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SPD: More Mettle to the Pedals

12 Comments Topics: Commuting, Commuting Gear Written by BluesCat
SPD: More Mettle to the Pedals

When I got my recumbent, the tech who prepped it for me mentioned clipless pedals as a defense against "leg suck." Google that term for the grisly details, but do it on an empty stomach. Briefly, it's when you're riding along and your foot slips off the pedal, falls down, hits the pavement and your entire lower leg is folded up and dragged beneath you, towards the back of the bike. Later, I discovered that to be an overrated danger. But I was new to recumbent riding, so I got a pair of clipless pedals. When I first started riding with them, I found it weird and unsettling having my feet attached to my bike via what are essentially modified ski bindings. ...

 

Detours’ Ballard Market Pannier — Team Review

11 Comments Topics: Commuting, Gear, Guest Article, Reviews, Video Written by Karen Voyer-Caravona
Detours’ Ballard Market Pannier — Team Review

As a sometime product reviewer for Commute by Bike, you might recall that I’m always ready to try out a new pannier or bike bag, especially one that’s smartly designed, functional and attractive. Of course, I was happy to try out my fourth Detours product, the Ballard Market Pannier. Seattle-based Detours, named the bag after the city’s Ballard neighborhood, home of one of the best farmer’s markets in the Northwest, and I suspect the product designers had that destination in mind when they created this pannier. I’ve been using the Ballard Market Pannier extensively since the company shipped it to me this past spring. The product is multi-functional and since it converts to both a tote bag and a backpack, I’ve used ...

 

Law and Order and Bikes

5 Comments Topics: Commuting, Video Written by Ted Johnson
Law and Order and Bikes

Here's an article I came across with some good information about the legal rights of cyclists, and some common misperceptions. Regarding the perception that roads are for motor vehicles: ...roads are still for moving people and motor vehicles are but one type of conveyance by which people move. And the perception that slow vehicles are unsafe:  ...speed kills; however, a perception has developed that vehicles that are slower than other traffic create a hazard; in truth, slower is still safer. And the perception that speed limits are speed requirements: If a heavily loaded truck is unable to accelerate from an intersection or up a hill, most motorists understand and merely tolerate it or pass it when they are able. Yet if the vehicle is a bicycle, ...

 

Getting an Xtracycle Home without an Xtracycle

3 Comments Topics: Commuting, Gear Written by Ted Johnson
Getting an Xtracycle Home without an Xtracycle

Matt Elias was in the process of fulfilling his ambition to be completely carfree in Tucson. He had just purchased a full Xtracycle setup from Bike Shop Hub when he encountered a cart-before-the-horse problem: How do you haul all of this Xtracycle hardware home before you've retrofitted your bike as an Xtracyle? In a car? Of course not. Contents: FreeRadical Cargo Bike Kit ($199.00), FlightDeck ($75.00), KickBack Kickstand ($150.00), LongLoader Rack ($50.00 ea), Mini MagicCarpet ($15.00), WhatchamaCollars Rack Mounts ($25.00), WideLoader Rack ($55.00 ea), X2 FreeLoader Saddlebag Lids ($25.00 ea), X2 FreeLoader Saddlebags ($100.00 pair), and  Pannier Racks ($50.00 pair). I'll save you the trouble of doing the math. That's just shy of $1000 ...

 

A Bike Bag that Looks like a Coffee Bag – from Detours

2 Comments Topics: Commuting, Reviews Written by Ted Johnson
A Bike Bag that Looks like a Coffee Bag – from Detours

The Detours Coffee Bag is modeled after a one-pound, er... coffee bag. You know the kind of bag you get at the grocery store where you dump the beans from the bulk bin into the bag, but you spill some on the floor. Then you dump the beans into your grocery store's coffee grinder, which doesn't quite work, so you end up getting more beans on the floor, and maybe you spill some ground coffee on the floor too. Then you slink away, and maybe tell a store employee there's a mess over on aisle 12. Maybe you don't. So this bag reminds me of my own incompetence with bulk coffee and self-serve coffee grinders, but it's a clever idea. If you've read ...

 

The Montague Boston 8: A full-sized folding Commuter Bike

1 Comment Topics: Commuting, Reviews Written by Ted Johnson
The Montague Boston 8: A full-sized folding Commuter Bike

I suspected that the Montague Boston 8 would be a perfect commuter bike for my three-month sojourn in Tucson, and I was right. Damn, I'm smart. So this is the Boston 8 as it appears on the Montague Website, all pristine, clean, and without accessories: And this is the Boston 8 after I'd accessorized it for life in Tucson and dribbled coffee all over the top tube: The reason I suspected this would be a good Tucson commuter is because more than two years ago I reviewed the Montague Boston -- the single speed and/or fixie version of the same bike -- and I came to this conclusion: This would be an ideal bike for a commuter (a) living in a fairly flat big city, (b) who does ...