REVIEW: Proviz’s REFLECT360+ Cycling Gilet

Proviz is an International Award Winning Sports Brand, distributed in 40 countries, including Malaysia, and has the largest range of specialist enhanced visibility sports products on the market.

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The Proviz REFLECT360 gilet (sleeveless jacket) is the first fully reflective gilet designed for cycling, running and other outdoor uses. The gilet is designed to help you stand out at night on the roads as well as be a functional and comfortable item for you to use when out exercising. It utilises millions of reflective beads that reflect light back to the light source enabling you to stand out in a vehicle’s headlights.

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The REFLECT360 Plus gilet has a more tailored fit, added breathability and is more lightweight than the original version which will aid cyclists wanting a higher performing garment but not wishing to lose any of the reflective capability. Its also will keep the wind out yet the perforated back mesh will help the extra heat escape.

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The fit is excellent! Thanks to fitted shoulder and waist, ensuring closure with no loose flapping and help stayed put during the ride.

R0003558 (795x1200)The collar lining is made from micro-thermal fleece to add extra comfort to the skin of your neck.

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Keep your phone, keys or wallet safe with two zipped side pockets. They are also big enough to house your gloves or a cycling cap.

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Close up on stitching. In my opinion, the gilet is very well made.

R0003461 (1200x795)R0003462 (1200x795)This is how I look with the gilet on:

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If you’re wondering, I am 175cm tall and wearing size L. I looked pretty cool right? Maybe some drivers will be surprised because the appearance almost ghostly. When unlit, the color is matte grey. The REFLECT360 Plus gilet will definitely fulfill your “be seen” needs for night riding.

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To learn more about Proviz products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: 2016 Knog Blinder Lights Part 2

Heyy, I hope you have seen my first part of this review. If you missed it, here is the link: REVIEW: 2016 Knog Blinder Lights Part 1

Alright, on my second part of the review of 2016 Knog Blinder lights, I will show you what’s the different between the previous model Blinder 4 compare to the new Blinder MOB.

Blinder 4 vs Blinder MOB:

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Front: Blinder 4 (left) Blinder MOB (right)
Side view: Blinder 4 (left) Blinder MOB (right)
Front: Blinder 4 (left) Blinder MOB (right)
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Rear: Blinder MOB (left) Blinder 4(right)
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Rear: Blinder MOB (left) Blinder 4(right). As you can see here, Blinder 4 got slightly angled clamp.

Overall, the Blinder MOB is certainly upgraded and Knog did not disappoint us. It used Surface Mount (SMT) LEDs for maximum brightness and make visibility even further by 400 meters compare to Blinder 4. What’s more impressive, the new Blinder MOB comes with interchangeable straps and compatible with aero seatpost!

And a good news for weight weenies out there, the new Blinder MOB is lighter by 4g!

Blinder Road R70 vs Blinder Road R:

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Blinder Road R70 (left) Blinder Road R (right)
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Blinder Road R70 (left) Blinder Road R (right)

No substantial changes that we can see between Road R70 and Road R except the interchangeable straps, making the Blinder Road R70 more versatile light when it comes to mounting.

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Blinder Road R70
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Blinder Road R

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The Blinder Road R70 have a bigger box and included with a USB extension cable and 3 interchangeable straps.

IMHO:
I’ve been using the Knog’s lights on my bike for almost a year now and they have been my personal favorite. The new Knog’s Blinder is a really bright light and that means you won’t have any problems with visibility. It’s powerful, rechargeable, has a solid range of functions (focused and wide beams) and aero seatpost compatibility is a big plus. The integrated USB plug is designed to be exposed to the elements and 100% waterproof! So you don’t have to worry if you’re riding in a bad weather, being exposed to water, mud and so on.

My choice will be the Eyeballer for the front and Mr. Chips V for the rear. Simply because the Eyeballer got the most focused beams and I just like Mr. Chips V futuristic look.

The Knog lights are not cheap but it’s definitely worth it. Let’s think of it this way, how many lights you want to buy in a year? Maybe you will only buy once in your lifetime! So look for the right bike lights that you can rely on and invest wisely for your ride.

To learn more about Knog products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.
Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya
*IMHO stands for “in my humble opinion

REVIEW: 2016 Knog Blinder Lights Part 1

Last week, I’ve received the new Blinder lights to test from Knog Malaysia. I have been a fan of Knog’s lights for their clean design, USB rechargeable and 100% waterproof! Find out the improvement they made compare to the previous models in this review.

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The MOB family. From left, Kid Grid, Eyeballer, Four Eyes and The Faces. Both front (white) and rear (red) are available but the rear Eyeballer which is not in the photo.

So what’s new? The new Blinder MOB are sold with three interchangeable straps to suit any handlebar and seatpost, and available in 5 different light designs with beam angles ranging from focused to wide. With the max lumens of 80 for the front and 44 for the rear, the Blinder MOB will definitely fulfill your “be seen” needs for night riding up to 1.2 kilometers away.

R0003415 (1200x795)The small button for on/off still need a press-and-hold of 0.75 seconds which helps prevent accidentally activating the light. I like the new off mode which immediately turned off exactly after 0.75 seconds even if you are still pressing the button, unlike the previous model that will only turned off when you released the button. It will also indicate in red if your battery is weaknext to the button.

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I have mixed feelings about the USB plug design. One, I felt that it might get fractured if we are careless. Two, it can be tricky getting the plug into USB ports if there isn’t enough room around the port. I tend to have a lot of USB devices plugged in, and it’s tricky getting the Knog lights in between.

R0003418 (1200x795)And yes, Knog also sell their USB extension to solve this problem. 

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The new interchangeable straps so you can swap the lights between bikes with different sized seatpost and handlebars – including aero seatposts and oversize bars. My small issue is you have to keep track where you keep these small straps, but if you lost them, at least Knog are selling the replacement parts.

The new mount:

The previous mount:

Its quite similar but a bit different. The advantage of the new mount is you can change the straps, depending on your handlebar and seatpost size. The new USB plug design have more reach to USB ports but still need an extension cord if not enough space between other USB devices.

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Waterproof test:

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I put a front light inside a glass of water for about 2 hours and its still working!

The Blinder MOB Family

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Kid Grid (front)
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Kid Grid (rear)

The Kid Grid containing 16 SMT (surface mount) LEDs as well as a reflective faceplate, making it the widest beam among all Blinder MOB design, with angle of 90°.

Eyeballer (front)
Eyeballer (front)

The Eyeballer containing 1 LUMILED as well as a reflective faceplate, making it the most focused beam among all Blinder MOB design, with angle of 15° and has the longest run time on low steady mode which is 8 hours.

Four Eyes (front)
Four Eyes (front)
Four Eyes (rear)
Four Eyes (rear)

Similar to The Face, but without alloy faceplate, the Four Eyes containing 4 SMT LEDs, with its focused 35° beam, and reflective faceplate.

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The Face (front)
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The Face (rear)

The Face containing 4 SMT LEDs as well as an alloy faceplate, with its focused 35° beam.

Mr Chips V
Mr Chips V

Mr. Chips V is my favorite for the rear with 64 COB (chips on board) LEDs and flash options. It have a large illuminated surface area, which helps the light be seen even from a long distance.

The Blinder Mob series has 5 different light modes (2 constant & 3 flash) flash patterns depending on the type and layout of LEDs, but they all share similar characteristics. All of the lights have both high and low steady-on modes, and a fast simple flash which uses all LEDs on the light. The best part is the light remembers your previous mode when you turn it off!

Stay tuned for the next part of this review. To learn more about Knog products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

 

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Montague Navigator Foldable Commuter Bike

The Navigator by Montague Bikes, a brand from Massachusetts, USA, is a full size bike with 700c wheel size that also folds! Its simply can be described as a bicycles that sacrifice nothing in performance and still provide the folding benefit for space saving convenience.

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Took this city navigator out and about in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. Its a very comfortable ride with a relaxing reach to the handlebar, great for commuting or weekend riding at the park. You can’t go wrong with 27 speeds and 700c wheels for a commuter bike. Sometimes I forgot this bike was a folder!

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The Navigator also make a perfect bike for your bike-to-work plan, where you can ride from your house to nearest train station, because they allowing a folded bike on a train. But not at peak hours, so plan your trip wisely.

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The Navigator frame is designed around a patented folding system. This design eliminates the need to break the frame in order to fold the bike. Not only does this make folding easier but it makes this bike the strongest folding bike on the market.

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Its come with SR Suntour crankset with 48T, 38T and 28T chainrings. I used 38T all the time because of less hills in Port Dickson and I’m just chilling.

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The Shimano Sora 9 Speed is just perfect for the purpose of this bike.

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The first thing I want to upgrade is the saddle. Not because its not comfy enough but we human has different sit bones width.

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The Octagon offers all the benefits of an angle adjustable stem without shortening “reach” when raised. This unique design allows for handlebar height to be changed while preserving the way the bike handles and rides. Also, with the octagonal shape of the post, steering remains engaged while raising or lowering the stem.

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My other issue with the bike is you have to take out the front wheel in order to fold it. However, it come with CLIX™ quick release for the front and rear wheels, making it easier to do.

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Formula hub, Alloy sealed with CLIX™ quick release.

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For your information, I didn’t ride on these rocks. Impossible!

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The patented folding system is unique to Montague bikes and makes them the strongest folding bikes on the market. Put them inside Perodua Kelisa (backseat) and Honda City (boot) and it fits perfectly!

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My favorite part of the bike is the clever integration of CLIX™ technology, allows for the Navigator to be folded in under 20 seconds without the use of tools. A flip of the CLIX quick release lever on the top tube and the bike folds to a compact size. If you forget to re-tighten the quick release after unfolding, a secondary lock prevents the frame from folding. Genius!

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The Bikefun’s Crank Buddy with Kickstand, a brand from Taiwan, made a stand for Montague Bikes when folding, in order to protect the bike, especially the chainring. Its function like a camera tripod, so the bike can stand on it own when folded.

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Now, if you want a practical, fast, space saving, car/train-friendly commuter bike, full size bike, this is the one for you. The Navigator actually come with a rear rack and fenders. I also highly recommend you to buy the Crank Buddy as well. Thanks to VUBC for giving me credence to review their products. If you’re wondering, I’m 5’9″ (175cm) and riding size 19″ (available in 17″, 19″ and 21″).

To buy or learn more about the Montague’s Navigator and Bikefun’s Crank Buddy, head on over to Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

More photos:

– Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya.