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Joe Gardner 05-24-01 01:29 AM

Best / Worse purchase of the year?
What's your best purchase, and worst purchase the year?

Best: New camelbak hydration pack, hmm, fresh water.
Worse: No-Name cycling socks, they died within 50 miles.

Rich 05-24-01 01:53 AM

Hi Joe,

I'd have to say my best was Pearle Izumi sweatband (it can with free Ip socks!!!)

Worst was a pair of Vitorria Cross Tires (one of the tires had a knackered bead on it!!) :(


RainmanP 05-24-01 08:25 AM

BEST: As much as I like all the 105 goodies I upgraded to, I would have to say best purchase was Look pedals and the Shimano shoes to use them with.

WORST: Piece of c__p Specialized Afterburner double blinkie light. TWENTY BUCKS and the tiny, flimsy molded in (ie, not repairable) clip broke off the very first time I tried to clip it on a strap. I didn't even really need the thing and bought it just because I was at the LBS and had been thinking about getting an extra. It uses the same little batteries that computers use, which I didn't care for; I prefer standard AA and AAA in such things. Now I buy $9-10 5-LED blinkies from Performance and Nashbar. Bought two from each place. They are the exact same blinkie. Nice robust clips and they work great. Use 2 AAs.

The broken blinkie paid dividends, though. I had it rubber-banded to my rack. At an outdoor concert a couple of weeks ago, a just-learning-to-walk toddler was fascinated with my bike. I reached over and turned that blinkie on, and he seemed to experience a state of ecstacy. I took it off and let him have it to play with, still blinking. He went around showing it to everyone. It would have been worth $20 just to see that face.

aerobat 05-24-01 09:36 AM

Good for you Rainman! I would have like to see that kid's face, too. You need to carry a camera all the time for that kind of stuff.

Best Purchase? Apart from my roadbike, probably the Mountain Morph pump to get those tires up to 110psi.

Worst? Specialized body geometry seat - exchanged it, and now trying the Avocet O2, I'll let you all know how it is.

MichaelW 05-24-01 09:57 AM

Best: Brooks B17 saddle. 24 for a few decades of cycling comfort.

Worst: Panaracer Pasela tyres. OK for leisure riding, but hopeless on the mean streets. I slashed the sidewall after 2 days.

Steele-Bike 05-24-01 09:59 AM

I would have to say it goes like this...

Best Purchase...1.5" Michellin slicks for my MTB (that I use for commuting)

Worst Purchase...1.5" Michellin slicks (when I want to hit the trails):p

LittleBigMan 05-24-01 10:01 AM


Originally posted by RainmanP
BEST: WORST: Piece of c__p Specialized Afterburner double blinkie light. TWENTY BUCKS and the tiny, flimsy molded in (ie, not repairable) clip broke off the very first time I tried to clip it on a strap.

...The broken blinkie paid dividends, though...a just-learning-to-walk toddler was fascinated...I reached over and turned that blinkie on, and he seemed to experience a state of ecstacy. I took it off and let him have it to play with, still blinking. He went around showing it to everyone. It would have been worth $20 just to see that face.

Ok, Mr. Raymond, so now, according to the rules, you still have to come up with a "WORST" purchase for this thread, as the broken blinkie doesn't count! Actually, children love blinkies, I've found.
I either have to hide them from them, or give them broken ones that still flash. ;) Great post!

Oops! I've broken the rules, too! I posted this response without
having a "BEST" or "WORST" purchase to mention! Hmm, let's see...well, I guess I'm disqualified, because I don't think I've purchased anything this year! :cry:

Wait a minute! Ok, I have two buys, but neither was good or bad, just normal: a front shifter cable and a new tube. I guess the BEST would be the cable, since I couldn't do without it (though if the truth were told, I went without it for about 10 miles after it snapped--it really is possible to ride on the small chainring, just not a lot of fun.) The tube I could have gone without by digging up an old, multiple-patched tube hiding out somewhere in the garage and patching it one more time. So the tube would be my WORST.

Then again, if the cable snaps and the tube holds out for a long time, it'll be visa-versa.

I suffer from Depression Era Parents who grew up in the 1930's and 1940's. They never throw away anything. HEY! THAT'S why I have so much "useless" junk around! ;)

Steele-Bike 05-24-01 10:20 AM

Extra, Extra!!!!

I have just changed my mind on the best purchase of the year award...

Just last week I bought these sunglasses from Performance Bike that have changeable lenses. Anyways, here in the all too cloudy Midwest spring I have been forced to insert the orange lenses...instant sun. These things are great!!!:cool:

Green Hornet 05-24-01 10:52 AM

My best purchase was the Wal-Mart bike I NEVER bought (HA, HA, just kidding, it was never an option). The worst purchase was the new Optima Lynx (~$2,000) that I NEVER bought (I want one.)

AlphaGeek 05-24-01 11:25 AM

Congratulations SteeleBike on 100+ postings!

Ba-Dg-Er! It's so good to see you!

My best! My spanking new Giant Cypress :thumbup: (replaces my recently stolen wheels) :(

My worst! A cheap mirror, (gotta get a better one!)

