Guest Review: Giro Women’s LA DND Gloves
Read the preview here
Details: Moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch breathable mesh. Reinforced fingertips. Flex zones at the knuckles
Gloves are a necessity for me to mountain bike. Between sweaty palms, and crashing I like to keep my skin in place. I’m not needing a ton of padding, which is why these Giro gloves have been my goto choice for a few years now. Flexing in the fingers, lack of velcro to get caught in washing and an affordable price, everything I look for in a pair of XC or road gloves.
The only unfortunate piece of these gloves (as with most women’s gloves) are that the size large are too small for my long fingers.
4 out 5 as I’m very happy with the gloves but now wear the guys version.
Going to buy these gloves? Support BSG by buying through this link
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost for review. The link to purchase the gloves is an affiliate link and I may be paid commission if you purchase through Jenson.
Review: Light & Motion Urban & VIS
Fall means less light and a crazy mid-afternoon sun glare for drivers. Why not help them (and yourself) by running blinky lights during the day and night?
Meet my Favorite Lights Reviewed to Date
Light & Motion Urban 200 and VIS 180 Micro
Key things to know:
Easy rubber strap mount for installation and removal
180′ visibility with orange side lights
Water resistant (maybe proof?!)
Thoughts and Opinion
I’ve reviewed many lights on Bike Shop Girl and Commute By Bike. One thing or another happens after a few months of constant use. Mounts break, lenses fall out, water damage or the battery stops holding a charge (especially in the cold.)
After a year of constant use (day and night) on one bike or another, using the Urban 200 during a couple nights of camping, I can happily say I want this set of lights on all my bikes.
Interested in buying a set? Support BSG by buying through JensonUSA.
Disclaimers: These lights were provided at no charge for review, my opinion is true. If you buy through the link to JensonUSA, I may get commission. Support BSG & do it.
Pure Fix Launches Pure City Cycles
Many brands over the past 4 years have taken the euro route for their new urban models. Flowing lines and upright position with a sexier look than their hybrid big sister and brothers. Pure Fix follows suit with a new sub-brand, Pure City Cycles, and launching 5 models within this new sub-brand today. Where I think Pure City has the right idea is that they are following the Electra model. Less options, more colors. The 4 step-thru models, from what I can tell, are all exactly the same other than color. There is one step over model in a safe color, black.
Now all you have to decide is what color you like, what size and how many gears. Don’t worry you only have two options of sizes (43 & 45cm) and gearing (single speed or 3 speed).
The Abbey $399
Two sizes available, 1 and 3 speed options
The Crosby $399
Two sizes available, 1 and 3 speed options
The Langdon $399
Two sizes available, 1 and 3 speed options
The Wilshire $399
Two sizes available, 1 and 3 speed options
The Bourbon $499
No details available yet
View the complete collection over at Pure Fix Cycles
Review: Power Hungry Cookbook
If you know me, you know that I’m not a culinary expert. While I have being doing my best in 2013 to tackle learning how to cook better please know I am not a genius in the kitchen (or grocery store!) This review is a true real world, clue-less cook, review.
Power Hungry Cookbook: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook
If you are reading this there is a good chance you have eaten some sort of Clif Bar, or Powerbar over the past few weeks. If you are anything like me you are burnt out on the textures, taste or cost every time you swallow one of those $2-5 bars. This is exactly why my interest was peaked when this book showed up for review. Time to branch out of my comfort zone and hopefully make yummy goodies!
The actual book of the Power Hungry Cookbook
The first 30 pages are under “The Power Hungry Pantry” which explains ingredient choices, substitutes and even how to make your own DIY glucose syrup. As a beginner at this, the Pantry pages were helpful and smoothed out some confusion of substitutions.
The book is broken down into a few chapters to easily find something that may tickle your taste buds. Super-Natural Knock-Offs, Activity Bars, Endurance Bars, Protein Bars, Raw and Almost Raw Bars. Something to note, this book doesn’t just make bars but also gel blocks, brownies and cookies.
