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Winforce Endurane concept

It was just luck that I got introduced to the Winforce products. I had contact with the European supplier of the Dynaplug tools and Winforce products. The man (Hannes Ritt) has lots of experience in long distant races both road and MTB. And since I was about to ride my first 12 hour MTB marathon, we were discussing eating and drinking during these kind of long distances.

He proposed, that I should try the Winforce products for this ride. But unfortunately the mailman was late and I couldn’t  try the Winforce products that day. So I had to try the products some other time.

The Winforce concept:

Winforce is a Swiss based company and they sponsor many big athletes (Fabian Cancellara, Jolanda Neff, etc.) The have three product concepts.  The product line I was trying belong in the Endurance concept. They should give maximum energy and tolerability. And my recovery should be faster.

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Using the Winforce concept:

I planned some  shorter (±3 hours) MTB rides to test the products. In order to fully feel the benefit of the Winforce products I used them throughout my working day and planned the MTB rides direct after work.

So before I started I took a Ultra Energy. I had many gels in the past and many were so sweat and sticky your dentist bill could be huge. But these are different, tasteful and not sweat tasting at all. I filled up a 750ml bottle with 3 scoops of Carbo basic Plus and put  2 Ultra Energys and 1 Booster in my back pocket. Of to go for the ride.

On both the rides I used this method. The Carbo basic plus has a very nice taste, in my case peach. The rides went very well, it was cold so I had to force myself to drink often. After one hour I took a Ultra Energy again and after one and a half hour I drank the Booster (which tastes like a Red Bull in a small package). And after 2 hours a Ultra energy again. After I stopped riding I mixed up the Power Protein (for recovery).

Conclusion:

The Winfroce products all have a nice taste, and I didn’t got tired of them after a while. They gave me the energy I needed during the rides. I never had that moment of feeling hungry. You could easily have ride longer distances using only these products. So next marathon I will defiantly try that. The recovery was good. I tried to ride as fast as possible on both the tests to fully feel the effect of the Endurance concept. And they gave what they promised.

Dynaplug Micro Pro

The days are behind us when we used inner-tubes. Almost every mountainbiker uses the Tubeless method. It’s light, efficient and seals almost every puncture. Almost that is, most tubeless sealants seal holes up to 3mm some even larger holes. But what do you do when you have a bigger hole than your sealant can seal. Taking a spare inner-tube was the only way to go until there where plugs. These come from the car industry and do the job well. But the where also not perfect. There are a couple of products on the market today specifically for the bicycle industry.

 Dynaplug

Dynaplug is a company from the USA, they already made mobile tubeless solutions for cars and trucks. But the broaden there view and came to the mountainbike scene. And with great success. The have developed a tool which is small, light and seals every hole up to 6mm.

 

The Dynaplug Micro Pro Kit includes:

  • 2 insertion tubes
  • 5 tubeless tire repair plugs
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 clearing attachment
  • 1 pipe cleaner.

 

The 5 plugs made with a brass point (round bullets are also available), this helps the plug to enter the hole in the tyre even better. They can be used on the tread of the tyre but also on the sides.

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The tool is really simple in use as illustrated here:

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And for a better explanation, take look at this video which show exactly how easy the tool works.

The tool (in Europe) can be purchased here.Very good service.

And still Dynaplug is developing. They just released this prototype video of a Plug tool with a Co2 cartridge on top, so you can plug inflate and ride.

Happy trail riding.

Lake Cycling MX180

Lake Cycling shoes

Lake cycling shoes was born in 1982 in Evanston Illinois. The first shoe they made was the MXZ303, a true winter shoe created for the cold climate at Lake Michigan. Lake now has a full stock of shoes for every cycling discipline from Road, Cyclocross and MTB.

MX180

The MX180 was introduced in 2015 as there Enduro style shoe. It features a higher fit, more room in the toe area, Hypergrip Sole with the Ice Lock parts already integrated in the sole. The top part is made of Microfiber and is waterproof.  It includes a BOA Push/Pull closing system on the side.

Thoughts

I’ve been riding these shoes for 10 weeks now. The fit feels good, the higher style adds stability to the ankle. The “pull” lace on the back is very useful to put the shoes on. The single BOA lace system works great. It has a push/pull function, which let you loosen the lace quick to take the shoes of. So far I rode in hot dry days and in wet circumstances. For the Hot/warm days other shoes would better. But since I only have this pair to try this is what I wore, and they are not bad. The ventilation is good. I rain/wet conditions the shoe does what it’s made for. Keep your feet dry, just as good as a waterproof shoe cover. Of course your socks get wet after riding in the rain a long time. But that’s because of the rain pouring down via the sock itself. I will be testing waterproof socks this winter to in combination with these shoes to see how this combo will keep my feet dry.

The sole is though/stiff but not so stiff you could barely walk with them (like carbon soles). I had an  experience last week that, due to a flat tyre, I had to walk 45minutes to a local bike shop for an inner tube. And the shoes where good to walk the distance.

This autumn and winter I will be using these shoes and will come back with another review how the hold up in the wet/cold circumstances the Netherlands is famous for.

Bikeribbon saddlebag SiO2

Either you hate saddlebags or you love them. What I have never licked about saddlebags is the rattle you can here when riding, especially when riding MTB. But what I also do not like is having my back pockets stuffed with a tool, pump/co2 etc.

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I have been riding with this Bikeribbon SiO2 saddlebag for a while now. It has enough room for a inner-tube, tool, tyre levers and other stuff. But what makes this saddlebag different than others is that it’s made of silicon. So It’s completely water resistant. It sits very well under the saddle. Can be tied with 2 bands, one around the seatpost and one around the saddle rails.

Weight is ±122,5grams and size is 13x8x9cm.

I love it and I will never leave home without it.

