Category Archives: kit

Snow joke.

Ah yes. Finally a decent dump of the white stuff. It had only been four hours since I trundled into work after a subzero commute in, before the office got closed in a mild panic.

“How are you getting home?” The boss asks…. “..that..” I reply with a grin, pointing at my singlespeed-ed Kona Kilauea

“You’re mad.”

So there it was; the perfect opportunity to really test the winter kit and give you the initial impressions. 18 miles of backroads from Weston-under-Penyard, via Ross-on-Wye to Hereford – and boy was it fun.

I’ve put about 200 miles on both the bib tights and the overshoes and I’ve been chuffed with both purchases, yesterdays ride really did put them to the test so I wanted to give you the nitty gritty:

dhb Pace Roubaix bib tight 2011:

They are comfy. No doubt about that. I’ve been really impressed with dhb clothing to date and these are no exception. The pad was a little thinner than I expected after previous tights from dhb but has proven ample over 30 mile rides so far. In the icy mornings I they keep you warm and toasty, and it was only yesterday that I double-bagged with a pair of Madison under-shorts because of the extreme temperatures. But even in the snowy commute, my legs were kept warm and comfortable. Sizing; I plumped for a medium and at 6’1″ and a bit on the skinny-side they are a snug fit and maybe just a little short in the body for me.

My main niggle was the availability of colours; I’m not a fan of day-glo but a white, red or some other bright option for dark mornings and evenings would have been preferable – the small reflective dhb logo doesn’t inpire much confidence in helping being seen.

Pro New Classic SE Overshoe

These have been a revelation to me! I had spotted a couple of friends sporting overshoes recently and after chatting to them about¬† their experiences and a little bit of investigation at my favourite kit websites, I thought them a damned worthwhile investment. With no regret; sporting only standard SPD shoes and a pair of merino socks these over-boots kept my feet warm and responsive over the 18-mile commute. I had risked going for the large size at 40-42 (I’m usually a 44) due to availability but honestly, the size is reasonably flexible as the neoprene does “give” enough to get away with it. Warmth – good, dryness? Just as good… after two or three snowy climbs during the ride home my shoes were still dry as a bone… maybe I’ll give you an update after a water splash. : D

In summary? Both items come recommended, particularly the dhb tights – and I’ll give you an update on the other side of winter on how the long-term testing has faired – I get a feeling there will be plenty of opportunity to use them!

A change is as good as a rest

A little over a week ago I took delivery of my first road bike since I was 15, a Focus Variado Compact, on (a considerable) offer from Wiggle . Ok given the financial times this was a little bit of an extravagant treat and the battered old ’97 GT with road-ish tyres would have carrid on like a tank, but I convinced myself that this was going to make the 18 mile commute even more fun and a damn sight quicker. So the deed was done and I can’t fault Wiggle for the delivery turnaround and bike set-up, and after my first 36 miles on the bike I’m pretty chuffed…

Just one thing. It rattles.

What the hell? ¬† Yup, after being quite perplexed on my ride home last night by this slight annoyance and checking every last bolt and fixing, I arrived at work this morning somewhat bemused, still in debate as to what else could be causes the infernal racket. Then as I lent the new lass against my van, there it was – the sound of a bolt rolling around… a bolt in the frame?

So lunchtime will find me in the car park, seatpost out, new bike aloft being shaken within an inch of it’s life as I try to extract the offending article.

Blimey it’s quick though.