Apparently someone is actually reading this blog--very happy news to the writers union, which had been threatening a strike. We enjoy having an outlet to discuss bikes, shop stuff, and cycling in general in a what we hope is a comfortable environment (e.g. your couch or big comfy desk chair). However, we would like to note that this is not actually a public forum, but an extension of the shop itself. We encourage comments, discussion, and critique (or criticism), but just as with the physical location, we will not allow content that we feel could be offensive, even if it was not intended to be. (The exception is for those who are offended by censorship, for whom the entire blog is now offensive.) Everybody cool with that? Ok, great. Moving on.

A young woman came in to purchase a pair of tubes last week, and while checking out at the front desk she chuckled at the 1(one)World2(two)Wheels pamphlets we have on display. What's funny about saving the world, you might ask. How about printing pamphlets about it. On 10(ten)% recycled paper at that. 2 (two) points to you for noticing that, madam. I'll give you a patch kit next time you're visit ;)

The Shower Test
Remember when "waterproof" meant "water shall not pass." Well wake up: it's 2009, and your contents may be hot after heating. Perhaps even "water proof" has been assigned a legal definition of which I am unaware. Anyway, a recent constructive comment regarding the water proofness of Axiom bags prompted a grammatical discussion that required three bike shop employees, a shower, and a cat to resolve (props to Michael for being on my side):
BTW, all reviews on the internet overstate how the Axiom Panniers are NOT water proof.
Since we handed down a split decision on the meaning of this sentence, we rented some time in the Shire Shower Test Facilities. This is the same test that Klaus was so kind to perform for me two winters ago when I was looking for a new messenger bag. (I bought a Bailey Works, and it changed my life.) It's simple: stuffed the bag with paper, put it in the shower for a few minutes (yes, with the water on), and inspect the contents. See photo documentation below:

Results: After a nervous five minutes of spraying the bag from every, we ordered a cat scan, which came back negative for H2(two)O contamination in the main pocket. The small outer pocket, on the other hand, accumulated about 4 (four) cm of water (as shown), all of which entered through the zipper. Perhaps Axiom was trying to integrate a Camelbak for long distance desert touring. If so, excellent work. Regardless, don't put your wallet in there. Otherwise, Kitty says paws up.

Things we learned: don't believe anything you read online. Also, the Typhoon bags are waterproof (at least when like new...we'll see if that changes with use). Because they are made by Axiom, you cannot dispute this. Thank you, Axiom, for restoring a small, dry pocket of sanity to this wet and wild world.

Finally, Anona, Nick, and I had the day off, so we stopped by the shop to see if anyone showed up for the Tuesday night ride. Nobody did, but there was a full crew for the basic mechanical class. And the coolest thing was that 2 (two) people actually rode their bikes there! Good work, students. You're learnding!


  1. Keep writing your blog Axel. You have talent and wisdom in your words. I wish you the best in your future endeavors. Keep going for the goal that you have set for yourself in life (whatever that may be). If it includes a bicycle, it is well worth while.

  2. Although I have never ridden my bicycle in a shower, I'll be happy to consider the Axiom bags the next time I consider doing so. If only Mother Nature were as kind as the Gentle Touch Massaging Shower Head :)

    Just giving you a hard time Alex. I'm glad the Axiom's are working out well for you. Hopefully long-term results yield a less expensive option to Ort's.

  3. I overheard the be/amusement at the pamphlet, which was especially ironic because I'd ridden by one on the side of the road, which had no doubt fallen out of my bags the day before (yea, I stopped and picked itup)... still, if taking the pamphlet home means a behavior changes, then the net effect can be positive.
    THen there's the plastics... http://www.melstarrs.com/elemental/2009/04/03/eye-opening-ted-video-on-plastic-waste/ -

  4. I'll try a longer test on the bags next time it rains...just couldn't bring myself to leave the shower running for that long.

    And now I'm curious if it would be possible to ride a bike in the shower--soap up the whole thing and ride it like rollers. Next post may be a home video...

  5. Now there's a commercial in the making...Can't wait

  6. Now, *that* would be something heretofore unseen... and a great reason to wear helmet and pads...

  7. What would happen if the cat was the contents in the test? If you do it again, I would love to see the pictures (just kidding, I know what my cats would do and the test would be very short).

    More seriously, if the small zippered pocket is not waterproof, doesn't that mean you need to add a caveat when so that the purchaser knows that only the main part of the bag is waterproof?

    Keep up the good work. Blogging about bikes is good.

  8. "...doesn't that mean you need to add a caveat when so that the purchaser knows that only the main part of the bag is waterproof?"

    Good point. Prior to our test, we suggested the pocket wasn't waterproof based on online reviews. (I assume all zippers are permeable unless they're on a submarine.) And really, the pocket will probably stay mostly dry in less (extremely) extreme conditions: one customer had her checkbook survive a couple miles of downpour there...but I wouldn't recommend it.

  9. Do you have enough soap? We are waiting for that shower riding test....