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Keith (UK)

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Kettler Premium Recumbent Exercise Bike - Black
Kettler Premium Recumbent Exercise Bike - Black
Offered by Sweatband
Price: £399.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Quality Bargain, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We had been debating getting a recumbent bike for a while as both myself and my wife have had back problems at one time or another, and my wife recently saw a very good physio who recommended using one.

We already own a lot of Life Fitness equipment which was very expensive but we worked on the assumption that cost = quality. We had been very close to purchasing the Life Fitness equivalent of this bike which was £1200.

Saw this on a lightning deal over Christmas and it was up for £230 instead of £400 so after quickly doing a bit of research, and reading about how good it seemed to be, I thought I'd take a gamble and stray away from Life Fitness.

It was delivered very quickly (within 5 days which is great for free P&P over Christmas.

Came in a huge box which is about 6ft x 2ft x 1ft. It does need some assembly but has all the tools you need included (although I did find it helped to use my own tools). Took me about 1 hour on my own to assemble it including unpacking and clearing away after. It was very easy to assemble and I don't have any concerns about build quality.

It doesn't look as well finished as the Life Fitness kit, but then it was never going to for 1/5 the price. That said it is excellent quality and more than capable of doing the job, and that is all that matters really.

Almost silent when in use. The only noise we hear is a slight clunk from the pedal as you go.

It is very comfortable to sit on, and if you get seating position right everything is easy to reach without stretching.

the built in programmes seem good but haven't used them much yet. Tend to just set a resistance and go. Resistance level is very easy to change - just press a button - and the increments are perfect.

Built in heart-rate monitor. Can't comment on it's ability as we tend to use our Garmin watches and heart-rate straps when using it.

The negatives (for me at least, others may have different views):

1) There is no bottle holder. Might be an issue if doing a long cycle and needing a drink. I go without but my wife bought a new bottle with a strap on and just hangs it off the handle-bars.

2) The console shows energy used in Joules and distance covered in KM by default. You can change Joules to Calories with a button press but you have to do this every time you turn it on. I have found no way to change KM to Miles though which I would prefer.

3) The large hand screw which locks the seat into a particular position has to be fully tightened to stop the seat wobbling. This is a bit annoying if you share it with another person who is not the same height - the expensive kit usually just has a spring loaded screw/clip.

4) Mains power connects by way of an "adapter brick" to the front of the bike. It therefore means that you either have to point it at a wall or run an extension down the side of it as the adapter is not very long which comes with it. Personally we ran an extension so we can point it at a TV, and I cable tied it to the frame so it didn't get caught by the pedals.

None of these are issues which stop you using it and none of them are a "real" problem. My experience with this has certainly showed me that Kettler is a quality brand, which although not as refined in the looks department, is more than capable of taking on the big brands.

Looking for a Cross Trainer now and will almost certainly be getting a Kettler. Why spend 5 times more than you need to when you can get this sort of quality at this price.

Wahoo Blue HR Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone and Android
Wahoo Blue HR Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone and Android
Price: £57.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does Exactly What It Says, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a keen runner and use a Garmin watch with heart rate chest strap usually.

Given I always carry my iPhone with me, I decided that I would give this a try and if it worked I would consider not using my Garmin as much.

I am using an iPhone 5S so cannot comment on other models, but with my phone it paired very quickly and without any problems at all. I tested it using the Wahoo app, but when using it for real I have been using Runtastic Pro.

When opening the app it picks up the signal from the chest strap almost immediately and shows the current heart rate - I thought it may take a while but it is almost instant.

The strap is almost identical in size to the one which came with my Garmin and is very comfortable to wear - slightly different design to the Garmin one (for anyone who uses one) in that to put it on you detach one side of the strap (both sides can be detached) from the monitor (which sits on your chest at the front). I do worry whether prolonged use will damage one of the press-stud type connectors with constant use, but only time will tell. It does however feel very sturdy and well put together so only a slight worry.

I have used both this and my Garmin strap together (a little uncomfortable but you do forget they are there), as I wanted to compare data. Both work fine when used at the same time.

Can't comment on battery life as I haven't had it long. It didn't really deplete my iPhone battery when being used any more than the GPS alone would have.

Not sure I will give up the Garmin just yet and will probably continue to use it on races just because a watch is easier to look at when running than a phone, but this is really useful for those who want to use the many compatible apps for smart phones which have loads of great features the Garmin can only dream of.

