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InfoCrank by Verve Cycling

Posted on May 29, 2015

      WHAT IS A BICYCLE POWER METER? A bicycling power meter is a device that measures the power output of a cyclist. Most bicycle power meters use strain gauges to measure the applied torque from the cyclist, and when combined with angular velocity, power is calculated. These are called Direct Force Power Meters and are sub-divided into single-sided and dual-sided power meters. Single-sided power meters will attach a strain gauge to either the left/non-drive side crank arm, the rear hub, or the crank. Dual-sided power meters will usually attach one strain gauge to the left crank arm and one to the right crank arm. Some newer devices, called Non-Direct Force Power Meters (Non-DFPMs), do not use a strain gauge. Instead, they measure power through handlebar-mounted units that utilize the principles of Newton’s Third Law by measuring a cyclist’s opposing forces (gravity, wind resistance, inertia, rolling resistance) and combining these with velocity to determine the rider’s power output. Non-DFPMs are claimed by their manufacturers to be fairly accurate. By definition, these will display a single value in total watts. CHOICES,...

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Posted on May 14, 2015

As founder of Bike Test Reviews, I spend a fair amount of time researching products. What works, what doesn’t? What’s good, what’s bad. Is it easy to use? How is it perceived by the cycling community? Is the literature easy to understand? Are the directions clear? Marketing hype or is this the real deal? Here’s an example of a simple product that works. Period. FINISH LINE makes a variety of products, all excellent and proven by the fact that their products have been around for a long time AND are still in demand. FINISH LINE makes chain lubricants, bicycle degreasers, brake fluids, cleaning products, tools, and specialty products – which includes Fiber Grip™. Most cyclists have either heard of FINISH LINE or have used at least one of their fine products. Recently, while reading through on-line forums, I noticed that there’s one BIG misconception … most think that ‘friction paste’ and anti-seize are the same thing. It’s clear that A LOT of people don’t understand what Fiber Grip™ is, nor what it’s really for nor why. Forums are full of cyclists putting...

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Introducing Advanced Multisport Optics, better known as AMO...

Posted on May 10, 2015

  AMO HIGH QUALITY SUNGLASSES Tim Hallworth is a perfectionist. He’s also an accomplished triathlete and, his latest addition to his resume now includes AMO co-founder. Tim is a “gear geek” who uses the latest cutting edge triathlon equipment. Tim also appreciates good equipment that works as advertised. But, one piece of critical gear was functionally lacking … Sunglasses. Tim mentioned that his go-to sunglasses slipped down his nose, the lenses fogged easily and the clarity was just not there. Not being satisfied with what his options were, he decided to developed his own! … Introducing Advanced Multisport Optics, better known as AMO. Tim’s goal was to create “a better brand of sports sunglasses.” For three years, Tim spent all of his free time and money visiting factories and testing every type of sunglasses to better understand the technical aspects. As Tim states “AMO sunglasses contain all of the many features needed by multi-sport athletes, not just some of the features as is the case with others [brands]. I believe AMO sports sunglasses are the best sports sunglasses on...

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Posted on May 9, 2015

MIPS HELMET MINI_REVIEW HELMET ROUNDUP By Coach Rick Schultz ( & John Marsh ( The entire RoadBikeRider & BikeTestReviews Test teams jumped at the chance to do a roundup review of the MIPS helmets available to road riders. We all wanted to learn more about MIPS: What is it, how does it work, any difference from a regular helmet in terms of fit/form/function? And, how about cost? First – What is MIPS? Modern (non-MIPS) bike helmets are wonderful pieces of technology in terms of their impact resistance. They are designed – and tested – to help prevent skull fractures and other major blunt-force trauma. They are not, however, designed to mitigate the forces that can cause a concussion. A Swedish company called Multi-directional Impact Protection System — MIPS — patented the slip plane concept (what it calls a low-friction layer), using two layers in the helmet (the MIPS “liner”) to help mitigate the rotational force of an impact, which can result in a concussion or other brain injury. Here’s how the company itself describes the technology: “In a helmet...

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XX2i Optics Sunglasses

Posted on May 1, 2015

LOW COST / HIGH QUALITY SUNGLASSES My eyes are pretty sensitive to light, so for me, a high quality pair of sunglasses is essential. Cheap sunglasses make me squint, which is an attempt to decrease the amount of light entering the eyes that also puts a strain on ones’ face, causing facial muscles to tense. This added stress detracts from the overall positive experience that cycling gives. Therefore, the first thing that I look for in a new pair of sunglasses is to see if they will actually work for me in bright sunlight. Many sunglasses come in a multi-lens kit bundle. Usually either yellow, amber, or clear lenses for low light cycling and one darker set of lenses for mid-day cycling. My favorite lenses, and the ones that work best for me during bright mid-day cycling are dark polarized, which is part of what came in the package! The  XX2i OPTICS  sunglasses in this review came as a kit. Included was a gloss Black frame with red ear & nose pieces along with a kit containing (a) set of blue ear...

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Posted on Apr 29, 2015

WHAT IS A HAPPY LENS™? Several months ago, before one of our local Saturday rides rolled out, two cyclists were talking about their “Happy Lens™.” This was the first time I had heard about this so I asked them what it was. One of the cyclist said “it’s a SPY thing that has something to do with light to make you Happy.” The other cyclist said “I think it’s the color of the lens.” Well, I thought, it looks like I need to do a little of my own research. My initial thought was that this was just some sort of marketing ploy to differentiate themselves from the competition, so I started my own research by going to the SPY OPTIC website. “HAPPY LENS” is its own mini-site and there is actually a lot of good information all about the Happy Lens™ – what it is, what options are available and, most importantly, how it works. If, by chance, you want even more detail, click on the SCIENCE OF HAPPY link that links to the actual articles SPY used...

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