Cycle Commuter issue 6
The Spring/Summer 2011 edition of Cyclescheme's magazine for cycle commuters. News, kit, techniques, tips and more!
Bike reviews l The best kit l Boost your health l Fine-tune your bike Spring/Summer 2011 Issue #6 ÂŁ1.95 where sold 72 Featuring top cycling products SUPER commuters... Four great bikes for your ride to work Pedal POWER! Inside this issue... Bags Locks Waterproofs Storage And more! Get a bike, save money and stay fit! Simple choices like riding to work make all the difference. A little further, a little faster each day - soon you’ll be ﬁtter and reaping the beneﬁts of fuel savings and a healthier lifestyle. Giant’s Defy and Avail models use high quality AluxX SL aluminium frames that are light, stiff and ride tuned so you can arrive at work feeling fresh for the day ahead. Learn more at giant-bicycles.com contents Issue #6 Spring/Summer 2011 Bikes tested All about... 5 Welcome to Cyclescheme How Cyclescheme works, who’s eligible to take part, and how you go about getting the bike 20 Cyclescheme FAQs We answer the most frequently asked questions so you know everything you need to know Features 22 34 6 C ycle to savings! You don’t need to stop riding your bike just because summer has come to an end 16 C ycle to success! We visit an NHS Foundation Trust to find out how employees have benefited from commuting by bike 44 50 22 Trek 7.5FX Disc 34 Specialized Tricross Sport 44 Whyte Caledonian 50 Kona Paddy Wagon A dependable all-rounder with a multipurpose character and a focus on comfort Fast around town yet tough enough to take offroad, this bike offers the best of both worlds A fast and strong all-rounder that’s equally at home whether you’re riding on or off the road The best gear for your commute and beyond 26 Bags Eight ways to spread the load 38 Bike storage fitness! Ten reasons why getting on your bike will keep you healthy classic singlespeeder offering solid reliability at a great price Top products & essential kit 12 Stuff 28 Cycle to 40 Set up your bike right If you want to ride comfortably, you need to fine-tune the fit of your bike. Here’s how to get it spot on Store those steeds in style 48 L ocks Don’t let the theives win 54 Waterproof jackets For whatever the weather throws at you Cyclescheme is part of the Grass Roots Group Published for Cyclescheme by Farrelly Atkinson www.f-at.co.uk Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. All content © Cyclescheme 2011 56 My life on bikes: Bob Wilson The Former footballer reveals his plans to ride to all 20 Premier League grounds for charity www.cyclescheme.co.uk 3 Welcome Cyclescheme is the UK’s number one provider of tax-free bikes for the Government’s Cycle to Work initiative We offer big savings on the best bikes and safety equipment. Dealing with Cyclescheme’s network of over 1,700+ local bike shops also gives you the best experience, with the expert personal service, convenience and choice that larger multiple retailers just can’t match About Cyclescheme... T he Cycle to Work Initiative is a salary sacrifice scheme which gives you the chance to save on the cost of a new bike as well as security and safety equipment to go with it. The way salary sacrifice schemes work is that you give up part of your salary and receive an equivalent benefit that is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance. What does this mean in practice? Well, technically it’s your employer who buys the bike. You hire the bike and equipment from your employer, and you pay back the cost of the bike from your gross salary. You save on Tax and NI payments, lowering your payments over the hire period. VAT can also be claimed back, and this saving is usually passed on by employers, unless they are not able to – for example in the case of universities and NHS trusts. Cyclescheme has partnered with over 1,700+ independent bike shops throughout the UK giving you access to a massive amount of choice and expert advice on equipment selection. To locate your local store go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk and use the postcode store locator. You are not limited to any brand of bike or equipment and so you can choose the best for quality and value for money. This results in the best package of bike and safety equipment for you. Cyclescheme runs schemes with the Department of Transport, Office of Fair Trading and Department of Health, as well as scores of police forces, councils, universities and blue chip companies. Hire agreements are written entirely in accordance with government guidelines and this service is free to employers, including an online tool to generate promotional literature and roadshows. Who’s it for? Want to take part? Great! If you’ve received this mag from your employer then they’re probably already running a scheme, so things should be straightforward. There are some limits as to who can take advantage of the tax breaks, though. The most important ones are: • •• • • The scheme is open to all full, part-time and contract staff whose term of employment is more than the period of the hire (12 months) You need to be a UK taxpayer via the PAYE system You need to be 18 years of age or over to comply with Consumer Credit Act legislation 16 to 18 year olds may be eligible for Cyclescheme enrollment with the aid of a guarantor You need to be earning more than the National Minimum Wage after your wages have been reduced to comply with UK tax law www.cyclescheme.co.uk 5 Spring/Summer 2011 How the cycle to work scheme will save you money! Why getting a bike through your employer still makes a whole lot of sense… Here’s how it works… Once your employer has set up a programme with Cyclescheme, you choose your bike and any safety equipment from one of 1,700+ independent bicycle dealers throughout the UK (go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk to find your nearest Cyclescheme partnered stores). Then your payments cover the hire of the bike and equipment from your employer, usually for 12 months. What happens next? Simple. Read on… 6 Maximise your savings! Do you want to keep the bike that you have? NO Send the bike back to Cyclesheme Do you want to pay as little as possible? NO You pay 18% or 25% of certificate value* to take ownership of the bike YES! Here’s how to get the best possible saving at the end of the hire period... YES! G et a bike and safety equipment through Cyclescheme as part of the government’s Cycle to Work initiative and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of money. The savings are made because you’ll initially hire the bike from your employer, and your hire charges are made via a salary sacrifice scheme. Your gross salary is reduced to take care of your payments before any tax or National Insurance (NI) has been deducted, so you pay less tax, NI and, in most cases, VAT. This results in savings of up to 51%. Plus, at the end of the hire period, most employers are able to offer you ownership of the bike at a fraction of its original cost. Saving money through Cyclescheme What happens next? The Government published the table below to calculate the market value of bicycles and safety equipment at the end of the hire period: Age of bike 12 months 18 months 2 years 3 years 4 years Acceptable disposal value % (inc VAT) Original value under £500 Original value £500 or over 18% 25% 16% 21% 13% 17% 8% 12% 3% 7% Because the Government has defined what the end of hire transfer of ownership values must be, we’ve amended our process to take that into account. Previously you could expect to take ownership of the bike, if offered, for a market value payment of 5% + VAT. By following Cyclescheme’s recommended option (entering into an Extended Use Agreement, see flow chart below) your savings are protected. You may end up paying less than previously and the savings available are broadly the same. You pay a small refundable deposit** and sign an extended use agreement with zero payments The agreement ends after 36 months, Cyclescheme may offer you ownership of the bike Do you still want to keep the bike? YES! * current HMRC advice for bike values (inc VAT) after 12 months: 18% for bikes under £500, 25% for bikes over £500 **3% for bikes under £500, 7% for bikes over £500 (inc VAT) NO Send the bike back to Cyclesheme, the deposit will be refunded Cyclescheme retain your deposit and confirm you as the owner of the bike. Enjoy using your bike! What’s the difference? We’ve put together the tables below to show you an example of the savings available to a basic rate tax payer under the previous and new processes. As you can see, the material difference is minimal. If the bike’s initial cost was under £500 then you’ll end up paying less than before. Previous process Original value VAT saving (if applicable) NI saving Tax saving Market value payment Total saving £1,000 £166.67 £91.67 £166.67 £60 £365.01 Process based on HMRC clarification Original value VAT saving (if applicable) NI saving Tax saving Market value payment Total saving £1,000 £166.67 £100 £166.67 £70 £363.34 What happens if I move jobs? If Cyclescheme are notified of a change to your employment status during the initial hire period, we will contact you with the end of hire options. During the extended use period, if you change jobs the agreement is still valid as it’s an agreement with Cyclescheme, not with your employer. Can I start a new scheme during the extended use period? Yes. The extended use agreement is entirely separate to the hire agreement, so you’re free to participate in future Cycle to Work schemes with your employer while you’re still in an extended use agreement with Cyclescheme. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 7 Spring/Summer 2011 News Confirmed: Riding to work boosts our health A new survey has confirmed the health benefits of cycling to work, and revealed that people who use bikes as a result of the government’s Cycle to Work initiative reduce carbon emissions by over 130,000 tonnes a year – more than the total annual CO2 emissions of a city the size of Hereford. The survey, conducted for the Cycle to Work Alliance, questioned nearly 46,000 people – both employers and employees – who have used the tax-efficient Cycle to Work scheme. A massive 87% of participants said their health had improved as a result of riding to work, and 84% of users rated the scheme as an important and easy way to keep fit. Health benefits noticed included increased fitness, weight loss, and improved mental health, wellbeing and happiness. In other words, the survey confirmed that commuting by bike is good for you. Interestingly, most people who used the scheme had not cycled to work before they signed up, and 70% classed themselves as either novice or occasional cyclists. By taking advantage of the scheme, users had been able to make exercise an everyday activity rather than having to find additional time, incorporating it as part of their daily routine. 