The Down Lane #EquinoxEveresting Challenge

Everest stands at 8,848 metres above sea level. The highest mountain peak, and one of the greatest climbing challenges on earth.

'Everesting' is a concept dreamed up by an Australian club Hells 500, and the rules are pretty simple: climb the same route, descend the same route; until your cumulative elevation gain is equivalent to the height of Everest.

The idea of a riding an 'Everesting' found its way onto my Bucket List a while back. As someone that uses the #insearchofup hashtag a lot, it seemed a fitting masochistic challenge.

This year, I've decided to tick it off.

For a good cause - The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust The date chosen for my Everesting actually sits almost exactly mid-way between the two equinoxes, close to the summer solstice. The 'Equinox' side of the challenge has a deeper meaning though; my hope is that through raising sponsorship, the challenge will help to support an Isle of Wight based charity, which tries to provide a more equal …

Review - Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex Tubeless Tyre Sealant

Finding a good tubeless tyre sealant is a bit like finding a good coffee in a foreign town: once you have found one that hits the spot, you will keep coming back, time after time.

It is most likely a coincidence that Caffelatex Tubeless Sealant from Effetto Mariposa seems to allude to a coffee connection. Even so, you might well find it addictive…

For me, latex based sealants still rule in terms of reliability and function. Stan's No Tubes was the original latex based sealant; but other brands have since taken on the concept and adapted it.

Caffelatex is unique because it contains a foaming compound, which promises to give greater coverage inside the tyre, even when a cut is not at the bottom of the wheel.

I have been using this sealant on a cyclocross bike for a few months now, and it seems to be working well. It seals around thorns easily, and larger cuts will seal if you use a tubeless plug (read my post 'How to Make a Tubeless Tyre Plug').

To be honest, I still found…

Review - Le Patron CC Casual Cycle Clothing

Some products impress you, even before you've tried them on. The stylish and unique range of cycling inspired casual wear from Dutch brand Le Patron CC, certainly earns that mark of respect.

The collection of products arrived from The Netherlands in a smart branded box; which opened up to reveal a set of clothing and accessories, with each item neatly packaged in a cotton musette, or wrapped in branded tissue paper.

Removed from its intricate packaging, the quality and detail of the Le Patron CC kit continued to show real promise…

Le Patron CC T-Shirts Over the past few years, I have reviewed and featured a number of cycling inspired tees on Life In The Saddle. Some have shouted "cyclist!" others have been discrete in alluding to their two-wheeled heritage. The Le Patron V-neck tees are definitely the latter of these two (thankfully); they are smart and subtly styled, and would be at home in any smart casual setting.

Made from 100 percent cotton, and pre-washed to avoid…

Review - Fori Savoury Meat Snack Bars

Most protein bars use whey isolate to deliver their protein hit; but that sweet and gooey texture isn't the only way of getting protein into your diet. Fori, a UK brand, have come up with oven baked savoury meat snack bars.

I have been testing them out, and the Thai Turkey and Piri Piri Chicken flavours are, despite my initial reservations, rather good.

Aside from whey protein (derived from milk) there are hundreds of other sources of protein on the market (Read my blog post: 'Smart Shopping List Ideas'). Turkey and chicken are right up there with the best, containing a high volume of Leucine - a crucial amino acid. These meat based bars deliver a great low-fat, high-protein fuel source.

The Fori bars use oven baked high-quality meat products, to provide a convenient way of getting protein into your diet, especially when you're on the move.

A savoury meat bar might not initially sound that appetising, but at the end of a long ride, or the end of a long day touring, th…

Book Review - 'Vélochef in Europe' by Henrik Orre

My copy of Henrik Orre's original 'Vélochef' (see my book review here) is well thumbed, and well read. I have tried dozens of the recipes from the collection; all of them have been superb, as well as easy to follow. 'Vélochef in Europe' is Henrik's sequel release, and looks into four European regions, with 80 local recipes.

Mallorca, Nice, Girona and Lombardy: four regions that are famed for their great riding, but also for their fantastic cuisine. Henrik combines both passions in this 'Vélochef in Europe'; inspiring you to experiment, and to get out and ride.

The book is set out in the four different areas, and the exploration of both the riding and cuisine that can be found in each.

Mallorca is the region that I am most familiar with, as I have visited the island on several occasions, including for the Mallorca312 and Mallorca1127. I have always loved the Mediterranean cuisine that I have been served on the island, as well as the bike riding to be ha…

Review - Supacaz Grizips Mountain Bike Bar Grips

The Supacaz Super Kush Bar Tape was one of my favourite bar tapes, when I tried it back in 2015; it provided impressive comfort and durability. Supacaz have just released their new range of Grizips mountain bike handlebar grips, to provide comfort for the off-road market too; I was keen to see if they lived up to the same standard.

I fitted a set of colour-coordinated orange Grizips to my Pivot Les 29, and hit the trails.

The Grizips immediately impress: from the colour, to the texture, width and grip level. They feel super tacky (grippy) and super kushy (comfortable), much like the Supacaz bar tape.

After a few rides, they still look like new; just a quick spray with bike cleaner, and a scrub with a soft brush, and the colour seems to be restored and the dirt removed from the grip pattern.

Secure, stylish, comfortable and durable. You can't ask much more from a pair of mountain bike grips. These Grizips deliver on all fronts.

Shop for Supacaz Grizips Mountain Bike Grips here

Review - Joe's No Flats Elite Racer's Tubeless Tyre Sealant

I have tested more tubeless tyre sealants that I can count on two hands; some have been great, some have been pretty worthless. The 'Elite Racer's Sealant' from Joe's No Flats is one of the best.

Thorns, small cuts and flints are sealed with ease. Even the largest cuts that I've encountered have sealed with the help of a tyre plug (see my post 'How To Make A Tubeless Tyre Plug').

The sealant seems to have a good lifespan, and is as good as new after 3 months of testing so far.

For all kinds of tubeless tyres: MTB, cyclocross and road, this stuff seems to work well.

Click here for my 'Top Tips for Going Tubeless'Shop here for Joe's No Flats Elite Racer's Tyre Sealant

Review - RideAir Compressed Air Capsule

The RideAir Compressed Air Capsule is designed to be a transportable fast inflation device; suitable for seating tubeless tyres, replacing CO2 cartridges, and facilitating fast inflation in pit-stop race scenarios.

It is an interesting KickStarter concept, and one that I was keen to test out.

Function The functionality of the capsule is simple: you flip open the rubber lid, and using a floor pump or compressor, pressurise the canister to around 200 PSI (13.5 Bar). You can then safely store the canister until you need it. To inflate a tyre, you screw the hose onto the valve (Presta or Schrader), and press the silver button on the canister to release all or part of the charge.

It is effectively like a rechargeable CO2 canister, except that it uses normal air rather than carbon dioxide.

The capsule is easy to use, and robustly made. Releasing the pressure charge is surprisingly easy to regulate too; although there is an element of guessing your tyre pressure, as the gauge on the caniste…