Product Reviews 5/13

Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+1Pin on Pinterest1
Great Useful Stuff
Double Waxed Cotton Bicycle Bag

Approaching this double-pannier bike bag in a similar fashion to the way I approach my body in terms of drugs and alcohol, this bag carries my substances, both legal and illegal, just fine. By my estimation, this bag will fit at least two pounds of super-awesome weed. Also, it will probably fit a good amount of booze. This bag’s cream coloring, with blue trim and a blue illustration of a bike, makes it seem like I’m taking juice boxes to my nephew’s soccer game, so rest assured: Nobody’s going to look like a cycling felony with these puppies strapped to their bike rack. There were no issues with the zippers or latches or anything, although the stitching on my bag was a little crooked. It’s not too much of a turn-off, though, when you learn that the cotton that they use to make these bags is 100 percent recycled material. All in all, if you’re looking to not have a strip of sweat on your back, and if you have a rack, you should buy this thing. –Mike Brown

Loki Cycles
Purple and Gold Fixed Gear

I got my first fixie from for $350 because, at the time, it was one of the cheapest track bikes I could find and came 90 percent assembled. Local company Loki Cycles provide the community with another option: cheap, custom builds with fairly decent components for $395—and they’ll assemble it for you. I test rode one of these beauties and had a hard time trading it back for my dented Mercier. The powder-coated frame was black, and it came customized with golden hubs, straight bars and spokes, a white crankset, a sparkling purple fork and matching deep-V rim on the back wheel. It’s impossible not to feel like a total babe riding around on this thing, but if that isn’t your ideal colorway, the bikes are customizable in a variety of smooth and subtle, or fancy and flashy options. The frame is aluminum alloy, which is durable and light, and the bikes come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. The one drawback is that they currently only come in 56 centimeter and 60 centimeter sizes, which leaves me with top-tube camel toe. –Esther Meroño

System 48 Plus

Riding in a new neighborhood where I now live, I do not know how I haven’t had LED By LITE lights since I ever set out on a bicycle at night—these rechargeable LED lights are fucking bright. Two white LED strips attach to the front fork of your bicycle, and two red lights to the back, or to a bike rack or basket or what have you—they’re also detachable from the clips. The light system has three settings: either dual white-front/red-rear solid shine or pulsating emanation, or solely the red rear lights pulsating. The main “BlackBox” hub to which the front and rear lights connect has a blue “on” light that connects to my top tube or seat post with a Velcro strap, which can cradle any excess wiring running from your front or back wheel—it will blink red when the battery needs to be recharged with a plug-in adapter. A controller that attaches to the handlebars controls the hub remotely, so your moving hands won’t snag on any wiring—and the controller features turn signals! I can easily reach my thumb over and cause either light to blink to indicate where I’m going in the nighttime. Just hit the signal button again, and it turns off. The on/off button, which also switches the light modes, and the left and right turn-signal buttons take a special, brisk push, but I got the hang of it eventually. As this model is a bit of a beta-test model, make sure that the ties you use to mount the light clips on are away from any contact points from your legs—snagging them kind of hurts. At $150, though, the amount of visibility and security I now have are more than worth the investment. Also, check out Systems 36 and 36 Plus on their site. –Alexander Ortega
Velo City Bags
Medium Messenger

Local Salt Lake bag company Velo City has impressed the hell out of me since I first discovered them. For cycling, I use a number of Velo City goods—pedal straps, hip pouches and even a belt—but, until now, I’d never had the pleasure of trying out one of their messenger bags … and they don’t disappoint. Their bags are fully customizable, from colors to add-ons, can be made in sizes from XS-XL, and are tougher than I ever imagined. I’ve put my bag through the rigors of long- and short-distance cycling in all types of weather, holding a laptop, vinyl records and a change of clothes all at the same time, and it barely seems broken in. Comfortable and durable, the medium is a perfectly sized 17 inch x 13 inch x 7 inch, 1,547 cubic inch workaholic, and is, hands-down, the best messenger bag I’ve ever owned, and I’ve used stuff by almost every company imaginable. Check them out online or visit their shop downtown at 366 S. 500 E. #102—you won’t regret it. –Gavin Hoffman

Wipeout: The Dry Erase Helmet
Triple Eight Distribution, Inc.

As a parent trying to keep my kid’s noggin well-protected while she is rolling on her bike or skateboard, or just up to her usual dangerous lifestyle, I’ve gone through a good deal of trouble trying to find a helmet that is certified, safe and cool enough for her to actually want to wear. Let’s face it: Kids can be jerks when it comes to keeping their own safety in check, so if my daughter is going to wear anything at all, it has to pass an extensive “rad” test for her approval. The Wipeout Dry Erase Helmet is a great compromise for her fashion and my need for function. The helmet itself is black, but comes with an assortment of bright, florescent markers and stencils so kids can come up with their own creative designs. My daughter is no Picasso, but she couldn’t wait to wear her helmet after she had adorned it with colorful squiggles, zigzags and doodles. The helmet wipes easily when you are ready for a clean slate, but the design doesn’t smudge during normal use. I can finally send my daughter into the world knowing that when she wipes out, her head will be safe and artfully adorned. –Ben Trentelman