Old cassett that was removed from my lejog dawes touring bike

Bike Product Reviews

Cateye Volt 300 Front USB Rechargeable Light

"Amazing. That is a bright light." Purchased as an additional front light to the others I own; it is now the main one. It is seriously bright and seriously great value for money. Along with a fantastic main "HI" setting there are 5 Light Modes in total. With a minimum run time of 3h Constant to a maximum 60h Flashing it is a must have. In terms of recharging this is made via USB, which if you play your cards right can be done at work rather than at home. This can only save you money on electricity usage at home and buying those extra batteries. The Cateye Volt 300 comes with an energy level indicator so you hopefully won't be caught short. Great value for money. A must have for any commutor.

Used on a variety of routes: lit roads, unlit roads, cannal cycle paths and off road cycle paths all brightly lit up by the Cateye Volt 300 Front USB Rechargeable Light. It can only mean good things for its big brother, the Volt 1200 right?

The Cateye Volt 300 Front USB Rechargeable Light. Rechargeable Battery via USB, Run times: High: 3hrs and Flash: 60hrs, 5 Modes: High | Medium | Low | Flash | Hyper Constant
Purchased from EvansCycles more

Cateye TL-LD600 (Rear Light)

The second time I have bought one of these Cateye lights and it will not be the last. Absolutely superb and highly recommend these to anyone. I cycle with both of these mounted and on at anyone time. I have come to realise that it is better to be seen rather than spotted. Running one of these lights is great particularly in the setting sunlight or if slightly foggy or during poor visibility in the day time, but my suggestion is as many as possible at night! The functionality of this light is simple and I rate it as brilliant.

TL-LD600 25,000MCD, 5 Super Bright LED, 30hours, Flashing/Constant
Purchased from Halfords more

Cateye UNO (HL-EL010) + TL-LD610 (Front & Rear Lights)

I purchased this light set with a focus on the front light. Better to be seen rather than spotted. Although this front light is bright and very good for my commute, it is one of four front lights I now ride with when riding to work. It is particularly good in villages and towns where there is aditional street lighting. When riding on dark country lanes, I do not think that this light is safe to show you a good, clear and bright path. Some cars that pass me under the same conditions aren't much better either.

I would recommend this set of lights to the city/town commuter, but would look at the front light as a back-up or in addition to another main light of a similar quality. The functions of both lights are good and they have good – brilliant ratings.

UNO(HL-E010) 400+CD, 1 Super Bright LED, 60hours Max, Flashing/Constant (good)
TL-LD610 80,000+MCD, 5 Super Bright LED, 60hours Max, Flashing/Constant (brilliant)
Purchased from Halfords more

Cream Assos Chamois Cream

Great protection. Purchased back in late March 2012 and used twice prior to the big ride. It is a strange minty, ice cold cold after application I thought, but it certainly did does the trick. So the Assos Cream was purchased solely for the Land's End to John O'Groats trip in mind. This cycle trip was to be over 14 days and averaging about 70 miles a day - protection was needed, not just from padded shorts. Application of the cream was easy and essentially at the end of each day there was no sign of sores. This does exactly what it says on the tin and I would highly recommend this product. Do read the manufacturers instructions as if you have sensitive skin it may cause issues.
Purchased from Wiggle more

Shoes Shimano R077 Road

After owning these Road Shoes for over two years it was about time for a review. The first time I tried these on I new that they were right for me (my feet). They are the most perfectly fitting shoe (including trainers and wedding shoes) I have purchased. Instantly feeling comfort from the shoe I knew I had to part with my money – Investment – Little did I know that these would take me on some epic rides and survive the trips. These Shimano R077 Road shoes also gave me the determination to try clip ons for the first time. The shoe itself held my feet snug and gave great support when needed. The three closure strips are brilliant so the tightness can be adjusted accordingly.

It would only be fair to mention some negatives on this review, for me that is the vent hole on the bottom front of the shoe. Why is that negative? Well when you cycle for 14 days and out of those 11 are non-stop rain wettest April/May on record and then repeat the process of drying them and getting them wet; the shoe does take a down turn. Therefore the hole would be my only negative, but then that is only thanks to the rain. (Other shoes have the vent hole too). So some negatives is actually just one.

