What’s keeping you from buying a bicycle built for 3, 4 or 5??

One of the most visited pages on our website over the last year is our Xtra-long bike page. There’s not many manufacturers that make bicycles for 3 or more people, and for some reason, there’s a lot of families interested in them right now.

Even with all of that interest, some people have a hard time committing to owning one of these creations. There are a few obstacles that can make these bikes impractical to own. These were all things that I struggled with too before I designed the Xtra-long bike that my family rode for 6 fun years. I thought I should share my experiences and let you all know why we make our Xtra-long bikes the way we do. There are some Rodriguez differences that can save you thousands of dollars. If done right, your experience can be amazing, and can create great bicycle memories for you and your family to look back on. I know this personally.

So, let’s get down to business. Here’s the objections most people have to actually jumping in and buying one of these bikes.

1.) How do I store it?
A bicycle built for 3 is too long to hang on a ceiling hook. One built for 4 or 5 can be up to 15 feet long. Where’s that going to go?

2.) How do I transport it?
There are lots of ways to transport a single, or even a tandem. But a triple, quad, or quint is so long that it won’t fit on top of a car or in the back of a pickup truck.

3.) It’s such a specialty bike. Will it get ridden enough to make it worth the price?
Most people who want a triple, quad or quint already own single bikes and a tandem. So, adding another expensive bike that will only be ridden if all parties are available seems impractical.

bicycle built for 5 on top of a car

You can benefit from our experience

After years of building bicycles for 2, 3, 4 and 5, we’ve learned a thing or two. We are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of the Xtra-long bicycle manufacturers still building in the U.S.

My family rode a bicycle built for 4 for several years while my kids were young, so I have a lot of experience in the subject. These are all things that I struggled with before we built our quad. The solution: S&S couplers and some Rodriguez ingenuity.

Let me tackle these obstacles one at a time.

1.) Storage: This one is very easy to solve. Every Xtra-long Rodriguez includes at least enough S&S couplers to take the bike into 2 parts quickly and easily. Having two halves makes storage much easier (take it from someone who knows). There is no extra charge on our Xtra-long bikes to have this feature.

2.) Transporting the bike: Another huge benefit for the S&S couplers in your new Rodriguez Xtra-long bike is transporting it. In my case, I simply took the bike in half (takes about 2 minutes), and was able to easily fit it in my little clam-shell style tandem hauler. I could fit the whole quad in there, as well as my road bike, the kids bikes, and all of our luggage for any trip we took. If I didn’t want to use the trailer, I could easily haul the bike as a tandem on my tandem rack, and the other 2 sections were small enough to put in the back of the van behind the rear seat.

Having enough couplers to take the bike into 2 parts is a must for all of our Xtra-long bike customers, and that’s why we include at least enough couplers for that to happen at no charge.

3.) It’s such a specialty bike, will it get ridden enough?
This is certainly an important consideration for most families, and was for us as well. Truth be told, if I would’ve just built a quad for our family, I don’t think it would have been ridden enough to make it worth it. Sure, we could’ve saved a little money up front, but it would be really expensive in the end. Read on…

S&S couplers, strategically placed, can make your Xtra-long bike quite manageable

This is where Rodriguez ingenuity really comes in. I designed our bike to be easily convertible from 2, to 3, to 4 in just minutes. Here at Rodriguez, we have a staff of rare birds, so anything is possible. The frame shop team can build just about anything, so this was no challenge at all to build.

This turned out to be the best money spent. As it turned out, most of the riding we did on this bike was done as a tandem. Even on vacation, I left the bike set up as a tandem and we did morning rides as a couple. Then, if the weather was good, and the kids wanted to ride, I made it into a quad. We could do a leisurely family ride into town and have ice cream. If one kid preferred to stay at Grandma’s house instead of riding, we left that section out of the bike. It was like owning a tandem, a triple and a quad, but a lot less hassle (and expense).

The Wrap-up and Recommendations

Make sure your Xtra-long bike is a vacation bike
Had we just built it as a quad only, then I don’t think I would’ve bothered taking it on vacation with us. The tandem is a must, as are the single bikes. So, how would I take all of those bikes, as well as the quad? Answer: I wouldn’t have. That would’ve been a shame, because it turned out that the most fun we had with this bike was on vacations.

Instead, it went on every vacation we took from 2006 ~ 2013, and was ridden in some configuration just about every day on those vacations.

Riding into Rupert, Idaho for the 4th of July parade on a quad was a blast for us and the kids. Believe me, cars slow down when they see a quad, and they usually roll the windows and start asking questions (which the kids love to answer). Riding through the Idaho farmlands as a family ‘racing’ Grandma and Grandpa on their tandem made for some lifelong memories. Then, while Grandma and Grandpa kept the kids for a few days, Marcie and I could take the tandem and spend the time in Sun Valley riding the trails up there.

Bicycle built for four people

Riding into Rupert for the annual 4th of July parade in 2007. Photo Courtesy of Grandma Sally

At home, we left the bike as a tandem for our morning rides. It was our only tandem. We didn’t need multiple bikes. On weekends through the summer, I often put it back into quad mode and we went for an evening ride. Again, ice cream, dinner, coffee shop, you name it. Riding with the kids is quite a bit different than the 2 of us riding as a couple.

Had I built it as a quad only, this would’ve been the only riding it ever got. Instead, it got ridden several times per week as a tandem, occasionally as a quad around town, and almost every day of our vacations. Like we say, a bicycle that gets ridden is a happy bicycle.

Would we do it again?
Yes, absolutely! Our kids have outgrown the quad, and it was sold in 2014 for someone else to enjoy. But the memories live on. The only thing I would’ve done differently is that I wish we would’ve done it 3 years earlier. Having 3 more years to enjoy the family quad rides would be something we would cherish. That being said, I really loved the 6 years we had on the bike, and if it’s in your budget, I highly recommend it.

Back on Point
Obstacles to owning an Xtra-long bike: As you can see, all of these obstacles can easily be overcome here at Rodriguez. It might cost a little more up front, but it certainly saves a lot of money to have one bike that can serve as your everyday tandem, your vacation bike, as well as your Xtra-long family bike. Not to mention the added bonus of strorage and transportation.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this clears up some of those nagging questions so you can go ahead and order your Rodriguez Xtra-long bike 😉

Thanks for reading – Dan – 2017

Just Sit On It!

This article was written Feb. 6th, 2015. Prices quoted reflect that date, and may have changed if you are reading this at a later date.

Bodyfloat Seat Post Installed and Adjusted • Just $250 at R+E Cycles • (206) 527-4822

What do the roads you ride feel like?

