Sunday, October 8, 2017

HAIBIKE TREKKING


The XDURO Trekking RX is Haibike at its best. Originally known for producing powerful and sturdy off-road electric bikes like the AMT PRO, this bike is a pioneer in the touring and commuting category. You get nearly every accessory needed to deal with cargo transport, nighttime riding and damp weather conditions. There’s even a little hand-pump attached to the rear rack and dealing with flats is a breez on this and other centerdrive ebikes because the wheels are just like a normal bicycle. At $4K this bike is priced in line with other high end touring systems and the four frame sizes offered make for a better fit (something that has traditionally been harder to come by in the electric bicycle world). With incredible range, climbing ability and support provided by Currie Technologies in the US this is an impressive product.
Powering the HAIBIKE TREKKING RX is the Gen2 Bosch centerdrive motor now offering 350 watts of power. It keeps motor weight low and center on the bike frame (right where you want it for balance) and leverages 29 speeds for the most efficient electric drive of all ebikes in the Haibike range at this time. The rear hub is a Sram Dual Drive with three internal gears and there’s a nine speed cassette next to it that uses a regular bicycle chain. One of the neat things about this and other mid-drive ebikes is that maintenance and service on the wheels is handle just like a regular bike. The motor is smart enough to sense when you’re switching gears and that means you won’t experience as much wear or mashing on the chain and cassette. While the motor is a bit louder than some gearless hub designs (producing a soft high pitched whine shown in the video review) it’s not as loud as some and depending on the surroundings and riding terrain it’s not something that bothered me.
The battery pack used with this system is a 36 volt 11 amp hour Lithium-ion configuration that’s light weight and long lasting. It’s removable for easy charging or multiple pack use on those long distance rides. Even though the official specs say 25 to 35 miles my experience is that it can go much further. By leveraging the gears on this bike and always using pedal assist (there’s no throttle mode) you get excellent range. The battery has a nice LED indicator on the side that displays battery level even without turning the bike on which is nice. The pack is low and center, just like the motor, but does take up the space where a bottle cage might have otherwise mounted. I feel like they could have added bosses to the seat tube for a cage mount but it’s not the end of the world. There are some cool handlebar bottle bags, pannier bags and CamelBak solutions that can work here.
I like the Bosch display unit and extended button panel used on the Trekking. You get a large, backlit screen that shows speed, distance and assist level but don’t have to take your hand off the grip to interact with it. On the left bar there’s a small plastic button pad with up, down and info selectors. The other neat thing about the display is that you can either lock it to the mount with a set screw or remove the screw and take the panel with you (to prevent tampering and vandalism). I’m a fan of taking it with me during work commute trips where the bike will be left in a garage or public place. It’s nice that they give you the choice here though I’ve heard that removing screens too often can allow for dirt and debris to build up and weaken the electronic connection… just clean it every once in a while ;)
The Trekking RX is an electric bike capable of going the distance, hauling gear and staying comfortable with fenders, lights and suspension. The front fork offers lockout and 63mm of travel but doesn’t add much weight to the overall system. This bike weighs in at ~51 pounds which is average for ebikes but impressive here considering all of the options and accessories. It’s like an electric bike for non-ebikers who love riding but might be struggling with hills or longer distances. As with the eMountain Bike niche that Haibike first introduced and now dominates, this is another space that I feel is on the verge of adoption. The Trekking wold make an excellent touring bike, commuter or light trail bike. It has efficient tires, a unique frame with sloping top-tube for easier standing and hydraulic disc brakes that keep your hands from getting tired but provide plenty of stopping power even with a full load.

Pros:

  • Light weight frame and components, well balanced drive system (motor and battery low and center)
  • Includes integrated front and rear LED lights with custom matching design that look awesome
  • Rear rack is sturdy and functional with standard gauge tubing and included tire pump for easy flat repairs
  • Bosch drive system is efficient, smooth and powerful with removable battery for convenient charging
  • Stiff cranks, decent pedals, rigid frame for good power transfer when riding
  • Impressive 9 speed cassette with three speed internal hub for 29 pedaling speeds! Excellent for touring or commuting
  • Great customer support and warranty from Currie Technologies in the US (part of Accell Group which owns Haibike)
  • Four frame sizes so the bike will fit and feel great over long distances (48cm, 52cm, 56cm, 60cm)
  • Centerdrive design makes wheel repairs much easier than hub motors which have extra cables and add weight to the wheel

Cons:

