Night road cycling, with Aldi, Lezyne and Ituo lights

Since the weekend I have refitted my WIZ20 dual LED, wireless light  on my commuter bike, and this has brought a smile back to my face, this light is good!!!  Since the clock went forward, I have been cycling with an Aldi  240 lumens COB type rechargeable bike light £12.99 and a Lezyne Zecto drive Pro 80l for £38 giving a total of 320 lumens for around £50 in total, I can not make a direct comparison as they are very different and even the price of the two is half the price of the WIZ20, but I think, it worth sharing my findings. The Aldi light is again very good value for money, but this is really a flood light with very little throw, so you end up having good light by your front tyre but not extending forward very much, ok on very well lit roads but not much good if you going at speed on badly lit roads , le Lezyne Zectro drive pro is kind of the opposite with a very fairly narrow beam but reaching a further. Both light are great to be seen but are not much good for you to see the ground and spot pot holes in time to miss them. The Zecto Drive Pro can double up as a rear light so this is quite handy to have a secondary light in case your main front or rear light packs up. The Aldi one in my mind is much better for dog walking or around the house as a torch, very broad beam , ok as a bike marker light or a flashing light. Both are USB rechargable.  Now going to the Ituo WIZ20 1500l for which I did a review for the club last year. Well, as I said, as soon as I turned it on, I had a grin on!   Nice broad light beam reaching far in front of your bike and still putting plenty of light by your front tyre. This kind of reminded me of the type of lighting you get from a car. The beam given by the WIZ20 is nice and safe for you to ride at speed in lit up or dark road, I had to turn it down to its standard low setting  250 lumens which does give you 14h. I have used it off road many time last year and this is also ideal for MTB if you want to go wireless  (this is also the one I usually lend to some of my new riders if they need a light) Like the others, this is wireless and USB rechargeable and its output is programmable. All this of course does come in with a higher price tag, under £100! Price of a Volt 800 or a Lezyne Deca 1500 but once you check the specs and start reading reviews you will see how good the WIZ20 is, specially for a light under £100!
I have not got any interest into this new firm apart from wanting to share what is a very good product with fellow cyclists. Luc. MTB 2B night ride leader

https://www.aldi.co.uk/p/72177/1

https://www.evanscycles.com/lezyne-zecto-drive-pro-light-EV194257

http://singletrackworld.com/reviews/review-ituo-wiz20/

http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/user-review-ituo-wiz20-996544.html

http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/ituo-wiz20-1500-lumens-twin-xm-l2-u3-bike-light/

 

 

 

 

Cycle Clothing. What to wear

When you’re new to cycling it’s often tricky to work out what to wear. The weather will play a big part in how well you wrap up but a few basic principles will help you stay comfy.

Helmet
Mandatory on club rides.
It’s best to get fitted for a ‘lid’ (helmet) at your local bike shop. The side straps should meet just below your ears and the helmet should stay in place when you tilt your head (chin on chest) even without the chin strap done up. Cycle helmets (crash hats, brain buckets, skid lids) come in different shapes and sizes, so try on a few before you buy. A slight discomfort may not worry you short-term, but on a longer ride it might become really annoying.

Layers
Try to wear thinner layers that are easy to add and remove, rather than one thick garment. You may get hot on a climb but on the flat or downhill you might get cold, so being able to quickly adjust your layers is important for comfort. Be prepared: If you need to add or remove layers then you’ll need a way of carrying unused layers – this could be a rucksack, panniers, or simply tying the arms of the garment around your waist. Be careful of tying clothes around yourself as it’s easier to get them caught in the moving parts of your bike.

Materials
Avoid cotton unless it’s a specific sports weave, as this will soak up sweat and leave you feeling clammy. Instead, opt for polyester or merino wool – both are good at ‘wicking away’ moisture and also at keeping down odours. Sports specific clothing isn’t just a marketing gimmick – the materials are designed to keep you dry and comfortable. Bamboo fibres are becoming more popular, too.

Tops
Long sleeves or short, it’s up to you, but be careful of sunburn as well as the cold. If you’re wearing layers (and you should) then consider something easy to swap – a full-length zip might help, or something less fiddly to remove than a skin-tight layer. A short-sleeved polyester t-shirt or sports top, then a long sleeved one, followed by a jacket will give you plenty of options as a starting point. Adjust this according to the expected weather at the start and end of the ride – thicker materials for the cold and thinner ones for warmer days.

Avoid T-shirts and tops that have a design printed in thick ink, as this will act as a water barrier to keep sweat in. Logos should be ‘sublimated’ into the material or be minimal.

Watch out for high winds. Even on a hot day a strong wind will dramatically cool down a hot and sweaty body, so take a light wind-proof jacket.

