BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: planet bike

Mobile Bicycle Repair Unit: July 7th, 2013, 3:30pm

Save the date! We’re heading back out to Santa Ana, Ca. on July 7th, 2013 at 3:30pm to help fix bicycles for the homeless. We’ve received a some great donations. It’s a mix of anonymous donations and some from our very own Jack Sweeney. We also received a monetary donation from one of our readers, Michael Jenkins. Thanks to Michael, we were able to purchase some much needed tools!

Mobile Bicycle Repair Unit Donations.

 

We also received this generous donation from our friend Mark L. of Planet Bike. Planet Bike is so awesome, they’re always taking care of us and our projects.

Big thanks to Planet Bike! They sent 7 saddles and a ton of lights!

So if you’re going to be in the SoCal area on July 7th, and would like to join us, hit us up by leaving a comment or email: info@bikecommuters.com.

Thanks again to all those who donated

Sneak Peek: the Latest Lineup on Lights from Planet Bike

20130619-201930.jpg

20130619-201907.jpg

A great set of bike lights are a must for any bike commuter. But, sometimes there are an overwhelming amount of choices at you local bike shop. My no-brainer go-to? Planet Bike: a fantastic company with standup values and reasonably priced products that perform well.

Sometimes you can’t make a decision on what lights are best for your bike commute, so you just have to put on your neon jacket.

My last set of lights were from PB, and they lasted me over 4 years, only to be bequeathed to my sister along with my orange Le Tour II as I left my bikes behind for a year of travel – (to my knowledge, all still in working condition). When I arrived back in the states, RL hooked me up with a welcome package of PB goodies to review.

Here’s a sneak peek at the lineup for the latest evolution of PB lights that I will be reviewing shortly:
Micro features:

  • High and low-power beam along with SUPERFLASH™ mode
  • Optically-advanced lens provides superior beam patternSUPERFLASH™ mode is highly visible, even in daylight
  • QuickCam™ bracket mounts, adjusts or removes in seconds w/o tools
  • Up to 64 hours runtime (flashing) on 2 AA batteries included
  • 139 Lumens

Turbo features:

  • One Watt Power LED plus 2 red LEDs for visibility up to 1 mile
  • New attention-grabbing Turbo flash pattern
  • Turbo flash mode is highly visible, even in daylight
  • Ultra compact vertical design is weatherproof, lightweight and durable
  • Includes bike mounts and clip mount for multiple mounting options
  • Soft-touch power switch accesses flashing or steady mode for up to 100 hours of run time on two AAA batteries
  • Weighs 75 grams with batteries

20130619-201844.jpg

The Micro Blaze 2W headlights run for $39.99 MSRP a piece and the Micro + Turbo front and rear combo sells for $74.99 MSRP. For the quality, the price can’t be beat! I can’t wait to test these guys out after my satisfaction with the longevity of my original 1W Blaze headlight. That’s about 10 bones a year, if you don’t lose it after four years!

In the meantime, if you are without bike lights, get out there and enjoy these long summer days and stretch our your evening commutes. Laters, Cycle Gators.

 

Click here to read our FTC Disclaimer.

No lights necessary: Indian Summer – Dottie’s ride in 2012. Courtesy of Let’s Go Ride a Bike.

 

Making a difference in the local community

Last month you may have read about how BikeCommuters.com, with the help of Planet Bike went out to serve the local community in providing bicycle safety products to those in need.

After that event I went out another time to pass out the remaining items I had and when I ran out of goods I contacted the good folks of Planet Bike to see if they could provide more products. I also contacted my friend James Thomas (JT) of Serfas, they too make bicycle accessories.

About a week later I received another package from Planet Bike and by that time JT and I had talked about him coming out with me to pass out the products that Serfas donated
Planet Bike

On the day of the event, JT and I met up in Downtown Santa Ana, on Ross and Civic Center. With our bags full of goods, we headed out to talk to the people. This time we solicited the help of one of my daughters to take photographs to show what we’re doing in hopes it will motivate others to join our efforts, heck that’s how I got JT and Serfas to join us.

