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Tried and liked in 2007

by Richard Masoner

I’ve seen this subject on other bike discussion lists, forums and blogs. Go ahead and let the world know one or a few of the things you tried and liked in 2007. The object that comes to mind for me: Planet Bike SuperFlash — this rear blinky is amazing bright. Wow!

What’s on your “tried and liked 2007″ list?

 
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33 Responses to “Tried and liked in 2007”

  1. danomite says:

    I tried a whole new bike! After 2 years of living the SS mtb life I bought a custom Marinoni Fango ‘cross (read: do all) bike. It had a bunch of new things to try on it – Avid BB7 disk brakes, Campagnolo drivetrain, FSA wing bar. It even has a SuperFlash on it too ;)

    More importantly I tried a bunch of new cycling routes on my daily commute. I have the hilly route (aka the training route), the fast route and the route that goes by LBS. Another commuter gave me the heads up about a patch of singletrack along one of my routes so I can mix some off road into the daily grind now too.

  2. Jon Wasserman says:

    I tried and liked the Dinotte 200L Li front ligth & rear light. I have 2 on the front and can double blink, one steady or 2 steady. I only need 2 steady on the darkest road and the set-up lasts on my 3 hr 2 way commute!

  3. CJ says:

    Well,

    First, I got the Origin 8 Space Bar. It kicks butt for my MC 29er.

    Second, I purchased some fenders and got them mounted up. They are great. Now I can ride where ever and when ever I want without getting swamp butt.

    Third, I got a Brooks Champion saddle this summer. Now I can ride for hours without my butt hurting.

    Fourth, I had some BB7′s put on my 29er, and they stop me in a hurry. I am sure that some day they will save my butt from getting hurt.

    Um, well I can’t think of any other sentences to use the word “butt” in. So that is all.

    Peace out

  4. Joel says:

    SA X-FDD generator/drum brake front hub – love having non-battery driven lights and the internal drum brake is great in the rain

    Reelights – before getting the generator lights I was running Reelights on my commuter and they were great, simple way to get blinkies, again without the hassle of batteries

  5. Jennifer says:

    I tried a folding bike and loved it.

    In the category of small things that make all the difference, I tried a bungee web and was amazed by how much better it is than one or two regular bungee cords.

    Does winter cycling count if I only tried it a few weeks ago and still avoid snow?

  6. Drew says:

    I tried a Third Eye eyeglass mirror for the first time, and I wondered how I’d ever gotten along without one!

  7. Jen (SLC) says:

    Reelights are great. I’d like to try out a Superflash one of these days.

    This year I was on the quest for the perfect commuting pannier. I went through some Nashbar grocery panniers and a Banjo Brothers rack bag until I finally found the Detours Toucan bag. It’s a great size, has easy to use hooks, and a nice handle for when its not on my bike. I get lots of compliments on it.

    We’ve also gotten a lot of use out of our Delta Michelangelo rack. My bike comes on and off of that thing everyday, and it’s held up really well.

    Jennifer, I’d love to hear about your winter gear experiences. It’s been cold here, and I’m still struggling to find the perfect balance of outerwear.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I have a hat, scarf, and earband that are that poly fleece stuff on my head (hat under helmet, earband over, scarf over everything), Thinsulate gloves on my hands, and Thinsulate boots over wool socks on my feet. The rest isn’t much different from what I’d wear otherwise outside in winter weather. But I haven’t biked any great distance yet since it got so cold, so I guess I’m still experimenting, too.

  9. Trevor says:

    Seconding the planet bike superflash. That’s my current fave blinky light. Always get comments on how bright it is.

    Other riding gear I’m really digging this year include the Descente Velom jacket, and Nike thermal arm warmers. The velom is super-light and packable. Perfect jacket to have stashed in a jersey pocket for those cold descents, when arm-warmers alone just won’t cut

  10. kaz kougar says:

    First and foremost- Commuting by bike, I discovered this year is the best way to commute to work.

    Second- The Redline 925, the only commuter bike I’ll ever need

    Third- Ryders eyewear. Very affordable, decent performance eyewear, for those of us who can’t afford Oakleys because nobody can afford to cycle without eye protection.

