Category Archives: Cycling kit

’tis the season to help good ventures

A child seat built specifically for trails. This makes two kickstarter posts in one day, but the idea behind Macride was conceived in Scotland (I suspect) and it has been tested in the Ochil hills of Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire over the past few months, so I wanted to give this one a shout too.

You can contribute to this kickstarter fund – there are only a few hours to go on this one.

Competition! WTF?

This blog is not normally known for reviews, product tests / promotion or prizes, but it just so happens I have a fetching T-Shirt from WTF Kits to give away.

The WTF Kits logo is modelled on the classic Team Z-Peugeot kit that Robert Millar wore for 1989–1991.

British fans may know this team as GAN, who Chris Boardman rode for in the mid 90s, and later as Credit Agricole.

To enter, post a comment below with a link to your favourite all-time post on this blog. You need to link to one of my posts or mention it in your comment – maybe it was one of my early, corny ‘Scottish Cycling rules‘, one of the historical pieces, or one of the interviews, such as Steve McCaw’s hour record, Jen Taylor’s women’s champs win or one of the Scottish climbs.

Check out WTF Kits tumblr blog.

I am giving away 1 T-Shirt only, in size medium.
Entry closes 12:00 noon this Sunday November.
Winner picked at random from comments on this blog post.
Eligible only to UK residents.
I’ll contact the lucky winner privately for your name and address and post it out to you.

@wtfkits got it muddy already!

WTF is this weird t-shirt that arrived from Washington DC? Ha @CXHairs on the packet

Homemade chamois cream recipe

Further to my wee bro’s homemade protein recovery flapjack (PFJ?) recipe, here is a formula for your own chamois cream.

The spirit of home made and fettled things have been in the spirit of this blog ever since I published Official Rule #8: Performing your own maintenance. The mythical Scottish cycling champion is able to set up his own bike, build his own wheels and even design and make his own frames. Hang, on, we already have one of those, his name’s Graeme Obree.

The concoction is created by Simon Lamb of sadly-now-defunct Gazzetta della Bici fame, and founder of the non-location-based GS Gazzetta cycling club. Simon created his own massage oils and sold them for a while under the La Clinica A Mano label, although [edit] as of 2012 you can now find them at Il Dolore.

Chamois Cream Recipe:
•Large pot emollient cream, Large pot Aqueous cream. Essential oils [lemon tea tree] and Witch Hazel.

•Mix creams together a bowl. Then add the Witch Hazel [50ml] but add it gradually and mix well to stop it splitting

•Then add 5ml’s of each of essential oils gradually. Put the mixed cream back in the tubs it came in and thats it!

•Use quite liberally, as it’s thinner than some you get. But it cheap, easy and lasts for ages.

I haven’t tried it myself but it has been road tested by illustrator Richard Mitchelson and others- give it a go!

Scottish Cycling Foods: protein recovery Flapjack recipe

After posting about Graeme Obree’s low-fi energy food recently, you may end up ‘breathing in crumbs’, to borrow a phrase of his, with this recipe.

The recipe is the creation of my brother, who spends his spare time mountain biking and back-country skiing in Switzerland, when he isn’t trying out the trails of Borneo.

The addition of protein powder certainly makes it more of a recovery food than race fuel, but having tested it on the reliability rides this month it is good on-ride winter fodder if you nibble in small quantities, or is ideal for carrying as an insurance policy against the dreaded bonk.

Protein flapjack ingredients 1

Ingredients Continue reading

Focus on mechanics: Brendan Milliken

Brendan has kindly agreed to answer some of my questions about the past two years he has spent as a full time mechanic for Endura Racing.

You’ve spent the past 2 years as mechanic with Endura Racing, remind us how you got the gig?
Since the age of 14 I have been involved in cycling, as a rider and working in cycle shops as a mechanic, cycling has been a big part of my life and to be involved in the professional scene on or off the bike has always been a dream. I have been involved with Endura Racing for 4 seasons now, from the original incarnation that was PedalPower Race Team/Endura where I assisted the team with mechanics and support in the team car at a few Premier Calendar events. During the 2009 Halfords Tour Series after a mechanical-strewn 1st round, I was offered the position of mechanic, looking after team bikes, driving and logistics which led to a full time job with Endura and Endura Racing.

Tour Doonhame 2011 | Photo by Larry Hickmott | courtesy of Endura Racing
Continue reading

Scottish Cycling T Shirts

I’m rediscovering my mojo for blogging a bit by getting back to short pieces. It’s not hard to be inspired with designs like these around.

Bathgate Alps – by Matt Ball/West Lothian Clarion
A nice minimal design, with some nice typefaces and a list of the many West Lothian climbs. There’s a map on the WLC website.

The Robert T Shirt – by Rich Mitchelson/Rouleur
Robert Millar rouleur t-shirtI blogged this one before, but it’s worth doing again- again, I like Rich’s minimal 2D style. Also available as a mug.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen – by Scott O’Raw/Velocast
OK, so the Tour of Flanders isn’t anything to do with Scotland, but this T is designed by Scott from the Velocast, of which I am a big fan. Check out this and other designs and support the show.

I’ve got other ideas for Scottish Cycling T Shirts but unfortunately not the creative flair, time or knowhow to see them through. If you have any suggestions for things I’ve missed, post in the comments or send me a message.

On a tangent- some other design work from this year that I really liked was for the Tro Bro Leon race – a ‘mini Paris Roubaix’ held in Brittany. It’s held in mid-April and was raced by Endura last season. There’s a sportive too, which I’d love to try.

I’m not much of a designer myself, but I loved the illustrated style, which nods to the graphic novels (or ‘BDs’ – Bandes Dessinées) that are highly popular in France. The theme was integrated throughout the event website and would be cool on a T Shirt. I’m not sure who the designer was so unfortunately can’t credit.

Focus on mechanics: Mark Leadbetter

I’ve been meaning to give mechanics some attention on the blog for a while, and it’s easiest to start with one I know: Mark Leadbetter is a bike mechanic local to my Stirling area, and a club mate. An experienced wrench, he honed his trade at Stewart Wilson Cycles in Stirling (below), which has recently changed hands and is now revamped and trading as Velocity44.

He’s a good wheel builder and mark considers this his own speciality or ‘wizardry’. I’ve spent many years examining factory wheels or those built by other people which would come to me for service or repair… spotting even the most minute mistakes in the build. I think of the many thousands of wheels examined in all that time… I saw only half a dozen or so that I would have been happy to have supplied.

When I wrote this post, Mark didn’t have a website, but you can now reach him at
Continue reading

Bike ‘review’: Felt AR5

I got a loan of this from my mate Pedro at Flying Fox Bikes in Alva. The Felt AR5, or ‘felt arse’ as it has affectionately come to be known locally, is an aerodynamic road bike designed to slice through the wind.

I’m no product tester, having only ever ridden a carbon bike once before, ‘d hesitate to venture into the subjective area of equipment reviews. But it’d be a shame to have tried a machine such as the AR5 without giving it a mention on the blog, so here goes.

Felt AR5

Felt AR5










Continue reading

Graeme Obree’s ‘The Hour’ watch

Graeme Obree designed a watch to celebrate his record-breaking hour record.

Graeme Obree interview – The Hour from Mr Jones on Vimeo.

The watch appeared last year, and the other week he was on STVs ‘The Hour‘ programme (available on limited catch-up, click ‘part four’). There’s his typical frankness about the pain of attempting the hour record in this video, mixed in with some philosopy about time.

A Scottish champion’s jersey?

In a recent post about the 2011 Scottish road race championships, I pondered the issue of a Scottish Champion’s jersey.

I got a couple of responses on this issue so wanted to follow it up. Apparently a Scottish Champion’s jersey was on the agenda a couple of years ago but cost was an issue- the SCU was obliged to have a jersey for all events (e.g. men’s and women’s TT: 10mile, 25 and 50, road races, criteriums, mountain bike events) and all levels (e.g. mens and womens senior, junior and youth categories).

I’ve seen a Welsh Crit Champion’s jersey worn by Team Wiggle sponsored rider Ben Simmons, with the familiar white design with horizontal stripes representing the country’s flag.

Ben Simmons

Apparently Halfords put in sponsorship money so Wales could have jerseys for every discipline and level of champion – a deal that might have involved Nicole Cooke, as she rode for Halfords Bikehut in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 the Welsh championship jerseys have been sponsored by Champion System and feature more red and green and less white.

If we needed a jersey sponsor to make it happen, Endura would be an obvious candidate. Do they need more market penetration in their home country though? We are all familiar with the riders and the clothing lines, so it might not be particularly attractive for the company. Maybe Scottish Power Renewables, who sponsor the Super Six series of races would be interested.

These days in Scotland, there is new investment and enthusiasm, so we might not need a sponsor. A Champion’s jersey seems to be back on the agenda – apparently this was proposed at a recent SCU AGM, and it will probably happen in the future, but we might not see it for another year.

A side point- Scottish Cycling isn’t affiliated to the UCI, so if in the unlikely event that David Millar was to swan in and win the road race and the TT, he wouldn’t be wearing the jersey at UCI races like the Tour de France or the classics. It’s not clear what the criteria for wearing the jersey would be though- just Scottish Cycling, or British Cycling races? Or if an Endura rider was to win it (more likely), could they wear it on the continent in events such as the Tour of Murcia? There’s also the possibility of multiple jersey winners starting in one field e.g a female, male vet, and junior in a ‘B’ race or APR. All these are details for a technical committee to sort out.

Finally- designs. I favour the classy and traditional-style all-white with two blue bands. Below is an example of a Scottish National team jersey by Endura. You’re welcome to send me your mock-ups and I will blog them.