BikeCommuters.com

Accessories

Upcoming Product Reviews and Features

We’ve got a few new products to review from our crew’s recent trip to Sea Otter: a couple items from the good folks at Cycleaware including their “HotRod” MTB handlebar light —

Cycleaware HotRod

and their “Heads Up” eyeglass mirror —

Heads Up

In addition, we’ve got a really cool new pair of “Oasis” sunglasses to show off by Ryders Eyewear

ryders

and a voluminous messenger bag/laptop sleeve combo by the folks at Banjo Brothers

banjo brothers

Finally, in the next few days I will be posting the results of my long-term test of the Seattle Sports Fast Pack waterproof pannier. For right now, let me just say that this thing is bombproof. Also, I will be posting a “final thoughts” article on the Ergon BD-1 backpack that we’ve been testing.

So, stay tuned…lots of useful goodies and information coming your way!

G-Form Pads first impression

First of all, let’s get the mandatory ‘National Bike to Work Day’ Picture out of the way:

Now to the G-Form comfort pads. Let’s begin with addressing the hood pads – although I’m not built like Il Pirata, some of us like the aero position of our road bikes. So how did the hood pads perform? I like them. I found them very comfortable and they didn’t slip at all.

I didn’t need the saddle gel pads, but since they were part of the kit, I installed them on my saddle since I didn’t have anything to lose. How did they perform? I like them as well. They did add a little comfort to my derriere, specifically when I rode through bumpy rough terrain.

The shoe pads were a different story. I didn’t care for them. Although they were not uncomfortable, I had that sensation that they were not in the right place. Oh well.

Time will tell on the durability of the glue; I do share the same concern on how long they pads will stay stuck to the hoods and saddle.

Guest Article: Keen Commuter Sandal by Alan Barnard

Alan Barnard runs Recumbent Blog…really nice photos if I may add. He sent me his review that should get commuters’ attentions.

keen commuter

Cycling sandals have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason: they’re comfortable, light, convenient, and walkable. I’ve been wearing Shimano sandals for the past 18 months and I find them to be far more comfortable than traditional cycling shoes, both on the bike and walking about. As Sheldon Brown put it, “These are my very favorite footwear. In the summertime I go for weeks on end without ever having anything else on my feet. Far and away the most comfortable cycling footwear ever.“

I too love my Shimano sandals, but I always felt they’d be better with a closed toe box (a la Keen) to keep my toes a little warmer in the winter and provide some protection in the event of a crash. Consequently, I was excited when I caught wind that Keen was coming out with a “Shimano Killer�? cycling-specific sandal.

Called the Commuter, Keen’s new bike sandal features a full length SPD compatible plate, a thermoplastic urethane cleat tap plate, and an upper that is nearly identical to Keen’s ever-popular Newport H2. (The Newport H2 is half sandal, half trail running shoe, with open straps and a treaded sole similar to traditional sandals, but with an enclosed toe box for protection.) The Commuter goes a step beyond the Newport with a stiffer sole and more compact tread pattern to narrow the overall profile, resulting in greater crank clearance and a more positive pedal/shoe interface (don’t let the narrower outsole scare you; both sandals are built on the same men’s “D�? width last).

The narrower profile is key. My Brompton is outfitted with platform pedals (a necessity due to the nature of the little folding beast) and I found the Newport outsole to be far too wide, with crank interference on the inside and a feeling of tipping off the pedal to the outside. The Commuter, on the other hand, with its narrower profile and stiffer sole, perfectly mates with a standard width platform pedal. There’s also ample clearance with clipless pedals, even on low “Q�? cranks like I have on my Tour Easy (this was a bit of a problem with the Shimano sandal). So, whether you’re of the clipless persuasion or, as Grant Petersen puts it, you prefer to pedal “free�?, the Commuter is a good fit.

Even with an enclosed toe box, the Commuter feels more like a sandal than a shoe. It’s well ventilated and the upper is supple and easily adjustable using Keen’s unique “bungee cord�? lacing system. They can literally be slipped on and off in seconds while being plenty secure for road riding. You do pay a price for the Commuter’s cycling-specific features. Even though it’s not a bad sandal for short walks and even a bit of light (very light) hiking, the wider and more supple Newport is far better for long walks and more demanding conditions. That said, the Commuter is probably the most walkable cycling-specific shoe on the market.

The Commuter successfully combines the ease of use, comfort, and walkability of a sandal with the stiffness and toe protection of a cycling shoe. Because they’re built with the same high quality and attention to detail that is typical of all Keen products, they should provide many seasons of trouble-free use. And who knows, with their enclosed toe box, you might even be able to get away with wearing them around the office!

For more information: www.keenfootwear.com

The Rear view mirror: My friend


KHS Green with the Cateye Mirror

Nothing embodies Bike Geekness like the rear view mirror. Whether worn on a helmet, drop bars or bar ends, if you have a rear view mirror, you are pretty much a Bike Geek.


Kona 2-9 with the Cateye mirror

Some may argue that having a rear view mirror is unnecessary, or that it could be a distraction, but for me, the rear view mirror is my friend. Due to my arthritic condition, my neck’s range of motion is quite limited so looking over my shoulder is quite difficult, a rear view mirror facilitates lane changes and when it would be prudent to ‘take the lane’.


DiamondBack Transporter, yes, the same Cateye Mirror

Another advantage of having a rear view mirror is being able to look out for the right hookers, no not the type that was hired by the former major from NYC, but the buttholes that love to make a right turn in front of you. I’ve tried mirrors that attach to the helmets, mirrors that attach to sunglasses but I found that the Cateye BM-500G has been perfect for my type of commuting and I highly recommend.

Road Rash Repair Kit: First Impressions

A while back I talked about the Road Rash kit and how we thought it was a great idea, but didn’t want to get hurt in order to review it. Well over at MtnBikeRiders.com, Priscilla had the privilege to test it out due to a bad fall on her recent mountain bike race, in which she placed 3rd by the way…
road rash kit

Read more about it HEREwarning, pictures on that article are just as gross as the one above!