Showing posts from November, 2014

Review: Mio Alpha Strapless HR Watch and ANT+ MioLink

Most of us that have a Garmin or similar, will likely link it to a heart rate strap. These straps are a simple fabric band that you wear around your chest, which transmits your heart rate to your device (normally via ANT+ or Bluetooth). Heart rate straps have a number of disadvantages though: they can feel restrictive, they can slip down, they need washing and they don't last forever - there was a demand for an alternative, and it's arrived in the form of optical heart rate monitoring found in the Mio range. The Mio Alpha and the MioLink measure your heart rate at the wrist, using an optical sensor to monitor your pulse. The sensor is a tiny square on the back of the watch, and either side of it is a small green light that is shone onto your wrist to help the sensor's recording capabilities. The technology does away with the need for a chest strap completely, and provides a neat solution for those that want to monitor their heart rate with ease, and for prolonged pe

Review: CEP Compression Clothing

The benefits of compression clothing are now widely recognised, and the science behind it well proven. Compression aids the flow of blood between your muscles and your heart, increasing performance during exercise and significantly aiding recovery post-exercise. CEP Compression is one of the leaders in compression clothing, and a brand that I've always been keen to try out - this is compression clothing at its best. The first thing to note, before even considering the design of the clothing itself, is sizing and fit. CEP use a very detailed size chart that works on the muscles that the clothing is going to be compressing. So for example, rather than socks being sized on your foot size, these are sized on your calf muscle circumference. This approach means that this kit really does compress your muscles as much as it is meant to, and tall cyclists with skinny calves and long feet can reap the benefits. The second thing worth noting, is how well this kit is presented. I don'

Weekend Watch: RedBull Hardline and Wildman

These blow my mind.

Wednesday Watch: Commencal Cool Kids

COMMENCAL Ramones 12 2015 from COMMENCAL on Vimeo . These kids are cool!

Review: adidas Supernova Winter Tights and Supernova Winter Jersey

Wintertime is without doubt a period when kit testing becomes a 'sink or swim' style judgement; the torrential rain, gusting winds and freezing temperatures mean that if kit isn't up to scratch, then you'll soon find out! I've been putting in the miles in the new adidas AW14 range over the last month, and I'm pleased to say it has been keeping me comfortable and productive on the bike. There are some interesting new technologies in this kit: there's the Cocona carbon fleece fabric with its windproof and insulating properties, the Thermodream fabric with its micro-pocket insulation, and there's the strong close fitting cuts that feature in the adidas kit with their large drop-tail hems to keep out unpleasant winter drafts. In this review feature I look at two of the signature pieces, the Supernova Tights and Winter Jersey. adidas Supernova Winter Tights For all weather cyclists, winter tights are definitely one the most valued pieces of kit

Hints and Tips: Wet Weather Clothing Accessories

Wet weather has hit the UK in abundance in the last few weeks, and I've had more damp rides than dry ones. The old mantra of " there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit choices " rings truer than ever in damp, dark and cold conditions, so here are a few accessories that are definitely the " good kit choice " and should make things more bearable when the heavens open. GripGrab Neoprene Gloves I've been using neoprene gloves for years, but up until this year it has always been for sailing... Neoprene provides fantastic protection from the wet and cold, and even if the water does infiltrate into the gloves, they remain warm (something you don't get with polyester gloves).  During the 2013 Festive 500 I did in fact end up drafting in a pair of my Magic Marine neoprene gloves to use in the torrential downpours; they worked well, but I was very pleased to hear that GripGrab were bringing out a cycle specific pair earlier this ye

Review: Primal HiVis Arm Warmers and X1 HiVis Jersey

Fluoro kit is very much still in fashion, and it is a great way to add a bit of hi-vis safety to your team kit or normal riding apparel in the low-light conditions of autumn and winter. The HiVis kit from Primal Europe is up there with the best, and I've been testing out their arm warmers and X1 jersey for the last month or so; on everything from the daily commute to my 300 mile  Falmouth-London ride . Primal Hi-Vis Arm Warmers These have been used almost non-stop so far this autumn/winter. Team Wiggle kit is largely black in colour, and as a result I tend to be a little concerned about visibility to oncoming and pursuing traffic. Using these arm warmers certainly adds some colour! The warmers themselves are very well designed and made. I have a size medium, and the length is perfect; slightly longer than many warmers, so you avoid the uncomfortable exposed gap at the top or bottom of the tube.  They are nice and narrow too, so they hug your arms throughout the

Weekend Watch: The Wiggle Bike Bungee

No normal day in the office!

Weekend Watch: Your Peak Film

Your peak 2 [Film] from BULLmovie on Vimeo . 'Your Peak 2' is one of the biggest cycling video projects that has ever come out of Russia; an incredible piece of creative both from a cycling and cultural perspective.

Welcoming In The Winter...

Suddenly it's arrived. Frosty mornings, torrential downpours, gales and leaf strewn roads. We're well into autumn and soon to welcome in the challenging months of winter. For some, the winter months are a time to cover up the bike or sit on the turbo; that's never been an option for me, with a bicycle being my primary means of transport. But, to be honest, I've never had a desire to do so anyway. Riding in the darker months is all about embracing the elements and getting out there... After a few days off the bike last week, and a few gentle weeks of riding either side of it, I'm feeling a renewed cycling mojo - ready to get out on the cold and crisp (or wet and freezing) roads and start ramping up the training again. 2015 is set to be a big year, with the Island Games, and a triple focus on road racing, XC mountain biking and endurance challenges. It's a broad range of goals, with a whole array of targets to aim for. I've recently dec

Review: Club Ride Apparel Switch Jersey and Worx Trouser

Club Ride Apparel is an American brand from Sun Valley, Idaho. Its ethos is that it wants to provide apparel for everything from an epic ride on the road or trail, to the short trip down to the pub or market. Everyone can be part of the club and enjoy riding their bike. The Club Ride range is divided into three sub-ranges: there is the Sun Valley range, which utilises technical fabrics and high performance designs to keep you in comfort on all day trail riding sessions. Second, there is the Open Road collection, which utilises similar technologies for road riding. Third, there is the Sub5 range, which is a more relaxed take on cycle apparel, made for short rides of less than five miles when you can still benefit from technical fabrics and cuts, but want to be able to wear the clothing in everyday life as well. The Worx Trouser and Switch Jersey both come from the Sub5 set: designed to look smart, but also function very well as pieces of cycling apparel. I've been testing them