Featured Recovery Reviews

Rock Rub

Rock RubRock Rub is a rather odd thing, but like many odd things we’ve sort of fallen in love with it.


The basics: Rock Rub is either a massage wax or a callus-busting moisturiser for your hands or possibly both. If you looked at the strap-line on the jar – ‘Go stronger, for longer’ – you might get a third, more Fifty Shades, impression. The confusion comes in depending on whether you check out the wax on the US website or its UK counterpart; in the US, Rock Rub is predominantly sold on the basis on its hand-moisturising strengths whereas in the UK it would appear we’re not quite ready to admit that rough hands are something that need dealing with. Weird, but there you go and in fact Rock Rub is pretty damn good all round.


The reason why Rock Rub works well as both a moisturiser and a massage aid is down to the ingredients of course. Beeswax (Australian beeswax to be specific, although we don’t know if that’s significant) forms the base along with canola oil, to which is added vitamin E, patchouli, lavender and the mysterious sounding ylang-ylang. It’s really the latter – along with the vitamin E benefits – that make Rock Rub so good for the skin, whilst the beeswax, with it’s slightly ‘tacky’ qualities that make it so well balanced for massage, particularly myofascial release.


Whilst we had feared that patchouli and lavender would be an overpowering combination, the smell is actually subtle and, most importantly for massage, the consistency remains constant during treatment and a little goes a surprisingly long way.


So whether you’re looking to soften those cycling hands or just get some much-needed massage in before that next long ride, Rock Rub pretty much hits the spot. We’re glad to have cleared up any confusion…


Rock Rub is available in 50g pots at £6.72 or 400g pots at a really reasonable £14.99. Further details at

Extras Featured Recovery Reviews

Hot Ginger Muscle Soak

Hot Ginger Muscle SoakHaving launched with Hot Ginger Muscle Rub and Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz, both very good, Natural Hero added Hot Ginger Muscle Soak to their offering. Never wanting to pass up a hot bath in the name of work, Cyclo took the plunge.


Whilst both the Hot Ginger Muscle Rub and Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz boast 98% and 99% natural ingredients respectively the Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Soak goes the full distance with 100% credentials. This means there are no parabens or added sodium laureth sulphate (both cosmetic and toiletry staples) to worry about. What the soak does contain is a blend of premium grade ginger root, rosemary, and sweet fennel essential oils that soak tired muscles; the ginger also adds a glowing warmth to proceedings. A dash of sweet almond and starflower essential oils, both of which nourish and condition the skin, are excellent addition when you consider the damage that the elements do to the exposed expanses of the average cyclist.


Look, we’re not necessarily suggesting you light some candles and put on a little Katie Melua, but a recuperative soak after a tough race or training session makes good sense as part of the recovery process and Natural Hero’s Hot Ginger Muscle Soak ticks plenty of boxes.


Hot Ginger Muscle Soak comes in packs of six 18ml bottles, each good for one soaking. Available online from, amongst others,

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


CEP Extend Range

CEP CompressionCEP has announced that both new products and colour ranges are being added to their signature compression collection including the CEP Ultralight socks and calf sleeves, and the CEP No Show socks. The news comes following record sales of CEP products at the Virgin Money London Marathon.


The Ultralight socks and calf sleeves are designed for athletes seeking ‘marginal gains and ultimate performance’ and are made using a material that is 25% lighter and more breathable than other items in the range, whilst the No Show socks sit snugly just below the trainer line and feature extra-flat toe seams and additional heel padding. In terms of new colours, which feature across their calf sleeves, short socks and run socks, CEP are adding Hawaii blue, purple blue, and black – mixed with green for men and with pink for women.


Commenting on the new lines Matt Davey, Brand Manager of CEP UK and Ireland says: ‘This is an incredibly exciting year for CEP, and these new product developments are simply the start of a jam-packed season for us. We look forward to sharing more with everyone in the next few months, as the brand continues to go from strength to strength.’


Further details of the new range and existing CEP products at and, for social media, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Featured Recovery Reviews

Overdrive Sox

Overdrive SoxOverdrive Sox from 110% offer an innovative way of getting things started with Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – often known simply as RICE – the tried and tested regime for speeding recovery post-exercise.


