Clever stuff

Clever Cycles (the shop) is still a construction site. We’re looking at opening in June. Meanwhile, we’re selling Bakfietsen at a good clip, and assembling inventory of other kinds. Eventually we’ll sell much of the stuff we carry online, but while we work on getting a full-blown online store going, there’s stuff accumulating in storage that we’d prefer to start moving.

Remember Rainlegs? They’re assless chaps for biking in the rain. They work better than rain pants because you don’t get all sweaty, and you roll them up to wear like a belt until needed. Naturally you need fenders too. Kent Petersen, who rides more than you do, also likes them. They’re Dutch. We thought that we’d be the first US importer, but Wallingford Bike Parts in Louisiana beat us. We’re first in the Northwest, anyway. If you don’t buy some, it will probably rain more this spring, much more.

<!–form action=”https://checkout.google.com/cws/v2/Merchant/518538427110751/checkout” id=”BB_BuyButtonForm” method=”post” name=”BB_BuyButtonForm”>

Price includes shipping and handling in the US.

If $60 is too steep, there’s a crotchless execution of the basic idea made right here in Portland for just $5. Warning: keep away from flames.

Next are Reelights, which we wrote about long ago. They are no-battery blinkies, sold as a set, front and rear. Hub generator lighting is the ultimate solution, but costly especially if you ride many bikes, and sometimes overkill for riding in well-lit urban areas; Reelights mean you’ll never get caught completely unlit. We love them on our Bromptons. They come in two flavors: a cheaper, brighter set and one that keeps blinking for a good while after your wheels stop.

Prices include shipping and handling in the US.

33 thoughts on “Clever stuff”

  • [...] [Note: Clever Cycles is now selling these.] [...]

    Reply
  • John

    According to Google, you're the first person to use the phrase "crotchless execution." Impressive!

    Reply
  • Neil

    And you do realise that "assless chaps" means something entirely different in English (as opposed to American).

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    How come none of this stuff is linked from the Clever Cycles front page?

    Reply
  • Todd

    Scott, because I'd rather update the Clever Cycles site in a big way once we have more than a few things to sell and the means to fulfill efficiently. Being open, in our space, would be especially nice. Meanwhile I don't want to orphan the Stokemonkey stuff by burying it amid a bunch of "coming soon"-type messages about the rest of our lineup at Clever Cycles. Those reasons and that it takes time. But I'm working on it.

    Reply
  • Matt M

    Ahh! I've been waiting for these lights. Which reelight do you like better? How much brighter is the cheaper version than the remain-on version? Is there a cheaper price for no shipping? My shop is only a few blocks from your future location. Thanks

    Reply
  • Todd

    Matt, I've been using the first-generation Reelights without standlight functionality. I haven't tried the new generation, though I recall reading somewhere that the 2gen non-standlight version is supposed to be much brighter than what I've got -- that would be very bright indeed. Dean installed a set of the standlight-flavored ones. They work as advertised; I've seen them only in daylight so can't speak to their brightness. Take $5 off for no shipping, though it can be tricky to catch us in advance of our opening.

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    Ahh! Thanks for the explanation, Todd. I can follow that logic. Wishing you the best as you continue to prepare!

    Thanks for making the time for the test rides on Saturday. It was a very educational experience!

    Reply
  • Matt M

    Todd,
    Thanks for the info.
    2 more questions- Can they be modified to be used with an xtracycle or bike trailer? Also, can they be turned completly off so that it is not flashing in the face of a child sitting in a trailer?
    Thanks
    Matt

    Reply
  • Todd

    Matt, the rear light would be obscured by the Xtracycle's sling material, so not a great match there. They can't be turned off, but they could be installed on the wheels of many trailers so no flashing-in-kid-face. Should work on pretty much any spoked wheel with either a quick release or bolt-on axle. We have extra-long brackets available so the lights will clear disk or drum brakes, too.

    Reply
  • Matt M

    Todd,
    I was guessing that they wouldn't work with the xtra-sling. But it also sounds like they won't work with the Chariot trailers. They have an odd wheel mount. I'll stop in when you open and check them out.
    Thanks,
    Matt

    Reply
  • wolfy

    Been looking for those lights for a while!

    I'm all set for assless chaps...

    -M

    Reply
  • Brendan

    Reelights are available on Ebay for about 60% of that price! Do an ebay search for Reelight and an australian ebay store comes up. They ship worldwide and the prices are reasonable!

    Reply
  • Todd

    Brendan! I had a look at your eBay store, and priced your Reelights! After the $17 flat rate shipping from Australia to the United States, your price comes out $3.55 lower. How long do they take to arrive from Australia? By air? Supposing I want to return the lights for a refund; do I pay return shipping costs to Australia? Are yours the dimmer first-generation lights, or the newer sort? Should I charge you commission for advertising your bargain on my site? How's $3.55 sound? Is that about your margin?

    Reply
  • Jim

    I've made the decision to not make much effort to compete on price. Some things I sell are priced on the low side, and some are on the high side. Interestingly, some of my least competitively priced items are my best sellers. Why? Because I'm good at selling them, because the internet doesn't do installations of new handlebars, because I have the item in stock when my competitors don't.

    On a semi-related note, I deal with a lot of bargain hunters who get low-ball prices on ebay, then bring me a sackful of parts to be installed on their bikes. It is almost never a bargain in the end. Hmmm. That Chris King headset you brought me to install in your classic frame is for BMX bikes. Hmmm. Those brake levers usually come with cables and housing, which cost more than the $10 you saved. Hmmm. Those shiny short reach Dura-Ace brakes aren't going to work with anything but 27" wheels. Obviously, ebay can be a good way to get deals, but only for the patient bidder and only for the person who knows what to look for. For the few extra dollars it costs to buy stuff from me, there is much less risk and assurance that no money will be wasted on bargains that are actually unsuitable parts.

