Wow, this year flew by! I still can’t believe it’s already the end of 2022. Can you?
Well, I’ve had a great year in my little world of bicycle shenanigans. The product I have been privileged to test, try and review has been abundant and amazing.
There were a few really memorable trips that happened for me this last year as well.
First, there was Monterey Bay for the Sea Otter Classic, and Bend, Oregon for the Best of Both a multi-terrain race, and a Masi Bicycles Brand Ambassador event. In mid-September, we got invited to Colorado, for the Gunnison Gravel press trip and did some glamping and gravel riding, which was pretty amazing. I had never been to Colorado and it was everything that I expected it to be and more. The last trip of the year for me was the flight to Philadelphia to experience the Philly Bike Expo for the first time. The was a pretty powerful bike event.
So much fun with bicycles and bicycle people on those trips. And between the Oregon and Colorado trips, it was some of the most impressive bike rides I’ve ever done.
I will give my top picks below for some of the products. These will be items that I’ve actually reviewed, some that are in the process of being reviewed, and some I feel just need to be mentioned, as they are something that I think you need to hear about. Capiche?
I love the bicycle, to me, it’s literal art in motion. I love bicycle culture as well, it’s where I belong and where I choose to immerse myself. This year like most was filled with everything that had to do with these two-wheel freedom machines that we love. I got to test out and try so many really cool bike-y type things. And the rides were plentiful and so much fun.
Testing and reviewing stuff meant the year was chock full of all kinds of different rides. A lot of them were solo rides. And I’d be fibbin’ if I said that I didn’t enjoy the solo ride now and again, sometimes it’s needed, ya know? For me, a solo ride is a place of peace and inner reflection. That sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. Sometimes I feel dislocated, and a solo ride pops me back into place, like a shoulder back into its socket putting you “back to normal” instantly.
But as much as I enjoy the solo ride, the rides with my buddies, Matt and Dave, are my favorite rides. I’ve been riding bikes with them consistently for over 25 years, and it’s always been fun. So, here’s to many more years of riding to come with you two!
OK, so usually you can tell a little bit about the cyclist, and how they like to ride by checking out their stable of steeds, their quiver if you will. So, let me give you a peek at my humble collection of bicycles. As of right now, I am down to four personal bikes; my Surly Krampus (fully rigid), my Masi Speciale Raondonneur Elite, my Rivendell Clem Smith Jr, and finally, my Masi Incanto Ti gravel bike.
These bikes are me, who I am and how I ride right now.
I prefer to ride metal.
I’m no weight weenie, seriously.
I lollygag a bit more.
I’m more concerned with smiles per hour than miles per hour.
I am the Unracer that would rather spend the entire day in the saddle than snag a KOM or, “beat yesterday”.
I’m the cyclist that’s honestly done almost all of it… not to be a grouch about it, but I’ve kinda “been there, done that”.
Let’s just ride our bikes, stop at the dam for a beer, or stop and do a #coffeeoutside session, take lots of pictures of our bikes, have good conversations, and try to solve the problems of the world, all while having a total blast on two wheels!
Look, this year has been a total blast. Thank you to everyone that reads, makes constructive comments, makes dumb comments, opines, pokes fun, and just takes part in what we do here at Bikerumor, it is greatly appreciated.
Ok, let’s get poppin’ onto my picks of the best bike goodies of 2022.
All Terrian Bike
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Tanglefoot Hardtack
The Tanglefoot Hardtack was a bike that I had a hard time giving back. It had a build that lined up with my bike build philosophy… where versatility, comfort, and fun rule the roost. It was supplied to me with USA-made Velocity Blunt SS wheels in the 27.5 flavor and clad in 2.6 tires, so it was super comfortable for long climbs, bombing fire roads, with the ability to be superbly shreddy on some chunky singletrack. You can pack it down and take it camping, or run errands around town. Hailing from rural Vermont, this bike is built to be used for anything.
