Showing posts from October, 2020

Review – Hydro Flask Insulated Coffee Flask with Flex Sip Lid

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 cycling cof…

Review – Chapeau Cycling Winter Cycle Clothing Range

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 other models t…

Review – Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool Pliers and Bit Kit

Leatherman tools are excellent quality and offer lifelong companions for back-of-beyond adventures. The Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool is a plier type tool; designed to be lightweight, portable, and robust. Partnered with the Leatherman Bit Kit it makes for a superb bikepacking and bicycle touring tool.

The Leatherman Skeletool weighs in at just 142 grams—placing it well within the realms of your standard bicycle multi-tool. Yet, this 7-in-1 tool has the capability to deliver a significantly greater level of functionality compared to many bicycle multi-tools on the market today.

As the stand-alone product, the Leatherman Skeletool comes with a 420HC stainless-steel combination blade, dual type pliers, a wire cutter, a bit driver and screwdriver bits, a removable pocket clip, and a carabiner/bottle opener.

The Skeletool is designed with ease-of-use and handling in mind. All the tools can be accessed single-handed from the outside of the unit. The blade and bit driver also feature a l…

Kit Tips – Wet Weather Cycling Clothing and Accessories

"There is no such thing as bad weather", or so the saying goes... In reality though, riding a bike in wet and cold conditions is a challenge. It can be made easier, safer, and more comfortable though, by using the best cycling kit and accessories available.

In this post, I have picked out 7 Tips to help you stay comfortable and safe in inclement weather conditions. Hopefully they make your next venture out in cold and damp weather that bit more bearable.

1 – Mudguards My first suggestion is that if you do not have them already... "Get Some 'Guards".

Mudguards are a vital element in staying comfortable in wet conditions. Even the best waterproof jacket will struggle after hours of being bombarded by rear wheel spray; while your face and feet will be grateful for protection from a front wheel showering.

You can now get lightweight mudguards that will fit almost any bike: from traditional full-length road mudguards, to the minimalist Ass Saver. I use the Bar Fly …

Review – Juice Lubes Bike Cleaner and Drivetrain Cleaning Products

Do not underestimate the benefits of bike cleaning. Your ride will not only look better; it will also be more efficient, quieter, safer; and parts will last much longer, after a good cleaning session. A bike clean may take 30 minutes of your time; but it will save you money and costly mechanicals in the long run.

Juice Lubes is a UK-based company that make some of the best bike cleaners on the market. With the autumn weather bringing back mucky trails and debris-strewn roads, I decided to look at their current bike cleaner range…
For a step by step guide to cleaning your bike, check out my post: 'The Ultimate Bike Cleaning Routine'

Key components of the cleaning process are the brushes, chain-bath, degreaser, and bike frame cleaner that you use. 
This is the Juice Lubes offering: Dirt Juice No Nonsense Bike CleanerDirt Juice BOSS Chain CleanerDirty Little Scrubber Chain CleanerBig Softy Soft Wash Frame BrushDouble-Ender Two Prong BrushStiffler Drivetrain Brush  Deploying th…

Good Reads – 'Signs of Life: A Doctor's Journey to the Ends of the Earth' by Stephen Fabes

Signs of Life: A Doctor's Journey to the Ends of the Earth by Stephen Fabes is an amazing book, documenting an incredible journey. Stephen cycles the length of six continents, over six years; his story of experiences makes for a superb read.

The narrative is thought provoking and inspiring. Stephen writes extremely well, and his journey is peppered with amusing forthright observations and encounters. Stephen comes across as a kind and compassionate man—who laughs at himself, and at the world he discovers.

Stephen's ride offered him time to really look, listen, and think about the people in the hidden corners of our Earth. Reading his accounts, I longed on many occasions to be at his shoulder; tackling another climb, sharing the view at the summit, and marvelling at yet another new and fascinating culture.

Signs of Life: A Doctor's Journey to the Ends of the Earth would be an excellent book to put in any cyclist or adventurer's stocking this Christmas, or indeed just to…

Review – Smith Trace MIPS Helmet and Smith Optics Attack Max ChromaPop Sunglasses

Smith make exceptional bicycle helmets and cycling sunglasses. I have used their accessories for many of my past trans-continental bikepacking tours, because they are exceedingly comfortable and built to offer the highest level of protection.

The Smith Trace MIPS Helmet and Smith Optics Attack Max Sunglasses are new releases from the Italian brand. They have fast become my go-to choice—offering the highest level of performance, comfort, design, and protection.

Review – Smith Trace MIPS Bicycle Helmet The new Smith Trace MIPS Helmet builds on the strengths of my favourite Smith Overtake Helmet; with subtle design tweaks to supply added comfort and flair.

Like the Overtake, the Trace helmet uses Smith's signature Koroyd technology. This honeycomb polymer structure material is built into the shell of the helmet; its superb impact resistance has allowed Smith to reduce the overall weight of the helmet by minimising the volume of the helmet's shell material, yet still offering the …

Kit Tips – A Guide to Cold Weather Winter Cycling Clothing

Low temperatures and winter storms push wind-chill factors to sub-zero. Bike riding does not have to cease in freezing conditions though; with the right clothing, there is no reason not to enjoy your cycling, even in the icy months of winter.

In this blog post, I offer my tips and advice for the right clothing to keep you comfortable when cycling in the depths of winter…

1 – Long Sleeve Base Layers Cold hands when cycling in low temperatures? Long sleeve base layers are the key to comfort here.

Your hands are an extremity—they are one of the furthest points from the central boiler pump that is your heart. In order to keep them warm, you need to keep the blood that is flowing to them warm.

Protecting your lower arms from wind-chill and insulating them with a long sleeve base layer will aid warm blood flows down your arteries all the way to your hands.

The best long sleeve winter cycling base layer I have used is the GripGrab Expert Seamless Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Base Layer.

2 – …