Month: February 2017

Different types of Suspensions in Hybrid Bikes

You will find two type of suspensions in hybrid bikes: the front suspension fork and the suspension seat posts. In a hybrid bike you will not have the rear suspension that you will find in a mountain bike. As they are not intended to dwell with the off roading that a mountain bike will face.
Front Suspension Forks

The suspension type forks are by far the most common one fitted on these hybrids. This suspension consists of a coil spring mechanism that has a travel range of 50 to 60 mm.

According to your budget there are various specifications. One of these great features to look out for is the lockout. This is where you can lock the forks in place. This is very valuable when you are driving on a surface that does not call for suspension as the action of the fork absorbs the energy.

Suspension Seatposts

A less common suspension in hybrid bike reviews is the suspension seat post. These are very efficient when you are riding rough roads or doing some light off roading. The suspension is given by a coil spring or on higher end models by an elastomer. You can also find that they have an adjustment to balance according to the weight of the driver.
If you are planning to do a lot of cycling in the country side and dirt roads that you will surely benefit from the suspension as it will also be an enjoyable ride.

But there is a price to pay – expect a good suspension fork to add appreciably to the cost of the bike. On top of this, remember that a suspension fork will also add to the weight, and the springs will absorb some pedalling power – so choose a fork with lockout if you can, and use it.

But there are some disadvantages to the suspension fork as these are not always cheap. Also remember that a suspension fork will also add to the overall weight of the bike and the springs will inevitably absorb some power. Always choose a fork with the lockout and use it on smooth roads!

A suspension post is an excellent addition to your hybrid bike reviews as you will not detect its extra weight but you will be thankful for the comfort.

Best Road Bicycle

3 Points To Consider When Buying A Road Bicycle

Too often people are looking at the price and not the quality of the road bike when they are in the market to buy. As equally important as the price for a road bike, quality can’t be discounted.

You must consider several options when you start looking for a new road bike.

There is no shortage of used road bikes on the market today. Craigslist is one of those places and has hundreds available for sale in every imaginable category and price range. This may be a viable option if you are limited to how much you can spend. Buying a used road bike can pose many problems including knowing about any existing issues the former owner had with the bike. Even if the bike appears to be clean and in good shape there may still be small stress fractures that may cause a catastrophic failure.

You must look carefully at the components to see if you can see obvious wear on the metal. Naturally all bike parts will eventually wear out, it is the degree of wear that you must concern yourself with. The frame has to be looked at with a careful eye because if there is a small crack in the weld the bike will be virtually worthless.
Components can be changed provided you are willing to do the work yourself. You can go to a bike shop and have them do it for you but the cost will be exponentially higher. These are just some of the problems with buying a used bike. Not to mention that if the bike has a structural failure while you are riding it you risk serious injury or worse.

Mid-Range Price VS Low-Range Price
You can categorize road bikes relative to their pricing so in this article we will focus on the mid to lower-range road bikes. Road bikes generally range in price from 200 to 400 dollars for the low range and 400 to 1200 dollars for the mid range. 1200 dollars may seem like a lot of money to pay for a bike, but when you consider that most high end bikes sell in the 7 to 10,000 dollar range, 1200 doesn’t seem so bad.

The difference among these types of road bikes is the quality of their components including the tires, seat, derailleur, crank and frame. So basically the overall quality of the bikes will be as different as night and day. Although you will be probably be getting a Shimano derailleur on both bikes you will be not be getting the Shimano XTR Shadow on the low priced road bike. For most of the components this is true. The less expensive bicycle might be your best bet if it doesn’t matter to you. An example would be, if you couldn’t afford the higher priced Schwinn Laguna road bike you could instead look at the less expensive Rapido by Lamborghini. Both are excellent road bikes and for a beginner the Rapido may be good enough. If you can afford something in between, the Monza by Tommaso is the road bike for you.

Cost Of Repair
If you factor in the cost of replacement for the cheaper components you have to ask yourself what you really saved by buying the cheaper road bike. To replace the derailleur will cost you anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars and more depending on the bike shop and the derailleur you choose to replace it with. The same holds true for most of the components on the bike. The total cost of replacement will certainly out price the original cost of the road bike.

You will find that with most things you buy the cheaper it is, the cheaper it is.

Understand the Beach Cruiser Bikes Better

There are many types of bikes that fit different individuals; one of the bike models that you should be thinking about is the Beach cruiser bikes. The bikes are ideally made for cruising, not for rough terrains. Beach cruiser bikes are amazing bikes. They are designed and built differently, for instance, the bikes frame is weaker than most other frames. The bikes are also not designed to move very fast. This makes them unsuitable for racing. However, the design makes them the ideal choice for couples who are seeking to adventure using their bikes. They can also be used by anyone looking for a comfortable bike. One of the places that you can use a beach cruiser bike is at the beach, just as the name suggests. One advantage of this bike model is that it is unisex, that is, it can be used by both men and women. At the same time the bikes have flashlights thus allowing the owners to ride comfortably even at night.

What you need to know about beach cruiser bikes

Beach cruiser bikes for sale come in different shapes and sizes. There are bikes that are upright. This means that when a user is riding the bike is seated in an upright position. These bikes also have balloon tires. Most users associate them with a hybrid category of bikes. They are classy and elegant in most cases. They are ideal for cruising because they are stable. Most users find them very easy to ride.

The beach cruisers for sale gained popularity back in the 1930’s. carriers were also incorporated in their design. According to user reviews, the carriers are very convenient as they enable them to carry simple items very comfortably and without any hustle. These bikes are mostly used by newspaper delivery people as well as mail delivery people. They are convenient and easy to navigate through the city traffic.

Users of the beach cruisers for sale normally consider them as luxury instruments. However, not many people prefer to use this type of bikes. The beach cruiser began to decline in popularity back in the 1960’s. It had not dominated the market for a long period. The emergence of other types of bikes, which were faster and more durable, pushed the beach cruiser bikes off their game. The upcoming generation preferred to use other types of bikes, which they felt, better suited them.

Moreover, the beach cruiser bikes for sale also upgraded they design. However, the bike retained its original design. Most of the models of the beach cruiser bikes weigh up to 50 pounds. Their wide tires makes them only suitable for only flat surfaces that are smooth as well. the beach cruiser bikes for sale actually inspired the development of the mountain bikes.

Currently, the beach cruiser bikes have adopted a more comfortable feel while at the same time have become more affordable to the public. Almost all bike makers offer at least one beach cruiser bike for sale. This promotes the rise in the sales of the beach cruiser bikes.

Carradice Bike Bureau

A good quality pannier bag that functions well and looks just as good on and off the bike.

The holy grail of commuter cycling, to me, is a really good pannier bag. Too often pannier designs are aimed at touring cyclists, who value capacity, lightness and waterproofing – but these bags don’t look great, and are often difficult to carry, once you take them off the bike.

There’s also a growing range of panniers aimed at women, many with flowers or kitch patterns on them. But where are the products aimed at men? Where are the panniers that look ‘normal’ and non-sporty, and that have a shoulder strap, and handy pockets for bike lights and things – but are still waterproof and  attach well to a rack?

Well, after years of using bags from Basil and others, I think I’ve finally found my bag, in the shape of a Carradice Bike Bureau.

Left mounted Carradice Bike Bureau on my Bobbin Monsieur bike

Carradice have been manufacturing saddlebags and panniers from the former mill town of Nelson in Lancashire, England for about 80 years – and have been exported around the world. They make their bags out of cotton duck, which is highly durable and also waterproof, and the leather straps give their bags a timeless style.

Bag Features

The Bike Bureau is designed for the commuter market, and has some well thought out features. There is an innovative fold-over flap, that when used off the bike protects you from the pannier hooks and any dirt that may splashed on the bag.

“C System” pannier clips

The pannier hooks are very good quality and keep your bag safely attached. Their position can be adjusted depending on the length of your rack. And as you can see from the photo, the hooks are also mounted at an angle, so as to keep the bag away from your heels.

When you order the bag, you need to specify whether you’re going to use it on the left or right hand side of your bike, as the angle of the hooks will be different. My bag is the left version.

When used off the bike

When taken off the bike (and that top flap folded back) the bag has a nice leather carry handle, and metal buckles on the front.  But don’t worry about having to fiddle with those buckles every time you want to get into the bag, because there are quick-release plastic clips hidden under the straps.

On the sides of the bag there are also metal rings where you can attach the included shoulder strap.  And inside the bag is a detachable laptop sleeve.

In Use

I’ve been using the bag every day for the last couple of weeks, and so far I’m very impressed. The duck cotton seems very hard wearing and stiff, but that’ll probably soften over time. I haven’t been able to test how waterproof it is, because Ireland’s been gripped by a mini heatwave for the last few weeks. The pannier clips work well, and feel secure. The bag also has a larger than expected capacity (26 litres) for all of the stuff I carry around with me.

Made by Janet

The fold-over flap works very well, and generally the attention to detail is very good. I also love the fact that each and every bag is ‘signed’ on the label by the person who made it, which is a nice personal touch.

My only slight criticism of the bag is that it doesn’t have quite enough pockets for my liking. I would prefer to keep some items (such a lights, bike tools, my work pass, and so on) within quick reach in a pocket, rather than having to delve around for them in the bottom of the bag. But apart from that, I’m delighted with the bag.

