Category Archives: Products

This bike pic Saturday, enjoy your time out riding the trails with family and friends as the fall colors are at there peak.

A healthy energy boost makes any off-road cycling adventure better

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

If you are like me, I like to carry a few energy boost jell packs while enjoying nature in the wild. On my latest adventure, before the snow covered the Northwoods landscape, I found Trail Butter. Trying them I found they were delicious and provided a level of energy that lasted longer. Plus, having several flavors added to the experience and fun of mountain biking in the true north.

Trail Butter flavors in the 1.15 oz. packets for an energy boost.

A natural energy boost source while off-road biking in the true north

Wanting to get one more bike adventure in before snowfall in the upper Midwest, I spent four days exploring the Beltrami Island State Forest, near Roseau, MN. A mammoth forest covering more than 700,000 acres it’s about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. With Roseau several miles away I wanted to maximize my time and the weight of what I carried along. Using a couple of primitive campsites along the 140-miles of logging roads and trail loops the Trail Butter packets fit my needs well. Each day,

The 4.5oz size was my choice on my recent Northwoods trip.

I averaged about 30-miles of mountain biking from the established base camp for that section of the State Forest. Every five or six miles I stopped and enjoyed a single-size serving size of the Trail Butter. Stopping periodically for an energy boost of this nut butter made it easy to complete the planned route in plenty of time before dark.

With Trail Butter no gooey aftertaste

As I have found with some of the other energy products on the market, with Nut Butter there was no pasty after taste. I also found the company’s claim on its website description, as “slow-burning” and this was also true. The almond component of the nut butter mix offers a ready source of fat that burns slowly, perfect for any outdoor activity. Not like some of the other energy products I have tried, full of high fructose corn syrup or other sugar that doesn’t sustain you for very long.

Offered in four flavors and three different sizes

A 16oz jar of Trail Butter works well back to base camp or at home.

The Trail Butter packaging comes in three different styles and to date come in four flavors, with their Spiced Chai Seasonal Nut Butter Blend. Their regular flavors include the Original Nut Butter Blend; Maple & Sea Salt Blend; and the Dark Chocolate & Coffee Nut Butter Blend. Like the Original flavor, which is an almond nut base with chocolate and cranberries, you will find 680 calories to turn into energy in every single serving. Sizes include:

  • The single-serving 1.15oz packets that are easy to open and resemble the packaging of a typical gel. This size works well when disposing of the packaging isn’t an issue.
  • The 4.5oz size was my choice on my recent trip. It gave me several servings in one reseal-able, easy to eat out of the pouch. I just had to decide which flavor I wanted to carry each day.
  • Also available in 16oz jars. This size works well for those who are able to make it back to base camp or at home to prepare a sandwich.

Made in the U.S., Trail Butter is manufactured by a small company out of Portland, OR.  and sells for a reasonable price. So check out their website and give Trail Butter a try for your next adventure!

A perfect pair of sandals can add to your bicycle touring adventures

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

If you are like me when cycling in a new area, it is fun to get off the bike and walk around a historical area, along the beach or venture into a shopping area, especially with sandals. Many times these extra-curricular stops can lead to more treasured memories.

Telic Energy Flip Flop is a comfortable sandal for both men and women.

The only problem, hiking around in bike shoes isn’t always the best for walking. And, even if your bike shoes are fairly comfortable for walking you don’t want to get them wet or dirty, especially if you use them in conjunction with clip-on pedals. So having a second set of footwear, a pair of comfortable Telic sandals along,  can add to your comfort and fun.

Easy to carry when biking

A bungee or carabiner is the perfect way to hang Telic sandals from the seat post.

Lightweight it is easy to bungee the Telic sandals to your bikes frame or seat post if you don’t have a bike rack or large enough handlebar bag. I found that a carabiner (rock climbing gear clip) also works well. Hook the clip into the straps of the sandal and the bottom of the bike seat.

Telic sandals make the perfect footwear when bike touring

From the energy Flip-Flops to the Z-strap or the women’s Mallory it’s easy to carry along a quick change of comfortable sandals.

Telic Women’s Mallory Sandal offers a comfort slide with Orthotic Grade Arch Support

They look good and feel great with enough medial arch support to keep you floating when not pedaling. With the ergonomic technology the Telic’s heat-sensitive Novalon material molds to the shape of your foot, eliminating pressure points making each step is pretty cushy.

