Folding Bike Blog

Folding Gravel Bike Build: Part 1

The gravel bike. A 700c road style frame with fast rolling knobbies that can take you just about anywhere; dirt roads, gravel roads, singletrack, you name it. When you want to follow those fire roads and escape into the wilderness, the gravel bike is the choice for your adventure ride. The Montague FIT Custom is a great folding road bike frame, but it comes equipped with disc brake mounts on the front and rear, so it also makes for an excellent folding gravel bike.

IMG_1801This build is custom from the ground up, no stock parts from the Montague FIT, so I can show you every detail as I put the bike together. Let’s take a look at a parts list to start:

Montague FIT Custom frame
FIT Carbon Fork with disc mount
Whisky Parts Co Wheelset
Whisky Parts Co No. 7 carbon clincher rims
SRAM X9 Disc compatible hubs w/ 10-Speed cassette  body
Hayes CX Pro disc brakes w/ Hayes 160mm rotors
Challenge Chicane 33c tires
SRAM S950 Crankset 50-34
Truvativ/SRAM Team GXP bottom bracket
SRAM Force Double Tap shift/brake levers
SRAM Force 10-Speed Rear Derailleur
SRAM Force 10-Speed Front Derailleur
SRAM PG-1050 10 speed 11-28 Cassette
SRAM PC-1091R 10 speed Chain
Cane Creek 110 Headset
3T Ergonova Pro Dropbars
3T Arx II Team Stem
SRAM Bar Tape – Tacky
Fizik Arione Versus Saddle
Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 Pedals

The first step for me was to install the headset, and get the fork properly installed in the frame.

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The lower most part of the headset assembly is called the Crown Race. It’s press fit around the bottom of the fork’s steerer tube and rests just above the fork crown. This provides the surface for the lower headset bearings to rotate against.

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Installing a crown race is simple, but you will need a tool (luckily it’s also a simple tool). Slide the Race down around the steerer tube until it gets to the wider section at the bottom. Once it reaches this spot it will take substantial force to press it on. A crown race tool is really just a pipe with a slightly wider diameter than the steerer tube itself. It slides around the steerer as well, and allows you to hit the crown race down. It’s not recommended that you hit it with the fork ends on the ground, so hold the fork under the crown with one hand while you do it. A few hard strikes with the tool should push the Race down flat against the top of the fork crown.

Most bike tool manufacturers make specialty crown race tools with fittings for the bottom to accommodate different size crown races. These prevent damaging the crown race. Here is a crown race tool (slide hammer) made by Bringheli. As you can see, there isn’t much to it.

IMG_2647Next, the headset cups where the bearings actually rest, need to be installed in the frame. These are also press fit, and require a specialized tool for installation, the headset press:

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You’ll be installing the cups one at a time, starting with the lower. Begin by adding a thin layer of grease to the flange of the cup.

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Remove the bottom plate of the headset press, and insert the press through the head tube of the frame. Slide the bottom plate back on with the lower headset cup in place above it. Turning the handles on the top clockwise will tighten down the press and force the cup into the head tube of the frame.

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Repeat the process with the top cup, and you’re ready to install the fork. Once the fork and bearings are in place, there are two pieces to the headset that go on top, the wedge and the upper race. The wedge ensures that when the headset is tightened down, the steerer tube can’t move at all side to side. The upper race acts as a cap to the sealed system, and like the lower race, provides a surface for bearing to rotate against.

I’m not ready to cut the fork’s steerer tube to length quite yet, but I still clamped on the stem in order to hold everything in place.

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With the fork now turning smoothly in the frame now, it’s time to move on to another component set. Stay tuned to see what’s next!

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4 Comments

  1. DennyOz
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Nice pile of parts there. I see you have 33c tires, could you fit anything larger on that frame?

  2. Christopher
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    That’s going to be one sweet bike when you’re done. How do the drop bars work out when you fold it? I have mustache bars on my Montague and they work great by just threading through the rear wheel when it folds. Awesome bikes – I ride my everywhere! And I take it everywhere too.

  3. Posted June 6, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Hey DennyOz,
    You could fit a slightly larger tire on the front with that fork, probably a 35c, but the clearance on the back is tight. The chainstays have room, but the brake bridge is pretty close to these 33c tires. Luckily, lots of CX tires are available in 33.

