Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear

Tips for bike commuting

May 13, 2015
by nikwax
1 Comment

5 Tips For Beginner Bike Commuters

Happy Bike Month!

No matter your bicycling experience, Bike Month is a great time to try bike commuting. The high point of Bike Month is Bike To Work Day, May 15th in the USA. So jump on your bike, commute, and celebrate!

Bike commuting is not only fun, it is good for you and the environment. If clean air and improved mental and physical health don’t sway you, what about the bottom line? In 2009, the average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, less than 4% that of an average car ($8,220).

As a first time bike commuter, it can seem intimidating. What about the cars? The weather? How to bike commute AND not smell bad at work? Here are five tips to ease your worries.

Tips for bike commuting

5 Tips For Beginner Bike Commuters

  1. Be Traffic Savvy

Yes it is a jungle out there, but you can bike safely through it all.

– Wear a helmet.

– Always assume that drivers can’t see you. When riding, consistently scan for drivers and be prepared for unpredictable moves: car doors opening, sudden stops, surprise turns.

– Be predictable (that’s a good thing). Riding with traffic, stopping at stop signs and lights, signaling your turns and staying in control are key to being a predictable and safe rider.

  1. Wear Visible Clothing

How’s your day glowing? Neon visible outerwear, bright helmet covers, and reflective ankle bands heighten your safety. Plan your cycle wardrobe to be colorful at every layer, so when you layer up or down you can always be seen.

  1. Daily bike check

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. Every morning give your bike a maintenance check: Brakes? Tire pressure? Cables? Chain?

  1. Clean Yourself

Stock your panniers with baby wipes, a travel towel, and deodorant to freshen up upon your arrival. Your co-workers will love you for it!

  1. Clean Your Gear

Frequently cleaning your cycling outerwear and layers is a must to keep them breathable and waterproof. For daily bike commuters, you should wash your gear every month. Use the specialized cleaner Tech Wash to remove dirt, grime, and sweat from your synthetic outerwear and gear. When the items need a waterproofing boost, use TX.Direct Wash-In after cleaning to restore water repellency. By removing the dirt and revitalizing the breathability and water repellency, your gear with keep you comfortable and last much longer.

Take these five tips and give bike commuting a try. Good luck, be safe, ride fast!

An End of Ski Season Checklist – How to Store Ski Gear Properly

April 16, 2015 by nikwax | 0 comments

It’s the time of year when, unless you like ski mountaineering, snow is out of the picture. Before you enter summer mode completely, take a moment to clean and store your ski and snowboard gear. Many people don’t know how to store their ski gear properly. This end of ski season checklist can help avoid delaminating jackets, funky smells, rusty edges, and warped gear. Follow these 6 tips to make sure your planks and outwear stay in great condition and are ready to go when the lifts start to spin again.

How to Store Ski Gear Properly

Spring riding and closing day fun. Photo by Christopher Powell Photography

End of ski season checklist:

1. Wash your outerwear
It is ok to wash waterproof jackets and pants. It really is! Your ski jacket and pants get dirty throughout the season: sweat from going big, grease from a nooner fry binge, rouge ketchup, and spilled Après beverages are all contributors. If left unwashed the sweat, dirt, bacteria, and beer stains fester and degrade the waterproofing and fabric of your outerwear.

  • For hardshells or synthetic insulated outwear, first clean with Tech Wash and then re-waterproof with TX.Direct.
  • For down-filled puffy items, Down Wash Direct will remove grime while protecting delicate feathers. Down Proof adds water-repellency. Place items in the dryer and tumble on air dry. Add two tennis balls (pre-Fido) to help fluff the items back up.

2. Love your gloves
Gloves and mittens take a beating on the hill, from abrasive snow to runny noses. These inhibit the water repellency and shorten the mitts’ lifespan.

3. Clean your base layers (And face masks too!)
Why store stinky things? Wash and deodorize your dirty layers and buffs before putting them away.

  • Use BaseWash to clean and deodorize your synthetic layers and face masks. Wool Wash will take care of your wool layers, ensuring they are ready to perform at their max come Opening Day.
  • TIP: If you use your base layers year round for running, hiking, and camping trips, use BaseWash with every load of synthetics to keep them performing and in great condition.

4. Wax your planks for storage
Applying storage wax is an often-overlooked step at the end of the ski season. Properly storing your skis and snowboards over the summer will increase their lifespan and then require minimal tuning when the snow starts to fall again.

  • Our buds over at break down how to wax your skis for storage. 
  • TIP: Be sure to store your toys outside of a ski or board bag. Trapped moisture and extreme temperatures are not good for your equipment.

5. Care for your Skins
Uphill ski traffic has exploded in popularity! To get the maximum life from your skins be sure to dry them and fold them correctly after each tour.

6. Store boots buckled or laced. Important!

  • Store your boots in a dry, cool place with the buckles buckled and straps strapped to help the plastic shell or leather outer retain its shape. If stored unbuckled boots can warp and become (even more) uncomfortable.

Goodbye sweet ski season. Miss you already. But Hello Summer!


To purchase products in USA.

To purchase products in Canada.

How To Wash Smelly Athletic Clothes

March 18, 2015 by nikwax | 2 Comments

Removing odors from stinky gym clothes can seem an impossible task. No matter how often you wash them, the minute you hit the gym the knockout odors come back. Smelly athletic clothes are embarrassing, feel gross, and do not perform at their best, thus neither do you. Luckily, Nikwax has a solution to your smelly active apparel.

Nikwax BaseWash is a high-performance, biodegradable detergent for synthetic clothing. It is excellent at removing odors and preventing future odor build up in fitness apparel that is worn next to skin. BaseWash also improves the fabric’s wicking power, accelerates its drying time, and increases the breathability. No matter what your sport is, BaseWash is the best way to care for and wash athletic clothes. Plus, it’s safe for your household and environment!

How to wash smelly athletic clothes and remove odors.

Smelly athletic clothes are gross. Learn how to remove odors with Nikwax BaseWash.

Why do synthetic clothes smell in the first place?
Lightweight, wicking, and breathable fabrics have redefined and enhanced athletic activities and sports. From hot yoga to hockey to cycling to skiing, performance athletic apparel makes sports much more comfortable. Unfortunately, these wondrous athletic clothes easily become really smelly.

Stubborn bacteria and microbes are the cause of the musty, sour, and ammonia-like rotting odors in gym clothes. These stinky buggers think synthetic fabrics are perfect place to hang out, and, like an unwelcome houseguest, they are difficult to evict.

How can I remove odors from gym clothes and get rid of the bacteria?
There are many suggestions on how to deodorize and wash smelly active clothes: put the gross clothes in the freezer, boil them, soak them in vinegar, or watch the wash cycle like a hawk to add baking soda at the exact, correct minute. These attempts to remove gym odors are intensive, inconvenient, and never 100% successful. Plus, who wants to smell like pickles at the gym?

Nikwax BaseWash, the odor-eliminating super cleaner, is easy to use. To wash smelly athletic clothes follow these 4 simple steps.
1. Start a load in your washing machine with cold water
2. Use BaseWash in substitution for regular laundry detergent
3. Once the cycle is done, air-dry the clothes
4. Use BaseWash frequently to keep odors from coming back and increase performance.

Washing smelly active clothing with Nikwax BaseWash removes stubborn odors, and enhances the benefits of technical apparel, keeping you comfortable during your workout.

Try it for yourself! And next time you roll out your mat or lace up, you’ll feel ready to train and perform at your best!

Where to buy BaseWash:

In The USA

In Canada

February 12, 2015
by nikwax

Waterproof? I prefer Water Prepared.

In my business, and by “business” I mean the ocean, nothing is waterproof.