    All others-
    Booties from the CAT (http://www.catoregon.org/hpm/booties.htm). They will keep you dry!
    Fifth- Novara Buzz Messenger Bag, keeps your stuff dry!
    Novara Lifeline Bike Gloves

    Novara rules, quality gear at affordable prices and REI has some nice sales as well.
    Happy ’08!

  11. Ghost Rider says:

    +1 on the Superflash…that little light is amazing!

    I’ve tried a couple things and liked them — Seattle Sports waterproof panniers were good, simple and utterly waterproof, even after some incredible Florida rainstorms!

    The other thing I’ve tried and really like (so far — I’ve only had it for a couple weeks) is the Ergon BD-1 backpack…it’s a bit small for a “real” commuter bag, but it is tremendously comfortable and stable on my back, even with a heavy load. I’m looking forward to rolling with it quite a bit more!

    Finally, Northwave “Skeleton” gloves — a Christmas gift from my wife. Quite the statement when giving motorists a one- or five-fingered salute! Not too hot, not too padded, and the grip is incredible.

  12. Kurt says:

    A FRONT RACK – I have about a 4 1/2 mile commute through San Francisco, and I like to carry 5 to 10 lbs of stuff with me everywhere (bike tools, paperwork, U-Lock, clothes for the gym, raingear etc.). My shoulders were always tense from carrying this stuff in a backpack, so I started looking at panniers. Eventually I goat a heavy-duty CETMA front rack that has like an 80lb capacity. (check out the CETMA website for reasons why front is better than rear).

    I strap by backpack to it with a bungy, and if I ever want to pick up groceries or something, I put the backpack on, and bungy the groceries to the rack. Sweet.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Hey folks, you’re talking me into the SuperFlash. Can that mount to a carrying rack or clip to a bag or something on the carrying rack? I’ve usually got enough stuff back there to block anything mounted under the seat, which is why I like my Blackburn Mars 3.0. But I worry that it’s just not enough light.

    And Planet Bike is selling it in a set with their Blaze headlight–anyone know anything about that one?

  14. Ghost Rider says:

    The Superflash has a belt clip built in, so you could clip it to a bag pretty easily…and I’m sure you could cobble together a rack mount, too.

    I don’t know anything about the Blaze headlight, but Planet Bike’s “Quick Cam” bracket is a piece of junk (they use it on many of their lights, like the Beamer 3 I have). It has a tendency to slip like nobody’s business, despite the soft rubber non-slip pad, and getting the cam tight enough but not too tight to flip the lever is a nightmare. I wound up wrapping underneath the bracket with cloth friction tape to help keep the light positioned where I needed it.

    The lights themselves seem pretty adequate for “be seen” lights, though, and the cases are watertight.

  15. Ghost Rider says:

    Jennifer, Planet Bike makes a rack mount for their taillights:
    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3108.html

    It turns out that I actually have a “Beamer 5″…bright enough in flashing mode to illuminate a reflective road sign about two blocks away. I imagine the Blaze is similarly capable.

  16. blippo says:

    Third Eye Helmet mirror is the best investment I made.

  17. xSmurf says:

    I tried and liked: My triple Luxeon III front light. Albeit it was a prototype and a new one, with rear blinky and even stronger front lamp is in the work. It’ll put out a maximum of ~600 lumens in front (in a ° spot – ~2m wide at 15m) and ~100lm (5° beam) in the back… for comparison the regular leds put out around 10000 millicandela, that’s 10 lumen. Beat that ;)

    Tries and liked: A ski helmet for winter riding, it’s got a liner inside, it’s really comfy, warm and best of all it makes a very good brain bucket (helmet). Oh and it holds your goggles in place.

    But my real rave is not as material… Tried, liked and got hooked… Critical Mass! If you’re reading this bike and you’re not attending your local CM, you’re really missing out!

  18. Quinn says:

    after 3 years off a bike, I was a kid in a candy store-

    1. I hoped on a 29er, That is the way a bike should ride/feel, I have an XXIX

    2. Dirt Drop bars- put ‘em on my ’08 Kona Jake.

    3 I found out how versitile road thriple cranks are. put a 50-39-no on mtb to commute, its now a 38 single on my new 456, and I am running 39-30 on my Jake.

