Still biking? Definitely…

“Still biking Grant?” is a question I’ve been asked many times throughout my life, by friends or different people that I’ve met along the way. Riding a bike has been such a big part of what I do, it’s hard to imagine it not being the case. I think it’s the momentum, freedom and just being outside, that I love so much


Distance Riding

Salopette Dottore X & Salopette Unique Bib Shorts by Q36.5- Product Insight – Which One?

The Salopette Dottore X and the Salopette Unique bib shorts were released within six months of each other. This gave the potential to use both during the same summer, enabling their differences to be experienced.

The Dottore X arrived during the winter months and I waited patiently for the warmer days, to try the new product in the conditions and temperature that they are designed for. By mid summer, I started to see indication of another, technically advanced bib short by Q36.5, and soon after, the Salopette Unique was released.

Okay, I could have held off buying the Unique, but for me, the level of intrigue would have been too unbearable! Or made me even more so! Plus, it would have delayed comparing the two new products.

Given that Q36.5’s website contains a lot of technical detail relating to both of these bib shorts, I have chosen to only include a brief overview of their design and features, and bias the article towards how the shorts feel when in use, and the conclusion that I reached.

Being a long time user of the Salopette Dottore, the differences in the X version are quite easy to pick up on. From a visual perspective, the fabric change is noticeable, the inclusion of silver thread carries over from the original short, but it is lighter in weight.

Salopette Dottore X

There is a new pattern, adjusting the actual shape of the short – “The C-Interface”. This is the contact area between shorts and saddle and it is now designed with no central seam, thus removing a potential pressure point. Additionally, there is a new strap construction, which for me has translated into the X being a short of enhanced comfort. The specific feel and performance traits of the Dottore line are present, and this is something that will feature later in this article. It is worth noting that one feature which is not immediately apparent, is the water resistance treatment, for protection against light rain, and to aid quick drying.

The way in which Salopette Unique is formed results in this bib short being literally very different in the way it feels and performs. This may sound cliched, but that is how it is!

Q36.5 utilise seamless construction, and weave areas of integrated fibres, to create the Unique garment. Each specific area of the short performs differently, to suit its placement. The three dimensional form of the short is consistent in the chamois; the Fusion Vented chamois combines various density foams, breathability and ventilation, all of which contribute to rider comfort. Tubular strap design is also part of what forms the Unique bib short.

Salopette Unique.

To interpret one of these bib shorts to be better than the other, would be unjust. Both are excellent, but have different traits. From a personal perspective, I select each one for specific conditions, and style of ride.

The characteristics of the Salopette Dottore X are most readily identified by feel of the compression in the lower leg, and the lumbar support. When using these shorts, there is a feel of it in some way assisting the movement of pedalling, particularly as the leg retracts from the down stroke.

The Salopette Unique has a fit that could be described as “sculpted” and the compression has a more subtle feel than the Dottore X.

The Body Mapping technology used by Q36.5 facilitates the optimum placement of fabrics, for their traits and performance. The effect of this is very prolific in the Unique, which is finely tuned to ensure the rider does not feel discomfort from being overly warm, cool, or from perspiration.

My preference for long, hot days in the saddle is the Salopette Unique. Its second skin fit, the effect of the body mapping, combined with the Fusion Vented chamois creates a garment which performs in a way that is very harmonious with the rider, and seems to assist in negating the challenge of very warm conditions.

Salopette Unique – riding in the Welsh hills

The Salopette Dottore X is the one I reach for when I need all the assistance I can get! Whether it’s rough road surfaces, a long day in the saddle, or a mix of summer conditions, the features of this bib short, help the rider to overcome these challenges.

Dottore X – riding on mixed terrain

I hope the content of this article helps you to choose one or both of these bib shorts by Q36.5 but if you would like any further detail, please feel free to drop me a line at or head to

Footnote: I have friends in mainland Europe whose preference is to use these shorts differently. An example being a bias to the Salopette Dottore X in hotter conditions. This might be because they have a higher level of adaption to riding in hot conditions than I do.

Featured post

Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc Brake Electronic Groupset – Product Insight

From reading posts within various cycling forums, and numerous comments within social media, I am respectful that electronic shifting and disc brakes are quite emotive subjects. Combine that with the number of cyclists who have a staunch preference for one of the main groupset manufacturers, and this article could have all the ingredients to prod the hornet’s nest!

