Shoes to fit my weird feet, Pre-review of the Lake cx237

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So I finally pulled the trigger on the best fitting shoes I’ve ever tried on. Ive been in the hunt for a properly fitting pair of shoes since i started seriously cycling. A couple years ago i tried on a pair of lake cx237’s and fell in love with how well they fit, what i didn’t fall in love with was the $300 price tag. Before that i had tried a few pair of shoes. My fist pair were a pair of entry level pearl izumi that took both MTB and road cleats with 3 velcro straps, pretty basic but they did the job i was running the shimano A530 platform/spd pedals. Then i went to a pair of northwave’s which were to big and didn’t fit properly but it still wore anyway, then i went with the pair of bontrager rxl they fit the best and I’ve been wearing for a a couple years now, but i still couldn’t get the Lake’s out of my head.

After years of looking on eBay and scouring the internet for a sale i finally found them on sale on a website i go to often and is based in the town where i live, they post daily sales and always send out discounts emails to members, so last week the planets aligned and they had them for half off ($149.99) and i had a %20 off promo code which brought down the final price to $121.43, I was stoked behind belief that i finally had my “perfect fitting” shoes. Due to my weirdly odd shaped foot i can’t wear most narrow shoes like sidi’s and fizik’s, the lakes hit it on the head with there wider toe box and fits my flat no arch foot great. Im really stoked to put some miles on these shoes. Im runnng speedplay zero pedals they don’t have the traditional 3 hole boy pattern they have a 4 bolt pattern but they provide a adapter plate to mount to 3 hole shoesLake-CX237

If you have zero arch like me i highly recommend lake shoes by far the best fitting shoe I’ve found. They have a full grain leather upper and a carbon sole and are pretty light to top to off. I hope after all these years i haven’t built up these to be more than they are, but I’m super excited to put some miles on these very sleek and stylish shoes. Check out lakes site for their full line of road, tri, MTB and cold weather shoes.

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FBTC’s holiday gift guide, part 1

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The holidays are upon us and anyone who knows a cyclist knows how hard it can be to shop for them for presents. This holiday gift guide is going to showcase 10 awesome products any cyclist would love to have all under $150.

 

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First up on the list are the Tifosi escalate pro. At a retail price of $149.99  you get 6 pairs of glasses. Tifosi has a great system of where the ear pieces clip on to the frame giving you 3 different frame options with 2 set of lenses for each frame style. I’ve been using these the past couple months and  i really like them, my favorite style are the shields where the ear pieces clip directly to the lenses giving a super sleek look. The lenses pop out really easy in the full frame and half frame. Tifosi has 2 different options of the escalate with either a clarion blue or a clarion red, and each have a clear smoke and ac red lenses. These are great glasses and have an option for any weather condition. Tifosi really hit the nail on the head with these glasses and I’m looking forward to what they have to offer in 2016! Go check out Tifosis web site for all their new products

 

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Next on the list is a $125 set of hex wrenches from italian pump maker slica. Silca’s new HX-ONE hex wrenches are the hot must have holiday gift for cyclists. This is what slice has to say about their new HX-ONE, “For the HX-One we had to start with the finest S-2 Tool Steel, a shock resistant steel which has been refined by Swiss and German toolmakers for the optimal balance of strength, hardness, shock resistance and dimensional control. S-2 yields stronger tools with much harder surfaces for prolonged tool AND fastener life. The keys are then coated with thin-dense Chrome, a process generally reserved for mold tool components or optical grade surfaces inside molding tools. This coating provides the hardest, most dimensionally stable finish possible on each hex key. Finally, each tool is spray coated with a high-grip, high-visibility textured polymer finish for maximum grip and control. No more dropping your tools with greasy fingers or losing them on your workbench!” Go check out silcas site for more info

 

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If your looking for a great stocking stuffer you can’t beat the Pig pen from Pedros. The Pig pen includes the pig chain cleaning unit cleverly designed to look like a pig! it also comes with a bottle of pig juice degreaser fluid and chain j lube. At a price of $39.99 its an awesome way to keep your drivetrain clean and lubed. I love Pedros products a lot I’m always stoked when they come out with something new because i know its going to be rad. Do you self a favor and buy all of pedros products!

 

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Next up is the Lezyne mini GPS should be on every cyclists wishlist this year. Its compact design and reasonable price makes this gps. At $139.99 its significantly less than their competitors, and you still get a ton of great features including Optimized GPS recording, stores up to 100 hours of data, Scrolling data ticker and auto start/stop functions
Custom alerts,Up to 10 hours of runtime and weighs only 29 Grams. The main display includes Moving time, ride time, elapsed time,Distance: Current, Trip Total, Trip Odometer
Speed: Current, Average, Max. Elevation: Ascent, Descent, Current Laps
Temperature Time: ride time, clock,GPS signal strength, Battery life indicator
Semi-customizable display: 2, 3 or 4 fields, Manually choose bottom field, or set to auto scroll. The bigger brothers also include text message display, Heart rate monitor compatibility bigger battery and display for only about $60 more, Lezyne really did their R&D when they made their new GPS line and is guaranteed to take a bite out of the garmin market go check out lezyne for all their fine cycling products

