‘Hands On’ Articles

Action Wipes to the Rescue this Summer

ActionWipesLast fall at Interbike Action Wipes really saved us. Not only were the bins of the full body wipes a welcome site outside of the port-o-potties during demo days, the oversized wipes were welcome for other uses during the show.

When we got back to our hotel after a long day of riding bikes in the desert, we were in desperate need of a shower. That was when we discovered there was no hot water in the hotel. The layers of sweat, desert dust and maybe a little bike grease made the thought of going to bed and showering in the morning impossible. We didn’t even want to venture out to dinner before cleaning up. Then we remembered we had tucked a few Action Wipes in our gear bag. Smart thinking. Read the rest of this entry »


DIMOVEIf that 1970s TV show Goodtimes were still on the air more people would get the headline reference, but regardless the DIMOVE WAVEpro is still something different and eye catching. It is a balance board device that offers a challenge for users just trying to stand on it. The creators say it can be used in 70 different ways, but seeing it we have to wonder if that includes draping clothes and collecting dust.

While we’re not calling this out as a (Mis)Shift we’d need to hear more about what this one has to offer before fully getting on board, or even on it! Video after the jump

Made in America: Bag that Phone – Jersey Style

Most cyclists ride with their cell phone, usually stashed in the jersey pocket if it is not being used on the handlebar as a cycling computer. One ride is all it usually takes to realize that sweat builds up on the phone and regardless of the chance of rain, the following ride usually sees the phone placed in a zipper closure plastic bag before being put in a jersey pocket.

This is exactly the scenario that played out when I first purchased my iPhone. Since the replacement cost of that phone can exceed $600, every following ride saw the iPhone being protected by a Ziplock bag. Over time the zipper usually stops properly sealing and the bag breaks apart. While at Interbike this year, the crew from the 2013 Amgen Tour of California was giving away JerseyBins, the vinyl zipper pouch used to protect cell phones, cash, or anything else that may need to be protected while out for a ride. This little pouch seemed like the perfect solution.

The JerseyBin is a heavyweight zipper closure pouch that is available in four different sizes. The 10-gauge vinyl is cold crack tolerant to below -10 degrees Fahrenheit, yet it allows the use of a touch screen without removing your phone from the pouch – that can be difficult to do through a normal Ziplock bag. Read the rest of this entry »

Interbike 2012: ODD Recap

The dust on the trails has settled but we had a great time at Interbike 2012′s Outdoor Demo Days, where were were able to test ride several bikes. Here is a recap of what we hit on the trails.

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Hands On: Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator

Between biking, running, yard work and other activities in the summer heat, lately the laundry hamper has been emitting a particular odor I really hope a good cycle in the washing machine will take care of. To help things out, we got our hands on a bottle of Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator. This goes in the wash in addition to detergent, and works to lift odors out of the fabric. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: Eurostyle Sports Wash

After a ride, you typically feel grimy. You’re covered in sweat, dirt and may even have some oil picked up from the bike. If you’re home, you can jump right into the shower. If you plan to get in the car, or grab a bite to eat, you may want to clean up a bit. Paceline Products, the makers of Chamois Butt’r, made the Eurostyle Sports Wash to address that need to freshen up. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: 2012 Lynskey Ridgeline-29 SL, 29er Titanium Frame

2012 Lynskey Ridgeline-29 SL after a few miles

Why would anyone want to ride a single-speed? I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that question in the nearly 15 years that a single-speed mountain bike has been hanging in my stable of bikes. Having been a longtime believer in the KISS design principle, the single-speed beautifully embodies that idea. Wanna go for a ride? Hop on it and go with no worries of shifting issues. Oh no, a hill! Pedal harder or pop-up off of the saddle for a little more power. With little noise and such simplicity, the single-speed is one of my favorite bikes to grab when going for a ride.

After building my first 29er last year, I caught a bad case of the 29er bug. The larger wheels of a 29er—a mountain bike using 29-inch wheels—just handle the rocky trails along the Front Range of Colorado so much better that the 26-inch (26er). The 26er single-speed mountain bike that was hanging in my garage was an older Seven Verve from the mid-1990s. Don’t get me wrong, it was (and still is) a great bike, but the horizontal dropouts along with the 26-inch sized wheels sitting next to my new Moots Mooto X YBB had me longing for something new.

