Decathlon Winter Cycling Gloves

B'TWIN 700 Winter Cycling Gloves Review


The new Decathlon store opened up in Harlow just before Christmas 2014, for those of you who don't know who Decathlon are, they are a sporting goods company that sell their own brand name sporting goods, they originate from France and they now have 14 stores in large towns across the country.

Several weeks ago I went on a Billy Fleming memorial ride, I had to leave home at 7am to meet up in Woodford for 9am, the sun hadn't risen and it was minus conditions outside, so on went the thermals long trousers shirt, jacket, hat and full fingered gloves but after only 10 minutes my hands were frozen.
I decided on a new pair of winter gloves URGENTLY !!! and I needed them now, so the likes of Internet shopping was not a option, so local shops were going to have to be the answer.
Sometimes local shops can be the answer to many of our problems but are not always the cheapest for the budget conscious amongst us. After a visit to a couple of local stores who stocked high quality makes [ which come with high quality prices] I began to think maybe the Internet would be the answer, unfortunately I have odd shape hands, short but wide! so to get a perfect fit I really need to have to try them on, as they are either to long in the fingers or to loose across the palms.

The ones I went for were from the stables of Decathlon UK, because I was after a quality pair of gloves at a fair price and something that will stop my hands from freezing up.



 Here is the review on the pair I finally purchased, a pair of B'TWIN 700 Winter Gloves, Cost £5.99

Above is a photo of the label, top left hand corner shows a snow flake, making me think it would protect my hands in icy conditions, also they had a rating of 700 [other gloves in store had ratings of 300  and 500 ]  so looked good to me. After purchase I checked out Decathlons website to get a more detailed description and the B'TWIN 700 does not go down to the minus temperature I thought it would. Their description for these gloves are as follows "regular cycling in cold weather (between 5°C and 10°C) with touch screen function and are reflective," apparently the pair I have are old stock, but if they do what I am hoping they will do, ie: stop my hands from freezing ....job done! ..so we will see how I get on! 

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/700-winter-cycling-gloves-blue-id_8315314.html#avantages

B'TWIN 700 Winter Cycling Gloves

Description

    • Thermal insulation
    • windproof gloves with a X g lining guaranteeing good insulation
    • Wind proofing
    • Windproof fleece lining to prevent wind chill
    • User comfort
    • Special pattern, fitted cut, for cycling with no folds
  1. Guarantee : 2 Years

     I needed the Large size for my odd shaped hands, unfortunately they did not have that size in store, shame but that is life! but after a quick chat with the team on the shop floor a pair was ordered straight away for delivery in a couple of days, they said they would be on the next order from France, [ heard that story before, probably be at least 3 weeks and 10 excuses later] but no they said a couple of days and yes 2 days later they were in store ready for collection, all for £5.99. I had left my details with the store and they said they will ring me when they arrive,  I got a call to tell me the B'TWIN Winter gloves were in store and ready to be collected! Excellent customer service Decathlon.

     Sown in patches looked like they would have some padding in them, but I could not feel any.
     Nice tight elasticated wrist bands, trouble is it's white! 
     How long the 700 will stay a nice and white, I have no idea! Fits nicely around my wrists.
     Finger tip grips have a nice snug feel to them and gives a good grip on the handle bars.
    The 700's have a reflective strip sown into the design, making it show up when a head light beam hits your gloves added for extra safety.


    Verdict
    After a ride out on a very cold day, I found the gloves to be a really comfortable fit, my hands did not become sweaty, and they were certainly warm enough, even after an hours ride my hands were still warm. When I first looked at the gloves the padding did not seem up to much, but I found I had no problems with grip and feel, one thing I did find was if you do have a Touch screen phone you really do need to remove the gloves, but this is not really a problem. They fit and feel very comfortable and for £5.99 with a 2 year guarantee you can't go wrong.

    Shame they will not be making these any more, but knowing Decathlon they have probably  updated the design and technology, and will still be selling them at a great price.


