Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Review – Santini Adapt Winter Cycling Bib Tights

Image
Santini remain a historic brand in the world of cycling, yet their products are far from antique. The Santini Adapt Winter Bib Tights are some of the most technically advanced and best performing winter cycle wear I have used to date; using state-of-the-art Polartec fabrics, seamless technology, and a fantastic fit. These are ideal cycling tights for spring/fall and early winter riding. The Adapt range from Santini is designed for versatility. As the name suggests, the fabrics chosen for these products are intended to be suitable for a wide range of temperature and weather conditions. The Adapt Bib Tights glean their adaption capabilities from the Polartec Smartwool fabric used in their construction. Smartwool is a unique blend of wool and synthetic yarns; creating a fabric that holds all the exceptional thermo-regulation capabilities of wool, but with added durability and improved wicking capabilities of synthetics. The Powerwool fabric really is next-level. It is beautifully so

Review – Nomad Eyewear Airwave Cycling Sunglasses

Image
Retro cool. That is the best way to describe the all-new Airwave Ulladulla sunglasses from UK brand Nomad Eyewear. With a frame made from 100% recycled plastic, and a fully polarised P8K™ lens; these are an affordable, protective, and stylish set of cycling glasses. Nomad Eyewear have been making casual sunglasses for many years, but this recent foray into performance cycling eyewear is an exciting development. The brand has some impressive credentials and ideas; with all their glasses being carbon neutral, 100% UVA/UVB protective, and built to last with screwless hinges. The Airwave glasses are designed to perform. They weigh a tiny 29-grams, feature a secure fitting rubber nose piece, and offer optional interchangeable lenses for different light conditions. As a complete package they are a set of glasses that you could comfortably use for riding all year round. Sat comfortably and securely on your nose, the Nomad Airwave offers impressive coverage, as well as a distinctive ret

Review – E-Quella Varsity Electric Single Speed Road Bike

Image
I have owned a Varsity Single Speed for London-based Quella Bikes for several years now. It is an undeniably beautiful road bike—with its clean single speed lines, glistening Cambridge blue paintwork, and classic silver components. This is a bike that looks elegant coasting through Hyde Park or meandering along London's South Bank; it offers a zen-like escape from the traffic and bustle of a city—letting you spin the gear with no worry or care. Yet, living on a hilly island off the South Coast of the UK, it has proven to be a little unforgiving… I continue to struggle on the hills. The Isle of Wight boasts many double-digit gradient climbs, some of which are unavoidable for me even just on a trip to the shops. Despite putting a lower ratio gear set-up on the Quella Varsity, it is still often a laboured effort to get over the undulating terrain.  You do not want every day to be Leg Day … I have searched for a solution to my single speed struggle; seeking a way that I mig

Review – Rapha Explore Long Sleeve Pullover

Image
The Rapha Explore Long Sleeve Pullover is an insulating mid-layer designed for back-of-beyond exploration in variable winter conditions. Packable, protective, and comfortable—it is an excellent addition to any tour kit list. The Rapha Explore range is the UK brand's innovative product set created to deal with the rigours and challenges of bikepacking and cycle touring adventures. This long sleeve top is the perfect layer for adventurous pursuits, either worn on its own or layered up underneath an outer shell. The Explore Pullover is constructed of Polartec® Power Grid™ fabric. This soft and stretchy technical material is lightweight but insulating; protective yet breathable; form-fitting yet not restrictive. Quite simply, Power Grid™ is the ideal choice for a lightweight cool weather mid-layer. The Rapha designers have added windproof panels to the shoulders and arms of the Explore Pullover to supply added protection from windchill; while not restricting the breathability an

Review – Schwalbe Pro One Road Tyre / Aerothan Inner Tube

Image
There is no question—the Schwalbe Pro One Tyres are the best tubed bicycle tyres I have used to date. When combined with the new Schwalbe Aerothan Inner Tubes, the Pro One offers the feel, performance, and superlight weight that I have only experienced before in tubular or tubeless road tyres. Schwalbe are not afraid to tout that they are onto something completely unique here. The Pro One tyres are the showcase of their unique new Souplesse construction, while the Aerothan Tubes are a revolution in tube production—created entirely from a plastic polymer. So, what is this new tech? How does it improve performance and comfort? Review – Schwalbe Pro One Road Tyres (Tubed Version)  The Schwalbe Pro One Road Tyres combine three of Schwalbe's unique technologies; to create a tyre that outperforms its predecessors and competitors by a significant margin.  The first of these technologies is the Souplesse Carcass Construction. This development aims to supply the 'feel' of

Training Tips – 3 Simple Indoor Turbo Trainer Workouts

Image
I do not own a turbo trainer. It is a decision not based on principle, but on a preference—for riding outdoors, even when the weather is abysmal. Turbo trainers have a valuable place in many cyclists' world though; allowing safe and time-efficient training, especially through the winter months. These three turbo workouts will help you to train efficiently and get the most from your time during a turbo trainer workout. 20 Second Power Output Warm up for 20 minutes Select the big chainring at the front and a gear halfway down the block at the rear Ride for 20 seconds at the highest cadence you can maintain Spin easy for three minutes to recover Select one gear harder and try to match the cadence of the first interval for 20 seconds. If you can match the cadence of the first interval, move onto the next hardest gear and try again Make six attempts at matching the cadence, then take a 10-minute easy spin recovery and make another six attempts Speed Cadence Pyramids War

Review – KINEKT Suspension Seatpost and Suspension Stem

Image
I must admit I was sceptical; a suspension seat post has always been something I associate with leisure bikes—too similar to a pogo stick for your saddle. Yet, the  KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost  and  KINEKT Suspension Stem  have both proven to be excellent additions to a gravel bike... Review – KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost As I took the KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost from its packaging, I was a little disparaging about its weight—561 grams for the 350 mm post; it felt like a lead weight compared to the Ritchey WCS Zero Seatpost that it replaced (230 grams). Could this extra weight burden really be worth it? The seatpost was quick and simple to set up: slotting into the frame with a shim and accommodating both round and oval saddle rails. The 2.1 KINEKT seatpost comes in various weight brackets, and they arrive with the correct spring for your selected weight; however, there are also heavier/lighter springs within the box if you need to change the load level at some point i

Review – Super Sparrow 1 Litre Reusable Water Bottles

Image
I have been on the lookout for cycling water bottles with extra volume—to use on long distance bikepacking and adventure trips. The brand Super Sparrow came to my attention on Amazon and looked worthwhile testing out. This is a brief review… The Super Sparrow brand may be unknown to many, but they have a cult following on Amazon; with many of their products reaching over 8000 positive reviews. I felt this was enough of an endorsement to see if they would be up to the rigours of bikepacking and bike touring adventures. I have been testing three models from the range: Super Sparrow Sports Water Bottle 1000ml (BPA Free Plastic with Sports Lid)  Super Sparrow Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle Standard Mouth 1000ml Super Sparrow Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle Wide Mouth 1000ml Of the above three models, the Sports Water Bottle and Standard Mouth Insulated Bottle will both fit into a standard bicycle bottle cage; making them easily transportable

Review – Chrome Industries Candlestick Coaches Jacket

Image
With the arrival of the wet months of autumn and winter, a waterproof cycling jacket is an indispensable layer. The new Chrome Industries Candlestick Coaches Jacket is a cycling inspired development on the classic coach jacket worn by team directors at sports fixtures around the world. The USA brand has taken the timeless style and produced a jacket with waterproof stretch fabric, taped seams, and other great cycling specific features. Much like other Chrome items I have tested in the past, this is a winner… The Colorado based Chrome Industries team produce apparel and luggage made to deal with decades of hard riding on the city streets. I have previously reviewed their bags, shorts, and boots on the blog; all of which continue to do me great service ( see my earlier Chrome reviews here ). The new Chrome Candlestick Coaches Jacket is a waterproof layer that looks at home both chilling at the bar or blasting down the bike path. Whereas a classic coach jacket is designed for ins

Review – Oomf Protein and Probiotic Porridge Pots

Image
I. Love. Oats. They are quite simply the best carbohydrate in the world. I can count on one hand the number of days in a year that have not started with a bowl of porridge or overnight oats; for me, they are the only fuel to set you up for an active day of adventures. Find out more about the unique dietary benefits of oats in this earlier blog post: ' Fuelled by Oats – The Natural Superfood '. Oomf Foods have taken the ancient oat and created little pots of protein-packed porridge goodness. How? They have mixed oats with skimmed milk powder, whey protein concentrate, and other simple ingredients such as blueberries, ginger, cocoa, apple pieces, banana, and of course the classic golden syrup. Each pot packs an impressive 20 grams of protein, and they are free from artificial colours, sweeteners, or preservatives. They also taste fantastic. Additionally, the UK brand produces a special Probiotic Protein Porridge. This gut-loving porridge has a specially formulated prob

Review – Kinesis Fend Off Full Length Metal Mudguards

Image
On wet roads, a set of full-length mudguards will add comfort to your ride; as well as saving your bike from expensive maintenance costs. The Kinesis Fend Off Mudguards are an affordable and bombproof set of full-length winter mudguards; featuring an all-metal construction and stainless fitting hardware. Wet feet? Wet back? Gritty drivetrain? All these things can be solved with a set of full-length mudguards. Okay, they will not protect you from the downpour coming from above; but a set of full-length guards will prevent the worst of the road spray and debris hitting your body and bike. I fitted a set of the Kinesis Fend Off Mudguards to my Kona Rove Ti as we headed into the autumn months; a time when leaves, field run-off, flooding, and hedge-cutting leave our lanes strewn with wet debris and puddles. Fitting full-length guards is a bit of a fiddle; there is no denying that. It delivers hours of improved comfort though, so it is time well spent. The Kinesis Fend Off Mudguards t

Review – Hydro Flask Insulated Coffee Flask with Flex Sip Lid

Image
How can you have great coffee on every ride? How can you reduce plastic waste? How can you conform to social distancing guidelines? One simple solution, is a quality insulated coffee flask… The Hydro Flask Flex Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Coffee Flask is a superb example of a portable coffee solution; allowing you to take steaming hot coffee with you for those deep winter mid-ride breaks. I have always been a great fan of #coffeeoutside —it just tastes better. There is nothing like the feeling of sipping on a mug full of freshly brewed coffee sat on the side of a mountain or sheltered from the wind in a forest. Taking a hot drink with you on an outdoors adventure, particularly a bike ride, can be a little problematic though… you need a flask that is robust, leak-proof, and will keep your beverage warm for several hours. After much searching and testing, I came across the Hydro Flask Flex. This insulated bottle, when combined with the new Sip Lid, makes for the perfect cycl

Review – Chapeau Cycling Winter Cycle Clothing Range

Image
Chapeau Cycling wins my personal award as the Best UK-Based Cycle Clothing Brand of 2020 . Their products continue to impress me with their exceptional quality, function, and design innovation. Yet, as a brand, Chapeau are still not that well-known in the world of cycling apparel. Hopefully, this review feature will introduce you to their latest winter range, and prompt you to also doff your top hat and shout " Chapeau! "... Review – Chapeau Cycling Club Thermal Bib Shorts Thermal bib shorts are a highly versatile and under-rated piece of cycling apparel. In the transition seasons of spring and autumn you are often too warm in bib tights, but a little too chilly in summer bib shorts. Thermal bib shorts use fleece-lined fabrics, a higher cut bib, and a longer leg length to deliver that extra bit of warmth and comfort. The Chapeau Club Thermal Bib Shorts are a fine example of 'early season bib shorts'; with features that make them unique and superior to