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Effetto Mariposa

Having a carbon fiber bicycle necessitates a bit more care than what is required on a steel or aluminum frame. Carbon is a strong material, but if components are tightened beyond the intended torque, damage can occur. This can, of course, be a serious hazard, one that should be avoided at all costs. A high quality torque wrench is what needs to be included in any home mechanic’s tool kit, and the Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II 2-16 Pro is a top candidate. The Giustaforza II is a solidly built tool, and employs the click type mechanism for the desired torque. A simple knob at the end is turned to mark the desired setting, with a range of 2-16 Nm. This range covers most of the settings a home mechanic would need, i.e. the stem, seat post, and handlebars. There is a second model with a 10-60 Nm range for the serious mechanics. When using the Giustaforza wrench, the click you hear when achieving the desired torque is quite audible. It would be difficult not to hear the sound, but in addition, the click is also felt through the body of the tool. I’ve been in the process of swapping parts out on two carbon bicycles in the last week, and it is reassuring to know that everything is being torqued to manufacturer’s specifications. It is a pleasure using the Giustaforza II, and the bits included in the Pro edition have covered everything I’ve needed to do on the bicycle. I’ve looked long and hard for a cycling specific torque wrench, and the Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II 2-16 Pro is my top choice. For those looking to purchase one in the US, they are available from Cantitoe Road.

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Smartwool PhD HyFi Full Zip Hoody

The Smartwool PhD HyFi Full Zip Hoody is a perfect mid layer piece for early morning commutes. The fit allows for full movement on the bike, and its breathability is key in keeping you dry when exerting yourself. The hood is a full coverage affair, leaving no part of your neck exposed to the elements. It is also quite slim, allowing your helmet to easily fit over it. There are thumb holes, a zip chest pocket, and zip hand pockets. It is a great stand alone piece when the temperatures are mild, but perfect for layering when the temperatures drop. I’m looking forward to using this piece when I next go skiing. Layered with the Smartwool NTS Micro 150 Crew and a ski jacket, this should make for a perfect combination. On the bike, it has already won me over.

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sm31b_inclinometer_black_318mm_2715_sk_1One feature I love about the Garmin 800 is the percentage of grade reading. Unfortunately, due to my lack of speed on ascents of 15 to 20 percent, the Garmin does not register, and I am left guessing what I just climbed. This is where the Inclinometer from Cantitoe Road steps in. This device is a simple bubble level that shows both ascending and descending grade percentage. It attaches to the handlebars with a secure mount, and is easily readable while riding. The device is so simple, yet incredibly accurate, more so than computers that are relying on data from GPS that is read at intervals. If you absolutely need to know what kind of hill you are climbing at any given moment, the Inclinometer from Cantitoe Road is easily the best choice.