Over on the iBOB bicycle list, there is a year end tradition of listing things that were “tried and liked” in the preceding 12 months. Here is a brief list of mine.
Number one on the list (by a fairly wide margin) is my Bike Friday Haul a Day.
(photo D. Guthrie)
I had been riding an Xtracycle longtail for a good number of years, and the Haul a Day has been a more than worthy replacement. I got the bike as a Kickstarter project, so it was quite a good deal. I’ve already blogged about the bike a fair amount.
- it’s much more rigid than an Xtracycle free radical
- the 20″ rear wheel lowers the rear deck and makes it more stable under load (the Xtracycle edgerunner uses the same idea, which originated with Sam Whittingham)
- must have accessories for the Haul a Day: the cargobike bars, the wideloader bars with wheel carriers, and the frame mounted front basket. Also some form of stoker bar if you are carrying kids.
- the front basket lets me carry as much cargo as my Xtracycle (the rear end of the Haul a Day is shorter than the Xtracycle’s) and our dog Lucy loves it.
- I can’t recommend the standard bags for the Haul a Day. They are definition not for heavy duty usage, and when mine wear out, I’m going to go for a set from Carsick Designs.
The second thing is the Carrera Folding Helmet.
The third item was my Swrve three season biking pants.
My default biking pants are my Outlier Slim Dungarees. However, I picked up the Swrves during a trip to Calgary. I had known about their knickers for a long time, but I had never tried a pair on. The downside of the pant was that they only came in even waist sizes, and my size is 31″. It turns out that the 30″ Swrves fit fine. They are a little warmer and slightly more water resistant than the Outliers (so they’ve been great during this unusually warm winter we’ve been having), they are sewn in the US, and they are cheaper than the Outliers. However, they do have some bikey details that keep them from passing as office wear. Interestingly enough, I see that Swrve has brought out a pair of pants called “black label” that are a little more appropriate for office wear. I still swear by the Outliers, but I like the Swrves more than I thought I would.
Update: the Swrves now seem to come in 1″ increment waist sizes.