BikeCommuters.com

Gear

I’ve Been Slimed!

The folks from Slime recently sent some products for us to try — a “care package”, if you will, of goodies to keep us safe on the road.

I got a selection of pre-filled tubes to try out, a bottle of Slime Sealant and a nifty digital tire gauge.

Tubes

The tubes went in without a hitch — and they’re pre-filled with that lovely green goop, so there is no mess to speak of. I installed these tubes on my dedicated commuter bike which runs 26″ x 1.25″ slicks. Although I haven’t intentionally ridden over anything to test the puncture resistance (and subsequent sealing) properties of the tubes, I do go through some rough areas where there is a lot of broken glass and bits of metal in the road, and I haven’t gotten a flat yet!

I also got a bottle of Slime tube sealant — enough to fill two fat 26″ MTB tubes. I treated my “Bike Snob Disapproved” Patriot MTB to this treatment, since I depend on this bike to get my son to school on time.

Sealant

Getting the Slime sealant into the tubes was fairly easy — the sealant packaging even comes with a valve core remover! I did have a problem once I got the valve cores back in, though. I discovered that the cores “goop up” and prevent the tire from reinflating unless they are cleaned. To prevent this from happening, clean the inside of the rubber valve with a cotton swab before you reinsert the valve core. Luckily, I have a drawer at home full of punctured tubes waiting to be patched, so I just salvaged clean cores from a couple of them and was on my way in no time.

Again, I haven’t intentionally tried to pop one of these self-treated tubes either…but I just might one of the these days to see how the Slime works! I have noticed, though, that on these and the pre-filled tubes that I don’t have to add air to my tires as often, and I have also noticed that there is no difference in “feel” as the tires roll along the ground. I was expecting some wobbling or something, but apparently the Slime coats the tube evenly with no puddling. It pays to ride around the block a couple times just after you fill your tubes to help distribute the goop around the inside of the tubes.

Finally, I have used the digital tire gauge a few times — the tip and digital display light up for nighttime pressure checks! The gauge appears fairly accurate…the readings match both my tire pump gauge and a traditional “sliding stick” tire gauge. The Slime gauge fits nicely in my hand and has a rubbery gripping surface. Best of all, it has an auto shutoff feature so I don’t burn through the batteries!

gauge

These products are certainly worth a try, even for added peace of mind. I’ll report back in a few weeks after I devise some terrifying ways of really testing the puncture-sealing abilities of these products! Back to the Bikecommuters.com Secret Laboratory — surely there’s a box of thumbtacks in there that I could sprinkle on the street?

secret lab

Riding on the moon

I’m the kind of person that will try most things at least once. When the fine people from Moonsaddle ask me if I wanted to test one of their Moonsaddles, I quickly agreed.

Moonsaddle

I installed the Moonsaddle on my trusty steed, the DiamondBack Transporter. Yeah, it looks funky but how does it feel?

I hooked my Co-Pilot trailer and took my girls for a ride around my neighborhood. When I first sat on the saddle, something was missing…. there was nothing pushing against my family jewels! We rode for about 3 miles and I quickly adjusted to the saddle, comfortable? so far, so good.

I’m going to put some miles on this saddle, so stay tuned for my full review and recommendation.

Hey Cowboy!

With the passing of our dog Chuy, our house felt very quiet and empty. So we started looking around for the right dog to add on to our family tree. We went to the pound a few times, called on a few ads from Craigslist. Then this little guy caught our attention. We quickly adopted him and brought him home.

Cowboy has been great with the kids and has adjusted pretty well. One of the things I wanted to see was how he would do on a bike ride. So I got an old basket out, placed it in the Big Red Bike, which I now call Clifford, and put Cowboy inside.

He was pretty relaxed the whole time and didn’t even try to jump out.

I then took Breanna and Cowboy on a ride around the cul-de-sac to see how he’d do on the street. Just look at him, he’s enjoying it.

Alternatives to the Safety Flag

A few weeks back, we posted a review of a safety flag…and while the device worked well, a number of our readers commented that it might be too dorky or ineffective for their uses.

The safety flag in question:
D-Tour safety flag

Those comments got us thinking: what could be some good alternatives to this flag? We came up with a couple novel ideas that we wanted to share. Let’s head to the Bikecommuters.com Secret Laboratory, located in the hooker-infested wastelands of central Tampa, to see what we came up with!

The secret lab

Mad scientist and all-around great guy Noah came up with our first alternative. It is still a flag, but we GUARANTEE that this will draw far more attention than some puny, fluorescent flag — here it is:
Noah's pirate flag
This flag creates a tremendous racket when flown — the flag flaps in the breeze, the pole clanks and rattles. It sounds, well, like a pirate ship! We’ve found that this flag is most effective if some verbal invective is used simultaneously…you know, “Avast, ye scallywags, give me some space or I’ll SWAB THE DECK with ya!!!”

Our next alternative was created just after Florida passed their “step in the right direction, but unenforced” 3-foot passing rule. This alternative provides both a visual passing distance indicator as well as a text-based indicator. Here it is:

Friendly side

Had a rough day and don’t feel so charitable? Well, this alternative is reversible…just unscrew the two bolts and flip this badboy over to let motorists know how you REALLY feel:
Not so friendly

There you have it — two alternatives that might make you feel a bit less dorky and keep you VERY visible to motorists. That’s how we roll at the Bikecommuters.com Secret Laboratory…coming up with great solutions to all your commuting problems!!!

Thanks to my homie, Terry, for allowing me to plunder his collection of yardsticks.