Tête de la course is a fortnightly feature where we summarise the latest products at Condor and why we think they are worth stocking in our London store.
- Granger's Merino Cleaner
- Donkey Label Chamois Balm
- Velobici Guilder Jersey
- Full Windsor Nutter Tool
- Rapha City Cycling Guide
Granger's Merino Cleaner - 300ml bottle - £4.99
Some of our favourite cycling items are made from merino wool , which is a highly versitile material and the backbone of the Rapha range. Naturally breathable and odour resistant, the interior of the fibre is 'hydrophilic', meaning it retains water. When merino absorbs perspiration, it holds it in the fibre without the fabric becoming damp against your skin.
Merino has natural oils in the yarn and that is what makes it such a good performance material. However, over time regular washing or washing with the wrong detergent or at the wrong temperature can strip the merino of those special oils. The Granger's Merino Cleaner is formulated to be kind to merino, keep it soft and keep it performing. It also contains cedar extract to help repel moths.
Donkey Label Chamois Balm - 3 oz tin - £15.99
Donkey Label is a new, slightly strangely-named brand from Australia. Their chamois balm is an alternative to the cream-based friction relievers.
Creams are water-based whereas the balm is part water but mostly made up of oils. Therefore you don't need as much of it because it doesn't absorb as easily into the pad. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to apply copious amounts of cream, this balm has the added advantage that it won't makes a mess or splurge everywhere.
The balm contains a heady mix of organic oils: jojoba oil, beeswax, avocado oil, calendula, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, myrrh, patchouli, peru balsam and chamomile. It smells like a cross between Provence and a National Trust gift shop. In a nice way.
Velobici Guilder Jersey, available in Black/Orange or Navy/Red - £150.00
The new Guilder from Nottingham-based Velobici is part jersey, part jacket. It is constructed from Meryl, a fabric that you'll find on a fair number of high end garments from the likes of Mavic and Assos. Ultra fine fibres are use to construct the Meryl fabric, making it super soft and almost like silk. The fibres can be tightly knitted together to provide protection from biting wind chill in cooler months.
Velobici have packed plenty of detail into their latest offering. The collar, which features a soft-touch material, doesn't irritate sensitive skin. And even the main zipper is insulated with a flap to block the cold. On the back there are five pockets of which two are waterproof and the fabric is also water resistent. Designed in Nottingham and made in Leicester the Guilder is comfortable like a blanket, built to last and simply stylish.
Full Windsor Nutter Tool - £39.99
Available now for £39.99, the Nutter has " all the essentials for fixing your most common bike headaches", from tyre lever to spoke key to... bottle opener. Aside from the fact that liberal use of the latter might result in a different kind of a headache, it's a claim that the product seems to live up to. In essence it functions like a multi-bit screwdriver for your bike, meaning that you only have to carry one item (in a rather fetching leather case) with you on your rides.
Rapha City Cycling Guide - £25.00
The Rapha City Cycling Guide (Europe) is a delectable treat for bike-minded weekend breakers.
Initially sold together as an eight volume box set, each guide features "cycle-friendly neighbourhoods, itineraries, cycle maps and places to visit where cyclists are always welcome".
The set features eight small guide books – covering Antwerp & Ghent, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Milan and Paris. Each one is densely packed with information for the cycling tourist, or the touring cyclist, or even just any old tourist to be honest. They each have a short introduction to the city, and feature a mapped day-ride that takes you round the main parts of the city, before diving in to more detail on a few specific neighbourhoods.