 

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Next up is my one MTB item on my list, the praxis wide range 11-40 10sp cassette. I actually really want this for my stock 14′ giant trance sx 27.5, its currently set up with 1×10  34t front chainring and 36t cassette, which makes climbing some what of a hellish experience. With the help of this cassette and the matching 32t praxis chainring its going to revive my now “outdated” drivetrain, Praxis really hit the nail on the head with this cassette, you can now breath life in to that 10 speed that you thought was dead. Praxis markets this cassette as a direct swap, you do not need to even shorten the chain. At a price of $130 its an inexpensive way to get up  the mtn, go check out praxis for their full line chain rings cassettes and bb for road and MTB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review! Origin 8 x bar lights

 

I’ve been using these rad Origin8 lights for a few months now, and i have to say I’m pleasantly surprised on how cool these are. If you are not familiar with the brand Origin8 has been around for a while. They started out in accessories and spread out to a full line of road,mountain, CX, and fixed gear.

Having used their single speed hubs for a while now i was stoked to get ahold of these lights. The x bar have a very easy mounting bracket, basically a rubber band with a hook and a notches, it can attach to just about any set of bars or seat posts.

 

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I use the rear light on just about every ride day or night, its small compact and bright and uses a rechargeable micro usb battery witch lasts close to the 5 hours on strobe mode. The light is has 3 brightness setting and 3 strobe settings, its one of the brightest and compact lights I’ve used. The light can be mounted horizontally or vertically to accommodate other accessories or bar positions. I have mine mounted to my seat post horizontally under my seat bag.

 

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The Front X bar is pretty much the same exact light just with a different lens. They did bump up the lumens from 25 to 50, its a super bright compact light. I have used this on many night rides on my single speed and it lights up the road nicely. In a day where LED bike lights are cheap and everywhere the x bar really sets it self apart with its unique design and quality construction. With a price point of about $35 these are not the cheapest lights but they are worth the money. Go check out orgin8 full line of bike products, they have just about whatever you need!

Review! Pedros chain pig

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This cute little guy was sent to me from the good people over at Pedros tools, his name is the chain pig and he keeps your chain sparkling clean. I have done reviews on Pedros products before, they make some of the best tools and bike maintenance products on the market. Ive been using their apprentice tool kit for a while now and I love it. The tools are top notch, i found out about Pedros products from the guys at my local bike shop. After breaking a ton of tire levers they recommended the Pedros levers, and i was instantly sold! I have 2 levers in every underseat bag on all my bikes. So when i  found out they had a new line of chain cleaners bike wash and chain lube i was stoked to try them out.

 

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I was pretty stoked to get some samples of their new wet chain lube called “Go juice”, and their dry lube “ice wax”, their biodegradable “pig juice” for cleaning and degreasing the chain, a general biodegradable degreaser for other parts and their bike wash “green fiz”. I was really impressed with the design of the chain pig, it not only looks like an actual pig it functions great too, getting my chain sparkling clean. I used it on a bike i was working on that had been sitting for a long time and breathed life back in to a greasy crusty chain.

 

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The go juice is a great all around lube, i made sure to evenly coat the chain in the go juice and cycle through the gears to get the cassette nice and lube up to, after letting it sit for about 15 min i took a shop rag and wiped off the excess, after a couple rides the chain is still shifting smooth as silk. the Go juice is a biodegradable non toxic synthetic designed for dry to mixed conditions . Go juice does a great job of attracting less dirt than a conventional lube. Living in  California the go juice is perfect for the weather conditions up here, mostly dry with occasional rain, they also make “chain j” for light wet conditions and the “syn lube” for extreme wet conditions

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The green fizz bike wash made even the matte finish on my scott addict sparkle like a new penny. it has a 16:1 concentration ratio, meaning about  10-15 drops to a gallon of warm water will give you some good suds for washing off road grime and also degreasing the drivetrain. the green fizz is also biodegradable plant derived perfect for use on carbon, aluminum, steel and plastic, i even used it on my wheel and tires.

 

I was really happy with how well the cleaners and lubes preformed. my drivetrain is squeaky clean and shifting smooth as silk. Do your self a favor and buy anything with a pedros logo, you won’t be disappointed, I’m happy to add the go juice, green fizz and pig juice to my tool box! Go check out all of pedros products from mechanics tool and multi tools for you daily ride to cleaners and lubes, and my personal favorite their tire levers

Review! Chris King r45 hubs and HED Belgium rims

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I was looking to upgrade my 2014 Scott addict 10, it was pretty much stock with the exception of the saddle and the pedals, while the stock wheels were pretty nice, syncross  RP 1.5, a nice wheel set is always a great upgrade. I was researching wheel sets and i was pretty interested in the magic Ksyrium Elite. As i was talking with my friend Jon from my local bike shop he told me that i should have a set built for me, being a regular customer they give me a pretty good deal on everything. So Jon showed me a pair of HED Belgium laced to chris king r45 hubs and i was sold!

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I have always liked pretty much everything Chris King makes, i had one of their headsets on my bmx bike that lasted through 3 frames and was butter smooth the entire time, i had always wanted a set of wheels with their hubs and it only took 15 years to make it happen.   I opted for the r45 28 hole rear and 26hole front with the ceramic bearing upgrade with DT Swiss spokes and brass nipples laced to the HED Belgium + so i could run a 25c tire . I read reviews of this build online and read nothing but great reviews. So i put a deposit down and Jon ordered the parts. After a couple weeks i got a call saying that the were done. I felt like kid on christmas.

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I went with the red hubs and black spokes and black rims it matched my bike great with the red speedplay pedals. I was really stoked on how these came out, the wider 25mm rim lets me run a 25c tire and still have allow profile. The tire i chose was the Michelin pro 4 endurance 25c. This tire and rim combo is a prefect fit i can run a lower tire pressure while still having good grip and ride. i usually run about 90-95psi and opposed to 100-110psi with my old 23c tires. I’ve put about 300 miles and these wheels and i can say that they roll smooth as glass

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This wheel build is very popular right now for a few reasons

Price- these wheels are right around $1000 depending on the upgrades you choose and spoke choice, I got mine for $950 out the door, try finding a better hand built wheel set at a cheaper price

Weight- At just a hair over 1600 grams these are pretty light for a rugged aluminum rim

Reliability- these wheels can take a beating, I’m 6’0″ 275lb and I’ve never had to have these trued. the r45 hubs are pretty much bulletproof and the ceramic upgrade makes them roll smooth as glass, and easily tubeless ready

Looks- They look great! The red king hub with the matte black rim and black spokes look awesome.

I highly recommend this wheel set its a high quality extremely solid and pretty light weight wheel set for a great price. And with a r45 disc option they make a great cx wheel too. And the r45 hub comes in a bunch of different colors to batch your bike and kit. If your looking for a new wheel set consider this build! Check out the Chris King site for a complete spec list

Review! TOGS (thumb over grip)

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So i first saw TOGS at this past seaotter, they were kind enough to send me home with a pair to try out. i was rather impressed with the simplicity of the product. I tend to ride my road bike more than my mtb, with my road bike i have may different options with grip position. I ride on the hoods about 80% of the time the other 20% is split between the drops and the flat bars. Mtb really only has one riding position for your hand weather your climbing descending or riding on the flats your hands are in the same position, until now….

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(Cue triumphant music) TOGS are a really cool simple product that gives you another riding position for climbing and riding on the flats. Its a great way to rest and not have a death grip when your climbing and flat riding and still have complete access to break levers and shifters. Installation is pretty easy i had new grips installed by ESI and while they were doing that i had them slide on the TOGS, i had to move the dropper post button over  less than 1/4″ but other than that it was easy.

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Togs are designed to act similarly like a hood on a road bike, its great to have another position to have your hand especially while climbing which i need all the help i can. gone is the death grip while climbing i can now relax and focus on spinning the cranks rather than holding the grips. These are light and come in various colors to match your ride. While riding these the past few months all i could think of to improve them is to make them hinged so you don’t have to take the grip off, and when i checked the web site….

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BOOM!!!!!! hinged carbon version, that are super easy to install and there made of carbon so there faster too! Togs are a great product they are out of salt lake city and  made in the USA (merica’), at only 18 grams for both the hinged and ring style they are ridiculously light, do your self a favor and check out a pair of togs fire is 25$ for the ring version and $35 for the hinged carbon version. Order them here and support an american made product, if you don’t the terrorists win……

Review- Esi fit cr grips

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Today I’m going to review the ESI fit cr grips. I’ve been riding these since i got them installed at the seaotter this past march. Im a big fan of esi products having had both the traditional mtb grips and the bartape on my bikes Having recently picked up a 2014 giant trance sx i did what every bike guy does, start customizing it!

Im a big fan of esi gripsi had the chinky mtb grips on my old specialized enduro and i really liked them a lot. I’ve also been running the RCT tape on my road bike for over a year now and really like it. So i was excited to see that they came out with a new mtb grip, the fit cr.

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The fit cr is a cool design its contoured in the middle to really lock your hand in the perfect position. No need to look down and see where your hand is on the grip the fit cr does it for you. Keeping a consistent hand position is crucial for racing and esi solved that problem pretty well.

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With a 100% silicone construction these grips really last. I also like the fact that they don’t degrade like rubber grips. You can totally ride these bare handed and be comfortable and not have black sticky resude all over your hands. these grips are also washable just a bit of rubbing alcohol on a rag makes them look like new again. The installation takes a bit of elbow grease but once they are one they are locked in place, no lock rings needed!

Ive been riding these grips since mid march and i can’t really find much i don’t like about them, ESI makes great products and make them here in the USA, so you can feel patriotic when your on your bike. So go out and grab a pair at your local bike shop or look for their tent at a cycling event near you, they have some awesome deals at the events they go to and awesome customer service, they are usually my first stop at the seaotter every year and always show me great customer service

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