Tate Labs Bar Fly

The small industry of aftermarket mounting brackets for Garmin devices owes its thanks to the efforts and sensibilities of Woody Tate. He invented the first aftermarket bracket, the Bar Fly, when he wasn’t satisfied with the function or aesthetics of the stock Garmin mounting hardware.

Tate Labs has moved on since then and now offers a range of Bar Flys for Garmin devices. The Bar Fly 1.1 has a single mounting position for Garmin 200, 500 and 800 devices while the Bar Fly 2.0 offers two positions and a lower profile.

The Bar Fly 2.0 also accommodates Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS modules on the underside. Both Flys are sized to suit 31.8mm handlebars but can be shimmed to suit smaller diameters. For triathletes and TTers, there is the Bar Fly TT, which suits the smaller diameter of aero extensions and positions the device next to the bar.

All Bar Flys are made from Delrin, a high-quality and durable plastic. Expect to see Bar Flys to suit Cateye wireless computers, Cycleops Joule GPS, and iPhones in the coming months.

RRP:US$24.95 for Bar Fly 1.1/2.0; US$39.95 for Bar Fly TT.

For more information see the Tate Labs website.


CTech’s Take:

Over the years, I’ve installed all sorts of mounting brackets for lights and computers and the Bar Fly achieves simplicity, effectiveness and elegance where so many other brackets have failed. The bracket feels robust and it only takes a light turn of the single mounting bolt to secure the clamp to the handlebars.

Tate Labs argues that plastic is the best match for the mounting tabs of Garmin devices because alloy metals will inevitably cut plastic, ruining the device, and I agree with this notion.

My Garmin 200 clicked into the Bar Fly mount with a firm and satisfying click and never rattled loose. The low profile of the Bar Fly 2.0 improves on the design by holding the device closer to the bars and a little lower than the Bar Fly 1.1. The only thing lacking in this product is a choice of colours. — Matt Wikstrom

Kabuto MS-2 helmet

Kabuto makes a range of bicycle helmets, from kids helmets, to helmets for casual riders, all the way to their top-end MS-2 helmet, the particular unit we were sent.

The MS-2 comes in a range of colours and sizes and the L/XL unit we were sent weighs in at just under 300g. This particular model features a detachable (by velcro) mesh that sits between your hair and the helmet, and “Japanese deodorisation nanotechnology”. These features are said to provide “three year deoderisation” although we’re not quite sure what that means.

As with most helmets these days the fit of the Kabuto MS-2 is adjusted with a tension wheel behind the head.

ERP: $180

Find out more at the Kabuto website.


CTech’s Take:

With even the cheapest helmets doing a great job of protecting your head, so much about helmet choice comes down to aesthetics. On my head the Kabuto MS-2 looks just a little, well, big.

For the larger craniums out there, this will suit just fine, but for you KOM contenders, I hope the smaller sizes are adjusted accordingly. However, Lampre-Merida is an example of a ProTeam filled with climbers that wear the Kabuto, and it’s hard to have more Euro-style than those guys.

But that’s obviously just personal taste and if you’re in the market for a helmet that’s going to protect you, while still looking for something that’s a little more stylish than a $40 or $50 lid, and significantly cheaper than the top-end models of other helmet brands, the Kabuto MS-2 might be worth a look. — Wade Wallace

Bontrager AW3 Hard-case Lite tyres

Here’s what Bontrager has to say about their AW3 tyres:

“All weather tyres have been around for years but usually only excel at one or two attributes: ultra-low rolling resistance; puncture protection; grippy and siped tread compounds; low weight. That now changes. Bontrager combines the low rolling resistance of racing tyres with the protection and tread of all-purpose tyres, so everyone can enjoy the thrill of all-out performance with less worry about flatting or losing traction.

Enthusiasts and occasional racers can use this all year long as their only tyre, while pros and serious racers will love it for long-mileage, all-condition training. This is not just an off-season tyre. AW specialises in exactly what you want most in a tyre: versatility and speed. Bontrager does this through its industry-leading technologies, independent testing facilities, pro-team testing, dedicated engineers and unmatched resources.”

RRP: $64.95
For more information see the Bontrager AW Tyre website.

CTech’s Take:

It’d be dishonest of me (and pretty difficult) to give you a full review of these tyres without riding them for 1,000km. But they’ve been put on my bike and will be ridden around France in July and I’ll give you a verdict in our August Product Picks.

The proposition of an “all weather” tyre is certainly appealing, especially with the type of weather we have in Melbourne. You never know whether it’ll be wet and miserable, or a balmy 25 degrees C. If you look on the Bontrager website (or read above) you’ll know that Bontrager makes some serious claims about the puncture resistance, aerodynamics, and rolling resistance of the AW3 Hard-case Lites.

