Bontrager Race Convertible Jacket

Price: $109.99

Browse the Men’s and Women’s Bontrager Convertible Jackets

We knew we had a winner on our hands when the Bontrager Race Convertible Jacket showed up at the shop and our staff fought to try them on.

It easily converts from a jacket to a vest perfect for changeable weather conditions at the beginnings or ends of your next bike ride.  It’s beauty is in its flexibility.  This cycling jacket is wind resistant and features a durable water repellant finish.

In our testing it performed great on days that were a little wet, but nothing torrential. It was also great for long rides that started early on a chilly morning and lasted into the rising temps of the day.  We also loved riding with it on a late afternoon spring bike ride that lasted into the night. And since this describes so many of the rides we do here in Northern Virginia, this jacket is killer!

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The Trek Conduit+ Bike Review: Commuting to work or shopping around town shouldn’t be this fun!

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The Trek Conduit + is a new electric bike model from Trek that is a great value at $2999.99.  It comes with front and tail lights  called the Lync onboard lighting system that you can charge right on the bike and features a 5 hour run time.

 

FeatureAsset_304689_fendersAnd the fenders! We loved the super well thought out fenders because they not only keep you Really Dry, but they also stay in place, and don’t rub on your tires like cheaper fenders!

Speaking of tires, Trek did a great job specing out the bike with Bontrager Hard-Case tires so you will get fewer flat tires and less of your rides will end in a frustration.

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And the super smooth ride is powered by the Shimano Step System which is not only quiet, but powerful too.  With a max speed of 20 MPH and a 30mile range , the Trek Conduit+ which is a Class 1 Electric Bike, isn’t quite as fast as this bicycle’s big brother the Trek Ride+ XM700+ powered by a Bosch Motor which goes a full 28mph, and offers an expanded range of 40 – 75 depending on how hard you pedal.

The rugged Shimano Deore components on the Conduit + work smoothly and will stand up nicely to the rigors of bike commuting to work. We really like how the motor is placed right in the middle of the bike as this leads to great balanced steering.

You’ll love the integrated rear rack for connecting your panniers to.  We’re big fans of the Bontrager Town Double Throw Panniers as an option.

Part of bike commuting that Trek paid a lot of attention to is braking.  Trek put Shimano Hydraulic brakes that are the bees knees  because they offer great stopping power so you can stop quickly, and control too.

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The LCD screen is easy to see in different light conditions and the large font size is really easy to read. You can also change how powerful the lights and motor are while safely keeping your hands on your bike’s handlebars.

And the best part is how much lighter this electric bike is than other rear hub motor Electric bikes we’ve ridden.

The bike comes with a lightweight and precise steering aluminum fork that we thought kept our bike commuter super simple and efficient.  Some of our customers have been upgrading to Trek’s Pavement Suspension Seatpost to smooth out the ride a bit, but it is something you can ride and decide later on.

We hope this review helps you learn about the Trek Conduit+, and more importantly that you get bike commuting, you’ll love how you feel!  Come in for a test ride today!

All Aboard

Check out Jen, our Manager at TBL Springfield. This is a post from her blog “Training with your jogging stroller“. Yes, she is pretty bad ass but she is also a great example of how to be creative in getting your training in and getting the kids out on bikes.

All Aboard

I still run quite a lot, but with the popularity of “multi sport” (triathlons, etc) plus the draw of being able to go farther and bring more, we have borrowed the concept of the road train! Certainly I am not the first parent to string together several wheeled devices, but we love it. We sometimes go to the grocery store or to cub scouts with all in tow. Even with several young children at home, you could train for a cycling event! Probably not a century ride, but these kids would be cool with 10 miles. Revisit Destination Running to break up the distance. You may be able to tell that I have all this fun stuff hooked up to my single speed bicycle. That means that there are no gears. If you wanted to try a trailer bike, a trailer, or both, I would recommend a geared bike and more specifically a mountain bike or hybrid bike because those types of bikes have an easier gear ratio than a road bike. Or do what I do if you just like things crazy hard 🙂

via Training With Your Jogging Stroller: All Aboard.