  4. Posted June 6, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    @Christoper,
    The drop bars do make the folded size a bit wider, but I can still fit it in my car trunk! For longer travel, you could undo the stem bolts, and packing it up is still a lot easier than dealing with S&S couplers.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Folding Gravel Bike Build: Part 2 on June 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

    [...] Folding Gravel Bike Build: Part 1 [...]

  2. [...] installing the headset and fork, and preparing the wheelset, I’m now going to install the disc brakes. I have a set of Hayes [...]

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Posted in accessories, Maintenance, Tutorial | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Riding Natchaug: MTB

Here at Montague, the bikes we make are more than just folding bikes, they’re Real Bikes That Fold. We want you to be able to ride single track, gravel roads, and rocky paths, while having the freedom to keep your bike in the car trunk. We want you to ride 30 miles on road with the performance and feel you expect from a road bike, then fold that bike for the train ride home. We’re cyclists, and we build bikes that we love riding too. Take a look at some shots from this weekend’s excursion:

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Packing up. No problem fitting this mountain bike in the trunk.

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A nice mix of single track, and dirt fire roads.

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Chris putting the pedal down.

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Remember!

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Taking a breather.

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Ride bikes, have fun, stay Awesome.

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Both bikes in the WRX. Time for a well earned sandwich.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted June 6, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    excellent choice of folding bike, good option to keep in homes with little space, to transport in normal cars and the freedom to use it as a normal MTB, also you can use for communting.

  2. Orlando
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I would like to seek the advise of the experts in this thread. I recently purchased a montague paratrooper pro and I would like to shave off some of its weight for frequent airline travel. Can anyone recommend which parts can I replace to make it lighter? I was thinking of replacing the fork with an air type shock but could not find a model that is compatible (unless anyone know of one) . Also considering replacing the handle bars with a carbon one. Appreciate the assistance.

  3. Brian Lindsay
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    To Orlando concerning paratrooper shave session…
    the experts at Bike Zone in Bangkok are doing the following install to upgrade, and weight loss programme:
    -new tires Maxxis 26×2 c/w tubes,also Taiwan origin
    -new fork, Kona Project 2 rigid ChroMo made especially for this application, replacing a springer suspended fork with a rigid, also allows for raising the handlebars.
    -new disc brakes, Shimano mechanical linkage.
    -new platform pedals
    -ergo knock-off handlebar grips
    -sealed BB, MTB gears Deore x8 speed, 22-32-44, 12-34. approx.
    -Sram chain
    -Axiom seat-post clamp-on rear rack, rated to 25 kgs. (?)
    Other upgrades to follow after shake-down cruise
    Lash

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Posted in Adventure, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tour of the Americas: Colombia

In Colombia we ‘enjoyed’ the first days in Cartagena, where we mostly spent our time doing paperwork to get our car out of port. Paperwork is not at all an enjoyment, but Cartagena has a lot of life and is quite a beautiful city. After a quick stop at Volcan de Totumo for a mud bath (the mud is heated by the volcanic activity below!), we headed towards National Park el Cocuy.  There we did two magnificent hikes to the glaciers. The first day we hiked to ‘El Pulpito’, but a strong fog blocked our views. The second day was ‘Ribalcoa Blanco’, where we enjoyed a beautiful view of the valley and the glacier!

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From there, we went to camp at Lake Tota. We were ready to relax after the long days of driving and hiking. The lake had a very nice beach on one side, but at an elevation of 3000 meters, it got very cold there once the sun went down.

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From there we went to Villa de Leyva, a village surrounded by trails for horse riding, montain biking, as well as excellent spots for rafting. There we unfolded our Montague bikes and made a day out of riding.

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We enjoyed a few hours of riding both outside the city exploring the surroundings, and through the city as well. Many of the roads there are cobblestones (Paris-Roubaix here we come!).

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We had fun with the bikes in the plaza, and afterwards we folded our Montagues, packed them in the Land Cruiser and headed in the direction of Bogotá.

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We passed Bogotá without spending much time there, and crossed the mountains toward the coffee region of Colombia. We went to a large finca (estate) where we learned how the coffee is processed. Our previous coffee experience was in Honduras at a small producer. This was a much larger operation and it was very interesting to see the difference between them.

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Ripe coffee beans ready to be picked.

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Peeled coffee beans, bagged and ready to be sold.

