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Showing posts from June, 2012

Photo Blog: Steel Frame Rebuild

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So the rebuild is complete.  Below is a picture of what the bike used to look like, and then below that what it now looks like, with all the shiny new bits and refurbished frame.  See if you can spot all the differences. I count more than ten changes, post your list in the comments section below and I'll see if anyone can spot all the differences!









Review: Tacx Tao Cage and Tacx Shiva Bottle

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Some things just work. It seems that the combination of Tacx Tao bottle cages and Tacx Shiva bottles is one of those. Not only do they work well together, but they are both a very reasonable price, with the bottles around £3 each and the cages less than £14. I've had a set fitted to my Planet X road bike since I bought it and certainly if I ever have to buy another bottle cage it will be one of these.

Whilst you could use any bottle with these cages, the Shiva bottle is made for them; due to the nature of the Tao cage, with non-adjustable internal diameter, a smaller bottle will shake around in them whilst a Shiva bottle is a perfect snug fit. For that reason it makes sense to review them together and highlight the merits of this combination over other rivals.

Tacx Tao Ultralight Bottle Cage
OK, so £14 is not a cheap price for a bottle cage by any means, but for me it's all about value. The Tacx Tao is a cage built to last.

You won't stretch the metal like you might with a t…

Review: Lezyne Pumps

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Pumps are one of those bits of kit which we depend on heavily. Perhaps every ride we will pump up our tyres, or at least every few, in order to get the correct rolling resistance, grip and comfort for the conditions and the type of riding we are doing.

However, not every pump is the same; and when a pump fails on you, it could be a long walk home if you happen to be pumping up a flat out on the trail or road. Having had this happen to me, I now really appreciate the merits of a good hand pump and the accuracy of a good floor pump. So this blog looks at my two favourite, both from Lezyne: the Steel Floor Drive and the Alloy Drive Hand Pump.
Steel Floor Drive Pump Every cyclist should have a 'Track Pump', it makes the task of pumping up tyres pre-ride far more manageable, faster and most importantly far more likely to happen; we all know the merits of correct tyre pressure.
My first floor pump was a Topeak Joe Blow; it served me well, but over time I began to see its flaws. First…

Weekend Watch: Tour De France 2012

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A Weekend Cycling Break on the Isle of Wight

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The Isle of Wight was recently reviewed by the Lonely Planet as one of 'The World's Best Cycling Destinations'; perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised; but in many ways I was. Could this small island off the south coast of England where I was born and grew up, really be one of the best places to saddle-up and ride? I was sceptical, but the more I think about it, the more I really do love the Island for what it offers the two-wheeled world.
I've visited a few of the other areas that Lonely Planet rank in their top ten, including the Vietnamese Highway and the Luberon Provence area of France - they were both stunningly beautiful (even if Vietnam was from the saddle of a scooter rather than a push-bike), and they both offered the cyclist's dream mix of hills and rolling scenery.  However, the more time I spend away from home, the more I realise that the Isle of Wight really does offer a huge amount for a keen cyclist. Perhaps more importantly though, for most rea…

Recipe: Homemade Recovery Shakes

Home-Made Recovery Drink
1 Pint of Milk
1 Ripe Banana
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1/2 Cup of Fine Porridge Oats
1 Dollop of Greek Style Yoghurt
(for a treat:  2 scoops of vanilla ice cream)
Put it all in a blender for a minute or two and enjoy!

Recipe: High Energy Flapjacks

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A great high-energy snack, which will keep you going on or off the bike. This is my favourite flapjack recipe, and can be tweaked and added to with various seeds, dried fruits and nuts, to help add some variety.

Ingredients200g butter100g brown sugar1 tbsp golden syrup½ tbsp black treacle300g porridge oats100g raisins75g soft-dried figs50g soft-dried apricots
MethodSet the oven to 150°C or 140°C for fan-assisted oven. Place the shelf in the middle.Stick a big pan on the scales, and measure in the butter and brown sugarHeat the pan on the hob until the butter and sugar are all melted nicely.Add a tablespoon of golden syrup and half a tablespoon of treacle to the mixAdd the porridge oats and your fruit(s) of choice, and mix together well.Line a shallow medium-sized rectangular tin with baking paper, grease the paper, and pour in mixture. Flatten it down to an even thickness with the back of a spoon.Stick it in the oven for 20 mins.Once done for 20 mins, remove and divide up with a knif…

Weekend Watch: Dolomite Climb & Ride