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



Q36.5 An Evening with Mario Kummer at Swinnerton Cycles – Part 2

The difference in clothing by Q36.5 begins with its appearance. This includes visible texture or pattern within a fabric, the shape of the garment, combined with a modern, minimalistic look.

The light weight and feel of each item is also a trait of Q36.5.  These features are apparent throughout their collection, and they are particularly noticeable in the products designed for cooler temperatures.  Historically, cyclists had to rely on heavy, bulky and restrictive clothing during late Autumn, Winter, through to early Spring.  Thankfully, this has all changed.

As mentioned in the earlier article, Mario Kummer of Q36.5 was visiting Swinnerton Cycles to present the new Summer and Winter products.  Mario had numerous items with him which were due for release for Winter 2019.

First up was the Long Sleeve Hybrid Que X. The previous version has been a big favourite of mine for Spring and Autumn, so I was eager to learn what had changed.  The appearance of the new garment is slick and purposeful, and features such as pockets and reflective inserts are discretely integrated.  The sleeves are formed from a combination of fabrics, which create an efficient, close fitting cuff and forearm, with windblock protection on the upper arm.   The new arm pocket is an excellent feature, constructed of mesh fabric with a reflective trim, it’s perfect for carrying energy bars or gels.  A new collar design has also been introduced. This provides improved on bike comfort, whilst its close fit prevents cooling.  Having used Jersey Short Sleeve Seta which also has this collar design, I can certainly vouch for its comfort.   The technical fabrics provide higher thermal efficiency and improved vapour transfer, giving additional warmth, with reduced potential for cooling.

Hybrid Que X Green

The Hybrid Que X is available is a number of colour options, including a stealth black, and brighter shades such as blue, orange, and green.  Where possible, I prefer to use clothing which potentially enhances day and night time visibility,  This is made easy with the Hybrid Que X, as the main colour of the garment is present throughout its front and rear panels, and a reflective inserts are placed in key areas.

Hybrid Que X - Grant riding

When the Winter really begins to bite, the Termica Jacket has been my “go to” item for all weather protection.  The new Termica Jacket X is packed with features to assist the winter cyclist to perform at his or her best.

The difference between the first and second generation jacket becomes apparent as soon you pick up the Termica X. The reduction in weight is noticeable.  The collar of the new jacket has certain traits of the Hybrid Que X: its outer is formed in three overlapping pieces of fabric. This serves to improve on-bike comfort, and provide a resilient seal from cold air.  A fourth item of fabric is located on the interior of the collar, which really locks out the winter elements.

Q36.5 have used their advanced design methods, combined with new technical fabrics to increase the performance of the jacket.  The fabrics are highly resilient to winter conditions, and their overall breathability has increased.  The mid layer of the fabric is an active membrane which responds to temperature change, varying the potential for heat retention and vapour transfer.

When using clothing by Q36.5, I find the need regulate heat build up via the main jacket zips is extremely rare, as is the presence of condensation, and the consequential cooling it can create.

Other visible advancements are the laser cut cuff to the sleeves. This contributes to reducing the weight of the jacket.  For me, the reflective inserts to the rear hem and lower arm are an excellent feature, as they are sized and located to maximise visibility in low light.  Q36.5 include their signature, invisible pocket system to the back panel, plus a forearm pocket.  This combination ensures ample cargo capacity for food, essentials and mobile phone.

The Termica X is offered in black or silver colour options, and it has a modern, almost futuristic look (particularly in the silver option).

Termica X Grey Grant riding

Q36.5 cover the clothing requirements of a cyclist from head to toe, and their tights (for winter riding) are captured in the X re-design process.   A number of brands offer winter tights, and at a glance, it would easy to assume they are all similar.

The L1 Salopette Long and Termica Salopette Long by Q36.5, incorporate densely woven fabrics, which feel different to the touch, and this translates into a high performance garment when in use.  I can confirm that the first generation of L1 and Termica Salopette Long both provide superb comfort and highly efficient protection from the elements.

