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Prepare your kit for the upcoming snow season

Are you super-prepared and ready to hit the slopes this ski season, or, like most of us, struggling to find the time in busy lives to get snow-organised? Don’t stress, use Nikwax! The easy and cost-effective way to clean, freshen and waterproof your gear for maximum enjoyment in the mountains, Nikwax is guaranteed keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. Just follow our simple preparation steps and you’ll be ready to go…

Step 1: Clean your outerwear
Jackets and salopettes pick up more dirt than you think and if you didn’t clean them after your previous ski trip, it is most definitely time for a freshen up – hard-earned sweat and those après-ski spillages can quickly degrade waterproofing properties. First, clean the garments in your washing machine with Tech Wash® (check the garment care labels first!).

If your gear was wetting out before its clean, Tech Wash will help revitalise its Durable Water Repellency (DWR). However, if wetting out continues to occur after the cleaning cycle, it is time for a proper re-proof with TX.Direct® Wash-In. This can also be used in your washing machine, on a separate cycle. Note that for wicking linings we recommend TX.Direct Spray-On.

 

Paul Telling, Programme Director at Team Evolution, an Austrian-based British Ski Academy says:
“We tend to wear our team kit for 200-250 days a season, so we really need it to last and protect us from the wind, rain and snow. Our gear is made from high quality materials; however, it takes such a battering from the weather it is important we keep its waterproofing topped up. Whenever we clean our jackets we use Tech Wash & TX.Direct. Not only does Nikwax re-waterproof the kit and keep it breathable, it’s also simple to use. It doesn’t matter if we’re in France or South America, in a hotel or hand-washing our kit in a basin, we’re able to ensure our kit stays protected, and can therefore do its job protecting us.”

Nikwax is not heat-activated, so you can simply air-dry your gear after the cleaning and proofing process, or tumble dry it if the care label allows. It is essential to ensure your gear is completely dry before putting it away or packing it in your suitcase.

Step 2: Clean your synthetic base layers
Dirt, sweat, make up and oils from your skin all build up on base layers, which can impair their technical wicking capabilities, making temperature regulation more difficult. Regular detergents can have the same impairing effect, so it is vital you use the best cleaner for the job if you want to optimise your gear.

As Tech Wash does for outer garments, BaseWash® gently cleans synthetic base layers. Not only that, it conditions the garments too. Perfect if you have many base layers that need washing.

If you only have a couple of synthetic base layers, then pop them in a normal laundry wash and replace your regular conditioner with BaseFresh®. This high-performance conditioner allows your regular detergent to clean your items without compromising their functionality. Both BaseWash and BaseFresh will deodorise your base layers – removing built-in odour and sweat – whilst also enhancing the wicking and drying properties. Garments stay fresher for longer.

Step 3: Clean your gloves and socks
Ski gloves also pick up a lot of dirt on the slopes, which can affect their DWR resulting in damp, cold hands. Clean gloves will stay waterproof and breathable, which keeps you far more comfortable zig zagging down the mountains. After cleaning with Tech Wash, proof with Glove Proof, which is suitable for synthetic, full-grain leather, fabric & leather, and membrane fabric gloves.

In the same way hands suffer if they get damp, so do feet! Many snow sports enthusiasts choose Merino wool socks thanks to their temperature regulating and wicking properties, which need specialist care. Wool Wash – cleaner and conditioner in one – deodorises and enhances the wicking and drying performance of woollen gear, piste after piste.

“Keep your gloves and socks away from radiators! Put them next to a warm heat source instead, with enough space for the heat to circulate. If you must put your kit on a radiator, always lay a dry towel down first so you don’t have melted gloves in the morning.” Paul Telling

Step 4: look after your boots and equipment
If you are lucky enough to own a pair of boots, skis, or a snowboard, it is a good idea to service them before each trip to ensure your feet stay fully protected in all conditions. Clean the inners of your ski or snowboard boots with Sandal & Sport Shoe Wash to remove any unwanted odours and improve their wicking quality (as with socks, wet feet quickly become cold feet!).

If ski touring is your thing, you should waterproof your ski skins with Ski Skin Proof, a treatment that prevents ice building up on ski skin fibres, reducing saturation to improve glide and reduce kick.

Servicing your skis and board should, of course, include a re-wax and edge sharpen.

These recommended steps will safeguard the technical qualities of your snow sports gear, enhancing their properties and extending the life of the garments/equipment. Ensuring the longevity of your gear will not only save you money but it will boost your sustainability credentials too as you’ll be helping to keep garments out of landfill.

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An adventure with Jenny Tough

Adventurer, mountain runner and cyclist, Jenny Tough, tells us about her recent expedition and invaluable tips for planning your own trip…

The Caucasus Mountains have been calling me for years. In my global, long-term project to run solo and unsupported across a mountain range on every continent, the Caucasus were always one of my planned expeditions. With international borders, strict no-go zones, and autonomous regions, they were always going to be tricky, and the thrill of true adventure captured my imagination. Unfortunately, as this expedition was originally planned for 2020, I had to let it go, but this year I finally had my chance to visit.

