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Posted on Sep 26, 2017

TOPEAK NINJA-C Chain Tool Several times in the past, I have seen cyclists stuck sitting on a curb pounding their chain with a rock, an emergency fix that may or may not get you home. So, what about using a fully thought out chain tool that hides away inside the handlebars? The NINJA C is a really cool idea for a mini-sized but complete chain tool kit! As the box states, The Ninja C chain tool stores inside your handlebar to keep the uncluttered lines of your bike, yet can be easily accessed when you need it. This 11-speed compatible chain tool includes a chain pin compartment, chain hook, and 4mm Allen wrench for easy operation. Ultra-Compact design and implementation. CHAIN TOOL part = 3.4” x 0.9“ x 0.9” (8.6 x 2.3 x 2.3 cm) CHAIN HOOK part = 3.3” x 0.9“ x 0.9”s (8.5 x 2.3 x 2.3 cm) First off, this is a very well thought out tool. When working on a chain, you need a tool to hold the chain and a separate tool to repair...

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Posted on Sep 14, 2017

LOOK NEW LOOK KÉO2MAX CARBON PEDALS LOOK KÉO BLADE CARBON UPDATE But first, an update on the LOOK KEO BLADE CARBON PEDALS that I reviewed back on June 1, 2017, and, as you can see, since June, I have put in a lot of miles on these pedals. That would be around 2,500 miles. So, what’s been my experience with these so far? THE GOOD When they are oriented in the right direction, they are the easiest pedals I have used to clip in. 90% of the time, I have experienced a secure snap when clicking into these pedals. Blades perfectly secure the cleats to the pedals. Three tension release levels are offered: 12Nm, 16Nm and 20Nm. These pedals have the 12Nm blades installed. The “12’s” work OK, but my foot does slip around when compared to a Shimano Blue Cleat on an Ultegra or Dura-Ace pedal. If I knew then what I know now, I would have chosen the 16’s and more than likely the 20’s. With 2,500 miles on the pedals, the carbon bodies are still solid...

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Posted on Aug 18, 2017

This summer, I took a bucket-list cycling trip to France to ride on many of the roads – including many of the most famous climbs – featured in the Tour de France. After my return, I’ve been asked about the trip, and my preparations for it, by many cycling friends. So I decided to write an article detailing a few tips you, too, might benefit from if you decide to check this or a similar ride off your own cycling bucket list. Quick Trip Details The trip we took was from a tour company called Custom Getaways. They have numerous trip packages keyed on grand tours and other marquee events, including the Tour de France (TdF), Giro d’Italia and the World Cycling Championships. Our trip was very professionally supported, and our package included riding on the actual roads that the pros ride in the TdF. We climbed: Alpe d’Huez. A beyond-category (HC) 13.8km (8.6-mile) climb at 8.1% average grade, with 1,135m (3,725 ft) of elevation gained – 725m (2,379 ft) to 1860m (6,102 ft). Col d’Telegraphe & Col d’Galibier....

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F3 Cycling FormMount – Bicycle Computer Mount...

Posted on Aug 12, 2017

F3 Cycling FormMount ASSEMBLY & INSTALLATION My daughter’s Cervelo R5 is a 51cm frame which she likes her setup to be a slammed -17°stem. This causes extremely tight cable routing, so much so that we had to mount her head unit onto the stem. The main problem with mounting the head unit on the stem is that she hits her chin on the head unit when descending in a tucked position, so I have been looking for a good solution to solve this problem. After completing a test on the PowerPod power meter, John Marsh of Road Bike Rider asked if I wanted to test the FormMount. Based on his description of the mount, this seemed like it might be the perfect solution. So, after unpacking the FormMount, I laid everything out on the workbench. The FormMount was very easy to assemble and the directions were straight forward. But that’s where it kind of ended. There were 2 sets of different length headset cap bolts. One set short, one set long. I started with the short. Unscrewing the top...

