Hacked Clamp on Drop Bar Adapters

Reader Chris is embarking on a two year bike trip from Alaska to Argentina. Think on that for a moment . . . don’t know about you, but I’m jealous. He sent along the following post and will likely contribute more during his journey.

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One of the best parts about planning for a two year bike tour is revamping your gear.  Tents, shoes, bags, electronics; you need it all.  I have a reputation for envisioning a very specific piece of gear that I want and painstakingly scouring the bowels of the internet only to find that it exists nowhere but in the depths of my mind.  One of the more recent examples of this is a set of clamp on drop bar adapters.  I have always had drops on my bikes, so when my Surly Troll showed up with mustache bars I felt a bit out of place.  Eventually I came to enjoy the more relaxed feel, but still found myself wanting to get low when firing down a hill or schlepping into the wind. 

Origin8 actually makes a pair of these.  I ordered a set from Amazon with cautious optimism.  I would have to describe them as ill-conceived but well executed.  The quality is top notch, but they missed a detail in the design stage.  It is tough to tell from the shot below, but the radius of the bend is so small that I could not fit my hand into them.  I’m only 5’11”, so I have average sized paws.


I really liked the idea of these, but this particular product just wasn’t right for me.  Unable to find another pair, I decided to make my own.  I hit the St. George Bicycle Collective and raided their parts bin.  My plan was to take a pair of clamp on bull horns and marry them with a set of drop bars.


Above we see the drops and bullhorns that I settled on.  The bullhorns are exactly the same style despite being different colors.

The next step was to cut them down to size.  This was a pain, and sort of dangerous.   The bull horns were designed to come off at an angle.  This meant that they had to be cut at an angle in order for the drops to come off perpendicular to the mustache bars.  Because of the shape, neither fit into a chop saw.  I decided to try cutting them with an angle grinder….. (Please note that the trailing periods after that last sentence are meant to foreshadow a very bad idea).

I’ve had some close calls with power tools.  But this may have been the closest.  I was in a hurry to get these things cut and as a result did not take all the precautions that I should have.  The result?  The bars got yanked into the grinder with my hand not too far behind.  It would be much harder to type this had I not been wearing thick leather gloves.  Check out the picture below.  The nick on the glove is from where it got pulled into the angle grinder.  That would have been my finger tip.


Unphased from nearly losing my pointer finger I decided I needed to find a way to make this work on the chop saw.  This proved to be only slightly less awkward than the angle grinder.  The drops got pulled into the saw and completely destroyed the blade.


Third time is a charm right?  I might be a slow learner, but as Churchill said, “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”    I built a jig to hold the pieces so at least my fingers were out of harm’s way.


The final cuts came out alright. 


The next step was to find somebody to weld everything together.    At this point it is worth noting a few things about St. George, Utah.  First of all, the locals are a people of unmatchable self-pride.  They’re cowboys and their ancestors were pioneers.  They settled one of the most don’t give a fuck places on earth.  Hot, dry, and dead.  Being isolated in the middle of the desert, they had to be incredibly resourceful.  I appreciate this trait, but sometimes they take it a bit too far; I recently noticed that somebody did a plumbing repair on our house with duct tape…..

I’ve had mixed results with skilled trades here.  And by mixed I mean ranging from abysmal to atrocious.  Seamstress, boot repair, carpentry, knife sharpening, and now welding.  In all cases people have limitless confidence in themselves and are happy to take a stab at repairs, but more often than not this results in me wondering what the hell went wrong and how this person is still in business.  I tried three different weld shops.  One of the reasons I had to do all the cutting was because nobody seemed to know how to use a protractor and I wasn’t confident that they could get them cut at the proper angle to mount the way I wanted.  I tried to explain to one guy how important it was that these things be bomb proof and he cut me off saying, “I just have to be clear, I can weld them, but they will break.” 

Nobody inspired confidence.  Not willing to risk it, I called a friend and explained what I was looking to do.

“There has to be some old buzzard in this town with a missing finger that would be willing to do this for a case of beer,” I said.

Enter a mysterious character named Ron.  I never met Ron.  Apparently he builds hotrods in his garage.  All I know is that I dropped my parts off with a twenty dollar bill and a twelve pack of High life and two days later I picked up a package from an unnamed woman behind a resale shop that contained my makeshift drop bars. 


The welds are solid.  Ron made an aluminum plug to fit between each piece for reinforcement.  I took them for a test ride; applying only light pressure at first.  After a few minutes though I could tell that they would hold up.


Next step; paint.  It would have been nice to powder coat them, but in reality they’re getting wrapped with bar tape and they’re just going to get scuffed up.  So an old bottle of Krylon would do.


They ended up having a few drip marks.  But as I said before, this isn’t really a concern.


Originally I had planned on putting a set of road brakes on the drops and putting interrupters on the mustache bars.  This would have made a mess of the cable routing though.  After some playing around, I realized that the best solution was to keep the mountain bike style levers on the mustache bars and mount the interrupters on the drops.  This provided a relatively clean finish and leaves a few inches of cable to spare on the rear brake.


Not having to wrap a complete set of bars left me with enough tape to double wrap the drops.  I decided to go with some cheap pleather tape because it will tatter sooner and need to be held together with electrical tape.  This will give the bike a nice poor man’s look and make my wife’s Disc Trucker more attractive to any would be thieves.  I’ve been riding on them for a few weeks now.  People seem to love them or hate them.  Hardcore tourers that realize that there comes a point where you stop worrying about weight seem to get it.  They rich guys driving their carbon fiber race bikes to the ride laps up and down the hill think I’m crazy.  Personally I’m stoked to have these on my rig for the next two years.



Chris Haag is from Detroit, Michigan, although he currently resides in St. George, Utah.  He manages the site www.theplacesipee.com and will be riding with his wife, Sophie George, from Alaska to Argentina beginning in July of 2018.

Source: Bike Hacks – Hacked Clamp on Drop Bar Adapters

iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #2

When last I posted on the iGS60 computer I was given to review, I asked readers to guess where I ultimately chose to mount the computer. Likely the safest place to mount the computer is on the handlebar stem. 


However, I ultimately decided to go for the more risky extra space on the end of the PVC pipe I installed for my lights.


Out on the end of the PVC makes the computer easier to see while riding as I do not need to shift my eyes as much as I would if it were mounted on my stem. It’s a bit risky in that if I were to take a tumble or run into something, the computer would likely be subject to an impact of some sort. Also on the subject of viewing, the computer does have nifty backlighting which make the display easy to read at night. During the day you don’t need the backlight feature which can conserve batter power. 


The computer does come with multiple mounts which is nice for transfer between bikes, however one would have to purchase extra sensors for each bike. While mounting the computer itself is super easy, just stretching a round rubber fastener around the stem or PVC pipe, mounting the sensor on the hub of the wheel was a bit more of a challenge. More on that in a future entry.


Source: Bike Hacks – iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #2

Floating Chainring

I passed this bike the other day and something seemed odd.


I got closer and yes, this did seem odd at first.


But my feeble brain then kicked into gear and I realized that this “floating” chainring was a brilliant form of chain tensioner. Simple, a bit elegant in my mind – and yet there is that feeling of unease at having something solely held in place by tension. Reader reaction welcome in comments. 



Source: Bike Hacks – Floating Chainring

iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #1

I was intrigued when I recently received an email with an interest in a cycle computer review. The computer in question is the iGS60, which the email proclaimed is . . . “similar to the Garmin Edge 520 but at about half the price.” I was partially intrigued because this is my point of reference for a cycle computer –


I think I got my Vetta C-15 in . . . perhaps 1997, and it’s still going strong even though it has bounced off the pavement a good many times.  I  will admit, I have not even used it for the past several years – I have been cycle computer free for quite some time. 

Why the Excel picture? Well I used to utilize Excel to track my mileage. However, the last time I had an interest in tracking my mileage was about 10 years ago. I used to engage in quite a bit of recreational cycling, however I am very much a “utility” cyclist now. A deep dive into my riding history, if I kept one, would show that my routes take me to and from home/work, with stops at take out restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor stores mixed in.  

I am not really a “gadget guy” per say. I certainly have gadgets, but I don’t geek out on them and seek to upgrade as soon as new stuff comes out (duh, I have a Vetta C-15). I know the name Garmin, mostly from rental cars, and I hear people talk about Strava and get the gist of what it’s about, but don’t see tracking my movements as beneficial to my life or even remotely interesting to others. The whole fitness band trend has been lost on me mostly because I will confess to being blessed with the metabolism of a humming bird. Weight loss is not my issue, I try hard to gain weight and fail consistently (I know, poor me). 

