Pearl Izumi Pursuit Thermal Bib Tight Overview

Please check out my video on the Pearl Izumi Pursuit Thermal Bib Tight.

I apologize for the actual video quality on this one. My camera battery died prematurely because it was out in the cold weather and I really wanted to get some content out. I shot on my iPhone and of course YouTube compressed the sh*t out of it.

ANYWAY…

These bibs are such a well thought out design. Everyone questions me on why I love bibs so much, well they are extremely comfortable and these make it super easy to be able to use the bathroom without fully de-robing. The drop-tail is a game changer and now rivals my favorite halter style design on competing brand’s bibs.

The fleece lining is soft and cozy, the outer layer of the tight has a water resistance and just the right amount of bio-viz reflective hits for when the sun sets early. The mesh is also soft and finished nicely with the right amount of stretch, yet snug compression for the bibs to stay in place.

I’ve had some qualms with PI’s quality on some of their entry level clothing in the past, but the Pursuit Thermal Bib Tights have thus far won me over. I’m looking forward to putting in some proper miles in these and reporting back with a full review of how they’ve performed.

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Thanks for reading and as always, see you on the path!

Badger Cycle Works Fattywompus 1.0 Overview

At the end of 2014 I decided to part with my beloved Raleigh RX 1.0 cyclocross bike to make way for a new steed. It was a bit sad, since I had loved the bike since the day I laid eyes on it, but I didn’t end up racing ‘cross like I thought I would.

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The Raleigh became my indoor training bike.

After the sale to a nice couple in the Twin Cities, I felt a void. I had only my Soma Doublecross and my Electra Saris branded cruiser. For most people, two bikes would be sufficient, but I’m not most people. I’m a hardcore bike nerd who strongly believes in the N+1 equation when it comes to bike ownership.

This is where the Fattywompus came in. I was browsing Facebook when I saw my friends over at Wheel & Sprocket had sourced their own house brand of fat bikes under the Badger Cycle Works name. They had two build options available at some really competitive price points.

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The Fattywompus 2.0 is spec’d with a solid 2×10 Shimano Deore drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, coming in at the $1299 price point.

The Fattywompus 1.0 is spec’d with a 1×9 Shimano Altus drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes at the $999 price point.

If anyone has been keeping track of the cost of Fat bikes, you’ll see that it’s hard to find a sub $1500 complete, let alone a sub $1000 one! There a some newer brands hitting the market that are starting to push the prices down with some cheaper builds and non name branded parts. So far most of them have had pretty good reviews from customers.

The thing that drew me to the Badger Bikes over some of the competitors is they are being assembled and sold via a local bike shop. Companies such as Bikes Direct or Framed are selling most of their stock direct to consumers via online sales. This can be a little sketchy with folks assembling their own bikes or when warranty issues crop up.

Some of the units are being sold through a dealer network, but as the race to the bottom continues there will be more and more of these bikes being assembled by folks with little or no mechanical experience. I can say I’ve already seen some photos of these on the web with forks installed backwards and other major issues!

Back to the fatty…I called up a friend of mine who manages one of the Wheel & Sprocket stores and had him place a Fattywompus 1.0 on hold for me. I had decided to buy the 1.0 since I had a stockpile of parts I had purchased in anticipation of building a fat bike from the frame up. I also knew I didn’t want to mess with hydraulic brakes since we get -40 below weather here.

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Within the week I was able to get my new bike and was extremely impressed by its massive 4.9″ tires and how nice the bike rode overall. There were a couple of items I knew I would have had to change out of the box, but nothing too expensive or difficult to change.

The seat post on the bike is 350mm, which worked well for Keri. Not so much for myself. I’m 5′ 5″ with long legs and a short torso. I ended up putting a 410mm seat post on, so I would have plenty of adjustment.

The seat post clamp also had to go. It was a quick release style that was kind of annoying to adjust, so an orange Salsa lip lock 32.0 sized replaced it.

The stock build of the bike is really solid. Trigger shifters work so well with a properly dialed dérailleur. Even the inexpensive Altus shifter was nice and crisp. I of course swapped it out because I can’t help but tinker with any and every bike I own.

My final build is this:
Frameset- Badger Bikes Fattywompus aluminum in Platinum 15″ small
Wheels- No name 135 front, 190 rear bolt on w/cutouts
Rim Strips- Surly clown shoe compatible in Orange
Tubes- Q tubes 26×2.75 (upgraded from the originals)
Tires- Surly Nates 120tpi ultra light
Seat post- Thompson 410mm
Seat clamp- Salsa lip lock 32.0 orange
Saddle- stock
Headset- stock FSA
Handlebars- Stock (will be upgraded with a more swept back bar)
Stem- Thompson 90mm
Brakes- TRP Spyke 180 front, 160 rear
Grips- ESI chunky
Shifter- SRAM X7 10 speed
Chain- SRAM 10 speed
Crank- stock sammox
Chainring- race face wide narrow 34t Orange 104 bcd
Rear der- SRAM x7 10 speed
Cassette- Shimano 11-36

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So far I love the bike and the build. The new tires and tubes shaved two pounds off the bike. It started at being almost 35 lbs. and now weighs closer to 32 with the component and tire upgrades. It’s much more responsive and doesn’t suffer from self steering, which those extra fat tires can often cause when the PSI is dropped.

A few things I may change are the cassette. A Shimano XT will allow me to install an extended range cog on the cassette allowing me to run an 11-42. I also want to swap the stem for a bit more rise and the handlebars for more sweep for a comfier hand position.

Overall I am super happy about my purchase and would recommend checking out the Badger line to anyone in the market for a fat bike that won’t break the bank. Winter riding has become much more fun with the fatty and I can’t wait to hit up the local MTB trails and beaches in the summer with it too!

A Winter of Cyclists- Madison

1655993_283983265085083_1209627768_nJoin us for a one night film showing of A Winter of Cyclists in Madison at the Barrymore Theatre on March 26th. Come out and see what it takes to ride to work all year long or bring a friend and show them what you are already doing.


About the Film

The documentaryA Winter of Cyclists (64 min) captures the inaugural Icy Bike Winter Commuting Challenge.  The film follows twelve cyclists as they attempt to bicycle commute during the winter months. Watch as they challenge each other during the cold, dark and snowy Colorado winter and experience the surprising comradery that forms as nearly 200 like-minded riders from across the USA, Canada, and other countries join in the Challenge. For those who cycle in the winter now, this film is a tribute to you. And for those who are considering it, catch a memorable glimpse of what could await you.

 

Film Details, Movie Trailer, and Tickets:ChainRingFilms.com

After the showing there will be a Q&A session with filmmaker Mike Prendergast, cast member and UW-Madison graduate Heather McCullough, and Madison Bike Winter’s Aaron Crandall.


Prize Drawing for Advanced Ticket Purchase

All advanced ticket purchasers are eligible to win a cycling gift bag from Machinery Row bicycles. Gift bags will include a water bottle, Machinery Row pint glass, L.E.D. wheel lights, tail light, lock, bicycle map of Madison, chamois butter sample, power food samples, and stickers.

 

 

Choose to Commute- Madison Review

The COMMUTE series put on by new non-profit, Choose to Commute has sadly come to an end last week. I’m sad that it’s over as it gave me something to look forward to on my Monday nights, but I’m excited to expect another one in the fall!

Overall the series went really well. All of the guest speakers were phenomenal and I was excited to get so many folks from the community to represent the various organizations we have in Madison.

The first workshop featured Kathyrne Auerback (Edgewood Sustainability), Jessie Lerner (Sustain Dane), Jim Lorman (Edgewood Sustainability), Zachary Barns (Bicycle Benefits), Alison Reitter (Machinery Row), Aaron Crandall (Wisconsin Bike Fed/Madison Bike Winter).

Each panelist had great information and statistics regarding how bicycle commuting can improve your life.

Workshop Panel
Workshop Panel

Workshop two took place at Machinery Row. We couldn’t make it that night, but we heard the folks over at Machinery Row did a spectacular job covering the basics of gear needed for commuting. They went over choosing a bike, outfitting the bike with a rack and panniers, as well as what clothing choices commuters have.

