Category Archives: Reviews
Two Years on a Bike With the Fuji X-Pro1
Words and Photos by Kevin Sparrow
A follow up to: Kevin Sparrow Discusses the Fuji X-Pro1 and Cycling
It has been over two years since I switched over from Canon DSLR to the Fuji X-Pro1 and I haven’t looked back. I’ve traveled all over the world with this camera. I rode from Paris to Lausanne with her slung around my back. I’ve shot photos for commercial clients and for publications. This little camera has more than met my expectations as a professional use camera.
I’ve used a lot of camera bags and honestly, they each have their own place. For instance, right now I’m using one of F-Stop’s Loki packs. It’s great for a strictly-photo trip, but as I’m packing for the Amgen Tour of California today, I broke out my Poler Excursion camera insert once again.
Why? Because it’s modular! This thing is so clever and even though it’s sold as a set with the Excursion backpack, I’ve used just the insert for over a year.
Check out more below.
At this point in the MTB game, probably one of the greatest inventions in the past few years has been the narrow wide chainring. Sure, there was a patent from a century ago, that called out a similar design but at a much larger scale but it was SRAM who first applied that technology to the cycling industry.
Later, companies like Wolf Tooth and Race Face adopted the narrow wide ring design, making it applicable to a wider platform. Basically, any system can use this ring design and work.
Anyone who hangs their cross bike on the wall when season ends is missing the point. A cyclocross bike is one of the most well-rounded rides you can own. I’ve said countless times before that my Geekhouse Mudville is my favorite bike I own. If only because I’ve made so many fond memories while riding it, in pain, covered in sweat, hating life, on a ride, not racing it.
For some reason, I never once thought to beef up my bike post-season. Well, I did, but I couldn’t fit my Bruce Gordon Rock and Road tires on it – the derailleur hanger clamp gets in the way. That was well over a year ago however.
Ok, the real reason why I never monster cross’d my cross bike is because there aren’t a whole lot of 40c cross tires on the market. In fact, just the other day I was planning on buying some of Surly’s 41c Knard tires when these 40c WTB Nano tires showed up in the mail.
These days, I’d rather test ride new bikes than travel with my own, especially when flying into remote locations. That was the case at the Whiskey Off Road with Blackburn. Prescott ain’t exactly an international hub, so rather than pack up my bike and risk it getting lost, Marin offered to hand over a Rift Zone 29’r for me to rip on while at the event.
48 hours is by no means enough time to do a thorough review, but I’d like to go over a few points, with hopes that an extended product review will take place in the future.
Check out more below!
Last year, Giro introduced their new Terraduro shoe at Eurobike. This was a heavy nod to the growing enduro crowd, salivating for “enduro specific” products. For the rest of us, who don’t enduro, bro – these shoes offered a new Vibram sole to a tried and true MTB platform.
Without a doubt, a musette is one of the oldest forms of on-the-bike portage. Dating back to even the early days of the Tour, “water boys” used to raid villages for bread, fruits, cigarettes, wine and water, filling these bags before handing them off to racers.
Nowadays, we use them to carry clothes, food, electronics or even around-town items. I use musettes on rides where I want to carry a camera and not have it exposed to the elements around my back. Even then, cotton musettes aren’t water resistant.
When I saw Strawfoot’s newest design when I was in Santa Cruz, I had to try one out. Waxed canvas, designed well, packable and the addition of a sternum strap made it a stylish, yet practical solution for quick, on-the-bike portage.
I like to use it on rides to carry my camera, film, food or to shed arm and leg warmers once the sun comes out. It folds up nicely and stuffs into a pocket and the sternum strap keeps it from swinging around unexpectedly.
The waxed canvas is water-resistant, not water proof, so I usually put a ultralight dry sack inside it as well if it’s going to pour. Or in our case last weekend, dump snow on us.
Each of these musettes are made from hand in Santa Cruz and take approximately a week to construct. In stock now at Strawfoot and Calfee has the pictured silver strap / orange lash option for sale.
While most cantilever cable hangers have built in barrel adjusters, some don’t. Since I run the Speedvagen x ENVE Integrated stem, I don’t have an in-line adjuster. Before, I used to just re-clamp my yoke or canti if I needed more stopping power and that’s just not right.
These little things have been floating around on the internet since 2011, but I completely forgot about them until last December…
It’s spring time, that means for those of you who live in frigid parts of the world, shaving has slowy made its way back into your morning routine – for us Texans, we never really quit.
Let’s be honest here for a second: I enjoy shaving about as much as I enjoy doing product reviews like this and while prior to being gifted this tin, I was more likely to use soap or shampoo to shave with, I do love the way this cream smells!
… continuing with the Fuji X-T1 test shots, I wanted to sing praises of these tires. Made in Japan by Panaracer, the Jack Brown “Blue” label 33.3 tires have been very good to me. I’ve yet to flat on them and even examining the tread as I was shooting this photo, I found a number of thorns and copper wire pieces stuck in its hardy casing.
If I had to guess how many miles I’ve put on them, it’d be over 1000. Most of which are from around town trips.
Sure, the rolling resistance is higher than other comparable offerings – including the Jack Brown “Green” – but for an around town / touring machine, I’d rather have a reliable tire than one that flats on thorns or road debris.
Pick up the Jack Brown Blue tires at Rivendell for $63 /each or $126 for a pair.
For those wondering about the camera and lens, this is my Zeiss 28mm f2.8 on the X-T1 shot wide open.