From here we continued toward the border with Ecuador, traveling through the Tatacoa desert:

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The road to the border is narrow and winds through the mountains. In years past many people have died going over the steep cliffs. The roads have recently been repaired and fitted with guard rails, so it’s quite safe now. The views still make it an exciting trip though:

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In three weeks we managed to see most of the spots we planned, and we have truly enjoyed the country of Colombia; it’s people and it’s mountains. Expect an update from Ecuador soon, we’ll be riding our Montague bikes in a new country soon!

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3 Comments

  1. truezzle1212
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Amazing that one shot is a snowy glacier, and down the road is a lush forest, then a desert. Whenever I see photos from south america im pretty amazed by the landscapes there. I want to go… haha

  2. Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    @truezzle1212,
    It’s really an honor to see our bikes next to such beautiful scenery. Not many folding bikes can handle the rugged terrain of S. America….

  3. Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for these beautiful pictures! Here at our shop we’re inspired by your story and wish you the best of travels! – Jack

One Trackback

  1. By Tour of the Americas: Ecuador on June 13, 2014 at 9:56 am

    [...] our adventures in Colombia, we crossed into Ecuador via the small village of Tulcan. Needing an inexpensive place to stay for [...]

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Posted in Tour of the Americas, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Importance of New Clipless Cleats

There are several designs for clipless pedals out there, but they all work in a similar way. A cleat which is specifically designed to lock into your pedal system is attached to the underside of your cycling shoe. Since you inevitably walk on your cleat sometimes, they tend to wear out a lot faster than the pedal itself. Many companies purposefully make the cleat out of a softer metal like Brass to prevent excessive wear on the pedal. It’s less expensive to replace a small brass cleat than the pedal itself.

As the cleat wears, the connection to your pedal tends to loosen up. For that nice solid feeling when you’re locked in, it’s important to replace your cleats from time to time. I’ve been feeling some extra play recently when using my Crank Bros Egg Beaters, so I decided today would be new cleat day. Here’s what they look like before, with visible heavy wear:

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Mountain shoes use a two hole design, where two screws fasten the cleat to a sliding piece in the bottom of the shoe. This allows you to adjust the position of the cleat from front to back. The larger 3 hole road cleats (SPD-SL for example) are slotted to allow the cleat itself to slide. Simply removed the two screws and discard the worn cleat and screws. Your new cleats will have replacement screws included.

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Reposition the new cleat in the same spot and tighten up the new screws. If you’re wondering what that silver plate is, Sidi recommends using a protective plate with Crank Bros pedals, since the spring loaded rails rest directly against the bottom of the shoe.

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Ahh… shiny new cleat. Notice the lips that stick up on the top and bottom are significantly taller and more well defined than on the worn out one above. That’s going to create a much more solid connection to the pedal. Before you consider getting new pedals, be sure to check the condition of your cleats. You might be able to get that “like-new” functionality back for just a few dollars.

Before and After:

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One Comment

  1. CeeCee
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been riding Shimano SPD for a while… I think the M540. Always been intrigued by those crank brothers pedals since they have 4 sided entry. What do you think of them? Are they as secure as spd?

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Posted in accessories, Maintenance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Cyclists

A reminder to all you sons, daughters, and husbands out there: Sunday May 11th is Mother’s Day!

“Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends—but only one mother in the whole world.” Kate Douglas Wiggin

Mother’s Day in America was created by Anna Jarvis and became an official national holiday in the United States in 1914. That makes Mother’s Day 2014 the 100th official observance. Dates and celebrations vary in different countries, but here in the US, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday in May. It’s a day to show your mother that you appreciate everything she’s done for you, and while there’s a lot of ways to do that without buying anything, everyone likes a gift now and then. If your mom is a cyclist, loves bikes, or even if you’re the cyclist trying to get mom to ride with you, we have some ideas for you.

Louis Garneau LS100 Road Shoe

First up is the LS100 Carbon Road Shoe from Louis Garneau. I use this shoe myself, and I think it’s great. Admittedly, I was first attracted to because it uses my two favorite colors: pink and black. The subtle use of pink keeps it lady like without being too bold, but it has a lot more going for it than style. The ultra light carbon composite outside provides a great ventilation, and it’s still surprisingly stiff at only 210 grams. The shoe comes with two interchangeable insoles for different densities. I’m a big fan of these shoes and if your mom is a road rider, I bet she would be too.

