Inov-8 Roclite 295

2012-03-04 09.16.17

I have been on an ultralight backpacking kick. For me, discovering a new hobby or activity means one thing – gear! I love any excuse to buy gear and backpacking/camping has some of the most exciting things. When it came to looking at shedding weight, I thought about what sort of shoes I really needed. I am really new to this but I soon realized, I am not really doing any serious trekking. I am not climbing Everest or doing extreme bouldering. So, did I really need full on leather boots? I did a lot of research online, in particular at BPL, and found lots of people mentioning Inov-8. Admittedly, I am a brand whore and I had never heard of this brand. I don’t really trust new shoe companies because I don’t feel like they’ve had time to prove themselves. I decided to take a shot anyway and ordered a pair of their Roclite 295’s. They are trail running shoes, which I later learned are a popular style of shoe worn by hikers, particularly those that don’t anticipate heavy terrain.

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Light & Motion Urban 500

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Confession: I’m a flashaholic. Yes, that’s right – I am really into high-performance portable lighting devices. That’s why I am really surprised at the technology gap between enthusiast models and what’s available to the mainstream consumer. The problem may be even more pronounced in bike lighting but the one company that has always impressed me is Light & Motion (known as LM here on out). LM is a small company located in Monterey, California that prides itself on excellent lighting solutions, particularly for the diving segment. They have won many awards for being a Green company, which I admire. I first heard about the Urban bike series around Summer 2011 and was excited because I felt a light like this was long overdue. I have experience with LM’s previous bike products, having tested the Seca 700 and Stella 300 but neither were designed for the commuter in mind. For example, the Seca 700 puts out a blinding amount of light which is great for 24 hour mountain bike races, but really overkill for a short ride to the office or the store.

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Icebreaker LS Commute Zip Thru

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Today, at a birthday party, a friend of mine joked that all the women were wearing boots because the temperature’s finally dropped below 65F degrees. I live in a pretty temperate climate, with 70F being the norm around here. However, we do get our cold spouts and around this time of year, I start turning to my favorite fabric to keep me warm. Icebreaker, the New Zealand company obsessed with wool, has not been in the cycling game long. At first, they limited themselves to the running and hiking crowds. I suppose I never wondered why they never made cycling apparel. After all, it’s all Lyrca these days and the only mention of wool is the nostalgic kind reminiscing of scratchy jersies long past. So, imagine everyone’s surprise when Icebreaker’s Circuit and Cadence series came out and they proved once again that wool does work on a bike.

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Seagull Bags

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A few years ago, the fixed-gear/single-speed world really took off. At that time, there were only a handful of messenger bag manufacturers and nearly all of them were of the professional, respected, established types. By that, I mean the likes of Chrome and BaileyWorks; companies that ran like true businesses with legitimate websites and shopping cart checkout. However, there was a burgeoning group of craftspeople armed with fabric and vintage sewing machines who started a cottage industry all their own. One of these companies was Seagull Bags, based out of Columbus, OH.

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Razorpit

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In the past few years, I have seen all sorts of solutions pop up to alleviate the high cost every man (and woman) has to bear – buying disposable razor blades. I have seen everything from  cryogenically treating the blades to storing them in an chemical solution. Both seemed costly or messy to me.  Recently, I came across articles about a new product called the Razorpit. It’s supposed to sharpen your razor blades, allowing you to reuse the blade “up to 150 shaves.”  Talk about a big claim.  Let’s see how it fares.

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