Best-Ever Bike Accessory. And We’re Giving Three Of Them Away.

Competition Time, Folks!

Best-ever bike accessory? OK, that’s quite a claim, but I love the StemCaptain.

Heather Baker's StemCaptain

Heather Baker’s StemCaptain

Nearly all of us these days have a Headset that features a stem cap, or top cap. The Head Set is a very important part of the bike, it allows us to steer, and also to brake safely. But once the headset is correctly installed and the stem bolts tightened, the cap on top of the headset is merely decorative. There’s no need for the cap to be a flat piece of metal with a 5mm allen bolt in the middle. It could be … something else. For example, a clock, or a thermometer, or a compass.


A clever guy based in Colorado has produced a range of Stem Captain accessories that allow you to bling your bike up just a little bit. Nothing excessive, nothing garish, just a classy little clock / thermometer / compass that appears to be integrated into your bike.

Some StemCaptain options.

Some StemCaptain options.

I’ve got one, and I love it. So, we’re giving three of them away.

Our competitions are usually very easy – almost insulting. The answers are usually in the same blog post or the previous one. But let’s celebrate inclusion by making this competition simple too. Literally any fool can enter, and have a good chance of winning! I don’t know how good a slogan that is, but you get the message – don’t be put off, the answer is probably not far away.

The question for this month’s competition is this:

In previous blog posts I’ve written about my favourite day on various Chain Gang tours.
Which day is my favourite on our Dordogne tour?

(Steve Jones, don’t bother entering. I just noticed your birthday is coming up, and there’s one in the post)

Just send your answer by email to We’ll publish the winners in February, by which time I hope the winners will already have their StemCaptains.

If you’re worried about the installation, it really is about the simplest thing you’ll ever do on a bike. Mine took a lot less than a minute. You need a 5mm Allen key, and that’s it.
Here’s a video by the man himself to show you just how easy it is.

4 thoughts on “Best-Ever Bike Accessory. And We’re Giving Three Of Them Away.

  1. Bill Herbst

    My favorite day on the Dordogne tour was when we visited the old mill at Cougnaguet, Rocamadour and Gouffre de Padirac. For a little icing on the cake we passed a small monument dedicated to air drop from the Americans on Bastille Day, 1944 on the way from the Gouffre to the hotel in Loubressac. It’s always fun to discover new events that happened the day of my birth!
    We will always have fond memories of this tour.
    Bill Herbst and Tamme Haskell
    Vermont, USA

    1. Bernard Dugdale Post author

      I’d forgotten that monument, Bill. I like it too.

      When we first started in the Dordogne, back in 1997, very occasionally we’d meet local French people who remembered. If they heard an American or Canadian accent (like us Brits, the French can’t tell the difference) they would come over and say ‘thank you’. It was moving and lovely. But sadly they’d all be too old now, and it hasn’t happened for many years.

  2. Shirley

    Who would be too old? The riders or the French people? Just asking since I was on a bike trip around that time ha ha!

    1. Bernard Dugdale Post author

      Customers are never too old Shirley – obvs! But participants in the US parachute landings of the early ’40s are getting a bit thin on the ground.

      If we ever meet, remind me to tell you the story of Hans Fellenz and the boy from the French resistance.


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