Bottoms
Your legs are what will be doing the bulk of the work, and will get hot and sticky quite quickly. Shorts and/or leggings/tights are a good bet.  Again go for sports materials to disperse sweat; that includes underwear – see our article on saddle sores.

Gloves
Thin gloves for summer, thick gloves for winter. Seems simple enough, eh?

Winter gloves: Be careful wearing thick or ill-fitting gloves as these may interfere with braking and/or changing gear.
Summer gloves: Why wear gloves in the summer? Gloves are not only protection from the elements but also if you fall off. Your hands are often what take the brunt of an ‘unintentional dismount’, and a protective layer will help prevent gravel rash. Fingerless gloves are great for warmer weather as they provide protection and comfort, and they interfere less with gear changes and braking.

Cycle specific gloves sometimes come with padding at key pressure points on the palms, making longer rides more comfy.

Shoes
Assuming you are using normal ‘flat’ pedals, and not ones that are clipped to cycle-specific shoes, then start out with trainers.  After the ride make sure your shoes get properly air dried. To help reduce smells insert a few used, dry teabags or sprinkle in bicarbonate of soda. You can even stuff shoes into a plastic bag then put them into the freezer to help kill bacteria and so reduce smells. Wet shoes can be stuffed with newspaper and allowed to dry naturally.

Specific cycling shoes have very stiff soles that don’t flex when you pedal, which helps transfer energy to your back wheel more efficiently. Most have the ability to lock into special pedals using a ‘cleat’ underneath the sole that engages with a special pedal – they take some practice before you can easily remove your foot from the pedal.

Cold or Wet weather
Avoid thick and heavy coats as they are often too warm. Instead, go for more thinner layers. For short trips you might want to take a thin and cheap rain cover, but for longer adventures it’s better to get some good waterproofs. Cycle specific jackets have a longer back that keep you warm while you are in the cycling position.

There are some high-tec materials out there that will keep you dry from the outside while allowing sweat to evaporate from the inside. You certainly get what you pay for, and it’s worth asking other riders what they like to wear.

Waterproof socks are a cheaper alternative to waterproof shoes, but make sure you dry your shoes correctly post-ride. You may also need to a half-size or full size bigger on your shoes, as waterproof socks (especially thermal ones) may be thicker than your normal socks.

 

As you ride more you will learn what sort of clothing suits you. Got any advice you want to share? Please get in touch using our CONTACT page.

ITUO WIZ20 BIKE LIGHT

ITUO WIZ20  BIKE LIGHT has been reviewed by SINGLETRACK MAGAZINE and has received a recommended seal of approval

I have just found that Singletrack Magazine have reviewed the ITUO WIZ20, a twin LED, 1500 real lumens with interchangeable and USB chargeable batteries that I have been using for months and reviewed for our club back in December.

5 month later, I am still extremely impressed with the WIZ20, this is a fantastic light, with a high build quality and  loads of power. You will get your 2hours + on high from this light and if you need more you can just drop in a couple of  18650 batteries!

Singletrack review is at http://singletrackworld.com/reviews/review-ituo-wiz20/

I would also like to remind people that the UK distributor www.brightbikelights.com is giving cycleseahaven members a discount by using the  code “SEAHAVEN”.

Please note that the light is only been sold via Appointed Distributors across the world, some of the Chinese mail order bargain websites are advertising the light (with some stolen photos of my review), but they have no stock as Ituo does not deal with any of them.

The wIZ20 is my resident bar light, so if you see me on the trails, have a look!

Luc
2b MTB ride leader

 

Shammy Shorts and Cream

Well, this is all a bit embarrassing – time to talk about ‘barnacle bum’ syndrome.

As riders get more experienced, and find they are spending longer in the saddle, a few problems can occur in the ‘lower regions’. Sores, in the form of spots or even abscesses, can occur around the ‘saddle area’ of your body. This is caused by a combination of friction, sweat and/or grime that builds up during the ride.

To combat saddle sores you should wear freshly laundered cycle specific clothing and change out of your sweaty gear as soon as you can – even if there’s no shower nearby. Keeping cool and dry will certainly help things post-ride.

If you are doing longer rides, or even just riding a lot more frequently, then consider getting cycle shorts with a build-in padded area. This padding used to be made of chamois leather – like the stuff used to clean car windscreens – hence the name shammy (or chammy).  The chammy liner is there to wick away moisture, reduce friction and to provide a bit of padding. Getting the correct fit is important too, otherwise you’ll be missing out on getting the most comfortable ride. You mustn’t wear underwear beneath your padded shorts, either – it’s important that the ‘chamois’ is next to your skin so it works as intended.

Even wearing shammy shorts may not be enough to ensure comfort for longer hours in the saddle, so consider getting some chammy cream. This cream is applied to your skin around the contact points of your saddle, reducing friction and providing an antibacterial barrier. Apply it liberally to your skin, and possibly also the padding: you’ll have to learn by experimenting on yourself. It feels a bit odd when you first start using it, but it can dramatically improve your comfort.

