First Impressions: Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready Kit

The term tubeless ready is sometimes open to interpretation. For some wheel-and-tire combo’s, converting to tubeless is as simple as installing the proper valves, adding some sealant, and then airing up the tires. Most of the time, however, the process is a bit more involved. In addition to the aforementioned valves and sealant, tubeless-ready wheels usually require special tape or rim strips (and sometimes, both) to make the rim air tight and provide the proper tire/rim interface. Gathering up the necessary bits and pieces can often be time consuming and expensive, but Genuine Innovations eliminates the hassle with their new Tubeless Ready Kit.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder slime ghetto tubeless co2 inflator

To help insure that your tubeless conversion goes smoothly, the Tubeless Ready Kit includes the following items:

  • Slime Pro tubeless sealant (8oz, enough for 4 tires)
  • Gorilla Tape (1 roll, enough for 4 rims)
  • Genuine Innovations Microflate CO²  inflator
  • 20g CO² cartridges (2x)
  • Removable-core Presta valve stems (2x)
  • Presta valve adapter & core removal tool
  • Tire levers (2x)

Having used most of the Tubeless Ready Kit’s items in previous conversions, I was already familiar with their use and performance. The Slime Pro sealant has proven effective in Colorado’s semi-arid climate without requiring frequent refilling or topping off. Gorilla Tape’s 26mm-wide tape is compatible with most popular rims, and the tape’s increased thickness makes seating loose-fitting tires easier. And should you not be able to seat your tires with a floor pump, the 20g CO² cartridges offer enough air volume for all but the fattest tires.

At $60 (MSRP), the Genuine Innovations kit is on par with competitors’ bundles. Other kits, however, typically don’t include tire levers or CO² inflators and cartridges in their conversion kits, which makes the Genuine Innovations kit an outstanding bargain for the home mechanic.

Disclosure: Genuine Innovations provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

First Impressions: K-Edge Computer Mount

Whether you ride for utility or recreation (or both), handlebar real estate can be a precious commodity. Lights, bells, handlebar bags, and computers all vie for the space on either side of your bike’s stem. Often times, there simply isn’t enough room for all of one’s favorite accessories. If you use one of Garmin’s popular Edge computers, however, K-Edge offers several mounts that free up valuable handlebar space.

Like K-Edge’s other computer mounts, the Idaho-based company’s Stem Mount is CNC-machined from billet aluminum, comes in three anodized colors (black, grey, or red), and features an injection-molded interface. Available in fixed- and adjustable-angle versions, GRAVELBIKE tested the adjustable model over a two-month period with Garmin’s Edge 500 GPS cycle computer.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder K-Edge Garmin GPS Thomson Elite X4 Acros Strava MapMyRide RideWithGPS

The K-Edge mount takes the place of a 5mm spacer above the stem.

The Stem Mount installs between the bike’s stem and top cap. On our test rigs, the K-Edge mounts replaced one of the 5mm spacers that normally take up the extra steerer tube length under the top cap. The mount’s angle adjusts with a 3mm allen key, and there was enough range to clear +10° and +17° stems of various lengths.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder K-Edge Garmin GPS Thomson Elite X4 Acros Strava MapMyRide RideWithGPS

Garmin’s Edge 500 computer installed on the K-Edge mount.

In use, the Stem Mounts quickly earned set-and-forget status. Swapping the Edge 500 head unit between the K-Edge mounts took no additional effort compared to the stock Garmin mounts, and the Stem Mounts’ injection-molded inserts offered increased peace of mind with an audible (and tactile) confirmation that the computer was locked-and-loaded.

What does the $39.99 ($29.99 for the fixed-angle model) K-Edge Stem Mount offer over Garmin’s stock mount? Improved security, for one. The one-size-fits-most attachment method used by Garmin is OK for handlebars, but it doesn’t compare to the added security of K-Edge’s stem/steerer-mounted method. K-Edge’s injection-molded interface also proved to be more secure in the event of a crash or unintended dismount (no more launched computers!).

Disclosure: K-Edge provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

First Impressions: Ortlieb Seatpost Bag

Ortlieb bags are famous for their durable, waterproof construction. The German-made seat bags and panniers are a favorite with all-weather riders who want their gear to remain dry in adverse conditions. And now, Ortlieb broadens their product range with the introduction of the company’s Seatpost Bags.

Unlike their original seat bags, Ortlieb’s Seatpost Bags attach directly to the seatpost. The integrated mount fits ‘posts from 25.4mm to 34.9mm diameter. A quick-release strap allows easy installation and removal. Ortlieb offers the Seatpost Bag in two sizes: small (1.5kg max load, 1.5 litre capacity), and medium (2.5kg max load, 4 litre capacity). Both bags feature high-frequency welded seams, waterproof fabrics, hi-viz reflective accents, and tabs for attaching blinky-style lights.

The Seatpost Bags utilize a ratchet-type design that’s similar to the closures found on many cycling shoes. This tool-free system allows quick-and-easy installation and removal, while still providing a secure interface with the seatpost (Ortlieb does not recommend using the Seatpost Bags with carbon or aero seatposts). The mounting bracket features a soft rubber insert which helps reduce slippage, as well as protecting the seatpost’s finish. During our testing, we had no difficulty swapping the bags between 27.2mm and 31.6mm seatposts.

Even when loaded to their respective max capacities, both bags remained securely attached and noise-free. The packs themselves did exhibit some minor flex, but it wasn’t noticeable during actual riding (even on bumpy dirt roads/trails). The dry bag-style rolled closures did an outstanding job of keeping the bags’ contents dry, and unlike zippers, didn’t become jammed when exposed to grit and grime (of which there was no shortage).

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder Ortlieb seatpost bag Black Mountain Cycles Selle Anatomica Paul Component Engineering CamelBak Panaracer Shimano H+SON

Ortlieb’s medium-size Seatpost Bag performing double-duty as a mudguard on a sloppy weekend ride.

For day rides, centuries, and light commuting, the medium Seatpost Bag would be an excellent choice. The pack’s internal mesh pockets help keep items organized, and the elastic cord can easily accommodate a light jacket or other clothing. At 442g, it’s lighter than a dedicated rack-top bag, and can be easily removed when not needed. While the smaller Ortlieb Seatpost Bag is heavier (243g) than a conventional seat pack of comparable capacity, the former’s mounting system makes it compatible with hard-to-fit saddles such as those with springs or I-beam designs.

Disclosure: Ortlieb USA provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.