Applying Bikeribon or other silicon grips

Silicon grips can be a pain to mount on your handlebar. But there is an easy way with stuff you most likely have laying around in your house.

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You only need two parts:

  1. Bucket of hot water.
  2. Window cleaner

First put the grips in the in the bucket of hot water for about 15 minutes. This helps the silicon grips to be more flexible when applying to the handlebar. After that spray your handlebar in with the window cleaner, and also your grips (inside).

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Now in order to not damage the inside of your grip (which happened to me), already put the end-plugs in your handlebar. Now worries your grips will go over them smooth.

No gently apply your grips on the handlebar. Use a towel to have some grip when applying. After it’s in place let it rest for a couple of hours and you grip will be fixed.

Part 19: Shimano chain 1450km, cassette/chainring 4400km.

 

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While other parts in the Netherlands flooded, this picture shows what it was like this week where I live (we only had sun on Tuesday but with high humidity). So there was lots of cleaning to do.

Still the Shimano chain was used. Lube was supplied last weekend with no need for extra lube. I’m impressed how long it stay’s on.

The chainring is doing very well. Actually I notice not too much wear on it.

Measurements

The Shimano chain measured a ±132.75mm. Next week I will put on the KMC chain.

Be sure to check my Blog about Togs, great add-ons for your handlebars.

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I close again with some pictures of last week.

 

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Togs

Remember back in the day we all used bar-ends on out mountainbikes. Some use short ones, some big horned ones. But everyone used them. These were also the days of shorter handlebars. The big reason for using them was a different position for your hands on the handlebar.

Now days the handlebars are wider (due to better handling for the bigger wheels). And the bar ends lost their place on the bar. Some still use them, but it’s getting less. For years I have been using them to, and the different position on the handlebar was relaxing for my hands, especially when ridding long distances or long climbs.

 

Togs

Then I came buy these new additions for the handlebar called Togs. A small and effective add on for your handlebar. They weigh ±18 grams, which lighter than the lightest set of bar-ends.

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Weight

And you can get them in lovely colours, but there is also a hinged carbon version, so you don’t need to take your grips of. Made in the USA and used by lots of people there. But I have not seen them here in Europe. Installing them is very easy, if you buy the hinged version. Just snap them on and lock them with the bolt (do not over torque). The none hinged version takes a little more time because you need to remove your grips.

Advantages

So what’s the advantage of using the Togs. Well if you look at your hands the natural position of your thumbs is next to you forefinger. But we hold the handlebar with the thumb arced under the bar. I have been using them for a couple of weeks now and I must say the “new” position on the bar is pretty natural and relaxing. When I did not had them yet I used this position to on long flat roads or climbs. But I could not control the bike like I can now with using Togs. I even rode entire singletracks in this position and have full control of my bike and brakes.

Conclusion

There relatively cheap, small, easy to install and you get used to them very soon. Good for using on the flat roads and beach MTB races here in the Netherlands. In short a great add-on for your MTB’s handlebars. I will give them 5 stars.

First impressions of Bikeribbon grips

There are 3 points where you are in contact with your bike. That’s your saddle, your pedals and your grips/handlebar. I have been using various sorts of grips in the past. From very light foam ones to bar tape and of course everything in between.

When I contacted Bikeribbon on their grips, they were happy to send me 2 of their silicon grips for long term testing. As I have two bike I regally ride I also asked for 2 different type of grips, to feel the difference.

Bikeribbon was also so nice to send me one of their new saddlebags to match my Orange grips. Super handy. Made of silicon.  And has lots of room for an inner tube, tool and some other stuff.

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The grips I will be trying is the:

As with other silicon grips they can be a pain in the ass to get on your handlebars. I will write another Blog with some tips on getting them on your handlebar without too much effort.

In short they both feel very nice. I don’t often ride without gloves but these grips makes me tempted to do that more often. They feel great.

On my MTB I have the Extralite grip which not only are very light (50 grams) but also have a very soft grip through the hollow chambers in the grips. This also gives some dampening. But the diameter is held by using this method. The grip on the grips is outstanding. But that’s what you can expect of silicon grips.

On my commuter bike I have the more standard silicon grips, They have the same feel but are 20 grams heavier and feel a little less soft. Grip is the same as the extralite ones.

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Within a couple of weeks/months I will Blog on how the hold up.

Abloc cycling Bottles

How can you make something better that is being used so long. Where talking about a bottles that is been used by cyclists for ages. They come in different sizes, colours and different logo’s. But that’s about it. Being a cyclist for a long time there are 3 things I took for granted with bottles. Getting them out of my bottle cage, in my bottle cage and the leakage from the valve.

On Instagram I came along a compony called  Abloc. A good and clear website makes me curious about what their product makes so special/different. After some reading it seemed clear to me that they found a way to solve all of the 3 this I stated as normal for a bottle.

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The Shape

One of the things that makes these bottles so different is the shape. When I first got them they looked small to me but the can be filled up with 550ml of nutrition. The bottles have a tapperd bottom and top. This makes it easier to slide in and out of the bottle cage. And I must say, it works. They are also really comfortable to stick in your back pocket, and easy to with the tapper on the bottom.

The Valve

Another thing what makes these bottles special and different is the big valve. I took some time for me to get used to because I was used to the smaller/standard valves of other bottles. But after a while it drinks better. It’s not made out of silicon but harder plastic and is leak free.

Cleaning

The use of better plastics and no Silicon valve the bottles can be cleaned way easier and will keep hygienic for longer.

Closing

After riding with these bottles for a while I must say I’m really impressed. I have never thought a product like the ‘bidon’ aka Bottle could be redesigned in this way. But Abloc made it happen. They are really nice people from the USA who are passionate about cycling.

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The bottles come in different colours and are light weight (65grams).

 

 

 

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