Adrian's Mountain Biking Blog

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REVIEW: Flare Rider Co Roost DH Jersey

I was lucky enough to get one of the first batch of the new Flare Rider Co’s Roost DH jerseys, launched on the back of their successful Kickstarter campaign. 

I was lucky enough to get one of the first batch of the new Flare Rider Co's Roost DH jerseys, launched on the back of their successful Kickstarter campaign. [taq_review] Flare Rider Co is the new sister (or should that be "brother") brand to the very good female orientated Flare Clothing. Wanting to branch out into Men's clothing, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first production run - a downhill jersey and shorts, an enduro jersey and shorts and some technical t-shirts and hoodies. I supported the campaign ordering a downhill jersey and shorts. The jersey arrived first, so that's what I'm reviewing here.  Features   The jersey is made from polyester and is described as "abrasion-resistant, wicking, breathable". I think they also left out "comfortable", but I'll come back to that one in a minute! I'd call the fit close - it's not tight, but close, which means it doesn't flap at speed - which is what you need for a downhill jersey. Flare recommend going a size up for armour, I'd say that was definitely necessary. The cut is excellent though, which combined with the elasticity of the fabric means no restriction of movement at all.  There are lots of lovely design features, like the logo on the sleeve and rear. There is another colour/design in this jersey, which has a more intricate, but subtle pattern at the bottom. Lots of thought has clearly been put into the design. [gallery ids="870,872,871,818"] Function First up that comfort - it's really comfortable! The fabric is really soft and nicely stretchy - if you need give, it gives. As I just mentioned there is no restriction of movement and it feels super comfy.  I ended up with a variety of conditions to test the jersey in, thanks to the Forest of Dean's micro climate. I wore the jersey with just a baselayer and experienced cool conditions, turning to rain, followed the heat of a steep climb into sunshine! Throughout all of that I was really comfortable. Others in the group were removing baselayers and complaining of cold and heat, but I was very comfortable throughout and could just ride - which is exactly what you want.  I didn't get to test the abrasion resistance of the jersey - sorry but I'm not dedicated enough to graze myself along rough ground on purpose! - however I've seen photos of someone doing it be accident! The jersey was barely marked, which is a lot more than can be said for his forearm underneath. I'll add an update to this review after a longer test period, but initial reports are excellent.  Pricing  The jersey costs £45, which is in line with the competition, but I think is excellent value for the quality. In fact the price is actually surprisingly low when you factor in all Flare's clothing is made in the UK.  Summary  When I first saw Flare's women's range I was really hopefully they would start to do men's clothing, so was an enthusiastic…

Flare Rider Co Roost DH Jersey

Features - 8.5
Function - 9
Comfort - 9
Price - 8.5



Very comfortable and functional jersey. Great looking too!


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REVIEW – Superstar Nano Tech Flat Pedals

Are a decent pair of flat pedals good enough to convince me to switch from SPDs after 15 years?

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Are a decent pair of flat pedals good enough to convince me to switch from SPDs after 15 years? I have been a dedicated user of SPDs for 15 years, but recently ended up test riding a bike that had flats and found to my surprise I really enjoyed the experience. When I moved to SPDs it was from platform pedals with toe grips, which don't compare to modern flats, so I thought I'd give them a proper go. After finding some unused Wellgos in my spares box, I put them on the bike and found very quickly all flats are not equal. They were very different from the pair I had tried at the demo day; smaller with smaller pins and I did not get on with them. So not a great start! I had come across Superstar Components after reading a review of some of their wheels on Twitter and when I visited their site saw they had some cracking deals on flats, including their award winning Nano Techs. As they had sold out of steel axles, they were offering half price titanium upgrades - straight titanium, gold titanium or Black Ceramic coated Titanium. 8 colours are available: Red, Black, Electric Blue, Dark Blue, Gunmetal, Bright Gold, Baby Pink and Techno Lime Green. So I went for a pair of black pedals with the black ceramic coated titanium axles, which with the offer meant a total price of £59.50 with free delivery. For an extra £2.50 ceramic coating seemed silly to pass up, plus of course it meant the axles matched the pedals. Service from Superstar was excellent and the pedals arrived the day after I ordered them, nicely packaged with great warning in the box about the sharpness of the pins! The parcel even included some stickers and the now compulsory small packet of Haribo. Construction The concave body of the pedals is 105x100mm and they are only 17mm high. There are 10 allen key adjustable, replaceable pins on each side and with the titanium axles they weigh 375g. The bearings are the replaceable cartridge type. The pins screw into the pedal, rather than through, so if you are prone to smashing pins you might want to look at the through pin version. It's the same price with the same options, but 60g heavier - personally I went for the lower weight. Essentially these are factory sourced pedals sold direct by Superstar. That doesn't mean any drop in quality, just a drop in price. In fact, you will notice remarkable similarities to Nukeproof Neutron Alloy-Ti pedals, especially if you go for the Gold titanium axle. Other than the graphics, the only difference actually is the price, with the Superstars being 60% cheaper. In use Having had such a bad initial flat pedal experience on the Wellgos on a trip to the Forest of Dean, I was hoping for better from the Superstars. Ironically I had seen a pair of Nukeproof's in the FoD shop and had been tempted, till I…

Superstar Nano Tech Flat Pedals

Features - 9
Function - 9.5
Weight - 8.8
Pricing - 9


Highly Recommended

Very comfortable, very grippy, lightweight and good value flat pedals. Great service from Superstar too.


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


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


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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TYRE REVIEW: Continental X-King 2.2″


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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