The purpose of the article is to create a product insight, and to provide the reasoning behind a certain preference, whilst remaining relatively neutral in the “better or worse” debate regarding groupsets. It should be noted that both writers do use, and have a preference for Campagnolo.

To strengthen the depth of the article, I am grateful to my friend, Astrid Schartmuller, for her assistance. Astrid has contributed with her experiences and opinions relating to the groupset. She is a passionate cyclist, and amateur racer, based in the Italian Dolomites. She has participated in national and international races, placing on the podium on a number of occasions.

Astrid’s bike has been equipped with the Super Record EPS disk groupset since its release, and its use range from commuting, training rides and racing, to cycle touring in the Italian, Swiss and French Alps.

Introduction: Astrid

I studied at the University of Applied Sciences at Hamburg, and I am an Engineer for the construction industry. During 2003 I moved to Italy, and have lived and worked there ever since.

Since the beginning, I’ve done the mechanics on my bike. First a little bit, practicing “doing by learning”. Since 1996 I build all my of my bikes. This has saved the lives of many mechanics!! In races my bike has to work perfectly, and as long as only I put my hands on it, there has never been a breakdown!

I always dreamed of a bike with Campagnolo. In 2009 I realized this, with the legendary Super Record (mechanical). 2014 I started to be a Quality Tester for Campagnolo. I changed from mechanical to electric shifting using the Super Record EPS. Last year I made the step from rim brakes to disc brakes, always Super Record EPS disc. For rim brakes my preferred wheelset are the Bora Ultra 35 (front) and Bora Ultra 50 (back) for tubular. Rim in carbon with AC3. For disc there is only the Bora One which is a little bit heavier.

I started cycling in 1992, principally on the road, but some experiences on track and MTB. I made national and some international races, but always as an amateur (not professional).

Introduction: Grant

Experience has led me to have a more open mind to the technical developments which are ongoing within cycling, and the diversity that evolves in the sport. Part of this was born from me previously dismissing items such as electronic groupsets, only to find that I am now yearning certain benefits they provide!

There is no denying that the presence of disc brakes within the road scene is increasing, but people’s appetite for this option still seems to be quite polarised.

My love of cycling includes mountain biking, where disc brakes are a virtual given. With this being the case, there had been quite a long standing desire to experience disc brakes on the road. This is where Campagnolo’s test bike programme came into its own.

In the interest of learning as much as I could from the test bike, I also wanted to experience the Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12V Disc groupset.

Initially, the idea seemed to be doomed, as the list of test bike options did not include my size, with this build. Fortunately, a message to Campagnolo UK, via their Facebook page, soon resolved this, and a test bike in Medium soon arrived at my local Campagnolo dealer (Swinnerton Cycles). The bike was also clad with Campagnolo’s Bora One wheel. I could not wait to get out and ride!

When learning about the performance of equipment and clothing, my preference is to allocate time to using it, in an environment where characteristics become more apparent. I used the test bike during the UK winter. This created the potential for me to experience the performance of the groupset and wheels in an array of conditions.

Part of my earlier research had identified that Campagnolo designed their disc brake to closely replicate the feel of their rim brakes. I am a fan of Campagnolo rim brakes, mainly due to the level of modulation they provide.

The first ride was on damp roads, and I hoped that braking modulation was literal. Brushing speed for a few tight bends, and my confidence was building. A short, steep, descent, so far, so good! Here are our insights into the disc brakes.

Astrid: Disc Brakes

First it is important to outline the differences between rim and disc brakes. In dry conditions a rim brake can feel more aggressive/stronger than a disc brake. In wet conditions the braking effect is delayed until the rim is dry, then it reverts to its normal feel and performance. The rim with All Conditions Carbon Control (AC3) has a very good effectiveness.

The braking behaviour of the rim brake is progressive, the warmer the rim, the stronger the braking effect, during braking you have to release the brake to counteract the progression, this needs some sensitivity. This is also necessary for different weather conditions: cold, warm, humid, dry.

When using a disc, the braking behaviour is always the same, whether dry or wet, cold or hot. The braking curve is linear and can be modulated very well, only the point when you apply the brake could be a little softer. This is due to the fact that the clearance between disc and pads is only a few tenths of a millimeter.

In spite of more weight and complicated maintenance I simply like the braking behaviour of discs. The power input is lower, with the same braking effect and the braking power is more defined. I feel safer with discs, personally. As I explained in braking effectiveness, Campagnolo Rims with AC3 are braking stronger than discs, but with the disc brakes I have learned to use them in a differentiated way, in front and rear. If you can do it right, you can brake later, but be careful as the limit is the grip of the tire on the asphalt! This is especially true on wet roads.

