Tag Archives: First Impressions

First Impressions: Arundel & Elite Bottle Cages

Whether you ride pavement, gravel, or dirt, you probably have at least one water bottle cage on your bike. And if you’re like most riders, there’s a good chance that you’ve lost a bottle due to an unseen pothole, bumpy trail, or poorly designed bottle cage. Losing a bottle is not only inconvenient, it’s also potentially dangerous (especially if you’re riding in a group). No matter what type of terrain you prefer, peace of mind is within reach with the Arundel Bando and Elite Pria Pavè bottle cages.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder arundel elite water bottle cage

Arundel Bando (left) and Elite Pria Pavè bottle cages.

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First Impressions: Catalyst Platform Pedals

Clipless pedals have long been touted as the preferred choice for competitive and recreational riding, but more and more adventure riders are making the switch to flat pedals. Why? Flats offer convenience, comfort, and versatility that clipless pedals just can’t match. And now, with the Catalyst ($99 MSRP) from Pedaling Innovations, you can add increased support and pedaling efficiency to the list of flat pedals’ benefits.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedal flat flats

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First Impressions: adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL shoes

Riders who use clipless pedals are blessed with a seemingly endless array of compatible footwear. If, however, you prefer flat pedals, your choices all seem to fall into the skate-inspired bucket. Sure, there are urban and mountain variants, but the pickings are slim compared to the clipless side of the fence. Thanks to footwear giant adidas, though, flat-pedal riders now have another choice with the company’s Terrex Trail Cross SL hybrid shoe ($130 MSRP).

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel bike adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL

Image courtesy of adidas.

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First Impressions: Crankbrothers f15 Multi-Tool

If there is one bike accessory that absolutely defines the Goldilocks condition it’s the multi-tool. Too big and you don’t want to carry it. Too small and it doesn’t provide enough leverage. Finding a tool that balances size and functionality can be a real challenge. Crankbrothers hopes to snag that elusive just right ranking with the company’s new f-series of multi-tools.

Thanks to their sleek, folding design, Crankbrothers’ f-series tools fit easily in your backpack, pocket, or seat bag. All three f-series tools share the same basic design, but the f10+ and f15 feature magnetized outer shells designed to hold everything together and provide additional leverage. Prices range from $29.99 (f10) to $42.99 (f15), and all models come with a 5-year warranty. I spent the past several weeks testing the top-of-the-line f15 model at home and in the field.

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