FBTC’s holiday gift guide, part 2

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Continuing on with my holiday gift guide i have a great pair of shoes at a great price. The Bont riot are a great pair of shoes that pack a lot of high end features on a budget price. Ive been wearing bontrager RXL shoes for a while now these have been the best fitting shoes I’ve found till  saw the Bont’s. Bont are unique in the fact that all of their shoes are anatomical with a wide toe box and the carbon composite sole is easily heat moldable for a truly custom fit, all at a MSRP of $149.99 but easily found on the good old inter webs for around $90-$120, i found mine new eBay for  a steal $70 shipped. Bout also has a fancy system of tracing your foot and measuring the widest and longest part and telling what size and width to get, I’ve been wearing a 46 in most cycling shoes the Bont fitting system suggested a 45 regular width, the fit well and with a heat molding will make them fit perfect. If looking for a good light shoe at a great price give the Bont riot a chance. Only negative review i have is that where the upper meets the sole it loos unfinished needing a rubber strip for a more finished look, which Bont sells separate”bumper” for $10, why they don’t just add them on i have no clue

 

 

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Next up on the list is a second Silca product that has quite a buzz about it. The Slica Impero Ultimate frame pump is just that, the ultimate frame pump. I have an old 80’s Slica floor pump i inherited from a relative when i started to get in cycling, this thing is built to last, I’ve been using it for years with no issues they make absolutely great products that are not only built for years of use but look great too. Silca claims that the impero can inflate a 23c tire to 90psi in 100 strokes, which is either great or horrible i have to clue, i use a co2 inflater in my flat kit, but if your looking for a top of the line frame pump check out the impero!

 

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Another must have for any cyclist is a work stand. It literally makes working on your bike 1000% easier. The park pcs-9 is a great work stand for the home mechanic, at  price of $139.99 it a good deal on a park stand, it folds up for easy transportation for taking to the races or cleaning and lubing your bike after a ride. if you don’t have a work stand i highly recommend getting one, i use mine all the time weather I’m cleaning and lubing the drivetrain or giving my bike a bath. Its also great for bike storage i always have one of my 4 bikes in the stand. Do your self a favor and grab a park stand and you won’t look back.

 

Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyres (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyres 

 

 

What cyclist doesn’t like to ride new tires, nothing better than unfolding a new tires and putting it on a rim. Ive been running the Michelin pro 4 endurance for a few years now, and over that time  I’ve had about 1 flat. Im currently running a 25c tire on a hed beligum + rim and i absolutely love them. The pro 4 endurance has a a nice kevlar side wall to help with puncture protection, and it works really well for me i rarely get flats (knock on wood). The pro4 has a great rubber compound with excellent grip and also come in a in a few different colors to match whatever color your bike is. At a price of $44.99 its as good as tires the cost %50 more. If your in the market for a light, grippy and tough tire give the Michelin pro 4 endurance a try

 

zecto light

 

As a cyclist i can never have enough lights, i have lights for all my bikes along with flat kit with co2 set ups and tire levers. Im always stoked wen some one gives me a light as a present i always end up using them. The Lezyne zecto drive pro is a great all purpose light, it functions as a front a rear light and has 3 different colored aluminum bezels if thats something you’re in to. The red LEDs range between 10-40 lumens and the white LED’s go from 40-160 lumens. USB rechargeable and a fairly quick recharge time of 2.5 hours and a cool red green and blue led inside the power button to tell what the battery level is. Lezyne always makes really rice products and the zecto drive is no different its made well and looks cool and it water resistant, this thing can take pretty much any riding condition, if your like me and like to have light for all your bike pick up one of these cool. At $49.99 its a tad on the pricy but you really get what you pay for.

 

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! Infinity bike seat!

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Im pretty stoked to do this review on this saddle. The infinity saddle was developed by     Dr. Vincent Marcel, a chiropractor and tri-athlete from El sugundo ca, He was on a mission to develop a saddle after training for a triathlon and was developing saddle sores despite the use of padded shorts and chamois cream and saddle fitment, after a few prototypes and a very successful kickstarter campaign, there were seeking $25k and were funded for $188k top 5% of kickstarter campaigns.

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The infinity seat was brought to my attention by my good friend Jake, featured in the middle of the above picture, who was a patient of Dr. Vince and also a triathlete, and used it on his cross country trip this past summer. Right before Jake left for his trip he set me up with an extra seat he had, he had been trying to get me to try it for a while but i was hesitant due it its unconventional design. I ended up trying it out, replacing my WTB silverado ti which i liked but wasn’t in love with it was the best fitting saddle I’ve found but im always searching for a better fitting saddle.

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The infinity seat installs just like a traditional bike seat no adaptors or special seat post needed, weighing in at 210 grams with steel rails, only about 13g heavier than my trusty silverado. It took me a few rides to get it dialed in but when i did get it in the perfect spot it locked me in while sitting on it, you don’t slide around like a traditional saddle and distributes the pressure more evenly.

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The infinity seat comes in a couple different option, I’m running the bare nylon version with zero padding, longest ride I’ve done is abut 30 miles and i was vercomfortable the whole way. The seat also come in a slightly padded and leather covered version with the cutouts and a padded leather covered version without the leather cutout looking a bit more like traditional saddle


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Infinity only has the one size at the moment but they are working on 2 more sizes, a small and large  version, they are still working on the molds and they are going to be offering titanium rail options, that should put it way under 200g. This is a really cool seat and if you have saddle fitment issues this could be a really good option. Check out infinity bike seat web site for more info and pics.

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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Product review sneak peek

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So I got some rad product reviews lined up, I’ll be reviewing selle San Marco’s era dynamic protek, connex 11so chain with their super cool no tool link, Ryder’s eyewear photochromatic glasses, togs thumb over grip and a set of Michelin pro 4 endurance tires and tubes. So keep yours eyes peeled for those in my upcoming posts