Be it for randonneuring, bikepacking, touring, commuting or cyclophotography, the handlebar bag can be either a nuisance or a godsend, depending on your equipment. While rack-less bag designs are convenient, they can often times flop and jostle all over, really ruining your otherwise pleasant and quiet ride. I’ve found when you put a heavy camera in one of these bags, getting it to stay put is quite the hassle. While a full-on touring, porteur or randonneuring rack can assist in this issue, sometimes they’re overkill and heavy. In my experience, all it takes is a simple bracket to hold the bag in place to really enhance your ride. The problem is, who makes such a product?
It was inevitable. Some might even call it destiny. All-City Cycles needs no introduction here on this website, and neither does the benefit of riding a steel hardtail mountain bike in an era of plastic full squish bikes. In fact, I’d argue that All-City’s latest offering, the Electric Queen, will not only please the readers of this site but could be the bike they’ve been looking for. Well, warriors, your search for a shreddable steel hardtail ends here. (more…)
12 Pieces Of Gear I Wouldn’t Go Without In The Andes
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
In a little over a year’s worth of time on the road in the Andes, I’ve had the chance to really put my gear through some serious torture. Luckily, the vast majority of it has stood the test of time, but there are some pieces that have really stood out as items I’ll have in my setup for a long time to come. Obviously, some of this comes down to personal preference and the type of riding you’re doing, so it’s not one-size-fits-all, but the majority of these would work well with just about any type of bikepacking/touring… (more…)
Is it one’s riding that evolves first? Or is it the bike that is the catalyst for evolution? Bicycle design, much like one’s riding style, evolves over time, triggered by a series of environmental or equipment changes. Perhaps your everyday singletrack just gets tiresome and you’re looking for a way to change it up, or maybe your road bike gathers dust during ‘cross season. At some point, riders look for excuses to shake things up, as a break from the painful monotony of riding bikes by the rules and luckily for us, the offerings from companies follow suit, evolving their lineup in the same sequence.
A number of brands have taken a look at their ‘cross bikes and asked what the next step in evolution would be, or perhaps, what it should be. What seems like ages ago, we were all riding singletrack and fire roads on 32mm tires, burnin’ brake pads as our cantilever or v-brakes smoked our sidewalls. Then came disc brakes, which offered more control, options for larger tires and other benefits. All the while, frame builders were experimenting with multiple wheel size options, brought along by the popularity of disc brakes. Soon 27.5″ (650b) wheels began popping up on drop bar ‘cross bikes, yet these weren’t really “cross” bikes anymore. They had evolved past that.
Ibis recently took a long hard look at their classic ‘cross frame, the Hakkalügi. These frames started out as steel, cantilever bikes, marked by classic Ibis stylings and most notably, the Mike Cherney fabricated “hand job” cable hanger. Like Ibis’ mountain bikes, once carbon fiber became the preferred material, the Hakkalügi went through the motions, too. Carbon canti, then carbon disc but the whole time, these bikes stayed true to classic ‘cross frame tire clearances and geometries, always feeling like outliers in the brand’s catalog. Ibis knew it was time for a change. (more…)
I try to ride with an awareness bell on our front-range trails here as much as I can, but I’ve found myself always having to slide it back into position since its strap is just a piece of velcro and handlebars are tapered. Last night, I removed the strap and mounted it directly to my Light and Motion Urban 500 light – I also run a 800 lumens light on my helmet.
The bell stayed put and didn’t move at all, allowing it to resonate down the trail to alert runners, hikers and other cyclists. This time of year, our trails are very crowded at sunset, with athletes trying to soak in the last bit of light, and running an awareness bell just makes it safer for everyone.
Widefoot, makers of the Liter Cage, now offer their Nalgene-friendly bottle cages in a black powdercoat finish, for those of you who prefer black components, to silver. I used these on my Hunter in South Africa, toting two, 1.5L Nalgenes on 115 miles of washboarded desert roads during the Karoobaix without issue. I do however recommend using one of their multistraps to keep the bottles from popping out on descents. Check out the Blackened Liter Cage at Widefoot!
Floyd’s of Leadville has expanded their CBD oil line, with multiple options now, in various milligram or milliliter servings. CBD oil has changed my recovery process and helped me get a better night’s sleep after big days on the bike. That’s not just a pitch either and I’ll go one step further. Two months ago, I decided to take some time off from alcohol. It was running my life and I was using it to disconnect or unwind from a busy day, but mostly it helped me sleep at night. The problem is, as I get older, alcohol takes a beating on my body and I just felt like shit all the time. I switched to smoking more weed and taking these Floyd’s of Leadville CBD capsules to aid in sleeping, or smoking a mellow sativa-high weed. After two months, I feel better, both about myself and about my riding. Which is very important since my job is bikes!
Now, not everyone can walk into a dispensary and buy weed. I understand that, but these capsules will ship anywhere in the US since CBD oil is natural, THC-free supplement. It really does make a difference. Hell, I even give my dog a pet CBD supplement to help his arthritis. See more information at Floyd’s of Leadville!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve received numerous emails from readers, politely asking the Radavist to weigh in on a pressing debate. The discussion in question began with Bike Snob’s piece for Outside Magazine on the importance or at least the value of the fully rigid mountain bike. This piece was then replied to by Vernon at Pink Bike, who called riding rigid ridiculous and likened it to being kicked in the balls numerous times. Side note: if you get hit in balls riding a bike, you’re doing it wrong. Now, both op-ed pieces should be taken with a grain of salt, since they are, after all, just that: opinion pieces. Nothing is stated as fact in either article, although Vernon’s piece does seem to fit in with Pink Bike’s readership, who are quick to chime in that even hardtails are ridiculous.
Are they, really? Well, here’s the thing, I’m going to address this “debate” with a few points, beginning with… (more…)
Over the years, Mission Workshop has made a handful of staples in my cycling apparel wardrobe and without a doubt, the Merino Core collection has been a game changer. I wear the long sleeve merino Perimeter shirts every time I hit the dirt and oftentimes, I’ll continue wearing them all day after the ride. They’re my camping staples, my touring staples and I’ll throw one in my camera bag if I’m going to be out after the sun sets. These shirts are durable, moth-hole resistant due to the nylon weave and best of all, look damn good in a plethora of earth tones. Head to Mission to see the full Merino Core lineup and if you’re in LA or SF, you can swing through one of their storefronts.
Ever since Brian Vernor first told me about Omata and consequently, seeing their Kickstarter begin last year, I was intrigued by their unique cycling computer. I, like many people, still wear a wrist watch, in an era when we are constantly glued to our phones or laptops. Let’s be honest, a classic watch is a luxury item. We don’t need it to function in today’s world, yet many people still use them, even when there are loads of “tech” watches on the market, there’s something comforting about an analog face. Personally, I’m not against GPS watches like my Suunto, yet I would never wear an Apple Watch, or any other square and super tech-looking watches. Perhaps that’s what drew me to the Omata.
Its design aesthetic and m.o. appealed to me. The data is presented in an analog, almost static interface, with the most notable visible change being the speedometer hand. All other functions move so slowly on the face that you really spend more time looking at the road and less at the computer, another gripe I have with instantaneous cycling GPS devices – there’s just too much information being displayed, or flashing simultaneously – they’re distracting. My read on the Omata One, after a few rides, is that it is as luxurious as a wrist watch, yet completes the aesthetic of a bike, rather than competes with it. Expect a full review once I log more miles with this device, I was just so intrigued by it that I had to post something in the interim. If you’re interested in pre-ordering, or just reading more about the One, head to Omata.