Tag Archives: Made in Japan

Snow Peak Tableware

snow peak Ti mug MG-054Snow Peak Titanium Double 600 Mug MG-054

snow peak Trek Titanium PlateSTW-002T
Snow Peak Trek Titanium Plate STW-002T

Snow Peak Titanium Fork & Spoon SetSCT-002
Snow Peak Titanium Fork & Spoon Set SCT-002

snow peak Wood Party Knife NT-041
Snow Peak Wood Party Knife NT-041

Thru an associate I was able to get a unbeatable deal on some Snow Peak items. I first thought to only go for the Ti French Press and a baller mug. But decided to stick with my current coffee making method and instead upgrade my tableware. My stainless biner mug is good because it has a lid but that lid is a bit of a pain to open sometimes and it is only 12oz capacity (to the very top, no lid). Plus it weighs 9.6 oz. versus this being 5.1 oz in weight for a 20oz capacity. I think that’s an improvement even though I lose the closure option.

I never carried a plate on a bike tour before but adding 2 oz is totally acceptable and with a diameter of 7.5″ I’m sure I’ll be able to store this easily.

I don’t mind a fork and spoon that are on a diet (SCT-002 is 1.4 oz for both) but a knife has got to be a knife (NT-041 is 1.6 oz and length is 9″). The Ti knife in SCT-001 is so dainty it looks like it made for nothing bigger than those peel top mini butter pack you get in to-go food orders. Hence the Ti/steel mix of cutlery.

All are made in Japan.

Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens

RMC Tokina 135mm f/2.8
Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens (image source)

This old lens was a gift from a friend of a friend. It didn’t take long for me to buy an adapter so it would fit to my Canon. Right away I did some test shots in my house using my DSLR. I was not super stoked on it and pretty much just set it aside for a few months before I decided to shoot half a roll on my SLR. The outdoor portrait shots were way better. And this is a good lens I’ll keep around. Small, light in weight, and really good for portraits. But I lose AF, not bad because the focus ring is very good, and I lose light metering. That second part is not so bad either but does slow down my shooting because I resort to a free phone app that calls its self a light meter to calculate exposure settings.
Anyway, only 50% chance this would come on tour with me. But maybe, it is build tough enough.

Cost: Free +$30 for adapter. I did see a couple on eBay for $50.

Made in Japan


#RIP Fuji Superia 400 36exp

fuji superia 400 35mm film

Fuji Superia 400 36exp

Today I learned that my favorite, and pretty much the only 35mm film I use, was discontinued about 3 weeks ago. I bought the last rolls I could find. Gonna look for more tomorrow.

I love this film. very good, and a good price. sad now.

I was getting this for under $3 a roll

There are other options, the 200 speed in 36exp for a few cents cheaper. Or the 400 speed BUT in only a 24exp for about the same price. Still confused about why Fuji cut the 400 36exp??

Shimano FC-7803


Shimano Dura-ace FC 7803 30-39-52 tooth 172.5mm arm length

These arrived today with bottom bracket and wrench. I will prob get a 50t ring for these because thats what I have on my 105 crankset these will replace and i’d like to keep it the same.

NOS on ebay: $249 shipped
Made in Japan

Cateye BM-300G Racing Mirror

Cateye BM-300G Racing Mirror
Cateye BM-300G Racing Mirror

Cateye BM-300G Racing Mirror

This was my mirror for a while. When I set up for my first tour i was really still just a kid but i listened to older advice of having a mirror on my bike. Maybe a little dorkish but it was for my own use. I skipped the advice of mounting an orange safety flag.

I still carry the mirror, minus the bar end mounting bit, for shaving.

Made in Japan

Shimano FC 5703

Shimano 105 FC 5703  30-39-50 tooth 172.5mm arm length

I have a good mix of Ultegra and Dura-ace group on my bike. That does not mean that I can’t dip a little lower in the Shimano line and run some 105. The price difference from 105 to Ultegra is $100 easy, for just this one part. That does buy a better set of chainrings, but those are what I’ll have to replace anyway and 105 is just fine. Very good for this purpose because the 105 has a 50 tooth big ring and the Ultegra triple has a 52. I know it’s not much of a difference but it means I’ll be in the big ring a little more often which means I’ll be in the middle ring a little less often. I’m doing the math in my head and it equals a more evenly utilized (worn) drivetrain vs. the more expensive crankset.

Maybe that doesn’t matter but I still saved $100 easy.

Made in Japan


Shimano Ultegra Derailleurs

Pretty simple.
I was thinking back to my first tour, I spent so much time picking out things to have and deciding on what was, or was not important to bring. I have no idea what that stuff was today. I forget it all. Half the reason I’m doing all these reviews is because I’ll be able to remember what I thought was important to bring, or things I didn’t have. Probably lame, I don’t care. This is one thing, two, that I can check off the list. When the list is all check marked I’ll have no excuse not to just go.

Here’s me in 10 years: yep, that’s what my rear derailleur looked like back then.

Made in Japan


Panaracer RiBMo 700×32

Panaracer RiBMo 700×32

I feel like a few of pol0 players like these tires. And these are new to me but knowing that a good number of people in New York chose these tires is testament enough. Its not like they all bought the same bike that happen to come with these. this is choosing a good tire that will hold up.

I looked at them and they are a bit pointy. meaning not a softly rounded contact area to the ground. sort of makes me think that these will roll with less resistance than your average 32 size tire.

