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Old 01-02-09, 07:27 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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2008 accessories review: what did you buy and love (or hate) in 2008?

A downside of the Internet is that it can fill your mind with stuff you absolute *must* have to enjoy your hobby; the flipside is that it's easy to get good information on what works (or doesn't work) from other users.

I think it's been a long time since we had a "best of" thread covering gear and accessories, and thought maybe it was time to share gear recommendations and cautions.

Rules (not that I expect this crowd to follow them):
- Must be new (to you) gear in 2008
- No bikes! Just parts, accessories, tools, etc.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys loved/hated in 2008....
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Old 01-02-09, 07:28 PM   #2
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My contribution:

What worked for me in 2008:

1. Carradice seat bag. I bought one of these last January because in the Pacific Northwest we do lots of rides in changeable weather (might rain/might not), and do mountain rides that may involve hot weather at the base and cold rain/wind/sleet at the top. Having a big bag so you can add/subtract clothing during the day is really useful. I put this on my bike for a metric century early in the year, planning just to use it for long rides, and never took it off; for city rides I might pack a camera, a lock, food, etc. Very roomy without affecting the handling of the bike, and not that heavy considering its capacity.

http://www.carradice.co.uk/saddlebag...addlebag.shtml

2. Minoura Swing Grip. This little guy mounts on your handlebars and gives you more room to mount lights, cylcocomputers, etc. Great for commuter bikes.

http://bike-nashbar.amazonwebstore.c...source=froogle

3. Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Rain Jacket. Seattle is a year-round cycling city -- if you learn to ride comfortably in the rain. While shopping for a better rain jacket, I read a comment on a local cycling board that said, in effect, "If you ride a lot in Seattle, you will eventually end up owning a Showers Pass jacket...the question is just how many other jackets you will own before you figure this out." This was my 3rd (and priciest) attempt to find a rain jacket -- it's terrific. I wish I had just bitten the bullet and gotten one of these the first time.

http://showerspass.com/cart/product_...dbe5c50f1ef551

4. Selle-Anatomica Saddle. Saddles seem to be so personal (what works for some, doesn't work for others), but this worked for me.

http://www.selleanatomica.com/Product%20Info.htm


What didn't work for me:

1. Garmin Edge 305 computer. This is great when it works, and Garmin customer service is great when it doesn't, but I've just had too many struggles with this to justify its high cost. Problems for me:
- Cadence sensor very erratic; it worked about 80% of the time for me, which drove me crazy, so I took it off.
- Computer mount not secure enough - I lost one going down a steep mountain descent (Garmin accepted partial responsibility so nicely sold me a refurb unit at a good price to replace the one I lost)
- My second one failed after about 60 days (which Garmin quickly replaced).
- Short battery life (10 hours). Meaning I was nervous about it running out of juice on long rides, and it won't last for a long weekend of ridings.
I think life is simpler just having a nice Cateye on your bike...

2. Bicycle bell. I always admired the way other cyclists could use their bells to warn pedestrians or other cyclists on MUP's instead of bellowing "passing" or "on yer left," so I got a little bell. Very cute. However, this is just not working for me. I tinkle and tinkle, no one hears me, and I end up yelling "on yer left" anyway. So I'm riding along, ringing a stupid bell, yelling at people. Not a pretty picture.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:29 PM   #3
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GOOD

Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Rain Jacket - worked great on the one day we had substantial rain (45F too). It also works as my normal winter jacket. Pit zips, front mp3/cell pocket, matching hood that velcros on.
Mafac brakes on my PX10 - wonderful modulation cool levers
Custom Rain Pants - these were custom made. Exterior stretch fabric sheds water, interior felt is soft and warm. Nice velcro straps. thigh pockets for wallet / cell. Custom made after talking with Lou - http://www.foxwear.net/products_pants.html They're also fine as cold weather tights.
Lake Winter MTB Boots - bought NIB off Craigslist. They complement my older road version. Nice pitard leather covers unique enclosure system. You turn a dial to tighten the single loop wire. Nice sealed soles are watertight.
Sidi Genius Carbon 6.6 road shoes - I got these late in the season and only wore them a couple times so far - they are comfortable and stiff soled

OK

Garmin 305 - Takes a long time to sync, must be recharged constantly. Handlebar mounts break. I've bought 6 cheap wired cyclometers to eventually convert/supplement my bikes.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:18 PM   #4
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GOOD,

Joneswares wool turtle neck base layer, used in conjunction with Joneswares wool balaclava! Keeps me warm even when wet, very comfortable to wear.

