Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Populo Lift V2 Review

Court and I have reviewed a few Populo bikes (like HAIBIKE XDURO ) now. I was able to review the Scout last year and the Sport V3 just recently, and Court covered the original Sport back in 2016. And now I’ve been able to check out the Lift V2, a beautiful step-thru that’s comfortable and easy to ride with an efficient 250-watt hub motor and top speed of 20 mph. Ok, so full transparency, I didn’t dig this bike when I first started testing it and gathering the specs. It’s just not my personal style, being a step-thru. However, the more I rode it around, the more I began to appreciate just how approachable the Lift V2 is. It’s just so easy to get on and off, and because of the mid-rise, swept back handlebars, the riding posture is super chill and comfortable. I trekked around town for a while on the Lift V2 and it was when I got to my first crosswalk that it really clicked for me. I have a relatively short inseam, so traditional triangle frames with higher standover heights can be an issue for me. But with the Lift V2 I was easily able to dismount and wait for the light. Very groovy. The Lift V2 runs for $1,399 and comes in two different frame sizes, 17 inch and 20 inch, and two different colors, White and Black. It also comes standard with an integrated front light, fenders and rear rack. This bike, as well as all bikes in Populo’s lineup, can be purchased at any of the 95 dealers dotted across the U.S., or via the Populo website. For those across the pond, there’s also a major EU dealer called Brick Lane Bikes. I like that Populo has so many dealers in the U.S. and I think it’s one of their strongest assets. In my opinion, having a brick and mortar store provides a few major advantages compared to buying online. First, it allows potential buyers to actually check out the bikes in person and compare the two sizes before dropping a grand or more. It also means the bikes will be assembled and tuned by professionals, the same professionals who can fix up a given bike if any issues arise. The Lift V2 is fairly affordable considering how many features it offers, but some of the hardware is entry-level and there are a few design compromises worth knowing before pulling the trigger. Ok! Let’s dive into the specs.
Driving the Lift V2 to its top pedal-assist or throttle-only speed of 20 mph is an efficient 250-watt hub motor. Like the motor on the Sport, this one is branded by Populo and has a peak wattage of 350 watts with up to 40 newton meters of torque. The motor is by no means a power house, but this bike isn’t really built for tackling major hill climbs or hitting higher top speeds. No, this is a relaxed city bike, an enjoyable little bike meant for putting around the neighborhood or around town at a leisurely pace. At least that it what it seems like to me. And with that philosophy of use in mind, the motor is well suited. A lower power motor should also equate to higher efficiency, and therefore longer ranges compared to higher output motors. I would estimate my personal range around 23 miles based on the range test I did with a full battery, using the highest level of assist and some throttle on relatively flat ground (but I do weigh ~200 lbs). This motor is also pretty quiet, and because the battery is stowed beneath the rear rack, this electric bike does have a degree of stealthiness to it (especially if you hang pannier bags over the rear rack). I’m a 200 pound rider, and I generally carry at least 30 pounds of gear with me, but even with all that weight, I was able to pretty easily hit and maintain the top speed of 20 mph with only light pedaling. The Lift V2 has a cadence sensor, I believe it’s the same one used on the Sport. Generally, I’m not a fan of cadence sensors as they aren’t as accurate or responsive as torque sensors. Like most cadence sensors, this one has a slight delay from the time I start and stop pedaling to the the time the motor starts and cuts off power. For this bike, which again I think is geared more towards neighborhood riding and cruising through town or along the beach or something, I don’t think it really detracts from the overall experience. It’s less of an issue to have delays in motor power when the motor isn’t super powerful. There’s also the option of kicking back and just using the half-grip twist throttle, which is very responsive. The throttle on this bike is on the left side of the handlebars, which took a few seconds for me to get used to. Coming from a motorcycle background, I’m accustomed to the throttles being on the right, but it does make sense for the twist throttle to be on the left for the Lift V2 since the RevoShift twist shifter is on the right (this is the mechanism you use to change gears while pedaling). In order to actually use the throttle, however, I had to pedal for at least half a rotation before it would be come active. This is great from a safety standpoint, as it significantly reduces the risk associated with accidental throttle activation. I think the reasoning here would be that if I were pedaling the bike, I intend to have forward movement, so if I do accidentally hit the throttle, I should have a reasonable amount of time to react. Now, the downside to this is that when I’m trying to get going from a dead stop, it takes a while for the throttle to become live. This was especially noticeable for me when I was at crosswalks. This downside might be amplified for those with mobility issues – bad knees, injured hip or something else that impedes movement. In those cases, being forced to wait for the throttle to become hot until after the bike is already in motion might be the difference between experiencing pain and/or exacerbating a previous injury or not. In my opinion, it would be nice if there was a way to toggle instant throttle activation on and off in the control center settings.
The stopping power for the Lift V2 comes from 160 mm mechanical disc brakes. The model I tested was a prototype of the production model and had some pretty basic calipers that just didn’t provide much stopping power at all. The good news is that Populo is well aware of this shortcoming and has upgraded the calipers to ones that are higher quality for the production bike. The brake levers on the Lift V2 are also pretty standard, and while they don’t allow for reach adjustment, they do have motor inhibitors. This is a feature I always love talking about because I think it’s just so important to have for e-bikes. Basically, motor inhibitors cut power to the motor whenever the brakes are depressed. This acts as a safety feature because it ensure that the rider is never fighting against the motor when they are braking. I think of it like this: Imagine I’m cruising along using the throttle and suddenly a pedestrian races across the street. I panic and slam on the brakes, but forget to let off the throttle… or maybe I even twist the throttle harder as I squeeze the grips. Without motor inhibitors, the brakes would be trying to stop the bike and me, while also fighting against the power of the motor. But with motor inhibitors I’m guaranteed the shortest possible stopping distance. For everyday riding this may not be a hugely important feature, but in emergency situations it could make the difference between getting seriously hurt or not. On the front of the bike there’s also the Suntour SR NEX suspension. There’s three different models of this specific suspension, one with 50 mm of travel, one with 63 mm of travel and one with 75 mm of travel. I think this one is either the version with 63 mm of travel or 75 mm. I used my calipers to measure them and I got 72 mm. I really don’t think it matters much for this particular bike given it’s intended use. I for one don’t plan to be tackling any serious jumps or off-road trails with the Lift V2. This suspension has rebound adjust via clickers hidden beneath plastic caps on the top of the forks. This is a nice feature, especially for heavier riders like me, to help mitigate dive when braking hard and bob when pedaling along. Attached to the arch of the suspension is an integrated headlight that can be turned on and off with the control center. I like that Populo included a headlight for this bike as it does increase visibility in low-light conditions, an awesome safety feature in my opinion, but it’s location on the arch of the suspension means it’s going to bounce around a lot more compared to if it were mounted on the frame itself (the head tube or handlebars). Also, this light isn’t particularly bright, so those wanting to actually ride at night may want to consider purchasing an aftermarket headlight with greater output.
The frame of the Lift V2 is made of lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy, giving this bike a curb weight of 48.9 pounds – not bad considering it has suspension in the front, a seat post suspension, front and rear fenders and a rear rack. But given the positioning of the motor and battery, this bike is a bit back heavy. The battery is tucked neatly beneath the rear rack, which is great when it comes to keeping a low profile and being able to have that nice, deep swooping step-thru frame. However, it’s not so nice when it comes to balance. This imbalance will become more pronounced the more weight that’s put on the rear rack as well. It can also contribute to some speed wobbles at higher speeds. This isn’t something I noticed at 20 mph, but for anyone looking to push this bike beyond that, I’d definitely advise some caution. Really though, this is more of a neighborhood bike, and I for one wouldn’t plan on taking the Lift V2 beyond 20 mph. The gearing doesn’t support it, so you’d be spinning pretty fast to get anywhere near 30 mph unless you were coasting down a large hill. The frame of the Lift V2 has bosses for the fenders and rear rack, as well as bottle cage bosses – a nice feature for anyone who wants to stay hydrated on their rides. The battery here has the same specs as the battery on the Sport – 36v, 8.7ah. I appreciate how easy it is to remove and re-insert this battery. After unlocking it with the included key, there’s a cutout on the bottom of the back portion of the battery and my fingers naturally found a good grip to slide it out from the frame. Props to Populo for having a removable battery, as that means this bike can be charged on the go or while parked in the garage at home. Having a removable battery is also nice for those who really want to maximize the lifespan of their batteries. It’s best to keep batteries stored in a cool, dry location as opposed to leaving them in extreme temperatures. When batteries aren’t removable, this can be tricky to do, but in the case of the Lift V2, it’s easy enough to take the battery out and store it in a cool, dry location somewhere until you’re ready to ride again. My only grip with this battery, as was my grip with the battery on the Sport, is that there’s no USB port. It’s not really that big of a deal, but I do appreciate being able to charge my accessories on the go with my electric bike batteries. Of course, with only 8.7ah of juice, slightly lower than average, maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea anyway.
The control center on the Lift V2 is the same one found on the Sport and displays current speed, a 10-bar battery level indicator, pedal assist settings from 0 to 9 and the ability to view a tripometer or odometer. The backlight on this display can be turned on by holding the plus button, and activating this also turns on the front headlight. Holding the minus button on the control center puts the Lift V2 into walk mode. I have mixed feelings on the walk mode feature for this bike. When on flat ground it tops out around 4.5 mph, which is a light jog for me. I was able to mitigate this by tapping on the brakes and using the motor inhibitors to control speed. Now, walking the Lift V2 up hills, the walk mode is a beautiful feature indeed. I actually used this function to great effect to get the photos used in this review. There was a nice little grassy section in the distance, but in order to get there I had to walk the bike up a relatively steep hill. Interestingly, the speed was much more manageable in this instance, around 1 or 2 mph. This leads me to believe the walk mode might be set to an actual wattage output as opposed to a speed limit. Either way, I fell in love with the walk mode in that moment. Overall, the control center is pretty basic but does offer all the pertinent bits of information. The downside to this control center is that it’s not easily removable. This means it could be scratched when left at a public rack and will take more weather wear over time when parked outside.
I grew to like this ebike more and more the longer I rode it through my small town. I think this bike is a great choice for those looking to cruise in comfort, and especially those who struggle with mobility. Like most step-thru frames, the Lift V2 is super approachable – easy to get on and off of, and because of the relaxed, upright riding position, it’s also quite comfortable and safe (allowing you to spot traffic and look around without straining your back and neck). This feels like a good value buy from Populo that includes components that are relatively entry-level, but still get the job done. Again, one of the best features here, in my opinion, is that Populo has so many dealers spread throughout the U.S. To me, this is great because if I had any questions or if there were any issues with my bike, I could just take it in to my local dealer and have them check it out. I want to thank Populo for partnering with me on this review! As always, you’re welcome to share your own insights and experiences below in the comments or in the Populo forums.


