Featured Features

Cycling Christmas Presents 2013

Time then to fill your Christmas stocking with all things two-wheel themed and with Cyclo’s guide to Cycling Christmas Presents 2013 we think we’ve included something for everyone – even for those who think they already have everything…


Andy ScullionAndy Scullion Prints


Andy Scullion is a graphic designer who graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2009 with a degree in product design – he combines his passion for cycling (his current bike is a Specialized Allez, since you ask) with a talent for creating beautiful bike-related products. Amongst his numerous print works our favourite is simply entitled ‘Bikes’ and features over 100 miniature masterpieces of two-wheeled wonders. Handmade and available in a variety of sizes (A2, A3, A4) and with prices starting at around £13.50 there’s plenty for all budgets and there’s nothing that says ‘I love bikes’ like hanging some pictures around the house, right? You can contact Andy and view and purchase his work at



Andy ScullionTour de France T-Shirt


Also on offer from Andy (we featured his Ts extensively during this year’s TdF) is this pretty stylish Tour de France non-technical T-Shirt. A great piece of graphic design that will either remind you of this year’s stunning event or set you up nicely in anticipation of the 2014 Grand Départ. Handmade to order and available in S, M, L, XL and XXL at £15 the TdF T-shirt is just one of a dozen designs, which also include a version of the ‘Bikes’ print featured above and several Brompton-based ones for lovers of the classic folding bike. Again, you can contact Andy and view and purchase his work at



seventyfour degreesSignature Series T-Shirts


On the subject of both non-tech T-shirts and the Tour de France, Cyclo has also enjoyed the Signature Series Ts from 74°. Made using soft, comfortable 100% fairtrade organic heavyweight cotton jersey with seamless set-in rib knit collar and taped shoulder and neck for comfort, these Ts are available in a range of designs each featuring a classic TdF climb – Col du Galibier, Alpe d’Huez, Mont Ventoux, etc. – with a stylised representation and associated quote for each. Not only do they look and feel good, they have that slight ‘I know what I’m talking about’ quality that serious bike and Grand Tour aficionados will revel in.  Available in S, M, L, XL and XXL at £20, details and online purchase at



swiss sideSwiss Side Carbon Cage & QR Skewers


Swiss Side only fired up back in 2011 but their mission to produce quality additions that compliment their growing wheel options whilst helping to minimise weight has already impressed. As founder Jean-Paul Ballard puts it: ‘Reducing weight is always important on a road bike as less weight ultimately means more power to the ground… We’ve chosen titanium and carbon fibre materials to achieve the lightest possible weight.’ Their ultra-light titanium & carbon fibre quick release skewers weigh in at just 43g, whilst their carbon bottle cage is just 26g – both well worth considering for the cyclist that really likes to tot up the overall weight.  £36.50 for the QR skewers and £28 for the cage – further details at





Is this taking weight-saving too far? Maybe, but for carbon fetishists out there Tidds are dinky little silicone plugs that replace standard metal bottle cage bolts, shaving a reported 90% of the weight in the process. Coming in at just 0.5g for a pair (£3.99), you just lube them and push and twist to fit. Even if you don’t think the minimalist weight alone is worth it, they do clean up the line and look of te bike (choose from black, white or pink) and next time someone is boasting about their carbon creature you can nod wisely and say, ‘yes, but do you have Tidds?’ A nice stocking-filler for the cyclist that really, really does have everything (else). More at



Ultimate Bike SolutionUltimate Bike Solution


Okay, this is definitely not the sexiest Christmas present you could buy someone; so perhaps just treat yourself. We love anything that makes our life easier so the one-stop Ultimate Bike Solution really appealed – it’s basically an all-in-one oil/lube/protector/degreaser/cleaner. Wash down the bike after use, spray all over with Ultimate Bike Solution (being careful not to spray brake pads or discs) and you get a shiny bike that’s lubed and ready to go next time you are. Ultimate Bike Solution retails at £9.99 with further details at and online purchase at



