When we first got into bike touring (almost a decade ago!) all we rode were Brooks saddles. Since then, we’ve sort of fallen out of love with them. It doesn’t help that we now live in the PNW where the constant rain can cause havoc on a nice leather saddle. In this video, we go in a little more in-depth about why we no longer ride B-17s and a couple alternative saddles that give a similar ride feel.
We’ve gotten the chance to use a lot of different racks and bags over the years, but there are a few pieces that truly stand the test of time: the Tubus Logo Evo Rear Rack is one them. It’s sort of strange to review something I’ve owned for almost a decade, but it is THAT good. Check out the video for our thoughts. For those that would rather read than watch, here is the executive summary:
The Tubus uses tubular rod stays that connect to the seat stays on the bike. Not only are they very adjustable, but they make for a stiffer rack. Racks that use flexible aluminum bar stays have a tendency to sway under load. The Tubus is rock solid.
The Tubus Logo Evo has a second pair of eyelets on the rack for mounting fenders. This is huge if you have a bike with only a single pair of eyelets. You now don’t have to choose if you want a rack or fenders – you can run both.
Flat Top Shelf
The top of the Tubus rack is flat and this allows you to slide a load close to the seatpost and closer to the center of mass. This is particularly good for long objects like tents and fishing rods!
Double Rail System
This version of the Tubus has dual rails. This allows a lot of flexibility on where you position your load but also allows you to remove things from the top shelf independently of the bottom rails!
The Logo Evo Rear Rack has drillings for a standard dual hole Eurpoean tail light. Also, since the mounting plate is flat, with a little electrical tape you can build up a base that can also mount a blinky light with a rear clip.
The holidays are upon us. In this video, we give you five stocking stuffer ideas for the bicyclist in your life. For those that prefer to watch than read, here are the items in no particular order.
A fun and quirky twist on the safety flag! Eye catching to both fellow cyclists and motorists.
Our favorite way to unwind after a long day in the saddle (if we’re not fishing) or to pass the time in the tent during a rainy afternoon.
We take atleast four on every bicycle tour. So versatile and can be used in both cold and hot weather.
A classic looking knife perfect for food preparation on bike tour. They are small, inexpensive and easy to sharpen on the road. Bonus, is that they develop a cool patina after lots of use.
Showerspass Crosspoint Socks Wool:
Waterproof socks that feel like socks and not like a weird plastic bag. If you can, splurge on the version with the wool liner.
Bromptons have changed very little since we’ve been riding them. Their latest release is perhaps the most significant upgrade in a while and is actually more of a refinement of the bike than a huge evolutionary step. Check out the video to see our ride impressions of the new changes.
For those that would prefer to read than watch, here is the executive summary:
The Brompton is an expensive bike. No doubt about it. For many new users, the experience of such an elegantly engineered frame is quickly ruined once you touch the wobbly, noisy shifters. For a long time, the touch points of the Brompton have seemed out of place with the rest of the bike. Until now.
The new shifters are pleasing aesthetically and function beautifully. The shifting pods themselves tell you the numbered gear you are in, as well as if you are in the high or low part of that range. In our opinion they are a welcome upgrade.
The brakes on the new model we test rode also seem more powerful. I’m not quite sure if that is a change in the lever or the brake caliper itself, but it is a noticeably stronger brake.
The stock foam grips are of nicer quality and removable with an allen head. The older grips were uninspired and glued on to the handlebar.
Overall, this iteration of the Brompton brings refinement to the components in the cockpit and rounds out the experience of a nice high end bike.
Related to this, all our recommendations of touring on a Brompton in our Unauthorized Touring Book still apply. There have been no major upgrades in terms of gearing, elastometer, etc.,
We just got home from Florida and had some special mail from our friends at Swift Industries.
UPDATED: For a full review, check out the vid below:
Winter is coming! With warm summery days behind us, I dug up our bag of winter cycling gear and filmed a video on our glove strategy that we’ve used the last couple of years. For those that would rather read than watch, here’s the executive summary.
After a lot of trial and error and lots of cash spent, we’ve found that there is no ONE perfect glove to cover the varying degrees of cold and wet here in the Pacific Northwest. It is a constant balance between breathability, warmth and affordability. A glove that is waterproof may be too hot or not warm enough in certain situations. Likewise a glove with lots of insulation will keep you warm when its dry, but will turn into a sponge when the sky opens up. This is our current setup for winter gloves.
Think of it as a baselayer for your hand. By itself, a liner glove is perfect for those early autumn days when it is crisp but not actively raining or snowing. On a spirited road ride or short commute this might be just the right amount of glove. A good liner glove also forms the base of a winter glove system. Liner gloves come in a range of materials from synthetic to wool. Our preference is for wool like this Ibex glove since it will still insulate when wet.
When it is cold and starting to rain, we reach for our waterproof gloves like the Pearl Izumi WXB. We will wear them by themselves if it is a “warm” rain or pair them with the liner glove when it is a cold rain. They also come in handy for long descents in the winter where you’ve built up a sweat climbing and now have to bundle up for the downhill. While the Pearl Izumi WXBs claim to be waterproof, I have managed to fully saturate them in a long enough deluge. Anything with seams will leak eventually so take waterproof claims with a grain of salt. That said, they are a winter staple.
Insualted Lobster Gloves
When the weather turns downright frigid BUT dry, we reach for our Planet Bike Borealis gloves. We’ve had these for years and they perform best on freezing days with no rain. The Borealis gloves also include a fleece liner glove which alone is pretty warm in its own right. These gloves are semi-lobster mitts with a bit more articulation than other mitts so you can still easily use brifters on your road bike. The downside is that they are not waterproof and will soak in a lot of water once the rain really starts coming down.
So those are our tips for keeping your hands warm in the winter. One way to simplify it is to think of it as if you were layering clothes for winter. You start with a wool baselayer and add a waterproof shell or down puffy jacket as the weather dictates.
In this vid, we review the Leatherman Squirt PS4, a tiny multitool packed with lots of useful tools for everyday tasks. For those that would rather read than watch, here is the written executive summary 🙂
I’ve owned and lost many tools during our travels, but the only one I’ve decided to repurchase is the Leatherman Squirt PS4 – it is just THAT handy. What really sets it apart from similar tools like the Leatherman Juice is the size. The Squirt weighs in at 56 grams compared to the Juice’s 125. At less than half of the Juice, the Squirt is a multi-tool you can have on your key ring that won’t feel like a boat anchor at the end of the day.
Beyond just the size and weight savings, the Squirt also has really useful tools. The primary tool is a pair of pliers which are capable of most light to medium duty tasks. The bonus is that they also manage to squeeze in a pair of scissors! Scissors are one tool that is pretty unique and hard to replicate with another tool, so it is such a boon to have them included in a small multitool.
If you’re looking for a great tool to take on tour or just for every day carry purposes, we highly recommend the Squirt PS4. I probably use mine atleast half a dozen times a day! Buy yours locally, or if you want to support site, you can order one through this link.
In this vid, we interview our friends at Swift Industries about two new bags they are releasing. One of them is specifically made for the popular Wald 137 basket, which we are super excited about. Watch the vid to get an exclusive sneak peek.
In this video, we review a pannier from the Swift Industries Hinterland Collection. Lightweight, svelte and black, this pannier if perfect for an overnighter, commuting or if you prefer to do light weight bike touring.
Arkel has recently entered the bikepacking scene with a new set of rear seatbags that they are calling their Seatpacker line. What’s unique to their design is that the bags work with a mini support that lifts the bag from the top! Check out how the support works and if we like it in our video first look.