    Reply
  • Val

    Indeed, it is always worth remembering that someone else will usually be selling whatever it is for less than you. Trying to match or beat everyone else's price is just plain silly. My answer to people telling me that they could buy it cheaper somewhere else was always: "Buy if there, then." If it happened too much with any one item, I stopped carrying that item, but usually it is not a problem.

    Reply
  • Mauricio Babilonia

    Jeez, Todd, if you read the fine print on Brendon's page, you'll answer at least one of your questions:
    Returns will only be accepted in the event of a faulty item. Refund will be excluding all postage costs.
    Also, you're right—there's no part number anywhere to be found in his eBay description. I think they're the crotchless model...

    Reply
  • Jim

    Another approach is to be the high price leader. Then people will wonder what's wrong with all the similar items selling for lower prices.

    My aunt and uncle once tried to sell a horse. They were anxious to sell it and advertised it in the local classified ads for a low price. They received lots of calls, but many seemed suspicious of the low price. Two weeks later they doubled their price and ran the ad again, and the horse was sold within a day.

    Reply
  • Ian Hopper

    The only caveat to Reelights is that they can not be used with magnet based cyclometers (which applies to almost everything except GPS based cyclometers): the magnets are so strong that they throw off the readings to the receiver. You'd need to be able to get the receiver 4-5" away from the reelight magnets in order to get an accurate reading, and that usually puts the sensor too far up the fork blades to be close enough to the spokes to get a reading (wow, that's a tangled mess of words). Todd, do you sell extra magnet kits for people who want to put 4 magnets on each wheel to have nearly constant on from the lights?

    Reply
  • Ian Hopper

    Go away Brendan... yer a leach and ye'll get no business here! Todd, can you erase his entry? I know you like to leave things up, but that'll just boost his Google ratings, and what Brendan really deserves is a strappado treatment. I have zero tolerance for spammers and thieves in general, but to me it's especially offensive here. Grrrrrrrr *bristling virtual hackles*

    Reply
  • Ian Hopper

    Hey Todd, if I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam, what size Rainlegs should I get? I've been pining for a pair ever since I saw them on Kent Peterson's blog a long while back, but there hasn't been enough rain riding for me to need them.. but now that they're available on the west coast... I may just have to go FIND some rain to ride in. :)

    Reply
  • Mike C

    Y'know, as I was strapping on my Rainlegs for my damp commute this morning, the thought occurred that chaps are *by definition* assless.

    Otherwise, they'd be, y'know, PANTS.

    Reply
  • Seth

    I bought a pair of the rainlegs today and wore them home. it is raining. they kept me dry. i like riding in the rain better now.

    Reply
  • Ken Nelson

    "If $60 is too steep, there’s a crotchless execution of the basic idea made right here in Portland for just $5. Warning: keep away from flames."

    The above statement and the accompanying fiery pictures clearly imply that DryHigh Rain Chaps are highly flamable. This is absolutely not true. Testing has shown that when a lit match is dropped on a plastic DryHigh Rain Chap it melts a bit and that's all. When the same is done to a cotton tee-shirt it catches fire. Therefore, a tee-shirt is more flamable.

    Reply
  • Todd

    Ken, I'm not sure whether your tongue is in your cheek, but mine was with the flammable thing. I didn't mean to "clearly imply" any danger, but rather to amuse with an obviously ridiculous reference. I mean, my Brooks saddle cover -- now _that_ is highly flammable, and cotton kills. Really I just wanted to work in a reference to the Flaming Bikes of Deth, with their cheery tribal campfire resonances, as a balancing image to the cold soggy one sometimes associated with year-round biking in our beloved Portland.

    Reply
  • Bruce Alan Wilson
    Bruce Alan Wilson June 25, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I've just installed the Reelights on my Trek Mountaineer and they don't work. The installation looks exactly like the diagram, but the light doesn't come on. What's up?

    Reply
  • Mauricio Babilonia

    I took some photos of a set of properly installed Reelights a while back and wrote a little review on my blog.

    Reply
  • Jim

    Bruce: We have been playing with the SL120 Reelights for a month or so. It takes a little riding before they come on. We spun the wheel by hand for quite awhile before they started to blink weakly. The SL100 Reelights should come on immediately on the first spin of the wheel if properly installed.

    Reply
  • Todd

    According to my records, Bruce, you bought the SL100 model. As Jim says, they should work immediately if correctly installed. Any chance you have a digital camera you could point at the install? How close do the magnets pass the light heads? Mauricio's photos are great, too, as a reference.

    Reply
  • Bruce Wilson

    Thanks. I'll try your suggestions.

    Reply
  • Bruce Wilson

    My initial installation looked like Mauricio's, except that the distance between the light and the magnet was rather farther. I took it off and re-installed it INSIDE the frame rather than outside. They are closer, but still farther apart than Mauricio's picture. I do get an occasional flash, but not the constant blinking when in motion. I can't think of getting it any closer.

    Reply
  • Todd

    Bruce, the light heads are mounted on ductile steel arms. Bend the arms and/or reposition the magnets as necessary so the magnets pass the light heads by about a millimeter.

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson
    Bruce A. Wilson June 29, 2007 at 6:21 am

    I'll try that; I was afraid of breaking them, which is why I didn't try it sooner.

    Reply
Leave a Reply