Anyway, I thought that interacting with a modern cycling gadget might be interesting so I took the plunge, and I have to admit I was immediately intimidated – look what came out of the box that was sent to me!


One product came with three boxes and one of those plastic wrap packages that sends multitudes to emergency rooms when people cut themselves trying to open the product. I think my Vetta came in a box you could fit a small mouse in. My first thought was, “How many beers is it going to take me to unpack, study, and install this thing!?” I will go through all of the stuff in a future post, but here is the “feature” product, staged next to the light for size reference.


The first thing that I noticed was that the device breaks one rule I try to live by – I try to buy products with replaceable batteries. This is one of those devices that has the battery locked in and you charge it like you would your phone. You can connect it to your computer or to a wall socket. I plan on running multiple posts on this thing and will have to comment on battery life as I use it. 

I must admit I was also intrigued because one of my first thoughts was where I was going to put the thing. Take a look at my cockpit.


My front basket does not exactly make my cockpit conducive to gadget mounting, thus the lights on the PVC pipe. This post is already running a little long and I will try to build some suspense. Readers, where do you think I ultimately chose to mount this modern marvel of computer engineering? Thoughts welcome in comments.

Source: Bike Hacks – iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #1

Mystery Bike Platform

More images from a recent trip to NYC. This definitely took some thought, and I have my own ideas about the intended purpose.


If it is what I think it is for, carrying a dog, I would be worried. There is an electrical cord that runs from the seat post to the front of the bike which may well be a leash. 


 If it is for a dog, I hope the dog is very well behaved.


Source: Bike Hacks – Mystery Bike Platform

Imitation Game

A motto of BikeHacks.com could well be, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I certainly do not take credit for coming up with this light mounting hack on my own –


But when I posted it, reader Craig sent along his own version, which definitely is high on the style factor. 


Craig wrote – I built this bike with a specialized rockhopper I picked up for $5 at a garage sale and mostly spare parts.


Imitation is welcome on BikeHacks.com. If you are proud of something you have done, contact us for posting

Source: Bike Hacks – Imitation Game

Aster Backpack Giveaway Haiku Palooza – Winner(s)

Thank you to all of the readers who submitted Haiku for our Aster Backpack Giveaway Haiku Palooza. We had a lot of entries and as noted in the original post, I used random number selection to select the winner. We had 47 entries submitted, and as chance would have it, the random number generator landed on 47. 


The 47th Haiku was submitted by Don – 


The Aster will ship to Don and Don will put the backpack through its paces and post a review here on BikeHacks.com. Going into the contest I only had one winner in my mind, however one entry was so awesome that I am going to think of a bonus prize of some sort. To get in the mood, rock out like it’s 1978 . . . crank it!

I had noted in the announcement entry that being a fan of Van Halen was not a requirement to enter this contest, but Jay submitted this perfect blend of the theme of the contest and the verse from a rockin’ Van Halen song off of their original album. 


I don’t know if Jay is a victim of the science age, but he could be the ruler of these nether Haiku worlds =)

Source: Bike Hacks – Aster Backpack Giveaway Haiku Palooza – Winner(s)

Dystopia is Upon Us!

We often feature theme music to go with posts, today it’s a movie line . . .


On my commute this morning I encountered America’s decaying infrastructure.



I, as an American people, want this to stop right here and right now =)

The story behind this is pretty simple, but for those not familiar with winter behavior in the Northeastern United States, let me enlighten thee. When it snows here, the Department of Transportation dumps salt all over everything.  I’ll go out a limb and say that I think it’s likely that the impact this practice is likely to have on ground water, animals, and plant life was not a high priority in the decision making process. 

This mixed use path sits right next to a major road in Boston, that is heavily salted in the winter. The cars splash the salt onto the path, the light post is metal, salt corrodes metal, winter storm with high winds comes through and here you have the result. I certainly hope no one was near this thing when it went down, and it’s actually quite lucky it did not tip into the road as I’m quite sure speeding cars might not have had time to react and there might have been deadly consequences. 

If you have death defying commuter stories, please feel free to sound off in comments. 

Source: Bike Hacks – Dystopia is Upon Us!