Foot Note This is not a Paid Advertisement for Decathlon UK

Lezyne Road Caddy Review

 Lezyne Road Caddy Review

Lezyne have a vast range of cycle bags in their range, they label them as "Caddy's" but basically they usually fit under your saddle, have the usual zip and a strap with a fastener or buckle of some sort, that is their usual design criteria, but now Lezyne have changed the goal posts on the design of there seat bag range.

 We will be reviewing one of the smallest Caddy's they produce, it goes by the label of "Lezyne Road Caddy."

A small light weight saddle bag called Road Caddy, this Road Caddy fits neatly under your saddle.
The Road Caddy has a large nylon strap with Velcro on it, this will pass through the under frame of your saddle, and then will wrap around the Road Caddy to fit through the loop. It also comes with a very nice water resistant zipper which has a finger loop attached to it, very useful when your hands are cold, to be able to grip the zip, to open up the Road Caddy.


At first the Road Caddy caught me out....... I was trying to fit the Road Caddy with the zip on the out side,[ ie:  so it could easily be opened up when needed just like a normal seat bag], big mistake and
not that easy to achieve.  I did not look at the fitting instructions first on the Lezyne website, why I hear you ask, do you need to do that, it 's just a seat bag! it can't be that hard to fit!
It was the zip that caught me out, once I realized the zip is not fitted facing outward but in fact facing inward, it was a simple case of the usual strap under the seat and then around the bag and it was a really nice snug fit.

Road Caddy fitted to the saddle
 
What can you fit in the Road Caddy? this is where it can be a battle of which items do you put in the Road Caddy, and what do you leave out!  we show you here how we tried to fit in a spare inner tube, tyre levers and the compact Lezyne AV11 multi tool, (See our review on the AV 11 here http://harlowcyclingpagegroup.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/lezyne-av-11-multi-tool-review-with.html )

 Opening up the Road Caddy it has a great quality feel to the pouch inside
Feel of the material used is of high quality and is made of high quality durable nylon fabrics.


To access the Road Caddy you will have to slacken off the strap enough to get to the zip, or remove it completely from under your saddle.

 A 700C Inner tube fits in perfectly
 Next we tried to fit the Lezyne AV 11 multi tool in to the inner pocket, it fitted like a glove, as if it was made for it.
 Next was a set of tyre levers, I found the only way to store these was to separate them and lay them on top of the inner tube with the tabs facing up.
Then we tried to zip up the Road Caddy and refit it to the under side of our saddle.

Unfortunately we had to remove the AV 11 multi tool, as it was just a bit over filled to get the zip to close. Space wise it is very limited, but with  a bit of forward thinking we are sure it will hold a few other bits. I must just say this was just our first attempt at filling up the Road Caddy.

Inner tube and tyre levers are inside the Road Caddy

Fitted to the rear of the Road Caddy is reflective strip, this will allow you to clip a rear cycle light to it, we found the one on our Road Caddy a bit of a let down in this department, the strip was very small and thin and the chance of a rear light actually staying on there on a bumpy ride maybe taking a bit of a risk, I didn't try this as I was reluctant to fit my expensive light to it in case it detached itself from the caddy and either broke or got lost,  maybe it would feel securer with a thicker type material and the rubber strap attached to the light.

Rear Lezyne Pro light fitted to the Road Caddy, we found the reflective material to be very thin to hold the rear light safely.

OUR VERDICT 

Pros
One of the smallest bags on the market.
Fits really nicely under your saddle.
Enough room for a inner tube and leavers.
Good quality zip and a great loop added to assist in opening it up.
Durable matériel used. 
Inner pocket has a first class feel to it.
Cons
A bit fiddly to open up the zip if your in a hurry.
Rear reflective strip does not feel thick enough to hold a rear light on to with confidence, so you may lose it before getting home.


