Category Archives: accessories

Review: end-of-year roundup

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Janus Sportwool hoody

Since it’s the close of 2016, I thought I’d do a review of the winners and losers among the things I’ve bought this year and last. Being new to cycling, I made a lot of mistakes at first, but I quickly discovered that while price is generally (though not always) a guarantee of quality, good kit can be had at… Read more »

Review: Ergon GC1 BioKork ergonomic handlebar grips

I’ve always had a problem getting a grip and lately it’s got worse. My bike came with cheap rubber handlebar grips that were, at best, functional. The problem, though, wasn’t them but me. I have osteoarthritis in every joint of my hands (not to mention lots of places elsewhere). This means I don’t have a lot of gripping power in… Read more »

Review: Medipure medicated body powder

As all cyclists know, a good dusting powder is a must to keep yourself dry and chafe-free after a ride. I’d been using Gold Bond, which I do think is fabulous, but it’s terribly expensive to buy in Europe. Then I came across Medipure. Medipure is based on corn starch rather than talc – nice for those who prefer to avoid the… Read more »

Review: Thule EuroPower 916 bike carrier

We had always planned to do a significant amount of our riding on greenways, so we knew we’d need some way of getting to the voies vertes. A bike rack for the car was going to be essential. It quickly became apparent that we were in for an expensive time. The first rack I looked at cost only €40 or so. And… Read more »

Review: RCP WP100 & Carradice Carradura panniers

A while back, I asked a cycling-obsessed friend for a pannier recommendation and the response was instantaneous and automatic. “Ortlieb,” he said. After some more research I  came to understand why. Ortliebs have a peerless reputation for quality and durability. But, above all, they have a reputation for being utterly watertight. And that’s precisely what makes them useless for me. We’re not… Read more »

The culprit

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Schwalbe Marathon Plus

Steve and I changed my tyres yesterday – I’ve swapped out the POS tyres the bike came with for Schwalbe Marathon Pluses. Lined with 5mm of India rubber, Kevlar and with age-resistant side walls, they are as close to bomb-proof as a bike tyre can get and are meant to resist even riding over a drawing pin (we’ll see….). Despite their… Read more »

Review: Defeet Duraglove E-touch

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Defeet Duragloves e-touch

During the week, I experienced my first slightly cold ride. We’ve been blessed with superb weather so far this autumn, with temperatures in the high teens, but my cold hands at the end of that hour were a reminder that things are about to change. Since beginning cycling in August, I’ve been wearing a cheapo pair of Nakamura fingerless, padded gloves from… Read more »

Review: ergonomic bar grips

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Bar grips

The bar grips that came with my Gitane e-bike were ridged rubber and I realised quite quickly that the ridges on them were quite uncomfortable for my hands. It hadn’t occurred to me to change them, though, until I saw the DH’s Ergon Biokork ergonomic grips. These feel gorgeous and cost a fortune, but I am still on a pink… Read more »

Review: Sawako Furuno Eye Candy Pink Flamingo helmet

My new helmet has arrived – this gorgeous Sawako in pink. I’ve wanted a Sawako helmet ever since the idea of cycling began to take root. I love the built-in peak and the visually lightweight styling that stops you looking so much like a big-headed alien when riding around. Sawako herself is a London commuter cyclist who came up with… Read more »

Review: Bern Brentwood helmet

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I’d be the first to admit I have a big head. It turns out, also, to be an awkward size. While there are lots of arguments for and against helmets, I figured that there’s no convincing case where wearing a helmet is positively bad for you. (And before you say anything, yes I’m aware of the research that suggests drivers will pass… Read more »

Review: Brooks B67s saddle

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Our Gitane bikes were supplied with a gel saddle by Kinetik, which is apparently beloved of French postal workers, but I had been eyeing the Brooks saddles for some time in any case. Sitting on the gel saddle of our stationary bike, during the long wait for the Gitane, was very uncomfortable. I’d also tried a gel saddle on my… Read more »

Review: Cateye Volt 200 & 700 lights

While our bikes came with lights already mounted, I felt they needed more. Call me old fashioned but at night I really like to see where I’m going. And extra lights are a bit boost to conspicuity both at night and during the day. So we bought Cateye Volt front lights – the 200 and 700 models. Each light has a… Read more »

All the things

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It appears that, even when you’re recreational, unracer cyclists like us, buying the bike isn’t the end of the matter. It’s only the beginning because there’s suddenly this whole world of other crap you need to buy. Well, okay, maybe need isn’t quite the right word. Neither is crap. You need some of these things. You want the rest of it. That’s… Read more »