Last year I used in the front 160mm and back 140mm. For my weight it is enough. This year I mounted front and back with 140mm. I feel that the braking effectiveness is less, but it is more similar as the softness of rim brakes. There is less risk to block or to brake too hard and lose the adherence from the tire on the asphalt.

I have tested the disc brakes from other groupsets: Shimano Dura Ace DI2 and SRAM Etap. Shimano I feel is more aggressive and less modular. Sram is not at the same level. The braking effectiveness was not regular, so I my was sure to dose the force on the levers. Campagnolo is the only one which does not make noise, especially after a long decent. Although the discs weigh more than those of the competition, they are stable against deformation by heating or very strong braking.

The great advantage from Campagnolo is, that it is in part always a family business with employees who are enthusiastic cyclists. Through personal dedication in their leisure time, they tested and improved the disc brakes until the brakes worked and were noiseless.

I think that disc brakes are functionally very good, but there is a lot of development to do. To see the state of use of the brakes you have to take out the brake pads and remember which was on the right and on the left side. Otherwise you risk some noise, because maybe they are not wearing the same. It’s not possible to make an adjustment to one side as you can do with traditional brakes. Without specialist tools and a little bit capability, you cannot do the maintenance.

Finally, the ecological factor. The hydraulic oil is special waste. The pads generally need to change about 3000-5000km and although the disc wears faster than a rim (depends how much someone brakes, especially when the rider is heavy and does a lot of elevation with deep long downhills) disc brakes are a big change for the bike, much more than electronic shifting.

Grant: Disc Brakes

I found that disc brakes provide a very different braking experience, in that there are less variables. As per Astrid’s comments, the power provided by the brake feels constant, the main variable being tyre grip, depending on the surface and conditions. Whist riding in cold, wet conditions, I experienced less discomfort in my hands. Maybe this was due to having to apply less pressure to the levers to achieve braking.

An additional benefit to discs, is that it would resolve my poor relationship with carbon clincher wheels (not Campagnolo). Having had rims fail on the brake track whilst descending, I moved to wheels incorporating aluminium rims. Going to discs would broaden my choice of wheel options.

From a personal perspective, my preference will be to have disc brakes on my road bikes in future.

Grant: Gear Shift

Electronic shifting was something I bought into soon after Shimano released their first generation Dura Ace Di2. For me, this groupset had performance benefits over the mechanical version, but after watching a few televised failures, I was not keen on the potential reliability shortfall. At the time, the highlight of the year was a three week bike trip in mainland Europe and the thought of losing days whilst trying to replace a defective electronic component was not pleasing! A number of influencing factors have quelled those early concerns, and a desire to return to a groupset incorporating electronic shifting has now returned. The test bike certainly served to assist me in reaching this conclusion!

When it comes to braking and shifting, my personal preference is the traditional Campagnolo format of dedicating a point of actuation, to each element of these functions. For me, the location of these feels very natural / intuitive whilst riding the bike, whether in or out of the saddle, and whatever the terrain or pace might be.

I am respectful that this is down to the individual, and the EPS groupset can be customised in relation to performance and function. Examples of this are the potential to adjust the speed of the shift, choose options relating to number of ratios transitioned within a shift, vary the lever function, and automate a front shift in response to rear derailleur activity.

Having used the mechanical version of the Super Record groupset (11 speed) for a number of years, part of the transition to using EPS 12V, was to become accustomed to the slightly less prominent down shift lever. In my opinion, this variation in design recognises that less effort is required to achieve a shift with EPS, and serves to reduce the potential of shifting in error, which could be consequential to simply replicating the mechanical lever.

My hands are particularly sensitive to cold temperatures, and it’s common to find me in gloves that are not in-keeping with the season. In deep winter conditions I use various layering combinations with my gloves. Even in quite bulky gloves, locating the shift levers and moving through one or more ratios was easy. The down shift could be even be achieved with the hands on the straight section of the bar, using my little finger to activate the lever, to activate the front or rear derailleur.

My preference is a gear shift that has clear definition when moving from one ratio to the next. This was a key factor when choosing my Super Record Mechanical groupset. The feel of the shift with EPS is different, in that it requires less effort to achieve. However, the definition is there, readily confirming a single actuation, moving the derailleur up or down a single ratio. If the relevant rear shift actuation is not released, the rear derailleur will continue to travel either up or down the cassette as required, to achieve a shift across multiple ratios (also see MyCampy App for potential customisation options).