With a bit of forward planning on what type of ride you will be on, the Road Caddy could be a useful weight saving bag for the saddle.
There are bigger seat bags out there, but do you really need them any bigger than this, inner tube and levers in the Road Caddy, multi tool and everything else in your shirt/jacket pocket! 

Priced at around £15.99


Try your local bike shop to see if they stock the Road Caddy.


 Foot Note This is not a Paid Advertisement for Lezyne.

Lezyne Flow Caddy


Lezyne Flow Caddy review 


 
  A great idea, it's a tool carrier in the shape of a drinks bottle!

 The Flow Caddy has a screw on lid, wide enough to drop your tool pouch in the container, or even a small mobile phone.
Inside is a roll labeled organizer.
                               The labeled organizer seemed like a good idea at first,  I thought that was a really good touch but I soon found out it took up a lot of room in the Flow Caddy, that could be used for other things.
With the labeled organizer rolled up it fits neatly in the Flow Caddy, one thing we could not fit in was a spare inner tube, so I feel that if you needed to take a tube with you, it would be advisable to have a seat bag as well.


As you can see the Flow Caddy will comfortably hold your tyre leavers!




There it is, seated in the bottle holder, you can fill the Flow Caddy with anything your heart desires, as long as it fits inside! 

Tyre lever's, 2 x threaded Co2 cartridges, AV 11 Multi tool will all fit in there pockets of the Organizer.

The Multi tool AV 11 Fits like a glove in the tool holder of the organizer, along with the Co2 canisters and tyre levers (Thanks to https://www.leevalleycycles.co.uk/ in the making of the photos here )

All fits in nice and neat, a handy strap is incorporated in the design of the organizer, we found this very good to leave at the top of the opening, it will allow for easy withdrawal from the Flow Caddy




Conclusion

Nice wide lid.
Fits the bottle holder nice and tight.
Extra capacity for longer rides.
Weight 60g, so a light unit.
Water resistant. 
Personally I found the labeled organizer not great for me as I prefer to utilize the inner space with other items, but for some people it will be ideal. 
It keep items dry in all conditions, be it roads, mountain trails, or woods.
Also an ideal place to keep a bit of loose change for a glass of something refreshing!

*Foot Note  Since using the Flow Caddy we have got to like the Organizer, we were in two minds weather this was a good thing to have in the Flow Caddy, we thought it would take up room, the latest thing we have found is it keeps the items nice and neat, stops them from rattling around on harsher rides, our Verdict now on the Organizer is it is well worth adding to the Flow Caddy!

Nice idea Lezyne.

Priced around £6.99p to £11.99p with  organizer


Check out your local Lezyne stockist 

 Harlow's local stockist




UPDATE 

The flow caddy keeps your tools completely dry! 
 
As per the photographs below, see it is a well worth while accessory to have along with you on real muddy rides.


Stays nicely in the bottle holder, keeping all you place into the Flow Caddy dry!

 











Foot Note This is not a Paid Advertisement for Lezyne




Lezyne AV 11 Multi Tool Review with Chain Splitter

                                                                            What is this? 

 This my fellow Cyclists is the must have multi tool from LEZYNE! 


We had the chance to do a review on the SV11 Multi tool, and it packs a lot of punch for its size.

The easiest way to describe it is, as Lezyne's updated answer to the Leatherman for cyclists, the compact SV11 folding tool has what is needed for most road and mountain bike repairs. Its aluminum body holds ten tools including: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen wrenches, a flat head screwdriver, a chain tool, plus T25 and T30 Torx bits.


Specifications
SV 11: 
WEIGHT: 105g
DIMENSIONS: 48W × 63L × 12H (mm)
TOOL BITS:
- Hex 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm
- Star Shaped T25, T30

- Flat Head
Chain Breaker: (9/10/11 speed)

Where shall we start, lets have a look at the Chain splitter, this is what caught my eye the most on the AV 11
                                           The Chain Splitter folds neatly away 

Here we have tried it on a old chain supplied by our local friendly cycle shop (thank you https://www.leevalleycycles.co.uk/ for the old used chain ) we picked the worst one out that had been very neglected, and the links were very scuffed up and not well looked after! so we thought it was a perfect candidate for our review test to see if the AV 11 would split the chain.

                                      The Chain Splitter open and ready to be used.

                                   Chain sits perfectly in the grove of the SV 11

                      Once the pin of the chain is lined up use the chain tool of the AV 11 to push the rivet through, the reason we have done this is for clarity of the photos, it may be better out on the road to stop short of pushing the pin all the way out, that way you may have a chance of getting the pin back in if you do not have a spare link with you.


 We found it easy to hold the chain splitter while you turn the main tool to push the pin out, and
as you can see it has worked, we had to use a fair amount of pressure to get the pin to finally move, but at no time did we feel the tool was at its breaking point!

Verdict on the Chain Splitter

A very useful bit of kit to have with you at all times.

Next we tried out the numerous tools on a Ribble bike that I had just purchased, so this would be the ideal test for the Lezyne AV 11 Multi tool

 The best thing about the tools are the way they are held on the main frame, this has been forged from stainless steel before being CNC machined, and because each tool pivots in the center it makes the ease of use superb, some other tools we have tested have the metal bent in to a circle to stay on the mounting pivot, but the Lezyne is made a lot better than that!  you just open up a tool to use it, and the main case fits prfically in your hand, allowing a good grip to rotate the multi tool with.
                                      A nice and neat 2 and a 2.5mm Hex bits!
                                Very nice lay out, easy to gain access the item required

 When it is packed up and it is in its leatherette case it is slim and compact, ideal for the pocket and of course the seat bag. We have in fact replaced our usual compact tool with this one, and the seat bag is a lot emptier and lighter now, the Lezyne AV 11 may save you  a long walk back when out on the road or trails!

                             We tested the AV 11 on a header bolt with no problems
 Next  was the seat post, same again no problems and the Lezyne AV 11 felt comfortable in the hands.
                                Feels like a nice grip with the Lezyne AV 11

                           Even the pedals were no problem to remove and replace!

          Every bolt and screw we needed to undo or remove, the AV 11 Multi tool did it all!
We found  when using the 2 and 2.5 Hex key in certain spaces it was only possible to get a quarter turn on it, it just took a little bit longer than if we had done it with a work shop tool, but out on the road you just dont have  work shop tools, so this has worked a treat!
                   (Garmin mount can be found on our Raceway Direct Review Blog)

We thought another initiative thing about the Lezyne AV 11 was the way you can maneuver the body around to get into tight and awkward spaces,
I could go on and on showing you all photos of the Lezyne AV 11 undoing, and re tightening up of bolts on the bike, but you may get bored!


Our Verdict on the Lezyne AV 11

Simply throw away all your other bike multi tools, you only need the one, and this is it! The cyclist answer to the Leatherman....

Light weight.
Compact.
Benefit of having a Chain splitter.
Endless tools
Well designed and engineered.
A Multi tool not just for the bike, small enough to fit in your trouser pocket.

Don't leave home without one!

Lezyne web site link 

http://www.lezyne.com/product-mtools-svtools.php#.VLUzt3tZqGU 


Check out your local cycle shops for stock suck as

https://www.leevalleycycles.co.uk/

http://www.spokesbikes.co.    

UPDATE

Finally came up against a "Fix It" situation the Lezyne AV11 Multi Tool could not handle! 
A Very small Philip's screw, see the photo.

 A Small Philip's screw needed to be tightened up on the gear lever, I found the Lezyne did not have one at all, this is the first time I have not been able to complete a breakdown out on the ride with the Lezyne AV 11 Multi Tool, lucky enough there was another rider with one on him, so all was not lost! 

Still a Great product in my eyes,  it is small and compact, I dont go out on  many rides on my own to be left high and dry by the AV 11.



Please  Note,  This is not a Paid Advertisement for  LEZYNE




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