Reviews

Leatherman Squirt Review

The Leatherman Squirt is a truly pocket-sized multitool weighing only about 60g. It can be worn on a keyring but has pliers, blade, scissors, file, wire-cutters, bottle-opener, flat-head and cross-head screwdrivers. You might wonder if something so small can really be usable. The answer is yes. The tools are excellent quality and when you need something … read more

Carradice Super C Handlebar Bag Review

Everything is made in China these days, isn’t it? Well, not Carradice products. They have a ‘Made in England’ label proudly attached, which even bears the handwritten name of the person who made it. The Super C is a fairly large and moderately expensive handlebar bag which has a more traditional styling than Ortliebs and most … read more

Shimano SH-MT71 Shoes Review

SUMMARY: Good waterproofing and comfortable enough for touring and light walking. The upper is disappointingly flimsy and combines with poor cleat clearance to make the Shimanos less suitable for trail walking. The sole has good grip but mountain bikers might want something stiffer. GOOD: Waterproof. Not as ugly as some cycling shoes. BAD: Ugly. Flimsy uppers. … read more

Bike Buddy Bottle Cage Mk3 Review

SUMMARY: A sturdy bottle holder that’s good for holding medium-sized metal bottles but the complicated metal construction makes it awkward to fit and handle. GOOD: Sturdy metal construction. Adjustable. BAD: Complicated and inelegant. Doesn’t hold large plastic bottles well. Awkward metal straps can damage hands and bottles. Doesn’t fit well with a second bottle cage on … read more

Review of Hewitt Cheviot Frame and Forks

SUMMARY: A solid traditional touring frame for 700c wheels but a bit expensive for a mass-produced frame with limited size options. N.B. This review is for the frame and forks only, not the full bike. GOOD: 100% Reynolds steel. Good choice of colours. Good service. Stainless-steel drop-outs are nice touch. Takes fairly wide tyres. BAD: Expensive … read more

MSR Whisperlite Universal Review

SUMMARY: A lightweight stove that burns many types of fuel but has some shockingly flimsy parts which throw into doubt its expedition-quality credentials. GOOD: High heat output. Quiet. Lightweight for multifuel stove. Burns wide range of fuels. BAD: Flimsy materials. Complex design with many failure points. Replacement parts could be expensive. Too wide for small pots. … read more

Hilleberg Nallo 2 Review

SUMMARY: A solid choice for those who need an expedition quality tent that is spacious and reasonably light, but not ideal for cycle touring in warmer climates. GOOD: Lots of space. Quick and easy to pitch. Huge porch. Tough materials. Four season use. BAD: Rear wall has very shallow angle so not much foot-room. Can get … read more

Blackburn Lo-Rider Front Rack Review

SUMMARY: A solid, if inelegant rack, on which virtually no modern panniers will fit. GOOD: Reasonably solid. Can be mounted without eyelets. BAD: Most modern panniers won’t fit. Interferes with wheel when removing. This is more of a warning than a review, and I make no apologies for that. You will see these racks sold just … read more

Gore Path Jacket Review

SUMMARY: A good quality jacket that performs adequately in all seasons and situations but doesn’t excel in any. GOOD: Well made. Very waterproof and windproof. Light. BAD: Fit could be better. Little ventilation. Cold in winter. According to Gore the Path is a “jacket that provides the necessary basics: reliable protection against rain and wind with … read more

Garmin Etrex 20 Review

SUMMARY: A solid, reliable device with excellent battery life but let down by a poor joystick. GOOD: Long battery life. Uses AA batteries. Tough and reliable. BAD: Slow operation. Poor joystick and zoom buttons. Small, low resolution screen. As most phones have inbuilt GPS nowadays you might question why you would need a dedicated GPS unit, … read more

Sealskinz Ultra Grip Gloves Review

SUMMARY: Warm and comfortable, with good grip, but the stitching seems to be of poor quality leading to unreliable waterproofing. GOOD: Reasonably warm. Windproof. Good grip. Fit to hands well. BAD: Not durable enough to be reliably waterproof. Very slow to dry. Quite bulky for the warmth. I have a terrible confession. When I bought these … read more

Aldi Cycling Shoes Review

SUMMARY: Cheap and comfortable but ultimately very poor value as they only lasted a week. GOOD: Cheap. Comfortable. Worked fine with Shimano cleats. BAD: Soles split within a week. You can’t go wrong for £20 eh, can you! Or can you? I bought these partly because of the cheap price, but also because there isn’t much … read more