High level summary: I hate this bike
So while in Massachusetts visiting my family, I rented bikes for my friend and I.
I could have rented the lovely Specialized StumpJumper, a $1700+ bike, for $50 per person, or a Jamis Hybrid, a $300+ bike, for $25 per person. I made a huge mistake in getting the Jamis.
Side note: my friend doesn’t ride a road bike, hence why I wanted to get upright hybrid/trail bikes.
Our intent: Street and packed trail riding
Of which we did both – there was a thrill in being able to bike on sand and leaves and rocks and know I wasn’t going to pop a tire or have less control of my bike.
I also liked having just seven speeds. There was a pleasant simplicity to it.
But after putting on over thirty miles on a bike with NO SUSPENSION, I really started to feel it.
I thought to myself, Why? What is the purpose of this bike?
The tires are too thick for just street – get a road bike!
With no suspension, you shouldn’t be hitting the trails on this thing – get a trail bike!
Not as heavy as a beach cruiser, but not that light, either – I don’t even know!
Turns out the bike is meant for bike paths!? And in Jamis’ marketing text on their website, they trash talk consoles – “It’s a chance to play together, for real, instead by proxy with electronic avatars and a console.”
OK Jamis. Look here. Don’t trash talk my video games. I’m gonna let that one slide, because you are the bike sponsor for the (female pro cycling team) Colavita.
But why are you making such a bike that is only good for short, paved distances? I suspect it is an entry level bike for people that will only put about 5 miles on it at a time and/or collect dust in their garage.
The line of Street/Commuting bikes looks pretty nice, but is just tagging a bike as street/commuting enough to turn a potential customer away?
As this is not my line of business, I personally don’t know, so I’ll have to assume Jamis knows what they are doing in regards to that demographic. There is just no way I’d spend money on a bike with such limited functionality (although it’s still a step up from a beach cruiser), when such better options are available.
This picture was taken yesterday by my sink. This is what it looks like all the time. Multiple water bottles, drying off, remaining gunky. Well, hell. There is a product that solves this issue. The Clean Bottle. The name says it all. These water bottles can actually be CLEANED.
How does it work, you ask? THE BOTTOM SCREWS OFF! Therefore, no more nasty icky moldy water bottle bottom that you just can’t reach. Viva!
Also works in the dishwasher. I always feel like a FAIL when I put a water bottle in the dishwasher because really? It can’t clean all up in there. The steam just gets caught in the bottom, resulting in more soggy bottom.
I took the Clean Bottle on a date on my bike and around town in the car and guzzled from it often. A few notes:
1. Does require an extra tug to get the nozzle open all the way
2. The bottle is very firm/high quality. Not easily squeezable like run of the mill water bottles
3. Top of bottle is not interchangeable with run of the mill water bottles, so don’t lose the top
4. I like that it is clear – then you can see which liquid you have in there (ie reaching for the water vs. electrolyte bottle)
And of course, you can’t have a product called Clean Bottle without being involved in some kind of green-conscious efforts. Following text stolen from the website:
The Clean Bottle is made with 100% non-toxic, BPA-free plastics, making it safe to use over and over. And 10% of all Clean Bottle™ profits are donated to eco and cycling friendly charities that you vote for.
I was super blessed to receive two water bottles for this review from Clean Bottle. One for me to review and another to give away to a reader!! I will have a separate post with details on Saturday, July 3rd with details on how to win a Clean Bottle from ThrownChain.com (Hint: You’ll need to be a fan of our Facebook page).
Want to learn more about this product, or buy one? Check out CleanBottle.com. I’d also like to mention the kitten in the picture is sitting right next to me as I type this, purring. Yay for kittens and water bottles that can be gunk free.
So you got a bike (hopefully) and you are ready to ride (hopefully).
Maybe you are going to brave cycling with a local bike club… or just tool around the neighborhood and try to go more than 5 miles from home. Sure, you want to pack your cell phone in case you need to reach out and call someone, but what else should you bring?
Note: Do NOT talk on your cell phone and bike at the same time. It’s dangerous. I should know. I was doing that one day and crashed. As I fell over I screamed “F-*****-CK!!!!” and then looked up to see a whole class of kindergarten age children on the sidewalk, staring at me. *guilt*
A. Spare tire tube
B. Tire patch kit
C. Tire levers (you can find them in PINK)
D. Key to house
E. CO2 cartridge (hand pump days are over! This is soo easy to use)
F. Expired license (or you can photocopy your license and carry that)
G. Sunblock (for touch ups, if on long ride)
H. Chamois cream for when you start out to only do 10 miles and then end up doing over 40 and need a uhhh “touch up”
I. Lil tool set – trust me, my cleat came loose in the middle of a century and I had to borrow a toolset from another rider. I promptly went and got a better tool set.
J. The bag. With a blinky light shoved onto the back. Trust me – just keep the blinky on there even if you are biking during the day. You never know when clouds will take over and/or you get stuck in the dark.
Did I miss anything? Is there anything you always carry in your bike bag?
So one of the really annoying things about biking more than 20 miles at a time is you gotta eat. It’s not like you can pig out on a tasty hamburger or mac n’ chz or something. You usually end up with small, pre packaged foods (although some people get fancy and make their own sandwiches, etc), that you shove into your back jersey pockets.
I personally need to eat almost every 20 miles. Big rule of thumb with cycling: Eat before you get hungry, drink before you get thirsty.
Also, “Ride to eat, eat to Ride”. YOU are the machine – gotta fuel the ride, yo!!
So there you are, biking along, mile 30, and you are sick of gels (which I will review later) and need something substantial. There are a buttload of bar options (and weird gel “fruit snacky” things) on the market.
Today, I shall review my current favorite – bonk breaker bars
So you may be thinking “bonk? what a silly word!”. Bonking means ‘hitting a wall’ while you are running/cycling/whatever-ing and you didn’t fuel yourself. Exhaustion. Fatigue. Fail. Bonking sucks. It makes those last grueling 15 miles feel like the entire century. Don’t bonk. It’s not fun.
There are several flavors these bars come in – PB&J, chocolate chip (MMMM) and almond butter (MMM). As you can probably tell by the “MMMM” , I really like the chocochip and almond butter.
Some major selling points on these bars:
1. The packaging is loose, which allows for easily opening while riding and re storing into your back pocket without the bar falling INTO the pocket, turning into a bunch of mushy pieces while mingling with your sweat, causing you to lose your bar or eat sweaty bar in desperation. Don’t ask.
2. The bar itself does not require too much additional chewing, like Cliff bars. It goes down smooth – no choking on random nut or oat pieces that get stuck in your throat.
3. Dang, they are SO tasty. HIDE them when you are in your house – NO grazing/snacking on Bonk bars unless you are doing something high energy. Seriously. I hide them near my gel packets in the bike room.
These bars have worked really well for me in the past few rides – you don’t need to eat the whole bar at once – I generally graze off of it over a 20 miles period – graze, drink water, graze drink water.
I also wrote the company to tell them how much I liked their product, and that I was glad they donated a bunch to the AIDS Life Cycle (ALC), which is how I learned about their product. The president wrote me back and was super nice. Love personalized companies!
You can find these at your local REI for a pretty good price, especially if you are a member, and your local bike store. The almond butter ones are a bit harder to find right now.
Let me know how you like ‘em!