Friday, October 16, 2009

New Gear.

My helmet went missing a few Fridays ago. I think I might have left it on the bus in an over-worked haze following several weeks without a proper day off due to massive amounts of weekend work that had to get done at the office. It never turned up. My old Bell Solar had several scuffs and bash marks on it from low-speed mountain biking impacts. Nothing that would be likely to keep it from doing its job, but it was probably due to be replaced anyway.

I've been using my wife's Bell Sweep R (a sweet helmet in its own right) for the time being, but decided it was time to get another one. I liked my old Bell Solar so much that I picked up another one just like it aside for color. Since my Take-A-Look mirror also went missing, I bought a replacement for that as well, but the LBS was fresh out of helmet mounting tabs. I will have to make one up myself, or find another shop in town that has them in stock.

Obviously, I replaced my saddle as well. I have to give props to my buddies at Bike America in Olathe. I didn't need a fancy, new-tech saddle (of which they had plenty), so I got a heck of a bargain on an OEM take-off Bontrager Race. When customers upgrade their bike before leaving the shop, but don't want to take the OEM part with them, the techs toss the part into the OEM Take-Off pile. If you know to ask the techs, they'll let you rummage the pile. I'm betting a lot of shops have a similar system, as there's no need to throw away new parts.

I scored the saddle, helmet and mirror for under $50 total. How cool is that?

Similarly, if you're into dumpster-diving, you can often find USED take-off parts from upgrades in the rubbish bin out back. Bike shops don't resell this stuff in the store, even if there's some life left in it. I'm betting the wrenches probably set aside the really good and like-new parts for themselves, but I'm not sure. Just something to keep in mind between Christmas and spring, when people are getting ready for the new season.

Soon, The Twelve will need new brakes, chain, and cassette but it's almost time to switch over to my mountain bike for winter, and The Goat needs some things as well. The coming two weeks will tell how I prioritize that stuff.

Random Tunage:
Goo Goo Dolls - Can't Let It Go
Peter Bailey - Electrified


ksteinhoff said...

Here are a couple of other helmet mirrors to check out.

I'm a big fan of Chuck Harris Mirrors, but the Messenger Mirror is worth considering, particularly at a price of less than $6.

The Messenger Mirror is designed for eyeglass frames, but I think it could be adapted to a helmet mount with a little futzing.

Noah said...

Well, I already bought the mirror. I saw Fritz' review of Messenger Mirror. Way too tiny. Chuck Harris' doesn't look much better. I don't mind if the mirror makes me look like a doofus. I mean, we already look strange on our bikes with our reflective gear, helmets, panniers or backpacks, and whatnot. I'll take a big mirror any day.

I understand that some people might think it gets in the way, but I usually have mine up fairly high, so I have a clear peripheral view. Then I look up and to the left to see what's behind me, and that seems to work great for me.

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