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Category Archives: Cycling In The Rain

Rain jackets, bicycle tires, lighting and reflectors for riding your bike in the rain and in low-visibility situations.

Shimano Alfine 11-Speed Internal Geared Hub

This past December my new Surly Necromancer Pugsley arrived at the local bike shop and among the customizing I had done before I took it home was the installation of a Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub. I wanted an internal geared hub because I planned on taking the Pugs to places where most cyclists fear to go—through mud, slush, snow, ice, sand and standing water. I also planned on riding in temperatures well before zero (Fahrenheit). I liked the Alfine hub so much that a few weeks later I had one installed on my Gary Fisher Big Sur mountain bike. Well, if two bikes with internal geared hubs were fun, three would be a blast. In February I had a Shimano Alfine 11-Speed Internal Geared Hub installed on an old Trek 1200—a road bike I only use for riding in rain, light slush, and when the roads are covered with salt (in other words, from mid-November through mid-April).

Shimano Alfine 11-Speed Internal Geared Hub

Shimano Alfine 11-Speed Internal Geared Hub

Most Shimano Alfine 11-Speed hubs are put on commuter bikes to cut down on maintenance. However, I put it on a road bike because I spend so much time riding in foul weather and since this hub is sealed I don’t have to worry about road salt, sand, mud and grime fouling up the gears. In the past few months I’ve logged over 1,000 miles with the Shimano Alfine 11-Speed hub and am extremely satisfied with the performance I get out of it and in this article I am just going to make a few general observations about the hub. If you are a gearhead and need exact gear ratios and technical specs you need to visit the Shimano Website.

Shimano Alfine FC-S500 Front Crankset (45T)

Shimano Alfine FC-S500 Front Crankset

The Shimano Alfine 11 Internal Geared Hub (SG-S700) weights about three ounces less than the Alfine 8 (3.5 pounds), but it is nearly twice the price. The Alfine 11 has a gear range of 409%, compared to 307% for the older 8-speed Alfine hub, so I decided to go with a single ring in the front and installed a Shimano Alfine FC-S500 Front Crankset (45T). This is a two-piece crankset that comes with an integrated bottom bracket and chainguard.

When I started riding with this hub it would sometimes shift for no clear reason. Eventually I figured out the problem—it always happened after I had shifted into an easier gear while going uphill. To solve the problem all I had to do was to stop pedaling when shifting gears while the hub was under a lot of strain (I’m only talking about missing a single stroke).

One of the advantages of having a single ring in the front is that it is nearly impossible to break a chain since it never has to move side-to-side. A single ring in front also means you don’t need a front derailleur, shifter or cables (this saves a bit of weight). Another advantage of a single ring in front is that in the winter you will never have to worry about the front derailleur freezing shut. Several times last year I rode through a bit of running water and when it splashed up on my front derailleur I couldn’t shift any more.

Versa 11-Speed Road Shifters

Versa 11-Speed Road Shifters

The old shifters on my road bike were not compatible with the Alfine hub so I put on Versa 11-Speed Road Shifters  (VRS-11) since Shimano does not make an 11-speed shifter for drop bars. The Versa 11 shifters/brake levers work well and shift smoothly, but they don’t feel as well made as the Shimano Ultegra shifters I have on my Trek Madone. Versa 11 shifters retail for $320, which is nearly as much as a good pair of Shimano Ultegra shifters. If your bike does not have drop bars you can use the Alfine Rapidfire Plus shift levers (SL-S700-S)—these shifters have an Optical Gear Display so you can see what gear you are in. The only thing I don’t like about the Versa 11 shifters is that they are hard to use when you are down on the drops—the shifter has a very long throw and unless you have fingers like a orangutang it is hard to move the shifter all the way over to get to an easier gear.

Alfine Chain Tensioner (CT-S500)

Alfine 11 Hub With Chain Tensioner

The Shimano Alfine 11-Speed hub retails for $675 and unless you have a lot of experience working on a bike I wouldn’t recommend trying to put this on yourself. Remember, you are going to have to rebuild your entire wheel with new spokes and nipples to use this hub, and then you will have to true the wheel when you are finished. Depending on the drop-outs on your bike, you might also need an Alfine Chain Tensioner (CT-S500).

Since you are probably reading this article because you are considering a Shimano Alfine 11 for one of your bikes, I would strongly suggest you also consider replacing your derailleur cables with a set of Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables. These sealed cables are completely protected from snow, mud, and dirt by continuous liners.