  • Step-thru frame makes getting on and off the bike extremely easy, this is a great design for those who struggle with mobility or anyone looking for a more approachable bike
  • This bike is overall extremely easy to use and operate, the control center is simple to navigate and the RevoShift twist shifter is intuitive
  • At 48.9 pounds, the Lift V2 is a bit lighter than I expected, especially given that it has a rear rack, front suspension and a seat post suspension
  • White color is nice and bright and should show up well in low-light conditions, front headlight should also help to increase visibility,
    these are great safety features
  • Motor inhibitors cut power to the motor whenever the brake levers are depressed, this ensure the shortest possible stopping distance and could prove seriously handy in an emergency situation where the rider might slam on the brakes but forget to let off the throttle
  • Populo has upgraded the brake calipers to increase stopping power, a nice sign the company is willing to go above and beyond for the sake of safety
  • 95 dealers located around the United States means there’s probably a shop or two nearby, and having a local shop makes it easy to test ride a specific model before buying, as well having a trusted source to turn to for questions as well as solving any potential issues that might arise later on
  • Chain guard extends almost the entire length of the chain so pant legs and dresses will stay much cleaner, the semi-translucent blue hue also looks quite nice
  • The Lift V2 includes front and rear fenders, a rear rack, an integrated front headlight and a seat post suspension, all items that are often considered upgrade points
  • Fenders are plastic and lightweight, and while plastic fenders have a tendency to rattle around a bit, I didn’t hear any rattling during testing
  • 250-watt motor is efficient and quiet and fits well with the philosophy of use for this bike
  • Top speed of 20 mph can be achieved with pedal assist or with throttle only, having a throttle is nice as it expands the potential roles the Lift V2 can play, it can be pedaled like a traditional electric bike or simply ridden like a moped or scooter
  • Two different frame sizes means there’s going to be a frame size that fits most riders
  • The white frame color will be visible at night and the integrated headlight and reflective sidewall stripes on the tires make it that much safer if you get the black color
  • I like the brake levers because they have rubberized edges and an integrated bell on the left (which is more durable and just cleaner looking than cheap aftermarket bells)
  • Populo makes stylish products, notice the black hub motor casing, black spokes, and black rims here… the rims are mid-dish which look cool and increase strength while adding a touch of aerodynamics


  • Because the battery and the motor are positioned towards the rear of the bike, the Lift V2 is rather back heavy and because step-thru frames aren’t as stiff as diamond, there could be some speed wobble at higher speeds and heavier loads
  • Most components are pretty entry-level, like the Shimano Tourney derailleur, pedals, control center and brakes
  • Chainring doesn’t have a chain guide, increasing the possibility the chain can pop off towards the inside of the chainring
  • Front headlamp isn’t exceptionally bright and while it will increase visibility at night, it probably won’t provide ample light to illuminate your path, it’s also fastened to the arch on the front suspension and will likely rattle around some when riding
  • Cadence sensor has some lag from the time pedaling begins and stops and the time the motor turns on and off
  • Brake levers aren’t adjustable, which could make braking more difficult for those with extra small or extra large hands, or those who wear gloves
  • Throttle functionality can’t be adjusted, so riders are stuck with the default mode of it only being hot once pedaling has begun
  • The kickstand is positioned near the left crank arm and can get in the way if you walk the bike around without first stowing it, the derailleur is a bit basic and since the hub motor has it’s power cable nearby, the rear area of the bike is a bit crowded and busy on the right side (and vulnerable if it tipped onto the right)
  • The seat can’t be lowered super far because the rack is so close, they will collide… this is an issue because you need to keep the rack on because that is where the battery mounts, some competing ebikes pushed the rack further back to allow for lower saddles which makes them even more useable for petite riders

Friday, October 20, 2017

Why a Poulan Pro Riding lawn mower?

A lot of people just want a good and reliable riding mower (like POULAN PRO LAWN MOWER ) for a great price. They don`t want to pay extra for a big brand name, but would really love to have the quality of brand equipment anyway.

In many industries there are a lot less manufacturers than there are brands - and lawn tractors are such a field: The renowned Swedish manufacturer Husqvarna also builds all Poulan Pro lawn tractors (in the USA, not in Sweden!). So if you get a Poulan Pro riding lawn mower, you will get Husqvarna quality for considerably less money.

And let`s be honest - that is what most people want. They have lots ranging from small city size to about 2 - 3 acres and want best-bang-for-the-buck equipment to mow and do other work on them. It should just do the job and come without any flaws, but it also shouldn`t cost more than it has to.

So does Poulan Pro have winners for the different needs in this range of applications? And which one of them is the right one for you? That`s what we`re going to find out in this review of the best Poulan Pro riding lawn mowers of the model year 2017.
There is one thing to keep in mind: If you are shopping in the cost-efficient niche, it sure helps if you are able to do your own maintenance, because maintenance costs are a considerable part of the overall costs of a lawn mower over the years.

Lawn mowers are not very complex machines and they don`t require heavy or expensive equipment to service them. They are indeed a fun way to learn a little wrenching and save money along the way if you buy the parts and fluids yourself and do the required work.

Poulan Pro is a good brand in this regard, because all parts are available online or through Home Depot, and a lot of components are identical to Craftsman and Husqvarna. They offer a standard 2 year limited warranty for their riding mowers and have a network of service stations if you have a warranty case or do want your equipment serviced by professionals.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What is a Tactical Flashlight?

If you are a fireman, policeman, in the military, a survivalist or hunter, you’ll understand the importance of having a high quality, reliable light. For activities and duties such as the mentioned professions, a simple household flashlight is not adequate.

It needs to be powerful, water resistant, have a reliable and rechargeable battery and it needs to be sturdy.

They are llife-saving tools.

This guide covers a wide price range of flashlights (for example: SUNJACK LIGHTSTICK ) If you’re #1 concern is finding the brightest flashlight in the world, regardless of the price, we recommend you read this guide. It only reviews the brightest LED flashlights on the market.
What Does Tactical Mean?