Thumb Shifter Bottle Opener

Mass customization is all the rage these days, and perhaps someone should start a business that will turn any object into a bottle opener. We have featured many a bike part repurposed into a bottle opener and when we recently posted Eric’s rim bottle openers, reader Dan sent along the following hack – which he says he made close to 25 years ago. Dan can not only hack a bike part, he can tell a funny. If you have hacked a bike part into a bottle opener, or if this post inspires you to do so, let us know

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Back in 1991 I was a bicycle mechanic, and had a spare SunTour thumb shifter lying around (I don’t recall what model SunTour shifter it was). I figured it’d make a great bottle opener. I took it apart, and cut an opening with a hack saw, then filed it to shape it into an opener. It took a while to get it finished. It doesn’t quite open a bottle on the first pull, but only needs a slight adjustment and second try to get it open, just like a SunTour shifter.



Source: Bike Hacks – Thumb Shifter Bottle Opener

Trapped Under Ice

Theme music makes a return for this post. We had our first major snow event of the season in Boston this past weekend, and I stumbled upon the poor bike picture below. To set the tone, here is the chorus from Metallica’s song, Trapped Under Ice. Pretty heartwarming stuff . . . crank it yo. 

Can’t move at all
Can’t hear my call
I am dying to live
Cry out
I’m trapped under ice

The bike was hanging over the curb and an SUV was approaching and ready to park. Part of me wanted to see if the driver would get out, or simply just run over the bike. Sympathy got the best of me and I righted the bike on the pole.




Source: Bike Hacks – Trapped Under Ice

Aster Backpack Giveaway Haiku Palooza

We are happy to announce our first product giveaway/review of the year. Even better news, the review will be completed by a reader of the blog rather than by us.

Occasionally companies will ask us to review a product and said product might not necessarily be a good match with our, well my, riding style. In this case, the makers of a new backpack want a review completed, but I do not ride with a backpack as I want to avoid SBS. However, for those who do ride with a backpack, the Aster claims to be the “World’s safest cycling backpack.” From their website . . . 

Aster improves visibility, reduces accidents and saves lives! Aster’s rear and profile lights make you visible to motorists from all sides, front lights signal your presence in rear-view mirrors and automatic brake lights help you avoid getting rear-ended. Integrated turn signals make sure that drivers around you know when you’re making a turn.


The backpack is built with all sorts of features meant to be commuter friendly –


 We are bringing back the ever popular Haiku contest to give this bad boy to a reader to review. Here’s what to do if you want to enter the contest:

  1. Ask yourself if you live on planet earth. If the answer is “yes”, your entry or entries will be entered into the contest for the backpack. The kind folks giving away the backpack will ship the backpack world wide, but not to space stations or other planets in our solar system (the backpack will ship to anywhere DHL can deliver). 
  2. Compose your Haiku – see examples of the 5-7-5 pattern below. If you wish to use the traditional Haiku pattern of 5-7-5 with syllables that is fine, but as this site states, “In foreign languages, there exist NO consensus in how to write Haiku-poems.”  Thus simply using 5 words, 7 words, and 5 words is fine. Haiku purists, this is bikehacks.com and following rules is not our specialty.
  3. The Haiku should be inspired by the usage of the backpack. “Aster” does not need to appear in the Haiku, but we would like the Haiku to relate to usage of the backpack and/or play on the theme. A title for your Haiku can be used but is not necessary.

  4. Leave your Haiku as a comment to this post.  Enter the country and city you live in after your name in the name field. For example, if your name is Eddie Van Halen you could enter any of the following:
    1.    Eddie Van Halen – Los Angeles, USA
    2.    Eddie  – L.A., USA
    3.    Eddie the Guitar Shredder – Los Angeles, USA
    4.    Eddie, my guitar solos will melt your brain – L.A., USA
    5.    Eddie, I can’t get along with lead singers – L.A., USA
  5. Submit as many Haiku as you like and yes we need your email address in the appropriate comment field too so we can contact you if you win. If you want inspiration for submitting multiple entries, please watch the totally tubular movie Real Genius – why this movie did not win an Academy Award is beyond me.  
  6. The deadline to submit is Thursday, January 26, 2017 (Eddie Van Halen was born on January 26 – how cool is that?!) 
  7. The winner will be chosen by random number selection and will be announced soon after the deadline passes.  
  8. The winner must post their review of the backpack to BikeHacks.com after putting the backpack through the paces.
  9. Being a fan of Van Halen is not a requirement to enter this contest, but if you are not you should start listening to Van Halen I as it may change your life.   
  10. Because of spam I approve individual comments so your submissions may not post immediately but I will get to them.

