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Mighty Click Wearable Bicycle Lock on Kickstarter

locked up no flash and keys

The Mighty Click Wearable Bike Lock is a new bicycle lock I am launching on Kickstarter.

It’s already surpassed its initial funding goal, and will be available in February to Kickstarter backers. I only have a limited amount of production time scheduled with my manufacturing partner for February availability. So the timing for full availability at retailers like Amazon will depend on whether or not I sell out the first scheduled run, or if I have locks left from the first run to sell.

At this rate, it looks like I am fairly likely to sell out my initial planned run.

The Mighty Click solves the biggest hassle of using a bike lock for me, which is taking the lock with me when I ride somewhere.

I ride nice bikes, and I don’t want to install any kind of an ugly, permanent, heavy mounting bracket. But I also hate the inconvenience of trying to carry a U lock, cable lock or chain lock in my hand while I am riding somewhere. I rarely carry a backpack when I am riding over to my local coffee shop, for example.

Check it out over at Kickstarter and see what you think!

The rewards I have set up on Kickstarter will allow you to buy the lock at a significant discount to the full retail price when the product launches, so it makes good sense to order one now instead of waiting. It might be several more months before I can get a second run completed and shipped in to my warehouse in Dallas.

Although the Mighty Click is my first cycling related product, it’s not the first product that I have had manufactured before. I’ve designed and manufactured a successful compost tumbler, and an entire line of high performance yoyos.

 

 

Mighty Click bike lock locked up.

 

The chain of the lock is 32 inches, so there is plenty of chain to loop around your bike and both wheels if you like to lock it up that way.

mighty click bike lock in use

The Mighty Click bicycle lock has a reflective strip on the back that lights up when car lights shine on it. That keeps you safer riding at dusk and dawn on the road.

Mighty Click bike lock with zippered pouch

 

The Mighty Click comes with a handy zippered pouch on the belt, which allows you to carry something small like your keys and some money.

Mighty Click BYOL no padlock version

There’s also a version of the Mighty Click with no lock, if you want to save some money and you already have a padlock that you like at home.

I’m very excited about the Mighty Click. I hope you like it too, and that you’ll back me on Kickstarter and get one for your bike!

Review: 2013 Shimano Dura Ace WH-9000-C24-TL Carbon Road Tubeless Wheels

2013 Dura Ace WH 9000 C24 carbon aero road tubeless wheels

I bought my very first set of aero wheels almost by accident. I was looking for a set of Powertap wheels a few years back, and I ended up getting a great deal on some Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL wheels in 2009 that had a rear Powertap wireless hub.

Although those Mavic wheels were very heavy, at around 1,900 grams, they were really fast! Especially when the speeds get faster. I realized at that point that aero wheels really do make a difference and became a big fan.

Fast forward a few years, and I was looking for a new set of road wheels. Specifically, I was looking for a clincher that was road tubeless compatible, because I wanted to use the wheels both on the road, and also for cyclocross and some gravel grinding. I ride tubeless for cyclocross already, but have been using lower end Mavic Kyserium wheels that required Stan’s tape to seal up. With road tubeless ready Dura Ace wheels, I would be able to go tubeless on the road, but also have a really light set of racing wheels for cyclocross that were easy to set up.

I bought my Dura Ace C24 WH-9000 wheels about a couple of months ago. I have primarily been riding them on the road, tubeless. I am using Specialized Roubaix Pro road tubeless tires on them, which have been great so far.

One important feature of the Dura Ace C24 wheels that helped me make a buying decision was the aluminum brake surface on them. Sure, full carbon clinchers have been around a long time now, and have supposedly been proven safe and reliable. But I still fear them. They don’t brake as well. They usually require special brake pads. And they can fail during long descents if you ride the brakes, because carbon tends to soften up when it gets too hot. I don’t live within hundreds of miles of a descent that long, but these are the kinds of things I worry about. Wheels are a critical safety issue, and I don’t want to worry about mine, ever.

Dura Ace WH 9000 C24 wheels are light, at a reported 1,395 grams. That’s not ultralight, like some climbing specific wheels. But it’s very light for aero wheels, and particularly those with a sturdy, aluminum braking surface. Compare, for example, to Zip 404 Firecrest aero wheels. Those wheels are deeper 58 mm wheels (which means more aerodynamic), but weigh 1525 grams. Mavic R-Sys clinchers with carbon spokes are a little bit lighter at 1,355 grams, for example. But they are not aero at all.

And speaking of aero, I would say that the biggest selling point for me with these wheels aside from the road tubeless compatibility was the extra wide rims. Zip, HED and ENVE have sort of overtaken Mavic with the new aero trend of making the wheel rim wider. I’m not going to go into all the details about it, but a slightly wider rim improves aerodynamics, and also gives you a really nice ride at the same time.

Shimano took this new advance in wheel aerodynamics and put their own twist on it. The front and back wheel have different widths! Where the front wheel is 23 mm wide — the same as the other brands that are doing wide aero rims — the rear rim is a millimeter wider, at 24 mm. That difference gives you increased lateral stability, increased comfort, and improved airflow. If you are running tubeless in particular, it gives you a very smooth ride because it is widening out your rear tire and giving you just a little bit better volume for additional comfort and traction.

