Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Review: Wera Tools Stainless Hex Key Set

A set of loose hex (allen) keys is a must for any home bike mechanic's workshop; they allow you to reach those hard to get places, and let you use significantly more torque than a multitool. It's worth getting a good set too, as cheaper sets will round off and risk damaging bolts and components on your bike. This stainless steel hex set from UK brand Wera tools is easily up to the job, and somewhat a work of art.

Stainless is a logical choice for bike mechanics; it's durable and rust resistant, even when left in a damp workshop or tool box for prolonged periods. The Wera Tools Stainless set is made of vacuum ice-hardened high-grade stainless steel, and the quality is apparent. Using stainless steel tools also holds the benefit that there is no risk of galvanic cross-contamination with stainless bolts; an issue that can occur with cheap tools, which can cause the bolts on your bike to rust even when they're stainless steel.

The set comprises of 9 hex keys, from 1.5mm up to 10mm. At one end they have a ball end, which helps with those bolts that are hard to reach. At the other end, there is Wera's patented Hex-Plus profile; this is a precision cut that means you can give more torque on bolts, and you're more likely to be able to use the keys on bolts that are slightly rounded off.

The keys come in a neat rubber clip, which helps to keep them organised and to identify if one has gone astray.

Whether you're fitting pedals or changing brake pads, there is a hex key for the job in this set, and it will do the job very well. I'm impressed by the first product I have tested from the Wera brand, and this hex set would be a great addition to any toolbox.

View the Wera range at Wera-tools.co.uk (Link)

The neat rubber organisation clips keeps things tidy 
Quality, precision cut and great looks. These would make a great addition to any tool box.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Review: Intrepid Apparel Pioneer Gilet

Back in 2013, I reviewed the Intrepid Apparel Freedom Gilet, and it fast became one of my favourite pieces of kit. I took to wearing it both on and off the bike; for everything from mountain bike missions, to commutes and casual trips to the shops. It provided a welcome layer of protection from the wind and cold.

Earlier this year, Intrepid Apparel - a UK based rider-owned company, released their new Pioneer Gilet. They sent one over for me to test, and I was keen to see how it compared to the previous soft-shell vest.

The most apparent change is the new colour-way: gone are the red detailing with white zips; in their place are sky blue zips and more subtle black detailing. The result, is a top that gains even more versatility, as it blends in better with casual wear, and looks great both on the street and the trails.

The cut of the new Pioneer Gilet also seems to be better. It's a little bit closer fitting, and it retains its cycling specific fit; with a low cut rear hem and plenty of freedom of movement. You can utilise the draw strong hem to snug things up too, when it gets cold. I opted for a medium size again, and it is a great fit.

Other noteworthy features that the Pioneer Gilet has retained from its predecessor, include a warm high-cut neck, a wind baffle behind the strong main zip, and a wide range of pocketing options in the form of a napoleon chest pocket and a rear stash pocket. These are the kind of features that demonstrate this is a garment designed by regular riders, who know what is valued when out on the trail.

The Pioneer Gilet is a feature packed and very well designed waterproof and windproof gilet then. Perhaps the most impressive thing though, is the value. Retailing for £49.00 RRP, it is very competitively priced, and you get a versatile top that is built to last and made from quality materials.

It seems that Intrepid Apparel has done it again with the Pioneer Gilet; it's a great top that excels in UK weather conditions, and should last you many seasons of frequent use both on and off the bike.

View the Intrepid Apparel range at IntrepidApparel.co.uk (Link)

High-cut collar to keep out the wind

Zippered Napoleon chest pocket

Inner storm baffle with chin guard

Great detailing and embroidery

Another great design and great value piece of apparel from Intrepid Apparel

Weekend Watch: Final Kilometres Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2015



What an engine! Chapeau Ian Stannard!
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