The Redbeard Blog

  • The Spoke & Word: Jesse Shotland

    We loved this short film by Steven Avalos of Bike Your City. It's an awesome intro to the local track racing scene for those who have heard us waxing poetic about the Kissena Velodrome... Look out for a cameo by our very own Mark Wagner of Redbeard Racing!

    In Steve's own words:

    "I guess you can say it's been a long time in the making. This is the start of something new. A different take on the Spoke & Word series with hopefully many more to come. This inaugural edition features Jesse Shotland. A local Cat 4 track racer who simply loves life at the track. Jesse has easily become one of my favorite people in the cycling community. He is humble as he is talented. Give him a hello if you ever see him racing at Kissena, Prospect Park, or snapping some beautiful landscape pictures. (Be sure to check out Jesse's work here.)"

  • My Gunnar Sport AKA the K Train

    My Gunnar Sport AKA the K Train
    Words and photos by Kasia Nikhamina

    Saturday night after a super busy day at the shop, I sailed home through the Park on my red Gunnar Sport.

    Instead of the usual raccoons, there were people in fancy white dress crossing the road in twos and threes, fours and sixes. Giddy costumed people, dispersing like droplets of rain from the PopUp Dinner. Approaching them, I slowed.

    My Gunnar, slows down beautifully. I can't explain it. I suppose that's the magic of building a bike to handle a certain way. Anyway, I'm standing on my awesome huge pedals, coasting, my dress wilted in the humidity.

    From the middle of the road, they call to me: “We're sorry! We're a bit drunk! Thank you for not running us over!”

    “Of course!” I call to them. “I would have liked, to go that party, too.”

    I hear them giggling. I sail down the hill.


    I call my Gunnar the K train because it takes me where I want to go.

    I wanted a practical bike to haul groceries, library books, and maybe one day...a baby. I never expected it to be this much fun!

    On my Gunnar, I'm flying, and directing a brass band, all at once. It serves as my super commuter, but it's also my boogie bike.

    Any bike is greater than the sum of its parts, but a few things are essential to the K train. 

    The wide range of gearing means I can power up any Brooklyn hill (or bridge) weighed down with groceries, without breaking much of a sweat. I have only a rear derailleur, so shifting is easy - click up or click down - so I can save my attention for the cars...and all the Prospect Park revelers. 

    I always joke that the Tubus rack lets me carry twice my weight (like an ant). 

    The Speedplay Drilliums are my favorite pedals ever. They are grippy without cutting up my shoes and shins. I get a lot of power with each pedal stroke, and it's super fun to stand up on them. Like surfing.

    Did I mention the Spurcycle bell? I like to announce myself, this bell is my voice on the road. Sometimes if there's a car in the bike lane, I'll pause a safe distance behind it, and ring my bell until the car moves. Once a driver came running out of a deli on Vanderbilt, apologizing profusely, and moved his car out of the bike lane.


    Want a bike to suit your personality? Look no further than Redbeard Bikes. We'll build you a bike that will make you say, "I love my bike!" every time you ride it.

    Gunnar on the Ocean Parkway Greenway.
    And she reads!

    Brooklyn Taj in the rain.
    Red is faster.
  • The Surly Straggler: The Elusive Everything Bike

  • Fixin' flats

    Rebecca Bratburd wrote this terrific recap of our very first flat fix workshop last year.

    With the arrival of spring (for real this time!) we wanted to share it with you to supplement any YouTube videos you may be watching on this topic.

    At least one person has pulled up this post on her phone, while fixing her flat at the side of the road. Read it and bookmark it!

    Photos are from the Redbeard / Liv Women's Flat Fix workshop earlier this year.

    If you'd like to attend a future flat fix workshop, please sign up for our newsletter!

    Fixin' Flats
    Words by Rebecca Bratburd
    Photos by Kasia Nikhamina

    What happens if I get a flat tire far away from a bike shop? How can I be self sufficient on rides? Why do I have such good luck with not getting flats?

    Ilya and Kasia of Redbeard Bikes at 69 Jay Street in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn held their first ever after-hours flat fix workshop. “The world would be a better place if more people knew how to fix flats,” Ilya said. If you spent your money on things you actually wanted instead of on having someone else fix your flats, you’d be a happier rider, he added.

