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sweet // bikes

cool bike shit for the discerning cyclist


// Muc-Off Dry Shower              

We used to call it a scally shower when after gym class you swapped washing your body and just hosed yourself down in Lynx. Africa was our musk of choice.

And this from Muc-Off is basically that but with actual anti-bacterial qualities rather than just a full on pungent aroma you could smell at 100 paces.

Derived from that famous cleaning product, the coconut (no idea) it is formulated to kill the odour causing germs and is ph nuetral. Perfect if after a race you want to actually make it into the bar with out needing a cordon and there is no wash room. Ot its cold. Or you can’t be bothered etc. It comes in handy 50ml size or if you are the size of a house it also comes in a 200ml vat.

Spray it on, leave it to dry, then wipe it off and you will have members of the opposite sex swarming all over you. Oh hang on thats Lynx.

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// Knog - Milkman              

The Milkman always knocks twice. Or at least he did before supermarkets started squeezing dairies and put them out of business. Now the only thing they knock is whiskey. Straight back mixed with nothing but resentment and tears. And some semi skimmed.

Which is total bollocks, but they are still back now though in the form of a cafe lock from the Australian Light/Lock Lotharios Knog. I’m not overly sure Knog are actual lotharios but I was stuck in an alliteration splurge.

Its compact enough to fit in a pocket on a ride. Its not the worlds safest lock as you’d guess but it will stop people just deciding that your bike would make a nice addition to their lives and making off with it with security features such as 6.5mm stainless steel locking shield and a braided steel/fibre core crush cable that will frustrate bolt cutters. For a bit.

The 90cm cable retracts in to the main housing so should go round a few bikes and your head and you can get the Milkman in 4 different colours.

Unfortunately one of the colours isn’t semi skimmed.

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// Vulpine - Short Merino City Sock              

As Edwin Star once famously said…. Socks. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing.

Oh and keeping your feet warm, providing a barrier between foot and shoe and also hiding your ankles from lascivious Victorian men. So really they are good for loads of things. Nice one Edwin.

These city socks from the always excellent Vulpine use technical merino that is both super soft and kills odours. Great if you are cycling to a date. Or eat with your feet.

They have a traditional British herringbone design and come in 4 colour ways – red, navy, green and fuscia.

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// Clug              

I’ve been called many things in my life, but never a Clug. Or possibly I have and I either misheard them or it was behind my back.

The Clug isn’t an insult, but it is the worlds smallest bikes rack that involves one piece that drills into the wall using just 2 screws. It seems so simple that anyone can do it, but they haven’t yet seen my prowess with a drill. I’m prepared to test this theory for them and then pay my own taxi to hospital to have my arm stitched back on.

It works as a “hug for your bike” – and by that rather nebulous phrase I mean it clips onto your tyre so you can get your steed out of the way. Either upright or stood up; wherever you feel it keeps it out of the way the best. The Clugs come in 3 sizes, 23 – 28mm for road bikes, 32 – 47mm for hybrids or 1.75 – 2.5” for MTBs. That should cover all eventualities unless you are riding a fatbike, but then as we know all fatbike riders are perverts who live in shacks so why would you need to keep it out of the way anyway?

It was funded though a super successful Kickstarter campaign and they are currently in pre-order mode so if you want one get signed up now.

Oh and if you actually own a 3d printer then you can get the digital file and produce it yourself, like you are George Jetson or something.

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// CMWC - Cycle Cap              

Smidgen of honesty – I once tried to ride a fixie and forgot to keep pedalling. Its a good job the pavement broke my fall or I could have ended up carrying on all the way through to Australia.

Cycle messengers on the other hand ride them all the time and are so good they even have their own world championships. This year they are being held in Mexico City. 3 days of messenger related competitions, beer, and looking a bit stinky. So to celebrate they have made a cap in conjunction with Cinelli and it’s ace. It comes in a variety of sizes and colours. That is as long as you choose black with a multi coloured stripe and your head is a one size fits all shape.

We have done tests as well and if like me you struggle with fixed gear cycling then if you wear this hat you will see an immediate 82% increase on your ability to not fall off. That’s science.

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// Gu Energy - Chomps              

Bonking; great for carparks, second dates and 1980’s Jackie Collins novels. When the bonk sucks is when it happens at the bottom of a large hill. Oh and on scout camp but lets focus on the previous.

