Ottolock – a bike lock that works because it’s easy.

Why would I trust my highly personalized, expensive thief-attractant bike to an un-tried Kickstarter campaign flimsy looking strap for a bike lock?  OK, it was a gamble, and their self-promotional video was a bit short on credibility, but I felt like giving the guys some encouragement, having failed at enough good ideas myself to know how a bit of a boost at the right time can bring a smile to your over-stressed face.  The endless,”Whoops, we nearly produced one” emails were good fun too, and kind of got me thinking that they were honest at least, because a scammer would have deliberately included spelling mistakes. And they over-subscribed massively, so there were a lot of us who wanted something lighter than the ginormous U-bold and cable which does ensure that my bike always stays where I leave it, but it’s too much just for 5 minutes outside the supermarket.  This is looking good so far.

It’s made with multiple layers of stainless stell and kevlar and it’s a lot harder to cut than a cable. And it’s small and light, so it always goes with me.

It’s very  tight to operate needing a bit of force to slide it through the mechanism, so I’ll be interested to see how it wears, and I’m only going to use it where I can cinch it really tightly to try to stop scum from even trying to cut it. However, this review is pretty convincing. 

And this one – . I don’t like carrying around that big lock all the time, so for normal riding, where I’m never off the saddle and out of sight for more than a few minutes, this will be great. And all those quick shopping trips, where the Kryptonite is too much trouble.

So, the rules are:

  • quick stops only
  • always buckled really tight


Has anyone got any long term reviews?

After 1 month I’m totally happy 😉


Panmure/Glen Innes, Maungarei

One of our aims is to bike up all of the maunga around Auckland.  This one takes in the new Cycleway from Meadowbank to Glen innes – not very long but 4m wide concrete is a treat, with platforms on the slopes to slow us down. They would have worked if I didn’t have a full suspension bike 🙂

Total distance: 20.48 km
Max elevation: 140 m
Min elevation: 28 m
Total climbing: 836 m
Total descent: -825 m
Average speed: 14.38 km/h
Total Time: 03:44:50


Handelbars and grips

6 months down a few roads, only a couple of thousand kilometres, but very comfortable K’s they were, thanks to the Salsa Bend Bars and the Ergon GP1 Locking Grips . 


My old 29er hardtail was fitted with butterfly bars which got a lot of very strange looks because they really are a bit excessive although they do give you options, lots of options.  With this arrangement the only changes I make to my hand position is alternating between thumbs around and thumbs on top, and when I get into anything interesting, like the grassy steep slope in the building site that I cut through on my  commute, I can force my elbows out and keep that stiffness in the steering. Sometimes I think the 170 version might have been better for that, but after a day’s comfortable riding I’m always glad I took the plunge for the 230

Around the Harbour

From home to the boat at Hobsonville Marina,  find our way around the harbour to the NW bike link to the city, nice couple of beers and a cuppa for Jill at the bar downtown, ferry over to Northcote and home.

Total distance: 58.72 km
Max elevation: 138 m
Min elevation: 26 m
Total climbing: 2049 m
Total descent: -2119 m
Average speed: 21.00 km/h
Total Time: 07:24:53

GBI / Aotea

The car ferry is a treat. It chugs along at 11-12knots (I checked on Navionics, my navigation app), dead calm until the Colville Channel, then the swell came from the beam and I didn’t like that much, and while you’re spending 4 or 5 hours with a group of strangers you get to hear  few tales and have a few people to wave to. Friendly and slow which sets you up for the Barrier. 

I forgot to turn on Geo Tracker, but the trip over the hill to medland is a doddle on our bikes. I was puffing at the top but at least I got there. And to here

Port Fitzroy and back

I had estimated 45-50k starting from Clarissa, but Shark alley is about 8k more and one more climb. 69k more likely with 1250 vertical metres, the last third in my case with no battery. 41k is not a good range and I was being careful.

Total distance: 66.14 km
Max elevation: 383 m
Min elevation: 23 m
Total climbing: 3288 m
Total descent: -3282 m
Average speed: 17.53 km/h
Total Time: 07:59:37

Harataonga Coastal Walkway

Some maps say it’s a MTB track some say “Not for bikes”, another map showed it as grade 2, and they all said it was fairly flat for the Barrier, so with the bikes in the back of the rental SW we slowly negotiated the road to the doc camp.

Bit of an uphill to start with, wide and formed with a bit of gravel, but a few J’s along and you’re into single track, deeply rutted with well formed drains, some down right informed with steep drop offs and it was all adding up to grade 3+. Great views, awesome ride along a piece of NZ you can’t see any other way from land, perfect weather, fabulous bikes and Jill for company.

Total distance: 23.65 km
Max elevation: 176 m
Min elevation: 36 m
Total climbing: 1760 m
Total descent: -1759 m
Average speed: 10.70 km/h
Total Time: 04:36:00

Soak in the hot pools on the way home, down to Swallows for an excellent burger, car to the airport and bike the 6k home, me in low ratio because I still can’t get the front derailleur adjustment right. This one is gallery 12

Total distance: 6.79 km
Max elevation: 73 m
Min elevation: 35 m
Total climbing: 209 m
Total descent: -177 m
Average speed: 19.80 km/h
Total Time: 00:25:56

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