First Impressions: Silca & Topeak Cages

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.

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2018 Full-Finger Glove Roundup

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.

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Second Look: Hayes CX Disc Brakes

When I reviewed the Hayes-equipped Volagi Viaje in 2014, hydraulic disc brakes for drop-bar bikes were very much a rarity. Since then, cable-actuated brakes have taken a back seat to their hydraulic counterparts. That’s not to say that mechanical disc brakes have gone the way of all flesh. Hayes’ CX brake may have been off my radar for a few years, but my curiosity was piqued when All-City spec’d the company’s $1999 MSRP drop-bar Gorilla Monsoon with Hayes’ mechanical calipers.

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First Impressions: Teravail Rampart Tires

With a name like Rampart, you might get the impression that Teravail’s all-road tire is a sluggish, heavily armored utility model. While Teravail does offer the 650B x 47 road-plus tire in durable casing ($65 MSRP) and light-and-supple ($55 MSRP) versions, the company’s race-bred Rampart is really more at home exploring uncharted backroads, both paved an unpaved.

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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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