Tech Tip: Essential Tools & Spares for Gravel Riding

In these pandemic times, many people are discovering–or rediscovering–the joy of riding bikes on dirt and gravel. And why not? In addition to being good for you–both mentally and physically–it’s downright fun! What’s not fun, though, is walking home because of a flat tire or mechanical problem. Fear not, friends, GRAVELBIKE has come up with a list of essential spares and tools for gravel riding that’ll keep you happily rolling along, mile after mile.

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First Impressions: Spurcycle Compact Bell

When Spurcycle introduced their original bell in 2013, the tiny company permanently raised the bar for sonic warning devices. The bell’s distinctive tone and no-expense-spared construction earned it several best-of awards and countless recommendations. So how do you improve on what many consider to be the finest bicycle bell? If you’re Spurcycle, you design a completely new model–the Compact bell–and make it smaller, lighter, and less costly than the $49 (and up) Original bell.

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Q&A with adidas | Five Ten

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of adidas | Five Ten’s cycling shoes. For several years, the company’s kicks have been my top choice for commuting, mixed-terrain, and off-road riding. Earlier this year, while checking out Five Ten’s new models at the annual Outdoor Retailer trade show, I had the opportunity to chat with Five Ten’s Luke Hontz, Senior Product Manager for Bike and Snow.

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First Impressions: Silca Bar Tape (Guest Review)

I never thought of bar tape in terms other than thicker, plusher, fatter or maybe more or less likely to tear when I dump a bike and the handlebars–along with various body parts–get dragged through crushed rock. Since I never plan to crash, I honestly thought the point was to get tape as cushy as possible, and I certainly never encountered tape that performed differently based on the direction it’s wrapped.

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First Impressions: Topeak Nano TorqBar X

My first bicycle-specific torque wrench was a large, beam-style model. With a length of nearly eleven inches, it was fine for home use, but wasn’t practical for in-the-field adjustments. Handheld, clicker-style torque wrenches were more compact, but still too bulky for my bikes’ tool rolls or seat packs. Weighing in at less than 120 grams, and not much longer than a tire lever, the Topeak Nano TorqBar X ($54.95 MSRP) is ideal for workshop or trailside use.

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