Extras Reviews

Chafe Guard

Chafe GuardThere’s probably no less sexy a product to review than an anti-chafing oil, but then there’s little less sexy than badly chafed thighs. Honestly, the things Cyclo does for you…


In a nutshell Chafe Guard from Bournemouth-based Synergy Action is a 50ml pump that dispenses onto the hand for rubbing into any likely hot spots – thighs, seam lines, sock heels, etc. It contains both dimethicone, a silicone oil (which is also used in, amongst other things, shampoo to give you shiny locks) and cyclopentasiloxane, – also a silicone oil. It is, as you would expect, a fairly oily experience that leaves the hands slick and needing a good clean pre-ride – not ideal and certainly not one we would take out on the bike (not least because of the 50ml bulk pot size.) However, those of a triathlon persuasion will be pleased to know it is wetsuit-safe.


Chafe Guard feels a little thin to be truly effective and so it really proved to be. Short-term it seemed to do the job (or perhaps chafing hadn’t thus far been an issue) but three hours into a Sunday sportive there was distinct rubbing in unmentionable areas despite a liberal pre-ride application. For Cyclo’s money (about £12 of it) we would still rather rely on the likes of Bodyglide Chamoisglide Balm – it’s smaller (36.9g), so more pocket-friendly and works as a dry barrier without chemicals and additives.


So there we have a very unsexy review – but at least you know now which we prefer. Andy why…


Chafe Guard RRP £8.50 available at – Bodyglide Chamoisglide Balm RRP £11.99 is widely available including at


Extras Featured Reviews


realxgearThe difference between a fun ride and an utterly miserable one can all be down to temperature – of course performance can also drop off as the heat increases, so finding a good way to regulate things is an important consideration when taking to the saddle. Offering an innovative solution with a range of products that actively lowers your skin’s temperature RealXGear promises big things, but does it all stack up?


There are three basic components to the RealXGear range – two sizes of towel, a baseball-style cap and a neck collar – each employing the same tech to cool things down, namely chemical beads (totally safe, naturally, but also environmentally friendly) that react to water to reduce the material’s temperature. To set things in motion the material needs to be dunked or soaked in water – not necessarily even cold water – wrung out and put on.


Of the three the collar (which is ‘coming soon’ to the brand’s website) proved far and away the most useful for the bike. Measuring approximately 84 by 13cm and with a slit in one end so the other can be tucked through and secured, the collar packs small enough to carry in a jersey pocket, ready for use when needed via a good soaking from your water bottle. The temperature drop is almost immediate – up to 20 degrees cooler can be achieved under optimum conditions – and we found it stayed cold long after a four-hour Sunday ride. Naturally there are elements that will have a bearing on exactly how long the tech will reduce temperature for – external ambient temperature, direct and strong sunshine, wind (a big factor on the bike) – but manufacturers claim anything up to eight hours and we’ve little reason to doubt them.


Post-ride both the towel and cap have their place for cooling things off and both worked equally as well as the collar. However the collar also has a practical application for use as part of the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) regime in case of minor injury – there is enough strength and equal stretch in the fabric to easily wrap aching muscles and the temperature drop is just about enough to be affective, short term, for recuperation.


In all honesty Cyclo had thought that RealXGear would be a gimmick with limited real-world use, but we’re more than happy to stand corrected – the range, particularly the collar, brings real benefit to the bike and it’s simply one of those products that has to be tried to be believed.


The RealXGear towel is available in small or large and a choice of blue or pink (£11.95 and £13.95 dependent on size), the caps are available in a range of colours for £14.95 and the RealXGear collar retails at £11.95. For further information and online purchase at


Extras Reviews

Zéfal Shield R30 Mudguards

Zéfal Shield R30 Zéfal Shield R30 Mudguards offer a low-profile solution for quick fitting when the season shifts and a dry ride is required. And by quick fitting we mean really quick – even initial setup was a sub-five-minute job of work that frankly we could have halved if we read the fitting instructions.