Tactical refers to military tactics; the science and art of implementing techniques to organize a military force, as well as techniques for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle, using weapons and military units.

Before great technological advances were made, military forces used their knowledge of land; heights, swamps, rivers, valleys and so on, in order to gain a tactical advantage over their enemy.

Practices of assault, skirmishing, engagement, creating and using obstacles and defenses and ambushes have not changed much however. Specialized tactics such as these still exist in situations such as securing a room or building by military forces, police and fire departments alike.
Parts of the Flashlight


The bezel is the head of the flashlight. It’s an extremely important part, though it might seem like a minor or inferior aspect of the light. It holds the head of the light onto the body. This means it keeps the window of the flashlight in places and heightens the brightness of the light by way of keeping the microscopic lens firmly attached. Beneath the lens you’ll find the torch, and depending on the model, the batteries and everything else that makes the light work.


The lens is more than just a cover for the torch. It heightens the brightness and reach of the already powerful torch. A lens on a tactical flashlight is very important for a number of reasons.
It is used to protect the torch beneath, but also it is used to illuminate the area in a number of colors; red, green, blue or clear are generally the colors chosen by military groups. The different colors enhance or alter visibility in specific situations.

For example, a red lens will help to preserve night vision; blue helps in the tracking of blood trails; and green can enhance vision in light conditions.

LED (the Bulb)

LED bulbs generally are capable of about 50,000 hours of continuous use, which amounts to roughly 5 years.

They also have no filament, which makes them more shock resistant. These qualities make LED bulbs arguably the most reliable bulbs around, which is exactly what is needed for military, police, or any other user of military tactics.

LED lighting will provide the best possible vision no matter what the conditions are. The best LED flashlights are chargeable as well, meaning there is no need to carry a box of batteries around with you.

The Reflector

The reflector has a parabolic shape and concentrates the light from the LED bulb, creating a direct beam. The reflector is a very important component as it enhances the power emitted from an already powerful bulb.

Many brands allow for the adjustment of the reflector to create a wider or narrower scope.

This is useful for moving in large areas of darkness, such as forestry or open land, as well as using it in more confined spaces such as a building.

Generally they are made of polished metal, glass or aluminized plastic. Some manufacturers also use a pebbled finish on the reflector to give uniformity to the beam that is being omitted.

Tail Switch

The tail switch is essentially the button that turns on the light. Its location is not just random placement. It is specifically placed at the butt to allow for optimum control over the direction in which you are aiming the beam.

By holding the flashlight with your arm in an upright position, in a so-called “icepick” grip, you can direct the beam with the twist of your wrist as opposed to your entire arm. This is useful for stealth operations when the beam is necessary one moment and detrimental the next. Being able to switch between high visibility and no visibility at the quick push of a thumb has aided stealth operations for decades now.

The Lanyard

When stealthily moving through a building or forest, there comes a time when you need to put the light away for fear of being detected, or to open a door, or any other time you might need your hand to be available.

The lanyard attachment allows you to keep your torch at the ready when your hands are free. It allows you to easily clip it to a belt or buckle and hang by your waist or around your neck, where you can easily reach for it again when needed.

It’s just a simple clip located at the base of the light alongside the tail switch: a simple but effective and necessary accessory.

The Pocket Clip
The pocket clip holds a similar function to the lanyard clip. It’s a piece of metal that runs down the body that allows you to easily clip the light onto the exterior of your pocket.

This is probably more useful, in terms of easy access, than the lanyard attachment. In a situation of high intensity when you’ll need your flashlight, you don’t want to be fumbling with a lanyard clip.

With the pocket clip, you can easily grab the flashlight in one hand and bring it to your aid immediately. The only downside is that if you’re moving a lot, jumping or sliding down steep trenches, the flashlight could slip from your pocket grip and fall to the ground without you noticing. This is why both pocket clips and lanyard clips are necessary.

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment is generally found mid way up the body of the flashlight. As the name suggests, it’s where the batteries are stored to power the flashlight.

Many modern tactical flashlight brands won’t have a battery compartment as they are chargeable, meaning they can be attached by way of a USB port to a power system and charged when not needed.

However, tactical flashlight brands with a battery port are more desirable by way of the virtue of not having to carry additional equipment, such as a USB charger.