Your gear may start off being really, really water-resistant or water tight, but if your expectation is waterPROOF, you will be sorely disappointed.  In my opinion, disappointment is the pits.

Sonya Baumstein. Ocean-rower, Paddler and Backcountry Lover.

Ocean-rower Sonya Baumstein.

I’ll make this analogy: Water in a small boat on an ocean is like sand at the beach.  You can go for a short 10-minute walk on the beach and still inexplicably end up with sand in every crevice of your clothing and body. Water gets everywhere. That can be a problem. Both fresh and salt water wear on the durable water repellency (DWR) of waterproof gear. Salt water is the worst; it eats GORE-TEX for breakfast.

When I rowed the Atlantic, our crew started out with waterproof rain jackets and gear. Once on the water, our gear de-waterproofed within two weeks.  We would see unavoidable rain in the distance and have to decide whether or not to take off all of our clothes and stash them in the cabin to have something dry to wear later. A cold and uncomfortable reality check. Outerwear is clothing and is very affected by the elements. Intense and harsh conditions (i.e salt water, humidity, rough handling, intense sun and rain), dirt, body oils, and time will wear out almost everything.

The expedition across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Barbados took 57 days and our gear was definitely not prepared.

My upcoming solo row,, from Japan to San Francisco will likely take between 140 and 180 days to complete.  I am working on getting everything I have water prepared. From storing my dehydrated pre-vacuum-sealed foods in larger vac-sealed bags to triple checking hatches and dry bags.  For clothing, I am packing quick-drying Adidas layers, wool base layers, and proper foul weather off-shore jackets and overalls – which are made of heavy duty GORE-TEX.

Sonya's 56 days to-do list

With 56 days to-go, Sonya has a lot to do.

Do I think any of it will stay water resistant? Nope. It’s just reality. However, I have a game plan. I’ll use Nikwax to prepare and protect the gear that will accompany me on my expedition.

  1. Hardshells: During my row, freshwater will be limited. I’ll only be able to wash my outwear and foulies a few times. In order to make my things water resistant again; I will use Nikwax to re-up the DWR. I’ll use Tech Wash to clean off the grime and rid each item of nasty GORE-TEX-eating salt, then apply TX.Direct Spray-On to restore the water repellency.
  2. Sleeping Bag: The both cold weather and humid conditions inside my tiny cabin will necessitate me bringing a down sleeping bag.  I will use Down Wash and Down Proof to ensure my bag is clean and ready to keep me warm and dry. Once at sea, I will be very careful with its placement within my cabin.
  3. Base layers: I will get one new set of clothes (bottoms, top, sports bra, etc) per month. It’s my present to myself. By the end of the expedition all of my layers will be quite ripe. Apologies to anyone who meets me at the dock in San Francisco! Prior to departing, I’m washing them all with BaseWash. This will enhance each garment’s breathable and wicking powers. To renew them at sea, I will use BaseWash as necessary and as freshwater supplies allow.
  4. Wool layers: I’m packing a lot of technical wool clothing, because wool stays warm when wet. No cotton for this gal! All of it is getting a cycle of Wool Wash before leaving and when possible at sea to keep each piece performing optimally.

Summary and ProTip

Be realistic. Be water-prepared on all of your upcoming journeys from sea to shining sea.

By Sonya Baumstein

In late April/Early May 2015, Sonya will be leaving the coast of Japan heading for San Francisco over 6,000 nm away across the Pacific Ocean and 3 degrees of latitude North. Historically, only 3 other boats have successfully crossed over to North America – two solo Frenchmen (1991, 2003) and one pair of British men (2009). More recently, Sarah Outen was the first woman to attempt this crossing in 2012 (rescue) and 2013 (landed in the Aleutians).  Sonya is attempting to be the first woman to successfully complete the entire route and, by the time she takes her first stroke from Japan, will have already invested 3 years of her life in this goal.

Follow Sonya during her preparations and while at sea on,  Facebook, and on Twitter!

October 16, 2014
by nikwax

Why wetting out is BAD

How is your gear performing?


Have you been caught out in the rain and your expensive rain jacket doesn’t keep you dry the way it used to?  “Why am I soaked? I thought this jacket was waterproof!” you wonder.

Wetting out happens for many reasons.  Nikwax can help you prevent it.

The garment is dirty

Wash it!  If you are wearing your rain jacket or ski gear 3-5 times a month, we recommend washing it once a month.

The DWR is wearing off

DWR (or durable water repellency) is a finish that causes water to bead up on your gear. It’s brittle, breaks apart easily, and doesn’t last forever.

Washing it in detergent stripped off the DWR

Actually, it didn’t. It’s an old wives tale. Detergent leaves behind residue that can cover and mask your DWR, much like dirt and oils.

Thankfully, Nikwax engineers products that will prolong the life of your gear and renew it when it starts failing.

Three Steps to Gear Rehab

Step 1:

Admit that your gear might have a problem. It’s not your fault, it happens! But do know that there is a solution.

Step 2:

Always wash your gear. Tech Wash is the safe and smart choice because it is not a detergent; it will remove detergent residue, dirt, and oils and will not leave behind nasty residue. Washing your gear will also help revive the existing DWR, and will help maintain breathability so the evaporated sweat can escape. Note – for down filled products, use Down Wash instead of Tech Wash as it will safely clean the down feathers without stripping them of their natural oils.

Step 3 (if necessary):

Give your gear additional performance with waterproofing products. Nikwax makes different products for different materials so that it will perform to the best of their ability. TX.Direct is the go to choice for hard-shell jackets, while Down Proof is the best for down filled items. If you’re not sure, visit and check out our handy infographic to see which product is right for you.






September 16, 2014
by nikwax

How an Olympic hopeful cleans gear hand-me-downs

By Matt Blair

MB Skel Selfie

Matt Blair in his hand-me-downs

Skeleton is an odd sport. You can’t just go to your local sporting goods franchise and buy sport specific spikes, speed suits, sleds and helmets. So how do we athletes get our gear?

Most of the gear I have was passed on to me from other athletes already in the sport. Sometimes it’s because they’re retiring, other times it’s because they need to make a quick buck, and a lot of the time it’s out of pity.

My current gear is made up almost exclusively of hand-me-downs:

• Gloves and shoe covers from 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery

• A race speed suit from 2010 & 2014 Olympic Medalist Matins Dukurs

• A training speed suit passed down through several Canadian National Team members

• Spikes from a New Zealand skeleton athlete, etc.

Hand-me-downs from 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jon Montgomery

Hand-me-downs from 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jon Montgomery

The point is the gear isn’t cheap. Without this network of athletes passing down stinky old gear, I probably wouldn’t be competing. So, now it is my turn to pass down my first piece of gear – the training speed suit that has already been intimate with the sweaty flesh of several Canadian National Athletes – and myself.

When I inherited the suit, it came unwashed, smelling most foul. As disgusting as it is, I must confess I never washed it. As I prepare to pass it on, I feel it is only right that I finally give it a good wash – but what do I wash this high tech European material with?

The wash instructions, if there were any, have long since rubbed off against some Canadian athlete’s sweaty carcass as they slid down the track at 145km/hr. So, without instructions, I opted to hand wash the speed suit in a sink using Nikwax’s Tech Wash.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how it went:

I filled the sink with lukewarm water and added a little Nikwax Tech Wash. I gave the suit a quick rub down with my hands, turning it inside out to clean out the sweat deposits. I let it sit for 10-20 minutes, watching the water churn into a sweat-based soup. I then gave the suit one more rub down and emptied the sink. I rinsed the suit under the tap to wash off any excessive soap residue. Finally, I hung the suit out to dry and lost interest in the task. A couple days later I remembered and I went to see how it had all worked out.

