BikeCommuters.com

Accessories

Insulated water bottles, are they worth it?

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My wife dragged my ass to a big box store and as I always do, I hit up the bicycle section to see what kind of crap they sell. Well, this time an insulated water bottle caught my attention and for about 8 bucks I said why not. So then it occurred to me to do this extremely unscientific test to see if the bottle actually works:

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I grabbed 20 ice cubes (chips?) from my fridge and placed 10 in the insulated bottle and 10 on a non-insulated bottle, I then proceeded to fill both bottles with water and placed them outside in 80 degree heat.

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It took 40 minutes for the ice to melt in the non-insulated bottle, I also checked the insulated bottle and it still had plenty of ice left.

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The ice lasted 18 minutes longer in the insulated bottle and it kept the water cool another 20 minutes, not bad! There is one drawback though; if you notice, the insulated bottle is significantly bigger than the non-insulated bottle yet they both hold the same amount of water.

A damp commute

Greetings fellow bike commuters and super bike commuters! You are considered a super commuter in my book if you ride five days a week rain or shine. Well, I am not a super commuter by any stretch BUT I did try commuting on the rain this past week.

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You may remember that Sealskinz sent me some products for me to ride while is raining so I went ahead and grabbed my trusty Spicer Cycles CX and slapped some “fenders” and headed off to work.

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Although the meteorologists predicted about a half inch of rain, my morning commute to work was just cloudy and breezy but no rain.

Rain came and went throughout the day and when it was time go home it was just drizzling. Armed with my Sealskinz gloves, helmet cover and rain socks I headed to the train station. So how did the Sealskinz gear do?

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Sealskinz waterproof helmet cover: The cover fit perfectly over my Cannondale helmet and it kept my noggin dry the entire time. The LED lights were visible on my cloudy commute.

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Sealskinz All weather Gloves: My hands were dry and toasty during my ride. The gloves grabbed really well and did not slip from the hoods or brakes. I also love the bright color and the reflective accents, my co-workers were teasing me on how bright they were.

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Sealskinz waterproof socks: OK, so when I first grabbed the socks they felt weird. The socks felt stiff and had a rubbery feeling to them. I was really concerned that my feet were going to sweat and chafe as well. To my surprise, the socks breathed well and they were really comfortable and kept my feet warm and dry.

I was not able to use the Sealskinz shoe covers because my DZR Minna shoes were a little to big for them but the covers fit perfectly on my road shoes.

So how was the ride? Riding with the right gear makes a huge difference. All of my previous rides on the rain sucked because I was not expecting for it to rain and I was not prepared at all. If I had something to complain about was the visibility because my sunglasses would get wet and it would be hard to see at times. Does any one have a trick for this?

Again, big thanks to Sealskinz for the rain gear, check out their site at https://www.sealskinz.com/US/bike for more information and for more of their waterproof stuff.

Let it Rain! Sealskinz has me covered.

Hello bike commuters and fellow rain dancers! If you follow these weekly (ish) posts you probably know that I am a fair weather bike commuter. Yes, being a Southern Californian I am not prepared for rainy weather so I just avoid it.

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Well, the fine fellows from Sealskinz thought that I should stop my whining and send me some nice rain gear to test during rainy days. The problem is that it has been over 80 degrees everyday since I got the items so I have not been able to ride with the gear they sent me. Here is the stuff that they sent, I may add that all the products seem to be well made and I can’t wait for a rainy day!

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Starting from my head, I got the Halo Waterproof Helmet Cover. The cover features reflective print as well as integrated LEDs in the back of the helmet.

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For my hands, the All Weather Cycle Gloves in Hi Vis yellow should keep them dry and cozy.

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Having cold and wet feet really sucks, so I got the Road Thin Mid Socks. These socks are supposed to be waterproof and warm.

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I Doubled down on keeping my feet dry and warm so I also got the Lightweight Halo Overshoe covers. These cool covers feature a powerful LED built into the rear.

So I guess I don’t have any excuses anymore since Sealskinz has me covered from head to toes! I will report back on how the items performed in the rain.

BikeCommuters.com 2016 Holiday gift guide part 1

It seems like everyone is so excited about Christmas that stores were already flooded with trees, ornament and sales…. lots of Christmas Sales… Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? Oh, yeah, it is now called “Black Friday Eve”.