Bern Brighton Helmet with Visor

Safety first! Another must have for any cyclist is a helmet. There a quite a few out there on the market, but some of my favorite helmets are the ones from Bern. I love their style and the shape. Matching to the shoes this one also comes in pink and black with a touch of complimenting blue (yaaay!). If you’re not into the super vented roadie helmet, the urban style of the Bern is perfect for a more casual rider. What I like the most about this helmet is that it actually fits really well. It’s made for ladies with a smaller shell size and the feminine details.

Bicycle Charm Bracelet

Does your mom like jewelry and bicycles? How about a Bicycle Charm Bracelet? I think these are just adorable. The mix of the infinity sign, the bicycle, the motivational quote, and the wisely chosen colors make this to a really cute gift. I personally like to support things which are handmade. Even if you didn’t make it, it’s more special when it’s hand crafted. The charms on this bracelet are made from antique silver, which means this metal has a history too! Most of the shops on Etsy ship worldwide, so you can pick up a bracelet for your mom no matter where you live.

Montague Crosstown Folding Bike

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You can’t really enjoy all these wonderful bike accessories if you don’t have a bike to ride. If you want to make your mom really happy this year, you could get her one of our Montague folding road bikes. Montague bikes use full size wheels and standard parts, so they offer unmatched performance while still conveniently folding. A Montague would make life a lot easier for your dear mother than with a regular bicycle. She wouldn’t have to worry if she would like to travel with it. If your moms house or apartment is as packed as mine’s with the many things that piled up over the years, the folding aspect makes it easy to store at home without much space. Even if she’s an experienced cyclist who already owns a bike, having one made for travel is the perfect addition to the fleet.

Finally, I think the best gift a child can give their mom is spending time with them. We’re all so busy with life itself, so dedicating a day to your mom can mean a lot. My brother and I plan to take our mom out for breakfast, and depending on the weather (fingers crossed!), we will take her out for a bike ride with us. It has been many many years since our last bike ride all together, and I honestly I can’t wait for it. Let’s hope she will start riding her bicycle more often. She’s always talking about exercising more and getting in better shape, andI know my mom sometime she just needs a little push. Knowing us, we’ll probably end up at a frozen yoghurt or ice cream place after our ride.

One last thing… don’t forget to tell your mother you love her!

 

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2 Comments

  1. JanDrain
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    A women’s specific saddle or bib shorts would be a great gift for the road riding mother too. Men’s saddles really aren’t ideal for long hours riding so it could make a world of difference if they don’t have one.

  2. Posted May 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    JanDrain,
    Indeed it would be! Maybe bring her into your local bike shop on Mother’s day for a bike fitting, and to try out some different saddles. Everyone’s a little different as to what’s comfortable for them.

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Posted in accessories, Events, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Google Self Driving Car Recognizes Cyclists

As the idea of self driving cars comes closer to reality, the concern on most people’s minds is the safety of other road users. The most vulnerable of which would be pedestrians and cyclists; those not in a protective, airbag equipped vehicle of their own. It’s hard enough making sure human drivers see us when we’re cycling, so trusting a computer to do the same is understandably difficult. As the clear leader in developing a self driving car, Google is proving their technology is up to the task. With over 700,000 miles logged, they’ve been putting their car through the paces with increasingly complicated real world situations.

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Google just released a video which shows what their autonomous car is “seeing” when it encounters unique situations such as construction zones, railroad crossings, and even cyclists. The results so far are encouraging. The car is able to recognize a cyclist on the road behind or in front of it, yield to them when necessary, and even interpret hand signals. In the following video, the Google car slows to allow a cyclist to take the lane after recognizing their hand signal. In the next scene, it waits to let a rider pass by on the right, before making a right turn.

This shows that we may be closer than many thought to a working, and more importantly very safe, self driving car. I’m not giving up my bike commute for a car any time soon, even if it can drive itself, but I certainly feel better knowing the technology will protect cyclists. Perhaps the future of sharing the road with cars won’t be so bad after all.

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Posted in Commute, General, Lifestyle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

AAA Expands Bicycle Assistance Program

The American Automobile Association, or as most know it AAA, is by definition a motorist’s organization. AAA was originally created in response to a lack of roadways suitable for automobiles in the early 20th century. While that certainly isn’t a problem anymore, AAA still lobbies heavily for various highway initiatives, and offers a variety of services intended specifically for car owners. Their emergency roadside services are by far their most popular. AAA members can get tire changes, towing services, or help with lockouts at any time. Historically, AAA hasn’t been particularly bike friendly, but you may not know that AAA amazingly offers roadside bicycle assistance as well.

