donnelly strada lgg 28mm road tyres - part two

donnelly strada lgg tyres

it is customary, i am led to believe, for close family and friends attending a wedding, to occupy a suitable location in which memorable wedding photographs might be recorded. saligo bay, on islay's atlantic coast, is one such favoured location, despite being at least 16 kilometres from the nearest church. that said, i believe the relaxing of regulations as to just where marriage services might take place, could have led to the wedding ceremony itself being held on the shore facing canada's eastern seaboard.

the above is, of course, pure conjecture. despite having strenuously denied a continuation of the wedding photography part of his career, i was passed by a photographer friend of mine on the ascent at foreland, he driving his car bearing a personalised number plate, and i, puffing and wheezing in the general direction of kilchoman distillery. i realised the intention of his journey when coming across his parked car at the entrance to the saligo surrounds. it was here, surrounded by many other vehicles, all of which had disgorged formally dressed individuals, that i awoke from my cycling groove, and took note. amongst the passengers the gents wore flowers in their buttonholes and the women featured dresses that would normally be hardly seen as suitable attire for such a westerly, exposed location.

though the significance of the latter was beginning to dawn upon me at that point, my subsequent meeting of the wedding car at a passing place near carnduncan, placed all in complete perspective.

donnelly strada lgg tyres

i mention all this merely by way of scene-setting for an instance that effectively didn't happen. to qualify such an apparently eccentric statement, between the two small cottages overlooking the bay at saligo and the entourage described above, there is a perennial smattering of gravel, much of which has escaped from the potholes occupying the road's lowest point. it's a point displaying an unfortunate propensity to flood slightly at the first sign of heavy rain. that situation will occur sooner rather than later.

as the intrepid cyclist (in this case, that would be me) heads past this point, en-route to ballinaby, it well behoves the rider to pay attention to this smattering of gravel, if only to forestall any likelihood of contradicting the cyclist's motto, 'rubber side down'. it is my contention that almost any new set of tyres will contend with any presented situation, as long as the surface remains dry. it is only when precipitation and/or flooding alters that situation, that the men of the tyre world can be separated from the boys.

donnelly strada lgg tyres

it is the confident survival of wet conditions by the donnelly stradas that allowed me to wave pleasantly to the assembled wedding guests passed along the way, paying scant heed to the peppering of gravel on the corner. it is but a matter of days since the ritchey and i perambulated the estates under far less opportune conditions than had encouraged saligo bay as a suitable backdrop for the weekend's wedding celebrations. periodic flooding along the way required the donnelly rubber to help keep 'rubber side down', all the while being assailed by submerged potholes, gravel and a possibly misplaced unsurety by the rider.

once again, that would be me.

though itinerant flooding of single track roads around the isle will not always test the mettle of either rider or tyres, skittery cattle grids can be considerably less accommodating, particulary if they happen to border the flooded sections. the tread pattern (or lack of) featured on the strada rubber seems guaranteed to keep a chap vertical. the minimal herringbone pattern on the shoulder of the casing, aids grip when leaning slightly to one side or other; in fact, it transpires that one can tilt far more from the vertical than self-preservation would dictate. and though only a matter of hundreds of kilometres have been covered, wear has yet to signal any undue intent.

donnelly strada lgg tyres

the smooth mid-section places as much rubber on the road as it's possible to achieve, creating sufficient friction to prevent slip sliding away, even when the road surface is under a disadvantageous quantity of flowing water. add to that, the volume of air enclosed by a 28mm tyre casing, allows for lower pressures without sacrificing speed or grip. and for the recreational cyclist who still likes to think of him/herself as the originator of a grand tour breakaway, the comfort level afforded over either 25mm or 23mm is distinctly noticeable on ever deteriorating roads.

i have no real need for the ultimate speed offered by the strada lgg tyres, but i do prefer to be neither shaken nor stirred. as modern-day roadies, we are surely favoured with a remarkably wide range of appropriate rubber in what seems an ever-increasing number of widths and price points. on current evidence, the donnelly strada lgg tyres are surely an astute and economic choice. they seem comfortably matched with the campagnolo carbon to which they are currently married, though a brief period on more standard, alloy fare, was every bit as favourable.

donnelly tyres are distributed in the uk by 2pure | donnelly strada lgg 28mm tyres there is also a tubular version featuring a similar tread pattern.

