New Vis180 Micro Taillight from Light & Motion

Vis180 Micro on toffee tin

New from Montery CA’s Light & Motion is the Vis180 Micro taillight, the little brother to the standard Vis180 that debuted last year. Like the original, the new Micro is a USB-rechargeable light (includes micro-USB plug) that has multiple flash modes plus constant and side amber beacons to enhance rider safety for 180 degrees. Both lights use tool-less mounts or can be hung on clothing or loop straps instead. However, the Micro is much smaller and lighter than the previous (partially due to a plastic construction rather than the original’s burly alloy casing), as well as half the price ($49 vs $99 retail). The Vis180 Micro is plenty bright though.

My favourite feature of the Micro is the adaptability of the mount, since it easily accommodates various tubing diameters and adjusts for different angles, such as when I use it on my TCR’s ISP. The button is fairly distinct even to glove-enshrouded fingers, so I can easily turn on the light while blindly reaching behind me. The cover to the charging port seems a little sturdier than the original’s too. The overall plastic construction doesn’t seem as robust as the bigger taillight, but it stacks up well against competitors in it’s size and cost class. Of course, it’s L&M product, and the company enjoys a reputation for standing behind their goods.

The Vis180 Micro is also available in a combo with either the Urban550 ($199) or Urban200 ($149) rechargeable headlights. Those headlights boost the lumen outputs from last year’s versions (550 lumens from 500 and 200 lumens from 180, respectively); they’re also available without the taillight for $159 and $99. I’ve been using the older Urban180 for about 8 months, and I love the small size (it’s smaller than a Planet Bike 1W but much brighter). I’ve also recently been using this year’s middle-level Urban400 headlight (up from last year’s 300 lumens but just $129) with the Micro taillight, though the 400 is not available as a combo with that taillight. There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Urban headlights….they’re reliable, cost-effective, convenient. For most commuters with shorter distances on decent city streets, these lights will be ideal.

Light & Motion are also introducing TAZ800 and Taz1200 headlights, commuters headlights that take the features of the Urban series but give them the power of the Seca-series performance lights. I’ll be reviewing that light in the coming weeks.

Light & Motion Vis180 Micro taillight

More pix after the jump…..

Rapha, Donuts and Big Happy Smiles

If one were to judge Rapha entirely by their print advertising you’d expect the crew behind the company’s Mobile Cycling Club would be gaunt, sweaty and grimacing. (Especially if you’ve ever seen this brilliant bit of advertising done by Rapha in the UK.) Luckily I know better, having spent a good amount of time with some of Rapha’s marketing chaps. When Rapha’s Communications Director Chris DiStefano emailed to say that the MCC was coming to my neck of the woods and was looking for a place to stop and refuel I eagerly invited them to pull up their RV and have a donut at my coffee and bakery, Gypsy Donut and Espresso Bar in Nyack, NY. Eric Serves Donuts

SiDi shoes spy shot

prototype-2013-sidi-ergo-3-road-cycling-shoes-600x450.jpg image from ciclismo-espresso.com

Certain riders in the Giro and TdF have been seen wearing new SiDi road shoes, which appear to be labeled “Ergo 3”. The “3” seems odd to me, since the current “Ergo 3” really only differs from the “Ergo 2” and the original “Ergo” by the sole and the heel cup, whereas this new top-of-the-line shoe has an obvious and drastic revision to the whole upper and fastenings. They may as well call it something entirely new (though SiDi has already used the names “Tecno”, “Shadow”, “Energy”, …..) because the changes probably warrant it.

The current shoe has a velcro strap over the toe box, a BOA-style ratchet over the mid foot, and a classic padded, ratcheting strap over the instep. The new version has a BOA-style ratchet that handles both mid and fore foot, and a second BOA-style ratchet over the instep combined with a padded cushion. Speculation is that the new shoe should enjoy substantial weight savings, which if true would really enhance SiDi’s already gold standard in the market place. Though widely considered the most comfortable shoe line on the market, it’s no secret that Sidis are heavier than comparable competitors.

I’m hot for these shoes. I used to have a pair of the original Ergo shoes, but for some reason the upper rubbed my instep badly. That was the only pair of Sidi shoes to do that. I have had 2 pair of the SiDi Dragon (one of the first version and a “Dragon 2”) which are the mtb versions of the Ergo, and they have been the most comfortable cycling shoes I’ve ever had. I sold those Ergos in the spring, and my only road shoes are some 11 year old SiDi Energy shoes, which are getting a little long in the tooth.

No idea yet when these puppies will be available to the public, but Pozzato and Sagan are wearing them already. This implies that they will at least be available in the current Euro favourite colour white and Liquigas’ not-quite-ugly-enough-to-be-cool Skittles green/white colourway. Is it possible for a shoe to go beyond ugly….beyond so-ugly-it’s-cool straight into an ugly so bad it can alter your perception of the world? To find out, go to the jump….or you take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

Olympic MTB: Agony of Defeat for Van Hoovels

The agony of defeat for Olympic athlete Kevin Van Hoovels. Also crying like a baby while dressed like a blue leprechaun with a funny hat. At 1:11 “don’t want to live like this anymore.” A mechanical is what has him so upset. Better luck next week.

Olympic BMX

At the last Olympics, millions were spent anticipating a wave of BMX sales. It’s a made for TV sport, exciting and extreme before the X Games. The 18 seconds shown didn’t move the needle. In this video, Redline talks about the road to London and we’re hoping to see more bike racing on TV, like it’s not all Phelps swimming.

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