Review – Selle Italia SLR Boost Gravel Superflow Saddle S3

The Selle Italia SLR Boost Gravel Superflow Saddle is designed for gravel bike riding. Featuring gel inserts to reduce vibration, titanium saddle rails to absorb trail buzz, and a sleek low-profile design to offer style and performance—this is a saddle made for adventure.

The SLR Boost Gravel is Selle Italia's latest offering for the growing Gravel segment of the market; engineered specifically to enhance riding comfort on difficult terrain and during endurance gravel events. Available in two sizes, I opted for the smaller version (S3), and have been testing it out over the last month…

I have become a great advocate of the cut-away design for saddles—it offers greater flexibility in the centre of the saddle and reduces pressure on the sensitive perineum region. The SLR Boost Gravel Superflow is a superb example of this kind of saddle design; with a cutaway section, short nose, and flared sides to effectively support your seat bones.

To improve comfort on rough terrain, Selle Ital…

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…