Category: Bikes Page 1 of 6

Pedal-power or dynamo battery? The best type of bike light

There are, generally, two types of bike lights. In North America, where most bikes are built for speed rather than practicality, lights are often an aftermarket product, powered by rechargeable batteries and affixed to handlebars and seatposts. But there is another way, common elsewhere, to stay lit up while riding by integrating lights that are powered by the rider’s pedal strokes through a dynamo. Which type is best? In this video, I set out to answer that question.

To support this channel, please subscribe, share this video and check out the links below.

• Buy my book Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling: https://amzn.to/3lxJiHT

• Here’s the winter bike I’m riding these days: https://bit.ly/2PhqUqF

• Epidemic Sound for music. It’s great for my YouTube needs: https://bit.ly/3v2Bl05

#cycling #bikecommuting #bikes

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This bike is old, plain and slow. So why do I love it so much?

The most common question I receive on this channel, by far, is some version of this: “Yo, what’s that bike you’re riding?”

I’ve done videos on my winter bikes, but I’ve never dedicated a video to my beloved summer bike, for a simple reason: There’s not much to talk about. It’s an old, plain, simple machine. But it’s also the bike I love more than any other. So, on the verge of the bike’s first tune-up in a decade (bad bike owner, bad!), I decided to finally give up some details on this bike, and, in the process, explore a little more deeply why I love this bike and, more broadly, why humans seem to make such strong emotional attachments to bicycles.

Thanks to Karly Coleman for sharing her research into the human-bicycle emotional connection. Follow her at https://twitter.com/szaracat and read her complete study here: https://era.library.ualberta.ca/items/384f7788-e638-4a01-adf9-2cbe8e7b7e80

To support this channel, please subscribe, share this video and check out the links below.

• Buy my book Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling: https://amzn.to/3lxJiHT

• Here’s the winter bike I’m riding these days: https://bit.ly/2PhqUqF

• Epidemic Sound for music. It’s great for my YouTube needs: https://bit.ly/3v2Bl05 #cycling #bikecommuting #bikes

Follow me! Blog: http://shifter.info Twitter: https://twitter.com/tombabin Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tombabin/

What’s better for running errands in a city: A car or a bike?

There’s an old argument that suggests bike lanes are bad for local businesses because only a car makes it convenient enough for people to make multiple stops at local businesses to spend their hard-earned money. So today I decided to put that dubious theory to the test. Here’s the scenario: I choose a route about six kilometers long, with three stops along the way. I run it on a bike. Then I run it in a car. I time both journeys with a stopwatch. Which urban vehicle to you think will be faster and more efficient?

What’s best: A front or back basket on your bike?

The eternal bike question, finally answered! Having used both front and back baskets on my bike over the years, I’ve mused about the pros and cons of each style a lot. So I decided to finally put a little rigor to those musings and did a series of tests to detemine if it’s better in your urban bike life or bicycle commute to haul your stuff in a basket on the front of your bike, or the back. Here are the tests.

I tried to find the best way to carry stuff on your bike commute. Here’s what I found

Getting to work on a bike is only half the job. The tough part is figuring out how to get all of your stuff there too. Your lunchbag, your coffee, your hand sanitizer (c’mon, it’s still Covid times), how do you carry it? I decided to test four of the most popular methods to determine the most efficient and simple. I tested:

1:08 Panniers (or saddlebags)
3:33 Basket
6:11 Milk Crate
8:42 Backpack
10:55 My favourite

Nice panniers, right? They were given to me to test by  @Vincita  — thanks to them. If you like the look of it, you can check it out here.

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Tom Babin is the author of Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling. 

I tried 12 different ways of carrying coffee on a bike to find the best method

While riding my bike one recent chilly morning, disaster struck in the form of a dropped coffee. Which got me wondering if there was a better way of enjoying my morning jolt while riding my bike. So after a robust conversation with some of you, I decided to test a dozen different methods of drinking coffee while riding.

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Follow Tom Babin on TwitterFacebookInstagram or Medium.

You can also follow Shifter on Facebook or Medium.

Tom Babin is the author of Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling. 

I tested 4 types of bike mirrors to determine if I need one at all

I’ve been commuting for years, and I’ve never felt the need to use bike mirrors. But I think cycling is about practicality, and if mirrors help make a bike commute more safe and practical, then I thought it was time to give them a try.

Here are the mirrors I tested (the Amazon links below are affiliate, which means if you follow the link and buy something, I receive a payment):

0:19 Hafney handlebar mirrors (thanks to Hafney for providing a test product).

2:45 Corky Urban (thanks to Corky for the test product).

4:32 The Myklops (thanks for the test product).

6:39 The Take-a-Look Cycling Mirror.

One note on the Myklops: I did a poor job of showing off the extending arms of the mirror that enable it to be arranged in a way that shouldn’t require any movement of the arm. Here’s how the arms work.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Follow Tom Babin on TwitterFacebookInstagram or Medium.

You can also follow Shifter on Facebook or Medium.

Tom Babin is the author of Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling. 

How many gears should you have on your urban bike? Three. Or maybe eight. But no more!

Can a clearance Ikea bike trailer do what a cargo bike can?

What to wear to stay dry in the rain while riding your bike

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