BikeCommuters.com

Author Archive: The Bike Geek

The bike geek is a dude that enjoys all sorts of bicycle riding. He has been a bike commuter, Mountain bike racer and recreational roadie. He has an affinity for gadgets, software and data, lots of data!

Review: Leg Shield’s Reflective ankle and wrist bands

Hello Bike Commuters and fellow night riders! The fine fellows from Leg Shield sent us their ankle and wrist bands to review. If you are familiar with this site and with my “modus operandi” you will certainly know that I love safety products and I really love stuff that makes me visible. I like reflective stuff so much that I plastered my Giant Expressway with reflective stickers!

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Needless to say, I jumped at the chance of reviewing Leg Shield’s reflective ankles and wrist bands. Let me start with saying that I am very impressed with the quality of the bands. These bands are made out neoprene fabric (the same stuff that wetsuits are made out of) with a very large reflective area. The ankle bands are 13.5 inches long by 1.9 inches wide and the wrist bands are 11 inches long by 1.9 inches wide. Both the wristbands and anklebands were wide enough to accommodate my rather average size wrists and ankles.

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Most of my night riding happens to be offroad so I am happy to report that the bands never fell off even when riding on rough terrain. As you can see from the pictures, the bands are super reflective.

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To be honest with you, I rarely ride to work with pants on, it is just not my style but do ride my bike to the post office, local burger joint or the liquor store with pants on. Check out how well the ankle bands wrapped around my pant leg preventing it from touching the chain.

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So how much of this reflective goodness will set you back? Both the wristbands and the anklebands sell for $10.95 per pair at Amazon.com. Now, I know they are more expensive than your typical reflective plastic band, but let me tell you that there is really no comparison in comfort and reflective area. I have lost at least 5 of the cheap reflective bands in less than 10 rides.

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Are these perfect? Well, no. The only drawback is that they are not visible during the day but you can still use them to guard your pant legs from the chain.

For more information check out Leg Shield’s site at http://www.bikelegstrap.com/

The Floyd’s of Leadville experience

Welcome back Bike Commuters! Today’s post is not really a review but more of what I experienced using Floyd’s of Leadville’s CBD Oil capsules. Before I actually get into the experience, I have a disclaimer and some background on why I decided to try this product.

First of all, I actually bought this product from Glory Cycles and I am in no way being compensated by writing this post. In fact, at over $60 per bottle, this stuff is pricey! There are plenty of options for CBD oil and some are actually cheaper, so why did I go with Floyd’s of Leadville? Good marketing of course! Think about it, this product is being pushed to cyclists by a cyclist who knows about drugs and who helped catch the biggest doper in cycling history!

Why CBD oil? Well, I happen to have a form of arthritis called Ankylosing spondylitis and years of taking NSAIDs (Aleve) created a hole in my stomach and now I am not allowed to take them. I still suffer from joint pain in my wrists and ankles so needless to say, the idea of having an “organic” anti-inflammatory really caught my eye.

So does it work? I’ve been taking one 25mg capsule daily, and yes, it works. Here is what I can equate the experience to: You have joint pain and your doctor prescribed an opiate such Vicodin since you can’t take NSAIDs, so you pop one in and then you feel the pain to start to fade away and feel warm and fuzzy inside. That is exactly how it feels after I take a capsule of CBD oil. The issue that I have with Vicodin is that it can make me queasy and then it wires me up leading to the equivalent of bonking out. None of this happens with CBD oil.

You may ask why not just do the “real” thing since it is now fully legal in California. Well, it may be legal but my employer still considers it as a drug so if I happen to be sent for a drug test, I will be dismissed from my job.

Since I can’t really guarantee that my experience will be the same for others, I can only share it and you can make your own decision. If you happen to be a CBD oil user and can recommend another reputable seller, by all means share it with us.

V brake conversion and Travel agent installation.

Hello Bike commuters and fellow DIY bike mechanics! Yes, as much as I like my local bike shop, there are some repairs or upgrades that I am able to do myself. My Spicer CX had one weakness; its cantilever brakes. Even though I replaced them with new Avid Shortys, I still was not comfortable with their stopping power on a steep downhill.

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So what did I do? Well, I went with V brakes instead. The process of installing V-brakes was pretty straight forward; the only issue I ran into was that I needed to replace the cable housing so it can run all the way to the brake noodle.

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But there was a problem with my conversion; the brake levers from my Spicer CX are designed for short pull brakes and the V brakes that I installed are long pull brakes. I figured that I could get away with it by adjusting the tension on the brakes and having the pads really close to the rim. Well, I was wrong. The rear brake is OK, but the front brake was not grabbing.

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I did what every respectable DIY mechanic would do: “I Googled it”. So Google came up with a little gadget called “Travel Agent” by Problem Solvers and since I had a problem to solve (pun intended) I ordered one of this shindigs online. Mind you, the travel agent was not cheap but braking is sort of important after all.

Installing the travel agent was pretty straight forward thanks to the video and the right tools. If you happen to work a lot on your bikes, I highly recommend the Park Tools Cable and housing cutter.

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I did a quick test ride around the block and man, the travel agent works as advertised! I have now plenty of stopping power on my front brakes! In case you are wondering why I am making these changes to my bike, well, that is because I am training for the Strada Rossa V ride this coming March. More on that later on.

Deals for January 2018

Hello everyone, although BikeCommuters.com operates on a shoe string, we still have to pay hosting fees so we have become an Amazon.com affiliate and as a Prime member we will be sharing deals in a monthly basis. Please share if you find something cheaper or if something is not quite a good deal by leaving us a comment and don’t forget to white list us if you have an ad blocker.

Here is some of the stuff currently on my “wish list” and stuff that I bought:

I have 4 bikes and my Garmin 520 only came with 3 mounts so here is a deal for a Garmin Bike mount:

I have an affinity for bicycle bells and the Knog Oi has an interesting shape and sound, I may pull the trigger and buy one of these soon:

I recently bought these Kenda Kwest tires for my folding bike. These are really hard to find at bike shops but here they are if you need them:

I bought these leg warmers for the wife and she absolutely loves them:

If your bike does not have quick releases, this Lezyne wrench is small enough to carry on your seat bag:

So support BikeCommuters.com by just clicking or buying one of these items, we really appreciate it!

Every cyclist safer

Greetings fellow riders! Today’s post is all about helping out less fortunate cyclists and try to make them safer. If you follow us on Facebook, we shared a video from “Goat Rides Bikes” explaining how he gives back to his community and makes cyclists safer by simply giving out a tail light and the “Smart Cycling Quick Guide” from The Bike League of American Cyclists. Here is the video in case you don’t do Facebook:

I really admire this person for spending money and taking his time to talk to less fortunate riders. A few years ago, the BikeCommuters.com and MtnBikeRiders.com crews used to go to downtown Santa Ana and we used so setup a “mobile bike repair shop”. We used to repair and clean a lot of bikes from the local homeless population, the majority of those bikes lacked brakes let alone having blinkies. We stopped going to Santa Ana because a Non profit community bicycle center known as The Bicycle Tree opened which helped a lot of these riders by helping riders fix their own bikes.

We have also seen a few “Firefly” operations setup by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, if you are not familiar with firefly operations, volunteers setup at different intersections and give away free rear and front blinkies to those who need them.

We also shared a “Rules of the Road Legal Clinic” event on our Facebook page hosted by “The Street Trust“. This a free intensive clinic concerning Oregon bicycle and pedestrian laws, insurance information, and what to do if you’re in a crash.

Here is another resource about safe cycling: its a Guide to Cycling Safety by Bikemunk.com

So how can you help? The easiest way is to either volunteer your time or donate to your local bicycle advocacy group or Co Op.