Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cycling

Giant Contend SL1 Disc

The Giant Contend is a new entry to the manufacturer’s road bike range for 2016/7 and is aimed at first-time riders or more experienced cyclists looking for a reliable winter hack.  I had the opportunity to ride the Contend SL1 Disc version for a month or so recently.

Spin Industries Koppenberg XXLR 50 Fat Boy carbon clinchers

Admit, we all love a good-looking pair of wheels, especially nice deep-section carbon rims. They look the business, the sound cool and hopefully they even help us rider a little faster!

Revant replacement lenses

When it comes to Oakley sunglasses I'm a sucker. I admit it, I'm addicted. I think at the last count I have about ten pairs, including two pairs of Flak Jackets (both custom, naturally!) and Fives. Add some Racing Jackets, Split Jackets and, well you get the idea...

One of the main attractions of the Oakleys for me is the ability to build them exactly the way you want to, choosing the frame colour, contrasting "socks", lens tints etc. And so like I lot of Oakley owners, I like to have a number of lens options for each set of frames. Hey, everybody knows that the route to being a faster cyclist or runner is to get your colour coordination just right! ;)

Bodyglide Chamois Glide

Bodyglide is best known to us triathletes as an essential for guarding against painful chafing from wetsuits. I’d wager the majority of triathletes have a stick (or two) in their kitbag somewhere!

This new Bodyglide Chamois Glide is an extension of their range and is, you guessed it, designed for keeping your sensitive areas pain and chafe free on the bike. Unlike most chamois creams, the Bodyglide product comes in a stick form (like the Bodyglide lube you know and love), rather than a liquid or cream. Bodyglide calls it a ‘balm’.

See.Sense motion-sensing bike light

The See.Sense is a genuine British innovation, designed in Northern Ireland and marketed as an ‘intelligent’ cycle light. What makes the See.Sense light stands out is its ability to change the frequency and intensity of the light pulses depending on what’s happening to the bike.

The idea is simple, lights that pulse at a regular frequency (and don’t deviate from that frequency) are easier to ignore (whether intentionally or not). See.Sense units flash rapidly when the unit detects that the bike is on the move, slowing down to a more leisurely pulse when the bike comes to a halt – for example when stopped at traffic lights.

Endurance Junkie Sportwool jersey & Sportive shorts

Having already sung the praises of the Endurance Junkie trisuits – both in ITU-legal ‘Olympic’ form and also the Sportwool long-distance suit (which makes use of a merino wool blend in the upper body to help with comfort and heat regulation), the guys at Endurance Junkie kindly sent me a Sportwool cycle jersey and Sportive shorts to test.

Kali Phenom

While I think it’s safe to say that the Kali Protectives brand is currently relatively unknown in British road cycling / triathlon circles, they actually already have a strong pedigree and following in the BMX and Downhill MTB markets, with world-class riders trusting their ‘lids’.

The Kali Phenom spearheads the company’s drive into the road cycling market for 2014, with a lower-priced Loka model also available.

Casco Speedster

A few things led me to write this review of the Casco Speedster semi-aero helmet (that’s my term for it, not the manufacturer’s). Last year, I wore the Kask Bambino helmet (review here) and for the most part I thought it was a pretty good lid for triathlon. The biggest drawbacks were getting it on in T1 (I messed it up as often as I got it right) and fogging of the lens in humid conditions (resulting in me losing a £40 tinted visor at the tri world champs last September). But the Bambino is comfortable and there is no doubt it is aerodynamic.

Kask Bambino

When it comes to going faster on your bike, most authorities agree that one of the most cost-effective (i.e. speed increase for money spent) investments you can make is in an aero helmet.  Estimates vary on exactly how much time you can save over the course of a triathlon bike course (or, of course, a TT), but compared to spending £1000-plus on an aero wheelset, a couple of hundred pounds on a helmet seems like a bargain.

Specialized S-Works Trivent bike shoe

Earlier this year, I reviewed the ground-breaking Lake TX312 triathlon bike shoes, with their revolutionary drawbridge heel designed to facilitate a faster and easier exit from the bike (you can read the full review here).

Lake TX312 Tri Bike Shoes

For most of us, the bike leg of our first triathlon or duathlon is raced either wearing trainers or perhaps if you’re an experienced cyclist, a pair of road cycling shoes.  And doing that we learn a valuable lesson – triathlon-specific bike shoes are a real time-saver!

If you know all about triathlon-specific bike shoes, skip ahead. If not, here’s a quick description of the key differences.  First and foremost, triathlon bike shoes generally have just one main fastening, making them quicker to get on and off, whether pre-clipped onto the bike pedals or donned when off the bike.  Second, they usually have more ventilation than most cycling shoes, as they are designed for warm weather racing where your feet are wet from the swim.

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