Rob's bicycle accessory list...

Bicycle Equipment:

TREK Antelope 830 Mountain Bike, CroMoly frame. Purchased new in 1989 from Maplewood Bicycle located in Maplewood MO. Cost: $389.00. Color: Intense Blue. My wife has the identical bike in white.

Bike came equipped 21 speeds, a triple crank and Suntour drivetrain. I had pretty good luck with this setup for 12 years and somewhere over 12,000 miles. Midway into the 2002 riding season I had a flat rear tire and had trouble with the read derailer not shifting properly. The chain was replaced (it was stretched so much the gauge couldn't read it) that helped a little. The rear cassette was replace with a Shimano part (Suntour is no longer available in the US) and that helped a little more. Finally I ended up having the rear derailer (Shimano Alivio MC16) and shifters (Shimano Tourney TY-22) replaced.

Bike was originally equiped with 2" knobby off-road tires. Switched to CyclePro 1.9" road tires since I was spending more time riding on the road versus off the road. Somewhere around the time I decided to do Biking Across Kansas I decided to switch to 1.5" Specialized Nimbus tires. I went through a couple of pairs of these tires and generally like them. Early in the 2000 cycling season I sliced one of my Nimbus 3 tires open and couldn't find a new pair locally. I an now riding on Avocet CROSS 1.5" which have a considerably narrower profile. More recently I have switched to Avocet Cross II tires as the Cross I's are no longer available. The Cross II tires have a slightly narrower profile than the Cross I tires and have grey sidewalls. The good folks at A-1 BICYCLE SALES in Kirkwood Missouri were kind enough to special order the tires for me. I have been using Mr Tuffy liners in my tires for several years now with very good luck.

Cateye Vectra purchased new in 1989 for $44.95. Won't ride with-out my trusty bike computer. The cable to this computer got pinched one time to many and it quit working a few days before I left for the TOGIR ride in 2001. Overall I was very satisfied with this computer except for 3 things:
1) it lacked a clock
2) the average speed calculation was sometimes inaccurate
3) it didn't save settings when the battery was changed

I replace it with a sleek looking VDO Cytec C10 I like the VDO unit for several reasons:
1) it auto starts (no more forgetting to turn the computer on)
2) it has a clock
3) it's average speed is more accurate

Child Seat:
Gerry brand purchased through mail order. It cost about about $90 and came with a integrated mountain rack that mounts over the rear wheel. I would highly recommend this setup as the seat attaches/detaches in about 5 seconds. When detached you have a conventional moutain rack to use as you please.

Over the past couple years I used a Mountain Mirrycle by Mirrycle Corporation of Boulder Colorado. Unfortunately they keep breaking. It appears that this product is not well engineered based upon the results that I have had. The plastic stem has broken on me on three different occasions. If tighten the parts down to keep the mirror from moving around then it seems to crack the stem. I would discourage anyone from buying this product due to its short life span and the fact that it vibrates a lot which blurs the image. Cost: $13.99.

I have returned to using my RHODE GEAR Handle Bar End Mirror and have been very pleased with it as there is considerably less vibration and a clearer image. It has to a pair of large yellow knobs and requires no special tools to install.

I did a ride without my mirror one evening and found that I was most uncomfortable not knowing what was going on behind me. I kept glancing down to my handlebar end only to find the mirror missing. I highly recommend a rearview mirror of some sort. Much like driving a car it's important to know what is going on around you.

I sweat a fair amount in the heat and humdity of the Saint Louis summers so having a sweatband is essential. Terry cloth headbands usually work for a short time before become saturated and ineffective. In the summer of 2002 I stumbled upon the Halo Headband products and have been using them ever since. It uses a high-tech fabric to wick away sweat. Highly recommended. Cost is about $12.95.

Water Bottles:
All water bottles may seem about equal but here are a few things to consider:

I use a cheap ($20, on sale for $10) pair of TREK System 1 ATB Pedals with clips. I don't recommend them as the middle cylinder portion is made of plastic and I broke a pair of these after a few thousand miles. I would recommend something more sturdy.

Rear Flashing Light:
I use a Red Alert red flashing taillight made by Leader Sports of Boucherville, Quebec Canada. It starts flashing whenever the rear wheeel spins. I like it because you do not have to remember to turn it on or off and it requires no batteries. This model will continue to flash for about 8 minutes after the wheel stops turning. I have had it for several years and it has been very reliable. A very nice light with no added expense for batteries.

Bar Ends:
I have a pair of black bar ends that I put on my handle bars before doing Biking Across Kansas. I did this because I wanted additional positions to hold my hands to reduce fatigue on those long days on the bike.

Yeah it may sound silly but I do have a bell on my bike and I'm not afraid to use it. It is the original Incredibell by Mirrycle Corporation. It has come in handy on crowded trails on numerous occasions. Also my daughter likes to hear it ring when we pass under a bridge or under an overpass.

The opinions expressed here are purely my own based upon my experiences. These opinions are subject to change over time. Your mileage may very.

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