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Review – Aftershokz X-Trainerz MP3 Bone Conduction Headphones for Swimming, Cycling, and Outdoor Sport

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The Aftershokz X-Trainerz MP3 Player Headphones use an open-ear listening design utilising the same superb bone-conduction technology found in the Aftershokz Aeropex Headphones (reviewed last month). This model is different in that it is designed as a stand-alone MP3 player, particularly suitable for swimming.

The Aftershokz Aeropex have very quickly become my favourite headphones for cycling and running (read the review here); they offer incredible sound quality, but with the phenomenal benefit of not affecting your ambient noise hearing or balance. The Aftershokz X-trainer attracted my attention because of this positive experience, and because I was looking for a set of headphones to use for water sports—when I do not have a Bluetooth phone/MP3 player connection to hand.

The X-Trainerz is IP68 waterproof rated and designed so that it is compatible with swimming goggles, caps, and earplugs. It has a standalone 4GB file storage capacity and supports all major audio file formats (MP3…

Review – Pro Bike Tool 17-in-1 Compact Bike Multitool

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A good bicycle multitool is like a Swiss army knife—you do not appreciate what an asset it is until you really need it. The new Pro Bike Tool 17-in-1 Multitool is a compact and lightweight bicycle tool, made to an exacting high-quality standard. A great companion for any ride.

Much as you might not appreciate your pocketknife until the moment you need to open that package, or uncork that bottle of wine, or tighten that screw, or gut a fish… A bicycle multitool will often lay unused in a saddlebag or jersey pocket, until that moment that you really need it…

When that time arises, you will appreciate having a top-quality tool. Cheaper multitools might round-off bolt heads, rust, or even snap with enough force—leaving you stranded at the side of the road or trail. A quality bicycle multitool will allow you to tighten that bolt, adjust that screw, or fix that chain—getting you back underway as soon as possible.

The Pro Bike Tool 17-in-1 Multitool is a strong example of a high-quality bike…

Review – Swrve Modal Cotton Henley Top

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Life In The Saddle readers will be familiar with the Swrve brand—it crops up in reviews a few times a year, and I am always impressed by the quality, fit, and feel of the products; not to mention the superb durability. The Swrve Modal Cotton Henley Top upholds that great reputation, and like many Swrve products it has become a wardrobe staple—it is the perfect piece of springtime apparel.

The beautifully soft modal cotton fabric, flat-lock seams, and seamless armpits mean the Swrve Modal Cotton Henley is comfortable enough that it can be worn as a base layer or layered with an under-tee in colder transition season conditions.

As with other Swrve products that I have tested, the Henley has a flattering trim fit. It also has some subtle details that help to make it more cycling-specific than your standard tee—such as a higher cut front hem and a lower cut rear to help overcome that uncomfortable gap problem.

The collar design with its three soft rubber buttons means you can shut out th…

Review – Pro Bike Tool Tubeless Bike Tyre Repair Kit

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Plugging or repairing a large hole or cut in a tubeless bicycle tyre can be a necessity when the opening is too large for the tubeless tyre sealant to clog. The Pro Bike Tool Tubeless Tyre Repair Kit is a neat tubeless tyre plug system, housed in a compact metal canister.

I once wrote a feature on 'How To Make Your Own Tubeless Plug System' – that system worked well, but it was rather flimsy and eventually broke after repeat use. The homemade creation was based on the tried-and-tested design of most tubeless tyre repair plugs though, and this Pro Bike Tool one is a great example.

The Pro Bike Tool Tubeless Tyre Repair Kit is a simple system: you insert a sticky plugging strip into the open needle end, and then push the needle into the hole or cut in the tyre. As you pull the needle out, the plug strip remains in the hole. Then, you just spin the wheel and the sealant clots around the plug.

The Pro Bike Tool system is housed within a neat metal canister, which avoids the needl…

Review – Aeropress GO Portable Coffee Maker

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When it comes to making coffee in the wild, the Aeropress has always been my preferred method. For bikepacking and bicycle touring trips it is the ultimate compact coffee maker. The new Aeropress GO is the brand’s innovation on the already superb design. The GO is smaller, lighter, and has some great functionality improvements.

Let us start with how it works… the same as the Aeropress: you place a paper filter in the perforated bottom cup of the chamber, then add scopes of fresh ground coffee to the chamber. You then pour boiled water into the chamber and use the provided stirrer to circulate the grounds. When you have left the mixture to brew for as long as you wish, you take the plunger and push the coffee through the filter into your mug.

With the new Aeropress GO the procedure is the same as with the original Aeropress, but there are a few slight changes in the instruments. To make things more compact, the scoop has a smaller handle, and stirrer is foldable; so, both fit inside…