There are lots of shapes and sizes of chamois shorts: bib shorts; ladies specific; built in armour, and creams come with different formulations too – from £20 tubs of cycle specific goo, to nappy cream (Bepanthen), or even a humble tub of vaseline. If you find that you’re getting post-ride problems, or you are simply looking for a lot more comfort, then pop into your local bike shop and get some well-fitting padded cycle shorts and a tub of chamois cream.

Even with chamois shorts and cream, remember to change out of your damp stuff as soon as you can – even if you can’t get to a bath/shower right away.

Happy riding.

 

Club Jerseys – Sizing

We’re easily going to hit our order target of 50 jerseys for 2016, so we are not far from placing our order. Get your order in soon or you may miss out. We are only ordering for those that have pre-paid. We will not be ordering any spares.

Jersey order page: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/club-jerseys-2016/

These jerseys come up very small, so you must be sure of sizing!

I have a jersey from the last batch which is two sizes bigger than I would normally get (honest), and it’s perfect.  It’s very important that you order the correct size as we won’t be able to exchange them for a different size. Mr Cycles in Seaford (opposite the train station) has samples of every size that you can try on to find your perfect fit. They’re expecting members to pop in, and many already have.

If you’ve already placed your order without trying one for size then it’s not too late to change your order. Just get in touch with the treasurer on our contact page: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/contact/

Loan Lights

Cycle Seahaven have some very powerful front lights for members to borrow on club rides. You can request a loan set by selecting ‘Loan Kit’  from our Contact page. Let us know your membership number and when you require the lights and we’ll arrange to get them to you.

The front lights come with a rechargeable battery and are easily fitted to the handlebars without the need for tools.

If you take a shine to the lights (ha ha) then you can purchase your loan light from the club for £14.50.

 

LoanKit

Contact page

 

What to carry on a bike ride

Your bike is clean and prepared,  you have the right clothes for the weather,  lights,  helmet,  gloves,  and you’re ready to go on a ride. You’ve told someone where you are going and what time you’ll be back,  but what if you have a puncture or some other mishap? Here are some suggestions for the things you may want to take with you:

Basics

  • Water
    it’s important to stay hydrated so it’s good to get into the habit of taking on fluids regularly. You can carry a cycle specific water bottle in a ‘cage’ mounted on your bike,  bring a bottle of mineral water bought from a shop,  or use a hydration pack that allows you to sip while you ride.
    Keep your water container clean or you may pick up a tummy bug.
    Check out our cleaning tips: Quick Tip #3
  • Food
    For rides over an hour it’s a good idea to carry a snack to keep your energy levels topped up. A longer ride will require more food. Get some ideas from our blog on the subject:  http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/nutrition-for-cyclists-where-to-start/
  • Tools
    You can carry separate tools, like allen (hex) keys and spanners which you may already have in the house. Or you can opt for cycle specific ‘multi-tools’,  which are all-in-one devices like a Swiss army knife for bikes. If you’re thinking of getting one you’ll need to know if it includes the tools that are specific to your bike. As a minimum you’ll need to be able to remove your wheels and tyres to fix punctures. Take your bike to the local bike shop and they can advise what will fit your bike.
  • Puncture repair, spare tube & pump
    Even if you don’t know how to fix a puncture it’s a good idea to carry what you need in case you meet a helpful soul who can help you.

    • Find out what size inner tube fits your bike and carry one as a spare;
    • A puncture repair kit is a sound investment and you should always carry one. Traditional kits include rubber solution (special glue) and patches, while newer versions have self adhesive patches;
    • A pump. Make sure it fits your type of valve.
  • Safety
    Some form of ID,  a credit card and/or some bank notes, a mobile phone. All these can help you out of a fix. Pop them in a sealable plastic bag (freezer bag) or wrap them in cling film to keep them nice and dry.

Additional

If you are going a long way without a support vehicle, or you intend to do an epic ride where there are very few shops or people, then you may want to take things that will make you more self sufficient.

  • First Aid
    You can get first aid kits from many places. Include plastic gloves for first aid (and also greasy repairs on the bike) and sterile wipes for cleaning cuts and your hands.
    Consider also adding an antihistamine for bites and stings and a space blanket to keep warm if you get seriously stuck.
  • Whistle
    If you get really stuck somewhere remote and away from a road a whistle is the great way to get attention. Six good long blasts for an emergency. Also good if you have a puncture and you’re at the back – three long blasts should get some attention.
    http://www.mountain.rescue.org.uk/mountain-advice
  • Suncream
    You’ll be glad of it when you’re stuck in the same riding position, exposing the same part of your body (neck, ears, one arm) to the sun for a long time
  • Anti histamine or sting cream
    For hay fever, nettles or insect bites. These come in various guises from tablets & ammonia pens to gels & creams.
  • Cable Ties
    A couple of these don’t weigh much and can fix an amazing number of problems, including (at a push) a snapped chain.
  • Duct Tape
    Easily carried when wrapped around your pump, and fixes an amazing array of problems. See Quick Tip #2
  • Toilet paper
    Doesn’t weight much and can be used for many cleaning duties,  including the obvious. Pack it in a waterproof sealable bag (sandwich or freezer bags work well).
  • Master link
    Also called a Quick-Link, it’s a special link that can be used to fix a broken chain. They come in different sizes depending on how many gears you have (chains get narrower the more gears you have). Bear in mind you may need a special “chain breaker” tool, shown below…
  • Chain Breaker
    Sometimes you get this special tool as part of a multi-tool, or you may need to buy one separately. It’s used to (partly) push out the pins of a chain so you can split it open and re-join it. Handy for removing damaged parts of a chain and joining it back up again (or replacing a broken section with a few spare links you just happen to be carrying). A chain can often be re-joined with a few links missing – at least until you get home. Carry a few Master Links (Quick Links) or even some short sections of spare chain (if you replace the chain you often have a spare bit left over, which is handy for running repairs).
  • Map
    Much more reliable than a smartphone if you get stuck. You may know exactly where you are going but a map may highlight some interesting options you’d never considered before,  or a quicker way home if you get in trouble.
  • Tyre Boot
    A ‘tyre boot’ is a shop bought patch to temporarily repair a torn/split tyre so you can at least get home. You take part of the tyre off and slip in the ‘boot’ to cover the hole. Without it your repaired inner tube will poke through the split/hole in the tyre, expand like bubble gum then pop.
    You can also cut the top and bottom off a toothpaste tube and cut it open along one side to make a square of strong and pliable plastic, or use a section cut from a plastic milk carton, or even a section cut from an old tyre. The new plastic £5 note is also quite sturdy, and so are the wrappers from gels or bars. All will block the slit/hole so you can ride home.
  • Mech Hanger
    A small piece of metal that connects your rear gear changer (mech) to your frame. It’s designed to be a weak point to protect expensive parts – it breaks so that your frame or mech doesn’t. They come in lots of different sizes so you’ll need to make sure you get the right one. Your local bike shop can advise.

Riding with kids

  • Disposable wipes
    Great for cleaning up after an ice cream or a fall. Also good for cleaning your hands after putting a chain back on.
  • More Drinks and Snacks
    As a reward or a bribe you can’t go wrong with treats. Try to mix simple and complex carbs to give them both short term and long term energy.

Do you have any other ideas?  Leave a comment below or use our CONTACT page. We’d love to hear from you.

Quick tip #3

Use a tablespoon of Baking Soda (also known as Bicarb or Sodium Bicarbonate) mixed with a pint of hot water to clean or freshen up your drinking bottles and hydration bladders, especially if you use additives and energy drinks.

Milton or baby bottle sterilisation tablets are cheap to buy and will help make your drinking kit hygienic. Follow up with the above Baking Soda tip to get rid of lingering odours and leave a pleasant freshness.

 

Quick tip #1  Quick tip #2

2B MTB Friston Winter rides survival kits.

Bike kit:

compact hand pump (from £12.99)

glue less patch kit ( from £2.49)

glue type  patch kit  (from £2.99)

2-3 tyre levers (from 99p)

inner tube (from £3.49)

a few zip ties

old credit/club card (to clean mud from tyres)

small rag  4×4 ” to clean punctured tyre

1pr latex gloves

small plastic bag  (sandwich bag to stick in muddy rag, gloves etc)

Power Links, 9 or 10-speed, depending on your bike

piece of card or cut-down Biro casing wrapped with a length of duct tape

a cut down flat piece of plastic milk bottle about 2×2 inches (for emergency repairs on slash tyre)

Personal kit:

Small camelbak or back pack

water bladder or bottle

charged mobile phone

eye protectors (cycling, safety or military glasses, to stop mud getting in your eyes, from £6)

emergency rear marker/flashing lamp, (cheap dangly type from £3.99 if you have no rear light)

a spare jersey or gilet, a buff tube or similar (for those who ride hot you will cool very quickly if we have to stop for any length of time)

lightweight rain jacket according to weather condition

you own small medical kit with a few wipes and a few plasters (any personal medication, please make the ride leader aware)

 This is in addition to your normal riding kit, ie  helmet, jersey, gloves etc

 I have placed a few (from) prices to show that you can kit yourself up quite cheaply!

These are not must for our 2b rides but I would encourage riders to carry most of the items listed for a safe and easy ride.

Luc