8 In terms of reducing pollution, the survey found that current users of the Cycle to Work scheme reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 133,442 tonnes per year. To put that in perspective, it’s the same as 76 fully-laden Boeing 747s flying around the world – and that’s more than British Airways and Virgin Atlantic combined. Not surprisingly, the financial benefits provided by the Cycle to Work scheme were valued highly, with 73% of respondents saying the savings they were offered through the scheme were the most important factor in their decision to take part. Since its introduction in 1999, over 400,000 people have taken advantage of the Cycle to Work initiative as a tax-exempt benefit, involving 2,250 bike retailers and 15,000 employers. Overall, the scheme got a huge thumbsup from users, with 98% saying they’d encourage their colleagues to take part. Pedalling facts If all the commuters in England with a journey of under five miles went by bike rather than car or bus, they would save a collective 44,000 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent emissions produced by heating nearly 17,000 houses… And that would just be in the first week. News Cycle Show moves to NEC Cycle-Works offer custommade racking If you’re looking for bike racking for your workplace, Cycle-Works offer off-the-shelf and bespoke shelters and loads of different bike parking options. The Hampshire-based company supplies bike parking and security products for all types of spaces from railway stations to private businesses. Visit www.cycle-works.com or call 023 9281 5555 for details. F ollowing a successful London event in 2010, the Cycle Show has grown significantly this year with a move to the NEC in Birmingham. This year’s show runs from 30 September to 2 October. To celebrate the Cycle Show’s 10th year, and to reinforce its position as the UK’s leading cycle event, organizers decided that the time was right to move to a more central UK location. Highlights include the launch of brand new road and mountain bike outdoor demo tracks, which offer visitors an authentic ride experience, and on the offroad track, a chance to get muddy. Cycle Show ambassadors for 2011 already include Olympic & World Track Champion Ed Clancy, and BMX rider Ben Hennon. For more details go to www.cycleshow.co.uk Cycle Show highlights… l New! Outdoor ‘try out’ tracks where you can test road and mountain bikes through forest and on tarmac for a real demo experience l 2012 Bicycle launches from the world’s leading brands l BMX street course and competitions with the world’s top BMX riders l 1000 seat arena and interviews with the worlds biggest cycling celebrities l Bigger Cycle Store with the very latest clothing and accessories l Kids test track l Indoor triathlon l Demonstrations and expert advice sessions l Cycling for disabled people Bike Week is on the way This year’s Team Green Britain Bike Week takes place 18-26 June, and organisers aim to make it the biggest yet; encouraging over half a million people to join in events, rethink their everyday journeys, and switch to cycling as the most convenient way to get around. The idea is to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life. Events will take place all over the country – mostly organised rides – and this year Team Green Britain Bike Week is hosting Britain's Biggest Bike Fix, which is an ambitious attempt to fix as many bikes as possible during one week. To find out about events in your area go to www.bikeweek.org.uk. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 9 Design, Lifestyle, Transport MERIDA CROSSWAY delivers endurance, comfort and functionality – your way to two wheeled freedom on and beyond the road! Regardless of whether it’s a short trip around your neighbourhood, your commute to work or a bike ride at the weekend – our CROSSWAY is your trusty and reliable companion! The Crossway TFS 300-D features a lightweight 6061 Aluminium frame, hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano drivetrain and suspension fork with lockout. For further details please go to www.merida.com www.merida.com for full range details and dealer locator Spring/Summer 2011 Government report backs Cycle to Work scheme A recent report from the Treasury’s Office of Tax Simplification has recommended keeping Cycle to Work schemes as a means of providing a nontaxable benefit. Generally, where a benefit is provided by an employer to an employee, that benefit is taxable, but a Cycle to Work scheme is an exception. The Review of Tax Reliefs published in March said that the reasons this form of tax relief was introduced – as part of government policies on sustainable transport and fitness – remained valid. The report said, “There is little administration on behalf of the employers and the employees and the scheme is well used. We recommend that this relief be retained.” Indeed, the report went even further in backing cycling to work. “In view of the advent of the bike hire scheme introduced recently in London, it would be logical to extend the relief to cover support given by employers to employees who use those cycles.” Cyclescheme bosses visit the PM T he founders of Cyclescheme, Richard Grigsby and Gary Cooper, recently paid a visit to Number 10 Downing Street to talk to Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Richard and Gary were there with an entrepreneur’s group to discuss establishing and growing businesses. “The meeting ran over by 20 minutes which we felt was a good indication that the PM was enjoying himself and that it was useful,” said Richard. “I talked to him about the Cycle to Work scheme and also told him that he needed a new bike… and he agreed!” 10 New lights recharge straight from your PC Knog’s bright Boomer LED lights are now available in a USB-rechargeable version. You just take the silicone cover off and plug the light straight into a USB port; there’s no cable or mount to worry about. It’ll recharge from flat in 2-4hrs. Fitting the lights is quick and tool-free; you just wrap the stretchy silicone strap around your seat post or whatever else is handy. They’re waterproof too, and available in a variety of different colours. The Knog Boomer USBs cost £34.99 (front) and £32.49 (rear). Go to www.todayscyclist.co.uk for more details. Rescue cover for you and your bike What would you do if your bike was damaged beyond repair on your journey from work? How would you get home? Cycleguard, Cyclescheme’s insurance partner, offer Cycle Rescue to get you out of a fix. Cycle Rescue is available 24 hours a day if your bike is damaged in an accident, vandalised or breaks down. You call the recovery control centre and Cycle Rescue will get you to a safe place anywhere in the UK. That might be to a cycle repair shop, railway station, car rental agency or, if it’s nearer, your home. If you happen to be really unlucky, the cover is for up to three rescues per year, subject to maximum claims costs of up to £1,500. A year’s Cycle Rescue costs £12 if you take up the offer before 30 September (for new customers, first year premium only). For more details, and to get 10% off Cycleguard insurance for theft and accidental damage, go to www.cycleguardrescue.co.uk/cs Spring/Summer 2011 Stuff Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond SKS CT-Worx 20 function mini tool £19.99 This little multi-tool features everything you need for the most common roadside fixes, including tyre levers and a chain tool, and it’s so light you’ll barely know you’re carrying it. www.sks-germany.com Abus Urban I helmet £59.99 Designed especially for riding around town, the Urban I comes with a reflective triangle around the back along with a built-in red LED to get you seen. The peak is handy for keeping both sunshine and rain out of your eyes www.zyro.co.uk Defeet Daisy Dukes socks £8.16 Defeet make their super-breathable Air-E-Ator socks in a whole load of different designs. Sharks, flames, polka dots, flowers… take your pick. They all keep your tootsies nice and cool. www.i-ride.co.uk Green Oil Eco Rider Deluxe Set £34.99 Green Oil products are environmentally friendly – even the labels are printed on recycled paper. This kit contains everything you need to clean your bike and keep it running nice and smooth. you even get some herbs to plant in the container. www.green-oil.net 12 Stuff SKS Puro Pump £24.99 This pocket-size pump packs a mighty punch, delivering all the power you need when you’re out on the road. There’s even a little gauge so you can get the pressure just right. Fits Presta (road-style) valves www.sks-germany.com SpotMe reflective badges £10 A great idea: little fashion badges made of reflective Scotchlite. Being seen was never so easy, or so fun... www.spotme.cc Cyclopedia £16.00 Cycling journo Will Fotheringham knows more about bikes than most, and this book condenses his years of experience into one handy digest. Great reading for all cyclists. From all good bookshops Carradice steel tyre levers £5.95 MKS Aero bell £19.99 Fix your next flat in style with these old-school tyre levers from UK manufacturer Carradice. A set of three should last you, well, for ever. www.carradice.co.uk Topeak AlienLux rear light £9.99 It’s a rear light. It looks like an alien’s head. That’s got to be a good thing. The AlienLux is available in various different colours, and you can set the two super-bright LEDs to either constant or flashing mode. www.extrauk.co.uk Save valuable milliseconds on your ride to work by ditching your old bell and fitting this rather lovely aero one in its place. Okay, you probably won’t save any time but it’s a great looking bell with a nice chime. www.zyro.co.uk Tifosi Logic glasses £49 Designed especially for cycling, these smart shades come with non-slip rubber fittings on the nose and temples, ventilated lenses to avoid fogging, and there’s no lower frame to interrupt your vision. www.tifosioptics.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 13 Spring/Summer 2011 Cycle to success! Get yourself a tax-free bike through Cyclescheme and you won’t just save money, you’ll save time, improve your fitness and enjoy yourself more, as employees of one NHS trust found out… 16 Cycle to Success T and it’s quite expensive, so setting up a scheme was a way of encouraging employees to get into work other than by car. And we have our green credentials as well; we try to encourage people to cycle for environmental reasons.” It’s a familiar story. Many companies and organisations nationwide have set up schemes for their employees over the past few years for similar reasons, attracting existing cyclists and newcomers alike. “The employee I was speaking to most recently already has a mountain bike and now she’s getting herself a road bike, so she’s obviously quite a keen cyclist,” says John. “Some people get some quite exotic stuff but, equally, there are people going Photography: www.timpestridge.co.uk here are so many advantages to cycling to work that, once you start, you’ll wonder how you ever managed before. Whether you’re looking to save money, save time, or improve your health and fitness – or maybe all three – pedal power is the way forward. We visited the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust (RD&E) to find out how employees there have benefited from commuting by bike. The RD&E employs around 6,500 people and 600-700 of them have got a bike through Cyclescheme over the past three years. John Perratt, Workforce Information Manager, says, “As a health provider, we’re “As a health provider, we’re keen on improving the working lives and the healthand fitness of employees” keen on improving the working lives and the health and fitness of employees, and that’s one of the reasons we were keen to set up the scheme. “Also, from a purely practical point of view, car parking on this site is limited out and getting inexpensive bikes that they’ll use purely for commuting. They live within two or three miles of the hospital and they’re getting something that doesn’t cost too much, just to get them to and from work.” Aside from getting a bike, another key attraction is that you can include your essential accessories along with it, and get them tax-free too. So, for example, you might need a helmet and waterproof jacket, a bike-specific bag and some lights so that you stay safe and comfortable www.cyclescheme.co.uk 17 Spring/Summer 2011 18 on your regular rides. No problem! You can get them all together so that you’re ready to ride straightaway. Plus, the whole process is very straightforward for employers and employees alike. More and more employers now treat a tax-free bike scheme as a central plank of a broader bike-friendly policy. Apart from anything else, encouraging employees here, which is very useful.” Even if your workplace doesn’t have that level of facilities, you can encourage your employer to support cycling