I am very pleased with this and would recommend it for anyone considering purchasing one.

Bose ® QuietComfort ® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black/Silver
Bose ® QuietComfort ® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black/Silver
Price: £259.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Headphones, 25 Nov 2012
I am not an audio buff so cannot comment on how true a sound these produce.

What I can say though is that they do exactly what they claim to do.

Used in the normal day to day environment they cut out a lot of sound which you don't even notice is there - the background hum of everything. It's actually quite an experience just to see how quiet everything becomes when you turn them on.

On a plane, which is where they really excel, it cuts out the noise of the engines almost entirely and allows you to listen to music or watch TV with no distraction. Alternatively you can simply turn them on without plugging them into anything to try and get some peace and quiet and sleep.

They do not cut out all external noise, and sudden or loud noises will still be audible. It will however take the volume on these events down substantially and will cut out all background noises or those which are fairly constant (like aircraft engines).

They are very expensive for what they are, but are well worth the premium for the added peace and quiet they give.

With regards to sound - like I said above, I am not an audio buff - that said however they do an excellent job of producing crisp audio and do a better job than any headphones I have ever owned.

Very comfortable to wear - they are of course over the ear headphones so they cover your entire ear rather than just on your ear. The benefit of this is the added sound quality and noise cancelling as automatically some of the outside noise is cut. The downside is that with prolonged use your ears can get quite warm.

The Apple-compatible cable is a bonus as it allows you not only to control your Apple device using the remote on the cable (just as you would with the official Apple earphones), but it has a mic built into the remote on the cable so you can take calls with them on. The only downside with this is that as they do such a good job at cancelling outside noise, when talking on the phone you cannot hear your own voice so I personally struggled to regulate my own volume!

Cary case is good and sturdy and protects the headphones well. Enough room inside for a spare battery or two and all the cables and attachments which came with them.

TeckNet® iEP392 12000mAH Heavy Duty 2.1A/1A Dual USB Ports External Battery Pack for the new iPad 3, new iPad mini, iPad2, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S/4/3Gs/3G, iPod Touch all versions; Samsung Galaxy Note/Nexus/S3/S2/S; HTC Titan, Sensation, ONE S/V/X, EVO Thunderbolt, Desire; LG Optimus series; Blackberry Bold, Curve, Torch; Motorola Razr HD/MAXX & Bionic, Atrix/2; Nokia Lumia 700/800/900 and GoPro (iEP392 Heavy Duty 5V/2.1A/1A high speed charger)
TeckNet® iEP392 12000mAH Heavy Duty 2.1A/1A Dual USB Ports External Battery Pack for the new iPad 3, new iPad mini, iPad2, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S/4/3Gs/3G, iPod Touch all versions; Samsung Galaxy Note/Nexus/S3/S2/S; HTC Titan, Sensation, ONE S/V/X, EVO Thunderbolt, Desire; LG Optimus series; Blackberry Bold, Curve, Torch; Motorola Razr HD/MAXX & Bionic, Atrix/2; Nokia Lumia 700/800/900 and GoPro (iEP392 Heavy Duty 5V/2.1A/1A high speed charger)
Offered by TECKNET
Price: £65.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Battery Pack, 25 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fantastic battery pack which can be used for charging anything which has a USB charger.

I have had a different make of battery pack for a while now and loved the convenience it gave. However it was quite low powered so didn't last long and didn't provide enough power for some devices.

I always carry this with me when travelling. It has dual sockets so can charge two devices at once (though I have only ever done one at a time) - one socket is 1A and the other 2.1A - this means it is capable of charging an iPhone and iPad (something my previous battery pack couldn't do).

I use this mostly to charge my iPhone and iPad but have also used it to charge my Garmin watch, digital camera and other items with ease.

It comes with a selection of charge leads but I have never used them as they feel quite cheap, so I simply carry and original Apple charge lead with me with the pack.

It also comes with a carry pouch but I found this to shed its velour-like coating so gave up using it.

The mains charger which you use to charge the battery pack itself is not USB and is as shown in the picture. I personally purchased a small USB cable with the same charge head on from eBay and I can now charge this using my iPad mains plug so it's one less plug for me to carry when I travel.

