With more people commuting by bike all the time, we'd thought we might share a few of our favorite, bike-centric gadgets that have all hit the market more more less late last year or early 2017. Come on then, lets have a look -
Road Runner Bags - The Americano $225
At Cruiser Republic we ourselves carry Road Runner Bags (e.g. Medium Roll Top) as a matter of fact but as of yet we haven't brought in the American, which by all account is the company's newest addition to the line and also the largest by far. The company says its the most popular amongst couriers around the world. Its weatherproof and can take any beating you can dish out. At 100L, the main pocket is roomy enough for the biggest loads.
DHZ H20 Waterproof High-tops ($170)
DZR, the originators of the urban cycling shoe, recently introduced the H20, the first waterproof SPD high-top. The sole has a cutout for SPD cleats, so you can walk more easily, and the treated leather is waterproof for wet rides. A reflective heel badge also makes them a little more visible in the dark, and a power plate allows for pedal-mashing.
Visijax Commuter Cycling Jackets - On Sale
Rugged, washable 23 LED lights are built right into these new-on-the-market cycling jackets from the UK, and we stock several models of them and they have been selling quite well. The Visijax range includes the City Ace, Commuter and Highlight jackets, Gilet, Backpack, Backpack cover and Sports Belts, with a one-year warranty on all products. Its the brightest cycling jacket you will see. Here's a great video by The Guardian's bike blogger Peter Walker that explains what you need to know about the Visijax Cycling Jacket >> VIDEO
Smart Halo ($179)
At first glance, it’s unclear what the SmartHalo is, or what it does. The rider who owns one knows it does everything a bike computer can do, however, from tracking your speed and location to providing you with turn-by-turn directions. The Smart Halo does this subtly, using a glowing halo of LEDs to show you when and where to turn. When parked, the device serves as a locator, and at night its visible from over 500 meters away. In addition, it handles calls, messages, and other notifications, acting more like a bar-mounted phone assistant than a simple cycling computer.
Shoka Smart Bell ($100)
If you live in a city that requires a bell, then you might want to consider Shoka’s smart offering. The apt-titled Smart Bell packs eight different digital tones and features an automatic light that adjusts its brightness based on your surroundings. The device also features a tracker that shows turn-by-turn directions using lights located on the top panel, along with a magnetic mount that stays situated on your bike when parked. If your bike is moved, the smart bell will even blink and ring within a 250 meter radius. Shoka’s Kickstarter campaign just wrapped and the first models are supposed to go out to backers in March.
Connected Cycle (TBA)
Connected Cycle is designing a pedal for the 21st century. The company’s Indiegogo-backed pedals essentially function as pint-sized GPS units which automatically charge as ride, meaning you won’t have to worry about frivolous cables and outlets at the end of every ride. The Connected Pedals Solution is a great option for clandestine bike protection, too, since they are not as obvious as handlebar-mounted tech. The pedals are still in production, but are set to launch anytime.
All of us know about the benefits of being active and how regular exercise increases our quality of life and health status. Medical research shows how exercise can protect us from diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, obesity and other mental disorders like depression and anxiety, for instance.
Nowadays biking and running are two of the most popular exercises in our urban jungle, but … do you know which benefits make biking the far better choice? Here are a list of points that will help you to choose a bicycle over a pair of running shoes.
Cycling is a wonderful cardio activity but in comparison to running, it is a lower impact activity. If you have a sedentary lifestyle or overweight and you are starting to practice a new sport, the risk of injuries increases exponentially because your bones and joints are not prepared for the rigors of weight-baring activities - after a long period of inactivity. If you really want to stay out of the doctors office and keep your knees safe, start choosing low impact activities like cycling.
We learned to run when we were children, it is what came after we learned to walk, and many of us have erased that moment from our memory. But I am sure that most of us can still remember our first bicycle and that sense of freedom that we experienced when we cycled for the first time… no neighborhood could hold us back - we were unstoppable!! But we grew-up and we missed that amazing and exciting sensation. So leave your comfort zone and explore new areas around you, try curating new outdoor routes outside the city. Perhaps it is time to go shopping for a new bike or spruce up your beloved bike? Here are some of our new bikes to feed your temptations.
