08 February 2017

T-Shirt of the Day

I normally don't dive into the cesspool that is politics on this blog.

Today, whilst navigating thru posts on the Book of Faces about our Commander in Cheeto - President, I came across the perfect shirt...

Couldn't state it better myself!

Go here to buy one, and keep it wheel!

03 February 2017

T-Shirt of the Day

Utah based t-shirt makers Thread + Spoke have released a new line of shirts just in time for that sportsing event on Sunday. You know, the one that doesn't involve bicycles.

Not Lance, the other one. The one who hasn't been stripped of his TdF wins.

The Jersey Collection has the nickname of your favorite retired rider and the number of times they have won a grand tour. T-shirt design is by Kimball Henneman. 

Football fans have a tendency to wear the numbers of their favorite players, now you can fit right in!

Check out threadandspoke.com for more awesome artist designed shirts.

Okay, I decided I had to include Lance's jersey, just because it makes me laugh.

"The Boss" is sporting the double zeroes, because of course Lance was stripped of his TdF wins. 

26 January 2017

Product Review: Oyama CX16D

Rare is the opportunity for me to review a whole entire bicycle. Normally, I just get to review bits of one at a time, but thanks to Oyama, I have a complete bicycle at my disposal.

Oyama has been in the bicycle business for 50 years, providing the technology behind some of the biggest bicycle brands in the world. In 1998, they started to produce folding bicycles under their own name. later this year, they will introduce their folding bicycles to the USA.

I was introduced to Oyama at Interbike last fall, and they were gracious enough to send me their CX16D model for testing.

Waiting at the train station for the ride into work.

The CX16D has 20 inch wheels, so its folded size isn't the smallest out there, but it is small enough to fit under my desk at work.

It weighs in at about 28 pounds, light enough to carry without being too awkward. Stopping power is provided via mechanical disk brakes front and rear, and propulsion is provided by a 52/42 chainring and 8 speed 11-32 cassette.  

The most asked question, right after how do you fold it - which I will get to in a moment - was how does it ride? The handling would best be described as "nimble" the short wheelbase and steep head tube angle give it a quick response. the gear range is more than adequate to tackle any hills along your commute. The upright position is comfortable, and doesn't feel cramped. 

Speaking of commutes, most people look at a folding bike as a means to get to and from other means of transportation, such as riding to the train station or bus stop - which I have done several times, But I also have ridden it all the way to and from work, plus to other locations a fair distance away. There occasionally is a need for my wife to pick me up after work and, its much easier to toss a folded bike in the back of her Honda than a full-sized bike - especially if we have kids with us. 

On the train. If it isn't crowded, it is still easier to keep it unfolded for the commute.

Folding... It is easy to fold, but there is an almost origami-like aspect to folding it correctly. You need to rotate the bars to the correct position and have the pedals oriented in a certain way to successfully fold the bike, but the learning curve is small and you easily learn how to fold and unfold it quickly.

My opinion? It's a great bike! easy to ride and easy to fold. 

The MSRP for the Oyama CX16D is going to be around $990. More information can be found at www.oyama.com

15 December 2016

Product Review: Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro

It's winter.

I'm telling you this because some people live in warmer climates and they may have missed the google calendar notification.

Up here, winter means dark, cold, and... well, that about sums it up.

because of the fact it is winter, the majority of product reviews that will be forthcoming will be of use in either dark or cold. Sometimes both.

Today's product review won't do much to keep you warm - unless you break out some bike-dance moves.

The Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro is truly a jack of all trades, a veritable Swiss Army knife of bike lights. Not only is it a light for your bike, but it is also a powerbank - to recharge your phone, etc... a lantern for off-bike lighting needs, and last but not least, a speaker.

The flashlight - which plugs into the powerbank output USB port - has three settings, torch, strobe, and lamp (high and low lamp, so technically four settings),

Speaking of the powerbank, it has a 2600 mAh rechargable battery in it, so you'll be able to easily recharge your phone, GPS, or whatever electronic device you have with you.

