Review - Spurcycle Bicycle Bell

Some bells are better than their counterparts. Louder, clearer, more melodic, and crucially able to deal with repeated 'dinging'. I used to destroy those cheap plastic bicycle bells every few months on my commute (I am no shy dinger). But then I got sent a Spurcycle Bicycle Bell. It is the business.

The Spurcycle Bicycle Bell is not cheap — it's £49.99 RRP. That means it needs to be damn durable to outlast the equivalent number of plastic bicycle bells that could have been purchased for the same amount of cash. This bike bell is a thing of beauty though, and really does tick all the boxes.

The Spurcycle bell is precision made in the United States of America. It comes in a classic pure metal finish, or in a matt black coating. Its compact all-metal construction (even the strap that goes around the handlebar is metal) means that it looks and feels like it will last a lifetime of aggressive dinging. And, that dinging is a good ding...

The Spurcycle bell sounds with a clear, …

Review - Schwalbe Racing Ray / Racing Ralph MTB Tyre Combo

Selecting MTB tyres for cross country racing and riding always seem to be a compromise to me; a delicate balance between grip and traction for technical sections, versus the need for light weight and fast rolling performance. The new Racing Ray and Racing Ralph combination from Schwalbe promises to overcome the compromise, and deliver on both fronts; through specific tread designs for front and rear wheel.

Schwalbe Racing Ray - Front TyreThe Racing Ray tyre is a new addition to the Schwalbe line-up, and a new name in the house. It is designed specifically for the front wheel, and features forwards angled tread lugs to provide improved cornering, braking, and handling.

The Racing Ray is pitched as an all-round tyre, capable of both dry conditions and wet mud. It achieves this because the open tread pattern allows debris to be quickly shed from the tyre's surface, therefore providing continued grip and confidence.

Out on the trails this late summer I have encountered both moist condi…

Review - CYCED Wall Art Route Maps

I love maps. Maps hold memories; lines across continents that tell of a journey diverse and interesting. The route maps from CYCED are a great example of a GPX generated piece of wall art, which will remind you of a past adventure.

Getting a CYCED map made is super simple — you send them the GPX file from your activity, and they turn it into a beautiful map. The black outline of Europe in my above example of the #7Countries7Passes is a little difficult to see in this photo (although unfortunately my reflection is), but it is great in real life. Your ride could be anything from a round the Isle of Wight map, to a multi-day trans-Europe tour.

The prints are made and dispatched directly to you, so you can choose your frame.

A great gift idea to celebrate great memories — just say you are asking for your friend or loved one's route GPX so you can follow it, and then go get a map made up... though I am not sure I would believe anyone if they asked me for my route file from the #7Count…

Brewing In The Wild – 5 Adventure Coffee Tips

Lightweight bicycle touring and bikepacking is a unique way to discover new countries and new challenges. A personal challenge I frequently encounter is the art of finding quality 'fuel' — in the form of good food and drink.

At home, I strive to make the perfect cup of coffee to kick-start my day's adventures. Camping in back-and-beyond locations makes that more of a challenge. It is still possible though, and with my experience of trying to create a good coffee in many wild locations, these are my five top tips…

1. Water Storage Water quality is a key component of good coffee. When you are touring or bikepacking I suggest making at least one of your water bottles a stainless steel carrier.

Plastic bicycle bottles are easier to drink from on-the-go, but they will often leave water tainted, especially if you are collecting it the night before a camp.

I recommend the range from 24Bottles  >> Read my review here <<

2. Boiling Methods I use a JetBoil MiniMo Cooki…

Review - Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoes

This year fi'zi:k completely redesigned their shoe range, with fresh ideas in both road and mountain bike lines. The fi'zi:k X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe might be at the lower end of the price and specification spectrum within the brand's range, but it is a well built and comfortable mountain biking shoe.

New Lasts The first big change for all the fi'zi:k shoes was a change in the soles / lasts. The brand brought new technology to their design process, which looks at shaping the carbon sole of the shoe to match more closely with the contours of the foot; so providing more support and ultimately comfort for the entire length of the foot.

The change is notable. I owned fi'zi:k shoes from the previous age, and they felt flat and shapeless in the footbed by comparison. This newer design feels more encompassing and more supportive. It is a solid base, even with the relatively small contact point of many mountain bike pedals.

New Closures Going hand in hand with the more…