Showing posts from November, 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas for Cyclists 2016

Christmas is coming, and with that comes the excitement of presents and gift ideas for cycling enthusiasts: be that yourself, or one of your loved ones. In this post, I've picked out my top review products from 2016; concentrating mostly on those of a higher value, as I have also written a 'Stocking Fillers for Cyclists 2016' post. From jackets to jeans, and tools to t-shirts; there should be something in here that would make a great gift idea for a cyclist you know... 24Bottles Stainless Bottles and Party Cups I use a 0.5L Urban Bottle from Italian brand 24Bottles, on a daily basis. I used a 1L bottle on the ' Coasts and Cols ' tour, to add extra water carrying capacity. In fact, I don't think there has been a day since I first reviewed 24Bottles on the blog , when I haven't used one of their products. Their range of bottles look great, and drinks from them taste so much better than from plastic bike bottles. Now that the Urban Bottle is avail

Review - Spoke Bulletproof Chinos

Spoke trousers featured here on Life In The Saddle last year, when I reviewed the superb Spoke Flex Chinos ; they proved to be a pair of trousers that were just at home in the saddle, as they would be on a formal night out. This year, Spoke has re-released their famed 'Bulletproof Chinos', with a number of twists that make them even more suited to life on two wheels. I thought they were worth a look! Build quality 'Bulletproof' is something that most cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts like the sound of... not because we tend to be in the firing range, thankfully; but because it would be safe to assume that something that can withstand bullets, should be able to withstand the rigours of outdoor pursuits. OK, so the Spoke Bulletproof Chinos probably (definitely) aren't actually bulletproof; even less so than Kevlar puncture protection strips... however, they are stunningly well made, and built to last. From the moment you unbox a pair of trousers from Spoke, th

Review - Thule Stir 20 Rucksack

When it comes to quality kit, Thule seem to deliver every time. From bike carriers, like the Thule ProRide 598 ; to bags, like the Thule Paramount Rucksack . The Swedish brand consistently produces kit that is a pleasure to use, and also stands up to years of use and abuse. The Thule Stir 20 Rucksack is the smaller and lighter little brother of the Thule Stir 35 Rucksack , which I reviewed earlier this year. It holds many of the great attributes of the 35 litre pack, but also does away with a few features; the result, is a bag that is probably actually better for running and cycling shorter distances. Soft shoulder straps and a lightweight hip belt Unlike the Thule Stir 35, the Stir 20 Rucksack adopts a 'lean' approach to the back padding, shoulder straps and hip belt. The back padding is a single panel of lightweight foam; rather than a height adjustable system. The hip belt is a single layer mesh, with a webbing strap; rather than a pocketed padded belt strap. The

Weekend Watch: TorTour Cyclocross

So, I think I've just gone and signed myself up to this...

Review - Feedback Sports Omnium Trainer

Back when I was racing for the Isle of Wight team, we used to have these funky little fold-up rollers to warm-up on. They were a bit basic: you removed the front wheel, and clipped the fork to a strut, then the back wheel sat on two mini rollers. They were a bit basic, but they were a lot easier to transport than normal rollers. They certainly did the job, even if your back wheel did occasionally stray off the rollers... I have never seen those little "flip-out rollers" for sale anywhere, though. Then last year, Feedback Sports released the Omnium Warm-up Trainer . Instantly, it appealed. The Omnium looked like a set of "flip-out rollers", upgraded. Portability and practicality So, why would you buy an Omnium trainer rather than a set of traditional style rollers like the Tacx Antares , or a turbo trainer? The main reason is almost certainly going to be the portability and practicality offered by the Feedback Sports Omnium. With the rollers on the Omni

Stocking Fillers for Cyclists 2016

It's the time of year for stockings! That means small gift ideas, which won't break the bank; but which would put a smile on any cyclist's face on Christmas morning. For higher value 'main present' items, check out my other post ' Christmas Gift Ideas for Cyclists 2016 ' In this post, I've picked out a selection of great items that I have reviewed this year; to hopefully spark some ideas of what you could fill a stocking with... Restrap Bags - Musette, Key Clip, Belt and T-shirt I used the framebag and seatpack from Yorkshire-based Restrap for my ' Coasts and Cols ' tour; both impressed, with their handmade build quality. These five little accessories similarly display the care that the brand puts into its products. First, there is a soft cotton tee; boldly stating "Made in Yorkshire". Second, an elasticated webbing belt; with Restrap's patented magnetic buckle. For your ' Every Ride Carry ' there is a brill