  • The battery pack takes up the space where a water bottle cage might otherwise mount
  • Externalized battery and larger bottom bracket make it obvious that this is an electric bike “less stealth”
  • No throttle mode, this bike only uses pedal assist (like all Bosch powered systems)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The New Garmin GPSMAP® 276Cx



When Garmin introduced the original GARMIN GPS 276C in 2004 it was arguably the beginning of the GPS-era for Dual Sport and Adventure Riding Motorcyclists. The 276C-series appealed to us because it had the basic features we wanted - rugged, battery or hardwired power without compromising its waterproof and dustproof features, a reasonably high resolution color display, support for Waypoints, Routes & Tracks and above all, a glass display and button controls - no touchscreen.

Over the years the GPSMAP® 276C-series were among Garmins best selling consumer devices around the world. They still bring amazingly high prices on auction sites, like e-Bay, even in their discontinued-afterlife. Although Garmin has created several zūmo® and handheld devices targeted for the Motorcycle community, the discontinuance of the GPSMAP® 276C-series left a hole in the product line for many Motorcyclists which had not been filled - until now!


The newly introduced GPSMAP® 276Cx All-terrain GPS Navigator is targeting Marine and Automotive (terrestrial) use - just like its predecessors.

Although the new GPSMAP® 276Cx has similar features, this is not a dusted-off 276C. Completely new hardware and software make this device familiar, yet all new: GNSS (GPS+GLONASS), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT+, expandable industry standard micro-SD Card storage and a brilliant non-touchscreen display. There are audible Tone Alerts but no external speaker in the unit.



The GPSMAP® 276Cx has two System Usage Modes, Automotive and Marine. These are basically profiles to manage the settings and present appropriate navigation features and functions between these two primary uses. I won't spend any time discussing the Marine Mode or it features since most Motorcycles/ATVs/Snowmobiles don't float.



This time around the "Automotive" mode really means terrestrial since the Routing options includes all of the current Garmin Activity types from Walking to Mountaineering and Cycling to ATV/Off Road Driving. At 426g(15oz), I think this device might be a bit on the heavy side for use in some of the supported Routing Activities - like Hiking and Cycling - but who am I to judge.



The 5-inch (800x480 pixels), very bright, back-lit display is one of the best sunlight-readable displays yet to come from Garmin. It has the same buttons-on-the-right layout and functions as its predecessors. And yes, buttons-on-the-right is not exactly Moto-friendly placement - keep in mind, just like its predecessors, this device wasn't designed just for Motorcyclists.

For those who have only used a Garmin nüvi®, zūmo® or current handheld device, you'll have a small learning curve with the Menu structure but this certainly isn't the most complex User Interface among Garmin devices. The GPSMAP® 276Cx Owners Manual will give you a reasonable start up the learning curve - although, like other Garmin consumer device Owners Manuals it only covers the basic operations of the device.

If you use a Garmin Montana or Monterra you'll be happy to know, or maybe not, that the GPSMAP® 276Cx uses the same Garmin AMPS Rugged Mount - and, if you use a wired-headset, the 276Cx can be setup to pass Audio Out through the cable in the mount harness. The same battery compartment design used by the Montana/Monterra has been incorporated here as well which allows the use of three AA Alkaline, NiMH or Lithium batteries in place of the standard 'brick' Lithium battery. The standard Lithium battery has a huge 5000mAh capacity and Garmin says you can get up to 15hrs from this battery. I think if you used the Battery Saver mode and allowed the display backlight to time-out after short peaks at the screen, it would easily last that long.

The Garmin AMPS Rugged Mount has a security screw on top to make sure the device doesn't pop out. I never had a problem with my Montana or Monterra but the GPSMAP® 276Cx is considerably heavier so I would recommend using it - especially if you are traveling off-road. Hopefully, Touratech-USA will provide a locking mount for this model.

