Reviews Posts

5 Best Bicycle Tires for Gravel Riding | 2018 Reviews

Gravel Tires for Cycling

Whether you’re looking to race and maximize performance, or simply enjoy canal towpaths of your commute, there’s no denying that gravel roads and paths provide a unique and fun riding experience.

That said, riding gravel is something for which not every bicycle tire is suitable.

Finding the best bicycle tires for gravel roads is challenging at the best of time. There just isn’t enough quality information out there yet.

The rise of tough gravel racing events in North America, which combine elements of road, mountain biking and cyclocross into long epic distances, has helped to fuel developments in the gravel tire and bike marketplace. You aren’t limited to a single choice any longer.

With over a million miles of gravel roads in the USA alone, this area of cycling looks like it will continue to develop. It makes perfect sense: those gravel paths wend through beautiful country and feature very little traffic.

Here’s one thing I can guarantee: riding a bicycle on gravel roads is flat out fun. Interested in hopping on this challenging new trend? Here are a few of my favourite gravel bicycle tires worth checking out.

Waterproof Essentials: Best Rain Gear Clothing for Cyclists

Man cycling in the rain.

Finding the best cycling rain gear: what works, what doesn’t?

I live in the Vancouver area. It is a beautiful city with picturesque mountain views and the mildest climate in Canada. Sadly, it has one significant downside: rain.

You might think that would deter many cyclists who prefer to commute by bicycle. Not so! Vancouver is shaping up to be the next Amsterdam with bicycle lanes and co-op programs.

The truth is, a well-equipped rider can ride in wet weather in moderate comfort. A few good pieces of cycling rain gear will keep you dry and warm on that blustery ride to the office.

That being said, the word ‘waterproof’ is thrown around a bit too liberally in the bike apparel world. Finding something that actually works is imperative, or you’ll end up right back behind the steering wheel.

But what do you actually need?

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best rain gear and clothing for bicycle riders. I will list 4 essential pieces to keep your ride dry.

My purpose is twofold: I want to help you get properly equipped so you’ll arrive happy and dry, and I also want to give a few shout-outs to good brands that really work.

Interested? Keep on reading.

Mud Tire Duel: Vittoria Cross XL vs. Clement PDX | Cyclocross Reviews

What's the Best Cyclocross Mud Tire?

Get a Grip with the Vittoria Cross XL Pro & Clement PDX Clincher Tires

If you’re racing cyclocross this winter, you are pretty much assured that you’re going to encounter some mud. Whether it’s the thick heavy stuff like riding through peanut-butter that severely slows you down, or the ultra-soft watered down stuff that literally ends up everywhere, it’s tough to ride through.

At some point during the season the hard-packed ground of early season will turn to a form of gloop and as a rider you need to be prepared.

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the conditions is picking up some mud-specific cyclocross tires.  Generally there are three kinds of cyclocross racing tires: dry conditions, all-around performance and mud-specific tires.

It’s logical for a racer using clincher wheels to have a selection of tires at their disposal throughout the racing season.

Two of the more recent additions to the clincher cyclocross tire market are Vittoria’s Cross XL Pro and the Clement PDX. Both tires aim to target the muddier end of the CX racing season.

But will they help you power your way to better performance, or leave you sliding in the mud? To give you an idea of our comparison of these tires we’ve given a running scorecard for you to judge how each cyclocross tire performs.

Which of these two cyclocross mud racing tires is the best for winter riding conditions? Read on to find out.

Cycling Energy Gels & Chews Reviewed: Hype or Best Practice?

Cycling Energy Gel Reviews

Are energy gels for cycling a good way to refuel?

Cycling is a demanding sport and a fantastic workout. Like with any other exercise, refueling your body after your ride is essential for best results. But what about longer rides and races? When your energy level starts to sag, is there anything you can eat or drink to give you a much needed boost?

Energy gels are heralded as a breakthrough for endurance athletes of all disciplines. Gels (or solid chews) provide a quick supply of dense energy in an accessible form, and they’re supposed to be packed with exactly what your body needs on a ride: electrolytes and simple carbohydrates.

