All posts tagged Product Review

  • Feedback Sports Pro Elite Bike Stand Review

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    Whether you own a number of bicycles, ride a ton, or just enjoy doing your own maintenance, having a solid work stand is essential. As an ex-shop mechanic of 10 years I’ve definitely owned a number of stands, but none have left me as jazzed as the Pro Elite by Feedback Sports. Seriously.

    The stand has seen quite a bit of use over the last few months. I’ve put off working on my bikes less simply because of how easy it is to setup and break down. The quick release clamp is a very nice touch and makes getting bikes in and out of the stand a breeze. I also feel a lot better about clamping carbon posts with this stand since you can really fine-tune the tightness and go gentle when needed.

    As far as the stands actual performance goes, I’d say I’m just as enthused. It’s easily the nicest bike stand that I’ve owned. Sure, it’s not going to feel as sturdy as a shop stand but don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty darn solid. It’s also very portable at only 12.6 pounds thanks to the aluminum construction, and can even support up to 85 pounds.

    I’ve mostly had my road, mountain and commuter bike in the stand over the last few months; all of which are pretty lightweight. Even with heavier bikes, including an old Schwinn, the stand stood sturdy. Obviously there will be some flex with a heavier bike, but never did the Pro Elite feel noodley or weak.

    I’ve taken a few months to get this review together because I really wanted to be able to speak to the product’s initial durability throughout consistent use. I try to only share products that I believe are of the best quality and especially those that I’ve had a good experience with. For more information on the Feedback Sports Pro Elite Bike Stand, check out the video of Doug below explaining some of the features as well as more photos.

    Also, it was great to meet the Feedback guys out in Denver this past February! The mechanic build off was quite the event…

    If you have any questions about the stand, simply leave a comment of email me! Apologies for the sub-par photos, my apartment’s lighting is crap.

    -B

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  • Toko Eco Wash & Care

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    I’ve been a big fan of the Toko’s Care Line recently. With a nice chunk of my laundry made up of kit and other technical fabrics, it’s reassuring knowing that your detergent and fabric softener were created with these textiles in mind. I’ve been using the Eco Wash detergent and Sportswear Care products for a couple months now and not only does my laundry smell better, but I feel like I’m doing my bibs and jerseys a favor for their longevity. I’ve successfully used these products at both a commercial laundromat and a home washing machine and dryer (not for testings sake, but it’s what was convenient) with ease. If you’re looking for some quality care products and find yourself washing a number of tech fabrics I’d give the Wash and Care both a look.

    Be sure to check out the rest of the Toko Care Line too.

    -B

     

  • Doma Coffee: The Chronic & La Bicicletta

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    Two weeks ago I came home to an amazing care package from the kind folks at DOMA Coffee Roasting Company of Post Falls, Idaho. I couldn’t have been more excited; not only because I happened to be out of coffee, but also because it’d been a while since I’ve felt like making coffee since I get a pretty decent brew at work for free. I have a feeling I’ll be brewing at home much more often now.

    All coffee from DOMA is certified organic and fair trade, including The Chronic and La Bicicletta blends. I’ve nearly finished off the pound of Chronic and it’s definitely up there with some of the best coffee I’ve had. No joke. Before I even opened up the mailer-package, my entire apartment already reeked of the “super dank”  beans. I’m no coffee snob, but The Chronic is a very flavorful roast with a more dynamic taste than what I’m usually drinking. They describe it as having hints of cocoa and walnut, and I’m surely noticing the cocoa. If nothing else, the packaging is rad – I’m definitely keeping these letter-pressed bags for the cork board once I’m through.

    Learn more about DOMA, their culture and the coffee on their site. Be sure to browse their variety of coffee blends too.

    -B

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  • Ignoble Marion Backpack Review

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    A few weeks back I got this Ignoble Marion backpack in the mail and immediately fell in love with its blending of function and simplicity. Up until recently, I’d never heard of Ignoble but am always one to support US-made gear when I can. Ignoble is a LA-based bag and backpack company that focuses on style-conscious and thoughtfully designed bags to tackle the urban environment both on and off the bike with their bags being produced at a military-grade level.