monday 9 september 2019

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revolube - part two


those of you who have been following this year's vuelta, will be well aware of the apparent lack of logic displayed by spain's movistar, team. this may have something to do with the knowledge that nairo quintana has already announced his departure for, oddly enough, a pro-continental team for the 2020 season, coupled with the fact that, despite his advancing years, alejandro valverde seems to be blissfully unaware that he ought to be slowing down, rather than speeding up. rarely a stage has gone past without one or other of the two, riding quickly up the road clearly at the expense of the other. it appears that spain's principal team has yet to decide whether valverde or quintana is the designated leader.


however, on road stages at least, valverde is riding in the rainbow bands as world road race champion, which confounds the situation even further. if you've been an observer of professional road racing for long enough, you will almost surely have come across the legendary 'curse of the rainbow jersey', a mythical set of circumstances that avers the wearer of said jersey will suffer a thoroughly despondent season following their world championship victory. at the time of writing, valverde is sitting in second spot, 2:25 behind primoz roglic; hardly the standing of one experiencing a despondent season.

though i'd hesitate to state it's a matter of pride that i've never worn a competitive number on my back, not only will i never suffer from the curse of the rainbow jersey, there was never the faintest likelihood of my ever riding for the national team, even when i was young and fit enough to even attempt so to do. however, there's no denying that i suffer from a different curse, one that i sincerely hope afflicts others who have the great, good fortune to review cycle equipment.


the curse of which i speak is that allied to the reviewing of waterproofs. throughout the many years i have been fortunate to receive product for said purpose, almost wihtout fail, if i'm sent a waterproof jacket/jersey/socks/gloves etc., you can guarantee that the west coast of scotland will suffer from several weeks of sunshine and dessication. fortunately, this time round, though i'd to wait a tad longer than hoped for, my frayed patience was finally rewarded by more precipitation than i could have ever expected. in this case, the product impatiently awaiting a thorough soaking was the recently reviewed revolube chain lubricant.

in the weeks since the lube was carefully applied to each and every link of a campagnolo twelve-speed chain, i have done nothing other to that very chain. i've not cleaned it, polished it or re-applied any revolube, but a matter of days ago, i contrived to deliver more than a thorough soaking, not only via constant precipitation, but from having cycled through several sections of flooded road and had it evenly sprayed with surface water. according to the folks at revolube, appropriate application of the product will not only maintain a healthy chain, but obviate any rust spots while it sits patiently in the bike shed for a day or two.

i can positively attest to the latter.


given my usual obsession with keeping my chain clean, i have suffered from occasional bouts of a desire to polish, though i have so far managed to refrain from doing so, in the interests of fulfilling the principles of a pragmatic test. i cannot deny, however, that i'm mightily impressed by revolube's propensity not to blacken the chain, something that so many other wet and dry lubes have a tendency to do. the original application to a brand new chain, was made over a month ago, yet the chain still looks decidedly new, (as does the cassette, by the way) and remains as silent as the day is long.

as mentioned in my original review, a 50ml bottle of revolube isn't cheap, at £47, but if it survives for over a month without re-application and promises to last a few more weeks and soakings in the interim, then it might well be worth the outlay. i confidently expect the weather to deteriorate between now and any future update i may write in the coming months, so we'll see how well it continues to perform.

revolube chain lubricant

sunday 8 september 2019

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see.sense ace light set

see.sense ace light set

a few years after moving to the inner-hebrides, faint hope of a music culture arose by way of an evening concert from northumbrian piper, kathryn tickell, in the nearby village of bridgend. the latter is a mere 5km from bowmore, reached by a decent, if slightly twisty road. given the time of year, it was plainly obvious that bike lighting would be required in both directions, so my muddy fox was kitted out with those heavy and chunky ever-ready lights, clamped to front fork and rear seatstay respectively. the need for a substantially sized, 9 volt battery in each, obviously decided the form factor of their illuminative clunkiness, but despite the less than favourable look, travel would be in darkness and any fears of aesthetic travesty, neatly avoided.

the concern, however, came not so much from the look, but their apparent shortness of breath. i had scarcely covered three of those five kilometres, before the front light had noticeably dimmed. it came as little surprise, therefore, when most of the way home had to be negotiated in the dark.

