Tag Archives: First Impressions

First Impressions: DUALCO Chain Lubes

On a baker’s rack in my garage sits a plastic storage bin. The bin is about the size of a shoe box, and it’s where I store my collection of bicycle lubricants. At last count, that bin contained thirteen different chain lubes. Yes, thirteen. But now, thanks to DUALCO‘s new line of chain lubes, I’ll be able to pare that collection down to just a couple of bottles.

Like nearly every other chain lube vendor, DUALCO offers different formulas for wet (Cold/Wet) and dry (Hot/Dry) conditions. The US-made lubes are packaged in two-ounce plastic bottles which feature adjustable, twist-top applicator caps. The Cold/Wet version retails for $8.55 and the Hot/Dry formula carries an MSRP of $7.66. According to DUALCO, both formulas are non-toxic and won’t harm paint, plastic, or rubber.

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First Impressions: Showers Pass Syncline Jacket & Refuge Duffel

Men’s Syncline Jacket
When it comes to choosing biking gear, I place a premium on versatility. Sure, I want cycling-specific features, but something like a rain jacket should work well–and look good–on or off the bike. Recognizing the need for versatile, affordable outerwear, Showers Pass designed their new Syncline jacket ($125 MSRP) to work equally well for biking, hiking, or camping.

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First Impressions: Ergon SMC4 Saddle

Scheduling (and publishing) reviews is always a bit of a balancing act. Manufacturers want to see their products reviewed the moment they’re released. Readers, on the other hand, want to know how products perform over the long haul. As luck would have it, Ergon’s SMC4 arrived just a few days after I posted GRAVELBIKE’s 2016 saddle roundup.

Since then, I’ve tested the SMC4 with a variety of gravel, mountain, and road bikes. The saddle has seen use with conventional rigid seatposts, as well as suspension and dropper-style posts. In typical Colorado fashion, Mother Nature provided a wide range of weather conditions during the test period.


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