Wednesday, July 29, 2009

hey all-

check it- this week we've got a fresh handlebar bag from our friends at Banjo Brothers and a sweet little cycling computer from our friends at Topeak!

also, don't forget to enter to win the Bianchi San Jose Pro!!! all you have to do is sign up for the One Less Car newsletter via the site...a simple two step process could get you a $1000 Bianchi! Not to mention you'll be the first to know what's happening & what's going on with us...subscribers get all the bennies!

so here's a sample of the reviews- click the READ MORE links to read more!

Banjo Brothers 01067 handlebar bag

If you are a regular follower of our reviews you my have read the review about the Banjo Brothers back pack and how much of fans we are of Banjo Brothers. They really are a great company that makes smart, well thought out, quailty stuff.

I was heading out on tour and need a handle bar bag, so I asked Banjo Brothers, and they weremore then happy to send one for me to test out. I belive the 01067 is the flagship model of the handle bar bags. They offer a few different models, but this seems to be at the top. READ MORE...

Topeak Panoram V10 Wireless Cycling Computer

Topeak's Panaram V10 cycling computer is pretty rad- 10 functions in all, the V10 takes care of al the necessities. Personally, I think it only has 9 functions, but if you wanna throw in the low battery indicator as a "function", then it's 10. But actually, it is a pretty nice feature- the V10 is fully programable, so when it comes time to switch batteries, you can write down your stats and plug them back in- and you'll know when to do so ahead of time! So I'm counting the low battery indicator. I said it takes care of all of the necessities and I guess it really does! READ MORE...

and we've got a bike coming from the folks at Day 6 Bicycles, wheels from Aerospoke, and more on the way! Stay tuned...follow the blog!


Thursday, July 23, 2009 time!

this week Cole gives us an update on the Yuba Mundo Utility Bike, Yuba's Go Getter Pannier, and Wald's 157 giant delivery basket. and i review Profile Design's E Pack, and updated my review of Arkel's Utility Basket Pannier!

also, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter for your chance to win a Bianchi! the winner will be announced August 15th! If you're already signed up for our newsletter, you're already entered!!!


Profile Design's E Pack

Cole has one of these and he let me use it on our mini-tour, and it would've been a pain in the ass without it- and actually, ever since we got back, it has been a little bit of a pain in the ass without one! Read more...

Yuba Mundo

I've had a lot more time with the Mundo now and have had a few other people take it out for spin, and feel I gave it a good test and here is what I have found out.

First, its amazing how many things you'll use this bike for. I'm sure when you're thinking of buying one you will ask yourself "how much will I really use it?". Well I'm here to say a lot! Read More...

Yuba Go Getter Pannier

Along with the Mundo I received a go-getter pannier. This pannier is designed for the Mundo, but the site says it could be used with other long tails. The pannier is easy enough to attach- you just clip four straps around the tube of the rack and you're ready to go. Read more...

Wald 157 giant delivery basket

I talked to Wald about sending a basket our way- they said sure and asked what we were thinking- my exact words were “the bigger the better”.

I was thinking I could use it to take orders to the post office and what not. The idea was to put it on my fixed gear- a run around the city bike. This basket showed up and when they say giant they’re not kidding. I could carry an eighth grader in this thing.

Arkel OD Utility Basket Pannier UPDATE!

I was talking with Arkel before our mini-tour, and they were going to send a nice set of rear waterproof panniers- only problem, someone was using them at the time, and they didn't show up in time either, so I went with what I had, and that was Arkel's OD Utility Basket Pannier. Read More...

