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Review – Chrome Industries Mini Kadet Sling Bag 5L

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The Chrome Industries Mini Kadet Sling might look like a little like a miniature satchel to the uneducated eye; but in fact, this sling bag is far from begin a masculine handbag. Rather, it is a robust and incredibly useful everyday carry—based on Chrome's prestigious heritage producing some of the best urban cycle courier bags in the world. When you travel regularly, for work or pleasure, you find that juggling a water bottle, wallet, notebook, jacket and other small essentials becomes a tricky task; to the extent that you become rather envious of the practical handbag that your (normally female) travelling companion safely stashes all such belongings in. Enter a solution—the Chrome Mini Kadet Sling Bag. Based on the iconic Kadet Sling Bag that has been popular with bicycle couriers, commuters and travellers for many years, the Mini Kadet is the super compact sibling—offering five litres of storage capacity in a robust and durable design. This is the perfect way to carry your

Recipe – Natural High Energy Cocoa Protein Superfood Balls

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These little protein balls use just a handful of natural ingredients to produce the perfect jersey pocket snack. Containing slow release energy from natural oats; protein from nut butters, tahini paste and hemp protein powder; as well as natural sweetness from honey, and superfood seeds such as chia seeds—these little natural energy balls offer a balanced and tasty bite-sized snack. Ingredients 200 grams Naturya Cocoa Mama Organic Overnight Oats 100 grams tahini paste (or nut butter) 50 grams dates (pitted) 1 tbsp set honey 1 tbsp runny honey 1 tbsp water (add more if mixture is too dry) 1 tbsp Lotus Biscoff Spread (optional) 1 tsp vanilla essence 100 grams desiccated coconut Method Place the desiccated coconut into a small bowl and set aside Place all other ingredients into a food processor and mix until they reach a dough-like consistency Using your hands take tablespoon sized amounts and roll them into balls Roll each ball in the desiccated coconut Store inside a re-used seal-tight

Review – Hutchinson Tires Tubeless Touareg Gravel Tyres

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Hutchinson bicycle tyres have taken me across continents, to the podiums of mountain bike races in the Italian Dolomites, and now it seems they are set to conquer the gravel scene… " Touareg " means ' free folk '—it is the name of a nomadic tribe in the Sahara Desert. The French brand Hutchinson Tires selected that name for this tubeless gravel tyre because of its special ability on rugged (mostly dry) off-road trails. This is a gravel bike tyre for back-of-beyond adventures. Hutchinson Tires maintain a build quality level that from my experience is second-to-none. They were one of the pioneers of tubeless bicycle tyre technology, way before it became mainstream; over the years they have perfected the balance of protection, weight, grip and immaculate fit that is sought after in all tubeless set-ups. The Touareg tyres are a mixed-surface gravel tyre, intended to be used primarily on dry and loose terrain. The tread pattern is a file-style arrow pattern that strikes

Review – Ortlieb Waterproof Bikepacking Seat Pack 11L

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When Ortlieb released the Back Roller Classic Rear Pannier they set the standard for waterproof bike bags; it has always seemed like other brands are playing catch-up in their wake. With the phenomenal growth of bikepacking in recent years, the German brand has turned their attention to the rack-less (not reckless) world of adventure cycling. The Ortlieb Seat Pack brings to bikepacking what the Back Roller Classic did for cycle touring; it is a faultlessly designed, fully waterproof, yet beautifully simple product. Over the last year I have been testing the Ortlieb Seat Pack on everything from shopping errand runs to multi-day bikepacking adventures. It has performed superbly, time and time again. While other brands have integrated metal frames and complex strap systems into their bikepacking seat packs, Ortlieb have adopted the KISS (Keep It Simply Stupid) approach to the Seat Pack. Rugged webbing strap and clamp-close buckles do not slip or break, but hold the bag securely under