I’m pretty stoked! The smell is gone, the stains have subsided, and if it is anything like other gear I’ve washed in Nikwax Tech Wash, it should breathe better for the next person than it did for me.

Now the only question left is who gets the speed suit? Any takers?

Matt Blair in racing action

Matt Blair in racing action

Matt Blair is a Canadian Skeleton Athlete training out of Whistler, the world’s fastest ice track. In his rookie season he won BC’s Tier 2 Provincial Championship. He hopes to compete with the world’s top skeleton athletes leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympics.


July 18, 2014
by nikwax

Free yourself from funky smelling athletic apparel!


Running, hiking, biking, or even hitting the gym are all activities that leave you feeling energized and refreshed…up until the moment that you catch a whiff of something funky. When you realize that it’s your athletic gear you’re mortified. “How can my clothes smell that awful? I swore I just washed them! I guess I’ll give them to the garbage gods.”

Before you throw out your expensive athletic apparel, hear us out! We might be able to help you. Technical or performance fabrics, like polypropylene or merino wool, do a great job of maintaining body temperature and controlling moisture. These fabrics are highly wicking, fast drying, and breathable and will keep you cool and comfortable while you’re pushing yourself to your limit. However, over time a build-up of body oils, sweat, and bacteria will cause your gear to go sour. Continual washing in detergent can impair wicking capabilities and cause the fabric to retain moisture, this can help more bacteria to grow and fester. Gross, huh?

So how do you save your gear from the garbage? Well, for starters, if you are going to use conventional laundry detergent, throw some Nikwax BaseFresh in there too. BaseFresh works with the detergents to remove stubborn stains without compromising the performance of the fabric. BaseFresh also deodorizes and prevents odor build up when in use. It doesn’t stop there! It also enhances wicking properties and increases breathability. It totally refreshes, revitalizes, and renews your athletic wear!

If you would like to learn more about the wonders of BaseFresh, visit our website.

June 17, 2014
by boulderina

Paddleboarding (and other outdoor activities) While Pregnant

As an active outdoor woman, pregnancy can bring some of your favorite pastimes to a screeching halt. I have found this to be mostly the case, however there are some things you can do to prevent yourself from going totally insane. Paddleboarding was that thing for me.

I did consider, and even try, some other outdoor activities first, but with poor results. (Note to other pregnant outdoor women: your experiences may differ.)

Snowboarding? Nope. I’m prone to plonking on my butt, or straight-up going ass-over-teakettle even on the best of days. Plus, you never know when some punk kid (or adult) might take you out on the slopes. Maybe if I skied I’d take up low-impact touring. That sounded rather pleasant while sitting indoors this winter, re-watching Game of Thrones for the fourth time. In hindsight, snowshoeing would have been a great pregnant winter activity. I’ll remember that for any future pregnancies.

Rock climbing? Some ladies crush it, even when they’re preggo. Of course, stick with top-roping moderate routes, with a belayer you trust (belayer trust is important- even when not pregnant). Also, now is not the time to belay that climbing partner who likes to take massive whippers. You know the one.

Climbing might have worked for me, but I had been out of the game for a while, and starting back up when my body was chock-full of relaxin seemed like a dubious proposition. At around four months I gave it a shot on a 5.9 at Smith Rocks, but I felt uncomfortably like a limp noodle, wobbly and unable to maintain body tension. Halfway up the climb I decided to give climbing a pass. If you’re a rock star, and are interested in climbing through your pregnancy, Mountain Mama teamed up with Mad Rock to make a full-body harness specifically for pregnant bodies.

Kayaking? This seemed like the perfect activity. Seated calmly on the water I could paddle around to my heart’s content. Then I realized I needed to get the damn thing on and off the roof of my car. Mommas to be, if you’re a beast, go for it. However, at six months pregnant, I decided that attempting to (wo)man-handle my 15 foot, 50 pound boat was slightly beyond my capabilities. If you can hack it, or have a buddy, go for it! Renting can also be a great option when you’re pregnant, as you don’t have to deal with the transportation and storage.