Do you find yourself having to stand up frequently over cracked, crumbling asphalt on your rides? How about you commuters? Is your expletive quota reached on just about every commute? I’m sure that you’re hoping for the city to fix the road, but that’s just wishful thinking now, isn’t it?

Now you can ride in comfort and quiet while sitting on your bicycle seat. “Surely you jest!” you’re thinking to yourself right now, but I’m not. Let me fill you in on the secret we’ve discovered.

Suspension seat posts have a long history, but most people think of them like we did….only worth using on the back of a tandem. That was before the Bodyfloat seat post.

If you would like to make a comfort upgrade to your bicycle that really works, and is high performance, this article is for you. Let me take you on a short journey into the world of suspension seat posts and show you where it is now.

First, a little history:

Early Attempts at Comfort:

As the Nation’s oldest tandem manufacturer, we’ve got a long history with every suspension style seat post imaginable. All the way back to the early Hydrapost, suspension seat posts have been added to almost every tandem we’ve built. Stokers (the person on the back of a tandem) are not aware of upcoming bumps unless the captain (the person up front) warns them in advance. Needless to say, there are lots of times when that does not happen, and the stoker feels the full force of the bump. So, tandem manufacturers like us have always tried to use a seat post that would mitigate this problem a bit.

The first designs were to try to make the seat post into a shock absorber. While a few of these seat posts were somewhat effective, they were not really the kind of product that anyone wanted to use on a high performance single bike. They were heavy, and only provided some ’emergency’ relief for that ‘whoops I forgot to warn you on that one’ situations. They basically worked like a pogo stick built into the seat post. One problem with this design is that your seat tube is at an angle (usually 73° from the ground or so), but gravity is trying to pull your body down at a 90° angle. This creates a lot of what’s been called ‘stiction’. Basically, the shock absorber is stuck in place until you hit something violent enough to break it free. When it breaks free, it drops, but then returns with great force (like a pogo stick). Kind of a delayed reaction with a slightly dampened energy return. In the absence of any other designs, these were used for several years.

You still see these seat posts all over on ‘comfort bikes’. They are very inexpensive these days, but don’t really work very well.

Comfort in the 1980’s and 1990’s

The first product to really work well was the Alsop Softride beam. This was in standard use on many brands of tandems for the stoker position for almost 20 years. We also built a lot of single bikes for the beam through the 1990’s. It required a special frame design, with special braze-ons and lots of specific parts. So, it didn’t really take off too well as you couldn’t easily add one on to your existing bike. When used though, this product did exactly what it was supposed to. The beam dropped a little bit with the riders weight (straight up and down and not at the 73° angle). When the rear wheel dropped into a rut, the rider stayed at the same height. Like the suspension in a car, the wheels could go up and down, but the rider didn’t feel the impact. No sticktion, great suspension, but your bike had to be custom made to work with the design. My wife and I ride a tandem with a Softride beam to this day. She swears by it, but the company is now gone.

After the Softride company went out of business, we were stuck with various seat post designs to try and provide some relief to stokers. The shock absorber version was not so good, so we tried some of the parallelogram designs that were out. These tried to take the stiction away by attaching the seat to a parallelogram and allowing the rider weight to raise and drop straight up and down like the Softride beam did. The problem that we ran into with them was that the ‘falling rate’ of the spring design was wrong. You could say they were built backwards. The spring was strong when the seat was at the top, and got weaker as the seat moved downward. So, if a bump was hard and the seat post began to drop, the rider would end up all the way at the bottom of the action. Then they would have to lift their weight back off of the seat to get the seat back up because the spring was too weak to actually lift the rider.

Even with their imperfections, we were limited to use these for the stoker positions of many tandems. Some people used them on single bikes, but like I said, these designs were not very high performance. For those who wanted something incredible, the wait was almost over. In 2013, the answer would arrive in the form of the Bodyfloat.

“OK Dan! Bring it in to this century already!”

In 2013, one of the guys who worked on the design for the original Alsop Softride beam visited our shop. He brought with him a new seat post design that he was very excited about, the Bodyfloat. He did a demonstration install/setup for Scott (our shop manager) on his personal bike. It was near closing time, so Scott rode the bike home with the post in it, and then he rode it back in the next morning. He said to me “I’m buying that seat post, and leaving it on my bike!” That’s a testament to the performance of this new post. Scott has ridden every suspension post available, and never thought he wanted one on his personal commuter. This post changed his mind.

The 2015 Bodyfloat Seat Post Just $250 at R+E Cycles We were so excited about the new design that we invited the Bodyfloat representative to display his post in our Bike and Pike event last year to show our customers his new product. It was an immediate smash hit, and several of our customers ordered them for not only their tandems, but their single bikes as well. Then, just as quickly as it took off, they couldn’t produce them fast enough for our demand. We spent several months without them. I was kind of bummed out because I wanted to try one on my own bike. Well, good news. They figured out their production issues, and now they are readily available, and 40% less than they were a year ago! The original version was Titanium at $425, but the new version is aluminum at just $250. The Ti version is still available for the rider that needs a super long seat post.

The Bodyfloat works on a different principal than all other suspension seat posts before it. Instead of having a falling rate design, it has a ‘rising rate’ design. The Bodyfloat springs are lighter at the top, and gradually get stiffer as the seat drops. No more having to lift your self off the seat to raise the seat back to start position. It also drops just slightly as your weight sits onto the post like the old Softride beam design did. The wheels can drop in and out of bumps while you, the rider, stays stationary in space.

I have since installed one on my bike and had the same experience as Scott. I will keep it on my bike, and I’m considering installing one on the Captain position of my tandem as well. It’s amazing how I can only hear the bike hitting the small bumps and cracks in the road, but I do not feel them anymore. I have to say, I’m impressed!

I can talk until the cows come home, but maybe you should just come to the shop and try one for yourself. Give us a call at (206)-527-4822 and set up a time to come by with your bike and your riding gear. We’d be happy to set one up for a test ride.

Not exactly ‘Plug and Play’

The Bodyfloat does need to be adjusted to your weight and riding style by a professional. Not to worry though, we’ve been trained in the proper set-up and will do it for you for FREE with purchase of a Bodyfloat! Free is a very good price.

“But…but…wait! I ordered one online and it’s not set up for me.”

If you’ve already ordered one online, or from someone eles who didn’t set it up for you, no need to worry. We can set it up for you for just $25. Just call us for an appointment.

Silver, Sporty and Stainless

Another Rohloff bike that went out the door last week. It’s completely stainless, with a painted front triangle to give it a classic 70’s feel.