I went out to Tbilisi with my mountain bike, packed as lightly as I could get away with, and a grand plan to try and cross the High Caucasus from west to east, skipping out Abkhazia and South Ossetia. When Azerbaijan didn’t meet their proposed deadline to open their land border, I had my first spanner in the works. When the Caucasus experienced some of the worst June weather on record, I had my second.

Adventure, by definition, shouldn’t go to plan. Landing in Tbilisi with a route already loaded to my bike computer and discovering that route would never go – a closed border and many closed mountain passes left a flimsy small amount of trail that I would never get to ride – I had to pivot my plans.

In hindsight, the weeks I spent bikepacking in the Caucasus Mountains was an objective failure – I set out to ride the length of the mountains range, from sea to sea, and I didn’t get to do that. But am I disappointed? Not really. In the end I did some fantastic riding in western Georgia and then some more fantastic riding around the Lesser Caucasus in Armenia – a country and region I had not even originally considered. I had an incredible time bombing around hidden trails, hauling my bike through thick mud in the middle of intense storms, hiking it up snowy passes, and staying in welcoming and charming small villages. I didn’t meet my main objective – two years on, a full traverse of this culturally rich mountain range remains elusive to me – but I still had an adventure.

Trip Planning
Researching routes, making lists, booking tickets, and finally packing your kit – adventure prep is easily one of my favourite parts of the experience. I’m lucky to work in the outdoor industry, meaning that I am almost perpetually unpacking from one journey before washing my kit out and repacking for the next one. I’ve got my systems dialed, my luggage always ready to go. One thing that is absolutely essential to keeping well-loved gear in motion is to treat it right. With proper care and love, your favourite outdoor products should last you years, and keep you dry and comfortable on many, many adventures.

Packing for my bikepacking trip in the Caucasus Mountains was tricky – I knew I would hit scorching heat, intense thunderstorms, and perhaps even snow or hail, often in the same day. That’s how it goes in the mountains in June. I needed my good waterproofs, my warm insulation, and my coolest wicking base layers. The other factor is, of course, that on a trip lasting a few weeks where I’ll be unsupported in the wilderness is that I won’t have access (or inclination, if we’re being honest) to laundry facilities. My gear needs to be solid. Here’s my routine for what I needed to pack on this adventure:

  • Cycling clothing: My favourite sweat-wicking t-shirt from Velocio is a go-to for mountain biking. A wash with Nikwax BaseFresh®
    enhances and revitalises its wicking properties, so it will hopefully last me three weeks of sweaty riding.
    (As a side note – I always somehow get chain oil on my jerseys, and Nikwax BaseFresh magically cleans that off!).
  • Waterproof: I’ve always maintained that if you can only invest in one item, it should be your waterproof. However, without taking proper care of your waterproof jackets, they will be rendered useless over time. Between trips, I always freshen my jacket with Nikwax.
  • Sleeping bag: To keep my bivvy system light, I usually go with just a hydrophobic down sleeping bag, and no tarp. The trick is to continually treat the bag a couple times a year with Nikwax Down Proof. Sleeping bags should last you a very long time!

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Nikwax isn’t just for the rain, it also targets sweat…

From the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the highest mountains in the world, Nikwax aftercare products have kept outdoor professionals and athletes warm and dry in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable. However, did you know that Nikwax will protect you in warmer weather too? From cycling the country roads to weekend running, Nikwax Sweatproofing products will enhance your clothing and footwear’s cooling effect, keeping you fresher and drier throughout the summer months. Below, we answer five commonly asked Sweatproofing questions…

Why should I use Nikwax Sweatproofing products in the summer?
They will enhance the performance of your next-to-skin technical clothing by eliminating odours and speeding up fabric drying times, keeping you fresher for longer – and your kit working at its best. As for non-waterproof footwear, you can rely on Nikwax to thoroughly clean and refresh your sandals and sports shoes, giving them a new lease of life. Our Sweatproofing products keep you cooler in warm conditions, warmer in cooler conditions – and smelling better whatever the weather!

Why shouldn’t I use standard detergents to wash my technical base layers and sportswear?
Next-to-skin clothing works brilliantly to control sweat and regulate body temperature. However, household detergents can leave behind a hydrophilic (water-attracting) residue, and standard fabric conditioners can leave behind residues on the fabric that impair its breathability and wicking ability, meaning sweat and moisture is retained. Added to this, body oils and bacteria can build up over time, causing garments to start smelling. Regular household detergents mask the smell rather than removing it, so as soon as you start to use your base layers again, the smell returns very quickly. The Nikwax Sweatproofing range cleans and conditions all next-to-skin clothing and footwear, with no loss of performance. On the contrary, performance is improved!

