Extras Featured Reviews


pOcpacKeeping belongings dry on the bike is a perennial problem and one to which the pOcpac may well have the solution. If legend (or marketing) is to be believed, two brothers from South Africa – both engineers and keen mountain bikers – were out one day in the bush and caught in a torrential downpour that soaked everything in their saddlebags and pockets. They noticed that the only thing unaffected was the water in their camelbaks and so the pOcpac was born.


The pOcpac range of sealable bike packs are made from recyclable (though not actually recycled) material which has both memory and elasticity, meaning the cases can be filled to the brim and still close effortlessly. The closure is achieved via a fairly standard looking zipped press-seal, but unlike many fastenings of this type TriGear has encountered they stayed firmly and reassuringly shut however much we tried to over-stuff the packs.

The pOcpac is available in a range of sizes and even smartphone specific flavours; a neat and functional solution that do one thing and do it extremely well. An obvious benefit is that they can be slipped into a jersey lumber pocket; neatly hold everything together in one place (and keeping them dry as a bone) without the need for saddle- or seatpost bags.


pOcpacAlso of note on the pOcpac website is the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight pack – bit of a mouthful, but a useful emergency first aid kit to keep with the bike. The 70g kit offers basic wound management and blister treatment and whilst a couple of the items (two giant nappy-size safety pins for example) do seem like filler items the basics are pretty much covered and the tiny water-proof zipped pouch works well.


The three sizes of cycling pOcpac retail at £9.99 (although both the road and off-road pacs are currently on offer at £5.99), whilst the phone pOcpacs are £8.99. The medical kit is yours for £11.99. Further details and online orders at

Featured Nutrition Reviews

Osmo Active Hydration

Osmo Active HydrationOsmo Active Hydration, available in both orange and blackberry flavour, comes packed in jersey pocket friendly 20g sachets ready to blend in the bottle. Created by endurance athlete, exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist Stacy Sims Osmo Active Hydration is intended for use during exercise to actively increase fluid absorption and replace key electrolytes which would otherwise result in an overall loss of performance on the bike.


So what’s in the pack? Unlike most sports hydration and nutrition products Osmo seems a little coy on the subject; obviously the ingredients are listed (sucrose, so basically sugar, being number one), but it throws in ‘OsmoAct Beverage Base Blend’ to appear a little more arcane – although this then is a blend of sucrose (more sugar or the sugar already listed?), D-glucose (sugar again), sodium citrate, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate and calcium citrate. Osmo Active Hydration also includes a range of vitamins including C, B2 and B12.


Mixed with 500ml of water (and taking a little shaking to mix) Osmo does prove rather sweet – hardly surprising when 17g of the packs 20g weight is sugar – but the flavours are fairly refreshing with no artificial aftertaste. On test they seemed to help hydrate well and went down easily enough – the levels of ‘salts’ look well balanced for the job in hand and the convenience of the small tubular packaging was appreciated.


Osmo Active Hydration is a perfectly decent product, let down a little by both the branding and information (or lack thereof) on the website. Not sure they are doing themselves any favours by noting that Stacy Sims ‘assisted Lance Armstrong in researching thermoregulation in 2010’ either…


A further oddity is that both the blackberry and orange flavours are listed on the Osmo website as being specifically ‘for men’, whilst women get their own mango flavoured variety which are formulated to help ‘avoid premenstrual-related performance decline…’ Fair enough (and seemingly scientifically valid), but we’re sure there’s room for the ‘regular’ formula in most women’s kit bags too.


If you’d rather regulate your hydration strategy with zero calories then something like H2ProHydrate or ZipVit’s ZV0 Electrolyte Drink will serve you better – but if you want a (very quick release) sugar surge thrown in – or want to avoid ‘avoid premenstrual-related performance decline’ – then Osmo Active Hydration clearly ticks the right boxes.


24 sachets of either blackberry or orange Osmo Active Hydration retail at £34.80 (as do the women-specific mango flavour) or all three versions are available in cheaper, but perhaps less convenient, tubs of 400g for £15.99. More confusion again here as the 400g tubs are advertised as being 40 servings, yet a serving is listed as being 20g – so isn’t that just 10 servings?