Quick Highlights:

  • Rohloff Speedhub
  • Long Reach Brakes for fenders and wide tires
  • S&S Couplers for travelling!
  • Shiny!

All of the specs for this bike can be found at the Catalog page for our Makeshift line of bicycles.

Yellow and Stainless Rodriguez side shot

Yellow and Stainless RodriguezYellow and Stainless Rodriguez

Silver Rohloff on a Rodriguez

Silver Rohloff Speedhub on a Stainless Steel Rodriguez

Yellow Rodriguez, silver S and S coupler

fenders and wide tires on Rodriguez

Rodriguez Rear TriangleStainless Rohloff cable routing

Eccentric Bottom Bracket of the Rodriguez frame

Silver Rohloff on Rodriguez Closeup

Team Crest-Huffy

‘Steel’ on the road after all these years!

Dennis Bushnell holding a Raleigh 'funny bike' he's just finished buildingDennis in 1984 looking funny, holding an Olympic funny bike

A fleet of Team Crest bikes in Dennis' shop in 1990
Freshly built fleet of Custom Team Crest Bikes hang in Dennis’ shop – 1990

The Team Crest Huffy bike before repair
One of them makes their way back to R+E Cycles in 2011

Dennis Bushnell's signature on the bike's chainstay
Dennis’ signature still in great shape on the chain stay

A crack in the seat stay on the Team Crest Huffy bike

After 2 decades, a small crack has appeared in the super thin tubing

Willy checking seat stay's against the cracked one

Proper tubing is selected to replace the cracked section

A Picture of the repaired frame with no noticable paint damage

After a new seat stay, a little spray paint, the bike is ready for more action!

As you may or may not know, our head frame builder, Dennis Bushnell has long been respected as one of the finest bicycle frame builders in the United States. As long ago as 1984, he was selected to build the bicycles for the U.S. Olympic team.

It was no surprise that in 1990 he was asked to build a fleet of bikes for the Huffy Crest Team. The bikes were ridden by racers like Scott Moninger and others throughout the year. A few weeks ago, one of those frames found its way back to Dennis here at Rodriguez Bicycle company for a small repair.

I thought a quick article demonstrating the longevity of steel as a bicycle frame material was in order. Here’s a lugged steel frame that was built as light as possible for its day, and designed only to be raced professionally for a year. It certainly served that purpose, but then spent twenty more years on the road before a small crack developed.

The frame weighs just 3 pounds 14 ounces verified on a digital scale. For a 1990 frame, this is incredibly light. Now, I will say that there were plenty of aluminum and carbon bikes that weighed in just under 4 pounds in 1990 as well. Something to consider: How many of those world class carbon or aluminum frames built in 1990 do you see still on the road after being professionally raced? How many of them are on the road for 20 years? How many of them could be easily repaired and back on the road if they cracked? It’s just worth considering if you’re looking to ride your expensive custom bike for 20 years plus.

After selecting an appropriate new seat stay, we were able to repair the bike fully with very minimal damage to the classic paint job. This is just one of the beautiful things about a high quality steel frame. Even a high-performance steel frame built super light, can still be repaired decades down the road.

Bushnell, the Eccentric King!

Patent GraphicOur patent has been issued!
(To clarify, An eccentric bottom bracket is a part that is used to adjust the chain tension on any bicycle that has no derailleurs. Track bikes, Rohloff bikes and the chain between captain and stoker on tandems are the most common uses.)

How long does it take to get a patent? Apparently about 4 years.

Way back in early 2007 or so, we began the patent process for the now patented Bushnell® Eccentric bottom bracket. I didn’t know how long it would take, but as of December 6th, 2011 we have our patent! The patent number is U.S. Patent No. 8,070,633.

Order your Bushnell ebb online here.

We’re thrilled to finally have the patent process completed. Production of this ingenious Dennis Bushnell creation continues uninterrupted. We manufacture several thousand of these each year right here in Seattle at the Rodriguez shop. It’s a true American manufacturing success story that’s seldom heard of anymore. We actually ship these parts to companies all over the world, including to Taiwan. That’s right! An American made bicycle part being shipped to Taiwan for use in bicycles.

The benefits of this light-weight, versatile design have been known throughout the tandem world for a long time. Now, with the onslaught of Rohloff equipped bikes and single speed bikes, the Bushnell® has really taken it’s position at the top of the industry! Congratulations to Dennis Bushnell on creating a design that is worthy of patenting!

I realize that the eccentric is a very specialized part, and not everyone wants to wade that deep into the muck, but I thought all of you would be interested in the fact that we now have a patent, and the parts will still be made in the U.S.A.

If you are hungry for knowledge though, and you’d like to read more about the Bushnell® eccentric (oh I’ve got more believe me), and why it’s the number one item in its class, read on.

Eccentric Thoughts from Rodriguez Bicycle Company.

Who Cares About Eccentric Bottom Brackets?

Rohloff, Tandem or Single Speed bike riders should.

Each week, I get dozen’s of emails asking if they can upgrade their existing bicycle to our patented Bushnell® Eccentric Bottom Bracket. These are from people who’ve bought expensive single speed bikes, Rohloff equipped bikes, or tandems that use eccentric bottom brackets (referred to as EBB throughout this article). As they have examined their bike, they’ve discovered the fact that their bike came stock with an EBB that was designed in the the Fred Flinstone era. While this may have saved their frame builder a hundred dollars or so, it has no benefit for them, and actually makes their bike heavier, and harder to use. They discovered our design on-line, and want to know if they can retro-fit one into their custom bicycle. Most of the time, it is possible, but sometimes the bottom bracket shell that is used is too small to fit any EBB into the bike except for the one that came with it:-( For this reason, it’s important for you to find this out before you order your new frame.

In this article, I aim to help customers understand the different designs, so they can steer their frame builder to the eccentric that works best, not just the cheapest option. As a customer, it’s up to you to educate yourself on the different styles, and then ask your builder to use the one you want before the frame is built. Otherwise, they will usually choose the cheapest option. It’s an easy place to skimp if your customer doesn’t know any better right? Customer education has always been our friend here at Rodriguez Bicycles, and here’s a new area to focus on.

Note: All of the designs mentioned in this article, including the Bushnell®, are available to every frame builder through their standard frame building supply companies. Any reputable frame builder is able to build your frame to accept any design, but you have to express your preference.

The Bushnell® EBB

The Patented Bushnell® EBB is the most popular design on the market today.

The Bushnell® EBB is self contained. It does not rely on parts welded to the frame to hold it’s adjustment.

