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The All-New Shimano SH-R321 Road Shoe

Posted on Feb 3, 2015

  THE STORY OF THE 3 BEARS: Introducing the all-new 2015 Shimano SH-R321. So what makes this shoe better than the SH-R320? Don’t get me wrong, the SH-R320 is a fantastic shoe and was the best shoe that Shimano had designed and (essentially all) hand- built. Now, to answer the question “what makes this shoe better”, we need to go all the way back to the SH-R315. After many interviews with Pro Peloton riders, their feedback reminded me of the story of the 3 Bears … “The SH-R315 was TOO stiff, the SH-R320 was TOO flexible, the SH-R321 is JUST RIGHT. Since Shimano has always targeted the Pro-Tour riders for their high-end 3xx shoes, continuous rider feedback is required in order to make a better and better product. My experience with the SH-R315 was that even though it was a heat moldable shoe, it was designed without any extra room built in. After going through the Custom-Fit process, the 315’s were way too tight for me. Heating them back up really didn’t relax them that much. I am guessing...

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2014 Products of the Year

Posted on Jan 14, 2015

For the 2014 Product of the Year Awards, I have added the categories of  HARDWARE, SOFTWARE, CLOTHING and HONORABLE MENTION. This was actually pretty tough to put together since every product I have tested has been top-notch from every manufacturer. Not a dud in the group. Every product I tested lived up to its manufacturers spec-sheet and every product performed extremely well and met/exceeded its intended purpose. For 2014, each manufacturer put a lot of quality back into their products and every manufacturer I have spoken with has up front and honest when answering any and all of my questions. Therefore, this made it extremely difficult to pick the best of the best. What I decided to do is create a THEME for 2014 … ELECTRONICS. Since Di2 has been out for awhile, I looked at what’s next. I decided to look at the ‘accessories’ built to support Di2. So here goes; HARDWARE – In keeping with the 2014 theme, I chose the Shimano d-fly SM-EWWO1 wireless transmitter. This small transmitter adds a whole new dimension to Di2 by transmitting Di2 data such as % battery remaining, current gear...

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PROVIZ 100% Retroreflective Jacket

Posted on Dec 19, 2014

  INTRODUCTION PROVIZ, a company located in Christchurch, Dorset, United Kingdom, started in 2009 with a passion to design and develop affordable visibly bright and reflective cycling clothing and accessories. Due to the lack of light-reflective clothing available for cycling, motorcycling and runners, PROVIZ has developed a number of unique, high visibility products that are at another level altogether. Today, PROVIZ continues to grow their product range in new application specific markets by introducing light reflective jackets and vests, motorcycle jackets, a complete kids line, light emitting accessories and even reflective helmets. This review will concentrate on the REFLECT360 cycling jacket and REFLECT360 backpack cover. WHAT IS REFLECT360? REFLECT360 is a super-reflective technology designed as the super reflective stripes on safety vests for public works agencies and construction workers. 3M™, a US-based company, offers a similar technology called Scotchlite™. I say technology since it can be built into almost any fabric. 3M™ Scotchlite™ 8910 is available in larger sizes such as 1270mm (50”) x 100m (100 yards) sizing. 3M™ builds to a US ANSI/ISEA standard and PROVIZ builds to...

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The GUTR – the Next Generation of Headbands

Posted on Dec 1, 2014

GUTR™ SPORTS HEADBAND ***** Update: 12/6/2014. Does the GUTR™ really work? Before this mornings’ ride, I was running a couple minutes late and had forgotten the GUTR™ which sat on the workbench in the garage. When I got to the bike shop, I thought that I probably wouldn’t need it since the weather was on the cool side. Wasn’t supposed to get over 62F. Boy was I wrong. About 40 minutes into the ride, the foam liner on my helmet had completely saturated, sweat started flowing down my face and into my eyes. You know, that stinging sweat. The group was hammering at 27mph through the campground so I needed to keep both hands on the bars. It wasn’t until the turnaround at 20 miles that I could wipe the sweat from my face and eyes. The return trip was even faster due to a slight tailwind. All the way back sweat in my eyes. So, does the GUTR™ work? You bet it does. That is the last time I forget it at home! ***** There are several sweat...

