More mini reviews of the components and clothing that we never leave home without.
I’ve had dozens upon dozens of mitts over the years. From the original leather palm crochet backed versions with the world champ stripes in the late 80’s to ultra lightweight long aero ones for time trialling and everything in between.
I’ve had pairs with loads of padding, some with strategically placed padding and ones with virtually no padding. Some I’ve liked and some I’ve hated and more often than not had specific pairs for specific rides, ie. long distance, training or racing.
These Sportful mitts have been quite a revelation; they have to be the most comfortable mitts I have ever used. I’ve done many long and short rides in hot and cold climates and they have never let me down.
Although there doesn’t seem to be that much padding, it’s in exactly the right places and works brilliantly. They are lightweight but tough wearing and have taken a lot of abuse this year without showing any signs of wear despite repeated washing.
The lycra back is nice and snug without being restrictive and still light enough to ventilate the skin. The wrist cuff says in place without digging in and snot wiping pad is just the right size and has cleaned very well.
They’re so good I have got a second pair!
When you are stuck on the side of the road with a broken chain you’ll be glad of these. Power links slip on easily and – considering you’ll probably break your chain when it’s cold and hammering down or are in a rush to get back – you’ll appreciate the smoothness and ease of fitting.
They take up zero room in the saddle pack, I put mine in the puncture repair kit to make sure I don’t lose them, so there’s no reason not to carry them.
Just make sure the ones you buy are compatible with your current chain, especially so if you are switching between bikes with different groupsets or gear numbers.
Puncture repair kit
The humble puncture repair kit. It hasn’t changed much for decades, well apart from self adhesive patches. Still has all the bits that you’re never really sure what they do.
I never leave home without one, despite carrying a spare tube, as I’ve been caught out lots of times with double punctures and you’ll be glad of it then. They’re also handy for patching holes in tyres.
I carry a £10 note in mine for emergencies so when I do open it in an emergency it’s a bonus as I always forget about it!
The boxes are small but can still be awkward to fit in small saddle packs but it’s worth it. When you pull one out in an emergency it’ll certainly get your mates talking. Old school or what!