Showing posts from November, 2013

Ride Stats: November 2013

Biggest month to date EVER in terms of mileage and hours10 hours more than last month (that previously was the hours record)28 more miles than August '13 (that previously was the mileage record)Relatively slow, low power base miles for the most partBring on more of the same in December!

Objectives for 2014

My '2013 Season Summary' (Link) affirm to me that 2013 has been a pretty decent year, in fact, a pretty awesome year. Yes, there were a few things that didn't get ticked off on my season objectives, but overall I got to where I wanted to be, with some good results along the way.

In this post I take a look at what is in the diary for 2014; ideas and plans for the coming year on the bike...

1. Retain 2nd Category Licence
One of my objectives for 2013 was to attain my 1st cat. licence. That didn't happen, which to be honest I sort of predicted, given that the time I could race in 2013 was limited due to my finals, job hunting and holidays. However, retaining my second category licence was good enough for me, in fact I quite enjoyed being able to still race in the 2/3's road races such as Surrey League.

For 2014, I will again try for 1st cat., but I would still be happy to stay as a second cat. racer. Perhaps I’ll use the spare time that I have from not racing every wee…

Mini Review: Brite Ride Foaming Bike Wash

The Cillit Bang advert comes to mind whenever I use the Brite Ride foaming bike wash. Not because I'm pretending to be Barry Scott, but because this stuff really does work. Bang! and the dirt really is gone!

The neat spray head is very well designed, and means that you can spray the bottle even when it is at angles. The trigger has great control, and the foaming nature of the wash means it is easy to see where you have used it.

The foaming action clean parts and components incredibly well, and it hasn't shown any signs of degrading seals or paint anywhere I have used it. The cleaner seems so effective, that you can even use it as a degreaser, and it does an admirable job of getting rid of grime from your drivetrain and rims as well as the rest of the bike.

A great product, ideal for the mucky winter months to come!

Available direct from for £5.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Review: 74Degrees Merino Long Sleeve Base Layer

74Degrees was set up to create high quality cycling kit that would inspire cyclists “to ride, to celebrate the heritage of our sport, and to honour the legends, landscapes, theatre and passion of the sport”

In this review I take a look at their Long Sleeve Merino Wool base layer. A top designed to keep your core warm and comfortable in the worst conditions.
Not all merino wool is equal. This base layer uses a 19.5 micron wool blend, in a 215 gsm knit. Translating those numbers into something most of us can understand, it means this is around 40% thicker than many other merino base layers on the market; meaning it is warmer, softer and puts up better with abuse than other merino tops.
Slipping the long sleeved base layer on you can instantly recognise that it is thicker than many of its counterparts. It feels as thick as a long sleeved t-shirt, rather than a thin base layer. That thickness translates into great warmth and comfort out on the bike. Even when damp, merino wool stays warm…

Five Festive Stocking Fillers

Christmas is coming! To give you a few ideas of products that you might want to slip into the stocking of a loved one, here are some great products that you might choose. From bar tape to chamois cream, these are all products that any cyclist would be pleased with as a present. There are even some running laces in there for those doing some cross training this winter (like me!).

#1 - Lizard Skin DSP Bar Tape
Bar tape is a great way to customise your bike, for just a few pounds you can add a new splash of colour to your cockpit, whilst also aiding comfort and performance.

The Lizard Skin DSP tape is some of the best I have tried. First there is the cushioning; unlike synthetic cork bar tape it doesn't seem to compress too much in well used areas of the bar, rather the Durasoft Polymer has continued to offer good cushioning, shock absorption and comfort with repeated use.

Comfort is one benefit, but grip is the significant second. The DSP's textured grooves (see image insert) st…

Review: Embers Merino Duotone SS Base Layer

Regular readers of the blog will know that I'm a big fan of merino wool base layers. They keep you cool and dry in the summer, and they keep you warm and dry in the winter. Merino wool has outstanding capabilities at regulating body temperature across a wide range of weather conditions; absorbing moisture, it leaves your skin feeling dry and warm even when the base layer itself may be soaked. 
Embers Merino is a small British firm based in Derbyshire, they produce a wide range of merino clothing from base layers to socks, hats and even underwear. Their range uses luxurious quality merino wool from New Zealand rams and is designed to ensure maximum comfort with natural materials for all outdoor pursuits.
A short sleeved base layer can be the only one you need all year; wear it under a short sleeved jersey in the summer, and pair it with arm warmers under a long sleeved jersey in the winter. With that in mind, it is worth making sure you have a good quality and comfortable one if y…

Review: Primal Paradigm Winter Jacket

I've been using Primal kit for some time; my Wightlink-LCM Systems kit was made by Primal Custom, and I was very pleased with it. It was long lasting, looked great and was a good price; three key factors when you are considering team kit. The piece of kit that most impressed me though was the Primal Paradigm jacket; this is a full sleeved winter jacket that is designed to deal with the worst that the weather can throw at it.

