Product Reviews: GearBest Cycling Accessories

And now for a word from our sponsors… well not quite, but I did receive a request from international online retailer GearBest to have a look at some of their cycling accessories (they also stock a wide range of other goods, including electronics, household gadgets and outdoor gear). And so, after a bit of back and forth, a package arrived at my door with a couple of interesting things to play with that I thought might also be of interest to some readers.

Disclaimer: GearBest has freely provided these products to me for review; no other commercial arrangement has been entered.

First up is a Roswheel mobile phone holder with side pouches:

Unfolding the Roswheel gear bag

Anyone heading out for a decent ride invariably wants to take a few bits and pieces with them; maybe your phone, wallet, nibbles, puncture kit, etc. Small bike-specific carry-bags are a big market for those who don’t want to bother with a backpack or panniers; for example I have one that can fit under my seat, and another that mounts in front of my handlebars. The Roswheel bag is designed to fit at the front of your top tube, near the handlebars and head tube. That provides a handy location for you to access stuff and to see your phone, which is housed in a clear pocket on top.

Phone loaded up and ready to go

I got a 5.5 inch pocket to fit my Galaxy Note 3 phone. It attaches to the pouches via velcro and has a zip mechanism to allow you to securely insert your phone. Once inside the pocket, touch commands through the clear cover still worked just fine. My son tried with his phone however and struggled a bit to get consistent touches, so it may depend on how good your phone’s touch sensitivity is.

The Roswheel bag secured against the head tube

Attachment to the bike is by means of a couple of velcro straps underneath. Although it certainly wasn’t going anywhere once secured, it did have a tendency to wobble when riding over bumps. But the overall product appears to be made of good quality materials and the pouches are a big enough size to squeeze in quite a bit of stuff (1.8 litre total capacity). It is also small enough and suitably located to keep clear of your legs while riding.

A smaller phone can be inserted too – or get a smaller size pocket

Currently this retails online for just over NZ$13. There are similar bags available from GearBest with various size pockets for different phones, and there are also plenty of other types of bike bags to choose from too.

Next item to play with was a blue LED tyre valve bike-light:

Bike Light packaging

If you’ve ever wanted to bling your bike up a bit more for the Winter Solstice Ride (or just for biking around at night), then these fun little devices will certainly do the trick. Just remove your tyre valve cap and screw this on instead (fittings provided for both common types of valve). The device only lights up when it detects darkness and movement (with a suitable delay before stopping glowing).

This light just screws onto your bike tyre valve

Powered by three button batteries (included), the light generates various different patterns using seven blue LEDs (white and pink light options are also available). Every few seconds, the pattern changes automatically, although it can be hard to discern the different patterns (15 provided) as they whiz past you. The light is certainly very noticeable from a distance and the device coped fine with a heavy rain downpour too.

One of the bike light patterns

Currently this retails online for just over NZ$9. If your budget is bigger or smaller, there are also simple single light fittings and even more complicated light arrays too (some you can even program the patterns), as well as more conventional front and rear bike lights.

Skipping down the road…

Thanks to GearBest for supplying these products to have a look at. They certainly have a very extensive range of cycling-related items, whether for fun or more practical reasons, e.g. bells, clothing, holders. The cost of most of them is also exceptionally good value; if you’re willing to wait a bit you can also generally get free shipping on orders too.

If you would like to have us test/review a product, contact us and we’ll consider it.

What do you think of these accessories? Are there other GearBest items you prefer better?

4 thoughts on “Product Reviews: GearBest Cycling Accessories”

  1. Bikes on the road have to obey the road code – and one of the limitations is on colour of lights. Blue lights are never permitted on the road at any time – they’re for police. Likewise you cannot show a red light forward or a white light backwards. Finally, you’re only allowed a green light if you’re a registered medical doctor responding to an emergency (think a doctor on the way to surgery).

    Personally I’d not put a visible blue light on a bike. That said I have a blue light under my yellow high-vis vest which works really well and shows up as high-vis yellow.

    1. NZ’s Vehicle Lighting Rule continues to struggle to keep up with bike lighting practices (e.g. flashing lights and two front/rear lights were popular long before the law technically allowed them). Currently things like this LED device and the hugely popular MonkeyLectric light displays aren’t allowed by the existing law, despite their ability to make you more visible (a common cycling concern). The main issue in the Rule is around whether they “dazzle, confuse or distract” other road users. I have some sympathy with the “dazzling” aspect of this, but if a non-dazzling light results in other road users noticing you more that would seem to be a good thing for riders. No doubt the debate will continue…

      BTW, most of the light colour restrictions apply to “beacons” (typically found on top of a motor vehicle); I think it would be debatable whether something like this device would be considered a beacon for the purposes of the law. Indeed, I deliberately chose blue because it WASN’T the same colour as a white front or red rear light.

  2. Lenny – have you used the toptube bag in the rain at all?

    I’d find it hits my knees no matter what, so my one doesn’t have the side bits – it just clamps to the top tube.
    I also run a slim USB battery below the phone to power it and the gopro. This one looks like a battery would go in the side pocket nicely. Is there a way to get a wire between the compartments?

    I also found the zips rattly and annoying, so I cut off the tags and threadded short loops of braided cotton twine from some old venetian blinds, much quieter.

    Final thought – sunlight visibility… can you see the screen as well in full sunlight as if its not in the bag?

    1. I haven’t had the opportunity to use this bag in the rain yet; my impression is that the top pocket and pouch sides are made of a material that seems fairly water resistant. The balance is more conventional polyester however, which would probably let in water in a decent downpour. Might be worth investing a couple of plastic bags if concerned…

      Yes, you could easily run a wire between the side compartments and into the back of the top pouch; whether a plug would neatly fit in there may depend on the phone size and plug shape.

      Can’t say I noticed the zip noise (biking never seems that quiet an activity anyway), but your idea of replacing with cotton loops is a good one.

      While there is a slight potential for glare off the plastic screen, my testing suggests that it is generally no worse to view through the screen than if you were looking directly at the phone in the same light (which, if it was bright sunlight, can be difficult anyway).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *