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Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack Review : Long Term

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Banjo Brother Tag

Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack
$79.99
Overall : 4 out of 5 stars.
Pros : Durabilty, storage/pockets, replaceable inner liner.
Cons : Size,  heat/sweat in the summer months.

For the past few months I’ve been using a my Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack for a variety of things.  The gym, going to work with my laptop, and even in the front of the Civia Loring that I was reviewing. You also may want to read theIntroduction to the Review on the Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack.

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fi’zi:k Vesta : Preview

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For the past few years I have named the cut out or indention in the saddles for women “cooter holes.”  No, it isn’t PC but neither are all the people making saddles for women with out even having a variety of women testing them prior to selling hundreds to unknowing souls.

fi’zi:k knows saddles.  They are one of the top selling road saddles for guys that I’ve seen, among Selle Italia and such.  They have one womens saddle that has been on the market for some years called the Vitesse.  I tried riding this saddle for a while 2 years back, and suffered.  My soft tissues needed a “cooter hole”  or indention, or something that the Vitesse did not have.  I quickly swapped saddles back and continued on with life.

fi'zi:k Vesta

Now there is a new saddle from fi’zi:k called Vesta. They are marketing this with a “pressure relief channel” or a cooter hole.  That comfortable place to put your soft tissues out of pressure and harm. Other than this, the saddle is the same shape as the prior model I spoke about, the Vitesse.   The base price is $129.99, within range of most all fi’zi:k saddles, and higher end Terry saddles as well.

I hope to land one of these in my hands during the long, boring and painful base miles to see how their “pressure relief channel” really holds up.

Batavus BUB Review : Introduction

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Batavus BUB

Batavus BUB

A quick introduction was posted over at CommuteByBike.com to introduce the Batavus BUB I had teased about a couple weeks ago.  The BUB is a watered down version of most Batavus bikes.  It’s for the person wanting a true city bike but not all the bells and whistles like full chain guard and generator lights.

We are fortunate enough to be one of the first bike testers for the prototype Batavus BUB.  The bike we had in for review was a one speed with a coaster brake.  Slowly I’ll be unveiling my own thoughts, along with a friend who is a pretty new cyclist/commuter.  Let’s start with an introduction from a shop called Renaissance Bikes that was our contact for the BUB.

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

Batavus BUB on the Way

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A very well talked about bike at Interbike in the upright, euro style, bikes was the Batavus BUB, or Batavus Utility Bike.  The bike has a “paper clip” look to it but holds all the function and design that we know of Batavus.

From Bespoke :
The Batavus BUB is the classic omafiets-meets-Rem Koolhaus. Expressively modern, the Batavus BUB (Batavus Utility Bike) deconstructs the classic Batavus omafiets while constructing a more cosmopolitan – yet equally iconic – iteration of the classic Batavus bike.  True to the essence of the original, classic Batavus bike, the BUB keeps clothing clean, the rider comfortable, and maintenance to an absolute minimum while eschewing nostalgia. The Batavus BUB design presupposes the currents present in Dutch architecture, urbanism, and contemporary design and establishes itself as a new icon.

At a mere $550 the BUB is pure Dutch quality. Everything is present. The chain is completely covered. The gears and brakes are completely internal. The riding position is straight-up, allowing for clear safety sightlines and less visits to the chiropractor. The frame is light enough to take indoors, but durable enough to be stored outside all year in a tough Northeast winter. Like an Eames chair, the design is thoroughly urbane, recalling the clever tricks of Dutch architects and a measure of frivolity admist stern Calvinist practicality. A smashing success in previews throughout Europe, the BUB challenges North American designers to innovate function into form while pushing the native Dutch bike industry to challenge its inbred insularity.

Shortly, Bike Shop Girl will have a BUB for our reviewing pleasure.  Be bopping downtown, the daily commute and the daily life is what the review will be about.  If you have request, questions or any thing else you would like out of the review please let us know!

Links for your reading/research pleasure:

Los Angelos Cycle Chic
Bespoke
Joe Bike

Smartwool PhD Sock Review : Intro

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In the South East of the US it is becoming time to pull out your base layer long underwear and find your wool socks. Personally, I enjoy wearing my wool socks year round but not many others around my bike shop feel the same way.

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Rain Gear for Women

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Men have it easy, across the board it seems, with cycling.  Clothing fits them easier, they don’t need specially designed bikes normally and most men don’t care what rain gear looks like or how it fits on them.

I’m different and it seems like, in the few emails I received, you are to!  I’ve scored many places trying to find a suitable rain gear outfit for women and I still haven’t nailed down the colors but sizing seems to be getting better.

Suggestions for rain gear :

Showers Pass Elite 2.0 JacketShowers Pass Elite Women's Jacket

$230.00

Not very cheap, but good waterproof and breathable rain gear isn’t.  This jacket has tons of ventilation through out, including zippers under your arms and a vent on your back side. With a catching blue color this may change your idea of how a rain jacket should look.

Gore Power Lady Jacket

$199.99

A jacket made by the company that brought us Gore-Tex.  Could you not ask for more?  This jacket is in the Paclite family so it can be packed in a jersey pocket.  A flip down tail will also add extra protection from road or dirt spray on your behind.  With the slim fit, it is true, you need to be pretty slim to wear this jacket.

Gore Solid Lady PantsGore Solid Lady Pants

$189.99

I still have not been able to find a women’s cut, non-black, pair of decent rain pants. The closest I have found are these from Gore. Unfortunately no other colors but I guess that’s how it is for now.

I Spy : Hoo Ha Ride Glide Review

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There are tons of different types of chamois butter, from various companies that are special for different reasons. First you have “natural” ingredients, others have a cooling sensation, and some a numbing.

Hoo Ha GlideNow Hoo Ha Ride Glide is the first chamois butter created by women for women, because guys we are built different down there.

Some of you might be asking what chamois butter is.  Most roadies swear by chamois butter as it is a lube that goes on your skin in various “under” areas to help with chafing and saddle sores.  Some women can’t even ride with out it as their soft tissues down there are so sensitive.

I’ll be reviewing some Hoo Ha and seeing what I think.  I’ve used many different chamois butters over the years and I haven’t noticed too much of a difference, maybe Hoo Ha will really help!