make-it-easy

Spurcycle releases new saddle bag inspired by lunch bags

SAUSALITO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Spurcycle, best known for its Spurcycle bell, has released a new saddle bag that will bring you back to carrying PB&J sandwiches to school

Clarke JetStar 1900 review

In the world of pressure washer Top Trumps (it exists, honest…) Clarke’s JetStar 1900 is the one to beat for sheer pressure. With a peak output close to 2,000psi, it’s got more bike-wrecking potential than any of the other mains-powered washers.

Luckily, the adjustable lance makes it easy to turn the seal-destroying jet into a mud-shifting spray. Unlike some of the more expensive competition, the pressure itself can’t be reduced though.?

The flipside of all that extra power is, of course, that you can also use the Clarke to blast all kinds of domestic dirt to kingdom come once you’ve finished cleaning your bike.?

For size and weight the JetStar is in the middle of the pack. The extending handle and wheels make it easy to trundle into place, and you get a couple of pockets for lance stowage.?

Noise-wise it’s a mid-ranker as well – we wouldn’t want to use it for a late night cleaning session (these exist, honest…) but it won’t be setting off any car alarms either.?

If you need a powerful cleaner but can’t justify spending more – and you’re careful around seals – the Clarke makes a lot of sense.?

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.



Clarke JetStar 1900 review

In the world of pressure washer Top Trumps (it exists, honest…) Clarke’s JetStar 1900 is the one to beat for sheer pressure. With a peak output close to 2,000psi, it’s got more bike-wrecking potential than any of the other mains-powered washers.

Luckily, the adjustable lance makes it easy to turn the seal-destroying jet into a mud-shifting spray. Unlike some of the more expensive competition, the pressure itself can’t be reduced though.?

The flipside of all that extra power is, of course, that you can also use the Clarke to blast all kinds of domestic dirt to kingdom come once you’ve finished cleaning your bike.?

For size and weight the JetStar is in the middle of the pack. The extending handle and wheels make it easy to trundle into place, and you get a couple of pockets for lance stowage.?

Noise-wise it’s a mid-ranker as well – we wouldn’t want to use it for a late night cleaning session (these exist, honest…) but it won’t be setting off any car alarms either.?

If you need a powerful cleaner but can’t justify spending more – and you’re careful around seals – the Clarke makes a lot of sense.?

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.



Winter that wasn’t constrains REI profits

SEATTLE, WA (BRAIN)— REI this week reported an 8.4 percent jump in annual sales for 2011, to $1.66 billion, but operating income was down slightly, to $116.2 million from 2010’s record $116.6 million. Net income was flat compared with 2010 at $30.2 million. “We experienced strong sales in 2011. However, because winter weather failed to arrive, our profitability was impacted,” said Brian Unmacht, REI’s executive vice president.

Answer ProTAPER 720 AM riser bar review

Answer are one of the original names in lightweight aluminium bars – they launched the 150g Hyperlite (using Easton EA70 tubing) in the early ’90s, and that’d still be a light bar today. The ProTAPER AM weighs nearly twice that but it’s pitched at more demanding riding styles.

A shot-peened finish keeps controls in place and distributes stress. There are laser-etched cut marks down to 500mm – although why you’d want to cut a 720mm bar that narrow is anyone’s guess. On the front there’s just a single horizontal line for setting the angle, but the array of vertical ones make it easy to get the bar dead central.

Once mounted up, the ProTAPER’s generous width and well-thought-out shape deliver plenty of comfort and control, and there’s nothing like a few extra grams of high-strength alloy to boost confidence in a handlebar. One small detail worthy of note is that the ProTAPER is available in four colours – if the red doesn’t fit your colour concept, the others are more neutral.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.



Panda hires to grow dealer business

FORT COLLINS, CO (BRAIN)—Panda Bicycles has hired “Action” Pat Hegedus as its second frame builder and Rebecca Dodge to support its growing dealer business as merchandize and marketing director. “By bringing on these two great teammembers, I am able to focus my attention on sales and strategic growth initiatives of the company,” said Jacob Castillo, co-founder of Panda Bicycles and a frame builder there. Panda Bicycles offers steel lugged bamboo frames that are hand crafted in Fort Collins.

Polaris Shredder boots review

With no studs, steep and muddy hikes are tricky but everywhere else, from wet rocks and roots to bog trotting, is easy to traverse, thanks to the high traction Vibram sole. The area around the cleat is deep so you may have to shim them out to fit. Pedalling performance is on the flexible side of stiff, but that helps when hiking.

The high top, twin Velcro strap upper provides lots of ankle support, but is restrictive for pedalling – loosening one of the straps helped. Neither strap will stop water trickling down into the boot where inner meets the outer, so you will get wet feet, but at least they’ll be warm and wet. Fit is on the slim side, but thumb loops make it easy to pull them on and the cord-style laces do a good job of fitting different foot shapes.

The perforated suede uppers are an issue, water beads off initially but after a drenching they start to soak up water and the boots become really heavy. As you keep riding mud packs into the perforations, and even with a stiff brush it’s a challenge to clean them; a wipe clean outer is a must on winter boots.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike



Lezyne Superdrive front light review

Typically for Leyzne this is a light and good looking light, especially for under £100. The slimline all-in-one design gives an equally slimline beam to throw an impressive amount of light down the trail. Peripheral coverage is limited for twisty or unknown trails but the central light pool is consistent. So there’s enough detail information to ride fast on familiar trails and it translates really well to any commuting roadwork.

Run times are short at full power and there’s no battery drain indicator so it’s not an epic ride choice. The medium setting doesn’t lag too far behind in practical illumination terms though so it’ll be okay for average outings. Workplace commuting use is made easier by the USB cable and in-built recharger combo. Mind your knees off road as the long body and easy swivelling bar mount make it easy to knock off line, even when clamped up tight.

Lezyne superdrive front light beam:

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.