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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Wahoo and BMC buddy up!

Wahoo Fitness Announces Official Partnership with BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team

UCI Cross-country World Cup team led by Titouan Carod and Lars Forster will be riding with Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS computers and heart rate monitors for the 2018 racing season

Wahoo Fitness, the leader in connected fitness devices, today announced a new partnership with BMC Mountain Bike Racing team, led by rising talents Titouan Carod of France and Lars Forster of Switzerland. Through the partnership, the BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team will be training and racing with Wahoo’s aerodynamic ELEMNT BOLT GPS cycling computer and the TICKR Heart Rate Monitor throughout the 2018 UCI World Cup race season.

 As an official partner of BMC’s elite cross-country mountain bike team, Wahoo will deploy two foundational elements of its product ecosystem into the team’s world cup-winning strategies: the ELEMNT BOLT – the easiest to use and most feature-rich bike computer on the market, and the TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, for measuring critical race-winning efforts.

With a strategic roster aiming for Tokyo 2020, the BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team heads into the 2018 World Cup season with five straight overall series victories under its belt – a streak which began in 2013. With Wahoo devices measuring rider efforts in 2018, the team will be looking to secure a sixth overall World Cup title, while adding victories at the National, European and World Championship races.

The BMC Mountain Bike Racing team joins pro cycling teams BORA-hansgrohe, Katusha, Team Sky, and JLT-Condor along with professional triathletes Jan Frodeno, Lionel Sanders, and Heather Jackson – all of whom leverage Wahoo’s leading-edge fitness technologies for gains at the highest levels of professional sport.

“The supreme customisability, user-friendliness, and overall reliability of the Wahoo BOLT, along with the easy integration with our training platforms are all features that have been in high demand for our team members,” says BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team founder and director Alex Moos. “We’re proud to partner with a brand who understands these specific needs of elite bike racers while training or competing.”

“Adding podium regulars on the UCI cross-country World Cup circuit to the Wahooligan family has long been a goal of ours,” says Chip Hawkins, CEO of Wahoo Fitness. “And we couldn’t be happier to introduce the BMC Mountain Bike team to our growing stable of the fastest men and women in road cycling and triathlon, all of whom depend on Wahoo devices to measure and plan their race-winning efforts.”

Wahoo Fitness has created a full ecosystem of sensors and devices for the runner, cyclist or general fitness enthusiast. Wahoo Fitness’s award winning line of Bluetooth Smart products include the KICKR and KICKR SNAP indoor bike trainers, the ELEMNT, ELEMNT BOLT, and ELEMNT MINI smart bike computers, the world’s first smartphone connected bike computers, and the TICKR family of chest-based wearables. The TICKR family, composed of the TICKR, TICKR Run and TICKR X, combine heart rate training with advanced motion analytics.

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ZWIFT men’s cycling academy

Yes, that’s right. You’ve heard of the women’s cycling academy where ZWIFT pick the best women from their cycling platform and give the best one a place in the Canyon // SRAM pro women’s team.

Screen Grab ZA Launch 2

Well, ZWIFT have teamed up with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, as they expand their mission to find the next best in pro-cycling talent. The overall winner stands a chance of racing with the Continental Squad in 2018.

On 1st September, all graduates of the 2017 Team Dimension Data | Zwift Academy will unlock charitable donations to Qhubeka, funded by Zwift. Top performing graduates aged under 22 years will then progress to battle it out for a pro-contract on the Team Dimension Data Continental Squad for 2018.

Phase 1 of the Academy consists of a six week structured training program designed by elite coaches and a roster of group rides and races. From an anticipated pool of over 5,000 successful graduates, ten top U23 riders will be selected to complete an additional two weeks of riding and training. From this group, three top finalists will continue to the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka November training camp in Cape Town, South Africa, where one will earn the opportunity to race with the Continental Squad in 2018.

