I’ve got products and books piling up for for review faster than I can open the parcels! We’ve been so busy with The Book that it’s all gone pear shaped on the product review front. So.. I’m determined to get started on the task of reviewing all this stuff before the pile falls over and traps me against the keyboard. At least 90% of the stuff I’m sent is really outstanding gear. Among them some of the nicest, most innovative and interesting products and publications I’ve ever got my hands on. The other ten percent? I was brought up to believe that if you can’t say anything good about someone/something then don’t say anything. An attitude which doesn’t sit well with someone who’s set themselves up as a product reviewer! But I’ve had one or two products through which suck very much. And honesty, in relationships and product reviews is everything. Knowing what effort their creators put into designing, financing, manufacturing and bringing their creations to market I find it hard to be as honest as I want to be. One of these products, a book, is a direct competitor with our very own the Cyclorama book. I’ll gird my loins and wade in.
… as you may already know, is my venerable Centenary Schwinn which comes out for the ’summer’, though this year’s rainfest barely qualified. The kind people at Nonusual sent me a set of their gorgeous Gropes handlebar grips recently. Black with red laces was the inevitable colour choice from the many permutations available. Now, it takes a lot for me to change the original parts on this bike. It’s ridden, regularly, which is more life than most Centenary Black Phantoms are allowed to enjoy. I swapped the tyres only because one of the originals had perished prematurely. I swapped the original steel dinner plate ring for a smaller – Profile Racing Imperial – only to save my knees from imploding. And it ‘fits‘ – this being the last (imperial) model Schwinn ever made in the US. The seat got blacked because I just don’t do brown. And that was it, until I spotted the Gropes Grips. I got the long version which, designed as they are for drop bars, has given me enough off-cut to do another two bikes. Yay! They went on easy enough. The lacing was a bit fiddly but not difficult to achieve a very professional finish following the very comprehensive instructions included. They’re finished off with some very nice cork grips with a big G. Initial concerns that these would immediately fall out were unfounded. They’re incredibly well made, straight, true, well finished and soft, thick supple leather. They suit the bike perfectly and I love them.
You may be aware that I never talk about prices on Cyclorama. A thing is worth what you’re prepared to spend on it. This is the kind of product, if you own the kind of bike that these would suit, that you’ll order first and ask price questions later.
If I had a 5 star points scoring system these would get a six. Highly recommended.