The front shift has the same feel at the point of actuation, with a single press being the only input needed to shift from one front chain ring to its neighbour, and the front derailleur automatically looks after any trim to avoid chain rub.

The overall function of the front shift has a feel of heightened efficiency compared to the mechanical groupset I use (an earlier generation to the current one). This begins at the reduced effort required to shift, and the speed and accuracy in which the desired outcome is achieved. I anticipate the new chainset contributes to some of this, due to the additional stiffness and refinements Campagnolo have applied to the new chainset and rings.

In relation to the photo above, the temporary sticker remained on the chainset due to this being a “Test Bike”, but this is not an actual representation of the factory finish.

Prior to using the test bike, I had gathered feedback relating to the stringent testing the EPS groupset had been though during development. Riding in some very dismal, wet winter conditions, with the shifting remaining perfect throughout, gave me complete confidence in its reliability. This has also been increased by Astrid’s experience whilst using the groupset over a longer period.

Did the electronic shifting improve the ride? For me, very much so. This is translated by the ease in which gear shifts could be achieved, while retaining the feel of Campagnolo. This served to reduce the effect of the elements, and accumulation of fatigue.

I hope to incorporate Campagnolo’s Super Record EPS Disc groupset into the next bike I build, when replacing my current “best” bike.

I truly hope that Campagnolo choose to offer EPS lower down in their range of 12 speed groupsets, as I believe that myself, and many other amateur cyclists would benefit from electronic shifting being an integral part of their wet weather/training bike.

Astrid: Gear Shift

The electronic shifting has two big benefits. First the precision, you always get what you want. Second the personalisation, which is achieved via the MyCampy App.

I have adjusted the speed of the shift, and changed the lever setting. I use Sprinter B. With the index finger I switch the rear derailleur, with the thumb the front derailleur.

Braking and shifting are part of cornering technique. This is made easy with electronic. When you are racing you need a fast performance. EPS gives me this not only for the precision, but also for time. In fast descents you brake late before a curve, and when you have done the curve you have to accelerate. For this you have to change to a higher gear. With EPS it is possible to brake and shift, so often I do both in the same moment before the curve, thanks to the ease in which gear shifts can be achieved.

With the electronic shifting, once you have changed, you don’t turn back! After all, we switch the light on and off via a light switch and only use candles for a romantic candlelight dinner 😊 !

Experience on the Road: Astrid’s Bikepacking Tour

After a lot of years with plenty of training plans and races, I love riding to see, to live, to feel our wonderful world. For me, the best way to do this is bike packing. I’ve done a tour in France, and in Slovenia and Croatia with a friend.

This particular year I decided to do it alone. I started from home in South Tirol and I returned there, all done with my legs and my bike. 11 days on the bike, 1700km with an elevation of 24000m. I passed through the Swiss Alps and then on to the roads in France. Passing where there should be the world championships at Aigle (Martigny). I saw Lac Leman, Cormet de Roselend (one of the most spectacular climbs I’ve ever seen), Petit San Bernard, Grimsel Pass, Andermatt, Albula Pass and so on, only to call some of the most beautiful points on my way.

For me France is the paradise on earth for the cyclists, and for this reason I would go there, but sure, at the beginning I was not certain that I could do it. Some days there was rain. and when I planed the tour I didn’t know how many kilometers a day I could do alone. Of course, the risk of a mechanical, but thankfully I never had a problem. For this, it is important to have very good equipment and for the worst case, to have a good mechanic with you!

I’m very happy to realize my cycling dream, and I’m just thinking about the next one! I hope that the Covid situation will allow it.

My bike for the tour: Cervelo R5, Campagnolo Super Record EPS disc, wheel Campagnolo Bora One 35 for clincher. The tour was completed on one battery charge.

Grant: Closing Thoughts

Disc brakes and electronic shifting offer an advantage in many situations, and from a personal perspective, this outweighs the bike becoming slightly heavier, or more complex.

I hope that manufacturers continue to offer a choice of mechanical and electronic groupsets with both rim and disc options, whilst increasing the potential for cycling enthusiasts to benefit from electronic shifting, by making it available at lower price points.

