Ass-Savers’ Smart Ass Mudguard
Let’s start with the SmartAss Mudguard from AssSavers. It’s an inexpensive (€7.99) emergency mudguard that simply folds up under your saddle and folds out when the weather is bad to stop your ass from getting wet and dirty.
Lars Bak using a SmartAss at Milan-Sanremo this year.
Milan-Sanremo this year was the first time that I’d seen this lightweight & simple mudguard and then I saw it again in a static display at Eurobike and decided right there that this would be the perfect addition to my machine for the upcoming winter. A quick look at their website revealed that Ass-Savers are available in many different colors and 2 models, the SmartAss for 80% of standard saddles on the market (€7.99 – approx. US$11) and the Brookshield for any hipsters out there using the Brooks Style saddles. (€8.99)
I ordered three SmartAss models in 3 different colors for each of my rigs and to take advantage of their, ‘buy three and get free postage’ offer. Once they arrived installation takes all of 20 seconds and my ass was now saved!
From side on you can see how the Ass-Saver sticks out just enough to stop the mud and water flying up into your nether regions.
From the top down you can see that the Ass-Saver covers the tire effectively making this simple piece of plastic your best friend when the roads are wet. The Ass-Saver is available from various distributors Worldwide and also online at their website Ass-Savers.com and at just €7.99 it could be the best investment you make for your bike this year – and most probably the cheapest!
Lizard Skins DSP Bar Tape
Another product that we spotted at Eurobike was Lizard Skins DSP Bar Tape which was on their stand of course but also on various pro bikes that were on display.
André Greipel’s Gorilla themed Ridley had some of Lizard Skins DSP 3.2mm black tape on board and despite his custom spray job, integrated brakes and various other cool touches on the bike – it was his tape that really stood out. Super, super thick for his Gorilla style hands but also ridiculously comfy. The days of cheap, thin wrapped tape for pros – or at least the Lotto-Belisol boys – seems to be well in the past with the whole team having their pick of various LizardSkins tapes to choose from that range from 1.8mm to the massive 3.2mm that André chose.
The grippy, yet comfy feel of Greipel’s bike had me wanting to find out more and with my cheap bar tape on my own bike looking sorrier and sorrier each day it was time to get my hands on some of this DSP tape.
My old tape. Thin, uncomfortable, worn out and slippery. Not a good combo.
DSP stands for Durasoft Polymer and is a patented material that is designed for excellent durability, increased shock absorption and solid grip in any conditions. The DSP is a unique combination of materials and means that it has to be wrapped differently than other tapes – namely, don’t stretch it!
Just to remind you not to stretch the tape, it’s written all over the packaging.
I had the choice between 1.8mm, 2.5mm and 3.2mm DSP tape and I thought with the upgrade from my super thin tape that was delivered on my bike, a 2.5mm would be the way to go.
Half way there and what a visual difference it’s made. Lizard Skins sell all the standard colors like black, white etc but I thought I’d go for something flashy to stand out in the pics . . . objective achieved!
Stupidly I decided to perform my wrap job just 10 minutes before leaving for my group ride and with the non-stretch technique, I urm . . . stuffed it up. I probably should have taken the time to watch the video below but instead I rushed my way through it and although it wasn’t the neatest taping job I’ve done I can say unequivocally that this tape is the most comfortable that I have ever used in 25 years of road riding and racing.
The feel of the tape is at the same time comfortable and grippy and it was amazing that with just one simple change on my machine it brought about such a change of feeling on the bike. There’s little wonder that pro mechanics change bartape for their riders when they’re feeling down or it’s the rider’s birthday or something as it does wonders for the morale. For me going from cheap and nasty to the best I’d ever had certainly changed my morale although that also brings me to the only downpoint that I see with the Lizard Skins – the price. (Then again, quality and luxury are usually worth the extra cost…) The 2.5mmDSP that I chose was $38 which is certainly not cheap but you do get what you pay for. The 1.8mm is also $38 whilst the 3.2mm is $42 and there’s also some funky two tone 2.5mm tape at $42 also. Available from various retailers and distributors throughout the world you can also buy direct at LizardSkins.com.
BBB Adapt Sunglasses
Next up in the line of interesting products is from the guys at accessories company BBB who have become well known in the road market thanks to their helmets and sunglasses sponsorship of Sojasun and the Vacansoleil Pro teams these last couple of years. Their new sunglasses, the Adapt caught our eye recently and we managed to get our hands on a pair in PEZ blue and white.
Ok, so it’s not ‘officially’ PEZ blue of course but it sure works well for me. The Adapt themselves are a full frame designed pair of sunglasses that give a different aesthetic from your typical blade style sunglasses and have a look a little closer to your casual glasses – whilst being a cycling pair of glasses at the same time.
The upper and lower frames are made of a highly flexible yet strong material called, Grilamid which enables with a simple twist of the nosepiece the easy change of the lenses. This has often been a problem with various sunglasses I’ve had in the past where the change of lens always required a mix of force, finesse and sometimes just pure luck that I didn’t break or damage the lenses during the change. The twist of the nosepiece opened up the frames, the lenses popped out without difficulty and then I could change them over to either the amber or clear that the glasses were delivered with for some early morning or dark winter riding.
Twist the nosepiece to the left and the upper and lower frames come apart easily for a quick lense change.
Clear lense installed and ready for those dark winter rides.
I’m not usually a fan of larger style sunglasses for on the bike use but I found the Adapts surprisingly comfortable with the rubber nosepiece able to be molded to the shape that I need and the rubber earsocks keeping the glasses in place. The Adapts also passed the crucial wife test with them being rated as ‘Not bad’ which when translated by a fluent speaker of wife (which fortunately I am) means, ‘Stop wearing those ugly ones you currently use’.
At the moment BBB doesn’t have an exclusive distributor for the US but you can pick these up at various retailers around the world and they come with a retail price of €99.95 (approx. US$135). More info on the Adapts and their various colors they come in and all the BBB products at bbbcycling.com