Polaris Axial Pod

 

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We travel a lot with our bike so are always looking for solutions to make lugging a bike around that bit simpler. So on our recent trip to Whistler we tried out the Polaris Axial Pod Bike Bag. The Polaris Axial Pod is soft shell bike bag. Having only really travelled on flights around Europe with my bike before I was a bit apprehensive about putting my most treasured possession through a connecting long haul flight and rough Heathrow baggage handlers.

Packing the bike in the bag was really simple it was pretty clear exactly where everything was supposed to be strapped in and it all felt pretty secure.

We arrived at Edinburgh Airport and the Axial had it first proper test it had to make it to the check in desk and it had to weigh under 23Kg.  After a 3 hour car journey down from Fort William at 2 am the last thing we wanted to be doing was lifting heavy boxes around the airport so I was delighted to have wheels attached to the bike bag. The straight alignment of the wheels meant that the bag did however have a tendency to drop over to the side when you lifted any sort of height off the ground with the front handle. The handle was pretty tough on your hands as well with such a heavy load in the bag.

However I did discover that if you lifted the bag slightly higher with the two handles on the either and dragged it along it was so much simpler to carry and also made it easier to carry it for longer periods of time rather than having  to pull in for a pit stop every 10 metres.

As soon as we reached the terminal in Edinburgh Airport we headed straight for the check in desk to get rid of the heavy load.

With a 12 and a half hour in transit I was slightly worried about my bike getting damaged in transit but there was a sufficient amount of padding in the case, so I had a fair amount of confidence in it.

12 and a half hours later we touched down in Vancouver…. Unfortunately our bikes didn’t! They missed the flight! So the bikes (and the bag) were going to be in transit for 36 hours in total!

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After being thrown about airports for so long I was convinced that there would be some damage to the bike or very minimally the bag! The bikes arrived in Whistler delivered straight to the door. Looking at the bag no damage was visible (always a bonus). I opened the bag and the bike looked absolutely fine the true test would be when it was built up.

The padding worked!!! I built my bike up and it was fine! The Polaris Axial Pod really provided the necessary protection!

One other major benefit of the Polaris Axial Pod is how easy it is to store! There were 4 of us sharing a studio so all floor space was require.., no room for bike bags. So thankfully the plastic reinforcement strips that give the bag it shape and structure simply slip out allowing you to fold the bag up and store it away easily!

I really rated this bag! It’s not without its flaws and could do with some adjustments. If the bag were easier to lift it would make the transportation of the bike a whole lot simpler. The general weight of the bag is fairly heavy, and  with airlines like BA only offering 23kg you aren’t going to be able to carry anything else in the bag bar your bike and if you have a heavy DH rig you’re probably going to be overweight! Despite those adjustments that could be made the bag did the job! The bike was undamaged during travel, the bag was simple to pack everything had its place, the easy fold away design makes the bag ideal to travel with! The bag also comes with a pouch that you can put your pedals and tools in, which you then put into the netted pouch inside the bike bag! This bag is definitely worth a look at if you are in the market for a new one! It can withstand anything PROVED by the fact it survived the Heathrow Baggage handlers!

 

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Price: £299.99

Brand: Polaris Bikewear

Colours: Black/Greeen, Blue Print, Green Print

Weight: 8.8kg

www.polaris-bikewear.com

 

Which Bike Cleaner Is For You!

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Lets face it if someone were to ask us what our favourite part of biking was we aren’t going to say cleaning our bike. But in order to keep the wheels turning its a jobs that has just got to be done. Fortunately enough now there are loads of cleaning products that making cleaning the bike just that bit easier.

We have taken 4 of the top bike cleaners in the market today! Here is what we thought!


 

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Duck Smart – Earth Mover Bike Cleaner

The clue is in the name with this bike cleaner it really is smart.  We tested a 1 Litre bottle of Duck Smart bike cleaner. The Earth Mover is safe to use on paintwork, carbon fibre, disc brakes, aluminium, rubber and titanium and on top of all of that it is also environmentally friendly. We also found that the 1 litre bottle stretched a lot further than a lot of other bike cleaners we had used in the past however if you are heavy handed on the cleaner and go through a lot quickly it also comes in a 25 litre size too.  After almost a month of continual use there is still a small amount of cleaner left. We also found that the earth mover cleaner spruced up the chain pretty well too. The bottle comes with multi spray options to, you can adjust the spray from a fine mist to a concentrated jet of filth-removing power.

