In our catalog one of the tag-lines for the Coaster reads, “Bike riding is beautiful because it’s simple… Here’s our most simple bike.” That sincere statement sums up the Coaster models pretty well. Bike riding can be lots of things other than “simple” of course, but one thread that runs through all forms of cycling is that at its very core we still feel that little buzz of enjoyment from simply balancing on two wheels. Read More
2015 Coasters: Explained 10.2.2014
2015 Daybirds: Explained 10.1.2014
Continuing this weeks 2015 bike introductions brings us to a brand new model for Fairdale, the Daybird. The Daybird comes as both a standard version or a step-through version. This neighborhood cruiser is designed to be user friendly from the start. We wanted to make a bike that was inviting for anyone to hop on and ride. It’s a bike with simple spec that will be there when you are ready to ride. Throw a basket or a rack on it and it will do your grocery shopping for you, maybe even ride it to school or work. This is a bike we hope you will enjoy enough to hook you on riding a lot more! Read More
2015 Parser: Explained 9.30.2014
Our 2015 bike line will be in bike stores any day now (full catalog here). We’re also in the process of updating our website with all the new bike info. While those two things are coming together I thought I would take a little time and introduce you to each bike in our new lineup. Each day this week I will focus on a different model from our new line. Read More
Field Trip: Tokyo to Nagoya (Japan) 9.29.2014
I have believed for many years that the world would be a better place if everyone traveled more. Seeing new places and new cultures unlocks new ways to see the world. It expands your mind, opens your view of your place in the grand scheme of things, and it simultaneously makes you appreciate what you have at home. From the subtle differences of one American town to another, to the outright culture shock I felt when dropped jet-lagged and confused into the middle of downtown Tokyo I find I always learn new things while traveling. On this trip I started with a solo ride across part of Japan. I found myself pedaling along trying to wrap my head around many of the differences that I saw everywhere. Little things would take up hours of my thoughts as I tried to rationalize why this culture had developed the way it had. For instance I found myself asking why is there not one piece of broken glass on the ground in all of Japan? Unlike the USA where I’m trained to constantly watch for tire-popping glass-shards, I never saw even a hint of glass on my entire ride. Surely people in Japan must occasionally drop things? Is there just some social obligation to clean up after yourself that American’s often don’t have? Or are the street cleaners there just better then ours? The things that are different then home (good and bad) are the things that really stand out. Even with many hours of solo pedaling I’m not sure if I really worked out or made sense of a lot of things I saw in Japan, but that’s not really the point. All that time spent reasoning and trying to understand the new things you see is like a mental exercise in opening your mind. Unlike learning about cultures from a book or the internet actually immersing yourself in them effortlessly engages your mind and puts it to work. I really believe traveling is the ultimate educator. It shows you different ways of life and increases your compassion for other people.
Click HERE to view the full Travel Log.
Tokyo to Nagoya: Last Day 9.22.2014
We all took a train together back into Tokyo in the evening after the last event. I felt like every rider who was on the trip had become a friend. Pretty awesome group! I had a little time the next day before my flight to wander around and shop a bit for my petsitters. You could easily spend weeks exploring Tokyo, but even the little bit I did see was entertaining. Great people watching and interesting shops everywhere. A quick train ride to the airport and I was headed back home.
Tokyo to Nagoya: MX 35 Events 9.21.2014
I won’t spend a ton of time going over the events but they are certainly worth mentioning. 35 years is a pretty big milestone for any business and it was quite an honor to be invited over for the celebration. MX brought over people from all the brands they distribute. I got to catch up with old friends Steve Crandall from FBM and Mat Hoffman from Hoffman Bikes. I also got to meet a lot of younger riders and Thor from Surly Bikes (a design engineer there). It ended up being a really cool group. We did some light street riding in the morning and seeing all the different riding styles together was really cool. Everyone was really mellow and clicked together well.
Tokyo to Nagoya: Day 4 9.20.2014
Along the ride there was a lot of small road construction zones. There was always a flagger directing traffic and often helping me find where the bike path might pick up again. The flagger guys were always stoked and waving their flag like crazy. Today I found a gravel bike path that wound its way far off the busy highway I was following. I was in the middle of a farmers field with no one around when I came across one guy running a weed whacker and a flagger dude. It seemed so comical to me because we were so far from anyone. The flag guy took it very seriously and waved furiously to have me ride on the far edge of the trail as far as possible from the lonely weed whacker. I laughed for a while about that moment.
Tokyo to Nagoya: Day 3 9.19.2014
My morning ride put me right into the middle of the school run. I rode with packs of kids pedaling to school. It was fun and a few of them wanted to race me. We rode together for probably 4 miles before they turned off towards their school. I gotta say it seems like a better life with kids riding bikes to school. My route jumped around a bit but I finally got myself back to the coast.
Tokyo to Nagoya: Day 2 9.18.2014
I checked my map and saw that there was a castle near my hotel. Out pedaling by 6am I rode up to the Odawara castle. It was really amazing. Not like a stone castle you’d find in Europe, but a big beautiful and ornate temple looking place. Huge walls and gates and a feeling of oldness that made it seem almost holy. Perhaps it was, but the spacious and tranquil grounds sure were a nice change from the traffic. My route had me cutting across a peninsula today and I really didn’t know what to expect. It appeared I would be going over a mountain range but I had no idea how big or how far it was. I mapped out some back roads to cut down on traffic and headed inland. Immediately I started climbing and the little roads I was on were so steep! Honestly they were the steepest roads I have ever seen. I think you could probably fall down these roads they were so steep. Every pedal took a stand-up, gut-busting effort. I climbed something like 1400 feet in less than a mile. When I finally reached the top I felt like a super hero and encountered a confusing sign with highway 11 shooting off in 3 different directions. I rested there for a while and spent some time figuring out which of the “11’s” I should take. Luckily choosing correctly I was rewarded with a long decent where I was able to cruise at about 30 mph sitting completely upright letting the wind cool me down. I stayed at the speed of traffic and had a wonderful coasting cruise for a few miles.
Tokyo to Nagoya: Day 1 9.17.2014
Wide awake at 4am I spent a while stretching and catching up on emails on my tablet. At 7am breakfast started and I was first in line. I started with the “Traditional Western” buffet and had a completely non-traditional western breakfast consisting of french fries, miso soup, iceberg lettuce and white rice. Being vegetarian in Japan can be challenging for sure! I felt a million times better then I did the day before and was excited to get out on my bike. My plan was to ride from Tokyo along the coast to my destination in Nagoya. The company that imports Fairdale into Japan was having their 35th anniversary and they had brought me over to be part of the celebration. Rather than flying over for just the few days of the event I flew in a bit early so I’d have time to do the ride. I had planned absolutely nothing for my trip and barely even looked at a map. Over planning can kill a trip. Instead I was just going to work it out on the fly.
Tokyo to Nagoya: Day 0 9.15.2014
It had been a busy month leading up to this trip. Fairdale displayed it’s 2015 bikes at the Interbike Tradeshow just days before I left on my Japan trip. I had been so busy getting ready for and working at the tradeshow that I had done almost no riding to prepare myself. I hadn’t even planned out what bike I would ride or gotten gear together for myself. This all kind of hit me as I flew back from Las Vegas realizing I was heading to Japan in only 2 days. Typically I also had managed to get very sick at the tradeshow and was feeling like hustling to get myself ready for a big trip was going to be a huge pain. I borrowed some Blackburn bags and a front rack from Fairdale team rider (and neighbor) Leif. He also helped me set up a Weekender Archer bar bike for the trip. It was a sample bike we made in the Electro-Silver color and happened to be a large (which was my size). With only a short around-the-block test ride I packed up the bike into a cardboard bike box along with all my bags and gear. The $200 bike fee United charges each way was painful but at least I had a direct flight from Denver straight to Tokyo.
I will tell you that all my years of traveling have made me pretty jaded about flying. I realize it’s amazing that I can go anywhere in the world in a matter of hours but man, I hate it. The whole process of herding through the airport and getting stuffed into an uncomfortable little seat on a plane is something I could happily do without. Once I actually get to my destination the flying time seems to be erased from my memory and I enjoy myself, but I’m never a happy flyer. I was still pretty sick on the plane ride over. My antibiotics were in full force and I was fighting my typical spleen-less bacterial infection that I seem to pick up easily. I was coughing and feverish the whole trip. I was positive I was annoying other folks on the flight, but I don’t think I was actually spreading anything around. My neighbor in the middle seat next to me was a big dude who wrote “martial arts” on his customs form as his occupation. He never said a word the whole flight and hardly moved. He simply sat down, put his hands on his thighs and seemed to meditate. With his shoulders being wider than the seat and myself not being particularly narrow I had an uncomfortable time trying to keep the unwanted body contact to a minimum, contorting my shoulders to make room for him. Anyway, enough reliving the miserable part of the trip! 14 hours later we were on the ground and I was breezing through customs.
I had planned to ride my bike straight out of the airport but considering how sick I was feeling and a slightly late arrival at about 4pm I hopped on a train that would take me into downtown Tokyo. The Narita Express (NEX) train out of the basement of the airport is a treat. Almost empty, super fast and spacious seats make it feel so nice after a long plane ride. Once at the downtown Tokyo station I hoped to grab a cab to some hotel and get a good nights sleep. Much to my dismay none of the cabs could fit my bike box and I was turned away. Feeling sick and delirious from the long flight I had no choice but to build my bike there outside the train station. I was so out of it this was a bigger ordeal then it should have been, but after dropping pretty much everything I touched a few times I eventually got the bike rolling. I wandered around Tokyo a bit until I found a hotel. It was $120 for a comfortable room at the KKR hotel and with how run down I was feeling I probably would have paid twice that. I was asleep by 7pm and so grateful to finally be comfortable.