Note: the jacket I am featuring in this review is not my team jacket, but a new 2014 range Primal Paradigm, with some new features and upgrades.

Let’s start with the cut. The Paradigm has long sleeves, a low cut back with elasticated hem and a high fleece lined collar. A good winter jacket helps to protect your extremities; the long sleeves and high collar certainly aid this, ensuring there is no chilly gap between jacket and gloves, and ensuring no wind gets down your neck.

The Paradigm is feature packed. The sleeves have strong elasticated cuffs with a Velc…

Review: Feedback Sports Sprint Workstand

For an enthusiast cyclist a work stand is unquestionably a good investment. Even if you don't do a lot of your bike maintenance yourself, a workstand provides a safe and stable platform to place your steed in for tinkering, washing and fitting new parts. If you haven't got one, put it on your Christmas list!

Many workstands clamp around the seatpost of the bike, suspending it above ground so that you can easily work on it and rotate the drivetrain and wheels freely. However, with an increasing trend in bike manufacture for firms to create aero seatposts and carbon seatposts that are more vulnerable to damage when subjected to clamping stresses, many mechanics both professional and at home, have decided to opt for bottom bracket supporting stands instead.

These stands work by you removing the front wheel and locking the bike in place on the front fork. Your bike then sits on the bottom bracket, without any unusual clamping or straining of the frame. Bottom bracket supporting s…

Mini Review: Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Soak

I recently became a brand ambassador for Natural Hero, so to celebrate the brand I thought I would do a mini review shout out about their latest product - the Hot Ginger Muscle Soak.

Back in December last year I reviewed their Hot Ginger Muscle Rub and Peppermint Cooling Spray; both impressed me greatly and I have been using them throughout the 2013 season to aid warm ups and to combat sore spots after intense training sessions.

The Hot Ginger Muscle Soak is the latest product from the UK brand; made of 5 essential oils including Ginger, Rosemary and Fennel. You just pour a little bottle of it (there are 6 in a pack) into your tub and hey presto you have a relaxing soothing bath. Ideal for after a hard winter training ride!

Available from

Recieved a 20% discount on Natural Hero products with the code WIGGINS20

2013 Season Objectives: What did I tick off?

Last November I wrote a post on Objectives for 2013: In and Out of the saddle, so with the 2013 season now done and dusted and the start of the 2014 base mile training beginning, I thought I would give an update on what got ticked off in 2013. (I'll write another post in a few weeks on 'Objectives for 2014').

Objective #1: 1st/2nd Cat Road Licence - Completed!
My objective in terms of licence holding was to either maintain my second category race licence or to attain my first category licence. With my final year of university, exams and being in France for three weeks in the summer the chance of racing enough to get enough points to get up to first cat. was not realistic. So I was happy to maintain my second category licence this year, and perhaps next year with a bit more time I will be able to get up to first category.

Objective #2: Do a hill climb season - Part Complete
I can't really say that this is completed. I did one hill climb in October, I won it, but I certain…

Review: Platypus Duthie All Mountain 10 Hydration Pack

Platypus have been in the hydration system market for a long time; they were one of the pioneering firms that first started producing the bladder and tube systems, they know their stuff when it comes to keeping you topped up with fluid when you're on the move.

The Duthie All Mountain 10 is the latest and greatest pack from this American firm; a bag designed to keep you hydrated and well provisioned with food and spares, even on EPIC All Mountain day-long adventures.

I am planning on doing some long distance mountain biking expeditions in Summer 2014, so the Duthie 10 looked like the ideal pack for the role. Filled up with fluid, supplies and spares, I've been testing it out...

The primary concern with any rucksack that you'll be wearing all day long is comfort, and the Duthie has it in bags. The shoulder straps are made of a ventilated foam padding, the back panel is also well padded, with a central air channel and a semi-rigid internal frame to ensure comfort even when the …