Posts Tagged ‘commuting’

Giro 100 Proof Winter Glove Review

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The 100 Proof glove is the warmest offering for Giro. It’s a split finger glove (also called “lobster claw”) that pairs your fingers together to better trap body warmth. Included with the glove is a light weight glove liner made from a moisture wicking fabric to help keep your hands dry. All in all, these gloves are designed to keep you warm and dry in the most frigid of temperatures.

The split finger design is meant to help keep your fingers warmer, similar to a mitten but with some added dexterity. The increased range of motion is important for gripping on handlebars and operating a bike’s controls.  (more…)

Light and Motion Urban 550 Light – Review

Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Urban 550 clamps securely to the bars with a simply, tool free system.

The Urban 550 is an incredibly versatile light, serving well beyond its suggested use in urban settings. At 550 lumens, it puts out more than enough to cover most typical riding situations. With its compact and rechargeable Li-ion battery, tool free handlebar mount and multiple settings, it’s proven itself to be a reliable addition to my everyday cycling gear.

I purchased this light back in October when summer light started to dwindle and the prospect of night riding became inevitable. Since then, my Urban 550 remained mounted on my handlebar for nearly 900 miles. It’s seen nearly every condition, temperature and terrain that I could find to throw at it. And so far, it’s proven to be a sturdy piece of gear with virtually no problems.

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NiteRider – Interbike 2012 (Video)

Friday, September 28th, 2012

NiteRider makes some of the finest lights around. They were showing us a few of their new commuting oriented lights which are all USB rechargeable. One thing that we were excited to hear was the redesign of their handlebar mount to make it more stout and robust. Take a look at what they had to say.

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Awesome commuting lights from Serfas!

Monday, March 14th, 2011
tf_serfasdotlight

We just got a bunch of these new rear lights in from Serfas, the TL-200 and the Seat Stay Tail Light.  These are killer, especially for us commuters who need ultra bright lights so we can’t be missed.

  1. They’re super bright - there’s a lot of great lights out there, but these ones really pack in a HUGE punch.  The TL-200 uses TWO half wat LED lights, the Seat Stay light is a half watt – you can’t even look at the thing directly while its on for an extended period.
  2. They look awesome - both models use a stretchy rubber band that fits easily around the narrowest or biggest tubes for easy seatpost or stay applications.  Put it on quickly at night, take it off during the day.  No hassle.
  3. Under $30?!?Yep!

Serfas has always made good stuff.  Nothing too flashy, just simple, affordable, and great quality.  I know I’ll be using the TL-200 for all my night riding this Spring!

CLICK HERE for the Serfas TL-200

CLICK HERE for the Serfas Seat Stay Tail Light

I knew it would be a bad idea … (or – SKS P45 Fender Review)

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

… to try riding on a dirt road yesterday.  It didn’t really feel like riding on dirt or gravel – it was more like riding on top of a giant freshly wet oil painting.  The tires were sticking and sliding at the same time, with the slick and gritty mud slipping underneath as the tread attempted to grasp on.  My new drivetrain sure didn’t appreciate that.   It didn’t take long for the factory lube to strip right off the chain and leave behind a continuous crunching while I spun.  It felt kind of like eating a really good sandwich on the beach.  It tastes so delicious, even though sand is blowing into your food and with each chew you have to crunch through it just to enjoy the overall experience.

But it could have been worse, that is, without the P45 fenders by SKS.  I installed these just for this type of situation and am completely impressed with them through and through.   Here’s what I like.

tf-alanfenderp45

Installation

Like all fenders, installation never goes as smoothly as you anticipate.  So expect a good hour figuring it out, adjusting up and down, punching holes, and rigging zip ties to get everything set up just right.  But with that said, installation went pretty smooth.  This is what you’ll need on your frame to make it work optimally:

  • Eyelets to mount the stays to the frame
  • Mounts at the crown of the fork, bridge of the chain stays, and bridge of the seat stays to secure fenders to the frame

The P45’s use really cool rubber tips at the top of the stays that make up and down adjustment of the fenders easy and cover the tops of the stays to protect from potentially dangerous sharp edges.  All hardware is included, but I had to make some adjustments.  Zip ties were used to secure the front fender because the included bolt was too short for my fork crown, and had to melt a hole through the rear fender to secure it to the bridge at the seat stays – the mount on my frame was at the underside of the bridge, rather than through the rear which SKS provides for.

Construction

These fenders are SOLID.  The stays are dependable yet flexible, making them hold the fender well but also take well to road vibration.  The plastic fender is super stiff, so once its installed correctly you don’t get any chatter.  And they added only a pound or so to the total weight of the bike.  I won’t race with them, but hey at that weight I could if I wanted!

The Ride

They do exactly what they need to!  Keeps water and gunk off me and nearly all of the bike.  It was my fault for riding on such a nasty road to get my chain all mudded up – even so, my frame and body was almost  completely mud free.  All in all it’s a light, sleek looking, wildly sturdy, and affordable fender set that will keep me riding through these wet months.  The P45’s are meant to handle up to 35mm tires, so for roadies take a look at the P35, and for mountain bikes, the P65.

Winter Commuting: Part 1 – The Basics

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Commuting is one of the most rewarding things you can do on a bike.  I speak from experience – I commute as much as possible, in all weather, by choice.  I have a car.  I don’t have a DUI.  I just choose biking.  Why?

  • It’s a lot more fun than driving a car.
  • It’s Zen time.  Think, relax, decompress.  Let it all go.
  • It makes you feel good.  That whole endorphin talk is actually true.
  • Get your training/exercise and transportation all at once.
  • It’s one less car to a better world.

Commuting is not hard to do.  You need (1) a working bike that fits your needs, (2) a couple key accessories, and (3) the motivation to get up early enough for the morning ride in.  Here at Tree Fort, we want to help.  We aren’t really going to be making wake-up calls to get you out of bed in the morning (we could probably be bribed on a case by case basis), but we definitely can help with the first two points.

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This is a three part series on cold weather commuting.  Though we are in the business of selling stuff, our real goal is to get more people out riding on bikes.  Therefore this first post will focus on the basics of commuting; the bare necessities to get you there and back in cold weather with ease.  Part 2 and 3 will go through bike parts, accessories, and clothing that will make your commute more comfortable and enjoyable. (more…)