I used to like the Ritchey Tom Slick. These seem much better.  Probably are but i really cant recall the price difference.

I’ve been riding them on my touring bike for a couple months now. Good so far.

Made in Japan


Shimano SL-BS79

Shimano SL-BS79 Dura-Ace 10 Speed Bar-End Shifters.

The rebuild of my touring bike started in Summer 2009 and was not finished until late Spring 2011. I spent more time debating shifters, and delaying that purchase than any other part. I was a little resistant to using bar ends, I had become spoiled having done my last three tours with STI. This came down to money, STI is expensive compared to the other options. So, wanting to use my BL-7402 levers, my options were bar end shifters, down tube shifters, or thumbies. I was not going thumbies because I don’t want more extras in the tops, not with a handlebar bag, bell and computer already needing space. I didn’t want down tube shifters only because the only advantage I could see was they weigh a little less. So using this standard-for-touring-bikes is what I decided to use on mine. And there are not a lot of options I know of when looking for 10 speed bar ends so now I’m asking myself why am I even doing a review on theses?

Oh yeah, I like them.

Made in Japan


Canon EF 35mm f/2 Lens

This is not an expensive lens. It’s been in production for over 20 years. You can still buy one new but I’m sure they are all just old stock by now. It was introduced in 1990. It’s AF is noisy because of non-USM auto-focus drive motor but that don’t mean it can’t take a pretty picture.

7 oz. and smaller than 2″x3″

I bought this from the B&H store in Manhattan in 2007

Made in Japan

Cateye Strada Wireless

On my first and second solo tours I did have a computer on my bike. Later I did a supported group tour on a bike sent out by a sponsor and I didn’t add a computer to it until more than half the trip was ridden. I bought a cheap one on sale just to read the cue sheets better with some on-the-ground distance info from the cycle computer. It helped a little. But it had a wire and a big dumb button on the side that would get held down if I was not careful how I leaned the bike. Holding that button would clear all the info.

I remember a few people in the group had this model and spoke good of it. So wanting something better I ordered one from QBP for a little more that that dumb one I had cost.

Simple. One button. Wireless.

I did notice one thing about the wireless feature. Sometimes while riding, I might walk. I might walk a few blocks or a mile or more. If I have a computer I got into the habit of pushing the computer up from the stem mount. Just enough to break the sensor connection but not too much that it falls off. I guess my logic is that I only want to tabulate the distance ridden, keep my average speed up, and have an accurate ride time. Well with this one I can push the sensor halfway off the mount but that wont break the sensor. I have to put it in my back pocket if I don’t want to know that I walk 3 MPH.

Made in Japan

Specialized Alloy Bottle Cage

First, not my photo. I’d have moved the keyboard and mine are white.

I have these from my first tour, they have been used on all my tours. I thought about buying some King Cage bottle cages because they are made in USA. Chose not to because I wrote them an email and they never replied so, no I’m not going to call or go to your website and give you my credit card number if you can’t answer one simple question in an email.

King Cage is based in Colorado if that says anything.

I would like to support a US company producing goods in the US but in this case I’m reusing three cages I already had. And it looks like mine are 3g lighter/per than King Cage’s listed weight of their $17/each Stainless model.

Maybe I’ll try them again if one of my Specialized ever break.

I bought these years ago at a local bike shop.

Cost: $4 each x3

Made in Japan


NYC Tour Brass Bell

I guess in some cities, like NYC, it is a ticketable offense to ride without a bell on your bike. I mean safety’s great and all but I ring the bell for other reasons.

I think of bells on bikes like horns on autos. They communicate thoughts, they express ideas, they say something.

I have some other bell on my work bike but for my touring bike I went the brass bell route. I think what I like about the other bell is that I can ring it with a trigger and the back and forth is a ring with each movement. So it has a lot of control over the sound. 1 ring, 2 rings, 1 ring then 3 real fast, whatever.

I guess I bought this brass bell because it’s got some old style to it. And it’s louder. It comes in 50mm or 55mm versions, I think I have the 55mm. But this thing has a hammer strike so the tempo control is limited but it gets easier with practice.

I mounted it sideways to the quill section of my stem and the hammer lever sticks up above the flat part of the stem. It takes a pull/release motion to ring.

I bought this at a local bike shop.

Cost: $12

Made in Japan


Shimano BL-7402 Dura-Ace Brake Levers

I was once a bartender and one of the locals came in one day with an old DeRosa frame in my size. Just the chipped, dented frame, no fork, no parts. He said he found it by the dumpster at his storage unit facility. It was a 59cm and a few sizes too big for him but about right for me. I gladly bought his few rounds in trade. Told him I was going to build it into a single speed.

The next day he brought in these Dura-ace levers he had in his spare parts bin. That got him a few more beers on me.

After STI took over I guess there are some single speeds out there that got some lever upgrades.

These were on that DeRosa for a while until the frame broke, then they lived in my parts bin for a while.

Recently, I took the STI’s off my touring bike and added these levers and bar end shifters. Glad I did because new 10 speed STI’s are expensive. Thanks Brian.

In general these are everything you would expect. Works good, looks good. The tops are a little narrow compared to newer shifter/levers. I think a wider top would feel better but maybe my hands are too big, these were designed for tiny racer dudes.

Cost: free

Made in Japan