Products

Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Shoe Covers
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Preview: Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Covers

Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Shoe CoversShoe covers are a funny thing. For me, it is the make or break temperature. If I have to put shoe covers on it normally means that most of my friends won’t ride with me because it is too cold. Recently I realized my hobbled together shoe covers that I have been putting more and more duct tape on every year have had it. They are neoprene ones that I had bought probably 8 years ago now. They’ve worked wonderfully and the duct tape I believe added more windproofing to them!

After hunting around, looking at price, material and of course colors I decided on some Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Covers. Why? #1 price at $50 MSRP. #2 wind AND water protection #3 bright ass yellow.

Details from Pearl Izumi

  • MSRP $50.00
  • P.R.O. Barrier WxB fabric provides optimal wind and water protection
  • Fleece lined
  • Waterproof, fully taped internal seams
  • Two stage hook and loop closure provides both sleek fit and easy on and off
  • Kevlar® road bottom spreads open for easy on and off while providing superior durability
  • Recommended for road shoes with external cleats
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility
Full review coming, for now learn more or buy some at Pearl’s site.
I purchased this product on my own dime. It was not given to me for review and I was not bribed to say nice things. This is my disclaimer.
Broken iPhone Screen
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iPhone Bicycle Ready Cases

Yes, this is a bike blog but behind it all I’m a tech freak. Ask anyone about any tech product I have purchased, I research and research…then research a bit more. By the time I get to a store I tend to know more about the product than the person selling it to me.

At the end of 2007 I purchased my first “smart phone” an iPhone. It was awesome, it had a camera, could connect to WiFi, did all smart things with my MacBook Pro. I was smitten, it went every where with me.

Then one day I crashed with it in my back pocket. The delicate screen cracked. I was saddened as there was no insurance for these things. I sent it off to a place in Florida that specialized in replacing the screen. $150 later I had my phone back and it was back to being in love. 6 months later I dropped it 1.5 feet to a counter, it cracked again. I was done, with it cracking it shattered my heart. How could I love something so much that was so delicate?

At this time the cases were very flimsy and the famous Otterbox was not invented, but there was rumors about it. Fast forward, I had a BlackBerry for a year and a half, and then an Android for almost two. At the end of this past December I was gifted with a new iPhone 4s and again I’m back in love with my phone. I work more efficiently, I talk to Siri when I am driving and I am content. (I’ve been doing my best not to live on the phone btw.

Cases that Seem Bike Shop Girl Proof

Otterbox Defender Case
Over the past couple weeks I have been looking at all different cases that would keep the iPhone in one piece and safe from me. Cases have been recommended and the general consensus has been Otterbox Defender has been the general consensus. There has also been talks of the LifeProof Case.

iPhone Lifeproof caseThe above cases seem the most durable, the LifeProof can be waterproof but is recommended to test prior to submersion.

 BioLogic BikeMount

BioLogic Bike Mount Case – seems cool, the idea of having my iPhone on the front of my bike does worry me, but probably safer than my jersey pocket.

Recycle iPhone case

This guy won’t keep your phone too safe, but it sure is cute – found on Cafepress with oceanem.

Wahoo Fitness Bike Computer Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack turns your iPhone into a cycling computer with wireless sensors. It mounts to your handlebar through a pretty simple looking mount (has anyone used one?) I’m going to try to get my hands on one of these for testing, or if you have one please contact me for a review.

Topeak iPhone Dry Bag

If you want something more basic, Topeak has a cool dry bag with foam built in. Plus a mount on the back to put on the handlebar. Oh, they come in white – which is catchy for me!

UClear Bike Helmet Communicator Review
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Preview: UClear Bike Helmet Communicator

What happens if you could ride your bicycle, listen to music, talk on the phone and continue to communicate with out being blasted from others, and putting yourself in harms way with headphones? For $230 you may be able to do that. Enter UClear Bluetooth helmet communicator.

UClear‘s Description

This advanced helmet communicator lets you make a call, intercom with another cyclist or listen to music – all on the fly without interrupting your bike ride. UCLEAR’s military proven boomless microphone & patented beam forming technology isolates your voice and eliminates background noise so you can be heard in even the most extreme environment.