This is a product that we manufacture right here in our
shop in Seattle
. We ship them all over the world, and have distributors in England, Germany, and large accounts in Taiwan and Japan. Just last week I was notified that our patent will issue on December 6th, 2011! I thought an article about why this product exists, and why it’s better, was long overdue. There are several things that make the Bushnell® unique, but lets focus on the benefits to the user.

Safer Design:
The first benefit is the fact that the design does not use parts welded to the frame to hold it’s adjustment. That means if you get a little heavy handed, ‘reef’ to hard on the bolt and strip the threads, you’ve just stripped a nut, but have not damaged your frame. Every year we upgrade several people to Bushnell® EBBs after they’ve stripped the threads in their frame. Sometimes we even get a call from other bike manufacturers trying to help one of their own customers who’ve stripped their frame.

Order your Bushnell ebb online here.

Ease of adjustment:
As you read through this article, you see that there are many eccentrics on the market, but only one Bushnell®. The Bushnell® was designed by Dennis Bushnell, our head frame builder, to address all of the design drawbacks of the other designs, and ease of adjustment was key. A 4mm alan wrench is all that is required to adjust your chain tension when you are using a Bushnell®. No hammers required (yes some require a hammer).

Light Weight
Although we’re not complete weight freaks, a lot of customers want the best performance and the lightest weight option. The Featherweight Bushnell® EBB is that answer at just 140grams. This is why it is used as the standard on light-weight tandems and other bikes in the industry.

There are massive differences between a $15 eccentric and a $160 eccentric

The Mark
(set pin) design ebb

Mark leaves terrible divots in your ebb, making accurate adjustment almost impossible.

Benefits: Extremely inexpensive

Drawbacks: Harder to use, and not very reliable.

The first $15 option we’ll call Mark. Mark is a good name, because the design forces sharpened ‘set’ pins into a solid block of aluminum and leaves ‘marks’ all over it. I guess we could call it Scratch or Gouge, but Mark sounds more like a real name. It always finds it’s mark again, even though you’re trying to adjust it.

The eccentric itself is just a solid block of aluminum that the user rotates in the bottom bracket shell welded into the frame. The frame builder welds nuts onto the outside of the frame on the bottom bracket shell. You will use a wrench to drive the set pins through the nuts, and into the aluminum EBB. Once the hardened steel pins have created a deep divot into the softer aluminum EBB, it’s very hard to make a fine adjustment because the pins always try to turn the ebb right back to the divot.

Aside from being very difficult to use, the Mark design has very little surface contact so is the most likely to slip out of adjustment. This is because the amount of contact bewteen the frame and the aluminum ebb is very little. The set pins drive the unit against the top of the frame’s bottom bracket, so the points of contact are about 25% at the top, and the set pins themselves.

As if this is not enough, the Mark design is often rendered useless when a rider over-tightens a set pin and breaks the welded nut right off of the frame. The good news about the Mark design is that a Bushnell® EBB usually drops right in and works beautifully.

Here’s an example
of a custom titanium frame rescued with a Bushnell EBB. Every month we sell several Bushnell EBBs to customers who have the Mark design in their frame. I’m very surprised at how many manufacturers still use the Mark design in their $4,000+ bicycles.

Enter Evolution:

Modified Mark uses a ‘pinch bolt system’

The second $15 option we’ll call modified Mark, as it’s really just an improved version of Mark. This is a design that we used to use ourselves way back in the mid 1980’s when it was the best option. It’s pretty much the same solid block of aluminum, but the frame has been cut, or slotted, where it holds the ebb and then a pinch bolt system has been brazed or welded onto the frame. When the pinch bolts are tightened, the frame ‘closes up’ around the aluminum ebb and holds it into place.

The Good News
The pinch bolt design holds it’s adjustment better than Mark because of the fact that there is full contact all the way around the aluminum EBB. It also doesn’t gouge ‘memory’ marks into the EBB so you can more easily make micro-adjusments.

The Bad News
Other than it’s relatively heavy weight, there are a few other drawbacks to this design. The biggest drawback is the fact that, like the Mark design before it, the bicycle frame is used as the method to actually hold the adjustment and not the EBB component itself. This means that if the pinch bolt breaks off of the frame, or the threads are stripped out, the fix is not an easy one, but one that requires frame work and re-painting. The next drawback is the fact that since the frame is split at the bottom bracket, an expanding design like the Bushnell® will not work in the frame unless frame modifications are made.

Let’s step forward to 1990 or so

The 1990’s brought the
split/wedge design

Adjustment required
know-how and a hammer

Here I am adjusting a Rodriguez tandem customer’s chain ‘on-the-road’ during the
1995 Tandem Rally

I can’t remember if it was the late 1980’s or the early 1990’s, but around that time Cannondale came up with a good design that we started to use instead of modified Mark.

We liked the design because it didn’t use threaded parts welded awkwardly to the frame to hold the adjustment, but was a self-contained unit. This meant that the frame was safe from the gorilla type torque that bike mechanics often applied to eccentric bottom brackets.

The design was similar to a handlebar stem with a wedge and a bolt that pulled the wedge into position tight against the bottom bracket shell. There was very good friction between the parts and the adjustment held extremely well. The design was heavy like the others, but all in all was nice looking in the frame, and kept the frames safe.

It was not without it’s problems though. The Cannondale wedge design required a very specific method to loosen it when you needed to adjust the chain. That technique? Hammering! “Woooh, wait a minute! Are you going to use that hammer on my bike?” Was a phrase anxiously hollered by customers watching me preparing to make an adjustment to their expensive tandem.

The design was not intuitive for most bike mechanics either. When you break a stem loose, you hit the stem bolt with a hammer, not the actual stem. For this reason, most bike mechanics who hadn’t seen one of these before, usually took a good ‘whack’ at the bolt after loosening it up like they would on a stem. Well, this would not loosen the eccentric, but rather drive the threads right out of the special nut required for the eccentric. I spent many hours on the phone (and still do) explaining to mechanics how to get one of these out of a bike after you’ve stripped the nut.

A better design was needed for expensive tandems.

That answer came in the form of the Bushnell® EBB.

The Patented Bushnell® EBB is the most popular design on the market today.

The Bushnell® EBB is self contained. It does not rely on parts welded to the frame to hold it’s adjustment.

Well we’ve come full circle. The patented Bushnell® EBB was designed by Dennis to specifically address every drawback in all of the above designs. It remains to this day the best selling EBB on the market. There is no substitute for the quality of engineering and construction of this American made product.

Order your Bushnell ebb online here.

