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Top Bike Maintenance Tips

Bike Maintenance Tips

photo by Alex Bruda

Maintaining your bike is just as important as when you were learning how to ride it. Like balancing (which requires subtle body interactions), keeping your bicycle in top shape calls for a balance of skills too. In this case, the knowledge needed is in the areas of parts and maintenance. Below are some of the most favored tips to keep your bike in good running condition:

 

Tires
Bicycle tires are probably one of the most important things that riders are most concerned about. A well-maintained set of tires can mean the difference between riding home or walking home. A deflated set of tires would mean heavier pedaling. Air pressure should be checked regularly to make sure that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications. A gauge that’s attached to the pump is used to measure the air pressure. Normal readings are between 50-100 psi. If a gauge is not available, a simple touch and feel should be enough for you to measure the hardness of the tires. Also check for signs of wear and tear. Like the soles of your shoes, tires lose traction over time.

Brakes
You’ll know when the brakes work if you squeeze the handles and the bike stops while you are rolling it ahead. The bicycle’s brake system has 3 basic parts – the lever, the pedal and the pad. If you have trouble squeezing the lever or if you feel it takes more effort than usual, check for loose cables or worn out pads. In some cases, it may be time to replace them.

Chain
The bicycle chain gives the bike a smoother movement. It should be lubricated regularly so that it continues to operate consistently. Otherwise, the rust would increase the chances of the chain getting stuck during the ride. Chains also lengthen due to deterioration. They can cause “skipping” when pedal ling under pressure.

Lock
A bike lock is essential in highly populated cities like New York. It is a deterrent to thieves. It works by fastening the bike’s frame to a bike rack, fence or any other object that’s sufficiently strong. Bicycle lock manufacturers categorize their locks based on security rating and size. The bigger the lock and the higher its rating, the more secure it is. Locks require regular maintenance too. They are prone to freezing or jamming and will need machine oil to defrost them. Always bring a WD-40 with you so that you can just spray away when it happens.

The Best Reiki Books (Updated 2015)

Individuals who are interested to learn Reiki or any other practice still find it reasonable to look for materials that are established and have good reviews. In this article, we list down some of the most coveted books that students of Reiki have in their library.

Best Reiki Book for Beginners

Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art

Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art

Author: Diane Stein
Pages: 168
Publisher: Crossing Press; 1st edition (April 1, 1995)
Description:
ESSENTIAL REIKI presents full information on all three degrees of this healing system, most of it in print for the first time. Teaching from the perspective that Reiki healing belongs to all people, Diane Stein breaks new ground in her classic guide to this ancient practice. While no book can replace the directly received Reiki “attunements,” Essential Reiki provides everything else that the healer, practitioner, and teacher of this system needs.

Recent Reviews:
+ an excellent resource for beginners
+ a great way to lean what Reiki is all about
+ great for students
+ easy to understand
+ leaves you with enough curiosity to further your Reiki learning
– a feminist feel to it
– wordy, a bit repetitive


Reiki for Life: The Complete Guide to Reiki Practice for Levels 1, 2 & 3

Reiki for Life: The Complete Guide to Reiki Practice for Levels 1, 2 & 3

Author: Penelope Quest
Pages: 320
Publisher: Tarcher (April 15, 2010)
Description:
An exciting and comprehensive handbook, Reiki for Life contains everything readers need to know about the healing art of Reiki. This practical guide covers all points: basic routines, details about the power and potential of each level, special techniques for enhancing Reiki practice, and helpful direction on the use of Reiki toward spiritual growth. Penelope Quest also compares the origins and development of Reiki in the West and the East, revealing methods specific to the original Japanese Reiki tradition. Suitable for beginners, experienced practitioners, and teachers alike.

Recent Reviews:
+ well written and easy to understand
+ lots of background information on the history of Reiki
+ in depth / extremely thorough
+ an excellent reference book as well
+ complete with illustrations


The Reiki Bible: The Definitive Guide to Healing with Energy

The Reiki Bible: The Definitive Guide to Healing with Energy

Author: Eleanor McKenzie
Pages: 400
Publisher: Sterling (September 1, 2009)
Description:
The Reiki Bible provides a comprehensive, stunningly designed guide to this ancient spiritual system. It covers Reiki’s origins and development; the energy and body systems; and the three levels of Reiki. All the hand positions appear in easy-to-follow captioned photographs, and there’s advice on using Reiki for friends and family; at all life stages; for health and well-being; for alleviating common conditions; and in tandem with other therapies.

