REVIEW: Selle Royal Scientia

Last Friday morning I did a recce ride for Nottingham University in Semenyih together with my colleagues from Public Bike Share. Since I was loaned a Brompton demo bike, I took this opportunity to test the Selle Royal Scientia saddle.

Selle Royal, together with the Sport University of Cologne, has developed the first range of saddles for the ergonomic market based on quantified laboratory studies at the university level. The result is SCIENTIA. A full spectrum of 9 ergonomic saddles scientifically engineered to precisely and comprehensively fit each rider with Athletic (45 degrees), Moderate (60 degrees) and Relaxed (90 degrees) riding position.

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I chose M>2 which is fits right with my sit bone width. Van’s Urban Bicycle Co. have a special gel measuring pad where the rider can sit and apply downward pressure. Finding the centers of the two impressions made on the pad and the sit bone distance can be measured. The M-Series (moderate) of Scientia saddles is created for fitness-minded cyclists, and comes in three widths (1: less than 11cm, 2: 11-13cm, 3: over 13cm) to accommodate all variations in sit bone width.

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The Curva Suspension takes pressure off of body contact points and provides an extra touch of comfort with its curved leaf spring design.

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The 20 kilometers ride won’t do justice to this saddle. I felt the typical mild saddle sores, maybe I have been spoiled with my Brooks and I’m not wearing a padded cycling pant either. However, I don’t felt numbness that usually caused by a new saddle, thanks to the 3D Skin Gel that offers the perfect combination of comfort and support, providing both at critical points in the saddle.

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If you generally ride in semi-relaxed position but still want a sporty look yet comfy then the Selle Royal Scientia Moderate Saddle might be the saddle for you.

Check out the rest of the photos here:

To learn more about Selle Royal saddles, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Montague Crosstown 700c Folding Bike

The Crosstown is a brilliant hybrid between a road bike and a folding bike with all the perks of a road bike; speed, that is perfect for practical commuting. It’s an easy to use folding bike offering 7-speeds, 700c tires, and the CLIX™ Wheel Release System.

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It is essential to state that the Crosstown is one of the Montague entry-level folding bicycles. However, this does not mean that the bike doesn’t perform as well as the more expensive models. My initial thoughts were that the silver and black paint stood out for me.

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There are only 7-speeds, but these are perfectly adapted for most road conditions and urban commuting.

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The Velcro straps is to bind the front tire when folded.

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The 700c wheels are alloy, with Formula hubs and a CLIX™ skewer for quick release of the wheels. The bike comes with CST semi-slick tires, 28mm in width.

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It also features a new invention called the Octagon, a stem that is height-adjustable with just a simple click of a button. This allows the rider to have the handlebars at whatever height feels comfortable.

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Using Montague’s CLIX™ Wheel Release System, the Crosstown is a 700c bike that folds with a couple of easy clicks. Combining a lightweight aluminum frame, 7 speeds, and performance gel saddle this urban folding bike provides the ride experience of a full size bike with the convenience of a folding bike.

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Performance Gel comfort saddle provides a great and comfortable riding experience.

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This bike folds over 50% of the actual size, and the front tire goes away which is attached towards the bike using a Velcro straps.

Overall, the Montague Crosstown is pretty excellent and well designed bike. The parts are reliable; the speed is great; while being very comfortable and weigh about 12 kilograms. If you’ve never tried using foldable bikes, then this one will really change your perception of foldable bikes. There’s a reason the US Army Rangers use Montague.

Check out the rest of the photos here:

To learn more about Montague bikes, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya


 

 

 


 

REVIEW: Knog Blinder ROAD 440 & 250

Available in black, pewter, ruby and silver, the latest Knog Blinder ROAD lights provides a better option to light the way, packing 440 and 250 lumens into its small and lightweight frame for over 1200 meters of visibility that mounts neatly onto the bars and even your helmet.

