Aldi Specialbuys Running – Out Now!

Yes, it’s that time again! Get yourself down to your nearest Aldi right now! The running kit is in again…

Photo: Aldi

Photo: Aldi

Click here to have a look at the range, in stores now.

Photo: Aldi

Photo: Aldi

Once again, the Aldi Specialbuys Running range doesn’t disappoint, with kit ranging in price from £1.99 for a pair of insoles to £49.99 for a pain relief massager. In between, you will find t-shirts for £5.99, shorts for £4.99, shoes for £19.99 and a nice-looking bottle for £6.99. This week I’ve been trying out some socks, headbands and a handy little wristband to stash keys and coins (sadly not big enough for a phone though). Right now I’m sporting a pair of compression socks (£3.49) that I wore for my cycle ride this morning, lovely and warm, with just the right amount of compression.

I’ve tried many of the items from the Aldi running (and cycling) range in the past few years and they’re all still going strong, so you can’t beat them for value and durability. Just make sure you get there fast though, because they do sell out!

Photo: Aldi

Photo: Aldi

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Aldi Specialbuys Cycling Range, September 2015

If you follow Fitartist regularly, you will know that I am already a fan of the Aldi Specialbuys range. I have previously tried out running gear and triathlon gear, all of which are still in regular use and still going strong. I was invited recently to take a look at the upcoming cycling range, to be rolled out in stores on September 24th. It was quite handy really, because the launch was taking place at the Olympic Velodrome in Stratford, where I had a planned training session 🙂 As I had already finished my session and had to rush back for the school run, I didn’t join the rest of the testers on the circuit, but layered up and have been testing the kit on my rides since.

You might be familiar with the cycling range that comes out every so often, with good basics at really unbeatable prices. All of this is on offer, but this time Aldi have gone a step further and are offering some ‘Pro-Cycling Gear’ for the keen cyclist who might like to push it a bit further on longer rides, and look for something a bit more from their kit. In this range, I tried out the Ladies’ Pro-Cycling Performance Jersey (£29.99), which is a really lovely fit (I wore a small, 8-10) and true to size, with a nice long body and details such a stand-up collar, breathable fabric and built-in ‘dry-faster’ panels in the areas you need them most (I wore this jersey on a day where maybe I didn’t need long sleeves and I really did feel the benefit of some ventilation down the back). Another useful feature are the really deep pockets at the back, including a nice big zip-up pocket, big enough to put a phone and some money, you could also fit a pretty good selection of snacks in there if need be!

P1370141

P1370140

Next I tried on some Ladies’ Pro-Cycling Performance Bib Tights (£29.99). Since I tried the Aldi bib shorts a few months ago, I’m a convert to the wrestler look, finding them far comfier than regular tights/shorts that slip down mid-ride. These tights are true to size again and even fit me in the leg – I usually have lots of fabric gathering around my ankles (if you have long legs, maybe try them against you for length). A great feature about these tights and the jacket shown in the picture here is the reflective detailing in the fabric itself, you really will be seen on those dark winter days. Again, the jacket has good deep pockets and a handy feature for when you get a bit hot and want to strip down, inside the rear of the jacket is a large pocket to fold it into, it can then be stowed in your jersey until you need it again 🙂 One thing to note though is that the jersey fabric is quite stretchy, so if you do pack your pockets full of extra stuff, you might find some overhang on your saddle so don’t get carried away!

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If you’re looking for a real bargain, these women’s cycling tights are really good, lovely and warm – very soft – with a nice cut and good reflective detailing. Both these and the bib-tights have a zip at the ankle which is helpful when you’re pulling them on. They have a draw-string waist, a decent chamois and are a very reasonable £13.99.

P1370135

You might just be needing some extra bits and bobs for your winter commute and you can’t beat these two items: lovely fleece-lined hi-viz gloves and a simple cap to go under your helmet, both at just £4.99.

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As we haven’t really hit the cold weather fully yet, I haven’t had a chance to really test the warmth of these products, but I can see that the design is good, the fabrics seem tough enough to survive the seasons ahead and the details make them just as good as more pricey brands on the market. Also available from September 24th are a range of items including energy gels at just 89p, lights at £2.99, Muc-Off bike cleaning spray for £3.99, jerseys and tights at £9.99 and £13.99, the performance kit mentioned above and even a turbo trainer for £49.99 and a Garmin Edge 500 at £79.99.

Get yourself to your nearest Aldi from September 24th because the items generally sell out quickly and are only in store while stocks last.

Aldi Camping Gear

Yes, camping gear! Aldi never fail to amaze me with their range of random items nestling between the freezers and fresh fruit. We’re not usually so organised, but this year we have been prompted by some friends to get our summer holiday sorted early and have our little square of Dorset camp-site already cordoned off and some fine weather requested. You may remember our camping exploits of a couple of years ago, when our – not that very old – tent decided to leak. A lot. We had many a night spent holding tea-towels to the roof in an attempt to stop our bedding getting wet and spent a small fortune on waterproofing spray which did bugger all. Last year we’d had enough and went for a bit of ‘glamping’. It’s all very nice turning up to a ready-made bed and home-comforts such as a log-burner and a…kitchen and bathroom (yes!), but we do like to camp ‘proper’, so took receipt of a new and heavily waterproof tent the other week. It was perfect timing, then, to receive some camping gear to review and give our trip a little more comfort.

*For the sake of taking photos, I have used a small assistant, but the items are all adult size and generously proportioned ;)*

First of all is the self-inflating ground mat. We normally use our now quite old roll-up mats that are little more than a yoga mat, but this is really rather good. As it was new, it took a little while longer to inflate, but once it had, it went from this:

Flat

Flat

To this:

Comfy

Comfy

It’s pretty comfy and will certainly give you plenty of distance between you and the cold ground, so contributing to some night-time warmth.

My glamorous assistant also had a go in the sleeping bag (I say ‘had a go’, he did a great impression of a caterpillar up and down the hall and played a making-objects-disappear-then-reappear-through-the-hole-at-the-bottom game…). I also had a lie in the sleeping bag, because I stopped using a ‘mummy’ type sleeping bag a few years ago, finding them a little restrictive, but this one if very roomy and I felt quite able to spread out a bit in it.

Fake sleeping

Fake sleeping

There are some useful details that make it better than the mummy bags I’ve used previously: it’s big and the ‘hood’ area is wide and doesn’t pull your head down, there is a draw-string around your shoulders to pull it tighter for warmth, there is a little internal zip pocket for valuables and this nifty little foot-zip is great if you’re tall, or just want some space/air around your feet.

Toesies

Toesies

We also tried out a little light:

Bulbous

Bulbous

It’s just the right size to hang in the bedroom space, using the handy little clip and has different settings, including flashing. I did wonder for a while when this might come in useful and arrived at the verdict that it could be handy to find your tent when you pop to the loo in the dark 🙂 All of the items in the Aldi range are perfect for a family camping adventure and a great budget option for festival-goers, with tents costing as little as £19.99 for a hiking tent and £29.99 for a dome tent. A few of my friends are throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the 12/24 hour endurance relay events that are happening during the summer, so the items such as sleeping bags (£17.99), lights (£3.49) and inflatable mats (£13.99) are perfect for a one-off weekend away (in fact I’ve lent the sleeping bag to one such friend for this coming weekend!).

The next date for the camping range at Aldi is June 25th, so get down there with all your rugged, outdoorsy needs and stock up while you can. And they have nice chocolate too, for a campfire treat 😉

Aldi Specialbuys Cycle and Triathlon Gear

…is in store now!

I’ve been having some fun trying a few things out this week 🙂 Once again, Aldi comes up with a selection of super-bargain-priced gear to stock your sporty wardrobe, this time with a range of cycling and triathlon gear. On Friday I headed over to the Olympic Park to get my bike spinning around the road track that weaves around the outside of the Velodrome. Before I mounted my trusty steed, I slipped into a base-layer vest and some rather fetching bib-shorts. This was the first time I ventured into the world of the bib-short, so was pleased that they were way more comfortable – and possibly even flattering – than I had imagined. If you’ve never seen bib-shorts before they’re hidden away under a jersey, think Big Daddy and you’ve got the right idea.

70s Stylee

70s Stylee

These are particularly good because they have a little clasp that brings the ‘braces’ together in the mid-chest area, to keep them firmly in place (this a female-specific feature). Well, I’m definitely a convert now! The good thing is, they keep your midriff and lower back warm and there’s no chance of anything riding up and revealing more than you would like. The base-layer, whilst seeming a bit stiff and rustly at first, turned out to be nice and long and also kept me warm and cosy on what turned out to be a windy ride. I also rode in some nice little black gloves which, for me and my *tiny* hands, were perfect in an extra-small.