Reading through the recipes they are easy to follow. As with any cookbook, it’s always good to read through the ingredients and instructions twice before heading to the store. After each recipe there are Bar Tips, Bar Keeping and Bar Variations, all helpful especially after you’ve had a few batches and want to change things up a bit.
Recipes and Rating
Emily and I tried three recipes on our first go around. In the process we created our own rating system from 1-5, it’s a great way to see what we like, or don’t, and what we want to keep making even as we try more recipes. The rating on each recipe reflects an average of our individual ratings combined.
Brewed Awakening Cappuccino Bars – Rating 3.75
Calories: 220 Fat: 9.7g Carbs: 31.3g Protein: 5g
Main ingredients: Rolled oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut, brown rice, some espresso powder and other goodies. These are under activity bars, and make about 16 bars a batch. They are perfect for your jersey pocket, or to chow for breakfast.
Pumpkin Pie Power Bars – Rating 4
Calories: 127 Fat: 2.3g Carbs: 15g Protein: 12g
Main ingredients: Rolled oats (processed into powder), pumpkin puree, whey protein, greek yogurt and eggs. Fall “crack” bars are what these should be called. Perfect to head into fall with one of these in your lunch or jersey pocket. Without any additional chocolate or variations it taste much like the filler of pumpkin pie but in a fluffy bar. These are considered endurance bars and make 10 bars.
Seeds of Power Bars – Rating 2.75
Calories: 199 Fat: 9.2g Carbs: 24.8g Protein: 6.1g
This was my least favorite bar, but Emily loved it. It does have a great taste, but I can’t get over all the seeds and it was by far the most intensive of the three bars. These are under endurance bars and make 20 bars.
Ingredients and Side Notes
The ingredients for the recipes we decided on weren’t the easiest to find but with some proper searching and inquiries at local stores we found everything in one afternoon. 90% was found at our local natural food store (Sprouts), the local grocer had everything else. The initial investment was around $70-80 but mostly due to us not having many ingredients for baking in our house. We went to the bulk section for all the seeds and nuts so we could buy very little for this first round. The whey protein was the most expensive at $20 for the jug, but it stores well and will also be used in smoothies. Once you have the key ingredients the cost per bar will go down the more you make them. Don’t go too heavy on recipe specific ingredients until you know you love those bars and that you will make them again.
We plan on trying out some of the knock-off recipes to see if we like our versions better than the store bought. Our rating system uses this idea of store bought compared to final product. I do believe two of our three recipes tested so far were better than what I can buy at the store. Being able to edit and try out new things helps as well. For example we are almost out of Pumpkin bars so I’m simply going to go downstairs tonight and whip up a batch. No need to spend more money or remember to order them so I don’t starve on the next ride.
I highly recommend this book for yourself and it will be a great Christmast gift for active friends in your life!
Visit the author’s website or buy your copy on Amazon.
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost for review.
Preview: 2013 Giant Anthem X 29Er 4 Women’s Bike
A long time ago I wrote an opinion article on why I didn’t believe women’s designed 29ers worked. Designers were being pushed so hard to get things to market that the result was lack luster, and in my opinion these bikes often handled like crap compared to their non-women’s designed brothers. The front end was flip-floppy, unless you had a crazy short stem and wide handlebar. While this works well for the true mountains, it doesn’t work well for women just learning how to mountain bike. Fast forward a few years, more experienced designers, brands with patience and maybe some more knowledge. Now you have women’s bikes that don’t have crazy head tube angles and carry well in switchbacks up or down. Thus, inspiring confidence and excitement to carry momentum through the trails.
Meet the 2013 Giant Anthem X 29er 4 Women’s
Review: Rickshaw Velo Backpack
“Made right here in San Francisco, The medium Velo edition backpack is an exercise in minimalist design — sleek, simple, lightweight, black. My goal was to address the essential functionality of the everyday, all-purpose carry-all — nothing less, nothing more. I wanted a casual, yet stylish, alternative to the old-school book bag and the over-built wilderness pack — while still working with technical fabrics rather than canvas and leather.”
