Tag Archives: First Impressions

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First Impressions: Arkel Seatpacker Bags

One reason for bikepacking-style seat bags’ popularity is their simplicity. Unlike panniers, the standalone seat packs don’t require dedicated racks. But depending on what you’re carrying, bikepacking seat bags–especially larger ones–can sway or sag. Arkel‘s new line of seat packs put an end to floppy, tail-wagging bags with the aid of minimalist, quick-release racks.

Arkel debuted their bikepacking line at Interbike in 2015. The first iteration resembled a traditional traverse-style saddlebag (read, Carradice) paired with a support inspired by the Canadian company’s Randonneur seatpost rack. After nearly a year of tweaking and enhancements, the sleeker Seatpacker 9 and 15 (so-named for their capacity) hit retailers’ shelves in summer 2016.

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First Impressions: Blackburn Chamber HV Pump

Have you ever tried inflating a car tire with a bicycle pump? For plus- and fat-bike riders, that’s about what it feels like when you use a pump designed for high-pressure, low-volume tires. Sure, you can do it, but it definitely ain’t fun. Thanks to Blackburn’s Chamber HV floor pump ($79.99 MSRP), airing up your mountain or fat-bike tires doesn’t have to feel like arm day at the gym.

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Image courtesy of Blackburn Design

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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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