I have charged my iPhone from maybe 30% about 6 times in a row and only lost maybe 30% of the charge in the battery pack. This is not a scientific test but for me it shows me that it should live up to its claims.

Liked it so much that I purchased a second one for my wife.

Check the size and weight on the specs, because it is bigger and heavier than I expected. I would still have purchased even if I had checked because the capabilities of the pack far outweigh the downside of the size and weight. Don't get me wrong, it is not huge and heavy, but some people may be put off by it if they plan on carrying it in a pocket for example.

No Title Available

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Accessory for Indoor Runners, 25 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this to compliment my Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Sportswatch with Heart Rate Monitor.

Although I prefer to do my running outdoors, I am something of a fair weather runner so when the weather is wet I will use the treadmill indoors.

Prior to purchasing the Forerunner watch I had been using the Nike+ foot pod with my iPhone and liked the way it could record steps indoors but use GPS (and/or steps) outdoors, so I always had my speed/pace recorded.

Disappointed to discover this was £40 when it is essentially the same as the Nike+ one which is only £15 but it does have a user changeable battery (which Nike+ doesn't). However, as I do indoor running as well I wanted/needed this to make the best use out of my Forerunner watch.

Not much to say really about it - it does what it says on the tin.

Feels well put together and like it will last (the Nike+ one feels cheap alongside it).

Very easy and quick to pair with the Forerunner watch (same procedure as pairing the heart rate monitor) and after a few months of using it I have had no problems at all.

You have to calibrate it before using it by walking a set distance. You can have GPS activated on the watch for this and it measures the distance for you and tells you when to stop walking. Very quick and easy process.

Once paired and up and running you can choose whether to use GPS or the foot pod data as the speed source. Outdoors I still use the foot pod as I can then have cadence data alongside the GPS data, but indoors I change this to foot pod only and this allows me to have the cadence and speed/pace data even though I have no GPS enabled.

Would strongly recommend if you do any indoor running otherwise you will miss all the speed/pace data.

It comes with a clip so you can fasten it to your laces but I never use this as all my running shoes have a space in the sole for a foot pod.

Knocked off a star for the cost.

Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Sportswatch with Heart Rate Monitor (discontinued by manufacturer)
Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Sportswatch with Heart Rate Monitor (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by AOT (VAT registered)
Price: £218.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Watch for Runners, 25 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been running on and off for about a year now and always used the Nike+ app on my iPhone with a Nike+ footpod. This worked really well, but as I have got more serious (now training for a marathon), the features of Nike+ just aren't enough and the battery on the iPhone just not good enough for a long run.

So, after a bit of research I decided to get a heart rate monitor watch and settled on Garmin as I had heard a lot of good things about the brand.

I was actually considering the 610 but found the 410 on offer on Amazon which at the time made it almost £100 cheaper with only a few features (which I arguably wouldn't use) which were different.

It's my first heart rate monitor so nothing else to compare it too, but having been using for a few months now I am very impressed.

First the physical side of things:

The heart rate chest strap is very comfortable and once on I don't even notice I am wearing it, even on a long run. The actual sensor itself clips to the chest strap with press studs so it can be removed and the strap can be washed which is good as it does get quite sweaty! The sensor is attached very firmly and I have no concerns that it may detach.

The watch itself is well built and feels very solid. It comes with a plastic/rubber-type strap already attached which I have been using and is very comfortable. Also in the box is a fabric/velcro wrist strap and a small screwdriver to allow you to swap them over. I find that my wrist behind the watch gets quite sweaty but this is going to be the case with any watch when exercising.

Not a huge fan of the charging system. It is a clip (like a peg almost) which clips over the watch and has two small pins which go into two small holes on the rear of the watch to charge it. Although this works fine and I have never had a problem, it doesn't feel very well attached to the watch and I find myself being over-careful how I place the watch when on charge as I worry it may unclip itself. I am always careful to wipe the back of the watch when taking off as well as I assume any sweat not wiped off could ultimately corrode the charge points - no sign of any problems to date but something to be careful of. The charge cable is a USB cable and is very small and compact so easy to carry when travelling. It comes with a USB plug as well but if you have a few gadgets like I do then you probably already have a few of these around.

The bezel - I read many reviews about this watch and quite a few were negative about the touch-sensitive bezel. Personally, after a couple of minutes of getting use to this I have had no problems. I have not used the watch in the rain so cannot comment on how it performs when wet.