One of the big shortcomings of the old Chartplotters was limited storage - both internal and removable. The new GPSMAP® 276Cx has 6GB of internal storage available to the user - not bad! But, just like the M&Ms (that's Montana & Monterra), underneath that huge Lithium battery is a micro-SD Card holder. Garmin says they officially support storage sizes up to 32GB SDHC but the GPSMAP® 276Cx had no problem reading the 8GB of Maps from my 128GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC card! The only downside to all of that storage, the user cannot chose where to save data when using the device. Currently, any Saved data will be saved to Internal Storage - not the SD Card.
All Garmin consumer GPS devices have a power-up page that isn't the Map page and the GPSMAP® 276Cx is no exception. In keeping with its predecessors, the first page you'll see is what Garmin calls the Main Menu. I personally wouldn't have chosen the GPS Satellite page as my Main Menu but it certainly is the first page in this menu structure. As one of my many feature requests, I'd like to be able to choose the Map as my Power On page!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Solution for Gutters Draining on Sidewalks, Patios and Drives

sidewalk repair Manhattan NY, patios, and driveways pose specific problems for gutter drainage. Many times the roof design of the house asks a downspout in an inconvenient location. In colder climates water from gutters draining onto sidewalk repair contractors in Manhattan New York, entranceway could be harmful as the water tends to freeze making a slip-and-fall hazard. Draining the water into a flower bed between the house and the walk is not an option because the concrete or brick pavers will act like a dam, holding water against the basement walls and resulting in wet and leaking basements. sidewalk repair Manhattan was made to carry rainwater away from down spouts securely and discreetly across the sidewalk repair contractor Manhattan, patio or driveway.
Manhattan sidewalk repair

Think about your rain gutters as a total "system". Start by ensuring the gutters are clean. You don't want me to remind you that cleaning gutters twice a year is a must. The spring cleaning, following the seeds and helicopters, come right down, is the most essential. Many seeds float and immediately make their way into the downspout at which it'll become clogged in no time. The spring cleaning, after the insecticides and seeds come down, is the most important.

Three to four-foot extensions are needed in the base of the downspout. The decrease elbow should be about sixteen inches above the ground to ensure decent slope for drainage. The floor or grade around the house has to allow water to drain away from your base. Rain barrels can also be used to capture and store rainwater. There is a fitting in the bottom of the rain barrel, therefore, a typical garden hose could be attached letting you use the water as needed on your flower or vegetable gardens.

Now you can take on the job of draining rainwater under and away form regions where there is pedestrian or automobile traffic all around your residence. "Manhattan sidewalk repair" come in several premade styles and sizes. The very economical Manhattan sidewalk repair is a difficult polypropylene trough and grate and is suitable for many pedestrian applications. Heavier duty Manhattan sidewalk repair with of polymer concrete trough along with a metal grate cover that is installed across the walk or driveway will give a flush, safe surface to walk or drive on.

Do not use irrigation or pipe tubing because these will eventually become clogged and there is no way to clean them. Animals such as rats will use them for a house. The metal grate on a Manhattan sidewalk repair may be lifted for cleaning and because of it receptive to light and air rodents will find it an unpleasant place to make a house.

If you're working with an existing pavement or patio it will require any concrete or paver block cutting. The heavy power tools needed to make accurate and clean cuts are available at your local tool and equipment rental store. Be certain that you have sufficient slope on the Manhattan sidewalk repair so that the water will drain properly under the DOT sidewalk violation Manhattan. A French drain or a rain garden may also be required on the other side of the walk also.

A brick or concrete paver contractor may additionally install Manhattan sidewalk repair but as always, make sure your contractor is licensed and insured.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What Makes It Great - Sidewalk Sale

For more than 50 years, Downtown Lawrence retailers have been filling the sidewalk repair contractors in Bronx New York around the third Thursday of July with unbelievable deals that the likes of which you only find for the annual sidewalk repair contractor Bronx sale. Yes, even the weather is generally brutally hot, but that does not block the bargain hunters from going downtown to tromp up and down Mass Street scooping up the products.

For most shoppers, the annual sidewalk repair Bronx NY in Downtown Lawrence is as big a day as Black Friday. Thousands of ancient birds are lined up and ready for the opening rounds at 6:00 a.m. It is not unusual for sales personnel to spend Wednesday night and Thursday morning prepping for the purchase so they can hoist the makeshift awnings and start bringing out merchandise at 5:00 a.m.

For many, it's a party atmosphere and a bit of a friendly rivalry to see that store will get the bragging rights for those that had been ready the oldest. It never ceases to amaze me just how a lot of people will come out early to receive the best prices in Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, and the Gap. These shops have been amassing sale merchandise from toddler shops across the country to make the most of the throngs of shoppers that appear for this function. I have observed lines for finishing purchases that stretch 50 yards down the Bronx sidewalk repair.
sidewalk repair contractors in bronx new york

Packs of teenage girls and college coeds swarm the racks up and down the street and Lord help the woman who grabs that last size two skirt that is discounted by 75\%. It's every woman for herself on sidewalk repair Bronx day. I've seen lifelong friendships crumble before your eyes two buddies grab exactly the same skirt.