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ELITE RAMPA Smart(er) Trainer

Posted on Jun 20, 2017

BACKGROUND With the news that Computrainer is shutting down business, this trainer couldn’t have come at a better time. I recently started searching for a new trainer to eventually replace the CompuTrainer. Several makes and models showed promise. Elite seemed to have all the bases covered (see below), so they were my first go-to choice. TYPES & FEATURES First off, what’s the difference between the each of the types of trainers. There’s *INTERACTIVE, *SMART, CLASSIC, ROLLERS, etc. Each of the top trainer manufacturers offer most of these in one form or another. Several come to mind; CycleOps, Kurt Kinetic, Tacx, Wahoo and of course, ELITE. In the case of ELITE, here is their product lines; INTERACTIVE – Trainers that communicate ANT+ or BLU to another wireless device. Communication includes data from the trainer TO the smart display device (PC / Smartphone) as well as data FROM the smart display device that automatically controls the trainer’s resistance settings based on %grade setting within PC apps (ZWIFT, etc.). These trainers usually have magnetic resistance. SMART – Like the INTERACTIVE trainers except...

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Posted on Jun 1, 2017

LOOK KÉO BLADE CARBON PEDALS ANDRE GREIPEL For 2017, there are 4 basic KÉO pedal product lines; IMPORTANT TECH CLEAT TECHNOLOGY Look offers 2 main road (racing) cleats in the KÉO product line. They are identical except one includes 2 anti-slip rubber grip pads (KÉO GRIP cleat), the other (KÉO CLEAT cleat) doesn’t. Advantages/Disadvantages; KÉO GRIP – Anti-slip but slightly heavier KÉO CLEAT – Slippery when walking but lighter (less rotational weight) KÉO CLEATs are included with these pedals. Note; there are holes for attaching the anti-slip rubber grippers so this tells me that they might be the same cleat but one is minus the anti-slip grippers. The main drawback to the KÉO CLEATs is that they are incredibly slippery. You really need to watch your step when walking in these cleats. I highly recommend either the KÉO GRIP cleats or, for $5.99 pick up a set of cleat-covers – see link below. CLEAT FLOAT As a bike fitter in SoCal, I see a lot of pedals and cleats. Some in good condition, most need replacing. 90% of my...

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ELITE FLY Bottle & VICO Carbon Cage

Posted on May 5, 2017

WHAT CAN I SAY? ELITE BOTTLES & CAGES – THEY JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER! ELITE FLY Bottle & VICO Carbon Cage Our previous ELITE bottle & cage review rated the Paragon cage and Corsa bottle a true 5 out of 5. Just about the time you finished reading that review, ELITE upped the ante and introduced a lighter and equally sturdy carbon cage called VICO and the lightest pro-tour bottle called the FLY. Just when you thought you had the best, ELITE has just set a new standard! VICO BOTTLE CAGE DESIGN LIGHT, STRONG and TOUGH. The VICO carbon bottle cage securely held every plastic water bottle I have. Not only tested were the included ELITE FLY racing bottles, but, a dozen more miscellaneous sized bottles from my ‘collection.’ I even tested a plastic (water-bottle-type) tool-carrier. The heaviest water bottle weighed in at 1lb 13oz. (29oz., 822 gm) and I experienced no flexing or stress of the VICO cages. Every bottle I used was held securely. VICO is made from a carbon fiber composite material which provides...

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BERN FL-1 Pavé MIPS helmet

Posted on Apr 26, 2017

  OVERVIEW BERN FL-1 Pavé MIPS helmet BERN is known for their SKATE, SNOW, H2O and BIKE (MTB, BMX, URBAN) helmets. BERN has introduced a top of the line ROAD helmet with MIPS. Called the FL-1 Pavé MIPS, this very comfortable and well-designed MIPS helmet that retails for less than $120! Yes, an actual MIPS helmet with CPSC and EN10787 certifications for under $120. MODEL LINES & COLORS The FL-1 model line includes 4 helmets, 2 MIPS and 2 non-MIPS MIPS: MTB: FL-1 XC $129.99 ROAD: FL-1 Pavé MIPS $119.99 TESTED Non-MIPS MTB: FL-1 Trail $69.99 ROAD: FL-1 Pavé $99.99 The major difference between the MTB and ROAD helmets appear to be an included visor that comes with the MTB helmets. WEIGHT A LARGE FL-1 Pavé MIPS weighed in at only 10.5 oz. (298gm) which is lighter than several other comparable helmets. A light helmet helps reduce neck fatigue, especially on longer rides such as half-centuries, metric centuries, full centuries, Gran Fondos and long charity rides. FIT The FL-1 fit perfectly right out of the box. But, if you...

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