Things I Like: VP Vice Platform Pedals

Last winter I found myself temporarily in possession of more bicycles than pedals. While I could have simply swapped pedals between bikes, I opted for the path of least resistance and decided to purchase another pair of pedals. My criteria were simple–good grip, all-metal construction, sealed bearings, and a street price of $50-$60. Using my best Google-Fu, I determined that VP Component’s Vice ticked all those boxes, so I picked up a pair in the basic black colorway.

GRAVELBIKE gravel grinder platform pedals VP Vice
The author’s pedals after a year of commuting and recreational riding.

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Things I Like: Spurcycle Bell

Bicycling can be an expensive activity. The best equipment often comes with a price tag that’s beyond many riders’ budgets. While the $49 Spurcycle bell certainly ain’t cheap, it’s generally regarded as the finest bicycle bell available at any price. And after using one for more than a year, I’d have to agree. My personal Spurcycle bell has seen duty on every single bike I’ve ridden during that period. Bikes may come and go, but that bell–like my favorite saddle and pedals–always gets transferred from bike to bike.

Spurcycle’s packaging is as elegant as the product itself.

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Things I Like: Ergon Grips

I will be the first to admit that I am no longer a spring chicken. A lifetime of skateboarding, riding (rigid) mountain bikes, and computer use have taken their toll on my hands and wrists. I never gave it much thought, however, until I relocated to Colorado in early 2001. It took exactly one off-road ride in the 38th state for me to understand exactly why they’re called the rocky mountains.

Determined to improve my bike’s comfort, I did what any self-respecting bike geek would do–I replaced good components with better ones (which included more than a dozen pairs of grips). While my bike–and wallet–got lighter, my hands/wrists still hurt. Desperate for relief, I decided to try some odd-looking touring grips from Ergon of Germany. And guess what, my hands immediately felt better with the new grips. From then on, if my bikes sported flat or riser bars, you’d find them equipped with Ergon grips.

Ergon’s grips are constructed from 100% German, TÜV-certified rubber and feature forged aluminum clamps.

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First Impressions: Skratch Labs Matcha + Lemons Exercise Hydration Mix

If you’re a regular reader of GRAVELBIKE, you know that I’m a big fan of Skratch Labs’ Exercise Hydration Mix. I became so enamored of the product that it earned a spot in my Things I Like series of articles. When Boulder-based Skratch Labs introduced their new Matcha + Lemons flavor, I jumped at the chance to try the company’s latest addition.

Skratch Matcha+Lemons
Image courtesy of Skratch Labs

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