Yours truly on the left and JT on the right. Yep, he had a roller bag full of stuff!
bikecommuters.com community service

Planet Bike

Here’s a great shot of JT helping out a woman who is clearly grateful for the items he gave her. You can also see how many people are out there.
James Thomas Serfas

Once the word spread that we were out there passing out bicycle safety products, we were getting approached by people who would run up to us asking for lights or a lock. Here’s a couple of guys who desperately needed lights, locks and JT even gave one of them a cushioned seat cover. These guys thanked us so many times and what’s great is, the items they received would make a great impact because it can save them money from getting a ticket by the local police who will fine bicycle riders that do not have lights and it can help save their lives.
Serfas

This gentleman came running up to us and said, “I heard you guys are the ones who are going to save my life!” I responded by saying, “Is it because you need a light? If so, ya that’s us!” Here’s JT giving him a quick lesson on how to operate the lights.
serfas lights8

While JT was helping out another rider, I was talking to an elderly woman (not sure if you can see her behind the man) who was asking for lights. I told her that I need to make sure that I only give them to people who actually had bicycles. She then explained that she needs it when she’s walking at night. She also told me that she has had too many close calls with cars and needed something so they can see her. I figured that staying alive was a good enough reason to give her a light. But she couldn’t figure out where to put it and I suggested she clip on her purse handles, she thought that was a great idea and thanked me.
Planet Bike and Serfas helping the community

As we were heading out, this bicyclist rode up to us asking if he could get something for his bike. I gave him a Planet Bike pump, light and bell. He gladly accepted and loved that the bell even matched his bike!
Planet Bike Pump and Bell
JT also gave him the lights he had left in his bag.
Serfas lights

We had about 60 photos from the event, feel free to take a look at them.

I would like to thank the generosity of Planet Bike as well as Serfas. Without their help, this would have never happened. I super appreciated JT coming out to help and I think he understood why I do this. He saw that people are genuinely grateful for the products that we gave. In the grand scope of things, the basic bicycle needs of a light can literally save someone’s life.

As you can see lights and locks are needed. But from talking to the people we served, we found that they are also in need of tubes, pumps and patch kits. What’s great about Planet Bike and Serfas some of the items they donated were trade show samples or perfectly working products with some sort of cosmetic blemish that doesn’t pass QA for retail sales, but like I said, THEY WORK. So that means some of these items will sit in a warehouse collecting dust. But through our community service efforts, they have been re-purposed and making a difference.

If you or the company you work for would be interested in helping out our community service efforts, please contact me so we can coordinate. INFO@BikeCommuters.com

Thank You,

RL Policar
BikeCommuters.com

2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Our Top Picks for Your Wish List!

Well, well, well, Bike Commuters – the 2012 Holiday Gift guide is here, in case your favorite mail-order catalog is all out of Leg Lamps for you, your bikey friends and family.  We’ve reviewed a ton of products this year but only a few made the list!  Click on the images to link to the product’s shopping website.  (FTC Disclaimer)

Gifts for Under $20

Loop EVA Bar Tape

Loop EVA Bar Tape

Planet Bike 25g Twinpack CO2 cartridges

PB 25g Twinpack CO2

Jimi Wallet

Mir loves her JIMI Wallet

Fyxation Loop Eva Bar Tape: The quality, durability, low price and color choices make it a great product for any bike commuter to use. $13.95 and available in 5 colors: black, pink, orange, green, and white.

Planet Bike 25g Twinpack CO2 Cartridges:  Need to fill a high-volume tire on the go? You could carry a handful of smaller cartridges or just one of these mini-SCUBA tanks from Planet Bike and be on your way in no time!  Two for $20.99.

JIMI Wallet: clip your keys to it and stash it in your pack, jersey, fannypack, whatever.  Water resistant and with a lifetime guarantee (I’ve tried it and they sent me a new one!) and comes in many colors for $14.95.

Clothes

Hiviz yellow O2 Rainwear Calhoun Jacket

Ghost Rider's all about the Rainwear Calhoun Jacket - $119.00

Pedal Power Wind Shirt white

Mir.I.Am felt flossy-flossy in the Lululemon Wind Shirt for $59.00!

