Adrian's Mountain Biking Blog

Adrian's Mountain Biking Blog

Adrian's Mountain Biking Blog

New Kind of Helmet

Cycling helmets can be a divisive subject and even those that do think they have benefits, aren’t necessarily comfortable wearing them. This is particularly true for casual or “urban” cyclists and short distance commuters.

Two young designers in Sweden shared a dislike of cycle helmets, but still wanted head protection. This led them to invent something they think will revolutionise how we protect our heads on a bike.

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MTB in Madeira

I went hiking in Madeira a few years ago and fondly remember the strikingly beautiful island. Essentially a single volcano sticking out of the middle of the ocean, there is massive variety of terrain and climate in one small area. The main feature of the terrain of course is the hills, with some of the most terrifying roads I’ve ever been on! Although I went there hiking, I could instantly see it would be great for mountain biking and was very pleased to stumble across some excellent video and purpose built trails on Madeira from the Trippin guys.

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Review – Specialized BG Ridge Wiretap long finger gloves

It’s officially winter now, although the temperature is still pretty up and down, it’s definitely time for gloves not mitts. With that in mind, I’ve got a pair of Specialized Body Geometry Ridge Wiretap long finger gloves that I’ve been testing.

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It's officially winter now, although the temperature is still pretty up and down, it's definitely time for gloves not mitts. With that in mind, I've got a pair of Specialized Body Geometry Ridge Wiretap long finger gloves that I've been testing. Aside from competing for a longest product name award, the Ridge's are fairly lightweight full finger gloves from Specialized, with some good technical features. Being part of Specialized's Body Geometry range, the palm/heel of the glove has gel padding to protect your ulnar nerve. The rest of the padding is actually quite minimal, using reinforced synthetic leather. This gives great feel of the grip, but still blister and graze protection. The price for that increased feel is no real damping of trail buzz, but if that's what you want, there is a fully padded version as well. On the other side of the glove, the back is nylon/spandex mesh, with towelling down the thumb for sweat wiping. Finally we have the "Wiretap" feature - this is metallic thread in the thumb and index finger tip, which allow the use of touchscreen devices without having to remove your gloves. In Use The gloves are very comfortable off and on the bike, with terrific feel of the grips and controls. They aren't at all restrictive, especially considering they are full finger and became like a second skin very quickly. Trail buzz was certainly noticeable compared to my fully padded BG mitts, but that's a choice rather than a defect - if it's an issue for you, definitely go with the fully padded version. The Wiretap feature worked - more or less! It does require your finger or thumb to be fully filling the glove to the tip, which didn't quite without pulling them down. But once in the right place I could happily use my phone and reset Endomondo. Lengthy texting would probably be more of an issue, but you're supposed to be riding your bike, not texting! In terms of keeping your hands warm, they worked well down to a few degrees centigrade. I'll be honest that we just haven't had conditions colder than that in the last few months, so I don't yet know how low they really go, although I suffer from cold hands at the best of times, so I reckon they're fine above freezing. The mesh design also kept my hands fairly comfortable in warmer conditions too - I was happy using them at 12 degrees on one of the wildly varied days we've had recently. Overall In all I have been very impressed with the gloves and I've been very happy using them this winter. I can even see myself using them through spring and then we will have to see how high a temperature they will be comfortable in. I think it will probably be summer before they come off though, and I won't mind that at all.   Link - Specialized.com

Specialized BG Ridge Wiretap long finger gloves

Features - 7.5
Function - 8
Comfort - 8.3
Pricing - 8

8

Recommended

Impressive, comfortable gloves that actually work in wide range of temperatures.

8

Research your trail before you ride it!

It should go without saying that you should either scope a trail before riding it, or at the very least take it easy on your first run, so that you are prepared for what is coming up.

We all get a bit over excited sometimes though, and these guys did just that! They are very lucky though, as this happened in the Alps, and they’re lucky only one of them got hurt.

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REVIEW: Halfords Double Buggy Child Bike Trailer

I have 2 year old twin boys, and whilst they're not old enough to cycle yet, that doesn't mean they can't be involved. I had seen quite a few people riding round our neighbourhood with trailers pulling their kids and thought it was a great idea. After a bit of research I decided to give Halford's Double Buggy Child Bike Trailer a go. Currently £130, the Double Buggy holds two children up to 22.5kg each (or 50 lbs). Constructed from steel frame with a fabric child compartment, it's a sturdy contraption. It folds away nearly flat (once the wheels are removed) or if you've a bit more room you can leave them attached like I do. Everything clips together with steel pins (with safety locks), so you don't need any tools to put it up or down. The Trailer attaches to the bike with a universal clip that goes over the axle or quick release. I was initially a little worried about this as I have cheap alloy quick releases on my bike, but I experienced no issues. There is also a secondary safety clip, just in case. The children sit on the fabric seat/floor, with safety harnesses to secure the children. Although the steel frame forms a cage around them, they should still definitely where cycle helmets - its a good time to get them used to them as well. It looks as though there isn't quite room for two children, and they are close together, but not uncomfortably so. In fact my two didn't complain at all - and that's rare! You should just about be able to see them inside. The front cover is mesh, with a clear plastic screen that can go over the front, or be rolled up out of the way. I think the whole trailer is best described as splash, rather than waterproof. You will be able to stop water spraying in the children's faces, but other than that there's going to get a bit wet if it rains. So you could get home with them, but don't start off in the rain, unless they're in waterproofs inside. Riding with the trailer Once connected up, its time to ride. There is a small amount of adjustment you need to make to your normal cycling technique - essentially slow and smooth. This is purely for your children's comfort - if you accelerate away suddenly you'll give them whiplash! You also need to be aware of the weight you're pulling. It's unmistakable when you pull away, but it also adds push and momentum that you don't normally have, so remember to brake early. Other than that though, its great - you pedal, and the kids come with you. My boys weren't sure about going in it initially, although that could have been mainly down to the helmets, but once moving they absolutely loved it and I had no problems getting the back in the second time. In fact the only issue I had was when I…

Halfords Double Buggy Child Bike Trailer

Features - 6.5
Function - 8
Weight - 6
Pricing - 9

7.4

Well priced and easy to use trailer. A hit with rider & passengers.

7

I have 2 year old twin boys, and whilst they’re not old enough to cycle yet, that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved. I had seen quite a few people riding round our neighbourhood with trailers pulling their kids and thought it was a great idea. After a bit of research I decided to give Halford’s Double Buggy Child Bike Trailer a go.

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URBANIST Cycling Chamois Panties

Cycling clothes are great for cycling, especially proper padded shorts. They really do make a difference protecting your posterior. However, they’re generally a bit “racer” looking. To try to solve this liner shorts are available, but they can be a bit tricky to get under some clothes as they often come quite far down the leg – an issue for shorter shorts or skirts.

Texan designer Christiana Guzman has decided to do something about this Read More

REVIEW: Shimano SLX Drivetrain

Features
Function
Weight
Pricing

So after my dilemma of whether to upgrade or replace my bike, I went for upgrading the drivetrain to start with. I originally built my Kona with 27 speed Deore LX, which at the time was a brand new groupset. SLX is the direct modern equivalent, so I bought a 2 x 10 setup from Merlin Cycles. I actually bought a full groupset and Read More

TYRE REVIEW: Continental X-King 2.2″

Construction
Grip
Weight
Price

The X-King from Continental came about as a point between the Mountain King and Rubber King tyres. The idea was for a light, fast rolling but grippy tyre for most conditions. The fast rolling element suggests dry conditions and purpose-built trails, so I gave it run out at the Croft TrailRead More

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