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Entries in cycling (2)

Tuesday
Dec312013

2013. Not the best of times...

Those who know me, will appreciate what a terrible year 2013 has been. It started with the passing of somebody close, and has ended in much the same way. The months in-between started with hope and promise, but descended into anguish and despair.

It would be unfair and improper; even harmful of me to go into details of events that have occurred during this year, but suffice to say, they have been life changing.

With a year so full of negatives, at least there have been a few positives to ease the way.

Friends and family have been there throughout, though there have been the odd chattering gossip-mongers who really aren’t worth any further time.

This year has brought me closer to my younger sister - we have become friends again. After too many years of very different lives and interests, she has been an enormous support - and, has become a cyclist too. Cycling is one of my great loves and though I don’t currently do enough, and I’m not as fit as I would like to be, or should be - just getting out on the bike, whatever the weather, is immensely satisfying and calming.

Other support has come from unexpected places and from people I know, but yet I don’t know. The strange world of social media. With the Internet, you are never alone. It sounds a bit of a cliché, because it is; but it is an undeniable truth. Whatever level of contact I’ve had on Twitter, in online forums, in comments, exchanges and likes (and dislikes) on the many web based services I use to post my thoughts and ‘creative’ output, and here, on my main site, it has all been welcomed and has all helped.

A rather fragmented, disjointed social circle, but one that has seen me through 2013.

In a way, my disjointed reality.

Thank you.

Very best wishes to everybody, for a happy and successful 2014.

Sunday
Nov252012

Review: K-Edge mount for Garmin Edge.

A few months ago, after a significant amount of research and justification, I bought a Garmin Edge 800 cycle computer - a decision I have not regretted for a second. It's brilliant. I intend to write a more detailed post about it in the future.

However, one down side I have encountered is to do with the mounting point on the bike.

It is supplied with a plastic mount, secured with two elastic bands. Although the mount appears to be quite flimsy, it is actually very solid and secure when attached to the bike. The issue is that it is best secured to the handlebar stem, which puts the device in an awkward position for easy visibility whilst riding; it's just too far back, out of an easy line of sight, especially when descending at speed, or climbing, out of the saddle.

It is possible to attach the mount to the handlebars, but that puts the device off centre, which doesn't look very neat, and still doesn't get it far enough forward.

Resigned to this compromise, I was interested to see a post on Twitter, from a cycling contact, about the K-Edge mount for Garmin Edge. At that time it didn't appear to be available in the UK, and the proposed retail price was quite high. It did get very good reviews from a couple of cycle magazines and I put it on my non-urgent wish list.

 Since the introduction of the K-Edge mount, several other companies have launched alternatives, including Garmin themselves. Obviously the position problem is a serious enough issue for a lot of Garmin Edge users, to generate demand for a solution. My Twitter contact bought the Bar Fly and appears to be very happy with it. Both the Bar Fly and Garmin’s own Out-Front mount are made from tough plastic - the K-Edge is CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminium. The weights of all three are very similar and pretty insignificant, at under 30 grams.

About a month ago, the K-Edge mount became available in the UK through online retailers. Stock was immediately snapped up and delivery dates were extended as the mount was put on back order.

I then saw a video review on the excellent Scarletfire site, run by another Twitter contact. This re-sparked my interest in the K-Edge mount and I ordered one from Wiggle.

Three weeks later, my mount arrived, and it's all I hoped it would be. It truly is a quality piece of kit. The design, machining and finish is excellent.

It mounts easily and very firmly on standard, round profile handlebars. On smaller diameter bars some packing or modification may be required. No packing pieces are supplied, but I’m sure most keen cyclists will have a selection of different thicknesses from other bike mounts and accessories; or be able to make something from old inner tube.

I’d heard reports that the disk lock part of the K-Edge was causing some people problems, shaving plastic off the base of the Garmin. Some have even resorted to filing the aluminium to slacken the fit. I’ve had no such problems. The fit is just right, with a positive click as the unit locks into position. The mounting head, which is compatible with the Garmin Edge 200, 500 and 800 units, is on a slider, locked in place with an Allen bolt. This gives a range of forward and backward adjustment to get whichever model of Garmin you have, in the perfect position.

Shown with a Garmin Edge 500 attached.

Since fitting the K-Edge mount, I've had only a couple of 50 mile rides, but within the first mile, the benefits were totally apparent.

My only remaining question is, can I justify a K-Edge mount for each of my bikes?

Well, with Christmas just around the corner, they're on my present list. I just hope that my close family read my blog.

 The three colour options available.

I must thank Joe Savola at AceCo Sport Group, for kindly allowing me to use the product photographs of the K-Edge Mount for Garmin Edge.