Apparel Featured Reviews

Adidas adiZero Jersey

Adidas adiZero JerseyLaunched with a storm of publicity and a nifty viral ad campaign the Adidas adiZero Jersey is promoted as the lightest cycling jersey on the market. Whilst it’s unbelievably light, does it really stack up and can they honestly justify £120 price tag for it?


Okay, so it’s all about the weight and at just 65g the Adidas adiZero Jersey is around half the weight of a traditional cycling top – that’s impressive to say the least and the adverts made much of this by floating it from a helium balloon. In fact even that visually striking image doesn’t prepare you for the first time you pick it up – it’s like Tolkien’s Mithril. Adidas are understandably coy about what the lightweight mesh material actually is but if you can imagine a cross between nanotechnology Lycra and tissue paper you’re pretty much there.


The back and underarm sides are even thinner mesh for added ventilation whilst rigidity and form comes from the tri-stripe print down either side and the single heaviest feature is the zip. Comfort, it probably goes without saying, is outstanding – mostly because it’s like wearing nothing at all.


Despite the gossamer construction the Adidas adiZero Jersey provides adequate wind protection and arguably enough coverage for a summer ride, although it’s unlikely to make an appearance from the kit cupboard beyond say the end of August. One downside of the material (apart from it’s eye-watering cost) is that it’s ability to wick sweat falls short; there’s just not enough material between skin and air to drawn moisture away and have it blow dry in good time.


Of course cyclists are obsessed with weight (and probably to a greater degree cake) so the Adidas adiZero Jersey will undoubtedly find its market amongst the carbon fetishists. In the weight department it is impressive in every way imaginable and style-wise it ticks the boxes in an equally minimalist, stripped back fashion but beyond height of summer use and perhaps velodrome training and racing the price tag feels tough to defend.


That said, we’re still glad to own one…


The Adidas adiZero Jersey retails at £120

Featured Reviews Tech

Funked Up

Funked UpBack in October Cyclo reported on the news that Dublin-based custom bike manufacturers Funked Up had been awarded the prestigious 2014 Propeller Venture Accelerator program. Thankfully we were also able to get our hands (and feet) on one of their bespoke single-speeds to put to the test.


Funked up produce both ‘fixie’ and single-speed bikes. For those not in the know about the difference the latter is fundamentally a ‘regular’ bike but without gears, whilst the former is a bike with the rear cog fixed to the rear wheel hub and therefore without the ability to freewheel. Both flavours have a growing fan-base and Funked Up seem especially geared-up (sorry) to capitalise on the zeitgeist trend.


The unique selling point for Funked Up is the deep level of customisation available with a seemingly infinite number of element combinations on offer via the website. Starting with an absolute basic blank canvas for about £390 the incredibly slick and responsive site allows you to select handlebars (drop, bullhorn, etc.), wheels (standard, deep v or mag) and a innumerable colour combinations for everything from the chain to the rims. That’s eleven separate elements to ‘colour in’ for yourself like a bike-obsessed toddler – if you really let yourself go the results can be truly hallucinogenic…


Funked UpNext step is the graphics. If you don’t want the standard Funked Up logo on the top and bottom tubes you can customise things with 16 characters on each; that means you can add your name, company name or even include various mini logos such as ‘smilies’ and Superman badges. Go wild.


Okay, so regrettably we didn’t get to choose any customisation for our test single-speeder but we were sent a beautifully metrosexual model with pink rims, saddle and bar grips.


Out of the box the Funked Up presents at about 80% assembled and is also exceptionally well packaged with protective niceties to ensure that your new and expansively (but not really expensively) customised bike arrives in pristine condition. 4 and 5mm hex keys plus a 15mm wrench are required for what little work needs doing to get you up and riding – peddles attached, seatpost/saddle dropped in, handlebars slipped into place and front wheel attached; no more than a 10-minute job even accounting for the bell and wheel reflectives.


Funked UpThe bike proved a joy to ride, the build quality is exceptional and the lack of gears surprisingly quick to adapt to – certainly ideal for commute and city riding. Weight is also relatively modest at around 11kg. On test we were regularly treated to the kind of ‘nice bike!’ shout-outs you might normally expect if you had just dropped ten grand on a stack of carbon; a Funked Up bike, it would appear, comes with near-instant cult celebrity status. We could easily get used to this.


The one tiny niggle Cyclo might highlight would be the bog-standard zip-ties for securing the rear brake cables; they seem very utilitarian for a bike which otherwise boasts such city-clicker coolness.


If you fancy something pre-designed Funked Up have a small range on offer including the ‘Fresh’ and ‘Rumpofsteelskin’ for around £310 whilst designing and customising your own (many fun hours on the website) will range from £390 to a little over £500 for top spec. As a bonus, at time of writing, delivery within the EU is free.


It has been both a surprise and a delight to put the Funked Up single-speed through its paces and we’ll miss it once it’s gone. Perhaps we’re ready for a true fixie – something many argue is the purest form of cycling. There’s always 2015 to find out.


Full details of Funked Up at and you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.



Featured Nutrition Reviews

Elivar Hydrate Plus

Elivar Hydrate PlusWhen Elivar launched it offered a complete three-part system for pre-, during and post-run energy with its Prepare, Endure and Recover products all aimed at athletes over 35. Now that system becomes four-part with the introduction of Elivar Hydrate Plus.


The 25g sachets mix with 400ml of water to make an electrolyte drink with combined energy delivery of 97kcal per serving. The powder mixes quickly and the resulting drink doesn’t clump or clog sports bottles but is somewhat gritty in texture and tended to settle if left too long in the bottle. The flavour is nominally orange but really a bit generic ‘fruit’, not unpleasant, and no better, no worse than most electrolyte drinks and with no bitter aftertaste.


The electrolyte delivery is predominantly sodium and potassium (Sodium Chloride, Monopotassium Phosphate), no magnesium, and the energy is delivered via the somewhat unusual isomaltulose, a natural constituent of honey and sugar cane, that is intended for sustained energy release.


Whilst the original Elivar range found its niche by catering for the over-35s with additional fortifications, the Elivar Hydrate Plus, despite the branding, really offers nothing specific for the age group and is suitable for anyone looking to combine their electrolyte replacement with a dash of energy.


So, certainly not as ground-breaking in concept as the original Elivar Prepare, Endure and Recover products, but a solid enough addition to the hydration market.


Elivar Hydrate Plus retails at £12.99 for a box of 12 sachets. Further details and online purchase at


Read the Cyclo review of the original Elivar products here.

Apparel Reviews

Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket

Proviz REFLECT360There are any number of cycling jackets available with a decent amount of reflectives built in – would you even consider one without? – but the Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket really takes things to a whole other level.
Available in both men’s and women’s cuts this arguably isn’t the style of jacket you might train in for speed, but its on-bike uses – from commute to general ride-wear and even MTB or pre-race warmth – are undeniable and, because it’s constructed with a 100% reflective outer-shell it lights up like a beacon.
The REFLECT360 incorporates multiple vents with the underarm/side vents zippered for regulating temperature and when, zipped to the max, the jacket provides credible wind-stopping properties. There’s an inner mesh that holds the shell away from the body, preventing potential clamminess, and two generous, zipped, chest pockets for essentials in addition to a zipped lumbar pocket large enough for route details or maps.
Although initial impressions are of bulk, the 600g jacket feels less weighty on than we had imagined, and the level of comfort impressed. The collar is soft-lined, the cuffs Velcro adjusted with a numb-finger-friendly rubberised tab and the waist fitted left and right with bungee cords for fine-tuning. Even without the exceptional reflective abilities – like Tron on a bike – the REFLECT360 is a more than decent cycling jacket; factor the added safety value in and it quite literally shines.
The Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket retails at a not-unreasonable £79.99 – almost half the price of the similarly reflective, but obviously sleeveless, Nike Flash Gilet – which despite being largely targeted at runners has good application for bike safety too.
Further details and online purchase of the Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket at
Follow Proviz on facebook andTwitter.

Extras Reviews

Orao Griffith Sunglasses

Orao Griffith SunglassesCyclo loves a good surprise (unless it involves clowns) and testing out the Orao Griffith sunglasses, costing an almost embarrassingly cheap £19.99, has proven one of the biggest surprises of the year.


To be found in the aisles of sporting megastore Decathlon, the Orao Griffith sunglasses could – like a lot of lower-priced apparel and accessories – be easily overlooked as being too cheap to possibly be of quality. Let’s not make that mistake – the Orao brand is growing in popularity and those in the know are tipping a nod at the Griffith.


Whilst you might expect sunglasses costing sub-£20 to be a one-piece affair with little in the way of personalisation the Orao Griffith ship not only with interchangeable nose pieces, but three interchangeable polycarbonate lenses. Switching between the lenses is a relatively simple affair – circumventing all of that fiddly tech solution you find on the likes of Oakley in favour of pulling up gently on the top frame or pressing a finger nail into the small hole to release the one-piece lens and clipping in its replacement. Absolute simplicity and it doesn’t appear to apply excess pressure on either the frame or lens and because the fingers are really only in contact with the centre it doesn’t leave smudges all over the place.


Orao Griffith SunglassesThe three lenses that ship with the Orao Griffith sunglasses are smoked, filtering 18% to 43% of light, orange which does a good job of increasing contrast and filters 8% to 18% of light and clear which filter up to 8% of light and are ideal for simple ‘windscreen’ protection from the environment. All, of course, provide full UV protect and the optics, whilst basic, deliver decent clarity without distortion.


Comfort level is good with soft rubberised tips to the arms adding grip without pressure and the substantial nose piece holding the wrap lens far enough away from the face to help reduce fogging.


Of course there is always some degree of getting what you pay for and those upper end glasses are probably more likely to last you a lifetime – or at least until you leave them at a feed station – but don’t be fooled into thinking that a £200 pair of sunnies are going to be ten times as good as a £20 pair. The Orao Griffith sunglasses – which even ship with a soft carry pouch – look set to give even Wiggle’s similarly pitched dhb range a run for their money.


The Orao Griffith Sunglasses RRP £19.99 are available online at and instore. For an even more bargain spare pair of sunglasses Orao also have the Arenberg glasses for a mere £4.99 – details here.


Featured Reviews Tech

AfterShokz Bluez 2 Headphones

AfterShokz Bluez 2 HeadphonesWhen Cyclo first looked at the AfterShokz Sportz 2 Headphones almost two years ago we were suitably impressed by the bone conduction technology that both sets them apart from other sports ‘phones and by the additional safety that they offered. Now though there are the AfterShokz Bluez 2 to consider…


The tech first: unlike conventional headphones the AfterShokz Bluez 2 and their predecessors use bone conduction technology to deliver sound through the user’s cheekbones to the inner ear, a technique that leaves the ears open to ambient sound with obvious safety advantages when it comes to listening to music on the bike. Of course the use of MP3s on the ride is a divisive issue, but if you’re going to do it there’s arguably no safer way than with the Bluez 2.


To use the tech for the first time is something of a revelation – if you’re expecting metallic vibration like picking up radio through a filling you’re in for a huge surprise; the sound – from deep bass to high-ends – is remarkably clear with little discernable difference from in-ear options and there’s really no learning curve when it comes to effectively listening to two things at the same time.


The AfterShokz Bluez 2 are wireless Bluetooth with a charging time of around 2 hours (via mini USB) that promise approximately 6 hours of playback – on test we were certainly getting close to this time, although as with most rechargeable tech this is likely to drop off a little over time and extended use.


The headphones are held in place via a one-piece wraparound headband that sits at the back of the head, drapes casually over the ears without adding pressure, and holds the headphones gently against the cheeks. An optional tension band can be added at the back for both stability and for those with smaller heads. The 45g weight feels heavy in the hand – certainly in comparison to traditional bud earphones – but once on and correctly positioned they proved perfectly comfortable on the bike. Getting everything snug under a helmet (assuming you’re not daft enough to ride sans lid and listening to music) takes a little wiggle but, once sorted, is barely noticeable.


The controls on the AfterShokz Bluez 2 do however take a little getting used to. Volume and power / Bluetooth pairing buttons sit under the right ‘arm’ whilst the multifunction button (MFB) is over the left cheek. The MFB is used for a host of functions from skipping tracks to answering calls on a connected phone, we found that using it for basic functions – like pausing the music – worked just fine, but trying to learn the more complex clicking-combinations (answering a second incoming call, whilst putting the first on hold) was beyond both our ability and desire. Definitely pure user incompetence rather then tech-fail, but as we don’t work in a call centre we won’t sweat the fact that this function will be forever beyond us.


The AfterShokz Bluez 2 pack in a huge amount of technology and innovation from the ‘Audrey Says’ voice prompting to the brilliantly named ‘LeakSlayer’, which helps reduce that annoying (to everyone else) music leakage from headphones – something you might imaging is compounded by bone conduction but isn’t.


Even if you only use the basic functionality of the AfterShokz Bluez 2 there is much to recommend them; beyond the great sound quality, improved aesthetics, and Bluetooth convenience it’s the added safety of ‘open ear’ music enjoyment on the bike that’s really likely to appeals.


The AfterShokz Bluez 2 retails at £89.95 with further details and online purchase at

Read the Cyclo review of the AfterShokz Sportz 2 here.

Featured Reviews Tech


beatbikeThere is an indisputable love or hate factor when it comes to folding bicycles and an equally binary set when it comes to the subject of electric bikes. Where then is this likely to leave people when it comes to the two-in-one beatbike?


Divided is the obvious answer, and so it may prove to be, but stick with us on this and rest assured we were firing on all cynicism cylinders too when we first took delivery of the beatbike for an extended test period…


First the tech: beatbike has an anodised alloy frame, folds flat to around 300mm, incorporates an 80watt hub motor – powered by an internal lithium ion battery – for a maximum speed of 12mph and a maximum running time between charges of 3 hours. It ships in a carry case and, packed, looks not unlike lugging a set of golf clubs around.


Unfolding the beatbike takes a little practise – a good few minutes and some colourful language should do it on first attempt, but with a little practice it’s actually a doddle. The pedals flip up, then handlebars clip into place and are secured with a lever pad, the front upright swings into place by simultaneously pulling up a lever (this is the tricky rubbing head/patting belly trick bit at first) and the rear upright lifts into position. The only non-integrated part is the separate seat-post and saddle, which slot in and secure with a swing-fastener. Re-folding the beatbike is, obviously, just a case of repeating the above in reverse order – there’s a knack to the whole process, but it’s a perfectly simple one to get the hang of.


beatbikeThere’s something both urban and a little utilitarian about the aesthetics of the beatbike, it does lack the graceful lines that have made Bromptons such a design classic, but in a slightly industrial and brutalist way it’s really rather lovely. There are spots of tape, where a neat anodised clip would have added appeal, but most of the angularity is a functional aspect of having the majority of the tech contained within the frame. Its looks, we have to admit, grew on us considerably over time.


We’ve been taking the beatbike out on test for over two months to get a full flavour of what it’s all about and repeatedly people have flagged us down to demand to know more and, invariably, ask to have a go. Not one person got off the beatbike without an enormous smile on their face and this, perhaps, is the secret to the bikes potential success. Cycling should, after all, be fun.


To get your motor running, to channel Steppenwolf, it’s a simple matter of switching on via the controls mounted on the left side of the handlebars and selecting from the three speeds – the motor runs as long as you keep pedalling (without effort) and cuts out either as soon as you stop or when the breaks are applied (front disc, rear drum.) The breaks are sharply responsive, without being dangerously over-eager and the only things that takes any real practice is getting used to the more upright position on the bike and understanding the turning circle.


Aside from when power-assisted there are no gears on the beatbike so pedalling uphill on a 14kg frame tests the legs, but then that’s what the motor’s really for…


It’s important to put this bike in context: As a ‘final-mile’ commute bike, it makes enormous sense (the carry bag converts into a rucksack, a really nice touch), as an option to take on a canal boat or caravan holiday, ditto and for getting out and just having untold fun in a park it’s hard to beat. There are some limiting factors in terms of the distance/time between charges but the beatbike compares well here with other makes that weigh considerably more.


Are we going to convert any ‘real’ cyclists here? Maybe not, but they’re the ones missing out on the fun, which beatbike delivers in spades.


The beatbike is currently only available in anodised silver, but a larger range of colours are promised – it retails at £499.99, just about on the money for an electric folder and less than half of what you might expect to pay for something like the Raleigh Velo XC.


Cyclo is offering its readers a £50 discount on the beatbike; just use code ‘cyclo50’ at the checkout at


Featured Tech

Proviz Neutron Lights

Proviz Neutron LightsThere’s really nothing Cyclo likes more than simple efficiency and the Proviz Neutron Lights perform – quite literally – brilliantly. The Neutron is part of the Proviz own-brand range of bike lights and for those of you not in the know Proviz specialise in the retail of all things hi-viz from helmets to reflectives and cycling jackets.


Proviz Neutron Lights – one front, one back – are dinky water-resistant rubberised nodule-lights not unlike the Knog (Cyclo review here), which use a double LED to produce 36000MCD (millicandela) per light visible up to 650m. Of course that’s the distance at which the light is visible not the distance at which it provides visibility, but it does produce a decent crisp white light to front with a decent spread – there are also a choice of three modes: rapid flash, slow flash and solid.


The Neutrons attach quickly to pretty much any part of the bike by wrapping the silicone loop around and slipping it over the plastic clip – it’s a neat enough system although the plastic, the weakest point, is vulnerable in the case of a spill and is fairly unforgiving against the frame, so watch for scratches over time.


The Proviz Neutron Lights, whilst somehow not quite up to the sleek design aesthetics of the Knogs, are bright, light (just 22g each) and small enough to slip into a jersey pocket for those ‘just in case’ moments when the weather catches you out. At just £14.99 for the pair they are also cheaper than other similar manufacturers – compare the say the Lezyne Femto Drive LED Light Set at £21.99 or the Knog Frog Stobe Light pack at £19.99 (both available from


Full details and online purchase of the Proviz Neutron Lights at Follow Proviz on facebook and Twitter.