2nd August 2019 / Comments (0)

Summer Gravel Holiday Essentials

summer gravel essentials

You can always tell when the summer holidays are here. The lovely weather instantly switches to rain and that camping holiday you have been looking forward to for weeks on end, suddenly looks less appealing.

What you need is an escape from the family, a cycling adventure to clear the mind. Not everyone can simply ride off into the sunset for several weeks. Some of us can even struggle to get a few hours of valuable “Me Time”.

However long you get to play out this summer, you will need some essential survival gear. Here is our quick rundown of the top holiday essentials to keep riding spirits high.

Garnier Ambre Solaire UV Water £14.00

Garnier Ambre Solaire UV Water

Cycle. Don’t sizzle.

If we are lucky, the sun may return for a few days in August. Do not end up looking like a giant raspberry after 6 hours riding. Protect yourself before you sizzle.

This new Ambre Solaire UV Water has a ‘refreshing protecting mist’ and claims to deliver an immediate cooling effect of -2°C. So you could give yourself a good dousing after that huge hike-a-bike section for some instant, cool relief.

What we like most about the UV Water spray is that unlike other sun screens, it is neither sticky or greasy. And as it is a spray, your hands will not get gunky either. Loaded with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E for moisture enrichment, your skin will be a glowing picture of health!

Available in SPF30 and a high protection SPF50, so even gingers should be protected this summer.

Chapeau! Lightweight Cap – £16.99 £11.89

Chapeau Lightweight Cap perfect for the summer!

Don’t be outdone by a stylish geranium at the cafe stop. Don your Chapeau! cap for instant cool points.

Caps are synonymous with road cycling. Gravel cycling sits on fence, picking and choosing what it likes from both road and mountain biking. You could wear a peaked helmet of course, but we think a cap looks cooler and it is a lot more versatile.

These lightweight caps from the Kings of Affordable Cool, Chapeau! Cycling, come in a range of colours and patterns to satisfy even the most fastidious of trend setters.

Combining the classic lines of the traditional cotton cap, but brought bang up to date with modern, high-performance fabrics. You do not have to sweat it to look cool.

Right now, Chapeau! have a sale on. Not only can you get one of these caps for less than £12, but there are plenty of other cool stuff too. “I only wanted to buy a cap and came away with a whole new wardrobe!”

Alpkit MytiMug 400 £25.00

Alpkit Myti400

Slurp coffee, or boil soup on the stove. Just remember to wash between uses. Soupy coffee anyone?

No ride is complete without a good coffee stop. When it is hot, we prefer to sip our java al fresco and savour that brief moment when short sleeve shirts can actually be considered ‘overdressed’. Mobile coffee bars in converted Citroen H Vans spring up overnight, and their tempting aromas all too appealing…

What is not so appealing are the single use cups they use. Why not do your bit for the environment and provide your own cup? Embrace the DangleMug with the Alpkit MytiMug 400. This diminutive little mug-cum-cooking-pot is made from titanium, obviously, and weighs a paltry 80g. So you will hardly spoil your Strava times when smashing out segments between coffee stops!

PRO BikeGear Mini Tool 10 £9.99

PRO BikeGear Tool10

When you absolutely, positively have to tighten every bolt on your bike. Accept no substitute.

Never leave home without a multi tool, it is just asking for trouble. And with tools as light and compact as the PRO BikeGear Mini Tool 10, you have no excuse not to carry one.

A lightweight resin body holds a variety of hex keys from 2 to 8, Torx 25 and a couple of screwdrivers. Pretty much everything you need and nothing else.

Shimano Twinspark Glasses £34.99

Shimano Twinspark glasses - summer shades

Get into the full holiday swing and grab the loudest pair of glasses possible!

Not only great for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays (apparently they appear when its not raining), glasses are also great from shielding your peepers from mud, bugs and flying gravel.

These quality shades from Shimano feature ‘smoke silver mirror’ lenses which deliver 400 UV protection,  hydrophobic coating and a scratch resistant finish. They are lightweight too, so no need to break the bank on a pair of fancy shades, which you will either sit on or drop.

Available in this very bright yellow for Tour de France fans and more muted colours for those who would rather hide their light under a bushel.

Chimpanzee Natural Nutrition Energy Drink €22

Chimpanzee Natural Energy summer hydration

Bursting with natural ingredients.

Never underestimate the importance of staying properly hydrating when riding out in the heat. Water alone is not going to keep you fuelled for long. Aptly named ‘Gunpowder’, this Chimpanzee Energy Drink is an all natural and Vegan friendly hydration mix that will ensure your legs will keep turning in even the hottest of weather. Available in three fruity flavours, lemon, grapefruit and wild cherry.

The natural ingredients mean that there will be no nasty surprises during or after your ride! It also tastes like fruit rather than some overly sweet and artificial interpretation.  Used as part of a fuelling strategy with regular food intake, you will still be pedalling well beyond sunset.

Maxalami Twister 2.0 £26.33

Maxalami Twister 2.0

Punctures be gone!

Unless you own shares in an inner tube factory, everyone agrees that tubeless tyres are the way forward. Especially when riding off-road and in remote locations. Tyre technology has improved considerably and now, a puncture on a ride is a rarity rather than a given.

When tubeless does fail, it can be a pain to fit an inner tube. And that is where the Maxalami Twister 2.0 comes to the rescue. This neat little, two pronged, gadget is designed so you can pop a sticky piece of rubber known as an ‘anchovy’ into the puncture. Effectively plugging the hole so you can continue your ride.

The tool is small enough to slip into a hollow crank arm axle or even, replace a handlebar plug. Not just a Summer Essential, it really is an ESSENTIAL! It has saved our bacon on more than a few occasions.

Last modified: 2nd August 2019

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