Drawings post 7.31.2014
Here’s a flipbook of a bunch of sort of recent drawings from Taj.
Limited run of Military Blue Taj Bikes 7.23.2014
A surprise summer shipment of a small number of Taj bikes in the coveted Military Blue colorway arrive next week. Hit up our in-house distributor Full Factory to order one (or tell your favorite bike shop to)!
Coming Soon Bikes 7.16.2014
When we are ready to show new bikes to bike shops we send out something like above. It’s just a preview of what is coming and a way for a bike shop to predict which models they will order from us. We usually include some plea for them to keep the new bikes secret and not share the images. I’m not really sure what we’re so worried about… I think we worry that no one will buy the “older” bikes if they see the new ones. Personally I think it’s more likely to drum up some excitement for the brand and hopefully get folks interested in trying our bikes. So, this year we are letting you all see the very same preview we sent to bike shops. Keep in mind these bikes won’t be out until November. Also, there’s no specs or geo listings in this preview… that will all come later once I get it all organized and fit for print (in our consumer catalog).
So check out the COMING SOON bikes!
Fairdale Castelli Kits 7.11.2014
We got kits in! Limited numbers available (because making custom kits is rather expensive). The cool thing is not a lot of people will look like you dressed up in a Fairdale kit. Made for us by Castelli you can be sure of the quality and fit (Castelli kits are our favorites). Check ‘em out…
Volcom Wild In the Parks 6.25.2014
We gave away a Coaster set up with a skaterack to the winner of the “Hipster” hip competition at the Denver stop of Volcom Wild In the Parks event a couple weeks ago. The winner must now grow a mustache, wear decorative scarves and go everywhere with a messenger bag cinched up extra tight. Volcom does a really great job with this fun and free skate event. Top 15 dudes get invited to a $15,000 purse event at Volcom’s private skatepark later this year! Congrats to Devin for winning the bike and cheers to Volcom for having us be a part of things.
Ryan Tuerck got himself a few custom pit bikes thanks to Sunday Bikes and Fairdale. The bikes are designed to match his sliding car and came out pretty darned cool! We always love seeing custom bikes. Check out some more photos below and check Ryan’s amazing driving out too.
The Goodship on The Radavist 6.18.2014
NEW BIKE DAY and Tune UP Sandwiches 6.16.2014
Getting a new bike is awesome! It’s hard to resist smiling sitting on a brand new machine with everything working perfectly and smoothly. However, that perfection may be short lived. I always warn friends when they pick up a new bike that things will settle, stretch and seat into place after a couple weeks of riding. This shouldn’t leave you feeling like you bought a crappy bike, it’s just a natural part of the break in process. It’s important to have a tune up after a little riding time. A handful of properly done minor adjustments will set your bike on the right track for a good long while. Resident mechanic Leif wrote a little bit on some things you should expect and keep an eye out for. Enjoy that new bike!! -Taj
You got your dream bike! You’re riding it everyday and in a true rom-com like bliss, pedaling everywhere together, staying the night in your room… you truly love each other! BUT after a few weeks the spokes start to ping, chain goes slack, headset loosens, and brakes are-a-squealing. It seems like your bike may be saying something to you. Is it already time to breakup? No! You need a tuneup sandwich!
Take your bike to your favorite shop (the one you bought it at!) and get it dialed in. The initial break in miles you put on your new machine let all the parts get to know each other and therefore may be in need of some fine tuning. A critical time that lays the foundation for your very bike existence! Often shops offer a no charge or reduced charge going-over of bikes they sell to keep you and your bike happy.
These are some of the points of attention covered in a tune up, all stuff you may also want to learn to do yourself one day. Knowledge is power to help your everypedal!
New PNT Magazine 5.27.2014
Our friends from Poland, PNT, have just released a new issue of their online mag. There’s some great photography and a few Weekender shots. Really stoked on what these folks are doing. Well worth checking out:
Leif Valin – Mint Weekender 4.25.2014
Leif shows off his Weekender Frame set he built up. The Weekender is turning out be a pretty adaptable platform. With front and rear rack mounts you could sling some racks on here and be off for a weekend camping trip, or carrying bags to school each day. Pop on some fenders and you have a fun way to get to work. The disc brakes will work in any weather condition you come across and the comfortable frame can handle a good range of riding styles.
FYI, Leif is 6’2 and this is a XL Weekender frame with parts to properly size it to him.
Fun times flat track racing 4.24.2014
A friend sent us this video by Kei Yanagisawa of some good ol’ flat track racing. I think we need more of this kind of thing in our lives! Looks like such a good time. And of course, stoked to see a Taj taking some wins!
What a night with the rain, but waking up to one hell of a view is a great way to start the day. I took some time to enjoy the desolate road, and to marvel at the landscape and the open ocean stretching as far as the eye could see. From here I made my way towards Honolua Bay.