That brings me to paddleboarding. Last summer, after being bitten by the SUP bug, I purchased my own board, the Boardworks Raven 10’6″. It is glorious. At 25 pounds I can wave it around like a sword, if I’m so inclined. Getting it on and off the car is no sweat. It’s small and manageable, yet big enough for me and my dog (when she’s feeling adventurous).

Me and my dog on my awesome little board. (Pre-pregnancy).

Me and my dog on my awesome little board. (Pre-pregnancy).

My first time out on my board this season I was just a bit over six months pregnant. Wrangling my equipment was a tad more awkward than before, but still manageable. I did pack a few more things for my trip than I normally would; mainly more snacks and extra water. I find I can get ravenous at the drop of a hat these days. To keep all my necessities accessible, I used SealLine’s Seal Pack Hip Pack. The belt stayed below my belly nicely, and allowed me quick access to my sunglasses, phone, and, most importantly, food!

The Seal Pack- a must for the ravenous preggo paddleboarder.

The Seal Pack- a must for the ravenous preggo paddleboarder.

As I set off, I stayed on my knees for a bit, testing my balance and overall comfort level. Once I felt secure enough, I stood up.

Important note to the preggo paddlers out there: Don’t stand up if you don’t want to! Don’t feel pressured to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Leave your ego at the launch. Kneeling, or even sitting, on the board, is totally acceptable. You’re out on the water, enjoying nature, and getting exercise. If you feel like you might sit the whole time, use a kayak paddle for a more smooth paddling experience. Heck, throw a crazy creek chair on your deck and max your relax (note: I haven’t tried this, but now I’m totally going to).

Back to standing up, I was surprised how stable I felt. Sure, there was a little bit of initial squirreliness, but it usually takes me a few minutes to get my sea legs, pregnant or not. After a couple of minutes I was zipping along. Belly? What belly? Truth be told, I did drop to my knees a few times when a big boat threw some sizable wake my way, but remember what I said above about staying comfortable? As I paddled on, I noticed that my ankles were starting to get a bit swollen. To alleviate this, I simply sat down and dangled my feet in the cool water for a bit, then brought them up on deck and did some light stretching.

It was lovely to be out on the water, in the sun, getting some exercise that felt like a treat, rather than an obligation. I highly recommend paddleboarding to pregnant ladies everywhere.


Like kayaking, renting a paddleboard is also a great way to go while pregnant. Rental companies usually stock extremely stable boards, and once again, you don’t need to deal with toting the thing around.

Get out and have fun!


May 20, 2014
by nikwax

Keeping your shoes clean, it’s easier than you might think!

Now, I’m not one to normally clean my shoes with regularity, however, not too long ago I acquired a pair of super cool 5.10 approach/ parkour shoes. I’m no parkour aficionado, but I do get out to climb a bit, so I was psyched for some new kicks. The downside was that these shoes were white, meaning they would stay white for about 5 minutes after I took them out of the box. Sure enough, after an outing or two, they were downright filthy.

My awesome 5.10 kicks, while a stylish white, turned a dirty grey brown.

In order to bring my shoes back to a state that would at least be appropriate for frequenting a dive bar, I turned to my Nikwax arsenal to get them clean. In order to prepare for the overhaul, I removed the laces and insoles in order to get better access to all parts of the shoe. Good thing too, as you can see the tongue was particularly filthy.

removing the laces makes the shoes easier to clean

Remove the laces and insoles.

The next step was to get the shoes good and wet- like wetting your hands before soaping them up.

wetting your shoes help the cleaning gel to work properly

Get those shoes good and wet!

Then, I grabbed Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel and went to town.

Great for all types of footwear!

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to the rescue!

I scrubbed like a mad person.

Footwear Cleaning Gel gets sudsy!

Scrub your shoes!

Then, I rinsed off the Cleaning Gel suds. I was amazed at how much cleaner they were!

