The Daily Bike, February 24, 2012

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The Pablove Foundation is a charity that raises funds for pediatric cancer research. Some of what they raise also goes toward outreach to kids living with cancer, teaching them to express themselves through photography. And it runs Pablove Across America, a (very) long-distance bike ride that schedules stops at children’s hospitals along the way. In 2011 the ride started in Milwaukee and ended in New Orleans. In 2010, it went from Seattle to Los Angeles.

This bike will also do some small part to raise awareness about children with cancer. It was created by craft brand Independent Fabrication and it started not as a bike but as a challenge to Indy Fab and to other small builders from belt maker Gates, which made a very small batch of pink belts for Pablove, since that’s their signature color. The point: Make some especially gorgeous bikes to go with the belts and harness that profile for the charity.

So Gary Smith at IF combined this belt with some very stout Columbus stainless steel tubing and was also very astute about where to “break” the frame at the rear to fit the belt (this bike’s split is high on the seat stay, because, Smith says, the stainless tubing wouldn’t allow for a split down near the chainstays). Smith also says that belts aren’t like chains; they don’t have any “give” in them, so you can’t have any weakness in the frame or you’ll actually feel the flex more, which makes where to split the frame an even more critical process than you might perceive.

There are lots more bike-geek details on the bike on IF’s blog, but Smith would rather explain why the bike exists in the first place: “The bike may go on tour with one of the bands on Pablove founder Jeff Castelaz’s Dangerbird Records label, so it has the potential to gain exposure for Pablove’s child cancer mission in front of lots of youth. It’s the reason that I built the pink Pablove belt into a fixed gear. I wanted a youthful audience to become more aware of the cause.”

Smith says that either way, tour or no tour, the bike will be raffled off via Pablove so that anyone can enter to win it by donating to the foundation. Keep an eye on the IF blog. And for Pablove, go to pablove.org.

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