What turns your bike into a full-fledged computer-assisted data collection gizmo? The PanoBik Speed and Cadence Sensor from Topeak. Rubber bands attache with zip ties to allow quick and easy mount on chainstay or seatstay without any scratches on your frame. The handy device provides real-time ride information on your mobile training apps and turns your smartphone into a personal training device.
We know you've been trying to figure out how to sync up that iPhone with your road bike. Now you can. If you're a serious rider who believes the more information you can get the more enjoyable your ride, this may be the most fun you've ever had on two wheels.
There are many who categorize the months of February, March and April as the low-point of the year in American sports. Football is over. Baseball hasn't started. Yet we submit that for the casual, nightly sports viewer, it doesn't get any better.
In the fall, on a weeknight, we might have one night game to watch on television. No intended disrespect to the Mid-American Conference, but a Ball State – Ohio matchup isn't “must-watch TV.”
However, tonight, we were treated to a wire-to-wire Michigan State – Illinois game while, simultaneously, Providence and Connecticut went to OT. But that was just the appetizer. Next, in the SEC, Alabama and Arkansas went to the last possession and in the Pac 12, the Arizona - Washington was only settled in the final seconds. And if, after all that, you still need dessert, the Number 7 Bulldogs from Gonzaga play the television nightcap against St. Marys. And, of course, all of this excitement is in conjunction with a full NBA season.
Say what you want about the yawning winter months, but when it's snowing and freezing cold outside, there's something special about visiting all of these warm and cozy indoor arenas filled with rapid transition and rabid fans. Every night offers a buffet of excitement. It may be the most delicious time of the year.
While it many of us freeze away in the grip of winter, the folks at Topeak think about riding. And if you're dreaming of that first thaw when you can get back on your cycle and ride, you may want to start with the cycling accessory of your dreams, the Air BackPack 2Core.
This revolutionary cycling specific backpack uses pressurized air to fine-tune personal comfort and fit. Multi-channel air chambers located in the hip belt and back contact area inflate with an integrated micro pump and release-valve, which means there are infinite way to adjust it to each rider.
It is built from lightweight and durable 210 denier nylon and features multiple storage compartments including: a full length center zipper providing main access; separate top loading Hydra Core compartment; zip side panel; side water bottle pocket; built-in, fold-out helmet holder and hidden pull-out rain cover. A clip-in Gear Core keeps gear like mini pumps, tools, tubes and more in separate pockets and can be removed when more storage is needed.
So if you're riding a stationary bike to stay in shape while looking out the window at the falling snow and freezing rain, take heart. It won't be long before you'll be back on the real thing, riding away from it all. Just make sure your backpack is as ready as you are.
We've been covering XProTex's great padded, protective batting gloves for years. They've always been among our favorite product line. When they let us know they had developed a glove for football players, our first thought was, “Of course! That's a great idea!”
The next thing I thought was that my three boys who all played football – two of them through high school – were done with their days in pads. How nice would it have been to have had these during their playing days.
The pair of “Attack” gloves they sent us would have been the talk of the team. I can almost guarantee that at my boys' high school, if one of them had shown up wearing these, it wouldn't have been more than a week that all forty plus kids on the roster had a pair. Broken bones in hands, bruised and smashed fingers, these are all so common in high school football that its a rare player who hasn't experienced something of the sort. My second son missed two games his senior season with a spiral fracture of the pinky. Think about the helmets and pads crushing together at high speeds, with exposed hands caught in the mix. The Attack gloves offer thick, but unobtrusive padding to protect fingers, hands and wrists giving players more confidence and less time on the sidelines. Skill players will love the tacky palm which makes catching footballs easier, but these can be worn by anyone at any position.
Sure, there are other football gloves out there, but choosing those over the Attack line would be like donning a swim cap instead of a helmet. We applaud XProTex for their constant innovation and commitment to player safety. For players who want to perform at the highest level all season long, these are best in class – hands down.
We've done dozens of reviews in 2012 and tried out some phenomenal products. Now, its come to that time of year when we review what we've reviewed and bring you our favorites. Below, in no particular order, our top five products from 2012:
Professional quality ice wraps, without the wet, sloppy crushed ice. The tiny waffle pockets contain a water-based solution so you get all of the benefits of real ice therapy, without the mess. If you, or someone you know is an athlete or just occasionally overdoes it, this should be in your freezer. Read our review here.
Their pop-up baseball net is just one of dozens of terrific products they carry. Jugs combines innovation with old-fashioned service and commitment to quality, which earns them a spot in our top five. Read our review here.
This one wins the award for biggest surprise of the year. We didn't think we'd be that impressed or excited when we first heard of them. A few custom-designed samples later and we were hooked, (no pun intended). These little souvenir jewelry pieces make a perfect gift for moms, dads, and athletes alike. Read our review here.
If your kids are serious about their baseball, you need to get them the best available. Sometimes that means spending hundreds of dollars. Not with J-Bands. You get top-of-the line quality at a fair and moderate price point. Read our review here.
They look cool. They feel great. They sound awesome. There's another brand of headphones that's gained a lot of popularity recently, but if you want to hear music the way it is supposed to sound and support your favorite team doing it, nothing “beats” SOL. Read our review here.
We look forward to bringing you many more cool and exciting new products in 2013. Thank you for your patronage to SPR and Happy New Year!