Let us take you on a visual journey. It is 8:55 am and you are arriving at your workplace sweating, with your running shoes and pants soaking wet (from the rainy Vancouver weather) because you have decided to run from your home to the office because you are too busy to do exercise after work. At the same time, you see your workmate arriving with a helmet, hanging up his backpack, and happy because he has just finished his daily workout and he can start working while you would need a shower and to change your clothes. This also means that you have to carry a change of shoes, clothes, make up and anything else you need to feel fresh and ready for a day at work!
Now try to imagine this same scenario when you go to meet with your friends, you go shopping or to university, for instance. Running is clearly incompatible with your daily schedule, while you can bike at any time of day without needing a shower after!
To get into shape is a marvelous goal but not always a realistic short term goal and maybe your schedule only permits occasional exercising, so running may be just too hard and aggressive for your body.
But imagine that today it’s a wonderful spring morning and you have decided going out and doing exercise with your 2 children and your father in-law. It doesn’t matter! cycling is perfect for the whole family, groups of friends, or even couples, whether they are beginner or advanced athletes. You see, cycling is a highly inclusive sport as it doesn’t require high levels of physical skill so everyone can take value from their cycling experience. Each cyclist has the ability to adjust the intensity of their ride to their level of their fitness. Furthermore, it is an activity that can be by our side as we grow from a wee toddler to an aging grandparent - you will only need the bicycle adapted to your size.
A marathon is one of the longest and hardest kind of competitions for runners. It is only for experts and advanced runners, and it takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete the 42 kilometers that this discipline demands. But, even if you were an expert runner your speed and resistance would always be at a disadvantage in comparison with a cyclist. Think that with a bicycle you can travel double the distance, spending the same time, and needing half the effort than a runner. As a cycler, your trips will be longer, more exhilarating and completely different each time, especially when you organize amazing daily long-way trips.
Biking or running are both good time-investments because they help you to stay healthy, but buying a bike will also be a good investment for your wallet if you use it for your daily commute. A bicycle is one of the cheapest modes of transportation but it’s also the most time-efficient, and you can combine it with the public transport system. Did you know that some studies show that regular carpoolers that shift from car to bicycle will increase their lifespan from 3 to 14 months? But there is one other one benefit, cycling is much better for the environment because is a greener form of transportation than driving your car.
Let’s be honest, runners only need a pair of running shoes and cyclists only need a bicycle, but we love to buy all kinds of apparel and accessories. Our online store is an urban cyclists ‘Wonder land’ of excitement, customization choices are unlimited:
- Bikes: City bikes, track bikes, beach cruises, single speed bikes or fixed gear bikes…
- Apparels: Pants, jackets, shoes…
- Accessories: Helmets, lights and bells, storage and carrier solutions, bike saddles…
When we posed this question to our community of cyclist, we received many
different answers but a few that really stood out for us were:
“I am on exercise experiential mode right now and every new sport I try is new, exciting, and invigorating!”
It isn’t just our community members that have constructive things to say about cycling – we have Einstein and Hemingway in our corner as well:
Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity while bicycling. And Ernest Hemingway said that, “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
Whether it is to boost your health, foster a deeper connection with your community or to just keep yourself alive after a heavy caloric intake of beer drinking - becoming a cyclist will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. If you are still not convinced, we did a little research and here are the top 8 reasons you need to start cycling on a weekly basis (if not daily):
NOTE: For the purposes of this article ‘regular exercise’ means 30-40 minutes, 2-3 times per week.
How valuable is your time? Commuting by bike in urban areas will cut down on your commute time by over 38%. Does spending an hour and a half, crawling through the George Massey tunnel at 4 KM/hour sound like a good use of your time? No, of course not. How about travelling at 15 – 20 KM per hour at a constant pace, taking all shortcuts and bypassing all ‘parked’ traffic? Of course! Here are a few rides that will get you from A to B much faster than your ‘parked’ counterparts: Check Out These Fine Rides!
An early morning ride might feel exhausting five minutes into your run and five minutes immediately following your run, before you have refueled, but studies show that you will fall sleep up to 30 minutes faster and stay asleep when you incorporate a 25 minute run into your morning routine. If you are an aspiring female snoozer, check out our selection of bikes for women and if you are an aspiring male snoozer, cruise on over to our selection of bikes for men.
Cycling creates an ideal environment within the body to optimize collagen production helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.
Forget apples and gimmicks, moderate exercise makes your immune cells more active so they're ready to fight off infection that means you don't even have to break a sweat to give your body a smashing good chance at recovery.
