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Puma Cargo Bike | Trend Setter or a Fashion Victim?

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We featured the new bikes from Puma over at Commute By Bike at the beginning of the summer and many people commented on the aesthetics of the bikes. Regardless of if you like them or hate them, they spurred enough of an opinion inside of you to comment. Due to this, their marketing and design team did their job very well.

Welcome the Puma Cargo Bike

From Puma’s Headquarters, Somwhere in Crayonland : PUMA Mopion is rock steady for the daily grind. It mixes city bike features, and cargo bike features, making it a sturdy companion. It comes with a super-size innovative front carrier for heavy duty transport of your groceries or other needs. Developed for city dwellers, Mopion features a light aluminum frame, making it a one-of-a-kind lightweight cargo bike weighing only 22 kilos. Continue reading →

Why I Ride with an iPod, and Don’t Think I’m Stupid

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For many years I’ve been riding on the road with music. Originally it was one of those crazy Mini-Disc players that my mom thought would take over the music scene.  Little did she know, it fueled my cycling passion.  One of those little Mini-Disc players could hold hours of music, and run off AA rechargeable batteries.  It had the ability to record on various disc and dub out/delete.  I could ride, ride and ride without listening to the same song twice.

For many reasons music was needed for my riding style

  1. Boredom – normally kicking in around 45 minutes to an hour and a half
  2. Riding alone – see above
  3. Motivation – Certain songs would kick me in 6th gear and I would be able to push it, be it for time or watts.. the music moved me.
  4. That Go to Track – On days I would put a song on repeat for my 3 hour ride, it allowed me to focus and tune out the day of crap
  5. Wind whistling pisses me off – the noise that the wind makes when it hits your helmet straps, or hair.
  6. Feeling “PRO” – All the pro’s were wearing radios in their ears back to the team car, I’m sure their managers played some sort of music for them.  If they didn’t, they should start now.

At first I rode with one earphone in, leaving the left one that was closest to the road out.  Actually, I had a couple headphones that I cut off the left earphone so not to get in the way.  Time went by and I had theories, if the music was low enough I felt I could hear just as well as I did with the wind whistling in my ears.  I tested my theory for several rides and feeling confident enough, yes my hearing isn’t paired as long as the volume is kept low.

Mirrors are your friends

Often mirrors are even better than your ears.  You can SEE, you don’t have to turn your head and you are prepared.  By the time I hear a car coming up behind me, it might be too late to react.

iPod is not iDeath

one of the main issues of the headphones is not so much its removal of the individual’s ability to hear
it is more the combination of the inability to hear and the lack of focus
instead of being in tune to the surroundings the individual is focused on the music
letting the focus drift away from the variables around them
the same goes for mountainbiking… snowboarding… rollerbladding… whatever…
- Gwadzilla

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to disagree with my buddy, Gwadzilla. The main issue within congestion or lack of senses, are the bicycle riders and not the iPod.  As a cyclist for many years, all my senses are tuned in more than the average rider.

Now, I do find it hard to ride mountain bikes with both ears plugged in.  The hearing that Gwadz mentions above is very necessary while mountain biking.  Hearing how the bikes handing, the tires gripping and the gears shifting are all very important.

One Last Thing

Out of the few times there has been a run in with a car, my bicycle, and myself.. there was never ANY music playing in my ears.

Photo Credit : Gwadzilla

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.

Basics : Cycling Computers

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There is a great accessory for your bike called a bike computer or cyclometer.   Like a cars dashboard it can tell you many things about your speed, average, time and even get into more detailed things like cadence*, heart rate or incline.  The computer works on your bike by either a cable running from the computer head unit on your handlebar/stem area down your bike to a sensor that zip ties on.  Then a magnet is placed on your wheel, every time the magnet spins past the sensor it sends a transmission to the computer head.  It computes how many times per minute or second the magnet goes around, does some math and tells you your speed/distance.   The wheel diameter is very important as that is part of the calculation to get the right speed/time so make sure to set your computer head unit for your wheel and tire size.  If you change tire sizes, reset the settings.

There are many ways to separate computers, especially if you start getting in to a lot of data capturing.  For this article we will start basic, wired or wireless.

Trek Incite 9iWired Versions :

Entry Level :
Basic featured include speed, time and average speed.  Utilizing a cable that runs from your handlebars down to your front fork on the bike.  They range from $24-35 and many type or colors are available. The Trek 6i and Cateye Mity 8 are my picks in this category.  For this category, go down to your local bike shop and buy what they recommend.  This way they are familiar with set up if you need any help at all.

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Everyday Cycling Clothing

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Our poll last week to answer the question “Do You Wear Cycling Clothing” had a great response and one of the common questions were what can I wear if I don’t want to be caught dead outside in skin tight spandex?  There are many clothing options out these days that aren’t skin tight and do a great job of keeping you dry and comfortable but styling.

auroratTechnical Shirts :

Many people are familiar with the brand Under Armour, or before that Adidas and Nike had a great following for “technical clothing.”  This was clothing that wicked away your sweat but breathed well.   There are some technical shirts geared towards riding which have a lower cut back for when you bend over so you aren’t exposing anything and built in basic pockets to hold a gel or key.  Budget between $35 – 70 for a good wicking shirt.  Be prepared that polyester is a key make up of these shirts and can trap stink.

A couple of my favorites include the Aurora T (pictured right) from Pearl Izumi for around $35.  Also, one that I plan on picking up for the fall is the Sugoi Crossroads Henley.  Perfect for fall riding, grocery trip hauling or mountain biking when it is chilly.

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