2 December 2013

The Stick Review

The Stick is a simple non-motorised device used by athletes worldwide to reduce pain, improve muscle strength, increase endurance and accelerate recovery.

It's semi-rigid core is enclosed by a number of spindles that roll independently to manipulate soft tissue as you work it against your muscles. It can be used before, during or after exercise and is seen as a fast affordable alternative to a sports massage.

There are two handles on either end of The Stick that you grip onto, whilst you target areas of pain or muscular tension. It's a very simple but effective concept.

​...So why do I need one?  And have I actually used it?  

I picked up the Sprinter Stick shortly before I rode in the Prudential Ride London 100 in August 2013.  This particular version is great for working my legs as it is stiff enough to apply a good amount of pressure, and long enough to comfortably do so.  If you are looking for one that you can use on the upper body I would pick a longer option as you need to reach around your back which can be hard with the Sprinter.

I used The Stick in the morning before my 100 mile ride, at the top of Box Hill midway through, and also once I crossed the finish line.  And it did the trick.  My muscles felt relaxed at the start line - no need to spend the first few miles getting 'used' to the fact my legs had a big ride ahead of them.  At the 65 mile mark it was a welcoming feeling whilst having a quick break and definitely helped push me along for the final third of the ride.  Finally when I crossed the finish I used it once more.  It hurt.  But the next day I could walk... so I was happy!

Since I purchased The Stick 4 months ago, I have used it for running as well as cycling.  It's just a really great tool to help relieve the stiff legs after a long jog.  It is definitely worth the £35 I paid.

​At the time of publication if you can buy The Stick directly from the US here, and ​you will receive​ a 90-day satisfaction guarantee and a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty against defects.

The Stick
Reviewed by Chris Wheeler on December 02 2013
Rating: 5.0

28 July 2013

Could NeverWet clean up muddy mountain bikes?

NeverWet is revolutionary new product that waterproofs just about anything.  You get two spray cans in a pack (base layer & top coat) that you apply to any product to repel water.

So far a whole host of products have been tested and as you can see from the video below its really quite impressive.

My thoughts.  Id love to cover my bikes in this stuff.  Maybe not the entire bike as I'm sure there are some parts like brakes and gearing that would suffer as a result.  But certainly the frame etc to make cleaning the bike after a mucky, wet ride much easier.

Could NeverWet be the solution to clean up muddy mountain bikes?

Its currently on sale in the US for $20 at Home Depot but I'm sure you will find it in your local B&Q soon enough.

22 July 2013

Endura MTR Windproof Jersey Review

The Endura MTR Windproof Short Sleeve Jersey is a mid priced mountain bike top thats been designed with the rider in mind.

The jersey has a solid yet elegant build. The fine denier fabric makes the top extremely lightweight and yet it feels solid. It's been made to last.

The high stretch denier fabric also makes the jersey really comfortable to ride in. The extra ‘give’ allows you change riding position with no agitation at all. The full length zip is also an added bonus as it makes getting the jersey on & off very easy.  I would even say that the jersey could cross over as a commuter road bike top, as you can see from the pictures it is a tighter fit than your average mountain bike jersey.  The silicon gripper built into the base of the top also means it doesn't 'ride up' your back when cycling.

It kept me cool. The jersey is black and is therefore guaranteed to soak up the rays a lot more than a white one, but that wasn’t a problem for me really as the breathable fabric and underarm vents did their job well. This may be an issue for you though if you live in a warmer climate?

MEDIUM Royal Racing Jersey vs LARGE Endura MTR Jersey

I found the jersey to be very good at wicking away moisture under the arms and on the back. It did so quickly keeping me relatively dry, even when riding hard and sweating quite a bit. However, although I am confident that the windproof panel on the front would block the wind on a cool day to keep you warm, it seemed to block moisture escaping on the warm day I tested it and it left my chest area quite damp. 

Silicon trim to stop the back of the jersey 'riding up'
The pockets. When I first read about this jersey I was over the moon to hear that it had a waterproof pocket on the back for storing my smartphone, as well as three very deep open pockets also on the back to store other useful stuff like energy gels or protein bars.  The waterproof pocket sits on the left hand side of the jersey with a vertical zip.  It is big enough to house any iPhone (including the latest iPhone 5) but you will struggle to fit anything larger than that in there.  I tested the jersey on a day when the rain fell, but it never really poured. The phone was protected from the rain from the outside... but not my sweat from the inside. Im not sure why the sweat got through, but it doesn't seem to have worked 100%.

Three open pockets on the back, plus a side pocket for your smartphone
The Endura MTR Windproof Short Sleeve jersey has been designed with riders in mind. It's been built to last and is worth the money.  Just make sure you stick your phone in a sandwich bag.

If you like the sound of the Endura MTR Windproof jersey, its available at Evans Cycles by clicking here.

Endura MTR Windproof Jersey
Reviewed by Chris Wheeler on July 22 2013
Rating: 4.0

17 July 2013

Onza Canis AM Folding 29er Tyre Preview

ONZA TIRES are fast becoming a great affordable choice for a whole bunch of cyclists at all levels.

In 2011 the people behind ONZA had two goals in mind - to create a clearly structured, svelte line of products with distinctive character. So they set about creating the do it all tyre across many bike types including downhill, road, commuter and BMX.

So whats on offer for the mountain bike? Or more specifically - the 29er mountain bike? In the last 12-18 months sales of the 29er across all major brands have really picked up pace and with so many people making the switch, a decent all mountain tyre was required. This is where the Onza Canis AM Folding 29er Tyre comes in...

A Kevlar Bead construction with Cross Country Casing for daily use and training (60TPI) gives this tyre a long lasting life. A dual compound & racing compound combination of; 65a for the inside and 55a on the outside, mean that the tyre will last the distance and yet still corners fast and stays pinned in all conditions. The tyres are also tubless ready which is a welcomed bonus and weight approximately 750 grams.

So are you going to give ONZA tyres a go? Have you recently made the switch? Or do you already own a pair of 26ers and fancy giving your 29er a pair too?

In either case, you can get a pair now from Evans Cycles by clicking here.

Fort William GoPro Downhill

I have always wanted to ride the downhill track in Fort William.  So at the beginning of July in 2013 I drove up to Scotland with two friends and did just that.

We all fell off, got hurt, but had the best time riding fast, steep and loose!  I would definitely recommend the trip up there as it really will open your eyes to true downhill mountain bike riding.  Just be sure to take a full face helmet and some body armour!

Thanks to the guys at Nevis Cycles for the bike hire. They did a cracking job keeping the bikes running smoothly and were much more affordable than the hire shop at the lift.

As ever, heres a video edit of the weekend.


Fort William GoPro Downhill - July 2013 from OneManThreeBikes on Vimeo.

2 July 2013

When downhill goes wrong!

Its not very often that a downhill rider crashes into a photographer. Its also not very often that the event is captured from both sides of the fence!

Check out the rider video footage below taken by Brian Anderson in which he manages to launch himself straight into James Lacey from Dark Soul Photography at Llangollen.  Then check out the photographs taken by James below it.

A stunning effort and hopefully no love lost in the process!

29 June 2013

City Downhill World Cup Series - Bratislava Pilot

Independent urban racing events appear to be popping up all over the place at the minute, and with the help of Youtube & Vimeo to spread the word its no wonder that race organisers have been looking to develop a series.  This is where the City Downhill World Cup Series comes in.

A €15,000 winning prize will be available at each of the rounds, so its sure to attract the big names.  The likes of Greg Minnaar and Cedric Gracia have already given the series their support.

So far Europe and South America have been targeted as countries that will host, but the eventual aim is for events in major cities all around the world when the series kicks off in 2014.

Check out the video below of the recent pilot that was carried out in Bratislava.  If the series turns out to be as good as this then it will definitely be a success!

25 June 2013

Schwalbe Lugano Rigid Tyre 700x23c Review

“Our entry level model. Attractive bi-colour compound. The classic diamond profile provides reliable performance on dry and wet roads. Naturally with a puncture protection belt. 50 TPI casing. Weight: 325 g.”

The description certainly convinced me that the budget Schwalbe tyre was the one to go for as I made the jump from 25c to 23c tyres.  So are you getting a bargain? Or are you just getting what you pay for?

I had been riding my Cannondale Synapse for about a year on 25c tyres and decided it was time to try something thinner, with less rolling resistance.  Many people had told me about the likelihood of more frequent punctures on 23c tyres so I decided to go for a cheap and cheerful set up that wouldn’t break the bank if I changed my mind.  I paid little over £20 including delivery for my set.  So definitely an affordable option!

Out of the box and onto my bike in no time.  They were really easy to fit.  I chose the white version which looks really good on my Synapse.  Although they do also come in black, blue, yellow, beige or red too.

Two months in, with around 450 miles on the clock, and they have not let me down… quite literally.  They have been tested on A-roads, B-roads, and even a couple of bridle paths that only mountain bikes would normally ride on.  No punctures.  They also seem fairly light at 325g considering they have a wire bead and the puncture protection strip.

The only negative that I can comment on so far (bearing in mind these cost £10 each), is the performance in the wet.  There have been a few moments when I have lost the back end on corners that I had previously cruised round with no problems on the 25's.  I didn't fall off, but I was lucky.  That being said, I havent conducted this test in conjunction with other brands so I cant compare them.  It is something to consider though if you are thinking of switching from 25 to 23 like I did.

So to answer the original question, you really are getting a bargain!  And if you change your mind then its not hit the wallet too hard.

Schwalbe Lugano Rigid Tyre 700x23c
Reviewed by Chris Wheeler on Jun 25 2013
Rating: 4.5

19 June 2013

MacAskill's Imaginate - Riding Film

Its been a few years since Danny Mac dropped one of my favourite cycling videos ever to make it online, "Way Back Home".  But last night, my Facebook newsfeed went crazy as this little beauty was introduced to the world and all my riding friends saw it.

Check out Danny in the video below entitled "Imaginate".  Its something a little different, and certainly as good, if not better than Danny & Stu Thomson's previous work.  Hats off!

25 April 2013

This is one of my favourite photos that I have taken in the last 12 months.  It was a 4X race at Harthill and clearly demonstrates the importance of taking the right line.  No need for the huge berm when you can nip round the corner to save time. 

I also love the single finger on the brake lever for a quick dab when required.

A great racing moment caught on film [SD card].