Most tactical flashlights with a battery compartment will get a significant lifespan out of batteries, making the load a lot lighter, which is what you would want if on a long excursion.

Tail Cap
The tail cap offers grip at the tail of the flashlight when it is being held in the aforementioned “icepick” grip. Grip at this part of the flashlight body is incredibly important, as one false move and a dropped flashlight could lead to a heightened intensity situation and or death. The tail cap also secures the battery compartment adequately to the body of the flashlight in order to power it. Again, it may seem like a moderately irrelevant component of the tactical flashlight, but it’s a very important one. Grip and control are essential in high intensity situations and the tail cap offers extra grip and control, thus making it an essential component.

The Head or LED Housing

The head, or LED housing, is the compartment in which the LED flashlight bulb is stored. This is an important component of the tactical flashlight as it provides protection to the bulb.

With tactical flashlights, the head will be exceptionally sturdy in order to give optimum protection for the high intensity activities that security.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What bodily and other components help determine the roofing system selection?

What bodily and other components help determine the roofing companies NYC system selection?

After identifying the goals and mission of a facility, it's time to assess the building itself. You need to start by taking a look at the building's location as well as the attributes of its surrounding area. You want to test building codes, weather trends, topography - even how the building faces.
roofing companies nyc

The physical characteristics of the construction are also crucial: size, shape, design, height, and age.
In addition, you need to appear at the construction materials used to construct the facility and the location of HVAC and fire protection equipment, particularly if either or both of them are partly or completely housed on the rooftop.

If it comes to New York roofers replacement, you need to list the attributes of the NYC roofing contractors area. It's ideal to detail the roofing companies NYC size, shape, slope, deck structure, edge detailing, protrusions, rooftop access, and present New York roofing system. Along with this simple info, you need to discover why the roofing company NYC is no longer sufficient.

3. What are flexible-membrane roofing companies NYC options available?

SPRI, the association that represents sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing companies NYC business, identifies three major kinds of membranes: thermosets, thermoplastics, and modified bitumens.

Thermoset membranes are created from rubber polymers. The most usual is EPDM, frequently known as "rubber commercial roofing NYC." These membranes are well suited to withstand the potentially harmful effects of sun and the common chemicals found on roofers New York. They may be identified on the rooftop. Just look at the seams. Thermoset membranes require tape or liquid adhesives to make a watertight seal at the overlaps.
Thermoplastic membranes are based on plas,tic polymers. The most usual is PVC, which is made elastic by adding plasticizers. Thermoplastic membranes have seams which are most frequently formed using heat welding. Most thermoplastic membranes are manufactured using a reinforcement layer, usually fiberglass or polyester to offer greater strength and dimensional stability.

Hypalon thermoplastic starts as a thermoplastic, however, cures over time to become a thermoset. As with other thermoplastics, Hypalon materials are heat sealed at the seams.

Another thermoplastic hybrid vehicle is a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), which combines the attributes of EPDM and PVC. TPO membranes don't cure after exposure to the components and stay hot-air weldable throughout their service life. Most TPO membranes are reinforced with fiberglass, polyester or a combination of both, however, unreinforced TPO membranes are all available.

Modified bitumen membranes include the formula and prefabrication advantages of flexible-membrane roofing contractors NYC with a number of the conventional installation techniques used in built-up roofing contractor NYC. Modified bitumen sheets are factory-fabricated, composed of asphalt that's modified using a rubber or plastic polymer for increased versatility, and combined using a reinforcement for added stability and strength.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What’s new in deer hunting gear and gadgets?

The fall hunting season is still months away, yet what better way to pass the time than to check out a batch of great new products that promise to make your season more fun and successful? Here’s a batch of great gear and gadgets that will capture your imagination like the proverbial deer in the headlights:


BOG Gear introduces its new Wide Body Shooting Rest for use with all BOG-POD shooting sticks. The Wide Body provides extra stability at any distance for virtually any shooter due to its unique 4-inch-wide rubber-covered top. Like all quick-change accessories available for BOG-POD shooting sticks, it quickly “pops” directly onto the head of any BOG-POD shooting stick and swivels 360 degrees. It’s lightweight and compact and carries a limited lifetime warranty.


