This isn’t a formal review, but I wanted to dedicate a post to some of the products that make my commute possible. If these products haven’t saved my life literally, and they may have, they have at least saved me a lot of trouble.
First up, I’d like to give a shout out to my multi-tool: The Crank Brothers’ Multi-19.
While I expect any multi-tool to have a basic hex set, a phillips and a flathead, this has every hex size for every task from aligning my brakes to removing my cranks. The chain tool and built-in spoke wrenches are above and beyond, and while I use them rarely, I was glad they were there when I needed them. This tool is always on me. I’m more likely to forget my wallet.
Next on my list are my Nashbar mini toe clips.
If you don’t ride clipless, I’d recommend these. Getting my toe into the clip is just a kick and a shove, and you’re out just as easy. I like having the freedom to ride in any shoes, and they’re surprisingly strong, even without the strap.
Third on the list are my Schwalbe Big Apple tires.
Two words: KEVLAR LINED. My bike (a Dahon Jack) needs maintenance. I’ve had to replace my freewheel, my brake pads, the chain needs constant attention, the frame hinge gets creaky without some lube every now and then, but in the time I have owned my bike, I have never had a flat tire. Two weeks ago I pulled a shard of glass from a small slit in the tire. Last week, it was a packing staple. Neither made it to the tube. These tires came on the bike, and I love them with all my being, especially when I’m tearing through a minefield of glass shards.
Last up are my gloves: Fox Digits.
I don’t wear these for cushion or shock absorption. I wear them because I ride in New York traffic, and my hands come into contact with a lot more than brake levers and grip tape. They’ve saved my knuckles from more than one rear-view mirror, and if you do end up wiping, your palms and fingernails will survive.
I only have one bike, so if it’s busted or in the shop, I’m not riding. These things have helped to keep that time to a minimum, and best of all, every item on the list is pretty inexpensive.