    4. I love the Serfas Drifter, WTB WW 29, and Vitoria Randonnuer and the Pana/IRD Fire XC 29&26, Ritchey ExcaVader.

    5. Velocity Glides are SWeeeeet, they are also on my Jake.

    That’s it, Promise

  19. BSR says:

    1. A Rivendell Atlantis. I was visiting my LBS and talking with them about building up a Surly Cross-Check as a commuter, and came home to find an Atlantis had just been listed on eBay in my size and with a very reasonable buy-it-now price. It was 4 minutes old. I took it as a sign, and grabbed it — couldn’t possibly be happier. It’s now my main commuting bike.

    2. Schwalbe Marathon Winter snow tires — they went on the commuter about a week after Thanksgiving, and the confident feel I have over snow and ice keeps a grin on my face through my whole commute.

    3. SKS Fenders. Put those on the commute bike mid-summer. I get a little spray on my shoes now, but hardly anything anywhere else.

    4. Xtracycle. I was lucky enough to find one in good shape for $150 (vs. $400 new) on Craigslist, and put it on a Bianchi Milano. I hardly ever run errands any other way now. I love all the looks and questions I get outside the grocery/home improvement/book/liquor stores.

  20. justfrank says:

    I tired a Brooks B17 women’s leather saddle in the gorgeous honey color. I can’t say it was love at first sight, er… sit, but after a few rides, and zero conditioning, it is the most comfortable saddle I have tried. It seems rock hard, but the way it distributes the rider’s weight to the sit bones, and off the other bits is quite remarkable.

    Also, after a long love affair with Conti Top Touring tires (the old ones with the honeycomb pattern), and many tears cried over their demise, I tried Schwalbe Marathons, and (although I don’t like saying Schwalbe nearly as much as I like saying Conti), I have found love the second time around.

  21. kaz kougar says:

    I almost forgot about my Specialized Armadillos. I would recommend these tires to anyone. While they are puncture resistant, nothing is 100%, I have had two flats with them; the first was a fluke but the second was a huge piece of glass that sliced the tire. The best part is that when you buy Armadillos you get free tubes for life and the tires are warrantied so for the glass slice I got a whole new tire.

    In regards to lights mentioned earlier in this forum, I also picked up the Planet bike Blaze/Superflash combo both of which work great and I highly recommend them for city riding.

  22. philosoraptor says:

    The Ostrich handlebar bag, sold by — among others — Velo-Orange, is great. For about half the price of a Berthoud bag, you get one that’s larger (roomier), with plenty of external pockets and a clear laminated map case on top. As with the Berthouds, you can mount the Ostrich on a front rack so that it stays out of the way of your handlebars.

    I agree with Kurt that having a front rack, and a bag to go on it, make commuting far more convenient. All of my little bike tools and snacks can fit in there. And I can reach into the Ostrich while I’m riding, which I cannot safely do with my saddlebags or with my panniers!

  23. Jen (SLC) says:

    The Armadillos are great. They stop goat heads in their tracks. I’ve gone on rides and pulled out ten to twenty goat heads with no leaks. I have slicks though and they just weren’t cutting it for winter roads.

    I finally found a pair of knobby tires that fit my road bike. They’re Schwalbe CX Pros. So far they’ve been pretty good on our wintry roads. If anyone needs some more winter-friendly tires for a road bike, they’re probably worth checking out. They don’t make too many skinny ones.

  24. Tim says:

    Tried and liked the Dynamic Crosstown 7 driveshaft bike for commuting. I’m very much a fan after 1600km in the last couple of months.

  25. danielo says:

    Things I tried in 2007:
    (1) Armadillo tires — brilliant!
    (2) Studded ice tires — outstanding!
    (3) Symbiot Sportback backpack — lovely!

  26. xSmurf says:

    I have to agree about the CX Pro. I though these would be really small for the winter and yet they work pretty good. Still not sure if I should have bought studded tires instead.

  27. db says:

    1. Vittoria makes some skinnier XC and “city” tires, and the Randonneurs have been great for me. I can ride my road bike year-round now, thanks to those. They have reflective sidewalls to help my dark-morning commutes.

