Levis have always been a popular commuting choice for many cyclists and Levis finally took notice, well almost 3 years ago to be exact but whos counting. Levis have been making their commuter series jeans and jackets since 2011 with great reviews from casual and hardcore city cyclists. I’ve been wearing them for a little over a year now and i love them, I’m I’m not wearing a regular kit I’m wearing some sort of commuter short and or jacket. Levis really hit the nail on the head with these and they really take all the feedback from the reviews to make the new collections better than the last. My collection of commuter gear has grown from 1 pair of shorts and pant and a jacket to 3 jackets 2 pairs of shorts and 5 pairs of pants (3 pairs of 511’s and 2 pairs of 505’s).
I like the commuters so much i wear them to work almost every day, that pants are reinforced in the seat where it counts and have heavy duty belt loops with smaller loops for a shoelace belt makes it extra handy when your riding and don’t want a belt to get in the way but sill can keep your pants up. One of the coolest features is also a safety feature that is on the jacket and the pants is 3m reflective tape on the pants cuff and on the back of the jacket
Another great feature Levi’s did was to do water-resistant and dirt repellent “nano sphere protective” finish which makes them easy to clean and great for the rain and 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane which gives to some much needed room when your riding. The commuter truckers have larger shoulders and longer sleeves and longer tail and 3 pockets on the rear, the brand new one only have one i have the older series, along with a phone pocket with a headphone hole to guide the headphones through
The pants all come with their trade mark commuter u-lock holder on the waist band which is quite handy! They also come in a few different cuts as well, they come in 510 skinny fit, 511 slim fit, 508 regular taper and 504 regular straight. i switch between the 511 and the 508 only because i prefer the more tapered leg, i have 2 pairs of the 504 but i had them tailored to fit like the 508. Another nice feature Levi’s did was to give them a odor-resistant sanitized protective finish, which is rather nice after commuting for 8-10 miles meaning you don’t have to wash them after every ride, in fact Levi’s recommends not to wash them to often. The shorts are pretty much the same as the pants just with out legs they feature all the same things as the pants but they only come in the 511 and the 511 trouser style
Levi’s really got it right on this one, most urban cycling clothing cost 2-3 times as much but they not only got it right in function and looks but they kept it a reasonable price too, and if you check out the Levi’s website you can always find good deals and you can sign up to get email discounts for up to 30% off that some times includes already on sale! Check out Levi’s commuter and see what they got for this season!
Last a fall I was out on a long bike ride with a friend of mine when he asked me how much money I spent a month on the carbohydrate gels I use. It was a question I really hadn’t thought much about before, but after doing a few quick calculations in my head I was shocked. Most of the carbohydrate gels I use are organic (a word usually synonymous with expensive), and during most of the year I go through 30 packs a week which comes out to $180 a month (I am so glad my wife never looks at the American Express statements). After I got home I decided to see if I could find a way to cut my expenses by creating my own carb gels, and at the end of this article you will find a few recipes…
So after much research and many test rides a decision has been made. I decided to buy a scott addict 10 to replace my felt f-75 that was killed in my car crash. I rode 3 other bikes before deciding on the addict, the bike i almost went with was the giant TCR advanced 3, if it wasn’t for the color (white base with lime green and grey accents) it would have been a different story, another reason i went with the addict is because of the traditional style seat post the TCR has a seat mast that has to be cut for the person which makes resale quite difficult. bottom line the addict had all the right selling points, clolor- flat black, with match any kit i can ever go with, traditional seat post- makes resale and fitment way easier and price 250 less than the TCR advanced 3. The addict was also the snappiest quickest bike i test rode, every pedal stroke seemed to push you farther than you expect, the addict is an extremely light bike too only 15.6lbs with out pedals. otter bikes i tested were the giant defy. The defy was a very comfortable and stable bike but lacked the snappy quciknees of the addict and the TCR. Although the defy was a great bike to ride it just wasn’t for me. So after debating back and forth between the addict and the TCR i decided to choose the more “practical” choice, and by practical i mean the fact that it would be more desirable,color seat post, if and when i ever do sell it, not any time soon thats for sure!
Not being ever properly fitted for a bike this was a new experience for me, they set it up they way i had my old felt set up, seat height and stem angle and bar position, then had me hop on the trainer and pedal. So Sean took out his laser and angle finder and fine tuned this sweet ride to fit me like a glove. He raised the saddle 2cm and moved it back .5cm this made a huge improvement. After adjusting the bike he had me hop in it again and spin in a few time to see how it felt. Now the addict was fitting me like a glove, i never knew what a huge difference a proper fitting could make till now. I’m excited to see how this bikes rides on my favorite rides and compare times and speeds against my old felt f-75.
