As an avid cyclist, I am always on the lookout for bike and bike related products (and even those not really intended for such purpose but can be useful or adaptable just the same) every time, whatever I might be doing. In my recent visit to the mall, I found two items that made that usual “malling” more exciting as I went home with items related to one of my favourite hobbies.
The first one is this Cord’s Crocodile Grip Thread Locker. This is the local counterpart for the blue LockTite product which is not available locally. Every time I read from repair or maintenance instructions to apply Locktite, I often wonder when will it be available locally. In most parts like disc rotor bolts and dérailleur bolts- the bolts already has such fluid applied on it after purchase (OEM) but the moment you disassemble it for maintenance, you have to reapply it. Though this is not really critical- for the obsessive compulsive cyclist, its good to know that it is now available locally. But I would tend to think that such small items would show you the difference between a bike shop from a good bike shop. The latter is the one who adheres to the manufacturer’s manual to the letter. Having a torque wrench is one best indicator. (Brought the product from ACE Hardware for 200+ Php)
The second item is a book. In the early days, bike related books are hard to find in the country. You always ends up ordering from Amazon as there are no market for such products (or no money to make). If there is, usually its about Lance Armstrong or other coffee table book about cycling. But in my recent visit to Fully Booked, I was surpirsed to see a lot of bike related books like bike touring books, training books and most important, about bike repair and maitenance. I browsed a couple of them and decided to get this one, The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair (I guess cyclists are not good in titling their works) as it has better contents- ideal for beginners to advance (basic explnations to advance topics such as wheel building and lacing- the only thing I cant do so far). Though I would be more interested on a really advance book, I guess the more advance topic will already be detailing specific products which is the purpose of the down loadable technical manuals from the internet so I guess this book plus those PDFs would already be a wonderful tool to hone one’s skills in bike mechanic work. For those newbies who are into “Dummies” books, there is also the “Bike Repair For Dummies” book available at Fully Book.(Brought the book at Fully Book Serendra for 1,200+ Php).
Finally, though this is really a bicycle product brought from a bicyclie shop, I was just excited to mention this one. Its the Token Chain Catcher designed to avoid the chain from falling off the smallest chain ring. Though the real intent of this product is to prevent such incident while on a race, very critical for a win; mortals like me desires this product mainly to protect the carbon frame from being scratched when the chain falls off and rubs the chain stay. In fact my road bike has this ugly exposed carbon scratches when my chain fell off during my initial test ride. I went home after that ride very frustrated as if I was the one who got bruised. Then one time, somebody got this K-Edge product (Carlos of Bike-Run-Swim) for local distribution at the price of 1,900 Php. I was about to buy this when I remember seeing a similar product in one of the stores. So I went there to buy this other version. I don’t think in such basic designed item, there are no technical difference (advantage) between products so if you may pay a bigger amount between them, its more of paying for the designer brand name than the product itself. In this case, I ended up following my philosophy- “same taste, but not as expensive (sing sarap pero di sing mahal)”, a slogan of a local detergent company who became a house hold name preaching about this gospel truth. Token Chain Catcher’s weight is 6 grams while K Edge weight is 10 grams. The only downside of the Token is that is does not have any instructions that comes with it but I guess you can easily figure it out. On the other hand, the K-Edge has a mountain bike version while the Token does not have one. Anyways, whatever brand it may be, I believe the chain catcher is one of the small innovations that would later become an important part of the road bike set-up.