Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category
The Garmin Edge 605 is a nice compact GPS that does a great job of collecting data as you ride. It also works well as a Cycling Computer. But it just doesn’t cut it as a GPS for Bicycle Touring. I am so disappointed. The Edge 606 and 705 could have been great Touring Tools.
What is doesn’t seem to do is routing. I am hoping someone will prove me wrong on this. You can’t just open your Garmin Mapping Software, create a route and send the route to your Edge. Yes, you still have to buy the maps but no routing.
The Other major limitation is battery life, 12 hours and you can’t just stick in new batteries, they have to be recharged. OK, if you are staying in motels but a major limitation if you are camping.
If my previous posts have persuaded you to try Power Grips, you can find them at a much better price than on the Power Grips website. Give BikeWagon.com a try, their price is $69.93 with free shipping for the pedal set with High Performance Pedal and XL Power Grip (for those of us with size 11 or bigger feet). The price at the Power Grips site is $82.95.
Wow … I am impressed. I called last night because I need new idler mounting hardware after stripping off the TerraCycle Idlers. Greg Peek answered the phone and was so helpful … it was amazing. He is putting together a package of parts and shipping to me. This is outstanding support.
Most bike manufacturers are just interested in building and selling new bikes but Greg is addicted to excellence. He really takes the time to support existing customers. Kudos Greg!!!
9/7/09 Update: I have removed this kit from my bike. I just can’t stand the noise and don’t like the way it deflects the chain. From this latest picture I see that they may have changed the kit slightly from the one I purchased. But I think that is the original picture and what they ship is slightly different.
5/12/09 Update: I can’t recommend this idler kit for the Slipstream. I have done a bit of riding with them now and have to say I am not impressed. The concept is good but the reality is increased noise and an idler that doesn’t seem to follow the chain line very well. This is an expensive upgrade without significant benefits.
Another rim failure. I try to watch spoke tension but only seem to get a few years of loaded touring out of a rim. I am hoping now that I am 45 pounds lighter that will help. At least this one was near home and easy to replace. I have had two failures while touring that were more than 100 miles from a bike shop, Newfoundland and Western Oregon along the Columbia River. No fun hobbling along with your wheel wobbling and no brakes worried that you could have a catastrophic failure at any time. It really take the fun out of touring.
I have been a Mavic fan. I like the design and construction of their rims but was a little disturbed at the bike shop today when I went to buy a replacement. They claim that they have seen quite a few Mavic rim fails this year. Mavic will replace if it is under 2 years old. Mine had under two years of usage but because I was off the bike quite a bit is more than two years old.
I wonder if other riders are seeing a lot of Mavic Rim failures and agree with the guys at the bike shop. The good new is the bike shop has a rear wheel that looked adequate for my industrial usage and I’ll have a replacement by 4PM.
Anyone have suggestions on how to prevent rim failures?
When traveling self contained keeping your cellphone and iPod charged is always a problem. My problem has gotten worse this year since I stopped reading anything but electronic books. The nice thing about electronic books is that you can carry as many as you want and they are still smaller and lighter than a paperback book. You can also read them at night in your tent without a flashlight. The bad news is I need to recharge my iPod Touch frequently.
My son suggested I get a solar charger. But I found on the solar site and even more interesting way to charge your cellphone or iPod while cycling … a mini wind turbine. They even have a bicycle mount.
The claim is that an hour of cycling is enough to charge the 1200 mAh battery that then charges your cell phone or iPod. I plan to try it out this summer and will update you on how well it works. Check out for your self at Sundance Solar.
Take a look at this new bicycle light … this is amazing if it really works. This is a development I really want to watch. Check it out for your self at LightLane.
This light does what I want a light to do … show drivers where I am.
A video of light in action: LightLane Beta Testing
Here’s what the light may look like:
Placement on a recumbent or touring bike with panniers may be a problem but I can see at the very end of my pannier rack, closer to the ground, the lane width narrower but the lines even brighter. I am excited by the concept.
I have been trying to do all of my errands by bicycle this month. I have my grocery panniers mounted all of the time so I can just zip out anytime. What I miss is my rack pack, the place where I normally keep my cellphone, wallet, iPod Touch, sun glasses, and wind breaker.
I don’t listen to music while rideing but I love to bring my iPod Touch along.
1. I have always carried a book with me in my bike bag. With the iPod Touch I now carry as many books as I want in much less space. Plus if the light is dim .. no problem, the display is back lit. It is even easier for me to read a book in my sleeping bag on the iPod Touch than it is to read a paperback because the iPod Touch is easier to hold and I don’t have to hold a light in my teeth.
Note: This is an update a previous post but with new pictures. There were pictures on the old post but they seem to have disappeared.
Easy on and off is the key to making the Camelback Unbottle a really useful tool. Here’s how I do it on a Ryan Vanguard or a Longbikes Slipstream. This approach should work on any bike with accessible seat stays.