Further information: (Clothing)

Featured post

Salopette Elite Bib Short by Q36.5 – A Product Insight

The desire for a bib short with specific properties of the Salopette Elite had entered my mind, and featured in conversation, during the summer preceding its release.  I have been a committed advocate of Q36.5 of cycling apparel for a number of years, and prior to the Elite, I was using either the Salopette L1 (no longer produced, but check out the Salopette Miles Gregarious Ultra for the current alternative) and Dottore L1, almost exclusively throughout the summer season.
The Salopette L1 being my “go to” bib short for the majority of training and everyday riding, and the Dottore L1 being the choice for the rides when additional performance and comfort is needed.  I also simply enjoy experiencing the difference in fit and feel that higher level cycling equipment can bring.


Being UK based, in the Midlands, conditions generally enable riding outdoors throughout the year, but like many cyclists, I really look forward to the summer months.  I love to be on the bike when the sun is out and the temperatures are high, ideally in the hills or mountains, either in the UK or abroad.  Could Q36.5 offer a bib short that could potentially surpass their superb Dottore L1, for riding in these conditions? For me, the answer is “yes”, the Salopette Elite currently has the edge.
The performance of the Elite is created from a blend of technical features and fabrics. The bib short has a slightly different appearance, partly due to the use of Dyneema Yarn within certain panels.  The Dyneema provides resilience, an efficient short-saddle contact area, and temperature control. The material also contributes to the Salopette Elite being very light in weight.

The Chamois Fusion Vented is a key component within the Salopette Elite. Q36.5 created this chamois to assist rider comfort when cycling in hot conditions.  Other more subtle features are the lightweight, resilient mesh, tubular shoulder straps, and a lack of conventional leg grippers (more detail is given on this later).

Continue reading “Salopette Elite Bib Short by Q36.5 – A Product Insight”

Q36.5 – An Evening with Mario Kummer at Swinnerton Cycles

Mario Kummer of Q36.5 recently visited the UK.  During his time here, he spent an evening at Swinnerton Cycles, one of the UK’s main stockists of the Q36.5 range of clothing.

Q36.5 are an Italian company who create high performance cycling equipment, based in Bolzano, on the edge of the beautiful Dolomite Mountains.  Mario began with a presentation about the brand, providing an insight into its history, the founder, Luigi Bergamo, their approach to design, production and sustainability.

Mario provided information about the clothing offered by Q36.5, and the ethos of their Essential Collection.  This is a range of high performance equipment, comprising minimalist design, formed in a way to enable cyclists to sustain a healthy body temperature.  It also serves to provide protection from the elements throughout the seasons, whether training, racing, or carrying out recreational cycling, in more demanding conditions.

Cross Over Equipment

Q36.5 also offer Cross Over Equipment, a range of stylish, urban sportswear, incorporating their design flair with high performance fabrics.  The Active Trouser features an adjustable waist and leg. These subtle details provide on bike functionality, should you choose to wear them for a commute, but do not compromise their style, or potential for other activities.   The Hoody, Vest and Jacket include reflective inserts. These are a great addition whether walking, running, or cycling in low light or darkness.

Having used a number of items from this range, I can vouch for its comfort and versatility, whether being active or simply relaxing.

Cruise Equipment

Much of my cycling is carried out in the UK, and I particularly enjoy our Spring, Summer and Autumn seasons. Q36.5’s Cruise Equipment is extremely suited to the variable conditions we experience, as it is designed to provide thermal comfort when temperatures are in the region of ten to sixteen degrees Celsius, and it has wind blocking, and water resisting properties.

Q36.5’s UF Active fabric plays a significant role in the performance of the Cruise Equipment. The fabric comprises a dense outer layer with a fine Merino wool interior. Its construction is highly breathable, retains warmth even when damp, and dries quickly.

The Cruise Equipment comprises of jerseys, an insulative vest and accessories in the form of arm, leg and knee warmers.  The on-bike comfort is something to be experienced. The thermal comfort provided by these lightweight garments is excellent.  This is complemented by a close fit, with the stretch and shape enabling ease of movement.

Rider visibility is aided by the inclusion of colour panels, reflective inserts and zip. The jerseys and vest have discrete pockets with ample capacity for nutrition, phone, essentials case and additional layers or waterproof shell.

Having used items of Cruise Equipment for riding in the hills, flatlands, and various training intensities, its versatility and comfort is something I really value.

Summer 2019

For this summer, there are mix technical developments, new colours, and eye catching graphics.  The new Jersey Short Sleeve Seta is subtly stylish, and is offered in Tiffany (light blue) or Anthracite.  It’s hard to choose a favourite between the two, but for me, the Tiffany just takes it.

