Reviewing a Strange Array of Bike and Outdoor Products
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at some
products. If you’re new here, these videos are for fun. It’s just me showing you a bunch of stuff and telling you what I think of it. So with that, let’s get started. A lot of us prefer riding our
bikes naked—well, without a backpack I mean. Sometimes this means strapping a few items to your
bike, and lately this Dakine Hot Laps Gripper has been my go to. It can easily hold a tube, valve stems, CO2, an inflator, a multi tool, and even a little more. The reason it’s called “the gripper” is because of this rubber surface on the back that keeps it from sliding around your frame. I’ve ridden everywhere from North Carolina to Whistler with this thing and I can tell you it stays put. This long strap lets you cinch the bag down really tight. The drawback—or advantage depending on how you look at it, is that the strap also keeps the bag closed, so to access the stuff inside you need to unstrap it. Still it’s quick, secure, tidy looking, and only costs $24. There’s not much to complain about. Here’s another bag you can strap to your
bikeframe, the Underdog Down Tube Bag, by Troutmoose. Although it’s called a down tube bag you can actually fit this thing most anywhere on your frame, and like the Hot Laps Gripper it has this rubbery stuff on the back to help keep it in place. It also has a really long strap that lets you cinch it down and make a full pass around the bag. But the main...
selling point of the Underdog Bag is tht it’s a dry bag. On a ride with lots of river crossings you could pack camera batteries, your cell phone, and other items in here, and totally submerge it. Like the Dakine Hot Laps Gripper, this needs to be unstrapped to access the compartment, but the Underdog also needs to be unbuckled and unrolled. It’s also more expensive at $45, and for that all you’re really getting is water resistance. This is going to appeal more to
bikepackers who really need that functionality, but for everyone else I think Dakine’s bag is tidier, and a much better value. Speaking of niche items, here’s a tool that promises to make working on wheels and tires a little easier, and in some cases, less messy. The Park WH1. I’m pretty sure WH stands for wheel holder, and that’s exactly what this does. The WH1 mounts to your workbench and includes a fixed thru axle that can be dropped into different positions to hold your wheel in place. This really comes in handy, more than you would think. From setting up a new tire with sealant, to mounting a brake rotor, the WH1 definitely makes the job about 8% easier, but it has some downsides that will limit its appeal. First of all it’s $99. That’s a lot for a consumer to spend on a wheel holder, but not a lot for a shop that sees dozens of wheels per day. Since you need to account for the diameter of a wheel, the WH1 can take up more space than a vice and a bench grinder combined—that’s a lot of real...
estate for something shops have existed without for the better part of a century, so Park added the ability to clamp it to the bench, or stick it in a vice. I must say, it’s a clever tool. One that I could personally survuve without, but may save a lot of time in high volume shops. Here’s another product designed for
bikeshops, the Grand Stand
bikedisplay stand. I already showed you how to make a
bikestand out of scrap 2x4’s, for basically free, so this is not a problem that warrants a big investment, unless you’re concerned with aesthetics. The grand stand is very nice looking, and also very heavy. It has grips for the floor, and fits everything from road
bikewheels to mountain
bikeplus tires. Because the Grand Stand is made for displays, each unit comes with an arm that can link multiple units together, making for some interesting arrangements. The arms also provide a bit of stability. I’ll be using four of these as guest spots next to my work bench, and in the coming months they’ll be getting a lot of use. With that being said these were sent to me for review. If I had to spend money on an arrangement like this I’d definitely build something out of wood instead, but that’s kind of the look I’m going for in here. At $65 bucks, these cost just a little more than competing
productsand are a lot more polished. Mostly
bikeshops are going to buy these, but if you’re into displaying your
bikes they might be worth a look. This next product is from Circle...
Square Diamond. It’s a decorative trail map you can buy for one of many trail systems, mainly lift access
bikeparks and ski resorts. I’m including these here because I bought a whole bunch of them for my shop build, and since then the company has been adding a lot more pedal trail systems. To be clear, these are sold as prints, not with the frames. Before I placed my initial order all the way back in June, I saw that they had a map for DuPont State forest, but not Pisgah National Forest, which is a larger trail system only minutes away. I emailed them, and they added it. They had no idea I had a large YouTube channel, but after purchasing those prints and featuring them on my build video, they must have found out because they sent me this. It’s an impressively accurate map of Berm Creek, printed on canvas. For those of you who don’t know, this is the trail system at my old house. So there’s not much else to say about these prints, other than the fact that they look really good, and they’re made by a cool company. Here’s a product for cleaning yourself and your
bikeoff. It’s called the Crud cloth. It’s a wash cloth that’s pre-moistened with soapy water, infused with hippie oil. That’s shorthand for all this stuff. The directions say to wipe yourself off with it, and then use the soiled cloth to wash off your
bike. The only disposable part of the Crud Cloth is the plastic it’s wrapped in, the rest can be washed and reused. But once you’ve done that,...
it’s a regular wash cloth. This begs the question; why not keep some regular wash cloths around? Even with all the hippie oil this thing has in it, you’re still gonna jump in the shower when you get home. So I think the Crud cloth is good to leave in your glovebox and forget about. Someday, you’ll need a damp cloth in the worst way, and this thing will save your life. But for after a
bikeride, I can think of cheaper more sustainable ways to wash yourself off. Next up, is a product from our friends at Helmetor, the makers of these little helmet hooks. Their new product is called the hub, which is a hook for all of your gear. You mount it to your wall with the included hardware, and then you can hang your gloves, helmet, shoes, and whatever else you want all in one place. You can’t even pretend like that’s not clever. Now let’s be honest, this stuff is kind of goofy and isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s well thought out, solid, and does what it’s supposed to. So if you want a giant Helmetor logo on your wall with a spot for all your gear, you know where to get it. In another product review video I featured this gem, which has since saved my life several times. The company, potty packs, makes a host of
productsyou should hope to never need. For instance, they sent me the Tick Kit, which is an emergency tick removal kit. Luckily I don’t have a real tick embedded in me to demonstrate with, but I worked something out just for this video....
Inside the tick kit are a pair of tweezers to remove said tick, a tick storage bag so you can submit it for testing, and some first aid supplies. The kit also comes with insect repellent, I assume to prevent more ticks. Ticks can be a serious matter, especially if they actually embed themselves in your skin, but I’m not totally sold on this kit. If you’re actually prepared enough to carry a tick kit, you would probably have a first aid kit. Which brings us to the next product from the same company, the first aid kit. While the name isn’t so creative, the “First aid kit” is actually a good idea. As is the case with things you hope to never need, nobody wants to carry a first aid kit, but this one is small enough to be completely negligible. When riding naked like I prefer to do, even a mini first aid kit like this one would require that I wear a backpack. So I generally don’t carry one. This can be stored anywhere, including those two on-
bikepacks featured earlier in this video. The kit is missing some important items like butterfly closures, but it does have bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and aspirin. It’s certainly better than nothing, and it might just be the only first aid kit you’ll actually take with you. So, we’ve been cutting some trail up here on Berm Peak, and I’ve been using some new tools. Let’s take a look at some of them and see how they’ve been holding up. First up, are these Fiskars loppers, which are designed to cut branches two...
inches or smaller. I’m not going to lie, it was a 2”+ branch that caused these to bind up and damage the cutter, but these bad boys are still going strong. Even with a damaged blade, it takes very little effort to muscle these things through limbs, and I can’t deny that they were worth $40. Like most loppers, these are a little awkward to use on smaller stuff since you still need to open the handles so wide, but that’s even more apparent on these since they have this gear that gives you more leverage. Since buying these a couple months back they’ve been left outside and put through a lot more abuse than a typical homeowner would subject them to, so it’ll be interesting to see if they survive another season. Next up, these machetes. I have two, because sometimes I have friends over. Everyone wants to use this one, which I call the cricket because it’s made by CRKT. It’s clearly the better of the two in pretty much every way. It cuts better, holds an edge for longer, and has a more ergonomic handle. But it’s also almost twice the cost at $50. For that, you’re obviously getting pretty good steel, and a great factory edge that is still going strong. It also comes with a sheath which I prefer not to use. If I were to get an additional machete, it’d be this one, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the other. This $30 machete is made by Cold Steel, which may ring a bell. They have this YouTube channel where they demonstrate
these—barbarically. I doubt they’re using the factory edge to cut this rope or any of this other stuff, as it comes pretty blunt. But with a little sharpening this thing is no joke. It has a lot of weight to it which adds to its destructive power, and the flat end kind of doubles as a rake. When friends come over, this is usually the machete I reach for, and it’s for a pretty shallow reason: It looks cool. The blunt end is just looks super brutal. It takes a couple more swings to get the job done, but I like it anyway. So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed watching me demonstrate this stuff, and as we build more on Berm Peak we can hopefully include some more of these trail tools in future videos. Of course, that also means more