Something that really differentiates them is their function when in use.  In the upper area of the garments, the fabric, panel shape and layout, assists in stabilising the upper body.  In the leg area of the Salopette Long, the fabric is orientated to ensure the fibres offer the least resistance to the downward movement of the pedal stroke, but optimum retraction, to support the leg through the upstroke.  Q36.5 include this feature to reduce fatigue, and it really is something to be experienced.

As part of the evening with Mario, we were able to check out the X version of both the Salopette Long L1 and Termica Long Salopette L1.  Design expertise and developments in fabric technology have contributed to the increase in performance of these products.  The new Long L1 (for mid- season, early winter) and Termica Long L1 (for winter) both provide increased thermal properties.  Comfort and performance has also increased due to a reduction in seams, and panel layout.   The seams have actually been omitted from the saddle area and replaced with an anti-stress panel.  I have experienced this design detail in other Q36.5 products, and I can vouch for the improvement it provides in both stable contact with the saddle, and all day comfort.

Other optimising features are the laser cut finish at the base of the leg (reducing seams), and the reflective panels which are eye catching as well as a helpful safety feature.

Within the items on display were current products such as the Air Insulation Jacket, and Salopette Wolf 2 Bib Short.  If you have not already done so, both of these products are really worth checking out.

During the evening Mario also gave a  brief insight into a couple of exciting developments which were not available to view, They included new Overshoes and Gloves.

Termico GlovesWinter overshoes 2

Since Mario’s visit, I have had the opportunity to use products such as the Hybrid Que X, Termica Jacket X, and the new Overshoes and Gloves.   More detailed insights into these products will be coming in future, but for now, if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at or head to the Q36.5 website.


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”

TORQ Fitness: Performance Coaching and Fitness Testing

Blog Post by Emma

Grant and I don’t race our bikes, but we simply love riding and to get the most out of our year, especially our summer trip to the mountains of Europe, we use TORQ Fitness for our training.  So I thought I’d write a little about this, to dispel any myths that training plans or coaching are only for those who compete.

You may be familiar with the brand from their superb range of energy and recovery products. However, TORQ first started out in 1999, set up by Director Matt Hart as a fitness and coaching consultancy, with the nutritional products coming a little later in 2002.

We started going to TORQ in 2007, after a friend recommended it.  We had enjoyed three summer trips to the French Alps and the Dolomites in previous years, and we decided to explore how we might benefit from more structured training.  At that time, TORQ were based in the village of Westbury, near Shrewsbury, so only about an hour and a half away from us.   However, they have since relocated to the picturesque location of Bryn Mawr in Powys.


Back in 2007 we attended a full day’s education, which also included the fitness testing.  The education covered various aspects of training: energy systems, aerobic and anaerobic training, nutrition etc.  It was also a time to discuss our aims/goals, what we hoped to achieve and what our training capacity was.  I must add that a very fine lunch was also included and the chance to sample TORQ’s products. All of this was to form the basis of our first 6 months training plan.

Since that first visit, we’ve returned every Autumn, to carry out a test, in preparation for the following year’s training plan.  We generally run our plan from January to June, our main objective being three weeks cycling in the mountains.   So let me tell you more about our fitness testing experience.

It’s a good idea to have a substantial breakfast, as you need to leave a gap of 3 hours between eating, and taking the first part of the test.  This is the lactate threshold test, which is carried out indoors using a power meter on your own bike or on a Watt Bike.  A resting heart rate and lactate reading are taken first.  Then you are asked to start pedalling at a low wattage, which you increase at gradual intervals, whilst your TORQ coach measures your heart rate and takes blood lactate readings.  Don’t worry, this is painless! A quick needle click in your ear lobe is all it takes.   Throughout this process you will be asked to confirm your perceived level of exertion.  From this you will ultimately learn what your lactate threshold is, and what your endurance training zones will be (using power and / or heart rate). Continue reading “TORQ Fitness: Performance Coaching and Fitness Testing”

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: