Muc-Off launches No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant

Muc-Off, the leading manufacturer of bicycle cleaning and maintenance products worldwide, has announced the launch of their No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant.

‘No Puncture’ has been developed alongside some of the world’s top downhill and pro-peloton teams to give you the finest tyre sealant available. Compatible with tubeless ready and full UST wheels/tyres, the tyre sealants 140ml pouch design fits perfectly over a Presta valve to give mess-free installation. It can also be poured straight into the tyre if you don’t have removable valve cores.

The sealants formula contains cutting-edge microfibre molecules that fill bigger holes and tears, whilst advanced latex clings to the whole tyre inner for maximum protection and forms a tough instant seal over the hole.

‘No Puncture Hassle’ also contains a unique UV detection system that highlights any punctures a rider hasn’t seen during their ride. It’s biodegradable, non-corrosive to your wheels or tyres and easy to wash off with water. The formula also uses C02 compatible latex and is packed with antifreeze to stop it shrivelling up unlike some other sealants that ball up when used with C02.

Muc-Off Managing Director, Alex Trimnell, said: “We have tested ‘No Puncture Hassle’ under the most brutal conditions on the planet with 3 years of deep R&D using a wide group of our pro athletes from around the world. The formula we finally created is a result of 100s of hours of testing, the results of which have taken tyre sealant performance to a new level.

The feedback we’ve had from our professional riders has been awesome! We are really excited to have created one formula which works to the highest performance in all tubeless tyres, from Pro Road Racing to World Cup Downhill and everything in between. Oh and lastly, we really don’t like single-use plastics so would encourage all to use our 1 litre refill to fill up the pouches.”

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For more information on the No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant, and other Muc-Off products, please visit: https://muc-off.com/

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My Cycle To Work Scheme – Smith The Route Helmet

The chaps at Smith sent us pedal pushers over one of their ‘The Route’ helmets. When they did, they asked me which colour I would like, their charcoal black or bright orange. Using this for the commute I chose bright orange and I’m glad I did. I’m convinced the colour got me noticed on the road and stopped me from being hit by a car turning right and not looking. I’m not saying that is the reason you should buy this helmet, what I am saying is think what purpose you’re buying your helmet for. Be it weekend Road riding, track racing or on the commute, colour and type should always play a part.

“The Route helmet represents a movement within Smith to bring the award winning technologies found in our popular Overtake helmet to the everyday rider.” Said Graham Sours, Smith Helmet Category Manager. “We ride on the road and commute by bike and these new models exemplify all of us as cyclists in our own unique way”. So let’s see what Graham is talking about shall we?

  • Who are Smith?

In 1965, Dr. Bob Smith, orthodontist and original ski bum, developed the first sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam goggles so he could get a few more powder runs on days when everyone else had to go indoors. For over 50 years, SMITH has pioneered advanced products to fuel fun beyond walls, creating innovations that amplify awesome, and crafting gear where every detail makes a difference.

  • Comfort

This Smith helmet comes with MIPS technology, this is basically a plastic layer between your head and the inside of the helmet.

This layer helps to reduce the tension which the helmet can put on your head. When you tighten your helmet it’s not just the inner band on the helmet that tightens but the whole of this layer meaning the pressure is spread all around your head and not just at the band contact points.

All added up this makes the helmet extremely comfortable for a longer ride and you don’t have that classic head strap mark across your forehead when you take it off, that’s a plus!

The MIPS® lining also reduces rotational forces that the brain is exposed to during oblique impacts to the head.  When combined with MIPS®, the helmet liner is separated from the head by a low-friction slip plan that allows the head to slide during impact and may reduce instances of traumatic brain injuries.

  • Ventilation

There certainly are 18 large air vents on this helmet and the all important vents at the back to allow the air to flow over your head keeping it cool. It also includes anti-microbial X-Static performance liners with Reactive Cooling, ultra light single layer webbing, and a VaporFit™ adjustable system for increased comfort and it works!

I have to say, the times I wore this helmet I always felt nice and cool and arrived where I needed to be a little less red faced.

Another area where The Route scores well.

  • Would I buy one?

Yeah, I would. I think the design is good, it cools well and is very comfy to wear.

It’s much more of a commute helmet over one for a weekend road warrior, as it’s not as sleek for some. However it’s durability, comfort and the bright orange is great for the commuter in the hot summer months!

The Route is available in many colour choices, for £129.99 with MIPS technology and £109.99 without. My advice, spend the extra £20, it could save your life.

Well done Smith.

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Tour de France – Team Sky’s and KASK

At this years Tour de France Team Sky have taken their head protection up a notch with the help of their Italian helmet supplier KASK. They will be using KASK’s new VALEGRO helmet which will be launching later in the year.

KASK_VELEGRO_ASSIEME BIANCOChris Froome and the boys will be looking to make it a third in a row and a very, very impressive fourth Tour de France victory for the Kenyan born Englishman. While doing so in the high mountain top finishes and on other key stages of the Tour, they will don KASK’s Valegro, which, like KASK’s other road helmets has been designed in combination with Team Sky. It brings cutting edge ventilation system, its super lightweight compact design, its superb fit and rider comfort.

With 36 air intakes, resulting in a head-to-pad contact area up to 70% less than some conventional helmet designs, VALEGRO’s temperature management performance is one of the best in the peloton – keeping Team Sky’s riders cool on the hottest of climbs and longest of stages on the Tour.

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KASK have taken what they have learnt from the development of their Infinity aero road helmet and the time-trial Bambino Pro, add to that the feedback from the Team Sky riders on their performance and how they behave – all of this has been applied to the development of the VALEGRO. The profile of the VALEGRO’s polycarbonate shell has been tested, re-tested and then refined by the KASK engineers in a wind tunnel to get the best possible cooling performance.

