Chrome Kadet Product Review

I have been slinging this guy around the city for a while now. Mainly on small in-city runs to and from meetings where I needed a few essentials but not a massive bag full. Here’s what I found: Continue reading “Chrome Kadet Product Review”

Garmin vs Wahoo computers

Garmin has been kicking it forever in the cycling world. Of recent, Wahoo came on the scene with a couple of killer products and even pro team Bora HansGrohe equipment for in 2018. Continue reading “Garmin vs Wahoo computers”

Daybot by PDW – Is a locally designed, consciously crafted bike light a fallacy?

You might remember a while back I reviewed the Full Metal Fenders by local company – PDW, The fenders are still going strong and get used on an almost daily basis for 13months now, a bomber setup. PDW is a Portland company that designs, engineers, markets and ships bicycle accessories. The founders come from a cycling industry background having worked in bike shops and bike companies. Back in the day, they chose Portland because of the strong bicycle culture and supportive small business community. Continue reading “Daybot by PDW – Is a locally designed, consciously crafted bike light a fallacy?”

Rugged security – the Ottolock Improved V2

A while back I wrote an article on the Ottolock. Ever growing in popularity – the theft deterrent product gets some upgrades and refinements for V2. The changes are subtle improvements and shows how the company is committed to improving and refining an already great solution. Continue reading “Rugged security – the Ottolock Improved V2”

Rack it up : Bike storage 101

 

Finding space efficient ways to store your bike, yet in an accessible manner is no joke. We moved to a new place, thats where it all started. From house to condo life – Bloody hell, where to put these bikes? how to put these bikes? Continue reading “Rack it up : Bike storage 101”

VIBE LED Lights – be seen, be safe

Light and Motion is a California based company that has been manufacturing lights for 28 yrs. Founded in 1989 by a pair of Stanford graduates who started the company from a passion of SCUBA diving and underwater photography, the products are designed, assembled and tested in Monterey and what they cannot make themselves they outsource to USA suppliers and a small percentage to specialists overseas then brought back to California – think similar to Apple’s strategy. With a strong line of lights for water sports, running and hiking, L&M also serves the cyclists with products from urban to ultra high power mountain biking models.


Continue reading “VIBE LED Lights – be seen, be safe”

PDW Full fenders in full swing

pdw_fender_02The rain season is right around the corner and a good set of fenders turns the off season from a bleak lackluster time into a no problem season of palatable and sometimes fun base rides. Continue reading “PDW Full fenders in full swing”

Chrome Welterweight Hondo

laydown_02_chromeRecently Chrome Industriesthe people who are famous for starting the whole messenger bag craze, moved their head office from San Francisco to Portland. Chrome has been around a while now (since 1995) making high quality, cycling specific, gear hauling bags. Having had a few Chrome bags over the years, I decided to look at their most recent lineup to see what was new. The Hondo is one of Chrome Industries latest additions. It’s minimal, contemporary and fashionably designed for the urban commuter.  Continue reading “Chrome Welterweight Hondo”

Product Review – Double Darn cycling caps

Caps are a little bit like water bottles to me. I have had quite a few in my time, quite a few different styles and from quite a few different manufacturers. The thing with caps, like water bottles, is that you have to replace him them somewhat frequently. Either they wear out or they end up just looking a little bit tatty.

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I replace my water bottles more frequently than my caps but a very good cap can last about a year for me and that’s with using it five days a week. Often the failure in my caps is where the brim comes away from the body (see pics further down). And they get grimy and discoloured from use in the rain and all the sweat in the sun.

The caps I’m talking about here are the general caps, the caps that are made of normal cotton material and not specifically made for the winter or ultra lightweight summer caps (which are hard to find I may add). Winter caps a completely different thing, in design and material.

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Good caps can be used from about 40°F to probably around 75°F, of course depending on personal preference, how cold you feel your ears get or how much venting you like on hot days.

Now a couple of things about style and fit. I would say the Double Darn caps what I call more of a traditional cycling cap in that they have a small brim which follows the contour of the caps man body, i.e. it doesn’t stick out like a baseball cap brim, it sort of flows down the face. The DD’s brim is also constructed out of layers of material versus card or plastic insert. This means the cap appears a little different but also has a better hand feel, and as you will see from photos. In my experience, the more ridged brims actually pull away from the body – weak point as they say. As far as sizing goes, I am wearing a medium. they do come in 3 different sizes and I found that a medium was snug for me. I have measured my head before for helmets and I am a 58.5cm, but my cap guide for a medium is 55cm, so best to say is try on for size and also note they will stretch a little bit over time.

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I look like a bit of a saddo here.

DD’s caps have a high-quality construction and what I mean by that is the stitching and accuracy are very good. Not tatty (brit for ill-finished) at all like mass manufactured caps. If you look inside a DD cap and compare to a common garden $20 bike shop cap you will see what I mean. Better construction, better stitching, better material joins. Take note of the headband also, the part that goes across your forehead. DD’s caps have got the amount and shape of material just right here. Some caps the band is too wide, too large or had a thick wedge of material that can cause a line across your forehead after hours of riding. Tall bands make your forehead feels like it is sweating, not a great situation.

Shown below, my common brim tearing away situation, but have to say this is after about a year of heavy abuse / use. You can also look and see on the close up picture the difference in edge stitching and construction used in mass production caps. The stitch is wider, looser and not as well executed.

I have now officially spent 22hrs cycling in this cap and a few hours off the bike. I have to say it has performed well. A bit of rain, a bit of sun and some cold. I rode for 4 hours in it today at between 37 and 45 degrees and it was ok. I would say a thicker cap below 40 would have been nicer, but I was going fast and generating heat.

Conclusion : Double Darn caps are pretty darn great. Great value for money at $37 and a cap that should last a while, be very comfortable and fits under a helmet well. Check out DD’s caps here or get one from one of the many folks she crafts for. Mine was purchased at Sugar Wheelworks (which is a sweet wheelshop in Portland Oregon). DD’s caps are handmade in Portland, Oregon.

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