Packable windbreakers are one of those clothing items I am rarely without, and that have bailed me out of more than a few freak storms and cold fronts over the years. Chrome has introduced the $95 De Haro windbreaker to their ever expanding clothing lineup, featuring water resistant and windproof ripstop fabric, front utility pockets and a rear pocket that pulls double duty as a stuff sack for the jacket. Longer sleeves and an extended tail keep you covered in the drops, full length side vents allow you air out, and reflective cuffs add some visibility at night for signalling turns. Available in black or oxblood red at www.chromeindustries.com
According to Fiona Ryan, designer at Fifo Cycle, “We wanted to stay true to the impact the Cinelli branding has had on cycling graphics and to harken back to their vintage design legacy. It has been an extremely exciting project for Fifo Cycle—just the kind of design challenge that gets us spinning in the studio! We used transparent water based inks on natural fabrics to give the hat a vintage feel and an Oxford stripe on the reverse side to keep it dapper and fresh!”
Check out www.fifocycle.com
Used bicycle chains have limited utility, with most shops throwing away boxes full of them every year. Resource Revival has been repurposing used bike parts for years now, and recently put together this video showing some of the process in saving a used bike chain from the landfill. While they don’t accept individual chain donations, you can get your shop onboard and maybe your old chain will become a bottle opener or picture frame.
Lunis is a cycling clothing start-up, with their first product being the minimalist, made in the USA, Cresent Windshell jacket. It packs down into it’s own stowable pocket that is roughly palm-sized and weighs but a few ounces, making it a perfect thing to have stashed in your bag for cutting the late night chill. It features a slim cyclist fit and articulated sleeves for on the bike comfort, with the real selling point being the reflective highlights visible from a full 360º around. A cinch cord at the bottom and lycra sleeve ends keep the cool air out, while the material claims to be wicking and breatheable while still water and wind resistant. Read more at the Lunis Kickstarter page.
Bikes that feature coupler systems for breakdown and easy air or bus travel are continuing to gain in popularity, with a number of different ways to make the actual coupling happen. I’ve been riding one for years, and have travelled all over the country with it using a variety of methods — a cardboard box, a hard shell case from S and S Machine, and finally a custom made bike bag that I commissioned from Blaq Design. I’ve never been that fond of most commercially available cases as they tend to be overly expensive and lacking in the features I’d like to see, hence the custom bag I’ve been using. Given the price of bags on the market or a custom one, it’s no surprise people have been searching for alternatives such as hockey bags, or this NRS bag, meant for stowing an inflatable boat. Pictured is the smallest size, available for a mere $70 that fits a roughly 56 cm bike with 26″ wheels just fine, though it may not fit 700c wheels. An airline legal size, the bag is lightweight allowing you to stuff the empty spaces with vital travelling needs like shoes and a megaphone without going over the weight limit, and rather than opening in half has a shallow top shell to allow for TSA agents to inspect the contents without having to know how to repack your bicycle. Shown here reinforced with cardboard for added rigidity, the bag may not survive dozens of trips like much more expensive bags can, but by the same token is easily replaced if the airline gorillas decide to punch or tear a giant hole in it. The mesh sides are meant for preventing a boat from mildewing and are perhaps the biggest downfall, requiring small parts and bolts to be secured against falling out. Worth a look if you’re looking for an alternative to $250+ travel bags, see more at www.nrsweb.com