BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: the bike geek

The Bike Geek: Cat-Ears!

Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: I was in no way compensated nor given free stuff by Cat-ears, LLC. In fact, I spent my beer money to purchase their Classic I product. OK, now onto my observations of the cat-ears:

Have you ever said to yourself: “Self, I wish I would have thought of that and created that product and gotten rich”. That is what cat-ears remind me of; a simple idea to remedy a nuisance while riding our bikes. If you are not familiar with cat-ears, their basic product is a piece of soft faux fur type material that attaches with Velcro to your helmet straps that will significantly reduce wind noise while you are riding.

2016-02-13_01-06-23

I ordered a pair of their Classics I not only to reduce the wind noise, but to see if they would also block the cold air from my ears as I ride my bike. All I can say is that they really work! You can actually hear your buddies talking shit about you as they try to drop you on a ride! I also rode with them on the streets, and yes, you can hear the traffic around you clearly. I also rode with them on chilly mornings and nights, not only could I hear my buddies complaining how cold their ears were but my ears were not cold at all! They were totally worth skipping my 12-pack of Guinness beer for the week!

2016-02-13_01-05-46

But they look dorky you say. Yes, yes they do. My buddies were making Elvis side-burn jokes which is not a bad thing, but when I told them that they were called “cat-ears”, the pussy jokes started flying. Interestingly, the cat-ears inventors knew they were going to get shit for the look of the product and this is what they say:

2016-02-13_01-18-51

“We did not get into the Wind Noise reduction business to sell products that ‘look like they work’… It would have been easy to design a product that is more visually appealing – but the performance would have been marginal at best.”

2016-02-13_01-18-14

So why am I featuring this product? Because I like to get behind companies that support cycling. Did I mention that Cat-ears is also made in the good ol’ USA? That’s right! American ingenuity at work right there for you!

So if wind noise bothers you or if you want for your ears to not fall off from the cold air, give Cat-Ears a look.

Up next: I am considering Multi-modal commuting!

metrolink

The Bike Geek: Battle of the (fitness) bands!

Welcome back to the Bike Geek’s second post at the finest bicycle commuter blog: BikeCommuters.com! On our last post I was discussing the use of fitness bands for cycling purposes to help me out with my quest to lose the baby fat.

2016-01-29_08-52-26

I can tell you right of the bat that the Moto 360 and the Garmin Vivofit are pretty much useless for cycling. The Moto 360 is a great “smart” watch but it is cumbersome, the battery life sucks and the heartbeat sensor does not work when you start sweating.

2016-02-06_03-34-30

The VivoFit is one of the best step counters of the bunch, but since we are pedaling and not walking nor running; the VivoFit was basically useless for cycling. The Vivofit’s best feature is this little red line that “reminds” you to get off your ass and walk. It is always great to tell the boss “I will be back, I’m on a VivoFit break”

2016-02-06_03-35-07

The Misfit Shine and the Moov are more cycling friendly. Both of these fitness bands have ankle bands so they are able to gather data via the pedal stroke.

2016-02-06_03-34-51

The biggest difference between these two is the app. Moov’s app is totally awesome:

Screenshot_2016-02-06-14-49-54

The app reads your cadence, speed and your power in REAL TIME. Yes, that means that you can ditch your Garmin/Cat Eye/Sigma speedometer and use your smartphone instead. Hint: I am also looking for a bicycle cellphone mount so look for post on that really soon!

Another cool thing about the Moov app is that once you have finished your ride, it also gives you more data and geeks love data yo! The apps will rate your ride, give you elevation gain, max grades, number of climbs, etc. I didn’t care for the “coaching” since I already know that I’m fat and slow, I don’t need a stupid fitness band to remind me.

Screenshot_2016-02-06-14-46-03

Screenshot_2016-02-06-14-46-08

Screenshot_2016-02-06-14-45-53

Screenshot_2016-02-06-14-45-59

So you may be thinking, I gotta get me a Moov!!! Not so fast. If you are looking for a fitness band that will do everything, the Moov is not it, neither is the Vivofit, Shine or the 360. Yup, none of the bands are well-rounded but each band has its own strengths:

  • The 360 is a smartwatch that can give you notifications, change the face of the watch, and can measure your heartbeat as long as you are not sweaty.
  • The VivoFit is a great pedometer.
  • The Misfit Shine is great at measuring your sleep activity.
  • The Moov is great for cycling and you can find one for 24 bucks in Amazon.

Now, there are new versions of the Moov, Vivofit and Shine and there is a specific cycling band from Misfit (The Flash cycling edition) but I’m too cheap to drop over 50 bucks on these things.

On the next Bike Geek Episode:

catearsclose

Cat Ears!

The Bike Geek

thebikegeek

Before there was BikeCommuters.com and Commutebybike.com there was a little blog called TheBikeGeek.com.Unfortunately the owner (me) was a dumb ass who forgot to renew the domain only to be snatched by squatters. Screw them, I ain’t paying their ransom fees.

So I asked RL to see if I could “write” posts about that may or may not be totally about bike commuting and he totally agreed. Not interested in reading posts about geeky cycling stuff? Move on, there is nothing to see. Think you can do better? We totally welcome guest articles and if you want a full time gig that does not pay shit please email info@bikecommuters.com.

So what kind of geeky cycling stuff are we talking about? Well, here is what I’m working on:

2016-01-29_08-52-26

Fitness Trackers! Yes, these are VERY popular this time of year and since I also gained a little *ahem*20 lbs*ahem* weight I decided to try them out on my quest to lose that pesky baby fat.

The Players:
The Motorola 360 smart watch:
2016-01-29_08-53-01

Garmin VivoFit:
2016-01-29_08-52-45

Misfit Shine:
2016-01-29_08-53-32

The Moov:
2016-01-29_08-53-16

Notice that all of these are version 1.0. Why? I had them for a while and I also had to pay for them.

I’ll be focusing on how these fitness gadgets integrate with cycling and let’s see if they will help me lose the weight.

Stay tuned for the updates!