Even with the popularity of hydration packs and cycling-specific luggage, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a bottle cage. Whether used for storing beverages or cargo, the venerable bottle cage is one accessory that no rider should be without. And with cages enjoying renewed popularity, more and more companies are developing new and improved designs that satisfy the needs of recreational and utility cyclists.
When I reviewed the Hayes-equipped Volagi Viaje in 2014, hydraulic disc brakes for drop-bar bikes were very much a rarity. Since then, cable-actuated brakes have taken a back seat to their hydraulic counterparts. That’s not to say that mechanical disc brakes have gone the way of all flesh. Hayes’ CX brake may have been off my radar for a few years, but my curiosity was piqued when All-City spec’d the company’s $1999 MSRP drop-bar Gorilla Monsoon with Hayes’ mechanical calipers.
With a name like Rampart, you might get the impression that Teravail’s all-road tire is a sluggish, heavily armored utility model. While Teravail does offer the 650B x 47 road-plus tire in durable casing ($65 MSRP) and light-and-supple ($55 MSRP) versions, the company’s race-bred Rampart is really more at home exploring uncharted backroads, both paved an unpaved.
Widely praised for their comfort and versatility, Jeff Jones’ Loop handlebars are a favorite of many gravel and adventure riders (including yours truly). The bar’s unique design also lends itself to attaching accessories such as cycle-computers, navigational devices, and of course, luggage. While it’s perfectly acceptable to lash a dry bag to the loop section, purpose-built bags offer more convenient access to items like snacks and cell phones. If this sounds good, but you prefer a bag that’s as unique as your bike’s handlebars, fear not, because Nittany Mountain Works and Randi Jo Fabrications offer Jones-compatible bags in a wide range of colors and materials.
Between tubeless tires and advances in puncture protection, cyclists generally suffer fewer flats these days. Nonetheless, if you ride long or far enough, you’re bound to experience a puncture eventually. While some riders favor CO2 cartridges for their compactness and convenience, there’s always the risk that you’ll run out of cartridges. Pumps, on the other hand, can be used over and over, which is must if you ride in remote areas (or have a tendency to forget to replace spent cartridges).