Really, how often are you pressing in a headset cup? Or cutting a steerer tube? The answer is probably just a little more than “never.” But Travis Engel would say that’s still enough to merit having the right tool when the time comes. This list contains some cheap (and some not-so-cheap) additions to your garage that could come in clutch when you’re preparing for a ride or a road trip and suddenly find yourself in greater need than a simple set of open-ended wrenches can satisfy.
If it isn’t clear that I’m a fan of e-bikes for UTE-ility purposes, then check here or here or just Google ‘FYXO Tonka’. Carrying cargo, kids, running errands, dinking your partner on date night, commuting—forget the financial benefit. One benefit that cannot be easily quantified is how much fun and hassle-free they are.
Before you even hit the parking lot to test ride a suspension bike, most shops will walk you through a careful sag and damping adjustment. But few of them will tell you that there is a whole other dimension of control inside your fork or shock’s air spring. By inserting or removing volume spacers, you can make your suspension more or less resistant to bottom-out. In turn, that may allow you to run more or less preload. This deceptively simple adjustment has gotten a reputation for being only for racers, or nerds, or nerdy racers. But Travis Engel believes everyone can benefit from volume tuning. So, he has this quick explainer on what it can do for you, and how you can try it for yourself.
Cyclotourists, bikepackers, and other backcountry travelers love shaving down their gear to just the bare essentials, splitting toothbrushes in half, or rationing the squares of toilet paper with every wipe. But, when it comes to personal hygiene, I feel like I owe it to myself to splurge a little, given how much I put my body through day-in and day-out whilst on a long, multi-day journey.
It wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the lack of information around the topic of personal female hygiene and bikepacking. As I’ve been approached by more women with different questions on the subject over the years, I began to realize that there’s a need for this kind of information sharing, and that actually, there’s no distinctive guidance out there to help.
So, I want to share my knowledge and experience with the hope that it will help other riders better understand what female hygiene on a bike looks like. There’s no universal solution for everyone, and I can only speak from the anatomy that I know about, but perhaps you’ll find good tips and advice to integrate into future trips based on your needs.
The remote arid lands of the United States’ West have always called strongly to me – the sandstone canyon country of the Colorado Plateau, the broad detritus-filled valleys and formidable ranges of the Great Basin, and the cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert to name a few. These characteristically dry landscapes all exude a unique, powerful beauty and a particularly intimidating shared aura arising from the scarcity of water. Beyond that, broad swaths of these regions are sparsely inhabited, and that remoteness combined with the aridity can be especially challenging for anyone looking to adventure in the backcountry, whether it’s for single- or multiple-day outings. But in many areas, the water is out there if you know where to find it and plan your route with that in mind, and in this article, I am going to walk through my process for planning out trips in the desert.
Do you struggle to keep your feet warm on cold rides? Years ago, I thought that was the norm for winter riding, but it turned out I just didn’t know the best way to deal with the cold. Back in those years, I was a roadie who took pride and legitimately enjoyed training through the snowy winter months chasing that oft-elusive early-season form. In the hills of southern Wisconsin and then the Front Range foothills of Colorado, I hammered around on a ‘cross bike outfitted with studded Nokians and fenders, with my torso and legs layered up for whatever the temperature. But for years on end, my feet absolutely froze, even with oversized shoes, extra socks, and a double layer of neoprene booties on the coldest days. Every long ride would end with my socks soaked in sweat and my toes painfully cold bricks. More often than not, I’d get home with an ironic combination of huge hunger, because I never ate nearly enough on rides, and screaming barfies as my toes started to painfully warm up.
Are you missing cyclocross? Maybe it’s February and you haven’t reached your quota of mud in your eye, or maybe it’s June and doing a gravel race is just 7 hours too long – do they even know what a cowbell is in Kansas? Why rely on your local promoter to line the local park with caution tape when you can easily do the same yourself? Organizing your own race is not only more simple than you think, but a great way to get people together and build community!
A while back, I saw Ira Ryan from Breadwinner Cycles at a Cross Crusades race in Portland prepping his bike for his race. He had ridden to the event from his home so he had two cages and two bottles and with less than a quarter rotation of an allen key had removed his bottle cages and was ready for his race.
I review a lot of bikes and tend to put frame bags and bottle cages on and off my bikes that I’ll use for touring, so I adopted his trick. Check out the details below.
Thanks to our friends at Rivendell, this how-to video on how to make your own grips exists.
Over the past few years – since moving to Austin in 2010 – I’ve been struggling with weight loss. Look, we’re all cyclists. We probably all ride with skinny, fit dudes and as a bigger guy, it’s frustrating. Even now, at the peak of my fitness, I still get dropped by “climbers”. What I found was to take these experiences and use them as part of my motivation. There was one defining moment however. A majority of it came from a ride I did in Australia a few years back…
I spend a lot of time on the road, with my bike and over the past few months, I’ve dialed in just how many kits I need in that time. Say, for instance, I’m going to Santa Cruz for four days. I’ll bring one kit and never have to wear it dirty because of this one trick I’ve learned over the years of life on the road.
Check out the details below!
With the success of the Bikes and Faces of the Oregon Outback post, I figured diving a little deeper into one bike couldn’t hurt. As I said before, a lot of people were on hardtail or rigid MTBs. While the top two finishers (Ira and Jan) were on drop-bar touring / road bikes, a majority of the field chose the stability and control of a full-on 29r, 27.5 and even 26″.
Shawn from Ruckus took the Oregon Outback as an opportunity to create a bike, specifically for this bikepacking outing and the resulting design is pretty bad ass, not to mention, featherlite!
Read up more below!
If you’ve never bikepacked before and really want to get into it, or you have attempted before and failed miserably, then you NEED to read this post over at Yonder Journal. It’s a break-down on how to pack what, where and lists essentials for long rides / tours / camping trips.
Head over to Yonder Journal for the full article!
No controversy here… just a drug-free, three time Tour de France champion fixing a flat at NYC Velo in Manhattan!
Everyone needs a roost sequence! The Canadian minds at NSMB do it again.
It’s no secret that cyclocross is closer to MTB racing than it is road racing. The degree of separation between the two sports is often blurred, especially when compared to XC racing. In short: you’ve got to have bike control to excel at the sport. Sure fitness is one thing, but learning how to ride is key and tied directly to that is your position on a bike.
Tim Johnson is an advocate of the MTB position on a cross bike and on Saturday, he ran a clinic with Bicycle Sport Shop in preparation for the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals here in Austin.
There were three groups that day: A, B and C – depending on rider skill level. From there, Tim, with the help of two others, Johnny and Pete, broke down the basics of cyclocross racing. I hung around for the most important part: riding position… Read on in the gallery for a break-down of what Tim taught the clinic about how to race their cross bikes and check out some bullet points below.
Last week on Facebook, I read Richard Sachs complaining about how his new camera, the Sony RX100 wasn’t delivering quality photos like he had hoped. From there, a torrent of fans replied with a mountain of tips, ranging from “get a tripod” to “get a photo studio”. I emailed Richard promptly and offered some advice.
He was shooting wide open with the RX100 on auto. My first advice: set it to aperture priority, then stop it down to around f3.2 to f5.6. After explaining what that meant, Richard went back into his shop and started taking more photos and he was pleased with the results.
Personally, I love watching the process a frame builder goes through while assembling a frame, as much as I enjoy the final product. Part of that entails documentation. No builder wants to call in their photographer buddy to shoot while they’re brazing or welding, so it helps to have a pocket-sized camera like the RX100, the right settings and a steady hand.
Builders like Bishop, Richard Sachs, Firefly, JP Weigle, Winter, MAP and others I’ve featured here do a great job at documenting their process and I think that’s a large reason for their customer’s, both returning and future, engagement.
See more of RS’s work at his Flickr.
I’ve since given my RX100 to Lauren, who was convinced she needed a 5Dmkiii and a f2.8 24-70mm mkii L lens to travel to Myanmar for her work. After giving her a tutorial, she loves it. Meanwhile, I’ve just opted to shoot more 35mm film
Camera bags are essential to photographers and great photographers use great gear. Check out fStop‘s new “how to” video with renown MTB photographer Sven Martin as he shoots Crankworx!