Verdict – Duck Smart does what it is supposed to do, it removes tough grease and mud well and it lasts a lot longer than a lot of bike cleaners…. plus it smell pretty good too (no nasty chemical smell) 

Rating – 4.5/5 Stars


 

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Pure Bike Cleaner

Pure Bike Cleaner is another environmentally friendly bike cleaner. Pure bike cleaners left a sparkler afterwards unlike some of the other cleaners. Also we didn’t have to use any polish after use to give the frame that extra shine. It removed the dirt and grime pretty well with minimal elbow grease effort required. We have used this cleaner for the shortest time out of them all and found that it ran out a lot faster than most of the other cleaners. The sprayer on the bottle wasn’t very sturdy and it actually broke within the first couple of uses.

Verdict – Pure is one of the best bike Cleaners that we tested the cleaner was strong and removed grease and dirt a lot more easily than the other cleaners however it didn’t last as long as the other cleaners.

Rating 4/5


 

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Green Oil Bike Cleaner

Green Oils bike cleaner is made up of 100% natural ingredients. Therefore the product has minimal impact on the environment and a low carbon foot print. The spray is also non-toxic so you won’t go breathing in any of those nasty fumes when sprossing up your bike. The solution comes in the bottle around a third full with you then dilute by adding water, ( we thought this made green oil the perfect bike cleaner to take on holiday with you especially if you have weight restrictions on your bag). We wet the bike all over then sprayed the cleaner over the bike and left it to do its magic for 2-3. After we rinsed the bike most of the mud and grease came off pretty easily. A bit of elbow grease was required too get some of the tougher grease off. Also unlike duck smart we had to use a polish on the frame to give it that nice shine after using.

Verdict – Green Oil is a good bike cleaner that would be ideal for traveling with as the initial purchase weight is much smaller than most other cleaners. Removes most dirt and grease with little effort and it doesn’t harm out environment like many other cleaner. Retailing at £7.99 it is slightly more expensive than some of the other cleaners. 

Rating – 3.5/5


 

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Dirt Wash Bike Cleaner

Dirt Wash Bike cleaner did the job when it came to washing off fresh mud and grease but it really struggled to cut through any dried on mud. A large amount of elbow grease was needed in these parts. We found it really struggled to clean tires. We had read in other reviews that it made their brakes squeal after rider so this was something that we looked out for after use and we have to say we didn’t experience this problem at all. Dirt Wash retails at around the same prices as the previous cleaners but doesn’t provide the same value for money. That is why dirt was wouldn’t be our number 1 choice.

Verdict – Cleaner does an okay job but not as good as other cleaner when it comes to removing dried on mud. It also retails at around the same price as the other cleaners that we tested however doesn’t meet the same standard,

Rating – 2.5/5

 

Pedro’s Tyre Levers – Review

A Tool Box Essential or a Bright Coloured Marketing Gimmick?

Rating – 5/5

Cost – £2.99

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We have a confession to make before we started using Pedro’s tire levers we ‘were’ pretty terrible at changing tires and tubes but we have to say that Pedro’s tire levers have basically made us pro puncture repairer…..well nearly!  Previously we had used metal workshop style tire levers and found them extremely difficult often too thick to get under the beading of the tire.

Pedro’s lever are comfy in your hand but yet strong enough that when you are applying a large amount of pressure to the lever it won’t break like a twig like so many other levers do. One of the main bonuses of these tire levers is that they are so bright so whatever colour you buy them in you are never likely to lose them in your tool box.

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The levers are sold in pairs, we only ever needed 2 at once. They are made from reinforced plastic and their chisel tip makes lifting the tire bead easier. Also with using plastic levers the chances of puncturing the tube when putting the tire back on are less likely.

Our recommendation…. if you are spending ages looking for the perfect tire levers then stop now … These Pedro tire levers are everything you could want and more! You’ll struggle to find any others as good on the market for the same price.

Pros

  1. Bright coloured not likely to get lost
  2. Fit comfortably in your hand
  3. Very robust and unlikely to snap like many other tire levers
  4. Small enough to fit in your shorts pocket or slot into your rucksack
  5. Last but not least they come in pink

Cons

  1. None

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