Nebo Cryket

Nebo is a company that seems to be growing pretty fast. You may recognize their very popular Big Larry work light that has found its home in most auto shops. Though we use the Big Larry daily at my bicycle shop, it is a bit cumbersome for portable/packable use.
Nebo-1
Needing a light to throw in my bikepacking rig, I ordered the Cryket from Nebo.

The Cryket is a compact, LED light that swivels 90º.
Nebo-3
The light is constructed from aluminum that is water/impact resistant. The base is magnetic and offers convenience when working on a car or around a shop. Attached to the light is a steel belt clip.
Nebo-2
There are three light settings on the Cryket:
LED spot light (250 lumens)
Nebo-4

COB flood light (240 lumens)
Nebo-5

COB green light  (30 lumens)
Nebo-6

COB, or Chips On Board LED, “improves lumen-per-watt ratios in comparison to other LED technologies.” Found out more info by clicking here.

The light runs on 4, AAA batteries that are included with purchase.
Nebo-7
According to Nebo, expected battery life is as follows:
3.5 hours-LED spot light (250 lumens)
2.75 hours-COB flood light (240 lumens)
6.5 hours-COB green light  (30 lumens)

For the reasonable price of $24.99, this light is well worth checking out.

Though our bike shop carries Nebo, they aren’t available through any bicycle distributors. Call your LBS first, if not available, you can order them directly from Nebo by clicking here.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions/comments, please post them below.

🙂

Bikepacking Chapter I: Specialized Burra Burra Bags + Salsa Anything Cage

Now that I have my bikepacking rig, I decided to take advantage of the new bag lineup from Specialized.
bikepacking
The Burra Burra lineup offers adventurists multiple options ranging from a toptube bag all the way to a pizza delivery bag. Although I found many different definitions of the word “burra,” I am most fond of this one: A small village in the isle of Shetland. Associated with drugs and alcoholics. Many people from Burra are complete arseholes. Let’s proceed with the assumption that Specialized had that definition in mind when naming these bags.
bikepacking-2
In the summer of 2018, my son will be 3-years-old. I have plans on taking him on overnight bikepacking trips so this summer will serve as a dry run to work out all the kinks. To carry our shelter, the Specialized Handlebar Stabilizer should get the job done.
bikepacking-4
If not running a sleeping bag/ sleeping pad, Specialized offers a Drypack in two different sizes (13 liters and 23 liters). For drop bars, use the 13 liter Drypack.
bikepacking-3
The Stabilizer mounts to both 31.8 and 25.4 handlebars using secure, aluminum mounts. There are also urethane-coated straps that run over the handlebar and under the fork crown for added security. However, the straps have proved to be difficult to cinch up tightly for an extended amount of time.
Handlebar Stabilizer Harness: $90.00
13 Liter Drypack: $40.00
23 Liter Drypack: $45.00
bikepacking-11
The Burra Burra Stuffpack and Stuffcage may be my favorite item in the new lineup. The bags and cages are well designed and make any drop bar bike look a lot tougher.
bikepacking-12
The Stuffpack has a listed capacity of 1 liter and fits a 1 liter Nalgene perfectly. I had originally planned on storing a Jetboil Flash stove inside the Stuffpack but the bag diameter was too small.
bikepacking-13
The stuff cage is versatile. It can mount to a 2-bolt or 3-bolt system and offers 4 slots for straps.
Stuffpack: $40.00
Stuffcage: $30.00
bikepacking-5
While in the cockpit, it is worth considering a bag that makes essentials easy to access. The Top Tube Pack has a listed capacity of .75 liters and is built around two compartments.
bikepacking-6
The Top Tube Pack is great for snacks, phones, and keys.
Top Tube Pack: $50.00
bikepacking-7
The Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack may end up being the most popular item in the new lineup. The pack comes in two different sizes (10 & 20) to accommodate different frame sizes and tire clearances.
bikepacking-9
The Seatpack has an extending roll top that offers added storage.
bikepacking-8
With added weight and more leverage from an extended roll top, steatpacks tend to sway and move while riding. Specialized has added an aluminum stabilizer arm to counteract the pack movement.
bikepacking-10
Once extended, the rider has access to a daisy chain.
Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack 10: $130.00
Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack 20: $140.00
bikepacking-14
As mentioned earlier, my Jetboil Flash didn’t fit in the Stuffpack. I decided to order the Salsa Anything Cage HD and mount it on my downtube. The stove fits with room to spare and should work out great.
Salsa Anything Cage HD: $35.00

The stove is currently the only piece of equipment I have purchased for bikepacking. Though I’m comfortable in the world of cycling, I am completely in the dark when it comes to backpacking.

If you guys have any recommendations, please leave a comment below. Your knowledge is invaluable to me.

Review: Royal Racing Matrix Jacket

matrix-jacket
I’ve been on the hunt for a lightweight, hooded riding jacket for a while now. I have struggled justifying the cost of some larger company’s jackets that retail between $400-$500. When I ran across the Matrix jacket by Royal Racing with a list price of $140, I knew my search had ended.
matrix-jacket-5
Offered in two different colors, the Matrix jacket brings style and function to the trail.
The jacket is non-insulated and requires some layering in really cold conditions. During Spring, Summer, and Fall, I imagine this jacket will be great with only a base layer underneath.
matrix-jacket-3
With a waterproof and breathability rating of 10,000, the Matrix performs well in light rain and average snow conditions.
matrix-jacket-2
Royal Racing claims that the fitting of the Matrix ranges from regular to loose. They also recommend sizing up if riders plan on wearing body armor. I usually fall in-between medium and large with most companies. I ordered the medium jacket and found the overall fit to be very comfortable.
matrix-jacket-6
The Matrix includes an i Port pocket for electronic devices that has internal routing for earbuds.
matrix-jacket-7
The hood on the Matrix is adjustable and large enough to fit over an open-face helmet.
matrix-jacket-4
I would recommend this jacket to anyone on a budget who is looking for a quality shell with a rider-inspired design. Make sure to hit up your local bike shop and let them know the Matrix is available through QBP.

Have you found the perfect trail jacket? Leave a comment below and let me know all about it 🙂

 

Crane E-NE Copper Bell

untitledI have been searching for a copper bell that accommodates a 31.8mm handlebar diameter since I built up my Surly Cross Check. I finally found one that I am very happy with. Priced around $22.00, the E-NE by Crane sounds as beautiful as it looks.
untitled-2
The above picture explains how the bell is mounted.
untitled-3
Mounting this bell is relatively easy and should only take a few moments to install.
untitled-4
Have you found a bell that you swear by? Please share in the comment section below 🙂

Paul Gino Light Mount.

  After installing my Acorn handlebar bag, I was forced to rethink how to keep my lights mounted. 

Fortunately, Paul Components offers the Gino Light Mount.

 

Offered in either a silver or black finish, the Gino Light Mount is made out of 6061 aluminum that weighs in at 30g.

  
The mount produces a 26.0 mounting diameter that works perfectly with a wide variety of cycling lights. 

The installation of the Gino Light Mount is incredibly simple and the only tool required is a 4mm hex key.

  
Mounting is achieved by inserting the screw inside the mount and through the hole, then adding the lock washer that will sit between the mount and fork. Then tighten down the mount screw.

  
There isn’t a torque specification with the instructions so be careful not to overtighten the screw. Get it just tight enough that the mount doesn’t rotate on the fork

  
And that’s it. These mounts allow me to run lights while using my large handlebar bag.

The mount costs $24 per unit and can be purchased at your LBS or online by clicking here. M

NiteRider Sentinel 40

NightRider
When it comes to tail lights, I have always been an advocate for inexpensive lighting systems. I still find the cheaper (<$20) lights to be completely adequate for any rider. However, I recently received a gift card to the bike shop I work at (don’t judge me) and I decided it was time to get some firsthand perspective on a higher end tail light.
Light2
Enter the Sentinel 40 from NiteRider. This light offers a staggering 40 lumens that can been seen from very safe distances. In addition to it’s 40 lumen main bulb, NiteRider installed two lasers that give you a glowing bike lane wherever you decide to ride. The convenient usb re-charcheable battery takes an estimated 4 hours to charge from full depletion to a full charge.
Light3
Both the main bulb and the lasers can be switched between several modes such as constant, flashing, and a range from high to low (main bulb only).
Light4
The seatpost mount is highly straightforward and secure. The body of the light is integrated with a belt-clip (which is built into the structure and remains connected even with the seatpost mount).

