling and comfort.  The frameset incorporates oversized box section tubing on the chainstay and downtube, which makes the frame responsive and balanced. 

The rear stay uses 'Thinstay Compliance' technology which ensures that the ride is still buttery smooth, while still being stiff when you are laying down the watts.

Don't let it's stunning good looks fool you, this is a proper world class race machine.

We will be stocking the full range of Johnson Frames and Featherlight Wheels through The Pedaler.  Exciting times.