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.
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.
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)”
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.
“Be prepared.” — The Girl Scout motto
Being prepared used to mean carrying a spare tube, pump, and a modicum of tools. In the age of smart phones, however, preparedness has taken on a somewhat different meaning. For many, being prepared now means having the latest rideshare app installed on their phone. Carrying a phone while riding is never a bad idea, but a spare tube and the necessary tools are cheap insurance when you’re in a remote area with poor–or no–cellphone coverage.