Stuart has volunteered to provide us as with a review from various kit given by our sponsors.
When putting kit together and upgrading/ buying various parts for your bike, lights are something of an after thought. We would much rather have better gears, wheels and frame then to spend money on a decent set of lights. This was my view before I was given a set of Lezyne lights for our trip, I must say they have changed my opinion.
It wasn't until the night slowly crept in on us that we benefitted from the most powerful lights I have seen on a bike. With three of us cycling tightly together on long , dark winding roads our bodies and minds began to feel tired. Our decision making and cycling technique began to waver and I believe our safety would of been compromised had it not been for the illumination that these lights provided us.
At one point I was leading the group and had slowed down to let the other two catch up, as they approached from around a corner I found it hard to distinguish if it was a car or my team coming towards me such was the brightness from the lights. The back light also gave drivers approaching considerable warning of our presence and this safety bubble of light that Lezyne had created kept us peddling in confidence all the way to Newhaven.
If you're planning an endurance trip or commute on busy roads then I would recommend switching your old lights off and upgrading to Lezyne. Think about your safety. Thanks to Rory from Upgrade Bikes UK distributor for Lezyne.
I switched my saddle to a WTB for our trip. This saddle gave me ultimate comfort and support and wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone looking to replace or upgrade their current saddle. I was riding a Boardman mountain bike my team mates were on a road bike and Dahon foldable and all used the same WTB saddle. We were all comfortable and we're able to cover some serious mileage over two days without feeling the dreaded saddle sore setting in.
Very good saddle. Very good value.
The Italian company BIOTEX provided us our clothing for the ride and I cannot fault the products. I wore a sleeveless base layer top which prevented wind at the front and the vents at back allowed body heat to escape. This prevented me from overheating as the ride progressed. The start of the day was cold and chilly and by the end our ride the sun was beating down. At no point did I feel too hot or too cold and this speaks volumes for the craft and attention to detail that BIOTEX put into their products. I also used arm and leg warmers which gave me the flexibility during the ride as to when to use them. As soon as the sun came up I could remove them in under a minute without the need to change bib completely.
Other products of theirs I used was the neoprene overshoes and a wind/rain protection jacket. As someone who feels the cold in the toes the covers offered extreme protection from the wind and my feet were kept warm. The Jacket went on as day turned into night and kept the cold night chill away from our bodies perfectly. Another really good point about this top is how tightly it packs down into your kit bag. For something that can be folded up into the size of your hand and is light as a feather it offers really good protection against wind and rain. Anyone thinking of buying lightweight, stylish jacket need to look at BIOTEX via the SaddleDrunk online store.
Freedom provided some great tyres. The thick slick compound it has great rolling capabilities make any road condition smoother, any holes like a flat oil sea and mainly free from puncture.
I definitely recommend to any of you riding across damaged road, or surfaces.They have an amazing grip on wet also.
When Stef informed me that his father in law was joining us on the ride I was a little intrigued to say the least. 'Would a sixty two year old slow us down in some way?' Was my initial ignorant view.
Firstly after meeting this quiet unassuming man I realised it would be a pleasure to ride with him and was excited to see how he would cope with the demands of the trip.
I cursed myself time and time again during the ride that I even doubted his fitness and ability. As the night set in on our way to Newhaven it was then I began to fully admire the technique and level that Nonno could deliver.
His cadence was constant and he gently pulled away time and time again.
At one point I was struggling to keep up, with one turn of the head Nonno realised my breathing and posture was in decline so gently eased off the throttle to accommodate my needs.
He could of gone on several times in the trip and probably enjoyed the speed more but he put the needs of the team first and I feel honoured to have been able to peddle alongside him for a couple of days.
Stewart Ramsay from W5 Physio:
Not enough words to describe the great, astonishing and efficient post ride massage.
He came out in the morning from London. He waited for us at the Eiffel Tower. Then he came to the hotel to give all of us the massage. Just speechless. Flabbergasted by his great character.
Then he whisked away back to London. Thank you very much.
All SaddleDrunk team and riders are really thankful to those who supported us and sponsored us for this epic ride.