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Sillyest and Worst Cycling Products?(23 posts)

Sillyest and Worst Cycling Products?Dog
Dec 26, 2001 9:49 AM
I saw these two products and just had to ask myself "why?":

Park TP

My gripe with the Park TP holder is just, come on, is anyone really going to put one in their house? Talk about over engineering!


The Airborne Spectre has bothered me from the minute I saw it (and I normal like Airbornes). Those tacked on pieces of angle Ti on the head tube and seat tube not only look silly, but I doubt they do anything, and are probably UCI and USCF illegal (can't add anything that has a sole purpose of reducing aerodynamic drag). You can't see them very well in the photo, but I've seen others that do.

For worst product, I nominate the Niterider Digital Pro 12 LCD lights. I have two of them, which are going back. Horrible product, horrible customer service, very high price.

No intention of offending anyone who may have these products.

Any other warnings or opinions?

re: Sillyest and Worst Cycling Products?Elefantino
Dec 26, 2001 10:39 AM
The fairing that comes with Specialized M4 frames is just plain silly.

I know. I just paid $5 for one at the LBS because my recent M4 purchase didn't come with one.

I'm not sure why I did this. I am weird.
hmmm...Js Haiku Shop
Dec 26, 2001 10:44 AM
I like the spectre, but then again, i also like "G Love and Special Sauce." however, those extra pieces of Ti (foils?) bother me also.

the park TP holder: i find it interesting and different. if the TP dispensers in our house weren't part of the walls/built in fixtures, i'd be the first in line for three of these.

silly? picked up an embellishment for my helmet from a local outdoorsy-gear outlet store for $1, in the marked-down marked-down bargain, "we're about to throw this away" bin. 12" foam spikes with velcro stickers at the base.

worst? anything of obviously poor quality. have a jandd hydration pack from a few years ago. the pack is nice, but the bladder is worthless. how could they sell this stuff and expect return customers?

I'll nominate bike shops that fit people poorly (or not at all), those that sell customers on the bikes they have in-shop and already built-up, get the point. on a related note, some local shop team guys were interviewed recently in the monthly (also local) fitness newsletter, free in grocery store racks and at bike shops/etc. The article was 100% about trail riding, mountain bikes and associated gear. "what's the hottest thing this season for mountain biking?" answer: "timbuk2 messenger bags." on the same page, an ad from the shop for which they ride. shop name, copy, and address, all overlaid on a timbuk2 bag graphic. d'oh!
no surprise; I've seen both...ET
Dec 26, 2001 11:26 AM
in the latest issue of Cycling Plus. It gave a mini-review of the Park Toilet Roll Holder in its Christmas gifts section (pg. 57); here it is:

"For those who need to know: The TP#2 is 100% Park Tool Linear Butted Chromo with a mirrored chrome finish. A ball bearing headset allows 360 deg roll rotation. The fork is without retention tabs and comes complete with a competition quick release front skewer for fast roll changes. One size fits all compact frame design."

Regarding the Spectre, it was pictured on the cover (where you get a closeup look at the headtube piece) and had a detailed review in this same issue. While the bike got overall high marks, the frame did not (a few technical issues). Regarding the add-ons, C+ says,

"Fortunately, what the UCI or RTTC thinks of these 'fairings', should you dare to roll onto the start line of an official time trial, is not worth bothering about. As with sloping top tubes, the aerodynamic value of these aesthetic accoutrements is probably zero, or at least negated by the lack of an aero seat post!"

Not that you should resubscribe, but C+ really has gotten even better since your subscription ran out; in particular, they seem to be reviewing more expensive non-British bikes more of interest to its (spoiled?) American readers. (Admittedly, you still have to put up with all the commuter and British stuff, though.) Several letters from Americans extolling C+ and trashing Bicycling were published in the latest issue. Wonder if any were from this board.

Regarding night lights, there was a thorough review of them in Cycling Plus two issues ago. Sorry you ended up with some duds. There were some comments appearing on this board I believe before you bought them that may have prevented your purchase had you read them.
I like the Park TP holderColnagoFE
Dec 26, 2001 12:00 PM
Though my wife would never permit me to put it in the house I'm sure.
I like the Park TP holder, tooguido
Dec 26, 2001 1:05 PM
Does it come with black toilet paper with a tread pattern on it?
Happily you supply the skid marks, pal.Crankist
Dec 26, 2001 1:19 PM
one product, best and worst.harper
Dec 26, 2001 12:05 PM
Best and Worst: Brooks Swift. I purchased this saddle and think it is the best and worst product I've tried this year. On one hand, it's shape fits me to a "T" and I have zero chafing problems. But on the other hand, it just won't soften up. I've got the 6 month return policy, which expires in February, and just cannot decide what to do, keep it and try to get it to soften, or give up and get my money back. Note: this isn't a knock on Brooks' quality, just can't get the leather to soften at all.

Best: Voler products. I've tried high end PI, Giordiana and Assos, and I believe Voler is right up there in quality for a fraction of the cost.

Worst: nothing comes to mind as horrible.
had the same problem with a Brooks; here's a semi-fixcory
Dec 26, 2001 12:41 PM
I've ridden Brooks saddles for years, and love them. When the company looked like it was going out of business, I bought a B-17 from Rivendell--didn't really need it, but I thought it would be nice to have a spare. Riv's version is honey brown rather than black, and the leather is thicker than stock. I put 2000 miles on that sucker, and it WOULDN'T break in (normally I find Brooks comfortable right out of the box, so that was unusual). I finally gobbed it up good with Proofide, Brooks' proprietary leather gunk, and melted it in GENTLY with a hair dryer, just enough to warm the leather and let the stuff soak in. Over the next couple of hundred miles, it softened up pretty well. Still not as comfortable as my older saddles, but I'm hoping it will break in right and last the rest of my life...
had the same problem with a Brooks; here's a semi-fixharper
Dec 26, 2001 3:41 PM
Thanks for the tip. I tried Sheldon's advice, and poured some oil into a tinfoil outline of the saddle and wrapped it up for a half hour. Reinstalled and went off for a ride. Man, I think all that did was make a mess. I'll try your idea.
use Neatsfoot Oil !! (nm)Rusty McNasty
Dec 27, 2001 7:25 AM
Why any fool would ride a track bike is beyond me! ;-) nmMB1
Dec 26, 2001 3:08 PM
the Campy bottle opener was a bit silly. -NMTig
Dec 26, 2001 3:49 PM
it's grrrreat!Tony T
Dec 26, 2001 4:35 PM
Among the best made. But then again if your tastes lean towards pabst blue ribbon you may not know.
beer tastes... no Pabst Blue Ribbon here!Tig
Dec 27, 2001 12:03 PM
I'm more a German or microbrew bottle drinker myself. I have a tough time stomaching that MACRObrew swill!
re: Sillyest and Worst Cycling Products?guido
Dec 26, 2001 8:03 PM
How about aluminum spoke nipples? They always round off well before you have to replace the wheel.

Or those saddles with the cut-outs in the middle and stitching right where you put your sit bones.

Gear shifters mounted on the brake levers. They're heavy, and way too complicated. The cables catch the wind, and the bike doesn't steer as sweetly. One design, Shimano, can downshift when braking in a panic.

10 speed casettes. They don't give you any easier gears, just more of them, four of which, 11,12,13,14, you won't ever use. All those cogs add unnecessary weight, and take up so much room, the rear axle has to be really wide, necessitating a wide chainstay spread, which doesn't provide enough clearance for a narrow crank, which makes people pedal like ducks.

Padded, "cork" handlebar tape. It slips all over the handlebars, that's why they make it so wide, and you constantly have to re-wrap it. There's plenty of padding on the gloves. In the interest of feel and control, you don't want soft padded handlebars. What you do want is a positive grip on a non-slip surface, as was perfectly accomplished by Benotto plastic tape or Tressostar cloth tape. You could wrap them tight without ripping the edges, and they'd stay put.

Wheels with huge carbon-fiber rims and only a few trick spokes. They might be really light, but are noisy, harsh riding, aren't very true-able, and don't hold up.

I could go on.
That's the way it was and we LIKED IT!Crankist
Dec 28, 2001 2:21 PM
Keefe magnesium framesLeisure
Dec 27, 2001 1:55 AM
The lightest frames I've ever seen (I really should have stuck it in your "lightest frames ever" thread). When one 200lb employee of the LBS stepped on the pedal to get on the bike, the BB flexed a full two inches sideways from where it started. I held the frame itself, and could deform the tubes on finger pressure alone. They have of course gone out of business, but I've heard some party or another is thinking about bringing it back under another name.
hrm contact solutionDuane Gran
Dec 27, 2001 4:54 AM
In catalogs I occassionally see this bottle of solution that is meant to improve the conductivity of your HRM chest strap. Mind you, a little moisture does the exact same thing. The bottle is probably a cheap bottle of saline solution, but they sell it for around $6. It is the dumbest purchase I could think of.
hrm <<giggle>>Akirasho
Dec 27, 2001 7:13 AM
... I had store credit with just a few scheckels left over... so guess what I bought???

For the most part, a bit of spit gets things started with body sweat taking over in short order, however, it might actually be worth it to say... swimmers. While there probably ARE enough electrolytic properities in water (be it swimming pool, fresh water or the ocean) perhaps the lotion would assure a more consistent measurment (making sure the signal comes from the right spots).

There are probably formulas for homemade conducting gels (maybe as simple as a bit of table salt mixed into lotion) on the web... I've been tempted to experiment with it... but <> have never seemed to have had a problem producing enough sweat to keep things going while on the bike...

We abide.

Remain In Light.
POWERLUNG Sport Trainer12x23
Dec 27, 2001 10:34 AM
Look in Colorado Cyclist winter 2002 catalog, p.51.
Massage barTypeOne
Dec 27, 2001 10:55 AM
Buying from Performance can sometimes be silly and useless, but as I was thumbing through a catalog the other day I found a listing for some sort of "massage stick" for massaging your own legs after a ride. They even had a picture of a guy using one. How this is better than your hands or why this stick is an improvement on a broomstick wasn't quite clear to me.
Dec 28, 2001 5:50 AM
I've always had pretty good luck with NR stuff. Aside from having to wait forever on hold to talk ot them, their customer service was great the three times I've dealt with them. I did have trouble with the microbrute charger (as in it quit working), but they sent me another with no questions asked (I didn't have to send the old one back, or show a receipt).

Why did you buy two extremely expensive lighting systems? The cheaper versions (Classic and Pro-6) have always worked well for me. Maybe you should trade the two Pro-12's for four Pro-6's.