This jersey offers an advancement in performance and versatility, enabling a cyclist to remain comfortable, even during high levels of exertion in warm conditions, and when riding in cooler, summer temperatures.  This, in the main, is achieved by incorporating silk and silver thread into the fabric.  Silver thread also provides anti-bacterial properties to the garment. Continue reading “Q36.5 – An Evening with Mario Kummer at Swinnerton Cycles”

Veloskin: Chamois Cream & Soothing Gel Review

Product Review by Grant.

Good fortune played its part in me being drawn to Veloskin, before I could even buy their products.  Some of my favourite rides follow the steep contours of the Lake District, and images of these roads featured in the brand’s Instagram activity. How could I not be intrigued? So I was very keen to make my first purchase, soon after their launch during Summer 2017.

Veloskin offer a range of skincare products to meet the needs of cyclists. Their current range includes Chamois Cream, Shave Cream, Post Shave Cream, Moisturiser and Soothing Gel. These types of products play a key part in keeping us comfortable and healthy, and I put a lot of effort into choosing what I believe are the right ones. This is primarily based on high quality, natural ingredients, the performance of the product, and experiencing a non-adverse response when using them.

Veloskin use natural ingredients within all of their range, selecting each one on its quality, suitability and benefits to the skin.


Chamois Cream by Veloskin

On opening the canister of Chamois Cream you are greeted by a fresh citrus scent. The fragrance is created by the inclusion of orange blossom and bergamot, and is a signature of the Veloskin range. I really like the scent, which was seemingly inspired from cycling in Mallorca and Northern Italy.

Fourteen natural, active ingredients are included within the Veloskin Chamois Cream. These were selected based on their potential to soothe and hydrate, protect, moisturise and revitalise. The cream’s properties are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic, as well as providing nourishment for the skin and the wonderful scent.


The cream is quite dense, not sticky, and despite its relatively solid appearance, it is easy to apply and achieve a smooth, consistent, protective layer.

Continue reading “Veloskin: Chamois Cream & Soothing Gel Review”

Knog Blinder Mr Chips Front and Rear Light Set

Sculpted aerodynamic profiles, and significant variation in tube diameter have become integral to many of the frames and components that we use. As much as we enjoy the benefits of this technology, it can make mounting equipment such as lights, computers etc, a little challenging.

The Knog Blinder MOB  Mr Chips front and rear light units are packed with features, but the aspect that initially drew me to them is their versatility to be used with modern bike/component design. These units are compact, neat, and lightweight, making them a discrete addition to your bars and seatpost.

The Knog Blinders have the potential to be mounted on both round and aero tube shapes. This is achieved by the shape of the lights, in the area where they contact the handlebar or seat post, and the inherent stretch within the rubber strap, which also forms part of the means of attaching the light. The strap is a replaceable item, but I have have not experienced any breakages during the twelve months that I have been using the lights. Once attached, the lights remain in position. Different length straps are provided to enable interchangeability between bikes.


The front and rear lights have five different modes which range from the unit being constantly lit, strobe, and variations of intermittent flashing. These are accessed via the on/off button which sits at the rear of the light. From a personal perspective, I would prefer this button to be slightly more pronounced, as operating it with cold, wet hands, or in full finger winter gloves, would ideally be a little easier.

A combination of the LED technology and the design of the front and rear units provide a clean, bright light. The beam has a 120 degree angle, to assist front and side on visibility. The lumen output for the lights is shown as 80 for the front light, 44 for the rear. Knog identify that the lights provide the potential to be seen from at least 1.2 kilometres. Friends who I ride with advise me that the visibility provided is extremely good. Continue reading “Knog Blinder Mr Chips Front and Rear Light Set”

Review of Q36.5 Long Sleeve Hybrid Que

Blog Post by Grant

The Long Sleeve Hybrid Que by Q36.5 is a garment I have a real affinity for. It was one of my first items of Q36.5 clothing, and it prompted me to explore and purchase much more of their range.

Prior to owning the Hybrid Que, there was a gap in the cycling clothing I was using when riding in the varied temperatures and weather conditions we experience in the UK, particularly during the Spring and Autumn. Not being completely comfortable when out riding or training was detracting from the enjoyment or effectiveness of being on the bike during my favourite seasons.

Grant Blue Peaks

The Long Sleeve Hybrid Que resolved this, as it provided the fit, breathability, and protection I had been looking for, and a host of features which made it really stand out. So how is this achieved…..

Q36.5 incorporate two of their high performance fabrics into the design of the garment. Scientific data relating to regional sweat rates of an athlete’s body, forms some of what is used to ensure the optimum is achieved from these materials.

The chest, upper back, upper arms and front of forearms are formed in Unique HybridShell. This densely woven fabric is extremely wind blocking, breathable, highly water resistant, and has a ribbed fleece back. These properties are complemented by the level of elasticity within the material.

Blue Zip Detail

Unique Fabric L1 is utilised in the back, and underside of the forearms of the garment. It is soft to the touch, has a high level of elasticity, extremely effective at wicking moisture, and is constructed in a way that makes it resilient but lightweight.

The Long Sleeve Hybrid Que is noticeably light (200g), and is shaped to be comfortable and efficient when on the bike. The Pre Shaped fit is something to factor in when you first try one; from a personal perspective, I find the on-bike fit is extremely good.

Grant Blue Standing Climb

Ergogenic Pattern is incorporated into the design of the Hybrid Que. This feature serves to provide support to specific muscular groups, and reduce the effect of fatigue on these muscles, particularly on long or more intense rides. Ergogenic Pattern is noticeable by the snug feel of the garment, and how it complements on-bike position, and pedalling motion. Having used a number of items of clothing with this feature, I really value the comfort and performance it provides.

This fabric and design expertise are examples of the technology that Q36.5 use to fulfil their design criteria to enable healthy body temperature to be sustained, throughout a ride.

As a rider, wearing the Long Sleeve Hybrid Que feels different. The fit, fabrics, low volume, and weight take away bulk and restriction, which is inherent to clothing used to overcome cooler temperatures and varied conditions. These properties are noticeable when getting ready for a ride, to those moments in training or riding when a turn of speed, or movement feels unhindered. This adds a real positive to the cycling experience as a whole.

Within the Q36.5 website, detail is provided relating to combinations of their clothing which complement the Hybrid Que, to enable rider comfort across temperatures ranging from 5 degrees Celsius to above 15 degrees Celsius. From a personal perspective, I tend use the Hybrid Que in the middle area of that temperature range. This varies between rides when the temperature is reasonably constant, to early starts, or late finishes when the day is warming or cooling. The technical fabrics ensure comfort, and I vary the baselayer (Q36.5 Baselayer 1, 2 or 3), and add the superb L1 Vest, when temperatures dip.

Blue with Snow Camo Gilet

The performance and versatility of the Hybrid Que is constantly beneficial, but becomes most apparent as the ride or conditions become more challenging. When descending or riding in cool temperatures or winds, the effectiveness of the wind blocking fabric and lack of front facing seams is extremely high. Should the intensity of the ride increase, the build up of heat and moisture is managed by the fabrics and their placement, and rider comfort is maintained. This performance is something I really appreciate when riding in the hills or mountains, as is the water resistance of the garment should drizzle or low cloud drift in.

Green Goyt Valley

The Hybrid Que is superb for long days in the saddle, due to how comfortable it is, plus being equipped with necessary features: the pocket system, known as the Invisible Pocket System is virtually flush when not in use. It incorporates three main cargo areas, plus a zip pocket, and has the capacity to carry essential items, numerous bars and gels to keep the legs turning. The pocket on the left arm is really useful for stashing a bar or gel, making that emergency energy boost really easy to access. Reflective tabs and thread are also integrated into the front and back of the garment.

The Hybrid Que is available in a number of colour options in both light and darker shades. When possible, I choose brighter colours for the clothing I use for road cycling. The Green Fluo was my initial choice, and I have recently added the Light Blu version.

Descending cobbles

If you are looking for a highly versatile item of cycling clothing, and something which will close a gap between your summer and winter options, the Long Sleeve Hybrid Que is really worth checking out.

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Q36.5 Jersey Short Sleeve L1 Pinstripe

Q36.5 Jersey Short Sleeve L1 Pinstripe (Available in Men’s and Women’s Ranges) – By Grant Williams

Our experience, enjoyment, or level of performance on the bike is normally greatest when it is not compromised by distraction, or interference from the equipment we are using.  Q36.5 create their cycling apparel to enable healthy body temperature to be sustained during the ride. This translates into rider comfort and performance.