These little packs come in a handy flat tube that you can tear open and consume, or paper packets you can rip open.

But do they work? Or perhaps a better question is: are they worth it?

This article seeks to answer that. We’ll look at what they’re made of. You might be surprised at what’s in the average cycling energy gel pack. And what’s not.

Next, we’ll list a few of the best energy gels or chews for bicycling I’ve found, and I’ll review each one briefly. That way if you want to give them a whirl, you’ll be trying one that’s halfway decent.

Are energy gels for cycling the answer to your sagging energy levels after a long race? Read on to find out. 

Cycling with a Six Pack: 3 Great Bicycle Beer Bottle Holders

Bicycling with Beer: Holders & Carriers

Nothing is better than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day, and nothing works up a thirst like a good bike ride. But if you don’t have a car, and your liquor store is miles away, your frosty beverage faces a risky trip home in the backpack.

Let’s face it, bicycles weren’t built for carrying a 6 pack. Your options are limited. You can stuff a six pack awkwardly into a satchel. You can balance a plastic bag precariously over your handlebars.

Or, you can use a handy dandy bike beer holder to carry your frosty beverages on your bike! You’ll get to and from that store in a snap, and you’ll look great doing it too.

Yep, six pack holders for bicycles are a thing, and they’re awesome. I find it’s way easier to justify a few suds after a calorie-burning spin over to my local brewery.

So, in order to facilitate your frosty brew transportation needs, here are a few of the best bicycle beer holders and 6 pack carriers around today.

The $20 Cheap Road Tire Review: Schwalbe Lugano VS. Vittoria Zaffiro

Riding on the Cheap: $20 Road Bike Tire Comparison & Review

If you don’t have a ton to spend on rubber, don’t dismay: you still have a few options. You’ll have to choose carefully, however, because there are more duds than hits at this price point.

So which are the best inexpensive road bike tires anyway? Today, we’ll be looking at two surprisingly viable options in the $20 range.

In the blue corner, weighing a respectable 255 grams and fighting out of Germany is the Schwalbe Lugano. In the red corner, weighing a slightly more heavyweight 340 grams and rolling out of Thailand with an Italian passport is the Vittoria Zaffiro.

While this battle may not be Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed, it still has the potential to crown a worthy $20 road bike tire champion!

Vredestein Fortezza Senso Review: An Ideal All Weather Road Bike Tire?

Vredenstein Fortezza All Weather Tires

One set of tires for year round racing, training and commuting?

The Fortezza Tricomp tire has been around for years and I’m still as happy to race on them today as I was ten years ago. For many riders they’ve become a first choice road bike tire for winter training, fast commuting and racing, especially when an all-weather competition tire is a requirement.  The Fortezza Senso is the latest iteration of the much admired Fortezza Tricomp and features the original tread pattern with an updated compound.

But how does it compare? Is the Vredestein Fortezza Senso really one of the best road bike tires for riding year-round?

Schwalbe One Review: The Best Road Bike Tire for Training or Racing?

Schwalbe One Road Racing Tire

Is The Schwalbe One Better Than The Almighty Ultremo ZX?

As a road racer I’m always on the lookout for something that’s going to give me a performance edge at a relatively low cost. Tires seem to be one of the options where spending an extra few dollars can make a significant difference in the grand scheme of things.

Having just started racing on new Schwalbe One road bike tires it’s a great time to review their performance so far having previously loved their Ultremo ZX racing tires.

How to Restore a Bicycle | Beautiful Vintage Bike Tips

Restored Vintage Bicycle

The human eye is a remarkable thing. It can pick up on incredibly subtle details, and your brain transforms those signals into snap judgements. In the case of bicycles, the eye can pick out imperfections like a magnet.

Rust, scuffed and scratched paint, shoddy or worn out components: all are identified almost immediately. If you’re here to learn how to restore a vintage bicycle, I have some good news for you: I know how to trick the eye.

Performing a beautiful vintage bicycle restoration isn’t always a trial. You don’t always have to tear it down and start from scratch.

There are a few simple and quick ways to restore your vintage bike and make it look like a million bucks (or at least several hundred). Curious? Keep reading.