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By Yokota Fritz
Disposable latex gloves are one of those things you're supposed to carry on your bike for the inevitable flat tire repair. You slip them on your hands to keep them clean.
It's an obvious tip, but for whatever reason latex gloves often don't work for me. They disintegrate over time. In hot weather, the gloves get sticky, especially when they're scrunched up inside of my saddle bag.
A few weeks ago I stuffed a few packets of Grease Monkey Wipes into my saddle bag. I haven't flatted since I installed the Kevlar belted Hutchinson Fusion 2 tires on my bike, but I did snap my chain near the California Avenue Caltrain Station just as a train was (fortuitously) pulling into the station.
I ran into the train, found my chain tool and removed the damaged link. Because 10 speed chains aren't easy to link together without a master link (bah!), I gave up after a few minutes of wrestling with the chain. I keep my chain fairly clean but grease and grime is still a fact of life when handling the chain.
At this point I usually ruin my pants by wiping my hands on them, but on this day I had Grease Monkey wipes. They're small wipes in single wipe packages with a citrus degreaser (to remove the grease) and aloe, lanolin and Vitamin E to temper the harshness of the degreaser on my skin. My hands smell like oranges instead of petroleum distillates, and the wipes effectively remove the grime from my hands.
They work as expected, the packaging is handy and I can stuff several into my saddle bag. Grease Monkey Wipes are available at some local bikes shop or online.
By Yokota Fritz
The CamelBak Podium ChillJacket water bottle is my new favorite water bottle.
It was pretty warm this past weekend in northern California, with high temperatures in the 90s F / low 30s C. Heat radiating from the road surface quickly warms any beverage sitting in a bottle just 20 inches from the ground in a bicycle bottle cage.
Enter CamelBak's Podium ChillJacket water bottle. When I saw the thin foam insulation built into this bottle I was skeptical, but it kept my water cool for most of my two hour ride in Santa Cruz County last Saturday. The polypropylene plastic (unlike the low density polyethylene used in almost every other bottles) doesn't impart that icky plastic taste to my water.
CamelBak brags about their no bite valve -- you just squeeze and the water comes out. I kept finding myself biting the valve and trying to pull it out. I suppose I'll get used to it.
Grease Monkey wipes
Gloves don't work for me either. They get damaged and the reduce my grip and dexterity. When I flip my wheel on the fixed gear I wipe my fingers on my socks. I have a collection of cruddy socks, but who looks at your socks? They are reusable, which means I'm not tossing anything into the trash until it has served a long time.
Bear in mind that I have tee shirts older than most people's kids.
Love the idea BUT...
I've used similar products in the past. The problem I've found is that I toss them in with my flat tools and the packets ride around with me for 6 months or so.
Then when I need them, I find the packet has developed pinholes in it and the contents are dried out and unusable.
@cafiend: I still own oil stained shirts I wore when I worked at Pizza Hut in the 80s. :-) I still wore a coat I used in high school until about six years ago when my wife through it out. The socks are a good idea -- I've done that too.
@Anon: Ah, good point. Similar problem with patch kit glue for me.
Nah, that's just extra junk to carry around. I've learned how to remove my back wheel without touching the chain, which has solved most of this problem. My hands get a little dirty from handling the tire, but I'm either 1) out on a long ride and don't care about clean hands or 2) commuting and can easily wash up at my destination.
You might want to try nitrile gloves. Much better than latex imho.
for anyone that wants to try out the product you can save 10% by using code 'cyclelicious' at checkout, as for the durability issue I just recently used a wipe that had been in my saddle bag since I received the first shipment from the manufacturer almost a year ago, so they hold up really well, and they are very compact only the size of roughly a few credit cards so very packable, I am the owner of the company so I appreciate all the feedback/comments
Tim: Add a line of socks to your products! :-D
Congratulation to Grease Monkey Wipes. I hope more marketing experts exert efforts like this to help people with great ideas like the Shark Tank TV Show (http://www.SharkTankTVShow.com) that provide financial assistance and expert's advice to small entrepreneurs, which is great for the economy.
Hey I thought of this idea a long time ago :). I think keeping a few wipes in your saddle bag is a good idea for those unexpected times you do repair work on the road. As for gloves, latex gloves break too easily. Nitrile are good, but may be too bulking for small saddle bags (used by the racer types). Also, if you are riding with a group of racer types, you may get verbally attacked for using gloves on the ride. Better to get dirty, and clean up after the ride is over. Just depends on who you ride with.
Camelbak Podium ChillJacket Water Bottle
I bought the podium and while it is a good bottle I am not amazed by it. The no bite feature is nice, but not mind blowing. It did have a down size in that the bottle was actually hard to squeeze. I don't have small hands either. Any body else have an opinion or review on the bottle?
I've been using camelbak lids on polar bottles... going to try the real thing. I like that they don't leak when left open--but I don't think they are easier to drink out of. I'd say marginally better than regular bottles.
I've been using the Podium Bottle for about a year now and they rock. I used the Chill Jacket version this weekend at the Davis Double and I will have to say that my liquids stayed cold for about 2 hours in 100 degree heat. I would fill with ice and then add my beverage. All of my other riding buddies were complaining of hot beverages as I sipped my cold refreshing drinks. This is a must for the summer months.
...damn...talk about buyers response...
...i'd never heard of the "chill jacket" podium bottle until i read fritz's post this morning...
...went for a great ride this afternoon w/ my two usual c-back podium bottles & i finished up w/ a stop at the l.b.s. to pick up a 'chill jacket'...
...i'm w/ tony on the podium bottles...been using them since they came out & they work just as advertised...water tastes like water, not plastic...sport drink tastes like sport drink & if you forget to wash your bottles immediately, the anti-microbial aspect really does work...
...i find them easy to squeeze, i dig the soft valve (the most comfortable i've ever used) & i dig the lock on it...
...& now, w/ the new bottle, i'm looking forward to having cool water & sport drink on hot summer days...
...i don't work for or have any affiliation w/ camelbak whatsoever but now & again a product works as advertised & i'm damn glad...
I'm looking for a bottle I can squeeze and squirt at dogs, since I sawit done really well last week. Sounds like this is too hard, though.