Having heard so many positive comments about the Jersey Short Sleeve L1 Pinstripe, I was really looking forward to using one. The Jersey would form part of the clothing I would be taking on a trip to the mountains in France, and would create the perfect opportunity to try the garment in terrain and temperatures which differ from the UK. The Jersey provides High UV protection +50SPF.

Prior to obtaining the Jersey, I visited the brand’s website to learn more about the garment.  Q36.5 describe the Jersey Short Sleeve L1 Pinstripe as being high performance, and highly versatile, without weight penalty. They utilise a number of their technologies to create this, one of which is the addition of silver thread to the jersey fabric. This serves to improve heat and moisture management, and is subtly visible in the form of fine pinstripes running through the fabric.

Pin 1

On taking the jersey from its packaging, it is noticeably light. The fabric has a soft feel to it, but is densely woven, and different to what I have experienced with garments from other brands. The pinstripe within the fabric also enhances the appearance of the jersey.

The jersey has a pre-shape fit, to match a cyclist’s position when riding, and is formed with minimal seams, none of which are front facing. When putting it on, the fit feels close, and different from day to day clothing. When on the bike, the effect of the minimalist design, fabric and pre-shape is superb, as the presence of the jersey becomes barely noticeable, other than a comfortable, snug feel. Whilst riding, this is complemented by how the jersey remains in position when pockets are loaded, and the sleeves stay in place without being overly tight or restrictive.

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The Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra – Q&A with Chris Beattie


Some of the most enjoyable cycling I do, is inspired by people who challenge themselves to ride what seem huge distances, cycle across mountain ranges, or both! This may take place in the form of an event, or solo ride.

Learning about such accomplishments has certainly encouraged both myself and partner Emma, to increase the distance of our rides, or add extra climbs, Cols, or Passos when cycling in the hills or mountains.

I came to know of Chris Beattie, through his role as an ambassador for Q36.5, who produce high performance cycling clothing. Whilst learning about their products, I was also able to gain an insight into Chris’s cycling exploits, which range from riding fast time trials, placing high in various Gran Fondos and more.

On reading that Chris was racing in the 2017 Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra, I was keen to find out about his experience, and was really pleased when he agreed to a Q&A. 

The Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra is an event in which either solo riders or teams take on a course which is 555 km in length. The participants have up to 40 hours to complete the distance, but some of the riders are finishing in approximately half this time. Chris is one of these people.


1) The setting of Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra looks extremely picturesque, but very challenging. When did you decide this was an event you would like to participate in, and what were the features that drew you to this race?

A large portion of Donegal is still untouched when away from towns and villages and is stunning on a clear, sunny day! The roads are undulating and indeed relentless even between the climbs! Traffic is normally light and therefore a perfect place to ride!

This year was the second running of the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra 555 race, and I became aware of the event about one week before the first edition. After seeing the quality of the riders lining up, the parcours and the finishing times, I knew straight away I had to tackle the event in 2017! I had ridden long rides in the past, but I knew this event was really going to challenge me physically and mentally, and that it would also be a challenge logistically. The professionalism of the event organisers and the chip timing with live tracking was a big bonus and I knew this event was going to be world class. I was committed!

2) On choosing this event, what adjustments did you make to your training to be both physically and mentally prepared?

The main focus for me was maintaining pace over distance in training. During the last couple of years my focus had been Gran Fondo events so around 100/110 miles, and about 7500 ft of climbing. This event would multiply that by three! The distance in my long training rides would increase regularly, but interval work and hill repeats were still included to raise the threshold and keep the high end topped up for the efforts on the climbs. On these long rides efficiency is key but recovery is essential. Mentally I break the ride down into segments so instead of thinking 180 miles today I say 60 miles x 3 and I know 120 miles is fine so only the last section dwells on your mind! Sleep deprivation comes into play when pushing for quick times in ultra events, and I did blocks of training on greatly reduced sleep, so the body would adapt, and not want to shut down after long durations on the bike.

3) Passionate sports people frequently juggle the challenge of working full time and training for events. How did you go about achieving this?

My 9 to 5 is based at a University Campus which has its benefits! Firstly, holidays are good, so I get time to do big training blocks and to travel for big climbs and good weather! On a day-to-day basis, I commute to work on the bike, which is a bare minimum of 10 miles each way (but typically around 20 each way on average). The commute negates wasted time in the daily routine and maximizes riding time so even with an extended evening training session I can still be home with enough time to eat and rest….just! I am currently logging around 18,000 miles a year, so anything is possible when you plan your schedule.

Continue reading “The Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra – Q&A with Chris Beattie”

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