Garmin Gets Small With Edge 25

by editors on June 25, 2015

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Lately, it seems like the high end of Garmin’s Edge cycling computers have grown larger and heavier with each release. That’s mostly why we’ve stuck with our trusty Edge 500 far longer than we probably should have. The only downside is that the 500 doesn’t have Bluetooth so we can’t share our rides live with family, and we can’t launch those immediate updates to Garmin Connect (and Strava) like our better equipped, KOM-stealing friends. All that has changed, however, with the release of Garmin’s new Edge 20 and 25 cycling computers. The diminutive new units are being touted as “the world’s smallest GPS cycling computers” and weigh in at only 25 grams.

Water-resistant and weighing only 25g, the Edge 20 and Edge 25’s extremely durable and small design is ideal for travel, training and everyday riding. Their interfaces make it easy to start, save and share activities and both are GPS and GLONASS-enabled, acquiring satellites quickly to track how far, fast and where a user is riding. Both devices feature up to eight hours of battery life.

These units have the basics. No color LCD screens, no power meter stats. And we kind of like it that way. The Edge 20 captures time, distance, speed, total ascent, and location, but doesn’t feature ANT+ nor Bluetooth. That means it cannot connect to any other ANT+ sensors like heart rate, cadence, or speed, nor can it connect to your smart phone. The Edge 25 is a lot like our old 500 except it has ANT+ and Bluetooth meaning it can connect to other sensors and smart phones. The only downside is that it cannot connect and display power meter metrics. Guess Garmin saved that feature for their larger, more expensive units.

The Edge 20 and 25 retail for $129.99 and $169.99. For the official word from Garmin, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]

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Smith Overtake Wins Red Dot Award

by editors on June 25, 2015

The Smith Overtake (currently our favorite race helmet) just won a 2015 Red Dot Award which is a pretty big deal.

Following the phenomenal success of the Forefront all-mountain helmet, the brand was recently honored again for its holistic approach to product design with the prestigious international 2015 Red Dot Award for the new Overtake cycling helmet. With almost 5,000 entries from 56 countries, the Red Dot Award – bestowed by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany – is the largest and most recognized product competition in the world.

Good to know we have an award winning helmet, especially one made with a material that absorbs 30% more energy than traditional EPS foam helmets. For the official word from Smith, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]

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Buckshot Pro: Speaker, Light, Battery

by editors on June 2, 2015

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Aside from our trusty Swiss Army Knife we’ve always considered do-it-all tools to be the master of none. So when we picked up Outdoor Technology’s new Buckshot Pro we were expecting disappointment. Why? Because, really, who puts a Bluetooth speaker, a camp light, a strobe bike light, a flashlight, and a back-up battery for a phone into one device. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, we were wrong. Turns out this combination of electronic tools is absolutely perfect for biking around the neighborhood, traveling across town, or even taking on the road for an overnight bike camping trip.

The reason we liked the the Buckshot Pro so much is because each individual feature alone made keeping the thing around worthwhile. We used the included strap and took it out for a bike ride to test the speaker. It paired easily with our phone. And while it was pretty difficult to hear anything while traveling above 18 MPH, at cruising speeds, the speaker worked great. And, if we were out past dark, the blinky headlight was enough to light up signs a block down the street. But what we like most about the Buckshot pro is using it in our tent. By hanging it from the ceiling we got bright, yet perfectly diffused light, plus music playback that wasn’t half bad. Later, after turning the light off, we simply unscrewed the light and plugged in our phone to get it charged. We might not take a speaker on a bike trip, but when it’s also a back-up phone battery, and a light it makes sense.

The most ingenious thing about the Buckshot Pro is the way the USB port is utilized. Plug it into the wall and the Buckshot Pro charges. Plug the light in and get four different lighting options: a bright yet diffused camp light, a dimmer mood light, a straight up flashlight, and a blinky cycling light perfect for rolling the streets at night. Plug your phone into the Buckshot and your phone charges. All that and it’s IPX5 water resistant as well.

We found that the Buckshot Pro cleaned up the clutter by keeping several things use all the time together in one compact package.

The Buckshot Pro comes in six colors: black, gray, red, orange, glow, and army green and retails for $79.95. For all the details, click the link.

[Link: Outdoor Technology]

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Fitbit & Strava Agree To Swap Data

by editors on May 12, 2015

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Popular fitness tracking device manufacturer Fitbit today announced a partnership with Strava in a deal that has the two companies giving users the ability to automatically share their fitness data between the two ecosystems.

Once users connect their Fitbit and Strava accounts any activity logged on Fitbit will be posted to Strava and any activity posted to Strava will end up on a user’s Fitbit timeline.

This comes as a welcome surprise to Fitbit Surge GPS watch owners who only last month got the ability to easily track bicycle rides on their devices. On the launch of the new bike feature many Fitbit Surge users felt that tracking a bike ride without being able to post it to Strava defeated the whole purpose of tracking the ride in the first place. That appears to no longer be a problem.

Strava already syncs with many GPS enabled devices and now a legion of Fitbit users will have to opportunity to see their activities tracked and ranked against Strava’s competitive disciples.

The only downside is for those who like keeping their two fitness timelines separate. Some use Fitbit for tracking casual activities like walking, sleeping, and dietary intake while saving Strava as a record of serious training efforts. Once the two apps are connected users will no longer have the ability to keep the two timelines apart.

