Showing posts from 2017

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…

Review - Brooks England Cambium C13 132 Saddle

For my 21st birthday, I received a Brooks Swift saddle. The beautifully hand-crafted piece of leather and stainless steel represents the artisanal skill and heritage of the Brooks factory workers in Birmingham, UK. The Swift has provided me with many hours and miles of comfortable riding.

Ahead of taking part in the interesting new bikepacking event 'The Distance' in Galloway, Scotland, I was sent a Brooks Cambium C13 132 Saddle to test and ride. I was intrigued to see how this modern adaption of the classic leather hammock would fare and function.

Unfortunately, a collision with a car a few days before 'The Distance' meant I wasn't able to take part in the event. However, I have been riding the new Brooks Cambium C13 132 for a good month now, and I still wanted to reflect on my experiences.

Modern styling. Beautifully crafted. The Cambium C13 132 replaces leather with vulcanised rubber and natural cotton, and stainless steel with carbon and aluminium. These moder…

Bike Profile - Neil Pryde Bura SL

The Neil Pryde Bura SL is made to climb. The super lightweight 750 gram frame delivers that golden balance of being stiff and strong in the fore-triangle and bottom bracket; yet surprisingly forgiving on the rear seatstays, to aid long ride comfort.

This season, I have two fairly mammoth climbing challenges: my #EquinoxEversting and the '5 Maratonas Challenge'. Ahead of the first of these, later this month, I wanted to share my current build set-up on the Neil Pryde Bura SL.

Bike Specification:Frameset:Neil Pryde Bura SL (56cm)Bike weight: 7.3kgWheelset:Mavic R SYS SLR WheelsGroupset:Campagnolo Record (mechanical)Crankset: Rotor 3D24 52-34TCassette size:Campagnolo Chorus 12-29Handlebars:Fi'zi:k Cyrano R3 42cmBar Tape:Lizard Skins DSP 1.8mm Handlebar TapeStem:Fi'zi:k Cyrano R1 120mmSeatpost:Fi'zi:k Cyrano R3Saddle:Fi'zi:k Arione VS with K:IUM railsTyres:MavicPedals:Shimano Dura Ace 9000Bottle Cages:Elite CannibalSaddlebag:Lezyne Caddy MediumOther Accessories:Ex…

5 Top Tips for Safe Cycle Commuting

With next week being 'Bike Week 2017', I thought it seemed timely to write up some top tips for safe and enjoyable cycling to work.

Commuting by bike is a great way to de-stress, save time, and get some exercise at either end of the day.

After over a decade of experience riding a bike to work, at various locations around the UK, these are five things that I would recommend for any bicycle commute.

1 - Daytime running lights Even in the middle of June, there are shadows, morning mist, low sunlight and changing light conditions. All of those things can make a cyclist hard to pick out on the road.
Invest in some USB chargeable lights, with an output that is strong enough to be seen even in bright daylight; your presence on the road will be increased ten fold, and you will notice that you have fewer close calls and near passes. 
These are my Top 3 Daytime Running Light choices: Lezyne  (Reviewed here) (Shop here)Niterider  (Reviewed here) (Shop here)See.Sense  (Reviewed here) (Sho…