Friday, October 13, 2017

Tumi Cameron Commuter Review

The Cameron Commuter
Tumi. A brand specializing in bags and luggage. Often a lifestyle brand and on the high side of pricing. My wife surprised me with a Tumi backpack, and this prompt me to write a review, as I believe this backpack deserves a mention.
Tumi Cameron Commuter.
This is a low profile and sized at 29cm(W)x12cm(D)x43cm(H) which is significantly smaller footprint when compared to the (office) standard issue HP backpack at 36cm (W)x9cm(D)x51cm(H).


Wifey’s intention was to prevent me from lugging everything I can as my everyday carry (EDC) when I go to work or travel (for work). Volume wise, the Cameron is 23liter vs HP a 25liter pack. 
The Cameron Commuter is a very well built bag - you don’t expect anything less at the (high) price you paying for. 
Size comparison visually
Coming almost to the same price point as my Camelbak Kudu 18, the Cameron are certainly more refined and business-like. While my Camelbak made statement due to the bright colour, the Cameron blends in elegantly without shouting “I have a Tumi”. If you seen how one of the Tumi bag model are common among business travellers, you will know what I meant - and why the leather patch with your initial is essential (because many are carrying the same bag model from Tumi!)

The most subtle indication it's a 
Tumi on the Cameron
When I first got the Cameron, I transferred all items from my HP bag and realized this Tumi swallowed up all the items, and still have a lot of space. So, I removed all my items again, unlike the HP when I can’t put anymore stuff into the front pocket compartment as the main compartment already filled up (and pushed against) the outer compartment.
From experience (of having many bags, bagpacks, messenger bags), having many pockets and compartment doesn’t meant they are all usable (maximized) due to stackability - and the Cameron 12cm depth vs HP 9cm deep is a dead giveaway why this Cameron fits more than it looked.

That was when I decided to test, and document what this Cameron can do, hence worth the trouble for this review. Below is my usual travel EDC. These items are essential (some say I overly prepare) and they include headlights and red blinkers inside the yellow Camelbak tool case.

A little about my EDC, the larger black pouch carries the laptop chargers, phone wall charger and phone cables, and the Kensington lock. The small black pouch has my wireless mouse, earphones for conference calls, wiping cloth(I hate fingerprints on screens) and 12feet of paracord. I bring my Bose QC25 for travel to make the plane ride more enjoyable, and I always have a power bank, my pencil case (which is a Camelbak tool bag), a camera (Panasonic FT4), a foldable jacket (Salomon), an additional earphone (JVC no less) and a waterproof bag. Other items such as extra ziplock bag, cable ties are dependent but as important for travel. When I am not travelling, the charger pouch, passport and Bose stays home. It is then replaced with another pouch that carries other “survival” EDC. 
Field test


The shoulder pad were sufficiently padded and able to manage the load full. Due to the smaller footprint, it doesn’t feel particularly big, or uncomfortable. Weight distribution is neutral for typical commute/travel. Unless you plan to have this behind you whole day long, something with better air circulation (to separate the physical bag and your back such as those available on hiking bags) may be a better choice.

The bag zippers were smooth. No indication of brand (as YKK is often synonymous with durable zips). The main main compartment zipper will end in either one of the side pockets, it is a bit troublesome to “dig” it out especially if you have the side pockets filled. I do not leave my zippers in the middle of the bag, as it may actually pry open or opened when you are commuting/travelling in crowded spaces.
Both zipper ends in the side pocket
The inner pockets were functional except the name card holder. It’s too shallow to hold anything except your name card, and if you have a card holder, it won’t fit in there as well. Maybe it’s just meant as a slot to place your contacts card should you misplace or lose your bag, which brings me to the next paragraph.
The pocket closest to this caption is the card holder.
Tumi Tracker - it’s a feature that Tumi included in this bag that may potentially make it possible for you to be reunited with your bag should you lose it because of your own carelessness. It’s not a GPS chip embedded type of function so there are limitations. There is a 20-digit code unique to each bag and if a Good Samaritan finds them, and decided to do you a big favour, call the US number, give the 20-digit number, you may get your bag back. I will hold this hope with humanity.
You only need to register once - and you have the number back to your email. So don’t worry about having to remember the numbers; as it actually make more sense to keep your bag close to you. However, if you do own the luggage bag (to check in), this may be an additional insurance should the airline misplace your luggage .. and the airline tag gets separated... maybe.
The two front zip - Left and Right Pockets
The two-front zipped compartments were impressive. Tumi did some magic and made them both highly usable instead of just aesthetic. One side has a phone sleeve able to fit my OnePlus2 5.5inches. A 16k mAh powerbank, a Buff and a reflective vest all fits in with space to spare.
Powerbank, Phone, Camelbak tool Bag
And still have space for this two items!
The other side slips in my tags, earphone in a casing and a folded dry bag, with space to spare.
And still with space to spare...
Inside the Cameron, there is an inner zipped pocket that runs 3/4 height of the bag - which I have not utilized. It also have a padded slip pocket for tablets, which I am unlikely to utilize except maybe as a separate compartment for passport and boarding passes. There are two more slide pocket deep and wide enough for an external HDD each.
Interior
How it all fitted in
Right pocket with lining for cold drinks that may condensate

