Monday, February 16, 2009

Best of '08 (a little late)

I'm going to get on a regular schedule one of these days.
I wanted to write a best-of recap for 2008, so here goes...

#5 on my list is a simple little part that can make all the difference in the world. SRAM 11-28 10 speed cassette. This gear ratio offers a sprinters gear for those cross races, and the utmost bail out gear for those 200 mile gravel grinders. The ratio is pretty solid too, with the most noticeable jump going from the 25 to 28 tooth. The cassette is SRAM compatible, but I've had good luck running it on with Shimano drive trains, even with a short cage rear derailleur. It is available as a Rival/Force version, and for the weight weinies, a SRAM Red version.

#4 on my list is an item that is often times overlooked, but without one your ride may not happen. Lights. I had two favorite new lights this year, so here there are. The Niterider MiNewt Mini-USB, packs a powerful punch in a very practical way. It is based off their rock-solid MiNewt series, but charges with a very simple USB cord. So if you run out the door in the morning and forgot to charge you light the night before you can charge it at work while checking up on It is reasonably light weight, has a good run time, is inexpensive, and it's a niterider so it will continue to work. My other favorite light this year was the Blackburn Flea. When I first saw the Flea I was a little skeptical, but after testing it and using it all winter long I am totally convinced. This light is incredibly bright, front and rear. It has a very unique charging system, that charges off any standard 1.5v battery. It's one of the smallest lights out there, but puts out light brighter than many recharable lights. Lights are very important to me on my commute during the winter months, and I am 100% confident in these lights as I ride home to my family.

#3 on my list is also multiple items, but all of them are from the formidable Chris King. First off is their classic cross hubs. These beauties are new twist on their classics. Slightly taller and equal hub flanges, paired with a 19.5mm axle that runs the length of the hubs give these bad boys the ultimate in strength, stiffness and style that cyclocross demands. Next is their new Sotto Voce headsets. Muted logos add a new modern style to a reigning classic. Finally is their long-awaited Bottom Bracket. This has been in the rumor mill for years, and it's finally here! The company that has been making the best headsets and hubs for longer than I've been alive is taking that knowledge to the next most important part of the bike. Thanks!

#2 on my list is a one of my many new rides for '08, but definitely the coolest of them all... The Gary Fisher Superfly. This bike rocks! Light, stiff, responsive, reasonably comfortable. It is my first 29er, and I've gotten a good taste of the sweet kool-aid. Although I'm still more comfortable on a full suspension, especially for the longer rides, it's fun to rocket around on a 22lb mountain bike.

#1 on my list was an easy decision. 2008 was a great year for bikes, for my shops, but more importantly for my family. In April we welcomed little Levi into our lives, and as I've heard a thousand times, things will never be the same...but I couldn't be happier!

Levi's First Bike Race!
Levi With Liquigas!
6 Months!

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