Friday, August 28, 2009

Classic Comfort Gloves

Retro-style gloves with a nice touch of modern technology--at a great price!

I’ve been using these gloves for a few months now and have been very pleased with their performance. They fit nicely and give me the retro-style that I like.

The back of the glove is made of black mesh and the palm is made of a durable composite fabric. The palm area does not sacrifice any grip in wet conditions and does not get stiff if left overnight to dry. The padding and reinforcement in the palm make nice longer rides more comfortable without going overboard and being too cushy. One of the nice modern features is the nose-wiper on the back of the thumb. It is made of a nice soft black terry cloth that matches the glove well. In addition to being able to effectively wipe noses, the gloves are also machine-washable.

Single Velcro straps across the backs of the wrists are what keep these gloves on. The band that wraps around the base of the glove is made of neoprene, which provides padding in the wrist giving a little extra protection. It also allows for a better, more adjustable fit.

Overall they are a nice solid pair of gloves at a great value. They come in any color—as long as its black—and they are a great way to get the pink polka-dots onto the backs of your hands. Avenir Classic Comfort Gloves are available for purchase at your local Raleigh or Diamondback Dealer.

Karl Cunningham - CSR

Friday, August 14, 2009

Update - Avenir is Growing... ok probabaly not news to many

Yeah it's been a while... slap me on the hand and send me to the corner for a time out. But hey I'm back from what I would consider a learning situation that took me from typical busy to ludicrous speed.

Since my last blog lots has happened and is still happening. We've almost completely phased out our Cyclepro brand and converted it to Avenir. Our pump line has been revamped and will take many of you by surprise when you see how they look and and how well they perform. Our bag line got some flavor by adding a rainbow of colors plus a few panniers that every commuter will enjoy. Overall we are focusing more on growing the brand and value of our products which will be obvious with the new product to come.

I apologize to all who visit the site and look for images and info of our new product. In the next few weeks expect to see images of the new stuff. Right now I'll just keep you wondering what's come.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rush Hour Wheels..Stronger than Meets the Eye

Hi there ,
My name is PJ and I have been a customer Sales Rep here at Raleigh for the last two and a half years. Prior to working here I was a bike messenger in Seattle for six years and rode nothing but brakeless fixed gear bikes so when the opportunity to test the new rush hour wheels came about last year I was a good candidate! I was impressed with the Allen bolt on hub design , bearing quality, color , and sturdy rim choice. I rode them with for a few months and was satisfied with their durability, good looks and got a lot of positive comments from other riders . Well I had to sadly give those wheels back for the 2009 catalog photo shoot. A few months ago I was approached yet again to test these wheels and since I was recovering from and injury and really don’t ride fixed gear as much as I used to I thought it would be smart to let my friend Corey test them out.

Corey has been a messenger for the last ten years and is one of the fastest and best couriers I have ever worked with. Well he was stoked to try these wheels out and for the last three months he has been working forty plus hours a week on these wheels, not to mention his daily riding since he is a one bike man. If you ever spent a late winter and early spring as a cyclist in Seattle, you know it is rather wet out there . Not to mention when you have to be out there 9 hours a day! Well I checked on him yesterday and these wheels are holding up like champs ! So I have to attest as a self proclaimed bike snob these wheels are the real deal!

Below are images of the Rush Hour Wheels on Corey's bike, as you can see they have been well used and are still holding strong.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Avenir Woodsie

The cycling world is awash in multitools, Swiss army-like bundles of hex wrenches carried about by cyclists for on-the-fly adjustments and repairs. The Avenir Woodsie tools, available in 8-, 10-, and 11-function versions. A dollar or two more expensive than the Trail Tech series of basic tools, the Woodsies add a touch of style with real wood panels. Unfortunately, they're not as stylish as this Woodie:
The eight-function tool has all of the basic cyclists' needs -- hex keys in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm hex wrenches, plus phillips and flathead screwdrivers. I've got no idea what on a bike takes a flathead screw, but I've had some 2.5mm adjustment bolts on random bits that frustrated me when all I had was a 2 and a 3! Realistically, 90% of fasteners on a modern bicycle are 4, 5, or 6mm.