Left pocket for other utilities.
There are three daisy-chain loop that you can use to attach anything, including a metal buckle - perhaps a touch to make you feel it’s an exclusive (read: expensive) bag. The other two daisy chain is at each of the strap which is useful to clip blinkers perhaps?
You can hang marketing stuff here if you want
Loops for you to secure other items
One more nice touch to the bag is a hidden compartment behind the bag that is secured with magnetic closure. The size fits a passport and boarding pass very nicely. I supposed this, together with the Bag-sleeve (where you use it to hang/secure the bag to your carry-on luggage completes the "commuter" tag this Cameron lives up to. Nice touch Tumi.
Secret Compartment

able to fit my passport and the leather cover

where the passport is relative to the size of the compartment

the luggage sleeve
Wrapping it up
It’s a very nice bag that is not loud. Something you don’t see often as the market is flooded with the monogram series. My wife choice (I am one of them) were perfect. While she bought this hoping I won’t put all the items above, as I do have the tendencies to put everything I think I need, the Cameron surprised me and her that it holds everything I need and don’t need.
If there is two things I wished it had, a leather patch for my initial (isn’t that why people get a Tumi?) and the material to be Cordura (hardier and self healing) instead of Nylon - because Nylon does not reflect the exclusivity of the brand.
leather detailing on the bag

Size comparison against a 21inch Echolac carry-on luggage

side profile vs 21inches Echolac

Specification (from a few sources online, as Tumi does not have much info surprisingly):
Dimension (approx): 29cm(W)x12cm(D)x43cm(H)
Weight: Approx 750grams empty
Laptop dimensions: up to 15 inches (my office issued laptop is a 14.4inch and fits nicely)
Other Details:
Two zip pockets on front
- Double zip top closure
- Open pockets on sides
- Bag sleeve on back to slide onto luggage handle
- Adjustable padded straps with leather detailings
- Double Nylon grab handle 
- Hidden pocket with magnetic closure
Interior:
- One Zip pocket
- 4 slip pockets
- One pen holder (which is really a pocket, not explicit "pen" loop, which is great!)
- One padded slip pocket (for tablet?)
- One key sling with clip
- Tumi Tracker ID sewn 
Construction:
100% Nylon outer
100% Polyester lining inner


Friday, September 29, 2017

Ironman Malaysia 2017 - SOLD OUT

Stupe Says: #NoComeBackRaceAgain




SOLD OUT!! THE 2017 IRONMAN® MALAYSIA, LANGKAWI HAS SOLD OUT AHEAD OF EVENT CLOSING DATE
IRONMAN® Malaysia will be held in Langkawi on 11 November 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (26 September 2017) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company, announced today that this year’s edition of IRONMAN®Malaysia has sold out well ahead of the closing date of 20 October. The event is to be held on the island of Langkawi on 11 November 2017.

“We are extremely thrilled to receive such great support from the IRONMAN community from all over the world. The sellout is testament to the success of such a fantastic race in a spectacular destination with a rich history. IRONMAN® Malaysia will offer 50 slots to the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Langkawi is the perfect location for those trying to win a spot to the prestigious World Championship” says Geoff Meyer, Managing Director of IRONMAN Asia.

This year’s event in Langkawi will have more than 70% of registered athletes coming from over 50 different countries. The Top 4 countries are Japan, Singapore, Australia and Philippines. The high volume of international athletes will help to boost the tourism income for the island of Langkawi.

IRONMAN attributes the sell out to the consistency in the quality race experience over the last few years. IRONMAN also believes that the support from the local community and local authorities on the island of Langkawi has also helped to continuously improve and elevate the standard of the event from year to year.

The 3.8km Swim, 180km Bike and 42.2km Run will take part on the western part of Langkawi and will showcase the beauty and wonders of a truly tropical island destination. The swim will take place in front of the breathtaking beachfront at Pantai Kok with the bike course filled with scenic paddy fields and rolling hills around the island. The run will be finishing at the sandy beach of Pantai Chenang.

During the week of 11 November, there will also be other fringe events such as the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® Langkawi and the 2017 IRONKIDS®, Langkawi. The 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3 Langkawi has also sold out   and offers 30 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN® 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa

IRONMAN® Malaysia and IRONMAN® 70.3 Langkawi is supported by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia and the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA).

Athlete inquiries may be directed to malaysia@ironman.com.

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.  Media may contact alice.fry@ironman.com.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Pirelli Angel CiTy Motorbike Tires - Review

I have an underbone motorbike that has been inactive and decided to revive it as another mode of transport for me. The bike is old and sort of gotten it from a neighbour after his beloved dad passed away. It was used to carry the kids to school, college and work by the late owner. Blame me for being sentimental; i see it as a mean to continue the legacy as well. 

I have previously sent (and spent) time to fix the piston seal and changed the clutch spring, fixed the brakes, speedometer cable and fixed a few bent items about a year ago. 
Due to the leaking piston seal, the bike dies off when idling and it is no fun keeping the throttle on. This repair/revivial involved change to the drivetrain which is the front and rear sprocket and the chain. It is best to change it as a set, and this is the highest wear and tear on a motorbike.


Front sprocket old vs new. Both 14 teeth
Rear sprocket - new is 36T, old was 40T. Not immediately noticeable, but the teeth on old sprocket has thinned out and sharper. Smaller new sprocket allows higher speed at same RPM (better final ratio)
While the sprockets were removed and the wheels were off, I asked for the wheel bearings to be checked and replaced as needed. Good move as the front bearing has seen better days.
These make great Fidget Spinner core - which I did
Heck, I even gotten the front fork removed and serviced, with the old seal replaced and new hydraulic oil - thinking back, replacing a new fork will just cost RM40 more (vs RM50 to service it).
All in the name of safety
As the underbone is under utilised and I want to sort of flush the engine oil it, best way is to run a liter of new engine oil for a few hundred kilometers or a tankful or two of fuel and then change the engine oil again. 
Shell Advance AX5, A Premium Mineral oil at 15-40 weightage

The Changing Of Tires
Well, of course, after all the repair done above, it is only logical that I consider to change the tires too. The old tire still looked very useable. 80% thread on the  rear Dunlop TT100 70/90-17 tires, the front though, need replacing having left about 40% thread.
The front Dunlop TT100 70/90-17 tires. Unidirectional. RM75 to replace new.
Upon removal of the front tires, we noticed that it had glue and likely residues from previous puncture sealants still in there! Which sort of explained the vibration at speed due to imbalanced inertia and the damaged front bearings!
The gunks
Underbone motorbike will often receive a change in the look once the tire are changed - and it can be a significant change - from an Uncle Commuting Bike to a Racing Machine (or look like one). I had a few choices but because my other bike was having a Pirelli Demon shod and I know how it ride and felt, I decided to ask if they have Pirelli stored at this humble looking local motorbike shop... and surprised that they did at a price I can't resist! They have the Pirelli Angel CiTy (written as Angel CT) at 80/90-17 44S TL sizing, which fits the underbone, and a good replacement of the original 70/90-17 tires. 
80mm widest, 90% Aspect ratio (72mm height), 17 inch rim, 44 speed rating (180km/h max), S load (not sure how many KG loading) and TL (tubeless)
This Pirelli is made in Malaysia and there is nothing shy about it as we do produce rubber as one of our commodity resources. First visual impression of the thread was impressive. Having a semi-slick rubber was pretty exciting for an underbone - i was right about the look like one fast bike.
Very nice!
    Here is a comparison of the old tire vs the new tire, a complete change to how it look. I am not sure about you, but I was sure excited and happy with the choice!
    Old vs New

    The Angel City is directional tire where there is a specific direction should it be installed at the back or the front. I made the decision to have both the tire rolling in same direction, instead having the front to be the other way around. May be detrimental on speed and control if the bike is being pushed beyond 120km/h - and I do not see myself pushing it past 90km/h on this smaller bike; but will change the direction if the road test proved it to be detrimental to both handling and safety.
    Wow! See what i said about changing the whole outlook of the bike?
    The front tire direction in reverse, after 60km
    The underbone comes with sports allow rim and it is a bit old due to dirt and accumulated road grime that embeded itself into the rim, so it's a bit unsightly
    hmmm...
    Nothing a bit of sticker (reflective at that!) can't fix... and it's yellow, so that's good!
    Now, that's better!