How to buy a telescope – Large variety of telescopes and a beginners guide

What’s all the fuss on TV you ask?

Essentially this is a spacecraft on a 10 year mission to ” Catch A Comet” and answer many looming questions. Who knew a comet coming  2014 ?

The spacecraft was to land on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and thereafter ride with or on it and enter into our solar system on the comet’s journey or orbit. The space mission which holds much hope in unravelling the mysteries hopefully of life on Earth.

Much has been speculated on comets, both i.t.o. their origin and i.t.o. their crashing into the Earth’s past and playing a role in the life formation on Earth.

New theories today backed with what appears scientific data, say that the very core of life, the DNA of all that exists, is contained within  the cosmos and from this springs life when frequency or current flows in the mix exciting this to form life.

Back to Rosetta.

The mission started back in 1993 when approved  by the ESA’s Horizons 2000 Science Programme. Puprpose was to explore this mysterious small ice world, the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Scientists from all over Europe and the USA have combined forces to develop a lander, named Philae, to actually land on the comet to explore various aspects of it.                                                                                 Rosetta was launched in March of 2004 after some problematics and failures occurred, all leading up to this day, 12 Nov 2014.

It was a ten year mission to travel through the asteroid belt and into deep space to meet up with the periodic icy comet and land on it.

The Rosetta Orbiter was to stay in close proximity of the comet as it moved towards the hotter areas of our Sun, whilst the lander, Philae, was to be released  onto the comet itself and become a companion on its journey , while exploration on the surface resumed in search for answers or confirmation to long awaited questions.

The mission on the comet will last a year and will start the curtain drop around December 2015. At that stage both spacecraft  and comet will have circled our Sun and be on their outbound journey away from the inner Solar System.

Firsts in history !!  ( Well the history as told to the public)

  • First to orbit a comet’s nucleus

  • First craft to observe from close proximity the change of a frozen comet as it transforms from the warmth of the sun.

  • First craft to obtain close up images of its surface and make situation analysis of it. The lander’s instruments will be the first to receive these images

  • First craft to fly alongside a comet

  • The lander being released from the craft to land on the comet a first

  • The craft will pass through the asteroid belt and will be the first European craft with the option to encounter these very old objects.

The results of this mission will be compared to the previous ESA’s Giotto  spacecraft mission and ground based observatories.

Comets contain very complex  organic molecules.  Compounds which are rich in Helium , Nitrogen , Oxygen and Hydrogen.                      They are generally a few kilometres in size up to tens of kilometers across.

As a comet approaches the inner solar system the radiation causes the volatile materials within the comet to vaporize and stream from the nucleus carrying dust away with it.  The streams of dust and gas around the comet then forms an extremely tenuous atmosphere which is called the coma.

There is force exerted on this coma  by the radiation from the sun and hence the tail is formed.

What’s interesting is most people believe the tail is form as a sort of trail from the “debris” or gasses it releases on its path.

A misinterpreted opinion as the tail is formed as a result of the radiation pressure of the Sun.

As the comet approaches the sun the tail coincidently will form “behind” it.  When it leaves the Sun domain the tail will form as it were in its path of travel assuming its path is positioned exactly in alignment with the force exerted by the sun radiation on the tail materials.

The lander on the comet on 12 November, 08h03 am PST.  Success!

And Comet coming 2014, still and on its way to the inner solar system till Dec 2015, then outbound and awayyyy!!

Best Electric Scooter for 8 Year Old Kids

When I was a child growing up in the beautiful province of British Columbia, the one thing that I wanted the most in life was a bike. My brother had an awesome decked out CCM two wheeler with a chrome rat trap, front head lamp, and the most crazy sounding horn that every kid on my block dreamed of. Meanwhile, all that I had was my old clunky three wheel tricycle. Life was tough.

Today’s young ones have so many more options when it comes to their first mode of transportation. There are ten speed racers and rugged off road mountain bikes just to name a couple. However, if I were someone’s son now, I would want my parents to buy me an electric scooter. Now that sure would be cool. So what is the best gas or best electric scooter for kids?

You do have a choice when it comes to scooting around. There are gas and electric models. For me personally, I would choose electric. After all, us new generation kids need to think about the environment. If we do not start to take our planet seriously… there will be little scooting around for anyone. Most of the major cities are already smogged out. Plus there are also many other advantages to going green.

So what other advantages could there be when deciding on an electric scooter? Well for one thing, you do not need to mix any smelly oil and gas. Which also means that you cannot transport them on their side as all of that expensive fossil fuel would leak out over dad’s brand new SUV. Imagine how a dad would react to something like that?

So what would be the best scooter for kids that my old dad could buy for me? After scouring through all of the ads and articles on the Internet, I have decided to encourage my father to buy me the Razor E100. They also make the models E200 and E300. However, since I am theoretically only nine years old, I will start with the basics. My pop will be pleased at my mature decision as I convince him about all of the money he has saved.

The E100 is featured as a small frame and a big ride. It only weighs 120 pounds and is designed for kids eight years and older. It’s top speed is about 10 miles per hour… just enough to scoot past that nasty pit bull that belongs to Mr. Taylor. Plus can you imagine my friend’s expressions as I coast into the ballpark on my new electric racing red scooter.

When I get a bit older I will be able to trade my E100 in for an E200. It goes a bit faster at 12 miles per hour. The only downside is that it is designed for 13 years old and up. Or what the heck, maybe I could get dad to buy me the ultimate maximum overdrive E300. That definitely would be the very best electric scooter for kids. Here’s hoping.

Bose CineMate GS Series II Digital Home Theater Speaker System Reviews

I did extensive research before purchasing the Bose Cinemate GS II Series; but before I start my review I have a quick comparison to share by comparing a $300 panasonic system to the Bose Cinemate GS II: I previously owned a panasonic 2.1 system with built in up-convert DVD player which recently broke (lasted about a year). Sound quality on the Bose Cinemate GS II is markedly better than the panasonic system! Plus my audio system is not tied to a standard DVD player. I should have bought this first–instead of being $300 behind the curve than if I just bought the Cinemate GS II to begin with. Just though I should share that in case you are trying to justify the cost.

REVIEW–Info I discovered during my research and since owning for 3 months: I listened to the Cinemate II and the Cinemate GS II side by side in the store, both using the Toslink (digital optical audio) connection and also with the Component (analog audio) connection while watching an action scene from Kung Fu Panda in both BluRay and regular DVD. To me, the Cinemate GS II’s sound was clearer and also sharper (crisper highs and clearer mids like with voices). The Cinemate II sounded great too (a lot better than the panasonic), but the sounds tended to be more muddled in the mid-to-high range (as compared to the the Cinemate GS II). But for $200 less and if your ears don’t mind the difference (or can’t tell the difference) then the Cinemate II is the better bargain. Also, the Cinemate GS II has the universal remote, but I don’t use it ( I use a logitech Harmony Universal Remote). The Cinemate II remote has volume up/down, mute, and power on/off. The Cinemate GS II remote has quite a bit of features (a lot actually), and it feels good in your hand; but if you really want one, they are available from Bose for $30.95.

Other good to know info: You can connect both the Toslink and Component audio into the interface module at the same time. The interface module will automatically default to component audio unless there is an active Toslink connection (an active Toslink connection will always override the component audio). What does this mean? I have my DishNetwork receiver connected to the interface module via the component connection for watching TV–this is how I normally use the Bose Cinemate GS II (sounds great by the way). I then have my BlueRay player connected to the interface module via the Toslink connection. When I want to watch a movie, all I have to do is power on the Blueray player and the Bose Cinemate GS II will automatically use the Toslink connection (overrides the component audio). When I am done watching a movie, I power off the Blueray player and the Cinemate GS II automatically switches back to my TV audio. Of course the Toslink audio is the better of the two, but with only two connections available I had to compromise (plus my TV has no Toslink out–which would have been the preferred solution). The interface module works exactly the same whether you have the Cinemate II or the Cinemate GS II. Also, there is a Bass adjustment knob on the Acoustimass module, so you can turn it up or down to your preference. Sorry there are no other manual adjustments that you can do to the Bose Cinemate GS II.

Room filling sound: I have the Bose Cinemate GS II in my living room which is pretty big and it opens directly into the kitchen; total size is 20×60. Despite the room size, and even at a pretty low volume, I can easily understand a TV shows conversations because of the crisp and precise audio reproduction. I use to watch with closed captioning (so the TV can volume can stay at a normal level), but now I have turned closed captioning off.

Even at max volume (watching GI Joe), it was very very loud and the whole house was shaking, but the system did not distort at all–in almost disbelief it seemed to sound even better and clearer. I think that is attributed to the Bose TrueSpace technology which is used to covert 5.1 audio into a 2.1 system; the louder it got, I guess, the more the TrueSpace seemed to kick in.

Despite my acclaim for this system it is pricey; but, it sounds great, it was very easy to setup and it has the Bose 5 year limited warranty on the speakers. However, no matter how much a 2.1 system is touted as a possible replacement for a 5.1 or even a 7.1 system, in my opinion there are no 2.1 systems that can truly replace a 5.1 or 7.1 system. But if you don’t like running wires and want a minimalist system with superb sound then I strongly recommend the Bose Cinemate GS II; or if budget minded, or can’t discern the audio difference, then the Bose Cinemate II is a solid 2nd choice.