Brite-Strike introduces the fourth generation APALS (All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips) for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. The green light spots have been a huge hit with hunters to mark the way to a tree stand in the dark, because the green color is not detected by game animals. They feature an Easy Pull Tab (easy to peel off when wearing gloves) and are much brighter than the previous versions with a run time of more than 80 hours. The tiny glow can be seen up to half a mile away and operates in steady-on, slow strobe, and fast strobe. Ten-pack MSRP $39


The Pivot Traverse Bi-Pod allows a hunter to stay on moving game, switching between animals, or at the range, engage multiple targets with a smooth rotation or a steady hold. Its innovative traversing technology enables a shooter to horizontally track back and forth, which expands the field of fire and produces increased shooting options — all without having to reposition the rifle. The rapid-adjust lever lock lets shooters go from a fluid swiveling motion to rock-steady lock-down in seconds. The bipod easily attaches to sling swivel studs, has spring-return telescoping tubular legs and features a durable, all-metal construction. MSRP $72;

Like a step back in time, the DH Russell Belt Knife is an original-design hunting knife, created after trial and testing with hunters and trappers in the Far North back in the 1950s. It features a comfortable grip for game dressing, a unique elliptical blade to lessen cutting drag, and palm and finger fitting offset handle for a safer grip. You can select from various steel, grind and handle options. Grohmann Knives are known for high quality materials, along with unique designs and talented craftspeople. MSRP: $96


The Piranta-Bolt features a blaze orange ABS handle, black rubber grip insert, open back for easy cleaning, ambidextrous thumb studs, liner lock and removable pocket clip. The 20-percent-thicker blades deliver 30 percent more strength, which should be a big help to knife users who tend to break blades. The Piranta line features long handles and strong blades that weight just 1.6 ounces, and comes with a nylon holster. Havalon’s replaceable blades eliminate the need to carry heavy skinning knives, sharpeners and whetstones into the field. MSRP $49; 


The BowSharp Blade Sharpener is a multifunctional tool featuring five different essential tools for archers combined in one portable package. The Tungsten Carbide sharpening element plays double duty and is specifically designed to sharpen knives and broadheads. By extending the sharpening element to the outside of the handle you can sharpen broadheads safely, and with greater accuracy. Unique is the collapsible tool kit integrated into the handle and features a full set of eight Allen wrenches ranging from 5/64 to 7/32 as well as both a flat head and Philips head screwdriver. The body of the sharpener features a rubberized grip to make it safe and easy to use in wet or dry conditions. MSRP $16;Moultrie 

All in One Deer Feeder Timer Kit

erfect for the hunter who wants more feed control, without the fuss. This out-of-the-box kit has nearly everything you need to get started, no assembly required. We’ve even included batteries! Or choose to power your feeder with a solar panel (sold separately). The MOULTRIE ALL IN ONE TIMER KIT easily attaches to any bucket size and allows up to 4 programmed feed times per day. New efficiencies in battery design now offer double the run time, providing up to 4 months’ field life!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hashtags: Dos and don'ts for your small business

When using social media to boost the reach of your small business, there are tools of the trade to master. For Twitter and Facebook posts, an important technique involves the use of hashtags, or keywords accompanied by the now-ubiquitous pound sign (#). Understanding the role these tags play in a post will give your marketing efforts a boost. Here are a few dos and don'ts to remember:


Choose tags carefully. Deciding on the proper tags to add to your Twitter and Facebook posts should involve research. If you decide inventing a hashtag is the right move for your subject matter, use a keyword or phrase that has the potential to catch fire with social media users (you can explore keywords trending on Google and Twitter to see what might work). In most cases, you will be joining in on other conversations and using existing hashtags. Whenever you chime in on Twitter, realize everything else posted on that thread will appear on the same page as your tweet.

Keep a cap of two tags per post. According to Twitter, adding more than two tags to a given post is the wrong approach. Considering the limited amount of space you have for content (140 characters with everything included), there is hardly enough room anyway. More than two tags will make your tweets seem like spam, and they could be ignored by followers and users who come across them during searches. Choose the most relevant two tags, or just stick with one that comes closest to your brand message.

