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Best stuff of 2020

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,041
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I'm always trying different stuff. Some of it works, others go to the 'not for me' box pretty quickly. Everyone has different needs and tastes but I'd be interested to hear what folks think were some of their best clothing or gear purchases in 2020.

For me, the top items are:

1. The Wolf Tooth pliers. They weigh 40.5g, hold a couple chain links (that otherwise are easy to lose) and they allow on-the-road fixes of quick chain link issues. Plus, they are easy to store in a bag.

2. Topeak Mini 9 MT - Small, 94g, has just the right tools for me except for chain cutter. I carry a separate cutter.

3. Timber bell - 66.5g - Very useful on multi-use paths. You can quickly move it from bike to bike, so if you plan on riding a cycling path with different bikes, that is a big plus. Also, it has three settings - off, moderate, and full jingle. So, if the path is clear and you don't need the sound anymore, just flick a switch and it is off. Using the 'moderate' setting, you get a jingle only if you hit a bump or purposely shake the handlebars. It is just enough to let people know you're coming without frightening them to death..not obnoxious like some bells. The 'full-on' setting is good for busy paths with lots of pedestrians or joggers with headphones on. It jingles constantly and rather loudly, but usually gets the attention of the zombies so they know you're there. I usually don't use it on that setting much, but there are times....

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andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,697
2,695
Riding off road for the first time, there were lots of new things to try, most worked out well.

☆Good:

Imezi GRV wheels, Imezi sealant (sponsored)

IRC tubless tyres: Boken, Serac, X Guard

Continental tubeless tyres: Terra series

Samurai sword kit (best purchase!)

Panaracer tubeless valves and valve core remover

IRC tyre levers x 4 (2nd best purchase)

Topeak waterproof saddle bag (some ingenuity necessary to prevent straps from breaking, but set up right it's great)

Lenzyne multitool

Sidi shoes and spikes

Shimano GRX

Removable bar tape (forgot the name)

Assorted cheap items off Amazon: shoe covers, gloves, bear bell, sunglasses (3rd best purchase: two frames, multiple lenses and prescription insert), mini scissors

☆Things I could have done without:

Tyres: Kenda, Pirelli

Tyre inserts

Cheers, Andy
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
Samurai sword kit (best purchase!)
I guess you're referring to the Sahmurai Sword (tubeless tire puncture repair) Kit. (The alternative is scary.) Interesting.

@Karl, I haven't received any new gear in 2020 that really sticks in my mind. Mostly replacing worn-out things. I also haven't done nearly as much cycling as in recent years; been using my motorbike for commuting almost all the time :cry:.

I have ordered - for delivery in January - Cycliq front and rear camera-lights. Have been watching their innovations for a while, and recently succumbed to their Black Friday discount on the new models. More stuff to recharge after every ride :(. I truly hope that any footage will be used more for entertainment than for a coroner's inquest.

Also recently ordered some compact trekking poles from Decathlon, and should get them in the next couple of days. Technically not bike gear. But definitely Mike gear.

Two of my indispensables, although not new to me this year:

Squirt chain lube - they also do chamois cream - gonna try some of that

R8 Recovery Roller - self-inflicted post-ride torture, but well worth it for me.

SafariSnap 001.jpg
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,697
2,695
I guess you're referring to the Sahmurai Sword (tubeless tire puncture repair) Kit. (The alternative is scary.) Interesting.

@Karl, I haven't received any new gear in 2020 that really sticks in my mind. Mostly replacing worn-out things. I also haven't done nearly as much cycling as in recent years; been using my motorbike for commuting almost all the time :cry:.

I have ordered - for delivery in January - Cycliq front and rear camera-lights. Have been watching their innovations for a while, and recently succumbed to their Black Friday discount on the new models. More stuff to recharge after every ride :(. I truly hope that any footage will be used more for entertainment than for a coroner's inquest.

