Archive for category accessories
Ryders Eyewear got their start twenty-five years ago in 1986 when neon was everywhere. Those times have passed, but Ryders is still bringing to the scene eyewear for cyclists, skiers and snowboarders a like. Ryders eyewear sent over a pair of their photochromic and polarized (polarphoto) Seeker sunglasses for our review.
The Seeker sunglasses are available in a multitude of options. First, frames are available in either black, white or red. Lenses are available as either standard, polarized, photochromic, polorphoto (polarized and photochromic) and interchangeable. Keeping connected to your face, the thermoplastic frame is aided by hydrophilic (non-slip) nose pads and temple tips, which essentially provide the grip and work better when wet. Weight of the Seekers are not bad at 32 grams. Seekers provide a larger lens coverage area and most likely would be a bit large for a smaller faced rider, front bridge measurement is 135mm. The photochromic grey lens offers 34%-12% visible light transmission, which for my review I barely saw the difference, I would have liked to see the lens move slightly darker for middle of summer sun. The polycarbonate lens offers 100% UV protection, is shatterproof and as well has a scratch resistant coating. The lenses held up very well to the “Kurt test” (I occasionally drop my glasses), I didn’t see any scratch from my fumblings, but they are not completely scratch proof so do take care.
The Seekers are great for either road cyclist or mountain biker that is looking for a higher-end, but affordable sunglasses. They stayed well connected to my face without the need to push them up during a ride. The design and look is fitting both on and off the bike. Being someone with light sensitivity I appreciated the lens coverage and while I would have liked to see the lens have a slight darker end point, they worked well for the partly cloudy to full sun rides. At a $89 price point for a photochromic and polarized lens, they are affordable, which I see is because the frames, very-slightly, are more flexible than other higher priced similar glasses. My only issue with the frames is that the ear piece tips would occasionally come into contact with my helmet head basket, so on next versions if they were shorter, this would be an improvement.
Dirty Dog MTB is a California based company bringing “Made in the USA” rotors to your mountain bike. They sent a set over for review.
Dirty Dog MTB rotors come in all popular rotor sizes, 160mm, 185mm, & 203mm with a thickness of 0.070″ and weights ranging from 147 g to 248 g, depending on size. Since they utilize the popular sizes they are compatible with major caliper manufactures, but always check the specs for your caliper before ordering. These are laser cut from stainless steel and come in several different designs, Dragon, Gecko, Skull, Ace of Spades, Spider Web and Bone Burner. The designs are look great and are well cut with plenty of braking surface. Burn is of course required as with any new disc brake set, so after a few go and stops, you are on your way. How do they stop? Very well!
If you are looking to set your ride apart from your friends and looking for easy upgrade, these rotors fit the bill with prices ranging from $69 to $80, depending on size, but searching the internet you can find some great deals. Even with the designs choices already available, it would be great to see a few more options.
Bikase is a universal smartphone or mp3 pouch that attaches to your bike to allow you to listen to tunes, track your rides, or keep on eye on your social media efforts, all by keeping your device safe and dry. Alt-Gear sent over the case for our review.
Constructed of neoprene, your phone or mp3 player will avoid scratches and dings. Easy access is provided by a zipper at the top side of the case and can be opened slightly for headphones. The clear screen cover allows you to still control your iPhone or Droid with swipes and touch. Attaching to your bike is done by velcro neoprene straps which you can mount either horizontally or vertically (handlebar or stem, for example).
I am one that always has my iPhone with me. Whether it is using it for logging the miles with Strava or for the occasional cycling tweet. I toss it in my jersey pocket and check on it through-out my ride to make sure it hasn’t slid out. For me, having the iPhone mounted to the bars can be bulky, so if I’m on the trainer, I’ll mount it, otherwise I put it in the jersey pocket and with the neoprene grip of the case, I know it isn’t going anywhere. The case fits your iPhone even with a protective case, as opposed to other smartphone mounts where you have to remove the protective case to mount. Cost of the Bikase will set you back only about $24, which is a great price.
Zixtro Wing Case is very simple saddle case to attach and remove. It easily attaches to your saddle rails and the case can be quickly disconnected from the mount for taking with you into the cafe, store or work. Alt-Gear sent over the case for our review.
Constructed of durable plastic this case can take a beating on and off the bike without the worry of breaking and is also light weight. With a weather resistant Velcro closure your goods are kept dry and out of the elements. Overall capacity of the case will put you at about 24 cubic inches and fits a tube, tire lever, patch kit and ID/credit card and a CO2 canister with nozzle.
