NW Cyclist: 2013 Gear Review

Gotta-have Gear!

By Hilary Meyerson


Burley MyKick

We love this little candy-colored balance bike from Burley. Little ones learn how to balance and glide before they ever touch a pedal. It’s never too early to start them on cycling! Retail price: $129. www.burley.com


Pure Fix Zulu

We like the bare-bones approach of this company that direct-ships simple, quality fixed-gear bikes to you. Their mission is cycling at its purest, and these affordable bikes fit the bill. It’s a great, affordable ride to have in your stable of bicycles. Plus, they get points for the great colors—including a glow-in-the-dark. Starting from $399. www.purefixcycles.com


The Recycle mBula

This bike stopped us in our tracks at Interbike, the national tradeshow of cycling. It calls itself the first bicycle line made from all recycled materials. It’s got 100 percent recycled aluminum content frames and forks and is manufactured in Portland. Saddle and grips are renewable cork. Green and great-looking, just like the Northwest. www.riderecycle.com


Norco Sight Killer B

When it comes to full-suspension mountain bikes, we trust our British Columbia friends at Norco. The Sight Killer B is for aggressive trail riders. This bike will perform equally well on climbs and on those white-knuckled descents. Retail price as pictured: $5,484. www.norco.com


Worksman Cycles Wounded Warrior Destroyer

This company is America’s oldest bicycle manufacturer, and is best known for its heavy-duty bicycles and work tricycles—like the original delivery trikes they made for the Good Humor Ice Cream man back in 1898. They still make those, but we also like this great classic cruiser, a portion of whose sales benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, benefitting injured armed service members. Retail price: $449. www.worksmancycles.com


Salsa Mukluk Ti

The Mukluk Ti may just be the best of the fatbikes out there. Besides some seriously fat tires, this one has the titanium frame that makes it lightweight and durable without the worry of corrosion. All are excellent qualities, as this bike is made to get wet, either in the snow or at the beach. See dealers for price. www.salsacycles.com


Electra Night Owl Cruiser

This bike is almost too pretty to ride. It’s for those who appreciate the fine art of cycling. The bike’s owl design tells a story too: the owl is awake during the night scene of the front fender, then half-awake by the seat, then asleep as the bike moves to the day scene of the rear fender. The fact that it’s a comfy, smooth ride is just a bonus.
See dealers for price. www.electrabike.com


Brooklyn Cruiser Driggs

So many stylish bikes to choose from, but this one might be the hippest of them all. This 3-speed cruiser just oozes class, from the double top tubes to the leather handle grips and white balloon tires. We also like the minimalist aesthetic of the company, that doesn’t ask you to pay more for fancy upgrades or components. It’s just a solid class ride—take it or leave it. It’s very Brooklyn. Retail price: $579. www.brooklyncruiser.com


Dahon Formula S18

Long on your desire to bike commute, but short on space? Folding bikes have long been an urban staple, and Dahon has taken its new design to new heights. The Formula S18 is a solid 18-speed ride with Shimano drivetrain that happens to fold into a ridiculously small space. Stows easily under your desk at work, in your boat, on a plane or just in that tiny cabinet at home. There’s no reason not to ride. See dealers for price. usa.dahonbikes.com


Current Coaster

Look again. It’s not a bike, but it’s got the looks to appeal to the urban hipster’s retro soul. This is an oversized scooter, with a dual braking system, that will make you feel like you’re on a boardwalk at a southern California beach. We think it’s a nifty addition to the wheeled scene, and would love to see more of these in the Northwest. Retail price: $349. www.ridecurrent.com


ElliptiGO 8C

Here’s another member of the extended family of cycles. The ElliptiGO was invented by a runner who wanted to continue to run, but couldn’t afford the impact. Elliptical trainers in the gym were great, but how to get outside? Behold, the 8-speed ElliptiGO training cycle. We tried it around Seattle’s Greenlake and were impressed by the low impact workout it delivers. Plus, it’s fun. Retail price: $2,499. www.elliptigo.com



Zoic Black Market short

The word “versatile” comes to mind with these shorts. Possibly also “value.” These casual shorts feature a detachable liner and elasticized back waist and nylon webbing belt for a customized fit. These are shorts you can commute in to a casual office, or just wear for a day out touring. Retail price: $69 solids, $59 plaids. www.zoic.com


FOOTbrake shoes

Trying out FOOTbrake foldable shoes brings about one of those, “Why didn’t I think of this?” moments. The ingenious flip-flop type shoes fold and slip easily into a bike jersey pocket. They’re the brainchild of two women who enjoyed riding from winery to winery in Napa, but didn’t like the discomfort of walking in cleats or the wear-and-tear on them. Clever ladies. Retail price: $30, includes shipping. www.footbrake.net


TiGr Lock

This may be the world’s most elegant bike security solution. Began as a Kickstarter campaign, two local guys took strips of titanium, bent them into a bow and added a clever lock. The result is an extremely lovely and extremely safe lock. Just try your bolt cutters on it. We dare you. Best of all, it’s so light, your ride just lost a couple of pounds.  tigrlock.com

Lifeproof iPhone 5 case and bike mount


There are lots of iPhone cases on the market, but few are targeted directly for the outdoor enthusiast. We’ve put this case through its paces. It’s waterproof and nearly indestructible. Great for dropping in the snow or mud or down a rocky trail. With the bike mount, set it on your handlebars to map your ride, find your trail, or just order a pizza for the way home.
Retail price: $79.99 for case, $39.99 for bike mount. www.lifeproof.com


Endura Nemo Glove

This glove is a must for the dedicated Northwest cyclist. We saw grown men swoon after slipping on the neoprene material—it’s like a little wetsuit for your hands. This is the gold standard glove for rainy day riding. Retail price: $44.99


Nite Ize LED SlapLit

This little product combines safety, versatility and fun. Reminiscent of the slap bracelets kids wear, this LED light is a great safety feature for nocturnal runs or rides. Two modes: static or blinking. Great for holding your pants away from your chain ring or wrapping around a wrist. Buy a couple. Retail price $11.99.   www.niteize.com


Ortlieb Velo-Shopper

This 18-liter shopping bag with a flap and magnetic closure is great for the urban cyclist. It’s got the usual impeccable quality from Ortlieb, but with an extra kick of grab-and-go convenience. Snaps on a rack, and then smoothly transitions to an over-the-shoulder bag, complete with padded strap. Nifty. Retail price: $150. www.ortliebusa.com


Louis Garneau Speedzone Vest

Here’s the answer to layering for the serious cyclist. The unique opening in the back allows access to jersey pockets without removing the vest. It’s great for wearing during races, as bib numbers will still be visible. It’s also super light and wind-resistant in the front for chill protection when cruising at high speed. Retail price: $99.99. www.louisgarneau.com


Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 1055 mini

For old-school bike security aficionados, the heavy duty chain lock is the only way to go. Kryptonite has raised the bar by introducing the mini, which at 55cm, is a small package for protection. It’s got the same security as a beefy U-lock, with the flexibility of a cable lock. Also check out Kryptonite’s Bicycle ID kit, in partnership with Bike Shepherd, which has theft-deterrent QR code tags to track your ride. Retail price for lock: $68.95; Bicycle ID kit, $14.99. www.kryptonitelock.com


Paceline Products Eurostyle Embrocation

From the minds at Chamois Butt’r, comes this line of embrocations for the year-round rider. Think of them as a pre-ride muscle warm-up rub. The lubricant seals exposed skin from the elements, and lets you cycle in the cold, warming your muscles and improving performance. It’s a favorite of pro cyclocross riders, but it’s great for cold rides in the Northwest as well. Comes in both Warm and Hot temperature ranges. Use their eurostyle sports wash to remove the embrocations post-ride. Retail price: embrocations, $19.99; Sports Wash, $15.99. www.pacelineproducts.com


Ride Out Carbon Comfort seat

The Ride Out seat is the brainchild of Jeri Rutherford, a cyclist from Idaho, who spent a few years developing a more comfortable seat. The design is unique, wider than most traditional saddles, and flexes and bends with the rider as they shift their weight. Retail price: $85 + shipping. www.comfortbikeseats.com

Hilary Meyerson is the editor of NW Cyclist, and thinks testing and reviewing gear is one of the best parts of her job.

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