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.
I Like Gas Tanks
Or Do I?
The Bontrager Adventure Top Tube Bag ($39.99 MSRP), or gas tank, is great. Is it great for every single person? Purt near! So thank you to GRAVELBIKE for facilitating this review, because I was very happy to check out another version of this type of bag. I was especially pleased to see that it sports reinforced openings and screws for securely attaching to your top tube, because my only complaint about gas tank bags (in general) is that they doesn’t stay in place.
A staple among cyclo-tourists and commuters, Ortlieb’s products are famous for their durability and functionality. While the storied German brand might not be the first marque that comes to mind for bikepacking or gravel touring, the Ortlieb Gravel-Pack panniers ($180 MSRP) deliver added storage for the times when frame packs and handlebar rolls come up short on capacity.
If you were a bike nerd in the 90s, you probably remember Spinergy’s iconic Rev-X wheels. With their eight carbon spokes, the futuristic-looking hoops were all the rage in the pro peloton and domestic race scene. And while the Rev-X is no more, Spinergy’s current offerings are anything but low tech. Utilizing the company’s patented PBO composite spokes, Spinergy wheels are available for practically every discipline, including four gravel models. So when the California-based company asked if I’d like to test their new 650B GX gravel wheelset ($599 MSRP), I simply couldn’t say no.
Last year’s review of the 9-speed microSHIFT ADVENT drivetrain quickly became one of GRAVELBIKE’s most popular articles. With Shimano and SRAM dominating the market, many riders–myself included–were naturally curious to learn more about the budget-priced drivetrain that boasted improved reliability and durability. My initial impressions of the ADVENT components were certainly positive, but how would the microSHIFT drivetrain fare over the longer haul?