I found the closure to work well with the occasional bumpy roads while carry aforementioned goods. Upon opening the case you notice a pocket to hold your items well so they don’t all fall out when you need them. Mounts worked well and stay locked in place without sliding held by the quick release Z-locks.
The Zixtro Wing Case is a great case whether you are a mountain or road biker. At $19, this case is priced accordingly and won’t break your wallet. I would like to see an additional pocket for the top section of the case so as to be able to store your ID or cards, thereby separating your “wallet” items from your “bike” items.
Photographer Justin Olsen wanted a better way to take high quality MTB images, so he rigged up a chest mount for his DSLR.
I can’t really imagine riding around with full sized DSLR strapped to my chest – but Justin is getting some pretty cool shots.
If I could read the website (or be bothered to use Google tranlate) I might learn that this is, in fact, a joke. I think I’m better off not knowing.
I seem to be on a visibility kick, I know, but really I just happened to see this over at Swissmiss. It’s a good idea, I guess. Not nearly as ugly as some of the hi-vis yellow clothing I see out on the road. But it seems you could just make one yourself and save $80.
It’s dark at 6:00 am (and cold, but that’s a different story). The darkness (and the cold) has thinned out the already svelte bike commuting crowd. Of the bike commuters left, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who refuses to wear a neon yellow top. I have my reasons.
And, I’m not even sure hi-vis jackets and vests work all that much better than other visibility solutions. There doesn’t seem to be much out on the interwebs linking blindingly yellow clothing to cycling safety, “there seems to be even less research on the effectiveness of high-visibility clothing for the bicyclist than for the motorcyclist.”
Much of the clothing I wear is black or gray but also has built in sections of reflecting fabric making me, at least somewhat, visible in the dark. But, more than that, the flashing white headlamp and the red taillight I ride with in low light should do more to make me visible than even the brightest yellow (and unlike reflective clothing, my lights don’t rely on others having their lights on).
Many cyclists out there probably look at my refusal to wear hi-vis clothing and think it’s foolish (much the same way I look at people who eschew helmets). In fact, one thing “research” turned up was a high number of websites suggesting, with no data to support the claim, that wearing hi-vis clothing is a must. Some may even feel that Hi-Vis clothing is the most stylish and fashionable trend in cycling since spider helmet covers. Which helps explain the guy I saw this morning in a bright yellow jacket without any lights on his bike.
I’m not convinced on either count.
High-end British cycling clothier Rapha has expanded its collection for 2011 with several cold-weather items, including the Pro Team Jacket, which will be available at the end of October and the Hooded Top, new for November. Also launching this month is a new zip-through cardigan-style Track Top, which adds to the line of city cycling jerseys, jeans and tops which the company has been rolling out over the last 18 months.
The new Pro Team Jacket is a high-performance softshell made from the proprietary Polartec membrane, which is windproof and water-repellent while remaining breathable and lightweight. The rear panels are constructed of Super-Roubaix fabric, providing essential wicking performance and insulation for cold-weather riding. Of the striking new color, which is new to the Rapha range of classic, muted hues, the company claims:
Scientific research shows the Chartreuse colourway offers exceptional visibility in low light. Though not technically fluorescent, studies have found that the rods in the retina – the part of the eye that work best in low light – are particularly receptive to the yellow/green color. As a result, chartreuse is increasingly used around the world for emergency vehicles.
The jacket – which is also available in black – features reflective side and rear trim, and the iconic Rapha armband is also reflective. It will be available late-October from the company website and will cost $275.
The Hooded Top is a clever mix of Merino for warmth, plus windproof panels to improve insulation. A close-fitting hood adds a contemporary edge to the top, and front and rear pockets add versatility. The Hooded Top will be available mid-November, and will sell for $195.
The Track Top is a characteristically low-key, elegant cardigan with a full-length zipper and subtle styling. Intended for wearing as a removable outer-layer in cool weather, the Track Top is constructed of 100% Merino wool, and is knitted – not stitched – together. It comes in charcoal gray or burgundy, and will sell for $165.
Already available, but new to the Rapha range, the Merino Roll Neck is a lightweight but high-performance woolen cycling jersey in the style of the classic jerseys worn by pro-riders in the early years of the 20th Century. Close-fitting, with a tall roll-neck and chest-level striping, the stylish jersey is available in one color – the popular Rapha black.
Rapha was recently named one of the fastest-growing UK companies by the Sunday Times in Britain. The company was founded in 2004, and has steadily built up a devoted following among cyclists in Europe and the US by offering low-key, classically-styled clothing of high-quality. A office in Portland, Oregon oversees the US market, which is increasingly receptive to the Rapha brand of old-school English tailoring. The company also sells high-performance waterproofs, shorts, accessories and a range of cosmetics and luggage.