So if the bonk fairy visits then you need something stored in your back pocket (that’s your jersey back pocket, not your “prison pocket”) that will give you a burst of energy and not taste like you have just taken a full load of robot “junk” to the back of the throat.

GU do a range of physiological turbo boosters – the Chomps are great if you just want to top up or are at the end of the ride and don’t want to be stomping round the house like some raver home early from a club. 1 packet of Chomps = 2 servings = 1½ to 2 hours of activity but you can amend that accordingly.

The Chomps contain amino acids for speed recovery, the antioxidants Vitamin C + E, to combat tissue breakdown, sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance and He-Mans adrenalin gland for an added kick. I possibly made up one of those ingredients.

You get a choice of 2 non-caffeinated flavours in Blueberry pomegranate & Orange or if you really want to blow your face off then Cranberry Apple & Strawberry are full of the afore mentioned caffeine. RAAAAAAAHHHH.

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// Park Tool Co.- Cyclone Chain Scrubber              

A bike chain is a lot like a pair of underpants. They tend to get clagged with dirt, grease and general detritus which then needs sorting out. Sometimes though you just can’t be bothered with the hassle.

Now unfortunately I can’t help you with your grunts beyond a diagram on how to burn moist cotton, but Sweetbikes can point you in the direction of a way to sort out that disgrace of a thing connecting your pedals to your cassette.

The Cyclone Chain Scrubber does just what it says. It scrubs your chain using a series of rotating brushes to get it sparkling. It also keeps all of the contaminates off once its washed due to a magnet at bottom of solvent reservoir that draws particles scrubbed away from the freshly laundered chain.

It works with all multi speed bikes and some single speeds and a bit like that guy in the park with the wild look in his eyes, the Cyclone will also hold 2 fluid ounces of solvent.

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// SOS Rehydrate              

The mysteries of what goes into the bidons of the Pros is a closely guarded secret. I have heard rumours that some of the more successful ones use a mixture of unicorn tears and amyl nitrate. I’d be up for trying it if only I could get that damn unicorn to cry.

So until I can get it to watch the end of ‘Marley and Me’ I tend to go for something like this. Endorsed by the Be-golded sailor Ben Ainslie and the WHO (and thats the World Health Organisation, not the band that did Pinball Wizard, although I’m sure they would like it as well) SOS Rehydrate has 5 times the amount of electrolytes as normal vitamin water. Reason it gets the WHO nod is it’s apparently comparable to an IV drip in the treatment of mild to moderate dehydration. Means if you are anything like me and turn into a sweaty mess when the road points even fractionally upwards that is a damn good thing.

Oh and if you like beer, cider, wine or even a pint of Taboo/Mirage at the end of a ride then this will also work wonders on your hangover. Fact.

If you’re currently a little parched reading this then if you buy either SOS Rehydrate Blueberry or Citrus now it’s on offer for a price of £8 for five packs

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// Fix It Sticks              

And lo, the Almighty creator of the Heavens and Earth spoke unto Moses upon the top of mount Sinai.

“Moses… hear me as I speaketh to you. Shit will break, like all the time. I was creating this thing called a duck billed platypus and this one bit just kept snapping off. It was mightily annoying so I had to bodge it. I have given man freewill so at some point in the next few millennia one of my children creates something handy so I don’t run into this on Earth 2”

True story that. Which is why a guy in America invented the Fix It Sticks. The cunningly titled ‘Fix it Sticks’ is a multi tool that will fit almost any nut on your bike but has the stability and function of a fixed hand wrench.

It debuted in the battlegrounds of Kickstarter and is now out there to buy – Made from steel in the USA, they have magnets in the ends so that annoying thing when the end drops off doesn’t happen and also when they fit together they stay nice and connected.

Comes with 8 bits: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, Phillips #2, Torx 25 all packed into a recycled innertube case.

And if you were wondering of the credentials of the guy who invented it, well rest assured in the fact he has a moustache, a really bushy Blue Oyster Club number, and his name is Brian. What more CV does he need?

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// Cinelli - Barry McGee Water Bottles              

Street art is pretty much everywhere you go. From Banksy and his near global domination to Obey t-shirts, so you might as well get on the Zeitgeist and drink street art as well in the latest Cinelli collaboration.