In essence the Overdrive Sox are a two part-system consisting of a performance compression sock, which can be worn for training and an additional over-sock ‘ice sleeve’ for use during recovery or rehabilitation. The main compression sock is a long, calf-length affair, which incorporates graduated compression (tighter to less constrictive from bottom to top) designed to increase blood-flow during exercise and help ‘flush’ lactic acid. Whilst lactic acid, a by-product of strenuous exercise, was once considered detrimental the jury is now a rather more out on the subject, but helping rid the muscles of the lower legs of it certainly can’t hurt.


The sock is comfortable with a fairly generous toe box, good squeeze and support through the arch and enough elasticity (15% spandex to 85% nylon) to move freely yet still deliver the compression. The sock is relatively thick, adequate for colder – but possibly not mid-winter – rides, and with decent wicking. The bulk may make it impractical for use with certain cycling shoes, but MTBers might find great flexibility here.


The unique selling point for the Overdrive Sox though is the recovery and here things get a bit fiddly…


Overdrive SoxThe whole kit comes in an over-sized padded thermal bag that looks fit to ship transplant organs. Inside, in addition to the compression socks, are a range of pads, which can be trimmed to shape and size, and the ‘ice sleeve’ that houses them. Before use the pads need to sprayed with or soaked in warm water until they expand to around ½ inch, then wiped dry and popped into the freezer to set. Once done the ‘ice sleeves’, which have a higher 30% spandex mix, slip on over the compression socks and the frozen pads can be inserted into various pockets to treat whatever needs the healing touch – plantar fascia, Achilles, calf, etc. ‘This is not rocket science’ say the instructions; granted but a little time-consuming, which means you may more readily grab a bag of frozen peas.


Despite the time-drain or degree of pre-planning needed the Overdrive Sox do work incredibly well, yes they feel rather over-engineered but the results are a credible speeding up of recovery and relief from post-training aching muscles.


Overdrive Sox are available in four sizes – S to XL – retailing at £58.50 from


2XU Launch #HeartNotHype

#HeartNotHypeCompression apparel specialists 2XU have launched its first international brand campaign #HeartNotHype.


The new campaign is designed to highlight how compression supports the heart. By heightening circulation and venous blood flow to the heart, compression garments, say 2XU, ‘enable athletes to train smarter, perform stronger and recover faster.’ The campaign launched on February 24, includes the Heart film featuring elite athletes training across multiple sports – see the video below…


2XU Co-Founder and Sales & Marketing Director, Aidan Clarke comments: ‘Heart Not Hype is the first truly global brand campaign we have embarked on, and provides us with the opportunity to connect with new and existing consumers on an emotional and functional level, driving relevance and bonding. This powerful, innovative campaign demonstrates our position as leader in compression apparel, supporting the key driver of human performance – the heart.’


2XU are also offering the chance to win a place at the ultimate performance training camp in California – details and entry here.


To learn more about the #HeartNotHype campaign see


Extras Featured Reviews

Hot Ginger Muscle Rub

Hot Ginger Muscle RubFor quite some time QM Sports Care QM2 Hot Embrocation has been Cyclo’s default muscle rub – a ridiculously complex name, but we’ve always found it hits the spot when it comes to aching legs and exhausted muscles. Enter though Hot Ginger Muscle Rub from relative new kids Natural Hero – a ‘superpowered’ recovery product boasting 98% natural ingredients, which, coming from the makers of the excellent Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz (review here), we felt compelled to put to the test.


Hot Ginger Muscle Rub boasts a range or natural ingredients including ginger root oil (obviously), fennel – a ‘vasorelaxant’, which aids absorption, rosemary leaf oil, which apparently just smells nice, and borage seed oil (starflower), which is a rich source of essential fatty acids to aid muscle repair. To each their own on the perceived efficacy of any of these ingredients, but what we can say for sure is two things: the sensation of heat is extremely mild and it’s absorption rate was middling. If you’ll forgive the excess of detail, our testers overly hairy legs still looked like a matted spaniel even after many minutes of vigorous massaging.


If you are wondering about the 2% synthetic ingredients they are benzyl alcohol and the emulsifier sodium stearoyl glutamate – nothing in the least to worry about, but curious that Natural Hero didn’t got the whole hog on the natural front…


Okay, so QM still retains the title as far as Cyclo is concerned (despite being ridiculously difficult to source) but Hot Ginger Muscle Rub is a great alternative for those looking for a less ‘sciency’ or industrial approach to rubbing away those post-ride aches and pains. Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Rub retails at £9.99 (100ml) with details and online purchase at