Rinse all the soap off


Now, these shoes will never be waterproof. As you can see, they have holes all over them and there is no Gore-Tex membrane either. However, in order to help prevent further dirt and mud from corrupting my shoes, I thought, “it couldn’t hurt”! So I grabbed a bottle of Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray-On (as the shoes are of the textured leather persuasion). I sprayed the shoes thoroughly and evenly.

Nubuck and Suede Proof waterproofing

I used the spray-on version.

Then, I set the shoes on a protected surface so they could dry. I also put some paper towel (newspaper works too) inside them in order to help them dry faster and soak up any water that got inside. You never want to accelerate the drying of your shoes with heat, as it can damage the uppers, as well as compromise any glued parts.

Dry your shoes with paper towel or newspaper in them

Drying time!

After a couple minutes I checked on them and removed any excess (pooling, etc.).

Make sure to remove all excess product

Dab to remove excess.

I let them dry over night. the next day gave them a little spritz to check the water repellency- They look great!

waterproof suede

Look at that beading action!

Now to go get them filthy again!

Climbing a dog and a beer

Ready for action!

May 14, 2014
by nikwax

What’s Your Rider ID? Take Our Quiz to Find Out


Are you a one trick pony, or is your garage a veritable shelter for your bike quiver? Fixie or mountain bike? Do you pedal a state-of-the-art, custom ride? Do you consider brakes “old school”?  Do your besties tell you to wear more natural fiber and less Lycra?

In the words of the great 21st century philosopher, Stephen Colbert, “Facts matter none at all. Perception is everything.”

Face it, if you love bikes, there’s some part of you that can be called a dork. (Trust us, here at Nikwax, we’re all a bit dorky for bikes).

But within that giant cycling umbrella, we all fall into a range of niches. What kind of cyclist are you? Take our quiz to unearth your Rider ID.

First answer the short list of questions, and then add up your scores below to learn your Rider ID.

1. When you dress for a ride, your go-to clothing is:

  1. My full Euskaltel-Euskadi kit. It’s cool because I’m 1/96th Spanish on my mom’s side.
  2. It doesn’t matter, as long as my GoPro is charged.
  3. Dress for a ride? Cycling clothes are so bourgeois. My skinny jeans are all I need.
  4. I opt for the latest in breathable, wicking fabrics. But as long as I have my rear view helmet mirror adjusted, I’m good to go.


2. When you come up behind another rider, what do you say?

  1. Hold your line! Hold your line!
  2. Dude, on your left.
  3. Talk to another rider? Why?
  4. Hi-da-lee-ho neighbor. Great day to be on the bike, huh?


3. How do you fuel up for a ride?

  1. A balanced meal of protein and carbs, like two egg whites with steamed veggies and an avocado for healthy fat.
  2. Bacon and Twinkies, which I bought a yearlong supply of on Ebay.
  3. Double espresso
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.


4. What about a post-ride recovery meal?

  1. I own every formulation of Hammer Nutrition
  2. PBR – tall boy
  3. The latest pop-up restaurant, or the Thai-Argentine fusion food truck
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.


5. On a rest day, how would we find you passing your time?

  1. After a gentle, low cadence spin, I’ll be studying with Rosetta Stone so I can pronounce every European riders’ name without sounding like an idiot! Can you imagine not being able to pronounce Yevgeniy Npomnyachshiy? The horror!
  2. Oh, I do a lot of stuff. I do river trips. I’m starting my own Vimeo channel. You know, the usual.
  3. I’m studying nihilist philosophy and working on a start-up with my roommates.
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.


6. What was the biggest after-market upgrade you’ve made to your bike?

  1. Aftermarket? My bike was never prior-market or during-market. Nothing on my ride is standard. I had the frame welded to my measurements and built it out with THE BEST bike builder in town.
  2. An extra 10-mm of travel on my forks.
  3. Removing the brakes and that pesky derailleur.
  4. A hand-woven basket from Bolivia. The trade supports a women’s compound and sales from the baskets bring economic freedom. I found it at my local Farmer’s Market.