    Ilya stressed the importance of properly inflating your tires to the correct PSI. Too little or too much air pressure makes it much easier to get a flat through a puncture or pinch flats. As Kasia pointed out, the first step to fixing flat is preventing them in the first place. Correct PSI is not maximum PSI, but instead based on your body weight and what kind of riding you’re doing (racing, road, mountain, etc.).

    Then we got our hands dirty.

    Treat your bike not as though it’s delicate, but as though it’s precious.

    Don’t use too much force removing or replacing the wheel from the bike.

    If you have carbon wheels, rest them on the tops of your shoes while changing the tube, and not the ground, to avoid scratches.

    Don’t take the tire off completely.

    Remove the tube.

    Check for glass and sharp things on the inside of the tire.

    Put just enough air into the new tube to give it some shape.

    Make sure no tube hangs out beyond the tire.

    When placing the bead of the tire back in line with the rim, be organized about it and work symmetrically away from valve.

    Use the palms of your hands, not the tips of your fingers, to nudge the tire to the inside of the rim.

    If you use CO2 cartridges, the cartridge will freeze for a few seconds. Let it thaw for a second or two before removing it straight off from the valve. Do not wiggle the valve, because it could break. Note: CO2 leaks out faster than air from a pump, so you’ll probably have to refill your new tube the next morning with regular air.

    When you put the wheels back on the bike, arrange the quick release levers nicely for your future self—that is, with a little space for you to grip your fingers onto it.

    If you’re really stuck in the city, you’re never too far from a bike shop, and if you’re up 9W or in Central Park, it’s easy to wave someone down for help. It’s important to try to be that person who can be waved down for help, too. And, with all the money you’ll save on mechanic labor, you can buy the things you really want (I have purple racing socks in mind!).

  • Memorial Day

    Redbeard Bikes will be closed on Monday, 5/30, for Memorial Day!

    We will be open on Saturday, 5/28, and Sunday, 5/29, 11 AM to 6 PM.

    Happy long weekend!

  • Redbeard Racing

    Redbeard Racing debuted in full force at the track last weekend for Six Days of Kissena: Day 2!

    We had an awesome group ride out to the Kissena Velodrome to see the races. Huge thanks to Meredith for leading the way through the streets of Queens!

    We picked up some enormous & delicious sandwiches at the Guerrero Food Truck, and hung out trackside watching the races. It was cold but sunny!

    We managed to get nearly the whole team in a photo! (Graydon, we'll get you next time around!)

    Meanwhile, the shop is bustling. Want to know what's happening? Sign up for our newsletter! It goes out once a week and features rides, workshops, and the latest Redbeard news.


    From left to right: Evan, Ros, Nick, Mark, Chelsea
    Photo Credit: Amelia Riley Swan

  • Bike to School Short Film Fest

  • Redbeard Seeks Talent

    Are you passionate about riding bikes, and getting others to ride bikes?

    Redbeard Bikes is looking for a talented extrovert to join our sales team. You will spend the majority of your time in the front of the shop, working with customers. You will take in repairs and builds, sell bikes and accessories, and work the register. Additional responsibilities include keeping the store clean, organized, and attractive.

    New York City retail experience and merchandising skills are a must!

    Ours is a busy, growing shop. You must be comfortable in a fast-paced environment that fuses traditional brick and mortar retails with a modern start-up. Attention to detail and strong ethics are a must.

    The ideal candidate is a great team player, an excellent listener, a self-starter, an independent learner who can soak up new knowledge, someone with tough skin who can give and receive feedback.

    Basic Photoshop and social media skills are a huge plus.

    Fluent English required, additional languages are a plus -- we get some tourist traffic.

    This is a full-time position in a busy, growing shop. You'll work 5 days a week, including weekends.

    Please send a cover letter and resume to redbeard@redbeardbikes.com and/or visit the shop.


  • Times Plaza Rally: Saturday, 2/13 @ 11 am

  • Introducing the Redbeard Bikes Ambassadors!

    We are super excited to introduce the Redbeard Bikes Ambassadors: Karla, Eddie, Brendan, Jess, Meredith, and Graydon.

    These six awesome guys and gals will be leading Redbeard rides this year -- starting Sunday, 3/6!

    If you missed them on Instagram and Facebook this weekend, read all about them here!

    Ride with us this year, let's grow #bikenyc.

    Photos: Jess Birch

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