    And nothing some tire polish can't fix to the look!
    Road Test
    As the new tire may be a bit slippery, I was advised not to ride it to aggresively until the tires after a few kilometers (like really?). But he is the mechanic, and he seems competent, and has "race" experience (scars to show on his arms/elbow), i took his advise. Despite the "new slippery" feel, the tire gave me a very high assurance of grip and speed. 
    I believe that the 'fast" feel is because of the serviced bike, and that the mechanic tuned the air-fuel mixture (again, his "race" experience helped), the bike felt lively. I now know the old mechanic did tune the bike to run leaner for fuel savings/consumption purpose vs this mechanic that tuned it to the near perfect ratio. The new chain and sprocket set may had added slightly more speed with lower drive ratio (higher 40:14 vs lower 37:14). If you make the drive ratio to be higher, you gain higher accelerations.I may just write one article to explain this separately...
    Great Dry Handling
    So, back to the Pirelli Angel handling - it's good and the slightly higher ride due to the aspect ratio (of 80/90 at 72mm vs the older 70/90 at 63mm), it did provide a plusher ride and gave the bike a slightly larger diameter, which also meant the speedometer will slightly under report the actual speed, not a lot, just slightly as the circumference of the wheel increased by approximately 5cm per rotation. (180.89cm vs 175.24cm - do you remember your maths? ;-)). After about 60km of riding on the road in KL, on straights and gentle corners, the tire gave me higher handling confidence when compared to the older tire handling, significantly. Riding over small uneven (read: small holes), has no issues except that the suspension did struggle to cope (upgrade next?).
    Great Wet Handling too!
    We live in Malaysia and we have rain that happens suddenly even during dry hot season. In Malaysia, when it rains, it pours - and that was exactly what happened after day 3 of the tire change. The Pirelli lives up to it's name on the wet as well. While this is NOT their top end motorbike tires, the rubber compound provides great grip in the wet over heavy rain and I was riding with a lot of confidence even through corners and roundabout in the wet. I would say this rubber compound provide good grips and assurance both wet and dry!
    Long Term Feedback
    I will likely be using this same tire over the next few years due to the shorter commute I may have to work and back. Will provide more update mid-wear and tear, or within the next 6-months with visual of how it has worn out over time. Meanwhile, this is the official page for Angel CiTy from Pirelli




    • The new Angel™ CiTy is directly derived from the well-known and test winner Angel™ GT. Technology and tread pattern design have been reviewed and adapted to smaller displacement bikes, with a X-Ply construction and dedicated materials
    • The new tyre addresses the needs of sporty bikes up to 250cc, ‘underbones’ and other commuting bike
    • The robust tyre construction ensures high puncture resistance and performance consistency throughout the entire tyre life
    • The benefits of Angel™ CiTy are clearly perceived in any riding condition, especially on uneven road
    • The tread pattern guarantees optimal wear and improves water evacuation
    • Angel CiTy features a new compound mainly based on carbon black with a calibrated percentage of silica; it is able to deliver excellent grip on both dry and wet, tear resistance and mileage

    Tuesday, May 09, 2017

    Garmin Edge 1000 Unboxing

    Thank you sir!
    Thanks to the collaboration between Garmin Malaysia (AECO Technologies) and 2ndSkin Asia, I received my much anticipated and awaited cycling computer known as Edge 1000. This unit is the flagship model of the Edge-series and launched in April 2014. 



    My team mate, Azrul helped to collect the goodies for the team for distribution right before his Borneo International marathon (BIM) 2017. 


    Yumssss
    In the bags were Fenix 5X which went to a few of us. With my Garmin Vector 2s and the Speed+cadence sensor in place, having the Edge-series is the next big upgrade for my biking experience. So I left F5x for the other team mates to experience...
    The Star of the Week
    The unit of Edge1000 I received is the full bundle set. Meaning it has the base unit (of Edge1000) and comes with the heart rate monitor (HRM) with premium strap (version 3), the speed sensor and the cadence sensor. All these are ANT+ compatible. Highly changeable from bike to bike (assuming you have more than just 1 bike). 
    First Impression
    "The unit is as big as a 90's handphone, only thinner." That was my first thought. In the (cycling) world where almost everyone worth their cycling-salt is a gram-granny, this unit is suprisingly light despite the width and length. If is declared at 115grams, which is about the weight of two packs of energy gel, definitely lighter than 1xCO2 canister and a fraction the weight of a spare tube. Only challenge is the size, as triathlete may find the size to be a challenge on the cockpit area. More of that later.
    The unit with the micro-USB cable and a elastic tether
    Out-front mount with attachment over various 
    diameter handlebar
    Under the unit packing is all the items you will need to install this unit on your bikes. To start with, the unit came with a Micro-USB cable with "Garmin" embossed on it. Nice small details, as they could had easily used a generic Micro-USB that are mass-produced for other electronics. 

