|PRO-LITE BRACCIANO WHEELSET|
I will start with the Pro-Lite Bracciano wheelset that I have been using on my Tifosi Training/Audax bike. When I took delivery of them they were both true and perfectly round. These wheels have now been used on the bike for well over a thousand miles and are still round and true.
They have 27mm V section 6066 Aluminium rims. In the front there are 20 evenly tensioned aero spokes and in the rear there are 24 spokes laced in a 2 cross pattern.
The freewheel makes a quite distinctive and loud noise.....but I have to say I like the sound.
These wheels have a real turn of speed as well as giving a very comfortable ride. They really are a light and fast wheelset at 1482grms.
Responsive and stiff these wheels are superb and have proved great when ascending and also on the descent. Finally they are fantastic value for money and I would say that they are almost as good as the Fulcrum Racing Zeros that I have on the Felt and those wheels are almost four times the price..!!
A great buy and a wheelset that I really do recommend.
|UNIROSS HY MINI WIND CHARGER|
This neat looking bit of kit can be charged from the mains or from your computer via a USB cable or it can be charged on the bike by the wind generated by forward motion.
When fully charged it had no problems in charging my phone and my Garmin GPS cycle computer.
One drawback for a lot of people is that this charger is not compatible for charging an i-phone.
On the trip to France, most of the campsites we stayed at had facilities for charging from the mains power......because of this I am still uncertain of the units ability to charge sufficiently from wind power alone. It has proved fine when using a mix of both mains and wind and I get the feeling that you would need a full days cycling ( 6-8 hours) at reasonable speeds to charge the unit from just wind power only.
I do intend using the Hy Mini charger on my trip back from Gibraltar starting mid August and I think that will prove it's worth one way or the other.
On that trip I will also have the back up of a Solar Panel charger and a Power Monkey just in case the Hy Mini charger fails to do it's job.........
|RSP TOURLITE (TOURING RACK LIGHT)|
Once fitted to the rack on my touring bike I could just forget about it. Because it is actually screwed on to the rack, there is no need to have to remove it from the bike when you park up and leave your bike.
The unit has 3 LEDs and can be used in either of two flashing modes or a non flashing mode.
Peter Calcutt has one of these lights fitted on his bike and on our return from France I cycled behind him from the ferry port at Poole.
I found that if I was in line with him while cycling along an unlit area I could see nothing past him as this light is so bright. In order to reduce the glare of this light I needed to cycle slightly to one side of him.
From behind you would have no idea of the size of the 'vehicle' in front displaying this light. Believe me this light is BRIGHT.
In my opinion there is no way that a driver would NOT see you if you were using the Tourlite.
If you look at the photo above you can see how bright the light is in daylight. Along an unlit road it is unmissable and on a lit road it appears as bright as the best costing a lot more money.
Yes, this really is a first class and top value light....I paid only £12.95 for it and I think that is really cheap for such a powerful light,
|BLACKBURN LOWRIDER RACKS AND ORTLIEB FRONT PANNIERS|
The way that they just drop onto the racks and are instantly secure and the ease of removing them is fantastic.
I was a bit concerned before I had used them, that they might upset the steering on the bike. I need not have had any concerns.....the bikes steering was not affected at all.....indeed I had no problems on descents in France of just under 40mph.
I certainly felt that the bike was MORE stable using both front and rear panniers than it has been in the past whilst using rear panniers only.
The Blackburn Lowrider front racks are as fitted to the Ridgeback Panorama bikes that Mike and Chris used on the French trip...Peter also had fitted the same racks to his Revolution Tourer.
Now I am a bit of a perfectionist and when I fit something I like to ensure that everything lines up with equal distances etc. One thing that I found an irritation, was that after fitting I noticed that the rack on the right side of the bike sat closer to the wheel than the one on the left of the bike. No matter how I tried I could not get them to match perfectly.
I happened to mention this to Peter and he said that he had found the same problem when he had fitted his.........on speaking to Mike he told me that he had noticed the same on the bikes that he and Chris had and remember their racks were fitted at the factory.
Anyway it seems that when Blackburn manufacture these racks...the machine that drills the hole for fitting to the front fork is very slightly out of line and that's why this misalignment is repeated on all of our front racks.....
Having said all of the above the racks perform just as they should....were easy to fit....and look good on the bike.
UNFORTUNATELY THERE WILL BE A HIATUS ON THIS BLOG FOR A FEW WEEKS.
I WILL TRY AND RETURN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.