Defeet "Woolie Boulies" wool socks. My feet love these socks on a cool or cold day.

NOT SO GOOD,

VDO bike computer, difficult to set up (compared to Cat Eye or Sports Instruments), and difficult to use . . . or maybe I'm not smart enough and/or haven't studied the instructions well enough.

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Old 01-02-09, 09:37 PM   #5
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Liked:
1. Craft Short Sleeve wool undershirt with wind stopper front. You feel warm when you put it on.
2. Road Morph Frame pump. We all like them.
3. Neuvation SL28 wheels. Stiff and stable.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:43 PM   #6
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Good post, Benge. I'm enjoying reading the Yays and Nays and looking forward to more. Here are mine...

GOOD

1. Clipless pedals -- I still can't believe how much I like riding clipless. I have Shimano M-520s on the Roubaix and A-530s on the LHT. The A-530s have platform on one side; though I rarely use that side, it's there when I want it and they perform very well.

2. Sidi Dominator (MTB) shoes -- soooo comfortable, love 'em. I'm glad Stapfam warned me to avoid looking at them.

3. Topeak handlebar pack, Topeak Quick Track MTX trunk pack, and Topeak Explorer rack. Topeak makes very nice, durable packs with designs that are well thought out.

4. Moustache bars -- Turned upside down, they work great for me by providing a little more upright position without having to change the stem. The cross levers beneath the sides provide a very comfortable ergonomic reach for my troublesome/painful left hand.

5. Switching from road bars to bullhorns (on the Roubaix) -- wow, my left wrist smiles for miles with the brifters mounted beneath the sides.

6. Canari high-visibility green jacket with removable sleeves. It's like a two-in-one and even better I got it on sale last winter.

7. Cateye Micro Wireless computer -- flawless so far.

NOT SO GOOD (for me)

1. Brooks B17 - Sadly, I want a saddle with a cut-out with the current handlebar set-up on the LHT. I do not want to change from the good-looking stock stem to a shorter/taller stem just to make this saddle work for me. I already have a Terry Butterfly Ti on order.
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Old 01-02-09, 10:01 PM   #7
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Not a big spender

I got some LED lights (catalog) for about $10 each - 2 53 LED and 2 21's. I really like the 53's - in fact, after I got the first one, I ordered the 2nd, which I just got 2 days ago. I use rechargeable batteries, they last several hours, the lights have several modes, and give plenty of light. I will replace the 21 with the 53, giving two 53's on my utility bike, which is the one I ride at night. I don't know what I will do with the 21's. Perhaps mount one of them rearwards with my red blinkie - put the red and white rear on blink, and I should be quite visible on the trails.



http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2933

Swim suit Strange as it may seem, I usually hate swimming suits, especialy those long baggy canvas ones that cling to your legs and slow you down. Since I am doing a lot of swimming for my planned triathlon next Sept, I really wanted one I like. Finally I found a Speedo that fits and feels great, and lasts a long time in chlorinated water. $18.00 plus shipping http://www.sportsbasement.com/istar....6%2D08%21Speed



That's about it, I think.

Nothing bad, except I only use my Garmin 305 for walks!

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Old 01-02-09, 11:09 PM   #8
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Finally I found a Speedo that fits and feels great. $22.95
OK, who is going to ask him for pics?
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Old 01-02-09, 11:27 PM   #9
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GOOD:
Selle-Anatomica Saddle -
Performance Bibs'
garmin Edge 305 (went from worst 1Q 08 to best 3Q08 once I learned how to use it)
Sidi Mega's (got a wide foot)

So So:
Socom Bicycle case -Airlines no longer ask me what's in it. I travel international 4x/yr and Airlines don't charge me for a bicycle (maybe case I'm platinum elite?).

