There have been several innovations in cycling in my lifetime, two of which are becoming the standard for most bicycles: electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes. These two technologies took a minute to catch on, but thanks to their incredible ease of use and solid performance, they are now accounting for much of what you’ll find in the bike shop. That said, the bicycle hasn’t really changed much over its incredibly long lifespan. Improvements come along regularly, but all in all, it is still the same basic machine .
So, I admit to being skeptical when I first started seeing oversize derailleur pulley cages entering the market. Ceramic Speed was one of the first on the scene, and because of the incredibly smooth bearings, it started appearing on high end bicycles. It quickly became top dog in the cage wars.
By now a lot of you know I covet cars and trucks as much as bicycles. And sometimes these two passions overlap, as in this Grenadier truck built by INEOS, sponsor of the INEOS Grenadiers, a Tour de France winning team. A BMW 3 liter straight-six turbo combined with three differential locks should make this truck a super capable off-roader. The design is exactly right for my preferred aesthetics, and cribbing off an older Land Rover is really not a bad thing. Modern underpinnings matched to retro design makes for a very desirable truck.
I’ve entered the Nemo universe, and I couldn’t be happier. The New England based company started back in 2002. The name NEMO is a melding of New England Mountain Equipment and the ingenious Captain Nemo. And ingenious certainly describes the first item I picked up from NEMO – the Dagger Ultralight tent, which has now accompanied me on many trips. From a snowy night in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California, to a backpacking trip on Catalina Island, the tent has proven to be a worthy travel companion. (more…)
I’ve long known about Smith Optics and their collection of glasses for almost every type of sporting activity, but I was unaware of Smith helmets. Turns out I’ve been missing out on a good thing. Smith makes helmets for both cycling and snow sports, and seeing how it’s the middle of summer here in LA, the only option right now is cycling. The Trace sits at the top of the range and is a full-featured cycling helmet loaded with the latest tech. (more…)
Los Angeles is a car city. Once the old red car trolley system was dismantled by oil and automotive forces, the city was set up as a car centric place catering to every driver’s needs. And that might be part of the reason LA has such a terrible reputation for cycling compared to most other major US metropolitan areas. But, I’m here to say LA is a cycling mecca offering everything a cyclist could wish for.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, I’ve found increased solace in getting on the bike five, sometimes six days a week. And I like to climb, so most days I find myself heading to the Hollywood Hills. My regular morning ride is to the Hollywood Sign. Follow my Instagram, and you’ll see photo after photo of the Sign, some with bike, some without.
I live in the mid-Wilshire district, so I start my ride heading north toward Hollywood. I pass the impressive homes of Hancock Park, where I often see residents in bathrobes coming out to collect their morning paper. There are plenty of walkers and joggers out early, so there are a lot of hellos and waves. Once through this idyllic neighborhood, I enter Hollywood. (more…)
There are a lot of fitness watches on the market, so the fact that Wahoo is entering an already crowded playing field is a gutsy move for the company. That said, Wahoo hit the scene with a bike computer when companies such as Garmin already had the market cornered. Ever since, I’ve been watching Wahoo’s slow and evolving takeover of the segment. One major reason for this is the simplicity of setting up their bike computers. It’s made it a cinch for those of us who want to set up quickly and ride. After all, riding is what we want to do, not mess around scrolling through menu after menu. The Wahoo bike computers show that good user interface design can make all the difference.
So, when I got word that Wahoo was going to release the ELEMNT RIVAL watch, I was more than curious to give it a try. (more…)
The Haley pictured with a complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group set
Covering an entire group set from any of the three major manufacturers is a daunting task. There is a lot going on, from braking and shifting duties to electronic or mechanical shifting, and of course the many different levels of components offered. Before getting too far into it, I admit to being in the enviable position of having bicycles with group sets from all three, SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano. And even better, I’ve got the top tier offerings. But, this post will concentrate on Shimano’s latest electronic group.
Thule, originally known for ski racks, has expanded over the years to cover almost all sporting equipment travel needs. From bike racks, to bike travel cases, to baby strollers, the company has a hand in many different and incredibly useful products. I’ve long used Thule roof racks for carrying bikes, and currently use a Thule roof cargo carrier for camping and ski trips. Both are incredibly useful and solid additions to my car, and in all likelihood, will outlast the car, and be transferred to the next.