Posts in the category Clothing-Gear-Tools

Review: Abbey Bike Tools’ Nearly Perfect Hanger Alignment Gauge

Abbey Bike Tools HAG hanger alignment gauge derailleur  (11)

The derailleur hanger is an interesting part of your bicycle that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Originally one with the frame (still is on many bikes), the replaceable model was introduced so that if your derailleur was ripped off in a crash you could replace the hanger and save the bike. Many were made out of softer metal so that the hanger would break before the derailleur, which was fine until the number of gears in a cassette started creeping up, requiring more precision and a stiffer hanger.

No matter what the frame though, one thing is universal – for the best shifting, the hanger has to be precisely aligned. That presents its own set of challenges as well as a number of tools to go along with it. Actually, just a handful of tools as the relatively simple hanger alignment gauge hasn’t seen much improvement over the years. In typical Abbey Bike Tools fashion, Jason Quade thought it could be done better. When he was done the Abbey HAG or Hanger Alignment Gauge was born.

Part Pry Bar and part Precision Measuring Instrument in Jason’s own words, using the HAG will make you want to check your hanger alignment a lot more often…

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First Look: Lezyne’s Classic & Steel Floor Drive Pumps Are Budget-Minded and Built To Last

Lezyne-Floor-Drive-Pumps-2

Lezyne makes high quality, well built bike accessories, and mostly from metal. Metal tends to be more durable, and the heavier, solid weight in your hands makes you think high quality.

Lezyne’s products are aimed a bit more at the higher end, so their entry-level pumps are more in the middle price range of the whole market. We take a close look at the Classic Floor Drive and Steel Floor Drive, with their machined steel barrel, varnished wood handle and cast aluminum base. See our thoughts after the break…

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Showers Pass Debuts Better Baselayers through Body Mapping

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It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but body-mapping is all about ventilation. With their new baselayers, Showers Pass is entering into new territory, but one that they feel is an easy fit for the brand.

“Baselayers are a natural extension of our product line, but it’s a new category for us.  So we wanted to make sure we got it right before bringing it to market.” notes Kyle Ranson, president, Showers Pass. “We surpassed all of our design goals, and are excited to round out our line and offer our customers another well-conceived high performance garment.”

After working diligently to come up with the perfect fiber content and body hugging fit, the new Body-Mapped baselayers are designed to be the perfect compliment to  the best selling jackets in the Showers Pass catalog. That’s actually a pretty crucial design element – you can have the best wicking baselayer in the world, but if it manages heat and moisture better than the layer on top of it, you will still end up wet – not so good for cold weather activities.

Fortunately, the Body-Mapped Baselayers are specifically constructed to vent out the most heat where you tend to sweat the most. These areas also happen to coincide with the excellent vents found on their jackets. The result should be a warm, dry, and happy you as you pedal away this winter…

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Motorrad Garage Covers Your Tools & Gear, Telescopes Over Your Ride Too

Ever wish you had more space for your growing collection of bikes? Sticking out just 16.9 inches from the wall, the (translated) Motorcycle Garage can hold your gear and tools, then can expand open to cover your entire bike. Designed to cover a motorcycle, it should have no problem covering a few mountain bikes.

The website is written in Deutsch, and does not mention a price, but the graphics and pictures show a lot. Made of aluminum, it can be locked to keep the elements and thieves away from your ride. If you don’t have a garage or access to covered storage, it can be a great option for your stuff and has options for mounting against a building or being free standing.

www.die-motorradgarage.de

Public Repairs Get Fancy with Bike Fixstation’s New Deluxe Public Work Stand

Bike fixstation deluxe public work stand (7)

If you live in one of the more progressive cycling cities in the U.S. or the world for that matter, you have probably seen a permanent bike repair station. Chances are good that particular station may have even been built by Bike Fixstation, a public bicycle service company that was born out of necessity. There are a lot of great back stories to bike companies out there, but Bike Fixstation has one of the best. It was during a pub crawl in 2009 that the idea for the public work stations (and vending machines) came about after one of the crew got a flat. No one had a patch kit or tools, and it was after 7 so the bike shops were closed.

Enter the public repair station. With tools and stands at the public’s disposal, plus the availability of tubes through their vending machines, travel by bicycle becomes a lot easier if you run into an issue. Don’t know how to work on bikes? The new Deluxe Public Work Stand includes a QR code so you can download repair instructions on your phone. The new stand is easier to use, capable of servicing 2 bikes at once, and a little more, well, deluxe.

Give your bike a public tune up next…

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Found: WoodOOcycles Crafts Bike Parts out of Wood, Branches Into Handlebars, Pedals & Bike Stands

Woodoocycles wooden handle bar pedals bike stand (9)

It seems that we’ve seen a lot of wood bicycles and bicycle components recently, but that didn’t stop these beautiful handlebars from gaining our attention. Combining some seriously impressive woodwork with attractive, functional designs, the handlebars are the work of woodOOcycles out of La Garriga, Spain. Founded in 1993, the small wood shop makes each bar by hand making each piece unique. Designed mostly for the urban bicycle market, the bars are offered in 4 different styles in multiple colors and finishes.

Love the look of the craftsmanship, but aren’t sold on wooden handlebars? Then take a look at the stunning display racks or flat pedals plus see how a handlebar comes to life, next…

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Trail LED Halo, DS, and XXX Light Systems Long Term Review – UPDATED

Trail LED Halo DS and XXX

From the left: the Trail LED Halo, DS, and XXX lights.

UPDATES: Mounting ring clarification, longer battery life, handlebar bracket included with XXX and DS

Night riding season is upon us and after ten weeks running the Halo, DS, and XXX light systems from Texas based Trail LED, we are very impressed with the industry leading light levels and quality craftsmanship. Set aside the wild looks for a minute and let’s just talk performance. The lights are incredibly bright – Trail LED claims 6,000 lumens for the 10 lamp Halo, 3,000 lumens for the five lamp DS , and 1,800 lumens for the three lamp XXX. While we don’t have the equipment to test those claims, our riding experience demonstrated that each system was significantly brighter than similarly priced systems with roughly the same claimed power. When there are lights with similar claimed outputs, that is – there aren’t too many 6,000 lumen bike lights out there. The single power/mode button is well placed, easy to use with gloves, and offers a satisfying click. The unique if inelegant mounting system -tan colored surgical tubing bands- combined with their helmet hugging shape, reduced neck fatigue and skull inertia compared to traditional coal miner style light mounts.  The surgical tube “mounting rings” hold the lamps infinitely better than the Velcro straps offered by most competitors, they do not snag your helmet pads the way Velcro does, and they will never require zip-tie reinforcement.  The optional bar mount included with the XXX and DS is simply brilliant. The batteries are compact, easy to carry, interchangeable with all three lamps, and spares are half the cost of their competitors. Criticisms, and specifics on each system, after the jump… READ MORE ->

Chrome Opens New Digs In Minneapolis, Shows It Off With A Party

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San Francisco, New York, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and now Minneapolis. Chrome Industries, long time maker of messenger bags that grew into a full line of urban outdoor gear, has opened a new hub.

Formerly occupied by Handsome Cycles for their boutique, the shop space in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis is the newest of the Chrome company-owned stores. To join the community, they brought out the beer and tacos, and threw a party…

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Need To Lighten Your Ride? Proti Fully Forged Titanium Bolts Are Light, But Also Stronger

Proti-Bolts-HeaderProti makes 6/4 Titanium bolts for motorcycles, using a technology where they are fully forged, including the threads. This relatively recent technology builds a bolt that has a much higher strength than a CNC cut bolt that is more typical of titanium bolts used in bicycles.

Andre Szucs saw what this was doing in the motorcycle world, and worked with Proti to become the representative of the bolts for the bicycle industry, and started www.proti-bicycles.com. There is a lot of science that explains why forging is better than cutting, check inside for the story…

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