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Vittoria Bottle Cage Case/Bag Review

Vittoria Bottle Cage Case Review

I was glancing through my blog pages the other day and I realised that my focus has been very tyre based. New tyres, tubeless tyres and so on. OK so I broke that pattern by including a new bike build but there's a definite tyre heavy balance on the blog! Well, I've just bought some more tyres, so expect a 'gravel tyre review and opinions' post soon but in the meantime enjoy something a little different! This is my first ever review of a bottle cage case! Bottle Cage Case? I hear you say. What's a bottle cage case! Well, it's not a case to pack away your bottle cages in when their not in use. You can't get them yet

Tubeless Tyre Update – repairs and top ups.

Some people seem to have an impression of infallibility when it comes to tubeless bike tyres. I guess it makes sense having seen some of the marketing hype. Unfortunately some of that marketing hype makes other cynical types call it all hype and set their stall out at the other extreme. But in some ways I think that's just indicative of the days that we're living in today. The extremes taking entrenched positions and backing up their own views with a narrow slice of internet 'evidence'. Enough of the philosophy though, let's get back to bikes! I like to give an even and reliable account, so here's an update of my recent tubeless tyre experiences. When I was out riding

Hardknott Pass, Wrynose Pass and other such Lakeland Hills

If you google Hardknott Pass you'll get plenty of pages about 'the hardest climb in Britain'. If you continue on into the forums you won't go far before you then reach discussions on which direction is harder; east or west? These latter discussions refer to Hardknott and Wrynose as a pair because you go up one side of them and there's kind of a plateau in between. Generally the discussions, as with so many internet arguments, come to no conclusion with plenty of support for both sides. So when I managed to get a few hours to ride in the Lake District I decided to plot a route that took in both directions of both climbs. To be honest I didn't

My Kinesis RTD Build

So in my last blog post I wrote about my new frameset and the fact that I had chosen a Kinesis RTD as my new bike. However what I didn't go on to talk about was the build - the parts chosen to complete the bike. So let's delve into the world of bike components and take a look at what I've put together. And I might even indulge you and give you the build weight too. As mentioned in my previous post (or at least I hope it was), the RTD is a frameset only option from Kinesis. If you see it available in your local bike shop, or online as a complete bike it's the bike shop's build, not

New Road Bike – Kinesis RTD Self Build

New Kinesis RTD

So it all began with a new pair of tyres. Seems a bit extreme to buy a new bike when all you need is tyres! But that of course is not the whole story. For a while I've been considering a new frameset, I bought cheap carbon originally and in general I've not been impressed with the quality. The geometry is good and the frame is a really decent weight, especially for the £650 I paid for the bike originally. It was the right choice at the time. But a couple of the cable routing covers no longer stay in place, I've taken to taping them in place with black electrical tape, fortunately the frame is black so the colour match

New Tyres for the road bike – Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance 11storm.

Hutchinson Fusion 5 Tyre Fitted

There are only so many miles you can eek out of tyres and I think with my recent set of Hutchinson Fusion 5 All Seasons I had pretty much reached that limit. A long time after they lose their peak performance, run out of tread and square off you start to spot patches of the tyre where there's no longer any rubber and the carcass beneath shows through. This is when you've definitely got your money's worth, for sure! These had a good few miles This tyre was on my front wheel, so it completed significantly more miles than the rear one did. When the rear needed replacing last year I chose to try out a Hutchinson Sector tyre. Just the one

Lancashire Stop Off – Forest of Bowland

The UK doesn't have any alpine climbs; this is something that will remain true even after Brexit. What it does have though is plenty of short, sharp and very steep ones. Almost as if to make up for the lack of total elevation gain, the road builders factor in as much steepness as possible. Or at least that's how it seems when you're grinding your way to the top in a low gear, barely turning your pedals and feeling like walking would be faster. Fortunately in the Forest of Bowland I didn't encounter any of these! Nope, not at all. And after a punishing time in Devon a couple of weeks earlier it came as a welcome relief. 1517

Head to the hills, Day 2 – #ExmoorEpic

Day 2, early morning, the tarp and bivvy combination seems to be working a dream. I'm snug, I'm dry, it's raining, I got some decent sleep overnight, it's raining... Oh, no - it's raining. And so we have that dilemma moment; do I stay warm and dry where I am and slowly watch the time ticking by or do I get up and get wet packing everything away in the rain and starting the day's route in the rain? The answer is of course a scramble to find my phone, it will know what to do! Have I got a signal? Yes. Have a got a weather app? Of course! Will the rain stop? Probably, in about an hour. Time

Head to the hills, Day 1 – #ExmoorEpic

Stunning Exmoor

There really shouldn't be any need for an excuse to head into Exmoor for a couple of days of cycling.  The north Devon & Somerset coasts host some outstanding scenery and provide a multitude of challenging hill climbs.  However, for me the underlying purpose of the trip was to tick off some more of those hills in Simon Warren's book, numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 in fact.  This along with the previous 45 that I'd completed so far would take me up to 50, a significant milestone for any sort of best 100 list!  The fact that I could ride this as a two day trip with my cycling mate Phil and include a bivvy overnight by the

“I didn’t know about these hills” – #39 The Burway in Shropshire

The Shropshire Hills

The Peak District, The Lakes, Wales, Scotland, The Yorkshire Dales; I could go on.  There are plenty of decent areas of hills in the UK, Meccas for the hikers and bikers alike. These are the most popular places, the National Parks, the commonly spoken of, the well written about and very much rightly so.  I really enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking and camping in places such as these.  But that familiarity for those places, wrongly leads many, including me it seems to assume that everywhere else is relatively flat and boring. 1436

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