Further details and online purchase of Osmo Active Hydration at

Books Featured Reviews

Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d'HuezIt might seem madness to dedicate an entire book to a single climb, but when the climb in question is the legendary Alpe d’Huez it all starts to make much more sense.


Sometimes referenced as the Tour de France’s ‘Hollywood climb’ the iconic Alpe d’Huez, which tortures riders through 21 numbered hairpins at an average gradient of 7.8% for a sapping 13.8km, was first introduced in 1952 (conquered by Fausto Coppi) but had to really sit it out until 1976 to become the institution it now is.


Cycling journalist Peter Cossins – author of the equally excellent The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling’s Greatest One-day Races – combines both passion and reverence for the climb, weaving together stories of TdF appearances with tales of the climb’s (and resort’s) developments and occasion scandals. Whilst you might expect such a niche book to appeal wholly to the geekiest of cycling enthusiast Cyclo would argue that the highly accessible prose and sheer joy of the writing could tempt even the most casual Sunday cyclists.


Only a handful of pictures are included – something of a shame, but a limitation of the format – although more than an intimate sense of association with Alpe d’Huez is conjured up regardless. Anyone who has ever watched the TdF riders slug slowly – sometimes not so slowly – up this climb, battling the legendary crowds as much as the mountain, will find inspirational detail here and those who have been brave/fortunate enough to tackle it themselves will be able to relive every last energy-depleting twist and turn.


If any one single climb deserves a book all to itself, it’s the Alpe d’Huez and Cossins is demonstrably the man to tell the tale.


Alpe d’Huez: The Story of Pro Cycling’s Greatest Climb by Peter Cossins is published by Aurum Press, currently available from, amongst other places, Amazon at £12.99 hardback and £12.34 on Kindle.


Further details and all the latest news from Aurum Press can be found on Facebook and Twitter - You can follow Peter Cossins on Twitter too @petercossins

Featured Nutrition Reviews

MuleBar Nosebag

Mulebar NosebagNosebag is the latest nutritional offering from MuleBar; available in two flavour combinations Tamari Nuts with Seeds and Fruit Avalanche they contain no synthetic ingredients, artificial preservatives, colourings, flavourings or palm oil – just real food.


Starting with the Tamari Nuts that offers up 417kcal of energy with 33.1g fat (4.3g saturates) with 12.6g of carb of which 2.3g are sugar. There’s a decent hit of protein too with 14.5g from the combination of pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds and apricot kernels, which are coated in tamari (a variant on soya sauce.) Whilst the fairly generic seed and nut mix are nothing unusual it’s the tamari apricot kernels that set things apart with a delicious tang that lingers in the mouth and has you reaching back for another hit. A more generous ratio of these to the other ingredients would certainly have been a good thing.


On to the Fruit Avalanche: Obviously these are going to deliver far less energy than the nut-packed option but at 207kcal that still tops most gels including, for example, MuleBar’s own Cherry Bomb (112kcal.) Again fairly obviously the protein levels are down on the Tamari Nuts option at 2.9g but so too are fats at 2.2g (0.3g saturates.) The fruits that make up this particular ‘avalanche’ are raisins, apricots, and dried cherries, gooseberries and goji berries. The taste actually left us slightly disappointed – it’s far from bad and there’s a nice sharpness (the gooseberries?), it’s just that MuleBar have set their own bar so high in serving up more left-field options we half expected popping candy or unicorn tears.


The 70g bags allow for several generous handfuls on the ride and whilst it would obviously be cheaper to rustle up your own custom trail-mix there’s both convenience and the knowledge of excellent quality ingredients with Nosebag.


Both varieties of Nosebag retail at £19.60 for eight packets or £35 for 16 packets. Further details and online purchase at


More reviews of MuleBar products here.