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They began bicycle assistance in select areas in 2009, but the program has recently been expanding. Montague’s home city of Boston is in the territory of AAA Southern New England, which just announced the start of their bicycle benefits. For all levels of AAA membership, stranded cyclists can call the same 800 number they normally do and receive transportation for themselves and their bicycle to their home,vehicle, or other location free of charge (within a limited range).

The bicycle benefits also extend to INsider, the AAA free program for teenagers age 13 – 16. While it is certainly a great step that cycling is being embraced by perhaps the most car-centric organization in the US, it’s not without it’s flaws.

All the AAA press releases and marketing materials I’ve seen perpetuate the American perception that cycling is something kids do, or that it’s just a fitness or leisure activity. The images of children riding along a path in the park do little to promote cycling as an actual viable means of transportation. While those of us who do commute by bicycle on a daily basis can certainly take advantage of the services, AAA is coming up a bit short of actually promoting transportation cycling. Although, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. They certainly want to support their members who do ride bicycles, and they certainly want to appear bicycle friendly, but I don’t think they want everyone giving up their automobile in favor of the bicycle.

I don’t mean to sound like too much of a downer. Anytime cooperation and understanding can be had between cyclists and motorists, it’s a very good thing. Perhaps someday AAA will be lobbying for bike lanes too.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted April 30, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    • While this is a good development, one thing that a lot of people aren’t aware of is that AAA is a lobbying organization, and they have fought vigorously against money going to bikes and transit, on the grounds that the money should be spent accommodating cars. I can’t in good conscience join such an organization.

  2. Posted April 30, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Excellent point Jym. I alluded to that fact a bit, that they have historically been very against alternative transportation. That’s why this feels a bit like a feeble attempt to appear pro-bike. I found it amusing that the wording on their site says their bicycle assistance can pick you up and bring you back to your car. Of course I drove my car to where I’m riding my bike. Why would I ever use a bike for actual transportation? /s

    I was trying to look on the bright side a little with this post.

  3. Jeff Gindin
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I think that this raises all sorts of issues but most of all I see it as hedging their bet. What if commuting went (in the U.S.) from <1% to 2% much less 4%? They still won't have much of conflict with their mission but it may represent a real opportunity for AAA. I don't know what the cost / will be at higher volumes but think of the peace of mind factor if you commute daily and can't be late for work.Genuine or not it is a good marketing strategy for the U.S. market given that our commutes are much longer than in Europe.

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Posted in Activism, Commute, General, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Montague Throwback Thursday Post

For our post today, we wanted to take a cue from the ever popular #ThrowbackThursday with a look at some vintage photos from Montague’s storied history.

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Father and son Harry and David Montague launch Montague Corporation in 1987.

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Harry Montague rides a Bi-Frame, our first folding frame design, while carrying a second folded bike.

Harry Montague Explain the bike to TV Crew

Harry Montague explains the Bi-Frame folding bike design to TV reporters.

Old-photo-of-Dave-with-BiFrame-bike

Dave Montague with the M-1000 Bi-frame. Photo taken along the Charles river in Cambridge, MA where Dave studied at MIT. Cambridge is still the home of Montague Headquarters.

Montague-BMW BiFrame into car

Montague launched it’s first automotive program in 1992, partnering with BMW.

Olympic-Bike-folded-stripped-RW

With BMW, Montague makes first ever Olympic Games Mountain Bike. As the official mountain bike of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, this bike was featured prominently in the closing ceremony.

Now lighter, stronger, and easier to fold than ever, Montague bikes have certainly come a long way from their early designs. We’re never done innovating, so keep any eye out for the next chapter in Montague’s history.

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boston-riding-folded-comp

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  1. Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    We stock only the best electric bikes that we can find including: AVE, KTM, Sparticle, Bionx, Sunstar, Wisper, Gocycle, Hero Eco A2B, Heinzmann, Powacycle, Smarta, Bosch and more!
    http://www.electricbikesales.co.uk/

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Posted in Events, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Goodbye Winter Fat: Hope to never see you again

It is warming up and summer is getting closer. Time to lose those extra pounds I put on in the last couple of months (the really cold last couple of months). I have to admit I haven’t been the healthiest and most active this winter, but I am really motivated right now. Fingers crossed this will be the beginning of a true lifestyle change!IMG_0791

“Cycle daily for a healthy heart!”