Aster Backpack Haiku Example 1

Aster has lights and stuff

Keeps away those hurtling autos and trucks

I want to arrive safely

Aster Backpack Haiku Example 2

Blink, Blink, Glow, Glow, Reflect

I want to reflect at ride’s end

Aster helps keep me upright

 Aster Backpack Haiku Example 3

Listening to Eddie play Eruption

Makes me light up like the Aster

Light up your life yo


Source: Bike Hacks – Aster Backpack Giveaway Haiku Palooza

How To Build A Cycling Tools Shadowboard For Less Than £35

One thing that constantly frustrates me is not being able to find a tool I need. I live in cramped quarters (no garage and no work area) and don’t really have a “good” place for organizing my tools. All my tools are either in my standard sized toolbox (read small), or in varied boxes that I try, mostly unsuccessfully, to keep organized in a way that will help me remember what tools are where. I am jealous of people like reader Ben, who does have space and sent us this great tutorial on how he organized his tools on the cheap. Take it away Ben . . .   


Recently I started on a job right at the bottom of my ‘to do’ list, sorting out my garage. I consider myself a pretty organized guy but if you’d taken a look at the state of my INSERT WORD you would have taken a lot of convincing!

When it came to sorting out my cycling tools I decided that getting them all hanging up on a kind of shadowboard would be the best way to make them easily accessible.

So off I headed to my local branch of Homebase to set my plan into motion.



• Chipboard. 1220mm x 610mm x 18mm (2 sheets). £23.92
• ‘Lost Head Nails’. 65mm. £2.94
• 75mm Screws. £3.92
• Washers. £1.39


TOTAL COST: £32.17

Tools Needed:

• Drill
• 10mm drill bit
• 10mm wall plugs
• Spirit level & pencil
• Screwdriver
• Pencil
• Hammer


1. Drill holes in wood. Ensure you clear off the excess chipboard from the back so it will go flat to the wall.


2. Mark the holes through the wood onto the wall using the spirit level and pencil. I found 6 holes to be best for keeping the chipboard secure.

3. Drill the holes into the wall. Use a piece of electrical tape or similar to mark the depth of the wall plug so you don’t drill too deep.

4. Put the washer on the screws and put the bottom piece of chipboard up. You may need some help to hold this in place whilst you screw it in.


5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the top piece of chipboard.


Now you have the Chipboard in place on the wall it is time to start hanging up the tools. This is where the headless nails come into play. If you have anything slightly heavier or that needs a lip to stop it falling forward then use the screws.

You can be as creative as you want with this, but I worked on two principles:

1. Try and group similar tool types together
2. Put the most used tools in the most accessible positions

My finished shadowboard looks like this:


Most of the tools hung up fairly easily. Most have holes built into them for exactly this reason, though in future I will now be ensuring I buy tools that are easy to fit on the board!

There were a couple of unique items that were harder to fit.

The first was the hex key set. Thankfully I bought a set by Silverline which came with a stand. I mounted this onto a small piece of wood and used brackets to attach it to the board. Whilst these are not the sturdiest hex keys in the world for £7 they are worth it for the stand alone. Even if you are planning to upgrade most other sets would not fit this easily onto a shadowboard, so I would certainly recommend these.


The second unique tool to fit was the hex bits for my torque wrench.

Luckily I had kept hold of the box they came in and managed to glue this to the board to make it easy to access them.

They are very snug so do not fall out. If you are interested they are by a company called Bergen and available on Amazon.



I hope you have found this useful. If you have any questions or would like any advice feel free to drop me an e-mail to Ben@CyclingTipsHQ.com and you can check out my web presence here – www.CyclingTipsHQ.com


Source: Bike Hacks – How To Build A Cycling Tools Shadowboard For Less Than £35

Bicycle Rim Bottle Openers

I am fairly confident that one day, every item in the world will have been repurposed into a bottle opener. I ain’t complainin’, I’m just sayin’. It’s great when you can take a product that has been broken and still find a use for it, and in this case, reader Eric took a bike rim he had taco’d and created bottle openers. Take it away Eric . . . 

I took a bent bicycle rim and cut it up into several pieces to make a bunch of bottle openers. I made a template out cardboard from a different bottle opener and then used that to mark all of the rim sections. I used an angle grinder to cut out the opener and attached a link from a bike chain and a spoke bent into a circle to give it a more complete look. I made a full write-up and posted it to Instructables.com. Here’s a link.




