BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: Panniers

We’re getting some extra help

One of the guys that runs Utilitycycling.org, Josh Lipton, has been tapped by BikeCommuters.com to provide us a few guest articles that our bike commuting readership would benefit from. Josh is also employed (he’s the President) by a few bike related online retailers: www.BikeTrailerShop.com, www.BikeBagShop.com & www.BikeKidShop.com.

If you’re not too familiar with their sites, I’ll give you a simple breakdown of each.

BikeTrailerShop.com-They have a huge selection of bike trailers like the BOB, Burley, Extrawheel as well as the world famous Xtracycle. BikeTrailerShop.com can pretty much equip your bike so you can use it more of a utility vehicle to carry large loads or if you simply want to get away to do a bit of S24O (pronounced “Es-Two-Four-Oh?).
BikeTrailerShop.com

www.BikeBagShop.com-This is a great resource for bike commuters in general because we all have to carry our stuff. You can pick up racks, panniers, messenger bags, handle bar bags, frame bags,backpacks and so much more!

www.BikeBagShop.com & www.BikeKidShop.com. -Personally I love this site. They have all sorts of accessories for your child to make their bike riding experience a great one. The site offers, bells, training wheels, Xtracycle child accessories, child bike trailers, iBert child seat as well as helmets.

Each site is pretty user friendly and have pretty much the same feel and look. The product categories on the left hand site of the pages allows the user to find what their looking for quicker.

Book Review: “Bike Touring — The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels” by Raymond Bridge

Orli Cotel, publicist for The Sierra Club, graciously sent us a copy of the newly revised 2nd edition of the classic Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels by Raymond Bridge (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2009) for review.

sierra club cover

Planning on doing any bike touring? Not sure where to begin with preparation, gear selection and route planning? Look no further…this book is a complete guide to all aspects of bicycle touring. The author concentrates an incredible amount of information into this pocket-sized guide. Bridge spends a lot of time discussing gear (both the bicycle itself and its cargo-hauling apparatus), giving even the newest “greenhorn” a comprehensive view of the things to look for when selecting a rig for touring. But that’s not all; there are also extensive tips on route planning, packing checklists for different types of tours and other logistical considerations. Finally, the author includes a lot of resources (both print and Web-based) at the end of the guide.

The author presents all of his information in a matter-of-fact, clear manner. He doesn’t try to “dumb things down” for the amateur, yet he never gets bogged down in overly complex descriptions either. The book reads well and is easy to follow.

Bridge’s first edition was a wild success and was a must-read for the new (or seasoned) bicycle tourer. With this 2nd edition, there is even more to share — the addition of Web resources is a great thing. And, this 2nd edition is FRESHLY updated…there are mentions of guides and gear that have only been around for a few months.

If you’re interested in bike touring…from quick overnighters to lengthy cross-country excursions, this book is worth a look. Perhaps my only gripe with the book is that the author fails to include our own Russ Roca in his discussion of valuable bike-touring Web resources. Russ’s “Epicurean Cyclist” deserves a mention in this guide!

Sea Otter Classic 2009: Cyclelogical Bicycle Commuter Gears and Ideas

We met up with the guys at Cyclelogical during the show and we were pretty impressed with the products they have available.

They have many choices in commuter bags and panniers.

This bag allows you to carry your shoes, toiletries and dirty clothes all in separate compartments. It also has a solar panel to help you charge your cell phone.

They also have an affinity for reflective stuff. One bag model has large stripes, ya I know other bag companies do that as well.

But check this out…a high percentage of their casual clothing has reflective designs.

One item that caught our attention was this pant saver/pocket thing. Basically you velcro this item to your pant leg, and it has a pouch for your keys, money or cell phone, plus it saves your pants from chain ring tears and grease marks.

Here’s another product that was interesting. It’s a clip on spoke thingy that has a reflective coating on it.

For more information on Cyclelogical, check out their site.

Day6 Dream Accessories

Reader, Gabriel Tinnaro just found a website that has actual pictures of the Day 6 Dream adorned with racks and fenders. Check em’ out, this gives you more of a reason to enter the contest

Racks-photos courtesy of BicycleMan.com


Fenders

You can find all sorts of information on accessories, including an electric motor for the Day6 Dream at BicycleMan.com

Seattle Sports Waterproof Pannier — Update

A few weeks ago, I posted a “first look�? at the Seattle Sports Fast Pack waterproof pannier.

I’ve had a chance to really ride with this bag — and I LOVE it!! The bag has carried some heavy loads (dress shoes, a stack of big library books, groceries) and has remained absolutely waterproof through some brutal late-summer Florida rainstorms.

In my earlier post, I talked about the great attachment system. The combination of rigid clips and a rotating toggle have made this bag impervious to shifting or “jumping�? off the rear rack of my bike, even with a 20 lb. load in it. It doesn’t rattle or sway in any way. Here’s a look at the attachment system for those who missed my earlier article:

I also really enjoy the ease with which I can open and close the bag to fill it and remove items. I was using some cheapie Nashbar-branded panniers before I got this bag to review, and with that one I have to unclip two buckles, flip open a flap and then undo a drawstring to get at my goodies. With the Seattle Sports pannier, I merely unclip the buckle and roll the top twice to open it. Reclosing it is just as simple — two quick rolls with my wrists, clip the buckle and I’m off!

The fabric, besides being completely waterproof, has also proved to be quite durable. It doesn’t show any signs of wear, even after I scraped that side of the bike against a narrow concrete passageway I sometimes pass through on my way to work. Sharp corners of books that I’ve carried haven’t damaged the bag in any way, either.

I still dislike the inky black interior of the bag — I wish the bag was lined with a lighter-colored material to help me find small items in the bottom, but in practice this really hasn’t caused me any problems.

In any case, this Seattle Sports Fast Pack bag appears to be just the ticket if you have stout commuting loads, live in wet areas and are tired of your other panniers flapping and jingling as you ride. For more information and pricing, take a look at Seattle Sports’ bike gear page.

Now, if I could only scrape together enough cash to buy one for the other side!