happily, not only have bicycle lights become more svelte, while gaining a substantial number of lumens in the process, the battery technology which feeds the micro-thirst of their light emitting diodes has improved beyond all recognition. when used in flashing mode, the charge applied to the majority of contemporary cycle illumination is measured in hours, rather than the fraction of an hour exhibited by those archaic ever-readys. and, technology being what it is, development has scarcely stopped there. the see.sense, ace lighting set under discussion is augmented by a ubiquitous smartphone app, a nugget of software that is thankfully, just as happy to function on an ipod touch.

however, as mere lights, the ace set will function perfectly well without sight nor sound of an app. their compact and bijou form factor means that both front and rear lights would have comfortably fitted inside the battery compartment of one of those ever-ready examples disparaged above. this renders them entirely innocuous upon even the most aero of carbon road bikes. with so many variations in tube and seatpost shape nowadays, the light set has need of supplying more than a single method of affixation; in this case, there are not only two mounting brackets, but a clip for attachment to a bag or jacket tab, plus a couple of rubber wedges to accommodate the teardrop shaped seatposts that have proliferated recently.

see.sense ace front light

of course, brackets and clips are all very well, but they have to be strapped to bars and tubes in one manner or another. in this case the simple and pragmatic solution is a considerable number and sizes of rubber straps. if none of those fit properly, then you've probably bought a car.

for simplicity's sake, it's possible to easily fit the lights to front and rear of the bike, set them to the desired flashing (or constant) sequence, and head off into the wide grey yonder. however, modernity decrees that it doesn't all end there. downloading the appropriate app for either android or ios devices, offers a few extra options, but this is where ordinary cycling begins to join the internet of things. even when writing this review, opening the app displayed a triangle with a spanner, subsequently understood to mean that the lights both required firmware updates.

the disarming point regarding this latter feature was the wording "your light has obsolete firmware and cannot be used until it is updated". thankfully, this seems only to refer to use of the app rather than my now possessing two inert lumps of plastic. the app connects to the lights by means of bluetooth, a technology that demonstrates an impressive reach, given that i was able to switch on the lights from the kitchen while the bicycle leaned against the bike shed. i could also alter the flash modes in the same manner. quite why i'd want to, is a discussion for another day . when connected, each light displays a flashing blue diode in the top left corner.

it's probably worth my pointing out that, once paired with the app, the lights managed to drain the battery on my ipod from full charge to less than 20% overnight, despite the latter being left a considerable (yet apparently insufficient) distance from the lights. my advice would be to close the app when it's not being used. however, according to the folks at see.sense, the accelerometer within the lights, is accurate enough to detect when you have a crash, sending a text message to a nominated recipient should such a malfeasance occur. this would obviously need not only a mobile phone (as opposed to my ipod), but the phone would need to be carried on the bike ride and you'd need to have reliable access to a phone signal, something not always possible in the hebrides. though operating under similar constraints, there's also an auto theft alert, whereby any untoward movement of the bike while you are somewhere else, will be notified to the app.

it hardly seems necessary to point out that you and your mobile device would have to be within bluetooth range for this to operate, somewhat minimising its effectiveness, since it would likely be possible to physically witness any theft attempts within that distance. given that the crash alert makes use of the mobile phone network, i'm intrigued to know why the auto theft alert cannot do likewise. however, luddite that i am, i'm happy to use the lights on their own, and leave my ipod at home (though bear in mind, any form of crime is very minimal over here). according to a see.sense spokesperson, the lights are able to detect any road issues en-route, thus making such information available to other see.sense users in the area, though quite how that actually works seems a tad vague. in any case, islay is not prone to much in the way of traffic jams.

see.sense ace rear light

a neat touch on the lights themselves is the ability to detect a lack of movement when parked, shutting down both to conserve battery power. the simple act of moving the bike a centimetre or so, is sufficient to wake them from sleep. the current state of battery charge can be viewed, either via the app, or by pressing the activation button on the front, resulting in illumination of a series of green leds along the top. flash modes available are: constant, flash, twin, burst, pulse, and eco. there is a brightness control when used on the constant setting, but it offers minimal effect. it's also possible to set the rear light (125 lumens) to brake mode, where the accelerometer can detect rapid slowing and offer a brighter, constant light until you stop, or subsequently speed up.

the front light in constant mode is easily bright enough (150 lumens) to show the way in the dark, offering a promised 200 degrees of visibility on the road. personally, i prefer not to ride after the hours of darkness, but i'm confident that, should kathryn tickell once again visit bridgend village, i could even take the long way round. operating the rear in constant mode would be unlikely to endear you to following motorists. i did hold fears over the security of the mounting bracket, sure that the roughness of many of islay's roads would separate light and bracket with little difficulty, but despite strenuous attempts to have this happen, the lights stayed firmly attached to the bicycle.