With the rise of popularity in single speed bikes and Rohloff equipped bikes (we’re the biggest Rohloff builder in the U.S.A.), the eccentric bottom bracket has new life. Dennis originally designed our EBB for tandems, and that’s why we have a big head start on every other manufacturer of EBBs. The fact that ours was in development for years means that you’re getting a product that’s tried and true. This goes for any bike that needs an EBB.

We stand behind the Bushnell® EBB just like we stand behind everything we make. When a Bushnell® EBB customer emails us for help, their talking directly to the folks that have designed, manufactured and assembled that part. Remember, demand the best for your custom bike. We think you’ll agree, that the Bushnell® EBB is that choice.

If you’d like to read an evolutionary history of the eccentric bottom bracket, click here.

Rediscovering Steel Race Bikes

Outlaw Guy Head Outline
If you’re curious about the specs on the bike mentioned in this article, here you go!

Another Convert

Dan – October 2011

Today while I was writing the Outlaw web page, a customer (let’s call him Steve) brought in his Cervelo R3 carbon bike for a new rear wheel and some various other work. Little did he know he was in for the ride of his life! You see, while we were gathering up the parts and building the wheel, Scott asked him if he still wanted to ride today? He said that he wanted to, but the bike wasn’t cooperating. It was a slow day in the shop, so Scott offered to loan him a bike for the afternoon. The customer agreed.

The bike that we loaned him was a Rodriguez Outlaw made with S3 tubing. This is a bike that is comparable in price and weight, and happened to have the same SRAM Red parts group that Steve had on his Cervelo R3.

Well, Steve road about 50 feet down the street and then back up again. “OMG!” he said, “this thing is incredible”. Scott made some final adjustments and told Steve to make sure and ride some hills that he was used to while he was out. “I’d like to know how it stacks up against the Cervelo R3” said Scott. The truth be told, we already knew how it stacked up.

Fast forward about 45 minutes and Steve rolls back up on the Outlaw. He said “I’m getting one of these!”. He decided that he would get the wheel now, and ride the Cervelo for a few more months. Then he took off down the road on the Cervelo.

Not so Fast?

Well, months turned into minutes as Steve is being fit for his Outlaw frame as I write this. Turns out 5 minutes on the Cervelo and he said to himself “I can’t ride this thing anymore”. He turned around, came right back to the shop, and ordered his Rodriguez Outlaw.

This is not the first time that we’ve had a customer make a conversion this fast, but since I was right in the middle of writing the Outlaw web page while this was going on, I thought an article was in order.

I’ve said over and over that a person really has to experience this bike. Even if you already own an expensive carbon bike, the Rodriguez S3 Outlaw is still a bike that you will find worth trying. I cant’s stress it enough… It’s THAT GOOD! It’s as light or lighter than his Cervelo, it’s faster than his Cervelo, and most importantly, it’s much more fun to ride that his Cervelo. If you want to see why Steve, and so many others have abanDoned their expensive carbon bike after riding one these, I dare you to give it a try.

Steve's new, lightweight Rodriguez S3
Update November, 2011 – Steve’s Bike looses 1/4 pound!

Now the bike is finished and Steve is enjoying it. The total weight of the bike is 4 ounces lighter with the steel Rodriguez Outlaw frame than it was with the Cervelo R3! The Cervelo was a very respectable 15.5 pounds, but the same parts on a Rodriguez Outlaw frame/fork weighs in at just 15.25 pounds. That’s even including a heavier saddle! Not only is Steve going to be more comfortable, he’s riding a lighter bike now. Not to mention how sweet his Outlaw looks! Seeing is believing….. click here.

To view the complete ultra-light steel bike race gallery here.

A lot of people ask me “how’d you do that?” when they lift one of our steel bikes. It’s hard from them to believe that a steel bicycle frame can be as light, or lighter than a carbon fiber frame. The fact is that we’ve been doing this for almost 40 years. Dennis Bushnell has tremendous experience in the field of building lightweight steel frames. Although the steel has evolved over the last several decades, our methods have too. Our frames are differenct because of that experience. If you think you might be like Steve, and want to try one of our ulrta-light steel bikes, give us a call at 206-527-4822 or shoot me an email today.

Shopping Local

Built in Seattle, USA

Is the Grass Always Greener?

Over the last 8 to 10 years, several new mid sized custom bicycle companies have sprung up around the country. They build various types of high quality road bikes from steel, aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium. These companies get a lot of attention because they are new. The bicycles that they build are priced from $3,000 to $10,000.

Don’t live near by?

Not everyone has a local shop that they can work with one-on-one to design their new bicycle. For our online customers, we strive to provide that same feel that the customers who are able to come to the shop get. We email pictures of their bicycle in progress, and communicate on a regular basis about the progress. For those who live in the Northwest though, I find it odd when I see them purchase a bicycle from a far away company.

While custom, hand built bicycles are a new and exciting phenomena to the rest of the country, we here in the Northwest have known for a long time the benefits of a hand built, custom frame. You see, the history of hand built bikes here in the Northwest goes back a lot more than just 8 to 10 years. Several Northwest builders have been around here in Washington and Oregon for well over 25 years (some well over 30 years). The experience level of builders in Seattle alone is unmatched anywhere in the country.

While I think it’s a great thing that the bicycle industry magazines, and the rest of the country, are just discovering how great a hand built bike made in the USA can be, I think that there are some incredible benefits that we who live in the Northwest enjoy. Below is a story contrasting two typical experiences of two different bike buyers who reside in Seattle, Jack and Jill.

  • Jill visited a website and downloaded a form to order a bike.
  • Jack visited the facility in person and met with the designer.
  • Jill carefully followed the provided instructions, measured herself, and filled in the numbers on the form.
  • Jack worked with a professional fitter for over an hour, and even got to ride a fully adjustable stationary bike set up just like his new bike will be.
  • Jill communicated her preferences and concerns in a series of emails and phone calls to someone in another state.
  • Jack sat with his professional fitter, had a cup of coffee and went over all of the details of his new dream ride.
  • Jill waited patiently for her new bike to be built.
  • Jack took a tour of the frame shop to see bikes being made and even met the frame builder in person. He visited several times over the next few weeks, and even saw his new bike in progress.
  • Jill selected colors from a chart and checked the appropriate boxes on the form.
  • Jack met with the painter and designed his own custom paint job.
  • Jill selected parts from a list of the newest equipment and checked the appropriate boxes on the form.
  • Jack worked with experienced professionals to select parts groups, and then test rode bikes with those parts to decide what he wanted.
  • Jill received her new bike in the mail, and assembled it from the box.
  • Jack picked up his new bike at the shop that built it. He worked closely with the designer to fine tune the seat and handlebar adjustments and picked up some last minute accessories.
  • Jill had some concerns about her new bike, so she fired off some emails.
  • Jack had some concerns about his new bike, so he visited the shop again, and got it all straightened out while he waited.
  • Jill, after a few months, needed some small adjustments on her new bike so she took it to her local bike shop. Everyone ooohed and aaahed, but they still charged her full price for the service. If Jill requests it, the online company she purchased from may re-imburse her, but not usually. We often re-imburse customers like Jill in this situation.
  • Jack took his bike to the shop that built it for him, and was surprised to see that they all recognized the bike and him! The minor adjustments were made at no charge.
  • Jack and Jill both got great bikes, but Jack got something more. He took advantage of the fact that he lives right here in the Northwest, and built a great relationship that can only come with personalized service.