While the Addict is pretty much flawless i decided to add a couple upgrades, i decided to go with a whole new pedal system i went with speedplay zero pedals after many rides through the city of stop and go where i was try to hit the pedal after the light was turning green. While these will take some getting used to i think ill like them a lot based on the fact that they are dual sided alone! I’m going to have to ride these for a while and put some miles down before i do a full review but all i can say for now it that the few min in the trainer i liked what i experienced. The other upgrade i made was a pair of Arundel carbon water bottle cages, i was going to uses regular nylon cages on this bike at first but i just couldn’t bare to see non carbon on this bike, at just 30g each these cages are light flexible and really easy to get the bottle in and out, ill also be doing a full review of these as well once i put them to the test. And now a few more pics of my new obsession
So its Seaotter time again, i will be going again to this years seaotter classic it will be held again at the laguna seca race way in the picturesque monterey ca. Last year was my first time attending the event and it was on of the funnest event I’ve even been to. Over 350 bike and bike related companies will be at the event, there will be riders from all over the world competing in mountain road and cross events this is the largest cycling event on the west coast!!!! I literally had no idea what to expect last year and ivar have been looking forward to this year ever since. I met so ma totally awesome people and got a bunch of schwag that it was totally worth the price of admission and camping. Getting to talk with reps from all major bike companies and even smaller bike company and accessories was super fun! everyone there was was super cool and wanted to talk bikes for as long as you did. i entourage any serious cyclist to make the pilgrimage to this amazing cycling event, I am very fortunate that it almost takes place in my backyard, only a short 2 1/2 hr drive and I’m in lovely monterey, i can’t say how stoked i am for this, if any one following me will be in attendance come by my camp site for a cold beer and some bike talk!
over view of the dirt course
more of the dirt course and vender area, they also had a air bag to jump in to
vender area had some killer deals one what ever you were looking for
spectating can be a contact sport at the seaotter but you get close to the action
the grand fondo takes you 54 miles around the monterey coast and you get to ride on the world famous laguna secs race track!
starting line of the fondo my goal this year is under 4.5 hours, wish me luck!
Its been about 6 weeks since my bike was met with the business end of a ford festiva and in between emailing my attorney and going to Dr’s visits I’ve had quite a bit of time to research new bikes. With an approximate budget of $3500 i found that i had a wide variety to choose from. With my home bike shop being a Giant, Scott, and Willier dealer i decided to start there. I immediately ruled out Willier based on price alone, they are about 20% more for a similar bike from a bigger manufacture.
So i moved on next to Giant, one of the big “three”(giant,trek,specialized the cycling industry and for good reason their bikes are amazing!!! my 2 choices from Giant are the TCR advanced 1 and the propel advanced 3. The TCR is full ultegra 11 speed, with giant psl-1 wheels, carbon frame bike that weighs in at a hair over 16lbs with out pedals. The propel advanced 3 the a 105 bike carbon aero frame with giant p-a2 aero wheels. The TCR retails for $3200 and the propel retails for $3000 so for 200$ you can get an 11 speed ultegra group, the propel advanced 2 which has ultegra and nice carbon aero wheel set is $4800 quite a jump from $3000
Next i looked at the Scott Addict 10, a full uletgra bike with a syncros rp1.5 wheel set and a carbon frame. The addict is similar in price to the the TCR coming in around $3400 this is fist off a great looking bike coming in a flat black with glossy white trim, its a sexy looking bike and looks fast standing still. This bike weighs in at 15.64lbs!!!! An incredibly light bike for the money, Scott has been in the bike business since the 80’s and has been making sporting equipment since the mid 50’s. With my home bike shop being a dealer for both Giant and Scott these will be my best chance of getting the best deal. That being said i still had to check out a few more bikes
So going under cover to a couple other local bike shops i checked out the other 2 of the “big 3” so i next checked out Trek and i was not disappointed. Trek has 2 awesome models the year that fit right in to my budget. Trek has for 2014 the madone 4 series and the dormane 4 series, the madone being similar to the TCR in that its a more racier style bike the. The madone 4.7 is a full ultra bike with 400 series carbon frame and bontrager race wheels. The dormande, treks newest bike introduced in 2012/13 is Treks comfort/endurance bike. the dormande has a “pivot” where the eat tube and the top tube come together and make for a extremely comfortable and road dampening ride. But don’t let the comfort/endurance title fool you this is a race bike in disguise, this bike is just as at home on at 100 century ride as a weekend race. While there is no listed weight for the madone or the dormnde the are very similar to the giant tar and scott addict. Another option for trek thats bumps up the price 500$ is the 5 series madone and dormane which giv es you better quality carbon frame and nicer rims as well. Lots of options from trek, and something new from trek this year is “Trek care plus” which is pretty much apple care for you bike which cover all normal maintenance and accidental damage coverage for all new trek bikes. $300 and no deductible covers 3 years of treks version of apple care.
Since my first “real” road bike i ever bought was my now dead felt f 75 I decided to go check out and see what felt had to offer. Felt had 2 models that fit what i was looking for, first is there AR model the ar4 “ar” standing for aero the ar4 is a full ultegra bike with shimano rs-31 wheels, this bike is a bit heaver than the TCR by about 1.5lbs coming in at about 17.7lbs. Its a very nice looking bike with great line and nice paint job as well and comes in at $3499. The other bike in Felts line up is the felt f4. The f4 is 2 steps above my current f-75 model its also a full ultegra bike with a shimano rs21 wheel set and weighs in at 16.8 lbs alb lighter the the ar4 and about even with the TCR. If you guys have any suggestions for me id love to hear them and check them out, I’m all about supporting local bike shop so where ever i do buy my next bike from it will me local