to work in other ways. The RD&E, like lots of other employers, runs a ‘buddy scheme’ where an existing bike commuter meets up with someone who is just starting in order to give them some support and perhaps to ride to work results in a healthier workforce and that means fewer days taken off sick, so it makes sense to provide good bike facilities from a purely financial point of view. If your employer has a scheme set up, they might be open to the idea of taking things up to the next level, like the RD&E have. “We have numerous bike racks all round the site, and there are two cycle shelters where you have to use your staff badge to get in, and they work well,” says John, who commutes by bike himself. “And because it’s a clinical environment, quite a few areas have lockers, changing rooms and showers. I cycle 10 miles to work and can have a shower when I get “We run a bike day in spring or early summer where a couple of the bigger local shops come along, and they’re happy to bring in some equipment,” show them some new routes. Exeter is one of England’s flagship Cycling Towns that has been awarded funding specifically for developing bike routes and facilities, so there’s a whole network of traffic-free paths for cyclists to use. If someone has previously driven to work, they might not know the local bike paths or useful cut-throughs, and a buddy scheme costs nothing to organise. “We run a bike day in spring or early summer where a couple of the bigger local shops come along, and they’re happy to bring in some equipment,” says John. “They’ll normally provide prizes for a draw. “We have Doctor Bike on site so people can bring along their bikes and have them fixed, and I’ll be there to explain the benefits of the salary sacrifice scheme and the savings you can make if you get a new bike through it. We publicise the day in advance and it has proved very popular in the past.” “We’re also trying to organise a discount card for the local bike shops, so if someone takes in a bike they’ve got through the scheme they can save some money. We’re still working on that one!” All in all, the tax-free bike scheme at RD&E has been a triumph. The employer benefits from a fitter, healthier workforce. The employees are happy: they’re riding around on shiny new bikes. Plus, there’s a little less traffic on the roads, a bit less pollution in the air… It all helps. There really isn’t a downside here. “It has been a big success,” says John. “We reached the take-up level we wanted to achieve, passed it, and we’ve kept that momentum for three years with 200-250 people taking advantage of the scheme each year. That’s good going.” Bob Wilsonâ€™s Soccer Cycle Bob Wilson is riding 500 miles across the UK in April 2011 in aid of his charity the Willow Foundation helping to improve the lives of seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds throughout the UK. You can help by getting on your bike too! Find out more about your own sponsored cycle at www.bobwilsonsoccercycle.com Bob Wilson Soccer Cycle is a fundraising initiative in aid of the Willow Foundation, a charity registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales No. 1106746 FAQs... perhaps show them some new routes. //Sidebar//Cyclescheme FAQs Exeter is one of England’s flagship Cycling Towns that has been awarded funding specifically for developing When you get a bike through Cyclescheme bike routes and facilities, so there’s a whole network you give up part of your salary for an agreed of traffic-free paths for cyclists to use. If someone has Common questions about the scheme answered period – this is called salary sacrifice. 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Eligible Partner Stores provide access to only provides cover for the cost of If your employer that can reclaim VAT they a couple of the bigger local shops come along, and employees must receive salary via the PAYE over 400 different bicycle brands, theft replacement, but also provides will usually pass this saving on to you, they’re and happyearnings to bring inshould some equipment,” says John.including system, be more than electric bikes, folding personal and third party medical increases savingscycles. further. Employers “They’ll normally provide prizes for a draw. the National Minimum Wage after salary bikeswhich and other specialist insurance cover and, in some cases, also save on Secondary Class NICs (usually sacrifice. Employers who pay staff close a roadside recovery service in the aroundis12.8%) as the amount DoctorMinimum Bike on siteWage so people can bring along Who to“We thehave National should responsible for they’re event of breakdowns. 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For further information What bikes are available to me? guardian signs a guarantor agreement. about maintenance and servicing on cycle-specific insurance please You can choose any bike – including electric “We’re also trying to organise a discount card for the depending on how the bike is visit Cycleguard on www.cycleguard. folding bikes and other specialist localWhat bike shops, so if someone takes a bike they’ve usedbikes, is salary sacrifice andinhow and stores offer a free first co.uk/cs (Cyclescheme participants cycles – providing it can beasprovided bycan obtain a 10% discount on gotand through thedo scheme they can save some money. service. how participants save? If the bike is stolen, of Cyclescheme’ 1,600 Partner Shops. We’re still sacrifice working on that one!” Salary occurs when an longone as the employee sreplaces Insurance and Roadside Recovery). Please see the ‘Find a search employee agrees to give up part of their the bike and continues Bike’ to use it facility at www.cyclescheme.co.uk for stockists salary an agreed (in the case has of been amainly for commuting purposes, All in for all, the tax-free period bike scheme at RD&E the Cycle The to Work scheme thisfrom is usually canand continue toCyclescheme of bike brands your local triumph. employer benefits a fitter, healthierthe employer 12workforce. months)The in exchange for happy: a non-cash the salary sacrifice reductions Shops. employees are they’re riding take Partner benefit, as new the loan a bicycle salary. wants This means your employer to supply bikes around such on shiny bikes.ofPlus, there’s aand little less fromIfGROSS safety equipment. As salary sacrifice is taken the participant still(retail take price including costing over can £1,000 traffic on the roads, a bit less pollution in the air… It from the gross salary (before tax) rather advantage of the income tax and VAT) they will need to purchase an all helps. There really isn’t a downside here. than net pay it means the employee pays National Insurance Contribution individual Consumer Credit Licence, so less income tax and National Insurance. (NIC) savings. Cyclescheme many employers limit the package value to “It has been a big success,” says John. “We reached Most employers can pass on a VAT saving to strongly recommend that scheme £1,000 (including VAT). the take-up level we wanted to achieve, passed it, participating employees. participants insure the bicycle and a bike be provided byasmail order? and we’ve kept that momentum for three years with safetyCan equipment as soon they Cyclescheme’ s Partner Shops are capable 200-250 people taking advantage of the scheme eachcollect it from the store. of supplying bike packages by mail order, Who owns the bike? year. That’actually s good going.” Q A What is salary sacrifice? Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A The bike and goods remain the property of the employer throughout the hire period, unless the employer uses a finance company to fund the bikes; in this case the finance company or funding bank will own the bikes. 20 cts Pedallingy fa has solved the problem of A British compan e lock when you’re not what you do with your bik a belt! The Hiplock is into using it... by making it carries a Sold Secure an adjustable belt that also Now the only problem silver rating as a bike lock. r trousers falling you p you’ll have is how to sto r shopping... you ng doi ’re down when you www.cyclescheme.co.uk URBAN Take control of your commute ! for a list of marin dealers visit: www.marin.Co.UK ride more + Spring /Summer 2011 in detail... Bike test Hydraulic disc brakes offer unrivalled stopping performance FlexForm saddle pivots when you pedal to give a smoother ride Other rated rides... Merida Crossway 40 MD T1 £519.99 Merida’s aluminium Crossway bikes are designed for both the road and heading onto gravel trails and the like. The RST fork provides 50mm of front-end suspension when the surface is rough – although you can lock it out when you don’t need it – and Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes provide solid stopping. www.merida-bikes.com 22 Raleigh Urban 3 £439.99 The Urban 3 sits in the middle of the Raleigh Urban range. This versatile performer, available in men’s and women’s models, uses a lightweight alloy frame and 24-speed Shimano gear system. The Suntour suspension fork takes the edge off rough surfaces and you can fine-tune your ride position thanks to the adjustable stem. www.raleigh.co.uk On test... Trek 7.5 FX Disc £775 This dependable bike is incredibly popular thanks to its multipurpose character and a focus on comfort T he FX series is Trek’s most popular collection, largely because these bikes can be used for such a wide range of purposes. Leisure, fitness, running errands around town, commuting… the adaptable FX can turn its hand to pretty much anything. Comfort is the key characteristic here, and that starts with the ride position. The strong aluminium frame comes with a fairly short top tube so you’re not massively stretched out when you climb aboard, and the Bontrager handlebar has a 25mm (1in) rise. This means that you sit upright in the saddle, taking the strain off your back, and you ride with your head high, which is great for both vision and confidence. Trek pay a whole lot of attention to the contact points, equipping the handlebar with their inForm grips that, rather than being round, are paddle-shaped to fill your palms.This provides extra support and so reduces the pressure on your hands, and a built-in elastomer insert absorbs vibration and impact. You really will notice the difference to your level of comfort, and you won’t get numb fingers however long your ride. Comfort is the key characteristic here, and that starts with the ride position. The saddle is a winner too. The 7.5, along with the higher models in the FX range, gets a Bontrager saddle with Flexform technology. What does that mean? The body of the saddle is suspended on a rubber elastomer that flexes slightly with your pedal stroke. It pivots as your pelvis moves in order to give you with a smoother ride. Giant Escape 1 £650 Tech Specs Price: £775 Weight: 26.7lb (12.1kg) Frame FX Alpha Black Aluminium Fork:Bontrager Nebula, alloy disc with Clix dropouts Drivetrain: Shimano Deore shifters, front mech, Deore LX rear mech, M443 triple chainset, SRAM PG-950 9-speed cassette Brakes: Shimano M445 hydraulic disc brakes with Shimano levers Wheels: Bontrager SSR Disc wheelset, Bontrager Race All Weather HardCase 700x 32c Other: Bontrager Satellite Plus IsoZone OS handlebar, Bontrager H2 Flex Form saddle Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL The FX 7.5 has plenty more to offer as well as comfort. The Shimano Deore and Deore LX derailleurs, for example, are tried and trusted while the trigger shifters supply instant shifting at your fingertips. A triple chainset matched up to a 9-speed cassette means you get a huge range of gears to take the pain out of the climbs; you really won’t have any trouble handling the hills. This version of the 7.5 comes with Shimano M445 hydraulic disc brakes that have a serious amount of stopping power. You’ll be amazed at how much control they offer, allowing you to stay relaxed whether you’re battling through heavy traffic or haring downhill on a weekend ride in the country. And they carry on performing equally well in wet conditions, which is a huge plus for year-round commuting when you might be out in all weathers. The Bontrager Race All Weather Hard-Case Triple chainset The chainset tyres are a great choice for everyday use too. consists of the cranks (the They come with a Kevlar strip underneath arms to which the pedals are the tread that forms a strong barrier to keep attached) and the chainrings punctures at bay – and anything that keeps (the front cogs). A triple you rolling along has to be good news. chainset is where you have If you want to save a bit of cash, the 7.5 FX is three chainrings, giving you also available with Avid SD-3 linear-pull brakes three sets of gear ratios. rather than the hydraulic disc brakes for £700. This version is available in a WSD (Women’s Specific Design) model too, coming with a shorter top tube, for example, to reduce the reach slightly, and a female-friendly saddle. Jargon Buster www.trekbikes.com Fast and dependable, the sporty Escape 1 boasts a lightweight aluminium frame with a gram-saving carbon-legged fork up front. The tough Shimano drivetrain provides you with 27 gears and will shrug off the knocks while the LX V-brakes have enough muscle to keep you safe on the city streets. www.giant-bicycles.com Ridgeback Flight 03 £899.99 You get both speed and practicality with Ridgeback’s Flight range. The 03 model is built around a triple-butted aluminium frame that comes with rack and mudguard eyelets, and it’s decked out with some impressive components including a carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and a high-quality Shimano drivetrain. www.ridgeback.