While you’ll get a great bike either way, if you’re going to buy a hand built bike and you live here in the Northwest, why not enjoy the benefits that are right in front of you? The resources are all here, the history is here, the talent is certainly here, and the prices are even lower when you buy directly from the builder as opposed to going through a 3rd party.

So, is the grass always greener somewhere else? Only if you don’t live near Seattle.

See you on the road!

-Your friends at R+E Cycles
Home of Rodriguez Hand Built Bicycles

Do you want a Forever Bike?

No Planned Obsolescence

What you don’t know can cost you thousands!

In our repair shop each year, we see several expensive bikes each year rendered useless! When I say expensive, I mean bikes that sold new for over $5,000. Sometimes they remain in the repair shop waiting for parts for most of the riding season, and sometimes they are off the road for ever. That seems unacceptable to me for bikes this expensive, and less than five years old. It’s amazing to me that the customers were unaware that the bike they purchased for such a large sum of money was designed to become obsolete after a few years. This is due to the use of proprietary parts, or parts that don not comply with ISO standards.

Proprietary parts are parts designed specifically for use with that particular bike. They are only made by that manufacturer, and they only sell them to dealers that carry that brand of bike. We’re seeing more and more of this in our industry. What this means to you, the customer, is that if you purchase a bicycle that uses proprietary parts, you are trusting that bicycle company will always manufacture the special parts for your specific bicycle. It also means that you have to take your bike to a dealer that sells that brand of bike in order to have the special parts serviced or replaced.

Part standards that are non-ISO compliant are phony ‘standards’ that are really just new designs issued by companies wanting to say that their bikes use standard parts. The difference between proprietary parts and these phony ‘standard’ parts is that they allow anyone to use the new ‘standard’ if they want to….so….somehow that makes it a standard. This is just another way to build planned obsolescence into an expensive bicycle.

Most people think that if they are paying thousands of dollars for a bicycle, it will last more than a few years. They are also under the impression that they can have the bike repaired in just about any bike shop. For most high-end bikes manufactured today, this is not true.

The Real Standards: For those of you who want to buy an expensive bike that will last forever, this article is a must read. ISO, or International Standards Organization, is a term that you need to familiarize yourself with before laying out the big dollars. I’ve written an article about ISO called Chaos that can be read here. If you want a bike that can be repaired by any bike shop around the world, for as long as you own it, then there are areas of the bike that need to comply with ISO standards, otherwise, it will become obsolete and may do so in just a year or two.

First, one real life example of what I’m talking about:

Can you imagine purchasing a $5,000+ bike and then just a few years later, having to purchase a new frame to replace it? Not because of wreck, but because the frame broke at the bottom bracket under normal use. This is an actual case that happened last summer in our shop.

Repaired Carbon Fiber Derailleur Hanger

A high end carbon fiber frame was brought in because the customer had shifted into the spokes and broke the derailleur hanger off of the bike. He was told by the manufacturer that his warranty would be void if he had it repaired. The local shop where he bought the bike told him he was S.O.L. Well, he had to have it repaired in order to ride the bike, so he hired us to machine an aluminum hanger and attach it to the frame (see picture).

A few months later, the frame broke at the seat tube, completely unrelated to the new derailleur hanger. The break was at the point where the seat tube meets the bottom bracket 18 inches away from the derailleur hanger. The manufacturer said ‘no warranty because the frame has been modified’. This is a common theme among big manufacturers these days. Really, these expensive carbon bikes are designed to last about 5 years. The trend is to design an expensive frame that is not repairable in any way, and then deny warranty because of some technicality. Can you believe that exposure to sunlight can void your warranty on some carbon frames?

The customer in this story now owns a Rodriguez lifetime bike that complies with ISO standards. He brought the carbon fiber frame in for us to cut to pieces and dispose of in our dumpster. He loves his new Rodriguez S3 frame, and says it rides even better than the other bike ever did. Another pleasant surprise, his S3 steel Rodriguez is also lighter than his carbon bike. He was surprised that it was lighter, but it is.

I’m trying very hard to get the word out about proprietary parts, and what they mean to you as a cyclist. The noise of cycling magazines filled with ‘experts’ telling people the benefits of XXXX company and their new design seems to drown out common sense.

So why are companies using non-standard parts?

I can’t read their minds, but I can think of several reasons that manufacturers can benefit by deviating from ISO standards.

  • Control of warranty costs
    Let’s say that a manufacturer wants to advertise that they offer a ‘lifetime’ warranty on their frame, but they really don’t intend for that frame to be on the road in 30 years. Simply design the frame to work only with a proprietary fork, or headset, or bottom bracket, etc. After 4 or 5 years, they just stop making that proprietary part and the ‘lifetime’ frame warranty is useless. They’re not going to give you a new frame because your head set wore out, or your fork broke right? Don’t think they would do that? Read the example above. They’ll look for any technicality they can to ‘opt’ out of the warranty. I think this is why some manufacturers that offer lifetime frame warranties only offer 5 year warranties on their proprietary forks.
  • Better design
    Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they’ve come up with a design that is better. I’m sure there are improved designs out there, but the fact remains that unless the part is compliant to ISO standards, you’re taking a risk. I’ve found that the “better mouse trap” usually has a big following for a few years, gets some great write-ups in magazines, and then it’s off the market again. It’s really interesting to read Bicycling magazines from the 1970’s and see all of the new designs that are going to revolutionize the industry, and then try and find one of those designs manufactured now. Unless you want to pay to be their product test subject, I suggest sticking with the 30+ year old standards.
  • Trickery in advertising
    Let’s say a company wants to advertise an honest frame weight that’s lighter than everyone else’s frame. It’s possible to make a frame even lighter with the use of proprietary or non-ISO compliant parts. The funny thing is, when the proprietary parts are installed, then the overall weight of the bike is actually heavier than a light bike with the ISO compliant parts. Don’t be fooled on that one. A frame weight for a bike using proprietary head set, bottom bracket, or forks is going to result in no weight savings when the bike is built up completely. All you end-up with is an expensive bike that is heavier, and will not last forever.
  • Profit for their dealers
    This one’s a no brainer right? If there’s no competition for the proprietary parts, then the profit margins can be really high. If you’re bike won’t work without a bottom bracket, and the only one you can buy for your bike is the one made for your bike, and it’s only available at the dealer……you get the point. This arithmetic is heading in one direction and that is higher, higher, and higher prices. Ouch! Not the direction that most of our customers want to go.
  • They don’t love their customers….
    …OK, maybe they do love their customers, I don’t know. What I do know is that they’re not doing their customers any favors by selling them non-standard parts. I’ve always said that when you purchase a bicycle, you’re purchasing a relationship with the dealer and the manufacturer of that bicycle. If you want that relationship to be a pleasant one that lasts, make sure that they share your philosophy and expectations you have before you spend the money.