Screen Grab ZA Launch

“Zwift has proven itself to not only be a rigorous data and training platform, but also a place where cyclists around the world can come together, engage, and become better riders,” says Doug Ryder, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Team Principal. “We want to take part in this unique experience to not only identify and discover talent, but also to educate others about our charity partner Qhubeka, an organization that works to bring rural communities across Africa closer to nutritious food, clean water, schools, employment, and health care by providing them with utility bicycles.”

“Zwift has built a track record as a training tool used by top professional talent but we want to go much wider than this” says Eric Min, Zwift’s CEO and co-founder. “With 2017 enrollment in the women’s Canyon//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy already open, we know with this expansion, we can create the largest online training community in cycling, where every participant of every ability is trained and coached into a stronger cyclist.”

So if you want to be riding for Team Dimension Data in 2018, get yourself on ZWIFT and get yourself riding! Someone has to win, so why couldn’t it be you?

Screen Grab ZA Launch 3

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Wahoo KICKR + ZWIFT Review

What’s the point? Surely cycling is all about the great outdoors, getting out there with other riders, giving them a wave as you go by, grabbing a cheeky toe every now and again all the wind rushing through your hair?

Well, I have to say, I am a bit of an indoor cyclist. I do my fair bit of spinning, my local is at Cyclebeat. They’re based in Monument/Bank and I’ve been a member for almost two years now. I find spinning a great way of maintaining a base level of fitness and helping you build technique as well as a higher average watt pushing power, which is what we’re all after right?

The reason I mention Cyclebeat is because they’re great – their instructors are great and what they do is unlike any spin class I’ve been to. They have a Beat Bored in front of the 50 bikes in the class (Basically two big TV screens), which shows your bike number, cadence, power output and converts that in to a total number, which builds throughout the class. You’re then ranked against your other indoor cycling buddies, “It’s not a competition.” the instructors always say at the start. It is. It always is. If bike number 17 is two points ahead, I’m chasing him down. If bike number 23 is coming up after me, I’m going to turn myself inside and out to keep them at arms length and try and break them before I do.

img_0855So I completely get the point of indoor cycling. What I like about going to spin is that I have to go there, I have to get on the spin bike and after the class I can then leave. So why do I need an indoor bike trainer coupled with what is basically a game? This is the question I asked myself. Now I’m not comparing the two because that would be worlds apart, however, could I replace spin with a Wahoo KICK + a ZWIFT account… hmm… That got my head itchy.

The guys at Wahoo were ever so gracious in sending me over a KICKR to try out, a bit of background on the KICKR, you’ve probably seen Chris Froome and his mates warming up and down on the turbo before they go out and kill it in a time trial? Well Team Sky are all riding on the Wahoo KICKR, the most advance turbo trainer in the Wahoo fleet. Basically with a fly wheel, electromagnets and some wizardry, it controls the resistance you feel and it’s your job to work against that.

I must state now, I only tested the KICKR with ZWIFT – I did not test it with the Wahoo app. So that was a ZWIFT test only.

  • What was the set up like?

    img_0854
    Pram in the background is optional

Pretty easy actually, I pulled the full 28kg’s of turbo trainer out of its box and placed it on the floor, luckily enough the KICKR comes with a handle on it which makes it slightly easier to put it where you want. Unfolding the legs was simple enough and there’s even some adjustable feet on the bottom of the KICKR to make sure it’s as level as possible.

When it’s in position the KICKR puts it weight to good use and hunkers down so that it’s not wobbling all over the place as you ride.

Attaching your bike is as simple as replacing your rear wheel, which you’ll have to remove before you latch on to the KICKR, fret not, it’s 11 speed gear hub is very good and you’ll thank it for 11 gears when you’re pushing up a climb! Without teaching you to suck eggs, before you take your own wheel off it’ll be easiest if your chain is sat on the smallest cog so it just slots back on the smallest cog on the KICKR. The quick release skewer which comes with the KICKR fastens tight and secures the bike firmly in place.

As a side note, I have to admit I felt a bit nervous getting on first time as I wasn’t sure whether the bike would be nice and stable as I got on. In fact, as soon as I was on I was able to take my hands off the bars and felt instantly at ease.

  • Easy to pair with ZWIFT?

    img_0861
    Solid blue light – you’re connected

Well, I have to admit, I was left scratching my head a little bit. I started by downloading the Wahoo Apps and fiddling about with that. I had to do a run down for the KICKR to make sure it was fully calibrated – sprinting up to 33kph and then letting the flywheel run down. Once that was done, I was clocking about on my laptop for ages wondering why, oh why, I couldn’t pair the ‘effing thing to my laptop. After about ten minutes the penny dropped. There’s a little cog in the top right corner of the ZWIFT screen, I had to click on that and choose my laptops internal Bluetooth. Once that was selected the KICKR paired instantly.

So yes, it’s very easy to pair with ZWIFT if you’re not an idiot like me.

  • What’s ZWIFT like though? Should I just ride my bike?

OK I get it, you’re riding you bike indoors, what’s the point? Plus you’re looking at a screen, who is that avatar there? It’s not realistic. The thing is, the ZWIFT avatars never claim to be realistic, they know you know you’re looking at a screen. Even the ‘gameplay’ reflects this, on the loop which I did I took a right turn ended up going down a tube station and cycling along the London Underground and ending up popping out near Box Hill… Now I need to try and figure out which those stations are in real life as I got to Box Hill in minutes!

Look – as long as you get that you’re effectively playing a game to test your fitness, you’ll love it. I did, I thought it was great, genuinely great. I couldn’t wait for my next ride. I didn’t want my ride to end but after eight weeks of being off the bike and no training (I have recently become a father and it becomes really quite tough to keep the training and riding up) I was in a pretty bad way, embarrassingly! I don’t know how Chris Froome manages it…

If you’ve not got the hours to ride your bike, ZWIFT it, you just have to.

  • So what’s the £999 KICKR like, would you buy one?

img_0870It’s amazing, when you hit a hill, you feel it just as you would in real life, the gradient builds on your gear, you feel the resistance in your legs, pulling for a lower gear. Tapping out a tempo. Brilliant.

Wahoo claim in their PR mumbo jumbo that at 61db it’s their quietest KICKR and that all you’ll hear is the pounding of your heart and breathing not the fly wheel… Erm, well… If your heart sounds like a World War II all clear air raid siren then I guess that’s true. The fly wheel does make a noise, a noticeable whirr as it goes around. However, when you’re in the pain locker you’re not hearing it, you’re focusing on your effort.

The only draw, is the noise. If your child is sleeping next door, like mine, I was constantly worried that a big effort would wake him up.

I absolutely loved riding the KICKR, it felt so realistic. It did make me think, I could cancel my spin membership and just buy a KICKR. Get my money back in the long run… However, I did find the idea of training in my living room a little bit uncomfortable, I kept glancing at the sofa thinking, I could just be on that. I lacked that extra little bit of motivation which you get from getting up and going to the gym.

As a fitness tool, I don’t think you could as for much better. The good news? There’s a cheaper option! Only £499 for the Wahoo SNAP. Bargain. Good job they do free shipping if you spend over £55!

You can buy a KICKR from the Wahoo website here

You can view the Wahoo Turbo Trainer range here

Checkout the ZWIFT website here

You can see about Cyclebeat here

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Gadget Review – HRM Tri

Many of you will have shared the same New Years resolution. This is going to be the year you get in to shape.

You let yourself go a bit last year, maybe you’re going to show that ex what they’re missing, or, maybe you got a bit too friendly with the desert menu in 2015 and you need to work it off.

Whatever your reasoning and goals it’s always handy to have a bit of gadgetry to help you out.

So, I got my hands on such a fitness gadget, which can help you achieve those goals. The Garmin HRM Tri.

What’s that? Well it’s a heart rate monitor which is designed for the triathletes among you. ‘Yeah, yeah. How does a heart rate monitor help me train harder? Plus, I’m not a triathlete. I’m a cyclist.’ I hear you ask.

