Basket bags in GRAVELBIKE? Let me explain. If you’re like me, your gravel rig probably does double duty as a commuter. And whether you commute two or twenty-two miles, you need a way to carry your stuff. But a basket? Bikepacking-style handlebar rolls may be lighter, and panniers might offer more capacity, but when it comes to versatility and simplicity, it’s hard to beat a basket. And although it can be tempting–and perfectly acceptable–to toss items directly into your basket, a purpose-built bag keeps your stuff clean, dry, and organized (and can double as a handy tote or grocery bag).
When I launched GRAVELBIKE in 2011, the helmet market was dominated by a handful of big-name companies. And while many of those same brands remain popular, dozens of new companies have emerged, all competing for a piece of what is a hundred-million dollar market (in the US alone). That competition benefits you, the consumer, in the form of more choices, higher quality, and lower prices.
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.
Mention full-finger gloves to many bicyclists and they immediately picture bulky, winter models. That’s what I used to think, too. That is, until one of my favorite trails became overgrown with shoulder-high vegetation during an unusually damp summer. Riding that jungle-like trail made it painfully obvious that traditional mitts would no longer suffice, and it was time to make the switch to full-finger gloves. Even after the foliage withered away, though, I still found myself opting for full-finger gloves during the remaining summer months. Now, several years later, you won’t find a single pair of half-finger gloves in my closet.