Cambronne 05-24-01 01:32 PM

Best purchase:

Blackburn rear rack for my Trek 1220 roadbike-***-commuter. It's lightweight, attached easily to the not-made-for-racks frame, and has a bracket for a taillamp.

Best Runner-up:

Performance Bike rack trunk, purchased on clearance sale. It's expandable, watertight and made of a retroreflective material. Now I can leave the backpack at home all summer.

Worst purchase:

Specialized Crossroads Euro Elite city bike. I bought this early in 2000 for my trips about town whenever I'm back home. It's an exotic-for-France style of bike, and promised to be comfy and secure on trips around town...

Designed in California, assembled in Taiwan, purchased in Paris. It is a very pretty bike, resembling a 1950s american paperboy bike with its curved tubes, lights, rack & mudguards. It has good components, Shimano RX100 9-speed, Mavic rims (Alivio hubs... ick!) Even a Specialized-branded suspension fork & seatpost, and a leather anti-numnutz saddle...

... but the sad thing probably weighs 20 kg! I had to remove the springy seatpost after only 200km and fit a conventional one that the lbs gave me in exchange. I can't stand it when the seat/pedal relationship changes!!! The fork is heavy and of dubious use on even Paris' cobby roads (Our street pavings are imported from deep within the Third World at considerable expense) and offers no lockout.

Plus, the 9-speed chains don't last very long at all! The first one was stretched at only 1 800km, and the second one broke after only 500km. (Who needs 27 ratios in a city with only two mild little hills? Give me a coaster-brake, s'il vous plait...)

This bike would greatly benefit from the fitting of a 125cc moto engine and a 520 chain driving ONE rear sprocket. As it is, I keep it as a dire-use-only spare and will buy a decent road bike next time I am home.

Worst runner-up:

American style microwave dinners from Stouffer's, Weight Watchers, Healthy Choice, or Tyson's. This stuff is to real food what phone sex is to the real thing... the last resort for desperate, lonely shut-ins.

Bike to a french, italian, or mexican resto... Eat as much as you like. Bike home. Save those MREs for the end of the world.

Joe Pozer 05-24-01 01:40 PM


Originally posted by MichaelW
Best: Brooks B17 saddle. 24 for a few decades of cycling comfort.
Wow, so someone actually uses a Brooks saddle. I've heard that they are supposed to be the most comfortable saddle around once they are broken in but i've never known of anyone who has actually used one.

Best: The Hutchison (sp?) Python Airlite tires. They are light and have great grip for a short knob tire.

Worst: Nike Yuha Mtb shoes. Man those things are uncomfortable. Way too narrow for my feet.

JonR 05-24-01 02:00 PM


Originally posted by AlphaGeek
My worst! A cheap mirror, (gotta get a better one!)
If you're talking about a mirror that attaches to sunglasses (or Rx glasses), I emphatically recommend a metal-frame one. It's probably easier to buy over the Web than in most shops. But it's perfection: all metal, WON'T break almost instantly like the plastic ones I'm putting up with (I end up gluing them onto the frames and reinforcing the bond with 50-lb test bait casting line!), and the mirror itself is better quality.

I had one and gave it to a cross-country cyclist passing through town; bought a second the same day, later lost it. Now the dealer doesn't carry them and I don't have a way to order things over the Web, so I make do. But some day I would like to get three or four of the metal mirrors, so I'd have spares.

NOTE! I edited this on 5-25-01 because I found I'd stated the wrong brand name for the metal mirror. I can't find what the right brand name is, either. If I do find out, I'll post it. Sorry for any confusion!

I FOUND IT!! The name I was trying to think of is Take-A-Look. You can read about this mirror and see a photo of it at
and they also give contact information. In the photo, the mounting bracket looks like plastic, but it isn't, it's the same metal as the stem, and it has rubbery tubing around the gripping pieces, for friction.

KevinG 05-24-01 02:05 PM

Best is easy. Chris King headset for the FS. Also Avid disc brakes.

Worst is hard. Out of the almost $3000 of bike related gear and parts I've bought this year the only problem I had was customer service related. I'm bike mechanic and I tend to put a lot of research and thought in to my bike related purchases. So i dont really have a worst.

orguasch 05-24-01 08:17 PM

best purchase: pinarello paris
worst purchase:silca Floor Bike Pump

Ranger Jake 05-25-01 06:12 AM


I'm shocked! My LBS in AZ had a Silca floor pump that must have bee twenty years old and was possibly the most reliable piece of equipment in the shop! Sorry yours didn't turn out so well.

BESTS: My new scoot. Oh, how I saved my change for that and how sweet it was to ride once I bought it! Second best would be my wife's bike - now RangerGirl is into the bike scene, somehting that I figured would come about the same time as the worldwide ban of the automobile. Third best must be my Polar M51, which has made me into a efficient training machine as opposed to a hapless chimp riding a bike.