for yours truly, the app was probably surplus to requirements, but i can see the attraction for those more obsessed with the internet of things and permanently welded to their mobile devices. the lights, however, are marvellous; they work precisely as designed, they're light (pardon the pun) - 35g each - and unobtrusive, waterproof, recharging time is minimal and they surely offer sufficient variation of flash pattern to satisfy even the most demanding of cyclists. the recommended retail price of £80 doesn't seem too inordinate in comparison with the competition, particularly considering what's on offer, and with shorter days on the horizon, the sooner you choose your winter illumination, the better.

saturday 7 september 2019

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if it ain't broke...

wahoo kickr bike

i cannot speak for others gathered here, but it was the implicit simplicity of the bicycle that first attracted me. the last motor car i owned, prior to adopting a solely velocipedinal existence (for a few years at least), was a bright yellow citroen 2cv, still the closest you can get to a bicycle, yet still incur the need for an annual tax disc (prior to their being abandoned by the government's vehicle department), and with that, i am taking into account the recent rise and rise of of the now ubiquitous e-bike.

that particular motor vehicle, aside from its brightness of personality, could pretty much be dismantled with a screwdriver and an adjustable spanner. the rear seats could be removed to make room for a drumset (for example), whle the bootlid could be fully opened, then slid to one side to remove it entirely. winding or electrically operated windows were conspicuous by their absence; the front door windows were split horizontally, the lower portion flipping upwards when required. ventilation was enacted by opening two flaps 'neath the front windscreen, and the gear lever consisted of a rod that disappeared into the centre of the dashboard, changing gear by pushing or pulling.

as sergei would have said, "simples."

an early 1990s road bike emulated such practical simplicity; frames were generally constructed with round tubing, conjoined by sometimes flamboyant lugs, forks were still fashioned from the same material, and the gear levers appeared one each side of the down tube. wheels had yet to discover the joys of aerodynamic rims and were still predominantly built with 32 or 36 three-cross spokes onto shiny hubs, clamped by means of equally shiny, chromed q/r levers.

i think it quite probable that those reading will be divided into two distinct camps: those who now have a small, nostalgic tear forming in the corner of their eye, protesting that they have allergies, but yearning for the days when cycling life was pretty much as depicted above. others will have already clicked elsewhere to read more about the innovations currently on show at germany's eurobike, the modern-day hub of all things bicycle, electric and probably not shiny.

i have already received a direct link to wahoo's infinitely adjustable, and aesthetically displeasing kickr bike, one that eschews anything of which the uci might approve, but allows the intent, indoor cyclist to sit, silent and mesmerised in front of an ipad, secure in the knowledge that the accompanying pixelated avatars are doing likewise all across the world. though i have little truck with the genre, at least the former solution of sticking a real bike onto a turbo trainer, allowed periodic outdoor recompense from one's purchase.

a cursory glance through images culled from the opening days of eurobike 2019, has so far offered little by way of succour to the confirmed luddite. i thoroughly enjoy my cycling; i am very much an acolyte to ultan coyle's contention that 'nothing is ever worse after a bike ride', a state of affairs that is as true today as it was when i owned a heavy, plain-gauge steel road bike, with a five-speed freewheel and 52/42 rivetted chainrings. though i'd be inclined to support the theory that 'it's all about the bike', i would also happily argue that, assuming a diamond-frame, two wheels and a pair of drop bars, everything ought to be just ginger peachy.

butted steel, carbon, titanium or aluminium replete with twelve-speed trinketry is all well and good, but a happy bike ride is still a happy bike ride.

so, will the existence of toolkits concealed in the steerer tube, hydraulically actuated hub gears, integrated e-bike bar-bag lights, an electric bicycle pump (sadly, no, i'm not kidding) and an electronic wheel balancing jig, offer hitherto untold benefits to the pelotonese? probably not. several new products seem designed to take the sting out of some of last year's innovations (a decent wheelbuilder will usually balance a wheel at the building stage), while others lean more heavily towards the blight of the shares market, in attempting to encourage unsustainable continual commercial growth by any (trivial) means possible.