What products are in the Nikwax Sweatprooing range?
BaseWash® is a specially formulated product that both cleans and conditions your synthetic base layers. It deodorises, freshens and softens your clothing whilst accelerating its drying and cooling properties to keep you comfortable when exercising in the sunshine. Nice weather for ducks? BaseWash also keeps you fresh and dry when working out inside!

BaseFresh® is a fabric conditioner that allows you to wash your base layers with other, non-technical, garments, alongside a conventional washing detergent – great if you just have a few technical garments you need cleaned! It delivers the same results as BaseWash – deodorising, accelerated drying and improved cooling efficiency in warm weather – whilst removing the need for a separate wash. Additionally, BaseFresh treated fabrics are more resistant to stains and day-to-day soiling.

Wool Wash is a cleaner and conditioner for all your merino and woollen base layers (a necessary back-up for our unpredictable British summers). It enhances and revitalises the natural wicking properties of wool to increase its breathability and keep you feeling fresh and dry in the great outdoors.

Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash is an effective cleaner that freshens and deodorises all non-waterproof footwear, including the insoles and footbeds. It removes the dirt and body oils that build up as a result of warm weather, bare feet and/or sweaty socks, and reduces the growth of bacteria (that can lead to your shoes starting to rot). Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash also prolongs the usable life of your footwear to keep it performing summer after summer.

 

What weather conditions and activities are Sweatproofing products best suited to?
Sweatproofing products can be used year-round and will keep you fresher and more comfortable in both wet and dry weather. However, when putting technical clothing and footwear through its paces during summer – aka the sweaty season – you can rely on Nikwax to prevent odours, boost comfort and maximise the performance of your gear across a huge range of activities, including walking, running, cycling, tennis, golf – and even ultimate frisbee!

Are Nikwax Sweatproofing products environmentally friendly?
Yes! Our Sweatproofing range is designed with the same environmentally conscious approach as the rest of our aftercare products – they are all water-based and contain no harmful aerosols. Nikwax is proud to be the only Outdoor company to have balanced our entire operational carbon emissions since our inception over 40 years ago, protecting tropical forest through EOCA and the World Land Trust. BaseFresh has also received an Outdoor Award for Sustainable Innovation.

Stock up on Nikwax and sail through summer staying fresher for longer…

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Give your ski gear an end of season MOT

As the European ski season comes to a close, we want to highlight the importance of looking after your gear before safely packing it away until next winter. So follow these steps to ensure your gear goes away safely, ready to serve you well again the next time.

Step 1: Clean your outerwear
Your ski jacket and salopettes pick up more dirt than you think. From hard-earned sweat to those après-ski spillages, if left they can quickly degrade the waterproofing properties. First wash in the washing machine with Tech Wash®, making sure to follow the instructions on the care label.

If your gear had been wetting out before the clean, Tech Wash itself can revitalise the durable water repellency (DWR) but if it is still wetting out, it is time to re-waterproof! TX.Direct® can be applied directly in the washing machine in a separate cycle. Alternatively if your gear has a wicking lining, we recommend using the spray-on TX.Direct. Nikwax does not need heat to activate it so you can just hang you gear to air dry after cleaning and proofing, you can of course tumble dry if the care label allows.

For down-filled items, use Down Wash Direct® in the washing machine to clean and follow with Down Proof to add DWR. We recommend tumble drying down items to fluff them back up, this can be a bit of a process as you will need to tease the down clumps apart at intervals in the drying process but it’s worth it. It is vitally important to make sure all gear is completely dry before packing away.

Step 2: Clean your gloves and socks
Like your outwear, your gloves will pick up a lot of dirt on the slopes. Clean gloves will ensure that they stay breathable and waterproof, stopping water lingering on the inside of your gloves and making your hands feel cold. It takes a long time for extremities to warm back up again once they are cold, so it is important to keep them warm. After cleaning, you can apply Glove Proof to synthetic or leather and synthetic combination gloves. For full leather gloves, use Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

In the same way that hands can quickly get cold if they are damp, the same goes for feet. A lot of snow sports enthusiasts use Merino wool socks for their temperature regulating and wicking properties. These types of socks need different care to synthetic ones. Make sure to clean according to the care label and use Wool Wash, our speciality cleaner and conditioner designed to deodorise and enhance the wicking and drying performance of woollen items. For synthetic socks, look to BaseWash and BaseFresh® to gently clean, condition and deodorise leaving them fresh and ready for the next winter.

Step 3: Clean your base layers
Sweat, oils from your skin and dirt will build up on your base layers after working hard in them on the slopes. This can cause the technical wicking to become less effective, making temperature regulation more difficult. Regular detergents can build up on clothing and have the same effect, so it is important to use a speciality cleaner to ensure your gear is performing at its best. BaseWash will gently clean and deodorise synthetic base layers, whilst Wool Wash will do the same for your woollen pieces. BaseFresh is the only fabric conditioner designed to deodorise and enhance the wicking and drying properties, rather than regular conditioners which can attract water to give the soft feel. Using these types of cleaners and conditioners will ensure you are dryer, warmer and more comfortable whilst smelling fresh too!

