With the Christmas sales on, I decided to get myself a few new items for the bike. I've put them through their paces today on my ride home from Wimbledon.
My gloves of choice, my Rab power stretch grip gloves were getting a bit chilly in the very cold weather that had come in recently. Most importantly, they were letting the win chill in and was causing some uncomfortable early morning cycles to the office.
After some looking around, I came across the Castelli Diluvio gloves - these were neoprene gloves and promised to keep hands warm, even when wet. What sold me was that these were supposed to be thinner than the thick sealskinz gloves and other larger gloves - with these on, I found it hard to change gear on the Brompton.
Looking at the sales, I came across the Castelli Diluvio Deluxe Gloves at Evans for as cheap as the non deluxe versions were elsewhere so I ordered them.
I picked them up and I've used them on a few rides since. They live up to their promise and are warm, even when wet. I've not worn them in a proper downpour yet but I've tested them and they seem ok. They aren't very breathable so you will sweat in them and get wet hands but they remain dry. The long gloves are good and mean that they go all the way up my arms, preventing gaps between the glove and jacket but mean that I can't wear my watch with them as it causes issues (not an issue with the power stretch gloves as they are a different material) as the neoprene is fairly inflexible.
Anyhow, they're a good glove and they should keep me warm during the winter months.
Wahoo make a range of sports equipment - the biggest of which is a £1000 turbo trainer that makes use of your mobile phone as the computer! However, part of this a range of cycling accessories, such as the heart rate monitor.
I've a Garmin 800 that I've had for a year now and it's been great. Before that, I used to use a Garmin 500 and a heart rate monitor but for 2014, I gave it up. I felt I was to focussed on the numbers and not enjoying the riding. Now with my enthusiasm back, I decided to dig out my old heart rate monitor. Except, I've misplaced it in my move this year and I can't find it in any of the boxes that are lying around. Therefore, I needed to get a new one.
I could have gone for a Garmin one again but I'd been looking at Bluetooth ones - occasionally I ride with Strava on my mobile if I don't have my Garmin with me. So I was looking at the Garmin straps (which work with ANT+) and Bluetooth straps. When I found the Wahoo one, it seemed to the be the holy grail. The Wahoo monitor works with both Bluetooth and ANT+ devices, meaning I can happily use it with both my Garmin and my iPhone/Strava!
Price matched in Cycle Surgery to the same price that Wiggle was offering it for, I was able to use it for my ride today - I tested it with both my Garmin and my iPhone and I had no issues with either.
The Wahoo strap is fabric and joins at the front with the monitor itself providing the attachment point - far better than the Garmin one which does up at the back. It's also nicer than the standard Garmin strap which is plastic (the premium Garmin strap is fabric). This does make it washable, which is good considering the sweatiness of it's location!
Today I started my riding for 2015 off with a ride from Wimbledon to Welwyn - I've done it before on a Brompton but I did it on the big wheel big today.
Sunny day and milder than I was expecting, I managed to cycle home in a long sleeve jersey and gilet (also new, from just before Christmas).
Everything seemed to be good - Wimbledon into Central London was quite nice as I left later than I normally would and traffic was quieter. I guess a lot of people are still off work and go back Monday (like me), judging by the number of cyclists I saw towards Barnet and Potters Bar. It was marred on a few occasions - the first, a Brompton rider consistently ignoring red lights around the British Museum and secondly, a truck passing stupidly close as I crossed over the North Circular. However, overall it was a nice ride.
The last section from Hatfield to Welwyn was a struggle - I think I need to get back into the swing of eating properly for a ride. In general, I was eating something at least every hour when I was on the road bike. On the Brompton, it's never so much of an issue as there are a number of rest stops. However, when I'm riding like this, I seem to ride for hours straight with no rest. There was a brief stop at Battersea Reach for a photo, but it was also partly to adjust my heart rate monitor.
I should mention that the Wahoo HRM performed excellently well with the iPhone Strava app. I'd not used Bluetooth for years but have had it on recently as I have got myself a Pebble smart watch. The Wahoo connected and was visible almost instantly (in the Wahoo app) but I needed to switch the options on for Bluetooth devices within Strava. Once I'd done that, everything was all sorted and recorded.
Garmin offers a good view of the heart rate, with an overlay of either speed or elevation.
However, for some reason, importing this GPX file (exported from Strava) shows an average speed of 0.04kmph on Garmin so not sure what the issue is there.
Overall, was a nice ride and good to see my latest two purchases were performing well.