I am trying to take every opportunity to get up and move. I’m taking the stairs instead of elevators or escalators, walking whenever possible, and I’ve been riding my bike almost everywhere for the last couple weeks. My work is 3.4 miles away from my train stop. I’m able to take my Montague bike on the train thanks to it’s folding design, then I ride the rest of the way to work. That’s an additional 6.8 miles of riding my bike and moving a day.

 Planet Fitness Weymouth, MA

The gym finally has me back (I know it was missing me). I’m trying to hit the gym at least three times a week. You know how it is with all the excuses… no time, stressful day, too tired. The gym I go to is 3.3 miles away from where I live and I’ve been skipping the warm up by riding my bicycle to the gym and back. I suggest this to everyone. It is just so much more fun and you actually get some fresh air, rather than just hopping from one building to the other.

And guess what, you are supporting the environment!

My friends and I are trying to motivate each other. When you have a gym buddy or someone to go for a bike ride with, the fun factor increases enormously. It was beautiful out the other day and we went for a 20 Mile bike ride along the beaches on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Every five miles we got off the bikes and did some exercises like squats, jumping jacks, push ups, high knee kicks etc. I felt so good, so alive, and I got a nice little tan too. It was a great day, made better by a commitment to being healthy!IMG_0805

My bike commute is a big part of my plan to get fit. At the end of the day, if my laziness wins and I decide to watch a movie instead of going to the gym, I’ll feel bad, but at least I had a bike ride to work and back.

 

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

I had to change my diet a little bit too… fine maybe I had to make some major changes with the chocolate and the gummie bears. I have been replacing my snacks with an apple with peanut butter, carrots with hummus, plain yogurt with strawberries, or almonds. I even found a recipe for pancakes which are made from two eggs and a banana. It sounds strange, but that’s it. Mash up the bananas, mix with the eggs, and pour in a pan like pancake mix. Soo yummy and an excellent alternative if you’re trying to cut down on carbs. It’s a continuing process, and I’m still trying to eat healthier in combination with the exercise and daily commute by bike. It is working though, I can actually breath again when I put on my jeans.

Staying motivated is important, and having a sweet new bike get’s you excited to ride. Check out Montague’s line of 2014 folding bikes; full-size road, mountain, and city bikes that you can fold for the car trunk.

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Flex Parking: Cars and Bikes Share Spots

As cycling for transportation becomes more and more popular, cars and bikes often clash. When a parking space is removed to make room for a bike rack, we cyclists rejoice. Score one for the good guys! Well there’s always differing opinions on something like this, and we all know parking in cities is scarce for everyone, motorists and cyclists alike. The city of Copenhagen is trying to solve this conflict of interest with a simple concept we all learned in grade school: Sharing.

The idea, dubbed Flex Parking, allocates spaces for bike parking during particular hours, and for cars during others. This works especially well in areas where people will be likely to cycle during the day, and others (such as nearby residents) would need to park their cars at night. Several of these Flex Parking spaces are located at universities adjacent to residential areas. An influx of students during the day means high demand for bike parking. At night, the students are gone and residents are free to park.

Flexparkering-under-forsøget_bedre-tilgængelighed

Image courtesy of cycling-embassy.dk

In Copenhagen, the spots are painted with bright blue indicators of their flex nature, as well as the hours for each usage. From what I can tell, there doesn’t appear to be any facilities for locking the bikes. In a city as bike friendly as Copenhagen where a claimed 50% of their population commute by bike, this might not be a problem. Try this concept in an American city, and you’d better believe your bike isn’t hanging around long without a lock. We’ll have to solve that problem before we adopt the idea.

Since our number of bike commuters is much lower, most cities in the US don’t have the same parking conflict with bikes and cars as Copenhagen (although there are plenty of other conflicts). That said, here in Boston I have seen a few roadside parking spaces fenced off and converted to bike parking. I personally love it and think we could do with more, but I can guarantee someone has complained about them. If we can’t get designated bike parking approved by the city, perhaps sharing is a good place to start. It can only encourage more people to ride, and bring awareness to the fact that, YES we are here, and we deserve a space on our roads and in our cities.

Flexparkering_bil-parkeret-i-flexparkering

Image courtesy of cycling-embassy.dk

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