-Mark Dwight Founder and designer
Meet the Rickshaw Velo Backpack
• MSRP: $139
• Ultra light weight at 1.5 lbs
• Waterproof X-Pac™ sailcloth, YKK water-proof zippers
• Top-loading main compartment for quick access
• Seatbelt shoulder straps
• Reflective strip and light loops
• Removable padded 13″ laptop sleeve or document pouch
• Organizational front pocket
• Padded base and lumbar support.
• Made to order in our own San Francisco workshop.
• Dimensions: 15.5” H x 11” W x 5” D (16” top zipper)
Initial Thoughts of the Velo Backpack
Pulling the bag out of the box I could tell right away that this is a top quality bag. The seams, fabric choices and the attention to detail is superb!
As the designer stated in the quote above, this is a minimalistic, functional bag for everyday use. You aren’t going to over load it, or use it for epic trips but for the everyday girl bag that needs to work as a backpack but not weigh you down – this is going to work well
When talking to Rickshaw about reviewing this bag it was offered to make a customized version. I jumped at the chance picking a bright color that is easy to spot but won’t show dirt horribly. The process is super simple with the Rickshaw online customizer and the back arrived about a week later.
Using the Velo Backpack
The bag is super light weight and easy to move from backpack to tote with the comfortable straps. The backpack straps are of seat belt material, making them wide and comfortable but not too heavy duty. This bag was meant to get you through the day but not to carry tons of weight.
When using it at a farmer’s market it easily was carried as a tote filled with corn and then swung around on to my back for walking or biking.
It’s a verily slender bag, fitting my bag well and leaving room for visibility when looking behind me on a bike.
Conclusion of the Rickshaw Velo Backpack Review
These days cycling inspired bag companies are popping up in all areas of the United States. The quality of Rickshaw and the “handmade in the USA” all have meaning, add in that you customize your bag to your liking and I can’t think of another bag with these features at this price point.
The need to carry my iPad or MacBook Air with wallet and essentials leads me to using this bag more. Walking or riding down to the local coffee shop or office is what this bag was made for. You aren’t going to use this bag to carry you’re whole life but if you are looking for something trim and durable for the every day needs, check out the Rickshaw Velo Backpack.
Disclaimer: This bag was provided at no charge for review
Cyclocross Bicycle Practice, or my First CX Race is This Weekend
My first cyclocross “race” is this coming Sunday; I use the word race loosely as I’m looking at it as bicycle practice, with a very high average heart rate.
Things to do for my first CX race of the season
Find wheels for my cyclocross bike. I have a pair of Specialized Roval Pave wheels that I’ll be swapping over from my single speed. This way I can leave my Powertap on the road bike, and not have to worry about durability thanks to the Roval Pave proofing themselves over the past couple seasons on my single speed.
Find tires for the above wheels. Not knowing any of the courses I’m going to go with my proven “all – around but slow on hard pack” setup. This is a Specialized Terra up front and Michelin Mud2 on the back.
Sign up for a Bicycle Racing Association Colorado license. This is the statewide governing body for all things bike racing in Colorado. While I don’t have to join to race, it saves me from paying one day fee’s and it gives my team points if I place at all.
Register. Thankfully I remembered to do this, and get the BRAC license earlier this week as online registration has already closed for this weekend’s races! Note to self: Always register the Wednesday or Thursday before race weekend.
Test Ride and Skills. This will be tomorrow. Not too much stress, just making sure my bike is functioning and hips are flexible for the mounts. The first few races will be skills clinics in themselves, but I do plan on working in one or two days of CX skills per week.
Review Course. Then forget what I reviewed.
Create CX’ing Playlist on Spotify. Do you have songs that pump you up? Maybe some Katy Perry “Roar”? Let me know what is on top of your list!