Woodsie 8

Woodsie 10

Woodsie 11

The Woodsie 10 adds an 8mm hex wrench and a t-25 torx. If you've got a SRAM / Truvativ GXP crank, let me tell you from personal experience -- keep an 8mm wrench on you at all times. That single crankbolt is the key to the whole system. If it works its way loose on a harsh ride, you'll irreparably damage your crankset. As for the T-25 torx wrench, this roadie isn't sure where it's useful, since those Shimano chainring bolts need a T30.

Really, though, you should pay the extra couple clams for the 11-function tool, which adds a chain breaker. If you ever hopelessly garble your chain, this plus a Wipperman or SRAM masterlink will get you back on the road full speed, without resorting to the walk of shame in your cycling cleats! It's actually a fairly useful chaintool for a pocket one, with a flip-out lever to give you the extra torque you need for a feisty, gunky chain.

Some super fancypants multitools give you knives, pliers, and kitchen sinks, but, really, this is what you need without what you don't. Except the wood panels -- those are just neat.

One quick word to the wise -- refolding that chain tool is a bit of an origami game. I get best results opening the hex wrenches, folding the chain tool first, and then refolding the whole deal. The extra-leverage arm for the chain tool is curved to fit snugly against the rest of the tools.

Review and write up by: Tyler Stetson

Friday, May 15, 2009


May is bike to work month and here at Raleigh America Inc many of the employees take part in the event… many commute by bike year round. Here are their stories.
(Feel free to email your daily bike commute)

The image above is of the Raleigh and Diamondback tents that were set up right outside on the trail. We handed out coffee, snack bars, juice, bottles and CubeRider lights that were donated from Sigma. There were many cyclists who stopped by and talked it up.

Tyler Stetson – CSR – Average Round Trip 65 miles!!!
I’ve always heard that roads were initially paved for cyclists, and that the cars latched on later. Riding in Tacoma, this starts makes sense. In the past two months, I’ve broken two spokes, two fenders, a water bottle cage, and ten flat tires. The as-yet unbroken record is that I’ve never been stranded and needed to call for a ride. I’ve carpooled in a few days, though, and when I’m sitting in crowded traffic on the freeway, looking about at the fleets of cars, tapping my toes on the floorboards, I find myself looking down off the highway at the trees, wishing I were out there pedaling. The rain can even be comforting, though I’d be a lot happier if I figured out a magic trick to keep my fingers warm and dry through it all. If you find it, let me know.

Paul Giarratano - National Brands Product Manager – 3 time winner of Drive your bike to work day
It’s all about the size of my shoe…. I live only 3.25 miles from the Raleigh mothership, and both my house and the office are located right next to the trail. It’s a quick and easy commute by bike, assuming the weather is nice – maybe 15 minutes at a leisurely pace, or 10 minutes if I really speed it up. But even with living so close, driving isn’t the worst option in the world. In fact, since I live closer to the office than anyone else here, I have the smallest carbon footprint of any car commuter, so if anyone should be driving to work – shouldn’t it be me?

Karl Kunningham CSR – Voted 2nd Funniest guy on the Raleigh phones (Jay Roberts jokes are untouchable)
Whenever I turn over and hit my alarm clock at 4:55 in the morning it means one of two things:

1. I am going fishing, or

2. I am riding my bike to work.

This particular morning, just happens to be one of the cold wet mornings that I ride the 56 odd miles in to and from work.

Often I am faced with the question: Why do you ride your bike to work so far away? To answer the question, I have a few standard answers; it is good for the environment, saves money on gas, helps my fitness, gets me a tax benefit, and keeps me from sitting in morning traffic. Of course all of those are true and truthfully, they are all part of the reason I ride in to work. The number one reason that I ride in to work is because I love riding my bicycle. Simple. I like the way it makes me feel—even if it means getting up at 4:55 in the morning.