no Planned Obsolescence
Avoid the chaos of non-ISO compliant parts! At Rodriguez Bicycles, we go out of our way to make life easy for our customers, and build them a bicycle that will last them a lifetime. We use ISO compliant parts so that you’ll be able to get your Rodriguez repaired at any shop just about anywhere. We love our customers, and they love their Rodriguez Bikes!

Thanks for reading

A History of R+E Cycles

This article is from 2012. To read an updated version, Click Here.

1970's Staff Photo

The 1970’s

Earth shoes, Flower Power, and lots of hair!

Rodriguez bicycles was established in 1973 by Angel Rodriguez (2nd from left in photo) and Glenn Erickson (left most kneeling person in photo). The sales and service shop was (and still is) called R+E Cycles. A lot of people assume that R+E Cycles is a regular bike shop, and just happens to sell Rodriguez and Erickson bicycles. Actually, R+E Cycles is Rodriguez and Erickson cycles, and is the only place to buy them as well as the manufacturer. The photo to the left shows what the staff looked like in the late 1970’s as the shop began to grow. Angel and Glenn began building bicycles and tandems under their own names, sponsored a racing team, and soon had one of the most respected shops in the city of Seattle.

Angel Rodriguez holding a Triple Tandem under construction
It didn’t take Angel and Glenn long to attract the attention of business publications in the bicycle industry. Here’s an article from a 1976 issue of Bicycle Dealer Showcase magazine.

To the right, Angel Rodriguez shows off a Rodriguez ‘bicycle built for three’ frame in progress.
circa 1979

1980's Staff PhotoSome photos taken for the
1989 Rodriguez Tandem Catalog

The 1980’s

Max Headroom, Hair Metal, and Madonna are all the rage!

After Angel and Glenn part ways in the early 1980’s, Angel expanded the shop throughout the decade. He worked with the city of Seattle to secure Seattle’s first ‘on-street’ bicycle only parking area. It would be would be 30 years before it’s time!

In the 1980’s Rodriguez bicycles put together a professional tandem catalog, and soon Rodriguez tandems are being shipped all over the United States. Angel also opened the first ‘all mountain bike’ store in the Northwest, Mountain Bike Specialists.

This is the decade when I (Dan, the long haired guy in bottom right photo) first came to Rodriguez Bicycles. I (Dan) started in 1987 as a bicycle fitter and salesperson, and soon was managing the repair and assembly departments until 1991.

In the 1980’s Angel Rodriguez also started a new name brand of bicycles, TerraTech, and had them produced in Japan. These were produced in a touring model and a couple mountain bike models. The TerraTech became a favorite with bicycle commuters all over the Northwest. We still see dozens of TerraTechs each year in the repair shop getting overhauls or updates.

By the end of the decade, this expansion culminated in the shop being voted the best bicycle shop in the country by the readers of Bicycle Magazine. Now R+E Cycles had over 50 employees and had become one of the most reputable shops in the United States. The mountain bike craze helped propel cycling in general to new heights, and Angel Rodriguez had ridden the wave to the top of the industry!

Darker clouds were on the horizon though.

Wheel Truing

The 1990’s

Grunge Metal, corporate downsizing, and the tech bubble dominate the Seattle news through the 1990’s!

Angel sold the company in 1990. The new owner was not from the bicycle industry, and took the company in a sharply different direction. After losing confidence in that new direction, I left in December 1991. My departure was followed by a few more key employees.

The 1990’s were a brutal decade for big bike shops like R+E Cycles as well as the industry as a whole. Several of the shops voted in the ‘top ten’ of the Bicycle Magazine readers poll of 1990 were out of business before the end of the decade. By 1993, R+E Cycles would almost meet the same fate. In May, 1993 the new owner of R+E Cycles filed for bankruptcy and the doors were shut. The Seattle Times reported on the Cycling Institution ‘Out of Business’ after 20 years. Just a week later, the same paper would be running a different story though. One about a Second Chance for the shop at the hands of Angel Rodriguez with a few others in the background.

Since Angel had financed the sale of the business, he ended up getting the business back. As it turned out, it was just a shell of what it had once been and the inventory had been decimated. Angel Rodriguez called me at home one night. He asked if my wife and I, along with Estelle Gray (one of the key employees that left when I did) would be interested in purchasing what was left of R+E Cycles from him. I answered an immediate “yes!” and because my wife was working in China for 3 months at the time, she couldn’t talk me out of it. I quit my job and joined Angel the next day working to put the shop back together. Estelle joined us as soon as her two-weeks notice was up at her job, and my wife, Marcie, joined us after her return from China.

R+E Remodel
R+E Remodel

The Come Back 1993 ~ 1999

I could write a book about those first 5 years, but I’ll spare you that at this point. Suffice it to say that we worked extremely hard to bring R+E Cycles back to life. They were the hardest 5 years of my life, and I had no idea that humans could actually endure the amount of fatigue that we went through in the 1990’s. To the right are a few pictures of the worn-out team (Johnathon, Robb, Myself, Marcie, Estelle and Cindy) taking a rest from construction. We worked night and day to construct an entire, new retail floor.

I put together some of the photos of the re-birth of R+E Cycles if you dare to look. Realize that we were on a shoestring budget, everything was on the line, and we had to work tirelessly to achieve success on this project. We often slept at the shop during that first year as we just kind of passed out on the floor. The friends that you see in the photographs helping us are just some of the people that we owe so much gratitude to. This is the first time I’ve taken these photos out, and I realize that we had some amazing friends helping to make it through that first year. Thanks everyone.

