Tag Archives: review

gear review: clug bike holder

From the manufacturer’s website:

The Eurobike award winning CLUG is the world’s smallest bike rack. Working seemlessly with your floor to store your bike, CLUG is used to store your bike either vertically or horizontally.

For the last few months I’ve been using a vinyl coated hook screwed into the wall to hold my front wheel and store my bike vertically like the first image in the graphic above. It wasn’t great though as the wheel had a tendency to tilt to one side making me nervous about it possibly falling over. In fact I haven’t used it at all since I got my new bike.

A while ago I saw an ad on Facebook for a better option. One of the comments slagged it off saying it was a rip off of the Hornit CLUG and it definitely looked like a solution for my situation. I bought it direct from the website for £14.99 but see it for sale now on Wiggle and other sites from £11.99.

CLUG comes in a range of different colours and 5 different sizes depending on the width of your tyres and therefore your bike type. It was a roadie for me and plain black on black.

Installation is pretty simple. The box has an integrated template to line up with your tyre and mark the wall. I was using a block wall so had to drill and use the provided rawl plugs.

The holder comes in two parts. The outside collar screws to the wall and the inner clip, that holds the wheel, clicks in to it.

Shane Millar has a YouTube video if you want to see one being installed.

Overall it is very simple, tidy and most importantly, very effective 👍

Value: 10/10 especially if bought at £11.99! It’s well made, well packaged and holds your expensive bike safely and securely.

Durability: 9/10 but only because I’ve only just started using it. Materials seem well made and robust. No cracking during installation and hard to see how it could break or wear out.

Effectiveness: 10/10 it simply does what it’s designed to do, holding the bike safely and securely.

Overall: 10/10 highly recommended.

Manufacturer’s Website: https://hornit.com/collections/clug

gear review: sportful reflex ii gillet

It’s unlikely that many cyclists will be missing a gillet from their cycling wardrobe. For me it’s an essential. It’s very rare that I leave the house without one of some form, either on me or in my pocket or saddle bag. It’s only on one of those very rare days that we’re guaranteed warm sunshine that I will venture out without one.

club gillet

My main gillet is my Club one that I wear over either a jersey or my Perfetto from Autumn through to Spring. It’s usually too heavy for Summer use and as it’s not waterproof I also need something for the cooler days and/or when I can expect a heavy shower or two. That’s when the Reflex comes into play.

I bought my first one of these a good few years ago, not long after I started cycling regularly and when I realised that a full waterproof jacket wasn’t going to be practical on the warmer days. I’m one of those people that generate a lot of heat and I’m most comfortable when my arms are bare or just lightly covered.

original reflex

This gillet is still in decent shape but the lack of visibility of the black colour concerns me on duller days and the reflective strips are getting worn looking having been stuffed and unstuffed countless times over the years. I’ve been very happy with it so when the time came to replace it Sportful was my first choice again.

reflex ii

The design had been updated slightly over the years and now has a much better reflective pattern. There are a number of colour choices with Sportful showing fluro yellow, white and black on their website and Wiggle giving a further two of fluro orange and blue. I went for the yellow this time as I wanted something to increase my visibility.

I’ve worn it quite a number of times now and find it really good at what I want it to do. I mainly use it as an additional windbreaker over my Club gillet and Perfetto on very cold Winter days or just over a jersey on fast descents on cooler days. It also gets good use when I get caught in heavier, more prolonged showers when a soaking is unavoidable and unwanted. It has a very handy integrated stuff sack that allows it to compress into a very neat package for a jersey pocket or saddle bag. I’ve also worn it out running on warmer but wet days and found it good for keeping me dry while preventing overheating.

Overall I’m still happy with the new version but I do miss one feature from the original. It had mesh panels down the sides that made it much more breathable. I’m sure removing them has made it more waterproof but they suited me.

I’ve seen some negative reviews on Wiggle that the zip is flimsy but so far I’ve had no issues. They may have upgraded it as it looks and feels sturdy to me.

