Category: Accessories

Now I’m sure you’re wondering why is reviewing headphones. Typically it’s frowned upon to wear earbuds and headphones while riding your bike, in fact in some cities it is illegal and not to mention, potentially dangerous since you can’t hear your surroundings. But we decided to review them for mere fact that we like music. This review touches the lifestyle aspect of bike commuting. Simply put, once we get off our bikes we’re listening to music in the office, school and at the coffee shop.

Sol Republic sent us the Master Tracks headphones. The MSRP is $199.99.

Unboxing reveals the Master Tracks. It comes with the headband, drivers, cord, and carrying case.
What’s interesting about the Master Tracks is that the drivers(speakers) slide onto the headband for a custom fit.
They fit over my ears perfectly and the drivers have a soft cushion to provide comfort. The cord has a three button remote that allows you to adjust the volume, skip music tracks and answer/hang-up calls.
Once the Master Tracks are on your ears and they are plugged into a device, then the magic happens. Immediately I was hit with a sound quality that I have never heard before! Deep bass, perfect mids and high treble are combined to produce a sound that is just like putting of set of studio grade speakers to your ears. The noise cancellation effect of the drivers help reduce any noise that may be present around you.

To my surprise the Master Tracks still had some amazing power and sound even if it was just getting its music source from this small iPod Shuffle. I was able to compare the Master Tracks against the Beats by Dre HD, Sony X headphones and the Skull Candy Avaiator headphones. None of these other brands came close to the sound quality that Sol Republic’s Master Tracks produced.
So if you’re looking into getting a pair of headphones so you can listen to music while relaxing or at work, then you may want to consider SOL Republic Master Tracks for the mere fact that the sound quality is way better than those of the other leading brands like Beats, Sony and Skull Candy. I’ve been genuinely impressed by its performance as well as the styling.

FTC Disclaimer

This is the Serfas TSL 1500 light that was tested on our sister site. Its worth considering if you’re shopping for a new light.
Serfas 1500

1500 lumens
4 Hour Quick Charge
Ram Air Cooling for Increased Brightness and Longer LED Life
Included Quick Release Handle Bar Mount
Included Easy Adjust Helmet Mount
3 Foot Extension Cable Included
Modes: Overdrive, High, Medium, Low and Flash
Weight: 480 Grams with Bracket
Run Times: Now up 3 Hours – 12 Hours Maximum (Depending on Setting)
MSRP $390
serfas true 1500

Read about it HERE.

For those of us who don’t live in SoCal or other similarly moderate climates, riding in longer pants is somewhat inevitable. If we want to keep those pants clean and not tangled in the chain, there are a couple options. One is a chain guard – and if you’ve got one you pretty much can skip this article! However, those don’t come on most bikes made in the U.S. so most of us make do with rubber bands or the slightly-more-advanced reflective velcro bands found in many bike shops. The problem is that while those keep your pants cuff out from getting caught in the chain, they generally don’t keep your pants leg clean. What to do? Well, the guys at Cycle Cuffs think they’ve got a solution to that problem for you!

The Cycle Cuffs generally come in pairs (though you can order a single if you really want). There are now several options available in terms of color (I reviewed the “future classic,” which is a basic black ripstop polyester fabric). They all come with velcro attachment, reflective stripes at top and bottom, and a large ring in the middle. The ring is so that they can be threaded onto a lock (U-lock or cable) and they stay with the bike. I was initially skeptical of this feature (and wasn’t sure about the styling), but ended up routinely locking the Cycle Cuffs up with my bike as that was the best way to not accidentally leave them at my desk!

So how did these do on the bike? Very well actually! They were easy to attach (loosely, so they don’t crease pant legs), stayed on without a problem, and kept my pants legs grease-free and crease-free. Over the past couple months they’ve become part of my normal bike-to-work gear, and overall I highly recommend them to keep your pants cuffs/legs clean and out of the way of the chain. Yes, they’re a bit more expensive than a basic reflective strap (and run about the same per cuff as the Leg Shield I tested earlier this year), but I think they’re more effective than either, and I plan to continue using mine until they wear out (unlikely to be soon, they seem quite tough!).

Will the Cycle Cuffs revolutionize your cycling experience? Probably not… but they don’t need to, because what they’re meant to do they do really darn well, and sometimes it’s the little things that can make the difference.

A month ago, my commute changed from a 6-mile commute one-way to a three-mile commute one-way. It also changed from an office with a shower to an office without a shower… so my approach to my commute definitely had to change!

Previously, I’d taken the approach of riding as hard as I wanted in more bike-y clothes, then showering and changing. With no shower available – but a much shorter commute – I decided to take advantage of our lowering morning temperatures (mostly below 70 now) to try riding to work in my work clothes and going slower. This also gave me the ability to put three products we’ve received to a better test.

My “new” commuting rig is my Redline Monocog 29’er single speed mountain bike… with a couple modifications. I’ve kept the gear ratio the same (33×16) – it’s low, but it means I can’t ride too fast and therefore can’t get too sweaty!

The Monocog in commuter guise

The three products I’m reviewing are:
WTB’s Freedom Cruz 29 tires
WTB’s Freedom Cruz Grips
Cycle Cuffs
Look for reviews of all three of these shortly!

Freedom Cruz 29

Freedom Cruz grips

Cycle Cuffs