2018 Light Roundup

In the not-so-distant past, bicycle lights typically came in one of two flavors: see-by or be-seen. In recent years, however, the line between the two has become a bit more fluid. Be-seen lights now offer greater coverage and increased brightness, while see-by models enjoy new features such as daylight modes for improved visibility when the sun is up. Like most things tech, prices have continued to drop while functionality has steadily increased.

When choosing lights, it’s important to remember that every light is, ultimately, a compromise. Battery life, weight/size, brightness, and cost are all factors to consider, so your idea of the perfect light may not exist (or fall within your budget). And when it comes manufacturers’ stated run times, remember that those numbers are based on ideal conditions. Cold weather can affect battery life, so choose accordingly if you’ll be riding when temperatures are low.

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Things I Like: VP Vice Platform Pedals

Last winter I found myself temporarily in possession of more bicycles than pedals. While I could have simply swapped pedals between bikes, I opted for the path of least resistance and decided to purchase another pair of pedals. My criteria were simple–good grip, all-metal construction, sealed bearings, and a street price of $50-$60. Using my best Google-Fu, I determined that VP Component’s Vice ticked all those boxes, so I picked up a pair in the basic black colorway.

GRAVELBIKE gravel grinder platform pedals VP Vice
The author’s pedals after a year of commuting and recreational riding.

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Second Look: SunRace Wide-Range Cassette

Two years ago I never would have imagined that my SunRace cassette review would eventually become GRAVELBIKE’s most popular article of all time. Since that first review, SunRace has expanded their lineup to include 11-46 and 11-50 versions of the company’s popular CSMX8 ($70-$85) eleven-speed cassette. So when it came time to build up my Jones 29-plus bike, I decided to give SunRace’s 11-46 cassette a try.

GRAVELBIKE gravel grinder sunrace cassette 1x 11 speed
SunRace’s CSMX8 cassette in the metallic silver finish (also available in black chrome).

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