O2 Rainwear Calhoun Jacket:  This quality jacket performs admirably when the weather turns sour.  Rainproof, windproof, and you don’t feel clammy! It looks nice, it has good features and visibility, and it is packable enough that there’s really no excuse not to bring it with you.

Lululemon Duds: Lululemon makes small batches of high quality, stylish commuter clothes for women and men.  We loved the Pedal Power commuter fall lineup for women, especially this snazzy blouse/windbreaker.  The lineup is constantly changing… a nice gift with a nice price, since all the Pedal Power items are on final sale for half the price.

Planet Bike Borealis Gloves

Jack gave the PB Borealis Gloves two lobster claws up!

Novara Stratos Gloves

Matt also likes the Novara Stratos Gloves, $38.00 at REI.

We liked the Planet Bike Borealis “lobster” gloves because they bring together a warm inner liner and a windproof outer shell. They also keep your last 2 digits a lot warmer than regular separated gloves, without losing any of the function you need while riding.  All for the cozy price of about $42.00.  Matt also recommends the Novara Stratos gloves, which are along the same lines as the PB Borealis but without the removable liner, and with the addition of handy draw cords for a windproof fit!

Though this item was not necessarily reviewed on BikeCommuters.com, our sister site MtnBikeRiders.com loved these unique socks that are partially made with Possum hair…yes Possum hair! We figured the BikeCommuters.com readership would appreciate them: Pearly’s Possum Socks
Pearly's Possum Socks on MtnBikeRiders.com

Packs

Screen shot 2012-12-02 at 7.08.42 PM

Henty Wingman suit bag

Module 25 Waterproof Commuter Women's Pack

Women's Velo Transit Module 25.

Velo Transit Edge 40

Men's Velo Transit Edge 40.

For those of us who don’t have the option of dressing down, the Henty Wingman is the best suit-carrying pack we know of.  A pricey option, but if you are wearing suits to work, it’s worth it for a $180 suit bag. For any distance on a bike that requires carrying a suit with you, this pack is the way to go.

We reviewed two Velo Transit packs (women’s Module 25 and men’s Edge 40)  and came away really impressed by both. Waterproof, comfortable, and with pockets for everything, the only reason not to get these is price (about $160 for the women’s and $225 for the men’s)… but we’d still recommend getting these and scrimping elsewhere (ramen really isn’t that bad…). Get one and you’ll thank us! Velo Transit has several size options and colors to fit any commuter’s wish list.

Bikes and Components

Xootr Swift

Mir's new best friend: the 8-speed Swift folding bike.

Freedom Cruz 29ers

Matt upgraded his ride with these Freedom Cruz 29ers!

Xootr Swift: If you know anyone who’s looking to get into the fold, without sacrificing the speed on their commute, the Xootr Swift could be your new best friend!  Hills are a breeze with the multiple speeds and the BMX tires ensure a durable commute.  The Swift packs up fast and light for $750.

Freedom Cruz Tires proved to be great for those with 29ers (or 700c bikes with lots of clearance) wishing for a road-oriented tire. Big and smooth-rolling, they’ll make you question why you ever thought 700×25 was a good idea.  $34.99 to upgrade your ride.

Motiv Electric Bike

RL was a big fan of the Motiv Electric Bike starting at $1749.00 with customizable colors for frame, rims, and tires.

Motiv Electric Bicycle. We liked Motiv because there are so many options you can go with when ordering a bike. From tire, rims, cockpit colors and battery/power options, a person can customize their bike to have it built just the way they want it.

Ridekick E-Trailer. We liked it because it turns any bicycle into an e-bike, plus it has storage capabilities.  The RideKick is a great way to repurpose your old ride with extra speed and extra space. The price for the trailer ranges from $699 to $1359, depending on features.  It’s a blast to ride, too!

ridekick

RL's test ride on the Ridekick was a blast. Put it on your wish list if you want to upgrade to electric.