Mountain HigherMountain Higher


Cyclo’s favourite book of the year is (probably) Domestique by Charly Wegelius but if your looking for a present to inspire the cyclist in your life – or get them to go on holiday without you – we would highly recommend Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs by Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding. Covering the continent’s lesser-known, but still challenging and spectacular mountain roads and passes, this is a sumptuous large-format book (no cycling jersey pocket potential unfortunately) that gives both lucid and narrative accounts of each detailed climb along with all the stats and stunning photographs to boot. Want more? The free QuercusEye app allows you to hover over a selection of the photos and have them augmented with video and additional detail. Published by Quercus and with an RRP of £25.00 – Available from, amongst others,



Looking for more cycling books? See Cyclo’s guide to the Best Cycling Books 2013 here.


wheel writerFuze Wheel Writer


Excellent side-on visibility, arguably for kids (or the big kids in all of us), comes in the form of the Fuze Wheel Writer. It looks initially daunting when it comes to fitting the individual parts to the bike’s spokes, but is far easier than we first feared. Once in place and switched on the Wheel Writer’s ultra-bright LEDs can be set to display a range of images and animations as the wheel spins – aliens, skulls, flames, an old-fashioned ‘space invader’… There’s even an option to display the bike’s speed if you’re really looking to impress. It’s not the most robust or weather-proof piece of kit, but might just provide the fun needed to encourage reluctant children to take cycling safety into consideration. Helps make cycling fun too (but of course it already is…) RRP £19.99 and widely available online. Including from Argos.



egg helmetsEGG Helmet

Also for the younger cyclist and definitely the cutest product we’ve see this year is the EGG helmet. 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. The basic EGG helmet costs £59.95 with skins and adornments ranging upwards of £7.95 – available from John Lewis.


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 Reviews

Angel Cycle Helmet

Bicygnal Angel Safety Light HelmetIf you’re looking for additional cycle safety during the darker winter months, or indeed just looking to up your visibility in general, then the Angel cycle helmet from Bicygnals offers an interesting solution. Fundamentally a regular cycle helmet in appearance (although with rather sleek ‘designy’ affectations), the Angel has an integrated band of fibre optic light, which illuminates around the full circumference at the push of a button.


Created by Gavin Thomson, who has produced designs for companies ranging from BA and Samsung to MontBlanc and BT, the Angel certainly looks the part – combining matte black elements with a print-textured polycarbonate shell upper that’s clearly intended to give that carbon-look edge to proceedings. The illuminated yellow band – which creates the angelic halo effect, giving the helmet both its unique selling point and name – is powered by a battery recharged via a supplied USB cable; the light is by far the brightest to the rear, diminishing substantially to the front of the helmet. A nice inclusion though is the ability to use the band in either solid or flashing mode.


As you might suspect the Angel is not the lightest (no pun intended) of affairs, weighing in at a bulky 535g – around double the weight of an average road helmet – but then this is hardly the lid of choice for those looking for speed or aerodynamics; as a straight commuter option the trade off between weight and additional safety may well be worth considering.


Despite the weight, a fairly basic internal cradle and minimal padding the Angel is surprisingly comfortable for day-to-day use, the universal sizing (54-61cm) can be ratcheted up and down with a simple dial-wheel and the strap adjusts easily and incorporates a detachable beard-guard/chin pad. The venting is bare-minimal (which is telling in the weight department) but adequate enough for the intended commute rather than sportive use.


Easy to dismiss as a novelty item, the Angel is in fact a useful safety addition to the commuters’ arsenal. Priced at £49.95, further details and online purchase via


Extras Reviews

Abus Airflow

Is it really possible to pick up a decent bike helmet for under £30? There was certainly a time when spending this kind of money would have involved a trip to a discount bike-shop for a bundle of  ugly bulk and utilitarian polystyrene, but the Abus Airflow has certainly proven Cyclo’s expectations wrong serving up a helmet that’s not just great for the money, but quite simply… great.


The Airflow is sleek and attractive without being (or looking) over engineered and weighing in at 287g stacks up well against helmets at nearly double the price. The lack of bulk naturally adds to comfort but this is helped along by the inner rubberised cradle which, whilst hardly a thing of beauty (who cares, it’s out of sight), sits incredibly easily during the ride giving the slight feeling of a free-floating lid. The ‘Zoomlite’ ratchet dial is the simple one-stop shop for tightening and loosening everything which may not give the endless adjustment permutations of top of the line helmets but is quick, reliable and lacks fuss and nonsense.


14 air vents keep things cool and with the front three offering protection with an integrated bug mesh you should end your ride with fly-free hair (or at least as fly-free as you started.) The Airflow comes in two sizes: S-M (52-58cm) and  M-L (58-62cm), and in a choice of three colours (blue/white, red/white and black) all with reflective detailing.


At £29.99 the Airflow is a downright bargain and an excellent all-round choice that delivers on comfort, weight and adjustability fronts too.


Further details and to find a local retail see


Featured News

Light Headed

Dutch designer Wouter Walmink had never even considered wearing, let alone designing, a helmet in the cycle-centric Netherlands; but a move to the busier streets of Melbourne, Australia changed all that. As a researcher at RMIT University, Walmink began to experiment with helmets fitted with LEDs and the result is the prototype LumaHelm fitted with over 100 tiny lights, the flow and pattern of which can be controlled by built-in gyroscopic sensors. Extending the applications the helmet has already been tested to become a visual representation of the wearer’s heart rate, which the designer hopes might help to remind car drivers and other road users that beneath the device sits a flesh and bones rider. Perhaps more practically a tilt to the left or right acts as an indicator, whilst a gentle backwards tip becomes an effective break light. Cyclo is keen to see where this might go and we always love it when a thing of perfect function is wrapped up in such beauty and originality. Please send us one Wouter…



Swedish Inflation

Swedish design company Hövding have developed something of a unique solution to cycling safety with the launch of their airbag helmet designed to deploy in case of collision. International studies, say the company, show that bicycle helmets reduce injuries by at least 60%. 40% of people who die in bicycling accidents would have survived if they had been wearing a helmet. Worn around the neck, the device which looks like a collar, contains a folded airbag made from an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won’t rip when scraped against asphalt. Using sensors – a combination of accelerometers and gyros – the device detects a fall or impact and uses a tiny cold gas inflator to inflate the hood in 0.1 seconds completely encasing the sides, back and top of the head. The system also contains a unique ‘black box’ which records a rolling 10 seconds of data which can be analysed following an accident. Being Swedish there’s a fashion element too – the visible shell which covers the collar can be interchanged to match your cycling outfit…


Further information at



Extras Reviews

Giro Aeon

The Giro Aeon (which Cyclo understands is pronounced ‘a-on’, so now you know) is an exceptional piece of pro engineering that combines exceptional weight saving with masses of ventilation. Granted this isn’t the time of year in the UK to be terribly concerned with over-heating heads, but at £179.99 you could start saving now and sport one come the hotter months.


So what exactly do you get for the best part of £180? For a start the Aeon is light, and we mean really light – coming in at 189g for the small and a smidge heavier (222g) for the medium. Part of this weight saving seems to come from the new ‘Thermoformed SL Roll Cage’, which is reportedly 50% lighter than cages used on the Ionos predecessor, more of course comes from the sheer amount of venting. The vents (or the helmet depending which way you look at it) splits in a zigzag form from the brow and are fully channelled to effectively drive breeze through.


Comfort and fit are absolutely outstanding, with everything locked down by the flexible ‘Roc Loc 5’ system that adjusts instantly and easily, but stays rock (roc?) solid once set up. Padding is more than adequate and doesn’t take anything away from the hard work that the venting does. There is – Cyclo thinks – something slightly aggressive (or perhaps just competitive) about the styling with its angular juts, but on the plus side it is available in a good range of colours including a black/charcoal combo which adds a ‘stealth element’ (though perhaps not a safety element.)


Granted, this is not a cheap helmet, but it is built without compromise and performs at exceptional levels. 


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.