Strippers, Zippers and Lights

The days are getting shorter and cooler now that autumn is approaching.  Rides that begin in mid-morning warmth can become uncomfortable once the late afternoon shadows take over.

It is a good idea to stuff a pair of arm warmers and a lightweight vest in your jersey pockets.

Bontrager's Arm Warmers are the perfect take-along for changing weather. They're made of thermal fabric for warmth and breathability, have grippers inside and out to keep them in place, and they're small enough to easily roll up and tuck in a pocket or pack so you're always prepared.

Bontrager’s Arm Warmers are the perfect take-along for changing weather. They’re made of thermal fabric for warmth and breathability, have grippers inside and out to keep them in place, and they’re small enough to easily roll up and tuck in a pocket or pack so you’re always prepared.

A small LED flashlight, such as the Planet Bike Superflash or Bontager Flare,  should be stashed in your under-saddle bag.  A “flashlight” app for your  mobile phone can also be handy.

Planet Bike's Superflash/Blaze Combo Light Set is a commuter's dream that maximizes your visibility on dark, moonless nights. The Blaze boasts a Nichia half-watt white LED with a brilliant beam specifically designed not only to be seen, but also to let you see where you're going. The Super Flash aims 2 LEDs plus a half-watt Blaze LED for light that can be seen for up to 1 mile! They both feature flashing and steady modes, include batteries and deliver run times of up to 100 hours.

Planet Bike’s Superflash/Blaze Combo Light Set is a commuter’s dream that maximizes your visibility on dark, moonless nights. The Blaze boasts a Nichia half-watt white LED with a brilliant beam specifically designed not only to be seen, but also to let you see where you’re going. The Super Flash aims 2 LEDs plus a half-watt Blaze LED for light that can be seen for up to 1 mile! They both feature flashing and steady modes, include batteries and deliver run times of up to 100 hours.

With darkness coming earlier now, any mechanical problem is magnified without proper lighting.  And you want to be seen by drivers in the dim light of sunset.

If you’re planning a long ride, consider a more powerful handlebar and/or helmet light with the juice to get you home safely such as the Light & Motion Vis 360 + Lighting System.

Visibility and comfort are key to keep you riding as the weather gets cooler and days get shorter.  Make sure you have what you need.

Last-Minute Tips for National Bike to Work Day

Happy Bike Month

So, you’ve been thinking about participating in National Bike To Work Day.  You may have even registered with the Washington Area Bicycling Association.  Good for you!

But there’s no reason to NOT ride to work even if you haven’t registered.  But you’ll need to do several things before you head out to the bike trails Friday morning.

No. 1:  Make sure your bike is rideable.  Check your tires NOW and see if they will still hold air.  Pump them up to the recommended pressure (on side of tire) and check back a bit later to see if the air pressure has dropped.  Look for thorns or metal wires that may have worked into the tread.   You really don’t want to have a flat on the way to or from work.  Be sure to bring a spare tube, a compact hand-pump and a few CO2 cartridges and inflator nozzle.  If you haven’t changed a flat in a while (or ever) practice before you head out.

No.2:   Click through your gears a few times, make sure everything is hunky-dory.  If shifting is balky, wipe a bit of lube on the cable and try again.  Lube the chain lightly, as well.

No. 3:  Check your personal gear:  Helmet is an absolute must.  Check fit before you head out.  A loose or too-tight helmet can spoil your ride, not to mention failure to protect your brain.  Gloves will help keep your hands clean and, even with a morning forecast in the low-60s, keep those digits warm.

No. 4: Be seen and heard. Is your bike bell dinging?  Is your head-light and tail-light working?  Check batteries and bring spares.  Remember, your return trip could be at dusk or other low-light conditions.

