Being a teacher carries with it many rewards, an unencumbered commute not being among them. Panniers help with this at least while on the bike, removing the overstuffed backpack and providing relief for the sweaty back and achey shoulders that can accompany. But how about when I dismount and unhook the panniers? Off the bike, most perform as well as a lopsided briefcase.
The transformer mechanism of the Banjo Brothers Convertible Waterproof Pannier Backpack is one of those so-simple-it’s-stupid concepts. A large flap provides top closure and conceals the backpack straps in pannier mode, with a simple hook and elastic strap rack attachment. Unhook the bag from the rack, flip over the flap to expose the backpack straps and hide the pannier mounts, adjust the straps and you have a backpack. The pocket on the flap remains outermost in both modes, with zipper access on both sides, which is convenient for never fumbling for wallet and phone. Though it may not be my first choice for hiking around all day, the padded straps and chest strap make it a serviceable backpack. To transform back to pannier, the straps fold back neatly and quickly, securing the ends and requiring little fuss. Flip the flap and you’re good to go. Banjo Brothers’ execution is simple, fast, and functional.
The bag has 1100 cubic inches of space—plenty of room for laptop, change of clothes, work shoes, and lunch and the roll-top closure with burly, removable welded-seam waterproof liner keeps everything dry. Two side outer pockets, one zippered, one open, are decently sized and though the zipper was mangled on our sample, Banjo Brothers has a reputation for great warranty and replacement service. This bag would have been replaced right away, but I was too busy using it to care. Light loops and reflective piping help with low-light visibility
When overstuffed with an open top the roll-top waterproofing is null and void, and unfortunately, the straps to clip the flap over the top in backpack mode when it’s this full sometimes aren’t long enough to reach. At 3 lbs it’s not the lightest, although removing that waterproof liner on dry days can save almost half a pound. At $80 it’s a total commuter bargain.
Written by Katie Horowitz, VP of Education, PPWP.
Modify Watches is a couple year old company making relatively affordable customizable watches that allow you to choose the face design and band color, even allowing you to create your own completely custom face artwork if you’re so inclined. A number of bike brands large and small have gone ahead and created their own designs as shown, but you’re only going to the cycling collection watches in person at shops like One on One in Minnepolis, West End Bikes in Portland and Fast Folks Cyclery in Austin to name a few.
Tied and soldered spokes were once a final touch from the finest mechanics upon the highest quality wheels, but have for the most part faded into obscurity. Seen only rarely these days, many cyclists have never personally laid eyes upon a set of tied and soldered wheels, let alone question the history of the practice or learn to tie their own.
Back in Urban Velo #11 published in January 2009 we explained the practice and showed you how to get started with the help of local old school wheel wizard Scott Wickham Jr.
That’d be rad… that was rad. Absolutely amazing family film from the Zenga Bros.
In sad news RAGBRAI is reporting that long time framebuilder Tom Teesdale suffered a heart attack and passed away while participating in the annual ride across Iowa on Monday the 21st. Tom was an influential craftsman having been involved in the 1980′s era Fisher bikes, and known throughout the world of small-time builders.
Son John Teesdale said his father loved his family and had a passion for bicycles.
“It’s nice — well, it’s not nice — but if you’ve got to go out, you might as well go out riding your bike,” he said.
Read more at www.ragbrai.com
Minneapolis rules, and this is more evidence. Swobo gets it.
Roll with the red dragon and a winning hand of cards for just $5 plus shipping. The art was originally made for our annual Spring Roll alleycat but we decided it would work well on a shirt as a standalone piece. Time to make space for a new design, pick one up while supplies last. White Gildan Dryblend 50/50 shirt, available in sizes S-XXL.
We’ve posted the previous Deux North videos, with this one being the most recent in the inspiration and scenic series. Hunt 4 follows the Deux North team for a couple of hundred miles out of Santa Cruz, riding and testing the new Specialized Diverge “adventure road” bike en route to the 100 mile Grasshopper Adventure Series Race.
This is my kind of bicycle. The widespread epiphany that big tires are comfortable and can take you to awesome places on a “road” bicycle has led to a number of choices in the realm of versatile frames built for real world riding rather than pure racing. Superb Bicycle just posted a few pictures of their latest efforts, the Overland. Build it with flat bars and racks for commuting and city riding, or drop bars for gravel and cyclocross endeavors. Clearance for up to 40 mm tires gives you more cushion for the pushin’, steel tubes keep it real. The prototype is 4130 steel, but Superb is threatening to make it out of Columbus Zona for that much better, and lighter, of a ride. Check out that flat crown and hooded dropouts (with replaceable hanger!). Good stuff. See more at www.superbbicycle.com
Meet the Blackburn Rangers, headed on the road for 2014 to use and abuse the latest equipment for months long real-life testing that the lab can’t emulate. Most of us live in cities, and most of us want to get out for an extended road trip now and again. Even if your trip is only a few hours, you might be happy that one of these people made sure that pump or pannier is good for the journey. Watch and catch some views from the Great Divide and Pacific Coast Highway routes. “Get out there.”