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26 Mar


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Review: Cafe Du Cycliste Josette

March 26, 2013 | By | No Comments

We have always had a tenuous like with Cafe Du Cycliste through Herne Hill local Stuart. I was fortunate enough recently to have the opportunity to test out their Josette, ‘Waterproof Jersey’.

Often cited as the Rapha of the French south coast I think this is an injustice on Cafe Du Cycliste. As a brand I feel it has its own very unique identity freed from the shadow of Rapha often applied to cycling companies that go some way to marrying quality, performance and style. In the case of the Josette this begins in the amazing Gingham slip case the piece arrives in.

The Josette itself is a very unique piece, being essentially a short sleeve soft shell. Despite what I deem as a pretty thorough cycling wardrobe the Josette somehow fills a gap I didn’t know was there. On the days where you are weighing up whether a softshell is too much, whether a winter jersey with outer shell stuffed in the rear pocket too cumbersome and whether a s/s jersey with arm-warmers tempting fate, reach for the Josette.

As we make transition from winter to spring, the Josette has been my most worn piece, coupled with a merino base and arm warmers this has filled me with confidence when stepping into a chilly pre-clock change morning ride where your mind convinces you you should be trying to retain the duvet warmth you just left.

The race fit of the Jersey allows you the sort of feeling of freedom normal bulky winter layers wouldn’t allow, its waterproofing repels brief showers from your core or standing water from pocket ingress through its clever flap construction. And when the sun does breakthrough, unzip the venting and roll down the arm-warmers pro-style and you are set.

The full technical details of the Josette can be analysed here, the focus of this review is to communicate the benefit of what on initial consideration, a short sleeve waterproof Jersey may seem plain wrong but is in actual fact oh so right.



26 Feb


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Vulpine Soft Shell Jacket – Long Term Review

February 26, 2013 | By | No Comments

For the past 4 to 5 months I have been wearing a Vulpine Soft Shell Jacket (Best Jacket 2012 on This soft shell jacket serves me really well and I wear it most days, especially because it looks great on and off the bike, it is one of the few cycling jackets I would wear it when not cycling. Click below for more photos and to read more about the Vulpine Soft Shell.

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24 Feb


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Kit Geekery

February 24, 2013 | By | No Comments

I love researching a good piece of kit, sites like Carryology and Every Day Carry have allowed utter indulgence in this. When it comes to cycling gear I’ve always started with Washing Machine Post, not only are these some of the most comprehensive and trustworthy reviews but they are also bound up in an interesting tale that always makes for good reading and provides me a ‘word of the day’. More recently I’ve added the discerning cyclist to this list of resources, with its beautiful layout and hand drawn accompanying pictures what’s not to like. Bookmark em now.

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15 Jan



Review: Malteni Beer

January 15, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

The Background

We first met Alex Voisine in the Regency Cafe, Pimlico, just before we set off from London to Paris. While we were all fuelling up on eggs and bacon, this frenchman ordered 2 chocolate doughnuts. None of us knew him or had met him before – he’d answered an open invite to join us and got the Eurostar from Lille to London, only to start the journey straight back to France by bike.

Over the next 3 days and 180 miles we got to know a few things interesting things about Alex. Firstly he’s a very strong rider. Secondly his day job is designing bikes for Decathlon. And thirdly, together with Noel Lanigan, he runs Pave Cycling Classics – a company organising cycle trips along the famous Paris-Roubaix cobbles. That’s where the idea to create their own ‘cycling’ beer came from. After a few trips, it became clear that their post-ride beverage just wasn’t hitting the spot so they decided to brew their own. Working together with a local brewery, Brunehaut, Matleni Beer was born.

The Beer

Malteni is a 6.5% organic and gluten free amber ale. Brewed in collaboration with Brunehaut brewery in Belgium; it is made by cyclists, for cyclists. The beer itself is highly carbonated, almost like champagne-like, with aromas to match. The taste is slightly coppery with a biscuity maltiness and a hint of caramel. Mouthfeel is crisp, short and refreshing – and yes, I’m a beer geek.


The name comes from the legendary Italian cycling team Moltini (see what they did there? Molt > Malt > Malt is an ingredient in beer. Clever), home to the infamous Eddy Merckx. Their iconic orange jersey was inspiration for the bottle’s label which has led to them contacting the original designer to commision a limited run of Malteni woolen jerseys.

Despite being 6.5%, Maltini doesn’t taste strong. They wanted the beer not to be so strong it would effect the next days performance – well, that’s Belgian standards. In England, 6.5% is considered a pretty high and I’m sure a few of these would slow my pace.

Alex and Noel don’t want this beer being drunk by just anybody. As they say, it’s ‘a passionate beer, for passionate people’. People that are passionate about cycling. People that have earned a beer. And that’s when Malteni tastes best.

24 Nov


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Coco- Nuts?

November 24, 2012 | By | No Comments

Sustenance pre, during and post become one of those things that is questionable how much of it is based on reasoning and how much on habit for me
If I don’t have a precise cocktail of nibbles in my right hand jersey pocket or unexpectedly have to change my breakfast routine pre-ride because there’s no milk it allows a demon of self doubt to come creeping into my head.