In the end Strava gets a whole new set of compatible devices and Fitbit gets access to loads of location based fitness data while the users get a smoother way to combine their activity tracking timelines.

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Felton’s Mountain Biking vs. Wilderness

by editors on May 11, 2015

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We’re not the biggest fans of major label bicycle magazine “columnists.” Their boring “had a great thought on my last ride” stories are dull, boring, redundant, say the same thing over and over, are repetitive, and terribly boring. That said, Bike Magazine’s “web monkey” Vernon Felton has pulled together a nice piece on the politics of riding bikes in “wilderness” areas. It’s too long (of course), but it covers most all the angles in the battle for wilderness access by mountain bikers. You should read it.

Here is Felton’s conclusion:

Screw this ban on mountain biking. If you feel the same way, let your representative in congress know about it. Speak up. You see, while I respect IMBA and the hell of a lot that they actually do for mountain biking, here is where I disagree with the organization: I think we mountain bikers have numbers on our side. I’m willing to wager that the vast majority of Americans, know nothing about this ban on mountain bikes and wouldn’t approve of it if they did. So be vocal. Push. That’s what worked for the people who got us kicked out of the wilderness in the first place. Let’s give it a try ourselves for a change.

Our position for years has been: if horses are allowed, we’re allowed. We ignore the signs. And so far that’s only resulted in occasional reprimands (even in Yosemite, gasp). But it would be nice if we could finally get the law on our side. . . for once.

[Link: Bike Mag]

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Phil Gaimon Loves Milk & Cookies

by editors on May 11, 2015

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Everyone’s favorite bike writer Phil Gaimon (Pro Cycling on $10 A Day) has a new Diamondback Podium that is nicely kitted with milk and cookies thanks to his work with the UnitedHealthCare Children’s Foundation.

“We developed this cookie bike to donate to the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) for a charity auction, and to raise awareness of Optum p/b KBS, Diamondback and the UHCCF’s shared commitment to health & wellness,” said Diamondback’s Marketing Director Steve Westover. “In future races Phil will ride a version of this so that we can keep the awareness of “Earning your cookies” and leading a healthy and active top of mind throughout the year.”

Wonder if those graphics are scratch ‘n sniff. . . we hope not. Close-up after the jump. [click to continue…]

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GCN’s 10 Riders To Watch In The TOC

by editors on May 7, 2015

This little gem from the Global Cycling Network might as well be titled The 10 Amgen Tour of California Riders That You May Have Heard Of Before and it features a voice over by some new guy, with no English accent, who can barely read. Is this someone GCN just pulled off the street? Okay, that was a rhetorical question. We all know who it is and we’re just joking.

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REI Green Lanes $100K To PeopleForBikes

by editors on May 5, 2015

Peopleforbikes-LogoBig box outdoor retailer REI has reportedly given PeopleForBikes $100,000 in support of their Green Lane Project to help US cities build better bike lines and makes streets safer. Work is currently going down in six cities: Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.

The grants are designed to help the cities advance their protected bike lane infrastructure and build public support and ridership for low-stress networks. Grant recipients will engage their local REI store in the project and provide a clear plan for measuring success. . . “Thanks to REI’s support, we will be able to demonstrate the many benefits that come to a city when it invests in safe, accessible places to ride,” said Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes vice president of local innovation. “These grants will help our focus cities become better places to live, work and play. ”

For the official word from PeopleForBikes, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]

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Smith Beyond Walls: New Zealand, Part 1

by editors on April 29, 2015

Members of the Smith mountain bike team (including Joey Schusler, Lars Sternberg, Mike Hopkins, Rosara Joseph, Alex “KrunkShox” McGuinnis, and Carolynn Romaine) were reportedly sent to New Zealand to explore the south island, ride single track, destroy an RV, forge storms, and have run-ins with the local law. What was captured in this three part video series reveals a glimpse into their life on the road, though we’re not exactly sure what it means to “forge” a storm. Guess you’ll have to watch and find out.

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Spy’s Belgian Waffle Ride & Fitness Expo

by editors on April 21, 2015

Spy-2015-Bwr-Expo-Poster-FinalCarlsbad, California eyewear company Spy is holding its infamous annual Spy Belgian Waffle Ride and Fitness Expo this weekend on Saturday and Sunday April 25-26, 2015. For 2015 the entire 145 mile event is centered around the Lost Abby Brewery.

The ride itself takes place on Sunday, April 26th and once again, it will be surrounded a two-day bicycle and fitness expo, kicking off at The Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos, CA, which is also where the start of the race will be. . . Now in its fourth year, the SPY BWR is a grueling 229-kilometer, multi-terrain cycling race that began as a tribute to the beautiful and taxing rides staged in Belgium each spring. The course includes 11,000 feet of arduous climbing through the unrelenting hills of San Diego County and includes a relentless barrage of mud, dirt, single-track and water crossings. . . The Expo will include multiple food trucks from Gear Grinder Grill as well as more than 30 performance and sports related exhibitors.. . More than $10,000 in prizes will be raffled off, including bikes from Giant, Felt, Masi, Haro, as well as prize packs from lululemon. . . The family friendly festivities will also include an astro jump and bouncy house for children in attendance.

If you like bikes (and/or beer) then the Spy Belgian Waffle weekend is just for you. Sadly, it is sold out but for more info, please click the link. Or click here for Bikeistan coverage of previous events.

[Link: Spy Belgian Waffle Ride]

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