R0003669 (1200x795)The Blinder ROAD 400 is Knog’s second brightest light, behind the Blinder ARC 640, and attempts to bridge the gap between a light with which to be seen and a light to see by. Despite it’s relatively small size, the Blinder ROAD’s output boosts out plenty of light and it does so via two LUMILEDS LEDs.

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The Blinder ROAD is powered by a rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery with run times ranging from one hour on dual beam high mode to nine hours in eco flashing mode.

Blinder ROAD 250 – 1 hour on High Mode, 6 hours on Eco Flash
Blinder ROAD 400 – 1 hour on High Mode, 9 hours on Eco Flash

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The lighting functionality is delivered thanks to two LUMILEDS LEDs that offer a narrow or wide beam angle respectively and can be used independently or together, with high, medium and low brightness settings.

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The light is controlled by two buttons at the top of the light: the right to control brightness, the left to skip through modes. There are also two flashing settings, which makes for 11 modes in total.

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When you’ve exceeded the light’s run time, an integrated, weather-resistant USB plug handles recharge duties.

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Blinder ROAD 400 – 105 grams
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Blinder ROAD 250 – 75 grams

Both Knog Blinder Road lights comes complete with a helmet mount kit, two removable silicone straps for 22-28mm bars and 29-35mm bars and a USB extension cord.

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ROAD 400 on High Mode
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ROAD 250 on High Mode

Looks similar but I assure you that ROAD 400 is much more brighter.

If you’re looking for a simple, good-looking light to stick on your bike, the new Blinder ROAD is certainly one to consider. It’s well-constructed, versatile light for riders who generally ride within city limits. So far, the Blinder ROAD is my favorite front light as it has both focus and wide beam angles, and ROAD 250 in black is definitely will be my personal choice and within my budget.

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

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Knog Blinder ARC 640 & 220

As with most Knog products, the Blinder ARC series are creatively named, coupled with a fully waterproof casing, USB charge port and a great design aesthetic.

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Blinder ARC 640 in Red color
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Blinder ARC 220 in Pewter color

The Blinder ARC 220 generates 220 lumens while Blinder ARC 640 generates 640 lumens for about 1200+ meters of visibility. It has 4 light mode (high, medium, low and flash) and Blinder ARC 220 has runtimes about 1.3 hours for high mode and 11 hours for eco flash mode, and Blinder ARC 640 has runtimes about 1.7 hours for high mode and 15 hours for eco flash mode. The ARC series is made to see-by light, as well as safety light.

R0003666 (1200x795)Similar to all Blinder series, the 100% waterproof Blinder ARC has USB tab to allows for a cable-free charge and an extended cable is included for those tough to reach USB ports.

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Found some reviews on the net about ARC 640 that the mount isn’t secure enough to keep it pointing in the right direction, which is major flaw for me. So I tested them and ended with zero problems. Maybe they’re using the wrong strap as you will get 2 size of straps for different bar width. You can still use foam tape (included) for bars less than 25mm of diameters.

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ARC 640 – High Mode
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ARC 220 – High Mode

My only issue with the Blinder ARC series is the runtime is quite short for the high mode which is 80 minutes for ARC 220 and 100 minutes for ARC 640. But even low mode is good enough to lights up your path and be seen my others road users. So I have to use these lights wisely.

R0003661 (1200x795)The Blinder ARC 220 comes with 4 colors of your choice (black, pewter, ruby and silver) which is the same as Blinder ARC 640, and weigh about 100 grams for ARC 220 and 150 grams for ARC 640. The new Blinder ARC series is highly recommended for commuting and trail riding.

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Blinder ARC 640 with 2 sizes removable mount straps, USB extension cord, helmet mount kit and foam tape.
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Blinder ARC 220 with foam tape for bars less than 25mm diameters.

So which one to choose? I guess its depend on your budget and environment at your area. The Blinder ARC 640 surely the highest range of all models but its definitely not cheap. I suggest ARC 640 for trail riding and ARC 220 for road riding.

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

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Tyrell FSX, Performance Foldable Mini-Velo

R0003583 (1200x795)When talk about folding bike, I imagined foldable frame, small wheels and limited components upgrade options. But not this bad boy right here, where it can run full road bike setup!!

R0003585 (1200x795)I am riding Tyrell FSX, an award winning Japanese mini-velo and folding bike brand, loaned by Van’s Urban Bicycle Co. The FSX is upgraded version of the FX model, which with high-end groupset and full carbon folding fork. This is definitely a great bike for someone looking for faster and lighter that could also fold.

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The FSX is equipped with a full SRAM Force, which is a great road groupset with the unique SRAM’s DoubleTap shifter mechanism. It’s also available with Shimano Ultegra road groupset if you prefer Shimano.

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The FSX will comes with Tyrell AM10 wheelset but it’s been upgraded with Control Tech carbon/alloy wheels, which gives more lower rolling resistance and smooth turning of the wheels.

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It comes with a Tyrell’s full carbon monocoque foldable front fork for increased steering precision and stability.

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Tyrell bikes are painted by Kadowaki Coating in Japan.

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The FSX is constructed with #7005 double butted aluminum which is lightweight, stiff frame weighing 8.6kg.

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The “X” top tube is a signature of the FSX thus result to the characteristic stiffness of Tyrell bikes.

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The FSX has internal cable routing for a cleaner look without messy cables running along the frame, which further showcases the beautiful frame.

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Its 11-speed rear cassette with SRAM’s Exact Actuation system gives you a good gear ratio to tackle all roads, slopes and hills.

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Similar to the FX, the FSX is just simply folding the front and rear wheels, with locking mechanism. But you have to find the right gear first for easier fold (I always use inner chainring and middle gear) to avoid damaging the chain.

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The FSX is great for road riding and suitable for people who like speed and fast hill climbing bike that could also fold. This bike belongs on the road where the it lives up to its full potential. If there ever would be a bike that makes you love hill climbing, this would be one of them.

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

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

 

REVIEW: Nutcase Street Helmet

Nutcase was founded by Michael Morrow, who was formerly a Nike Creative Director, creating a “fun” helmet out of his old, black bicycle helmet languishing in his Portland garage. Long story short, on November 18, 2000, Nutcase was born.

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“People are not going to wear helmets any less in the future, so somebody has to make them more exciting to wear. That ‘somebody’ is Nutcase!” said Morrow

 

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I got a chance to test a 3rd Gen Nutcase Street, a multi-purpose, 360° reflectivity, skate-style helmet. Personally, I never thought I would wearing a skate-style helmet for cycling. I mean most of them make your head looked like a mushroom. But not Nutcase Street helmet. After riding with it, I found it very comfortable and suitable for cycling.

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I’m wearing Shark Skin Matte color, which is obviously grey with matte finish, and size Small (52cm-56cm). The size was perfect for my head with adjustable spin dial that will gives you a snug, comfortable fit.

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The fact that this helmet has the words “I love my brain” written on the back really sums it up. It’s certified safety for cycling standards by CPSC, a U.S. safety standard. The Street helmet received the best helmet in accident protection” by Stiftung Warentest of the 18 they tested.

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You will also get this wristband that says “I love my brain”.

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11 strategically placed vents plus interior air channels move air around your head (2 front intake vents, 7 top-mounted exhaust vents, 2 back exhaust vents).

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Fully padded interior with two extra sets of foam pads for a perfect fit.

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No pinch Fidlock® magnetic buckle and a soft chinstrap makes one handed operation easy and means no pinching of your neck.

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I really dig details like this!

R0003439 (1200x795)ABS shell with EPS inner foam lining meets CPSC certifications.

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The helmet comes with a helmet fit guide with Punch Out Squirrel, a wristband, 2 sets of foam pads and a detachable sun & rain visor.

It’s weighs about 840 grams and yes it’s a quite heavier compare to typical cycling helmet which probably weighed 65% less but but it does not affect your cycling experience especially commuting. So, if you’re not trying to beat the land speed record and definitely love your brain, this is for you.

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A lot designs available to fits your personality. To learn more about Nutcase products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

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.