We have decided to bring back our holiday gift guide this year to help you write your yearly list to Santa Claus. Here is part one:

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Jerseys: We actually liked jerseys that were not commuter specific such as Tek Gear’s DryTek jerseys which could be found at department stores for less than $12. If you are looking for a bike commuter specific jersey, we liked CHCB wool jerseys which sell for about $30 at Performance Bike or Amazon.

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Shorts: My new favorite shorts are the Showers Pass Gravel shorts; not too baggy, not too tight, cool reflective accents. We also liked the Serfas Decline shorts and if you must use roadie shorts; we recommend Sugoi Men’s Evolution Shorts

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Shoes: It is no secret that DZR shoes have been our favorite bicycle commuting shoes. We got to review the DZR Minna shoes this year and they did not disappoint. Before the DZR shoes arrived, I was wearing Pearl Izumi Men’s X-ALP Seek VI BL Cycling Shoes. The X-alp are stiffer but they didn’t quite fit with my office attire.

Jackets/Vests: I usually ride with vests and arm warmers on cool days; the Solo Equipe Cycling Gilet vest is my choice of vest. The material is thick and it has plenty of reflective material for those night rides. I don’t really ride in the rain, but I have heard good things about the Showers Pass Hi-Vis Torch Jacket, this thing has lights!

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Gadgets: You know I love my gadgets and the Garmin vívoactive watch tops my list. The watch is a pedometer, cyclocomputer and a smart watch which met all of my cycling needs and more. I you don’t want to spend over $100, we recommend the Moov Now 3D.

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If you are one of those riders who like your smartphone in front of you and on your handlebars, we really liked the Quad Lock mounting system. The mount is very versatile and secure, your phone will not go out flying unless you eat it hard.

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Panniers/Backpacks: I like riding with panniers because backpacks will make my back sweat. But there are times that you need to ride with a backpack, like the time I was riding offroad on my Spicer Cycles Cyclocross bike. Our friends at 2 wheel gear came out with a brilliant product: the Pannier Backpack convertible. This pannier converts into a backpack in seconds and vice-versa, perfect for train-bike commuting. 2 Wheel Gear also sells the garment pannier which is big enough to carry your suit and ties without having the need to iron your stuff when you get to work. An honorable mention goes to the North St. Morrison Backpack pannier, we have not tried this bag but it is proudly made in the USA.

We will be posting part 2 on Wednesday (Black Friday Eve’s eve), stay tuned for part 2!

Garmin Vivoactive review

Hello Bike commuters, roadies, mountain bikers and anyone who found this post via Google. I hope you all had a great labor day weekend, I know I did.

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A little while ago I wrote a post about fitness bands but even though I found the Moov to be the most adequate for cycling, it was not fulfilling all of my cycling and hiking needs. A few friends recommended the Garmin Vivofit Active so I bit the bullet and I plunked $179 for one.

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So what made me spend more than twice than what a fitness bands costs? The Garmin Vivoactive’s features:

-Utra-thin GPS smartwatch with a sunlight-readable, high-resolution color touchscreen.
-Built-in sports apps, including GPS-enabled running, biking and golfing plus swimming and activity tracking¹, let you view your stats even when away from your phone.
-Pairs with your smartphone to gently vibrate and display alerts for incoming calls, texts, emails and calendar items plus notifications from social media and other mobile apps.
-Customizable with free watch face designs, widgets and apps.
-Fast Battery charge lasts through all your activities with up to 3 weeks6 in watch/activity tracking mode or up to 10 hours using GPS
-Easily sends all your ride stats to Strava once your activity has been completed saving your smartphone’s battery.
-Keeps track of your indoor activities such as indoor cycling and running

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I also like Garmin’s app; the amount of data that I can have at my fingertips is quite a bit and I love data:

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I also opted for the heart rate monitor and the handlebar mount:
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Is there anything that I did not like about the Garmin Vivoactive? Yes, it is hard to see indoors unless you use the backlight and some of the faces have very small letters that make it impossible to read if you need reading glasses.

Overall, I do recommend the Garmin Vivoactive for cycling and hiking. I know that there is a newer version that eliminates the use of the HR strap but you will have to shell out $70 to $100 more.