7. If you were to ride a different discipline (road to mountain to track to commuter) – from your preferred discipline – for a day, which would you choose?

  1. Velodrome. I’m not going to waste my time on any discipline that’s not developing more power and a higher VO2 max.
  2. Dude, I’d totally try a fixie.
  3. I don’t live to ride; I ride to live.
  4. Any! The freedom of a bicycle is pure joy, don’t you think?


8. What’s the best bike movie of all time?

  1. Breaking Away
  2. Breaking Away
  3. Breaking Away
  4. Breaking Away


9. Who is the greatest cyclist of all time?

  1. Eddie Merckx
  2. Ned Overend
  3. Albert Einstein
  4. My kids


10.  If I were to plan a cycling-themed vacation, I would… (fill in the blank).

  1. Follow Le Tour de France route, on an Alpe D’Huez year
  2. One word: Moab and Fruita. Oh, that’s two.
  3. Vacations are so bourgeois. But I’d still go to Portland.
  4. Ride across Ireland or wait, maybe a Napa wine tour. No, no. I’d for sure do a philanthropic trip delivering bikes to rural communities.



If you answered mostly “1,” your bike ID is “Lycra Lovin’ Roadie.”

If you answered mostly “2,” your bike ID is “Dirt Bag Mountain Biker.”

If you answered mostly “3,” your bike ID is “Hipster, Fixie Guy/Gal.”

If you answered mostly “4,” your bike ID is “Safety First Commuter.”

Lycra Lovin’ Roadie:

Lycralovinroadie You know who you are. In July, you wake up at 5:30am to watch the full coverage of the Tour de France before you head out on your training ride. You have little tolerance for “no drop” rides, especially when you’re feeling strong. Criteriums are good training, but the real mettle is in a road race – mano a mano. There’s more science built into your training regime than exists in all of NASA. And speaking of NASA, several of your components were originally conceived of for space missions. Before, that is, they were improved by Campagnolo engineers.

Dirt Bag Mountain Biker:

dirtragMtnBiker You’d hate the “dirt bag” cliché if you didn’t embrace as heartily as you do. No one (save for the hipsters) has ever worked so hard to look like they’ve put so little effort into looking “good.” You love a dirty ride almost as much as you love the BBQ and beer afterward. BMX still holds appeal, with the likelihood of participation in inverse relation to your age. Your dirty little secret is that you’re actually really serious about riding, but that can always be cloaked under your frequent, verbal dismissals of roadies.

Hipster Fixie Guy/Gal:

hipstertumblr_lukbxrms3h1qj1y05o1_500You secretly long for brakes and a derailleur, though the associated social stigma keeps them securely out of reach. Irony runs so deep that you’re beginning to question if it would be more ironic to no longer be ironic… hmm? Your circle of friends looks like they stepped out of Nylon Magazine photo shoot and your Tumblr blog is really taking off. Portlandia was more entertaining before it went mainstream, and Chuck Palahniuk is an under-rated genius. Truth be told, you have wicked good fitness under your scissor-cropped jeans and big-framed glasses.

Safety First Commuter:

commuterYou’re excited about riding and likely have a passable road bike and a mountain bike, along with your commuter. Most of all, you think biking is the most responsible option for the health of the planet and your own body. You’re not too cool to wear a helmet to the grocery store (not to mention in the grocery store) and you volunteer for all the local trail work. You do good things, even if they don’t scream “cool.” You could care less about how fast you are. The feel of the wind in your face every morning on your way to work does more for your sanity and happiness than winning a race ever could.

Regardless of your tongue in cheek Rider ID, the most important thing is that we all continue to define ourselves as bike lovers, riders, cycling geeks and biking advocates. Here’s to you, our two-wheeled friends. Let’s ride.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: