Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review: Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor

Wahoo-RPM
Measuring cadence can be a great way to check efficiency and notice when you need to be changing down a gear to keep your legs spinning optimally. In the past, measuring cadence has required a two part sensor, with one part on the chainstay and a magnet on the crank. That was the case at least, until the new Wahoo RPM sensor was released a few weeks ago.

The RPM sensor is just a little bigger than a C2032 coin battery, and mounts to the surface of the crank. It provides a cadence measure through inertia readings, and transmits it via Bluetooth or ANT+ to your phone or GPS unit. Neat!

Having to mount one less sensor/magnet is certainly a benefit, and makes this easier to change between bike and even mount to a spin bike in the gym. There is no faffing around with magnet alignment, you just strap it on in the zip-tie silicon case, or with the double-sided tape provided.

The sensor seems to work very well: I mounted it up running parallel to a second bike computer using a standard cadence sensor, and they gave very similar readings (+/- 3 RPM).

This is a very neat and easily portable option for a sensor then. Some might say it is a little pricey at £40 RRP, but it could present good value if you can use it on multiple bikes and at the gym, and with either an iPhone or an ANT+ computer. Worth a look.

The Wahoo RPM is available from uk.wahoofitness.com (Link)
Wahoo-RPM
The sensor is well protected in the silicone case, and can be mounted to the inside of the crank.
Wahoo-RPM
Chainstay clearance may be minimal on some bikes, but you can also mount it to the outside of the crank.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Weekend Watch: Rapha Continental Northwest Pacific

I haven't yet travelled to America, it is long overdue a visit. I've been toying with the idea of touring down the West Coast at some point in the near future, and this video has given me even more inspiration to do so...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review: Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet

Many cyclists can be considered minimalists; I would certainly consider myself one. Whether it is single ring chainrings, tiny saddle bags, pocket size multitools or stuff sack gilets; I love a product that serves its purpose well, but does it with minimal fuss and flamboyance.

Bellroy products instantly struck a chord with me then; they're a brand that is all about cutting back to the bare necessities, but still doing it with a luxury focus. The Elements range is their set of products tailored for the outdoor enthusiast, and made to deal with wind, rain and daily grit; ideal for cyclists!

Sat in the middle of the Elements range is the Elements Pocket; not quite as minimal as the Elements Sleeve, but still a significantly smaller size than a normal wallet. It is meant to be able to provide you with all the functionality of a normal pocket wallet, but without the wedge-like appearance that many modern wallets have adopted. 

The Elements Pockets claims that it can swallow a lot, considering its size: cash, 4-15 cards, notes, a house key and even a sim card should all fit into its compact water-resistant interior. I couldn't quite believe it, but it turns out it works! As the tweet on the right shows [click the image to expand], everything (I mean everything!) from the wallet on the left fitted into the Elements Pocket on the right! 

How?! By stripping back material, and completely redesigning how a wallet is shaped, Bellroy are able to cut back on excess leather and materials, and really slim down your pocket.

What's the benefit for a cyclist though?

Well, aside from the fact that aesthetically I think the smaller size is far more pleasing on the eye and fits far better in your jeans, Bellroy have also developed the Elements range to make it ideal for stashing in such places as a jersey pocket...

Once all the items are safely housed inside the pouch, you can seal it closed with the water resistant YKK zip. The unique Bellroy water resistant leather then provides protection from sweat, rain and dirt that could try to infiltrate your collection of valuables.

The pocket really does look the part, and functions faultlessly for its intended use. Put it in your jersey pocket for a ride to the store or café, and you'll barely notice it's there. But, when you do come to take it out, you'll notice it's done its job; cards, notes and coins are left sweat, water and dirt free inside the pouch. Far better than handing the shop owner a soggy twenty pound note, or a moist handful of coins.

Being able to stash other extras in there such as a key and a sim card is also a neat benefit, and means that there is no risk that you return home after a long, cold and wet winter ride, only to realise you've locked yourself out (I've done that - it's not nice).

The look, feel and function of the Bellroy Elements Pocket are superb then. It will set you back £65, but that is little different to any other leather wallet, and this has some significant added benefits.

If you're looking for a gift for a minimalist cyclist; someone that wants to keep things neat, stylish and trim, this would be a great option. Bellroy is a new brand to me and to the blog, but with ideas like this I reckon they could really hit it off with the cycling world; products that are made for the outdoors, whilst also looking and feeling like a stylish high class product.

Check out the Bellroy Elements Pocket and the Bellroy range at Bellroy.com (Link)
It all goes in there...
Bellroy Elements
Notes in this pocket
Bellroy Elements
Coins in here...
Bellroy-elements
House key in this little pouch
Bellroy-Elements
Add a few cards...
Bellroy-Elements
Last few cards.
Bellroy-Elements
All in... and still smaller than an iPhone, and about as slim. Impressive.
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