American Classic Tubeless Wheels
While everyone is throwing their hat in the ring for tubeless, American Classic already produces one of the lightest tubeless ready wheelsets on the market. At just 1210 grams (including tubeless rim tape), it’s light enough for the steepest alpine climbs; and the aluminum rims aren’t prone to the same potential pitfalls of full-carbon rims. Although their shallow depth doesn’t do much for aerodynamics, the 22mm wide rim profile puts them in the wide rim category that is getting all the buzz of late. The wheels come complete with tubeless tape pre-installed and can be used as either tubeless or with a tube. The 24-hole spoke wheels use 14/16 gauge butted spokes to create a wheelset that’s laterally stiffer than many others in the same weight range. Steel quick-releases are included, but American Classic has upgrades available for titanium quick-releases, ceramic bearings and wheel bags. Look for a full-review of the American Classic Tubeless wheels in an upcoming issue of Road Bike Action Magazine.
Lilly Lube manages to combine two critical properties that chain lubes often tout but seldom deliver: cleaning and lubing. Formulated by an engineer with a passion for cycling, Lilly Lube uses a blend of heavy-duty lubricants, purified solvents, and proprietary additives that reduce friction and make your chain run smoothly. According to Lilly Lube, “It penetrates the chain and flushes out dirt and contamination”. Whatever their formula is, it seems to be working since we’ve had great results so far. We started with a completely clean chain and after a coat of Lilly Lube we’re on our 300th mile with the chain still having an oily sheen of lubrication on it, keeping it smooth and feeling efficient; also we’ve experienced very little greasy buildup on the cassette and derailleur jockey pulleys. Formulated and made in the U.S.A.
Price: $11.95 (4oz bottle)
A unique take on head and tail lights; the Thunderbolt’s long, slender silicone body allows easy mounting nearly anywhere on the bike via two rubber straps. The Thunderbolt’s 15 micro LEDs provide 90 lumens of light (white for the front and red for the rear), plenty to make you seen from the front or rear; but for the hard-core night riders, Serfa’s True 250 or 500 would be a brighter alternative. There are four different beam settings: high, low, high flashing, and low flashing. Fully rechargeable using a USB cable, with battery life that ranges between 1.5 hours on high, to 9 hours on low flashing. Water resistant and available in seven different color options.
Price: $45.00 each.
Praxis Works 52/36 tooth chainrings
We’ve already long been fans of the Praxis Works Forged chainrings, and now that they’re offering a 52/36 chainring combination for compact (110 BCD) cranks, they give us just one more reason to rejoice. The biggest complaint against compact cranks is that the often times stock 50-tooth outer ring doesn’t provide enough top-end for screaming descents or the fast speeds of a group ride; and while Praxis is not the first to offer a 52-tooth compact chainring, they’re the first to make a forged one. The forging process allows Praxis to make a laterally stiff ring with intricate tooth shaping called LevaTime. The chainrings are designed to be used as a set for optimum shifting performance. They will work on any 5-arm 110 BCD crank, and are compatible with both 10- and 11-speed chains.
White Lightning Chain Johnny
White Lightning has long made their name in the chain lube and cleaner business, but they now offer a way to keep that lube on the chain and off everything else. The 2-ply rubber/nylon rip-resistant Chain Johnny covers the entire drivetrain to keep your car or anything else that might brush up against it grease-free when you are not riding. Easily installed using a Velcro attachment, Chain Johnny can be taken on or off in a matter of seconds without having to remove the rear wheel.