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The Meglio Skipping Rope Extreme is the latest speed-skipping/CrossFit type that uses a lightweight steel cable, swivel bearings and anodised aluminium handles. If you're looking to include plyometric drills in your training, maintain bone density or do a warm-up with a difference, it ticks all the boxes since it's easy to use (with a bit of practice), well made, durable and priced very low – and currently on sale for £4.69.
Why skip if you're a cyclist? Plymometrics is arguably the main reason. Although cycling is mostly an endurance sport, incorporating hops, skips and jumps into your off-bike training can bring speed and strength that simply pedalling for four hours in the lanes will not.
Another good reason to 'jump rope', as butch American skippers prefer to call it, is to maintain bone density. Cycling is non-weight bearing and ought to be supplemented by some impact work. Since many cyclists either don't run or used to be runners, got injured and then became cyclists, skipping is perfect because it takes away many of the jarring forces of heel-striking running.
And finally, skipping makes for a perfect – if unconventional – pre-race warm-up, opening up the cardiovascular system very quickly and focusing the mind. One of my team-mates in the 00s, Richard O'Rourke, never bothered with a turbo in the car park and didn't risk puncturing his best lightweight tubs doing sprints up the road: he stood beside his car, in the village hall doorway if it was raining – anywhere in fact – and just skipped. And nobody laughed because O'Rourke was usually faster than all of us – and he was a lot harder than all of us, too.
So if you fancy giving skipping a go, this Meglio rope is a good place to start for very little outlay. It's a lot more high tech than the wooden-handled type from school – the aluminium handles are very tactile with their anti-slip file pattern, and it's a steel cable in a PVC sheath rather than a tatty length of puddle-soaked hemp. The cable-handle interface includes two sets of bearings – at the ends of the handles, and 'swivel' bearings set into the stainless steel eyelets above the handles. The idea is for the cable to be able to turn very fast and very smoothly, and the claimed inventor of the system is US Marine and Olympic wrestler-turned-skipping guru Buddy Lee.
The Meglio's cable is lightweight, 2.5mm in diameter and the type usually used in CrossFit. In skipping, as in cycling, lighter is faster, but it does sacrifice a bit of feel. The cable needs to be travelling fast for it to keep its shape – unlike those heavy old ones at school – so if you're a beginning or returning skipper it takes a bit of practice to do a set of 30 jumps at around 120rpm. But get that down and then a cable like this is easily fast enough for 'double unders'.
The cable is 9ft long and is adjustable – there are small clamps on the outsides of the handles. It's best to adjust and then cut it to length using bike cable cutters to avoid loose ends beyond the handles.
Meglio says it's for indoor use and that will be because the PVC cable sheath will wear on rougher surfaces, but I've found it has been fine on the paving slabs in our back garden. But it won't last forever outside.
Compared to cycling kit the Meglio Skipping Rope Extreme is incredibly cheap. Unbelievably, we've never tested skipping ropes on road.cc so can't compare it with any other house reviews, but compared to similar skipping ropes it looks like very good value. There are cheaper ropes at Decathlon but it undercuts all of Dope Ropes' ropes, which go up to £49.99. There are 'toy' ropes for much less, but they don't have the swivel bearings or the fast cable and are mostly plastic rather than aluminium and steel.
As a returning skipper, I've been very impressed. The Meglio Skipping Rope Extreme is an advanced rope at more of an entry-level price. It's well made from durable materials and works faultlessly.
Advanced rope at an entry-level price, durable and well made, the Meglio could jump start your cycling
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Meglio Skipping Rope Extreme (Indoor Use)
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Meglio says: "Our skipping ropes are ideal if you're looking to strengthen your legs and lower body muscle tone. Research suggests that just ten minutes of skipping is the equivalent of running a mile and perhaps easier to fit into your daily routine. Using a skipping rope is also a great way to improve your footwork speed and coordination if you're a boxer or martial artist. Moreover it's a convenient and easily portable addition to any gym bag which can be used anywhere anytime.
"Our skipping rope has been designed with durable and light weight handles with additional grips for a firm hold whilst you're performing your workout. The stainless steel ball bearing offers a smooth rotation so is suitable no matter how intense your workout. Furthermore our skipping rope has a 9ft adjustable cable rope and can be easily adjusted to suit your requirements."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Meglio skipping ropes are not intended for outdoor use or hard surfaces such as concrete, tarmac. This will wear the cable excessively. Please use indoor or on a Yoga Mat.
Very nicely made – incredible for the price.
Bearings work very smoothly.
If you use it inside, as recommended, it should last a long time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Works really smoothly, it's fast and it looks cool.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cable is light, so takes a bit of practice to literally get up to speed with it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've never reviewed another skipping rope on road.cc – hard to believe, I know. There are cheaper ropes at Decathlon but the Meglio undercuts all the ropes at Dope Ropes. For its type – alu handles, steel cable, stainless steel bearings – it is very well priced indeed.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
As a returning skipper I've been very impressed with the materials, the build quality and the operation of the swivel bearing system. I would say it's more aimed at experienced skippers – if you're a beginner you might need a bit more rope 'feel', from a heavier rope – but if you're a faster skipper it's a great rope at an exceptional price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem