Extras Recovery Reviews

Elete Water

If you’re interested in good hydration on your ride (if not, why not? Drink up) and you have a sensible aversion to stuffing your body full of unnatural goo, then Elete Water could be just the product for you.


Sourced from the evaporation of the mineral-rich water in the Great Salt Lake in Utah and processed on its shores in an environmentally protected area, Elete is an electrolyte mix that can be added to water (or squash, juice, etc) without any noticeable “salty” taste and which provides replacement minerals – magnesium, potassium, chloride and sodium – in ionically charged form to those lost through strenuous exercise. In addition to the medically-proven fact that stabilising your salt losses from sweat benefits endurance and helps in maximising your performance, there is also anecdotal evidence that using Elete can reduce your overall quantity of liquid intake which in turn helps avoid the danger of hyper-hydration (known as “water intoxication”).


From a rider’s point of view, and aside from the natural credentials, there are two other benefits to Elete that Cyclo really rates: Firstly it comes in a tiny 25ml ‘dripper bottle’ which, despite its minuscule size, can be used to make up to 10litres of electrolyte-rich drink. Secondly at around £6.50 per bottle that equates to just 30p for a 500ml drink. Larger bottles are available in 120, 240, 480ml sizes that can be used either to make up drinks pre-ride or to refill the “dripper bottle” (it has a nifty pop-off top) with economy of scale on these larger bottles bringing the price of 500ml of refreshment down to just 8p. We love a bargain at Cyclo.


Available from


Extras Reviews

dhb VS Madison Vision

dhb and Madison glassesCow poo, gel wrappers and bees. Just some of the things that haven’t hit me in the eye recently. A pair of shades isn’t just for looking good (though it helps) but as they say that the eyes are the windows of the soul I’d rather not get stuff all over my windows thank you. Yet sunglasses – just like umbrellas – are something you never fully own, they’re just on loan to you until you leave them on a fence/train/pub table. For this reason Cyclo has been looking at two similarly priced and styled sets of budget glasses.


The dhb Triple Lens are certainly not the most technical accessory in the world but they are tough, well appointed and light on the face. The three interchangeable lenses – grey for bright sun, blue for enhanced contrast conditions and clear for when you want them to act purely as a windscreen – repel sweat/rain well and are, naturally 100% UVA and UVB absorbent. Switching one lens for another is tricky (certainly not something we’d relish doing mid-ride) and puts the kind of strain on the frame that seems likely to be the way of their final destruction. In comparison the Madison Vision d’Arcs Triples ship with three lenses (dark for sun, yellow for low-level, clear for windscreen mode) that are much easier to clip in place but we found a far greater level of image distortion here which hinted at the budget nature of the optics. Both the dhb and Madisons, which have straighter arms, fitted well and stayed put and both had good wrap-round protection – in Cyclo’s opinion the Madisons were more inclined to pinch slightly above the ear but this is, of course, open to individual experience.


Naturally try before you buy but for our money the dhb have the slight edge over the Madisons.  At around £25 for the dhbs and £30 for the Madisons clearly neither are in the league of the upper reaches of, say, Oakley but they do the job well enough and are less likely to provoke tears when you leave them in a pub garden.



Extras Featured Reviews

Giro Prolight

Giro Prolight reviewHere at Cyclo we have gone through a ridiculous number of helmets, not because we’re especially careless (honest), but because we love new kit and can’t resist. Now the Giro Prolight has become our brain-protector du jour and we have to say we’re quietly impressed. Giro have been producing quality products for more than a quarter-century – Lance Armstrong amongst others is a fan – and the Prolight, the makers claim, ‘Redefines a new generation of ultra lightweight helmets’; at a ludicrously feathery 175 grams (for the medium) that’s probably hard to argue with. Combining Italian-made webbing with Giro’s bespoke Roc Loc SL self-adjusting system, which replaces traditional plastic cradle affairs with an elastic arrangement that interlocks with the webbing, the Prolight sports no less than 25 vents to direct cool air in and actively drive hot air out.


At first glance things look a little flimsy but put your faith in the lid and remember, however light, the Prolight has had to leap through the same rigorous safety hoops as a helmet with twice the bulk and weight. In our experience the fit and feel has been fantastic and even those little (mostly unnecessary) micro-adjustments on the fly haven’t proven tricky with everything staying just where we wanted it even on our longest jaunts.


So, negatives? Well at the best part of £150 the Prolight certainly isn’t a cheap choice and if you’re looking for weight alone as a factor you could opt for the Limar Pro104 Ultralight which slips in at just 5g heavier and a good £20 saving over the Prolight. Having said that, Cyclo would argue that the Ultralight is the less comfortable choice and when it comes to looks (both your own and those jealous ones you’re likely to be on the receiving end of) the Giro Prolight wins hands down.


Available in four colour options: Black/Carbon, Blue/Black, Red/Black, White/Silver.


Nutrition Reviews

Shot Bloks

Shot Bloks reviewOkay hands up anyone who actually likes the taste of sports gels? Anyone? Anyone? Quite so, and with only the odd exception (we quite like the taste of High5 Berry Flavoured IsoGels) Cyclo agrees. So imagine our delight when we tried out Shot Bloks from the ever-reliable Clif Bar makers, which are available in three pretty palatable flavours – Mountain Berry, Orange and Strawberry. Okay, so we’re not suggesting serving these up as canapés pre-dinner, but they are (particularly the Mountain Berry) jolly good. Quelle surprise!


Taste, of course isn’t everything so how else do Shot Bloks stack up? For a start the thing that sets them apart is that they are a semi-solid chewable source of electrolytes and carbohydrates (50/50 mix of simple and complex) with each pack containing 6 little blocks (bloks?) each delivering approximately 8 grams of carbs meaning that for their weight and pack size they total around double the values of a traditional single gel pack. The other advantage – besides being far less messy than liquid gels – is that, if you so wish, you can simply nibble a little cube every 10 or 15 minutes to drip-feed your bodies needs rather than necking a gut-load every 30minutes to an hour.


As with all Clif products there is nothing artificial in terms of flavours or sweeteners on offer here and they use a combination of natural Carnauba wax and pectin (a fruit extract) rather than gelatine making them suitable for consumption by vegetarians. The wax/pectin has one other slightly surprising advantage: there is a noticeable consistency in texture across a really wide range of temperatures, we’ve even used them in daytime temperatures topping out at 45°c and they’ve still held their own. If you’re looking a little extra boost the Orange flavour also packs in 25mg of caffeine per pack, but we have to say this was our least favourite, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.


RRP around £2 with more information at:

Extras Reviews

Crank Brothers 19 Function Multi Tool

We love shiny, pretty things at Cyclo and the Crank Brothers 19 Function Multi Tool is oh-so shiny and pretty – the kind of gadget you’d expect to win design awards or to have been invented by HR Giger if Alien needed to fix a bike on the run. But is it all style over substance?


Crank Brothers 19 Function Multi Tool

A little yes, a little no. It certainly punches well for its not inconsiderable weight (175g without the “flask” casing – more on that below), feeling reassuringly chunky rather than bloated or weighty and serving up two open, four spoke and seven hex wrenches, plus 8,9 and 10 speed compatible chain tools, one flat and two phillips-head drivers. The tools are all high-tensile steel, with the frame made from weight-saving aluminium and the carry “flask” that it can be packed in to is a polymer with steel logo. In actual fact the “flask” is something of a weak point and rather redundant; at Cyclo we have pretty much discarded it in favour of a little stuff-sack containing all our other on-the-fly bits and bobs.


Also on the down-side our 19 is showing a few rust-spots in places and the fold-outs have a tendency to loosen over time, requiring the occasional back-home maintenance if you want to avoid “floppy tool syndrome” (and who doesn’t!) No tyre levers and with a RRP of £25.00 it’s not the cheapest option out there. But if all this sounds like grumbling, let’s redress the balance a little: the Crank Brothers 19 Function Multi Tool has an almost perfect feel to it, carries a lifetime warranty, performs it intended functions peerlessly – still no sign of any “rounding” on the hex tools after prolonged use – and is (have we mentioned this already?) truly a thing of beauty…


The mad 11th hour scramble to craft the Team Leopard-Trek image

Leopard-Trek whatnot

The Leopard-Trek team was officially presented to the world in grand fashion on January 6th and to casual observers, everything was in place just as it needed to be. In addition to the riders themselves, team officials also unveiled their tasteful-looking black, white, and sky blue road and time trial bikes plus the similarly elegant kits they would be wearing in competition starting with the Tour Down Under later this month.

The fact that the team will have such a polished appearance is impressive on its own but what’s even more astounding is that it happened at all given the incredibly accelerated timeline on which team backers had to operate. According to Trek road brand manager Nick Howe, even Trek – the team’s co-title sponsor and main equipment supplier – wasn’t made aware of the final team name until mid-December.
As a result, Trek – along with clothing sponsor Craft – not only had to finalise the design for the bikes, kits and helmets but also build, paint, and deliver those items in less than 10 days along with all of the marketing collateral and essentially much of the image and identity of the team itself.

A more typical timeline is closer to 30-45 days just for the design work.


cycling from Lina Jelanski on Vimeo.

“It’s not just a kit or helmet design,” said Howe. “It’s the helmet, it’s the bike, it’s the website, it’s the video, it’s the identity on our web site, it’s building that page, it’s putting together a marketing campaign that tells as many people as we can, ‘this is what we’ve done’, and gets the message out – that work almost supersedes the bike design. It’s an amazing amount of work and a really large amount of people killing themselves to do it.”

Compounding the issue was the number of framesets the company had to deliver by the first team camp: around 100 in total, according to Trek road product manager Tyler Pilger, with every frameset requiring around 10 hours of labour to prep and paint on top of actual manufacturing time. And that’s just road framesets – time trial bikes aren’t even counted there and both numbers will only grow as the season progresses.

Each of the nearly 30 riders on the roster will have a race road bike, a home road bike, and a race time trial bike. Plus many riders will have a spare of each – or even multiple spares – and then there are even additional framesets that are kept in reserve.


Rapha Continental | Vail to Vail from RAPHA on Vimeo.