Flat Pedal Shoe Roundup

In a year that could best be described as a never-ending dumpster fire, 2020 was an unexpected wellspring for flat pedal aficionados in the form of lower prices and refined functionality. Not wanting to miss out on the pedals’ increased popularity, shoe manufacturers responded with more choices for flat-friendly footwear. Is more necessarily better, though? To answer that question, I spent nine months testing flat pedal shoes from Five Ten, Northwave, Pearl iZUMi and Ride Concepts.

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First Impressions: Deity Deftrap Pedals

If you’ve spent the past decade designing industry-leading flat pedals, what do you do for an encore? Well, if you’re Deity Components, you up the ante by developing a nylon composite pedal loaded with features typically reserved for pricier, metal-bodied models. Dubbed the Deftrap, Deity’s latest pedal aims to blend world cup performance with a wallet-friendly $49.99 pricetag.

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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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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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