Search Results for: "light"

Review of Camelbak Octane 18x
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Camelbak Octane 18x Review

Review of Camelbak Octane 18x Camelbak Octane 18x

MSRP: $99.00
Water Capacity: 100oz
Size: Expanded 20L, Closed 16L
Weight: 1LB

80 mile road rides, epic mountain bike rides, a Swiss Army knife that folds into a camel’s back. The Camelbak Octane 18x is a great bag. You’ll make some sacrifices on the long day trips for a lighter bag, but overall this is a great water hauling bag.

 

How the Camelbak Octane 18x Fits

To save some weight they take the structure and extra padding from the pack. The bag can be rolled up and the shoulder straps are thin.   With tons of weight this would make the pack pretty uncomfortable but with clothes and water it was great. I never used it to haul down hill gear on my back!  As a woman I normally have issues with the chest strap being too high on my neck, or stuck across my boobs. This one had enough room to move up and down without hindering.

Uses of the Octane 18x

Expandable, from 16L of room to 20L when unzipped.  This holds a good amount, more than the bag could probably support on your back comfortably. I stuffed it with clothes, shoes and food one day. Due to not having tons of back support it is easily conformed and the bag’s light weight material ended up looked like a sack of potatoes.  I loved the waist pockets with key clip and the zipped up minimal sizing.  I used this bag on the road since it was so light, on hike a bikes, and simple rides around town.  As long as the bag isn’t loaded down it is pretty ventilated.  It doesn’t have any fancy mechanics to keep it off your back, so you do get sweaty, but the bag isn’t heavy so it isn’t horrible during my southern humid commutes.

Final Thoughts and Review of the Octane 18x

When I was approached my Camelbak to review some of their product I had things in mind.  I’ve used many “all day” packs.  Ones that carry your life on your back comfortably.  I wanted something for cross country riding and possibly using on longer road rides.  Weight and ability to still haul was what I needed.

The Camelbak Octane 18x answered all my wants.  While it isn’t going to be perfect for everyone, it fits what I was looking for and that is rare in my life.

 

 

SKS Germany Front Triangle Bag
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Interbike ’12: SKS Germany Frame Bags

Keep up to date with the Bike Shop Girl coverage of the 2012 Interbike Trade Show with coverage, previews, exclusives and interviews.

If you know me, you know my lure to bike packing and going Survivor style on a bike. SKS is bringing a few affordable options for on the frame bags. They aren’t handmade or to the detail that something like Revelate Designs but a good addition for commuters, longer distance riders and people testing the water. SKS Germany Energy Bag

ENERGY BAG

MSRP $22.99 The small bag sits within arm’s reach on the front top tube, secured with velcro attachments. Easily fuel up on energy bars while still riding. The bag lid protects the contents from the elements. Reflective details guarantee improved visibility in low light conditions. Dim 5.75” x 2” x 2.75” Volume 0.5L

SKS Germany Tool Wrap

TOOL WRAP

MSRP $22.99 A bicycle bag made of sturdy nylon with straps for frame mounting. The bag features storage compartments (e.g. for mini pump, repair kit, tire levers, mini tools, or small change). Weight 115g Dim 10.5“ x 8.5“ opened

TRIANGLE BAG – FRONT

SKS Germany Front Triangle Bag

MSRP: $29.99 Triangular frame bag made of sturdy material offers space for tools and spare inner tubes. It is safely secured to all kinds of bike frames with its three Velcro strap attachments and the flexible reinforcements. Reflective piping for improved visibility. Dim 14” x 2” x 4.8” Volume 1.35L

TRIANGLE BAG – REAR

SKS Germany Rear Triangle Bag

MSRP: $29.99 Triangular frame bag made of sturdy material offers space for tools and spare inner tubes. It is safely secured to all kinds of bike frames with its three Velcro strap attachments and the flexible reinforcements. Reflective piping for improved visibility. Dim 9.8” x 2” x 8.3” Volume 1.4 L

Foundry Cycles Auger B1
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My Bikes: Foundry Cycles Auger B1

As a rep for Quality Bicycle Products I have many bikes that are ridden and driven all around the Southeast. They are *all* considered demo’s, so if you are in the southeast and want to try out one of my bikes let me know in the comments or drop me a line on the contact page.

The newest bike in my fleet is a cyclocross bike from Foundry Cycles. When looking through all the brands I rep for my next cyclocross bike for the upcoming season I was automatically drawn to the Auger. Late last season I had raced a Ridley X-Fire, while I enjoyed it immensely (and will probably end up on a disc version this year) the geometry was more race driven than I wanted to ride this summer and I also wanted to try something different. Read More

Motivational Monday with Nicole
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Motivational Monday with Nicole

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Nicole in Memphis, TN

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

City cycling (commuting by bike), group rides with friends or my husband, light mountain biking

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

How about my most powerful cycling memory? I met my husband on my 1st metric century ride and he proposed on that same ride 2 years later. He put signs up near the end of the ride with a poem he had written. I didn’t get it at first (silly me) but when I saw the last sign, I knew. We stopped our bikes and he asked me to marry him. I said yes and like any good bikers, we finished the ride, ate a hearty breakfast and then came back for pictures!

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I inspire me. Cycling in Memphis can be…challenging. It is getting better but you have to be committed to biking to take on a 15 mile, each-way commute to work on a 100 degree, 98% humidity day. But, the challenge is part of why I make it a point to do it. It is part of staying healthy, supporting a greener planet and being less car dependent.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

Our city has been converting old train tracks into multi-use paths and recently I was out on my own, tooling down the path. It was a perfect 75 degree day, the sun was out, and no one was vying for space in front or behind me. As I reached the end of the path and prepared to head out onto a traffic-filled street, I realized to my amazement that the next section of path had been finished since my last trek. It made my week, to continue along for another five miles in quiet solitude enjoying the beautiful weather and zipping along on two wheels.

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights
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Preview: Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

I’m always looking for creative and fun ways to stay safe on the bike. A new LED light string looks to be creative and fun, without a crazy price tag.

Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

$30 a set, coming in Green - Blue -  Red - White - Pink - Purple - Turquoise - Yellow

Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

These lights claim to be weather resistant and easy to install, hopefully I’ll get a set to try in the near future for fun night rides!

Learn more on SoulCruzers.com

bang-head-here
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At War with the Industry I Love

It is no secret my history with the bike industry. Without coming from parents in the industry I am as close to growing up in the industry as you can. At 15 I was a shop rat, living my life in some way or another around bicycles since then. In two years when I am 30 I will have spent half my life revolving around bicycles and all things that are the culture of bikes. This is where I mention that I wouldn’t change a thing.

I have spent half of my life preaching the word. Answering the call. The call that bicycles can solve everything. It can make you happy, make you skinny, allow you to drink more beer, require less gas, give you independence, teach you adventure, become a family affair and so on.

Quietly fighting the good fight. Never taking up the arms of advocate as the word advocacy is a dirty word to me. We don’t need advocates, we need lovers. Everyone hates the politician but loves the hero’s. We need bike lanes that connect schools and grocery stores. We need to empower our children to pick up their bikes and go forward safely.

Two things came to light today that have made me struggle with the industry and culture I love

The death of an innocent freshman, riding his bicycle to school in Charlotte.

The “elephant” of the bike industry that our sales our flat for the past twenty years.

Two different stabs, two different pains, and two different fears.

I have two children that have no way to ride their bikes to school. They are lacking the freedom and the adventure that 10 & 11 year old boys should be given by the gift of bicycling away from home.

I make a living in the bike industry. I have sold bikes to first consumers and now bike dealers. Margins are tighter, and instead of expanding the bike industry and taking market share from golf, or soccer, or football. We are flat and fighting each other. From bike brands, industry standards and bike shops at war with their local community.

The elephant in the room is the bike industry is full of selfish folks lacking business sense and caring more about their piece of the pie than the pie that they are cutting from.

What do you believe in? When did you last fight for something you believe in?

I believe in bikes and if you know me – you know they are my life. I know a few other things and hopefully these all will be able to come together to make the pie bigger for the cycling industry, and for people to be able to ride their bikes safely to and from wherever they want to go.

Here I am, standing to fight a war against the industry I love. This war is why I work for the company that I love, Quality Bicycle Products. A sleeping giant, the backbone of the bike industry. This is why I love my co-workers, quietly pushing things along in Minnesota. I believe in bicycles and here I stand to fight the good fight of putting more butts on bikes. Carbon fiber doesn’t do that, fancy new bottom bracket standards or fighting over wheel sizes..sure some good marketing can help, but empowering the industry will. Empowering your local cycling community, finding a new word for advocate and allowing other people to drink from your passion.

