Throwback Thursday: Sheldon Brown’s Peugeot PX-10

Sadly, it was eight years ago today that Sheldon Brown passed. He was an inspiration to many of us in the cycling industry and his website still endures as a wealth of knowledge and humor.

In remembrance of Sheldon we decided to polish up his classic Peugeot PX-10.


If you’ve been in the shop before you might have noticed this bike above our service department.  It is the quintessential combination of vintage style and funky do-it-yourself grunge.  The PX-10 was an early 1970’s race bike, made from Reynolds 531 tubing it was light and fast. Sheldon modified it over the years, going from a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub to a 4-speed FM medium ratio hub and then finally to a Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub. You can read about all the different iterations of the bike on Sheldon’s blog.  Today the bike is fixed gear with Phil Wood track hubs.

One of the more unique aspects of the PX-10’s set up is the dual control front brake. Sheldon modified the bike to have bull-horn handlebars (pretty sure that today’s hipsters are just copying him) and rigged it with BMX style brake levers on the middle of the bar. But to give himself more control he installed a second brake lever to allow himself to stop from the extended position.


He installed a special yoke for the front brake, which has a cable stop with an adjusting barrel, instead of an anchor bolt. There is a single cable running in housing from the ærobar brake lever, looping down so that it comes up to the yoke from below. When the ærobar lever is squeezed, this housing pushes up on the yoke from below. The cable runs normally from the yoke to the normal brake lever. One of the levers has an anchor bolt in it, to secure the plain end of the cable.

Personally my favorite part of this bike is the aero Campagnolo water bottle!

Ride in peace Sheldon.

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MIPS Helmets now in stock

MIPS is a new technology that allows the helmet to slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational violence to the brain caused by angled impacts.revel

We are now stocking a selection of MIPS helmets from Giro and Bell. These helmets are safer and definitely worth the investment. Read more about them at  Pick one up for next season!

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The Thaw

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may! Did you get out and ride this weekend?


Colin, mechanic/bike rider extraordinaire

We had quite the mid-winter thaw here in Boston with temperatures even breaking 60º!  I took the opportunity to log some big miles with a ride out to Harvard, Mass with my friend and coworker Colin.


The Harvard General Store is a great, cyclist friendly spot for a mid-ride refuel.


It might have been February but it sure felt like spring. Hope you all had a chance to enjoy the outdoors. And don’t forget to stop by the shop for a discounted winter tune-up. Get that bike ready for our next warm spell!

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Brompton Demos on Sale

Our three Brompton demos our now available for purchase! These bikes have been lightly used throughout last season but are well maintained and have been thoroughly checked over.  All our demos are steel frames with silver fenders, EZ wheels and luggage carrier blocks already installed.  Bromptons hold their value very well over the years and are often sold used for almost as much as a new model.  These bikes are nicely discounted.

First up we have a very affordable S-bar 2 speed with standard kevlar tires. With some winter tires this model would be perfect for a year round commuter. The S-bar provides a sportier riding position.


Next we have a M-bar 6 speed Brompton with a Shimano dynamo hub. Update: This demo has been sold.M6L.ashx



And finally an awesome H-bar 6 speed with a Schmidt Son dynamo hub. Great for commuting at night or touring around the countryside. H6Ldemo.ashx


Last year our demos sold out quickly so don’t wait long! For pricing and more information call us at 617-244-1040, email or stop by the store today!

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A Cyclist’s Snow Day

Monday morning I awoke to find the perfect conditions for a day of snow biking! The night before I had swapped the tires on my Giant TCX to a pair of studded Schwalbe Winter Marathons, 700x40s, to give me adequate traction.  I kitted up in my winter riding gear and went out into the wind and snow.

Schwalbe Winter Marathons

I headed out of Boston via the Minuteman Bike Path, which had yet to be plowed, although a few other cyclists had already made tracks. I’m new to riding in the snow so I had to develop my technique on the fly. Pedaling through fluffy snow is a lot like riding through sand,  it is best to keep your weight down on the bike and NEVER STOP PEDALING! I kept my hands on the flats of the drop bars, you don’t want to grab the brakes unless you really have to. If you start to fishtail, braking and locking up the wheel is only going to send you to the ground. Rather than follow the tracks of other cyclists I found that my tires had the most traction when cutting my own path through the snow. Pushing the pedals in these conditions was a real workout, but it kept me warm! I never really felt cold despite the wind and 20 degree temperatures.