Talk to y'all soon- Ride safe! ...And enter the contest!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Theives & Contests...

so it happened again- someone stole the front wheel off my road bike. i walked outside of my girlfriends to see it hanging on the fence missing its front wheel. it was a pretty nice wheel set. its part my fault- i didn't bring my cable, but still- it was the middle of the day and in a nice neighborhood. so my total loss since moving to chicago is one set of velocity wheels, a cetma rack, a set of fenders, one crank arm, my cargo trailer, and this wheel, not to mention derek's front wheel, or our roommate's wheel derek's sister borrowed.

it sucks...i hate people who steal shit. -Cole

on that note, don't forget about our contest! along with Bianchi, we're giving away a 2009 San Jose Pro! more info here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So we've got some HUGE news for you- WE'll have more on it tomorrow, but starting tomorrow through august 15th, everyone that signs up for our newsletter will be entered for a chance to win a Bianchi...that's right! No purchase necessary, no BS- with a big thanks to the fine fols at Bianchi, we've got a bike to give away, and the winner will be randomly picked August 16th from our newsletter subscribers! that's it. sign up for our newsletter- it's a 2 step process- and you just might win yourself a new Bianchi! How rad is that!?!

Now, the reason that there won't be more info until tomorrow is because I thought I had a pic of it (and maybe I do, but I can’t find it...), and I gotsta gets more info from Cole. So I'll have it tonight, and pass it along tomorrow along with any other info about it. open to all ages/races/genders/religious preferences/etc. THIS MEANS YOU!

Speaking of Bianchi, around the time the contest ends, Bianchi will have less than 100 of these limited edition 2009 Pista frame/fork, and we get one to review!

And let's not forget it's wednesday- we didn't! Review day!!!

Up first Cole updates his review of Axiom's Monsoon Panniers

"Just a quick update about these panniers. I had chance to take them on our mini tour and a found out a few more things about them.

First, I used them as front panniers and I know they're rear, but they're a pretty good size for a front in my opinion. One of the problems I saw, and I'm not sure if they do this on front panniers or not- is the handles. There is one on each pannier and they snap together. In theory, a great idea- but when you're going 24 mph down hill and you see those handles flapping dagerously close to your spokes, you start thinking about cutting them off pretty fast." Read More...

Next up, I review Axiom's Journey Series Tubular Alloy Rear Rack

"Cole got this rear rack from Axiom and we threw it on his dad's Trek 7.3 before our 3 day tour, and it handled the job fine.

Weighing in at a mere 700 grams, this rear rack is super light, but super tough with it's triple stay design and sweep-back support for panniers. The stay length is adjustable, fitting 26", 27", and 700cc sizes."Read More...

Then I Review Cyclelogical's Reflective Chopspokes

Remember the review I did a few months back of one of Cyclelogical's backpacks? Well, when they sent that, they sent along these too- their Reflective Chopspokes. Little, round, reflective sticks that snap on the spoke of your choice with ease in a couple seconds. They're pretty sweet and do their job really well, and in my opinion beat the hell outta those old school reflectors..." Read More...

After which Cole and I both have something to say about dznuts...

"Watching the Tour deFrance and seeing Dave Zabriskie, I realized I hadn't done the review for dznuts. It's hard to take something called "dznuts" seriously, and the fact it's chamois cream makes it even harder- I'm laughing just writing this review, but if you ever needed chamois cream its very serious." Read More...

And I wrap it up with some quick words on the Trek 7.3FX

"So this is Cole's Dad's bike that I borrowed for our little trip we made- a Trek 7.3FX. It was my first time riding it- I picked it up the night before our trip, put the rack on, boxed it up, and went to Chicago. If you read our tour stories you know the mini-horror i went through, but come time to go, I was ready and so was the 7.3FX.

With a few slight adjustments- mainly the seat and bars, lubed it up, pumped the tires, and we were ready to go. As loaded down as I was, this bike was smooth and handled well. Shifting was smooth- no problems climbing up long, steep grades, nor any going down wobbles, nothing. Sturdy. The brakes were fine through it all. I really liked the fact that it had thumb/finger shifters as opposed to grip shifts. My mountain bike has them and I've never liked it, but then again I've never switched it out either... but that's what I prefer. It's more comfortable for me."

