Modify Watches

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Gear No Comments

Founded in 2010, Modify Industries Inc. has recently entered the cycling market, bringing a bit of color to your wrist as well as increasing the chance that you won’t miss happy hour.

They’ve been working with various sports teams since their beginning, and following their successful Kickstarter campaign, they can print-on-demand fully customized watches.  They are printed and assembled in San Francisco, and we have one for Hodala, the cyclocross team I race for.

photoIf you’ve got a team, a bike shop, a brand or any other reason to have a made to order watch.  Check out Modify at their website.

You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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PatchNRide

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Gear No Comments

Patchnride.  This could be a game changer for one of the top things that keep people off their bikes: flats.  I have no idea how well it actually works- but it looks like one hell of a gift for the cyclist that doesn’t want to get their hands dirty.

I’m not sure how many fixes you get out of one pen, but they are taking pre-orders now.  Two units for $25 + $5 shipping.  They start shipping fall of 2014.

 

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The new Blackburn Rangers: OUT THERE

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Well Blackburn has selected their 2014 batch of Rangers, and it sounds like they have some pretty cool adventures planned.  Blackburn has been making cycling accessories since 1975 and over the years has brought some really great products to the people.  The Rangers help with product development with on the bike testing.  In it’s 3rd year, the Ranger program has given important feedback to Blackburn about how to improve or innovate their products further.

Meet the Rangers:

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Review: JBL Clip

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Accessories, Gear No Comments

This little ditty has been a fun little thing to play around with since it came my way a few weeks back.

A clean design and decent sound quality make the $50 JBL Clip a worthy sidekick for your summer full of picnics, bike rides, park beers and porch livin’.

It weighs very little (158g) and can be clipped onto something due to it’s integrated carabiner.  It’s currently sitting at about ear level in the wheelhouse of the boat I’m currently on.  You can stream wirelessly with it’s built in Bluetooth®, or use the integrated audio cable that is neatly stored on the device.

I’ve mostly been using it via Bluetooth, then coupling it with the 1/8″ outlet to link to a larger set of computer speakers.  It gives me the wireless capability, but adds a little more bump.

It also has a built in microphone, allowing you to answer phone calls.  Since I mostly text message and email, I don’t find this feature very useful- but for those that still use their vocal chords to communicate, JBL is looking out for you.

At 3.2W you aren’t going to be fueling any house parties, but with a battery life that lasts up to 5 hours, you can sure knock back a few beers watching the sunset in the park.  The sound quality isn’t earth shaking, but for a $50 portable speaker I think it’s adequate, even if it’s a little on the tinny side.

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Chrome Forged Rubber

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Greg made a stop at Seattle’s new Chrome shop downtown a couple weeks back and was impressed with some new shoes that will soon be made available.  These shoes are what Chrome is calling their Forged Rubber line and it sure seems that they’re excited about them.  This is another product that isn’t specifically for the bike- but some of us unfortunately don’t spend all of our time on the bike.  Turns out, you can still ride in them.  So here is what somebody is calling “The Best City Sneaker In The World.” Who said it?  I don’t know, but somebody did because it’s in quotation marks.

A snippet from Chrome:

Chrome turns modern manufacturing upside down by resurrecting 70-year-old Forged Rubber machines originally used to make army boots in Europe.  Discovered in eastern Slovakia, an area of the world known for its demanding city landscapes, these Forged Rubber machines were refurbished and adapted to make Chrome shoes that embody the brand’s spirit of making thoughtful, highly durable products.  Each Forged Rubber sneaker is individually made by hand using heated pressure and the outsole is fused directly onto the upper to ensure no separation. The result is that no undesirable cement is used and Chrome shoe lasts under the most demanding conditions.  A reflective heel and an odor resistant technology are also integrated for daily city survival.

 

Forged Rubber: 70 Years in the Making from Chrome Industries on Vimeo.

If you’d like the real deal Holyfield -first look- touch it with your own grubby mitts tour- you’re in luck.  Because they are taking their show on the road and coming to a city near you.

Get the mobile factory tour in these fine cities on the following dates:

  • San Francisco – 6/20 – 6/21- 962 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
  • New York City – 7/1 – 7/2 - 238 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
  • Chicago – 7/11 – 7/12 - 1529 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
  • Seattle – 7/18 – 7/19 - 1117 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
  • Portland – 7/25 – 7/26 - 425 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

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Introducing Wraith Fabrications

Written by greghxc on . Posted in Bicycle, Cyclocross, Gear, Road 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 4.17.15 PM
Checked my inbox this morning to find this sexy snap from Adam Eldridge’s new project Wraith Fabrications. Wraith is launching a line of hand-made, stock-sized frames made here in US. It looks like Adam is hoping to bring the philosophy used at Stanridge to a frame/fork combo with less of a price barrier.