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 23 Web: cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk Tel: 01202 732288 Spring /Summer 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £77 5.0 0 Trek 7.5F XD isc £36 .99 £59 .99 Mag www num loc .mag k/cab num le .ws Abu ww s Urba w.ab n I us.d e 99 £C4ate5ye U.noy/eL.cDo6m00 .cate www Total retail price £917.97 Example savings Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £526.98 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £449.48 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI, 20% VAT 20% Tax, 12% NI, 20% VAT This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Bike package retail price £917.97 Bike package retail price £917.97 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £390.99 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £468.49 Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. Not all employers can pass on VAT savings. Gross monthly repayments £64.58 Gross monthly repayments £64.58 Net monthly payments £43.92 Net monthly payments £37.46 Total cost of bike package £526.98 Total cost of bike package £449.48 EUA payment £50.05 EUA payment £50.05 Total saving at end of EUA £340.94 Total saving at end of EUA £418.44 At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details). 24 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers End of hire End of hire essentials Spring/Summer 2011 e kit We give you the lowdown on the bik you just can’t do without… Bags Bike bags come in all sorts of different styles and sizes. Here’s a selection of the best… W hen it comes to carrying your everyday essentials by bike, there are many excellent choices open to you. A backpack or shoulder bag can handle plenty of kit without the need to fix any mounting equipment to your bike, but you might prefer to take the strain off your body with a bag that fits to your handlebars or a rack. With riding to work becoming evermore popular, there are lots of commuting-specific options these days too – bags designed to carry a laptop safely and smart enough to take to important business meetings. Jargon buster Rack A rack attaches to either the front or rear of your bike, usually (although not always) via special eyelets on the frame, allowing you to carry luggage. Because the bike is supporting the weight, a rack allows you to carry heavy loads in comfort. 26 Basil Babouska shoulder bag £29.99 The distinctive Babouska (12L) fixes to a rack via zip-away hooks while a handle and removable shoulder strap provide you with options for carrying it comfortably when you get off the bike. Made from water-repellent polyester, it’ll keep your stuff dry in all but the wettest conditions and reflective trim adds night-time safety. www.basil.nl Vaude Cycle 25 Backpack Pannier £64.99 This is clever; you can either wear the Cycle 25 (that’s 25L) on your back or stow the shoulder straps away and use the rack hooks to attach it to your bike. The main chamber is big enough for large folders, your laptop gets its own compartment, and a rain cover keeps everything dry www.vaude.co.uk Essential kit: Bags Altura Metro Notebook Briefcase Pannier £49.99 You can ride with this neat briefcase bag safely attached to a rack, then zip the fittings away when you get off the bike and sling it over your shoulder. It’s designed specifically to carry a notebook computer, and there’s enough padding to ensure nothing gets damaged in transit. www.zyro.co.uk Lezyne Town Caddy £44.99 Made from hard-wearing polyester, the 13L Town Caddy can handle the knocks and it comes with a padded internal sleeve for keeping your laptop (up to 17in) safe. The shoulder strap is deeply padded too while a top-grip handle makes for convenient carrying when you get off your bike. Several different pockets allow you to keep all your kit organised and that big logo is reflective for night-time visibility. If you’re after something larger, Lezyne’s Messenger Caddy (£84.99) is nearly twice the size (24L). www.lezyne.com Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus bar bag £74.99 This bag (7L) allows you to carry up to 3kg up front, fixing easily to your bars via a small mount. You can even lock it in place to avoid theft. It’s made from a heavy-duty Cordura that can handle the knocks and converts into a shoulder bag in seconds for use off the bike. www.ortlieb.co.uk Ogio Road Trip Girls messenger bag £27.49 The Road Trip (12.3L) manages to be both cool and practical, which is a clever trick if you can pull it off. Made from tough polyester, it’ll keep its good looks for ages, and a padded inner sleeve will protect a 15in laptop. You get plenty of pockets for keeping all your gubbins in order, including a fleece-lined sunglasses stash and a place for your mobile phone. The Road Trip is available in both this buttercream option and also in navy pinstripe. www.ogio.co.uk Topeak MTX Trunk Bag £64.99 This bag sits on top of one of Topeak’s own rear racks (such as the £36.99 Super Tourist DX Rack MTX) and is surprisingly spacious (12.3L). Rigid foam panels provide the structure while keeping the weight down, and both the main and the top compartments are expandable when you need to carry larger loads. You get a built-in handle along with a detachable shoulder strap, while extra safety comes courtesy of a 3M reflective strip and a clip for attaching an LED. www.topeak.com Deuter Giga £59.99 A backpack designed especially for commuting, the Giga (28L) contains a padded compartment for your laptop (up to 15.4in) and a main compartment that’ll swallow a folder whole. A hip belt and chest strap hold it firmly in place as you ride and compression straps allow you to draw everything in if you’re not carrying a full load. The foam strips down the back are air channelled for extra breathability while a reflective loop allows you to fit an LED. www.deutergb.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 27 Spring/Summer 2011 Cycle to fitness: 10 reasons why getting on your bike will keep you healthy... 1 Cycling is a stress buster Loads of evidence suggests that people who take part in exercise like cycling suffer lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression than sedentary folk. Many reasons have been put forward to explain this, from the simple – that physical activity provides a diversion from everyday worries – to the complex – that exercise induces biochemical changes that improve your mood. And lots of people report that they find the regular cyclic movement of pedalling more relaxing than other forms of exercise. Whatever the causes, getting on your bike regularly is certainly a good investment in your mental well-being. 2 Cycling tackles obesity If you want to get slimmer or just make sure you don’t pile the pounds on, regular cycling is the perfect choice of exercise. The bike bears your weight so there’s no impact going through your joints, and unlike many other forms of exercise, you can cycle for prolonged periods of time to put your body into considerable calorie deficit – when your body uses up more energy than you’re taking in, encouraging the use of your fat stores as fuel. It’ll depend on your weight and your exercise intensity, but it’s not unusual to burn up 400 calories an hour or more on the bike. 28 Cycle to fitness www.cyclescheme.co.uk 29 ULTIMATE COMMUTER CYCLING JACKET 2.5L BREATHABLE/WATERPROOF AND FULLY SEAM SEALED MULTIPLE REFLECTIVE FLASHES AROUND WHOLE GARMENT STORMFLAP ON FRONT ZIPPER WITH REFLECTIVE PIPING TRIM LARGE REAR POCKET WITH STORM FLAP ZIPPED PIT-VENTS WITH EASY-GRAB PULLERS WATERPROOF NAPOLEON POCKET WITH MEDIA PORT COZY-TOUCH LINING ON HANDWARMER POCKETS AND INNER COLLAR DRAWCORD ADJUSTMENT AT NECK AND HEM AND VELCRO® HEM ADJUSTERS E IT IN M LU LUMINITE A FULL LUMINITE OUTFIT CONSISTS OF A JACKET (MEN’S & WOMEN’S), TROUSERS (* ((*AVAILABLE *AVAILABLE FROM AUTUMN 2011), OVERSHOES & GLOVES. TEL: 0131 497 749 WWW.ENDURA.CO.UK Spring/Summer 2011 5 Cimmune ycling boosts your system Regular moderate exercise such as cycling to and from work enhances your body’s immune system, making you less susceptible to colds and other viruses. Even if you do get infected, you’re likely to have fewer symptoms than your less active workmates. Exercise can encourage your production of infection-fighting white blood cells and bolster your antibody response, and important immune cells circulate around your body more quickly for up to three hours after exercise to deal with bacteria and viruses. Professor David Nieman of Appalachian State University, USA says, “A high frequency of physical activity is needed to repeat the exercise-induced immune cell surges that over time add up to improved virus control and reduced illness.”So commuting by bike will keep the sniffles at bay. 3 Cprotect ycling will your joints People sometimes worry that repetitive exercise like cycling will wear out their joints, but a moderate amount of cycling actually increases flexibility and reduces the risk of disability caused by arthritis. Most joint injuries from cycling occur when people do too much too soon, rather than building up gradually – a simple rule is to increase the amount you ride by no more than 10% a week to avoid trouble. In cycling, most of your weight is taken by the saddle so you don’t pound your body like you do if you run. Cycling is an excellent way to get a cardiovascular workout without stressing your joints. 4 Cyour ycling will improve muscles If you’ve ever seen Tour de France riders on TV you’ll know that cycling can give you an impressive pair of legs, but you don’t need to ride as much as the professionals to enjoy the benefits to your own muscles. If we don’t exercise, we all lose muscle as we age – often from our mid-30s onwards. This results in reduced function and an increased risk of injury in everyday life. Cycling helps us to maintain our muscle mass. And although it mostly works our quads, butt and calf muscles, you’ll also feel the benefit in your abs and back muscles, and in your shoulders and arms too. And don’t worry that cycling will give you huge legs – it won’t; you’ll just end up toned. 