Featured Reviews Tech

Garmin Edge 510

Garmin Edge 510Simplicity in a box is really what we have come to expect from Garmin and the Edge 510 delivers just that. Sitting mid-offering in the Garmin bike computer range the 510 offers a well judged mix of features without overcomplicating things.
Set up of new tech can be a daunting prospect but the Edge 510 makes light of things – a quick charge, enter a couple of data fields and select preferences via the 4.4 x 3.5cm touchscreen and you’re good to go. Hooking to satellite connection took less than 40seconds, even on first contact, and remained strong through both built-up areas and wooded trail.
Attaching it to the bike as just as painless; the Edge 510 ships with a standard twist mount that fits to the bars via a baseplate and elasticated straps – there has always been a tendency for these fittings to ping off in dramatic style in the event of a spill so extra security comes in the form of a short lanyard (it’s a good idea to slip a couple of extra bands in the jersey pocket too – a handful ship in the box.) An optional ‘out-front’ mount is yours for £30.
The Edge 510 lacks the basemaps and the ability to add maps that is a feature of the higher end 810 and 1000 models, but then those will set you back an additional £70 or £80. In all other respects the Edge 510 delivers – ‘simplicity in a box’ it may be, but lacking in functionality it is not. All the to-be-expected metrics are here – time, distance, speed, ascent/descent, etc. – plus some nice surprises such as temperature (so often a factor in performance when it comes to post-race analysis.) Connect to the Apple or Android app and you can pick up a host of extra meteorological info too – or get social and ‘live share’ your rides with the lucky few via social media or the tracking pages on the Garmin Connect site. The mobile apps also allow for wireless uploads of completed activities to the Connect pages once your race or training session is over.
Training or race data can either be viewed directly on the Garmin Connect Mobile App or, once uploaded wirelessly from phone to the free Garmin Connect account, online. New courses and those previously ridden can be download back from the Connect site to the 510, so you can always revisit rides that went well or retest yourself on those that didn’t.
The ANT+ Sensor allows connection to a range of additional options – everything from compatible scales to heart rate monitors and more – so those that really like to chew over the numbers will have plenty to get their teeth into.
At £249.99 the Garmin Edge 510 isn’t cheap but does offer an impressive range of functionality; using it at a basic level, when that’s all that is required, is wonderfully simple and getting to grips with its deeper workings takes little time to master when you want to dig deeper and train harder.
The 510 is also available at £299.99 as a Performance Bundle including a speed/cadence sensor and heart rate monitor.
Further details at, online purchase at, amongst other places,

Featured Nutrition Reviews


CocopureCoconut water is an excellent and natural isotonic drink and Cocopure from gonutrition sets out to deliver all of the goodness in a more convenient form than slicing the top off a coconut and sticking in a straw.


Shipped in a 250g quantity – enough for 35 servings – Cocopure contains 100% powdered coconut water that is rich in electrolytes, the ‘body salts’ sweated away during exercise. Because the levels of electrolytes, particularly potassium and sodium, are approximately in proportion to those of the body Cocopure is naturally isotonic meaning it quickly (but not too rapidly) rehydrates the body. Coconut water – and therefore Cocopure – also contains natural calcium and vitamin C along with a health amount of sugars (around 2.6g per serving) to help refuel post-ride.


7g of Cocopure needs to be added to 100ml of water to optimum delivery although we personally found a little extra water, closer to 120ml, provided a slightly less intense and more palatable flavour. The taste is certainly authentic – as you would expect from 100% coconut water powder – and although it mixes thoroughly, it does have a tendency to settle if left in the bottle too long.


A single serving of Cocopure delivers 10% RDA of potassium and 30mg of sodium, which (at a conversion of x 2.5) equates to 75mg of salt of the recommended daily 6g. Of course adding a little more or less water will transform the drink from isotonic to either hypotonic or hypertonic depending on your requirements.


If you want to add some additional fruit sugars post-workout we found that Cocopure mixed well at a 50:50 ration with natural pineapple juice for a recovery drink that tasted good enough to stick a cocktail umbrella in.


Cocopure might seems a step further away from ‘authentic’ products like market leader Vita Coco, but it still delivers a 100% pure product just with a dash more convenience. Our only real criticism is that the 250g quantity ships in an enormous (and enormously wasteful) pack easily big enough to accommodate a kilo that slightly undermines the ‘take anywhere’ credentials.


Cocopure retails at £16.99 for a 250g pack or £28.99 for 500g, and represents good value at 41-49p per 100ml serving. By way of comparison Vita Coco is approximately 50p per 100ml (depending on the quantity in which you buy it) whilst alternatives like UFC Refresh can be had for as little as 24p per 100ml. But did we mention that Cocopure comes with added convenience?


