Sunday, March 29, 2015

Home Bike Shop Part 1 - Set Up

Once you start to accumulate bikes and have been riding for awhile, you usually start to become your mechanic doing the primary care on your bikes. You end up doing the work out of necessity, pleasure and for cost benefits, and who better to take care of your baby than yourself. Having a functional space to do your work is important, and it needs to be comfortable and roomy enough to perform the maintenance. The floor space (square footage) must include enough room to maneuver the bikes around, incorporate bike stands to hold them during maintenance, storage for parts and tools, and a workbench for staging. Depending on your skill set and needs, you might do most of the work yourself and just leave the most difficult tasks to your LBS mechanics (aka the professionals).

My home bike shop is located down in the large storage room in the basement. It is roomy and comfortable, and warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and I can get the room dirty if I want. Depending on where you live, you might be able to use a portion of your garage as the workshop, but it's not an option for me due to the arctic-like temperatures throughout the wintertime.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

OGIO Announces the X-TRAIN 2 Pack

Transition Seamlessly from Workout to Workday with OGIO’s New X-TRAIN 2 Athletic Pack

The new X-Train 2 carries on the designs of its predecessor and adds a few tweaks and upgrades. I first saw the X-Train 2 at the Interbike show and was intrigued with its design and features. I think it will be useful for commuting, traveling, going to the gym and will be a functional cross sports specific pack. The pack is a durable yet lightweight training pack with convertible organization dividers. It has an external removable helmet storage carrying strap, side cinch straps for towel or mat storage, well padded back and shoulder pads and is hydration ready with tube port and internal hanger. For organization it, has a padded laptop compartment for 15" computers, a valuables pocket with crush resistant lid (for sunglasses and goggles) and a dedicated lower wet/dry or shoe compartment. It weighs 3.2 lbs and has a 49 liter storage capacity. It comes in two colors, Black/Silver and Dark Gray/Burst and retails for $79.95.

  • High tensile strength / lightweight endurance fabrics
  • Crush resistant lockable armored pocket
  • External retractable bungee helmet storage
  • Oversized main compartment
  • Heavily ventilated mesh shoe compartment
  • Ventilated dirty clothes compartment
  • Wet/dry pocket with 360 ventilation gusset
  • Durable abrasion resistant tarpaulin base
  • Adjustable pack style shoulder straps with integrated carry handle
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Nutrition specific organization
  • Multiple zippered pockets and organization compartments
  • Insulated full sized water bottle pocket
  • Materials - 420D Cross Dobby, 210D Hexa Cross
  • Weight: 3.2 Lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12" H x 26" W x 11.5"
  • Capacity: 3000 Cu. In Cubic Inches
  • Visit OGIO url at

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bollé Introduces the Diamondback Sunglasses

Diamondback - Shiny Black/Red w/TNS Fire lens


New Model Signals Design Strategy for Sport Lifestyle Collection

Overland Park, Kan December 2014 – In recent years, Bollé has used its flagship Competitor Series of athletic eyewear to usher in an increasingly aggressive design language. With the introduction of the all new Diamondback, the company brings the modern profile of the brand’s high performance, athletic eyewear to its versatile Sport Lifestyle collection.

Made in Italy, Diamondback frames are constructed with Bollé’s proprietary B-88™ material, a premium quality nylon that is both light and strong. State-of-the-art manufacturing techniques result in a smooth, integrated look, precise fit and finish, and a durable structure.

Grams Thoughts =>  I like the look of the Diamondback, and they appear to be both a useful  set of sunglasses for sailing down the singletrack and at a cafe after a ride. They have a wide section throughout the hinge and temple, which offers additional side protection from sunlight and have lots of grippy materials to keep them in place on bouncy trails. I think the TNS Fire lens looks like the trick one to get, and I am looking forward to trying out a set in the real world. Bollé uses a polycarbonate lens with excellent optical clarity and  impact resistance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

OneUp Components 42T Sprocket, Narrow Wide Chainrings and RADr Cage Review

Upgrade your 10-speed cassette to an 11-42 or 11-40 wide range cassette with the OneUp Components 40T/42T sprocket and use their new cage replacement for Shimano derailleurs that dramatically improves shifting performance for a low-cost 1x11 alternative. 

The 11-speed drivetrain blazed like a rocket into the mountain biking world when SRAM released their 1x11 XX1 system around two years ago. SRAM's system uses various front chainrings (28T-38T) combined with a 10-42T cassette for its 1x11 gearing. The price tag and the requirement of mostly using a full set of SRAM parts for the drivetrain have kept many people from enjoying its simplicity, lighter weight, and wider gearing. It didn't take long for third party companies to give consumers workarounds for the 1x11 system, and the most prominent design retrofits an extended range cog onto a normal 10-speed cassette.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WTB Announces Bridger 3.0 27.5+ Tires, Asym i29 and i35 TCS and Ci24 TCS Carbon Rims, and SL8 Saddle

Taipei International Cycle Show

WTB received two design and innovation awards today for the WTB Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS tire and WTB 27.5+ System from iF Design today during the Taipei Cycle d&i Awards Ceremony. The WTB Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS tire is a large 27.5” tire that was designed to fit within existing 29” bicycles when combined with a traditionally wider 27.5” rim.  When mounted and inflated, the WTB Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS tire becomes 28.6” in diameter, causing roughly a ¼” drop in the bottom bracket height of most mountain bikes.

Additionally, WTB unveiled a new Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS tread pattern and Asym i29, and i35 TCS rims to further the usage and applications of their new 27.5+ category and tire size

Grams Thoughts => I like the new i29 and i35 rims since I think they'll roll and maneuver better and make building easier. I am most excited about the new beastly Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tire, which will bring some much-needed girth to the 27.5+ segment, while still keeping it from being a behemoth fat tire. Not sure many 29er frames will be able to fit that big of a tire, but I think we'll see some new hardtail frames on the market shortly that can accommodate them.