Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Functional Finds, Vol. 2

(1)  A portable bike stand.  I grabbed one of these highly useful portable bike stands off of Amazon, and I'm surprised I went without it for so long.


Stand in the place where you bike.
Only about 18 inches tall, the stand loops over the down tube to provide two-sided stability.  No more leaning the bike against your car while you're inflating the tires or making mechanical adjustments.  Speaking of mechanical adjustments, the rear wheel is elevated so you can spin it to check the shifting and whatnot.  It's not strong enough for major work, but it's high on the list of convenient accessories.  $15 well spent!

(2)  Upgraded Aerobar Hardware for Speed Concept 9-series.  The Trek Speed Concept aerobars are aerodynamic but hardly elegant: they have 14 different screws and a ton of hardware.

Stock hardware.

What's more, because the arm pads sit above the extensions, they are a pretty "tall" bar.  Some, like me, wish for more downward mobility.  Nick Salazar at Tririg.com designed and created replacement clamps that lighten the bars by 1/2 pound, reduce the necessary screws from 14 to 4, and allow the bars to go about 1" lower.  They are incredibly elegant.

These parts replace everything above and more.

I installed these on my bike, and the difference is obvious.

On left: new, lower clamps.  On right: old hardware.
Here's the sleek new look on both sides:

Zoom zoom.
These clamps are only available for a limited time -- TriRig has a certain stock, and then that'll be it.  Get them while they're hot if you have a Speed Concept 9-series.

(3)  Sennheiser wireless headphones.  I spend a lot of time on my trainer in the winter (and, heck, in the summer) months, and I often find it difficult to hear dialog in movies or television shows I'm watching.  I could turn on closed captioning, I guess, but these are much better:

Sennheiser RS 170 digital.

These things sound amazing, are wireless, and block out external sound so that you don't need to disturb the whole house while you're getting your workout in.  You can adjust the volume, among other things, on the headphones themselves.  I even find that the reduced ambient noise reduces fatigue after a little while, and makes the whole thing more pleasant.  There are cheaper models -- I used to have some -- but the elimination of interference that this model offers is well worth the extra cash, in my opinion.