Category Archives: Stories

e-Bikes now form 50% of the market in the Netherlands. Increasingly e-bikes are prominent in other markets. However questions remain as to what they are, how they work and why you would use one. We met with Doug Hosking from BTwin to discuss all of this!

Soon we will feature reviews of the BTwin Hop Town 500 and ARCC Innovations retrofitted Brompton.

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Aldi’s Cycling Range: The highlights

Possibly the worst kept secret in Aldi’s Special Buy range is their cycling equipment. Quite often the bargains are snapped up in the first weekend and stragglers are left disappointed. Ahead of the weekend shopping we thought it would be rude not to highlight the best of the range!

  1. Maxtek Vision Rear Bike Light 

At £39.99 this comes with an 8GB micro SD card included, which in itself is going to normally be £5-£10. Though it’s a bit on the heavy side compared to some lights it’s a bargain. The manual is refreshingly simple (though only available in English) and the user experience very intuitive in our opinion.

2. Crane Winter Cycling Gloves

We’ve always struggled to find gloves that actually fit. It seems you always compromise the fit for function. These Crane gloves fit far better than any we have found so far.  At a low price of £4.99 it’s hard to really justify any complaints. Perhaps a £9.99 alternative would have been good with more reflective elements and/or a smart phone finger tip grip. If you want to simply keep your hands warm while cycling a short to medium distance you could do a lot worse.

3. Bikemate Rechargeable High Power Bike Light Set

This, in our opinion, represents real value for money. £14.99 gets you a rechargeable front and rear light. The beam on the front light has four flashing and four steady settings so you can range from “being seen” to “being able to see very well”. It does only come with one charging cable which is a bit frustrating but across a typical working day you should be able to recharge both easily enough. This is impressive. Comparative products would typically set you back £19.99-£29.99.

4. Crane Ergonomic Cycling Socks

Our token high vis effort! We jest of course, this is a standard sock in most ways, but it does have some unique functionality. It has the normal designs you’d come to expect from Aldi’s cycling sock range but where it’s a bit different is the fact it comes with in built reflective tabs. At £2.99 a pair it seems a very competitive offer. The real challenge is getting there quick enough to get the right size!

For full information on the products including information on warranty please refer to Aldi’s website, links are in the headers.

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What’s to come?

We wanted to give you an update of what is to come in the near future. We got our hands on some of the following and will be sharing our thoughts with you soon!

  • Reise & Muller Packster 40
  • Reise & Muller Load
  • Knog Oi!
  • Pedibal, an interesting group who are developing bikes for all ages in a different way to many
  • Orbita, a lovely Portuguese brand
  • Dare2b, a look at some of their new clothing
  • B-Twin Hop Town 500 e-bike
  • Lumos Helmet
  • ARCC Innovations

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Cycle Show 2017: First thoughts

Cycling is increasingly a lifestyle choice in the UK: this is what you can conclude from the Cycle Show in Birmingham. It’s not just for Lycra clad weekend warriors.

The wider sphere of cycling was the focus at the NEC, as brands introduced innovative accessories, bags and of course bikes to bring into your day-to-day life. A common theme that developed throughout the day was the community of cycling. 

A dedicated E Bike section made up approximately 10% of the exhibition floor space which reflects the rapidly increasing market share the field is taking. In addition to this, nearly every brand represented across the entire exhibition carried at least one E Bike.

Safety, as ever, was a key focus and the highlight has to be the Lumos Helmet; a motion sensitive smart helmet that allows you to indicate easily where you are going – leaving other road users in no doubt of where you are going.

Wattitud bikes, based in Belgium brought some serious swagger just next to the Shimano Steps testing area. We got our hands on the Fat Spider and E-Bob 3 which were a pleasure to blast around the test track.

Eskuta meanwhile unveiled their potentially game changing partnership with Dominos. The great news is that not only will your pizza delivery guy or gal have a healthier lifestyle, but the pie will arrive quicker than it would via a moped or car! A test period has been successful and they are rolling out in the near future.

Velomobile and trike enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either. ICE Trikes had a range on display and it was hardly surprising to hear from ICE’s Chris Parker that the electric assist trike has been selling at an excellent rate. If you are looking to pick one up our advice is make that move quickly to avoid disappointment!

Grant Sinclair Ltd unveiled a very slick looking IRIS e-trike. It really stood out as a trike of the future, but available as soon as Spring 2018. It has a rear camera that can transmit to your smart phone and the seating is more upright than most velomobiles, making for an all round more comfortable ride.

The other major talking point is the increased representation of women specific products. We were able to speak with VeloVixen , Flaer and Fat Lass At The Back regarding the improved provision for women and the shadow of sexism within the cycling world. In the coming days VeloVixen are hosting a prominent stage to discuss the challenges facing women in cycling, and the barriers that are being broken down.

Full report to come, including features and interviews in the next issue of VeloVision. We will also be publishing content on the YouTube channel in the coming days.

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Knog Oi Bell: Review

How do you review a bell? To answer the simple question of whether this bell goes “ding” – yes it does.

But the Knog Oi Bell is so much more than a simple cycling bell. It is sleek. It is discrete. It is charming.

As real estate on our handlebars becomes increasingly valuable these days: what with smart phone cradles, cycling computers and so on; something so small but effective is a welcome addition to the colossal range of bells available.

This is a perfect fit for anyone with awkward handlebars, particularly velomobiles and recumbents. The ergonomics work brilliantly for quick access and with minimal disruption to your control of the bike/trike.

It may be small in stature, but the Knog Oi Bell stands out in the crowd as one of the best on the market. Generally available at only £14.99 / €19.99 it’s a great deal.

Video to follow.

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Velomobile, Recumbent, Road Bike and Electric Assist Push Comparision

VeloVision met in the home of all things science and innovation, Cambridge, with four enthusiastic cyclists. We compared a Velomobile, a recumbent, a road bike and an electric assist push bike over a five mile distance.

Unfortunately (SPOILER ALERT) the electric assist push bike was lapped, but otherwise it was a very interesting comparison!

Please note that this is not to be considered a scientific experiment, it was an opportunity to see how the four compared. We were clear before hand that there was no racing to be had!

For more information please visit the Cambridge Electric Transport Company.

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Red Hook Crit: The Interviews

On 22 July 2017 VeloVision attended Rockstar’s Red Hook Crit, London No 3, at Greenwich Peninsula. As we’ve said before this isn’t necessarily the sort of event that VeloVision would normally attend. However the unique challenge drew us in! For those unfamiliar a Criterion is a street circuit race, but on bikes more appropriate for the track: no brakes and no gears.

The day consisted of a series of heats, then a final. Notably the women’s race had doubled in entries from the previous year. The weather was intense, with torrential rain falling and standing water soon amassed throughout the circuit. Unfortunately for the riders and the spectators this weather persisted throughout the day. Though it did amplify an already engaging spectacle!

The atmosphere was great, the racing was fierce and incredible The bikes were inches apart at times, sometimes too close – resulting in spectacular crashes. The constant thumping music kept spirits up, as did the incredible food on offer.

VeloVision got the chance to speak with Dani King, Keira McVitty, David Vigano and Dylan Buffington. Unfortunately we encountered serious sound problems but we have decided to publish the videos regardless. The Dylan Buffington one will require a bit more work but we hope to have it out soon. In the meantime trust us, we are on the look out for a more appropriate set of microphones soon!

Many thanks to Alan Cresswell who joined the VeloVision team on this day and was a great addition. He brought incredible knowledge of the mechanics on show, as well as some first hand experience of being in the same position as the riders!

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