Bad:
Ditto on the bell - Made me Feel stupid I shelled out 50 cents at a yard sale. Whistle works better here in philippines.
HALT: didn't work on the rural dogs here in KY - just made them made as H***.
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Old 01-02-09, 11:36 PM   #10
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Outstanding
PlanetBike Superflash. The first one (on seat post) worked well. Liked it so much, I got another one and hung it on the left seat stay. They get me noticed day or night.

Very Good
Louis Garneau loud yellow/green wind jacket with removable sleeves. This made all the difference for me for cool/cold riding. Downside of this jacket is that zippers on sleeves are very small/fine/delicate/hard-to-work. If I remove the sleeves, I have a heckuva time getting the zippers started again, and I'm afraid that I'll destroy them. Most of the time, I zip the sleeves up only about half way and use the openings as "pit zips". Seems to work pretty well. Even with the small sleeve zips, I love this jacket.

DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks. Great for cool/cold weather. I use them as a base layer and add a pair of long, heavy wool socks when it gets cold.

Louis Garneau skull cap. I use it alone for cool weather and as a base layer under the balaclava when it gets cold.

OK
Minoura Swing Grip. Its working OK, but tends to shift a little on bumpy roads. To be fair to it, I may have it overloaded. I have two LED flashlights hung on it for night riding. The Swing Grip has solved the problem of where to install lights. I just wish it would grip a little better.

So-So
Kenda Kriterium 700c x 23 Iron Cloak. They rolled really well compared to the 700c x 25 OEM Kendas that came on Ol' Fuj, but they were more flat-prone than I cared for. I've since switched to Conti 700c x 25 Gatorskins. So far, so good.
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Old 01-02-09, 11:47 PM   #11
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Good-
Specialized Super Fat Bar Gel and Tape
Terry Fly Gel Saddle
Mavic Open Pro Wheels w/ Ultegra Hubs
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2556-2021_l.jpg (87.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg PROpenPro-UL-sil-DB.jpg (58.0 KB, 6 views)

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Old 01-03-09, 12:58 AM   #12
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You guys must be buying cheap bells. My Incredibell Big Brass bell gets heard every time.
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Old 01-03-09, 01:41 AM   #13
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Couple of things that stand out on purchases.

The Garmin Edge 305. Gives me all the detail I want from a ride and more.

Cycling cap- Keep the head warm in cold weather- stops sweat running in the eyes and hides the helmet hair when I do stop at the cafe. And it is easier to wear than the Bandana I used to use.

Giordana Bib Shorts. The most comfortable shorts I have ever worn.

And an item bought last year but not used till this. I got a pair of Mavic Aksiums when I got the TCR and did not use them but I was wearing out the "Good" wheels in the foul weather. Decided they are there and used them as a wet weather wheel. They are a lot better than I thought they would be.

And the only bad purchase was a cateye front lamp for emergencies. The only person that sees the light is me while I am riding and it is distracting.
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Old 01-03-09, 05:20 AM   #14
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Good:

Cateye Astrale computer, rear pickup with cadence. Very useful for indoor training.
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Old 01-03-09, 06:51 AM   #15
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I wound up buying a lot, since my wife and I both started riding recumbent trikes this year, after decades of not riding.

Great:
Cateye computers
Road Morph G pumps
Planet Bike Superflash
Cateye TL-LD610-BR taillight
Thorn-proof inner tube
Clipless pedals
Shimano shoes
Polar insulated water bottles
Mountain Mirrycle mirrors
Aero Tech bike shorts (forgot these originally!)

Good:
Coleman 110-lumen LED flashlights (for headlights)

So-so:
Transit Epic DX Rack Trunk
Blackburn headlight

Untested so far:
Halt spray
Cygolite Pace 135 LED headlight

Probably the best "accessory" is our LBS - Fairfield Cyclery. They recommended almost everything on the "Great" list, and weren't involved with the rest of the stuff on the list. Even though they're 20+ miles away, while the closest shop is within a quarter-mile and four more shops are within 5 miles, it's worth the drive. Three of the five shops even told me that if I was interested in recumbents, go talk to Frank at Fairfield Cyclery - and they were right!
- Bob

Last edited by rdmjr; 01-03-09 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Added Aero Tech bike shorts
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Old 01-03-09, 06:51 AM   #16
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OK, who is going to ask him for pics?