When James at Tanglefoot Cycles builds you a bike, I imagine that it will feel like this one did for me, like it was built with you personally in mind, just for you. That’s how the Hardtack felt, like it was mine… but alas, it was not. After the review, I reluctantly packed it up and sent it back.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
I miss it.
Best Bike of 2022, The Tanglefoot Hardtack, hands down!
All Arounder Bike
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.
This might be against the rules. But, “fu@*k it, we’ll do it live!” Oh, and also, you should all buy one of these bikes. I purchased mine back in November of 2021 (drove 7 hours up to Walnut Creek, Ca. to pick it up) and I have to say that it rides like no other bike I have ever ridden. Seriously, the comfort level and ride quality are off the charts. I mean, look at that wheelbase and chainstay length, how can it not ride like a magic carpet? And the beautiful fork? Get outta here with that, it’s a one, two-punch of awesome!
If you don’t know who Grant Petersen is, or Rivendell Bicycle Works, do yourself a favor and check them out. It’s not just the bikes that are amazing at Riv, it’s Grant’s philosophy behind the “whats” and “whys” he does what he does, that make the bikes that much better.
This bike is one of my favorite bikes I’ve ever owned and a “go-to” for just about whatever I fancy at the moment.
I can’t imagine my stable without it… the Clem is my other choice for Best Bike in 2022!
EDITOR’S CHOICE: American Classic Kimberlite
What can I say, this tire performed well above my expectations. The American Classic Kimberlite is a durable, well-constructed tire that is really easy on the wallet. At $45 a tire, the cost for two tires can be the cost of one of the other brands. As I said in the review for these tires, “The puncture resistance, aesthetics, and tubeless compatibility are on par with its competitors. Sure, it’s a bit hefty, but is it really? Compared to other tires, it is very competitive in the weight category.”
The tire is still holding up and honestly, they still look new. I really like the Kimberlite and really recommend you give it a try.
My pick for the Best Tire of 2022!
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Paul Component Klampers
This pick may or may not be a surprise to you if you read my review of the Paul Components Klampers back in September. I really do like these brakes… a lot.
I like these brakes so much I am running them on my Krampus in the short pull version with the Paul Canti-Levers (review of this configuration coming soon). Stopping power on tap, with hydro brake modulation. Yeah, seriously.
I use them on my Masi Rando bike, and the Masi Incanto Ti that I just built up for the Dream Build Project I have been working on.
These disc brakes are handmade in the USA, completely serviceable, rebuildable, and easy to set up and maintain. The Klampers aren’t just about hype, they are about stopping your bicycle…really well. They just work and they work better than most/almost all of the brakes that I’ve ridden in the last 20 years. They modulate better than any other cable-actuated brake out there. Period. They are worth a go (or stop), you won’t be sorry.
Best Cable-Actuated Disc Brakes? Nay! The Paul Components Klampers are the Best Brakes of 2022!
Honorable Mention: Shimano Deore XT BR-M739 “V” Brakes
Yup, I said it. They still work and work superbly. In my opinion, Shimano’s Parallel Push design for their V Brakes is the best of their V Brake offerings from back in the day and may very well be the best rim brake ever developed. Hell, I used to race downhill with these brakes!
I use them on the Clem Smith Jr. just about every single day. They really are some of the best feeling, best working brakes to this very day. Period.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Mason X Hunt 650b Adventure Dynamo Disc wheelset
The Mason X Hunt 650b Adventure Wheelset has been, quite frankly, bomb-proof. I am not a small rider, and I have almost 2500 miles on this wheelset, I have zero plans to take them off of my Masi Rando bike. The wheelset has a combined weight of 2011 grams with tubeless tape installed but no valves. They also come with a SON Dynamo hub which is a high-quality, long-lasting dynamo hub, some say the best dynamo their is. The internal rim width is 25mm, and that seems to be perfect for a 650bx48mm tire.
The fact that you can get a high-quality, purpose-built, lightweight, strong, aluminum wheelset with a SON front dynamo hub for under $800 is one of the main reasons that it gets my pick for Best Wheelset of 2022!