 

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Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Rain Jacket For Cyclists

I can’t say I enjoy cycling in the rain, but I seem to do it a lot anyway—a good ride in the rain beats a day in the office anytime. In the past ten years I’ve probably purchased a dozen rain jackets for cycling, but most of them fell short of my expectations. A few years ago I read one blogger who said that if you ride in the rain very often you will end up with a Showers Pass jacket, but you will probably waste a lot of money on inferior jackets before you do. Last year I bought a Showers Pass Touring Jacket and liked it so well that I later bought a Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jacket as well.

Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Rain Jacket For Cyclists

Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Rain Jacket

When it comes breathability in a rain jacket I don’t think you could find anything better than a Showers Pass jacket. On a breathability scale of one to ten, where a one is a plastic trash bag, I’d give a Showers Pass jacket a ten and most Goretex jackets an eight. The breathability of this jacket comes not only from the eVent three-layer fabric, but also from the numerous venting options built into the jacket. This jacket has fully taped seams, 11-inch pit zips under both arms, large gusseted cuffs, and a very large back vent for flow-thru ventilation. There are elastic cinch-cords on both the collar and the hem—you can open them for added ventilation or close them the keep the heat in. The back of the jacket is extra long to keep your backside dry in pouring rain (and it works well).

The front of the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket seals up with a water-resistant full length two-way zipper. There is also a roomy chest pocket (a Napoleon pocket) with an audio port that allows you to keep your iPhone or other audio device dry in the pocket and run a headphone cord up to your ear. The collar on this jacket is made of soft Micro-fleece and is very comfortable. Around the neck is a series of Velcro attachment points so you can attach a rain hood (sold separately). For your safety there is a substantial amount of 3M Scotchlite reflective taping on arms and back (the best I’ve seen on any jacket), and light loop in the middle of the back so you can attach a small LED flasher (I wish all cycling jackets had light loops).

When I reviewed the Showers Pass Touring Jacket I questioned the sanity of anyone who would buy a black cycling jacket. However, as you can see in the photo above, I ended up buying the Elite 2.0 in black, so let me explain why. First, I would never ride on the road in a black jacket, even with the 3M Scotchlite reflective taping. I did not buy this jacket for road cycling—I bought it mainly to use as a shell for winter cycling. On snow-covered off-road trails a black jacket is fine—black fabric has a tendency to attract heat better than other colors and it also contrasts well against the white snow. In addition, when I ride on muddy off-road trails in the rain the black jacket cleans up better (i.e., after clean-up you can’t see the dirt you missed as easily as you can on brighter jackets). I’ve used this jacket as a shell for winter cycling over an Under Armour compression shirt and a fleece jacket and this kept me warm down to about 10 degrees (Fahrenheit).

The only thing I don’t like about this jacket is the slanted zipper on the back storage pocket. The pocket itself is waterproof and very roomy, but I just don’t like the slanted zipper! To be fair, Showers Pass is not the only company to offer rain jackets with a slanted zipper, but I have trouble opening these pockets while riding and I hate to stop when it is raining.

The Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Rain Jacket retails for $240 and if you ride in the rain very much it is worth every penny. This men’s jacket is available in four colors (Black, Chili Pepper Red, Electric Blue, and Goldenrod) and comes in five sizes (S thru XXL). The women’s jacket is only available in three colors (Chili Pepper Red, Crystal Blue, and Goldenrod) and comes in six sizes (Extra-Small thru XXL). I found this jacket to be a little larger than advertised. For the Weight Weenies among us, the large jacket weighs about 13.5 ounces.

 

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Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to improve the performance of your bike and cut the maintenance time, then you need to install a set of Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables. When I had my Surly Necromancer Pugsley custom-built this past December the local bike shop installed a pair of these cables and I liked them so much that they are now on all five of my bikes.

Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables

Gore Ride-On Derailleur Cables (middle and right)

As the name implies, Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables are sealed cables which means that from the shifter to the derailleur the cables are inside of one continuous sealed liner, and they terminate with a tight Grub seal which means they are impervious to rain, mud, road salt and grime—and you will never have to oil or maintain your cables again (for as long as they last). In addition, these are the smoothest shifting cables you will ever find! After putting a pair of these on my Trek Madone road bike it felt like an entirely different machine—words can’t describe how easy the shifting was (and since the Madone has a Shimano Dura Ace derailleur I didn’t think there was any room for improvement to begin with).

Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables

Gore Ride-On Cables With Grub Seal At The Derailleur

While the local bike shop installed four sets of these cables for me, I installed the last set myself on an old Trek 4300 mountain bike I was rebuilding. Installation of the Gore cable system is fairly straightforward—if you can install a standard set of bike cables then you can easily install these. The only tools you need are a set of metric Allen wrenches, a pair of cable cutters (like the Park Tool CN-10 Cable and Housing Cutter), a new razor blade and a sharp awl (to clean out the cable ends after cutting). Gore has an instructional video on their Website if you need help with installation. In addition, Calvin Jones from Park Tool wrote an excellent article on Gore Ride-On Cable Installation.

Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables retail for around $55 a set and are available with either black or white cables. Gore has several similar products (with similar names), so whether you ride a road bike, mountain bike, tandem bike or full-suspension bike they have a product that can meet your needs. These cables are compatible with Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo mountain and road derailleurs and come with a one year limited warranty. After riding with these cables for a few months I no longer consider them a luxury item—they are a necessity!

 

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Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

In the summer when I’m on my road bike I don’t carry much with me—just a few energy bars in my jersey pockets and a spare inner tube and CO2 pump in a small seat bag. However, when I ride off-road or in the rain I tend a carry a bit more with me and often need a place to store some of my rain gear when it is not needed. This past winter I purchased a Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag and it is one of the best pieces of cycling equipment I’ve ever purchased.

Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

As the name suggests, the Tangle Frame Bag is a bag that fits on your bike frame—this one attaches to the top tube with reinforced Velcro straps. It also has adjustable webbing straps for the down tube and seat tube and low profile camlock buckles with strap keepers. I bought this bag for use on my winter bikes, but I think any commuter or distance cyclist would really benefit from it as well.

This bag is very well designed and thought out. It is divided into two pockets—the thinner pocket on the left hand side holds smaller items like maps, chemical hand warmers, and cell phones. The pocket on the right hand side is much larger and can easily hold vests, jackets, tools or enough energy bars for a 24-hour ride. Or, since the main compartment has an exit port at the front of the bag, you can use the larger pocket to hold a hydration pack. You could also use the larger compartment to hold the battery for your headlight and run the wire through the exit port (and still have a lot of room to spare).

The Tangle Frame Bag is made of Dimension Polyant Xpac 400 Denier Fabric (also known as sail loft). I own a lot of seat, saddle and storage bags and this is the sturdiest soft-sided bag I’ve ever seen. The zippers on this bag are water-resistant and the inside of the bag is lined with a bright yellow fabric so you can see the contents even in low-light situations.

Inside the Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

Interior Of The Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

This bag is available in three sizes. The smallest bag is 17″ long by 4″ tall and is designed for 15″–18″ mountain bikes. The medium bag is 19.5″ long by 4.5″ tall is designed for 17″–20″ MTB frames. The largest bag is 21″ long by 6″ tall and fits 20″ (or larger) MTB frames. These bags also fit road, touring and commuting bikes—just check the Revelate Designs Website for additional sizing information.

I used the medium-sized bag this past winter on my Surly Necromancer Pugsley and had to buy shorter water bottles to fit in the bottle cages. Another alternative is to buy side entering cages.

Revelate Designs is located in Anchorage, Alaska and I’ve purchased several of their products and every one of them has been of the highest quality. These bags have a product warranty that covers any defects for life. The Tangle Frame Bag retails for $68 to $70 (based on size) and is available from the Revelate Designs Website.

 

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Topeak Wedge DryBag Waterproof Saddle Bag

You might not carry a lot in your saddle bag, but I imagine that whatever you do carry you would like to keep dry. I ride in all weather conditions and that means I spend more than my fair share of time cycling in the rain. Most seat bags will keep their contents dry during a light shower, but very few bags are really waterproof. A few months ago I put a Topeak Wedge DryBag waterproof saddle bag on the bike I use to ride in the rain and my opinion of this bag can be summed up in one word: Awesome!

Topeak Wedge DryBag Waterproof Seat Bag

Topeak Wedge DryBag Waterproof Saddle Bag

The Topeak Wedge DryBag is constructed from 210 denier and 420 denier nylon waterproof fabric and has sonically welded seams to keep the rain out. Not only does this bag keep the rain out, but it is incredibly easy to clean up. I sometimes ride off-road trails during rainstorms and the knobby tires on my mountain bikes kick up a lot of mud. Washing muddy clothes is pretty easy (I have a great wife), but getting the mud off most saddle bags is nearly impossible. If your Topeak Wedge DryBag gets muddy you can clean it off with a water hose as you are rinsing off your bike (you don’t even have to take it off your bike).

Review View Of The Topeak Wedge DryBag

Roll Closure On The Topeak Wedge DryBag

The zippers on most seat bags allow water to seep into your bag and they also get clogged up by mud. Instead of zippers the Topeak Wedge DryBag uses a roll closure with a Velcro strip, and after the flaps are rolled up the bag is secured with a buckle on both sides. Topeak offers this bag with two different mounting styles: nylon straps that wrap around your seat rails or Topeak’s QuickClick™ System that makes it easier to attach or remove the bag. The rear flap on the bag has a clip so you can attach your favorite taillight.

The DryBag comes in three different sizes. The smallest bag has a 36 cubic inch (.6 L) storage capacity; the medium bag has 61 ci (1 L) capacity; the large bag has 91.5 ci (1.5 L) of interior space.

The Topeak Wedge DryBag is available at most bicycle shops and retails for between $40 to $50, depending on the size and mounting style. This product also comes with a limited 2-year warranty against manufacturer defects (keep your receipt).

 

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Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle With Domed Lid

I love cycling in all sorts of weather and since I bought a Surly Necromancer Pugs a few months ago I even enjoy riding in the mud. Unfortunately, the aggressive knobby tread pattern on Surly Nate tires kicks up more mud than a Chicago politician in a close election! The worst part about cycling in the mud (or muddin’ as the Southerners call it) is finding a way to keep the spout on your water bottle clean. It’s not that I am scared of drinking a bit of mud—I am not that picky. However, a few weeks ago I was riding off-road and saw a horse emptying his bladder on the trail when it dawned in me that mud was not the only thing clinging to my bottles! The next day I stopped at the local bike shop and they showed me the Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle and it solved all of my problems.

Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle With Domed Lid

Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle

The Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle is made of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and is BPA-Free. The best part of the bottle is the hinged Polycarbonate mud-cap that keeps the drinking spout clean. When you push the dome down it automatically causes the nozzle to retract to prevent spilling. The body of this flexible bottle is textured and provides a good non-slip grip.

This bottle is easy to clean and is dishwasher safe, but keep it away from the heating element. The temperature range on this bottle is incredible (-148 to 176°F) and it is even microwaveable (just take the lid off the container). And, believe it or not, they are made in the USA.

Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle With Domed Lid

Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle While Out Muddin'

These bottles are available in several colors: Blue, Natural, Pink, and Yellow. The 22-ounce bottle will easily fit in the bottle cages of most bicycles. A 32-ounce bottle is also available, but you are going to need something like the Salsa Anything Cage to carry it.

The 22-ounce Nalgene ATB All-Terrain Bottle retails for around $8 and if your local bike shop does not have them in stock they can easily order them for you. These bottle are also available on Amazon.com, but unless your order is large enough to get free shipping it is not really a very good deal.

 

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Creating A Road Bike To Handle Foul Weather

Riding in foul weather is really hard on your bike. In my area of the country it’s not the snow that bothers you, but all the junk that goes along with it. Every winter our roads turn white—not from the snow but from numerous layers of road salt (on a quiet night you can sit in your garage and listen to your car rust). The highway department also uses a lot of sand to give motorists better traction on icy roads. Salt and sand will eat through all the components on your bike, even if you wash it off after each ride. I also spend a lot of time riding in the rain and that can be just as hard on a bike. It’s not the water falling from the sky that hurts your bike—it’s all of the grit and road grime that splashes up on your chain, cables, brakes, derailleurs and crankset.

Trek 1200 With A Shimano Alfine 11 Internal Geared Hub

Trek 1200 With A Shimano Alfine 11 Internal Geared Hub

Last week I had the local bike shop (Zion Cyclery in Zion, Illinois) rebuild my old Trek 1200 road bike. By rebuild I mean they replaced everything except the frame, handlebars and headset. The sad fact is that I could have bought a new Trek Madone for what the overhaul cost, but I already have a Madone and what I really need is a great bike for riding in foul weather.

The Trek 1200 is an aluminum frame road bike with Shimano Tiagra components that I bought back in 2005. The Tiagra product line is on the lower end of Shimano’s shop quality parts and is best suited for “advanced recreational” riders (still better than anything you will find at the “big box” stores). I was able to get over 10,000 miles out of these components, and most of that was in bad weather. Unfortunately, road salt had eaten through the chrome plating on all the components. Since the Trek 1200 has a lifetime warranty on the frame I decided to keep it and build a “new” bike with higher quality components that could withstand the harsh conditions I often ride in.

The biggest expense on this overhaul was the Shimano Alfine 11 Internal Hub Geared (SG-S700). The hub has a much wider gear ratio than the Alfine 8 found on two of my other bikes, so I decided to go with a single gear in the front and installed a Shimano Alfine FC-S500 Front Crankset (45T). The Alfine 11 weights a bit less than the Alfine 8, but it is nearly twice the price. Since all the gears are internal I don’t have to worry about salt, sand, road grime or rust. My old shifters were not compatible with the Alfine hub so they put Versa 11-Speed Road Shifters on (at the moment Shimano does not make an 11-speed shifter for drop bars).

If you ride in bad weather your brake pads will end up having grit embedded in them and this can wear down bike rims rather quickly. The original rims on my 1200 had worm down, so we went with new Mavic Open Sport rims and used brass nipples on the spokes (better for wet weather). Since the front rim was going to be replaced they dropped in a new Shimano 105 front hub (a higher quality hub than the original). Both the front and rear brakes on the 1200 were pretty well-worn, so new Shimano caliper brakes were installed. The Continental Touring Plus road bike tires I had on the bike were still in good shape, so I didn’t change them out.

Finishing touches included Lizard Skins DuraSoft Polymer Handlebar Tape. This handlebar tape is not only extremely comfortable, but offers incredible grip in wet weather (remember, this is going on a bike that is only used in foul weather). I also had Gore Ride-On Derailleur Cables installed. These sealed cables are maintenance free and shift smoother than anything else I’ve ever tried.

Was the cost of the rebuild worth it? It’s too early to tell yet. However, when I got home from my first long ride after the overhaul my bike frame and all the components were covered with road salt. It had snowed the day before and by the time I went out the road salt had been ground to powder by highway traffic and even something as light as my bike kicked up a lot of dust. This layer of dust (salt) reminded me of why I needed to have the bike “weatherproofed” in the first place.

 

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Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub

Riding in inclement weather can really be a pain! Not only do you have to put up with snow, rain and mud during your ride, but when you get home you have to spend time cleaning the drivetrain on your bike to keep it from rusting. If you would like to spend more time riding and less time cleaning you should replace the rear cassette, hub and derailleur on your bike with a Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub. This past December I bought a new Surly Necromancer Pugsley and had the guys at the local bike shop (Zion Cyclery in Zion, Illinois) put a Shimano Alfine 8 on it before I took it home. After a few weeks of using the Alfine 8 in the snow and mud I decided to have them put one on my Gary Fisher Big Sur mountain bike as well.

Black Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub

Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub

The Shimano Alfine 8 is a dependable, smooth shifting internal geared hub that doesn’t let snow, mud, rain or slush interfere with its operation. Shifting with the Alfine 8 is so smooth and quiet it is almost magical—and you never have to worry about a misaligned derailleur or bent hanger. I’ve had no problem shifting even when the temperature was bellow zero. Weighing in at over 1600 grams the Alfine 8 is not exactly lightweight, but since you lose the weight from the derailleur and cassette it is not too bad.

If you would like to swap out your old drivetrain for the Alfine 8 there are a few things you need to consider. First, you will need to completely rebuild your rear wheel to install the Alfine 8. Rebuilding the wheel means new spokes and nipples (use brass or anodized nipples since you are probably going to be riding in wet weather). The Alfine 8 is available with either a 32 or 36 hole count, so if your old rim does not match up you will have to buy a new rim as well. Second, if your bike has vertical dropouts you will also have to buy a Shimano Chain Tensioner. The Alfine 8 has a disc rotor mount (for disc brakes), but the disc is not included. This hub is bolt-on only—you cannot use a skewer.

Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub with chain tensioner

Shimano Alfine Internal Geared Hub With Chain Tensioner

Many people use the Alfine 8 while running a single ring in the front. I use two front rings on both of the bikes that have the Alfine 8 installed. On my Surly Necromancer I was able to keep the stock Mr. Whirly offset double 22/36 crankset, but had to buy a new crankset my Gary Fisher Big Sur.

The Shimano Alfine 8 is available in either black or silver and retails for a bit over $300. This price does not include the shifter, cog, cog snap-ring, axle nuts, non-tun washers or cassette joint—most of these parts are included in the Shimano Alfine Small Parts Kit (but not the shifter and cog).

While you are upgrading your bike you really ought to replace your old derailleur cables with a set of Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cables. These sealed cables are completely protected from snow, mud, and dirt by continuous liners.

 

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Penguin Brands Sport-Wash

Penguin Brands Sport-Wash for cycling clothing

Penguin Brands Sport-Wash

It doesn’t take a long bike ride to leave your clothes smelling like a locker room. The moisture wicking fabrics used in cycling clothing does a great job at moving moisture away from the body, but they can’t move odor-causing bacteria out with it. The bacteria left on your clothing reproduces incredibly fast and the odor it creates is not easily removed by normal laundry detergents. If you really want to keep your cycling clothing from stinking you need to wash it in Sports-Wash by Penguin Brands, Inc.

Sports-Wash is an unscented, biodegradable laundry detergent that reduces odors and prevents color fading. It is also residue-free and non-allergenic. In addition, it restores the factory-applied Durable Water Repellent (DRW) finish to clothing.

Sports-Wash is also notable for what it does not contain. It contains no bleach, fabric softeners, or scent. I have noticed a slight smell as the clothing is being washed, but it rinses right out and leaves no residue.

Penguin Brands, Inc. claims that Sports-Wash will remove blood and grass stains. Fortunately, I have not had the opportunity to test this claim, so I will have to take their word for it.

My dear wife is kind enough to hand-wash all of my cycling clothing (yes, I am a lucky man). She uses one capful of Sports-Wash per sink full of dirty clothing. Sports-Wash retails for $10 for a 20-ounce bottle. I buy Sports-Wash at a local sporting goods store, but it is also available on Amazon.com. Sports-Wash is more expensive than normal laundry detergent, but your expensive cycling clothing will last a lot longer if you wash it in a quality product like this.

 

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Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover

I try to not let the weather dictate when I ride my bike. When the temperature drops or it starts raining I just make adjustments to my clothing and go out for a ride anyway. One item you really need to own for inclement weather riding is a good helmet cover, and my favorite one is the Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover (H-Cover).

Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover for rain and winter

Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover

The Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover is made of a very breathable Stopzone fabric and it does a fantastic job of blocking both wind and rain. This cover stretches to fit all the helmets I own (Bell, Trek, Louis Garneau and a Giro). You might have tried other helmet covers before, but most of the covers on the market that I’ve tried don’t fit my helmet very well. Last year I bought an illumiNITE Helmet Cover and the best I can tell it was patterned after my grandmother’s shower cap—I don’t know who designed it, but they apparently had never seen a bicycle helmet before.

The Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover is available in two colors: Black or Bright Yellow (Hi-Vis Yellow). Both colors of this helmet have reflective piping to help motorists see you in low-light situations. I wear the bright yellow cover when I am riding on the road because it is hard for drivers to miss. When I am riding on muddy off-road trails I wear the black helmet cover because it will still look good after I wipe the mud off.

With a good balaclava (like the Seirus Combo Clava) and the Louis Garneau helmet cover I have no trouble keeping my head warm in temperatures down to around 20 degrees. When the temperature drops to below 20 degrees I switch over to a skiing helmet (I prefer the Smith Optics Variant Brim Snow Helmet).

The Louis Garneau Bicycle Helmet Cover is available in two sizes: Small/Medium and Medium/Large. This helmet cover retails for around $20 and I have yet to find a better helmet cover on the market.

 

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Empowering others to find their balance of movement, nourishment, and self-care.

Dr. Maddy Day

Let's unpack your nutritional and emotional baggage.

Sip, clip, and go!

Cycling, off and on the road, in Western Mass

She's Losing It!

Fitness Book for Moms

Survival Bros by Cameron McKirdy

FREEDOM, PREPS, AND NEWS

Muddy Mommy

Adventures in Mud Racing, Marathons, & being a Mommy!

wife. mother. awesome girl.

just enough ahead of the curve to not be off the road completely

drworobec.wordpress.com/

A sport-loving chiropractor's blog about adventures in health, fitness, and parenthood.

TooTallFritz

Running Toward: Health, Wellness & PEACE ............................................ Running From: Insanity, Screaming Children, Housework & a Big Ass

elisariva

Seizing life's joys and challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally.

arctic-cycler.com

arctic-cycler goes global.

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