CycleAware and FOOTbrake

Who says that triathlon is all about the tech? Why can’t we have some fun, too? What about having a social bike ride every now and then? I don’t know about you, but a latte and a raspberry Danish sound pretty darn good during a chilly end-of-season ride.

The two products we have today are all about fun. Let’s have a look-see.

CycleAware Joy Ride bags

CycleAware is an accessory manufacturer based in Pacific Grove, CA. Founded in 1991, they focus on making high-visibility and high-fun products. Back at Interbike 2012, we posted a gallery of Michellie Jones’ Felt DA, which featured a very unique saddle bag. I’ve known Michellie for quite some time, and can’t say it surprised me to find her with a flashy, pink, and crocodile-printed accessory bag.

I guess some people were born with a ‘fabulous gene’ (I am not among them).

That saddle bag is from the CycleAware’s ‘Joy Ride’ line. It’s called the Saddle Up, and comes in either pink or purple. The bag measures 6" x 3.75” x 3.5" – enough to fit a spare tube, valve extender, compact Co2 inflator, tire levers, and a small multi-tool. It’s what I’d call a ‘medium’ size saddle bag – one step above the super-micro bags, but definitely not a heavy hauler.

The quality of the bag is actually very nice. The stitching is solid, the zipper is easy to use, and it does everything that a saddle bag should. It even includes reflective stripes on the sides, an ID card, and a high-class buckling attachment:

The Saddle Up sells for a very reasonable $16.

We also tried the Joy Ride Up Top bag. Consider this the flashier cousin of your run-of-the-mill bento box:

The Up Top measures 6" x 1.5" x 4". That volume is enough to comfortably fit about six gel packets or two energy bars.

The closure system on the Up Top is unlike anything I’ve seen – they use magnetic snaps just like a purse:

Inside, you’ll find an ID card just like the Saddle Up.

The Up Top is available in pink, purple, silver, and black:

The Up Top works just like a normal bento box. The quality and construction are great, and the $16 MSRP is a steal. You can purchase them at the CycleAware website, or at your local dealer.

You may be wondering – did you actually ride around with these things on your bike? Are you that confident in your manhood? Did you wear a pink jersey, too?

Sorry to disappoint, but I didn’t personally use them. I called in the help of someone much better for the task – my wife. According to her, products like this are a huge missed opportunity for many companies. While there certainly are many technology and speed-focused ladies out there, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want a little bit of fun or style at the same time. We attended a race last weekend, and were stopped by no fewer than three women wanting to know where we got the cool crocodile bags. Guys, consider this your not-so-subtle hint for her next stocking stuffer or birthday gift.


Tired of walking around in your clunky cleats at the coffee shop? Do you wish there was a better solution?

Ohio-based FOOTbrake has one for you – a folding pair of flip-flop sandals. They come in a small pouch that fits in your jersey pocket:

The sandals have a seam in the middle, and easily unfold:

When viewed from the top, it looks like a normal flip-flop:

FOOTbrake sandals come in both men’s and women’s styles, with three sizes for each.

I normally wear an 11.5 US running shoe, and the Large FOOTbrake fit well. They’re soft and definitely feel good after spending a few hours in cycling shoes.

The thickness of each FOOTbrake sandal when folded is about equal to one-and-a-half modern cell phones (or about three cell phone’s worth of thickness for the two sandals put together). As a result, my only criticism of the product is just that – the size. You can fit both sandals in one jersey pocket, but you can’t use that pocket for anything else. In my mind, this makes FOOTbrake best for warm weather use, and rides that don’t feature long distances between stops – either of which require that you carry more food or clothing in your pockets. It’s a product for the social ride, not the 6-hour long ride in the middle of your Ironman training block.

FOOTbrake can be purchased for $30 in their online store, or at your local retailer.