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!

Ravemen PR600 Review

Hello Bike Commuters and fellow night riders! Dark afternoons have descended upon us so it is time for us to start using our lights for us to see AND to be seen. It is unbelievable how many cyclists are riding in the dark with no lights, no reflectors and dark clothing! There is no excuse for riders to be riding in the dark, lights have become more compact, more powerful and more affordable.

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A great example is the Ravemen PR600 rechargeable light which sells for about $55.00 in Amazon. Ravemen sent us this light for us to test during our dark commutes mainly because of its DuaLens design which features a low and high beams. In my opinion, the low beam is one of the greatest features of this light. The “low” beam’s output is a generous 400 lumens and it is quite wide.

This picture shows the Ravemen’s wide beam:

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This picture shows a NiteRider’s beam:

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The wide beam is perfect for bike commuting; powerful enough to see the road yet it will not blind incoming vehicles or pedestrians. Need more power??? Enter the high beam which can be used in conjunction with the low beam and it produces 600 lumens of light:

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Yeah, this thing is powerful. In fact, I decided to test the light in a mountain bike ride to test it in total darkness and to test if the light would handle all of the bumps of a dirt trail. The light did great, it did not slip, flicker or died. Using the low beam and high beam was great while riding single track, the wide beam allowed me to see better on tight corners and the high beam let me see way ahead. There was one drawback with using both beams at full 600 lumens; the battery only lasted about an hour:

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Another cool feature of the Ravemen PR600 is the “remote button”. I thought it was kind of gimmicky but once I started using it I totally loved it. The button allows you to keep your hand on the grip and change modes without having to mess with the button on top of the light.

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The last feature that I also really liked was the pulsating mode. The Ravemen PR600’s wide beam pulsates so you can ride during daylight and be seen by traffic and pedestrians.

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So in summary, here are the Pros of this light:

The light is a good deal for bike commuting at $54.95
The Wide beam is excellent for bike commuting and riding singletrack
Remote button allows you to maintain your hand on the grips
Pulsating mode for riding during the day.

No product is perfect so here are the cons of this light:

Battery only lasted one hour running at full blast
Light is a little on the heavy side if you are a weight weenie
The light mount is “old school” so it takes time to remove and install on another bike
The darn nut from the mount is easy to misplace

Overall, the Ravemen PR600 is great for bike commuting and I would definitely recommend it.

For more information, please visit www.ravemen.com. To purchase this light in Amazon.com for $54.95, click here.

Disclaimer: Ravemen sent us this light to review at no charge because they felt that this product would benefit bike commuters. We were not compensated to write this review.

My multi-modal commute just got easier

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Hello Bike Commuters and fellow folding bike riders! I finally had the chance to ride the Giant Expressway folding bike to work and I am happy to report that my train-bike commute got easier and more convenient. I love the fact that I can fold the bike, stash it inside my sedan’s trunk, park inside the covered parking lot and be ready to ride to the train station in seconds.

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Another HUGE plus is that I get to sit next to my folded bicycle, no need to use the crowded bike racks and play the “train stop dance”, if you ride the Metrolink, you know what I mean.

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The bike also takes less space at the office, in fact, I get to park the bike in my cubicle right behind me.

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However, riding a small bike also has its negatives such as the never ending teasing that I get: Clown bike, little people bike, Junior bike, kid bike, etc. It’s OK, bike commuters always get teased anyways. I also have to get used to the bike’s performance, or lack of thereof, max speed on this bike is about 15 mph so I have to pace myself so I won’t sweat too much on my way to the office.

Overall, I am really happy with my purchase but I am already thinking of ways to make the folding bike go faster 🙂

Another commuter bike? Of course!

Hello Bike Commuters and multi-modal commuters! Yes, another commuter bike! As much as I really like my Spicer Cycles CX as a commuter bike, there are times that the bicycle rack in the train gets full and it sucks when you have to either stand up for the length of the ride and block the walkway. The solution? A folding bike!

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I posted a picture of it on the BikeCommuters.com’s Instagram and Facebook feed but in case you missed it, the bike is a Giant Expressway 2 that I bought from my favorite peer-to-peer flea market (Craigslist).

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The bike was in good condition but it needed a good cleaning and new tires. I ordered the tires from my other favorite online marketplace since my LBS did not carry them and they had to order them too.

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I really like this bike, it is aluminum so it is not as heavy and it features a 7 speed drivetrain and 100 psi tires. One thing that sort of bother me was that the bike is all black, that is good for stealth purposes but with the time change coming I ended up adding some reflective accents to the bike.

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I also added the red ESI Grips and a red bottle water holder just for looks, not bad eh? And for safety, I opted for the Portland Design Danger Zone tail light. I am hoping to ride to work on Thursday so stay tuned for my “little bike” commuting experience.

Cycling helped my marriage

Hello fellow bike riders! Yeah, it has been a long time since I’ve posted but sadly I have not had a chance to ride my bike to work lately but that should change soon.

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I know that my the title of my post sounds like a cliche but I’m my case it is actually true. I’ve posted in the past that my wife did not know how to ride a bike and that still remains true today. But she does not care because of our Bike Friday Family tandem.

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Interestingly, her love for riding is all thanks to our love of eating. Riding our tandem to different breakfast spots in the weekend is something that we both thoroughly enjoy doing and it was something that she could not relate to when I was out riding with my buddies.

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Riding our tandem to the beach is quite relaxing for both of us. We ride the San Gabriel River Trail so we don’t have to deal with traffic nor have to fight or pay for parking. Besides riding to our usual breakfast joints, we have ventured to ride to other places where I really hate to drive to.

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So how has it helped my marriage? Both my wife and I look forward to our weekend rides and the fact that she enjoys something that I’ve done for over 10 years also brings me lots of joy. We also enjoy shopping for cycling stuff together, I no longer have to justify my purchases since she is also hooked! So what I am trying to say is that my wife and I spend quality time together and all thanks to riding a bike.

The last Awnry Bike

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Last November I had the idea of fulfilling a dream of mine and having my own line of bikes so I created “Awnry Bikes” from a gag that we posted years ago. Well, I have finally sold the last Awnry bike from my first experimental batch and here is what I learned:

The market on fixed geared bikes is fierce. Companies such as State, SKU and Purefix have decent offerings at reasonable prices so the prices on my bikes had to be lower in order to compete with them.

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I was trying to market my bikes to bike commuters by offering an inexpensive method of transportation, however, most of my buyers were young people who were going to use the bikes “just to ride” and to ride with friends. Nobody was going to use the bikes as a commuter bike. So I changed a few things by offering Awnry bikes for more “hip” appeal such as adding colored handlebars, grips and chains.

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I learned that Pink was not a big seller and also the “raw” finished was not appealing to most buyers. So what kind of bikes sold? Plain bikes:

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Yup, plain bikes with no brakes, no reflective stickers and drop bars. So what is the future of Awnry Bikes? Well, it is going dormant for now, maybe when gasoline goes back to $5 per gallon commuter bikes will be appealing again and Awnry Bikes will be re-born.