Wraith is offering both a road and cross frame constructed from triple-butted Columbus Life (and a Zona backend on the CX) tubing. The frame/fork combos run $1090, and have a limited quantity available for pre-order with a $300 deposit. Frames set to ship next month. Check out the site for sizing and details.

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Gevenalle CX

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Gear, Portland No Comments

You may remember Retroshift- the still somewhat new brand offering an alternative to brifters for your geared cyclocross bike?  Well they have a new name, and have jumped headlong into more solutions for cross racers that feel the need for more than one gear.  Founded by Adam Clement in 2011 (as Retroshift) in Portland- the first product offerings were the CX1 and CX2 shifters and soon after followed by the BURD (Blatantly Upgraded Rear Derailleur) cyclocross specific derailleur. The company focus is providing solutions for cyclocross. All products are built in Portland OR using both Taiwanese and American made parts.

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First look: Blackburn Outpost Racks

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Got a box of goodness from the folks at Blackburn the other day- and I’ve been scrambling to get a bike together to test it out.  Inside the box was a front and rear set of the Outpost World Touring racks, a Central rear pannier, and the Central front light (pannier and light post coming up next week.)

My Raleigh Port Townsend has long been a favorite testing platform for this sort of thing, but I’ve also been waiting on parts after a broken brake lever opened a can of worms for me in what I’d need to get back on the road.

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I’ve got it back together enough to install the Outpost Racks, with which I’m impressed with so far.  The installation went fairly well, with the racks giving options for just about anybody out there looking to put together a stout touring rig.  The Outpost racks use Easton Scandium and aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum tubing in their construction- with adjustability options to accomodate 26″- 29″ (or 700c) wheels.  On opening the box, I was a little unsure what bike I’d be able to put the racks on.  They looked really big and at first I thought they would be for the fatbike.  Holding them up to the frame, I quickly realized that they were built for a 135mm “standard” rear spacing and a 100mm front- not my 190/135 combo.

The Outpost racks (front and rear) are very customizable, utilizing a nifty sliding lower attachment point that fastens to your frame or uses an extended quick release axle (not included) if no braze-on is available.  I found the racks to be easy to install, with a lot of adjustability, even if your frame doesn’t have all the attachment points of a full-fledged touring frame. In attaching to the seat stays, you’ve got three options.

  1. Attach to rack braze-ons – the method I used for the rear rack.
  2. Attach to cantilever brake posts – the method I used for the front rack.
  3. Attach to frame via included P-clamps.

The bars used to attach to the frame/posts/clamps have little rounded eyes that accommodate the angles that may be needed to get a good solid connection without bending the rack or mounting hardware.  The rear rack is rated for 55lbs and seems plenty stout.  Here you can see it with the Central rear pannier that they sent along as well (I’ll break down the features of the pannier in another post.)

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The rear rack sports a mount to attach a reflector or rear light.
1The front  rack has a removable top rack platform, features high and low pannier mounts and sports the same design and customization options of the rear rack.
9photo 3I really liked the adjustability and I can see that you’ll get a clean install as a finished product- with whatever bike you may choose.  Now that I have everything installed and cut to fit, I’ll take it off and get a weight on the rack.

The Outpost Rear rack retails for $125, with the Outpost Front retailing for $100.

See more from Blackburn HERE

I’ve got a couple more things to put together on the bike, and then I’ll get it out for a ride and let you know how the rest of the stuff works out.

 

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Borealis Echo

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, fat bike, Gear No Comments

So it’s looking official- Borealis Fatbikes has taken the reins as the company pushing the limits of fatbikes, bridging the gap between 29′ers and those that want tires with more than 4″ of rubber beneath them.  When it comes to carbon- they’ve got more out there than anyone.  Now with two frames- the Yampa and the new Echo, Borealis also offers their Carbondale rims, and a carbon fork- Oh my!

The Yampa has been seen quite a bit in adventure racing (with a number of wins) this last winter, and the Echo brings out more of the mountain bike feel, with a suspension tuned geometry and a 100mm Rockshox Bluto suspension fork.

Will fat mountain bikes be the wave of the future?  It’s unlikely.  But for every 100 people that don’t see any use for fat tires, there is somebody out there that is drawn to these double wide wonders, happy as a pig in shit every time we throw our leg over one of these peculiarities.

Carbon fatbikes aren’t cheap and and fat wallets help- the Echo will be offered with 4 spec levels ranging from $4000-$7200.  So start pinching your pennies.

 

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