Showing posts from July, 2022

Review – Giro Sector MTB Gravel Cycling Shoes

Giro cycling shoes have been my choice for most of my long distance bikepacking tours; from my 2016 #CoastsandCols tour, to my 2018  #CelticCrossTrail  adventure. I began with the Giro Privateer MTB shoes and later upgraded to the Giro Code Techlace ; this latter pair of shoes has been in daily service on my gravel and mountain bikes since the Celtic CrossTrail adventure… With time (and many miles), the Giro Code Techlace shoes began to show their age, so last month I introduced the new Giro Sector MTB/Gravel shoes to my kit store. This is my review… Giro off-road cycling shoes have always been incredibly comfortable for me; with a secure and stable footbed, highly adjustable lacing systems, and wide roomy toe-box. Add in their exceptional durability, impressive power-transfer soles, and robust and grippy tread patterns, and they are a fantastic choice for all terrain long distance cycling as well as fast-paced racing. The Giro Sector shoes are towards the upper end of the MTB s

How to 'Get Wide and Low' on Your 29er MTB XC Race Bike

I am a huge fan of 29ers. I remember when the big wheeled machines raised scepticism and doubtful abuse – " it's a tractor! "; but now they are accepted to be the faster, more comfortable and more efficient wheel choice for a cross country mountain bike. The issue with the 29 inch wheel size, from an aerodynamic viewpoint, is that it raises the front end significantly—naturally positioning the rider in a more upright position than the 'racing tuck'. Other than creating tiny tiny headtube lengths, the solution is to adjust the cockpit set-up to provide the most efficient racing position. This typically involves the introduction of flat handlebars and a negative drop stem angle. The interesting side development in cross country bike cockpits over the last five years has been the growth in the popularity of wider handlebars. Wider bars offer greater leverage, better control and often improved comfort compared to the narrow bars previously found on cross country

Review – Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction Cycling and Running Headphones

I have been using a set of Aftershokz bone conduction headphones daily, ever since I reviewed the Bluez2 headphones back in 2015. The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones are the re-branded and most up to date model within the Shokz range. This latest model offers a few notable updates over its predecessor – the Aftershoz Aeropex. The updates include better sound quality, a better noise-cancelling microphone, quick-charge functionality, and an outstanding ten hours of runtime. In short, these new headphones take an already exceptional product and improve upon it. About Bone Conduction Headphones Bone conduction headphones allow for an open ear listening experience—where the headphones sit next to the ear, rather in the ear like an earbud. The result is that your ear canals are kept clear, so you keep your ambient sound listening capabilities—a vital safety consideration for cyclists and runners, as well as a necessity for optimum balance and stability. Back in 2015, with the Aftershokz Bluez2

Review – Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight & Down

On my previous long distance bike tours, I have always used a dry bag stuffed with clothes as my camp pillow, but on my recent #NorthWestRoad trip my touring partner had a lightweight inflatable camping pillow; he convinced me it was worth the additional weight—providing you with a better night's sleep and less of a sore neck and shoulders when you remount your bike the following morning. The search started for the best lightweight camping pillow for bikepacking. The results led me to the impressive range from Sea to Summit, and I decided to trial the most lightweight inflatable camping pillow within the range: the Aeros Ultralight Pillow (size Large) , as well as the most luxurious within the range: the Aeros Down Pillow (size Deluxe) . Review – Aeros Ultralight Pillow The Aeros™ Ultralight Pillow is designed to be superlight, compact and comfortable. Made from durable 20D laminated polyester, the pillow has a curved shape to fit around your shoulders whether you are sleepin

Review – Rab Infinity Microlight Windstopper Down Jacket

Rab brand their Infinity Microlight as " the most protective version of the iconic Microlight".  Featuring an outer shell made from lightweight and breathable GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER®, it offers additional weather protection, while its 700FP 100% recycled down filling continues to provide the ultimate lightweight insulation. After using this jacket for the first time on the #NorthWestRoad bikepacking trip, it has fast become my favourite lightweight insulated jacket for cycling adventures. I have been a proud owner of a Rab Microlight Alpine jacket for many years, and the Infinity Microlight stays true to the Microlight's original purpose: an insulated jacket for year-round mountain use. The addition of the wind and weather resistance GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® outer fabric on the Infinity means that while still being super lightweight, this updated version has impressive weather protection to cope with light snow, drizzle, and shield you from windchill.