Want to make your grey matter twinkle? Then get pedaling! As you start to pass the age of 30 - the area of the brain responsible for memory, the hippocampus, starts to deteriorate, says researchers at the University of Illinois. Studies show that cycling helps build new brain cells into the hippocampus. Just as important as your memory is picking out the perfect Helmet for your day-to-day cruise.
Engaging in regular physical activity like cycling is proven to improve your overall vascular health, which in turn enhances your sex life. According to one study done by Cornell University, physically fit males have the sexual prowess of men 2-5 years younger, and females enjoy delayed menopause for 2-5 years. Years later, a study done by Harvard conclusively found that men aged over 50 who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower chance of impotency than those who do little to no exercise. Eager to ‘get back in the saddle’ men? Check out some of our new arrivals. Ladies, want to test drive your additional years of extended youth? Have a gander at these sexy cycles.
The average male's body contains about 75,000 milligrams of sodium, the equivalent of 11 tablespoons of salt. When you exercise, you lose some sodium via sweat. When you train more than 4 hours a day or you have a triathlon or slow marathon coming up – be sure to stock up on your favorite salty treats. The sodium in them helps protect your body against hyponatremia, a condition that causes excessive dilution of the water outside the cell, which causes the cell to swell and possibly hemorrhage .
Cycling boosts the production of anti-depressant chemicals in the body such as serotonin and dopamine. In as little time as 30 to 40 minutes of cycling, our brain releases endorphins and cannabinoids, which help relieve stress and lift the mood. Chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol (the fight or flight hormones) are also kept in ‘check’ when you exercise on a regular basis. Exercise has the same brilliant effects on stress for children as well, why not introduce your kids to cycling or even skateboarding?
There are literally hundreds of different reasons and benefits to make cycling a part of your weekly routine. Those listed above are just a handful of the most enticing reasons our community has given us. Want to be a part of our growing community? Just join us on Facebook and sign up for our monthly newsletter and we will let you know when community-only discounts are available and give you a ‘heads up’ when we plan our next group cycling cruise!
These days as more bikes lanes open up across the nation, there's a certain sense of freedom about exploring different neighborhoods by peddling from one area of the city to another in relative comfort and safety.
The magic of riding a bike allows you to interact in a more immediate way with the rich sights and smells of the cityscape which is very different from passively gazing through window glass. You can’t help but feel more satisfied.
A European city bike or just simply a city bike is the perfect choice. It is a bicycle purposely designed for short distance inner city rides where the terrain is relatively flat.
City bikes comes in lots of different styles and colour combinations but the main thing about them is they are built for comfort not speed with a practical purpose in mind.
Most come fully loaded with accessories like baskets, lights, racks and fenders -- basically everything you need to make the commute fun and comfortable.
Fenders prevent rain from spraying your clothes, racks help you carry everything from laptops to beers or coffee, and the light sets front and rear make a difference at night on your way home after work.
The comfort element comes from a wider saddle, angled-back handlebars and a frame design that sits the rider on the bicycle in an upright position, which takes pressure off the arms and shoulders.
Whilst the city bike isn't very aerodynamic it is the best choice for people that commute to work everyday, and boy in Amsterdam do they know this well. Dutch bikes are the most sought after because daily demand has pushed bike builders to very high standards of quality and design.
One interesting side note, European bikes are generally built tougher to withstand year-round outdoor storage. To deter theft and vandalism, these bikes have a steel frame, and a rear-wheel lock.
In summary, city bikes are utility bikes, able to accommodate a wide range of loads, clothing,and road and weather conditions. They provides hop-on-and-go ability, with no "gearing-up" process.
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Are you a “do-it-yourself” kind of person? Or, do you prefer to have someone else get the job done for you?
Me? If something’s broken, I get my wife to fix it.
For cyclists, the most common and probably most vexing problems are flat tires. This is where it’s handy to know the differences between a Schrader valve and a Presta valve.
If you typically have your local bike shop repair and inflate your bike’s flat tires, it doesn’t much matter whether your inner tubes have Schrader or Presta valves.
On the other hand, if you purchase replacement tubes to repair your tires, the difference between these two types of valves matters.
The Presta valve is thinner and has a lock nut, rather than a spring, for sealing. The thinner Presta valve has been popular for racers because it allows the rider to use a hand pump to inflate the inner tube.
The Schrader is definitely the easier to use than a Presta valve. All you need to do is remove the cap put the pump head on far enough so no air leaks out, and air up your tires.
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We are in the 21st Century and our social groups are changing because now we choose them depending on our habits and lifestyle, not our age or gender, for instance. But the most important thing is that we are not part of friend circles, we are part of tribes, aligning ourselves with the tribe, using our bikes as an extension of our value offering. So, what is a tribe? Perhaps it is easier to explain with a practical example.
Let’s realize cities for what they are: concrete jungles. Riders are like animals that are living there. If we know where to look, we can quite easily find a lot of other classes within our habitats, routines, physical appearances, groups and communities … but we are not talking about monkeys, elephants or lions. We are talking about our fellow soul cyclists. But where does that leave our blog post? Most cyclists tend to gravitate toward other cyclists like them. So what would be your best-fitting velo classification?
Those group of men or women are typically in their 20’s and 30’s, harbour an iconic and independent thinking, counter-culture and interested in art, indie-rock and creativity. They create their own trends and live according to their own philosophies. You can often see them walking their bikes along Kitsilano beach and stopping for lunch at Public. Bikes are a reflection of themselves, and they love fixes and vintage bikes that align with their lifestyle. You can often see them sporting Ray Bans and leaning against their parked bikes, outside boutique coffee shops that know their order the moment they walk in.
Here is the most practical and cost-conscious urban rider. They love the city and they feel comfortable living in the concrete-jungle. They feel empowered and liberated using their bicycle to commute and zigzag across the traffic. Bags, weather proof clothing and other accessories are a must for every day trips and these cyclists aren't afraid to pay a little more to be prepared with the best equipment for the Vancouver weather.
Life is so simple like their bikes … and they love it! A freewheel mechanism in the rear hub, and no gears to change. With a wrench in their back pocket, life goes as fast as their pedals! Members of this tribe should wear a sign that reads 'makes frequent stops' because so often, you can see assisting other cyclists who have had an equipment 'malfunction'.
Paris, Rome, New York or Vancouver, these tribes men/women plan their vacations around their cycling addiction. After all, what better way to experience the true countryside then foot to pedal? You will find them at the Roman Coliseum, Central Park, or the Chicago Seawall. They prefer the 360 degree view of sightseeing that a bike affords. A tour bus is the equivalent of a jail cell … cities are simply too spectacular to be experienced from inside a cage!
We love him! Sunday morning, the sun is high in the sky, and daddy wants to enjoy the day with his lovely kids after a hard week of working. He checks the air pressure in each set of tires, locates the picnic bag and the kids helmets, and he is ready to enjoy the adventure with his kids!
“I'm late, late for a very important delivery date!!” That phrase is fresh on their mind from the moment their feet hit their pedals and they've fired up their GPS. Riding a bike is what they love about the job. They spend a lot of time on that beautiful creature, so it must always be in tip top shape! Checking the air pressure, grease the chain, lights are ok... that comfortable saddle is a gift, fallen from heaven.
It’s time to fight!! Let’s go to the park or let’s go to a hot neighbourhood… it doesn’t matter, but let’s go!! The week has been so long and it’s time to take a break. They love to keep moving in the crowded city, discovering new and amazing places, riding their forever new bikes. The typical Weekend Warrior attempts to replace every form of transportation possible with cycling - weekends are 'all bikes onboard' and that will never change. Next destination? They don’t care, they are already half way there!
They are the Cheetahs of the group because long distances are no spots off their paws. They can travel alone, but they also loves to travel with their tribe. More technically and physically trained than the other “urban animals”, they need high-performance equipment and a cycling companion that can keep up. Weather is not a barrier because real Journeymen look bad weather dead in the eyes and bark - "do your worst, I dare you!"
We also love her!! She is the trendiest, fashionista in the group. She knows how to be flashy with her beach cruiser, her uptown front bike rack with a coffee holder perfectly within 'cruising and sipping' range. This cyclist avidly searches for Meetups in the area and loves to pull up to meetings, events, and drinks on her trendy velo.
They love their tiny wheeled bikes. Balling headphones are included in the daily uniform, and insurgency is their mantra to express freedom. They are in their twenties and thirties, and their bikes are a status symbol amongst their peers, helping them identify 'one of their own'.
Vintage is an adjective they use liberally to describe everything they love. Retro bike frames and big saddles distinguish them from the crowd, daisy dukes and floral print are in season all year 'round. With this crowd, there is no quick fix to any problem, slow and steady is their mantra, with precedence given to mindful cycling.
As you can see, there are a handful of tribes so, which one is the most closely aligned to your values?