Recent Reviews:
+ comprehensive
+ easy to follow
+ beginner friendly
+ nice illustrations
– minor inaccuracies


The Reiki Sourcebook, Revised and Expanded

The Reiki Sourcebook, Revised and Expanded

Authors: Bronwen, Stiene
Pages: 434
Publisher: Ayni Books; Revised edition (September 12, 2008)
Description:
The most comprehensive book on the system of Reiki ever published, this book will become an invaluable asset for Reiki novices, students and teachers alike. Bringing together every important piece of information that has been taught, discussed or written about Reiki since its development in the early 1900s, it includes information from sources such as living students of the Reiki teachers, Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata.

Recent Reviews:
+ well researched and put together
+ provides good info on the history of Reiki
– the words are not as engaging as other books


Best Reiki Books for Further Learning

Reiki The Ultimate Guide Learn Sacred Symbols & Attunements

Reiki The Ultimate Guide Learn Sacred Symbols & Attunements plus Reiki Secrets You Should Know

Author: Steve Murray
Pages: 304
Publisher: Body Mind Productions (June 25, 2004)
Description:
This first guide in the best-selling Reiki, the Ultimate Guide series makes Reiki knowledge accessible to everyone! It’s the book some Healers do not want published. The book includes: Photos and Illustrations that show step-by-step how to activate and use Reiki Symbols, how to give and prepare for: a Reiki 1st, 2nd, and Master Attunement, Reiki Psychic and Healing Attunement. You will also learn how to Beam and Scan with Reiki, how to remove Psychic Debris, why the variations in Reiki Symbols, why Reiki Secrets are not needed, what to expect after an Attunement, and how to protect yourself, plus much more Reiki information.

Recent Reviews:
+ professionally done and full of valuable information
+ a good guide overall
+ a no nonsense approach to Reiki
+ great step by step pictures
+ a “must have” in your Reiki arsenal
– may not be a complete book for beginners


Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animals in Your Life

Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animals in Your Life

Authors: Elizabeth Fulton, Kathleen Prasad
Pages: 240
Publisher: Ulysses Press (April 5, 2006)
Description:
Whether you’re a newcomer to the field of energy medicine, an experienced practitioner or an animal lover committed to learning everything you can about your companion’s health, Animal Reiki will open your eyes to a new level of healing and well-being. From dogs and cats to horses and birds, this book is everything you need to understand and appreciate the power of Reiki to heal and deepen the bond with the animals in your life.

Recent Reviews:
+ a book for Reiki practitioners who want to expand on their skills
+ a good resource for healing and comforting animals in distress
+ a fast read for anyone trained in Reiki
– lack of step by step instructions
– not a how-to book


The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui

The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui

Authors: Mikao Usui, Christine M. Grimm
Pages: 79
Publisher: Lotus Press (January 3, 1999)
Description:
Translated to English for the first time, Dr. Usui’s hand positions and healing techniques can now be studied directly.

Dr. Mikao Usui developed the Reiki system and founded the original Japanese Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai organization. This book shows you the original hand positions of Dr. Usui’s Reiki handbook. It has been illustrated with 100 photos to make it easier to understand. The hand positions for a great variety of health complaints have been listed in detail, making it a valuable reference work for anyone who practices Reiki. Now that the original handbook has been translated in English, Dr. Usuis hand positions and healing techniques can be studied directly for the first time. Whether you are an initiate or a master, if you practice Reiki you can expand your knowledge dramatically as you follow in the footsteps of a great healer.

Recent Reviews:
+ very thorough about hand placement
+ a good addition to your Reiki library
– not as comprehensive
– not easy to follow
– pictures at the end of the book doesn’t help


Best Reiki eBooks for Beginners

Learn Reiki FAST: The Ultimate Crash Course to Skyrocketing Energy, Health, And Well-Being With Reiki Healing

Reiki: Learn Reiki FAST: The Ultimate Crash Course to Skyrocketing Energy, Health, And Well-Being With Reiki Healing

Author: Jonathan Chow
Pages: ~34
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
Description:
This book is endowed with information on Reiki practice and how you can learn it in record time. It gives an in depth description of the practice, its origin and on its use. The book highlights the benefits of the practice to the Reiki enthusiasts and gives a clear guideline on how to carry out the practice for beginners. Are you looking for a way to learn Reiki healing practices? This book will leave you knowledgeable and will guide you on your journey to becoming a Reiki master.

Recent Reviews:
+ gives good introduction to Reiki
+ helps you get started quickly
+ covers a few other topics beyond the basics
+ well written


Reiki Healing: How to Heal your Body through the Power of Reiki

Reiki Healing: How to Heal your Body through the Power of Reiki

Author: Trevor Morgan
Pages: ~32
Publication Date: April 9, 2015
Description:
Imagine how exciting it would be if you have healing powers in your hands. This book will show you the way.

Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Learn:

  • The Spiritual World of Reiki
  • A Brief History of Reiki
  • Fundamentals of Reiki
  • Chakras and Meridians in Reiki
  • Hand Positions in Reiki
  • Aura Cleansing

Recent Reviews:
+ provides bonus information on Chakras
+ gives sufficient details on the topic
+ teaches correct hand positions


Reiki: The Healing Energy of Reiki – Beginner’s Guide for Reiki Energy and Spiritual Healing

Reiki: The Healing Energy of Reiki - Beginner's Guide for Reiki Energy and Spiritual Healing

Author: Nirjharini Tripathy
Pages: ~43
Publication Date: March 29, 2015
Description:
This book aims at explaining in simple and easy terms, the basics of Reiki as a Healing System. You will find that the methods described in this book are simple yet powerful in their implications. The results will be visible soon enough for you to check out the progress as you move ahead.

The uniqueness of this book lies in the fact that it focuses more on the practical means to use this powerful technique in your daily lives and in situations that you are likely to come across every day.

Recent Reviews:
+ a good introductory book for beginners
+ contains quite a bit of information
+ easy to understand (for the layman)
– poor use of the English language


Top Bike Locks from OnGuard

OnGuard is a company specializing in bike locks. It is famous for its combination U-locks and its policy on stolen bicycles. Depending on the lock model that you buy from them, each product comes with an anti-theft protection plan that covers bikes costing up to $5,000. A registration fee is required for the policy to be activated.

OnGuard also created several lock technologies that are currently being used in its product lineup:

  • X2 Power Dual Lock Down Deadbolt Locking Mechanism – provides high pull resistance holding power second to none.
  • X2 Power Double Bolt Locking Mechanism – provides added strength and high pull resistance by locking tight 2 sides of the bar.
  • X4 Power Quattro Bolt Locking Mechanism – provides unequaled strength by locking the cross bar to the shackle on four sides, maximizing pull resistance.
  • Steel Ball Click-Combo-Gear-System – offers high security with superior protection from pick and pull attacks
  • Z-Cylinder – offers high pick protection and features BumpBlok technology rendering bump keys useless. Lock mechanism is encased in ultra-hardened steel to resist drilling or pulling.
  • M-Cylinder – similar to tumbler systems found on high-end European autos and has over 100,000 possible key combinations and features BumpBlok technology. Additionally, the tumblers will not turn unless the key is properly inserted protecting both key and tumbler from damage due to misuse. For more protection, the lock mechanism is completely encased in ultra-hardened steel to resist drilling, picking or pulling while an integrated dust cover protects internals from moisture and debris.

BumpBlok

  • 5 disc tumblers dramatically increase picking difficulty
  • Renders bump keys useless
  • Ultra-steel encased mechanism defeats drilling

Let’s take a look at the top bike locks from this brand:

OnGuard Brute STD 5001 Bike U-Lock – about $70

OnGuard Brute STD 5001 Bike U-Lock

The Brute STD 5001 contains a unique cylinder that provides optimum resistance against physical attack and picking. It is also equipped with the Quattro Bolt Locking Mechanism. Additional features include:

  • 16.8mm massive ultra-hardened steel shackle provides maximum cut resistance
  • Reinforced sleeve over crossbar and cylinder for additional security
  • Triple layer steel crossbar
  • Rotating dust cover protects cylinder
  • Protective vinyl coating on shackle
  • Double rubber coating on crossbar
  • Anti-theft protection plan

Based on the reviews, this bike lock has proven itself to be heavy duty. The locking mechanism has to be regularly lubricated with a WD-40 or similar products like a sewing machine oil so that it doesn’t freeze. Being a full-fledged and bulky U-lock, it isn’t closely fitting like its “mini” counterparts. The plastic casing was also an issue to some due to its delicate assembly.


OnGuard PitBull MINI DT 5008 Bicycle U-Lock – about $40

OnGuard PitBull MINI DT 5008 Bicycle U-Lock and Extra Security Cable

The PitBull U-Lock has two variants, the PitBull Mini U-Lock 3.5″ x 5″ and the full 4.5″ x 9″ version. Both feature a massive 13mm hardened ultra steel shackle. They also come with 5 keys, one of which is lighted for nighttime use. The PitBull is equipped with a Double Bolt Locking Mechanism.

Many users who provided feedback had issues with the mounting bracket. Since it is made of plastic, it tends to break after some time.


OnGuard Akita 5041 Bicycle Combination Cable Lock – about $14

OnGuard Akita 5041 Bicycle Combination Cable Lock

The Akita 4041 uses a Steel ball combo locking mechanism and includes a 6-foot vinyl-covered flex cable in the package. OnGuard positions this product towards students and small town bikers. In other words, the lock is ideal for medium security areas. With a combo lock, users need not worry about freezing locks, lost key or machine oil. To reset the combination code, pliers or a similar tool is needed.

Based on the reviews, the locking mechanism and the cable is strong enough. Although one reviewer had issues with the plastic number wheels during regular use. There were also times when the lock failed to open even with a valid combination. Nevertheless, the price is justified at a little over $14.

Must-Have Reiki Accessories for Newbies and Professionals

A massage table isn’t enough for a Reiki practitioner. He/She should have the necessary Reiki accessories too. These items aid in making the patient feel relaxed and more importantly, allow the channeling of universal energy.

Below are some of the must-have Reiki accessories for a more efficient Reiki healing:

Earthlite Disposable Headrest Covers

Earthlite Disposable Headrest Covers (100 count)

Prior to a healing session, the Reiki practitioner must make sure that the patient feels at ease. This piece of accessory does exactly that. It gives both participants peace of mind because they are assured that the headrest is clean and that no one else used it before. This disposable cover is a very handy item for practitioners with numerous clients.

The reviews are wonderful too. Several professionals mentioned that they are very soft and thick, and thus very comfy. Some complained about the packaging, but it was certainly not a deal breaker.


Earthlite Basics Fleece Massage Table Warmer

Earthlite Basics Fleece Massage Table Warmer

Table warmers are used by some Reiki practitioners during cold months or when the healing session is carried out in locations where the temperature is normally low. Some feel that warmers interfere with their energy work while others use them out of necessity. Whatever floats your boat, this Reiki accessory is a table warmer and fleece pad on-one. As a safety feature, it has an auto overheat protection.

A lot of professionals stated in their reviews that their clients love it. The automatic cool down setting also allows for a worry-free session. The long cord is another plus for this product.


Reiki Repeating Interval Timer with Gong Sound and Reiki Symbol

Reiki Repeating Interval Timer with Gong Sound and Reiki Symbol

This timer is particularly helpful in managing a practitioner’s Reiki healing sessions. It also includes a digital recording of a gong which sounds surprisingly authentic. The timer is based on the perfect symmetries of the Kheops Pyramid of Gizah which is regarded as a source of potent energy and balance. It is powered by 4 AA batteries (already included in the package).

The reviews are great thus far. The tone is just right for both participants to remain focused and relaxed. The owners like the build quality as well as the sound quality.


Seven Chakras Crystal Healing Balancing and Meditation Kit Tumbled Stones

Seven Chakras Crystal Healing Balancing and Meditation Kit Tumbled Stones - Reiki Yoga

These are natural gemstones composed of 14 medium and large stones measuring 0.75 to 1.25 inches. As a bonus, the package adds another 7 small stones and a bag. In Reiki, these stones have the capacity to absorb energy and have cleansing as well as therapeutic effects.

Based on the reviews, the stones are beautiful. It’s just that they weren’t labeled clearly.

Best of the Best Bicycle Locks from Kryptonite

Kryptonite Logo

Kryptonite is the leading manufacturer of bicycle locks in the United States. It created the bicycle u-lock in 1971 which set the standard for the modern u-lock designs that we see today. As a result of its commitment to security, it has gained several awards and recognitions from different parts of the world. They include an Emmy Award for outstanding commercial announcement, a Museum of Utilitarian Art Award in Germany for the K-4 lock, a Good Housekeeping’s Best Lock award and a Good Design Prize in Japan for the K-4 lock.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best bike locks from Kryptonite. If you’re looking for the ones that are under $50, then head over to this article which discusses the Evolution Mini Bike U-lock widely used by bike messengers.

Kryptonite 997986 Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock

Kryptonite 997986 Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock

The Fahgettaboudit is probably the most popular in Kryptonite’s product lineup. The company has its own security rating system ranging from 1 to 12, and this product is rated at a maximum of 12. Its 18-mm hardened steel shackle can resist most attacks, including bolt cutters. It also has an oversized hardened steel sleeve over crossbar for double security. The key lock is flat which is quite difficult to duplicate. At around $70, this is a heavy-duty lock and a deterrent to thieves who would rather pick on easy-to-defeat locks. With a couple of hundred reviews, there’s definitely something about this lock that gives a lot of customers peace of mind.


Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard Bicycle U-Lock

The Evolution Series 4 is a tough bicycle U-lock designed for places with medium to high crime rates. It has a 14mm hardened max performance steel shackle that’s more than enough to endure cutting and leverage attacks. It also has a double deadbolt locking mechanism with a disc-style cylinder. This kind of cylinder allows for more than a million key variations, thus giving thieves a very challenging and time consuming undertaking. If the Fahgettaboudit is rated at 12 on Kryptonite’s own security rating system, this particular U-lock is rated at 9 (of 12). At $67, it’s a decent lock for its price.

 


Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Also known as the New York MC 3000 U-lock, it promises to provide the ultimate bicycle security in high theft areas. This model is also the company’s flagship bicycle U-lock. Its steel sleeve is constructed in a “crossbar over crossbar” manner. Its “Kryptonium” steel shackle is extra-thick as well. Due to the popularity of this model, a newer one was released. The Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket is priced at $70 and is rated at 11 (of 12) in Kryptonite’s 12-rating system.

 


Kryptonite 999515 Black 12mm x 39″ (1210) New York Chain and Evolution Series-4 Orange 14mm Disc Lock

Kryptonite 999515 Black 12mm x 39" (1210) New York Chain and Evolution Series-4 Orange 14mm Disc Lock

Also known as the New York 1210, this lock is part of the Evolution Series 4 lineup and is a high security bicycle chain lock with an oval crossbar disc design. The chain is 12mm thick and is made of maximum-strength 3t hardened manganese steel. To protect and extend the cylinder’s life, the lock is equipped with a sliding dust cover. It is positioned towards big city riders in moderately high crime areas. It has a security rating of 10 (of 12). This lock costs $68.30. Many customers who have used this product stated that it really lives up to its claim, but it’s also very heavy.

 

Top 3 Portable Reiki Tables With Good Feedback

There’s not much choice out there when it comes to the best portable Reiki table brands. You’ll most likely be choosing between products from Best Massage or Earthlite. However, both of these companies are one of the leaders in the industry. Having said that, perhaps it’s safe to suggest that you can’t go wrong with the tables that they make.

This isn’t an article about Reiki healing, so let’s get down to what it’s really about – Reiki tables. Below are the top portable Reiki tables that practitioners have had good experiences with.

2-inch Pad Folding Reiki Portable Massage Table

2" Pad Folding Reiki Portable Massage Table

This table from Best Massage has a 2-inch thick padding with birch hardwood construction. The padding is a high density small-cell foam padding that’s oil and water-proof PU leather. It also has a removable and adjustable face cradle. The manufacturer claims that this is a good table for students, novice practitioners and just about anyone who wants a massage table but with a small budget. As a bonus, it comes with a free premium carry case as well as a bunch of freebies (accessories). At $72.99, it sounds cheap, but we’ll see what customers think. Based on the reviews, a lot of practitioners were amazed at its quality. It’s arguably the best bang for the buck Reiki table on the market. On the other hand, there were some remarks on the weight. At 55 lbs., it’s not that easy to carry and disassemble. There were others too who were concerned about the creeking/squeaking sound when the table moved.

Dimensions/Capacity:

  • 72 inches long (without face cradle)
  • 27 inches wide
  • 26 inches – 36 inches adjustable height
  • 450 lb. capacity (static weight)

Sierra Comfort Professional Series Portable Massage Table

Sierra Comfort Professional Series Portable Massage Table

This table is also used by Reiki practitioners. It has a 2.5-inch high density foam padding that’s made of PU leather and a removable/adjustable face cradle. It is waterproof and oil-resistant. It has arm width extenders as well. The overall construction is beach maple hardwood. The manufacturer states that this table is focused on professional practitioners. Based on the reviews, one thing that stood out with this product is its sturdiness. A lot of customers felt safe when moving around on it. Add a 5-year warranty on the frame, and it’s surely a great price at $116.99. Users also noted that customer service was easy to deal with.

Dimensions/Capacity:

  • 74 inches long (82 inches with face cradle)
  • 28 inches wide
  • 23 inches – 33 inches adjustable height
  • 500 lb. capacity (static weight)
  • 36 lbs. table weight (39 lbs. with accessories)

Earthlite Harmony DX Portable Massage Table Package

Earthlite Harmony DX Portable Massage Table Package

Eathlite prides itself in its eco-friendly products. The Harmony DX is a testimony to its commitment to produce massage tables from earth-friendly sources such as water-based lacquer and glue as well as managed forests. This table has a 2.5-inch cushioning system that’s CFC-free and is wrapped in 100% PU Nature’s Touch upholstery. The package includes an adjustable face cradle and a carrying case. Overall construction is Maple (legs) and Birch (aircraft grade decking). At $242.79, it comes with a limited lifetime construction warranty and a 3-year warranty on foam and upholstery. This table is used by Reiki practitioners too. The reviews were mostly from professional practitioners. Many of them confirmed the professional-grade structure of this table, with one stating that this is the table you’ll need for your professional career.

Dimensions/Capacity:

  • 73 inches long
  • 30 inches wide
  • 33-36 inches height
  • 600 lb. recommended capacity (static weight)
  • Passes 2,400 lb. static load test, 450 lbs. dynamic load drop test
  • 33 lbs. table weight

3 Top of the Line Headphones for Running

Top of the Line Headphones for Running

Those who have an active lifestyle recognize that music is an integral part of their workout. There have been several scientific studies that proved this point. For instance, a New York Times article cited a study from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University in 2009. The team found that the subjects who listened to music while riding a stationary bike altered their degree of effort by 10%. It increased or decreased by that much, depending on the tempo. A similar study from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2003 also found a 15% increase in the participants’ level of work due to music. Regardless of the results, it’s still hard to deny that a lot of people who exercise prefer to listen to music while doing their routines.

At the same time, many folks value sound quality too. After all, what good does your favorite song do if it sounds like a screeching tin can or a broken bass? More often than not, it will affect your mood as well as your performance. That’s why for individuals who work out regularly and likewise appreciate sound quality, there are top of the line running headphones for them.

While there are a plethora of headphones for running available in the market today, your choice should ultimately come down to the one with the best bang for your buck. In this article, we’ll look into three of them with good customer feedback and exceptional quality.

Bose SIE2i Sport Headphones (with mic)

Bose SIE2i Sport Headphones

This particular model comes with a mic. Bose claims that the audio is tonally balanced with crisp highs and deep lows, and that their very own StayHear tips conform securely and conveniently during intense workouts. It is also sweat and weather resistant. It’s compatible with most iOS and Android devices (3.5mm jack). All these features and more cost $149.95. With nearly 200 reviews, the consensus is that all the features of the Bose SIE2i work as advertised. It’s good for running even on extended hours and has clean sound. Even if they’re short, the cables don’t break easily. It’s expensive but worth the price.


Arriva Leo V2 Behind-the-Head Bluetooth Sports Earphone with Microphone

Arriva Leo V2 Behind-the-Head Bluetooth Sports Earphone with Microphone

This unit is Bluetooth-enabled as well as sweat and water resistant. You don’t have to worry about cables but will need to charge the battery every now and then. It is also lightweight at less than an ounce. For $70, does it live up to it’s claims? Customer feedback pretty much rated it as above average. Sound quality is better than many competing products. However, there were also some complaints about intermittent disconnections and convenience concerns.

 
 


Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones

Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones

The A8 is made of anodized aluminum and hard rubber. As a result, it delivers flexibility and durability. It also comes with a leather carrying case. At 0.8 ounces, it is as lightweight as the Arriva Leo V2. Although not positioned as a running headphone, it is sturdy enough to be used as one. As for the sound quality, it isn’t as good as the Bose SIE2i based on the reviews. Feedback is mixed on the “fit” department. At over $150, it looks good but isn’t for everyone.

 
 

3 of the Best Bike Locks Under $50

When it comes to the best bike locks available in the market today, it’s not surprising that the Kryptonite brand often comes on top. Since the early 1970’s, the company has developed a wide range of security products for bicycles, snow sports and power sports at different price points. Aside from Kryptonite’s reputation, it also prides itself in its legendary customer service, having replaced hundreds of thousands of locks for free as a testament to its commitment to provide truly secure products.

In this article, we’ll check out three of the finest bike locks for under 50 USD. Aside from the price, they were also selected based on hundreds of customer reviews.

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with 4-Foot Flex Cable

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock

This particular model from Kryptolok Series 2 comes with a Transit FlexFrame Bracket for easy mounting to the frame tubing. It also rotates 360 degrees in order to align with the bike’s frame more effectively. Moreover, it is made from 13mm hardened performance steel shackle which can resist cutting and leverage attacks. It’s disc-style cylinder is resistant to picking and drilling. At around $37, this is the best bike lock for it’s price point.

Pros:

  • The U-lock is sturdy as advertised. Crooks will have to bring a chainsaw with them to be able to cut through the metal. In other words, it will take them a while to get through the lock.
  • The price is a steal!

Cons:

  • The instruction manual is difficult to follow. It definitely needs improvement. You’ll be better off looking up for clearer instructions on YouTube.
  • The plastic mounting hardware isn’t easily replaceable and may also easily break.
  • At 3.6 lbs., it does add weight if you plan to carry the lock instead of mounting it.