    The Marion Tombs Backpack is an extremely light yet spacious pack, constructed of 200D Nylon with comfy shoulder pads and a large zippered main compartment. There are also a number of small stash pouches, organizers and a chest strap to help distribute the weight once fully-loaded. Speaking of which, this bag is all about volume with its ability to squeeze 29 liters of goods inside. At first glance, it may look a little too large to be for daily use. However, I’ve come to appreciate the extra space I’m usually left as it’s such a lightweight bag that I barely notice its size. Plus, I’ve been known to grab 6-ers on the way home from work and this bag leaves me just enough room for that and a loaf of bread (on top of all my other sundries).  I’d recommend this bag to anyone, especially if you’re looking for a versatile pack that’s game for the urban commute, whether on bike or foot. Check out some detail shots of the Marion below and be sure to browse the rest of Ignoble Bags offerings on their site.

    -B

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  • Boombotix 2 Chain Gangsta Review

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    boombotix 2 wireless chain gang review (1)

    When the folks at folks at Boombotix sent me a Boombotix 2 wireless portable speaker I couldn’t have been more exited. I’d been talking about how awesome it’d be to have a portable radio/sound system with me while commuting or skating, and these guys were great enough to answer my prayers. At first I was a bit skeptical when I received this, thinking it wouldn’t be as loud as other online reviews had said. But after the Chain Gangsta tagged along with me all week, I can attest to its volume. This thing is very loud for its size. Loud enough whether you’re skating a mini ramp or battling with rush hour traffic. If you’re looking for even more volume, you have the option of buying a second and linking them via cable for twice the power. It’s also very light and compact, making it easy to always have loud tunes at quick access.

    Standing at just over 3.5 inches, the Boombotix 2 is equipped with a 50mm driver and also has a small tweeter, to boot. It’s also got a nifty clip on the back which is perfect for attaching to your bag as you run errands. Plus, it’s so light you’ll barely notice it there. This particular speaker is wireless via Bluetooth and compatible with a bunch of devices including the iPhone, iPad, tablets and laptops. I love being able to keep my phone in my pocket or bag and not have to worry about wires. Oh yeah, you’ll also get a 1-year, no matter what, warranty with any Boombotix speaker. Get the full spec’s on their site and check out all the other varieties while you’re at it.

    -B

  • Chrome District Rolltop Backpack Review

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    This right here is the perfect day bag. I’ve been running the Chrome District backpack for a little over a month now and couldn’t be happier; it’s just the right size for your daily essentials.  Plus, being that it’s a rolltop, you’ve always got spare room to squeeze those tall cans in on the way home.

    Since I haven’t had internet at my place for the past two weeks, I’ve been bringing my laptop everywhere and the separate laptop sleeve accommodates my 15” Macbook with ease. I’ll also keep a pair of shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, small tool roll, u-lock, lights and a few miscellaneous goods in the District on the daily.

    Read the rest of the review below and get a little more info at Chrome Industries. -B

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  • Chrome Victor Utility Bag Review

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    I’ve been running the Chrome Victor for about three weeks now and have been loving it. This is the perfect utility bag for those days when you only need to bring the essentials. The main pouch is big enough for most miniature u-locks, a multi-tool, a compact windbreaker, your wallet and maybe another small goodie. The phone pocket fits an iPhone perfectly, even with the separate neoprene case I’ve got. This USA made bag also features Chrome’s signature buckle with means to hold your D ring of keys (it also opens bottles quite well), reflective daisy chain mounting loops for a light or key ring, and is made 1000 denier cordura for the long haul. My keys are pictured inside the bag since I don’t appreciate the noise they make while riding.

    If you only need to carry a couple things, the Victor is your answer. This bag will take what you’d normally try to stuff in your jeans and put it comfortably on your back. If you’re looking to carry more, I’d suggest a day pack or sorts since this little guy fills up quickly.  Check out a few more details of the new Victor utility bag by Chrome Industries below.

    -B

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  • Solo Konig Classique Jersey Review

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    The folks at Solo Cycle Clothing were kind enough to send me my very own Konig Classique Jersey, of which I’ve been wearing for the past two weeks now. This has quickly become of my favorite jerseys, and I even got a compliment ten minutes into my first ride. The Solo Classique line features timeless retro styling with modern traits and in terms of quality, is probably one of the top-three nicest jerseys I’ve ever owned. It’s made with Nuovotec polyester, a proprietary blend that is comfortable and does a pretty good job at wicking sweat. There are some really thoughtful features here too including knitted arm and neck bands, a silicon elastic waistband for a nice grip, and three pockets on the back including a zipper sleeve – perfect for keeping your iPhone dry.