Step 4: look after your equipment
If you are lucky enough to own your own boots and ski’s or snowboard, it is a good idea to service them at the end of the season so they are set and ready before being packed away. Clean the inners of your snowboard or ski boots with Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash to remove any unwanted odours and to improve their wicking quality. As with your socks, wet feet very quickly come cold feet!

Servicing your skis and board can include a re-wax and edge sharpen, but if ski touring is your thing you can waterproof your ski skins with Ski Skin Proof. This treatment is designed to prevent ice build-up on the fibres and to reduce saturation on all ski skins to improve glide and reduce kick.

Following these steps will safeguard the technical qualities of your snow sports gear for future use, enhancing their properties and extending the life of the garments. The longer you can use the gear for, the less you will have to purchase and the more sustainable your use would be. Our last tip and perhaps the most important – make sure all your gear is thoroughly dry before packing away until next season!

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Iwan Thomas prepares for ultra-marathon

 

We are excited to announce Nikwax’s sponsorship of a moving video following athlete Iwan Thomas MBE, preparing for his first ultra-marathon. Iwan holds the current UK 400m sprint record with a run time of 44.36 seconds.

Covering 100 miles, which is the the equivalent of 400 x 400m races, Iwan completed the gruelling ‘Centurion Running South Downs Way 100’ race during last summer’s heatwave, raising around £25,000 for Group B Strep Support, the world’s leading charity working to eradicate Group B Strep infection in babies. See if you can spot our Nikwax products in the video here…

 

Earlier this year, Iwan also participated in series 4 of the hit Channel 4 show Celebrity Hunted, which follows a group of celebrity contestants on the run for 14 days. Iwan successfully avoided capture by the Hunters – a team of elite athletes, police and intelligence personnel – and was crowned the show’s winner after a gruelling two weeks.

Did you know Nikwax Sweatproofing products will clean and condition your next-to-skin clothing and footwear without compromising its performance? They are the must-have products for all budding ultra-marathon runners! Next-to-skin clothing works brilliantly to control sweat and regulate body temperature, however, did you know household detergents and conditioners can leave behind residues on the fabric that impair their ability to evaporate sweat? This causes them to retain moisture. Added to this, body oils and bacteria can build up over time, so they start to smell. Regular household detergents mask the smell rather than removing it, so as soon as you start to use your base layers again, the smell returns very quickly.

Nikwax’s Sweatproofing wash-in cleaners, BaseWash® and Wool Wash, gently clean, remove embedded odours and prevent the build-up of odour-causing bacteria. They also accelerate the ability of the fabric to dry, to help regulate your body temperature when sweating.

Our wash-in conditioner, BaseFresh® can be used in place of standard fabric softener in a washing machine. It deodorises and improves wicking, keeping your base layers smelling fresher for longer.

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash is great for cleaning and freshening all non-waterproof footwear – from sandals and sports shoes, to insoles and footbeds.

 

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Maintain the performance of your Nikwax Directional Textiles® for longer

Nikwax is the global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear, but did you also know that Nikwax manufactures a range of high performance waterproof fabrics? Páramo Clothing has been using our Directional Textiles for nearly 30 years and we’d like to introduce them to you…

OUTERWEAR
Nikwax Analogy® Waterproof fabric combines Nikwax Analogy Pump Liner® – which mimics the action of animal fur by pushing liquid water outwards to protect you from rain, condensation and perspiration whilst protecting your insulation – with a directional microfibre to deflect wind and rain. The fabric is soft, strong and durable, is effective in both high humidity and very cold conditions, and its water repellency can be easily renewed for the lifetime of the garment.

Nikwax Analogy Insulator combines Nikwax Windproof closely woven microfibre outer with Nikwax synthetic, water resistant fill to cut windchill and provide excellent insulation for overlayering with other Nikwax fabrics. It retains body heat very effectively to warm the body quickly and deflects rain whilst providing excellent moisture vapour transfer. It packs down small, giving a high warmth to weight ratio, and the fill gives a down-like feel and performance, with the benefit of still working well when wet.

Nikwax Windproof, Windproof Stretch and Windproof Denim are closely woven, resilient microfibre fabrics that cut wind chill and protect your insulation whilst still allowing movement of water away from the body. Comfortable when worn next to the skin, they are extremely breathable and highly resistant to degradation in ultraviolet (UV) light. They also fold and compress without damage so are ideal for ‘pack and carry’.

Nikwax Fleece is both water repellent and wind resistant, actively pushing liquid water – rain and perspiration – away from the body to keep you dry. It performs in all temperatures and humidity conditions whilst also trapping still air to provide superior insulation when needed.

Nikwax Cotton+ is a lightweight yet tough fabric that blends cotton with modern synthetic fibres to provide rugged comfort. By combining the best of the properties of both fibres, the fabric offers easy wear and easy care qualities ideal for outdoor activities and travel. It is quick drying and UV and wind-resistant.

What cleaning products are best for my Nikwax outerwear garments?
Designed and optimised to treat breathable waterproof fabrics, Tech Wash® is an easy-to-use and highly effective cleaner that also revitalises Durable Water Repellency (DWR) and maintains breathability. Regular cleaning of your gear will keep it performing at its best, however, when  Tech Wash alone does not revitalise the DWR it is time for a thorough re-proof.

TX.Direct® is the No.1 high performance waterproofer that is quick and easy-to-use in your washing machine; treating the seams, tapes and cords of your garment, as well as the fabric. The product develops on air drying, leaving a flexible water repellent treatment on individual fibres that allows moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability.

Nikwax Cotton+ garments should be cleaned first with Tech Wash, as above, followed by Cotton Proof, which delivers the same waterproofing result as TX. Direct.

 

BASE LAYERS
Nikwax Parameta® base layers are made from incredibly versatile and lightweight polyester fabrics that provide either cooling or insulation as needed. They wick very effectively and spread perspiration over a large area, which dries out rapidly.

Parameta G has a raised grid pattern that traps air for insulation when covered with a windproof layer. Worn alone, the fabric allows air to circulate next to the skin for cooling.

Parameta A keeps you cool at higher temperatures and blocks out virtually all damaging UV rays, making it ideal for warm weather activities and travel.

Parameta T provides light insulation, making it excellent for cooler conditions. Its soft feel is very comfortable against the skin, even when worn for prolonged periods.

Parameta T+ is a reversible, asymmetrical fabric that directs water from one face to the other and provides two levels of cooling. It is also very robust and resists the ‘pulls’ that base layers are often prone to.

What cleaning products are best for my Nikwax Parameta base layers?
Once your base layers have been worn a few times and are starting to smell, clean them with BaseWash® to deodorise, freshen, soften, and enhance their drying and cooling performance.

Not only is BaseWash easy-to-use as it cleans and conditions at the same time, but it outperforms conventional household detergents and fabric conditioners, which can impair the wicking qualities of base layers and cause moisture retention. Additionally, over time, a build-up of bacteria and body oils can lead to your base layers smelling, which conventional detergents and fabric conditioners will simply mask rather than remove.

If you have just a few dirty base layers and want to clean them in a regular laundry load without compromising their technical attributes, BaseFresh®, will deliver the same results as BaseWash. Used instead of a fabric conditioner, BaseFresh allows your regular detergent to clean away dirt and stubborn stains, whilst it will deodorise, inhibit the build-up of body odours, improve wicking and accelerate drying.



 

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Top Tips for mountain bikers, old and new!

Has watching Great Britain win a total of 12 medals in cycling at the Tokyo Olympics inspired you to get outdoors on two wheels? Tom Pidcock wowed us all with his fantastic gold-medal performance in the Tokyo Olympics men’s cross-country mountain bike race, winning Great Britain’s first ever mountain bike medal at an Olympics!  

Over the past couple of years, men and women, young and old have taken up the sport  and we expect to see this continue, with the global mountain bike market forecast to grow by more than £2bn between 2020 and 2024. Whether you are new to cycling or it’s one of your favourite outdoor pastimes, our very own Creative Director and mountain bike supremo, Tom Redfern, is here to share his tips for getting off road on 2 wheels.

Top Tips for mountain bikers, old and new
Since Covid-19 blighted our world, many people have been attracted to the physical and mental benefits of getting outdoors. A decent percentage of those have decided to take up the amazing sport of mountain biking. It’s a sport I’ve been obsessed with since 1999, so I thought I’d share a few insights learned from many years of riding – and falling off…

Not all mountain bikes are the same
There’s a variety of riding within the catch-all term ‘mountain biking’. For a start, you don’t even need mountains to ride a mountain bike. Mountain bikes are designed for riding off-road and generally, the steeper the place where you ride, the more you’ll benefit from having a bike with longer suspension travel in the front forks and rear suspension. There’s no point buying a £8,000, 160mm travel Enduro bike if you’re going to be riding somewhere relatively flat. You’ll just be pedalling something that’s carrying too much weight and you’ll limit your ability for fun.  

If you’re not very fit or have a health condition, an electrically assisted bike (e-MTB), will help to get you out on the trails by increasing the amount of distance you can cover and speeding up your recovery time before your next ride. However, e-MTBs are more expensive than a regular bike and carry a greater environmental cost (they require electricity to work and use battery materials such as Lithium, which are difficult to recycle).

Whichever bike you choose, try and have at least a small ride on it before you commit. Not all bikes are the same. And these days there are some great bikes available for around £500.

