BikeCommuters.com

Bike Your Drive!

Why Every Biker Needs a Cool Wallet

What makes a biker wallet so special? On the one hand, it’s a well-known pocketbook that folds in two or three and has several pockets for bills, business cards, receipts, credit cards, and change. Like the accessories for men, biker wallets are capacious, solid and durable. On the other hand, a biker wallet differs from its leather counterparts about the same as a motorcycle differs from a car. Both are vehicles but they have their own character and personality, so to speak.

Looking at every biker wallet you can tell that a craftsman put his heart into it. It is because they are most often made by hand. Each product comes out individual and unique. You can get a custom wallet that has a one – of – a – kind look but even off-the-shelf products are capable of wowing passers-by thanks to the bold embellishment and daring designs. Biker wallets are never mass-market products with uninspiring cookie-cutter looks.

Biker Wallets – Durable and Tough

Many people consider bikers to be tough, badass and serious men and these assumptions have their ground. All their accessories carry the imprint of the biker culture and they are just as serious and cool as the men on motorcycles. Biker wallets are no exception. They are massive but convenient so that a biker can shove one into a back pocket of his jeans and it won’t cause troubles during the long rides.

Practicality is another sign of biker wallets. Remember, a real wallet for a biker is made only from genuine leather. Bikers do not tolerate fakes by their nature. Additionally, real leather is incredibly durable, it will serve its owner for many years. Rare items are even inherited. If a leather biker wallet gets weathered with time, it won’t make in item worse. In fact, small scratches, abrasions, or traces of oil or gasoline are able to make a wallet even more valuable since they add more individuality. They are able to turn a billfold into an item with a history, which everyone would like to find out.

When Looks Matter

Every biker wants to stand out from the crowd to emphasize his individuality and status among the brethren. An original wallet is of great aid in this matter as well. Bikerringshop offers an excellent variety of design options and finishes. Wallets can be embellished with silver rivets, clasps, embossing, carving, embroidery, etc. They often carry familiar symbols found in the biker culture – skulls, crosses, totemic animals, as well as intricate patterns resembling bizarre tattoos.

Sometimes wallets do not have additional decorations if they are made of exotic leather. The skin of a snake, crocodile, stingray, lizard and other reptiles is attractive by itself thanks to its relief and sometimes voluminous patterns. Did you know that crocodile or snake scales are unique, just like human fingerprints? Therefore, you will never find two identical wallets even if they carry the same design. As a bonus, exotic leather has an outstanding durability, which is several times higher than the finest calfskin.

Finally, each leather biker wallet comes complete with a grommet for a chain attachment. A chain fastens to a wallet on one side, and its other end is attached to a belt. The most common are steel and silver chains but you come across leather chains as well. Chains are not just fancy ornaments. They help to reliably fix a wallet to a biker so that it always stays at hand even when driving fast.

Flowfold Optimist Limited Mini Backpack review

Hello Bike Commuters! Happy “Bike to work month-week-day”! So to celebrate we have a review of a neat little backpack from Flowfold. This backpack is designed for people who do not have to carry an entire storage unit worth of stuff and it caught my interest because I like doing errands on my folding bike and short hikes.

MVIMG_20180328_132330

Let’s start with the features of the Optimimist Limited Mini Backpack:

-Made in USA
-Water resistant mini backpack
-Durable and lightweight outdoor materials
-Lifetime Warranty
-10L capacity
-Different colors

IMG_20180428_082725

Although the backpack seems small, I was always able to fit everything I needed for my hikes and errands. I easily carried 2 water bottles, an extra shirt, phone, wallet and energy bars. The mini backpack was very comfortable to carry around and it was very practical.

2018-05-14_11-10-46

We also tested its water resistance; my daughter used it on a rare rainy day when we headed to Downtown LA’s famous Santee Alleys. Although it was not a downpour, all the contents inside the backpack remained dry.

IMG_20180428_111535

The backpack is also perfect to run errands; I usually go to the post office every weekend to retrieve my mail and it works as intended. I also ride to the local market to get small stuff such as bread or “cold drinks” which fit perfectly.

MVIMG_20180328_132346

We absolutely love this mini backpack, and I mean “we” as my daughter, wife and myself use it very often. I think that $79 is a good price for a high quality American made product, I totally recommend it.

To see the other colors or purchase the bag; visit Flowfold’s site at www.flowfold.com

Flowfold Vanguard Limited Billfold Wallet review

Hello Bike Commuters! As I posted before, the nice people from Flowfold sent us some items for us to review. I specifically asked for the minimalist backpack but they sent us their wallets to review as well.

