Archive for the ‘Product Spotlight’ Category

Product Review: Hydrapak SoftFlask

June 15, 2009

dscn4508csWandering the booths of Sea Otter brought me to the Hydrapak guys where I found this gel flask, basically made from the material from a Reversible Reservoir II and topped with either a soft bite valve or a flip top. I had been looking for a solution to carrying the tear-off gel packets and the mess that comes along with them…sticky, gooey used packets and potential litter…and the desire to be able to buy gel in bulk (or formulate my own). I chose the 5 fl. oz., 148 ml. version of the Soft Flask although there is a larger 8 fl. oz. one as well.

So far I have found it to do just what I had hoped it would do. It holds more than enough gel to get me through a long day as long as I have other sources of food. If I was 24 hour racing, etc, one could have more than one at hand and trade off to a full one as needed or simply re-fill this one in a few seconds. It has no bad taste to the flask material and it is easy to grab it and squeeze and bite the soft valve letting a small amount of gel restore your hopes of actually finishing the ride in one piece. It does not seem to leak when in a pouch or pocket, it has been pretty easy to clean, and it has basically been very nice to have as an option. I did notice that the soft bite valve is a bit restrictive to the thicker gel and in cold weather, it was a bit of a chore to get the amount of gel I wanted out of the top. Perhaps the pop-top would be a good option, but may not be as one handed an operation.

I like the lack of sticky, empty gel packs in my jersey or hydration pack and I think the Soft Flask will be a happy part of my gear for some time to come.

Hydrapak Soft Flask


SRAM XX is up on the Net

June 5, 2009

Ready for ten speed shifting in the dirt?  SRAM hopes you are. The official SRAM XX site is here for ya’.  Extravagant, both in design and cost, but it is purty.  Love the cassette, mostly machined out of one piece of billet steel.  Art as bike parts or bike parts as art…you decide.


Product Spotlight: Grease Monkey Wipes

May 13, 2009

Grease Monkey: The term conjures up a sweaty, dirty mechanic toiling away on some mechanical problem. Hey! I resemble that remark! Anyway, it also is the name of a new product designed with cyclists and triathletes in mind. Grease Monkey Wipes are individually packaged degreasing wipes each in their own separate 2.5 X 4 inch pouches. Each wipe is 8 X 7 inches and is excellent for cleaning grease, road grime, oil, road tar, permanent marker, adhesives, or that unsightly “Cat 4 tattoo” from your right calf!

Grease Monkey Wipes packets on a Grease Monkey Wipe

Grease Monkey Wipes packets on a Grease Monkey Wipe

Grease Monkey wipes can be stashed in jersey pockets, seat bags, hydration packs, glove boxes, or tool boxes. Anywhere you might need a quick clean up from having done a ride, mechanical repair, or just to wipe off your bike. You don’t need any water. Grease Monky Wipes are pre-moistened with a natural citrus based formula and leave no residue.

Grease Monkey Wipes are available from or at your local bike or triathlon shop for $1.00 each.  I’ll be doing a mechanical support for a ride coming soon and will be taking these along for sure!

Product Spotlight: AquaJoe Portable Hydration System

May 10, 2009

If you have done some longer rides, lets say over a few hours, and have had to resort to plain water or whatever you could scrounge at a convenience store instead of your tried and true powdered drink mix, you might be interested in “AquaJoe”. Maybe you take along a drink mix and you have it spill all over as you fumble with you bottle or hydration pack. Again, the AquaJoe system is offered as a solution. Let’s take a quick look…….

AquaJoe hydration system

AquaJoe hydration system


The system consists of a plastic tube that is capped off by a top that functions as a scoop, lid, and pouring spout. These “tubes” can be linked via a belt clip with another AquaJoe tube, linked piggy-back style, or hung from a lanyard. You can link as many as you want or need. Each tube is graduated so you can precisely measure out your favorite drink/nutritional powder mix to fit your water volume. The top can direct your mix into a bottle or hydration pack bladder without spilling all over the place.



If you carry different powdered mixes, you can write on the tubes to identify what the contents are. The AquaJow is dishwasher safe, and eliminates waste by avoiding the use of individaul packets.  AquaJoe dispensers are available as a pair matched with one belt clip/holder unit for $19.95 and are available at or at triathalon shops. runners shops, or cycling shops.

I’ll be putting the AquaJoe system to the test during my training and attempt at a 200 mile gravel road event later in May. Stay tuned!