Buy good quality kit
In my time riding mountain bikes, I’ve seen a few horrific accidents. However, most riders save themselves from permanent injury by wearing protection, especially a helmet. Invest in a good quality helmet and it’ll protect your head when you fall off – which will happen at some point as you increase your speed and become more adventurous in your riding.

Invest in a good pair of cycle shorts. It’s no fun riding a bike for long periods without decent, padded cycling shorts. There are many styles, from baggy to tight, but make sure you buy a pair with a good quality chamois. It’s worth buying a good quality jersey which can wick sweat away and keep you cool and a lightweight waterproof for the British summer.


© Chris Bell

Care for your kit for continued high performance
Make sure you keep your kit performing by regular cleaning with the right Nikwax products. Cleaning technical base layers with normal detergent and fabric conditioner could lead to your garments starting to smell quite quickly and for the wicking to be reduced – causing you to feel chilly and damp when you stop cycling. This causes real discomfort.

However, Nikwax has all the aftercare you need to ensure your gear will regulate your body temperature, so you stay dry and comfortable no matter how much you exert yourself.

Try BaseFresh® for revived, deodorised clothing. It works in place of your normal fabric conditioner (which impairs the wicking), so you simply pop your garments into the washing machine with your normal detergent, adding the required amount of BaseFresh. It will allow your detergent to remove all dirt from the garments whilst preventing any harm to the fabric’s technical properties. BaseFresh enhances wicking, so sweat spreads and dries faster. Plus, it deodorises the fabric, to ensure your garments smell better for longer by preventing the build-up of odour-causing bacteria.

If you wear woollen base layers then clean them with Wool Wash, which is designed specifically for delicate garments. It cleans and conditions this natural fabric without any degradation to the performance.

Never forget your waterproof outer layer…. Tech Wash® is your go-to cleaning product to revive the water repellency and remove all the dirt you’ve collected from your rides. TX.Direct® is the easy-to-use waterproofer that will re-proof your jacket when the water repellent coating has worn away (this changes depending upon how frequently you use your jacket and the conditions it is worn in).

Upgrade your riding ability, not another bike
As with skiing, you’ll really benefit from investing in some lessons from a professional instructor. When you get into mountain biking, you’ll realise it really isn’t ‘just like riding a bike’. There are many additional skills required; body positioning, cornering, jumping, and reading the trail to name but a few. An instructor will help with your riding progression and enable you to feel more comfortable when confronted with trail features and enable you to ride a wider variety of trails. Whatever your skill levels, you’ll benefit from some tuition and it’s a much better idea to invest in skills training than continually spending money on upgrading your bike or other kit.


© Chris Bell

Leave no trace
Remember to take any litter home with you and don’t discard any food wrappers or empty drinks bottles. If you see litter on the trail and it’s safe to stop, then pick it up and take it home with you. I see so many discarded energy-gel packets out in the woods and it infuriates me. There’s no excuse for littering, the outdoors are for everyone and we should treat it with respect.

The last word
Mountain biking can appear daunting when first taking up the sport, so take your time and understand that the learning and progression never stops. There’s no shame in riding within your comfort level and never attempting that super-steep trail with the jumps and drops. It’s really all about staying healthy, enjoying being out in nature and having fun with friends and family.

So ride your bike, have fun and hope to see you out on the trail!

Tom Redfern
Creative Director Nikwax and Founder of Broken Riders.

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Staying dry and warm in base layers

During this current pandemic, the time we get to enjoy the outdoors feels more important than ever. However, during the freezing winter months, you may be tempted to stay indoors because of dreading getting cold or wet if you venture outside. Right now, fresh air is vital for us all in terms of health and mental wellbeing, so don’t be put off. All you need is the right clothing and, at this time of year, it’s all about layers.

Wearing a number of layers traps air between them, providing additional insulation to that provided by the garments alone. The other big benefit is increased versatility: layering enables you to add or remove layers according to changing conditions, ensuring maximum comfort at all times.

What layers do I need?

Every good layering system, when stripped back to basics, is made up of three essential components: the base layer, the mid (or insulation) layer, and the outer (shell/waterproof) layer. Each fulfils a specific role in ensuring you stay warm, dry and comfortable in winter conditions.

Why are base layers so important?

Base layers are often overlooked when it comes to layering systems. Walkers, climbers and even mountaineers frequently focus on insulation or waterproofing pieces when, in fact, many of the most important issues they face can be combatted by a good base layer. Whether you’re cycling, running or just out for a stroll in the hills, moisture management and temperature regulation are key to keeping you comfortable and safe.

So what are the key base layers and how can Nikwax Sweatproofing aftercare keep them performing for you this winter?

Next-to-skin base layers
Layering systems start with moisture management. Base layers are there to help wick away sweat from the skin when you get warm whilst active – they become your second skin. You should ensure that whilst close fitting, a base layer provides enough flexibility for comfortable movement.