So.. when it was suggested to me that coconut water be introduced I was hesitant. I mean this is a beverage best served with rum or replacing the POM juice from the latest fad super food shelf right?

Ride Brooklyn are currently supported by Vita Coco so I was happy give it a go.
Just as I’m sure the habit has a bigger impact on me than the contents i consume I’m not entirely sure what the nutritional effects of coconut water have been for me. What I have noticed though is that it stops me reaching for a coke post ride which can only be a good thing; and is much more nourishing physically and mentally than plain water so for now its slotting into my routine.

05 Nov



Condor Bivio-X and My Cyclo-cross experience

November 5, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

For the last few months I wanted to give Cyclo Cross a go. Luckily enough I had the opportunity to do so on a Condor Bivio-X bike. I was able to race 1 event on the Bivio-X at Herne Hill, which I got second on the support race, I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed how technical cross is, and it is not about being the strongest/faster rider, it is about knowing how to handle the bike throughout the whole course. I am not a cross expert, these are just my thoughts from my experience. I also enjoyed the adrenaline I had while racing and the fact that I was always thinking about the next turn, bump, steps or barriers, so I could take the best line or unclip at the right time.
Lets not forget, one of the best things about CX is the atmosphere at all the races. The races are really fun to watch and take part in, even though it is serious it feels more relaxed. My experience has made me really want to get stuck in next season. Make sure to click the image above or below to see more photos of the bike I used and to read some points about CX bikes and the Condor Bivio-X.

30 Sep


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Siempre Bicycle Cafe Glasgow

September 30, 2012 | By | One Comment

In the past few years I have seen Glasgow`s passion for cycling grow wither it be the success of the pedal for Scotland events, the building of the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome or just the sheer number of cyclist you see on the roads, trails and skate parks. As a product of this success there has been many homegrown Glasgow business pop up and flourish Trakke bags, Rig bike shop, the bike station and now Siempre Bicycle Cafe to name just a few.

On Friday I got a couple of my mates together to go give Siempre a test. We were greeted by the co founders Callan and kirsteen who both work there and we were instantly bowled over by there enthusiasm for cycling and great service. The shop is fresh and totally different to anything else in Glasgow, offering some great brands of cycling clothing that you don’t really see in other main stream shops. There cafe is also nothing short of amazing offering organic locally sourced coffee and food. We were so taken by its welcoming feel we returned later on that night for a BYOB which had more of a party feel to it than your normal cafe. Siempre has been lovingly created to give a much needed hub for the lucky cycling community of Glasgow next time your here check it out in the mean time check out their website for more info. Thanks to Ande Murdoch for taking a few snaps for me!

More photos here


02 Aug


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Nuun hydration tabs

August 2, 2012 | By | No Comments

On a typical 70 mile training ride I go through 4-6 bottles of water depending on the weather. Staying evenly hydrated is key to putting out solid numbers  and I get noticeable dips when I dont drink or eat enough on the bike. The typical set up for most people is to start off with one bottle of regular water and one with a energy/electrolyte charged drink. Then if you are like me and dont have a team car following you with fresh bottles or a domestique handing them to you should you run out, when you are through the first two, the second pair is whatever you can scour from the roadside shops. But the first drink being an electrolyte one is good because it will help your body make the most of the water you drink as it binds water. Being a bit of a technocrat I punch through a lot of vitamins and additives since training a lot makes you sweat out a ton of minerals. And being a vegetarian for the past 12 years has put me on the path of a lot of funny supplements to the point where I absolutely dont mind using a sparkling tablet to make a drink over getting a prefab bottle. Quite the contrary actually since I’m in the past have found myself in a position where I have to store a shit ton of bottles for future use. And with enough bike parts piling up around the house I prefer the main staples being beer and energy gel : )

As far as taste goes I couldn’t be bothered with any specifics. Like I said, if you chew a lot of nutritions and supplements you know the vast majority of whats on offer tastes dodgy and you learn to run with it. Typically I consume one cliff bar and and pack of shot blocks when i’m out for 3-5 hours. But going through a series of water bottles and energy snacks over the course of 4 hours makes you appreciate any taste other than road grit and lip sweat. Especially when you start to zone out towards the end during a cold and rainy ride, stuffing some mystery flavor energy gel in your mouth makes all the difference. One word off advice on sparkling tablets however. If you have a sensitive bowel and usually react badly to the bubbly sort Nuun is probably not for you. Me however will be chugging an apple flavored tab into the front bottle from now on : )

09 Jul


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10 May


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Endura Overshoes: Long term review

May 10, 2012 | By | No Comments

We’ve been wearing these Endura overshoes non-stop over the unusually long rainy season with April showers being more like April downpours these have been called into action more than we’ve wanted! The good news is that they perform excellently, the neoprene is so thick that it keeps you warm and dry yet is tough so no clips or boa wheels have punctured or worn the surface. The fixings are also strong enough to allow you to get the cuff tight around your leg. We would definately reccomend these.