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Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle Review

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Somewhere in the depths of the internet and one of my computers, is the original version of this article.  I hope the second version is only that much better than the first!

Camelbak Podium Chill BottleCamelbak Podium Chill Bottle
MSRP: $12.99
Details: BPA Free, Insulated Bottle

A water bottle is a water bottle, you get them free when you buy a bike, complete a ride or purchase them for $5-9 from your local bike shop.  That is exactly what I thought until I purchased a couple Camelbak Podium Chill Bottles a year ago.

Initial Reaction

When the original Podium Bottle was released I picked one up and wasn’t too impressed.  Yes, the screw on lid with bite valve was cool because it would keep your liquids from leaking all over your bike.  It also allowed you to keep the valve open to easily drink from, instead of opening/closing the lid every time you wanted to drink.  The lid alone wasn’t worth $5 extra dollars.

It’s All in the Insulation

Then Camelbak released the Podium Chill Bottle and I came to my senses.  Never before had I been a fan of insulated bike bottles.  They were clunky, hard to squeeze and came in only very boring colors.  Now insulation made sense to me and on most days in North Carolina between May and September I’m using the Insulated Podium Bottle.

Camelbak Podium Bottle Design

Once I overcame my sticker shock and realized that cold water was worth the money I embraced all of the design features within the bottle.

  • The lid with the ability to lock the valve closed has saved me many times when my bottle is on its side in my messenger bag.
  • The bite valve allows me to leave the bottles lid in the open position when I’m riding, and still doesn’t leak!
  • The textured outer layer of the bottle feels very odd at first, but the first time the bottle or your hands are wet you’ll realize its for grip.

Final Thoughts

Yes, Camelbak sent me some of these bottles as part of a care package so I have to disclose that part, but I owned several bottles previously.  Currently as my standard water bottles need replacing I’ll replace them with the Insulated Podium bottles until it is an even split between the two types of bottles.  The standard bottle will always have its place in the cupboard and on my bike, but for hot days over 80 degrees the Podium Chill Bottle will be in my water bottle cage.

Bottle Line: If you ride in the heat,  or sweat a lot,  try out one of these bottles.

Interested in purchasing a Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle or something like it after reading this review? Help support the site and purchase it from our Affiliate : REI

Reflective Rims and Internally Geared Hubs

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Shimano Alfine and Velocity Halo Dyad

Shimano Alfine and Velocity Halo Dyad

A set of wheels are in for review and in the midst of getting installed on the famous Salsa Casseroll.   Utilizing a Shimano Alfine groupset I have been piecing together in the past 6 months, and the new Velocity Dyad Halo reflective rims.

The wheels and review are also based all around the Shimano Alfine groupset, as I’ve been interested in internally geared hubs (IGH) since trying the Civia Loring with SRAM i-Motion.  Combine the IGH and a Dynamo front hub for a motion powered front light.

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nuun : A Hydration Review

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Nutrition is an under used term for the novice cyclist or athlete.  For the professional, it is the way of life.  They run their engine like NASCAR builds their cars, with precision.  For the past few months I’ve put my family in some sort of science experiment with various types of nutrition supplements and varieties.

nuun is a electrolyte replacement, with a little flare.  These little tablets come in 8 flavors, and are kept in plastic tube to keep them readily available on long rides.   With available flavors like Kona Cola, which tastes exactly like Coca Cola, and Lemon+Lime, tastes like Sprite, or Banananuun.  My personal favorites will always be the fruity styles like Citrus Fruit or Tri-Berry.

The flavor isn’t the only unique feature of Nuun.

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Keep Your Tools in Style

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If you are like me, you use various bikes for different reasons.  We’ve already talked about my obsession with my basket but I also use panniers and a messenger bag.  Because of this I am always moving my tools between bags or bikes.  Most of my daily bikes have a designated seat bag under the saddle but for my daily commuter I need something that can easily move and keep all my tools in one place.

I spy the SoulRun Tool Roll

There are many of these sort of these rolls or burrito style bags out there, but this one by far has the most style points.  Custom made for you!  Their average bag goes for around $20, and they also make larger ones or specific ones for your tubular tires.

