Review – BTR Waterproof Pannier Rack Roll-Top Duffel Bag

A waterproof rack-top bag does not need to be complicated—it needs to function faultlessly and keep your kit secure and dry. The BTR Roll-Top Waterproof Rack-Top Duffel Trunk Bag is a great example of a simple product, executed well. 
Made from a fully waterproof material with taped seams, there is no need for an additional waterproof cover with a bag like this. The classic roll-top closure design, as found on most expedition waterproof duffel bags, means there is a seal tight closure without zips that could jam or seize.
The bag attaches to the rack with a simple two strap system, which passes underneath the rack's top plate. The design offers a fast fitment, and a universal fit for most sizes of pannier rack.
Reflective details and a light loop feature on the rear end of the bag to aid with low light visibility, and the bag also comes with a shoulder strap to make it easier to carry off-the-bike. 
Supplying 20 litres of waterproof storage for your bicycle touring or bike commuting k…

Review – Shift Up Custom Bike Thru-Axles

Thru-axles on bikes help to increase rigidity, strength, and performance compared to traditional quick-release axles. Thru-axles are becoming even more common on disc brake bikes because of the need for minimal flex in the hub area—to avoid disc rub.

Recently though, I experienced a disconcerting and debilitating failure of a thru-axle. On a gravel ride, I punctured; on going to remove the rear wheel from the frame I found the axle had slightly seized into the frame; then in an effort to undo it I ended up rounding off the hex-key head that is used to release/tighten the axle. On returning home, I managed to use some monkey grips to loosen off the axle; but it was certainly rendered useless for future fitment. So, I started looking for replacements...

The French brand Shift-Up produces a number of custom bicycle components, including a wide selection of after-market thru-axles. When the Shift-Up axles arrived, I was impressed by the quality and strength of both the axle and the bolt h…

Review – absoluteBLACK GRAPHENlube Bicycle Chain Lube

Can a bottle of chain lube ever be worth a 100 GBP expenditure? The new absoluteBLACK GRAPHENlube claims that yes, it can. The most scientifically advanced bicycle chain lube on sale today, this new graphene based dry lubricant can offer serious friction reduction, efficiency gains, and reduced component wear rates.

Before I tell of my experiences with absoluteBLACK GRAPHENlube, here is the science bit (taken from the absoluteBLACK website)...

GRAPHENlube – 5 Claimed Advantages5 Watt efficiency gain over 900 kilometres, in dry conditionsExtend the life of your drivetrainRepels water and does not attract dirt Dry paste-like coating stays on the chain for up to 1800 kilometres in dry conditionsDoes not contain harmful solvents
GRAPHENlube – The Development and ProductGRAPHENlube is a wax-based water emulsion with a special mix of high-purity graphene. It is liquid when you apply it, but becomes almost solid when it dries on the chain.

Wax-based lubricants show far greater tolerance to wat…

Review – Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Lube Dry Chain Lubricant

The Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Lube Dry Chain Lubricant is the latest bicycle chain lube released by the UK-based brand Muc-Off—the pioneering experts in bike lubes and cleaners.

I have become a complete convert to using dry chain lubes for road and off-road bicycles—all year round. A dry wax-based lubricant offers lubrication for your bike's chain without the risk of contaminants sticking to the lubricated chain's surface and creating a damaging grinding paste—as is the case with 'wet' oil-based lubricants.

The Ceramic C3 Dry Chain Lube from Muc-Off is an innovative new dry chain lubricant that utilises ceramic nanoparticles and synthetic polymers to create a super durable low-friction coating for your chain.

The key with any dry chain lubricant is the application. It is vital that you strip the chain of all previous dirt, grease, and oil before applying a dry chain lube; if you do not, then the chain lube will simply slide off the oily surface and will not dry onto the chai…

Review – Praxis Zayante Carbon M30 Direct Mount 4iiii Power Meter Crankset

Do not underestimate the upgrade that a carbon chainset and top-level bottom bracket will have to performance; the crankset of a bike is the primary power transmission tool, and its design therefore plays an integral role in the efficiency, feel, and performance of your bike. The Praxis Zayante Carbon Crankset is one of the best value, best made carbon crankset upgrades you will see on the market today.

The name Zayante comes from a redwood tree covered climb in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California; a secret training ground for professionals, and a road steeped in history. The name alludes to the relatively hidden, but undeniably valuable upgrade that the Zayante could make to your performance.

The Praxis Zayante Carbon is designed for road cycling or gravel bikes, with ultimate versatility. The carbon crank arms come in lengths of 160 / 165 / 170 / 172.5 and 175 millimetres; built onto a unique stepped Praxis M30 spindle—that requires a Praxis M30 Bottom Bracket to fit it…