The Shield R30 uses loose rubber strap fittings with complete U-stays made from stainless steel, which make them exceptionally solid once fitted, and the variety of adaptors make these a flexible guard of choice. There are also two interchangeable spoilers for the rear of the guard allowing you to choose the amount of protection needed, with the longest one extending below the rear derailleur to provide up to 80% coverage; if you ride in a peloton you’ll notice the difference here (as will your fellow cyclists, who will avoid a face-full…)


Adjusting the position over the wheel was slightly fiddlier than we would hope for, but once the job is done, it’s done. The degree of stability was impressive; there’s little more annoying than guards that flap, dangle, squeak and rattle but the Zéfal Shield R30 quietly and efficiently got on with the job for us.


At £29.99 the Zéfal Shield R30 sits midrange between the likes of the £18.99 SJS Roadguards and the sturdy and dependable Topeak D-Fender R1/R2 mudguards  (£39.99), they certainly out-perform the flimsier former and stack up very well against the latter.


For further details on the Zéfal Shield R30 – and to find a retailer – see


Extras Featured

Zefal FP50 Floor Pump

Zefal FP50There comes a point in every cyclist’s life when the standard on-bike or mini pump is no longer enough. Cast down in frustration for the final time and swearing to finally invest in that overdue garage-ready floor pump, isn’t it time you invested? But where to start? It’s possible to spend upwards of a £100 (yes, we’re looking at you Topeak Joe Blow) whilst at the other end of the spectrum sits the likes of the LifeLine Performance at little over £20 – which leaves Cyclo looking mid-pack at the Zefal FP50…


At £44.99 the Zefal FP50 also sits mid-range in the company’s own offering of eight models, but has much to recommend it and frankly nothing substantial to dislike. In red and black Zefal colour-ways the FP50 isn’t light at over 1.7kg but with both a steel barrel and base (the latter making for good stability) the extra bulk makes sense for robustness – and, of course, it’s a floor pump so you’re unlikely to consider hefting it about with you anyway.


The hose is a fairly generous 1.1m and it’s capable of delivering 180PSI, whilst the red bevel swings into action to mark out the desired pressure and ensure an accurate fill. This is also helped by an over-sized (80mm) dial and, for good measure, a magnifying window that swings with the bevel mark; there’s really no excuse for getting it wrong with the Zefal FP50. The handle, a lighter-weight dual-composite, is comfortable and the piston action feels effortless even when filling to higher pressures or trying to squeeze in those final few BAR.


The FP50 also neatly overcomes the fiddly job of Presta and Schrader switching thanks to the pump’s ‘Z-Switch system’, where a slide of the switch on the fill head quickly replaces one for the other. However, the slightly plastically feel to the head (and switch system) was the one area that smacked of ‘weakest link’ failure point – time will tell…


Buy cheap, but twice is so often the case and top-end floor pumps – whilst potentially giving you a longer lifespan of use – seems disproportionately costly. For us the Zefal FP50 feels like a solid option in more ways than one.


Further details of the Zefal FP50 and the extended range at



Extras Featured Reviews

Nite Ize LED

In poor visibility and, of course, the dark good cycle lights are essential (a legal requirement in fact) but there are plenty of other ways to maximise your visibility and stay as safe as possible on the bike. Cyclo took a look at just some of the LED solutions available from the Nite Ize range…


Nite Ize Helmet MarkerFirst up for test was the Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus. Weighing an unobtrusive 19g the Helmet Marker Plus is a thin, durable polymer strip encased in weather-resistant nylon fabric, which can be attached to helmets via hook-and-loop strips or with the rubberised twist tie to pretty much any part of the bike – seat post, baskets, panniers, etc. The replaceable (and included) lithium battery powers either a continuous glow or strobe option with a maximum battery life of 75hours. Cyclo really liked the (literal) flexibility of this product, being easy to attach and remove it proved equally useful for mounting on the back of the helmet as it did attached to straps on a commuter day pack; the fact that the nylon cover also featured passive hi-viz reflective markings was a bonus, adding an extra dash of safety. RRP £11.95.


Nite Ize SpokeLitThe Nite Ize SpokeLit is a commendable way of adding illumination from the side of the bike – something so often neglected. Press the unit between the spokes and slide it towards to rim until a tight fit is achieved (we found it stayed perfectly put once in place), press once for a continuous glow or twice for flashing mode and the supplied and replaceable battery gives up to 20hours of added side-on safety. Weather and shock resistant the Nite Ize SpokeLit retails at £7.95 with a choice of colours – green, amber, red, blue – or a ‘Disc-O’ option that cycles through a spectrum of colours in solid mode. A neat alternative, or indeed addition, to the SpokeLit is the button sized Nite Ize See’Ems, which come in packs of two (blue, purple, pink £6.95) and clip directly to the spokes to provide a continuous glow. Like the SpokeLit the See Ems produce an interesting, and attention grabbing, solid circle of light once you start pedaling.


Nite Ize Sport VestFinally, Cyclo took a look at the Nite Ize LED Sports Vest a lightweight black mesh vest made with 3M Scotchlite reflective material, which features two illuminated flexible polymer strips (one to the front and one rear) that can be set to either a solid illumination or strobe effect mode. The universal fit uses an elastic side strap with adjustable hook & loop closure, but regrettably is likely to still prove too big for most children – a missed trick as this lightweight vest would be perfect for tucking into a schoolbag for use on those school afternoons where the light is drawing in. Still, an excellent option for commuters that combines well advised reflective strips with the added benefit of flashing LEDs. The Nite Ize LED Sports Vest retails at £24.95.


Full details and online purchase of these (and other Nite Ize LED products) at


Cyclo is supporting the Child Brain Injury Trust’s Child Safety and Awareness Campaign to get kids clearly visible on their bikes – find out more here.




Extras Featured Reviews

Children’s Cycle Helmets

Who knows what word today’s kids are using to describe things that are ‘cool’ (sick? phat?) – it’s entirely possible Cyclo has just made itself deeply ‘uncool’ by even posing the questions. Either way we agree with the Child Brain Injury Trust that ‘wearing a helmet is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury’ – and they should know as they help over 5,000 people a year affected by injuries that are often the result of road and cycle accidents. But how do you pick out children’s cycle helmets that are cool/sick/phat? Cyclo took a look at two of the latest brands to arrive in the UK.


Raskullz & KrashFirst up for test was the Raskullz & Krash range. At heart these are traditional cycle helmets (also suitable for skating, etc.), which feature a shock-absorbing EPS inner shell for protection, aerodynamic cooling vents and adjustable nylon retention straps for easy adjustment. What sets them apart from the norm is their adornments – for the younger children (4+) the Raskullz range features everything from dinosaurs to pink cat creatures and ladybirds, whilst for the older (7+) kids the Krash range keeps things exciting with mohawks, skulls, psychedelic swirls. All helmets feature substantial rubber 3D elements (cute ears and noses or blood tipped horns for example) that will certainly have the offspring standing out in the peloton.


The straps adjusted well and stayed put once fitted and our young Cyclo testers found them comfortable and light despite the additions, which on paper we had feared would add too much weight. They also found them ‘fun’ to wear (so we guess ‘cool’ wasn’t the word we were looking for.) Regardless, these proved hugely popular and Cyclo was suitable impressed by the amount of fitting and safety instructions included too. The only further addition we might consider useful would be a foam chin guard around the strap clip because we’ve lost count of the amount of times our children have curtailed an otherwise enjoyable ride by pinching skin when putting on their helmets. Though it’s possible we just have clumsy children around Cyclo HQ…


EGG HelmetsAn alternative when it comes to ‘fun’ (as that’s the word we’ve settled on) children’s cycle helmets comes from EGG. Suitable not only for cycle and skate but also snow and water sports, the EGG is an incredibly solid piece of kit that allows for almost infinite configuration and personalisation. Pick a helmet – small at 48-52cm or medium 52-56cm, add a ‘skin’ – anything from union jacks (or union flags for the pedants amongst you) to daredevil ‘dante’ flames or Cath Kidston-style flowers then add 3D adornments such as horns, fruit stalks or mini-mohawks, which can be snapped onto the helmet even once on. With an ABS outer shell, a flexible EPP safety core, and an EVA comfort core the sandwich design offers maximum protection, whilst an integrated finger-press air pump adjusts everything for ultimate comfort.


Cyclo’s mini testers adored EGG not only for their comfort (arguably they might suit slightly older kids as they are undeniably heavier than traditional helmets), but because of the amount of personalisation they offered. The only downside we experienced was trying to get children out of the door and onto the saddle when they just wanted to add ‘one more’ adornment… For adults that feel they are missing out on the fun, the manufacturers promise adult sizes coming soon too.


Raskullz & Krash helmets are widely available (RRP £19.99 – ££22.99) including from Argos, for further details and other product information see


EGG helmets are available online from (amongst other places), helmets £59.95, skins £12.95 and add-ons from £7.95 – further details at


For further information about the Child Brain Injury Trust (Registered Charity No. 1113326) see


Extras Featured Reviews

Solarsport UVPro

SolarsportGood things come in small sizes, right? Certainly the case with the excellent Solarsport range served up in cycling jersey-appropriate 25ml pump sprays; UV protection in SPF 15, 20 and 30 options that goes on cleanly at the push of a button. Of course application to the face is still going to require a degree of digital dexterity, but broadly this is a solution that means no more messy hands from cream – or, perhaps more importantly on the bike, no more muck and grime rubbed in with the cream. Whilst this isn’t a waterproof option and the relatively low SPFs will require an application or two (we topped up twice on a really long, hot ride) Solarsport is probably the perfect go-anywhere option for cyclists. It’s non-greasy – so won’t compromise the grip on the bars – and can even be sprayed onto hair to protect the scalp should you choose to ride sans-helmet. Solarsport 25ml pump sprays, with a minimum of 200 ‘pumps’ inside, start at £4.99 with the all new UV-Pro30 ‘Dry in 5 Seconds’ ‘cremespray’  costing £5.99 , which we think makes them pocket-friendly in more ways than one…


Exclusive Cyclo Offer: Dry Sunscreen Pro-Pack (UV Pro30 + Solarsport Original spf 20) for only £9.99 PLUS get another UV-Pro30 absolutely FREE. To take advantage of this offer visit and enter discount code Y7495754RO at the checkout…



Extras Featured Reviews

Sun Creams for Cyclists

To quote Buddy Holly, ‘The sun is out, the sky is blue’, and to paraphrase the next line, ‘but exposure to sun increases the risks of certain cancers.’ Stark, but true. And Lyrca-clad riders, recreational and commuter cyclists are at just as much risk as others that take to the great outdoors, even on relatively overcast days. With this in mind Cyclo took a look at a range of sun creams for cyclist to bring you our recommendations on the best protection available.


Green People Scent Free Sun LotionGreen People Scent Free Sun Lotion


Established in 1997, Green People are the leader in certified organic body care products and their Scent Free Sun Lotion utilises titanium dioxide, natural cinnamic acid and edelweiss extract to deliver 96% protection from UVB rays. Green tea – an excellent antioxidant – and rosemary extracts are supplemented with organic aloe vera to maintain skin hydration and just as importantly there are no parabens (widely used elsewhere as preservatives), alcohols, artificial perfumes or colours. The cream is relatively thick and does take some working in for good coverage and because the SPF (sun protection factor) is a medium strength 25 more than one application is likely to be needed on longer rides. Aside from the excellent natural credentials (82% of ingredients are also certified organic), we loved the degree of water – i.e. sweat – resistance that this lotion offered, particularly as it uses non-pore-clogging beeswax. Commendable ethics and a sun cream that worked well on test, the larger 200ml tube (£17.95) is a tad big for on-the-bike top ups, but both 50ml and trial-size (20ml) options are available at £9.95 and £5.00 respectively. For further details see