XPDTN3 Algarviana – Exploring Portugal's Secret Gravel

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Just before the world went into Lockdown in March 2020, I squeezed in a last minute trip to Portugal's Algarve—to explore some of the amazing and unique gravel riding on offer there... Dust rises, rocks ping from beneath tyres, and the scent of wild rosemary and jasmine fill the air as I barrel down the narrow twisting singletrack to the serene Guadiana River below. This is only my first evening in the Algarve, but I have already added it to my list of ' Gravel Riding Meccas '. I first came here last December—seeking respite from the cold and grey of the UK winter. Then, the region delivered unquestionably—with 18 Celsius temperatures and dusty trails, explored on a rental mountain bike. That first trip also opened my eyes to an iconic point-to-point bikepacking adventure that could be staged in this unique landscape… The Via Algarviana is an ancient hiking route spanning the Algarve from the Guadiana River on the Spanish border to the Cabo de São Vincente lighthouse at the

Book Review – 'Britain's Best Bike Ride' by John Walsh and Hannah Reynolds

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I have not ridden Land's End to John O'Groats, despite having ridden the length of Britain on several occasions, as well as multiple trans-Europe tours. However, if I was to ride the iconic British bike ride I would, without doubt, follow the route laid out by John Walsh and Hannah Reynolds in the beautifully edited and illustrated Britain's Best Bike Ride . I have never been one to race across countries, at least not in the literal sense. Some of my multi-country tours have demanded that I ride 200 km+ every day for several weeks to make up the time; however, I have always made time to stop; take in the local surroundings and appreciate the culture that a country has to offer.  Britain's Best Bike Ride  is all about that approach: not taking the fastest or most direct route to complete LEJOG, but instead taking the most interesting, scenic, and in my view most rewarding route from the southernmost point of mainland Britain to the most northern. Britain's Best B

Book Review – ‘Traffic-Free Cycle Trails South East England’ by Nick Cotton and Kathy Rogers

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Traffic-Free Cycle Trails South East England by Nick Cotton and Kathy Rogers features over 100 great cycling routes across the South East, London and into Eastern England. The book offers routes of varying lengths and difficulties, all on traffic-free paths and trails. This is a great resource for gravel cyclists and leisure cyclists looking to explore on routes off the asphalt and into the quiet country landscape of South East England.  As well as detailed route guidance for all the route profiles, the book offers advice on refreshment stops, local points of interest, bike shops and public transport links; so, you can approach any itinerary with confidence that you have all the know-how you need for a relaxed ride.  The guide is formatted in an easy to use way: with iconography for facilities, and an information box containing suggestions on further route advice as outlined above.  I was personally pleased to see three routes on my home turf – the Isle of Wight, all of which I agree

Review – Chrome Industries Bravo 3.0 Cycling Backpack

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Chrome Industries make some of the best cycling backpacks in the world; keeping your kit safe and dry as you ride through the urban landscape day after day. The new Chrome Bravo 3.0 Urban Cycling Backpack is presented as ‘the ultimate urban rolltop’: featuring a roll-top waterproof compartment, quick-access laptop pocket and an additional cargo carrying strap system. The Bravo 3.0 is a 35-litre backpack made from super durable 1050D water-resistant nylon, with a recycled polyester lining. Inside the main compartment there is also a removable taped-seam waterproof tote bag that provides further weather protection for the contents and a further versatile kit carrying option. The front pocket offers an organisation area, with room for pens and small valuables, as well as a padded laptop sleeve that will accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop. On both sides of the cross-vented moulded back panel there are hidden phone/wallet pockets that allow you to stow these personal belonging safely but

Review – Lezyne Pocket Torque Drive Wrench

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The Lezyne Pocket Torque Drive is a compact torque wrench that you can easily slip into a jersey pocket or race-day tool kit. Presented in its own soft-shell case, it gives you with the tool-bits and confidence you need to adjust delicate bike components accurately and easily. When it comes to adjusting stem bolts, seat post clamps, saddle rails and even gear lever clamps, you need to be careful not to overtighten or under tighten the bolts; overtightening could result in stress fractures, whilst under tightening could result in slippage between components. A torque wrench allows you to easily adjust a bolt to the correct torque level. Traditional torque wrenches are bulky items though; they are made for workshop use and not for taking with you on a ride; this presents a problem for ad-hoc adjustments on the go. Leyne's new Pocket Torque Drive is the brand's solution to torque wrench transportation; small and light enough to take with you on your travels. Oozing the fame