Value: 9/10 simply because I’m tight fisted and always feel like I’m paying too much! It was €40 when I bought it which is pretty much the RRP.

Durability: 8/10 a decent zip and robust fabric. Negative reviews on Wiggle have me cautious for the longer term.

Effectiveness: 8/10 a great windbreaker, about as waterproof as a gillet can be but would have preferred to see better breathability via the older version mesh panels or a shoulder vent.

Overall: 9/10 highly recommended.

Manufacturer’s Website: https://www.sportful.com/ii/men/collections/protection/p/110163620P-002

gear review: velotoze overshoes

first spin out

I’m one of those people that’s constantly on the search for the perfect overshoes and gloves and have gone through a good few versions of both over the last few years. Velotoze are the latest trial.

I’ve seen ads for them but only decided to make the jump having seen them on special offer on a local bike shop’s Facebook page for €12 and figured that was a price worth trying them out. That was last year sometime and I only got around to trying them out yesterday!

colour range

As you can see they come in a wide variety of colours from boring black all the way to vibrant pink. I opted for fluro yellow as I figured I’d most likely be wearing them on duller days and spinning yellow blobs are more eye catching for drivers than dark ones….and pink really isn’t my colour!

They are made from a thin latex/rubber material that is best described as Marigold washing up gloves! The idea is that they form a very tight fitting, non-bulky, aero and most importantly, waterproof barrier over your shoes and socks and keep your feet perfectly dry.

They come in three styles: long, short and toe cover only. I can see the benefit of the toe covers for splash protection but the short version seem like a waste of time. I went for the long version as I figured they would be of most use to me.

As the covers are made in a single piece with no zips getting them on and off can be a bit of a faff. So much so that they have instructions on the packet and also have an instructional video.

This was one of the issues I had with them. I wouldn’t want to be in a hurry to leave the house and I definitely wouldn’t want to put them on at the side of the road. Getting them off again was similarly awkward.

I fitted the cuffs of mine under my tights and on the skin. This is the recommended way as they seal pretty effectively with the skin to prevent water running down the leg into your socks and shoes. I’m not a shaver so I did notice them for a lot of the ride as they were pulling on my leg hairs a number of times. Probably best for shaved legs.

I would have a concern about durability over the long term. They required a lot of stretching to go over my shoes. The material is reasonably robust but I would be worried if I had ratchet or bolo type fasteners on my shoes and that they would tear through.

Care is needed to get them fitted around the heel and cleat to make sure they won’t be walked on or catch in the pedal while clipping in. I ended up with an ugly loose piece at the tip of my toe as I didn’t want then close to the front of my cleats. More practice putting them on may get rid of that. My other concern would be clipping out on gravelly or rough surfaces and puncturing the underside of the covers. Having used them only once I have a rub on one heal that could become a tear but more use will be needed to see how that develops.

The main reason for buying these was to keep my feet dry on wet days. They worked very well yesterday at keeping spray from penetrating my shoes. After heavy rain there were quite a few unavoidable puddles and sections of water running across the road but they shed the water quickly and effectively while stopping ingress completely.

However, after only two hours on the bike and in temperatures of 5-7°C my feet were very damp from sweat. They’re waterproof from both directions and don’t allow any breathing at all. I’d only really use them now if it was going to be a very wet and cold day where soaked feet were otherwise guaranteed. Warm and damp is always preferable to cold and wet.

Overall, they were fine but I don’t think I’ll use them much, won’t rush to replace them when they wear out and would hesitate to recommend to a friend if asked.

Value: 6/10 as I don’t think they will last as long as regular overshoes.

Durability: 4/10 although I’ve only worn them once so it’s perceived durability.

Effectiveness: 7/10 due to the great waterproofing but lack of breathability leading to sweaty feet.

Overall: 5/10 when the difficulty of fitting and removing is also taken into account.

Manufacturer’s Website: https://velobrands.co.uk/velotoze/