A few weeks ago I decided I should invest in some new gloves for warmer weather. Previously I’d been wearing a pair of fingerless gloves from Decathlon and, whilst they’re ok, the padding on the palm has become a problem for me, making me a little uncomfortable on longer jaunts.
Based on a few factors, I decided to gamble on the Fox Tahoe glove. The factors in my mind were:
Basic black colour scheme. Black is the new black, again.
Quality clarino palm with a double layer and not much padding.
Stretch fabric with a simple velcro closure on the back of the wrist where it won’t get caught on watches etc.
Nice dense towelling snot-wipe along the thumb, where I’m used to it being!
The price – surprisingly reasonable for such a popular brand.
What’s So Good About The Tahoe Glove?
I wasn’t so sure when I bought these, but after a few rides I can honestly say that I’m now sure of the three top reasons that these Fox Tahoe gloves are the best summer gloves I’ve had:
The tabs on the back of the fingers are a brilliant little idea for getting the gloves off. Well stitched, sturdy and amazingly effective. It’s the little things, sometimes… (eh girls?)
The size small is a brilliant fit on my pudgy miniature hands. Normal sizes are also available.
The price. At £15 for a pair of top-name MTB gloves, you can’t go wrong. In fact, at the time of writing you could still get last year’s model for £8 from Chain Reaction Cycles (see the link) if you don’t mind a bit more grey in with your black.
Should You Buy Them?
That’s up to you, but I’m glad I did. You can pick them up from Leisure Lakes if you want to try them first. If you’d like a quick look first or to buy online, try a couple of places you can trust:
You might like to take your smartphone along with you if, like me, you:
Use GPS maps to follow a trail or to work out exactly where you are.
Track your rides, for training or motivation.
I know that specific GPS devices like the Garmins do this job beautifully, but to avoid spending £150-£300 on a separate device having a bar mount for your iPhone is a very good alternative. The option to have the one device to track/follow routes; take photos; talk to people (yes, I know, wow); post to your favourite social media sites whilst you’re out etc. is an option I decided to take.
After quite a bit of research to find the best way to attach my iPhone to the handebars, I chose the Tigra mount.
It’s easy to fit, with a pretty infinitely-adjustable collar that’s open on one side so you don’t need to remove any brake or gear levers.
The phone housing attaches to the collar with a satisfying double-click and in over 12 months of use (with a multitude of offroad bumps and quite a few crashes) there’s never been any sign of the housing trying to disconnect from the collar.
There’s decent weather-proofing, with a rubber seal around the housing and extra rubber plugs for the headphone and mic holes if you’re not using them. So if you get caught in a shower, there’s no need to panic.
The clear plastic front recognises your finger inputs so you can control the phone without removing it from the mount.
There’s a cutout for the camera lens on the reverse so you can take photos without taking the camera out.
All the important buttons can be used whilst your phone’s mounted.
Any Bad Points?
Very few things in life are perfect. In use, I’ve found a couple of niggles with the Tigra mount which I should tell you about. They’ve not stopped me loving the product, but I sometimes wish they’d been addressed.
The collar fastener could be tighter. It’s basically a plastic jubilee clip and very easy to over-tighten, at which point it slips back a notch. I’m thinking of inserting a thin strip of rubber in there to make things more secure. In fairness it’s adequate enough, but it can slip a little when you’re hammering down the trail.
The rubber plugs for the earphone and mic holes are easy to lose. I’ve decided to tape up the earphone hole permanently, as I don’t have tunes on when riding. It’s the plug at the top so now I know there’s no weather creeping in there. I can see why Tigra needed to give me the option to listen to tunes on the go, but I prefer a permanent seal.
In very rainy conditions, I take the extra precaution of slipping my iPhone into a butty bag. This is mainly so I can take it out of the mount without any splashes if I stop for a brew. On one ride last year though, I actually fell into the canal and the phone survived unharmed with the extra weatherproofing! Bonus.
I’d definitely recommend the Tigra mount . It’s a cost-effective way of using GPS on the bike for road or trail rides, whether you’re following a mapped route or just recording where you’ve been. Much cheaper than a Garmin to do the same job, and of course you have your phone handy, too!
If you have a look using the box below, make sure you select the one for your iPhone – there are separate versions for iPhone 3/3GS and the iPhone 4/4GS.
If you’ve seen the Urge Enduromatic helmet review here on Mountain Biking Resources, you’ll know that I’m not cool or “yoof” enough to get away with one of those helmets, in my own opinion. (if you haven’t seen it, the review is here).
As a typical member of the Mountain Biking demographic, my middle-age-approaching, middle-class sensibilities made me choose a 661 Recon Helmet for my days & nights out on the trails.
Why Would Anyone Choose The 661 Recon MTB Helmet?
This helmet has quite an understated style, matched to a high specification trail lid with good protection for your full noggin. It’s easy to see how low the back portion of the helmet offers extra protection when compared to a more traditional bike helmet. So, your head’s well covered.
As you’d expect, there’s plenty of venting through 18 holes to keep the air flowing around your flowing locks (or balding pate in my case) and since owning this lid, I’ve had one hot sunny day’s chance to test out the heat dissipating abilities of this big-looking head case – it did keep me cool much more efficiently than I’d expected.
Adjustment is via the Detox Retention Fit System, which is an easy-to-tighten ratchet affair on the back of the hat, which can be easily done on the fly with one hand if you’ve left things a bit loose when you set off. It’s available in two sizes so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one to cradle your cranium.
Since owning the 661 Recon, I’ve had no complaints. It looks good, even on a portly 42 year old man and it protects really well. I took a spill on a recent ride around Rivington (also mentioned on this website) and bashed it forwards into the gravel and soil. The visor popped off on one side but otherwise there were no marks at all. I’m pretty sure that my forehead wouldn’t have taken the impact in such a businesslike way! I can honestly say I’d recommend this helmet to you.
If you’ve got one of these, or if you have any opinions about their design, fit or capabilities, let me know with the comments form below. If you’d like to get a closer look, check them out on Wiggle or at your favourite Local Bike Shop.