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On The Pedals

The Daily Grind

Over The Bars

Gear Review: Vetta Products
By Beth Trickett and Rob Manning

They're not just road equipment you know.

The L110HR is the complete deal.

Get in shape with Vetta’s all-in-one - L110HR T2X – Heart Rate Smartlite computer
Some riders are content with knowing the average speed and distance of a ride. For those of us who crave more details, there’s the Vetta L110HR T2X, a high tech computer that stops just short of reporting weather forecasts and the Dow Jones average. Perfect for the hard-training, log-keeping cyclist, Vetta’s wireless computer displays heart rate with time in, above, and below heart rate zones; average and maximum HR; and percentage of maximum (with programmable limits). It also displays current, average, and maximum cadence and speed, has a stopwatch and service timer (which oddly indicated a low battery after just three months of use), and displays ride time and total time. The computer also allows users to input many of their own personal settings, featuring programmable audible and visible alarms. The computer also displays distance and intermediate distance and has a speed comparator and a smart light. Wash, spin, dry…this does it all.

For riders who hook up several different computers for a complete training picture and ride data, this computer boils down all the information into one compact unit. Complete with a comfortable and easily adjusted heart rate transmitter and a sleek “torpedo” sensor that attaches to the frame to transmit speed and cadence, the system is well-designed and fires up immediately once the bike gets moving (unlike some other wireless systems).

But before you can use this handy gadget, you must first install it. This takes an equal dose of time and patience, and as I juggled the various parts and tried to follow one of two very thick instruction booklets, I noted that my heart rate was on the rise before it was even programmed into the bike. After the computer was finally set up, I struggled with the unit’s many menus and submenus. But this is always the downside to having so many options. Luckily I could afford to sit and play with each menu on the trainer, but to have to scroll through menus and hold down buttons while racing down the road or on a winding trail seems like a recipe for disaster and the cluttered, light gray menu makes it difficult to find what you’re looking for at first glance. If you have the patience and the time to memorize the keystrokes necessary to find what you’re looking for, you’ll be golden, otherwise you may find the sheer volume of menus/information overwhelming.

The "torpedo" sensor is an elegant solution to separate wired sensors..

Overall, this computer is great for those looking for something all-inclusive or who are training and want to crunch the numbers at the end of the ride. If you struggle to program household electronics, than I’d try one of Vetta’s more basic models. But if you’re up for a challenge, this computer’s nine different heart rates and 26 cycling functions will no doubt benefit your training.

Retails for $250

Vetta Tube Tool Pro
It’s not too often that a tool can cause a stir in this office, but Vetta has managed to do just that when the Tube Tool Pro arrived on our desks. For as long as we can remember we’ve carried bulky multi-tools in our packs, jersey pockets or saddle bags just on the off chance that we’ll need it. Usually, those non-descript get forgotten and when you really need them, you have to tear apart your pack to find the little bugger so you can hurriedly get back on the trail. Somehow, Vetta has managed to change that by making a tool something, well, cool.

The Tube Tool Pro (as the name implies) is a cylindrical shaped multi-tool with a hidden surprise. It looks like a normal screwdriver from the outside, but flip open the compartment in the handle and out pops a plethora of anti-rust treated gadgets and gizmos. When all is said and done you have more than 20 on board tools including a pair of spoke wrenches, box and open end wrenches, T25 Torx driver, chain tool and fold out tire lever. You even have a bottle opener for those post ride imbibitions. On top of all those nifty gadgets, the shaft of the tool can be adapted to straight (180 degree) or folded (90 degree) orientations so you’ll always have multiple ways of getting to stubborn bolts.

Perhaps one of the coolest features of the Tube Tool Pro is the inclusion of a pair of LED lamps that shine out the face of the tool. They have approximately a 1 hour continuous burn time and throw off plenty of light to get hasty repairs done with. This is definitely a departure from the normal rusty old tool you keep in your pack and is a welcome addition to trailside maintenance, especially when daylight is waning and you need to hurry up and fix your catastrophe and get out before night falls and the perils of the night swallow you up. The only problem we see is that the lights really don’t work too well when you use the tool in its 90 degree angled format.

In terms of use, we’ve spent plenty of time on the trail with this gizmo and we’ve found it to be quite useful and a pleasure to use. Vetta has figured out that the tools don’t have to be uncomfortable to use. We were able to easily and comfortably grip the Tube Tool Pro with and without gloves (especially nice without gloves since this is where most tools become uncomfortable) and we had no complaints with the quality of the tool bits included. Our Tube is showing no rust, deformation or any other complaints to belie its trail use.

Who knew that you could pack so much awesome stuff into a little tube?

Our ultimate test comes from the strip down test (get your mind out of the gutter). Since we happened to get the Tube Tool at the time of year which we start doing heavy “slow season” maintenance on our fleet of test bikes, we put the Tube Tool to work on a strip down and rebuild. Surprisingly it performed quite well. Besides the obvious missing tools (crank pullers, chain whip, cassette lockring tool, etc. that you would only find in a home workshop) and the limitations placed upon the torque you can put on the tool (the body is only fiberglass after all) we were able to get most of our work out of the way by using the Tube Tool.

Besides all the nifty gadgets that come with the tool, you also get a water resistant neoprene sleeve that holds the tool, 8mm attachment and tire levers. It has straps to attach it to your frame if that’s how you roll or you can just toss it in your pack and go (we chose the latter.) Overall, it’s nice to know that Vetta “get’s it” when it comes to tool design, and we’re happy to say that this will be replacing that old, rust-prone hunk of steel in our packs for a long time to come.

Net weight 310 grams (case and attachments included)

MSRP: $45

Visit them online at www.vetta.com.

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