Well soon as you did ask, and I didn’t purposefully put that question there to help me carry out the rest of this blog – it helps you work in ‘zones’, if you’re running, cycling or swimming. Knowing your heart rate and the ‘zone’ you’re working in, combined with how you’re feeling is all important to your overall goal… Getting fit.

Most of the fitness gadgets I test are tested at a neutral playing field, my spin class at Cyclebeat.

What does it look like and how does it work?

 

The Garmin HRM Tri

 

Well, as heart rate monitors go, it’s fairly inconspicuous, the “bulk” of it is about an inch in length and it doesn’t stick out much, at all. Really quite descrete.

Wearing it under your top, which you should do is not an issue. See if you can spot it on me. But, please, excuse the garish green top matched with black white and red shorts.

 

I know the shorts and top dont match, deal with it.

You can get away with wearing it and no one would really know. You’re an undercover gadget lover, that’s fine by me. (So am I).

The way it works is a bit of a stumbling block, for me. You have to partner it to your Garmin Forerunner 920XT watch. If you could partner it to your phone, allowing you to keep a track of your exercise over a period of time, that would be much better. Not having to buy the watch itself which is £311 on Wiggle. Or even being able to download data to your computer, that would work just as good.

Partnering up is easy enough though, it’s in the watches settings and it’s all linked via BlueTooth as long as the watch is within three meters of the monitor. And unless you’ve got freakishly long arms, then there shouldn’t be an issue.

So – in terms of it being a gadget that only you know about, without looking too brash or like you’re taking things too seriously.

It gets a decent score for being descrete and the Garmin colours look nice too.

That strap, it’s got to be pretty snug, right?

Well, that was my concern. When I first put it on I thought: ‘hmmm, this is going to restrict my breathing.’ Actually, I barely even noticed. The pain in my legs was far worse. Once I got over the fact I was doing a gadget review the fact I was wearing a heart rate monitor didn’t even enter my brain.

It scores well here. The strap is very giving but not so that it falls around your waist. There’s even adjusters for the larger sized person.

What are the pros then?

What I did love was that I was able to see how I was working in ‘zones’. You hear people talking about this all the time but you’re able to judge what you’re doing better when the numbers are on your wrist.

Before I entered the class my heart rate was down at 59bpm, zone 0.5. At its max I was beating at 178 per minute. Zone 5.6

 It was actually really effective, for reading my heart rate during my workout. I knew how hard I was working by how my legs felt but I never before was able to see how hard my heart was working. The more I was able to understand how that muscle was working the more focused my training became.

After all if your heart isn’t working properly, you’ll probably pass out and the next thing you’ll see is flashing blue lights. At least they’ll know your heart rate though.

So in terms of reading your heart rate, again, it scores well.

And the cons?

Well the blatant one is that you need a £300+ watch strapped to your wrist. What’s that about? Let me pair it to my phone and store the data there.

There’s no where to store my data?! Without the watch it’s just a snug fitting strap. How am I meant to see if I’m improving if I can’t store my data?

For me, the overarching issue is that you can’t use the heart rate monitor without the Forerunner 920XT watch. That is a big issue.

Other than that, it was pretty bang on.

So, are you buying one?

There’s no contesting the fact that indeed it is a heart rate monitor, it looks good and it does indeed read your heart rate.

It costs £99.99 from the Garmin website. So it’s not cheap on its own and then there is the price of the all encompassing watch. Yes if you bought the HRM Tri, Forerunner XT920 watch and also a Garmin Edge bundle I can really see the advantages.

As a gadget it’s easy to use, looks good, it’s descrete and does what it says on the tin, I can’t fault it there.

However, I think it’s a little too rich for my blood. Overall I’ll give it 3 revolutions of the pedal out of 5.

If you would like to buy the Garmin HRM Tri, you can do so here.

If you would like to buy the Forerunner XT920 you can do so here

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