Showing posts from May, 2016

Bike Profile: Planet X Pro Carbon - Wet Roads Training Bike

The Planet X Pro Carbon is my 'wet roads bike'; a.k.a my 'winter bike', or 'training bike'. It has done more miles than most road bikes will do in their lifetime (around 25,000km to date), and it is still going strong. Admittedly, there isn't an original part left on it; except for the rear derailleur, shifters and handlebars; but that is testament to the number of miles that it has been ridden, often in inclement weather.

The build is centred around reliability and comfort, as well as an effort to minimise expensive maintenance. As you'll see from the photos below, it's a heavily modified bike; with tweaks, bodges and customisations galore. It also has numerous scars and knocks; alluding to its lifetime of use and abuse.

The set-up in terms of geometry, is almost identical to my Eastway Emitter R0. Because I am doing endurance miles in the winter and summer, it doesn't make sense to have a more relaxed geometry on my winter bike; which would o…

Planning the 'Coasts and Cols Tour'

In front of me lies a map. The spiderweb of roads, signals opportunity. The swathes of green, suggest beautiful places to explore. The shadowy contours of mountain ranges; they, call out to me. I have started plotting a route.

In fact, this route has been plotted for many years. It is a touring trip idea that enters my mind whenever I see Grand Tour coverage from the Pyrenees; or photos of France's beautifully barren west coast; or images of secluded roads twisting through the Bretagne region. I have been plotting the route of my 'Coasts and Cols Tour', for some time.  

The idea is relatively simple. No planes, no cars, no trains; just a boat and a bike. I'll board the ferry in Portsmouth, and cross to Santander on the north coast of Spain. Rolling off the boat, I'll head south east; over the Sierra de Urbasa, and towards the Pyrenees.

On reaching the iconic mountain range, which separates France from Spain, I'll traverse south east. As I go, I'll tick th…

Bike Profile: Pivot LES 29er Mountain Bike

The Pivot LES 29 is my do-it-all mountain bike. It is stiff and fast enough to race XC; yet capable enough to take to the mountains. Set up with a 1x10 drivetrain, tubeless alloy wheels, and a mixture of carbon and alloy finishing kit; it is a reliable, light and fast machine!

If my Eastway Emitter has a certain Italian finish to it, then the Pivot LES 29 has a definite British (or rather Lancastrian) vibe. It features wheels, brakes, headset, cranks and grips from Hope Technology; a brand that I am a huge fan of, for their no-nonsense, durable and reliable approach to components.

Meet LES...

Bike Specifications:Frame: Pivot LES 29 (2015) - Large (19 inch)Fork: RockShox Reba Dual AirHeadset:Hope Technology SealedStem:Race Face Turbine 35 Stem 80mm Handlebar:Race Face Next 35mm Carbon MTB Riser Bar 10mm riseGrips:Hope Technology SL Lock-On GripsFront brake:Hope Technology Tech 3 X2160mm floating rotorRear brake:Hope Technology Tech 3 X2, 160mm floating rotorRear derailleur:Shimano D…

Review: KOAR BeBox IPX6 All-Weather Bluetooth Speaker

Everyone needs a good beat to move to, and an outdoor Bluetooth speaker is about the best way to instantly turn your phone into a mini DJ platform; so you can blast out some tunes. The KOAR BeBox Bluetooth speaker is a neat compact unit, which promises to provide some good bass and great clarity; all in a drop-proof, water-resistant package.

KOAR is an American brand, who specialise in outdoor audio; they also produce a power bank, as well as a set of bone conduction headphones, not dissimilar to the Aftershockz Bluez 2 headphones I've reviewed here on the blog. Their overarching mission is produce great music, for the outdoors.

The KOAR BeBox uses two 3 Watt speakers to provide a strong output, for around 8 hours of playback. It connects to your audio device (iPod, laptop or phone) via either the Bluetooth connection or a provided AUX-in cable. A re-charge then takes around 4 hours, and is facilitated with a provided micro-USB input cable. It is a fairly common set-up with other…

Fix Everything! Sugru Hacks for Cyclists

Back in 2014, I wrote a review of the innovative Sugru self-setting rubber. Since then, I've experimented with an incredible number of uses for this simple, but highly versatile stuff!

I thought that is was worth sharing a few of my favourite 'hacks', which have proven particularly useful to fix, repair and modify bike parts and clothing...

Aero Seatpost Light Mounts

Homemade Tubeless Valves

Helmet Repair

Sunglasses Grippers

Short Stem Garmin Mount Adaption

I'll keep adding more 'hacks' to this post, as and when I do them!

Review: Wee Cog Grip Phone Case and Muddy Saddlebag

I'm a big fan of small-scale handmade products; they have a certain unique and individual feel to them. More often than not, they also have a unique quality level; because their creator has been carrying out constant quality-control throughout their manufacture.

The Grip Phone Wallet and Muddy Saddlebag, from Scotland based brand Wee Cog, are a great example; products that are handmade by Becky (the founder and sole employee of Wee Cog), at home in The Highlands.

The Wee Cog Grip Phone Case First up, the Wee Cog Grip Phone Wallet. This neat little sleeve is made from durable Cordura fabric; with a touch-screen friendly clear plastic window. Available to order in a variety of colours and phone sizes, you can personalise it to match your kit. The strong Velcro closure flap secures the phone, and also covers a useful little outer sleeve, which is great for cards and cash.
I've been using the Wee Cog Grip Phone Case for about a month now, on my daily commute. It has offered grea…

Photo Essay: Spring Cycling in Denmark with GripGrab

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to get to ride in the fields and valleys around Copenhagen; with the friendly team from GripGrab.

I thought I'd share a few of the stunning photos from the short spin; taken by the very talented GripGrab Media Crew...