    2. Pearl Izumi AmFib lobster claw gloves. Best glove for under 30-degrees F that I’ve ever owned.

    3. A Cateye EL510 and rechargeable AA batteries. I switched from a NiteRider “Classic” that had a dying rechargeable water-bottle-type battery. Not only was it way cheaper, but the light is more than good enough for commutes on city streets.

    4. Serfas Aileron glasses. Just got these and I already love them. Four interchangeable lenses for any riding condition, and no bottom rim to obstruct my view when I’m looking over my shoulder at the traffic coming up behind me.

    5. Planet Bike Freddy Fenders. Put these on my converted MTB, and they keep me very dry when the streets are wet.

  28. kaz kougar says:

    I have a new addition that I just tried and liked yesterday, The Schwinn 17-Function Bike Computer. This device does everything I need it to, Speed, Trip, Odometer, Average speed, Max Speed, Temp, Time and a scan function. You can pick up at Target, Fred Meyer or any such stores (I’m not going to mention that other place, if you want to shop there then that’s on you) for nearly a fraction of the price of what you would pay at a bike shop. Don’t get me wrong, I”m all about supporting my LBS and I buy just about everything from several LBS’s, I just can’t justify paying too much for an electronic component that I’m exposing to the elements, using and abusing every day.

  29. Noah says:

    Where to begin!? In the interest of not rambling on and on, I’ll post 2 reviews of my favorite products picked up in 2007:

    DiNotte 200L (AA) headlight. Just. Plain. Awesome.
    http://kc-bike.blogspot.com/2007/11/product-review-dinotte-200l-led.html

    Genuine Innovations UltraFlate CO2 was a life-saver a few times
    http://kc-bike.blogspot.com/2007/05/product-review-genuine-innovations.html

    All in all, though, I have a bunch of stuff I’ve tried and liked, and a few things I wish I wouldn’t have gotten.

  30. A few things…

    Commuting to work by bike.

    Singlespeed/Fixed Gear.

    Mountain Biking in the Rockies.

  31. Heather says:

    I bought a Dahon Curve SL folding bike. I love it. I haven’t put that many miles on it yet. But it is good for getting from the ship I am on to a bus stop.

  32. Mike Myers says:

    I made a couple of purchases in 2007.

    My Surly Pacer frameset. I got one of the new ones in “Silver Bullet”. Very nice. The Pacer is probably the least-mentioned Surly road frame, but I like it very much. It’s reminiscent of a nice road frame from the 70s, except it’s not lugged. Fender and rack mounts, but fenders are a bit tricky with 700x28s. Rides great.

    DiNotte lighting. I owned a DiNotte 5W Ultralight(first generation) and traded it in to DiNotte for a 200L and a taillight(140L) and a minimal amount of cash. The 200L is a lot brighter than the 5W, but the taillight was a revelation. It is as bright as everyone says. Worth the money and battery hassle, IMHO. After that I bought a DiNotte 600L–direct from DiNotte b/c Nashbar didn’t have their act together. Wow. Having a light that bright spoils you. I run it on high whenever I use it, because I’m not out for extended periods of night riding. It’s a revelation. Highly recommended, and DiNotte is a fantastic company with which to do business.

  33. Adam Hicks says:

    I know I’m a bit late to this, but I have to toot horns where tooting is deserved. Glad this is being kept positive, because there’s plenty I could complain about.

    I liked:

    Brooks B17 Champion Standard, but even more I LOVE my Brooks B17 Imperial! When they come out for purchase, buy one.

    Thomson Seatpost. It really is just better.

    Cane Creek Drop V-Levers. I love drops, but I also love V-Brakes. These have comfy hoods, great ergo levers, great actuation all in a good looking design. I got mine for the price of the Tektros, so I opted for the upgrade ;)

    Singlespeed. There is nothing better for winter commuting than a clean, easy to maintain drivetrain.

    Fizik bar gel and tape. Mixed reviews from websites on this stuff, many people prefer Cinelli. I put it on and feel like I’m in a comfy Cadillac now. It completely took care of all problems I was having.

    I’m looking forward to trying the Seattle Sports Rain Panniers mentioned here…those and maybe a handlebar bag will be my next endeavours. Also, hopefully some Schwalbe tires.

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