i would, of course, be highly remiss if i did not offer praise to the innovations that may well enhance every future pedal stroke, but the cynic in me continually asks why, if it ain't broke, so much effort is expended to fix it? if evidence were required, i might cite the advent of the tubeless tyre, ruddy enormous derailleur jockey wheels and internal cable routing, to name but a few.

enjoy your weekend.

friday 6 september 2019

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it costs how much?

used car lot

it started while i was in scotland recently, and visited an old school friend of mine who owns a motor garage and car sales business. having left the luxury of the glass-fronted showroom, i had cause to walk past the numerous used vehicles parked adjacent to a lengthy portion of the pavement. a £45,000 price ticket on the windscreen of a volkswagen minibus was a bit of an eyeopener (i had no idea they were so pricey, especially when the licence plate indicated it to be a few years old), but the £3,500 price tag upon a standard saloon car, seemed a tad more reasonable, not to say, affordable.

however, given that i had left behind a £7,500 sliver of carbon fbre in the bike shed at home, brought me to question why a two-wheeled method of transport, capable of transporting only one person at a time, cost more than double the price of a five-seater motor car, with more than adequate cargo space for all, hip-hugging comfort and adjustable heating/air conditioning. though i have regularly ignored related comments from friends when outlining the cost of bicycles sent for review, it's not too hard to see why the phrase "i could have bought a decent car for that" achieves currency outside our closeted, velocipedinal bubble.

so, why does a quality bicycle cost so much money?

leafing through the 'review' pages of magazines such as 'procycling', it is not unusual to come across images of state-of-the-art bicycles, presaged with retail prices in excess of £10,000. the worst/best part of that is that almost nobody bats an eyelid anymore. that's not to say that all or any of us can afford such luxury, but as aficionados, we have become inured to the ever-rising cost of the bicycles to which many of us aspire. and even though there are more of us now than there were then, it seems that still might be scarcely enough to implement sufficient economies of scale, to bring the price down to more acceptable levels.

to place a more professional sheen on the reasons why this remains the case, and perhaps why it became so in the first place, i asked joshua riddle at basso bikes, the very same question outlined above.

"That's not an easy one to answer in few words, however it's not terribly complex.
"I can understand how a finely made bicycle would seem to be a more simple, and therefore less valuable product, than a car. But that would be a somewhat myopic view, or at least one that doesn't delve into the macro and micro economics of the situation at hand."

the bulk of the world's car production is undertaken with computer-controlled robots; it may be labour intensive, but it's not human labour intensive. such machinery may have incurred substantial investment, but once in place, it does not require annual holidays, nor a commensurate salary. it is also no secret that, in the uk at least, successive governments have provided beneficial grants and subsidies to foreign manufacturers willing to produce their cars in britain. the same set of circumstances are rarely applicable to the far smaller cycle industry, most of which currently resides in the far east.

as joshua continued, "Economies of scale allow car manufacturers (who produce millions of units, with most parts being standardised) to produce an automobile at a fraction of the cost it would represent were it made in smaller batches. The bicycles are made in far smaller numbers, a situation reflected in the price."

cycle sales are rarely based on the premise that the purchaser will ultilise the bicycle as an alternative to the motor car. bicycles that cost north of one or two thousand pounds are generally regarded as luxury items, purchased as fripperies, but almost definitely not simply as a means of transport. it is an inescapable fact that the majority of cyclists are also car drivers, the latter vehicle usually fulfilling a more utilitarian purpose.

though not exclusively the preserve of the carbon fibre frameset, creating a quality bicycle, relies to a greater extent, on human labour. it may be possible to achieve tig welding via computer control, but carbon, whether by means of tubes and lugs as employed by colnago's italian production, or the molds used in taiwanese monocoque construction, depends far more on human expertise. and though most are reluctant to reveal annual sales of their high-end machinery, you can bet that the numbers pale into insignificance compared to the 2018 figures for britain's best selling car, the ford fiesta, with close on 96,000 registrations. though team sky and subsequently team ineos have likely done wonders for pinarello's sales, i can guarantee that the number sold in the uk last year, is probably a lot less than 10% of the number of fiestas.

i shouldn't think any one of us would attempt to reprise or summarise the foregoing, when next faced with the "i could have bought a car for that price" retort. however, should you ever have wondered, as did i, why a meagre amount of carbon fibre festooned with precision trinketry, costs considerably more than a second hand car, at least you may hopefully consider yourself better informed.