MVIMG_20180328_132435

When I first saw the Vanguard Limited wallet, I thought that I was only going to be using this wallet for my road or mountain bike rides. The slim design fits perfectly inside my rear jersey pockets as well as the front pockets of my riding shorts.

2018-04-19_02-13-38
2018-04-19_02-13-14

What I did not expect was for this wallet to become my “daily” wallet. I like to carry a lot of stuff inside my wallet making it quite bulky so I thought that the Vanguard limited wallet is way too minimalist for my “needs”.

IMG_20180328_132443

I know that saying that this wallet is a “life changer” maybe too dramatic but this has been true in my case. How so? Well, since I had to shed quite a bit of stuff from my old wallet, I settled on carrying the following items on the Vanguard Limited wallet:

1. Drivers License
2. ATM Card
3. Credit Card Card
4. Health Insurance card
5. HSA Card
6. AAA Card
7. Cash

The biggest difference is that before I used to carry up to 4 other credit cards which fed my impulsive buying habits. Now I have to think about if I really need the item that I am considering buying because the money is actually coming from my bank account or if I decide to use the credit card that needs to be paid at the end of the month. Either way, my credit card usage has decreased dramatically. That was a life changer.

2018-04-19_02-29-11

Carrying a slim and light wallet in my front pocket took a little while to get used to, there are times that I check to make sure that I had not forgotten my wallet. My jeans will also thank me for carrying a slim wallet, my right pocket has the outline of my former bulky wallet.

What about the wallet itself? The wallet is made in the USA, it comes with a lifetime warranty AND it is also Vegan. The materials are of high quality, water resistant and very light. For those who like to know how big it is, the dimensions are 3.25″ X 4.25″ X 0.1″. The price for the wallet is $29 and it comes in other colors.

To purchase the wallet, please visit this link: https://www.flowfold.com/product/vanguard-limited-billfold-wallet. Stay tuned for more reviews of Flowfold’s products!

What’s the Deal with Gravel? (In a Jerry Seinfeld voice)

So I feel like the kid in the 1950s pot commercial; I rode gravel once and now I’m hooked and my whole life has been turned upside down. I just can’t see the road the same. I now see cars and replace them with trees, signal lights are now steep hills, cement streets are now dirt paths… Everything has flipped and I love it.

I had tried cross and it was plenty fun. Not like every day fun, but fun once-in-awhile-fun. I will/must/don’t want to admit how bad I am on a mountain bike. On a road bike is where I was the most comfortable. Gravel does not come natural for me even if I’ve tried most of what cycling has to offer. For me it’s not the descents because I’m not all that confident in my skills. It’s the views as I suffer and drag my 200 pound butt up these climbs that normally lead to some hike-a-bike situations. The climbing can be brutal but like the Instagram inspirational quote with a majestic background says, “It’s just a hill, get over it.” If you can, then you will get a new perspective; your eyes will open to everything you’ve missed on a road bike or a mountain bike.

On a road bike you ride with your eyes wide shut. That’s the appeal for me, a lot of it is just not thinking and just going; you can zone out on a climb and even forget about the views. On a mountain bike you are more aware but there is still a level of letting the bike do it’s job and going for it. The closest thing to riding gavel (on a rigid bike with drops), in my opinion, is riding a fixed gear bike. On a fixed gear bike you have to be aware of everything around you. From the cars to the road conditions, the signal lights to the pedestrians, you are on full alert all the time. Not having real brakes will do that to you. Gravel is somewhat like that, you have an idea of control but it’s more controlled chaos then precision.

The real beauty of gravel [(…and I get a ten-cent commission every time I type G R A V E L)- Gravel] riding is that it’s not just about riding, hiking is also a big part of the experience. On a road bike you can take another route, on a mountain bike you have a lot of gearing and a more capable bike, so when you get to a section that’s above your pay grade you either push yourself or hike-a-bike. You go on a ride and you really don’t know if you are going to be able to ride every section of it. How much of a route you can manage changes as you improve and get more confident/stronger. I tend to fall more on the climbs than the descents. I’ve also done a lot to improve my gearing.

Nonetheless, gravel is my new obsession. So much so that this summer I am planning a Summer Adventure Gravel Series (SAGS) around the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. The adventure part is that there will be no routes given out. We will have to stay together, this will help avoid douchebagery. This is not a race. This is not about being first, fast, or better. This is about the people next to you, the landscape that surrounds you, and the route in front of you. Aside from maybe the Cannondale Slate [(with a gearing upgrade) no pun intended] there will not be a perfect bike for every situation. After, I hope we question our bikes but not our time in the saddle. I’m currently doing recon for the S.A.G.S ride- details will come.