Also recently ordered some compact trekking poles from Decathlon, and should get them in the next couple of days. Technically not bike gear. But definitely Mike gear.

Two of my indispensables, although not new to me this year:

Squirt chain lube - they also do chamois cream - gonna try some of that

R8 Recovery Roller - self-inflicted post-ride torture, but well worth it for me.

View attachment 28885

A version of that kit yes. Bought from Futaba.


Quick, easy and effective. You can leave them in the tyre and never know they were there. Plugs go in the bar ends.

I guess you're referring to the Sahmurai Sword (tubeless tire puncture repair) Kit. (The alternative is scary.) Interesting.

@Karl, I haven't received any new gear in 2020 that really sticks in my mind. Mostly replacing worn-out things. I also haven't done nearly as much cycling as in recent years; been using my motorbike for commuting almost all the time :cry:.

I have ordered - for delivery in January - Cycliq front and rear camera-lights. Have been watching their innovations for a while, and recently succumbed to their Black Friday discount on the new models. More stuff to recharge after every ride :(. I truly hope that any footage will be used more for entertainment than for a coroner's inquest.

Also recently ordered some compact trekking poles from Decathlon, and should get them in the next couple of days. Technically not bike gear. But definitely Mike gear.

Two of my indispensables, although not new to me this year:

Squirt chain lube - they also do chamois cream - gonna try some of that

R8 Recovery Roller - self-inflicted post-ride torture, but well worth it for me.

View attachment 28885

A real samurai sword would have to be attached to your top tube with string, assuming you're not carrying your fishing rod.

Andy
 

luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
2,052
1,825
R8 Recovery Roller - self-inflicted post-ride torture, but well worth it for me.
I've been looking recently into similar types of self massaging thingies. so many out there. but looks like this one - at least from their promo vid - can hit pretty much everything from the waist down - not down from the belly button ok - so I'd be interested to see how you find it. does it really deliver some muscle relief and helps recovery, or just more hype? I see a number of people complain the pressure can't be customized and was just too much to bear?
 
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microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,069
535
Luridly fluorescent yellow "Santic" rain jacket, under 3500 yen online. I've had the luck not to have yet encountered any heavy rain, after twenty minutes of which I imagine the jacket would just keep me coldly wet as opposed to freezingly wet. It's good in the dry and drizzle. The alternatives that stores attempt to sell for three to six times the price aren't better in any obvious way, and too many of them are in tasteful, subdued colors (often grey or black), whereas I want to be seen through the mist because I don't want cars running into me (a minority preference?).

My new phone: Redmi Note 9S. Yes, it's a cycling accessory, as I rarely use it other than for bike rides. Good bang for the kiloyen.

My newer phone: Blackview A80. Yes, it's a cycling accessory. Because I decided that the Redmi was too expensive to risk falling off my handlebar. And so the Blackview has no SIM, just RwGPS and OsmAnd. But the Blackview is so good that I could have saved money by buying another instead of the Redmi: two Blackviews. Or indeed just one Blackview.

A compact photobook: Stephan Vanfleteren, Flandrien. ("What's 'Flandrien'?", you ask. Here.)

Yellow bar tape, because I decided that my bike wasn't gaudy enough already.

I'm wary of bike purchases. Perhaps it's just my imagination, but half the people I know who succumb to the lure of buying a "dream bike" seem to ride less thereafter. (Though of course it's possible that their new superpowers, derived from titanium or stainless steel, make them so fast that waiting for me would exhaust their patience.)
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,041
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@Half-Fast Mike "Squirt chain lube - they also do chamois cream - gonna try some of that"

I ordered some of that from Wiggle. They don't have FinishLine Dry chain lube anymore, so thought I'd try it since you recommended it earlier.