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Best Location for EWW01 – Shimano D-fly wireless transmitter...

Posted on Nov 25, 2014

I’ve been experimenting with best location for the EWWo1. I have heard several people say that, depending on which GPS head unit you are running, there might not be enough signal strength for the head unit to read. Some cyclists have experienced timeouts with their head units and dropped/missing data when processing the results. Reading through Shimano’s tech docs for the EWW01, they imply that this location is a requirement. They seem very specific that the location needs to be mounted between 110mm and 130mm above the top of the right rear dropout. In actuality, this is only a recommendation for placement. Right rear seat stay mounting: The advantages are (1) easy access, (2) ease of connecting, (3) tucked in and out of the way. The disadvantage being that some GPS head units might not pick up its signal. So, where to mount it? This will work for both the older Ultegra 6770 SM-EW67A-E front junction (shown to the left) and the newer 3-port Shimano SM-EW90-A or the 5-port SM-EW90-B front junction (shown to the right). It’s just that the newer units are easier to work...

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Shimano Camera CM-1000 Long Term Use Review

Posted on Nov 20, 2014

      SHIMANO CM-1000 SPORT CAMERA After unpacking the shipping box and laying out all of the bits and pieces, I read through the User’s Manual as well as downloaded the 1-page instruction sheet, and even though you might be tempted to just start playing with the camera, I highly recommend spending 5 minutes to go through the User’s Manual and Instruction sheet. The camera’s operations are very easy to understand and are listed here: http://shimano-sportcamera.com/en/index.php and here http://shimano.camera/us/product.html PREPPING THE CAMERA Unlocking the rear cover reveals 2 slots, one for the supplied USB charging cable, the other for a Micro SD/SDHC card. When you purchase your card, make sure is states at lease class 6. Most are class 10 now. Your card can be 8GB, 16GB or 32GB. I recommend going with 32GB since it will hold an entire 2 hour Full HD video. A 16GB card will fall short. After installing the memory, plug the camera into your PC, Laptop, or an existing 5VDC wall mount (cell phone) charger for about 4 hours to fully charge....

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Magellan Cyclo 505 and 505hc – Worth a Look!

Posted on Nov 16, 2014

  INTRODUCTION When I started this review, Cyclo Version 4.0 had just come out. This review discusses Version 4.1, which came out October 2014. Version 4.1 includes several bug fixes as well as tighter integration to Di2, WiFi and new GPS speed sensor fields have been added. If you are still running Version 4.0, I highly recommend the free upgrade to Version 4.1. One thing I am very happy to see is that Magellan is listening to and evaluating all feedback from the testers, which is ultimately making this a better and better unit. Magellan is continuously adding functionality and quickly taking care of any issues that arise, making this unit better and better with each new release of the software. As a tester who is working closely with Magellan, they are genuinely interested and committed to making this the BEST unit on the market – period. If you have any recommendations, please email the author via the Contact Us form on the website and I will make sure to forward your requests to Magellan. MAGELLAN CYCLO 505 IS A WORTHY GARMIN ALTERNATIVE Magellan, a Belgian company that...

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HALO II HEADBAND REVIEWED

Posted on Nov 15, 2014

  HALO II ATHLETIC HEADBAND I sweat a lot when cycling. Usually so much that I have to remove my sunglasses to see. Looking at different solutions to remedy this, I have tried many types of headbands and head wraps that supposedly stop the sweat – at least for a little while until they get completely saturated then start leaking down the forehead and into the eyes. After seeing the Halo Headband products at a trade show, I contacted them for a solution. They sent me several different styles to try. I settled in on the Halo II as the one that fit me the best and matched my type of cycling. HOW DOES IT WORK? The technology behind the Halo products is two-fold, (1) Antimicrobial Dryline® fabric absorbs the sweat, then quickly wicks it away, and (2) a soft silicon SweatBlock seal channels the sweat towards the side of the head, away from the eyes and face. BEFORE THE RIDE Pulling on the Halo II for the first time, I noticed that it was fairly tight. This headband...

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