    So far I’m really loving this jersey. It’s handmade in New Zealand, which is rad; but also because I’m planning to do a bike tour there next year. The fit is perfect too. I’m 5’10 and 138 lbs and the small is like a glove, with just enough room. I’m excited to have another jersey in the lineup, now all I need to do is get some black or matching shorts. See some detail shots below.

    -B Continue reading “Solo Konig Classique Jersey Review” »

  • Element Case Vapor Pro Review

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    element case vapor pro review iphone 4

    I got this Element Case Vapor Pro in the mail a while ago and just finally got my upgrade to an iPhone last week. For nearly 2 months I’d been waiting in anticipation to give this US-made case a try. Here I am, five days with it on the new phone and I couldn’t be happier. It’s made of airplane-grade black anodized aluminum and is a two piece design that attaches with 4 tiny hex screws, this being one of my favorite features. It also helps the case stay snug and almost becomes one with the phone; the lines are that seamless.

    Many of my old cases for my Android were large and textured rubber, which made getting it out of my pocket a hassle. Since I’m usually riding or spending time outdoors, I went for the most rugged protection. But what I really like about the Vapor Pro now that I made the iPhone switch, is how easy it is to handle. If I need extra protection, the Element Case comes with a larger padded zipper case to house the phone. I’ve been using on my rides the past few days to keep my phone safe from moisture and also store my ID and debit card/cash. See some close-up shots of the Vapor Pro below and browse the offerings of the California designed and crafted Element Case.

    -B

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  • Loaded Precision Pedals & Grips

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    The guys over at Singletracks recently reviewed these AmX Signature Seal Loaded. Their intention may be for the downhill and freeride crew, but I can see these making a great addition to your commuter bike too.

    See the review here and take a peek at the whole product line Loaded has to offer.

    -B

  • DZR Minna Review – Thoughts after three weeks

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    Three weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a pair of the new DZR Minna SPD-compatible shoes / sneakers and have had a pretty great experience with them so far. I’ve been wearing the DZRs day in and day out; commuting to work, cruising my normal errands, heading into town and I even found myself spending a few full days at work in them (and not really noticing it).

    Style-wise, these carry a subtle sophistication – something I really admire in a shoe. The blackout colorway features multiple textures and fabrics which keeps things interesting and helps the shoe to accompany whatever you happen to be wearing. They’ve also got subtle reflective inserts on the backs of the heels to help with visibility, a detail I love cause I find myself riding at night quite often.

    In terms of performance, I’ve been really impressed so far. The sole is stiff in just the right area and allows the perfect bit of flex in the toe-box and heel areas (see photo). After wearing/walking in these for a couple weeks you’ll begin to feel where the plastic insert ends, but only while walking – they’re still nice ‘n stiff above my Atacs.

    A reader mentioned a sample he tried had issues with the sole coming unglued on a sample model he received. To me, this seems somewhat inevitable in due time since you’re required to cut out the sole yourself, but it’s also easily fixable/preventable. If you’ve got some tubular glue sitting around that you’re not busy sniffing, it might be worth sealing the sole with once you cut it to prevent any separation. If it comes separated, just clean and glue.

    So far so stoked. Some detail shots/comments below.

    -B

    Previously: DZR Minna

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  • DZR Minna

    dzr minna spd compatible sneaker

    dzr minna spd compatible sneaker

    Named in honor of our showroom’s grand, gritty alley, Minna St., with graphics designed by local artist and DJ, Jeremiah Bal, these sneakers are a most fresh homage to an original.  All black, they will go with everything, everywhere, and take you back. ” – via DZR

    A pair of these brand new DZR Minnas were waiting for me last Friday when I came home from work, so I threw some cleats on ‘em and have been riding them all weekend. I’ve been really excited to give a sneaker-style SPD shoe a try, and these would have been my first choice – solely on the styling of course. I like black and subtlety. My favorite detail off the bat has to be the reflective chain links on the backs of each shoe, minimal yet very practical.

    For nearly a year I’d been running Odyssey BMX pedals with some Hold Fast straps and really loved the setup except every time I got on either my road or mountain bike, I’d realize how much power I lose riding in sneakers. So having the opportunity to try a  ‘hybrid’ of the two is exciting.

    The shoes have performed well over the past few days, and have definitely surpassed my expectations for a skate-style SPD shoe. I’ll be doing my normal day-to-day riding in these and will give a more detailed report in a week or so. Until then, check out a few more details below.

    -B

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