By having 36 air intakes, the eight of the helmet has also been dramatically reduced, down to a measly 180 grams, it’s not only the ventilation which has allowed this though, new advanced materials and a brand new moulding technology has enabled KASK to be able to produce this helmet. Weight being high on the list for top level athletes. They don’t want to be carrying a bag of sugar on their head up the alp climbs!

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The front of the new VALEGRO looks aggressive and the ventilation is clear to see.

VALEGRO’s new breathable and quickdry padding, including a 5mm layer of fast-wicking material that takes moisture away from the rider’s head and moves it to the helmet’s outer shell, contribute to a helmet that’s comfortable to wear, all day, and especially on those long, tough, hot climbs through the Alps and Pyrenees. Along with unique features such as new frontand rear sunglasses garages, VALEGRO takes rider comfort to another level, leaving little distractions from the race itself. Like all KASK helmets, the VALEGRO is designed, manufactured and tested to the highest safety criteria, so top level racers can concentrate in the job in hand – hopefully winning Chris Froome another Tour de France title.

The KASK – Team Sky partnership is one which has been going since 2010, an amazing achievement from a company which has only been going it’s self from 2004. LEt’s not forget that Team Sky have won four out of the last five Tour de France titles. Meaning this helmet has come through a thorough bred of victory and race expertise.

The VALEGRO will be available to buy from December 2017, nice and cooling for your winter riding…

KASK_VELEGRO_RETRO_NERO

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My Cycle To Work Scheme – Blaze Lazerlight

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You may be aware of the lighting brand Blaze, they have been ‘blazing’ a trail now for a couple of years in the world of bike lights. They’ve got a bit of a range, the rear burner, the front burner and the one I’ll be reviewing in this write up, the Lazerlight.

Keeping safe on the roads morning and evening, on your commute is very important. The Blaze team are different in what they do to help improve bike safety with this Laserlight.

If you’re a London liver, like me, you may have noticed them on the Boris Bikes (or to give them their unofficial name, Santander Cycles) lately. In short, it is a light for the front of your bike which also projects, via laser, a green bicycle on the floor up to six meters in front of you as you ride. What’s the point of it and is it any good? Well for £125 you would ruddy well hope so, if I’m spending that much I want it to last forever and for it to shoot frickin’ laser beams out of it… Let’s see if it can do both of those things! Here’s what I found.

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First impressions were good, the Blaze comes packed in a nice looking high end box and as you open it, you’re presented with just the light. It’s got some weight to it but it feels smooth and high end, which you’d expect for the whopping £125. As you get it out the box the first thing you want to do is start firing the laser, which you can’t do until the light is attached to its bike mount, you can however turn the light on. It comes with enough charge to at least test the light with, I didn’t ride it straight out the box but you might be able to get away with it if your ride is short. I would not advise this though, if you’re going to ride with your bike light in the dark, please make sure your light is fully charged, that’s just common sense.

Charing is easy, it’s a USB charger so will plug in to your computer/laptop or even a USB plug charger like that of your phone. The charger attaches via magnet to the top of the Laserlight. The Laserlight its self tells you how charged it is by LED lights, which change colour and flash or stay solid to let you know how charged the Laserlight is. Charing is as simple as charging your phone.

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Attaching it to your bike is easy too, the only thing you should know is you need the supplied Allen Key to fully tighten the light mount to your bike. The light then just slots in to the mount, attaching and detaching easy. So, I guess, unless you’re constantly changing bikes, fully tightening the mount to the bike with an Allen Key should only be a one-time thing. If the light goes on the mount easy enough, which it does, it’s not that much of an issue for me. If you are going to be constantly swapping bikes and lights, keep a hold of that key!

Turning the light on confused me a bit, being a bloke I obviously tried to do things without reading the instructions. I didn’t realise there was a lock feature on the light which is turned on/off by holding down both the light and laser button at the same time. The advantage being that the light wont switch on and run down it’s battery life if you’ve dumped it in your backpack/bag – I’ll come back to battery life later it’s a claimed 13 hours… There is a couple of different settings for the LED light, 100 lumens, 300 lumens and flashing. For the laser – on, off or flashing. They’re super easy to toggle through just by pressing the respective buttons. You can have whichever combination of the lights going at any one time.

However, this leads me back to the battery life… If you have it on full 300 lumens and bike laser staying on constantly, expect it to run flat in 40 minutes. not 13 hours. Blaze claim on their website that you can get 4 hours at 95% depletion but this is a get me home measure. It seems a bit of a cop out to me, no one takes four whole hours to cycle home, I’d hate to forever be charging my Laserlight each time I get to the office and home from work, as fun as the magnetic charger is. Which brings me back to the price, if I’m paying £125 on a front light only, I want it to work all day long. Not some dim 100 lumens which I worry will get me seen as I’m on my 20-minute commute home.

So, with the battery life and cost in mind, is this light just a gimmick? Well, Blaze have released some numbers on the light apparently tests by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) when a Blaze Laserlight is fitted and the laser is turned on, visibility to a bus driver went up from 72% to 96% compared to an LED light alone. That’s very impressive. Very, very impressive. And TFL (Transport for London) wouldn’t have put 12,000 on them on their Santander Cycles if they didn’t believe in the light.

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The safety is there for all to see, six meters in front of you. It’s cool and when I was cycling around with it on, it’s not only bus drivers who notice you, pedestrians, car drivers, scooters and other cyclists all knew you were coming. It did make me feel a lot safer on the road and can you really put a price on your own safety? If you’re Blaze yes you can, it’s £125.

You can buy a Blaze Lazerlight and check out their range here

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