Alpkit Fuel Pod Review

Alpkit Fuel Pod Review – Ultralight Bikepacking Luggage

It’s finally time for my Alpkit Fuel Pod review. I’ve been using the Alpkit Fuel Pod for the last month where it’s been invaluable on several long rides and some light touring. It’s not the first top bar mounted frame bag that I’ve used, I previously carried my essentials in a Topeak Fuel Tank, but Alpkit’s Fuel Pod it might just be the best.

Alpkit Fuel Pod Orange
My partner Ellie also has an Alpkit Fuel Pod in orange.

Alpkit Fuel Pod Review

Coming from an ultralight cycling perspective the Alpkit Fuel Pod is a promising product. The materials are strong and light, the total weight for size medium, including straps, is a mere 80 grams.

Particularly important to me is the water-resistant seal and zip dock that has kept my camera dry for the prolonged rainy days cycling from Reading to Devon. Continue reading

Cycling In Plymouth

Gruelling Travel, Homelessness and Balancing Bike Weight

That’s what my partner and I have done since I last posted from New Zealand. Flights, more travel, bad luck, sabotage and finally left with (planned) homelessness. Our flight, for anyone that would like to imagine such a thing, went like this:

New Plymouth – Auckland (45m)
Auckland – Hong Kong (11h30m)
Hong Kong – London (12h30m including the 1hr delay sitting on the plane but not in the air!)

Back to back! I was one more in flight film away from sucking on my own trousers. Insanity was lurking perilously close.

After the grueling and demoralising flight we stayed with my Dad in Reading, cycled to Cornwall to see Ellie’s family, took a train (with bikes) to Leicester and now we’re staying with my parents for a week before scooting off to Cambridge to see more family. Continue reading

Global Blog Views traffic

Thank You Cyclefar Readers!

I’ve really enjoyed writing content for Cyclefar over the last few months. As some of you may know Cyclefar is not a new website, the domain was registered on the 13th of June 2010. However, I was young and the first half of Cyclefar’s life was spent as a test bed for all kind of ideas, writing styles and content.

As I’ve begun to find my feet in life so has this website. I want to thank everyone that has read posts, browsed galleries, commented, shared and ultimately contributed to the growth and success of cyclefar.com. I know how much great content exists online, each one competing for your time, interest and interaction. Continue reading

Katadyn Mini Review

Katadyn Mini Water Filter Review

I don’t do any marketing for Katadyn but if I did I think ‘water so good the eels want it back’ might be a winner.

Having a way to purify water, especially when you’re unfamiliar with where you’ll be travelling, is essential. The average person can survive weeks without food. You can still feel safe from mortal danger if you have to skip the odd meal or two but the same cannot be said about water. Without water you’ll be lucky to last more than 3 days.

There is a helpful rule to remember these limits called ‘The Rule of Threes’. You can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter (in a dangerously cold environment), three days without water and three weeks without food.

Continue reading

Thorn Sherpa Review

Thorn Sherpa Review – Steel Frame Touring Bicycle

I’ve been collecting my thoughts for this Thorn Sherpa review since I first built the bike in my grandad’s shed. I built it in the middle of winter four years ago. I had attempted to build up my new Thorn Sherpa frame in my garage, but at a fun dampening -2°C I received a better offer from my grandad who told me I could use his quintessential English ‘shed at the bottom of the garden’, fitted with a cast iron multi-burner.

Thorn Sherpa review.
Thorn Sherpa attachment points.

I took my tools, stacked up in front of a small fan heater, and hauled the Thorn Sherpa frame and components up the road to a balmy 22°C Costa-del-English-Shed and had a fun couple of days tuning the gears and perfecting the cabling, sweat gently beading on my forehead. Thanks grandad! Continue reading

Bicycle Saddlebags VS Top Bar Bags

Bicycle Saddlebags – You Don’t Need Saddlebags Anymore!

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with bicycle saddlebags. I love that they can carry my tools, that they are quite light and sit out of the way when I’m cycling. But I hate that they’re too small to carry a snack or micro-sized pump, are difficult and often fiddly to access and they are very heavy in relationship to what they can hold. In other words, when you look at the overall weight of your bicycle saddlebag, complete with multi-tool, spare innertube and patches, the bag actually accounts for a significant percentage of that overall weight. How inefficient!

Until recently there wasn’t really any alternative to the bicycle saddlebag. The new innovation that I’ve come to prefer has recently trickled in from the bike-packing or mountain bike touring movement. In an effort to find ways to carry luggage on bikes that have no business carrying luggage, bicycle product designers came up with the top bar bag. Continue reading

Cycle Touring In New Zealand

Cycle Touring In New Zealand. What’s It Like?

I hadn’t done any research about cycle touring in New Zealand before I arrived here. I didn’t really know much about this beautiful and remote country at all.

First let me tell you the problems I’ve faced, then I’ll tell you what’s good so you’ll be able to make your own conclusion.

New Zealand’s Road Infrastructure

New Zealand, almost uniquely for a developed country, is a hard place to assess from the saddle of a bicycle because Continue reading

Cycle Touring Blogs

Top Cycle Touring Blogs 2014

Here are some of my favorite cycle touring blogs I’ve been reading this year. Some of them I have followed for many years, others are recent discoveries but all of them have something to offer a cyclist. Whether that be inspirational stories, useful information or beautiful photographs you’ll find what you’re looking for in the links below.

Ultralight Cycle Touring Blogs

I mention ultralight cycle touring blogs separately as they have been my special interest since arriving in New Zealand. Continue reading

Cold Winter Solstice

Home To The Old World – What I Miss About England

After 5 days of cycling from Leicester to Dover and briefly pausing in Reading to see my Dad, I left England on the 23rd of June, 2012.

By the time I disembark from my flight on the 6th of August 2014 at London Heathrow, I will have been away for 2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks!

For those of you who don’t know, I spent the first 6 months cycling from England through France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, India, Australia, finally arriving in New Zealand with my partner Ellie. Continue reading

Ultralight Cycle Touring and Fully Loaded Bicycle Travel