30 6 Cavoid ycling can help you diabetes Long bike rides, as high-volume aerobic exercise, are a good way to help avoid diabetes. But a study led by Professor James Timmons of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh has found that short, high-intensity exercise substantially improves the body’s ability to process sugars and fight the disease. The researchers found, “low-volume, high-intensity training... substantially improved both insulin action and glucose clearance in otherwise sedentary young males.” The test group simply performed 4-6 cycle sprints of 30secs each, in six sessions over a fortnight – a total of just 7:30mins of hard exercise a week ...your life CUBE Attempt “Our Bike of the year in the sub-1000.00 category, the Attempt is still our benchmark” Cycling Plus April 2011 For more information on CUBE and our bikes, please visit www.cube.eu | email@example.com Spring/Summer 2011 7 Crisk ycling reduces your of heart disease Heart disease is now the biggest killer in the UK, but many studies have shown that bringing cardiovascular exercise like cycling into your life will lower the chance of you having a heart attack or stroke, and reduce the possibility that you’ll need anything like bypass surgery. According to the British Heart Foundation, if you cycle at least 20 miles a week you are half as likely to have heart problems as those who don’t exercise at all. Riding just two miles to work every morning, and two miles home every evening would cover it. That has to be worth the effort. 8 Cprevent ycling helps cancer There’s a growing body of evidence showing that regular physical activity reduces the possibility of some cancers. Research has shown, for example, that physical activity reduces the risk of colon cancer by about 50 percent. Experts think it’s because exercise speeds up the movement of material through the digestive system and colon, giving less time for cancerous agents to become malignant. And we’re not talking about loads of high-intensity exercise here; the American Cancer Society suggest that 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week, will reduce your cancer risk. It makes a lot of sense to do it on the bike as you commute to and from work. Cycling will 9 improve your cardiovascular fitness Cycling won’t just protect you against heart disease, your whole cardiovascular system will become stronger and more developed meaning that your body will be able to take oxygen and nutrients to your muscles more efficiently. This isn’t just useful for sport, it’s vital in everyday life too. Normal tasks like walking up a couple of flights of stairs or carrying heavy shopping will feel easier after a few weeks commuting by bike. ycling will 10 Cimprove your cholesterol levels Most studies suggest that endurance exercise such as cycling increases the amount of HDL cholesterol – often called “good cholesterol” – in your blood while lowering LDL cholesterol – often called “bad cholesterol”, the arteryclogging kind. The amount you need to exercise to improve your cholesterol levels has been debated lots, but most health organisations recommend a minimum of 30mins on most, preferably all, days of the week at a moderate to vigorous intensity. You can do that as 15mins on the way to work, and 15mins on the way home again. There’s some evidence to suggest that intense exercise has a bigger impact than taking it easy. 32 Spring /Summer 2011 Bike test in detail... Internal cable routing should keep the cables free from grime A mix of road and MTB Shimano components make up the transmission Other rated rides... Claud Butler Voyager £519.99 The Voyager is suited equally well to commuting and leisure riding with full mudguards and a rear rack fitted as standard. A suspension fork and seatpost provide extra comfort while the stem is adjustable so you can easily move the bars to the position you like them. www.falconcycles.co.uk 34 Wilier Escape £799.00 There aren’t many Campagnoloequipped bikes out there at this price but the Wilier comes with high-quality Xenon groupset components from the prestigious Italian brand and brakes from compatriots Miche. The double-butted aluminium frame is built to a racy geometry – this is definitely a bike for riding fast. www.wilierbikes.co.uk On test... Specialized Tricross Sport £749.00 Check out this fast and strong all-rounder that’s equally at home whether you’re riding on or off the road I f you want the speed of a dropped-bar bike and the strength of a mountain bike, the Specialized Tricross could be the right choice for you. This cyclocross machine is tough, comfortable and a whole lot of fun around town. Cyclocross bikes have become incredibly popular for commuting and everyday street riding over the past few years. Why? A cyclocross bike is designed to be fast and it’s also beefy enough to handle all kinds of off-road riding, so putting up with a bit of urban abuse really isn’t a problem. Cyclocross bikes have become incredibly popular for commuting and everyday street riding over the past few years. The TriCross’s aluminium frame is a little shorter than a standard road bike’s and the handlebars have a low drop – the distance from the top section to the bottom section is shorter than normal. This gives you a more upright ride position than you get on most road bikes with your head held higher, which you might well find more natural, especially if your previous riding has been on mountain bikes or hybrids. A little shim in the stem gives you a choice of four different handlebar positions if you want to fine-tune the setup. The sloping top tube comes with a flattened underside that’s designed for comfort when you carry the bike on your shoulder in a cyclocross race, but it’s equally useful if you have to lift it up a flight of steps when you’re taking a shortcut around town. You get eyelets for fitting a mudguard and a rack – the designers know that many people are going to use the TriCross as a commuting workhorse – and the same on the fork. Speaking of the fork, Specialized’s own FACT model comes with carbon legs and an alloy crown and steerer, but what really sets it apart Price: £749.00 from the crowd are the SpeedZertz inserts. Zerts Weight: 23.8lb (10.8kg) are viscoelastic pieces positioned at the top of Frame: Specialized TriCross A1 Premium the legs. Rather than being completely solid, aluminum they deform slightly when you ride over irregular Fork:Tricross FACT carbon surfaces to dampen the ride. They just take the fork (alloy crown and steerer), SpeedZertz road buzz out to keep you more comfortable. inserts Specialized’s burly Borough Pro tyres improve Drivetrain: Shimano the ride quality further. They’re 32mm wide 2300 triple chainset, compared to the 23mm width you’ll find mechs and shifters, 8-speed cassette on most road bikes. The larger air chamber Brakes: Tektro cantilever smoothes over potholes and other weather Wheels: Forged damage, and better protects your wheels from aluminium hubs, Alex Ace-19 aluminium rims, harm– hit something hard and they’ll soften Specialized Borough Pro the blow. Gel pads under the bar tape are a neat 700 x 32ctyres touch as well, providing a little extra cushioning Other: Specialized Body Geometry Rival road for your hands. saddle, The TriCross offers a really broad range of Sizes: 45, 47, 49, 52, 54, gears via three chainrings at the front and an 56, 58, 61cm 8-speed cassette. This, along with the fact that this is a reasonably light bike, means climbing is never a problem, even when the hills are long and steep. Fire it down Cyclocross Cyclocross is a the other side and the TriCross’s built-in type of bike racing that takes stability provides you with plenty of place off road with riders confidence, while Tektro’s cantilever tackling grass, woodland brakes offer decent stopping power. trails, steep hills and obstacles. Oh, with all this talk of commuting Cyclocross bikes are fairly we nearly forgot: the TriCross loves an similar to road bikes but they off-road adventure at the weekend. If you use knobbly tyres for extra do too, you’ll enjoy it even more. grip and cantilever brakes for Tech Specs Jargon Buster mud clearance Cannondale CAADX Tiagra £899.99 Cannondale make some of the best aluminium bikes out there and this cyclocross model is a definite winner. It comes with stable handling, comfort engineered in, and a host of dependable components including FSA and Shimano gear. You get a lot of bike for the price here. www.cannondale.com Cube X-Race Comp £999.99 Nipping in just under the £1,000 mark, the X-Race Comp features a triple-butted aluminium frame and some excellent components. The Easton fork and wheels are real touches of quality, most of the groupset comes from Shimano’s reliable 105 range, and extra levers allow you to brake from the top of the bars. www.cube.eu 35 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in a bike shop diago mini pump | black or white | max 10 bar/144 psi | 240 mm | 109 g | Valve: Presta PUMPS 路 TOOLS 路 BaGS 路 MUdGUardS 路 BOTTLe CaGeS Made in GerMany SKS-GerMany.COM G E R M A N Y Spring/Summer 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £74 9.0 0 Sp Tric ecialize ross d Spo rt 99 £Gir5o S9tylu.s.com £27.98 Blackburn Voyager/Click www.blackburn.com £62 .99 OnG ww uard B w.on ea gua st/B rdlo oxer ck.c om .giro www Total retail price £899.96 Example savings Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £516.78 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £440.78 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI, 20% VAT 20% Tax, 12% NI, 20% VAT This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Bike package retail price £899.96 Bike package retail price £899.96 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £383.18 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £459.18 Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. Not all employers can pass on VAT savings. Gross monthly repayments £63.33 Gross monthly repayments £63.33 Net monthly payments £43.07 Net monthly payments £36.73 Total cost of bike package £516.78 Total cost of bike package £440.78 EUA payment £49.00 EUA payment £49.00 Total saving at end of EUA £334.18 Total saving at end of EUA £410.18 At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details). 