Sac it to me: carrying goodies on your bike with style

Back in stock and just in time for bike riding season, an armful or two of Linus Sacs. These bright color-blocked pannier tote bags are made of wax coated canvas to shed water and come with a shoulder strap and small security lock. We think they just scream summer.  If you stick your head in the bag you can almost hear the roar of ocean waves. We don’t recommend you do that but we do recommend you clip it to the rear rack on your bicycle. Don’t have a rack AND looking for a new bike? Many Linus bike models like the Dutchi three speed come equipped with a rear rack. Rack and bike problem solved.



Phil Vs. Bike Thief

Now that we are all getting hyped to ride our bikes again (I know some of you never stop no matter what mother nature is throwing down) we need to remember that our old friend Bike Thief is ramping up as well. Fortunately, their are lots of clever products out there to help keep your bike secure. ABUS is always adding to their line of bicycle security devices, and we particularly like their Nutfix wheel lock skewer set. Getting a bike stolen is horrible. Getting wheels stolen is a real drag and can cost $200 and more to replace (keep in mind you also need to replace the tires, tubes, and, for some folks, the gear cluster.) There are many locking skewers on the market but uber-clever thieves can figure out how to crack them. With an ABUS’ Nutfix skewer the only way to remove it to lay the bike down flat. And since you’ve locked your bike up correctly with an ABUS lock that’s not going to be possible. Let Phil from ABUS explain how Nutfix works.

As for locks, ABUS has recently come out the the Bordo Alarm 6000 folding lock. Now there’s another way to drive your neighbors crazy (and you thought throwing a death metal rave until 6am was the most annoying thing you could do.) Seriously though, most of us who can should bring our bikes inside overnight since that’s the safest place. Cargo bikes are the exception.  Standard bikes that are locked outside while we’re at work or school are vulnerable too. While you may not hear it right away, the alarm would certainly startle Bike Thief and make passers-by notice what’s happening. Once again, let Phil demonstrate.

In addition to the Bordo folding locks, ABUS make a wide range of U-locks of varying strengths and sizes. Smaller is typically better. Their line of chain locks are ideal for locking up cargo bikes especially in conjunction with their Granit floor/pavement anchor.

Remember, pretty much any lock can be cut as long as Bike Thief has the right tools and the time (except for ABUS’ Granit Extreme U-lock, to date it has not been cut through. This lock is a beast!) Human error in how and where to lock a bike contributes largely to theft. While this shouldn’t be the case it’s the sad reality. Getting a good lock, locking through the triangle of a frame to a rigid and secure spot, securing components, and changing the location where you lock your bike are some expert tips. Here’s one of a multitude of instructional images found by googling, “how to lock a bike.”




Shorty: The Little Cargo Bike That Can

Shorty is a small compact cargo bicycle that was designed, manufactured, and assembled by us in our shop located in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Why did we make Shorty? We saw the need for a strong bicycle that could carry heavy loads easily and could be stored indoors. With 20″ wheels front and rear your carrying load is lower and that lower center of gravity makes handling weight easier. The central boom in the frame not only looks cool but adds rigidity and works as a support for cargo platforms, boxes, or child seat adapters. Need to carry a child or two? With a couple of adapters mounted to the front or rear on that center boom, you can easily attach a Yepp Mini or Yepp Maxi Easyfit. Don’t have kids to cart around? A couple of platforms mounted to the front and back (these come standard with the bike) along with some straps (this is how we recycle old inner tubes) secured in the platform’s notches allow you to carry all sorts of containers or oversized objects.


Short, tall, in-between? Just about anyone will fit on a Shorty because it comes in two sizes. Other great features include an internally geared hub that keeps dirt and debris out (that means less maintenance), disc brakes for better stopping power in wet conditions, and a front generator hub that powers front and rear lights. And because the front light is mounted to the fork and the rear light to the fender, all the stuff you’re carrying won’t interfere with the lights visibility. Possibly the best feature of this bike is how much smaller it is than most other cargo bikes. Big bikes are difficult to store in small city row homes, therefore stored outdoors which make them vulnerable to theft. Shorty is small enough to bring inside where it’ll be safer.

Shorty is a great bike for businesses. Getting food, flowers, or other wares around the city by bicycle is becoming more efficient than relying on a auto, and not to mention its way less expensive and a lot more fun.

Come to our Fishtown location to test ride a Shorty. Or, if you’re in South Philadelphia, you can try one out at our Bok repair shop. You can rent Shorty too. Rentals by the hour, half day, full day, or even longer available so you can really get a feel for how great this little bike really is.

Forget the roses & chocolates, give bicycle treats instead

Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day? When you get all gushy over your special someone and they get all mushy over you (at least you hope so.) Chocolates and flowers are nice to give and receive but a little over played, don’t you think? Why not get your sweetheart a box of bicycle bling.


A new set of comfy ODI Longneck grips ($14) come in pink (or red not pictured) and will give an old bike a fresh update. But beware, your teenage son will probably want to steal ’em. For a road bike, two rolls of Newbaum’s cloth tape ($8 per roll) in hot pink will make that tired ol’ bike, well, hot. Light up a night ride with a Lezyne KTV Drive headlight ($23), it’s USB rechargeable and has a maximum output of 70 lumens. Does your buddy own an SE bmx bike? Then they are sure to love this red SE stem ($50). Big feet need big pedals. Replace those cheap old plastic pedals with a set of  heavy duty, long wearing Stolen Thermalites in lovey-dovey pink ($22). Brooks make gorgeous leather saddles and this gorgeous red B17 Standard saddle screams I LOVE YOU! Can’t you hear it? ($145) For the cyclist who says they have everything, you can get sneaky and replace their boring bottle cage with this shiny red one ($6) and then yell, “surprise! I love you!”




Cargo Bike Love & Other Stories

The month of love is fast approaching. What and who do you love? We love practical city bikes and cargo bikes and we love all our wonderful, intrepid, and committed customers. Intrepid because riding and owning a bike in Philadelphia can be daunting at times. Cycling is mostly fun but dealing with grumpy drivers and worrying about bike thieves  can put many off. Committed because taking that leap of faith, getting rid of one car or THE only car, and making a lifestyle change that will ultimately save money, time, the planet, and make the whole family smiley and happy. We have various brands and styles of cargo bikes for you to test ride, fall in love with, and finally take home.

Yuba has added a new member to their roster of awesome cargo bikes, the Supermarche (pictured above.) While initially focusing on long tail (Yuba Mundo) and mid tail (Yuba Boda Boda) bicycles (both like regular bikes but longer so you can take one, two, three, and even four kids along for the ride) they’ve just come out with their version of the bakfiets (Dutch for box bike.) We love box bikes because the kids sit in the front where you can see and talk with them easily. The Supermarche can carry two children in the box and another child on back in a Yepp Maxi Easyfit seat that fits into the rear rack. Don’t have kids but want a cargo bike for hauling lots of stuff, for business, or to take your dog for a ride? You can buy the Supermarche without the box, or with just the box base, or with the box minus the bench because Rover doesn’t need a bench. Those parts are all sold separately. There are many other bakfiets on the market but what Yuba does differently is it uses cable activated steering versus the long steering arm that most box bikes use. They also have 20″ wheels both in the front and rear. Having small wheels brings your carrying load down low making it easier to handle (for another 20″ wheeled cargo bike see our Shorty.) And Supermarche can come apart for transporting. Not quickly or easily, you might need a bicycle mechanic to help you with that, but nice for people who go away for the summer and want to bring their cargo bike along.

