Reviewing a Strange Array of Bike and Outdoor Products

Reviewing a Strange Array of Bike and Outdoor Products


It’s been a while since we’ve taken a
look at some bike and outdoor 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
bike frame, 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 bike packers
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 bike
shops, the Grand Stand bike display stand. I already showed you how to make a bike stand
out of scrap 2×4’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 bike wheels to mountain bike plus 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 products and are a lot more polished. Mostly bike shops 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 bike parks 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 bike off. 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 bike ride, 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
products you 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-bike packs 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 products like 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 bike stuff. As always, thanks for riding with me today,
and I’ll see you next time.