Posts in the category Clothing-Gear-Tools

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

Chrome-4

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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Clothing Roundup: New Threads From Etxeondo, LuvGear, Pavé & More

We have no idea how to pronounce it, but Etxeondo looks like it would be fun to say. Named after the village in Spain they were founded in, they have a proud tradition of making their own high-performance kits since 1976. A high performance Windstopper kit, the WS Team Edition is the same kit used by the Team Giant Shimano Pro riders in the coldest stages.

As the weather changes, there is a lot of new clothing coming out. Check out some of the new ideas after the break…

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Source Doubles up on Hydration with New Dual Chamber D|Vide System

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You’re headed out for a long ride and you’re faced with the same issue you always have. Do you just fill up your bladder with water? Carry an extra bottle of sports drink? Put the sports drink in your hydration pack which will probably stain it permanently? Anyone looking to carry more than one type of hydration has a new option to consider thanks to Source Hydration.

Called the Widepack D|Vide, as its namesake suggests the hydration bladder divides your liquid needs into two separate compartments. One for water, and one for sports drink. No need for extra bottles or extra bladders. Not so sure about using a hydration bladder for sticky sports drinks that tend to go bad if you forget about them? Thanks to a number of Source’s own technologies, the bladders should stay clean no matter what you put in.

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Video: Transmission from Mothership HQ with PDW

We like the crew at Portland Design Works a lot. The bike industry is a pretty close knit group of people to begin with, but not everyone is willing to open up their new apartment (that they’re currently moving into) for you when you need a place to stay in Taiwan due to your mutual love of bikes. But that sums up the company pretty well actually. They love bikes, love rad people, and want to make products they would use themselves. Kevin Neidorf put together a short film featuring just that.

ridepdw.com

Bollé Launches Innovative Approach To Performance Prescription Eyewear

Bolle 6th Sense (3)

If you’re a four eyed freak like me, chances are you have problems finding prescription sports sunglasses. The difficulty you encounter with these types of frames is that the curved wrap required to make them protective tends to cause distortion at higher prescriptions, and for me, manifests itself in a feeling of claustrophobia or a headache.

In order to maintain the same level of protection but offer prescription wearers who shun contacts a more flatting look, Bollé has come up with an innovative solution for their top tier model – the 6th Sense. READ MORE ->

45NRTH Slaps Winter with a Sturmfist, Introduces New Extreme Winter Cycling Gloves

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You’re familiar with the Cobrafist, now lay your eyes on the new 45NRTH Sturmfist line. Built to help you give old man Winter the finger while keeping said finger from getting frostbite, the Sturmfist gloves take a decidedly 45NRTH approach to winter gloves. The rise of fat bikes means a lot more people are braving the cold and are willing to pay for better cold weather cycling gear – as long as it works.

Many winter gloves are labeled as simply, winter gloves. The Sturmfist gloves are tiered based on what temperature ranges you expect to encounter, either 15-35ºF, or for the more robust winter pedalers, 0-15ºF. Labeled as the Sturmfist 4 or Sturmfist 5 based on the number of fingers, though both look to offer a good amount of dexterity considering their temperature ratings.

While these should be great for other winter activities as well, the Sturmfist gloves are purpose built for cycling thanks to a first among cycling gloves…

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First Look: Snow & Cold Can’t Stop Your Ride With Funkier’s Winter Jacket

Funkier-Zipper-PullWinter riding jackets can be somewhat of a subjective item. Riding in the winter is extremely demanding on clothing, needing insulation, breathability and windproofing all in one. Adding to that, what someone considers winter riding clothing in southern California can be good for September here in the upper Midwest.

Funkier Bike clothing makes this simply named Winter Jacket. Based in Tel Aviv, and most commonly sold in western Europe, Funkier is largely unknown in the USA so we were curious to see where they fell in the scale of winter clothing.

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