Friday, 11 July 2014

No cycling, injuries and maintenance

It's been a quiet week on the bike front after last week's ride to Reeth and the Hamsterley 10k. I felt like I'd overdone it; my knees felt sore. Sore from the running I think, I haven't had sore knees from cycling since I got my cleats and saddle set correctly.

I lent a work mate some pedals and cleats for a triathlon he's doing on Sunday from my mountain bike. It was a bit depressing getting that bike out from under the stairs because it's been so neglected. Loads of commuting, the new road bike and upping the running means I can't remember the last time I went mountain biking.

I've still got a voucher from Christmas for a bike maintenance course. I think I'll save some cash for the inevitable replacement parts I'll need and then learn how to fit them properly!

Then I should mix it up a bit and get back to Hamsterley Forest on a Saturday morning.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Aldi "Team" cycling mitts - not bad for the price

Aldi, the low cost German supermarket had one of their bicycle events start on Sunday (29th June). My current mitts are at the end of their long, looong life and as money is a bit tight at the moment, I decided to take a look and see if the Aldi offering would be good enough to last me at least until winter.

Aldi's "Team" cycling mitts

Size and fit

I went for the blue option over pink and yellow. I tried the medium and large sizes, opting for the medium. They are a snug fit, no doubt. The finger webs rest against the inside of my fingers, but the finish inside is smooth and doesn't chafe. The large size seemed to "roll" around my hand, and was ill-fitting with the mitt bunching up around my little finger.

Construction and material

The material seems fairly breathable and giving, the blue section being Lycra and the black/white sections are more robust material. Not sure what it is. The back of the thumb has the all important terry towelling section for wiping away "perspiration", but we all know that means snot. The palms feature sizeable gel inserts (I'll let you figure out where) which do come into contact with the bars and don't get in the way of your grip. The packaging card claims the inner material is wicking to help remove sweat with an additional layer for warmth, whereas the top layer is also waterproof and windproof. You'll just end up with cold finger and thumb ends.


Finishing touches include some reflective trim down the outside of your hand and strong Velcro fasteners. Finally there are two elasticated pull loops to help get the mitts off, which is a bit of struggle due to the snug fit. However, the first time I tried to get them off outside of work, one of the loops came away from the stitching, which was disappointing.


Overall, I'm very pleased with the mitts so far. Especially because they only cost £3.49! Really good value if you ask me. We shall see how long they last and if the water/windproof materials stand up to the elements. And if any other bits drop off.
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