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Pedals: Clipless or Flats?

Clipless pedals

Clipless pedals, are they worth it?

It’s a question a lot of bikers ask: Should I “upgrade” to clipless pedals? When you’ve been biking for a year or so and you’re looking for the next so-called performance boost, you can’t help but think of clipless pedals.

The pros use them. Your “serious” biker friends swear by them. Heck, you might be the only guy in your squad whose bike still doesn’t have them. But should you give in to the peer pressure and temptation? Or should you keep your hard earned money for more important purchases like a case of Cerveza Sagada or round trip tickets to Batanes? Read more [+]

Motorcycle Bike Rack for the Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield Bike Rack

Bike on bike lovin’

Before I begin, please forgive me for what may seem like a self-indulgent post.

I love two wheeled machines. As readers of this blog may have guessed, bicycles are like a religion for me. The mountain trail is like a church and I try to faithfully attend service more than once a week. Others who know me also know how much I love bikes of another kind–the sort that requires a throttle. Out on the open road, motorcycling is the closest you can come to flying.

For the longest time now, I’ve been trying to find a way to fuse my two passions. Years ago, whenever I wanted to go to my home trails in Tanay, I had to drive through Marilaque in a car. It always irked me to know that I could be riding my motorcycle instead of driving to the rendezvous point for the trail ride. Padyakoldaway is always an option, except when you have to get back home on a limited visa.

As someone who regularly rides Marilaque, I know just how much fun it is to carve those twisty mountain roads on my motorcycle. I needed to find a way to carry my mountain bike on my motorcycle. I needed a bike rack on my motorcycle. Read more [+]

Commuting with the Nyfti Folding Bike


The Nyfti folding bike, an excellent urban commuter

This is a review of the Nyfti Folding bike, which as far as I know, is the only locally built folding bike in the Philippines. It is a truly awesome bike. However, while reviewing this wonderful piece of Pinoy engineering, I also felt that I had to vent out my frustrations on the problem that the Nyfti is trying solve. So please bear with me.

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Edsa during rush hour is the Eighth Circle of Hell. It’s a kind of punishment you would wish only on your worst enemies, and only if your own soul has become so warped and devoid of empathy that you’re willing to inflict extreme torment and suffering on another sentient being.

The fact that millions have to endure such a soul crushing ordeal 5-6 days a week is a testament to the insensitivity of the government and its abject failure to provide basic services to the public. Read more [+]

Gear Review: Five Ten Maltese Falcon

Five Ten Maltese Facon

Five Ten Maltese Falcon: perfect for hike-a-bikes

Here’s a confession: I don’t like spending money on biking gear. Yeah, I know it may seem like a strange thing to say for someone who writes a lot about biking, but it’s the truth. While I like buying new outdoor gear like sunglasses, drifit shirts and shorts, I don’t really buy stuff specific to mountain biking unless I absolutely have to.

Shoes for instance. For the longest time, I resisted getting biking-specific shoes. Instead, I bought trail running shoes. Why? I just didn’t see any point in spending on shoes that I could only use on the bike, when I could have footwear that i could use both on and off the pedals. I also thought that a lot of MTB shoes with their plastic soles looked a bit goofy.

But lately, I’ve been doing a lot of rides that have been quite harsh on my minimalist trail runners, not to mention my ankles and calves. My shoes were getting ripped by the pins on my pedals, while feet and shins were feeling scorched from too many heel-down sessions on technical trails. So last May, I finally relented and got myself some proper biking shoes. I got the Five Ten Maltese Falcon. Read more [+]

Gear Review: Spyder Dart Helmet

Spyder Dart Helmet

The Dart Helmet: makes even a Sith Lord think about switching head gear

The Spyder Dart is one good looking helmet. When I posted its photo on Facebook, it immediately got dozens of likes. Bikers asked what model it was, asked if it was already available, and asked where they could buy it. If they could order it on the website, many of them would have probably done so. I have always been a fan of Spyder helmets, but they seem to have outdone themselves with this one.

The Dart is the latest in Spyder’s line of all-mountain lids that are becoming very popular these days. As more and more riders eschew familiar trails and easy rides for more challenging rough and tumble adventures, helmets are also evolving to deal with the increased risks entailed by these adventures.

Read more [+]

Switching to Steel

Steel is Real

Steel is real. This is the battle cry of a lot of bikers who feel that bike manufacturers have been making bike frames that are way too complicated and expensive. Seems like it wasn’t too long ago when steel was the bike maker’s metal of choice. Nowadays though, steel bikes have become as rare as a competent and uncorrupted Pinoy politician, which is kinda sad because steel is such an excellent material for building bikes.

I had been looking to switch to a steel frame since late last year. While I love my aluminum Venzo, I just felt that I already needed something sturdier. The Venzo was a great lightweight alloy frame that helped me nab respectable finishes in duathlons and XC races. But it just didn’t seem like a well-suited weapon for fast descents on rock gardens and technical trails, which I found myself riding more and more often. I was longing for that strange alchemy of toughness and suppleness that could only come from that bastard spawn of carbon and iron more popularly known as (you guessed it) steel! Read more [+]

Christmas Gifts for Mountain Bikers

There was once a wise man who said: It is better to give than to receive. Legend has it that that man was actually Mike Tyson, and that he was just describing the most basic tenet of his sport. Anyway, Christmas is fast approaching, and the season of giving (and receiving) is here again.

Yup, it’s that time of the year when people at work receive bonuses from their employers. It’s also that time of the year again when those who get something extra in their paycheck give something back in a chain reaction of gift-giving that exponentially increases the level of goodwill and fun that is Christmas.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are mountain biker, or you may have a friend/significant other who is also a biker. Chances are, you may also be wondering about what to give him/her this holiday season. Well then, here are a few ideas you may want to consider. And since people don’t really receive the same amount of goodwill in their paycheck, I’ve taken the trouble to sort them out according to budget.

Read more [+]

One Awesome Bike Expo

Thomas Oehler at the Phil Bike Expo

Thomas Oehler at the Phil Bike Expo

If I could, I would fit it in even more words into the title, like: vintage bikes, fat bikes, low riders, fixies, cargo bikes, recumbents and all other pedal powered machines in between.

And of course, I would also include Thomas Oehler, the Red Bull trials biking maestro who was awesome enough to grace the Phil Bike Expo 2014 with his presence. Yes, I know: awesome is an often-misused and abused term. But in this case no word could be more apt.

If you weren’t there… ang laking sayaaang! What’s your excuse? Were you busy covering up the details of your hacienda in Batangas? Were you incarcerated for stealing from your pork barrel funds? Or did Jessy Mendiola ask you out for a date to watch Interstellar on IMAX? Di pa rin excuse yan.  Read more [+]

The Phil Bike Expo 2014

Phil Bike Expo 2014

Organizers of the Phil Bike Expo 2014

This is big. It is probably the biggest expo of its kind. I guess it’s a testament to how much the Philippine biking scene has grown in recent years.

If you want to scratch that nagging itch from upgraditis, you need to be there. Some of the best gear from the biggest brands in the industry will be featured at the expo. If you want to see just how Filipino bike makers and bike brands are making inroads in the industry, you have to go there and see their displays. Nyfti will be unveiling its Pinoy designed hand-made folding bike. Bambike will be showing off bicycles made from probably the greenest material you can ever use to build a bicycle–bamboo. Local brand Mars Kingdom will also be there to acquaint the public with their very affordable line of folding bikes and mountain bikes. Local makers of hydration packs and travel bags will also be there.

And last but not the least, if you want to see world class trials rider Thomas Oehler showcase his ninja tricks, you had better be there. Of course, you can simply have a good time being with thousands of other like-minded people who have a passion for bikes.
Read more [+]

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail

The New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail

I love trail running as much as I love mountain biking. This is why I was quite excited to try out the New Balance Fresh Foam 980 when it was unveiled several months ago.

This shoe has generated a lot of hype. The very name itself was calculated to stir up buzz and incite curiosity. Fresh Foam: does this mean every other foam used in every other athletic shoe has become stale? What the heck is so fresh with this foam anyway?

Well, honestly, not that much. The foam isn’t really that (excuse the pun) groundbreaking. But it’s the shoe’s marriage of the virtues of minimalism and maximalism which really distinguishes it from the current crop of running footwear. Read more [+]