By Shannon Mominee
With prime riding season knocking on the door, it’s time to tune-up your beloved bicycle, and prepare yourself for the miles ahead. Food, hydration, and the means to fix a flat will only add to your cycling enjoyment, so be prepared. Here are a few products to keep you pedaling through the warm weather and beyond.
Food, it’s what supplies the energy to your legs and keeps you satisfied.
Kind creates a variety of incredibly delicious snack bars consisting of all-natural ingredients. I’m talking real food; fruits, nuts, spices, and grains. The easily recognizable chunks of whole food are easy to digest and taste much better than some gooey mystery substance. There’s just something about chewing that is normal. My favorite bar is Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, but you can’t go wrong with Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. Gluten-free, kosher, and about $2 a bar. Also available by the case. Made in U.S.A. www.kindsnacks.com
To easily hydrate, you could ride one-handed all-day-long , holding your water bottle. But I think you’d be happier using a bottle cage.
With a Blackburn Slick Cage you’ll hardly even notice that it’s there. The Slick is made from a polycarbonate material and weighs a measly 23 grams. It has a sleek design, lifetime-warranty and cradles a bottle securely. Available colors are black, red, white, pink, and blue. Retail is $15. Made in China. www.blackburndesign.com
You carry a cell phone when you ride, right? You should also carry the basics to fix a flat and save your significant other the trip to pick you up roadside.
The Syncros Saddle Bag Kit is a super compact bag with a tube and a set of plastic tire levers. It attaches to your saddle rails with Velcro and has a waterproof zipper. I recommend also stuffing a patch kit into it and a fiver. You never know when you’ll get multiple punctures on a single ride. The kit is available with either a 26”, 29”, 650b, or 700c tube. Retail for all kit sizes is $25. Made in Taiwan. www.syncros.com
And to inflate the tube you’ll need a pump and there are many options to choose from. Here are two.
The Airace Turbo Road/CO2 pump is compact enough to fit in a backpack and inflates using a 16-gram threaded CO2 cartridge (included) or by the tried and true pumping motion. It features an aluminum barrel and separate valve heads for use with the CO2 cartridge or without, and fits both Presta or Schrader valves. Max-pressure is 120psi. Retail is $38.
If you travel as light as possible and don’t mind spending more time pumping, the Airace Torch Road weighs 78 grams and is 5” long. It has an aluminum barrel and a thumb-lock lever. The Torch Road stows easily in a pocket, also fits both valve stems, and has the same 120psi. max-pressure. Retail is $35. Both pumps are made in Taiwan. www.airace.com.tw