Our personal favorite workshop was workshop three. Its focus was on how to ride safely in the city, laws of road, and various tactics on how to deal with less than ideal riding conditions. Arthur Ross (Madison Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator) and John Rider (Madison Bicycle Licensing Coordinator) were the presenters and had a wealth of knowledge.


Here’s a little preview of the presentation. You can see John’s daughter wanting to be a part of the show!

Part four of the COMMUTE series was a ride. A fairly decent size of veteran riders came out to participate and a few newbies came along as well. Ideally, more new riders should have participated. The weather was kind of tough to work with. It was still kind of cold out the day of the ride and many of the new riders at the other workshops either didn’t have bikes yet or didn’t have gear for cold weather riding.

Really most people could just have ridden in jeans, sneakers, and their winter jackets…oh well. The route was a short 5 ish mile route along popular commuter ways in downtown Madison. We’ll get them next time!

Photo Credit: Kierstin Kloeckner
Photo Credit: Kierstin Kloeckner
COMMUTE riders
COMMUTE riders

 
A HUGE thanks to Tom Klein for putting everything together. Tom has an amazing entrepreneurial spirit and is transitioning from music promoter to a leader in the local sustainability movement. Another big thank you to all the presenters as well as Kierstin Kloeckner for helping promote the event and being an awesome participant. Last, but not least, thanks to Redamte for opening up their wonderful space. The food and coffee is great there, please check them out!

We’re definitely looking to improve on promoting the series in the future. The first one was kind of a pilot to see how the format worked out. There are some ideas we’re looking to implement in the future to personalize the experience info for each participant.

If you have any ideas or are interested in participating in the future, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail!

 

 

Talking About Winter Commuting- Video

Here’s a short video of myself talking about riding in snowy/icy conditions. My regular commute one way is 5miles. My Surly has Vittoria Randonneur Hyper (700x38c I believe) tires on it currently, which have a really smooth tread. They were fine getting me through the conditions we had today for the most part, but I had to ride pretty slow. I also had to get off my bike and walk it over one of the commuter bridges that passes over the freeway.

I’m hopping once the holidays are over I can score a set of studded tires to try out and have some cheapish fenders from PDW on the way. I actually loath full length fenders. They weigh too much and I have toe overlap as it is, so I like the clip on route all the way. Maybe you feel differently…that’s just my opinion.

I’ve been continually experimenting with wearing different types of clothing for riding. Today I chose regular skinny jeans, a t-shirt with a tank top under, a Mountain Hardwear Butter hoodie/pullover thing, wool socks, DZR shoes (there will definitely be a write up on those), a Patagonia down jacket, wool hat, and actual winter ski gloves. The outfit worked alright. I still find it hard to ride in jeans in general rather than tights or athletic pants.

The trend is that I’m much warmer up top, sometimes too warm, than I am below. My legs have definitely suffered from the lack of insulation. I need to try some different things out on that front.

I’ll probably experiment with wearing Ski goggles as my Sunglasses are too dark most mornings and evenings on my way home. I actually wore a pair of safety glasses from work for the beginning of my ride, but they fogged up and froze over after a bit.

The lighting on my bike was pretty good, but I feel since I wore regular clothes my actual body didn’t have much reflective gear on it and I like to be seen, so I’ll probably include my riding vest back into my clothing choices in the future.

Overall the past couple days of riding has been awesome. I’m practically alone in the morning on the bike path which makes me both happy and sad at the same time. More people should ride when it’s cold! It’s FUN!

Like I said in the video, I’m going to try and keep them coming. I really enjoy watching vlogs and think they are more interesting than reading a bunch of articles. I’m hoping to do some coverage on Cross Nationals and some other fun bike events coming up here in the next few months.

I’m in desperate need of a video quality SD card for my DSLR as I’ve been just rocking the iPhone as a camera. It’s alright, but I want to produce some better footage. I have access to a Contour and Go Pro through work that I may play around with. Maybe we can write up a couple reviews on those if anyone is interested.

Stay tuned and please e-mail, comment on our Facebook (facebook.com/spokehaven), and LIKE US on Facebook. We usually update it with more stuff throughout the day as it’s easy to do with a phone and an internet connection.

Thanks guys!

-Cassandra