Be simple, yet specific. Say you are marketing designer handbags and see a gorgeous vintage bag from a famous designer. You might decide posting a photo of the bag would attract attention (and you would be right in most cases). Tweeting with the tag of #handbag would not help you find your audience. Something along the lines of #vintagediorbags would find more people on the network. Keeping it brief is equally important. Longer tags, such as #gorgeousvintagediorhandbag, are less attractive to users and less likely to be sought out in the course of a visit. Use this same approach—specific, yet concise—for keywords in company blog posts.


Overthink hashtags. Getting too cute with a tag can work against the reach of your tweets. As with overly long tags, choosing keywords with abbreviations or clever misspellings will end up finding fewer social media users. Before you try to market durable socks as #soxuware4evr or something just as obscure, realize it is unlikely anyone will understand your message, let alone search for it. In place of cleverness or excessive use of Internet slang, use proper spellings and accurate descriptions.

Join a conversation without adding value. It can be tricky for a business to jump into a conversation on Twitter or Facebook and try to market to the established audience. People will see right through an overt pitch, so tread lightly if you want to join in a trending topic using an existing hashtag. Only chime in when you have something interesting to say that will add value to the discussion. If you cannot find a way to strike the balance, approach the subject from another angle.

Expect the best results for free. Twitter and Facebook both limit the amount of organic reach marketers can enjoy. For that reason, the full impact of a marketing campaign is typically only possible when you pay for promotion on these sites. Even with a solid strategy for hashtags, your posts are not going to reach the masses without paying for them to be amplified beyond your followers. As with any other marketing investment, weigh the costs against the benefits your company might enjoy with social media marketing.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The dos and don'ts of Instagram for your small business

While you are searching for the right social media strategy for your small business, you will undoubtedly consider Facebook and Twitter—the world's most popular networks. But did you know there is a social network that can give you better organic (i.e., free) reach than Facebook and more eyeballs than Twitter? It is Instagram, now running with more than 300 million active monthly users. Here are the dos and don'ts of using this powerful tool for your small business.


Post beautiful pictures. If you are not planning to take the time to post beautiful pictures, then there is no reason to explore this form of social media marketing. As the primary photo outlet for Facebook users, Instagram is picture first, all else second. There is so much competition from professional photographers and social media experts that this "do" is challenging; however, the reward for your effort will be more followers—and more business.

Provide value in every post. Why would someone follow your profile or engage with your posts? Unless you are offering useful information, posting gorgeous pictures, or otherwise creating value for your audience, there is no point submitting something to a social media site. Take the time to edit photos and deliver interesting copy. By fascinating and intriguing your followers, you encourage engagement, which is more useful than racking up likes and fans.

Be smart about hashtags. Hashtags, like the article tags on any blog post or Tweet, become less powerful in search engines when you use too many. When adding hashtags on Instagram or Twitter, cap the number at two: One general hashtag and one highly specific hashtag should get you the right mix of exposure. Say you are posting pictures of a dog wearing your company's new sweater. The hashtag #cutestpets would bring in general followers and potential customers, while a second hashtag including your brand name would ensure customers looking for your products will find you.

Engage throughout the network. People who follow your account and comment on your posts may become your business's most valuable allies online. Be sure to engage these users so they know their contributions are valued. Meanwhile, be active throughout the rest of the network. The point is being social. Just as you would not go to a networking event to stand by yourself, you should not stay quiet on a social media platform.


Don't rush your posts. A social media post lasts forever, even when you delete it. Avoid rushing posts to your Instagram account to maintain a high level of quality throughout. Typos, poorly edited pictures, and otherwise dull content will not win you any new fans. Take time to get it right before sending out a post for public consumption.

Don't post too often. Even the best social media users cannot create a winner every time they post. To avoid annoying followers and appearing to post for posting's sake, keep your volume low. Furthermore, site administrators might flag accounts that post too frequently, perceiving the activity to be spam.

Don't be timid. While you always want to stay civil, do not be shy about telling the truth as you see it. Instagram users survey an endless feed of pictures and comments throughout the day. Generic photos and commentary are unlikely to draw any interest in this crowded field. Stay within your comfort zone, but let your company's personality shine through.

Don't forget to differentiate your brand. Social media marketing can feel overwhelming at first. Consider your company's unique selling point—the difference between you and the competition—in every post you make. Your goal is to leave visitors to the site with more favorable impressions of your brand than when they started. Deliver something that sets you apart with every post.