Riemann P20Riemann P20


Once-a-day sun cream? Sounds too good to be true, but that’s what Riemann claim for their P20 range; what’s more it’s said to be good even after swimming –making it a potentially excellent choice for triathletes (which might explain why they are the ‘Official Sun Protection Supplier to British Triathlon’.) Available in SPF 15, 20, 30 and 50+ all but the 20 (a lotion) are clear sprays, which should be applied 15minutes before required to allow the protective layer to form and dry. The full range offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and the coverage from the 50+ (spray) on test was excellent with quick absorption – the only downside being a slightly unpleasant smell, reminiscent of insect repellent, though that’s unlikely to put off sweaty cyclists surely? We found no need to reapply during our longest test ride – 4+hours in a scorching-for-UK 26degrees – and no feeling of sun-damage at the end of it. The 100ml bottles aren’t exactly pocket-perfect for the bike, but with such long lasting protection this is hardly an issue. P20 (100ml) has an RRP of £13.29 and the larger 200ml, £24.49. For further details see


Solarsport UVProSolarsport UVPro


Good things come in small sizes, right? Certainly the case with the excellent Solarsport range served up in cycling jersey-appropriate 25ml pump sprays; UV protection in SPF 15, 20 and 30 options that goes on cleanly at the push of a button. Of course application to the face is still going to require a degree of digital dexterity, but broadly this is a solution that means no more messy hands from cream – or, perhaps more importantly on the bike, no more muck and grime rubbed in with the cream. Whilst this isn’t a waterproof option and the relatively low SPFs will require an application or two (we topped up twice on a long, hot ride) Solarsport is probably the perfect go-anywhere option for sportive riders. It’s non-greasy and can even be sprayed onto hair to protect the scalp should you choose to ride sans-helmet. Solarsport 25ml pump sprays carry an RRP of £4.99, which we think makes them pocket-friendly in more ways than one… For further details and online sales see


HeliocareHeliocare Advanced SPF 50 Gel


UVA and UVB protection from a gel that brings something a little different to the table; the Heliocare range (and the Advanced Gel on test with Cyclo) uses ‘Fernblock’ technology, derived from Polypodium Leucotomos a fern found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas which has well documented and recognised benefits when it comes to holding off those harmful rays. Despite being called a gel, this looked and really rubbed in like any (relatively) thick cream – coverage was excellent and with a high SPF it did a more than credible job of keeping us sun-burn-free on the ride. Not especially sweat-resistant, we did find a slight sting with mid-ride ‘trickle down’, but nothing like the chemical smart from sun creams of old. The 50ml tube is good for jersey pockets and Cyclo certainly salutes the idea of protection from ferns… The Heliocare range prices start from £21.00 and are available from leading clinics nationwide; for further details see


ProSport 44ProSport 44


Whilst most sun creams opt for the conventional multiples of five for their SPF ratings, Cyclo can’t help but admire ProSport for going off-piste with their SPF 44 (15 and 35 is also available for traditionalists.) Of course there’s more to recommend then just a wayward sun factor; ProSport 44 promises – and as far as our tests went, delivers – 8hours of protection and the thin cream rubs in fast and thoroughly, it didn’t feel greasy and had the pleasant smell of summers-past. With UVA and UVB filters, this cream has forged its reputation at Ironman Hawaii and it’s easy to see why. It remained sweat-proof, but didn’t feel like it was clogging up the skin and it had the added advantage of feeling dry to the touch after application so we didn’t end up looking like flypaper. Paraben (preservative) and oil-free, the 180ml tube retails at £17.99 and, whilst it should easily last you a full day in the saddle, single-application 7.5ml sachets are available at £2.99 for slipping into the pocket or saddle post bag. For further details see