Editor’s Choice: Sugar Wheel Works
Sugar Wheel Works is a custom wheel-building studio out of Portland Oregon. The last three personal wheelsets that I’ve purchased have been custom-built by Sugar Wheel Works. The first set was for my Krampus, the second for the Clem Smith Jr., and the most recent build was for my Masi Incanto Ti. The Sugar Crew is amazingly easy to deal with and to order your wheels through, making the ordering process seamless and fun. They have a lot of options to choose from if you want specifics or tell them what you want and how you ride and they can help you choose, using their experts to guide you through the process. They have top-notch customer service and a super speedy turnaround time.
And I will tell you, between the first two wheelsets I’ve had built, I have about 1500 miles combined on those wheels, and about 70 on my brand new Incanto wheelset. So far, they are perfect and true. They know what they are doing because that’s their specialty. I won’t go anywhere else for my custom-built wheels.
The best custom, hand-built wheels of 2022 come from Sugar Wheel Works!
EDITOR’S CHOICE: AARN Nylaarn Bio-Yellow Sports Sunglasses
I did a post of my first impressions of the AARN Nylaarn Sports Sunglasses a few weeks ago. I’m still wearing these glasses on every ride and liking them more and more as time goes on. They feel light on my face and don’t squeeze my temples. I love the durability of the titanium spring that is used in the springless hinges. And the best part, is I don’t look like a space traveler when I wear them.
Aaron does offer prescription lenses for these glasses as well. I can’t find my current prescription, so I need to take another eye exam. After that, I will be ordering the RX versions from Aaron and including that experience in my review of these great sunglasses.
Aaron makes these glasses in-house using his own, personally-built, American supply chain. These aren’t made by a huge eyewear company, they are made by Aaron right there in Philidelphia.
Look for my full review coming soon, stay tuned.
These sunglasses deserve to get the Best Riding Glasses of 2022!
Honorable Mention: Article One x Mission Workshop
I just got these Article One sunglasses a few months ago. The glasses are a part of their Active Collection and these particular pair are a collab with Mission Workshop. and have been wearing them off of the bike and while driving. I really like them so far. They are scoring really high in the “stylish” book for me. I really like the amber lens and the unique shape of the frames. They are really comfortable, even on long road trips where they are on my mug for 4-6 hours straight. Which I would expect from a pricy pair of sunglasses, but you never know. So far, I have been pleasantly surprised.
I will be doing a review of these as well.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Tunitas Carryall Basket Tote 137
The Tunitas Carryall Basket Tote 137 is made to fit perfectly into the Wald 137 basket. You simply unlatch the hook from the “D” ring and weave it through the basket to keep it from falling out. This allows for quick removal of the bag to take into the store (or wherever) with you. I have been using this bag almost daily on my Clem Smith for about 7 months. It’s such a great bag!
Tunitas Carryall is individually owned and operated by one person, Jessica Chan. It is run out of San Fransisco and she is an avid cyclist and knows what works when it comes to bags and bikes. Shop small and go visit her shop.
It’s design features and the ability to quickly remove it for off-the-bike toting, make the Tunitas Carryall Basket Tote an easy pick for the Best Bicycle Tote Bag of 2022!
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Tunitas Carry-all Basket Bag
My Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag X10 Cotton needs to share the spotlight here for Editor’s Choice. I use this bag for everything from s240’s, groceries, #coffeoutside, and working remotely…whatever I throw at it it takes in stride.
It has an expandable inner bag with a drawstring to let you stuff it to the brim of the roll-top when it’s fully unrolled. I have had it for over a year, and it still looks new. It’s a great bag and well deserved of sharing the spotlight with the Basket Tote.
I have to give another Editor’s Choice Award to Tunitas Carryall for their Basket Bag X10 Cotton. This is my favorite bag to stay in my Clems basket, making it ready for any adventure I can throw at it.
It makes my pick for Best Basket Bag in 2022!