Unfortunately after two years these shoes have become tired, but they have done over 10,000km of riding in various different weather conditions and swapping between two types of cleat set-ups. Another positive at this point; great universal fitting capabilities. So I feel its fair they head to the shoe Gods. In my opinion the Shimano R077 Road shoe is brilliant purchase and I would highly recommend them to anyone – more so the beginner to intermediate cyclist. Lastly as everyone will tell you and you will find out: "you will fall off, its a matter of when, not if".
Purchased from Evans Cycles more

Panniers Altura Dryline 56

On the first test ride with these, which I might add was the first time I have ever cycled with panniers on; the conditions could not have been more perfect. I started out on the Saturday with damp slightly cold, moving into dry(ish) warm weather. The following morning, there was light rain with intermittent heavy showers, which continued for the whole duration of the ride. This later turned into sleet, heavy sleet and then to finish off with dropping temperatures and thick heavy snow! Freezing onto road signs as it came down. This was completely unexpected when I left the house on Saturday morning, however the Altura Dryline 56 Panniers lived up to their reviews and description. All contents perfectly dry, just cold due to the drop in temperature. These were the perfect choice for Land's End to John O'Groats trip. Let's keep those fingers crossed I don't have heavy sleet and snow though. Also, in terms of space - massive - good small compartments too.
Purchased from Wiggle more

Jacket Endura Flyte Jacket

I have been cycling for years and this is my first ever proper cycle jacket. It was a brilliant choice and on the first test ride, like the panniers the conditions were spot on. The weather forecast said it would be raining most of the weekend, so after buying on Friday evening, I set out Saturday morning in the rain and stayed out in the rain for 2hours solid. This jacket had great reviews with regards to its waterproof standards some negative comments about over-heating though. Yes you do sweat when wearing it, but you sweat when in shorts and a jersey so moaning about sweating with this jacket I think is silly. However, I picked this jacket as it was waterproof and a good fit on me. It totally lived up to my expectations and then exceeded them. 2hours in the rain and my neck, arms, back and front were all completely dry. I cannot recommend this jacket highly enough, but I would certainly advise trying the Endura Flyte Jacket on. It comes in two colours red or black - I went for black due to stock levels. It does have reflective marks too. All in all a great waterproof jacket, that is actually waterproof.
Purchased from Evans Cycles more

Updated: This jacket is so highly recommended that my dad had one purchased and delivered to him on Day 7 or our 14 day LEJOG challenge. We cycled in the wettest April on record (in 2012) and it is without doubt the best waterproof jacket that myself or my dad has ever owned or worn. This jacket easily gets a 5 star rating!

Wheels Hand built Wheelset - Shimano LX

These were an absolute must. As you may have read my touring bike has been stripped down and given an overhaul. This was the catalyst to making a decision of overhaul rather than buy a new bike. The back wheel was dead. Three spokes were broken and the wheels themselves heavy and old. I searched around and via the CTC magazine and web site I found Spa Cycles. They have been serving the touring cyclist for over 25 years, I thought this was a good place to go. In terms of customer service - great, would recommend. They gave good advice and I have had the Shimano LX wheelset for at least 4weeks now and they run really well. They have removed a bit of weight compared to the old ones, but there has not been a compromise in strength. Superb wheels and delivery was quick.
Purchased from Spa Cycles more

Updated: Had these wheels from new to complete the 14 days unsupported LEJOG ride. Absolutely brilliant. About 18kg of weight spread across two Altura panniers (the ones mentioned above) and the wheels had no broken or suspicious spokes and rim wear seems minimal. These are also highly recommended and gets a 5 star rating! Spa Cycles more is the place to buy these.

GPS Garmin Edge 800

Great piece of technology for two wheels. Even better with a price match at Evans Cycles, however Garmin themselves like most reviews I have read, really did let this down. I would strongly recommend buying this GPS device, but I would definitely be prepared for weeks of locating the answers yourself and obtaining no good help from Garmin. The best way of learning this device and how it works is to just go out on your usual known routes and be ready to find out more before and after each of these rides. I did exactly this and now the device is running perfectly to my expectations and more.
Purchased from Evans Cycles more

Updated: Some 6 months have now past and its fair to say I'm still loving this device. Although the user errors are still happening. Preparation is key. The other day I have plotted a 130km route downloaded onto the device, which actually did not work first time - it took several attempts. Set the route up with its Guidance on, virtual partner off etc. The killer thing was I had completed all of this the night before and pressed 'Go'. Now the important note to all (new) users only press go 5 – 10 minutes prior to physically cycling. Otherwise as I have found out again too often you guidance prompts don't work.

In terms of the water proof standards this has been one of the wettest years on record (2012) and the device continues to function through all conditions. The connecting ports do seem to be wearing slightly, but these are replaceable. I use the device between 5 and 6 days a week so its being used hard. I shall still recommend this device. I am still yet to purchase all the add kit, but give it time.

LEJOG Tips and Hints

Future Product Reviews

Reviews on other cycling related items are:

  • Cycling in the South East of England by John Grimshaw CBE
  • Cycling France - Lonely Planet Cycling Guides by Ethan Gelber


Knog Frog LED Front Light Knog Frog LED Front Light
The perfect back up light always recommended
Endura Flyte Jacket Endura Flyte Jacket
11 out of 14 days in the rain, but dry great purchase more
Look Keo Classic Pedals Look Keo Classic Pedals
Effortless and comfortable for a first time clipper
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