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Showing posts from October, 2019

Review – AbsoluteBLACK Oval Chainrings

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The potential benefits of oval chainrings are numerous — from reduced strain on the knees, to greater power output, and improved efficiency. I have been riding with absoluteBLACK Oval Chainrings for more than a year now; on gravel bikes, road bikes, and mountain bike. The benefits are notable, and I have now voluntarily adopted the oval asymmetric chainring design on all my bikes.


Discovering the Benefits of Oval Chainrings I started using absoluteBlack oval chainrings on my Kona gravel bike; the 1x narrow/wide chainring was an economical replacement for a worn out SRAM Force 1x standard shaped chainring, and it offered me the opportunity to test the oval chainring design.

The cyclocross/gravel single chainring from absoluteBLACK has a neat mounting system, whereby the chainring bolts screw straight into the chainring itself — offering a simple and clean look to the crank-set. The alloy that the chainring is made of also seems to be more robust than other offerings, and has indeed pr…

Review – TRP Spyre SLC Cable Disc Brakes

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Cable actuated disc brakes get a lot of bad press. There is some justification for that — most of the systems lack the modulation and performance of their hydraulic counterparts. There is however one set of cable disc brakes that shines above the rest — the TRP Spyre SLC Disc Brake. This lightweight and sleek cable disc caliper excels in both design and functionality.

My Kona Private Jake arrived in 2016 with a set of TRP's Spyre-C disc brakes fitted as standard. Those brakes worked very well for over 25,000 kilometres of use and abuse; I rode the bike for daily commutes (including a salty daily ferry journey), and I rode the bike fully loaded over the highest cols in the Pyrenees on the #CoastsandCols tour. The Spyre-C took all this abuse in hand, and always produced the stopping power I demanded.

This year, with the Kona Private Jake hitting a 25,000 kilometre anniversary, I decided it was time to upgrade and replace a number of the parts. To be honest, most of the components,…

Review – Crankalicious Bike Frame Cleaners and Polish

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Not all bike cleaners are made equal. A bike wash should be effective, kind to the environment, and easy to use (kind to the user). There are plenty of harsh chemical cleaners out there, but most of them are not gentle on your bike, your garden, or your hands. The range from Crankalicious is premium level bike care; made to be effective, but friendly. I have been testing out their frame cleaning and polishing solution...

Split out by the four products I tested from the Crankalicious range, here is my review.


Crankalicious Mud Honey Foaming Bucket Wash First up, the Mud Honey Foaming Bucket Wash. This is a PH neutral wash that functions like your traditional bike or car wash; pour a couple of capfuls into a bucket and then fill it up with water. Grab a sponge, and rub over all areas of the bike to remove dried on mud and dirt.

Mud Honey works a treat, and it is kind on your bike and your hands; while effectively removing even stubborn caked-on brake dust and grime.


Crankalicious Pinea…