Specifications

  • High-fidelity speakers with embedded microphones (2)
  • Hardware to mount controller to most helmets.
  • 30” extension cord for placing controller in pocket
  • AC/USB charger
  • Velcro speaker mounts
  • Talk Time:Up to 10 hours
  • Standy Time:Up to 2 weeks
  • Battery Type:Rechargeable lithium-ion polymer
  • Full charging time:2 hours
  • Bluetooth version:2.1, Class 2 (EDR)
  • Design type:rain and snow resistant

More Coming Soon

Now that I got a new case for my iPhone I am looking forward to trying out this UClear device. Product testing, helmet installation testing and abusing has started. I will check back in with this review soon!
Salsa Fat Bike Prototype
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Fat Tires and Full Suspension Prototypes

Surly Bike Fat BIke TireNext week Tech Tuesday we will touch on fat tire bikes and why they are awesome. For now imagine your mountain bike tire to be 4″ wide. Yes 4″. They’ve been around for several years. The Surly Pugsley in purple was my first experience with fat bikes, this was in 2005. It was single speed, I was in North Carolina. It was awesome for bombing through woods, making my own line on the trail and really not giving a crap what I ran into. Think monster truck with a bike. (You do need forward momentum for it to work!)

Salsa Cycles recently released photos of a full suspension fat tire bike

For those that live in North Carolina or on the West Coast won’t get this. What are fat bikes and why does this matter? The answer for the first question comes Tuesday. The answer for the second question is simple.

Because they can.

Monster truck with front and rear suspension to make your own path, hit the sand, hit the snow and be fine when you hit those logs or rocks in the way.

From Salsa’s blog:

The inspiration for this project came from numerous people within our team (in a strangely timely convergence actually) and from the fact that fatbikes are being ridden all year long as opposed to being strictly thought of as snow or winter bikes….

These are prototypes. We expect to learn a lot from them. They may or may not eventually become an actual product. That is undecided at this time.

IMG_0217
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Bike Shop Girl in 2012

What a whirl wind the past couple months have been. First a new position within an amazing company in the bike industry. Leaving my old company. A good amount of traveling via airplanes in December 2011 and started to hit the road hard in 2012. I’m really looking forward to traveling the southeast in this new position and hopefully really creating smarter, and stronger bike shops within the southeast. This can only mean more folks on bikes, which is always my ultimate goal.

I’ve been building demo bikes, finding time to ride and testing product for reviews. All of this should really start hitting next week, with timing out post, filling in the schedule and pulling in part time guest writers you should see more diverse writing on this site in 2012.

You’ll see more riding, more event coverage and more of everything. I’ll be on the road a ton, which means a lot of time to think, ride new trails and roads, meet new people and try to hit the bike industry with storm.

I have goals for 2012 but those still need to be smoothed out before I release them to the wild, for now know you all – my readers – are a specific high line goal of mine.

What are your goals on and off the bike? Tell me more….

 

Surly Troll Preview
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Preview: Surly Troll. One Part MTB, One Part Utility

While at the Surly Intergalactic Headquarters of QBP I was able to demo a few bikes for commuting purposes from my abode to the headquarters. While there was also a Civia I haven’t put up yet, there is a Surly Troll that also busted a friends hip on the black ice across the Minneapolis pavement.

Read More

Clif Bar Seasonal
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Holiday Stocking Stuffer Wish List

I’m a cyclist, I ride year round and there are key things that I use year round, or around this time of year lust after. For all of you looking to buy something for a cyclist in your life this is my stocking stuffer list. I’ll also be writing up a larger item Holiday Wish List for the bigger ticket items.

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

Insulated, easy to use mouth piece and a close off valve to keep the bottle from leaking in your bag or on a shaky mountain ride.

Rear Blinky Light

Walk in to any bike shop and for $10 – 40 you can get a good rear light. Depending what type of traffic and weather your cyclist rides in you may want to spend more.

Cycling SocksDeFeet Socks

I’m a sucker for wool but maybe your cyclist is into pastel colors, crazy designs or an easy “STFU” on their cuff. Another easy to find stocking stuffer.

Tubes

Tubes for your bike is a much needed evil for when you get a flat on the side of the road. Take a look on the side of the tires of your cyclist bike, right down the sizes and note if the valve of the tire looks like a car or a skinny presta valve. (If you explain it at all to a shop they’ll understand.) Often during the holidays shops will have buy 5 for the price of 4 or something.

Clif Bar SeasonalHoliday Clif Bars

During the holidays Clif puts out limited runs of their bars in Gingerbread, Pumpkin and Peppermint. Local grocery stores and bike shops should have these in stock.

Screen shot 2011-12-05 at 4.21.11 PM
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How Do You Dress for 10º Commuting?

Next Monday through Friday I’ll be in Minneapolis for a week’s worth of training for the new gig. I would like to commute by bike as much as possible from my humble abode to the QBP headquarters 14 miles away. Looking at the weather it seems to be in the teens most mornings, granted I am a week out so weather may change.

How would you dress for such weather? What are key things I should pack and worry about?

Sound off!

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