Category Archives: reviews

Review: Zéfal Arctica Isotherm water bottle

There’s nothing better than a cold drink on a hot day. And vice versa. Staying hydrated is obviously important. But you also want to feel refreshed on a blazing, dusty summer ride, and comforted with something warm when cycling through the chill of winter. That’s what led me to the Zéfal Arctica Isotherm water bottle. Its shell is a standard… 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 »

Review: Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline jacket

Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline jacket, £33 on Amazon

  The Adrenaline jacket from Mountain Warehouse is my basic cycling rainproof and one of the first things I bought when I started cycling. Here in Normandy, about the only thing you can really rely on is that it will rain. In winter, pretty much, it will rain every day. Even in the height of summer it’s rare to get three dry… Read more »

Review: Karrimor high-vis running jacket and gilet

This high-vis running jacket and gilet was part of my high-vis splurge from Karrimor. In fact, I didn’t know the gilet was available, but I liked the running jacket so much that when I found it was, I decided to buy it separately. I bought a size 14 in all my Karrimor items, but the running jacket was a little… Read more »

Review: Devold merino tops

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Devold Active zipneck

In my search for the perfect cycling jerseys, I’m exploring a number of options, but most of them involve merino, one way or another. Devold is a another Norwegian outdoor clothing company, so one suspects they know a thing or two about staying warm. They’re also a merino specialist. The items I chose were by way of experiment, but also… Read more »

Review: Janus merino tops

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Janus hoody

When we first began cycling, I’d envisaged that my base layer for my top half would be my Eddy tees from Finisterre. I love these things, and have over a dozen. In ultra-fine merino mixed with polyamide, they’re flattering, and perfect for my life of desk work, dog walking, cooking and general outdoor but not too messy stuff (for yard… Read more »

Review: Ulvang merino training top

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Ulvang training top

This Ulvang merino training top is one of those test buys I got from SportPursuit, though curiously, because of their very weird delivery system, it’s been one of the first to arrive. A Norwegian brand, it is produced in collaboration with champion skier Vegard Ulvang. The training top is 300gsm, which was the main reason I decided on it. I… Read more »

Review: Lands’ End Marinac jacket

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Marinac jacket

My Marinac jacket from Lands’ End is something I’ve had for several years but hardly ever worn. When it arrived, I instantly regretted my choice of colour, which is the pale lilac at right (or, as Lands‘ End calls it, ‘Orchid Petal’), not the attractive green in the picture below. I bought it in this colour only because it was on… Read more »

First look review: Gitane Organ e-bike

Trish has already posted her review of the Gitane Organ e-bike, and I’ve had mine for less than a week. So this review is really a case of first impressions. I’ll probably write a fuller review when I’ve put some real distance on the bike. When Trish’s bike arrived, a month before mine (grumble, grumble), I was struck by the air… 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: Sheila Moon fleece jackets and jerseys

Raglan jersey croquis

To confess all, I bought these Sheila Moon fleece jackets to match my new cycling bottoms. When I first got into cycling, I expected to do most of it in my ordinary outdoor gear – Crivit walking trousers from Lidl; Craghopper microfleeces, Eddy and Fiske merino wear from Finisterre and country jackets from Lands’ End and Rohan. And I still, at present, have… 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: Gitane Organ e-bike

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It’s now two weeks since I got my bike, so I feel comfortable at giving it a first review. I’ve ridden it on the Vélo Francette greenway, the Véloscénie and various other voies vertes around here, and on country lanes around my home – the kind of riding that I’ll typically be doing on it, and my journeys have graduated… Read more »