Stuff That Came In The Mail: 2 Things I Love Edition

10.1.2009 | 10:47 am

I have started getting a lot of terrific stuff in the mail. For example, yesterday I got a very exclusive offer to try out Domino’s new Pasta Bread Bowl at a Very Special Price.

You can bet I’ll take them up on that soon. Real soon.

I also get a lot of bike-related stuff in the mail — and I don’t mean just a new Colorado Cyclist catalogue every couple days. I get genuine, actual bike-related things. That people could theoretically buy and stuff.

Here’s how the process generally plays out, in eleven easy steps.

  1. Someone — either a person from the vendor company or from their fancy-pants PR firm — emails me, telling me they’re a big fan of the blog (“Well, how could you not be?” I ask myself in bemusement), and that they have something they’d like to send me to try out.
  2. I reply, saying, “Sure, send it on over!” and give them my address, while crossing my fingers that I have not just made some identity thief’s job really really easy.
  3. Enough time elapses (i.e., more than seven minutes) that I forget we ever had an email exchange.
  4. A package arrives, generally via USPS.
  5. The package sits in the mailbox for a week or more, because we’ve all been trained to know that with the advent of e-mail, nothing good comes by USPS. Just bills and junk mail.
  6. Eventually the mail carrier leaves an angry note taped to my mailbox saying that no more stuff fits in it. Once, I left a response, saying, “Then stop putting those newspaper-sized grocery store ads in my mailbox.” The conversation ended there. And yes, he continues to put the grocery store ads in my mailbox, and I continue to not pick up USPS mail more than a couple times a month.
  7. I get the mail and — yay! — spy a package.
  8. I tear the package open and don a puzzled look. What is this? Where did it come from? Is it delicious? Is it poisonous? Both? (I’m always really sad when something’s both delicious and poisonous — I’m looking at you, antifreeze).
  9. I wake up from a sound sleep two nights later, suddenly remembering the email conversation I had with the vendor / PR guy.
  10. I try the product out, and find that I don’t like it enough to talk about here, and that I furthermore don’t hate it enough to talk about here. “Reasonably OK” doesn’t make for hilarious blogginess that people have come to love and expect here at Fat Cyclist.
  11. Eventually, I get follow-up email from the vendor or PR person, but by then I’ve forgotten them and their product again.

So there you have it: the magic formula for how to get me to talk about stuff you send me: be really good, or suck in an interesting way.

Today, I am going to talk about two things that are really good.

Cutter Tech Knickerbockers

Here’s how I can tell what my favorite clothing items are: they never get folded and put away. Which is to say, I generally wear them straight out of the dryer.

With this metric — or the metric of the fact that I wear them constantly — Cutter’s Tech Knickerbockers are definitely my favorite shorts, on the bike (in cool weather) or off.


You know, I just never get over how remarkably handsome I am.

(Side Note: I want to point out that the Tom Selleck “Movember” T-shirt I’m wearing here is to let you know that Team Fatty will definitely be celebrating Movember. Start planning your moustache ideas now. Oh, and also that I meant to be pointing at Tom’s moustache with my left hand, but seem to be unable to flex and point accurately at the same time.)

For one thing, the Cutters are comfortable — the material is stretchy and doesn’t bind anywhere. For another, they’re tough as nails. For a third, the articulated knees make them look and feel great when you’re on the bike. Though, to be truthful, this same articulation makes those knees kind of pooch out when you’re off the bike and standing around.

They’ve got pockets everywhere, in sizes for pretty much everything. And while the video on the catalog page at their site describes what each pocket is for (and gives you much more technical information than I’m going to about what these shorts are made of), I just generally put whatever I need to hold into whatever pocket will hold it.

During the Spring, I wore these on two mountain bike rides out of every three. They were terrific at being water — and mud — repellent, and they showed they were tough. The crotch didn’t wear out, and there are no visible scuffs from when I turfed it.

For the Summer, it was too hot to wear these for the kind of riding I’ve been doing, but I wore them off the bike nearly every day. They’re just that comfortable.

And now that Autumn is here, I’m planning to put these back into active service on the bike.

These are pricey pants — $149. I probably wouldn’t have bought them before I had known how much I would like them. That just seems like too much money. Now that I’m into my third season of wearing and loving these shorts, I’d say $149 is a bargain.

Oh, and Cutter is a SLC-based company. I love it when local boys make good.

Grease Monkey WipesIMG_2005.jpg

I always keep an industrial-sized container of baby wipes in my truck; they’re perfect for doing a quick cleanup after a lunch bike ride. Ride, clean up, get dressed, get back to meetings. The perfect crime.

And now, since getting Grease Monkey Wipes, I keep a few of these in my truck, too.

Really, they’re just like baby wipes, except they’re made for degreasing. And if you’ve had to work on your bike during your lunch ride, they can be the difference between looking like an auto mechanic and a white-collar softie when you get back to work.

And the good thing is, these really work. Allow me to demonstrate.

Step 1: Oh noes, I seem to have grabbed a greasy, dirty bike chain.

Step 2: Get out the Grease Monkey Wipe and scrub for about 15 seconds (scrubbing not shown because I only have two hands and have to use one of them to take the picture).

Step 3: Gee, my hand is clean again. And smells lemony-fresh!

One of these wipes takes me from greasy to presentable. And, as noted above, they smell lemony.

And they’re not half bad for removing the rookie mark from your calf, either.

PS: Expect a review of something that sucked in an interesting way sometime really really soon.


  1. Comment by UltraRob | 10.1.2009 | 11:00 am

    I agree the Grease Monkey Wipes are awesome! Which reminds me I also keep getting emails reminding me that I haven’t reviewed them yet. Maybe I should make that one of my tasks for the weekend.

  2. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 10.1.2009 | 11:08 am

    Those knickers look awesome!! And the gel-bot review answered the questions I had about it. I have bought some of the Gu containers to keep me from maiming the corners of my mouth with the packets (don’t ask!) and was looking at the Bots. Will stick with my Gu pods:))

  3. Comment by Postal Pete | 10.1.2009 | 11:19 am

    A little known postal secret is that annual bonuses are based on pounds of mail delivered, so yes, I will continue to put those ads in your box!

  4. Comment by Hamish A | 10.1.2009 | 11:21 am

    I tried the Greasemonkey wipes but found they kept leaving behind stubborn, grained in bits of dirt that no amount of scrubbing would shift (and I can actually see a little left on your hand in that ‘after’ picture up there). Now I use Action Wipes for post-ride cleanups and they’re fantastic with (to me at least) a much nicer fragrance.

    Will be taking a look at those Knickerbockers for Winter commuting duties. Feel free to send me a pair for evaluation, Cutter Bikes ;-)

  5. Comment by hoon | 10.1.2009 | 11:21 am

    nice outline of how the PR process works. :-)

  6. Comment by Jessica @ How Sweet It Is | 10.1.2009 | 11:25 am

    My dad uses those grease monkey wipes alot on his rides. And theyre also came in handy after eating wings.

  7. Comment by Aaron | 10.1.2009 | 11:36 am

    Man-pris? Really?

  8. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 10.1.2009 | 11:39 am

    I haven’t used Grease Monkey wipes before but I love Action Wipes. They clean you up and you don’t end up smelling like baby wipes the rest of the day.

  9. Comment by Jo Weaver | 10.1.2009 | 11:41 am

    Even if I won’t be planning my moustache ideas…all things considered… and I’m not a “Real men wear knickers” kinda person (although it’s too bad the don’t have some for real women) I love to read your stuff…and I think I will look into the Grease Monkey Wipes, since I am still an amature and tend to get grease on my leg on occasion (sshhh….don’t tell anyone).

    Thanks Fatty ~looking forward to reading about something that sucked…in an interesting way :)

  10. Comment by NYCCarlos | 10.1.2009 | 11:45 am

    I’m so in for movember. Thanks for reviewing the Cutter knickers… I keep seeing them on bonktown for like $75 and going “man… I wonder if they’re worth it. I’d love to have a pair of pants I can rip around the city in that aren’t lycra but ARE comfy…” and now I know… they are probably worth it! woo! Now I just have to solve the “walking like a duck” issue when I ride around the city with clipless pedals/shoes.

  11. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.1.2009 | 11:51 am

    And, with knicks, you can cover up your knee scabs, and disguise the fact that you have not been keeping up on your shaving. Well, you don’t disguise your face, or your shins, but knickers that covered either would be silly.

  12. Comment by Postal Pete | 10.1.2009 | 12:04 pm

    I enjoy the occasional reviews, but think the “Things that Suck in an Interesting Way” reviews are much more fun. Of course, that may be ‘cuz I let the gloves take the hit on the dirt and grease and, well, I still haven’t crossed over into Man-Pris Land–especially not $125/pair Man-Pris Land!

  13. Comment by bikemike | 10.1.2009 | 12:05 pm

    i can’t wait for the “Food Monkey Wipes” review.

  14. Comment by Weiland | 10.1.2009 | 12:13 pm

    So where’s the line between capri pants and knickersbockers?

  15. Comment by gargoyle030 | 10.1.2009 | 12:14 pm

    I just have one thing to say about Movember — it was OBVIOUSLY stolen from the friendly riders of Category 6 Racing Squad….

    Just sayin’…


  16. Comment by Yvette | 10.1.2009 | 12:16 pm

    Fatty you can joke all you want but you look like a ripped Stanley Tucci. And that’s good.

  17. Comment by Dan O | 10.1.2009 | 12:40 pm

    Are those long shorts? Or short longs?

    life is good

  18. Comment by Haven (used to be Kt) | 10.1.2009 | 12:54 pm

    In principle, I disapprove of Man-pris. Especially when said article of clothing is worn off-bike for just, you know, kicking around. Sorry.

    I mean, some guys can pull of that look (you seem to be one of those guys), but most can’t and it just ends up looking silly.

    You must live in one of those neighborhoods where everyone’s mailboxes are part of a collective and not individual at each house. Or you have a really small mailbox. :) Don’t make the postman angry!

  19. Comment by kiwi | 10.1.2009 | 1:17 pm

    Hey Fatty,
    okay mate ,those nickers?!? Never wear them again,your kids will thank you….Real Man(Okay Cyclist) DON”T wear
    those long shorts or short pants things.


  20. Comment by 100poundsago | 10.1.2009 | 1:59 pm

    You see in Michigan those knickers wouldnt work. Its either too hot for pants or too cold for shorts…there is no inbetween.

    P.s. I think I am handsom-er…just sayin.

  21. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 10.1.2009 | 2:03 pm


  22. Comment by dug | 10.1.2009 | 2:03 pm

    if you fear manpris you’ve got more to worry about than manpris.

    “rookie mark”? so tell me–what is it about this mark that makes you a rookie? that you let your chain is greasy? or that you lean your leg against your bike when you stop?

    and if 19 years of riding bikes is long enough to not be a rookie, then is it now just a dork mark? or a badge of honor?

    personally, i LOVE the rookie/fred/newbie mark. someday i’ll make it permanent. maybe when i stop doing it by accident.

  23. Comment by Phil | 10.1.2009 | 2:05 pm

    The knickers rule. Totally agree with your review Fatty.

  24. Comment by Sigga | 10.1.2009 | 2:29 pm

    You do look like Stanley Tucci ;o) I was actually in New Haven, CT last week and visited Zane’s which is nearby. Awesome store. I like your shorts and they look good on you because you’re skinny. I’d look like a hefty biker-chick in this length of shorts….mwahaha…Ehemm…

  25. Comment by frilly | 10.1.2009 | 2:31 pm

    That’s why I wear sunscreen every ride. It creates a nice film so that when the inevitable chain tatoo occurs, a quick swipe & its gone.

    Please do not ever wear crocs with your knickers, EVER!

  26. Comment by Haven (used to be Kt) | 10.1.2009 | 2:58 pm

    Oh, geez, Frilly, that was an image I DID NOT NEED.

    Crocs with knickers, that should be banned by the Geneva Convention. ‘Cuz it’s cruel and unusual to the rest of people with EYES.

    +1 on the Utilikilt idea!!

  27. Comment by martha van inwegen | 10.1.2009 | 2:59 pm

    Fatty, I know your face is not a baby’s butt, so I’ll make sure to send you some Action Wipes to try out after one of your rides. Hopefully they won’t sit in your mailbox too long…

  28. Comment by db | 10.1.2009 | 3:05 pm

    Huh, I had no idea about Movember, and I even read Men’s Health.

    My buddies and I have been doing this for several years: prior to meeting for our annual He-Man Conclave in the Woods, we grow out facial hair. This year’s favorite was the Fu-Manchu. You won’t regret it.

  29. Comment by theRunt | 10.1.2009 | 3:34 pm

    So now I’m wondering if the cd I sent is just “reasonably OK” or if it sucks in an interesting way.

  30. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 10.1.2009 | 4:12 pm


    Did you know that you’re mentioned on page 109 of the Huffington Post Complete Guide to blogging??

    No, I had no idea. What does it say? – FC

  31. Comment by not a cyclist......ok, maybe just a little | 10.1.2009 | 7:29 pm

    You wanna see some truly dorky knickers? Check out what the Dutch sell:

  32. Comment by not a cyclist......ok, maybe just a little | 10.1.2009 | 7:32 pm

    Actually, that’s a shop in L.A. Doesn’t make it any more excusable tho…..

  33. Comment by Linda | 10.1.2009 | 7:51 pm

    dang…kinda like the whole arm muscle thing

  34. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 10.1.2009 | 8:21 pm

    “The Bloggies”( You won’t get much cash (2008 prizes for the biggest categories were 2008 cents, or $20.08) but the scope of categories is impressive. Fat Cyclist (from a cyclist named Elden whose wife is fighting breast cancer) won the best sports blog in 2008…

    from The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging

  35. Comment by Clinton | 10.1.2009 | 9:10 pm

    I hope these Knickers are very nice. At $65 (+ $6 shipping) from Bonktown just a few minutes ago they’re probably the most expensive pants I’ve ever bought.

    If they’re good for Florida winter bike rides plus the occasional drizzle I’ll be happy. I hate rolling up longer pants and when it gets chilly the draft up the leg of shorts is just unacceptable.
    I’m hoping that these will make a good outer layer for winter rides. Guess I can wear the liners from some of my shorts under them and some leg warmers if it’s especially cool. I don’t see the point in putting the wear and tear on my bib shorts under these if I’m going to be wearing something with a waistband anyways.

  36. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 10.1.2009 | 9:40 pm

    Hey don’t knock the Crocs. Everybody knocks them (me included) until they wear them then they don’t stop wearing them (me included). The most comfortable thing I’ve put on my feet and as a result of the comfort factor they go with anything.

  37. Comment by Bruce Bebow | 10.2.2009 | 7:16 am

    Hey, Fatty, just curious, are you doing some kind of weight training and/or calisthenics or is it straight riding? What’s your secret?

  38. Comment by drKim | 10.2.2009 | 7:20 am

    Nice to know that there are other people who don’t collect their USPS mail on a daily (or even weekly) basis and get evil letters from the postman. I feel much better about myself now. Thanks.

  39. Comment by Brian | 10.2.2009 | 8:30 am

    I like my shorts to be shorts, my pants to be long and my knickers preferably worn by a gal. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I just don’t get the whole cargo/clamdigger look. Looks awesome on you though Fatty.

    The T-shirt has a pic of Selleck’s moustache? Holy hair balls Batman, I thought it was a pic of a toupee!

  40. Comment by Douglas | 10.2.2009 | 9:06 am

    That has to be the biggest head ever. I bet Fatty buys sunscreen by the gallon!

  41. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 10.2.2009 | 9:20 am

    Pretty weird to see fatty in manpri’s. Who woulda thought. Watch it… now that you have advertised them they’ll be the hot new thing!

  42. Comment by Ventura | 10.2.2009 | 10:11 am

    Colored Cyclist catalog? That doesn’t seem very politically correct. Besides which, no offense, you look pretty white in all your photos.

  43. Comment by MattC | 10.2.2009 | 2:23 pm

    Happy LiveStrong day everybody! Just completed my LAF raffle here at work and had the drawing…gave away a wine basket, a beer bucket, and a grab bag of goodies…which brought in another #327 for the LAF (now I just need to somehow get to a bank when they are OPEN to deposit the $$…funny how banks seem to only be open while I’m working). Whew…that was a lot of work! Getting closer to Austin! We’re on the home-stretch! Finish Strong…Live Strong…Fight like Susan!

  44. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 10.2.2009 | 2:44 pm

    My mail pales in comparison.

  45. Comment by Charisa | 10.2.2009 | 2:58 pm

    I’m holding out for something that sucked review!

  46. Comment by Johann | 10.3.2009 | 2:49 am

    Keep up your excellent blog.
    Is that an incomplete sentence I spotted?
    “That people could theoretically buy and stuff.”
    Can’t make up my mind if the slip is truly Freudian ;)

  47. Comment by Debe | 10.3.2009 | 12:52 pm

    Mincing around in Capri pants is FANTASTIC!

    *rolls eyes*

  48. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.3.2009 | 1:11 pm

    A few things…..

    I am now becoming the “fat” in Fat Cyclist with all of the work travel I have been doing… are NOT!

    Do they make those knickers in material light enough to wear in Southern FL?? Anything more than cotton is too hot!

    I had a buddy in the clearers biz who used to give me those wipe packets. Indispensible!!

    Austin is 3 weeks away……can we get a final bump to drive our fundraising through the roof???

    We did two happy hours yesterday for LS Day. Not sure of the final numbers but hoping to get over the hump!


  49. Comment by Jennifer | 10.3.2009 | 6:03 pm

    My wife and I bought “Messenger Knicks” from Oregon Cyclewear a couple years ago. Very similar to the Cutters knickers. Love them! Six pockets, reflective trim, stretch fabric, and always look good. We’ve definitely gotten more than $59 worth of wear out of them!

    Only problem is, we look kinda goofy wearing identical knickers all the time…

  50. Comment by kingofnewyorkhacks | 10.4.2009 | 1:46 pm

    LOL Thats some funny stuff, I could use those grease monkey wipes , never seen those before !

  51. Comment by Sprocketboy | 10.4.2009 | 2:45 pm

    Fatty, you really need to run knee-high argyle socks with those knickers.

  52. Comment by TheBigHurt | 10.4.2009 | 10:57 pm

    Fatty, do you have a team for Movember?

  53. Comment by Roo | 10.4.2009 | 11:48 pm

    I like all of Dug’s reasons for the rookie mark. I’ve just been trying to tell myself it happens on every ride because of my enormous calves. Good- now I have some better excuses. Or I could just carry the wipes in my pocket…..


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