BikeCommuters.com

Commute

The struggling cyclist.

Before I explain where I am let me mention where I came from.
I was always an outsider to sports. I had the determination and heart but I never had the raw skill. In golf they use the term L.O.F.T. Google it . Baseball, football, soccer, whatever, I was not really very good. I came into cycling after an injury. It was meant to be rehab for my back. That lead to the idea of commuting. Well, what it would lead to  was an obsession. At my lowest point I was fighting multiple addictions and cycling was what kept me going the streight path. I began racing and riding daily. I would race for a few years for a few teams and even for myself (unattached) when I lacked the fitness to race for a team .

Fast forward 10 years, I’m now married, a father of 3, and I have a dog to boot. In many ways I have what I want. I still have the drive to go out and test myself when I’m riding but there are many weeks that I just can’t ride, some weeks I’m just too tired, and yet others I’m not willing to make the sacrifice to get a ride in.  The fire is still there but the time/motivation/will is at times lacking. I set goals but get confronted with realities. Sure I could ride Saturday but one son has practice and the other has a soccer game. Did I mention my two-year old? So my choices are 4am ride or no ride. I made my choice before I typed it.

I don’t think I’m alone in my position nor do I think I need a small violin playing “sad romance”. What I need is a spark, something to convince myself to ride when it’s difficult to get going . As it turned out that spark that made me want to ride was a ride. That and something I heard on a podcast, something about second degree fun. It’s fun, just not from the idea or start. Like a climb, not really fun as a idea but as you get to the top, you can look back at the climb as a good time. Albeit a miserable, painful, good time .

So what keeps you going? Do you ever need a break or time to miss riding? Are you the type of rider who just wishes they had more time to ride? Let me know as that’s one of my motivations (I love hearing about others passion to ride).

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!

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.