Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Endura FS260 rain cape review

Thursday, November 26th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

The Endura FS260 is a rain cape designed for cycling. Capes are lightweight and stuff into your jersey pocket when you are not wearing them, so you can set off with it in your pocket knowing that if it starts raining you will be able to pull another layer on.

In my opinion, the FS260 is a great option. It’s far below the super-expensive Gortex £300 options, and if you pick the correct colour (some are cheaper than others) you can get it for less than £50.

It does a good job of protecting me from the rain, although will not keep me dry in heavy showers. It also does a good job at keeping my warm and I often take it as an alternative to arm warmers.

The back covers my jersey pockets to keep everything dry.

The sleeves are a little long and it is not skin-tight, so if you are in a race situation, you are going to cause a fair bit of drag compared to something like a Gabba jersey.

Overall, highly recommended for cyclists, and it works well when running, too.

Best winter cycling socks

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

How do you keep your feet warm during winter cycling? In this video, I will compare regular socks with the Pactimo wool winter socks and Rapha winter socks, as well as discussing what else I do to keep my feet warm when the temperature gets down towards zero.

Mavic Crossmax cycling shoes review

Monday, October 19th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

The Mavic Crossmax SL Pro Thermo shoe is a winter cycling boot. It supports SPD (mountain bike) cleats but Mavic also produces a road version named Ksyrium Pro Thermo that supports SPD-SL cleats.

My hands and feet get very cold on the bike so I have been on a long quest to work out how to keep them warm. These shoes are the closest I have come so far. They do an excellent job of keeping the wind and rain out so when coupled some winter socks your feet should stay toasty.

They have a lot of fastenings. There is a zip along the front and velcro around the ankle. You can tighten it using a boa dial. Once you have the boots on, you can ignore the zip and velcro and just tighten using the dial. My socks do sometimes get caught in the velcro when putting them on.

They are reasonably light. I measured one shoe at 582 grams, which is only 10 grams more than my summer Mavic shoes. That said, my summer Mavic shoes (573 grams) are heavy compared to non-cycling shoes or even my Shimano triathlon bike shoes which come in at around 350 grams each. For a boot, they feel pretty reasonable.

I am a size 11 in a running shoe and I go for an 11.5 when I buy Mavic. That said, they are generously sized, allowing me to get my big socks in them, so I could probably have gone with an 11 as well. They are pricy, so it depends on how much you value warm feet.

Daffodils sportive

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 | Sport

Sportives are back! Last week, Bogdan and I completed the Daffodils sportive that starts from Thirsk. It had everyone you would want from Yorkshire: beautiful views, rolling hills, and wide, quiet roads.

It was raining when I woke up and raining the whole way through the sportive. I don’t have any clear glasses so I look a bit miserable in the photos but it is mostly because I was trying to keep the rain out of my eyes: once we were cycling I was enjoying it.

My maximum speed was 57.8 kph coming down one of the hills. Later that day, Filippo Ganna won the prologue (the opening stage time trial) of the Giro d’Italia with an average speed of 58.8 kph.

I hate cold, wet feet so I went full winter gear: winter socks, Mavic winter boots and my Spatz extra-thick overshoes. I did get a little bit of water or sweat in there but they felt warm and dry for the whole event.

Everything took place outside. You had to book your start time down to the minute. This worked better than the long queues at other events although there may have been fewer participants. They had loads of portapotties at the HQ (and I mostly rate events based on their toilet availability) so that was great, and we got a sausage in a bun at the end.

Voodoo Limba bike review

Thursday, September 24th, 2020 | Reviews, Sport

In this video, I’ll review the Voodoo Limba cyclocross (adventure) bike from Halfords. It’s an entry-level cross bike that is more affordable than other brands and got me through my first few sportives and triathlons.

Unfortunately, it has been plagued with problems for me. The back wheel has literally fallen off twice. How much user error can you get from a quick release skewer? Once maybe, but they are just not that complicated.

The front wheel jumps violently to the side when I brake. I’ve had multiple bike shops try to fix it with no luck. I think it’s a problem with the axle but the wheels are generic so there is no practical way to fix them.

Nor are the wheels balanced. The front wheel constantly veers to the left, making it harder to handle and impossible to run with in transition.

The groupset is Claris, which is Shimano’s cheapest road groupset and it is terrible. The rear cassette constantly deindexes and is impossible to get reindexed correctly. And every time I change gear on the front rings, the chain comes off.

I’ve done all the standard debugging, like adjusting the barrel adjuster and re-aligning the brake pads with no success. I’ve also taken it to multiple bike shops and they have had little success also.

As a result of the issues with the brakes, and the wheels, and the gears, I don’t ride the bike anymore because I’m genuinely scared that I’m going to die. In my opinion, it is worth paying more for a higher quality bike.

Tyres and brake discs

Friday, August 14th, 2020 | Sport

A few weeks ago, I was cycling with Bramhope when something shredded my rear tyre. I’m not sure what it was, but it left a gash so big that the liquid sealant inside the tyre couldn’t seal it. Worse still, I couldn’t get the tyre off the rim, so I couldn’t even stick an inner tube in it.

I was planning to get a bike shop to fix it, but with shops closing and everyone being busy, I decided to give it a go myself.

Getting the tyres off is a nightmare. I specifically bought Mavic UST because it was supposed to be super-easy to get the tyres on and off the rims. It is not. I spend literally an hour trying to get my new tyre onto the rim. In the end, I gave up and used tyre levers. Once I had done that I got it on within five minutes, but I needed two of the things and I snapped one of them.

Once I got the things on they were at least easy to inflate. I managed it with the track pump. I’m using the Muc Off tyre sealant that, as the reviews promised, really did smell lovely. The advantage of re-doing my tyres was that I could get the tyre and rim logo lined up.

The next thing I wanted to do was to put some brake discs on my old wheels so I could easily swap to the old wheels if I needed so. So, I brought a shiny new Ultegra brake disc to try it. Turns out it is so easy that I could have just swapped the discs over every time I wanted to switch wheels. But now I have shiny new discs.

And here is the snapped tyre lever…

I’ve switched to Bontrager tyre levers now as they look slightly more sturdy (although I have not tested this) and carry three of them in my saddle bag now.

ISM PR 3.0

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 | Reviews, Sport

I’ve been trying out the ISM PR 3.0 saddle. It is a split-nosed saddle designed to help blood flow, especially in the time trial position.

To its credit, it does feel pretty good. However, as other reviews have noted, I did get some discomfort on my inner thighs. The seat itself, which is supposed to be ISM’s most comfortable, felt rock hard to me. There was nowhere near as much give as my Fabric.

Ultimately, it wasn’t for me. Maybe if I was in the TT position the whole time it would be an option. But I’m not, so it isn’t the saddle for me.

Tacx floor stand review

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 | Reviews, Sport, Video

Looking for a stand to hold your tablet while turbo training? Probably not. But if you were, you should watch the video below.

Mountain Fuel review

Sunday, July 26th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

Mountain Fuel is a British endurance nutrition brand making products for runners, cyclists, triathletes and endurance racers at large. In this video, I’ll review their jellies (an alternative to energy gels), Extreme Energy drink, Ultimate Recovery drink and flapjacks to see how they stack up against Science In Sport, Torq, High5 and other brands.

How big should your indoor cycling fan be?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 | Sport, Video

In this video, I will compare the Honeywell HT900E to the Pro Breeze 20″ to see which one is best for indoor cycling.