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):
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.
At the tail end of last season, I did what I once thought I would never do: I bought a winter bike.
For nearly a decade, I rode a crappy, 20-year-old single-speed mountain bike because, mostly, I feared riding a good bike. Winter in my city rust: salt, slush, muck and grime that eat components unimaginably fast. I learned my lesson the hard way, and after I buried that old beloved bike, I vowed never to destroy a good machine again.
The Priority Continuum, the perfect winter bike? Photo by Tom Babin.
Still. In the back of my mind, I always thought that some day, I would find a bike that had what I considered the perfect specs for a rust-repellent winter machine: Aluminum frame, belt drive, internal gears, disc brakes and an overall winter hardiness. Then, unimaginably, I came across a bike with all those components in the Priority Continuum. I snapped the bike up at the tail end of last season, but didn’t really get a chance to test it through a real winter.
That wasn’t a problem this year. Though one of the coldest and snowiest winters I can remember, I rode the Continuum through it all. With the season coming to an end, a few people have asked me about it. So I made the video above to give an update on how the bike has held up.
Few things in the bike world are as hot right now as e-bikes. Every manufacturer seems to be sensing that now is the time for electric bikes to finally catch hold in North America.
Here’s the latest evidence: Two approaches to ebikes, from both an industry leader and an upstart, that are almost complete opposites.
Here’s the first one: Bosch, the German company that has led the way toward pedal-assist ebikes in the past decade, has a new version out that seems built to address the problem of consumers worried that e-bikes just look weird.
Bosch has a new line of electric drives that seem to be based on the need to make e-bikes look as much like a bike as possible. Photo by Bosch.
The company’s new drive unit is 20 per cent smaller, 19 per cent lighter, and features “a cleaner, (more) integrated look, to more closely resemble traditional bikes,” according to a media release from the company.
It comes with other improvements, such as an improved range and, perhaps most significantly, no longer has resistance on the pedals when the motor is turned off.
But still, the headline here seems to be that Bosch is betting that consumers will be more willing to buy an e-bike if nobody can’t tell it’s an e-bike.
Bosch’s new electric drive offers more improvements, including a wider range. Photo by Bosch.
It’s launching an e-bike with a claimed range of 380 kms per charge, using a massive battery pack that can push the bike to 55 km/hr (which, it should be added, is more that twice the bike-lane speed-limit in many cities). While this thing does have a brute eastern-European charm, it’s a monster, accurately described in the press release as “a hybrid between a cross-country motorcycle and a mountain bike.”
So if you’ve been contemplating an e-bike, but have been holding off because they look too much like a, er, bike, and you feel the need to travel 400 kilometres on one charge at motorcycle speeds, this may be the bike for you.
There you go: two bikes at opposite ends of the conspicuous spectrum. Maybe e-bikes have truly arrived after all.