Pro Cycling Manager

November 25, 2006

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i have recently discovered this great PC game called “pro cycling manager”. initially i didn’t know what to expect – i had never heard of the software house before – but i took a chance and downloaded it from the official website for $39.99.

i immediately became addicted. 🙂

this is such a great game with loads of features and you can download additional databases to recreated scenarios such as armstrong vs pantani in 2000 from the official forum.

one word of caution, though. don’t expect to get much training done if the choice is between playing this and going out in the rain. 😉

some screen shots:

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review: crank bros speedlever

September 30, 2006

i bought this as i thought that it would help me with getting my awkward tryes on and off. it doesn’t. i know that crank bros are more a MTB company so maybe it will be more suited to MTB tyres?

with road tyres the thing initially gets a good grip under the bead – but when you try to rotate the lever it will not move, no matter how much talc, soap or spit i put on the tyre and lever it is going nowhere.

the problem is that the tyre is too tight to the rim and if you manage to move the lever along all it does is move along and doesn’t unship the tyre – and probably does the tyre some damage in the process. you still need to use another lever to prevent the tyre from just droping back onto the rim after the lever has passed that point.

as for refitting the tyre, even worse 😦

the stuff that the lever can do is the stuff that you can do with your bare hands. it is the crucial last 10% that is difficult to get on where the lever fails. again it will not move along the rim regardless of what lubrication you apply and i would be worried about forcing it as this would either break the lever or damage the tyre or inner tube.

all in all a pretty useless gadget. it may work on easier tyres, but they are not the ones i have a problem with. i can deal with the easier tyres with my thumbs! failed to live up to expectations and do the job it was bought for. and it was £6!

1/10 (the 1 for the initial easy hook of the tyre bead.) a triumph of advertising and hype over ability.

UPDATE: the thing finally broke after about 3 uses! the head snapped off after snagging up as described above. wiggle (the company i got it from) have agreed to replace it (i didn’t really want another one, i just sent them an email saying how crappy i thought it was) so cheers to them and 10/10 for customer service. however, i don’t think i will be using it too often.

Look CX7

August 19, 2006

these pedals have recently had a massive drop in price, from over £200 to around £50-60. as i do like a bargin i invested. 🙂


they have been around a while and have been used by a lot of the top pros due to their adjustability and light weight. i was surprised when they arrived in a large parcel (these are little pedals for gawd’s sake) but opening it i discovered that i had bought more that just some pedals, but a total pedal system designed to increase comfort and therefore power.


there are 5 changable plates which come with the pedal which mean that you can change the angle at which your foot sits on the pedal, a similar idea to lemond wedges.


i opted to put the -1.5 degree plates on after giving the others a try. a slight minus angle seems to suit my style.

i must admit to being a bit overwhelmed with all the options with this pedal. you can change the q-factor by 10mm each side, the foot seating by +/-3 degrees, the tension of the spring which holds the cleat, and the red cleats have 5 degrees of float (or you can go for the black ones if no float is your thing).

for the last year i have been using time rxs and have been generally happy with them – apart from a constant clicking i once had when the axel loosened and i didn’t notice it, i spent an hour taking my bottom bracket apart though :?. the difference between the two pedals for me was the clipping in/out (which i found to be easier with the time pedals) and the feel of the pedal.

inspite of all the technology which look have employed here i still find i get “hot” feet more often than with the time setup. however, it is early days and before i run back to my trusted time setup i shall give the looks a bit more of a chance. however, i hope i get more wear out of the look cleats than i have in the past (which was one of the reasons i changed to time) otherwise when these ones wear out the pedals may find themselves adorning my training bike 😕