Posts Tagged ‘review’

Product review: High5 Protein Recovery

Get this. Drink it.

Get this. Drink it.

I’ve been knocking back the protein shakes for several months now, and can totally recommend the High5 Recovery Tub.

Whether after a hard ride or heavy weights workout, drinking a bottle of this within 20 mins of exercise leaves me feeling significantly less fatigued. It doesn’t mean that you can skip meals, especially high-carb refuelling, and obviously you’ll still feel tired after hard efforts, but for me this makes the difference between being totally knocked out and being able to function as normal.

A case in point: after the Puncheur yesterday, my sister handed me a pre-mixed protein shake at the top of Ditchling Beacon. I drank it straight away, and followed it up with a bowl of pasta. I then drove home, cleaned my bike, did some chores, made dinner – basically felt pretty perky. I’m feeling a little soreness today, but probably less than I would without my hardcore protein fix at the end of the ride.

Product review: BBB Successor Sunglasses

World Champion rainbow stripe to the fore.

World Champion rainbow stripe to the fore.

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These sunglasses rock. £60 for 3 sets of lenses, a case AND kudos-heavy rainbow stripes is surely as much as any cyclist can demand form a set of shades. They do actually fit very well too.

Product review: Garmin Forerunner 50

A few weeks ago I upgraded my old heart rate monitor and bought Garmin’s most basic HRM, the Forerunner 50

garmin-forerunner-50

First impressions were good. The screen is clear, the watch and chest-strap fit well, the watch buttons are big enough, and it’s pretty easy to get used to the functions after a flick through the manual.

The Forerunner 50 also comes with a USB stick so you can upload saved sessions to your Garmin account and chew over the data. I found myself stumbling around the Garmin websites on a few occasions, so I’ve tried to figure out why. I ran into problems trying to download the software required for pairing my USB stick and watch on a new machine.

Software download

I log in to ‘myGarmin’, then click ‘Downloads’ – and it says I have no downloads available for my product. Confused, and after heading down several other dead-ends, I return to ‘View your registered products’, and click on ‘Forerunner 50’, which I have already registered. I hit-and-hope on a link that says ‘Accessories’. Now I’m on a shop page, but I see there are some Quick Links on the right, one of which is ‘Garmin Connect’. Is this what I’m looking for?

Yes. I’m pinged over to connect.garmin.com, and a new page called ‘myConnect’, where I can easily navigate to download the Garmin ANT Agent software. Why can’t I do this directly from myGarmin via a self-contained admin area? It seems that from Garmin’s point of view, there are different types of download – software downloads for upgrades and add-ons, and software downloads for pairing – but from my point of view, I want all downloads in the same place, clearly flagged from a central ‘myWhatever’ page.

Once downloaded, the ANT Agent software makes pairing the computer and the device, and uploading saved workouts, very simple. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover it worked with Mac / Safari, and I really like the myConnect dashboard interface – it makes me want to upgrade my hardware to use more data (e.g. distance / speed, and maps).

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The Garmin myConnect 'workout details' page.

The whole experience is very good overall. The Forerunner 50 is excellent value, and I feel good about buying in to the Garmin technology. A few aspects of the online interface are a bit frustrating, and I think these could be improved if the different zones of Garmin’s web environment were better integrated.

Update 5-4-09

After a couple of months’ regular use I’m still a fan of this HRM. Couple of points worth mentioning though:

  • Memory: I tend to go on long rides, and this model’s memory gets full after about 6-7hrs. In order to avoid the ‘lo-mem’ warning that flashes up and obscures the time readout in Train mode, it’s best to clear all saved workouts. Even then, ‘lo-mem’ pops up on rides over 6hrs. Poor.
  • The stop-start button can be depressed by accident when descending, due to contact with the back of the hand.

Product review: Continental Ultra Gator Duraskin

 

I’m replacing my Ultra Gators, which I’ve been running since June-ish. I’m getting more Ultra Gators, because they’re:

 

  • cheap
  • pretty light
  • pretty fast
  • pretty puncture resistant
But I am having to replace them after 6 months. Is that as good as it gets?
Basically once the tyre is ripped, the rip sucks up tiny shards of flint that mean flatting in the same spot again and again. Apparently the way to avoid the rip in the first place is to always inflate to 110-120 psi…
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