eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Archive for March 2006

Mounting the Unbottle

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Update 9/4/08 – For some reason the pictures disappeared. I have reposted this article at Mounting the Best Water Bottle with new pictures.

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.

I just add three sturdy but short bungee cords to provide shock mounting. Be sure the hooks have plastic covers so they don’t scratch your bike. Close one hook on each bungee cord with a pair of pliers so that it is permanently attached to the 2 top rings and one of the bottom rings on the Unbottle.

Unbottle Mounting Straps
Then just slip the Unbottle behind the seat as shown in picture by attaching the 2 top bungees over the top stay on the seat back. The lower bungee is snaked though a lower seat stay or rea stays on the bike and hooked to the other ring on the Unbottle. You may have to wind it around the stay a few times to get the proper tension, firm but not tight.

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Written by Roland

March 30, 2006 at 7:47 am

The Best Water Bottle

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Camelback UnbottleThe best water bottle for a recumbent may be the 100 Oz. Camelback Unbottle.

I like the way it easily mounts on the back of the seat with no extra straps or pockets that really aren’t usable and just get in the way.

It holds a 100 Oz., plenty until your next stop. Plus it is nicely insulated and has a gigantic mouth. The big mouth makes it easy to clean and fill with ice.

The 100 Oz. Unbottle is available at Amazon and Nashbar for about $30.

There is something special about just having a sip of cold water anytime you want it. No reaching around for the water bottle and fumbling it with it while you drink. The tube of the Unbottle just rests there on your helmet strap and without taking your eyes off the road you sip and ride. No need to wait to guzzle water until you can’t wait any longer. Just take a sip of cold water from the insulated Unbottle every few minutes to stay hydrated.

See Mounting the UnBottle for more information.

Written by Roland

March 30, 2006 at 7:16 am

My Riding Sandal

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Columbia Surf Tide SandalsThere is an updated version of this post at Riding Sandals Update.

My favorite riding sandals are Columbia Surf Tide Sandals. They are waterproof, comfortable, and inexpensive. They also have a narrower profile that fits better in my PowerGrips.

For me there is also another consideration, many sandals have a toe grip on the insole. The toe grip doesn’t seem to work for me; it presses on the bones in my foot producing an excruciating pain after about 10 miles.

I have used Birkenstock and Clark sandals with great success. The downside on these is that they aren’t waterproof and don’t dry very quickly.

I usually bring 2 pairs of sandals with me on tours so that I can change when I get off the bike. A cool, dry pair of sandals at the end of the day feels pretty good.

Columbia Surf Tide Sandals are on sale now at Campmor.com for about $20.

See Shoes and Pedals for more posts on this topic 

Written by Roland

March 29, 2006 at 7:18 am

Shimano SPD Sandals – Unfortunately No

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Shimano Scandal

These are great looking sandals, nicely made and highly recommended by Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery. But they just don’t work on my hobbit feet. The toe ridge on the insole hits the bones of my feet instead of falling under the toes and produces a terrific pain after just a few miles.

Written by Roland

March 27, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Pedals and Shoes, Tips

Jump Stop

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N Gear Jump StopI was surprised to learn that almost evey professional racing bike has a Dog Fang. Well what is a Dog Fang? It is a little piece mounted on the down stay by the smallest chain ring that prevents the chain from jumping off to the inside of the chain ring.

Well, if racers use them why don’t bicycle tourists who have very small inner chain ring and big jumps between the middle and inner chain rings. In fact they do. My favorite bicycling authority Sheldon Brown from Harris Cyclery recommends the “N Gear Jump Stop”. I have taken his advice and mounted them on my Slipstrean and Vanguard.

Sheldon says that you can now adjust the front derailleur for faster shifting and let the Jump Stop guide the chain onto the inner chain ring without worrying about chain jumping to the inside.

Having the chain jump off the inner chain ring has been a real problem for me on the Ryan Vanguard since I went to the 22 inner chain ring(44-32-22 mountain gearing). It always seems to happen when I need that quick shift at the bottom of a steep hill. Most times the chain will jam itself and need a lot of tugging to get out. But lets not forget that after freeing the chain my hands are covered with nasty chain gunk.

Jump Stop MountedHow well does it worked? I don’t know for sure but have not had any missed shifts since I installed it 2 weeks ago. But I will say if it prevents one missed shift at the bottom of a hill it has more than paid for itself with a price of $10.

The best place to get one is at the home of the Jump Stop at N Gear Jump Stop Home. They have an offer that is hard to beat. Just tell them what size down tube you have and they send you a Jump Stop. If you like it send them $10 and if you don’t send it back. Best price and service you’ll find anywhere.

This post has been updated. Click link to see the update.

Written by Roland

March 26, 2006 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Equipment

Gillette Fusion Razor

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Gillette Fusion Razor

I know razors aren't what you are expecting on a bicycling site. But I love this razor. I was very skeptical, but yes more blades do mean a better shave.

Buy one and try it. You'll be impressed. I'm buying a second for long tours this summer.

Written by Roland

March 25, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Equipment

Favorite Bicycling Cap

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Race day Cap

I think I may have discovered the best cycling cap available. For most of you a helmet is enough but for those of us who need sun protection in a vented helmet the right cap is important.

The Headsweats Race Cap has everything I've been looking for in a under helmet cap. It has a soft skin friendly feel and mesh construction that breathes well and feels good. It is made from CoolMax and has a CoolMax Terry Band that keeps the sweat out of your eyes on warm days. This material doesn't feel like any CoolMax I've ever encountered before. It has a very light soft mesh, breathable feel, not at all like the the plastic bag feel I have come to associate with CoolMax. CoolMax is not hydroscoptic so it won't hold moisture and get heavy as you ride and it dries quickly.

This Cap is lighter, softer and breathes better that the Patagonia Running Cap that I have been using. It has a short bill that protects your eyes from rain and glare and an adjustable clip in the back. The clip is small and you can't feel it with your helmet on. I like the ability to open the clip and use it to attach the hat to my helmet or bike when I take it off.

Great hat, highly recommended. You can find on the web at Amazon.com or Bike Nashbar for about $17.

Written by Roland

March 24, 2006 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Equipment