It’s That Time of Year…
GRAVELBIKE’s Holiday Gift Guide first appeared in 2017, and since then it’s become one of the site’s most anticipated features. You can find dozens of online shopping guides for bicyclists, but GRAVELBIKE does things a little differently. Instead of publishing generic submissions by PR Firms and Marketing Agencies, GRAVELBIKE’s Holiday Gift Guide is limited to products that I’ve personally used or tested. And while everyone’s tastes are different, these products are solid performers that make excellent holiday gifts whatever type of riding you friends or family members prefer.
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Long before gravel officially became a thing, Muc-Off hit the market in 1994 with their first product–the company’s original pink cleaner. Since then, Muc-Off’s offerings have grown to include chain lubes, detailing products, and even skin care items such as chamois cream and massage oil. And while more choices are definitely a good thing when it comes to bike care, it can be a little overwhelming when there are so many products to choose from. But whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to bike care and maintenance, the Muc-Off 8 in 1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit takes the guesswork out of keeping your ride looking showroom clean.
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For many years cyclists relied on high-viz clothing to grab motorists’ attention. Now, more and more riders are supplementing their neon apparel with lights to improve visibility for both night and day use. Even when daylight is plentiful, it’s not unusual to see cyclists along Colorado’s Front Range sporting high-powered front and rear lights on the sunniest of days. But what about side visibility? While some head and tail lights do provide extended coverage, Blackburn Design has upped the ante with their dedicated 360-degree-visible Grid Side Beacon light set.
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Regular readers of GRAVELBIKE know that I’m a big fan of flat pedals (and their accompanying shoes) for just about any type of riding. But before making the switch to flats a few years ago, I spent more than two decades exclusively riding clipless pedals. During my clipless heyday I wore many brands’ shoes, but to be honest, Bont Cycling’s shoes were never really on my radar. That recently changed, however, with the introduction of the company’s new flagship model, the $399 Vaypor G. What makes the Vaypor G so special? For one, the G stands for gravel, making it one of the few bespoke gravel clipless shoes on the market.
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Since launching the GRAVELBIKE site in 2011, my track record for predicting whether I’ll like a product that’s under test has been pretty reliable. Sometimes, though, my intuition is way off base. Looking at the specs for Elite’s Rocko Carbon bottle cage, I figured the slender, 27-gram model would be more at home on a skinny-tired road bike rather than my gravel bike or plus-size MTB. But after several months’ testing, I’m happy to report that my spidey senses were indeed wrong when it came to the Rocko’s suitability for dirt and gravel riding.
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Summary: Slicks? For gravel? YES.
I labored over my opening line because I was anxious to establish cred right away–that I’m an experienced, observant rider and gravel influencer… um, what? I’m totally not! I realized that, as a newer gravel rider and gear geek myself, I’d rather read a review from someone who was like me. And maybe others would, too.
Continue Reading “Second Look: Teravail Rampart Tires (Guest Review)”