VELOBODY Shave Stick & Antifriction Chamois Cream
Hands up if you agree nothing beats smooth skin – whether it’s stuble free legs, or a frictionless chamois, and Seattle-based VeloBody have joined the skin protection fray with two products worth a look. As a mid-pack cat 3 racer, Steve Berard ran out of his favorite chamois cream, and was inspired to try formulating his own. After a year of research, tinkering, mixing and testing, VeloBody came to market in mid 2012.
Natural ingredients are favored in both the Shave Stick and Antifriction Chamois Cream, and reflect Steve’s desire to be able to pronounce each and every ingredient in his products – in fact one of his early slogans (which sadly landed on the cutting room floor) was “no crap under the cap”.
The Velobody Shave Stick appeared unexpectedly when I opened the sample box, but was the first one I tried. Call me a sucker for a good shave, and whether it’s an ongoing search for the smoothest chin or the longest lasting leg shave, I love trying new products in this arena.
This was the first ‘stick’ I’ve tried on the legs, and results have been very encouraging. Into the shower, you pop the top and simply rub onto Your legs (or anywhere else you feel like… ) , then use your hand to work into a light lather. The shave is pretty good – I started with a fresh razor for best results, but even with a slightly ‘used’ razor, the Shave stick kept my legs well lubed for a close, smooth, and nickless shave. It’s got a light scent that hints of mint, and rinses clean leaving no residue, thanks to the all natural ingredients of goats milk (also works as a natural moisturizer) and essential oils. (This is what you want, since shave foams that use detergents to increase lather also are harder to rinse off, and not as slippery.)
The real bonus though is how well it works on my face and beard – talk about a product extension. I apply it directly to my cheeks, neck, and face, lather it up with a quick rub of my palms, and glide into a slippery, smooth, and satisfying shave. The light lather works really well with multi-bladed razors as it doesn’t clog as quickly, and rinses easier than thicker foams do.
Finally, the Shave Stick can actually be used as a soap to wash the rest of you as well – although this might reduce the total number of shaves you’d get per stick. And don’t forget the stick is TSA compliant, so it’s one less thing for airport security to hassle you about when traveling.
• Price: $9.95
The VeloBody Antifriction Chamois Cream is another winner – also made with mostly natural ingredients (there are small amounts of mild preservatives to increase shelf life). Things like lavender, rosemary & tea tree oil are used for their anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that help fight infections and minor irritations that can be caused from the rubbing & chafing associated with sitting on the saddles for long hours in a sweaty chamois.
It’s got a nice texture – heavy enough to stick and last, but light enough to spread easily, and without the sandy or oat-mealy texture other chamois creams have. And it’s slippery – another key quality in anything designed to protect yer junk from nasty chamois burn. It also has an ever so slight tingle upon application, but nothing that irritated me, and in my fairly subjective testing, my chamois stayed good & slidey through a 90 minute ride.
Washes out of your bits & bibs with soap and water.
• It’s $17.95 for 8 oz.
Those are some good values, since other brands are priced at or above the VeloBody, but offer half the quantities.
• See the website: www.VeloBody.com
The rain’s been falling here at PEZ HQ since late last night, so conditions today were perfect to test this dry case for the iPhone. It’s billed as ‘nearly waterproof’, and made of pretty tough feeling urethane, with a large clear window on top for full viewage.
My tester came with a bolt on handlebar mount that places the iphone out in front of the stem (and there’s another mount available that velcros the case onto the stem) – I wouldn’t call this setup ‘aero’, but certainly keeps up with de-rigueur device placements.
The mount attaches easily to the bars and is secured with a single allen bolt. The case itself clips onto the mount and can be removed for easy transport using a small lever tucked away under the case, and holds the phone quite securely – it does bounce around a bit, but nothing to impede using while riding (although by no means do I encourage riding and texting…)
It’s billed as a dry case, and at the risk of having to store my phone in a bag of rice overnight, I slipped my phone into the case and hoped the folding seal would do the trick. The folding enclosure works like other dry-bags you might use for camping, or rushing that triple-hot package across town for delivery before closing time – it simply folds back on itself and seals with a velcro strip. And it works – my phone emerged dry and in full working order, and no moisture had entered the case.
Not having used a case like this before I was skeptical about how well the touch screen would work while inside the case – but I was pleasantly surprised when I easily unlocked my phone and turned on Strava to record my afternoon ‘executive ride’ of 10km in a steady rain.
This is a good one for running your iphone-based training apps, making calls while riding, and perhaps most importantly – cueing the tunes to run off our next item…
• $24.95 at Alt-Gear.com
Outdoor Tech® Buckshot Rugged Wireless Speaker
One: Anything that uses the word “buckshot” in the name… reminds me of those Saturday morning cowboy shows I’d watch in glorious black & white way back when “cowboy” was still a career option.
Two: Anything that has the words “speaker” and “wireless” are guaranteed to get my attention (even all these years after my career steered away from flappin’ jacks on the open range and punchin’ dogeys.)
Three: After about 30 years of enjoying ‘adult’ bike riding I still dig taking the tunes along – not everywhere mind you (too many responsibilities that require my 100% attention to staying healthy) – but for sure when I’m clipped in for an hour long climb, or a sweaty trainer session.
If you’ve made it this far into this review, you’ll not be surprised that this hi-tech gizmo caught my eye. Even before it had arrived, I wheelied back in my desk chair, eyes glazed over – I could see it clear as day – me rockin’ the group ride with my groovy tunes blasting from my handlebars… aah – good times!
Made by Outdoor Tech®, the same the same guys responsible for Turtle Shell® Bluetooth, rugged, wireless boom box, the Buckshot has some promise for big mobility, and big sounds from a small package. “It’s rugged, water-resistant and built for cycling and the rest of life’s adventures.” – sounds good to me.
The reality is slightly different – but the Buckshot speaker is still pretty cool. Outta the box it charged up via a simple usb plug and was ready to use in a couple of hours. I followed the simple instructions to pair it to my iPhone, and in no time I was rockin out to a mini-dance party right at my desk – and it sounded pretty good as small speakers go.
Don’t expect the Buckshot to shake your shaky shack, but it does a decent job of delivering music from say… the middle of the poker or picnic table. But I wanted to see how it performed on bike, so…
The unit mounted up nicely on the bars with the stretchy elastic coupler (ie: big fancy rubber band). The Buckshot is kinda heavy at 156 grams to secure with a rubber band, so it tends to bounce around the bars as you ride, but it is covered in a squishy rubber case that provides some shock absorption. Mine shimmied and bopped for a good hour, including a 500m stint along an mtb trail (yes, on my road bike), but it stayed secured to the bars.
The sound quality in the real world was somewhat less than I’d expected – not having used one of these on-bike speakers before, my only comparison was to actual ear buds – which do a pretty darn good job. But road noise, traffic, and air blowing past my ears all conspired to rob me of the hoped for ‘ghetto box on my rat-trap’ experience.
And while they claim it “streams crystal clear audio for a range of up to 32 feet for 10 hours and features a built-in microphone for hands-free phone call functionality” my iphone signal was not strong enough to connect from my rear jersey pocket to the Buckshot mounted on my handlebars. I ended up placing the iphone inside the front of my jersey, and that worked well, with the odd signal drop when the phone bumped around too much. You could add an iphone mount like the BiKase DryKase to your bars to easily solve this problem (although solving the problem of too much junk on your bars is up to you…)
The Buckshot is available for $49.95 at www.OUTDOORTECH.com
Power Rocks Super Magicstick Portable Battery Recharger
I’ve tried other portable battery rechargers, and actually found this Super Magicstick to be the simplest and best performing. In a category pretty much viewed as commodities, Powerocks stake their claim of difference with some cool shapes and graphic designs, following Apple’s lead creating simple sensible designs that look cool and work well. While my tester was an uninspiring black, they do come in a host of cool colors to match most anodized bike parts from the late ‘90’s, and even a couple of fancy designs that your prettier half will like.
My tester came out of the box and was fully charged via my desktop usb in a couple of hours, and then proceeded to fully charge up my iPhone 4S in less than that. Then I let my phone battery drain to the red zone, and the Magicstick recharged it again without being plugged back into my desktop. I’ve yet to test how many times it will juice by phone on one charge, but so far I’m impressed.
Dimension: 21.7 (diameter) *86mm( height)
Priced at: $34.99 CAD ($39.99 USD)