Monday, June 13, 2016

Updated Bike

A few items I ordered from Amazon arrived today and I installed them on my Trek 820:

The Outerdo bike rack bag is held to the rack with four Velcro straps. It seems secure but if that changes after being loaded I'l wrap a bungie cord around it.

The bag should be able to hold a spare tube, snacks, at least one extra water bottle, and a windshirt or light jacket. I moved my tire levers, bike tool, and patch kit to it so that I can reserve the front bag for my keys, wallet, and iPhone. The bag seems pretty well made for a sub $20 item. It's a little floppy but so what. The main compartment has some minimal padding but I wouldn't trust it to protect or insulate much. The outer compartments (one large on the left side and two on the right) lack any padding.

There's a shallow water bottle pocket on the back of the bag with a drawstring. I'm probably going to put some kind of a better retention strap/bungie on there to prevent a bottle from coming out. On the back of the bottle pocket there is a small strap for clipping an LED light to. To be on the safe side I put some superglue on the stitching to prevent it from unraveling.

The bag has a handle on top and came with a carry strap, so it can be used as a shoulder bag.

The BV lights are pretty cheaply made but bright enough so that you're visible to motorists. The front light takes four AAAs while the back light takes two. I mounted a set on my daughter's bike and let her take a ride around dusk, and I was able to see the blinking red LED of her back light from about 300 yards away. Both have non-blinking and a couple blinking modes, which should extend battery life. I think that if you need a headlight to actually see where you're going, you'll want to look elsewhere.

I resisted putting a kickstand on my bike for a long time because I didn't want the weight. I never had one on the Nishiki road bike that I got in 1986 and put a lot of miles on. However, I've now decided that the minor weight penalty was less important than the convenience. The BV kickstand went on easily, isn't too heavy, and it's nice not having to prop the bike up against something. It clamps to the left chainstay with three 5mm Allen screws:

The RAM GPS mount is held to the handlebar with two cable ties. It should hold up to riding on roads and developed bike trails. I'm not so sure that it would stand up to rough singletrack rides, especially in a spill. We'll see.

The BV saddle bag that I got for my daughter's bike is perfect for her. It feels sturdy and is just big enough for her to have a place to stash her key, some money, and her iPhone 6.

Finally, I also got padded cycling underwear shorts. Note that in the Amazon image they are shown inside-out. When worn correctly you don't get mandrill-butt. These will let me cycle in regular shorts while providing some additional padding for my nethers. At $15 on Amazon Prime, I'll be satisfied if I get a season from them.

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