Saturday, July 30, 2016

CatEye Wireless Cycle Computer Review - CC-MC100W

I've owned the Cateye CC-MC100W Micro Wireless Cycle Computer for as long as I can remember.  I bought this as my first bicycle computer a very long time ago.  I've owned it so long I cannot even remember when I bought it.  I believe I got one of the first made.

This is definitely a rock solid piece of equipment.  I've used it mountain biking, commuting and recreationally.  It basically is my speedometer/odometer.  Whenever I ride I like to know how far I've gone, how long it took and how fast I am going.

This is an awesome little computer if you don't want to spend a lot of money and just need the basics.  It has configuration settings for multiple bikes with different tire sizes.  Each bicycle has two different modes similar to a trip odometer in an automobile.

This computer is extremely small, but the numbers are large and very visible, even in sun.  One feature that I really like is that it keeps track of the mileage of my bicycle over its entire life.  Its always great to know how many miles you put on your bike over the years.

It holds up to the elements very well, is easy to install and isn't even noticeable on the handlebars while riding.  Its great if you are looking for something light weight and inexpensive.  Its well worth the cost and can definitely hold up long term.

The battery in this computer seems to last forever.  I don't recall ever having to replace it.  The only issue I had was that the light stopped working after several years for some reason.  I don't know if its because I dropped it too many times or what.  To be honest the light was never really that great anyways.

I used to do a lot of night riding, but I usually never look at my computer unless I'm stopped anyways so it was never a problem for me.  If it was a GPS that might be a different story.  For what it is and the purpose it serves it's awesome.  I do believe this device is a bit more accurate than a GPS, plus you don't have to worry about acquiring a signal just to know how far you've gone or how fast you are going.

Cateye now carries a variety of these beautiful little computers.  I'm a big fan of Cateye products just because I own so many and have come to know their products as being extremely reliable.  I highly recommend this and all Cateye products.

Please check out my store for good deals on products, and to support my site.  Thanks.

You may find some good prices on the Cateye Micro Computer here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

G-Shock Watch Review

The G-Shock GDF100 is a fantastic watch.  It is water proof and super durable.  Its even mud proof.  I've had this thing caked with mud on more than one occasion.  If I had to pick a favorite feature it would have to be the barometer.  It's important that a barometer and altimeter must be at rest in order to be accurate.

This is because they calculate with air pressure as a variable.  If you are ascending or descending the air pressure is constantly changing so you will get false data.  The trick is to let it sit for about an hour.  While backpacking, when I get to my campsite I hang it outside my hammock.

The temperature gauge on modern day watches is not accurate when the watch is on your wrist because it tends to measure your body temperature instead of the ambient air temperature.  I love being able to know what the temperature is inside of my hammock when I am backpacking so I will hang it on the ridge line in my hammock down by my waist.  This way my ex-hailing won't interfere.  This probably wouldn't have much of an affect, however.

Another cool feature is the ability to set a different timezone.  For example, last year I was in Colorado so I just changed the timezone to match my location.

When in one of the other modes, such as, altimeter the time is displayed at the top of the watch instead of in the normal spot, which is very convenient.  Also, when in time mode, the barometer becomes a second hand.  It has a stop watch, timer, thermometer, barometer, clock, date, elevation, and 5 different alarm modes.

This particular watch does not come with a compass, which I do like to use from time to time.  I have another watch with a compass, but generally tend to stick with my G-Shock when I am out on an adventure.  Then again when you have a hand-held GPS a compass on a watch isn't really necessary.

Please take a look at some of the watches in the ad below if you have an interest. Otherwise continue on with the post after the ad.

  I abuse this watch day-in and day-out and it still looks brand new.  My wife bought it for my on my birthday and it was on of the best gifts I have ever received.  If you are in the market for a watch I highly recommend taking a look at a G-Shock by Casio.

This is my main every day use watch.  Its great for just about any outdoor activity.  Have no fear with this watch it will stand up to a great deal of abuse.

I highly recommend this watch for anyone in the market, or looking for a gift for someone.  The only negative is the LED to view the screen doesn't stay on very long and if you hold the button the light doesn't stay on.  You push the button, the light comes on for the count of 3 then goes off.  I suppose this is fine, but I would prefer to be able to hold the light on while cycling through different modes.    It doesn't really matter though because this watch is awesome.

If you like my posts and want to support me please visit my shop, and click my ads to make an order or read more about the items of interest.  Thank you very much for your support.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Camelbak Lobo Hydration Pack (100oz) Review

The CamelBak Lobo Hydration Pack is probably one of my favorite pieces of equipment.  It's designed for mountain biking, but I use it for gravel grinding, and long road rides as well.  It has plenty of storage for tools, electronics, tubes, pump and all sorts of extras.

I originally bought this bag so I could carry my gear along with a rain jacket.  There is definitely plenty of room for everything I need and then some.   I also carry my sun glass case with 3 extra pairs of different shade lenses.

My wife and I have a couple Camelbak Blowfish Hydration Packs, which are quite a bit larger.  Mine is a bit worn out so I decided to get a new Lobo.  I am very glad I did.

The straps enable me to hold it tightly to my back so it doesn't bounce around while I'm on rough trails. Holding the pack snug against your back is ideal for balance and comfort.  The hydration tube has a magnetic hook so it can easily be pulled off and put back on when you need a drink.

The coolest feature of this pack are the helmet hooks.  Many times I'll be riding to a destination where I plane to park my bike and to a bit of walking or site-seeing.  The is where the helmet hooks come in.   I just clip my helmet onto the pack and I don't have to worry about carrying it, or worry about it bouncing all over the place.  There is a hook on each side of the bag; one for each strap on the helmet.

Another cool feature is the that the outer pocket has straps enabling it to move out away from the pack so you can conveniently store things like your mobile phone.  This makes for really easy access to your phone.

The pockets have internal mesh pockets, and a keyring hook for your car keys.  I use the mesh pockets to hold my snacks.  They can be used for tools, sunscreen, your phone, or anything around that size.

Here is the CamelBak video for this pack.  After watching the video please continue with the review below.

The pack comes with a huge 100 fl. oz. large mouth water bag.  The large mouth makes it possible to fill it with water without first removing it from the bag.  This is very convenient.  It also has a thin plastic divider down the middle, and drying arms.  These work great when you want to store the water bag.  The drying arms hold the bottle opened so every last drop of water can evaporate.  I usually wash mine out with baking soda before storage.

The mouth also has a little handle on the bottom, which makes it nice when filling, or carrying the bottle outside of the pack.  It even has a little hanging hook built into the top of the mouth for hanging when in storage.

The hose is a standard CamelBak tube with a quick release on the bottle so the hose can be disconnected.  The mouth piece has a lever to open and close flow.  This is great and prevents it from dripping while you are riding.

In summary, I love this bag and take it on most of my trips, long or short.  The bag can hold up to 100 ounces of water, tools, snacks, pump, rain gear, keys, phone, and a wallet with plenty of room to spare.  It comes in a variety of cool colors and is made out of durable water proof material.

I would highly recommend this pack to anyone who rides a bike no matter what style of riding you do.  It is especially great for mountain biking, skiing, hiking, long road trips, and gravel grinding.

If you like my posts and want to support me please share on FaceBook and subscribe to my blog.  You can also support me by visiting my Amazon shop and doing any shopping you would normally do on Amazon.  You can visit the sponsored ads on my page and make a purchase if you are interested, that is a great way to help me stay online.  Thanks for your wonderful support.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sony AS-15 Action Camera Review

This has been my goto camera for several years.  I loved it when I bought it and I love it now.  It is great for everything.  I use it for Skiing, Cycling, Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking and just playing around.

This camera is definitely larger than the Polaroid Cube I own, but it has many more cool features.  Size can be an issue if you are an ounce weenie like I am.  However, the weight is well worth it in this situation.

This camera has a digital display so you can change the settings and connect to WI-FI amongst other things.  The WI-FI feature is really cool and can be used with Playmemories Mobile, which is Sony's free software.  This software enables you to see the view of the camera on a mobile device, such as, a phone.  This is great when you are trying to get the camera setup, or in line with something.  I use this software quite often.

There is not shortage of accessories for this camera.  I have a bunch of them too.  I highly recommend the Sony Waterproof Case for this or any of the Sony action cams.  I have literally beat the heck out of this camera for years while in the case.  While wearing this camera I've crashed on ski jumps, crashed on my bike and done all sorts of similar things.  IT IS ROCK SOLID when in the case!!!  I have never had a single issue with it.

The video quality is superb.  Take a look at any of the videos in my older posts and you will see.  I shot them at 720P HD.  YouTube tends to have a grainy effect due to streaming so be advised.  I can assure you this camera has incredible video quality.  In fact, I chose this over the GoPro at the time for two main reasons, it was less money, and the video quality was better.

You do have a slight fish-eye effect as expected with any action cam.  It isn't really noticeable in most situations, however.  Unless of course they specifically have a no fish-eye lens.

You may get a slight sun glare if you point it directly in the direction of the sun while the case is on.  I believe this is due to the protective case being made from plastic instead of glass.  This is not an issue if you are not pointing into the sun.  Any action cam with a case over the lens that I've seem to do this.

Sony now has a few big brothers to this camera, and like I said there is no shortage of accessories. Take a look at some of these on my Amazon shop:
The price is definitely right for this camera and if you are in the market for a great inexpensive action camera look no further.  If you want to spend a little more for one of this cameras "Big Brothers" take a look at them in the ads above.  You cannot go wrong with one of these.

The image stabilization for this camera works extremely well, which is my favorite feature.  Oh, I love the helmet mounts, but they are an accessory.  A great feature of this camera is that you can carry multiple batteries and video cards so you can record all day.

To be honest I'm not sure how long the record time is.  It usually lasts until I'm exhausted, which is really good.  You should get a couple hours if not more out of one battery.  I usually record for about 30 minutes at a time then take a break, then get back to it.  By doing this one battery will last me all day, but I always have a backup anyways.  I carry a couple Kingston Digital 32 GB Class 4 microSDHC Flash Card with SD Adapter (SDC4/32GBET)at all times as well.

So if you want to know, do I recommend this camera???  The answer is a HUGE YES!!!  If you are in the market for a great action camera don't know where to start this is a great pick.

If you like the content in my blog and would like to support me simply go to my store, or click on one of my ads to make your order.  Thank you very much for reading and tell all your friends about my site.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Polaroid Cube Review

The Polaroid Cube HD is a tiny light weight action camera that can be used to film your favorite activities while your on the move.  I've been using this camera for a little over a year now, and love it. This camera is amazingly compact, this is the main reason I love it so much.

The button operation is very simple.  Hold for the count of three to turn it on, then click once for photo mode and twice for video mode.  To turn it off you just hold the button for the count of three.  Super simple operation makes this camera extremely attractive for anyone who may be pre-occupied participating in a sporting activity.

I do not have the protective case for this camera at this time.  However, it is fairly durable out of the box, and is water resistant.  I would not submerge it in any liquids, however.  Also, if you bang the lens on something it will likely break.  Its durable for most light to medium activities.  I use  it for mountain biking, and adventure cycling.  It would definitely be much better with the Polaroid Waterproof Shockproof Case.  After going over the handlebars on my bike the other day I am now definitely planning on ordering a hardcover case for my cube.  No, the camera was not destroyed in the crash.  I was lucky though and should've definitely had the case on that type of terrain.

On to the rest of the review after a word from our sponsor.

The cube can shoot video or take photos in either 1080P or 720P HD.  It does have a slight fish-eye effect, which I thought would be a serious issue when I first bought my camera.  It is not an issue and most of the time isn't noticeable.

The cube does well in different light settings.  An issue I had with another camera I own is that the quality isn't very good in low light settings.  The cube tends to do pretty well in low light.  This is another plus as far as I am concerned.

Sun glare is a huge problem with cameras, but the cube does a pretty decent job handling it.  Another camera I have, which was more expensive tends to blur out the video when its pointing in the direction of the sun.  The cube will have a slight glare, which is to be expected, but it doesn't usually blur out the entire frame.

Here is a sample video to show different lighting conditions.  This video is playing on YouTube so be advised, the quality can vary dramatically depending on your connection.  I can tell you for certain it video is clear and crisp when playing directly as a file on my computer.  When I play the file on YouTube, it isn't as clear as it is on my computer.

I decided to create a link so you can download the video, which may prove to show the true quality.

I highly recommend this camera.  Its very compact, light weight, captures great video and photos.  The fish-eye effect is much more visible in close range photos.  Here are a couple of examples:

In longer range photo's, such as, mountain scenes the fish-eye is not as noticeable.  For me though, I'm not to concerned with photos since I really only use it for video.

I usually use a 32 GB card and set the camera on 720P HD.  This will give me adequate video for YouTube, or making home videos for my computer or TV.  You can get about 90 minutes of video recording out of the camera.

If I am going on an adventure longer than 90 minutes I will take a portable phone charger with me so I can charge it on my trip.  Below are some examples of good portable chargers.

Here is a shot of the back of the camera.  You can see their is a switch to flip between the 720P and 1080P modes.  The top slot is for the memory card and the bottom is to charge it.

For a little bit more cash you can get a Polaroid Cube+, which is Wi-Fi enabled, has higher resolution, image stabilization, and comes with an app for changing the settings.

You cannot go wrong with this camera.  It would also make a great gift for someone.  I highly recommend it.  The price is reasonable, the quality is great, it's super simple to operate and its really compact.  It even comes in a variety of colors.  I chose red in case I drop it in a field or something I can easily find it.

If you are interested and plan to order one I would ask to please order it via one of my ads on this page or by visiting my Adventure Shop.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for great future posts, or subscribe to my blog via email to get them sent directly to your inbox.

Mac Owner Quick Tip:
1) Plug your card into your camera and turn the camera on.  This will setup the card to work on the cube.
2) Then take the card out of the camera and plug it into your mac.
3) Then unzip the polaroid app zip file on the card, not on your computer.  This step is very important.
4)  Run the app from the card and sync the time/date with your computer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GT Grade Alloy 105 Review

I spend a lot of my time riding my bike.  I've always disliked having to own multiple bikes for different purposes (ie - mountain biking, road, etc.).  As a result I decided to go on a search to find a bike that can do it all.  I evaluated at least a dozen different bikes at various price ranges from $800 to $5,000.

Adventure riding is my favorite style of riding.  What I mean by adventure riding is that when I go out on my bike I never know what type of terrain I will be riding on.  All my rides usually start out on the road, but usually end up with me off in the woods on some single-track trails.

This type of riding can be done on a MTB, but I find that I can cover much more ground is a shorter period of time with my Grade.  I also don't get exhausted as quickly.  This reason for this is  because MTB's are dogs on the road and in gravel.  I usually spend a good portion of my rides on road and gravel as well as on dirt trails.

There are some definite differences between my gravel bike and my full-suspension mountain bike.  For one, mountain bikes tend to have more gears suited for steeper hill climbing.  Mountain bikes are also much slower.  One big difference is that when I'm on my full-suspension MTB I can plow right over high curbs without first popping my front wheel up.  This cannot be done on my Grade because there is not a suspension to absorb the curb.  However, with a slight pull of the front wheel I can fly over curbs at speed without difficulty.

I've taken this bike on some pretty decent single-track, and it does very well.  Its obviously a bit bumpier as a result of not have suspension, but the payoff is speed, comfort and pure fun.  Yes, this bike is very fun.

Now on to the review, but first please take a look at some of my sponsor links.

This bike will take a couple hundred miles to break-in, but once you pass this point its rock solid.  It shifts smoothly, provided you don't cross-chain. Cross-chaining will mess up any bike not just the Grade.  The Shimano 105's are a very good quality set.

I chose this over the Ultegra because the cost to benefit ratio isn't worth it to me.  Shimano is constantly improving their components.  They generally will upgrade the 105's with the prior years Ultegra, so you can pretty much guarantee you are getting a great setup on this bike.

The cables will stretch during the break-in period, which is to be expected so make sure you adjust it every so often.  You will notice the gears won't shift so smoothly after a bit of riding.  Cable stretch is the reason for this.  This happens with all new cables and is not a flaw.

There are two, possibly three, things you might want to upgrade on the bike.  The first thing I did after I rode it was replaced the saddle with a Forte Contour XFC Men's Saddle/ Forte Contour XFC Gel Women's Saddle.

The second would be the pedals.  They come with some pretty flimsy plastic ones.  I've replaced them with a set of Forte ATB Comp Pedals.  They are inexpensive, strong and work very well on this bike. They are absolutely necessary if you plan to ride on anything but smooth roads.

Lastly, although they are pretty decent, I am planning to replace the tires with something with a little more grip off road.  The stock tires are definitely worthy, but when things get wet, hilly, and sometimes even in gravel they tend to slip a bit.  I have not decided on which tires I will put on, but will write a review after I have them on for a bit.

I also suited mine with a Blackburn EX-1 Rack.  This enables me to carry panniers, a trunk bag or whatever I want.  Its even compatible with various baby carriers.  It works great for grocery shopping, or longer bicycle trips when I need to carry gear.

The bike out of the box is excellent, and can really fly.  Especially on road and gravel.  I'm able to hit speeds well over 25mph on flats and rolling hills.  Going down some moderate hills I've had the bike over 35mph.  I actually slowed down at these speeds because the road conditions were not good.  The bike would easily have gone much faster.

As far as hanging with my buddies on their road bikes, I have not had any issues.  Also, drafting is fantastic and I highly recommend it.

The disc brakes are awesome!  They are mechanical/hydro.  This means they use a cable to pull the hydrolic lever, which is actually on the brake caliper mechanism.  This greatly reduces cost, without compromising performance.  I have full hydro's on my MTB and I can tell you there isn't much of a difference.  I can stop on a dime on either of the two bikes.  They are great in wet conditions too.

If you prefer a carbon bike with a slightly higher price tag checkout the GT Grade Carbon 105 Medium 55cm Matte Black.

In summary, the GT Grade Alloy 105 is an incredible bike for the price and is definitely capable of handling most any situation.  If you are looking for one bike that can do it all, you need not look any further.  This bike is comfortable on 40+ mile rides, on single-track and just about anywhere.

I would highly recommend this bike for anyone currently looking for a new ride.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pfleuger President 6930 Review

I debated getting a bait casting setup.  I had a gift card and an extra spin cast pole in my garage.  I went back and fourth for a while trying to decide.  Given that I have 35+ years of fishing experience I figured either would work for me.

In the end I decided to go with a spinning reel and not buy into the hype of the bait casting stuff.  I'm glad I did too.

I researched a ton of spinning reels, both high and low cost.  I had my eyes set on some very expensive reels.  In the end I went with the Pfleuger President 6930.  The reviews with better than any other reel in its price range, and better than most other higher cost reels.  After using this reel I now see why the reviews are so great.

This reel is an amazing piece of engineering and is well worth every penny.  Well, for me it only cost me $11 because of the gift card and it was on sale.  This reel is regularly around $59-$79, and it is well worth the cost.

It casts very smooth, remarkably and far.  Although this is a function of the line and pole as well.  I have 6lb triline xt cast on my reel and it can cast very far with nothing more than a rubber worm and a small sinker carolina style.  I have a 6' ugly stik.  Hmmm, it may be only 5'.  I'll have to check on that.

It handles bass very well.  It reels very smootly and the drag is easy to adjust while fighting fish.  At first I had the drag set much too light for the bass I was catching so had to experiment a bit.

I highly recommend this reel for anyone serious about fishing bass, crappie, bluegill, trout or any other fun to catch game fish.

As far as bait casting vs. spin cast, I'll save that for another post.  For now I'm going to stick with spin.  I'll explain why in my future posts.

Now go out and buy yourself a 6930 and get fishing.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hobie Rev 11

One word sums up my review:  AWESOME!!!

This kayak is the most amazing craft that I have ever fished from.  Talk about fast!  This thing is like a torpedo...  The turbo drive and sail rudder are well worth the additional cost.  When I first took it out I broke out into a sprint an decided to make a turn, perhaps in a circle.  Wow, that was a mistake.  Never turn the rudder all the way when you are going full speed.  I almost fell out of the boat.  This thing can turn on a dime.  No joke!

For a kayak this this is extremely stable.
- Primary: The primary stability has a bit of wabble.  No more than other similar kayaks.
- Secondary: Secondary stability is very good.  No issues here.

For a person my size 5'7" about 135 lbs it is a pretty good fit.  My only gripe is the seat isn't the most comfortable.  After a couple hours my back side felt like I want on a really long car trip.  This isn't too much of an issue though.  For me there was plenty of room to move my legs around and stretch out.  I'm even able to get up on my knees and break out the paddle if I want.

There is a ton of room on this little craft.  I'm able to reach all compartments without flipping the boat, or falling off.  The storage spot in front of the seat is huge.  I can store all my fishing tackle in there.

Being able to keep my hands free when fishing is excellent.  I can easily prepare my gear while moving forward to my spot.  Today I was changing my lures while moving to different spots.

Casting is not a problem at all.  The pole holders on the back are in a perfect location and are easy to reach.  It is actually practical to have 1-2 lines in the water on the back of the boat while moving forward and trolling.

Next I will be installing a front rod holder.  I was considering the accessory slider thing, but not sure it is worth the cost.

My next step is to make a livewell from a bucket to hold the keepers.  Hobie does sell a very nice livewell made for this boat, but the price is way too high for what it is.  Its easy enough to may one myself.

I highly recommend the Hobie Revolution line of kayaks for anyone interested in fishing, or any other flat water fun.

The only real negative for this kayak is the price.  Personally I think it is much higher than it should be.