So the search began. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: 2012 Moots Mooto X YBB 29er Titanium Frame

Moots Mooto X YBB 29er – 2012 Model Year

Just over six months has past since writing a post regarding my 2011 Mooto X YBB bike build that ran last summer. That 2011 Moots should have been a keeper and still hanging in my garage, but shortly after the post went live, the 2012 model was announced. Year after year there really hasn’t been any major changes in Mooto X YBB model that would justify the replacement of a frame with less than 1,000 miles of riding. Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately for all dirt heads), the 2012 model is a bit different when compared to most other years. There are the obvious changes with the curved down tube and top tube on the 18 and 19-inch models, but it is the other changes that are not as obvious which makes the 2012 model the basis of a much different bike. There were fairly significant changes including the geometry that really made me wish that I had stalled my purchase. Then a chance arose to build a 2012 model and that opportunity was seized upon! Read the rest of this entry »

Review: König Classique Jersey from Solo Cycle Clothing

Cyclists are odd people. We like to support our favorite professional racer, team or country, but many of us shy away from wearing the team jersey or kit since we do not actually race for them. This certainly isn’t the case with fans of other professional sports teams, especially football and baseball. If the local pro team is in the play-offs, it is tough to go anywhere without seeing their colors and jerseys draped on the backs of their loyal fans.

So how does a cyclist still show their support?

A number of companies are producing jerseys that are ‘influenced’ by the rich heritage of professional cyclists or regions. These jersey designs are stylishly designed and colorful without being a rolling billboard for a company or team. Since 2005, Solo Cycle Clothing, based in Auckland, New Zealand, is one such company producing these retro looking jerseys and they are introducing their wears to the U.S. market. We recently had a chance to look at their König Jersey and take it out for some test rides. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: UVSunSense Monitoring Wristband

With summer approaching, we’re looking to ways to cover up and protect our skin from the harmful rays as much as we’re looking forward to spending some time in the sun. One product that helps us gauge how long we’ve been in the sun, and tells us when we’re at risk, is UVSunSense Monitoring Bands. These bands are plastic strips you put on like a bracelet, and apply sunscreen to when you apply to your skin. This strip then works as a timer to let you know when to reapply, and simply when you’ve had enough time in the sun. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset

The Jabra Sport is the first Bluetooth headset to unshackle runners from the constraints of their wired headphones. But can Jabra – a company who’s known for making Bluetooth headsets for the home and office – make a smooth transition into the sports world? In a word; yes. The Jabra Sport is comfortable, reliable, and as rugged as any other pair of sports headphones we’ve seen. It’s not perfect, but it’s a solid first attempt at a wireless headset for runners.

The $99 headphones are light and sit comfortably over the top of each ear. The buds themselves rest by your ear canal opening (not inside it), meaning they don’t provide any noise isolation. As a runner, that’s a good thing, since you should always be aware of your surroundings when running outdoors.  But for use at the gym, that means you’ll have to crank the volume up high to cancel out any noise from the treadmill or your fellow gym goers. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: 3LC ‘Road Race’ DVD Training Session

A few weeks ago we wrote about the release of a series of training DVDs by Three Legs Cycling (3LC) based on the Isle of Man and the home of Mark Cavendish. 3LC currently has five, one hour long training sessions that are designed specifically for cyclists and take a little bit different approach than other training DVDs. 3LC’s approach is to focus on cadence and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) instead of the watts or heart rate. Being  primarily a mountain bike rider and occasional racer who prefers long distance races like the Leadville Trail 100, my best performances on dirt seem to happen when riding at a higher cadence – these DVDs seemed perfect for my winter training needs.

3LC sent three DVDs our way, ‘Road Race’, ‘Sprinting’ and ‘Climbing’. Each of these 50 to 60-minute sessions are designed loosely to simulate the power exertion that can occur while performing each of these activities on a bike. ‘Road Race’ was first picked to review since it featured a little climbing and sprinting that might occur during a race; and in all honesty, starting with ‘Sprinting’ featuring Mark Cavendish wasn’t the physical abuse that I was looking to begin with. The riders in the video are all using turbo or rear wheel trainers. In theory any bicycle trainer is fine to use with this series as long as you can adjust the resistance to a point that you can maintain a cadence of 80 RPMs and lift it to 130+RPMs during various times in the session. Since the mid-1990s, I have been using Kreitler Dyno-Myte rollers (below) and recently added a weighted flywheel to simulate road resistance. This would be the trainer used for our evaluation. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: Bollé Tempest with Modulator Lenses

Click image for a closer view

Since the early 1990s, I have been an avid user of the Oakley Mumbo and M-frames with the Sweep lenses for all forms of cycling. They have protected my eyes from tree branches, sun, snow, mud, rocks, flying insects and anything else thrown my way. I never ride without them. They fit my head well and provide excellent coverage keeping the wind out of my eyes during fast descents. I have tried many other types of glasses and yet I keep grabbing my M-frames every time I ride… until now.

At Interbike this year, there were numerous eyewear companies and a number showing off photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses darken when exposed to ultraviolet rays (UV) and fade back to lighter tint in low light areas or indoors. Shortly after the show, I received a pair of the Bollé Tempest glasses with their version of a photochromic lens, the Modulator, to try myself.

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