All posts tagged Product Review

  • Element Case Vapor Pro Review

    element case vapor pro review iphone 4

    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.


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  • Loaded Precision Pedals & Grips

    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.


  • DZR Minna Review – Thoughts after three weeks

    dzr minna review

    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.


    Previously: DZR Minna

    Continue reading “DZR Minna Review – Thoughts after three weeks” »

  • 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.


    Continue reading “DZR Minna” »

  • Feedback Sports: Sport-Mechanic Work Stand

    feedback sports sport-mechanic bike stand

    feedback sports sport-mechanic bike stand

    As soon as I started commuting by bicycle nearly 5 years ago when I moved to Burlington, I wanted a stand that easily allowed me to work on bikes with fenders. Now I know what you’re thinking…WTF is he talking about? What do fenders have to do with anything and repair stands? Well, for 4 years or so while racing, I primarily used a Park Tools Team Race Stand (The PRS-20). This stand was designed to clamp the bike by the fork dropouts, saving your lightweight scandium or carbon frame from the evil carbon-crushing jaw clamp. However, it doesn’t play nicely with fenders. Plus, adjusting the quick release each time is a hassle.

    So for years I’d been dreaming of a repair stand from Feedback Sports, as one of my former team mates had one (of which I was secretly envious) and the other day I was lucky enough to receive a Sport-Mechanic model. If only my mind was read more often? Well, maybe not.

    Upon opening the box, I immediately ditched the setup instructions and had it up in 30 seconds. Very easy to fold/unfold, not to mention very lightweight for how sturdy it feels. One of my favorite features off the bat is the clamp which allows you to secure your bike by simply turning the dial clock or counterclockwise – simple and easy. I killed two birds with one stone here and decided to use this as an opportunity to install my MRP Chainguide. Check out the rest of my thoughts on the Feedback Sports Sport-Mechanic Stand below and get a closer look at the details!


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  • Crank Brothers M-17 Review

    crank brothers m17

    The Crank Brothers M-17 has been my trusty, do it all (cover-all) multi-tool for nearly a year now and I couldn’t be happier with it – no I didn’t get it for free (but I was a shop employee at the time), but it’s saved my ass once or twice over the past year and has the potential to perform most any trail/roadside operation your bike should need. After breaking my chain nearly 25 miles into a 50-mile midnight moonlight ride last summer, I knew I needed a compact chain tool to go along with the rest of the stuff I carry. The M17 was the answer.

    Even since moving to Shanghai, I’ve used this tool for something bicycle or apartment-related at least weekly. For example, my girlfriend and I just moved into a new apartment and therefore had to get a bunch of new furniture from IKEA. Being that I’m in China, I don’t have my huge, massive tool box full of multiple Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, nor did I want to buy the toolkit from IKEA. The Crank Brothers M17 has been more than just a bicycle multi-tool for me since moving to China, it’s pretty much replaced my entire toolbox.

    This piece features all the convenient allen key’s you’d want (even a 8mm), a torx, phillips, flat head, spoke wrenches, and chain tool. I love the thing. Seriously, it flies everywhere with me. (Now you know where to put that Christmas money). Go pick one up at your local shop or hit up the Crank Brothers Amazon.

    Check out a couple more reviews by Singletracks and Bike Rumor.

    Pick yours up here: Crank Brothers M17 Tool


  • Seven Cycles: Belt-Driven Cafe Racer

    seven cycles belt drive

    seven cycles belt drive commuter

    As belt driven bicycles and the technology behind them continues to evolve, you’ll start seeing a wider range or manufactures/builders begin to apply the tech to their bikes. Lovely Bicycle recently put together a great post on the Seven Cycles titanium belt drive commuter / cafe racer and it’s definitely worth reading.

    I’ve been wanting to test out the Gates Carbon Drive myself one of these days but haven’t found the opportunity (or a good enough excuse for a new bike). That brings me to my next thought…

    If you’re from the Burlington, Vermont area and need a solid winter bike / commuter on the cheap – I got ya. Currently have a ’88 Mongoose ATB (4130 cromoly – hand built in Japan) w/ full Deore, 21 speeds, all the rack mounts you could ever wish for. I need to purge a bit in regards to my cycling gear and this guys gotta go – the perfect lock-up bike!

    I hope everyone had a great weekend/holiday/Christmas and that you have a safe and enjoyable last week of 2011.Thanks so much for your continued readership and helping keep Culture Cycles alive (our second birthday is coming up in just 5 more days).



  • Testing the Bushnell Eccentric Bottom Bracket

    Bushnell EBB

    A couple days ago I got my Bushnell EBB shell in the mail, a big upgrade from my previous shell which was only secured by the four set screws on the BB shell’s underside. My Bushnell expands when you turn the 4-mm bolt clockwise – making for a really snug and slip-free fit.

    I mainly got this EBB ’cause I grew tired of my two front set screws stripping after repeatedly chasing/retapping the threads. With only two days riding the new shell I’ve noticed my bottom bracket area has become noticeably stiffer and more responsive; no creaks, no noise-just the humming of my tires. We’ll see how it goes over the next couple weeks but so far I’m really happy with the purchase. Anyone else riding this EBB or have an EBB setup?