So the features:

This watch has a lot of features that I will probably never use, so I can only comment on the ones I use.

When not being used it is a perfectly acceptable watch, showing time and date.

In any mode the screen can be illuminated by tapping the bezel at the top and bottom. This lights up the screen in a very bright blue light, which works very well.

The watch was very quick and easy to link to the heart rate monitor. When not being used it drops this connection, but is very quick to reconnect as soon as you activate the watch when the heart rate monitor is in range.

I have also purchased the Garmin Foot Pod which is the same size and shape as the Nike+ one so fits in my running shoes. This also connects to the watch and provides cadence information and allows the watch to calculate speed when indoors (on the treadmill for example). The Foot Pod cost about £40 so quite expensive but does the job well.

The display can be customised to display a number of pieces of information to suit your own personal needs. There are three screens (a tap of the bezel switches between them) and you can have 1, 2 or all 3 in use. Each screen can have 3 pieces of information on - 1 displayed large and 2 underneath it smaller. There is far too much information to list here but grab the PDF manual from the Garmin site if you want to see before you buy.

The virtual racer feature is quite good for seeing how you are getting on. I am training for a marathon and for a particular pace, so set the virtual racer for my target pace and then as I go can see whether I am ahead or behind the target pace and by how much (minutes and seconds).

Battery life is estimated to be about 8 hours with GPS activated. I have used it with heart rate monitor, foot pod and GPS all in use and it uses about 20% every 1 hour 45 minutes, so it is actually a little better than estimated in my experience.

GPS works well. The time it takes to lock onto GPS can be a little slow but this does vary depending on how long since you last used it and how much sky you can see. This is fairly similar to most GPS devices. You can connect it to the computer and download the GPS Quick Fix data and upload it to the watch but I have never done this so don't know how well it works. Never had it lose the GPS fix except when indoors (popping into a shop for example) but it locks on almost immediately when back in the open.

The watch uploads its data to the Garmin Connect website by a small Ant+ USB dongle which you have to plug into your computer. It's about the same size as the average USB memory stick. It's a shame it doesn't have Wi-Fi built in to connect directly to the internet but I guess that would impact the physical size and battery consumption.

The Garmin Connect website is a free to sign up to and use and is a really good training tool. You can see all the data about your run at every point of your run. If you have used GPS it will show you a map (choose between Bing or Google, standard or satellite) with your run plotted on it. Everything from heart rate, timing, elevation, cadence (if you use the foot pod), laps and much more is displayed. You can also compare one run to another and play them through to see how you performed at a particular time/place. Finally, the data can be exported to

To sum up, it's a great watch for runners and has a lot more potential than I use it for (read about them all in the specs) but after a few months I am very impressed and glad I purchased this one.

I have knocked off a star for the charging system.

Lowepro Apex 30 AW Digital Camera Pouch - Black
Lowepro Apex 30 AW Digital Camera Pouch - Black
Offered by fotoSENSE_Ltd
Price: £17.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the Right Size, 24 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Saw this in John Lewis and then did what I always do - checked on Amazon - found it much cheaper (as expected) so placed the order immediately.

Hold my Panasonic TZ30, spare battery and a couple of spare SD cards perfectly. It is snug enough to allow no movement but no too tight to press the spare battery into the camera.

Very padded inside so I have no concerns about possible damage and think it would easily stand up to being dropped on the floor while protecting the camera inside.

It has a shoulder strap (although I don't use this) and has a small rain-proof cover in the bottom of the case which you can use. Also has a velcro belt clip on the back for attaching to a belt.

Inov-8 Race Elite 2 Waistpack - One
Inov-8 Race Elite 2 Waistpack - One
Offered by Northern Runner
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Waist Pack, 24 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Inov-8 Race Elite 2 Waistpack
I like to carry a bunch of things when on a long run but don't like things in pockets as they just bounce up and down when running and can be uncomfortable.

Saw this in a local running shop but decided to look around to see if there was any alternatives. After looking around I decided this was definitely the one for me, but when I went back the shop had sold out and didn't know when or if they would get any more in stock.

Luckily I remembered the brand so scoured Amazon and found it - listed with a seller rather than Amazon but at price almost identical to the local shop.

Pack has a small zipped pocket on the top - I use this for my car and house keys - not much room for anything else after that.

Inside the main compartment is a zipped section - it is flat and allows no real stretch so can be used for "flat" things. I use it for money or plasters but it could hold credit cards or even a phone if you didn't want quick access to it.

The main compartment is large but is just a compartment, so if you don't fill it everything will bounce around inside. This doesn't bother me as I only wear the pack when it is full or pad it out with a small towel but it might bother some people. I have had my wallet, camera, sweets (jelly babies for energy!), iPhone (when not in armband) , small pack of wet wipes, pack of tablets, and still has room for a little extra.

Comfortable to wear, the strap takes a bit of adjusting but I expected a bit of trial and error. I found it best worn to the side rather than the back as it seemed to bounce a bit but to be honest I actually find this a more comfortable position even when stood still.

Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone 4/ 4S
Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone 4/ 4S
Offered by BESTBUYIT
Price: £16.98

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Fit for Purpose - Look Elsewhere, 24 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ordered this over other armbands as I was confident that Belkin would deliver good quality.

On testing the item after it arrived I was disappointed to find that once the phone is inserted, the top of the phone is completely exposed, meaning that even the slightest rain shower would get on the phone, and not just that but on the top of the phone where it would be most vulnerable because of the headphone socket. I was also concerned whether the phone would stay in with an open top.

Decided to give it a try though as I don't run in the rain much (something of a fair weather runner).

Tried it on several runs, from short to long, and on every occasion it left my arm extremely sweaty underneath the armband and this soaked the armband itself. It didn't seem to soak through to the phone but I was concerned it might on longer runs.

The good points - it holds to your arm very well and was comfortable to wear and showed no signs of slipping if put on correctly. The phone never moved in the armband so my worry about it falling out was unfounded - however I was always checking it which I don't want to be doing - I think it was only because the clear plastic "sticking" to the screen of the phone. The clear cover was very tight to the phone so you could easily use the phone while in the case.

I returned it to Amazon and purchased a different brand which I am more than happy with.

TomTom Car Kit for iPhone (Compatible with iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4) (discontinued by manufacturer)
TomTom Car Kit for iPhone (Compatible with iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4) (discontinued by manufacturer)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great - When it Works, 14 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A bit of background to put the review in perspective.

I have been using sat nav in various guises for many years now. I have factory fitted sat nav in my car (and have in evey car I've owned since about 2003). However, I am a regular traveller to the US and prefer to take my own GPS rather than pay through the nose at the car rental places.

For this purpose I have always used TomTom. First on various Windows Mobile PDA devices, then I got a dedicated device (GO Live 950) and finally when that failed I got TomTom for my iPhone 4.

As any iPhone user knows, GPS can be very power hungry, so I first started my search for a cradle and charge cable for use in the car. After a quick look at the TomTom website I saw that there was an official cradle which charged and boosted the GPS signal so headed over to Amazon to order it.

The first one I got didn't work out of the box - it would charge but nothing else. The TomTom Car Kit Tool app you can download shows you if the iPhone is docked or not and the status of the GPS lock from the cradle. It was as if the cradle didn't exist. So, email to Amazon and a replacement was on it's way quickly and hassle free.

The second one worked just as it should, straight away, so I thought I was home and dry.

I didn't use the bluetooth calling or music out so can't comment on those aspects of it, but as a cradle and GPS booster it did a fantastic job.

My iPhone was never out of charge and the cradle adjusted very easily into just about any position I wanted it in. It feels sturdy and well built and never gave me any concern that it might fall apart or fall off the windscreen (where it attached very firmly and easily I might add).

The downside to this however is that towards the end of my last trip (the only trip I have taken this on) it stopped working. Same as the one I had that was DOA, it would charge but not do anything else.

Now don't get me wrong, when it worked this is excellent and a must have for any traveller who wants to use their iPhone for in-car GPS. However I think there are some problems with these at the moment. Whether these are iPhone 4 related or the fault of the cradle is unclear, but I'm not sure I would trust this again until another model is released or more info about the failures is available.

For now I have returned it to Amazon (again a very quick and efficient service) as it doesn't work.

In summary, 3 Stars. I would give it 5 Stars if it hadn't failed as when working it performed perfectly, but two failures in a row is too much of a coincidence so I have deducted 2 Stars.

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