Rock Out. Because that is why we are all doing this right?
Photo Credit: Cross of the North Facebook page
Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace
Sizes: 44, 48, 51, 54, 56
Details: Geometry is based on front stack height (how tall the front end is), Shimano Dura Ace through out other than the Cannondale Hollowgram SI cranks. Wheels/Tires are from Mavic
Review: Bern Allston Helmet
3/4 with Visor Flipped Up
Front with Visor Flipped Up
Back in July I introduced Bern Helmets’ new ventilated model, the Allston. With a couple months of testing, three different reviewers and some matchy handlebar tape, I’m ready to give you my opinion.
The Bern Allston
The Allston has 16 vents, weighs in at a claimed 13 ounces and comes in 4 colors. With the classic Bern visor style, lighter weight and a decent amount of ventilation this is going to turn some fixie riding heads!
Colors: Matte Black, Matte Grey, Matte Neon Green, Satin White
Features: 16 vents, 13 ounces, Available in 3 sizes (M, L, XL), Snap in liners to make this an all season helmet
The size Medium that showed up in Neon Green fit many heads. The nicest feature of this helmet in my mind is the liner that comes pre-installed. With a baseball cap flap, the adjustment comes from a soft fabric being tightened by velcro at the back. There isn’t a plastic cage tightening against your scull, it also acts as a sweat catcher!
For bike commuting and low milage city riding this is a great go-to helmet. The vents allow some air flow but the skateboard style shell wraps around your head, a bit lower than most bike helmets these days.
I wouldn’t ride this helmet for 20+ miles unless it’s <60 degrees. While it has good airflow, it isn’t a match for ventilation like Lazer, Giro or Specialized.
If you want a great looking helmet, look here. If you want a helmet that can add some warmth in the winter, look here. If you are looking for a solid mountain bike or road helmet and you are often sweating or in warmer temps, do not look here.
I’m a huge fan of the helmet for the right purpose. In city bike shops Bern is selling like hotcakes. The style of the helmet is undeniable and a huge step up from their standard low vent styles.
Support Bike Shop Girl
Looking for a Bern helmet? If you can’t find something at your local bike shop, click through to JensonUSA as I make a commission off all sales you purchase after clicking through from Bike Shop Girl.
Disclaimer: This helmet was provided at no charge for review purposes.
Review: Sombrio Women’s Origami Jersey
When you hear jersey I bet you think spandex, pockets and zippers. Each of these features have its benefits; pockets for food and tools, zippers for airflow and spandex to keep close to your body. These features have very little use in mountain biking with backpacks strapped to our backs and the desire of looser fitting clothing to be able to move freely. While the free ride and all mountain movement have brought many killer clothes to production for guys, it’s limiting (as usual) for women.
Meet the Sombrio Cartel and the Origami Jersey
This jersey reminds me of a high end workout shirt from Adidas or Nike, but designed to fit with your arms extended and your torso slightly bent.
- Seamless construction
- X-Staticå¨ silver wrapped fiber technology
- Eliminates odors
- Regulates temperature
- Eliminates static
- Anti-slip hem
Fit of the Sombrio Origami Jersey
The size medium that I’ve been wearing fits like a glove. While snug, I haven’t had any chaffing under my Hydrapak or feeling of over heating. For sizing reference I wear a size medium/6 in most clothes.
$75 is a pretty going rate of a bike jersey with pockets, zippers and do-dads. $75 for a glorified Lululemon overbuilt workout shirt is a bit much for me. While the shirt feels amazing, does everything it says it will, I’m sure those who live for all mountain riding won’t hesitate for a second to rock this shirt.
If you have the money it’s a great substitute for standard spandex. I find myself pulling this on any chance given, even for wearing off the bike. If the retail on this was closer to $50 I could see buying a couple and it being my go-to shirt. For $75 I may ask for it on a wish list for Christmas.
Visit Sombrio Cartel to see more
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review