Source: Bike Hacks – Bicycle Rim Bottle Openers

The Heat is O̶n̶ Off

How do you know when work has been keeping you busy? When you realize that you started a post in July when in the middle of a heat wave . . . and you are now getting around to posting it after riding to work in the snow =(

It’s been a while since I used theme music to set the mood for a post . . . and this music seemed appropriate for a couple of reasons, the first of which is that the music and movie are dated, and so is the content of this post. Crank it and and check out the fashion. 


The video focuses on Detroit and this post focuses on D.C., however this was what I woke up to while working in D.C. in July – 


As I was walking around in the swampy heat, I saw these parking meter/bike racks . . . I wondered if the 110 degree “real feel” temperature (43.3 Celsius for most of the world) was the inspiration. 


It certainly felt hot enough to bend metal. I’m sure glad climate change is not blame, as it is only a hoax perpetrated for trade reasons. 


Source: Bike Hacks – The Heat is O̶n̶ Off

Foldylock Compact Review

Bike security is an important issue for me because I leave my bike in a public parking area every day and also lock my bike up when running errands around town. I have used varied locks and measures over the years, including – 

I have yet to encounter a stand alone locking product that makes me feel comfortable leaving my bike out for a long period of time.  I guess the closest stand alone product in my view would be a U-lock that also comes with a cable. And I guess I should note that when I say “stand alone,” I mean a lock that can secure both wheels and the frame, without having to remove a wheel to either lock up or take with you.

Personally, I prefer not to have to remove a wheel to lock my bike – mainly because I lock my bike up multiple times a day. If I just want to leave my bike out for a short period of time in an area with heavy pedestrian traffic, I might just use a “stand alone” lock. However, if I am going to leave my bike unattended for a long period of time I usually use a combination of products. 

The reality is that if a thief really wants your bike, s/he is going to be able to defeat any attempt to lock it up.  One benefit of using multiple locks is that it is likely to slow the thief down. When the folks behind a new lock contacted me for a review of a new bike security product, I was happy to accept. The lock is called the Foldylock, and surprise, it’s a folding lock. Here’s the spec sheet from the product page – 


And here is the lock in all its folded out glory, the storage bracket is what is in the middle.  


The lock is perfectly capable of securing the frame and a wheel to a stationary object, as seen here when I used it to secure my bike to a bike rack. 


And in terms of size perspective, it’s not much bigger than a standard water bottle cage when folded up.


One issue with locks is having to carry them, and the Foldylock comes with a bracket that can be attached to a frame via straps or by Allen bolts. The straps are a great option if you have more than one bike because you can quickly take the bracket off and put it on another bike. I attached the bracket to my frame and the lock comes with special Allen bolts that are a bit longer than standard bolts, and with a longer Allen wrench. The longer Allen wrench is key, because as you can see, the Allen wrenches on my standard multi-tool are not long enough to extend through the bracket to secure it to the frame. 



The last thing I would ever think of when buying a lock is what color it is, but the Foldylock is advertised in different colorways. Interestingly enough, the green option that I received does not appear on the Kickstarter page lineup. 


I will note that all of the links are covered by plastic to keep the lock from scratching the frame or other parts of a bike.  

I have only been using the lock for a short time now, however I would describe it as “sturdy” and easy to use. On the Foldylock page there is a video of attempts to break the lock with all manner of tools and methods. Of course none work or they would not have put the video on their webpage. They also claim the lock is rustproof, which I would not be able to comment upon until using it for an extended period of time. 

This is still not what I would call a “stand alone” lock. I have been using it in combination with a Kryptonite cable to secure my rear tire, which has a quick release skewer.  Still, it is a nice lock that provides a bit more flexibility in terms of size than a standard U-lock. The makers have met their funding goal and it appears the product is scheduled to be ready for distribution in April of 2017 with a price of $65, which is in the range of what most would likely consider to be “higher end” bike locks. 

I do wonder how many links it would take to make such a lock an attempt at a stand alone solution, meaning that the lock was long enough to secure both wheels, without removing one. Who knows, maybe a Foldylock Max will appear in the future. 


Source: Bike Hacks – Foldylock Compact Review

PROVIZ Reflect360 CRS Cycling Jacket Review

The temperature has started to drop in Boston and you could say the change indicates that . . . winter is coming. It has not been what I would describe as frigid yet, however it is definitely jacket weather. It just so happens that the drop in the mercury coincided with a timely product review request. It is nice when a product is designed to meet multiple purposes, and the PROVIZ Reflect360 CRS Cycling Jacket is designed for both protection from the elements and safety. The following text is from the PROVIZ web site:

Utilising millions of highly reflective tiny glass beads the REFLECT360 CRS jacket’s appearance is almost ghostly in a driver’s headlights! This is a unique coloured reflective material, exclusive to Proviz. The material has exceptional waterproofing (5,000mm) capability on those rainy days. The inner seams are taped so not a drop of water gets through the sewing lines.

When asked to perform the review I requested the black version because I figured black hides dirt and grime the best, and I already have a red jacket and a yellow jacket. When the package arrived I opened it and discovered the company had decided to send me a blue jacket (both of the pictures below are from their web site). 


At first I was a little bummed with the color, but I have to admit that during the short time I have worn the jacket, the color has grown on me and I like it. Here is the tag that came with the jacket –  


And right after opening the package, I took a picture with no flash and then with a flash. The material definitely picks up the light. Most jackets I have had have reflective strips of some sort, but this jacket is different in that the fabric on the whole jacket is designed to be reflective. 


Here is a picture from their website, where they have obviously flooded the people with light to display the safety feature of the fabric.


The first thing I noticed when wearing the jacket on a ride was that the fabric does not breathe well. If asked to describe the fabric, I would say it is “plasticky”. It is definitely not soft, but it wears just fine. Fabrics that do not breathe well have good and bad elements. The good thing is fabric that does not breathe will likely keep water out. The bad thing is, heat can build up while in use, leading to perspiration. 

On the good side, I have not had the chance to ride in the rain, but I performed a water test of my own and the fabric performed well. I placed the jacket flat on a counter and poured some water on it. I let the water sit on the jacket for 30 minutes and when I picked up the jacket, the water drained off and there was no sign of wetness on the interior side. 


On the bad side, well with this jacket the design does an excellent job of dealing with the perspiration problem because there are vents galore, along with a mesh lining that provides some separation from the outer shell. There are zip vents under each arm, there are two Napoleon pockets on the front which can act as vents, and there is a vent on top of the backside of the jacket. I am huge fan of the Napoleon pocket and having two of them is great. There is also a Velcro pocket on the inside/left chest. So if you do get hot, you have lots of options in terms of letting air in. And there is a rear zip storage pocket as well.

As far as fit, the jacket definitely is “cut” for cycling. The front is cut shorter than the back, so as you ride you have good coverage when leaning forward. This is shown in this additional photo I took, in a dark room with the flash enabled. 


There are also Velcro straps on the cuffs and a draw string around the waist. I have only worn the jacket for a short time, but I like it a lot. It fits well, I particularly like the two Napoleon pockets, and if I do start to get hot, I have lots of venting options. As noted, I have not ridden in the rain yet, but based upon my water test the jacket will keep me dry. I will have to see how the fabric performs over time and report back, but I will say that a Gore jacket I bought has been a bit of a disappointment in terms of performance in the rain.

The Gore jacket is made of what is described as a Gore-Tex Active Shell and Gore-Tex Membrane, and although water beaded up on the fabric initially, over time the claim of an “absolute dry cycling experience” that came with the jacket has not held up. On particularly rainy days, water now penetrates the Gore jacket. I got the jacket at REI and have considered riding directly to their store on a rainy day to show them how water comes through the fabric to see what they say.

Which gets me to price. I paid a healthy sum of money for my Gore jacket – as I remember it was just a shade under $300. I assume the steep price had to do with paying for the Gore-Tex name. The PROVIZ jacket is priced at 129.99 British Pounds, which on this date converts to $162 USD.  I have only worn the PROVIZ jacket for a week now, but if it holds up I will say that it appears to me to be a heck of deal as compared to the Gore jacket I bought. The PROVIZ is $100 less but has more pockets and vents, and the reflective feature of the fabric is a major bonus. The Gore jacket only has a few stripes of what I assume is a 3M reflective product. 

So at the time of this writing, a highly recommend the PROVIZ jacket. I will continue to wear the jacket and will report back on performance as I deal with commuting in the Boston winter. 

Source: Bike Hacks – PROVIZ Reflect360 CRS Cycling Jacket Review