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Tips For Autumn Cycling

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 15:03:36 Europe/London

With the weather beginning to turn there's certain things you can adopt into your riding style and kit to help you ride comfortably through the autumn and into the winter months - here are our top five tips for riding in autumn:

1. Light it up

Although you may be riding in the daytime visibility can quickly be reduced, especially if you are riding when the weather's changeable ot if you commute regularly. 

Add a front and rear light to your bike, even if you don't turn them on every ride it's better to have the option should a raincloud suddenly appear and give you cause to need them.

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Posted in Latest Blog By Chris Day

Types Of Winter Bike

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 15:57:53 Europe/London

As useful as they are, turbo trainers just aren't the same as being out on the road in the crisp, cold winter months.

Turbo trainers are for short, intense sessions indoors when the weather's rainy and miserable, but for those milder days when the sun is shining you need a decent bike to handle the outdoors. 

In Winter many cyclist opt to have a separate training bike which is often built to a lower spec than their summer bike. The whole concept of a winter/summer bike is so you are using your best bike - with top end componetns, wheels and accessories - in the warmer weather where they're less likely to be exposed to rain, dirt and road 'grime'.

Winter bikes are the workhorses, and here we list the most common kinds of winter tarining bikes you will see on a jaunt outside in colder climes. 

The Commuter

Usually adorned with mudguards - an absolute essential in winter months where the roads are almost always wet - the commuer is a machine that is no stranger to the rain, wind and appaling weather. 

It's used to being ridden in all conditions and comes with a plethora of lights, reflectors and usually pannier racks; although if used as a training bike the panniers should be absent unless being used for some masochistic weight training.

These will commonly have wider tyre profiles and may have flat handlebars, allowing for a sturdier ride in wet or windy conditions. 

The Hybrid

Hybrid machines are perfect for winter riding. They usually have flat bars and a more relaxed geometry to the frame which makes them more upright, ideal for comfortable long rides at a low intensity.

Hybrids will have wide tyres profiles and a chunkier tread - similar to a mountain bike but more often than not they are more the size of a road tyre than an MTB.

Also a popular option with commuters, they are likely to be festooned with lights and flashy bits to help make them visible on the murkier days where visibility may not be great.

The Cyclocross

Cross-bikes are eaily identifyable by their riders, who are usually covered with mud and soaking wet but still have a smile plastered on their faces. Distinguishable from MTB riders by their road helmets and lycra gear, cross riders thrive in the winter months which coincides with the start of the cyclocross season.

Cyclocross bikes are similar to hybrids but have the aggressive geometry of a road bike, with drop handlebars and stiffer frames to help deal with the trials of riding off road.

These are perfect for winter for the seasoned cyclist, with wider profile and chunkier tyres along with frame clearance that's more akin to an MTB bike making them ideal for those who like to ride the trails in winter, despite the slush, mud and dirt.

The MTB

Mountain bikes make excellent winter bikes, although they're more useful for riding trails and downhill than they are for long days in the saddle that you would expect from a road bike. 

Mountain bikes live for the mud and dirt, making them ideal for riding on or off road in the winter months. Many road cyclists swap out their road bikes and long days eating up the miles in favour of an MTB and trail riding in winter as the two seasons complement each other and they don't have to spend winters on an indoor trainer.

Mountain bikers can be identified by their grins, much like cyclocross riders, but they wear looser clothing, different helmets and often some form of body armour - essential if you're throwing yourself off a mountain at speed.

The Fat Bike

A sight that causes every reaction from guffaws to awes, fat bikes are a phenomenon that are becoming more popular on British roads and are actually useful for winter riding. 

Whilst the don't have the suspension or profile for downhill or trail riding, or the geometry and comfort of road bikes for long days in the saddle, the fat bike has carved out a niche of its very own to take it's place in the world of cycling. 

Fat bikes have massive tyres which make easy work of snow, mud or adverse conditions. Their low gearing makes them easy to ride but only over short distances, making them more of a short journey option rather than a viable training steed.

 

Posted in Latest Blog By Chris Day

The Most Expensive Road Bikes

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 16:13:11 Europe/London

Road bikes can cost a small fortune - for some of these you could walk into a car dealership and walke out with a brand new car, but where's the fun in that?

We've picked our top 3 most expensive bikes - all of which you will be able to buy from selected retailers, none of them being unique one-off works.

From concept bikes for traithletes to Grand Tour winning bikes ridden by professionals, this list is the ultimate wish list for any roadie if they happen to win the lottery!

If you can't quite stretch to these then you could take a look at our range of Cannondale and Scott road bikes thata re currently in the sale.

Cervelo P5X eTap

Price: £13,499

New Car Equivalent: VW Polo

Cervelo PX5

The Cervelo is built for pure speed for traithletes - it is designed for triathletes as it doesn't fit the strict regulations for road racing set by the UCI, mainly due to the lack of seat tube or stays.

The bike is designed to be completely aero, with integrated storage for food and bottles that ensures limited aerodynamic impact, aero bars and low profile handlebars for maximum aerodynamics. 

