I often think to myself in my conversations with many budding transportational cyclists, that it would be worthwhile posting a hit list of products that in 8 years of carfree/carlite living have thoroughly earned their keep.
I was originally thinking about one list, but then realized that the list and reasonings to back them up quickly grew too long for one post, so this is the first in a series.
Below is the first list of goodies that make my travels either a little more pleasant, or a little more hassle free, or in some cases both.
-Any tire that starts with “Schwalbe Marathon…” is a win in my book.
I’ve found them to last significantly longer than anything else I’ve used, get flats far less often than any other tire I’ve used except perhaps Conti gatorskins (which have spotty issues with dryrot), and roll surprisingly well considering their other attributes.
-Dinotte LED taillights (I use the 140L on a couple of our bikes)
These lights must be seen in person to comprehend just how bright a bike taillight can be. My wife and I get comments from motorists all the time about how impressive our taillights are and how much easier it makes it for them in spotting us a long ways off. The kind of room cars give us with these lights even in broad daylight, is a beautiful thing.
-Dumonde Tech chain lube (We use the Original formula)
About 7 years back I switched exclusively to single speed out of frustration with drivetrain maintenance especially during the winters.
Wet lubes didn’t need re-application very often, but turned drivetrains into a disaster area resembling the wake of Katrina (which correspondingly either wore everything out faster or meant VERY regular cleaning).
Dry lubes, kept a clean drive train, but at the first sign of any water, even looking at a puddle wrong seem to cause it to dissipate instantaneously. Dry lubes also generally needed very frequent lubing ~150 miles.
Then I came upon Dumonde tech. I’ve been using it now for about 1.5 years on each bike we own, which btw, I presently ride a fully geared bike. Its application process is very particular in that you need a PERFECTLY clean drivetrain to start (paint thinner and a mason jar work best IMO).
Once applied to clean drivetrain, and the excess wiped after the first couple rides, it lasts for a good 400 miles between reapplying. In that time, you have the cleanest quietest drive train you’ve probably ever had. At any given time you could grab one of my chains and come away with a mostly clean hand, and yet it is indifferent to getting wet, and doesn’t attract all kinds of grime. When the chain starts to make some noise, just put a tiny drop on each roller, go for a couple rides, wiping the chain a few times with a terry rag, and you’re good to go for another 400 miles.