willem.com

Bike on Willem's Blog

One year on the ultimate commuter bike

6000KM in 12 months with Gates CDN/CDX and Shimano Alfine

Feb. 27, 2019
Answering questions from one of the most popular posts of last year, I am reviewing my commuter bike after one year of extensive use through winter and summer.

A year ago I tried to create the ultimate commuter bike, a modified Sensa Cintura with the Gates CDN/CDX carbon belt drive. I received lots of messages from cyclists and commuters from all over the world. From the Swiss alps, France, Italy, Germany, United States and even "down under", Australia! You all wanted to know: how does the upgraded bike hold up?

Business in a bag

Using a waterproof backpack to fit my gear

Dec. 22, 2018
After much testing I have selected a bag and set of cases to fit my entire business, wherever I go.

Over the past few months I have been testing different bags and cases to fit everything I need to run my business. As I commute by bike, the bag needs to be waterproof. The problem with waterproof gear is that it is usually very bulky. I need my gear to be both portable and representative, a challenge worth a blog post!

Swimming and cycling with Apple Watch

Different activities in the workout app in watchOS

Sep. 27, 2018
This month I tested the newest watchOS while swimming and cycling.

This month Apple launched a new Apple Watch series and released an update to watchOS. The focus of the smartwatch is more and more gearing towards health and fitness. This made me curious, how well does Apple Watch work for different activities?

Removing paint from a bike frame

Uncover the aluminium with chemicals and sanding paper

June 9, 2018
Using dichloromethane and sanding paper I removed the paint from my bike frame to create a minimal, raw aluminium look.

There is beauty in raw, unfinished material that is often hidden with superfluous layers of paint. I like things to be true to the nature of the material. My bike was painted black - not bad - but I wondered what it really looked like from a material point of view.

Listen to your body

Why I stopped using health and fitness sensors

May 17, 2018
Using health data gathered by sensors and wearables I learned to listen to my body. Now I have stopped using bluetooth sensors all together.

A good customer of mine was once a physiotherapist, he told me about people asking him to "feel their muscles" to tell them how they where doing. "Crazy!" he told me: "I can never feel better than the people themselves, if they only would listen to their body". This caused me to question the health and fitness sensors I use.

Creating the ultimate commuter bike

Riding at 35KM/h with Nexus Alfine 8 and Gates Carbon Drive

Feb. 24, 2018
Creating the ultimate commuter bike by upgrading the Sensa Cintura belt drive bike.

This winter I use a Sensa Cintura bike with a Gates Carbon belt drive as my daily commuter. It's a bike designed to be nice to ride thanks to its sporty lightweight frame. It's also meant to be low on maintenance thanks to the belt drive and Nexus Afline 8 integrated gear hub. After 1800KM in just eight weeks, it was time for some upgrades.

Commuting by bike

One week (240KM) on the VanMoof Electrified S

Dec. 2, 2017
One week on the VanMoof Electrified S E-bike testing it for commuting and comparing it to a normal bike.

For a few years now, I commute to work using a bicycle. I have lost more than 15KG since I stopped using my scooter. This week I tested a VanMoof Electrified S, an electric bike with an industrial, minimal design. Is it any good? How does it compare to a normal bike? Will an electric bike make you lazy? Read along to find out!

Fietselfstedentocht 2017

Cycling the 235KM bicycle tour through Friesland

June 30, 2017
Cycling the 235KM long Fietselfstedentocht through Friesland

This month I cycled the Fietselfstedentocht, a 235KM tour through Friesland. This tour brings you through various Frisian cities throughout one of the most Northern provinces of the Netherlands. The tour was first organised in 1912 and has grown to become legendary due to its history, challenge and popularity; well worthy of a blog post!

One year of cycling

GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava

Dec. 31, 2016
GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava.

One year ago I started recording all my bike rides, including commutes, short grocery trips and long Gran Fondos. I equipped my bicycles with Garmin Edge computers that recorded location (GPS), speed, cadence and my heart rate. I covered more than 7683 kilometers during 320 hours of riding. It's time to review all the data and share some photos I took along the ride!

Batavus Champion bike from 1978

restoring retro glory with some help from the Internet

Sep. 3, 2016
Restore the retro glory of an old bike from the 70s using the internet.

Almost a year ago I bought an old steel racing bike from 1978. I wanted to figure out if using a bike to commute worked for me. It did! I used it to ride more than 1000KM before I decided to get a modern road bike. Now, almost a year later, I decided to put the powers of the internet into good use: to bring the bike back to its retro glory!

All blog posts
Me wearing the hardcore Ortlieb Velocity bag through bad weather, fantastic but a little bit bulky...
Me wearing the hardcore Ortlieb Velocity bag through bad weather, fantastic but a little bit bulky...
Along the way you collect stamps from the various Frisian cities. You need a completed card in order to collect the medal (Elfstedenkruisje)
Along the way you collect stamps from the various Frisian cities. You need a completed card in order to collect the medal (Elfstedenkruisje)
Sensa Cintura - as I got it from the local bike shop
Sensa Cintura - as I got it from the local bike shop
Shimano Alfine 8
Shimano Alfine 8
It was really cold during this ride in December. My drink bottles, gloves and shoes where frozen!
It was really cold during this ride in December. My drink bottles, gloves and shoes where frozen!
The rear derailleur was rusty and not original to this bike
The rear derailleur was rusty and not original to this bike
Cycling with Apple Watch using the Workout app
Cycling with Apple Watch using the Workout app
My collection of health and fitness sensors
My collection of health and fitness sensors
That smile is not because of the fantastic Dutch weather... it's because of that rocket disguised as bike
That smile is not because of the fantastic Dutch weather... it's because of that rocket disguised as bike
Riding my bike with Apple Watch
Riding my bike with Apple Watch
Downtown Amsterdam, don't forget a lock!
Downtown Amsterdam, don't forget a lock!
Explosive little Vespa - the moped that made me start cycling
Explosive little Vespa - the moped that made me start cycling
Brutal, resilient tires: Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour
Brutal, resilient tires: Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour
Finished! Collected all the stamps, earned the medal and a drink to celebrate an awesome day!
Finished! Collected all the stamps, earned the medal and a drink to celebrate an awesome day!
Brooks Cambium C15
Brooks Cambium C15
Flocks of paint falling of my bike frame, uncovering the raw aluminium
Flocks of paint falling of my bike frame, uncovering the raw aluminium
Out in the open: the Electrified S
Out in the open: the Electrified S
The iPad can be charged while tucked away in its case
The iPad can be charged while tucked away in its case

More Bike on Willem's Blog

All blog posts