Showing posts from February, 2019

Review - Vaude Men's Steglio Softshell Winter Cycling Jacket

The Vaude Steglio Softshell Jacket is an innovative high performance winter cycling jacket; featuring a superb fit, deep winter insulation, and an eco-friendly weatherproof shield. It is packed full of well thought-out design elements, and much like other Vaude kit I have tested it is standing up admirably well to a winter of use and abuse. The Steglio Windproof Softshell Jacket is a two layer jacket. The inner fabric is a soft brushed fleece material, which traps in valuable body heat. The outer is a windproof softshell material and uses Vaude's unique S-Cafe® oil coating (derived from used coffee beans!) to provide an eco-friendly non-PFC water-repellent finish. The fit of the Steglio jacket is articulated and close fitting, but it has room for layering. The sleeves feature contoured seams to provide a comfortable fit when in the riding tuck; while the long low cut of the back panel provides protection from rear wheel spray, and the hem is held firmly in place by a gripper ar

Review - JetBoil Flash Stove and Java Coffee Set

My JetBoil MiniMo Cooking System has accompanied me on more adventures than I can count—it is a compact and efficient gas cooking set-up. The release of the new super-fast boil JetBoil Flash with integrated Java coffee press looked to be the perfect secondary solution for shorter trips—where I wanted fresh coffee on the go, with a super portable stove. The JetBoil Flash Stove uses JetBoil's patented FluxRing technology to deliver an incredibly fast boil time of less than 100 seconds for a full fill of 500 millilitres. The flux technology works by minimising heat loss from the burner and transmitting the maximum amount of energy into the cup. The FluxRing cup screws directly onto the base burner unit and is insulated by a neoprene jacket with inbuilt heat indicator. The cup cosy also has an integrated webbing handle strap. Each JetBoil Flash comes with a support stand for the propane gas cartridge, and a heatproof plastic lid. The cover that pops onto the base of the unit f

Review - CocoPro Coconut Water Recovery Drink

I have a new favourite post-workout/ride drink, and it is not a powdered recovery shake. CocoPro is a light, refreshing, and low calorie electrolyte recovery drink, with a good amount of protein for muscle repair, and only natural sweeteners. I can honestly say that in the last year, I have given away at least ten times the amount of powdered recovery shakes than I have consumed myself (I have a lot of grateful friends). The reason is simple: I do not like the amount of sugar found in a lot of 'recovery' shakes, and I am also making a conscious effort to get as far away from processed foods as possible—instead, forming a diet with energy and protein sourced from natural wholefoods. Coconut water is wonderfully natural electrolyte drink; far removed from the 'energy exercise' drinks found saturating the market. So, what is an electrolyte drink? The essential electrolytes most commonly found in the human body are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, ma

Ride Upgrades - Wide and Low 29er MTB Handlebars

In my 'Ride Upgrades' series I look at changes you could make to your bike that make a real difference to comfort and performance. In this post, I consider the trend of using wide flat handlebars and negative drop stems on 29er mountain bikes. About 'Ride Upgrades' Nobody can accuse me of shying away from gradients; in 2018 I rode over 400,000 metres of elevation gain—the equivalent of climbing Everest from sea level 45 times. Yet, I have never been a 'gear geek—I am happy to ride last year's bikes, and I ride components into the ground rather than replace them prematurely. It would appear I am an ambassador for "don't ride upgrades—ride up grades". However, I know full well that there are upgrades that make a notable difference to comfort and performance. This blog series looks at those enhancements that could provide you with a notable marginal gain. 'Wide and Low' I am a huge fan of 29ers. I remember when the big w

Review - Sahmurai SWORD 2.0 Tubeless Tyre Repair Kit Plugs

Plugging or repairing a large hole in a tubeless bicycle tyre can be a necessity when the hole is too large for the tubeless tyre sealant to fill. The Sahmaurai SWORD 2.0 is a neat tubeless tyre reaming and plug system, which fits securely inside your handlebar ends. In 2017, I posted a feature on ' How To Make Your Own Tubeless Plug System ' . That system worked well for me, but it was not without its faults… namely, it was flimsy and broke after repeated use. Doh. The homemade creation was based on the Sahmurai SWORD design, which at the time was not available to the UK market. Now it is! New for 2019, the Sahmurai SWORD 2.0 is an upgraded model of the original tubeless plug I tried to mimic. It is even more robust and easier to fit into the handlebar ends. The Sahmurai SWORD is a two-part system: you use the reamer to clean out and ready the hole in the tyre; then you push the sword into the hole with a sticky plugging strip inserted. As you pull the sword back out of