    The elastic tether is for you to secure (read, loop over like a noose) over your handle bar as you clip the unit on the dedicated out-front mount or the quick release mount.

    The quick releases mounting, grommet and 2-sizes of silicon to secure the unit over handblebar
    With 3-mounting provided, you effectively able to install them on 3-different bicycles (see the N+1 equation?). So, i can see this being on my roadbike, my tribike and my mountain bike. One caution is to constantly check the silicon ring for wear and tear, as previous experience tells me that it may break over time (about 6-8months) and last you want is losing your gadgets or risk it becoming roadkill.
    Quick removable speed and cadence sensor!
    The bundle came with the newer speed and cadence sensor that allow for fast swap between your (N+1) bike. No complains here. The sensors are ANT+ compatible, meaning if you can strap this on your gym bike... you potentially have opportunity to collect data of your workout (just saying).
    HRM with premium strap
    The HRM that comes with it is the 3rd generation strap or premium strap that is known to be comofrtable as the HRM-run that I have. It is also ANT+, so it can be paired to any devices running on this format. 
    Lastly, the full manual is included to complete the bundle package. I did an unboxing video and uploaded to Youtube. So if you want to see how it was packed and what was really inside (again), here is the video. DO follow for more updates.

    Day 1 Simple Operation and Feel
    Edge1000 relative to my tribike setup
    As you can see from the photo above, the simple attachment of the Edge1000 on my tribar sort of takes up the whole hand section below my shifter. I choosed the left side as that is for the chainring, and seldom see much shifting. I ride on my big ring more often than smaller ring and shifting is minimal unless there is a big climb. I have not cycled outdoor for a long time, and likely to only know if this position is ideal before deciding to change it elsewhere - or DIY get an aftermarket attachment meant for tribar. 
    The screen resolution and sensitivity is almost smartphone like - I am not sure if that will be a problem if I am wearing a glove (unlikely unless MTB), or when the unit is wet and I need to swipe the screen (also unlikely as riding a bike, won't have time for that). The disadvantage of having the top of the range Edge is that I missed the opportunity to know, or learn of the other models, thus, limiting my appreciation on what the changes or dynamics are. I am still thankful for this, don't get me wrong. I believe I will learn more of this awesome computer and will provide a long term review for you. Meanwhile... I checked the GPS and it's GLONASS+GPS capability...and locking in from cold start (first time activation) took less than 15seconds... I am impressed. 
    6m accuracy...wow!
    More of this unit once I start getting to know it more, so watch this blog for review. Meanwhile, this is the full specs of Garmin Edge1000 from Garmin website.

    General

    Physical dimensions2.3" x 4.4" x 0.8" (58.0 x 112.0 x 20.0 mm)
    Weight4.0 oz (114.5 g)
    Water ratingIPX7
    Battery typerechargeable lithium-ion
    Touchscreen
    Display size1.5" x 2.6" (39.0 x 65.0 mm); 3.0" diag (76.0 mm)
    Display resolution240 x 400 pixels, touchscreen
    Color display
    Battery lifeup to 15 hours
    High-sensitivity receiver

    Maps & Memory

    Basemap
    Ability to add maps
    Accepts data cards
    Waypoints/favorites/locations200
    Routes100
    History200 hours

    Sensors

    GPS
    GLONASS
    Barometric altimeter

    Daily Smart Features

    Smart notifications

    Training, Planning and Analysis Features

    Customizable data pages
    Advanced workouts
    Auto Pause®
    Auto scroll
    Auto Lap®
    Virtual Partner

    Cycling Features

    Courses (compete against previous activities)
    Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal)
    Interval training
    Compatible with Vector™ (power meter)
    Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible third-party ANT+™-enabled power meters)Yes (records data approx. 1 per second)

    Garmin Connect™

    Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)
    Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to Garmin Connect)

    Additional

    Additional
    On-device segments: yes
    Wi-Fi® compatible: yes
    Smart Notifications: yes
    GLONASS: yes
    Compatible with Garmin Connect™ Mobile: yes
    Round-trip routing: yes
    Route planner: yes
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