When I got up to Lexington I jumped over to the Battle Road Trail and then the real fun began!

Battle Road Trail, Lexington

I love riding this trail during all seasons but Monday’s ride was particularly fun because I had it all to myself.  I did slide out on one corner, but falling into the snow provides a nice cushion. It’s actually pretty fun!


One issue that I ran into was that about 20 miles into the ride my water bottle was pretty much frozen!

I have heard a few solutions to the frozen bottle problem. Some have suggested putting a shot of whiskey in the water to keep it from freezing. But there is debate as to whether or not this actually works. I prefer to do most of my riding in the mornings, so a boozy bottle isn’t for me. Next time I think I’ll try keeping the bottle in my back jersey pocket so my body heat will keep it warm.

After the Battle Road I headed up to Concord and hopped onto the Reformatory Branch Trail.  No one had been out on this section yet and the scenery was picturesque.

first tracks on the Reformatory Branch Trail

This trail reconnects with the Minuteman in Bedford, which by this time had been mostly plowed. I headed back to Boston. All in all it was a great day out on the bike.

As far as my equipment goes, I couldn’t have been happier. I never had any trouble clipping in and out of my Crank Brothers Candy pedals, despite them being full of snow.

Crank Bros Candy Pedal

The drive train on my Giant TCX performed perfectly. Even though they were caked in snow and icy build up, the Shimano 105 derailleurs continued to function without issues. When I got home it was time for coffee and a chocolate waffle!

post-ride treats

If you want to go on a snow bike adventure of your own but lack the right equipment stop by the Harris Cyclery. We’ve got a great selection of cyclocross and mountain bikes, winter tires and all the gear you’ll need! Want more tips for snow biking and winter commuting? Head over to Sheldon Brown’s blog for more info. Do you have snow biking experiences of your own? We’d love to hear it! Share here in the comments section or on our Facebook page. Ride safe and stay warm out there!

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Boats, Planes and Bromptons

Do you own a boat?


Or maybe you own a plane?


If so you should also own a Brompton!

Brompton handle 4

Why? Because the Brompton is the most compact folding bike on the market.  And if you’re sailing or flying around the world in luxury you should be riding around in luxury too!

The Brompton can be easily stowed and can be folded up in seconds! Come by the shop and take a test ride today.

We also rent Bromptons for up to a week so you are welcome to demo one for an extended period of time!  And a rental fee of up to a week can be applied to the purchase of a bike within a week of the rental.

What’s not to like?

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Commute Year Round, Safe and Warm

Yesterday we saw Boston’s first snow event of the season. And it sure was a messy one.

Boston Street

It may have only been a few inches of snow, but at 6am the roads were still pretty slippery. The plow trucks hadn’t been out and the roads were unsalted. I set out to get in a few extra miles of snow biking before work and found myself sliding all over the place!

Giant @ the Charles

By the time I was headed into the shop the snow had turned to rain. Cars were throwing huge tidal waves of water at me. Slippery manhole covers lurked at every turn in the road. Luckily I had all the gear I needed to keep me warm and dry. I was layered up with water proof Pearl Izumi shoe covers, rain pants over my thermal tights, a hi-viz winter riding jacket, balaclava and waterproof rain cap. It made all the difference. What would have otherwise been a miserable 5 miles instead became an adventure.

The ride home was equally enjoyable. After the sunset, temperatures dropped and all the slush turned to a solid block of ice. I decided to upgrade my Giant TCX’s tires to Schwalbe Winter Marathons 700x40s.Giant w/ studded tires

Personally, I love cyclocross bikes for commuting. The TCX in particular is great with its wide tire clearance and powerful disc brakes.  If I wanted to I could outfit it with full fenders.  We’ve got a lot of great CX bikes available now at the Harris Cyclery. If you’re looking for something even beefier check out the Surly Krampus!