Miscellaneous

We recently featured Balance Insurance for the sake that it would be a great thing to have for bike commuters. With annual premiums as low as $63, you just can’t go wrong.

Balance insuranceAs cyclists we all know that at some time we might come off our bikes and hit the ground hard. Most cycling accidents are relatively minor. Some will require medical attention. And then there are those life altering accidents that can cause hospitalization, permanent injury or death. For those latter injuries we created Balance For Cyclists. Balance For Cyclists pays large lump sum cash benefits over and above other insurance to cyclists who are injured in serious cycling accidents. Limits are available between $50,000 and $250,000 and all benefits are paid directly to the insured or their family.

BikeCommuters.com and Planet Bike, Caring for the less fortunate

A few months ago I did some volunteering with Operation Feed the Homeless in Santa Ana, Ca. As we were passing out food and clothing for the homeless, I noticed that a majority of the recipients had bicycles. So I began talking with them and found out that bicycles were their main mode of transportation. They used bikes to get between shelters, odd jobs and to simply get around. As I got to know more of the folks I asked them what they needed when it came to their bicycles. Of course, I got a list of items they needed such as tubes, locks, lights, tires, etc.

With those items in mind I posted it on my Facebook account stating that I was thinking of trying to do something to help the less fortunate on bicycles. To my surprise, well actually I shouldn’t be surprised, our friend Chris Follmer of Planet Bike sent me a private message stating they wanted to help out as much as they could. I gladly accepted their offer and a few days later a big box arrived with a bunch of goodies. This box weighed over 41lbs and it was filled with head- and taillights, as well as locks and a few pairs of Planet Bike Wool Socks.

Fast forward to November 4th, 2012: I spent a few hours with Operation Feed The Homeless. While my wife and kids were helping with the food, I started walking around asking people who had bicycles if they needed a light or lock for their bike. At first I got some friction from people who were suspicious of my intentions. But that quickly subsided when I started offering it to others. Word spread like wildfire as more and more people started looking for me to get a lock or light.

One woman I gave items to was so grateful and thanked me profusely and she asked me how I came up with this idea because she said it was so thoughtful. I explained to her about my previous visit and saw the need. As I installed her new Planet Bike Blaze 1w headlight, she went on saying that this was so “BADASS!” and told me that she really needed the lock since she’s had 3 bikes stolen from her before and that she’s been hit by a car because she didn’t have a light. Oh and get this, the lock I gave her had keys to it. Her friend tells her that she’ll lose them (keys), she responds by saying, ” No I won’t, I’m going to make earrings out of them! That way I never forget where they are and besides, no one would ever steal earrings!” I thought her idea for the earrings were great, I think that could be a project we can write an article about.

I don’t have very many photos because I was busy helping people out, but my wife snapped a few with her phone. Besides I felt kinda weird taking pictures of me trying to do something good for others. I didn’t want to make it some sort of photo opportunity; I wanted it to be more out of my own heart rather than a publicity stunt.
planet bike blaze 1w

Here’s a gentleman who I gave a lock to as well as a light. He was recently hit by a car and the driver didn’t even stop! He was very thankful for the light and even said now he can lock up his bike without the fear that someone will steal it.
Planet bike lock

Here’s one of the guys who came chasing me to get a light and lock. Notice to the left of the photo, the person is holding a new Planet Bike lock, but you can see his old lock. It’s basically a cable with jumper cables as his padlock.
Planet Bike and BikeCommuters.com

That’s about all the photos I had from my afternoon. I passed out all the Planet Bike Blaze 1w headlights, the taillights are almost gone and I still have a few locks to give out for next time. I’d like to take this time to thank our friends at Planet Bike for their generous donations of goods. The recipients were very grateful for their locks and lights. I know those items may not seem like much to some of us, but for them it helps keep them safe while riding at night as well as protect their most valued property, their bicycle.

You know what’s great about Planet Bike and this whole thing? They saw a need, stepped up and they didn’t even ask for anything in return. So if that tells you anything about their company and the people behind the products, it should help you feel good knowing that when you purchase any of their items, you’re helping support a wonderful company who have some genuine people that work there.
PB