Posts in the category Clothing-Gear-Tools

Review: Lightweight Climbers Jersey, plus Classic and Merino Kits, All Made in Slovakia From Isadore Apparel


Jumping back-and-forth from overly hot sunny days of riding to cool spring-like mornings, we’ve had a great chance to get some intense testing out of a whole range of kit from Isadore Apparel over the past several months. The full product line we dove into covers the spectrum from short and long sleeve merino wool blend jerseys for both men and women, all-day bibs for men and shorts for women, plus several sock options and caps. One thing that caught our attention (besides some good merino colors and nice simple design variations) was the focus on keeping design and manufacturing in Europe in Isadore’s home country of Slovakia. Plus a lightweight merino mix like the Climbers Jersey above typically does a pretty good job keeping you comfortable in a wide range of conditions, like climbing big mountains in the heat, sweating on the way up and chilled at high elevation, then for long descents back to the valleys.

Follow us through the break to see more detail on a sampling of their range…


Garmin offers VIRB action camera bundle kit with bonus mounts & more


Once you’ve got a camera, most of us end up looking for more interesting places to mount it. But additional mounts get expensive real quick, which is what makes the new Garmin VIRB XE cycling bundle attractive. In addition to the standard stick-on and bar mounts, you get a 16GB microSD card, small and large tube mounts, a vented helmet strap, and the new combo handlebar mount that lets you put your EDGE cycling computer atop the cam. And if you’ve got a compatible EDGE unit, it’ll give you ANT+ control over the VIRB XE!

All that’s yours for $449, a $50 premium over the standalone VIRB XE package. Considering the combo computer+camera mount alone is $45, the bundle offers a very good deal for all the extra goodies…


SILCA Introduces the HX-One Hex Essentials Kit

Silca Wrench Set

Many of us from years past think of classic indestructible floor pumps, (their frame pumps, though pretty, weren’t so tough), when we think of SILCA.  Since taking ownership from what was the oldest family owned company in the cycling industry in 2013, Josh Portner and his crew have made a bee line for producing some of the most ridiculously drool worthy and well thought out products that this industry has seen.  Not for everybody, but for those that will still crack a smile 5 or even 10 years later when they look at their investment, it takes on a whole new meaning when justifying such a purchase.  To add to their growing collection of family heirlooms, SILCA is introducing the HX-One Essentials Kit, which is a set of hex keys that look and are simple, but what went into them is another story…


VP’s New Aim Platform Pedals Keep it Simple, Versatile and Cheap

VP Aim platform pedals, silver

Flat pedal riders with finite budgets will likely be pretty stoked to hear about VP’s new Aim platform pedals. As the lesser brother to VP’s top of the line Harrier flat pedal, the recently released Aims are more affordable yet feature bodies that are almost as large and thin as the Harrier, and still come in at a very reasonable weight.

The Aim pedals were developed for slopestyle slayer Sam Reynolds. Reynolds said he wanted something big and grippy, so VP ran with his request and created this simple, traditional and versatile dual-concave design. In short, the Aim pedals are comfortable platforms that offer gobs of foot space, and would be ideal for any type of bike that you’d run flats on including your commuter, BMX or all-mountain bike. Read on for the details, and to see if you’re tempted by their $60 MSRP…

Review: Mindshift Rotation180º Trail hydration pack with swing-around camera case

Mindshift Rotation180 Trail hydration backpack with swing-around camera case fanny pack integration - full review

When Mindshift announced the smaller Trail version of their Rotation180º camera-toting backpacks, I was immediately curious. Part of our job, after all, is to take good pics of the equipment we’re testing out on the trail. That means getting a good camera safely to and from the far reaches of wherever (Iceland, in the case of the photo above), along with water, snacks, tools, pump and any other doodads deemed necessary for the adventures ahead.

Mindshift’s packs provide room for all of the above with a nifty swing-around camera pouch that makes it quick and easy to snag the shot without having to pull the entire pack off and dig through all the gear. And the rest of the pockets do a fine job of making room for everything else with passable organization. While the initial pics they sent us made the Trail look oversized, in reality it’s just the right size, and it’s light on its feet…


Kask Rex mountain bike helmet brings light weight, full coverage to trails

Kask Rex enduro trail full coverage mountain bike helmet

Kask is the helmet supplier to Team Sky, putting some impressive aero tech aboard some of the best road cyclists around. And it’s their road collection where the focus has been, until now.