No. 5:  If you were thinking ahead, you already left a change of work clothes and personal toiletries to freshen your body when you get to work.  You may not notice right away, but you might be perspiring for up to an hour after riding.  You co-workers will notice.  Think about taking a container of those baby wipes.  You may be schvitzing for hours.

No. 6:  Hydrate or get really, really thirsty.  Make sure your water bottle isn’t full of fuzzy funk left from that bottle of Mango juice you put in it a month ago.  Take an extra bottle filled with ice for the return trip home. Put it in the office fridge if you have one. Your mouth will appreciate it.

No. 7:  Communicate.  Make sure your cellphone is fully charged.  The life you save may be someone else.  You would want someone to make that 911 call for you.

No. 8:  This is not a race.  It is RIDE to work.  With temperatures in the 80s, you don’t want to have a crash or  arrive drenched in a pool of sweat.  Enjoy the ride, smile at the other folks and arrive alive.

No. 9:  Scout your ride path BEFORE you head out. Check out great local bike commuting tips and routes at FABB.  Remember things look a lot different from behind a steering wheel than behind handlebars.  Bring a lock to secure your bike.  If it has a combination lock, write the code on a piece of paper in your dry wallet.

No. 10:  Don’t forget your office shoes.  I always kept a pair in my office desk just in case.  If anyone notices, just tell them it is National Work in Your Socks Day.

OK, now get out there, have fun, be careful and congratulate yourself for doing a very cool thing.

National Bike To Work Week and National Bike To Work Day

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In a perfect world, every day would be Bike To Work Day. But this year we get a whole week to celebrate commuting that’s fun and emission-free.

What could be better for curing work stress than a fun bike ride to and from our workplaces?  A ride to and from work gives us “me time” to think about the day ahead while also enjoying fresh air and physical exercise.  It is well-known that moderate exercise can make us smarter. Remember, Einstein rode a bike!

A good place to start planning your ride is

Biketoworkmetrodc.org.  The site has maps of Bike to Work pit stops, where you can pick up a free Bike To Work T-shirt on May 17 (order when you register online), get refreshments and meet fellow bike commuters.  The Bike Lane will be supporting the Reston Town Center and the Burke VRE Pit Stops.

The Bike to Work Day website also lets you join a group of “Bike Bus” riders heading in your work direction, with a ride leader who knows the ins and out of that route.

Before you ride to work, stop by The Bike Lane stores in Springfield and Reston to get your bike tuned up for commuting. You will also find a great selection of office-friendly bike clothing and fenders, panniers, baskets, bells, lights and other accessories that will get you out of gridlock and into pedaling nirvana. And don’t forget your helmet!

Bikeyface- Middle of the Road

We just found the Bikeyface blog and we are so glad we did!  There are a ton of great educational posts like this one!  Thanks Bikeyface for reminding us that while commuting by bike can be frustrating at times; it’s the smile on our face that we get when we ride our bikes that counts.

Whenever a person first discovers I bike, they reply with a story. And it’s always the same story.

“I was driving down [insert any road name] when all of the sudden I saw a cyclist in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!” Inevitably it always ends with them saying they “just tapped on their horn” or “squeezed by” or “yelled out to the cyclist.”

And many many times I’ve been the cyclist in one of these stories- the one sharing the road with a driver that isn’t aware of the basic road rules regarding bikes.

What’s worse is that sometimes reasonable people panic at the sight of a bicycle in the lane… and then all that reason flies out the window.

So I wanted to explain it to those who have never biked in the city:

And there’s more. Bikes are small, but they still need space. Cars should give cyclists the same amount of space when passing as another vehicle, at least 3 ft. However, not all roads allow for that, particularly in Boston:

So don’t panic when you see a bike in your lane. Just treat it like another vehicle. If you can pass safely, that’s fine. If not, most likely you won’t be slowed down much if at all. In the city, I find that car traffic slows me down much more than the other way around.

via Bikeyface » Middle of the Road.