Gear Guide Posts

TiGr Mini Reviewed: The best ultra-lightweight U-lock alternative?

TiGr Mini bicycle lock reviewed

I get a ton of questions about bike locks. My answer is usually uniform: don’t bother with cables, don’t skimp on the cheap stuff, go for a big, heavy, hardened steel lock.

That’s because steel is usually the best option. There just hasn’t been a ton of innovation, particularly with regards to weight.

I totally understand too, it’s a tough nut to crack. How on earth can you keep your bicycle safe and secure with featherweight lock? Typically a light bicycle lock means compromised durability.

But what if you move away from steel entirely, to an exotic material like titanium?

Essential Road Cycling Gear for Hot Weather

Cycling in the heat

There’s an old saying from a Noel Coward song that only “mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” Really that has to extend to cyclists too. We often set out early but many rides take us into the heat of the day. Environmental strain can have a dramatic effect on our cycling.

We need to prepare both our body and kit to deal with conditions of extreme heat and the potentially damaging rays of the sun.

After the hardships of riding through winter a great summer day’s cycling ride can really put a smile on our face. As we speed along we create a current of wind to cool us adding to our comfort. Still, we need to be aware of the risks of dehydration, sunburn, temperature control, and the subsequent implications an unexpected mechanical problem could have.

Top 3 Clipless Cycling Pedals for Beginners | Reviews for 2018

What are some good, clipless bicycle pedals for beginner riders?

Getting the right clipless pedal is crucial for beginners. Your pedals are an important interface between rider and bike. They are the most crucial contact point with the bike for developing power through the cranks. Therefore, getting the right pair for your riding should be a top priority for any road cyclist, regardless of your experience or riding ability.

Also called ‘clip-in’ or ‘step-in’ cycling pedals, they affix your shoes firmly to the pedals, letting you focus on your speed, cadence and terrain rather than your grip on the cranks. They’re intimidating to try out, but with the right set you’ll be hooked.

A good set of beginner clipless cycling pedals should be easy to clip in and out of, yet capable enough to provide an enjoyable ride and last a long time.

This article will do two things: first, it will suggest some great clip-in cycling shoes with easy features and good durability. Secondly, I’ll make a shoe suggestion to match with the pedal. We’ll focus on inexpensive, affordable components only.

Ready to check out a few of the best and easiest clipless pedals for beginners? Keep on scrolling down.

What Are Clipless Pedals? A Beginner’s Guide

A pair of clipless shoes and pedals.

A Beginner’s Guide to Clipless Pedals, and How To Use Them

Switching to clipless pedals can be a source of anxiety for many cyclists. Your shoes are held tightly in place by a mechanism, and locking feet to pedals puts a scary image in the back of a riders mind. They don’t want to lose control on the bike.

However if there’s one upgrade on your bike that will make you a faster, more efficient and more controlled cyclist, it’s the addition of clipless (or “clip-in”) pedals to help enhance your riding. They’ll even have similar effects during a spin class as well. The fact is, once you experience the positive effects of riding with clipless pedals for beginners, you will not go back to cycling without.

Having recently tried old fashion clips and straps on a hire bike whilst on holiday in Sardinia, I realized just how much a set of clipless pedals can benefit anyone’s cycling. The difference in pedalling efficiency I felt was huge and there was a distinct lack of the control I would expect from cycling with clipless pedals.

This piece is written for any cyclist looking into clipless pedals for the first time. I’ll talk about how clipless pedals work, how to use them, and give you some tips to get comfortable with clip-in cycling in general.

8 Best Fixed Gear Bikes Under $500 | Cheap Fixie Reviews

The best fixed gear bikes on a budget

Fixies on the Cheap: Affordable Ride Reviews for 2018

The first time I saw a fixie, I thought, “That is one beautiful bike.” I instantly loved the clean chain line, the minimalist approach.

Fixed gear bikes are everywhere, and they’re here to stay. I can’t remember the last time a bicycle style has hit the scene so hard. Riders everywhere are getting into the simplicity and visceral experience of riding without gears or a freewheel (or, in some cases, brakes!)

One gear, one speed, it’s a blast.

The good news is they’re very affordable. The bad news is that, because they’ve become so popular, there’s a lot of cheap junk on the market — nameless brands made from garbage components.

So what are the best fixed gear bikes on a cheap budget?

I’ve been building them professionally (not to mention riding them) for years now, so I feel qualified to review eight of the top, affordable fixed gear bicycles for sale today. I’ll give a brief overview of the components, the build quality, and what you can expect.

As for price range, we’ll be specifically looking for the best fixed gear bikes below $500.

Hopefully by listing the pros and cons of each ride, you’ll find a top quality fixie for a cheap price! Read on. 

5 Good, Unbreakable Bike Locks for 2018: Lightweight Options & Tips

A cable lock is asking for trouble.

What is the Best, Strongest Bike Lock for Theft-Proof Security? 5 Reviews

Bicycle theft is epidemic. In my city, I spend more time worrying about my bike getting stolen than my car. It’s true!

The ugly truth is that bike theft is common and very hard to manage. If your bike gets lifted, chances are you won’t be seeing it again.