according to current figures, a two year-old ford fiesta can cost between £6,000 and £9,000, depending on the original options fitted. the italian, hand-made basso diamante currently under review, would likely hit the £7,500 mark, fitted with super-record mechanical and bora one carbon wheels. i well know which option i'd choose, but i count myself lucky not to be saddled with a lengthy, daily commute, nor the need to transport active offspring hither and thither.

in any case, that's what car hire is for.

thanks to basso's joshua riddle for his invaluable assistance with this feature. i did approach others for ther point of view, but none replied prior to my deadline.

thursday 5 september 2019

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campagnolo bora one and bora wto wheelsets

campagnolo bora wto

many years ago, i was fortunate to receive a pair of almost entirely carbon fibre/kevlar wheels which, even with race-ready tubular tyres and a cassette fitted, could have easily been blown away by a good sneeze. paired with an equally lightweight bicycle, cycling took on a more trajectory-based persona; uphill, downhill, flat, no matter the angle of terrain, skittering about on tarmac became the equivalent of unmitigated joy. however, presumably in order to provide a ying to this velocipedinal yang, there were a couple of downsides.

campagnolo bora wto

firstly, these were hardly the cheapest hoops on the market; checking out the recommended retail price was likely to incur a sharp intake of breath, followed closely by the likelihood of a red figure at the bottom of my bank account. and secondly, the depth of the carbon rims (56mm) created a remarkable verisimilitude of a yacht sail. on an island regularly strafed by galeforce atlantic crosswinds, they were, to put it mildly, a bit of a handful. had my net worth been in any way equal to purchasing a pair, i would have been determined to feature their black roundness on my bicycle, year round, a situation that promised nothing other than a winter of discontent.

campagnolo bora wto

followed recently by my reviewing yet another brand of deep-rimmed (64mm) wheels, with similar results, you would perhaps have thought i'd had my fill of such a genre of wheels, and to a certain extent, that would not be too far from the truth. however, i am nothing if not inordinately obstinate, gleefully accepting the task of reviewing a pair of campagnolo's most recent bora series release. these bora wto carbon-rimmed wheels feature a 45mm depth, but the wto (wind tunnel optimised) release promised the likelihood of a different paradigm in aero wheels, a set that would laugh in the face of violent, gusting crosswinds.

the latter promise is one i have come across before, to which i have offered the usual guffaws of derision. this particular strain of boras lightens the corporate wallet by a figure terrifyingly close to £1700, a price ticket that might give reasonable grounds for recriminations, should they too, prove a major handful if used year round. yet, who nowadays has that kind of money to spend if the period of use is restricted to a matter of a few months of the year?

campagnolo bora wto

my initial review, published not so very long ago, offered succour to the intrepid, provided by an impressive ride quality, coupled with that light weight and a bearing smoothness that has to be witnessed to be believed. however, until recently, crosswinds over the parcours had remained disappointingly light, offering no firm evidence that vicenza had tamed the beast (so to speak). however, my more recent forays into the wild west have proved more effective in this department, with more than just a single instance of winds in the 60-70kph range.

recalling my less than confidence-inspiring rides on deeper carbon, the watchword was deigned to be 'trepidation', accompanied by a tense gritting of teeth and narrowing of the eyes when roadside shelter all but disappeared near the island's atlantic coast. obviating any necessary spoiler alert, my apprehension remained unanswered; remaining upright and heading in the desired direction was no harder than when riding on 'normal' wheels. vicenza has quite clearly spent its time in the wind tunnel to great effect and with remarkably impressive results. i am considerably less than well-versed in the engineering intricacies that can bring about such a result; it is simply my vocation in life to point out the results.

for those who hold fears over the braking properties of a carbon rim, particularly in the wet, and i would include myself in that elevated group, worry not. even when riding through a couple of inches of flowing water, coming to a sudden halt was every bit as effective as a disc-equipped bicycle.

campagnolo bora one

coincidentally, fitted to the basso diamante currently residing in thewashingmachinepost bike shed, is a pair of campagnolo bora one carbon wheels. these differ from their wto siblings by way of campag's grouping of the spokes in threes both front and rear (the wto version features radial spoking up front) and a rim depth of only 35mm. once again, i must admit to a lack of technical knowledge that would advise at which point a rim's depth is no longer troubled by any form of crosswind, but visually, at least, the bora one wheelset would appear to still live above that parameter.

