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Cycling in Japan: Routes from Machida, Equipment

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Bianchi Infinito XE


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Cycling with The Magic Crayons, Japan

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Enfitnix Cubelite ii Smart Bicycle Tail Light Review

Enfitnix Cubelite ii Smart Bicycle Tail Light Bianchi Enfitnix Cubelite ii Smart Bicycle Tail Light Bianchi

Just picked this up! Review and photo after a month or so of using it.

Why buy a Enfitnix Cubelite ii

Context.
I cycle during the day from Machida to Enoshima, central Tokyo, or Hakone. I never have the intention of cycling in the dark but I have been caught out before when I had to fix a puncture or a storm was passing through and it become very overcast. IN winter it can suddenly decide to become gloomy too after 2pm.

Modes that appeal to me, and why I bought the device

  • Automatically turns on when it gets unexpectedly dark, specifically tunnels. Japanese tunnels are not nice.
  • Become brighter when it detects braking (I’ve not been able to test this yet)
  • Turns off when a car light shines on it to maximise the reflector.
  • Turns on when light is low at dusk
  • Turns itself on and off as required. I just need to charge it and not buy batteries that may leak (see: reasons for buying a new front light)

Observations
  • It’s smaller than expected! Ok, so yes the measurements were probably provided at 2.5cm x 3cm. More of me being used to old battery powered lights with bulbs in than a modern LED rechargeable

Features
  • The clip to mount the bike directly under the saddle - I don’t use.
  • The clip that attaches the light to the saddle stem. See photos - I did for a while then realised that the saddle bag vibrates its way down the stem until the light is partially concealed. I noticed on a bike that went passed me that there is a clip on the bad itself! Nice. That’s where the light now lives.

In the box
  • Really great packaging! A couple of rubber bands and plastic ties so you can securely fasten the light. Instruction book was very useful.
  • Charging is via USB, so joins the pile of other electronics on my desk that are usb powered. I’ll need to be sure in the summer when I go travelling to take sufficient adapters to charge everything up.

Recommended?
  • Yes!
  • I really do like that is in a metal water resistant case. The USB connector is nicely protected and easy to open and reseal.
  • It’s really bright! Don’t accidentally look directly at it close up lol.
  • Turning on at the beginning of the ride is a matter of pressing one button. I didn’t touch it all day as it knows when I am cycling or when I am resting.

Read More...

TOWILD Front Bicycle Light Review

FAVERO-Assioma Duo Power Meter Pedals Bianchi FAVERO-Assioma Duo Power Meter Pedals Bianchi FAVERO-Assioma Duo Power Meter Pedals Bianchi

The TOWILD front light on a KOM bracket, with wireless remote on the handlebars.

  • I really like having the light centred above the front wheel.
  • The mount is a GoPro style, so during the day I can easily switch the light with my GoPro, or put GoPro in my pocket when I need to leave the bike unattended while shopping.
  • Have only used the pulse mode at dusk and it’s very effective.
  • I’ve used it at full power on the way home and it will for sure dazzle cars coming at you, so I now avoid using it on the pavement when facing traffic.
  • It has a pulse mode which I had assumed would be like the daylight bikes I see, but it is more suited to night time. I’ll re-read the instructions on that.

I’ve had this a month. Love it. Review and photos soon :-)

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Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Cycling/Bike Computer Review

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bianchi

Wish I’d bought this sooner. Excellent although there are many features I don’t use.

First up, let’s talk about the image of the screen used in the ads, versus what the screen looks like in person. Reminds me of old computer game covers.

I’ll be honest, I’ve not been able to wean myself off using Google Maps on my iPhone whenever I go somewhere new. I use this unit as a display device for all the on-bike electronics:

  • Wahoo Speed Sensor
  • Assioma Power Meter
  • COOSP Heart Rate Monitor

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COOSPO Heart Rate Monitor Review

Photo

Sure yes, I could have bought Wahoo heart rate sensor but I couldn’t find any data to support it being any better or worse than this from COOSPO. This has a green LED on it, and as everyone knows anything with an LED on it must be better. Reliably links to my Wahoo Element.
Long term I expect my sweat to dissolve the fabric strap and corrode the metal sensor on the rear, so I feel less bad about replacing a cheaper unit.

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Lamicall Bicycle Phone Mount Review

Lamicall Phone Mount Bianchi

When looking for a handlebar mounted phone bracket you quickly get swayed by the online recommendations and end up with a huge list of must have features. Took a while to whittle that down to this excellent Lamicall mount that does everything and some.

  • Sturdy mount that can be mounted at any angle in any space on your handlebars
  • The bracket attaches to the mount via ball. This allows you to adjust the angle of the screen to anything you want. The angle I set it at depends on whether I have my head done and ramping up the watts, or leisurely riding, or the sun is on the phone screen. I have it tight enough that I can just tap the phone in the corner and I get the angle I want…

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Topeak Adjustable Waterbottle Cage Review

TOPEAK Water Bottle Holder Bianchi TOPEAK Water Bottle Holder Bianchi

Summers in Japan are vey humid. I cycle at all I leave at sunrise (5:30) and try and be home by midday. Having got unstuck in the past I drink each time I stop - so at lights, top of a hill etc. Vending machines are everywhere so I keep two on my bike at all times. Nice and cold for a few minutes too. Typically if I cycle 100km I get through 8x600ml bottles. I drink one sports drink for 2 bottles of water. As it approaches midday I also get water just to pour down my neck. Welcome to Japan!
Photos
Note the large thumbscrew under the holder. I have the set to accept 600ml drink bottles from vending machines. Be sure that the bottle is held as tight as possible but not so tight you cannot remove the bottle. One unseen pothole and the bottle will fly out if not tight enough.

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GORIX Top Tube Waterproof Bag B14 Review

Gorix top tube bike bag Bianchi

Top tip, measure the size of what you want to keep in your top tube bag, then look for a bag. This was my choice - wallet, keys, 2 nutrition bars. It also has a side pocket for change and is water proof. I’ve yet to hit my knees on it, and it shows no sign fading or wear after a Japanese summer. Excellent. If I was buying again I would see if they have a model with reflective strips.

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