Product Reviews

Review: LIT road commuter/training tires from Velo Products

Avatar by on February 26th, 2014 at 9:41 am

A visit to Velotech-10

Meet the LIT tires, offered by Portland-based Velo Products.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This review was written by Scott Kocher, a Portland-based trial lawyer whom I met while biking in Forest Park last year. He’s also an alternate member of the City of Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee and a dedicated transportation activist.


LIT 360 Ultra-Reflective Road Tire (Retail: $49.99)

It’s impressive that Portland-based Velo Products took the crowd-funding route to make their LIT Tires concept a reality. The tires themselves are equally impressive.

I pre-ordered a pair last April because the company is local, they partnered to support the BTA with their sales, and the tire design has Portlanders’ needs in mind. As the months ticked by, I got e-mail updates, mostly describing manufacturing snags. At one point they offered to refund our money because of the delays. I stuck it out, and my tires arrived last week. I’m glad I did.

The advertised stats are:[Read more…]

Light review: Portland Design Works’ Aether Demon and Spaceship/RADBOT combo

Avatar by on February 19th, 2014 at 10:03 am

Just part of PDW’s large family of lights.

— Note from the Publisher: Please join me in welcoming Nicholas Von Pless and Alana Harris to the BikePortland team. Regular readers know that this site does not review products very often. That’s something I’ve been wanting to change for a long time, and Nicholas and Alana are going to help finally make it happen. Stay tuned as we post more reviews and fine-tune the format to make these as readable and useful as possible. Email feedback to Thanks for reading. — Jonathan
[Read more…]

Product Review: Ergon GP1 Biokork grips

Avatar by on March 15th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Ergon GP1 Biokork grip

As a custom frame builder, I pay a lot of attention to the distances between the three primary contact points that a rider shares with their bicycle — their saddle, pedals, and grips. The millimeters in between guide my decision making from design to assembly. Component and accessory designer Ergon concerns itself, not only with where you connect to the bike but how your body interfaces with the bike in an effort to let you ride with maximum efficiency and comfort. Ergon, based outside Koblenz, Germany has been developing ergonomically designed handlebar grips and winning design awards for them since 2004.
[Read more…]

New anti-theft GPS bike tracker: What does our expert think?

Avatar by on December 2nd, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Watch out thieves, there’s a GPS in there.
(Photos: GPS Track This)

[Via BikeBiz]

Word is quickly spreading on the Interwebs tonight about what many have considered the Holy Grail of bike theft — a GPS tracker for bicycles.

UK-based GPS Track This now offers (wholesale only at this point it seems) the “Spylamp Bicycle GPS Tracker”, a small device that is hidden in a rear light. They also offer a free smartphone/text/web service that can track your bike when it gets stolen. Here’s an excerpt from a story in[Read more…]

Review: Burley Travoy cargo trailer

Avatar by on May 6th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

The Travoy from Burley.
(Photo © J. Maus – All other photos by Chris Sullivan)

Burley nailed it. Their new Travoy — part cargo trailer, part grocery cart, part portable office — is an amazingly well-designed product.

From the first time you hold the top handle and move it around with one hand, you get a sense that it’s unlike anything else you’ve held — much less attached to the back of your bike.[Read more…]

On Test: Austin bike shoes by Keen Footwear

Avatar by on March 18th, 2010 at 10:13 am

On Test- Austin shoes by Keen Footwear-1

(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland’s bike-friendly vibe continues to wear off on Keen Footwear. When they moved their corporate headquarters here in 2006, they wasted no time in putting bikes in their product catalog. Two years later, they promised to expand their cycling-oriented product line.

They’ve kept their promise.

They started by putting an SPD-compatible sole on their well-known sandal design. Then they came out with a closed-toe, cleated bike shoe dubbed the “Springwater“. Now they’ve added two more models to their “Pedal” line — the “Coronado Cruiser” and the “Austin“.

I’m currently wearing a pair of Austins (which, for the record, were given to me free of charge by a Keen rep).[Read more…]

On Test: An Urbana bike from Montreal

Avatar by on March 16th, 2010 at 11:59 am

[Note: I’m going to try and start doing more product reviews. I’ll post quick “On Test” updates as I get interesting things to try out. Then, depending on your interest and the quality/relevance of the product itself, I’ll follow-up with a more thorough review. To keep this going, I’m looking for a product review intern. Get in touch if you’re interested.]

Urbana bike from Montreal-5

Urbana, a new bike (and company) from Montreal.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Urbana, which debuted at the Interbike trade show last fall, is an interesting bike. With its design roots in downhill mountain biking, it aims to be a fun, versatile, one-size-fits-all urban commuter.

The bike’s creator, Jerome Roy of Balfa Bikes fame, puts it this way, “The Urbana was conceived the same way [as his full-suspension mtbs]; utilitarian and always ready for fun, it can go through potholes or jump over them!”[Read more…]

Product Review: The Light On! DynoLight headlight

Avatar by on December 2nd, 2009 at 11:30 am

The DynoLight from Beaverton-based Light On!.
(Photo © J. Maus)

[You can meet Brian Engelen from Light On! (and Fun Reflector) this Saturday at BikeCraft V. He’ll be one of nearly 50 local vendors selling their bike-oriented arts, crafts, and other products. Don’t miss it!

I have owned the Light On! DynoLight dynamo powered headlight since the summer and now that the days are shorter, I can finally spend some time testing it out and making comparisons and judgments.[Read more…]

Work pants made for women work great on the bike

Avatar by on October 14th, 2009 at 11:17 am

cycling workpants

Marion Rice and her new work pants in action.
(Photo © Elly Blue)

So, I just have to dish about my new pants. Red Ants Pants are work pants shaped for a woman. Designed by outdoorsy gal Sarah Calhoun, who lives in a ranching town of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, these pants are made for women who ranch, garden, fight fires and do the hard work of being a mom.

From the moment I put these sturdy pants on, I knew that I had found a new friend. Although I don’t plan on vaccinating any cattle in mine, they are PERFECT for biking my kids around Portland in the fall and winter. They have two layers which helped keep me more dry and warm as I rode around in the rain all morning.

cycling workpants

But what makes these pants really awesome is the gusseted crotch. Ahem, if you wear your Levis to bike in you probably have encountered that gnarly lump of fabric down there. Well these pants don’t have that. A diamond shaped piece of fabric replaces the four way cross junction which you find in most pants.

The pants come in two cuts, curvy and straight. My husband liked the way they fit so much he just ordered a straight-style pair for himself.

Learn more at

Review: Bridging the independence gap with the FollowMe

Avatar by on October 1st, 2009 at 8:00 am

[Publisher’s note: This review is by our Family Biking columnist Marion Rice. Marion’s last column explored safety and cultural issues around carrying infants by bike.]

On test- Follow-me Tandem-2

Griffin and dad test riding the FollowMe.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]