Posts belonging to Category Cycling Products / Reviews



Line of Sight

16mm_lucas_taxiskitch_zenga_480I just got done watching “Line of Sight” – an alley cat racing film by Lucas Brunelle. Right off the bat I feel a bit conflicted writing about this movie. It is about alley cat races – which means a bunch of guys riding like jack asses; completely ignoring all traffic laws in a dense urban area. It is exactly what we DON’T want to encourage our children to do, and personifies each and every negative stereotype that uneducated motorists will hurl at us as we pedal on the run.

It is also one hell of a lot of fun to watch.

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How to spoil your children

Getting young kids into road bike racing is a worthwhile endeavor, in my opinion.  In my recent interview with Dean Alleger, he talked about a lack of support in the United States for youth racing – “there’s no pipeline” as he put it.  Most of the time kids get BMX bikes for boys, and banana seats and streamers for girls.  Because of this lack of demand, it can be difficult to find actual road bike equipment for kids.

For my own children I went with the Fuji Ace bikes.  Available with 20 inch, 24 inch or 650c wheels, they offer a reasonably usable frame and road-bike position that is great for kids.  And at about $350 it is a reasonable investment for kids serious about road bike racing (or parents serious about their kids road bike racing) without sinking the bank on a bike they will outgrow within a season or two.

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Falling back in love with Continental Gatorskins

It was a cold and rainy New Year’s Day ride when I first fell out of love with my Continental Gatorskin tires.  No – strike that.  That was when my ambivalent “Yea, they’re OK” turned into a “Why did I pay extra for Kevlar casing tires??”

In hindsight, however, neither my ambivalence nor my negative impressions of the tires were correct.  In fact, it was only because the tires performed so well that I was able to ride for so long without thinking about them in the first place.

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GoPro going 3D

The GoPro Hero is undoubtedly the little camera that could.  While there are other helmet cameras available, the Hero seems to be dominating the market.  Its origins are from the surfing community, but this tiny wearable (or mountable) camera has found fans in nearly every active sport you can imagine.  Do a search on YouTube for “GoPro” and you’ll find videos that folks have made of themselves base jumping, driving race cars, paint balling, surfing, skiing…  Oh yea – and cycling too!

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Using German Engineering to beat bike thieves

Thieves can’t steal what they can’t reach – correct?  That appears to be what a couple of German inventors are banking on.

They’ve created a bicycle lock that attaches to a light post and, using a remote control, will then lift the bike 15 feet up in the air.  The device uses what are essentially skate board wheels, electric motors and batteries to literally “drive” up the pole – all while the bike is attached.

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VeloShine – everything shiny, captain?

I’m not a huge fan of washing my bike.  I love having the bike clean – and I’d fully endorse the procedure of cleaning you bike.  I just don’t care for the actual act of cleaning.  It is tedious, greasy and wet.  Compounding the issue is the fact that the longer you put it off (presumably because it is tedious, greasy and wet) you are not only causing excessive wear to your drive train and other moving parts, you’re also making the inevitable bike wash more tedious, greasier and wetter.

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Garmin buys power meter startup MetriGear

More than a few of us have been waiting for sometime, watching the press releases from MetriGear.  The company has been working for some time on a power meter embedded right into the spindles of pedals.  This would potentially provide a whole slew of benefits, including not only separate readings for each leg, but also potentially different readings for different parts of your pedal stroke.  The market release of their product – called Vector – has been delayed a number of times.

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Cyclist shopping spree

I had an opportunity to act out my true Fredness and go shopping.  My list of desirables included:

  • Garmin 500
  • Sidi Genius 5 Carbon Pro Mega
  • Speedplay Zero Pedals
  • Cateye Reflex Auto Tail Light (for Old Blue, my commuter)

For various reasons which I will discuss below, the list ended up getting modified by the end:

  • Garmin 500
  • Sidi Zephyr Carbon Mega
  • Cateye Reflex Auto Tail Light (for Old Blue, my commuter)
  • Cheapy Cateye Velo 5 cycling computer – also for Old Blue
  • The opportunity to continue to use my Look Keo pedals

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Wanna tow 300 lbs with your bike?

Surly has introduced some of their new products – giving us a sneak peak at what will be available by next year.  Of particular interest to you utilitarian cyclists that like to use your bikes like pickup trucks are a new trailer, and some modifications to the Big Dummy.

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Yup – even your cycling jersey can be “indie”

I grew up in the beautiful Seattle area in the “hey day” of the whole grunge/alternative rock thingy.  There was always an underlying theme in that area:  The mainstream sucked, therefore you could only be cool by liking things that not many other people liked.  That’s right – you as soon as more than a couple people had heard of it, you couldn’t like it any more.

Somewhere along the line this idea got officially labeled “indie” (originally short for independent, if anyone cares).  Indie was everywhere.  Indie films.  Indie bands.  Indie bars featuring indie bands.

So imagine my excitement at being able to relive my youthful sentimentality with my grown-up hobby of cycling.  I found Indie Bike – a source for indie cycling apparel.  And just look at the list of major manufactures they’re selling.  I can get all my stuff right here.

Now wait just a latte-sipping minute.  List of major manufactures?? Um, isn’t the whole idea of “indie” that it isn’t among the major manufactures??

Now, I don’t want to badmouth any companies (especially ones that could potentially try to get a hold of me for an advertising / sponsorship deal.  Just saying…) but the name does throw off the freds of the world that might assume a catalog full of tweed and wool.