WORST: My wife's bike. Yeah, I know that it's listed in the Best category, but hear me out. She and I just CANNOT get that thing dialled in! Always something, always something different, but evcery ride involves stopping and fiddling wiht some bit to improve her comfort. Wish we would have waited and bought the bike at my usual LBS as opposed to the one that was having a sale. Second place goes to my RayBan XRAY vermillion sunglasses. They were about the equivalent of $15, dirt cheap, because the lens was scratched (which didn't affect my field of vision). I find out later that the lens provides a kind of optic strength that gives me headaches when I stop wearing them. At least I didn't pay full price.

There was SO much more to add to the Best category, but I think Joe would have cut me off at the knees after too long! :P

RonH 05-25-01 08:52 AM

Thanks for the tips on what I should and shouldn't buy. Great information.

My best purchase was my new road bike. I LOVE IT!!

My second best purchase was a Vetta RT77 cyclocomputer. My old bike has a Cateye Astrale (which I really like) but I think the display on the Vetta is slightly larger and much crisper and my tired eyes need all the help they can get.

My worst purchase was a Delta Insight mirror I bought at REI. It mounts with rubber bands :( on the top tube where it butts with the head tube. It allows you to look back beneath the saddle and see what's coming up behind you. The idea is good, but every time I would hit a bump the mirror would change position, so I was always adjusting it. A mounting bracket or clamp would work much better.


MadCat 05-25-01 09:58 AM

<b>Worst Purchase:</b> Cat Eye Headlight. I was giving it a second chance considering my first one died from being dropped in the snow a few time too often. The second one worked like a really really cheep flashlight.
<b>Best Purchase:</b> My Trek 6700fx Hybrid. Of course the new headlight I bought is a tiny Planet Bike light that flashes a white light that looks very cool. It fell on the road and smacked into 3 pieces and worked without a hitch after I put it back together again. That was a pretty good purchase too.

JonR 05-25-01 12:26 PM

"Third best must be my Polar M51, which has made me into a efficient training machine as opposed to a hapless chimp riding a bike. " Ranger, I love that sentence! You have a good prose style.

KittyFury--I detest my CatEye headlight, too. Had I bought it this year, it would rank as the worst purchase.

But the single VistaLite unit (runs on 4 AA batteries, will accept NiCd's with the included charger, or you could use the far superior NiMH batteries but would need a different charger)--provides a surprisingly good light and is very, very rugged and flexible in its mounting--you can attach it about anywhere, stem, handlebar, even the fork if you wish.

The VistaLite is my light for now, since I refuse to buy a replacement battery for the ultra-bright NightSun I was using till the battery gave out. Almost $100 for a battery is obscene, in my opinion.

I have in mind to rig up my own NiMH battery pack for the VistaLite, and a "smart" charger for it, and then I'll be set. It's adequate light for city riding, but not for country roads.

poptart 05-25-01 01:29 PM

Best: my Terry skort in a loud Hawaiian print. Makes me smile while I ride and works better than I expected.

Worst: racing licenses. Geeeze they've gotten expensive. Am I having more fun yet?

roadbuzz 05-25-01 07:34 PM

Worst: Pre-registered for a Century and wimped out 'cos of rain. But they sent me the T-shirt and the cue sheet, so I came out okay.
Best: It's a tie.[list=1][*]Delorme Topo 3.0 (I think there was some discussion about this software down in the touring forum some time ago.) The interface is a little sketchy, and I'm still getting used to it, but for planning rides, it's numero uno.[*]This geeky little bike stand I got at Performance, called a QuickStand. It's small so it's easy to take along to the start of a bike ride to do pre-ride bike prep. They're constantly on sale for about 15 dollars.[/list=1]

P.S. Thanks for the link to the Take-a-look mirror information, JonR. I had heard about them, but had thought they'd gone out of business.

JonR 05-25-01 09:09 PM


Originally posted by roadbuzz
P.S. Thanks for the link to the Take-a-look mirror information, JonR. I had heard about them, but had thought they'd gone out of business.
I hope not--but the date of the page I gave the URL for, was 1999 so I don't know. I'd sure like to get another one (or two) of the Take-A-Looks.

nebill 05-25-01 09:23 PM

Best purchase....not one, but 2 Fujis! A hybrid and a road bike...both used but in great shape, and the price was right!

Second bike shorts with padding!:D

Worst purchase....well, so far I don't know if it is bad or not...but I don't know how well the little hand pump I got is going to handle 120 PSI if I ever need it! Thinking maybe I should have went with a frame pump....but time will tell.

mwmw 05-26-01 04:50 PM

Best: Planet Earth computer w/BIG numbers that you can read without having cat eyes, and 8 functions you change by tapping the screen. Only $29.00 at the most expensive LBS in town.
Worst: Ditto on the Specialized blinky. Clip broke the first time out, and when I found out the replacement battery is $12.95 the rubber band came off. Wish I could find a little kid to give it to.

riderx 05-27-01 07:24 AM

Last night I was building a new wheel and got to use my new nipple driver (minds out of the gutter boys and girls!!!) for the first time. This has got to be one of my best tool purchases. Makes the first part of the wheel build a breeze.

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