Showing posts from February, 2018

Review - Fizik Link R3 Chameleon Cycling Bib Shorts

Italian brand fi'zi:k have long been known for their superb range of cycling shoes, saddles and components. In 2018, they have branched out further, with the innovative new range of fizik Link bib shorts.

The name 'Link' comes from the fact that the range of bib shorts is intrinsically tied to the existing fi'zi:k saddle range, and the pioneering 'Spine Concept'. The fizik Spine Concept is at the heart of the science of personalisation that the brand is based on: dividing riders into three categories (Snakes, Chameleons and Bulls), based on their level of spinal flexibility and pelvic rotation.

Snakes, being the most flexible, demand a longer narrower saddle that supports their pelvis when their back is arched over in a racing tuck. Bulls, the least flexible, demand support for their seat bones whilst they are in a more upright position on the saddle. Chameleons are the mid-way category, demanding a mixture of both attributes.

Fi'zi:k has considered how a …

Riding with Legends - Velusso Cycling in Mallorca

I have been on a fair few cycling holidays: from hardcore spring training camps, to bikepacking across Europe and sleeping in fields. The Velusso cycling holiday experience is by far the most luxurious bike riding trip I have been on to date.

On landing in Palma Mallorca, we are collected by James - the founder of Velusso, and a keen cyclist himself. We are driven across the island to our private villa in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains.

A buffet lunch of local delicacies and tapas awaits us on arrival; freshly prepared by our gracious villa host Jamie. The quick fuel-up gives us enough of an energy boost to get out and spin the travel out of our legs.

Velusso is a young company, but their bespoke and personal service is already impressive.

After a great night's sleep in the secluded traditional finca villa, we are woken by a Mediterranean sunrise, and the smell of fresh coffee and croissants.

Over breakfast, we meet our 'Legend' ride guide: Johan Museuuw. Johan…

7 Tips - How to Ride Cobbles in The Spring Classics

The cobbled Spring Classics races are notoriously hard to ride. I interviewed World Champion, Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner Johan Museeuw. These are his top tips for riding on cobbles, and taking on the Spring Classics.

Johan Museeuw was World Champion in 1996, he won Paris-Roubaix three times, and he won the Tour of Flanders three times. With this incredible parcours, he is undoubtedly one of the best riders to share his advice on riding the Spring Classics, whether you are a racer or a sportive rider.

I caught up with Johan in Mallorca ahead of the 2018 Spring Classics, and this was his advice...

Tip 1 - Tyre pressure and size for riding cobbles"Normally, everyone is riding with a tyre pressure of 7 to 8 Bar (100-110 PSI). But, for the Spring Classics and Paris Roubaix, depending on your weight, this changes: we ride 5 to 6 Bar (70-85 PSI)."
A lower tyre pressure allows the shocks of the cobbles to be absorbed, and for better grip on the uneven surface.
"For …

Review - Resolute Bay NX2 Cycling Jeans

I have tried a far few pairs of cycling trousers: from waterproof fabrics, to Lycra blended denim. The Resolute Bay Cycling Jeans are one of the smartest, and most interesting pedal-focused pairs of casual jeans that I have come across.

The NX2 Grey Slim Fit Cycling Jeans are made with bicycles in mind. They are built from Cordura Denim, which makes them significantly more durable than your traditional cotton denim; that is important, given that the crotch of jeans takes quite a battering in the saddle.

Despite the Cordura blend, the NX2 cycling jeans look and feel like a smart pair of casual trousers. The close fitting cut, and the classic five pocket design make them as suitable to a night out, as to a ride across town.

The real cycling-specific features are subtly integrated into the NX2's design. The first is a seamless gusset in the crotch, to avoid any uncomfortable abrasion. The second is reflective turn-ups on the cuffs. The third, and real stand-out feature, is the blac…

Review - ProBikeKit Poligo Gilet

A gilet is one of the most versatile and useful pieces of apparel in a cyclist's wardrobe. It provides wind protection and added insulation, and is especially good for changeable weather conditions. In this review, I take a look at the new gilet in the ProBikeKit own-brand cycle clothing range.

The PBK Poligo Gilet is a value offering: intended to provide an affordable protective layer that performs well.

The cycling gilet is designed with a windproof front and shoulders, and a mesh back panel. It provides notable protection for your core, while also venting and breathing well through the open fabric on the rear.

The full length zipper is useful for temperature regulation, and for ease of fit. One slight negative is that I have noted a tendency for the zip to catch on the zip baffle at times, making it harder to zip up on-the-fly.