(Only photo we have of Jackie)

Jackie Irvin - CSR Asst. Manager - Bike to Work Day 2009
Yeah, I rode in today …
This morning I got up at 5:16, got ready, racked my bike on my car and drove 20 minutes to meet my co-worker Jay for a 5 mile bicycle ride to work. The temperature was 45, the sky blue and sunny. As we pedaled along the Interurban trail, we saw lots of people out riding as well. How great is that! We stopped at the Raleigh & Diamondback tents along the way to say hi to the gang. Got to work and was treated to a grand breakfast provided by Raleigh. Good ride, good company, good food, great day!

Jay RobertsCSR – The man who knows everybody
I took the 5 mile ROUTE as a DETOUR to Raleigh with Jackie during the RUSH HOUR. We also VENTUREd to get home at an early time.

Garrrrrrrry NoldCSR – Man of few words.
“Garry went one way on his One-Way.”

Rod EasterbyPurchasing P&A Manager – Man of many words
Began riding in with more regularity March of 2008. Mike Brown (Diamondback product manager) laid down the Ridetime Challenge to all of us to spend more time enjoying our Raleigh and Diamondback bikes. That prompted bit more concerted effort to ride into work often. Family schedule at that time dictated I would only get certain days in week to ride, so was doing the full 26.5 miles from the outer suburbs into the Raleigh offices. Often riding home in p.m--leaving car at work--then riding back in the a.m. after hearty meals and good night’s sleep. That split also kept the riding time to more like 1.5 hours those days vs. bit over 3 hours.
June of 2008 started getting free to ride virtually every day, and took advantage. As traffic volumes build when going from Pierce County into King County getting closer to Seattle/Bellevue, I am fortunate to have easy access to the InterUrban trail, that runs parallel to my highway route, just a few blocks away. Enables me to pull off to any exit when things stall and I get that sneaking suspicion that “I could RIDE faster than this!” Trailheads at 13, 11.75 and 7.5 miles give me options. Most typically, 10.5 miles from the mall to office is my primary 1-way distance. 10.5 x 2 at five days per week is solid 100+ miles and feels pretty good on the legs. 30-40 minutes of riding isn’t something I need to fret about energy level or cold weather issues much at all. (Although will admit, when your water bottle freezes on way into work, as it did often this winter, you realize it’s pretty chilly out.)
I believe the most important aspect of diligent commuting via bike is to have mindset you’re doing it unless you have something specific you must do after work that requires a vehicle. Don’t declare you’ll do it when…….weather is dry, and not too cool, and you can get good night’s sleep day before, and remember to leave clothes at office, etc., etc. Might as well wait for Haley’s comet to arrive early if you want everything to align that perfectly on a regular basis! Think of the bike as your primary mode and what you plan on using daily barring special circumstances; not considering the occasional bike trip as ‘special’. Personally, my habit for years has been to cycle, stationary bike or run nearly every day upon awakening. Might as well ‘cover some ground’ during that effort and propel self onto the job.
We’re all very thankful to have employer such as Raleigh America with provisions for indoor bike storage, work benches and of course a locker room with showers. The support and encouragement of great employer is invaluable in making bike commuting much more hassle-free.

Trevor Knesal - Diamondback Marketing Coordinator - The Man!!

Typically when I “ride to work”, I ride in a train 25 miles, then backtrack 2.5 on my bike. So to be honest; I’ve only ridden all the way in about 8 times in the 9.5 years I’ve been here. The pedaling to fun ratio is just too high to keep me very interested in that much pavement pedaling. I don’t mind pedaling, but there’s got to be a payoff at some point and ideally in the form of hitting some fun stuff (like kickers) along the way.

Ideally I scramble out my door in time to not only cross the tracks, but also to buy a ticket before I board the train. I live about 300 yards from the station, so it isn’t much of a ride there (about 300 yards), but I still find myself running a little later than I’d like to be on many mornings. I love the area I live in, but it is the wrong side of the tracks for showing up late. There’s nothing worse than seeing the train crossing the street before I cross the tracks to board it on the other side. I have thrown caution (and good judgment) to the wind a couple times and ducked in behind the train (and under the well-lit and reflective crossing gates) after its gone by, but that’s no way to live (not for very long anyway). I’m careful to look both ways and on both tracks, but the conductor still frowns on that kind of thing and understandably so. His program gets a bad rap every time they have to scrape a body off of the tracks (even though a train should never be blamed for using its tracks nor expected to stop quickly).

