Monthly Archives: February 2012
Bontrager Vella Vana and Camu Bag Review
I am putting these two bags together in one review as other than straps and zippers they are much alike.
Getting women to use bicycles as a form of transportation is rather important to me. I feel as society see’s more women on bikes, as more women empower their children and families to chose a bike, the more we success we will have with getting better laws, infrastructure and movement forward in the US for bikes.
Making biking easier, more functional, and well better looking is a huge step in to doing the above. I feel Bontrager is making strides in this.
A streamlined messenger bag that comes in black or a deep purple. The unique feature of this bag is on the back, under a zipper two clips are hidden to firmly snap this bag on to your rack.
Other features in the bag include:
- A separate, elevated, sleeve for your laptop to keep it from hitting the ground
- Expandable when you need more room
- External key and wallet pocket
- Padded messenger strap
The basics of this bag are the same but instead of a messenger bag it is shaped to fit a paper grocery bag perfectly. The messenger strap is replaced with two hand straps and the top is closed by a zipper top.
The bag still has the installation feature onto a rack, expansion feature with a full zip around the bottom when you need to carry more and adds side straps to cinch down on the sides and keep things safe!
Things I Would Change (Cons)
The bags are really good and durable bags. They’ve encouraged my better half who is a true girly girl to branch out and use a bicycle for other things. With that, I have to make note of a few things that I hope in the next run they address.
- More mounts for blinky lights
- More reflective bits
- Some sort of tie down on the bottom for when I have precious cargo and can’t fathom the bag coming unhitched
- Maybe a rain fly
- More colors. Make it fun, make it eye catching. (Remember hi-viz yellow is the new black!)
Some other cool photos and features
This product was provided for free for review. I was not bribed or paid for this review.
Problem Solver Tech Tuesday: Tools of #Frostbike
Over the past weekend at Frostbike in Minneapolis I spied some very useful tools for shops and mechanics world wide should know of.
Dual presta & shrader valve inflator that connects to your shop compressor.
Do you travel with your tools? Do you want a reason to buy more tools. Here it is. It won’t be cheap, but hell it is big, blue and holds tools.
If you work with deep section wheels you’ll understand this. No more screwing up your valve extenders and it also does valve cores. Every tubular gluing, deep dish riding, mechanic should have this.
Thanks Problem Solvers for sponsoring this and for being awesome at Frostbike.
Preview: All City Macho Man Cyclocross Bike
One of the most exciting parts (there were many) of Frostbike 2012 is the reveal of the new All City Macho Man Cyclocross bike. This is the geared version of their well known Nature Boy.
I can tell you right now this bike is what I’ll be racing next cross season, and will be ordering the gold frameset option as my pit bike. Yes, I said it.
Some of the below photos are my own from the show, some are Jeff Frane of All City.
All City Macho Man Specifications that Matter
Frameset: 4130 ChroMoly steel, double butted, externally tapered, overlized, awesomeness.
Fork: 4130, lugged crown
Derailleurs: 105 rear & CX70 Front
Okay really. It’s steel. It’s new 105 that feels yummy in your hands. Tiagra hubs, cassette and bla bla. This will be my race bike for 12-13. I plan on using the fully built bike like you see above as my pit bike and building up the GOLD frameset option with nicer spec to save weight.
The First 48 Hours of Frostbike Recap
Recapping the first 48 hours of Frostbike thus far for myself in some photos…
First stop: All you can eat bacon.
Thursday (all day long) the brands of QBP walked us through changes, updates, awesomeness that made me very excited. For example the new Macho Man from All City! Apparently we stunk as even the Surly Cycles guys were done with us.
Friday I commuted. The VIP dealers had arrived and it’s time for seminars, some meetings with dealers and getting warm and fuzzies about how awesome my job really is.
Then there was the Michelin Tires Casino night (with Michelin bucks.)
Then it was my job to get as many dealers as legally possible into a large green/neon school bus to take them to the All City Macho Madness party. I think the total in the bus was over 65 or so…
After little sleep over a few nights it was bright and early for expo to open. Here are some of my favorite thing with limited amount of time on the floor today!
Now I’m going to bed to do it all over again tomorrow!
Starting last night through Sunday I am at a tradeshow called Frostbike. Much of my content and typery for the next few days will be wrapped around thoughts, concepts, product and conversations that come out of this tradeshow. Because of this I would like to quickly explain what it is and why it matters to me – which means also why you should continue reading. This is my version of what Frostbike is, I am biased as I am paid by the company that puts the event on, so that is my FTC warning. Also, all thoughts are my own and not of Frostbike or Quality Bicycle Products. (BLAH)
What is Frostbike?
Frostbike I believe started as an open house for distributor Quality Bicycle Products. To show off their main products and to give bicycle dealers (bike shops) the chance to come see and touch stuff that you only would normally see at Interbike. It has grown from an open house to really a mini Interbike that sells out rather quickly. You must be a Quality Bicycle Product dealer with an active account, and bla bla bla but the benefits of a smaller and more intiment settings with really the QUALITY bicycle products in the industry is very unique.
Why is Frostbike Different?
One thing that Frostbike is also is a bicycle dealer education show. There are seminars running the whole time from running your business, to marketing, to financial planning, to hiring, to merchandising, to brand education, to category education and so on. What is so unique about this is that for a good amount of it, it isn’t about product we (QBP) sells, it is about making the bicycle dealer more successful and profitable.
Finally it is also often used as a stepping stones for brands that QBP solely distributes or owns to launch at. The much anticipated 2013 Ridley Cyclocross will be shown off later this weekend, the official US launch of Campy’s EPS groups and several other things coming down the pipe that I would be in deep crap if I mentioned.
There you go, in a nutshell as best as I could without asking the lawyers or marketing geniuses!
My New Obsession with Hi-Vis Yellow
Maybe it’s being hit by a car. Maybe it’s that cars act very differently when I’m wearing it. Either way I can tell you I am quickly becoming obsessed with hi-vis yellow. As someone nicely told me the other day “hi-vis is the new black.”
Hi-Vis yellow and pink will be sought out and purchased like a life insurance claim.
Castelli Radiation Jacket (Review coming)
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Covers (Review coming)
Lazer Helium Helmet (Soon to be purchased when they are available)
First Ever National Women Cycling Forum
Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way), will appear as the keynote speaker at the inaugural National Women Cycling Forum.
The forum will be held Tuesday, March 20, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the 2012 National Bike Summit.
Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States — making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009. But that trend is shifting. This Forum will be the first national gathering specifically dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing how to engage more women in bicycling.
“This critical topic and rising energy is gathering momentum across the country as more women of all backgrounds are starting to ride or getting more involved in the movement,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, Communications Coordinator for the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “We’re eager to start a continuing conversation aimed at increasing the number of women who bicycle for transportation and recreation.”
Learn More over younder_____ http://nationalwomencyclingforum.eventbrite.com/
Tumble With Me
While traveling I take a lot of quick shots with Instagram on my iPhone. Some I save for later use, some I quickly post to Facebook/Twitter and my Bike Shop Girl Tumblr account.
If you are on Tumblr you can follow me at bikeshopgirl.tumblr.com. If you aren’t I have the feed pushing to a page on BikeShopGirl.com. It is worth book marking as when I’m traveling this page sees a lot more content being pushed.
Check it out and Tumble with Me!