Category Archives: Reviews

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 Alpkit Fuel Pod Review – Ultralight Bikepacking Luggage

Brasher Hillmaster II GTX Review, Tested To Destruction

Brasher Hillmaster II GTX walking boots review: I’m willing to bet that a few of Cyclefar’s readers like walking. After all, to enjoy cycling is to enjoy life and there are many ways to experience the world. I have seen a fair bit of the great outdoors standing in these Brasher Hillmaster II GTX walking boots and now as I prepare to leave New Zealand (three weeks to go!) I’m also preparing to leave my beloved boots behind. I hope I don’t spoil the surprise by saying that these boots have never ever let me down in the estimated 500+ miles traveled in them.

I bought the Brasher Hillmaster walking boots on a recommendation from my dad who’s a keen walker and, whilst penniless at university, he kindly subsidised the price for me, telling me his philosophy ‘buy once buy right’. More specifically ‘buy leather’. Leather boots have the distinct advantage of being easy to clean, easier to care for and more water resistant than synthetic shoes in my opinion.

The leather is a fully waterproof layer before you even hit the Gore-Tex membrane underneath, and with so few seams, washing and waxing them is a simple and satisfying task. Leather boots tend to bounce back time and time again with a tin of wax and ten minutes of your best massaging. Continue reading Brasher Hillmaster II GTX Review, Tested To Destruction

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 Katadyn Mini Water Filter 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 Thorn Sherpa Review – Steel Frame Touring Bicycle

Continental Travel Contact Review – Destroyed!

I have finally squeezed the last mile out of my Continental Travel Contact tyres (Twice!). I can now give you the grim specifics on how long they lasted, how well they performed, and how gracefully they failed. Consider this the Continental Travel Contact review; tested to destruction! Continue reading Continental Travel Contact Review – Destroyed!

What You Need To Know About Brooks Saddles [Video]

Worn Brooks B17 Special
My Worn Brooks B17 Special

Brooks saddles, made in Birmingham, England, are the de-facto bicycle saddles for touring. They also have a stronghold in the commuting markets and the… erm… cool types. You know the ones, they have (at the moment) long sleeve shirts, skinny trousers and crepe soles. It strikes me as unusual that what suits the terminally trendy also appeals to the nomadic traveller as well as the cantankerous, heritage supporting, northerner (such as my friend Adam) and even the casual cyclist, father of three, who just wants to ‘pop’ to the shops to replenish his secret stash of Werther’s Originals in his shed. Continue reading What You Need To Know About Brooks Saddles [Video]