Cocopure is available to buy online at

Featured Nutrition Reviews

33Shake Endurance Shakes

33Shake33Shake are really talking up a storm – we’ve heard about ‘revolutions’ in sports nutrition so many times over the years that there’s now something of an immunity to the rhetoric; but given the incredible press that 33Shake are generating perhaps this is a brand that really mean what they say.


As relative newcomers to the market and describing themselves the ‘sports nutrition underground’ their stance is certainly combative with claims that the sports ‘no-trition industry’ simply: ‘Take a ton of cheap manmade sugars, blend with a negligible amount of the cheapest active product at the lowest concentrations possible, then pack with whatever junk additives and preservatives are needed to keep costs down and shelf life up…’ Fighting talk, so what do 33Shake do differently?


Pretty much everything it would seem. By spending money only where it matters – so in part allowing good word of mouth to spread the word – 33Shake are able to spend 17,000% more than industry norms on ingredients. Depending where your priorities lay this is noticeable in two key areas: the quality of what you’re putting into your body is second-to-none and the taste is exceptional.


The flavour across all three varieties of the Endurance Shake (Original, Mocha, Cacao) is strong – not overpowering – but certainly robust with layers of flavour coming through like little, alternating ripples. This is a homemade taste – absolutely what the makers were going for – that makes you appreciate the quality and realise how artificial so many inferior products are by comparison.


The 55g sachets can be mixed to taste with a recommended 200ml of either milk, water or coconut milk by blending for a full minute to help break down the naturally chunky mix. We tested all three methods but found that milk (actually soya milk) worked best, with water our least favourite and coconut milk, whilst adding plenty of benefit in its own right, dominating the flavour rather too much.


In terms of nutrition, as that’s really where things stand or fall, 33Shake delivers impressively. The headline figures show (per 100g) 521Kcal of energy, 11g protein, 38g of carb – of which 14g are sugars – 27g of fat (9g of which are saturates) and 13g of fibre. We say here ‘headline figures’ because to really understand the benefits – and substantial differences to other products – the 33Shake website really deserves to be explored in full.


The 33Shake Endurance Shake isn’t cheap at £6.99 a go, but when you consider exactly what you’re getting for your money it stacks up well in our opinion. And ask yourself this: what price am I willing to pay for the nutrition I fuel my sport with?


The 33Shake All-in-one Endurance Shakes are also available in a ten x shake Value Pack bringing the per-shake price down to £6.49 and a 30 x shake Lifestyle Pack (£5.99 per shake). Further details and online purchase as

Apparel Reviews

Peloton Jersey

Peloton JerseyWe love it when people take matters into their own hands and that’s exactly what the founders of Peloton did when they couldn’t find anything on the market that fitted their desired cycling jersey criteria of ‘practical and classically stylish.’


Creating their own range – currently with four colour-way designs for men and one for women – using 100% BioActive Polyester Coolmax fabric, which works hard at wicking away the sweat of the ride, the results are highly pleasing.


The fit is slim and snug but the fabric moves freely and doesn’t restrict movement in the least, and the flat-lock seams add to the overall comfort. The high collar is an unusual design feature, more at home on a casual tee but actually, it could be argued, adding to protection from the sun and certainly helping with the general aesthetics that set this range apart from the pack.


The zip runs full length, so plenty of bare-chested (for the men?) opportunities if the weather really demands but if we were being picky a ‘zipper garage’ at the top would really improve comfort, especially as these jerseys zip all the way to the top of the tall collar and there’s a tendency to feel it dig in here. Cuffs and waist are elasticated, with the latter featuring rubberised hem to stop the jersey from sliding up.


The standout feature for us – beyond the rather natty design/colours – is the pocket configuration at the back. There are two really generous volume mesh pockets for gels, bars and the like, plus a further two large zipped pockets sitting over the back of those for keys, phones and other valuables. It’s a lot of storage and we were pleased to find that, even when packed to the max, the Peloton jersey remained exceptionally comfortable.


Despite the zip quality not being quite there yet, Peloton have done a really credible job of bringing to market a product that combines style with substance.


The Peloton jerseys retail at £64.99 just about the mark we would expect for the more bespoke look and feel of apparel of this quality. Further details and online purchase at