Product Review: 904 Fixed Lanyard
A few weeks ago, Kirk put these 904 Fixed Lanyards up for sale. I swooped up one, not because I needed one, mostly to support what Kirk is doing in Florida and to help out a brother in need. One of his boys, Steve Ob. is currently in jail for Graffiti (weaksauce) and proceeds from the sale of the lanyard were going to benefit Steve directly, with what ever he needs. As for the review, it’s an adjustable sliding wrist lanyard! It works great, keeps my ulock key nice and handy. It hasn’t fallen apart and is maintaining beautifully. What more can you ask out of a handmade in America product?
Product Review: Boreas “The Lagunitas”
A little over a month ago, a box showed up at my door. While I thought it was some parts I had ordered, I was surprised to find a Boreas backpack inside, “The Lagunitas” model to be exact. There was no note or nothing inside, just a day pack with an external frame. The next day, I took it for a spin on my commute to work. It’s the little bag that could. I carry shoes, pants, tools, laptop and other odds and ends on my daily commute and I still haven’t over filled this bag. It has a great profile and I feel tech’d out when wearing it during the week.After the first couple of days, I was hooked and this has become my daily commuter bag. Mostly, because when I have my laptop in there, I can’t tell if it’s in there.
If you are commuter and carry a laptop, you know exactly what I am talking about. Carrying a computer back and forth on the daily grind, gets old. Having a bag that you can’t tell if your computer is packed away, is the business. This bag does that. The internal laptop sleeve is killer, the elastic bands and slimness of the sleeve hold your laptop right against the bag and your back. You really don’t notice that you are carrying one. I have stopped on more than one occasion, to check if I actually packed it. The sleeve is also so slim with the laptop (15″ Macbook pro) inside, you aren’t sacrificing cargo space for the ability to carry a computer. The top pocket is completely waterproof, I would like to see more water proofing on this bag. Living in Socal, we don’t get much rain, but I need a bag that can protect my laptop from water in any case. Plus I see myself using this as a touring bag or day pack for hikes and I still want my things to nice and dry, no matter where I am.
There is an external frame, which has the ability to be tight against your back or with a pull/ push of the variable suspension system, it can be raised off of your back to creat airflow. I have never really used it for that, it was more to lower the bag down from hitting the back of my helmet. That is the one major issue I have had with this bag, helmet bonk! So annoying, but an easy fix with this system.
There is only three external pockets and they are all on the small side. That is kind of a bummer, but you can work with what you have, so bring the essentials you need day-to-day.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with this bag. Unless it rains in LA, this is now my go-to commuter bag. The best part was I went into using this bag without any preconceived notions or expectations. It filled what I need out of a commuter bag. Light weight (970g), carries what I need on a daily basis, holds my computer down and still has room for more (25L of space). “The Lagunitas” rocked and I will be looking into getting more from the whole line Boreas has to offer.
Product Review: Fyxation Pilot Saddle
Another lovely item I’m checking out from Fyxation is their Pilot Saddle. My roadie has been getting the most long distance love lately, so I threw on my Felt and have been commuting, climbing, and racing on it for a little bit now.
It weighs in at 279g, which is good for the price point of $39.95. Another feature I liked are the Anti-Abrasion corners, I tend to be pretty rough on my saddles, jumping on off, throwing the bike on the ground, crashing, and so my saddles tend to tear up on the corners. I have yet to have that issue with the Pilot.
The profile looks good on the bike and is just as comfy. I broke this saddle quite fast and I hope it lasts. Things of this nature that break in fast, kind of worry me, so I’ll update as we ride along. The shape is great and it feels good on long rides and the shape works well for the sprint or full efforts. My sit bones fit quite nicely on it and I no have compliments there.
It has stayed stiff, throughout the beating I’m trying to give it and I’m digging it. Gives the old whip a speedy profile!
Product Review: Fyxation Rodeo Pursuit Bar & Loop EVA Bar Tape
I used to run Pursuit bars on my Lo-Pro and on my Felt Tk2 way back in the day, always loved them and had fun with them. Then I became a lo-rise riser and drop bar purist on all of my track bikes.
So when Fyxation asked I would like to check out a pair of their Rodeo Pursuit bars, I thought “why not?” I put them on my Affinty Kissena and wrapped them the Loop EVA bar tape and away I went.
I’m gonna talk about the bar tape first. I consider myself a pretty good wrapper of bars, I take my time and enjoy it, where as, most people hate doing it and I consider it fun. It’s the sadist in me. However, I didn’t really enjoy using the Loop tape. I took way too many tries to get it just right. Maybe, it’s the style I choose to wrap the bars in or me just being anal. I don’t know, but it was tough. Riding with the wrap on the bars without gloves, made my hands feel like they were gonna slip off at any time. I kept having to re-adjust my grip, which caused my hands to hurt. Once I put on a pair of gloves, it was good to go and I enjoyed the ride. I tend to ride without gloves on while commuting, so that is an issue for me, but on longer rides and race day I was fine. I’m trying to find a balance and maybe once the tape breaks in a bit more, it should work it’s self out. If not, I will be switching to their cloth tape (which is awesome), post-haste.
Now on to the bars. Perfect pursuits. I was a huge fan of the Nitto RB-021′s and now these have won me over. So many hand positions to choose from, great for any all riders. Great swoop from center into the drop, made for several great skidding positions, from center position all the way into the drop, which is only a 40mm drop, perfect. As a climber, I was a bit nervous to go up some of my usual climbs with these bars, but once hitting them, I powered through like normal or even faster. Felt good on flats and for sprinting, very comfy and hands never hurt (only from the tape, bare handed) or cramped up. The only thing I’m considering doing is cutting the length down a little on the reach (Felt stretched out, when on the bar ends) and making them a bit more aggressive… Maybe. If you’re looking for a pair of pursuit bars, I would swoop on these if I were you, perfect setup for that street machine and at a MSRP of $32.95, you can’t beat that.
