On Test: Urge Endur-o-Matic hemet

Enduro-Matic helmet from Urge

I’m testing out the Endur-o-Matic helmet from France’s Urge. Targeted toward enduro, all-mountain, cross country, and urban riders. Standout features are the ultralight and flexible visor (designed to flex rather than break in a crash), “gangsta” padding to wick away perspiration, and the surprisingly effective “internal venturi effect” cooling vents. 2 sizes, ~ 320gr. $100-110 retail.

This is a comfortable helmet that isn’t too bulky. It’s unexpectedly light, and the styling is a lot different from the rest of the market. I’ll be using this helmet primarily for urban riding: commuting and playing around on “my kandy raver” BMX mutant.

Imitation Goods: Earbuds, Toilets, And Carbon Bikes

Sony headphones, fake:real 01

Sony MDR-EX71. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best in-ear headphone for active use of an iPod Shuffle. It has a short cord, so when I clip the Shuffle to my collar, there’s no excess cord. It has an offset yoke that goes behind your neck, so that it doesn’t get in the way when I’m leaned over the bike. Then there’s the sound. Glorious, full bass, and very fine detail. Yes, I ride with headphones. And no, I’m not interested in the safety debate as it’s not the point of this entry. Bear with me a moment.

I use headphones so much, in so many walks of life that I eventually kill those Sony earbuds and have to buy new ones. They’re not as common as they once were, but that’s what eBay is for. So I noticed that there was a Hong Kong seller who had those Sony earbuds in black, which would be nice since they wouldn’t show the grime as much. But even better was the price: $20 vs $40. So I bought a couple pair just to stock up for the future. After the right speaker of my most recent Sony suddenly cut out, I pulled out one of those black earbuds for service. Much to my chagrin, they totally sucked. The soft rubber around the speaker housing didn’t conform as it should have, the in-ear cushion felt different, and the speakers sounded so tin-like that I immediately went into despair. Where was all the lovely bass? What was wrong? I looked at all the packaging and warrantee literature that came with the headphones, wondering if they had changed the design somehow. Then I looked up MDR-EX71 online, and it turns out that I had purchased a counterfeit product.

Sea Otter 12: Might As Well Jump!

Minimal Air

Note the kid in the green helmet who got minimal air (seen in the middle of this photo – bottom right on next two photos). See his reaction to the jump after his and the big air + flip.

Big air

Flip and reaction

What’s cool about the Sea Otter Classic is that it brings all bike disciplines together into one venue. The magic is walking around, seeing new product, meeting Bros, and seeing jumps like this or roadies racing or downhillers bombing a hill.

Racing cross too and test riding the Turbo.

More Photos, Video

More photos are lightboxed on G+ and Flickr. Also see video of Raleigh’s new CX bike with discs.



A political poster from the Fixed Gear Fascists Party.

How to Wear Our New Cycling Cap

caps 1

Our new Velocity collection cap

Just last night saw a Campy hat in a Kraft cheese TV ad and get asked about our cycling caps when I wear one at various events. Cycling Tips posted a tutorial on proper hat usage.

As cycling continues to boom I feel that it’s part of my duty to educate and inform on the finer details of the sport. On the surface wearing the simple cycling biretta appears to be a no-brainer. What could possibly be done to mess it up? As it turns out there are many variations to wearing a cycling cap that are easy to get wrong.

It’s important to align the brim of the cap with your nose and when the cap is not under a helmet, it should have a proper puff and ride high on the forehead. To the point of nearly falling off, like this.


Big Mig photo via SI’s archive

As Cycling Tips notes too, caps are for a specific, traditional purpose: sweat off your brow, sun out of your eyes, and rain off your face. I’ve worn many a cap and ours are made with nylon. They’re thin to fit inside a helmet and don’t fall apart after you wash and dry them.

caps 2

When flipped up, the brim says “bike hugger”

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