36 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers End of hire End of hire essentials Spring/Summer 2011 e kit We give you the lowdown on the bik you just can’t do without… Bike storage Keep your bike safely stowed with a dedicated storage device… M ost of us have a limited amount of space for storing bikes; they take up quite a bit of room, especially if you have more than one in your household, so some form of special storage device can be really useful, maybe even essential. There are loads of different options out there, most of them freeing up some much-needed floor space and making it less likely that your bike will get accidentally knocked around. There are wall brackets, ceiling-mounted racks, self-supporting stands, and even lockers that you can leave outside in the garden. Take a look at our small selection and decide what’s most suitable for you… Bike storage hooksout of the way in a If you just want to store your bike the secure garage, a simple bike storage hook is often simplest solution. You just screw it into a beam and hang your bike vertically by the front wheel. This Park Tool hook costs just £1.99. www.madison.co.uk 38 Velo-Safe Locker £poa Minoura Closet Cyclist 2 £124.99 This self-supporting stand is an excellent storage option when space is at a premium, holding two bikes vertically by the front wheels. Made from aluminium with a highly durable anodized finish, it’s lightweight and won’t corrode, and it’s neat enough to live inside your house or flat without being an eyesore. www.zyro.co.uk The Velo-Safe locker provides secure storage and shelter for individual bikes in a garden, at a workplace, or in a public place. The wedge design can fit where larger lockers can’t, and multiple Velo-Safes can be arranged into circles and semi-circles or back-to-back in straight lines, according to the space you have. The Velo-Safe is made of durable, high-quality materials. The top panel is 6mm-thick aluminium plate while the structure, door and side panels are super-strong steel – this locker really will stand the test of time. Various locking mechanisms are available – you choose whatever’s most suitable for the environment to keep your bike protected. www.velo-safe.com Essential kit: Bike storage Cycloc £59.95 Smart! The Cycloc is a really clever way to store your bike in a space-efficient way, and it’s stylish too. It attaches to a wall with three hidden fixings, and then holds your bike firmly in place by the top tube. There’s room on top for your helmet and space inside for storing other ride essentials, and although it’s not promoted as a security product, holes in the top and bottom allow you to use a conventional lock to keep your bike safe. British designed and made, the Cycloc is available in a range of colours and prices are cheaper if you order in bulk for your workplace. www.cycloc.com Saris Locking Bike Trac £76.00 Gear Up Off-the-Wall 2-bike Vertical Rack £29.99 If you want something simple, this wall-mounted rack will hold two bikes out of the way. It supports the top tube on two foam-covered arms, and you get a little wire shelf for storing your helmet and other kit. Made from heavy-duty steel with a tough powder-coated finish, it folds down flat when not in use to save space. www.thegstand.com This wall storage design allows you to hang your bike vertically from the front wheel. A wide track keeps any size of wheel in place and prevents dirty tyres marking the paintwork, and a 3/4in steel locking loop allows you to secure your bike. A simpler Bike Trac, without the locking loop, is available at £29.99. www.paligapltd.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 39 Spring/Summer 2011 right! Set up your bike If you want to ride comfortably, you need to fine-tune the fit of your bike. Here’s how to get it spot on… Y our bike has to fit properly if you’re going to get the most out of it. That means buying the right sized bike to start with and setting it up properly for you. That way, you’ll ride faster, smoother and more comfortably; you’ll enjoy yourself more. We spoke to Jez Loftus, a bike fit expert from Trek Bikes, to find out what you can do yourself to finetune the fit of your bike. Frame size First, you need to know your inseam length. Take your shoes off, stand against a wall with your feet 15cm apart, and place a book between your legs, pulled up firmly to your crotch. Move away from the wall and measure the distance from the floor to the top edge of the book. 40 Cycle to fitness Multiply your inseam measurement (in centimetres) by 0.657 to determine your approximate road frame size. Say your inseam measurement is 85cm… 85 x 0.657 = 55.8, so your start point should be a 56cm bike (the nearest size to 55.8). Mountain bike sizing is different. Choose the frame size that most easily allows you to get your saddle height and handlebar position correct (see other annotations). Saddle height Lean against a wall and put the ball of your foot on one pedal, directly over the axle. Then, keeping your hips level, straighten your knee. Have a friend check the angle of your foot. If the saddle is the correct height your heel should be tilted downward so that it’s 1-3cm lower than your toe. If it’s not, alter the saddle height and try again. Saddle setback You can move the saddle forwards and backwards on top of the seat post; this is the setback. To get this right, you need to find your tibial tuberosity, which is the bony bump just below your knee. Ideally, sit on your bike while it’s on a turbo trainer, the front wheel raised up so the bike is level, although leaning against a wall is an alternative. Put your feet on the pedals with the cranks horizontal and get a friend to drop a weighted line from the tibial tuberosity of your leading leg. The line should hit the pedal axle. If it doesn’t, slide the saddle forwards or backwards on the seat post and check again. Saddle tilt In the vast majority of cases, your saddle should be level – the top should run parallel to the ground. Use a spirit level to get it right. To alter the angle, you need to adjust the clamp at the top of the seat post that holds the saddle rails. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 41 Spring/Summer 2011 Cleats Handlebar position Some bikes come with an adjustable stem that you can pivot up or down to alter the handlebar position. With most, though, you can just flip the stem over to change the angle, move spacers from below the stem to above it, or swap to a stem of a different angle and/or length. To determine whether you’re in a good position, you’ll again need the help of a friend. If you’re on a road bike, put your hands on top of the lever hoods. If you’re on a mountain bike or hybrid, put your hands on the grips. Get your friend to check that: l Your torso is leaning at 40-50° from the horizontal – the more flexible you are, the lower the angle you can comfortably get. l You can achieve an 85-90° angle between the midline of your torso and your upper leg l You can achieve a 20-40° bend of your elbows l Your shoulders are relaxed l Your spine curves no more than gently Lever reach Brake levers usually come with some form of reach adjustment to bring the arm closer to the handlebar, which can make a big difference if you have smaller hands. The levers should be within comfortable reach for easy access. Most brake levers for flat bars have a reach adjusting screw close to where they 42 If you use clipless pedals – ones that attach to cleats fitted to the bottom of your shoes – set these up first. The centre line of the cleat should be positioned 5-7mm behind the ball of your foot, and widthwise in the middle of your foot. Most cleats allow your feet to rotate a little – called ‘float’. Set the cleats so that you’re within the float range throughout your pedal stroke; the pivoting of you foot should never be limited by the extent of the float. clamp to the handlebar. Just turn it with a screwdriver until the lever is positioned correctly. Levers for dropped handlebars come with various means of adjustment – some use rubber shims, others use adjusting screws that can be quite well hidden. You might need to go back to your local bike shop to find out how yours work. Remember to check the braking performance after you’ve altered the reach. Handlebar width Dropped handlebars come in various widths; you need to match the bar width to your shoulder width. First you need to find your AC (acromioclavicular) joints. They’re the bony bumps on top of your shoulders. Then get a friend to measure the distance between them. This is the width your bar should be (measured between the centre of the bar ends in centimetres). Thanks to Rich and the crew at Live2Ride in Frome for the use of their fitting jig and their expertise Get a professional fit Follow these tips and you’ll get a decent bike fit, but if you really want to get it right you should take advice from your local bike dealer or a professional bike fit specialist. That counts double if you’re having any form of physiotherapy. An expert will look at you on your bike and take your individual flexibility and posture into account – vital for getting the perfect fit. Our expert, Jez, works for Trek. You can find your nearest Trek Fit store using Trek’s dealer locator at http://locator.trekbikes.com Spring /Summer 2011 in detail... Bike test Triple chainset and MTB gearing means no hill is too steep... A lockout fork means you get suspension when you need it Other rated rides... Pashley Poppy £450.00 The classic-looking Poppy harks back to years gone by with a traditionally lugged and brazed frame, colour co-ordinated chainguard and mudguards amd Brooks saddle. You get three gears courtesy of a Sturmey Archer hub, along with hub brakes that won’t be affected by wet weather. Timeless! www.pashley.co.uk 44 Bianchi Camaleonte 1 £589.99 The Camaleonte’s aluminium frame has been hydroformed to keep the weight down while the 8-speed Shimano drivetrain is reliable enough for countless miles. Mini V-brakes provide decent stopping power and the stem is adjustable so you can set the handlebar to exactly the position you want it. www.bianchi.com On test... Whyte Caledonian £849.00 Fast around town yet tough enough to take off-road, this new do-it-all bike offers the best of both worlds V ersatile. That’s the word that sums up the Caledonian. The middle option in Whyte’s new C7 range, it splits the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike in that it’s quick and efficient around town yet it can handle a bit of rough riding too. It’s a great choice if you want a single bike that can be used for the commute to work, weekend rides around the lanes, and a bit of off-roading with the kids too. The Caledonian comes with a strong, durable frame and Shimano mountain bike components, along with a suspension fork that you can lockout on the road. The wheels are road bike sized with mid-width 35mm tyres, and the hydraulic disc brakes will haul you to a halt in double-quick time whatever surface you’re riding on. it splits the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike: quick and efficient around town yet it can handle a bit of rough riding too The Caledonian is built around a multi-butted 6061 aluminium frame that’s designed a lot like a mountain bike’s. You get reinforcement at the front end, for example, where the head tube joins the top tube, and the slot at the top of the seat tube faces forward so it’s less exposed to water thrown up by the rear wheel – a feature taken straight from Whyte’s off-road range. Plus, you get eyelets for a rear rack if you want to use panniers to ferry stuff to and from work, and enough mudguard clearance for year-round commuting. The ride position is pretty relaxed, with your head up and not much stress on your back. As well as being comfortable, that means you get a good view ahead, and you’re going Felt QX85 £724.99 to appreciate that whether you’re riding in the urban jungle or venturing off-road. The Caledonian provides a good amount of stability too, and the bars are reasonably wide (62cm) for plenty of control without limiting your ability to nip through traffic. The 700c wheels spin along quickly on the road and the wide-ranging gears – it’s 27-speed courtesy of the triple chainset and 9-speed cassette – will get you up any incline without too much trouble and allow you to keep the power on for most downhills too. The real beauty of the Caledonian, though, is that it’s such a capable all-rounder. Just flick the lockout switch so the forks are active and you can head off the asphalt… The SR Suntour fork provides you with 63mm of front-end travel to take the sting out of bumpy trails, and the frame itself is easily strong enough to cope with a bit of off-road use. The Caledonian isn’t going to compete with a dedicated mountain bike with more suspension and chunkier tyres when it comes to riding muddy descents but it’s more than happy to take on towpaths and tracks through the woods. It’s a whole lot of fun and those hydraulic disc brakes – powerful and positioned well away from the dirt – will get you out of trouble if you overdo the speed going into a tight turn. The Caledonian is available in a men’s version with a higher top tube (same price), while the entry-level C7, the Malvern, costs £649.00 and comes in both men’s and women’s options. Built around a lightweight, double-butted aluminium frame, the QX85 is tough enough for life on the streets and on the trails. Shimano Rapid Fire trigger shifters move you effortlessly through the 9-speed drivetrain while disc brakes provide all the stopping power you need at your fingertips. You get rack eyelets too. www.feltbicycles.com Tech Specs Price: £849.00 Weight: 22.9lb (10.4kg) Frame: Aluminium (6061 hydroformed T6, multi-butted) Fork: SR Suntour NCX-E LO Lite, 63mm travel, lockout Drivetrain: Shimano Deore triple chainset and front mech, Alivio levers, SLX Shadow rear mech Brakes: Hayes Stroker Comp hydraulic disc brakes Wheels: Alloy hubs, Alex TD-24 rims, WTB All Terrain 700 x 35c tyres Other: VP composite pedals, Whyte Custom women’s fit saddle, Whyte lock-on grips Sizes: Small, medium, large Jargon Buster Multi-butted Multi-butted tubes have walls that are thicker in high-stress areas where the material is needed for strength, but thinner walls in low-stress areas where it’s not needed so much in order to save weight. Trek Allant WSD £450.00 This is the female-specific version of Trek’s dependable, multi-geared hybrid, combining strength and durability with a healthy amount of comfort. Practical through and through, it comes with a front rack fitted as standard along with colour-matched mudguards and an alloy kickstand. The Allant is available in a men’s version too. www.trekbikes.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 45 P 9RR 2.9 3 £ * tough under fire With a disc cylinder, dual locking levers and a 10mm hardened steel chain, the Master Lock® Mini U-Bar lock* will keep your bike safe, secure and exactly where you locked it. Your bike deserves the best - Protect what you love with Master Lock® Bike Security. To view the full range and find your nearest stockist please visit www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk/masterlock Spring /Summer 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £84 9.0 0 Wh yte Cale don ian £2 Niteri 6.99 www de Bug co m .niteri der.co bo .uk £24 .99 Kryp www tonite K .kryp rypto tonit elock flex .com 99 £M5adis9on.Priisdoen.co.uk .mad www Total retail price £960.97 Example savings Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £544.55 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £464.47 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI, 20% VAT 20% Tax, 12% NI, 20% VAT This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Bike package retail price £960.97 Bike package retail price £960.97 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £416.42 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £496.50 Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. Not all employers can pass on VAT savings. Gross monthly repayments £66.73 Gross monthly repayments £66.73 Net monthly payments £45.38 Net monthly payments £38.71 Total cost of bike package £544.45 Total cost of bike package £464.47 EUA payment £56.06 EUA payment £56.06 Total saving at end of EUA £360.36 Total saving at end of EUA £440.44 At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details). 46 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers End of hire End of hire essentials Spring/Summer 2011 e kit We give you the lowdown on the bik Locks Protect your bike with a dependable lock. Here are eight that you can rely on… Kryptonite Kryptoflex Combination Lock £24.99 You’ll want to secure your frame with something sturdier, but you can thread this 180mm cable through your front wheel and saddle rails, for example, to deter thieves from making off with your components. It fits to its own bracket and is available in a keyed version if you prefer. www.kryptonitelock.com D on’t skimp on bike security. A cheap lock may look the part but even the least skilled thief will get through it in no time. Seriously, an expensive bike could disappear in seconds if you don’t protect it properly. For all-out security, a heavy-duty chain and padlock is hard to beat, so that’s a great option if you don’t need to carry it about. If you need something more portable, though, a D-lock (also called a U-lock) or an armoured cable lock is a better choice, and consider using an additional cable lock to prevent any valuable components going walkabout. Jargon buster Sold Secure Sold Secure is an independent test house that rates security products on the level of protection they offer. Sold Secure approved bike locks are classified into three categories, bronze, silver and gold, according to the amount of time and the tools needed to get through them. 48 you just can’t do without… Abus Bordo Folding Lock £69.99 The Bordo lock, which comes with a Sold Secure Bronze rating, is made up of a series of linked plates so it’s flexible enough to fix your bike to all sorts of immoveable objects, and it folds down small into its own frame-mountable case for easy carrying. This is the 90cm model but shorter options are available. www.abus.de Essential kit: Locks Onguard Beast & Boxer £62.99 You’re not going to want to lug this heavy-duty combo far, but it’s a good option for leaving at a regular locking-up point . The 110cm chain is made of 12mm titanium-enforced steel links that aren’t going to give up easily, while the lock uses an 11mm ultra-hardened steel shackle with a dual deadbolt locking mechanism so it’s virtually impossible to lever open. It’s going to take a well-equipped and determined thief to steal any bike protected by this one. www.onguardlock.com Abus Mini Futura £54.99 Just 15cm (6in) long, this D-lock is much smaller than most and it weighs only 693g, so it’s an ideal option if travelling light is important to you. The Mini Futura doesn’t have the strength of many hardcore Abus locks but it provides decent security for public areas. Abus are releasing other mini U-locks this year; look out for the Abus U-Mini (£49.99), for example, which has a Sold Secure Silver rating, and the Goldcertified U-Mini 401 (£69.99). www.abus.de Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit mini lock £94.99 The Fahgettaboutit isn’t cheap but it is the strongest bicycle U-lock that Kryptonite make. It comes with an 18mm steel shackle, an oversize crossbar with an extra steel sleeve in there for additional security, a double deadbolt locking mechanism… you get the idea – it’s a tough little fella. The shackle is just 8.3cm wide which limits what you can fix it around, but that also means there’s not much space for a thief to get a lever in there, and it’s easy to carry. www.kryptonitelock.com Magnum Lock Shackle/Coil £36.99 This D-lock comes with a 13mm hardened-steel shackle that’s fixed to the bar with a double bolt locking mechanism so both ends are secured – making it hard for a thief to prise open. The 120mm-long cable allows you to protect vulnerable components while the quick-release mounting bracket fits to most frame tubes for easy transportation. www.magnum.ws Master Lock Python Adjustable Locking Cable £27.49 One advantage of the Python is that you can pull as much of the 180cm cable as you like through the locking mechanism so there’s no excess for a thief to get at. You wouldn’t want to leave a bike protected solely by the 10mm braided steel cable, but it’s a useful extra for securing quick-release parts. damage to your bike frame. www.masterlock.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 49 Spring /Summer 2011 in detail... Bike test Singlespeed transmission is low maintenance and reliable The rest of the bike’s kit is solid, non-nonsense gear that should last Other rated rides... Charge Plug Grinder £599.99 The Plug comes in various guises, all singlespeeds, all built around the same Tange cromoly steel frame, and all at the same price. The Grinder model has a flat handlebar and mudguards, although you can go for a dropped bar or a riser bar with one of the other build options. www.chargebikes.com 50 Dawes Mono £649.99 You can run the Mono in either a fixed gear or as a singlespeed – you swap the wheel around to change between them. Either way, you shouldn’t need to spend much time on maintenance. The frame is made from Reynolds 520 chromoly, you get Sugino Messenger cranks, and mudguards are ready fitted. www.dawescycles.com On test... Kona Paddy Wagon £550 If you’re after solid reliability at a great price, this classic singlespeed/fixed-gear option could be the perfect bike for you I f you want a simple and reliable commuting weapon, Kona’s Paddy Wagon is hard to beat. This steel singlespeed/fixed gear classic is strong, require very little maintenance, and it’s top value too. Singlespeed? Why would you want to opt for just the one gear when there are plenty of excellent gear systems out there? Well, a singlespeed is cheaper than a multi-geared bike, for a start, and you save weight too, all other things being equal – no derailleurs, no cassette, no shifters.... Plus, with fewer parts there’s less to go wrong, saving you time and/or money on maintenance, and there’s less to wear out and need replacing. Simplicity – that’s what it’s what it’s all about. If you want a simple and reliable commuting weapon, Kona’s Paddy Wagon is hard to beat. The Paddy Wagon comes with a flip-flop rear hub that allows you to swap from a freewheel, where you can coast along without pedalling, to a fixed gear, where the pedals go round whenever the bike is moving. You just take the rear wheel out and turn it around to swap between the two – easy peasy. Going fixed is a whole lot of fun. It takes a bit of getting used to, admittedly, but once you’re comfortable with the sensation, you’ll love it. And fixed is very, very cool these days, with its own little subculture of aficionados. But isn’t it dangerous? Not a bit. You can slow down by resisting the movement of the cranks as you would on a brakeless track bike, but the Paddy Wagon comes fitted with a good pair of Tektro calliper brakes too, so you’ll have no worries when it comes to control in traffic. Tech Specs Price: £550 Weight: 22.4lb (10.2kg) Frame: Kona cromoly butted Fork: Kona Retro Road Drivetrain: FSA Tempo chainset (42-tooth chainring), Dicta 16-tooth sprocket Brakes: Tektro R538 callipers, Tektro levers Wheels: Freedom Tunnel Top rims, Kona Rat Pack hubs, Continental Ultrasport 700 x 28c tyres Other: Kona Retro Road saddle, Kona Road handlebar and stem Sizes: 49, 53, 56, 59, 61cm Gearing aside, what does the Paddy Wagon have to offer? The frame is neatly welded from burly cromoly steel, with traditional slim, round tubes throughout – no different-for-the-sakeof-it complex shaping here. The two bottle cage bosses will come in handy if you want to head out of town on longer weekend rides while the classy ‘cherry black’ and silver paint job is tough enough to stand up to everyday knocks. Kona offer a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, which should give you plenty of confidence in it – they wouldn’t do that with a bike that’s unlikely to stand the test of time. The straight-legged fork is steel too so it’ll never fail unexpectedly and, like the frame, it features commuter-friendly mudguard eyelets; an invaluable addition for the British winter. Fixed gear A fixed-gear The Paddy Wagon isn’t the lightest bike bike, also known as a fixie, on the streets but the stiff frame, forks and has the sprocket (rear cog) wheels mean that it still responds with a attached directly onto the burst of speed when you put in the power. It’s rear wheel’s fixed hub; there’s actually surprisingly nippy away from the lights, no freewheel, meaning that especially considering the modest price tag, you can’t coast. In other and once you get your legs spinning, holding words, the pedals are always your speed is a cinch. moving while the rear wheel It’s a solid, planted ride too, the steel soaking is turning. up the buzz from weather-damaged roads to keep you perfectly comfortable in the saddle, and you get plenty of stability, adding reassurance whether you’re down on the drops or up on the tops of the handlebar. If you live in a really hilly area, fair enough, a singlespeed probably isn’t the best option for you. But if you’re after no-nonsense reliability for less lumpy rides, take a good look at the Paddy Wagon – it’s a great bike for the money. Jargon Buster Condor Potenza Pashley Clubman Urban On many models, Condor allow you to select your frame and build options – it’s a simple online process. The singlespeed Potenza, made from doublebutted steel, costs £449.99 along with a headset and steel fork, and you can get a complete bike from about £815 if you choose your components carefully. www.condorcycles.com Made from classic Reynolds 531 steel, the Clubman is about as traditional as they come. You get 3-speed Sturmey-Archer gearing, a leather Brooks Swift saddle, and a front drum brake – or you can go for a 2-speed setup with a coaster brake if you prefer (£945), where there are no cables to adjust. www.pashley.co.uk from around £815 £450.00 www.cyclescheme.co.uk 51 Vitamins are good for you The new Vitamin range from KHS. Designed to make you feel better Vitamin A £319 KHS Vitamin B £429 Lightweight double butted 700c alloy frame w/guard & rack fixings, Carbon fork, 24 spd Shimano Alivio for smooth shifting. Vitamin B(w) £429 Vitamin C £519 Bikes for individuals www.khsbikes.co.uk 01799 516441 The best bike lockers KHS007 CC 165x120 090311 v3.indd 1 The best 2‐tier bike racks 10/03/2011 09:49 The best shelters & racks Cycle-Works Ltd The Cycle Parking Specialists cycle‐works.com 023 9281 5555 Spring /Summer 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £55 0.0 0 Kon a Pa ddy Wa gon £94 .99 Kryp www tonite F .kryp ahge tonit ttabo elock .com utit 99 £En7du4ra.Conuvraer.cto.uk .end www 9 £Be5ll M9un.i 9ke.co.uk .bspo www Total retail price £779.97 Example savings Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £448.78 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £382.78 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI, 20% VAT 20% Tax, 12% NI, 20% VAT This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Bike package retail price £779.97 Bike package retail price £779.97 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £331.19 Income tax, VAT & NI saved £397.19 Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. Not all employers can pass on VAT savings. Gross monthly repayments £55.00 Gross monthly repayments £55.00 Net monthly payments £37.40 Net monthly payments £31.90 Total cost of bike package £448.78 Total cost of bike package £382.78 EUA payment £42.00 EUA payment £42.00 Total saving at end of EUA £289.19 Total saving at end of EUA £355.19 At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details). 52 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers End of hire End of hire essentials Spring/Summer 2011 e kit We give you the lowdown on the bik you just can’t do without… Waterproofs Stay dry and comfortable whatever the weather with a jacket that’s designed especially for cycling B ike jackets are usually cut closer than most other waterproofs so they don’t flap about and drive you nuts as soon as you hit a decent speed. Also, look for arms that are long enough to keep your wrists covered when you reach forward to the handlebars, a high neck to stop draughts, and an extended tail to keep spray off your butt. To be properly waterproof, the seams need to be taped. And good ventilation is a must or things will get sticky inside as soon as you hit a climb. Jargon buster Breathable: Breathable fabrics allow water vapour to escape outwards, helping you stay comfortable even when you sweat. If you’re likely to ride far in the rain, a breathable fabric and/or a load of vents will make a big difference. Some vents can be zipped closed in cooler temperatures. 54 Madison Prime £59.99 Do you want a cycling jacket you can wear off the bike too? The Prime’s sleeves are extended and the fleece-lined collar is high, but the overall cut is fairly relaxed so it doesn’t look especially bikey. The waterproof fabric is lightweight and rugged enough to stand up to everyday scrapes and all the seams are sealed, while vents and a mesh lining keep the humidity down when you turn up the intensity. Available in various colours, and in a women’s version: the Prima. www.madison.co.uk Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier £59.99 The Barrier is water resistant rather than waterproof so you wouldn’t want to rely on it in a full-on storm, but it’s windproof and highly breathable so is handy for a wide range of different conditions. It’s lightweight and packable too – leave it in your bag, just in case you need some extra protection from the weather. www.pearlizumi.com Essential kit:Jackets Montane Featherlite H2O Polaris Aqualite £39.99 Altura Night Vision Flite £79.99 Altura produces a whole range of Night Vision clothing that, as the name suggests, is designed to get you noticed in the dark. This lightweight waterproof comes with masses of reflective trim, and there’s a Velcro mount around the back for fitting a Night Vision Light Stick (£9.99) – an LED fibre optic strip. The nylon fabric keeps the rain out while being impressively breathable, and the jacket fits into its own tiny stuff sack. Available in men’s and women’s cuts, and in both red and yellow. www.zyro.co.uk Endura Convert The Aqualite is made in waterproof Hydrovent X fabric and the seams are taped throughout to prevent leaks. You get an extended tail to keep spray out while the adjustable collar and the elasticated cuffs and hem stop any draughts getting in. Once packed down into its own rear pocket, this jacket takes up very little space in your bag – it’ll even fit it into a jersey pocket if you like. Available in men’s, women’s and kids’ (£29.99) versions. www.polaris-apparel.co.uk £70 This summer jacket isn’t as waterproof as some but it’ll keep out showers long enough for you to get home – unless you have a monster commute. The Featherlite lives up to its name by weighing in at just 150g, and it packs down to the size of an orange in its own stuff sack. www.montane.co.uk £74.99 Remove the sleeves and yoke section of the Convert and you’re left with a gilet – hence the name – so you’ll get plenty of use out of it all year round. The fabric does a great job of keeping even the heaviest rain out and vents across the shoulders and back stop you steaming up in warmer temperatures. Reflectives all round help with night-time visibility, the hem and cuffs are adjustable, and the jacket folds into its own rear pocket for compact storage. www.endura.co.uk Water Off a Duck’s Back Waterproof Macintosh £130 This ladies’ coat is much longer than most and doesn’t immediately look like dedicated cycling gear, which could be an advantage for day-to-day use around town. As well as being waterproof, it’s breathable and comes with reflective areas on the collar, cuffs and belt that can be hidden away when you’re not on the bike. www.wateroffaducksback.co.uk Proviz Luminescent waterproof £69.99 This well-vented jacket features four light-emitting electroluminescent strips; powered by a small battery pack (4 x AAA) in one of the pockets, they give out a bluey-white glow. Added to the bright yellow fabric and large reflective panels, that means you really stand out in traffic whatever the light conditions. Available in both men’s and ladies’ models. www.todayscyclist.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 55 Spring/Summer 2011 My life on bikes Bob Wilson Former footballer and TV pundit Bob Wilson reveals his plans to ride to all 20 Premier League grounds for charityâ€Ś Fact File Bob Wilson Lives: Dorset Occupation: Former Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper, and broadcaster About: Bob played for Arsenal between 1963 and 1974, winning the League and Cup double in the 1970-71 season. After retiring from playing, Bob was Arsenalâ€™s goalkeeping coach for 28 years. He combined this with hosting Football Focus for the BBC before switching to ITV. 56 My life on bikes Tell us about your ride It’s called the Bob Wilson Soccer Cycle and I’m riding to every Premier League club in England. It’s about 500 miles in 11 days, starting on 18 April. Then there’s day 12 when we go to Glasgow, tipping my hat to my Scottish ancestry. This marks my 70th birthday and my 71st year, and those figures coincide with my greatest year in football, 1970-71, when Arsenal won the double. What is the ride in aid of? Have you cycled much in the past? It’s for the Willow Foundation which my wife Megs and I set up after Anna, our daughter, died of a rare form of cancer aged just 31. Her nickname was Little Willow, from the name Wilson. It was a real rollercoaster ride during the five years when Anna had her treatment, 16 lifesaving operations, her radiotherapy, her chemo and everything else. We found there was no charity dedicated to the 16-40 age group. Our charity provides empowering special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds throughout the UK. These tailor-made trips can be anything from a family break to an amusement park to a sightseeing trip to London, a spa break, pop concert or sporting match. Above all, a special day aims to return some normality and quality of life back to people’s lives at a time when they need it most, providing precious memories for the future. Only recreational cycling. Megs and I live in a beautiful area of Dorset, at the head of the river leading out to the sea. We get on our hybrid bikes at the weekend and cycle out a few miles to the water’s edge and along the coastline. That’s the only cycling I’d done before starting to train for this ride. What are you hoping to achieve with your ride? Definitely. I’m staggered by the difference I feel in myself. I’ve got myself feeling good and found I can still do these things despite a knee that needs replacing and two artificial hips. I won’t carry on doing what I have been doing every day, but having got to this level of fitness, I’ll definitely do at least two rides a week. The aim is to highlight the challenges that seriously ill people face every day, and to raise awareness of how a special day can make a difference when it’s needed most. We’re aiming to raise a minimum of £250,000, which is a huge target. Hitting it would mean fulfilling hundreds more special days. How have you been preparing? I’ve been riding 25-40 miles a day for the past six months. There are two others riding the whole route: Steve Cliffen, who is a former headmaster of a special school, and David Tweddell, who was a reserve for the British Olympic cycling team for Melbourne way back in 1956. When I first started training with David’s bike club boys out in the New Forest, I was struggling mightily. But now I’m up out of the saddle for some of the hills, really pushing hard. My weight has come down too and my legs have muscled up. It’s an amazing difference. And I feel mentally sharper. The hills remain the most challenging bit for me. Blackpool is the last of the clutch of clubs in the northwest. After that, once we get to Lancaster, we have a five or six mile climb that I’m not looking forward to. . Will you stick with cycling? For more details on Bob’s ride go to www.bobwilsonsoccercycle.com where you can follow Bob’s progress, sponsor him online and even get involved by taking on your own charity cycle challenge. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 57 Break Away from your roof rack Gran Fondo LIFETIME GUARANTEE Introducing the Gran Fondo • New for 2011 • Carries 2 bikes up to 35 lbs each • Doesn’t obscure number plate • Fits 700c, 26” & 29” wheels • Anti–sway straps secure bikes • Lightweight, rust-resistant frame Saris Bicycle Racks Beautifully Useful www.saris.com Available exclusively through Paligap. Visit www.paligapltd.co.uk for your nearest Saris dealer. Passion, Service & Quality The iGo gift voucher is redeemable in over 300 professional and passionate independent bike stores nationwide. 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