The best precaution against a theft is to be smart, and to buy a good lock. The best bike bike locks are secure, virtually unbreakable and simple to use.

Unfortunately, I mostly see two types on the street these days: flimsy cables and cheap U-locks.

You might as well put a big bow on it it.

So what IS the best bike lock for keeping your ride secure? I’m writing this article to review a handful of good, strong bicycle locks, and to explain how to most effectively use them. For each item, I’ll offer some pros and cons, and hopefully help you track down some great brands to look into.

So let’s take a look at what’s out there for 2018, shall we?

5 Best Bicycle Tires for Gravel Riding | 2018 Reviews

Gravel Tires for Cycling

Whether you’re looking to race and maximize performance, or simply enjoy canal towpaths of your commute, there’s no denying that gravel roads and paths provide a unique and fun riding experience.

That said, riding gravel is something for which not every bicycle tire is suitable.

Finding the best bicycle tires for gravel roads is challenging at the best of time. There just isn’t enough quality information out there yet.

The rise of tough gravel racing events in North America, which combine elements of road, mountain biking and cyclocross into long epic distances, has helped to fuel developments in the gravel tire and bike marketplace. You aren’t limited to a single choice any longer.

With over a million miles of gravel roads in the USA alone, this area of cycling looks like it will continue to develop. It makes perfect sense: those gravel paths wend through beautiful country and feature very little traffic.

Here’s one thing I can guarantee: riding a bicycle on gravel roads is flat out fun. Interested in hopping on this challenging new trend? Here are a few of my favourite gravel bicycle tires worth checking out.

Waterproof Essentials: Best Rain Gear Clothing for Cyclists

Man cycling in the rain.

Finding the best cycling rain gear: what works, what doesn’t?

I live in the Vancouver area. It is a beautiful city with picturesque mountain views and the mildest climate in Canada. Sadly, it has one significant downside: rain.

You might think that would deter many cyclists who prefer to commute by bicycle. Not so! Vancouver is shaping up to be the next Amsterdam with bicycle lanes and co-op programs.

The truth is, a well-equipped rider can ride in wet weather in moderate comfort. A few good pieces of cycling rain gear will keep you dry and warm on that blustery ride to the office.

That being said, the word ‘waterproof’ is thrown around a bit too liberally in the bike apparel world. Finding something that actually works is imperative, or you’ll end up right back behind the steering wheel.

But what do you actually need?

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best rain gear and clothing for bicycle riders. I will list 4 essential pieces to keep your ride dry.

My purpose is twofold: I want to help you get properly equipped so you’ll arrive happy and dry, and I also want to give a few shout-outs to good brands that really work.

Interested? Keep on reading.

5 of the Best, Affordable Fat Tire Bikes | Ride Reviews

Fat Bike on Beach

Five Fat Bike Reviews: Cheap options for riding snow & sand

Nothing on two wheels draws looks like a fat bike! They are truly compelling.

With their oversized tires and impressive traction, these bicycles can ride virtually anywhere. And they look incredible.

Since you’re probably reading this for the fat bike reviews, I don’t really need to spend too much time explaining the appeal.

Why ride a fat bike? I think the real question is why not!

Whether you’re riding on snow, mud, slick rock, sand or even ice, these monster rides give you unprecedented traction. And they’re more responsive and fun than you might think.

Unfortunately, they also tend to be expensive. So for this article, I want to focus on five cheap fat bikes that review nicely and will serve you well.

For each bicycle, I’ll go over the features, capabilities, pros and cons, along with a short verdict on what it’s best suited for. Hopefully this info will get you rolling in no time.

Ready for some reviews of inexpensive fat tire bikes? Let’s get started!

Updated! Bike models come and go. Thanks for your patience!

The $1000 Cyclocross Bike Review Showdown: 5 Best Options

Cyclocross Bike Race

Can You Get A Race Worthy Cyclocross Bike For $1000?

Cyclocross racing is one of the fastest growing sports in North America and across parts of Europe. Merging the speed of road racing with the handling technique of mountain biking, it offers an exhilarating way to spend fall and winter once the mercury starts to drop.

Cyclocross bikes are extremely versatile. They can be used as a thoroughbred racing machine through winter, yes, but their adaptability means that you could fit some fenders and some road tires to use one for comfortable, quick commuting. Alternatively, you could fit a rack and head off touring with minimal additional investment.

In other words, they’re a great bicycular investment.

We’re going to take a look at some of the best low-cost cyclocross bikes around the $1000 price mark, which represents the lower end of the marketplace. With a fair selection of different options (depending on rider preference and individual style), it should be possible to pick up a bargain.

This review will focus on Internet retailer Nashbar’s Steel cyclocross offering which features an impressive Shimano 105 groupset ($849 at time of review), Diamondback’s Haanjo ($900) featuring a flat bar and aluminum frame, Tommaso’s Bestia with Tiagra groupset and excellent price ($849), Raleigh’s Furley singlespeed cyclocross bike ($799) which features disc brakes for reliable stopping, and the Redline Conquest ($1089) which features a performance orientated aluminium frameset.

This review will focus on whether the bikes are tailored towards cyclocross racing and if $1000 can buy you a race-worthy cyclocross bicycle for beginners or those on a budget.