If sweat accumulates against your skin, you will get damp and swiftly feel a chill when you stop being active, this will affect the regulation of your body temperature. Merino wool or synthetic next-to-skin base layers are designed to wick moisture away from your skin. Sweat will spread over a large area and then dry fast, to prevent you feeling clammy.

Many people are not aware that fabric conditioners and some laundry detergents leave behind a residue which impairs the wicking performance of base layers, leaving you damp and clammy. This can also lead to the build-up of bacteria on the base layer leaving it smelling of sweat even after it’s been washed. Using the right cleaning and conditioning products on your base layers will keep them performing at their best so that you can enjoy your time outdoors and stay warm and dry on the inside.

Synthetic base layers
Synthetic layers are great for high-energy activities, such as running or cycling, as they are fast drying and lightweight. However, synthetic layers are susceptible to the build-up of body odours and your kit could soon start to smell.

You can banish the odour from synthetic layers by using Nikwax BaseFresh® when you wash your kit. When used alongside your household detergent, BaseFresh ensures that you can clean your layers without the detergent impairing the technical properties of the fabric.  BaseFresh effectively removes body oils from synthetic fabric and prevents the build-up of bad-smelling bacteria, maintaining freshness. Fabric will become more resistant to stains and day-to-day soiling. BaseFresh enhances performance, improving wicking to spread sweat and dry fast. You stay comfortable and your base layers will smell fresher for longer.  

If you use a lot of synthetic base layers and sportswear, we’d recommend Nikwax BaseWash® a specially designed detergent with added conditioner which will clean your base layers effectively, leaving them smelling fresh and performing at their best.

Woollen base layers
Garments made from wool, such as Merino, make for naturally warming next-to-skin layers. Woollen base layers are naturally wicking and antibacterial, whilst also providing insulation in winter and cooling properties in warmer months. Air pockets within wool will pull excess heat away from your skin whilst trapping heat within the natural fibre, so you remain comfortable without either overheating or getting too cold.

You can wash wool less frequently than synthetic base layers, but they still need to be cared for properly. Nikwax Wool Wash will both clean and condition your garments at the same time, caring for the fabric to maintain its natural properties. Wool Wash deodorises your base layers, preventing any odour build-up and keeping you smelling fresh. You can restore performance of older base layers with Wool Wash, with the fabric retaining its natural softness and wicking enhanced, so that sweat can spread and dry fast.

Nikwax Wool Wash is also perfect for other woollen garments such as socks and jumpers, giving them the gentle cleaning care that this delicate natural fibre needs.

All Nikwax products are water-based, and made with care for the environment. They are also super easy to use in your washing machine or by hand!

Care for your base layers with Nikwax Sweatproofing and be safe knowing that you can enjoy your daily exercise this winter without feeling cold or uncomfortable.

 

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Stay Active for Your Wellbeing!

Worried you may be becoming more sedentary because of the greater amount of time spent at home? Feeling more lethargic than usual? Perhaps you are struggling with your mood some of the time? Well, it is crucial to try and stay as active as you can right now – the benefits outweigh anything else! Do remember, that if you go outdoors to be active then please do this safely – be mindful of social distancing and the government advice around daily exercise.

Active wellbeing

Dress for being active!
If you don’t currently have means to get active outside, the first place to start indoors is getting some active sports clothing on. If you are dressed as you normally would for the gym, running, or your yoga class, you are more likely to feel inspired to be active in the house than if you stay in your pyjamas!

But, whether active indoors or outdoors, wearing appropriate clothing means you will stay fresher once you start to get hot – sports clothing is designed to wick moisture away from the body. You don’t want to feel clammy and smelly! If you have not done so yet, then prepare your synthetic sportswear with Nikwax BaseFresh®. It is a powerful deodorising conditioner that you use in your washing machine (in place of regular fabric conditioner) alongside your normal detergent. It prevents the build-up of nasty bacteria on fabrics, deodorising the fabric and keeps you feeling fresh, whilst also enhancing the wicking properties.

Keep up those steps
Don’t just sit on your sofa watching the telly, get your kit on and start those steps, whether you like to walk or run. We have already been letting people know how to ‘Hike at Home’ – so if you have a good set of stairs in your home, utilise these if you are unable to get outdoors. Perfect to burn calories, strengthen muscles and get your heart rate up!

Did you know, if you managed 5,736 steps up and down your stairs, or even walking around your lounge or garden, that is the equivalent of climbing to the peak of Ben Nevis!

