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Showing posts from September, 2014

Review: Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor

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Measuring cadence can be a great way to check efficiency and notice when you need to be changing down a gear to keep your legs spinning optimally. In the past, measuring cadence has required a two part sensor, with one part on the chainstay and a magnet on the crank. That was the case at least, until the new Wahoo RPM sensor was released a few weeks ago.

The RPM sensor is just a little bigger than a C2032 coin battery, and mounts to the surface of the crank. It provides a cadence measure through inertia readings, and transmits it via Bluetooth or ANT+ to your phone or GPS unit. Neat!
Having to mount one less sensor/magnet is certainly a benefit, and makes this easier to change between bike and even mount to a spin bike in the gym. There is no faffing around with magnet alignment, you just strap it on in the zip-tie silicon case, or with the double-sided tape provided.
The sensor seems to work very well: I mounted it up running parallel to a second bike computer using a standard cade…

Weekend Watch: Rapha Continental Northwest Pacific

I haven't yet travelled to America, it is long overdue a visit. I've been toying with the idea of touring down the West Coast at some point in the near future, and this video has given me even more inspiration to do so...

Review: Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet

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Many cyclists can be considered minimalists; I would certainly consider myself one. Whether it is single ring chainrings, tiny saddle bags, pocket size multitools or stuff sack gilets; I love a product that serves its purpose well, but does it with minimal fuss and flamboyance.

Bellroy products instantly struck a chord with me then; they're a brand that is all about cutting back to the bare necessities, but still doing it with a luxury focus. The Elements range is their set of products tailored for the outdoor enthusiast, and made to deal with wind, rain and daily grit; ideal for cyclists!
Sat in the middle of the Elements range is the Elements Pocket; not quite as minimal as the Elements Sleeve, but still a significantly smaller size than a normal wallet. It is meant to be able to provide you with all the functionality of a normal pocket wallet, but without the wedge-like appearance that many modern wallets have adopted. 
The Elements Pockets claims that it can swallow a lot, co…

Review: High5 Energy Bar Comparison

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Energy bars are finding their way into my jersey pockets more and more as the racing season comes to a close. Gels and sugary sports drinks are replaced by bars and 4:1 mixes, as the longer endurance rides start again.  Now seems a good time to report back on a few of my favourites then, from the UK based High5 brand.

High5 isn't a new brand to the blog; I've previously written on their endurance orientated 4:1 products and their caffeine based range. It's now time to look at what they can provide in terms of solid food in the form of their Sports Bar products and Energy Bars.


High5 Sports Bar - Berry Yoghurt
The High5 Sports Bars are without doubt one of the tastiest energy bars on the market. This one is a particular favourite of mine in the summer months; it features a fruity berry and cereal centre, with an outer coating of yoghurt. Imagine those yoghurt coated raisins, but with Special K in the middle rather than raisins. Pretty darn tasty, and an ideal pre-race snack.

Review: Thule Atmos X3 iPhone Case

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For many of us, our phones are a lifeline. They're a link to friends, family and work; as well as being a vital emergency contact system. It pays to look after them, and a good quality case will help to avoid damage caused by the knocks, bumps and scrapes that occur with everyday riding and use.

Thule is a brand renowned for its quality products. Roof racks and bike carriers is where it all started, but recently they've come out with a superb luggage range (I reviewed the Thule Enroute Escort Rucksack earlier this year [Link]) and accessories range.

The Thule Atmos X3 iPhone case is designed to be a sleek minimalist case; to protect your phone from drops and scratches, whilst actually enhancing the feel of the unit in your hand.

It works. The sky blue colour Atmos X3 I have really does have a reassuring quality feel about it, and looks unique and different from most other phone cases on the market.

The case itself is made of a dual compound "armour", which has provi…

Race Report: 14 Hills Killer 2014

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Go big or go home. That seemed to be the mantra for today's 14 Hills Killer. In truth, the reason I chose to do the 14, rather than the 7 this year, was just because it started closer to home; it saved me riding out to Freshwater from Sandown to start! Turns out the 14 was one hell of a challenge...

Conditions were near perfect; it's been dry for a long time in the later part of the summer, and it's left the Isle of Wight trails as dusty as I've ever seen them. With a decent easterly wind, it looked like we'd have a helping hand on the outward leg to Freshwater as well, countered by a nice headwind on the way home!

Pre-event involved a fair bit of faffing. The checkpoints are normally in pretty similar spots, but my old riding buddy Jamie had laid them out yesterday and hidden them in rather different locations. I'd decided not to take a map, but on finding the "fresh" positioning of the marks, rather wished I had. Photos on my phone and scribbled no…

Weekend Watch: Sophie Radcliffe's 'Alpine Coast to Coast'

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8 countries, 8 highest peaks... #ridemore

This great film showcases the alpine coast-to-coast challenge, an incredible world’s first by adventurer Sophie Radcliffe. Her epic adventure started in Trieste, Italy, from there she proceeded to cycle across the 8 alpine countries and climb the highest peak in each; finishing in Monaco after 32 days.

"Cycling over mountains every day was the most empowering experience in my life. It's incredible to see what you can do with self-belief, drive and a thirst for adventure. the film has captured the beauty of the adventure perfectly." 

Sophie wore the adidas’ women’s Supernova Cycling range for the entirety of the cycling stages on the Alpine coast-to-coast, which I reviewed on the blog earlier this year (Link).
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Taking inspiration from Sophie's Alpine Coast to Coast, I am hoping to undertake a similar challenge next September: riding the highest road passes in the 8 Alpine countries, over the course of two weeks. …

Review: MaxiNutrition Promax Lean Shakes and Bars

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MaxiNutrition is the new incarnation/combination of MaxiMuscle and MaxiFuel; two iconic brands that provided sports supplements to some of the best athletes in the world. Maximuscle was the most well known brand though, and of the Maxifuel products that I tried, it was the muscular recovery shakes and bars that I was most fond of and found most effective. With the new Maxinutrition Promax Lean range looking like a great option for cyclists then, I was keen to try it out and see how it aided recovery.

Promax was my preferred protein shake when I was rowing (although the price was often an issue as a student); it proved to be the most effective at mass-gain and muscle growth. Promax Lean is a stripped down, low-fat and low-sugar option; which is perfect for a cyclist that is wanting to put on lean muscle without the mass gain.

As has historically been the case, Maxi products follow some of the latest science research. Owned by Glaxo Smith Klein, this is a firm founded in science. Predi…

Race Report: Ride 24/7 Cricklade Kermesse

Last road race of the season today: not an amazing result, but a great race all the same.

I rode the Cricklade Kermesse two years ago, and came second in the KOM classification. This year the target was on the overall though, in a last ditch attempt to get enough points to retain my second cat licence going into next year. I came 9th in the end, so I didn't get the points I needed, but it was one of the best races I've had all season. 
This is a FAST circuit; with 15 laps of a tight course, a lot of spectators and a high street finish. Positioning is key, and that became pretty obvious on the third lap; on the slight drag that features on the circuit a split occurred in the peloton, luckily I was on the right side, and so started a 15 man breakaway. 
Once the gap was established, the break got organised, and we started to power round the circuit with an efficient through-and-off. The gap got bigger, on lap 8 (I think) we got a time check: 1 minute. By lap 9 that had gone up to…

Weekday Watch: Bike-Ferry-Bike

No prizes for guessing who's commute this is...

Weekday Watch: Mike Cotty's 'Road to Mont-Blanc'

Another incredible feat from Mr Cotty. Chapeau in a big way!