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Kit Care – Washing and Rejuvenating Cycling Base Layers

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A base layer is the foundation of any layering system—it keeps you cool and dry in the summer, and warm and dry in the winter. Over time though, the fabrics become saturated by sweat and can breed bacteria; there is a simple solution—washing them with a tailor-made fabric detergent and conditioner, such as those from Nikwax.

Base layers are designed to wick perspiration away from your skin; this means absorbing the moisture and transferring it to the outer air for evaporation. Unfortunately, over time the absorbing nature of base layer fabrics means they also collect bacteria, which can breed and smell.

To rejuvenate a cycling base layer, or a technical running tee, you simply need a fabric detergent that is stronger than most. Be careful though, as technical fabrics and wool fabrics are delicate in their nature; Nikwax produce a dedicated 'Sweatproofing' range, including BaseWash and WoolWash to clean the fabrics.

After you have cleaned the fabric, it is a smart move to use …

Review – Rapha Brevet Insulated Cycling Jacket w/ Polartec

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Can you really fit your whole life into a seat-pack the size of a small rucksack? When you do, it calls for specialist lightweight kit; the Rapha Brevet Insulated Cycling Jacket features super-light Polartec insulation, and has a tiny pack-size—making it ideal for cooler temperatures on your bike explorations.
Let us get straight to the point... this jacket is ludicrously lightweight; weighing in at just 74 grams for the Medium sample I have on test. That weight is thanks to a super-light weight Nylon windproof outer, and high level Polartec Alpha insulation; combined together, these create an impressively protective and insulating layer, with absolute minimal bulk. 
Polartec Alpha is a unique market-leading insulation fibre, which provides both great breathability when you are working hard, as well as effective insulation when you are more sedate in your movements. 
I used the jacket on my recent #XPDTN3Dolomites bikepacking trip, and for the early morning ride-outs, up above 2000 m…

Review – Goodyear County Touring / Gravel Bike Tyres

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I have been searching for the perfect tyre for mixed surface touring for some time; something that offers low rolling resistance on asphalt, but a good degree of grip and puncture resistance on gravel roads and bike paths. The new Goodyear County 35c tubeless tyres looked to tick many of the sought-after boxes, so I fitted them to the Kona Rove to test them out…

Last year, I reviewed the Goodyear Connector Tyres; those are 40c tubeless tyres aimed at the gravel rider—with a fine tread pattern offering impressive grip on off-road trails, but still with a fast rolling speed on asphalt. The Connector's remained on my cyclocross bike for the whole of the winter, and were impressive in their durability, and versatility. With that in mind, I was interested to see what the Goodyear brand could offer in the more road-focussed touring tyre category.

The County is a 35c diameter tubeless tyre, designed to be used on the road and on light off-road paths. Previously I have used 30c tyres for…

Review – Absolute Black Oval Chainrings (CX Narrow-Wide)

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I have been using oval chainrings on my road, gravel, and cyclocross bikes for six years now. I have tried multiple brands, and the offering from AbsoluteBLACK is one of the best designed and best value elliptical chainrings out there. I fitted the Narrow-Wide Absolute Black CX Premium Chainring to my Kona Private Jake to give it a thorough test.

Oval chainrings claim a number of benefits: such as reduced fatigue, higher cadence, and more efficient power output. I have tested them on everything from ten mile time trials to my ultra-distance rides such as the Ride the Trafalgar Way and #BlackForest400; for me, the biggest notable different is a higher average cadence, especially when fatigued. A higher cadence means reduced strain on your muscles, a more efficient engine, and a faster ride; considering these notable benefits, I have taken to using oval chainrings on all my road and gravel bikes.

The Absolute Black oval chainrings are a well thought out, and well-designed option in the…

Behind The Brand – CeramicSpeed

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On the west coast of Denmark lies the small city of Holestbro; quiet and calm on a chilly morning dawn.

At CeramicSpeed HQ, energy is flowing though: at 6am the production team arrive, many by bike. Breakfast and laughter are shared, before the delicate work begins…



The CeramicSpeed Heritage Jacob Csizmadia founded CeramicSpeed 13 years ago, in the building that still houses the company. Back then it was his family home, and the company operated from a small workshop. Now it is a world-reaching world-class production facility.

CeramicSpeed is all about bearings. The little balls that enable so many components and machines to run smoothly; both on your bike and in the world as a whole.

Bearings are an intricate product. For them to run at precision smoothness, for a maximum life, each ceramic ball within the set must be an identical size, and perfectly spherical. Every seal must fit to the micrometre, and the components housing the bearing must match exactly.

Produce a faultless beari…