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.

 

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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- 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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100 followers!

wow thank you all so much, i have some cool stuff in store for the upcoming weeks, a lot of product reviews and some interviews as well. I’m stoked to be back and firing n all cylinders!

Thank you all again~FBTC

heres a few pics from seaotter to hold you over till my next post

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