Barry McGee was part of the San Francisco Bay Graffiti scene in the early 90’s. Like most counter culture heroes he’s now rinsing money out of the establishment and why the hell not. “Selling out” is a pointless insult and anyways I always find the well known phrase of “sticks and stones may break my bones but buying a Porsche off selling some work I knocked up 10 minutes ago” holds true in most situations.

You get 2 different styles of bottle by McGee. You can either drink from a happy if unripe looking orange motif or a weird “sip me and I’ll haunt your family for a generation, have you not seen Poltergeist?” Red Indians one.

Or you can drink neither and try putting it on the wall. Nails not included.

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// Sockguy - Lightning Wool 8" Crew              

There are many things I could say about socks and the place they hold in the lives of the male humans, especially during the teenage years. I shall merely keep it to the brief admission that if back then I had found a pair of socks that had been made of TurboWOOL I would probably have been hospitalised.

Luckily I’m now older, wiser and have to actually leave my bedroom so socks are now all about being worn on your feet.

Now I haven’t done any serious tests but I could give you the Sweetbikes no money back guarantee™ that you will cycle faster in these badboys. To start with they are made of the aforementioned TurboWOOL which is a mix of 50% Merino and 50% polypropylene making them 5 times tougher than pure merino as well as shrink resistant and itch resistant. They have an Easy-Fit” cuff and “Stretch-to-Fit” sizing system for maximum fit and performance.

And final to my theory is the addition of a MASSIVE PINK (or yellow) LIGHTNING BOLT on the side.

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// Donkey Label - Tool Roll              

If you are anything like me then the back pockets of your jersey will be like a cross between a branch of Halfords and the packed lunch of an obese child. For example the fat German kid Uter from the Simpsons.

So the idea of wrapping the tool portion of that mess is a great idea. Handmade in Minneapolis from tough denim the DL Tool Roll has got 5 interior pockets will take everything from a tyre lever to a multi tool and there is also an exterior pocket that will take your pump. You get a choice of 3 backgrounds to greet you when you unroll your wares like the dentist torturer in the Marathon Man, red, red/green/blue with a donkey on it or black which also features the aforementioned Burro

It measures 9” (23cm) in circumference when wrapped, comes with a tie strap on the outside to keep it all together and you can sling it from your saddle with a Binda strap if you don’t want to carry it.

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// Paceline - Chamois Butt'R              

For those that have seen Last Tango in Paris you will know that toast isn’t the only application for butter. If you haven’t seen Last Tango then just know that the film could also have been called “I can’t believe it’s not Vaseline”

So with this in mind, if you are in the market for something to soothe that moneymaker on long rides then Butt’r could be your new best friend.

Developed in 1988 by physical therapist and cyclist Steve Mathews, Butt’r has been a favourite for amateurs and professionals for years. Non greasy and made from high quality ingredients Butt’r is also paraben free, gluten free and contains no artificial colours or fragrances. Which is the minimum I expect from things I’m about to use to coat the “Road to Grimsby” with.

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// doiy - Fixie Pizza Cutter              

Many things complement a fixed wheeled bike. A well kept beard, thick rimmed spectacles, a lack of socks.

So if you have your fellow hirsute sockless trendily myopic friends over for a night of gluten free pizza then you should also be able to slice that fairtrade bad boy in a way you all agree is in tune with your life choices.

Both wheels of the fixie cutter are super sharp discs to make sure you cut though the base as there is nothing more annoying than badly divided pizza. They are available in Bumblebee (black on Yellow) or Super-Camp, also known as Watermelon (mint on pink)

Beards not included.

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// M&S - Cycling Chinos              

At some point you are going to turn into your parents and catch yourself admiring a cardigan in the window of BHS so you might as well embrace it. These Chinos are your time.

Now this might take a little leap of both faith and imagination as the promotional shots that M&S have released are toss. I mean look at them. They look like my Uncle Mario when he tried to dress down for a family Bar-B-Que-Argument. If you are unaware of M&S then it’s a British company called Marks and Spencers, famed for its comfortable pants and semi-posh dinners for lonely single people that think they still have a shred of self respect left. Now if you retook these photos and swapped the trainers for a pair of £300 moulded giro road shoes, the plain white T for a fully buttoned up linen shirt, use a model with tattoos, make it moody and black and white, you could charge 5 times the price. Just look at Rapha.