The benefits of walking and running are super powerful and something that will aid everyone at this point in time! Here are a few little facts for you…

  • Regular walking will really help the area of your brain that is associated with memory. If you manage 50-60 mins at least 3 times a week, you are keeping your brain focussed and will have better concentration.
  • Walking lowers the risk of health issues, such as diabetes – try and aim for at least 3,500-5,000 steps a day (if not more!).
  • One walk a day, walking briskly, will help reduce the risk of obesity in half. A lot of us are eating more due to being stuck at home, so it’s great to know you can burn those extra calories back off again!
  • Walking boosts your mood. Whether walking a route around your garden, doing your stair challenge, or being able to access a safe location outdoors, this regular movement is known to actively reduce any symptoms of depression. Your mental health will thank you for staying active!
  • Just 30 minutes of running will boost the quality of sleep you get. You can have a well-rested night and wake up the next day energised and ready to go again.
  • Running also has the power of continuing to burn calories even when you have stopped. That ‘after burn’ just continues the goodness you have already brought to yourself by going out, or staying in, for a run.
  • Wonder why people get addicted to running? The brain releases feel-good chemicals, so afterwards you feel happier and satisfied and on a bit of a high due to the natural release of endorphins and endocannabinoids.
  • Combine your walk or run with some meditation and you will have the ultimate in stress relief. Very important at this time of upheaval in our lives.

Keep comfortable
Whatever you do, to make the most of your activity at home or outdoors, you want to feel comfortable, otherwise you will not make the most of the benefits exercise gives you and won’t have as much enjoyment.

Keep your gear in good condition and we can assure you that you can Keep Active, Keep Healthy and Stay Fresh even whilst in lockdown.

Get those sports shoes cleaned. There is nothing worse than stinky footwear. Nikwax Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash cleans all non-waterproof footwear; it removes bad odour-causing bacteria, reduces shoe fabric from rotting due to the build-up of contaminants, deodorises the insole and foot bed, and helps moisture to escape to the outside.

Base Wash is perfect to both clean and condition your synthetic sports gear. Easy to use in a washing machine, it removes all dirt, deodorises the fabric and keeps you comfortable when wearing your next-to-skin clothing.

Lastly, Wool Wash. This effective cleaner is designed specifically for delicate woollen gear, e.g. Merino base layers; it enhances wicking and breathability, keeping the garment soft and banishing odour build-up. You can use it to wash your wool jumpers and other delicate items too.

Nikwax is here for you! Our products are quick and easy to use (either in a washing machine, or by hand), they are water-based, so no harmful chemicals to affect you or the environment, and, most importantly – they do the job they are made for – keeping you feeling dry, fresh and comfortable whilst staying active!

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Keep your base layers performing at their best

While we temporarily can’t explore the great outdoors, make the most of the great indoors with regular workouts! Regular exercise has huge benefits for all ages including weight control, combatting disease and health conditions, and giving you more energy.

Keep your body moving with a regular workout to keep yourself in a positive place mentally and physically! We recommend tuning in to #PEWithJoe on The Body Coach each morning at 9am, and getting the whole family involved! For more of our top tips to get through this period, read our Stay Healthy, Stay Safe blog.

In the words of Dr. Nick Cavill, “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”

 

Nikwax Sweatproofing is the care product of choice for all next-to-skin clothing, base layers, sports and gym gear!

To avoid feeling conscious of sweating, or worrying that your gear may start to smell through use, Nikwax’s range of Sweatproofing products are what you need to keep active wear in prime condition.

Unlike household detergents and conditioners, the high performance Sweatproofing range will ensure your garments can spread moisture and sweat quickly and easily, therefore drying faster and preventing you from feeling clammy or smelly.

Washing base layers/sports clothing in normal household detergent and conditioner impair the wicking properties of the fabric. This means that sweat does not spread and body oils/odours build up within the fabric – resulting in smelly clothing, which is not something you want whilst working out at home!

Nikwax Sweatproofing means you remain fresh, dry and comfortable when active. Here are our effective Sweatproofing care products:

BaseFresh®: the high performance deodorising conditioner that you can use with your normal detergent. It allows the detergent to clean away all dirt, but prevents it from impairing the functionality of your technical clothing; wicking is improved, sweat and moisture spread and dry much faster, so your body temperature is regulated and you smell and feel great.

BaseWash®: the deodorising cleaner & conditioner for synthetic sports gear. It removes all dirt and body oils whilst refreshing the fabric effectively at the same time. Odour build-up is prevented and breathability is increased – great for user comfort.

Wool Wash: the effective cleaner & conditioner for woollen base layers. Wool Wash is designed specifically for delicate woollen gear, e.g. Merino; it enhances wicking and breathability, keeping the garment soft and banishing odour build-up.

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash: a deodorising cleaner for non-waterproof footwear. Keeps your active footwear smelling fresh on the inside by removing dirt and bacteria from the footbed and insoles, as well as cleaning the outside. Bacterial growth and odour build-up is reduced, which in turn will ensure your footwear has an extended lifetime of use!

 

An additional benefit of Nikwax Sweatproofing? It is really easy and safe to use! The products are all water-based and contain no harmful PFCs or solvents. You can pop your gear in the washing machine or clean items by hand nice and easily. To order yours click HERE.