So that's it for the reviews for this week, but check back tomorrow for more info on the Bianchi- and tell yr friends- spread the love...who wouldn't want to win a new Bianchi? While maybe slightly jealous, I'd still be happy for my buddy if they happened to be the winner and not me (and although a newsletter subscriber myself, i'm not eligible to win...). How about you? So sign up for our newsletter- how bad could it be? I heard this story once about how the sun shines on every dogs ass some day...lucky dog!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

we bring the goods!!!

Besides our own slick shirts and accessories, we also do weekly reviews! This week, Cole reviews the ETA Power MF Stove from North American Gear, and I reviewed a couple of brand spankin' new goodies from Topeak- their Ratchet Rocket RX and their Flypaper Glueless Patch Kit! We've got a lot of great stuff to review in the next upcoming weeks, so check back soon! Word on the street is we might be auctioning off a new BIANCHI soon! No purchase necessary...details on that are coming really soon!!! So yeah- there's a lot going on around here, and it's all good...

the reviews:

North American Gear ETA Power™ MF stove

I am by no means an expert about backpacking stoves, but on my last tour i was freezing in the rain, eating a pb&j, thinking how much some warm food would really help me out. Well, we'll call that tour a learning experience, and it taught me I need a stove.

North American Gear was kind enough to send me the ETA Power MF stove. I was given a lot of choice, and I knew I wanted a mutlifuel because who knows where I'll end up, and having the ability to burn LP gas and liquid fuels- such as white gas, gasoline/petrol, kerosene/paraffin, and if necessary even diesel, makes this the perfect stove in my eyes. read more...

Topeak Ratchet Rocket RX

I never had the pleasure of using the original Ratchet Rocket, and the RX is a slimmed down, lighter version of it with an added tool. Hands down, this is one of the raddest multi-tools I've got my hands on as of late. About the size of...hmm...unfortunately everything that comes to mind right now is firearm related (I live in the country on a bunch of land in the middle of nowhere, so you gotta give me a little slack!), so let's see- it's smaller than a candy bar, fits in the palm of your hand (unless you have REALLY small hands), and is about the size of a standard cell phone (non flip), and way skinnier but a tad heavier.

The Ratchet Rocket RX measures (L x W x H) 3.9” x 1.5” x 0.7”. With 12 tools and only weighing 120g (.26 lbs.), that's not too shabby at all. And for even more convenience than this multi-tool already has to offer, it also comes with a pretty rad poly soft shell case that has an extra pocket for the optional chain tool (or a pack of Topeak's Flypaper: Glueless Patch Kit perfectly!) and also sports a belt loop. Put it on your belt & save the room in your pack- or leave the pack at home- the Ratchet Rocket RX won't weigh you down a bit. If you ride regularly, or distances, or have ever gotten a flat a ways away from home or a gas station and didn't have the tools to fix your flat and you had to walk your bike, you probably know the importance of carrying a few tools with you, some patches, and a pump. The Ratchet Rocket RX covers the first- we'll get to the rest later. read more...

Topeak Flypaper Glueless Patch Kit

We've got one more product from Topeak for you this week- Topeak's Flypaper- their glueless patch kit. Quick, clean, and easy- no worries, no mess, and no fuss. They work great for road bikes as well as mountain bikes and everything in between. read more...

Thursday, July 02, 2009


So yeah- we're back from tour- check out our stories from yesterday if you haven't seen those yet. We got some rad stuff to take with us & test out, and we'll be reviewing that stuff over the next few weeks. This week Cole reviews a Delorme PN-40 GPS and a Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Mattress. I'm reviewing Kelty's Forecast sleeping bag, and Shauna has an update on the Finesse from Breezer!

Kelty Forecast Sleeping Bag

Kelty sent me their Forecast sleeping bag to test out on our tour. I decided to leave it closed up in it's compression sack until it was time to sleep the first night, which ended up being difficult since we had to postpone our date twice. But we finally did it, and on the first night after I set up my tent, I popped the clips and pulled out the Forecast.

