Archive for May, 2011

Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Bag (Small) Review

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
tf-fullbag
positive starpositive starpositive starhalf starno star
3.8
GEARS

I’m used to carrying around an absurdly large camera pack that’s usually loaded up with more gear than anyone needs for a walk around town. I’ve been looking for something small and flexible for a while now, and was really stoked when the guys from Timbuk2 introduced me to the Snoop Messenger bag back in February at Frost Bike. It took a few weeks for the bag to become available, but as soon as it did, I ordered one up. Keep in mind that some of the pros and cons that I talk about may only pertain to the size small bag, I have yet to use medium bag. With that said, let the review begin!

For a while now I’ve wanted a small bag that could carry just the essentials for walking and riding around town. After seeing the small and medium bags, I knew the small bag was the way to go for me, based on my tendency to overload a bag and make it unbearable to carry.

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Product Review: Easton EC70 Wide Carbon Flat Bar

Thursday, May 5th, 2011
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[ed. note: Some of the included photos are of the EC70 riser bar.]

It definitely seems like it would be tough to write a review about a mountain handlebar – generally it doesn’t seem like there’s too much special about a flat bar, even a carbon flat bar, to write an extensive review on.   I mean it either feels good or doesn’t, and is light or not.  What else is there?

Well, with the new Easton EC70 Wide carbon flat bars, there is quite a bit else there to talk about.  Yes, it feels awesome.  Yes, it’s pretty light.  And even more, this is a bar built for a specific application – 29er and single-speeds.  As such, it really makes you think about what you are placing your hands on and what it does to the ride when you go ripping down the trail.  Switching to these bars is like switching to a new riding geometry, built specifically for the needs of single cogs and big wheels.

Construction

tf-ec70bar-3 The carbon composite construction used in the EC70 keeps the bar extremely light and very comfortable to ride on.  At a mere 150 grams, it rivals with some of the lightest bars on the market.  The vibration dampening effects of these carbon bars are real – it soaks up trail chatter, providing better control and enhanced endurance.  Since they’re far more comfortable than aluminum and cheaper carbon options, you can also run thin and light grips, like the ESI Racer’s Edge, saving weight there too.

They’re wide too, at 685mm.  We’ll talk in a second how this affects the ride – but at this width you’d expect there to be quite a bit more flex than there actually is.  These bars hold incredibly stiff even when torquing hard on out-of-the-saddle steep climbs.

The Ride

Ok, so any great quality carbon bar should be what we described above –lightweight, vibration dampening and uber-stiff (which is why it’s hard to write good reviews of most mountain handlebars…).  But the width and angle, combined with the quality construction of the EC70 provide an awesome ride that 29er and single-speed riders must try to feel the benefits.

Wide bars have two pretty important advantages – first, they provide better leverage, meaning more controllable handling and aid in climbing.  Secondly, they open up the arms, which in turn open up the chest, making for better and deeper breathing.

There are also two downsides of wider bars – first, they are harder to get between narrow objects, like two trees spaced together tightly on the trail.  Secondly, sometimes wide is just too wide to be comfortable – for example, I have scrawny narrow shoulders, and really wide bars just feel awkward and clumsy.

At least for me, the 685mm width is perfect.  They are wide enough to give the benefits of leverage and an open chest, and narrow enough to feel comfortable to ride all day.

The 9 degree sweep brings the bars back, putting the hands in a comfortable, slightly angled position.  This sweep makes the 685mm width less sprawling and the handling more focused. I’ve noticed it adds better control and steering than narrower bars with a less dramatic sweep.

The Bottom Line

tf-ec70bar-4 29ers and single-speeds (and, of-course, single-speed 29ers) benefit from wider, swept back bars.  The big rotating tires of 29ers need that extra leverage to turn the front wheel effectively and effortlessly.  The out-of-the-saddle, grinding climbs of single-speeds benefit from the extra leveraging these wide bars provide in climbs.

The EC70 Wide provides this wide advantage, angled to just the right hand position for perfect handling.  Position it low on the steerer tube for a 29er, or wherever is comfortable for 26” SS, and you’ve got a winning combination.  Plus, it uses Easton’s awesome carbon composite, which is light, soaks up trail chatter, wildly stiff, and uses tapered technology making it sturdy and dependable.

Digital Goodness Part 3 (Clouds)

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Who doesn’t love big soft fluffy clouds while you’re out cruising down the road or trail? With the springs storms that we have rolling through Michigan in mid April, it gives a perfect opportunity to capture a few clouds and get a reminder that the green is here and riding season is upon us.

Widescreen

1280×720
1680×1050
1920×1080
2560×1440
2560×1600

Standard

640×480
800×600
1024×768
1152×864
1280×960
1280×1024
1600×1200

iPhone

iPhone4
iPhone 3gs and Older

Tree Fort Clouds Wallpaper

Tree Fort Clouds Wallpaper