Features:
- Larger pocket for a road or mountain tube.
- Medium pocket for tools and tire levers
- Tiny little pocket for patches.

- Cotton Duck fabric construction. Heavy material same as Carhartt.
- 1″ Tubular Webbing with a Quick Release closure.

Keep your tools from getting lost in the the bottom of your bag or stashed in your jersey pocket.

Dimensions:
-Open: 12″(w) x 10″(h)
-Closed: About the size of a wallet, depending on how much you stuff it.

I’ll have more photos and a full review once the one I am ordering arrives!

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Testing Out DZ Nuts at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek

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This past Saturday I suited up for a 6 hour mountain bike race.  I haven’t been able to get on the bike that often lately, especially the mountain bike.  The course was found in Wilkesboro, NC, and was a rather hilly course.  One thing to know about where I am from (Charlotte, NC) does not have hills, so this race was going to be the awakening.

When I suited up, I did something that I tell all customers not to do – I put on a brand new, never tried, pair of bib-shorts.  The shorts were awesome, black and white, matching my team jersey perfectly.  I was very wary of the brand new shorts, so I lubed up well with the DZ Nuts chamois creme.

Results

My arse, nor soft tissue areas, bothered me at all.  It seems that I found a tri-fecta, between the Gore Power Bibs, DZ Nuts, and Fizik Vesta saddle.

I’ve now used the DZ Nuts a few times and can say it is doing its job.  Reminding me a lot of the Assos creme, minus the build up of extra lube.  The Assos seems to thick for women but DZ Nuts really does the job well.

Official Rating

4.75 out of 5 : Would of ranked higher if I could of sourced the DZ Bliss, womens specific type, but everyone was out of this.

Saddle Talk : Adamo Saddles

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About 3 months ago, my shop started carrying the Ideal Saddle Modification (ISM) Adamo saddles.   These saddles, at first, look very goofy.  There is no nose on the front of the seat and often are referred to as the tuning forks.  Flash forward the last three months and these saddles have themselves on more bikes than I originally thought they would.

Originally I really thought the saddles were a joke, we would try them out on a few bikes and see what happens.  The women and triathletes fell in love.  All the pressure from the frontal soft tissue was separated back into your two sit bones, where the weight belongs!  Women were able to get into the aero position or drops of the handlebars without cutting off circulation.

This saddle is still towards the end of the saddles I automatically go through in my fit process.  I think there is a need for them, but find they can be too wide and long term will be modifying the shell of the saddle so not to hit the groin or tendons of the inside leg.  Soon the saddle will go on a personal bike of mine so I can give you a true review.

Do you know any women using this seat? If so, what are their thoughts and feelings?  Where do they feel pressure, if any?

fi’zi:k Vesta Review: Initial Thoughts

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A beautiful fi’zi:k Vesta showed up at my doorstep a couple of weeks back.  Quickly, I snapped some photos and then installed the saddle on my cyclocross bike. Since then it has been on my goto bike for long road rides, and my daily commute.

Initial Feel

The very first feeling of the saddle is the firm, yet padded support.  This is a good feeling as I don’t like a saddle that I sink into. If you sink too much into a saddle your sit bones are no longer holding you up and the soft tissues are left holding you up.  This saddle hasn’t seen more than an hour and a half of consistent ride time so we can only tell how the padded feeling holds up.

The “pressure relief channel” seems to work so far.  It isn’t a cut out so if I rock into the drops I can feel pressure on my soft tissue areas but to this point there has been no numbness or pain when this pressure happens for an extended amount of time.

Look & Design

The saddle is an eye catcher.  Subtle enough, but if someone walks close enough to see the top of your saddle they will stop and ask, “WHAT?!”  This exact story has happened to me with everyone that has seen the saddle.  My only worry about the eye catching colors are they will bleed over time into my white bib shorts.

Closing Thoughts

Sitting initially on this saddle I didn’t think “this is the one,” but that never has happened before with any of my favorite saddles. There are always fine tuning with the bike fit and trying different angles and fore/aft of the saddle.  BUT I didn’t sit on this saddle and feel horrible pain, nor did I feel pain after 25 miles.  The jury is still out on this saddle but I will check back with you as the fit is modified and more miles are logged.

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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