February happenings On Saturday the 10th, Winter Fare returns for a third installment (there’s one tomorrow 1/27) to Bok from 10am to 2pm. This pop up market brings together Philadelphia area food growers and makers. Sip coffee while you shop and meet the people behind artisan products and local businesses including: Primal Supply Meats, Lost Bread Co., Mycopolitan Mushrooms, Ploughman Cider, Riverwards Produce, Brine Street Picklery, Rival Bros. Coffee … and more! Also that day from 12pm to 4pm many Bok residents throughout the building will open their doors for Second Saturday Open Studio. It’s great time to check out what our crafty neighbors are up to. Our Bok shop will be open from 10am to 5pm. Why not drop your bike off for some repairs while you attend the events.

The 2018 NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) finds itself in Connecticut this year. In it’s 13th year, NAHBS showcases the creations of many talented frame builders from around the world. A small crew from the shop will head up to see what our bicycle frame building brothers and sisters are up to. Friday, February 16th to Sunday, February 18th.

YourPlus: one key for all your ABUS locks

One of life’s more annoying tasks is searching for the right key to go with the right bicycle lock. Especially aggravating when you’re already running late for an appointment. If only there were one key that could unlock all the many bike locks in your life. Guess what? There is. ABUS is the only bicycle lock company that offers a keyed alike lock system. What this means is that if you, and your family members, or your bike rental fleet, or business bicycles, which all use different locks with a bunch of different keys, can have just one key made for all those locks. ABUS Plus cylinder locks which come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and strengths are the only locks that allow this. You can choose from the compact & lightweight but strong Granit Plus 640 U-lock, the beefier Granit Plus 470 U-lock, the fold-able yet secure Bordo 6000 (a shop favorite), or go for the gusto with the Bordo Big 6000. Plus a host of other locks to choose from. If you have a Bosch powered e-bike, you can even match the battery key to your lock key. This is revolutionary! Here’s how it works. You come to our shop where we’ll show you the advantage of an ABUS lock over any other brand. Then once you’ve chosen one of the YourPlus locks, we’ll place an order with the company. The YourPlus locks are made to order and only at the ABUS factory in Germany. Within 2 weeks the lock is shipped to our shop where you can pick it up.

Spring will be here eventually, let us get your bike ready

It’s cold, really cold. Wind, snow, freezing temperatures, winter; not everyone’s ideal riding weather. For those of you that don’t even look at your bike during the season, why not drop it off with us now for a tune up so it’s ready for spring? We have the time to languor over your bicycle, time to pamper it, turn those squeaks and squawks into purrs. Because the sound of a smooth running chain is pretty close to the sound of a purring kitten. It’s not just the drive train we’ll take care, we’ll also make sure your brakes stop at a busy intersection, that your wheels are trued (no more wobbling down Frankford Avenue unless, of course, you’ve just left one of the numerous Fishtown bars on a Friday night.It’s not the bike, it’s you.) And if you are an intrepid winter warrior, a little cold and snow don’t stop you, we can check over your bike to make sure it’s safe on the chilly Philly streets. You don’t have to go out of your way to bring your bike to us either. With locations in South Philadelphia and Fishtown we’re never too far from home.


Speaking of the South Philly shop, we now have a phone! ‘Bout time, right? The number is (215) 470-3918. Mat is waiting to hear from you so give him a call. Entrance to the shop is on Dudley Street. We’ll call the address 821 Dudley since the doors are opposite 820. Maybe we’ll get that sorted out sometime.

There’s always something going on at Bok. Every Wednesday this month they open their doors at 5pm for building tours. The former vocational school turned artist studios/small businesses has great art deco architectural details, a beautiful theater (soon to be put back in use for various creative events), and the best view of the city from the roof top bar. If you’re attending make sure to pop down to room 107B, we’re open until 6pm. Saturday, February 10th from 12pm to 4pm Bok will host another Second Saturday Open House. It’s a great time to see what all our crafty neighbors are up to. We’ll be open 10am to 5pm.

Don’t forget all of our e-bikes in stock at our Fishtown shop are on sale. Save up to 20% on Faraday and Benno.