Quick product updates

June 6, 2017 § 41 Comments

One of the great things about not being paid to sell stuff is that I can say whatever I want. This doesn’t mean I’m independent or objective, it means that I have no financial interest in any particular statement. I’m still biased as hell, of course.

Below are some product updates on things I have been using.

Wend Chain Wax: I don’t know how long I’ve been using this. Two and half years, maybe? My buddy Ryan Dahl, who works for Wend, gives me all the free chain wax I can use. All I know is that I will never go back to lube. My chain stays clean all the time, no matter how nasty the riding weather. And the drivetrain shifts flawlessly. I’ve found that in order to get the best results I have to apply the wax every 3-4 rides. No mess. Simple. Superglide.


Timex Helen Keller Model: Since I don’t use a Garmin and I quit carrying phone a while back so I don’t use Strava, this very cheap watch makes it pretty easy to know how long I’ve been riding. The big needle points to the minute and the small needle points to the hour and the skinny long needle points to the second. So, if the little needle is on the six and the big hand is on the five and the long skinny needle is on the ten it would be “6:25:50.” You still have to do some observational analytics to determine whether it is day or night, but with practice this isn’t as hard as it sounds. This device is great because when you lose it, drop it, forget it, or run over it like Matt did to Tony’s Garmin in the TTT, you only have to pay $39.95 to get another one, instead of $599.95.


Apace Vision Seat Stay Blinkers: Greg Seyranian turned me onto these. I think they cost six or seven bucks each. They are incredibly bright and run forever and add that all-important “Christmas tree” effect to your bike. The more I ride the more I’ve become an adept of “lights ward off cagers.” It’s a pain to charge them(the lights, not the cagers), but it’s a pain to wipe your fanny every time too, yet somehow you manage. I hope.


NiteRider Solas Rear Light: I clip this to my helmet, to the side actually, because it makes me look like an insane person who might veer into traffic at any moment and scratch your Tesla bumper, which will cost $5,000 to buff out the blood stains and bone shards. This blinky is effing bright AF. Again, lane position is important, bike skills are important, having the law on your side is important, but nothing is more important than being seen in broad daylight while some PV water buffalo is slurping his 650-kcal skinny drink and texting his fantasy football pals about The Big Game.


Vittoria Open Corsa SR Race Tars: So far no flats, although after two weeks of training I switched the front and back so that the tars will wear evenly. These tars are scary supple and grippy and cornery. I don’t know how many weeks of use I’ll get out of them (about 175 miles per week), but my guess is about ten. Maybe more. This is one of those purchases you chalk up to “it’s cheaper than being an alcoholic” or whatever meme you use to convince your wife/husband/SO that this particular bike purchase really is worthwhile.




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§ 41 Responses to Quick product updates

  • dangerstu says:

    I’m suspicious of “texting his fantasy football pals about The Big Game.” do you know what it means or is it something you overheard at starcraps?

  • Wildcat says:

    Tilford Tuesday posts sure came and went rather quickly.

    • fsethd says:

      Let’s just say it wasn’t my decision.

      • Wildcat says:

        Ok, understood – however, I know Steve wouldn’t have cared for that decision. He was always a proponent for free speech on his blog – almost never censoring/removing/blocking posts. As he would say, “Boo on that”.

  • …“lights ward off cagers.” – YES!

    A few months ago I bought a NiteRider Solas 150 and a Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150. They are direct competitors and cost about the same.

    I compared the lights for about a week. I liked them both, but I Iiked the Hotshot Pro 150 better. Despite its rather plain appearance, I found it was more obnoxiously brighter, more adjustable, easier to charge and better thought out overall.

    I hope your readers are motivated to go get a good taillight. They can’t go wrong with either of these lights.

  • Dean Abt says:

    Wend Wax is truly amazing. It’s also Quiet. And the cleaner kinda smells, um, ok/good(!). I need to buy a lifetime supply. The pro-tip re: using zip-lock bag to press wax in on application is key, then chain nirvana. Big yes on CG’s but my ass is huge and I wear them out really fast.

  • Waldo says:

    I guess if you are going to be inaudible (chain), you better be visible (blinkies).