For retailers, the annual DOT sidewalk violation Bronx is a time to clear out the inventory rooms in preparation for receiving vacation product. For shoppers, it is a fantastic method to get a head start a return to school shopping. And for your City, it's a great way to increase revenue tax collections throughout the tired summer months when many KU students have gone home for the summer.

The sidewalk repair contractors in Bronx New York is also an excellent time for many non-profit and service organizations to achieve a large audience. You may purchase your raffle tickets to win the yearly "Casa for CASA" playhouse or cease from the Lawrence Humane Society stall to create a donation or purchase a t-shirt.

You could also join the World Company's tweetup and tweet friends and family with the latest bargain. You can make the DOT sidewalk violation Bronx one of those trending issues on Twitter.

When you haven't experienced the sidewalk repair contractors in Bronx New York deal, plan to come on Thursday, July 21st. You do not even have to shop. There's great entertainment just watching people browsing for bargains, catching up with old friends or just watching the world go by

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Portable Solar Power Systems Review

Why Buy a Solar Power System?


You can use portable solar power systems for a variety of reasons, from emergency kits you can keep at home to smaller, lightweight kits that you can take miles away from the nearest wall plug. Solar power systems provide convenient energy that is clean and renewable. As long as you have sun, you have power. The lower wattage panels, such as Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel can keep your cell phone or laptop charged, while the larger emergency kits, like the Goal Zero Yeti or Renogy's Solar Suitcase, will keep the lights on or even power the inside of your recreational vehicle.
Portable Solar Power Systems: What to Look For

Remember, portable doesn’t always mean it is small enough to put in your pocket or backpack. In fact, many kits that advertise as portable are heavy briefcases or even blocks that roll on wheels. Choosing the right solar power kit depends on your required wattage, adaptors and accessories you need, and how much you’re looking to carry.

Wattage

What are you going to be charging and how much power do you need? Prices will vary, and the wattage of the portable solar power system could be as low as 4 watts to as high as 1,500 watts. Don't buy lower wattage systems just to save money though. The lower the wattage, the longer it takes to charge. If you’re in need of power during an emergency, you can’t put a price on your peace of mind.

Accessories

When looking at different units, pay close attention to how and where the power is stored. If you buy a solar power system to charge electronic devices, you might also need to purchase separate accessories such as USB plugs or wall-style sockets. Some systems are so basic that the only way to save solar energy is by using alligator clips and an external battery.

Weight & Compactness

This is the true value of your solar power system, and whether or not it truly is portable. You should pay close attention to the weight, especially if you’re considering a system for a road trip or a long-distance hike. A 15-pound solar panel adds a lot of weight when backpacking. If it’s a larger system for staying off the grid, you won't mind the weight if you keep the solar power unit in a cabin or RV. Consider how small it is and if it's easy to store.

A portable solar power system is the grown-up version of building a fort. With the right portable solar power system, you are only limited by your imagination. A fully charged system could allow you to write on your laptop under the stars or keep food fresh without lugging around ice. The right solar power kit allows you to stay plugged in without the leash of the grid.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Micro-Influencer Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

micro_influencer_marketing_compressed.jpg


What Is a Micro-Influencer?


Micro-influencers are social media users unlike typical celebrities, experts, or public figures. They're individuals who work or specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share social media content about their interests. Unlike traditional "influencers," micro-influencers have a more modest number of followers -- typically in the thousands or tens of thousands -- but they boast hyper-engaged audiences.

For example, a yoga influencer might boast millions of followers and operate several yoga studios. A yoga micro-influencer might have only a few thousand followers and post instructional videos on Instagram for their fans to try at home, but their average post receives a healthy amount of engagement relative to the size of their follower base.

The Value of Micro-Influencers


Using micro-influencers may seem counterintuitive. Why would you seek out someone with a smaller following to promote your brand?

There are several reasons to believe micro-influencers might get better results for your brand.

Micro-influencers have better engagement rates.


Markerly studied Instagram engagement and found a surprising trend: As an influencer's number of followers increases, their number of likes and comments from followers decreases.

In its analysis, Markerly determined the following:
Instagram users with fewer than 1,000 followers generated likes 8% of the time
Users with 1,000-10,000 followers earned likes at a 4% rate
Users with 10,000-100,000 followers achieved a 2.4% like rate
Users with 1-10 million followers earned likes only 1.7% of the time.

Check out Markerly's graphical breakdown of how likes and comments decline as followers increase:





Source: Markerly

Markerly recommends brands pursue micro-influencers with Instagram followings in the 1,000-10,000 range. With micro-influencers, brands can achieve higher engagement rates among a large enough audience. In a recent study, Experticity learned micro-influencers have 22.2X more conversations than the typical Instagram users -- largely because they're passionate and knowledgeable about their particular interest area.

Micro-influencers have more targeted audiences.


Markerly also notes that micro-influencers have more targeted follower bases than influencers with follower numbers in the hundreds of thousands and millions.

Think about it: If a clothing brand partnered with a celebrity with millions of followers on Instagram, the celebrity could reach their huge pool, but a large portion of them might not be interested in fashion. Instead, if the clothing brand connected with 100 fashion bloggers with 1,000 followers apiece, it would be able to connect to a smaller but far more targeted and engaged audience.

Markerly CEO and co-founder Sarah Ware told Digiday that partnering with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters to promote a weight-loss tea on Instagram led to a significant number of conversions. However, Ware also noted that working with 30-40 micro-influencers achieved a higher conversion rate than when the celebrities were promoting the tea. In fact, 82% of customers surveyed by Experticity said they would be very likely to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer.

Micro-influencers are more affordable.


Micro-influencers are typically more affordable than celebrities or profiles with millions of followers. Celebrities sometimes charge up to $75,00 for a single Instagram post promoting a product. In contrast, 97% of micro-influencers on Instagram charge less than $500 for a promotion post. Granted, brands usually work with more than one micro-influencer to maximize reach, but even 100 micro-influencers would cost less than a single celebrity on Instagram at these rates.

For micro-influencers with smaller followings, brands may even be able to compensate them in the form of free products. According to Digiday, La Croix Sparkling Water (more on them below) sent a micro-influencer vouchers for free products instead.

Micro-influencers are more authentic.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Guest Post: The Era of Vintage Longines Watches



Vintage Longines watches started with the "Center-Pinions For Watch" patent Longines applied for in 1874. A couple years later, in 1876, Detrich started the Columbus Watch Manufacturing Company. By 1879 they were making about 10 watches per day. The success of Longines attracted new partners in 1882 and the company was reorganized into the Columbus Watch Company. Times were good for Gruan and his partners until the "Panic of 1893", a depression in today's terms. This depression combined with fierce competition from Walther and Elgin eventually led to the Longiness leaving in 1894 and the company finally failed in 1903. It has been noted that Fred Longines left Columbus around watch serial number 229,000 and the prior him leaving Columbus watches did not carry a name.

Ditrich Longines and his son Fredrick Longines started D. Longines and son in 1894 making high-quality watches. In 1911 they opened a watch factory in Cincinnati, Ohio called Time Hill and continued to grow until 1953. This year was the peak as it was the best sales year in Longines history. That same year the Longines family sold their interest and the president was forced out following a scandal. By 1958 the company, now called Longines Industries, had lost its direction, fell into severe legal issues, and amassed huge debts. To compensate it laid off employees and started selling off its properties, including the historic Time Hill. In 1976 the company finally went bankrupt and the Longines name was sold to M.Z. Berger. Although Longines brand watches are still produced today this pretty much ended the original era of Longines vintage watches.

During their reign Longines watches were some of the highest priced and prominent watches of their time. The UltraThin line with a platinum and diamond case sold for $1250 in 1929 (over $30,000 in today's dollars). Even the lower end watches in the SemiThin line sold for $25, this compared to cheap watches of the day selling for only $1. Some other notable watch lines include: The VeriThin (1904), the Cartouche (1921), the pentagon (1922), the Quadron (1925), and the Techni-Quadron (1928).

The VeriThin line of Longines vintage watches was introduced in 1904. Longines already was making watches of smaller size and now decided to move into the area of making them thin. The VeriThin did this by reducing the standard movement from having 4 layers of overlapping parts down to 3 layers. Although they were not the first to make thinner watches with this concept they were the first to do it with commercial success. These watches were about 7mm thick which is only about 2/3 the thickness of a comparably sized watch.

The UlltraThin line of watches took the VeriThin movement one step further by eliminating yet another layer in the movement. This reducing the operating layers to only two.

The Cartouche, as its name slightly implies, was a rectangle wrist watch with rounded corners. Released in 1921 it was designed as an elegant women's watch. The Cartouche used the first Longines movement specifically designed for wrist watches. There are over 500 different Cartouche models in the line.