By 1995, we had a
web site up and running (in those days bicycle companies did not have web sites). The internet was very new, but the site did generate some interest from long distance customers, and we sold a few bikes through the site. It’s hard to believe now that a company could survive very long without a web site, but back in 1995 it was still a novel concept. We also began the process of computerizing more than just our bike fit, but our whole process. It doesn’t sound like much, but in the 1990’s computer programming and running a bike shop were not done together. We were technically advanced enough that by 1998 we even attracted the attention of a local computer magazine who ran a feature article on us.

In addition to rescuing the company, we managed to design and build an industry favorite women’s specific bicycle line through the 1990’s. In 1996, the Rodriguez Stellar was born. A U.S. made bicycle that sold for less than $1,000! Nobody had anything like it, and we sold thousands of them. In 1997, the Stellar managed to attract the attention of Bicycling magazine for a review. We also made headway back into the tandem world with the sub-$2,000 Rodriguez Toucan tandem. Before the end of the 1990’s, we had a full line of U.S. made production Rodriguez bicycles to add to our custom line-up….just in time for the dot-com bubble burst.

Not too shabby I say, for a company that was down for the count just 6 years earlier!

2000 ~ 2010 A new Millennium!

Y2K panic, America is attacked, but Lance Armstrong kicks butt anyway!

The year 2000 was preceded by a period of medai hype fueled fear of some sort of world wide computer collapse of mythic proportions. Well, that didn’t happen, but what came next was worse. After the World Trade Centers were brought down by terrorists on September 11, 2001, sales in our store came to an abrupt halt. Soon, the country went into a recession. Fear of flying was causing cancellations for Boeing airplanes. Boeing is a huge part of the economy out here in Seattle, so airplane cancellations turned into bicycle cancellations.

2008 R+E Staff Photo
2008 Staff Photo

By 2003, R+E Cycles needed to go through yet another transformation. The shop had shrunk from 22 employes down to 6, and my business partner retired and moved away. We needed to reach out to a national audience if we were going to grow the company again. We did this through expanding and improving our website, redesigning our entire line of bicycles, and re-tooling to make our prices more competitive. We’re a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of company, but we managed to put together a website that attracted a much larger audience from outside Washington. Soon we were hiring again and building bicycles to ship all around the country and even the world. By late 2003, our focus on service even attracted the attention of The Seattle Times who called me for a quote when a new bicycle Superstore was opening down the street from us.

We also put in a coffee shop (Pedal a Latte’) to serve our staff and customers. This really helped with ambiance inside the store. On Fridays we started a program where we made lunch for the staff. Eventually this policy was extended to Saturdays as well. The team spirit of the shop, and customers too, was lifted to a higher level. I wanted to make R+E Cycles the best shop in the industry to work at. I’ve found that keeping employees is very efficient.

We teamed up with bicycle traveler Willie Weir to design and market (as a model) the bicycle we had built for him back in 1996. This helped boost our reputation as a travel bike company throughout the decade. Email sales really took off with the Willie Weir Adventure (our UTB) bicycle.

In 2005 we acquired Bushnell Cycle design, and hired Master Frame Builder Dennis Bushnell. We were able to patent his eccentric bottom bracket design, and grow the production and sales of the eccentric from just a few hundred each year to thousands. With Dennis came several established wholesale accounts that filled the frame and paint shops with frames to be shipped all over the country.

In 2006 we used our decades of bicycle fitting expertise to design a fully functional bicycle fitting system including software.

was introduced in February 2006.

In 2006 we also re-tooled the frame shop to produce bicycles like no company has ever done before! This is a transformation that brought the price of our bicycles down to the price of bicycles produced overseas, while at the same time improving their quality. It was important to us that Rodriguez Bicycles become the best value in the bicycle industry. Without the efforts put forth in the winter of 2006 by the folks here at R+E Cycles we would either have to produce our bicycles overseas, or charge twice the price that we charge for them.

Back on Top!

Before long, Rodriguez Bicycle company (R+E Cycles) was back on top as a business leader in the Bicycle Industry. It wasn’t long before we started attracting the attention of business publications like the Puget Sound Business Journal. Here is their front page article about our effective production of bicycles in the United States. Lance Armstrong had made cycling popular again, and off we went! Like Lance himself, we accelerated in the industry. We expanded our high-end road bike offerings to include some of the lightest road and tandem bikes in the industry.

We couldn’t let Angel’s efforts be for nothing by letting Seattle’s first ‘on-street’ bike parking area go to waste. Through this decade, we worked with the city (it took several years) to give our ‘on-street’ bike parking area a complete overhaul. We got a new heavy duty bike rack (ironically shaped like a car), fresh paint and new respect for how hard Angel must’ve worked to get the project done in the first place. Here’s what the shop looks like now.

2012 To the Future, and Beyond!

2012 Staff Picture
2012 Staff Photo

My name is
Dan Towle and 2012 is my 19th year as the owner of Rodriguez Bicycles (R+E Cycles). That’s two years longer than Angel owned the company! While writing this page for the site, I realized: things that seemed like they happened yesterday actually occurred decades ago. I had to do the math to believe 19 years (in 2012)!

Rodriguez Bicycle Company remains a Seattle cycling institution as well as a leader in the cycling industry. We have persevered through some of the worst times, and pioneered in the areas of bicycle fit and manufacturing for almost four decades now.

This year we have a fully redesigned website written in CSS. As I write this, the catalog is almost done and the new website just went live an hour ago. We’re teaming up with Glenn Erickson (yes the same Glenn Erickson) to offer Erickson Custom bicycles, thus putting the E back in R+E for 2012. We’re very excited to offer all of the innovative products that we make here, and hope that you choose us as your bicycle company.

This is a historical tour, so let me get historical here. When you choose to buy a bicycle, you are actually choosing to buy the staff of that shop. This is the best staff in the history of R+E Cycles, and I think the entire industry. Everyone here has been here a long time now, and this is their career of choice. If you want a bicycle, there is no better time or place than Rodriguez Bicycle Company right now.

This article is from 2012. To read an updated version, Click Here.

Chrome Rodriguez Script Logo

R+E Cycles: New!

Welcome to the new Rodriguez Bicycles and R+E Cycles Blog.

We’re gonna keep you updated with the goings on at R+E Cycles, mostly with pictures of bikes and some helpful videos.  And of course, Dan has  lots of knowledge he wants to pass on, so keep an eye out for his articles!