More Product Reviews Coming Soon

We’ve got a slew of new products that we’re in the midst of testing. Here are a few I’m working on:

Pedro’s Tools
Pedro’s sent us a pair of tools to test…the Vice Whip and the Trixie. The Vice Whip is a clever device intended to replace the pesky and cumbersome chain whip used to remove cassettes and some freewheels. According to the packaging, this tool was designed by none other than legendary mechanic and VeloNews technical correspondent Lennard Zinn.

vice whip

The other tool is “Trixie” — a multitool aimed squarely at the fixed-gear/singlespeed rider. Combining a 15mm axle nut wrench, a lockring spanner, a 5mm hex key, a graduated slot for metric nuts and the mandatory bottle opener, this tool is really all one might need for some quick on-the-road repairs or a fast gear change.

trixie

Bike Glow
This lighting device has gotten some traffic on other cycling blogs, and we were lucky enough to score a sample for review. Based on electroluminescent (“EL”) wire, the Bike Glow kit adds much-needed side visibility to the bike (or rider) for nighttime commutes.

bike glow

IT Clips
These clever little devices from the folks at IT Clips let you put your old inner tubes (and who doesn’t have a pile of these laying around?) back into use by converting them into custom-length bungee cords OR tiedown straps. The versatile IT clip’s design serves as both and comes with steel hooks to facilitate this. Folks who ride cargo bikes or who routinely carry a load on their regular bicycles should find these incredibly useful for strapping down some goodies for the trip home.

IT clip
(sorry about the shaky photo…I drank too much coffee that morning!)

Stay tuned for reviews of these items (and a few more) within the next couple of weeks…


19 Comments

  1. Tinker February 24, 2009 12:21 am 

    I prefer ROK Straps to ordinary bungees and to recycled tubes. The classic style shorter ones work fine both on a motorcycle rack or a bicycle rack (or both). (12″, 18″, 24″ one piece 3/4 inch wide.)

    ROK straps fit the smaller framing tubes on bikes quite well, and motorcycle racks use nearly the same tubing as bikes. Avoid the larger, longer adjustable ones as they have no reliable method of shortening the strap. (The two piece, 1 inch wide straps, 5 foot long models tend to whip loose in the breeze, and get caught in the chain.)

  2. Chip Haynes February 24, 2009 5:42 am 

    I cut my old unusable tubes into long strips (after saving the valve core) and use them as handlebar tape. Works like a charm.

  3. Kermit February 24, 2009 8:45 am 

    Some tubes can be recycled. You can get your local shop to start recycling by having them contact alchemygoods (see link below). They will save certain tubes and when they get a box full that is a certain weight the company pays shipping to have the tubes sent to them, they then recycle them into cool stuff. See the link below for info, and products.

    http://alchemygoods.com/recycle_tube.html

    Not ALL tubes can be recycled, so the clips could be used on the sizes that alchemy can not recycle.

    FYI – All the bike shops in Memphis, TN do this it only took an e-mail to the owner of each shop to get them on board.

  4. Ghost Rider February 24, 2009 9:09 am 

    Kermit, that reminds me: my wife just bought me an Alchemy Goods recycled belt to go with my Steel Toe Studios “Supercog” recycled belt buckle…even the Alchemy Goods business “cards” are made from recycled innertubes!!!

    Lots of good uses for old innertubes out there…I really like that someone made some stout clips to convert them to useable bungee/tiedown cords, though.

  5. Anna February 24, 2009 11:13 am 

    hummm…looks like the trixie is exactly what i need…damn

  6. meligrosa February 24, 2009 11:26 am 

    I typically patch mine and keep them as backups, or donate them to the bike kitchen occasionally.
    Those IT clips seem pretty handy though. Considering gettin some soon

    @kermit: I love alchemy goods!! :)

  7. Ghost Rider February 24, 2009 12:53 pm 

    @Anna…I read your little road-side repair saga, and Trixie would have DEFINITELY come in handy (you’ll still need a tire lever or two)!

    @Meli — I’ve got lots of patched or to-be-patched tubes waiting in the wings as backups…and I make rubber bands, chainslap guards, waterproof sleeves, shims and a whole bunch of other stuff with the ones too far gone. I should start donating the excess to Alchemy Goods!

  8. Raiyn February 24, 2009 3:11 pm 

    Great, Now I’m torn between getting my girlfriend a peanut butter wrench or “Trixie”.

  9. Ghost Rider February 24, 2009 4:08 pm 

    Get both…nothing says love like a handful of tools!

    Of course, Trixie is a lot more versatile. Can’t open a beer with a regular axle nut wrench…

    Just make sure your peanut butter wrench is the genuine article…none of that substandard Sugino action 😉

  10. Mike Myers February 24, 2009 5:34 pm 

    I have no old tubes laying around—-because I’ve never had a flat. Ever. I’ve been cycling for 23 years and never a flat. Amazing.

  11. Ghost Rider February 24, 2009 5:36 pm 

    Mike…you DO realize you’ve jinxed yourself, right?

  12. Russ Roca February 24, 2009 5:50 pm 

    hmmm….that vise grip thingy looks interesting….beats bringing a chainwhip on tour…now the question is, how big/heavy is it?

  13. Ghost Rider February 24, 2009 6:15 pm 

    Russ…it’s heavier than a chainwhip. It is pretty much the same size and weight as a full size “Vice Grip” wrench.

    You don’t have a Hypercracker that you bring on tour? That’s about the lightest thing you can find to remove cassettes…too bad they’re not made anymore.

  14. Mike Myers February 24, 2009 7:09 pm 

    GR—nah, I’ve bragged about never having a flat since I went five years without. I’m just blessed. Well, and I use tough tires, ride good roads, and change my tires when they get worn.

    I still carry a tube and pump. I can’t imagine wanting to patch a tube on the side of the road. Swapping for a new tube is much easier—and yes, I know how to change a tube. I’ve done it a bunch, changing tires and stuff. I’ve just never HAD to do it. LOL

  15. Chip Haynes February 25, 2009 6:51 am 

    Ok, so if you like Trixie (and who wouldn’t?), you might also want to checkout Surly’s Jethro Tule.

  16. Raiyn February 25, 2009 1:31 pm 

    @ Ghost
    I’ve got a shop nearby that has the Campys so I’m good.

  17. Ghost Rider February 25, 2009 1:41 pm 

    @Raiyn…you live in the Tampa Bay area, right…which shop(s) do you use?

  18. Guy February 25, 2009 3:47 pm 

    I patch my tubes and use them until they can’t be used. I have though about alternative use after their useful life but not as a strap.

  19. Raiyn February 27, 2009 11:24 pm 

    @ Ghost
    I generally stick to the smaller St. Pete shops excluding ABC. Some self assured shop rat there tried to feed me some BS about Kryptonite and Master Lock being the same company. Given my experiences between the two it was best that I spun on my heel and left before it got ugly.

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