Abus Boro Lite Review
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Review: Abus Bordo Lite

As a rep with QBP we are sometimes sent fun samples to try out, if we like them we can show them to shops and increase sales a bit in that category. Earlier this year I was sent some Abus lock samples, the coolest of course was this folding, cuff like, Bordo Lite.

MSRP: $90
Details:

  • 5 mm steel bars, with plastic coating to prevent damage to the bicycle’s paintwork
  • Silicone cover for the lock body with “soft touch” properties
  • Link construction allows compact folding
  • The bars and the lock body are made of particularly light materials and ferrous alloy
  • Bars are linked with special rivets
  • Premium cylinder for high protection against manipulations, e.g. picking

Colors: Black (reviewed), red, white

As a bike commuter, and someone that likes to empower folks to use their bike everyday this lock excites me. I know, I am a nerd.

The lock is simple once you understand which way to turn the key to lock it back up. It is compact, and yet long enough to lock the front wheel. You can carry it on spare bottle cage mounts like I do, or you can use velcro and attach it to another tube of your bike and it isn’t heavy to put it in your jersey pocket if needed.

$90 is steep for a lock that isn’t a u-lock but the beefier brother to this, the Bordo 6000/90 is supposedly just as strong, especially in cold weather (retail of $129).

I don’t believe you’ll be buying this if your bike cost less than $700 or you are locking it up to run into the coffee shop. If you are design oriented, overly protective of your bike, and don’t want to carry a second lock or cable to lock your front wheel… this lock is for you. I’m completely sold on it and plan to buy one for my other commuter bike, and for both of my girlfriend’s bikes.

Learn more about the Abus Bordo Lite on their website.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid or bribed for this review. The product was provided no charge as a work sample.

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape
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Review: Zevlin Big40 Custom Tape

From adjusting parts to fit you better, to switching parts around to make your bike look different and completely yours, both are equally important in the journey of bicycle ownership. Customizing your bike is an important part of making the bike “yours.” Bar tape is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do this.

Zevlin Big40 Custom Handlebar Tape

MSRP: $33.95 (discount for buying in bulk)
Unique Details: Super wide at 40mm, add your own logo to your handlebars!

The boys at Zevlin sent me a care package to test out and review, one of the coolest unique products in this was custom bar tape. While the tape isn’t as padded or grippy as my loved Lizard Skins DSP it has done well on the road under my winter testing.

Feel and Wear of the Zevlin Big40

The tape currently has a handful of long rides and roughly 200 miles of winter glove riding. The 40mm allows a good overlap of tape to get a cushion while showing off the custom logos covering half the width of tape. The logos are in great shape, I’m sure with a tacky summer glove the logos would wear after awhile but it would be a good indication that your bar tape needs replaced. It seems that not enough people replace their tape until their wrist or hands hurt!! I would compare the feel and tackiness of the tape to a Fizik bar without the pain of installing that leather like wrap.

Customize It

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

While you can buy the Big40 alone, I believe the biggest market advantage Zevlin has is to price bulk custom tape to be attractive to shops, teams and even large charity events to promote brand identity. The Zevlin tape looks amazing on my bike with the white logos and then a few blue logos at the end of the wrap, now imagine that with your company under your bars. Rolling up to a group ride, sitting at a stop light or your bike parked at a coffee shop will put your brand identity right at hand level.

Overall Thoughts

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

The bar tape is wearing well, I’ll use it for most of the road season but it will not replace the DSP on my cyclocross bike as grip and cushion are super important then. I plan on doing a run of Bike Shop Girl in black  to promote myself and the brand as they are a great grassroots company trying to do different things in the bike industry.

If you are in the market to take your branding a bit further on the bike, I would start with Zevlin. If you are looking for a new black bar tape I would stick to Lizard Skins DSP.

 

 

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.
2012 Trek Bikes Lexa S
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2012 Trek Lexa Women’s Road Bikes

The 2011 Trek Lexa bikes were an amazing hit for Trek Bikes corporation.

It’s one of the top selling women’s road bikes. Many women asked for Lexa by name at demos, and dealers also told us they had many women coming in asking about them. Women love the comfortable fit, race-inspired performance, and the fact that we have so many color and graphics options. It was fantastic to see so many of them at the many triathlons that we sponsored this year. - Trek Women Brand Manager

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