The new Kask Rex is a full coverage half lid helmet aimed at aggressive riders, but with a weight that should keep XC racers happy, too. Add in 20 gaping vents and pads designed to facilitate sweat evaporation, and it looks like the Italian company may have nailed it with their newest lid…


Unior Bike UniqueTools Test: P-handle Torxes, Cassette tools, and More – First Impressions


Chatting with the team mechanics from the Unior Tools Team at the first XC World cup this season, we found some interesting looking and unique tools on their work bench, and wanted to know more. When we got to talking tools, we found that they were in the process of finalizing an agreement to distribute their European-made tool range in the US, so we thought we should give some of them a try and report back since most of our readers should have access to them by the end of the year. We chose to start off with some solid basics that would work well either in the hands of a full-time mechanic or someone like us who works on bikes out of their home shop. That includes Unior’s take on P-handle wrenches, a rotor truing tool, chain tool, some interesting combination wrenches, an external bottom bracket wrench, and a cassette tool.

Jump past the break to get a closer look at a few of these tools, as we’ve started to put them to use…


Friday RoundUP – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

Jun 15, 2015 - Pacific Start | Aug 18 (est) - Atlantic Finish (PRNewsFoto/Bike Loud!)

Jun 15, 2015 – Pacific Start | Aug 18 (est) – Atlantic Finish (PRNewsFoto/Bike Loud!)

Cycling for Charity

  • Boy Scouts Bike 3,900 Miles to Battle Cancer – On June 15, seven Boy Scouts embarked on an epic bike journey from the Pacific seaside town of Florence, Oregon. Their destination, 66 days and 3,900 miles over the horizon, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Their mission, to honor a schoolmate they lost to cancer and to raise awareness and funds for teen cancer programs. The extreme cyclists, high school students in Chapel Hill, have now traveled almost 3,000 miles, successfully navigating the Cascades and Rockies, crossing the Continental Divide, descending into the Great Plains. Ahead, the Appalachian Mountains roll into North Carolina’s Piedmont and the coast, the entire trip without vehicle support. The Trans-America odyssey, appropriately labeled Bike Loud! is slated to end on August 18. Click here for Bike Loud! Website and news from the road.
June 15, 2015, Pacific Ocean Start, Florence, Oregon (PRNewsFoto/Bike Loud!)

Cyclist’s names in Pacific Ocean photo, Florence, Oregon (left to right): David Margolies, Brian Richardson, Alex Broz, Andrew de Figueiredo, Max Morgan, Will Owen, Sam Billings.


  • Bikepacking Endurance Cycling Challenge: 3,600km Solo Across Japan in 21 Days – Ollie Blackmore, endurance cyclist from Norfolk, UK, is taking on an almighty challenge, cycling across Japan solo and unsupported. Cycle Challenge Japan is set to be a grueling 3,647 km (2,266 miles) of cycling, with 175,000ft of climbs, in just 21 days starting on the 9th September 2015. Ollie aims to raise awareness and £15,000 for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project – a cause which works to end dolphin captivity and slaughter. Find out more about Ollie’s challenge on his Facebook Page.


Rapha Summer Pro Team Kit Review: Climber’s Jersey and Lightweight Bibs, plus Trade Jersey


The last month in Europe has had a lot of super hot days, so we’ve been thinking a bunch about early morning rides and lightweight kit. At the end of the spring Rapha came out with a couple of new Pro Team level pieces that teased us with the idea or keeping cool as the mercury rose. We’ve since had a chance to take their new Pro Team Lightweight Bibs and Climber’s Jersey up (and down) a couple of alpine climbs and across a slew of European roads to see what they truly had to offer. We also spent some time with one of their special edition trade team jerseys to see if it was all show or could keep up.

Read on past the jump to see how this summertime Pro Team kit stacks up against other offerings, whether it’s worth its price, and to see the value of a Pro Team jersey current on sale…