Next up on my race agenda is the Crystal Palace Triathlon, where I will be showing off my new triathlon suit. At £14.99, this is an incredible bargain, when you consider that you can often end up spending up to and over £100 for other brands – great if you’re embarking on lots of triathlons…and have the cash to throw around, which I don’t so this is a welcome option. There are some nice details such as an internal mesh bra in the women’s model and also leg grips to keep the shorts in place and some handy pockets for gels. I’m always surprised at the detail in the Aldi gear, when you consider what a bargain they are. This current range has items ranging from gloves at £3.49, base layers at £9.99, bib-shorts at £11.99 and even cycle shoes at £24.99. If you like the running gear, then you’ll find the cycling range a useful addition to your kit mountain drawer.

Aldi Running Specialbuys

It’s that time again, when things get a little ‘milder’ and you have to make the transition from long to short sleeves and legs (or not, if you’ve toughed it out all winter or like to stay wrapped up all year round!). After numerous sweaty runs and the subsequent washes, you might want to refresh your running wardrobe, so get down to your nearest Aldi and snaffle yourself some Specialbuys gear.

Bright!

Bright!

I’ve been trying out a few items from the range (and I’m still happily wearing the gear I tried out last year – it really does wash well). A favourite – again – is the ‘Ultra Bright Running T-Shirt’, it really is super-glowy and you will easily be spotted on those warmer evening runs, the fit is good and I would say is quite generous, so maybe try things on if you can. I also had a look at the ‘Short Sleeved Compression T-shirt), which comes in grey, so far less obvious, and quite flattering with its subtle pattern. I’m not entirely sure how much compressing it did because it isn’t especially tight, but the ‘Mid-Compression Running Socks’ seemed really effective for keeping post-run legs in check. The range covers everything you need, starting with insoles at £1.99, T-shirts from £5.99-£11.99, this light-weight jacket at £15.99:

Pink!

Pink!

and I also had a look at the ‘Wireless Activity Tracker’ which is £39.99 and monitors activity, sleep, distance, calories and allows you to set daily goals. It’s worth keeping an eye on the Aldi website because they bring out sports Specialbuys every few months, often alternating running with cycling.

Pink Jersey

Did you see those cyclists heading through Northern Ireland at the start of the Giro D’Italia? Their sensitive European limbs protected against the harsh wind and rain blowing in from the Atlantic, heads down, breathing heavy. The jersey awarded to the leader of the race is pink, and the people of Northern Ireland went a bit bonkers, decorating anything that stayed still long enough with pink bunting, balloons and candy stripes. Even if you didn’t stay still, you were in danger of being pinked…

Baaaarmy!

Baaaarmy!

In homage to these intrepid riders, I have been riding around South East London in my own pink jersey, courtesy of the Aldi cycling range. I’ve also been getting my knees out (no pictures, you’ll be relieved to know) in a rather neat pair of cycling shorts. I really love the shorts, perfect fit, nice grip around the thigh, but not too tight, and just enough padding for a fairly long ride. I did feel a bit too ‘obvious’ in the top though, with pink not being my colour of choice (though I was very visible…not a bad thing), and the fit was slightly baggy, so I would suggest going a size smaller than you might normally. I also tried the gloves and, after my fellow cyclist Sally said they were good for small hands, I expected them to be a nice fit, but alas, I must have the tiniest hands ever, because they felt a bit loose on me.

If you’re really quick, you might still find some gear in your local store, and keep an eye out because there will be some more coming out in the next few weeks.

 

 

Aldi Cycling Gear In Store Now!

If you get yourself down to your local Aldi store, you can get your hands on some great new cycling gear. Having tried out their running gear not so long ago, I can definitely vouch for the quality of their sports-wear and it’s definitely good value-for-money. On offer right now is a great range of summer cycle wear, ranging from gloves at £3.49, helmets at £9.99, shirts at £14.99 and even a tri-suit at £14.99. In addition to the clothing there are also essentials such as light sets, mini-tools, saddles and pumps.

Yesterday I went out on a big old bike ride (50k) with some of my lovely parkrun friends. We ventured south into Kent, enjoying a little light refreshment along the way…

At a cafe called 'Cake'

At a cafe called ‘Cake’

When we first met up near home, I noticed one of our riders had already got herself down to Aldi and was head-to-toe in new gear! She said the gloves are perfect for small hands…something I have problems with. I have been sent some padded cycle shorts and some socks to try out, an incentive to get out on my bike again this week…watch this space!