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Calling In Sick Magazine
Every now and again you need a reminder that you are not the only soul that feels the way you do about certain things. When I first learned about the magazine, Calling In Sick with its tagline “Extreme Alternative Cycling Magazine” I was intrigued and thought this looks like it was a magazine about “me”, and promptly ordered issue #5. The cover didn’t have a guy decked out in spandex, wearing a $300 helmet, $400 shoes, on a $13,000 road bike, wearing space-man glasses, no, it had a guy jumping over a Rivendell Clem Smith Jr. on a skateboard… like a beacon, it called to me. I mean, it was right up my alley, and pretty punk rock. I was kinda sold before even reading it.
When I got the issue in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the pictures and writing. I found inside the pages, an irreverent, refreshing, albeit familiar mindset being expressed about bikes and bike culture. This magazine was my jam, I thought! It was a nice reminder that there were others out there that felt, and rode the way I did. I now eagerly await the next issue and pre-order when the time comes for the next.
In fact, I’m excited that my copy of issue #8 is on the way as we speak.
You can expand your cycling mind, with its witty, well-written, smart, and truthful content. I strongly and wholeheartedly recommend it. Its great cover photos and quality binding make it a great addition to any coffee table.
It for sure gets my pick for Best Cycling Publication of 2022, and beyond (I hope).
Bike Industry Movers, Shakers, and Status Quo Wreckers
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Industry Inclusivity
There is a welcoming movement in our industry that is long overdue and gaining momentum. The bike industry and some brands are finally starting to realize, that not everyone is built the same, nor do we ride the same. Like Shimano’s All Bodies on Bikes and SRAM’s Philly Bike Expo Inclusivity Scholarship. These types of efforts make a difference.
But, this isn’t obviously true for all brands though… as some brands aren’t quite there yet. But a lot are. It’s forward movement, and it’s a good thing.
Some big organizations are taking steps toward gender equality as well. For example, the recent news that a high school senior Hayley Yoslov, as part of a project for her “Ethics and Justice” class, put together a petition, Let Women Ride: Improve Gender Equality in the Sea Otter Classic.
The petition addressed the start times of the event’s races, which was that “every single women’s category (excluding pros) is starting behind every single men’s category”. Yoslov made the argument that the fact that every women’s race had to start behind every men’s race was hugely disruptive for female racers. She provided some data using 2021 race results. She states that female racers, aged 17 to 29, on average passed 78 men with the leaders needing to pass 218. Stating that there was “no reason why capable young women should be starting behind 70-year-old men”.
Life Time (the parent company that owns The Sea Otter Classic) took notice and changed the start times. That’s progress, forward progress.
That kind of change is overdue and congrats on this victory Hayley!
I believe that our goal as industry professionals is to encourage and build up with the hopes of getting everyone on a bike. Everyone. To be ambassadors for our sport while out on the bike, spreading goodwill and encouragement.
Anywho, I just wanted to take this opportunity to give kudos to all of the individuals and brands that are driving our industry to pay attention to inequality, correcting their stance on inclusivity, and making the effort to market to ALL of the cyclists.
If you know of any, celebrate them in the comments below!
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Hayley Yoslov, SRAM, Shimano, and all of the other brands and individuals that I am unaware of, or are quietly addressing and making change…you know who you are!
Tools & Accessories
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Wolf Tooth Components 6-Bit Hex Wrench
The Wolf Tooth Components 6-Bit Hex Wrench is a lifesaver. It’s danglin’ from my hip every day. It’s saved me numerous times. It’s slim, compact, well-thought-out, and a high-quality tool. It’s been a great addition to my keychain.
I find it essential, along with my pocket knife, as an everyday-carry item. It has been at my side every day since April. It’s been durable and has a lot of “bang-for-your-buck” value. It’s got the quality and well-thought design I have come to expect from the peeps at Wolf Tooth Components.
The Editor’s Choice Award for Best Tool of 2022 goes to Wolf Tooth for this mighty little ass-kicker, companion of a tool.
Well, that’s it, my two cents, take it or leave it.
I do hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed writing it and sharing it with you.
Bikes, huh? They’re great.
Anywho, thanks again for reading, now go out and ride your bike!