So why are the M&S chinos great? Well by definition stuff you ride in will get covered in grease, road muck and assorted bodily fluids after a while so something affordable makes total sense unless you hate your credit cards and want to regularly punish them.

These come in 2 colours, are water repellent, tapered to keep them out of the chain, have a loop for a D-Lock and even though they romantically describe the stretch waist as a feature that “allows room for growth” (You had me at ‘allows’ M&S) will make bending over the bars and riding super comfortable.

They also come in about 400 size combinations so even if you are Sandy Toksvig there is a size for you. Possibly.

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// Paniagua - EPO Coffee Perfect Shot Bundle              

So it’s been well documented that to go faster in professional cycling you could take something called Erythropoietin, also known as EPO. If you rode without any form of blood doping then the peleton called it Paniagua, which translates as bread and water. Meaning that you literally rode just on bread and water and not full of illegally gained red blood cells.

History lesson over, the guys at Paniagua have created a coffee called EPO just to fry a few minds. The coffee is an ethically sourced blend of Brazilian Daterra and Costa Rican beans from the Cafetalera Zamorana Estate. Here they honey process it to give it a sweeter taste to go with the notes of caramel and deep chocolate.

Strong enough to blow the padding out of your lycra if you drink too much, it should give you a boost out on your ride without meaning that you have to room with Lance in a Texan jail.

Available whole bean or ground and this pack comes with a shot glass branded with EPO on the front just so people know you aren’t to be messed with, until you over caffeinate and mess yourself that is.

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// Racefiets - Pain is for Cyclists T-Shirt              

Wendy Ball. Artistic Free Form Histrionics. Team Hair Style Speed Parading. What ever you call football, even if you call it soccer, it does have a justified reputation of being a soft sport.

And by soft I mean that the slightest touch, sometimes from the wings of a passing butterfly, has the players rolling around on the floor clutching their faces.

Cycling isn’t like that and to prove it, you need a T-Shirt that explains your position to the rest of humanity.

It Comes in “energising” electric blue and is made from 100% combed cotton.

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// Trotify              

Ever wish your bike sounded more like a horse? Well stop dream’n and start live’n.

The Trotify comes flat packed so you can break out your inner Ikea when it arrives, then wang on the coconuts, attach it to the front reflector mount and hey presto, you are The Lone Ranger. You just need a Tonto now.

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// Schwinn - CycleNav              

The only thing more annoying than being lost is when somebody at the end of your circuitous journey says something along the lines of “Awww man there was such a quicker route”. Once you have extricated that persons teeth from your fist you should then invest in a Cyclenav to make sure your next journey goes a little smoother.

Made by the venerable Schwinn, the Cyclenav is a cheap as chips handle bar mounted computer that will guide you to your destination using 3 flashing directional lights and “friendly” spoken commands. It comes with a free iOS and Android app which sends the route to the Cycle Nav via Bluetooth from your phone and has biking specific directions for anywhere in the USA along with Facebook integration.

With it retailing at $65 (about £36) and each charge lasting 10 hours there must be a drawback? Only thing I can think of other than the voice commands becoming a bit SatNag after a while is that it’s only available in America for the time being.

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// Purity Brewing Co - Saddle Black              

Its not a bike, nor a component nor something you can wear. So why is it on here? Because it’s a beer dedicated to cyclists. That’s why.

Brewed by the Purity Brewing company in the West Midlands it has been made as homage to the craft that goes into making bicycles and also to Pashley and Brooks who are long established brands in the area. Brooks will be doing a limited edition saddle to go with it, embossed with the Brewery’s logo.

So How does it taste? Well its a Full-Flavored hoppy black beer that is “brewed using smoked, chocolate and black malts and New World hops Chinook and Cascade. Together these create a well-rounded beer with aromas of citrus, chocolate and espresso”

More importantly it is 5.1%. Put that in your bidon.

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// Aardvark Ankle biters              

Nothing looks as unsightly as a fine pair of trousers that are ragged and covered in grease. What are we – Mid 90s Nirvana fans?

So if you don’t have a trendy pair of jeans that have those prepared turn-ups on them or you are still rocking the baggier look then maybe you need a pair of these. 1 inch wide and a foot long they are brightly coloured 3M Scotchlite velcro straps.

And that’s it really. Cheap enough that you can have a pair in each colour to match your eyes. Red for hang overs, yellow if you have jaundice and blue if you live on Arrakis.

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