It will always be difficult for me to verify these claims in the real world, but what I’ll be looking for in my rides around France are the way these tyres feel, and how they wear. In any case, Bontrager offers a full guarantee if you’re not satisfied, so the tyres are worth a try. — Wade Wallace

The Tour – The Legend of the Race

DC0292-TOUR-DE-FRANCE-DVD-3DHere’s what the distributors had to say about this DVD:

“Celebrating the rich history of a once humble sporting event to becoming the international spectacle it is today, The Tour – The Legend of the Race sheds a new light on the last 100 years of the Tour de France.

From its creation before World War I, through to Bradley Wiggins’ win in 2012, this new documentary allows viewers to step back into the sport’s momentous history including new footage, available on DVD from July 25, 2013.

The Tour de France has lived through ups and downs, triumphs and scandals, continually evolving with the times. Throughout it all, one key characteristic has remained: the relationship the public has with the Tour cyclists who are mythical figures of an emblematic era. This official film seeks to reflect the human dimension of the Tour by telling the story through these heroes, from Coppi and Bobet to Armstrong and Wiggins, as they battle for the title year after year in one of the world’s most popular sporting events.

With new archive footage and fully colourised, The Tour – The Legend of the Race, weaves together many stories of a 100-year history highlighting the highs and lows, and controversies of the sport.”

RRP: $29.95

The DVD and Digital Download will be available from all major retailers from July 25.

CTech’s Take:

Quite honestly I’d like to see this before the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, but there’s no doubt that I’ll be itching to watch this while I’m nursing my TdF hangover in August.

Maybe I’ll see what I can do about holding a movie night for this one… — Wade Wallace

Challenge Strada and Criterium 320 tyres

The Strada and Criterium 320 tyres both fall within Challenge’s “Open Tubular” range which was described by Challenge’s Chris Clinton like this:

An open tubular is technically a clincher tire; however, these tires are made in a similar process as our tubular tires. Instead of sewing our casing closed, as with a tubular tire, we fold the casing over two beads thus leaving these tubular tires “open”.

Utilising the same high thread count casings, treads made from natural rubbers and our handmade process, Challenge is able to provide a tire that offers similar suppleness and grip as our tubulars with the installation convenience of a clincher tire.

The Challenge website describes the company’s 23mm Criterium 320 tyres as “Forever the choice of professional riders. Numerous victories and podiums have proven Criterium the top Pro racing tubular.”

The company website describes the Strada by way of the following: “The famous all-round use, good rolling tread design in a supple, comfortable 25mm size, also now available in ‘Open Tubular’ clincher.

The Criterium 320 weighs in at 215g and features “PPS puncture protection” while the Strada, which also features PPS, is a little heavier at 250g but that’s to be expected with the 25mm width.

Challenge tyres are ridden by the likes of Optum Procycling in the UCI America Tour and a handful of other pro teams around the world.

RRP:$99 for Strada; $90 for Criterium

Find out more at the Challenge website.


CTech’s Take:

While we’re yet to properly put these tyres through their paces, we’ll be doing so in the coming weeks when we head over to France to cover (and ride parts of) Le Tour de France.

We’ll report back in August with our impressions of these tyres and we’ll be keeping a particular eye on the so-called puncture protection they offer. Most tyre manufacturers claim to provide a level of puncture protection in their products but it’s always hard to tell how much of an effect this has.

Power Cordz

Here’s what Power Cordz has to say about its brake and derailleur cables:

“Power Cordz are the lightest and strongest brake and derailleur cables in the cycling world. Our anchors will safely carry more than 600 lbs on a 1.2mm synthetic cord. They are 75% lighter and many times stronger than the steel cables they replace. And they improve performance through lower friction and a higher modulus of elasticity (translation: they don’t stretch out and don’t require readjustment).”

RRP: US$55

Find out more on the Power Cordz website.


CTech’s Take:

I’ve just put these on my bike and I’m looking forward to a longterm test to see how they perform. The installation process is slightly different from that of a regular cable, but no biggie.

They’re not actually cable, they’re a synthetic string, which is interesting in its own right. I’m not a weight weenie so the weight saved doesn’t float my boat (but they are astonishly light). What I’ll be looking for is long-term durability and shifting performance.

The thing I find so interesting about Power Cordz is the fact they are designed by Tony DuPont: a highly-successful manufacturing engineer turned highly-successful entrepreneur. Read an interview with him here.

Campagnolo toeclip keyring

Here’s what the seller had to say about this item:

“This keychain is made from an original vintage Campagnolo bicycle toe clip. It’s carefully cut to size and the edges are smooth for a comfortable, stylish accessory. This keychain is great for the bicyclist enthusiast in your life!”

RRP: $27 each + postage

Find out more at Etsy.com.


CTech’s Take:

Lighter, stronger, faster, more compliant…There’s not a whole lot to say about these keyrings other than the fact they are quite stylish and turning and old toe clip into a keychain is a pretty cool idea. For all you Campy nuts out there, this one’s for you.

Do I reckon they look cool? Definitely. Would I attach one to my keys? Probably not – I have enough on my keyring to fill my pockets. Would I buy one for a Campagnolo enthusiast as a gift? Why not. — Matt de Neef