There are no pockets on the gilet, and no access slits to reach your jersey pockets beneath. This means that you need to roll up the gilet to access y…

Fuelled by Oats - Natural Energy Food for Cyclists

If tasked to select one true 'super-fuel', I would undoubtedly pick the humble oat. The ancient grain has fuelled more rides and more adventures than I can possibly count.

Whether in the form of porridge, muesli, flapjack, or oatcakes; oats really are the ultimate endurance fuel.

In Praise of Porridge When I think back to past challenges, there is one common factor... porridge.

It was porridge I ate at 4am, when I started the 'St Boniface Down Everesting'. Porridge was my fuel of choice at midnight, in the pouring rain, midway through the 300 mile Trafalgar Way ride. Even in the south of France, on the final day of the #7Countries7Passes, it was porridge that kick-started the epic ride.

Porridge is the without question the king of breakfasts.

Wholegrain oats, like those found in Nairn's Gluten Free Scottish Porridge Oats, are the key to porridge's 'super-fuel' status. These oats are high in soluble fibre, which help fill you up and release energy slow…

7 Tips - A Guide to Skincare for Cyclists

We put our bodies through a tough time when we are out on the bike. Our muscles might feel the strain, but you should also consider what the wind-burn, abrasion, and cold temperatures can do to your skin.

Here are 7 Tips for looking after your skin, when you are enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle. My featured brand in this piece is the Czech/Swiss brand Sportique, who make by far the nicest and most effective range of natural skincare products that I have found to date.

1 - Lip Balms and Barrier Creams Applying a lip balm and the Sportique Elements Cream are two of my pre-ride rituals. The lip balm helps to avoid painful chapped lips, and the Elements Cream provides a unique natural protective barrier from the wet, cold, and from harmful UV rays.

2 - Chamois Cream The seat area of your anatomy undergoes constant abrasion and friction while cycling. A good quality chamois cream will help to reduce friction, and reduce the chance of saddle sores. The natural ozone found in Sportique&…

Review - Motion Nutrition Protein Powders

The world of protein powders is a crowded one. From body building brands, to those pitched as endurance recovery products. Yet, the range of protein powders from Motion Nutrition stands out from the crowd; because they are organic protein powders, with none of the unpronounceable additives and preservatives found in many competitors' offerings.

I have been testing out three of the protein powders from the Motion Nutrition range: the Coconut Whey Protein, Raw Cacao Whey Protein, and Roasted Peanut Vegan Protein.

The Motion Nutrition powders are far lower in sugar and flavourings than most, and as a result they have a more subtle and natural flavour. They do require thorough mixing in a good shaker, to avoid lumps, and I actually found them best blended into fruit smoothies made with either milk or dairy-alternative drinks.

It has always bothered me that many of the leading brands put so much sugar and preservatives into their recovery protein drinks. Is it really necessary? What a…

Review - Thule Crossover Carry-on 56cm/22" Rucksack Holdall

Combining the ease of transport of a wheeled carry-on bag, with the portability of a rucksack, makes the Thule Crossover Carry-on 56cm/22" holdall one of the most versatile and useful kit bags imaginable.

If you are a frequent traveller, the chances are that you try to squeeze as much as you can into your carry-on luggage, rather than deal with the potential delays and problems of the baggage re-claim belt. The consequence of packing the compact bag to bursting point though is that it often weighs a tonne, which means wheels are your best option for lugging it around.

The problem with wheeled bags is that you can't easily carry the bag on your bike to the train station, and things like stairs and busy pavements become an obstacle. The solution? A wheeled bag, which also has rucksack straps.

The Thule Crossover 87L Rolling Travel Duffel has been putting up with my use and abuse for the last 18 months, so the smaller Thule Crossover 22 inch carry-on bag instantly appealed. It …

Weekend Watch - 'The Frozen Road'

Self-shot and edited by Ben Page, whilst cycling around the world. This short film charts his winter journey into the Canadian Arctic.

Compelled by Jack London’s assertion, that "any man who is a man can travel alone", Ben sought an adventure of perfect solitude. Yet, he came to realise the harsh truths of travelling in such a formidable environment were a long way from the romantic images of this land.

'The Frozen Road' is an honest reflection on Ben's solo trip. Of the wonder, terror, and frustration experienced when riding through the unforgiving emptiness of one of the world's 'last great wildernesses'.

Weekend Watch - The Highland Trail 550

The Highland Trail 550 has been on my 'bucket list' for some time. This great edit from Bombtrack Bikes showcases why...