It’s that time of year again when you’re cleaning the winter from your bikes (or for those more seasonal bike riders, the dust) and to keep your ride rolling with ease it’s going to take more than elbow grease.
Made by Toronto-based Orontas, this line of lubricants and cleaners not only look great they’re also made from plants and are non-toxic. So for the amateur bicycle repair man or lady that means less to worry about as your hands get dirty and you inevitably spill all over yourself (or is that just me?).
Over the past year I’ve learned to embrace the fact that traditional cycling clothes are quite beneficial on longer rides. They are cut to match your position, feature waist grippers to keep your shirt in place and the pockets are simply handy. Last year, I purchased a polyester long-sleeve jersey and while I find myself using the rear pockets and enjoy the cut, I really wish I’d held out for some wool.
Now, the Dutch may be better known for their everyday, bike in your regular clothes style but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few roadies and tourers in the bunch.
Road Holland jerseys are a merino/poly blend and come in understated colours… except, of course, for the orange Utrecht Jersey:
Road Holland jerseys and accessories for men and women can be found here: Road Holland
After countless years producing quality road, mountain and hybrid bicycles, Giant has entered into the upright city bike market for 2011. A unique steel diamond frame with twin top tubes that curve at the seat tube to form seat stays on the “men’s” version work to create a very distinct look (see below). On the higher-end models, the Via 1 and Via 1 W pictured here, you’ll get 3 speed Shimano Nexus internal gear hubs as well as fenders and either a rear or front rack.
The Giant web site suggests that the low end of the Via line will retail for $399 and the high end tops off at just $599 making these both functional and affordable.
Based in Toronto, YNOT Cycle, run by Tom Mosher, has recently expanded to a new location and continues cranking out custom bags for local riders. From the massive, carry-everything-you-own Cobra to the roll-top and room for plenty Gulper (pictured above) Tom and his team are creating functional, durable and downright good looking bags.
Sometimes you just don’t want to carry a bag. Active transportation can mean a little sweat, and carrying a bag is a quick way to dampen a shirt. But, with so many active Torontonians using bicycles to get to work and school, you still need to carry books, computers and lunches with you.
Enter the pannier, literally “bread basket,” for carrying your stuff by attaching securely to the rack on your bicycle. Much like backpacks, messenger bags and quite frankly bicycles, there are plenty of choices to be made when choosing a set of panniers. Here are four panniers that can carry what you need and are pleasing to the eye as well:
The combination of leather and canvas on the Basil Kavan II panniers will give a touch to of class to your cargo. Rounded sides provide for heel clearance when pedaling so you can load these up and pedal away effortlessly. For a full review see EcoVelo, available at Curbside Cycle.
The Linus Office Bag is a simple, structured cotton tote that will fit your 13″ laptop or a few books. Leather straps keep your cargo securely fastened and the included shoulder strap makes the transition from bike to office simple. Available at Bikes on Wheels.
The Brooks Brick Lane Roll-Up Panniers are a modern tribute to a more than century old bag design. Updated with magnetic fasteners, the weather resistant cotton with leather finishing easily rolls up when not in use.
New from Mountain Equipment Co-op is the Urban Shopping Tote. This collapsible tote features plastic hooks that won’t ruin your clothing when off the bike and d-rings will accommodate a shoulder strap (not included). Added reflective fabric also improves visibility at night, available at MEC.
Fall weather is upon in Toronto and that means more rain, cooler temperatures and more reasons to carry more things with you. A change of clothes, a laptop, books, lunch… the list goes on.
While messenger bags are a popular choice many people prefer backpacks because they are less likely to shift and can feel more secure.
Here then a few “covet-worthy” backpacks to keep your goodies dry and with you through all seasons:
SealLine is the brand of choice for active people who spend a lot of time on the water. No wonder then that their Urban Backpack (above) is watertight and growing in popularity with commuter cyclists.
The BC3 backpack from Ergon is designed to not only carry what you need but allows for a full range of movement due to the unique frame. Waterproof and comfortable with extras such as a helmet holder and a spot for hydration bladders.
Mission Workshop’s Vandal backpack is built to carry far more than you may ever need to. 3 waterproof compartments expand for awkward items and to make room for more when you stop at the grocery store on your way home from work.
Deceivingly simple looking from the outside, the SUIT25 backpack by Slicks is designed to more formal office attire featuring a suit holder with hanger and separated compartments to keep your shoes and shirts clean. A bright rain cover is included to keep your clothes dry and increase visibility in lower light.