Shanren Bike Light and Computer

GearBest: Online Shopping – Best Gear at Best Prices contacted me to review some products. One product that interested me was the Raptor Bike Light and Computer. This computer combines a bright 2 LED light with a large screen wireless bike computer. The combination light and computer means only one item mounts on the handle bar saving space.

After I received the computer I opened the box and attached it to my mountain bike. I will do a ride test later and add that to this review.

What I learned setting up the computer:
1) Two mounting attachments come with the computer
2) The lights are bright and cast a circle light beam
3) A USB cable is included but no AC power adapter
4) The mounting bands stretch but you may need to exert extra effort if the handle bar is larger diameter
5) The instruction book shows using 1 band to mount the sensor to the fork but the suspension fork on my bike was too large diameter and I used 2 bands.
6) Setting the computer up was easy with the included instruction book

– Cree white LED’s
– Light output: 300lm
– Rechargeable Li-ion battery, 2600 mAh
– Bike light running times: 3hrs (bright), 6hrs (dim)
– Sensor: 2.4Ghz wireless
– weight 120g
– size: 106mm x 57mm x 35mm

My observations:
The handle bar mount using the stretch bands attached firmly and the computer did not move when I removed it but I put the end of the stretch band with the gripper tab on the front of the handle bar and this blocked the release tab.
The second mount secures to the handle bar by turning a small knob that tightens the band around the handle bar. The design allows a wide range of handle bar diameters but the knob’s small size and location makes it difficult to secure it snugly to the handle bar. I could remove the computer but I felt the mount shift a little.
I mentioned above the sensor attachment on the front fork took 2 bands rather than one as shown in the manual. The fork on my Motobecane 700HT MTB was too big and I used 2 of the included large bands. Next I needed to position the sensor close enough to the magnet attached to the spoke. Moving the sensor closer to the spoke meant I needed to slide the sensor but the extra tension from the bands and the soft pad on the sensor held the sensor in place. After a couple of adjustments I got the sensor close enough to the magnet. I could now see the speed registering on the computer when I spun the front wheel.
The computer is setup and waiting for my next ride. I will compare it with my Garmin Edge 520 for trip accuracy.

Changed Bike Tires While It Rained

On my last ride yesterday I got over the mileage point where I planned to change tires. The front tire has 6044 miles and the rear tire has 5044 miles. I don’t want to chance a failure away from home and i think I got my money ‘s worth out of these. Originally I was going to put a 23mm wide tire on the front wheel and a 25mm wide tire on the rear but after my recent experience of the rear tire rubbing on the left chainstay I elected to go with 23mm wide front and rear. Because I got over 5000 miles on the Continental Gatorskin on the rear with only 1 or 2 flats I am going with Continental Gatorskin Hardshell tires.

With a day of rain I figured today was the best time to remove the old tires and install the news since I wouldn’t be riding.

The front tire was difficult to get off the rim. My tire tool kept slipping and I skinned my knuckle. Using two tire tools helped and I got the tire off. The tube was in good shape so I reused it. The rims have a wide cross section requiring a stem of 60mm or longer. I couldn’t change the tube even if I wanted to because I don’t have any spare tubes with the long of a stem. Her are some pictures of the front tire.

Now for the rear wheel. The old Continental tire was a little easier to remove than the front one. It had not been off the rim for a long time. Two tire tools came in handy again. While this wheel was off the bike I checked the inside of the left chainstay again to see if the Duck tape had any sign of rubbing. There was a couple of scratches but not through the tape.

After this I removed the old tube from the rear tire. It had two patches on it and to be safe I wanted to replace it but I did not have a tube with a 60mm or longer stem. It went back in the tire and finished mounting the new tire on the rear rim. Airing it up to 110 psi made the tire firm and ready to go back on the bike.

Ready for the rain to end and get some miles on the new tires.

Desperate to Ride My Bike So I Changed Bar Plugs

I must be desperate to do something with my bike. The cold weather has kept me inside and off the roads. A while back I noticed the left plastic handlebar plug had lost the chrome finish as they are prone to do. These are the ones that come with many tape kits. I thought why not upgrade the handlebar plugs with ones that look better, color coordinate with my bike and will not come out as easy as the plastic ones do.

Original plastic handlebar plugs
Original plastic handlebar plugs

My first stop was to see what was out there. There were a bunch of listings but they generally repeated 7 or 8 designs with color options. Some were metal locking while others were rubber locking. By locking I mean how they are secured inside the handlebars. I ended up choosing gobike88 XON XSS-22 HandleBar End Caps/Plugs. The black and red color matched my bike and I liked the rubber locking mechanism.

Placing the order I expected a several week delivery time but they showed up much earlier. Before installing them I wrapped the handlebar tape with blue painting tape to hold the handlebar tape in place after I removed the plastic plugs. One concern I had was whether the XON plugs would fit inside the handlebar but they slid right in and using an Allen wrench the plugs locked in place.

Now I am ready to ride if the winter weather will just leave me alone!!!

Unboxing the Stradalli “RED-PRO RP14” Carbon Bike

On Tuesday March 11, 2014, I received my highly anticipated new bike from Stradalli Bicycle. After some negotiations I ordered the bike last Wednesday (March 5th). I like the component selections, the size was correct, carbon fiber wheelset and the bold graphics. Much different from my previous bike purchases this bike comes as a kit. I will assemble the bike. The unboxing illustrates the many pieces that it takes for a complete bike. While I have worked on my bikes for many years and removed and installed about every part it will be interesting to see how I assemble the bike.

Thanks to my wife, Hazel Marie, for filming the clips for this video project.

The next videos will show me putting all of the pieces on the bike frame.