For more information or to order a pair check out their website today!

Think of your next adventure with a pair of comfortable Telic sandals – Happy feet!

WingLights is an inexpensive blinker light system for bicycles to display a very visible directional turn signal at an intersections.

Making a bicycling experience safer with a handlebar blinker light system

Here at HaveFunBiking, we have shared blinker systems embedded in bicycle helmets, rear-mounted signaling lights and now for those who have flat handlebars, the WingLights. This inexpensive directional light system (a perfect stocking stuffer) easy to mount into each end of the handlebars. Then, when making your turn, simply tap the light at the end of the right or left handle grip and move to the proper lane. Just like signaling when driving a car. As a cyclist riding on the road or trail you will find added comfort and visibility in displaying your intention when changing lanes or direction.

Just tap the right blinker before gesturing with a right hand signal.

Just tap the right blinker before gesturing with a right-hand signal.

Just tap the left blinker before gesturing with your left hand signal.

Just tap the left blinker before gesturing with your left-hand signal.

The WingLight directional blinkers work well on rough roads where cyclists need to have both hands on the handlebars. Just a firm tap on the surface of the selected light and it begins to blink. Then in 45 seconds, which in most cases is long enough to make the turn, the light turns off to save on your battery.

Winglights currently available in two options

The WingLights Mag, their original, is a high-quality turn signal system that magnetically attaches to your handlebar ends. It is easy to install and use. These turn signals flash bright amber and can be seen from all angles. When removed, the units clip together onto a keyring for safekeeping. The Mag is compatible with all handlebars with an inner diameter from 14.7mm to 23mm. They retail for $49.99 and batteries are included.

The WingLights Fixed v3 is a brand new, non-magnetic turn signal, built to the same high specification as the original system. Like the Mag, the Fixed v3 is permanently attached to your handlebar. The Fixed v3 sells for $34.99, on Amazon.

For more information and other products visit the manufacturer at www.cycl.bike

Brighter and safer blinkers

The blinkers help to improve cyclists’ visibility in dangerous areas, in and around intersections.

Using hand signals along with WingLights

At HaveFunBiking.com, we highly recommend the continued practice of using hand signals. This turning light system, like others on the market, offers added visibility to show your intentions when changing directions. However, they should not replace the practice of using hand signals. By continuing to gesture your movement with hand signals, along with blinkers, you multiply your chances of being seen and staying safe.

Installing the WingLights blinkers

With this review, we found installation quick and easy, taking under ten minutes. At the end of each handlebar grip, cut a sharp knife so the handlebar tube is exposed. Insert the rubber plunger of the Winglight firmly into the handlebar and tighten. You will find full instruction included in the package or for a comprehensive guide on this blinker system check out the instructional video here. 

Sorry, these blinker lights are not suitable for all handlebar types

The current WingLights are only available for straight (sometimes referred to as flat) handlebars. Curved handlebars with maximum curvature of 30° also work. The company is working on a design compatible with drop bars (also known as bullhorn and/or cruise bars) for the future.

 

The perfect wearable and convenient bike lock, the Hiplok Spin

Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Testing out the new Hiplok Spin, trail riding and running errands the lock offered me hassle-free convenience in keeping my bike safe. Having a bike lock along to secure your investment is a good practice, though it can be cumbersome. With a cable or u-lock, how to store it if you don’t have a large enough saddlebag, or if it does fit how do you pack it so it won’t rattle around or snag an item of clothing, that is the question? Now with the simplicity of the Hiplok Spin, wear it as a visible belt, and as fast as you can click the lock, you are ready to leave the bike secure.

The neon yellow Hiplok Spin offers added visibility when riding.

 

The Hiplok Spin bike lock makes multiple stops convenient

Running into the store, near the trailhead, was fast, easy, and secure with the Hiplok Spin.

It’s a perfect bike lock when you are meeting a friend at a restaurant for lunch, picking up a book at a library or running in to use the restroom at a trailhead. A well-designed and thought-out wearable bike lock system it’s easy to adjust, making it hassle-free when putting it on or taking it off. With the added convenience of an integrated four-digit, resettable combination lock, there’s no need to carry a key. This wearable, lightweight bike lock, available in black or neon yellow for added visibility, adjusts easily to fit your waist (26″ to 44″) without being locked to your body.

