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.
In the not-so-distant past, bicycle lights typically came in one of two flavors: see-by or be-seen. In recent years, however, the line between the two has become a bit more fluid. Be-seen lights now offer greater coverage and increased brightness, while see-by models enjoy new features such as daylight modes for improved visibility when the sun is up. Like most things tech, prices have continued to drop while functionality has steadily increased.
When choosing lights, it’s important to remember that every light is, ultimately, a compromise. Battery life, weight/size, brightness, and cost are all factors to consider, so your idea of the perfect light may not exist (or fall within your budget). And when it comes manufacturers’ stated run times, remember that those numbers are based on ideal conditions. Cold weather can affect battery life, so choose accordingly if you’ll be riding when temperatures are low.