Category Archives: Well Used
The Kitsbow Merino Base Short

While my favorite go-to bibs for MTB riding are the Giro New Road bib undershorts, my new favorite non-bibshorts are the Kitsbow Merino Base Shorts.

I wore them every day on the Oregon Outback and I’ve begun using them exclusively during short and sweet MTB rides. Because the main material is merino wool, they dry fast, feel soft, keep you cool in warm weather / warm in cold and don’t get super funky like synthetic blends tend to. They’re great for camping or touring as well, because they’ll dry faster than synthetic shorts.


Jun 9, 2014 12 comments
Drink Skratch Because It Really is Made from Fruit

When you ask Jon from Skratch why their “Lemons and Limes” flavored drink mix is pluralized, he’ll tell you because it takes more than one lemon and one lime to make it. Now, the concept of sports drinks or hydration mixes containing fruit shouldn’t be that foreign to most of you, but the reality is, a lot don’t. Instead, they’ll contain “natural” flavors, which may be natural, but in reality aren’t fruit.

I love raspberries and the Skratch Raspberry mix is a favorite of mine, but it always tasted a bit different than my other raspberry flavored drink mixes. It wasn’t as overpowering. The main reason being, Skratch is actually made from raspberries and my *gasp* other mix is from other “natural” flavors.

As I quit using other hydration mixes, the actual, real, raspberry mix tastes worlds better and the other mixes started to taste like ass. Coincidentally, that’s where “natural” raspberry flavoring comes from. Ass. A beaver’s ass. No shit. Well, yes, shit. Well…

Castoreum is an all-natural additive used in perfumes and food flavoring. It’s the anal gland of our flat-tailed friend, the beaver. You’ll actually find it e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. In fact, unless it says “raspberries” in the ingredients, you’re *definitely drinking beaver ass. Pucker up baby!

I know this sounds like an advertisement. It’s not. I buy my Skratch from my local shop and have never taken a dime from them to say any of this. I just don’t want you sucking down the butthole of a beaver when you hydrate.

Drink Skratch, don’t drink beaver butt.

*maybe not definitely, but most likely

Jun 6, 2014 15 comments
The Quick and Easy Tanner Goods Porter Handlebar Bag

When it comes to a touring bike, the randonneur bag or Wald basket will reign supreme for front-end portage, but not every bike has rack mounts. In the case of a classic road bike, or MTB, strap on handlebar bags are the simplest solution to carrying extra cargo around town.

There are countless options, ranging from cordura, to cotton, but for those looking for something a little classier, check out the Tanner Goods Porter Handlebar Bag. I’ve been keen on trying one out since the line was first launched and since using mine for around a month, I’m loving it…

See more below!

Jun 5, 2014 14 comments
Well Used: Poler’s Excursion Camera Insert

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.


May 9, 2014 4 comments
Losing the Front Derailleur: The Wolf Tooth Bit My Indy Fab
Independent Fabrication and a Wolf Tooth

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.


May 6, 2014 16 comments
Much Love for Hunter Cycles Nugz

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…


Apr 24, 2014 10 comments
I’ve Got the Jack Brown Blues

… 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.

Apr 21, 2014 11 comments
Well Used: White Industries VBC Cranks

Even I was a bit skeptical about the ability for my Geekhouse Woodville to throw from a 50t to a 32t consistently, using White Industries’ VBC cranks. But more importantly, I was interested in seeing how the crank arms and rings would hold up to daily use. Well, the front derailleur still throws just fine and they haven’t shown much wear at all. Go figure.

With around 10 months of heavy use, as you can see, they’re still kicking and show very little ‘tooth decay’. There’s very little crank arm rub as well. My Woodville is primarily my around-town, errand getter, bar bike and my go-to ‘big fuckin rides’ vehicle of choice. It’s been camping, tackled the MSOJ and blasted through tons of 1-track.

I have to admit, these are some of my favorite cranks I’ve ever owned.

After receiving emails from people, asking to see updates on the drivetrain, I shot a few yesterday. Check out more below.


Apr 7, 2014 16 comments
An Ode to the EE Cycleworks Brakes

I catch a lot of flack for saying things like “these are the best brakes” and “I’ll never ride another set of brakes again”. Rightfully so. What I’ve learned in the past is to say things like “these brakes impressed me, both in design and stopping power” and “modulation is king!”

Writing product reviews ain’t easy, especially when a company gives you their product to test out, which is not the case here. I bought these brakes because I believe in supporting the US-manufacturing economy.

EE Cycleworks is a small shop, that produces a handful of components, all of which are incredibly well-designed – from an aesthetics standing – and from what I can tell so far, are easy to service.

Check out more below!


Apr 4, 2014 2 comments