As a self-admitted tire geek, I spend a fair amount of time swapping and inflating tires. And even though I have a small air compressor, I prefer floor pumps for their convenience and quiet operation. Note that I said pumps, as in plural. In addition to a high-volume pump for fat and plus tires, I also rely on a second, high-pressure pump for skinnier tires. Yes, it’s possible to use one pump for every type of tire, but that compromise usually translates into an absurd number of strokes for high-volume tires or a herculean effort for high-pressure rubber. But now, with the introduction of Topeak’s JoeBlow™ Twin Turbo floor pump ($199.95 MSRP), tire nerds can rely on a single floor pump for all their inflation needs.
Thanks to their adoption by mountain bikers, BMXers, and urban riders, flat pedals have enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity. Unlike those oldschool platform pedals, modern flats deliver vastly improved grip and performance that often rivals their clipless counterparts. One key contributor to flat pedals’ performance is size. Bigger platforms offer additional support, which translates into better grip and more comfort. Unfortunately, bigger almost always means heavier. It’s not uncommon for a pair of MTB-style pedals to weigh 400 grams or more. To reduce the weight, manufacturers often scale down the platform size (reducing traction) or utilize exotic materials (increasing cost). But Taiwanese pedal giant Xpedo flips the script by offering weight-conscious riders an affordable option with the company’s $79 SPRY platform model.
I’ve been a fan of Selle Anatomica saddles for many years. At one point, I owned more of the US-made saddles than I did bicycles. Eventually I wore out all but one of them (the saddles, not the bikes). But as luck would have it, Selle Anatomica introduced their new X2 model right around the time I was getting ready to replace my X1 saddle.
Can the new X2 match the legendary comfort of the company’s previous offerings while offering improved durability? Stay tuned…