Kryptonite Evolution Mini Bike U-Lock

Kryptonite Evolution Mini Bike U-Lock

The Evolution Mini Bike U-Lock from Kryptonite has an EZ-mount bracket as well as a lighted key for nighttime use. All in all, the package includes 3 keys (one is lighted and battery can be replaced). Like the Kryptolok Series 2, it also features a disc-style cylinder to better protect against picking and drilling. The steel shackle is made of 1/2 inch hardened high-grade carbon alloy. It has a short crossbar and shackle for a compact fit and better security. For a little less than $47, you’ll get a compact yet secure bike lock from one of the leading brands out there.

 
 
Pros:

  • At 2.3 lbs., it is lightweight and small enough (3″ x 5.5″) to fit in your back pocket – it’s greatest selling point.
  • Because it’s small, thieves will have a hard time getting through the lock with their tools.

Cons:

  • Will rust if left in the rain for prolonged periods.
  • The mounting bracket is sub-par and does not stay secure.

Master Lock 8291DPS Tuff Links Keyed 3-Foot Chain Lock

Master Lock 8291DPS Tuff Links Keyed 3-Foot Chain Lock

This bike lock features a hardened steel chain that’s reinforced with boron and titanium. It is then covered with a black nylon sleeve for additional protection. The keyway cover keeps the lock dry during rainy season. The package includes 2 keys. At $30, this is one of the best chain locks at its price point.

Pros:

  • The 3-foot chain is sturdy as advertised.
  • The locks is sufficiently durable that it can manage to soak in water for extended periods.

Cons:

  • At 5.4 lbs., it’s certainly heavy.
  • Key can potentially get jammed halfway in. Key in and key out carefully.
  • The sleeve is sub-par and can tear off easily.

 

Top 3 Running Headphones To Avoid

When looking for the best running headphones, there are definitely a lot to choose from. You’ll likely be overwhelmed with the plethora of brands available out there. Nevertheless, brands don’t necessarily determine the quality. No matter how reputable the company is, there are still some designs that it didn’t get right. In this article, we’ll look at the worst ones based on customer reviews. Then we’ll find out what alternatives are worth buying.

Sennheiser OMX 680 In-Ear Sports Earclip Headphone with Volume Control and Adjustable Earclips

Sennheiser OMX 680 In-Ear Sports Earclip Headphone with Volume Control and Adjustable Earclips

This running headphone claims to be sweat and water resistant and provides a secure fit when you’re working out. The reinforced cable based on DuPont Kevlar material is supposed to give you unmatched sound quality. But this product seems to have failed in the comfort and durability departments. Many customers have complained that it kept on falling off their ears. Moreover, some have claimed that it became painful after being worn for a few minutes due to its larger-than-normal size. The cables weren’t impressive as well. They said that the wires felt flimsy and didn’t last long enough. The price has been updated to $29.19 from $49.95, but you might be better off with a SoundSOUL U10 Sport which only costs $25.


Nike HJ030 Vapor Sport Bud Headphones

Nike HJ030 
Vapor Sport Bud Headphones

This headphone from Nike has an Ultra Lightweight design, adjustable earhook and a sweat-resistant earpiece. It’s aimed at athletes and audiophiles. However, many users have pointed out a design flaw in the hinge that connects the earbud and the earhook. The hinge eventually becomes loose as you move along with your physical activities. Even though the HJ030 has received good reviews about sound quality, it’s only sensible when the earbuds don’t constantly fall off. For $50, this product just isn’t worth the price. As an alternative, add $9 and you’ll get more than your money’s worth with the highly rated JVC HA-FX3X Xtreme Xplosives.


Arriva Sports Stereo Wired Headphones – Ipods / Mp3 Players and Phones

Arriva Sports Stereo Wired Headphones - Ipods / Mp3 Players and Phones

At $19.95, the Arriva Sports Stereo headphone prides itself in the one-size-fits-all department. It claims that no other headphone stays in place better. Whether you wear it under a helmet or with goggles, it fits snuggly on you regardless of your size. After all, it was designed and tested by the most demanding skiers, snowboarders and mountain bikers. But Arriva seems to have fallen short of its assertions. Several customers have stated in their reviews that the earbuds weren’t any better and that they easily fell off the moment sweat came out of their ears. The sound quality was mediocre at best. You can get an MEElectronics M6 instead for $19.98. It comes in several colors and does stay in your ear.

 

Best Amazon Kindles For The Money

Regardless of your budget or price range, there is an Amazon Kindle to satisfy your e-book reader desires. Since its first iteration in 2007, the product has gone a long way. Its price has significantly gone down as well. At this time, it now has a tablet variant that can do way more than just opening e-books and magazines. Nevertheless, it remains true to its purpose – to awaken the book lover in each of us in the digital age.