while continuing my in-depth review of the basso, i have had good cause to ride many a kilometre aboard its attractive blueness in all manner of hebridean weather, during which it has been remarkably easy to forget the manner of those wheels. of course, many of you will hardly be subjected to the ferocity of crosswind that is, effectively, our birthright, but a bit like knowing a waterproof jacket has been subjected to torrential and horizontal rain without shedding a tear, my suffering for your art ought surely to inspire greater confidence in your purchase.

everywhere is draughty at some time in its life.

wednesday 4 september 2019

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prendas lisboa rain cycling cap

flooding on the glen road

the weather overnight leading from friday into saturday was, to put it mildly, a bit crap. the heavy rain bore remarkable similarities to the archetypal stair-rods and, as a result, there were several examples of localised flooding as i premabulated the estates on saturday. as a creature of habit (which i will vehemently deny, if it comes up in conversation), i headed south along the high road, where habit has me turn off onto the lower portion of the glen road (we are nothing if not creative in our roads nomenclature in the hebrides). the junction between the two roads was well under water as a result of the roadside ditches having overflowed, in close proximity to the river that feeds into the laggan.

prendas lisboa rain cap

a few hundred metres along saturday's parcours, between the abattoir and avonvogie farm, the ditches had once again overflowed, submerging a lengthy portion of reconstituted road surface under a few centimetres of flowing water. though such a shallow depth is of little concern, the waters around here are almost all of a peaty brown-ness, leading to stretches of brown water rapids that conceal any hidden pothole dangers 'neath the surface. it was only a matter of metres before my tyres were once again submerged by flooding just past the cattle grid.

of course, the term flooding is a relative one; though i was loath to speed through these sections, lest i spray my person with rainwater, they are as nothing compared to the devastation seen across parts of britain in recent months. however, all the while i continued on my convoluted discourse to lunch at debbie's, the rain was less than keen to back off to any degree.

my post lunch travels (the habit thing again) most often take me past kilchoman distillery by way of foreland estate, by which time the weather had brightened considerably, but frequently interspersed with the prendas lisboa rain cap occasional shower, leading to an on-off raindance, with specific regard to my rainjacket. as i rode past saligo bay, i pulled over to allow a bmw safe passage in the opposite direction, the driver of which pulled to a halt to inform me that the road ahead was flooded, so she had turned back. having experienced this particular flooded location on previous occasions, i thanked her for her concern, pointed out that i had no engine likely to stall, and continued on my merry way.

as if solely to undermine my insouciant arrogance, at the far end of the flooded section could be seen the roof of a motor car, evidently stuck in the water, being attended to by two gentlemen with a breakdown truck. though the dark brown water rarely exceeds ten or twelve centimetres in depth, armed with waterproof socks, i was naive enough to figure i could get through unscathed. however, i was a tad concerned that i might be unable to pass the car and truck without having to put a foot down in the swirling waters, so, despite having assured the bmw driver to the contrary, i'd to turn round and cycle back the way i'd come.

i am, you will doubtless have learned over the years, more than used to cycling in the rain. but the weak link in the chain (if you'll pardon the pun), has frequently been my casquette; even when worn peak down, as real men prendas lisboa rain cap and women always do, the cotton-ness of the average casquette cannot be regarded as protection against the elements. fortunately, during saturday's meanderings, i was not wearing an average casquette. for andy storey, the remarkably fine fellow in charge at prendas ciclismo, had sent me a lisboa rain cycling cap, constructed from a lightweight, breathable and waterproof fabric.

the lisboa cap is all but covered with tiled, reflective prendas logos; it's possible that, in the dark, when caught in car headlights, such all over reflectiveness might conceivably be visible through the vents of my helmet, but i admit that it's not a possibility i attempted to verify. however, the waterproofing i can reliably attest to, having been on the receiving end of a deluge earlier that same day. i should admit that the anti-bacterial, sweat-absorbing lining probably worked as well as intended, since i was blissfully unaware of excessive head-borne perspiration upon my return to the croft.

with the probability of little by way of meteorological respite between now and next march, it is eminently possible that this will become a well-used garment over the course of the next seven months. though i realise that few of you live on scotland's west coast, it's not the only place on earth to suffer from a lot of rain. and just by way of confirmation, the cap was sent from poole in dorset on a thursday and arrived in the hebrides on the following day. it's their superpower.

andy is awaiting your call.

the prendas lisboa rain cycling cap is one-size-fits-all and retails at the remarkably modest price of £14.99. | prendas lisboa rain cycling cap

tuesday 3 september 2019

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................