UPDATE: As two different commenters pointed out, the C24 wheels have a 20.8mm width, front and rear, and do not have the varying widths that the C50 and C75 have. 

The flanges on these wheels are the widest that Shimano has done yet with Dura Ace wheels. That additional width gives you increased torsional and lateral stability, according to Shimano. I don’t really understand what that means, but Competitive Cyclist compares it to standing with your feet close together, or your feet shoulder width apart — the wider stance is going to give you a lot better stability and strength.

Another great feature of these wheels is that they are both 10 and 11 speed compatible. They come with a spacer that goes behind the cassette if you are still running 10 speed. This is terrific for me, because I’m running 10 speed on all my bikes right now, but plan to move to Ultegra electronic 11 speed when Shimano finally launches it. (I’m too cheap for Dura Ace electronic.)

I don’t work on wheels myself, because I only have basic bike mechanic abilities. But Shimano evidently used a standard kind of cone bearing that can be easily serviced.

The wheels have 16 radial laced, bladed spokes in front, and 20 two-cross, bladed spokes in back. The freehub is made of titanium, which helps keep the weight so low on these wheels while still keeping them bulletproof.

The skewers that hold the wheels on the bike are outstanding. They have a great shape that’s easy on your hands, and they are also sturdy and rattle free. (I say that because I’ve gotten a few Mavic skewers that rattle in the last couple of years.)

My biggest criticism of these wheels is how plain they look. When you ride something like Zip 404s or Enve wheels, they look impressive. These Dura Ace wheels are completely unnoticeable, and look no different at a glance than a low end set of Mavic Ksyrium wheels, which were cutting edge and cool about 10 years ago.

But to me, looking cool isn’t as important as bulletproof reliability, light weight, road tubeless compatibility and modern, wide-rimmed aero design. These wheels met every one of my requirements, and I am very happy with my purchase.

bike setup dirty kanza 200

 

I put these wheels on my cyclocross bike to complete the Dirty Kanza 200, and they performed flawlessly. I ran them tubeless, so I could ride using tire sealant. I finished with no flats, so it was a success. This confirmed my theory that the wheels would perform well for gravel grinding and cyclocross, as well as on the road. I look forward to using them during cyclocross season in the fall.

For the past 10 years at least, I have only ridden Mavic wheels. These Dura Ace wheels are my first non Mavic wheels in so long that I don’t even remember what I might have ridden other than Mavic before.

I am extremely happy with these wheels, and recommend them. For the price of around $1,200 online or up to $1,400, I think they are probably the very best aero wheels that you can buy for the money if you are looking at the best balance of weight, durability and aerodynamics.

Agree or disagree? Leave a comment!

Dirty Kanza 200: My Race Report

dirty kanza 200 in 2013

Last year, I completed my first Leadville 100 mountain bike race. It’s fair to say that I was obsessed with it, and I spent a lot of time worrying and completely stressed out about whether I could finish it. It was a huge relief to finish it successfully and get my belt buckle, even if my time turned out slower than I might have wished for. I felt like I raced Leadville to the best of my abilities and fitness at the time.

This year, I signed up for the Dirty Kanza 200 in January. I decided right then that it was not going to be like Leadville. Either I would finish it, or I wouldn’t. If I didn’t finish, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I was not going to take all the fun out of it by making it completely stressful again with worrying for months on end.

Continue reading “Dirty Kanza 200: My Race Report”

Review: Specialized Roubaix Road Tubeless bicycle tires

specialized roubaix road tubeless tires

I just got my new Specialized Roubaix Road Tubeless tires delivered, so I set them up on my also brand new Dura Ace WH-9000 C24 tubeless wheels and took both the wheels and the tires on their first ride. I first tried to buy these at my local bike shop, but they only had Bontrager 23 mm tires and some Hutchinson Fusion 3 tires, and none of the new tubeless Specialized. So I ordered directly from Specialized online. They cost $90 per tire.

On the mountain biking side, I was pretty late to tubeless, just having converted last year. But my experience with tubeless was so great that when I started looking at my next set of wheels that I plan to use for road biking and also some cyclocross and gravel grinders, I decided to go tubeless there too.

You can run cyclocross tubeless on just about any wheels with tape, because the tire pressures are low. But with high pressure road tires, you need to stick with wheels and tires that are both “road tubeless” compatible for safety. Otherwise you risk a catastrophic failure. Keep that in mind if you are considering riding road tubeless.

Deciding to go the road tubeless route led me to the new 2013 Dura Ace C24 wheels, which have a road tubeless option.

But back to the tires….

The first thing I noticed about these tires is that they aren’t really 700 x 25 tires like I originally imagined them to be. It’s some weird 700 x 23 / 25c hybrid size, where supposedly the tire is 23 mm, but the body is 25 mm. I’d personally prefer a full on 25 mm tire, but oh well.