  • 82medici says:

    I use the exact same bike computer as you, but recently had to change the battery and seem unable to replace the back. I have thought about using a hammer, but I am afraid that will mis-align the compass. Have you ever had a similar problem, and, if so, how did you solve it?

    By the way, pushing in the stem will cause the face of the computer to glow. If you can see the glow it is night (or really cloudy.) If not, it is daytime. This may simplify your “observational analytics.”

    • fsethd says:

      There is a tiny slot on the back that you can pry off to replace the battery. There’s a YouTube video on it. Good luck!

  • RN says:

    Hey, I’m wearing that watch. You forgot to mention – includes the day of the month. I am not going back to a watch that does not have the day of the month.

    I just got a Solas – 30 from Nashbar for cheap. I think 30 is enough, but perhaps I need education, too.

  • Sibex Czar says:

    I have been riding about 1/2 a year now with this helmet. https://lumoshelmet.co/ As helmets go, it is a little heavier than my Giro, but my neck as adjusted to that, and I have had feedback from many that I am definitely visible.

    To this equation I add the seat stay lights, and the strobe 700 lumen front facing.

    One feature that works very well with this helmet is the turn signals, which are worth their weight in gold during twilight and all out darkness.

    There is no such thing as being too visible.

    • fsethd says:

      Awesome and you are right. Lane positioning and skills won’t win the day when the first time they see you is when you catapult over the hood.

  • Allan says:

    Funny you mention the Apace tail light. I just bought one of those and it was delivered yesterday. It’s a pretty good light, but my Cateye Rapid X2 is brighter (I bought this because it was basically the same design and had a higher lumen rating). But then again the Cateye is like $45, so these are a better value. I don’t know where you can get those for $6-7 though! Amazon is the cheapest I found and it was $17.

    Also, different strokes for different folks, but I find Squirt to be a better wax-based lube. Squirt is actually more liquid than Wend, and coats the chain links better. Also, Wend is a bit pricey, even for cycling stuff! Squirt is like $7 a bottle and lasts a long time. Doesn’t matter though, I went back to a wet lube, as I didn’t like how messy the wax-based stuff made everything.

    Good read, thanks!

  • channel_zero says:

    I clip this to my helmet, to the side actually,

    Any chance we can get a photo of how that works? I’d like to do something similar but my current helmet has no way to mount a tail light.

    Or, I’m looking for a great excuse for a new helmet!

    • fsethd says:

      New helmet isn’t an excuse, it’s a deferred hospital expense.

    • Allan says:

      My guess is you’d have to clip it to the plastic “straps” that cinch down with the ratcheting dial that most helmets have. I too would have no other place to clip a light to on my helmet(s). But that might press against my head so I dunno…

  • Stratos says:

    Love the Time analogy!

    • fsethd says:

      Thank you. Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

  • LesB says:

    You turned me on to the Wend in a previous post, and I thank you for that. The best ever. I use it for ~ 200 miles.

    Been using the Vittoria OCs for years. Smoooth. These are NOT what you were using when you incurred your ballsack injury, right?

  • Cesar says:

    Whatever happened with that Fly12 front camera you once posted about? Did they ever sort it out for you? Were you able to figure it out? Or is it simply an inferior product not worth a follow-up? Curious because I might be interested in buying one. Thanks!

    • fsethd says:

      I used it and definitely got it sorted out. However, and perhaps this is a blog post all on its own, I’ve kind of shifted from “record everything so you’ll have evidence” mode to “light your ass up like a Christmas tree so you don’t get hit” mode.

      So, I’ve got limited space on my handlebars and the Fly12 light isn’t really bright enough to serve the purpose that a front daylight strobe should, i.e., warn people pulling out from a long way off, or hit the side/rearview mirrors of cars in front hard enough so that they look back and see you, thereby preventing right hooks.

      As a camera/light combo it is really good. But buying a pair of Diablo Exposure headlights is better. Way better.

      • I’ll advise further after delivering the video of being buzzed to the local sheriff’s department tomorrow. I going to try to make the case for charges, as it was quite clearly deliberate. (also am lit up like a roman candle-which is different than being lit like a roman candle…)

  • Allen Lin says:

    I like the “it’s cheaper than being an alcoholic.” my justification cabinet is now full

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