On to less morbid thoughts. Riding on the train is very nice, both in the morning and in the evening. It’s very relaxing and it’s nice to look out the windows and sometimes to talk with fellow passengers. I say sometimes because many of the people on the train are no different than many of the people on the roads in cars in that they think you are an inferior species because you ride a bike. They make mean faces and act like you’re in their way – even when you’re definitely not. They have a certain elitist kind of attitude toward you because you don’t commute and recreate with the same exact approach that they use. I guess they’re ironically pretty similar to a lot of people that I see road riding. I like the train, but because it is so expensive; it’s a real luxury and I don’t end up using it as often as I’d like to. I get off of the train in Tukwila which is the stop before Seattle, so I have to thread my bike and body through the people who are in my way standing in the doorway to be in better position to win the race up the stairs when the train arrives in Seattle.

I like to take my BMX bike on the train and on my commute. It’s not only easier to thread through the self-centered and inconsiderate people standing in the train’s doorways, but it’s a lot of fun to ride. Since a recent wrist injury, I’ve been riding the Diamondback Assault that I recently completed. The thing is sweet and is a very good time to ride around on. Lots of gears for great acceleration off of the line and top end too and still similar enough to a BMX bike that it is very fun to ride. It’s all bike path between the train station in Tukwila and the office, with the exception of a short ride up a sidewalk to get on the bike path that goes right past this office. Even though it’s only 2.5 miles; it’s a good time and I consider it to be an ideal distance that allows me to get my blood flowing in the morning, but not to the point that I show up a stinking and sweaty mess.

Most of my rides up and down the path are pretty uneventful, but once in a while I’ll veer off of it far enough to hit kickers and have fun. The most enjoyable ride I’ve had out there by far took place last summer when I reeled in and passed a couple in their early to mid 30’s who were fully kitted up and riding super expensive road bikes. This was super fun for me because I was not only riding a BMX bike but also rolling a mountain bike beside me that I was delivering to a friend at home. I laughed, but I made sure not to until I got far enough ahead of them that they couldn’t hear me.

I’m humored by many things I see on my commute and along the bike path; from the rabbits that insist on crossing the path in front of you (instead of safely waiting for you to go by and crossing behind you), to the variety of greetings and non greetings you see from the other path users. It’s all pretty interesting and entertaining stuff if you step back a few paces to take a look at it.

What’s my point? Riding bikes and not having to rely on cars (or sit in traffic) is a lot of fun!

Thanks for joining me, Trevor

Picture caption: This is my Assault. It looks to be in the way in this shot, but the train was boarding from the other side.

Send me your commute and i'll post it for you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


A quick note for all the followers who are helping the environment by riding their bikes, reusing everything they can, installing solar panels on their roofs and anything else the helps keep this planet as green as possible.

Much of the card stock that Avenir is using is now made from recycled materials, 89% to be exact.

Our new packaging that uses recycled materials will have this logo on it.

Example of the new card stock.

The new look will be out soon so look for it in your local Raleigh and Diamondback dealers.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Forward

With springtime upon us, the snow will soon be melting, the trails will be drying out and it will be time to dust off our two wheeled friend that’s been hibernating in the garage all winter long. As a fair weather commuter this means one thing to me: craziness on my route to and from work. It’s a bittersweet craziness for me. On one hand the sight of seeing people out riding their bikes, running, walking, and of course the one guy on the roller skis makes me happy that people are out enjoying a little exercise. On the other hand, the warmer weather means kids and dogs are scattered along the trail waiting to do a kamikaze mission on the next passerby. Yes, I know trails are to be used by all and that I should be the one using caution when passing someone and yes I am sure you always have your dog on a leash. (which is probably 50ft long)

I am not afraid to admit that I ran into a lady because her dog, which was on a leash, ( a short 25foot leash) bolted across the trail as I was attempting to pass. At that point my only options were to clothesline myself, hit the little cat sized dog or try and go around her in the grass. Let’s just say I didn’t do any of those and ended up tackling her. After a few minutes of getting yelled at and her telling me she was on the side of the trail and how could I run into her, (Did you not see your dog run across the trail?) I decided the only way to win this debate was to ride away.

So you’re probably wondering where all this rambling on is going… TRAILERS AND STROLLERS. What better way to keep your kids from getting tired after five minutes and your animals from doing kamikaze missions on passersby?

This year we have taken the line one step further than it has ever gone before. We now have a Solo and Dual trailer. Dual means two kids in one little pod. Might as well give them each a pair of boxing gloves to duke it out during the ride. Both come with a stroller attachment. These trailers mount to the chainstay using an easy to use clamp and both come with an all-weather cover.

New to this year’s line we added a Cargo Trailer. Imagine a truck bed for bikes. The Cargo Trailer has a 30x18 inch cargo space, can carry up to roughly 77lbs and comes with a nylon cover. Now we don’t recommend (for legal reasons) that you carry an animal in the Cargo Trailer, however, once you own one you’re free to do as you please.To find and purchase any of these trailer/strollers, contact your local Raleigh or Diamondback dealers.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Twitter Contest Winner

A few weeks back I sent out a contest on Twitter to whoever was listening on that day. The contest was easy. The first person to reply to my Twitter post gets a bunch of free Avenir product. Luckily for us, Len was the first to respond. Little did I know, Len was not only an Avenir fan but an owner of not one but two Raleigh bicycles, including a 1968 Raleigh Sport and the 2008 One Way and is a follower on the Raleigh Facebook group. JACKPOT!!!

Below is a picture of Len’s Raleigh One Way. Len informed me that he rides to do random errands, lunch rides and commutes to work 2-3 days a week. Last spring he was the coach of his son’s soccer team and rode this bike to and from soccer practice each week with a mesh bag full of soccer balls, cones and gear strapped in the basket.

Len, Thank you. Thank you for being a cyclist, thank you for riding your bike instead of driving your car to work, soccer practice and to run errands, thank you for riding Raleigh and thank you for supporting Avenir.

To read the post that Len wrote on his own blog go here. To see the pics that he took of the product sent, go here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The New Avenir X Tool

This morning I was given the “opportunity” to name the new tool that we at Avenir have developed. I put a lot of thought into this and here is what I have come up with…”The new Avenir Tool.” So what do you think? Do you think you could have come up with a better idea? I hope so. Here is my challenge to you. Come up with a better name for this tool and if we use that name you’ll receive a tool care pack, plus the opportunity to tell all your friends that you were the brains behind the name.

This tool includes: a Chain Whip, Lock Ring tool, Bottle opener, and a 14/15mm wrench all in one. Its perfect for putting in your back jersey pocket or pack while on a ride or an all in one shop tool.

For those who accept this challenge post your idea in the comments section or email your idea to: by March 1st.

Thanks and Good luck!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Avenir's no Junker Junker

I’ve been contemplating what type of new product to develop for our Avenir Brand. It seems that just about everything that a bike shop could need already is being produced by either Avenir, Pedros or Park Tool. That was until I realized that bike shops need a place to put old and useless items. So before pitching my idea to our Product Developer, I thought I would get a mock up and get some feedback…

THAT’S RIGHT!! The Avenir Dumpster. Comes in that beautiful Avenir orange color that our dealers have become so familiar with. The Avenir logo will be strategically placed around the Dumpster.

For obvious reasons, freight charges will be dependent on location. (Good Luck Hawaii and Alaska) Some assembly will be required. There are some of you who will probably do some trash talking and think that this is a piece of junk. But I assure you that nothing that Avenir produces is anything that would be considered rubbish.

Once this item takes over the market I would imagine Park will come out with their ‘Big Blue Dumpster’ and name it the BBD-1 and Pedros will soon have their Yellow dumpsters. So I am posting this blog and dating it February 23rd 2009 as the original Bike Shop Junker.

Please feel free to post your comments.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hey Saddle Bags!!

Saddle bags, oh saddle bags, what the heck do I write about saddle bags. They’re black, they attach under a seat, and they hold stuff. Add a few pics and this entry is finished.
Ok, ok I won’t make this that easy. The Avenir brand currently has three different sizes of Big Mouth saddle bags. The 27, 55/73, and 73/103. As you probably guessed it, the numbers stand for the Cubic Inches capacity. If you didn’t guess it, now you know. All three are made of a Cordura top (Click here if not sure what
Cordura is...) and a rubberized bottom to help keep the wet stuff out. The Avenir logo patch also doubles up as a strap to clip a rear light to and the back fully unzips to open like a big mouth bass…mmm maybe that’s how we got the name Big Mouth. The new version of the Big Mouth bags have a Velcro strap which attaches to the seat post and won’t corrode and snap like the older version with the rubber band.

Starting off with the smallest of the three, baby bear. The Big Mouth 27 holds exactly what you need, and not a penny more. Many roadies will like the smaller size to hold only what is needed in case of a flat. I believe this one was wind tunnel tested too!! You roadies will notice dimples in the bag to reduce drag just like golf balls…ohhh ahhhh.

I decided to see what all I could fit in this thing. Of course a tube is the most important item which also took up the most space. (Unless you like patching your tubes on the side of the road and don’t bring a spare tube... but that’s just ludicrous). A tech tool, levers and of course the keys.

Next is the Big Mouth 55/73.

Great bag to hold what you need and maybe a little more. With the bottom zipped closed this bag is 55cu In, but unzip and bam just like magic the bag is now 73 cu in. With the bottom zipped I was able to stuff everything seen below, unzipped I could add my cell and more food.

And lastly the mother of all Big Mouths….. the Big Mouth 73/106. Most definetly a bag for the Boy Scouts. Unzipped this bag holds more than enough for an hour long bike ride. Tools, tubes, map, compass (for those who won’t go buy a GPS unit), flint and steel...or in my bag, tubes, tools, levers, wallet and of course food, lots of food.

Check out your local Raleigh or Diamondback Dealers to pick one of these up, unless you’ll be affended when someone says “nice saddle bags.”

Written & tested by Raleigh employee, Matt Millen.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tire Lever Comparo

Tire levers are among those products that people might question the sanity of comparing. I mean, who cares, right? They all change tires. I stopped saying that once I found myself stranded after breaking two generic tire levers.

And mister "I don't need no stinking tire levers" ironthumbs, don't even start.

If you are a roadie, you've probably heard of the "2007 Campy Eurus plus Michelin Tire" issue that got me stuck. I can't even imagine the hand wringing horror of flatting a heavy-duty mountain bike tire and having to get the thing off with my fingers.

So, what've we got here? A whole selection of tire levers. 

AVENIR STANDARD TIRE LEVERS -- these are basic, plastic tire levers. They do what you'd expect, they're affordable.
AVENIR HEAVY DUTY TIRE LEVERS -- the same, only thicker and tougher stuff.
AVENIR STEEL CORE TIRE LEVERS -- Ever since alloy rims became the standard, steel tire levers went out. You don't want to nick or ding an alloy rim with harder steel. The steel core tire lever has, like its name implies, a metal bar contained within a sheath of plastic. It's heavier, but essentially unbreakable.

PEDRO'S TIRE LEVERS -- these have become something of my gold standard tire lever. They're thinner and wider than the standard box-section lever. I think it makes them slide under the bead easier, and I haven't broken one yet.
SKS TIRE LEVERS -- These are weird, and I can't figure out if they have a model name. They clip together in a pair. They're really thin. They're orange. Will they break?
Park TL-1 TIRE LEVERS -- Because park feels the need to give everything an alphanumeric description, and make everything blue, we have these. Other than that, since Park is pretty much the Snap-On of the bike tools industry, I'm going to declare these the "archetypical tire lever" and go from there.

So, let's get it done.

The Avenir Standard Tire levers should fill many seat bags around the world. They're nylon, and you won't have them forever, but for the average comfort rider, it's the right choice. I did manage to break one, though I had to try a little bit, on a 700x25 Vittoria Zaffiro road tire on the stock wheel on a Raleigh Clubman. They come in a card of three, and in all the tires I've changed, I've never managed to figure out what one's meant to do with the third lever, so I figure it's a spare anyhow.

The Heavy Duty levers are much the same, but tougher. If you're taking a bike out on a trek a little farther from a potential rescue, I'd take these. I didn't sit there hammering on them, but I didn't break them, either.

With the SKS orange tire levers, as soon as I detached them, I thought, "are these really going to work?" With my Vittoria Open Course on a road tire, they did, as their thin size allows them to slide fairly easily under the bead of the tire. Then again, I can change Open Courses with just my thumbs if I need to, so that's not much of an endorsement.

Next, I tried the SKS levers on a 700x38, steel-beaded Vittoria Randonneur tire. I didn't actually SNAP the lever, but the lever bent, rather than the bead of the tire! That doesn't help. I think that these might be a good thing for the super-minimalist flat repair kit that roadies carry on their group rides. You know, the one in the jersey pocket consisting of an ultralight tube, an Innovations Air Chuck, and a microtool? This goes right along. After all, someone in the group will have real repair stuff if you break these, right?

I don't think I could describe the difference between the basic Park TL-1 tire levers and the Avenir ones, though I think their thickness falls somewhere between the standard and the heavy duty. If you break one, you have broken blue plastic instead of broken black plastic. How about that?

Avenir's Steel Core levers are a new product, similar to another major manufacturer's, and a great deal. The idea is to mix the toughness of a steel tire lever with a plastic sheath as mentioned above. It took me a moment to make good use of these on road tires, as they are a little thicker than a standard lever. The hardest part is working the thin chamfered edge under the tire's bead and feeding the main body through.

At first, I tried to just slide the tip of the lever underneath the bead and pull, but the bead just snapped back over the lever. I realized that I was automatically resisting levering from the center portion of the tire lever, since this is where you're likely to break an all-nylon piece. Once upon a time, I snapped a basic plastic tire lever doing an operation like this, and a bit of plastic flew back and bounced off of my glasses, which I was glad I was still wearing!

With the steel core lever, I just wiggled the whole deal between the tire and tube and went for it. On the 700x38 Sojourn tires, this worked like a charm. On skinnier rims and 700 x 25 tires, it was harder to get the lever under the bead – there just wasn’t enough room. What I don’t have is a heavy-duty downhill bike and the notoriously difficult to remove tires, but I’d wager this thing would make a difference there.

Also, of course, the steel-core levers are much heavier than nylon ones. You think? But, really, they’re overkill on a basic road bike. I think I’d only bring these with me on a hardcore mountain bike ride, which your humble narrator has done little of, but they’re a great asset to have in your toolkit. Your thumbs will thank you.

Available anywhere Avenir parts and accessories are sold. You can buy “carded” sets of levers, but if your shop is in the know, they’ll buy a display box of 50 (steel core) or 100 (standard) levers and let you grab and go.

Tested and written by Tyler Stetson, Raleigh employee & daily bike commuter.
(click images to enlarge)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fender Frenzy

Easy to install, two of the most affordable fenders on the market (59-08-000/005 and 59-08-010/012). Developed by our product developer in Seattle, so you know we understand the wet stuff, and how to keep the rooster tails off our backs. Can be found at Raleigh Dealers across the US.

(click images for larger view)

If you’re riding a lot in the rain, check out the RainCity bags further down this page, to keep your stuff dry during wet rides.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Combo Lock Instructions

Here is the Combination Lock Instruction Sheet.

Some Avenir resettable combo locks 
were shipped without these instructions 
(80-27-424 and 80-27-426), 
and for this we apologize.
(click image for larger view)