Fyxation also makes these bars in oversize (31.8)… Yay for oversize!!!
Product Review: Abus: Granite Futura Mini U-Lock
While at Interbike this year I sat down with Abus and talked about locks. I walked away from that discussion with a lock, the Granite Futura Mini U-Lock. Super compact, light weight (700g). The weight is great and it doesn’t feel like you are carrying a lock when you got one of these in your belt or in your bag. I didn’t like the size of the locking mechanism, looks like book with a U attached to it. Once seeing it in action, it kind of has an intimidating factor when put next to a Mini Evo U-lock. Burlier the better. So that grew on me, plus it was easy stickering it up… Always a bonus for me.
The other feature that I love is that you can twist the key in any direction to open this bad boy. That is worth it alone. The length of the lock is great for securing the front wheel to the frame or rear wheel through the rear triangle, but sometimes the width of the U lock effects where you can lock up. It fits most bike racks and meters but has a hard time with steel poles or larger street signs. That can be a bummerwave, but otherwise it’s a damn good lock and it stands out from what everyone else is carrying…
Review: Levi’s Commuter 2012: Mobility Fleece
Since the O20 launch party for Levi’s 2012 Commuter line is tomorrow, I thought I would drop my review of the Mobility Fleece. It’s my morning commute/ late night riding hoodie and works good as such, however there is a change I would make to next year’s or this fall’s design.
When partnered with a bag, its killer, you are warm and cozy, feel super snug. The zipper vents are perfect for when you start to over heat, one zip down on each arm and you are getting that cooling air flow right when you need it. A big hood covers your dome when you want it, and large front pockets fit most items, for when you are bag-less. One simple change and this hoodie would destroy all comers. Jersey Pocket on the back would be a great improvement to this fleece, I don’t understand why there are no jersey pockets! Maybe, I have just gotten spoiled by everything labeled as a “riding gear’ and expect them all to have the bells and whistles, that come with that title. Don’t get me wrong, this has replaced my other “riding hoodies” and has gotten into my lineup of cold day riding gear. Levi’s has a good thing started here with their commuter series and I’m stoked to see how they will improve on it.
Check out the full line here
Review: Chrome ORP
I have been rocking the Chrome ORP for the last few weeks as my weekend day bag. It’s such a good day bag. This past Saturday, I spent the day running around with the ORP, at the end of the day I shot some photo’s of the bounty I carried in it. Enjoy.
First, I’ll talk about the features, of course. It’s a rolltop backpack, except the buckles are on the each side of the bag and can be tighten down or run loose depending on how you like it or what you are carrying that day. It looks small, but it can fit a lot of stuff in it. There is one pouch pocket on the inside for smaller items, but it doesn’t close and is pretty deep by its self. Most of the time throwing items inside the ORP, that where they went, in the pouch.
Not sure what this feature was for, but I found a use. CBNC.
I was at Orange 20 and couldn’t pass up this deal on a Wald basket for my cruiser bike and the ORP swallowed it up, the basket, my camera, slaps, some riding snacks for this week’s long rides and my Levi’s Commuter Fleece (more on that later this week). It fit all of that and was perfect on my back, couldn’t tell I had a basket in there. No real issues with the ORP, it has become my go to bag for short trips and errands. It’s ultra lightweight, so when empty, you don’t even feel a bag on your back, I really can’t wait for my travels over the next few months, so I can really put this to use as a day bag. Being able to stow this inside my larger bags and bust out as needed really stokes me out. Great product Chrome.
All Hail Cardiel!!!
Review: Fyxation Comet Drops & Loop Bar Tape
Fyxation a few weeks ago sent me a pair of their Comet Track Drops. I was a die-hard Nitto fan for a long time (still am) and was nervous to switch out my Nitto Drops (loved those bars) for the Comet track Drops.
From the maiden Voyage, I was hooked. Made my cockpit so much lighter and they were great from the start. I feel aggressive with my sprints and climbing hills in the drops have become a joy again. The Comet Drops are super stiff and are holding up to the pressures of being a daily commuter. I have pushed long road rides in the drop position with no complaints at all.
Now onto the Loop Cloth tape. Been about a month of commuting, racing and hard training rides. The cloth tape looks and feels brand new still. I’m already a huge fan of cloth tape on any type of bars, so the switch from my normal brand was easy. It has held up wonderfully and will prolly last a few more months.
Swoop the Comet Track bars
Swoop the Cloth Tape
Review: Levi’s Commuter 2012: Chambray Workshirt
Been rocking the Workshirt all week. So many compilments on it, regardless if I was on the bike or off. Arm pit vents to keep you cool and the stash/ jersey type pocket on the back is a nice touch. Fits my tool roll perfectly and is very easy to get in and out off. I would love to see a zipper or magnet type of button to keep it closed, but otherwise this shirt is the bee’s knees.
I recently got a Chrome Anza for these harsh winter months in LA. This Jacket rocks. Pair it with a Cobra (Cobra review here) and you are good to go. I wore this all last weekend in SF, where it was cold and rainy kept the elements out. Rocked all day yesterday with a hoodie, during our downpour of the year, here in LA and was it was perfect. This jacket looks great on, you feel sleek and smooth, ready to cut through any weather. Works well against the wind as breaker too. Most the time in LA, I wear this with a t-shirt and I am totally protected against the elements.
This is my only issue with the Anza. The snap button on the back pocket. If you are carrying a heavy load on your bag it tends to dig that button right into your back. Chrome could solve this by making it velcro. Otherwise, this has become my main top layer winter riding jacket. Perfect.