Eat your heart out, DG!
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Old 01-03-09, 08:04 AM   #17
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Good:
Sigma cadence counter. Made a big difference in my pedal stroke as I was not nearly high enough with my cadence. By far, the best item I added to my bike.

Bad:
Garmin 305. Now on my fourth unit. Seems to be working, except I have now broken the second cheap little plastic mount. All my other compters on my boat and car are Garmin and work well. This one does not.

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Old 01-03-09, 08:10 AM   #18
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Every time I go into a bike shop or look online it seems I have everything, or at least everything that I want AND can afford.
But occasionally I run across something new that I really like and sometimes a few things that I don't like.

VERY GOOD:
CO2 Inflator. Sure saved a lot of pumping when I had a few flats last summer.


Terry Fly for the Cure saddle. VERY COMFORTABLE


Quik Stik Tire Changer. We use these at the bike shop and I finally broke down and spent $3(?) and bought one.




NOT SO GOOD:
Polar Insulated Water Bottle.

It is much harder to squeeze than the older bottles like these.


Continental GP4000S. Not as good as the GP3000 or the GP4000. Harder to mount and I had 3 flats on them this past summer. I had 1 flat per season with GP3000 and GP4000.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:27 AM   #19
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Tried an LED Flashlight for evening/night riding--this one turns out to be very bright: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10301
And found a saddle that works also: http://www.serfas.com/product_details.asp?ID=58
Still riding on mtb style platform pedals, though I have my clipless pedals and shoes still, in case I decide to give them another try. What didn't work for me in 08 was time--never seemed to be enough of it, so rode relative little. And unless someone takes over Otter Creek park (and continues to have it open to mtb'ing) here in KY, our favorite park for mtb'ing has been closed, as the city of Louisville says it was losing money running the park.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:35 AM   #20
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Best of 2008:
Having my old campy hubs rebuilt with Mavic Open Pro's by Perfect Wheels in Seattle and new Hammered Honjos made breathed new life into my old bike. I discovered that fenders set you free to ease back on the throttle and enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:56 AM   #21
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The Good:
  • Garman 305 - Works great for me but battery life is a problem on multi-day rides
  • Camelbak Podium Bottle - easy squeeze, no spill, dispenses lots of water
  • Giordana Tenax Cycling Shorts - Very comfortable for me with great chamois
  • Extra Strength Tylenol + Aleve - Works much better than Ibuprofen for me

The Truly Awful:
  • Park PFP-3 Floor Pump - I can't say enough bad stuff about this pump. I've had to replace the pump head once and the shuttlecock valve is constantly sticking. I hate this pump.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:59 AM   #22
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I have to remember when I got these...

Good: Dinotte lights for nighttime riding, Rudy Project prescription bifocal cycling sunglasses, Fizik handlebar tape with gel pads, Thomson Masterpiece seat post (excellent seat clamping mechanism), Continental GP4000 and GP4000s tires, Michelin Pro 3 Race tires, Topeak Smarthead replacement pump hose and head (brings my old pump into the 21st century!), Ultimate Support bicycle repair stand

Not so good: Giordana Silverline cycling shorts (inexpensive and with a good chamois but cut too generously in the butt)

Best thing I did for my cycling, though not an accessory: joined a team
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Old 01-03-09, 11:52 AM   #23
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Quik Stik Tire Changer. We use these at the bike shop and I finally broke down and spent $3(?) and bought one.

How does it differ from regular levers? Would it help painful/weak hands like mine?
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Old 01-03-09, 01:19 PM   #24
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I got this Pearl Izumi Gavia jersey on sale (it's way to much for me at list) and it's become my go-to commuter and cold weather jersey. It cut the wind, is super comfortable and keeps me warm.
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Old 01-03-09, 01:56 PM   #25
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Speaking of jerseys... I found a very nice long-sleeve Sugoi jersey for $20.00 on the sale rack at the LBS. It was the only one left from their booth at the Tour de Foothills ride in Fall. It's a nice weight for cool weather, very pretty, and just happened to be my size.
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