@andywood I did a double-take on the samuri sword recommendation. For a while I began to understand why you win so many races. ;)

Just a couple more recommendations:

Clothes:

I came late to the advantages of merino wool, but now I don't leave home without one. Helps with the train ride home after a long ride since they don't hold odor like synthetics. Anyway, I like the DHB ones I got from Wiggle, long-sleeve and high neck... 5,600 yen, which is pretty reasonable. (Just checked and they just bumped the price up to 6,600 yen)

Love my Craft windstopper baselayer - The windstopper fabric that covers the front does a great job of stopping a cold wind. I run cold so having something that cuts any wind that makes it through my outer layer is great. Pricey at 5,500 but mine has lasted for years, so worth it IMO.

The DHB polartec gilet was also a good purchase. Good at stopping the wind, the polartec lining makes it warmer than most gilets, and it packs small. I got mine on sale at 9,000 yen. Usually goes for 16,000.


IMG_1598.jpeg IMG_1597.jpeg IMG_1604.jpeg

Bags:

The Restrap frame bag is great. Not too big, not too small. Doesn't get in the way of water bottles, holds ride essentials and even a gilet or rainjacket.

The Giza handlebar bag. Easy on, easy off. Perfect size for holding a rinko bag. Also, cheap. (on Amazon)

Revelate Shrew - Also, not too big, not too small. Easy on and off. Perfect to hold a down puffy jacket or gilet or rainjacket, so on rides with large temp changes, you can store an extra layer or two for when you need it.

IMG_1601.jpeg IMG_1602.jpeg IMG_1603.jpeg
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
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I've been looking recently into similar types of self massaging thingies. so many out there. but looks like this one - at least from their promo vid - can hit pretty much everything from the waist down - not down from the belly button ok - so I'd be interested to see how you find it. does it really deliver some muscle relief and helps recovery, or just more hype? I see a number of people complain the pressure can't be customized and was just too much to bear?
I have a foam roller which is great. The only thing is it feels like a workout. If you want to kick back and massage the legs, I really like this bad boy.

Sluve MD-7300 Compact Massager, Axle Vibrator, Black Amazon product
If you have someone to take turns with doing back, shoulders, bum, back of the legs, then so much the better.

There is a similar one at around half the price. Same company, compact version? Can't comment as I've never tried it.

Slive MD-021 WH Compact Massager, White Amazon product
Andy
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,069
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Helps with the train ride home after a long ride since they don't hold odor like synthetics. Anyway, I like the DHB ones I got from Wiggle, long-sleeve and high neck... 5,600 yen, which is pretty reasonable.
Is this ever a worry? People don't seem to recoil from me in my plastic clothing after a bike ride any more than they do before one. (Not that I've ridden trains much this year.)
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
this one - at least from their promo vid - can hit pretty much everything from the waist down
Arms too. My upper arms get very sore after a long ride as both shoulders are damaged
I'd be interested to see how you find it. does it really deliver some muscle relief and helps recovery, or just more hype?
Sorry if I wasn't clear: I've had the R8 for several years. For me, it helps a lot all over. Some spots were painful at first - notably my shins. But then I got used to it and the fascia muscles there benefit from the massage. The web site is a bit flashy now, but the product developed from the personal need of a couple of endurance athletes, and was recommended to me by a friend. I'm a fan.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,041
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Is this ever a worry? People don't seem to recoil from me in my plastic clothing after a bike ride any more than they do before one. (Not that I've ridden trains much this year.)
Kinda. Maybe because cold water washing (which is what I do), doesn't clean as deeply as hot/warm water washing. Or maybe it is just me. Regardless, I've noticed that once a synthetic shirt gets wet, it takes on a vibe of its own. Let's just say that this scent alone justifies mask wearing.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
1,483
1,281
I’ve spent way too much time indoors this season, so my favorite piece of “equipment” is TrainerRoad. The best equipment of 2021 will be my new road bike 😏
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
1,483
1,281
Is this ever a worry? People don't seem to recoil from me in my plastic clothing after a bike ride any more than they do before one. (Not that I've ridden trains much this year.)
Yes, for sure it is. The odor is from bacteria that don’t fully go away with regular detergent at lower temperatures. I use sports detergent for that reason, which not only is antibacterial, but also is gentle to the clothing. I was my old/cheaper clothes at 40 degrees.
 

TheAussieinJapan

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Apr 15, 2014
160
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For me.

1. Trek Domane SL5. This bike has taken my riding to a new level. Bought at the end of 2019, I've put about 2,500km on it this year all a joy to ride.
2.Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM. The navigation and ease of use, compatibility with my sensors.
2.5 Wahoo KICKR smart trainer. During lock-down thanks to Abe yen I stayed home, stayed safe and amazed at how much my fitness improved riding in virtual worlds. I have been off of this for a while though since the state of emergency was lifted. Plan to start using again this week. Small apartment isn't the best.
3. Rapha non-lycra wear, particularly commuter shorts and the Explorer t-shirts which I used every day in Summer. They were comfy, dried overnight and ever did well in the rain.

I second Mike's RESTRAP bag recommendation. I use this on my commuter bike now and find it a good size to put my bike chain & lock in, doesn't get in the way. Did have some of the inner pockets tear early on though.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
2,988
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I've not really bought a lot of cycling-related stuff other than consumables such as brake pads, rotors, inner cables.

The one standout would be the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and to me it deserves inclusion in the "best stuff of 2020". Easy to use, has all the features I need and bomb-proof reliable so far.

But in a wider sense, the piece of equipment I appreciated the most, regardless of when I bought it is my uniqlo windbreaker. The one I'm using now I didn't buy in 2020, but have had for a while. Because it has some grease stains (as tends to happen on anything cycling related), I had bought a brand new unstained one in a different color. Then I lent that to my wife when we were out and she was cold. Next time she borrowed it again to walk the dog. And returned it and borrowed it again, and again. She obviously loves it so much and has borrowed it so many times, the title has been officially transferred to her ;)

Anyway, outside the summer heat where one can be sure not to need any extra layer whatsoever, the windbreaker is one extra piece of clothes that I always take with me on a ride. Whether I just need an extra layer after sunset, or a bit of heat retention in slight rain or protection against wind chill on a descent or something to wear on top of everything else to turn bearable into comfortable on a cold winter ride, this windbreaker is so compact, portable and versatile that I can't go without it. The zippered pockets make it easy to keep keys, wallets, phones safe. If I'm not cycling, the pockets keep my hands warm.
 

Edogawakikkoman

Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
2,541
246
Less work, more rides... but not as much as I could have/ should have.... Lost 17kgs.... which is a bonus.
Besides Corona hassles, I had loss of some work, 3 broken air conditioners, new hot water service on the house, upgraded my solar system to have batteries as TEPCO stopped paying rebates.
Lots of extra bills with less cash is making it a bit tough still...
Hope 2021 gets better...
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,069
535
Oddest cycling accessory that I wanted but didn't actually buy: Iwanson (dental) caliper. Something like this:

I'd noticed that my (caliper-braked) rims were heavily pitted. (They haven't taken me so far, but a high percentage of this has been heavily braked along steep, crap-strewn descents.) This has me a bit worried. I learned from the interwebs that an Iwanson caliper (Iwanson gauge) was the way to measure rim thickness. I imagine that a self-respecting dentist would demand a first-rate example, but supposed that the cheapest and dodgiest would be adequate to get a good enough picture of rim thickness.

For reasons I shan't bore us with, I got a (cheap and dodgy) micrometer instead. This had a little plastic lever to lock (or anyway hinder) and unlock. In the first ten seconds (really) of inquisitive but gentle fiddling, this snapped in half. This is my first encounter with a micrometer, and clearly it will be a "learning experience" when I next summon the energy to remove a tyre and try out the gadget for the purpose I bought it for. (Meanwhile, I can use it to measure the depths of all sorts of other things, but am tragically uninterested.)

But I've a hunch that next year I'll end up buying a "Little Shop of Horrors" Iverson thingie.
 
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