Finally the speaker. On one end is the light, which obviously you want pointing at the road. The other end is the bluetooth speaker, conviently pointing back at you so you can listen to your music, make calls, what have you while riding.

How does it work? Pretty dang well! The light is bright, almost annoyingly so. I've used the high lamp while camping and it does a good job of illuminating the surrounding area, while the low lamp is dim enough not to wake your sleeping significant other while you fumble around. The speaker, while not excessively loud is loud enough to hear while riding in all but the noisiest environments.

Battery life is good. you can expect 10+ hours from the speaker on a full charge. Adding the light will drop that number, of course. I've had the light and speaker running for several hours before I've needed to recharge.

The Buckshot Pro retails for $79.95, and is available in 5 colors. More information can be found here.

06 December 2016

Pondering About the Cost of Bicycle Parts is a Really Boring Title, but Accurate.

As I was reading a recent Yehuda Moon strip, I felt a strange resonance.

Not the resonance that I drive anywhere in a $40k SUV, because I don't, but the comparison in costs.

For those of us who commute regularly by bicycle, we have minimal maintenance costs, but they do occasionally pop up. Tires, tubes (I direct you to a recent rant), lube, chains, cables etc.. do wear out or break, and need replacing. 

When that would happen, I would feel a pang of guilt and anxiety about needing to spend money on my bicycle to replace whatever needed replacing. But if the car needed an oil change, new tires, engine work, or more frequently, gas, there would be less guilt and anxiety because we of course need the car to get around!

I don't know why I had the disconnect in thinking that my maintenance costs and repairs were superfluous, but for the car they were not. Yes, my commute could be done by a car, but that would increase maintenance costs for the car, and other intangible costs, such as pollution and my waistline. 

Yesterday, I took the folding bike (review forthcoming) out for the commute. It was lightly snowing, and the roads were wet. Needless to say, I arrived to work with a soggy bum. A quick visit to the river in South America, and a pair of fenders are swiftly making their way to me. This time, I didn't think of the purchase as a frivolous whim, but instead as a necessity, and guess what? The guilt wasn't there.

05 December 2016

Product Review: Cycloc Wrap

Today's commute was cold. Not the coldest that I've experienced during my time commuting in winter, but still cold.

Not wanting to roll up my pant legs to expose my bare skin to the bitter wind, I grabbed a product I received at Interbike for just such a purpose.

The Cycloc Wrap is a surprisingly simple device. One of those things that make you think "Why didn't I think of this."

Basically, It is a wide rubber strap with a hole at one end, and a plastic button at the other. There are some other holes so you can adjust the size of the wrap. 

What can you do with it? What do you need to do? It can be used to cuff your pant leg to keep it out of the sprocket, which is what I used it for this morning. 

It can be used to secure a load to your rack, You can use it to secure the front tire to the frame while your bike is in a workstand or on a rack, If it is not long enough, you can hook multiple Wraps together, etc... 

To further the functionality to their form, the holes are large enough to fit a U-lock, so if you don't want to stuff them in a pocket when you arrive at your destination (not like they are bulky or anything), you can lock them up. 

They retail for $14.99. More information can be found at www.cycloc.com

02 December 2016

Cyclists are Awesome

I just lost my wallet.

Seriously. I left my office and grabbed a city bike to ride up to the local 7-Eleven to top off my caffeine reserves when my wallet apparently fell out of my back pocket. I only found this out when I was unable to pay for my Big Gulp.

A ride back down to the docking station, and a walk back up and down the street turned up nothing. Giving up hope, I was just about to start canceling EVERYTHING, when I recieved a text.

Thank you so very, very much to the guy on the red Bridgestone MB-1 for finding and returning my wallet. He said that he saw the wallet, googled my name, found my LinkedIN profile (which I haven't maintained for a few years now), saw that I worked with the Tour de Cure, called them, and they told him my cell phone # which they still had. He wouldn't even accept a reward for returning it. 

People who ride bikes are awesome!

Update: He left a voicemail that I didn't notice before, so I can now thank him by name. Thank you, Mike!