First Impressions: Nittany Mountain Works & Randi Jo Fabrications Bags

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.

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Tech Tip: Wrapping Tubes & Booting Tires

When I was a teenager (aka, the Stone Age), riders carried spare tubular tires wrapped in newspaper or old socks. Now it’s considered cool to strap or tape a spare tube to your bike’s frame or seatpost. Whether it’s actually cool may be open for debate, but exposing spare tubes to the elements (or the contents of your seat pack) isn’t the smartest choice.

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2018 Flat Pedal Roundup (Part-II)

In Part-I of GRAVELBIKE’s flat pedal round-up, we covered the basics of platform design and profile, materials and bearings, pin types, and installation. Now, in Part-II, we dive into the nitty gritty details of the nine pedals I’ve been testing for the past six months. My seat-of-the-pants test methodology was pretty straightforward: ride each pedal on a variety of terrain including pavement, gravel, and technical off-road trails. The test rigs included several different drop-bar gravel/adventure bikes, as well as my Jeff Jones rigid MTB. When it came to footwear, I relied on Five Ten’s Freerider Pro shoes for the majority of my testing. Weather conditions during the six-month test period included rain, snow, and countless miles of dry, dusty roads and trails. Continue Reading “2018 Flat Pedal Roundup (Part-II)”

First Impressions: Blackburn Core Mini-Pumps

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).

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2018 Flat Pedal Roundup (Part-I)

Not so long ago, being a cycling enthusiast meant that your bike absolutely had to be equipped with clipless pedals. Whether you rode pavement, dirt, or gravel, those clipless pedals (and shoes) were a sign that you had made the transition from newbie to serious cyclist. But then, a few years ago, flat pedals began to enjoy a resurgence in popularity. Riders of all disciplines rediscovered the benefits–and freedom–of flat pedals.

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