Tailfin X Series pannier rack and side pannier bags

The Tailfin X-Series pannier rack attaches easily and securely to almost any bike. The Tailfin side pannier bags work perfectly with the rack and give greater luggage capacity than is possible with bikepacking bags that strap to the bike. The setup works very well and the bags are well made, but there are some negatives and there are alternatives that might be better options for some people.

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Kinekt suspension stem

The Kinekt Suspension Stem gives a very smooth and comfortable ride, but I found that it’s only suitable for certain types of bikes and the chunky form requires some getting used to the aesthetic. I would recommend this stem to people who want to use it on a more utilitarian rather than a performance bike and want to feel like they’re riding on a cloud. However, in most other situations, I would instead recommend the RedShift ShockStop stem because the fit is more adaptable, it gives a better ride feel and it has a far sleeker look.

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RedShift Quick-Release Aerobars

The RedShift Quick-Release Aerobars allow cyclists to frequently switch between riding with or without aerobars. They are quite comfortable and reasonably adjustable, but the adjustability wasn’t sufficient for me and I always leave my aerobars mounted, so the extra weight of the quick-release mechanism is unnecessary.

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Tailfin Aeropack review

The Tailfin Aeropack bag overcomes most of the disadvantages of a bikepacking-style seatpost-mounted bag and from that perspective I would highly recommend it. It’s well made, uses good quality materials, is lightweight, and attaches to almost any bike. I found the Aeropack far less practical and more awkward to use than a more conventional rear rack and rack-top bag, but such setups are heavier and are not as easy to attach to many bikes.

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Garmin Edge 1030 Plus: Why no screen upgrade? Edge 1040 coming in 2021?

Garmin’s previous top-end cycling computer, the Edge 1030, was released in late 2017, so it’s no surprise that they announced an updated version in June 2020, the Edge 1030 Plus. I was expecting more from the new model including a better screen, but this suggests that the real update, possibly called the Edge 1040 or 1200, should arrive in 2021, so I recommend waiting if you don’t have an immediate need for a top-end unit with an extra-large screen.

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The problems with “gravel” versions of drop handlebars and some better solutions

There is a major recent trend for gravel bikes to be equipped with non-standard shapes of drop handlebars: flared bars, riser bars, and dual-level bars. I explain why I wouldn’t recommend any of these odd handlebar shapes over using a standard drop handlebar of the preferred width and an appropriate-height stem. I instead give better solutions for how to achieve each of the goals of these oddly-shaped bars while using a standard drop handlebar.

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Recommended crank length to avoid cycling discomfort

Over two-thirds of cyclists are using cranks that are longer than recommended. Using cranks that are too long can cause cycling discomfort and injuries, especially when riding longer distances, due to excessive articulation of the knee and hip at the top of the pedal stroke; using cranks that are too short is far less likely to cause problems. I give general recommendations on what crank lengths are suitable for people in various height ranges.

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RedShift ShockStop suspension seatpost

The RedShift ShockStop suspension seatpost makes a massive improvement in riding comfort and reduces fatigue when gravel biking and doing long-distance cycling. I found that it outperformed the similar Cirrus Kinekt seatpost on almost every criterion: comfort/function, aesthetics, price and weight.

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