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With the exception of the Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD, all other models feature an E Ink electronic paper display. This technology is capable of mimicking paper that’s being used in books and periodicals. Kindle also features unlimited cloud storage for all content purchased from Amazon. In some countries, units that are 3G-capable can access Amazon’s 3G “Whispernet” free of charge. Whispernet allows browsing through and purchasing from the store’s online catalog.

Price Range: USD 69 – USD 89
Amazon Kindle
For as low as $69, you can now own an ad-supported version of Kindle. “Ad-supported” means that “Amazon Special Offers” will be displayed at the bottom of the screen or during times when the device is idle. It’s really not as intrusive as you’d think. There’s definitely no pop-up window when you’re readHoweverook. Even so, you can upgrade to an ad-free version by paying $20 to get rid of the ads. If you just want the e-reader functionality without all those extras found in tablets, then this is well suited for you.

Notable Specs (regular Kindle):
Screen Size = 6 inches
Display = E Ink
Audio = Not Available
Connectivity = Wi-Fi only
Storage = 2GB on device plus free cloud storage
Battery Life = 14 hours without Wi-Fi
Interface = 5 buttons, no touch screen
Supported Formats = AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, KF8


Price Range: USD 119 – USD 199
Kindle Paperwhite
At this price range, the Kindle Paperwhite is the best bang for your buck if you are after an E Ink display. It also comes with built-in light that you can adjust manually or turn off completely. At the time of this writing, dimming/illumination issues have already been addressed via a firmware update. Currently, the cheaper ad-supported version ($119) is only available in the United States. International customers will have to fork out $139 for the ad-free version. Wi-Fi + 3G variant costs $179 (ad-supported) and $199 (ad-free).

Notable Specs:
Screen Size = 6 inches
Display = E Ink with built-in light
Audio = Not Available
Connectivity = Wi-Fi / 3G
Storage = 2GB on device plus free cloud storage
Battery Life = 28 hours without Wi-Fi
Interface = touch screen (2-point multi-touch)
Supported Formats = AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, KF8


Price: USD 139
Kindle Keyboard 3G
At $139, the highly rated Kindle Keyboard 3G (ad-supported) is a great compromise between the regular Kindle and the Paperwhite version. It isn’t touch screen but makes up for it via a built-in QWERTY keyboard. It also has stereo sound which allows for Text-to-Speech translation. The ad-free version costs $159.

Notable Specs:
Screen Size = 6 inches
Display = E Ink
Audio = Stereo speakers
Connectivity = Wi-Fi / 3G
Storage = 4GB on device plus free cloud storage
Battery Life = 28 hours without Wi-Fi
Interface = touch screen (2-point multi-touch)
Supported Formats = AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, KF8


Price: USD 159
Kindle Fire
If you’re looking for a full color display, then the Kindle Fire can be had for $159. It’s an entry-level Android tablet with a mediocre 1024×600 screen resolution and a 7-inch screen. It surely serves more than its purpose if you just want an e-reader. Should you also require the occasional browsing or listening to music activities, then the Fire should be good enough. The Kindle Fire HD improves on the previous model with a 1280×800 screen resolution that supports 720p high definition videos and dual driver stereo speakers that support Dolby Audio. It costs $199 (16GB storage).

Kindle Fire HD

Notable Specs:
Screen Size = 7 inches (supports up to 720p)
Display = LCD
Audio = stereo
Connectivity = Wi-Fi (dual-band on the Fire HD for HD streaming)
Storage = 8GB on device (Fire) / 16-32GB on device (Fire HD) plus free cloud storage
Processor = Dual-core, 1.2GHz OMAP4430 (Fire) / Dual-core, 1.2GHz OMAP4460 (Fire HD)
Battery Life = 8.5-11 hours continuous usage
Interface = touch screen, 2-point multi-touch for Fire and 10-point for Fire HD


Price Range: USD 269 – USD 399
Kindle Fire HD (8.9-inch Screen)
At this price point, you can have Amazon’s top offering – the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet. Both models can support full HD 1080p resolution and can perform slightly faster than their 7-inch counterpart. They pretty much have the same specifications as the 7-inch model apart from the higher CPU clocks and 4G LTE support. The 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD is priced at $399 while the Wi-Fi version costs $269.

Notable Specs:
Screen Size = 8.9 inches (supports up to 1080p)
Display = LCD
Audio = stereo
Connectivity = Wi-Fi, dual-band
Storage = 16-32GB on device (Wi-Fi version) / 32-64GB (4G version) plus free cloud storage
Processor = Dual-core, 1.5GHz OMAP4470
Battery Life = 10 hours continuous usage
Interface = touch screen, 10-point multi-touch