FullSizeRender(2)A bike like the Krampus is made to roll over anything! Surly also makes a number of fat tire bikes, which are a growing trend in the industry. Not only are they fun to ride but they will keep you safe and comfortable in the roughest of riding conditions.

Lastly I’ll talk about lights. Not only are bicycle lights essential for commuting safely this time of year, it is also the law! At the Harris Cyclery we’ve got a great selection of USB rechargeable lights from Blackburn, Cateye and NiteRider.  We also stock a superb variety from Busch&Muller that are both battery or dynamo powered.

Come by the shop today! We’ve got everything you’ll need to keep you riding safe and warm throughout the winter!


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Cyclery Gift Guide Part IV

Need some last minute gift ideas? We’ve got you covered!

9.) Portland Design Works Fenders: Made of anodized aluminum and adorned with laser graphics and an embossed alloy head badge, the Full Metal Fenders are a beautiful complement to any road bike. They provide full-wrap coverage, even shielding riders behind you from tire spray thanks to the sturdy rubber mudflaps. The Full Metal Fenders are designed to fit road bikes that are difficult to install full coverage fenders on. They have special hardware to get around caliper brakes and under forks, even add-on mounts for bikes that lack eyelets to mount fender stays to safety release tabs ensure your wheels will keep turning even if debris gets lodged between the fender and tire.


10.) Ortlieb Bags: Whether you are commuting or bike-touring, Ortlieb has a bag for you.  Waterproof and light weight these bags have great storage capacity. We’ve got front and back rollers in stock as well as the Compact6 handlebar bags.  Stop by the store and check em out!

12.) Giant Defy Disc: Innovative design and cutting edge tech make Giant’s Defy 1 Disc an excellent choice for riders who want to go the distance without compromising their comfort. Giant’s ALUXX SL aluminum frame and Advanced composite fork with an OverDrive steerer let the Defy laugh at the climbs while soaking up road vibration for a super-smooth, refined ride. This rocket is more than just fast though, you’ll love the tall head tube and stable geometry that allows for a more comfortable, back-friendly position so you feel great through every mile. This Defy boasts Giant’s lightweight PR-2 rims, Shimano’s awesome 11-speed 105 drivetrain for crisp shifting, and TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes for confident stopping. A selection of high-quality Giant components rounds out the build.


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Buy a Bicycle, Go to the Movies!

We’ve partnered with our friends at West Newton Cinema to bring you another fun holiday promotion! Starting now we will be giving out two free movie tickets with purchase of a new bicycle. The number of tickets are limited so this promotion will only run while supplies last. Shop now! We’ve got lots of great 2015 models on clearance and tons of great gifts for the holiday season!! Movie tickets will be limited to two per customer. Call or stop by the store for more details!!!


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Cyclery Gift Guide Part III

-Don’t forget our Holiday Sale is going on until Sunday December 6th! See brick and mortar store for details-

7.) Busch&Muller Lights: Stay bright with one of the best bicycle light systems on the market today. Made to strict German standards, these high efficiency lights are ideal for riding during the darkest days of winter.  We’ve got lots of options in-stock for both dynamo and USB-rechargeable lights.  Buy them during our sale and get them 10% off! b&m

8.) Pearl Izumi Shoe Covers: Keep your cyclist’s feet warm and dry with this essential clothing accessory. Winter riding season is here. And the past few weeks have been cold and rainy.  We are well stocked in all sizes.  Buy them during our holiday sale and save 20%!!

9.) All-City Spacehorse 2014: Looking for a great deal on a touring bike? The Spacehorse is a super cool ride with the full All-City treatment; custom details, protective Electrophoretic Deposition coating, and AC signature dropouts. We’ve only got one stock model left and we are practically giving it away! 58cm frame equipped with Shimano tiagra drive train components  These are great all-around bikes, fit for the year round commute or the cross country bike tour.  In addition to the complete bike we have a few frames available for purchase. Both the complete bicycle and the frames are on discount during our holiday sale. Stop by the store or call for more information!allcity3

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