The next thing I noticed on the package was that they were made in Japan. That gave me a little bit of extra confidence that the quality control was going to be there, even though it is Specialized’s first road tubeless tire. I wonder if IRC (also in Japan) makes these tires for them, or what the story is there.

One of the reasons I didn’t go with Hutchinson Fusion 3 25 mm tires is because I’ve heard from two different people about a road tubeless tire and a cyclocross tubeless tire that was so hard to get off the rim and fit so tight that they either broke several plastic tire tools in one case, or ended up giving up and actually cutting the bead to get them off the tire in the other case. Both of these stories concern tires from a year or two ago, so maybe this isn’t an issue anymore. But it spooked me, because I don’t want to have a flat and be stuck somewhere, unable to get my tire off to put in an emergency tube.

specialized roubaix road tubeless tires inflated

Why am I telling you all that? Because I was able to get the Specialized Roubaix road tubeless tires on my rims with a single Pedro’s plastic tire lever and my hands. I feel like if I had normal strength hands and not baby hands that only type at the computer all day, I might have been able to get them on with no lever at all. That was a relief to me.

After I got the first tire on, I ran to the back of the house and got out my Topeak Joe Blow Pro floor pump and started pumping. What would happen next, I wondered?

With my 29er tubeless tires, I always require a compressor to get my tires seated and sealed up. And even then, sometimes I have trouble. But I figured with such a small volume tire, a floor pump might be enough.

And what do you know, they sealed up almost instantly and started inflating! I heard a little bit of air leaking and started to freak out, but it was just that my presta valve wasn’t screwed all the way tight and air was leaking at the base of it. I gave it a quick turn, and the tires pumped up all the way to 115, the listed max.

When I got to around 90 pounds, I heard the tires make that noise where you know they have snapped into place. I bounced them, and they made one more popping sound as the bead slid into the hook, and they were done.

“What about sealant?” you might be asking.

I put on the tires inside the house, and didn’t want to make a giant Caffelatex mess. So I didn’t use any sealant at all yet. But the tires held air all night without any sealant, regardless. (I plan to remove the valve core and add sealant in the next day or two.)

Putting on the other tire was similarly straightforward and without incident.

I took the tires on a quick 20 mile spin the next day, without sealant, and found them to be comfortable and grippy. I ran them at 95 pounds.

I run my Continental Grand Prix 4000S tires (in a 25 mm) at 95 pounds already. So I can’t say that I noticed that going tubeless provided a noticeably plusher or grippier ride than that set up.

But I would say that I feel confident on these tires, and I am happy with them.

One of the biggest questions I have about these tires is why Specialized decided to call them an “Endurance” tire instead of just a competition road tire? They are in the same weight range as other road tubeless tires, at 295 grams. The tread looks close enough to any other road tire. And they are only 700 x 23, which isn’t really the kind of tire that you would go gravel grinding with. They seem clearly intended for regular road riding to me.

I’ll follow up with a future post after I’ve ridden them for a few hundred miles and also added sealant.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll see if I know the answer for you.

Review: Revelate Designs Mountain Feedback bicycle handlebar bag

mountain feed bag

I ride a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Carbon Comp 29er with a frame shape that makes it difficult to attach a frame bag in a way that doesn’t interfere with pedaling. Leading up to the Leadville 100 in 2012, I bought a couple of different frame bags that I thought might work with my bike, but both of them rubbed against my leg.

Then I saw a review of a product on either Velonews or maybe Bike Radar, which led me to the Revelate manufacturer’s web site. It was a company out of Alaska that designed a huge variety of made in the USA bike bags, that I had never even heard of before.

Browsing through their variety of bag designs, I discovered the Mountain Feedbag. It looked perfect! Instead of attaching to the frame, it attaches to the handlebars and then anchors against the fork, holding it in place so that it doesn’t swing back and forth while you ride.

I used this bag in Leadville because you can pack a ton of food in it and easily get to it. I have used it in gravel grinders and other endurance mountain bike races like the Austin Rattler 100 since then. I’ve used it both on my mountain bike, and also on my cyclocross bike (for gravel grinders).

Revelate bags are extremely well made, with quality velcro straps, nice and thick nylon, and a pinch thing that lets you cinch the bag open or closed with one hand while you are riding. The bag is designed so that you can use it to carry a water bottle, or just stuff it full of your favorite food or tools or whatever. You can mount it left or right handed, which allows you to even run with two of them if you wanted to seriously load your bike down for a long, unsupported ride.

The large opening is one big cavity, but there are two webbed areas on the outside of the bag where you can also put stuff if you wanted to carry a water bottle in the main cavity and still add some gels or a tool or something like that.

revelatemountainfeedbag

Here’s what it looks like off the bike. You can see that it has a strap that will attach to the handlebar itself (which can be mounted on the left or the right), as well as a strap at the bottom to anchor it from swinging around. You can also get a pretty good look at the two webbed outside pouches.

This is one of the coolest bags I’ve found for keeping food or water near your handlebars. I’m happy I found this brand of bag.

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