This light retails at $49.99. More info can be found directly from NiteRider here. And, as always, visit your local bike shop for ordering information.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions, or if you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me at justinchiazza@gmail.com 🙂

Brooks Proofide Leather Saddle Treatment

The often fear-provoking break-in process of a Brooks England leather saddle begins before you ever actually sit on the saddle. Treating your saddle with Brooks’ Proofide Leather Treatment before initial use is highly recommended.
IMG_5568
Proofide helps condition your saddle; increasing its suppleness and also helping to waterproof the leather.
IMG_5580
Brooks suggests that their product, and their product alone, should be used to treat their saddles. I’ve read countless articles of people using other products, such as Saddle Soap, however, I personally have followed Brooks’ recommendation so I won’t weigh in on how other products compare.
IMG_5619
A light coating should be applied to the finished (contact side) of your leather saddle; allow the coating to settle in and dry, then polish off any residual film with a gentle rag (I usually use a cheap microfiber cloth).

Picture below: pre-treatment
IMG_5626

Picture below: post-treatment
IMG_5634
Under the saddle, or the unfinished side, apply a heavier coating of Proofide. There is no need to polish the underside of the saddle.
After the initial treatment, Brooks encourages riders to treat the finished side of their saddles every 3-6 months. As far as the underside is concerned, there is no recommendation about reconditioning the saddle. I personally have treated the unfinished side of my B17 Special more than once and haven’t seen any negative consequences.
If ordering online directly from Brooks, you can get 40g tin of Proofide here. Additionally, your local bike shop can also get you a 25g tin if you want something that will take up less space in a bag.

Welcome to Surlywood!

New year, new excitement. And by that I mean, new products.
Surly is making it especially easy in 2016 to show off your Surly of choice with a new run of t-shirts that represent your specific bike.
Most shirts are offered in both male sizing (small-2xl) and female sizing (small-xl).
*Shirts available through Surly dealers. Visit Surly’s Website for a list of local dealers.
TrollStraggler
PugsleyCrossCheck
LHTIceCream

Ritchey WCS Carbon Bullmoose Integrated Mountain Bar/Stem

IMG_5361
Ritchey Logic offers some of my favorite bicycle components. Their products are consistently well designed and aesthetically pleasing. When I got the chance to check out Ritchey’s Bullmoose Handlebar, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share it with you guys.
IMG_5355
According to Ritchey Logic, the Bullhorn design was first introduced by Tom Ritchey himself during the late 1970’s. Since it’s steel predecessor, the Ritchey Bullhorn has made some really nice improvements. The bar is now made made out of a carbon monocoque with a forged alloy steerer clamp. The new design is lightweight and absorbs plenty of vibration without compromising its stiffness.
IMG_5357
A variety of sizes are offered in this bar:
70mm Stem-720mm Width
80mm Stem-730mm Width (280g)
90mm Stem-740mm Width
100mm Stem-740mm Width
110mm Stem-740mm Width
All sizes are only offered in Matte Black.
Each stem has an angle of 6 degrees.
Each bar has a sweep of 9 degrees.
IMG_5360
The retail price for this handlebar is $300.00

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions/comments feel free to leave them here or email me. justinchiazza@gmail.com

Proflex Elastomer Shock Replacement

Ah the 1990’s. What  a wonderful decade. For me, it was about getting my braces off and gluing myself in front of the television religiously in order to enjoy an entertainment-packed evening of TGIF. For the cycling industry, however, it was a decade of testing new waters with disc brakes and production frames made of materials other than steel. There were some good designs as well as some bad. Okay, maybe a lot of bad. In regards to full suspension mountain bikes, companies nowadays are standing on the shoulders of giants, giants who left modern day mechanics angrily wrenching on faulty equipment. One giant in particular was named Proflex.
Proflex94
Proflex bicycles are notorious for their always-failing elastomer rear shock. To remedy this problem, for those who cannot let go of these bikes, people have become very clever at home in order to keep the pulse of this dying bike beating.
SubstandardFullSizeRender-4
From tennis balls to bicycle tubes, people are willing to try anything to save money while, at the same time, putting their lives in serious danger. There are even a handful of companies offering products that look prettier than a deflated bicycle tube wrapped around the rear shock, but serve roughly the same purpose. Luckily, after much trial and error, I can say with confidence that there is an aftermarket replacement kit that you shouldn’t fear using.
NuLifeCycles offers an actual coil that replaces the elastomer.
SubstandardFullSizeRender-3
The coil can be ordered at nulifecycles.com or by phone at 303-330-2737.

The install took about 15 minutes and could easily be done by the seasoned at-home-mechanic. For those of you that aren’t comfortable pulling apart your suspension, take your bike down to your LBS and have them do it.

I really hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to contact me 🙂

justinchiazza@gmail.com