Monday, 14 January 2013

BBB Water Flex Overshoes

With one of the wettest British Summers continuing through Autumn and into Winter, I’ve needed reach for waterproof overshoes on more than one occasion to keep my toes warm and dry on the early morning commute.

There are various different types of overshoes available to choose from these days; from simple over-socks for keeping the chill off, heavy duty neoprene and vulcanized overshoes to keep out icy rain and stop frost bite, and a plethora of hybrid styles between.  There are overshoes for every occasion.

Over the last few weeks I have found one that seems to work on most occasions, the BBB WaterFlex.  These overshoes are made of a tough polyurethane outer material which has a micro-fleece inner, making the material both waterproof and warm.  They are both lightweight and highly flexible, which means that they can be stuffed into jersey/jacket pockets on return journeys if the temperatures have soared in the afternoon sun!

The waterproofing is great in all but the most torrential downpours, helped by the taped seams, elasticated cleat openings and generous storm flap behind the rear zipper.  There is a Velcro fastener to protect the zipper and prevent water from entering from the top.  Whilst a 100% waterproof bootie is desirable, it is also nigh on impossible for manufacturers to make due the requirement for holes for cleat openings which will always allow some road spray in, but these do a great job.

The stretchy, flexible material makes these overshoes easy to put on, even over off-road shoes with ratchet fasteners, thanks to the Velcro tabs mid-sole they have a snug and comfortable fit.  I have even used these overshoes to keep my feet warm and dry whilst warming up on muddy cyclocross courses, as they are so quick and easy to get off.

There are also 3M reflective stripes either side of the rear zips to increase visibility from behind and the usual BBB silvery graphics on the sides help too.

If you are only able to have one set of overshoes then these are probably one of the best choices for the money.  They keep the wet out, have a great fit and keep your toes warm in all but the coldest of weather, when an extra pair of socks can make all the difference.
Reviewer’s rating: 4/5

Monday, 7 January 2013

It's a New Year!!!

We all made it through the predicted Armageddon in December and the world is still turning, so at the end of one calendarer cycle we start a new. 

This year I'm hoping to become more focused within my training sphere and make some marked improvements in my fitness to take everything up a level.  Focusing on the short term to make the gains long term.  I now have one of these fancy GPS training devices from Garmin, which will mean a bit of effort up front but will hopefully keep me motivated and help me monitor what I'm doing and whether I'm improving.

I'm trying to track my cycling mileage this year with a target of 7,500 miles set over a 500 hour time frame.  I will also be attempting to cycle every journey to work over the coming year which in turn should make those targets much more achievable. 

I have a personal goal to start running regularly again without affecting my back, and to do that I will be trying to increase my flexibility with the use of a foam roller and regular stretching.  The goal has a fairly modest target of running 3 times a week, with a weekly mileage target of over 10 miles per week. 

Plans are already a foot for a Euro road trip this Summer down to Italy via France, Germany and Switzerland.  Taking Svan on a 1500 mile round trip to Lake Garda with a loaded bike rack, hopefully taking in some monumental passes around the Rhone-Alps region of France.

There is a sad realisation that my cyclocross season is over almost before it began.  With only 5 races done this season time and circumstance has got the better of me, and regrettably I never really got into the rhythm.  I missed a couple of races due to illness but changes to race schedules meant it became difficult to fit them around family and work commitments.  Hopefully next season will see a return to a full programme of racing, or at least proper focus on a series of races.

I'm looking forward to reviewing more cycling products in the coming months for the nice folk at Cult Racing Cycles, and to will start to post some old reviews up here soon.