The PX5 comes with SRAM Red eTap - SRAM's top groupset - along with ENVE SES 7.8 deep rim wheels to add to the space-age style looks.

 

BMC Teammachine SLR01 2018

Price: £10,000

New Car Equivalent: Renault Twingo

BMC Teammachine SLR01

Swiss manufacturers BMC have created a masterpiece with their latest Teammachine, always known for being an innovative model in road bikes. 

The 2018 version may look like a standard road bike but is packed with more features than Batman's utility belt. Look closely and you will not see any cables - from brakes or gears, any calipers or any stem - it's all integrated. 

An integrated handlebar allows for increased aerodynamics, along with hidden brake and gear cables through the frame and direct mount brakes which are fitted into the frame. Neat.

 

Pinarello Dogma F10

Price: £9,250

New Car Equivalent: Toyota Aygo

Pinarello F10 Dogma

The F10 has won several Grand Tours - mostly underneath Chris Froome. The latest of these are his 2017 Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana wins where he became the first British rider to do this Grand Tour double - the third rider in the sport's history to do it after Anquetil and Hinault.

 The bike comes with Shimano's top level Dura Ace Di2 groupset with electronic shifting, the integrated cables ensuring there isn't a messy cable in sight to spoil the attractive geometry of the frame. 

The carbon fibre frame itself takes advantage of flatback tube profiles which have been shown to have increased aerodynamic benefit. Whether that's true or not, it's definitely on our hit list.

 

Posted in Latest Blog By Adam Reaney

How To Eat On The Bike

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 14:20:29 Europe/London

There's loads of posts out there telling you what to eat whilst on a ride. There's posts on when to take some food on, what macronurtrients you need to take on at what time, how many grams of carbs you need for an hour's ride and so on.

But there's not many posts that tell you HOW to eat on the bike, a skill that can take some getting used to to perfect and can be quite dangerous if you get the wrong technique.

Here's our guide to several of the most popular foods to take on the bike and how to eat them. 

We should say before you continue that if you aren't comfortable eating whilst moving, take a break at the roadside and eat off the bike. 

Bananas

The age old favourite. Who of us hasn't set off with a banana stuffed precariously into the jersey pocket? It's the sign of a long ride and a note to other road users that you're serious about your nutrition. 

But how to peel them on the move? The traditional top-down peeling method is tricky whilst trying to ride unless you're proficient at riding with no hands, so we favour the twisting method which is much quicker. The downside to this is that you have to stuff most of it into your mouth at once.

Of course you could always chop up the banana beforehand and take them in a seperate bag, which leads us on to...

Bagged Snacks

Bagged snacks include everything from raisens and dates to jelly beans or M&Ms, depending on your individual taste. The main isue here is that they come in bags which are fiddly to open on the move.

The easiest way is to keep them open in your back pocket so you can dip your hand into your jersey and pull out a handful. The only problem here is the rain which can ruin a good snack, or the perils of the low-profile aero position which could send raisens tumbling down your back.

Gels

The pro's favourite, gel bars can be a quick way to get some much needed carbs into your system before a big climb or if you're on a long ride and don't want to carry pockets full of food.

The best way to eat a gel on the bike is to rip the tab off with your teeth (don't forget to catch it and pocket it), stick the opening in your mouth and keep squeezing until it's finished.

The real finesse of eating a gel on the bike is ensuring you don't squirt it all over your face, fingers and bikes in your haste. Lest you have stickyness on the rest of your ride.

Bars

In a similar vain to gels, these are often seen amongst the pros but are a little more gastro-friendly than their gel counterpart. Bars aren't as easy to eat on the bike as they require more effort than just placing and squeezing, but their dense, often chewy nature makes the tricky to consume. 

The easiest way is to break the bar into pieces before the ride whilst in it's packaging so that when you come to open it, you can remove a piece then put the rest back hassle free.

Watch out for crumbs though, they're not very comptaible with gears and oil.

 

 

 

Posted in Latest Blog By Chris Day

Is Saddle Position Really THAT Important?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 10:40:40 Europe/London

The bike saddle is one of those parts of the bike that can easily be taken for granted. It's easy to forgo upgrading your saddle in favour of sexier upgrades like wheels and pedals.

Saddle position, however, is one of the most crucial elements to ensure you can ride comfortably and efficiently on your bike - no matter what your discipline. 

If your bike saddle isn't positioned correctly it can lead to a number of issues, some of them major like knee and hip problems and some minor like poor pedal efficiency and loss of power.

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Posted in Latest Blog By Chris Day

Buying Speed: Upgrades To Make You Faster

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:06:08 Europe/London

There's a common saying amongst cyclists that 'cycling never gets any easier, you just get faster'; a nod to the fact that riding hard will always be tough.

But there are several ways to get speedier faster and perhaps make the ride marginally easier along the way.

Upgrading components is a sure-fire way to save seconds off your ride, allowing you to beat that PB or even claim the KOM on a strava segment. Here's our top 3 upgrades to make your bike faster, and your wallet thinner.

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Posted in Latest Blog By Adam Reaney