My first impression as I unrolled it into it's mummy shape was nothing but jaw dropping and drool. The blue/grey color scheme looked really good as it fluffed up really nice- I couldn't believe that this sleeping bag was in that little compression sack. The last sleeping bag I bought was probably almost 20 years ago in Boy Scouts, and there's no way in hell that that bag would've compressed into anything smaller than the size of 3 healthy babies! I was honestly amazed. Camping gear has really come a long way! Read More...

Breezer Finesse

The Breezer Finesse is a very well designed bicycle and a complete pleasure to ride. It features so very many thoughtful and high-quality elements that it’s hard to know where to start my praise.

The Finesse is among the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden. The carbon fiber seat post and fork absorb the shock of poor roads and potholes, while the Velo Plush seat provides a comfortable cushion on multi-mile rides. Even the grips are ergonomically advanced, with a soft triangular pad to rest the base of my hands on. Read More...

Delorme PN-40 GPS

Last years tour I set out with 25 pages of a map that made google maps, then transferred to something else which let me print but it would print like 2 miles on a page, so I ended up with a bunch of maps that weighed a ton. I decided a gps would be the way to go.

I used a Garmin gps when I was support on a bike tour last year, and it confused the hell out of me. To be honest it got me lost, so I thought having my own gps I would learn how to use it more and it would be cool. Read More...

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pad Mattress
Last year when I attempted my first tour, the idea of a sleeping pad came to mind. But with my budget way over what I thought it would be, I decided its something I could do with out. I have some hobo friends who say cardboard works great- you can find it anywhere and you don’t have to take it with you.

As I lay shivering in my sleeping bag on top of wet cardboard I realized I was learning a lesson the very hard way. So when I set out on tour this time, I made sure to have a sleeping pad. Therm-A-Rest was kind enough to send the Trail Pro to me to test out. Read More...

see ya soon- Brandon!

reviews will be up tomorrow- instead we thought we'd put up our tour stories- enjoy! and come back tomorrow for the reviews- we're gonna have a lot of good stuff over the next few weeks!

on tour: welcome to michigan

Cole: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again right? Well for me it was if at first you don't succeed, get a bunch of rad gear to review, a good friend to go with you, and try again. If you're a regular follower of the site you might remember last September when I attempted my first mini-tour from Chicago to West Michigan to see my parents- if not, I'll sum it up quick- Under prepared, over confident, leaky tent with a torrential downpour...the list goes on and on. Anyway, I learned a lot and needed to give it another chance.

This time, one of my best friends and our web guy, Brandon, decided he'd give it a go with me. I have never toured with a partner, and was kinda concerned it would be harder. This would be Brandon's first tour and his first time riding large miles. I figured we would take it slow, and as an older tourer said to me anyone can ride 60 miles in a day. The plan was this: Brandon would come down on Amtrak from Michigan with his gear, spend the night, and we'd leave early Sunday morning. Read More!

Brandon: After listening to Cole talk about touring, reading several traveling books and then a bike touring book by The Metal Cowboy, as well as several stories online, I decided it was time to do it- it was time for me to tour by bicycle. I'm not getting any younger- I was about to turn 34 two days after getting home. Cole had been talking about hitting the road again and it was getting me excited about doing it too. Part of me thought he wanted to do it alone, but he sounded pretty excited when I asked if I could ride with him. I was stoked to say the least, and couldn't wait to go.

Cole came home (Muskegon, MI) for a visit about a month before our trip, and we got to talking about it with his parents. His mom was ecstatic that he wouldn't be riding alone, and his dad let me borrow his road bike so I could make the trip. I had also scored a few things to review for the trip- namely a sleeping bag from Kelty (review coming soon!) that I had been dying to try out. I even left it in it's compression bag so it would be a nice surprise on the first night (and I was not disappointed!). We set a date and ended up rescheduling twice before finally deciding to leave Chicago June 20th and returning to Michigan by the 23rd so I could make my MRI appointment (I had my shoulder reconstructed a year & a half ago, and a couple crashes later- I'm seriously accident prone- it still hurts pretty much all the time.), and also be home to my girl & my dog for my birthday on the 25th. Read More!