When the Hiplok Spin may not be enough

When planning to leave my bike in a questionable high-traffic area, the Spin would not be my solo-choice. For more extended periods of storing my bike out in a public place, I prefer using a combination of a cable and D-lock. It provides a more secure solution to protect my bike from theft when I am away from it at a meeting or the theater. See Hiplok’s helpful bicycle security chart; it may help you find the right lock for your ride.

Ideally, you should always use the most secure lock your budget will allow with a secondary lock for wheels and accessories. However, in the real world, carrying extra items while biking, isn’t always practical. Each ride is different, and you need to balance security with practicality in choosing the right lock for securing your bike.

A bicycle headlight that works well on or off the bike

By Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

No matter what time of the year there is never enough daylight and having a bicycle headlight is a necessary item for any cyclist riding on the road or on trails. Over the last couple of months, I have had the chance to test the Fenix BC21R v2.0 bicycle headlight in several applications with memorable success. Retailing at less than $75, the Fenix worked well while commuting by bike and fat biking through the snow. This 1,000-lumens capacity light offered me several beam output settings that I needed at dusk and in the dark to see and be seen. Plus its makes a handy stand-alone flashlight when not on my bike.

This light easily clips-out from the handlebar, in a minute’s notice, to become a handy flashlight.

 

 

The Fenix BC21R v2.0 bicycle headlight out of the box

The Fenix bicycle light comes packaged and inside the box, you’ll find:

The light fits well in the packaging with the extra parts tucked behind the form-fitting plastic holder.

  • BC21R v2 Light head
  • Fenix rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • USB Type C charging cable
  • A handlebar mount, with two extra rubber mounting shims
  • Spare O-ring
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

The light fits well in the packaging with the extra parts tucked inside. The Fenix branded 18650 Li-ion battery is pre-installed in the headlight with a small piece of insulation that needs to be removed before charging and using. The housing of the bicycle headlight is engineered to protect it from dust and foreign objects and is perfect for safe cycling on those rainy days.

Bike commuting with the Fenix bicycle light

As the days get shorter (up through December 22nd  with winter solstice) using the Fenix bicycle handlebar light gave me several beam options with the lights four settings. Plus, while commuting or running errands the light was easy to remove at stops, for security and/or to plug it in for an added charge.

Through the woods on a snow-covered trail

Fat biking over the snow-covered trail the beamwidth of the Fenix was more than adequate.

Recently fat biking through the snow-covered forest I found the beam width adequate, the majority of the time in the lights medium mode. But, when the trail became more technical, it was easy to bump it up to the Turbo Mode. At 1,000-lumens, with two-hours of run time, the output was near that of riding in daylight.

A recap of the Fenix BC21R v2.0 bicycle headlight

The Fenix bicycle light is an interesting alternative to most lights in its price range. The light comes with a chargeable battery that can be easily replaced. It offers a high-quality optic lens with four settings for beam spread to make your time in the dark and low-light periods enjoyable. And with the convenient bicycle mount the light easily clips-out, in a minute’s notice, to a handy, multi-mode flashlight. For more information on Fenix and to order a bicycle headlight go to their website here.

The perfect gift for those with cold feet – GooseFeet Down Socks

The perfect solution when cold feet are an issue after fat biking, ice fishing or while sleeping. GooseFeet Gear Down Socks is a perfect solution. They also make great backcountry hut or ice house footwear with the Over-Bootie. By themselves the elastic ankle cuffs at the top of the sock ensure they stay put and keeps the warmth in. And the socks conveniently pack into a small stuff sack (included).

Choose from two lightweight materials for your Down Sock order

Two sock materials to choose from.

Choose fabric material along with several colors. Then they are filled with 850+ power premium goose down treated with DownTek for water-resistance.

10D Fabric – This new material has an amazing next-to-skin feel and is ultra-lightweight, but still has a DWR treatment and is 100% down-proof!  Colors available include Navy Blue, Forest Green, Black, Lime Green, Purple, and Brick Red.

20D Fabric – Is nylon and the most durable fabric they offer. It has a DWR treatment applied to the outside surface, so it will resist a small amount of water before allowing it to get the Down inside wet. Current colors available include Red, Aqua Blue, Magenta, Denim Grey, Hunter Green, and Black.

Socks are designed to keep your feet warm all night long

If you’d like to wear your Downsocks around camp or during midnight calls of nature, add a pair of waterproof Over-Booties to your order. They are specifically designed to fit over and protect your Down Socks during outdoor use. When purchased together, they make the perfect ultralight sock/camp shoe combo.

Order a pair from GooseFeet today!

Finding safe drinking water was easy with the H2gO Purifier

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

When mountain biking or hiking, it’s nice to find the right gear that can help cut down on carrying extra weight, like water. On a recent backcountry field trip into Minnesota’s north woods, I had the opportunity to use the Aqua Research H2gO Purifier. This purifier was the perfect device to provide safe drinking water without adding additional weight to the gear I packed. No regrets choosing the H2gO Purifier for this Bold North trip was easy to use and safe. This compact purifier will be a mainstay accessory in my luggage when water is questionable on future trips.

Converting natures surface water was easy with the H2gO Purifier

I planned to spend four days exploring the mammoth Beltrami Island State Forest, near Roseau, MN. Even though there were a couple of well water locations in this forest covering over 700,000 acres, five rivers with headwaters here aloud for more convenient water options. With primitive campsites along the 140-miles of logging roads and trail, I wanted to maximize my time on my off-road bike exploring the area. Using the purifier to disinfect water along the trail allowed me room to pack several other luxury items of comfort.

Stopping alongside a stream it was easy to process safe drinking water.

The H2gO Purifier is small and easy to pack and works well eliminating any harmful organisms from the lakes and streams I stopped at for water. The coffee I brewed after processing this True North water was enjoyable too. Only one time did I wish I had a filtering device along? There were some specs of sediment in the water, but a sock from an extra clean pair I had worked.

How the H2gO Purifier works

This handheld purifier works by converting table salt and water into a disinfectant through an electrolytic process. Easy to perform in the field, first I mixed the salt and water in a small applicator bottle. Once the salt dissolved, I then added the solution into the reaction trough on the front side of the H2gO Purifier. Next, I selected the amount of water I wanted to purify (1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 liters). Then holding the button for two seconds, the reaction starts. It takes approximately 15 seconds per liter to create a disinfectant concentration. Then ready, I poured the disinfectant from the purifier into the water I planned to consume. Finishing by shaking or stirring and then after 30 minutes, depending on how clear the water is, it is ready to drink killing all pathogens.

 

This purifier is certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting their classification for Household Water Treatment Systems. A single dose from the H2gO Purifier meets WHO treatment standards for viruses and bacteria. While in-house testing shows multiple doses of in-activate protozoan cysts like Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

The purifier also has a built-in solar panel for alternative charging and an LED flashlight for added functionality. The unit can also run off your cell phone battery for charging.

The H2gO Purifier comes complete with a detailed instruction manual, salt mixing bottle, safety indicator strips, a micro USB cable with a wall charger, and a mesh carrying bag to keep everything together.

In summary

In my experience using the H2gO Water Purifier is an ideal device when the water you want to drink is questionable. This purifier creates a disinfectant to kill organisms in your drinking water. Be aware of your surroundings (mine pits, old wells, etc.) as this purifier will not remove heavy metals or sediment. In comparison to other chemical purifiers, this is far superior as the taste is better, works faster and is much easier to transport, not to mention safer.

Has the idea of using an electric bike, called an e-bike, piqued your interest? If so you are in luck, the E-bike Challenge is coming to Minneapolis, MN.

Join HaveFunBiking and check out the latest in electric bike technology

Has the idea of using an electric bike, called an e-bike, piqued your interest? If so and you are looking to extend your range of bicycle travel, you are in luck. Coming to Minneapolis, the E-bike Challenge, Today and Sunday,s March 23–24, 2019. Mark your calendar and plan to see and test all the latest e-bike models on the shows indoor test track.

So what is a pedal-assist electric bike

Also called a “pedal-assist” bike, an e-bike has a battery and motor that allows a bicyclist to ride farther, with greater ease. Some cyclists, using an e-bike, can reach a distance of up to 70 miles on a charge. With a pedal-assist system, the rider must pedal to engage the motor to enable a more leisurely ride. see more in the shows: E-bike/Hike Guide to prepare the questions you will want to ask.

With more than 30 bicycle brands exhibiting at the show. Each brand will have several models, so choosing the right type of e-bike for your style of riding. Making it easy to find an electric bike for commuting, recreational riding or hauling cargo, Plus options for shuttling the family, e-trikes, e-fat-bikes, and many e-bike accessories.

A fun test track, many workshop presentations and more

Just imagine, after narrowing down your e-bike selection, taking the bike out for a spin on the indoor track set up around the at the E-bike Challenge. The event also features breakout sessions, a kids’ bike test track, an e-bike theater space, fun family activities, and more.

Breakout sessions at the event include, “Easy commuting by e-bike” and “The secret of ice fishing with a fat tire e-bike.” Another keynote presentation will feature, “How to build the future bicycling friendly city.”

Tickets for the E-bike Challenge are six dollars at the door. When purchased online, they are four dollars; and children up to 12-years with a parent or guardian are free.

For more information about the E-bike Challenge, see the KSTP TV video clip.

There have been many improvements to electric bikes over the last few years and before checking them out here are a couple questions that should be asked.

Choosing an electric bike for your style of bicycle riding

You have probably read or heard about electric bikes (e-bikes) and the improvements that have been made over the past couple of years. If you are curious and would like to check them out, you need to ask a couple of questions before purchasing one and having some fun.

First ask yourself, how will I use an electric bike

  • maybe commuting to work, running errands and/or hauling cargo
  • bike touring or just some recreational riding to stay active
  • spending more time on off-road trails
  • assist me while rehabbing after a sports injury?

Then ask

  • will an e-bike make it easier for me to stay active
  • make it more enjoyable, especially when dealing with hills and headwinds
  • help so I can keep up with my friends who ride faster?

As electric bike technology continues to progress quickly, with batteries that are lighter and offer you a better range between charges, the options are endless. Today there are bikes for every conceivable application, from hauling cargo to making a climb on a mountain bike a breeze.

Geared to accommodate different kinds of activities (cargo hauling; relaxed cruising; trail riding; mountain biking; child transportation; road biking; fat bike riding; touring; and urban commuting) they make biking fun. With so many e-bikes on the market today, you will find design options that vary to fit different people and their preferred use. It’s up to you to decide what is most important. Is it the ease of riding; the cost; maintenance; dependability; range – or the above? With so many models on the market to choose from, first, figure out where you are going to be riding, and then how often?

Now that you have a list, visit a few bike shops to see the brands they carry. Or, attend the e-Bike Challenge, March 23-24, see video below.

 

Has the idea of using an electric bike piqued your interest? If so the e-bike Challenge is coming to Minneapolis March 23-24.

23-days to discover and test ride the latest in electric bike technology

Has the idea of using an electric bike, called an e-bike, piqued your interest? If so and you are looking to extend your range of bicycle travel, you are in luck. Coming to Minneapolis, the E-bike Challenge is March 23–24, 2019. Mark your calendar and plan to see and test the latest e-bike models on the shows indoor test track.

So what is a pedal-assist electric bike

Also called a “pedal-assist” bike, an e-bike has a battery and motor that allows a bicyclist to ride farther, with greater ease. Some cyclists, using an e-bike, can reach a distance of up to 70 miles on a charge. With a pedal-assist system, the rider must pedal to engage the motor to enable a more leisurely ride. see more in the shows: E-bike/Hike Guide to prepare the questions you will want to ask.

With more than 30 bicycle brands exhibiting at the show. Each brand will have several models, so choosing the right type of e-bike for your style of riding. Making it easy to find an electric bike for commuting, recreational riding or hauling cargo, Plus options for shuttling the family, e-trikes, e-fat-bikes, and many e-bike accessories.

A fun test track, many workshop presentations and more

Just imagine, after narrowing down your e-bike selection, taking the bike out for a spin on the indoor track set up around the at the E-bike Challenge. The event also features breakout sessions, a kids’ bike test track, an e-bike theater space, fun family activities, and more.

Breakout sessions at the event include, “Easy commuting by e-bike” and “The secret of ice fishing with a fat tire e-bike.” Another keynote presentation will feature, “How to build the future bicycling friendly city.”

Tickets for the E-bike Challenge are six dollars at the door. When purchased online, they are four dollars; and children up to 12-years with a parent or guardian are free.

For more information about the E-bike Challenge, including vendor information, visit www.ebikechallenge.com. For more information about the organizer, visit www.hicle.com.