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I had been riding with EMS Gore-Tex insulated gloves without a problem in as low as 9F temp, but they were pretty bulky. The Fox MTB gloves with plastic knuckle protectors were too thin, not waterproof, etc. These gloves, however, were just right in the coldest weather and not too warm at 40F. They kept both rain and wind off my fingers. Most important, they allowed me to use all levers easily. Although they looked decorative, the reflective logo and detail actually showed up in headlights. The rubber padding pieces on the palm helped the grip factor quite a bit. The nose-wiping material also came in useful. You can also stuff them in your pocket fairly easily. Normally, I wear an XL, but the XXL, the only size left, fit fine.
This bag looks good but doesn't work all that well. It is pretty waterproof thanks to the sealed zippers. I didn't test the shiny, insulated lining with my heated, Louis Garneau-designed filet-mignon lunch, but the cargo area was just a tad small. The four-point velcro straps are much more secure and faster than the two-strap versions that you have to thread under the whole rack. The helmet carrier holds the helmet, but you have to use the shoulder strap to carry both the bag and the helmet strapped on. You can't really use that helmet-holding mesh as a handle, either, because of its elasticity. The material did rip a little on the back panel, too. The Blackburn EX-Trunk Bag had a carrying handle in place of the helmet holder that was convenient and it had a shoulder strap, but it was so wide that it would never stay centered on the rack. If you don't need too much space, and you don't mind using the shoulder strap to carry the trunk pack with helmet attached, you should check this out. The helmet doesn't cinch too tightly, and you can probably just clip your helmet to your courier bag or even the trunk pack itself more easily. The side pockets, both the zip and mesh are pretty thin and not so usable, respectively.
Having had to contend with slippery-when-wet crosswalk paint, trolley car tracks, and wide, metal bridge spans and having wiped out a couple of times, I needed gloves with knuckle protection.
My mountain bike gloves with thick padding on the back of the fingers and hands are threadbare. I could not pull on or off XL Oakley gloves because the openings were too small. Most important, the gloves knuckle protection, made up of rubber rings, seemed only to be cosmetic.
My hand fits XL North Face, EMS, etc. winter gloves with some space for warm air circulation. Mountain Bike gloves, however, should be snugger for most riders to operate shifters, brake levers, and bells.
Fox XLRacing Bomber Gloves are easy to pull on and off and made even easier thanks to the velcro strap on the back of the cuff. The knuckle protection is actually some type of hard plastic integrated into the glove material.
The cosmetics are more subtle than the Oakleys, especially with the brand name, but make the glove look pretty sharp. To be nit-picky, they should have added some color to the knuck plastic so you can seem.
These gloves feel secure on the grips and allow you to move your fingers easily. They are also snug enough at the finger tips to depress, with a bit of effort, rubber buttons on your lights, convenient as the temps drop.
I have used these gloves already in temperatures as low as 34F (plus "bike wind chill") and they provide enough of a wind block to keep my hands comfortable.
Having had two new gloves and an older pair to compare, I can confidently say that Fox beats Oakley for function, comfort, cosmetics, and design. Both gloves are snug and the material fairly thin. The knuckle protection on the Fox glove is serious, but hopefully, I will never have to find out on the bike or at a bar to prove my testosterone level is high. In fact, I may order another pair as the snows will come soon.
The Blackburn EX-Trunk Bag is designed thoughtfully, like a mini shoulder bag for your rear bike rack. It has enough pockets to store head- and tail-lights, sunglasses, bungees, etc. I used the bag for several weeks, summer going into fall, in sun, wind, and rain, and exclusively in the city.
The main compartment was big enough to hold two extra-wide U locks. On top of those, there was still room for gloves, pumps, etc. The shoulder strap made it convenient to carry it around off of the bike.
The bag's extra-wide bottom, however, made it difficult to secure the velcro straps underneath the rack. Blackburn should have used a four-point strap system to secure the bag using the outer most rack rails. There was so much extra velcro strap that both straps barely had any velcro to attach to themselves once you threaded them under the rack and tried to attach them on the other side.
As a result, the bag slipped to one side or the other because it was too wide for my standard-width rack. Because of its width, a loaded or nearly empty bag could not be centered on the rack without its slipping quite a ways off to one side or the other.
Using a bungee pulled diagonally over the bag helped, but simply going off a curb made me look back to see if it were still on the rack. Otherwise, it is beautifully detailed from material to compartments and water-proof cover (used without the cover in the rain did not show any leaks).
There is no real rear mount for a blinky, as described on Blackburn's information card, and the water bottle holder may only be big enough to fit a 12oz soda can.
Hopefully, Blackburn will redesign this bag. I have had amazing Blackburn courier bags and currently use their great, tiny front and rear Flea lights on my helmet.